Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thank You Sevilla

For handsome matadors

For the discovery of a new world and the man who died in poverty in to find it

For churros dipped in melted chocolate

For a failed worlds fair

For ancient egos and proving power through architecture

For men in tights and capes with ribbons

For nuns who bake

For exuding passion through every pore

For flamenco

Thank You Granada

For snow capped mountains and olive soaked air

For chocolate breakfasts

For Moorish palaces with endless corridors

For cave-dwelling gypsies

For Isabelle and Ferdinand

For white stucco, green doors and blue plates

For Morrocan hot pockets

For the beauty of trans continental friendships

For chocolate, spearmint tea

For the Alhambra.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thank You Barcelona

For tumultuous rivers of cars that serenade me to sleep

For photographic memories after all is lost

For untamed beaches and untamed hearts

For Christmas lights and unearthing simplicity

For a maze of ancient cobblestone

For Gaudi
--
For a world wide church

For Christmas lights strung across charming balconies

For small food and deep conversation

For wandering solo

For Picasso
--
For energetic street music

For magical fountains

For colorful mosaics and arched catacombs

For humans diverged on one city street

For inspiring trees, leaves and python skeletons

For Gaudi

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Unexpected...

New happenings in my life:

1} I moved to an adorable apartment in SLC with a wonderful roommate

2} I am attending graduate school at Westminster College studying Non-Profit Management and I absolutely LOVE it- far more than I ever did my under-grad.

3} I am working as a waitress at a quaint French cafe which is a completely new line of work but I am slowly getting the hang of it (slowly being the key word)

4} I am traveling through Spain and Morocco in December

5} I am happy

The new happenings are so wonderful and so different from anything I had anticipated doing this fall but everything has turned out perfectly. I have spent the Autumn in my garden and among the leaves. I have made countless memories with my family. I have rediscovered why I loved Salt Lake and my new friends are inspiring.

Cheers to unexpected adventures!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

National Park Service Life

I am currently living in the Presidio of San Francisco which is an absolute dream. I live in dorm-style housing with 12 other people. It is an excitingly social atmosphere and everyone has a story to tell; a beautiful personality to share. We have access to so much here with such a perfect location and I can't wait to explore it all with my friends and adventurous spirits.

Work has been fantastic. All we did the first day was drive and hike throughout the park which took us to Muir Beach, Rodeo Beach and Conzelman's Peak in the Marin Headlands which were breathtaking.

Day two I worked with all of the power tools in the shop and built 30 signs to be placed as trail markers throughout the park in the morning and in the afternoon we hiked all over the Hawks Hill trail doing sign assessments, but I was mostly just consumed by the fantastic view it afforded of the entire bay with the Golden Gate Bridge in perfect view.

It is not very often that you can find a job that will let you hike and explore all day, take naps on the beach during lunch and allow you to play with power tools. I'm only a few days in, but I have a feeling that I could get used to this life.

Rice-a-Roni

I made it to the beautiful city of San Francisco!

Cam and I started our caravan with a wonderful breakfast of fresh pancakes and fruit with most of the family. We then started up our engines, turned up the tunes, synced our walkie-talkies and took off for the Golden State.

We were making great time when Cam told me to get off at the airport, however I had no idea why. Turns out he forgot his tool belt in Ogden which is essential when installing security systems. So he drove back to meet Mom for the tools while I listened to Ted Talks in the Park-n-Wait lot at the airport. Don't you worry though, he didn't forget the treats grandma packed for him ( way more important).

Once we finally got on the road we raced to Reno.... literally. As we sped through the most mountainous state in the lower 48, we kept each other entertained by finding animals in the clouds, asking random trivia questions over the walkie-talkie and making friends with fellow commuters.

Soon we made it Reno, dropped off Cams car and headed over the Sierra Nevadas to grab some dinner in Tahoe. We stopped at Squaw Valley and we drooled over the beautiful landscape, epic mountains and beautiful homes dotting the mountainside. Once we made it down to the lake we took a long drive all the way around, stopping at Sprouts a wonderful organic cafe that had just what we were looking for - Ugly Gooey Loaded Nachos.

