Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Boys will be boys - Rexburg, ID

On our way to pick up Liesel from the Salt Lake Express bus drop off, Andrew thought it would be funny to hop in the trunk of the car so he could scare Liesel when she put her luggage in the back.  We loved the idea!  So, as soon as we saw the bus pulling off the freeway, Andrew hopped into the trunk.  We greeted Liesel as she got off the bus and quickly ushered her to the back of the car.  We popped the trunk and BAM Andrew jumped out and scared her to death.

Home for the holidays - Rexburg, ID

That's right folks, I'm back in the Burg for a few weeks.  Since my mom was offended by my last Idaho post (she said my pictures made it seem "hokie" and that I should show pics of the "big city" and explain that some people here have some "class") I'm going to try to showcase all of the "classy" things about Idaho.

First, Idaho is busting with culture!  I spent my first three nights in Idaho attending Christmas concerts:  BYU-I Christmas in the Snow, Idaho Falls Symphony, and BYU-I's performance of the Messiah.  All of the concerts were very enjoyable but if I had to pick a favorite, the Messiah would win hands down.  I must admit I was a tad disappointed they decided to perform a shortened version of the Messiah.  I mean, I appreciate the fact that they are aware that most people have a hard time sitting there for three hours, but I was upset by some of the songs they chose to cut.  How can you cut out "All we like sheep"?  I don't get it?

Second, Idaho has some architectural wonders!  I attended the dedication of the new BYU-Idaho Center.  This is a beautiful new auditorium that can hold up to 15,000 people.  The building is basically a smaller version of the Conference Center at Temple Square in Salt Lake.  Once you are inside you would swear it was the same building.  The dedication service was lovely.   It was great being back on campus.  I loved seeing how much it has changed over the last nine years.  Oh, and I even ran into a couple professors who still remembered me!  But in all honesty, how could you forget me?

Third, Idaho is a winter wonderland!  There is no doubt that we will be having a white Christmas in Idaho this year.  The trees are so pretty after a fresh snow fall.  One morning, the sky was so clear that it seemed like you could see forever.  Those are the days that make living in Idaho a dream.  We have had several snow storms and the roads are currently covered in ice.  In Rexburg, we don't believe in plowing the snow and ice completely off the roads.  Apparently, the city doesn't like to lower the blades all the way to the ground because it dulls the blades.  Obviously, the city values the cost of blades over people's lives.   Those damn republicans!

PS - I must issue an Idaho health warning.  A nasty cold virus is spreading like wildfire in Rexburg...and don't worry, I got it!  It literally wiped me out for a good five days and now it's been over a week and I still have it!

PPS -Fourth,  Idaho is home to BSU.....what does Utah have to say about that?!?!  Way to go BSU, even though you were ripped off by the BSC.  You are a classy team!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lights are much brighter there - Salt Lake City, UT

Temple Square never disappoints!  I went with Andrew, Liz, Nancy, Nicole, and Sally to look at the lights on Temple Square.  The lights were spectacular and I loved the "Around the World" nativities section.  For the record, my favorite nativity had a little Kiwi bird in it.   It reminded me of my trip to New Zealand in May where I saw a Kiwi in real life!  Love Temple Square, love my brother, and love the Franz's.  What a fun night!

Till we meet again - New York, NY

Saying goodbye to New York is never an easy task.  I mean, my goodbye is still only temporary, but it hurts just as much every time!  I had the most amazing time these last couple of weeks.  My days were full of wandering the city and evenings were spent laughing and hanging out with amazing friends.  Below are a few highlights of my last few days:

Cozy Christmas Dinner - We had a fun little Christmas dinner with a few friends on Sunday.   Thanks to our Stew Leonard's run, we had plenty of yummy things to eat.  We ate BBQ bacon wrapped water chestnuts, warm spinach dip, homemade bread bowls with chicken pot pie or creamy tomato soup, spinach salad with feta, craisins, red onion, and caramelized pecans, peppermint icecream, brownies, and red velvet cake.

Christmas Service Auction - My friend Carly organized an amazing church activity were we had a service auction to raise money for Sub for Santa.  Guess what I came away with....a living will.  Exciting, I know.  My mother is actually thrilled that I purchased a living will. She has been bugging me for years to get one!

Miranda - my new favorite british comedy series I have been watching on YouTube.  Alisa introduced all of my friends to this amazing sitcom.  Someone inevitably quotes it during every conversation and then we all die of laughter. We talk about it so much that sometimes we have to ban it from conversations!

Finally, I want to give a big shout out to Jenna, Chloe, and Jenn for letting me stay with them.  Our sleepovers were so much fun!  I'll see you all in January!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Life changing experiences - New York, NY

Today I was reminded of one of my most favorite life changing experiences -  Stew Leonard's.  When you live in NYC you really come to appreciate grocery stores and Stew Leonard's is the ULTIMATE grocery store.  It is packed full of amazing produce, homemade deliciousness, and animatronics!  I owe so much of my happiness to Amber Blakesly, my friend who first introduced me to Stew Leonard's.

