Friday, June 13, 2014

LAX to Fiji

It's 11am. In exactly 12 hours I will board a plane, cross the international date line and travel 12 hours to Fiji. This is so surreal. All week people have been asking questions about Fiji and how I feel and honestly it was so hard to answer them because I still have not processed that I am leaving! I'm nervous and scared. I am sad and heartbroken. But I am excited and full of anticipation. There are so many emotions I am not sure which to process. But my bags are packed. 49 pounds of clothes and other necessities ready to go. I do not know what to expect or the adventures I will have but I am taking the leap and knowing it will be incredible. Here's to not letting fear hold you back! Here's to living life to the fullest! 
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Monday, June 09, 2014

Left My Heart in Lincoln

Weekend number 6 together and the last for 6 weeks... 

Rick flew home from MN Thursday night so Thursday after school I got in my car and started the long drive to Sacramento. 6 hours later with a sore bottom and half of divergent listened too I got close. Decided to pick up some groceries since he had been out of town for awhile and then finished the journey to his house. Waiting for his arrival at 12:30am was killer but running into those arms again... 
Friday we went to see the movie xmen! Then we walked around the Fountains shopping center where they were having an outdoor event. There were booths and a small car show. We were able to find me some of those hideous strap on sandals to take to Fiji. Oh the tan lines I am going to have... Oh! We saw the cutest giant fluffy dog! He had hairy feet.  Then we ate at Noodles and Co which I always have with Sarah in IL and was excited to see they have it here. :)

Saturday we went to the sacramento zoo but it was boiling hot. We saw these dinosaur birds and one kept pacing the fence with a mouse in his mouth. He tried to feed it to the girl dinosaur but she wasn't having that. We saw rats everywhere in a few of the bird cages, that was disturbing. Then we went home and made dinner and cookies yum. Oh! And got some ice cream from the Trader Joes. We watched a creepy movie which is still giving me nightmares. 
Sunday sucked. 
Saying goodbye is never easy. Saying goodbye in a confusing relationship is worse. 
Rick and I have been dating now for 8 weeks. We've only actually seen eachother for 6 short weekends. For most people this is very new but for us it feels like forever. It's crazy. So now having to say goodbye for the length of time we've known eachother is hard. That is assuming I can change my flight at a decent cost.... Otherwise it's 10 weeks... 
The real kicker... Found out that the leave date for Lithuania is my return date for Fiji... We thought we would have a couple weeks and looks like it could be less than a day. That won't work logically. 
But we will find a way. 
Okay so Sunday stank. It did. Have you ever watched someone you care about cry? Then you know how it feels. Saying goodbye and that you will see how things go... Knowing there is a possibility it won't go but also a possibility that it will is unsettling. 
Lots of tears.
When his tears came mine multiplied. 
Anyway the future is uncertain we never know what is going to happen. I'm going to live in the present with goals and hopes for the future. My dreams go on even though my heart hurts. 
Here's to hope...
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Weekend adventures

The beauty of online dating is an entire new set of fish. The downside? Those fish might live in lakes and oceans far away. Thus was my catch. Luckily we share the same state abbreviation but our zip codes are about 6.5 hours apart.
What does this mean?
A lot of weekend travel. So let's try and do a little catch up on my adventures shall we?

