Wednesday, June 28, 2006

We Interrupt This Vacation Recap...

... to Bring You a Live Update

Hi guys.

I've been functioning on auto pilot for so long that I've almost forgotten how to do this.

But tonight I just want to talk.

I want to talk about what's really going on over here in the Funkydome. (Did I ever tell you it's a "me"ocracy, and I'm the President?)

Some stuff is the same. I'm still working the same job... the one I really really thought I wanted... that professional work atmosphere that would make me feel productive and valuable in the workplace. What a joke. It's not a horrible job by any means. It's not a hectic job, or a stressful job, or even a dirty job that somebody's got to do. Rather, it's a mindless button-pushing job that numbs my brain. Some days (or eras) that's a good thing. It's nice to arrive in the morning, push buttons, then go home at the end of the day. It's nice some days to just be there, then be gone. But as far as the big-picture thing goes, it's not exactly my life's ambition. Be that as it may, my boss is very liberal with vacation time, sick days, and days for taking care of personal (read "kids") things. So I am still there, and will most likely remain there until the Grown-up Fairie sprinkles What-I-Want-to-Be dust on my pillow while I sleep.

Speaking of vacation days, I was taking a smoke-break with my work buddy today, and I told her how I longed to just get the hell out of town for a few days. I told her I kind of wanted to drive over to Orlando and spend the weekend by the pool... maybe catch some dinner theater or some such fun. While my eyes were still sparkling she was sharpening the pin she uses to burst my bubble. "Good luck finding a hotel room on the July 4 weekend!" I tossed my shrivelled bubble on the concrete and went back to button pushing. Four hours later LoveBug called and said, "How would you like to get the hell out of Dodge for the weekend? My baby needs a vacation, and I'm ready to whisk you away." So cool. So we're heading over to Ft. Laud for the weekend to check out a new Wine Bar and grab dinner at one of our favorite haunts. Can't help lovin' that man o' mine.

Speaking of dinner (I know, it's like I bought Segways for Dummies or something), I'm STILL on Nutri-system! Can you believe it?!? I survived the Floating Buffet, dropped the slight weight gain from said cruise ship in about a week, and I'm still losing. In fact, I'm knocking on the 40-lb mark... 35.6 lbs to be exact. I'm sort of fudging around with the program right now, and it's actually working really well. In essence, I stick to only Nutri-system entrees during the week, plus my fruits and veggies, but I don't eat EVERYTHING I'm supposed to. I might consume MAYBE 800 calories in a day. Then on the weekends I just eat whatever I want for dinner, but ONLY A BIT. Now, the caveat is, "whatever I want" has changed a lot. I no longer want the same stuff I used to. Certain foods just make me sick (like heavy sauces, all red meat, and most sugary-sweet desserts). Since experimenting with this new way of eating, I've started losing a steady 2lbs/week. So yeah, go me.

Speaking of go me (okay, ran out of segways), CadiBug is coming home. I'm not sure how much to say about that. I'm glad she loves me. I'm glad she loves her daddy. I'm glad to be able to be with her as she grows into a young lady. Hopefully we've both learned some very important lessons about communication, respect, and responsibility. If not, at least I know that I won't die if we decide she needs to leave again. If nothing else, you guys might want to consider buying stock in Southwest Airlines.

Speaking of... ah, forget it. That's a wrap, Kids. I'm going to grab a glass of this fabulous white wine I found (it's called Nora... try it) and curl up with a good book. I'll catch you all on the flipside of the weekend.

This is Funky, and that is all.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Vacation Recap -- Part Two

Sorry for the delay -- still trying to get back into the swing of things. That's a post in and of itself, but I'm going to finish my recap so I can relive my vacation whilst avoiding reality.

Our next port of call was Belize. We booked a day excursion to the rain forest to do a zip line and some cave tubing. There are some other things I want to say about Belize, but I'll hold off on that for the time being.

I forgot to mention that during our trek through the Mayan ruins in Cozumel, I managed to get injured. Walking along a very cleared stone path, I found the only downed tree limb left in Cozumel, and scratched/bruised the hell out of my right leg. I preface with this because I want you to see the humor in this thing I call a vacation.

