Monday, November 16, 2015

The Adventures are Now on a New Site -

New site now at
This little blog has grown and needed a place with a bit more 
flexibility and options, so from now on, please visit 


Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 Highlights and Lessons Learned

2012 Highlights

A lot happened in 2012. It was a crazy year and I'm still recovering. I may or may not go back and post photos and actual posts of some of my 2012 highlights. But here's a summary of this year's craziness:

I ran my first 10k
Somehow I skipped the 10k when training. I went from 5K to Half marathon in 2011. So it was fun to run a 10k this year. It was the Hale Center Theater's "Hale Freezes Over" race in Orem. I got to run it with friends and it was good fun.

New Church Calling - YW President.
Apparently the Lord trusts me a lot more than I think He should. Or maybe He doesn't...this keeps me so busy I don't have time to get into trouble. :) Some wonderful friends have come from this calling though.

I ran my first (and perhaps only) marathon
This was truly a miracle. I didn't train quite as well as I should have and I had to be super careful not to injure myself. My friend and I ran this just a few days before leaving for Australia. Note to self - don't run a marathon the same weekend you leave for an international trip. I will probably do another one, but for now I just don't have the time to train for one.

January - October
I ran 3 half marathons and one Tough Mudder race
I ended up bruising my tailbone during the tough mudder race and am now convinced that those are not my favorite. I did it. I got my headband, my shirt, and the muddy photos to prove it. I don't have to do it again.
This tough mudder is so done...
Went to Australia and New Zealand with my favorite travel buddy
Lifelong dream come true. Though...I ended up being in New Zealand more than Australia and I need to go back and visit Australia to do it justice.

Piha beach - Auckland, New Zealand
Glenorchy, New Zealand
Kayaking Milford Sound, New Zealand
Hiking to Kitekite falls, New Zealand
Moss covered world - New Zealand

Got a promotion at work
Life pretty much turned upside down once I got back from the OZ/NZ trip. Work stuff changed dramatically and I ended up getting a new position and a promotion in the process. More money, more vacation days = more trips. What can I say...I work to travel.

May to November
Not much to report.
I worked.
A lot.
At my job.
In my calling.
Reached total burnout.
Time for another trip.
Playing with the sled dogs in Iceland
Went to Iceland
I had another birthday and I needed another trip. Iceland, it turns out, is a cheaper option than most US destinations in November. While a little cold and very little daylight that time of year, it had a lot of adventures to offer, including:

  • seeing the northern lights
  • dogsledding
  • seeing volcanos, glaciers, black sand beaches, and driving on sheets of ice in crazy strong wind. 
I may post a few of those adventures and post-date them. 

Hiking to some hot springs in Iceland

Life Lessons Learned
  • God has a sense of humor (and one that I don't always understand)
  • Your life high's seem to have equal low's
  • Life lessons repeat when you don't learn them the first time
  • God does send you angels when you need them and when you ask for them
  • Life just doesn't turn out the way you plan it...and that's ok.

Life List Items checked off this year:
  • Run a marathon (Salt Lake Marathon - April 2012)
  • Went to Australia (I was only there for about 2 1/2 days - I need to go back)
  • Went to New Zealand - I've decided I need to live there for awhile.
  • Saw the Northern Lights - Iceland - November 2012
  • Went dogsledding - Iceland - November 2012 - I need to do this again.

TV Shows that I currently love: 
Downton Abbey, Sherlock, Bones, Emily Owens MD, Grey's Anatomy

Music I enjoyed this year:

Notable Natural disasters in 2012
  • Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast
  • Pretty much the whole state of Utah was on fire in the summer
  • A few different earthquakes and floods across the earth
  • The world did not end on 12/21/12

What I'm looking forward to in 2013:
  • More wonderful trips and meeting more wonderful people
  • At least two half marathons - hoping to run them under 2 hours this year
  • Learning to drive a stick shift... (how I grew up in the country and never learned to do this is beyond me)

Here's to a great new year, new friends, staying in touch with old ones, and new adventures!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

2011 - Highlights and Lessons Learned

2011 was a great year!
Full of good times and frustrating times, but mostly good times. Here's a few of the highlights:
  • My brother, Kyle, came home from Afghanistan safely.
  • We went on a Mexican Riviera, family cruise the day after the big earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
  • I discovered my very first gray hair while on the cruise.
  • Had an awesome 31st birthday and didn't even have to leave the country. I have a wonderful family and friend's and that made it a very memorable day. 
  • They dissolved the awesome student ward I was going to, so I decided to drop out of the single's ward scene and start going to a family ward.
  • I decided to start running and did 3 Half Marathons - Salt Lake, Top of Utah in Logan, and Snow Canyon in St. George
  • I took my first Solo trip to Ireland- You can read all about that trip starting here. Twas Awesome!
  • I started doing web and graphic design freelancing work with Deseret Book and my brother's Forked Up Art business.
  • Took a few cooking classes through my new favorite restaurant, Thymes and Seasons. Here's just a few of the things I learned out to make
    • the best pie crust ever
    • several pasta dishes
    • a number of Royal Thai dishes
  • Finally had new photos taken of me and gave them to my family for Christmas. Our family photo wall now can replace the 10 year old photo of me. Yay!
  • Our family also welcomed a new addition. Judson and Michelle had another little boy they named Wynn. He's a sweet little guy. 

