Thursday, September 27, 2007

I Need A Hat!

I'm back from Cabo! I avoided Hurricane (and later downgraded to Tropical Storm) Ivo, got some sun, played in the water and spent time with some super fun girls! While this is not my "normal" vacation fare it was a lot of fun!

Wednesday, September 19th
Whose idea was it to catch a 6 a.m. flight? Oh, right, that would be me. It was the flight with the shortest travel time and with a good price so I had booked it. I had learned last time that I had arrived 2 hours early for an "international" flight that had a stop in the US that I could treat it as a domestic flight and arrive an hour early which is what I did. So that gave me at least another hour of sleep! I really don't remember much about the flight, because I was in and out of sleep for most of it, until the end when we were just about to land at SFO and one of the passengers rang their call button. She wasn't feeling well and the flight attendants and another passenger (who was a nurse) gave her oxygen. She seemed to be doing better and turned out not to be serious. After landing the paramedics came on board and helped her off. We deplaned after the paramedics were safely off. The flight from SFO to Cabo was completely uneventful. Stepping off the plane in Cabo, I immediately felt the humidity. Wait - Cabo is supposed to have dry heat. Apparently, most of the year Cabo has dry heat, but during hurricane season, there is a lot more humidity in the air. I tried to weave my way through all the timeshare vendors but I was not successful. After listening to my first pitch I declined and tried to make it outside to my shuttle. I was once again accosted but after listening for two seconds and realizing he was not from the shuttle service I quickly walked outside. Arriving at the hotel, I checked in and made my way up to the room. I texted Diane I had arrived (everyone else flew in on Monday) and went out on the balcony to read my Cabo book. Instead of reading my eyes closed and I dozed off. The one thing that would have made the balcony better would have been hammock!! I woke up a little later and Diane had texted to let me know they were at the pool. I was about ready to venture out to the pool when Diane & Jamie came up to make sure I had found the room okay. We went back down to the pool and after saying greeting the other girls (Nikki & Kristi) we went over to the beach. The hotel was on the Sea of Cortez side (as opposed to the Pacific) which meant while the waves and the current were strong, you could still go in to the water. The waves were a force to be reckoned with! They knocked me flat a few times! The salt water stung my eyes and I had sand everywhere. It was so much fun!! We left a little while later and went back up to the room to change for dinner. Kristi wasn't feeling well and she decided to make it an early night. Dinner was at the hotel overlooking the beach. I splurged (since it was my first night) and had the lobster - it was yummy! After dinner we went into town to El Squid Roe for some drinks & dancing.

Thursday, September 20th
I woke up first and opened the curtains to a beautiful sunny day. I made massage appointments for us and after waking up Kristi I walked down to the beach. It was really calm and peaceful. I went back up to the room and hung out until it was time for our massages. The massage was great - really relaxing!! We came back and got our things ready and headed over to one of the sister hotels (Sunset) which was on the Pacific side. You could not swim here! We found chairs by the pool and dropped our stuff off and then headed to the pool bar. There were tables and chairs in the pool! I discovered my new favorite drink - a Miami Vice - which is half pina colada and half strawberry daiquiri. We sat at the pool bar for awhile before going to our lounge chairs. I read for awhile before getting in the pool. It was a little different being in the pool (or the ocean for that matter) and not be doing laps!! I had read in my Cabo book that the best place to watch sunsets were near the hotel we were at and so I wanted to stay and watch the sun go down. Diane stayed with me and we walked down to the beach thinking that would be the best vantage point. At the beach we realized there would be a huge rock in our way so we took one of the golf carts up to the Sky Pool which overlooked the ocean. The view was pretty amazing but the sunset was not. It was nice, but I've seen better. I think there were too many clouds. We went back to our hotel to see what the plan was for dinner. We found a restaurant in my Cabo book but when we got there it was closed. The proprietors were on vacation until October. We wandered around and came across The Shrimp Factory. After dinner we went back to the hotel and grabbed snacks and drinks and headed down to the beach and listened to the waves and the sea lions. I was getting bit by mosquitoes (not to mention I was tired) so I went back up to the hotel after a bit and went to sleep.

