Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tanner's Big Day

Tanner's Sophmore Year at Tristen's Wedding. Mom made him part his hair, so because he didn't want to do this he decided he was going to wear this jacket as a joke, which he had bought at the Desert Industries and wore when he dressed up for Homecoming week, thinking that it was not so nice and the glasses with no glass. He looked right handsome.

I have to interrupt my vacation blogging to congratulate my little brother Tanner on his graduation from high school. I so wish that I could be there today, even though we know that graduations are pretty boring, unless you are the one graduating and even then they can be boring. Although, since Tanner is the Senior Class President, he gets to stand up and speak to his fellow classmates. I talked to him a few weeks ago and asked him what he was going to say. He didn't know. I suggested that he write a song and play his guitar. That would be something that would be a little more entertaining and memorable. I highly doubt he did this, but I think it was a good idea. I hope that he emails me a copy of his speech or that someone doesn't forget to charge the video recorder (as this happens often at our house and always on important occasions) so they can record it and I can watch it later, unless someone accidentally records over it, which also happens.
So in my conversation with Tanner he was telling me how he was just ready to be done with school and move on. He has had quite a time the last few months, including having to make up 12 days of seminary. I mean, who misses that many days of seminary in one quarter, especially when it is in the middle of the day, unless you just skip class, what could be more important than learning the gospel. So we were talking about how life is like a book and I was saying that he was coming to the end of a chapter and about to start another one. He said, "I don't look at it as the end of a chapter because I am not always excited about the next chapter. I look at it as the next book in a series, which I do get excited about." I have to agree. Life is like a series. You are always a bit sad to come to the end of a book, but so excited when the next book comes out. I feel like right now I am in the middle book of the series, which can kind of feel like it is dragging out and a little boring. Hopefully the end of this book is coming and something exciting, like a new book is about to start.
So Tanner this is for you. I hope that the next book is even better than the last book and that life throws you some great curve balls. You have some exciting choices to make in the near future, I wish you the best in all that you do. One of my favorite quotes says, "It is truly said: It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires great strength to decide what to do." Chow Ching.
I think Dr. Seuss said it best,
"Congratulations! Today is your day. You're off to Great Places! You're off and away! You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go. You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care. About some you will say, 'I don't choose to go there.' With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street...So be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea, or Tanner Louis Young, you're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So...get on your way! I Love You

Monday, May 25, 2009

Girls Trip: Day's 3 and 4 Chicago

Okay, so I am little slow at blogging our girls trip, but eventully I will get it done.
Sunday May 3, 2009
So day three we woke early so that we could catch the train earlier than the day before, which put us in the city a little after 9am. It is amazing how such a busy city can be so quiet on weekends. It is actually quite spooky at how quiet it was when we first got down town. We first headed to Millenium park where we enjoyed the fountain and all of the pretty flowers. It was very relaxing and a beautiful morning. We then got back on the tour bus and stopped off at the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum. The Field Museum was not my favorite. I don't really like live animals, let alone dead, stuffed ones. The Aquarium was okay,
but I was hoping to see the dolphins. They were apparently in hibernation or rather the exibit was temorarily closed due to construction. I was a bit disappointed that we didn't make it to the planitarium, but I guess we will have to do that on another trip. We then went back to Michigan Avenue to see what we had missed the day before. That of course was the dessert's from both Gheradeli and Hershey. Hello, talk about expensive, but oh, how delicious.

We also had to try the famous Gino's East Pizza, we had a very rude, horrible waitress and the pizza wasn't nearly as delicious as Giodona's. So after all of the calories we ingested, we walked several blocks, or miles from Migican Avenue to the Metra. It was rather pleasant to see the city a the end of a Sunday, but by the time we got back to the hotel, we were walked out.
Monday May 4, 2009
Monday morning, we experienced the real city of Chicago as we boarded the train with the rest of the business people. The hords of people were amazing. Something you didn't see on the weekend. This was one of my favorite days. We finally got to visit Potbelly's again for breakfast because they were closed during the weekend. We then took a 2 hour tour of the north side of the city, including Lincoln Park. It was rather relaxing in our big tour bus. In fact it was so relaxing that mom took a snoozer at our only stop at the, I forget what it was called, but it had a bunch of flowers; conservatory I think. Anyway, when the tour ended, our very nice bus driver took us on our very own tour, well actually he just took us to the south side of the city to the Museum of Science and Industry, where we spent the rest of the day. This was my very favorite museum. We could have spent a couple of days there. It was huge. There are some amazing exhibits. So instead of talking about them, I will just show a few pictures.

