Thursday, May 23, 2013

Stereotype Bus

Nom nom nom. That’s the sound of eating. Food. Food is what keeps us alive. It’s one of the (many) things that keeps us, or at least me, happy. Very happy. One of the countless pleasures of visiting new places is discovering their happy source, aka, their food. Whenever I go anywhere new, I push myself to discover a taste of the local cuisine. As we all know, food is a defining piece of a country’s culture. This may be good, or in the case of America, it may be bad. Let’s take a short detour; everyone hop in the stereotype bus!
  • Americans eat hamburgers, apple pie, fruit roll ups, and the occasional thimbleberry.
    • Despite what everyone thinks, we (or I, at least) are not the typical face-stuffing obese man who eats at McDonald’s for every meal. I think it’s fair to say that although we don’t have our own distinct food tradition, we (or at least I) eat pretty well.
  • Parisians eat croissants, duck, and chocolate.
    • This is extremely accurate, except that crepes were forgotten.
  • Peruvian people eat Mexican food.
  • Behold, Snuggles. I'm sorry. I had to.
    • NO. When I was in Peru, one of the guys in our tour group ordered a guinea pig. Yes, you read it right, guinea pig (called Cui, in the Peruvian language). I know what you’re thinking, but no, this was not the Snuggles you saw at Petco. This was like a small dog. And, yes, I did taste a piece. And yes, it was slightly disgusting. All I’ll say is: if you like salty chicken, then Snuggles is your kind of meal.
  • Mexicans eat Cafe Rio.
    • I hate to break it to you, but Cafe Rio doesn’t really count as Mexican food. ***DISCLAIMER: this blog post is not meant to offend any member of the Cafe Rio family or its food. I love Cafe Rio with a fiery passion and I would kill to eat it for every meal.*** Anyway, when we went to Mexico I ate:
      • The best guacamole in the universe
      • An empanada made from God’s tears
      • Ceviche. Oh.
      • And an assortment of other things. It’s weird though, I didn’t see one Cafe Rio.
  • Hawaiians eat flowers.
    • I truly hope you're smart enough to see the flaws in this statement.
  • In Canada they drink maple syrup for breakfast.
    • I don’t know for sure, but I think that Canadians would be morbidly obese by now if this were the case. I think I’ve shared this before, but Canadian ice cream is prime.

Wherever you are, food is a huge piece of culture, and I think it’s super cool to be able to take that experience with me when I leave a place. Now please excuse me while I go eat Cafe Rio.

P.S: Today in my geography class my teacher brought in a jar of Vegemite (which is Australian) for us all to try. I gagged and spit it out. Imagine salty fish in liquid form. My ginger cousins eat it on a sandwich. *cringe*

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Face Stress

Hello Sweets. I’m not going to lie to you all, I am not excited to write the next 300 words. The AP test is on Friday, and I have been stressing my face off. See, I can’t even type. Stressing my face? It’s a thing now. I really don’t know what to write about. I’ll just scramble some things together.
I hope you enjoy this as
much as I did. Photo cred.
  • Once in Paris we were almost back to our apartment after a long day of sight-seeing. I had to go to the bathroom so bad, so I decided that it was a good idea to sprint across the busy streets to get to the bathroom. I almost got hit by a car. Thrice. Save my life, or save my pants? PANTS.
  • Once I traveled to Cafe Rio and picked up a nice steak salad. I have all kinds of pictures of that precious time.
  • Sometimes I dream that I move to Europe and become super popular and then I become the French president.
  • After the AP test, I shall travel home to my bed. I have reservations there for a really long time.
  • We were in California one year and there was an earthquake, so we all ran outside of our hotel suite. I got so scared I started crying and I couldn’t sleep because I was afraid the ceiling would collapse and kill me.
  • In the summer, there is a possibility that we might travel to Georgian Bay again. They have such good ice cream in Canada.
  • Once when we had just gotten to Lima, Peru, my parents had to go to the bank to exchange some money, but they left us in the hotel. So, my sister and I double bolted all the doors and windows and watched Spongebob in Español.
  • When we went to Arizona to visit my fake uncle, we stayed at this hotel with a super fun lazy river. We only went around it a couple times before my Uncle got us kicked out. I don’t regret anything.
Well muchachas, that concludes my lovely post for this week, wish me luck on the AP test, I hope I will survive to write again next week.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Hike.

 Over the course of my life, I have hiked a lot. We hike when we go camping, so I’ve hiked ever since I started hiking. I could fix that, or I could not. I will choose the latter. turned my OCD grammar switch to the off position, so you will all just have to deal with that grammatical error.

I’ve been on all different kinds of hikes. Short hikes, long hikes, right hikes, wrong hikes. You name it, I’ve hiked it. Here is a short repertoire of all the hikes I’ve hiked. Hike.
Wawa.
  • When I was about nine, I hiked a ten mile hike. If you think this sounds fun, you’re wrong. “Come with us,” they said. “It will be fun,” they said. (Insert incredibly embarrassing picture of Kristen in pain here).
  • Do not, I repeat, do not get lost while camping. One way to avoid doing this is to stay on the trail. I got so tired and frustrated, so I started booking it to get home. My mom followed me, but we ended up walking about half a mile off-trail. As I learned, that usually results in a crying child and a small search party.
  • Water hikes! Yeahhh. 60 degree water feels good when it’s 90 degrees and sunny.
  • Ice hiking is slightly dangerous. Make sure you have a decent pair of shoes. I would advise against the type that have zero-traction.
  • No matter where we hike, we always bring some incentives. Candy usually works best, just not chocolate. Chocolate usually melts when it’s hot, and it’s fairly difficult to clean chocolate out of a backpack.
Legit-ness.
So, do I hate hiking? Yes. But do I really hate hiking? Not at all. It’s actually really fun. It’s outside, it’s social, we hike to amazing places, and I get to eat a lot of food (which is a huge bonus). I’m pumped to go hike some more!

