Thursday, April 28, 2011

On Teenage Dogs and Thunderstorms

I have been very quiet on here, mainly because I have actually been busy, both with work and packing.  In just over two weeks, I'll be moving back to VA.  My brain hasn't really figured out how I feel about that yet.  I'll let you know.  In the meantime, would you like a quick Vista story?

So it's nearly been a year since Vista scuttled awkwardly into my life and settled herself in as its neurotic little heart.  As much as having her has changed the day-to-day of me, I've had a chance to watch her change, as well.  The most recent change is that she has basically become a snotty little teenager.  As 1 year, 9 months (or so) puts her squarely in the pre-teen age range, I suppose it makes sense.  And if you don't believe that a dog can display teenage person-like tendencies, then you have not heard one of her patented exaggerated sighs.  I swear she even rolls her eyes.

Last night, we had hours of thunderstorms.  Vista's bed is just beneath the window, so she was getting the worst of the light and noise.  At one point, there was a crash of thunder so loud that it woke me up (which is nearly impossible to do without, say, a baseball bat) and I immediately leaned over to check on Vista.  Well, I may sometimes forget that she spent the first chunk of her life living outside, but she certainly hasn't.  Apparently thunder is nothing to her.  In the dark, I couldn't really tell how she was, so I said "Baby, are you okay?" thinking that if she wasn't, she'd likely take the cue and jump into bed with me.  At that moment, lightening lit up the room, and Vista sat up to give me a look that I can only describe as "Woman, I am sleeping here.  What is your problem?"

Uppity little brat.

My mom is fond of saying of Vista, "This is going to be a great dog in about five years."  I can only hope that she's right.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Galapagos Lists

I just spent a week in the Galapagos Islands.  My aunt was in charge of photos after my camera died, so I don't have any to share just yet, but until I do here are some lists.

Things I Already Miss About the Galapagos
(this list is, as always, in no particular order)

1. the vast, vast Pacific Ocean
2. looking out the window to see Galapagos Sharks swimming around the ship
3. catching sight of a ray leaping in the distance
4. the Frigatebirds circling above
5. the way the ship rocked gently at night
6. plantain chips (yum)
7. swimming with Sea Lions and Green Sea Turtles
8. the scent and taste of the sea air
9. the way everyday brought a new excitement or discovery, even for the people who lived there

The Animals I Saw There (Off The Top Of My Head)

1. Galapagos Sea Lions (lots--many while snorkeling)
2. Fur Sea Lions (2)
3. Blue-Footed Boobies (lots)
4. Red-Footed Boobies (lots)
5. Nazca Boobies (also called Masked Boobies) (lots)
6. Land Iguanas (9)
7. Marine Iguanas (lots)
8. Waved Albatross (1)
9. Galapagos Dove (these are the prettiest) (a few)
10. Swallow-Tail Gull (lots)
11. Short Eared Owl (6)
12. Galapagos Hawk (1)
13. Smooth-Billed Ani (1)
14. Flamingoes (3)
15. Great Blue Herons (5 or so)
16. Black-winged Stilts (a few)
17. Green Sea Turtles (5--2 while snorkeling)
18. Golden Rays (4)
19. Sting Rays (2--both while snorkeling)
20. Spotted Eagle Ray (1--while snorkeling)
21. Galapagos Penguins (18--1 while snorkeling)
22. Hammerhead Sharks (10--all while snorkeling)
21. White-tipped Reef Shark (1--while snorkeling)
22. Black-tipped Reef Sharks (3)
23. Galapagos Sharks (a few)
24. Giant Tortoises (lots)
25. Lava Lizards (lots)
26. Great Frigatebirds (lots)
27. Wild Goat (1) (this was randomly very exciting)
28. Sea Cucumbers (lots)
29. Moorish Idols (a few)
30. Porcupinefish (1)
31. Pufferfish (2)
32. Parrotfish (lots)
33. King Angelfish (lots)
34. Yellow-tailed Sturgeonfish (lots)
35. Brown Pelicans (tons)
36. Sally Lightfoot Crabs (a gazillion)

I've run out of animals, but not out of love.  I have so much love for that place, though.  I would go back in a second (the honeymooning couple on our boat put ideas in my head), but next time I think I'd do this trip and check out Peru, as well.  And I would do during the Albatross mating season so I could see their ridiculous mating dance.

Ha ha ha, listen to me talking like I have money and can afford to travel!

(Thank you, Anne, you are the very best aunt a poor, travel-addicted could EVER HAVE.)