Sunday, April 27, 2008

Back from Mazatlan!

We had a great time! There is a small debate still going on as to whether this was our best vacation or not. Definitely a candidate!

We arrived early Saturday afternoon to a dry, 88 degree sunny day. After a leisurely van ride through town, we were dropped off at our hotel, Los Sabalos. What a great location! We were right on the beach, within walkind distance of dozens of restaurants and shops and everything we could need. We firste headed over to Joe's Oyster Bar (Famous for their music...but I gotta say the food kinda sucked. Our only sucky food experience in Mazatlan), had a couple drinks and got some relaxation started.....

Later, we walked over to the Mega store, a mexican version of sort of Walmart. I could see it from the window in the hallway outside our room, so we walked in that general direction and got beverages and snacks. We learned from Cabo not to buy lots of food and think we will actually cook it--just snacks and drinks.

Sunday, we wandered around on the beach then headed to the front desk to set up some tours to do. We decided on the Stone Island tour, a Ziplint/tequila factory combination tour, and a sunset sailing tour.

Monday was our Stone Island tour. We took a 2 level boat out in the bay, around the various islands (sea lion island, bird island, etc), learned about Mazatlan's history, and had some dolphins start swimming along with our boat. Pretty cool! I tried to get pictures and video, but had a hard time. We made it to Stone Island (which is actually a peninsula), and took a tractor-pulled wagon over to the beach area. We had lunch there, and out choice of horseback riding, kayaking, snorkelling or banana boat riding. We wanted to snorkel, but it was to windy/wave-y to do that, so we did the banana boat instead. Do you know what that is?? The thing the kids are sitting on in Jaws 3 in the beginning of the movie where the shark comes up and eats the ones off the back?? Yeah. Well, it was fun. We went out and around an island and had a great time bouncing around. They took us back to the beach and stopped, and we were about to climb off when the surf crashed in and flipped us over. Still fun, though.

Tuesday was a day off from tours. Lots more walking on the beach, playing in the pool and generally relaxing. We LOVED that our hotel is in the middle of everything, no taxis needed to go anywhere. We had GREAT meals everywhere we went, and shopping was right out our front door. One of my most favorite things was the beach. There were NO people there--look at my video. TOtally empty. Usually maybe 2-3 dozen along the whole stretch of the beach in front of the 4-5 hotels in our area. Also, I loved the vendors on the beach. YOu can buy everything from tacos to fresh cut fruit to dresses or jewelry, hats and kites and sunglasses and hand carved figures and everything in between. People walk along selling their wares and were really easy to leave us alone once we said 'No, gracias'. I love that Mazatlan is not a developed tourist trap like Puerto Vallarta or Los Cabos. People live there and have jobs unrelated to tourism. Yes, tourism is a part of the area, but not the be-all, end-all for everyone. Very low key.

Wednesday, we did the Zipline tour. We did a zipline tour in Puerto Vallarta a couple years ago and it was totally the highlight of our trip, so we were really looking forward to this one. The tour is not jungly like PV, but takes place above and around a blue agave plantation. It is a new company, and they are well on their way to success. There were 9 lines total, as well as a rappell at the end. Lots of fun, and only 4 of us in the group.

After the ziplines, they drove us to a tequila factory. In the state of Sinaloa, they are prohibited from calling their product tequila on the label, so it says 100% pure blue agave, which it is. Only the blue agave plant and water are used to make the tequila. I must say, I do NOT like tequila. The smell, the taste...all of it. But this stuff was smooth! A softer, sweet smell and very smooth to drink. We bought a bottle for ourselves, and one for our catsitter at home.

Wednesday night, we were wandering around looking for a new restaurant to try. I made the unfortunate suggesting of walking along the malecon (seawall) towards the historic district, sure that we would find a nice place to eat. I am sure there ARE places there, but they are FAR. We gave up after about a mile and headed back, wandering a bit past our hotel towards the other side before settling on a restaurant offering BBQ ribs. You may not know this, but Ethan LOVES BBQ ribs. So we stopped. Our waiter asked us where we were from, and when he heard it was Seattle, he pointed out another couple seated nearby from Oregon. We introduced ourselves, and were invited to their table for drinks once we finished our meal.

This is how we met Candiss (Candy) and Mike from Cottage Grove, Oregon. Mike is a finish carpenter who looks like a cross between Papa and my cousin David, I swear to god. Candiss is a real estate agent having all sorts of fun in this recession. They were a great couple in their late 50's/early 60's who go to Mazatlan twice a year for two weeks. A fountain of information! We headed over to their hotel across the street from the restaurant (only a few hundred yards down the beach from our own hotel), and met up with another couple, Mike and Magdelena that they knew. We had a great time sipping fruity drinks, listening to the waves hitting the beach. Ethan and I were the old married couple of the group with our nearly 5 years of matrimony--Candiss and Mike have been married 3 1/2 years and Mike and Magdelena have been married only 1 1/2.

