In the space of a few days, all three of my hibiscus (hibiscuses? hibisci?) have BURST into bloom. I'm telling you, people. If you want a lot of gorgeous bang for your buck (and your climate supports them), get yourself a hibiscus or 10.
I've forgotten the name of the variety of these two, but I love them. This is our third year with them. The blooms are HUGE and prolific. They only last about a day each (you can see the wilted ones that I haven't pinched off yet), but since there are so many, the net effect is that it is always beautiful once it starts blooming! And I'm serious, those blooms are roughly the size of a dinner plate.
This one is a Texas Star hibiscus- we planted it late last season, so this is the first time we've seen it bloom. The foliage is MUCH more sparse (and also got eaten UP by something...look at those poor leaves!!), but that doesn't seem to have bothered the blooms much! This morning was the first time we've seen the flowers- they're bright red and just lovely!!
On Saturday we embarked on a new adventure: stand up paddle boarding (apparently known as SUP to the cool kids who know what's up...wassup...HAHAHA I AM HILARIOUS). I'd been under the impression that this was a sport that only took place in oceans, and since Athens is short on oceans, I'd never considered giving it a try. A few weeks ago, though, some coworkers informed me that you can rent SUPs at a local lake/park (and by lake I mean "lake"...aka a glorified pond). I'm a big fan of any activity that can combine fun, exercise, the water, and getting tan.
We got to the park and signed up for our SUPs, but our reservation wouldn't be for another hour and a half. We decided to kill the time by taking a hike. This park has miles of shaded lakeside trails, so it was relatively comfortable conditions. I mean, we still sweated through our clothes in 4 minutes flat, but at least there wasn't direct sunlight blazing on us.
Three and a half miles of walking later, it was time to hit the lake. We had a quick tutorial on how to SUP and then we were on our way! It was surprisingly windy on the "lake," so we got quite the arm and back and core workout. It was really fun, but harder than I'd anticipated. I really don't know how you can do that in an ocean with waves!! The tiny "waves" created by canoes and fishing boats and wind were challenging enough!
Despite the wind and water lapping on our feet, we still got super hot and sweaty. We stopped for a break to jump in the lake (RHYME!!!) and prove how brave we are. A lesser person would not risk their health in that water, I tell you...but I've already had giardia once (the best souvenir I got in Guatemala!! not...) and lived to tell the tale, so I think I'm pretty much invincible. And if you click on that link, I pity you. And I hope you're not eating right now.
Anyway, after jumping in, we decided to take our SUPing to the next level and do some yoga on our boards. We saw a class doing it...why not us? Sure, they had anchors for their SUPs and we didn't, but...I mean, we're really awesome at yoga because we've taken like 3 classes. Ha. We basically both 'mastered' a plank and a downward-facing dog and then cracked up at how dumb we looked and went back to just chilling. But it was pretty funny.
We paddled back and called our first SUP adventure a success. Then we hit the pool for the rest of the day, because after all that exercise...we really needed it.
It was a pretty great weekend and this week looks to be INSANE work-wise, so...I'm already ready for it to be next weekend. Yay.