Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Arizona trip - Part 2

So, I get to the DZ, it is dark but I get a tour, say Hi to Shannon (Derek's team mate and temporary roomate). We sit in the local pub (yes it is so large it has a pub!) and chat the evening away. It was nice just being able to sit there and chat. Derek seemed like he was quite happy to be able to show me the famous DZ that he talks about, and I was quite excited to be there. The next day was fun filled in that it was Valentines Day. Derek had booked time for me in the wind tunnel (which supposedly simulates freefall with 99% accuracy...). I was pumped... nervous because it is new but so excited! We got me all waivered up (seems to be a theme at these drop zones where you have to sign saying you aren't going to sue... wonder why! ha!) and trained (loved their 5 minute video for training... I thought I was cheesy??!!) and I suited up. I love how they gave me a free t-shirt for my 4 minutes where as Derek and his team just spent 5 hours in the tunnel and they didn't even get a thanks! ha! So, anyways, it is time for me to go, we all crawl in this chamber that you sit in and wait for your turn to "fly". Derek and Shannon come in with me just to watch... Now you are thinking, 4 minutes? that is it?! Well, 4 minutes in the tunnel is equivelent to about 4 jumps... which is quite a lot! So the time comes, I hop in and WOW, is it cool... I had a blast... I think I was a little nervous, and the instructor told me to relax (easy for him!) but I think I did ok for my first time in there. Apparently I got the Nazi of the tunnel and they refused to let Derek in with me... booo to you tunnel boy!... but I know Derek knew that I was having a BLAST by the huge smile I had on my face (and because I couldn't stop talking about it for the rest of the night!). After my 4 minutes, we watched my video... and I got some pointers... good to know for next time! Then we piled into the convertible and headed to Casa Grande (which is a town about 10-15 mins away). We went to treat Shannon to the Golden Corral. If you want to see a girl who can eat, let me introduce you to Shannon. For a 115lb 5'4" woman, she can out eat a lot of guys I know... I was impressed. After eating our faces off we went to Walmart for some groceries and giggles! A sociologist could study Walmart, it is just such an interesting place to watch people. Then it was back to the DZ for some ZZZZ's (that tunnel knocks the energy out of you!)

A new day came and with it the Airforce guys Derek is hired to teach... really, if it is something you love that much, I think it is play! What a wonderful group of men. They are all clever and kind, some funnier than others, some quiet, but all very welcoming and nice. I hung out with them, and "briefed" with them and then next morning, woke up and streched and helped them in anyway I could. The major way of course was sitting in the sun making sure that their stuff was not walking away. We can't forget Dave's valid attempt at trying to teach me to pack his parachute... all I could say was "I am not certified!"... gotta hand it to the fellow, he certainly tried! I got a little crispy, but I am like my dad... I love it. So the 16 and 17th were spent in the sun and I even took a dip in the pool with Shannon. We were in the pool for aprox. 10 minutes and someone asked us if we were Canadian. Not sure if it was the whiteness or that we were thinking it was warm! What a great 2 days of relaxation.

Well kidletts, that is all I have time for today. Tune in next time for the conclusion of the trip to the DZ in AZ! Ciao mi Amigos! (that's a hint of what's to come!!!!)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The surprise trip that was...

Hey there blogging world. I figured it was about time to sit down and let you know what I have been up to for the past couple days down here in the sun! I will start at the beginning!

Up at 4 am on the 11th, ready to go! I get to the airport and try to use the little terminal thingys that print your boarding pass. This is supposed to make things go faster, not quite convinced they do. Well, this little machine tells me that my ticket doesn't exist... the panic begins... I have to wait 30 minutes for the Air Canada lady to show up to do her job and another 15 for her to tell me that I have to go to the United counter because somewhere in oober small print it says that (I read the whole thing and couldn't find it, but whatever!) So... I finally get my ticket, and everything goes well... I land in Phoenix, grab my bag and found my honey! Things were looking up! We grab our rental car which had to get upgraded because they don't have the class we reserved so we got a sporty little convertible... NICE! I am certain people knew we were Canadian as we cruised down the freeway top down (heat blasted) and jackets zipped. It was great! Upon renting the car, the guy behind the counter asks if we are going into another state... to my surprise, the answer is yes. Derek planned a trip to VEGAS! Yahoo! I was so excited.

The 6 hour drive to Vegas was full of me chatting away the past 2 weeks of details and of Derek chatting about 2 weeks full of training and gossip. Time flew by so fast and before we knew it, we were cruising down the Vegas strip with the top down and my eyes wider than they have been in a while. It is amazing... indescribable really. The magnitude of it all is unbelievable, everything is in giant size! Our hotel is located at the end of the strip and when we get there, I realise that we are staying in the hotel that is a castle... how appropriate for the princess to stay in a castle. haha! It is amazing the detail in this place, the door handles are made of fake swords, it is a medieval theme, there are suits of armor and shields and stone everywhere. The light fixtures look like mini torches, it is incredible really. To top it all off, the casino is right in the mix of things and the waitresses have little page outfits on and are serving the gamblers. Once we checked in, we went for a bite to eat at the rain forest cafe which is an experience in and of itself. There are fake animals that move and it simulates a rain shower every 15 minutes or so. It was very cool. After a bite, we went and cruised the strip by foot. We went into the M&M store that was 5 stories high and had EVERYTHING you could think of that was M&M in it... even the NASCAR!

