Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Happiest Place on Earth

My first stop when I got to LA was to go visit my amazing friend Tara. Her little boy James and I became fast friends - we read some books, he taught me how to play basketball and tennis, and he even gave me a quick kiss goodbye on my way to American Idol.

A lot of people who know me well tell me that I know everyone. I always dispute this, but when I met up with Buck in line out on Beverly Blvd, we were chatting and catching up when I heard someone say my name. Oh yeah. I knew the person standing behind us in line. I didn't get a picture with the two girls with him, but turns out that we have a mutual friend in Arizona. So weird - seriously! So maybe I do know everyone, ok? Here's my picture with Scott as proof.

We stood/sat in line for about 5 hours to get in - and here's Becca making herself comfortable on the sidewalk.

And here's Buck dancing with some twelve year old girls to Leona Lewis on their ipod.

Going to American Idol was a lot of fun - the magic behind the biggest tv show in the world is fascinating to say the least. Being there in person is a lot like being at a concert since you hear the band much louder than the singer, but it definitely isn't disappointing. After Idol, I met up with my parents and nephews in Anaheim so that we could go to Disneyland all day Thursday. My sister has some dang cute kids - here they are pretending to be asleep for me.

I hadn't been to Disneyland since I was 6, so it was fun to relive my childhood with my three favorite nephews. My mom paired everyone up so that we each had a buddy. My mom was with Riley, I was with Will, and my Dad was with Sam. I wasn't sure how the boys would react to all the rides and stimulation, but like every other child in the world, they absolutely loved it. Will was begging to go on the teacups - how did he know that those were my favorite??

The jungle ride was a hit as well - we went on it twice!

What I knew as the Swiss Family Robinson tree house is now Tarzan's tree house - whatever...I know what it really is!

Being at Disneyland with my family was great. When I'm in Utah I generally only get to spend a few hours with my nephews but this was an entire day of fun! The boys are so funny - I wish I could spend more time with them. I guess we'll just have to meet up at Disneyland more often! I left that night after 8pm to make the 6 hour drive home - thats when I was extremely grateful for Red Bull! :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Thoughts for the day.

So, I promised you some pictures I so far, I have not followed through - but never fear; I still have some hours left in the day. In the meantime, here are some things that made me really happy today:

1. Last night one of my new roommates asked me if I would be interested in teaming up with her in making lunch in the morning so that we can both save money and eat better! Hooray! Yes - sign me up for both! So today it was her turn to make us both lunch - and look at the result. Seriously - do I have an awesome roommate, or what?! Turkey Sandwich on (toasted) whole wheat bread with tomatoes and spinach, chopped carrots, strawberries, apples, dried bananas and mangos, and some craisins! Holy cow! Am I going to be the biggest LOSER or what?

2. This morning my friend told me that he was going to go to Duck Beach over Memorial Day! Seriously - so happy. We will be eating foldyovers of jamon y queso for 5 days straight!

3. I just started thinking about Lake Tahoe in June. Oh wow - I am happy for summer to get here!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Despite My Love for Ryan Seacrest

This was my favorite part of being at American Idol last Wednesday. Did you see it?


Slow Weekend

I've been really bad about posting pictures lately - I hope you'll forgive me while I get my life in order. This weekend I took it easy and tried to not over-extend myself. On Friday I curled up on my big red couch and watched four episodes straight of Felicity. Oh the drama. I love it. My friend came over to fix my internet issues (thanks jm!) and I went to bed feeling fairly relaxed. Saturday, I slept until 10, went to a work thing in the east bay for a few hours and then went to dinner with a friend on Saturday night. I was in bed by 11pm. yay! On Sunday I went to San Jose for my cousin's daughter's first communion. Like always, it was good to be with family. I wrapped up the evening spent with good friends and again, was in bed by a reasonable hour. And I'd like to give a shout out to the fabulous weather this weekend. I slept with my patio door wide open the last two nights...and as there is no screen, I keep my curtains pulled shut so that no bats or other random creatures would try and enter. So far, so good.

