Thursday, March 15, 2007

New Swingarm

Well James is at it again. He has been really busy lately trying to keep up with orders. He probably won't be getting much sleep until after Memorial Day but sleep is over rated. Here are a few pics of his newest "Arch" swingarm style. This is on his Honda 3-wheeler that he's been putting together. He also made the sub frame to match the new swingarm.

Friday, March 9, 2007


Since this is a new blog I decided to add some pictures from a few of our previous vacations since many of you have new seen them. I'm sorry that everything seems to be out of order. Our latest vacation is last on the page. In the future the blogs will be all current adventures in our day to day lives. I hope you all enjoy.

New Years 2006

This year for New Years eve we decided to try something new. We ended up renting a house over in Sunriver for the weekend. The weather turned out awesome and it was so much fun getting to play in the snow.

The first day we were there we rented a couple of snowmobiles to go
with the few that John brought with us and set out. It was James and my first time snowmobiling and it turned out to be alot of fun. Although it's alot colder to be the passenger than the rider. We rode to the top of both Tumalo Mtn. and Kwall Mtn.

The rest of the weekend we spent outlet shopping, watching movies, playing games, and stuffing our faces with food.
(Don't worry Torries we won't mention that little bathroom story!!)

Cruise 2005

This was probably the most memorable vacation that we've ever been on. We traveled with several friends (Jeremy, Kristy, Rory and Kyle aka: Boner) We started out the vacation by spending 3 days in New Orleans. Which at the time that we booked it sounded like a good idea. This was the year that Mardi Gras was a full month early. We actually booked the trip planning to avoid Mardi Gras but ended up spending three days smack dab in the middle of it. In the end Mardi Gras was fine it was the rest of the city that scared the hell out of us. I felt safer on Bourbon street than walking to and from my hotel. At one point there were 8 murders/shootings in 24 hours. One guy was shot then lit on fire on a street corner that we had been on only a few hours prior to that. This was about 6 months before Katrina so you can imagine when I saw on the news that they were shooting each other up while being trapped in the dome that I wasn't surprised at all. It was a pretty nerve racking 3 days but in the end we got alot of cool experiences out of it. In the picture above we were on a jet boat tour of the swamp. Just FYI February is not the time to go on a jet boat ride because its so freaking cold even the gators are hiding. We also rented a car a car and took a tour of the Oak Alley Plantation.

Just in case you're wondering how much you'd be worth as a slave see the pic below:

We did have fun checking out Bourbon street at night. I even managed to weasel my way onto a balcony to get a few pictures. We had so many beads thrown at us that we would have to go back to our hotel to unload beads because they got to heavy before heading back out. We also had fun checking out all of the parades everyday.

We made it back to our hotel every night for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich bar. (Who would have thought)

After 3 days fearing for your life it was very refreshing to finally board the boat and feel safe again. Even the governor of Louisiana was escaping the mayhem. We met her on board the ship and even danced with her on stage one night.

Our first stop on the boat was Jamaica, and our first order of business was marrying Kyle and Rory. We started out by catching a cab to a private beach where James (having previously gotten ordained via internet for only $50) performed the ceremony in surf. We took hundreds of pictures then went swimming in the ocean.

After leaving the private beach we went back to the ship to change out of our wet dresses. We then headed out on a snorkeling cruise that also dropped us off at Margaritaville. It's the best one we've been to yet because it had a two story water slide that dumped you into the ocean.

Our second stop was Grand Cayman. This is one of our favorite and probably safest places we've been to. We spent the day hiking around the city and laying in the sun on a local beach. We swam, played in the ocean and enjoyed so very expensive daiquiris.

The last stop was to Cozumel, Mexico. Early that morning we set out on a ferry to Playa Del Carmen where we would load up on a bus and head down to Tulum to see the Mayan ruins. This is another one of those adventures that sounded like a good idea while booking it. As it turned out the seas were so rough that morning that all of the water excursions were canceled. Lucky for us the ferry was still running. Now this might have not been such an isssue except for the fact that half of the ferry was hung over from the fat tuesday party on the ship the night before and the other half had just stuffed themselves at the all you can eat breakfest buffet. As it turned out we were just about the only people who didn't throw up their breakfest on the ferry. Fortunatley the ride back was calmer.

These are also the only ruins that the mayans actually built on the shoreline. Gotta love that blue water.

Cruise 2006

Since this is a new blog site I'm going to also include some pictures from past vacations since most of you have never seen any of them. In the future it will all be new adventures. In February of 2006 we went on a "exotic caribbean" cruise with James's brother and sister-in-law, Ryan & Katheen and friends Torrie & Jack. This trip was a little different since it wasn't your typical sun, sand and beaches vacation it was very educational though. For instance we now know more about bananas than anyone person should ever know. We did have a great time though and I wouldn't have wanted to give up any of our experiences but a little snorkle/margaritaville fun would have been nice too. Our first night on board was super bowl sunday thus the beer t-shirts from the super bowl party on board.

