Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hockey Tour

We are having a great time in Russia and now Finland. Weather isn't exactly Floridian, but the scenery is amazing and the hockey has been great.

Aaron and Bryce

St. Petersburg - its dark a lot here

Kenny & Hughie

Boys looking thoughtful - counts as home schooling session

St. Issacs Church - Russian wants to teach us to dance

This is the hat Aaron bought - will be useful AFTER Florida


Aaron & Jonathan

Monday, December 30, 2013

We Found BIGGER Jesus

So while some people are off in Europe trying to remember how to skate, i'm getting sunburned in Brazil... not really... more like an "investment tan". You may have some pre-concieved thoughts about Brazil, if you can't remember them I'll help you out with some suggestions below:


No, this isn't a "matching" question... more of a pointless exercise to make us realize how prejudiced we all are. The real Brazil is a combination of some pictures, exactly like some others and in no way shape or form like some others... you can make your own judgements from what you decide.

Everything is bigger in Brasil (yes, that is the Português spelling, spelled in Portuguese).
Bigger populations means bigger cities, meaning more infrastructure and land.

Bigger mountains with bigger views of bigger ocean (it just looks bigger because you're at a higher elevation).

Bigger coconuts...

Bigger statues of Jesus... yes Aary... while you were gone I found a bigger Jesus than your Jesus. You can use your precious wikipedia to figure out how much bigger it is... but it's christmas, so here's a hint: A LOT BIGGER. The statue is 38 meters tall and is sits atop a 710 meter mountain... and yes, that's above sea level. 

But one thing is smaller or non-existent... bathing suits... I will not publish a photo because some of you are under the age of 18. But to see for yourself follow this link: expedia.ca 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Little change in climate ....

Heading out on our hockey adventure to Russia, Finland,Sweden & Denmark.  Looking forward to some great hockey & awesome sightseeing - just hope one of us can remember how to skate !! 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

We wish everyone a Merry Christmas wherever your travels may take you !

We are having a wonderful Canadian White Christmas in Napanee and (except one who is loving a warm sunny Christmas further south ☀️) 

Ice and snow is covering everything!

Christmas at the Cottage

Happy holidays! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

We found Jesus

He's sitting at the bottom of the ocean. He's carved into a pedestal, just in case you're wondering why the second coming hasn't happened yet.

Not the real Jesus of course, but a statue. And not technically a statue of Jesus, but a statue modelled after a statue of Jesus. You see, once upon a time a statue was.... I'm sorry. I'm not too familiar with the story. Luckily, wikipedia is. For those who are not familiar with my writing (everyone except schoolteachers), I use wikipedia a lot. Got zeroes on two separate essays because of it. But enough about me, here's the gist of the wikipedia article:

So, the Christ of the Abyss is a 2.5 meter high bronze statue 17 meters below the Mediterranean Sea. It is placed in the spot at which Dario Gonzatti, the first Italian SCUBA diver died. There are multiple casts of the statue, one of which is just off Key Largo in the United States. This is the cast that we saw. 

Here is Jesus - the statue.

We were snorkelling at the site of the statue. It took us a couple of minutes to find it, after which we had fun taking pictures with it. See below. After pictures, we snorkelled around the reef for a bit, saw some coral, a few barracudas (which look very mean and would probably eat your hand if they could. Luckily they didn't. But we were still scared), and even jellyfish. We weren't stung.

After getting out of the water, we watched a wedding. Not like, we went back to shore, got in a car, drove to a church, and watched a wedding, but right there. On the ocean. Two people (probably avid scuba divers) got married underwater at the Christ of the Abyss statue in full scuba gear, him in a wetsuit designed like a tux, and her in a waterproof white dress. So that was interesting. I wonder what the hand signal for 'I do' is (scuba divers pretty much exclusively communicate with hand signals)…

Here is a barracuda (perhaps God of the fish?) that was checking us out…..

And here I am, just doing some diving…

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Today, it was cold. Real cold.

So, today we were in Lignumvitae Key. It’s an interesting place, but I don’t like explaining/describing things. Here’s a wikipedia article instead.

While we were in Lignumvitae Key, it was cold. None of this weak little 18-degree-maybe-put-on-a-sweater-if-you-feel-like-it-but-you-don’t-REALLY-have-to-and-you’ll-probably-be-fine cold, but actual teeth chattering, snow blizzarding (serious blizzard, like worst of the year), wear a parka or freeze to death cold. The cold that scares you. The cold that makes you wonder why people decided to settle in North America in the first place cold.

Not where we were, of course. We were plenty warm. We even jumped into the ocean to cool off. (While doing so, dad kicked a fish [he says] of a size that increases every time he tells the story [we’re at about a 400 pounder at this point], but that’s a story for a different time). It was that hot.

