Monday, January 18, 2010

New Friends, Disneyland, and Other Adventures

11:53 and even though I woke up this morning at 7:50 wishing I could sleep forever, I don't want to go to bed right now.

So let me first of all tell you about some new friends. My good friend Angela introduced me to a group of friends she had through college one night when she, Ben, and I were hanging out. The night was fun and I fully expected to never really see them again. Shortly thereafter was Halloween and I went up to Logan. I dressed up as a Republican (NRA hat and a shirt that said "I Hate Minorities") and Angela dressed up as a Democrat (rainbow wristband and a shirt that said, "Kill Babies Not Terrorists"). No one really got it since no one we hung out with knew me. But that night a couple of the people I had met came and we had some more laughs. They talked about their upcoming Disneyland trip and I thought, "Disneyland! What fun!" and I resolved to use the free ticket I've had for 6 1/2 years now in the next little while with maybe a couple friends. A short while after that Angela sent me a text saying that her friends wanted to know if I wanted to go to Disneyland with them. I'll tell you what. It was a bit of a shocker. I had hung out with them a few times then all of a sudden I'm going on a 5 day journey with 6 people I don't really know and one person I know very well. It was fantastic for two reasons. 1) I went to freaking Disneyland right before Christmas and 2) I have a small resemblance of a social life now.

Disneyland was amazing. The ride down was interesting to me for the first little while simply because I didn't really know anyone. Also because we stopped in St. George to get tires and lunch and I realized that my wallet was on the floor of my bedroom. That was upsetting. But I had 3 offers for lunch money and Angela was kind enough to pay the rest of my food until my mom could overnight my debit card to me. Anyway, the longer we spent in that car, the more I got to know everyone, and the more I liked everyone too :)

We went to the park 2 1/2 days. Disneyland all day the first day, California Adventure most of the second day, and switching between the two the third day. Wednesday (day two) was especially fantastic because we ate at the Blue Bayou. You know that restaurant that you see as you enter Pirates of the Caribbean? The one where you get jealous of all the people eating there? Yeah, that's where we ate. We had a table on the waterfront and it was SO awesome. The ambiance was perfect - fake fireflies, frogs in the background, an awesome view of a fake bayou, and the air even had quite a bit of humidity. The food was delicious. To begin you could either get a bowl of gumbo or a salad with a special cajun dressing. I got the salad and the dressing was quite possibly the best I've ever had. I also tried the gumbo and holy crap was it divine. For the main course I got the filet minon. It came with asparagus that was so drenched in butter that I even enjoyed it. The filet minon itself was to die for. So tender you almost didn't even need a knife. A couple people got the salmon and I tried that as well. Hands down the best salmon I've ever had. Blackened to perfection.

Another highlight were the fireworks. We watched them Wednesday and Thursday nights. On Wednesday as we were walking around trying to find a spot to watch them I kept thinking, "I've seen fireworks before. Let's skip this part and go on some more rides." Boy was I wrong. I've never been in complete awe from a fireworks display before. Whenever we'd go to Disneyland and/or World as kids my parents would either be shuffling us out of the park to beat the crowds or we'd all be rushing to get in a few more rides while the fireworks were going on. These were totally worth not going on more rides. I really can't even go into detail on how awesome they were because I still can't believe that I would love fireworks that much. We watched them again Thursday night and got a spot right in front of the castle a couple hours before. A few people went shopping while we waited and some of us stayed and just hung out waiting for it to start. Totally worth waiting there forever on the cement to get a front row seat. It just made me smile. How often do fireworks just make you happy like that?

We also watched Fantasmic Thursday night. Another highlight that my parents never took us to because it was overrated to them. That was also awesome.

The half day we didn't spend in the parks was spent at the beach. I decided not to bring my swimsuit because the water would be crazy cold. I regretted that decision later. I did however stand on the beach long enough for me to sink into the sand. The beach was about half way up my calves when I finally got too uncomfortable to stand in one position. It was a struggle getting out.

But yes, the trip to Disneyland offered me more of a social life. Granted the people I went with live anywhere from Sandy to Logan, but I've been able to hang out with most of them in the North Salt Lake area and driving one hour is oh so much better than driving two. It may not seem like that much of a difference, but it really is. I still go up to Logan, but it's nice having friends a little closer to home.

On a more random note, I'm still waiting to hear back from grad school. I still haven't applied to Tulane and even thought the deadline isn't till March 31st, it's a bit late to get a scholarship which I'll need if I go there. I really feel like the U is the place to go if I'm going to go at all this year. If I don't get in somewhere right now the plan is to do one of two things. Either get a real job (DC, NYC, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and San Diego are among my top choices of places to go) or get a work visa and go somewhere like the UK where I speak the language and just work there for a while. My sister-in-law put the idea into my head and I keep thinking, why not? If there's nothing keeping me in Utah, why should there be anything keeping me in the U.S.? Granted, my family is here, but I wouldn't be out of the country forever. I'm only 22 - why do I need to be tied to one place at all? Why not go and experience a completely different life for a while? The idea is super appealing to me right now but as of now I'm not brave enough to do it on my own. I have a friend who seems open to the idea, but we'll see. I really just wish I'd hear back from grad school so I can know what's in store for me and move on. I'm in limbo right now - working a whatever job (which is getting better by the way. I was customer service rep of the year!), living at home in Utah Valley, and not really doing anything I haven't done before. Mostly I'm excited to move both to a different city and on with my life.