Saturday, January 02, 2010

20091231 - Year end

2009 was a very busy year for us.
We did a fair amount of traveling. We:
1. Went on an Exotic Mexican Cruise (Zihuatanejo, Acapulco, and Mazanillo)
the first part of February,
2. Visited Mazatlan in March-April,
3. Went on a Baltic Capitals Cruise (Copenhagen, Berlin, Tallinn, St
Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm) in May-June,
4. Visited family in Arroyo Grande in September,
5. Went on a Western Caribbean Cruise (Tampa, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize,
Isla Roatan) with neighbors in September-October,
6. Went on a RV Trip with neighbors to Moab in mid-October,
7. Visited family in the Northwest over Thanksgiving, and
8. Went again on the exotic Mexican Cruise (Zihuatanejo, Acapulco, and

I was invited to join the community Activity Committee but after attending several meetings decided it was not a good fit for me and declined. I was also invited to join the Communications Committee and have decided to join. They are working on setting up a series of web pages for the community. Every club and activity has one or more pages. I am currently working on the pages for the Wellness Committee, the Quilters and the Diabetes Forum. I have something out there for all of them but it is not very sophisticated so I am trying to learn a bit more about HTML and CSS so I can do a better job.

I am finishing a 2 year term as one of the Program Committee Co Chairs for Valley Quilters Guild and just beginning a the second year of a 2 year term as Lead Coordinator for the Quail Creek Quilt Covey. This year the Quilt Covey is putting together a request for a Long Arm Quilting Machine. One of the really nice benefits of the Guild job has been that the non-local lecturers have been staying in our Casita. It has been a real joy to get to know these women.

The year was sort of up and down as far as my health goes. In 2007 I joined Weight Watchers and did pretty well for a period of time. Last summer I completed a finess challenge but between the 2 I started having serious blood sugar lows which scared me. It is odd but during the low my mind is so fuzzy that I am not scared, but after when I imagine all the things that could have happened I get scared. Anyhoo, I started erring in favor of too high sugar, stopped exercising and stopped doing a good job of counting anything. So, as you can imagine my blood sugar is not good and my weight is creeping upwards again.

Rich is doing well although not biking as much as he wants to. And Max is still recovering from his ACL surgery. He seems to be OK but the muscle on his injured leg is still substantially smaller than the other.

Happy New Year to all.

Friday, October 09, 2009

200909 - 200910 Cruise

Rich and I went on Caribbean Cruise out of Tampa. We drove to Phoenix, spent the night in a very nice hotel, flew to Tampa, spent another night in a very nice hotel, and left on the cruise. As usual before you even leave port you must participate in an emergency drill. You can see how much fun this is but it is a legal requirement (or at least they tell you it is)

As we left the dock we had a very pretty view looking back at the city

As we traveled toward the ocean, we went past some very beautiful homes

The last home had this lighthouse

Some pictures of the very last bridge as we entered the ocean

We traveled with a group of friends and neighbors. Somebody commented that we clean up nice. I agree.

In Grand Cayman, our first port, the Legend shared anchor space with the Carnival Destiny and the Carnival Valor.

Rich and I went snorkeling in a park 5 minutes walk from the dock in the morning and walked a little around the town in the afternoon.

In Cozumel, Rich and I walked 1 kilometer to Discover Mexico, a craft museum.

They also had an outdoor area devoted to scaled miniatures of important Mayan, Aztecan, and current buildings in Mexico.
These first buildings are Mayan from Chichen Itza

These are Aztecan from Teotihuacan

These are buildings from Mexico City

Late in the afternoon of September 30th as she was leaving the port of Cozumel, the Carnival Legend was hit by an unexpected gust of wind and was blown into the Enchantment of the Seas. There was minor damage to both ships but neither was prevented from continuing their voyages. Our cabin was on the Port side so we saw the whole thing happen.
We crunched

The Enchantment of the Seas was damaged

We were damaged

They photographed

And looked

And looked

And looked

And cleaned up overnight

But we were crunched

In Belize we went cave tubing. I do not have any photos as we do not have a wet camera (Have to get one one of these days). We drove to an underground river that went into a large limestone cave. The tour guide outfitted us with headlamps (It is dark in there) and inner tubes. 6 of us linked up (my feet under her arms, etc) and we proceeded through the cave. Every so often the guide would have us all turn off our lights so he could point out formations. The trip was great.

In Roatan, Rich and I took a Zip & Dip tour. The Zip portion was 12-15 zip lines (we forgot to count) in the canopy in the foothills. We had a great time. Since I had the camera, I took several pictures of Rich as well as other members of our tour. We started with 12 people, broke into 3 groups of 4 each with a guide per group of 4. The guide went first and then helped stop us at each of the platforms. We were not in the first group so we had a chance to learn the first thing to do - jump off (If you did not, the platform hit you in the butt as you started down. We went from platform to platform, sometimes climbing a few stairs or walking a hanging bridge to the next platform.
This is the pair of us waiting to go

This is of Rich in the gear

This is a couple of the other guys

We sometimes climbed to the next platform.

Some guys got pretty crazy

Rich on one of the lines coming in fast

Some of the lines were pretty long

The Dip portion was a trip to a luxury condo beach and swimming pool. After the heat of the Zip the Dip was awesome. We had not brought our Snorkling gear with us for this excursion so although their was an awesome reef there we did not get to see it. Maybe next time.

On our return to Tampa we went to Busch Gardens.
When we first came in to the park we saw the stilt walkers. I love them - so graceful and alien.

The first thing we did was ride the Skyway to get our bearings

Next we rode the train

We were very hot so we cooled off

Then we rode one of the 5 roller coasters

And then we rode another but this one had 1 too many loops

And we were very hot

So was this tiger who backed into the water and laid down

Who could resist a road rally

with a busted bridge

You cannot be in Florida without seeing crocs and turtles

And birds

And more birds

And even birds on the walkways