Friday, September 21st
I was again the first out of bed and again went down to the beach (are we sensing a pattern?) and finished my book. It was pretty hot already and I headed back up to the room. Kristi was awake and was going to head down to the pool. It appeared as if everyone else would be sleeping for awhile. By this time I was a little ancy from spending time by the pool and decided to walk into town. I found a little church and a museum. The best part about the museum - it was air conditioned!!! I did a little shopping before heading back to the hotel. Everyone was up by this time and at the pool. I joined them at the pool where I found my new favorite drink (forget the Miami Vice!). This one was a Sunset – half strawberry daiquiri and half mango daiquiri. Yummy!! After awhile a couple of us decided to go to the ocean. I finally figured out that the farther out I got the less intense the waves were and the less chance of being knocked over by the waves. I also figured out the pattern so I could get out of the water easier - I would go with the wave as it came up on the beach, but as it started to go back out again I stopped and braced myself instead of fighting against the wave. It seemed to work and I didn't get quite as sandy. Back at the pool, Nikki & I explored the other end and found this low wall that was a perfect bench that ran the width the pool. As we were sitting there David & Dustin (aka Derek) saw us and came over to chat with us. David & Dustin are brothers whom the girls had meet earlier in the week. Kristi had thought for sure Dustin's name was actually Derek and convinced the rest of us that was his name. When Nikki & I found out his name really was Dustin, it became a joke to call him Derek, so much so by the end I wasn't completely sure if his name was Derek or Dustin! We mentioned to them we were planning on going to Cabo Wabo that night and they were as well and would look for us when they got there. They also mentioned it was a good idea to get there early if we wanted a table and also they served good food. And we had our plan for the night! Realizing it was getting close to evening we got out of the pool and made our way up to the room. It was after I got out of the water I realized my back was hot. I asked Diane if I had gotten sunburned and she said I had. And I had tried to be so careful! Oh well - it could have been worse (on my face or shoulders), it could have been earlier in the week, and I have had worse sunburns (although not by much). Kristi had some really great ointment and put it on my back. We got to Cabo Wabo fairly early in the evening and had our pick of tables. They had live music for part of the night - the band was a cover band but they were really good. We ended up shutting down Cabo Wabo - they had to kick us out! Our next stop was El Squid Roe. By this time I was exhausted! Kristi and I left not to long after we got to El Squid Roe and went back to the hotel to get some sleep. This was the most fun night of the trip!

Saturday, September 22nd
This morning was a little different than the previous ones. I was again the first one out of bed but instead of going down the beach I stayed where I was. I went out on the balcony for a bit but didn't stay too long as my sunburn was bothering me. I stayed in the air conditioned room and read until everyone else got up. One of the things I really wanted to do in Cabo was see El Arco, a natural rock arch. We decided to take a sunset cruise that went past the arch. We still had awhile until we had to be at the marina and so went down to the pool. I didn't stay too long as it was really hot which was bothering my sunburn. We stopped at the ATM which was boarded up in anticipation of the hurricane. Rumors had been circulating that Hurricane Ivo was going to hit Cabo on Sunday. The latest rumor was Ivo had been downgraded to a tropical storm and was hitting further north. On the boat the waves were really wavy! We sailed past El Arco, also known as the window to the Pacific as this is where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean. It was pretty incredible, especially with the waves crashing on the rocks! We ate dinner at the Hard Rock Café. After dinner we ventured over the Giggling Marlin but when we saw they were pulling people out of the audience and on to the stage, we decided it might be too stressful and went across the street to Cabo Wabo. There was a little bit of a déjà vu feeling as the band was playing the exact same set as the night before. We only stayed for a little bit before heading over to one more place, The Zoo, which was nice but did not have any air conditioning. Deciding to call it a night we went back to the hotel, put on our pjs and headed down to the beach. The waves were becoming quite ferocious (due to the storm). Tomorrow being the day we had planned to go to brunch early (because I was leaving that day) we went back up to the room to try and get some sleep.

Sunday, September 23rd
Earlier in the week the girls had seen an advertisement for a brunch at the sister hotel (Sunset). Because of the timing of my shuttle to the airport, we had to wake up early and take a taxi over instead of using the shuttle service. The brunch was really good - it had all sorts of yummy food! I finished up and left to catch a golf cart back up to the main hotel to catch the shuttle. There were several people waiting for the golf cart in front of me and after a minute of hesitation and no sign of a golf cart I decided to walk up to the main lobby. I ran up the first flight of stairs and then found the next set of stairs. I realized at this point I was committed to this course as it would take too much time to go back down and wait for a golf cart. And here I was thinking this was going to be a vacation with no stairs!! I ran up the next set, stopping about half-way to catch my breath. Finally I was at the top. As I was getting my ticket from the concierge desk, the shuttle pulled up. How's that for timing? At the hotel I took one last look around before heading downstairs to wait for the shuttle. Airport security in Mexico is something else! My checked luggage was hand searched before I checked in, my carry-on luggage was hand-searched before going through the X-ray machine. But finally I made it through security. Both flights were uneventful and before I knew it I was back in Seattle.

I hadn't thought I was going to write too much for this trip, but there you have it!! You can view more pictures at:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Cabo Bound!

And my year of travel continues... I am leaving for Cabo in a matter of hours!! It will be my maiden voyage with my new passport. This will be a different sort of vacation than my normal go here, see this vacations so we will see how I do. I'm planning on reading several books (all fluff!), sleeping in, getting a little sun (not a lot, I do burn), and just relaxing! Bon Voyage! (can I say that to myself?)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Feet Week

Once again I'm joining in a little late on a photo week. But when I saw on (via The Glass Doorknob) it was feet week I just had to join! These are a few of my favorite feet pictures I've accumulated over the years.

