Friday, February 5, 2010

Massages, Books and a Cozy Dinner for Two!

I’ve been so focused on getting the blogs about our ski trip posted, I’ve neglected to write about the present! Last week was eventful as I gave a presentation to 5th graders at Scott Elementary about our trip to Antarctica. I had worked with the teacher years before while participating in Junior Achievement. I’ve kept in touch with her and she calls me yearly to speak to her students about traveling. I absolutely love the experience and it always makes me question if I went into the wrong profession.

The young minds soaked up the information I fed them and asked great questions! Well, most of the questions were good but some of the male students got hung up on the ships' hot tub.  The next 4 questions were all directly related to how much time I spent in the hot tub, how many people could fit into the hot tub, what I wore in the hot tub, etc. Boys! The presentation lasted about 45 minutes but I could have talked for hours!

I learned a lesson about parking near the bus lane that day. I had finished my presentation about 10 minutes before school let out, but the buses were already parked and waiting. So I sat in my car and daydreamed about my days on the playground. Finally, the buses departed and I was able to return to work.

The evening of my presentation, I treated myself to my favorite spa in Evansville. I had a 60-minute therapeutic massage that left me breathless! It started out with my massage tech massaging my feet in a pool of warm water while she asked where I wanted her to focus her attention. After drying my feet, she exited the room so I could disrobe and climb onto the heated table covered with warm plush blankets. I could have fallen asleep immediately! I might have faded in and out of consciousness and the 60-minutes ended too quickly. I swear the massage completely heals any and all aches to my mind and body. (If anyone wants her name and number, feel free to shoot me a message!)

Between work, presentations, and my massage, I started reading “Dear John” by Nicholas Sparks. I’ve always enjoyed his books and prepared myself for the tears that were bound to fall. I always feel bad for Scott when I start reading a book because I absolutely get lost in the pages. I can’t tear myself away until the last page has been turned. He learned while I was reading the Twilight series that it isn’t anything against him, I just really fall deep into the stories I read.

I finished “Dear John” last night and was disappointed on so many levels. I don’t want to ruin the book for anyone, so don’t read this paragraph if you plan on reading the book. With every other Nicholas Sparks book I have read, I form a connection with the characters, not because I relate to what they go though, but because the book builds on the character enough that I can put myself into their situation. With “Dear John,” I felt I was thrown into this situation with two people I didn’t know. The speed of their romance left my head spinning. While I’m not saying that you can’t fall in love with someone quickly, to form a real and lasting bond with someone takes time. This book painted such an unrealistic picture that I couldn’t believe it. Half-way through the book, their relationship was bound to fail and it was evident to me as the reader. Not only did the relationship end in failure, but these characters were dealt with the harshest reality possible. Between the unrealistic love, the speed of the story, and the ultimate awful ending, I was so glad when I finished the book. Today I will start “Lovely Bones.” Even though it is about murder, it has to be better than the love story of “Dear John.”

And finally, last night was one of those nights that I got home from work and Scott said “Let’s have a date.” I had never been to the Old Mill, and as we walked into the old rustic building, I thought it must be closed. The lights were dim except for the glowing fire burning in the fireplace. There wasn’t a soul in sight, when a waitress poked her head out and told us to sit anywhere we'd like. We took the table in front of the fireplace. Christmas lights twinkled around the heavy wooden beams that framed the interior of the building. Scott and I laughed as we had this entire place to ourselves and it was quite the romantic setting.

After we put in our orders and our waitress was out of sight, we caught up on the daily events and talked about plans for the weekend. The warmth of the fire felt amazing on this rainy night and having the place to ourselves made us feel as comfortable as if we were in our home. Scott mentioned this will be what it is like when we are on our honeymoon, in a cozy, rustic, bed and breakfast. I felt as if I was on The Bachelor and this was the one-on-one date. We had the place to ourselves and it felt completely unreal.

Maybe it was because I had just finished reading this book on heartache and loss or maybe it was the setting we were in, but I felt a euphoric rush of love for Scott. I might get a little sappy here, so bear with me or skip ahead. My entire life I’ve always been looking for the next best thing. I was always happy, but I always knew there was more out there. I didn’t know what the “more” was and I sure couldn’t have explained it to you. It was almost a concerning feeling because I didn’t know if I would or could ever get past this feeling. With Scott, I don’t wonder anymore what else is out there. I’m not looking for the next best thing because I have it. And it’s not that he’s perfect, because no one is. It’s the way he treats me and the way he makes me feel. I’ve got nothing to look for and nothing to want because he gives me everything I need. I don’t even think “love” is an adequate word to use when I describe my feeling for him because it is greater than that. It’s the way he is and the way he acts that draws me to him. He is kind and generous and patient. I’ve never known anyone like him and to believe he is mine and will experience everything in life with me makes my breath catch in my throat. I wish everyone could experience this feeling…but I know it is rare. This is the stuff I didn’t believe existed until I found it almost 3 years ago.

I’ll leave it at that. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and find love when you least expect it!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

All Good Things Must Come to an End!

I’m finally beginning to get used to waking up with the sun. I’m also used to this guy Jimmy being 5 feet away from me on a twin size bed. Really the only complaint I have on our bedroom is the door doesn’t lock. Scott has learned to be very patient with his guy friends who amazing need into the bedroom every time I’m changing clothes. Coincidence?

The group divided into 2 groups today. The couples, Kenneth & Michelle, Ryan & Jami, and Scott & I decided to head into the wide open mountain range on snowmobiles. The other guys decided to inflict more damage on their already mistreated bodies and hit the ski slopes one last time.

