Sunday, November 06, 2011

Nerd: an unstylish, unattractive, or socially inept person; especially: one slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuits

For Halloween this year, I dressed up like a nerd. Okay, okay, so I basically went into my suitcase and picked out a bunch of stuff to make a costume. I put tape on my glasses and made my hair goofy. I thought I looked a bit like Violet from "Saved By the Bell."

When I asked my friend's kids, (ages 12 and 10) if I looked like a nerd, they both said, "NO!"
Then, the 12-year old realized it was my costume and said, "Well, I guess you kind of look like a nerd." The 10-year old, (who didn't have the same realization), elbowed his big brother and hissed, "Hey, that's not nice!" He then turned to me and said, "You are PERFECT. Just the way you are. Don't ever let anyone tell you any different!"

It was hilarious, and also the sweetest thing I had heard all day.

Antarctica - The Final Continent!

Mom, Dad, Becky, Me.
Antarctica was my Mom's, Dad's, and my 7th continent and my sister's 4th continent.
And it was absolutely STUNNING.

Argentina - Misadventures on the Road to Cachi - January 2011


With new friends from the Backpacker Soul hostel, Claire from England (Clarabella) and Jonas from Holland (BB), our journey took us on a loop from Salta to Cafayate to Cachi and back to Salta.







The 4'hour drive to Cafayate was beautiful, passing through red-rock quebradas (canyons) and stopping to hike around. Devils´Throat was an exciting stop, it was huge and the angles played tricks on your mind. The scenery was breathtaking, such gorgeous vistas!!!










Cafayate, Argentina, a picturesque town surrounded by vineyards, was delightful. We took a tour of a vineyard, sampled wine (my friends appreciated my glass!), had dinner in the square.






It was a busy evening, with families walking around, jugglers and other performers in the streets, people riding bikes, it was the first time I´d ever seen bicycles built for THREE! Ha! Of course, in a place where a bicycle built for one has 3+ people on it, you can imagine how many can fit on one designed for 3! Haha!





The next day, we headed out again, enroute to Cachi. The road was unpaved, but in remarkable good shape for what we were expecting. I did most of the driving, as I was the only one with my driver´s license on me. We passed through gorgeous quebradas of different scenery, in some places we felt we were on the moon or in fairy tales!









Upon arrival into Cachi, we had a nice time walking around and had lunch at this little hole in the wall that had the best carne empanadas! Delish! Cachi is a lovely little town, with cobblestone streets and kind people. It was as we were leaving town, when things started to get interesting...

Note: When we got the rental, it was only 3/4 full, and the gal said if we fill up in Cachi, we would be at 3/4 tank on arrival in Salta.
That would have worked out well, except there was NO GAS in Cachi. Literally. The gas station was OUT OF GAS! The next station was not for about 75 kilometers! With 1/4 of a tank, we crossed our fingers and hoped it would get us to the next station.

As we drove from Cachi towards Parque Nacional Los Cardones, we started to get nervous. It was all uphill!! It took 1/4 of a tank to get us to the entrance of the park, and we still had about 50 kilometers to go!!! According to the guidebooks and rental car company and road signs, the drive through the park is a treacherous, windy unpaved road. To add to that, the conditions were terrible - it was raining and so foggy that we couldn´t see more than ten feet in front of us. We pulled over, knowing that there was no way we were going to make it to Salta. It was not a good situation.


Across the highway was a ranger station. Jonas went to check it out, and Clara and I stayed in the car and said a few prayers. The ranger didn´t have the kind of gas we needed, but he gave us a hose to siphen gas if we could get someone to pull over.

EVERYONE who came by pulled over to see if they could help!!!! It was so nice! Even a tour bus pulled over! Ha! Unfortunately, they all had diesel cars and trucks! They all left us with concerned looks and a ´buena suerte´ and we waited anxiously for the next car...


Finally, this sweet couple pulled over, and they had the right kind of gas! Hooray! Jonas, BB, took one for the team and started to siphen the gas. It only worked for about 1/2 liter. The couple said it was uphill for just a few kilometers up the road and then it was downhill the rest of the way. They had us go in front of them and they followed in case we ran out of gas completely and needed a lift.