Friday, May 3, 2013

California Style

Over Spring Break, my mom, my sister, and I went to San Diego, California. We stayed with my mom’s mom, who lives in San Marcos, which is north of San Diego proper. We had a flight at 9:45 Saturday night, scheduled so I didn’t have to miss my soccer game (which we won 2-0). We got to my grandmother’s house at around 11:00 Saturday night.  On Sunday we went to my Aunt’s house, which is about 10 minutes away from my grandma’s. My aunt has three kids; a boy in 10th grade, a girl in 8th grade, and another girl in 4th grade. We have parties. They have a pool in the backyard, so we spent Sunday chillin’ out California style. Unfortunately, my cousins were not on Spring Break, their school system seems to be a little more normal, so they didn’t have their break at the end of April. I’m not complaining, I’m just observing the lateness of our well-deserved break. Anyway, we didn’t see our cousins again until Wednesday.
The original
snapchat.

The highlight of Monday was going to Panera. Panera is like Kneaders, but better. We don’t have any here, which is a big mistake. But, I would be about 100 pounds heavier if there was one anywhere near here, so I guess you get the good with the bad.

Tuesday. The worst day of the week. If you’re me, then this holds true even for spring break. Tuesday we went to my great aunt’s house. Nobody really enjoys my great aunt. First of all, she’s 91 years old and she still works out 3 times a week. Second, she talks more than my entire family combined. And not only does she talk a ton, she talks about North Korea. And choking. And her doctors. Now Kristen, would you like to spend your day hearing about North Korean concentration camps, choking on fish bones, or Dr. Gundren? All of the above? Perfect! NO. You can imagine how difficult this experience was for me, and everyone else in the room (I would use a different word than difficult but there are some important people who might read this. I’ll just say that it was a lot more than difficult).

Brethren!
Wednesday we went to SeaWorld! SeaWorld is such a magical place. All those dolphins and whales and such frolicking around make you feel like the world is a much better place. (I needed this experience after hearing about the Korean death camps for three hours). This was probably one of the most fun days of the trip. I also touched a bat ray. Hehe. Want to know a secret? I’m related to Shamu. Yep, the Shamu whale family is in my blood.

#dolphinswag
Thursday I went for a run, napped, went to Panera, and watched Titanic. 

We left Friday morning for a 10:00 flight. My neighbor on the plane was very intimidating. I would guess he was about 7 feet tall (I'm a whopping 5'3").

Spring break was really fun and relaxing (true), but now I am super excited to go back to waking up at 5:45 and learning about where coal mines are located (false).


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Camping With My Homeboys

This was usually only half of our
group. You can imagine how
much of a party it was.
When I was little, we always used to go to Capitol Reef National Park at least once a year with a group of families that my family has known pretty much since I was born. We often went with about five families, but sometimes there would be as many as ten. My adorable-ness attracted a lot of people, I guess. So there would be around 25 of us, at a minimum. We always reserved this huge group site. I remember a lot of things about Capitol Reef, but what I remember the most is that it was always so much fun. A typical day would include one or more of the following (what I mean by that is all of the following):
  • Hiking
    • We hiked a lot. I enjoyed the hikes where we were able to frolic in the streams.
  • Eating
    • Each family would take turns making dinner and breakfast for everyone, but everyone was on their own for lunch.
  • Tree-Climbing
    • Of the sloth type
  • Soccer playing
  • Los caballos. (The horses. De nada).
    (You're welcome).
    • What can I say, I started at a young age.
  • Swimming
  • Horse watching
    • There was a fenced pasture behind our site with about four horses. All the girls would admire them from a distance and try to feed them grass when they walked up to us.
  • Maniac running
    • I think this is self explanatory, but for those of you who had an awful childhood, it’s when you run around like an axe murderer.
  • Softball playing
  • Partying (seven year old style)
  • Star gazing
  • Limbo-ing
  • Campfire singing
    • I know a song that gets on everybody’s nerves. SHUT UP I WILL KILL YOU IN YOUR SLEEP.
  • Sleeping
    • Yay.
I have only the best memories of that place, and we went so often that when I think of my childhood, I think of Capitol Reef. We haven’t been back there for about four years now, but I think it would be so much fun to go back again with everybody. I'm not sure if everyone would come back in one piece; the limbo-ing and maniac running might be a little dangerous, but hey, I do know that it would be a blast, and that's all that matters. :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Caution: Falling Coconuts

There is a story. It goes somewhat like this:

#HawaiiPeopleProblems.
Once there was a girl who went with her family to Hawaii. This girl got to Hawaii, and was then happy. “Hawaii is a fun place” she said. She did all kinds of fun activities, like snorkeling, paddle boarding, hiking, tanning, swimming, eating, frolicking, and other watercraft activities. Hawaii was warm and sunny. It was a delightful time. Then, the girl’s parents said “This has been fun. Now we shall return to our humble abode in the polar region of the America.” The girl said “No”. Her parents said “Yes”. The girl said “No”. Her parents said “Yes”. The girl did not want to leave Hawaii. She liked being able to frolic in the warm temperatures. The girl was then forced onto the plane by which she would return to her native land. The girl was sad. Once they arrived home, the girl was still sad. She was tan, but she was sad. She wanted to go back to Hawaii. She still wants to go back to Hawaii. In the girl’s current residence, it is 26 degrees and snowing. SNOWING. It is also April. The girl did not live happily ever after in Hawaii. She is freezing and sad. The end.

