Two Strikes and He's Out

So here we are yet again, with the neighbor's cat in my arms.  And yes, it's the one that I had a horrible reaction of hives to a couple weeks ago.  As you can see, I am taking precautionary measures here to not let the fur touch my skin. Well, shortly after Landon brought the cat in and dumped him in my lap, my eyes started to get itchy, so I handed him off to Landon's little cousin to put outside while I went to wash my hands and face.  Well, the cat started to make a weird sound and I dunno, she set the cat down or something.  And I was like, "Oh no, no no no.  Get the cat out." But it was too late.  The freaking cat regurgitated a half digested MOUSE. You guys.  I took one look and ran back into my room GAGGING.  I just sat on my floor, yelling for Landon, dry heaving and sort of laugh-crying.  Luckily Landon took care of it, after my body tried to rip itself inside out 13 or 14 times.  And the cat went back outside. PERMANENTLY.  Hives and digested mice are two strikes too many.

I'm so clearly not ready for kids. Or cats.

Christmas Break Moments

1. Christmas Eve with my family, opening presents from siblings, going to iHop for dinner, and playing games all night.
2. Our big Christmas party we held at our house. It was actually the Saturday before Christmas, but it was such a success, I couldn't count it out of my Christmas recap.
3. Christmas coma the night of.  We were crashed out on the couch surrounded by those we love and all the crap we gave each other to prove it.
4. the "I Love Loki" shirt Landon gave me made it to my top favorite gifts list.

5. I worked on Thursday and Friday, but there was literally nothing to do other than clean, so I only did a half day each day which meant I was home by one and back in my pjs cuddling with Shadow.
6. I've graduated from gel nails to acrylic. And I'm loving it.  Thinking of opening my own nail salon here in the basement. You know, really take over my in-law's house.
7. Spent the morning watching Kenyon race cross-country in Park City.  That kid is a champ.
8. After going to see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (amazing film, go see it immediately) Sky, Landon and I went to Smash Burger where Skyler special ordered the most ridiculous hamburger you've ever seen.  The guy at the counter asked him if he wanted anything else, and when Skyler said no he was like, "Well, I'm going to give you a free drink because that is so freaking awesome." The burger was gone in five minutes flat.

9. After watching Kenyon cross-country ski like a mo-fo, I was so inspired and went out and bought my own season pass to Soldier Hollow even though I've never tried it before.
10. It is so SO difficult.  I knew before-hand that it would be completely physically taxing, but I didn't expect my 20 years of skiing experience to BARELY help me out AT ALL. Still though, so much fun.  I'm going to go all the time.
11. Mt. Timpanogos blew my mind this week. Every time I went outside I felt like I was taking another picture of it.  I try so hard not to take this place for granted.  I live in a magazine, I'm telling you.
12. Because it wouldn't be Christmas without a little Nog.

I hope you all had a great holiday and hopefully had a little time off as well.  Missed you guys, I'm excited to be back to blogging after my little vacation.

Merry Christmas!!

Ok, everyone.  I think that this is my goodbye and Merry Christmas post since I have next Monday-Thursday off work.  AKA I'll be sleeping in. AKA I won't be writing a blog post. :) You understand.  I just want you all to know that your friendship and support over this last year is the greatest gift I could ever receive.  I love you all so much and Landon and I wish you the merriest of Christmas'.

