Posts tagged Travel
Whoa. It’s been just a few days since I’ve say down to post a little something here. It seems as though I didn’t have much of anything to say. If I’ve learned anything while blogging it’s that I shouldn’t force writing a post when I have nothing to say or just don’t feel like writing. I know, I know, that makes me an unpredictable blogger but given so much of my actions are predictable give me a break. =)
Where to start??
This past weekend was the inaugural event for Southwest Strides and it went off without a hitch. We had a better turn out than expected and we received nothing but positive feedback. Most importantly we raised almost $8000 for the Colon Cancer Alliance! We learned a lot from the event and look forward to continue to grow by hosting other events in hopes of continuing to bring the community together.
This Saturday I’ll be volunteering at the official CCA Undy 5K event. And Sunday? Well, there’s this little thing call Ironman AZ. Heck no, I’m not racing…but I make a darn good spectator. You can bet I’ll be out there rocking the Banana suit, cheering on my racing friends. If you’re at IMAZ be on the lookout for me!
Speaking of running….after being patient for 21 days I went out for a run and felt pretty darn good. I have since gone on 2 more runs and still have no significant pain in my foot. I went ahead and switched up my shoes and busted out some Mizuno Wave Riders I stashed away to be used for a special time and have worked on a bit of a gait/cadence change. Doing so means that I feel like a newbie runner once again. Oof. Who knows if the changes I’m playing with will be long-term but I think it’s worth a look. Once again, this doesn’t mean that my problems are gone but saying I’m thrilled would be an understatement. So ready to get back to running regularly and hitting the trails.
Remember when I told you about the #Omniten #Omnigames? Well, slowly details are emerging. The funny thing is, while we have more information we also are left with more questions at what this experience will entail. Through hints we’ve determined that we’ll be heading to Park City, Utah in early January and it looks like all #Omniten seasons (including the current season) will be involved! Other than the other information provided previously, that’s all we really know. After having a blast in Park City for our mini-#Omniten Reunion last NYE I’m pretty stoked to head back. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll take another stab at skiing that mountain. Heck, I may not have an option but to ski the mountain if the #omnigames calls for it!
What else…..hmmmm. Ah yes, one more update. This past week DH ordered and submitted payment for Unlocking The Truth’s custom SJC drum kit. It will take several months to be built but seeing yet another goal met is awesome and exciting!
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
If you happen to follow me on Instagram you’ll know this past weekend was our trip to Disneyland. DH and I decided to take Friday off of work, cash in on our Best Western Rewards points and head to Disneyland for the weekend.
Our 5.5 hour road trip from Phoenix was uneventful…that is, until we ran out of gas. What?! Yes, you read that right. We.Ran.Out.Of.Gas. ”How does that happen?” you may ask. Well, while my Chevrolet Spark is excellent on gas mileage it only has a 9 gallon tank. Heading into California we had just under a half of a tank and thought we were good. Little did we know there would be no gas stations for that long of a stretch. Put those things together and you’ve got a wee bit of a problem. Thanks to a friendly state trooper who happened to stop to check on us, we were on our way sooner than later. Lesson learned, don’t let the tank get that low in my Spark and when traveling from PHX to California, get gas before entering California!
We still made it to Disneyland with plenty of time before heading to Mickey’s Halloween Party. Our Disney World experiences were always at Christmas or spring time, so going during the fall to see the parks all decked out for Halloween was a big draw. Mickey’s Halloween Party is a special event that’s hosted throughout the season that requires separate admission.
Basically the park closes early to general admission visitors and remains open for a limited amount of visitors who have tickets to the party. It was perfect for us because we basically had a half day at the park, got to have “special” experiences that only occur during the party (in addition to all the regular attractions), and didn’t have to pay the full day price. It was awesome to see the Nightmare Before Christmas themed Haunted Mansion along with other changes they made to the park/attractions to make everything match the season. We tried our best to make it to the midnight closing time but must admit we had to call it a night and head back to our hotel by 11:30p.
