So I am back in Utah and I think you can tell it was a great trip because I only found time to post once very quickly. I was having too much fun!
This was Sunday and Kim had gotten us tickets to a Rays/Red Sox game. It was nice to have one day away from the beach (only one) and we rooted for Boston. There was even a fight! 😉
When we were driving home it started to rain, thunder, lightning and hail. You can see it in the trip video below. For the next 3 days it rained but always on our way back to the house, so it was perfect timing!
Each night we got home around 5 and we ate dinner and watched a movie. We viewed Frozen, Tangled, Emperors New Groove and Return to Me! So fun.
We also had a ton of laughs over a Mormon romance novel I brought with me that was pretty bad. See description below.
Yes, he smelled like rootbeer…So romantic. It was very funny.
So, there were a lot of laughs and also some heart to hearts. Kim and I had been friends in high school but she wasn’t one of my best friends. After 17 years of not seeing each other and being from different parts of the country, religions, and everything else I wondered if we would have anything in common, but we had lots. It turns out we had both been through similar career struggles. We had had bosses that made us nuts and anxieties to deal with as working women. We both shared dating struggles and being single. We both had lots of memories and had a similar sense of humor. We both love New York and love the beach.
It certainly is another reason to be grateful for facebook. Kim and I had reconnected during the election because we are both fiscal conservatives and needed some political venting (she lived in NY at the time). We would chat on fb and I had inquired about staying with her in New York some time. Then she told me she had moved to Tampa. Being the nice person she is she invited me to stay there and being the bold, without boundaries person I am I said ‘let’s do it!’. Most people would probably shrug off an offer like that as being polite but I just had a feeling to go for it.
So many times in my life I have been benefited by not worrying about being polite or following some idea of normal behavior and this is certainly one of them. I’m glad I didn’t worry about what someone’s ulterior motives might have been and took her at her word. I think we are both glad and it will be the first of many such visits.
Day 4 and 5-
Monday and Tuesday were pretty simple- beach, beach, beach, beach. All together we went to Madeira, Passe de Grille, Honeymoon Island and Fort De Soto. Passe de Grille was my favorite because of the closeness of the beach to the parking and the cute little town.
I feel blessed. Blessed to have seen God’s beautiful oceanic creations and even more blessed to have made what I know will be a life-long friend.
At least to me vacations should remind you of why you work everyday and how perfect before starting a new job to remember the potential for happiness that lies in my heart. It’s a good day to be Rachel Wagner my friends. A new job, new opportunities, beautiful memories, great friends and a happy heart.
I’ve done my fair share of complaining on this blog and I want to let you all know that never have I been happier than this moment right now. 🙂
This video is a little bumpy so I don’t know if you will enjoy it but it shows how beautiful a trip it was and how much joy it brought me.
Hello from Florida! (Almost said Aloha but wrong beach!).
I don’t have long to write this morning but I just wanted to say hello and let you know I am having a great time in good old Florida. Getting here took me 2 days and was miserable but it was all worth it for the beautiful beaches! The sand is white, the water is turquoise and warm as bathtub water. The company has been great and I’ve just had a blast!
I will include more details in my next post but this should give you some flavor. Hope you all have a Happy Memorial Day weekend. 🙂
Wednesday this week I am going on vacation!!!! Like a real vacation.
I am not exaggerating when I say I haven’t been on a real vacation since Japan in 2005.
I realize I’ve been a lot of places during those years including Hawaii three times but each time I was working at least at a minimum level.
Anytime I see my folks I end up working because my Dad is my boss. I’ve usually brought some checks with me, written wires, checked emails the whole nine yards.
My problem is letting things go that only I can do. I never have had a sub or back up so if it needed to be done I had to do it. That is hard to let go. One time my boss told me ‘get off the phone and enjoy Hawaii!’.
But not this time! My work responsibilities for Poler are minimal and can be done by other people while I’m gone. My roommate is kind enough to get the mail and make deposits. My supervisor and Dad are taking over wires and checks so that’s taken care of. And as far as my new job goes it hasn’t started yet so no worries on that front!
2 of my Hawaii trips I was actually working and going to school so that was interesting. My first trip I tried to get people to fill in for me but it was a disaster and I had to do an entire team project in 3 days or fail the class (sigh…).
Last year I got pretty close to real vacation in the trip to Disneyland but I still did some work and I will probably still check my email on this trip out of habit more than anything else (plus it goes to my phone so kind of hard to not check it)
Anyway, I’m very excited to be taking a true vacation and to a place I know very little about. I never thought about going to Tampa or traveling to Florida but my high school friend Kim was kind enough to invite me and probably to her surprise I accepted.
She’s taking time off from her job and has purchased tickets to baseball games and other activities. Thursday we are going to Harry Potter World in Orlando!
Mostly I am greatly looking forward to the ocean. I love the ocean. The first time I went to Hawaii was one of the toughest times of my life. I was so unhappy and I went to the North Shore and called my Dad the day I was to leave and cried my eyes out.
It had been so beautiful and going back to the cubicle dungeon of my life seemed to much. I can’t even tell you how many times I have been sad and thought of my beloved North Shore and felt happy again (I even have it featured in artwork above my bed and in my office).
