Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Last Leg – Seattle to Rexburg

Well, as usual I’m writing this blog in a car. Emily and I are currently traveling somewhere on the I-15 in Montana, about 190 miles from Idaho Falls. Anyway, Seattle was awesome. It has been forever since I’ve been here, and I guess I forgot how much I liked it. I flew into Seattle around 8:30, Emily met me there and it was about 30 minutes to Sammamish. The weather reminded me of being back in Atlanta; hot and very humid. It was about 92 and about as humid as some Men’s Club sauna. It probably was no different then Georgia, but coming from Reno made a huge difference. Emily, Eric, and I ate lunch in Seattle at the Old Spaghetti Factory. It was Eric’s (Emily’s best friend/boy she’s in love with/hopefully future boyfriend or HUSBAND) Birthday, so after lunch we grabbed some Dairy Queen too. After running a few errands around town we drove to Novus, Uncle Bruce’s windshield repair shop. He was very surprised to see me, so while we chatted someone fixed Emily’s cracked windshield. He invited Emily and me to Lake Sammamish where the rest of his family was. Emily ended up dropping me off there for an hour or so while she got her haircut and ran a few more errands. Katharine is definitely pregnant, and James is just about as tall as Hannah. Claire was in Tacoma at EFY. When the two of us finally met up again we went to another lake, Beaver Lake, where some friends of hers have a Cabin. It was Eric’s Birthday Celebration/Emily’s farewell party. The cabin has a huge water trampoline out on the lake so although I was in clothes I got on the trampoline. Bad idea, I eventually ended up getting pulled into the water, by Emily. Monday night was mostly spent packing up Emily’s room and cleaning it. Tuesday was a Monday repeat; more running around, and some more delicious food. We had some Jamba Juice for breakfast, Acapulco Fresh (Mexican) for lunch, and some pizza for dinner. I think the two of us have already gained the freshman 15… or 25. Well, between all the eating we made a pit stop to Value Village, one of my most favorite stores. We ended up browsing a lot and eventually bought the Clueless soundtrack and Spice Girls album. Our cashier was fabulous. Now everyone take a good look at your pinkies. Take a look at the size of the very last joint, the tip of the pinky. That was honestly the size of this poor woman’s mole. Now that you’ve got the size, the location was right between her eyes. It was kind of sad, but I couldn’t help myself. For some reason it was sad for me to say goodbye to Eric and some of Emily’s friends. I’ve never really met any of them but I guess it as finally setting in that the Final Leg was almost over and College was approaching. Emily and I got to bed around 4:30am just to wakeup only a few short hours later. We were finally on the road around 9:30. Emily drives a Civic, that’s a stick shift, so the fact that I have had little experience driving manual cars was kind of putting a damper on me driving. Around noon today Emily was somewhat tired so she gracefully shifted me into 5th from a rest stop and I carried on driving for a little over an hour till I was pulled over, that’s right pulled over. I was so flustered that I started to pull over to the left side of the road, and then finally gained some senses and veered right; I had to have Emily shift me down from 5th. The cop was somewhat confused when he saw a Georgia License, driving a Washingtonian’s car, with Utah plates, headed to Idaho. He returned to the car a few minutes later with a big fat ticket for $122.00 for going 80 in a 70. Can you say JERK? I guess it’s because it’s the end of the month. Of course Emily got in the drivers seat after that, and is still currently driving. Besides that nothing really exciting has happened. We saw a full grown woman asleep with a pacifier in her mouth, we saw this really old man driving a mini-bike, and we saw this woman with a chest like Xenia Warrior Princess, pointy. Tonight we’ll be meeting my mom in a hotel, actually an inn, which pretty much means it’s ghettolicious. It’s in Idaho Falls so it definitely won’t be some Marriot. Tomorrow Emily and I will be able to move into our apartment at 9:00am (check it out after that we have a short orientation and then we’re free to roam Rexburg; not like there is much to roam.

Old Spaghetti Factory

Emily and I before taking off

While Driving

My Ticket.

