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2014 May

Map-Themed Baby Shower Invitations

Map-Themed Baby Shower InvitationsWe’re planning to decorate our baby’s nursery with maps. I happen to love them and have a lot of them, but we also want to encourage our little one from the very beginning with the idea that he can go anywhere he wants to go, be anything he wants to be. We want to share with him the wonder of the world around us, even though mostly we’ll probably be learning that from him. When Hillary offered to throw us a baby shower, we knew maps would be just the thing. And we knew we wanted to make the invitations because playing with paper is our idea of a party. I am so proud of how they turned out! However, full disclosure: I just showed up with the maps. All these awesome ideas were Hillary’s.

Map-Themed Baby Shower InvitationsWe started by trimming a few world maps down to fit the cards we had, leaving a border around the edge as a frame. I love that all the invitations are different, showcasing so many countries and continents.

Map-Themed Baby Shower InvitationsHillary had these awesome stamp stickers, and we used those to affix the little green ribbon of paper to the front.

Map-Themed Baby Shower InvitationsShe typed out this little message on her typewriter. Ten times. She is a gem.

Map-Themed Baby Shower InvitationsOn the inside, we tucked all the pertinent information (oh so artfully blurred here) into these Airmail envelopes. Hillary typed out the little invitation at the top.

Map-Themed Baby Shower InvitationsIt was so much fun to be able to able to make these, especially since I wasn’t able to do anything like this for our wedding (too many invites, would have lost my mind!) I love having a friend who also thinks a great afternoon involves a lot of glue and double-sided tape.

Map-Themed Baby Shower InvitationsI am saving one of these cards for our little one’s baby book and can’t wait to show it to him one day, and tell him about all the months we spent dreaming about him and waiting for him to come and shine a new light into our lives.

One Little Word: December

One Little WordI finally finished this project, and it was so totally worth the wait. The December prompt is really a look back and a look forward, and it’s been nice to be able to do that six months down the road. The goals I set last January are still in motion, and being pregnant has really added a new dimension to my goal of being open in my life.

One Little WordNow I can finally tell you that getting pregnant was one of my three big goals for last year! It’s fun not to have to cover that part up anymore. My word was so helpful to me in that process, as I rode the waves of hope and disappointment. It was a beautiful experience, and the happiest secret hope I have ever known. The book and the quilt are active projects now, and it’s wonderful to be able to devote my energy to them again after being so sick this winter.

One Little WordThese are some scattered reflections, with bonus feather and glasses stamps. My two new favorites!

One Little WordAnd these are the things I want to carry with me as I go forward. I know this word will be with me for a very long time. I am going to learn to be open in big new ways in a few months! But there’s also work to be done in terms of confidence, especially as I’m continually stepping out of my comfort zone as I try to build my career. When I look down that road, I just know I don’t want to leave home without this word in my pocket.

Adventures in Pregnancy: 31 Weeks

31 WeeksAnd now I begin to understand all those bowling ball metaphors! I am getting seriously big, which is to say, my little passenger is getting seriously big: over 3 pounds! I am so grateful for every day he’s in there growing away.

The biggest change this week is that I feel all of his movements now instead of just kicks. Every time he shifts, I can tell exactly where he is. It is the strangest sensation, but I kind of love it. I know things are getting more crowded for him in there, and soon I’ll reach the trapezoid belly stage. As of right now, I can distinctly feel his legs and can usually tell where his back is. He seems to like hanging out on my left side.

I definitely have to get up more in the night now, and I think my sleep is probably going to get more erratic from here on out. Good practice for what’s to come. I still have to eat something in the night, but how hungry I am in general seems to change week by week. Depending on whether or not he’s having a growth spurt, I either have to eat something every two hours, or just one extra snack before bed in addition to my regular meals. I am still craving fruit (cold. cold fruit!) and ice-cold water.

We are making progress of prep work. This weekend we worked on the registry, and the baby shower invites are ready to send out (more on those soon, mostly because Hillary and I had so much fun making them!). I finally made my way through the baby name book, and now we are ready to have our Name Summit. Exciting!

31 WeeksThis weekend we also had the chance to go paddle boating with some sweet friends of ours, who, blessedly, live only about 10 minutes from us. That is an LA miracle. The guys did all the paddling while the ladies chatted in the back. It was the loveliest afternoon and something I’ve been wanting to do for the longest time. So glad we squeezed it in!

