Saturday, October 4, 2008

Costa Rica Pure Life Highlights 2008

My first attempt at a slideshow and youtube. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I Like Kayaking


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

History of Mustache May

It was a beautiful evening in Moab in the spring of 2001. I was sitting on the front porch of my new home for the summer, a dreamy double wide trailer. I had just started training for my new job as a river guide and was having the time of my life. My new companions and I were lamenting over the fact that we were required to stay clean shaven all summer as part of our job description. Then one of the veteran guides mentioned that there was a loop hole, we were allowed to grow mustaches. We all laughed at the thought and then things got quiet and we all just looked up at the stars for a minute. It appeared as though the conversation had ended, but we were all thinking the exact same thing. I can’t remember who piped up first, but we were quickly decided, we were going to grow mustaches and we would declare the month Mustache May!

We were instantly heroes; at least that’s how I like to remember it. There was some resistance here and there, but people seemed to rally around it pretty quickly, except for our boss, which made it that much sweeter. I recall many glorious nights that spring, sitting around the campfire, chatting with visitors from all over the world about the joys of having a mustache. But the true test came when I headed home for the weekend to see friends and family, it was the first time I would be alone with the stache. After a solid 10 minutes of abuse and laughter from my friends, just like before, things got quiet. Then Hady shyly asked, “So do you have to be a river guide to do Mustache May?” And just like that, the true spirit of Mustache May was born. I figure about 20 guys had mustaches by the end of the May 2001. The next year we were all ready to go, most guys grew beards to get a head start on the month. Then Hady and Chad moved to Southern California and started reporting that their whole office was on board. Another friend from D.C. said his office was in as well. Paul Newton was in flight school in 2003 and called me and told me he was holding a picture of him and 30 of his classmates all rockin the stache. There is something about growing a mustache, not only is it stylish and fun, it’s also extremely contagious. My Dad even joined the ranks one year, despite the pleadings of my sweet mother, “Steve, don’t encourage him!” Some guys struggle at first, but once they actually do it, they never go back. It took two years to convince Jared Hansen and now look at him, he is well on his way to win the Mustache May Spirit Award of the year. I got a phone call from a Blake Burdette a few weeks ago, a 6 year veteran of Mustache May and he told me of some high school kids he ran into with mustaches. When he asked them what they were growing mustaches for they snapped back at him, “It’s mustache may, duh!” His comment to me and the rest of the crew was, “Mustache May is bigger than us now.” I would guess conservatively that there are a couple of hundred guys all over the world rockin the mustache this May. The third year one of the original members and I sat down and wrote down the official rules of Mustache May. Mustache May means something a little different to every guy who participates, but it’s really pretty simple. The idea is to wear the stache and wear it proud. On that quiet night in Moab we were just a couple of young bucks trying to have some fun and make the world a better place one mustache at a time. We never set out to change the world, it just sort of happened that way.

Official Rules of Mustache May:

1- The grandeur of the mustache must be worshipped in truth and singularity. Therefore, no mustache can be accompanied by any other form of facial hair. In other words, don’t hide behind the beard.

2. May 1st = Mustache.

3- No complaining due to lack of action. It ruins the spirit of the stache. We are all in this together and nobody said it would be easy. Be creative with it, like "Ladies, it tickles when we kiss. Wanna try?"

4- Handlebars are discouraged. Acceptable only if you really have a Harley Davidson, or you really can kick anybody’s trash, just like Hulk Hogan or Paul Senior, from American Choppers.

5- Be proud of your stache. Don’t avoid public or mingling with the opposite sex because you are ashamed of your facial hair. The hairy upper lip is empowering!

6- It's not what's on the upper lip, it's what's in your heart. Don’t shirk participation because you think your stache is weak or pathetic. Not everybody can grow a stache like Tom Selleck. Michael Jordan got cut from his high school basketball team.

7- Hook up your fellow Mustache May participants. If you wait tables, free drinks would be an appropriate gesture.

8-Encourage others to grow the stache. It’s liberating, spread the love.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Top Ten from Europe

I spent a total of two weeks in Europe. One week in Italy and then a week in Spain visiting my parents who are currently living in Madrid and serving a medical mission. Instead of a detailed and boring report, here are my top ten European moments.

10 - "You're in my bed..." (see previous post)

9 - Retiro Park - Madrid, Spain - I rented a little boat and paddled around this big pond, the weather was terrible that day except for the 45 minutes I had that boat, the sun was shining right on that pond and it was perfect!

8 - Valley of the Fallen - Spain

7 - Spaghetti in Italy - (see previous post)

6 - Vespa Crash - Granada, Spain - Some Spaniard bit the dust going down this big hill 5' away from me. As I was helping him up I caught a wiff of the alchohol on him, those people love to party.