Jonas, now named BBSuperman, took the wheel. We literally COASTED for 42 kilometers down a very windy mountain through the rain and fog, followed by our angels. The 1/2 liter of gas we siphened really came in handy the last 6 k's to the gas station!

At the station, we met up with many of the people who had pulled over to see if we needed help. It was like a huge party at the gas station, everyone cheering that we made it! It was great!!!! We were relieved and grateful to have made it safely, and to have been blessed to have such wonderful people willing to help out in a sketchy situation.



It was a great roadtrip, an amazing adventure, a true bonding experience...After the Misadventures on the Road To Cachi, Clarabella, BB, and Cocobean decided to continue their travels together - on to Bolivia! But that, my friends, is another story...
If you hear a voice within you say, " you cannot paint," then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
-Vincent Van Gogh

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A lot of ground covered....

Or maybe I should say, a lot of land and sea can be covered in a year...) It's been a year to the day since my last 'blog'. I have kind of been out of the country (oh, I do like saying that). Or I just haven't gotten around to it... In either case, here's a rundown:
(September 2010) Alaska Cruise with Larry Haddock and his parents.
SEPT/OCT 2010 Pacific Islands Cruise with Stephanie Hutchings and Edmond Noble and Sarah Rodondi- 30 days - San Francisco to Australia.
OCT/NOV 2010- One-month road-trip up the east-coast of Australia from Sydney to Cooktown.Chillin in the bush with Nick Racz! Diving the Great Barrier Reef on a liveaboard boat.
DECEMBER 2010- 4-days in the Amazon with my parents with caiman, pink dolphins, monkeys, tarantulas, and piranhas. 20-day South America/Antarctica cruise with my sister, Becky, and our parents - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Buenos Aires, Argentina, with 4 days cruising around Antarctica!!!
2011:
JANUARY/FEBRUARY - solo backpacking through South America - Argentina (Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls, Salta and environs), Bolivia (Salar de Uyuni, Lake Titicaca), Peru (Cuzco, Machu Picchu) . Met amazing people along the way. Return to the states - spent lots of time with family and friends in Virginia and Maryland and had a blast. Especially with my cute nieces and nephews!
MARCH - BACK to WORK, up in Alaska! WORK WORK WORK... Awesome layovers - Fairbanks Ice Championships, Chicago with DeVault cousins, San Fran with my SFO-4. Iditarod 2011 in Nome, Alaska with Christopher Hudson. Seattle for St. Patty's Day - green egg burritos with Derek Rowley, Birthday Limo Ride for Miss Jeanne, Angie Keene's wedding.
APRIL - Playing tourist in D.C. with my friend, Jenny Cowell! Home with friends and family. Back to work. A couple visits to Nome, Sweet, Nome. Back to work! A trip to Atlanta to see Debbie and Stanley, back to work, San Diego for Shane's housewarming party, back to work, and then headed HOME!
MAY - Full-time Aunt Beanie!!!!!! Ryan and Melissa had Caden Joseph Kigin in April, so I went to help out with their THREE boys! Derek Rowley came to D.C. for 10 days. We also went to Rehoboth Beach with Mel, Bobbie and the kids!
JUNE/JULY - Father's Day in NYC. Back to work. Work, work, work. Stressful commute - Christopher Hudson saved me, bless his heart forever. Fun adventure - glacier cruising out of Whittier. Work, work, work! :) Spending time with my Alaska friends. :) Wedding/Family Reunion in Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
AUGUST - Shane and Nora got married in San Diego! We like to call them Shanora! (kid-free wedding, fun for all the siblings!) Work trips to see Kigins in Phoenix, Chicago, friends in Portland, Sitka and Juneau. Good times.
SEPTEMBER - Transferred bases from Anchorage to Seattle. Miami trip - Sency! Recurrent training - I'm a flight attendant for another year! Fire and Ice Cruise with Stephanie and Edmond- Denmark, Norway, Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, Greenland, Nova Scotia, Ft. Lauderdale. Home for a day! Back to work!
OCTOBER - Utah for four days. Reunion w/ BYU roommates, friends from Virginia, friends from Alaska, and new friends. :) LA for Pete and Anita's wedding. Work, work, work. Chicago to see cousins! :) Woohoo!
And so here I am.
And there I was.
And that's that.
The End.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pacific Islands... the slow boat to OZ

