Thursday, December 18, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

I'm feeling the spirit of the season a lot more these days. Maybe because finals are finally over (haha--finally final), maybe because it's finally snowed, maybe because there are a ton of Christmas treats in my apartment, maybe because there's a family Christmas party this weekend, maybe because I'm going home in four days, maybe because there are roommate presents under our little Christmas tree, or maybe because I was able to do some gift-giving for those in need. Probably it's a combination of all these things.

I hope that all who read this post have a wonderful Christmas, full of love and music and family and friends, full of Christ and His infinite gift.

Some Children See Him
By Alfred Burt

Some children see Him lily white,
the baby Jesus born this night.
Some children see Him lily white
with tresses soft and fair.

Some children see Him bronzed and brown,
the Lord of heav'n to earth come down.
Some children see Him bronzed and brown
with dark and heavy hair.

Some children see Him almond-eyed,
This Saviour whom we kneel beside.
Some children see Him almond-eyed
With skin of yellow hue.

Some children see Him dark as they,
Sweet Mary's Son to whom we pray.
Some children see Him dark as they
And, ah! they love Him, too!

The children in each different place
Will see the Baby Jesus' face
Like theirs, but bright with heav'nly grace
And filled with holy light!

O lay aside each earthly thing
and with thy heart as offering,
Come worship now the infant King.
'Tis love that's born tonight!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Did this month sneak up on anyone else? I'm kinda starting to freak out a little bit. I have a few more papers to write and tests to take, and there's only two weeks left in the semester, and then finals hit. And I have no motivation at all, so that makes it a little bit scarier.

I can't wait to go home! I miss my family SO much! California, here we come! Disneyland!! Hopefully, we'll even hit Magic Mountain! I'm especially stoked about the newly installed jacuzzi at home. Yeah, baby.

As you can see, I'm a little distracted by what's to come, and I'm having a hard time focusing on school right now. So much so that I've procrastinated studying for my Genetics test and therefore earned a 68%. No worries, though. The lowest-scoring test gets dropped. WooHoo! And I should be reading short stories for American Lit instead of posting, but guess what I'm not doing. And I should have been writing a paper yesterday instead of playing with my playlist (I hope you're enjoying the new songs mixed in with the old--and it's longer). I should also be working on Spanish homework. haha Oh, my, I'm SO done with school!

Alright, I guess I better get to reading, since I'm sure we'll have a quiz today.

PS Happy Thanksgiving! Hope everyone had a wonderful, gratitude-filled day with family and/or friends!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Midnight Showings Rock

Julia, Me, Julie, Nicole, Kami, and Alicia. Yes, we are insane.

But who could pass up the opportunity to see a midnight showing of Twilight? OK, what I mean is, who could pass up the opportunity to see a midnight showing who's absolutely obsessed with the story? Well, OK, maybe someone would pass it up, but we didn't!

And now I will admit to having seen it three times in that one weekend: the midnight showing, a 1:45pm showing on Friday (yeah, only 14 hours later), and a 10:45am showing on Saturday. Needless to say, I really liked it. No, it wasn't the best that could have been done. The effects weren't that great (though, on the small budget they had, the effects weren't too bad). There were some scenes that got changed. There were some scenes that didn't make it into the movie (like the blood-typing). And Edward drives a hatchback. Edward would never drive a hatchback. Whatever.

But I think this was a really good adaptation. The acting was good. The chemistry between Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson was awesome. The story was stuck to really well. The music was even pretty good. I thoroughly enjoyed the songs that Rob got to record for the soundtrack. And since I'm a Muse fan, I really loved the use of "Supermassive Black Hole" in the baseball scene--which also happens to be one of my favorite scenes. The cheese-factor is extremely high, but it's based on a teen-romance novel:
Edward: And so the lion fell in love with the lamb.
Bella: What a stupid lamb.
Edward: What a sick, masochistic lion.
Probably one of the cheesiest lines of the whole series, and it made it's way into the movie. The delivery, however, somewhat helped to save it...a little. I like the laugh. It helps.