Life Lessons Learned
  • I'm never truly alone.
  • While I can do things by myself, it doesn't mean it's the best way to go about it.
  • While I enjoy being single and all the freedoms that entails, that is not my ultimate destination and desire.
  • I really want a permanent travel buddy.

Life List Items checked off this year:
  • Vist a pub in Ireland (Totally forgot this was on my list.)
  • Run a half marathon (Did 3 this year!)

TV Shows that I currently love: 
Sea Patrol, Rescue Special Ops, Bones, Once Upon A Time

Music I enjoyed this year:
  • Adele
  • How to Train Your Dragon Soundtrack
  • Kelly Clarkson's latest
  • Lindsey Stirling

Notable Natural disasters in 2011
  • Earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Earthquake and tsunami in Japan
  • Earthquake on East Coast
  • Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast 
  • Hurricane strength winds in Bountiful, Farmington, and Layton, Utah.

What I'm looking forward to in 2012:
  • Run a full marathon
  • More wonderful trips and meeting more wonderful people
  • Bobsledding in Park City, Utah
  • Visiting every LDS temple in Utah
  • Visiting the main sites to see in Southern Utah (Zion's, Bryce Canyon, Moab, etc.)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Trip to Ireland - Day 10 - What I learned & last days in Dublin

So while I'm still adjusting to a different time zone, I thought I'd write about the last few days in ireland and what I learned. Figure this was I good way to wrap up my trip emails. :-)

What I learned in Ireland:
  • There are two types of weather in Ireland: Raining and about to rain. It only actually rained twice last week. Once for 3 days, and the second time lasted 4 days. ;)
  • It is always windy and I shouldn't even try to do my hair.
  • Irish potatoes are incredible yummy and are different than Idaho potatoes.
  • Black and White pudding is very tasty, until you find out what it's made of.
  • Pubs are awesome. Pubs stand for public houses and are wonderful social places to eat and socialize. Not at all like what bars are here. Non-drinkers are welcome.
  • Live Irish music is a treasure.
  • You don't say, "Why do you drive on the wrong side of the road?" It's not the wrong side, it's just the left side. I didn't say this mind you...I knew better.
  • Ireland and its people are even more friendly, warm, enchanting, magical and beautiful as I thought they were.

On a more personal note..
  • I learned that traveling solo is not as scary as I thought it would be.
  • I'm much more travel savvy than I thought.
  • Finding someone (future spouse) who loves to travel as much as I do is really important to me.
  • God is very mindful of us and does send His angels to watch over and protect us.
  • While tour groups are fun and informative, I'm glad there are other options. 

Ireland was the trip I felt like I needed to go on. I'm not sure if there was any specific reason why or if I will know why anytime soon, but I'm so glad I went. 

Here are the highlights of my last day in Dublin.
The night in the hostel went fine. I was next to a window on one of the busiest streets in Dublin. I knew this was the case when I booked the place, but the prime location outweighed the noise factor. I didn't sleep much, but I slept enough. That morning I was able to get breakfast and head out to do a few last minute things in Dublin.

I was so hoping to see the first edition of the book of Mormon at Trinity College but the library wasn't open. I found a fun place to sit and read a paper about the ten year anniversary of September 11th. It was nice to have just a moment to just sit and take in.

Pretty soon it was time to check out of the hostel and catch my bus to the airport. There were heavy winds and they delayed our flight from Dublin by 2 hours. The plane was taking longer than usual to service. No problem. It made my 5 hour layover in Chicago only 3 hours. 

As we waited, the passengers all got a bit chatty. I ended up visiting with three sisters from Nebraska who had come to Ireland for fun. They were telling me their adventures in driving. I also sat by an Irish woman who had moved to California several years ago, but had just come back to visit family. It was fun for her to hear about our trips and what we thought of her beautiful country. It was nice to visit with all of them.

The flight went well and I was able to stay awake the entire time. Now the flight from Chicago to Salt Lake was different. By that time it was about 3 and 4 am Ireland time and I just couldn't stay awake. No worries though I slept fine when I got home except that I have this thing where I wake up at 3 and 4 in the morning. :-) I always seem to have more issues adjusting when coming back.

