Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ice in HI & Mountains in the Desert!

(Julie, Aaron, & Shannon ready to hit the ice in HI!!!!)

Sorry for the delayed post, but life here has been quite busy.  I didn't get this post out last night because we hosted another party at our place.  Time at work has been extremely boring, as not many people are buying luxury SUVs with the current economic situation.  Julie has been busy teaching windsurfing and taking out kayak tours lately.  She also designed some new paint schemes and a new logo for the outrigger canoe company she paints for.  Julie and I have both been working hard to get back in shape and shed a few pounds.  Julie has been doing better at it than I:)  I've gotten out kiteboarding a few days, but the winds haven't been very good lately.

Julie, Aaron, Shannon, Umut, my manager Dave, and I did all get out ice skating in HI!!!  Yes they have A ice skating rink here in HI.  I do have to say that the ice is absolutely horrible, but still tons of fun:)  Dave and Shannon showed us all up as they both play or have played ice hockey before.  I made the mistake of working hard all night to learn to hockey stop.  On my first full speed attempt I crashed hard onto the outside of my knee.  Needless to say that was swollen and painful for a few days.

(Bryon & Julie atop Red Rocks.)
(Bryon working on a 5.10c.)

(Julie flashing the final climb of the day, 5.10b.)
(Julie climbing out of the Dark Corridor at Red Rocks.)

The big news from that past few weeks was our vacation to Las Vegas!  My parent had invited Julie and I back in September to join them for a week in Vegas for their 37th wedding anniversary.  It is funny that our only vacation out of HI has been to what the locals call the 9th island.  The trip was tons of fun with great food, great shows, lots of gambling (for me), and great company.  We saw a standup comedy show, Blue Man, and "O".  "O" was absolutely amazing and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone.  We also ate dinner one night at Smith and Wolinsky's steakhouse.  It was by far the best meal that I've ever eaten.  I lost a few dollars gambling, but had tons of fun and did quite well at the poker tables.  Those blackjack tables are what took my money:(  Mom and Dad did quite a bit of geocaching, which turns out to be quite interesting.  We all had a good day out in the desert near Mt. Charleston looking for cashes.

The adventure part of the trip was a day out at Red Rocks rock climbing for Julie and I.  I arranged for a guided trip based out of the local climbing gym.  Our guide was Bob Cons and I highly recommend this guy for any rock climbing trip.  He turned out to be a local legend and a true professional out on the rocks.  We managed to get in 5 climbs.  The first was my first multi-pitch.  The climb was called the Great Red Book, had a hanging belay, and was rated at 5.8.  It was an easy climb, but was a great warm up and provided amazing views of the entire area from the top.  For the rest of the day we stayed in the "Dark Corridor" climbing: 5.9, 5.10b, 5.10c, and 5.10b.  Julie and I both did quite well for not rock climbing since October.  Julie even managed to flash the last climb of the day, a 5.10b.  We both hope to get back to this spectacular area climbing and hiking again soon.

(Julie, the cowgirl, in front of Paris, Las Vegas.)
(Bob & Paulette Dorr celebrating their 37th wedding anniversary at Smith and Wolinsky's.)
(Julie, Bryon, Paulette, and Bob at the Bellagio before "O".)
(I played a lot of poker, but none at Binion's on this trip.)

Vegas was tons of fun and a place I could see spending some time.  Granted I can see getting in trouble there as I like to play a lot of poker.  Julie was not a fan of Vegas in general, but enjoyed the shows and Red Rocks.  Maybe someday we can organize a big group to party and explore all the possibilities that Vegas has to offer.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Slack Line & Time

(Bryon having some fun on the new slack line in the front yard, and no I'm not falling.)

It has been a relatively uneventful week.
Julie hasn't had to paint any canoes, as the company was loading a shipping container for the mainland all week. She has been thourghly enjoying her outrigger canoe team practices and has been pretty good about exercising on a regular basis.

(Julie giving the slack line a try, with a little "support".)

