Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I was very upset regarding the no pets allowed of ANY kind policy from our building... but the reasons have been weighing on me for quite some time...

1st) our hall is disgusting. The lobby is filthy... I am almost certain someone's dog pees in the doorway and doesn't clean it up. There is a layer of filth just fermenting there that the super never cleans. And near the mailboxes, one of the tenants was so terribly dirty that you could see baby cockroaches coming from under his door. How crazy is that!? Thank GOD they have never traveled up and that the exterminator has done his job. Also we supplement by purchasing our own spray and spray our apartment every few months. I'm pretty sure we are the cleanest people i the building.

2nd) Our super is useless, she is an elderly woman who basically is unable to perform even the smallest tasks on her own. They call in someone to do all the work and it can take up to a week just to get your tub snaked... talk about unable to shower! It's terrible!

3rd) This super is a hoarder... who knows what critters and bugs may live in HER apartment due to the large quantities of garbage piled up along her walls... it's probably also a fire hazard. Not to mention the crap she collects in the basement under their side of the building - I should really call 311 and complain for my own safety.

4th) The apartment didn't up painted or with the smoke/C.M. detector required by NYC

5th) The neighbors downstairs have 5 people living in a 1 bedroom apartment! Aren't there rules about this shit!?

6th) 1/2 the residence have cats or dogs in the building

7th) We called our landlord who before allowing us to introduce ourselves cursed us out and hung up on us. We are pretty sure he is crazy ... why did I sign the lease renewal again?

It's easy to deduce why we get treated like crap in our community... we are neither Russian or Jewish. Our neighbors don't smile at us or say hello... they avoid us like the plague even when we try to be friendly. These people are racist and rude. I'm coming to the conclusion that I may want to find a new place to live if not for this year, then maybe next year before Paul comes home... it would be nice to know where Paul will work in the future. Then maybe we can start looking at homes for purchase... so we can start fresh... in OUR own home... married etc...

Our place SUCKS!

So with all this disgusting activity going on in this building I'm not allowed to have a pet... no matter if its a Dog, Cat, Caged pet, tanked pet, NOTHING

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

No Pets Allowed

My hopes are dashed... I'm pretty upset... upset enough that I kind of wish I didn't sign that lease.

Not to mention our landlord seems like a crazy psychotic asshole who deserves nothing from anyone. He's like the devil's spawn!

Monday, July 27, 2009

23 Days

Do you know that I only have 23 more days left with Paul before he moves to Cambridge, Mass. I cant believe its already less than a month...

It really sucks.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Common Interest

Yesterday I'd written about having a hard time meeting people with common interests - primarily athletic or outdoor related activities. I doubt I'm the only one.

Paul mentioned that I might be able to find people via craigslist - so I gave it a whirl. Instead I came across 2 websites that act as a forum to link people with similar interests. One was purely paddle/kayak related, but the other was for a number of activities. This website is

I figured it was worth a shot so I registered. Let's see what happens... I'm hoping to link up with people who are interested in white water kayaking and this coming winter, I'm sure I'll be looking for additional snowboard buddies.

I'm still trying to avoid facebook - though it did allow me to reconnect with people from the past who had similar interest, it also reconnected me with bad habits, bad company, and a huge distraction.

wish me luck!

Surviving a warmer world

I came across this article this morning and it basically freaked me out... a lot. I try and keep up with global warming and ways to slow it down... way's to be "green". And I think I've been fairly successful.

I've mentioned to Paul having kids might be selfish... who knows what the world will be like in 80 years... how will their lives be... if they have children, what will their lives be? It's scary.

This too is scary! How to survive the coming century
and don't forget the map Surviving a warmer world

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Meeting People

Meeting people is an easy thing in primary school... your friends are those living on your block... playing man hunt and stoop ball - then the kids at school - then the kids in CCD - and of course the kids in your sports programs... you met tons of girls and boys with similar and dissimilar interests... you grow.

In HS it's still pretty easy... now you open your doors to your classmates, those on the same bus route, those on your sports teams, and those in brother or sister schools - and now you can also add friends of friends... a whole new word.