Life is slowly getting back to normal. Pics to come tomorrow, I promise.

Friday, April 25, 2008

What I Am Especially Grateful For Today

Without you, I may not have made it home at 2:30am this morning from a few days of amazing fun-ness.

More details on the trip to soon as I can find my camera cord.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

More details on my work crush

For all who are interested, I thought I'd post a picture.
Isn't he dreamy?

this is a joke - not a picture of my real crush. for that, email me. :)

White Trash Party

Since I'm going out of town tonight for a few days, I decided that if you were ever going to see pictures from my Saturday night, it was going to be because I stole pictures from my friends. Thank you, facebook. We were the only ones dressed up for the party, so here's our group picture. For the record, I was eating beanie weanies when this was taken. Some of the other foods that we included in the mix were: Fanta, RC Cola, Hostess Fruit Pies, Ho hos, Ding Dongs, Bear Claws, and Tampico.

Not gonna lie. This mumu was quite comfy. I've thought seriously about sleeping in it the past few nights. Haven't done it yet, but you never know when that thing might show up again, friends. As seen below, Deb totally copied my outfit. Can't blame her I guess. I mean - she's missing the leopard print hair rollers and the plastic visor, but the mumus are hard to beat.

And off to the roller derby we went; and no, we didn't wear our outfits - well, Kristine did, but she looked hot - or so I heard some boys saying on Sunday. True story. Below is the women's Bay City Bombers roller derby team lining up for the next round of WWF on roller skates. I have some amazing action shots that Marshall took on my camera, but we've already talked about how you might not see those for a while.

And after roller derby, our white trash night continued at the Presidio Bowling Alley where we had a surprise birthday party for our friend. I was tired after a very full day, so this picture captures my evening at the bowling alley perfectly. I sat in this chair for about 3 hours and talked to everyone and anyone.

It'd been a while since Karen and I threw a party and from the looks of it, it was a raging success. From what I heard, the roller derby was a hit. Next on the list of things to do: Monster Truck Rally.

What I've Lost:

My camera cord.

I'm really close to being done with the move. Seriously. As soon as I find the box where all of my missing stuff is, I'll put up some pictures.

Until then, stay cool.

Monday, April 21, 2008

What a Weekend.

This weekend was a little crazy, with the move and all. The good news:
  • I have amazing friends who helped me out SO MUCH with my move!
  • A special shout out to: XG, HS, DS, PW, LH, RO, JB, DV, and of course, TM. thankyouthankyouthankyou.
  • This Wednesday I'll be in LA to see the results show for American Idol. Guess that means that some catching up on youtube is in order.
  • Disneyland on Thurdsay with my parents and nephews!!!
Pictures and more to come from my white trash party on Saturday. Oh - you are in for a treat.
Here's the anthem for my weekend:

Friday, April 18, 2008

Always Something.

The other day while talking to a friend, something that they said sparked a memory in me of something I used to be involved in as an extracurricular activity. You see, my sister and I were always involved in some type of extracurricular activity. I've taken all sorts of classes in my lifetime and at times I like to think that all of these things make me a fairly well rounded person. In my last semester at Ricks College, these were the classes I took:
  • Shakespeare
  • Family and home management
  • Basic equitation (horseback riding)
  • Intermediate Clogging
  • Social Dance
  • Bowling
  • Travel & tourism
Gotta love Ricks College classes! But back to me and my sister. We were both playing the violin by the age of 5 and by the time I was 8, my sister was dancing and I was playing the piano (in addition to the violin stuff that we were already heavily involved in). In the summer, we were on swim team. We took roller skating lessons. My parents owned their own business and we worked there after school a lot of the time. We went to youth group at church, we went to summer camp. In elementary school and junior high, we participated for years in Odyssey of the Mind. Whoa. Did any of you out there also do OM? One year my team even went to the state level to compete. In high school we were on the color and winter guard teams and went to early morning seminary (EVERY DAY FOR FOUR YEARS at 6am, thank you).

