29 April, 2014

Random Thoughts – Missing in Action…

Where to begin?  I promised a full trip report from our trip to the Galapagos in March.  It’s now almost May and let’s be honest - that report isn’t going to get written.   I’ve been too busy at work to mentally process anything by the end of the day.

Why have I been busy at work?  Well, while I was on vacation, they finally terminated a long-term, painful employee in our department that has been a thorn in the side of many for years.   Hence the reason for my busyness – I’ve been asked told to take on some “extra” work until they can “figure things out”.  So, in addition to my already busy contract portfolio, I now am responsible for our trademark and corporate portfolio.  Honestly, I’d gladly give up contracts for trademarks and corporate because there is WAAAY less drama and interaction with the outside world.  When did I become so anti-social?  Good question.

Now, back to a brief synopsis of our Galapagos trip.  I wish it could say it was the best trip ever, but alas it wasn’t – all thanks to some high-maintenance travel companions.   You really do get to know someone when you travel with them, but I must say however, that I’ve traveled with these people at least once a year for 10 plus years and NEVER have I experienced what I did on this trip.  Let’s just say, their nicknames are now SIR & HER COMPLAIN A LOT.  From now on, I’d rather travel with teenage girls. 

Believe me when I say, I am VERY grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given and I appreciate and embrace everything about the culture of the country where I’m visiting.  Not everything is fantastic all of the time, but if you let minor inconveniences, differences in food and culture get you down - you might as well stay home.   Some people have yet to learn those lessons.  Enough said in that topic.

I’m proud to say that The Boy has successfully completed his Blasting Techniques course.  This success has been a huge boost to his self-esteem and mine as a parent.   He finally has a goal in mind and is actually returning to school next week to fast-track through the summer for Drilling Techniques.  By this time next year, he’ll have completed both a two year diploma and one year certificate program.  Let’s hope the momentum continues.

Our early retirement planning continues.  We still aren’t committed to one destination yet.  Just as we think we are, our investigations turn up things like electricity charges in excess of $900 per month and we then have to re-evaluate things somewhat.  Only time (and money) will tell where we will end up…

Ahhh, to have more time…and money…

06 April, 2014

April Beach Treasure...

Today was our first walk on the beach for the season in Canada.  We started out with hats and gloves, but by the end of our 4 mile round-trip, we were toastsy (actually sweaty) and the sun was shining brightly.  There is still a lot of ice on the lake and it will likely be there for a few more weeks before the open water reaches the shore, but it was a wonderful, sunny day.  It's been a long, hard winter for sure.

The beachcombing was also fantastic and I was able to collect a few treasures that had been uncovered by the winter winds and receding water.  Here is one photo of a large purple, frosted piece.   Purple is said to one of the rarest of colors, needless to say, I was super-excited to find it.

01 April, 2014

A Snippet from the Underwater Galapagos...

Well, there's a longer blog post in the making about our recent trip to the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.  It is a truly awe-inspiring place to visit, but for now, I present a bit of our underwater experiences.

Here's a little snippet prepared by J - filmed using my GoPro camera (which I should point out - I've never used since buying it over a year ago).  I did get to open the box though.  I think I'll let J keep it - he's pretty good with it.