Anyway, good movie. Even Jana, who refuses to read the books, said she liked the movie. She still doesn't want to read the books, though. haha And the good news is they've decided to go ahead with New Moon. Yay.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

New Kids on the Block had a bunch of hits...

Yes, it's true. I went to see NKOTB Saturday night. Believe it or not. And the funniest thing about it? I really enjoyed myself. It was incredibly ridiculous, highly dramatic, and absolutely fun. The crap part was that we weren't allowed to video any of the show. Well, I kinda, sorta broke that rule. I recorded some of it, but only little bits of the songs cuz I was afraid of being caught and having my camera taken away. Here are some highlights, though. Hope you enjoy!

Please, Don't Go Girl


Cover Girl

I'll Be Loving You Forever

Hangin' Tough

It was so strange, when they first came on stage. My reaction was, "oh, yeah. I know these guys. I remember them..." haha Anyway, fun show.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Body Worlds

David, Marie, Jana, Julia, Becca, Aunt Toni, Uncle Grant, and I went to Body Worlds yesterday. What an amazing exhibit and experience!
This dude still has parts of his skin on, and some sections have only bone showing. And, yes, he is winking.

This is a display of plastinized human's or their body parts. Basically, through chemical alterations, scientists can turn a corpse into plastic, preserving their bones, veins, nerves, muscles, and organs. It's SO amazing!

This dude was seriously balanced on top of the hurdle. There weren't any stands under him, and no strings holding him up! It was amazing!

This particular exhibit focused on the heart. We learned a ton! For example, did you know that if you lined up all of your veins and arteries end to end, it would wrap around the Earth...twice! The biggest artery is the pulmonary, and it's about as thick as a water-hose. Pretty cool that all that stuff fits inside us. Also, the average person's rested heart rate is about 70 beats per minute. Lance Armstrong's heart beats about 32 times per minute. And when he's racing, his heart rate can be as fast as 200 beats per minute, whereas the average male's accelerated heart rate is 150. Crazy, huh?!

Here's an archer. She was beautifully posed. I which I could find a front-view, too.

This exhibit was seriously cool. There was an entire section on the lungs, showing a healthy lung next to smoke-damaged lungs (black lung, cancer, emphysema). Another one that showed the digestive track. Another with the reproductive systems. And a whole nook focused on the fetus, and it's different stages of development. That was my favorite part, to see the sizes of these babies at 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 10, 18, 22, all the way up to 33 weeks, and the extreme differences in size and development along the way. It was incredible! When they tell you a fetus is only the size of your pinky-nail, they mean it! A baby is only as big as your thumb at 8 weeks, and it has fingers and toes and eyes and a mouth and ears and everything! It's SO amazing.

I thoroughly enjoyed Body Worlds! If you ever have the opportunity to see it, you absolutely should go!

Time to catch up!

I think school has taken over my life! I have time to do fun stuff, but not to write any of it down. I'm MAKING the time to do so right now.

For Heather's 3o-something birthday, we went to Lagoon! It was the first time for Marie, Jana, and I. While it wasn't even close to Six Flags Magic Mountain, it was a lot of fun. I got that roller coaster high I've been living without for the past few years. I missed that high.

We had a movie night at the Doxey's to celebrate Halloween. We were told to come in costume, so we did. We ate yummy homemade chilly (thank you Ashley!) and yummy corn bread (thank you Jana!) and had yummy pumpkin cookies (thank you Marie!) and the apartment was done up all spooky. We watched It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, the Legend of Sleep Hallow, and Arsenic and Old Lace. Good times!

Me, I'm a mis-matched Care Bear.
Julia is obviously an angel.
Ashley's an 80's Chick
Marie's a hunter
Jana's Quail Man!
Doxey's a Honorary Coach for the Jazz

David came to visit and was here for Halloween! We begged him to show us his bullet wound. He even wore the shirt he was wearing when he got shot on Halloween. He was "A Missionary Who Got Shot." It was awesome.
This is the Bloody Shirt! David said that at one point someone tried to help his take off his back pack, but that as soon as they removed the strap the wound started gushing blood all over, so they put the strap back on to keep pressure on it. Gross.
The front view. Yep, that's where the bullet went in!
Here's the back view, where the doctor's had to pull the bullet out cuz it was so far inside.

