Monday, July 16, 2012

Flying Free Trip #28: Mexico City

I try to post all of my trips... and I'm way behind. Here's a start!

We traveled to Mexico for the 4th of July. (I know... nice way to spend our Independence Day.) Still, I'm glad I went. I've always wanted to travel to a Spanish speaking country to practice my Spanish. I'm too shy to talk in Spanish with people that can speak English, but in Mexico, I was forced to practice! It was a quite a challenge, and I liked it. I learned that I need a lot more practice! For those of you wondering... the weather was perfect and beautiful. Warm enough for shorts, cool enough for a sweater.

The first day, we went to the anthropology museum. This museum was huge! We could have spent the whole day there. I learned a lot.

That night we saw Ballet Folkolorico. Excellent dancing and traditional music. I especially loved the women's outfits.(Why don't women wear beautiful flowing dresses anymore???) I'm glad we went.

The next day we spent in Teotihuacan. I climbed to the top of the pyramid of the sun. Given the high elevation, it was quite difficult, but I'm glad I did it.

From the top, we could see the smaller, pyramid of the moon. After our climb up the big pyramid, we were too tired to do any more climbing.
Unfortunately, one of our group was sick that night, so we decided to fly home the next day. When you fly standby, you take risks. The flight out filled up, and there was no room for us! Fortunately for us, one man was sitting around not paying attention when they called his name three times, so our sick member got on the flight. What a blessing! That left Matthew and I to find another route home. While desperately exploring our options, we were able to score first class on the next flight from Mexico City to Charlotte. Lucky us! Then since we were in North Carolina anyway, we decided to visit Chapel Hill, where I went to school. More on that later...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Life Changes

Some time last year I started dating my best friend. Ever since then, I've been rather busy. Not just with him, but with other things too (hand bells, orchestra, institute, and a lot of time with him too of course). And once he proposed, I was rather busy with him and wedding planning! It's been an incredible journey. Thankfully, I have an amazing family, and they all helped so much with everything. One of these days after things settle down, I'll catch up, finish my dress, and post about my trips to India, Utah, and Coronado Island. In the mean time, you should check out how cool my wedding was because my sister-in-law has skills.





P.S. I like married life. :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Flying Free Trip #6: Paris/London

Last year, I was lucky to have the opportunity to attend a conference in Paris. Since this was my first trip overseas, I decided to spend a couple of extra days in a Paris and a couple days in London.

Lucky for me, I was traveling for work during a non-busy travel time, so I got a free upgrade to envoy (business class). Business class is the way to go! The seats lay back, sometimes flat, otherwise almost flat, you get a free bag of trinkets (toothbrush, eye covering, and lotion), and they give you several delicious meals. The flight was most excellent.

I arrived in Paris in the early hours of the morning before the sun had risen. I speak no French, so I was rather nervous. After much trouble of walking outside, waiting outside, walking in circles, asking for help, taking a tram to the next terminal, waiting for a shuttle, getting more nervous, asking for more help, going in more circles, wondering where this shuttle is going to pick me up, I looked up, and there was the Hilton! Hurray! I found it! I thought the website said there was a shuttle from the airport, but oh well, a 2 minute walk is preferable to a shuttle.

The conference was interesting despite my extreme fatigue (probably due to my inability to sleep well on the plane there and jet lag), and the dinner cruise was very fancy. For the conference, we went on a cruise down the Seine river where we could see many of the Paris sights from the boat including my first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower! I especially like how it sparkled for about 5 minutes every hour. The dinner was also very fancy, and I was offered red wine, white wine, and champagne. I opted for water. Personally, I felt the cruise was overly extravagant and unnecessary and a waste of money, but it was a good experience nonetheless. I enjoyed dinner with Dr. Peter Belobaba who is probably the most well-known name in revenue management. He was very interesting to talk to, and I didn't feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable during the dinner.

After the conference, I visited the sights in Paris with my coworker. My favorite place was the Gardens of Versailles. I prefer being outdoors among the beautifully trimmed garden hedges and trees to somewhat dull museums of art, and I was filled with energy walking around the gardens.