In College you still had all of the previous opportunities to meet people, and your class is in the thousands rather than the hundreds... you can meet people in your dorms, in your classes, in your campus, i the library, etc... but in addition you were more mobile - you could afford to have friends a little further away. Also you can join groups sponsored by the school... and you had the opportunity to meet people through work and internships.

As a young professional in a young work environment, I still meet many people, unfortunately, few have the same passions.

I love to snowboard... but I don't know many females who do... or even people of either gender who are at a similar level. It seems I've hit a plateau on my accelerated snowboard learning curve and need a buddy to push me over that hump.

I love to create ... to sew, garden, build - but I don't always have the means or the help. It would be nice to know someone with similar interests to throw ideas at and to help guide me along the way.

I now love to kayak... I really fell head over heels - I think it's an awesome sport... just under snowboarding. I don't know a single person who kayaks... let alone a sit inside white water kayak or play boat which is what I'm interested... might as well go extreme! It would be nice to have someone to learn with... or even if they already knew how... someone to paddle with once I learn a bit more and can feel comfortable outside of a instruction setting.

Those are the thing mediums like facebook might be good for. It would allow you to post to the masses looking for interested parties. Maybe even someone to try a new sport with. Unfortunately the lessons and tickets to many of these sports are expensive... so it's a big decision to make, but I'm all for it!

White Water Kayaking

So we are back! We spent 3 days camping in Jim Thorpe, PA and 2 days in Kayak School... both of which were awesome and unforgettable!

Friday after work, I took the 2 and 1 trails up to Koronets for a slice and a beef patty with Paul, after which we hopped in my car, renewed our lease, and get on the GW Bridge. We were heading to Jim Thorpe, where we'd be camping at Mauch Chunk State Park. We came across slow moving traffic and some rain, but we were not deterred. It may have taken us an extra hour and a 1/2 but we got there and we were thrilled. We immediately began to set up our tent while it was a bit misty, hoping the rain wouldn't come again before we were done. After adding an extra tarp above our tent, we knew we'd be dry through the night. The next step was hanging a tarp over the table - no sense sitting in the rain during dinner. Then Paul was up at bat... his turn to light the camp fire and get the grill going.

Once the coals were hot, I got set up to begin cooking. No hot dogs for us! We feasted on some Salmon Fillets grilled with lemon and spices, a spring mix salad with grape tomatoes and some grilled summer squash. So delicious and satisfying after the long drive in traffic and setting up. After that it was time to relax with a beer, the fire, some cuddling and some excited conversation... tomorrow we have our 1st day of Kayak school!

We registered for the 2 kayak school with the Northeast PA Kayak School. So Saturday AM, we were up bright and early, got on our swim suits and headed out to town for breakfast... high in carbs and protein. We got to Jim Thrope's facility where we met our 5 instructors - all of which were awesome. They fitted us with a kayak (I rode a Liquid Logic Remix), paddle, personal flotation device, skirt and helmet. We were ready to go. We drove up to Beltzville Lake where we got a few minutes of dry instruction (how to hold our paddles, carry our kayaks, put on our gear, etc...). Then it was carrying our kayaks through trails flanked with poison ivy out towards a beach about 8 feet wide onto the lake.

We were instructed that our 1st lesson would be concerning the wet exit... a necessary skill for any kayaker (esp. those in a sit-inside kayak). We paired up with an instructor, got into our boats, put on our skirts, and were flipped over while holding hands with an instructor. They felt our hands for 2 reasons: to see how comfortable we were under water trapped in our boat, and for us to squeeze when needing to come up for air. We were then taught the wet exit which is the method to escape our boat after it has capsized. This is not an easy task when you are fitted into your kayak like a glove, but the training was essential. The next day we wouldn't be doing this in a calm lake, but while capsized in the middle of rapids (rocks and all).

