Monday, December 29, 2008

Phoenix Light Rail...

So, Saturday was the grand opening for the first phase of the light rail system which connects Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa! I was so excited! My friend Jason (from Vegas) was here doing some CNN reports about the event so I took him around. We had a great time!

Here are some photos:
This was just part of the line at the Mesa end of the track. It was estimated that 150,000 folks got on the train on opening day!!!

Me and Jason as he was filming a CNN iReport.View of the Mill Ave Bridge as we crossed over Tempe Town Lake.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Bathroom update...

Ok, so I've been slacking on this remodel!!! So far I have all of the drywall up and most of the backing for the tile surround (around the tub). I decided on blue glass mosaic tile and I'm excited to see how it turns out! I'm gonna put black grout to make a dramatic contrast and I'll go with a light gray/blue wall color. I'm also excited about the sink. It's a wall-mount, porcelain sink from IKEA and it has the faucet coming from the wall. It's hard to explain and I don't have it up yet so I'll take a picture when it's mounted. It should be unique and it's also practical because it has a nice ledge to store soap and stuff. Another nice piece from IKEA is the cabinet that I installed into the wall. It will have a glass mirror and several shelves to store towels and bathroom supplies. So basically I have all of the sheet rock, plumbing, and tile backing ready (almost) so it's time to crack down on the finishing touches.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

White Christmas Eve...

Merry Christmas!!!

No, It didn't snow in Phoenix but we had a very white Christmas Eve last night. I was on a budget this Christmas but I wanted to give Braden and Jade (my niece and nephew) something they'd enjoy so I found random small gifts and put them in boxes filled with paper from the shredder. We made a mess and had a "snowball" fight! LOL It was good because I saved money and the kids (including us adults) had fun and as an added bonus I shredded my bills ;-)
Here are a few highlights from last night:
Crystal made some yummy piesChelsea whipped up some mean mashed potatos!Braden and Jade love playing a game with dad (Spencer) where he keys a bunch of random numbers in the cell phone and then he recites the number to them (i.e. nine-million, two-hundred and fifty-four thousand, six-hundred and twenty-nine). They LOVE it! Who knows why?
As usual, Jacob and Joni can't stop staring at eachother...LOL!
Braden was excited to help vacuum up the the "snow" at the end of the night.

We also shared a nice time reading Luke 2 and remembering the true meaning of Christmas. My mom had a great idea to include Braden and Jade by using a felt board nativity set as we read the story. We also had music thanks to Chelsea, Darin, Jacob, Joni and the Lilly kids. Braden sang ("A Shepard's Carol") which, for some reason, made my eyes well up with tears. He's growing up sooo fast! We wrapped up the devotional with my dad sharing some of his personal feelings about the Savior and Jade made us all smile when she sang Jingle Bells.
It was a really nice Christmas Eve! I feel grateful to be part of such a loving family!

Friday, December 12, 2008

20/20...NOT!

So, I always thought I had great vision but apparently I was wrong. My friend Kim works at Lenscrafters and she told me I should stop by and have my eyes checked so I did. I couldn't believe it when the doctor put the charts up on the wall and I couldn't read many of the letters. Anyway, I have an astigmatism and I have glasses now. My friend Truett helped me pick out the frames and I'm really happy with them. Now that my eyes have adjusted to glasses I'm starting to notice things I never even noticed I didn't notice before! It's so exciting!!
I couldn't resist the 70% off sale on the Bvlgari sunglasses LOL! They tried to sell me the Bvlgaris featured in Britney Spear's "Womanizer" music video but I had to pass cuz next thing you know I'll be shaving my head and actin' a fool...oh wait...I already shave my head...hmmm.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thankful...

Gratitude is the essence of good mental health and spirituality. -Unknown Author

Thanksgiving is the BEST! Food, family and gratitude are some of my reasons I love this holiday. This year I had more time off than I've had in a long time so I took advantage of it to take the 10 hour trip up to Grandma Priest's house. Boy, am I glad I did! It had been more than five years since I've been to Mt. Pleasant, UT--a quaint little town just north of Ephraim--a quaint little town just north of Manti--a quaint little town just north of Salina...ok, I'll stop :-) Suffice it to say...it's a beautifully quaint LITTLE town pretty much smack dab in the center of UT.

