Saturday, July 16, 2011

Proud to Be an American

There are few things more "American" than hot dogs and Coney Island.  Combine them together and you have the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating contest, and this 4th of July Greg and I decided to go see it live. What a crazy event! 

62 hot dogs (and buns) in just 10 minutes. 
Totally disgusting, but also freaking awesome! 
I have to give it to Mr. Joey Chestnut (he's the one in between the guy with the face paint and the guy with the Mohawk, also the one on the big screen shot). At times I didn't think he would be able to keep it all down, but no one else even came close to devouring as many hot dogs as he did. Truly a champion in his own way!

After the event we (along with everyone else in NY) spent some time walking around Coney Island.
 The beach and boardwalk were crammed with people.
 We didn't want to pay to ride the oldest roller coaster, so we opted for a picture of it.
 Oh Coney Island, you are one interesting place!
That evening we got together with friends at Riverside Park to watch the fireworks. The weather was perfect, food and company were great, and the fireworks were just as impressive as always. 
Great job NYC, and God bless the USA!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Arizona Heat!

Just a week after my family left, we hopped on a plane for a trip to the desert, and just in time for a heat wave in Phoenix. 110 degrees is hot; I don't care if everyone says it's a dry heat!

But we couldn't miss the chance to be there for one of my dearest friend's wedding! Unfortunately, I being the good friend that I am, did not take one single picture of the bride and groom, so I stole this one off her facebook page. Jen looked beautiful and just radiated joy. There's nothing sweeter than seeing one of your friends find her soul mate.
While we were out west, Greg also had an interview at Thunderbird. Greg has been studying for the GMAT and looking into various MBA programs, and Thunderbird has always intrigued us - mainly because of it's focus on international business and our wild dreams of living abroad for a few years. Anyway, the interview went well, and we will see where we end up in the next couple years.

And for the rest of the trip? Here is a TOP 10 LIST (in no particular order):

1. The El Charo 
No trip to Mesa is complete without at least one trip to this family-owned Mexican establishment. My family has been going there for over 65 years, and my uncle even proposed to my aunt in one of the back booths. We have lots of memories there, and nothing beats their bean and cheese burros and beef tacos. Greg even loved it (which according to my Aunt Udell makes him officially part of the family).

2. Bluth Cousins
I was so happy we got to see my cousin Chelsea and her husband Shane and son Gus and my cousin Amy. They were all leaving on Friday to go on vacation to California, but they were able to squeeze in a few hours with us the night before they left. We love them and wish they lived closer so we could see them more often.

3. Sale at JCrew
Greg has not gotten new clothes since we started dating. I feel like a horrible wife, but I always needed him to come shopping with me. So since we had time in Arizona, we looked online and found the only JCrew in the Phoenix area that carries men's clothes, showed up, and they were having a summer sale + 30% all sale items + the regular 15% off you get when you use your student ID.  It was AMAZING! And I even happened to find a few things for myself.

4. New Babies
It's so fun to see the family grow and to see all my little cousins becoming parents. Trey and Eli are so cute and lucky to have such beautiful mommas! We loved the mini Sturdivant family reunion at my grandma's house. We're all crazy, but we sure do love each other!

5. The Western Hotel
My grandparents were so nice in letting us stay at their beautiful home in Mesa, and they treated us like royalty! We had good food and great times sitting around talking. Greg kept saying over and over how happy he was that he got to know Grandma and Papa better and how they really made him feel like part of the family. It makes us excited for the days when we will be bringing our kids out to Granny and Papa's house.

6. In-n-Out. 
This was our first official stop when we landed in Phoenix. The plane was so cold, and we were so happy to be out in the sun that I begged Greg to eat outside with me. He didn't even complain when the sweat beads started forming on his forehead.

7. The POOL
We spent lots of time in the sun. Every day we went to the pool (which is not something we get to do in the summer in NYC). Greg, of course, used the time to study. While laying out, I was able to finish two books and catch up on my celebrity gossip from my grandma's magazine collection.

