Monday, August 4, 2014

the drive out west || sedona to palo alto (part 2)

so where were we? is everyone bored yet? no? good, we've got more road to cover. literally!

after waving goodbye to new mexico, i journeyed onto arizona. like new mexico, i had never been to arizona. it is hot there. too hot. over 110 degrees hot. i'm not sure i can go back. unless i can go to sedona. which is where this story starts!

less than a week before my trip, i was texting my precious and dear friend mary. i met her freshman year at school waiting in line for FNL. at least that is my first memory of her. i thought she was a couple years ahead of me, why, i do not know. we lived in the same building sophomore year and had a class together. it was a memorable class for me since i started SOBBING on the first day when a friends of ours asked me how my break was. (break was fine. but i'd just said goodbye to the bff 5 minutes earlier.)  the only thing i can remember about junior year is that we went to rebash together. but senior year? boy that was our year. i was weirdly excited to see her at the beginning of the year, not really sure why exactly because we weren't close friends. and then we got scheduled together for a weekly shift at mcconn. we'd always leave the shift together and go get stir fry. it was the best. i loved that semester. i even got to stay late to see her graduate. 

i am not sure why i am telling you all of this except to say that i love this girl with all of my whole heart. she has the best hair AND the best heart. the perfect combo if you ask me. 

so, we figured out when we were texting that she was going to be in sedona when i was driving through. being the good and flexible friend that i am, i changed my plans around so i could see her. best decision ever. thank you Jesus for arranging this. we know you did it, you are the man.


mar was on vacation with her whole family. they come to this magical place in sedona every year. i think i am going to try and join them every year because it is beautiful and relaxing and perfect and her family is incredible. 

mary showed me around the place they were staying and we got to spend time in the creek, see the private orchards, walk over the bridge that is apparently always closed and very bouncy, swing on the biggest rope swing, talk and talk and talk and of course spend time with her family. it was so so good. i miss my friends from school a lot, so to be able to spend time with a school friend, and one of my favorites at that, was just so good. 

 

i mean just look at that family! i felt so lucky to be able to spend time with them. and how cute are mary's nephews? 



after saying another stupid goodbye, i drove south to phoenix. the temperature rose at least 30 degrees. #blessed. i stopped to see my friends dick and donna who i worked with in alaska 3 years ago. unfortunately, donna had gotten back from the hospital after a knee surgery just an hour before i got there. talk about bad timing! so i only stayed to chat with them for a bit. annnnnd i didn't get a picture which is a real bummer.

next, i drove all the way across phoenix to see my friend KC. we met at the influence conference 2 years ago. pretty much all i remember about that entire weekend is spending time with KC and 3 other seriously lovely ladies. it was kind of the best. i had suuuch a good time with them. this past march, i got to see all 4 of them together again at hope spoken. it was great. they're all great. anyway, KC is moving from seattle to texas. talk. about. a. weather. change. so she was visiting her parents in phoenix in the middle of her crazy month long move. her parents, who were so sweet, let me stay with them for a night even though they were already hosting KC's family too. 

as soon as i got there, i changed into something acceptable for a luau and headed to their country club for hawaiian night! i got to meet her parents, husband and adorable kids. but mostly we ignored them and chatted with each other the whole time. it was fabulous. 


KC is so easy to talk to. i want to say that she "just gets me" but that will make me feel cheesy. but come on! she gets me! she is so fun and sweet and kind and tan. so many qualities i aspire to have! i love that our paths were literally crossing on this trip. please Jesus let them cross again soon.


her children all begged me not to go, but i had to leave right after breakfast so i could drive allllll the way to the LA area. but first, i made a pit stop at a mormon temple. i read a few mormon blogs and find it all very interesting, so i thought i may as well stop and see a temple since there are so many in arizona to be seen. i am a tad bit disappointed that i didn't drive a little bit further out of my way so i could see the bigger temple in gilbert, but i guess i'll have to see that one next time. i am contemplating flying to indiana next year when they open a new temple so i can see the inside before they consecrate it. i'm not mormon, but i think that they have a few really good values that would be great for anyone to learn from. i don't think it has ever hurt someone to learn from people who are a little different than them, just like it has never hurt anyone to eat salt water taffy in bed at midnight. ahem. 