Another trip over through intense mountain passes, filled with conversations on all things under the sun, we made it back to Reno to crash on the floor of an empty apartment for a few hours before heading to California to stay.

Easter morning was white-knuckled snow driving down to the sun-drenched valley bellow. Once in the valley, we took small highways out to Point Reyes National Seashore which was filled with many adventures to picturesque lighthouses, hikes to daunting cliffs overhanging the sea and racing Indian boys up 300 steep steps.

After that we were on our way to my favorite part of the trip... California One. We took the historic highway through sweet-smelling Eucalyptus forests, quaint fishing towns and towering cliffs rising high above the vast ocean only to top it off with a cruise over the Golden Gate Bridge. That will be a drive that will forever stay engraved in my memory as a highlight of my life.

Cam helped me get settled in after which we ate some delicious Thai food in Haight and then in what seemed like an instant he was gone which left me feeling a bit empty inside. Empty and overwhelmed.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Looking Back...

I recently was telling a friend about some of the funny things that happened to me while working at Disney and I wanted to share them with the other four people who read my blog :)

A boy about 7 years old…

Me: Oh my, aren’t you a brave dragon slayer! I see you have a sword of truth just like my Prince Phillip.

Boy: Yeah… you know I’ve seen your movie?

Me: You have heard of my story? Isn’t that wonderful! What was your favorite part?

Boy: The part where you die!

Me: Oh dear, I never died. I just fell asleep until my handsome prince came and gave me loves first kiss to wake me up (wink)

Boy: GROSS!!

Me: Well might we have a picture together so I can tell my Prince Phillip all about you?

Boy: Sure, I guess

And I gave him a big, pink kiss on the cheek for the picture to which he freaked out and the family LOVED.


A boy about 6 years old…

Me: Well look at what a brave prince I see!

Boy: I’m not a Prince!!

Me: Oh my, well what are you then?

Boy: Guess!

Me: Are you a King? Pirate? Dragon? Monster? Wizard?

Boy: I am a Jedi! Look at my light saber! (whips out a plastic light saber from his little sister’s stroller)

Me: A light saber? Oh how brave you must be to use such a weapon! Do you think Prince Phillip could use it to slay dragons?

Boy: No, they only work for Jedi’s. Tell Prince Phillip sorry.


A little girl about 5 years old…

Me: What is your favorite thing about being you?

Girl: I like everything about being me!

Me: What wonderful confidence you have! Do you know how important that is for all Princesses to have? And how fantastic that you have mastered it!

Girl: What is confidence?

Me: It is believing in yourself and not letting anyone or anything change your mind.

Girl: Oh! Then yes, I have confidence!


A mother starts to shove an infant into my arms ( which I’m not supposed to hold) so I kneel on the ground to follow protocol if a child is forced into my arms. The child is screaming and drooling all over me and I smile to get the picture over with. The mother exclaims, “ No, no that picture won’t work. Ya know, would ya mind just putting yer arm across her stomach to cover up all of that throw up on her shirt?” SICK! And I did it….


A 2 year old girl…

Me: Would you like to come sit on my special bench?

Girl: I have poop!

The mother steps in, embarrassed and states that it happened in line and she can’t sit down because of it

Me: ( Trying to control my laughter, as my photographer is laughing uncontrollably, I kneel down on the floor) What is your favorite color? Is it purple like your beautiful dress?

Girl: I have poop!

Yep that went on the for the rest of the conversation and through the photo as well…


Little girl about 4 years old (one of my favorite memories)

Girl: Princess Aurora, where have you been? I have been looking all over the kingdom for you! ( very distraught)

Me: Oh dear, I am so sorry sweetheart. Where did you look?

Girl: I climbed to the tallest tower, I swam across the lake with lots of scary alligators, I got really scared but my dad was there and my mom grew very tall, taller then my dad even and she scared the monsters away. Then we walked a lot and there were lots of pretty flowers in the fields and look I picked one for you! ( she brought me a beautiful gardenia)

Me: How did you know these were my favorite flowers? Don’t they smell magnificent?

