Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How I Spent My Summer Vacation (warning- Dirty Pictures ahead!)

Once again, I'd like to give a big thanks to all those who followed my posts from when I was in England. I rather enjoyed reliving it and it's funny because I have that trip so idealized in my head and it was so amazing and adventurous and wonderful... and then I read my entries and realize how much time I spent complaining and spending time in the computer lab. hahaha! It's one of those funny things that our memories do.

Anyway, as fun a that summer was 10 years ago, I had a pretty awesome summer this year too! buckle up and prepare for a barrage of photos (and you're not even getting the whole story in one post!).

Let's start the summer with Memorial Day weekend. My niece, Macy came to stay with me. I got to keep her for a week and a half! It was awesome! I had to work for part of that, but on my days off we had some fun.

The Saturday before Memorial Day we went to the store and bought a garden's worth of mums. After church on Sunday we took them to both the Baker and Dallin/Lister family graves. I sat down with her and told her as many stories as I could about everyone. Even the people I didn't know (I never met my uncle Richard). I thought we were being really smart and avoiding the crowds by going on Sunday instead of Monday. Clearly I need to get out more on Memorial Day. Both cemeteries were packed!

On Monday I took Macy downtown and played Mormon tour guide. It's one of my favorite things to do.  She's been to all the places before, but it was still fun to go. We went to the Beehive House and wandered Temple Square.

Then I took her up to the City cemetery. I've taken her there before, but it was an appropriate activity for the day, and Macy is my history lover so I got to tell her all the fun things I knew about some of the people buried there.

I wish you could see our shirts- we matched.
We were wearing our stars and stripes!

A few days later I took her to the Aquarium. I'd never been so it was an adventure for both of us.
Everyone kept talking about how amazing it was and that it was so fantastic.

I have an irrational fear of sharks- and I'm passing it on to the next generation

but she can love on an orca if she wants to.

I honestly think Jellyfish are one of God's strangest creations.
He must have been really bored that day.

Who doesn't love penguins though?
Some of them were sitting on nests.
I guess a few weeks after this there were penguin babies!

See? Penguin face is a lot happier than shark face.

We had more fun in the gift shop than anywhere else.

Well... an honest review from me? It's not that great. For what I paid to get into it, it was just not that great. It might be in a few years- but there were still a lot of empty exhibits and not a ton of variety.

We also spent a day at Heritage Park. We had a ridiculous amount of fun going through pioneer homes and making leather thingies and listening to the workers talk. Oh my gosh. have you ever heard the Shaving Cream song? It's hilarious (and on YouTube) and you should look it up.  We went panning for gold and had fun with the people who drove the train around the park. It was just so much fun. I have no idea why I have no pictures from that day.

One of the days we went to my little cousin's softball game. It's her first year playing and as much as I tried to go over and practice with her, it's just not the same, ya know? She didn't like it when I would yell instructions to her while she was in the field- and one time she got so confused what to do that I made her cry. I felt really bad after that and only yelled encouraging things to her.  But for it being her first year, she did a pretty darn good job!

The rest of the time Macy was with me, she watched a LOT of movies. And she alphabetized my movies for me. They were mostly done already, but I'd taken a lot of things out of order and she put everything back for me. What a sweet little heart. It was a nice getaway for her I think. And it was really fun for me to have someone to come home to.

A few weeks later, I got a phone call that my brother and his girls were coming down for the Jazz Summer Camp thing. I just happened to have that day off so I tagged along with them. Oh my gosh it was so fun. It was my first time in the Delta Center (I refuse to call it by its long stupid new name).

Shayla and I had bets on who would win. I won. After the games we went to Gourmandies Restaurant and she owed me an ├ęclair! I rarely get hang out time with my big brother so I was very happy they let me invite myself.

In mid July my favorite event of the summer took place. The Payson Scottish Festival. My sister and her kids came down for it.

It's nice to hang out with them, but men in kilts... sigh... anyway, it was fun as always.

And this year was extra fun because my nephew really wanted a kilt. Last time they came, my niece got a corset, so this time it was his turn to get the highland outfit.

Valeri bought him the kilt and his lace up shirt,

I bought him his wee little sporran and a kilt pin (not pictured- it's a sword with a thistle) that matched the emblem on the sporran.