Our first stop was in Panama. This is the only stop we've ever been to where they warned us not to set out on our own and guess what it was one of the few places we've been where we have actually set out on our own. If you want to see how much your friends trust you this is a great way to do it. James and I arranged for a cab to take us to the visitors center for the Gutan locks in the pananma canal. The really nerve racking part is leaving the safe tourist area. You have to walk past all of the guards with automatic weapons who are looking at you like your crazy then search for your prearranged cab driver "Alajandro in the white t-shirt" in a crowd of a hundred yelling men in white t-shirts. When we found our cab driver he rushed us through the crowd to a beat up van before another cab driver snatched us. In the end it turned out great. Our cab driver was a super cool guy that was our age and actually educated in the U.S. His aunt lives in D.C. and he still visits her every summer. He also actually got us to the gutan locks before all of the tour groups arrived so we got front row seats and everyone else who paid alot more money for the actual "tour" had to sit behind us. He also hooked us up with all of the brochures and then gave us a tour of the city on our way back to port. The best part is we only paid $15 per person as opposed to $100+ with the tour group. One last note about Panama--I have to tell you that this was also the only time in my life that I can say that I have ever had a monkey thrown at me. (sort of weird)

Our next stop was Limon, Costa Rica. This time we did join a tour group and we took a boat tour down some canals where we saw sloths, monkeys, birds, lizzards, and crocodiles. On the way back to port we toured a banana plantation. Thus all of the banana trivia.

We also bought some of the worst Cuban cigars ever made while in Costa Rica but all of the funs in the smuggling them in anyway and they did make for a fun photo.

Our third and final stop was in Belize where we went on a tour of some of the local Mayan ruins. These were fun because in Belize your allowed to climb all over the ruins though since we've already seen some of them in Mexico we found that once you've seen some ruins you've pretty much seen them all. Torrie and I did take pictures of us laying on a sacraficing table on top of the largest temple.

They also told us that they don't have mesquitos this time of year but amazingly we all came back with bites. Let me tell you those jungle bugs are huge.

Overall it was another great vacation and alot of wonderful memories that we get to share with our friends.


Last July some friends and I surprised James with a trip to Vegas for his 30th birthday. We left the day after his birthday and he had no idea where we were going until he read the tags on our bags that I checked at the airport. He woke up that morning thinking he was going to work and instead I drove him to Doug and Jen's house. He didn't even know that we had luggage packed because dropped it off with Jen the day before. We flew to Vegas with Jen and Doug and James thought the surprises were over until that night when his cell phone rang with a call from Jeremy and Kristy who flew into Vegas several hours behind us. It was about 110 degrees the entire time but we managed to hike around and see just about all of the sites anyway. We toured all of the big hotels, rode the new york-new york roller coaster, went to the top of the Eiffel tower, made it down to Freemont street twice and celebrated James's birthday with dinner at Roy's.

In case you were wondering who the next american idol judges were going to be this photo should clarify that. We had so much fun that we are planning on going back to Vegas in September for Jeremy's 30th b-day. At least the weather will be cooler then.
By the way does this tigar look white to you??? All of the signs said it was a "white tigar" exhibit but that thing looks pretty darn orange to me.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Cruise 2007

Well we just got home a few weeks ago from our latest adventure. In February we went on an eastern caribbean cruise. We sort of booked the vacation at the last minute so none of our friends were able to get the time off from work that quickly. It's been a long time since we've traveled solo. We had a great time but missed having our friends with us. The cruise itself was great however the getting there was another story. Most of you know that I have terrrible luck with travel dates, times, flights, etc. and should never be allowed to book an adventure on my own. I guess that I 'll just never learn. (You might remember that accidental trip to Mardi Gras a few years ago. Who knew that fat tuesday was a month early that year??) Well this trip was no different. I booked the trip last minute but I actually took the time off from work back in July. Apparently I didn't check with the NFL to find out when/where the super bowl was going to be so guess who was trying to fight their way into Miami the morning of super bowl sunday? That's right it was us. At first there were no hotels available in the entire Fort Lauderdale/Miami area and we were resigned to the fact that we were going to have to sleep in the airport. You can all imagine how excited James was about this prospect. The night before we left I was able to find a hotel 5 minutes from the airport that was opening up all of the rooms that were originally reserved for super bowl and at the time this seemed like a miracle. Little did we know that this would be one of the worst hotel rooms we've ever stayed in. The hotel looked like it had just weathered some sort of devastating tropical storm. If only this excuse rang true. To top off the evening the airlines lost one of our largest pieces of luggage somewhere in the dallas/fort worth airport. Luckily it caught up to us at 1:30 Am and three flights later. We just happened to still be awake when they called since the entire hotel was partying like rocks stars the night before super bowl. We finally made it on board however we had a great time.

Our first stop was San Juan, Puerto Rico. We spent most of the night hiking around exploring the city including a fort that was built back in the 1500's. Even made friends with the local police. Its sort of tradition for us to get pictures with the police after all we did also take them in New Orleans, Mexico, and Jamaica.

Our next stop was St. Maarten where we did a ship wreck snorkling tour. The life Jackets were particularly nice how they had strap that ran between your legs giving you a perma-wedgie.
James is showing off his wedgie in this pic.

St. Thomas
The last stop on this cruise was St. Thomas. We set out early that morning and headed downtown to go shopping. Not finding any amazing bargins we went back to the ship to work on our tans taking advantage of that caribbean sunshine. Later in the afternoon we took the sky ride up to Paradise Point. (a sort of tourist lookout area.)

We were lucky and had wonderful weather the entire trip. It was just what we needed to help get rid of the winter blues.

I also thought I'd include a couple of pictures of the formal nights though there are only a few where James doesn't have his eyes closed.