Hey, Don't Write Yourself Off Yet....

Back in 2011, I turned 52. So, for that year, I intended to really make an effort to do one new thing each week to commemorate that year of turning and being 52.

2011 was a very eventful and memorable year but, I have to admit, I didn't quite have a great adventure each week. However, the effort increased my consciousness of how my life is playing out. With that, I've decided to continue the blog and to keep seeking out new and fun experiences in my life as long as I possibly can.

So, keep checking back now and then I try to find adventures in saying yes to new.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Our Cruise to Mexico, February 2015

Puerta Vallarta
We had a blast in Puerta Vallarta Zip-Lining, Rappelling, Water Sliding
The day in Puerta Vallarta started with a boat ride to a hidden cove south of the city and port.
After the boat ride, we all loaded up in these yellow Mercedes climbers to get high up in the mountains to the rain forest.  We're kissing because we're glad to still be alive and we have no idea what's coming up for us.
After the yellow vehicles, its on to a mule to make it to the true outback.
The first line was super high and very, very long.
There were a lot of variety in the zip lines and zipping areas.
John on the first long zip.

There were a few surprise water slides on the long, long course.


It took a great leap of faith for me to take the first step down this waterfall face.
John looks way cooler than me in these shots.


And what was this madness?!  We were like the "Silver Surfers" 
about 300 feet above the ground.


Back down the hill at the end of the day.

This Vallarta Adventures was booked through the cruise line several weeks before we left on our cruise and its a good thing since it was sold out by the time we got on the ship.  I think this adventure cost around $150 a piece and, let me tell you, we got our money's worth!  We just went from zip line to zip line with lots of other adventures around every corner -- line rope bridges, rappelling areas, crazy water slides, sweet little hikes and more.  I highly recommend this for anyone who can go, go, go for 3 or 4 hours non-stop.  They keep the pace very tight so there's no time to question what the heck you're doing, you just zip, hike, and jump!  As an added bonus, on our boat ride back to the ship, we got right up next to a pod of whales....there were whales everywhere, pretty much every day during our cruise....February is a great time to be out along the Pacific Coast.


We started our day in Mazatlan out with an open air taxi ride to the base of the lighthouse mountain....followed by a steep little hike to the top.  (Just what we needed after enjoying the all day buffets and great food on the ship for several days!)

The Mazatlan Lighthouse -- the highest lighthouse in the world.

Pictures from the top of the lighthouse mountain.

We grabbed another taxi to get to the Historical City Center to wander around, see the church and have some amazing tacos from a little family-run restaurant.

This shot if for April and Wes.....Mazatlan was founded in 1820 by Germans who wanted to set up a shipping port.  (Just FYI, Aleman -- their last name -- is Spanish for "German".)
The city of Mazatlan as we were leaving port that evening.

On the Ship

 We lucked out and had a the same table for two back in a corner dining room with our own window each evening.  

Cabo San Lucas

Our room on the ship had a balcony so I was able to wake up early and catch the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean on our way in to Cabo San Lucas.

In Cabo we went on a Pirate Adventure/Snorkel trip -- again we got in a bonus whale watch with the deal.

In front of Los Arcos -- at the very tip of Baja California.

Here we both are taking the plunge from the boat to start our snorkeling....

 Some of the whales we saw off Cabo.

It was a great week at sea from Saturday, February 14th to Saturday the 21st.  We enjoyed the outdoor adventures but also loved coming back every day and getting cleaned up for the elegant dinners -- definitely the best of both worlds.  We both did a lot of sleeping in, reading (I finished two novels) and enjoyed some good movies (among the best "The Hundred Foot Journey") and programs on the lives of famous artists.

This was another unique vacation and one I'd recommend to anyone.  Thanks to April and Heidi for giving us good advice on fun things to do.  

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Our Long Weekend in Death Valley, 2014

 Looking down into Death Valley from Dante's View
Furnace Creek Ranch Diner 
Hiking in Golden Canyon 
 John's Hoodoo

 Playing at the Devil's Golf Course

Our Hike Up to the Natural Bridge 

There's a little sign up about half way up that says Sea Level

 Mosaic Canyon at the end of a long day of hiking

 The marble walls of a very narrow stretch of  Mosaic Canyon

Scotty's Castle before our tours on Monday

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Zip Lining in Big Bear

On Saturday, John and I, along with Heidi, Ned, Ella and Asher; went up to Big Bear Lake for a zip lining adventure.  We had purchased Groupon packages for Christmas and needed to use them before they expired.
All harnessed up and ready to fly.

Our Entire Zip-Lining Group Up 95 Feet Waiting for the Next Zip (as you can see, we were all harnessed in).

We had a great time up in the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains.

 Here is a video of John coming down the final zip line.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Our Balloon Ride -- Up With 10 Passengers, Down with 6...What's Up (or Down) With That?

All my life I've looked forward to someday going up in a hot air balloon. I think it all may have started with my early obsession with the Wizard of Oz. When we were kids, there were no videos and when this movie came on TV once a year, it was a big deal. We carefully laid out blankets in front of the black and white TV (we knew that OZ was in color but it didn't matter to us), popped popcorn, and nothing could drag us away.

Last year, I bought a prepaid discounted balloon ride package from Zozi and intented to use it last summer. When William got so sick, we completely put this out of our minds. Finally, a couple of Saturdays ago, John and I finally found ourselves stepping into a big wicker basket ready to go up in a multi-colored balloon, lifted up by nothing more than hot air, to float where ever the breeze happened to blow us.
On that early morning, after a week of sky-cleaning Santa Ana winds, we met at the Perris Airport at 6 am. We got into a big Ford passenger van and were driven south and east to McCall Road where, in a large undeveloped field, four large balloons, some from Perris, others up from Temecula, were being laid out on huge tarps to begin the inflation process. The ride was relaxing and everything I’d hoped it would be. We were fortunate enough to have 4 parachutists with us...2 with "flying Squirrel" suits and two that went straight down. The two with the winged suits really soared down and out quite a way north from the balloon. It really looks like they were flying and they really took their time before they pulled their chutes.

If you watch about two minutes into this video, you’ll see just what we experienced from the balloon. (This was taken on a different flight, but from the same company we few with, Above the Rest Hot Air Ballooning out of Perris.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEhDkIhOexs

Because we had the jumpers with us, we had to climb to up around seven or eight thousand feet. We were so high that we could see the skyscrapers of downtown Los Angeles, Catalina Island and over the mountains into Orange County. Watching these jumpers step out of the basket, onto the wooden plank, work up their nerves and then take their plunges, made our own balloon ride so much more fun.

On a balloon ride, you literally go where the winds blow you. After about an hour long ride, the pilot has to be pretty creative on where he chooses to land (to avoid power lines, houses and other developed areas). He keeps in close communication with his ground crew so they can be there to help pack up the balloon and get the passengers back on the van. (The same ground crew picked up each of the parachutists earlier.)

When our pilot, Phil, picked his landing spot and started descending, he warned us all to bend our knees and hold on tight. We obeyed and had a blast as the basket tipped onto its side and skidded accross an alfalfa field over several yards. I wasn't the only laughing out loud through this crazy landing. (If you're crazy enough to go up 7,000 feet in a balloon and enjoy watching four of your fellow passengers leap off into thin air, you're just nuts enough to think a sideways skidding landing is great entertainment.)
I whole-heartedly recommend a ballon ride to anyone! John is afraid of heights and gets scared on a Ferris wheel, but, he didn't get a bit nervous on our high flying adventure. It really feels and is safe and is a great way to spend an early, clear morning.