Friday, August 21, 2009

Right of Passage

If you know my mother, you know she sends the best letters ever. She always includes stories from magazines and great quotes and lots of good stuff!! In the past package she sent me, there was a great little story, I just had to share.

Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of passage?

His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a MAN.

He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own. The boy is naturally terrifed. He can hear all kinds of noises; wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man.

Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

More on the Redwoods...

Before JJ took me to see the Redwoods, he had told me about them a number of times. He had been there once before with a group of friends on a fishing trip and told me he thought that I would love it there.
And he was right!! As soon as we drove into the park I was breathless. The trees, their color, their size, everything combined to make just an incredibly beautiful scene.

Lots of fun touristy stuff too! There was a house carved from a single log, trees you could drive through and lots of photo ops... too bad they all cost money. But its worth it to do a few of them.

We seriously don't have enough pictures of just the two of us. And every picture that we do have with both of us in it is an arms length self taken picture. Ehh - thats ok - some of them end up looking pretty darn cute.

I climbed up this tree and stood in the crater to get this shot. This is just the stump of one of the trees that fell over!! The stump is bigger than lots of other kinds of trees at their full maturity.

This was one of our favorite trees we saw. The roots pulled out of the ground as the tree fell over. You can't really tell by this picture, but where the roots used to be, is a big crater in the ground.

They were so big!! Big and beautiful!!!

This is my little car driving through a tree!! Good thing JJ was driving, because it isn't that big of a hole. Kinda made me nervous.

And this is the view from inside that same tree (hollow all the way up). JJ took this right after he asked me to marry him!

Monday, August 10, 2009

My "Bucket" List

When I was in High School, I started this a list called "100 Things", kinda like a so called "Bucket List". That may sound wierd, because it is usually people that are close to kicking the bucket that make these lists, but I thought its never too early to get started. Currently, this list is at about 173 items and is growing by the year. It includes little things like "Milking a cow" to big things like "Learning sign language" and I even have a some that I have been able to cross off like "Celebrate New Years Eve in New York" "Visit Florence and Paris" and "Swim with dolphins". My #1 thing on my list is "Visit Angel Falls". It is located in Venezuela and is the tallest waterfall in the world!!!
Much to my excitement, I noticed some very similar aspects between this waterfall and the waterfall in the movie "UP". I had never thought of it as a possibility - but maybe balloons will be my mode of transportation.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It's unBELIZEable

Last night I was watching HGTV and there was a show about this couple who was buying a house in Belize. I was jealous for many reasons (one being their price range was 1- 1 1/2 million) - but mostly it just made me miss that wonderful little country.
If you have been to BYU-I in the past two years, this picture may look familiar. They used it on some of the advertisements for the MesoAmerican Tour. You may notice that on the posters there is just the two of us on the left, but if you look closely, there are three shadows. The girl on the right (Monica!!) got photoshopped out, to keep the picture symmetrical.
We spent most of our time in Belize on Caye (pronounced "key") Ambergris. It is a great little island where everyone drives around in golf carts. And by little I mean little - you could probably walk the perimeter of the island in a day. Tabu was where we had lunch and it was fantastic. This is where I was introduced to grilled pineapple on a hamburger. And while I am recommending places if you ever go to Caye Ambergris you HAVE to go to Monellys and get their coconut ice-cream. It is the most fantastic ice-cream I have ever ever had.

This guy was super friendly and just sat right next to where a couple of us where sitting in the sun and started singing great songs about love and peace and Rastafari.

Howler monkeys were everywhere (but lots of times you couldn't see them - you could only hear them)!! While driving to the coast while we were on the mainland in Belize, we saw a ton of these howler monkeys up in the tree, right on the side of the road. They make this incredible howling noise - something about the way they move their jaw allows the sound to be really cool sounding.
Belize was so fantastic and I would definitely go back in a heartbeat. But the best part was not caught on camera... the snorkeling. Off the coast of Belize (and only a short boat ride away from the Cayes) is the second largest reef in the world. Warm, clear water and guides that make you conch salsa for a snack, PLUS shark ray alley, where tons (maybe 30-40) small sharks and huge stingrays let you hand feed them while they chill right next to your boat. Did I mention you are in the water with them??? Ahh - what more could you ask for?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

What was that?

So I was reading what I wrote on my latest post (P.S. those of you who haven't seen it - look now!!!) And i thought to myself... what was that? where did that come from? It seems so poetic and stuff - which I am not. So where did it come from? Some may say I am an adult now (I say no way), some may say its love (ok - so I am a little twitter-pated (sp?)), but I say its just I was up late when I blogged... whatever it was - WE ARE ENGAGED!!! October 10th could not come fast enough.