Focus On Fun Travel

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dreams of Paradise

     I found myself in a boat with some other fun life loving people, as we headed away from the dock at a high rate of speed.  As we headed out to sea, we encountered our first wave to pass over.  Because of the speed we were traveling at, we soon found ourselves airborne, soaring high in the air, traveling what felt like a mile.  With a loud splash and quite a thud, we landed in the water.  We started cheering and woot wooting, when the boat came to the next wave...a larger one.  This one propelled us even higher.  But unlike the other flight, the front of the boat started to shift and point downward at a sharp angle.  Similar to the experience of one of my youth scout leaders, John, who was sitting on the back of a large river raft that went over a huge wake of some class 5 rapids on the Snake river in Wyoming; which when the front went down, John and all of his large framed body was shot upward and over the bow of the raft; I also was thrown higher up in the air as the boat plummeted down, nose first into the water.  My friends were scattered over a small area, as I spread my arms out and started soaring over the area of the accident.  I saw others who were sitting at tables close by enjoying a lunch, so I called down to them: "Hey! Help!  Right there!  Can you help..." Marty! Don't you have an early morning meeting this morning?  Huh?  Wha...  Oh!  Can't I get that dream back?

     I love the sensation of flying in my dreams.  It is one of my goals (Bucket List ya know), to don a wing suit, jump out of a plane, and soar for miles and miles, before being forced to pull my parachute cord and land safely.  Thankfully we have near supersonic aircraft that can take us anywhere in the world in no time at all.  This means we can visit paradise anytime finances allows us to.  The other day, I received a promotional flyer from Princess Cruises detailing a 28 Day cruise itinerary that is round trip from Los Angeles, and visits Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti, and Bora Bora.  Talk about Paradise!  Tahiti has been on Barbi's bucket list for years, and has been a 30th anniversary wish of ours as well.  Well, Number 30 is 2014..3 years away.  We got time to plan and save money.  When the adventure is $75 per day, the saving is even easier.  We can do this one!

     Some people think paradise is a hot beach.  Some feel it is exotic adventure in the orient.  Others, it would be climbing a tall mountain.  Where is your paradise?  What is on your bucket list?  Do you like to fly in your dreams too?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Passion in the Water

     As I traveled back home tonight after completing my FIRST open water dive, at the fabulous Homestead Crater, in Midway, UT, I passed many places were people were busy doing things.  A miniature golf course, where people were having fun.  A regular golf course, with carts busying around like ants, a Karate dojo, where adults and kids alike were learning self defense and self control, Boaters skiing, people fishing from a bridge. Joggers. Cyclists.  Throughout my life, I have tried many things to see what I might be good at and really like.  I tried baseball.  Did not make the first cut.  Guitar playing. I never learned more than strumming chords.  Bicycling.  At times, the physical stress has been too much.  I admit I have never liked to run.  When I was young, I accomplished a 5:58 mile, which is outstanding.  But I really pushed myself in order to make the marching band.  Yep, an 8 min mile was all that was required to make it...well, and to be able to play an instrument.

     I have been going through PADI open water certification, and I realize I missed my boat 30 years ago.  I really love being in the water.  And I mean IN it.  This intrigues me so much that I find myself wanting more and more every day.  I really love this.  Last night I blogged about Submarine cruising, and what an amazing vacation that would be.  Well, for me it would be.  I realize there are those of you out there who may feel a little claustrophobic.  But I also know that we all have the ability to overcome our fears to experience new heights in our well being. 

     Barbi is really afraid of heights (Speaking of heights).  She won't let anyone in the family be within 20 feet of the edge of the Grand Canyon.  Those of you who have been there know how challenging it would be not be closer than that anywhere.  Yet, in 2007, on a Western Caribbean cruise on the Grand Princess, we stopped in Belize, where we tubed on a river through tunnels in the mountains, then went Zip Lining through the jungle canopy.  We were 25 -  50 feet in the air moving from one tree to another through 8 stations.  At first Barbi didn't think she was going to be able to do it.  Once the first zip was through, and she felt safe, it was onward and downward!  She has even said she would do it again.  See!  It can be done, with a little will power, and someone you love there to support you.

