Sunday, July 1, 2018

2018 Travels/Meet Pippin!

Since it's been almost a year since my last post, seems about time to write another one!

Since I never really posted our anniversary trip pictures anywhere, I'm gonna jump back to March....

To Disneyland! 
We drove up March 4th and got in to our hotel around 4pm. We had originally just booked a standard room with two queen beds, but once we told the concierge we were there for our anniversary she upgraded us to a suite for free! It was awesome!

We mostly meandered around Downtown Disney and had dinner, then went back to the hotel to go to bed early so we could get an early start at the park the next day.
Lines on lines
Despite it being ASU's (and I'm sure many other schools') spring break, the crowds were supposed to be fairly light. So I was a little nervous when we arrived at the park and there were already long lines for just the bag check, and then to enter the park itself. However, once we got in, it really wasn't that bad at all.

Jordan hadn't been to Disney since before his mission, so it was fun for him to see all the new stuff that had been added to California Adventure!

I loved the theming of Tower of Terror so I was little nervous about this...but it was the best!!

We walked by Jack Sparrow just running around Tom Sawyer's Island
From inside the Guardians ride. We were obsessed.

We got stuck on Space Mountain and they turned all the lights on! The cast members had to come around to each train and push them to get them going again. And then we got to ride it again!

We had a wonderful time and, as always, I can't wait to go back ;)

Later that month one of Jordan's favorite cousins was having her homecoming in St. George and his whole family was going up to see her, so we decided to drive up that weekend as well. It was a pretty quiet weekend, but I did get to drive to Pine Valley with Jordan's mom and grandma to see some of the old church sites/enjoy some snow!
 I think they said this is oldest LDS chapel that's still being used for regular church meetings

After that we had a quiet couple months; Jordan graduated (woohoo!), we had many game nights with friends, and we got a new addition to the family:

The very first day we got him

He always has to be nearby. It's especially difficult if we're both in the kitchen trying to cook.

When the vet first told Jordan that Pippin was cross-eyed, we were shocked. We literally never noticed. Even now, I have a hard time seeing it sometimes. But then I saw this picture.....yeah, I can see it now.
We had been talking about getting a cat for a little over a year now, but we never seriously considered it because 1.) Jordan is allergic (as am I, but Jordan has never grown up with cats) and 2.) we were never home. We also never planned on getting a kitten: we wanted a calm, quiet adult cat that we knew would be ok to hang out at home alone because we like to see movies/hang out with our friends a lot in the evenings. However, I had seen Pippin (then called 'Frick') on the Humane Society website and wanted Jordan to at least go and see him with me. can probably guess what happened. It was hard to leave him after cuddling and playing with him for just a few minutes.

He's very friendly with strangers, very vocal (just meows though, I've literally never heard him hiss), and he's pretty cuddly. His only issue is biting when he gets hyper and feels we're not playing with him enough.
We've watched Netflix around him plenty of times and he's never been interested, but I started watching Planet Earth wwith him one night...there was a part about lions chasing a water buffalo, and it caught his attention immediately. He even  jumped down from the back of the couch to get a closer look.

It's hard to figure out what would be interesting for a blog post when we mostly have game nights with our friends and watch movies, but I'll try to focus on smaller posts in the future :)

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Remembering how to blog

Jordan, his grandma, and I traveled to Tampa, Florida last week to visit his dad and family who now live there. Our flight out there on the 6th ended up getting delayed by about 2 hours, so instead of leaving at 6:30 we left at 8:30 and didn't get in until 3am, and not getting to the house until close to 5, which was a little rough.

We slept until noon and mostly hung out at their beautiful house all day. I forgot just how much green there is in Florida...his dad's house backs right up to the woods and all I could think about was there was just one tiny fence separating us from death-by-alligator. Ah well. It was very pretty in the evening.

Day 2 we were woken up by Jordan's little brother Rhett asking us if we wanted to go skydiving for Elle's birthday. We thought he was making things up to be funny, but it turns out, no...skydiving was the plan for the day.

At first I wasn't really nervous; we watched several kids do it without much issue, but we were very quickly rushed through the safety/instruction video and suddenly we were suited up inside this tube with 100mph winds and only wire mesh between us and the massive vents below. It actually was surprisingly easy! Maybe I was just getting myself worked up, but the hardest part was keeping my hands at the right level. I would definitely do it again!

