Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Rest of the Trip

Chesnut Hill was such a charming area of Philadelphia. . with it's cute buildings and cobblestone streets.

Boathouse Row on the Skuykill River. If you look closely, you can see the boats in between two of the houses.

Italian Market in South Philly.

Pat's, King of Steaks: The home of the cheesesteak. This place has been operated by the same family since 1930 and they've only ever had this one location in South Philly. They're open 24 hours a day/361 days a year. I ordered mine American Without . . American Cheese, without onions. It was very yummy!

We drove to Ocean City, New Jersey just to be able to say we did cross-country the right way . . coast to coast. It seemed like a nice place to bring a family. The boardwalk, though empty this time of year, looked like fun . . and they don't allow alcohol there, either. Villanova said he came here for vacation every summer growing up.

After New Jersey, Villanova drove me down to Wilmington, Delaware to stay with Delaware. She and I had a lot of fun. However, Wilmington . . not an exciting place at all. It made me want to bring her back to Omaha to show her a good time.
As I mentioned before, we did head down to D.C. to stay with Rochester a couple of days (which is when I also had my interview).

One of the nights we visited, we headed to Georgetown. It's a neat area. We had a blast! I have lots of cute pics from that night . . too bad I can't post them :(

Despite the rain, we did a little sightseeing (from the car). I know they're just buildings and monuments, but it's kinda moving when I see them. Maybe it's all the history they represent.

Back in Delaware, I went shopping with Delaware and a bunch of her friends. Seven of us bought the same shirt, earrings, and bracelet for the 70s loop (which is when a bunch of bars play 70s music and everyone dresses up and pays one cover for all bars and bar hops all night). I didn't drink that night, but it was lot of fun dressing up . . you should've seen the looks we got. Delaware and I had some killer aviator shades, too.
I don't know these guys, but I'd never seen such huge 'fros' in my life . . had to get a pic!

Delaware and I also made a trip up to Philly to the Franklin Institute to see Body Worlds. It was awesome! They had actual people (who had donated their bodies to science, of course), minus their skin . . so you could see real muscle and blood vessels, and organs . . because they have a way of preserving it all. It was crazy! You were able to really see how everything looks underneath the surface and how it all fits together. It was also interesting to see what damaged organs look like . . for example, a heart that has had a heart attack or someone who's had a stroke or a brain aneurysm. It sure makes you want to take care of yourself.
If you look closely at this picture, you can see on the steps an example of one of the 'exhibits' that showed muscles and tendons.

And that about sums up my cross-country trip in a few pictures.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Mizzou to PA

The day in Kansas ended in K.C., Missouri, at Houstons in the Plaza, with this delicious plate of BBQ ribs . . very appropriate dish to have in K.C.

Another picture from the Plaza (Cheesecake Factory building).

Sadly, it was a gloomy day when we made it to the Arch. None of the pics of myself turned out.

Illinois had absolutely nothing to stop and take a pictures of.

Union Station in Indianapolis. I have a lot of memories here. . . When I was younger, I used to come here with my Indy cousins to eat and play. It has closed now, though.

The celebration begins as Florida wins the Championship!

Ohio had more trees, which was better than miles and miles of fields.

West Virginia became much more hilly (is that really a word?)

Pennsylvania was lovely, of course, with its rolling hills. Unfortunately, couldn't get a very good picture of them. We didn't want to stop and slow down since we were so near our destination.

Lots of Philly pics to come . . .

I'll Take Ya Halfway

So sorry I haven't been writing. I think I feel like I'm so far behind as far as not posting pics, talking about my vacation with the fam, etc, that I get a little overwhelmed. Plus, I just found out today when I start at my new job . . May 16th. So I have a little under 2 weeks before I'd like to start the 2-day drive east. Aaaah!

Anyway, here is a pic from Las Vegas that was taken after Day 1 of the cross-country trip.

Apparently they have Good Food in Nevada, too.

Driving through Arizona was very cool . . .

Utah was just as beautiful as I'd heard. Check out all the colors in the mountain:

Colorado was coooold, but gorgeous, as always.