The next day we chose single day park hopper passes and started out at the Disney California Adventure. Coming from the hometown of Cedar Point it’s hard to live up to awesome amusement park rides so we stuck with themed attractions such as Tower of Terror and Cars Land versus California Screamin’. We hopped between the parks throughout the day and ended up finishing our stay in the Magic Kingdom.
I’ve already been asked, “How does Disneyland compare to Disney World??” I have to admit, this was my biggest concern. After our experience the best I can say is that there’s pros and cons to each. I’ll do my best to explain….
Both parks had many of the same rides but we found them to be slightly different and actually preferred some of them over the WDW versions. We’re not sure if it was our timing but Disneyland seemed much more congested than the WDW parks. We’re figuring WDW has WAY more visitors but are they spread out throughout the parks making the individual parks seem not so busy? Maybe.
If you stay on site at WDW you’re submersed in Disney everything. It’s almost as though you’re in a different world. Everything seems, well, magical. We didn’t have that feeling at Disneyland. However, it was cool to experience the location where it all began and we still fully enjoyed ourselves.
If you want to see more photos you can visit my Flickr account.
I remember becoming fascinated with Walt Disney at a young age and wanted to learn everything I could. Like many, I’ve always seen him as an inspiration….even to this day. Heck, I even quoted him in my senior high school yearbook. Ha!
Although I see Disney World and Disneyland as fun places to go, I also see them as so much more. Something that came from a person that dreamed big, believed in those dreams, went after them, and succeeded. That’s not to say Walt didn’t have his share of setbacks. In fact, due to a disastrous opening day pretty much every press organization that attended predicated the park would fail within a year. And that is just a start.
But every time I walked through those gates it’s as though nothing else matters and when I leave I’m even more inspired to live my dreams.
So as we steer away from the “all inclusive” type of vacations DH and I were once accustomed to, we will always have time for Disney and it will always hold a very special place in our hearts.
Speaking of going after your dreams. You may remember our Indiegogo campaign to raise money to purchase a new drum kit for Unlocking The Truth. DH and I never gave up hope, even when we’d have days with no donations. However, thanks to friends, family, and strangers who also believed, the fund kept slowly increasing. Coincidentally enough, with a little faith, trust, & pixie dust, it’s happened. During our time at Disney we not only met our goal but exceeded it with time to spare.
There’s only one way to dream, and that’s to dream big.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
After DH served his time in the Marines we moved to Michigan. During that time we found ourselves adjusting to civilian living, specifically when it came to our income and lack of medical benefits. We were able to pay our bills but anything “extra” wasn’t possible. At that point we had been married 2 years and had never had a honeymoon or a true vacation for that matter. We somehow found ourselves roped into visiting a timeshare presentation. Don’t ask. I have no idea why we did it other than maybe an evening of entertainment instead of starting at walls like we were used to doing? We were no where near close to having money to even consider going on vacation let alone buying a timeshare (not that we ever would), alas, we went.
For those that have had the experience of a timeshare presentation you’ll know what I’m talking about. They start all nice, get you believing that they are right…and then sit you down and start hard selling. Normally when it comes to negotiating I’m a hard baller. (I learned from the best…my mama). But in this case it wasn’t about hard balling because there was no deal to be made. When you truly have no money (and not just saying that you don’t have money) it’s a different story. I remember them asking point blank, “What is your dream vacation?” Of course their point was to get the ball rolling. And while DH and I have always had locations in the back of our mind at that that very moment in time travel and vacation wasn’t on our radar….at all. Given our situation we couldn’t even wrap our head around the idea. When it comes to timeshare presentations, if the first person can’t get through your barrier then they send another person, and another if need be. In our case, they must have seen that clearly we were in no position to purchase, probably felt pretty bad for us, and we were let off the hook.
Since that experience our finances have been up and down but we’ve had the opportunity to do some traveling.
