Archive for April, 2010
My first after-graduation, visit-to-a-friend-who-has-been-brave-and-moved-away-from-everyone-she-knew-and-loved, took me into Arizona! I was just excited to see Jess again, we had a great time, just before she moved down, at our beach apartment just talking and wandering along the water. Our Christmas vacation however was a little heart-sick. For all of us. But we got together, traded stories and life news, just trying to make each other happy. Sounds like fun huh? So this trip I was excited to see Jess in a place she loved, doing something she loved, and meeting people she has grown to love. On a plus side…it was hot in Arizona. Hot and sunny and dry. As opposed to the spring Seattle is currently experiencing, which has been a roller coaster of weather options…all followed by rain. (I don’t really want to perpetuate the whole Seattle is a wet, hilly mess because we actually do have long and lovely indian summers, and beautiful romantic falls, BUT the spring is always a depressing, sloshy disaster.) So I was going into the heat, to see one of my very best friends and besides all that I was getting paid to do it.
First step: convince my lovely roomie to come along! Luckily she is just as much of a sucker for travel and sunshine as I am so it wasn’t too difficult. After an AMAZING night at the Michael Buble Concert we took advantage of her boyfriend’s offer to drive us to the airport and boarded our separate flights bound for AZ. She left 2 hours before me, somehow managed to overlook the time change in Utah and missed her connection, and landed an hour after me! And that is how we started our trip!
We arrived on Easter and decided that the most important thing for us to do was buy some quality beer (read: Bud Light Lime) and lay by the pool in order to start our glorious tans. Awesome plan. Airplane snacks, high altitudes, unfamiliar levels of heat, and beer…you’ve got yourself three slightly intoxicated women…who were all driven to dinner by the new Boyfriend. He was so lucky.
That night we were given the Full tour of Jess’s new school, A.T. Still University, a physical therapy graduate school in Mesa. We saw the rooms she had lecture in and the ones where they practice working on each other. The library and the cafeteria. And the cadaver lab. Now if you know Kenzie and I you know that we have the weakest stomachs in the world. Even the mere mention of blood can make us feel faint and dizzy…but keep in mind that we are all a little drunk still. I think you can see where this is heading. Yep, emboldened by our success with doing new things we thought ‘Sure, one more wont hurt. I can handle a dead body’. Which, apparently, I actually can. Miss McKenzie however must have had less ‘liquid courage’ running through her veins because she stood behind me peering over my shoulder (and I was already about 15 feet away from this body. I know, pretty brave.) and accidentally caught a glimpse of the face. She was done. We exited the building a little shaky but able to walk and talk. All in all it was a wonderful spontaneous day!
Kenzie was only with us for 4 days, so we hit the important sights. ASU and Mill Avenue (a little quiet on a monday but lots of cool things to see and places to visit). We went on an adventure without meaning to, which is a whole different story in itself. Shortly, there is a highway 88 and a highway 188, the difference of which was not made clear to us when embarking. We ended up going the way that visitors are ‘discouraged’ to go and drove through the 5th largest National Forest in the Nation…
Here is an example of the “road”. Oh and it got smaller, and steeper, and higher up, and washed away in parts.
But after 4 hours we made it to the cliff dwellings, and walked the 1/2 mile paved path up the hill to see where these amazing people had found a place for themselves in the desert. It was not worth the stressful drive not matter how much fun initially getting lost was.
We drove home the short way.
Later in the evening (after a nap by the pool) we went out to celebrate Jess’s Birthday. She took us to this amazing Mexican hole-in-the-wall with the hottest salsa and best sauces I have ever had. And she was a champion at downing that salsa. She just kept dipping her chips and guzzling water so that the heat never caught up. Kenzie and I learned a lot from her. Don’t slow down.
Finally morning came and I took Kenzie to the airport, maneuvering my way into and back out of Phoenix all by myself (helped a little by Carmen the Garmin). So now I had some time all to myself until Jess’s school week was over. I’m pretty good at entertaining myself, especially in new places. I enjoyed the sunshine and the pool, went for a hike in the State Park, and read a book.
Jess took me lots of new places for the weekend. Fashion Square, Yogurt Land, Camelback, A.T. Still Spring Dance (Whohoo!), Pool parties, Hot Yoga, Puppy Love (!!!), restaurants, etc. It was amazing, I never wanted to leave. We are already planning our next trip down to see her, and thinking of all the new experiences we could have! She is so happy there and I know she is just going to kick butt during her next year of school.
So unhappy to be awoken by loud seaside visitors.
I love Olympia, I always have. When I was younger I felt like it had just enough of a dark side to frighten my parents while I felt perfectly safe. I would go downtown to Arts Walk and stay out until unreasonable hours in the morning. I would dress in black pleather pants and hot pink Tinkerbell T-shirts with leather cuffs around my wrists and Doc Martins that were so heavy I have no doubt they played a role in the development of the muscular legs I currently have to tone so carefully. Then as I got older and started attending Pep Rallies and Homecoming Dances, downtown Olympia was still the perfect place to have a late night banana split or a run through the Capital Campus sprinklers. It seemed that no matter how old I got there was always a perfect activity. (And little did I know that my parents were out downtown throughout my childhood enjoying themselves while letting me believe that I had somehow escaped and tricked them into giving me complete freedom.) The slightly crumbling, lovingly protected buildings made me imagine I was wandering around in an European harbor town, while the slightly haughty hippies lining the local organic coffee shops made me feel like I was a part of some linen-wearing, vegetarian revolution that couldn’t be controlled because they were so intelligent that no one dared to approach an argument with them. I would wander around the lake, meet my friends at the restaurants they worked for, push my brothers into the fountain, sit on our parent’s yachts and sailboats just pretending we didn’t notice the tourists yearning to join us in our splendor, get my hair cut at natural/sustainable salons, buy unusual gifts and creations from local artists, and watch local bands try to emulate Kurt Cobain. In short I was in a beautiful little bubble, culturally diverse and politically active as it may be, of a small town. Yet for some reason after going away to college, living in Italy, and getting my first “big girl” house in the big city, my very favorite restaurants, salons, coffee shops, medical professionals, and events are still in the Capital of the state.