December 28-Jan 3

Date with the Lundquists
My week began with a most joyous viewing of Sherlock Holmes with my dear cousin Laura and her sweet hubby Brayden. First: the movie was most comical. Second: the company was grand--the Lundquists are absolutely wonderful.
So we decided to go skiing this week. It was challenging. Let me explain:
Wednesday: we woke to a blizzard. The Parents decided it was not safe so we did not go. Instead we went to Alvin and the Chipmunks

Aka Rebekah's fave movie, celebrities, and musical group!

Then...sledding. My favorite was being able to use the two sleds my lil bro gave me for Christmas last year (he drew my name for the sibling exchange). When asked what I wanted for Christmas I replied: a sled...with my name on it. So he found a large green sled and a miniscule orange sled and wrote my name in permanent marker across it. It was perfect! I'll have you know that green sled is my fave! Speedy and relatively bum hardly hurts on it!

(Left to right: Ali, Steph, Bekah, Tina, Sarah, Me!)
...note the beautiful green sled on the left...and the orange one in Sarah's hands aka Matt's gift.

Take two of skiing: Thursday (New Years Eve Day) we attempted to go skiing again. Bekah, Pops, Sarah, and Grandpa Dean went up skiing early in the morning, but I had something that morning so at 11am, Shell, Tina, Steph, and I attempted to join them. The drive was lovely and eventful. So I didn’t exactly cut someone off. In fact, I got into a lane in front of another car that was still far off not realizing how fast the man was going. Within seconds he was on my tail, next on my side waving with just one finger (get it?), then he literally cut me off to the point where if I hadn’t been quick with my breaks we would have hit the Crazy. We found this beyond comical, however, and couldn’t stop laughing. He looked like SUCH a fool.

This is post road rage incident.  We call it: Are you for reals?

And this pic we took in order to remember the comical moment.
(Note: that's not the finger he waved with...)

Dear Road Ragers:
You look like FOOLS.

The journey continued:
Up the canyon full of beautiful fresh powdery snow from the day before… We were making good time until suddenly without warning the cars stopped. Completely. The Brighton lot was FULL! No one was allowed in. There were SO many people that people were parking below Solitude to go to Brighton! Ridiculous right?! Still we fought...slowly...

(We call this one: Waiting in a Line of Cars) the front of the line to see if by chance they would let us through. Fail. By now it was 1:30pm and we did not want to waste our full day passes that expire in April. Therefore, we turned around and opted for a Friday Ski Success.

Thus take three of skiing = Ski Success! Shell, Bekah, Tina, and I went to Brighton at 8:30am New Years Eve Day. So fun! It was even warm-ish (I may or may not have been wearing 3 pairs of pants, 2 pairs of gloves, shirts, and had numerous hand warmers in my hat…I hate being cold). I quite loved it! My favorite was the tree skiing. Black and Double Black Diamonds terrify me if they are treeless. However, if trees cover the slope I cannot determine how terrified I should be—so I make it down by tricking myself. As I’m sure you’re imagining now we ventured through the trees quite a lot. We even frequently made our own paths. One of which failed me when I went deeper and deeper in powder til suddenly my skis stopped and I flew face forward into the snow! Haha! It was a brilliant wipe out. Right beneath the Snake Creek ski lift too! Haha. Bekah also practiced ugly skiing during which she made it look like she was a horrific beginner skier by spreading her legs ultra wide in the beginner pizza position. Then she awkwardly snaked back and forth shouting “guys I’m scared”. It was hilarious! People gave her the weirdest looks!

Our lovely ski adventure:
The Ski Lift
(Shell, Tina, Me, Bekah)

Top of Great Western

Tina and Me

Me and Shell

Shell and Bekah on the lift

Our tree skiing findings!
(Shell, Tina, Me...and Bekah's taking the pic!)