Unfortunately even with my quick trip to Park City and DH’s tour, our last true vacation was Italy, prior to moving to Arizona. While we’ve had enough to cover bills we’ve once again found ourselves leaving out the “extras” that would put us in the negative. If you compound that with having to secure pet care for the kiddos if we do want to travel (which has recently been fixed!), so much uncertainty when it comes to our jobs, no unpaid time off, opposite schedules (meaning we never had the same days off…ever), or the uncertain future when it comes to DH’s band, we’ve once again found that traveling/vacation hasn’t been in the cards. For the longest time we stopped thinking about it and began to have the mindset we had in Michigan because basically we had to.
DH and I LOVE to travel. We love adventure. We love to try new things and go places we’ve never been before. It’s a lifeline. Now that we’ve had the experiences, we want more. So Even though we can’t really afford a vacation we recently started doing some research as to what we can do to make this happen. To some this may not be smart. I know this is going to sound like a first world problem but we NEED this. We’re not looking for anything big. Just a quickie weekend here or there. Luckily for us we have many options within driving distance. The downside? So many options it’s hard to choose! After going back and forth between an outdoorsy type of adventure or a “typical all American” vacation ideas we have finally made our choice….Disneyland!
This may surprise some of ya’ll since you probably never pegged us as a Disney fans, but we are. In true Heidi fashion we weighed all of the pros and cons of our options. What it came down to is that Disney is not too far away and with saved points our accommodations are paid. In addition, although I love outdoor adventure DH is a little more hesitant. While he’s open to the idea I can’t just expect to throw him out in the wilderness and have him not only survive but enjoy it. Gotta ease into that sort of stuff.
So Disney it is. Funny enough, Disney World was our first true vacation we took together. Kind of apropos that this will be our first true vacation here in the west. Here’s hoping that just like before, this will lead to many more adventures!
What is your dream vacation?
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
As I traveled home from NYC last week I couldn’t help but think, “I’m a lucky gal….” I don’t say this in a boastful way but simply with a heart full of gratitude. I’ve already discussed how over the past several years my simple blog has transformed in just as many ways as I have as an individual. I have had many opportunities I never dreamed I would ever have and have been lucky to partner with some awesome brands, while I focus on remaining true to my promise to myself (and you!).
I’ve already laid out my generalized criteria on how and why I work with brands but as I looked back I noticed a pattern has unfolded…
I tend to like the underdogs. Most of the brands I have worked with have proven track records, along with having proven themselves in their field of expertise, and possibly even been the front runner at some time. However, at this point they tend to be in the mode of reinventing themselves, proving that they are once again relevant in their field. Although I have never been a front runner I can totally identify with this. The idea of making your move, hoping you’ll get your time to shine, yet not knowing if it’s going to happen, but still continuously moving forward. Yep, my life, in a nutshell.
(Edit: Since posting there were a few people who had took issue with me categorizing these brands as ”underdogs”, given their revenues. Point taken. Thanks to Heather for appropriately categorizing these brands I speak of as ”comeback kids” In her words, “boomed and quasi-busted before reinventing themselves.” I dig it. I may be a blogger but no one has ever said I’m good with words).
I love brands that are personable and get personal. These brands have a real person behind their social media accounts and general aren’t afraid to let it be known. They don’t just spread the word of their products but interact with their followers, fans, users, and critics. After getting to know my brand partners (Hello Adam and Jason!) I like to ask them, “Why me?” and every time I’m told, “I’ve been following you, reading your blog, love your content, and appreciate your interaction with others.” They rarely follow some weird equation to fill their partnership needs and actually pay attention to what I’m doing and saying. In addition, not only have I had the opportunity to meet their employees but CEOs, Presidents, VPs of companies etc. Even better? These individuals are unpretentious, down to earth, real people. So much that one time it wasn’t until after the experience that I realized who I was speaking with. True story. Shooting the shit with Tim Boyle, President and CEO of Columbia Sportswear, not even realizing it.
