Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Merry Christmas! The past couple days in Salmon Arm have been a nice change of pace. We've been going on some nice hikes, eating some delicious food, and chillin to the max. I would have taken some pictures, but Tom soaked it when he was raped by ocean waves during his Juan de Fuca hike. Instead, I made my own picture to illustrate the awesome-ness. Enjoy!

Stay fit and have fun!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Love Your Mother

The only good thing that came out of the bio class I took this semester:

Yes, Reading articles, listening to lectures, and getting engaged in debates/discussions might be a little overwhelming at first, but here are a couple suggestions to get the ball rolling:

Political action: participate in rallies/protests - uvic is really good for supporting all sorts of crazy things. Keep an eye out around campus and read the signs they have posted up. Sign petitions and join activist groups. Ask questions. Most importantly - contact elected officials! Gary Lunn of the Conservatives is the MP for the Saanich area. Not living in Saanich? You can find your MP here. Write them letters, give them a call, or drop by there office on the way to the ferries.

Consumer Action: Buy organic and locally produced products. Support your local farmers and tradesworkers. Check the labels to see where something was made. China? Indonesia? Thailand? Put it back.

Personal Action: Get informed about our world and its production. Let friends and families know about this, too. Spread the word. Shun them when they want to go to WalMart to buy knock-off items that 9 year old girl just got paid 2 cents a day for making in mass amounts. Also, walk, bike, or take the bus to work/school as much as possible.

Don't forget to smile,


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Light at the end of the tunnel...

I am feeling pretty damn good! I just finished all my term papers for the semester. It's been a grueling week; having one paper due every day, Monday through Friday. I can't articulate any intelligent thoughts, or any thoughts for that matter, but at least it's done (and I can recover)! I just have to hand in my last assignment tomorrow afternoon and then I'll be on cloud nine. Now have close to two weeks before finals start and I feel like I am needing to do something fun; maybe a camping trip or something of the sort. I can't shake the desire to skip some classes. I haven't missed a single one this year and I feel like I am deserving of it. Realistically, though... I know I wont miss any.

I have a few goals for my week and a half of freedom. They include:

*Swimming, cycling or running at least once a day
*start reading "Life of Pi"
*Bake copious amounts of treats
*Perfecting the waltz
*Running Gunner Shaw
*Dance at swing city
*Start my Christmas shopping (Can you believe that we're only 35 days away!?)
*Get my FULL motorcycles license!
*Start to take more pictures for my blog

I made some pretty delish peanut butter cookies yesterday. I've got some other good ideas of things to make that I'm pretty excited about. I'm hoping I don't get fat this Christmas.

To balance out the cookies I just ate, I'm going for a swim.. the 10m board is open tonight - we'll see how gutsy I am, a little later tonight.

Keep your chin up,


Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Yesterday I did the Thetis 20K relay. As per usual, I got on a team last minute - approximately an hour before the race start. I don't know how, but I always seem to get on relay teams with such fasties! Matt Sharpe led us out, then Aaron Thomas, I did the third-leg, and Nicolas Bocherens was our anchor (I told you I was with fasties!) I ended up running a 23-something minute 5K, which is pretty good for me!

I've been thinking lately, I think I need to hang out with elite athletes less and make friends with some fatties to boost my self-confidence a bit.

Tom, Danny, MJ and Nathan put together a pretty rad team, too. After getting on the Running Room/NTC All-Star team, I had to lay out some serious trash talk - but they crushed us! All of them ran a solid 18-something minute 5K, bringing them to 4th place overall. Not bad at all for cyclists!

I'm off for some more paper writing....
Keep your chin up!


Friday, November 7, 2008

Getting up to date...

It's been a while since my last blog. If you read my last one, entitled, "back to school..." you would understand why. Well, I suppose now is a better time than any, so lets play catch up. I'm still trying to decide if this is worthwhile or not, considering the only people who read my blog are Paulie, Tom, and occassionally Jess (maybe?).

