Saturday, July 26, 2008

Summer Break - DC & PA Edition

So I've been back east for the past 10 days (and I'm still here) visiting Camie and Ruth. In that time I've done the following:
  • Visited the Newseum. I hadn't been to the Newseum since it had moved to it's current location in DC on Pennsylvania Ave (it's old location was in Rosslyn, VA). The new facility is awesome, but it now costs $20 to get it. I swear it was free when it was located in Rosslyn (all you DC and former DC residents correct me if I'm wrong). Anyway, here are a few pics:
The Newseum
The writing on the building is the 1st Amendment.

Taken from the ground floor.

Taken from the 5th or 6th floor - I can't remember.

Taken from the roof.

Berlin Wall and Watch Tower.

9-11 Exhibit: Newspapers reporting the day
and the radio tower from the top of North Tower
  • Visited the American Indian Museum. This museum was being built while I lived in DC so I had never been there. The building itself was gorgeous and there were some really cool artifacts in the museum (some dating to 3000 BC), but the museum was way too big for the amount of artifacts. Almost every artifact is located on the 4th floor. The 3rd floor is dedicated to the modern day American Indian (so you can learn all about gambling - I kid you not). The 2nd floor is all food court and the 1st floor is all museum store. Here are a few pics:
The museum's exterior.

The museum's interior.

Artifacts from North and South American Indians.

Gold artifacts from North and South American Indians.
  • Visited the National Gallery. I've been to the National Gallery dozens of times. I used to stop in weekly to view the work of JMW Turner (who is my absolute favorite painter). I hadn't been to the Gallery in years and was really excited to return and view Turner's work once again in person. When I got there I was sorely disappointed - the entire British Gallery was closed for renovation!! I was very upset. I did, however, discover a painting I'd never seen before. It fascinated me. Here it is:
Moonlit Landscape with Bridge by Aert van der Neer
  • Visited the Amish Experience. This is an 1805 Amish house and farm located in Lancaster County. It has been turned into a tourist trap and is available for tours. Here are a few pics:
The Amish Barn.

Ruth under the clothes line.

Check out the sunflowers.
  • Visited Lebanon County Fair. Oh, how I love carnival food - fries, hot dogs, soft pretzels, funnel cake. Delicious!! More pics:
Me & Evan at the fair.
  • Spent 8 hours watching The X-Files: Revelations with Ruth. X-Files creator, Chris Carter, just released a 2-disc collection of 8 X-Files episodes. To get ready for the movie, Ruth and I watched all 8 episodes. It was a pretty good collection and I was very, very excited that it contained my favorite X-File episode of all time - Bad Blood. Here's one of my favorite scenes (it's only 20 seconds).



  • Seen tons of movies: The Dark Knight, Mamma Mia, Space Chimps, and X-Files. My thoughts:
    • The Dark Knight: Seriously loved it. I thought the hype surrounding Heath Ledger's performance was simply because of his death. Whoa, was I wrong!! He was fantastic. The only thing I didn't like was Christian Bale's gravely voice when he was Batman. I know that's how he spoke in Batman Begins, but I still didn't like it.
    • Mamma Mia: It was exactly like I thought it would be. It wasn't the best thing I've ever seen, but it was fun.
    • Space Chimps: I'm calling it the surprise movie of the year. It was hilarious and full of jokes only adults would get (and only educated adults - many times only Ruth and I were laughing).
    • X-Files: Basically a glorified X-Files episode with more cursing. Still, I loved it. It was fun to see two characters I love together again. I also enjoyed seeing how Mulder and Scully's relationship had changed in the past 6 years (even if it wasn't exactly clear what their relationship status was).
That's just a taste of all the fun I've been having here. I'll post more when I return back to SLC next week.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Best Surprise Ever!!

So a couple of years ago my parents decided they wanted to build a pool in our Arizona backyard. Well, long story short, my dad got MS and they decided that it wasn't the best idea at the time. We always jokingly complain about my dad having MS (not because he's sick, but because it means no pool). Anyway, during the spring my parents secretly decided to put in a pool and not tell anyone!! Can you believe it!! Well, I went to AZ a couple of weeks ago and got the biggest surprise of my life. My parents then swore me to secrecy until they told the whole family about it. Well, now the cats out of the bag so I'm free to post evidence of the pool.

The pool before we filled it with water.

Me swimming and my dad in the cove.

Ronnie on the slide.

Ronnie, the fool.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Memories

I saw this on a Ruth's blog and thought it would be fun! Please participate. I can't wait to see what people put here!
  1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!
  2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you.
Thanks!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Vancouver - Bus Tour & Kayaking

Saturday, July 12th was my last day in Vancouver. We took a city tour on the Big Bus Tours. I was not impressed with this bus tour - in fact, it's the worst one I've ever been on. We also went kayaking in False Creek. This was fun, but a little scary because we were in a high traffic area with small watercraft zipping by us the entire way. Here are a few pics:

Paula, Me, and Shelley on the Big Bus.

Me waiting for the Big Bus.

Paula and Sheradee kayaking.

Shelley, my kayak partner.