In addition to the wet exit we were taught:
  • proper balance and lean techniques
  • bracing skills
  • how to turn using our paddles and using our boat to carve
  • propulsion and steering strokes
  • and the Eskimo roll
The roll is probably the most sought after kayak skill any beginner wishes to conquer. Unfortunately I was unable to get it all the way. I was maybe the closest in the class after Paul. The instructors were convinced I'd nail it, but alas, I'd get almost there and then tip back over. I think a few more hours on the water and I'll have it nailed! It LOOKS so easy, but it isn't. There are so many pieces involved in the C to C turn - try it for yourself. I'm hoping so badly to learn this skill, because until I do, every time I flip my kayak I must perform a wet exit - which ensures a nice a long swim to shore where I'll be dragging not just my paddle but the heavy kayak which is now filling with water. Then I need to empty my kayak, which is no easy task, especially when performed alone. I will roll - I know I will!b Paul nailed it with less effort - I was a bit jealous but most proud! He was the only one in our class who accomplished it.

After my Eskimo roll attempts I went home, full of bruises and a rub rash. My eyes were red, my body was tired, my stomach was hungry, and I was dehydrated. It was a full action packed day... on flat water - go figure! After a dinner of burgers, salad and corn - I had a smore and was off to bed. I could hardly keep my eyes open... and thank God for a good night sleep - we'd be doing it again Sunday!

Sunday we met again at Jim Thorpe, piled into vans and headed to the Lehigh where we got back into our kayaks to tackle our first day in fast moving water and rapids! We had a blast! We learned how to enter eddy's which is no easy task ... it takes carving skills, a strong paddle, and a loose body! I nailed it and loved it! Paul found this to be a hard task... after a few more tries, I'm sure he will love it! In addition we learned to Ferry, Carve turns and practiced our ruddering. It was pretty awesome! In addition we were taught and practiced peeling out. I loved it... I was one of the 1st to try it and had my 1st unanticipated capsize - so a wet exit was due. I got to shore, emptied my boat and immediately got back in. I wanted to try again, I was going to nail it. My adrenaline was going and I knew I needed to conquer this next step in our instruction. I got back in my boat, paddled strong across the current and tried again... and nailed it. It was awesome! I did it about 3 more times then switched to approaching to the left. I nailed it again... it was great. You could really feel the power of the current and the rapid but rather than fighting it, I was working with it. It was a truly beautiful thing.

Seeing my excitement, as well as another person we were asked if we wanted to try some peel outs in the bigger rapids and I nodded my head yes faster than a bobble head in a 2 year olds hands. I was up for the challenge and performed sub par on my 1st try. I needed to go harder, bigger, stronger... and I did. I got it perfect... I nailed it on that 2nd try and did it once more to make sure I got it down. Doug, our head instructor, congratulated me on a job well done. I was beaming from ear to ear... and Paul was proud too, so he tells me though I couldn't tell right then and there.

At the end we combined our skills learned and had a shot at surfing. Again I was excited to try and I tried SO HARD and failed miserably! I paddled so strong, so hard, but my angle was wrong, I couldn't hold my tilt, I was over thinking it, and I capsized... time for wet exit #2! The rapids and current were so strong, by the time I had exited my boat, I was already a good ways down river. With the help of an instructor's tow, I was brought to shore... and by the time I emptied my boat, it looked like we were coming to an end... oh well... this might have been my 1st try but it won't be my last. I love kayaking.

I really really do love it! I get a thrill, exhilaration, a sense of pride, a challenge, and that sense of adventure I try so hard to find in natural settings... I LOVE IT! So I know I'll be heading back for some instructed river days to learn more, practice more, and get good... then one day, it might be me instructing you? maybe?

After day two... we headed back to camp and made a feast... skirt steak marinated really well, eggplant, summer squash, salad, onions, beers, fire... it was great! We cuddled, chatted, laughed, drank, took walks, listened for fireworks (we couldn't see) and relished in each other's company. We had a great night talking, laughing, drinking... oh and the best part... we were the only occupied camp site within eye site and almost ear shot... we couldn't see another soul. Rather than turning on our lantern, we let the light of the fire be our only light and we hang out in the darkness giggling like kids. Before we knew it, it was past midnight and we decided it was time to head in. What a perfect last night to a perfect weekend...

After getting up the next day we had an odd hamburger breakfast and beans (hey it's camp food right?) packed up our gear which took far less time than it has in the past and headed into town for a stroll... we checked out the historic buildings and a few outfitting shops - then decided it was time to go home.