On September 14th, I did the Sooke half iron relay with Linday's Mom, and Barb Bialokoz. I don't know how I pulled that one off, but I managed to get an amazing team with 2 fabuolous athletes to race with. It was a blast! Not only did I have one of my best swim times of 31:50 for a 2K, but Barb dominated on the bike and Mel FLEW on the run. We managed to pull off a first place overall finish for the relays. I also did the individual sprint race for fun. I didn't know how well my knee would like the 5K run, but I decided I needed to man up. That is the last triathlon race of the season.

Mid September was my birthday. I think with hearing me stress out for the past 2 weeks, Paulie decided he would come to Victoria and celebrate with me. It was pretty rad that Nic, Ferg, and Brendan hosted a great shin-dig at the Sandell Manor. With a 'Cowboys and Indians' theme to the get together, I was fairly impressed with some of the costumes. Paulie even made an appearance with a Cowboys football t-shirt. Pound it, Paulie! Also, during the summer, my Mom bought me a motorbike for my "early birthday present". It's proven to be quite the challenge, as I'm sure Kent can attest to, but I've been getting better and better. I rip around the waterfront loop, and through downtown and I get so many funny looks, and people doing double takes. I often get a lot of thumbs-ups, all of which I chuckle to myself about.

Thanksgiving weekend - my favourite holiday of the year - Paulie came into town, like normal. It was so rad spending time with him and going for some wicked hikes. I'm pretty lucky that I get to talk about anything and everything with him... all the while hiking around local trails. When I was in Hawaii, I decided to sign up for the RVM half. Due to a persistent knee 'injury', for lack of a better word, I decided to demote myself to the 8K. I was ecstatic with my run time! Considering a lot of other factors, I was extremely happy to finish with a 39:20 - far better than I ever thought I could do in that state.

Lately I've been motorpacing Danny Sessford up climbs. The first time we went out, we were at the observatory. Half-way up the third climb, I ran out of gas! I coasted down in neutral, and rode back at a slow pace, and turning my bike off at every red light. It finally caught up with me going up the hill at Broadmead Village. Danny then started to push me, while he was on his bike! We decided to pull off to the side of the road because it was probably not the best idea to push a motorbike in the bike lane. My ginger friend, Katie, came to our rescue and brought a gerry can with a full tank of gas. Later that night, we realized that I had a reserve tank! Good to know for next time, I guesss!

Yesterday, I got hammered on the OBB ride. I was trying to tap out of the pain box, but it just wasn't working for me. I was feeling pretty good, and pretty strong for the first half of the ride. Then, coming around the corner by the airport, I knew I was fading fast. I was at the back of the lead group and they were slowly pulling away from me. I got hit hard by a very strong head wind.... the strongest I've ever riden in, which made it impossible for me to bridge back up. I looked behind me, to see the second group, and I tried really hard to catch a wheel, but I was spent. Long story short, Tom and Danny ended up pushing me the rest of the way home. Needless to say, I had a great nap when I got home.

School has been going really well. I did a lot of switching around with classes during the first two weeks of classes, and I'm happy with the ones I am taking. Because I'm super busy with all my school work, my training is definitely on the back burner, which I'm a little bummed about... but c'est la vie. I'm pumped about the classes that I have lined up for next semester. I've 4 set out for now, so I'm just trying to decide how much training I want to be doing in the spring and how much time I will need. I might drop a class once second semester comes around.

Now, I am going for a nice easy spin around the waterfront. It looks like a good day for riding, so this will be my abrupt ending.

Keep your chin up,


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Back to school to prove to Dad that I'm not a fool

Ater some laughs, some screams, a couple tears, and a hissy fit or two, I've successfully made it through my first week of classes. It's been hellish to say the least to organize my classes and transfer credits, but I'm the only one to blame for putting it off this long. I'm currently taking 6 courses, with a tutorial. One of my classes is a full year long. I'm waiting it out until the end of this week to decide if I'm going to drop a class or not. My schedule isn't TOO bad, considering, so no complaints here.