Cruising from San Francisco to Sydney, Australia on the Sapphire Princess... The past few weeks have been full of amazing experiences and we have been in PARADISE day after day after day! Honolulu, Maui, Moorea, Papeete, Bora Bora, American Samoa, Western Samoa, Fiji, and now New Zealand. WOW! Every day is an adventure!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Today I slept ALL day. I haven't done that... ever? I was only awake for a couple hours this morning, but otherwise I was out. There was no one home. It was totally quiet with no distractions or interruptions. It was AMAZING.

Around 6:30 p.m., I woke up. I got in the car and drove less than a mile away from my house and got a speeding ticket. ARRRRGGGGGHHHHHH. BLAH. I should have stayed in bed!!!!!

To overcome the pain of that expensive yellow piece of paper, I ate FIVE bowls of chocolate ice cream. A healthy choice? Perhaps not. But it sure made me feel better... :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

RUNNING THROUGH A SLIDING GLASS DOOR IS A VERY BAD IDEA


I was SOOOOOO lucky. It could have been SO much worse!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Luck of the Irish

Hmmm.... it's been a while (okay, it's been a REALLY long while)... The past couple of years have been full of interesting adventures and learning experiences. Do I TELL ALL (too daunting) SUM UP (daunting still), or just start from TODAY?

How about...TODAY

Today, I found a perfect 4-leaf clover in the middle of Alaska.
And then I found another. And another, and another, and another... In all, my friend and I found SIXTEEN 4-leaf clovers in under an hour! We felt that we'd found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! Lucky, lucky, lucky!

Later in the day, I came across this quote:

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." -Seneca

Blessings aren't handed to us on a silver platter.
We have to work, hope, pray and work some more. We need to persevere and have patience.
And when the door opens, we need to recognize to what lies in front of us, be grateful, and seize the moment.

"Count your blessings. Name them one by one."

May you have a luckyducky kind of day. :)



Thursday, May 07, 2009

How to Survive an Alaskan Winter:

1.Go dog mushing.


2. Build an igloo.

3. Go ice fishing.

4. Find a frozen waterfall.

5. Participate in Running of the Reindeer.

6. Skin a rabbit.


7. Drool over Mt. McKinley while snowshoeing.
8. Volunteer as a dog handler at the Iditerod. 9. Warm up in Chena Hot Springs.
10. LEAVE!!!! (For about 4 months!)

Monday, February 16, 2009

CHOCOLATE

My friend, Nathan, lives in South Carolina. We were chatting on the phone one day, discussing how much we love chocolate. (I'm partial to Dove dark b/c it's accessible in most stores!! ha ha). He told me the best he's ever had was at this chocolate shop in Monterey, California.


A couple weeks later, I come home from a long night of flying. It's 3am in Anchorage, and there are about 2 inches of new fallen snow on the ground. As I approach the front door, I notice there is a package on the doorstep - addressed to me!!! Can you guess what's inside?



It's a box of chocolates from Lula's in Monterey, California! With them is a note that says '... Enjoy the best chocolates ever...'! What a lovely surprise! Thank you, sweet Nathan!
And you know what? They ARE the best chocolates ever... WOW. You have to check it out, maybe order some and spoil yourself a bit.
http://lulas.com/
They are like heaven!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

After almost 4 months off, I'm back to flying the friendly skies.

(My time off encompassed trips to Utah, Portland a couple times, Hawaii for hiking, a Panama Canal Cruise, Seattle a few times, and Virginia/Maryland/New York to celebrate the holidays with family and new baby (not mine!). More on those adventures later, perhaps?!)

