Thursday, August 24, 2006

Dance on a Volcano (from Hawaii)

Wayyyy overdue, but here's a shot of me chillin (not quite, lava of this type is around 900 degrees in temperature!) on a volcano.

It was a 4.5 mile hike (one-way) to the flow, but completely worth it.

I highly recommend you taking a guided hike with Arnott's Lodge, if you ever get the chance.

Swimming with Turtles (from Hawaii)

I'm a big fan of sea turtles.
When I'm in Hawaii, I set aside a portion of time to look for them, on land and in the water.

On this trip, I didn't have to look too hard.
We went to the Four Seasons one night for dinner, and found two turtles resting on the beach.

I enjoy finding them on the shore.
There's something reassuring about these quiet, zen-like critters that makes me feel good.
But... there's not a whole lot of action.

For action, you need to go underwater.

This guy was found offshore of Kona.
It was early. There were not many snorkelers there, so the turtles were pretty comfortable around us.

The visibility was excellent, so we swam with three turtles for about two hours.
We also saw moray eels and a ton of fish.

Interestingly, I was doing a workbook excercise a few weeks ago.
In the exercise, I was listing my favorite things to do. In the process, I discovered that snorkeling was in my top 5.
I was pretty surprised by this. I mean, I knew I liked snorkeling, but I would hardly have put it in the top 5.

Going on this trip, I thought, "we'll see if it really is that important to me".

Well, turns out it is!

Swimming with Dolphins

We're back from Hawaii...
and back to having Internet access.

I was surprised to find that there are still hotels in the US (the King Kamehameha in Kona) that don't have in-room internet.
Given how easy it is to set up wireless, it's almost inexcusable.

Still, this is the islands, so I found better things to do (though, it made it tough for me to keep up on the Yankees as they throttled the Boston Red Sox last week!).

One of those 'better things to do' was swimming with the dolphins at Kealakekua Bay.
Angie and I rented kayaks and paddled across the bay to do some snorkeling.
On the way, we passed the resident pod of dolphins and dove in to spend some time with them.

It was great watching them circle us. The pod had about 10 dolphins total, and a number of them passed within 5 feet of me.
Here are a few shots I took:

After the paddle, we pigged out on local fruits (tamarind, passionfruit - known as lilikoi on the island, white pineapple, and a fresh coconut).

Just another day in paradise!

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Saturday in the Park...

We had another spectacular weekend in Santa Clara.
We spent yesterday at Vasona Park in Los Gatos, watching the beautiful, talented, and awesomely nice Deb Levoy perform her songs.

Deb is a singer-songwriter that I've known for 2+ years. She has a spectacular voice, and her lyrics take a very cool spin on the world.

If you ever get a chance to see her, I highly recommend it!

On the less sunny side of things, Angie and I were tossing the baseball around at the park, and I stepped into a divot and took a nasty spill - spraining my foot in the process.
Despite a night (and day) of ice and aspirin, my foot is black and blue and twice its normal size... (oh, and it hurts like hell)...

Sure, if there was a game tomorrow, I could tape it up and play... but it's been about 13 years since I've sprained a knee, foot, or thumb (laziness does have some rewards!).
I could happily go another 30 without that feeling, with no complaints!