I'm still trying to fit in as many swims, bike rides and runs as I possibly can, but it's inevitable that my training is going to be on the back burner this fall and winter. Ultimately, it's a good thing. I feel a little burnt out from the summer. I'm tying to keep my diet on track so I wont turn into much of a heffer.

I'm also working very part time, looking after a 12 year old girl with autism, OCD, ADHD, and tourettes. It's very challenging at times, but it's a fun job and time flies by pretty quick. Not to mention it's going to be a good addition to my resume.

I went over to Tom's this evening, and overheard a conversation between him and his roommate, Craig. The conversation is as follows:

(Tom's standing and eating a bowl of cereal, Craigs sitting on the couch)

Craig: "What you got there, buddy?"

Tom: "Raisin Bran"

Craig: "Didn't you tell me a while ago that you were shitting a lot, lately? Why the hell are you eating BRAN?"

Tom: "I like Bran"

Craig: "Bran will only make you shit more"

Tom: "I just really like all the foods that make me shit. It's not my fault"

Craig: "Do you like Mc Donalds?"

Tom: "No"

Craig: "Well that shit will really make you shit"

I hope you found that as funny as I did.

Keep on rockin in the free world,


Monday, August 25, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tribute to Paulie

I went to Salmon Arm this weekend to visit Paulie and, for lack of a better word, compete in the Apple Triathlon in Kelowna. It was a great weekend.

Not only did Paulie wash my car AND bike, we also had some wicked night hawk walks. Paulie treated me to lots of delicious ice cream, and to some of the best company that I've had in a long, long time.

The night I got there, Paulie and I chilled out and relaxed, watched the Olympics and caught up on things. The following day, we went for a short, but awesome ride in Salmon Arm - my first ride in the Okanagan. You can't go anywhere in Salmon Arm without climbing a bloody hill.. other than that, it was fabulous. Paulie then came down to Kelowna with me for package pick up and came to the race meeting with me - you know, all the fun stuff!

Not only did Paulie wake up super early on race day and drive me to kelowna, but at the race, Paulie was the best support - always had what I needed, whether it be water, cheering, or my time split for the previous lap... you would have thought I was elite or something!
Because we only took one car, Paulie ended up riding back to Salmon Arm, a 130 kilometre ride, which translates into 4.5 hours of riding.... AFTER wandering around the race course, cheering me on in the 38 degree Kelowna heat for 2 hours and 50 minutes. The heat really takes it out of you.

Paulie is one of the most amazing people I've ever met. So devoted to his family, work and training. He is one of the most positive people I know. He always has the best advice and delivers it in the kindest, most respectful way. Somehow he knows exactly what to say at exactly the right time. Sometimes I think he's not human.

Regardless if he's human or not, Paulie is one of the best people I know and I feel so blessed to have him apart of my life.

Thank you, Paulie, for everything you do for me, and for everyone else you meet along your way.

Coincidentally, as I finish this post, I realize that today is the 20th of August, one day shy of Paulie's birthday; A day that I will be thinking of Paulie every minute and asking the heavens above "What good deeds have I done to deserve such a marvelous father?"

Happy Birthday, Dad. I can't imagine where I would be without you.

Pound it!