I'M GRATEFUL FOR SMALL TOWNS!

Anyway, we packed up the Jetta and drove up Thursday morning with Uncle Rick and my good friend Katie. We were fortunate to hit good weather and, although there was constant rain and snow on the way, none of it was sticking to the road. We had a lot of nice conversations on the way as I tortured Rick with a fabulous mix from my iPhone playlist (i.e. David Archuleta, Wicked Soundtrack, Britney Spears, Flo Rida, Chris Brown, Rihanna, etc.). He was a really good sport about it and he liked most of my music :-) We munched on snacks which were lovingly arranged in a Thanksgiving theme by my wonderfully witty mother (i.e. turkey jerky, dried cranberries, pumkin cookies, and even some Goldfish snacks [my uncle is a huge fisherman]). It made for a beautiful drive and we arrived just in time for the Thanksgiving Feast!

I'M GRATEFUL FOR A RELIABLE, FUEL-EFFICIENT CAR!

Grandma was smiling ear to ear (as only she can) when we got to the house. It was a very happy reunion! The food was superb and plentiful and I know we all ate to the point of having to losen our belts. It was so nice to sit down and catch up with my Grandma. It's interesting, having conversation with her as an adult I realized how much I really didn't know about her life and our family history. For instance, I had no idea that one of my grandparent's first dates was a Johnny Cash concert at the Bostonian Ballroom...HOW RAD IS THAT?! I guess it was before "The Man in Black" was at the height of his fame. It felt nice to sit down and talk with my grandma, feel her love and learn from her life. I definitely gained a great appreciation and understanding for her role in my life!

I'M THANKFUL FOR A GRANDMA'S LOVE!

Friday afternoon Katie and I headed up to Provo to visit friends/family. I dropped her off with one of her old roommates who is going to BYU and I continued up to Ogden to hook up with my cousins Annie and Jessa, her husband Ben, and their little baby girl Madeline--SO CUTE!!! It was cool too because I got to see my Aunt Debbie. They were all up there to see family. After dinner, we bumped the speakers to Flo Rida "In the Ayer" as we headed down to my cousin Corrie's house and had some gourmet hot chocolate with fresh whipped cream...mmmm! Later that night I met up with my friends Michael and Mark and we went out dancing in Salt Lake City. It was fun!
Saturday morning I got to sit down with Corrie and we had a great chat. I really love her! You can just feel the love bubbling out of that girl! Later that morning Annie and I went to IHOP with Carly and I got to see her BEAUTIFUL new baby girl Kennedy. It was really nice to hang out with them. Annie and Carly never cease to amaze me with their HUGE hearts!

I'M GRATEFUL FOR MY CRAZY COUSINS!

It was hard to leave when the time came but I was excited to get back to Grandma's house. I picked up Katie and we had a delicious BBQ waiting for us when we got back to Mt. Pleasant. It was some of the best fillet Mignon I've ever tasted--Rick really knows how to BBQ!

I'M GRATEFUL FOR THE COW AND PIG WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES SO I COULD EAT DELICIOUS FILLET MIGNON!

Sunday morning we set out early for AZ. Katie had to be back in Thatcher so we decided to take the 12 hour "scenic route" through Moab and down HWY 191 to pass through Thatcher on the way back to Mesa. It was a long trip but absolutely georgeous! P.S. I wanna move to Moab sooo bad and become a "professional" mountain biker...LOL! Katie took this picture of me in front of a mountain bike shop by the gas station.

I'M THANKFUL FOR RED SANDSTONE!

We even hit some snowy patches in the mountains above Springerville, AZ. The beautiful scenery was just one more thing to be grateful for!
After the 13 1/2 hour drive home I realized one more thing I'm thankful for...

I'M GRATEFUL FOR MY SOFT SPRING AIR MATTRESS!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sinks and Toilets and Tubs...oh my!

