Monday, April 24, 2006

Kayak + Scuba = KAYUBA

Kayak-Diving is a wonderful activity. Not only does it combine two of our favorite activities, but for those of us who are navigationally-challenged, it does make it more fun when we can just drag our "boat" with us.

Well, we had a gorgeous day last week for diving. A handful of our friends from Kayuba, our scuba-diving club, got to go out and enjoy the flat ocean. Well, it was flat when we started out, but the winds turned as forecasted and gave us a little chop (and a push) on the way back in. But we still figure that there is no better place in the country for this sport. Our reef is a close 1/2 mile offshore. Visibility was about 70 feet. The water was so calm and clear we could see the bottom 30' below from our kayaks. During the dive, Andy and I saw a little bit of everything - an eel, a stingray, an abundance of tropical fish - angelfish, trumpetfish, pufferfish, etc., 3 lobsters, and I also saw four flamingo tongues (which are a beautiful, pink, spotted type of snail). Flamingo Tongues are one of my favorite finds and I look for them on every dive. To see one and learn a little about them, click here.

To see some pictures of our morning, you'll need to go to Jim and Chris' blog. Jim and Chris are our friends who sold their home 2 years ago and are now full-timing in their RV. They're starting to make it a habit to come "home" for part of the summer so they can dive. Who can blame them?

Friday, April 21, 2006

Tri, Tri Again

Many of you know that Andy and I like to compete against eachother on just about everything. But to hone our skills we periodically do organized events, too. In all seriousness, we do races and triathlons just to give me a reason to work out on a routine basis. If I didn't have goals or challenges like this I'm sure I'd opt to sit on the sofa instead!

Well, we did our first triathlon this year. Eventhough it's considered a Sprint (because it's only 1/4 mile swim, 10 mile bike, 3.1 mile run), it's still not only the longest one we've done (previous years' races were shorter runs), but the earliest in the season. The ocean can still be a little choppy in April, and it's only in the mid-70's. Brrrrrr. But we knew a bunch of people doing it, so we said "What the heck!"

Here are just some of the people we know who raced. Everyone did great! What matters to me is finishing, and meeting your personal goal - whatever that may be. Andy and I both came in ahead of our anticiapted times, which was exciting because we didn't really get to train enough, but here's the bummer: he BEAT me! Yep, Andy came in 1 min 7 secs ahead of me. That was the first tri he beat me on. Maybe I should quit giving him pointers? After analyzing the race times I realized I could've shaved some time off in my transitions. But, I'll tell you, it's hard to move fast between sports when your body keeps saying, "just another minute to breathe, find something else to do, stay here for awhile, noooo don't start the next sport!"

Vicky, her husband Ryan, and his mother threw a wonderful after-triathlon brunch at his mom's house. This gave us the opportunity to re-hash stories from the morning, congratulate each other, catch up on life, and EAT. It was great.

We have a couple more triathlons on our schedule this summer - one in May and one in July. Unless friends talk us into some others. Steph and Erica tried to get us to do one this Sunday, but it's Earth Day! Yea, we'll use excuses like this to get out of a race. We'll be thinking of you!

The Keltys Come to So Fla

One of my old college friends/sorority sisters came to Ft Lauderdale for a wedding. The great news was that they were staying only 3 miles away and had planned a long weekend. This way I could steal some of their time while they were here. This was the first time Andy got to meet Sarah. We had tried on several previous occasions, but it never worked - including a time in Atlanta when we tried to meet at an outdoor, multi-stage concert (pre cell-phone era) and couldn't find one another in the mosh pit!

You have to appreciate those comfortable friendships when, although thousands of miles separate you, you can pick up your conversation as if you just saw them yesterday. This visit allowed us to get to know her husband, John, better and to meet her mother-in-law and beautiful 9-month old son. Cameron is great. Now, if I could just figure out how to special-order one just like him!

Monday night's get-together with Sarah, and their group of friends who were also in town for the wedding, turned out to be a little later than expected. We biked over to the beach around 4ish, and ended up staying til I had to drag Andy out of the bar at 1:30am. As a parting gift, Andy bought the wedding-group a round of shots - which I thought was hysterical since he hates shots! Mind you, I wouldn't have minded staying longer, except I had to be at the Wildlife Care Center Nursery at 8am to feed the baby birds. It was going to be a rough day listening to hundreds of baby birds peeping if I had a hangover and no sleep.

Hopefully I'm not going to have to wait "years" before seeing Sarah again. We're planning a "beach-girls" reunion. Back in college there was a group of girls who spent a couple of summers working in Ocean City , MD. We're an interesting group having come together because one person invited one friend, then that friend invited another friend, and so forth. We weren't all from the same city, nor the same college, nor the same state. And we've again scattered to all corners of the country. Every few years we try to get together as a group. This year it'll be in Seaside, OR. Speaking of which, I gotta go try and get my flight scheduled! Tell you more about the reunion later.