Here are some more fun pictures for the Dance Party at the House.
Becca's so pretty!
Jana as Tonks
Red's a tatoo artist. And no, those aren't real, and neither is the nose ring
Me, I'm an aviation captain
Marie's a hunter again
The boy scout and the cub scout. Cute.
Mummy Fingers

Nice, huh? The hunter shoots the missionary! haha

Monday, September 29, 2008

Where has the month gone?

So, it's been a while.

My birthday was the 18th, and it was a wonderful weekend! Dad called first, leaving me a serenade on my voice mail. Then Mom called, and sang to me. And then Heather called to see how my day was going, and I got to talk to the kids, too. Hunter told me all about the Goosebumps books he's ordered, Courtney insisted on the family singing Happy Birthday, and even Jacob wished me a happy birthday. Grandma Chinn called, and sang, too. I love that song. My sisters all came over to my apartment on the 18th with pizza and chocolate silk pie. Yum. And we watched a movie called "Under the Same Moon" which everyone should watch. It was great to just hang out, no time pressures, talk, enjoy a movie and each others company. Fun. On Saturday, Marie took me to Red Robin for lunch, and then we went to Acadia (on University Ave, in the Wells Fargo building) for facials. Wow. That was awesome, I must say. Then Jana and I went to dinner at Los Hermanos with Ashley and Devin, Julia, Nicole and Shawn, Red (Jess), and Ashley. It was SO fun!! We laughed and talked a lot and I got yelled at...I mean, "sung" to. Happy Birthday! Then the Doxey's, Julia, Jana and I went to Jana/Marie/Red's house and flew a kite on the roof. Yeah, it was pretty awesome. And Heather brought Marie home (from babysitting Heather's kids so she and Travis could go to their ward's Elders Quorum dinner). And we talked and talked and goofed around and played for a long, long time! Then, on Sunday, Heather and Jana made dinner and Marie baked me a Ninja Turtles cake! All of it was yummy and it was fun to be with the kids for a while, too. Jacob even wished me a "Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-happy Durf-day, Tata!" with lots and lots of giggles and smiles! (Yes, my name is Tata). When I got home from Heather's, I found my room covered in little stars, complete with the Big Dipper on the ceiling, and crepe paper and balloons, thanks to my wonderful roommates, who also made me Oreo pie. It was a very, very happy birthday.

This past weekend was the homework-weekend from HELL! But it's over and I got a LOT done, though I'm not any closer to having a research proposal done for my Integrated Studies class. That will have to limp along this week/weekend. All of that studying and homework-doing paid off tonight, though! I had my first test in my Spanish 2010 class, and I did really well! A ton better than I expected, so I'm very well-pleased! Now I get to work more on that IS proposal and group project, and get some studying in for the next Biology test. Thank goodness I'm about a week ahead on all of my reading for American Lit!

Also, just cuz I'm so freakin' excited, my little brother, David, gets home from his mission on the 14th of October! That's only two weeks and two days from now!! I'm SO excited, even though I won't see him till the end of November. At least I'll be able to talk to him on the phone! I can't wait!! We'll try to get some pictures of the bullet-wound. Yay for missions and missionaries, and missionaries coming home!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What the crap?!

I'm really kinda just freewriting here. I'm really sad that school's back in session, full-force, cuz I still have a ton of books I want to read! I can't do both, though. Not while I'm taking American Literature. Too much reading! And I'm taking an Institute class (D&C 1-75), which I'm excited about, but will also take away from my "free" time. This saddens me.

Does anyone else feel like this semester is gonna kick their butt? Cuz this semester is totally gonna kick my butt! It's not so much that I'm carrying 14 credits. It's more like, because all four classes are pretty hard-core, and I'm carrying 14 credits. Darn teachers and their stupid reading assignments and homework!

