The Trip So Far

As some of you know, I had been toying with the idea of going to Mesa to check out the area as a possible place to live.  So I decided this would be the weekend.  I headed out Wednesday morning and stopped in St. George, Utah to visit a friend I hadn’t seen in quite a while, possibly over a year ago.  It was so fun to visit, catch up, and get re-aquainted with her three little boys.  Talk about a handful of energy!  The oldest boy (who is 5 I believe) is totally captivated by learning about the presidents of the United States and George Washington is his current hero.  He has a George Washington costume complete with a wig he kept wearing and showing off which was hilarious.  These boys are part Fijian so he also came out dressed in some Polynesian costumes and danced for me.  Best entertainment I’ve seen in a while for sure. 

We stayed up late talking, which was fun to do, but I had only gotten about 3 hours of sleep the night before and still had a long drive ahead of me for the day.  I was thinking I would leave around noon or so and arrive to Mesa sometime around 7 that night.  I was going to be staying at another friend’s house in Mesa and wanted to make sure he was home from work before I showed up.  I had only met his wife once for about 2 min. at their wedding reception a couple of years ago and I didn’t want there to be some awkward situation or something.  As it turned out I went on a date with my friend’s brother there in St. George and so I got a later start out on the road.  I’m not complaining because the date was fun and I mean, hello!, it was a date.  I believe this is my second one this month which just may have doubled the number I had in all of last year.  I know, I know, slow down Nandango it’s only January.  Pace yourself.

The drive from St. George to Mesa was awful because I was already sick of being in the car and realized I would not be getting there until late.  Which meant I had to drive a large portion of it in the dark.  The road is pretty windy and at one point there was heavy fog, which basically sucked.  Then about 20 min. from my friend’s house the exit I was supposed to take forked in two directions and I, of course, took the wrong one.  So imagine, I hardly slept in two days.  It was pitch black outside and I had never been remotely close to this town before and now I was completely lost.  And it was late at night and about an hour or two before I had discovered the friend I was staying with had to get up to go to his first job at three in the morning.  Had I known that, I would have left St. George that morning.  I was just about to call him and tell him that I would be stopping at a hotel because I was exhausted and about to break down.

And wouldn’t you know, my phone rang right at that moment and it was my best friend I was roommates with back in those Idaho college days.  Talk about a lifesaver!  She got on mapquest and guided me back to the road I needed.  Whoo hoo technology!  And double whoo hoo to friends that call just at the right moment!!

Yesterday I got up and went to a local company that does the same thing I was doing at my job in Utah.  I took a gamble they might be hiring and just so happened to run into one of the co-owners when I got off the elevator.  She was so incredibly nice and when I told her where I had been working she brought me in and gave me a little tour and an impromtu interview.  Which was above and beyond what I thought would happen since I had no prior appointment.  The downer was that they only had a night shift available and the pay is less than what I need.  But overall it was a positive experience.  The rest of the day I drove around trying to get a feel for the area.  As it so happens, the layout of the streets is very similar to where I am living in Utah so it was easy to get around.  I even managed to hook up with another friend I hadn’t seen in almost 10 years.

I eventually made it back to my friend’s house and went in to meet the wife for the first time.  She is incredible!  So toally cool and friendly.  Her sister and brother in law where there as well for dinner and they were all the same.  You know when you walk into someone’s home and it feels warm and inviting?  And you don’t want to leave because it’s a happy place with everyone joking and laughing?  That’s what it’s like here in their home.

So today I’m off to look at a few apartments and keeping my fingers crossed I can find one that’s nice and affordable.  Other than a lot of driving, this trip has been a lot of fun.  I’ve loved being able to catch up with friends and make new ones and so far, the Mesa area is turning out to be pretty cool.

St. George, I Salute You

I got back lastnight from my week down in St. George, Utah and while I’m glad I’m out of the car and back in my own apartment, I really wish I was still down there hanging out with no agenda.  But here are some recaps of the trip:

I got down to St. George around 7 PM on Wednesday night and went straight to dinner with a friend from college.  I’ve only seen her once before since those days 10 years ago so it was good to catch up.  Sorry, Amanda none of the pics I took looked good so…yeah.