Just to show you how exciting Kansas got:

And that brought us halfway across the USA.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Tag, I'm It

I've been tagged by Pink, but come to think of it, I believe K tagged me a little bit ago with the same questions and I forgot to respond - Doh! Sorry. Here goes . .

Five Movies You Can Watch Over and Over Again:
1. Love and Basketball
2. Anne of Green Gables (is anyone else a fan?)
3. My Best Friend's Wedding (I keep hoping he'll marry Julia instead)
4. Wedding Crashers (crude, but oh so funny)
5. Dirty Dancing

Five Embarrassing Songs You Know All the Words To:
1. Nuthin' But a G Thang - Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg
2. Ho - Ludacris (sorry, but that song is hilarious)
3. Do Ya Think I'm Sexy - Rod Stewart
4. Gettin' Jiggy Wit It - Will Smith
5. Regulate - Nate Dogg
(I did go through a rap phase, yes.)

Five Memorable Halloween Costumes:
1. A bumblebee . . . the costume was a garbage sack with yellow duck tape for the stripes! The antenna were pipe cleaners with sparkly styrofoam balls at the end. Believe it or not, it was cute.
2. A flower - there was a cardboard flower with a hole for my face, but it was covered in purple material and had padding. The sad part was that it rained and my flower drooped.
3. A gift - it was a big colored box, basically, with a hole for my head and I had a ribbon on top
4. A cheerleader - I wore my aunt's old costume and my two friends wore their mothers' old costumes. We excluded all other friends that wanted to come along . . it could only be us, cheerleaders. We figured out the best routes with the nicest homes and I brought home three sacks full of candy . . more than any other Halloween.
5. A clown - i loved that costume; it had everything

Five Celebrities You Believe May Secretly be Aliens:
1. Andy Dick
2. Sean Penn (sorry, I know he's a good actor, but he weirds me out)
3. Johnny, from Jackass - who intentionally hurts themself?
4. Tom Cruise (Does anyone think this guy's normal? I think even he thinks he's an alien.)
5. Michael Jackson

Five Occupations You Could Never Hold:
1. President - yep, that'd be a hard one
2. Mortician - good one, I couldn't do that either
3. Doctor - I, too, can't handle blood and guts
4. anything involving mainly manual labor
5. anything involving too much math or science

Five Books You’ve Recently Read Outside of School:
Well, I haven't read in quite awhile, so how about books I'm in the middle of?
1. Deliver Us From Evil - Sean Hannity
2. Shopaholic Ties the Knot - Sophie Kinsella
3. Clowning in Rome - Henry Nouwen
4. Traveling Light - Max Lucado
5. the Adobe Photoshop manual - does that count?

Five Ways to Perfectly Spend an Afternoon:
1. At the lake
2. Shopping (but, for me, this shouldn't happen again anytime soon!)
3. Organizing (there's always something I need to organize)
4. Grilling out and being with friends
5. A walk on the beach (great answer, Pink!)

Not Your 5 Favorite Foods, But the 5 You’re Most Likely Eating:
1. Wheaties
2. PB & J
3. an apple
4. ham/turkey & cheese sandwich
5. salmon - I don't have it often, but I have it every chance I get

Five Lines You Blatantly Stole From a Movie, TV, a Commercial, or Song:
"What's the deal with that?" - Seinfeld
"So you're sayin' there's a chance?" - Dumb and Dumber
Oh no, my mind is a blank . . sorry . . I know there's more.

Five People Who Must Immediately Respond:(Don’t worry “immediately” is relative)
1. LindsayBlake
2. Journal of a Thousand Words, Cady
3. Tall Sassy Gal, Heather
4. I Need a [permanent] vacation, Stacey
5. Anne Mullet

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Awwwwww . . Freak Out!

I GOT THE JOB! I'm going to be a project manager at a public affairs firm in D.C.!

I had this feeling in my gut that I would get it, but I was trying not to get my hopes up. I am so scaredanxioushappynervousexcited about it. I have so much to figure out and think about now. We haven't discussed what day I start, because I haven't officially told them I'm taking it. I'm going to spend a day thinking of more questions I have. I told him I'd call tomorrow. But, of course I'm taking it no matter what! It's such a great opportunity!