OK, on a completely different note... this has suddenly turned into a Stephenie Meyer blog. Not on purpose. I just have a one-tracked mind. Seriously. But who in their right mind leaks a story? I mean, really. It totally ruins it for the rest of us unsuspecting souls. I was really looking forward to Midnight Sun! Darn those stupid leakers! I read the excerpt anyway (like I said, one-tracked mind; I couldn't help myself) and now I'm even more pissed! It ended at such a critical point. We were almost to the meadow... Dammit!!

On yet another note, did anyone else feel the shift in the universe when the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince release was bumped to July 2009? Sad. I was really looking forward to that movie on Thanksgiving! I suppose I'll just have to ease my pain with Twilight. haha Shoot! Stephenie Meyer slipped in again...

You know the song Twentysomething as performed by Jamie Cullum? Awesome song. I feel it, man. I totally feel it.

OK. I feel I have expressed all of my current thoughts. Well, not all. If that were the case, some of you would be offended, or shocked, or be falling out of your seats with laughter. These are just some of my current thoughts. I will leave you in peace.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What the Freak?! Breaking Dawn Spoiler alert! Don't read this unless you've read the book...or you don't care.

Bella's a little least she's married to the man she's skanking on.

Edward's freaked cuz he's fathered a baby that's killing his wife?!

Edward fathered a killer baby!!

Jacob takes on his role as the Alpha male. Gosh, didn't see that one coming.

Bella named her baby Renesmee?!

Jacob imprinted on Renesmee?! OK, I REALLY didn't see that one coming.

Bella FINALLY got bitten! Thank goodness.

Renesmee gets nicknamed Nessie. Thank goodness.

Nessie isn't a killer baby after all!

And they all lived happily ever after...

So, my question is, do they keep up the charade in Forks? How long can they stay without being discovered? Do they wait until Nessie is "fully grown" before moving on? And do they start in high school again? And do Bella and Edward do high school with their daughter? When they have to move, does Jacob go with them? If he does, what about his calling to watch over La Push--being the alpha male and all? And if he stays in La Push, what about Renesmee? And when she grows up, how does that love switch from being guardian/caretaker love to love-of-my-life love? And when it does change to that romantic love, how do Bella and Edward deal? And do Jacob and Nessie have babies? What ARE they, if they do? Half Indian-Shapeshifter, a quarter human, a quarter vampire. So, then what kind of characteristics do they take on? They'd be MOSTLY human, so do they eat human food only, or does the vampire thirst dominate? And because they'll most likely be raised around their vampire family, and this shapeshifting thing is active when vampires are present, do they all become shapeshifters?

These are only a few of my questions. I also wanna know why Marcus is always so bored. And what happens with Garrett and Kate? And does Jasper ever fully accept his new way of life? Does Rosalie ever fully accept Bella? Does Nessie call her parents by their first names, like Bella and Edward call/refer to their parents by their first names, or does she call/refer to them by Mom and Dad? And what about Carlisle and Esme? Are they grandpa and grandma? And the rest, are they aunts and uncles?

See, my curiosity is out of control. I need these things answered. I like that at the end of Harry Potter, JK Rowling told us what happened to and with the characters we were most curious about, like that Ginny was a pro Quidditch player for a while before having babies, and Ron works with George in the joke shop, etc. These are the kinds of things I want answered from Stephenie Meyer.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I'm a steamroller for you, babe...

Oh My Goodness. James Taylor and the Band of Legends... Amazing!!
What an incredible concert! I've heard horror stories about the USANA, but I thought it was really, very fun! Of course, it could be that I was listening to James

He played covers from his new album of covers. Which, as he said, just is a different way of saying they're gonna play other people's songs. It was SO good!

Wichita Lineman
Why Baby Why
Some Days You Gotta Dance
Hound Dog
Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin' (yes, from the musical Oklahoma!)

