Diving in Roatan

When Jordan originally told me about this trip I had no idea where Roatan was.  I had to look it up.  It appears to be part of the Bay Island which are part of Honduras. I love to dive and this area is home to the second largest barrier reef in the world.  How could I say no?

I was amazed by how vivid and alive the reef was.  I've been to so many places where the reef is destroyed so it was nice to see what one looks like when it is taken care of.  I was actually surprised though at how little fish there were.  In Hawaii, we have a lot more fish. After talking with some of the locals they said it is due to the over-fishing and has not always been that way.

Even the snorkeling was pretty amazing right off the beach.  There were some fun swim-thrus and lots of pretty valleys to swim around.

We did spend time doing other things apart from diving/snorkeling, but not a ton.

We took an island tour and learned some interesting things from our local guide.  We went to Hole in the Wall wh…

Reno, Bishop and Sacramento....Oh my!

When booking my trip back from Mexico, the flight home kinda sucked. I had to either spend the night in Mexico City or LAX.  Soooooo, instead of flying back I decided to extend my trip to other places!  I originally planned on spending some time in San Diego, but last minute changes had me going to Reno and Bishop.  Reno consisted mostly of relaxing, getting some much needed shopping done and eating good food.  Then I was off to Bishop!

Ever since I started climbing I had heard of the Buttermilks and how amazing the bouldering is. This just so happens to be right outside Bishop!  Between this area and all the other amazing hiking and exploring there is to do in the area, I had a blast!  I even got my first taste of the John Muir trial.  Definitely looking forward to doing the whole thing one day.  Did I mention I learned to play Cribbage?  I'm super stoked about this since it's something I've always wanted to learn.  I'm happy to now know another two player game!

Waves, Tacos and Cervesas: Welcome to Mexico

Apart from amazing waves, one of my favorite things about Mexico is the cost.  As long as I stay away from the tourist areas it is so cheap to live.  At the beginning of the week I got the equivalent of $100 out of the ATM and only finished using it on out last meal.  Tacos, beers and other tasty treats filled the week and at such a low cost!  Nothing beats sitting at a beach bar, drinking a $1 beer while watching the waves.  Ok so maybe I lied, the waves were really what we were there for.

I met Alex, John and Warren in Zihuatanejo and we drove North to surf for a week.  We mostly surfed La Saladita, but also got to check out the Ranch a couple times and it was pretty amazing!

It begins with a relaxing evening of watching the water :-)
Plenty of Contract Pitch.  Sadly Warren and I didn't do so well.
Lots of relaxing.  This may be my favorite pic from the trip.  Grandpa asleep and Warren getting a massage.
The farewell dinner with our new friend Claudia from Switzerland!

Living the Good Life

As I've settled into living on Kauai I have not been traveling all that much, but been enjoying little adventures along the way.  Here is what I have been up to!

Lei making for Lana's birthday.

Lots of reading on the beach!
David came to visit and while we didn't get huge surf we caught some fun waves.
My new place!  It's so cute!  Perfect Lanai for working.
The view from my workstation.
My new place also has bees that I am learning about.  Hopefully I can figure out how to harvest my own honey.
Ukulele lessons.  So much fun with friends!
My new toy!  She needs a little work and love, but we are going to have so much fun this summer!
Some of the destruction from the north shore flooding.

Helping friends with the new trampoline.
Waves!  I love when someone gets to take pictures so I can see what I need to work on (everything!).
Finally took a trip to see Oahu!  It was fun, but made me appreciate where I live.

Moving Forward

Life evolves.  Sometimes we have control over the way it changes, and other times things can be totally out of our control.  In all cases, we must learn, grow as a person and move forward.

New Years celebration
Crashing the Westin
Solo hikes give lots of time for reflection
So grateful to be living in my paradise.

No Bake Cheesecake!

Ok, so the title is a lie. I bake the crust, but the actual cheesecake is not baked.  When I was a kid, we got to choose the dessert we wanted on our birthday and this is what I always picked.  Now as an adult I can make it whenever I want!!!  Ok, so now I make it even less than once a year since I like to watch what I eat. Either way, here goes!

1.5 cups crushed graham crackers (I use a food processor)
3 TBS sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup melted butter

Mix the graham crackers, sugar and cinnamon well. Then add the butter and combine.  Use your hands (or whatever else you have around) to form the crust into a glass pie dish.  Stick in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes.  Take out and let cool before proceeding.  If you are really lazy you can buy a pre-made crust, but it does not taste as well.

8oz Cream Cheese (softened at room temperature)
1 can sweet and condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup lemon juice

In a mixer, combine the cream cheese, sweet and condensed milk and …

Osaka in 3 Days

I had a few days off work and I planned on surfing as much as possible but I irritated my shoulder so surfing wasn't going to be an option.  While I would have been completely happy to sit on the beach and relax or go hiking or whatever, I decided it would be fun to get out of town for a few days.  I started looking at flights out of Honolulu with three requirements: cheap, direct and foreign.  Since I already had to connect from Kauai to Oahu I didn't want to make another connection.  With these requirements in place I was left with one place...Osaka!  I've always wanted to visit Japan so I was pretty excited about this.

I spent most of my time wandering the city, checking out the shrines and temples, eating tasty food and exploring.  Google maps is awesome about marking everything with different icons so things were easy to find. You could spend all day walking from shrine to shrine and each one is so unique, quiet and peaceful, especially for a big city. They all have …