04 March 2009

life is beaUTAHiful

Park City, Utah
Approx. 1,865 miles from home
February 26- March 5

So this week we are in Utah!  It's actually a really beautiful state... especially where we are in Park City.

We arrived in Utah on Thursday night. The front desk clerk at our hotel is ridiculously friendly and said he would clip some coupons for us for some good restaurants in the area! :) He also hooked us up with rooms that have jacuzzis in them (pretty sweet, even though I haven’t used it yet).

This week we are setting up at the bottom of the mountain.  There aren't any events going on, we are just talking to people around the slopes.  

On Saturday morning we had to be set up by 8 a.m.  It's February, as you know.... and at 6:30 a.m. when we arrived at our event site it was 5 degrees- yes FIVE degrees outside!!  Setting up metal poles in five degree weather is borderline torturous!  But luckily we survived :)

Utah has a lot more to offer than I expected! ....Now we are getting to the good part....

So when I found out that you can Bobsled at the Olympic Park in Utah of course I HAD to do it!!  I mean, come on... who do you know personally thats ever been in a bobsled? No one.
And when will I ever have this opportunity again?  Maybe never, who knows!?

So I forked over the cash (it was pretty pricey) and prepared for a once in a lifetime ride!  They had a deal going on that if I bought a zipline ride along with my bobsled ticket it would be cheaper than just the bobsled ride so I figured I might as well do both!

They claim that their zipline is the steepest in the world.  Not sure if it's true!?  The zipline was more of a relaxing ride.... kind of like if you've ever been parasailing.  You think parasailing looks exciting from the ground but when you actually get up in the air you find out that you're just floating along and there's not much of a thrill!  The best part about the zipline was the view... it's was absolutely incredible!!

So after my zipline relaxation treatment was over I was ready for my bobsled ride.  We sat in a room for about 30 min watching an Olympic video.... it was actually really interesting but everyone in the room was too anxious for the ride to focus on the tv!  There were probably about 30 people who were all doing it on the same day as me. 

I ended up being in a bobsled with two other people, Linda from New York and Don from Chattanooga.  And then of course we had to have someone to steer!  Our driver was an alternate in the winter Olympics but never got to compete.  He seemed like a cool guy!

The actual ride was short- about 1 minute long but definitely very intense at 80 mph with 5 Gs of force in an open sled! It was very cool!  I'm so glad I did it.... and if you're ever in Park City you should definitely do the bobsled too!  It makes for a lot of Cool Runnings references!

The next USA Bobsled team!

Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme

Someone doing the luge (not me)

Also while in Park City we spotted a vehicle identical to ours.... It was the mountain team, Ray and Stacy!  This is the first team that we've met up with while on tour.  They weren't one of the teams we trained with but it's always fun to meet up with anybody else while on the road!

So we all went out to dinner together and then went to a fun place to hear a band play.  This place was so cool and they had hula hoops you could play with!!!   If you know how I feel about hula hoops then you can imagine my excitement!!  If you don't know how I feel about hula hoops.... let me just say, once I hula hooped for an entire hour without stopping!!  It's soooo much fun!

Then the next couple days we hung out with Stacy and Ray a good bit.  Ray and Matt both love snowboarding so they had a dude date and went riding together.  Stacy and I had relaxation day.  We both did nothing all day... and it was great!

Also while I was in Park City my best friend, Jennifer turned the big 2-3!  It's sad because in our 5ish years of friendship this is the first birthday that we haven't celebrated together.... I know, wipe your tears away.... it was traumatic.  

me and jenn, circa last year

26 February 2009

the land of fur boots, coats and hats....

Vail, Colorado
Approx. 1,495 miles from home

My shoulder is broken.

Ok, not really but it definitely feels like it! Yesterday Matt and I went snowboarding in Vail. We had a lot of fun but of course I am ridiculously sore! I've been snowboarding once before but that was forever ago!At first I was doing great and may have gotten a little too confident. Then all of the sudden I found myself doing a forward roll down the mountain.... I kinda wish I had a video of my fall. I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty sick. After that I was a little more cautious and didn't test my limits as much. I wish I was naturally amazing at snowboarding but unfortunately it looks like I have quite a bit of work cut out for myself in that area!

Nonetheless it was a good day. Matt is a little more experienced than I so we ro
de seperate.... which was definitely for the best since I would have held him back.