Thursday was another day with no plans, just playing in the ocean and wandering around. We took a pulmonia (taxi) into the historic district and wandered around the market there for awhile, then headed back to the relative cool weather at the beach. We met back up with Candiss, Magdelena and the two Mikes that evening for homemade dinner and drinks on the patio outside their hotel overlooking the beach and watched the sunset. Later, we checked out the rooms upstairs--much better than our own hotel--definitely going to go to Los Flores next time!! Not spendy, but very spacious. There are futon platform couches with thick pads on them, and they were telling us that they sometimes drag them onto their large, covered deck to sleep outside and listen to the ocean. Very nice. Another great evening with our newfound Mazatlan friends.

Friday was our last full day in Mazatlan. We lazed around, they headed out for our sunset sailing cruise. Only 4 passengers with us, and plenty of wind to push us along! Justin would surely have puked. They served us appetizers and drinks and sailed all around Mazatlan while we waited for the sun to go down. Almost 4 1/2 hours in total, and I enjoyed every minute of ut (well, when I wasn't worrying about my camera getting wet from occasional splashes).

Saturday was all about grabbing those last minute souvenirs and heading out to the airport. And here we are, safe and sound!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

It's not a toooomaaah

You've gotta say it with that Austrian accent to make it really work.


This is my brain. This is my brain...not on drugs. Well, a little contrast, but that is just for prettier pictures. I had an MRI just before heading to Mexico, and sweet talked the tech into burning it onto a CD for me. Pretty cool, huh?? I bet YOU don't know that there is nothing wrong with YOUR brain!!

(and no, my nose is not all cut off in real life...the MRI was for my brain so they didn't worry about the asthetics of giving me pictures with my nose half off)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Now, THIS is what I'm talking about!

No more hurricanes, no windstorms...just HOT, HOT, HOT!!!

Save our Sonics

End of an era??

Sunday, Ethan and I went to what could very well be the last Sonics game ever played in Seattle. We bought tickets for this one game on Saturday, thinking we really should be there at the bitter end.

For those who do not know (but how is THAT possible...), Ethan and I had season tickets to the Sonics for 6 years. Same section, same seats. Lots of exciting games, our share of stinkers, and some great players along the way. We gave up our tickets after the Sonics were sold to a group from Oklahoma City who swore to keep the team in Seattle (but did everything they could to move them). Unless some sort of miracle happens, and happens quickly, they ARE going to OKC.

We didn't go to any games this year. Watched a few minutes of some of them on TV, but that is it. It is/was too painful--the team we love being ripped away from us. It was very intelligently thought out--I'll give them that. So that they could claim the city didn't care about the team, they traded away ALL our experienced players and superstars. We DID draft the Rookie of the year(who will be a perennial all star), but we traded away all the talent around him so that we would suck. And we did. Worst record in the history of the franchise, second worst record in the entire league. Team threw up stinker games right and left, got blown out a LOT. Attendance lagged. Goal accomplished.

To keep those fans who didn't go to games for whatever reason from hearing about their team and getting to know the players, the team restricted all media interviews. Unlike every other year, they said interviews were ONLY available in ONE 15 minute slot after practice. 15 minutes total for the entire team. No more radio appearances, no more one-on-one interviews--only this one small time slot. We didn't hear from the players, we don't know anything about them (since they are almost all new to Seattle). Goal accomplished.

The last game of the season.

We went to the game, saw lots of great signs and banners, lots of enthusiastic people. The team came all out and played well. Very well. Against a good, playoff bound team. Throughout the game, whenever there were freethrows or other quiet moments, the entire crowd chanted "save our sonics", or alternately 'Bennett sucks'. We were loud. My throat hurts. The game was exciting, close in score, and we came back to score the final 10 points of the game, holding Dallas scoreless for the final 3 minutes, and we won. That building has never been so loud. Everyone was on their feet for one last go. The game ended (we thought), but they had to review the last play, so we waited while the referees watched the video replay. And all of us started yelling 'save our sonics', in a really cool, organized chant. They reviewed and reviewd, and we yelled and yelled. For almost 2 minutes. The players on both teams looked around and seemed in awe of the love this crowd has for this team. Seattle loves the Sonics. It is not that we don't love this TEAM, it is that a lot of us refused to go to games because we know the money is going to the thiefs from OKC, and we are not doing that.

The only possibly louder event of the evening was near the end of the first quarter when Gary Payton slipped into a seat near the Dallas bench. People saw him, and the cheering began. At the next timeout, the announcer acknowledged him, and he got a standing ovation like you wouldn't believe. They started the game up again, but we were still all cheering for Gary. He is a Seattle legend, and this was quite possibly his last public appearance here. His last chance to watch the Sonics play. I only wish he would have officially retired already, so we could retire his jersey here. It deserves to be in the rafters of the Key. He has already said that he will NOT go to OKC if they want to retire his jersey after the team moves. Gotta give him some respect for that.

