Tuesday, August 7, 2012

May/June 2012

Apparently May was a rather boring month.  I can't really think of anything exciting that happened.  We went camping for memorial day and went on a long 4-wheeler ride around Emery County.  There was a lot of cool scenery.

June also wasn't too exciting.  We went to the Lehi Round-Up Rodeo and one of my old roommates flew in from New York to come hang out with us.  I love when I'm able to hang out with all my girls! 

Eating at Wingers before the rodeo :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Catching up on 2012 - April

*Warning--this may be a long post*

The main thing that happened in April was getting to go on a fun trip with my grandma to South Carolina and Georgia.  I seriously love the south, especially the coastal areas.  Our tour guide on the trip even said to me, "You should become a coastal girl.  You look like you belong here!"  If I didn't love living in Utah and being close to my family so much, then I would probably do it.  All the places we went were so amazing and I could totally see myself living there. 

I was able to go on this trip because my grandpa couldn't.  Every year my granparents take a trip or two, usually in the fall and winter.  This trip was in the springtime, right in the middle of lambing season, so my grandpa was way too busy at the farm to go (not that he was very upset about it... he doesn't like traveling much).  My grandma really wanted to go still though, because South Carolina was one of 2 states that she hadn't been to yet.  She paid my whole way, so it was a pretty sweet deal for me.  My granparents go on the trips with a tour group, so the travel agency takes care of everything.  You just have to pay your money and show up.  The crowd that goes on these tours are not exactly what you would call.... young.  It was me on a bus with 30 old people. haha.  But I loved it, and they loved me!  They all told me how nice it was to have some youth on the trip.  I really did have a lot of fun with them.

Well, Day 1, we left early in the morning and flew from Salt Lake to Charleston, SC, with a layover in Atlanta.  The day mostly consisted of just traveling and settling into our hotel.  I left my phone on the plane on accident, so the whole trip I didn't have my phone.  It was actually kinda nice, other than when I would loose my grandma and needed to call her.  That night we ate at the Charleston Crab House.  I don't really like any seafood, so that was one thing about being in this area.... everyone was eating shrimp and salmon and crab, etc.  I had chicken for almost every meal, because that was the only other option left on the menu.  I did have lots of variety of chicken though, and it was all good.  Southern cooking.... yum!  I have never eaten more in my entire life.  We probably ate more in the 6 days of the trip than I would eat in an entire month.  Hey, if it's free, I might as well take advantage of it right?  I will say I did like the crab hush puppies.  They were pretty tasty!

The sign for the restaurant is upside down for some reason.

Day 2: We went on a tour of Charleston.  Let me tell you, these old cities were definitely not made for big tour buses.  At all!  We had some pretty tight corners and a few close calls with parked cars, but we had an awesome bus driver who got us all out alive.  We drove through the streets and saw all the colleges throughout the city.  One of the coolest colleges is The Citadel. It's a military school, and we got there just as class was getting out.  Oh man.... so many cute soldiers!  I was in heaven!  A few of them gave me some weird looks because it was me with all the elderly folk.  I didn't fit in too well with my group (I got looks like that everywhere we went). We had a great tour guide named Joy, who told us a lot of history of the city and made the tour so interesting.  We also went out to Fort Sumter, which is were the Civil War started.
The Citadel

Fort Sumter

The skyline of Charleston.  It's nicknamed "The Holy City" because there are so many churches.

Lots of cool old buildings.                                                                            And lots of boats!  In this picture there is 
                                                                                                   a fishing boat, a sailboat and a battleship.

Everything is so green and pretty.  Flowers, bushes, and trees EVERYWHERE!

Day 3:  We went to the Magnolia Garden and Plantation.  It is an old rice plantation that has been turned into a garden for tourists.  We were there right in between the spring flowers and summer flowers.  It was still very pretty and green, but not many flowers.  We took a train tour around the grounds and saw a whole bunch of birds and alligators.  

Old slave houses

Alligators in the swamp

Cute little swing

After the plantation we got on the bus and drove to Savannah, Georgia.  

