Thursday, July 24, 2008

Camping in Oregon!

Last weekend my roommates Cherice, Jessica, Janae, Danielle and I went camping with Bryan and some of his friends/girlfriend/sister down in Seaside, Oregon. It was such a great weekend! I loved getting away from Seattle for a bit and driving for hours on absolutely beautiful roads and wandering through a cute small town.
We left Friday at 3:00. I had to stop for gas on the way out and while I was pumping I realized I had forgotten the directions. That would have been incredibly bad considering I had absolutely NO idea how to get where we were going after getting off I-5. At first I was really upset at myself for forgetting it (I think I was quoted as saying, "I hate my life!" as I often do when I'm frustrated), but as I was waiting for the elevator the thought popped in my head that I should be really grateful that I remembered when we were only a block away rather than forever down the road. So, that made me feel better and not be as upset. That didn't last long unfortunately because the traffic was absolutely INSANE!! We only moved a mile in the first 15 minutes. It took 2 hours to go 40 miles. 40. I wanted to shoot myself. It was terrible! I don't know why, but as I have gotten older, I have gotten much less patient and I have pretty bad road rage. I don't take it out on any one else or anything, and I drive safely and all that but I get so dang frustrated that I have to consciously calm myself down. But honestly, who could blame me in this situation? it was absolutely ridiculous!

But, after the two hours that should have taken 1 at the most, we stopped at a Super Wal-Mart!! It made me so happy! See, there are no Wal-marts in Seattle. Something about protecting small businesses or some crap like that. I'm a big fan of Wal-mart. It's cheap. It's convenient. You can get everything you need at one store and have plenty of options. I have no problem with that. Step all over the little guys! I want to save money and time!! Anyway - it warmed my heart to be in a Wal-Mart again after 3 months. We spent an hour there (20 min of that in line for Sub-way) and I wished we could have stayed longer. I really wanted to stock up on my favorite cereal because it $3 less there than anywhere here, but alas - with all our camping stuff, there was no room...

So we got back on the road and the view after that was amazing! We were driving on the 101 which is called the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway. I fell in love with the area and decided that I would love to live around there in a cute little town completely surrounded by the most beautiful forrests I've ever seen. Also...we spent about half an hour following a really hot Mercedes coupe and I was drooling and speeding to keep up with it... I want that car!

We finally got to the campsite at 10 pm - three hours later than we should have. It was pretty dang cold and the fire was a bit puny, but I loved it compared to camping in Texas where you can't escape the heat at all. We had pizza rolls roasted over the fire and they told me to open the corner and let it cool off for a minute. I sat there holding it for at least 4 minutes and I thought that would be enough. So I popped it in my mouth and HOLY COW!! I don't think I have ever had something that hot in my mouth. The pizza roll had basically turned into molten lava and 4 minutes is not enough for it to cool down! I couldn't taste anything in the middle of my tounge for 4 days!! It was so painful!

We spent Saturday window shopping in Seaside and at the beach. They had a lot of cute shops and I could have spent much more time shopping and looking around, but Jess was anxious to get to the beach. I'm not sure why since it was so cold, but we humored her and went. It was still cloudy and I think the temperature was 52 or something ridiculous like that. I was in sweat pants and a sweat shirt and I was freezing! We didn't get in the water anymore than just our legs, feet in my case. We were in unrelenting, frigid wind for 5 and a half hours. It was kindof miserable, but I didn't want to leave because it was so beautiful. I've only been to the Pacific Coast once and I was four, so I don't remember it. Let me tell ya, the Pacific Coast (where I was at least) is infinitely better than the Gulf Coast that I am used to. I think it was better than the one beach I've been to on the Atlantic Ocean, too, but the difference is not as much. But, after being battered by icy air, we couldn't stand it anymore and left. We decided to go see a movie just so we could be out of the cold for a few more hours. We saw Mamma Mia, which was okay. I wouldn't buy it, but it was worth seeing once and it was definitely entertaining, but Meryl Streep is not my favorite and I thought the story would be more about the daughter rather than the mom, and I wasn't a fan of watching her for two hours. But the music was good and Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth are dang good looking, so that made up for Meryl.

We went to Sacrament Meeting at the local meeting house and it was pretty good. After it was over we went to the beach again just to walk around and enjoy God's creation some more. I wish so much the weather we had Sunday had started Saturday. It was sunny and warmer and I think I would have gotten in the water more. Due to it being Sunday, that option was out. But we took some fun pictures and I got to swing!! The drive home was long, especially when everyone in the car was asleep, but it was still just as beautiful.

