Saturday, September 25, 2010

Crash Course

I have a picture from every state that I have visited over the past 6 weeks. (Except Kansas, I have nothing against Kansas, but I didn't have my camera with me that day. I did however, have some of the BEST french toast that I have ever encountered, EVER, in Kansas.)
Utah:

Colorado:

Nebraska:

Iowa:

Missouri:

Illinois:

Indiana:

Ohio:

Pennsylvania:

New Jersey:

New York:

Connecticut:

Rhode Island:

Massachusetts:

New Hampshire:

Maine:

Vermont:

Michigan:

Wyoming:

and just for kicks even though it's not a state...Canada:

These are just a few of the many pictures I took on the trip and are just the beginning of the many incredible things that I saw along the way. I hope to expand a bit over the next few weeks, but you have to start somewhere, right?

Monday, September 20, 2010

so I've been studying for the GRE.
on the past three practice tests, my math scores have continuously improved.
I haven't been studying math. at all.
my comprehenstion scores took a flying dive (like 20%)and have been slowly improving.
I've been studying. a lot.
I don't get it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

a quick update...

So we came home from our mega-New England tour and I noticed something while we were eating dinner. Mary moved. She isn't in the tomato plant any more. She's off to the side. I would have guess that the plant would have been gone, but apparently, I was mistaken. It's good to be home.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dear Canada...

I know that you find kilometers to be superior to miles. I can accept that. I can even appreciate that. I can not accept the fact that your speed limit equals out to 42 miles per hour. Thank you for such a long day.
Love,
Me

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thus far...

I have fallen completely in love with the state of Maine. Surprisingly enough, I'm not a huge lobster fan, but I can think of about a million other reasons to counter that. It's been a fantastic trip.
Pennsylvania made me laugh. I saw my first out house. Literally, a house with an out house in the back yard. It looked insulated and possibly the size of a two-seater. I guess I'd heard too many Kentucky jokes.
New York was super fast, we spent the night with my cousin in Astoria(the largest Greek population outside of Athens). I do have to say, I much prefer the New York skyline at night rather than during the day. I ate breakfast at the number one Greek import of the US, the deli. It was the classic greasy spoon. We were warned before the owner took our order that he would not look at us, but the food was good and cheap. Not only was the food good and cheap, but he looked at us too! Maybe it was because he heard us talking about him, or maybe he was fascinated by the obvious tourists that had entered his shop. Who knows?
Boston was great. I want to come back. We ate paninis and gelato in Little Italy. I tried fried oysters (crispy and chewy all at the same time?). I walked most of the Freedom Trail. We went whale watching (saw 4 humpbacks); went to the Boston MFA (loved the peace and quiet...not to mention Sargent, Monet, Rembrandt, etc); and rode the trolley. Yes. I saw Fenway Park. No. I don't know how the Red Sox are doing. As we were passing MIT, some random kid on a street corner looked up at the trolley and yelled, "Welcome to Boston!" Not going to lie. It was one of my favorite moments from the trip. It was a big city. There was A LOT going on at all times, and yet...one kid cared enough to yell "Welcome to Boston!" I felt validated.
Once we left the city, I fell in complete love with New England. Like I said, Maine is my favorite. Driving the coast through all the antique shops and book shops was perfect. It's relaxing. I actually studied GRE vocab and enjoyed it. There were piles of pumpkins, apples, and fresh cider on the side of the road for sale. Blueberries are just coming on. Cranberries grow here!!! Just think of all the anti-oxidants! I love the architecture of the homes. I understand that it's cold here in the winter. It's cold in Utah too. It snows a lot. Sounds familiar. It's a long winter. I'd rather be cold than hot. If I can get the "go ahead" I'd love to sell the Malibu, buy a Subaru, adopt a large dog named Murphy, and live near the rocky coast forever. We drove through the home of the men's US Toboggan Championships!!!
Well...the trip is half over and we still don't want to come home, but there's still a week to go. Maybe I'll fall in love with another spot too.

Monday, September 6, 2010

An afterthought...

I've noticed a recent trend in my life. Most people get toothbrushes from their dentist at their 6-month check ups. Some get them for Christmas, Easter, or other holidays. I get them on vacation. More specifically, I get a toothbrush from my parents when we go to the East Coast on vacation. There is no reason as to why, but it's the truth of it.
PS The good news is I now have clean clothes to go with my new toothbrush.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Stats.

Okay. I'm 3 days into my trip and here are some stats.
*So far we've driven something like 2,000 miles.
*Slept in 3 different states.
*Been in 6 different states.
*Seen license plates from 35 different states and one province.
*Stocked our cooler with at least 12 pounds of ice.
*Finished our cantaloupe, watermelon, and grapes.
*Been through 3 different toll booths.
Highlights of the trip?
I was offered a job and a place to live in Iowa.
The Grape Stomp at the Grape Festival was actually a 5K.
Singing THE SPIRIT OF GOD in the Kirtland Temple.
I secretly, or not so secretly want to live in Ohio.
Tonight we tried 4 different campgrounds (2 closed to public use, one was actually a trailer park, and one was completely full) before we settled for the Comfort Inn. Such is the stuff that memories are made of...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ahhhhhhh, the memories.

I was going through a box tonight, looking for a pair of wool socks for my upcoming trip. I found much more than the ultra-mega wool socks (which will coincidentally keep my feet more than warm during my 16 day camping trip/Earl dodging expedition); I found my mission tights. I know many sister missionaries find tights to be the bane of their existence. I was not one of them. I wore them gratefully (in addition to MANY other layers) so that I did not lose my lower extremities. I actually brought them home with me as a "family heirloom". Oh, they were funny. I think part of the reason that I couldn't part with them was for the shock factor. I knew my mom would be appalled when she saw them, but I loved them anyway. There were 2 pairs, both black, equally loved. The first have a hole in a nondescript location that my head would easily fit through. The second had multiple holes in the lower foot area. (The inside of my shoes wore out before the outside.) The legs were still intact and I could still wear them, just had to darn them so my foot didn't rub through. At the time of the darning, I was out of black thread. My companion had loads of thread, however, there was no black. One of the feet was mended in sea foam green. The other was mended in hot pink. I guess it's the closest to emo that I've ever been. I still have a cheesy grin on my face and it's been 45 minutes since I found them. Good memories. Chile. I miss Chile. I'll get over it. I've still got the tights, right?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

One month from today, it all goes down.

One month from right now, I will be one hour in to the GRE. I will most likely be trying desperately to focus on the pathetically dry pages of information and playing the "guess what I'm thinking" game with ETS. Actually, I will have probably reached the "I don't care anymore" point and be trying my hardest to just finish...gracefully. Wish me luck. (I've still got a month to study, and 15 of those days will with flashcards in the car. Yay me.)