The next day we were up early (sorry babe, was just too excited to see it all!) and walked down the strip. It was unbelievable how all the hotels take on the theme to the max. The Venetian looked like Venice... the main square... almost identical, felt like I was there almost! Paris, it had the cafe feel! Treasure Island was really neat as they had a "Plank" style walk way. We stayed right across from New York, New York, which was complete with the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge, it was totally cool! The Belagio was very impressive, not only because it felt very glam, but because they had shops like Louie Vitton and TIFFANY'S... who could resist going in and looking at their stuff... I saw a book that had Audrey on it but I resisted touching it as it could have cost a million dollars or something. It was really cool to see that though because to me she is the epitome of Tiffany's. We went and saw live lions and tigers (although this took a couple tries as they are not always in the viewing place). It was totally wild seeing these gigantic kitties just feet away from you. After we cruised the strip, we went and had a bite to eat and then had a siesta... it was tiring (not too warm though, only about 18 C). Derek managed to score some tickets to a Las Vegas act and so we went and saw some showgirls. It was really cool, I suppose if you go to Vegas, you should see some, the outfits were spectacular and the dancing stellar. It was a great show. When that was over, we went back and crashed... it was a long day!

We woke up the next morning, grabbed a quick breaky and we were off to the shooting range. They have this place where you can shoot automatic weapons, and I think this was too cool of an opportunity to pass up. I shot a 9MM and a AK-47... it was Wild! Then it was off on the road again with our hot little convertible. We stopped for lunch at the Hoover Dam and took the opportunity to check it out. What an amazing thing that was. It impressed me that it was engineered in the 1930's and it is still an engineering feat. It is incredible! Once we capitalized on some photo opps, we were off to the Drop Zone. We arrived in the evening and although I got the grand tour I couldn't have told you what was where (except the coffee shop which was just a couple steps from my door.)

Wow... all that and it was only 4 days... so much more to tell you SO, I think I am going to save it for the next "episode"... What a packed vacation this was! Until next time, keep reading! haha!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Old friends and good memories!

Nothing new in Cowtown... same ol' story! I want to shoot out a YAHOO for my cousin... seems like Petplanet is closer to reality... live your dream, good for you! As my mom says, the things that are most worth it are the hardest! All in good time, it all comes in good time...

So, 4 sleeps until the dreaded torture fest that is the exam, which means 5 sleeps until AZ... booked the car, have the ticket... I am getting USD tomorrow... the world is grand! I am ready for neither, and I believe that is because I don't want to get myself too excited about the trip until the exam is over. By that time it will be less than 24 hours until I go, so I am prolonging the total excitement. I also have been busy with trying to decide what I am taking with me to my new abode. I would love to be a minimalist, but not sure all my belongings would fit into that category! I figure that I won't be moving a whole lot into Derek's house, and the rest is going to storage (in Cat's basement). I don't need a lot and honestly, Derek's house would be bursting at the seams if I brought all of my stuff... neither of us like clutter and both of us believe that everything has a place... I think we will get on just fine! Just want to shout out to my man... fly safe, and have fun... miss you tons and can't wait to see you in 5 more sleeps! Yahoo! Where are we going again? :o) Gimme a hint, PLEEEEAAASEEEE!!!?? hehehe!

Other than all this, I had lunch with a dear friend yesterday. I have been trying to reconnect with the people that meant a lot to me before I moved to "The Corn Crib" and it has proved to be beneficial. Jay has always looked out for me. When I lived in Lethbridge, he made sure that when he was home, he fed me... he would call me randomly and say, "Wanna go to Montana with me?" so we would go to the restaurant and eat our faces off... I remember one time we ended up flinging mashed potatoes at each other... and we ALWAYS shared a peach blueberry cobbler... oh, was that yummy! There were the times where we would go to Essies and show them all how to dance... Jay is one heck of a dancer! After we got home from the bar (which included a stop over at Humpties, gross when you are sober, but nothing beats it after the bar!) we would sit in Jays house, eat and drink more and watch the Boondock Saints, and rewind the funny parts and laugh until it hurt. We would go home at 4 or 5 or 6 am (easy for me, only had to walk two houses down) and sleep the day away and wake up and do it all again! It was good times at Jays house! Remember the yuck-a-flucks??? Oh that was a deadly night!!!!! Good times Jay, good times! It was so good catching up on the old times, and finding out what every one is up to (mostly, they are getting or have become married... still, I was the first to get married, AND the first to get divorced, Double yeah for me! ha!). I hear that Bubba is married to a nice girl, yeah for him. Sad to say though, aside from Bubba nothing has really changed. Jessie is still the scoundrel that he always was, Travis the true and steady loyal worker, Billy the heart breaker, Bald guy... still bald. Man those were good days. I do notice a significant lack of estrogen with this list, and realise that I never really saw a lot of girls hang out with them other than girlfriends that came and went and Charlie Brown... she was cool! I miss my boys! Good times.

Wow, sure looks like my rodeo-in' days are over... no more road trips to Calgary in George with 4 cowboys giving directions... where did the time go? It is so fun to look back on all the good times we had, and it is Great to remember them with the people you had them with. I am so glad that I got back in touch with Jason... he is a true kindred spirit, and I am sure that the havoc we have created in the past has not been concluded, since we are now older and wiser and have more ticks up our sleeves!!!!!! Let the good times roll.... Cat, does it feel like Beer-thirty when I get back??? How about a dance partner!?? Yahoo! I can feel the fun beginning already!