Friday, June 29, 2007

I must confess

I read kids books. Not little kids books, but "young adult" books. And I enjoy them.

Have you read the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants?? Possibly you have heard of the movie?? There are 4 books in all, and they are very good. You should read them.

I also read adult books (no, not ADULT books......grown up books). My new favorite is Jodie Picoult. Her books are about very interesting issues--a child's legal right to refuse to donate an organ to a sibling, a woman who finds out as an adult that the father she loves so much kidnapped her as a small child, etc, etc, etc. Really in-depth and interesting.

I also love Clive Cussler, John Grisham, Michael Crichton, etc.

So I read big kid AND little kid books.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Way more than you ever wanted to know about someone else going on vacation

Okay.....extremely tentative itinerary for Australia....very rough draft. I am checking with mom back and forth to see what we want to do.....she has a friend who (along with her husband) wants to hang out with us, so I am sorta planning for four...

I arrive early Sunday morning, and am debating on going to the Sydney Orchestra at the Sydney Opera house. They have a recital at 2:30pm and it might be fun...and because I will be younger than 30, I get in for only $30AUD (woohoo being young.....), or I might just wander around, take pictures and treat myself to a nice dinner with a view.

Monday, mom and her team arrive. I think there is some sort of short tour in the morning because we cannot check into the hotel?? I will meet up with them and head to the hotel to get settled in. Mom has practice Monday at 4pm with the Senior women (this thing keeps throwing me off, because sometimes they put Grand Dragon mixed, and sometimes Grand Masters mixed--are those the same team?? Either way, they practice at 4pm Monday).

I am not sure what I will do Monday....probably come over to the training facility with them so I know where it is, especially in relation to the train station. I think it is close by, but I will feel better once I SEE how things are laid out. The train can take us into the mountains for tours....

Tuesday, Mom has practice with the Senior Womens at 3pm and the Grand Masters mixed at 4pm... I will see if there are some local half-day trips we could do--maybe get up early and go into Sydney and walk across the Harbour Bridge and look at the Opera house and have lunch and go back to the hotel to catch a shuttle to the practice facility??

Wednesday, Mom has practice with the Senior Womens at noon, the Grand Masters mixed at 1pm and the Senior Womens again at 2pm......surely she is not paddling for three straight hours?? I was thinking if she just does the first two practices, maybe we could catch the train to Katoomba and putz around in the Blue Mountains. The problem we run into is that sunset is around 5:45pm, and we sorta run out of light. We will figure something out. This evening, there is the opening ceremony. No time listed, it just says 'early evening'.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday are races. I am sure we will know when Mom race the first day at some point before we head down, but I realize it is all about how they place from there on out. We can do some local looking around in the afternoons or something. Not sure here. Sunday there is the closing ceremony, and the World Championships Celebration dinner at the Sydney Olympic Park, which I am not entirely sure where it is---Sydney?? Penrith, where they race?? I will look into this.

At some point during these previous days, we should go up the Sydney Tower to get a great view of everything, go to one of the street markets (I will check to see what days they have them), do some sort of harbor cruise (they have sort of water taxis that are only a couple dollars, all the way up to a nice lunch on a nice boat touring the harbor. A good way to see a lot of things we just won't have time to personally go see). I would like to go to the Sydney Aquarium, it is supposed to be just amazing.

Monday is where it gets interesting. There are flights to Cairns (jumping off point for the Great Barrier Reef) leaving either at 1030 in the morning, or in the evening time. I am now thinking that maybe we should take a Monday evening flight out. Spend the day in Sydney, stash our luggage SOMEWHERE, and do a kayaking tour around the Sydney harbor. Maybe this is the day to do the aquarium or something like that. Have a nice lunch on the water and catch a flight out that evening.
I was thinking we fly out on Monday, get a hotel room for the night, then look into this:

We would be picked up bright and early in the morning, then head out to the reef, where we will spend the night on the Oceanquest, a diving vessel moored in the reef. We have unlimited snorkelling in several different areas of the reef, they provide all snorkelling equipment, food, etc. We snorkel all of Tuesday, go to bed, snorkel more on Wednesday, then around 5pm we are back in Cairns, and check into a hotel. Looking into costs for reef tours, this is probably a lot cheaper than booking a hotel, buying breakfast, paying for a reef tour that includes lunch, and coming home and getting dinner.