Back in queens we had some good thai/cambodian/indian/philippine fusion and saw Bruno - dissapointing. Then went home and relaxed... what a long tiring and perfectly great weekend. I'd do it again right now if I could... well maybe not in this rain.

So this weekend I was surrounded by my loves: Paul, water, adventure, challenge, accomplishment, fear, nature, campfires, camping, cuddling, great food, great beer, great laughs... and great memories.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Off to Kayak School & Camping

see you all Tuesday!

Is it really a diet?

So I've been convincing myself that I'm on a "diet" but I don't know how true that is. Let me tell you what we do...

We cook almost all our meals at home allowing us to control the fat, salt, etc intake... but we've always done that... the big difference? - we've only cooked fish. And it's always baked or steamed, never fried. We also skip the starch as much as possible... no more rice, no more potatoes, no more corn... instead we have 1-2 tiny bread sticks and steamed veggies and a salad. We shall see if this works.

When we go out to eat which is rare and only on occasions we indulge... and the alcohol IS NOT helping... but you live once right?

The dishes are beautiful though... you'd be impressed. Paul makes a great baked Tilapia :) and its great to have him cook me a meal after a long day at work... it's SO great!

Anyway if only I can get myself into a gym

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I hate my Job today

I know, I shouldn't complain. I am lucky to have a job. I'm lucky its within my career. And I'm lucky that I don't work TOO hard.

But I sometimes just have those moments where I hate my job. But in truth I don't. I just hate working for my boss... he's a bad manager and a bad role model. He is only out for himself and that's a bad place to be.

Ugh - one day I'll be out of here... when the CPA exam is done, the market is better... and a husband in tow

Camping Frustrations

We leave for our camping trip tomorrow. I'm very very excited! But I'm also a little annoyed. Because we were so tired on Sunday night leaving my Mom's house so late, we forgot to bring a few things we may find necessary on this trip... a grill, citronella candles, the cooler, etc...

We remembered the really important stuff like the sleeping bags, tent, and lantern, but still... what were we thinking.

The grill... we have a backup - so we are okay

The citronella, we have bug spray - okay again

Cooler - yeah we don't know. We may need to borrow from someone... hopefully someone who has a good sized cooler.

When I was trying to explain to Paul what needs to go into the cooler, he snapped at me. I try my best to make sure we have a good time. I call the places, I book the sites, I find out about the kayak classes, I even make the menu and pack the food... not to mention cook it once we are there. I just wish it was appreciated. I just wish I was spoken to with respect... like I was a human being. This is the person I'm about to marry... and he snapped at me while my baby brother was within ear shot. Will he do this when we have kids?

It leaves me much to think about. I refuse to be treated less than I deserve... and we ALL deserve respect at the very least.

Hopefully he realizes this throughout the course of the day, the weekend, his life... and doesn't forget it. He and his mother talk like that to one another... you'd constantly think they were fighting. They argue and whine like small children. To an outsider they seem like enemies, but this is just how they talk. He forgets, I'm not his mother, and I don't communicate that way. It will only lead me to get angry and in the end fight.

Ugh - why do people have to be so insensitive... (mind you I have my moments, which he will show me numerous times... but he thinks he's a saint!)

Tired but worth it

Last night, Kyle slept over. It was a lot of fun. After a long ride on the F train, Paul picked up M.Y. and we went off to Taco Bell (Kyle's choice) for dinner. M.Y. is leaving for Chicago tomorrow so we had to up the day I went to visit. After that we went to her house and she made us Kyle's coveted pecan tarts.... yummy!

The plan was to take Kyle to mini golf but he had a change of heart as the sun started to go down. Instead he just wanted to go back to my house. A few video games later and a cup of jasmine tea (his request) we went off to bed. He and I on the bed and Paul on the couch. He fell asleep a lot quicker than I thought he would. He had a good night... we cuddled and he did his usual feet on my chest move but it was okay.

I wasnt used to sleeping with such a little body, so I slept lightly, but its okay.

He woke before the alarm clock this AM and I took him into the livingroom to see Paul. I left them playing in the livingroom. Paul's going to take him out for a bagel breakfast and then to his mom's house for a visit... (she lives near a park).