Zip lining is that crazy-assed thing you do where you hike up to the top of a rainforest, then hook yourself up to some cables and zip through the top of the canopy. The "zip" is a series of platforms atop the trees. You zip along a cable, one to the other, very fast. Being terrified of heights, I have no idea why I thought this would be a good idea. Add to that the fact that I appeared to be cursed with a temporary spell of accident prone-ness, and you have a recipe for disaster.

So we trek through some mud until we've reached the first platform. I'm wearing something akin to a canvas diaper, and it feels both comforting and constricting. The canopy guide dude immediately locks me to the tree by one of three hooks. Then he locks me me onto a cable with some more pulleys and hooks. My fate is sealed. There's no turning back. I'm told that I can go into this night gently, or with a push. I hold my breath and step off the platform.

Atop the canopy, I found myself zipping out of control. As I neared the second platform I saw my guide giving me the signal to "break!break!" so I did. Now, you're supposed to break by using your gloved hand on the cable to slow your speed. I did the "break" in the same manner as I would break my car to avoid a collision. Right foot first, right into the platform. It worked, but I bruised the arch of my foot so severely that I limped for several hours afteward.

As nervous as heights make me, I was surprised at how thouroughly I enjoyed this activity. My only moment of sheer panic was atop the highest platform. I noticed it was SWAYING. It wasn't just vibrating, but rocking with the wind. My son, being the jackass that he is, kept standing on the edge of the platform, pretending to loose his balance. Nevermind the fact that we were all harnessed to a safety cable -- I almost broke into tears as I begged him to hug the fucking tree. That being said, once the kids realized I was NOT in the mood for their antics, they settled into the activity and we had a great experience.

Following the zip line, we took a two-mile hike through the rain forest to the first cave. I was mostly trying not to cry because my foot was killing me, AND because the tour guide said, "Look a tarantula!" but once we hopped in our tubes and started going through the cave, all fear and anxiety left me. I wish I had pictures to show you, but I didn't take my camera for obvious reasons. However, the interior of that cave was simply stunning. There was a point where the daylight broke through the cave and trees were growing in it's path -- well, I remarked out loud that I had found heaven. When I said I never wanted to leave, I meant it.

After the tubing portion of our excursion we had a wonderful lunch with some new friends and then noticed we were running "a bit behind schedule." Since we didn't book this tour through our boat, that meant we were in "a bit" of danger of missing our fucking boat. The tour driver raced through Belize at lightening speed. It was a bit of an adventure to say the least, but at least I forgot about the throbbing pain in my foot for awhile. We made the boat with a few minutes to spare. My husband left his water shoes in Belize. I left a piece of my heart. More on that later.

This is Funky, and that is all.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

It's Recap Time -- Part One

Photo Heavy Post Below!!! If you wish, click on them to see a larger version

Seeing as I've been a Blog Bum for the last few weeks, I figured that while I had several cups of coffee going on a Saturday afternoon, this would be as good a time as any to play catch up. I apologize in advance for what I assume is going to be the longest post ever.

My vacation actually began a day ahead of time. I drove to work Thursday morning as usual, but while walking to the office I ran across a strange woman screaming "The courthouse is on fire! It's on fire! No court today! Fire. Fire." She was like a strange Beavis and Butthead charactature. I called into the office and my co-worker giggle. "No, it's not on FIRE, it's out of POWER. But come on up. We're roasting marshmellows and telling ghost stories." So I went into the office and goofed off with my co-workers for an hour until the Duty Judge finally told us to go home while maintenance worked on restoring the power. Day off, with pay. My vacation officially begins.

After taking the rest of Thursday and the better part of Friday to properly prepare for vacation, LoveBug, CuddleBug, Lightening Bug and I finally headed out. We spent the night at a hotel near our docking port. Nothing to tell here. I guess I could have left this paragraph out.

Saturday we caught the shuttle to our ship and were on the Glory before noon. Here are the first shots from our cruise.

At this point, I think it's best to break the recap into catagories as opposed to days.

