Sunday, November 30, 2008

Big White Announces Exciting News

We are still on the road. Spent the night in Yakima, WA and should arrive in Kelowna in time to hit the Costco. Just before we left San Diego, Heinz, a Pac Rim member, sent us an article on Big White that appeared in the December 2008 issue of SKI by Ken Castle. Interesting.

What we did know is that a 17-story hotel-condo-casino-convention center is being built at the bottom of the Ridge Rocket Chair and is expected to open in 2010. The construction at Big White looks to be outpacing many other destination resorts, and the real-estate boom could soon be matched by an equally ambitious skiing expansion, tentatively called East Peak. According to this article, the resort is about to unveil a master plan that proposes the addition of 2,000 acres of intermediate and advanced terrain on leased provincial land, with construction of the first lift on East Peak to begin in 2010. Plus, the plan makes room for a second-base, another residential community and even a golf course. Even more interesting.
You can download the complete article in pdf format here.

Our ski club, Pacific Rim Alliance, is running a ski trip to Big White April 5-12, 2009, when the skiing and weather is at it's finest. Click here for the details.

Pac Rim also has a ski trip to the Kootenays (Fernie, Kicking Horse, Panorama, Kimberley) Feb 28 - March 8, 2009. Click here for details.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."
— Melody Beattie
Wishing you the Peace Gratitude brings.
Layout made from Sweet Blossom Designs by Sara's Enchanted Forest Kit.

Friday we head to Big White, BC, Canada for some snow skiing.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Hawai'i Photo Gallery

The Hawai'i Photo Gallery is now open for viewing. Photos are in groups— Kono, North Kona, Volcano, Painted Church, Krimm's Farm, Place of Refuge, Hosts Ann & Jim, Fish & Turtles at Kahalu'u Beach. It was a wonderful vacation. Almost half the photos are fish, they were so beautiful, especially the blue ones, and I went crazy with my new underwater camera (Olympus SW850). Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hawai'i Goodbye

We arrived home from Hawaii this morning very tired but with all our luggage. Fay and Jillie left Kona on Friday and we moved to Ann and Jim's home for three more days. We had a great time with them. They introduced us to wonderful fresh foods of Hawaii. Their garden, while in the process of rebuilding, is amazing. I couldn't quite swallow the seeds in the passion fruit, but it sure did taste good in Jim's Mai Tias. We were served fresh from the garden— bananas, guava, papaya, mango, avocado, basil, lettuce, and more.

Ann and Jim took us to some spots we missed earlier in the week— Painted Church, Margaret Krimm's coffee farm, Place of Refuge, Two Steps, and Hilton Waikoloa Village. We were their guests at a bi-annual fundraiser to benefit Family Support Services of West Hawaii that was really fun. Even through it was raining during the weekend we managed to get in a day of snorkeling where I took another 300 underwater photos of fish and turtles. I hope to have our Kona photo gallery available tomorrow. Don't worry, I've managed to reduce the more than 1,000 snaps down to around 150.
Here's a snap taken at the Place of Refuge. I caught a moment of sun on the coconut trees with a storm brewing in the background.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Hawai'i Snorkel LO

I took more than 300 photos when we snorkeled at Kahalu'u Beach yesterday. Here's a LO of the best of the beach, fish and turtles. As you can see, it was so beautiful.

Hawai'i Sunset

We went snorkeling via a Zodiac boat to Kealakekua Bay on Wednesday. It's near where Captian Cook died and you get there by a very steep hike or by water. The fish and coral were so beautiful. This is a very interesting island with all the lava formations which can best be appreciated by sea or air. Our guides took us into lava caves and we saw a pod of spinner dolphins on the way back.

Yesterday we snorkeled at Kahalu'u Beach also known as Turtle Beach. There were lots of turtles and pretty fish.

Sunsets are always special. This was taken near our unit on Alii Dr.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hawai'i Volcano

Yesterday, we took a car tour of the island. We stopped at waterfalls, Hilo, Gardens, and the Mauna Loa Volcano. It rained most of the day and the wind in the afternoon could knock you over if you weren't careful. Here we are walking through the Thurston Lava Tunnel.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hawai'i Kona Arrival

We arrived late Friday night in Kona to heat, humidity and no luggage for Gene. American Airlines only has one flight a day from LA to Kona and we were told not to expect anything until the next evening. So we wasted our morning at Costco and Wall-Mart buying Gene a shirt, swim trunks, shorts, and other necessities.

