Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

This has been yet another adventurous and wonderful Thanksgiving vacation. After sleeping or rather attempting to sleep for a few hours after I got to SLC on Wednesday and taking a well deserved soak in the tub, we headed off to of course one of my favorite restaurants in the West, the one and only Cafe Rio. Oh, how I love, love, love their sweet pork salads! We also shared a sweet pork nachos, which was to die for too. We met my moms cousin and her husband for my birthday dinner. It was freezing because the doors kept opening by all those who didn't want to cook the day before thanksgiving.
We then went back to Tenielles for birthday cake, my favorite coconut cake! This is my new favorite since living in the south. I don't think that I warmed up until Saturday evening while the broncos were playing. And that is all we will say about that. It was heartbreaking. But it's just a game. They still have the longest wining streak at home in the country. Thursdays thanksgiving was the quietest I have ever remembered with family, because it was only Tenielle, Tony, mom, dad, and Me.

Of course it was delicious with moms sweet potatoes and rolls, dads turkey, stuffing, and of course the all famous Pams pomegranate salad, my all time favorite!

After dinner and clean up we had to have a short nap. Then we headed to Provo where we had dessert with my moms cousin's. There is always plenty of laughter when we get together. I hadn't seen Elaine since August 2003 when mom and I drove out of our way to northern Indiana on our way to Kentucky.
It was such a fun gathering! Friday morning we got up around 930 so that we could hit the sock sale before 11 at what use to be Fred Myers, I think it is called Smiths now. No getting up crazy early for me. I don't need anything that bad and if I do, I don't mind paying a few dollars more to avoid lines and getting up early. Then we headed to gateway where I went straight to the Apple store to purchase my long awaited Mac. I have been out of a computer for a month longer than I could handle. The iPad is great, but doesn't take the place of a laptop. I only opened it last night, and boy is it a great new toy!!!!!! Of course there was plenty of football to be watched throughout the weekend, but after watching the heartbreaking loss, I think I will put my time to other uses until next season. Friday night allowed me to check off something on my list of things to do before I die, as we were able to see the Radio City Rockettes perform in SLC. I know it wasn't in New York, but it was close enough and cold enough. It was pretty amazing, a little short, but great otherwise.

Saturday morning I decided since Tenielle had to work and Tanner had driven with a friend home for thanksgiving, that I would drive home to see the kids. It was totally worth the 5 hours there and 10 hours back in a freaking snow storm. Those babies are just too adorable.

I really never understood how you could love someone so much until I became an aunt. In 23 hours, we had dinner at Tristens, mom and I did a few crafts, we went to sacrament meeting, and the kids came over after church for dad's famous waffles. They were so yummy with peanut butter and homemade syrup made by yours truly. Tanner and I then headed back to SLC. It took us 10 hours, twice as long as it should have. The girl driving us was driving 40 MPH then entire time. Of course there were snow and ice covered roads, but still 40 MPH. I kept watching the speedometer, hoping that I would make my redeye flight, which gratefully I did. The snow was crazy. We had to take a detour through Pokey, which took us way out of our way. I must say that I love having an iPad and internet on the plane. It is so crazy that I can do this on an airplane in the middle of the country! I should be sleeping, but I think I am the only one who can't sleep on a plane. The man next to me was snoring even before the door was closed. Seriously, I have my earphones in and I can still hear him. So annoying!
I must say a little about my birthday, since it is an important day. I worked a crazy shift since it was Monday. As I was driving home I was thinking how pathetic it was that nothing exciting happened that day. I came home to balloons and streamers decorating my kitchen, gifts and cards on the counter, and a fruit tart in the fridge. I have some pretty great friends. The next day I had lunch with friends. It's good to have great friends like I do!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Airport Travel