Pay-wise it's not awesome starting out. In fact, it's not much more than what I made here, but the difference is . . this is the Midwest and the cost of living isn't high. I know people who supported a family on what I made, but they'd be lucky to support themself in D.C. I'm definitely willing to be poor for this, though. Bring on the mac n cheese. Maybe even the generic mac n cheese, if need be. The good thing is that after 3-6 months (give or take), they move you into a different position on one of their teams. The great thing about being a project manager is that I'll get to work with all the different teams and get to know everyone in the company (which is about 120 people, I believe). I hear it's hard work, too. . really busy and long hours. I need a challenge, though. Plus, working long hours won't affect my non-existent social life. I mean, I won't have friends (for awhile). Rochester is the only friend I have there. I will be living with my cousin, his wife, and their baby boy for a couple of months, which will be nice and help me save money for an apartment. (Let's hope I have easy internet access!!!) It will be good to be able to talk to him about work, too.

I am nervous. I want to do really well. I want to excel. Sometimes I'm hard on myself. I guess my biggest fear is collapsing under the pressure I put on myself. I know that the Lord won't give me anything I can't handle.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Home Again, Home Again (jiggedy-jig?)

I feel like such a terrible blogger. I haven't provided a single picture out of the maybe 500 I've taken over the past two weeks! (Except for the below.) It isn't that I haven't spent any time on the computer either. In fact, after my family has hit the hay each night, I've played around on the net for a couple of hours, doing who knows what . . I guess uploading pictures, checking email, reading blogs, but not writing on mine. Maybe it's because I feel so overwhelmed. Lately there's just been so much happening each day.

I'm back at home now, after nearly 7 (wonderful) weeks. It's bittersweet, I guess. Of course I'm disappointed the project didn't last longer, because hello!, San Diego is the best city in the U.S.! But, I'm happy it ended well and I was able to road-trip, show my family around, and get an interview in when I was out in D.C. Also, very happy about the bonus . . and trying not to think I can spend any of it, especially since I'm jobless! I'm looking forward to seeing BF (best friend) and my other friends again, too.

Now that I'm home, I'm not sure what I'll do with myself every day. I do have about 5 friends that are stay-at-home moms (whoa, that's a lot! weird) and it would be fun to visit them. And I won't have an excuse for not posting pictures, will I? Of course I must look for a job, though I haven't a clue where to start. I already browsed online and saw nothing that sounded remotely interesting or up my alley. Actually, I got a VM today from the company I interviewed with in D.C., saying they were following up with me. They weren't available when I called back, so I hope they call tomorrow. It would be wonderful to know one way or the other whether I got the job. . . or even just to know what time frame we're lookin' at on them making a decision. I have to be honest . . . I want it . . bad. Yet if I get it, I'll freak out and be kinda scared, since it's such a big deal. Either way, I'll know that God is in control . . which is just the way I want it.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


I visited the myspace of my church's (in Omaha) worship leader who also happens to have a new CD coming out in a couple of weeks. The song that was playing is totally my heart right now:

Wrong impressions I've made
Big misunderstanding
Leads you to believe that I don't care anymore
Misinterpretaion, no communication
Has given you your doubts of my sincerity

But why would I live my life without you
And how could I separate myself from you
I know I'd be so lost without you by my side
Why would I, why would I

All I've ever wanted is to be captivated by you
Why I've hesitated
I can't say, I don't know
Why I've waited so long

But why would I live my life without you
And how could I separate myself from you
I know I'd be so lost without you by my side
Why would I, why would I

I just want to know I've been forgiven
I wanna change the way I've been livin'
I'm longing for, for that day when I hear you say

Oh, why would I live my life without you
And how could I separate myself from you
I know I'd be so lost without you by my side
Why would I, why would I

Lyrics by Sean Keith

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I'm Ba-aack!

Since there is so much to say, I've decided to divide this post into sections. You know how when you read a book it's somehow easier to read more when the chapters are shorter (or is it just me)? Well, maybe you'll be able to finish what may turn into quite a long post if I divide it into subjects . . . maybe.

