Wednesday, April 30, 2014

L.V. and L.A.

Matt and I decided that we needed a little rest and recuperation after Winter semester finals, so.... we went on a cruise! It was pretty last minute, but one of the best decisions. We needed something quick, since we both started Spring term the next week, so off to LA we went to board a 3-day cruise to Ensenada, Mexico. If you're going to go on vacation, though, you might as well make the most of it. Matt and I rented a car (the cutest little Fiat!.. I'm in love) and headed to Vegas, en route to LA. The drive to Long Beach is 10-11 hours, so we thought splitting it into two legs was a better idea, and it turned out to be really fun!

In Vegas, we stayed in the Riviera, which was... an experience. Let's just say we got a killer deal on a room, and now we know why. For example, no shower curtain? Luckily we just stayed there one night and checked out pretty quickly in the morning. We didn't leave Vegas yet, though. We explored the Strip a little in the morning, but it was all to reach the most delicious destination: Hash House A Go Go. I vaguely remembered hearing stories about this place, but those memories were nothing compared to what I experienced, which was the most overwhelmingly delicious breakfast I have ever tasted. We waited about 30 minutes (which was short, considering all the people waiting in line), but we needed all that time to choose what we wanted to order! I decided on fried chicken and waffles, and Matt got a meatloaf sandwich. Neither of us were disappointed. I think I still dream about this meal. I could barely eat half, it was so big! Going to Hash House was definitely a highlight of the entire trip.

Look at the size of that Chicken and Waffles! And there was bacon cooked INSIDE the waffles.

 After eating, we started our journey to Long Beach! We naturally stopped in Primm at the outlets (can't stop me from shopping), made it to California, then experienced LA traffic. That was fun. Finally we made it to Long Beach, and we were MUCH more satisfied with our hotel situation! We settled in and explored Long Beach for a while, then we grabbed dinner at Bubba's Shrimp. The next morning, we headed to LA to explore some of Matt's old stomping grounds from back in the day. First, we visited the temple, which was beautiful! We had been planning on doing a session, but someone (*I*) forgot their recommend... so we just went to the Visitor's Center instead.

Afterwards, we stopped by Tito's Tacos for some lunch. No regrets there--it definitely lived up to the hype. Those are probably the only hard-shelled tacos I have ever truly enjoyed. (Are you sensing a food theme here?)
A delicious box of tacos...
That day was cruise day, so we had to hurry back to Long Beach to board the Carnival Inspiration. Stay tuned for details on the cruise!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Feeling 22

I'll be honest--I have still never heard Taylor Swift's "22" song, but it just felt right to reference it. I'm twenty-two now! Woohoo! It's so weird to me that I am now fully into the third decade of my life (I had to think about that...third? yup). I've never really had a bad  birthday, but I've had some pretty great ones. I think that this year really takes the cake, though. So many sweet moments and birthday wishes came together to create the perfect day.

The Sunday before my actual birthday, my sisters hosted a fun birthday dinner for me at the Dicksons. It was so fun to celebrate with them and eat delicious food. Steak tacos and chocolate bundt cake! (not together, obviously...)

Now for my birthday on the 16th...

First off, it was a reading day! My birthday always falls pretty close to finals week. This year, I got lucky, and my birthday was the day before finals on a reading day. The only school-related thing I had to do was attend a review session! After my review session and a few hours of work, I got to hang out with Matt all day. I'm the type of person that doesn't need a big group or party--I'm totally good with just being with my best friend. And that's what I did.

My first present of the day was finding out that I made the Young Ambassador's team at BYU! The YAs is a performance group at BYU that sings and dances all around the world. I have dreamed of being a YA since as long as I can remember, and finding out that I finally made the group was more than I could have wished for. (I'll write more about YA's in a later post!) We went to an early dinner at Tucano's, one of Matt and my favorite restaurants. Afterwards, we went home and I got to open my presents! Matt was so good at keeping them surprises. I got a new jacket and scarf (thanks mom and dad!), and Matt got me a piano keyboard! I have been having withdrawals from playing the piano, so I was so happy to get a keyboard of my own. I'm so grateful for my husband who helps me develop my talents and do the things I love.

After dinner, Matt took me to the "Sacred Gifts" exhibit at the BYU Museum of Art. Ok, this was really my idea, but Matt was kind enough to allow me to drag him along! The exhibit was all religious paintings  of Christ by Carl Bloch, Heinrich Hofman, and Frans Schwartz. It was such a beautiful exhibit. It was incredible to actually see in person these paintings that I have seen all my life. I especially liked seeing the lesser-known (at least to me) works of Christ.

All in all, I had such a wonderful birthday. Thank you for all those who made it that way! 22 really does feel good.