So, I'm flying these crazy trips that get into Anchorage around 3a.m.

All's quiet in Anchorage. I'm on the employee bus going to my car, Scooter Schmoo. There is a yellowish-orange glow from the streetlamps reflecting off the new-fallen snow and it's just so... peaceful. Magical, almost. Like anything could happen....

Like seeing a HUGE MOOSE right in front of you, just moseying through the employee parking lot, like its' nobody's business!!! WOW! My first moose of the winter. Cool. (like 2 degrees cool, brrrrrrr.....)

Ahhhh... I just LOVE Alaska!

Monday, October 27, 2008

MTC Diet Plan

Visited my parents in the MTC. I got a kick out of this - a vending machine full of goodies.... right next to a scale!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

He IS Listening!

This morning, I am sitting in my $400 car, Scooter Schmoo. It is full to the brim of all my belongings in Alaska... As I'm driving down New Seward Highway, I notice that my gas tank is on "E" and my car is starting to make some interesting noises, which can only mean I'm running on fumes.

A continual pleading prayer is running through my head and off my lips. "Heavenly Father, please, please, please let me make it to a gas station. Please, please, please..."

As I'm getting off at the exit, I am in the left-hand turn lane and see a station to my right. I zoom across three lanes of traffic pull into the station. Wow. I cannot believe I made it... Thank you, thank you...



I then realize my wallet is at the VERY BOTTOM of all that is packed in my car. To get to it, EVERYTHING would have to come out first. Sigh... and sigh again. As I get out of the car and am about to tackle this project, a woman approaches.



"Excuse me, I have something for you," she says to me.

"I'm sorry?" I say, confused. (I've never seen her before).

"Here you go, I felt like you needed this."



She hands me a $10 gas card.



"It's for you, no strings attached. I'm from a local church and we are handing out gas cards to the people we feel impressed to give them to. I felt like God wants me to give it to you. The Lord sends you his LOVE."



WOW... Talk about Heavenly Father giving us exactly what we need.

So, in case you were wondering, here is your answer:
HE IS LISTENING and HE DOES LOVE YOU!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

MISSIONARY MAMA & PAPA!!!



NEW YORK CITY - HERE THEY COME!!!
My cute parents are going on an 18-month mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! We are so proud of them and are excited for their upcoming adventure.
They will be GREAT!!!!
WE LOVE YOU, MOM AND DAD!!!

SUMMER 2008: LAND OF THE MIDNIGHT SUN

Highlights:
- Driving the Alcan Highway from Seattle to Alaska.
- Camping/hiking in Denali National Park at Wonder Lake.
- Solo back-packing trek to Williwaw Lakes.
- Flightseeing and Glacier Landing on Denali/Mt. McKinley.
- Rafting 6-mile Creek in Hope.
- Ice-climbing the Matanuska Glacier.
- Sunday dinners with Aunt Lisa.
- Water taxi across Kachemak Bay and camping out by a glacier:

- Halibut fishing in Homer.

- Biking the many great trails in/around Anchorage.
- Valdez, Copper River, Whittier, Fairbanks w/ Mom, Dad & Becky.

- Working on the train- then the plane - then the train - then the plane...

Monday, September 15, 2008

rent-a-hubby

This was written on my final paperwork on a flight to Fairbanks:

Barnes, Marge 18E FAI WCHR
1 HUSBAND ONLY, ONE NEEDED IN FAIRBANKS AS WELL.


(so the request is for a wheelchair, but it sure sounds like she wants another husband! )

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My mom called me the other day and said,
'You're going to be an UNCLE again!'
Translation: Ry and Mel are having another boy!
(p.s. fyi, she meant to say AUNT! Ha!)

First Class Name Phlubs...

So when we are serving First Class, we are required to address the passengers by their names. It's not that difficult until you have circumstances like these:

1. How would you pronounce the following name?: Steve Bicher ('oh dear' is right!!!)

2. When addressing a man and a woman in 1A & 1C, which one would you presume is Wanda Wim? ... Well, things are not always as they seem...

