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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Viva Las Vegas

Last weekend, Air Force played at UNLV so I drove down to see Matt. (Thanks to Priceline and their $55 Marriott hotel rooms for making that possible.) Although we obviously wish Matt could've stayed healthy this season, there are definite benefits to being a coach instead--one being a later curfew. So we hit up the strip, of course, and watched the fountains at the Bellagio... three times. Mr. Engineer was loving it.

We also spent some time at the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace... which, as you can see, Matt thoroughly enjoyed.

On Saturday, we hung out in the team's hotel lobby and grabbed lunch here...

... before heading to the game, which the Falcons won 29-28!

All the while, my family was busy going on some ridiculously beautiful hikes with the Grafs. Case in point, Kolob:

I did, however, get to hang out with them in Cedar for a bit on the way home. I have such fun aunts and uncles (and grandparents! Hi grandma!). Pretty sure you can tell my aunt Lisa and I are related.

The Vegas streak continued yesterday when UNLV came up to Provo to get beat 42-35. Matt was down in New Mexico coaching so I got to play Cougar United VP again for the day! Oh, I miss those CU days. I spent the first 3 quarters with my great friend/CU President Josh Reschke on the sidelines before meeting up with my dad and 3-year-old brother Josh. Joshie had been crying at the prospects of only getting to watch BYU football on TV so my dad took him to the game. He had that smile on his face the entire time...

... especially when I brought him onto the field with me so he could watch BYU score a touchdown. Go Cougs!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Over, Under

My younger sister Heidi is always telling me how lucky I am to get so many airport scenes because "they're so romantic." I always tell her they're actually a bit overrated. Even though the arrivals are lovely, the mere fact that we have to have them--instead of always getting to be together--makes them a little bittersweet at the same time, and you'd better believe that saying goodbye gets old fast. Then again, sometimes the romance factor does win me over... Like when I left Colorado after Conference weekend.

Matt dropped me off at the airport as usual and we said goodbye, for two weeks this time. I was cutting it close for my flight so I hurried past ticketing, down the escalators and to the other end so I could go through security. Right as I'm about to enter the TSA line, someone touched me so I turned around... and saw Matt there, breathless, with a dozen roses in his hands. They had been in the car but with my hurried goodbye he'd forgotten to give them to me... so he left his car in the passenger drop-off lane and sprinted through the airport to get my roses to me in time. Yeah, that's my fiance :-)

Meanwhile, I've come to find that, although I miss Matt on our off-weeks, the ability to stay home and relax for a weekend is most definitely underrated. Traveling so much can really wear you down, so sometimes its nice to skip out on my TSA buddies and enjoy virgin cocktails with good friends instead.

Many thanks to Josh for having a Mad Men (high society Madison Ave. in the early 60s) themed cocktail party for his birthday celebration.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Beat by a Goat.

Last weekend was the Air Force v. Navy football game. This is a huge deal, because the winner of this game (once they beat Army) wins the Commander in Chief trophy... which is presented to them by the President of the United States in the White House on an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C.

Talk about a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The football program kicked off the weekend well as the JV team pulled out another win on Friday night!
Must be that awesome coaching those receivers are getting :-)

Saturday was a bit of a different story. I learned from the Utah game that it's a good idea to take pictures before a big game, just in case. So I present Matt, me, Anthony & his dad Randy, pre-game.

Although they are the Navy Midshipmen, for some (very) odd reason, their mascot is a goat.
A live goat. Sure strikes fear into the hearts of their opponents, don't you think?

Well, must've worked with the Falcons because they CHOKED. They lost 33-27, thanks mostly to not one but TWO blocked punts returned for touchdowns along with TWO fumbles that led to Navy points. Just makes you cringe reading that, right? Without those embarrassing mistakes, it would have been an Air Force blowout and Matt would be waltzing his way into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in just a few months. Oh well. It's times like these I'm glad I have my Cougars (although, 34-14 over Utah State? Kind of embarrassing, too).

On the bright side, however, there were some pretty sweet flyovers. First, a stealth plane that was unbelievably quiet and, well, stealthlike... and then two F-22s (the most powerful fighters in the world) that just rocked the stadium. Navy might have Top Gun, but Air Force is where the real pilots are at.

Also on the bright side: When the sight on the field was too awful to even look at, I averted my eyes to a rather attractive coach on the sidelines. Not bad, right?

After the game, Matt rushed off to the Priesthood session of General Conference (which was GREAT, because his post-game mood definitely called for a pick-me-up) and then we went out for dinner at Biaggi's...

where our friend Shawn and his super cute girlfriend Whitney met up with us :-)

Then, on Sunday, we got to enjoy an entire day of General Conference with the entire Hendricks family, Steve included! Can't beat that.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Back to My Roots!

Although I grew up as a Cali girl (with a couple stints in Utah), I was actually born back East and lived there for my first few years while my dad was working for Goldman Sachs on Wall Street (before he decided to work for CES). I love it so much that I moved back for a semester when I was 18 and always planned on working there after graduating... until I got engaged to Matt. Funny how boys can change your plans like that :-) Anyway, once the "moving there" plan was thrown out the window, I planned on taking my mom on a trip out there once I graduated. Well, 9 months later, we finally got around to it!

We planned our visit around my aunt Janell's birthday (she lives in NJ) and had a blast! Like the good ol' days, we rode the train into the city and tried to decide what we wanted to do that day. We'd already seen/done all the big things, so it was kind of nice to have that must-do-it-all toursity pressure off and just get to enjoy our time there.

We ended up choosing...

Times Square (always something new),

Central Park (always so beautiful),

and shopping (always fun in New York!).

We happened to choose to visit on a weekend with a tropical storm and were preparing ourselves for a torrential downpour, but we lucked out and just got rain.

Once upon a time when I lived in NJ, I had tickets to see the original cast of Wicked. I ended up moving home a week before and have been kicking myself for the three years since. So naturally, when planning this trip, the #1 thing on our to-do list was to see Wicked with Janell and Sidney. In fact, we bought those tickets before booking our flights.

It was INCREDIBLE, of course.
I know I could have seen the traveling show sooner, but I'm glad I waited to see it in New York.
There's nothing quite like a show on Broadway.

With item #1 complete, it was on to #2 (okay, there were actually only two things on the list):
Amish Ice Cream!
I fell in love with it during that same semester I took off. You haven't lived until you've eaten this ice cream. So we stopped at an Amish market in Princeton...

...on our way to Philadelphia, where we walked along the historic streets, ate Philly cheesesteaks, and took a picture at Independence Hall to commemorate our visit :-).

We spent the rest of our time hanging out with Janell, John & my cute cousins and were sad to leave. All I can say is that it's a good thing the Air Force is deciding where we'll live because I'd never be able to decide between my east and west coasts.
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