29 February 2012

{29feb2012: unBelizeable}

Before we knew about the big news, Jason and I had planned a holiday to Belize. The timing worked out for work as right around the lunar new year projects at work slow down, but it did mean we missed Darwin's birthday (I feel awful about it and still need to get around to planning her birthday/family reunion too). But we did have a great week and a half vacation and I have the bad tan lines (and now peeling skin) to prove it!
Here are some pictures:
Such pretty clear blue water!

Our first stop after landing was the Belize Zoo. Here's a Tapir.

An Ocelot:

A Puma:

We splurged at the beginning of the trip and stayed at an eco-adventure lodge, Cave's Branch in the jungle near Belmopan. 
It was a great way to start off our trip and we got to do some fun day trips. One was cave tubing and zip lining!

The second day we went on a tour of waterfalls located in a cave under a mountain. This one was a workout hiking through the jungle to the entry of the cave, hiking through the water through the cave, and climbing up (and jumping down) waterfalls. We did have a great picnic lunch in the cave though, on a nice white table cloth too!

We stayed another night and did a side trip (not a trip booked through Caves Branch) to the biggest Mayan ruins in Belize, Caracol. This was quite a drive to get to, and most of it was on unpaved, potholed dirt roads. Rough drive, but the ruins were great.

The next day we left Caves Branch and headed to an island a little north of Belize City, Caye Caulker. Lobster season was about to come to an end, so we started our time off on the island with fresh grilled lobster!

Island life was relaxing. Lots of time spent lounging around reading, eating and drinking. 

Lots of dogs and some cats on the island. One dog in particular buddied up with Jason.
Of course we were suckers and shared our ice cream with him.
We did get out and do more than just sun ourselves. Jason went scuba diving one day, we rented a kayak and checked out the north side of the island, and on the last day before we left we spent the day on a sail boat and went snorkeling.
It was a great vacation but we were very happy to get home to Darwin!

20 February 2012

{20feb2012: big news}

I was trying to decide when the best time would be to break the big news I had mentioned briefly in an earlier post. And then I realized I don't think there is a "best" time, so why not share it now. Also a lot of the things we'll be doing in the next few months will be because of the big news.
Right before we went on our last trip to Hawaii, Jason and I found out (we work at the same firm) that our company is making a few strategic changes and one of them would be that our office would be closing. But we were both offered positions in our Singapore office. It was a lot of news to take, I'm still in a bit of shock over it and it's been over a month that we've found out. It's a lot to process, and my biggest concern is Darwin. We're still doing a lot of research trying to figure out the best way to get her there and what we need to do leading up to this big move. I was concerned about the quarantine period in Singapore, but thankfully we can do a few things in advance to hopefully reduce her time from 30 days to 10 days.
I've contacted a few bloggers who've made international moves, like Wild Dingo and of course Honey and Hsin-Yi, and Julie was able to put me in contact with Homer who's made the move to Singapore. I also came across Singapooch while doing some Google searching. They've all been great at answering my initial questions (I'm sure I'll have more once we get further along) and have made me feel more at ease about moving Dar.
I started to contact a pet mover locally and we made our first trip a couple weeks ago to the vet to get her vaccinations and bloodwork started.

After hanging out in the waiting area for a little while we got her in the back, weighed her (13.95lbs! tub!) and got into a room. We were there for an international travel consultation and our great vet tech, Caitlin, had already done a bunch of research on what they needed to do to make this as easy for us as possible.

After a short consultation they got a European microchip implanted (the microchip she had didn't qualify for Singapore), took some blood to do a titer test, and they also did an abscess test of a lump I had found on her (lump came back as just a benign cyst and not cancerous). We decided she could stand to lose at least 10lbs (on the vet's scale of 1 to 5 with 3 being ideal weight, Darwin was at about a 3.5, so she's not obese, but it wouldn't hurt to lose a little).
After the vet we drove down south an hour to Buckley, WA to the pet transporter to get her measured accurately for her kennel (they'll have to custom make it). Jason and I had measured her at home, but after talking to another pet mover we thought it'd be safer to have the expert do it to make sure her crate was exactly the right size. Good thing I took her down there too, because he measured her to be at 3 inches taller than we had done at home (we hadn't measured her with her head fully extended to its highest point). 
Slowly we are getting things figured out, and it shouldn't be a surprise to you if we have a lot of moving update posts in the future. We've also realized that since we are moving so far away that we'd like to do a lot of things (our annual tulip and beer road trip for one) before we go. So be prepared to see a lot of things... or not a lot of things as we may be preparing for the move. Either way... big changes ahead!