One of my first feet pictures - Valley of Fire (Nevada)

At the Forum (Rome)

At the Prime Meridian Line, standing in both the Eastern & Western Hemisphere (Greenwich)

On Main Street, USA (Disneyworld)

At Caba da Roca (the most western point in Europe)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9/9/07 Triathlon Pictures

A few pictures from the triathlon! The good weather and the fact it was a lot smaller made for good pictures.

Waiting for the swim to start
Starting the runCrossing the finish line
Yay! I finished!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

9/9 Triathlon Report

Here we go again! I drove down to Federal Way on Saturday for the triathlon expo to get my number, start time, etc. It was my first time at the actual course. I drove the bike course, which was described as "rolling". Even in my car I noticed it was more "hilly" than "rolling". This should be interesting! Especially considering in the three weeks since my last triathlon I rode my bike twice, swam once, did one brick and a few treadmill sessions!

I woke up early Sunday morning and headed back to Federal Way. I often suffer from what I now call "Second Guess Thursday" (courtesy of Hoops & Yoyo from Hallmark). Getting into my car I wasn't sure if I had remembered my timing chip & race number (I had). Pulling out of my driveway I wasn't sure I had put my bike helmet in the car (I pulled over to check and it was there). Walking my bike to the race area I wasn't sure if I had locked my car door (I walked back and re-locked my car). Oh brother!

I set up my transition area and walked down to the beach area. Stepping in to the water to check the temperature I was happy to find the water on the warm side! I watched the waves before me until my wave was finally called I huddled with my fellow pink swim caps before we made our way to the start line. We started in the water, which meant we had to jump in. I haven't jumped in the water in a long time! Unlike the little girls in front of me who jumped in, I sat down before gingerly sliding in. After treading water for 45 seconds we were off! The sun was really bright and it was hard to see at times. First I complain about the rain and now I'm complaining about the sun? :) I made it out of the swim and made my way back to my transition area.

I was trying not to compare this triathlon to my last but the one thing I really did miss was a transition area on grass. The transition area was in a parking lot so a little hard to walk on with bare feet! Walking my bike to the start area my sunglasses broke. You've got to be kidding me! I hopped on my bike and started off. Right at the beginning of the bike course was a massive hill. As I started down it my first thought was "Wheee!! This is a fun hill" immediately followed by "Oh crap!! I am going to have to ride back up this hill!" Most of the hills were downhill on the way out, which meant mainly uphill on the way back. I would have preferred it the other way - mainly uphill on the way out and downhill on the way in! I powered through until that last hill. Shifting down to my lowest gear I was almost at the top two things happened. One, the girl in front of my stopped and two, I was passed on the left leaving me little to no room. I fought to hold on but finally gave up and got off my bike and walked up the rest of the way. I was a little down on myself for walking but the important thing was I made it up the hill.

The run course was also hilly! I tried to keep with my pattern of running 10 cones and walking 5. I reached the home stretch and ran the rest of the way. And there was the finish line!!

I was actually a little disappointed in my times - 1 hour 36 minutes. I had really wanted to finish between 1 hour and 20 minutes and 1 hour and 30 minutes. But again, I hadn't kept up with my training. More importantly- I finished!! Despite my complaining I had a good time and I am glad I did it! The feeling of crossing the finish line is exhilarating!

Thanks to everyone who supported me in this process!!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

I Don't Dance

I never really went through what I call the "12 year old girl" phase when I was 12 which is probably why I'm going through it now at 30. Case in point - last year Read Madrid came to Seattle to play DC United and I bought tickets as soon as possible to see not only David Beckham (whom I love!!) but also Ruud Van Nistelrooy (who is another favorite of mine). At the game I went and stood by the tunnel waiting for Real Madrid to walk out so I could be 20 feet from David Beckham and take lots of pictures. Of course the pictures ended up being of his back. Another case in point, the last two cds I got - Aly & AJ and Ashley Tisdale. And one more, not only have I watched High School Musical & High School Musical 2 (and own both soundtracks & the HSM DVD), but I am getting ready to watch HSM2 again - and this time the dance-a-long version. And I will be dancing along! :)

ETA: And this is why when I lent my HSM2 soundtrack to my boss for her daughter, her daughter asks "Do Emily's kids like HSM too?" I chose to laugh at this comment!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Natural Elements

I first saw this on Mandi's blog. Shari at the The Glass Doorknob did a natural elements photo week. I'm very late on this but thought I would join in anyway because I thought it was a fun idea.

WaterCopenhagen - reflection

Snoqualmie Falls

EarthTulip Field - Skagit Valley

Valley of Fire


Fireworks at Sleeping Beauty's Castle - Disneyworld


Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco

25th of April Bridge - Lisbon


The doors for the upstairs of the garage (we've been remodeling for going on two years now) came in this weekend. The doors need to be sanded, painted, etc. before they can be hung. My dad came up with an idea to create a sort of painter's easel for the doors to help with the painting. I helped him cobble it together. It's not much to look at but it does the job!