8. Engaged Couple
We loved seeing Greg's cousin Lesley and her fiance Paul. They are getting married in the fall, and we couldn't be happier for them. We were so lucky that they were able to take time out of their busy schedules to meet up.

9. A Frozen Deer Head and A Gun Collection
Probably the highlight of the trip for Greg was when his cousin Kimber's husband showed him his freezer full of fish from a recent fishing trip, a deer head (which he obtained after hitting a deer with his truck and cut off the head so he can mount it on the wall in his son's room), and his gun/rifle collection. He even made Greg hold the rifle and pull the trigger so he could feel how it kicks back. We definitely had a good time with Kimber and Ryan that night!

10. Four Entire Days Together!
No explanation needed.

"I'm In Such Great Walking Shape"

I love my dad for many reasons, but mainly for how much he loves life and how excited he gets about little things (even when the rest of the family doesn't quite share his same excitement). Two years ago my entire family came to visit me in NYC, and in preparation for Cody's first trip to the big apple my dad was trying to explain to him about the subway system. He would go on and on about how public transportation works, how fast the trains move, how many people ride it, and how the whole network of tracks is underground a city of more than 6 million people. He said, "Cody, it's like a whole 'nother world down there!"

Unfortunately for Cody, my dad was so enthusiastic about the subway system that once in NYC he had to point out every subway entrance and say, "Cody, it's a whole 'nother world down there." It became our running joke during the trip.

Two years later my family comes to visit NYC again, and my dad hasn't changed a bit. Although, this time it wasn't about the subway system, it was about walking. I have to give my old man some props. We walked A LOT while they were here; I mean, even I was tired, and I live here! So my dad complained the first day, but he was totally amazed at how quickly his body adjusted and thus was born the phrase, "I just can't believe I'm in such great walking shape!" He must have told us at least five times a day (for the next seven days)! In fact, I think he even mentioned it multiple times once they got back to Wyoming.

I let my parents take most of the pictures on the trip, but here are a few from the day we went to the Natural History Museum and did the paddle boats in Central Park.
And yes, we did spend at least ten minutes staring and laughing at the weiner on this dude. My dad titled this exhibit "Granny and Grandpa leave for their Honeymoon". Only my family would be so immature as to take a picture of what everyone else calls "science"and "evolution".
Jeff really enjoyed the dinosaurs exhibits, especially once we told him they were "Little Foot" and "Three-Horns" from the Land Before Time.
I love Central Park and NYC in the summer!

After a few days in NYC, we went on an east coast roadtrip down the coast to Delaware and Virginia and then came back through Washington DC and Pennsylvania. Here are a few highlights from our day in the nation's capitol.

This picture is classic: my dad with his reading glasses on looking at a map, my mom trying to text a picture of the white house to her mom and sisters, Jeffery brushing his hair, and me and Cody apparently had seen enough of the white house and were ready to move on!
Such a beautiful afternoon to take a walking tour of the monuments.

Jeff was apparently not happy about the picture and the hug my mom was giving him...and Cody is especially happy cause Greg just grabbed his butt right before the shot!
And once again, why I love my dad. He loves to stop at places along the road to take pictures. But he won't get just any shot; no, he will squat down on the ground for the perfect shot!

We had such a great vacation. And even though I'm 28 and married, I still cry every time I have to say goodbye to my family. We're already counting down the days to Thanksgiving! Sure do love and miss you guys! Thanks for coming all the way across the country to spend time with us.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Weekend With My Love

This past month marked one of the best changes in our married life. I'm no longer working full-time. And as a nurse, what does that mean? No more working nights or weekends or holidays...and more time to spend with the man I love!

So how did we spend our first entire weekend together? A fun Broadway show and a lazy Sunday afternoon in Central Park. Love and Love!

Does life get any better than this? I don't think so!