One of my favorite exhibits was the farm and the space. I also really enjoyed the yester year exhibit. Oh, how I am sure life was simpler 50 years ago. The space exhibit shows a televsion event from the day the first person landed and walked on the moon. It was pretty neat.

I was very dissapointed because the human heart exhibit wasn't going to be open until June. We missed it by a few weeks. I would have loved to walk through a human heart. I guess I will just have to go to Chicago again someday. We then took the bus back to the city where the other girls had to get a sample of two different popcorn's to see which had the best. I think our favorite was Nuts on Clark.
By then we were beat and decided to leave the city the same time as the rest of the city was getting off of work. Again, it was amazing to see the hords of people leaving the city.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Girls Trip: Day's 1 and 2-Chicago

Okay, for all of you who keep checking to get the travelogue, here it is. I am sorry it is late in coming, but you know how it is when you get back from vacation, life goes back to being crazy busy. So here goes...
Friday, May 1, 2009
I flew from Charlotte to Minneapolis and met Tenielle there, where we had a two hour layover. It is always fun to meet someone in the airport. We flew to Chicago, where we met mom and Tristen. The miraculous thing was we were all on time and landed within a few minutes of each other, also our van was there waiting for us when we got there, well actually, they were waiting for someone else and didn't have us down for a pick up even though I called the day before, but it worked out great. Of course, we couldn't leave the airport without getting our first taste of Chicago, my favorite Potbelly Subs. Every time I fly through Chicago, I have to stop there.

So when we got to our hotel, we were a bit tired and relaxed and chatted a bit, before our friend Pam came. Pam drove from Kentucky in her dad's Tahoe. It was great to have the space in our travels. We went to Costco to get water, fruit and other snacks. Then we went to Giodono's for true Chicaco pizza. Oh, it was probably the best pizza I have ever had other than SLC's Pie pizza. Yes, you are probably thinking lot's of eating equals weight gain. Gratefully we walked a lot and that wasn't the case.

Saturday, May 2 we woke up early, in fact each morning we caught the train around 9am. We stayed in Burr Ridge, which was just a 20 minute train ride into the city. I wouldn't have had it any other way. I enjoyed the train ride. It gave us an opportunity to see the suburbs, which had some very cute buildings and streets. It was also an opportunity to relax at the end of the day. I know that sounds funny, but there is something relaxing about a train, except when you are sleeping and can hear it's loud horn in the middle of the night, which I sometimes do. It was amazing that five girls could get up and get ready with only one bathroom. We had purchased the Go Chicago Card, which I highly recommend. It allowed us to show our cards to get into every place we wanted to see. We headed to the trolley, where we boarded off and on all day Saturday and Sunday. It was a great way to see the city and gave us great transportation. Our first stop was the skyline of Chicago. The day was clear, which allowed us to get some great pictures.

We then took an Architectural Boat Tour. It was pretty awesome. I was pretty amazed at our tour guides. They all were great historians and knew their stuff. The architecture in Chicago is pretty amazing and very impressive. We boarded the boat tour at Navy Pier. We didn't do much touring there but got a few great pictures. It is mostly for children and I have heard best during the summer. It was a bit chilly in the low 60's that day, so we didn't get on the famous ferris wheel.

Of course we had to see Michigan Avenue. It was pretty neat, but we didn't do any shopping, it isn't like you can't find the same thing every where else in the country. We weren't there to shop, we were there to be tourists. We did go into the American Doll store, where I took pictures by the Kit Kitteredge displays, to share with my Kit Kitteredge friends the Mattingly girls. We also walked into and then out of the very large Macy's. We also went into the Gheradelli and Hershey store's without making a purchase.

We had dinner at Webber's Grill, recommended by Dr. McCutcheon. Oh, it was so amazingly delicious. I had this wonderfully tasting chicken salad. I don't know if we were just hungry or it was just pretty darn good. We then had to stop by the huge Marshalls, so that I could buy a jacket. I didn't bring a jacket and was cold all day. There weren't many to choose from, probably because all other tourist had the same idea. The funny thing is I didn't really need it the rest of the trip, but it did come in handy each morning and evening. By the end of the day, we were pooped. I haled a cab, since we were tired of walking. It only cost $10, which we thought was a pretty good deal. Of course we only went a few blocks to catch the train, but better than burning any more calories for the day. Back at the hotel we looked up churches to attend the next morning. Waste of time as we skipped out on church, not because we didn't want to attend, but because it was far and we wouldn't have gotten back to the city until late in the afternoon, secondary to the train schedule...blah, blah, blah, rationalizing. Stay Tuned...You know I can't do this all in one day. It is time consuming and I must get to bed, since I have worked the last two nights and have an early shift in the morning. The best is yet to come. PS. Here is a preview