Tuesday, July 27, 2010

the 411

okay I hardly even know where to begin today because I just discovered something MONUMENTAL via the world wide web.
ya'll know I love Spain. cooking. & blogs.
well, the discovery happened today while I was cooking me a little piece of Spain. It was my first rodeo with the Spanish tortilla, and although I am no Pili, it turned out. Small victory, yes. Do I even have leftover for tomorrow's rendition of my tortilla bocadillo for my 10 AM lunch break at the Marriott? Of course! However, the best part came as I was re-reading my recipe and browsed the comments section. It was then that the stars aligned, and I found a comment that led me to my first Spanish cooking blog. That one led me to handfulls and handfulls of other ones, and now I am in Spain cooking heaven. Thank you, blogland.
Anyways, what am I doing right now? The same thing I do every day this summer after spending 8 hours at the Marriott. What I want! Tonight its catching up on Bachelorette (RICARDO, please) and wondering what today's date is. I do love this season.
Life has been good, and I've been busy, hence the complete lack of good blog entries. Amid work, trying to get back into some sort of "shape" (who wants to lend me their personal trainer?), catching up with friends, and a little travel around the Utah/Idaho border, I've been wheeling and dealing and the month of July is almost over! It's weird.
Last weekend was especially good, thanks to my cousin Beau's wedding (which forced my family to come visit me, hehe) and Utah's state holiday, Pioneer Day. The 24th of July was a Saturday this year, so we got work off for Friday. My family was here Thursday to Sunday, and between those days we went to Beau's wedding and Idaho Falls.
On the way to Idaho Falls on Friday we took a stop at Lava Hot Springs to spend a long while soaking up the rays, flying down the slides, and jumping off the 50 M high platform all day long. It was great! When we finally got to Idaho Falls, Lex and I jetted off to see our very few lasting friends who live in Idaho Falls, and played catch up.
Saturday we went to see the Blue Angels at my very first air show ever. Let's just say it was my first and last. The stunts were cool, the planes were loud, but the whole spectacle was just not really my scene... I mean, I love Air Force planes, standing in line for mini donuts for an hour, Nascar-like crowds, and sitting in the dirt just as much as the next guy, but I think it was enough "experience" to last a lifetime. In fact, I think I enjoyed the performance ahead of me between the ponytailed, cigarette clad dad and his bare chested and barefooted 5 year old than the spectacle in the sky, as the little boy covered his ears as the planes flew over, and ponytail yelled and yelled, threatening to "never take him to another airshow again!" as he tried to force the little boy to watch the planes dart, zip, glide, and dive. Ha. Airshows. After that we stuffed ourselves silly at Chuck A Rama compliments of Grandma Ball, and then it was off to see more friends, play a little soccer, and end the night at the Drive In movie with our buddies. PS Despicable Me is hilarious.
Sunday my family went back west, and I stayed put. The idea was that I would go back to Utah on Sunday, too, but some of us had decided a camping trip was necessary, so we did that instead, after helping Lex in the nursery at church. Since camping was kind of a last minute idea, we just winged it. And it didn't turn out too bad, despite the fact that we just threw a couple things in the car at 10:30 PM and drove towards the mountains! We turned down a gravel road, hopped out of the car, and stumbled upon the best camping spot ever, equipped with lots of wood, flat land, and only about 2o annoying birds to wake up to in the morning. Anways, camping was awesome, thanks to Ryan's tinfoil dinners (around midnight) Lexi's hidden s'mores talents, a few heated rounds of pictionary, and good conversation with 4 people sharing a tiny three man tent until the sky began to get light (and then we went to sleep).
Monday morning we woke up, Lex and I fashioned a stove out of food for some good ol' pancakes, and then we cleaned up camp and headed back to civilization. After a much needed shower, I put off my four hour drive, and Lex and I went to Inception, which was pretty good, I guess, at least that's what people tell me. I may or may not have fallen asleep in the first 5 minutes and missed the next 20, so I was a little lost. But what else is new? After the movie it was happy trails til next Friday, and I was off. Thanks to my 1$ large McDonald's Diet Coke, lots of kettlecorn, and the random Madonna Greatest Hits CD I found in my glovebox, I was back in Provo in just a little over 4 hours (aren't you glad I didn't speed, Dad?) :).
Now it's back to powerwashing and waxing the arena at the Marriott Center, but only for a couple days, because on Friday it's BOISE time and I can't wait.
Til I've got good stories!