I'm really excited as I type this because I got to go to one of my favorite stores today...Home Depot!!! There's something magical about those tacky orange aprons and the echo of the fork lifts as they proceed--over cautiously--down the aisles. There's also something magical about NO PAYMENTS/NO INTEREST for 12 MONTHS, but that's a story for another day LOL!
Anyway, I decided to remodel my oobber-outdated bathroom from the drywall in this year. The only thing remaining is the cast iron tub (which will be refinished) because I couldn't find a willing volunteer to haul it out :-) My goal is to have everything done before Christmas. I'm hoping to implement some space-saving designs to make the most of this tiny (5' x 7') bathroom and give it a fresh face. I'll be putting in travertine flooring and I'm thinking about glass mosaic tiles around the tub but I'm having trouble choosing a color. Any ideas?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Unbiased point of view...

This one speaks for itself:

One more step to "Save the Family"

I think this makes a really good point. If you think you're gonna get offended don't press the play button but if you want a clear view of what is really going on here take a look:

See more funny videos at Funny or Die


Tell me what you think :-)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yay for Change :-)


























Last night was an historic election! It's been a long time since we've seen so many Americans get so fired up about politics in our country and I'm so excited! As we all know, Barack Obama has been elected (by a landslide) to be the next President of the United States of America!!!
I know many of my friends and family have major doubts about Mr. Obama and the direction he plans to lead our country. I hope we can all come together to extinguish many of the fires that are dividing this country at the moment. At this defining moment in history there is a deafening call for unity and teamwork to get through a tough time. We're Americans and we are up to the challenge...let's not screw it up by focussing on divisive issues. As Obama has said time and time again during the campaign, "let's get to work!"
It is my prayer that we will come together as a nation and learn from a man who knows how to lead us through this hard time. May God bless Barack Obama, the American people, and all of His children to come together in unity and love! "YES WE CAN!"

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Boyd K Packer - Prop 102

Ok, so I have to type fast while I still have everything fresh on my mind and before I lose my notes. So, I went to a special stake conference today at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to hear on of the leading General Authorities speak on pertinent issues facing the church today. Here are some of the notes and quotes I was able to gather. Oh, by the way, the session began with the Stake President requesting that we "use our notes for our own personal use and not share them with anyone" hmmmm. Well, I'm sharing anyway because I found them very interesting. He spent about half of his sermon dicussing the upcoming election and the importance of "following the brethren" when we vote. He made the following points:

1. The church does not get active in political causes unless it is regarding moral issues.
2. Gay marriage is "remarkably dangerous to 'our' way of life.
3. We cannot tolerate patterns of sin which would weaken/destroy society as we know it.
4. We are living in times similar to Sodom and Gamora.
5. Church members should never deface or pull down posters opposing propositions to ban gay marriage.
6. We must "exercise our voting power to protect ourselves."
7. The word 'tolerance' is being used as a 'weapon' against supporters of gay marriage bans.
8. Angels of the devil inspire you to do what is evil and try to 'undo the institution of marriage.'
9. The church does not accept movements of people who have patterns in immorality.
10. "Things are going to change drastically, but in it we can continue to have happy families and live righteously."

I don't agree with everything that was said but of everything that he had to say today I felt good that he ended his talk with point #10. It really is true that things are going to change in many ways but the most important thing is that we do the best we can to live happily with our families and things will be alright. Overall, I'm glad I attended.

Oh, the funny part is that I have a huge NO ON 102 sign on the back window of my car and some guy and his wife stopped me as I was getting into my car and told me he was really happy to see that I wasn't supporting Prop 102. It was surprising but he went on to explain (as I believe) that government should not be the one making moral judgment calls. He was a huge Ron Paul supporter so it makes sense that he would agree with me. It certainly wasn't what I expected walking out of the church building! LOL

Vote NO on Prop 102 and Prop 8...

With three days remaining before election day I would like to take this opportunity to discuss why I am voting NO on Prop 102--the Gay Marriage Ban. For those of you not familiar with this proposition, Prop 102 seeks to amend the AZ constitution to state that "only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state." There is also a similar measure in CA (Prop 8) which seeks to define marriage in the same way.
So, why would I be against such a measure? Good question. When the Pilgrims crossed the Atlantic Ocean they were seeking a land where they could worship the way they pleased and be free from the discrimination in Europe. This whole idea is what eventually evolved into the constitution we currently enjoy in this wonderful country. A place where people are free to believe and worship the way they see fit.
The current definition of marriage is based (mainly) on religious values which have been adapted over the years to exclude acceptance of "alternative" lifestyles. I have no problem with people disagreeing with same-sex marriage; however, writing a religious-based doctrine into the state constitution is more than an attack on same-sex partnerships--it is an attack on the very ideologies that our country was based upon.

