Friday, June 28, 2013


Days.  That's how many days I have been on the 'Big Island'.

I'm loving every last minute of it, and am sad that my departure is creeping closer and closer.

It does, however, boggle my mind when I reflect on what all I have accomplished while I've been home.  Let's see if I can recap the majority at least!

Drinks with friends

Welcome home BBQ down south
Dad's Birthday/Retirement/Father's Day celebration

Connected with blasts from the pasts
Drinks with friends
Attempt shopping.  Fail!!

Apple store experience
Search for loose leaf tea all over town
Lunch with Scuba friends to reminisce about the island
Host a dinner party- including explosive asparagus soup all over myself
Drinks with more friends
Quick cruise to Seattle Embassy

Connect with old room mates in Tacoma
Drinks with friends
Attempt shopping again
Rodeo weekend
Movie at the cinema
Dog Park
Office day - just to remind myself why I don't work in one
Lunch with a former co worker, to remind me why I miss that office occasionally
Wine tasting with Mama

Gin Rummy Tournament with Mom & K 

Celebrate Alli's birthday 

Drinks with friends
Hiking Council Crest

1st Harley ride 

Pack to judge the suitcase situation
Drinks with more friends
Annual Camping Trip with the girls
Drinks with friends...

Needless to say I've gotten zero exercise and have drank and eaten part of my way through the Pacific NW.  It's been a wonderful visit.  I can't wait to get down to California and see if I can find Oprah!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I'm Free!!

Just a quick note to share with you all that I arrived safe and sound in Portland late Monday night.  Mom was there waiting, I'm not sure which of us was more excited!

She and Kerry had an impressive cheese platter and Oregon wine waiting when I walked in the door.  Raylie was MUCH more excited to see me this time than the last.  Man I love that little girl.  (My doggie)

Since my arrival, it's been a bit of a blur.  But a happy, joyful and fun one.  I've gotten to connect with friends and family from all over.  My brother has even been in town since we're celebrating Dad's 60th Birthday and Retirement!  What a treat!

I won't be updating much for awhile I don't think.  I'm too consumed by the endless opportunities for FUN!  So, until then, keep an eye on my 'Musings' to the right of my blog, I'll be posting snip its of my whereabouts during my travels.

I'm glad I'm not even a week into my stay, because there is still SO MUCH more I want to do and see and people to visit!

I feel like a billionaire...

Starbucks Double Fistin
See: Seventeen

My Brother and I @ the brewery
My BEAUTIFUL girlfriends

Even the bank puts 'a bird on it'

Laughing about the downpour I was just walking in

You know you're from Portland when...
One of my favorites!!

The first of many...
Thanks to Omero Cellars

Thursday, June 6, 2013


While preparing my dinner this evening, which consisted of canned tuna fish, mayo, pickles, french bread, cheddar cheese and a toaster oven, I began to reflect on the fact that I really do live here and this really is home. 

One of the most important things that I’ve set out to identify on this journey, is what really, truly, deep down in the depths of my vast, wide soul, do I need to feed my spirit and please my heart, body and soul.  I began to think about all of the indulgences I’m looking forward to during my visit to the US; I even thought to myself ‘going to visit home right now is the equivalent of going to visit a rich friend or family member, with all the wants you could ever dream of fulfilled.  (ie: eating delicious American food, drinking wines from places other than Chile, spending quality time with my family, my friends and my puppy dog, traipsing gorgeous waterfronts and bustling city streets) make me feel RICH.

I’ve always felt fortunate, and blessed, no matter where I am, but this time it’s different.  The old cliché  ‘Don’t take what you have for granted or you won’t miss it till its gone’.  But this time I feel privileged.  Even to visit a land that offers everything at your fingertips.  

Let’s say you’re sitting on your couch at home on a random Wednesday night, watching an early evening sitcom, and you decide the commercial that just played for Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse sounds like it would hit the spot for a perfect dinner tonight.  So you shut off the TV and shuffle into the kitchen, check to see if there’s anything to go with this meal you desire.  Canned green beans don’t sound good tonight.  Corn on the Cob is great this time of year, but you already had it twice this week.  Broccoli and cheese might be good, but you only like the microwave kind with the cheese already in the pkg, and for some reason the grocery store has a conspiracy against you and quit carrying it.  So fine.  Asparagus and fresh chive & sour cream mashed potatoes it is.  Grab your keys, hop in the car, plug your phone into the stereo to rock out to your latest itunes download.  Open the sunroof, grab your shades, let’s roll!