A Handful of Happy Things

A Handful of Happy ThingsI went to the library today and picked up these gems. In Berkeley it was nearly impossible to check out anything that had come out in the last 2-3 years from the public library. But here…I can pull them right off the (new!) book shelf! There are still waiting lists for new books, of course, but they are not as long as in Berkeley. Going to the library makes me so ridiculously happy. Ours is a lovely historical one, and I’ve got the layout pretty much memorized. Sometimes I just go wandering around some interesting section until I see something that catches my eye. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: there’s nothing like the shock of exhilaration that a library provides, one million possible worlds to explore, all at your fingertips.

A Handful of Happy ThingsI officially inaugurated summer by making my favorite corn and tomato galette yesterday. This is just the filling as it’s cooling. And the whole thing is long gone now. I can’t wait to grill zucchini and corn and peppers all summer long.

A Handful of Happy ThingsEric had an observing run at Palomar this week, but thankfully I wasn’t too lonely because I had my book club meeting. I haven’t been able to go hang out with these lovely and intelligent people since before I was pregnant, due to being so sick. We had a wonderful time, and Rusty made a cherry clafoutis that was just out of this world. Eric came home this evening bearing so many treasures. He got some fruit and honey at our favorite farm stand, and he brought back all kinds of amazing bulk from Winco in Pomona. Groats! Forbidden rice! Golden raisins! Multi-grain couscous! Whole wheat penne pasta! He showed me all of his plunder, and then we *exulted* over how extraordinarily cheap the whole haul was, especially considering that most of these things are specialty items. Let’s just say that it would have cost at least twice as much at Whole Foods, if not more. Sometimes it’s hilarious how similar we are, and how much we value the same things.

A Handful of Happy ThingsTo top off the happiness, we got a package in the mail from my Besfrinn! It was basically an entire baby shower in one box! My Besfrinn is getting ready to make a major move with her family to start a new job, and I cannot even fathom how she had time to put together and send this package while packing her whole household, keeping an eye on her two-year-old, and working remotely. I felt so very loved. And she sent such awesome stuff: books and clothes and cloth diapers and lots of other things we’ll need. It’s been a very happy couple of days indeed. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Memories and Making Jam

Making JamThis is such a special handful of months. I am busy with several big things that are on a deadline, but I’ve never felt more productive, or like I’ve made better use of my time in my life. It’s an awesome feeling, one that I hope will carry over to whatever I may be able to get done during naptime (I’m setting my expectations very low so I can avoid putting pressure on myself and feel like a rockstar every time I accomplish something). But my deadline work means that all the creative projects I want to write about (the quilt! scrapbooking! reflections on my word for 2013–yes, I am aware that we are barreling into June!) are…not finished. And when that happens I sometimes just look through my photos and wait for inspiration to strike. There’s so much treasure in that Picasa folder.

Making JamSo I wanted to write about making jam with Eric. Full disclosure: this is in no way a recipe post, but we used the recipe on the Pectin box for freezer jam. It was something that Eric knew how to do long before I met him, which he learned from his awesome mom, who is a master of canning and preserving (literally) and all other things in the kitchen. The great thing about freezer jam is that you don’t have to do all the intensive boiling and sterilizing. It’s quick and easy. So we decided to try it together. These pictures are from 2009 (!), and they were taken in the lovely little house where Eric lived when we first started dating. I miss the light and the hardwood floors, and all the laughing we did while making dinners together there. We made this jam soon after Eric got back from a  three-month balloon campaign in a tiny town in New Mexico. We were ecstatic to be back together again, and he was more than excited about getting some fresh summer fruit.

Making JamThat morning we went to the farmer’s market and bought these two trays of strawberries–Albions. We still love this variety, even with all the Oxnard competition. We had never been to the farmer’s market before (Berkeley Bowl, ah, glorious Berkeley Bowl had everything we needed and more), but we had fun walking around and looking at everything. I remember seeing necklaces made with old typewriter keys and being enamored of them. And those glasses I’m wearing–ha! I got them when I was a freshman in college and wore them for about 10 years. I still kind of miss them sometimes.

Making JamI put an old shirt of his on over my dress to keep from splattering myself with strawberry juice. And now I wear that shirt as a pajama top. Those bright white countertops make me so happy. While Eric was in New Mexico, one roommate moved out, and a new one moved in. She was awesome in every way, and she kept things so neat and clean. This was a major improvement over the previous tenant!

