Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Planes, trains, and automobiles......and subways, cars, buses, shuttles, and airtrains.

So obviously I made it to my destination, and boy was it FUN. Here's the recap.
Remember how I blogged in Phoenix that there was a 4:something flight and 6:something flight, and both looked bad? As luck would have it, I got on the 6:something flight. Woo hoo! There were about a million people ahead of me in the standby line, but luckily they were all in groups of two or more, and there was only one available seat, and no one wanted to break up their posse. Fabulous.
I ended up getting into SLC around 7:30, and (shock!) my luggage was there waiting for me.
My mom picked me up and we headed over to my Uncle Mike and Aunt MaryLee's. Most of their kids were there (some with spouses and their own kids) so it was fun to see my cousins. We had delicious bbq and then Uncle Mike gave us a cool fireworks show in the street. It was a blast.

Waiting for the fireworks show.

Me and Michelle AKA Ding and Dong. Best cousins since forever.

How cute are my grandparents??

Brother and sister.

This is a picture of some of the fireworks taken by my camera utilizing the fireworks function. Ooh!

So at 9am the next morning I hopped on the shuttle up to the Rexburg. I couldn't wait! My driver was super friendly and really talkative. Normally this totally annoys me. I hate small talk all the time, I especially hate it when I'm traveling, and tired. For some reason this guy didn't bug me. He did, however, quickly remind me I was in the "Mormon Belt" with some of his comments. He asked if I was a student at BYUI. I said no but that I'd graduated a year ago. He then asked me what I was doing and how old I was. Then the next question I haven't heard since I've moved to the east coast, "'re 24 and not married?" My answer, "Nope, not married." And then my all time favorite, "Why aren't you married?" I mean, seriously people, what do I answer to this? I just gave my usual, "Haven't found the right one yet," and the conversation moved on (of course after he told me all about his single nephew.)

We finally made it to Rexburg and Aimee was there waiting to pick me up. It was so fun to see her. We were like two long lost lovers, running toward each other and then then hugging forever and then just cracking up at ourselves, haha, it was great.

Aimee and I went back to her place and hung out for a bit, but then she had class.

One of the best parts of the weekend was` Shantay and her boyfriend Sam were in town as well!! How lucky am I?? They picked me up and we headed to our favorite place, Gringo's. :)

Reliving one of our favorite past times, lunch and gossip at Gringo's.

The pre-meal.

The meal.

Then we went by our old stomping grounds. It was so strange to see it.!!!

After lunch I went back to Aimee's and we headed up to Idaho Falls. Here's a picture during the scenic drive. Looks very different from NYC!

Rae Hoe + Aim Brow = True <3> I was so excited to see Chelse! She just got back to Idaho after being in Hawaii for the summer. I look albino next to her.

Love love love these girls! Our old Bishop and his wife were so sweet to have us over for a bbq.

Sister and Brother Longhurst. I absolutely adore them. Sister Longhurst was my advisor while I was Relief Society President. I loved serving with her.

Bishop and Sister Scrogham. Some of the best people I know.

This was my favorite night. We were all at their house from 7-11pm and we just talked and talked away. They are the kind of people who always make you feel so welcome, and are always so happy to see you, and make you feel like you want to be a better person, and uplifted when you leave.

When I left last year the outside of the temple wasn't finished yet so it was so fun to be able to see it. It is so gorgeous and can be seen from so far at night.

After dinner we went over and hung out with John Ivers and Tyler Muir at their place for a bit and then decided we should go night swimming at Rigby Lake.

On our way in Ty's hot car.

We goofed off quite a bit in the back seat.

We had a blast taking a million pictures after our "swimming experience." A first for some. ;)

We had a blast that night. It was about 3am when we headed back and then John and I hung out the rest of the night chatting and didn't even go to sleep! The next morning we got together with everyone again (minus Chelse, plus Shantay and Jon Kvarfordt) and went back to the lake.

Spilling the juice. One of our favorite things to do.

One of my all time favorite pics of us together.

Rae + Tay

BFF, Wifeys, and Twinners

(Both born on 6.4.83 in case you were wondering, yeah, we're pretty much soul mates.)