Jordan's little sister Elle, the birthday girl!

The next day we went out on a little boat to see the bay. Jordan's dad said they always see dolphins and manatees when they go out, and sure enough, we were not disappointed!

We saw about 6 altogether, and it was so fun! They didn't get too close, and we were headed in the opposite direction, so we left them alone. We headed out to a tiny island were the water from the gulf came and mixed in with the bay water and hung out for a little bit. Jordan and I swam to the island to see if we could find any shells, but we quickly turned around when we spotted a very official-looking sign declaring it a wild bird sanctuary and people were not supposed to be there.

While in Florida, I had told Jordan there was only one (well, two) places we had to go; one of them was Jeremiah's!

It's literally just Italian ice and soft-serve, but it was only ten minutes from his dad's house and I hadn't had it in forever. Sooo good.

Of course, the second place I most wanted  to go to while we were in Florida...
We had thought we would be prepared for how crowded it would be (just Jordan and I went on Friday), but...we may have underestimated.  Disney World has a new Fastpass system that is great for people who buy tickets ahead of time, but not so great for people who (like us) got their tickets the day before. It allows people to select up to 3 Fastpasses a month before going to the park; which usually means the most popular rides will be totally out of Fastpasses by the time you go. We decided to try and get there early to see if we could get on the two newest rides; the ones in the new Avatar land.

 This new land, themed after the planet Pandora in the movie Avatar (you remember Avatar, right? Highest grossing movie of all time? Yeah, me neither), had been in production since I was working at the park (there were prototypes of some of the interactive elements they were planning on using in our backstage area, and James Cameron was frequently seen at the park), so I was really interested to see how it had turned out.  We got there right as the park opened, and the main ride of Pandora (called 'Flight of Passage'), was already at a two hour wait. Yikes. It was only 45 minutes for the other ride (Na'vi River Journey) so we hopped in that one. 

It was very pretty, basically a little nighttime boat-ride through the bioluminescent jungle, but not really worth the time we waited. The area was gorgeous and we had fun wandering around to see all the detail, but gave up on the idea of riding the big ride and went to other parts of the park.

Little shrine in the line of the river ride

Not very easy to see, but I just wanted to document the 245 minute wait less than an hour after the park opened.

The rest of the park actually wasn't too bad, and we were able to get Fastpasses later on in the day for some of the bigger rides 
Including the best ride ever! Twice!!

They had also expanded the Africa section by a LOT since I had worked there

After riding everything we wanted and seeing everything else; we noticed the wait time for the Flight of Passage had dropped to a two hour wait (the lowest we had seen it at all day). The park was open for only two more hours, so we decided we might as well see if we could get on. We were pretty much at the opposite end of the park when we realized this, so I was worried everyone else would have the same idea, but as we rushed over, we didn't see anyone in the outside portion of the line, despite the sign still saying it was a two hour wait. We rushed into the line, and the actual queue itself was very pretty!

You start by walking through the rocks/foliage surrounding the floating mountains
We were actually walking through the queue so fast we didn't want to pause for pictures
From the outside portion into a cave filled with painting of  Banshees (the dragon-things the Na'vi ride), Na'vi and human handprints and drawings
Inside portion with all the glowing plants

Walked into the human laboratory section
Banshee skull

We heard people questioning whether this was a projection or something really in the tank; one Google search later..

Yup. A life-size animatronic. It kept twitching its hands and legs and it was very cool but very weird

Jordan had different feelings about it
We kept moving so quickly through the line we realized the time posted outside must not have been updated; we ended up waiting about 45 minutes. The ride was screen/3D based, but it was honestly the coolest ride I've ever been on.

Saturday, our last day in Florida, we went to the Magic Kingdom. This day was a little difficult, as we got there extremely late, didn't get our tickets until we were actually there, and it was very, very crowded. We arrived at 11, managed to all get on Pirates together, did a little 3D movie show,  and had lunch

Literally seconds after taking this picture, it started POURING

It didn't stop raining for four hours, so we all left at 5. I wasn't too upset, since we were soaked and pretty miserable. Overall, not the best first Magic Kingdom trip together, but we still had a good time.

Florida is beautiful, and I'm always surprised by how much I miss it, but I hate summer there with a fiery, fiery passion. Ah well. We had a wonderful trip overall, and it was so nice to see and spend time with Jordan's family!