There's lots of talk these days about over-scheduling your kids. I'm pretty sure that even if there would have been talk of this when I was younger, my parents wouldn't have cared - and I'm pretty sure that I enjoyed being busy. I often think that someday if I get married, I'll be living the slow life that I dream about. But then I think about the reality which is my life and know that this is never going to happen.

With all that said, is there anyone out there who would like to move for me this weekend? I need a break.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What Made My Day...

My work crush has been in town for the past few days. sigh...

There are too many reasons to list of why it is never going to work out between us, but when I was walking down the hall today with my boss, she looked at me and said "He totally has a crush on you!" I couldn't stop smiling for an hour. sigh...

still smiling...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Skeletons in the Trunk

Only a few more days to pack, so tonight Tiffany and I had a packing/cleaning party! Our official last day is Saturday in the beautiful Presidio. (Thanks to two wondering ladies who helped us clean, by the way.)

During th evening, I was emptying out the trunk...

and I found my roommate inside!

Looks like there are some skeletons in our closet. I mean..trunk.

More pictures to come from our empty house soon. So far I have over 35 boxes packed with a few more to go. Almost there!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pepp or Dine?

This past weekend I went to LA to spend some time with friends. The main reason for going down was because my good friend Zach was graduating from Pepperdine with his MBA. I had a flight voucher to use and thought: "Hey - what better than to go hang out with Zach for the weekend?!" The weather couldn't have been better in Malibu.

After the graduation ceremony, Zach took us up to the Hero's Garden on top of campus to see the beautiful view. Really, I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for Pepperdine students after visiting their campas. Why did I choose to live in the frozen tundra for 3.5 years when I could have gone here??? Darn you, Rexburg and Logan!

And then we went to Santa Monica to eat some yummy seafood!
Doesn't Zach look like someone who has an MBA?

Really though, good times. So glad that I went down to graduation. And...BONUS! Look who I got to see that night! Oh my goodness it was so great to see Dan & Buck.

And on a completely random note, this was too funny not to share.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Music Monday

Thanks to Camie for listening to the radio so that I don't have to.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Speaking of traveling...

This weekend I'm heading down south to spend some time with friends in Los Angeles. The weather here in San Francisco is supposed to be fabulous this weekend, but at least I'll be in LA to get some sun as well. Hope you all are having great weather wherever you are. And on to SoCal I go. Bring it, Santa Monica.

PS. Day 3 of the Biggest Loser Challenge and I am doing great - I've been getting plenty of sleep and eating well and my muscles are incredibly sore from all the weight lifting I've been doing. We are going to win this thing.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I'm Sick With a Travel Bug

Let's see. In the past three weeks, I've purchased over 5 plane tickets. I wouldn't say that it isn't because I don't love San Francisco, because I often think of the things I'm missing out on while I'm away. It's just that I have so many friends all around the country that I love spending time with as well. So there you have it. There's just never enough time to be all the places I want to be and see the people I want to see.

Lately I've been meeting a lot of people who have either lived in or been to North Carolina and those who lived there all say that they really want to move back someday. When I get a little homesick, I just listen to this beautiful song and it makes me happy. Just knowing that I get to go back two times this year is making me giddy.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Uzi, You Tagged Me. Duh.

Uzi tagged me in a post the other day where I had to tell you what can be found in my purse. Kristy - I hope this makes you laugh. And here are the contents of my purse for all who are interested. Seriously though, thanks for making me dump that out. I found some gum that I forgot I had.

In Which I Tell You Where I'm From

Heidi had a great post yesterday where she told us how she is a bona fide European mutt. Well, that got me thinking since I am also a bona fide European mutt. Even though I was an English major and don't really have a great relationship with numbers, I thought I'd gather a little statistical data to see if I could pinpoint my true ancestry. ha.