Then they will trek back to midtown on the F train to bring him back to my Mom.

I treasure all my moments with my troll and twirp. Next time Troll will be in attendance as well ... at least I hope so.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Kyle's here

In my office ... since 10:30 and he's being so good. I have almost no work this afternoon but my loser boss won't let me leave... even if he takes it out of my vacation because he is scared he will get in trouble. What a loser! I sometimes can't believe I work for this guy with no backbone.

At least tonight Kyle and Pauly Wally will have their sleepover and hang out. They love each other so much.

Ugh I wish I could get him out of here ... let him get some FRESH AIR!

Stupid place.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Shop vs Save

So I'm broke. Not I'm too poor to pay rent broke, but I'm definitely digging into my savings. There are obvious reasons....
  1. Snowboarding
  2. Whistler
  3. Punta Cana
  4. Puerto Rico
  5. Birthday Camping
  6. Family Camping
  7. Kayak School
  8. Camping with Paul
  9. Amusement Park
  10. Lauren's Shower
  11. Lauren's Wedding in General
  12. Family Obligations
So I've spent more than I usually would this year... and it's only July. I've been considering this a bit... I mean, I was hoping to go to Europe this summer... that got put on hold after I realized I depleted most of my vacation days.... bad planning on my part. But in the end, we'd be paying a premium to book last minute, so why not wait and get the most out of our trip.

So now I need to think about how I've been spending... a few pricey dinners... sure. But that's unavoidable sometimes... if you are meeting friends, you are bound to spend. But for the most part, I've kept myself from shopping nearly all spring/summer long (aside from a few things for Punta Cana and 2 pairs of cheap sandals). Normally, I'd be spending my paycheck away on the cutest summer dresses, high heels, cute outfits, etc... but I didn't. Sometimes it sucks... I see all these cute outfits on so many women in NYC and I wish I could go out and get the same, but I wont. I've promised myself I'd save... that I'd spend more wisely. After all.... It's the experiences you spend your money on that matter... not what you are wearing while you experience them.

I intend to look back on my money spent and smile... because it had afforded me so many wonderful experiences this year. Hopefully come the fall, I can save some more despite being the only person living in my apartment... I'm sure I can handle it. And after I've saved it... maybe I'll spend it... on more experiences! And I wont regret it!


Blogs: They are strange... you begin reading some strangers blog and you get trapped... you want to know what happens next ... whether its about their relationship, their children, or fun arts and crafts to try... I want to know!

It's also dangerous. My blog is not private however I've disabled it from coming up in searches... what I mean is... if someone searches snowboarding for example... my blog wont come up. I figure it helps with some added protection. I try only to use 1st names on my blogs but even that seems to divulge too much information. Maybe I need to consider being more discrete. I definitely want to disable to ability to copy pictures off by blog. If anyone knows how, please let me know.

And lastly, it's a bit tedious. I've had thoughts and ideas that I've wanted to write about... but once I actually have the time, I'm either lazy to or the thoughts have already left my mind... oh well.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Canon EOS Digital Rebel

Yeah that's right... I have a great camera... I have one of the best digital point and shoots (Canon PowerShot SD850 IS) but I want another.

I really really really want a Canon EOS Digital Rebel. It's an SLR (Single Lense Reflex) yet it's easy to use. And it's digital, which means.... I can practice without wasting TONS of film.

Now the problem... it's really expensive, but I'm sure it's worth the money. It's something that will last you for years and years. But as of yet, I don't have the expendable income to buy it. So maybe one day... it will be on my wish list for sure! I want to capture beautiful moments... and I want to do it with an SLR.

One thing I do know is that if I don't get it now, that's okay, but I WILL have one by the time I have children! I want to capture their every move!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Paul's Birthday Party Part 3!

Paul's birthday party at the Radagast Beirgarten was a success. Everyone was cheerful despite it being round 3 in his birthday celebrations. We got there around 4 when they opened allowing us to get a big table for our friends and family who came to celebrate. Some German sausage, Liter sized beer glasses and good friends: all you need on a birthday.

We played moose and had a few card games going. Jokes and laughs were had by all and in the end it was a success.

