Tuesday, October 21, 2008
We visited the Navy Pier where I had the best jalapeno cheddar pretzel of my life, rode a ferris wheel, and witnessed the beautiful Chicago skyline from the water's point of view. Barnelli's is the lucky locale we chose for lunching (the pizza shown is actually Giordano's - my dinner the next night).
Despite all their visits to the area, my parents had never ventured up the Sears Tower, so I talked them into it and up we went! I got the first of hours of horrible phone calls from work while I was up there, but the situation is all better now (they know it wasn't my doing) and I'd like to forget it ever happened (except the lessons I learned to keep it from happening again). Wicked was awesome, after I had recouperated from the several hours of crying and feeling like a worthless excuse for a human being. Hard to believe that just those couple of things took all day! Oh, we also passed on a square downtown a whole setup for an outdoor viewing of the movie Goonies - how cool is that?
The next part of my escapade took me to Mattoon. Would you believe that I got on facebook to brag to a friend I would be near his hometown when I saw on his very page that he and his wife/my friend were living in a town right along my way! So, I got to see another couple of friends (and their darling baby girl Clarissa) whom I haven't seen in 4 years! They took me all around Champaign and even took me to my favorite grocery store to get my favorite ice cream in the whole wide entire world - Meijer Peanut Butter Fudge.
After my hotel kicked me out...they actually just made me check out and allowed me to stay 2 hours later than I was supposed to...I had four hours to kill in the middle of nowhere. What's a girl to do?
I visited Gays, Illinois six miles away. Yes, that's right. The population sign as you enter says: Gays 300. Wait, it gets better. The local church is called "Gays Christian church." Wait, even better. The main tourist attraction in that booming town of 300 is a two-story outhouse built in 1857. Oh yes, I mean, seriously....does it get better than that?!?! I was also right next to an Amish country which I unfortunately didn't have time to visit.
I headed straight from my meeting in Mattoon to Cincinnati where my little sister currently abides. She just moved there about two weeks ago, so I felt super cool to get to spend the night (even though I didn't arrive until practically 2 am). We slept in then headed out to see my older sister, Shanda's, new baby girl Braelin.
No one in my family knew I was coming except for Brit! I am so sneaky!
Shanda didn't answer her phone, so we started to go in (Brit has a key). Shanda opened the door looking shaky and started forcefully telling Brit she just about got herself punched, then without even taking a breath she looked at me and said, "What are you doing here?!?!" She was excited - yeah!
I got to hold Braelin and talk with my sissy's for a couple of hours, then headed off to Mom's to surprise her. I walked into her front office holding a peach rose and she looks up for a couple seconds before her jaw dropped and I got another, "What are you doing here?!?" Success!
I called Dad to tell him I was "on my way home" (he thought in Utah) and he said he was on his way home from work - I had driven by his work and he wasn't there. So, I hid the Jeep Commander in the back field and went inside. I remembered at that point in time that my dad likes to...hmm...karate chop when he gets scared. As he was getting out of his car, I opened the door while holding some ice cream and yelled "I thought I should have some ice cream with you before I left!" I got yet a third, "What are you doing here?!?" Three for three!
Shanda brought Max and Braelin over a little later and we all sat and talked for a couple of hours as we ate our Cassano's pizza. I played in the field with the horses and kitties and Max for awhile too:-)
I went to bed and all-too-soon the new day began. Mom and I had some breakfast at Bob Evans, then it was off to work for her and off to the airport for me.
One day at home wasn't quite long enough, but it was a free trip, a GREAT sneaky surprise on my part, and I'll be back for the holidays for an entire week.
Now, I am back in SLC to my quiet, spacious apartment - just me and my little kitty. Oh - and Gold's Gym - I'm coming back to you tonight, baby!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
More importantly, said expedition took me to Suzanna Guffey Howard and her wonderful little family!!!
After a presentation and a lunch meeting in SC (which, I have to point out - there were bars on all the windows to all the stores in the middle of NOWHERE...what's gonna happen, the cow gonna come steal your granola? Seriously!) , I drove up to Zanna's for an afternoon and evening of fun, dinner, and ice cream. I love to smile and laugh in the company of someone so bright as Boozanna. I'm so lucky I have friends (of 10 years!) like my Piggy, Jenn, Kistopher, LeGaye (sp?), Zanna, who welcome me into their homes all over the country.
Is it mean of me to look forward to the day 50 years from now when all their hubbies die and we get to move to Miami, live in a big house with a lanai, and eat cheesecake at midnight?