Christmas Decorations and Ex-Boyfriend Encounters

So I had invited my mom to come to the lights with us on Monday, but she had her horse back riding lesson and wasn't able to make it.  Both of us were super bummed because we wanted to hang out and enjoy the lights and each other's company.  So I decided to go home last night and have a mama-daughter date.  I wanted to take her to Frozen because she hadn't seen it and I've been dying to see it again.  I knew there was a new theater just South of her, but I didn't realize there was this massive mall that had popped up in the time I have lived away from home.  And it was decorated so Christmassy we totally forgot she hadn't been to Temple Square with us.
I mean, it was gorgeous.  They had this little ice rink and this pond that did a water show with all these colors and Christmas music.  I was seriously wishing I had brought a coat because I was freezing my butt off.  At one point I had climbed into the fire place to warm my fingers back up.
This was after, of course, I ran into an ex of mine.  Not just any ex though, MY FIRST KISS ex.  And I'm not good with past-boyfriends anyway.  I'm pretty sure my eyes bugged out of my head and I ran in the opposite direction after we made an extremely uncomfortable eye contact.  I mean, the last time we saw each other was back in high school, but it didn't end well... haha soooo awkward.  Classic me, I can't just say hi and move on, I have to go hide in a snow covered hedge.

Despite that horrible blast from the past, I had such a magical evening with my mom.  Sometimes I miss her so much I can't hardly stand it.  And living and hour and a half away from home doesn't make things easier.  I was so happy to be able to go goof around with her.


Ok, so I just had to share this with you guys.  My brother's best friend lives in Texas, but he flies out to Utah quite frequently and stays with my family.  We absolutely love him to DEATH.  He was here just after Thanksgiving for almost a week, he had to fly back to Texas for a couple days because he had a concert (he's a singer and a damn good one) but he was back in Utah right after.  On both of his flights in the last week or so, he has had some moments that he painted so hilariously on his Facebook statuses.  I laughed so hard, I needed to share it on my blog. This was the first time he flew back home:

 And if that wasn't fantastic enough, then comes the second attempt at flying back home to Texas:

And like a true gentleman, instead of complaining about his time on Southwest Airlines, he promotes them with a snarky #FlySouthwest.  And I can't say that my family wasn't delighted to have another day with him.
(tbt to blonde hair)

Temple Square at Christmas

So here in Utah, going to see the Christmas lights in Temple Square is like a must-do.  Despite the unbearable cold weather temperatures and the thousands of Mormons that come out of the wood-work. (I'm kidding, they're not that bad.)  The millions of lights that are strung across the sky and wrapped around every tree branch in sight make for such a magical sight and it's literally impossible not to feel the Christmas spirit.  f

Also- don't mind my whole "baby deer learning to stand" stance I've got going on there.  I have no idea what I'm doing.

Oh Hey, I'm Back!

So, even though I didn't post for half the week last week, I was only out of town Friday night, Saturday and Sunday.  I didn't have a lot to talk about.  But we went down the St. George for the weekend and that gave me some good content, I guess. :)  We went down to do kind of a early and quick Christmas with Landon's family.  Who now consists of not just the crazy dogs, but a new step-step nephew who I am in love with.  His name is Cade and this is only the second time I've ever met him, but he had Landon and me wrapped around his finger the entire night.  Don't worry, I'm not going to start popping out babies, but I did just about die when he told Landon what the difference between a skeleton and a human is.  Are you dying to know? Skeletons don't have noses or wieners. Mind. Blown.

Oh! And- this weekend was the maiden voyage of our new truck.  I freaking love that thing.  I don't know if I'll ever be able to go back to seats that don't heat or cool themselves on demand.  Landon wants to sell it in the spring and make a couple thousand bucks, but I don't think I want to say goodbye.
It was a great weekend, I love having family down South, it makes for a quick little get-a-way.  And we always have a great time.