No, wonderful readers, it was our friends back home who almost froze to death in what was probably the worst storm of the year. We were sweating. Which is, of course, the reason we took this trip in the first place. That and relaxing. We did that too. We went fishing, we laid around doing nothing in the December heat, I read most of a Stephen King book (not as scary as World War Z that zombie book whose title I can't mention because of copyright, but still freaky at some points [read "Under The Weather" {no I'm not worried about copyright here. This is a critique. It is allowed under free speech and the DMCA}, that is a very freaky story]). That was a very large, three layer deep, parenthetical labyrinth.

Where was I? Oh right, I read most of a Stephen King book, dad fished (but failed to catch the elusive now-575-pound fish that he had kicked earlier), and we took a tour of a state park. We saw completely unimpressive lignum vitae trees (which you may have read about if you followed the above hyperlink) and Gumbo Limbo trees (nicknamed the Tourist Tree because it's red and peels) and poison trees, which are members of the poison ivy tree, but are 4 or 5 times worse (which scared us) and mosquitos.

Gumbo Limbo Tree
Poison Tree
2nd largest LV tree is the USA

I had forgotten my hatred of that particular species, but the deep inner rage that I had been harbouring since July was reawakened by those awful biting insects. The one thing I miss about winter is no skeeters (coincidentally, skeeter is the name of one of the characters in the Stephen King book. Trades the devil blood pressure medication in exchange for a cure for cancer).

But I do not miss the cold.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

We ran and ran and ran …. 26 miles in (a) Marathon

Ya right…. Just kidding - Actually quite the opposite - we are back in Marathon FL - a totally laid back and relaxed place - no exertion, sore feet or knees and the sweating is only from lying in the sun on the beach. Which is what we did for the afternoon.  In the morning the boys and I dove "Thunderbolt" - a sunken US Navy ship sitting 100' underwater - totally cool, if not a bit spooky.  Apparently they put glow sticks in the windows for a Halloween dive in case its not creepy enough already! 

The second part of the dive was at a coral reef where we saw a very colourful Moray Eel (which thankfully didn't come out to nip at us) and Aaron tried his hand at lobstering.

This one was too small to keep

The couple on the boat in front of us at the dock are lovely, she is wheelchair bound and he plays taps every night on his trumpet at sunset.  They have a beautiful Christmas tree on the stern of their boat, so to be part of the festive spirit, Katie and Kenny decorated SeaMorr with icicle lights all around.  

We are saving the big picture for  later….. 
In the afternoon we took the dingy to the beach and lounged on the beach and in the water watching the scenery.  Katie worked on her creative photography skills with the left overs of  the BEvERages and Kenny almost didn't make it back to the boat…. or was that Katie??


We thought we'd take the dingy to a restaurant for dinner, but it took us a long time to actually find it, with storm clouds brewing, only to hear first hand there was a very loud, not so good band playing, so we ordered pizza and curled up to watch a movie in our PJ's.

A Marathon Day - Keys style

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gay Men, "Clothing Optional", Sunshine and more even stereotypes; welcome to Key West

Now to clarify, I did not judge men and determine they're gay… but this flag convinced me that there are men in Key West who happen to be gay:
It's 1.25 miles long and made of 18,000 yards of fabric and was on display "from sea to sea" in 2002. There is also an Aids Memorial. 

To now focus on all the things we did while in Key West:
1) Saw "The Southern Most Points in the Continental United States" (remember the toilets in St.           Augustine… there's a theme here)
- Waited in line with all the passengers of Carnival Magic (don't think this Carnival ship has had an issue yet… stay tuned) to get a picture

2)  USCGC Ingham (its a coast guard ship turned into a museum) 
- Most decorated and longest serving US Coast Guard ship in history (2 presidential citations in her 52 years of service: 1936-1988)
- It was left just as it was in operational condition… so we couldn't push an buttons 

3) Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum 
- Excellent museum with "in character" guides, highly recommended if you're in Key West
- 62 pound silver bar… it's pretty heavy 
- 65ft lookout tower used to looks for ships "wrecked" upon a reef 
       - Then they'd fight a hurricane to rescue the crew and salvage the cargo for tons of money
               - Once upon a time Key West was the richest city in the US per capita because of shipwrecks

4) Rental Car Experience.

- Best part of the day, totally worth: staying up till 2:30am getting a Florida FWC boaters card, salty hair and being incredibly sore the next day
- Mom fell off trying to take a picture… about time really
- Dad and chop rolled trying to turn right at about 3 mph 
- Ocean swells of 5-6 feet and a 110hp wave runner (a more powerful Sea-Doo would be more fun, but I'd feel bad beating it up in the waves) ensured a good time
- Went slightly further south than the "southern most point in the continental US" making it the furthest south we've been on the trip thus far.