Monday, July 19, 2010

summertime gallivanting

When Diana told me in May she had bought a plane ticket to visit me July 14-19 it seemed SO FAR AWAY.
I didn't really know if I could wait all that time, so I made sure to keep busy by running amok in Spain for the next little while, then coming back and working my hiney off for a few weeks, and then before I knew it her plane was landing in the SLC airport (which I pride myself in finding all by myself) and before us lay a weekend full of fun.
The weekend was great. We filled it with all the Utah highlights- Lagoon, Sammy's, BYU tours, hole in the wall Mexican food, Comedysportz, Llama Fest, mini golf, BYU friends, church, parks, police (and speeding tickets :/), a whole lotta food at Sunday dinner, night walks, Costa Vida, Gateway shopping (the poor window kind), and a ton of great conversation and catch up!And then as fast as the time came, it was gone and it was back to the Salt Lake Airport, where Diana hopped a plane right back to Boise :( Thanks for coming, best friend! Oh well- we will be reunited in only a few weeks in my OWN HOME TOWN. That's right folks, I finally get to go to my actual house after 7 long months... and even if it's only for a couple days, I can barely wait!
And with that little snippet, it is time for sleep. 5:30 AM rolls around pretty darn early :/

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

campeones del mundo

Pues, la historia ha sido hecho- ¡Que viva Casillas! ¡Que viva Iniesta! ¡Que viva España!
If anyone would have told me Spain would win the World Cup while I was sitting in La Media Pinta that one day in June watching them lose their first game to Switzerland, I would have laughed. Hard.
Well, they pulled through and once again, I was happy to say I've lived there. And why, oh why, did I have to come home a week and half ago? Bitter? Nope. I just wish America liked soccer and more than 2 people would have honked as I flew my Spanish flag out my car window as I drove home from Casey's house. How I am gonna miss mi equipo español!
As for Brazil 2014- I will be there. No ifs, ands, or buts. and Miguel- quizás tendré que cambiar mi equipo favorito a Barca... ahora les amo a todos los jugadores de la furia roja... y ¡todos son jugadores de Barca! jeje Estás feliz? :)
Maybe one day I will stop being so obsessed with Spain and write about something else. But in the meantime, go look at some fotos of the game.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

we're going to the 'ship!

Some serious Spain sickness settled upon me today as I hid my cellphone, sat in my grandma's living room, and cheered Spain on to victory.... only about 4 hours after the win actually happened, and I successfully made it through work without any spoilers. Thank you, DVR!
All I know is that I'm thankful for Puyol's ginormous head, and that I would give anything to be in Madrid on Sunday for the game... so if you love me a lot and want to buy me something, well tickets on priceline are running at about 1800 USD. Not that I checked or anything.
¡Viva España!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

happy fourth and what's up

6:46 AM and I am wide awake.
Not sure if I should attribute this extreme earliness to the fact that my stomach and back are completely fire engine red, or that it's 2:30 PM in Europe, and my body thinks night time is nap time. My poor poor confused body!
Post Europe life is normal- in fact when I went to work last night for the first time, it sadly felt like I'd never left. I guess my sense of adaptability is just too heightened for my own good. Oh work- come Tuesday I start my life of 6- 2:30s and 40 hour workweeks. Yippee! Last night I did a bit of "buffer" working to ease myself back into the daily grind. However, I'm not positive you can really call "work" driving around in a golf cart for 5 hours, walking through a couple bathrooms to flush a couple toilets, listening a free Carrie Underwood Concert, and ending the shift with fireworks on the roof of LaVell Edwards Stadium. Oh, and all this for time and a half. If only every day could be the Stadium of Fire! As for Tuesday, well, you can count on me having lots of quality time with toilets and dust mops.
So the family leaves today. It's been so good to have the all here- too bad we didn't even get to do anything on account of me having to work and them wanting to go back home. Es la vida! However, we had a good time in the short time we were all together- Toy Story 3, Los Hermanos, a little shopping, swimming, hiking the Y, learning how to change a tire on my new "car that isn't mine I just get to drive", and some celebration when Spain advanced yesterday. It was an all around good 3ish days.
As for World Cup, well, I couldn't be more pleased. And while sitting in the living room doesn't really compare with watching it over a Coke at a corner bar in Europe, well, victory is just as sweet. David Villa, you are my hero, and Spain, you've got positive vibes coming at ya from the US of A.
and ps- happy birthday, America. Thanks for being great. Bring on the barbecues I have missed so much :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Day Sixty Four