Love Jon Kvarfordt. He's a doll. You know Oprah's decorator friend Nate? Jon is SERIOUSLY the straight version of him. Seriously. (Except he didn't really think that was a compliment.)

After the lake I went home to shower and then off to Sage Day Spa (one of my favorite places ever) and got a massage and facial (my first ever!) They were AMAZING, to say the least.

After the massage I went back to Aimee's for a bit and then Jarom picked me up and we went to dinner. (He's hands down, my favorite; the most humble, genuine guy I met in my BYUI career. LOVE Jare.)

After dinner with Jarom he and I went back to Aimee's and chilled there for a bit. Jarom left after a while and Aimee and I went to Walmart to search for a fan. She's living in Brookside and there's no ac, and it was ridiculously hot. There were no fans in Walmart, boo. We made a few other stops, including going to Jordan and Ryan Ghoulson's place. It's so strange to see them married. They seem like a couple of little kids, but perfectly happy.

Then Chelse came over to Aimee's and we hung out for a bit, and then I headed back to Chelse's mom's place in Idaho Falls to sleep there.

Then next day (Sat) I took Chelse to work at Johnny Carino's. She's a doll and a half and let me borrow her car (good ol Clyde!) and I headed back to Rexburg. I got ready for the day and met up with Shantay for lunch, just the two of us this time. We ate at, where else? Gringo's. MMM. After lunch Chelse had finished her lunch shift at work so I headed back to Idaho Falls to hang out with her. We chatted for a bit and went to the mall, and then I dropped her off for her dinner shift.

I then drove back to Rexburg and went to my grandparents' place and hung out there for a few hours. It was great to see them and catch up. They've been having a difficult time, as they've pretty much been living in Vegas to help out with my Aunt Leza who's been so sick with cancer, so it was a nice treat for us all to be able to just enjoy each others' company like old times. They showed me a copy of the letter President Monson had sent to my aunt. My Uncle Mike (different Uncle Mike) has a friend who know's Pres. Monson and was telling him about my Aunt Leza. He sent her the nicest letter and said her name would be added to the prayer list for the meetings with the first presidency and the quorum of the twelve. It was pretty amazing.

My grandpa is so handy and is always working on something. This is what he was doing when I got to their place.

Not the best picture, but I wanted one of the three of us.

After I left my grandparents' I went back to pick up Chels, and then we headed back to Rexburg to Aimee's place. We spent the rest of the evening sitting around having girl talk until about 2am. It was heaven. :)

Chelse left to go back to her mom's place and we said goodbye. I hate those goodbyes when you don't know when you'll see the person next, but I have to say, I've gotten pretty used to them.

The next morning I woke up feeling sick. My throat was so sore and my lymph nodes were swollen, and I had a horrible headache. I got packed, and said goodbye to Aimee. Shantay and Sam picked me up on their way out of town and dropped me off at the shuttle. Two more goodbyes.

I got down to Salt Lake and Becky picked me up. It was great to see her, she is always such a little ball of energy. She took me back to her place in Provo. She lives at King Henry and her roommates are all really cute girls. We had a really great time despite my still not feeling very well. (Hence, the nastiness in the picture below.)

The next morning we got up at 3:30am. Becky, being the wonderful person she is, drove me up to Salt Lake airport and I was there by 5am to start trying for the standby flights. The security took forever and I barely made it through by about a quarter to 6. The first flight left at 5:55am, no luck. There was a 7:30am flight, 10:30am, 1:30pm, 4:30pm, 7:35pm, and then I think one at 9:45. I did not get on any of the first five flights. Did I mention I was feeling AWFUL? It was a NIGHTMARE. I didn't even feel like blogging! I was getting really tense because I was supposed to be back at work the next day and things weren't looking good. The 7:30pm flight initially looked "great" but by the end of the day it was oversold by three, and I was number 34 on a standby list of 40. Awesome. After much stress and contemplation (is that a word?) I ended up dropping $140 on a flight to Vegas because the New York flights looked much better out of there. (From SLC I had to go to Phoenix and then to NYC.) I spoke with a very nice gate lady who assured me my luggage was already on its way to JFK like planned, and would be there when I got there, just as it was when I'd arrived in Salt Lake the week before.

