Friday, February 27, 2009

Maui Rafting/Snorkeling

One of my favorite things we did on this trip was a 5 hour rafting/snorkeling tour! It was AMAZING! It was totally worth the 6:30am check in time!

Jeff, Jen, Tara and Jason

We took this boat and it was a wild ride!

We went through one of the roughest channels in the world! They are the only company that has permission to do tours through those waters! We caught so much air! I kept waiting for someone to fly off and into the ocean, but everyone managed to hang on! I think I have only seen waves that big in the movies! A few times the waves came over the front of the boat and we got drenched! They played really fun music while we made our way over to the Kanaio Coast to see the sea caves and the lava arches. It was really cool. You can see more pictures in our picasa album.

After we all got our fill of pictures and excitement (they backed us into a sea cave and sped out just before a huge wave came in that would have smashed us into the ceiling!), we made our way over to our first snorkel spot. It is a favorite place for sea turtles and we saw a ton! One was HUGE! We didn't get a picture of it, but it was bigger than me!

JasonWe spent some time there and then headed out to Molokini Crater to do some more snorkeling! It was really pretty! I know it may sound kind of silly, but snorkeling with Jason is kind of romantic to me. He is always so sweet and makes sure my equipment all fits right. When we get in the water, he holds my hand and stays close. I love that we have been able to experience so many cool things together.After Molokini, we went to one more snorkeling spot and had lunch. I loved our guides! They would stop when ever someone would see a whale, which was often. We would sit and watch it until we thought it had gone back down for a while. Jason got this great shot.

We also came across a pod of dolphins! I couldn't believe how friendly they were! They came right up to our boat and played in the water around us for a while!It was seriously amazing! We loved the entire trip! The boat ride was a blast, the scenery was beautiful, the whales and the dolphins were awesome, the snorkeling was so fun and really pretty. It was just a great time! I highly recommend it to anyone going to Maui! Their website is
When we got back, we notice this sign. I thought it was kind of funny!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Our Cruise /Day 1

We're back! We just spent 7 nights on this ship

sailing to

We had SO much fun! It was the same cruise we went on for our honeymoon! Our anniversary was earlier this month, so we thought it would be a good excuse to go again! It brought back so many memories from our honeymoon and made us feel like newlyweds again!

Jen and Jeff came with us and between all of us, we took over 1500 pictures!!! Okay, so some of them were from us playing with the setting on our cameras or a zillion pictures of the dolphins or whales, to get just the right shot, but we took a ton of pictures! I am going to upload them to my picasa album, like I do with all of my other pictures. I'm still unpacking, so give me a few days and they will be up. Just click on the link that says Rickards Family Photo Album on the top right. I know it says through Dec. 2008. I'll get to that sometime too. :-)

Hmmm... Where to start and what to leave out? We did so much and had so much fun!

I'll start in Maui, although our first night, goofing off on the ship, might be blog worthy! It was so windy on the top deck!


Tara and Jason Rickards
Jen was playing with the settings on her camera and got these fun shots of us!

Our first day in Maui was totally layed back- after we got our rental car all figured out. Last time, we called the night before and never had a problem getting a car and never spent more than $60 for a cute car. This time was nuts! They were always sold out, but somehow we would managed to get one last minute. We were so happy to get a car that the outrageous price didn't dampen our mood.

Jeff & Jason celebrating our $200 rental car! A minivan! Haha!

We spent the day in Ka'anapali, shopping around and laying on the beach!

We had dinner that night on the beach at the Hula Grill. It was so relaxing to sit with our feet in the sand and watch the waves hit the shore while we ate.

When we got back to the ship, we headed up to one of the hot tubs on the back deck. We had a beautiful view of the lights of Maui!
It was the perfect beginning to a fantastic trip!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Our Anniversary

February 3rd was our two year anniversary! A couple of months ago, as we were planning a cruise to celebrate, I had to ask Jason how long we have been married! Sometimes, I feel like we have been married forever and can't believe it has only been two years!
Tara and Jason Rickards
Some of our friends say we still act like newlyweds, and I don't see us ever changing. We knew completely what we were getting ourselves into! :-) Here's a little history:

We had been dating pretty seriously when Jason took a job here in town to be closer to me. We were both logging a lot of hours in the car! He spent almost every weekend here and we had started to make some friends that we really enjoyed. We had talked about marriage, but we both knew we weren't ready yet.

