a Saint named George

well kids. I’ve spent a lot of time in St. George that past few weeks. and since I’m feeling show-and-telly.. I’ma post about it.

firstly, I went on a road trip with all guys.. yes. this was an adventure. nothin like a road trip with the guys to make you realize how much they see you as one of them. I went with some of my buddies from the mission.
here we have Hofe, Hall, and Cheney. woot!
what sexy beasts.
of course we took my car down.
and we had to drive clear in the crap out of the way into central Utah to pick up Hofer from Snow College in Ephraim (who goes there? it’s in the capital of nowhere) on the way down.. so we didn’t get there till the wee hours of the morning between Friday and Saturday. the reason for our journey was to visit this guy right here:
Gab Tremblay. on the right. not to be confused with Hofe, even though they are in a bromance with each other. I wish I could explain how funny these two are together. but I just can’t.
the weekend was jam-packed with shennanigans and fun. we went to bed at an indecent hour on Friday, as was expected.. slept in a bit on Saturday. Tremblay’s mom makes killer food; breakfast was amazing. then we promptly went skim boarding… after we went to Target to get me a swimsuit because I’m the genius who goes to St. George and forgets one.
let me just say that I can’t really skim board. I have to disclaim that. but I tried and I kind of did it. so we got crazy up in the red dirt that is Southern Utah, then we went to Tremblay’s pool.. I stayed in the hot tub and loved it. then we played ultimate frisbee for… ever. I love that game but I was way over it by the time that escapade finally ended.  then we hit up the Orange Peel, whose bubble tea has now become a St. George staple for me. yuss.
then Hofe, Chino, and I went back to clean up. Tremblay went to play hockey because he’s got some strange secret energy source hidden inside of him. we went to dinner at the Pasta Factory (mmm.)
and then we met up with Tremblay and friends again.
bonfire in the giant red rocks? don’t mind if I do.
it burned with the heat of a thousand suns.
errbody retreated up the rocks and watched mesmerized like people tend to do when they see fire..
except the crazies who continually fed the monster with pallets.. like Kevin, here:
so this is what St. George kids do for fun.
and then we went back to the ginormous gorgeous house of a girl named Lindsey and watched “Taken” in her pimped theater. but not before we saw her hilarious giant toilet.
apparently her dad’s sense of humor is awesome.
Sunday came and we attended church and heard Tremblay give his homecoming talk. then we had delicious food at his Dad’s house and loved listen to all the French in that French Canadian house.
and then we hit the road again. they were.. less than helpful:

jerks.

and then we got home. and it was awesome.

flash forward to two weeks later…

here I am on my way to St. George… AGAIN!
with Sonya, who is looking particularly smokin’ in this picture.
and unfortunately… I forgot my camera AND my wall phone charger. I have almost no pictures of the trip. basically, it consisted of pool time (which I have clearly edited for your virgin eyes to avoid scarring and for my protection)
awesome people
so-o-o-o much laughing
dance parties
wicked awes knock knock jokes (i.e. me: knock knock! you: who’s there? me: eat mop! you: eat mop who? <– say that out loud. now. and laugh.)
food (and like 26 hundred people wanting different things and causing quite a ruckus)
shopping at TJ Max
Orange Peel bubble tea
basketball/volleyball/football
hiking up Snow Canyon to tell ghost stories on a giant rock
singing the opening song to the Lion King at the top of our lungs in the canyon in African. because we know African.
the most hilarious.. most RIDICULOUS sacrament meeting I have attended in a long long time
(I’m immature.)
spooning in a giant bed with Michelle and Angie for two consecutive nights
church socks with gym shorts:
and did I mention pool time?

good times, guys.
good times.

Frisco, Part II

and then I said to myself.. the time has come to post the other half of the San Fran Extravaganza! I know, it’s been a long time coming now.
and you cheered in your brain.. some of you cheered audibly.. some did a victory dance.. and some spit their water at their computer screen in disgust.. and maybe some just blinked in indifference.
REGARDLESS!.. without further adieu..

