Okay, so now that I have been home for a week and all of the pictures have been organized in my computer, I am finally ready to blog about my trip to Maui. Let me just start by saying that over all the trip was great. There were a few rough moments which can be expected when traveling with 10 individuals. The teenagers were mainly concerned with working on their tans and really didn't care where that happened as long as it happened. The only time they got upset was when their sunbathing time was interupted by visiting various tourist sites.
This is my second trip back to the island of Maui and I definately saw more this time than I was expecting. We went for Dawn and Darce' wedding, and Darce, having never been before wanted to see as much of the island as humanly possible. (btw, my best friend's name is also Dawn-not to confuse you) I won't bore you with all of the details, just some of the highlights.
We got to Maui on Thanksgiving day and were greeted at the airport with beautiful leis that smelled SO good. After settling in to our Condos, we quickly changed into our suits and headed to the pool for a few hours of rest and relaxation before we had to get ready for dinner at the Resort's restaurant.
The next few days went by in a blur, we went to visit a couple of old towns that had maybe all of ten stores that were WAAAY overpriced. It was funny when we got to the 1st town Darce gave us an hour and a half to go shopping. We all looked at the small town and thought, what in the world are we going to do for the remaining hour. We filled up most of the time eating lunch at a small mexican restaurant named Polly's. The highlight of our day was spent body surfing over at the North Shore. We laughed so hard at some of the girls' expressions when they unexpectedly had their legs pulled out from under them by the big waves. Dawn and Darce got married on Wednsday December 3rd at 4pm. The morning was spent at Kapalua snorkeling with some turtles and other exotic fish. We were all so relaxed until we got back to the condo with only 45min to get ready. (not necessarily the smartest move when there are 9 girls needing to get ready at the same time) We made it down to the beach right on time, only to find out that nobody brought the marriage license with them. Thankfully our room was somewhat close so I took off running in my barefeet to get the license while Dawn and her dad stood waiting to walk down to Darce. (who kept his back to them while they waited so that he wouldn't see her before she walked down the "aisle") Besides that small inconvenience the wedding was beautiful and Bear, the officiator, couldn't have been more perfect.
After the nuptuals we headed out to a luau for the reception which was a lot of fun. We ate great food and learned to hula. The dancers were fun to watch, with the fire dancers being my favorite. The three hour party continued back at our condo with more celebrating, which, as a non-drinker, is kind of boring.
While Dawn and Darce left for a few days, we kept ourselves busy, swimming, snorkeling, surfing, and of course, shopping. Thankfully, we all got along really well and had a great time together.
I think the most memorable moment happened while we were in search for the best shaved ice on Maui. I have to say for the record that this was an adventure that I had very little interest in pursuing. Lets just say that the road we needed to take to get to this amazing shaved ice was one that the rental car companies forbid you to go on....yeah, there's a reason for that. We followed Dawn and Darce in our big van on the one way road that went on for miles and was so narrow that the driver of our car, John, was so afraid of going over the edge that he kept grazing the mountain side with the van's antenae. By the time we got to a safe place to pull over, one girl was throwing up, another curled up in a ball sobbing and John couldn't get out of the van fast enough. John was ready to leave the van there he was so shaken up. Since I was the least freaked out by the experience I volunteered to drive the van back down the narrow road and wait for them to meet up with me where the road widened again. Everybody was angry with Darce because he was the one who wanted to do this. The funny thing is, we never got the shaved ice.
Oh, another moment that was a sad reminder that I no longer look as young as I think I do, I was asked by a teenage boy if I was the mom of a couple of the teenage girls that I was with. Yeah, I know that I am old enough to be their mother, but I don't need anybody pointing that out. :)
Overall I survived the trip with a really good tan, some new friends and memories that will last a lifetime.
It has been a while since I updated my blog, so I thought that I would give you an update on what is going on in my life. I must back track to about a month ago when Jeff, Lucy, Mikey, Sherry and I travelled up north to Vancouver B.C. to see Madonna in concert. We spent the night at the lovely and ever so popular, Sandman Hotel which is conveniently locatd accross the street from B.C. Place. (where the concert was being held) I was so excited for the concert but found myself losing my umph after waiting over 2 hours for it to begin. While the concert was fun, and the people watching entertaining, I was surprised to find myself less enthusiastic than I thought that I would be. Most concerts have me up on my feet shaking my groove thang, but I was almost bored while she was performing. At one point I looked over at Jeff to find him looking like he could fall asleep at any given moment. The best part of the night was when my little brother bought me a pair of short shorts with Madonna written on them. :) I will be saving those for a fun night out to...nowhere.
The day after the concert Jeff and I headed up to Whistler for the rest of the weekend. The last time I was at Whistler, it was snowing and the skiing was sooo much fun! The village has a magical feeling to it when the snow is falling all around you and the walkways are crowded with people who are filled with excitement. I have never been there pre ski season and was looking forward to taking the high speed quad to the top of the mountain to do some hiking. Unfortunately the quads weren't running so we had to alter our plans a bit. We ended up going for a couple of hikes over the weekend and took a lot of pictures of the area. We will have to go back next summer or maybe skiing again. All in all, the weekend was a lot of fun despite some minor disapointments.