Happy 28th Birthday, Grandpa Paul! You are loved!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Finding Time

It's funny how when you don't have the time, there are 100 things you are motivated to do... and those days you have the time on your hands, all you want to do is rest!

That is the very predicament I find myself in. This past weekend was mine for the taking... but I was unproductive, did little, and had maybe too much unhealthy fun. At least I spent it with Paul... that always makes me feel like the time was not wasted.

I've noticed that while at work, I say: Maybe I'll go to the gym, go to the park, take a walk, bake a cake, clean the house, iron, etc... Yet once I actually get home... all I want to do is have dinner... curl up in a ball and relax.

I always think... I wish Paul got home earlier from work... so I can see him and spend time with him... Now he is. While I'm in the kitchen cooking, he is in the living room playing XBox or watching TV. I can't blame him... our kitchen is small and he gets in my way. Once dinner is done we eat together but he is up and cleaning up before I even have a chance to swallow. Once its over he's at the computer checking scores or up washing dishes while I watch some TV or lay on the couch and take a nap... I mean fall asleep.

I said - this summer I want to go to the beach, hit up the park, try yoga, go kayaking, plant a garden, etc etc etc....

This summer I've done none of those things... at least I am on my 3rd camping trip and will go to Kayak school next week.

Talk about procrastination.

I know my days aren't filled too much - but I'll be honest... I'm tired. I'm very very tired. And that makes me depressed... I'm 27. I'm healthy. I'm losing it.

I guess they are right... some cardio... a little exercise... maybe it will get me going. It's just finding the motivation to actually do it. Ugh... we shall see. For now I will look forward to the rest of the week....

Tonight - transformers
Tomorrow - some secret stuff to take care of
Thursday - Mommy Yolly date night
Friday - Paul's birthday party #3
Saturday - Mom's annual BBQ
Sunday - play with kids

Then it's more work next week... leading into a 3 day weekend for kayak school and camping with Pauly

Monday, July 6, 2009

Severe Back Pain


I would say I'm only at a 6-7 but ... like all the time!

Birthdays, Independence, Birthdays

This weekend proved that I am no way the weekend warrior I once was. There were parties, celebrations, drinks, dinners, and more parties, celebrations, drinks, dinners.

Thursday, after a busy day at work I went over to Bellerose to have a BBQ for Paul at his Mom's house. It was filled with rain, good food, good company, some wine, and an overall enjoyable night.

After I talked Paul into a deep coma-like sleep as I ranted about people I won't waste anymore energy over.

Friday we got up and had some fruit and homemade blueberry crumbcake. Got a slow start to the day... dressed... and went to Crabtree's for lunch which was fun, calm, relaxing, and delicious. Paul had a very fluffy Quiche and I had a Crabcake over salad. It was paired with my mimosa which I never crave but was craving for some reason (they didn't have pear juice for a bellini).

That night I took Paul downtown for dinner at Bathazar's ... some sardines, steak tartar, boullabaise, and bronzini later... oh yeah and great beer, great desert and great sambucca... we met up with Shane, Colby, Richi, Puv, Dave, Abe, Nelson, Brian and Grace for some drinks that lasted till the next morning. Good times had by all!

Saturday was a late start... not getting up till 12:30, we cleaned some in the apartment... I spend some hours ironing and then got dressed... off to Andrew's apartment in NYC for the BBQ and fireworks. His apartment was a duplex with an outdoor patio and a rooftop deck. The food was good, the company was good, the music was good, the view was to die for... it was a good time.

Again after a late night, I wasn't up till noon... and had some homemade banana bread with Paul for breakfast. We then parted and I went down to get a much long over due manicure and pedicure... some fuchsia nail polish later and I was on my way home to put on my party dress and head out to Lauren's future father-in-law's 50th Birthday Shin Dig at El Patron in Queens.

Some margarita's and Negra Modelo's later... I was in a comatose sleep ready for work the next day... booooooo

All and all a successfully unproductive weekend

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy Birthday, Paul!

That's right - the love of my life turned 28 today. It's amazing how time flies! Only 11 years ago we met in my Grandma's backyard in Bellerose... who would have thought 11 years later he'd become my future husband?

