Sunday, July 20, 2008

One to Many Carnival Rides...

So this weekend, I went to visit my lovely sister Katie and her family (Brent, Brenna, Julyn, Cosco, and P) We hit up the Iriquois County Fair and jokingly as I left for this eventful weekend, I was in search for some cowboy boots - as hello what better place to meet my cowboy, then at a county fair. So agenda for the day (ride some rides, eat some greasy food, find me a cowboy, watch some loud trucks, smell the pigs, and maybe stop by and pet the animals). Sounds glamorous. Well the day started out nice and humid. After parking and tromping through some mud to get that treasured green band which allows you to ride unlimited for five hours, well I could hardly wait. Plus I had my two nieces by my side geared to go. First stop, the funny house, where those mirrors actually made me look half decent and I banged into a few glass doors and made my way down a slide, that was slightly too small for me. Off to the twirling one, which wasn't that bad. So I was feeling extra dare devilish and yep I took on the wipe-out screaming and all. And no I did not back down, watch out 100 nights ride that goes in a circle, while I am on it. Oh, but then there came that darn dizzy dragon ride which you controlled the speed by your turn, kind of like the tea cups at disneyland. Well to impress my beautiful little nieces I decided to spin quick and make us dizzy. Thing about this sweet dragon ride, well we were confined and there was no breathing room. I think the combination of the limited breathing space, the layer of sweat caused from the excessive turning of the wheel plus the % of humidity, and well this being the 8th or so, spinning ride in a row, needless to say I didnt feel so hot. Oh but wouldn't you think those sweet spinning swings would cool you off. Well not so much... Yep I ended up getting sick at a carnival and couldn't ride again that day. Oh but don't you worry, the old Anne came back strong and took on a corn dog and some pizza and bread sticks and even managed to pet some goats and bunnies along the way. I even got to watch the truck and tractor pull. So my cowboy didn't find me... oh but don't you worry, I'll be back. Thanks to Katie, Brent, Brenna and Julyn - I had a blast and I love you all. Oh and Brent one thing for you.... FOREVER!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

2000 Miles of Pure Adventure

I decided to make the 2000 mile trip home somewhat of an adventure, rather then just a trip. And what better way to start an adventure then to buy a new car. Yep brand new 2008 CR-V, ain't it pretty. So now that I was riding in style I decided to start off on my journey. I made a little detour and headed up through Utah. I went with some dear friends of mine to the beautiful mountains of Zion where we faced an enduring hike through a river amongst some beautiful mountains. After our little hike at Zion I sadly said my goodbyes and went on to my next stop in Provo, Utah where I stayed with another close friend of mine and was able to see some other friends as well. For the 4th of July, we went to the Stadium of Fire where Blue Man Group and Miley Cyrus performed. There was also some amazing and powerful stories from the troops and an amazing fireworks show. This brought me to tears and I thought what an amazing way to start my journey across the country, to see all the amazing landscapes and beautiful places that we have the freedom to live in. The next stop was Denver, Colorado. The drive to Denver was absolutely incredible. I stopped in one of my favorite places ever, Vail, CO where I got out and sat by the river and took in all the beautiful scenery. After my little stop over in Vail, CO, I continued on to Denver and enjoyed catching up with an old friend. The next morning, I got up and went white water rafting and took on some class3-5 rapids. It was an amazing time and I felt totally adventurous. Although someone forgot to tell me how dang cold the water would be and my feet were completely frozen by the end of the tour. But hey, I didn't fall out of the boat and I looked dang good in my wet suit and rafting outfit. I ended up getting some grub from this awesome pizza joint in the middle of a small mountain town called Idaho Springs, CO. After my day of rafting I decided to take off early to conquer some driving time and ended up in North Platte, NE. So for all of those people that thought Colorado was all mountains and hills, well its not. As soon as I got west of Denver, thus began my journey of flat land and lots and lots of farm. It was actually some of the most beautiful simple landscape. On the way to Nebraska, I faced the first of many thunder storms. I don't know if they were actually as bad as I thought they were or if it was just the fact that I haven't seen that much water living in Vegas and all, but to say the least, I was saying my prayers. I finally made it to North Platte and well I stayed in Motel 6 and well I think I would have been better off sleeping in my car. I got up early and continued my drive into the beautiful state of Missouri. Here in Missouri I saw some of the bluest skies and greenest land I have ever seen. It was as though I was seeing these colors for the first time and they were so beautiful. I ended my drive that day in Maryville, MO. I liken this town to the movie Varsity Blues, basically because it is a small town in the middle of endless land and they have an awesome school - Northwest Missouri and well it just totally reminds me of that movie. I stayed with a good friends family and it was such a great time. I love the Lade family and they were so generous and they are just such loving people, plus their new home is a beauty. I also got a chance to catch up with my college trainer who lives in the same town. I took off the next day on what I considered to be the last leg of my journey. I drove through some more crazy thunderstorms. I honestly felt like I was working for the weather channel and I was hired to outrun crazy storms. I definitely kept my speed because I was convinced there was a tornado following me the entire time. Check out the picture of my side view mirror, that dark weather was seriously following me for miles. I ended up in a maze of corn only to end up in a town of 350 people, yep Donovan, IL where my sister and brother-in-law own a lovely piece of land with a beautiful home, 2 dogs and now a cool boat. We had an awesome meal and spent some family time together as we sat on the porch watching the fireflies and lightening and listening to the thunder, all while sitting in the sticky, humid weather. I have come a long way from the hot, dry, 100 something weather in Vegas. The next morning I woke up and made the 2.5 hr drive home to South Bend, IN where my loving parents a.k.a. my new roomies, my bro and our dog Cali were anxiously awaiting me. The entire drive home to South Bend was amazing. I even stopped on the side of the road and picked wild flowers. I definitely have a new appreciation for this type of landscape and beauty. I almost feel like I am looking at everything with a whole new set of eyes. So now I am home, at least "home for now". I really have no clue what the future holds, but I know it will be adventurous. The last time I came home for a visit I described my home that you almost feel like you are in a Disney movie with birds landing on your shoulder and them singing tunes and that when I went for a jog around the neighborhood, the only thing that was tired was my arm from waving hi to everyone I passed. And well I am still getting adjusted and trying to figure out life here, but let me just say my car insurance went from $150 to $50... so that is one plus. South Bend if so much different then Vegas in many ways. When I look outside at night the only thing lighting up the sky is the moon and stars not the strip, and there are animals and green here everywhere. This whole experience definitely embodies the word, change. It will take some adjustment and this is just one more experience to take in. I will never forget where I came from and everything and everyone that helped me get here, and I am anxiously awaiting the future and what it holds for me. So I guess I made it and that is one adventure down... for now. Thanks to the Schwerdts, Craig, the Lades and Katie, Brent and P and Costco for letting me stay with you.