All around, a fabulous weekend! I had such a great time and I am really glad that I decided to go. Camping really is fun, and I think I'll do it more - as long as I'm not in Texas. Anyway - here are some of my favorite pictures from the weekend.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Life in Seattle

Well, with being busy with work and my schedule working around doing interviews, I haven't had a huge amount of opportunities or time to go do awesome things in Seattle. But every once in a while, I get lucky and the project funds an activity for us to do to keep us going. They call them "incentives." I call them "sweet! I don't have to work!" Anyway, the first one we had was going to a Mariner's Baseball game. Now, baseball is not my favorite sport...actually, it's one of my least favorite, but I was pretty excited to go! We lost (no surprise there - the Mariner's are great at losing) but I had an okay time. Being there definitely solidified my dislike of the sport, but oh well - it was fun being there. I spend 9 bucks on a hot dog, almost got knocked over the balcony (see picture below - Cherice almost killed us all when she barreled into us), and got wrongfully accused of being drunk (just because I'm loud and laughing does NOT mean I'm drunk!) Anyway, here are my roommates - at the time at least. Brittany B on the left - she left us to go be with her husband, what's that about?!, then Brittany H, Jessica, me and Cherice in front. I love them so much!
For another "incentive" we took a ferry ride over to Bainbridge Island. It was freezing cold and super windy and some of my friends got some great pictures of us all with our hair blowing and such, but I didn't. We walked around the little town for a few hours, had the best ice cream of my entire life, got free pizza from Dr. Day and took lots of fun pictures. Here is one of my favorites - we passed a little shop that had tables outside and these huge tea cups. HUGE.
When we got back from Bainbridge, Cherice, Jessica, Stephanie and I decided we wanted to see Seattle from the top of a building. We randomly chose one and went inside - oops! It turned out being a Federal building and we weren't allowed passed the front door. But the security guards told us that the tallest building in Seattle had an observation deck that was open to the public. So we went there, went up 73 floors and this was the view:
Apparently, Seattle has an underground. Back in the day they decided to build the streets of Seattle one floor above what it currently was in order to eradicate the plague. But parts are open for tours and some shops have renovated the lower floors, so you can actually walk below the streets and sidewalks of Seattle. I thought it was pretty cool! So we went on the Underground Tour and a few of us ended up having a little photo shoot on this barrel and chest. It was great fun. Our tour guide was Roman Catholic, but his sister-in-law is LDS. She taught him the Primary Song "Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree" and we ended up singing it while we were underground. I was pretty surprised, cause with all 18 of us singing, it sounded like the whole group was singing and I didn't think anyone else knew the song, but it was just us BYU students and the tour guide. Anyway - great fun and this is me with Danielle and Jessica under the streets!
Symphony time!! A small group of us went to Seattle Symphony and heard them play some works by Wagner and Mahler. It was so beautiful!! It made me miss playing French Horn SO much (they had 9! horn players! Absolutely gorgeous!!!) I absolutely loved it, but was also a bit sad because it reminded me of my ultimate dream that will now never happen - to play in a Symphony. Here is my new roommate Janae, Jennifer and I.Cherice and me!

The Seattle Aquarium is pretty dang cool. I think it's supposed to be the best one... I haven't been to enough to compare it, but it was awesome. Here I am with a starfish!
My roommates (now) and a scuba diver in the water. We are still debating as to whether it was a man or woman. I'm thinking woman...but we'll never know. Cherice, Jessica, me, Janae and Brittany.EWW!! Big, nasty octopus. It was very intriguing and very disturbing watching this thing move. Sick...
And finally, me laying on an otter....

It's long??

Ok - after being chastised by one of my best friends for not updating my blog at all, I figured I'd better stop being lazy and let everyone know what is going on with my life.

Work is...going... We only have about 8 or 9 interviews left to schedule before my partner and I are done with out group of families. That sounds good right? Well, all the other groups only have about 3 left to schedule, so we feel super behind on everything. I know it's not our fault that we are behind - we are doing all we can to contact these families and get things set up - but it sometimes feels like we just suck. Another thing that is crazy frustrating is that our computer is completely shot so we can't do the post-edit on the past...20 interviews we have done. So we are even more behind there. Again, NOT OUR FAULT!! But still insanely maddening. It will all get done by the end of the summer - it has to! - but it is going to take a lot of late nights and early mornings in the hot un-airconditioned office...yuck...

On to better happenings of my life. Since I last wrote... my best friend got married! Malorie married the love of her life, Michael on May 24th, 2008. I was lucky enough to go home and be a bridesmaid for her. I had a great time and felt so blessed and loved to be able to share that time with her. I am so happy for her and Michael and am looking forward to seeing where the rest of life takes them! Here are some pictures from that weekend!