Going cross-country was not awful and boring and hell like so many people thought it would be. Maybe it's all about mindset . . . like if you know you've got a long trip ahead of you, you see each day as an accomplishment and a part of reaching the goal. (I'm almost always the optimist.) Plus, each day had something pleasant in it to keep us going, whether it be the scenery or a place we were stopping along the way. It's an experience I'm so glad I've had now. However, it's definitely a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Actually, if I had a really cool person to go with, I might do it again . . through different states.

It took us six days to finish our journey (though two of those were not full days). It's a long time to spend with someone who, to be honest, is not very cool. Just being honest. My iPod was a lifesaver. The only day that was really horrible was Kansas. First of all, Kansas sucks . . . add to that the fact that Villanova and I had had an awkward moment the night before, and I didn't feel like having a conversation with him, and it makes for a looong, very boring day. When I got to my hotel room, I did a dance and reveled in my privacy.

I haven't eaten that much fast food in a long time and really hope I don't have to again. I now feel slightly overweight and lazy from not exercising in weeks. I'm going to have to kick it into high gear when I move back home, which should be no problem since I am now unemployed and have nothing better to do than devote my days to exercise (and finding a new job, of course).

Although he wasn't the most fun person I could've traveled with (in fact, far from it), he's a nice guy. And, hey, he did let me play whatever I wanted on my iPod, even when I took him up on that whole country-in-Kansas thing. The first couple of days, he and I had nice conversations. We discussed politics and shared a few stories, etc, etc.

Then came Colorado. I made the dreadful mistake of wanting to unwind in the hot tub . . and telling him. What I didn't say was that I wanted him to join me. I made the false assumption that he was going straight to bed . . maybe because he said he was. Apparently he changed his mind, because in he came in his trunks as I curled up in the corner wishing I'd brought my one-piece. What happened next really threw me. He asked if it would be awkward the rest of the trip if . . . he kissed me. Trying to keep dinner down, I calmly (as if completely unsurprised that he'd ask such a thing) replied, "Yes, I think that it would, and I'd sure hate for that to happen." If only it had ended there. He later wanted to talk about it . . just making sure he hadn't made me feel uncomfortable, yet proceeding to make me more uncomfortable by telling me things he liked about me and sharing his hope that we'd be able to get to know each other really well on this trip. Hence my lack of desire for conversation the rest of the trip. I know it's bad, but I really didn't have an actual conversation with him for the rest of the trip. He blew it. Again, thank goodness for iPod. Now, I will say that I didn't feel awkward around him . . just had no interest in getting to know him more.

It's funny how little things really start to irritate you after you've spent so many hours with the same person. For example: Everytime he saw a cop, he'd switch lanes to be in the lane furthest from the cop, because surely Mr. Policeman wouldn't want to go to the trouble of changing lanes just to pull someone over. He would also randomly roll down the window for a burst of fresh air, which I'm sure was to help keep himself awake, but the odd thing was that he never said anything about it. Just random, frequent rolling down of the window. And one day he apparently decided not to shower because he went all day with bedhead, and I was embarrassed to be seen with him in public places. At the end of that day, he announced to me that he smelled . . . little did he know, this was not news to me, the person who had spent the last 12 hours sitting less than a foot away from his musty-smelling self.

*Exhale* It was good to get that out.

Sixteen States and The District
It's crazy to think I visited so many places in a week's time. I'll definitely be posting pictures later. For now, here's a brief overview of the states:
(* = First Time)

California: Oh, how I love thee. Except for the horrendous traffic we sat in for hours (near L.A., of course) . . not a great way to start such a long trip. But, before we headed out, we stopped by the beach where I had the pleasure of seeing dolphins!!, which was worth sitting through traffic (kinda). I love that in many places (in San Diego, at least), you can see both the mountains and the ocean . . what could be better?

*Nevada: Pretty cool for being mostly desert-y. And, I hate to say it, but I loved Vegas. I didn't expect it to be so clean and beautiful. There are so many things there that are slightly odd and serve no purpose other than being pretty or cool to look at. Being there made me want to dress up and just walk around . . . not gamble, though. We went up in the Eiffel Tower 'thing' and got the most awesome view of the city.