     My high school is planning their 30 year class reunion.  Holy cow!  30 Years!  I have suggested to the committee that we take a cruise as a class, instead of getting together in our home town of Mesa, AZ for a Friday evening, then a partial Saturday during a weekend.  I expressed how much of a better deal everyone would get if we cruised.  Such as, for the price, everything is, entertainment, lodging, fun activities, and even getting together in a meeting room.  There are pools, dancing, karaoke, get the picture.  For a little more than an evening and a morning, this is a much better deal.  For me, it means getting back to the ocean.  You know...the Water.  And wherever we go, I know I can get in the water and explore this part of the world.  Fish, creatures, whales, plants.  Scuba or snorkel, it does not matter to me.  I just want to be in  the water.

     My point in all this is, if your vacations have become Blah.  Go get scuba certified.  It cheap.  It is easy.  It is safe.  And when you go to Cancun for a week, go out to Isla Mujeras and swim with Whale Sharks, the largest fish in the ocean.  They have no teeth and have never eaten a human.  If you take a western Caribbean cruise and you stop in Grand Cayman, the birth place of scuba; go out and swim with the stingrays, instead of just standing there.  Belize has the 2nd largest coral reef system in the world.  Stuart Cove's in Nassau Bahamas will take you scuba diving with Caribbean Reef Sharks.  Heaven only knows what can be explored in the Mediterranean.  Ship wrecks?!

     If you are in Utah County, I highly recommend Scuba Teds Dive Center, 50 N Main St, Springville, UT.  Mike Brothersen is my instructor.

We Are Here For You

Monday, August 8, 2011

There's a vacation just around every corner

     I find myself daydreaming each day about what my next vacation will be.  Cruise, Disneyland, Seaworld, San Francisco, Yellowstone.  Interesting how these are all on the western side of the U.S..  I guess I always think close to where I live....cruising being the exception...sometimes.  I have lamented before about hating to fly.  The airlines know that people will still fly to get across the country, so their attitude is, they'll pay to get there.  They'll deal with it and we'll get more money.  Well, this is America, so I know that the American dream is all about being successful.  I also know that competition spurs reform and innovation, which benefits the consumer more than the company vieing (Did I spell that right?) for market share.  I have not said it in a while, so I'll restate my challenge to those looking to have the American dream.  Come up with a new way to get people from one side of the country to the other, either in a timely fashion, or in a slower way, providing comfort and value for their money.

     Cruising is an awesome way to travel across oceans, if you have the time.  Other than Amtrak, which has limited routes, there really is not another viable alternative to traveling comfortably on land.  The long haul bus system is too cramped.  I have often found myself wondering if it would be possible to have a cruise ship size vehicle, traveling down I10 from Long Beach to Jacksonville, Fl, at 25 miles per hour, Non-stop, it would only take a little more than 4 days. With Port stops in Phoenix, El Paso, Houston, New Orleans, Pensacola, you could stretch it into 8 days. All along the way, enjoying comfortable sleeping cabins, all you can eat meals, room service, and entertainment.  How would it be powered you ask?  Wind power...sails you know.  If there is no 'bout solar?  Combination of both?  Dream it and it'll happen.

     We really need a high speed rail system in this country.  Unfortunately, our American government has spent the cost of building it on other frivolous things, so I guess we'll just have to wait until someone comes along to finance it privately.  Then those who need to get from here to yonder there can do it in 10 hours non-stop from San Francisco to New York City.  10 hours...hmm, that's at least how long it takes me to get from Salt Lake City to Miami Fl, with 2 or 3 plane changes.  What a lavatory full of waste!  I used to be able to fly from Phoenix to Atlanta in 4 hours. That's darn near impossible these days.  So I say, if it takes me 10 hours, I would rather do it in style for a few days, with lots of leg room, WiFi, Walking around communicating with people, playing blackjack, having a drink by the pool, soaking up the sun!

     That was some serious digression!  Sorry!  Vacations are so vitally important to health these days, it is right there with the full nutrition of the Moringa Oliefera tree in Zija.  Healthy body, Healthy mind.  These things come with relaxation, good food, good sleep, and socialization with our fellow human beings.  Some sun doesn't hurt, though my eyes are sensitive.  So literally, there are vacation opportunities everywhere you look.  I am finishing scuba certification this week.  Now I cannot stop thinking about exploring the underwater world with Scuba.  How about a submarine cruise?  How cool would that be?   Cruise to 6,000 feet down to see the daytime activities of the six gill shark off the coast of Seattle. Do a transpolar cruise under the north pole, under the ice, and come up to see polar bears hunting for seals.  Cruise by and see the remains of the Titanic!  I am raising my hand with developing this!!!  ohh, ohh, pick me!  Pick Me!  Let's explore more of our world before heading off to the moon again..or Mars.

We Are Here For You.