Friday, November 21, 2014

9/11/2001 was big.

I read this article this morning. It is called the Secret Lives of Passwords and it was written by Ian Urbina in November 2014. In the beginning he describes his path to finding that passwords of many of his co-workers who perished on that day. As I read it I cried. It has been over 13 years and I still cry. I wonder if I will ever stop crying.

That day has changed in meaning over the years as I have grown from an 11 year old child to an adult. I have gained understanding and moved from confusion to anger to sadness.

I think it is okay that I continue to cry.
I just wish I never had to.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Grand Canyon

I finally made it to the Grand Canyon! 
When I was planning my trip to America, I considered going "home". To me, I have never really felt "home" was a certain state. My family is all over the country. My mom and my sister can't seem to stick to one place (which makes sense, because I can't either!). What I decided I really wanted to do was use my vacation to see my family and something new. The Grand Canyon instantly came to mind. The Grand Canyon has held it's place as the only place on my bucket list for at least 10 years. I'll tell you what, it did not disappoint. 

We started the day early. When my sister knew we were going to the Grand Canyon she told me she wanted to see it at sunrise. We decided we would go ahead and leave Vegas in time to arrive at the Grand Canyon for that event. I decided to go to bed around five so that I would be well rested to drive and to experience the Grand Canyon. 

We made it in time and Bella was happy to be there. I didn't realize just how cold it was going to be, so if you are going to go to the Grand Canyon in the morning to see the sunrise… bring a jacket. You should also probably bring a hat and some gloves. 

After we saw the sunrise Gabby was over the Grand Canyon. She felt a little sick and kind of decided, "Okay, I've seen it!" I sent her to the car to rest and relax and I made the trip around the rim myself. It was also really nice because I was on the bus with two women. When I later offered to take their picture together I found out that they were sisters who had come from Colorado Springs and had previously lived in Kentucky. How funny. 

In the end, I am so excited to have been at the Grand Canyon. When I first considered going to the Grand Canyon I pictured it differently, but in the end I think this was better. I do plan on going back, because there are parts that I didn't go to because I wanted to get to my Favorite's house and I didn't want to leave Gabby and Bella sitting in the car feeling junky and being hungry. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Drive all night... And day.

Gabby, Bella and I had a great time driving. By that I mean we drove for close to 14 hours and made it to a hotel and then drove for 10 more hours. We spent the night in a hotel in Oklahoma City and that was some of the best sleep I have ever had. I broke out the PodCasts and made Gabby listen to them. Stuff You Should Know, This America Life, The Moth, Radio Lab, and FreakEconomics all came out. I don't think she would ever listen to Podcasts on her own, but I don't think she can say she hated them completely!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Leaving Vegas

On my lsat say in Vegas I finally at the waffle I have been wanting. My cousin, sister and I went to the local IHOP and ordered thousands of pesos worth of food! I even ordered extra butter to put on the waffle. My eyes were bigger than my stomach, because I didn't even finish everything, but it was delicious and worth the experience.

After that we headed to the container park in downtown Vegas. That is a really cool shopping center made out of the shipping containers used for importing and exporting goods to and from the United States. 

I also apoligize… this was written way after the experience, so I'm just going to end it here. Basically, Vegas was awesome. I miss my cousin and I hope that both of our current goals for the future put us in the same state when I am finished with Peace Corps. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Forever laughing

So, We've made it to Vegas. I can't tell you how excited I was to see my cousin Chris. Seriously, it has already been great. We arrived to his home and he did what any great cousin would do and sat me down with a nice glass of wine. The bonding and planning and being together started right away. We all, Gabby, Chris, Chris's friend Brandon, and I quickly changed into our best and headed out to a local gay bar. It had kind of a western feel, but I really enjoyed it because I could hear everybody when they were talking, and we were given free t-shirts early on. Gabby, Chris and I all made it out onto the dance floor. There is a video of me dancing with Gabby. Maybe I will let that see the light of day. I never have boasted about my dancing skills! 

My sister and cousin on the other hand… this happened. I'm not going to say who won the competition, but I will say that it wasn't anyone I share genetic material with.
My cousin's friend Brandon was also out with us. Can I just say that this guy was fabulous? He kept me entertained all night long. Can we be best friends?

Then things got a little exciting. When deciding what we should do next our options were go to an IHOP and get the waffle I've been wanting since I landed in the mother land, go to the vegas strip and do what your "supposed" to do when you visit Vegas, or go to a park and walk around late at night. We chose the latter!

I can't tell you the last time I laughed so hard. Once we pulled all of our princesses together we took off for the swings. There were only two swings, so we were alternating, but the people who weren't swinging were running through the swingers. I was laughing so hard my abs hurt. We walked around a pond, bonded with some swans, and continued to remember stories from the past that would crack us all up. If Brandon didn't know my family was wild before he certainly known now!

We also had a bit of time for some gymnastics. There are many more photos, but I will let you all fill in the blanks. This visit with my cousin has been great, and it's really just getting started. We got in late last night, went out, and I am probably going to wake him up soon so I can go get a waffle. He and I stayed up all of last night talking and catching up. It has always been super easy with this cousin to fall right back into cousin/friend mode. I sure do miss him.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Las Vegas!

I After gathering all of our things together, Gabby, Bella and I were off to Vegas. First we made a quick stop to clear up some business and in Pasadena to have lunch with my wonderful Aunt. 

I kept thinking I should take pictures off the sushi but I didn't have time for that. It literally melted in my mouth. I really did miss good sushi. I didn't even know how much I missed good sushi. 

My aunt was very smart and decided we should all order a dessert and then share them. That's fine with me! Also, as a current Peace Corps Volunteer, I didn't have any qualms tasting the scraps of my sister and aunt's meals. 

All you get is this one picture. I'll pretend it's because I don't want to make my PCV friends salivate through their computers, but really it's just because I was too busy eating. That there is green tea ice cream. Also, I think I could make the guineo dish below, so this is a reference picture. 

After that Gabby and I drove and drove. I crocheted for a while and tried to sleep. If you remember though,my mind knows I'm not allowed to sleep for the next 18 days. 

I actually for behind the wheel pretty early. Gabby and I have been joking about the fact that I haven't driven in a year and was never a great driver to begin with, but in reality it was a straight shot, I could put it on cruise control, and Gabby actually has permission to sleep, so I drove. 

I loved getting behind the wheel again. It also means I get to choose the music, so some of my new playlists from my PCV friend made it into the trip. 

We've also decided that we will turn down the music to talk to Amanda while she's driving. I can only do one other thing while I'm driving, and listening to music is considered a thing, so driving, listening to music, and talking can't happen at the same time. That was a good thing to learn early on in this trip. 

Now I'm in Vegas with my cousin. We are out at a bar and I've already received a free polo shirt by simply asking for one. 

It is so nice to see my cousin. I haven't seen him in a few years and I always enjoy the time even if it's short. 

Also, how different could Gabby and I look? The first thing she said to me off of the plane was about how dark my skin was. I'm dark, my hair is huge, do we even look related these days? 

Officially on the road

We are officially on the road. I have my water and a craft to keep me busy. 

The first stop is to deal with some post rear end incident business and then hope to make it to my aunt's place of employment before her lunch break is over. After that we will make it to Vegas to see my cousin!  I really can't wait for that. It has been far too long since I've spent time with this particular cousin. I spent a great many years when I was a teenager wanting to grow up and be "just like my cousin Chris". 

Well, I'm going to get back to watching this California traffic. I'll let you know how the rest of the day goes later.