Wednesday, April 30, 2008

safe in Greece, finally!!

Well, after two very crazy days, Torrie and I are in our hotel room in Athens, Greece. When we got to LAX, we were told that our bags could only be checked through to London, because our connecting flight to Athens was an "illegal connection." When American made our travel arrangements, they only left 1 hours 35 minutes between landing in London and taking off. Becuase they couldn't put our bags through, this meant that we had to land, go through customs, get our bags, travel out to the new terminal on the underground (several minutes away) and check into our flight. When we asked one of the airport workers the best way to do this, his eyes got big and in his think British accent he simply replied "aw, shit!" (sorry about the language...) Basically that's what Torrie and I were thinking as well. We did our best to hurry along and made it to the baggage claim. We got Torrie's bag, but mine never came off. Of course every minute we sat waiting for the bag was a minute we didnt have to wait. We had to go report it to American so they could find it and hopefully send it on to Athens before I leave for Rome. This is where the tears began. (I couldn't help it...hardly any sleep, little food, and stressing like crazy) We hurried to catch the underground train but missed it and had to wait 12 minutes for the next one to arrive.
By the time we got to the British Airways terminal, it wass 11:30. Our flight was at 11:45. We went to the help desk and explained our situation. The lady gave us the two options. Take a risk and wait stand by on the British Airways 8:55 flight, or purchase a ticket on the 4:3o Olymic flight. We were put on stand by and went to a payphone to call Dad. (Often I wonder what I would do without Dad...he is constantly saving me.) The first call went through, but there was such a loud ringing noise that I couldn't hear him on the other end. I switched phones and called and explained our situation...missed flight, no bag. He wasn't very happy with American Airlines. He got the payphone number and said he would call back within 5 minutes, ater getting American on the line. 15 minutes passed and we didn;t hear back, so we called him. He couldn't get through to us. He asked us to get a number at the British Airways desk so he could reach us, but Torrie was in the bathroom so I couldn't have her do it. An employee was passing by, so I asked her. Of course my face was tear stained, so she stuck around to help me out. We walked over to the help desk again and an american lady was working. She was our angel. She said we were her "fellow yanks" and "two ladies in distress" so she would figure things out for us. When she told us their wasn't a airline phone Dad could call, she handed us her cell phone and told us to use it for what we needed. I called Dad and with this lady's help, we booked two flights on the Olympic 4:30 flight. Of course when we went to check in there, the man non chalantly told us it was delayed 2 hours. Great. I guess we should have expected that. We hung around the airport for several hours, sleeping on our backpacks so they wouldn't be taken. We finally boarded at 6:00, but didn't take off til 7:30. We sat on the runways waiting for a strom to pass. The guy next to us turned and said " we must all be unlucky." If only he knew...
We arrived in Athens at 1:00 AM greek time and met Mark Johnson, the director. All the trains had stopped for the evening, so we made it to the hotel by Bus and taxi. I don't think I have eer been so grateful to make it to a hotel!! Torrie let me use her shower stuff and gave me a set of pajamas, becuase I still don't have my suitcase. I just got an email from Dad saying that AMerican located my bag and will send it here on the next flight to Athens. Hopefully it will be here in the morning. All in all it has been 2 crazy days. I am glad to be safe and SO glad that Torrie was with me.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Au Revoir (In a week)

So, I started blogging again, then slacked again. typical. Oops. I think I will blame this one on the semester coming to an end, which I am ecstatic about. Don't get me has been a grand semester, I am just ready for a break, and my trip to EUROPE! I am leaving a week from tomorrow from LAX to Athens, Greece. I am going on a study abroad with BYU art history. I know, I am a business major...yada yada yada. But, I love traveling and I love art history. (sidenote: I actually just finished a huge final project for my sales management class and my "creative business final" tied my class learnings in with art history. love it!) I get to travel all over Europe with my director and 24 BYU girls. Since taking AP art history in high school from R. Herold I have LOVED it! Also, I went to Northern Italy early in high school and saw a lot of art, but because I hadn't taken art history, I knew nothing about it so basically couldn't have cared less about the amazing works of botticelli, michaelangelo, and da Vincis that I saw. Well, I remember enough to know that I need to go back so I can appreciate what I missed out on. Like I said, we start out in Athens, then go to Italy (Rome, Sorrento, Capri, Pompeii, Florence, Venice, and Milan), Spain (Barcelona, Madrid), France (Paris) and England (London). We will be with the group from the morning til 2 ish, then we are set free to explore! I would love any suggestions of things to do from any of you who have been to these places.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Star Valley, Wyoming