I humored my niece Sadie and allowed her to put me in a corset. Oh my gosh. it was so uncomfortable! I don't know how those little biscuits who work there wear them all the time and don't keel over for lack of breath! But she just giggled and giggled the rest of the day because "Heather played dress up with me!"

I got a picture from the front too, but I only want you to see my best side.

That night I stole Sadie and took her back home with me. I had to teach in church on Sunday so she came with me. Saturday night I took her out on a date. We saw Inside Out and went to dinner and then went to my house and watched more movies (while I put my lesson together).

After church (and our naps) we went back down to Provo and met up with Val and Dal. My sister had prepared a picnic so we drove up Provo Canyon and just explored. 

They hiked around Bridal Veil Falls. I didn't because even though I'd brought the proper shoes- I left them in the hotel room.

Do ya see them? there, in the shadows?

We continued up the canyon and just drove. I don't even remember where we ended up but we stopped at this beautiful little peaceful park. There was a minor meltdown with the 9 year old because we didn't have stuff to go fishing, but luckily there were people who let him check out their fish as they reeled them in and threw them back out.

I wish I knew where this place was, because it was seriously so gorgeous.

But not as gorgeous as this girl

We ended up having our picnic in Rock Canyon Park in Provo. I had been telling them about this beautiful place that I used to go when I lived down there and I really wanted them to see it. So we unpacked there, beat off the swarm of box elder beetles and had our picnic. If you know anything about Rock Canyon Park, you know it has the best hills ever! We used to go ice blocking there in my singles ward days. Dal had a grand ol' time rolling down the hills, somersaulting down the hills and running out all his energies. Even Sadie went down a time or two. I decided they shouldn't have all the fun, so I took off the flip flops and sunglasses and hiked to the top of the hill.

Now- the last time I rolled down a hill with someone, I went way off course and steam rolled her (remember Melissa WN?) so I was a little nervous to go down. But, because I'm the coolest aunt ever, I bucked up and went. I rolled so fast that I could not get my bearing. I rolled so fast and straight that... uh... well... my shorts fell off. (As I'm typing this, I'm at work laughing and my coworker just came in and asked what I was laughing at- I told her the story and she said, "Oh man, I wish I'd seen that!" I said, "Really? because there were people at that park who wish they hadn't")

Aaaaaaaaaaaanyway- So the next day we took the kids to Thanksgiving Point. My aunt met us there with my little cousin because she and Dal are pretty good buds.

We hung out at the dinosaur museum. I've been eyeballing this place for years but I've never gone. I guess I can't say that now. I don't know about them,  but I had a great time!


It was a really fun visit. We didn't get to do all the things we had planned, but that's ok, that just means that they have to come back again!

This is the part of the blog where I skip a few weeks. I went on a big, 
awesome trip and it gets its own post.

When I got back from the trip, I headed up to Idaho for a quick little journey to see my friend, Amanda. She was visiting from Washington and I hadn't seen her in years. I only got to spend a few hours with her, but oh my gosh it was awesome. We laughed, gossiped, reminisced and ate till our heads fell off!

Seriously, she's one of my favorite people.

My last big adventure of the summer was when I packed up and headed to Boise for a weekend to see my baby brother and his family.  I hit a few milestones on this trip.  

First off, in the middle of nowhere Idaho (it literally says that on Google maps) Dory passed from a young, sporty car...

...to a middle aged automobile. It was at Sublett Road near Malta, Idaho. Nothing good can come from a place called Malta, Idaho. Except like, potatoes or something.

When I reached my brother's house, I hung out with them for a while and then when it was time to go to bed, I got my suitcase and tried to get my jammies out. Ummm... It was stuck! I couldn't get the zipper open. Really long story short, I had to cut into my suitcase. It was very traumatizing for me because I have had this luggage for TWENTY years! It was my graduation gift from my parents. This particular piece has literally gone everywhere with me because it was the carry on size. It has been to England, Hawaii, all over the country... My sister in law, JaNeil could not understand why I was so upset cutting into it.

I know it's just a suitcase. It's just a thing... but I'm such a sentimental fool. I'm hoping I can find a place and have the zipper replaced. If it's too expensive, I won't worry about it.