Plus his classics:
Sweet Baby James
Shower the People
How Sweet it is
Steamroller Blues
Fire and Rain
Shed a Little Light
Up on the Roof
You're Smiling Face
Walking Man
Country Roads
Carolina on the Mind

And of course a ton of others. It was seriously the best show I've been to. SO much fun, GREAT music, and just a happy, carefree atmosphere. I loved it! I'd really love to see him again.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


What the heck is my problem? I think maybe I'm just a sucker for a love story. Seriously. And this one was weird and kinda disturbing...but I liked it.

Stephenie Meyer is not a very great author, but she's got an amazing imagination. She lures you in with an exotic plot line and then hits you with a love story. And it's all so corny and hokey, yet I find myself enthralled. I read the Host and laughed through the ridiculous parts, gasped in all the right places, and I even got a little emotional.

Here's the problem: she doesn't write very well. The dialog is interrupted with silly narration about what she was thinking, what he was doing, how he looked while he said this...blah blah blah. I've grown accustomed to not having to be spoon fed and I rather like it. It leaves my imagination free to decide what he or she was doing or looking like or thinking. And then the narration itself is completely destroyed by her overuse of punctuation. Now, I'm the first person to admit that I have a tendency to be a little elaborate with punctuation. But my goodness! Every sentence is interrupted by a clause! It drives me nuts! And, like I said, she spoon-feeds the story to her readers. I don't know if she thinks we're too dumb to figure things out or follow a plot-line, but she needs to just write a freakin' story without repeating herself over and over and over and over and get the idea.

And still, for some reason, I find myself liking the Host and re-reading the Twilight series. I blame it on the story. I just really like the stories, the adventure, the sickening romance, and the creativity behind the plot. Like I said, I must be a sucker.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Why So Serious?

Wow. No, really.

I know most have already heard the hype, but that's the thing. It's not really over-exaggerated hype. It's well-earned, completely deserved hype. What an amazing, terrifying, and completely psychotic performance by Heath Ledger! The special effects were awesome making the action sequences really, truly breath-taking (in that you're literally holding your breath). The cinematography was extremely well done. I love all of the actors in this movie, (my heart throbs at the sight of Christian Bale and Heath Ledger--outside their costumes, of course--not to mention my love of Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, and Morgan Freeman) so maybe I'm a little biased, but they all performed well. Thank goodness for the switch from Katie Holmes to Maggie Gyllenhaal! SO much better. And I have to big major props to Christian Bale and Heath Ledger and their use of accents. You can usually tell when an Aussy or a Brit is trying to sound American, like Gary can still hear his accent. Oh well. He's forgiven cuz he's awesome. But Ledger and Bale, these guys don't try, they DO sound American.

It starts out scary and just gets freakier as the story goes on. There are some great parallels in the characters: Good? vs Evil? Who's really what? Some twists and turns, surprises, and parts where I actually laughed out loud (from relief and "I knew this was coming") when rescues were made. The inclusion of Harvey Dent/Two Face...brilliant, though at points a little distracting. And the Joker scared the crap out of me. I really did cover my eyes at different points.

What I found most intriguing was that there was no trace of Heath Ledger in his portrayal of the Joker. I mean, you can usually still find the actor behind the character, but Ledger was gone and all you saw and heard was the Joker. He totally stole the show.

OK, enough of my raving. Just go see it. But be prepared: it's truly freaky.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ready for a common complaint?

Let me start by saying I'm so grateful that I'm a woman. I truly am. Being female and having all of the blessings that accompany this lot in life....

HOWEVER: I absolutely hate the painful knots and cramps in my lower abdomen every month. I hate having to know. I hate the headaches and body aches. I hate the fatigue and the bloating. I'm so uncomfortable and I just wanna go home and cry. Then sleep. Then cry some more. And eat chocolate. And bread. And then sleep and cry some more. Yeah, it's all cliche. And maybe it's really all in my head. But that's what I want.

So, I apologize if my mood is less than happy and I am less than social this weekend. I have only one phrase to indicate why: I feel like crap.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What a Trip!