Never a dull moment in the life of Fly Girl!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Everything is bigger in Alaska


Apparently, so are the restrooms!
Location: Eielson Visitor Center, Denali National Park

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

TWINNERS!


Mootsie the Moosey had twins: Tootsie and Poopsie!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Unbelievable

On a short 1hr 30 min Flight: 4 medical emergencies within 5 minutes of each other...

  • TWO ALLERGIC REACTIONS
  • ONE PARANOID SCHIZOPHRENIC
  • ONE UNRESPONSIVE/NO PULSE

It was busy, intense, surreal.

I have never had a flight like it before. Neither had Gigi (flight attendant).

Neither had Darlene (other flight attendant) - It was her FIRST day on the job! She was stellar.

In the end, everyone was alright. But, WOW, what a day...

(lmk if you'd like the detailed version!)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Peanuuuuut, peanut butter, and....

SALAMI???

On my flight today, I sold a Picnic Pack to a boy (probably around 9 yrs old). Inside the box is salami, cheese, crackers, peanut butter, jelly, dried apricots, etc. After he ate, I asked him what he like the most in the Picnic Pack. "Salami and peanut butter," he said. He spread the pb on the salami and munched away. Bon appetit! (isn't that icky sounding!?! Ha!)

It reminds me of Caroline Morrill, who I used to babysit. She LOVED ketchup and jelly sandwiches on a hot dog bun... She also liked frozen chicken nuggets. I wonder if she ever had frozen nuggets with peanut butter on top? I wouldn't put it past her... and I bet she loved it!

I think I'll have to try the salami and peanut butter combo, though. Just to see what it's like. I'll let you know how it goes...

Friday, July 04, 2008

HOME SWEET HOME....















HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA!
I love traveling; having random and exciting and unique experiences make me happy and brings many fond memories.

BUT...

Nothing brings more JOY to my life than being HOME...

Being home, in a country that is free. In the place of my birth. with my family and friends. Spending every waking minute doing and seeing and embracing the moment. And sitting back, doing nothing, and letting the moments take you away... Going on walks at night when all the world is sleeping but you and memories and the glow of fireflies...

Gratitude overflowing...

Sunday, June 08, 2008

World's Best Sledding




It was a gorgeous day in Anchorage, Alaska. The sun was shining, the sky blue. It was ALMOST warm, but not quite!
I had just flown in from a Seattle all-nighter and was exhausted, but couldn't let the day go to waste. Edmond, Debbie, Stephanie and I decided to hike up to Flat Top.

It was a great day for a hike. I admit, on no sleep, it was pretty exhausting. But it was so nice to be out there in the sunshine, and breathing in the fresh "springtime" air. And when I say air, I mean AIR! The wind was CRAZY! It would come in gusts; there was a time or two we thought we'd get blown off the mountain!










We had a BLAST. It was a lot of work, especially with the snow on the rocks! When we got towards the top, Edmond decided to climb up all the way and slide DOWN!













We thought he was NUTS!!! But down, down, down he went, (screaming like a girl the whole way). Ha ha! He then he ran/climbed back up the mountain and convinced Steph to go. I needed a bit more persuading... Here's the footage from my end. And then from their end!!!!
video



video

After they slid down, I decided I'd rather die sliding down the mountain than die while slipping and falling down icy rocks trying to climb down! It proved to be an excellent choice! (and took a lot less time, too!) I went with two guys I met on the top of the mountain. Hopefully I can get the footage from their camera; it shows me getting squashed by the guy in the swishy pants that zoooooomed down the mountain! ha ha! What a fun day!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Meandering Moose

So I now live in Alaska. I love it here, especially since it's sunny all the time - well, for the next couple months. :)
This is me with Mt. McKinley. I could get used to this.