Weekend 1: April 17-20
Location: Los Angeles 
After talking on the phone for a week straight and hours of conversation each day, and I mean it when I say HOURS, we knew it was time to meet. Knowing that I was leaving to Paris Sunday morning at 3:30am Rick decided to come down to me. We talked for a lot of his drive down and he called as he was getting ready to exit. I asked him to meet me on the corner. As I gave him directions it was a bit crazy because I didn't have the nerves I usually do. I was anxious and excited to meet him and just barely nervous because he was so close. He pulled up and we met and hugged and it was surreal. And he is so handsome, and manly and adorable!
We spent the next days going to ventura, visiting the Santa Barbara Zoo, eating at Taj Cafe- his first Indian food encounter, playing arcade games at the Santa Monica Pier and buying matching super hero tattoos with out tickets, and just getting to know each other. Constantly holding hands, arms around each other. And he brought me a present! So cute! He knew my two favorite things ever were flavor red starburst and milk dove and guess what when we were talking on the phone he had those two things in his cupboard! So the present was those and this super cute Easter card. So thoughtful and so cute! And so much better than flowers. 
Funny moment: we stopped to get yogurt for breakfast and we were in the car eating. I was driving and rick had just opened the little pack on nuts to pour on the yogurt when bam the yogurt and nuts went EVERYWHERE! Of course I died of laughter.
Favorite moment: watching him look at me and his true genuine grin. That grin right there folks next to the monkey. Well that's more of a laugh but it's close enough. That laugh though... That smile... Melt my heart right now!

Weekend two: April 26-27
Location: Fresno
I had just arrived from Paris the night before. Woke up and drove to Fresno to meet Rick. We went to the Fresno Zoo. 
Funny moment: Rick had never been  in a petting zoo so of course I had to take him. This goat kept feeling him up and acting so weird. Then we found it's true motive. It got up behind Rick, grabbed his zoo map from his pocket and ran away eating it! The zoo lady came up and said "bad goat" this zoo was amazing because they had baby tigers and baby chimpanzees that were sooooo cute!
Sunday we went to the park and sat and looked at baby ducks. We laid in the grass and looked at cloud shapes. It's weird beacuse when we are together time goes so fast. We are always amazed when we see that two hours has past bad it felt like ten minutes. I'm also amazed that I can sit and do nothing with him and be so incredibly content and happy. Usually I am so fidgety and have to be multitasking but I can literally do nothing but sit by him and it could last forever.

Weekend three: May 3-6
Location: SF and Lincoln
Saturday morning I flew into SF and Rick came to get me. We went to Coit Tower, the palace of fine arts, Sausalito and Fort Barry. The palace of fine arts was gorgeous. In Sausalito we went to a little deli and got sandwiches which we then ate right next to the water. Fort Barry was so much fun to explore but everywhere was so windy! Rick took us down this little secret path to some bunkers that were grown over and graffiti. There was this tunnel that was dark and at the end was a window into the old bunker. I was creeping down the bunker and right as I was peering Into the window rick slammed the wall and scared me half to death. 
We then met up with his best friends forever: Shay and Brandy. We went to Cheesecake Factory and had fried Mac and cheese and lemon cake yum! It was nerve wracking meeting his friends of so long, so soon. Finally we made it to his cute house! I loved seeing it and getting to know him on a more personal level. Sunday we went to church, met the neighbors, walked the dog and made dinner. Monday we explored the creek by his house with his giant dog Chassis. It was so much fun to play in the creek and the sun bathe in the sand.  We went to Old Auburn and saw Captain America. It was raining on our way out and we had to run to the car giggling. 
Tuesday we went to old town Sacramento which is so cute! We also walked around the rose garden, a swung on the swings and watched the ducks.

----Insert a weekend trip here to visit Michelle in UT----

Weekend 4: May 16-18
Location: Lake Millerton
Drive up to the lake after work Friday night to meet Rick for a weekend of Camping. Picked out an amazing camping site and set everything up. We spent the weekend doing typical camping things. The water was so low were were able to swim to this little exposed island and roll in the sand to make human sugar donuts. I got one funky sun burn from that! We roasted marshmellows and starburst. We fed this squirrel Cheetos! And raccoons came I to our camp at night!

Weekend five: May 24-27
Location: Sacramento 
I flew Into Sacramento Saturday morning.    I was lucky to make it because Friday I got crazy food poisoning. Arrives in Sacramento and went to ikea. Ate ice cream, talked about design and kitchen decor. We went to dinner with his neighbors Glen and Karen. This weekend we just hung out and relaxed. I had a cold and he was dealing with some family emotional sadness. We watched movies, baked cookies, had a BBQ, washed the dog, went shopping for drapes and artwork, headed to the grocery store, did laundry and dishes but it was really fun! Ricks grandpa is very sick so he had to book a flight on Tuesday to go to MN. We got to go to the airport together and sit to wait for our planes. 

