Thursday, April 29, 2010


I love rain, and always have. The smell of the wet pavement, the fresh crispness to the air, the dark dramatic sky. I love to bundle up and be amidst the storm, or stay inside while I watch the rain, listen to sound of the water, and curl up with a book or movie. Last week's storm was wonderful, made me miss the weather in San Francisco!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dolphins, Drowned iPod, & Cheeseburgers in Paradise

Brent's dad, Rudy, turned 65 in February, and his mom, Colleen, turned 60 in March. Colleen is a travel agent and the family has taken trips all over the world. Every few months she travels to some amazing place, in the past year alone it was South America, Fiji, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and a cruise to places I have barely even heard of! But to celebrate their birthdays, they chartered a private 60 foot yacht in La Paz, Mexico from March 31- April 4. It was just the 6 of us: Rudy & Colleen, Elicia & Johnny (Brent's sister and brother-in-law) Brent & I, and Jimmy & Estrella (the skipper and his wife, the cook).
The first day, we flew into Cabo San Lucas, and stayed at a breathtaking resort- The Sheraton Hacienda del Mar. I have never been anywhere that even comes close to this place, Maui was even somewhat bland in comparison. Huge beautiful rooms with ocean views, a gigantic pool running the length of the resort with disappearing edges, cabanas/bars right next to the pools, big selection of restaurants, white sand and turquoise waters. Wow! The next morning a driver took us to La Paz- about 2 hours away.
{All taken from various places at the resort}
Once we got to the harbor in La Paz, we got directly on the boat and started the trip. Our days went like this:
Woke up soon after the sunrise to a beautiful morning and ate a delicious breakfast outside. Then with our full bellies we would take off in search of sea life. Unfortunately the whales have not been around much this season down in that part of Mexico (something to do with El Nino). But we saw a ton of dolphins, big pods of them would swim and play in the wave
s created by the boat.

We then went to a beach or cove for a few hours. We ate lunch and afterward went kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, fishing, or explored the beaches. The fishing was crazy, almost every line Johnny and I cast came back with a fish! Mostly Cabrilla, which are in the photos below, but Johnny also caught a skipjack and a trumpet fish.
We swam with sealions, they swam right up to us, two of them were playing with a was really cute. The snorkeling was incredible, we saw starfish, an eel, 3 lobsters, a trumpet fish, a wide variety of other fish I have never seen, and lots of different coral and plants.
While they hiked I wandered the beach and found red crabs about the size of my hand that jumped from rock to rock, a giant blue and green crab in the shallow water, and thousands of tiny crabs that when they moved, they made the ground look like it was moving! Exploring the beaches I felt like I was in 2 completely different areas. From one direction you see the beach with bright crystal-clear turquoise water and white sand, and then turn around and see full on desert with cactus everywhere.
In the evenings we would dock in a cove to protect the boat from the wind at night. Our nights involved margaritas, music (including multiple playings of Rudy's favorite, Jimmy Buffet), dinner, games...
The food was one of the highlights of the trip. Estrella was a fabulous cook and I stuffed myself silly at every meal. With every meal we would all rave about how good everything looked, then silence - as we all demolished the food. Breakfast consisted of some type of egg dish, an abundance of fresh fruit, toast, orange juice, coffee and tea. Lunches: day 1-huge ham sandwiches with all the fixings; day 2-Mexican food with chicken quesadillas, homemade guacamole and salsa, chips, beans; day 3-cheeseburgers with jalepenos...sounds ordinary but I am not exaggerating when I say it was one of the best cheeseburgers I have ever had! Dinner: day 1-grilled Cabrilla, fish found locally and also the type we caught a ton of while we fished. Day 2-chile rellenos stuffed with cheese and smoked tuna (my favorite meal of the trip); Day 3-Steak with mushrooms and pasta.
The only downsides to the trip were: Johnny and I both got seasick one day, the beds were rock hard so I woke up constantly in horrible pain, the traveling killed my back, and Brent dropped his iPod in the ocean (oopsie!). But overall, it was an incredible trip and I am so thankful that I was invited. The weather was beautiful, it was relaxing and the area was breathtaking. It was such a fun group, everyone meshes so well and they have always made me feel so welcome as part of the family. I will never forget this incredible trip!!
*I have video from the trip, once I finish putting it together I will post it!
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