Leaving Las Vegas (sniff...sniff)

I remember 4 yrs ago I went for a run my first week in Vegas and I was listening to the following lyrics from a Tom Petty song. (Well it started out down a dirty road. Started out all alone. And the sun went down and I crossed the hill. And the town lit up and the world got still. I'm learning to fly...) I remember thinking, wow what a town and how different and how small I felt in that crazy place called Las Vegas. I had no clue what to expect. Well 4 years later and I have so much to take with me. I am so thankful for the people and experiences that were shared in Vegas.

I have decided to become a professional mover, because for the last 2 weeks in Vegas, I had more adventures, nights out, and meals with friends then I had the entire time I lived there:) It is so true, that you really don't know how much you have until its too late. I was able to have one last butt kickin' with my bootcamp friends, said goodbye to friends from old jobs, friends from church, family, current and old roommates, coworkers. I went hiking, rode a harley, pool partied it up, went to shows on the strip, cliff jumped, wake boarded, went bowling, ate at just about every restaurant in town and pretty much enjoyed life.

I wish I could write a personal message to each and EVERYONE of you to thank you for the impact you have made in my life. I have met so many wonderful people and I know I was supposed to cross paths with each one of you and I would not have had it any different. I hope to always be friends and I thank you all for the love you have shared with me. I will miss you all. And please come visit!!! By the way, I have sooo many memories and they can not all be captured here and so many people have made my years in Vegas unforgettable and I will forever remember them in my heart.

Runaway Anne Experience

So as I was contemplating some major changes in my life (where I should move, what I should do, etc), my roomie Melissa asked me well, what do you like? And I kind of just sat there with no answer. And then I responded, that I am very influenced and a lot of the times, I end up liking what the people in my life like. Wow, what a realization! So Melissa had the brilliant idea to have me watch the movie, Runaway Bride, where Julia Roberts plays this woman who runs away from her groom on numerous occasions, mostly because she really had no clue what she wanted. Richard Gere, who plays the reporter in the movie interviews her victims and when asked the question, What type of eggs did she like?, each groom responded with the type of egg they liked. What a surprise, Julia never knew what she liked and ended up liking the same type of egg her groom liked. Simple story but strong point, because... this is totally me. And my dear thoughtful roommate Melissa not only watched the movie with me, but also cooked six different types of eggs and well I spent that morning figuring out my favorite type of egg. Too not much surprise, I ended up eating them all and actually liking each type, but I decided that my favorite was BAKED. Woo hoo, I now know my favorite way of cooking eggs. And although this did not solve all life's questions, nor did it answer any of my questions of where to move and what to do with my life, well what it did do, was inspire me to take charge of my life, to make it my own and to discover me. And well like I said before, my adventure has begun and this is just the beginning. Enjoy!