Man, oh man! Fasten your seat-belts, this is gonna be a long blog! San Francisco is an extremely difficult city to navigate. We got turned around and flipped upside-down almost as soon as we stepped outside our hotel. The buses we crowded and hot. There were hundreds of people on the streets, with hundreds of cars passing by. Owning a car in that city means spending more money than is necessary. And it's dirty. The streets are littered and there are pigeons everywhere.

Our hotel, called the Opal, was OLD (built in 1908) and hadn't been updated in a while. The floors and bedspreads were poison. And the room was tiny! Thank goodness for the walk-in closet where we stored all of our crap and changed clothes. There was a freaky painting of some girls moving away from the canvas, with one of the little girls looking back. We decided she was haunting the building and, more specifically, our room. She was a freaky little thing that made the room hotter, as opposed to a typical ghost who would prefer the cold.

Since gay marriage was recently legalized, we saw quite a few gay pride flags (aka The Rainbow). We even saw a newly married homo couple leaving city hall with leis around their necks. We really didn't see too much PDA, thank goodness. There were some obvious couples, but nothing too disgusting.

Having said all that, I loved it. It was so fun to see all the places we've heard about.

We started Friday at Pier 39. It was the hottest day there, at about 95 degrees. They don’t usually get that hot in SF, so no one has air conditioning. We did some window shopping, winding our way down the pier, stopping to take pictures of the noisy sea lions.
We ate at the Crab House, and even I, the seafood-hater, loved it. Heather and I shared crab alfredo and it was delicious!
We went to the aquarium on the pier and saw an octopus, which was hiding at the bottom between the rocks because it was so HOT. We also saw their new seven-gilled shark that weighed about 350 pounds. She was pretty big. They had a jelly fish display that was fun to watch. We got to pet sea anemone and sting rays, too.

Then we went on a little bay cruise that took us out under the bay bridge and then back around The Rock, aka Alcatraz. It was kinda spooky to look at, actually. Or maybe I’m just weird. We then walked down to Fisherman’s Wharf and took a tour of Boudin Bakery, where we sampled some delicious breads and spreads.
And then we went up the hill to Ghirardelli Square. They’ve just released a new chocolate: peanut butter. Oh my goodness, it was delightful! We got a few free samples of that one, cuz they were passing them out at every chocolate shop we went into. We had some cupcakes at this cute little shop called Kara’s Cupcakes. Then it was back to the parking garage that housed Mom’s car and drove to the local Costco, which was in a kind of high-rise building on a street corner. It was totally strange. We got some food for our weekend, then back to the hotel to eat and drop-dead from exhaustion and heat-stroke! Friday was undoubtedly our busiest day.

It cooled off on Saturday, thanks to a few clouds and the wind, and being in the shade of the tall building downtown. We started out at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. There was a Frida Kahlo exhibit that Mom, Marie, and Jana enjoyed (Heather and I didn’t want to pay the extra to see it, but we also got to spend more time looking at the other art). Side note: The art in SF is amazing. There were so many different galleries all over the place! After enjoying the works of Marcel Duchamp, Georgia O'Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Gerhard Richter, Diego Rivera, Hans Arp, and Andy Warhol, amongst others, we went to a little soup and sandwich shop called Anderson’s Bakery and enjoyed some yummy sandwiches.
Then we hit the shopping district at Union Square. Wow. Talk about up-town: Tiffany & Co., Saks Fifth Ave., Prada, Gucci, mixed in with GAP and Levis Flagship Store. We hit up some art galleries and an antiques shop as well. It was awesome. We ate at the Cheesecake Factory above Macy’s (which had a HUGE underwear ad).
We ran into a companionship of elders on our way up to the restaurant, in an answer to our prayer. We hadn’t figured out where the closest church building or meeting time was before we left. Mom had called Dad, who wasn’t in a position to help us at the time. And BANG! There were the elders. They were the Spanish-speaking elders (both from Utah—Lehi and Sandy), so they did some searching for us and found us a close building and time. They also bought us a slice of strawberry cheesecake. Yum. I think they were just really happy to run into some Utahans, even though we’re Californians, too. Anyway, we went back to the hotel and crashed again after walking around all day (15000 steps!). We got to watch the first day of the women’s gymnastic trials for the Olympics, too!