I don’t worry about stats and neither do they. Straight up, I’m a numbers person. However, I’ve made it a point to NOT pay attention to stats when it comes to my social media platforms. I’ll be honest, I did at one point, which is when things went astray and my authentic voice went out the window. In return my numbers came to a standstill and even worsened. (Proof, that I need to keep it real.) I understand why most brands want/need these numbers, as it allows them to measure their reach, growth, etc., and” proves” to the higher ups social media is worth it. I’m grateful for brands that respect quality over quantity and prefer organic growth.
They are willing to take a chance on me. Continuing with the point above, since they are basing their choice simply by my previous actions shows that they are willing to take a chance on me. At the same time they’re also asking for me to take a chance on them. Sure it’s awesome to be invited to events across the US. Most events are filled with fun, but I still see these as business trips. Often the schedules are jam packed leaving little to no time for other activities outside the planned itinerary. In addition, even though my travel and lodging are covered it still requires that I take unpaid days off of my regular work. Rarely do I know what to expect or if it will be worth the trip, hence why I’m taking the chance. Ultimately my instincts have been proven right and each trip has been worth it.
They ask for nothing in return. It’s no secret that by working with brands oftentimes product and/or money is exchanged. I’ve had some brands contact me and say, “We’ll give you this if you tweet about us 3 times a week, post a photo to instagram once a month, write 2 blog posts…..” Yikes. Once again, I get why some brands want this. It’s a “guarantee”. However, these are the brands I try to steer clear of. Once you get into the situation of things being required then it becomes forced, less genuine, and my authentic voice is lost. Instead the brands I’ve chosen to partner with say nothing. Originally I found myself saying, “What do you want from me? I know you have to expect something…” Their simple answer, “No. Nothing is expected.” What?! Weird. But what I’ve come to learn is that this allows everyone to share their thoughts and experiences their own way.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
My travel and lodging for NYC was paid for and provided by Nokia but all views expressed are my own. Ya’ll know I have and always will keep it real.
I’m back from #ZoomReinvented in NYC! As always I wanted to take a few minutes to digest everything that happened, especially since it was a whirlwind of activity Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
Wednesday started out with a 3am wake up called to meet up with Kim at the airport for the trek to NYC. Unfortunately for us it seemed everything that could go wrong did go wrong.
From an initial delayed flight, being asked to deplane our 2nd flight, which lead to us somehow missing that flight (US Airways never clearly explained how this could happen, but it was a blessing in disguise), being bumped to a 3rd flight (also delayed), sitting on that plane at the gate for two (yes, 2!) hours, then moving to the runway for another hour wait, finally making it to NYC 6 hours after scheduled….only to find the 2nd plane we “missed” never took off, the flight had been canceled (See the blessing? We got the first seats on the next flight. If we had been on that plane we wouldn’t have been so lucky,) and Kim’s luggage had not made it to NYC.
Did you catch all of that? If not, in other words, it was a gaggle. Although the weather in NYC was fine the surrounding areas weren’t so lucky which caused havoc among flights and air traffic control. This in turn meant grounded flights and big restrictions. Thankfully Kim and I took it in stride and kept the smiles on our face. The delays meant we were able to get to know each other a bit better which was actually pretty perfect.
By the time we made to it NYC we found ourselves being dropped off at the Hudson Hotel…the rad hipster feel and beautiful decor was very welcoming after such a long day of travel. Sadly we had missed the Nokia welcoming dinner but I made sure to see one of my fave Omniten ladies, Katie, who had also been invited by Nokia. After a quick catch up we called it a night and prepared for the next day and Nokia’s big announcement.
First thing in the morning we were shuttled to Pier 92. Within an hour the presentation was set to begin and I could feel the energy pulsing through the room.
Finally 11am came and the big announcement came: Nokia is releasing the Lumia 1020 which marries the second generation of Nokia’s massive 41mp sensor and optical image stabilization (OIS).
The next hour we were shown all the specs along with the phone in action. The photos are amazing. Immediately my gears were churning on how this piece of technology would fit perfectly into my life. Simply put, this camera phone is a game changer. I have a history of taking a camera everywhere I go. I’ve already found myself leaning towards using my phone for day-to-day photos, crappy quality and all, so I don’t have to lug my DSLR everywhere. So to have the option of a phone with a camera that produces DSLR quality photos? Whoa. Mind blown!