The hotel that we stayed in.
The tears are welling up...
This girl was me, if you couldn’t tell. In 2009 we accompanied my father on a business trip to Hawaii for work. We stayed in a super nice hotel for about a week. While my dad was off discussing radiology finance, my mom, my sister and I pranced around in the tropical paradise doing anything we pleased. Ha. (I probably shouldn’t be laughing...he did pay for my plane ticket...and my phone...and soccer...) What I meant is, thank you loving father for everything you have done for us. I will gladly do the dishes tonight.

The beach where my sister got stung
by a jellyfish. Ha. Ah-em.
Besides the fact the my dad was there for work, it couldn’t have been a better trip. Except for that my sister got stung by a jellyfish. Ha. Ha. Good times. Moving on. Hawaii may be part of the USA, but it is almost like another world. The things we saw and the things we did were so different than anywhere else, it was amazing. A beautiful beach placed in volcanic land...so cool. It was five years ago, and although I remember most everything, there are certain memories that stick out the most.
Just one of the hundreds of
pictures I took. What can I say, I'm
a professional.
  • We hiked to this secluded beach, but when we got there we found that it was actually inhabited. By roosters.
  • My sister and I played Hunger Games on the paddle-board.
  • The restaurant at the hotel had mini ketchup bottles. I accidentally grabbed about seven of those and accidentally put them in my suitcase.
  • We had a hard core trick competition in the pool. I was able to do a handstand.
  • I was in a phase called ‘I’m planning on being a photographer when I’m older’, so I took pictures of everything, from lizards to volcanoes that I may or may not have been a little bit afraid of. I didn’t understand the meaning of inactive, okay?
  • Toby Maguire, ladies and gentlemen.
    I know you probably haven't heard
    of him, but he is famous!
  • We saw Toby Maguire in the Hawaii airport. He is famous.
Hawaii was such an amazing trip, and I love recalling all the fun memories I have of it, especially while I watch snow fall in April. I can’t wait to go back!
The pool at our hotel. I am
officially crying now.





Friday, April 5, 2013

Tropical Beverages!


  1. Ga·la·pa·gos Is·lands
    /gəˈläpəgəs/  /-ˈlap-/ 
    1. A Pacific Ocean archipelago on the equator, about 650 miles (1,045 km) west of Ecuador, to which it belongs; pop. 9,750. Noted for giant tortoises and many other endemic species, they were the site of Charles Darwin's 1835 observations, which helped him to form his theory of natural selection.

It actually has an accent over that second ‘a’ there. 
A pelican sitting atop our boat.
We called them spies, for we
were convinced that they were always
watching us...
I visited the Galápagos Islands on our trip to Peru and Ecuador in 2008. Giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, sea lions, marine iguanas, what else can you ask for? Since it is illegal for the islands to be inhabited by people (except for the main island), we stayed on a boat and traveled around the islands. Our days consisted of hikes on the islands to explore the countless species, and snorkeling in the amazingly clear waters to discover some pretty crazy marine creatures. Like fish. Fiiiiish. We also saw penguins! Let me tell you, those penguins are party animals. Mating strategies? One word: hardcore.
Oh of course, the classic marine
iguana. Don't be fooled by their
adorableness (not), they're
actually silent killers.
Do you see the look on its face?
One word: pedophile.
But this trip wasn’t a relaxing, beach vacation. We actually had a pretty packed schedule. We usually woke up at around 6 a.m., ate breakfast, got our agenda for the day, had a mini-history class about the island we would visit, or the animals we would see, and then we would anchor our little boaty-poo and take off!
Ahh, a baby sea lion. Can you spell
cute and also smells like a molding
landfill? I can.
Our boat on the ocean, taken
from an island we were on.
El blue-o-footed-o booby-o.
Muy bien-o.
I remember one day in particular. It was perfect. We woke up at 6 or so, and had a lovely breakfast (the food on the boat was actually really good). When we were all ready to go, we got off the boat and onto an island, where we hiked around and discovered that the Galápagos Islands are like an entirely different world. We were able to see what a whole habitat looked like without having the impact of humans. It was so cool. After our tour of the island, we went back to the boat to eat lunch, and then we went snorkeling. We saw trumpet fish, reef sharks, sea turtles, rays, eels, penguins, and so much more. They were all frolicking around in the water like the little marine creatures they are. After snorkeling, we returned to the boat, where we sat on the deck and enjoyed some tropical beverages. Actually, I think I had water. I just wanted to type tropical beverages.
How precious.
Overall, it was just a really fun trip. All the wildlife we saw blew me out of the water (literally though, some of those fish we saw were actually kind of sketchy, and I actually removed myself from the water due to scaredy-Kristen syndrome. Tragic, I know). I am so fortunate to be able to have experienced a place with such amazing diversity and beautiful landscapes! I can't wait to visit the Galápagos Islands again. I just have to watch out for those spies-uhh pelicans.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

