Sunday, September 19, 2010

Week Two

It's on to week two here in San Antonio!! ...and I am still unemployed. Don't get me is not necessarily regrettable. I have made a lot of progress and feel like I will be employed in the very near future. And-I have met some amazing people (my favorite being the missionary couple over-seeing the employment center that I have gotten to know very well. They are my best friends and I must not have made too bad of an impression on them either considering they tried to hook me up with their son...ha). But. For now, I am going to enjoy my last days of freedom. So, what does one do in a new and somewhat strange city? SIGHT-SEE! I know, this is what tourists are supposed to do...but as a new resident, I feel like I should see all there is to I can at least show people around when I finally convince them to come visit me. First stop: the Alamo-number one tourist destination in Texas.

The last time I was here, I was 16. Now I am 22 and SO much more mature and actually interested in things like...history. I thought it would be a lot more exciting this time. wasn't. Don't let the cheesy smile fool you. I mean, there IS some amazing history at this site...but I think once is good enough. However, I did meet this guy in the gift shop...

Apparently he is a famous UFC fighter (Nate "the Rock" Quarry or something like that)...but since I unfortunately don't follow UFC, I had no idea who he was...ah well.

I was then directed to check out the other missions in San Antonio, and these are definitely worth seeing. There is some amazing history at these as well, and bonus-NO TOURISTS. Just beautiful (and somewhat eerie) chapels.

After parking in what I believe was a private parking lot right by the church, I got out and explored the grounds. It was gorgeous. All of these missions are set a few miles apart and all were home/refuge/sanctuary to hundreds of people around the same time as the Alamo (1836 I think). Each is set up as a fortress with cannons and other weapons ready for war.

This is my face...looking through a cannon hole. ha ha 

Oh, and this is the amazing tree whose trunk was literally swimming in and out of the ground.

(Julie-this pose is for you...thumbs up to the duckies)

The absolute coolest things I have seen so far in San Antonio though are these. Now, I don't know exactly what they are or what they are doing out there in this random field. But they are MASSIVE. And extremely curious...with only this little sign to explain...

You would think someone who could make be able to make a better sign. Regardless...I googled the guys name and it turns out they were made by Tom Otterness...a famous artist out of New York. I stopped reading right there. I like not knowing why on earth these creatures exist.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Don't Mess With Texas

I finally did it. I moved myself to Texas. And when I say "I moved myself", that's exactly what I mean. After trying to convince several people to road trip it down with me (to no avail because apparently school and work come first), I trudged the 27 some hours to my new home.

The trip started in Council, Idaho--had a brief break in Utah where I saw family, old roommates, friends from BYU-I who had decided to try out Provo, and Leigh and Jon-to give them the wieners and syrup from Max (Oh and where I got my oil changed only to have my car smell funny and make weird noises, then to bring it back where they realized they had forgot to put the oil cap back on and hot oil was spewing out all over my engine...that's good. They thanked me heavily for being so observant and bringing it back in, saving me-and them-much trouble).

Now, normally, I am perfectly content just listening to music, or my own thoughts, during car trips. But 27 hours?? My thoughts would go crazy after 10. So, I decided to make my time useful by listening to highly motivating, somewhat random books on CD. I was going to be THE most determined person in Texas when I arrived.

The first book I listened to...

Highly motivating. All about life's lessons seen through the eyes of a dying man. What a way to start a road trip...depressed, but SO ready to start living.

Book number two...

Okay so this one doesn't make much sense, I know. 1. I do not have a husband. 2. Dr. Laura, really??
However, she makes me laugh with her incredibly blunt opinions and I have heard this was a good book and got a little curious. There were several things I learned from this one. First, apparently it is abuse to say your husband looks better without facial Second, that man is a very simple creature, "who needs only direct communication, respect, appreciation, food, and good loving". And third, that if he gets all these things, you-and he-will be happy.

By the time this book was over-I had made it the Albuquerque where I planned on getting a hotel room and spending the night. However, it was only 6pm so I decided instead to find a grocery store and get some fresh fruits and veggies because the thought of fast food made me sick to my stomach after all the Canadian chocolate that was so readily available and shamelessly eaten up to this point. However, after driving around downtown Albuquerque for almost an hour, and finding NOTHING, I decided people in New Mexico must not eat food...not real food anyway. I did see the college campus during my wanderings and it was actually really cool. Maybe I'll go there someday. Well, after consulting with a nice gas jockey, I decided to continue my trip to Roswell, and see if THEY believed in grocery stores. So, three hours later, I arrived in Roswell, New Mexico-home of the most alien sightings...and the most insane tourists searching for little green men. I was a little worried at first, but then I realized they were all so welcoming...

