Friday, May 30, 2008

My great new hiking back pack

sorry this picture showed in the draft but didn't come up on the post

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Our Get away

Living in C'bad you have limitless opportunities to sit in time share presentations. We did, and got 2 nights free hotel stay for listening. We were so excited to get away and this was the excuse/resource to make it happen. We did not have high hopes for our (free) accommodation's and we were still underwhelmed. I will add several photos to hopefully give you the full effect. Thanks to Ben's Parents for loving and caring for the 3 rascals so we could have so fun without boogers on our shoulders. We escaped to the marvelous mountain resort of Big Bear last week.

The Good
  • Our first getaway since having kids. Yes it's true we have not taken a couple's only trip since our free cruise we won on our honeymoon. I was pregnant with Madisen on the cruise so if you count that as having kids then I think our honeymoon to Cabo is it.
  • Not knowing what to do without our planners, cell phones and to do lists around.
  • All the wonderful fresh air you can imagine
  • beautiful views and nature all around you
  • Reminded me how much I do love Utah and its marvelous big mountains.
The Bad
  • Pretty much every aspect of our lodging can be listed here. We couldn't get into our initial room so after a pleasant 15 minutes wait the handyman came to let us in. Once in we rested from our long drive in a musty, moldy sauna. Luckily our room was equipped with a ceiling fan. We requested a room on the 1st floor to get some relief of the heat. here are highlights of the Timberline lodge. May I recommend never staying here.
  1. kick holes in front door. inch gap in bottom of door.
  2. jacked locks, and we were not allowed a key for the dead bolt. hmmm nice. They did upgrade our stay and gave us a complimentary lock for the bathroom window.
  3. High quality 3 mattress beds. Notice that the center of the bed is a good 5 inches below the head and feet of the bed. that's cozy, luckily the other bed was much nicer.
  4. I found one tile in the bathroom that was mold free. And the craftsmanship of the shower was *****, that's five star.
  5. The TV was unplugged. So Ben had to move it across the dresser to get it plugged in and then had to remove the tape from the back of the remote to put the batteries in properly.
  6. I left my hair dryer at home b/c the pamphlet specifically stated dryer in every room. not so my friends, but I was allowed use of the complimentary quest Iron.
  7. Also in the pamphlet was the continental breakfast and pool's. Notice the picture of Ben standing in front of our pool, just outside our kicked in front door. It has 10 gallons of water and 30 gallons of mud and pine needles in it. nice!!! Remember when Daniel Larussa moved to California in Karate Kid. Same effect. We could however walk 2 blocks to the family unit area and go in the indoor pool and spa, just imagine a complete lack of maintenance for the last 12 years. It was gross.
  • The local crazy lady that hit us up for bus fare and then wouldn't leave b/c she could 'sense' something was terribly wrong with Ben. We met her again at the German restaurant, It is always nice to make new friends when you're away.
The Unforgettable
  • Our hike to grand view and lodgepole pine. we spent 4 hours hiking mountainous terrain. In the first pictures you'll notice my new high end hiking pack, it is versatile and light weight, perfect for out door adventurers...... or just the crazy people that did not bring a back pack on their trip. oops!
  • Forgetting the sound of my whining kids voices. Ben and I missed them, it was nice to get away and focus on their good qualities and the great personalities they have.
  • The bowling barn, a fine establishment located right across the street from our hotel.
  • Watching the fish jump, literally jump out of the water to catch flies. way cool.
All in all Big Bear is a great little mountain get away. We cant wait to go back with the kids, and snow shoe, hike, kayak and stay in much much better accommodation's.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Father Sons Campout

Here we are at Fiesta Island, just across from Sea World. Jeddy and Dad went on our first Father Sons Camping trip. Got some good pics of Jeddy and his buddies. We had a great time. Played lots of ball, took a little canoe trip, tried to catch Jellyfish, and camped out together in our little tent. Dad was reminded of why we got a bigger tent, and of why I am a big fan of air mattresses. Great time for us both.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Still Swimming with Sharks

Well, it has been a little while since I have posted. Just about the only topic on my mind for the last week and a half has been made known by the title of the post. I figure writing about it on the blog will decrease my chances of actually getting attacked. You know, maybe I talk nice about a shark and the karma goes my way while I am in the water. Who knows, but I figure at least for my eulogy, this post could help the writer. So here goes.