The reason I went was because it was Kuna Days. I am the last person in my family to experience it. I was lucky enough to be the one who went the year they did the mud run. yeah. a mud run. My nephew DJ begged me to do it. And once again- because I'm the coolest aunt ever, I did it. It was actually meant to be for kids, but there were a few of us adults to pretended we were with kids. I did it though. I dove in and got muddy and stuck.

Helping me is Jake, my sister in law's brother in law. I was perfectly content to sit in the mud and wait for a tow truck to come get me. Oh my gosh. I was stuck up to my thighs!

But- from now on, for the rest of my life, I can say I did it. I don't ever have to do it again. I think there is actually video of it somewhere- but I'm ok not showing that. The pictures are bad enough.

Didn't I promise you dirty photos?

The things we do for the love of our nephews.

It was a really fun trip though. I think I still have dirt lodged in... places... and I'm pretty sure my pockets are still full of sand, but it was worth it. It was a fun day, a fun memory and a fun trip to see their little family. We got to see awesome fireworks, and I spoiled the kids as much as I could. 

I had a great summer. The first few days of being home and being able to sleep in my own bed were nice... but now I'm restless again. It's time for another vacation! I need a job that lets me take 6 months vacation twice a year. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Home again, home again...

August 19, 2005

Welp, I'm back in the good ol US of A. I'm back in mountain standard time, but not home yet. It's been a looooooooong day. last night where I left you, I finished packing everything and took all my luggage downstairs. I cried a little as I said goodbye to my room. sigh... I turned and locked the door for the last time- and took my bags to the porters lodge. He had me lock it in a closet. I went up and hung out with D and T. I wanted to go hang out in the Buttery with everyone else, it being the last night- but oh well.

We played half a game of farkle. I was winning when we quit! Some time during the course of the evening Will Best came in. He was the resident pompous ass that I couldn't stand. He came in drunk out of his mind. I sat and totally mocked him- and he thought I was hilarious. Yeeah. Around 3:30 we went to get our luggage and Will and another guy, Chris were sitting outside saying goodbye to everyone that was leaving. They were both crazy drunk. but they helped us with our luggage which was handy. Chris was being very complimentary- and very touchy feely and was making me uncomfortable- so it was a relief when our taxi came. we piled all the luggage in and then T, D, Kristen and I piled in and went to the bus stop. A while later Chris, Will and a ton of other people came to the bus stop to drop off other people. at 4:30 our bus came. I'm glad I got my own seat! I slept most of the way to Heathrow. I woke up long enough to give Tricia a hug goodbye- and she got off.

The rest of us went to Gatwick. Finally at the north terminal we said goodbye to Kristen- and D and I went in. We went through customs and a million security checks. I checked my bags and walked Deann to her terminal. She didn't have too long before she boarded. So I said goodbye to her and left.

Gatwick Airport

I went upstairs and shopped around for a bit. I finally got tired of wandering so I just went down. I met a very nice old couple from Florida and talked to them. it was nice. 

My gate

Oh- the plane- I was in the center section of seats on the aisle- and there was a kid on the other end and no one in between us. nice! It was a comfortable first flight and I slept most of the way. 

On the plane

The kid I was next to just finished 6 weeks at Oxford. The flight didn't seem to take as long as last time and in no time we were in Dallas. We had to wait forever to get to customs. grr... finally I got through and  and got in the security line for my next flight. What a mess. I had to totally unpack my backpack because the video camera was all the way at the bottom. I walked to my terminal. By the time I got there my 1 1/2 hour layover- was over!

Somewhere over Texas

I got to the gate after everyone else had already boarded. This plane was cramped but oh well. I had a window seat. I made it back to SLC without incident. When I got here, however, that is different.  I went to pick up my luggage and was missing the big suitcase. So I had to report it and plus Mel wasn't there to get me! So I had complained about the luggage and by the time I finished that I found Mel. We took my crap minus one to the car. We drove into Salt Lake and ate at the Olive Garden. aaah... quite lovely. I'm stuffed and tired. and I want to go to bed.  

Oh- I got to Ileen's house and gave her her present. I got her a thimble and a ring from the Royal Crown Jewel shop. Really? Anyway She giggled like a little girl when she saw that ring. heehee! I think she liked it. 

The ring

The wearer of the crown jewels

Anyway, I sat and told her about my pictures and then she sent me to bed. It's been a long time since my face has seen a pillow.

