Honoured to receive my 2019 SSI Platinum Pro 5000 Award

To be honest, SCUBA was not even on my radar.  The night I met my future husband-he was slightly sunburnt & freshly back from a week of diving in Cozumel & packing for a trip to the Chinchorro Banks where he was going to board a dumpy local fishing boat with a makeshift shark cage that he had organized with his buddies.  Well, I was firmly on the hook.  I HAD to get in on this level of adventurous living…and fast-because I fully intended on crashing his shark cage.

After a short time together, we talked about dreams and his was opening a dive shop.  I was working in a different industry at the time but I was all in for the idea of a business that was about fun, fish and incredible experiences.

Shortly after the birth of our bouncing baby business, we both became scuba diving instructors.  We continued to develop the business and ourselves and over these past 28 years, I have had so many ridiculous experiences with the underwater world.  I have befriended some of the most brilliant minds in our industry and I can engage a new customer and get even more inspired when they share their stories…and equally thrilling is to see the wide eyes and smiling face of someone whom we have freshly certified.

It has been an awfully lucky existence and next week there is more excitement to come.  I am not a jealous person, but SSI created the most prestigious award in our industry and in its inaugural year, 1993, my beloved husband was awarded this honor along with other members of this first graduating class, including Jacques Cousteau and Bob Hollis (inventor and founder of Oceanic and Hollis and more).

Next week, at the #DEMASHOW, I will join the ranks of this elite tribe as I accept my SSI Platinum Pro 5000 award.  An added bonus is the fact that I was nominated by people for whom my admiration is greater than my vocabulary.  I have not read their endorsement letters yet.  They will remain under a green tree until opened on December 25th.

The best week of the year in Newport Beach

newport harbor

The most fun week of the year in beautiful Newport Beach is underway with the Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race #N2E underway and the Newport Beach Film Festival #NBFF on its tails. Both events generally start on the last Thursday in April and the film fest wraps up the following Thursday. Enjoy 300+ well told stories on a variety of topics. All well crafted personal stuff that is hard to see in cinemas. Lots of after parties and special events also take place. Just another reason to love Newport Beach.

Newport Beach and Corona del Mar Restaurant Week

cooking at christmas
Just when u thought it was safe to sidle back into to those pre holiday skinny jeans, here comes the Newport Beach (and Corona del Mar) Restaurant Week.

Gosh, January in Corona del Mar might be one of the Nations’s best kept secrets with temperatures ranging from cute sweater cool to summer shorts sizzling. Yes, the days are shorter this time of year but they are on the “grow” and anyhow, there are lots of us who would rather endure a flu shot than to sit indoors from Spring through Fall, so Restaurant Week is really the only time to get a “taste” of what those patio and view impaired local zagat restaurants have to bring to the table. Okay, I have used up my pun allowance for this post.

There are two of these events each year. One in October and one in late January. If u come hungry, you can savor the best of the chefs in this city for around $15 for a three course lunch and around $25-35 for Dinner. I’ve already enjoyed a great meal at the Port in Corona del Mar and I have my eyes on a few contenders for this evening.

There is never a dull moment here in Corona del Mar and I hope that you can come by to join me in some delicious food. C’mon, it will be a gas(tronomical experience)….er, sorry. Definitely over quota.

Newport Harbor Boat Parade

Lauren and Dolphin

Lauren and Dolphin

Okay for lack of a better way of putting together a limited space, last minute party…please RSVP here and let me know if you will be attending with a guest or not on Saturday 12/18/10 on the Newport Harbor. I can only take ten people on the boat so when you see ten spots taken, then refer to my “B” plan email for another opportunity to share in some holiday cheer as we can watch it pass by from the balcony or dock and remain land lubbers. Either way it is a lovely evening and more so to have you there.

You can spend the night at my shoebox or get a close by hotel…heck, any of these are close enough to walk here.
http://www.theislandhotel.com
http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/laxnb-newport-beach-marriott-hotel-and-spa/
http://www.newportbeach.hyatt.com
http://www.balboabayclub.com/

Merry Christmas, Pals. I love you.