After I left NC, I headed for JFK/NYC. I was greeted to New York with a fire alarm going off just as I was exiting the airport restroom. I panicked. Then I looked around...not a single person was even acting as if they heard what I heard. Lights were flashing, sirens blaring, yet the flight announcements carried on in the face of danger. One confused little pigeon shared my concern and somehow ended up walking along next to me towards the exit -eventually scaring the bejeebies out of me by flying into the door at my side as I was going through the open part. Poor guy - he's fine though, no worries.
I dropped my stuff off at my friend Jeff's and we went for lunch at the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. Lemme tell you what - I'd definitely shake my shack for some of those burgers! Yum!
I walked around the rest of the afternoon, trying to hit the internal workings of Central Park since I seem to ever only just walk around the perimeter.
I chose "In the Heights" for my Broadway musical viewing enjoyment that evening.
After, I met up with my friend Ashley whom I met in NYC on our internships years ago and ended up being in my ward when I moved to my new place in May, who randomly happened to be arriving in the city that night. We got cookies and ESPN Zone. All ye who know me know of my weakness for the zone cookies.
My dearest KIII then hooked me up with her old roommates so I could watch an incredibly disturbing documentary on Ferret lovers and sleep for a whopping two hours. Darling Jeff walked me to the subway at 4am where I was promptly shocked with how many people are on that danged thing at that time of day! Immediately I lost my intense fear of what I thought was idiocy on the subway in the middle of the night.
I arrived back to SLC just in time to put church clothes on, lead choir practice, then come home and sleep for 6 hours. Whew!
Monday, October 13, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
If so, I've got one coming...
1. I found $10 on the floor of Walmart - I'm rich!
2. My rental car is BRAND NEW! There were only 20 miles on it when I started driving.
3. ???? Any guesses/thoughts/ideas on what good thing number 3 will be?
Friday, October 3, 2008
I turned 28 this year on September 20 and had the most amazing birthday I can remember.
The celebration began Friday September 19 on my way home from a work meeting in Birmingham, Alabama. I had a layover in Denver for six hours, so my old roommates Heather (Piggy) and Jenn came to get me and take me to Jenn’s new home to spend time with them and their five (!) children for a few hours. I love these girls and it has been years since I’ve seen Piggy (only one since I last saw my redhead).
I returned home thinking I needed to run to the gym, then home to go out with a dear friend. I immediately knew someone had been in my house – things in the trash that I hadn’t put there, vacuum lines gone, empty milk jug, more toilet paper gone, cat toys moved, comforter fluffed – it was all odd. My friend then told me he had gotten a key from my sis in Ohio and hid something in the apartment on her behalf. He’s a good pal, so I thought he’d just made himself at home while there.
When he came over to take me out, he had me looking for whatever it was he had hidden when my doorbell rang. As he ran to get the door, I was hot on his heels and yelled, “Is it my sister?” I was totally joking, but when we opened the door, there was a HUGE box on the porch. A little tug, and out popped my sister from Ohio!
She, I, and B2 all had a girls night eating "The Pie" pizza, wearing face masks, eating Leatherby’s ice cream cake (not recommended – blagh), watching “Baby Mama,” and chatting. We dragged my queen sized, 24-inch tall air mattress into the living room and all three crashed. Conor even joined in on the slumber party madness. When we woke up Saturday morning, we just sat there and talked until about noon or so, when I went to the gym for my traditional 5-mile birthday run (under 49 minutes, thank you thank you)and their traditional salad buffet run.
Later in the day Michelle and Em came up, Kelly was over, Brit was there, and we just baked treats for the night-time party while chatting and having a grande ole time.
I had a combined birthday party with Julie-Ann and Jake in my ward – two very loved people –hosted by another very loved friend, Megan, and her roommates – shout out to Julie, Melissa, and Erin. I had lots of friends new and old come have fun with us.
The celebration will continue when I go to Chicago for work and my parents meet me there – they bought us all tickets to see “Wicked!” I’ve seen it twice before in NYC (original cast!), however, it is a cute show. They also bought me an amazing shiatsu massage chair (*singing* heaven, I’m in heaven…), which I have been forbidden to let anyone but myself use b/c I have had two get broken.
Perhaps all of these things don’t sound like a “best ever,” but the “best” part comes into play in that I felt so much love. All walks of my life collided on that weekend in a way they never have before. So many of my friends and family went, and are going, greatly out of their ways to let me know how much they care for me.