We are staying at the Vail Mountain Marriot, which is incredibly fancy! It's normally very expensive but thanks to my old bell hall friend, Stephen Molnar, we got a great friends and family discount! It's awesome because our rooms happen to be right at the base of the mountain, which is where our events are this week. Plus,the beds are so comfortable... it's like sleeping on a cloud!

The event that we are working here is CarniVail. It's like a Mardi Gras celebration. The weather was actually a little crapy for the event. It's Vail- so you would naturally assume it would snow.... but no- it rained!! And we found out the hard way that the 'rain guard' our company gave us is actually more of a 'wind guard' and has no protection against rain! Notice the picture below...

Pretty much everyday we've eaten at a nearby pizza place called the Blue Moose. It has really good food and it's cheap. I've also discovered a nearby gelato shop.... and I'm addicted to their stracciatella (which is chocolate chip gelato...and it's amazing!) So most meals at the Blue Moose are followed by a trip to Rimini for gelato!

Matt loves the Blue Moose

It feels like we've been here for a while now... 5 days total. That's pretty long considering how short our other visits have been. But duty calls and we must continue onto Utah!!

21 February 2009

dino bones, rocks and beer

I know, I know... I've been horrible about updating my blog! But things got pretty hectic and the blog was at the bottom of my to do list. But never fear I am deifnitely going to update you on my life for the last couple weeks! In one word.... it's been AMAZING!

We arrived in Colorado late Tuesday night (Feb 17). Luckily Matt has family that lives in Golden, Co. So we were able to stay with his great aunt and uncle in their beautiful mountain home.  We had three days without an event scheduled so we took advantage of this time and did some sightseeing!

So much better than the Comfort Inn!

The crazy, large squirrel creature outside the window while I was eating breakfast!

Me and Ricki, our wonderful hostess!

Ricki and Pieter are originally from Holland. Now they are retired and live an awesome life in the mountains. They love to travel and have family all over the world, from Holland to Australia. Pieter was a geophysicist and Ricki volunteered at many places and raised their two kids. They are so interesting to talk to and some of the nicest people to have us stay in their home for three nights!

They are both warm and welcoming! I felt like Matt and I were staying at a Bed & Breakfast! Ricki made me breakfast each morning and had dinner for us at night. Matt stayed upstairs in the safari room.... which was very cool and the bed was up on a loft. I stayed in the executive suite downstairs! I had a great bedroom and bathroom. We were definitely spoiled for a few days with home cooked meals and lots of love!

On Wednesday Ricki took us around the town. She showed us some bison, elk and took us to Red Rocks. This is an amazing site to see. Red Rocks is an amplitheater built into the rocks in Golden. It was build in the 40's by the CCC (one of the organizations from brought about by the new deal). Many famous artists have performed here and now I have to put it on my list of things to do before I die! (there's your history lesson for the day)



Red Rocks

After Red Rocks we went to Dinosaur Ridge. Here we saw some dinosaur footprints and bones in the rocks. It was only three dollars and we had a personal tour guide. Totally worth it.

Who made these tracks? (that's what the sign says)

Dino Footprints

Thursday we explored the quaint town of Golden, Colorado. I think I may have to add this to my list of favorite cities, which also includes Chattanooga (thanks angel).

Picking the buffalo's nose... haha

What a cool bike rack!

We ate lunch at a cool little grill downtown (which I can't remember the name but it was good) then we went to the Coors Brewery to take a tour. It was totally free and you get a 45 minute tour with a guide and 3 beers at the end. The tour was very interesting.... but our tour guide had zero facial expression! She was probably about my age... very cute girl.... but did not crack a smile or change her demeanor at all! Not to be too critical- but let's be honest, my fellow mass communicators..... we know good communicators and bad communicators! She would be put in the latter of the two :) So other than our expressionless, monotone guide the tour was great!

We are pretty much wearing everything in the giftshop! 

So that was our awesome trip to Golden...
Also while at Ricki and Pieter's house I was able to skype with Matt's grandmother in Holland!! It was really neat to meet her! And I skyped with Matt's mom also... so I've pretty much met the whole family! :)  

Here are some more pictures from Golden!

Photobucket Album

17 February 2009

hunka, hunka burning love

Our plan on Monday morning was to wake up, get an oil change and head to Graceland to see the king's house by 11 a.m.!

Since our job is always unexpected and plans change constantly we woke up on Monday to find out that we had to get some computer work done. It was originally only supposed to take an hour... but it actually took six hours. By the time we finished at 3:00 we still had a conference call to attend.