Fast forward to the present where last week I had a minor surgery to remove some endomitriosis that I have in my tummy. I wont go into detail about all that it entails, but it basically causes a lot of pain. The surgery itself only took an hour but the recovery is taking me longer than I was expecting. Jeff was nice enough to come spend the day with me and made sure that I was taken care of. (He even brought me a barf bag from work, which, thankfully I did NOT need to use) After taking a few days off from work to recoup, I went back this morning. It was nice to be among the living for a change but was in desperate need of a nap after only a few hours. I am willing myself to get over this so that I can feel better about getting on a plane tomorrow morning.
Yes, you read correctly, tomorrow morning I am heading to the land of Maui where I will be continuing my recovery in the sun. My best friend is getting married a week from today on the sandy shores of Hawaii. Her father has been very kind and is flying 10 of us there which should be a lot of fun. Dawn (my best friend, and yes she has the same name as I do) is marrying a man named Darce with whom she has been dating for just about a year now. They got engaged 3 months after they met, and they're not even Mormon! They both just have felt like it was right from their very first date so the speed of everything didn't really faze them much. This is the happiest I have seen her in a long time.
So now you are updated on all of the fun things that are going on in my life. I will try not to be such a slacker next time.
So here it is...the last home game for the Huskies and I am hoping beyond hope that we will pull out a win. It has been a really saaaad season and I am mad that I spent all this money for a team that sucks! The irony is that I never went to a game while I was attending the UW and now that I finally get some school spirit they can't find the end zone to save their lives. I am conviced that the reason we are losing is because our mascot is on the DL. We haven't seen hide nor hair of him all season. The least they could do would be to have a look alike come in and lay down on the mat...no one would know. (By the way our mascot is a dog)
Well, we will soon be off to learn our fate, there isn't much hope of a win though. Most of the fans are expecting that our one and only win will come from the Apple Cup against WASU. WOW! What a victory! Beating a team that is just as bad as we are doesn't really mean much to me.
Anyways, I don't mean to sound bitter, but do think we could ask for a refund?
I went over to Quincy this past weekend and ended up taking a ton of pictures of the beautiful scenery there. It was a great opportunity to try out the different settings on my camera and see what would happen. Lets just say that I am ever so grateful for digital and the power to delete! :) Here are some of my favorites:
(We thought the sign was really funny. Thankfully we didn't have to go back a second time).
My friend Lucy and I decided to take a small road trip last Saturday to the Olympic National Park. The photo above is of a port-a-potty we, sadly, had to visit on our way over. In our defense, we had been driving for a couple of hours and this was the only "bathroom" we could find....and we were desperate!
We set out early where we took a ferry from Edmonds over to Kingston to begin our 3hour drive to Forks, Washington. Yes, you heard me right, Forks. For those of you who have read the Twilight books, you will know exactly why Lucy and I chose Forks as our destination. I, myself have not read these books, but Lucy has filled me in on all of the details, so a trip to Forks sounded like fun.
I must say, Forks was.....how do I say this? Disappointing. It was a really small town where we located only a few of the places made famous by the book. There were some funny signs making references to characters in the books that people put in their front windows, but other than that it seemed no diffrent from other small towns. I don't know exactly what I was expecting but we didn't even get out of the car. After a few minutes of roaming the town, we decided to head back to LaPush where the beach is and check it out. It is worth noting that when we pulled up to the beach there was a man there selling Elk jerky...yummy! Lucy and I spent about an hour here walking on the beach collecting rocks. Lucy was like a little kid, with pockets full of the little white rocks she was collecting.
This is the view from the beach at LaPush.
No worries....we saved the starfish. We helped him find his way back to the ocean.
What is wrong with this picture?
Lucy's precious stones!
After hanging out at the beach we decided to head back to Port Angeles to check out the crab festival they were having. (Unfortunately I am allergic to shell fish so I was unable to indulge). After wandering around the many booths that were selling homemade arts and crafts and checking out the food, Lucy and I decided to finish our evening eating at...yes, you guessed it, Bella's restaurant, another of the places made famous by the Twilight series. The food was decent, slightly over priced but the people watching was great. Random groups of people would stop and take pictures in front of the restaurant, which we found amusing. I offered to take a picture of Lucy at the restaurant to document this momentous occasion, but she said she was good.
After a lovely day spent visiting the small towns across the water we decided to head back to Kingston to catch the ferry. Unfortunately, Lucy and I took a wrong turn somewhere along the way and ended up in Port Townsend. Sorry to say we didn't spend much time there sight seeing as it was getting dark and we had no idea of where we were in respect to Kingston. We stopped at a less than clean gas station and asked for directions and quickly headed back the way we came. Once we found HWY 101 we were golden, and got to the ferry 20min before it was set to depart.
We ended our busy day with a trip to B&R to fuel up on ice cream. All in all it was a great way to spend a Saturday. Good friend, good food, quaint towns to visit, and lots of laughter!
The leaves have turned and the sun has retreated to some lucky part of the world where summer is just begining. I think that there is something I like about each season. The summer, for obvious reasons; Fall, I love the change in the trees, the colors are so vibrant. There is something about the change of the leaves that signals a new year ahead with new possiblities and fresh starts. Winter brings snow which I think has a slightly magical feel to it. Snow also means skiing and snowshoeing. Spring makes me the happiest of all the seasons. The days get longer and I love walking out of work to the sun going down and smells of BBQ (the charcoal kind) wafting through the air.
