Monday, June 29, 2009

Vacation Pics

Getting ready to walk down to the lake to lay out/swim/hang out with my friend Allison, so not much time to write about the fabulousness that is Mexico, but I promise more details later. In the meantime, here is a link to our photo album from the trip... enjoy!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hola from Puerto Vallarta!

hey, all! typing this on a keyboard with mostly spanish keys, so forgive me if i dont use capitals or punctuation correctly! at an internet cafe in downtown puerto vallarta, sunday afternoon. just finished lunch by the ocean and decided to check our emails and facebook and send you guys a hello before we go do some more exploring.
everything is going well. i am sure i will talk your ear off about it when we get home. actually not that hot here (upper 80s, lower 90s) but very humid, so you walk down the street for two minutes and you are sweaty, sweaty, sweaty. some big storms in the evenings or at night, lots of beautiful lightning over the ocean, but so far it has not stormed or rained during the morning or afternoon, though it looks like it could any minute and we forgot our umbrella at the condo... whoops! yesterday was beautifully sunny and very hot, today very overcast and not as hot, but still quite humid.
we really love our condo... it is a very scary (the road is like the pacific highway, right by the ocean with big cliffs and the drivers drive very very fast... pretty much no traffic rules here!) 10 minute bus ride from downtown, but that also means it is very quiet and very beautiful. view is amazing. the water at the beaches in town is almost brown from the runoff from the rivers and mountains, but the water at playa gemeles, where we are staying, is like carribbean water, very clear blue, so you can see down for many feet. very glad we decided to stay just outside of town. makes coming into town an adventure, and then you feel very relaxed when you go home in the evening.
i dont know what we would do without gearry being essentially fluent in spanish, though. i cant imagine being here just by myself, only speaking english and just a few basic spanish phrases. his spanish has helped us out a ton. he had a 10 minute coversation in only spanish with the cab driver on the way from the airport... good way to make friends. i just sat there stupidly, understanding about every 20th word. haha. the only other bad thing about it here is the many, many, many vendors trying to sell you things on the beach and the streets and getting you to come into their stores and restaurants. that is how it is in many foreign countries that cater to tourists, however, not just mexico. it is the low season, plus the economy is hurting badly from the medias horrible coverage of the drug wars and the swine flu, so people are desperate for money. you have to say no gracias, no gracias, continually. they are usually not pushy though. if you say no gracias, they leave you alone. some of the time. some are a bit aggressive, but again, it helps that gearry is pretty fluent. they are just hurting for money. it is nothing like the media portrays as far as violence and such though. no swine flu, no drug violence. police are everywhere, along with security, and everyone has been nice so far. if you want trouble, you can find it. but that is just like anywhere.
were going to go do some shopping and then have dinner at an awesome vegetarian restaurant and probably hang out at one of the beach bars this evening before head back south to the condo for the night. we spent the afternoon in town yesterday, but today will be our first evening in the city. tomorrow is our anniversary and we are going on a canopy tour in the a.m. in the mountains (zip lining and then swimming in one of the mountain rivers) and then going out for a nice oceanside dinner in the evening. we dont have any plans for tues., wed., thrs., or fri. weve been good about not making too many plans. our favorite thing to do here so far is just be lazy and lay on the beach and play in the waves!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

They're baaaaaack...

Remember the post last year when Gearry and I had planted our new lilies and were SO EXCITED for them and then they died like a week later and we were like, "Oh?" Well, just to show you how we are completely NOT aware of how flowers work, we were pleasantly surprised a couple of weeks ago when buds appeared on them once again, and especially a couple days ago when, BAM! Flowers appeared. Apparently they are a briefly lived once-a-year treat. I'll get another picture soon in the short time frame between when all the buds bloom out and they die!

I'm finishing up the last of my packing for my D.C. girls' weekend. My flight leaves Indy tomorrow at 1:45 pm, so I plan to have breakfast with Gearry in the morning and then head up to the airport around 10:30 am. I land at 3:20 pm for three days of fun and mayhem!

And just because it is cute and because I took a picture of Zoey napping in almost the exact same place last week and I am an equal opportunity puppy parent, here is a picture I took this afternoon of Bailey catching some Z's on the guest room bed while I worked on my e-portfolio for P540 (which I spent the afternoon doing TWICE since when I went to hit the "submit" button it erased my entire portfolio. Yeah, a lot of cursing ensued.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

If I was a nudist, there would be much less to pack... hmm...

I HATE unpacking. Just ask Gearry. After every rowing road trip this spring, I would throw my suitcase on the floor in the bedroom and there it would stay until the next weekend, when it was time to pack it up and leave again (if I was really lucky, I could just leave most of the clean stuff in it and never really had to unpack it at all!). So, it should not be surprising that before I can pack for my Washington, D.C., trip this weekend, I must first UNPACK the suitcase from when I went camping with my parents a few weekends ago (which is lying on the floor of our bedroom, of course). It's even more fun thinking that when I get back from D.C. on Monday evening, I'll have to pretty much unpack right away so that I can start packing for Puerto Vallarta! I should just start storing all of my clothes in suitcases 24/7. It would be more efficient. I need to hire a personal assistant to do the few obligatory things in life I do not look forward to: unpacking/packing; folding laundry; dusting; taking recyclables to the recycling center; and taking the dogs out to potty when it's raining/cold/snowy.