This morning after working a very quick night shift, my friends picked me up from the ER to take me to the airport. You know your true friends when they don't mind waking at 430 am on their day off to take you to the airport. The traffic was quite heavy, but I made it there in plenty of time. In fact I left work at 5 and had gotten through security and to my gate by 530. It was smooth as silk. Don't know what all the hype has been about security at the airport, but I had no problems at all, except for the fact that I am totally tired and realized as I was walking to my gate that I left my suitcase at security. I had to chuckle at myself. What was even more funny was the fact that I had just gotten onto the moving walkway when I realized this and walked backwards against the crowd of people rushing to their gates. I am laughing as I type this because I was imagining if my sisters would have been there they would have totally been laughing with me. I have found in life the need to laugh more especially at myself. I love to people watch. It can be so funny and even funnier when you are lacking sleep. I wish I would have taken my camera out and taken some pictures of these people. You can totally tell the people who never travel because they have the suit cases without the wheels and are sweating from heaving the old school suitcase. Or what about the people who go up to the airline attendant asking a million questions. Or what was totally funny today was the guy who was all smiles when he saw the gate that read Atlanta rushing up to the flight attendant saying, "yes, I barely made it." Because of course there were 5 flights an hour apart to Atlanta. But the flight attendant looks at his ticket and says, "Nope you didn't, your flight was the one I just shut the door on, down there." You should have seen the look on this guys face, it was priceless. But the flight attendant changed it when he told him he would be able to get him on our flight. What about the people who line up 30 minutes before they need to because they are afraid they aren't going to get a seat, but they already have an assigned seat. Or when they say people can board if they need extra time or have small children and they look totally healthy or they have a 10 year old. What is up with that? Well,I must say the highlight of people watching in airports are the ones who think they are going to miss their flight and they run through the airport like they are in a race for gold. It is so funny, especially when there are hordes of people like in the Atlanta airport. The best thing however about airports and people watching is seeing what people are wearing. I remember one time when there was this guy wearing pointy, white cowboy boots with some kind of gems. To this day I wish I would have taken a picture. It was definitely one for the books. Today I've noticed more than I'd like women wearing black stretch pants. Hello, did I not get the memo that the styles I once wore in middle school are back 20 years later. They never looked then and they really don't look good now. I wonder if they have the scoop around the foot like they use to...I have unfortunately come to the realization in the five hours that I have been people watching today that skinny jeans tucked in moon boots don't look good on any one, even if you are skinny, the worst part is that most people wearing them aren't skinny' their fat is just exposed more. So why don't you do both of us a favor and save your cash for something more stylish like a pair of DKNY jeans, which have become one of my favorite jeans of all time, because they make your legs look longer or at least I like to think they do; I'll wear anything that will give me some height. Even if you find a pair of skinny jeans for a bargain on black Friday don't give into the pressure, just remember they don't make you look skinny, if that is what you are looking for. I did have a patient the other day who was at least 300 pounds wearing a pair who was complaining of knee pain. I told my nurse to get those skinny jeans off that fat chick so I can look at her fat knee. It was pretty funny. I wonder what it all takes to get those Jeans I have typed this entire blog post as I have been flying across the country. Do you know how cool this is? Purchase an iPad and you will realize the coolness of it too. Do it, just go out and splurge on yourself, you deserve it!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mailbox Surprises

I love this time of year when opening the mailbox at the end of the day brings me lots of happiness from cards, letters, and pictures of family and friends. You see it starts with the week or so around Thanksgiving when birthday cards arrive addressed to me. This was always so exciting to me when I was growing up and continues even today. That excitement came today as I got my second birthday card for the year. It was from my mom and dad. Mom always writes such sweet messages. I wasn't going to open it today. But I did, I just couldn't wait. She did leave me a message saying that my present was hidden in my house, that she must have left when she was here in October. Talk about being prepared. I am quite impressed mom. I will wait to go to the hidden place until Monday, because of course I want to open something on my birthday.
I must say that last year I failed to send out any Christmas cards even to my grandparents, as I was a bit preoccupied. I will make up for it this year, I promise. With a little help from, my Christmas cards are sure to be a success. I am ever so slowly working on our family book for 2010 as well, through shuttefly also. It was quite the hit last year and will bring just as many smiles and tears from the parents and grandparents as it did last year. It will not be done by December 10 as it was last year, but by golly it better be done by January 1 when we celebrate Christmas. I am a huge fan of shutterfly because it enables not only me to work on the book but also my sisters and sister-in-laws regardless where we are in the country. It is fun to see what creations each one comes up with. So to all of you working on your Christmas cards, just know when I see that stamp and hand written envelope in my mailbox, you have totally made my day!

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Relaxing Road Trip

Thursday morning came bright and early, however I did hit the road a little late, but really turned out to be perfect timing. I made my way to Parris Island where the Marine base is located. My reason for this little trip was that my cousin Beth was graduating from boot camp.
My aunt Becky and uncle Doug and their two other children came out from Idaho for the big day. I have always had a great connection with my Aunt Becky. When we were kids and she was a newlywed she would let us stay with them for a weekend every so often. We always had a great time laughing at her stories. So I figured if they were coming clear across the country I could drive a measly 4 hours to see them. The great thing was that I just happened to have those 2 days off, which worked out perfect. When I got to the military base we actually only had about 3 hours with Beth. Most of the time was spent sitting around talking. We toured where Beth slept, showered, and lived for the past three months; not a way I would ever live. I can't imagine sleeping in a bunk bed with 40 other people every night.