Love, Heather

PS- I got my suitcase back the next day

Alright folks- That's the end of my adventure in England. I'm sure it probably bored you to tears, but I have had so much fun reliving these memories. I appreciate all 6 of you who have been keeping up with it- and now that it's over, I promise I'll start posting things that are a wee bit more recent. But can you understand now why I say I'm homesick for England and I dream about it all the time. I wish I could show you the pictures I have in my head. I regret that I only took a fraction of what I should have. Next time I won't allow myself to feel self conscious and I'll take all the photos I can! (assuming there will be a next time)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Last Day

August 18, 2005

Well. Normally a day like today would be bitter sweet- today it's just bitter. I really don't want to go home. I'm almost 28 years old for crying out loud! I shouldn't be living with my parents. Argh!

Anyway- today itself was a great day. I did everything I possibly could. After breakfast I went to see a bunch of the colleges with Tricia. Then I climbed the tower of Great St Mary's Church with D and Nicole. Anabelle joined us (I just met her today). It was really hot but there were some killer views.  

Gonville and Ciaus from Great St Mary's

Market and Old Guild Hall

Me atop Great St Mary's Tower

Not to mention killer steps going down the tower. Whew! They were steep and very windy. There were a lot of them. Going down was nearly as hard as going up. When we got to the bottom we decided to go get a frozen drink. The first place didn't have them so we ended up at Star Bucks. I got a caramel cream. mmm... it tasted like a butterscotch dilly bar from dairy queen.

I had to rush off from the girls and meet Harry. We took a walking tour of Ciaus with a book of explanations of everything. It didn't take as long as I thought so we chilled in the JRC for a bit. At two we went punting. Oh my gosh- it was the finniest thing ever! It was me, Tricia, Stefanie and Luke. We just had so much fun. It was so relaxing. I was attacked by a duck! haha!

Stef was punting and ran into a duck- the duck went ashore and we followed it (by accident) I had the ore so I was using it to push off. I got it (purposely) too near the duck and he freaked out! So I kind of deserved it. It was really funny though. The other boat of people we were with did not go as far as us. We were faster (zoom!) It was awesome. We went under the Bridge of Signs- which I think is hilarious (it is rumored that is called the bridge of sighs because it is the bridge students had to walk across on their way to examinations) Luke had to get back so when we hit our port, he took off. The three of us girls walked home slowly. We got and ice cream. I got an orange popsicle that dripped all over my pink shirt. We walked through some gardens that are normally off limits. It was pretty. We had fun.

The Bridge of Sighs

I left them and went to the computer lab. As I was looking at Lemonysnicket.com the power went off. Uh oh! There were three of us in there. Me, Luke and another girl. It didn't look like the power was going on anytime soon. We had banquet tonight! how were we supposed to get ready and have dinner with no power?

I sat on the lawn for a bit.When it struck 6:00 we got off the lawn. I just came up to my room to cool off and get ready for dinner. Just as I was walking down stairs all spiffed up, The power came back on! Whew! luckily they cook with gas here. 

We had sherry on the lawn in the tree court. I didn't think I'd ever get to walk on that lawn! We were all taking pictures right and left. It was pretty funny- especially all the boy pics. 

Wendy Jo, Deann, harry, Brian, Melissa, Heather, Kim, ?, Trish, Unease, Sarah

Brian, Alexis, Angie, Sarah

Unease, Deann, Me, Trish, Harry

Laura, ?, Erica, Robin, Betsy, Nicole

Angie, Megan, Shelly, Jacob, Sarah

Will, Kristen, Luke, Evelyn, Mike

Sieglinde, Kristen, Caitlin, ?, Jennifer, Marisa

We went in to dinner. It was great! There were candles and violin music. It was nice. The food was pretty good too. The whole atmosphere was amazing. When they brought out the Baked Alaska dessert it was flaming with a sparkler. It was neat! Unfortunately, it all ended. And that was it. The program is over. No fair!

I said goodbye to a few people and said goodbye and hugs to my professors. I LOVE Corinna Russell. She is so stinking sweet (she's the one I gave the BoM to) Speaking of which- I gave 4 away today. Anyway, I left them and game to my room and changed and packed. I honestly cant believe it all fit. It's amazing. Well. I guess I need to finish this up. I have to meet my 4 buddies and party away the night! I'll update you on the rest tomorrow. I'm not going to be sleeping between now and then.
Love, Heather