I then took the train through the chunnel to London. I like traveling by train! I like London MUCH better than Paris and not because of my inability to speak French. I actually really enjoyed being around a foreign language. It gave me a challenge to try and learn a few French phrases which I did. I like London because it is clean and very well taken care of. There are little parks everywhere and most everything is free. I felt safe despite being alone. However, I don't think I want to travel alone again; it's kind of lonely.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Arizona Skies

I did not adjust the colors to get this picture. The sky is really that incredible.
All my life, I wanted to get out of the desert. I considered the desert a dry, barren, ugly place. Why do so many people like living there? So I escaped. I'm now back, and while I still believe that the land elsewhere is much more beautiful, my break from the desert made me realize how stunning the skies are here. The past couple of weeks, the sky has been especially beautiful. While walking out of the grocery store tonight, I was so impressed with the sky, I couldn't resist using modern technology that I keep on me most of the time to snap a picture (cell phones are pretty amazing).

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Flying Free Trip #18: Albuquerque

When I told people that I was planning to go to Albuquerque, the most common response was, "Why?" in a tone that meant "Why would you ever want to go there?". I happen to really like Albuquerque a lot. For one, it's a whole lot cooler than Phoenix. Plus, they have a few really cool things--- the tram up the mountain, the balloon fiesta, and a good friend of mine.

It was a nice and relaxing trip. Friday night, I hung out with two friends of mine---one friend from high school that I hadn't seen in many years, and the one who lives in Albuquerque. It's interesting how fast time flies and how much our lives change in just a few years! Saturday, I rode a bicycle for a while (I love the outdoors when it's nice weather), watched a movie, got a ride to the airport in this amazing truck, and flew home. And I still had time to go out to the movie theater after I returned home. Great weekend.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sewing Project #7: Easter Skirt

For Christmas, I received a sewing tote with scissors, pins, a rotary cutter, and a skirt pattern. I really like the pattern, and I decided to make it for Easter. I finished the skirt at around 2am Easter morning, and I am quite happy with the results! I especially like that it has pockets.

Now I need to make a dress. Anyone have any good patterns? I saw a good one at Scrapbooks Etc. yesterday, but I didn't want to pay $12 for a pattern.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Flying Free Trip #17: Long Beach CA

My life is awesome.

Friday was 111 degrees in Phoenix. Saturday was too. However, Friday I was hot; Saturday I was not. I was so hot that I posted a picture of ice on my blog.  It was so hot that even at 6am at 90 degrees I decided it was too hot to go for a bike ride (or maybe I was just lazy). Then I was even hotter after walking back from lunch at 1pm. Why did I move back to Phoenix? Yesterday, people kept asking me what my plans were for the weekend. "Nothing," I replied. I was sure I'd think of something interesting to do. Probably read my book and clean the house a little. Then I realized---why am I in Phoenix this weekend when I could be somewhere cooler? What about California? I could enjoy the beautiful 75 degree California weather AND read while in transit. So I looked up flights to California and decided to go to Long Beach. I found a nice park within walking distance from the airport with a nice long bicycle path. I might not be able to bring a bicycle on the plane, but I recently found a nice pair of used roller blades.

So, I went for it. I woke up early on Saturday morning and a short while later I was in Long Beach California walking down the tarmac to the airport. Yes, this airport is so small you have to walk down the tarmac to get to your airplane. It's so small that the baggage claim is outside. But it's also so small that I could walk to a park in just a few minutes. The park was beautiful. I felt like I was in a utopia. Many people were out enjoying the beautiful weather. One man was doing a fairly good job keeping up with me on my roller blades, but I eventually passed him for good.

Overall the trip was excellent. The sun makes me happy, and Saturday was no exception. I failed to bring sunscreen, so I'm a little red, but it's not too bad. My return flight was two hours delayed, so I went shopping at Kmart to pass the time and bought socks. I enjoyed a delicious smoothie for my afternoon snack. And finally, I returned to the airport and flew home.

Nice Day.