It seems like everybody has a name for their car. Lucy's car is named BOB and Jeff's old car is named Hope, I have yet to find a good name for mine. I have tried naming my cars in the past but I kept forgetting what they were. Perhaps I am just not cut out to be a car naming person. The only object or thing I have named is Fred the Ficus.
So now I am putting this out into cyberspace for all to help me name my Subaru. To help you out a little,here is a list of assets my car has. My absolute favorite parts of the car are the butt warmers and the huge sunroof. My Forrester also as a ton of room, which came in handy this past weekend when Jeff needed help moving his HUGE TV from Seattle to Quincy. I also love that I can drive just about anywhere with it. (a lot of the hikes I like to do require a little "off roading")
So now that you have some of the specs on my car let me know if you can think of any names that will fit. Any ideas you guys have for a name would be greatly appreciated. I am looking forward to hearing your suggestions.
I feel like a long time has past since I last updated my blog, so I thought I would fill you in on what is going on in my life. Here goes...nothing much. I have been busy reading a really great book about Wellington (as I mentioned in a previous blog), spending quality time with my friends seeing movies and going to dinner. I went for a walk around greenlake last night (which was lovely), and put in a small retaining wall in my back yard. So as you can see, life has been fairly uneventful. Hopefully I will have something more exciting to report in my next blog.
GREAT TRUTHS THAT LITTLE CHILDREN HAVE LEARNED: > 1) No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats. > 2) When your mom is mad at your dad, don't let her brush your > hair. > 3) If your sister hits you, don't hit her back. > They always catch the second person > 4) Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato. > 5) You can't trust dogs to watch your food. > 6) Don't sneeze when someone is cutting your hair. > 7) Never hold a dust-buster and a cat at the same time. > 8) You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk. > 9) Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts. > 10) The best place to be when you're sad is Grandpa's lap. > > > GREAT TRUTHS THAT ADULTS HAVE LEARNED: > 1) Raising teenagers is like nailing jelly to a tree. > 2) Wrinkles don't hurt. > 3) Families are like fudge...mostly sweet, with a few nuts > 4) Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its > ground. > 5) Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside. > 6) Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not > the toy.
Yesterday was the big Huskies game against BYU. I love dressing up in Husky gear and being surrounded by fellow fans. There is such a feeling of unity and camaraderie. I know that sounds weird, but I can't help it. I did not feel like there was any question as to where my loyalties ran as I grew up here in Washington (though not a native) and graduated from the UW. (It was kind of a no brainer) As we sat amongst the many BYU fans I started to wonder if by rooting for the Huskies I was denying my churchy side. Don't worry, it wasn't a life shattering, list the pros and cons moment, but I did feel slightly torn. I think that it was more difficult for Jeff to decided who he was going to root for because he graduated from BYU even though he was born and raised here in Washington. I was pretty certain that he had given into the heathen side when he purchased a Husky jersey at the store right before the game. Needless to say, my loyalties to my alma mater won through, and although we didn't win, we put up a good fight. Above are a few of the pictures that I took to commemorate this splendid day.
Last Saturday night I went to go see Shrek the musical with my friends Marly and Lucy. I was really impressed with the way that they were able to bring to life the animated characters found in the movie. I think the Lord Farquaad was my favorite character in the play. He was SO funny! The poor actor spent the entire evening on his knees (he had fake legs attatched to his outfit). Any time he would walk accross the stage the audience would erupt in laughter. I also thought the way they created the dragon was clever. They had women dressed in scale like dresses, that, when standing still, looked exactly like a tale. While the songs themselves were pretty good, I have to say they were...forgetable. I would still highly reccomend that people go to see it though. We laughed a lot and the set was amazing. All in all it was a great night at the theater.
If you are a reader of Jeff's blog, then you will already know all about our latest camping/hiking trip. Here are just a few more pictures from our trek. I think this is up there with one of my favorite hikes. It was fascinating learning about a time when life was about industry and innovation. We scoured the sides of the trails looking for evidence of the small town that used to exists there. We found some old foundations and made an attempt to identify what it could have been. (we think it was the old bunk house)
The sad part of the story is the fact that so many people died due to an avalanche. It was a little eerie knowing that we were walking on a path where such a tragedy happened. We had hiked down to Scenic to check out the Caboose that they have there and ran into a couple of older men whom we happened to meet at the start of our hike. The cool thing is; Jeff decided to stop and look at the sign in log to see where people were from. What we found was one signature that said grandson of Sid Jones from the Wellington disaster. I am convinced that the grandson was one of the two men that we kept running into. When Jeff went home he checked to see if Sid Jones had been one of the many who perished back in 1910. I was hoping he would have been one of the people who survived but unfortunately he wasn't that lucky.
Okay, enough of the history lesson. If you are interested in learning more about Wellington there is a book written about it called, "The White Cascade".
This last week I had the pleasure of taking care of a co-workers dog who is...you guessed it, named Ebony. Ebony is a 6yr old black lab who lives for fetching tennis balls and taking invigorating walks. I decided to "borrow" Ebony for a week to see if I was ready to get a dog of my own. I wanted to test the waters so to speak, to make sure that I was ready to make a commitment, and get a dog of my own.
While I did enjoy coming home from work to find her sooooo excited to see me, I found that my long hours at the office made me worry about leaving her alone. I also liked taking her out for long walks, even though she really was walking me. (that dog almost knocked me to the ground! I wasn't paying attention and she decided the cat down the street needed to be barked at and took off)
While I enjoyed having Ebony for the week, I have come away from this experience knowing that I will not be getting a dog anytime soon. It isn't that I don't want one, I just found that I really had a hard time with all of the fur that had taken up residence on my couches, beds and floors. I also learned that I am allergic to dogs.
