Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Poor me. I just returned from a trip to Hawaii (Maui and Oahu). It was 90+ degrees warmer there. Em, Brandon, Krista, and Duncan: THANK YOU for showing me your homes!! I'll be back next winter...what are you doing in January? :) Here are my top ten must-do's in Hawaii:

10. Swim in waterfalls. Jump into their pools even when you're afraid of heights. And then get yourself stuck on the other side of a rising river that you must cross to catch your plane. (Just wait a while and it'll return to a flow that you can safely cross.)

9. Visit the lavender garden on Maui - try the scones and tea while overlooking the sweeping views of the West Maui mountains and ocean.

8. Go on a whale watching boat and get soaked by a huge rogue wave (this would be no. 1 if the wave had been from a whale breach).

7. Go for a run along the beach, get lost, and then stumble across a mansion being renovated by Tiger Woods.

6. Try the "Black Hole Lager" at Brew Moon in Honolulu. (Note: Do NOT try the Kona Porter, unless you like porter in your coffee.)

5. See tons of fish, sea turtles, and almost get your finger bitten off by a moray eel.

4. Call your buddy in Juneau from the beach in Honolulu and let him know it's 85, sunny, and the palm trees are swaying in the light ocean breeze.

3. Visit Maui's tallest peak. Though it looks like it's a measly 4,000 feet, the volcano is 10,023 feet! The cool air up there feels good on sunburns.

2. Watch humpbacks launch themselves clear out of the water...from your kayak.

1. Dive down about 10 feet while snorkeling during winter months and listen to male humpbacks sing.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Symphony Lake Slide

A group of us went for a ski yesterday, and with all that blue sky, who could blame us? It's been warm up here lately (in the 40s last week), and then it chilled a bit to just under freezing. This means that the snowpack is essentially icy white asphalt. Not exactly prime conditions for skiing. You can see in the pic to the right how tough that snow was - you can't even see any marks from our skis!

See the steep sloped mountain way up on the left of this photo? If you're me, you'll let your friends talk you into switchbacking up that sucker despite the pesky voice of reason screaming "DON'T DO IT! ARE YOU NUTS?" into your head. And even when you express your concerns to your friends, you still manage to be talked into risking life and limb just to experience a few extra minutes of sunshine up high as the shadows descend on the safety of the valley below. And then you'll lose your footing...once, twice, and then a third time, and that third time will be a doozy. You'll rocket feet first towards a clump of trees while thinking, "This is going to suck." But then you'll hit those trees, somehow manage to be shot out of them, only this time you're plummeting down the ice head first into another clump of trees, and your thoughts are much more serious. You'll miraculously manage to stop the fall and only end up with some jammed fingers (which hurt when you type). You'll have a friend also loose her footing, and end up dislocating her elbow during her plummet to the bottom. Moral of the story: NEVER let your friends talk you into skiing on ice on such a steep slope. Tell them they're nuts if they insist on it. Don't give in. Your fingers and your friend's elbow will thank you.