Well, that is obviously a complicated problem. Since I believe we all came from two individuals, namely Adam and Eve, I could just stop there and say "Hey. I came from the Garden of Eden and my ancestors camped out a few places along the way." Easy, right? Being a little more realistic, I thought I'd take a smaller portion and crunch some numbers. I could obviously keep this going for a few days, but I stopped at 6 generations. Thank you,!

So after a little spreadsheet making and color coding, I arrived at the following results:
**If someone was born in America, they are American, regardless of where their parents are from, according to me.

I am....
41% American
20% English
11% Norwegian
9% Swedish
6% Danish
5% Scottish
4% German
2% Canadian
2% Finnish

Odd that the Iberians all thought I was a native, right? Hello Nothern Europe!
So tell me. Where are YOU from??

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

No, YOU are a loser.

I got an email a few days ago from a group of friends who live in DC. The email went something like this. Well, not gonna lie. Below is the exact email.

Most of you have expressed at some point that you would like to either lose weight or develop/maintain a healthier lifestyle. Allison, Scott, and I are going to do The Biggest Loser Challenge with our friends. This is a little different than the one on television. This is scored by weight loss combined with healthy daily patterns. I have attached the spreadsheet we will be using.
How the challenge works: You get 2 points per pound you lose and 1 point per day for each of the categories listed on the spreadsheet. You may choose a team mate for this challenge or do it alone. It is $10 to participate in the challenge per person.
Winners will be: Team with the most points 1st and 2nd place teams
Individual with the most points 1st and 2nd place individuals
On the spreadsheet, the categories are as follows:
  • 30 minute workout
  • No soda
  • No sweets
  • Daily Vitamin
  • 64 oz. water
  • No food after 8pm
  • 7 hours of sleep
  • 5 servings of fruits/veggies
The challenge starts tomorrow morning. Lets do this. Any and all encouragement is welcome. I'm sure that my teammate and I will be posting some awesome before/after pics. I mean...what is a weight loss challenge without before/after pics?? I have a lot of Portuguese pastries to work off.

To all you challengers out there, bring it.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Weekend in Utah

Upon my arrival in Salt Lake on Friday, Matt picked me up and we went to take a look at the house he just bought in Woods Cross. He's doing some remodeling, but I mean...if you know Matt, he's probably going to leave those awesome green bubble curtains up that the past owners left for him.

Aren't we cute?

On Saturday I watched conference all day with my fam and then that evening, us girls went to Salt Lake to see Matt in his last performance of "Civil War." I didn't whole-heartedly agree with the politics that this musical portrayed, but that would be a post for another day. The music was very well performed though and I'm just glad that Matt was on the right Confederate side.

Winning this little one over may have been the highlight of my trip.

And after lying around in my pajamas all day long on Sunday, my flight was delayed for 5 hours leaving Salt Lake that night. Lucky for me, Becca and Jessica were around to take me to the airport at midnight.

The weekend was fairly uneventful but it was great to just hang out at home for a few days. This week I'll be busy packing up and sorting through a bunch of stuff that I'd forgotten about. Sounds like fun, right?

2am... what time my flight finally got into Oakland last night. I'm sleeping the day away. Hope you had a good weekend!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Come Come, Ye Saints

I'm off to Utah tonight for the weekend. This is just one of the MANY reasons that I'm excited to go home for a few days.

I hope that I get to see everyone who is around...conference kinda throws a wrench in to conference weekend, doesn't it? Really though, I can't wait. This is kind of a landmark event, my friends. Hope you're watching!