I am thankful that I had the chance to try out a dog before getting one. It would have been pretty hard to get attached to one just to have to give it up do to allergies. I wish there were other things that I could test out before I bought them.
Last weekend I took advantage of some free time that I had and headed to the Oregon Coast. I met up with my mom and a family friend at Lincoln City where we shopped at the outlet mall and enjoyed all that the beach has to offer. It was a balmy 60 degrees on Saturday, not bad for the ocean. After relaxing for a few hours I left Sue and my mom and headed to King something to spend a couple of days with my friend Jill. I got to Jill's house at about 6:30pm where I got a quick tour (the gardens by the way our so cool) then we headed off to Corvallis for dinner and a movie. We went to see the new Traveling Pants of the Sisterhood, or something like that. It was a cute movie, definitely a chic flick. The next day I got to go to church with Jill and her mom. I always have fun going to other wards,(I don't really know why). Everyone was so nice and it was refreshing to see that you truly can go anywhere and find the same personalities as you have in your own ward. Later that day I watched Jill create an AMAZINGLY YUMMY chocolate cake! Jill possesses a talent that I only aspire to have. Case in point, my family bought me clear lids for my pots one year as a joke, so that I could see when I am burning something.(Such support) Jill's friend had a birthday party that evening which Jill made sure that I was invited to, since she was bringing the cake and all. This family has the coolest house! It was straight out of a Swiss Family Robinson movie. They live in a log cabin and have a rope swing, great decks that are surrouned by a lot of trees to run around in and climb. Sadly, the weekend came and went too quickly. Jill and her mom made me feel so welcome. It was difficult for me to get back in the car knowing that a 4 1/2hr drive was ahead of me. It was such a relaxing weekend (which gets lost in the hubbub of daily life all to quickly)Thanks again to Jill, her mom, my mom and Sue for making it well worth the long drive.
Thanks to everyone for helping to make this years birthday so great! It has been a busy week with many b-day lunches and dinners. I loved all of the cards that I received, they were very funny! Jeff got me some really cool headphones that block out all of the noise which I love.
Kaesha got me a framed picture of The Prayer at Valley Forge, which is hanging next to my copy of the Family Proclamation and the Constitution. (I know I'm weird) I love the inscription on the bottom of the Prayer at Valley Forge, it shows how much our founding fathers relied on our Heavenly Father for guidance; something that, sadly, is lacking in our government today.
The inscription says, "I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my official life by commending the interests of our dearest country to the protection of almighty God and those who have the superintendence of them into His holy keeping."
Thanks again everyone for all of your well wishes!
A while ago, one of the doctors I work for was telling me about a spa that she went to up in Lynnwood(a suburb of Seattle). She said that it was really a great experience and that the spa treatments left your skin feeling really smooth. At the time I thought that it sounded kind of cool but never got around to going. Fast forward 1 year later to a hotel in San Francisco where I am telling Lucy about the spa and this particular treatment called Rejuvenation. Lucy surprised me by saying that she had been to that same spa and knew exactly what I was talking about. She assured me that it was worth going to.
As soon as I got back to Seattle I called and scheduled an appointment. As the appointment time drew near I started feeling a little...anxious. I know it sounds strange to hear but this is the reason; from what I had heard you basically walk around naked the whole time. Well, let me just say, they weren't lying! The spa itself is really nice, it has several hot rooms for you to chose depending on what your needs are. This I thought was pretty cool. I didn't realize that depending on the heat of a room it can effect different parts of your body. An example of this would be the 60 degree room which helps to aid circulation. I stayed away from this room and stuck to the fat burning, clear skin sauna. (by the way,you wear a robe in these rooms)
The room that intimidated me the most was where the hot tubs were. This was where any inhibitions you may have about your body are forced to go out the window. Again, there were about five different hot tubs with varying degrees of heat. I had to soak in the hot tub for 40 minutes so that I could get sufficiently pruny before having all of my dead skin cells sloughed off by an extremely chatty Asian woman who kept talking about her fellow co-workers. I decided to get into the 90 degree tub since I knew I was going to be there a while, but once I got in I found it to be too cold and forced myself out in the open to bravely walk the 15 feet to a warmer tub. Lets just say that I stayed here until my name was called for the actual treatment. I sat there in the tub and kept my eyes closed trying desperately to forget where I was and to relax. I kept telling myself that I was a mature woman and being in a room full of naked women was really not that big of a deal. Well guess what? It is a big deal! Now I am not much of a prude but this was just WEIRD!
Thankfully my torture ended with my name being called. I quickly wrapped my towel around me and ran over to my masseur, who promptly told me, "relax, you no need towel, nobody going to look at you." Feeling slightly embarrassed she ripped the towel off of me and told me to get on the table. She donned some gloves that had some serious scrubbers (brillo pads come to mind)and went to work. It doesn't exactly hurt, but it doesn't feel good either. I kept laughing to myself thinking of all of the blog entries I could write on this one experience. Joanne, my torturer kept asking me if I was alright because I kept looking around. I told her that I was trying to see the dead skin because I had heard from Lucy and Dr. Lee that there would be a lot of it. Joanne told me not to look, that it didn't look very good.