The Whoville Tree

So check out this tree my step-father-in-law brought home, this sucker is like 16 or 17 feet tall:

I was up on the ten-foot ladder the other night trying to wrap the ribbon around the top.  I was maybe a step or two from the top of the ladder with nothing to hold on to when suddenly this beast of a tree started to tip over on me.  I don't think the base is big enough for a tree that size, and I definitely wasn't prepared for one to fall on my while I was balancing on a step ten feet up.
My mother-in-law was on the floor tying the other ribbon around the base when I realized it was falling over.  I had a mouth full of branches as I grabbed for the trunk and yelled for her help.  We stopped it just in time before I was knocked off the ladder to my imminent death, but I still had to figure out how to get down without letting it fall the rest of the way. I was able to help Sunny give it a good shove up against the wall so I could climb down, and we propped the ladder up against it until her husband got home to fix it.
Once everything was secured we were able to put the rest of the decorations back up.  But don't think that I got back up on the ladder to do anything more than hang a small ornament. I really didn't want that thing coming back down on me.  I was very proud of it though when we finished decorating it last night.  Sunny kept calling it a Whoville tree because of how big some of the ornaments were.  I love it.  We just can't let the cat know how much power she holds in her paws.  One swift swat at this tree could send the whole thing tumbling.  Ornaments and all...

Let it Snow!!

So snow came down hard core over the entire state of Utah this weekend.  Even down South where they aren't even remotely prepared with snow removal equipment and from what I heard from family and friends, the entire place was shut down.  My father-in-law posted photos of his palm trees weighted down by 3 or 4 inches of the white stuff.  Down there, it isn't so welcome- but up here the snow is celebrated.  Even when I have to drive down to Provo in it to get some Christmas shopping done.  Doesn't hardly make a difference when you have 4-wheel drive.  I'm hoping to get some time on the slopes sometime in the near future.  We didn't get passes again this season due to "insufficient funds" but I'll get up there at some point.  And until I do....?

Getting in the Spirit

So it's already a week into December and I have just not been feeling the Christmas spirit.  Even with the snow storm that passed through and the 20 below zero temperatures I wake up to.  So finally I decided to take Alissa's advice and "STAWWWP BEING A GRINCH." And the best way I could think of to do that was to finally put up our Christmas tree.  We live at my in-law's as you know and all of our things are packed away in the rafters of the garage. So I had to get out my flashlight, climb twenty feet up and walk foot in front of foot on the beams and pray to the good God in heaven that I wouldn't fall through the ceiling and paralyze myself.  I got everything and hauled it back down to the basement put the tree together, started a fire in the stove and was feeling a little burned out at that point.  So I took a shower, put on my hoodie that still has it's tags on it because I'm not sure if I want to keep it yet (very Mean Girls, I know) applied very little make up and tried to straighten my hair while it was still damp.  All in preparation to make my tree decorating experience more enjoyable.

well, it worked for the most part.  It helped that Shadow was there to give me his expert opinions on ornament placement. And lucky you, we filmed it and put it to Christmas music that would make Dwight Schrute proud.  So here you go Alissa.  I "STAWWWPPED BEING A GRINCH."


I went to on a date to see Frozen with Landon and his brother last night.  In freezing temperatures.  But at least the blizzard has stopped and we are only left with ice and snow on the ground.

But enough about the weather around here.  Let's talk about THAT MOVIE.  Best movie I've seen in 2013.  And I swear, I've seen 'em all this year.  It seems like yesterday I was head over heels for Tangled, but Frozen has swooped in and stolen my heart.  It had a great story, lots of twists, great music- can you say Idina Menzel?  And who knew Kristen Bell had pipes like that!  But where I really get hung up is the immaculate detail in which this movie was animated.  How you can tell that every snowflake is truly different.  How you can see STRANDS OF HAIR on the characters. Their eyelashes and eyebrows aren't just streaks of color, they are so realistic.  And the ice castle that is constructed (really trying hard not to be cliche here) gave me chills. Go see this one you guys.  Forget Catching Fire for two seconds and let your hearts be uplifted by this sweet, and visually life changing movie.

Snow Protocol

So it snowed here yesterday. Like hardcore blizzard. I went through an entire bag of ice melt and shoveled our walk ways probably four times yesterday. That's not the problem though. 