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Friday, May 02, 2014

Paris, Day 5

Paris, Day 5
I would almost suggest that if you have never been first class and you will not be able to travel first class for the rest of your life that you do not do it. 
Let us continue.
Wake up. Get ready. Sister is missing. 8am supposed to leave. Sister comes back and starts to get ready. 8:40 leave. Plane leaves at 11:00. It is raining,  a lot. Walk to metro in rain. Get on. Get off. Get on again. Get off. Get on a train. Get off. Get on another train. Sister does not get on that train. Begin to panic. Panic. Panic. Sister appears. RUN. Run to check your bag. Nice lady helps. Calls gate tells them we are coming. Upgrades us to first class. Phew. Seriously though. 
Run. Run. Run. Tired. Run. Go through security. Need special search. Bounce up and down, sweating, looking even more suspicious. Names being called over the intercom. Run. Get on plane. 
First Class.
Nuff said.
Beverages, goodie bags, and the five course meal again. Hot nuts anyone? How about a sundae bar? New movies. Sleep. 
Off plane. 
Call Rick.
Text friends.
Update pictures.
Second plane.
No first class.
Longest 5.5 hours of my life.
Middle seat.
No sleep.
Get car.
Drive hour.
Best bed ever.

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Paris, Day 4

Paris, Day 4
Our last day in Paris, we left Paris and went to Versaille. It started by finding a pastry shop, duh. Another stick of butter. Delicious. Then we headed to the metro and had to use the machines this time. Thank goodness for English options. Took 2 metros and 1 bus. Bought tickets. And began, yes, more walking ;)
But this place was SO beautiful! I just wish I had a segway.

As we walked there were tree lined fields of little flowers so we decided we needed a Twilight moment. Well, that and we were just really tired. 

Then we got up again and started to walk to Marie Antoinette's House. There were a lot of chairs. Our favorite part was the stables and old farm land. It was so stunning.

After this stroll we raced back to the Palace so we could see the King's bed, which the lady informed Kayla that she could not lay in, and the Hall of Mirrors.

By the time we got back to the hostel we were so tired. I headed to the grocery store to look for more Speculoos but could not find any :( Then pack and bed. 

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Thursday, May 01, 2014

Paris, Day 3

Paris, Day 3
I wanted to go to the Catacombs so bad. Kayla was freaked out. Seeing as how the line was 3+ hours the day before we decided to get there before they opened. Took the metro and got there at 9:20… there was already a line! Opened at 10:00. Did not get inside until 11:15. So worth it. We started down the stairs, deeper, and deeper under Paris we went. At first it was just normal underground tunnels. Ha, that's funny I don't think underground tunnels under a major city are necessarily normal but whatev. As we walked it was slightly creepy and slightly fascinating. Then the bones came. Walls and walls of bones. 6 millions people are under this city. The skulls were creepy. They even had some arranged in patterns. Guess they got bored with millions of bones and found some way to entertain themselves. It was so surreal to see and experience. 

Then we headed to the bridge of locks. There were sooooo many locks on this bride! It was incredible! We loved just walking and looking at the locks and engravings on them. The Aussies had left a lock in the hostel so we used that hahaha. Our Aussie lock will forever be on the bridge in Paris, until they cut it off to make room for more locks. 
Then we went to the Louvre. Kayla did not want to go inside but I made her. I mean come on we are there and the Mona Lisa was inside. We walked in and there were so many people around the Mona Lisa but I did see her and take her picture. The problem was by this time we were tired and dehydrated and the museum was SO hot and stuffy and smelled of chemicals. I think we almost died in there. We had to get out. Sad that we didn't get to see much but our bodies could barely function. The jet lag and no water was a bad idea. The outside of the museum was gorgeous and it is so big!