I figure, we are going to see the reef to SEE THE REEF. How better to maximize that than to spend all day and all night and all day again actually out there??

Another similar spend-the-night-on-the-boat option is

Okay, so it is Wednesday, we get into our new hotel, maybe go out for dinner or wander around the city for the evening. Maybe we do this

..........and Thursday we go into the rainforest. There are lots of options.

Maybe we go sea kayaking for the sunrise, then into the rainforest is a kayak option at 6am

Beautiful waterfall/jungle tour

Skyrail, which is also available attached to other tours. The view is supposed to be just amazing. By itself, this could be a half-day tour and combined with something else easily.

So, we have options for Thursday. We either fly back to Sydney Thursday night or Friday morning, then back home on Friday. My flight leaves at 2:40pm.......

Enough stuff for you????? Mom REALLY wants to do a kayak tour. Other than going to see the big reef, that is what she wants. She is there paddling with her team, and she just HAS to paddle on her own, too. That is mom for you.........

My goal for this trip is to find a sports shop somewhere and buy a Lauren Jackson Australian national team jersey or some sort of Aussie Lauren Jackson thing. For Ethan, or for our wall. Or both. We *heart* Lauren Jackson. My most favorite of all players.....

Oops, taking a sports turn....back to travel.

It is official--we are going to the Dominican Republic! There was a 40% off deal we knew about that ends June 28, so we waited until almost the last second and booked it. All inclusive, TOTALLY under 12 stay free, you mothers out there..........get some miles saved up and you are set.....Now I just need to find a hotel in Miami for our last night, and figure out what we want to do with that evening. I realize that it is entirely possible that we will be completely wiped out and spend the evening in our room eating room service and watching a movie, but I have high hopes for the moment and our stamina. We *are* working out, so maybe we will be able to take all that running around. I certainly hope so!

Friday, June 22, 2007

It is official!! I am going to Australia in September. I bought my ticket yesterday. I leave the evening of the 14th, after I get off work, and I return on the 28th. I get to Sydney a day ahead of Mom and her team, so I am going to get a hotel right downtown and do something fun on my own that day. Can I tell you how very excited I am about travelling across the planet alone and spending the day being touristy by myself?? Really. I am going to have tons of fun with mom, but I am such an introverted recluse it will be AWESOME doing things by myself.

I think, based on what I currently know about the itinerary for Mom and her practices, etc, we are going to do tours in Sydney until Sunday, the 23rd. I want to definitely go to the nearby Blue Mountains and tour around there. Lots of cool rock features, a huge canyon with a gondola sort of thing that can take you to the bottom of it; fun, fun, fun. I also am going to do the Sydney tower, walk across the Harbor Bridge, do at least one harbor cruise, see the opera house...stuff like that. With Mom's practices, I may do some of these on my own, but lots of them will be together.

On Monday, I think we head out. Mom wants to go to the Great Barrier Reef (or the big reef as she has been referring to it....I told her she needs to get a travel book on Australia so she knows what is where and what is what....), and I have been talked into it based on lots of cool things around Cairns, including but not exclusive to the reef. So I say we fly to Cairns on Monday, spend that day doing the rainforest areas, then do the reef all day Tuesday. Maybe fly from there to Brisbane on Wednesday instead of Sydney, and explore there, go kayaking (mom's one big request) and take a train back to Sydney or rent a car or something. We fly out on Friday afternoon, so there is leeway.

I am getting so excited!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

We went to a Storm game last night. Actually, they played just terribly and we left after the third quarter because it was so sad and we didn't want to stay and hear our team get booed.

That having been said, I love going to these games! I think back to the day we won the WNBA championship and it absolutely brings tears to my eyes. We stood up just about the entire game, and no one had a voice the next day. During the playoffs, in the previous round, I got a call from Sabrina while at a game. Turns out she was in active labor and going to get an epidural in a couple hours. I finished the game, dropped Ethan off at home and made it to Tacoma General in plenty of time to welcome Miss Raegan Skye into the world. Perfect timing!