We had a few hours that morning before we had to pick up our snowmobiles. The girls wanted to do a little shopping and the guys didn’t trust the girls to make it back before we had to leave at noon. So the 6 of headed to Main Street. As the Sundance Film Festival was getting underway, we scored free items simply by walking down the street. I was most appreciative of the hot apple cider as it was a cold morning! I was happy to find mom a birthday present and postcards for the family. I was also happy that the Post Office didn’t have a real strict 30 minute parking policy as the sign in front of the Post Office suggested.

Main Street is the ideal vision of the perfect little ski town. The buildings are brightly colored and compete for each tourists business. There are lots of coffee shops and t-shirt shops that made me a very happy. The street was completely snow covered and the mountains peered over the buildings watching the tourists hustle along. It was the perfect winter scene. I could have spent hour’s window shopping and visiting the guy with the free cider, but noon was getting closer and we still had to get dressed for our afternoon adventure.

We stopped at a gas station on the way to the snowmobile meeting point. The guys struck up a conversation with a cop that just happened to also be at the gas station. The guys mentioned we were going snowmobiling and the cop strongly discouraged it. “There will be avalanches in Millhollow,” he said, which just so happened to be the area we were headed. “All it takes is for 1 snowmobile or 1 cross country skier to hit the edge of the snow and it will cause an avalanche. Someone will die up there today.”


Did he just say someone would die up there today? Is this cop just trying to scare us off or could he really be speaking the truth? Normally, I’m not one to back down from adventure, but when the adventure promises a certain death, I think my decisions through a little more carefully. The group made a quick decision that we could go through with our adventure and just avoid the Millhollow area. While the girls were not as certain this was such a good idea, we followed the men we love and swallowed the lump that was forming in our throats.

The sleds were waiting for us and the owner gave us a brief overview on using them. I was the only one in the group that had ever been on one before. Straddling the machine brought back a wonderful rush of memories of my winter weekends in the Tetons. The nicest man lived across the street from me and he owned about 8 snowmobiles. He would always have a sled available for me to use when he and his friends went out. That’s another story though.

The weather conditions were less than favorable as we jetted up the mountain. It wasn’t too far down the road, Kenneth got off track and buried his machine deep in the powder. It was then the guys realized snowmobiling isn’t exactly a leisurely sport.

The machines weren’t exactly made for deep powder and deep powder, even on the roadway, was the only option. The guys quickly became tired and frustrated with how often the sleds were getting hung up. At one point, Kenneth managed to bury his sled about 100 yards off the main road. The other guys knew their sled wouldn’t make it out there so they started crawling to help him dig his machine out. (crawling because if they tried walking they sank up to their chest). Thankfully a nice family on powder sleds pulled up and helped free Kenneth and his buried sled.

After that, we decided to head back to the van for lunch. We climbed inside, cranked up the heat, and enjoyed not being stuck in the snow. It was at this point I realized I really like California Cuties. For those that don’t know what I’m talking about, they are these little mutant oranges that are little, super easy to peel, and so yummy!

Lunchtime ended all too soon and we were back on the snowmobiles. We decided to stay closer to our vehicle in a wide open pasture that didn’t have as much snow as further down the road. It was here the guys gained their confidence back and began enjoying the machines. The girls also got to take their turn plowing thru the smaller piles of snow and opening up the throttle. I may have gotten good and stuck one time. Thankfully there was a nice guy in a yellow coat that made it his job to help each of us as we got stuck at one point or another.

With regained confidence, the guys decided we should head toward Millhollow and try to catch a glimpse of the avalanche that had happened a few hours earlier. (In the exact spot the cop had warned us about). Feeling brave on our machines, we all agreed and sped down the road. I had never seen an avalanche spot and it was a sight worth seeing. It was almost like a puzzle piece had been removed from the mountain side. Luckily, no one had been injured in the slide, despite reports of a beacon going off somewhere in the area.

While the first half of the day wasn’t ideal; white-out conditions, inexperienced drivers, and snowmobiles made for 1 but carrying 2, the afternoon turned out great. We all enjoyed our time and anxiously looked forward to the next time we could play on snowmobiles. Exhausted, we climbed into the van and headed back to the condo.

By this point, we were all in need of the soothing hot tub jets. We donned our suits and trunks and filled the tub with bodies until the water was pouring over the side. The water felt amazing! After a tasty dinner of BBQ pulled pork, we headed back to Main Street for our last night in town.

We went in the least crowded bar we could find, American Bistro. The place was wall to wall people and hot as an oven on Thanksgiving morning. By a stroke of luck, a table in front of a window opened up. Scott was more than happy to plant himself in front of the icy wind that poured itself into the bar. My friend Anjuli just happened to be at the same bar.

With a 3am departure from our condo to head to the airport, at midnight Scott and I were ready to go. We left our roommates and caught a cab back. We packed our bags and enjoyed a little quiet time before the rest of them stumbled in.

I had barely shut my eyes when the alarm clock went off, telling us it was time to head to the airport. One of our friends might have taken the trash can with him in the van because the alcohol he had consumed that night no longer wanted to stay in his body. It also appeared a blizzard had decided to settle upon the town of Park City because flashing lights lit up the road saying “Cars must have chains on their tires to proceed.” Naturally we didn’t have chains but we had a plane to catch, so onward we proceeded.

Luckily we had allowed ourselves extra time to make it to the airport. Eleven groggy (1 inebriated) passengers made their way through security. It was here our group split as we were heading in different directions. Our vacation was officially over. As I slid into my seat and buckled up, I looked over at Scott and just smiled. We survived another fun filled adventure trip with friends. We had an amazing time and with that, closed our eyes and let the plane guide us home.