Saturday: my actual birthday

we rose early to hit a little place.. you might’ve heard of it.. it’s called Alcatraz. yeah. the prison. only I would purposely go to prison for my 25th birthday.
so we rode a bus trolley thing. I don’t know what it was. and we breakfasted.
while Tara and Ang modeled.
then we waited in line
and we cruised
like this
and then we stopped hiking traffic on the island

it was gorgeous outside. we took too many photos. (this is a shocking revelation. contain yourself.)
we toured the facilities
we cruised back with the Swedes and their bananas. they talked about the Mormons and our lack of beer. they were rad.


then we fooded at Boudin’s Bakery. sourdough bread bowl + clam chowder = wow. and THEN, if that wasn’t enough, we went to Ghirardelli Square. as in… chocolate from the Celestial Kingdom.
and that’s where we met some new friends from L.A. I give you Jon, Tim, Justin, and Ryan:
they were behind us in line. Ryan started up conversation with me. we sat together. Cam made them sing happy birthday to me. we made plans for later.
we went to the Exploratorium.
most.beautiful.grounds.EVER. and they were chock-full of brides being photographed.
inside was a world of magical hands-on science. the following pic was our (mine and Cam’s) favorite part of it. we sat here for ages. on this screen, warmth is white and cold is dark. notice the handprint on my hair where I had just barely touched it. I mean.. where a ghost appears to be blessing me.
Cam bubbled Tara’s head after she got mad at the kids hogging the exhibit.
and many more Exploratorium antics ensued.
then we went to get bay cruise tickets and hit the Aquarium while we waited.
and stuff like that. sharks scare me to the core. I almost ran through that part.
and then we cruised the bay. but first, we posed for the picture that they took of us at everything we went to. we didn’t buy any of them, but I sneaked a phone pic of this one. we smiled like normal and closed our eyes on 3. on purpose. and then acted like nothing had happened. this pic makes me cackle.
the cruise was freaking cold. but we got to sit behind a genuine ed hardy cholo with star earrings and his lady with the shaved and penciled on eyebrows. it was golden.
hey Frisco… you have a cool bridge.
and some cute sea lions
on the way back, poor Angie started to get sick. it happened to coincide with being on a boat that her 24-hour flu bug kicked in.. apparently it came from Colorado where she was just before San Fran. we took a taxi back to the hotel. we had a missionary moment with the cute cab driver. he was in love with a Mormon girl. it was cool. I love the Gospel.
Cam and I prepped to go out to dinner with Ryan and company. Ang was too ill. Tara stayed to keep her company. they surprised us with reservations at the Cheesecake Factory. mmm! it was fab. and we did a little dancing afterwards. it was an awesome way to end a birthday.

Sunday

go home day. sadface. San Fran cried to see us leaving and rained all morning. our plane was delayed. we spent pretty much the whole day in planes and airports. it was not the coolest. but we did have the most hilarious flight attendant I have ever heard of on the flight home from Phoenix. we were cracking up. I wish I had it all recorded, you would’ve died.
here’s T and me on the plane. (note: despite what it looks like, I am wearing a fedora. not a boat hat. just clearin that up.)
and that’s pretty much what happened.

it was a great way to ring in a landmark birthday. let’s hope this year of my life includes awesome things.
(so far we’re starting off well. I just started a new job instructing a couple of medical administrative classes at a college –yes I just said teaching college. who let me do that? well I found out yesterday that I beat out 30 other people that were interviewed for it. sweet. it’s a pay raise and an awesome opportunity. it started off as stressful for the point of near tears and possible death, but it’s slowly getting better. and my students make it fulfilling because they think I’m a good teacher and they feel like they’re actually learning things. yes. ok. own horn tooted. sidenote finished.)

peace and love.

so fresh in frisco

well kids. since I often use this blog as my travel log mostly for myself to be able to look back on my sweet vacays more than I’m sure you care about the details of my trips.. it’s that time again! I will be using photos taken by myself, Cam, and Tara, without their permission. sorry friends.

last weekend, Cambria, Tara, Angie, and myself ventured to the land of San Francisco to celebrate my 25th birthday. yikes. the old age begins to set in.
but I’m tellin ya.. Cali style is the way to go for ringing in landmark birthdays. it was quite the awesome little trip, packed with great adventures. put on your seatbelts, keep your hands and arms where I can see them, and note the nearest exit. this one’s gonna be long. in fact, I’ma do it in shifts. here’s the first half of the trip.