Now, I realize there are some serious fears that supporters of Prop 102 have regarding intrusion on their religious freedom. I have spoken to a couple lawyers regarding the fear that churches will be sued over not allowing same-sex marriage and--according to them--this is not a valid argument. Religions are free to worship as they please and would not be required to marry those who do not ascribe to their policies regarding matrimony. For example, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not currently required to marry couples in the temple who do not meet worthiness guidelines and there is no problem with that. Those who try to plant this fear into the hearts of voters should really take a lesson in US government.
Another fear that proponents on Prop 102 are proposing is that same-sex relationships will be taught in schools. Well, I hate to break it to you but educators are--more than likely--going to do their best to inform children of what is going on in the world around them. It is not a teacher's job to teach a child right from wrong, rather a parent should do their best to present the facts to children and help them understand the reasons they believe as they do. Turning a blind eye to the fact that same-sex couples are raising families accomplishes nothing in terms of "protecting" a child from what many consider to be sinful. Of course I do not advocate elementary aged children being taught the ins and outs of what goes on in the bedrooms of homosexuals (or heterosexuals for that matter) but there is nothing wrong with them acknowledging that there are many different family makeups in the world while being guided and directed by their parents in regards to these matters.

The bottom line...same-sex couples will exist in the world and will raise families just like "traditional" couples do. We can either embrace them with love and equality and share in the joy of their families or we can shun them out of fear and ignorance. We can grant them equal treatment to encourage a stable family situation or place a stumbling block to their ability to live the American dream of liberty and justice for ALL. Let's focus on initiatives that truly strengthen families of every kind instead of dividing people into unnecessary subclasses.
Please join me in voting NO on Prop 102 in AZ or (if you live in CA) NO on Prop 8. Thank you!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Valuable lesson from my little sister...

I love my youngest sister Chelsea! She taught me a valuable lesson this week when I flew off the handle after an email from my Mom. The argument started several months ago involving AZ Proposition 102 (similar to the CA Prop 8). My family and the church is strongly for it and I am against it. I'm not going into every detail of why we disagree on this issue but suffice it to say that it's been a difficult thing for us.
So, several months ago I asked my Mom to stop sending me emails regarding Prop 102 and she stopped for a long time but then, out of nowhere, she sent me the following email on Wednesday:

Even with the opposition defacing & stealing our signs, yelling profanities, vandalizing front yards and broadcasting falsely on their commercials, we will stand true and strong on the side of righteousness! Thankfully there are many who stand with us!
I was more than a little upset that my Mom would send me an email like this so I hit "reply all" and this is what I had to say...

Wow! Thankfully the "Yes! on Prop 102" campaign has plenty of $$$ in its war-chest so I wouldn't worry too much about some defaced signs--just buy up a little more airtime or web banners or scare a few more people into donating by persuading them to think their marriage will be compromised by "the gays." Comparing yourselves to Samuel the Lamanite is such a twisted analogy when you have signs/billboards on every corner of this valley and the support of the majority of this state. Cry me a river! Don't try to play the victim here...I'm holding back the laughter!
-Allen

Anyway, you can probably tell that I was letting my sarcasm run wild without much regard for the consequences. Shortly after firing off my email, my sister Chelsea reminded me that the only thing this response accomplished was to damage relationships in my family. She is certainly right about that. As much as I may disagree with my Mom I can never deny that I love her and shouldn't let issues such as these divide us. It looks like I have some relationships to bandage up!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Playing catch-up...

