Friday, January 21, 2005

Flying stinks

I hate flying. We had to fly to see hubby's family this year. When I was younger I loved how you were pushed back in your seat during takeoff and how the ground came into view and feeling the wheels hit the ground during landing. Now... all I can think of is running off the runway, exploding before we hit 30k feet, a terrorist deciding to turn us into a building or the ground being there before it was supposed to. I admit, during take off I put on a cool front, but I am praying my little heart out and wanting it to be over.

Then you have the airports. I have a thing against people anyway. Sure most can be nice enough, but there are just too darn many of them. I can't stand crowds. People not talking to one another just stuffed next to one another, involved in their own little worlds. Or, you have someone who won't shut up when you want to be in your own little world. This year we booked the early flights both there and back. Our flight out was on the 24th and was to leave at 6:30am. Great, I had visions of huge lineups and crowds, crying babies and pissed off fliers. But I steeled myself and just wanted to get it over. Now, 'they' (who the check are THEY anyway?) want you there 2 hours ahead, so we had to leave about 45 min earlier than that because we had to drop our truck off and take a shuttle to the airport to be there on time.

Wouldn't you know it. We walked right up the counter, surrendered our bags, and got right through security in a matter of minutes. So we sat around the airport for 2 hours waiting to board. That was fun, but at least there were no crowds.

We spent the holidays with family...11 of us in one house for 10 days, and 17 of us on Christmas day. I am not even going there...that is for another day when I feel stronger.

My prayers worked for the flight there and back, because I am here to complain to you. The flight back was about the same. This time we were farther away from the airport and we were up at 1:30AM(!?!?!) to be at the airport for our 6:30 flight. And once again, we got to walk up to the counter, through security and ended up waiting for 2 hours.

No matter how busy it is, or how quiet, I am always glad for it to be over. There is nothing like walking into your own house, dumping your bags and listening to the quiet. Well, that is until you have to unpack - but I won't go there today.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

How to be a virtual cruiser

In case some of you are wondering how to become a Virtual Cruiser. I have made a top 10 list just for you! They are in no particular order.

1. Start watching almost exclusively; National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, History Channel with just a bit of the travel channel thrown in. Why? To find out about those really cool places you want to go see.

2. Get DSL. You are going to need to research those unique places you've seen on TV. Nothing hurts a dream more when you are waiting for an amazing photo to load and it takes a half hour over dial-up.

3. Subscribe to Wooden Boat Magazine (a boating magazine for the rest of us), Sail, as well as Latitudes & Attitudes. Just to read some great stories and get your enthusiasm up. There are others of course, but if you can afford a new boat, what on earth are you doing reading this? Go now!!

4. Learn to Sail. Well... if you plan on becoming a real cruiser, this is just prudent. If you plan on staying a virtual cruiser all your life, then skip this step. We should put, learn to swim here too - especially the kids.

5. Join the SSCA (seven seas cruising association). This is where real cruisers hang out. They publish a great bulletin monthly with articles submitted by members of their travels all over the world. A must have.

6. Start building your library. We have gathered an amazing assortment of books. Don't forget books on refridgeration, storm tactics and knots!

7. Start downsizing. Have that garage sale and get rid of those chia pets,
useless kitchen gadgets and worn out clothes. Will you be able to fit your household into a 30-40' boat, or smaller? Unless you live in a batchelor apartment, I doubt this very much. We are constantly doing this. But much of it is for my sanity, I can't stand clutter - although you could never guess this by looking at my desk.

8. Learn the Ham radio. If you plan on ever calling for help, this would be a smart thing to do. But also nice to chat with other cruisers to find out the weather of where your going and also a way to send email, believe it or not.

9. Try out new ways to cook. We are constantly looking at recipes we can make with fewer items and even all from cans. You're not going to be able to run to the grocery store if your in the middle of an ocean to get something to nuke for dinner. Oh, and try new foods from ethnic markets. Some are great, others...well, not so great. But you have to be open to try new foods or be prepared to stay near home.

10. Save up money. The least fun of the whole plan. It takes money to get out there. All the people we read say to just go, but we tend to be a little more cautious when it comes to being poor. You don't need a fortune, but enough to cruiser for a couple months at least.

Thats it. Have fun. Oh, and takethe money you got from the garage sale and start a cruising kitty - the fund you use when you sail.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Geek goods for Christmas

I have been bugging my hubby for two main things this Christmas. He shakes his head at both. The first is a Tilley Sun or Rain Hat: T3 Model... yes, a hat. If you check it out it is very cool. I have wanted one for years, but since I need a good one on the boat, I can justify the cost. It even floats and can hold my sunglasses. I will look like either an old person or traveller...hmm, I am hoping for traveller look.

The second thing I want is a gadget (of course). What is it you ask? A digital pen - a Logitech io2 Digital Writing System, to be exact. Yes, there are things like that out there. I saw the first model a while ago, but didn't like that it had no OCR, so it could not read my handwriting. But this one does. Too Cool.

So what on earth could I use a digital pen for? Well, I love my computer, but at times, I enjoy sitting with a pad of paper and a pen and writing longhand. But, I want to get that information into my computer. So up until this point it has been either keyboard or paper and no digital version. Now I can have both - hooray. Now if it was just a little smaller ...