And SO cute.

And I found a grocery store!! But. I bought raspberries that were a little on the moldy side and they made me sick for the rest of the trip. Also, because I could not bring myself to pay 100 dollars for a hotel room where I would only sleep a few hours...I slept in my car. It was incredibly uncomfortable-but totally worth it. Who sleeps in their car in an alien town?? Don't tell my mom.

In the morning, it was off the San Antonio, and I was so thankful that the night was over and I hadn't been abducted. The next book was by Zig Ziglar, whom I have come to absolutely love. SO entertaining.

This is another of those, "does this really apply...?" But it totally did! After all, we are all salesmen (or women), in some way or another, right? He definitely kept me from falling asleep on this leg.

The last book was a little less exciting, but oh-so-interesting.

I recommend this one to...well, anyone. It reiterates the fact that what you think is what you do and what you do is who you are. I totally agreed with everything this man I just have to apply it.

Well, this book was just coming to a close when I finally reached San Antonio where it started POURING rain as I started to unpack my things from my car into my adorable new house where I met my awesome new roommate, Holly.

So, all motivated (and still slightly ill from the raspberries), I started my Texan I just need to find a job. 

Friday, September 3, 2010


What is youth for if not to have crazy foreign adventures in far away countries like...Canada? Okay, so maybe it's not so foreign...or very far away, but it definitely holds crazy adventures for all who dare enter its borders. That is if they let you stay (thank you to the border guard who so kindly did NOT deport me...Max grilled him a delicious smokie). Now, about this hot-dog shop. You may be tempted to picture Max up in the mountains selling hot-dogs out of something that looks like this...

 But don't be is MUCH classier than that. In looks a lot like this:

Ha ha okay, okay...maybe more like this:

Now, life as a "hot-dog babe" (as Max calls it), is not as glamorous as you would think. I mean, it's a good time, don't get me wrong, but one can only handle so many weenie jokes from drunks at 2 in the morning without starting to second-guess what you're still doing awake...either that or you find yourself laughing at them which should make you even more worried. Although the hours are long and you tend to smell a bit like sausages at the end of the day, there are some awesome things that go on in a hot-dog restaurant when no one is around. One being....S'MORES! and not just any s'mores, but s'mores made out of MASSIVE marshmallows stuffed with Canadian chocolate between two delicious dutch ginger cookies (I forget the name...). All made by an incredibly handsome....wiener.

Ha. Okay, so he only wore it to amuse me after much pestering...but it was totally worth it!

Also, what better place to own a hot-dog shop than in the center of a gorgeous Canadian national park? Jon and Leigh (Max's business partner and his adorable wife), gave us the day off and we spent it hiking. This was not just any hike though. Max had to test my mountaineering abilities by taking me to the top of Galway. It was a little embarassing...for him of course. He must have been 20 feet behind me the whole time and was relentless in yelling at me to slow down. I basically carried him through the shale and up the cliffs just before the peak. I was so proud of him when he finally made it to the top!

This is him (obviously still breathing super hard from the strenuous hike). Oh, and don't mind my was windy. He insisted on ruining all my pictures with silly faces and the only one that would have turned out...he's missing an eye...

Yep...this is more like it...

Here we are enjoying our buns and veggies before we headed back down. (Oh, and Julie...I want you to note the color of his eyes...but don't get any funny ideas. We all know your secret...that's what happens when you share it as your "something exciting about yourself" at the beginning of the semester. Next time stick with the salivating at the sight of human flesh)

Before the big hike, though, we took a little "walk" up a mountain to a lake with Max's best friend Kristopher, the amazingly talented photographer. But even with that kind of talent, you can't do much with a model who insists on choking his girlfriend.

I had much better models...'s getting late, but there are a few more things I love about Waterton. One-being grilled corn on the cob. Max says everything is better in Canada, and although that may or may not be true, it IS true that is was probably some of the best corn I have ever tasted.

Oh and you cannot forget the TIGER ICE CREAM!! Tiger ice cream is orange flavored ice cream with strips of black licorice and it is arguably THE best ice cream ever invented...BUT you can only get it in Canada! I begged Max every day to buy me some and it wasn't until I had been there an entire week before he finally relented (he seemed to think if I got it, I wouldn't have any reason to stay in Canada...ha)

I shared with him of course...because it was more romantic to share than have our own...we felt the same way about hot-dogs. Well, one of us did. The other had to be forced against his will to pose for such a photo:

And that is how I spent my last two weeks. Adventrous? Maybe. Exciting? Possibly. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.