Check out these houses along False Creek.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Vancouver - Biking Stanley Park

My conference ended on Friday, July 11th. Six of my fellow teachers returned to Salt Lake that evening after the conference, but I stayed with three other teachers (okay, two teachers and my principal). That night we biked Stanley Park. Although I loved the Capilano Bridge, this was my favorite thing I did while in Vancouver. Stanley Park is a 1000-acre peninsula that juts out into the Burrard Inlet. It has an excellent 10 km bike path along the coast of the peninsula. We were able to rent bikes at Spokes Bike Rental on the corner of Georgia and Denman for $13.50 - what a bargain!! Here are some pics.

Aerial Photo of Stanley Park.

Me on my rented beach cruiser.

I'm shaded in this photo,
but the Burrard Inlet from the bike path.

The Beaches looking onto the English Bay.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Vancouver - Capilano Suspension Bridge

On Thursday, July 10th, we went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge after our conference. This was not an easy walk from our hotel. It was located across the Lions Gate Bridge in North Vancouver. We were going to take public transportation (two buses), but we realized for 5 more dollars we could rent a car so that's what we did.

The Capilano Suspension Bridge was awesome!! It's a suspension bridge that stretches 450 feet across and 230 feet above the Capilano River. Once we got to the other side of the bridge there was even more to see. First of all, we visited the Totem Pole Park. I love totem poles - they're beautiful. The Cliffhanger Walkway is a scenic walkway throughout the park. My favorite part of the entire afternoon was the Treetop Adventure. This consists of seven suspension bridges connected at the top of the evergreens - 100 feet above the forest floor. The entire visit cost $30 and was worth every penny. If you're trying to decide between the Aquarium and the Suspension Bridge, choose the Suspension Bridge.

After visiting the Suspension Bridge, we drove around Grouse Mountain and hiked around the Cleveland Dam. Here are a few pics.

The Bridge

Five of my fellow teachers.

Me in front of the totem poles.

My fellow teachers on the Cliffhanger Walkway.

Me on the Cliffhanger Walkway.

Fellow teachers on The Treetop Adventure.

Me on one of the suspension bridges
for the Treetop Adventure.

My favorite photo from the whole trip.
Sheradee (she's short, but not that short), Me, and Paula.
Plus, Jason in the background waving - it cracks me up.

Goofing around near the native statues.

Beautiful - Water Reservoir from Cleveland Dam

video

Video from the Cleveland Dam.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Vancouver - The Aquarium

On Wednesday, July 9th, we went to the Aquarium after our conference. It is located in Stanley Park (which was an easy walk from our hotel) and was a pretty impressive aquarium. The cost was around $25 and I thought it was well worth it. I would recommend it if you are looking at taking a trip to Vancouver in the future. The best part about the aquarium is that one of their Beluga whales just had a baby. We were able to see this cute little whale swimming with her mother. I wish I had gotten it on video, but I didn't even think about it at the time. Anyway, here are a few other pics.


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Vancouver - Arrival

I arrived in Vancouver, Canada on Tuesday, July 8th. I was there for a work conference with 9 other faculty members from my school. We are beginning the process of becoming an International Baccalaureate school. Although we were there for the conference, we did plenty of vacationing as well. The best thing about our arrival - we took a limo from the airport to the hotel. Here are a few pics of the limo, my hotel, and the city.

Two fellow teachers living it up in the limo.

My sweet hotel room at The Listel Hotel.

Me down by Coal Harbour.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Summer Break - Week Four (Phoenix Edition)

Last week (week three of summer break) I was at Lake Powell, this week I'm in Phoenix, and next week I'll be in Canada. Crazy summer traveling. Anyway, this week I've done the following:
  • Went out to lunch with my old roommate, Emily.
  • Went to FHE with another old roommate, Mary. While we were at FHE, I ran into fellow Leonard's Lawn member, Travis.
  • Went to the movies with my parents. We saw Get Smart.
  • Went to the movies with Mary. We saw Hancock. I liked it - there was a little too much profanity, but some interesting twists that I didn't see coming.
  • Went swimming.
  • Started reading The Battle of the Labyrinth - the fourth book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.
  • Went to the spa for a manicure and pedicure - very relaxing.
  • Sat in Ronnie's massage chair for about an hour each day. Again, very relaxing.
  • Went to see the Diamondbacks play the San Diego Padres. They lost - Padres 4, D-backs 2. Here are a few pics:
Chase Field
They kept the roof closed because it was 106 degrees.

My cute padres

D-backs & Diet Coke - I'm one happy girl.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Lunch with Emily

One of my old roommates, Emily, recently got in touch with me via my parents and her in-laws (it's a complicated story). Anyways, she currently lives in Phoenix and since I'm currently in Phoenix, I thought it would be nice to hook up, go to lunch, and discuss the last decade of our lives (we haven't seen each other for 10 years). So we went out to lunch yesterday. You know how sometimes it is awkward seeing someone after a long time, well it wasn't at all awkward. It was great. She is still a fun, considerate person, except now she has three hilarious boys. It was a fantastic way to spend the afternoon. Anyways, here are a few pics:

Emily & Me

Us with her cute boys