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?!?!?!