WHY AM I SO STRANGE? i don't know guys. i took a selfie with the temple. i sent it to my sister. pretend its all very normal. maybe i will visit all the temples all over the world and take selfies with them. i won't do that, but its fun to dream.

once i finally got on the road (after being told by a gas station attendant "that we don't have a public bathroom" what is this? nyc?) i pinky promised myself that i would not miss the california state line sign. i missed lit.tra.lee. every other state sign and was pretty desperate to get a picture with the california one. for instagram, obviously. it was about twelve thousand degrees where i took that picture as i am pretty sure i was standing on the actual sun. why do they keep it so hot there? why was no one passing out bottled water and sunblock? i will never know.  


pretend like this next picture is somewhere in california. in reality it could be from anywhere. i just don't know.


once i made it through the boring part of southern california where i was blessed to see approximately 300 million windmills, i got just outside of LA and nearly died. california traffic. oh em gee. where is everyone going and why are they driving so fast. until this point my drive had been great. relaxing even. the relaxing part was long gone and i was gripping the steering wheel like my life depended on it. because apparently, it did. miraculously, i made it to kara's house. 

kara is one of the people who i can without a doubt say i met on instagram. what is the 21st century. we meet people on the internet. i commented on someone else's picture saying i liked her (kara's) sweater. we've been friends ever since. we met IRL (in real life) at hope spoken, but didn't actually get to hang much. kara was nice enough to leave her cute kids at home for the night and take me to newport beach. we laid by the water, walked on the pier, ate delicious mexican food and got matching tank tops. i'd say that makes up for not hanging out at hope spoken.




you should probably go stay at her house as soon as you can because she will make you the cutest little treat basket. i already burned the entire candle she gave me and bought another just like it. 


after breakfast, i left kara's, got starbucks (duh) and started out on my last leg of the trip. it was uneventful and i was so (not) glad to save the most boring part of the entire drive for the last day. a glorious 5 hours on the 5.  b o r i n g. 

however, all of that quickly faded into my memory as soon as i pulled up to the house. i actually couldn't find it at first, which was funny. but the palm tree and the pool and the hot tub made the long drive worth it. and the cute kids of course. now it all seems like so long ago, probably because it took me three weeks to get this up.


i don't know an exciting way to end a post like this, so i will end it with this picture proving that at some point i drove on route 66. i don't know what state i was in. i don't know what day it was. all i know is i drove for a whole mile on the famous rode just to get sonic. 

God bless america.


ko.

Friday, August 1, 2014

ze beach.

in a perfect world everything would be posted on this here blog chronologically. but how boring would that be. plus it is one thousand times more fun to blog about THE BEACH than it is to blog about anything else. normally i would be posting these pictures with a tinge of sadness because deep down i would know my next visit to the beach wasn't any time soon. i think that was a run on sentence, but who cares because the only thing i know deep down is that we're going to the beach again tomorrow (yesterday by the time you read this). different beach. different day. same story. 

i love the ocean.

without further ado, a zillion pictures from the beach from 3 different trips! and you can meet the children! it's your luckiest day.

jake the puppy/ professional sand licker and ellie the birthday girl. on this beach day at least.

your one and only chance to see cael is happening right now. blue shorts on the left. he's not really into letting me take his picture every 5 minutes. cannot figure out why. cory is also in this picture but since he is an adult he does not get to be introduced since i only said you could meet the children. rules are rules. jodi also snuck in here in that picture riiiight up there.


puppy jake again. and tate. he loves the camera, that boy.


hello, ava! working so very hard on her sand creation.


hello again ellie and hello sand castle complete with a seaweed palm tree.



 i love this boy. he sings we will rock you and let it go all.day.long.


below you will see a magical comparison between a cloudy day at the beach and a sunny day at the beach. the magic that you will not see is the 32943849328 people i edited out of the cloudy picture.



on another day at the beach jake and tate spent a solid 10 minutes running towards the water, sitting down, getting up and running back to us and yelling "ta-da!" i laughed every time. they're reasonably cute, i guess. 


and excellent at getting sand all over their bodies i might add.


we also saw a bunch (like hundreds) of these strange little creatures wash up on shore. i mean they were everywhere. you could see them floating in way out on the water. i did some googling around and determined that they were baby portuguese man of wars which is a type of jellyfish. which is totally normal, i'm sure. we think they were dead. i hope they were dead because the adult ones grow tentacles up to 30 feet long. no, i am not ever getting in the water again.


and now for the black and white series. i'm sure somewhere there is a rule stating that you may not turn beach pictures black and white because hello you're at the beach, but these are just so pretty b+w. i'm not even sorry. 

i only made ellie retake this picture 23 times. its fine. and little worker bees working away on a trench that they promptly destroyed.


i was also generous enough to allow ellie to retake these boogie boarding pictures 47 times. and by that i mean i made her do it. again and again and again and again.


it was worth it, wouldn't you say? framers for sure.

i purchased one (or two) one piece swimsuits so that i can boogie board next time. all i had were "sleeveless" swimsuits (as ellie likes to call them) and believe me, sleeveless swimsuits are no good in the waves. no good at all. 


see you tomorrow, beach. 


xoxo,
ko.