Monday, July 07, 2008

July 4th Reunion

My cousin and is cigar (he smokes them at every reunion)

Cathy & I on the Rhino

My Great Aunt Dot on the right

Fishing pond Below

70+ year old man in middle

For the 4th of July weekend, my sister and I went to the annual family reunion held in Cullpepper, VA. Some highlights of the family reunion(in no particular order):

1. Being hit on by a 70+ year old man (not related to me)

2. Going on two atv/rhino rides through my cousin's 400 acre farm

3. Eating good southern cooking

4. Seeing my Great Aunt Dot who is my Grandfathers sister.

5. Spending time w/my Dad and sister

6. Catching three fish in my cousin's fishing pond (and releasing them back)

7. Seeing pictures of myself and my grandparents from when we were much younger

8. Holding a navy seal hand pistol w/a silencer and a semi-automatic machine gun (my cousin loves guns)
If you can't tell, I'm related to some serious Southerners. They are the best and so loving. I'm happy to be a part of the family.

My Cousin's farm house was built in the late 1700's and I took some pictures of the foundation of the old slave quarters, as well as the house itself w/some party tents out front.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Summer Adventures

OK, so I may not have been very active in my blog writing but I've been having a very active summer so far. First of all in the first week of June my best friend, JennyLyn, flew in to visit from Utah. We met my Senior year of college at BYU after my mission. With in a week we were practically inseparable. Now that a husband and baby have come into the picture there has been some separation; not to mention the fact that I moved across the country to Buffalo, NY. Anyways she came out and spent most of the week with me along with her adorable baby boy, Ammon. We had a good time hanging out, going for walks, having long conversations until early in the morning and shopping. We also went on the Jet boats up in Lewiston,NY. My friend JennyLyn is famous for having a great scream so I thought what better way to bring out some screams than going on the jet boats. It turned out that I was the one who screamed the entire time. The older I get the more I realize I'm not as tough as I thought I was.

Oh, I forgot. I went with some friends (Jessica P., Martha S., & Sara A.) to climb the "highest peak" in Pennsylvania. We got a bit lost trying to find the "trail head" but a friendly Amish man showed us the way. It was my very first time having a conversation with an Amish person. I loved his accent! It turned out that we could actually drive straight to the top. Needless to say we were a little disappointed. But all was not lost. We decided to do a loop hike through the forest area which ended up being around 6 miles or so. It was a beautiful hike and good times with friends. Also Gwen H. and my sister Cathy went on a trip to Vermont over Memorial day weekend. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures but we had a good time exploring new restaurants, knitting shops and ice cream shops. Since I've been in Buffalo I've been to Vermont three times. That equals out to once a year. I just love that state. If you haven't been you've got to go!

Now yesterday my friend Jessica P. and I, along with her sister and family rode in a bike ride called "The ride for Rosewell". It's a hospital in Buffalo that does cancer research. We raised funds and then went on a short 8+ mile bike ride. I haven't been on a bike for more than a city block for years. So even though the ride was so short I am actually sore today. OK, mainly my rear end is sore. I think I'll stick to running. The ride was fun and I had a good time running around w/Jessica's niece and nephew on UB North Campus. After the bike ride I went with my roommate Gwen on a kayaking trip to one of our favorite spots just off of Main Street in Williamsville. There is a castle hidden in the back woods and it's always fun to kayak around the castle. Also typically we are able to see dear and other fun animals.
I hope to have more fun adventures to update you about. Enjoy the summer!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Winter Blues

Hello All,
I haven't dissapeard off the face of the earth since October. This year I didn't get Christmas week off so I spent Christmas here in Buffalo. I felt like a missionary again (it could be that I spent the entire morning with the sister missionaries) because I was invited by a family that I didn't know to dinner and I accepted. It was the family of my good friend Jessica who you see in all my adventure pictures. I had a great time with her and her family and was able to eat some food that is very Western New York. At Christmas dinner we had Perogies. I'm sure I'm spelling that incorrectly but basically it is a Polish "hot pocket" of sorts.

For Thanksgiving I was able to take a few days off so that I could fly out to visit my sister Theresa and her 8 kids. Those kids are just amazing!! The two oldest girls Sileena(12) and Chrishann (9) are in a local cheerleading group and they love to perform all the moves they know. Sileena is also enrolled in gymnastic classes and with two large trampolines in the backyard, it didn't take long for Sileena to be throwing her body all over the gymnatic floor. She is so athletic. It was always a dream of my sister Theresa to be a gymnast so I'm sure it makes her very proud to see her daughter flying all over the place.

In late December I had bronchitus and two weeks ago I had a 24 hour bug that made me throw-up for the first time since Jr. High (about 15 years ago). I do not like throwing up at all!! And just today I went to the doctor because yesterday was one of the most miserable days of my life (health wise). The doctor gave me one of those notes stating I should not go to work for two days, but I have so much to do in the office. Once my boss saw the note from the doctor she threw me out the door and said I couldn't come back until Wednesday. I hate being sick!!!! I'm losing my personal days on actually being sick. It's much more fun to use them when I'm healthy and want to tromp around in Vermont or Maine. Hopefuly this string of sickness will end soon. I think my immune system is weaker because I'm not sleeping as much due to teaching early morning seminary. Of course I choose to go to bed at 10pm. I should move it up to 9pm.

