Summer of Sun Travelogue - Edition 2nd

DISCLAIMER: Still stands from part I.


After a world-wind vacation covering 4 states, it was time to settle in for some Summer Relaxation. NOT A CHANCE! I had one night to wash clothes and watch Dance, then Turtle and I were off on another adventure.

We stopped off in Provo for Cherie and Chris' wedding. We'd received the wrong invitation so we showed up an hour early, and to the wrong place. Oops. Then once we got there, the ceremony started like an hour later than it was supposed to. There was stress (including a dropped cake! O.o) so we understand, but it added to us not being able to stay for the whole thing.

I, as usual, looked smokin' hot. This was the Official World Premiere of the paisley on paisley.

It was great seeing old friends, and celebrating the happy couple, but we needed to be on the road! So we pretty much changed in the car, and then hit the road headed for Tempe, Arizona!

The purpose of the trip was to visit my Cousin Todd, who I hadn't seen in a number of years! And to meet his boyfriend Austin. We drove pretty much all night, and arrived at Todd's house around 3:30am. The drive was pocked with lightning storms, a little rain, quality phone time with BillyBob, and us making fun or Arizona's deer signs. Because they had one that was supposed to indicate Elk, but which we interpreted to mean "deer on steroids." Here's the usual Bambi sign. Now here's the "you-hit-me-I-am-taking-your-car-DOWN deer sign." ELK. Who knew?

Another incident happened en route. We were somewhere near the Utah/Arizona border (I still don't know what side we were on) and I saw a cop. I hoped in time as I slowed down a little. Nope, he started to follow me. Cer-zap. He followed along behind, and I knew the inevitable was coming. But he wasn't turning on his lights! I was annoyed that he wouldn't just get it over with! Finally. Flashing lights, I pulled over. The cop revved his engine and zoomed past, leaving us in the dust. Wait, what? What the heck just happened? We started speculating that maybe he was out of his jurisdiction and couldn't pull us over? So most likely he called the right cop to come and get us. Bah. Not 5 minutes later, here comes another cop! I knew it! Cop pulls up right behind us, and I'm waiting for the lights. I knew we were getting a ticket. Agh. Then the flashers. I pull over. The cop revs his engine and zooms past. WHAT THE HECK??? Do cops in Arizona have nothing better to do than mess with drivers late at night? And who gets cop lights TWICE in one 10 minutes, and ISN'T getting pulled over? I mean, I'm not complaining... but honestly.

After crashing we got up hecka early to go to church, where I bet Turtle $5 I'd know someone (like always). Heh. Up walks my old roomie, now attending grad school. I win. Sucker. Not long after church we went to get in line for the local production of BARE, a musical about a gay teenager struggling in private Catholic School. After getting our tickets, we had some time to kill so we went across the street to visit one of Todd's Theatre friends working at the box office. The musical itself is pretty incredible and some of the songs are hilarious AND heart-wrenching. The lead in this production was SO, SO, SO terrible, but the rest of the cast was pretty darn good. We enjoyed the show then went out to Applebee's afterwords with the cast members, many of whom were Todd's good friends. The playwright came too, and was an...intense...conversationalist. We spent the evening relaxing.

Monday morning we slept in then watched some Firefly, before going out to a Mexican Joint for lunch.Turtle's friend Little Rach came and pretty much rudely kidnapped her while Austin and I went swimming before going to pick up Todd from work. That night instead of going out we stayed in and had a friend over. We played Scum (card game) and had pizza and it was so much fun. The neighbors downstairs kept banging like we were being raucously loud, but we weren't. And it was only like 9:30pm... in the summertime.

Tuesday was more relaxing and swimming, then we all went out for pitas. Night brought chilling at the outdoor mall and having smoothies. We did a stint at Target, bought a giant ball, and then had a nighttime pool party where we met more of Todd and Austin's friends. One of them received a phone call informing him that his adopted brother and brother's family had been in a terrible, terrible accident, most of them dying, including the boy's father. His mother had already died two years earlier. Needless to say he was very distraught to hear this about his adopted brother and family. He immediately started to figure out how to get up to Salt Lake so he could be with his adopted brother. Saving him the stress of plane tickets and money, we offered him a ride since we were going back anyway. I love being a good Samaritan in the most unexpected of ways.