I wish I could say that I live in a "blue foam dome home with no phone" like my Alaskan friend, Karen, but I cannot. I can claim that the apartment complex where I am staying has a 'resident moose.' Not really, she comes and goes as she pleases, but she seems to frequent the complex parking lot and surroundings. She likes to wander around and eat the leaves off the trees and snooze next to the mud-covered trucks and shiny SUV's and Steph's little car, Betsy, (who got us all the way from Seattle to Anchorage via the Alcan Highway!). Alaska is awesome - you're on a bikeride or leaving your apartment or the store, and VOILA! There's a MOOSE right in front of you!

Some neighbors are not smart and feed the moose carrots from their bedroom windows. They are 'more smart' than the others who think it's a good idea to approach a wild animal - who can kick in your head in less than a second - just so they can get a picture with a moose.

We like to call her 'Mootsie,' not to be confused with 'moosey.' Then we can say, "Mootsie the moosey is on the loosey," which is almost as good as Karen's "blue foam dome home with no phone."

Thursday, January 31, 2008

My name translated into Chinese:

LOVELY EXAM

my family still wonders... will anyone ever pass?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Grand Steps in Life

I FULFILLED A LIFELONG GOAL BY CLIMBING THE GREAT WALL of CHINA!
IT WAS AN AWESOME EXPERIENCE!!!

First night in China

It was my first night in Beijing, China. After clearing customs and immigration, and making a stop at the toilet and ATM, I caught a taxi. The man, (rather a kid!) had a big smile and spoke NO English. Since I was getting in so late, I had previously made reservations at a Super 8 so I had a place to stay that night. I showed the taxi driver the address and he had to call his friends for directions!
As we drove around, the most interesting thing to me was that I couldn't read the signs!!!! Some had English, but for those that didn't, I felt like I was three-years-old again and wishing I could read! We drove and drove and drove. When we got to the area of the hotel, we drove through these skinny alleys w/ bikes and rickshaws lined up along the walls. We drove in and out of them, and in and out of the next one. Clearly,we were lost, he could NOT find the place. We would stop now and then to ask a passerby for directions. Each time, it was clear that nobody knew where this place was.
It was a scene out of a movie... It seemed as though nothing had been touched in hundreds of years and everything was covered w/ about a half an inch of dust. What I realized is that it was SNOW! and b/c of the pollution, it has a grayish hue to it. Strange... (btw, it IS totally Brrrfreezing!). The only reason I knew we were not in a ghost town were the occasional little snackshops and barbershops open (who gets their hair cut at 10:00 p.m.!?) I started to wonder what was going to happen; if we couldn't find the hotel, did it even exist or was it one of those internet scams? Also, how on the planet would I tell him to take me to another one!!!
As I was contemplating my situation, a BIG YELLOW 8 appeared around a corner! A-ha! There it is! We both cheered out loud in our own languages. :) The 45-minute adventure came to a total of about 20 bucks (US) and I said goodbye to my little cab driver friend. I wonder if he was able to find his way home...
Next stop: Checking in at the hotel.Lucky for me, one of the gals spoke English. Also lucky for me, my reservation went through so they had me in the system. It was 180RMB, which is about $23. It is required to show your passport for checking in and to put down a 100RMB deposit. Then I went up to my room. At first I couldn't figure out how to turn on the lights. Then I saw that you had to put your key in the wall to get power! My room was SMALL! All it had space for was the bed. And it was warm in the room, thank goodness. That was all I needed.
The only problem was that the walls were absolutely paper-thin. I could hear everything the guy on my right was saying to his friend on the phone in Chinese, and there was couple on the left and, well, that's the same in any language... I had to roll my eyes, and hope that both parties would go to bed soon, as it was nearing midnight. Once I got settled in and went to bed, all was quiet... at least for a little while.
I was sleeping peacefully. I was warm and comfortable and thoroughly tired. I was dreaming a happy dream. Suddenly, I was awakened by the most dreadful sound - the man to the right was SNORING.... Now, if someone is snoring in my ear, usually it's my own fault, since I've fallen asleep in the same room as the snorer. It's not supposed to happen when you're sleeping in the NEXT ROOM. It was like he was lying right next to me!!! I got up and read a little while, each minute ticking by I'd get a bit more frustrated! Then, I remembered something that SAVED me! I switched on my new MP3 player, turned on Enya and turned up the volume and went back into my la la sleepyland. It did help, although I could still hear him in the background! My only hope now was that he would wake up early so I could sleep.
He did wake up fairly early. However, he was not quiet. Every few minutes for the next two hours, he would clear his nose and throat and spit. It was ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING. ICK. Needless to say, sleep was not an opion anymore! I got up, packed up my stuff, showered, and went to check out. As I was leaving my room, who comes out at the same time but Mr. SNORESPITTER himself.
I couldn't help but laugh, all the way down the hallway, in the elevator and through the lobby. When I went to check out, the gal asked, "Will you be staying another night?" I looked over at Mr. Snorespitter standing in market across the way buying a drink. "No. No I don't think I will," I said. I collected my deposit, grabbed my bags, and walked away, very grateful that my first night in China was over!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Funny Sign - Japan