Making JamThese were the days when I was teaching lit at Berkeley and had to wear a watch to stay on track with my lessonplans. And it must be around the time that the silver rings I bought in Russia got too big for my fingers, because I have them pushed back with my grandmother’s sapphire ring, the one she gave me for my 16th birthday, just before she died.

Making JamHere is our sweet pink treasure.

Making JamWe jarred it up and divided the stash evenly–half to his house, half to mine. I love looking back on this time because I just couldn’t have imagined all that was to come. Don’t get me wrong–I knew I wanted to marry Eric. I knew that more or less right away, in the way that you know something in your bones. I had never dated anyone like him, and we just had, and have, so much harmony together. We dated for two years before we got engaged, and I think it was perfect, though I know I spent some of that time impatiently longing for where we are today. But it’s so beautiful to look back and remember what a treasure this time was too. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. At the same time, it’s wonderful to be in a place where I’m no longer longing for anything. Eric and I are so deeply happy to see each other every day, and this little baby on the way feels like an extravagant gift on top of that. Sure, there are plenty of things I still want to do in life, and career goals I haven’t met yet, but I am so fully content and grateful for the life that we have together. I am so overwhelmed, honestly, by all the happiness that is to be found in the littlest things: making jam, looking through old photos, reading the paper, eating a cold peach. I don’t want to take any of them for granted. I don’t want to forget any of them. I hope that five years from now, I’ll be writing a post about the pictures I took today: water lilies and jacaranda petals, summer veggies going into a savory galette. Each day is so full of magic that I could never record it all. But I’ll never stop trying.

May: Currently

May: CurrentlyPlowing through a bunch of freelance work and feeling grateful to have it. It’s fun, and I learn so much.

Researching the next group of agents I’ll send my proposal to, since the first agency didn’t respond. I was bummed about this, but not crushed. I am sure there is a better agency for my project, and I shall find it!

Enjoying summer fruit like it’s the first time I ever had any. Peaches and cherries and strawberries and pluots and apriums and melons: they make my world go round.

Feeling excited about a week of cool weather, which means I can take daily walks without melting.

Enjoying the beautiful jacarandas around town. There are so many streets with lines of them planted on either side, and it turns the asphalt into a dark backdrop for thousands of brilliant purple blossoms.

Getting down to business on baby prep. Most of the big stuff is taken care of, and every little thing we put together makes this feel a little closer, a little more real, a little more magic.

Cooking up a storm to keep up with my T-Rex appetite.

Reading The Goldfinch and loving it.

Feeling so tired, so happy, and so in love.

Adventures in Pregnancy: 30 Weeks

30 WeeksWhen I was making this collage, I thought the image on the left was from about 19 weeks. I cannot believe how much I (we!) have grown in 6 weeks. And I know I have a long way to go. Bring on the muumuus!

We had our first childbirth class this past week, and it was awesome. We love our teacher and all the great info we are getting. It’s definitely exhausting, though, just in a sheer informational sense (each class is 2.5 hours long). I think Tuesday nights will be early bedtime nights for me for quite a while.

In exciting news, my cousin had her sweet baby boy this weekend! Our boys will be just a few months apart, and I can’t wait for them to be little buddies, just the way my cousin and I always were (we are almost the same age). Seeing those precious pictures of him just melted my heart. And it made me even more thrilled that we’ll be meeting our baby in a few months.

We had our 30 weeks appointment last week, and everything sounded great. I was, however, rather alarmed at how much weight I had gained in only 2 weeks: 5 pounds! I weighed myself when I got home, and our scale showed the same number as the doctor’s. But then I remembered that the weight from 2 weeks ago was taken in the morning, while this one was taken in the late afternoon. I weighed myself the next morning and was happy to find that I was 3 pounds lighter than the afternoon before, putting me right back in the normal range of weight gain. I should say, though, that I have not been worried about my weight up to this point and have not been weighing myself at home. I eat healthily and exercise, so there’s no real cause for alarm. My only concern is that extra weight gain can result in a larger baby, which, yikes, would make birth harder. That’s the only reason I’m weighing myself to make sure I’m more or less on track. That said, so much of pregnancy weight gain can be due to water retention, and all you can really do about that is avoid salt, which I mostly do. So, anyway, that was a very long way to say: I freaked out! But then everything was okay.

