Friday, August 29, 2008


I've complained to running friends that I am fairly inflexible: I can't touch my toes, or do many of those fancy stretches. My friends Mai and Charles suggested I go with them to yoga, so I agreed to check it out. There are classes offered at our Y, but they like to go to a local studio, Guruv Yoga. The class they like to attend is "Happy Hour Yoga", offered Fridays at 5:30 pm, because of the wine and occasional appetizers afterwards!

So I went, and it was tough. The class is a basic Vinyasa Flow yoga, and I do what I can until I feel resistance. However, due to my overall muscle tightness, I feel resistance pretty early in most of the positions. For some, I need the help of a foam yoga block. Overall I enjoyed it, and am determined to keep attending. We plan to take advantage of our Y memberships and attend a Tuesday morning class as well, after running. Mai and Charles and pretty good, but they've been doing it for years. I know I need to do it more than once a week if I actually want to improve.

Anyway, after we had our little glass of wine, we went next door to Delano's for dinner. We like the menu, even if it is small - right now it is salads, flatbread pizza, and sandwiches. But they are expanding the restaurant and also expanding the menu, so soon we'll have more food to choose from! It is a great way to wind down a Friday evening.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Manatee Encounter

My friend Mai's birthday is approaching, so she wanted to do something the weekend before it. It is good timing since she is a teacher and school starts on Monday (faculty is back, but the kids don't show up for another week). She arranged a group outing to take the Manatee Encounter tour from A Day Away Kayak Tours. We had a fair sized group: Mai and Charles, Travis and Diana, myself and Johanna and few others Mai invited as well.

Kayak Friends
Originally uploaded by klbarrus
At the start of the tour.

We didn't have to look far for manatees! On the way out we paddled into a boat launch area, known as a gathering spot for the manatees. Within minutes, two very friendly manatees began to swim around us, checking out the group.

Originally uploaded by klbarrus
Very curious and friendly manatee.

The manatees surfaced very close - I could feel them exhale. They would flip over and swim under the boat, and circled us until we left. They would bump the kayaks and turn us in slow circles. The guide said it was OK to gently pet them, so when one was close enough, I stuck out my hand to feel it swimming by.

Mai and Charles
Originally uploaded by klbarrus

After we left the boat launch manatees, we entered a sheltered shore area. I saw a small jellyfish swimming by, so I lifted it up on my paddle. It is a little hard to see, but in the middle of the paddle is a lump - that's the jellyfish, a little one.

The tour also included a stop in shallow water where we dug for clams, and looked at NASA 12 miles to the south. The tour company also offers a few other trips that sound interesting, such as the nighttime bioluminescence tour. They also have a shuttle launch trip, which I think would be much better than being closer in viewing, on the NASA grounds. If the launch is postponed, at least you had the kayaking part to enjoy!