So, the Sonics went out in the most fitting way. If they have to leave, this is how it should be. With a packed stadium screaming their heads off as the team comes from behind to beat a playoff contender. When Kevin Durant broke away and slammed it home with 14.3 seconds left in the game, the crowd went wild and I know I had tears in my eyes. This is how it should end, if it must end at all.

Ethan and I will be back next month for the next Storm season. With an all star lineup that is not to be believed, we must be the all out favorites to win another championship. We won the last Olympics year, so maybe it is our time again. I know I will see the Key again, and we won't ever have to give up THESE tickets, but I would be all over the Sonics again if they stayed.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Too good to be true

I was excited to hear that we may be related somehow to Sacagawea. has a feature to see if you are related to anyone famous, and we never come up with any famous relatives. So sad. So I started searching. Starting with Sacagawea herself. Turns out she had two kids--a girl who died as a child, and a son, Jean Baptiste. Her son lived into his 60's and had a pretty cool life, travelling the world, but never married, never had any kids. Did lots of expeditions and exploring instead. So, as it turns out we are NOT related. But I got to play on the internet, so all is well.

I had fun looking all of this up. SOme info is on the website, and some from other areas across the web. I found to be helpful, since Sacagawea is famous and they have a listing for both her and her son.

Come on, people--give me some info to go look up!!

I remember hearing something about being related to someone who helped make the Liberty Bell, on Papa's side of the family (I think). Anyone with any more info about that??

Monday, April 07, 2008

All done

A teensy bit of venting, and all will be better.

I am DONE. No more medical issues. None at all. Between the two of us, Ethan and I have or have had 7 different diagnoses (if you count his knees separately, which I do). The most recent of which had us in the ER. No more.

January first, neither of us carried any medical diagnosis. We were young and healty. Now, we are falling apart. Like those cars that work fine until you hit 50,001 miles and the warranty expires and the next thing you know the engine falls off. We hit thirty and our bodies lost their everloving minds and started to self destruct.

Yes, we are fine. No, we don't need to go into specifics about what is going on. Just irritating and expensive and a little scary at times. And new to us. And irritating.


All future medical problems should refer themselves elsewhere, as we are no longer accepting new issues.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Rising airline costs combined with the recent chapter 11 filings of two Hawaiian servicing airlines has caused us to book our flights to Hawaii early.


We are heading out! September 2008! Still need to book a hotel for Honolulu for 2 nights, but other than that we are set.

For our Mazatlan trip coming up in 2 weeks, I just bought some snorkel fins off of eBay for Ethan. He has a hard time getting fins that fit (size 14 shoes), and just ends up stuffing his feet into the biggest ones they have available, usually ending up with a blister or at least sore feet. So, I found some supersize, big enough and cheap enough fins that we can just bring along with us. I am going to run back to CostCo to get a set of fins/snorkel/mask for myself (they carry them up to size 11-13 for men, but I am sick of Ethan having to stuff himself into too small shoes, so he gets the special treatment). Then I will find a mask/snorkel for Ethan and we are good to go. I figure that we will snorkel enough in our lives (once or twice a year, multiple times each vacation if we have our own access to snorkels), and the equipment isn't really big, easy enough to pack (we are not heavy packers). Might as well spend a couple bucks and have our own stuff.

Mazatlan is a little special because Ethan will have his knee surgery less than a week after we get back. So we are going to have a lot of fun and make enough memories to get him through the boredom of the week he has to take off of work. We are going to do the second surgery either this summer (depending on how the first surgery goes as well as how Harborview's new building opening goes) or after we get back from Hawaii in September. We want to get it all done this year, as soon as we can.

In other news, all is well with the Amersons. Lots of little medical things going on with the both of us, but nothing we won't get through together. This is the first year that we will both meet our deductible for our insurance!! It is only $200, so it is not much but we never usually go to the doctor and never end up meeting the deductible. Woohoo???

Kitties are doing is still standing.......

I have been doing lots of fun scrapping in my scrap room, making slow but sure progress on my Australia album (I cannot believe it has been 6 months since I was there!)

Speaking of Australia, I have become a little obsessed with going back there with Ethan. I am earmarking every single airline mile we have for a couple plane tickets to Sydney. Ethan must snorkel over the GBR. He must. And those plane tickets are spendy, so airline miles are the way to go!!

Speaking of obsessions.....I have a thing for Blue Diamond smoked almonds. So good! I have a CostCo tub of them and I just love them so much. I tried some generic smoked almonds and they tasted icky, so go with the Blue Diamonds!

Another new obsession is playing the travel IQ game on Basically, there is a map of the world (Or asia or europe or something like that), and it pops up with a city name or a famous place and you have to click as fast as you can and as close as you can to that city or place. You get points for how close you are and some for how fast you are. I forgot how much I love maps and geography and all things like that. I play and play. I still suck at Australia, but I am doing okay on most of the others. Go check it out!!