Today I ventured out to the Yonkers location with my friends Alisa, Jenna, Kevin, and Maria.  I love taking newbies to this place because it's so magical.  It was a packed house today and there were some rude and pushy people out and about.... but all in all I think Kevin and Maria embraced Stew's for all that it was worth.  Oh, and the best thing about this location is that there is a Costco right next door.  So, of course we went shopping there too!

Jenna discovered the lying down game this week and became totally obsessed.  So we took a few pics of Alisa and Jenna lying down in random places.  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Feels like Christmas - New York, NY

I officially have the Christmas spirit!  It's kind of hard not to when wandering around the streets of NYC this time of year.  Today I strolled past the windows at Saks.  They were pretty but not very holiday-ish.  So, needing a little more excitement, I headed over to Rockefeller Center to see the famous Christmas tree.  Yep, seeing this tree sealed the deal.  Usually I hate being surrounded by so many tourists but for some reason today they all just faded into the background.  It was wonderful!

Next up was a walk through Central Park with a steamy pumpkin spice steamer from Starbucks.  It was pretty cold outside but that didn't stop me from enjoying the beautiful scenery around me.  I watched the ice skaters for a bit and couldn't help but fall in love with the city again.  The skyline behind the rink was breath taking (even if I could see someone putting out fake snow around the rink).  New York is trying very hard to keep me in this city!!!  

PS - it looks like they have a rabies problem in Central Park

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Daily Show & Friends - NY, NY

Wasting time on Facebook has finally paid off for me.  As soon as I arrived at Jenna's apartment I decided to check in with Facebook to see what had happened in the few hours I had been traveling back to the city. (That's what you do when you have too much time on your hands.)  On my home page, I noticed a link to sign up for "day of" tickets to the Daily Show.  So....I clicked on it.... and BOOM, I had tickets for the taping that afternoon.  It couldn't have been more perfect timing.  I'm staying with the famous Jenna Kim Jones (who works at the Daily Show) and she lives three blocks away from the studio.  It was a really great show.  Jon Stewart was hilarious as usual and Judah Friedlander, from 30 Rock, was the guest.  He was on the show promoting his new book.  After the show, Jenna gave me a back stage tour of the entire studio and I met some of the producers/staff/crew.  Jon Stewart even walked by us a couple times.  So crazy!!  Television is such a fascinating world and I'm glad I was able to have a sneak peak.

Here are a couple pics of Miss Jenna Kim Jones making television happen.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Peace out Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh, PA

Today was our final day of fun with the whole gang.  We got up bright and early and went to church.  After church we took a driving tour of Carnegie Mellon's campus.   Of course, since I'm a blogger now, I made Adam get out of the car so we could take a picture of him in front of the Tepper School of Business.  He was a good sport since it was freezing outside!  Then we came back to their place and recreated Thanksgiving dinner for Scott.  It was almost as delicious as the real meal.  We even made fresh mashed potatoes, rolls, and green bean casserole.  Yum!!!

Shortly after lunch, Erin, Scott, and Lucy packed up their rental car and headed back to NYC.  We had a great time with them and we can't wait until the next time we can hang out.  The rest of our afternoon was spent watching the Steeler's game (can you believe this was Adam's idea), cleaning, and taking naps.  Later that evening we drove out to the Hartwood Celebration of Lights.  It's basically a 3.2 mile drive through a park completely decorated with holiday lights.  The lights were really fun to look at.  It was a nice way to get us in the Christmas spirit.  Unfortunately, my camera battery died so I wasn't able to document the outing.

PS - I've included a picture of me in one of my classiest Pittsburgh outfits - PJs with white ankle socks and high heeled shoes.  What has Pittsburgh done to me?  Yesterday, I was wearing almost every color imaginable:  grey boots, dark blue jeans, orange turtle neck, pink gloves, purple sweatshirt, dark green coat, and a turquoise bag.  Yep, I wore that to the movies.  I apologize for not capturing that outfit for you!

Frozen to the bone - Pittsburgh, PA

Saturday was another freezing day in Pittsburgh.  We started the day off right by going to Pamela's for brunch (see Pittsburgh post in Sept).  Our food was delicious.  The crepe-like pancakes just can't be beat!  Then we drove over to the Mount Washington for an amazing view of the city.  Later that afternoon, Adam, Erin, Scott, and I went and saw Harry Potter 7 on IMAX.  The movie was awesome and definitely creepy.  I loved it.  Liesel was a saint (and maybe a scaredy cat) so she volunteered to stay home with Lucy.  They met up with us after the movie and we all had dinner at Red Robin.  It has been at least six years since I have eaten at this restaurant and guess what.....I still love the Bonsai burger.  Some things never change!