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Time to Dive Again!

Practicing the Front Two Knuckle PunchRight after we got back from the Bahamas last year, I found out I was pregnant. Immediately I checked to see if it was possible to go scuba diving while pregnant. DAN said since no studies had been done on it (since nobody would obviously volunteer), they didn't know the effects of decompression or anything on a fetus, so they recommended against it. So there went my diving.

Fast forward to mid-December 2008. Peter is about a month old, and I get a call from our friend Randy announcing that he's planned the Coral Reef Scuba spring dive trip to Cozumel. I wistfully think about how cool it would be for us to be able to go, and even briefly look into the 3 of us going before I realize it'd be a pain in the butt. I wish him a good trip, and to have fun for us.

A couple weeks later, Leif volunteers to watch Peter so I can go on the trip. I tell him I can't let him do that since I'm a mom now, and my priorities have to be different. As I have the absolute best husband in the world, he insisted I go saying that he got to go to Moab while I was pregnant, and now it was my turn. I realize a week would be just slightly too long at this point, but I'm able to go half the week, from Wednesday-Sunday.

I just got back from the trip a few days ago, and am so glad I went. It wasn't just being able to dive, or being with people I knew, it was the fact that I could just unwind and relax for the first time in probably about a year. Did I miss Peter a lot? Immensely. Did I almost not go because I'd miss him too much? Yes, but I'm extremely glad I did. Basically it was just the right group of people that I knew (and the ones that I got to meet) which worked perfectly.

Wednesday I arrived just in time to catch the group as they got off the dive boat, so I had lunch with everyone, then did a shore dive that afternoon. Dinner was at La Mission, and I had Surf and Turf (mmmmm....fresh lobster).

Thursday morning I did 1 dive and then had sinus problems on the second dive, but no matter - I got to sit on the boat in the sun, and even saw a bunch of dolphins off the side of the boat. In the afternoon I got to help someone with their Rescue Diver class, and then we all went to dinner at Pepes. Not only did I have fresh lobster, but I had fresh "made at the table" caesar salad, and not just that, but they made the dressing at the table as well.

Friday I did all 3 dives for the day, and we had dinner at Primas. Fresh lobster again for dinner!

Saturday was a free day, but in the morning I did a shore dive with Scott, read my book on the beach after lunch, had a big group dinner at Hotel Cozumel (food was edible I suppose), and then went to Senor Frogs and hung out there for awhile. I really had no plans to dance (some people were dancing, and some weren't), but first they played "You Shook Me (All Night Long)", and then "Pour Some Sugar on Me", so I was hooked after that.

And Sunday we left!

It was great to dive again, just like riding a bike, and it honestly felt like I hadn't been away. I'm really glad I was able to go on the trip.

Nurse Shark

Relaxing after a shore dive under a palm tree

Group photo

Curacao Trip

We've been so insanely busy the last few months, it's not even funny, and I've been meaning to write this post since then :). At the end of September, we took a trip to Curacao for the Colorado Scuba Bash (our scuba shop of choice, as always, is Coral Reef Scuba and Travel)

. The trip was a blast - I can't believe all the cool stuff we saw. We stayed at the Habitat Curacao which has 24x7 diving available. The dive shop itself is open all day, but there's a tank room, where they always leave tanks of Nitrox or air for you to take. Once you get a tank, you literally just walk down to the dive dock, and jump in - it's about a 5 minute swim out to where the reef starts. Leif and I both agreed that our best dives were the shore dives, and we even did 2 night dives with the group as well. We saw a lot of different Moray Eels, Parrotfish, Scorpianfish, Red Hind, several Octopii, and some people in our group even saw squid! I have a bunch of pictures on Flickr in my Curacao set, but here's a few to tide you over.

The grumpy old man.

Michelle and Leif
Me and Leif hanging out under the sea. Photo taken by Randy Partch.

Juvenile French Angelfish
Juvenile French Angelfish

Moving and Driving

I'm not sure what the worst part about moving is: the packing, or having the driver who's supposed to move your stuff come look at everything, and realize the estimator mis-estimated by at least 2000 lbs and he doesn't have enough room on his truck for everything.

Thursday morning, August 10, 7:15am. The driver, Kevin, shows up ready to roll. Within 5 minutes of walking through the house, he sees the big-screen TV and asks if that was there when the estimator was there. Leif and I looked at each other and said "yeah, she saw it". Apparently he has 3 other loads on his truck, and those people were estimated correctly, but packed like little birds were going to be carrying the boxes, so they went over their space limit. We get unlucky enough to not only be mis-estimated, but last to load, so he can tell immediately there definitely won't be enough space.