The Mini-Bike

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Part Two- San Francisco

It’s about 5:45 am, Monday morning, and I’m seated in the Reno/Tahoe Airport. Since I’m leaving Reno in about 30 minutes I thought this was the perfect opportunity to write about the 2nd half of my trip. Firstly, San Francisco never really gets above the mid 70’s, or so I am told. But while we were there it was a definite exception. It was up to 104 at times. Despite the weather we had a lot of fun. All the public transportation systems were completely free as a way to pay back everyone for using it, some kind of “Save the Air” Campaign. The subway, buses, trolleys and cable cars were all entirely free. The friends we were staying with (The Edgrens) Live in Danville, about 35 minutes from San Francisco. Since the whole free transportation was in play the day we were visiting, we rode BART in to San Francisco from Danville. BART is like MARTA, for all of you from Atlanta. I was trying to think of an acronym for BART, but no such luck yet, let me know if you have an epiphanies. BART took us right to Embarcadero (The closest stop to the piers) we walked the mile stroll down all the piers until we got to the famous Pier 39. I never knew how athletic San Francisco was. The joggers outnumbered everything else on the sidewalk. Pier 39 was swarming with people, as usual, and probably even more so because of all the freebies. We never made our reservations to see Alcatraz so we waited in a line no longer then 30 minutes, just to be told that tickets were sold out and that the next available tour was the following day at noon. We quickly scratched that idea and jumped on a hop-on-hop-off trolley tour around the city. We saw Lombard Street (the really crooked street), Chinatown, Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, (some other places, obviously not too exciting) and then we were back to Pier 39. Nothing was shown or observed in real depth, so I guess someday I’ll have to be making another trip out to that city. We ate lunch in Union Square on the top of Macy’s at the Cheesecake Factory. It was fabulous as usual. FYI Cheesecake Factory now ships their cheesecakes around the US, ( for any of you cheesecake lovers. After lunch we took a walk down to Chinatown. Let’s just say if you’ve been to Calgary’s Chinatown, or just Calgary for that matter, then you’re good to go. I kept on wondering if there was another street that we were missing or maybe there was a Japanesetown close by, because I really wasn’t impressed with the size. I wasn’t at all disappointed, just not impressed. The Golden Gate Bridge was too much for Laramee at the end of the day so we just headed back to Danville. Danville is nice, it’s in California, so of course it’s nice. Early Friday morning we left Danville for Pajaro Dunes. The Edgren’s have a beach house down there and we were going down just a few hours ahead of them. Laramee and I stopped in Santa Cruz at a Costco to grab a hot dog. While in Santa Cruz we went to the rides and attractions out on the pier (The same rides seen on Full House). After having been to Six Flags, we refrained from buying tickets to the junkie rides. It was about 63 out, and wasn’t much warmer when we got to Pajaro Dunes. We visited the local Target for entertainment until the Edgren’s arrived. When we discovered that the weather would be just as crumby on Saturday too, Laramee was veering towards driving the 1 ½ back to Danville so we could leave from there early the next morning. That was exactly what we did. I fell asleep, and as the navigator let the driver down. We ended up getting lost for about 45 minutes somewhere between Oakland and Danville; eventually getting back to Danville around 12:30am. Driving back to Reno the next morning was rather enjoyable, I slept the entire time. After we arrived back in Reno and finally had enough energy to move we went to IN-N-OUT, followed by riding the Ultimate Rush, at the Hilton. I highly recommend doing both of those activities, just in the opposite order. IN-N-OUT was just as enjoyable as usual, but the Ultimate Rush was something I had never experienced. It truly was THE ULTIMATE RUSH. Both of us were geared up in harnesses and then hoisted about 200 feet into the air. I guess me being the braver of the two was given the opportunity to pull the cord, which practically feels like committing suicide and murder at the same time*. The instructor yelled “1-2-3 FLY!” and on the “FLY” I was suppose to pull the cord. I guess I did it around the 3 but either way the rush felt the same. We swung back and forth like a tether ball and when we finally stopped asked him if we could go again. “$10.00 each for a second run” he told us. Without detaching any carabineers we were once again hoisted into the air. “1-2-3 FLY!” was yelled once again, this time instead of being early I froze and he yelled out the catch phrase again, “1-2-3 FLY!” I finally pulled it and we headed down again, IT WAS AWESOME! The IN-N-OUT fortunately stayed down, but I really wouldn’t have mind going back to get some more. Reno was awesome, San Francisco was great, and all the random places in-between have been fabulous. Now I’m heading to Seattle to meet up with my roommate, Emily Harris. She and I went to EFY about 3 years ago when I attended a session at BYU. She actually is in Bruce and Lori Salmon’s Stake. I might just have to stop by their house for a minute or so. Who knows when I’ll be in Sammamish again… The two of us will be in Washington till Wednesday, until we depart on our 11 hour drive to Rexburg, our future home. I’m sitting on the airplane now and we just passed Mt. Rainer, we’re preparing to descend into the Seattle area so I’m preparing myself for a colder Georgia, with high humidity and a lot of Starbucks. As soon as I get some internet access I’ll post this, probably with a lot of pictures too. Enjoy!