An Armless Potato

Boise, Idaho, ladies and gentlemen.
Photo cred: blackcanyonwebdesign.com
I spent last weekend in Boise, Idaho. Let me just tell you, Idaho is such a party. Before I tell you what a riot that place is, I should probably let you know why I was there. We went to Idaho for a soccer tournament, called the Idaho Rush Exchange. I play on a competitive soccer club called Black Diamond Soccer Club, or BDSC. It was our second tournament of the year, but it was my first tournament, since I skipped the Vegas tournament for Mexico! Boise was, well...not as warm as Mexico. In other words, it was freezing. We played two of our games in about 20 degree weather, and the other one in a balmy 40 degrees! Pull out them bikinis, right?! It is pretty much like Northern Utah, minus the snow and happiness. Just kidding. Maybe.
Despite the cold, it was pretty fun. We tied all of our games, but two of the teams we played were ODP, which is like the best in their state. Considering if is one of the first times we have played outside in a while, we did pretty well! Plus it was fun. You know, good old team bonding. We had some pretty crazy times up there in Idaho. We got there Friday evening, and left Sunday afternoon. We played three games, two on Saturday and one on Sunday. I was sore. I was really sore. I was so sore. My groin hurt, my knees hurt, my arms hurt. My arms! Soccer doesn’t even use arms! You could be an armless potato and still play the game! Hey, Idaho is the home of potatoes! Isn't that fun! No. Why were my arms sore? Ugh. 
Anyway, Boise was super fun, it prepared us for the season, and it got me out of Biology and French. Oui Oui! I love to get out and play soccer in different places, or just play soccer in general. I can't wait for the season and upcoming tournaments! :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Magicalness

No words.
Every once in a while a person will have a magical day. My greatest have been all over the place, one in Peru, one in France, a couple in old Park City. Some are magicaler than others, yeah I know that’s not a word but I just made it one. Isn’t that cool? Yes. Well, today focuses on one particularly magical day, Christmas Day. Now this wasn’t a Christmas treeing-present opening-church going-turkey eating Christmas day. No, no. This magical day was a wake up at 5 am-ride a bus-be amazed-eat a sandwich-get a necklace-see some bugs kind of Christmas day. Have you had one of those days? Of course not. This is a once in a lifetime day. Be amazed. That actually wasn’t just one event, it was like a song that was repeated from hmm, around 5 am til 10 pm, and let me tell you, it was a goooooood song, not good like Katy Perry, I mean like it was actually good.
VIP performance I missed.
Grr...
LLAMA.
Okay, now the moment you’ve been waiting for. Hopefully. I spent this day at...(mental drumroll) Machu Picchu! Machu Picchu is in Peru. It is an ancient city built by the Incas in about A.D 1450, and it is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. As you may know, in 2008-2009 my family and I went to Peru. We woke up at, yes, five in the morning and took a bus from the small town we were staying in, named Aguas Calientes (Hot Waters. I actually don’t know why it was called that, because the hotel we stayed at didn’t really have that amenity :/ Yeah, I don’t think I showered too much while there. But hey, yolo!) Anyway, the train we took to get to the town kind of broke down, but it was okay because there was a really cool performance by some native dancers. Oh, wait, I wouldn’t know, ‘cause I was asleep! Ha! ‘Cool VIP Peruvian dance performance’ or ‘catnap on train seat/window sill’? Catnap of course! I’m actually being sarcastic, I really wish I had seen it. Thanks, Mom and Dad. Anyway, we stayed a night in Aguas Calientes and then took a bus to Machu Picchu, which is when the magicalness began.

Like I say, heaven times 10.
These are my friends,  Lob and Bob.
I actually named them that.
Once we got to Machu Picchu, we got a guide and off we went. I really don’t know what to say about it besides AMAZING. Well really, words can’t do justice to the beauty of the ruins. We arrived early so we could see the beautiful sunrise over the site. There was a really light rain, and it made a cool mist over the ruins. You know what, just imagine Heaven, then amplify that greatness 10 times. That’s what Machu Picchu was like. My mom said it was the best day of her life. Maybe it was the best day of mine, too. I guess I’ll have to wait until I have become more experienced in the subject of magical days. And trust me, if things work out how I plan, I will be really experienced in that topic. :)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Eremikophobia

Once upon a time a little girl named me went to St. John. Now, I am aware that I have written about St. John before, but I figured that, hey, it was so exciting, how can I not write about it more than once? So there, I will. My previous post written about St. John was focused on my little bed-jumping incident. That post was my biggest mistake ever. Because of those pictures, I have become the laughing stock of Pinterest.

Sorry, I was just trying to recall why again I did that. Anyway, when we went to St. John, I was pretty young. I didn’t really understand the true joy in going on a vacation. My childhood routine consisted of waking up at approximately 5 o’clock am (why, Kristen, why?!), waiting for my loving father to pour me a cup of honey nut cheerios (it’s a difficult job), and then advancing up the stairs to sit down and watch some enlightening shows such as Whinnie the Pooh, Arthur, Magic Schoolbus or Caillou. I had life pretty good. So yes, going to the beach was fun, but was it “I actually don’t have to wake up and put pants on before 7 and then force myself to learn something about the irregular conditional Spanish verb tense” fun? I didn’t seem to think so then. Don’t get me wrong, we had a blast in St. John. It’s just that I didn’t really realize that this wasn’t going to happen too often in the future, so I might have complained a little here and there. What can one possibly have to complain about on a beautiful, white sanded, 85 degree beach?, you may ask. Oh, I know! The sand! What else? Yes, once we stepped on the beach, I cried “I told you there was too much sand on this beach!” Oh, yes. The classic overabundance of sand. Maybe I had a phobia of sand. That’s a real thing, you know. It’s called Eremikophobia. Oh, those poor sand-fearers. Ha. Though I didn’t find this too funny when I was crying about my sand castle sinking into all that sand, it’s pretty funny now, and my parents use it as a frequent comeback whenever they can. Oh, good times.
Look at all that SAND
It's a hard life, I know.





