Friday, June 26, 2009

Proof that We Moved

Like I said earlier, we had wonderful support as we left Denver. They even supported Brandon's deepest desire to hurl our home sweet home objects off our balcony.

(Brandon's dad, Bob, and our good friend Duke did the mean lowering. Brandon's brother Bryce kind of helped.)

(Brandon, his brother Josh, and Duke's dad are waiting to get crushed)

At first I was scared that our couch would get damaged, but when I saw this, I worried that my husband and a few other husbands would get damaged in the process. Luckily everyone came out OK. Even the couch.

Empty apartments look so weird. Especially after you've lived in them for 2 years.

I was a little sad about that.

Our caravan in all its glory. Look how big that moving truck is! And yes, it is towing a car. And that red car behind it is my car. (That's the abandoned hospital behind us. Now that you see it, don't you totally agree that the I am Legend vampires are living there?!)

I kept such a good eye on the road.

We both breathed a sigh of relief when we crossed this state line.

Getting even closer...

Southern Arizona is pretty, I promise.
We fulfilled a childhood fantasy by stopping at The Thing. I won't tell you what it is because that would ruin the surprise when you are fifteen miles outside of Wilcox, Arizona, have been in the car for about 17 hours, and need a break. But I will tell you that it was certainly worth a dollar.

I'm not sure if Brandon agreed. He was tired of driving that stupid van.
Of course, the couch was also the hardest thing to move in and required all the male help we could muster. I watched and tried to look pretty.

My 6'5 bro looks kind of funny squatting down to get that couch in, don't you think?

We made it. Time to eat.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Move

Brandon doesn't know this yet, but I bawled as we drove out of Denver. I felt like I was creating a new version of the children's book, Good Night Moon as I passed intersections and other landmarks that led us out of town.

"Goodbye 12th and Colorado--this intersection that I hated crossing every morning because you took so stinkin' long to turn green. I'm sorry I was so impatient."

"Goodbye old School of Pharmacy building where Brandon went before it moved to the new campus. Now you just kind of creep me out because I think the creepy vampires from I am Legend are living in your abandoned halls."

"Goodbye Starbucks where the half-crazy man from our apartment building went to drink his coffee all day every day. I'm glad you let him come to you because I always felt uncomfortable around him."

"Goodbye 24 Hour Fitness Colorado and Alameda. I loved working out at your facility but please don't feel betrayed that I abandoned you for the 24 Hour Fitness in Lowry. I don't know if I ever lost any weight working out there, but you sure helped me feel better about many things."

"Goodbye movie theater where we saw Ratatouille on my birthday the first year we were married. The movie sucked but I liked your steep escalator at the entrance."

"Goodbye Dave and Busters where Brandon let me play about three games of Ms. Pacman in a row and didn't even care that I had no interest in the your other games."

Now on to the freeway...sniffle sniffle

"Goodbye hotel at Hampden and I-25, where Brandon's parent's would meet us to carpool down to Colorado Springs."

"Goodbye church where all my work trainings were. You have kind of a funny smell and a terrible climate control system, but you are where I started to relish how well that job and my coworkers suited me."

"Goodbye Arapahoe Road. I hated you for such a long time because your traffic was always so terrible but I had many good experiences on you. Right where you meet Potomac is Arapahoe County Juvenile Court and Detention. Some eye opening and career defining moments there. Thank you for those. Also, please make sure that muffin place stays around. Those are seriously so delicious. I'm tempted to get one every time I drive by."

"Goodbye Maggianos Restaurant where we had our wedding luncheon and returned a year later to celebrate our anniversary and stuff our selves silly on their family style dinner and chocolate cake."

"Goodbye Park Meadows Mall. You were the best mall in Denver but I never went to you enough because you were far away and were actually so big that you made me tired before I even got there. You did introduce me to Sephora which is now the only place I like to buy makeup (but then never wear)."

Leaving Denver...still sniffle sniffle

"Good bye Douglas County Court and Castle Rock Outlets...I dreaded this area for so long because I had to come here for work and it seemed unreasonable that work would assign me clients that lived 30 minutes away. But now I will miss those messy client families and the wonderful people that made up my treatment teams. And of course, what will I do without the outlet stores when I have a few minutes to spare (or need to forget a particularly stressful appointment)? Good bye..."

Even further south...
"Goodbye Colorado Springs. I thought you were kind of eerie at first because there are so many evangelical Christians that live in you, but now I just associate you with playing endless games of Blockus, Sequence, and Rummikub after eating a too-good-to-be-true homemade dinner with Brandon's grandparents."

Goodbye Denver.

Oh Denver was good to us. For some reason I personify the cities I've lived in based on my experiences there and right now, Denver is about at BFF status. It was a giving friend who had a gentle and inviting way of giving us new experiences that were challenging and yet very meaningful and rewarding.

The past week was full of last meals at favorite restaurants, last bike rides on our favorite routes, regrets that we didn't do certain things more often, and of course, many hard goodbyes to family and friends that were so kind and supportive of us. Change is always hard.

Nonetheless there are many "fortunatelys" to keep in mind.

Fortunately, we made it to Tucson in one piece. NOTHING was damaged in the move and the drive went smoothly. THANK YOU ALL THOSE THAT HELPED!! YOU GUYS DID SUCH A GREAT JOB!!!