After coming to terms with the fact that Graceland closes at 4 and we only had a few minutes to get there we realized our plans to see the king's house were not feasible. So, naturally we decided to still go to Graceland and take sad face pictures in front of the sign.  :(

We got there at around 3:50 and went into a souvenir shop. With frowns we told the lady working that we were totally bummed that we missed the last tour of the day. Well she ended up being a messenger sent from above!!  :)

The last tour didn't end at 4.... but yet it STARTED at 4!!! So we kicked it into high gear and ran to the ticket booth where we purchased the 'Graceland Platinum Tour' tickets!

I was seriously very excited that we made it in time to see Graceland!!  We toured his house, his airplanes and his cars.  It was such a neat thing to see!  ....And who doesn't like a little Elvis from time to time!

So click here  to see pictures from my Graceland visit!!

Also I have some very exciting news about my schedule!!

Of course it can always change, but as of right now we are on to Copper Mountain Colorado for a snowboarding competition. Then we go to CarnaVail, which is a Mardi Gras celebration in Vail. Then onto a Donovan Frankenrieter concert in Boulder. (He kinda has a Jack Johnson feel to his music, it's really good!)

After Colorado we're takin' this party further west to Cali for some Keith Urban concerts. One in San Fransico and the other in Hollywood!!

Yes, my job is awesome.... not to rub it in :)

15 February 2009

be mine <3

I really love Valentine's day! It's such a happy day filled with love, hearts and chocolate. Given mine was not so much love, hearts or chocolate but it was still good! In fact there was no chocolate.... wow, a day without chocolate... sadness.

And I definitely don't mind being single on Valentine's. I think it is a fun holiday no matter what. To me, the day is about loving others and being loved. I woke up to a few text messages (thanks Jared) and some video messages (thank you Jenn, Blair and Rebecca)! I also spoke with my mom and my closest friends.... there's plenty of love there to make my Valentine's great!

For Valentine's dinner Matt and I had a totally platonic, non-romantic dinner at O'Charley's! Rolls+Loaded Potato Soup+Riesling+ Salmon= great dinner! We were both stuffed and incredibly exhausted from working all day so we called it a night pretty early.

Me and Matt at O'Charley's

Our super nice waiter

And that is how I celebrated Valentine's Day 2009!

Now we are on the way to Memphis, Tennessee for the night... and hopefully to visit Graceland before we continue our journey west to Copper Mountain, Colorado. We will be working at a snowboarding competition there!!

14 February 2009


We drove all day Tuesday from Miami and actually stayed in atl that night. It was a only a brief overnight visit to the Comfort Inn & Suites at Turner Field. (note: don't stay there... it's kinda dirty and the elevator jumps like it's hanging from a bungee cord-yeah, lil' bit scary)

On Wednesday we arrived in Auburn. Luckily my friend, Cassidy let us stay at her apartment for the night, which was really awesome. It was good to see a friend and great to save some of our hotel budget money!

We worked the Auburn basketball game on Wednesday night. The crowd was slim and not too many people stopped by. But it was still fun to be there!

Thursday was by far the highlight of my Auburn visit. Cassidy and her friends had been talking about this crazy 'restaurant' (I use the term very loosely) nearby called Out of the Box. None of them had been there but they had all heard it described as "Not bad, not good... but weird." So of course we had to try it out.

It is described as a "peanut butter and cereal cafe." Yes, you heard me correctly... peanut butter and cereal.

Here's how it works

Choose your bread: I chose white, which would not normally be the route I would take but for a peanut butter sandwich it seemed like a good option!

Choose your peanut butter: So, you're probably thinking 'plain or crunchy'.... oh contraire, my dear friends. You choose from spicy, white chocolate, honey, maple syrup.... all together there are eight different options. I opted for the dark chocolate peanut butter (great choice).

Choose your Jelly/Marshmallow creme: My choice was the 'mallow creme (thank you Jenn for the inspiration)

Choose your toppings: Ladies and Gentlemen, here is when it gets interesting! You have your choice of two toppings from a pelethera of options, including but not limited to.... Skittles, Kit Kats, Fruity Pebbles, Special K with Red Berries and Apples... there were about 20 different cereals and 15 types of candy to put on this sandwich creation.