Thursday, March 7, 2013

That Escalated Quickly

Like I said, 52 countries. Can you
say PARTY? I can't.
Image Credit: iliketolearn
So I recently finished studying for an Africa map test. It was so exciting. Only 52 countries. Yay. As you can tell, I am really enthusiastic about map tests. Who doesn’t want to know what the capital of Gabon is? Seriously, I’ve never even heard about half of these countries. But hey, if I ever want to travel to Sierra Leone, I’ll know just where it’s at!
I am also currently reading a book, called “The Poisonwood Bible”, it’s about four sisters who are forced to accompany their hardcore Baptist father on a mission to the Congo in the 1950s, during the Congo’s fight for independence from Belgium. One thing about this novel that really made me think was the way the girls handle all the different hardships they encounter in the years they spend away from home. They’re all so open to challenges, and even when things get rough, they’re able to take it as a normal event in the life of a young girl.
So, as with many of my posts, you’re probably wondering What does this have to do with her travel blog? Well all this stuff about Africa just got me thinking. I’m pretty fortunate to live where I do, and if you live near me then you know that we aren’t too exposed to all the things that happen in third world countries, or even in inner cities. I will admit that I think I am pretty well traveled, considering my age. I’ve been to some of those third world countries that you hear in the news, and see in the books. I used to think that those places were a world away.
Anyway, I just wonder sometimes, if we weren’t so sheltered, would that change the way I traveled? Would I take more risks and be more comfortable in different places and different situations? In “The Poisonwood Bible”, one of the older girls, about fifteen, responds to the fact that they are living almost exclusively off bananas and eggs with a shrug of the shoulders and a mental joke. When one of the character gets malaria, it’s ‘Yeah, she should’ve taken her pills instead of sticking them on the wall in secret. Mom’s mad at her now.’ If this had happened to me, I would’ve been more like ‘She has malaria?! We’re all going to die!’ It escalated quickly, I know, and that’s what I feel like when I travel sometimes. I take one little thing that I’m not used to and it’s BAM. We won’t make it home alive. Well, you know, it’s not that irrational, but yeah okay you get the point. Just something to think about, you know, get the chains moving or whatever it is they say.

Friday, March 1, 2013

"We Want to Buy Your Food"

Hola! Como estás? Me fui a Mexico durante de la semana pasada. Si tú quieres ir nadar en aqua bonito, comer comida deliciosa, y sentarte en una playa bonita, entonces tú neccessitas ir a Tulum!
View from the hammock. Working?
I think yes.
So, hiya! This post is going to be in all Spanish, so if you don’t understand the language, then you should probably just stop reading. Wait no. Just kidding. I actually want to attract a following, and in order to do that, I have to write in a language that my readers understand. You probably don’t understand me even when I write in English, but I think it’s getting better, so hang tight.
Anyway, I was in Mexico last week! Yep, despite my packing disaster, I was actually able to get onto the plane (by waking up at 4:30 (!) might I add). We arrived in 80 degree weather, went through customs and all that jazzy stuff, and then we picked up our rental car, that darn thing, honked every time we unlocked it, people looked at us like we were crazy, but that’s another story. From the airport, we drove about an hour and a half south of Cancun. When we arrived at the house, I couldn’t breathe for a second. It was literally like heaven on earth, and the thought that I got to bask in its wonderfulness for an entire week made me do some things that I probably wouldn’t do under normal circumstances. I was excited, okay? Just don’t ask.
So once we arrived and settled in, the caretaker of the house came and visited us. Her name was Flor, and she and her husband, Obdulio, live in a small shack near our house. It was smaller than my parent’s master bathroom. It made me kind of sad, thinking about how they were pretty much our servants, but they seemed so happy that it made me happy. Deep, right?
We spelled Mosher (my last name)
in the sand. How cute. :)
The schedule of most of our days spent there was pretty much get up whenever you want, put on your bikini (no, not my dad, he doesn’t have a bikini. Sorry about that...) after breakfast the world was my oyster. I kayaked, and yes, they were just as amazing as I was expecting them to be. We also snorkeled, swam, read, slept, and tanned. I tried to do that tanning thing on Pinterest when you put a silly band on you and lay there while you tan, this experiment just confirmed my suspicions that Pinterest is a dream crushing villain. In case you couldn’t tell, this means that the silly band thing doesn’t work. Also, I don’t tan, I burn. #FirstWorldProblems.
Besides the beach, we also visited Tulum, some Mayan ruins, and a cenote, which is a freshwater lake underground. I opted out of the cenote. Let me just tell you: BIGGEST MISTAKE OF MY LIFE. It keeps me up at night. The cenote we went to was like a huge, huge pool about 100 feet underground, except it was like 20 times cooler than a pool. I really do wish I swam in it.
This is a fresh water canal
hand-dug by the Mayans that
we swam in. It was sooo nice.
The Hispanic people are absolutely amazing. They are so sweet, and really patient with me when I said things like “We want to buy you” instead of “We want to buy your food”.  That got me some looks. Oh, there was this one guy though, Brian, who scammed us into buying something that we could’ve gotten for half price right next door. Jerk.
The food was life changing. There is nothing more to say. I am a different person after eating a true chile relleno.
So this post has been kind of long, and yet I still didn’t write about half the things that we did in Mexico. To sum it all up, Mexico is another amazing place, and I was so happy to be able to experience all the beautiful treasures it has to offer.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Keep Calm

My motto for this post is officially: Keep Calm and....GET READY TO GO TO MEXICO!!! Heck yes. In approximately eight hours I will be leaving to go to Caribbean Sea, which is about an hour away from Cancun. I have yet to finish packing, because I hate packing. I’m so indecisive that I essentially pack every garment in my closet, which makes me really frustrated, and sometimes I have tantrums when we’re at the airport ‘cause I get so tired of carrying all my clothes around in those ridiculously small suitcases and then my mom gets mad at me because she told me not to pack everything because she knew I would get tired of carrying it and then a lot of times I cry and people look at me like I am a three year old child and it’s really embarrassing because I’m not three years old. Phew. Wow.

