Experience the "World"

Here's to a double-header blogpost. Lots of fun things to report so enjoy!

So my grand experience of the world was to little ol' Fernley, NV. I imagine most of you don't even know where Fernley is in Nevada. Never fear, geography was never my strong point either, though even if it was, I still probably wouldn't have randomly known where Fernley was. In the past 2 weeks however, I spent 4 days there and 2 full days of driving between there and Utah. Yay for summer vacations :P

The lowdown -

My dad grew up in Fernley and my aunt (my dad's sister) still lives there. So we had a semi-family reunion type of vacation where my uncle and aunt and a couple of my cousins and one second cousin came as well as my Grandpa. My little sister was "lucky" enough to be able to go with my parents and myself to our little family reunion. It was nice to be able to see this side of the family because I can count on both hands the number of times I've seen any of them in the course of my entire life (which given my advancing age is a large number of years). :P

We headed out bright and not quite as early as planned on Wednesday morning. My parents had decided we would take the lesser traveled route to get there, which gave us the great opportunity of driving on the road called "The Loneliest Road in America" and let me tell you it really is the loneliest road. Nothing to see for miles and miles except sagebrush, dirt and dust devils. You are lucky to even see other traffic. The most exciting part of the drive was having to stop for road construction, seeing things move on the side of the road - lots of things, which looked big and brown and a little creepy. After sitting there for almost 20 minutes with no sign of us being able to move I got out of the car to see what actually was crawling around out there. It ended up being this -

A whole bunch of Mormon crickets crawling all over the land to the side of the road. And once we got driving again, we hit a section of road that was almost completely brown from squished crickets! Lunch anyone?

Highlights -

* Wednesday night when we arrived we got to have dinner with my cousin and her family along with my aunt. After dinner we went over to a field across the road to watch my cousin's son show off his jumping skills on his bike. And low and behold lying in one of the bushes was a not so crisp but completely valid $20 bill! Not everyday you randomly find $20 you get to keep because there is no way to find the owner.

* Seeing family that I rarely get to see. We had lots of laughs and good times.

* Visiting Virginia City and the Nevada State Museum in Carson City. Here are a few pictures from both!
And you thought todays sewing patterns were complicated!

* After ALOT of quarters, winning the jackpot on one of the arcade games at Circus Circus, resulting in a winning of over 500 tickets! It shouldn't feel like such a win when you have to spend so much money on it but somehow it does. Hence one reason I will never gamble (other than on arcade games I guess :P).

* 26 mile bike ride with my aunt in the 96 degree heat of Nevada. I'm proud to say that is my longest bike ride yet and with only on flat tire (with a less than 20 min. turnaround for a tire change) was a successful bike ride.

Lowlights  - because let's be honest, what trip would be a trip without at least a few lowlights.

* We arrived at Circus Circus an hour and a half before it opened (not on purpose), and then after waiting for it to finally open, they only opened half of it - the LAME half.

* Driving over 16 hours in less than a week. It wasn't horrible, I just don't love lots of driving so it wasn't a highlight for sure.

Overall, not my #1 summer vacation ever but it was a fun trip and I got to see a little bit of the "world"
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A World of Experience

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”
~ C. Joybell C.

Life is always full of experiences - experiences that bring about change, experiences that make us laugh, experiences that make us cry, experiences that add joy, etc., etc.

Last Saturday I went with my roommate Mindy to see the Beauty and Belief exhibit at the BYU Museum of Art. The exhibit was showing all kinds of things from the Islamic culture both past and present and explained much of their significance. Mindy was a good sport to go along with me and it was nice to laugh, discuss and talk about the different things we saw. I will admit that I know very little about the Islamic culture and was very happy to learn some new things and have a glimpse into a different experience.

It was fascinating to learn the importance Islam places about words and the written word. Being an English major I feel like I have a little bit of insight and appreciation for the written word but not even close to the emphasis in Islam. Almost everything, from a bowl to a wall or floor tile had written words on them, some with so ornate of designs we both marveled at how long it must have taken them to complete them. In addition, not only is there an appreciation for the written word but also much of the culture and religion works to express the written word through art as well.

We also discussed how it was a little sad that if there were an exhibit of our current time, period and culture how there wouldn't be much to see. An Iphone in a glass case isn't very exciting because it just sits there. Overall, I highly recommend going to see the exhibit. It was a great experience.

Another "growing" experience was I sang a solo in sacrament meeting on Sunday. Now I've sung for people before but in singing a solo in church I've always sung the same song. "Consider the Lilies" has been my go to song because I know it so well the nerves are more easily overcome. But I decided it was time to branch out and push myself, so I practiced and practiced "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul." It is such a beautiful song and it is about the Savior so I think it would be hard to mess up but I was very happy to have it go smoothly even though I was so nervous. And the people in my ward and my roommates were very complimentary, which made it better. I also know the little prayer I said beforehand asking for help and for the spirit to be there made a difference. It would be nice to get to the point where I don't get so nervous when singing in front of people because I really enjoy singing!

And lastly sometimes I get a little disillusioned with people - in general more than specifically. So I love those experiences that remind how wonderful people can be. As I mentioned in the previous post, I moved a few weeks ago and am so happy to have two wonderful roommates. It really does make such a difference! And I just wanted to share what my one roommate Mindy did because it was so thoughtful. I had written Mindy a little note to tell her thank you because she is an awesome person and awesome people should be thanked for being awesome :P The next morning, which left little time between when I had given her the note and she left for work, she gave me a little bag that had individually wrapped "portions" of chocolate covered cinnamon bears, which are one of my favorite treats as well as a cute quote from President Hinckley tied to each little portion. Here is what they looked like -
I mean how cute are those! And Mindy is a very busy person, which made it even more thoughtful that she put that time and effort into this to tell me thanks as well. I don't get teary-eyed too often but I will admit when I opened the bag and saw what she had done I did. It is so nice when people let you know they care. It makes such a difference. I'm sure you all can recall a time where someone's thoughtfulness made a day or a time in your life a bit brighter. Aren't those moments wonderful?

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