The final game, we just KNEW we were going to win. The previous games had been hard fought, but this one was OURS. We screamed and clapped and generally raised the roof that night. There was solid screaming the entire game. You have never seen a crowd so pumped up. We won that game by like 20 points. It was never an issue. Sheesh, even WRITING about that day makes me tear up! It was such a good team. Everyone got along, there was so much chemistry between the players. Such a good time...

Last night, I saw the Savior for the very first time in person. After the first quarter of play, I looked up and saw Kevin Durant walking towards the halfcourt sideline seats. If the Sonics stay in Seattle, it will be because of this man. Getting that #2 draft pick was HUGE. Created a rumble locally. Maybe enough to save the team. I know LeBron is the King, but this could truly be the Savior for the Sonics. Hey, there are worse nicknames out there.....

Monday, June 18, 2007

I lead such a boring life, it is only several times a month I can even come up with something interesting enough to post on my blog.

Unfortunately, this is not one of those times, so prepare yourself for yet another blah blah blah post. Again.

Ethan and I are doing awesome on our 'machine'. He gets on at around 4:15am for half an hour, and I get on once I get home from work, around 5pm. It is a sort of competition, where I 'owe' him if he gets on and I don't, and he owes me if he skips. He threw in some excitement on Saturday when he got on for an entire hour and threw down the gauntlet that I owed him an entire hour, but I perservered and made it. I have fanangled a very fancy book holding on system that consists of a ribbon tied around the console to hold the books open. I always read while I use the machine. Really makes the time pass faster. But it has to be a hard back book--the paperbacks just won't stay open, even with the ribbon.

We are working on working on the yard. By that, I mean that we think about what we could do, but haven't actually done much. I did buy some weed killer stuff. Oh, and some bark chips.

In the back, I just need to dig out the dead bushes that I killed off, and tack down the anti-weed cloth and put bark chips over it.

In the front yard, I killed off all the stuff growing outside of the fence, and we are going to lay down the anti-weed cloth, cover it with bark chips and get some huge pots and put some bushes in them to keep people from parking right there. Inside the fence, I have my lovely rose bushes. I am constantly battling the stupid ivy and climbing crap that comes from the neighbors and winds its way around the roses. I got some killer stuff made for roses that I will try spreading to kill that, but I am not holding out much hope. Those things are tenacious! My orange and deep pink roses are fine (on the other side of the yard). The problem is, the climbing things come from under the fence in my neighbor's yard. Not much I can do about that!!

Anyway. My thrilling life revisited.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Today is my 4th wedding anniversary. Can I get a woo-hoo?? We are celebrating by getting up at the crack of dawn this morning (0400 for Ethan, 0430 for me) and going to work, and this afternoon we are planning to sit down on the couch and watch a movie. And possibly eat dinner. Trust me, it will be *the* celebration of the year.

As it turns out, our anniversary is just two days after Loving day, which celebrated it's 40th anniversary this year. Loving day is an unofficial holiday which celebrates the verdict of Loving v Virginia, in which interracial marriage became legal in all 50 states for the very first time. Prior to that, interracial couples in a variety of states were subject to fines, jail time, etc if they were found to be married. Pretty silly. Anyway. There are a variety of celebrations around the country every year. We missed the one in Seattle last year, but if they do one again I really want to go. at they had pictures up of this year's celebration and it was really cool to see all the interracial couples and the bi/multiracial kids. One of my biggest pet peeves, which is actually just a little one, is that people assume Ethan and I are not together--like when we are leaving a basketball game, trying to go out in the crowded aisle to walk up the stairs, and Ethan will go, and someone will push in front of me and we get separated. Usually people see a couple and they let both of them out together, but with us they assume we aren't together and butt right in. Now I just grab a handful of his shirt so we are physically attached and it is less of an issue. But, really--you just can't assume anything. Color, age, size, etc, etc, etc. All sorts of people make a kaleidascope of couples .