Monday, October 29, 2012

golden birthday week

dear blog

last week was my 23rd & golden birthday. on saturday lauren and i had a golden birthday party in my backyard. all week my roommates spoiled me with coconut treats, awesome casette tapes, a wall papered with my face, 23 goldfish, lots of presents & surprise guests. my mommy & dad made me birthday cake, chicken pot pie & coconut brownies. stu wrote me a song. b unit played blackbird for me. jeff played the ukulele for me. lauren gave me bossypants and lotion and hot tamales. geoff got me a candle. louis sang to me, too. maddie surprised me! richie emailed me. nickie was SO good to me & got me an awesome apron. harriet visited me on my birthday and brought me cookies. my visisting teachers gave me a treat and some nail polish. jessica and blake took me to lunch. janae took me to lunch too. nickie took me to lunch too! bonnie & kathy gave me the sweetest card and a giftcard to the bookstore. even m's bus driver & aide gave me a bookmark! i was showered with love and compliments. it was a really stressful week, but everyone was so good to me and i survived to my 23rd year!

thank you for all the birthday loving!
i'm so grateful for all my friend and family & especially for my mom & dad because without them i wouldn't even have a birthday!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

stay fresh 2012

dear blog,

last weekend i went to the grand canyon. 

here's a play-by-play (feel free to skip to the pictures, i don't mind): 
we left early thursday morning. we stopped at this diner in the middle of nowhere that was fun but disgusting. then we drove to the south rim of the gc. we stopped at a native american roadside shop to get some buffalo jerky/jewelry but it was abandoned, so that was freaky. when we got to the park we stopped a couple times to stare at the canyon, but it was getting late/dark so we mostly just drove to mather campground to set up camp. it started raining as soon as we starting unpacking, but we persevered! we set up two tents, one for sleeping, one for stuff. we split wood, made a fire and cooked hotdogs and s'mores and hot chocolate. we put the fire out before getting in bed, but after giggling for awhile i could see the violent shadows that are cast only by fire and sure enough we opened the tent and the fire had started up the rain even! so we put it out AGAIN and went to sleep. 
friday morning we planned on getting up to see the sunrise, but when we woke up it looked like it was already bright outside so we gave up... it turned out that it was just someone's headlights shining in our tent, but it was fine. then we got up and made a fire and made a breakfast casserole in the dutch oven. it was delicious! then as soon as we started to leave for the canyon it started SNOWING. so we stopped at the general store and a souvenir shop and we bought some stuff and sent some post cards. then we went to the visitor's center and watched a film about the canyon and then went to one of the look out points and the canyon was filled with fog. we couldn't see anything! it was actually realllly spooky. so we decided to go to lunch in tusayan. we seriously stopped at almost every restaurant in that tiny tourist town, looked at the menu and left because it was outrageously expensive. we ended up eating at mcdonald's and even that cost $10 for a meal normally half that price! RIDIC. but at mcdonald's amy found some buy one get one half off coupons for the imax movie and we realized it was about to start so we ran over to the imax and made it just in time. the movie was hokey but cool. then when we came out it was sunny! so we sped to the canyon and lo and behold you could see everything. it was so beautiful! we ended up parking by the visitor center and taking the shuttles to various lookout points and doing a minimal amount of walking on the rim trail. i met some nice people from pensicola, florida and the lady had the most beautiful engagement ring i have ever seen. i literally took a picture of it because i was mildly obsessed. at the last point we were at it started to hail/snow/rain so we ran to catch a shuttle and they wouldn't let us on because they were full. then we had so sit in the rain for what felt like forever (we considered getting in a dumpster to wait...) and finally a shuttle came and let us on. we met some nice people from holland so that was fun. then we got back to our car and went back to camp to make a fire and get dinner ready. we made tin foil dinners and peach dump cake in the dutch oven. both delicious. and also we had s'mores (obviously.) then we ended up in the tent to snuggle because it was so freeeezing and we stayed up reading tina fey's autobiography and giggling. 
saturday morning becca and amy got up to see the sunrise and lindsey and i slept in a bit. when they got back we packed up camp and headed out. we had muffins and fruit in the car and drove to a couple more lookout points before heading out.

it's impossible to describe the vastness of the canyon without seeing it all at once. the imax video said something that i loved, "the canyon is humbling and uplifting..." i love that because grand canyon really does make you feel small, but in an edifying way. i'm so glad for this little trip because i left feeling both humbled and empowered with a desire to do better and be better.

thank you, grand canyon.