Thursday, August 12, 2010

I'm Back!!

Wow, it's been a heckuva week. So I think I mentioned a little while back that Luke's sister Emily was coming to visit. Yeah, that was the past few days. Like, eight, actually. And when we get to the airport last Tuesday she makes us close our eyes because she's brought us a surprise . . . which turned out to be Luke's other sister Anna. Hard to bring a bigger surprise than that. :-) But it was pretty great - well, after the initial "oh crap, we only borrowed one air mattress . . . and we only have one extra pillow" thoughts passed.

Things got off to a pretty fabulous start as we checked out Salt Lake. Not really much to see there, I'm discovering. I always knew that, but this year I've been realizing just how little there is compared to other big cities. Anyway, we're heading home and there's construction or something so we slow down just south of Ogden and then traffic speeds back up . . . and we don't. And we're in the middle lane. Crap. At this point I was having some unpleasant flashbacks to when almost the exact same thing happened to me about 5 miles farther north my senior year of college (a transmission hose slipped - not fun!), and while none of us actually panicked I think it's safe to say we were all feeling a little panic-y. Which kinda makes sense when there are cars on either side of you going a million miles an hour and you're not moving and there's a big old line of cars behind you and you know they're going to start laying on the horn pretty soon, you know? Not fun. But eventually there's a decent person in the left lane and we're able to get the car to the side of the road, and some nice car-intelligent guy stopped to help us out, and Anna has Triple A so we were able to get Luke's car (complete with it's new white salvaged bumper put on just the day before) towed all the way to Logan. But the tow truck only has room for two extra people, which strikes me as kind of lame, so Emily and I got to ride with a state trooper to Ogden where dad picked us up and took us the rest of the way to Logan. Turns out something happened to the fuel system - dad thinks it's a delayed result of the whole rear-ending thing, and I'm rather inclined to agree because it just makes sense. So rather than pay for repairs we've decided we're just going to take the insurance money and run and try to squeeze a few hundred dollars more out of selling the car as is and dip into the savings account we've managed to actually build up - just a little bit - and get a car with a model year that starts with a 2 instead of a 1. Novelty-ness!! And then we'll save up for another year or two and replace my car too. Yay!

Anyway, since we really don't trust my car farther than Tremonton if we don't have to, we decide to look into renting a car. And it turns out that every single rental car from here to Provo (and probably farther) is rented out. Seriously? Are you freaking kidding? So it turns out that there's this MASSIVE convention in Salt Lake called Outdoor Retail and it happens every year. I'd actually heard of it during the summers I worked in Salt Lake, I just didn't know it was going on last week. And I definitely didn't know that every rental car in the friggin' state gets snapped up for the week. I mean, really, am I the only one who sees something wrong with that picture? But we keep trying, playing with the dates and stuff and in the end somehow we manage to find a car. Can't get it until Thursday morning, but considering it's apparently nothing short of a miracle that we've got that much we'll take it! So the Wednesday plans of Provo/Park City get canceled and I end up driving to Tremonton and riding with the parental units to drop Rian at the MTC. (side note: the MTC sign? Totally not there. It's said that they've been taken down for maintenance, but word on the street is they might be gone for good. Crazy.)

Anyway, the whole week was crazy busy and run ragged and all that jazz, but here are the highlights -

Thursday - Bear Lake. Great fun, especially since the last time I was there I was, like . . . five. Ish. And I didn't burn!!!!! There are no words to describe how much of a miracle this is. Somehow between the finally finding a sunscreen that works for me and reapplying it about a bazillion times I came home with a slightly pink face and a moderately burned scalp. (I did use sunscreen there too, not sure what happened.) YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously, so awesome.