So at 7:30pm I got on a Vegas flight and felt AWFUL. I'd been popping Excedrin and Airborn all day. They'd help and make me feel a lot better for 3 or 4 hours, but when they wore off my head was pounding, I could barely swallow because of soreness in my throat, my neck was really tight, and my whole body just ached. I was weak and kept getting chills and heat waves.

I got into Vegas at 7:50pm and hung out until 11:30pm when the JFK flight left. The last standby to get on was the guy right in front of me in the stand by line. Awesome. There was a midnight flight to Newark I got on, so that was good news, otherwise that was it for the day.

Shockingly I dozed off a little on the plane. That never happens to me, I'm a very high maintainence sleeper.

I got into Newark at 7:30am and took a $14 bus into the city. I hadn't eaten anything but my throat was KILLING me so I thought a smoothy would be good. Even swallowing that carefully was torture, so I only consumed about a third of it as I rode an hour on the subway to JFK to pick up my luggage. I had a nagging feeling that it wouldn't be there, and when I was walking to the luggage storage something was telling me it definitely was not there. I got there at about 11am so quite a bit of time had passed. Keep in mind I'd basically been awake since 3:30am the day before, had gotten very little sleep in Rexburg, (and only 3 1/2 hours in Provo) and felt like crap. Basically I hadn't slept, showered, or brushed my teeth or hair in about 2 days and felt absolutely disgusting and pathetic.

When I walked up to the counter and the lady asked my last name and didn't show any signs of recognition on her face I knew I was faced with more bad news. Up until this point in the couple of hours it took me to get from Jersey, to Manhattan, to Queens I kept telling myself soon it would be all over and hopefully by noon I'd be home and could shower and sleep all day. (I'd spoken with my boss the day before who understood I wouldn't be into work that day. Thank goodness for John, he's so great.)

So when the lady told me my bag wasn't there, and it'd be in Newark at 5pm that night, the tears welled up. I left, and didn't want to face the fact that this wasn't the worst of it. My keys to my apartment were in that bag. I'd checked them because I have my pepper spray on them and I can't carry that on the plane. I called the only person I know who might be home in the middle of the day, my exboyfriend Brandon (thank goodness we're on good terms.) After the third (and what would have been my final) call, he picked up. I asked if he was home and he said yes, and then, I fell apart. I finally explained my situation and asked if I could come over because I had no where to go. Of course he said of course, and then I took the hour long, 4 subway ride to his place (the A to the C to the S to the B.) When I finally got there he needed to leave to look at an apartment (he's moving in a few weeks.) I took a shower and passed out for a few hours and it was glorious. It was fun to see his doggy Zeke. I've missed that little guy, even though he sheds like nothing you've ever seen.

After Brandon came home it took him practically dropping a bomb to wake me up. It took about an hour for me to fully wake up. We ate some chinese (sushi for Brandon and Mateo, his roommate, and sweet and sour chicken for me.)

At about six we all left. They had to look at another place and I was headed back to Manhattan, to get back on a bus ($25 round trip) to go back to Newark.

I got to Newark and went to baggage claim. I was waiting in line to turn in my ticket, but when I saw my bag I didn't even bother and grabbed it and left.

I made it home at 9:30pm. Wow. Talk about a nightmare. The moral of the story is, while I am SO grateful to my wonderful friend Gabe, and SO happy I got to go to long as I can help it, I will NEVER EVER fly standby again.
To end on a happy note, here's another gorgeous picture of the Rexburg temple.


Erin said...

Wow. That was a long, long, long day. I'm sorry. Standby sucks.

Jake, Cindy & Blaine said...

yahoo for grandpa joe. so fun to see grpa/grma hope too. it was cool for jake to see picts of his friends. since you see more of them then he does. looks like you are having fun like always..making the best. miss you and love you so much!

Ang said...

You are hilarious! Wow, truly #$%@ what you went through. Thanks for the reminder NEVER to fly standby. I don't care how much money you save. Your sanity isn't worth it. Imagine doing that with a child under one year? Ya, I'm excited to fly next week.

Steve and Rebecca said...

This blog entry is longer than my whole entire blog I think!! Haha! Thanks for sharing all the pictures and info...looks like you had a blast. You are WAY skinny too!! Hey, in the future take the advise of a former flight attendant and NEVER, NEVER fly stand-by again!! Love, ya!