THANK god your dry cleaner, located 3 doors down from the grocery store in the same strip mall, stays open until 7 on weekdays, since you’re passing by already, you swoop in and pickup $60 worth of dry cleaning.  Thank god they take debit.  You stay parked in the same parking spot, unlock your car and neatly hang your dry cleaning on the back hook.  Lock the doors halfway between the car and the entrance to the grocery store.  Barrel thru the produce section, thinking you may as well grab a few things for your morning shake and a few more things for the BBQ you’re headed to tomorrow evening AND the potluck at work on Friday.  Shit!  You have plans to go camping this weekend, supposed to leave first thing Saturday morning, so you may as well kill 3 birds with one trip, grab a steak for tonight, pre-marinated chicken breasts for the BBQ and some ready to grill skewers for the weekend.

It’s amazing how full your trunk is, thank god for all the space.  Hopefully you can fit all your camping gear, 2 coolers and beer in there this weekend!

Head home, fire up the oven, decide you’re not in the mood for steak, so you throw in Marie Calendar’s Lasagna instead. 

You get my drift.  Note the words underlined above.  The underlined words represent things that you either
a)       cannot do or get here or 
b)    take an act of god to accomplish. 

The grocery store is a $6 round trip ride, and takes about 20 minutes each way.  As the sun falls, it grows harder and less safe to venture that far.  The sun goes down this time of year at 6:15, and in the winter before 6.  You never want to ‘stock your fridge’ partially because you cannot carry that much at one time, and partly because power goes out regularly here.  The basic system runs faults regularly, causing blackouts that only improve with time.  Should the ‘time’ take hours, your food grows more and more questionable in 90 degree heat.
I know going home to visit, and experiencing all if these things, and more, will bring me so much joy and happiness.  The ease of life in the states is something to be spoken about.  BUT, then again…

When you park your car in a tow zone here, they don’t write you a ticket.  They stand next to the car and blow a whistle.
When you want something or need something, but don’t have correct change, or any money at all, you can take it and pay later, almost always.  No questions asked.
If you’re just having ‘one of those days’ and can’t face the music or need a mental health day from ­the grind; that’s it.  It’s yours to have, and no one will think more or less of you.
When your shorts caught snagged in the wash, and now have a small rip in the pocket on just one side, you won’t throw them away.  You embrace the fact the important parts are still in tact, and their character just got better.
When you gain business that perhaps your friend was after as well, chance are, they’ll buy you a beer to celebrate, because in ‘this life’ we’re all here for the same reason; and money ain’t it.
Everyone has a story to tell.  Most here will tell you because they know you’ll never ask.  Some will never tell, because they’re not here to flaunt it, or re live it.  They’re simply here to be at peace with it.

And that is one thing you can find anywhere.  If you haven’t found it, keep looking; it’s deep down in there somewhere… I promise.

And by the way, I must say, that was hands down, the BEST Tuna Melt I have ever had the pleasure of tasting!!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Silly Me!

It was pointed out to me yesterday that I left out a major detail in the job transition!

I also work here!

My friend Amanda, over at A Walk on the Run, manages the office for a local dive shop, and works her tail off!  One night over a couple of cocktails, we devised a plan to help her get a day off every once in awhile to remain sane, while I cover for her in the shop and social with real live PEOPLE, to remain sane as well!

So yesterday we started the rundown on everything, in between her running errands, which obviously include diving!  We had fun, surrounded by lots of good people, and rarely a dull moment.  I was able to stay connected with my other 3 jobs as well, since they're currently based online.  I did, however, take some time out to play with some of the clothes for sale in the shop.  I'm hoping to get some of them up online for sale yet this week!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

All Good Things Must Come to an End...

Remember the job I told you about?  The one that all pretty much fell into place a few weeks before I moved here?  The one that gave me the opportunity to visit and dive with resorts, sleep in lush hotel beds, swim in fancy swimming pools, eat lobster and schmooze with rich people?  You do?  Ok.  I gave my notice last week.

I've been given a tremendous opportunity to develop and manage the charity events and activities events for a resort here on the island!  I'm feeling very blessed that the opportunity arose, and super excited for the new endeavor.  I think it is just what I needed to put a little momentum in my work and a nice change of pace.

Believe it or not, I spent a fair amount of time alone with the other job.  Onsite and at home (the office).  I'm certainly looking forward to a little more social time and being around people a little more.

Other than that, I'm still patiently waiting to get back in the water and board an airplane.  Those two things are keeping me motivated right now!  The Doctor said I should be back in the water by this coming weekend, which means I'll be able to get a couple of dives in before I go home.  

It has grown extremely hot here, and there seems to be no end in sight.  It's maintaining a temp in the low 90's, but the humidity on top of it is hard to bear.  Let me just paint a little picture for you...

It is currently 6:00 pm
The actual temperature outside is 86 degrees
Humidity is a lovely 74%
Which makes the temperature FEEL like 96 degrees
There is a 60 % chance of rain... although this 'chance' has been going for 4 days now, and still no rain.

No wonder I almost puked on my morning run.