I've been bad with this blog so I'm gonna attempt to catch up on my exciting life since being back!
GREAT NEWS! I found a wonderful home f0r Indi (the kitty). Turns out he wasn't able to adjust to my small balcony and he was sad after he got board of the toys I put out there :-( Anyway, I'm happy to report that a very close friend of mine in Phoenix has taken him in and Indi now enjoys a nice, big yard with other cats to play with. It is a great situation and I feel much better that he's happy and my friend is thrilled to have him! He's close too so I can go over and visit every once in a while like a good "trophy dad" would do...lol!
Oh, I've been working as a server at Maizies (Central & Camelback, PHX) and it's been so much fun! I was working there before my trip and wasn't so sure if I would go back. They just opened in April so the place wasn't very busy a while back but it's definitely poppin' now. I've been happily surprised by the great tips. Wednesday night I was so excited because I made $120 in 4 hours of work. I was smiling from ear to ear as I made my way to the basement parking lot to get my car and head home. Only problem was my car was GONE!!! Yeah, I totally got towed because I parked in the spot next to where I was supposed to park. The tow lot was closed so I was stuck but luckily I have a friend who lives in the building above Maizies so I stayed with him until my roommate (Justin) could take me to get my car the next morning (THANKS Justin!). Guess how much the charge at the tow lot was? $117!!! So, my net earnings for the night were $3...lol! Live and learn :-(
Yesterday was a blast! I got to hang out with Crystal (my sister) and we made some modern art. First we experimented on art paper before we played with the big boys and used the canvas. Check it out:

Jade is lucky she didn't get any paint on her face the way we were slinging it around! No joke!!!

Here's how it turned out on canvas. I think Crystal is gonna do more with it later but I was really pleased with it :-)

So, as you can tell it's been a great week! I was really glad that I got to spend some quality time with my little sister (she really is little btw). Oh, and Jade is getting cuter with every passing second! She's a little talker just like her Grandma Beach...love ya Mom!
Oh, and I have a job lined up for the 29th so I'm not living scared anymore :-) I'll be working at Target Financial Services so makes sure you're current on your Target credit card unless you want a call from me!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Jolly Rancher...

Labor day weekend at the "Red Roof Ranch" proved to be a great time! After being gone for two months, it was wonderful to see the family again--especially Braden and Jade. They are growing up sooo fast!
One of many moments of excitement was when I was helping Dad pump water from the well to the water tank. We were hooking up the generator when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a rattle snake curled up right by my dad's leg!!! The little guy was pretty cold so he wasn't moving very fast (thank goodness) but it was scary nonetheless. Regretfully, we ended up killing it with a shovel and I skinned, filleted, and cooked it up later. It was an interesting experience. Not a whole lot of meat on a snake but it was tasty.
Another cause of excitement was the torrential downpour we got on Sunday. We got to church looking like wet dogs and the ranch turned into a giant mud bog but it was good to get some moisture in that parched region.
It was a great trip! I love my family :-)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Indi

Last night I stopped by my parents house for dinner and to pick up Indi. It was so nice to see them again :-) Mom took such great care of the little guy...I'm sure he's gonna miss her and their beautiful yard. I actually missed Indi while I was traveling and it was good to see the little fur ball again.
I was a little concerned about how he would like my condo in Mesa (he's never lived here). The balcony is small and I really don't want him inside so that's his new territory. So far everything seems good. He was good last night and only meowed a little bit when I first put him on the balcony. I gave him a bath and held him for a while to calm him down and let him sleep out there last night with no problems. This morning he seemed happy and he was lying on the slightly damp carpet--I assume to stay cool. I put his bed in the washer so it's nice and clean and fur-free (for a little while) but he seems to really like the damp carpet for some reason.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fly away home...

Well folks, it's time for me to go home! I woke up at 6AM to take one last swim in the Caribbean and it was so cool to see the fishermen and all the locals out and about. I guess most tourists don't wake up that early or something!
The water was sparkling clear and warm. I could see fish swimming around my feet in the deeper parts. I will definitely miss this place but I'm happy to see everyone at home (even though it's gonna be 105 degrees today in Phoenix...ahhhh!).

Thursday, August 21, 2008

These kids are awesome!!!

It's really cool to be here in Honduras where Books for a Better World has been donating for several years now. The kids anxiously wait every year for us to come with new books! This little video is after I got done reading a couple stories to the kids and then I let them check out all of the new books...
video
It's crazy to think that tomorrow is my last chance to deliver books this year. Time has definitely flown by!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tacos tonight...

