Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Experience the real Florida keys…

So now it was my turn to teach Dan something new again.. we headed down to the FL keys and I took Dan snorkeling in the ‘big blue’ for his first time ever!


We spent 2 days in Key Largo’s John Pennekamp State Park. The FL Keys is the world’s 3rd largest coral reef, absolutely gorgeous and so unique!

Dan said he didn’t realize snorkeling was so easy, the flippers esp. help make it easy! You just float around, kick to go somewhere and follow amazingly cool fish as they eat coral and swim.


We saw 2-3 feet parrot fish, blue french angel fish, and the blue “Dorie” fish off Finding Nemo. We saw five 3-4 feet barracuda, giant lobsters, and many other schools of fish. It was such a cool feeling swimming into a school of fish- feeling their currents around you, watching them systematically divert their swimming patterns around you like music.

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We also went snorkeling at the State Park beaches where they have old Spanish canons. It’s good practice cuz it’s way shallow at parts but deep enough to dive if you want and practice before going out into the ocean. ;)

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Do you see the lobster?

Afterwards we went to Key West with my parents. My mom’s posted all the historical sites we visited. But we also went snorkeling again at Higg’s beach in Key West along the pier. And I saw a Lion Fish. Whew! It looked like a sea urchin so I got about 1 foot away to get a better view. It was upside down and side ways eating the coral, as it turned around and faced me it was about 1 foot long, then add its poisonous spines… And no I didn’t get a picture because I was busy screaming and backing up as fast as I could. My dad and Dan heard him and came over. My dad did the same thing I did- got close enough to tell what it was and backed up, yelling haha. We had a blast!

Next snorkel adventure is Bahia Honda State Park! Wanna come?

Just a boy and a girl in a leaky canoe…

Have you heard the camp song above? Well dan, I and my parents experienced what this song feels like a few weeks ago. Dan and I enjoy teaching each other new things, so since I taught him/got him to go white water rafting, he’s been teaching me how to canoe. So we decided to go canoeing in Jupiter, FL and invited my parents to come along- lonely empty nesters you know…


We had a great time till we realized that my parents’ canoe was leaking… whoops! :( Here’s a pic of dan and dad dumping the water out.) So we tried to make the best of it and switched canoes with my parents after we had already paddled 2 miles down the river.


It was so peaceful and beautiful. It is Florida’s wet season so the man-made waterfalls on this river were flooded so that was lame but we enjoyed the rustic nature of the river complete with fallen trees, bridges and other obstacles.


Another time when we were emptying the water out of the 2nd canoe, Dan and I decided to climb out on a fallen tree to have a picture taken… well what do you think happened? Take a look…



That’s right.. we decided to jump in haha!  no…

Of course I lost my balance and knocked Dan in with me, but it was way fun. Too bad mom was too far away for me to pull in too… And of course dad got it all on camera. thanks dad ;p

North Carolina


It was beautiful. Just look at that view! Dan and I have always thought of NC as a perfect place to live so we went to visit western NC in May. (We took a kodak and water camera so just now got it developed haha). img038

We climbed several mountains, did EVERYTHING on the Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway, and stayed with our good family friends, Merle and Marty Share.

It was so nice staying with them. Merle was my primary teacher in church and they always tell us such fun, old stories about our family. ;) Thanks again for letting us stay with you! We had a wonderful time!

And I didn’t take a picture sadly but the view we had from our bedroom window in their house was amazing. I opened the window that first morning because I couldn’t believe what I saw. The mountain view with the clouds and sun were gorgeous. Then when I opened the window and smelt and felt the beautiful mountain air, heard birds and a running river, I felt like I was in heaven. 


The Shares went with us to a local park near Asheville, NC. It was raining so the park and all its gardens were pretty much empty. We enjoyed it so much. We walked all the trails, talked all about botany. But our favorite was the bonsai garden. It was amazing to see all these miniature trees and gardens made from real trees, dwarfed down to 1 ft. tall- maples, oaks and even willows!


We also went white water rafting! It was Dan’s first time so I took him on the low-intermediate level and sat him in the front. He loved it and is ready to go again on high intermediate! The river was gorgeous and so fun.


We were heroes that day too. A raft behind us with 8 people went backwards over a class 5 rapid, 6 of the 8 fell out and began floating down the river. Dan and I put out our paddles and brought 2  of them on board our raft. They were all perfectly safe- lucky that they were rescued before next big rapid. Awesome adventure!


Here’s a pic of their empty raft. whoops ;p

And below here’s some more random photos we took on the trip while adventuring on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Temple Service

We went to the temple this weekend. It was hard to get there but Dan and I have made a family goal of going to the temple every month. And we have been greatly blessed for it.

It was our first time chaperoning in the baptismal area together. I had done it once as a YW leader but that was with a family ward. This time Dan was the branch presidency rep for our group. When he walked up to the Temple desk to check in, he said "We're here for our 1pm appt in the baptistry." The attendant said "ok, just step to the side then and we'll wait for your leader." Then Dan said "I am the leader." Well needless to say the man didn't believe him. He thought Dan was just another YSA trying to be funny. So we waited ten minutes for all the YSAs to get there, then Dan approached the man again. This time another temple worker was also standing there. Dan said 'I am a member of our YSA branch presidency, and my wife and I are chaperones for this group today." Well when they saw me, haha I don’t think that helped Dan's case too much. But they finally allowed him to start filling out the forms for our group. They collected cell phones. That is a new rule too.

But it was fun and such an enjoyable experience serving the YSA in the baptistry. I served as a matron. Several of them were doing family names for the first time. It was wonderful to see the light and happiness in their eyes as they were baptized and confirmed for their ancestors. God truly is a God of mercy and justice, allowing us to have temples again on the Earth, just like in the days of Adam or Paul. I can’t wait to go as a chaperone again!