Yes, I am a geek

Ok, I confess... I am a geek. I love geek stuff. I love gadgets, I can install a hard drive without even thinking about it, I am a gamer, and I go into withdrawl shakes if I am not online for at least a couple hours a day. The only thing I don't have is that social ineptness that many geeks have, and that annoying laugh that makes you embarrassed for them. Wait... I do have a 'unique' laugh, although I don't snort that often and it makes others laugh too. Uh oh. Oh man. So much for that thought.

But one thing I love without embarrassment are gadgets. I love the cool things that come out. But not the junk. Not the plastic gadgets you can get on TV for 19.99 - BUT WAIT, that's not all! I hate junk. What I love usually ends up being on the expensive side. I may want it, but don't have it. When it comes down to putting down the cash for something I had better have a use for it, or it stays on the shelf.

Most of the stuff I have been looking at lately is stuff that I can take and use on the boat somehow. Everything in my life seems to be looked at through cruising glasses. I was just webbing through the google store and found a cool gadget. I have no use for it now, but I might in some foreign country when I need my online fix.

Its called the 'Wireless Hotspot Finder' I guess you walk around with it like you would a radiation detector and look for a strong wireless signal. I guess this lets you walk around and if you happen to find a wireless network 'out there' you can just plug right in. Right on. Now I just need to get myself a laptop. Sigh.

Just an address book

OK, here is the last post I stole from that old blog back in to be deleted.
Yesterday I picked myself up address book pages for a daytimer style book - you know, the kind with 6 holes. I will need a phone book I can expand on when I am cruising. I plan on meeting many people and keeping intouch with as many as I can. I not only put all of my current address into the book, I put them into my yahoo addresses. I plan on keeping a blog when I am experiencing my adventures on the water, and I want to share the link by email. That may be the only way people can know what is going on with us, I am not much of a letter writer at all. This way they can stay current and see photos as well.

Goals of mine

Ok, I must be hurting for content, because I took this from that old blog..just one more post to steal btw. I look back and realize some goals are as strong as ever and some just were thoughts for a moment and then faded quickly.
Back to that Klauser book. She talks about writing down your goals, so here my are for posterity sake, and incase I lose the hard copy.

Publish a novel, get toned up, go on a book signing our, buy a sailboat, publish a magazine article, find and do a job from home that pays well, move to the coast (either one), sell property, buy a new car, get a nose job, buy a wardrobe full of nice clothes, get and keep my nails long, learn to cook Mexican well, learn to cook Chinese well, have an active blog, make enough money to be able to cruise, have enough money to put mom into a nice care facility, pay for all the kids college funds, have a better relationship with Michael, write a bestseller, go shopping in Beverly Hills, buy a house in another country (not Canada), go sky diving, go wreck diving, be in a sailing race on the ocean, see sights on all 7 continents, take a train ride through Europe, learn to surf, write a screenplay, have the screenplay made into a movie, buy a Hummer with cash, go to Disneyworld, see all 50 states, visit over 100 countries, get my Ham license, become a better parent, learn to play the pan flute, earn a university degree, save someone's life, ride in a helicopter, swim with sharks, swim with dolphins, swim with manatees, visit among other places: Venice, Italy, paint with oils

Oven mitts

I found this blog entry on an old private blog I was doing for myself back in June, and I thought I would move the post here, since it is relevant.

I am reading the book 'Write It Down, Make It Happen' by Henriette Anne Klauser. In chapter 5 titled 'Addressing fears and feelings' she is writing about a journal kept by a woman, who unknownst to herself she was making small steps to her goal.

I want to do that about sailing. I want to buy a sailboat and sail around the world, visiting cultures and all that. I was thinking of what small steps I have made.

Yesterday, I made one more step...well, more of a scuff of my foot. I went to one of the big chain kitchen stores and picked up a pair of silicone oven mitts (just fits over my fingers). I needed to replace the cloth ones I had that were burnt and tended to let my fingers do the same. I know these sound strange, but they are small, good up to 500degrees F, foldable and washable. Perfect for having on a boat. So, one more little step for me, I just need to get tupperware now.

Monday, December 20, 2004

So what started this craziness?

This blog is a travel blog.'s a virtual travel blog for now. It's hard to have a travel blog, when you don't do much traveling.

My husband, Michael, and I want to become cruisers. This type of cruiser has nothing to do with cars or clubs. It has everything to do with sailboats. Michael and I plan to buy a sailboat, move aboard with our kids and sail off to some little known part of the world - if there are any left. It’s a very real and wonderful dream for us both. But right at this moment, we are landlocked in the middle of Colorado.

My husband's job brought us out from the state of Washington, to Colorado. We went from oceans, rain forests and our fairly secluded family property to plains, mountains and the very busy suburbs. It was supposed to be a 2 year stint. That was 5 years ago. We are still trying to get back.

We didn't always have this cruising dream. Michael was working a huge amount of hours and we both needed a break. The seed was planted in about the summer of 2002. We wanted to have a fun vacation with the kids so while surfing the net, Michael happened to run across information about Navajo Lake State Park. We lucked out and were able to get a houseboat for a couple of days.

One of my most cherished memories is sitting on the roof of that houseboat, Michael sitting next to me, a book in my lap, and the pink and orange colors of the sunset showing over the wall of the canyon. Wow! I was hooked and wanted more.