I continue to be amazed by my total lack of interest in dessert. Chocolate? No thanks, I’d prefer an avocado. And I’d take fruit over ice cream. Really cold fruit. It has been hot here lately (90s-100s), and even though I’m drinking a ton of water, I think my cravings for things like melons has to do with my thirst. I am *so happy* that this has coincided with summer fruit season because I am basically in cold cherry heaven!

Physically, I am still feeling good. I have to get up a few more times in the night now, and walking is a little bit more difficult, but I am still quite comfortable and grateful for that. I did have one serious bout of nausea this past week that left me reeling, wondering how on earth I managed to live through feeling that way all the time for three months. Here’s hoping I get a break on the next pregnancy!

In baby prep news, we have ordered the rest of the big items! Now we just need to work on our registry and get the furniture moved. And well, there are a million other little things, but it feels good to have the big ones taken care of. Hillary and I are going to work on baby shower invitations this week, and that will be excellent because we’re going to make them together.

30 WeeksI am continuing to treasure these last weekends just the two of us, but already looking forward to all the fun things we’ll be able to do with the baby when he’s a little bit bigger. This weekend Eric and I caught the end of a Tour of California stage right in downtown Pasadena, and it was awesome. We saw the final sprints and were also just generally amazed by the speed. Eric keeps up with bike racing, and I have learned a lot about it alongside him, so it was extra cool to see some familiar faces. Also, it makes me laugh that our hats are casting a shadow on our teeth!

Saturday night we made dinner together, and we haven’t done that in the longest time (ahem, mostly because I am way too hungry to eat dinner at a normal hour). Eric turned on one of our favorite albums and we danced around each other in the kitchen, chopping and stirring and smiling and marveling at our great good fortune in finding each other. I realized that this was actually an imagining of a happy marriage I’d had as a child: cooking and smiling and dancing through the kitchen together. I know I probably sound like a broken record, but I don’t know if a sweeter, more compassionate, and more considerate person than Eric has ever been born. I just love him to pieces. And I am so, so grateful. I have heard it said that the best thing can do for your children is to love your spouse. Well, little baby, we’ve got that one taken care of!

Istanbul Scrapbook: Day 6

Istanbul ScrapbookQ: Are you still working on a scrapbook from 2012?
A: Why, yes, yes I am. And I kind of love it. It’s been long enough now that looking at these photos and remembering these days of adventure makes me feel giddy all over again. And that’s the whole idea, Isn’t it?

Istanbul ScrapbookI had initially planned two pages for this day, but I had too many photos and gorgeous tickets, so it spread out to three. A good problem to have! This was the day of our big excursion to Topkapi Palace. Even though you can barely see them, I love those little stars on the bottom left.

Istanbul ScrapbookThe park outside the palace was lovely, and by the time we got there, we were hungry. Thank goodness for simits, the world’s most affordable and delicious snack.

Istanbul ScrapbookThis view was our reward for trekking all the way through the palace grounds.

Istanbul ScrapbookI love languages so much, and I worked on Turkish independently for a few years before this trip. But my ultimate dream would be to be able to read Ottoman Turk. Isn’t it gorgeous? A girl can dream.

Istanbul ScrapbookAfter lunch by the sea, we went to the harem within the palace. It isn’t exactly what it sounds like–it was the private quarters of the imperial family and their closest relatives and staff. And yes, there were concubines too, but this was really more a typical part of imperial life than anything scandalous. It was really just stunning inside.

Istanbul ScrapbookI love this picture of Eric. And the beautiful tiles.

Istanbul ScrapbookI thought this was a good opportunity to use my new stamp.

Istanbul ScrapbookAnd wax poetic some more about these awesome tickets we received.

Istanbul ScrapbookAfter these adventures, Eric wanted to go up and visit a really special mosque. And I was not excited about walking up the giant hill to get to it. But it was worth it!

Istanbul ScrapbookI mean, wow. It’s the largest mosque in the city, designed by the famous Sinan.

Istanbul ScrapbookThe calm and quiet inside the mosques was always very moving, especially after the bustling streets around it. I kind of wish I had pictures from our walk home, after we realized that that would be faster than waiting for overcrowded transit. It was a big day, and we were exhausted by the end of it! I think this was probably one of the nights I feel asleep at 9pm. But what a wonderful day.