Anyways, after having barely any skin left on my body we entered the moisturizing part of the treatment. (it kind of sounds like a car wash. If that were so we would be at the waxing stage) They used hot olive oil, hot milk, honey, Aloe Vera and cucumber during this stage. I wont go into any more detail at this point, just boring cucumbers on the eyes stuff.
Three hours later I was walking out of the spa feeling...exhausted! My skin was, and still is feeling really soft. So the question is, was it worth it? Would I do it again? Well...I don't know that it was worth it but I would probably go again but only for a special occasion-like getting married or something like that. Otherwise I think that I could do without THAT kind of spa experience.
I am attaching a link so that if any of you feel so compelled you can know where to go.
This weekend I jetted off to San Francisco with my friend Lucy. She had to go down for work so I thought I would tag along for a few days. Going to California always proves to be a slightly stressful experience. Family, family, and more family. I wanted to keep my visit on the dl as I didn't think that it would be fair to Lucy to drag her all over northern California visiting with people she doesn't know (as nice as they are).
The weekend was so much fun! We ate good food at restaurants filled with character. Most notably was Sears restaurant which made mini pancakes. Thankfully we were staying at a hotel in the heart of downtown San Francisco so we were within walking distance of everything...including Nordstroms. Oh, yes, we caught the anniversary sale early Saturday morning. I felt like pretty woman in the shopping scene with the salesman catering to our every whim. We both left with three pairs of shoes, and big smiles on our faces.
After recouperating back at the hotel for a about an hour we headed out for some window shopping in Berkely. We grabbed lunch at a deli and took it up to the Oakland temple to eat. It was so peaceful up there. The last time that I was at this temple I was nine and my brothers and I were sealed to my parents. I remembered things so vivdly and it was nice to go back as an adult. Later that evening Lucy and I caught a movie in Emeryville then had a late dinner at CPK.
Sunday we met my aunt and uncle at Cap's Corner for an early lunch then headed next door to see "Beach Blanket Babylon". The premise of the musical is Snow White going around the world in search of her handsome prince. It is set for modern times and is adapted to allow for current affairs to be included in the story line. Snow White ran into Prince, Hillary and Bill Clinton as well as Obama and Paris Hilton. My cheeks hurt a lot from all of the laughing. The wigs they created were AMAZING! One woman had the whole city of San Francisco on her head, which had a trolley car moving up one of the hills. Another "hat" that Snow White wore had a house that had all seven of the dwarfs in it singing along with the other characters. The day ended with a short walk around downtown and dinner at a thai restaurant we found in a questionable area.
Monday came too quickly and while Lucy headed off to her class I headed back to the airport where I was hoping to catch the 11:30am flight back to Seattle. I have never flown stand by before so I was feeling a little out of my element. Luckily I had Jeff on speed dial and he helped me figure out what to do. Lucy also kept tabs on me through texting and checked on me during her breaks. I ended up hanging out at the airport until 3 that afternoon, and have never been more thankful to have a midle seat. The wait wasn't bad, I was just starting to wonder if I was going to get on a flt. The benefit of waiting around since 9am was that my luggage had arrived in Seattle hours before I did, so when I finally got there I didn't have to wait for it. I just walked up to an agent in the baggage area and she turned aroung and handed me my luggage. I was on the road within 30 minutes of landing and home in an hour.
Unfortunately this evening I found myself once again searching the city for good deals on gas. Ok, I didn't really search the WHOLE city. I went straight to the Am/Pm by my house because it has the cheapest gas, and it was on the way to the store I was heading to.
As I am watching the gallons being added ever so slowly to my tank I look up and notice that Am/Pm sells cheeseburgers for 99 cents. I was slighlty horrified, one: to think that there is actually a demand for hamburgers at a gas station and two: are they really that safe if they can be sold for 99 cents? It made me wonder how many people actually go to the pump and think, "Wow, I could really go for a cheeseburger right now, good thing I came to this gas station"!
Needless to say, I did not succomb to temptation,(not hard at all to resist) but I did think that it was blog worthy.
So, now that the sun has come out it is time to get out and enjoy nature. The above are some pictures that I took while out and about in the Hoh Rain Forest and most recently at Mt. Rainier. While most days I am very much in touch with my girlie side, I do have moments when the tomboy in me comes out.
The Hoh Rain Fores was beautiful. It is located about 4hrs west of Seattle in the Olympic Mountains. I went over after work on the 3rd of July and spent the night at a hotel in Port Angeles. I know, I know...no camping, but my aunt and uncle were visiting from California and my aunt is soooooo over camping so hotel it was. We got up early on the 4th and hit the trail. We really lucked out on this day with only a little bit of rain that lasted for about 10 minutes. I tried to capture a little bit of what the trees were like in the forest. The trees were covered with moss and there was nothing but green everywhere you looked.
We only hiked for about three hours because I had to catch a ferry back to Seattle that night. I caught the 9:40pm ferry just in time to watch the fireworks show in Edmonds begin. It was a fun, quick trip that left me soooo tired but happy.