Fortunately, we were met with family that brought us cookies, cold Diet Cokes, a nourishing lunch AND helped us unload the truck in the middle of a hot summer day. Wow.

Fortunately, I have gotten to meet my newest niece that is just barely one week old but will soon be moving with her mommy and daddy to Washington DC. Seeing her for the first time was almost shocking because she actually looks a little like me. Good job Chase and Cait!

Fortunately, our apartment is new and nice and clean and will suit us just fine while we are here.

Fortunately, Brandon is excited about starting his residency and we both know that is the right thing for us to be doing.

Fortunately, it feels good to be back in Tucson. The heat is oddly comforting and it is nice to already know my way around. Not to mention, I will always love the way Tucson looks at sunset.

Leaving Denver has been hard. But we made it to Tucson and it feels good to be here. I'll post some pictures of our move in a few days (since I'm still unemployed) and will continue to sort through our Europe pictures.

Xoxo A (+B)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Paris Day 2

For some reason I haven't yet gone through the photos for Paris Day 1. But that doesn't make this batch of photos any less fun (for us at least). There are some typos in the video and like the last one, the resolution gets kind of crappy when you enlarge the movie.

And as for what we have to say about Paris: We loved it! Our stay there was one of the highlights of our entire trip and we could have easily spent another week there. There was so much to do and we didn't even to do 1/2 of it, which means that we'll have to go back! It was probably the neatest city I have ever visited and it had this intoxicating aura about it...I found myself wanting to know what everything was and soak in all things Parisian. As we walked through the city, I was constantly asking Brandon what things were because everything was beautiful, historic, or interesting. Eventually, Brandon just had to say, "I don't know what that is--this is just Paris! There are incredible things everywhere--if they were anywhere else, they would be the center of attention, but in Paris, they are meaningless."

One of the neatest things, however, was seeing the city with Brandon. He served in Paris for six months on his LDS mission. He still remembered the layout of the city and his French language skills came back to him without a problem. He showed me some of his favorite places, introduced me to heavenly French pastries, cheeses, and baguettes, and I could tell he was in heaven being back.

We were blessed to be able to stay with a friend of Brandon's...Kiki was an amazing hostess who fed us delicious French food, let us crash at her house for 3 nights, and even took two days off work to sightsee with us. Thank you Kiki!! Tucson, Arizona is in no way near as cool as Paris, but if you ever want to come, we are happy to return your gracious favor.

So with that, here's another video.

On another note--we have only 3 more nights in Denver. At this point, my anxiousness with getting this move over with is outweighing my sadness about leaving. Our apartment is a disaster and just as it seems like we are almost ready, we realize there is more to pack, clean, toss, donate, or fix. Yikes!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Burg Means Castle in German

I'm unsure how to start talking about our two week vacation in Europe. Do I brag about our experience by using all the synonyms for 'amazing' and 'beautiful' as I list all the sites and countries we visited? Do I tell you all the things that went wrong? Do I describe everything all at once or break up into small pieces? And if I do break it up into small pieces, how many do I realistically have the energy to do? How many segments do my readers have interest in?

Who knows. I'll probably do a combination of all the above. Come to think of it, knowing me, there's a good chance that this is the only post you'll get.

Yesterday, as I contemplated how to organize our photos and thought about whether I wanted to blog about our trip, I discovered that the newest Picasa has a moviemaker feature. I spent some time (won't tell you how much) figuring it out and made the below movie. I chose to start with this Europe experience because: 1.) It was one of the first things we did on our trip 2.) It was a pretty incredible place to visit and 3.) One of the funniest things of the whole trip happened there.

Soo...Burg Eltz was a castle we visited in Germany the day we drove from Frankfurt to Paris. That day was certainly the introduction to many things, namely the craziness of driving in Europe (i.e. it is impossible to get anywhere without getting lost) and how unbelievably cool/beautiful/interesting the sites are.

Here is the movie (the resolution gets kind of crummy if you enlarge it):

Here is the funny thing:

To see the interior of Burg Eltz, you go on a tour with a bunch of other people. Luckily it was an English speaking tour. Anyways, in the kitchen, our guide pointed out the oven, the stove, and some of the cooking equipment. Keep in mind that this was a medieval castle--as in 700 years ago. After the tour guided pointed out everything he felt was significant about the kitchen, he let people ask questions. As people are looking around, soaking everything in, this older lady points to these pans and says,

(actually, this particular pic was taken at another castle, but same general idea).

"What were those used for? Jello?"

Hahahaha!! Jello!? So classic. Brandon and I look at each other and quickly have to look away for fear of completely loosing it. The tour group was awkwardly silent; I don't even know if our German tour guide knows what Jello is but he eventually said, "Those were used for bread."

"Oh, I see" says the woman.

Then we saw the woman's daughter, who was probably 5-10 years older than us, turn away to meet eyes with her husband (who was standing by us) to share a secret laugh.

Writing this out makes me feel mean, but honestly, Brandon and I laughed about it the whole trip. It was sooooo funny picturing the castle servants preparing Jello as they shivered by the fire while the prince jousted in the court yard and the princesses painted porcelain.

Well, maybe I'm mean and maybe that video was a little too amateur, but that was Burg Eltz. Definitely a place worth visiting!