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pain Train

When it hits you, it really hurts. The past couple weeks, I've been trying to recover from my encounters with the pain train.... it's been a struggle, but I feel like I am getting on the up and up. Two weeks ago, I did the Cowichan Challenge - a triathlon in located in the heart of Duncan. A friend of mine convinced me into doing it, and she didn't register herself! 5am on race day, a time on the clock that's a little too familiar to me, I head up there for the first time. I think if I would have known how hilly the bike and run course was ahead of time, I wouldn't have done it! It's a good thing I didn't have time to pre ride or drive before hand. All in all, I was pretty happy with my times, and I had a great day with some friends I met up there. Since then, I've been working on improving my motivation and diet, and I am looking forward to seeing some improvements soon... (hopefully!) I'm hoping to get in some good swim workouts before my 3K swim for MS on the 27th. Yesterday, Carolyn and I did beach-to-beach at Elk. Swimming from the boat house was fabulous. We had a tail wind - that we were practically riding waves on, but it was easily made up for as we were being thrashed around by the head wind on the way back.

My Mom has been in town for 5 days now, and this week I am planning on taking her sight-seeing spots... hiking up Mt. Doug, going to see the gardens at Royal Roads Uni, etc.. If anyone else has some suggestions, I'd love to hear em!

Until next time,


Monday, June 30, 2008

To race, or not to race?

Ah, Yaletown, the infamous crit that takes place in downtown Vancouver and known for the mass amounts of spectator's all around the course. I am debating whether I should race or not. I find it's extremely hard to pick a first race, because I don't know how fast I go, or how fast the women's cat 4 goes. Tomorrow morning I hit the road for the mainland... the registration deadline is at noon, and the race goes out at 1pm. That's when I am going to decide to race or not.... so wish me luck!!


Friday, June 20, 2008

Strokes for MS

I registered myself for the Thetis Lake 3K open water swim for MS the other day. I'm a little nervous about it, seeing as I've never swam that far in one period of time before, but I thought it would be a great experience, good training and for a great cause.

BUT, this does mean that I'm going to have to do some fundraising for the MS Society of Canada... meaning: asking people to donate money..... not my most favourite thing to do, but I would love if you could help me reach my goal.. Nothing too extravagant, even a couple dollars will do some good!

Check out my Fundraising Webpage for more info.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Family Fun Weekend

This past weekend was the Squamish Test of Metal. With both, Tom and Paulie racing, we also decided to double it up with some family fun! After chilling at the beach for most of Friday afternoon, Tom, Craig and I drove to Squamish in the evening where we met Paulie and Dan at our hotel room. We quickly got settled and pumped for the race Saturday morning.

The race started at 11am, so we had a chance for a sleep in and to leisurely get our acts in gear for the start. Paulie is such a trooper for racing only 8 weeks after his surgery! Not only did he have an amazing finish time, I never saw him without a smile!

Saturday wrapped up nicely with going over to a friends for a bbq potluck.

On Sunday, we decided to hike 'The Chief'. I didn't realize how epic of a hike it is. Tom, Dan, Paulie and I met Marty and Tara at the lower level parking lot in the morning and then made our way to the top in an hour and a half. It was one of the hardest hikes I've ever done.

Tom, Dan and Marty layed down the hammer!

Happy Father's Day, Paulie! (and Happy Birthday, Tom and Dan!)