Following the announcement we were invited to check out the phones for ourselves in an interactive “show room”. Demo areas filled the venue with each location providing a different focus on the phone, allowing us to see the camera in action, up close and personal. As if the initial announcement wasn’t enough, this further proved that the Lumia 1020 is legit.
Later we had the opportunity to sit in on a Q &A session with the head camera developer Juha Alakarhu. Although I’ll readily admit much of the info was above my head I am always interested in expanding my knowledge and found this to be a great opportunity to understand the technology even better. Nokia has done some hard work and it shows.
That evening we had the opportunity to celebrate Nokia’s announcement of the Lumia 1020 by attending their #ZoomParty. Told ya it was a whirlwind experience!
So happy to hang out with these ladies
For those that want the nitty gritty details….the Nokia Lumia 1020 will be available in the U.S. on July 26, exclusively on AT&T Wireless. It will sell for $299 with a 2-year contract. Ya’ll know I’m not all that into specs, but for those interested…
Networks: GSM: 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 1900 MHz, WCDMA: 2100 MHz, 1900 MHz, 850 MHz, 900 MHz, LTE network bands: 1, 3, 7, 20, 8
Display: 4.5” AMOLED WXGA (1280×768), 2.5 D sculpted Corning Gorilla 3 Glass, ClearBlack, high brightness mode, sunlight readability, super sensitive touch
Battery: 2000 mAh battery, wireless charging supported via cover
Processor: 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon
Main camera:PureView 41-megapixel with optical image stabilization, Resolution: 7712 x 5360. Includes Nokia Pro Camera. Xenon flash for still images, LED flash for video
Front facing camera: HD 1.2-megapixel wide angle
Memory: 2GB RAM, 32GB internal memory; 7GB free SkyDrive cloud storage
I/O USB2.0, BT 3.0, NFC with SIM based security, WLAN a/b/g/n, A-GPS and Glonass, 3.5 mm audio connector
Size/weight 130.4 x 71.4 x 10.4mm, Weight: 158g
Although my time in NYC was short I am beyond grateful to have had the opportunity to have the experience. I have yet to get my hands on a Lumia 1020 but it looks as though I will soon have the opportunity to test it out along with a couple other Nokia items. More on this in the near future…
Oh yeah, almost forgot! Want to have the chance to be one of the first people to snag a Lumia 1020? Nokia has FIVE up for grabs. Hop to it!
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
What a whirlwind of a week I had last week. From showing my parents around Phoenix, to a day trip with them to Sedona, topped off by a quick trip to Las Vegas to fulfill our dreams of seeing Celine Dion, we covered some serious territory.
Celine in one word? Phenomenal. It was one of those experiences where no words will do justice. I had a feeling my emotions may get the best of me and sure enough when that curtain opened and I saw Celine standing there the tears started flowing. I’ve waited close to 20 years to experience her live and she did not disappoint. So amazing and well worth the wait.
I wish my parents didn’t have to head back home. I knew I had missed them but didn’t realize I had missed them so much until they arrived. Dinner together, hanging out, and heading out for adventures with them is unfortunately something we lost in our move across the country. While I’m happy we chose to strike out on our own adventures there’s no denying we miss our parents a ton. But we’re grateful for their constant support and the many fantastic new memories we made this past week.
Although they have gone home things won’t be slowing down for me just yet. A couple weeks ago I was contacted by Nokia and invited as an online influencer to their #ZoomReinvented press event in NYC July 11th. What?! YES!! Technology + NYC = Win/Win. I’m not going to try to sell you on the idea that I’m a total technology whiz, specifically when it comes to specs and all the ins/outs, but I must admit technology has always been a pretty big part of my life from a young age. Yep, all the way back to the ol’ Commodore 64 with joystick or my first kodak camera with 110 film, technology piques my interest for some reason.