We started looking at houses for him and couldn't help planning for the future. After looking at several houses, we came across some models that we really liked. I think it was October and the house wouldn't be finished until February. We thought we would be ready to get married by then, so we bought it. Jason hadn't sold his other house yet, so I put down the deposit. We were both so excited! Jason moved in with my parents, which was just around the corner from me.

We loved watching the new house go up! The kids all put their claim on what room would be theirs and we picked out carpet, cabinets, paint, etc. Sometimes at night, we would hop on the little 50cc motorcycles and drive over to see it.

It was fun dreaming about the future, but as the days got closer, we started to chicken out. We needed more time. Jason wanted me to move into the new house with the kids and he could just stay with my mom until we were ready. I didn't think it was a good idea. We bounced around, back and forth, for a few more months until we decided we were finally ready and a summer wedding would be so fun!

I had been renting a house and gave my landlord notice that I would be moving out. We had already been spending so much time at the new house and had slowly moved a few things over. As we tried to narrow down a date, this time it was Jason that seemed like he wasn't ready! Having been married before, I knew what I needed. I couldn't marry anyone who wasn't head over heels in love with me and ready to move heaven and hell just to be next to me! :-) Somehow it was always okay if I wasn't sure, but if he wasn't sure...

I ran! I'm such a chicken! Luckily, he didn't let me get very far! I suppose that wasn't very fair of me. We knew how happy we were with each other and couldn't imagine our lives without each other, but would we still feel the same way when the butterflies went away? It is hard not to question yourself when you have been wrong before. I understood that and gave him a break. ;-)

My house had already been rented, so we played musical houses I suppose. I moved in with my mom and put some of my stuff in storage. We still spent most of our time and the new house, and continued to drain the storage unit when we needed this or that.

We had a great summer and even went to Italy with my family! Marriage came up ALL the time! Our families would ask us what our time frame was. Our friends would go between forgetting that we weren't married and giving us a hard time and telling us to just get married already! We still talked about it, but I had become more hesitant after our last insident with cold feet.

By early fall, we started looking at rings more often and talking more seriously setting a date. Jason said he was really ready. He had already said that a million times, so I just went along for the ride. Who doesn't love looking at rings?! We found the ring we wanted, but heard we could get it directly from the vendor in a few weeks.
It was hard not to be excited! Jason took the day off of work to go pick it up and asked me to go with him. It was October and we thought we might be able to get married before Christmas. When we got there, the vendor wasn't there yet. We waited for a little while and then had someone call to find out what time he would be there. We were so disappointed when we found out he was sick and not coming. We left without a ring.

Jason continued to look for the center diamond to put in the ring, but the wedding talk had lost its momentum. He really wanted to have a ring and actually propose. I thought it was kind of romantic and annoying at the same time! I had decided that I was ready again.

Sometime in November, I found a reciept for the diamond in his car! When I was a little girl, my sister and I used to sneak in and unwrap and rewrap our Christmas presents. I've never been very good at waiting for things. So, yes, I looked all over for the ring, but couldn't find it! I didn't tell him that I knew and pretended not to notice when he stop asking me to look at rings with him.

Early December, Jason came across a travel deal we couldn't pass up! It was a 7 night cruise in Hawaii! We had always wanted to go to Hawaii together! He called me to tell me about it and see if I wanted to go for our honeymoon. After we got off the phone, I laughed to myself because it was kind of typical of us to do things so backwards! We were planning our honeymoon before we planned our wedding. We decided to go the week of Valentine's Day. At the time, it seemed pretty far away. We still were not officially engaged...

Christmas morning, I was a little nervous. Each time he handed me a present, I wondered if the ring was inside. Once, he handed me a huge box that felt empty and I thought for sure it was inside. Nope. After we were all done and all the presents had been unwrapped, I started to feel confused. Just then, Jason said there was one more. He sent me into the kitchen where I found the ring in the back corner of one of the cupboards. I couldn't believe it had been in the kitchen! I didn't even look in the kitchen because I am in the kitchen all the time!

I brought the box back into the livingroom. I sat on the floor next to Jason and opened it while the kids watched. The ring was beautiful. He asked me to marry him and of course I said yes.

I love being married to Jason! He is so much fun to be around and he really is my best friend.