Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dragon Boat Races 2013

This year's dragon boat races have come and gone again. How does the season go by so quickly?

I miss it already.  

This year's races were A. Maze. Ing. 

I love this sport so much!

I raced in five races this year, two on Saturday and three on Sunday. 

Our first race was the women's race and it didn't go that well.  They have a new gate system and it was the first time we had used it and we got a bad start. 
Oh well.  It happens. 

The other races that day went better.   We didn't place last at all and we were right up there with everyone else.  They were actually quite close races!  We have definitely improved this year.  I don't know whether it was the extra practices or what but we did so much better this year than in years past.

The last race was a mixed team race(women, men and children in one boat) and they did great!  When we went to get our time we were shocked to learn that we had shaved thirty seconds off of our best time!!  Much celebrating was had that night with those of us that went to dinner after the races on Saturday but I will admit that it seemed a little fishy to me and I told Joe I thought there may have been a mistake.  Thirty seconds is a HUGE amount of time and it didn't seem possible.  

Sure enough, when we got to the races the next day we saw that they had made a mistake and posted the new(actual) times.  We still beat our old time but only by four seconds, not thirty.  Oh well. It was fun while it lasted. 

Sunday was another women's race first thing and we did so much better, shaving 22 seconds off the previous day's score, earning one of our best women's times.  

The next race was another mixed race and we rocked it out. We came in third(out of seven) and were only beat by the second place team by two seconds!  It was amazing!

The last race was the short 200 meter race and we did well but didn't place. We were tired by then.  

I had no idea that we were actually going to receive a medal for third place.  I was so excited!!  I even waited until the awards ceremony at the end of the day to receive it. They could have mailed it to us but it's not often that I receive a medal and there was no way I was leaving without it.  Lol. 

Here are some random pictures in no particular order because I'm tired.  And lazy. 

Check out the spelling of California in the banner. Oops.  You would think they would have had someone proofread that before printing it!

Third place medal

Front and back of the medal.  Isn't it pretty?   :).

I know I'm making more of a big deal out of it than it actually is, but it's not likely to happen again and I'm going to enjoy it.  

I was sad to leave knowing that the season was over but ten of us have decided to participate in another race in October which means we will get to practice a few more weeks. Yippee!  

And then in December we are going to sign up to paddle year round which means a couple of times a month we will get to practice the whole year round!   

So. Freaking.  Excited.  I can hardly stand it.  

What a great summer this has been so far!

Thursday, July 11, 2013


It's been awhile since I took a vacation. Like a real vacation, beyond a three day weekend.  Lisa planned for me to come up over Fourth of July and I decided to make it a real vacation and take the whole week off.  

I so needed this time off.  

I flew up on Monday, July 1st. We hung around her house for few days,shopping and eating out.  
On the third we headed north, towards Sonoma, to the Russian River.  

I had never been there before.  I instantly fell in love with this place.  It is very reminiscent of Big Sur. only with wine(there are many wineries on the way).  

It is truly beautiful there. I can't wait to go back and go camping with Joe.  

The weather was beautiful and I promptly hit the hammock in the backyard. 

This little guy has a hankering for headphones and earbuds.  Good thing he's so cute. 

On Tuesday we sipped margaritas and watched a little So You Think You Can Dance

The next day we packed up the car and the dogs and headed out

Road trip!

It took about two hours to get there and we went straight to our cabin to unpack. I forgot to take pictures of our cabin, which is a shame because it was cute!  This was the view out our back door(and also from the bed).  So peaceful.  

Majestic redwoods.  I love tress!

Another lovely view from our patio

Then we headed out to the river for some relaxation.  Unlike Big Sur  the weather is very warm(almost 100 degrees on Wednesday and Thursday) and the river water is very warm too.  So nice to sit in the river and not be cold!

Lisa's friends arrived and we engaged in an activity that we participated in the entire rest of the trip:  not a lot.  A beach chair in the river and a beer in our hands.  Pure bliss.  

We didn't do completely nothing. We also rented Kayaks and I took a nice long kayak trip a couple of days all by myself and soaked up the beautiful surroundings.  Well, not all alone. I took the dogs with me.   They are both awesome kayak buddies!

Chillin' while I pulled them into shore

Finn jumped out after some ducks so we made him pull us for awhile.  The ducks didn't seem too concerned about him and he got plenty tired.  

It was beautiful and peaceful and exactly what I needed. 

Lisa got in on the Kayak action too

On the day after the Fourth of July Lisa and I headed to the Korbel winery to taste some champagne.  Yum.  

View from our table

We spent quite a bit of time here too over the course of our time there

On Fourth of July we walked over to see the fireworks.  They shoot them off over this bridge and you have an awesome view of them. 

Sadly, on Saturday there was a plane crash at San Fransisco Airport and my flight for Sunday was cancelled. Four runways were closed and they were having trouble getting people in and out of that airport. They rescheduled my flight for the next day, which meant that Lisa and I had more time to stop on the way home and do some more wine tasting!  Hey, just trying to make the best of the situation. Lol 

We both brought home a couple of bottles. I'm not usually a big wine person but these were delicious. Can't wait to break one open this weekend. 

Then on the way home we picked up the kids from their Dad's in the city and discovered it was national chocolate day!  Who were we to let that day go by without celebration?  We were very close to Ghirardelli Square so we stopped off there for some hot fudge sundaes. So yummy!

Of course I had to purchase some chocolate for us to have later, as well as some for the girls at work.  

On Monday on our way to the airport my flight was delayed a few hours(I was beginning to become concerned that I was never going to get home).  Lisa and the kids and I went out to lunch before dropping me off at the airport where I waited an hour and fifteen minutes getting checked in and through security.  From what I hear, flights are *still* being affected by the crash. So scary. Very glad there weren't too many casualties.   

Finally I got home around five o clock and joe came to get me.  He was very happy to see me. It was hot, hot hot at home so we decided to keep the vacation going(it was the vacation that kept on going, and going!) and headed to the beach.  It was beautiful in Laguna Beach at that time of night.  

Finally we headed home where I was glad to sleep in my own bed. 

It was the best vacation!