While I’ve focused on unplugging more often lately I still must admit that my life revolves around electronics and technology. (Remember how many cameras I take on my hikes? Maybe this is also where I should admit that within the past week we’ve acquired a new iPad, iTouch, and laptop…..) So, as you can imagine, when I received the invite, not only was I stoked to hear I’d be heading to NYC, but also to see Nokia’s release of a new technology.
Nokia is keeping pretty mum about it all but there are lots and lots of rumors milling about as to what is going to happen. The gist of those is that they are poised to unveil the Lumia EOS which has similar specs to the PureView 808, but runs Windows Phone 8. Supposedly the phone will contain a 41 mega pixel camera. I have no idea if this is fact but my inner photographer is pretty darn excited at that idea.
Considering Nokia is being quiet about the technology you can imagine how little I know about what I’ll actually be doing in NYC. I do know that there is a welcome party the evening I arrive, followed by a full day of press for the release of their new technology. This includes a Q & A with the head of their camera technology followed by an evening #ZoomParty. Nokia has been seriously promoting how well their camera phones capture in the dark so I have a feeling we’ll get the chance to see the technology in action.
I know it doesn’t seem like I’m providing much information on what I’ll be doing in NYC but that’s because I don’t even know. But hey, ya’ll know I’m always up for an adventure. If you want to keep tabs on what I’m up to follow my #ZoomReinvented and #ZoomParty posts on Twitter or Instagram. NYC, here I come!
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
DH and I love living in Arizona. There’s little that has proven to be a downside of moving here, except one thing. No one to watch our kiddos while we’re away. I know it sounds like something so simple but for us it’s not. In the past our pets have always been watched by family members while we were away. They have never once been boarded. Don’t get me wrong, kennels are an excellent option for most dogs and cats, (remember, I’m a veterinary technician and have worked in the kennel) but when it comes to our kids it’s not that easy. With all of our moves they are the masters of dealing with change, but with their older ages I can only imagine what would happen if we would drop them off at a kennel. Most of them have some sort of illness, disease, or condition that requires medication and/or would be exacerbated by the experience. Even if we did opt to board the cats and dogs we couldn’t forget about the birds, tortoises, and frog. You can see our dilemma.
Finding a pet sitter was something I’ve visited on and off. Every time I’d look I would become overwhelmed and would put it on the back burner. Although I was able to make it to Las Vegas with the dogs in tow to surprise David, it made me realize we really needed to hop on this task. Who knows when another situation like that will arise and next time A. I may not have the option to take the dogs or B. want to take day trips or do other activities while DH is on tour that I couldn’t do prior due to having to rush home to take care of kids C. want to have an actual “vacation” where we can enjoy it 100% without worrying about our companion animals.
So the past 2 weeks have been filled with scouring the internet, specifically care.com, to see if I could find our pet sitter. My biggest concern: who would be willing to take on our menagerie? DH and I pride ourselves on running a tight ship and have it down to a science, but it does take some work…especially for someone who’s not used to it. I had it narrowed down to 2 individuals that run their own businesses as pet sitters, crossed my fingers, and made a couple phone calls. One person has since left the field and the other agreed to have a consultation. Yes!
Once I had the consultation set I wasn’t sure what I should do. Should I present the document I’ve already prepared for our ‘rents of FAQs, tips, how much to feed, emergency contacts, vet info, etc.? Or would this make me look totally anal? Sunday arrived and we patiently awaited her arrival. Thankfully the sitter thought of the idea of calling me when she arrived so I could place the dogs outside to help diffuse some of the excitement. I’m also thankful that when I let the dogs inside and chaos still ensued a bit, the she wasn’t put off by their barking and kisses. Hey, I may be a vet tech, my dogs may be decently well behaved…sometimes. But they still have their moments.
