Friday, March 23, 2012

Zachy B & his first Tourney

To say that I'm a proud Mama is the understatement of the year. I am so very proud of the young men that I have had the honor to raise. We have moody, teenage Luke who pulls off straight A's a job and golf team. We have spunky Jake who is fierce at baseball and great socially (having a budding romance right now). We have Zac who has watched from the sidelines for 8 long years while his brother has played in numerous tournaments across state lines. He has begged me for more snack shack $money$ than you can possibly imagine. Has disappeared into the swamps and fields at so many ballparks to reappear just as the game is ending covered in dirt & goo. He has attempted to be bat boy only to be frustrated that the coach will not put him in. Zac finally gets his. His little 8U Utah Xtreme finally played in their first tournament last weekend in St. George.

Zac was so excited that he managed to forget his baseball cleats. Picture me... driving around Hurricane Utah at 8:00 in the morning... banging on the doors of the only sporting equipment store in town... after unsuccesfully trying Wal-Mart... to be denied and have to drive all the way back to St.George for cleats for my little man. Oh well, those things were infused with super speed!

Zac was a lot more nervous that I thought him capable of. This is him getting a little pep talk by his coach Matt.

And this is his first at bat (can you see the fear in his eyes?)

Once he got rolling though, he did outstanding. Doing his job in the outfield, on second base, pitching, and only striking out twice in 6 games. This kid feels no pressure. He is happy go-lucky and truly just happy to be on the field. He doesn't care what position he plays, just as long as he's playing!

His team ended up taking 2nd place. A truly great accomplishment considering it's their first try. It was really fun to watch him play. Especially since no-one was pestering me for $!

Congrats to the Utah Xtreme on a great Tourney!

And for the love of baseball, never loose your goofy side Zac :)

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Coco Plum, Belize

Throughout our entire marriage, Anniversaries have always been celebrated, never ignored or pushed under the rug until a more convenient time. Surviving another year of marriage is something to party about! It's hard right? Every 5 years on those 'monumental' Anniversaries we pull out all the stops and do something grandiose. On our 5th we went to Mexico, On our 10th we went on a Western Carribean Cruise, on our 15th we renewed our vows with our kids in tow in Mexico, so for our 20th we started planning early. We knew we wanted to go somewhere we had never been. We knew we wanted it to be quaint and quiet, not a gigantic resort with booming music and bingo every hour on the hour. Wade put on his travel agent hat and got to work.
Like he does everytime, he managed to find us a magical little location nestled off the coast of Belize. A little 3 acre island called Coco Plum. Quaint it was, just 10 little cabanas to be had. Quiet it was with only 18 people on the island. Heaven awaited us so off we went. 3 flights and a boat ride was the small price we paid to be ushered to our little oasis. This is what greeted us.

It was a long day of travel, and the sun was starting to set, but the colors were magnificent. Admittedly we were a little nervous. What if everyone on this island is crazy, or in a cult, or really old, or really young? The negative possibilites were endless.

But, with a face like that greeting you... how could it be that bad? Hello, my name is Sergio and I will be your bartender extraordinaire for the remainder of your stay. I will also kick your trash at Volleyball everyday at 4:00! Oh and by the way... I cheat at sand crab races :-)

Day 1 was pretty full since we didn't arrive until 5:00 PM. We were greeted with a late lunch (hadn't eaten anything but airport crap all day). We were given the tour, de-breifed on outings planned, and ushered to our cute little cabana where we collapsed into a happy heap until dinner time, then promptly retired for some much needed sleep.

Day 2 dawned bright & beautiful (what else, right?) and we headed out on the only excursion we cared to try. The Zip-line and River Tubing. I've always wanted to zip-line, but didn't want to do it in some mundane location. Wade had no interest whatsoever, but he humored me and off we went. A boat ride and a long van ride across the countryside eventually brought us to our adventure location. We strapped into our gear...

And off we zipped...

and zipped some more...

and posed like nerds... (loving the helmet)

and met some wood mites in their happy home...

All to be topped off with a delicious lunch, which is where I spotted this little dandy...