My Mouth is Watering Just Talking About It

Ok so I don't know how I've managed to NOT blog about this yet, but have you all noticed the newest craze over frozen yogurt? And I'm not talking about TCBY of yesteryear. This is the stuff that I am talking about - and I am addicted. Just within the past week, I've been there 4 times. And the really really good news is that it only has about 150 calories for a 5 oz container. Really, I'm thinking about walking 14 blocks today during lunch to get some. Does that make me crazy? Because if loving this yogurt is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Admit It

So I've had a few pretty serious relationships in the past 5-6 years. I don't really want to talk about any of them in detail but am I the only one out there who still thinks about their respective ex's and wonders - even though they are supposedly happily married - if they sometimes just think of me too? Don't get me wrong - I'm not pining away for lost love or shedding any tears of regret. I definitely like to think that I live life to its fullest and I make a lot of my decisions based on the amount of regret I think I will feel after my decisions are made. Anyway - there are sometimes little things that remind me of an ex every now and then that bring back a fond memory and I often wonder if the same thing happens to them. And of course because I'm a stalker and my friends have professional stalker skills that they can teach me, I like to "check up" on them every once and a while. Just - ya know - see how they're doing and maybe see if they've gained any weight and/or had any kids since the last time I heard anything about them. So today, I was a professional stalker. I even have pictures to prove it - but dude. I'm not posting them. That would be really dumb. Please tell me I am not the only one who does this. And if you don't want to post in the comments because you are still in the closet about your stalking skills, you can email me at stephzundel at gmail dot com. I mean - if I am really driving the bus to hell because of it, I already know one person who is comin' with me and you might as well join us too!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Day 9 - El Dia Final

The last day that we spent in Spain, I woke up on a train. I do have to say that I'm pretty lucky that I am able to sleep sitting up, but a 9 hour train ride when the train car smells like g-funk is never fun. We got into Madrid some time around 9 am and my first thought was "I need a Coca light." And I tell you what; having a soda explode all over you first thing in the morning is always pleasant.

But maybe some jamon flavored chips would make me feel better. Mmmmm...bacon.

Our first stop was to see the Madrid Temple. I was sad that it was Monday and the temple was closed, but we did get to freshen up a bit there. And that's why I pay tithing. ha.

And after some major drama at the train station, we made our way to the town of Segovia which is about an hour north of Madrid by car, but by train, it took us 3 hours. The picture below is so not mine or Scott's or Deb's, but this is a picture of the castle in Segovia. And now, Rapunzel is going to pop her head out of the window and let down her hair.

Inside the castle there were a bunch of suits of armor and the things that always stike me about armor are these:
  • How does one get the armor on?
  • How does one fight with all that crap strapped to them?
  • Chafing?
  • Why was a 7 year old wearing it????
Check out this view. Doesn't it look like a painting? Estupendo!

I think that by the time we saw this castle, we were a little overdone on castles. I mean - they are beautiful and all, but you can only take so many of them for days in a row before they all start looking the same. And you might notice that I'm wearing the same clothes that I was wearing yesterday. Stop judging me. I slept on a nasty train.

The entire town was just so beautiful and picturesque!

By the time we got to the Plaza Mayor in town, the sun was setting and we were getting hungry.
Check out their gothic cathedral right before we went to dinner.

And then this is after, thanks to Scott's really nice camera.

We went to a restaurant that the cab driver had recommended to us called Las Cuevas de San Esteban. Random name for a restaurant, but hey - ratatouille was on the menu and so were croquettes of jamon y queso. Perfect way to end our Spanish adventure. Here's Deb with the ratatouille, looking hot as usual.

One of the coolest things about Segovia is their Roman Aqueduct. It was used until the 1960's I'm pretty sure - isn't that crazy? The city of Segovia got their water from a contraption that was built over 2000 years ago! Crazy! And just because I want you to see what this place looks like during the day: Here's a pic of the aqueduct during the day.
"How come ever time I turn around my aqua aqua-duct is coming down?"

And of course we had to have a little desert. And maybe it started raining and we needed shelter.

This is the last picture of the three of us together on our trip. Seriously, we had some really good laughs on our trip. We talked about everything you can imagine and even drew an org chart for each other of our respective peeps. I mean - you get to know a lot about people when you travel with them so you might as well get a flow chart so that you know when/what/who/why. And I do have to say that nothing I learned about Scott or Deb was negative. Such great people. We each had our respective roles. I was the planner, Deb was the accountant, and Scott was the idealist. Each of us needed for sure.