The Road to Hana

The Road to HanaHello from pregnant-land! Tuesday night we had our first childbirth class, which was awesome and exhausting and lasted until 9:30, and then I fell straight into bed when we got home. Since I like to write blog posts before bed to publish in the morning, I am kind of thinking that Wednesday posts will be a rare thing for the next nine weeks. Of course, by then, it won’t be long until our little friend is here, and the words “blog schedule” will probably make me laugh hard enough to fall out of my chair (as long as that isn’t too painful…and I’m not holding the baby). All that is to say, we are entering the zone of erratic blogging! But I love it too much to stay away for too long. Thank you for reading! And thank you for all your sweet comments this week!

And now, the main attraction: the road to Hana! What is it? Hana is a little town on the far eastern side of Maui. The road there is full of curves and blind corners and one-lane bridges and WATERFALLS. It’s basically a rainforest, and it’s where the water for the sugarcane fields in the central part of the island is pumped in from. I had read a few things about this road, and I was fairly intimidated by it. It’s about 50 miles. And it takes all day, due to traffic and frequent stops to look at gorgeous things. I was feeling kind of nervous about it, so I was a little surprised when Eric said he wanted to do it. But how could I say no to waterfalls? I couldn’t.

The Road to HanaThe first stretch of it was rather un-fun because there wasn’t too much to see and we were still getting our bearings (Eric was a total champion of driving, BTW). But things started looking up when we stopped at a little park overlooking the water. This photo is not doctored at all–that’s just how bright the blues and greens are in Hawaii. Swoon.

The Road to HanaWe hiked up a little path for a broader view. More swooning.

The Road to HanaHere is Eric next to a typical cliffside along the way, to give you an idea of the magnitude of the scale.

The Road to HanaOur next stop was a beautiful botanical garden full of native plants (and, more unfortunately, mosquitos!). This stream ran through it, and it was so lovely.

The Road to HanaLook at the branches of this tree!

The Road to HanaThese are called painted eucalyptus trees, and I was so excited to find them! As the bark peels, layers of different colors are revealed. We marveled at them for such a long time. It seems like almost every day nature makes me trip all over myself with its beauty, and I never ever get tired of it.

The Road to HanaA close-up of a trunk.

The Road to HanaA sweet couple took a picture of the three of us in front of them.

The Road to HanaMoving down the road, we came to an overlook of Keanae, which is the halfway point to Hana. We missed the turn for the little town, but we went back to see it, and I am so glad that we did. It was utterly gorgeous. Those are taro patches down there by the ocean.

The Road to HanaIt was so peaceful and quiet there, except for the crashing of the waves along the volcanic rocks. We must have stood there for ten minutes, just listening to the ocean.

The Road to HanaWe took so many pictures.

The Road to HanaHow could we not?

The Road to HanaBy then we were getting kind of hungry, so we stopped for some famous banana bread. And it was amazing, still warm from the oven. I know it’s made with island bananas, and it had a little bit of plantain flavor. Island bananas are special bananas.

The Road to HanaWe took our picture by the rocks before hitting the road again.

The Road to HanaSo much more loveliness awaited us.

The Road to HanaAnd waterfalls!

The Road to HanaToo many to count.

The Road to HanaWe stopped for a quick lunch, and I couldn’t believe we were only six miles from Hana. Still, six miles will take you a while to travel on this road!

The Road to HanaI admired this baby pineapple. I should have put my hand in for scale–it was tiny! In related news, did you know that if you plant the top of a pineapple (the part you cut off), it will grow another one? I keep trying to remember this every time we buy one!

The Road to HanaOur last stop before Hana was this beautiful state park. It was a jaw-dropper.

The Road to HanaSee what I mean?

The Road to HanaCouldn’t. Stop. Taking. Pictures. And just generally being in awe. I try to make it a habit to spend more time looking than taking pictures. It’s awesome to have reminders in visual form, but I don’t want to miss the experience of being there.

The Road to HanaDown in the cove is a black sand beach. Eric wanted to go down and take pictures, and I waited for him because it was too steep of a climb for me. I smiled watching him take pictures and met him when he came back up. “I got you a prize,” he said, as he pulled a perfectly smoothed stone out of his pocket. I love him.

The Road to HanaThe funny thing about the road to Hana is that it’s the road itself that’s the destination. Hana is a very small town, but it has lots of history. This store has been here since 1910. We were both kind of amazed that we made it! Our drive back was miraculously free of traffic, and we made it home in time to crash on the couch for a few minutes before dinner. I am so glad we went on this trek. Some of my favorite memories are of the incredible places we saw along the way. I couldn’t help but think of my Dad, who loves to drive on winding roads. You can’t go too fast on this one, but I think he’d love it just the same. Because I can never stop planning imaginary vacations, I am already daydreaming about coming here again with our whole family! (And if you made it all the way to end of this impossibly long post, you too have traveled your own road to Hana!)