Our gorgeous beach house, right on the beach. KAYAKS.
Anyway, I am a little stressed about finishing packing, if you couldn’t tell. But, I’m so excited! We are staying in a beach house right on the ocean. The house is adorable, and it includes kayaks! KAYAKS. Whoo. I have to admit that I don’t really like to swim in the ocean. I’m more of a freshwater fish. Ha. See what I did there? Yeah, that movie Soul Surfer kind of freaked me out, and now I’m truly afraid of sharks. But, I think I will try snorkeling and see how it goes. I’ve been snorkeling before, the Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, so I think it will be fine. Okay. So my new official motto for this post is: Try to Bore the Audience as Much as Possible. I’m bored and I’m the one writing it! Okay, so I’m going to stop now, I have to go pack. I think. Next post will be all about Mexico! I’m gonna have a great time! Okay, so uh bye. Sorry about that incredibly painful piece of writing I just threw together. To end on a happy note: I’m going to Mexico tomorrow!! :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

It's A Jungle Out There

Ever been in the Amazon Jungle? Well, if you plan to go, then you should really consider these few tips.
This is one of the locals we met,
he is cutting a coconut for
our group to taste. 
  1. If you get really cold walking outside in the pouring rain, don't plan on warming up by taking a nice warm shower back at your eco-lodge. Why? Oh, you’ll find out if you go. Just a hint: they don’t have warm water in the eco-lodge.
  2. If you take your sweet time getting ready for bed, DON’T. Before you are able to find the toothpaste, your kind hosts will turn the gas lamps off and you won’t be able to see your finger moving an inch in front of your face.
  3. If you meet up with some Amazon locals, be cool. You will LOVE them. One girl who went there says they’re just about the sweetest people you will ever meet. They’re even cooler if they show you some of the local fruits (with samples!!). I’ve heard that lychee is probably the greatest food since sliced bread.
  4. If you’re in the shower (which, you won’t want to be) and you feel something tickle your leg, just know, it could either be one of those giant bugs that they have in the Amazon, or it could just be the shower curtain. If it is the latter, don’t scream your head off, unless you want to be the conversation at dinner. If it is, of course, a flesh eating monster in the form of an insect, you probably want to get out of the shower. Fast. Just a heads up, you will be the dinner topic either way.
  5. If you do find yourself climbing an 100 foot tall Brazil Nut Tree, it is probably a good idea not to look down. Motivate yourself by picturing your friend’s reactions when they hear you made it all the way to the top of the tree and were able to see the entire jungle. (Also, my guess is that this view is one of the most amazing you will ever see. At sunset? Life changing. Just a guess.)
  6. If you’re offered a smoothie, or any other kind of food or drink, take it. It’s delicious.
  7. Let’s touch on the Brazil Nut Tree one more time. When you’re down on the ground waiting to climb, make sure you wear a helmet. Brazil Nuts are huge.
  8. If your tour guide offers you Wellington rain boots for your walk in the rain forest, take them. It doesn’t even matter how well they fit you, you’re going to want them. Maybe even ask if they have some of those waist-high ones. Yeah, rain equals mud. Lots of mud.
    Our boots after a walk in the mud.
    See what I mean?
    Don't pass up the boots.
  9. What I’m really trying to say is that, if you go to the rain forest, don’t be afraid to take chances. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Whether you go parrot-viewing in the pouring rain, tower climbing at a beautiful sunset, or just a boat riding in the never-ending Amazon river, you will not regret it. The Amazon Jungle is an entirely different world than the one most of us are used to, and it would be a privilege for anyone to be able to see, no matter what the circumstances.
The tower we climbed up
so we could see...
This. Worth it?
I think yes.



Friday, February 1, 2013

GINGERS

What country have I decided to focus on this week? Take a guess, Spain? Sweden? Slovakia? No, it is, wait for it...Australia! (Don’t ask me why I got you going on the ‘S’ countries, because I really don’t know.) So, I haven't actually been to Australia, but we have family that lives in Melbourne, and I thought it might be fun to share this with you. My aunt, or my dad’s sister, moved to Australia when she found the love of her life, my uncle. They got married and had two boys, Michael (20) and Julian (18). Let me stop you right here. Michael and Julian are hardcore Australians. I mean, gingers (no, not gingers, but gingers.) Yes. Their accents are amazing. Not garlic, gollic. Not girls, but gulls. See what I mean? It’s fantastic. Anyway, I should probably get to the point of this post, which, now that I’m thinking about it, is really nonexistent. I just wanted to tell you about how amazing my family is. 

