Monday, May 26, 2008

Are you for SCUBA?

I am!!!! Mark and I had our first SCUBA lessons this weekend. It was great! We took our class at the Anacapa Dive Center in Santa Barbara. They had really great instructors. I thought I was totally going to freakout underwater but I didn't. Everything was fine. It was actually very relaxing you sort of forget that you aren't suppose to be breathing underwater. I passed the final exam so now I get to go diving at the Channel Islands. I can't wait. Check out this video I found of a dive similiar to the one I get to go on. It is like getting to explore a whole new world!
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

In honor of summer .....

I thought I would pay tribute to lawn games, hence the new banner.

Ode to lawn games
Throwing a dart is a good start.
Croquet is more than OK.
Horseshoes will kill those winter blues.
Badminton has me smitten.
Volleyball is fun for all.
But if you ask me,
I will guarantee,
the best,
better than all the rest,
is a little game called Bocce.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Wholly Boxes Batman!!

All our belongings finally arrived last Thursday. It was great to get all of our stuff but it really made me realize I don't need half of the things I own. I have more paperbacks than anyone I know. There were at least 50 boxes of books. I could just use the library but for some reason I enjoy having the book after I finish it. There are still boxes of clothes in the closet and some of the clothes I am sure I have not worn in years and some still have the tag on them. I know this going to the extreme but freeganism seems like the answer. Perhaps that is going too far but at least I should take a deeper look at my consumer driven attitude.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Run Run Run .....

Yesterday, Mark and I did the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon. It was a great run! It was absolutely gorgeous. The whole course wound through beautiful lavender fields, horse farms, and vineyards. It was a lot of rolling hills and one giant climb, "the cork screw". The race finished in Solvang, where the wine tasting commenced. As I crossed the finish line I was handed a finisher's medal and a wine glass. The tasting was a blast. I definitely recommend this race to everyone!

There also are a couple of other wine country half marathons still this summer. Check them out!

Here is the course:

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Anyone for a hike?

I love hiking. It is one of my favorite past times. Lately I have been thinking a lot about which hike has been my favorite. After much thought I have decided my favorite all time hike is Garnet Mountain just outside of Big Sky, Montana in the Gallatin Valley.

The hike started out rocky. I didn't even think we were going to make it to the summit. We got a late start and Mark was dragging after having spent the week before walking the fields for pheasants. It was an extremely over cast day so we spent the entire hike walking in the clouds. We finally made it to the top after an eerie last mile. The clouds were so thick you couldn't see your hand in front of your face.

Feeling extremely exhausted and a little disappointed we sat down to enjoy an apple before ending back down the mountain. As we were sitting there eating our apples the clouds began to part. They gave way to one of the most inspiring vistas I have ever laid eyes on.

We sat in awe watching the clouds part more and more. The view continued to grow even more breath taking with each minute. We must have sat there in silence just watching for about half an hour. After feeling amply rewarded for our hiking efforts we headed back home with a new found bounce in our step.

I would like to hear about your favorite hike. So leave a comment and tell me all about it and maybe one day, if I get my way I will do your hike too!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Matilija Creek

Mark and I went for a fun hike just outside of Ojai, up Matilija Creek. The hike wound up the canyon crossing the creek about 10 ten times. There were plenty of rocks to pick our way across the creek so our toes didn't get wet. Although we did dip our toes for a little while. The water was heaven. I expected the water to be bone chillingly cold like all the hikes in Montana where the creeks are made of snow melt. It was a pleasant change. The scenery was gorgeous. The water ran over big slabs of rock creating little waterfalls all up and down the canyon. The flowers were also out in force. Lots of purple and orange ones. It was spectacular.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Mark's Birthday Getaway

Mark's 28th birthday was last weekend so we went to the Channel Islands to celebrate. It was amazing!! The Channel Islands are called the Galopagos of North America and it definitely lived up to the reputation. The scenery was gorgeous and there was a huge array of wildlife that are not found anywhere else in the world.

The islands are about 13 miles off shore so we took the ferry. It took about an hour to get to Anacapa. But within about 45 minutes we began to see Anacapa's shear cliffs rising out of the ocean. The island itself is only about a 1 mile long and a quarter of a mile wide. The ferry pulled into a little cove, then we grabbed our camping gear and headed up the 157 steps to top of the island.

When we reached the top I was transported to a world I had never seen before. A land where sea gulls rule the earth from their nests in dwarfed trees and seal lions bellow from the sea, sounding their warning not to get too comfortable. Underfoot is a lush, dense, tangled carpet of red and green. The ice plant has taken over the entire island. Only the sea gulls can tame it enough to make nests.

We set up camp quickly so we could explore the island. As we began hiking around the island we realized it was full of incredible vistas.

That evening we watched the sun set over inspiration point (first photo). It was amazing, total grandeur with pelicans swirling over head and the ocean surging down below. It was truly a special evening. A perfect way to celebrate a great man.

The next day was super hot so we did a little jumping into the water. We just had to wait for the sea lions to get out of the way.