We got there around dinner time and we ate at The Pirate's House.  So cool!  My variation of chicken that night was Honey Pecan Chicken.  It kinda tasted like Honey Nut Cheerios, so it was pretty good!  I was proud of myself for trying something like that.  Anyone who knows me, knows I am a super picky eater.  

After dinner we went on a ghost tour.  Savannah is one of the oldest and most haunted cities in America.  We got on the "ghost trolley" and drove around the city at night while a tour guide told us some creepy stories of Savannah.  
This town square is where the gallows were back in the day.

Day 4:  We went to Jekyll Island, which is a ritzy resort island used by all the rich folks back in the early 1900's.  Today there is a hotel that people can still stay at and golf courses (The golf movie "Legend of Bagger Vance" was filmed on the island).  All the old houses have just been turned into tourist spots.  It was a beautiful day on the island and we had a nice fancy lunch at the Jekyll Island Hotel.  
Jekyll Island Hotel
Me & my new friends hanging out on the porch  :)

So at this point I was ready to find a beach.  I have heard so many great things about beaches in the south, and up until then, we still hadn't gone to one.  But then we went to St. Simon's Island and my wish was granted.  First we saw an old church and an old graveyard.  Fun fact:  The difference between a cemetery and a graveyard is that a graveyard is affiliated with a church and a cemetery isn't.  So all the cemeteries on church grounds are actually called graveyards.  
Stained glass window at Christ Church in St. Simon's Island, Georgia

After seeing the old church, we finally went to the beach!  Oh my goodness, I loved the town of St. Simon's!  It was so cute and had a whole bunch of quaint little shops and restaurants.  And of course the beach.  I walked along the sand and went to the top of the lighthouse.  We even saw some dolphins just off the beach.  They were so close!  I could have spent a lot of time there, but unfortunately we only had one afternoon.  Then we returned to Savannah for the night.
View from the lighthouse

Day 5:  We went on a boat tour of the rivers around Savannah to do some dolphin watching.  We got to see lots of dolphins just playing in the water and the captain of the boat gave us a really cool marine biology lesson.  He cast a net into the water and pulled out a whole bunch of creatures and told us all about them.  

We had the rest of the day to just explore Savannah.  We went to the Juliet Gordon-Lowe house--she was the founder of the girl scouts.  We also went to the Savannah Bee Company.  We tried like 25 different kinds of honey... yes there are that many!  We ate lunch at this crazy restaurant with tons of alligators in the front yard.

Then in the evening we went to the Historic Savannah Theater to see a show.  It was an incredible performance.  I would love to go there again and see a few more shows.  They did a great job.  Right across the street from the theater is the town square where parts of "Forrest Gump" was filmed.  The parts where he is sitting on the bench waiting for the bus.  The actual bench wasn't still there--it is in a museum somewhere.  But I got a picture of another bench, just to show that I had been there.

Historic Savannah Theater.  The show was called "The Beat Goes On".  They sang only music from the
 60's, 70's & 80's.  It was so fun, and I even knew every song!

Forrest Gump's bench.... well, close enough.  

Day 6:  In the morning we got to go to go to Paula Dean's restaurant for brunch, then headed to the airport to fly home.  When we got back to Salt Lake at about midnight, my grandma realized she hadn't had her van keys the whole trip.  We searched through our luggage 3 times and finally called my sister to come get us.  Then we had to wake up at 5 am to go meet my mom at her work with a spare key and go get the van.  Come to find out, there was a spare wired to the bumper the whole time.  If only we had just called my grandpa in the first place.  We knew he had to get up early to go to the farm, so we didn't want to bug him at 1 in the morning.  Oh well.... we were very tired the next day but we survived.  It was a great trip and I got to see some amazing places.  