                                     

 

Then I made my way to the house my mom and I were going to be staying in.  It belongs to a friend of my mom’s from high school so it was free and much better than staying in a hotel:

                                      

And that’s the rental my mom drove.  I don’t believe in love at first sight but may have to change my mind because I fell madly, head over heels in love with the XM Satelite Radio in the car.  Much to my mom’s chagrin, I’m sure, I kept the tuner on hits from the 90s all week.  I had quite the time crooning to Boyz II Men and Informer…ok so I didn’t really croon to Informer since the only word I understand is when the guy says “Informer” then it’s downhill from there.  Oh except when he says, “A licky boom-boom down” whatever that’s supposed to mean.

We did a lot of driving around and visited a lot with her friends from back in the day.  Which to be honest, was at times a little dull for me but the point of the visit was to do exactly those things so I got over it.  I did manage to get away a couple of times on my own and go shopping.  Yeah I know, I’m not a shopper so I don’t know what the deal was but nevertheless I found some fun, cute clothes and was happy.  While I was in Maurice’s they had some deal where if you spent a certain amount you got a free pair of flip flops or sunglasses.  I have so so many flip flops so I opted for the sunglasses.  Thing is, I don’t wear sunglasses ever.  But they were free so why not.  I didn’t really like any and picked up a pair that made me look like The Fly.  I said as much and the girl at the counter said, “No, big sunglasses are cool.”  I refrained from saying what I was thinking which was, “What do you know?  You probably weren’t even born until the 90s started and you have a piercing in your face.  I’m not sure I want to take fashion tips from you.”  But just to hurry and get out of the store I took them.  And you know what?  I LOVE them!  Because I’m practically wearing goggles there isn’t the annoying peripheral vison problem where you look straight and it’s dark and look down or to the side and it’s sunny.  Gotta love the reflection in those babies!

                                   

The weather was perfect ( that’s the blue sky and me giving the ok sign) while we were down there and so for a while one afternoon we just sat outside at a park and watched kids playing in the fountain.  One kid was kind of funny because the water had gone down and he was venturing out (he was just learning to walk) when the water shot back on.  His reaction was funny and sadly I didn’t get a pic of it.

 

There were a lot of kids running around in the water and I wanted to join in but alas, I was not wearing a swimming diaper:

                                                        

We did a lot of driving around looking at the new developments in the area and walked around the historical downtown and even went on a few of the tours they had available.  They were all pretty low key which was nice but the best one by far was one we took at the visitor’s center at the temple.  A lady by the name of Angela Johnson has sculpted the life of Chirst in different bronze statues that are AMAZING!  I couldn’t believe the detail she was able to produce and all the pieces were stunning.  The pics here don’t do justice (and I wasn’t able to take my own pics inside).  St. George is interesting because it’s growing into a sizeable modern town but they manage to maintain a certain degree of small town feel to it as well.  This store was next to a bed and breakfast (you can see in the background) but was also across from a large shopping area. 

                                                   

They sold old school candy in here along with the old fashioned fountain/ice cream drinks.  They even had those old cigarette candy sticks that I didn’t think were even made anymore.  Go figure.

One day we went to eat lunch at Outback Steakhouse and one of the waiters was a guy that I knew down in Guatemala (he was actually in my MTC group).  So that was cool to see him, it’s been almost 4 years I think,  and catch up.  He suggested I go onto Facebook (guess there’s a reason I have that dumb account after all) and link up with a few others that were down there with as well.  I did and it’s been getting back into contact with people.

The last tid-bit that I’m going to mention is that my mom and I go on walks at night around the neighborhood.  So we did that while we were there for a couple of nights.  The first night I noticed something a little odd but didn’t point it out because I was interested in the news she was telling me.  Well the second night I noticed the same thing and so this time I pointed to the sky and said, “Look bats.”  It was odd because I always assumed bats only lived in caves but there were a handful of them fluttering around in the trees.  It was fun to watch until a few of them flew a little too low and got a little too close for comfort.  We left after that.  I realize now in hindsight that it would have made for a great, if not interesting blog entry to say that I was bit by a bat.  But I’m doubtful something cool like turning into a vampire would have occured and instead I would be writing about turning rabid which may be entertaining to some of you but is not something I want to experience.  Even if it does make for an interesting blog entry.

So that’s pretty much this past week I had.  Very relaxing and fun.  Thanks for coming out mom!!