*The feelings described in the above document have never been previously felt.

On the way to BART

Trying to act Asian in Chinatown

STILL trying to be Asian in Chinatown


Lomard St.-The Crookedest Street in San Francisco

The Hairiest Female Armpit in San Francisco

Santa Cruz Beach

Weather in Reno, NV (115)

( I just posted this because I'm vain and prideful) (and honest)

I was trying to make some of you jealous with this one...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The First Leg of The Trip- Reno

Well I’m currently on the road, driving to San Francisco. Actually I’m not driving but, I’m in the car. Reno was amazing, I’ll be back there Saturday afternoon, but right now all I can think of is California, IN-N-OUT, Shopping, and getting some sun. Getting to Reno though is a completely different story. I flew out of Birmingham, Alabama; just so that I could fly out on a cheaper flight on Southwest airlines. When we (my parents and I) got to Birmingham it was a 45 minute wait just to check my luggage. When it was finally my turn I was first told that all flights would be delayed because of weather in Houston, which would mean I would end up missing my connecting flight in Phoenix to Reno. After switching some flight plans I was scheduled to fly into Phoenix and then take the last flight out to Oakland, CA and then fly out of Oakland in the morning to Reno. After finally figuring out my new itinerary, but before receiving my boarding pass, I was told that my name was on the HIGH SECURITY list. Apparently my birthday or name has been blacklisted so now airports have become even more of a nightmare. Three hours later we boarded the plane that was Phoenix bound. I was literally in Phoenix for 6 minutes, enough time to run to another gate and board. I walked, what seemed like miles, to the back of the plane after receiving disgusted looks from nearly every passenger. I was shocked to find the whole back bench of the plane completely empty, but soon I realized why that was the case when I smelt the nasty stench of bologna vomit and butcher shop. The flight was rather short but somehow two other people managed to fill well over five more barf bags. When I arrived in Oakland (around midnight), I texted one of my old Young Women leaders. She moved to Danville, CA about two years ago after living in Georgia for three years. A short while later she phoned and said, “There is NO WAY you are sleeping in the Oakland airport!” 30 minutes later she was there to pick me up. We got home quickly and headed to bed. Around 6:00am her husband woke me up to take me back to the Oakland airport. I waited over an hour outside for the curbside check-in line just to be told that I should have been on the inside line because of the HIGH SECURITY problem. I told him that my scheduled flight to Reno would be leaving in 30 minutes so the man somehow weaseled me in to the front of the indoor line. Finally I was called to a desk just to be told that I couldn’t be helped. When tears slowly filled my eyes the women told me she miraculously did know what to do. Funny how that works… there was no way I would be making the 7:40 flight to Reno, so she put me on the 9:30. When my bags were finally checked all I had to worry about were my carry-ons and making it through security. Being considered a terrorist, or something like that, really is a drag. I was frisked and completely searched, my ipod was taken out of the case and dusted and then my SANDALS were scanned and inspected. Besides all the disastrous events that took place getting to Reno, Reno itself has been AWESOME. The weather has been great and so have the sites. Laramee (My friend that lives in Reno) and I were able to go up to Lake Tahoe to have breakfast on the lake. We took a large paddle boat around the lake as a tour guide gave us interesting facts of the lake… Did you know that all the water in Lake Tahoe would cover the state of California with 13 inches of water? Or cover Texas with 8 inches. Cool eh? Laramee also took me to the Reno strip. It seemed busy and huge to me, but then again I went to Las Vegas when I was only two. Besides random sites here and there we’ve spent a lot of time hanging out in Laramee’s backyard in the pool and on the trampoline. We’re now in San Francisco and I’ll finally post this Blog. I know it’s EXTREMELLY long but that’s what happens after a few days I suppose. Tomorrow we’ve got lots of site seeing to do so I guess we’re heading to bed. So until then… enjoy the pictures!

