Sunday, September 14, 2008


This is a 12 story building. Why would I be posting a picture of a 12 story building on my blog, you ask? To give a visual reference of course! So, take a good look...don't worry, I'll wait. Okay, got that picture in your head? You took note of how tall the building is compared to the people and cars on the ground? Now, put that building under water. And picture me at the bottom! That's where I was yesterday! Well, there was no building, but there was 120 feet of water over my head!! You get the idea. Tyler and I signed up for an Advanced Open Water diving course with our favorite instructor (no sucking up intended, Neil...well, maybe a little...) and started yesterday with DEEP diving! I admit freely to being a tad bit nervous at the thought, not only of all that water between me and my unlimited air supply normally taken for granted, but also of adding the increased probabilities of nitrogen narcosis and an even greater risk of getting decompression sickness than with shallower dives. Luckily, because we were well-informed and knew what we were doing (at least, were diving with someone who did!), none of those ailments presented themselves. Everything was perfect and now we are certified for deep diving (up to 130 feet; anything past that and you get into deco diving which we are not interested in). Our next segment of the class will be night diving, then currents, and navigation to round it out. Then we will have at least 24 dives (probably more like 30-35) under our belts and be Advanced Open Water Divers! :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day Get-Away

This weekend we whisked ourselves off to "the best place on earth:" British Columbia. We left Saturday morning and had no trouble crossing the border. We found our hotel and checked in Saturday afternoon. We stayed around Langley (where our hotel was) that afternoon and spent some time at Fort Langley, which turned out to be a cute little town. We had ice cream at the little ice cream parlor and enjoyed walking the streets and looking into storefronts. That night, we had Chinese food and watched a movie in our hotel room. Sunday morning, we leisurely got around and headed into Vancouver for the day. We tried to find the Granville Island market, but since we didn't have a map, we couldn't. :) So, we decided to just give up and go on to Stanley Park. It is a huge park (1,000 acres) with many activities available. We chose to see the Vancouver Aquarium and had a great time! I loved watching the dolphins, and as always, the sea otters were adorable! It also had some gigantic prehistoric fish that were amazing!
After the aquarium, we headed to an Ethi restaurant for dinner, and it was delicious!! Some of the best Ethi we've had around here, actually!! Then, Sunday, we got up a bit earlier and drove about an hour to Bridal Veil Falls. It was really beautiful, and the hike up to the falls was really nice as well. We found a trail "off the beaten path" that led up closer to the falls and were the only people up there. It was gorgeous! On the way down, we were passed by two older gentlemen. As they passed us, one of them said "It was pretty, wasn't it?" We replied that, yes, it was really pretty! As they moved ahead, I whispered to Tyler that the guy sounded exactly like Sam Elliot! Then, Tyler whispered back that he LOOKED exactly like Sam Elliot (I didn't get a good view of him, other than gray hair). I am totally convinced that it really was Sam Elliot. Tyler is not as convinced, but I don't think he's ruling out the possibility. I tried to get a picture of him without him knowing, but it didn't really work out (he's the guy on the right). I had actually worked up the courage to just ask him, but then we couldn't find him. So, I guess we'll never know FOR SURE, but I firmly believe I talked to Sam Elliot :) Anyway, after that exciting adventure, we headed to Harrison Hot Springs to take a dip in their public pool which is fed by the hot spring. It was nice! We also encountered a sand castle-building competition. They were literally works of art! I can't imaging how many hours it took to build these things! After spending some time walking the beach around the lake, we decided to head home, since we were told to expect a 2 hour wait at the border. We waited exactly 0 seconds! :) We went to a smaller border crossing, and apparently nobody had thought of it because there was no wait whatsoever. It was lovely! :) So, we made it back into the US and our mini-vacation was over...kind of sad, but it's always nice to be home. And of course, Allie was super-glad to see us :)