there was a lot of travel time because we layed over both on the way home and on the way back in order to save dinero. (except Ang who flew directly from Colorado from another vacation. she lives it up.)appropriately, the first photo of the trip was this, taken by Cam as she and I checked our bags…
please note the sign above Tara’s head, and laugh with us.
and then we waited.. and took a photo or two.
and then our plane activities included:

and lots of talking…and laughing…and the male flight attendant flirting at us.
oh and what you half see in Cam’s hand above is frozen yogurt from Pinkberry. we lost our Pinkberry virginity in L.A. and we loved it. so delicious.

then we finally arrived in San Fran!!! and we were pretty sure we were going to lose our lives as we struggled to find and take the BART (basically like the subway) to the area of our hotel. fortunately on the airport light rail we sat by a very nice guy named Steven, who is a local. he directed our path and helped us figure out BART tickets and told us good restaurants to hit up. he was a godsend at that moment. once on BART, I counted and we literally had 7 dudes sitting around us looking shady and watching our every move. no photos were taken because we are not that stupid. after we made our way to Powell Street and Union Square at long last, we were accosted by yelling homeless men at every turn. one tried desperately to give us directions as we looked at a map. luckily we found our way without much trouble and we were quite close, right in the center of all the action at Union Square. and then angel choirs sang and a pillar of light illuminated the surrounding area as we realized our hotel was right next door to the largest H&M we had ever seen. (this store does not exist in Utah.. but we are absolutely obsessed.)
our hotel was very cool. we neglected to take photos of the wicked awesome decor.. so.. this is what it looks like. but a lot smaller than those photos make it look. but it was cool. we just needed beds. we had plans.
here we are Cam and I exploring it.. and Tara photographing our mulis.. and Cam looking like a midget in the background. hahaha.
and then it was out to dinner to the Mason Street Diner, at the recommendation of the concierge, in the middle of the night.
my turkey avocado sandwich was delish. excuse the blurry phone pic.
and the half of Cam’s Santa Fe something or other that I traded for was even better. and I think we weirded out the Swedish waitress by asking for a side of mayo to make fry sauce. but whatev. that trend needs to catch on worldwide. end of story.

Friday
Angie arrives in the morning and we, of course, had to get a group shot now that we were complete:
we headed out on the town to buy our City Passes and start our sightseeing.. but the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) was not open till 11. wanh wanh wanh.
I love this photo by Cam of us outside the doors.. just waiting with our electronics:
so we headed across the street to walk around a little town square thing that we found. I still don’t know what it was, exactly.. but it was lovely.
photo on self-timer by Cam:

there was a gorgeous garden up there. we took an excessive number of pics. (seriously.) I’ll spare you and just post a flower one that I took.
(the above and the following are all by Cam.)

basically this city is beautiful. everything is artsy and if it isn’t.. it doesn’t fit there. the design, the style, the everything just screams swagger. I could post so many pictures from Fri morning that it would take up pages. but that would be not so exciting for you, readers.. so I’ll restrain.
except this one I took.. because it makes me laugh so hard. every. time.
and then the SFMOMA finally opened.. so we hit it up. it was pretty fabulous. I saw multiple works by Picasso and Andy Warhol and Ansel Adams, just to scratch the surface of naming a few. it was basically heavenly.
the following are some photos we could get in the limited allowed areas.. and a couple that we sneaked:

and then we rode the bus to Chinatown for lunch at City View or something like that.
the staff barely spoke English and was irritated at us for not knowing what we were doing. but it was good food.
and then we walked around and took another bazillion photos.
here are a couple:
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING PHOTO IS NOT WORK-APPROPRIATE
bahahaha. yes that’s what you think it is. yes that really happened. photo by Cam.
and then we walked to the trolley stop to take a ride.
here we are waiting
because we pose like cheeseballs on the regular while waiting.
and then the trolley ride was wicked awesome. I rode hanging onto the side like I was hardcore.

then we shopped our little guts out at H&M. ’nuff said.

then… we saw “WICKED!!”
this was the part of the trip I was probably most excited about.
totally loved it. I think I annoyed everyone singing “Defying Gravity” over and over afterwards.. but I couldn’t get it out of my head.
love this shot of my friends:
we got out so late, most restaurants were closed. so after much debating, we ended up ordering pizza to our hotel room. and we played dress up with as many accessories as we could get on ourselves. because we are rockstars.

stay tuned for the post about the second half of the trip including my actual birthday, Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf, new friends, the Exploratorium, the Aquarium, the Bay Cruise, etc.
I know you’re on the edge of your seat!