The problem is that a lot of people in Utah tend to FORGET that it snows here in the winter. And along with that they forget how to DRIVE in the snow. There were 304 accidents yesterday. THREE HUNDRED AND FOUR. Yeah, it was snowing hard, and the roads were insanely icy and car wrecks are expected but 304 accidents is ridiculous. So I figured I'd type up a list of basic "driving in the snow" tips that are guaranteed to prevent probably 40% of the crashes that happened yesterday.

2. I know you just slowed down, but slow down some more.
3. This is for "Mr. Important," we are all late for work, but seriously SLOOOW DOOOWWWN.
4. If you are going up a hill and the people in front of you are sliding or stuck? Don't go around them because you are probably going to slide or get stuck, or even hit the people you were trying to pass.
5. Don't drive distracted. That's a everyday rule, but there is no room for slamming on your breaks because you didn't notice someone merge infront of you because you were dialing your husband's phone number. 
6. Let's take it back to sophomore year in driver's ed. Keep your hands at 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock. You will have the most control over your vehicle that way and if you start sliding, you'll have that advantage at least.
7. Don't tailgate. For real, that's douchey anyways, but it's your fault if you hit someone. And it's still your fault if you get hit behind causing you to hit the person you were tailing.
8. If you're going slower than everyone else then MOVE OVER. 
9. Clean the snow off your windows. I can't stand it when I see cars with only their windshield and driver's side window cleared. You're just begging for an accident at that point. Also it's super douchey when all the snow flies off your car and blasts the car behind you. 
10. Give yourself double the amount of time it usually takes you to get where you need to go. That way you're not stressed and you can be safe. If you have a long, icy commute like I do, just let your boss know that you'll get there when you get there. Nobody wants anyone hurt and I promise they'll work with you.

And if you can't at least make an effort to do this stuff? Don't drive. Or move to the west coast. 


Thanksgiving Day: golfing, eating, playing, sleeping.

Sunny St. George: cloudless, perfect skies.

Family: Always there for each other.

 Three generations: where the crazy runs through the blood lines.

Great Grandma June:  the sassiest 94 year old lady you'll ever meet.  And one hell of a drum player.

It's Not Goodbye....It's Good Riddance, You Piece of Sh....

So according to instagram, it was about a year and a half ago when the ol Dakota broke down in the middle of the desert in 100+ degree weather.  I thought I was going to die of heat stroke that day.

 And ever since then, that truck has been nothing but trouble.  We had to get a whole new motor after that, then once that was fixed and thousands of dollars later, the transmission went out.  Had to get a refurbished one of those.  The windshield wipers only worked on the highest setting, the ac/heater only came out of the defrost vents, the check engine light refused to turn off and the four wheel drive crapped the bed.  More money was put into this lemon truck that what Landon originally bought it for.

Well, last night we washed our hands of it in the Harmon's parking lot in the middle of a harsh winter storm.  With cash in hand, we walked away without looking back.  Most people really bond with their vehicles like their another member of the family, but not this one.  This one was a money sucking vampire that smelled like stale cigarrettes.

I'm glad it's gone.
I'm so freaking glad.

The Freaking Neighbors.

So, I have a vague recollection of talking about one of my fears on the blog awhile back.  Probably during the Blog Everyday in May challenge. ANYWAY.  One of my fears is police officers or getting pulled over.  Because they like to give me tickets like- WHENEVER they pull me over.  Even when I wasn't doing something that bad if at all.  But that's just one white teen girl's opinion over an "officer of the law's..."  So imagine the heart attack I have basically every morning when I drive past this douche bag's house with the red and blue lights in their lamp post:

You don't see them until you speed past them in the wee morning hours.  And as you're driving past that and the trees it looks like they are flashing.  It gets me EVERY MORNING.  Slamming on my brakes is a normal part of my morning routine.  I don't know these neighbors, but I hate them.

One Day When You Get Married....

