Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cozumel Recap!



Okay! So here's my Cozumel recap. We arrived at the Occidental Grand Cozumel, and the atmosphere was just amazing. It was so lush and green everywhere. There were large iguanas left and right, which was so foreign to me! The main check-in desk was at the front of the resort, but they loaded us up on a sort of extended golf cart thing and drove us around the entire grounds to the VIP check-in at the back of the resort. Not sure how we garnered that status, but I wasn't complaining. So the process was really simple, and they handed us champagne to welcome us to the resort. Our building was directly across from that, so that was convenient. It was also right next to the relaxation pool, which leads to the beach. So we really did get prime location. We checked out our rooms, which were nice, and then headed to the beach immediately! It was just gorgeous. The water was so clear and the sand was just perfect. It wasn't crowded at all, which was a definite plus. On our second day there we took advantage of the free snorkeling gear and checked out the marine life near the shore. It was so neat to see what lived down there! We were hooked, so we decided to take a snorkel boat tour which takes you out to three different reefs, varying from 20 - 120 foot depth. That was a blast. We got to see sea turtles, eels, starfish, jellyfish, and a million other fish that we had never seen before. The colors were so vibrant. From the moment we got in the water, there was this school of large gray fish that decided to escort us. It was really funny. They just swam next to us and all around us the entire time. They were very friendly. :) The next day we decided to attempt parasailing. That was interesting, to say the least! They put us in harnesses, and we stood up on the deck of the boat. They hooked our harnesses to straps that were connected to a long blue bar. There was a rope connected to a wench on the front side, and then it was connected to a huge parachute on the backside. They threw out the parachute and let out the wench, and there we went! We just started sailing higher and higher. It was amazing. You just felt like you were floating in the sky and there was nothing but beautiful blue water as far as the eye could see. The next day we decided to take out the snorkeling gear again and swim out further away from the shore, on our own. Little did we know what was in store for us. I was swimming along and spotted a complete conch shell on the ocean floor. I got Cary (brother-in-law) to come over and he dove down and retrieved it for me. I started bringing it back to shore to keep, and then noticed there was still something inside. I was like, "Oh, cool! Maybe it's some sort of urchin." So I looked a little closer and dipped it in the water a couple of times to see if I could get the creature to come out. I called Cary over to check it out and about that time I saw a tentacle shoot out. I kinda froze. Then the rest of the baby octopus started to emerge and I shrieked and threw the shell to Cary! Haha. He held it up and sure enough the octopus came completely out and dropped back into the water. That was freaky!! So I laughed it off and decided to do some more snorkeling. Cary, Jeremiah, and I headed out towards deeper water and came across a huge barracuda. It was a little ways away from us, so I didn't feel too scared. But, Cary thought it would be neat to give it a closer look, so he swam over and was basically hovering above it while it was maybe 15 feet down in the water. Jer and I just kept our distance and watched to see what would happen. All of a sudden it turned vertical and basically shot straight up at Cary. It was definitely charging him. He freaked, of course, and tried to swim away from it as quickly as possible. It stopped before it touched him and swam off. We knew that was dangerous, but all had a good laugh after we surfaced, just thinking about Cary's face and frantic flailing. I figured that was enough excitement for me, so I asked Jer if we could head back. He agreed and we started the long trek back to the shore. My goggles were starting to fog up by then anyways. After we had gone a short distance, Jer stopped me and pointed out another barracuda. this one was not facing us, but it was fairly close so we could see just how long and big he was. It had taken me a few seconds to find it in the water b/c of my foggy goggles, and when my eyes finally focused on it, I turned to Jer to be like, "Holy crap!" Well, in the meantime, the barracuda noticed we were there and unbeknownst to me, starting charging at my face. I had my head turned to Jer and saw the look on his face and his attempts to move, so I quickly turned my head backs toward the barracuda just in time to see it staring me in the face. I've never been more scared in my life. I freaked out and started swimming away as fast as I could. We swam for a little