Saturday, August 4, 2012

March 2012

Msot of March was pretty boring.  But the last 2 days of March were pretty dang exciting.  I took a trip to California to audition for "The Voice"

I had been waning to audition for American Idol a while, but I just never got the chance.  Then "The Voice" started and I had a great opportunity to try out in Los Angeles.  It couldn't have worked out more perfectly.  My friend, Ry'lee, from work went with me.  She had been a nanny in LA a few years ago and the family she worked for were incredible enough to let us stay at their house.  They were on a family vacation to Costa Rica, so we had their amazing house all to ourselves.  They live in the Brentwood area of LA, in the same neighborhood as Jim Carrey, Conan O'Brian, Alannis Morisette (their next-door neighbor) and Ben Affleck! swoon!  It was so nice to not have to pay for a hotel and feel safe in a nice area of the city.  

We had such a fun time just hanging out in LA for a day.  We went to some shops in Santa Monica and went to the beach for a few minutes.  It wasn't very warm, so we didn't swim or anything.

  Ry'lee and some of her friends got me to eat Thai food.  It was actually pretty good, especially the desert:  Sticky rice with mango.  Here's a recipe...I'm definitely going to have to make this one day.

The next day was audition day.  They had us come in 2 groups, one at 9 am and one at 2 pm, so that everyone wasn't showing up at the same time.  I was in the 2 pm group, so we took our time getting ready and went to Glendale and ate at Cheesecake Factory for lunch.  The auditions were at the Los Angeles Convention Center, right in downtown.  The venue is right next to the Staples Center and there was a Lakers game going on at the same time, so there were A LOT of people in downtown LA that day.  

Waiting in line

Here's how my audition process went:  we got in line at the convention center.  We weren't sure how long it was so Ry'lee walked to the front of the line.  Literally, 20 minutes later, she came back.  It took her 10 minutes to walk to the front and 10 to walk back.  The line went all the way around the building and then inside.  The line did move pretty quick though, we were in line for about 3 hours, and considering how long the line was and how many people were there, that was pretty good.  Ry'lee was nice enough to wait with me the whole time, but when I got the doors, she wasn't allowed to come in.  After I got inside, it was about another 30 minute wait.  They checked our registration papers then brought us into a room.  They explained a few of the rules and then they took us in groups of about 50 into another room.  Then they took us in groups of 10 into the hallway where we waited for a judging room to be available.  There were about 6 rooms, each with 1 judge and we went in in our groups of 10 and sat in some chairs facing eachother.  That made it a little awkward.  The judge called us up 1 at a time to sing a few bars, then sit down.  I sang "Wild One" by Faith Hill and I felt really good about my performance.  There were a lot of great singers in my group.  There wasn't one that was bad.  After everyone had sang, the judge said something along the lines of, "Thank you all for auditioning.  You were all great, but unfortunately we won't be taking any of you to the next round."  I honestly was not expecting to move on, so I wasn't that disappointed.  I was just more afraid of everyone else's expectations.  The hardest part was coming back and telling people that I didn't make it.  And even though I didn't, I'm so glad I got to have that experience and to be able to say that I tried.

 After the auditions we got back to the car and tried to type in the address of the house in the GPS, a.k.a "Jack", but he was feeling sick and didn't want to work, so we had to try and find our way out of town by ourselves.  In the process of driving around LA, we stumbled across the Kid's Choice Awards at USC.  There were a bunch of kids standing on the sidewalk and as we drove by.  We got stopped by a cop for a minute so that a car could pass us and while we were stopped, all of a sudden all the kids started screaming and freaking out!  We couldn't figure out what was going on, so I started looking around and about 30 feet away from my car was 
Taylor Swift! 

 I wanted to roll down the window and wave, but the cop made us keep moving.  So we parked the car and went back over there and stood with all the 10 year olds. haha.  We saw Jesse McCartney and a few people from Nickelodeon shows.... none of which I knew.  Ry'lee camera died at that point, so we started to leave, but then Will Smith came out, so we went back.  We didn't get a picture of him, but I promise I saw him!

It was a pretty cool experience.  After we left there, we went back to Brentwood and it was pretty late, so we decided to go take pictures in front of all the celebrities houses in the neighborhood.  I kinda felt like a stalker.  