Just really quick...I'm having a good time in Honduras. Santa Lucia (near Tegucigalpa) is a really nice little town and I am lucky enough to be staying with Liseth and Chet Thomas who have been nice enough to let me take up shelter in their beautiful home. I've already been to five schools in two days so that is a small demonstration of the pace I'm keeping to finish 15 schools in five days. Local support is what makes it possible. I go to the schools with Hugo--the head of the school district--and he's so helpful!
Tonight the Thomas family is having a little party to celebrate the visit of their daughter (from Florida). We're going to make tacos...mmmm!
My internet connection is too slow to upload photos so we'll just have to wait on that I guess. I'm excited to get back to "The States" to see everyone I love!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

On the road again...

¡Hola amigos! Es un gusto contarles que estoy en Honduras ahora.
I just got to Honduras today and it's nice be be here! On the way I arranged to stay the night in Esquipulas, Guatemala--a town famous for it's ornate cathedral. It's sorta like a gathering place for Catholics from all over Central America. It's also famous for a special wood carving of Christ called "El Cristo Negro" (the black Christ) due to the unusually dark color of the wood. I got to town just in time to enjoy a mass and see some of the interesting traditions. Most of the locals are indigenous people and they hold tightly to their customs. At the end of the mass, many attendees left the building facing the altar and walking backwards as they sang hymns. It was a reverent feeling.
Today I made my way to San Pedro Sula which is about halfway to Tegucigalpa. I learned my lesson about super long bus rides. It's just too hard to enjoy traveling when you arrive super late and super tired. That's why I broke this trip up into smaller chunks (I like that word). I'll get to Tegucigalpa tomorrow and start delivering books on Monday...I'm really stoked about getting back to Books for a Better World business :-)
NOTICE: The town I'll be staying in has limited access to internet so I may not get around to updating this blog much so don't freak out and assume I'm dead if you don't see any online activity. XOXOXOXO!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

YAAAWWWWNNNN!

Quick update just so you all know I'm alive :-)
Sunday I headed down to a town in Panama called David with my new friends (Kaytee's friends) Ahna and Carlos. We had some really good ceviche (seafood chemically cooked with lime juice mixed with onions and tomatoes). They are such nice people and a really cute couple. While we were sitting on the patio a guy passed by with flowers for sale and Carlos got Ahna a few. It was a really nice time :-)
Monday morning I caught a bus to San Jose, Costa Rica. It's normally a 9 hour trip but it ended up taking about 11 because there was a landslide in the road. I got to bed at about 10:00 PM and then had to get up at 2:30 AM to catch the 3:00 bus to San Salvador, El Salvador. The bus got a flat tire just outside of San Salvador I arrived at 10:00 PM (instead of 9:00). This morning (Wednesday) I caught the bus at 6:00 AM and arrived here in Guatemala City at about 11:00 AM.
Anyone with a masters degree in math want to figure out how many hours I was on a bus in the last few days? I'm way to exhausted to even start!
Anyway, I'm glad to be back in Guatemala. Sometimes it feels like coming home here. I'm meeting my friend Mandy for dinner in about half an hour so I better get running!


I thought this map at the "Purple House Hostel" in David, Panama was so cool. It has a pin for every city guests have come from. It's fun to meet people from so many places/backgrounds!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

One more day in Panama...

I'm feeling better now!!! Last night I felt just good enough to enjoy a nice dinner (Minestrone soup and bread) with Kaytee and some friends. We ended up going out to dance but I spent most of the time chillin' on the couch and watching the 2008 Olympic Games that they were playing on the muted, closed-captioned TV by the dance floor. It was strange because everyone was dancing and I was kinda just sitting there watching TV but I actually enjoyed myself. So, we got home around 1:30 AM so I ended up sleeping in a little bit today. I think I needed the sleep but I ate breakfast this morning and I feel sooo good :-) We had a couple of friends here with us so we all made delicious omelets and toast. It was fun!
Anyway, I was planning on heading to Bocas del Toro (some beautiful islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama) but there is a minor tropical storm and it looks like it will be nothing but rain so I'm gonna skip it. Some other year perhaps! So that means I have one more day here in Boquete with Kaytee and then I'll head to San Jose, Costa Rica tomorrow on my way back to Guatemala.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The best place to get sick...