5 - Mandolin Moment - Monterosso, Italy - It was a late sunny afternoon in this beachtown in Italy and this street musician was playing classical music on his mandolin on the boardwalk. It was perfect.

4 - The Roman Empire - Rome, Italy - The colosseum, the forum, unbelievable!

3 - Flamenco Dancing - Madrid and Granada, Spain - The show I saw in Granada took place in a gypsy cave and they pulled me out on the stage to dance with them at the end, OLE!

2 - La Alahambra - Granada, Spain - Unbelievable Moorish Palace

1 - Hiking the Via de Amore - Cincque Terre, Italy - absolutely breathtaking views of mediterranean sea and 5 small picturesque villages.

I traveled alone most of the time and made some friends along the way. It was great to see my parents, I am very proud of them. They could be just relaxing in their beautiful home and a comfortable life here in SLC, but instead they are living in a small apartment in Madrid, catching the subway, walking and driving all over western Europe and struggling with the spanish language. They are doing an awesome job and the missionaries love them!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

You are in my bed!

So I flew into Rome after 24 hours of travel and very little sleep that whole time. I met two Italian girls on my flight from Madrid to Rome named Erica and Cheti, they taught me the basics of Italian. I was pleased to see how well I could communicate with them with my Spanish background. They were very friendly and helped me get on the train to my hotel. When I got to my hostel I hit the town for some pasta with my new bunk mates. Two girls from So. Carolina and a girl and guy from London. We hit a hole in the wall and I had the best plate of Spaghetti I have ever had in my entire life, or maybe I was just that hungry! Amazing! I had been awake now for 36 hours and was feeling really out of it, which was discouraging cause when Navy Seals train they stay awake for something like 72 hours straight. As much as I like to think I could've been a seal, moments like these let you know just how amazing those guys are. I passed out on my bed only to be awoken by this cell phone all lit up waving around above me in my bed, and some girl speaking french...disoriented? Completely! It took me a second to realize what was going on then she says in english, "You are in my bed." So I roll out of bed and show her my paper that shows that I am actually in the correct bed, did I mention it was 3 AM? She was not convinced and would not leave. So I walked her out to the hallway so as not to wake the other 6 people in my room and in my best French, Italian, Spanish accent I say...."recepcion." We walk three flights of stairs to the front desk only to have the guy say "sorry, our mistake." Why she didn't go to the front desk in the first place is beyond me.

I have only seen Rome so far, just got to Florence and will update more later, I didn't come to Italy to sit in an internet cafe!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Bloggers Block

Has anybody experienced this before?

There is a ton to report, yet nothing is really coming out. I am just going with bullet points to see if that can get things flowing again.

  • Took the GMAT - abstaining from math for 7 years did not help at all on the test...wierd.
  • Applied to Masters Real Estate Development program at ASU
  • Went to Costa Rica for a week, flipped a raft (first time in 6 years...demons!)
  • Headed to Spain at the end of March to see my padres!

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

It has been an awesome holiday season to say the least. However, it has not been the same without my parents here. They love the holidays and have a tendency to go "all out" with decorations, food, gifts and parties. They were complaining on the phone that it only took 30 minutes to set up Christmas in their little apartment in opposed to the two week set-up and two week take down process they are used to at home. Anyway, we are all very proud of them and the example of service they are setting for the rest of us.

The latest on my Costa Rica adventure???? mmmmm...... I hesitate to say, for fear of losing the thousands of readers who visit my blog daily.... I am moving back to the states!
There are many reasons for pulling the plug but basically what had felt right, at one time for me, changed once I got down there and got into it. I will however, continue to run my all-inclusive package tours, this allows me to live pretty much wherever I want. I am not exactly sure if I will be moving back to Salt Lake City, I am currently looking into some options to do the rest of the year, when I am not running trips. I loved every minute of my experience living down there and trying to start a rafting company. I have no regrets and take peace in the fact that I will never look back and say, "I wonder what would've happened if I had tried....." So here is my sum up of my 6 months in Costa Rica this year-

flat tires- 3
stuck in the mud- 2
mangos consumed- muchos
lung infections- 4
food poisoning- 1
trips to mechanic- 5
ocean sunsets watched- 15 (roughly)
waves attempted to surf- 500
waves actually surfed- 2.5
round trip flights to and from US- 5
attempts at a bank account-13

On a more personal note, I am grateful for the experience for many reasons, but if anything I think I am taking perspective from it. I have had friends comment from time to time on how jealous they were of me living down there. There is no doubt the place is beautiful and the activities and adventures were unforgettable, however, I couldn't help but feel often times that despite the fact that I was living in paradise, there was a certain emptiness to it. It's hard to explain, it wasn't loneliness, but more of an idle feeling.....does that make sense? Other than the unbelievable moments spent surfing, looking at the beautiful views, rafting the river, or watching the sunset, there really wasn't much else going on. So "living the dream" was not really "the dream" as you would imagine it.