Saturday, November 29, 2008

Puerto Vallarta - Zipline Adventure

Well, we just got back from our cruise and here are the pictures from our Zip-Line Adventure in Puerto Vallarta. The cruise was amazing and we had such a good time. Puerto Vallarta was such a fun port and beautiful city. This Zip-Line thing was amazing as well and definitely the best part of our trip. To start the trip of we rode a speed boat for 15-20 minutes down the coast to a small village. Along the way we saw whales and stopped to check 'em out. Upon arriving at the village we boarded some big Mercedes SUV's which we rode in the back of. We then arrived at the base camp, donned our equipment, and that is where our pictures begin (for this post).
Here we are waiting to begin the treck.
We had to ride mules up to the first Zip-Line, and this is us waiting to be assigned a mule.Here (above) is Amanda and her mule, and below is me and my mule.The following is a series of pictures of the first Zip-line...
After the first Zip, we did a series of nine more Lines which varied in length and drop. One even plummeted us into a deep pool where we were submerged to our chests.

The next series is of our first rapel. It was against a waterfall and a lot of fun. Plus we got these sweet pics!
This one is Amanda and her brother CameronThis is the second rapel. It was a free-fall drop from the platform you can see in the pictures. I didn't get any pictures on this one because I did it too fast for the photographer.
This was the second to last Zip-Line, and was a dual one where we could race. Amanda raced her brother Cameron, and I raced Amanda's brother Travis. We both lost... :(And here we are mid-adventure, after splashing down the waterfall rapel. Travis on the left, then Cameron, Amanda and Myself.
This was an amazing trip and this is just part of it. We still need to develop the pictures we took on our disposable waterproof cameras that have the boat ride and stuff. All-in-all we did 10 Zip-Lines and 2 rapels and had amazing fun. If anyone ever has an opportunity to do something like this, DO IT, it is so much fun and worth the money.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bon Voyage

Later folks, I'll be gone for the next week on a wonderful cruise to Mexico, enjoy your lives in normalhood while I am being pampered! Mwahahahahahaha! Anyways, you can expect a nice post with pics and whatnots when we return.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Into The Wild

At some points in this life, you realize some truths that just are. Whether through stimulation by outside influences or by introspective forces, these moments come and we should cherish them.

One of the major eye-opening points for me was my mission. So many things that I took for granted in my everyday life, so many things I had never thought about, so many of these salient truths waiting to be discovered were there waiting for me in Ecuador. The simplicity of life, the humility of the people, and their complete happiness with what little they had been given in life, really illustrated for me what happiness is.

I've been home for 2 1/4 years now and some of those lessons, though learned and internalized are not so poignantly placed in my mind. Which brings me to the above named movie (based on a book, which was based on the true story), Into The Wild.

The young man is about my age and graduates college and decides to experience what such writers as Henry D. Thoreau and Jack London wrote about as they found themselves in the solitude of this great earth. I'm not here to post about the story behind it (you can watch/read that on your own) but the truths behind it. The main character Chris is looking for happiness which he did not have at home. He travels and interacts with people across the nation all on a quest to go North, to Alaska. (SPOILER ALERT) When he finally gets there, he thinks he's happy until stranded alone on a river that grew much bigger than what it was in winter. He eats the wrong plant and just before dying realizes the one great truth behind happiness:

"Happiness is only real when shared"

He had found it on the road with the people he had met and befriended, he had found it through human interaction. Happiness doesn't come from things, or money, or whatever else, it comes from those we love and care about, from those precious moments when we are at ease with those we love.

There is so much good in this world, we just need to get people to look at it another way. We need to get out of our cocoons and be the kind caring people we are meant to be but sometimes forget we are.

I love landscapes, sunsets, the beauty of nature. How often do you take a moment to savor a sunset? To share a sweet tender moment with those you love? To share happiness? This is what we should pursue in life. In closing here are some good quotes that express some of the ideas of the movie:

-"You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only...from human relationships. God has placed it all around us...and all you have to do is reach for it." (Jon Krakauer, Into The Wild)

- "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." (Henry David Thoreau)

- "Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify." (Henry David Thoreau)

- "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." (Henry David Thoreau)

- "Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth." (Henry David Thoreau)

- "The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time." (Jack London)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Getty

I love art, so does Amanda, so for Veteran's Day, I had both school and work off and Amanda got work off for the day, so we went and had some fun. Our day was filled with breakfast at Casa Jimenez, a quick trip to the new Used Bookstore right next to Casa J, after which we headed off for the main event of the day The Getty in LA. We stayed there and enjoyed the beauty for a few hours then headed back to Ontario to hit up Re-Mart (great deals) and Mervyn's (crappy store, no wonder they went bankrupt), after which we got dinner at Applebee's, dessert from Handel's Ice Cream, and a nice movie to cuddle up to afterwards. What a great day. Here are a few images from what we saw...