bit and resurfaced and I basically told Jer that I wanted to get out of the water ASAP. So we planned on making a bee-line for the shore and wouldn't stop for anything. He swam in front of me, but since he had flippers on, I held back just a little bit so I wouldn't get kicked in the face. You won't believe what happened next...as I was swimming a little ways behind him, I noticed a presence right in front of me and just stopped suddenly. There was an enormous sting ray swimming within inches of me. I've seriously never seen one this big. Fortunately it ignored me and just swam right on by. It's amazing to me that it managed to swim right in-between me and Jer. An inch or two either way and one of us would've touched him. So I let him pass and I lunged forward to try and grab Jer's flipper. By the time we got above water and took our snorkels out and I explained what happened, the ray was long gone. It was just amazing. The next day four of us went out on a Catamaran and that was a neat experience too. The rest of the time, we pretty much just hung out on the beach! Not too shabby of a vacation if you ask me.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Doggles


Okay, so vacations are super fun and my opinion is the more the merrier......except when it comes to dealing with the dogs! Our first vacation of the summer to Las Vegas in May was the beginning of the nightmare. My friend Tiffany was nice enough to watch Riley for us, while my parents agreed to keep Casey. Juneau is a large dog and is pretty needy, so we decided to board her instead of subjecting another family member or friend to her. Big mistake. I dropped her off at the vet on a Thursday night, and when we touched down in Vegas on Friday morning, there was already a voicemail on my phone saying we needed to come pick Juneau up. She was getting expelled from boarding because she couldn't seem to stay in her dog run. They had half-fences on all sides, but Juneau managed to climb over them. So I had to call my mom and ask her to leave work and drive 45 miles to get Juneau. Now she was stuck with dog-sitting her AND Casey for three days (in addition to their own dog). I thought this was the end of that weekend's dog-related fiascos, but I was wrong. Apparently when Casey is at my parents' house, she reverts back to her puppy days and can't remember how to control her bladder. So she peed in their house at least 3 or 4 times, even though she hasn't gone in our house in at least a year. To top it all off, my parents' dog Jake saw this as an act of insubordination and decided he needed to go pee on top of all of the spots where Casey had peed....for days to come. So my dog not only brought a bad habit to my parents' house, but also spread it to their dog. Every few days my mom likes to call and remind me of this. This past weekend while we were out of town on vacation two, I asked my Aunt to come check on the dogs each day instead of having people dog-sit. She was more than happy to, and that was awesome since it saved us money. But, it rained on Saturday night, so Casey used the muddy ground as her opportunity to dig out. So she ran around our street on Sunday until my Aunt came over and realized she was out. She had to block off her escape hole and put the super-muddy Casey back into the backyard. We arrived home later to find her in her disastrous state and had to immediately put her in the bathtub. Now, on to vacation three. We're leaving this weekend and are hoping to get my Aunt to help us out again. She probably will, but we can't risk the chance that Casey will dig out again. So we're going to leave Riley and Juneau in the backyard and just board Casey. Sounds simple, right? Wrong! The vet won't board Casey unless she has an exam, is current on her shots, has tested negative for heartworm, and passes a temperament test. What does all that mean? I have to leave work for 2 hours, spend $160, and hear a bitchy comment from the vet's front desk lady about how they are open during lunch and that obviously is not her favorite thing in the world. What the hell lady? Does it look like I'm eating lunch right now either?? Uggghh! So Casey is good to go, and I'll be spending $22/day for them to keep her in a cage and walk her every now and then this weekend. And now for vacation four....we'll be in Cozumel for six days later this month, so I'm going to have to board all of them. I went ahead and got Riley current today as well (i.e. another $160) so that he'll be ready for boarding later this month. I had to call and find another vet that can handle Juneau. So two of our dogs will be at one vet, and Juneau will be at another. So let's see...$22/day x 3 dogs x 7 days (b/c they will be closed by the time we get back on the 6th day) = Ridiculous. We could essentially afford to take another vacation this summer, but instead we have to pay a ton for someone to watch our dogs. Oh well. It's still better than kids. hahahahhahaha!!! j/k