Foodie Foto Friday

One thing I miss VERY much is living in Bavaria and being able to cross over the border and sample different tasty meals.  One favorite of ours was Czech Goulash:

Czech Travels

Goulash in Doubravka, Pilsen, Plzeňský


A savory broth, chunks of oh so succulent beef, fresh sliced red onion, and this amazing bread dumpling so incredibly chewy and ready to soak up the broth which was made with the local dark beer (Pivo).  Feeling the urge to try out some recipes.

May your foodie journey take you around the world!
Have a great weekend!

Teach a Girl to Fish

Um, what? Wait no.  I’m not the girl that likes to sit with a pole in her hand and just.  Well – sit.  It looks boring I must say (IT being fishing).  So when a buddy texted to ask if I wanted to join them by the river and check it out, I was like SURE.  And promptly packed my camera gear with the thought I would quickly be bored and want nothing to do with it.

I was wrong.  Yes. There, I said it.  Move along nothing to see here.


First Fishing Trip EVER, Blackstone River, NY

and only….

Fishing Black River

yup! This is the guy that said hook your OWN worm.

Fishing Lures

Got Lures?

First Fishing Trip EVER, Blackstone River, NY

Learning to “cast” my line

A few things:

  • You don’t just STAND there with a pole in your hand
  • If you want a worm on the hook?  I was told put it there yourself, this is a bit of a “squeamish” moment for me, because the worm will try and curl itself up and generally that means its going to try and wrap around your hand.  UGH.
  • Casting takes skill
  • Knowing how to actually HOOK the fish once it bites – takes skill
  • There is not one type of reel
  • There are many things under the water that can catch a hook
  • There are several methods to fishing and equipment you used based on the water and location
  • It is, actually … FUN!

I had a great time, I did get antsy a few times and end up pulling my camera out to snap some photos of the Black River Trail, but I don’t know that many of them turned out INSPIRING.   I see myself trying this again, but not in the “lets go buy my own equipment” type of trying it.

Wordless Wednesday

Fishing Lures


Sun Star Black River


The end of the River for you Canoe


Trail Fun Run

So I must say – it has been quite a while since I’ve talked of anything fitness related.  Guess I’m just becoming a little random here.  I had a quiet weekend last weekend, no plans and some down time to just shelax on the couch and be a bum.  It lasted for about five hours on Saturday morning.  Then I felt the urge to get out and about and check out a trail.

To be fair, my laziness was added to by a rainy morning.  Just laying out the reality. ;)

So after looking at the weather forecast and realizing that the excuse was over, I laced up my running shoes after applying “Skin” to keep my blisters at bay, and headed out to discover.  Part of my curiousity about this particular trail was I run the main loop around Remington Pond on base quite regularly.  Its close to the unit and makes about a 3 mile loop on its own.  But coming off of the main loop you see many trails in a spoke going away from the trail, and I always wondered which one led where?  One I knew led to house and dead ended rather quickly, but one I knew went out about a half mile to exit another portion of base and I wanted to know which that was.  So I parked my car by where I knew the trail ended… and ran my way in.  Big A-Ha moment when I popped out.

Remington Trail with Side Trails

Remington Trail with Side Trails

I started on Tigris River Road and headed into the trail.  It looks like it says “Trail Sour,” using my Snippet tool to grab the route from Runtastic and add a few notes was a little challenging with a trackball.  Oh well, so the trail spur was the point my new addition ran into my old addition, two concrete barriers mark the spot.  Not sure it was much of an add, maybe a half mile one way, so its something.  And it has hills.  Going in you don’t notice it, but coming out that little elevation?  Yea, I’m sure your legs would feel it too.