Here's one last Irish blessing and some of my favorite photos of my favorite times and people from the trip. :)

May love and laughter light your days,
And warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
Wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
With joy that long endures.
May all life's passing season
Bring the best to you and yours.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Trip to Ireland - Day 9 - Train back to Dublin

Today was my last day with the tour group. Part of me couldn't wait and part of me was quite sad. I had made friends with everybody in the group and I am going to miss them. I also wish I had more time to see the rest of Ireland with them as they go to Dingle and Cork. It was a good group and they all feel like family. As I left they all gave me big hugs, even the guys. The Australians even gave me a kiss on the cheek.

This morning we went and saw some more cliffs in a small sleepy town called Kilkee. The energy of the ocean was amazing and it was quite a site to see massive waves crashing into the rocks. There was that big storm that came through and it's made for some very big waves.

We caught a small ferry that lasted about 20 minutes. Great for people watching. There was a motor home pulling this iddy bitty car looking thing. It looked more like a windup toy. Found out it's called a Peel Trident and only 45 were ever made. Here's a photo because you just need to see it. :)

I guess another highlight on the ferry ride was the 3 German guys who seemed to take a liking to me. They spoke just enough English to say hello and how are ya. After that it was all smiles and waves. The rest of my group enjoyed watching these German guys watch me. As one of the Australians put it, "it was if they'd never seen a pretty girl before." It was fun, especially knowing that nothing would come of it.

About lunch time we stopped off in a small town called Tralee. It was time for me to catch my train. I said my goodbyes and got on a nice train. I do love trains. This one was more of a commuter type train and not built for excessive comfort,though it was comfortable enough. Watching the countryside go by and overhearing different conversations was grand fun. There were quite a few different Irish accents floating around depending on where in Ireland they're from, especially in Northern Ireland.

Made it to Dublin just fine. Found something to eat and checked into my hostel. It's right by a busy road so we'll see if I get any sleep tonight, but the location is prime and the hot shower was one of the best I've had yet. I'm rooming with 2 Germans and an Australian. Nice girls. The hostel has a fun flavor and it's fun to see where everybody's from. We all have the love of travel in common and it makes for a comfortable atmosphere. I feel like people get me here because they are the same way. :-)

Oh kind of a fun thing they told us about on the tour. There is a man here named Willie Daly and he is an old Irish matchmaker. He's from this little town, but people from around the world work with him. He puts on this matchmaking festival every year and apparently he's quite successful in what he does. Apparently it's in his genes. His father and grandfather were also matchmakers. To keep up with the times he even has a website. :-) Anyway... I got teased about getting with the matchmaker to find me a match. You wouldn't believe it...everyone on the tour wants me to keep in touch and keep them posted on my relationship status. Too funny. 

Here's another Irish blessing

May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow
For every tear, a smile
For every care, a promise
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem that life sends
A faithful friend to share
For every sigh, a sweet song
And an answer to each prayer.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Trip to Ireland - Day 8 - Cliffs of Mohor

I can't believe this trip is wrapping up already. Trips always seem to go by so fast, especially when I'm having so much fun!

 Sign seen at all edges of the Cliffs of Mohor.

Today's highlight was seeing the Cliffs of Mohor. They were pretty spectacular, even if the weather was less than ideal. I just stood in silent awe for a long time watching the huge waves crash against the sides of the cliffs. I'm so glad I was able to see them first hand since photos just don't do them justice.

We saw another castle which was pretty cool. They let us walk all up in it and see everything. They have castles everywhere. You see them all along the road as if it's the most common thing in the world. I think they said there were over 300 all over the country.

You wouldn't believe the rock walls everywhere! I love them! I love the way they create little patterns in the green fields. So much work went into building them. Some of the walls have been there for hundreds of years. I made sure to take plenty of photos. :)

We saw another Neolithic tomb. This one had a great big table rock. That's where they have 2 slabs of huge flat rocks  standing and then another flat slab across the top. No one really knows how they were able to move these massive stones. Quite the site to see and they have them everwhere.

We stopped off in Galway for lunch. It quite the happening city. 120,000 people, but has a sort of small town feel. They describe it has a bohemian type of city. Lots of street performers. Definitely a different flavor than Dublin. We saw the shop that made the original design of the Claddagh ring. The ring shows two hands holding a heart with a crown on top. The saying goes "With these hands I give you my heart and crown it with my love."

Tomorrow is my last day with the group. I catch a train about lunchtime and head back to Dublin. I'll miss the tour, but am looking forward to doing my own thing again. I'm hoping to get to see a few more things in Dublin before flying out tomorrow afternoon.