On our way back to the Hostel we had to stop at La Duree. BEST MACAROON EVER. Hands down. Worth 5 Euro. It was incredible. I will have dreams about that macaroon for years to come. 
Well we walked back to the hostel and at this point were dead tired. But we had to move hostels! So we got our luggage from the lockers, again wishing it had wheels. Took 2 metros and some walking to a new neighborhood. This neighborhood was full of families and children and fruit! Thank goodness there were little stores with fresh fruit. So we finally get to the new hostel and then decided to cook our own food. We went to the grocery store, one of my favorite things to do in another country, and got some pasta and vegetables. Oh how I missed my vegetables. They were the only ones we had all week. It was fun to cook food for ourselves. Then we talked to a guy who only spoke Spanish and it was neat to use our Spanish skills.
Then bed. Finally.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Paris, Day 2

Paris, Day 2
So we wake up with the Aussie roommates, you know it is going to be an adventure.
Got ready, went downstairs ate some bread and cheese. Yes, for breakfast. That's all we ever ate. Bread and cheese bread and cheese. Then got with the Aussies and got in a cab to head to the Eiffel Tower.  P.S. in Paris you cannot hail a cab like in NY. You must walk to the cab station. Oh, and they are not yellow. They are black Mercedes. We get to the tower. There were so many people there it was crazy. We walked around and down the way a bit so we could get a  picture of the whole place and us in it. It was so surreal to see it in person.
From there we got in another cab and went to the catacombs. The line was 3+ hours. No one wanted to wait so they went and ate at McDonalds and took advantage of their wifi. Next up we headed in another cab to Notre Dame. 
The church was beautiful. We were able to go inside and walk around and just gawk at the architecture and beauty. Thank goodness for the small man who was selling water for 1 euro, we needed it. The Aussies then went to sleep and K and I went to walk around Paris. We stopped at a Macaroon shop of course and enjoyed some delicious pastries. I mean delicious. Like who stick of butter delicious. 
We  had lunch at a little cafe over looking the beautiful canals and bridges. We had crepes and french fries of course.

Then we began our walk back to our hostel.
Went back to the hotel to rest.
Then got hungry. 
Ended up at this cute place, but we were confused. Found a guy who spoke English and he said we had to pay in Groins. You put your Euros in a machine and out come the Groins. No joke. And what did we buy with our funny money? Why cheese of course. 

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Paris, Day 1

Paris, Day 1

Walk to currency exchange. Wait 30 minutes because the man in front of you has issues with his bank. Tell the lady you want to exchange $200 US. She gives you $300 Euro and a $20 transaction fee... don't know how that happen.

Walk to information, ask how to get to hostel. Super fast explanation. Confused. Walk around airport. Can't figure out how to get downstairs. Buy train tickets. Get on thus train. Realize that a duffel bag was a really stupid idea. Wheels. Always wheels. Ride the train to Gud De Nord or something like that. Get off train. Can't figure out how to get up out of the stations. Realize that Kayla's huge bag with wheels does not work well on stairs. 
Nice man offers to help you carry bag. Then tries to put you in a taxi. No thank you. Walk around on the streets of PARIS! Find your hostel. Head downstairs. Put luggage into lockers since check in isn't until 2pm. Walk the streets of PARIS! It is lightly drizzling. Stop in Cafe and hang out. Walk to a huge church! Let me google that for ya. It is Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, commonly known as Sacré-Cœur Basilica and often simply Sacré-Cœur
It is beautiful! See merry go round at the bottom and ride it. Big mistake. Those things go in circles. Nasty. Offer to take a picture of two guys. Then somehow you end up in the picture with them. Multiple pictures with them. Interesting. African man then grabs your hand and starts tying a bracelet around your finger. Um, what is happening?! Look at sister. Sister looks at you. Um, okay. Scam. Hold onto money. Hold onto wallet and phone. Get out of there. Hike to top of hill. Overlook Paris. Gorgeous. So breath taking.