Within a few minutes everyone became fast friends with the sitter and I were able to get back to the task at hand. She immediately started taking notes so I decided to hand her my previously prepared document. I quickly explained my reservations about providing it and freaking her out, but she was thrilled. According to her she normally writes everything down, prepares a document of her own, and saves it in a database. In addition, she said she also has to pry answers out of people on what to do/what to expect. Ha! So it was perfect. After an hour and a half of discussion and getting to know everyone I determined that we may have found an absolute perfect fit for our pet sitter. Thankfully she thought so too.
When it comes to having others care for our kids we’re pretty easy going. With that being said I know not anyone can or would be willing to do it. After our consultation I am thrilled and grateful that we found someone that is not only willing to do so but is such a perfect fit. I have no doubt in my mind our furry, feathered, and scaly creatures are going to receive the best care. Since our move we rarely travel but maybe this will change and we’ll soon be back to our globetrotting ways.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
With the arrival of the new year also comes the eagerness of people to add and cross off more items on their bucket lists. Although I am in constant motion, seeking out adventure, and more than willing to cross items off of my bucket list, the new year doesn’t push me any more than other times of the year.
I’ve noticed some recent blog posts about people’s reverse bucket lists. For instance, Heather and Katie, along with TrekTech, who brought the original post to light. Instead of focusing on what they haven’t done yet, it’s what they HAVE done so far in their lives. Just another friendly reminder of how awesome our lives really are. Some lists are more adventurous than others. Ultimately, no matter what is on the list should be considered an accomplishment and be celebrated.
I think it’s important to take inventory of our lives. Even more, with my recent focus on living in the present and being grateful for the life that I lead, I am all about this concept and figured I’d give it a whirl and see what I came up with.
1. Married my high school sweetheart and been married for almost 11 years.
2. Paid my own way through college, without financing, and have no debt.
4. Traveled to Disney, Hawaii, Texas, Puerto Rico, Canada, NYC, Minnesota, the Caribbean, Arizona, Utah, and Italy over the past 10 years.
6. Spent Thanksgiving Day in NYC watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and walked 20+ miles in just over 12 hours to see as much of Manhattan as we could.
7. Lived 2 consecutive months on 100% raw food. One of which I only ate bananas, dates, and water.
8. Bought a home.
11. Learned how to play cello and trumpet along with sitting 1st chair trumpet in high school.
12. Have swum in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
13. Spent 2 seasons as a cheerleader all because of a dare.
14. Sold half of our belongings, picked up, and moved halfway across the country with our menagerie…all without jobs, renting a place sight unseen, to live our adventure.
15. Spent 3 Christmas seasons spreading holiday cheer through singing and playing hand bells…performing for various organizations ranging from charities and nursing homes, to Disney World and Colonial Williamsburg.
16. Learned how to ride a horse and went on to show competitively along with taking 6th place at state in showmanship.
17. Rode on Maid of The Mist to view Niagara Falls.
18. Driven a car in a foreign country, including the very narrow streets of Montepulciano, Italy where New Moon was filmed. How narrow? See this person’s video, which doesn’t do 100% justice as to how small those streets were. One of the most nerve-wracking moments of my life.
19. Went the 1st 19 years if my life with no cavities. My first 2 cavities were then filled without the use a novocaine by my choice. I didn’t think much of it but the dentist thought I was badass.
20. Lived in New Orleans, Detroit, and Phoenix over the past 10 years…and am still not ready to settle down in any one location.
I am passing the torch on to you. What’s your reverse bucket list? Blog it. Post it on Facebook. Write it in a notebook. Either way, do it…and realize you are awesome.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
The first Omniten Reunion was pretty darn fantastic! As usual, I’m having a hard time putting into words the experience. After our Sedona/Havasu trip in June we had hoped to reunite in the future. I’m not unsure if anyone really thought it’d happen. Thankfully we were able to personally come together and make a reunion happen, even though some could not attend. (No worries! I’m sure there will be more.)
Upon my arrival I was greeted at baggage claim by Heather and Katie. We then headed over the neighboring terminal to grab Jon. Gotta love when flight schedules coincide. After a few quick hugs we ventured out into the COLD weather (Holy crap, did I really ever live in this sort of climate?!) to be met by Will, ready to start our short road trip to Park City.