In Narita, Japan's airport, the bathrooms also have bidets. The picture is a bit funny to me. But I'm sure it's necessary; as other countries (namely, America), do not widely have bidets in their bathroom facilities.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Angels in the Snow by: Larry Haddock y Cocina Limpia



Larry is one of my best buddies in Ogden, Utah. I flew out and surprised him for his birthday! Here is our fun adventure, written from HIS point of view!!!! (After a bad car accident 7 years ago, Larry has been on a long road of recovery. Here you can see how far he's come! Awesome, Larry! Great job!!!! )
It was the day after my 30th birthday. (Happy Birthday to me!) I excused myself from work so I could spend more time with my good friend, Clean Kitchen (Colleen Kigin-that's me!), who came into town for my birthday. I was trying to go about my life in a normal fashion. What I forgot is that NOTHING is normal when it comes to Clean Kitchen!
A few days ago, it snowed at least 20 inches. It continued to snow on an off over the next couple of days. My idea of normal life in the snow is to be inside, out of the snow, playing computer games. Clean Kitchen's idea is a little bit different, (or maybe a lot!).
She asked me if I'd like to go outside to make snow angels. Of course, the idea sounded a little bizarre at first, especially for a guy in a wheelchair; not to mention the freezing-cold temperatures involved! After she insisted enough and Mom offered me warm dress, I finally agreed. My boots weighed about 4-tons each, making it hard to walk. But I got out of my wheelchair and walked across the seemingly 3-feet deep snow, with Clean Kitchen in tow.
It was so fun walking through the snow because my left leg picked up and cleared the snow pretty good (considering the 4-ton boots!).
It was also neat becuase we could fall and not die! We would count, "ONE, TWO, THREEEEEEEEE!!!!" and then purposefully fall backwards into the snow!!!!! It was a nice, cushy landing every time. Then we would flail our arms and legs around and when we got up, 'VOILA!' siamese-snow angels!
Instead of making one snow angel, we made three. Instead of fifteen minutes, we stayed out there over an hour. We even made a mini-snowman, caught snowflakes on our tongues, and walked a mile uphill both ways (ha ha ha). And we got it all on camera!

Clean Kitchen and I also took some of our own self-portraits. Not bad, either... at least because of the subject-matter!!!
The end of the trek involved going
all the way into the house was long and hard after playing for so long, but I am better and stronger because of it. Now I can say, "Been there, Done that, Let's do it again sometime!" And I hope you'll join me.
The End. Goodbye. :)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Scissors aren't allowed through Security... and shouldn't be given to certain people, either!

Have you ever had a haircut from you-know-where?


I hadn't... until yesterday.







It all started when I asked my friend, Christa, to cut my hair so I could donate it to Locks of Love. So, we measured 11 1/2 inches, braided it, and snipped away! And WOW, was it cute, for just cutting it from the top of a ponytail!


The next morning, I went to a salon to just clean it up a bit. That proved to be the biggest mistake in hair history... When asked what I was looking to do w/ my hair, I said, "I'd like to keep the length and the slight A-line cut. It just needs to be cleaned up a bit in the back." I thought that was clear. Apparently, it wasn't.


