A big priority for us on vacation is scuba diving and we were extremely disappointed to put it mildly when Jon started calling around to find out that it was going to be way too expensive or other companies just weren't going out on the days we had available. (We couldn't book ahead of time since we had to do the timeshare presentation and didn't know when we'd have to do it). We were overjoyed the next day when one of the dive shops called us to say they had enough people to go out. We went out to a place called the Catalina Islands (we didn't have our nice camera with us). I snapped these next two pictures out of a book from the airport to show you what we saw. There were tons of these flying devil rays leaping out of the water! It was unbelievable. They were so many of them and they'd get 5 - 10 feet in the air. I imagine it was a fraction of the excitement you'd feel whale watching.
It was a fantastic dive. The coral wasn't much to look at since there wasn't a reef there, just the volcanic rock. But there were tons of moray eels and spotted eels. We saw our first wild lobster. The fish were beautiful. There were so many puffer fish around, some were about 1 1/2 feet long! We even saw our first legit shark! (we've gotten up close to a nurse shark before but they don't even have sharp teeth)We saw one white tipped reef shark down in a crevice that swam away. Then we came upon a mom and baby a while later. They swam away before we could get too close. But as we were looking for them, the baby came and swam back and sat right in front of us! It was awesome. I was about two arm lengths away from it. This little guy was probably about 4 feet long. I know the mom was nearly twice it's size when we saw it in the distance!! It was a very very cool experience.manta rays--a sting ray that grows up to 18 feet wide. On our first dive, Jon ran out of air first so we went back up with one of the dive masters. The other two people who stayed down a little longer got to see two swimming all around, right over their heads. On the second dive, I got to see one swim over our heads that was somewhere around 10-15 feet wide. It was spectacular. But Jon was further back in the group and didn't get to see it since the visibility wasn't great down there.
On our last day, we drove about an hour to the Rincon de la Vieja National Park, where one of the large volcanoes is. This was the road into the park. (You actually cross through someone's land and pay him a toll on the way there!)
I'm so grateful we had that week together. I'm so passionate about traveling and love to see more of this world and experience new cultures. Not to mention with three kids, Jon and I don't get to have much fun together these days. Its so refreshing to remember how much we laugh together when it's just the two of us. I think it's the most important thing you can do for your marriage. It immediately brings the spark back and helps you remember what life was like before the stress of raising children. We both look forward to the day it's just us again. Does that sound harsh? Probably. I love raising my boys and it's definitely my life's calling. But quoting what our pediatrician told my mom when we were really little, in reference to how important early bedtimes are, "you got married to be with each other. Not to have kids." True dat.