Thursday, July 5, 2012

Irn Bru and cute men in kilts

On a whim, I bought a plane ticket to Scotland to visit my best friend Katey. She is there on an internship with the Scottish parliament. I really wanted to go visit her but the plane ticket prices were just too expensive and I couldn't justify it being a full time student and part time worker. With that said, I still daydreamed of such an experience and would check flights occasionally just to make sure I still couldn't afford it. Then it happened, I found a ridiculously cheap flight. The only problem was that the flight left in 10 days. My boss is incredible and let me have work off, I had recently started school but talked with my professor and could make it work. After an hour of getting my ducks in a row, I purchased my plane ticket. I mean, it was like the universe needed me to go. I couldn't afford not to... right? And so I present to you, my travels to Scotland.

You'll have to excuse the excessive details. Or... you can thank me for them, either way. 

I'm no stranger to long days of multiple flights to another country (Thailand x3), but for some reason this one really wore me out. I wasn't really able to sleep on my long flight from St. Paul to Amsterdam due to a very large lady on my right who was all up in my business the whole flight. By the time I got to Scotland I was exhausted. Katey met me at the airport and we took the bus to her apartment. I crashed on the bed and Katey went to work. I woke up around 3 and headed out to exchange some money and pick up a couple things at the store. 

Just walking around the neighborhood.

I happen to go to Scotland the only week it wasn't cold and rainy.
It didn't rain once and it was mid 70's the entire time. You can see
how excited everyone was because the park was filled with 
thousands of people.

We went to the cutest little place for dinner and it was delicious.

Just walking around Edinburgh

Found a neat cemetary

One of my favorite things about Edinburgh is the Edinburgh castle perched on a 240 million year old volcano.
From almost anywhere in the city you can see it, and I felt like I was in a different time period every time I stopped to stare.

This is a view from the North Bridge which is 525 feet in length and connects High Street with Princes Street and the New Town with the Old. One of my favorite things about Edinburgh are the quaint little bookshops and local stores that they have lining the streets. It was so fun to travel the city by myself while Katey was at work and meet new people and enjoy the Scottish culture.

I just loved this delicious little lunch that I had for 5 pounds.

Katey and the BYU interns: Katelin and Steph.

These were taken where some of the first witch trials took place. It is an adorable little place called Grassmarket. I really loved the architecture of this place.
For your viewing pleasure:

Because the weather was so beautiful while I was there we decided
to go to the beach and explore the shore line and a castle there.
We took a train about 45 minutes Southeast of Edinburgh to a town
called North Berwick. These are our adventures there.

Throughout Scotland you'll see these vibrant yellow patches of Rapeseed.
It is what vegetable/canola oil is made of. We were obsessed with them.

This is the remains of a very old castle in the town.
We wanted to check it out.

We took a tour of the Edinburgh Castle and the view was incredible.
This is a picture of Calton Hill in the far right, the hotel in the middle
where J.K. Rowling finished the last Harry Potter, and 
Scott's Monument on Princes' Street.

On my last day in Scotland, Katey and I took a tour to St. Andrews.
We started the day off with some fish and chips and traveled around
what remains of St. Andrews' Cathedral. It was incredible traveling to 
a country with such a rich history and seeing buildings that dated
back to the twelfth century. 

On the way back from St. Andrews we traveled through beautiful green rolling hills filled with sheep. The sun was shining the entire week and everyone's spirits were up. I couldn't get enough of their accents and tried the whole week to master a good imitation. Unfortunately I can only mimic a male Scottish accent and not a female. I'll keep working on it I guess. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Lake Powell

I will occasionally view blogs of my friends and see that they are "following" this blog and I am so embarrassed that we haven't posted in 10 months that I decided it is about time. So, I thought I would share my Lake Powell trip with everyone just so I didn't have to look at how long it has been since either one of us decided to post something.

My lovely roommate invited all the rest of us roommates to my favorite place on earth this summer for a much needed break from reality. I had a wonderful time, and here is the proof.

We randomly found this giant piece of Styrofoam out in the Lake and decided to tow it back to the houseboat and play on it for days. Who knew that something so simple could cause us so much joy. We decided to use it like a giant log and see if we could roll it and stay on...

Needless to say, it was unsuccessful, but extremely fun. We also had a little something that we like to call pleasure island and it looked a little like this.
Whoever came up with this idea is a genius because we just floated around without a care in the world... until we realized we were floating further and further away from the houseboat and I had to jump out and tow us back, luckily I'm like a mermaid. No Problem.

When we weren't playing behind the houseboat, we were being towed by a boat in this fashion.
You don't need to tell me how attractive I look, I'm very aware. If you liked this picture, I can't wait to show you the next one. Please carefully note the expression on my face, have you ever seen someone having that good of a time?
The trip would not be complete without a little of this. We had to do it at least once.
I know I look like an idiot, it's fine.

All in all it was a wonderful vacation and I can't wait to get a houseboat with Richard and then both of our families can vacation there together.

I love you Lake Powell.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Summer Concert Review #2

So I didn't go on any vacations this summer. I think the only night I didn't sleep in my own bed was spent at my parents house. That's about as boring as it gets. However, I was fortunate enough to go to 5 really amazing concerts, and that was a summer getaway enough for me. Here is my review of each show in order...