Us outside the Getty in the middle of our trip

This is the top of a waterfall that overlooks the beautiful gardens there, I like this shot (and had to stand on top of a water rim to get it)

"Van Tromp, Going About to Please His Masters"
A beautiful landscape by Joseph William Turner, 1844, Oil on Canvas
"Wheatstacks, Snow Effect, Morning"
By Claude Monet, 1891, Oil on Canvas
"The Portal of Rouen Cathedral in Morning Light"
By Claude Monet, 1894, Oil on Canvas

"The Bridge Over Water Lily Pond"
By Claude Monet,

"Bust of Winter"
By Paul Heermann, 1700-1733, Marble
"An Old Man in Military Costume"
By Rembrandt Harmensz, van Rijn
"Moonlit Landscape With a View a View of the New Amstel River and Castle Kostverloren"
By Aert van der Neer, 1647, Oil on Panel

"A Panoramic Landscape"
By Philips Koninck, 1665, Oil on Canvas
"The Entombment"
By Peter Paul Rubens, about 1612, Oil on Canvas
"Dancer Taking a Bow (The Prima Ballerina)"
By Edgar Degas, about 1877, Pastel and gouache on paper

I loved the fountain in the following pictures and took a lot of pictures of it...
This is the sunset at the end of the day, Montclair Plaza

What a beautiful day, hope you enjoyed this blog!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Bored...Crazy 8's

I was bored and saw this on a friend's blog, so...

8 Things...

8 things I am passionate about:
1. My wifey, Amanda
2. My family
3. The Gospel/Truth
5. Accounting
6. Speaking my Mind
7. Meat, yum
8. Reese's Sticks

8 words or phrases that I use the most
1. I love you. (to Amanda)
2. Blah, Blah, Blah
3. Hi, How are you doing today?
4. Hi there
5. Thanks for coming in today...
6. This book is good/bad because...
7. WHAT?!
8. I'll Kill you... (??)

8 things I want to do before I die
1. Have kids, grandkids, etc.
2. Own a home
3. See the world
4. Have my own personal Library
5. Get published
6. Be remembered (maybe I'll just go shove some random kid's face into his ice cream, the kid should remember that, right?)
7. Learn how to fence (i.e. sword fight)
8. Invent something useful

8 things I need right now
1. Switch the laundry out
2. For winter to actually arrive and stop bouncing around between cool and hot
3. More books, you always need more books right?
4. More water bottles in the fridge (I hate tap water)
5. To understand Lease accounting better
6. A nap....zzzzzz
7. A vacation (soon enough)
8. Something yummy to eat

8 places I want to visit
1. Italy
2. Ecuador
3. Jerusalem
4. Mexico (in a couple weeks on a cruise ship...)
5. English Isles
6. Greece
7. The rest of Europe
8. Church history tour

8 favorite restaurants
1. In 'N Out
2. Senor Baja's
3. Logan's Roadhouse
4. Olive Garden
5. Applebee's
6. Red Robin
7. Chipotle
8. Chili's

8 TV shows I watch
1. The Office
2. 30 Rock
3. South Park
4. House
5. Heroes
6. Lost
7. News
8. Seinfeld

Thursday, November 6, 2008

How did YOU celebrate Nov 4th?

I voted for McCain, but him losing doesn't mean the end of the world for me, these videos might illustrate the sentiments of both sides a little better... ENJOY!!

There are those who supported McCain...

And those who supported Obama...

but the truth of the matter is, Obama winning was part of a greater plan...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Late but fun

I know Halloween has past but I just found this song by Panic at the Disco and I liked it. It's not spooky or anything, but it would be a lot of fun when I have kids.

Panic at the Disco - "It's Almost Halloween"

Pearls Before Swine

I love this comic!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

New Adventure Mate

Alrighty, we now have a new inductee to the world of blogging.


That's right, my wonderful wife has decided to join in the family/friends fun and start blogging her two cents on life as well. So I know many of you out there would like to welcome her, so instead of finding her randomly on my side bar, here's the link, check it out!

Welcome Amanda, you are such an amazing person and I love you. Recently Heidi said that one of the elements to a successful marriage is to ask yourself at times: "Do I want to be right? or do I want to be happy?" Luckily for me, you are almost always right! Even when I think I am. So for all those out there, you should know that when I am right about something I make a big deal about it and celebrate (cause it doesn't happen often) all in good fun of course. So we can be happy, and I can usually count on Amanda being right! haha, it's true. Though I must say, I too enjoy being right, whenever I try to argue it, I usually lose. So I choose happy! Welcome again.