While on base we stopped at their supermarket. Lets just say they have prices so much cheaper than we do. I loaded up on flour and sugar because they had 5 pounds of unbleached flour for $1.25. Talk about a steal and I have never been able to find unbleached flour in North Carolina. When it was time for Beth to report back to her station or whatever they call it, we headed to Hilton Head. Aunt Becky road with me, which gave us some one on one time to just chat. It was so great! We had dinner and then I headed to my hotel room. I did however stop by my favorite diner on the way to the hotel to get my favorite dessert of all time an eclair, but they didn't have any. I was a little disappointed until I tasted their strawberry cheesecake. Pretty much the best cheesecake I have ever tasted and I have tasted my fair share. I stayed at the Hampton Inn again. I must say I have always been a Marriot fan, but I was quite impressed with the Hampton Inn. Dad would have been even more impressed with them because they had a hot breakfast and dad loves breakfast. This morning we went back to Parris Island for graduation. Pretty much they all marched out on this big parking lot like place, a few words were said and lots of commands and that was it.

It was over in less than an hour. It was pretty amazing how they all moved at one command so quickly and efficiently. They must practice for hours and days over three months that they are there.

After graduation Beth was in a hurry to meet up with her husband, they are actually newlyweds. And Becky and Doug were anxious to start their drive to Jacksonville, NC where my cousin Davey just moved to a few weeks ago. Actually he is in the marines too and that is where he just got stationed. So now I have a relative that is within a 4 hour drive. I told his wife that I would have to come visit her when and if he gets sent oversees, which will likely be in January. They have two kids under two, quite the handful. They live right close to the beach, so I'm sure I will make my way there more frequently during the summer months.
The day was still young and I wasn't ready to drive back to the city, so I ventured into Beaufort. I have always heard it was a darling town and boy was it ever. Just what you think of when you think of the south; water, big, beautiful homes, sunshine and relaxation. I had two hours to myself which was such a joy. Not like I don't typically have time to myself, but this was free time, not planned and no one to bother me. I set out looking into shops, but I really didn't need anything and they were all over priced. So I found myself discovering the sights of the town, specifically the homes.

They were huge, alot were actually for sale and vacant.
I have this passion for fall leaves. I don't know why but I do. When I saw these red leaves against the white banister, I couldn't take enough pictures. And the light post with it just added even more.

After my little tour of homes I decided it was time for lunch, I know by myself. Mom can't believe that I do things like this by myself, but a girl has to do what a girl has to do and actually I'm quite use to it. I had asked around town where the best place for lunch was and my hidden carolina's book also gave me the same suggestion; Plums. So of course that is where I went. I sat outside on a porch, which was actually the size of any porch on the back of a house. I was quite close to others enjoying their lunch and I found it quite interesting as I was so close that I was able to listen in on their conversations. I know too close for comfort. But it lead me to think about the people around me and just what their stories were. Since I was in the south and this place was known for their seafood, I had to indulge in a cup of Alligator gumbo and a crab cake po boy with a side salad and the most amazing fresh raspberry vinaigrette. It was so yummy, all of it! Too bad I had eaten cheesecake for breakfast and I was full or I would have had their ice cream which was suppose to be delicious. I chose to sit outside not just because the weather was great, but the view was breath taking. The bridge separates to let the boats pass. Totally cool!

After lunch I decided to walk down the water way and even found myself swinging on a bench that faced the water, as the very warm sun glazed down on me. It was so fabulous.

At one point I almost felt guilty that everyone else was home with children or working. I even told that to a lady who offered to take my picture. She told me to just enjoy it, which is exactly what I did. Seriously, it was just about as relaxing as getting a massage. I couldn't have asked for a better day! I slowly made my way out of town taking a few pictures here and there of a few more southern sights

Jack took me down some tree covered country road for about 10 miles. I had to get a picture of it. .
It was absolutely beautiful with the fall colors. On my way home I stopped by a birthday party for my friend Emma. It was at a vietnamese restaurant. I had the curry which was to die for. There is something about the taste of coconut that I just love. To top off this amazing day I have been able to enjoy watching Boise State pound on Fresno State 51-0! Yes, I would have to say this day was exactly what I needed! Now for a few days of work...