Sunday, November 22, 2009

Best of June

After flying back to the United States and clearing customs I had a few days to relax in Los Angeles and let my vacation wear off slowly rather than jumping back into real life. Although... June ended up being a pretty fun month anyway - real life and all! As always, I had to participate in some great outdoor activities with my brother Diego and his wife Mariela. This time we went to Devil's head and did some rock climbing on the beach. We parked above the rock, set up a rope, and rappelled to the bottom to begin the fun. It was pretty challenging for my out-of-practice skills, and I fell once just trying to start the climb. Good thing I was top-roping instead of leading!

If nothing else, the location was great for pictures!

My brother likes to surprise me. He told us all to get dressed up, and he drove us downtown. This was a pretty cool surprise - I got to see my brother be sworn in as a lawyer. I'm so proud of him!

I got back to Vegas eventually and was able to see my mission trainer Haley Flake when she came in to town for a teacher's conference around the 9th. I picked her up from her hotel and we got to spend an evening together. Good times!

On the 12th my Polynesian dance group - called the Ofa Angas (sweethearts) danced in a Luau that was hosted in the backyard of one of the group members. We did the Luau as a fund raiser for new costumes and earned a good chunk of change! I only danced in one number, but it was fun! Here are a few members of our group...
Bubs and Rachel:



Our instructor and good friend Siva, her middle child Leo, me and Jessica. By the way, it is quite possible that I am the whitest girl in the group! Rachel might give me a run for my money, but I'm even tan in this picture!!!

The next day I accompanied my friend Ashlyn to her friend's wedding and reception. The location was pretty cool - an old famous mansion with an indoor pool in the middle of the reception hall (no, we weren't allowed to even dip a toe in it!). We enjoyed good food, and then were ushered on to the dance floor for the boquet toss. I won.

Little did I know however, that in non-lds culture the guy who catches the garter then wins the priveledge of putting said garter on the leg of the girl who caught the boquet. I was suddenly really grateful that I had chosen to wear slacks instead of a skirt that night!!!

'Twas now nearing the season of my birthday, and I was pleasantly surprised to get a birthday package from my parents. Can you say hooray for cute flip-flops?!?!?! Love them!!

On the 18th some friends of mine threw me a birthday party. With the help of my roommate Rashida I did my hair all cute and had a fun night. Julie Koch hosted the party at her home and made me a beautiful (and delicious!) cake. It was fun to be surrounded by friends and play fun games... like Chutes and Ladders!!

The next night was filled with more friends at a dance party. I saw my old roommate Airline and her husband Eric and said hello to baby-to-be Kaleb. And of course, there was dancing!!

Well folks, it took me only 26 years, but I finally did it. On the 21st (my BIRTHDAY!) my friend Pamela and I got up dark and early and drove to DISNEYLAND!!! Can I just say I was excited??

If you know me well at all - you know I love moose.

I was also to see part of the Small World ride pay tribute to New Zealand. I had to take a picture to share with Ashley!

I had a great day filled with all sorts of adventures... finding treasure, capturing Pamela, running (and riding) around in circles and becoming characters from great movies.

I even thought I found my frog prince... turns out he was really just a toad.

It was a short trip and we wore ourselves out - so much so that we had to pull off at a rest stop somewhere near the Nevada boarder on our way back home that night so we could sleep a little instead of driving off the road.
On the 25th I drove to the institute to meet up with members of my ward's Relief Society to go see the Wizard of Oz. I hadn't been to the institute at all during the summer but was excited to discover that this one random day I had chosen to be there was the same day that one of my MTC teachers Nicole Harr was randomly passing through Vegas and had made a stop at the institute too. I hadn't seen her since I left the MTC! She had her husband with her - who happened to be another teacher we'd seen at the MTC; he had even taught us a couple of lessons toward the end of our training. I didn't get a good look at their baby though - she was sleeping in a dark room.

The Wizard of Oz was GREAT! My friend Jessica played Dorothy, and I swear at times you couldn't tell that she wasn't Judy Garland! Even her voice sounded the same. Talk about skills! I also enjoyed the opportunity to wear my own ruby slippers for the first time!

Back to Los Angeles! On the 27th my ward took a temple/beach trip to LA. It was fun to spend another few hours with my brother at Santa Monica Beach.

On the 29th I got a new battery put in my car and I headed out of town to Chandler, Arizona where my very kind cousin Eric and his wife Stacy let me stay the night, and then abandon my car for three weeks while I went to New York. I was dropped off at the Phoenix airport the morning of the 30th, and surprised my friend Dianna with my presence - she had no idea I had booked my flight the same as hers... I'm a good secret keeper! We had fun playing in the Atlanta airport during our loooong layover, but eventually we got tired of waiting around and started getting a little nutty. We even had to take a picture of a wall that looked like it had an image of a brain on it. I know. We're weird.

And that does it for June!!! I can't talk about our arrival in New York state yet... because technically we landed in July. So that will be saved for the next "best of" post. Goodnight!!