Ok so now on to actually having to think about something in which to blog about. :) Adios pero viva Espana!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Loyalty at its best.

Yesterday Todd and I met up for lunch. When I walked around the corner, I had to laugh at what he was wearing. Go Giants!

I Say Lisboa, You Say Lisbon, Let's Call the Whole Thing Off

Remember that one time that I went on a mission to Portugal? Oh wait a second. I wish! Don't Deb and I make great looking companions? Some of the young women walked up to us and said "Sisters?" which I absolutely loved. Attending church in a country where I don't speak the language was a really cool experience. Everyone there was so nice and of course a member of the bishopric asked me if I knew the Elder Zundel that had been there a few years before. I don't know him, but I have to say my friends, I sure do love my last name. Zundels are so dang cool. {claytons, i love you too - don't worry}

We met some really nice people at church; especially one guy named Antonio. When he was introducing Scott to the elders, he said to Scott "Ask them 'Who's your daddy?!'" To whoever taught him that - good one. Of course we all had a good laugh except for Antonio. I mean...I would never do anything like that to anyone - right Sil?

After church we made our way down to Belem, which is an area of Lisbon. Here we are in front of the monastery - look how ornate it is!

Since it was Palm Sunday, there were palm branches at the end of every aisle in the church - it was so beautiful!

And I just had to post this picture since I think it is so awesome. The tomb of Vasco De Gama is here in Belem and here are his fake statue hands with a beautiful painting in the background. Nice work, Scott.The monument to the Explorers was across the street and in front of it, there is a huge beautiful mosaic on the ground. Here's me and Deb blowing the ships home with the West Wind.

And here's a picture of the entire mosaic from the top of the monument. We were kneeling down right by Alaska in case you are wondering. Isn't that awesome?!

And now, a picture of us with Lisbon in the background.

And if you're facing the other way, this is what you see. Oh yes, this looks quite a bit like a picture that would be taken right by my house, no? The bridge is indeed red and I'm too lazy to see who copied who with the whole Golden Gate Bridge thing. So whoever had the idea first, good job! I like it. The thing that looks like a cross is actually a "Christ the Redeemer" statue like the one in Rio de Janeiro.

We couldn't find jamon y queso in Portugal quite like we could in Spain - but what we did find in abundance here are pastries. Seriously, just looking at those is making my mouth water. These are so famous that they can be found all over Brazil as well.

Pasteis de Belem anyone?

I swear that we took every single mode of transportation possible while we were on the trip. Seriously - car, bus, cable car, boat, camel, minibus, metro, train...and is there anything else available for us? A bunch of old ladies were on this cable car and got mad at us for some unknown reason when we got on the car.

Here we are at the Castle of Sao Jorge. Have you ever heard a peacock scream? There was one up in a tree outside the castle tower and we were walking underneath it when it started to scream. Click here if you want to hear it for yourself. (please note that in this video, the peacocks were 4 houses away, so you can only imagine when it was in a tree right above us). Seriously, it was like a banchi in the tree yelling "HELP ME!" and it scared me to death. So we walk more towards the castle and a bat flies right over my head. The cats inside the castle were totally freaking my stuff and then as we're looking out at Scott, I see some type of very large feline walking into the woods behind him. I totally felt like I was in some type of animal horror movie.

Deb was insistent on the fact that she wanted to climb a castle wall. I could have cared less, so here we are.

We eventually made our way to the Oriente train station that night in Lisbon to take an overnight train back to Madrid. On the way over, Scott realized that he had accidentally purchased a ticket for the wrong day, which put him out over 60 euros. Yikes. Needless to say, he was a little stressed about getting everything taken care of. Scott and I met last year when I went to Duck Beach. One of the nights that I remember most was when someone taught us the "Dip dip dip" game. To try and make Scott feel better about his current situation, I tried playing "Dip dip dip" with him. Obviously it didn't make the situation any better, but I do believe that it made us all laugh.

And tomorrow is our last day and it was one of my favorites, of course. Dippity Dippity Dip.