We all know that getting sick is "no bueno" but I got sick last night and I got to thinking. This entire trip I've been pretty darn healthy. Right now I'm staying with Kaytee in a beautiful house and this is, by far, "the best place to get sick!" I know that makes me sound crazy but let's take a look at the alternatives:
1. I could have gotten sick in El Salvador when Alica and Kira were both sick. This would have been really bad because we wouldn't have been able to finish our book deliveries if we were all laying around in bed.
2. It could have happened in Guatemala and put the entire Reyes Family at risk of catching a flu. They have two little kids so that wouldn't have been good either. Plus it would have put us behind, once again, on book deliveries.
3. I could have gotten sick when I was staying with the Gonzalez family (in Guatemala City). Although sparkling clean, their bathroom facilities are about 300 meters away from the house--good for odor control, bad for emergency bathroom runs ;-) Plus the ceiling in the toilet room is about five centimeters too short and I bump me head every time I rise from the throne...yeah, I'm a slow learner.
4. I could have gotten sick when I was making the journey from Guatemala City to Panamá and that would have made for some miserably long bus rides. A shared bathroom at a hostel could have made for some very memorable experiences..."please hurry...I need the toilet...blahhhhahh, never mind." Plus, I wouldn't have enjoyed the beach very much.
But, once again, God has blessed me more than I deserve and I get to be sick here:

If you're gonna vomit it might as well be into a designer, silent-flush toilet right?

Not too shabby right? And just to calm your curiousity...yes, that is a Jonas Brothers special on the TV. Lol! I'm a total closet fan of Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, and High School Musical BTW. DON'T JUDGE ME :-)
I'm starting to feel better by the way. I think it was a 12 hrs. flu or something. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy this Jonas Brothers special and maybe go out dancing with Kaytee tonight if I feel better. ¡Hasta luego!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Some more pics of Costa Rica...

I just realized that I didn't get very much coverage of Costa Rica so here's some more stuff!

video

This road was so fun for biking...it was the perfect day!

The beach...walking distance from the hostel.

Kaytee reading my book "Small Business, Big Life" on the beach. Yes, she is wearing a top by the way ;-) This is a really good book for anyone who runs or is interested in running a business. It talks about how to build a business around your life and values. Good stuff!!!

Hope you enjoyed this post! I'm in Panama now so I'll be sure to get another post up soon. God bless!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I love the rain...

It's been so fun having my friend Kaytee with me here in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica! The weather hasn't been the best because there is a tropical storm passing through but that hasn't stopped us from having a GREAT time here :-)
Yesterday we spent a lot of time just sipping hot chocolate and doing research (on the internet) on our entrepreneurial dreams. Kaytee has a business called "The Gem Project." The Gem Project is a multifaceted, international jewelry-making empowerment program that inspires positive thinking, global giving, and creative power for positive individual and social change (www.thegemproject.com). It is inspiring to chat with her and bounce ideas off of each other.
Today the sun came out in the morning and we were soooo excited! We rented snorkeling gear and bikes to head down to see some fishes and stuff. Before we left we stopped for a quick breakfast--fresh, organic granola and yogurt...mmmm!
It was the perfect day for a bike ride. The clouds came back before we even started our little journey (13 km) but it made for cooler weather. The beaches were gorgeous (even without sun) and we had a nice chance to take a plunge into the waves. Unfortunately, the waves were too big for snorkeling so we didn't get a chance to use the gear. Oh well. We did get a nice lunch in at a Caribbean restaurant on the beach. As we made our way back to Puerto Viejo we could see/hear spider monkeys swinging through the trees in the canopy above. There was a slight, misty rain--just enough to keep us cool--as we approached the city. It was really relaxing.
Tomorrow morning we are going to head down to Boquete, Panama (where Kaytee lives) and I'll be there for a few days. I was in Boquete back in March and really enjoyed myself so I'm looking forward to seeing everyone there. I also hope to help Kaytee with The Gem Project while I'm there.
Here's a little video clip of me cruising the beach...it's kinda boring but I hope you enjoy it!
video