Anyway that 2 mile mark was a bit of an adventure to say the least.  So at the one mile mark, I saw ANOTHER trail I had wanted to look at, I see a lot of Soldiers running in and out of it.  I think I know why now.  The first bit of it is a uphill hump.  Great for hill intervals.  I was heaving for a breath by the time it evened out and I could continue on a nice flat trail, which interestingly enough is paved.  Though the whole of the Remington trail we run normally is gravel.  Just a little tid bit that made me go – “Hmmm”

That whole “Old Land Navigation” course was a side trail I saw as I was running a paved, its really rather interesting.  Just for me I guess, thinking about all the Soldiers that had passed through there, learning how to navigate the land by compass.  And me with my GPS phone recording my run.  WHICH was a really good thing.  So a little secret to tell – that crazy little squiggly and and back at mile two?  Was me running a “trail” which turned out to be a deer path that led nowhere and when I turned around – disappeared.  So when I pulled my phone out to retrace my steps, I noticed something amiss.  My ID card.  Nope no longer in the spot I had tucked it in.  So what all that really is? Is me using my phone not only to figure out where the trail looped back at but where I had been and where could my ID card POSSIBLY be.   Luck was with me.  I found it.  I know you were worried. ;)

Views of Remington Trail Run

Views of Remington Trail Run

It wasn’t my best run, but some days that is not what it is about.  Its about the fact I got my shoes on, I put one foot in front of the other, and I moved it.  I ran most of it, hiked and huffed up some.  Stopped for tick checks in others.  I only ran into one other person on that run, it was wonderful.  To be out on trails is my favorite place to run, not because I’m speedy gonzales, but because I’m able to connect with my body, clear my head, and find moving Zen.

What trails do you want to explore for a run?
 I’m thinking Black River Trail for my next adventure.

Diving the Cars, Grindstone Island

Location: 44 16.220’N, 76 5.310’W
Depth: 25 to 30 Feet

We rented a pontoon from our local MWR to take out for the weekend and explore some dive sites. Our first attempt with a launch off of Oswego discovered that Lake Ontario can have some pretty brutal swells on a not so windy day. So after traveling a distance in the hope of a good wreck find, we decided for Sunday to keep it close to home and launch out of Clayton’s Cedar Point State Park boat launch.


The day started out a bit overcast, but calm waters and warm temps allowed us to feel hopeful that our ride out on the River to Grindstone Island would be successful. Using our iPhones and Google Maps app I was able to work with DH and after a misidentified cove stop, we were able to use GPS to drop anchor in the approximate area of the dive site. Many sites are marked with Buoys identifying historical markers, so my guess is a bunch of trucks and cars that managed to find there way to the bottom hasn’t hit the historical list.


After ensuring we were anchored and putting up our dive flag, we started gearing up. A boat departing the island slowed as it passed us and asked if we were diving the Cars. He was pretty helpful in pointing out approximate location and also asked if anyone was down already, the locals to the island were quite used to finding a bobbing red & white flag in the area.

We started our dive doing a navigation pattern to the East, finding nothing returned to the pontoon, navigated North. Again, nothing. We were looking at each other and shrugging, frustrated. 20 minutes of silt bottom and river grass. Trying one more time we went West. A shadow loomed to our peripheral and next thing we new we were looking at the shape of a car. Covered in Zebra muscles they are pretty well preserved, while the details a bit lost you can still see the curves and shapes. The pick up truck was my favorite. The Zebra muscles can’t attach to the glass so you still see the windows, and gliding over the top of the trucks roof, the wooden top or panel that used to be there is gone and you can peer in at the steering wheel and seats. Even on the front grill a few wires poking out let you know that this isn’t just a lump of shells in the form of a truck. It was really cool.


:: 1 minute clip of the dive ::

I wanted to embed that but YouTube isn’t working with me this morning and based on my track record lately with getting time to publish blogs, I’m going with a link. Check it out – but be kind, it was my first dive with the GoPro Hero 3+ I finally broke down and purchased for dive video. Not sure the Chesty is my favorite dive mount. [ Side Note: Having the video camera on the Chesty mount, you can't pull it away to change the modes to be able to stop your video and take a photo if you want. I also purchased filters for the water and snow to try for the next go. Overall the clarity of the video was amazing! Its just that what I was looking at? The camera was pointed down about 6 inches so I missed some footage I thought I was getting.]