The woman snipped and snipped and snipped. I had to tell her twice she wasn't doing what I wanted. "Oh, I fix it, I fix it." I gritted my teeth and let her continue (I should have stopped her right then!!!). She kept snipping away, and when she said she was done, I looked in the mirror and I was absolutely HORRIFIED. It was a blunt cut almost up to my ears in front and the back was chunky in all the wrong places!!! I looked somewhere between a 3-year old who got a hold of the scissors and Britney Spears! It was the World's Worst Haircut!!!




Well, I just started crying my eyes out!!!! "This isn't what I wanted, this isn't what I asked you to do!" over and over again. "Oh. I fix it," she said, "I fix it. Just sit. Give me more time. I cut more. I fix it for you."



Fix it? No way jose! Not a chance! I stood up, pulled the cape off and said through my tears, "I think you've done enough. I'm sorry, but this is a really bad haircut. I have to go." I walked up to the front and the gal at the desk just said, "no charge, no charge..." I thanked her and walked out bawling.



I came across another salon, walked in, tears streaming down my face. The lady took one look at me and said, "Oh honey. Don't worry. I'll fix it for you." (it was that bad!!!) And she did what she could with it. And it actually turned out kind of cute...
(my crew - Summer, Danni, me)




Now the challenges are: what to do with/how to style short hair, how not to eat it when it falls in my face, and how to get people to recognize me (especially when I don't even recognize myself when I look in the mirror!!!!)



It was a drama-filled and emotional day... but I survived my haircut from you-know-where. And the best part? It will grow back... in approximately three years, ten months and twenty-eight days!!




p.s. Here is a photo of Mrs. Getty, Gabi and I (w/ my new do). And no, they didn't recognize me, either!!!! But how fitting to bump into them in the San Francisco Airport. Hannah, where are you?!?!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

MUSH, MUSH!


Juneau, Alaska.
Dog Camp on Mendenhall Glacier.
June 9, 2007.

Flew into the camp via helicopter on a clear, beautiful day. The ride was amazing! And by going, I fulfilled another lifelong goal - taking a helicopter ride! That, in itself, was incredible. And it just got better!!!!






We were first given a tour of the dog camp. Then, we got to hold the puppies! After that, we were on our mushing way!
Our lead musher/guide was Mark Chin. My fellow-first-time mushing friends, Jean and Gordon Peters of Port Aransas, Texas, were great; we had so much fun!

It is one of the coolest things I have ever done and that's no lie!



Helicopter company - http://www.temscoair.com/


Friday, June 08, 2007

Here Comes the Bride!

Okay, okay, okay. So I haven't been to work in a million years, thus the flight attendant stories have somewhat dwindled. :) However, vacations are a must. :) And life has been lovely and exciting.

This weekend, I was the maid of honor in one of my dearestmostamazingkindredspiritfriendsonthewholeplanet's wedding. It was a fabulous day, in so many ways. Some highlights:

First and foremost, Erin and Peter, or 'Petah,' as I call him, got married. YAY! :)
Erin's mom, 'Mama Jen,' married them (she's a pastor). It was a beautiful outdoor ceremony.
Her dad, 'Papa Ailstock,' gave the most touching, heartfelt toast I've ever heard.
Her sister, 'DeeDee' ;) and I got to wear fabulous dresses as her bridesmaids.
The Bride made her own wedding cake - it was OH MY HOLY COW WIZ-BANG DELISH!
The best man's toast was HILARIOUS. I'd like to share a bit of it: (in a perfect English accent, b/c he is, indeed, English)
"I asked Peter what he wanted from this marriage, his goals, his purpose. And this is what he said.
'I want to be a model husband to my wife. I want to be a model son-in-law to her parents. I want to be a model father. And-' he added with a smile, '-I want to be a model lover."
The best man continued, "Well, I looked up "model" in the dictionary...
Model: a small or miniature version of the real thing.
And so, with that, I say, 'Good luck,' to the bride."
It was quite clever. And we laughed and laughed and laughed.... :)
And the bride and groom? They are living happily ever after, of course!!!