Arizona: We drove through some very awesome rock formations/mountains. I have enjoyed AZ in the past when visiting the Phoenix/Scottsdale area.

*Utah: One word: amazing. Utah is beautiful. There is something new around every corner that makes you want to stop and attempt to capture it in a picture. I didn't know "awesome" could represent so many different things in one state.

Colorado: Brrr. It got cold here. Of course, Colorado is always beautiful, as well. Didn't expect to hit a snow/ice storm in Vail, but it is in the mountains. We stayed at a cute motel in Frisco since the road conditions slowed us down on our way to Denver. It made for some nice pictures the next day. I love visiting this state.

Kansas: Boooo. The Midwest is just not fun to drive through. Especially in between seasons. No pretty snow, yet no color, makes for a whole lot of nothing to look at. I was excited when I saw a cow. Also, the wind was stronger than I've ever felt. I felt like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Making it through that state felt like a great accomplishment.

Missouri: Not bad. It was a great end to the awful day in Kansas. Just across the border, I convinced Villanova to stop at The Plaza in K.C. and we ate a fabulous dinner at a nice restaurant I've always wanted to go to. We stayed in Columbia that night, visiting *St. Louis (and the Arch) the next day.

Illinois: Not exciting. I was totally wishing Chicago was South rather than North. Villanova's never been there and I'm always game for going again.

Indiana: Only cool because we went through Indianapolis and saw the Final Four Championship game. Unfortunately, this meant paying nearly $200 for a room. Ouch! The game was fun, and though I wasn't rooting for a particular team, I was glad Florida won; they deserved it.

*Ohio: I have nothing to say about Ohio. Wait! There were trees there. This may not seem like a big deal, but when you haven't seen a nice amount of trees for the last few days, suddenly trees are magnificent. It was definitely more interesting scenery-wise than the last few states I'd driven through.

West Virginia: I love rolling hills. I also enjoyed driving through an old mining town on the border of W.V. and PA. At this point, things were looking up. Morale was good.

*Pennsylvania: Again, I love rolling hills . . . and windy roads. When you're on a long road-trip, these things are big. We made it to Malvern, outside Philadelphia, and stayed with a mom-like friend of Villanova's (his mom passed away a few years ago) in a very cute Pennsylvania-ish house. The next day, he gave me a quick, yet thorough tour of Philly. This included Chesnut Hill (loved the cobblestone streets and old buildings), Skuylkill River and boathouses, City Hall, and South Philly's own Pat's, King of Steaks (the creator of the cheese steak) and the Italian Market. Philly is a very cool, unique city.

*New Jersey: Our last day was unnecessary, but we thought we should do the coast-to-coast thing right, so we went to Ocean City, NJ. Looks like a very cute place for a family vacation. I even enjoyed some saltwater taffy and fudge on the boardwalk.

Delaware: I was dropped off in Delaware to stay with my friend, Delaware, until I flew back to San Diego. I'd never been to Wilmington . . and I learned that that is OK . . I wasn't missing out. But, I did enjoy hanging out with Delaware and seeing where she lived.

Maryland: We drove through Maryland to visit Rochester in the D.C. area.

Virginia: Rochester actually lives in Arlington, so we stayed with him there. I've decide that if I move to D.C., I'd like to live there.

D.C.: It was great to visit again . . especially since I had an interview! I also met up with my cousin for lunch. I was disappointed about the constant rain the two days we visited, because we didn't end up going to the Cherry Blossom festival, but Rochester did drive us by the Capitol, Washington Monument, etc. And, I was able to go out in Georgetown one night, which is an area I'd never visited.

So, that about sums it up. Sorry, I know it's boring without pictures, but I'm way too tired for that tonight.

Right now, I'm in the middle of vacation with my parents here in San Diego. So far, we're having a very nice time. My sister flies in tomorrow, which I'm really excited about. It's weird being here without my friends (from the job) and it will be tough leaving such a great place for good next week. There's so much unknown that lies ahead, but I know God has great plans.