So, I'm off to unpack and then re-pack. Even though I don't leave until Friday morning. I'm procrastinating from working on this transcribing assignment and my horrid P540 Learning & Cognition class.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Yesterday was a fantastic Sunday. I was still feeling the delayed effects of Saturday's race (i.e. I woke up feeling like I got hit by truck), but that was OK since Gearry and I decided our mission for the day was to relax. Gearry doesn't typically get Sundays off, but since his promotion he's worked out a schedule where he alternates Sunday-Monday off one week, Tuesday-Wednesday off the next week, Sunday-Monday, Tuesday-Wednesday, etc. We slept in, enjoyed some banana-chocolate chip pancakes and coffee on the back porch, and then Gearry tackled his long-neglected and self-appointed duty of grooming the dogs. This is a messy project in which our kitchen becomes pretty much useless for cooking for a day, but it results in some cute, clean little puppies without a trip to the groomer.

After we cleaned up from the grooming mess, we met up with Mom and Dad over at the dam and spent the day with them on their boat. It was a gorgeous day, not too hot. The water was a bit chilly, but not enough to keep us from hanging out in it! (This picture is of pale Gearry BEFORE he turned into a lobster... Despite my many, many -- probably annoying -- reminders to keep putting on sunscreen.) We went for a ride, spent most of the day anchored by the dam swimming & hanging out, and then ended the day with another spin around the lake.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Hoosierman Experience: A Photo Essay

The goal: To Finish.

Don't I just look ridiculously excited to be getting ready to subject myself to 1 hr., 47 min., and 52 sec. of grueling exercise? I was.

Can I say that my biggest disappointment with this race was that they made me wear a hot pink swim cap, which completely clashed with my cream & crimson uni? It was. It also somehow adds to the effect that I am a giant next to Gearry. But a fit-looking giant.

Beautiful day for a triathlon! Air upper 60s, low 70s, water 69 degrees officially, but I actually think the water felt much warmer than that. There were 187 participants in this inaugural event. We won't mentioned where I placed out of those 187, but I must mention that probably at least 4/5 of the field was men and perhaps 1/5 women.

If you know me at all, or read my last post, you know this is one of the main things I was terrified of: The Dreaded Swim.

That's me, front left. So, yes, I survived the swim. And, honestly, it wasn't bad. I was slooooooow... Really sloooooow. But I made it out!

You're tired from the swim, you're soaking wet, and you have to somehow have enough coordination to dry your feet, slip on your socks and shoes, and then hop on the bike for 16 miles of hilly fun. It's a sport for people who think it's fun to hurt.

What I am thinking in this picture: "The hardest part is over! Maybe an hour and 30 minutes left..."

Zoooooom! The bike is the only thing I am remotely fast on. I was one of the last of my wave out of the water on the swim, so I knew I had to gain some ground in the bike, because I'm also a semi-slow runner. But, again, it was about finishing. But I'm still competitive.

The winner, I believe, or someone close to the front of the pack. He probably had time to take a shower, get some lunch, and take a nap before I crossed the finish line. Literally.

The post-race debriefing with Gearry right after I crossed the finish line. I was in way better shape and way better fueled (I had Heed and Gatorade during the bike & run and a packet of Hammer Gel during the bike, plus a smart pre-race breakfast) than Tri Indy last year, when I thought I was going to pass out crossing the finish line. Today I felt pretty good (other than my stupid bum knee -- illiotibial band issues), thankfully not at all like I had just worked out for almost two hours.

There is probably much more to be said about the day, but I'll let the pictures say the rest, other than I had a ton of fun, I am proud of myself for finishing, and I am happy Mom, Dad, and Gearry were there to support me. When I was heading up the first hill in the run, I heard Mom say, "I've never been more proud of you" and -- even though I was doing it for me and not anyone else -- that pretty much made it all worth it.

Next up: Indy Sprint Series @ Eagle Creek on July 18th (pending knee issues) and Tri Indy Olympic Distance on August 16th (Team Event - I'm biking & running, my friend is doing the swimming).

Friday, June 5, 2009

That Sick Feeling in the Pit of Your Stomach...

Yeah, that's what I'm feeling right now: nauseous. T minus 18 hours til race start time and I kind of feel like I want to puke. I haven't worked out much the last few days, so I have a ton of energy, yet I'm lethargic at the same time (a typical trait of tapering). My IT band in my right knee is kind of randomly flared up, so I'm nervous about what is probably going to be a painful run tomorrow. I popped the chain on my bike during my ride this morning on a climb and that got me to thinking about the possibility of it happening during the race. I'm still not confident in the swim; my game plan is to alternate freestyle and breast stroke every 50-100 meters, since I'm much more confident in breast stroke, even though it is far slower. People are coming to watch, which is really nice for support but embarrassing if you don't finish well. I'm even worrying about things like my hair! It kind of goes crazy when I take my swim cap off, as a ponytail holder doesn't hold back all my layers, so how I am I going to get it pinned back out of my face in time for the bike? And that blasted confusing running trail that got us all confused on Sunday... How bad would it be to get lost DURING a race?? Or find out that your time doesn't count because you cut off part of a trail??

OK, that is why I'm nauseous. But I thought maybe writing it down would help.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

White River Trippin'

My thoughts when I took this picture? "I can't believe I'm getting paid to do this." On Monday and Tuesday, I helped out at the summer camp where I used to work by supervising six White River canoe trips in two days. It was a lot of work and it was HOT and super sunny and I was pretty much exhausted after the two days were over, but it was also a lot of fun. Any excuse to be out on the water, plus get paid for it, is alright with me! I did four of the six trips in a canoe and two of the six trips in a kayak, which I definitely prefer. The picture about is from one of the day two trips in the kayak.