So the other day, I was in the bathroom doing my hair, shadow was laying on the floor with his head behind the toilet and Landon was next to me shaving or something.
Landon was just finishing up and started to walk out of the bathroom when Shadow got up to follow him. He almost got out the door when he stopped and started to eat something off the floor.  It was a bobby pin. I was like, "Shadow, stop!! Don't eat my bobby pins!" When I heard from the other room, "Do it Shadow! Eat them all!" And Landon reappeared around the corner and Shadow looked him in the eye as Landon said, "One day when you get married? You will find that your wife had a million bobby pins. And she leaves them EV-ERY-WHERRRRRE."

Another thing Landon didn't know about because he didn't have any sisters.

Well, That Didn't Help...

So listen, Landon applied for health insurance from his work mmm....about three and a half weeks ago. And then about three weeks ago, he got really sick.  I thought maybe it was the flu or something.  Like he had a fever and really bad chills and he was coughing and had a super bad headache.  Well, all of that went away like two days later.  Except for the coughing.  The cough has persisted through the weeks and it's had me worried.  Especially because his health insurance hasn't kicked in yet so I can't take him to the doctor.  He has been showing a few of the symptoms of walking pneumonia. yikes, right?  Well, I took really good care of him over the last few weeks and didn't catch whatever he's got, but then we went to the BYU game Saturday afternoon in the freezing rain and snow and we both came back worse than when we left.

Landon says it was totally worth it.  I think that's the fever talking.  Meanwhile, I'm over here hacking up my lungs, cursing the bad weather and my immune system that finally failed after so much exposure.
But here is the new plan: I'm insured, so I'll just go and share whatever goods I get from the doctor with Landon.  hashtag loopholes.  In the meantime however, those Doterra Oils really hold their own.

Even though I'm burdened with sickness, my fingernails were in desperate need of a manicure, so I bucked up and painted them along with my mother in law's.  I'm really digging these ones.  And I'm super proud of myself for busting out the right hand as good if not better than my left one.

maybe I'll just quit college and go to cosmetology school.  That sounds like more fun anyway.

Jogging Photography

You know on Yes Man where Zooey Deschanel teaches the jogging photography class?  I do that.  I mean, I don't teach, but I take Shadow jogging when I get home from work.  But it's probably not even considered exercise anymore because we are always stopping to take photos. I can't help it.  Going jogging in Heber is like jogging through a vacation home magazine.  For instance:

 or how about this:

and how could I resist this:

and after all the stopping to take pictures, I usually get a look like this from my running partner:

After my trip to NY, I had so much to talk about. But I'm back to the ol' grind where the most interesting thing I do on my week days is run with my dog down a rocky path, taking pictures while simultaneously trying not to break my ankle on a rock.  

But- here is what I'm looking forward to:  there are TWO ski resorts open already.  I'm not going to lie when I say that I'd rather ditch out on the last BYU home game and hit up some early slope-age.  Especially because we got a snow storm headed our way tonight.  I can't wait to live to ride again!
It's about time winter showed it's face around these mountains.

Things That Make Me Happy and Why

So, I'm TOTALLY copying Alissa's theme in posting about things that make me happy.  Because I have nothing else to talk about. So why not talk about things that make me smile? Here we go.

1. This song:

Because the other night I had it playing on my phone while we were driving down the canyon.  Landon and I weren't talking, we were just enjoying each other's company in silence when Landon reached over and took my hand and squeezed it.  Which means he was listening to the words and felt that way about me. It made me smile and probably made it my favorite song right now.

2. this game:

anyone reading this- go download it now, and friend me.  My username is whitneycalle.  It's got hundreds of quizzes for movies, celebrities, animals, food. You name it, there is probably a quiz for it.  It's SO addicting.  And you can challenge people to quizzes.  Landon and I have been play against each other all day.

3. Tom Hiddleston/Loki

I am SO Team Loki over here.  I have been the whole time.  And we saw Thor over the weekend and I  fell in love all over again.  Landon thinks I'm crazy.  But whatever.  THE HEART WANTS WHAT THE HEART WANTS!!