Funny right? Belizeans have a great sense of humor and NO SUBJECT is sacred! Kind of like me! Needless to say, our conversation flowed very smoothly from one crass subject to the next. After lunch off we went river tubing! I was so stoked. I had visions of careening down white water caves the wind blowing in my hair. NOT. We traveled a total of a mile and a half in and hour and a half, and to top it all off we were given bright orange life jackets and yellow helmets to wear on our high speed journey. (the water was only waist high) Our 'Hot Spring' we were promised was about piss warm and full of little tiny bitey fish that loved the taste of Wade's skin. Bwa ha ha!!!
Let's get back to heaven folks.

That night was our Anniversary so after a quick clean up we were treated to a private candlelight dinner.

And off the deck we watched the Ray's float in and out of the lamplight...

And we ate fresh lobster just plucked out of the Ocean, what a dinner!

The next day, while everyone else was off adventuring, we took advantage of the peace and quiet and had some much needed beach time. With some of this...

and some of this...

and some surprise Anniversary cake that got left in the fridge by accident the night before. What time is it? 10:00? Why yes I think we will eat cake!

and we enjoyed lots of this...

And perma-grins were plastered on our faces the whole day through!

And when the sun proved to hot we went on a photo adventure. Everything was so picturesque!

and colorful...

and all that work makes a girl thirsty! Time for another 'Horny Monkey'!

Then feeling super adventurous, we decided to venture over to the other island. Its a waist high water walk about 200 yards!

Hike your skirts up girl!!!

And it was beautiful, but a little jungly for our purposes. We were convinced we had spent our money on the right island so back we went.

Time for Volleyball...

and more photo ops...

love is everywhere...

and another incredible sunset.

After that very glutinous and restful day we were up for a little morning snorkeling on day 3. Snorkeling was pretty decent. Sharks, Eels, Rays, millions of starfish. My personal favorite though were the chilled bags of water served up afterwards!

Wade and our Dive Master, Crispin...

crystal clear blue Belize waters greeted us as we floated home...

Time to snap our favorite copy of the Corona commercial photo. Set the camera up on the railing, set the timer, run like hell, and hope it works out. Repeat 10 times until you finally snap the perfect reminder of just how relaxed you were during this vacation.

That evening was filled with crab races, and cheating bartenders who told us to go catch the smallest sand crab we could find because their faster, only to bring his own steroid fed gargantuan of a crab to the race.

We also laughed our butts off around the campfire listening to staff tell highly inappropriate jokes while roasting marshmallows.

Next day we were off on a spontaneous Manatee hunt because the dive master had heard they were around. We loaded up on the boat and took a cruise around 'Bird Island' on our way out. This is what it looks like from afar...(kind of creepy & eerie)

and close up... Those orange bubbles are gigantic male birds in heat! The sound was a crackly static like noise. Very cool.

Nice calm water for our ride...

Lots of awesome starfish to see & hold...

and then because riding in a boat is so terribly strenuous, back to the beach for more of this!

The boys decided to go catch us some dinner. This is Wades Island BFF Dan. His wife Angela was my Island BFF. You have seen her several times so far.

and home they come with a bounty!

While Wade washes off essence ala fish, I take a few minutes to snap a few more sunset photos. That is the best time for great light!

Can you tell how much I am enamored with Palms?

Angela and I all prepped for an evening of fun!

and yet another great sunset...

That night was the last for many in our group so we took a moment for a group photo. Obviously whoever had my camera was not skilled in photo taking. They cut off an entire couple to my left!

But we had a delicious blackened snapper that Wade had snagged for us.

Then it was time for live band, husband dancing, and bar games!

The 'Day After' :-) was truly a lazy one lounging about with great people...
Phil & Betty

Cam & Chel
and of course Dan & Angie who managed to hid from my shutter that day.

We enjoyed massages on the pier...

Finding a truly remarkable 6 legged starfish...

(insert pic here) ((Angela has it and I'll add it when she sends it))

Canoeing, Snorkeling, Beach combing, Napping, Tanning. You know, everyday things like that.

The next morning we finally got hit with the storm that had been threatening for days. We were shook out of bed at 6 AM by the most ferocious thunder I've ever heard in my life. It was great!

We spent the day playing card games, running around in the rain, playing poker with the other guests, and just marveling at all the beauty around us.

And finally hanging the obligatory bar roof t-shirt that is a reminder to all that follow that we were the best group to ever grace this island!

Good Bye to the beautiful Island of Coco Plum. We had an epic time. We fell in love over and over again. We would highly recommend this place to anyone who is blessed enough to have the time and means to travel there.