Happy Birthday, Paul! You've achieved so much in your 28 years and will continue to achieve more. You are a rare breed of man, both smart and charming, loving and strong, funny and serious. You are my man, and I'm very very happy about it!

I love you and hope you have the most amazing BirthDAY, BirthWEEK, and BirthMONTH ever!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Camping and Kayaking

I'm pretty excited. In 3 weeks, Paul and I will be leaving to go on another camping trip. This time it will be a 3 night solo trip - just the 2 of us.

We will be heading back to Maunch Chunk Lake State Park in Carbon County, PA. It is where we were just this past weekend and though I enjoyed the campsite at Kitattinny, this location has a hard core Kayak school.

We were unable to get the lake front campsites we were hoping for, but we have a site a bit deeper set into the woods. I'm sure it will be fine. After all we will be spending most of our time in the river.

We are planning to leave directly from work on Friday the 17th and begin heading down to the town of Jim Thorpe where we will check into our campground and set up camp. We will likely cook dinner and make a campfire and just enjoy a nice relaxing night. This is a dry campground, but a few beers or cup of wine in a red solo cup won't hurt anyone.

The next morning we will have to wake up bright and early, get on our swim suits, eat a pretty hearty breakfast and head out to the Kayak School. Our 1st day begins at 9 and lasts for 8+ hours. We will be taken to a lake where we will be taught several skills:
  • wet exit
  • proper posture and balance
  • how to turn in a kayak
  • how to paddle strait
  • correction or stearing strokes, and
  • the eskimo roll
I'm sure after doing that for 8 hours in the lake having only a natural granola style lunch, we will be both exhausted and hungry. We will head back to camp where we will enjoy a more sophisticated camp fire dinner (grilled fish and veggies... maybe some steaks). And then just relax and enjoy some alone time by the fire and in our tent.

Day 2 has us up bight and early again for another 8 hour day but this time in the river. After a quick refresher class of the day before we will be headed up to the Lehigh River for some white water. Here in the rapids (8 miles ... 20 rapids) we will learn:
  • Peel outs
  • eddy turns
  • ferrying
  • surfing
  • carving turns, and
  • ruddering
Again only on a granola lunch. We will make it back to camp, make ourselves a nice dinner and again relax our weary bones.

Monday morning we will wake up, enjoy breakfast, maybe a walk... pack our gear and then do whatever it is we want ... just making sure we are home in time for work the next morning ... at least in time for ME to be at work the next morning.

I'm really excited for this trip. I wanted to do the inflatable kayaking trip which is less dangerous and thus requires a lot less training, but has you out in the rapids far quicker. Paul didn't want to take any short cuts. This is what he really wanted to do this summer... learn how to do REAL kayaking and now we will have that opportunity. Hopefully this is a sport we will come to love and invest in for the future... snowboarding in the winter and kayaking in the summer? That seems like a pretty good set up... especially since I HEAR that kayaking can be a cheap sport... if you get the right equipment it should last you a life time and you'll only pay for it once... the river is free... unlike the lift tickets we purchase weekend after weekend throughout the winter.

Paul's Last Day

Today is a big day for my Pauly... It's his last day working at ZS Associates. I must admit my impression of ZS is filled with both happiness and ugliness.

This company wanted Paul to work for them - even though he had no marketing experience. even though he had no consulting experience. even though he was an engineer. even though he was coming from Michigan. even though he would be residing in NY and putting in for a transfer.

This company allowed us to have our 2 years together... in one state... in one city... in one home.

This company caused Paul to sit on a train for 2 hours or more in each direction because he was never transfered to NY. This company gave small bonuses and raises for the work performed. This company made Paul work late nights on Fridays when he did no work all week. It was inconsistent at best.

But this company was placed on his resume... broadened his skill set... made him a more valuable asset to any company he will go to in the future... and provided him with recommendations that ultimately helped him achieve his goal of attending MIT Sloan's MBA program this fall.

I'm proud of Paul... for learning something new. Enduring a long commute to be together. Working hard. Being happy.

Congratulations - on your last day of another chapter in your very promising and successful life!