Swimming with Sea Turtles

Swimming with Sea TurtlesI’m so happy that Eric and I generally have the same travel priorities. We both really love to explore new places, and we’re not big on anything too fancy. For my part, this is because it’s the actual experience of seeing a place that’s important to me, and if I did it up big everywhere I went, I could never afford to travel as much as I do. (Speaking of which, I actually laughed out loud while reading this NYT article about how planning trips makes us happy: so true!). So, Eric and I don’t really do fancy dinners or tours, and we like to stay in affordable rentals when we go somewhere for more than a few days. You can save so much money just by being able to eat breakfast at home and reheat your leftovers for lunches and dinners, to say nothing of doing your own cooking. When we’re in a place with museums, that’s what we spend on our money on. And when we’re in Hawaii, we splurge on underwater camera rentals for our snorkeling adventures!

Swimming with Sea TurtlesWhen I read that Maui’s coral reefs were abundant in green sea turtles, I was beyond excited. I’ve never been able to see too much while snorkeling, and these turtles are truly majestic creatures. Once my cold got a little bit better, we went to rent snorkel gear. When we were checking out, I noticed that they rented underwater cameras. The price was really reasonable (think museum admission for two people), but it still felt like a happy splurge because I just didn’t know that the equipment was available. So we headed down to Makena to check out a reef so full of turtles it’s called Turtle Town. (Also, for posterity, those are the bikini bottoms that Eric said looked like the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. I heartily approve of this comparison.)

Swimming with Sea TurtlesOn our first swim, we found that snorkeling was actually kind of difficult. The breathing requires some concentration, and the fins were kind of heavy. And then there’s all that salt water in your ears and nose. BUT all of this is of course worth it. It was just more of a workout than we expected! The coral itself was so beautiful, and I loved seeing sea creatures I never would otherwise. (In possibly related news, The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor was totally my favorite book from that series).

Swimming with Sea TurtlesThis is just one of the beautiful types of fish we saw. They are called Moorish idols.

Swimming with Sea TurtlesCoral, coral, as far as the eye could see.

Swimming with Sea TurtlesWe became masters of underwater communication. And something about the light or the water turned my hair completely red in these pictures. Hi from Ariel.

Swimming with Sea TurtlesOn that first swim, we didn’t see any turtles, though the fish were gorgeous. We came back to the beach to regroup, and thankfully, a kind lady gave us some tips for the next time around. However, getting my hair impossibly tangled in my mask proved unavoidable.

Swimming with Sea TurtlesAfter a bit of rest, we were ready to head back out again. The light on the coral was so beautiful.

Swimming with Sea TurtlesAnd look at this pretty guy.

Swimming with Sea TurtlesAnd then we saw a turtle!! That’s me pointing him out to Eric. I am pretty sure I also came to the surface and yelled, “Turtle! Turtle!” Luckily, turtles don’t pay any mind to excited tourists.

Swimming with Sea TurtlesMore excited pointing! I love that you can see the baby in this shot. It’s going to be so much fun to show him these pictures someday.

Swimming with Sea TurtlesWe followed this little guy for a good long while, and he did not seem to mind at all. We were careful not to invade his space, of course, but that’s one of the things that amazed me the most about this experience: where else can you see an animal in its natural habitat, so up close, without disturbing it?

Swimming with Sea TurtlesSoon we saw a second one! It’s hard to describe how incredibly graceful these creatures are. Watching them swim is like watching the world’s smoothest flying, and they make it look so completely effortless.

Here’s a little video.

Swimming with Sea TurtlesI love the pictures of me swimming with him. Being so close to something so beautiful was really one of the more moving experiences in my life. And I’ve had a lot of those.

Video of me swimming with him!

Swimming with Sea TurtlesAt this point, we were about ready to head back, but I was hoping we’d see just one more turtle. And we did! And he was huge!

Swimming with Sea TurtlesAh, how beautiful.

Swimming with Sea TurtlesNaturally, I wanted to swim with him too.

One last video of sheer elegance. I am so glad we were able to see a few turtles, and so glad we rented the camera. We have already looked through the photos and videos about ten times! And that, my friends, is the sign of a sound investment.

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