Thursday, June 30, 2011

COSTA RICA


This year my family decided to go to Costa Rica for our family trip.
I wish I could say that I wanted to go to Costa Rica,
because I read a great book about it,
but the real reason I wanted to go to Costa Rica
is because the Bachelor did a segment there.
I thought it looked amazing and could not wait to go.
So I called my mom and suggested we hit up the rain forrest.
Low and behold 8 months later we were on our way to this
absolutely beautiful country.


This is one of the funnest trips I have ever been on.
My family has not gone to Latin America a lot
but I think after this trip that will change.
The country was breathtaking.
The rain forrest, jungle, and coast lines were unbelievable.
It was so green and was a nice change from Las Vegas ha ha.

We decided to make this trip a mix of relaxing and laying out,
and a little bit of sight seeing.


I think that is the best way to vacations.
So for four of the days, we enjoyed the beautiful resort we were staying at.
It was extremely secluded and it took half an hour to get to the nearest city.
Which meant that we had the entire beach to ourselves.
I have never been in ocean water that was this warm.
It was seriously 88 degrees.
I am such a wimp when it comes to cold water so this was the first time
I could play in water for hours and not be miserable.
We had so much fun body surfing and enjoying the sun.


During these days we laid out, played in the waves, swam in the
pool, got messages on the beach, drank endless amounts of Pina Colada,
played water volleyball, read our books, and ATE all the time.




Their fruit was the best fruit I have ever had in my entire life.
It was perfectly ripe, juicy, and flavorful.
The pineapples and mangoes were out of this world.
I had fruit for every meal. I could not get enough of this stuff.
The funnest thing about our Resort was the Alcohol was free.
So people seriously drank from sun up to sun down.
Everyone always had a glass in their hands.
This made for great entertainment.
There is nothing funnier than watching a bunch of drunk people.

One night we went for a little stroll along the beach.
We found crabs everywhere.
We had so much fun chasing them around.
We also found a couple of fish that had come up on shore.
The best part though was the drunk guy kept following us.
He thought it was so cool that we brought a flash light.
So he would be the one to touch the crabs and fishes first.


The other three days were spent sight seeing.
Our first day out of the Resort was a long one.
A whooping 15 hour day.
It was SO long but so great.
We started out eating breakfast at the yummiest restaurant.

We had a traditional Costa Rican breakfast which consisted of rice and beans.
After that it was off to the Nicaraguan border.
Going through the border was in experience in itself.
You have to get out and have your passports
checked multiple times,
the car has to be checked,
the driver has to have multiple papers signed,
and then you have to bribe the police with food
and drinks to get through the whole process faster.
Luckily we were in a really nice and air conditioned van.
Because it is SO humid there.
I am not a big fan of the humidity,
and I am especially not found of all of the bugs.

After that we spent the rest of the day in Nicaragua.
This country is also beautiful .
First we went to the cute little market to of course do some shopping.
I got a shoulder bad, my mom of course got a Nativity, and my brothers got a cheese set.


After that we headed off to an active volcano.
I have never seen anything like this before.


The crater was Huge and went on forever.
There was gaseous still coming out of it that reeked.
This was one of the moments when you feel
so small compared to the earths beautiful creations.

Then we were off to lunch in the beautiful city of Granada.
This meal was one of the best meals I have ever had.
The salad was so fresh and the chicken was so flavorful.
It would have been the perfect meal if it was not
for the fact that the waiter dropped a salad down my back.


I was covered in salad dressing for the rest of the day.
I know right. It was hot.
After lunch we got to see the city in horse carriage.


This city had been taken over by the Spanish, Pirates, and William Waker.


So there was quite an array of buildings and influence there.
This was such a fun city.



Our second day out was spent on a real life Disney jungle cruise.

There is so much wild life and this was such a fun way to see it.
My favorite part was when crocodile came out of the water and caught a fish.
We also got to see monkeys, iguanas, Tucan birds, lizards, and more.
It was just so much fun being on the water and getting in touch with nature.