4. My new gold iPhone 5s.  Yeah.  It finally came last week.  I only had to wait two months for it, cursing Apple everyday it didn't show up on my door step.  But it is here and I love it more than my first born.  I can say that because I don't have a first born.  But don't be surprised if I stand by that statement after I do have a kid.

5. My family:

My cousin, the tall blonde kid back there just got home from his mission in Texas.  I haven't seen in TWO YEARS and we all got together to celebrate his homecoming on Sunday.  I love my family so much, they seriously are the best friends I have and they know my heart better than most.

I especially love my dad back there photo bombing.  Can't wait to hang out with them more over Thanksgiving.

I'm Not Allergic to Cats, but....

So I don't know if a lot of you remember Tom Selleck.  The cat that lived across the street from me in  Lindon and decided it wanted to live at my house for awhile?  And maybe I swayed that decision by feeding it turkey and imitation crab whenever she came over.  Well, sad story is I didn't see her for a couple months before we moved and I feared the worst.  That somehow Tom passed away.  She was a roamer, so I don't know if she got hit by a car or got lost... Something happened though and I was very sad about it for a long time.  I'm still sad about it.  I loved that cat.

ANYWAY.  I think Tom Selleck reincarnated and found me or something because on Saturday I was chilling on the couch, playing on my phone while Landon watched the BYU game on tv. All of the sudden Shadow ran behind the couch after Kenyon's cat and we heard the her hissing like she always does, but something was a little off about how Shadow was being persistent after this cat. Usually he gets bored after she swats at him a couple times.  Landon looked behind the couch and saw this orange cat laying by the door.  This orange cat was NOT Kenyon's cat.  We had never seen this cat before in our life, and here it was hanging out in our living room like it owned the place.

We didn't know what to do, so I walked over slowly to try to catch it.  And surprisingly enough it wasn't difficult, the cat just let me pick him up, no big deal.  I was expecting it to bite and claw at me, you know? So I didn't put it outside immediately, I love nice cats, I decided I'd let it sit on my lap for a few minutes.  Well, the cat started purring and purring and PURRING.  I was dying.  It was so sweet.  So I layed down and the cat curled up on my chest and passed out.  I actually got scared for a second, because when it fell asleep, it stopped purring and I thought it died or something.

We snuggled like this for a good hour just enjoying each other's company, while I silently plotted on how to convince my mother-in-law to let me keep this cat that probably belonged to a next door neighbor when suddenly my neck started to itch.  It wasn't anything big, just a little tickle, but over the coarse of the next twenty minutes, my neck and chest were COVERED in hives.  It was even made it's way on my face about up to my cheek bones.  My skin was extremely hot to the touch and it itched more than anything has ever itched in my LIFE.  (this picture doesn't nearly do the reaction justice.)

Now, you must know that I'm not allergic to anything.  Unless it's the air in Spring and Fall, I get a little sneezy, but I've never in my life broken out in hives like I did on Saturday.  And I still don't think that I was allergic to the cat, I think it was maybe out in some weeds or grass that irritated my skin.  Regardless, I had to put my brand new friend outside and lay in misery until the reaction went away. 

My next plan of action is to catch the cat again, give it a bath and snuggle it again.  And if I don't break out in hives from Hell, then we'll work on convincing my mother-in-law to adding yet another animal to the zoo we live in.

If Your iPhone 5s Won't Connect to Wifi Even Though Everyone Else's Will

Ok, so listen.  I'm not really one to post "how-to's" on my blog.  Mostly because I'm usually the one who is looking for them, not posting them.  But something happened at work yesterday that had me super frustrated and after all day on google trying to find the answer, we finally figured out a solution.