Monday, May 26, 2008

Shawnigan Lake Triathlon

This past weekend was the 2nd annual Shawnigan Lake Triathlon. It was great seeing so many familiar faces again after being away for so long. It was easy to get wrapped up in the excitement and anticipation of the race during the set up and kids race. As a bonus, it was great catching up with some old friends and training buddies.
Sunday morning, bright and early, Kent and I head up to Shawnigan Lake. I keep forgetting how beautiful it is up island. All it takes is 30 minutes on the highway, and you've made it to paradise. Driving along the Malahat, Kent and I couldn't take our eyes off the most beautiful sunrise I've ever seen; the sun inching it's way higher and higher through the mountains, reflecting off the lake. A done deal - I have to go out there more often this summer.
The race started at 7:40am. Arriving with Kenton at the start area at 6am, I got all my things organized in transition, and got my body marking done.
The water at Shawnigan Lake was freezing!!! I spent a lot of time debating weather or not I should use Lindsay's neo-prem cap with a chin strap; I chose nay figuring it was only 500m. About 50m out, I was kicking myself for my decision.
This was my first swim with a wetsuit in 8 months. Coming out of the water I felt pretty good; my removal of my wetsuit went a lot better than expected.
The bike course was absolutely beautiful - circling around Shawnigan Lake for the first time, I was amazed. It was a steady push, and a couple decent upills, at the end of the loop, I definitely wasn't jealous of Lindsay doing 4 of them.
Going back into transition, I felt strong. My legs weren't cramping, and I was keeping a decent pace and directing my bike farely well. Then I get to my spot on the bike rack. I get flustered, I have a hard time undo-ing my cycling shoes, and transferring my orthotics. I got majorly discouraged. Heading out for the run, I hear Kenton cheering me on, which gives me back some motivation. The run course is unbelievable. The whole way to the turn around, I am scoping everyone out, making sure they're not Melinda, Lindsay's Mom, who's racing with me. As I see the turn around marker, I breathe a sigh of relief..... until I turn around and she is 10m behind me! Running scared for the next kilometre, I can hear her footsteps getting closer and quicker to me, until she's running beside me. She tells me to stay with her, and we ran together for 1.5 kilmeters, until we both explode at the 1km remaining marker - her going faster, me going slower. I cross the finish line 2 minutes after her.
Feeling really lethargic and heavy, I was a little bummed out about how I felt during the race. It was easily forgotten once you make your way around the race site and start chatting with friends. I was reveling in the positive energy that everyone was emitting. It was wonderful. All in all, it was a great race experience, great venue, great weather, great coordinators... I couldn't ask for anything more.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Juan de Fuca trail

I'm finally back in Victoria! It's never felt better to be back home, back in my own place, sleeping in my own bed. It was relieving to unpack my suitcase and put everything back into my closet. After living out of my suitcase for 7 long weeks, it's nice not having it in sight. After flying back from Hawai'i, I went to see Paulie in Salmon Arm. It was a long couple days of traveling! Needless to say it was very much needed, and I had a great visit. Paulie's recovering quicker than anyone imagined he would; hiking and walking lots, and even went out on a mountain bike ride last week! Paulie is an inspiration in every sense of the word. On Sunday, we went to the Salty Dog mountain bike race, where Paulie and I stayed in the feed zone, calculating the time Tom and Kevy would be coming through, and chatting away about life and summer plans. It was great!

This weekend, I went hiking with Kenton along the Juan de Fuca trail. It was so so so amazing to say the least. Two days of hiking with no real agenda set out... we just moved according to how we felt. Day one, started out at 6am, driving out past Sooke, to the start of the trail. Arrived at the China beach parking lot at 7:30am. We got our packs organized, parking permits settled, and left shortly after that. We traveled from China Beach to Chin Beach, which was approximately 21km. Kilometers 11-20 held the roughest terrain, with intense uphills and some sketchy descents.
Kent's back and my feet surely felt it. In an 8 hour hiking day, we took approximately an hour of rest which was broken into 3 stops for our PB & J bagels, and smarties out of the trail mix. Thanks to Marsh for his delish homemade granola bars and water purification tablets.

Hiking along cliff edges, suspension bridges, tree stumps, insane mud sections, and some of the most serene and breathtaking views you could ever imagine, I have never felt so happy, so peaceful, so humbled. There is nothing more beautiful than Mother Nature. Well, maybe besides the sound of the comfortable silence (and occasionally the bursts of my heavy breathing) while being surrounded in such a gorgeous environment. The smell of the ocean, the vibrant green leaves on the trees, all of which stimulated my senses and led to a sensory overload. For the most part, I found myself speechless.