16 February 2012

{16feb2012: raow}

Rain + Snow = Raow.
We've been sticking to our goal of at least one hike/snowshoe adventure a month. So when the last weekend of January came up and we still hadn't done anything we HAD to go somewhere. We planned on snowshoeing and as luck would have it, it was a very rainy day. We decided to stick to our plan and headed out. I have to say I love driving (I'd rather drive than be a passenger) but driving when it's pouring buckets is not fun. At one point I thought we were going to get into a huge wreck as a car passing us drove through a huge puddle of water and our windshield was blinded in a blanket of water. So scary.
Luckily we made it to our destination in one piece. It was still raining pretty consistently though so you are going to see iphone pictures and not good camera pictures.
Now Jason is in charge of picking our hiking and snowshoeing spots and this one was another tough one. The majority of it was uphill nonstop.

There was a trail that snowmobilers used and so Darwin and I stuck to walking along that path, while Jason trekked through the trees and blazed his own trail. (Darwin tried it a couple times but she kept sinking down half a foot in the snow and she wasn't enjoying it.) The whole time Jason would walk off though, she'd pace the trail and watch him very carefully.

After an hour or so of walking up hill, we didn't make it to our destination (some view point) and we were soaked. We decided to head back down and end the day as it should be. With a beer (at Snoqualmie Brewery).

13 February 2012

{13feb2012: Obi}

I've mentioned before how great Kristie (Boo's mom) is. She always picks Darwin up for play dates, almost once a week) and she even watches Darwin when we go out of town. She helped Kona find a new, great home and also helped place another Dane that a stranger at the park asked her to help rehome, who Kona's mom took in!
Kristie learned of another Dane that needed rehoming and being the awesome person that she is she took Obi in to foster!

She had him less than a week and was able to place him in his new forever home of experienced Dane owners who are part of the Marymoor Great Dane group.
Before he went to his new home though, Darwin was able to go over for a play date to meet this handsome young fellow.
Here they are doing laps around the backyard (Darwin is the one making the monster noises per usual).

Here Darwin and Boo have a meet up to discuss what to do with this new guy, well Darwin does all the talking.
Darwin's laziness shows in this video. Obi keeps going, and Darwin stops halfway.
The blues separated themselves from the new kid for nap time.
But when Darwin was ready to play again she went over and tapped Obi on the head a couple times to get his attention.
Kristie had her dog trainer stop by to evaluate Obi, and while there he commented that Darwin was very regal, dominant and had a lot to say. hahaha. Very true, very true.
When we picked Darwin up that day we got a chance to meet Obi. Such a sweet guy. Around 2 years old, soft coat and so skinny, but he's got the Dane lean down and sucked up as much attention from us as he could.
His new family is lucky to have him and I'm hoping we'll get to see them at the park one of these days!

***All videos and pictures courtesy of Kristie.

09 February 2012

{09feb2012: Snowmagged continues!}

(Ok really it all melted the weekend after it started, but I'm never THAT caught up on my posts.)
After Darwn's epic snowman day, the snow slowed down but the next day an ice storm hit. So all our soft fluffy (sometimes slushy) snow, got topped with a layer of hard ice. It's not so bad walking down (and up) hills in snow... trying to do it on ice though was a bit nerve wracking. We ended up staying home from work that day and bundled up on the couch. Later in the afternoon as the frozen rain and snow stopped we took Darwin out for a walk.

There's a trail behind some of the houses/apartments near our place and we decided to check it out (I only go on it when Jason's with us 'cause I'm a chicken).

While we were out we decided to stop by the grocery store. Jason ran in while I waited outside with Darwin, then we headed over to a park to let Darwin run around a bit. There were a few other dogs there off leash who checked Darwin out. She was nervous about the ice, especially when her paws broke through it so she didn't do much running around so we headed home.

We walked through one more park and let her off leash since no one was around and out of no where a little Bulldog ran up to Darwin to play. I was in heaven. Didn't you know my dream is for Darwin to become bff's with an English Bulldog at daycare and for me to catch them napping together at daycare (or for Darwin to get an English Bulldog brother). And guess what! Darwin played back! At least for a little while.

While they may not be bff's and planning sleepovers, it was still so fun to see.
And check out the backdrop to this encounter.

Hello Seattle! :)