The five year old in me was screaming for Hersey Bars and Apple Jacks but my stomach and maturity level begged for bananas.... and won. Oh, and I got Crunch Bar chunks on the side.

So I enjoyed my dark chocolate peanut butter, marshmallow creme and banana sandwich, with a side of crunch bars while Matt scarfed down a white chocolate, raspberry jam, cocoa krispies and banana sandwich. And that was lunch. Yes, it was strange but also pretty good!

Matt's Sandwich Masterpiece

Me and Cassidy holding up the ginormous box of Apple Jacks

Luckily we had Matt there to carry the heavy box of cereal!

Cassidy's friend, Nik and his sandwich (equipped with Kit Kats)

Will I be back to Out of the Box? No, not likely.

Will I recommend it to others? Um, hello!? Yea! So if you're in Auburn... please, please- you must check it out!

After Auburn we headed to Birmingham for the Mercedes Marathon. We were set up in an auditorium where people picked up their race packets. It was like a expo/trade show. We were across from the Michelob Ultra people, next to a recycling group and diagonal from a runner's clothing store. We made up quite the corner of text messaging drinkers who recycled their beer cups and tried on running shoes!

The expo went well. We actually had our best event day thus far on Saturday. There were tons of kids who stopped by our booth to play games and download songs! We were definitely hoppin' at the Verizon Wireless booth!

09 February 2009

bienvenidos a miami

You think I could come to Miami without rockin this song- ha, get real....

Thank you, Will Smith... haha!!

Anyway, right now I am sitting in the Sleep Inn in good ol' Miami!! Yesterday we had our first event at a Miami Heat game.

It was a great first event. Although we did have a few kinks (as expected for me and matt both being first timers). We were a little behind with getting the site set-up and the crowd was not as responsive as we had hoped. Lauren is still with us so she helped a lot and another guy from the office, Norm came to Miami to help with our event also. It has been so wonderful to have them here to answer questions and give us feedback in order for our next event to run even more smoothly!

Here is what our event site looks like.

We were set up in front of the American Airlines Arena. Unfortunately we were not able to go in for the game. We were given suite tickets but couldn't use them because as we were packing up our trailer hitch lock broke! So we spent the second half of the game troubleshooting that problem. It's almost better that it did happen because we had a great crowd response after the game and any time something goes wrong we learn more about how to make it better next time!

Here was the crowd after the game.

Miami has really been a lot of fun!! It is so diverse and a great place to people watch. The culture here is so different. I feel like I am in South America. Everyone is so fun and flashy!
When we got here on Saturday we immediately drove to the beach. It was a little windy but still warm. There were a few cruise ships going out of the port! We drove around South Beach and there were so many things to look at.... clothing stores, restaurants, tattoo shops... everything! And there were so many AMAZING cars- Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bentleys... it was very cool!

Me and Lauren at the beach!

Me and Matt

Me and Matt on the lifegaurd stand

Then we came back to our hotel, got ready and went back down to South Beach for dinner. We ate at a mexican restaurant that was really good! Then we walked around South Beach and went to a place called Ocean's Ten. It was very cool, right on Ocean Dr. They had a live band and as it got later they had a DJ!

I felt really bad for Matt because his dinner didn't sit too well... he got pretty sick. He still toughed it out and hung at Ocean's Ten. Really there's no way that he could not have fun with 'Shoeless Joe' dancing in front of us. Haha... 'Shoeless Joe' was this flamboyant guy that was dancing his little heart out, unfortunately the picture does not do his amazement justice! He kept smiling at us and dancing near. He made a few wardrobe changes through the night- sunglasses with head scarf (made from his sweater), shirt tucked in; no sunglasses with a neck scarf, shirt untucked, and many other variations with the props listed! It was glorious.

Shoeless Joe breakin it down

The Band at Ocean's Ten

The dancers and DJ at Ocean's Ten

Lauren, Me & Matt at Ocean's Ten

As I was walking around I couldn't help but think how much fun I would be having if Angelina was here. She would totally love Miami and Miami would love her too! Angel- we are taking a trip to Miami next year!!

South Beach is a happenin' place. It would be a great place for a girl's weekend or a bachelorette party. Next time I come down I am definitely staying at Deco Walk. It's a hostel on Ocean Drive, which is a perfect location, right in the middle of everything!! And I looked it up- only $20 a night!!! So if you come to South Beach you HAVE to stay there!!

So Miami has been a BLAST.... now on to Alabama :)