Girl: The troll told me.

Me: Oh yes, which troll was it? I have many friends that are trolls

Girl: The one I met while I was flying. We were flying high up in the clouds and when I met him, he told me to be sure and bring you this special, magical flower cause it is your favorite and it was really hard to find. Just like you were hard to find.

Me: I’m so sorry I was hard to find. But I am certainly glad you finally found me! Now that you know where I am, will you come visit me again?

Don’t you just love that imagination?!


Girl about 12…

Me: What is your favorite thing about being 12?

Girl: Nothing

Me: Really? Nothing at all?

Girl: Yeah, I just don’t like getting older

Me: Well then what was your favorite thing about being 11?

Girl: Nothing

Me: Well unless you are like my friend Peter Pan you will have to keep growing up… What don’t you like about being 12?

Girl: I don’t like that you can’t trust adults

Me: Trust can be a very difficult thing, especially if someone wrongs you. However, you must always keep in mind that not all adults are the same and there are some you can trust.

Girl: Yeah


Here comes the grand finale!

A couple in their mid-twenties, with the whole family in tow…

Me: Oh what a beautiful couple! I see you found your dream Prince!

Girl: (embarrassed) yes he is my dream prince

Me: and is she your dream princess?

Guy: Yes she is

Me: Wonderful, shall we have a picture together?

Guy: Yes, can I just pose like this? ( gets on one knee)

Me: Oh my what a charming prince we have here, but I think Prince Phillip might get jealous.

Pulls out a RING… and I soon realize that I am in the middle of a proposal. Completely caught off guard, I step as far back as I can and hope I don’t get in all of the pictures.

Guy: Something cheesy

Girl: Crying... yes!

Family: Ohhhhhh, ahhhh, cheers, clapping, excitement

Then someone yells from the group: You were supposed to do it in front of Cinderella-her favorite Princess!

Guy: I thought you were Cinderella…

Me: Sorry handsome, we look similar but I just fell asleep while she ran from her Prince…

Guy: huh?

Me: She is right there, why don’t you go introduce your beautiful princess to her…

Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Next Adventure...



I was just offered a job working for the National Park Service at Golden Gate National Park. I am so excited to be able to spend time working in nature, swimming the sea and living in San Francisco rent free! In doing my research, I had no idea how massive Golden Gate Park was; I cannot wait to explore from Pacifica to the Marin Headlands ( here is a map)
Yep, that is where I will be living a beautiful, nature-filled life for the next 6 months. Anyone want to come visit?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Life is Beautiful

Oh what a world my parents gave me....


The most darling girls who share their Bhutanese beauty with me each week
Celebrating Fat Tuesday with the Carrier family. Lisa was king for the day!
Visiting my dear friend Mallory in Rexburg to help with wedding plans... Congrats Mal!
Julie and I embracing the snow by snowshoeing the Cottonwoods
The beginnings of my wonderful garden. I can't wait for summer!
A proper send-off for Christopher driving solo back to Seattle
Julie and I ringing in the colors of springtime with the Krishnas
And the happiest news of all.... drum roll please... my best friend Lindsey is expecting her first little babe! I'm so excited!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring Tease

Well hello again winter,
I thought you had left us, instead, you decided to surprise us with an extended visit. Thanks for keeping the tourists happy. However, if you need to leave again soon that would be alright. What happened to Phil miraculously not seeing his shadow this year? I had high hopes for an early spring and it was all just a big tease.

I am so hopeful for spring. I have a feeling it will be grand, as almost all spring seasons are. What a fantastic feeling of renewal, happiness and hope (not to mention, adorable dresses) that the one and only spring can bring about. I can't wait to trade in my boots for peep-toes, my chocolate truffles for fresh fruit and my snow tires for an open sun roof. This spring will be grand indeed.

