28 April 2008

Blogtime Story

28 April 2008
I'm looking forward to going to bed, but first I'll tell a quick "blogtime story."

First off, a huge thanks to all of you who have sent birthday wishes and helped me celebrate the big 2-7 in a big way this year.

I'm lucky to have a husband who not only remembers special occasions, but who somehow manages to make each year more memorable than the last (I wonder how long he can keep this up).

So, in true Cassie fashion, I'll do a majority of my storytelling with photos...

Peter, Eric, John & Jonathan @ the Flame Tree Festival

Ok, so this wasn't really part of my birthday, but I had to sneak this picture in somewhere. This is Eric and the 3 other law clerks.

And this is birthday gift #1. How fun is this?? We rented scooters for the day and rode them all the way up North. Fortunately, I think the speed limit caps at 35mph here on Saipan so we weren't too much of a nuisance out there on the roads. Although, I'm happy to say that I had the faster scooter of the 2. The ride up North was so perfect because, although it was a hot day, you hardly noticed it while riding in the wind, and it was nothing but long open roads and beautiful scenery.
Unfortunately, we didn't finish our scooter adventure completely unscathed, but luckily, it was just Eric's ego that was bruised. He managed to crash his bike just a few feet away from the Rental office when he took a sharp turn into the parking lot. There was no talking our way out of that one.
See next post for our evening activity...

Birthday Continued...

Our next stop with the scooters was to the Nat'l Marianas Cup v. Guam (4 of the YW are on the team). We had to leave shortly after half-time, however, to return the bikes and go to our final birthday destination - A sunset dinner cruise!

This was our very funny, very talented MC (from the Phillipines, but spoke & sang in Korean, Japanese & English...now learning Russian). He liked to pick on us b/c we were the only white folk on the boat, but he was great.


"Kissy kissy" - This was after they sang Happy Birthday to me. The MC was the one taking the picture and requiring the long-hold kiss in front of the whole boat. Hmm...

Yes, that's me dancing. These pictures are up by Eric's request. I mentioned before that the MC liked to pick on us - Here's Exhibit A. He thought it would be funny to pair up complete strangers on the dance floor. Ok, it was pretty funny.

Eric - caught doing the YMCA!

And one last surprise...

I love these girls!

Eric and I did all of our birthday celebrating over the weekend so I wasn't expecting anything today, but these awesome girls got me good with a suprise party. I'm not sure how they pulled it all off, but somehow they managed to arrange the whole thing without my knowing it. They had Eric take me out to dinner, and then they snuck in as soon as I was out the door. It's even more impressive considering the fact that our house is so tiny and our driveway is so trecherous yet, when we got home, I didn't see or hear any cars, lights or giggles. They're good!

19 April 2008

Pineapple Ball

19 April 2008
We have electricity! Somehow CUC managed to come up with the money for at least another week's worth of fuel. Yes sir.

So tonight Eric and I decided to celebrate. Well, it wasn't really a decision, it just happened. Matt Smith was kind enough to give us his not-so-cheap ticket for 2 to the Pineapple Ball - Glamour Under the Sea. It was a very fancy shmancy affair - at Giovanni's at the Hyatt, and proceeds went to MINA (Mariana Islands Nature Alliance).

I wish I could say I have a closet full of formal dresses for such events, but alas, no such luck so I felt slightly underdressed, but it was fun nonetheless. We even won the highest bid on a 3-month membership to Gold's Gym (saving us $135...and helping MINA of course)!

Note to self: Don't wear shoes such as these to parties with limited seating.

For some reason converting pictures to sepia makes me feel not quite so pasty.

13 April 2008

Oh Dear

13 April 2008
This post is for those of you back in the states who are concerned about the economic situation - I'm here to tell you it could be worse!

We just found out that Saipan has less than a week's supply of fuel left. The utilities corp. couldn't pay $2 MILLION (of the $3.5 million) to Mobil. So, apparently we have 11,000 barrels to last us the month v. the normal 25,000, and the ship has left the island!

Power outages are a pretty normal occurrence here - sometimes once a week, sometimes even once a day (during the rolling blackouts), but this fuel crisis could mean close to two weeks straight without power. 2 weeks in 85 degree weather without a shower?! That's not going to be pretty.

I had a mini freak out today when the power was out for over 2 hours. I thought our days of glorious light and air conditioning were already up, and I wasn't ready. Eric and I had just gotten back from a sweaty hike and both were in desperate need of a shower, the kitchen sink was filled with dirty dishes, we're down to our last 5 gallons of water, and I really needed to use the bathroom. Poor Eric had to throw on his suit and go to priesthood session without a shower. Thankfully, the power did come back on ... for now.

I'm not sure how we're going to manage if/when "darkness falls", but I'm sure we'll survive. Who knows, we may even like it and decide to join an Amish community.

Click here & here to read more about the fuel shortage...

12 April 2008

Hidden Beach

12 April 2008
The other day I discovered this cool little beach while walking near King Fisher. It's a really nice little spot so I decided to take Eric there today.

Freestyle Climbing.

Gorgeous! The scenery's not bad either.

Once we got to the top, we decided to take a little rest in a cliffside crater. From here, I spotted a sea turtle down below - Very cool!