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.


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…