Ports of Call
Our first port of call was Cozumel. My husband had the brilliant idea to rent a Jeep for the day. We drove around the entire island with the top down. It was probably the most glorious experience imaginable. We stopped once along the way to capture the most honest roadsign ever.
This shot I had to catch on the fly.

We found the coolest restaurant (or whatever you call it in Mexico) called Coconuts, and parked the Jeep. Coconuts is perched on I guess what you'd call a cliff. Whatever you call it, it's the highest point in Cozumel, so the view was breathtaking.

The staff at Coconuts are awesome! They don't ever treat you like a pain-in-the ass tourist. They're happy to see you! The bring cold beer, strong margharitas, fresh chips and salsa, and even joke with the kids. They were hit hard by Hurricane Emily, actually losing their entire building. The bartender showed us a photo album of the damage which contained shots of them working to rebuild. Among the very few things that Emily left behind, this mannaquine was recovered. She was renamed and stands propped against a tree just outside the bar hut.

The interior of Coconuts is decorated with t-shirts and other garments left by tourists. I also had to take a few shots of my favorite memorabelia from Coconuts.

After lunch we drove to an excavation sight to view some Mayan Ruins. The kids always hate this shit, so we made it quick. I was most likely about 200 degrees at this point. I did stop to shoot a few ruins.

This is a closeup of the Temple of the Red Hands. No one knows why there are red, child-size handprints on the wall, but it's eerie and beautiful.

We spent a bit of time in downtown Cozumel too. As you can see, Emily and Wilma really f-cked them up, but the shops and bars are rebuilt. *grin*

LoveBug bought me a gorgeous pair of Tanzenite earrings (feeding the damaged economy, doncha know?) and the kids and I got henna tattoos. Sorry -- I was too drunk at this point to remember to take a picture of them, but there were cool as hell. After a full day in the sun, we were ready to get back on our boat.

Funny how time offers a perspective after the fact. I'd give just about anything to be back there right now.

Next post: Belize (sans photos)

This is Funky, and that is all.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Someone PLEASE Flip the Switch

I have zero energy, Kids. That's "zero" in the spirit of nada, zip, zilch.

And telling my tales takes so much more than I have right now.

So I'll just share a photo, and try again tomorrow.

This is my fifteen year old (step)daughter (whatever with the preface, she's my kid, alright?) the day BEFORE her fifteenth birthday. Rockin' beauty, isn't she? Since you're so patient with me, here are a few more shot of my darlings.

No, I didn't let him drink it. That's MY beer, thank you very much. But someone has to hold the alcohol while Mommy balances the camera. Sheesh.

This is Funky, and that is all.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Yep, I'm Back... and Recovering

I'm not fully recovered though, emotionally, mentally, soberly, or physically.

Here's a photo from the trip. (You can click on these for the larger image if you really want to be grossed out.)

And another one.

Yes, that's my arm. Sometimes a horse does what you tell it to. Sometimes you tell a horse to run faster. Sometimes the horse is secretly named Gringo Killer and doesn't much care for the weight of said Gringo on his back. Sometimes the dirt in Mexico doesn't feel so good when you fly into it at 20 mph.

More tales to follow. Right after this important message.

This is Funky, and that is all.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Bon Voyage

This is it, Kids. I'm heading out to sea this weekend! The fam (minus one) and I are leaving tomorrow afternoon to be closer to our port, and we set sail on Saturday. My wardrobe is complete, my hair and nails done, and my sailing goal weight achieved... I will be wearing my size ten shorts from three summers ago. Boo-ya!
I won't be blogging from the boat, so here's my itinerary.

Saturday: Set sail, drink, eat, piano bar, drink drink drink drink.
Sunday: Hit the gym, grab a drink, sun, drink, sun, drink, sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep, apply aloe to sunburn, dine, piano bar, drink, drink, drink, casino, drink, drink, drink.
Monday: Belize, zip line, inner tube, drink, drink, apply more aloe, drink, dine, dine, dine.
Tuesday thru.... ah, you get the picture. Between drinks are stops at Costa Maya, Cozumel, and Nassau.

Bon Voyage, Kiddos. I'll see you in a week or so.
CadiBug, I'll miss you more than you can possibly know.

This is Funky, and that is all.