Next day we were told that American no longer scans luggage so Gene's bag could be anywhere and they had no idea where that would be. In addition, American employees in Kona don't come in until 5 PM (found out later, it's really 7 PM) and they leave at 10 PM. They don't check on the luggage until the next day at 7 PM. Unbelievable!

Sunday we took a drive north into the Pololu Valley. Gene took the hike to the black sand beach at Kelokea Beach Park. I walked half way down and grabbed this photo. It was absolutely beautiful. We drove home through rain forest, grazing lands and desert.
We stopped by the airport on the way back to our unit to talk to the workers at American. They told us that usually the luggage comes in on Hawaiian the next day. Gene then went through both Hawaiian and American luggage bins and couldn't find his. He was bummed. But as soon as we got home he receive a call telling him that they found his luggage. It had been with Hawaiian Airlines since the morning and they notified us by calling our home. They delivered it an hour later and Gene was a happy camper. Such incompetence should not be accepted. American will be hearing from Gene.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cabo Memories

Since you asked, I've created a photo gallery of our recent Cabo trip. I also made a LO of Gene playing volleyball using the great nighttime shot I got of the empty volleyball court on the beach. I used Barbara Lee's "Colorado" Kit for the elements.

Tomorrow we are off to Hawaii (Kona) to join our friends Fay & Jilly at their time-share. Afterward we will be joining our friends Jim and Kim for a couple of days. It's our first time on the big Island so I've been told there won't be much pool time.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

LO of Mom's Yearbook

Yesterday was spent in Los Angeles. First I visited my Mom, then went to pick up an award presented to me for work I've done for the LA Council of Ski Clubs and lastly saw the play "Spring Awakening" at the Ahmanson Theater. It was fun visiting Mom and she feed me well. I was honored to receive an award— it's always nice to know you are appreciated. The play was dark, interesting and very creative but not for everyone.

The best part of the trip north was that Mom unearthed some boxes of old photos and other stuff. I got through two of them before I had to split. I made this layout of my favorite— scans from her 1945 yearbook. I used Barbara Lee's "Bear Kit."Later.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Home from the Ball

The San Diego Council Gala was a blast. It was an absolutely amazing day— warm, sunny, sparkling. In the morning we road bikes around Harbor Island to the Midway Ship and the "kissing sailor" before heading to Shelter Island where we lunched at Red Sails. After two hours on the bike, it was tough getting back in the saddle.

Our butts were so sore but not too sore to dance nonstop for hours. As you might notice in the photo below, men will be boys. Here Mike and Gene attempt a return to their roots. Ha! Ha! Too much fun.

More photos available for viewing.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Off to the Ball

Tomorrow we are off to the Ball. The San Diego Council of Ski Clubs' SnoBall Gala was first held in 1960. While the council remains a non-profit organization, the Gala has changed a lot over the years. This year the organizers are making it a "Gala Weekend." Saturday we will be joining the bike riders in the morning and dancing in the evening. Sunday will start with a walk on the beach followed by brunch and some pool time. We will do this all in sunny San Diego while praying for snow in the mountains.

I was volunteered to put the program together. I used the following free awesome scrapbook kits for the cover.
  • Background and Frame by Barbara Lee in her "Colorado" kit.
  • Heart by Sweet Blossom Designs by Sara in the "Hearts & Flowers" Collaborative kit with Vicki Parker.
  • String by Linda Walton in the "Festivity" Collaborative kit with Vicki Parker.
  • Grommets by Vicki Parker in the "Putting on the Glitz" kit.
  • Photo courtesy Jack Affleck for Vail Resorts.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Cobo Reality Check

While we are back home and back to work our heads are still in Cabo. Gene can't understand why I kept taking photos of horses since I don't particularly like riding them. Here's one of the many reasons — a view of horses taken at dusk on the beach. I hope to find time to do some Cabo layouts for you.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Cabo Goodbye

Today is our last day in Cabo. We started the morning with a sunrise walk on the beach. The wave crashes were spectacular and loud and fearsome. The Royal Solaris released another 52 turtles this morning. There were just a few of us to see them swim out to the sea.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cabo Footprints in the Sand

This is Gene's idea of a joke. Can you see it? We truly believe in leaving only footprints. These are from our walk on the beach last evening at dusk. Another beautiful evening.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Cabo WOW!

Our sunset walk along the beach was so very romantic. A picture is certainly worth a millions word so here's one of each. WOW!