Ben Affleck's house

The next morning we went to Hollywood for a little while.  I always imagined Hollywood as this glamorous area of LA, but it was actually pretty sketchy.  I got to see the Hollywood sign and find some of my favorite people's stars, then we headed back.  It was such a fun trip and I got to have a lot of great experiences!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

February 2012

February started out with my birthday on the 5th, which fell on Superbowl Sunday.  I had my annual football/b-day party and had a lot of fun with friends and roommates.  For some reason I didn't get any pictures though :(  

The next week was especially awesome because I got to see some friends from Virginia--Wayne and Leah. Wayne was the manager of Loft Mountain and Leah was my roommate for a few weeks until Brittany came. They're awesome and I was so glad they were able to come visit me!  When I was working with them 2 years ago, they were saying how they wanted to come out to Utah.  They had never been here and had heard lots good things (of course) about the scenery and the people.  On their off-season this past winter they went on an extreme road trip, driving from Virginia and up to New York and Boston, then back down the coast to Florida.  From there they went to Alabama and all the way across the country to California.  They started heading back east and stopped in Utah for a couple days.  It was so great to see them.  No matter how hard you try to keep in touch with someone, nothing beats getting to see them after a year and a half.  After they got into town, my grandpa made us some lamb chops.  They had to listen to me talk about lamb chops, lamb days, and all things sheep for 4 months, so they couldn't come to Fountain Green without getting to partake of the deliciousness.  They had gone to Zions and Bryce before coming to FG, so the next day I went with them out to Moab and to Arches National Park (we also took a detour to Goblin Valley).  I  told them that if they didn't see anything else in Utah, they had to see Delicate Arch.  That is definitely one of my favorite places in the state and I was really excited to take them there.  The hike was a little harder than I remember.... I'm not quite as in shape as I was in high school :(  But it was definitely worth it.  We got up to the arch just before sunset.... so incredible!  We hiked back down and stayed in a hotel for the night, then they continued east and I headed back home.  I only got to see them for a day and a half, but it was so great.  I sure miss them and everyone else at Loft Mountain.

Goblin Valley.  I'd never been here before.  It's way neat!

^This is Leah--she's awesome!

Delicate Arch.  I love it here!

Sunset.  I gotta say I took a pretty awesome picture!

Me and Wayne at Arches.

Catching up on 2012 - January

Now that I'm finished with my posts from Virginia and other east coast adventures, it's now time to get caught up on all the happenings of 2012.  After coming home from Virginia, I got a job at Barnes & Noble in St. George and lived down there for a while.  I absolutely loved working there, but the pay wasn't great and I wasn't getting very many hours.  It was hard to get by on those pay checks, so when I was offered a full-time job at The Blindman, I didn't hesitate.  I moved back to Fountain Green for a while and was driving 60 miles each way for work everyday.  With gas prices the way they are, it was more economical for me to get an apartment.  Plus it's way more fun than living at home!  I moved to Orem and I got really lucky with great roommates and an awesome singles ward.  2012 has been full of fun and exciting events.  Here's a few thing that happened in January :)

Me, my roommates, and Jessica (roommate from SUU) went to Park City for the Sundance Film Festival.  We were determined to meet a celebrity!  Well, we didn't have any luck with that, but it was still so fun to be in Park City during the festival.  We walked up and down main street and had some really good pizza.  I've never been in Park City during Sundance, but I think this might be a yearly event.

Me and Jess getting ready to leave for Park City.  Love her!

A couple weeks after Sundance, two of my roommates and I went to the Brad Paisley concert!! 

Oh. My. Gosh.  I just love him.  Seriously, how amazing is he?!  He was a great performer and he just seems like a great guy in normal life too.  I'm pretty much in love with him.  

Scotty McCreery and The Band Perry were his opening acts and I love them all too, so it was a fantastic concert!   

After Scotty McCreery and The Band Perry, there was a 20 minute wait until Brad Paisley came out.  We were getting a little restless....

Finally!!  AH!

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