Search Engine Strategies San Jose 2009 Recession Recap

Boy, this sure reminds me of the last year of comdex 2003. Do any of u technosaurs remember having to dodge the 125mph tshirt launches and tripping over the models who adorned vendor booths in the early years of Comdex? By contrast, I had to leave my drivers license to borrow a pen in 2003.

And so it goes for SES. No Danny Sullivan. No Google Dance. Few attendees. The workshops are still good and access to programmers is fair, but this is not the same show.

Google had a 12 year old giving the keynote speech today. he stumbled over his facts and figures and in the end, it was not much more than an infomercial. I remember by contrast, the fireplace chats with Danny Sullivan and Sergey Brin and chatting with them and many other legends freely on the showroom floors.

Okay, my rant is over. I suppose Nothing gold can stay.

Summer Solstice in Corona del Mar

Dad's Day adventures in Corona del Mar

Dad’s Day adventures in Corona del Mar Freshly back from Boston and so glad to be home.  had some egrets drinking from the pool on this golden Father’s Day.  What a fine weekend with family and now I know the secret to the perfect Father’s Day.  Yes, I am amazingly dim for my ripe old age beacause everyone else already knows this: prepare gobs and gobs of barbecued dead meat and the man will love his family 4ever.  Atop that, Lauren chauffered Dad out for  spin to Seal Buoy. We actually started the day with a broccoli fest for my very healthy grandpa “B”  Broccoli pesto and pasta, Broccoli wraps, salad, stir fry…so we ended up eating our veggies first on this very fine day.Here is hoping that each of you had a fantastic day with your families.Egrets at Pool in Corona del Mar

Cabo Azul Report

James and melinda herndon at cabo azul in Los Cabos, Mexico

James and melinda herndon at cabo azul in Los Cabos, Mexico

This report is for Steve and Shirley or anyone interested in learning more about Cabo Azul. Steve and Shirley are our fabulous friends who joined us for a charity auction where we both bought these packages to visit Cabo Azul Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico.

The resort is gorgeous. Rooms are perfect. U will want to rush home and redecorate. Elegant and romantic touches everywhere. Try to request an ocean view. They are very accomodating.

I am going to give you a couple of tips that I wish we’d had before we set out.

The resort arranges ground transportation coming, but not going. See if the driver will take the toll road if u agree to pay the extra 3 or 4 bucks. It is worth it to see Cabo untouched.

The boys will have a fine and dandy time and you can kick them out of the room often for grown up time and feel fine doing it. The boys can play on the beach. Calm with occasional 2-3 foot sets. Good shore break. They can use the internet cafe that is on campus. They can rent jet skis or swim in the pools. Oh, speaking of pools, there are three. The top one gets heated and feeds the heat to the second (less warm) and third (freezing). More kids are at the top though so it may be worth it to brave the cold and have more privacy. Lots of jacuzzis. Mariachi singers come out around 4:00pm and do a muy romantico job of setting the tone.

Food is to die for. It is Javiers, like on the newport coast. Everything is fresh, healthy, brilliant. There is also a great and well stocked grocery store so you can easily make meals in the well outfitted kitchen.

Oh, I should mention, when u get there, they will try to do the time share thing. Just say u r not interested in free stuff and they will respect your wishes.

Oh, towel trick. Same one as for everywhere with card towels. Just trade them in at the beginning of the trip and bring them home each day to the room. Trade for fresh in the a.m. Lose a towel and pay $50.

Okay, I am off for the pain of the season’s first triathlon and looking forward to seeing you guys in the very near future. Are you up for bid of excitement this year? Did they send u tickets or should I get some for u?

Time for pain

melinda herndon and tri divas in san diego

melinda herndon and tri divas in san diego

So, here we are in 2009. My last triathlon of the 2008 season was on a blisteringly cold day near the end of October and since that time, I have been a gym irregular and have done no training. That said, I have my first event of the new year coming up in just two short weeks; so, if you hear about some old lady dropping dead in the middle of a tri, well, look no further than here to know for whom the bell tolls.

Here is a photo of a fun group of girls that I trained with last year which was headed up by the brilliant, talented, optimistic and highly motivating Martha Szufnarowski who is assuming the queen “B” diva position complete with crown and scepter, front row center.

I really like this photo because it is at the beginning of the event. The finish line ones are just awful. I am second from left in the back row.