Sunday was a little slower. We went to church in the Bay Ward. I’m glad we decided to start our Sunday the right way. We went back to the hotel for lunch and then headed down to Golden Gate Park. Apparently it used to be this beautifully kept area with a ton of green grass and pretty flowers and trees. Now the grass is browning and the flowers have disappeared, I’m guessing due to budget cuts. There was a kind of community band festival going on in the park, so we got to hear some fun band music.

We really enjoyed the de Young Museum with all of its art and history. Mom and Heather went in to the Dale Chihuly exhibit, which was basically a ton of beautiful glass art.

Then we went and explored the Japanese Tea Gardens. The flowers and leaves were all so small and delicate. It was serene and beautiful.
After our relaxing walk through the gardens, we headed up to Haight Ashbury. Wow, that was interesting! There were a ton of vintage/second-hand stores, so Marie was very excited. She ended up buying this really pretty, old-style blouse and a dress. We went into a couple of “organic” food stores just to explore and see what they had. They carried a lot of the same things that World Market or Trader Joe’s carries.

Side note: there are street musicians everywhere in SF! We heard a full-on band (well, guitarist/singer with a bassist and a drummer) on one of the corners at Haight Ashbury, plus there were sax players, trumpeters, guitarist, and a guy playing some kind of Chinese string instrument in China Town. It was awesome. After exploring Haight Ashbury for a while, we headed back uphill—and I mean UPHILL!!—and the cruised over to the Fisherman’s Wharf area where we found a pizza place to have dinner. The pizza was OK, but the onion rings were amazing! Then back to the hotel to crash. Again. We watched the second day of the women’s gymnastic trials as we ate our strawberry cheesecake, and then fell asleep to Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Monday morning we woke up to a phone call from Dad. And then another phone call from Dad. And then to the fire alarm in the hotel. We all hurried to get decent and then the alarm stopped. But we heard sirens soon afterward, so, since I was the most dressed, I went downstairs to the front desk to see what was going on. There were firemen all over the lobby in their full-fire gear with the big silver tanks on their backs. The people at the front desk said it was all due to a burnt piece of toast. Thank goodness, cuz if that building had caught fire, we all would have been dead, I swear! Anyway, we went to breakfast at Mel’s Drive-In Diner (which isn’t a drive-in anymore, but is a mini-chain in SF, and there was one right next to our hotel—there was even a door directly from the hotel into the diner). After our yummy breakfast, we headed up to China Town.

The shops up there were SO fun! Mom bought a beautiful table cloth (for when she puts out her china) and Heather bought her daughter and very pretty China doll. I bought a jade ring and a few beads. The buildings were so amazing, and there were lamps strung across the streets. It was really a lot of fun. Then we went exploring. We wanted to go to the Exploratorium, but it was closed. Sad. Instead we took a drive over the Golden Gate Bridge, taking pictures along the way. It was very foggy above the city, so we couldn't even see the top of the bridge.

We stopped on the north side and took in the foggy sight. We had an officer watching us try to balance the camera on a rock wall to get a timed picture with all of us in it…and after getting a good laugh at us when someone walked in front of the camera, he offered to take the picture for us. Good times. Anyway, we got back in the car and drove around the north side of the bridge, passed through some of the smaller areas and took in the view. It was gorgeous.

And then it was off to the airport. We were very late getting there, and Heavenly Father answered our prayers—we thought we’d miss our flight. The flight was delayed by a half hour! We got there an hour early after the delay, and then they actually didn’t get off until 15 minutes after that, so we were very blessed!

Talk about a jam-packed four days! We did a ton of sight seeing and walking and driving and picture-taking. It was a lot of fun to be with my sisters and my mom. I’m so grateful that we were able to spend this time together! What a fun, fun weekend!!