Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Florida Wedding Parties and Exercising

This past weekend, I went to Orlando, Melbourne, and Cocoa Beach, Florida, to celebrate the wedding of Ashley #1 (wrote about her before) and Matt. I had a plan to bring my tennis shoes so that I can run on the beach as much as I could, which meant that I would also wear these shoes for skydiving. I haven't worn regular tennis shoes for skydiving since I was a youngling in this sport. But I didn't have the room in my suitcase for both.

On a side note, I need to get some new luggage.

Anyways, on to the exercising. I am slacking on my running. I was so busy one week (managed to only get in a mile run on a treadmill in Grand Junction), busy the next week showing my friend around town, and then I got pretty sick the next week.

Ashley #1 and I did 2 skydives at Skydive Sebastian on Friday, which were so cool and worked our arms and legs (freeflying). I finally caught my whale. I started to feel better on Saturday, but I had no one to run with and this was an unfamiliar running area  (not on the beach). If I got up early enough, I could have ran with the girl (also named Ashley, which is why I am numbering the Ashleys) who we were staying with on Friday night. She trains for triathalons. Oh well. So, there was much discussion about what we were going to do and then it became clear that kayaking was it. I have wanted to kayak for some time and I still plan to go on September 25 with Haley. Ashley's (#2) house is beautiful and has this river right next to it where we just drop in with the kayaks and go explore Turtle Creek Sanctuary for an hour or two. 

Ashley #2 and Ryan's house with their amazing porch and view.

I was alittle nervous since it was my first time kayaking and I have heard that it can be hard, especially on the arms.  It was also hard to get used to moving in the kayak; every small movement swings the boat. And it took forever to get the turns down correctly without slamming into Ashley #1.

I figured I'm in Flordia, I should carry on a surfer attitude. Or is that for Hawaii only?
Ashley #1 waiting for Ryan and Ashley #2 to get in the kayaks.

I'm not sure why I can't get this photo upright, but it's the better one of us, too. So, deal with it!

Ashley #2 and Ryan moving in front of us to lead the way.

The scenery was amazing. Then, I was told that we might see manatees on our adventure. I don't think I've seen a manatee live before even when I was scuba diving. Naturally, I was excited like a kid in a candy store. And you know what, we saw one immediately. Not only that, we saw somewhere between 4 to 6 manatees (although, I believe 1 of them was the same manatee). It was so neat. They are these huge seals, but they are the cows of the sea just picking their heads up to eat grass. They would swim right by the kayak and you had to really watch the paddles from poking them.

I'm not sure why this photo was blurry. It only happened to 2 pictures. But that gray mass was the first manatee we saw.

We kept on rowing or kayaking (not sure what the official term is) and saw some amazing turtles. They would leap in to the water when we got close. There were so many of them though. And there were birds and these fish called Mullet Fish that leaped out of the water. I couldn't help but snicker every time they said it was a Mullet Fish. I kept expecting the fish to yell out, "Whooeeweee Business in the front, party in the back."

Those turtles are covered in moss so that they are camouflaged on the tree.

Turtles just lined up on the tree. They didn't even budge when Ashley #1 got close.

This guy was hilarious. You can't tell from this angle, but he was doing the superman pose. He was like that both times we passed him. At one point, I wanted to go over there to make sure he was alive.

A turtle swam up to the kayak and Ryan picked him up. He put him right back.

We mostly kayaked upstream, which adds more to the rowing that you are doing. However, we got to kayak downstream on the way back. My arms were on fire when we got done and my back was sore, but what an awesome workout. I can't wait to do this again. I was almost tempted to just buy a kayak, because I was immediately hooked. However, I don't have anywhere to store it or to transport it. Hmmmm.....

Action shot of Ashley #1 getting her kayak on.

Ahhhh how sweet. They have pink and blue kayaks.
I do want to thank them for opening their house for us to stay and allowing us to experience this great experience.
On Sunday, I got the sudden urge to run. You know how I love to run on the beach and I really didn't want to miss this opportunity being in Florida and all. I mean I lugged those tennis shoes here. I was worried about my stomach and the pain I might get (kayaking was more about the back and arms), but I went for it anyways. I tried to wake up for sunrise, but I misjudged the light seeping through the window curtain. However, I did make it for the end. I plugged in my ipod and walked to the beach (which is a good walk). When I reached the sand, I saw all these people in two big circles like some kind of drum circle, people standing around, people photographing, and a lady meditating to the rising sun. It was amazing and I kicked myself for not getting out there earlier. But what I got to see was still beautiful and made for a great start to my run.

How tranquil.

I started my run with my Unknown album; however, I'm getting tired of the same songs. I created a running playlist, but it didn't go on to my ipod. I need time to figure it out. Oh well. I set my turnaround point to be this white building (condos) in the distance, which looked like a mile a way. When I started running and reached the building, it was more like 1.5 miles. The packed sand was softer than in Corpus and Galveston due to the high tide, which made it a little harder to run. Although, I got an extra workout by trying to not let the water reach my feet. I had to travel that day and didn't want to pack wet shoes.

The sun getting higher in the sky.

The last white building at the end was my turnaround point.

That building kept getting farther and farther away even though I was getting closer. But I kept pushing through. A couple of times, I told myself that I could just turnaround, but I didn't listen. I had to make it to this building. And finally FINALLY, I did. Whoa! I even had to stop for a second to rest. I walked the rest of the way back and was happy with my little run.

I made it to the white building...Thank God.

As I was walking back, I turned off my unknown album and just listened to random songs. I had some really relaxing songs that came on, which was perfect for my mood. For instance, this meditation yoga sunrise song came on and it just gave me tranquility. My head was on a swivel just looking at the sights.

Look at that ocean. So pretty compared to what I see in Corpus or Galveston.

I haven't seen a beachcomber in a while.

White, sandy beaches as far as the eye can see. Well, at this point, I don't even see or know where my hotel is located.

Pelicans flying by.

I believe these are egrets and there were so many of them.

I didn't do any stretches when I was done (bad me, slap my hand), washed off the sand on the bottoms of my shoes, and went back to pack. I got back to my room with enough time to see the second silence moment of the second plane attack on the twin towers 9/11. I think the run I just had was needed for this day. After listening to the people talking and reading off names and remembering all the beauty I saw, it made me realize how life is precious. Enjoy your surroundings no matter how bad they might seem.

On a side note, it was really erie to fly on 9/11. I have never done that before and not sure I want to again. I had an extra anxiety that was not needed. Plus, I wanted to watch all the memorials. I at least saw 3 of the 4 silence moments.



  1. Sounds like you had a fantabulous time! Getting in good exercise while doing fun things (and/or enjoying natures beauty) is super awesome! Reading this one brought a smile to my face, KWB! Enjoy and embrace every moment! :)

  2. I think those "egrets" are sandpipers; otherwise great blog, as usual. Your mom will be putting out her Alaska blog soon (I hope) complete with grizzly bear pics taken in the wild. Hopefully, she will also include some of my "catch" fotos.

  3. Wish I had known you were here ... I could have shown you "my world", taken you to Disney ( and a few other KOOL places )
    Oh well - next time

  4. How cool !!! Florida is awesome - that's why I wanna move there ! Glad you got to run on the beach and had a great run !!!!It is peaceful. Oh yeah - flying on 9/11 is definitely erie !!!!

  5. Ladybug, I was only in Orlando 1 night (less than a night). I wished I had more time, but I didn't. I was go go go when we got there.


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