Now on to Mt. Rainier. I met Jeff there on Sunday afternoon to camp for the night and do some hiking. I was very proud of myself for making foil dinners that did not stick to the foil. (Tip: it is helpful to use non-stick cooking spray when doing this) Jeff reminded me that the first time I made foil dinners I left out this very important step. So helpful. :)
I am also happy to announce that I managed to stay warm, for, I think the first time EVER while camping! While Jeff laughed a lot at my -10 below down sleeping bag, and multiple layers of clothing I had on, I stayed the perfect temperature throughout the night. I have nicknamed Jeff the furnace, because he is always too hot. So while he was dying in the warm tent, with the "windows" open, I relished in the warmth of all my layers.
Even though I was warm, neither of us slept very well that night. (I think we're getting old) I have yet to master getting comfortable in a tent, on the hard, cold ground. My little REI air mattress never seems to stay inflated-I can't figure out the whole nozzle thing. I inevitably wake up with a flat mattress and a rock wedged into my side.
The sun woke us up bright and early at 6:30am,(the worst part about camping in a tent, no black out curtains). Anyways, I managed to lay there for a couple more hours, refusing to let the sun win before getting up to head out for our hike of the day.
The hike itself, appropriately named The Patriarchs of The Forest, reminded me a lot of the Hoh trail. While there is very little moss here, both hikes follow the river as it snakes its way through the woods. I think my favorite features of the old trees we found were the uniquely shaped root systems and random knots found on the trees. It was so nice to walk along the trail and witness first hand trees that, as Jeff put it, were here long before our founding fathers came to this land.
The first hike we did, though beautiful, was....short. We decided to go across the street to the East side trail to explore some more. This trail proved to be slightly more challenging and ended with a huge waterfall that gave off a refreshingly cool breeze that made the 80+ degree heat more bearable. After a quick bite to eat, we headed back to the car and up to Sunrise for some shopping.
By 3pm I was back to my car and heading home. While it is always nice to come home, and have all of the modern conveniences I become so accustomed to, I love the peace the outdoors brings. There is a part of me that would love to get up every morning and spend the day exploring new trails, but the heels were back on this morning and the concrete jungle beckoned.
This is a moment I have been waiting for patiently for a long time. I was supposed to see George Michael in concert when I was 18, but due to lack of funds and living out of the state, I had to give up my precious ticket to the "Faith" tour. My friends went without me and I had to settle for a tour book instead. Fast forward 20years, (how old am I!) and the opportunity to see the man, in the flesh, has presented itself again. I, of course jumped at the chance and bought tickets for myself as well as Jeff and Lucy.
Let me just say that after waiting 20years to see George up close, he did not disappoint. I love his voice, it is like butter! He did make us wait for about 45minutes before he showed himself, but he was worth the wait. (Jeff has the song list on his blog) George sang songs from his Wham! days up to his most current CD. Some of the songs brought back so many fond memories. Careless Whisper reminded me of church dances, desperate to dance with whatever crush I had at the moment. Everything She Wants, just makes me smile, as well as most of his other songs.
The funniest part of the evening was when George came out on stage with a TIGHT police officer's uniform on. Let me just say...Gay or not, the man looks gooooood, and that voice...!
The evening ended with a quick nightcap of Coconut cake that Jill made for Jeff's birthday. It was a perfect ending to a great evening.
I just got out of the shower and am brushing out my hair when out of the corner of my eye I see a small glint of light reflecting off of my hair. I don't think too much of it and go on prepping my hair for the dryer, when I glance into the fog covered mirror and discover something horrifying...a gray hair!
I frantically wipe off the mirror and lean in for a closer look, this has to be light bouncing off of my wet hair, it cannot be what I think it is. After thoroughly examining my hair I am left with the sad reality that as an early birthday present my body has left me a shiny, gray hair. I think that I could do without this years' gift. I haven't pulled it out yet, (I think I am still in shock). Men are so lucky, if they have gray hair they just look more distinguished. Women just look old.
Its just one hair now, but that's just the beginning. Pretty soon I will have a full head of gray hair. Thank goodness for hair dye!
Today's blog is in honor of Jeff's birthday. Today he turned the ripe old age of....what is it? 38? I was dared or manipulated, (I'm not sure which) to drive all the way to Quincy to help celebrate his birthday. I don't think Jeff really believed that I would be crazy enough to do it. Apparently I am that crazy! :) I lucked out and was able to get off of work at noon, so I was able to get to Quincy earlier than expected which gave me a little more time to hang before getting back in my car for the 2 1/2 hour drive home.
The drive really wasn't that bad; I had good music to listen to and after having a very emotional, stressful start to my week, it was nice to get away even if it was for only a few hours. Jeff wasn't there when I first got to his house, so I spent the first 15min or so making small talk with his mom and niece and nephew....not awkward at all!! They were very nice to me though.
After a quick tour through Quincy and Jeff's house, we settled in for dinner, then dessert. Later we went out to find the kittens that have made the barn? garage? their home. I must say that I was sooooooo tempted to take one of them home with me. They were so adorable. I lost my senses for a moment and seriously considered it. Then I remembered that kittens grow up to be cats, and cats like to scratch everything, oh, and they shed!
The drive home seemed to go a lot faster then the drive to Quincey, doesn't it always seem to work that way? All in all, this has been a good day. My family has always been big on birthdays, so it was fun to go and celebrate with Jeff. So now that I am back in Seattle I will end this day with one final......HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Earlier today I took a road trip down to Puyallup to meet a friend for lunch. On my way I got to thinking....an hour and a half drive, traffic, and good music will do that to a person. The thought of the day is what is it that defines me? This thought was really intriguing to me, we get so caught up in the "I'm a ....mom, dad, doctor, teacher, husband, wife, etc". I think we all have ideas of who or what we will be when we grow up and that phrase "I'm a...." is our way of stating our accomplishments.