Enter church. Beautiful. Find toilet. Pee. Pink toilet paper. Smile. Smile again. Head back to Hostel- St. Christophers. Check in. It is huge and really nice! 2 bunk beds, privacy dividers, usb hubs, bathroom. Awesome. Lock up luggage in cage under bed and head out again.
Walk down street. Weird man you met in locker room comes up and asks you what's up, where are you going? Follow me, he says. I will show you a park. Um, okay.
Follow man holding bag of laundry and wearing pink purse through park. The man calls himself Bastain. Speaks broken English. He walks us through Paris. We follow. He says be back and comes back without the laundry. Then we walk around some more. Find a macaroon shop. Macaroon obsession begins. Speculoos macaroon. SAY WHAT! $8 eruo later and 2 Macaroons. Smile in pure ecstasy. Macaroon=heaven. Bastain walks us back to our hostel and K buys him a drink. I head upstairs. Open room. 2 men in the bunks. One word: Aussies. Leave room, go back to bar, tell Kayla it is very important that she comes back upstairs. Type under table: Aussie. Goodby Bastain. I knew she would be excited. Head back to room. Meet new roommates. They are on a 3 month travel adventure. Lay down, talk, post to Facebook, text peeps. Sleep. Oh sleep. How I have missed you.
Wake up. Someone grabs my foot. Turn around and the Aussie, in his chonies, is in my bed saying "Aussie cuddles." Um, hello. Good morning and no thank you. I mean I am all about Aussies but I just had a great weekend with a guy so no thank you Aussie man. Kick Aussie out and send to bed above me. Where K lies. ;) hehe.

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Paris, France


8:15 am Monday morning.
   "What did you do over break?" Nonchalantly replies... "Went to Paris." Gasp.

Yup. It's true I spent Spring Break in Paris, France. Once of in a lifetime opportunity? I would say yes. Incredible? Yes. Unforgettable? Heck, yes.

How, why, tell me more!

So Kayla gets buddy passes through a sweet hook up. I knew I had Spring Break coming in April and so we brainstormed a little. Sunday we booked flights to London. Well $1600 was a bit steep, there was a $300 landing tax each. Monday we were booked for Paris. I got a text with confirmation and a credit card bill ;) Next came hostel reservations. Yes, you read that right, hostel, oh, coed. Yes, Kayla is adventurous.

Sunday morning. 3:30am April 20

Kayla arrives to her LA apartment and I hop in the shower. 3:50 realize you are in matching outfits. No time to change.

We need to be at the airport at 4:30am. 4am we leave the apartment. 4:10 am we drive down a one way street backwards with no headlights on. 4:15 am we are lost on the freeway and more one way streets. 4:30 am we pull into the Wally World to find out that it's $16 to park, not the expected $5 but when your international flight leaves at 6am you don't fight over $11. Run to the bus. Run to the terminal. Check bag. Wait.
Buy $100 upgrade to first class. Yes, FIRST CLASS. Get breakfast on the plane. There is something about plane food that I find so cute. Cute. It is all little. I love little things.
2pm. Arrive in Charlotte- say with a southern accent. 4pm upgrade again and fly FIRST CLASS to Paris! FIRST CLASS, in an upgraded plane with what they call pod seats. View picture. Be jealous. I was like a little kid on Christmas morning. It was quite embarrassing how excited I was. Seriously though. 5 course meal, a menu, noise canceling headphones, lay flat seat, your own goody bag with socks, phone chargers, hot towels, private bathrooms, current movies... dude. It. Rocked. I was sad, SAD that the plane was only 7.5 hours. Sad. Who the heck gets sad that their 7 hour plane ride is too short. Me. You would too if you flew first class. I'm jealous of the rich.

7.5 amazing hours later with a stomach full of hot nuts, striped ravioli, Ben and Jerry's- YES Ben and Jerry's.. on a plane, we arrive in Paris.

Exit plane. Go in creepy moving walkway pod to luggage claim. Use 15 minutes of free wifi to upload amazing first class pictures.
Luggage claimed. Now what? Figure out how to get to thus mentioned hostel.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009


I'm FINALLY SCUBA certified!

Bring on the diving!
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