We arrived at the Emergency Shelter at 3:30pm... our much anticipated stop... our safe haven. The walls were covered in names, dates, sayings, poems, etc.. The most prominent one, written in thick black marker, right in front of the door read, "Juan de Fuc this trail in the ass". Repeating that saying over and over never got old. We decided to stop in the cabin for an hour, rest a little, eat some dinner, then trek down 100 meters to the beach and set up our tent and campsite. While sitting on the wooden bench of the cabin, we heard only the sounds of the birds chirping, the waves riding up against the beach, and our own sighs of relief. The more time we spent sitting in the cabin, the more tired I got and heavier I felt. The idea of staying over in the emergency shelter kept sounding better and better to me. The only problem: How to convince Kenton to staying in the cabin overnight? Especially after pumping up the idea of how cool it would be to camp in a tent on the beach. As I'm thinking what to say, I hear, "Do you just want to stay here tonight?" Ahhh, music to my ears!

Kent pulled out a deck of cards, and taught me how to play Gin Rummy. In no time flat we're playing hand after hand, as I picked the all the smarties out of our trail mix.
I have a feeling that Gin Rummy has become what crib is to Brad and Libby.
Our dinner, cold Spaghetti from tupperware containers that we made the night before, had never tasted so good. After having enough of Kenton slaying me over and over in Gin Rummy, we decided to set up our bunk beds and head to bed. It didn't take long after we turned off our canoe brand flashlights (Pound it, Paulie!) did I hear the scurrying of mice along the floor of the cabin. The combination of the crashing waves, and the mice searching throughly for leftovers, woke me up at 3:30 and couldn't get back to sleep... I couldn't stop watching the mice. I was impressed with their climbing abilities... It was quite entertaining. For such small creatures, they sure make quite the racket.

Day two started quite later than the one previous. We woke up at 8:10. I could tell I was really tired. We ate our breakfast; an apple, some orange slices, and a bagel with PB. Taping up my blistered heals and packing up our backpacks we set out on the trails at 9:30. We decided to head onwards on the trail (as opposed to hiking the 20km back to China Beach, which was one options we were thinking of). We re-routed, and headed onward on the trail, to Sombrio.
Coming to an ATV trail that merged with the Juan de Fuca, we evaluated our options and ruled that it was a safe bet it would lead to the highway. With 3 hours of hiking for day two, we finally found the road and tried our luck with hitchhiking back. After being passed by a couple of vehicles packed with people, camping materials and surf boards, we finally got picked up by two hot surfer chicks; Kelly and Morgan. Oddly enough, one of them being friends with Kenton from Calgary. Go figure.

Very soon, we were back at the China Beach parking lot. It felt great to get into the car, and take off my shoes! After a short drive home, (and appreciating another mode of transportation besides the heel-toe!) I found myself lying around the house, trying to recuperate and reminiscing over a very fun and eventful couple of days. Plans are still pending for another hiking adventure to complete the other side of the Juan de Fuca. Anyone wanna come with?


Thursday, May 1, 2008

So long, and thanks for the zen!

Here I am, writing to you from the Vancouver airport; a place that is like a labyrinth to navigate through and filled with tonnes of anxious travelers, grumbling, unhappy airport workers, and overpriced everything... but I have never been so happy to be here - back in Canada - almost back at home... I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Although I am really looking forward to getting back to my place, I am also a little disappointed that I'm leaving Hawaii. This means no more talks about life with Jess and Marcelo... no more coqui frogs to serenade me asleep... no more Chad making me the best sandwiches at Safeway slash telling me his life stories... no more ecstatic dance... no more hitchhiking. It seems like it was a couple days ago that I was watching old greg with Dan and Jamie, 6 weeks ago. With awesome trips to the hot ponds, riding the 'be cool loop', Climbing up a Volcano on my bike, Waikoloa for the lavaman, a weekend in Kona with Lindsay, Sailing with the Hanza's, hiking trips to the Hamakua falls, and quality time with Jess and Caro, Paulie's safe and successful surgery with a quick recovery, this is definitely a trip that is going to stay with me forever. I am so blessed to have such amazing people in my life. If you are reading this, chances are you're one of them - so thanks!