What do we do though, when those hopes and dreams from our adolescence do not come to fruition. Is that when we say, "Oh, I'm just a...", as if to say, this is just a position that I am temporarily filling until the real one I am secretly holding out for comes to be? (Can you tell I majored in Sociology?) Don't even get me started on the societal pressures we place upon ourselves and as a result chose to do things that we may not otherwise have pursued. :)
Thus, I did not come up with any brilliant answers. Though I have a clear idea of what I want to be, but the "I'm just a..." is lasting longer than I expected and has unwittingly become my "I'm a..."
I am thrilled to announce that Seattle, yes Seattle has been exposed to the sun! Finally! I love how Seattle-ites welcome the sun. It doesn't matter how cold it actually is, if there is even a hint of a ray of sunshine, shorts are thrown on, tops on the convertible are down, everyone is calling in sick to work, and my favorite part...the smell of the charcoal being lit with the promise of good BBQ to follow. I never think much about how I am affected by the rain and the gray, but as soon as the sun comes out I notice how much more energy I have and I just feel happier. I guess I have just gotten used to it, but I really, really love it when it's sunny! I am still a California girl at heart.
So I spent the bulk of my day in a photography class taught by Robert Stahl, a professional photographer. His work has been featured in National Geographic as well as other magazines that I cannot seem to remember right now. I just about fell off of my chair when he mentioned that Ansel Adams had shown him how to photograph trees. (If you do not know who Ansel Adams is I would suggest you google his work, it is pretty spectacular)
Anyways, I learned a lot about lighting and texture and different ways to look at a subject you are going to photograph. The class went from 9-4 but I ducked out after lunch. It was an interesting class and it inspired me to run over to the Bellevue Botanical Gardens to try out some of the things that I had learned. The above pictures are some of the many that I took in the hour that I was there.
I am finding that I really enjoy taking pictures, (I prefer nature vs people). It is fun and creative.... right up my alley.
There is nothing better than walking through a department store, wandering around with no specific purpose in mind! I honestly get a small high just from being there. I love, love, love the shoe department! It doesn't matter if I am in a hurry, feeling tired or even have no extra money to spend, I inevitably end up surrounded by shoes and harried sales people salivating over themselves trying to meet my every whim. I am particularly partial to high heels, I don't know what it is about them, but I can never get enough. The shoes shown above are just one of my favorites! Though I love heels, I save them mainly for Sundays, do to the fact that I am on my feet most of the day at work. I call my heels my three hour shoes! That is because that is about how long I last in them. I suppose I am willing to suffer minimally for fashion, (I would never make it in New York). I envy those women who can wear them everywhere without complaint. Hmm...I think that I will have to go visit some more shoes this weekend.
Okay, it is time for some serious thought to the gas crisis. I filled up my car the other day which cost me $60. I just about died when I looked up and saw that my 14 plus gallon tank had consumed soooo much of my money!
I am trying to think of more economical ways of getting to work, but I keep coming up with "yeah, but...." after any of my ideas are thought about seriously.
Here are some of my ideas and my yeah buts. Let me know what you think I should do.
Ride a Bike to work Ride the bus Buy a Vespa Walk I would have to leave at about 4am Trade in my car Change jobs
There are a lot of hills between my house and work so riding a bike may be a challenge. What if I get sick or an emergency comes up at work and I rode the bus...what would I do? Though they are cute Vespa, being splattered all over the pavement has its drawbacks. Walking....'nough said. I really like my car, it has a lot of room, a huge sunroof and heated seats I have been at the same job for 10 years, why change now.
Those are my ideas so far. Maybe I should ask for a cost of driving raise instead. I am sure that will go over well.
This weekend I went to a mid-singles conference here in Washington. The first evening we were given the opportunity to do some speed dating. I must say that I felt a little bad for the guys in that, because there were so few of them, they got stuck sitting in the room for hours talking to random women.
Here are some of the highlights of the ones I can remember.
One guy told me he was from Auburn, the town with the super mall. I said that I had been to there which was pretty cool. He said that it was lacking a Toys R Us. When I asked him if that was his favorite store, he told me that he was a HUGE Star Wars fan. (now I am not one to let a moment like this slip a way) I asked him if he had ever been to a convention, unfortunately he hadn't, they are a little too expensive.
Another lovely gentleman asked me if I was high maintenance. I said that I didn't think that I was, but someone else might think differently. :) What does it mean to be high maintenance anyway?
My favorite encounter of the evening was a guy we will call Darrell. Within the first 10 seconds of the 1minute time we were allotted Darrell told me to look into his eyes and said "these are the eyes of a broken down man who has been rejected and torn down". He then proceeded to tell me that because I was over thirty it was my responsibility to go after the men and ask them out. He then said that he would go out into the hall right this moment and get ten guys lined up for me to ask out. Needless to say I was slightly taken aback.
The rest of the weekend was not nearly as exciting. I went Kayaking on Saturday with a group in Elliot's Bay. It was a perfect day to be out on the water and made me revisit the possibility of buying a kayak. The conference ended Sunday with Sacrament, early dinner then a fireside in which Elder Pearson from the Quorum of the Seventy spoke. It was funny, he touched on all of the same topic Jill, Tiffany and I had been discussing all weekend. He basically told us to be obedient to avoid becoming discouraged and then falling away. It was definitely one of those talks that I needed to hear.