Will was volunteered for the task of organizing this adventure and to say he delivered is an understatement. Our lodging alone spoke for itself. I’ve always hoped to vacation in a lodge such as Timber Wolf Lodge and it finally happened.
Fireplace? Check. Hot tub? Check. Classic wood/cabin furniture? Check. Warm and welcoming? Check. Kick butt entertainment set up? Check. Pots, pans, dishes, and other kitchen utensils? Check. It was all that I had hoped. You better believe I chose to sleep on the couch and fell asleep by the light of the fireplace each night.
Once settled in we made our way to the market to grab all of our food necessities for our time in Park City. We kicked off our first evening with a gourmet meal from Will and called it an early night.
We woke up early the next morning in hopes of hitting the slopes at opening. After Jon and I grabbed our rentals at Park City Sport (High five to them. We almost didn’t acquire rentals for our lack of planning. They were super nice and understanding. Not to mention, they didn’t make me feel like a tool for my lack of knowledge.) we headed to Alta.
That would be the look of fear captured by Katie
I knew this, but wow, ski resorts out west are nothing like Ohio. Those aren’t just hills. Those are mountains. There are no words to describe the beauty.
Photo Courtesy of Heather
After taking a brief moment to take it all (brief, because it was flippin’ cold! I don’t know if I’m meant for cold weather anymore…), it was time to face the challenge I set before myself well over a year ago. That’s when the nerves kicked in. How in the world was I going to survive on these little toothpicks? Alas, I did it. First run of the day + no crashes = success. Woohoo!
Photo courtesy of Katie
Another photo from Heather
After several hours of runs we took a brief lunch and then headed back for a few more runs before calling it a day. The second half of the day was filled with even more beauty as we were surrounded by falling snow. So peaceful.
Alta is a pretty sweet mountain. The slopes were perfect for my lack of experience and I really fell in love with all it had to offer. Unfortunately those that are looking to snowboard must head to another mountain since it’s only open to skiing. However, the variety of green, blue, black runs provided enjoyment for the varying skill levels in our group.
We finished up the day with a quiet night in the lodge since the next day called for more skiing!
Day 2 of skiing lead us to meeting up with another member of the Omniten, Steve, and took us to Solitude. A bit quieter than most mountains, Solitude lives up to it’s name. With the sun shining and the snow falling consistently throughout the day, it was as though diamonds were falling from the sky. Can’t beat that. Unfortunately for me day 2 didn’t go as well as day 1 (more on that in the future). Even so, it was another beautiful day on the mountain.
That evening we had several Blends (blog +friends) come to our lodge to celebrate New Years and have dinner.
I love meeting blends in real-life. Heck, these are some of my best friends, so it’s always great when the opportunity arises. After dinner we hit downtown Park City to ring in the New Year.
The next day called for sleeping in, eating lots, checking out more of Park City, playing cards, and even some dancing. Before we knew it, nighttime had once again come and it was time to call it a day.
As expected, our final morning together was filled with cleaning, packing, and goodbyes. As always, time flew by faster than we imagined. Could it really be time to head home?
2012 was filled with adventures and experiences that were out of this world for me. 2 life-changing experiences included my Omniten family. In our short times together they’ve seen me at my highest and also at my lowest. They’ve provided inspiration to pursue my adventures and kind words or a shoulder to cry on when I’ve stumbled (both literally and figuratively) through these adventures. I really couldn’t imagine my life without them.
To friends and future adventures!
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
What better way to start out the new year than by going on an adventure? Yes, another adventure. (What’s new?!) All of my adventures are sure to be a good time but there’s no doubt in my mind much fun will be had over the next week with some of my favorite people. I’ll only be gone for a few days, but as always, adventuring calls for stepping away from blogging and enjoying all the moments that come my way. Want to keep up with my shenanigans? Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. When I return I’m sure I’ll have some fun stories and photos…not to mention, I have a few giveaways coming. See ya in the new year!
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)