Let me point out that there hasn't been an attack resulting in death in San Diego County since 1959. As many of you who know, I grew up in the Bay Area, near Great White Shark breeding grounds. Stories of White Shark attacks seemed commonplace growing up and even more so after I left. So for about the next oh 12 years that I was living somewhere other than coastal California, I had nightmare after nightmare of getting eaten by a Great White Shark(out of respect, I will try not to leave the "Great" off too much. He has earned that title, and again, trying to keep the karma positive.) This is truly my deepest phobia. I have several other fears, but this is the grandaddy.

So I decide to move to Southern California where I am told by so many experts, that the water here is just too warm for Whitey's (a bit of a pet name I have for him) liking. I don't argue it, who ever hears about attacks in San Diego. It's always Monterey or Stinson Beach, or somewhere up north. Seriously, you may find it hard to believe, I love surfing, but I do not think I could surf any of those areas. One of the main reasons I have been so willing to surf here is the 'perceived' shark scarcity in these waters. Literally, everyone I know who surfs here, always says the same thing. They are off the coast of La Jolla about 50 miles, but none of em come here. We just get those little reef sharks, sand sharks, leopard sharks, the kind that don't have mouths big enough to bite a human.

No problem, I bought it. I figured, I want to surf in the safest place I can, and enjoy the surf without the slightest thought of sharks. This has been extremely therapeutic for me actually. Anyone who knows me well, is very surprised I surf at all with my phobia. I really dont like being controlled by anything, so I wanted to attack my fear. But for the past year, I have really come to love surfing. I am no expert mind you. I do go out usually at least once a week though, and as it warms up even more.

Then last Friday came the terrible news. A swimmer was bit and killed by a 14-16 foot Great White Shark in Solana Beach. For those who dont know, Carlsbad is less than 10 miles from Solana Beach. I was seriously stunned. I got calls from family and friends who wanted to know what I thought. I called surfing buddies who I wanted to know what they thought. They mostly said there really was no chance we would get that lucky, better odds of winning the lottery. Didnt help much. I had nightmare Friday night, Saturday night and again sunday night.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized I wanted to overcome this. So Monday, the first day the beaches were reoppened within 17 miles, I went and surfed Swami's in Encinitas. I could literally see the attack site from Swami's, it is less than 3 miles away. But, it was my buddies birthday and it is one of his favorite spots. I took a deep breath when he told me, then figured it was the best way to stare fear down. I have never been so jumpy in the water. When I saw a fin out of the water not far from me, I called to my buddy Dan-o. Not to worry, it was a dolphin. Then I saw it jump out of the water and I wondered what it was jumping from. We caught some good waves, he caught a ton of "birthday waves", and after a couple hours we emerged attack free. Very therapeutic for me to be out there again.

Then Friday and Saturday the swell was really big, so we went out to Tamarack, our local spot with the picture above. It was incredible, each day I thought a little less about Whitey. The waves were 8-9 feet which is huge for these parts so I was thinking about waves not pummeling me. Not enough though cuz one pummeled me so bad it split my board in 2(Kim thinks this is God telling me to get out while I can). I did get some really great rides though, which is sort of the addiction to surfing. You get the rush of being on that board, getting the momentum from nature pushing you through the water. It is just unbelievable. I am hooked.

If there is a point to this post, you may have to figure it out. I just am a guy who loves the ocean and hopes to be able to keep surfing. I know there is no guarantee about anything in life. Very few of us get to go out the way we want. And a shark is The Last Way I want to go. Let me repeat that, The Last Way. But I know it wasn't the sharks fault that she was designed to eat big animals. We are in their water. Can't exactly blame them. Mainly I think we can just be glad we get to do some things we enjoy in this life......, and hope it is at least another 50 years before Whitey strikes San Diego again