For a few months Colby and I have been planning on going to Wyoming for his Grandpa's 90th birthday celebration. Lucky for me, his Grandpa lives just down the street from Colby's home, so I got to take a weekend trip to Colby's house. We had so much fun. I hated when it came to an end. I feel like I was able to learn so much more about Colby by being with him at his home with his family. I must admit, being on a dairy farm in Star Valley Wyoming was a little different than what I am used to, but I quickly learned to love it. Colby took me snowmobiling one morning which was so much fun. We went back in the mountains and the scenery was absolutely exhilarating. Of course the snowmobiling was fun too!

One of the favorite parts of the weekend was when Colby took me out to show me the farm. First I saw the cows being milked...much different than what I had expected. We then went out and saw all of the newborn cows that were in individual stalls. At the end of the stalls was an open area where a 2 day old baby cow was. I got to feed it fresh milk out of a bottle. It was so adorable. After the milk was gone, the calf still wanted more. She followed me around for a few minutes head butting me, trying to get more milk. I had to laugh. I really didn't know what to do, and of course Colby had snuck away so he could see what I would do about this. I looked up to see Colby and his dad outside the gate just smiling and laughing at me trying to run away from a 2 day old cow. goodness. We then went on to see more cows, then Colby showed me the tractor. I couldn't help but think of being at the farm in Idaho and seeing how excited my Dad got with all this kinda of stuff. Colby was just like it. I still think it is funny that I had known Colby for several months before I even knew he grew up on a dairy farm; he just doesn't come across as the typical "dairy farmer" kind of guy. (this was before we started dating, before we actually really got to know each other...). After the tour we headed in and just relaxed for the evening. We were both so exhausted. I never would have thought snowmobiling would wear someone out so much!

Sunday we got up and went to church. His two brothers and sister-in-laws had to head home early, so it was just Colby, his parents and me. It was fun to be with just them and of course I learned so much more about Colby. Somehow I ended up having about an hour long conversation with just his parents while Colby fell asleep on the couch in the other room. I was able to learn things about Colby that he never would have come out and said on his own. I have found that I really am dating an amazing guy. Thanks Colby for everything!

Here are some pictures from the weekend. Of course I have tons more (because I am obsessed with documenting EVERYTHING with my camera) but I will spare you. :)

Dont' worry...we wore helmets :)

This is one of the hill climbs Colby took me on. This picture doesn't really give it justice. I thought I was going to fly over the handle bars because the mountain was so steep. It reminded me of being at the top of the really steep slides at a water park. I think Colby enjoyed the steepness much more than I did.

Here we are in the milking room. They have quite a production going there. PS check out the amazing suit I am wearing. Brittany, Colby's sister-in-law was given this suit by a friend when she married into the family. She told me it was probably her favorite wedding gift. She is pregnant, so I got to wear it to protect my clothes from the wonders of a dairy farm.

This is me feeding the baby cow. So cute!

The cows

Us at the tractor

Look closely...yes, 3 feet of snow, and it had melted a lot!

The Ultimate Gift

Last weekend Colby and I went to Redbox hoping to find National Treasure 2, but it wasn't there. Nothing really jumped out at us, so we ended up getting The Ultimate Gift, a movie neither of us had heard of. We both loved it and it has turned out to be one of my new favorite movies. If you are looking for a great movie, I would highly recommend this one.

Here is the summary from "When his wealthy grandfather dies, trust fund baby Jason Stevens anticipates a big inheritance. Instead, his grandfather has devised a crash course on life with twelve tasks – or “gifts” – designed to challenge Jason in improbable ways, sending him on a journey of self-discovery and forcing him to determine what is most important in life: money or happiness."