Utah and Idaho Trip, and a fun family-filled 4th

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Current mood: exhausted

These past few weeks have been super fun-filled! My stress level has also been high, so I feel like I’m in a bit of a manic phase right now. I’ve never been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, but these last two weeks would make one wonder.

So to summarize, here are the highlights of the Utah/Idaho trip:

Attending Jen’s wedding reception at Tracy Aviary, and going out with Janet, Jon, Eric and Debbie at Fiddler’s Elbow after

Visiting with Grandpa Jack twice

Lunch at Kneaders and shoe shopping with Emily

Seeing my old co-workers at LDS Hospital and Core Lab

Lunch at Mimi’s with Heather

Going out on the town with Nicole for Cedars of Lebanon, belly dancing, and the Tavernacle

The Kingdom Event where we cheered on Rosie’s little skater boy McCabe

Making contact again with my dear friend Celeste, who I hadn’t seen in 5+ years

Going up to Rexburg to see Ricks/BYUI, the new temple, and getting together with the Perry clan

The Taylor Family Reunion at Upper Coffeepot in Island Park, ID. It’s gorgeous!

Going to Hatch Park to let McCabe teach Rosie how to sk8

Dinner with Aunt Julie and Lindsey in Provo. A CRAZY morning at IHOP with Jacob, Mary, Rosie and Shawn

Mary and Jacob had so much fun while I was there that they decided to come down to Cali to play for the week of the 4th. Within a few days of me getting home from Utah, Taylor was able to fly home from Florida for a few days. Taylor flew in on Thursday night to LAX. We did a lot of fun stuff together, like a Nikki Forova concert at Synergy Café, seeing Knocked Up, working out together at the new Glendora 24, seeing baby Ava Elizabeth Taylor, and lots of swimming. Mary and Jacob came into town on Monday. Me, Mary, Liz, and Jeanne went to the Fall Out Boy concert at the Honda Center that night. Mary was so tired from the drive that she was falling asleep right with me (how sad is it that I can fall asleep at a crazy-loud rock concert?) I had to work on Tuesday, but met up for lunch with Taylor, Mary, and Jacob at Honolulu Harry’s. We were trying to decide if we’d all see Transformers that evening, but all of the plans fell through and I wanted to get caught up on homework instead. The night ended with a gut-busting funny game of Imagin-Iff.

Wednesday was the 4th of July. I was in charge of the program and music at my 3-Ward flag raising breakfast. I did a musical number called “America-Of Thee I Sing” with Mary, Dayna, and Natalie. We skipped out on the La Verne Parade because it was such a hot day. But we did go to a fun BBQ and swim party at Bishop Green’s house. Afterwards we went swimming at Gary and Eleanor’s pool. We met up with Lissy and Tyler at La Tolteca for dinner, and Jacob and Taylor went to Transformers with Liz and John Long. I could have gone, but I’ve had a lot on my mind and knew I wouldn’t be able to concentrate and enjoy myself. I went back to Eleanor’s (since I was watching Nevaeh) and had a chat about some of my big upcoming life decisions with her, Teresa, and Grandpa Ron (which will be discussed in a later blog). Mary, Rosie and I watched the La Verne and Pomona fireworks from the Kohl’s parking lot, and I hit the sack as soon as I got home.

I was feeling terrible when I woke up Thursday morning. I was feeling super stressed (since I was about 6 hours behind in homework), I was sick to my stomach from all the eating the day before, and I knew there was no way I could concentrate at work. Plus, it was my last day with Taylor home, and I couldn’t bear being away from him. I actually called in mentally ill to work! I studied for a few hours, rested, went to the gym, chatted with my academic advisor, and got myself re-focused. In the afternoon, we decided to go to Dockweiller Beach to pass a few hours before Taylor‘s flight out of LAX. I forgot my swimsuit, so I just chilled under the rainbow umbrella and took lots of pictures, waded up to my knees, and rested…breathing to the beat of the waves. It was very therapeutic.

We drove around Culver City and Westwood for a while, trying to find a place that sells clam chowder in a bread bowl. But after an hour we still hadn’t found a place. And since we’d skipped lunch, everyone was starving. We ate dinner at Coco‘s and it was surprisingly good. We did a little more shopping, said our goodbyes, and dropped Taylor off at the airport. On the way back, we missed the exit from the carpool lane for the 605, and ended up driving around a little in a pretty scary area to get back on the freeway (but not before getting sundaes, of course!)

I worked Friday, and felt very refreshed from Thursday to make it through the work day. Jacob and Mary picked me up from work for lunch at El Pollo Loco. After work we packed up our bags and headed south to San Diego. I found a killer deal on a hotel room on Priceline (a 3-star hotel for $60 on a Friday!) When we actually got to the room, I sweet talked the lady at the front desk and she upgraded me to a suite for free! So we got it for $140 under rack rate. After a dip in the pool, it was almost 11:00 by the time we were getting hungry so we drove around for a place to eat, but almost everything was already closed. We settled for CJ’s, and headed back to the hotel.

Saturday morning we wanted to go to the beach early, so we could go back to the hotel and shower before it was time to check out. We went to La Jolla, and I took a wrong turn. Instead of the beach I’d intended, it took us to this rocky/cliffy/tide pool area. We decided to get out and explore. There were all sorts of sea life (crabs, baby fish, anemones, etc…) We took a bunch of pictures and trapped a few crabs before letting them go. We drove further south to the first inlet we could found that was a sandy beach. We found a place with a staircase down that said “out of order.” Of course we were disregarded it, and hiked down some corroded stairs to the beach. We soon found out that it wasn’t just the stairs that made it a bad place to be…there were gigantic piles of seaweed and rotting fish life all over the beach. There was no way to avoid walking on the squishy, stinky stuff. We ended up having to walk almost a mile to a place that was suitable for swimming. It was a slightly foggy morning, so it took a little time to get used to the water, but before long we were body surfing, swimming, and riding the waves. We got a little lost going back to our car, since we wanted to avoid that beach yuckiness. We had to get back to the hotel quick to not miss our check-out time. On the way back to the hotel, we decided that we were having so much fun, and the room was such a good deal…why not stay another night? I was able to sweet talk the front desk again and we got the same killer rate. We showered off, relaxed in the room, and went to Chili’s for lunch. We shared lots of chips and salsa and a honey chipotle chicken crispers meal. We drove down to Ocean Beach and Mary, Jacob and Rosie did some more swimming, while I took another nap on the beach (all this playing was making me tired!).

We looked again for a place that sold clam chowder in a breadbowl, and when we found an ad for it…we headed right over. Unfortunately, the restaurant was out of clam chowder, so we shared a huge slice of pizza and a lobster taco. We drove around for a while, got some Starbucks, and went back to the hotel for more swimming. Jacob and Mary were totally sunburned so we had to get some aloe and cooling lotion.

After our continental breakfast on Sunday, we headed back to La Verne. Rosie and I ran to get ready for church, and Mary and Jacob packed up the car for their journey back to SLC. Due to the largest wildfire in Utah‘s history and Utah county traffic, it took over 12 hours to get home. But they made it safe and that’s what matters!

So there’s my last 3 weeks in a nutshell. Now it’s back to work, working out, and homework.

Currently listening :
Stadium Arcadium
By Red Hot Chili Peppers
Release date: 09 May, 2006
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