Is it just me, or are the streets in the US really wide?
Those were my first thoughts last night when coming into contact with America after an eventful day full of trains, trams, and planes. Traveling is great... besides the actual "travel" part.
When my 7 AM alarm went off, Brittany and I basically jumped out of bed, threw our things together, and by 7:30 Brittany, Casey, and I were out of Hostel Fiesta Terrace and on our way to try to find a taxi! We really had no idea how to get to Fiumicino Airport, so we gave ourselves a little extra time and went on a taxi hunt.
The good news: we found a taxi. The bad news: it was gonna cost 70 euros. Seeing as none of us had that much money to burn, the driver told us to go into the station to catch the train that goes directly to the airport. Time was on the line, so we raced up to the terminals to try to find the right via, hoping we could find it quickly- while I'm getting better at international travel, it still gives me major anxiety.
The good news: we ran up the stairs, and luckily BAM! Right in front of us was the Fiumicino Airport Terminal. The bad news: it was leaving in a matter of minutes, and we had no tickets. Frantically we were looking around for somewhere to buy tickets, when we spotted a guy sitting at a desk... it looked kind of official, so I hurriedly asked him where we could get tickets for the train that was about to leave. He looked around and then told us we could buy them from him... for 45 euro. We all just started throwing money at him, he took it, and we ran to the train, whose doors were closing right as we reached them. Again, luckily there was one door open, so we hopped on and they closed behind us.
The good news: we had successfully gotten on the train bound for the airport. The bad news: the guy had given us no tickets. We had no proof that we'd just given him 45 euros to ride the train, and I have a feeling we got taken on that little deal. The three of us found seats, sat down, and hoped and prayed that no ticket takers would come around. The anxiety mounted for the entire half hour ride as we held our breath every time a Trenitalia official looking person walked by. This time if they asked for our tickets, what were we going to say? On top of that if we got fined, we would have no money to give them- the last of my money was with the ticket swindler from the station! I've never been so happy to reach a train station! We made it without any questions, and I am glad to say I will not be riding a train in Italy any time soon!
The good news: we made it to the airport. The bad news: our flight was delayed three hours. Brittany was able to go on and get to her flight, but Casey and I had no such luck. Upon reaching the front of the Detroit bound line, the lady told us to go wait in another line. We waited in that line for an hour, hoping to get a new connecting flight because with the delay, we knew there'd be no way we could make our 5:15 flight to Salt Lake. Right as we made it to the front of the line, though, they ran out of connecting flights or something, so we were instructed to go stand in yet another line. At this point I didn't even care. I just wanted to get home, take a shower, and wear some different clothes. Finally we made it through the line, got our Detroit tickets, and headed into the terminal, where we were treated to an "I'm sorry we've screwed you over" complimentary sandwich and drink, and then spent the next hour or two waiting for the plane to board.
The good news: We got up in the air! Finally at 2:10 our plane finally took off, only three hours behind schedule. The bad news: I didn't sleep one bit the entire 9 or 10 hour ride.Hey, at least the plane food was good though. We landed in Detroit at 6 PM, crossing about 6 time zones, and leaving my body extremely confused. We'd missed our connecting flight to SLC, and customs and a lot of waiting left me hoping and praying that I wouldn't have to spend the night in the Detroit airport. I just wanted to get home!! As we approached the ticket counter I was prepared for the worst, but things looked up!
The good news: a plane was leaving for SLC at 7:15 and there was room for us! The bad news: 7:15 was in fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes to get through security, find terminal A-4, and call my mom so she wouldn't be waiting at the airport for the extra 2 hours. Ever seen Home Alone where the family is all running through the airport? Well, that was me and Casey last night, running and dodging people all the way from A-36 to A-4. We got some novel looks, but we made it!
The good news: I was dead to the world on a good part of the four hour trip to SLC. The greater news: I looked out the window to see MOUNTAINS MOUNTAINS AND MORE MOUNTAINS!! Utah never looked better as we approached. The skyline, the open spaces, and the mountains made me realize that I had indeed missed the northwest, if even just a little. Seeing the American flag outside my window, hearing all English, and coming down the escalator and seeing my Mom, Kourtni, Lindsay, and Payton holding signs and bombarding me with hugs made me know that I was home. It is such a good feeling!
And now I start the process of reintroducing myself to real life... which is kind of hard when you don't remember where the forks are in the kitchen, where you keep your socks, and how to work the light in your bedroom, but I am sure all things will start falling into place, and maybe one day my laundry will get done, my pictures will get on the blog and facebook, and I won't lie awake at night, my body telling me it's midday in the places I've been the last two months. Oh well- it was all 100 percent worth it.
Anyhow, that is the of this chapter of travelblog. Thanks for reading, friends. I've loved keeping this little (sometimes otherwise) record, and my hope is that all of it it keeps the memories fresh forever. Thanks for good time, Europe. Stay classy. You haven't seen the last of me.