We left at 6am Wednesday morning, stopping only for gas and breakfast. We got to know our friend/rider and his family and story, which was all exciting, interesting, and intriguing. Sure made the car ride not boring! He was the one who actually explained to us about the Elk signs. Heh. We dropped him off in Carson City, and continued on home, having no other incidents. Overall the trip was relaxing, exhilarating and so much fun! Love my cousin and his boyfriend, they are great people.

After that trip, things didn't settle down either. I was up early the next day to accompany Sp to Scout Camp since they needed extra help. Hanging out with four 11-year olds can be pretty fun, and it was. They were such kids. The immaturity was unending. We did First Aid, and Knot Tying, and did swim tests. My nose of course started bleeding, so they said I couldn't be in the water. I switched to backstroke to keep the blood out, and then they yelled at me to get out altogether. Alright. I still passed. Punks. In the afternoon we went canoeing, and there was a group of boys who had all female leaders and no one to go on the lake with, so I agreed to chaperone them. We even got a picture afterward, well when one of the three got splashed. It was really funny because he was tiny and when he was rowing he kept pulling the oar out and soaking the kid behind him. So we made him switch seats. Then they tried splashing other boats, and he got wet which was greatly upsetting to him and he wanted to stop. But me and the other two went back out on the water.

Don't I make the greatest little kid? That night we went Goth dancing, so I was okay when I found out I didn't have to go back for the whole next day. But I did go up with Sp's dad that night for dinner and a camp-out. They assured us they had cleared all the rocks before setting up the leader tent, but it proved to be untrue. Oh, the rocks in my back! Not to mention that both of the other leaders fell asleep before me and snored raucously. Probably scared the wildlife for a mile around at least. I didn't get much sleep. But breakfast the next morning wasn't terrible.

We left not long after that as we had to prepare for a party at the Nicholsons. Which was fun, as usual. After that I finally had a few days to relax. To breathe. To look for jobs, again. Heh. I'd pretty much decided that I wanted summer to be about my friends. And living. And just enjoying every moment of every day. Job wasn't the highest thing on my list, which maybe in retrospect wasn't the BEST idea. But whatever. Summer. Fun. Me. That was my dream and I had it by the throat.

I did another Provo visit to see the friends and x-professors, Wednesday one of my friends I'd baptized (who happens to be the only member in his whole family) returned from serving a mission. He invited me and some other X-Elders to meet him in Salt Lake for the day. Watched the Joseph Smith movie and spent time in the Vistor's Center, then we all went out for burgers. It was so good to see him! That was a great, great day. Watched the Dance finale (of course! This is a staple of my life - but I'm still waiting for it to be good like Season 2!) and used a whole day of my life watching Avatar: The Last Airbender. For which I will never repent. Because that show is great. Then we went out dancing with a whole group of friends - on a friday instead of the usual thursday. It was a smashing good time. In light of going out, I penned the following gem: "When all the choices (what to wear, what to wear) lead to the same destination (me =ing regulation hottie), then the part where I find joy in the journey becomes a little bit of a crisis..." Haha. I <3 me just a little bit.

The next day I went down to Provo again to attend one of my mission buddies Wedding, where I got to catch up with a bunch of other mission buddies. Plus, I went with Brock, and what could be more fun? It's Brockolee, my MTC companion. No one is cooler than him.

Two days later my Aunt and Uncle were down from Idaho so we had them over for dinner and they got to meet all the Nicholsons. I cooked :) The next few days involved lunch out with numerous friends, which was completely refreshing and enjoyable to me. See? Summer is about my friends and the ones I love! (sorry if I didn't get to see you, this does not mean I love you any less :P) While Turtle was off in Texas, I opted to go with the Nicholsons up to their cabin where I disconnected for two days. It was very relaxing and peaceful. I intended to write letters, but got distracted by the beauty and serenity of the place. I watched lightning for probably 5 hours, even though it was kind of cold outside. In the morning I went caching with the kids, and then we just hung out with a bunch of friends and had great convo and good food. The weekend was so relaxing, restful, enjoyable, and above all, insightful.

Once the weekend was over, I got a chance to play Dadders. S&S went away for their anniversary and I parented the 4 Kidlets. We had so much fun together; I had a blast hanging out with them... I mean, being their Dad. :P I especially loved introducing them to the joys of Mac & Cheese + Franks (Kosher only! No weird parts, yech) and Ground Beef Stroganoff.

After two kid-filled days, I took one day to recover (and pack) and then I was off on my next summer adventure across the country! But that will have to be next time...


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