OK I'm signing off. (PS, the spell check does not seem to be working so please forgive my horrible spelling)
I didn't have any current pictures for this very boring blog so I attached some pictures that I recently found on an old photo disc. These are some pictures of my trip to China in 2005. I can't believe how skinny I was. Since moving to Buffalo (the home of the chicken wing) and working for Applebee's restaurants I have gained a bit of weight up here. The middle picture has some wonderfully translated Chinese advice. The picture on the left is the Great Wall, and the picture on the right is my good friend Holly who I went to China with. Thats us either in the Salt Lake airport or the Seoul Korea airport. I can't remember.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Trip to Vermount and New Hampshire

A great double rainbow and our car crossing a floating bridge in Vermont.

Well, I've been out on another adventure. At the end of September my friend, Jessica, and I drove out to Vermont in the hopes of climbing the tallest mountain in that state, Mt. Mansfield. We came in and had bad weather to start so we decided to head to Mt. Washington (tallest mountain in New Hampshire) because we could drive to the top. I would suggest to anyone the drive to the top of Mt. Washington. We went from a balmy 70 degrees at the bottom to 30 degrees at the top, but with the wind at 60 miles an hour, it felt much colder than 30 degrees.

That same day we dashed back into Vermont and got a late start on the 4.5 mile round trip to the top of Mt. Mansfield and back. Again I underestimated the power of the East coast mountains. Mansfield is only about 4,500 feet tall and just over 2 miles hiking to the top. I had to stop several times to catch my breath and to let my muscle have a breather as well. I don't think switch-backs were invented yet when they made most of the trails out East. They seem to just go straight up. Anyways, we made it to the top and enjoyed the cool air and amazing view. The hike down was adventurous because of the rain that had fallen the previous days. But we made it back to the car just after dark. Unfortunately there were no hotels that were available so we ended up driving for several hours until we came across the "Budget Motel". Probably one of the dirtiest and sleazy looking places I've ever stayed. Don't let the word "Budget" fool you, it cost $85 a night. Enjoy the pictures.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Summer Camping Trips

My younger cousin Monica Ackerson got married on 7/7/07 at her parents beautiful cabin in Francis Utah. I knew that I wanted to be there for the wedding and that I wanted to go and hike around a bit in Utah while I was there. So I invited my little brother Jesse (who lives in Provo) and my favorite Buffalo friend, Jessica to join me on my hiking adventure in Canyon Lands and Arches National Parks. It was Jessica's first time to Southern Utah and my little brother hadn't been since he was a little kid.

So we were off with our little Chevy Aveo (the cheapest car you can rent) to Moab from Salt Lake City. It happened to be a week where Utah was breaking some heat records. I think the hottest it got was 108 degrees while we were there. I'd say the average temperature was 101 degrees. My aspirations of hiking 10 mile loops were dashed once I did my first hike of only a 1/4 mile. I came back to the car dying!!! I wasn't used to the temperatures and the elevation. In Buffalo it's only about 50-100 feet above sea level, where as Arches is between 4000-6000 feet. So we ended up doing the very touristy hikes of 3 miles or less, but that still kept us busy for 3 days. We also drove down to Four Corners so that I could get some Indian Fry Bread and so that my East Coast friend could add a couple more West Coast states to her "I've visited" list. I ended up buying several piece of jewelry. I can't believe the poverty that some native Americans live in while so many other tribes have millions due to bingo halls or casinos.

I took Jessica to my favorite restaurant, Cafe Rio, and gave her a chance to rent an edited rated R movie. Oh yea, I took her to Jamba Juice as well. You've got to take advantage of being in Utah while you can. All in all it was a grand trip, packed full. I didn't have time to visit anyone other than the family at the wedding, so if you are one of my friends from Utah please don't feel forgotten. I just didn't have time.

I love you all!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Mt. Marcy

On June 9th, a group of friends and I embarked to climb Mt. Marcy the tallest point in the state of New York. It is located in the Adirondacks of North East New York. We left on Friday night so that we would have all the daylight needed to hike the over 14 mile trip to the top and back. On our drive to Mt. Marcy it was storming. The rain was falling so fast that just one step outside you would be soaked. I was a bit nervous about camping that night. I was in a SUV but it wasn't large enough for all four of us to sleep very comfortably. Anyways, we had to stop for gas, and I had to use the rest room. So I dashed through the rain into the rear of the gas station, to reach the bathroom which was located behind the storage room. So while I'm sitting there I hear this loud explosion so I just put my head down hoping nothing would land on me in that embarrassing position that I was in (being on the toilet and all). About 2 seconds later the power goes off and I'm sitting in the dark. Luckily the power wasn't out for too long. I found my way out and my friends were there waiting for me. I told them my intense survival story of the bathroom. A few minutes later the power went out again so we hung out in the gas station for a few minutes in the dark hoping that the rain would let up, but it never did. So we made my friend Jessica bring the car close to the door so we wouldn't get too wet. What a trooper she is. :)
The hike the next morning was beautiful. The weather was perfect except that the trail was now really muddy. I only brought my tennis shoes to hike in thinking that they had easy trails here in NY. Boy was I wrong. There was only a two mile stretch that was easy hiking. The rest was mud and huge rocks. The hike up wasn't so bad, but coming down sure did put pressure on all my joints. I wish I had my boots by the end.
Anyways, I've attached a few pictures of the hike for your enjoyment. I hope all are doing well.

Almost to the top:

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Well on Saturday I went with my sister and several friends to see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Jamestown New York. I went in with mediocre expectations, but was truly impressed by their performance. They did such a great job!! I was a little sceptical right as I arrived, because the arena was full of white hair. I felt as if I stood out simply because my hair was brown. Anyways, it was a wonderful performance and I would suggest it to anyone both young and old. I'm now preparing for my trip to Utah next week. I'll be camping in Moab and I checked the forecast and it will be in the 100's. I'll be a lobster when I get back, but happy.