Monday, July 25, 2011

Family Vacation in the Mountains

This year our family vacation took us to Deep Creek Lake.  A beautiful Ski Resort in McHenry, Maryland.  We, of course, did not do any snow skiing, however, we could not have picked a better location to go during the steaming summer weather this year.  I really can't complain about our high of 89 when everyone else was experiencing highs in the triple digits. I'm sorry and I hope you did everything possible to stay cool.

During our week at the lake we had a chance to really relax.  Being off island can truly be appreciated if you can just stop and slow down for a little bit.  We spend plenty of time on the water and in the water, hiking the trails, and playing in the sandy beach at the State Park.

Things we saw that were different (No Iguanas here) but we did see several Deer, Chipmunks, and pretty Butterflies.  The Ducks and Ducklings came out every morning and this was really neat to share with our little guy.

I would recommend this area to anyone who really wants to have a great summer vacation without the overwhelming heat, not much traffic to deal with, and not many people vacation in the mountains so there was really no waiting in any line anywhere -- that was the best part.  WISP resort has a ropes course, a golf course, and a mountain roller coaster you control yourself.  Of course I cant forget the go-carts, mini-golf, and arcades in town.  A lot to do but still a lot of time to relax.

Week two might not be so relaxing but it will be fun to visit old friends and family before heading back to the rock.  I miss my friends in GTMO.  See you soon!


Sunday, July 3, 2011

GTMO Updates- staying connected

Over the past year I have met several families via this blog.  Most get here because, like me, they want to know more about this place and usually hit a brick wall on the internet.  Most of what you find pertains to the detainees, the camps, and some negative reports from reporters who judge the base solely on one 3 day visit.  All I can say is don't believe everything you read and understand that what I "report" here is simply my point of view and experiences.  Other's may have a completely different of life on the Naval Station Guantanamo.

That said, I have seen a few more people creating blogs about life here and many of the organizations on the installation have created FaceBook pages to help us stay abreast of events and activities.  I will post those links here and hopefully reading about what goes on in GTMO and the opinions of others, those of you transitioning or even thinking about it will become a little more educated.

When we were moving to GTMO there was nothing out there.  I found one FB page which lead me to a couple of people who were stationed here and they answered many of my million questions.  I am thankful to have had them in my life, even if only for a short while after I moved here.

Anyway, these links will provide information about sporting events, activities, recreation, entertainment and some news and noteworthy events around the base.

As for me and my updates for this week.  Hubby and I just finished our Advanced PADI Dive certification and it was great.  The water was just right, the visibility was mostly OK, could have been better but I'm not complaining.  We reached depths of up to 100 feet and saw the prettiest fish, a couple of sea turtles, a few lobsters and even managed to eliminate a few Lion Fish in an effort to save the reef.  This invasive, non-native species is spreading through the Caribbean. They have no natural enemies here. They are said to be able to eat four times their weight each day. Native reef species don't recognize them as predators so they will swim right up to the lion fish and are quickly eaten. For this reason, many divers here will go prepared to hunt and kill the Lion Fish.  But no worries, they can be eaten and they do taste pretty good.

Looking forward to some time off island with family and friends. Here are some photos from under the sea... Enjoy!