Back for 2013, Just a Little Late

So I think the last place we left you was with Matt in Thailand and Asa and I in some kind of crazy limbo living situation.

Well, I am happy to report that we moved into a nice two bedroom apartment near the beach in Jacksonville. We are planning on being here until August when I will surely have a job. Regardless of the job situation, we will find ourselves seeking a new abode somewhere.

Being near the beach is great and we are within biking distance of the grocery store, the gym, the bank, restaurants, the beach, and a dog park. Riding our bikes has been great and we hope to keep up the habit regardless of where we end up.

In other news, Asa will be trying out for Team USA (Ultimate Frisbee) in a couple weeks. This year’s competition is called the World Games and it will be held in August in Cali, Colombia. The USA is taking a 13 person mixed gender squad to compete. We’ll keep you posted on any news we hear.

With that, I think I’ve caught you up on the major events of the past couple months (yeah, not a lot going on). I will try to be better with posting fun stuff we do around Jacksonville. I even pulled out and charged my camera in anticipation!

I’ll just leave you with some nice pics of the St. Augustine Turtle Trot (5K) that Asa’s mom and I ran together a couple weeks ago. I won third place in my age group and got an awesome hand-carved wooden turtle medal (that the cat promptly knocked of our table and the dog promptly ate!).

Us after the race!

Us after the race!

CIMG6486

The beach at St. Augustine. Flat, warm, and sandy!

CIMG6487

Cars are allowed to drive/park on the beach as long as they have 4-wheel drive and pay the parking fee. I had to laugh at the little sedan that we saw driving down there. Hope they didn’t get stuck!

Advertisements

Jacksonville Light Parade

This year Asa and I were privileged to be a part of the Light Parade here in Jacksonville. It is a festival of sorts where local boat owners decorate their boats with lights and parade them around the St. Johns River in downtown JAX. The parade of boats is then followed by one of the best fireworks shows of the year. There are competitions for a variety of boat classes to see who will take home the prize. Rumor has it that in past years the prizes consisted of boat motor oil. While not a very glamorous prize, it certainly is practical!

Anyway, Asa and I were commandeered to help out in the boat of a family friend. She ingeniously decorated her boat in lights shaped like an octopus and needed help moving legs (yes a lot of legs!) and changing colors of the remarkably large octopus body.

P1010275

It was certainly a site to behold from the dock and close up on the boat, but was even more astounding in videos taken from the shore.

P1010329P1010312

“Octopus’s Garden” by the Beatles was also on repeat and blaring from speakers on the deck of the boat, hopefully loud enough for those on the shore to enjoy.

Check out this awesome video of the light parade on youtube!

After we made our two mandatory loops around the downtown area, we settled in at a local dock nestled between two of the downtown bridges to enjoy the fireworks. We had the perfect spot to enjoy the “waterfalls” of fireworks set off from both bridges during the firework finale.

P1010317

P1010324

It was a fantastic night out on the water! Oh yeah, the octopus won first place in the sailboat category!

Monterey Bay Aquarium

I had the opportunity to go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium a couple weeks ago while I was in the area for a wedding. I stayed at a local motel and spent a nice Sunday exploring the animals and new exhibits at the Aquarium. I would definitely recommend a trip to the Aquarium. In my opinion it is the best aquarium in the U.S., with a great mix of animals, good signage, plenty of activities for the kids, interactive displays and touch tanks, and some nice art exhibits. Here are a couple memories from my visit.

 

 

 

 

These are called Lion’s Head Nudibranchs. I was excited to see a tank full of them at the Aquarium because my family and I saw these in the wild for the first time while kayaking in San Simeon last month.

Wedding Weekend

I went up to the Santa Cruz area this weekend for the wedding of a good friend! Despite the awkwardness of showing up to a wedding alone, and not knowing any of the other guests, I had a wonderful time.

The wedding was set up in the backyard of a close family friend. There was a grassy area for the ceremony, a nice patio with adjacent fish pond, a vegetable garden and storage shed, and terraced walking paths and sitting areas. The day was fabulous, without a cloud in the sky and a perfect 70 degrees F.

There were drinks and snacks before the ceremony. The bride and groom brewed the beer themselves, all six choices! There was a very pleasant blue grass band playing before and after the ceremony and lucky for the guests, the bride and groom’s other friends are fairly musical (i.e. can sing fantastically).

The taco truck was a great addition to the after-ceremony festivities, and the pie was a nice alternative to a traditional wedding cake. All in all, I had a great time and am super excited for my friends and their journey through life together. I can’t wait to see the creativeness coming out of that marriage!

Another Triathlon

Alright, so this one I didn’t do. I was planning on it, but a good friend convinced me to come to her wedding instead. It really didn’t take much convincing, just a one sentence email! But more on that later.

I didn’t do this triathlon, but my dad did. So I went to see him off on the swim before heading to my friend’s wedding. This was the Morro Bay Triathlon, right in our own backyard. In fact, the bike course goes near our house. The swim is a nice out and back course in the bay, the bike heads up Highway 1 towards Cambria, and the run is on the beach near Morro Rock.

Anyway, here are a couple pictures from the morning. And in case you were wondering, my dad got first place in his age group and beat his time from last year!!

Dad on his way to the swim.

Yep, the buoys for the swim were big happy faces!

Here is Dad’s wave in the water, headed out the channel towards Morro Rock.

It was early. Even the seal lions were tired!

 

 

 

A Trip to Schererville

Earlier in September my mom and I took a trip to Bakersfield to visit my grandmother. While we were there we were coerced to visit “the farm” or “the ranch” as some people call it. No it isn’t actually a farm or a ranch… It is my Uncle and Aunt’s house in East Bakersfield.

I refer to it as a farm or a ranch because they have amassed a great collection of animals and plants which include:

4 horses

1 cow (named “moomers”)

1 goat

10 chickens (3 of which are named Huey, Dewey, and Louey)

Assorted dogs and cats

Various fruit trees (grapefruit, apple, pear, orange)

So my mom and I visited on the condition that she could ride the horses with my uncle. It was a great visit and always nice to see all the animals! Here are a couple pics from our visit!