Thursday, April 14, 2011

Surfing in Costa Rica

These next few post will be videos for the boys Grandma from our recent trip!

One of Gage's goals while in Costa Rica was to take a surf lesson. I was kinda of unsure if he would go through with it once we go there and he saw the size of the waves. We found a great local guy to give both he and Ward a lesson one afternoon. We were able to surf at an amazing low key beach, Playa Avellanas. There were only about 25 - 30 surfers at best vs 100 or more on some of the more public beaches. It is a beautiful 8k drive down a dirt road. The trees along the road held holler monkeys and gave us some of the best sights of our vacation. Brian our surfer instructor has surfed since he was about 4 - or "all is life" as he said. To say he was amazing is an understatement. He rocked. He had Gage up after about 10 minutes. No kidding. Now, Ward on the other hand was a different story. Don't get me wrong. Ward did well, he was up 2 or 3 times. I am sorry, I really didn't get a chance to get it on the Flip. (And I promise it wasn't because the moment he got up he fell!!). Gage enjoyed it so much that he did not want his lesson to end. We were able to get the next afternoon with Brian as well. Gage loved it. He has been researching to top 10 places in the world to surf after his Dad told him Costa Rica was in the top 10. I have tried to explain to him that Myrtle Beach is really one of them, even though it's not on any of the list. So far he isn't buying it! Davis was more interested in watching the other surfers on the beach and looking for Loyla the pig rather than take a lesson. It was a great place to people watch!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pinewood Derby

As usual I am way behind on blogging. I think Facebook is to blame. It is so much easier to just post pictures there. Many times I go to update and I either 1. get called away by a little bit or 2. I find myself holding back on what I really want to say and getting frustrated. If you could see my non-published stories/opinions you'd laugh. Maybe one day ---.

Anyway. Pinewood Derby. Gage's scout pack held their 1st Annual Pinewood Derby last month. Because Ward has so much spare time (yeah, right!!) he agreed to lead the derby. Lucky for us our back door neighbor is an award winning pwd man! Mr. Gene has written many an article for Scouts Life on the topic and has built many state winning cars. All apparently really cool details if you are into that kinda stuff. Ward is what I would call a perfectionist - so he managed every detail of this derby for 1-4th graders like it was the superbowl of pinewood derbies! He spent many of his nights working late on how he would run the double elimination tournament (see the photo below!) and let me just say, the NCAA basketball bracket had nothing on him! But enough on the that!

The morning of I had 4 boys waking up early eager to race. Check in was huge, we had 34 of our 40 boys participated (then a few parents as well!) I laugh because a good friend of mine said she brought a magazine because she thought it would be "really boring". She later told me she never sat down! It was wild, it was crazy, parents were cheering and children were screaming. We had the best time ever! It was crazy! Gage was outed in the 3rd round. He was beaten by the car that went on to win so he was pleased with his results.

There were trophies for first place, runner up and best car design. Then the Den Leader gave out 2 very special awards for Sportsmanship. For the scouts the main of focus of the Derby is to promote sportsmanship. These 2 awards were special because the cub scouts had no clue it would be given. Their leader listened to the boys interaction as she started and ended each race. Ward and I were very proud that Gage was the recipient of one of these awards. Scouts has been a very rewarding experience for Gage. He has learned that hard work pays off. And that people are paying attention to what you are doing and saying when you might not think they are.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Greetings From Centre America!

It never fails to amaze me how long it takes to prepare for a trip and then it's over in a blink. We decided last year to spend a week with the boys in Costa Rica. They are getting to the age where they really enjoy researching the area prior to our trips. Gage and Davis spent many hours looking online to see what we might find. Animals, type of land, climate etc... They each had their list of things to do and see. Monkeys for all of them, then fishing for Gage and zip-lines for Davis. Truman just wanted to swim and skip naps. Most of our trips we just relax and enjoy the beach or the pool. This one has been a little different. We rented a car and have been able to travel around (down many dirty roads) which has been very rewarding. We have seen monkeys, beautifully loud birds, tons of various lizards, and Davis even spied an Anteater with our neighbor. It is the near the end of the dry season so everything is brown and crunchy off the property. (Our property does water some so there is a tad bit of lush trees and grass). Our villa sits on the ocean and we have spent many evenings on the porch watching the sun "fall into the ocean". It happens each day at 5:30 and you can actually see the sun fall off - it takes less than 10 minutes to set. It is about the only time of day that the boys truly stop talking.

I think everyone has accomplished their vacation goals while we have been here.
Gage caught his first beautiful tuna, and learned the basics of surfing during his different lessons.

Davis and his need for extreme sports went on 2 canopy tours.
Truman swam swam and swam some more and skipped many of his naps.
I took Gage and Davis on one of the canopy tours and completed my goal of letting go and riding upside down and managed to keep my eyes open both times. I have a huge fear of heights but the views and the rush is so amazing, I just try not to look down!

Ward caught a few fish of his own during their charter and even attempted a surf lesson. I think he did a great job! There were a lot of times that his feet managed to stay on the board rather than over his head!!

We all managed to learn a little more Spanish.

I am only sad that after the 2nd day here Ward too a long swim with my waterproof camera in his swim trunks. Needless to say - while it is waterproof - it is not meant for long period of submersion. Thankfully we had our Flip for a few videos and my phone stepped in to help with a few pictures. But as Gage said - the pictures would never be as good as what he has in his head.

We end out trip with an afternoon sail where we return as sunset to see the sun drop into the ocean one more time.