So this was the problem:

I got my new iPhone 5s in the mail Thursday night.  I just barely switched from Sprint to AT&T as well.  I got it all set up and had it connected to the wifi at the house and everything was working just fine.  Then I went to work yesterday.  I opened up my wifi to connect at work, it could see the network and I put the password in just fine, but it wouldn't connect.  It just had that little grey circle that spins forever.
I was getting super frustrated because I didn't have unlimited data anymore and I didn't want to be at work all day using data when I could be on wifi, ya know?  And the other thing was that everyone else's phones were connected just fine.  The computers were working, everything was fine except for me.  I googled and googled things to fix the problem.  These are things you can try, but they didn't work for me in this case:
- you can click that little blue "i" next to the wifi network and choose "forget network" at the top and then re-click it and enter the password again.  That works for some, I did it like twelve times, nothing.

-you can go into settings>general>reset>reset network.  That will reboot your phone for about 10 seconds and you will have to go enter you password in again.  I did that like eight times, nothing.

-you can hold the sleep button and the home button at the same time until the phone reboots itself and the apple logo appears on the screen.  I did that probably ten times, you guessed it, nothing.

-you can reset the router.  I unplugged and plugged it back in twice, nothing.

By this point, there was nothing else on the internet that could help me except someone saying the phone had a defect and I'd have to get a new one.  And I'm pissed over here because I had  to get the gold iPhone and if I had to go order a new one I'd be waiting another 5-9 weeks.  AND I JUST GOT IT YESTERDAY.  I was not ready to give up just yet.  So here is what a co-worker and I ended up doing with my stupid AT&T iPhone 5s that wouldn't connect to the wifi:

She had a Verizon phone that was connecting to the network just fine, so we had her open her settings>wifi>click on the network and it opens up the info on the network like this:
Now, if you are on the "DHCP" thing right there, all that info should connect by itself.  That is what my phone WAS NOT doing.  What I did was click on the "Static" on the far right.  All that is blank and you can enter your own info.  So, I looked at her phone and entered all the info that was on her DHCP into my Static.  And then I hit Renew Lease down there at the bottom.  And then it asked me if I was sure I wanted to "renew the lease" and I hit "yes" and bam, the wifi connected.

I don't know if this is a fool-proof plan since a lot of other people had the other methods work for them.  But maybe this one is the go-to if all else fails.  It's kind of a hassle to type in all those numbers, but if it works, it works. Right? Right.  Hope this helps anyone who experienced the same frustration I did.

Utah Goes to New York Day 5

We woke up early early Friday morning to go to the big city.  We were taking the train and from Mechanicville it was about a 3 hour ride.  We didn't anticipate the traffic being as heavy as it was on our way to the train station in Albany though, and we ended up missing the first train.  We were kind of bummed at first, but in retrospect it was a good thing. The blisters on the bottom of my feet at the end of the day had me wanting to crawl.  I don't know what I would have done with another hour and a half on them.  The train ride was quiet and peaceful for the most part.  Until that is we hit a fallen tree on the track and the engineer wanted to stop to make sure the train was ok.  Alissa was like, "This has literally never happened to me before."  And the rain was pounding on the windows outside, I was just waiting for the dementors to board the train.  Luckily no damage was done and we were back on our way to the Big Apple.

We got there just in time to make it into the next tour of Ground Zero.  You have to go through heavy security like you would in an airport.  And get this.  I had my pepper spray in my purse.  Like, my really good stuff that didn't come cheap.  And I was thinking If I tell them about it, they will take it away.  So, I just buried it under all my stuff in my purse and sent it through the x-ray machine and totally made it through.  I had no intention of using it in there or anything, but I didn't want to lose it.  I'm still kind of surprised they didn't catch me though.

Ground Zero had a very sacred ambiance to it.  It was so quiet in there.  All you could hear was the waterfalls in the memorial of the buildings.  It was gorgeous.

This is the new World Trade Center and the Survivor Tree.  It was amazing to see what survived and what  has come of the whole thing.  The new building is beautiful and strong.  I just stared at it.