The Crisi’s visit the United States every once in a while, and we try to see them as much as possible when they’re here. Family reunion in Vegas, Thanksgiving in Santa Fe, another family reunion (in Denver this time), a wedding or two. Considering they live on the other side of the world, they travel here a lot. They actually kind of nag us to visit them, which I guess they are entitled to do, if I think about the amount of times they have been here. I’m not opposed to visiting Australia, but I can’t deny that it is one of the many, many places on my list. (Behind Kenya, France, or Spain, perhaps?:) 

To wrap this up, I just think it is super cool that I have family from the other side of the world, it kind of boosts my idea of being a world traveler. With them I know that if I am ever in Australia (which, I will be at some point), I will always have family to help me on my journey.

P.S: In case you live under a rock and don't know what a ginger is...
Hardcore gingers, right?!?
          ginger |ˈjinjər|
          noun: (of a person or animal) having ginger hair or fur.

P.P.S: Just to clarify, my cousins fall under the 'person' category, and they have hair, not fur.

Friday, January 25, 2013

A New Dishwasher?

Today I came home from school and my dishwasher was in the middle of our living room floor. I was confused. Then I remembered that we were getting our kitchen remodeled, so I disregarded the lack of countertop, sink, and the construction man drilling a hole in our island, and headed upstairs to finish my homework.

Right now you may be thinking, uh, how does this relate to her travel blog? Well, getting a new kitchen got me thinking about something. See, when I thought about the idea of a new kitchen, I was excited! I mean, a new room to enjoy everyday, something that I can always see. Yes, I have always been a person who would prefer to have something last than to just enjoy it temporarily. Would I rather buy a candy bar, or a shirt? I would go with a shirt, every single time. A new kitchen, or a private chef to follow me around for a day? The kitchen would be my definite choice. 

My old dishwasher. Sitting right in
the middle of the porch.
But, once I pondered on this idea more and more, I realized that I really do not feel the same way about traveling. If someone were to ask me if I would rather have a new car, or a trip around the world, I would choose a trip around the world. Whether that’s just me or not doesn’t matter, what matters is that no, travel isn’t forever. Maybe I am only gone for a week or two. Maybe the sights that I see, or the food that I eat is temporary. But what does last forever, and what makes traveling so valuable to me, is the countless experiences and memories and cultures that I pick up on the way. Those memories? Those will stick with me forever, longer than any material possession I will ever own. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Best Souvenir Ever

The other day in my French class we had an assignment to list as many monuments as we could that are in Paris. Me being a Paris fanatic, went crazy. I listed like 50 monuments; my French teacher likes me a little more now. :) Anyway, this assignment started a conversation on French culture. I had such a strong urge to buy a one-way plane ticket to Paris during that class, I mean you wouldn’t even believe it. Thinking about going to Paris again and then realizing that it isn’t going to happen (not yet, anyway) made me depressed, so I decided to shift my focus to my first trip. I remembered an event that I had forgotten about. So, this post is on one thing, and one thing only. My trip to Abercrombie and Fitch: Paris style. Oh yes. So, here we were, strolling down the Champs Elysées, when I noticed a huge line coming from a big gate. When I got closer, I realized that this was not your ordinary Gucci, or Louis Vuitton. No, this was Abercrombie and Fitch, my favorite store in the entire world, the only store that sells jeans that actually fit me, the store that fills my closet and makes me broke. I needed to go in that store. I begged my mom, and she obliged, but suggested that we come back the next morning, when the line wasn’t so long. I agreed.

When we arrived the next morning, the line was minimal. I was able to walk right into the store, but this was no normal sidewalk. The path up to the store looked like it belonged to Versailles (a famous French castle). I could say the same about the actual building. Four stories (!), and covered with murals. I’m getting ahead of myself, though. Once we walked into the store, we were immediately greeted by two employees: one young woman, and one very attractive, shirtless guy. The girl said something in French to my mom, and she responded with a confused look. The employee understood, so she again asked the same thing in English. “Would you like a picture with the model?” My mom was so surprised and said no right away, but I quickly replaced her, you know, so she wasn’t embarrassed (I’m nice like that). So then I was forced to take a picture with a very, very, very good looking, shirtless model. I have a hard life, I know. They printed off the picture right then for me, and I became a very happy camper.

After that, we were free to roam around the store. Much to my disappointment, the clothes were not cheap. I later learned that the store had just opened a couple of months ago, which explains the long lines and high prices, oh, and the free model pics. So, I didn’t get any souvenirs from my Abercrombie and Fitch trip, oh, except for one, which I love more than any amount of clothing...

The best souvenir I have ever gotten...

Friday, January 4, 2013

Paradise Island

My family owns an island in Georgian Bay, which is in Canada. On it is a big cabin. Maybe the picture that just popped into your head is that this cabin is nice and new and clean. It is not. Although the island is beautiful, the cabin has been in the family for generations, so it is old, dysfunctional, and infested with roaches. Ew. That’s what I used to think. But when I was in sixth grade, my family and I took a trip there. It was a big occasion, I mean, it’s expensive to go there, and far away from Utah, plus I had only been there once before. Knowing this, we don’t get to go very often. Let me tell you, the journey is long. It is even longer when you pack everything under the sun because you are a indecisive eleven year old. The one thing I did forget? A hammer to smash the roaches. Seriously, next time I go, this will be included in my suitcase.

Swimming at sunset. 
I know what you might be thinking. Why would anybody want to travel there? I understand why you think that, but the island is a lot more magical than as I just described it. It is actually big, green, and absolutely beautiful! We often make cobblers made from fresh berries that we pick right on the island. The water is clear and not too cold, and there is a big rock that we always swim to. We sleep out on the porch. It is really fun to waterski and tube off the back of the boat. So, yeah, I guess all the fun things to do there outweigh the roaches and other questionable aspects. Anyway, once we got there, I realized that this trip was going to be a party. Swimming, eating (check the sink for roaches), sleeping, tubing (check the tube for roaches), waterskiing. You name it, this cabin has it.