After our successful find, we enjoyed a sub sandwich and a tasty beverage while the sun decided to make a complete appearance. Motivated by the gorgeous change to the weather we took the afternoon and our pontoon and enjoyed a ride on the river to Cape Vincent for dinner, returning in the sunset. We did not waste one moment of our Sunday.

Foodie Foto Friday

Many thanks to Ryan at Thoughts from the Road for his inspiration to start putting my constant photographing of my food to post. I’m going to start with a happy end to the week by sharing a Food Photo Friday, only I like the German spelling of Foto for this theme. So here we go.

A few weekends ago, hubster went off with the guys for a golf game and I found myself with a quiet afternoon to do with what I may. So I decided to drive over to Clayton (a cute river town on the St. Lawrence) and stop by to say hello to the “Deep Down Diver” crew we had joined up with, not to dive but just to check in, catch up and relax as I sat by the river chatting with other people enjoying the sun. I also had the pleasure of helping out two students going for the Open Water certification gear up and get in. Its fun to see others sparking with interest in something you have grown to love.

After an hour or so my stomach rumbled and I wandered down the street, I hate to say it but I don’t know the name of the place I stopped. A riverside spot next to the Christmas Shop. But I was glad I stopped. I was seated in the corner at a small table, but it was perfect for me, I mean look at my view!


The waitress brought me a lovely chilled glass of Chardonnay from Coyote Wine (a local winery) and then read off the specials. “Chef’s Special Salad” : Roma Tomato, Peaches, Goat Cheese with a lemon honey & oil dressing. Add some grilled shrimp to that and I was in heaven.


I spent another hour enjoying my salad, the wine and the view as I flipped through a new book we had gotten on diving the Thousand Islands. Next dive? The Car Wreck!

TBT Charming Charleston

*BWAHA I’m going to call this THROW BACK THURSDAY because it’s been sitting in my DRAFT since September 2013*

Charleston Downtown (3)

One of the places that we went while my Mom was visiting was Charleston. I know I blogged about our visit to Middleton Place the plantation 14 miles outside of Charleston. But we had driven up the day before to visit the city. Lucky for me there is Air Force lodging so we were able to get a good deal on a hotel room within a 10 minute drive of downtown & the waterfront. Also lucky for us a Midas shop was open as my brakes had decided that today was they day they died. But that’s another story and really not so exciting to share.
Charleston Downtown (4)

While at Midas ;) I studied and Mom read, and then when we were told 20 minutes to go, we got excited about WHERE to go. We decided on downtown, and found a great place to park on Church Street, just a half block off Charleston’s historic market. While not completely transported back in time, Charleston has done a fabulous job of preserving the buildings and cobblestone streets to give you a glimpse into their history.

Charleston Downtown (8)

Charleston Downtown (11)

Charleston Downtown (12)

Mom and I thoroughly enjoyed wandering the cobblestones and peaking in between the bars of gates to see the gardens hidden between houses, we both loved coming up with stories of events of the past. Our walk (and growling tummy’s) took us to the Waterfront Park. We had stopped at a cool looking restaurant, it had Navy flags and its view of the water had me hoping we could sit for some appetizers and enjoy the atmosphere.

Housed in a 1940s retired naval building on the east side of the Charleston peninsula, Fleet Landing Restaurant features Chef Drew Hedlund’s classic and contemporary Southern seafood fare in a setting that celebrates the area’s waterfront heritage.

Unfortunately we were not the only ones with such hope and it was pretty busy. Continuing on we walked out on the pier where the city had placed hanging swing seats to sit and relax. Many families tested the limit as they all would sit in a bench and swing. Mom was able to sit in one for a bit as I wandered snapping some shots of people and views that grabbed my attention.

Charleston Downtown (14)

Charleston Downtown (18)

Charleston Downtown (24)

After enjoying the view we headed back to find food, and found that downtown was starting to pick up with nightlife seekers. As we were standing on the corner waiting for a light, a cafe table came free at the brewery across the road. I was practically running as the light changed to grab it, sitting outside and people watching is a favorite past time and the weather was perfect to enjoy the town.

