Friday, July 22, 2011

In West Philadelphia Born and Raised

About 3 weeks ago, Collin and I were on the way home 
from New York City. It was well after midnight, and unfortunately he
had to be up and out the door the next morning by 7 am.
Therefore, it was up to me to make the 3 hour drive...
Alone. In the dark.
The drive consisted mostly
of long, dark highways. (There aren't many street lights 
on the highways of the East Coast.) However! We did drive through
one really fancy, bright city called 
(Pronounced Fee-la.)
The next day I told Collin all about the fantastic, flashy city of Phila!
(Remember, pronounced Fee-la.)

Did you know that the word Philadelphia has 12 letters in it?
Uh, huh. 
Did you also know that the freeway-sign-makers-of-Pennsylvania
came up with a great idea in order not to have to use all12 of those letters?
They simply shorten the word to
Uhhhhh, hello!!! 
Collin got a real big laugh outta that last weekend on 
our real drive to Philadelphia.

First and foremost on our list of things to do in Philadelphia 
was, of course,
Philly Cheese Steaks!
There are 2 steak shops in downtown Philly that are known
to be the best in town. And they juuuuust happen to be conveniently located
right across the street from one another.
Well, I'm sure you can see how 
this presented a terrible problem for Collin.
So, he simply had to try one from each!
You tell the guy behind the counter,
"One Wiz Wit!"
(Wit - How true Philadelphians pronounce the word "with."
Oh and Wiz, that means cheese!)
 The question then is...
Who makes the best Cheese Steak?
The jury's still out...
But, after trying both, Collin declared 
Geno's the best Cheese Steak in Philadelphia!

After the Cheese Steak battle had been settled
we lined up for our chance to
go inside Independence Hall where the Founding Fathers 
constructed the United States Constitution.

 (He's so cute!)
Thank you Philadelphia for fabulous Cheese Steaks and governmental structure :]

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

By Dawn's Early Light and Afternoon Too!

I don't know how he does it?
It's like "Spidey-Sense" or something.
If there's good food cooking within 1,000 feet of where we are, Collin will find it!
This time is happened to be an Asian street fair in
Washington D.C.
He got BBQ steak and I got sushi, the perfect combination.
Washington D.C. is only about 2 hours from where we live in PA.
It would probably even be a little less than that, if you
were alone on the roads. We came across
some very straaange drivers on our way to and from
the Capital. (But luckily, we made it out alive!)

After our feast of Asian street fair food we walked down to the
National Mall. Behind us is the Capital Building, not the
White House (just in case you were
a little confused like I was!)
We spent the next 5 hours or so wandering in and out of all the
museums lining the the National Mall. We searched around
the National Air and Space Museum, the National Gallery of Art, the National
Museum of Natural History, and the National Museum of American History.

The Museum American History was our favorite.
Collin loved the war exhibit.
There was a large tribute to all the wars The United States had
been involved in since becoming a nation.
There was a large display of WWII propaganda, with posters
from the time encouraging the U.S. citizens to support their soldiers.
(This picture is for Kylie because it's something hysterically dramatic she would have loved.)
My favorite section of the museum was the First Ladies exhibit!
On display in 2 rooms were
dresses worn by almost all of the first ladies. I loved this
part, such a creative tribute to the women in the White House!
This is Michelle Obama's addition.
She is so poised and elegant. I really think she fits the title of First Lady.
Annnnd, I had to have Collin take a picture of me with
these first edition sewing machines. :]
I'm already laughing just thinking about this next picture!
I love flowers, so Collin suggested I
take a picture in front of these pretty yellow ones.
Literally one second after this picture was taken a tour group on Segways
(yes, segways, those standing motor machines)
came to a halt just short of us...
All but ONE that is!
One segway tourist didn't quite make the stop,
began to spin out of control, hit the sidewalk curb,
and fell over! It was scary to watch,
until she popped up off the
sidewalk without so much as a cut!
Each time I replay that scene over in my head I get a little chuckle!
After finishing out our time in the museums, Collin and I walked to the
base of the Washington Monument. It's atop of a small
hill. You can see almost all of the city up there.
From there I took a picture of the White House.
And my very favorite picture of the day :]

Friday, July 8, 2011

Thinking In The Rain

I hadn't planned on going on a run today.
But, have you ever had that experience, where you
pullout a pair of pants you bought 2 years ago and thought
maybe a run today isn't a bad idea after all?
It was raining when I hit the streets.
Rain in PA is totally different
form AZ. It doesn't just pour for 10 minutes
then turn back into a beautiful sun-shiny day.
Nope, the rain hangs around for a while and spreads an
enchanted mist everywhere.

I had only gotten about 200 yards away from the house
when my shoe lace came untied.
So I stopped.
And tied it.
I took less than 10 steps and the same
shoe came untied again!
Hoping this wasn't some
sort of sign, I bent down, tied it again,
and continued running. I figured that was the best
option (seeing how sign seeking only turns out for the worst...
Just take it from Korihor. That didn't turn out too well.)

I was glad I did.
There is something magical about running.

Somehow, everything in your mind,
all the clutter, seems to dissolve
into thin air, and you can only focus on one thing at a time.
I loved to run while Collin and I were dating. There were a million reasons
why I wanted to marry him. But some of the most striking reasons
came in conversation while we ran together,
or in concentrated thought while I ran alone.

On my run today, I thought of so many metaphors
between running and life.

I had a friend who worked with a running coach while training for
a Ragnar Race. This coach told my friend,
"If I runner wants to go faster, he's got to lengthen his stride."
What an interesting parallel this has to life.
If a person wants to go faster, achieve higher, or grow at all
he's got to lengthen his stride.
President Spencer W. Kimball was an expert on this.
Lengthening your stride can be applied to almost anything; school,
job efforts, good health habits, Spiritual growth,
family relationships, relationships in general, kindness,
developing talents, attaining personal goals.
The list is truly endless.

It is my experience, that this is how growth happens.
We work for it.
And we lengthen our stride.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wanna Know What I Miss Most?

Now, don't get me wrong, out trip back East has been a RIOT!
The people we've met in PA are wonderful,
the flowers and greenery are unbelievable, and
we've seen some incredible things!

But there are just a fewwww things the East Cost is missing...

1. Early morning hikes (because it's just to hot to be outside
at any other time of day!)
2. Being in Wildcat and SUN DEVIL Country (I don't know why we don't have
any pictures in ASU Gear? I mean we actually ARE Sun Devil students!)
I guess Dad was right, once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat :]
It's not my fault I grew up loving the Cats!

3. My Izzy!
4. Camp Outs
Gosh, I miss them!

Every cute new camera...

...deserves a cute new case!
I spent this afternoon at the sewing machine. And through
a little trial and error, I was able to construct a cute little case for my
smokin' hot new camera!
The inside is a simple tan with felt for padding, and
the outside is burlap and lace!
This is my second attempt at sewing a "pouch" of sorts,
and let's just say round one wasn't nearly as successful.
I'm wondering if perhaps part of
the reason our old camera bit the dust
was because I never kept it
in case? It was just
left out, exposed to all the elements.
But! Lesson learned, and hopefully this one'll be a around for a while!
These flowers bloomed since yesterday, I wanted to add
them to the gallery.