Blog Archive

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

West Chazy, NY: Vesco Ridge Vineyards

In July, the entire family flew upstate to visit the extended family! This was
Bennett's first time upstate! I'm pretty sure he loved it and I'm positive the 
family loved it even more! 

Besides from the scary phone call we got informing us that Mom, who flew up 
a few days before the rest of us, was in the hospital, everything was fantastic!  
It turns out she had a little case of something not so scary but, extremely painful. 
Thankfully, after an overnight stay, she was released and home by the time I 
arrived that evening. 

Leif drove me to the airport and we stopped at our all time favorite pizza place, 
New Park Pizza, for dinner. We got a whole pie so I could bring some upstate
for the family. Unfortunately, it was a little soggy by the time I got there but
that did not stop Andy and Dad from eating it in the car on the way home. 

I mean, who wouldn't...

Every morning Oliver and I entertained this little dude while his parents
tried to sleep in a bit. Aunt Nancy said we did a good job. I think we did too!

We spent most of the time outside running around outside, showing Bennett
the farm animals, and drinking...I mean, we were staying at a vineyard!

Bennett found Broom and it became his absolute best friend the entire trip. 
Bennett was sad when Broom was not there. Bennett threw a fit when he 
could see Broom but was not allowed to play with Broom. Oh, to be young
again and something like a simple broom makes you happy. 

Daddy, Bennett and Broom. 

The weather was perfect so we loved to spend most of the days outside. 
Usually we were chasing Bennett around. 

So when we had a quiet moment, like this one, we took full advantage!

We even made a pit stop at McSweeny's for Bennett to try his first Michigan.
Of course he slept through the entire thing! 

We got his hot dog to go and then of course he woke up! We are pretty sure he liked it!

What do you think?

It looks like we might have another little rockstar on our hands! 

We even flew out at the same time so I got to say goodbye at the airport!

It was a great weekend filled with a lot of laughter, alcohol, music and love!
Andy performed on the vineyard deck Saturday night in front of so many
family members and friends while Bennett took center stage dousing himself
with the water from the fountain. He was soaked and loving life! Isn't that all
that matters? I can't wait until next time! 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Mexico: Cozumel 2015

We went to Cozumel, again, and had so much fun, again! 

Thank you to our fearless leaders, who I have to say, have the best office...ever....

We spent every day diving...

With fishies...

and turtles...

I actually did have my first scary diving experience on this trip. My regulator started
free flowing and blew my mask off of my face. For some reason, this triggered a 
panic attack. Thankfully, our dive master was right there and I smacked him on the
chest. I had no idea of how to express to him what I was going through at the time. 
How do you say you're going crazy in the head while actually going crazy in the head?

He handed me his octopus and at this moment, when my brain was not functioning, 
I completely forgot that octopuses are wet breathers. This means small amounts of
water actually leak into the regulator. Therefore, my panic attack grew from minor
to something more like panic! At this moment, the dive master handed me his actual
regulator. I remembered at this moment, I closed my eyes and concentrated on my
breath. I quickly was able to get it under control and stop hyperventilating. I then
opened my eyes to a blur. I mean a literal blur. My mask was completely filled with
ocean water, which was probably not great for my contacts, and half on my face 
from being blow off by my regulator. The dive master pulled my mask back on my 
head correctly, I closed my eyes again and cleared my mask. Only to then realize
that the dive master did not have a regulator in his mouth as it was in mine! 

Panic set in again, however, I was able to control it and he handed me my own
octopus and took back his regulator. The last twenty minutes of the dive I had
to purge my octopus every two breaths. That damn wet breather. Needless to 
say, I will never forget that most octopuses are wet breathers. 

We went to lunch after "that" dive. I think I slept most of the time. My body was
exhausted. We did a second dive, where I had to keep reminding myself not to
breath out of my nose, which caused more water to leak into my mask. 
Scott and Leif kept pointing to their noses every time he saw me do it. For
some reason, it is a lot not to do something when you're thinking about it. 
However, I made it through the dive just fine.

When we got back to land, we ordered food and drinks and hung out by the 
pool. This is when I noticed I was not feeling well. I went upstairs to shower 
and lay down. When Leif came to check on me, I was having the weirdest
pains, which felt like bruises, all over random parts of my body. At this time
he wanted me to go talk to Paul or Scott. Both of them said the same thing,
my body just went through so much panic and stress that it was finally
starting to hit. The next morning, all of the pain was gone. Thank goodness.

For a moment, we were both scared I was having an episode of the bends.
Clearly, there was no possible way I could have been because we did not
go deep and I did not shoot to the surface. To this day, I am still having 
minor panic attacks under the water. Hopefully I will get things under 
control soon. 

At one point I was having a very minor issue and asked Scott to help me out. 
On his way over to me, he saw a shark, did the shark sign and bailed. Thanks 
Scott. I will never forget that a shark is more important than me. 

So many purple tangs!

Some goofing around in the desert!

Of course, plenty of sharks!

The lovely Jen!

Many swim throughs! 

This adorable little box fish that kept on playing with us. He loved when
you tickled his belly!

and of course, him again...the one who always watches over me!

At night, we ate wonderful all inclusive meals.

Drank lots of all inclusive beers.  

Took many blurry photos. 

And some great photos!

And many tequila shots!

On our second day of diving, I decided to take the ferry over to the main land of Cancun
with Beth and Pat to dive the Cenotes Caverns. This was truly one of the most amazing
experiences of my life. In the middle of the jungle, years ago, these caverns were 
discovered. They are filled with the most beautiful clear water you have ever seen. 
The diving was unbelievable. It was so clear, I had to keep reminding myself that I 
was underwater. 

We did a total of two dives in the Riveria Maya at Cenotes Dos Ojos. Our first 
dive was Barbie Line, named after the barbie which is found at the halfway point. 
Our second dive was called Bat Cave for the air pocket you ascend to at the very 
end of the dive which is filled with thousands of bats! 

The diving was moderately advanced. You have to be able to be comfortable enough
 with your buoyancy so you do not ascent quickly and hit the stalactites or descend 
quickly and kick up the silt on the bottom of the caves. The silt is much lighter than
normal sand. A little flip of the fin can cause the silt to stir causing the visibility 
to fade quickly. This really only disturbs the friends you are diving with. 

The caves were so beautiful. Exactly what you see in movies. If you do not scuba
dive, they also offer snorkeling! 

One of my favorite things about the trip were the little towel animals we came
back to everyday after diving! They were adorable! 

We arrived to Mexico a few days later than the rest of our group. Leif had his 
lieutenants exam the day everyone else left. Of course he could not miss that.
We arrived a few days after everyone else which also means we got to stay a 
few days later than everyone else. We spent two days diving  and the last day
exploring Cozumel. 

On our day exploring, we rented a scooter and drove all the way around the island.
It was so much fun! We visited all of the touristy areas which I am sure are not the
place to go but we didn't care. 

We even took the typical touristy photos. Who am I? I never do that!

Leif got his cuban cigar and coconut water. 

We stopped at many beautiful beaches along the way. 

That evening we dressed up and went out to a sunset dinner. 

It really was beautiful and the perfect ending to our vacation!

Just a few more of these and then back to reality!

I'm already asking when is my next vacation! Until next time Mexico!