Canadian goose!
I remember one day I was walking from the dock to the cabin, all by myself. I had almost reached the porch when I looked to my right and sitting there were two huge Canadian Geese. Two feet away! Surprisingly, they didn’t get scared and flap away. They looked at me liked they owned the place, which, I guess they did. I don’t think I realized that they could have hurt me, so naturally I took my camera out and started snapping some pics. After about ten minutes of watching each other, we both got bored and left, but I will never forget that amazing experience.

Georgian Bay is so fun, and knowing that it has been in the family for so long makes it even more special. I am hoping to go there again soon, and if I do, I will share my experiences with you. Oh, and if I don’t come back, come and try to save me, but don’t forget a hammer. :)

Note: after writing this, I realized that I made the cabin sound really unsanitary. I kind of exaggerated the number of roaches that are really there. I promise, there really aren’t that many, but I did find a couple out and about.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Languages. Like, seriously?

Did I mention that I love languages? Well, if you didn’t already know that, then now you do. I really like the idea of being able to speak a language other than the one I am fluent in already, plus there are endless benefits to knowing more than one language. Also, my plan for life is to move to Europe and become a linguist. At my school, I am currently taking two languages: Spanish and French. I started with Spanish in seventh grade, when I had to pick a language to study. My family and I spoke a little bit of Spanish, we had been to South America, and I decided that it would be most useful to know Spanish. With French, the story is a little different. Remember how my last blog post was about Paris, and the amazing trip I took there? Well that is where I first realized that I love languages, and that if I love languages, and I love France, then I should take French! So here I am taking my first year of French and my third year of Spanish, and loving them both.

If you are like any of the other people I have talked to about this love of mine, then you are probably thinking to yourself ‘she likes languages, why?’ I regret to say that I don’t actually know why I love them, I just do. What bothers me is that whenever I tell people that I am taking two languages, they look at me like I don’t have a head. Their expression says ‘why?’ And although I love them to death, I have two friends who gave me the hardest time about choosing to take French. We were in the car one day during the summer discussing our schedules for the new year. Our conversation went somewhat like this:

“Wait, you’re taking French?” friend one asked.

“Yes,” I responded.

“Why? Like, French is like, the most pointless language to learn, like ever, I mean, like seriously? There’s like, one country that speaks French, in like, the whole world!” friend two said.

Let me stop you here. Do you hear the way she is speaking? LIKE, I mean LIKE really, LIKE. Okay so maybe that was a bit of an exaggeration, but it made me even more angry that I already was. She was talking to me about how ‘stupid’ learning French was, yet she was talking like a fourteen year old valley girl. Sorry, moving on.

“Yeah, I mean if you wanted to take another language, you should’ve taken Chinese.” friend one stated.

A map of the number of French speaking countries!
There's a lot, right?!
Image credit: www.ielanguages.com
“Yeah! Like once, I was like talking to my dad and he was like, ‘Never take French, like it is like a dying language and it will be like a like, waste of time to learn.” friend two added.

This put me over the top. Why learn French? First of all, why do they care what I do? Second, no language is a waste of time to learn. And third, shut up! I was so mad I had to take deep breaths to make sure I didn’t punch both of them in the throat.

Anyway, now that you know how I feel about languages, I should probably wrap this up. Just remember, never talk to me about how stupid languages are, unless you want to be jabbed in your windpipe.

P.S: I feel like I should end on a lighter and less threatening note, so I just want to say that I have never actually punched anybody in the throat. :)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Perfect Paris

Paris. Paris, Paris, Paris. I will always love the sound of that word. It is the sound of clicking. Click, click, walking on the Paris streets. It is the sound of cooking, cooking a remarkable meal in the kitchen of a pure, Parisian café. But, most of all, it is the sound of a place that is so elegant and sophisticated that I cannot go a day without remembering the amazing times I had there. Paris, France, the place that made me start thinking about living abroad and a career in linguistics. But, I'll talk about that in another post.

The Eiffel Tower in the rain
In February, 2012, my family travelled to, you guessed it, Paris. My first trip to Europe! I was a little nervous, I’ll admit. But that didn’t stop my excitement from showing through. We were in Paris for six days, and those days were packed full with sightseeing, eating, and more eating. We stayed in a fantastic apartment, it was on the corner of about five streets, a block away from the Eiffel Tower, and just popping with life. Now don’t go thinking that my family always stays in five star accommodations. The reason we stayed where we did is because nobody actually wants to go to Paris in February, when it can be cold and rainy. We got a fantastic deal for our airfare, too. So off we went on the fourteen hour flight to Charles De Gaulle airport. We rented an apartment through a company called Paris Perfect. It was the genuine picture of Paris, and it couldn’t have been more perfect!

We did all the need-to-see things in Paris; the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre. What else? They were all so elegant and had such fascinating history, though I thought the Eiffel Tower was the most magical structure I had ever seen, and it was probably my favorite. I know that's what everyone says, but it's true. We had to make a reservation to go, and even a week in advance, the choices were limited. We got stuck with ten o’clock at night. Of course, that was the only time out of the entire trip that it rained. The very top of the tower was closed because it was pouring, but that didn’t make my experience any less memorable. The lights were bright and the rain made them twinkle more. 

Well, more to come about my experiences in the ‘City of Light’, but for this post I thought an overview of the trip would be perfect.