Saturday, May 23, 2015

Radiation Reprieve to Los Cabos

Last week Lisa and I took a trip to Cabo San Lucas to try and allow her a break from her rigorous radiation treatments for her brain tumor. She was really struggling with some of the side effects and desperately needed a reprieve.  I cashed in a bunch of our sky miles and rewards points and got us free airfare, free hotel, and a free car rental. Then while we were there we sat in on one of those lame 90 minute time share presentations to get $200 of credit towards the restaurants at the hotel.  So with all of those hookups we were able to schedule a 5 day trip to Mexico for almost nothing. Hooray for free stuff!

We arrived Thursday afternoon and it was lightly raining. All of the locals at the airport and the car rental place were in shock that it was raining in May.  I guess it never rains in May in Cabo. The area reminded me a ton of my mission.  Same geography, plant life, and similar vibe as Sonora.  Because of the storm that had rolled through we had massive waves out in front of our hotel.  When they would crash on the shore, they were easily 20+ feet high. We got situated that afternoon and just chilled in our room the remainder of the day.

The next morning, Friday, we woke up to gorgeous blue skies and this view of the pool below our balcony.

And this fantastic view of the ocean.

We headed out to our free breakfast buffet and time share presentation.

On the way back from the breakfast I saw a hotel employee walking by with a Mexican Golden Eagle on his arm.  I stopped him and asked what kind of bird it was and what he was doing.  He let us hold the bird.  Her name is Sophia.

While I was holding her the trainer lifted my arm up and shook her loose to fly away.  She immediately flew off and killed a finch.  Yummy breakfast for her.  It was awesome seeing her in action.

We went and staked our claim next to the infinity pool for the day.  These views definitely didn't suck.  It was the perfect place to unwind and recharge our batteries after the last couple of crazy months we've had.

Lisa captioned this photo as her "radiation" therapy.

That night we went out on the town and ate dinner at Sammy Hagar's restaurant the Cabo Wabo.  The sunset was so beautiful.  It instantly took me back to some of the amazing sunsets I experienced in Hermosillo and Caborca on my mission.

On Saturday we went down to a local beach named Santa Maria.  Some of the local Mexican families were there enjoying the day with their family, barbequing, playing baseball, and working on their tans. It was a great beach.  I really loved how pretty it was.

I did a little snorkeling, but the water was still pretty churned up from the recent storm so visibility was limited.

Lisa again was very happy to be able to relax on a beach instead of having her daily radiation treatments.  She still continued her daily chemotherapy while we were there, but that wasn't bothering her nearly as bad as the radiation.

Back at the hotel at dinner that night there were some mariachi bands playing.  Always fun to hear that trumpet.

The next day we had a sailing and snorkeling cruise reserved for us.  We showed up and were surprised to learn that we were the only ones that day going out.  They usually take about 8-10 people on the cruise, but I guess it was our lucky day and we got a private tour. VIP style.

This is the famous Lover's Beach.  On the other side is Divorce Beach.  Kind of funny how they named them that way.

This is called the Window to the Pacific.  On the east side is the Sea of Cortez and on the west side is the Pacific Ocean.

The lovely couple in front of the famous Arch at Lands End.

Near the arch there is this group of seals just hanging out.  They were loud and stinky.

Divorce beach, the other side of Lovers beach.

As you can see, the water in Cabo is a brilliant blue.  So beautiful.

The guides took us to Pelican Rock to do some snorkeling. It was great.

Here are a few videos our guide captured on his gopro camera of the fish.  There were lots of gorgeous, colorful fish.  We even saw a seal swimming around underneath us.  The guide got some footage of a white tipped reef shark, but we didn't see it.  It was some fun snorkeling.

On Monday we decided to go deep sea fishing.  Lisa had never done it before and decided it would be a fun bucket list item.  Our guide Armando knew where to take us to put us on the fish.

Pulling out of the marina at sunrise was fantastic.

At times Armando needed to bait the hooks and set some lines so he had me drive the boat.

Early on we caught 3 skip jacks.  They were decent sized and are in the tuna family.  We laughed at how the bait we were using was as big as the fish we catch in the mountains at home.

Lisa reeled in 3 fish. A skip jack, then a crevalle jack, and an amber jack.

This is her crevalle jack.

I caught 4 fish. 2 skip jacks and 2 amber jacks.  This is the first of my amber jacks.

We saw 3 marlins, but none of them were biting.  Oh well, we still had a riot with the 7 we caught. On the way back to the marina all these birds started to follow us in hoping for some bait fish.

This brave pelican even landed on the motor and waited for his treat.

We decided to filet the skip jacks and the amber jacks and had them packaged and frozen and we took them home with us.  We plan on eating them this weekend.  Yummy!

It was an awesome trip and a much needed break for us.  Lisa successfully recharged her batteries and is ready for the second half of her radiation treatments.  Thank heavens for the rewards points or we wouldn't have been able to afford this trip right now.

Spring Time Fun

After Lisa's tumor surgery we have tried to continue to get out and do some fun stuff with the kids. Early in April we decided to take the kids down to the hot springs outside of Fillmore during conference Saturday sessions.  The weather was great.  It was a sunny but chilly spring day, but the temps didn't matter because we were in the hot springs.  Lisa and I were so surprised and excited by Blake's reaction when we got there.  Last year Blake was terrified of the water.  Whenever we went boating he was so afraid of getting in the water.  We tried everything to help him get over his fear, but nothing worked.  Even with a life jacket on if we put him in the water he would scream at the top of his lungs and say, "I'm dying!"  He wasn't dying, and was never in danger of even drowning, but he was irrationally afraid. As we showed up to the hot springs he got in on his own and started swimming around.  He turned to Lisa and said, "Look mom, I'm not dying." It was pretty funny.

The kids had a blast in the warm water.

It was a great day trip down to the hot springs.

Early in May we took the boat our for the first time this year at Deer Creek.  The water was quite smooth but very cold.  The state park website said the water temps were 48 degrees that day.  Other than my feet, the rest of my body stayed warm because of my wet suit. I had been itching to hit the water, and those short runs really satisfied the itch.  Now to get back out in the next few days!

A couple weeks ago Lisa and I took the kids to the Payson temple open house. It is a beautiful building and is very inspiring.  The kids enjoyed it.