New Years Eve:
It was grand going home after our New Years Day ski fail, however, as we had to prep for our International Party. During FHE earlier in the week our family decided we would have an International New Years Eve Party. Meaning: each family member was placed in a group of two, then each group was responsible for one hour of celebration during which they were to celebrate representing another country in honor of New Years all over the world. So fun!

1st: China. Shell and Tina commenced with some Chinese phrases and rules. We then had a rice eating contest with chopsticks…I won. Jane Jeppson may or may not have taught me a secret to success—ha. Then we made beautiful Chinese New Years Dragons! Lovely! Fun! Wonderful! Oh—fortune cookies and all! Yay China!

Shell and Tina with their Chinese Dragon example.

Making Chinese Dragons

Jane and Bekah in the thick of the rice eating competition!

Tan and Gramps rice eating competing.

2nd: Bulgaria. Steph and Bekah pulled off a wonderful Bulgarian celebration—inspired by the Harry Potter Bulgarian Quidditch Team. Steph is quite the Harry Potter fan! We each received Bulgarian names, learned some great facts, then made amazingly hideous masks—ugly/scary to scare off the bad. So fun. Oh—they also made fabulous cookies with a hole in the middle you dip in jam and place on a stick—delicious. The best is you have receive the cookies from someone else along with a new years wish for them. It was fun!

Sarah and Shell crafting their Bulgarian masks.

Sarah giving me a Bulgarian cookie...and a New Years wish!
Thanks Sarah!

3rd: The Polynesian Islands. Sarah and I couldn’t decide which island—so we did them all. We began with distribution of the leis, followed by bowling with coconuts (we may or may not have made that up), roasting of a pig (hot dogs over the fire) and pina coladas, flame tossing (hot potato with a fake candle), the limbo, and of course an add on story/song with a ukulele. It was so funny!

Roasting the pig

Bekah and me eating the roasted pig

The limbo!

Steph limbo-ing!

Liz doing the add on story/song!

4th: In honor of the lil bro my parents and Liz were in charge of Argentina/Uruguay. One comical tradition they do is running around with a suitcase to bring in luck of lots of travel. We played a rendition of hot potato with a suitcase—it was most comical. Then of course we had a piƱata! Delicious!

Then the padres busted out the fireworks: Lots and lots of fireworks! For over an hour!

Tanner, Jarom, and I may or may not have been running around with these sparking flame things!

Sarah and Shell...blowing things up.

Fireworks were followed by warming by the fire,
Mario Kart, and Martinellis and toasts to the new year!

New Years Day
Pooped after a late night and full day of skiing—many napped, I accompanied the Father to Sherlock Homes again (I never see movies too!). Again it was comical. And it was good Pops/daughter bonding time.

So I can’t believe how unbelievably fast my break went! So much happened in such a short amount of time!  My bro left, Missy got married, Christmas, New Years, fun, more Saturday I was already packing! Cursed packing.
Cursed laundry.
Haha. Oh what a fool am I. So between Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks I didn’t have time to do laundry as I was swamped with finals, final papers, internship wrap up, etc. So when I packed to come home I most definitely stuffed everything full to the maximum weight in order to bring everything home to wash. Haha. Yes I did bring all of my dirty clothes across the country! But I didn’t know what I needed! So packing to go back was most challenging—especially since I had rounded up additional items I needed to take back with me. Solution: Wonder Mom! If anyone ever needs any help packing call my Mother. She could make a business out of her packing skills! Phenomenal really! Thanks madre!

That evening Sarah, Tina, and I adventured as I had to run a few last minute errands/ Sarah needed yarn to make a hat for her friend.

Adventure: we may or may not have tried on hideous clothes at Ann Taylor Loft.

Beautiful really.

Then we discovered that Barnes and Noble IS in fact having a midnight opening party for the book Fable Haven (Sarah was unbelievably pleased). At Michaels we had a jolly time trying on hats

and then sitting on the floor looking at cake making material—who knew Sarah was so obsessed with cake making? She really is! And Tina! They’re adorable! Girls…make me a cake on May 9th and send it to me! Sarah—it best be a basket cake!  Oh right...please! 