He calls our estimator, who's on vacation btw, and challenges the shipment. She comes clean about how she knew about the big screen TV, but "never writes down if it's big-screen or not, I just write down it's a TV." Kevin and I roll our eyes. He informs her to send an overflow truck out later that afternoon. She says she can get one by 9:30am the next day. I almost go ballistic at this point since we're leaving at 9am to start driving. She calls me and tells me this. I inform her that if that's the best she can do, she can pay for my last minute plane ticket to Denver while Leif drives the dogs out himself. She definitely doesn't like that idea, and calls Kevin back in 10 minutes saying an overflow truck will be there by 3:30.

I have to say that Kevin, and the 3 guys he brought with them were absolutely without a doubt the best move team I've EVER had. They not only put up with my stress about getting our stuff out of the house, but were extremely efficient, and I couldn't BELIEVE how tight they managed to pack the truck. Everytime I thought they couldn't fit any more on the truck, they played a giant game of Tetris and got more on. In the end, everything fit except for 1 box of RC stuff, everything in the backyard (bbq, lawnmower, dog-igloo, patio furniture), our china cabinet, and bar.

The overflow guys did show up at 3:30 as promised and were done by 5:30. A big hearty thank-you to the 2 guys who drove their truck out from the Modesto area to come get our stuff. The main bulk of our stuff (on Kevin's truck) will get to us apparently on Monday, and the overflow I'm not sure about yet. I think it's in a warehouse at the moving company and it goes on the next truck going towards or through the Denver area. The really important stuff is in the main shipment though.

This morning we started driving to our new house, and towards our first stop in Elko, Nevada. Pretty much an uneventful trip. Definitely the longest trip in the car I've ever done (driving from Half Moon Bay to San Diego was my previous longest). Around Reno we got really hungry and just wanted to hit a drive-through someplace since it was too hot outside to leave the dogs in the car for any length of time. Leif insisted on getting a Big Mac, he just wouldn't go anyplace else. Note to the GPS companies: please keep your points-of-interest updated -the first McDonalds we tried to go to didn't exist anymore. The second one did, but hey, it still was annoying.

We stopped for gas around then too, and when I went into the gas station to buy some water, the first thing that hit my eye were the 10 slot machines in the store there. I guess you know you've entered Nevada, huh? Also apparently fireworks are extremely legal here since we saw a ton of billboards advertising fireworks being sold. One place was a cigarette AND fireworks store.

Day 2 is tomorrow. We're supposed to hit Rawlins, WY, but may try to push through someplace further depending on our timing, how tired we are, and if any other pet friendly hotels along the way have space.

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The Dogs and the Snow

Odin Pelted with SnowWe've only taken the dogs up to Tahoe once, and that was last year, and the snow was all hard and icky, so we couldn't really do too much. This year was different. We rented a pet-friendly cabin, and were supposed to go snowboarding that weekend as well, but I got the office-cold. The person who we rented the cabin from wouldn't let us cancel (note to self: make sure you always double-check the cancellation policy in the rental agreement), so we went up anyways and figured Leif could go snowboarding with Mosedale since he was going up as well.

Thursday night was shot as we drove up, stopped at Safeway to get some food so we didn't have to go out, and got to the cabin and went to sleep.
Loki catching snowballs
The cabin itself was pretty nice. The whole yard was fenced it and there was a doghouse. The inside had a large dog pillow, and she had said the dogs could go on the bed if you covered the blanket with an extra sheet. As we really have no choice in that matter (the dogs run the house :)), we did that.

Friday I definitely was still too sick to snowboard, and Leif didn't feel like going that day, so we hung out around the house, watched movies, and played with the dogs in the backyard. The snow was perfect to do that in! We had brought the yellow football up, so they chased that, chased each other, burrowed in the snow, and we threw snowballs at them for awhile. If anything, I'm glad we went up just for them since that was the only time this year we were going to take them up to the snow. Loki was digging around his football a lot, and Odin just kind of wandered around.

Saturday we just went home mid-afternoon. Leif said he didn't want to snowboard without me because "it wasn't the same", but we didn't leave until we played with the dogs some more. We took a zillion pictures, but so far only have these 2 up on flickr.

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