Sunday, May 15, 2011

Utah Trip Recap

My big trip to Utah was everything I was hoping for! 10 days is a long time to travel, but I'm glad I did it! It is always interesting to return to Utah after being gone for a while. You start to notice all the little idiosyncrasies of the state again, like the use of "way" instead of "more" or "very." ("It was way hot in there!") Or just how many women where tank tops or t-shirts over top a long sleeved shirt. (Now that I've watched every episode of "Sister Wives" I also wonder how many women wearing tank tops on the top are polygamists.) I loved the prolific number of Mavericks and Top Stops everywhere and "way cheap" large drinks. I also greatly appreciated that gas is about 15 cents a gallon cheaper in Utah than it is in Virginia.

Each day of the trip was pretty much the same as the one before it- in a very good way! I would hang out with BFF Jules in the morning, then go meet someone for a really long lunch, then go visit another friend for a really long dinner! My whole vacation was food and conversation! And really, does it get better than that?

Here's a few pictures of just some of the friends I met up with-

This is one of my best friends from high school, Karen, and her daughter Rylee. Karen and I hadn't seen each other in... 20 years?! But we talked just like we said goodbye yesterday, and were stealing each other's school cafeteria fries. Her daughter Rylee is undergoing cancer treatments at Primary Children's Hospital. If you are in Utah you can check out Rylee's television debut this month as part of a PCH ad campaign. You can also check out Rylee's mad dance skills here-

I also got the chance to meet up with the amazing Lindsey of The R House fame. She's not only a world-famous blogger, but a good friend from high school as well. (Lindsey- please forgive me for posting the picture.)

Lindsey and I met up with several other bloggers for a bloggy lunch date. Thank you to Topsy Turvy, HollyWillNot, Jenndola, CrapIveMade, CSPokey, Ryles, and Lauren for a truly unique experience! (If I left anyone out I swear it wasn't intentional!)

Mother's Day would not have been complete without lunch with my little brother. Gotta love the trucker hat, African soccer jersey, 4 days worth of beard, all talking on my pink cell phone-

There were many other lunches and visits with friends, but somehow I didn't get pictures of all of them! I noticed with each friend I would forget I was just visiting and hadn't seen my friend in forever. I even forgot to hug and say goodbye to Heidi because everything felt so normal and natural. What do you mean I hadn't been to visit in over a year?

Each visit was wonderful and a great experience. Thank you to everyone who took the time to meet up with me for a few hours!!

One of the absolute highlights of my trip was a barbecue held by my old neighbors for me! Thank you to Becky, Liz, and Janelle for making me remember so many wonderful times. I absolutely loved getting to hang out with the ladies, their husbands, and their adorable children again. We've all experienced a lot of highs and lows in the past year. There was something very cathartic about being back together with them and seeing that we've all made it through in one piece! And getting a countless number of hugs from these cute kids was worth the whole trip out there-

There aren't many times in your life where you can "go back" to what you once had. I'm in an interesting situation right now where I could make a few changes and go back to my old life. I could live on the same street, have the same friends and neighbors, do very similar work, and just pick up where I left off. It is more tempting to do than words can say! Who wouldn't want to go back to so many happy memories? But in doing so, I would be giving up my Peace Corps dream, among other things. Waiting to see what the next few weeks or months might bring in my life is going to be the ultimate test of faith and patience!

Thank you again to all of my friends, particularly my hosts the Caldwell family, for the great trip!!

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