All in all the conference wasn't too bad. I got to get reacquainted with some old friends which was by far my saving grace. (I would not have lasted one night had they not been there) I don't know that I will ever go to one of these things again, but it is helpful to know that I am not the only single 30 something left in the church.
I am currently waiting for Madonna tickets to go on sale so that I can snatch them up. Jeff was given the task of going on line this morning to purchase tickets early through the fan club. Now, I am not one to join fan clubs, but did so for the express purpose of being able to get tickets early. I was sooooo excited to get the tickets that I must have called Jeff ten times to ensure he new what to do, where to go, how much to spend, etc. (thankfully he is VERY patient with me) You have to understand, I have been a Madonna fan ever since Lucky Star. My friends and I even did a lip sinc and dance to "Dress you up". She is one of the few people that I would like to see in concert at least once in my lifetime.
Needless to say, I waited anxiously when the clock struck 10am for the call that would say, "the tickets are ours"! I could barely focus on my work, resisting the urge to call yet again to see if he was successful. About 20min after ten Jeff called with the news....he couldn't get the tickets, apparently the fan club level I signed up for wasn't high enough, so we have to wait until Saturday morning when EVERYBODY else gets to get tickets too. So not fair! Now I get to go through the stress and nerves and excitement of battling it out amongst other concert goers on ticket master for the best seats in the house. I really don't care where we sit just as long as we get to go.
So until then I will be waiting anxiously for Saturday, 10am sharp!
Here are just four of the 300 images I took while on my trip. I just spent an incredibly busy week on a cruise to Alaska. My parents, little brother and his wife, my aunt and uncle and my grandmother (who was my roomie by the way) all joined in on the fun. The trip was really fun and surprisingly drama free. We left from Seattle and headed up north to Ketchikan, then Juneau, Skagway and finally Victoria B.C..
Ketchikan was a fun little town where Wyatt Earp himself once resided. It was cool to see buildings and walkways still standing which added to the character and charm of this town. We spent the day walking around checking out the shopping. My brother, his wife and I received what we call the sucker stamp while visiting Ketchikan. We decided to take a small tram up a small mountain which we each paid $2 to ride to the top. These two girls took our money and then stamped our hands with one of those stamps they use when playing bingo. We happily paid the fee and climbed on board. It wasn't until we were heading back to the tram that we realized we had been duped. The girls were no where in site and inside the tram there was a button with a sign that said, "Press here to go down". Of course, they could have been on a break, but it was odd that no one was there to relieve them. We found it pretty fun and loved the fact that we got to walk all over Ketchikan with our sucker stamps.
Next up.....Juneau. This was probably my favorite place of all the ones we visited. The Yukon was great, but I loved having the opportunity to take a tour of the Mendenhall Glacier. I went by myself and went for a long hike trying to get as close to the glacier as possible. There was a mountain goat up on a hill that I saw, and apparently a bear cub nearby that I successfully avoided. Our tour guide was from Utah (go figure) who told fun stories about Juneau on our way up to the glacier. Here is one of the stories he told: There was a collision with a 737 and a salmon a few years back. An Eagle had just caught it's breakfast and was flying away with the salmon, at the same time the plane was taking off. The Eagle decided to let go of the fish, (they are assuming, in an attempt to avoid being hit by the plane) which then collided with the plane. After hearing a loud crash the pilot landed the plane and insisted on having it checked before taking off again.
Later that week we were on our way to Skagway, where we hopped on a train and headed for the Yukon territory. It was really beautiful and interesting to learn about it's history. Being surrounded by endless mountains covered in snow, I was in awe of the many men and women who traveled on those trails all for the chance to make some money in the mines. Each of the miners had to have a years worth of food before they were even allowed to enter the Yukon territory. It took us almost two hours by train to get to the top, I can't imagine how difficult it would have been for them to climb the mountain with the primitive equipment they had back then. We stopped for lunch at a corral like place that was part of our excursion. My grandmother decided that she was going to save one of her barbecued pieces of chicken and proceeded to wrap it in a napkin and put it in her butt pack. Do I need to remind you that we were on a cruise? Tons of free food? Yeah, she was in pack rat mode. Needless to say we laughed a lot when we went through customs joking about how the dogs were going to attack her trying to get to her chicken. We thought for sure grandma was going to get caught with her "stash". Luckily for her, they just waved us through.
Our last night on the ship was very rocky. We got caught in a storm where the waves got to be 20ft high and the wind was blowing at 50 knots(whatever that means). My brother and sister-in-law were both feeling really sick, and my grandmother was a little scared of the loud banging noises that were coming from the bottom of the boat. The crew cancelled most of the shows that night and cautioned us to be careful when walking outside. My brother, uncle and I decided to go up as high as we could on the boat.....I was almost knocked over a couple of times, and was laughing so hard I couldn't catch my breath. Really dumb, but oh so much fun!
Our final stop before heading back to Seattle was Victoria B.C.. The only day we had bad weather was here. Thankfully, we had all been there before, so we went up to the Skywalker lounge at the top of the ship and hung out for a few hours before heading to bed.
All in all, the trip was fun. It was nice spending time with my family and re-bonding with my 83 year old grandmother, who, unfortunately is slowing down. It was fun exploring the great white north with my family.