Our last day out was arguable my favorite day.
It was our high adventure day.
I have been looking forward to this for months.
We started off going on water slide through
the jungle that was a quarter mile long.
I thought, how bad can a water slide be.
Okay I was totally wrong.
This was the most intense water slide I have ever been on.
It was so dang fast and whipped you around like no other.
It was so intense that if you didn't have
shorts on they made you wear a diaper.
You heard me right...a diaper.
It was this big piece of leather that you had to tie around you.
Kaitlin was not happy camper when she had to put this on.
The funnest part was my mom though.
She was not quite so sure if she wanted to go
on the slide but we convinced her to.
I will never forget her face as she was taking off.
It was of pure horror.


The next part of our adventure was zip lining.
This was probably my favorite part.
Zip lining is always fun but to do it over
the rain forest was a complete blast.
The views were amazing and you felt like
George of the Jungle jumping free tree to tree.


People weren't lying when they told us this was a rain forest.
It seriously poured all day.
We were soaked all the way through.
It was a good thing we were doing such fun things
or we would have been miserable.
I just couldn't believe how wet everything got.
I guess that's why everything is so green here lol.

After changing our clothes from zip lining cuz they were wet,
we tried to warm up a little bit with some hot soup that tasted amazing.
I haven't been this cold in a long long time.
After lunch we took a tractor up to a hot springs.
All though the springs were heated by the earth,
they made man made pools around them to keep them nice.
You had to start out in the sauna room to
get all of the toxins out of your body.
Then after fifteen minutes in there we
were off to put on hot mud to cleanse the skin.


Then we hit the pools.

There were five pools that all went up by 10 degrees.
We of course stayed in the hottest pool
because we were so cold from all of the rain.
It was just so fun to be up in the mountains i
n the middle of no where lying in hot tube.


This was such a fun trip.
Although Costa Rica was amazing it wouldn't matter
where we went as long as we were together.
I had so much fun hanging out with my family and they
truly mean the world to me.
I love them so much and I am grateful
for every moment that we all have together.
Thanks Mom and Dad for taking us on this amazing trip.
It's one that we will never ever forget.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Mom's Birthday



My poor Mom has always had the forgotten birthday.
Her birthday is on June 17th which always falls on
girls camp, scout camp, EFY, Church History Tour, dance recitals, etc.
I seriously cant even remember the last time I was in town for her birthday.
My little brother Jason was supposed to have a
volleyball tournament down in California,
and my Mom was going to be down there all by herself.
So Dust and I thought it would be fun to surprise her and come along for the trip.

We were supposed to leave for California on Thursday morning,
but on Wednesday night we got a call from his coach saying
the tournament had got delayed a day.
So Jason would not be able to go because we were leaving on a family trip.
At first I was really sad.
I was really excited about going down for Newport and soaking up the sun.
But we decided that we were still going to have a fun weekend,
and so we basically celebrated my Moms birthday for the next three days.

We decided that it would be fun to play
tourist in Vegas so we got a room at the Mandalay Bay.
I have always heard how fun their pool area was.
So we loaded up and headed out.
We basically laid out all day, played in the wave pool, and the lazy river.
At night we went to on of my all time favorite restaurants, Maggianos.
I love this place.


The next day we went to Summerlins new shopping center and ate at Brio.
Its to die for good.
I cannot wait to go back.
The shopping there was also so dang cute and fun.


The biggest surprise my Mom received for her birthday was a new car.
She has had our Suburban for 11 years now and that thing kept breaking down.
It had no AC unit in the back and so it was finally time for a new car.
After a couple of days of looking around for cars,
She finally found her perfect car.
She got an Armada.
She loved it.



Mom we were so happy to finally be able to spend a birthday with you.
We had a blast and cant wait for another birthday extravaganza.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

St. George


All Dustin wanted for his birthday was a week in St. George at his grandparents condo.
I haven't been to St. George in forever so I was really excited about this.
We really wanted to go to Zions for a few days,
so we decided to invite the experts down to serve as our guides.
So Ryan, Alex, Carter, and Shane came and stayed with us Monday thru Wednesday.