I am also anticipating a change of scenery coming with the change of weather. It may be working in Golden Gate Park, an office in L.A., a foreign country or moving to the SLC- no matter the place, I am ready and excited for a new adventure. Resume's are in; fingers are crossed.

Until then... happy spring!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

John Muir's Backyard

I just happened upon this beauty and I cannot wait to relish in this once the weather warms...

We took a walk recently
in John Muir's backyard,
Wordsworth in celebration,
Milton in meditation,
and myself
bent on a few days' discovery
deep in the Range of Light.

Step by step,
strive and sweat, yet
caught in wonder at every turn.
Now and then drinking in the
magnificent lines of my companions--
already drunk on the fine wine
of fir and pine.

The wilderness ethic is
to leave things as they are;
and so it was, no scars,
nothing changed,
other than myself.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Crooked Teeth

It was one hundred degrees
As we sat beneath a willow tree
Whose tears didn't care
They just hung in the air
And refused to fall

And I knew I'd made a horrible call
And now the state line felt
Like the Berlin wall
And there was no doubt
About which side I was on

I built you a home in my heart
With rotten wood, it decayed from the start

I braved treacherous streets
And kids strung out
On homemade speed
And we shared a bed
In which I could not sleep at all

That night the sun in retreat
Made the skyline look
Like crooked teeth
In the mouth of a man
Who was devouring, us both

I'm a war of head versus heart
And it's always this way
My head is weak, my heart always speaks
Before I know what it will say

And you can't find nothing at all
If there was nothing there all along
There were churches, theme parks and malls
But there was nothing there all along.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

30 years ago today...these two beautiful people decided that after two years of dating and no fatalities, that it was probably about time to move forward. Thank heavens! Through thick and thin (and endless bickering) they have been there to support each other, care for one another and laugh together.

Here is to another 30 years filled with as much love and adventure as the last.

Love you!

Cheers, to vulnerability...

For acting within the living present.

For the chill of a new adventure.

For being strong enough to not hold back.

For being brave.

For failing.

For emotional sickness.

For a new beginning.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

North by Northwest: Portland








*Powells Books and Hollywood Theater pics from Flickr... I forgot my camera

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

North by Northwest: Highway 101












North by Northwest: Seattle

Happy Hour
Who is that walking over my Aurora Bridge?
Waiting for the trolley that never came...
Lago
Boat Elevator
Chocolate pasta, flying fish, magic shops and j-walking


Industrialized Mt. Rainier
The perfect place to read

Vulnerability

I listened to this talk while traveling through the Columbia River Gorge. As I passed through thick forests, cascading waterfalls and beautiful bridges I was moved to tears at the insight Brene Brown gives about vulnerability. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Groundhogs Day!

One year ago today, was spent relaxing surrounded by 10 of my dearest D.C. friends and watching the film Groundhogs Day while eating chocolate dirt adorned with groundhogs glued to Popsicle sticks. This night was one of the first that my Jewish friend Katie had been truly introduced to how Mormons "party." Afterwards she dedicated an entire blog post about her experience and I wanted to share it with you while I reminisce about the good ol' days.

Being the social butterflies that they are, Mormons love any excuse to get together and celebrate, and give a toast to a random holiday with a nice cold glass of apple juice.
Take Groundhogs Day for example. For most of us, this day means nothing more than a reminder that it's cold and miserable outside, and will be for weeks to come (has he ever not seen his shadow?!). Perhaps you'll have a moment of sympathy for a poor little animal kept in captivity year round, and maybe, just maybe, you'll chuckle to yourself as Billy Murray briefly crosses your mind.

For Mormons, this day calls for much more. A simple throwback to the movie isn't enough. They must all get together and watch the movie, beginning to end. Inevitably, the discussion of whether or not Punxsutawney, PA is a real town will come up, and most likely plans to outdo the holiday celebrations the following year will ensue with talk of taking a road trip there to see Phil in person. Yes, that's right. Mormons would go out of their way to see a formerly respected member of the community dress up in a top hat and claim to talk to rodents.