Keep Dreaming,


Saturday, April 26, 2008


This morning, Marcelo took AJ, Jess and I up the Hamakua Coast, approximately 17 miles from downtown Hilo. Even the car ride was amazing, taking us along the shoreline, past the Onomea hiking trails, and into a secluded windy road with beautiful flowers and trees. We hiked out on the rocks through the river for about 20 minutes until arriving at what we called paradise. With a 30-foot waterfall at the end of our trek, it was well worth it, and was one of the most beautiful trips I've ever taken. We even got a chance to cliff-dive beside the falls, and swim in the water. It reminded me so much of cottage-country in Ontario; cliff-diving and swimming in Georgian Bay. Here are the highlights of the day...

Without a doubt, Marcelo is the best tour guide in Hawaii. Kudos to him for sharing his knowledge and patience with us. He really is a gem.

Keep Dreaming,


Thursday, April 24, 2008

week 5 in Hawaii

The last couple of days in Hawaii have been awesome. There was a solid 6 days of quality 'Jess-Caro-Jenny' time at Jess' place. Beyond the obvious bonding, we've also done some wicked swim workouts, gone for some nice bike rides and runs, and shopped til we dropped! Not to mention having some much needed 'girl talk' - the one thing I've been lacking since coming here. Carolyn left for Victoria on Sunday afternoon. I miss her already, but I think she's already started to plan her next trip out.

AJ arrived at the Hilo airport on Tuesday morning. It's been a productive couple days... so far, we've hiked the Onomea Trails, been hiking at the ocean cliff's close to Jess' place, and we made it down to the hot ponds today for snorkeling/tanning. I'm really looking forward to what my last week in Hawaii is going to bring.

Besides adding a couple extra shades of brown to my skin tone, I also did the 'be cool' loop this morning. I kept a steady pace, and surprisingly the time just flew by. I've been feeling quite good the last few days.. I'm hoping it's a trend.

Keep Dreaming,


Saturday, April 19, 2008


Yesterday, Marcelo's dad, Ivo, took Jess, Carolyn, Marcelo and I, out sailing into the Pacific. We were on the water for a few hours on a boat named "Cheers". Ivo was definitely in his element, teaching us all the basics of sailing; the names of the different pieces, how and when to use them, etc.. Going sailing with the Hanza's was one of the highlights of my trip to Hawaii. Even though I've been here for a little over 4 weeks, it seems as though I'm unable to grasp the idea of actually being in Hawaii. I find myself narrating my own actions in my head, "You're sailing in the Pacific ocean, off the coast of Hawaii right now!" and "You are riding your bike up a Volcano", etc.. I wonder if it will ever fully sink in. This is such a beautiful place, I am trying really hard to absorb it all and appreciate how blessed I am to be here!

Today, The girls and I hit up the Pahoa pool for a swim workout in the morning. Pahoa is a neighboring town to Hilo, and resembles the characteristics of a developing country. A town that is 'off the beaten path', but I love it all the same. The pool is a fabulous facility and I still can't comprehend how they make them free. They are definitely a step ahead of Canada in this department. Here's a picture of me goofing off after the workout:

This afternoon, We drove to the top of the Volcano. When we were there, Carolyn and I went for a little jaunt, and ended up on a trail that ran 2 feet from the edge of the Volcano crater. It was a phenomenal site to say the least! We kept stopping every 5 minutes to take a peek off the edge, which for half of it, was NOT guarded by railings. Afterwards, we all met up and went to the Lava tubes. I think I might have found Greg's place.

All in all, the last couple days have been fabulous, especially with the news of Paulie recovering so well.... Pound it, Paulie!

Tomorrow, Carolyn flies back home to Victoria, which I hear got hit by 6cm of snow this morning.

Ending today with a glass of wine, I can't think of a better way to celebrate a fantastic trip.

Keep Dreaming,