After Ground Zero we walked a few blocks down to meet up with Liesl, a fellow blogger over at Fabulous Fashion.  She took us to this little pub for lunch.  I loved walking up the cobblestone streets and seeing the history in the buildings.  Like I said a few posts ago, there is nothing like that in Utah. Liesl is such a doll.  She was so warm and out going it was like she was our friend all along.  It was great to sit and chat with her and hear about life in NYC.

 After lunch, Leisl took us down the road to where a movie was being filmed.  We stood outside watching this sushi restaurant that had been dressed up to look like a hotel waiting for Keanu Reeves to come out.  It took them an hour to get the camera in the right place and the car outside the sushi hotel shiny enough before they told us we were in the way and had to move.  We decided we didn't want to see Keanu Reeves bad enough to keep waiting.  Though if it had been Ryan Gosling we would have camped out all night.

 When we finally left the movie set, Liesl took us to the Pier where Alissa (our Titanic passenger in a past life) tried not to make any eye contact with large boats.  She explained the layout of the city and gave us directions to the places we wanted to go.  Honestly, without her help we would have wandered aimlessly around the city the rest of the day.

Times Square was next on our list and even though we weren't there very long, it was awesome to see this iconic block of the city.  Alissa showed us where the ball drops every New Year's Eve.  I got to see the giant Coca Cola sign.  All the signs really were just beautiful in their own electronic sort of way.

We tried finding the Empire State Building for longer than you would think it would take.  And we never actually made it inside because we had to get to a dinner date with another blogger, but it was amazing to see towering over it's neighboring sky scrapers in the glow of the sunset.

The day in the city felt somewhat rushed.  It's impossible to do NYC in a day, but I feel like I saw everything I wanted to.  And I even experienced almost getting run over by a taxi.  Really though, that was terrifying.  

Utah Goes to New York Day 4

So as you all remember, last Thursday was Halloween.  We made plans to go to this little farm where they had shops and a corn maze.  But unfortunately all of America (I swear) was in the midst of a monsoon.  We drove past it and decided we didn't want to go get lost in a maze in a down pour.  So we did the next best thing.  We went to Troy.  Or as the locals call it: The Troylet. They say it's super sketchy and you'll probably get shot or something there.  But Alissa kept us in the nicer side of town while we ran from boutique to boutique shopping for some Troy treasures.

I got the coolest earrings there and Alissa found herself some sexy, studded boots.  Also, I got a complimentary sticker that says, "Troyalty."  And the first day back to work, it made it's way onto my hard hat.  Nobody at work better forget that I'm legit Troyalty here.

And despite Troy's shady reputation, it still was beautiful with all the fall colors and the rain.  Oh, and it's home to the cutest little Italian bakery where I had my first ever canoli. Right?! Never had fried pickles OR a canoli before this trip?  How have I lived??  Doesn't matter.  I think I'd prefer my first tastes to be in New York anyway.  I think all food is better in New York.

We got back to Alissa's house in time to shower up and get ready for our little Halloween party over at Alissa's brother and sis-in-law's pad.  I had been pondering for weeks what I'd be for Halloween this year, well, more pondering what I'd be able to pack in my suitcase.  It was initially my mom's idea to be a giraffe, but I thought of the beanie baby idea.  I was Twigs the Giraffe. With totally natural eyelashes.

As for the rest of the party: Shay was Miranda Sings, Alissa was Theresa from Long Island Medium, Heather was a baseball player and Bridgette was an owl. I think.  Or a werewolf... Motley crew, right?

We had delicious food, conversation and company.  And I died watching Alissa answer the door to the trick-or-treaters and ask them ridiculous questions.  Like this kid came to the door with this big blue wig on and Alissa was like, "Is that your real hair?"  and the kids would just stare at her like, "No...? give me my candy..." I couldn't handle it.

I don't know if I'll ever have another Halloween be as great as that one.  Nor will I ever have a comfier costume.
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