We were not disappointed. Motorcycles “cruised” the strip, horse and carriages lit up as the sun set, bachelor and birthday party groups started taking to the road with a twinkle in their eyes and plenty of entertainment bars to explore.

Charleston Downtown (25) Motorcycles

Charleston Downtown (26)

The food was pretty good, the waiter was forgetful, the company was excellent. Our first night was just what we wanted. Lazy, casual, and on our own clock. We took our time walking back to the car enjoying the look of the town in the glow of the streetlamps. I must say it did feel a little spooky walking back, like stepping back in time had been complete. Finding a small graveyard that we hadn’t seen before added to the feeling.

Charleston Downtown (33)

Charleston Downtown (38)

Charleston Downtown (42)

Charleston Downtown (49)

Charleston Downtown (46)

I must say there is a lot that Charleston has to offer, and I could see this as being a location to visit more than once while I’m here in Georgia. Researching my next getaway… :D

*Note: Nope I didn’t go back… school got busy, but as a Signal Soldier Fort Gordon will be my new hub for training and any return requirements, so it could happen ;)

Wordless Wednesday

Mom & Me

Just a quiet moment …

Wordless Wednesday

Taniam Magic Garden

And a little flashback 2012 – Thailand Waterfall at the Taniam Magic Garden

Take a Pause

Things have been busy and trucking along at an Autobahn pace (If you have never driven in Germany?  Interpret this to mean: You are flying down the freeway at 115mph, then the cars in front of you start stacking up as you enter a dropped speed, next thing you know your flying again!)  So yes, life is a series of ebbs and flows.  Last weekend was a very much needed disconnect.  I know I wrote in my “Canoe Camping” post:

I must have sat on the boulder for thirty minutes, just watching how the water stilled as the wind stopped, crystallizing the reflection of the trees. No words, no phone. Just the silence as nature put on a beautiful show for us.

But I don’t think that truly captured what that moment meant for me.  For me to just sit?  To just be?  Has always been an effort in futility.

Canoe Camping

Simply Reflect

To be still and reflect isn’t something that we are good at anymore.  I know when I say we – there are those out there that are going “Oh no, I’m good at that” – but really, a large group of us has become “Twitchy.”   Our reading consists of quick summaries, photos instead of words, a video no longer than three minutes.   We can’t even wait for an appointment without pulling out our “Smart” phones to scroll through the latest Social Media posts or catch up on news.

I’ve been in class this week, getting some much needed reminders about hacking techniques, and one of the interesting things I realized in the “Social Engineering” portion of the class was how unaware we are of our environment now. We don’t look around to see who is looking at us.

Well hello JennyO – can you explain to me how you went from being able to sit still to social engineering?

Yes following my thought train can be a bit like trying to find how to untangle your headphone wires. You follow a wire only to find it doesn’t end where you thought it is and pops up in another knot of wires … yea I think you get the visual.

So its like this: If we do not pay attention to our surroundings, experience most of our moments on a screen, and lose the ability to interact face to face?   How do we cope with interacting with just ourselves?   How do you know how to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses if you can’t take that pause and seek to search out those trails of thoughts?   Why are you feeling sad?   How do you savor the moments of joy? What is the real reason you are angry with your friend?

Canoe Camping

Being alone is a beautiful thing

And no, I don’t have the answers to all of these questions. But to attempt to come to some sort of conclusion; what I found in those moments of still, the time where I just sat by myself without anything to read or anyone to text, was a wonderful moment of clarity. Of realizing my surroundings, of hearing my breath, of feeling the tensions in my face let go. What I had in that moment of clarity was the realization that as much as I say I’m trying to live in the now, I’m rarely giving it the attention it deserves.  What I had in the moment in the classroom in watching non-technical hacking techniques is that I rarely pay attention to my surroundings anymore.

So here is to giving the now some attention. What do you think? Do you realize your surroundings? Do you pay attention to who approaches you or what people ask or how they are behaving around you? Do you take a pause to reflect on how you are feeling and how that is making you behave?


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