Groundhogs Day is just one example of these well known but lesser celebrated holidays that the Mormons cannot get enough of. And you know what? They can have it. Because if they took Saint Patty's Day or Cinco de Mayo from the rest of us beer and tequila drinking heathens, we would throw a fit. Let them have Phil.

Oh, and extra points if the holiday celebration includes arts and crafts. Like, say, little groundhog faces made out of envelopes and googly eyes.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

P.I.B. / P.I.F.

It is time for that beautiful love/hate relationship to be rekindled yet again. Welcome Sundance.

Love the films. Hate the traffic.
Love the monetary support as these tourist dump money into the city. Hate how slow they walk in front of you.
Love meeting people from around the world. Hate how you have to pay for your normally free parking space.
Love people watching/ celebrity stalking. Hate the people that don't know how to drive their fancy rental SUVs.

The locals like to call the people who fly in for the two week affair, P.I.B, which is short for "People In Black". However, while sitting next to my beautiful window overlooking Main Street I think the more appropriate term is P.I.F. - People In Fur.

Although I have practically lived in this beautiful state for my entire life, I have never once participated in this annual ritual, in fact, I usually try my hardest to avoid it. This year, that pattern has changed. I have already seen two incredible films and have a few others I am excited to see. I have frequented the bar scene that are filled with PIFs and have plans to attend a few exhibits. I am quite fond of this new tradition. It makes dealing with these crowds, parking prices and high maintenance people much less dramatic because I'm actually taking part and enjoying the beauty of independent film making as well.

The Holidays

Excerpts from another letter written to the same wonderful friend...

The holidays were unique this year, yet they were nothing more than typical. I had many friends fly in from all directions on the compass which was a pure delight to spend time with them. We drank lavender tea, laughed for hours on end and spent sleepless nights catching up on our non-existent love lives. I want to tell you about a few of the reunions I embraced.

First, the girls that grew with me. There are about 10 of us and it has become the only event during the year which we see each other. All of them are either married or engaged so it can become quite different conversation than I am used to. We spent time going around the circle having each girl give an update on her life and since we are all a bit detailed it can take an immense amount of time. I marveled at all of the growth and accomplishments that have taken place just within this small circle, especially since our rambunctious teenage years. To give you an idea- we used to call ourselves W.E.L.L. - We Enjoy Lots o' Lovin (consider yourself privileged because that is information we don't just tell anyone). Being surrounded by such strong, inspirational women it gave me hope for the future, especially since I know they will be phenomenal mothers.

The next reunion was between my dear friends from my Washington D.C. days. It was nowhere near the size of the last one but no less inspiring. I was able to see them several times throughout their stay and each time was a pleasure. From Fiestas to Frat parties, we painted the town. As you know, parties and the like are not really my thing, but it was fun nonetheless because of the company I was in. New Years particularly took me far out of my comfort zone. We decided to ring in the New Year Mormon style... picture this...thousands of young, single Mormons, a bounce house, sumo wrestling, dancing, stink bombs and all-you-can-eat ice cream. Remind you of elementary school yet? Maybe not in Georgia. Needless to say, it was a far cry from a great New Years Eve, however, the people watching was extraordinary.

Christmas was spent with family. Traditionally, on Christmas Eve we eat a classic Swiss/German meal called Raclette which is delicious and spend the rest of the night trying to digest. Christmas Day has changed a bit since we have to cater to many different schedules. On Christmas day I slept in until noon and then waited for four hours to open presents. Presents that we braved freezing weather and long lines to purchase on Black Friday. To explain, I will digress for a moment.

On Thanksgiving night, after going through all of the newspaper adds, I convinced my mom and brother to trek to the outlet mall for some door-busting fun. We threw on all of our warmest attire and drove an hour to the outlet mall and shopped until 4:00 AM in sub-zero temperatures. Needless to say, we were useless the next day after I finally woke up around 3:00 in the afternoon.

Throw in working every evening and you have my entire holiday season in a nutshell. Hope yours brought you closer to finding love, peace and discovering the beauty of humanity.