Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Camping During the Apolcalypse

Another post about vacationing? In the same week? Your eyes do not deceive you, dear readers, it is true.
A couple of weekends ago we went on a climbing trip to the beautiful Quartz Mountain. And by climbing trip, I mean some light boulder-hopping and then photographing my super athletic friends and husband climb faces well above my skill level.

Again, I am finding that in order to relax I have to actually get out of my house. When we left for Quartz, our home had been in a state of disarray and I couldn't decompress amidst concrete flooring, remnants of disgusting carpet pads,  and half textured walls. New floor and renovation madness part deux just commenced though, so prepare to have your minds blown with a before and after post in the near future.

ANYWAY. Quartz Mountain is a special place for me. I am not about to act like I wasn't a total choir nerd in high school so the two summers that I attended the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain were the best summers of my awkward, thankfully short, adolescence. It was the first time I was surrounded by a high concentration of other art lovers and probably the first time I ever felt like I really belonged somewhere. I made life-long friends, learned what working hard for your passions was about, and I made my first gay best friend. Being there brought back some awesome memories.

We were also there in anticipation of the impending apocalypse, as predicted by the crazy Harold Camping - get it, camping? We are all still here though because, you know, that guy is a total nut job.

And now, because I know you people don't come here to read, here are some pictures to look at.

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We're going to climb this?

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Lead climbing.

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My husband tearing up some slabs.

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Ashley climbed up so fast I only got a couple of shots. Girl power.

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I spy...Jessi way up high.

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Almost there.

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A whole little world in a flower.

More pictures here.

Underneath the mountain ranges
Where the wind that never changes
Touch the windows of my soul

I'm just a child of nature
I don't need much to set me free.
~John Lennon

Finally writing about that whole honeymoon.

What a whirlwind the last year has been. Buying a house, renovating said house, starting a new job, planning a wedding. Amid all of this, the only vacation I took was one day off to move. Let's just say I was exhausted - and Joel was too. It's probably useless to tell you that our belated honeymoon (which is in the theme of this belated month-later post) to the beautiful island of Cozumel was pretty much the best thing since sliced bread.

We sipped all the drinks we could, ate all the food we could, took all the naps we could, took several incredible excursions, spent time oceanside with our favorite authors and applied over two bottles of sunscreen in a week. I was not about to mess around with a sunburn in pursuit of a tan.  I'm pale and proud.

Anyway. It was the first time in a long time we were able to just enjoy each-other's company without all the little worries that pervade our everyday life and it did wonders for us. If you know me, you know that I am no good with relaxing. I have a really hard time just shutting off and not worrying about things.  I don't know if it was something in the water (okay probably the tequila) but for an entire week, I didn't worry about work or about the house or what I should be accomplishing. What I ended up accomplishing was one of the most blissful weeks spent with my husband.

This new skill of relaxing has also followed me back to the states, which, I would like to believe is why it took me over a month to post this.

Now, without further ado, here are the pictures.

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Welcome to Cozumel, Honeymooners!

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Ocean view honeymoon suite.

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Relaxing on the balcony.

100_0003This is where we did what we promised everyone in the states we would not do - venture out into "real Mexico." We rented a Jeep and took a joyride around the island. And guess what? It was safe, and it was awesome. Probably the best day of the whole vacation. The coastline and virgin island was stunning, the beaches were non-touristy, and all the locals were friendly. Best of all, we didn't even get tangled in any drugs rings or get murdered by drug lords because Cozumel is safe like that. So there you have it.

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Here is Joel making friends at Coconuts, a restaurant on the other side of the island. The feminist in me had a hard time with the whole coconut thing and the book they had there of "coconuts" who had visited the establishment before, but the guacamole and ocean view helped me cope with that.

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Right outside the restaurant. See what I mean about the view?

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Because we are shameless tourists, we ventured across the ocean to the Yucatan Peninsula to check out Tulum, Mayan ruins just several hours north of Belize. We indulged our inner-nerds in the rich culture and very sad history of the Mayans. It was definitely worth the 3 hour ferry/bus combo journey and the 6:30 a.m. departure time. Maybe even worth the massive woman with the stretched out Betty Boop tattoo on her back who reclined her bus seat in my lap the entire ride and claimed the seat was "broken" and did not acknowledge there was a person sitting behind her.

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On our last night, oceanside.

If you want to be even more jealous of our awesome honeymoon, check out some more pics here