Saturday - Craters of the Moon. Again, the last time I was there was at least 15 years ago, so it was fabulous to go back. Especially since our Yellowstone trip had to be canceled because of the stupid fire. (side note: we came home Monday to discover the tarps in front of our door were finally gone. It's going to take a little while to get used to having a view from our windows again. And the heat in the afternoon - not cool!!) Team Jayla came too, and we all took bunches of pictures and it was hot, but not near as hot as it was that other time when I was a kid, but it still felt soooooooooooo good to get down inside the lava tubes because it was about 30* cooler. And this time we (meaning Team Jayla, Luke, Anna, Emily, and me) went into a couple of the caves that required flashlights, which was perhaps not the most intelligent idea because all we had were Jason and Shay's two tiny little keychain LED lights, but it was about 20* in there, which felt awesome, and we all survived so it's all good. And we discovered that mom has absolutely no memory of leaving Rian and Shayla (who were about 4 and 6ish) behind on the guided tour of the big lava tube when they got to the stairs and chickened out. Seriously, that's what happened. We were with Aunt Michelle and Uncle Robert and their 3 kids, and all the rest of us went down and mom told Rian and Shay to sit on the bench and stay there until we got back. So they did. And totally missed out. But mom was swearing up and down that it could never have happened even though dad, Shay and I were all telling her it did. Good times. Also - I so could have stayed in those caves for hours just enjoying the temperature. Bring on fall!!!!!

Monday - Park City take 2. I've never actually been to Park City before, just driven through a couple of times. Luke and I are thinking we're going to have to go up there again and spend the night and take some time to do things a little more slowly. It's a cute little place . . . even if it is ridiculously expensive and touristy. :-) We checked out Olympic Park, which was a lot smaller than I thought, but still very cool. Also, the Australian freestyle ski jumping team was out practicing - very fun to watch. I got a short video, I'll post it on facebook eventually. It usually takes three or four tries for facebook to finally actually upload my videos. So. Dang. Obnoxious. Anyway, we also did the zip lines and the alpine slide. The zip lines are a lot slower than you think they'll be. Still very fun - just a slower fun. :-) With the alpine slide, Luke and I agreed that if one has the option, one should go to Rotorua, NZ, and do the luge instead. Much faster, three tracks, you can stop and take pictures on the way down, and the tracks are kind of like big downhill go-cart tracks and you can race each other. I don't have any pictures from it, but mom might have a few on her facebook. Anyway, if Rotorua isn't an option (which it totally should be, if for no other reason than because practically right next the luge they also have the original ZORB!!!!!) Park City is definitely a good alternative. :-)

We also went to Deer Valley and took the lifts up to the top of the mountain. That was a pretty sweet view. I wish we could have walked/hiked back down instead of taking the lifts again - that's one of the things Luke and I will have to do when we go back. Riding the lift definitely rocked though . . . especially seeing the things people "leave" high up in the trees . . . like mardi gras beads . . . and underwear . . . gotta admit, I'm kinda curious - but also pretty sure I don't want to know.

Tuesday - Luke and I stayed home. Luke was really needing/looking forward to a day or two of just relaxing and maybe not even leaving our apartment, and I thought that had been in the plan, but somehow it didn't happen. So we snatched up a day. Which turned out to be a really good thing, because I FINALLY got the call I've been waiting for all summer!!!! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, in case you missed it I'm going back to Ellis this school year!!!! I have a job again!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It would have really sucked to be somewhere without cell signal and missed that call. Also, I got another goodreads book!! Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!! Too bad it was a terrible book. Which those of you who are my friends on goodreads probably already know. And if we're not friends on goodreads . . . well, I ask you, are we really even friends at all? ;-) j/k . . . j/k. Yeah, so I've been in pretty much the best mood ever since Tuesday afternoon. Because that was pretty much the best day of my whole summer. Getting your job back just as you're starting to get really worried/paranoid? Cannot be topped. Especially when I'm getting an hour and fifteen minutes more a day - yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So yesterday we slept a lot of the day away after getting back from the airport and returning the rental, and that was immensely pleasant too. And today I suppose we're kind of getting back into our routine . . . except we got our carpets cleaned, but I can't really see a difference from before and it was kind of obnoxious having dudes who smell of cigarette smoke giving me a headache first thing in the morning. But give us a few days and we'll be back to normal. It was a lovely little vacation, we'll have to take one again sometime. For now though, I'll take having a job. :-)

P. ost S. cript
Have I posted this one already? Either way, muppets always rock. :-)

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