Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Arizona Trip: June 2009

We took a quick trip to Arizona to see my family last week. Like the last time we went, there were 5 of use crammed into a little Civic. Oh, the fun. Here are some pictures and descriptions of the trip.

~Day 1: Traveling~

Our first stop on the road. Ris and Jana try on stupid hats at the gas station.

Oh, it's Nedra's, everyone's favorite restaurant! I forgot if this was in Kanab or Panguitch.

We made the traditional stop at the Wal-Mart in Page. Ris and Jana found these crazy weird candy bars called Wazoo bars while we were in the store stretching our legs. They were perfect, since that is Jana's nick-name! As we sampled the odd bars, we all proclaimed them to be disgusting...but then I started craving them like crazy! I actually had to buy a bunch on the trip home. I'm so, so ashamed.

Is there anything classier than eating out of the back of a car in the Wal-mart parking lot?

We made it! Here we are, hanging out in my parents' kitchen.

~DAY 2: Shopping and Family Party~

Since my camera was being a pain, i don't have any photos from this day. BUT...I will use a thousand words to try to describe the joy. Or a hundred, whatever.

In the morning, we watched the movie "Howl's Moving Castle" together, since we read the book for our little book club. After we watched and finished discussing the book and the movie, we all (besides Dad, who had to work) went out to Trader Joe's near the mall. They don't have one of these fabulous establishments where I live, so it was quite a lot of fun. After the store, Jana and I spend a little time in the 2-story Forever 21 store. It was heavenly. Words cannot explain. TWO STORIES OF CLOTHES! Luckily, even though we found some cute stuff we were repulsed by the super-long lines and just went home. We needed to get there for the family party anyway.

Our cousins and aunt came over for food and swimming. We got to say hi to some family members that we hadn't seen in a while, and it was nice to chat a little and enjoy some great food and fun.

~DAY 3: Out of Africa Park and Tonto Bridge~

Today we drove an hour or so out of Phoenix to visit the Out of Africa wildlife park and Tonto park.

Because of the amount of people that needed to be transported, my parents rented a van to cruise in. It was cool, as far as vans go, and SO much more comfortable than the Civic.

Dave applies sunscreen.

This park is a place that keeps many types of wildlife. Many of these animals were rescued from unfortunate circumstances, or were not wanted at zoos. It's a really cool place where you can watch shows (the animals are untrained though--they have just learned to kind of accept the humans) and go on safaris through a huge savanna-like area.

On the tram inside the park.

Tiger splash! This was a show where tigers and humans kind of played games and jumped into the pool. Very fun!

A giraffe on the safari.

This camel, Humphrey, is kissing my dad!

There was also a bear show, where the bears got a turn in the water!

That bear in back was fascinated with the camera man.

After out of Africa, we made ate and then made our way to Tonto Park. It closed as 7, and we were cutting it close since the distance to there from the wildlife park was longer than expected. But even though we only spent a short time at Tonto, it was soooo worth the effort to go.

Tonto Natural Bridge. Without a doubt, this is one of the most enchantingly beautiful places I have ever seen.

That old guy in the hat was working at the park, supervising to make sure no one got hurt on the rocks. Lucky guy--it was such a beautiful place to be. He said, "I have the best office in the world."

Jana. Observe how her butt is covered in green. That's from algae/moss stuff that she got all over her when she slid down a rock.

It was a fun day. Some of us wound down by taking a swim in the pool before bed.

~DAY 4: Going Home~

Today was Father's Day. We were able to stick around long enough to wish Dad a happy day, then say goodbye to everyone. Then it was back on the road again.

Group shot of the awesome back seat people. We are exhausted from a fun trip!

We had a great time! It had been a while since we'd been on a trip like that, and it was a fun and much-needed vacation. Although I fear we are still recovering from the claustrophobic travel conditions...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Before 30

Someday, I'm going to turn 30.

I think most people consider this to be a major milestone in life, but it makes me a little bit nervous. I'm not saying that 30 is exactly old, since it's not at all. Really, that's not my point. I guess I'm saying that 30 is when I think of REALLY being grown up, being responsible, being mature. You're not in your carefree, partying 20s anymore. You're...30. It's not a bad thing at all. It's just different.

Anyway, I am going to turn 25 soon. That means 5 more years until the big three-oh.

I started to make a list of goals the other day, just for the heck of it. It just started as a list of a few things I wanted to accomplish in the very near future, like graduating with a Bachelors degree or going on a cross-country road trip (hopefully!). But the list kept expanding, and as it did I began to wonder when I shoiuld plan to have all of the goals on this list accomplished. The number 30 just popped into my head, and so that's what I decided on.

There are nearly 40 items on this list now. Some of them are silly, others personal, and a few quite serious and important. I don't know why exactly I started the list in the first place, but I keep thinking that making these goals will help me to live a more fulfilling and meaningful life, to try new things and hopefully expand my abilities. I'm not usually good at keeping goals, but I hope that with each one that I check off I'll feel more motivated to continue on to another, and another, and another.

Five years...that's a long time, and I hope these years are full of learning and adventure.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Things I Like

Nail Polish. It's summer, and it's time to dig the flip-flops out of the back of the closet and show of your toes again! I love the warm weather, and lately I've found how fun it is to have colorful toe nails to show off! I'm not really into paintng my fingernails (they are too wide and don't look good with polish on them) but my toes look cute with a coat of sparkly, pretty polish. I've been messing with different colors to see what looks best. Nothing finishes an outfit quite like polished toe nails.

Samsung Netbook. These itty-bitty laptops, designed especially for portable web surfing, are one of my favorite things these days. I've decided that I want to get one to use for my writing and other things. Yes, the keyboards are smaller, but on this particular netbook the keyboard is nearly full-size, and should be a great portable companion for my writing, homework, notes, and internet stuff. I am still saving my money for one of these, but as far as laptops go they are instanely affordable.