Add Image7/17/10 Ben Folds with The Utah Symphony

Well, as I didn't pay for Paul McCartney, this show rings in at most expensive summer concert to me. $100 for 1 7th row ticket. Worth it...but if they did it again I would get grass tickets. I feel like at least once during all of these concert reviews I'm going to say "this show was amazing." and this one was. I am very familiar with the dvd of Ben live with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, but only 9 of the 18 songs performed were on the DVD. Still, it didn't even matter, as WASO doesn't hold a candle to our Utah Symphony. I'm not trying to be self-righteous or prideful or anything, but the Utah Symphony just sounded better. I could expound on that but I won't. Ben's on-stage banter was hilarious as well. That man is pure entertainment. He understands it. This was the most relaxing concert of the summer and a perfect evening all around. Great weather, we brought in cheese and crackers, and a couple bottles of martinelli's. What more could you ask for than a night out at the Symphony?

I give this show a 7 out of 10. It was a great show, but he loses points because of ticket price, and it was obvious how tired he was, I think we would have gotten Rock This Bitch or a couple other songs if he had had a bit more energy.

Highlights of the night are Not the Same (with no piano, only orchestra, I've never heard him do that) and Angry Dwarf, that is a great song and the arrangement of the orchestra parts was even better. I wish I had a recording of it to share with you.

Summer Concert Review #1

So I didn't go on any vacations this summer. I think the only night I didn't sleep in my own bed was spent at my parents house. That's about as boring as it gets. However, I was fortunate enough to go to 5 really amazing concerts, and that was a summer getaway enough for me. Here is my review of each show in order...

7/13/10 - Paul McCartney

When I heard Sir Paul was coming to town, I kind of put it in the back of my mind, as I wouldn't really have the money for that kind of show, and I didn't have anybody to go with anyway. The night before I got a call from forever and always best friend Zack Golden, who told me he had an extra ticket and that I should come along. It was at that exact moment how much I realized how much I wanted to go to this concert. I real life Beatle. Once in a lifetime show. We had a discussion at work the day of the show about weather or not The Beatles can be considered the fathers of modern rock and roll. I think this is worth mentioning. In old recordings of the Beatles, they didn't have the technology like we do today, they didn't have the speakers and sub-woofer capability we have today. Sure if you listen to the original recording of the song "Day tripper" it is very weak. Relatively quiet, no drums, just a tambourine backing the guitars, I mean come on? It doesn't compare to rock and roll today. That is not the case with hearing Paul live. I have seen my share of great rock shows and this was the greatest. The guitar solos were loud and impressive. The drums were not absent, they packed a punch. Paul's voice is as high and clean sounding as it ever was. This show was amazing. The Beatles will forever be the fathers of modern rock and roll.

I give this show 10 out of a possible 10. With a setlist of 36 songs including 2 separate 3 song encores, I would feel guilty giving it anything less.

There were way too many highlights of the night, but my 3 favorites were Blackbird, Hey Jude, and Helter Skelter. I hope to see you again, Paul.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My heart belongs in Inkom

So, where is Inkom you might ask, and why does my heart belong there? Well, let me tell you a little bit about it my friends. I have recently crossed off 2 very big items on my bucket list and realized that I am a cowgirl at heart. My dear friend Lacey Gilbert found out that one of the things I wanted to do before I die was drive a tractor and work on a ranch and so she invited me to her beautiful home up in Idaho. Ruth, Doug and I drove up there Friday evening and were kindly greeted by the gang of dogs. Elmo is the only male dog on the ranch and therefore is naturally afraid of almost everything so occasionally we refer to him as homo... it's fine. Ring is blind and spends most of her time underneath the Suburban or cautiously exploring the hay fields. Priest is jealous and needy of your attention most of the time but has the endurance of a champ. Sydney likes to bark for no good reason and try and bite the tires of the 4 wheeler as you are trying to drive. And finally Bear is the beary best dog on the ranch and I hear she's the best at herding cows as well. She loves driving in the tractor with you and is very loyal. So, after we met the family and the dogs we had a huge bonfire in the back which included smores and a whole lot of throwing flaming pine cones. We woke up early the next morning and got to work. Lacey lovingly let me behind the wheel of her very large tractor and helped some of my dreams come true. :) We spent the next hour moving large bales of hay from one side of the ranch to the other and this is what it looked like.

I let Lacey take a turn on the tractor and she decided to roll one of the bales of hay over the barbed wire fence and into the field where all the horses were roaming. All of the horses looked over at it as if it were Christmas morning. It was so hilarious pretending to be the voices of the horses as we sat there in shock as to what had just happened. Thank you for that moment Lacey. After we finished the tractor chores we loaded up in the awesome pick up truck and headed down the the river to start up the water pumps which irrigated the land where some of the cows were and then we headed back to get the horses ready for a ride. Lacey's brother in law taught me how to get my saddle hooked up and I jumped on Dakota for our ride through the mountains.
Dear Dakota, I'm sorry that when Ruth took the picture she cut your head off. I'm not sure that you deserve that but there is nothing I can do to fix it, let's still be friends. Love, Me.

I've probably only ridden a horse 5 times in my life but it happens to be one of my favorite things to do. I pretend like I know what I am doing and let the horse know who is boss. During the ride my horse and Doug's horse decided to race each other and so we let them, I beat him by a head and to save face he slowed his horse down and pretended like it was a tie. We all know the truth, my horse was faster... take that Doug. One of the biggest compliments I received however was when Doug told me that I was really ballsy (any questions on this word, please contact me) on a horse. YAY for me.
After the horse back ride we each got our 22 rifles and headed out to shoot some rock chucks. I obviously did not get the memo that we were supposed to look tough in this picture. I guess I was just so happy to be there that I couldn't stop smiling. We spent about an hour trying to find a moose on the loose and finally found him. We named him Dober, we loved him, we watched him chase some mules and disappear into the unknown. Lacey called us a couple days later to tell us that he got ran over by a diesel on the freeway... worst day ever. To wrap it up, I have never felt so happy to use my hands and get to work. I think I was born in the wrong place because my heart belongs in Inkom with the Gilberts.