Birmingham, Alabama- Showing Southwest Airlines some LOVE

Laramee and I showing the camera some LOVE.

Soaking up some rays on the tramp

The Biggest Little City In The World

Laramee and I downtown

Breakfast on Lake Tahoe

Chillaxin' on the bed


Finally in San Francisco

The End- of income.

Well my last day of work was last week. We had a final goodbye dinner at Taco Mac, a local restraunt in Atlanta. I can already say that my stress headaches have ceased and I can also say that my bank account is slowly decreasing. I'll post my apartment address in Rexburg later so that everyone can send checks. Feel free to send them whenever. Muhahaha.

Me & Becky at work, then out to dinner. She's the BEST!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Fireworks... or something like that

Fireworks in Georgia aren't really fireworks. They are fountains that go no higher than 10 feet into the air. Considering we're located in the heart of the South we have some pretty cheesy fireworks. A woman in our ward is the representative for the whole South East region and last week she had to put on an orientation for what seemed like the whole redneck population of Georgia. They came in campers, vans, and buses. And lucky for me I had the chance of sitting at the registration table and had the opportunity of being the first person to greet these sunburned snaggle toothed hillbillies. The orientation seemed like weeks but really it was only two days. I was working my Dermatologist job 8am-5pm and then going to help with fireworks 5pm-12am. It was good money but really tiring. I'm pretty much just happy that it's over. And I'll be even more happy when I receive my check... muhahaha. Can you believe that some packages are sold for $1000? Nathan's 16th Birthday was June 1st but not so lucky for him he was on a scouting trip in Florida. Instead we waited till tonight to finally celebrate. Pizza, icecream cake, and a game of Cranium. Mike and I would have won the Cranium game except everyone else cheats. Tomorrow is my official last day of work at the Dermo. It's gonna be really sad... for about two seconds. Really though it's a fun job for the most part, but Rexburg can only wait for me for so long...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

High School Graduation (5 months late)

Well as some of you know, I actually graduated from Chattahoochee HS at the winter break. I finished a whole semester early, so although I say "5 months late" don't think it took me 5 extra months to graduate. Graduation was May 27th. It just took me 5 months of waiting around to actually walk across the stage and recieve my diploma. The last 5 months have been spent working at a Dermatologist office. ( - CHECK OUT THE STAFF PAGE) During that time I actually decided that I wanted to major in something medical because I loved the job so much. Graduation was overrated. The 5 seconds I spent walking across the stage felt like 5 hours. I rarely wear heals so I was even extra nervous walking. My palms were sweating so bad they had someone wipe the stage after I had recieved my diploma... ok well not really. Actually, speaking of my sweaty palms... I got BOTOX injected into my hands to help reduce my dehydration problem, or - just to get my hands to stop sweating. And so far it has been FABULOUS. I've been feeling like I need lotion a lot, just because I've never felt my hands be this dry before. So now when I'm dating out at Idaho I won't have to wear gloves and claim I'm a die-hard Michael Jackson fan. FYI- BOTOX is also used for underarm sweating for anyone that has a problem with that, we do it at the office so if you're ever in Atlanta stop by! You'll most likely be sweating. It has been so hot here lately, low 90's but extremelly humid. Actually just plain muggy. Monday's the office is closed and so me, Mike and some friends of ours went to Six Flags. We bought our tickets which are $50.00 a person at about 1:21. Around 1:30 all the rides were shut down because of the weather. I guess we were getting the tail end of the hurricane that went through Florida. We waited in the car for almost 2 hours, and by then even the hardcore Six Flag goers had left so when the park reopened we were practically the only ones left! It was AWESOME! Rides with lines that usually take 60 minutes were about 60 seconds. Some of the rides we were able to just stay on while they sent us on another time around. I didn't have my camera at the time but now I wish I had taken it. I got my hair cut yesterday so I will have to put pictures up soon. I have about 3 days left before I leave on my wild adventure, but I will keep everyone posted on how things are in Reno, Sacramento, San Francisco, Seattle and the final destination- Rexburg.