Now…are you ready for my airport story…and by that I mean stories? Goodness:
Goodbye take 1: At 11am the family drove me to the airport. I checked in. Took pictures (Mom has picked up the habit! I had individual shots with each family member, then the whole fam, then by myself…didn’t I do this in August?). The youngins teared up a bit, then I walked toward security with my purse. Just my purse? PROBLEM. I most definitely came to the airport with a bag that weighed 40lbs! AND it had all of my most valuable items! So I turned back to see if Tina still had it (assuming she was playing a joke on me). She didn’t. When I went to check in I left it with Tina, who left it with another, then another, then suddenly it was determined the bag had been left by itself! Downstairs! NO! I was so nervous it would be gone, confiscated as a potential bomb threat! My poor innocent bag! With pizza! And fruit snacks! And CANDY! Running back downstairs we were able to reclaim it from the security that were surrounding it. Fewf.

Goodbye take two: I head toward security again. I get to the front of the line. Hand them what the lady at check in gave me. NOT a boarding pass. Somehow she’d forgotten and in my haste and lame trust I left. Back downstairs again…

Goodbye take three: I head toward security. Get patted down, etc, finally pass. To the gate. Now I purchased my ticket late as I was determining when I needed to be back for quite some time. Therefore, I had no actual assigned seat though I was confirmed. I was most hopeful, however, as during the holidays they typically offer travel vouchers that people take. I check in. Then I wait. First class loaded. Zone 1-2 loaded. Zones 1-3 loaded. Zones 1-4 loaded. My name never appearing on the screen. Suddenly I realize there are loads of angry people. The plane not only had been oversold, but they had switched aircraft due to engine difficulties. Meaning: even LESS seats! Families were sitting far apart, some families couldn’t even all get on the plane—they were separated. The biggest fiasco: in the workers’ haste they had allowed too many people on the plane. Sure they all had boarding passes that coordinated with the previous plane set up; however, now there were not enough seats. Oh the anger, the tears, the yelling, then the security…I stayed back. Finally, the gate closed. I got at the back of the line to get a new flight. I hate yelling and such commotion. Still I waited as angry people slammed fists on the desk demanding they get home today, now, etc. Quite intense. Travel vouchers of $400 were being distributed to everyone who didn’t get on. Finally, last in line I approach the desk. I wasn’t sad. Not at all. But for some awkward reason when the lady sweetly said, “Alright hun let’s see what flight we can get you on” the tears just began to fall. I wasn’t sad! This meant I could hang out with the fam longer. Still the wetness of my eyes would not desist! Humiliation? Well, humiliation that benefited. Sweetly she suddenly asks, “oh hun I’m so sorry you had to see all this. Would you rather a check for $800?” I was confused? Travel voucher for $400 or check for $800…is that a trick question? I stared a bit confused—then she gave me the look of Yes dear you ARE an idiot. Ha—oh the dumb blond tears. It wasn’t staged. I couldn’t help it. The best part is that right before I left I said to Pops, “Dad! What if I don’t get on?” To which he responded, “Cry or something. Milk it for what it’s worth.” Haha—he’s most proud.

Soo…I went home again as the next flight was at midnight and it was 2pm.
Liz and I watched a one of her favorite movies—Swiss Family Robinson. I enjoyed a final home cooked meal, played an awesome board game version of Sets, relaxed, chatted…

Goodbye take four:
With my ticket—that had a seat assignment—and my purse AND carry on, the parents again took me to the airport. This time things went much more smoothly. I didn’t have to check my bags—they had gone out on the earlier flight. Security was a breeze. Then at the gate I ran into 4 friends who were also on my flight—so we chatted for a good 30 minutes until we boarded. Success. I even ended up with an Emergency Row seat—slept from take off to landing (thanks to the Ambien provided by the father)! 5 hours of sleep—not bad!

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