Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dive! Dive! Dive!!

This past weekend, I went on my big, fat open water dive trip. Having worked the night before, I snuck in a quality 3-hour nap, packed, loaded the car, picked up Stewie, picked up my gear, and high-tailed it to Branson. We made it there in 4 hours...I don't know if this is standard.

After battled the parking lot that is weekend Branson traffic, we finally made it to our hotel. Checking in, we were given two room keys. Keys...not swipe cards. Two keys with big hug key fob that had our room number on it in large, gold print. You know, in case someone found it and wanted to come help themselves to our crap.

Hungry, we walked next door to the Fall Creek Catfish and Steakhouse. I failed to notice on the sign the phrase, "Home of the Tossed Roll".

I don't consider myself afraid of a lot of things, but I discovered my fear at flying food. I don't know if there is a phobia for this, but I sat, wide eyed and in terror whenever the guy who was missing his front teeth popped out the kitchen with this bowl of hot bread. My hands gripped the table, I avoided making eye contact with him for fear of being pelted with warm, yeasty rolls. I may have even broke out in a cold sweat.

After dinner, we decided to turn in early because we had to be at the dive site at 0830. At least we wouldn't have to get up early to shower.

The next day, after an unremarkable complimentary continental breakfast with bad coffee, we hauled ass to the dive site, which was a rocky beach area at Table Rock Lake. Stewie and I were assigned to Divemaster John. After donning our wetsuits, and strapping out ten tons of gear, we waded into the lake. Water pea-green and visibility about 3 feet, unless you happened onto a spot where everyone churned up the silt, then you couldn't see your hand in front of your face.

All day, we would take turns going underwater, demonstrating our skill competency, and then go on "tours", which entails your divemaster leading you around the dive area, looking at various landmarks. And by landmarks, I mean rocks covered in green slime, and little sun fish. The fish were kind of fun as they would swim up to you and take a nibble, and as a result, I have some fish hickeys on my legs and arms.

We did 3 dives that day. After all was said and done, and some Happy Helpertons lugged our gear up to the car, we went back to the hotel, showered, and decided a visit to the local Stone Hill Winery location was in order before dinner.

A short tour and three cases of wine loaded in my car later, we went and had dinner with rest of our diving group. Thankfully, no food was airborne.

Sunday morning, another mediocre continental breakfast, we met up at the dive site again. Two more dives followed by tours of green slime-covered rocks. By noon, everyone was certified to scuba dive, and I was rendered partially deaf due to the full ear blocks I experienced. Apparently, I'm special because I couldn't get my ears to clear the pressure correctly. Plus I had some sinus issues that left me, on more than one occasion, a scuba mask full of blood. My own blood. Which usually isn't a good thing if you plan on someday diving where sharks freely roam.

We made it back home in record time. Since having been back, I've acquired a nasty sinus infection and my ears are still blocked. I have purchased so many meds containing psuedofed, I'm sure CVS now thinks I have a meth lab in my house.

But I still can't hear shit. Whenever I have to talk on the phone, I'm apparently yelling. Because I have no equilibrium, I frequently get dizzy and stagger all over the house. I'm having some pretty bad ear pain, I hope I didn't rupture my ear drum. That would suck.

My doctor appointment is tomorrow morning.

But isn't diving fun?!?!?!


me said...

Oh no!!!! I'm so sorry your much anticipated dives have led to much misery!!

If you would like to, you can come be my "patient advocate" when I have my colectomy 10/8 ~ we can both stumble around together (me from my PCA Dilaudid)!!!

Hope you feel better real soon ~

Rachel said...

holy crap! That sucks! I'd rather have rolls handed gingerly to me, too, but at least I can hear. Poor thing.

kate said...

4 hours to Branson?! That's impressive. I was going to ask if you could actually dive for anything in Table Rock Lake, but you answered that one for me. I will agree with you, though, on the freaky roll-throwing place. I've never been, but the 'throwed rolls' always worried me...have you tried Swimmer's Ear? It's a brand of ear drop usually used by competitive swimmers that dries out the excess fluid in your ears. I don't know if it would do much good, but it always worked for me.

Nuke said...

Sounds like a rough weekend, I mean diving and wine are cool but the sinus/ear thing kinda sux.

Gotta ask, what kind of wine you got at Stone Hill? They have a couple I like but 1 that my parents looooove.

Faith said...

I know this might sound weird, but thank you for posting about all of's given me new conversation starter info for with my dad, who got certified in diving back in the 70's. I'm so excited to chat with him about something I know he really loved doing!

I am sorry to hear about the unfortunate affects it had on your sinuses. I hope you feel better soon!

Midtown Miscreant said...

Sorry to hear you can't hear.
There is another place in Nixa, I think which is also near spfd. and branson. They are the home of the throwed roll. poor grammar, so I think its less classy than the place you went to. On a bright note, just be glad it wasnt the home of tossed flower pot bread.

Janet said...

Lamberts. It's on the way to Ozark. Naturally, the kids LOVE it!