I've been plugging along at work, as things have slowed to a crawl in the car industry. I've also been okay about getting back in shape, as I've run a few times this week. Luckily the wind has picked up and I've been out kiteboarding a bunch. On Sunday I spent the entire day at the beach riding when the winds were good, as it was all over the place all day. I did get a horrible sunburn on my face, eyes, and lips, even though I used sunscreen. When I did get out and rode I had a blast and worked hard on controlled jumps. I managed a few really nice 15 ft airs with controled landings. I also did have a few wipe outs and managed to land on a blue bottle jelly fish on one crash landing. My hand burned for about 24 hrs. I also got a chance to ride a strapped surfboard while kiting on Sunday and I think one of those is going to be my next purchase. The best was this morning when I woke up hearing the wind hitting the house. I got up at 5:30 and went out riding. I was the only one out on the water and enjoyed a beatiful sunrise as I surfed the big surf. It was a great way to start another slow day at work.

Julie and I fly to Las Vegas late Friday night to meet up with my parents on Saturday. A week away from work, some quality time with the family and the poker tables should be fun:)

(Aaron set up the slack line and is seen here jumping onto the slack line.  He is pretty good.)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Puppets, Haircuts, Canoes, & Kiting

(Lauren with the Julie & Bryon puppets that made their way back to B-more)

I apologize for missing yet another Tuesday post.  I think I'll make this a biweekly thing unless I get really motivated or something really exciting happens:)  Life has been keeping Julie and I busy out here in the middle of the Pacific.  I'm also happy to report that the Julie and Bryon puppets had a great time at Justin and Sara's party over the weekend.  Thanks Lauren for giving us a lift to this great event.  We really miss all our B-more friends:(

I'm still trying to get rid of this cold thing, but it keeps sticking around in a really mild form.  My foot is also still healing, but is now much better than it has been.  I started running again yesterday and already feel a bit better, although I am really sore!  Work has been REALLY slow lately, but I'm still selling enough cars to make a good living.  Hopefully the economy will pick up and things will get better soon, but I'm not to hopeful on that front:(  The big news for me is that I've been kiteboarding a ton!  I can now ride toe side, make controlled jumps, ride/surf waves, and kite in onshore winds.  I'm not good yet by any means, but I'm picking up the sport really quickly and enjoying every minute of it.

Julie is really the one doing all the crazy and exciting things lately.  Her jobs at KSK and canoe paint have been keeping her quite busy.  Besides all that she has also decided to join the Kailua Outrigger Canoe Club.  She practices three times a week and is really enjoying the exercise and social atmosphere of this traditional Hawaiian team sport.  Julie also got a chance to get out on a boat in Kaneohe bay with some friends from KSK and enjoy the "sunken island," the sandbar in the middle of the bay.  She did have fun playing with a trainer kite while at the sandbar.  She also got a haircut that shocked me a bit when she walked in the door.  I've never seen her with straight hair!  She thinks I'm over hyping it, but it was an all new look for her.  Check out the pics below.

(Julie pre-haircut)
(Julie just after her haircut)
(Julie today)

Julie did talk me into going out on the town for the First Friday celebration in Chinatown last week.  Everyone got all dressed up for the nice nightclub we went to, but I was in my Land Rover work clothes:(  The crew got there early, but I wasn't able to get there until later when I got off work.  It took me over a 1/2 hr to get parking, and ended up Valeting my P.O.S. car, and then another 1/2 hr waiting in line by myself to get into the busy nightclub.  It was tons of fun once I got in though and the Martinis flowed like water as they were only $3.50 until 8 pm!  Our friend Catherine and our roommate Adam joined the party.

Adam arrived about a week ago, moved his stuff out yesterday, and will be gone for good on Friday!  Our roommates are all over the place: Aaron got back from 10 days in Japan today and Derek gets back on Thursday from a trip to DC, Oregon, and Vegas over the past 10 days.  We are also now searching for a roommate to take over Adam's room.

(Bryon, Julie, Catherine, & Adam at Indigo nightclub)

Hopefully life is treating everyone well.  I wish cousin Laura the best with here PHD dissertation this week.  I also hope that all the traveling family members have fun and travel safe.  My warmest thoughts go out to Laura in this exciting time of accomplishment.