I am not going to lie, I usually dont like hiking at all.
I feel like it takes forever to get a good burn and then I hate the going down part.
It is so hard on the knees.
But I have always really wanted to go to Zions so I sucked it up.
And I am so glad that I did.
I seriously had the time of my life and I cant
wait to go on another out door adventure.


The first day we thought we would start with the classic Zion's hike.
Angels Landing.


I was a little nervous about this hike because I am not a huge fan of heights.
But it was seriously so much fun.
I loved the end of the hike where you are just holding on to the chain.
It was breath taking.
I loved being able to see down the canyon.
But on our way down I got a little spooked.
It started raining and got really windy.
We were at the very top at the scariest part and I was not happy.
I was just moving as fast as I could to get off that mountain.
Luckily it stopped raining and the canyon looked even prettier.
After that hike, we weren't done for the day.
So we decided to do a little hike
Emerald Pools

The funniest part was Carter decided he wanted
to jump off a little cliff into the water.
There was signs everywhere saying that you cant get in the water,
but we of course ignored that.
But everyone by the water was freaking out.
These old ladies kept yelling at Carter saying get down
your going to get hurt.
Carter didn't get hurt and it made for a good laugh.

Dust and I thought that we were just going to do this one day in Zions.
But the boys had already planned on doing the Subway hike.
This was was an all day hike and a little more intense.
I thought that if we didn't do this hike now we would never do it.
So I convinced Dust that we should go on it.

This was one of the funnest day of my life.
When I woke up in the morning I was a little nervous
about it because the park ranger tried to scare us.
He said the water was extremely high, that we needed wet
suits in order to go on it, and the current was strong.
I have never done anything like this before so I guess you can say
that the guy really did scare me lol.
The only hikes I have really done before are the Y hikes.
So I mentally prepared myself and set off.


I knew I was in for a day when the hike started out with
rock climbing down a mountain. ha ha
I was like for real? Are you serious right now?
Then I was even more shocked when we got to the river
bed and there was no trail.
I was like were is the trail.
And everyone was like you just make your own trail.
I just had to laugh at this point.

I was totally out of my comfort zone.
I started out the day really cautious.
I didn't want to get in the water because it was cold
but by the end of the day I was just trucking though the river.
We had so much fun crossing the river, going over rocks,
and really just visiting with each other.
The first part of the hike was a little boring but when we got to the Subway opening
it was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.
The water going over the red rock was stunning.
The whole hike was worth seeing this beautiful site.

The water was so high this time of the year that half the hike was closed.
But seeing as I was with five adventurous boys this did not stop them.
They decided that it would be fun to go swimming in
the water to try to get get up the waterfalls and the cliffs.
This is where I started getting a little worried.
The water was seriously freezing and I dont really do well in the cold.
The boys were so nice though and helped me through the whole process.
They were just all laughing at how cold I was.
And how cautious me and Ryan are.
We went as far as you could possibly go and then
we hit a waterfall that we could not get up without a rope.
I am not going to lie,
I was real excited when we couldn't go any further.
I was so cold that my lips had turned purple and I could not feel my feet.
I had to lay out in the son with three sweat shirts on for an hour just to get kind of warm.

The only problem with this hike was we didn't bring enough water.
We only brought 7 water bottles for 6 people for an 8 hour day.
You do the math.
We were dying.
At the very end of the hike, I could not wait to get back just to get some water.
We were starved, thirsty, tired, and exhausted.
But it was so much fun.

The next day I couldn't move.
I could not believe how sore I was.
My whole body ached.
I looked at my feet and they were covered with cuts.
I couldn't believe how tore up they were.
I could not walk, or put on shoes for like four days.


The next two days were spent with just me and my sweet heart.

We had so much fun laying out, ordering pizza and watching the NBA playoffs.
We ate Bear Paw.
Which was amazing (only if you order breakfast though)
We did a session in the St. George Temple.
Which was so much fun.
It was so great to see the temple where my parents were married.

We sersiously had a blast down in St. George and we cant wait to go back.