I love the sound of the beach. I love swimming in the beach. I love reading and then swimming and then reading. I love wearing floppy hats and big sunglasses soaking up the sun and hearing the wish-wash of the tide. It is heaven. Last year I got to spend one day in Seal Beach, CA and realized that was the truly happiest place on earth not Disneyland!
I also hope to just relax, maybe go to a movie or two, watch the Survivor finale, go to good restaurants and have a great trip!
How fortunate I am to be in this position to take a trip. I am so grateful for my friend for having me and to have the resources to travel. I am also grateful that I planned the trip, accepted the invite and am making the effort to go. It was such perfect planning right before starting my new job. I could never have known it would work out that way but it worked out great!
I’m so excited to have a non-working vacation and hopefully I come back to you more tan than burned and full of great stories of my trip. I will update the blog while I’m away but there will be a gap in videos.
If any of you have been to Tampa and have some suggestions let me know.
Tonight I am exhausted but wanted to give you an update on my last weekend.
It all started on Friday with my most recent 8 at 8 singles activity. I was expecting around 15 people and to my shock 56 people came. I felt kind of bad that I wasn’t more organized but luckily everyone was easy going and the restaurant was very good to us (especially because I had been confused over the reservation). I am also very grateful to a girl in the group named Carly who took a leadership role on the activity and saved the day. I still can’t believe that so many people came! Who knew speed dating would get such a crowd?
Saturday and Sunday I spent with my sisters Megan and Anna. Meg was in town for the weekend on a special discounted airfare from a an airline called allegiant airlines. I think her ticket was around $100. Just as a point of contrast my last ticket to California was nearly $400, so its a tremendous bargain.
Sometimes I think the small breather of a trips are the best and most refreshing. Doesn’t give you enough time to be sick of each other and you don’t have to do as much bending to change work, school and other schedules around to accommodate visitors. We kept it pretty simple but went to my favorite bakery Bake 360, watched Best in Show and then Sunday took a walk on Draper trail, taking a photo by the dinosaur a resident has in their backyard (random I know).
One last update, I have been having success in my work and in preparing for Slam the Dam. I feel confident in both. Just today my boss said I was a ‘lifesaver’. It meant a lot to me especially given I was gone for so long. The other great thing was that I truly took a vacation and hardly worked at all for the 10 days I was gone. I haven’t done that in nearly all my adult work-life. I’m not exaggerating with that statement. When I worked for JWA I worked so much my boss had to tell me to get off the computer and enjoy Hawaii. The same when I was doing the rentals full time and definitely true when I worked for Grabber.
I’m not trying to sound ungrateful for my past work experiences. Far from it. I’m just grateful to Poler for allowing me to take a real break from work. It may also be that I am learning to let go and relax a little more but I doubt it? Either way, I’m grateful for my job.
So if you hadn’t gotten the idea yet, I love the beach. I love the sound of the waves. I love laying out in the sun reading. I love swimming in the ocean. It’s just so great. Nature’s amusement park if you will. I miss the beach greatly when I am away for it and haven’t seen it since 2011.
Today I got to go to the beach!! We went to Seal Beach in California, which was a new beach for me but great. It’s crowded but beautiful, with a huge pier and lots of parking. I was just so happy to be back in the water and away from the ‘walking vacation’.
The day started great. We left the hotel and headed to Seal Beach to first meet up with one of my twitter friends Samantha Ferraro. She is a food blogger and we started talking because of a mutual love of cooking and Julia Child. The first time we tweeted she asked the question-
I thought it was funny that anyone would be deciding to make tomato cobbler and orange curd. After that we kept in touch and she asked for some advice in preparing for a triathlon and we chatted about the open water swimming part. She lives in Seal Beach so it was too convenient not to meet up, so that’s what we did for lunch.
We ate tacos and chatted and had a lovely time. I told her to come out to Utah and I can show her around. It would be fun to cook together sometime. You can read her food blog at http://littleferrarokitchen.com/
It’s so neat the way we can connect with others so easily, have a positive impact and make friends with people we would never come in contact other ways. I especially love twitter for this. It is so nice to have a forum to share with likeminded individuals that share common interests.
So after our lunch Maddie, Mom and I went to the beach and spent the rest of the afternoon playing. I got out my safe swimmer and swam for about 20 minutes. The current was really strong or I could have gone longer. It was so much fun!
It was just so peaceful and fun. I could have stayed there forever. Sadly we had to leave to get back to my folks house and the long trip to Northern California started. My Mom drove the whole way which I was very grateful for and we had good conversation, so it all turned out well.
Favorite day of the trip- beach day- followed closely by the massage. So great!
Some things you might not know about me from reading only this blog- I have hard time being happy (even in the happiest place on earth) when I am A. Tired, B. Sore, or C. Hungry. I realize this may seem very ‘first world’ of me but there you go. We are all weak in our own way.
Well, today started out pretty good. I was feeling strong after my relaxed day yesterday and ended up spending the morning alone at California Adventure. I like spending time by myself. I like that nobody can hear me groan and I can go at my own pace, eat what I want, do what I want. I suppose this is slightly unhealthy of me but again that’s the way it is with me!
So everything was going well and then after a few hours my feet were beginning to hurt and I headed over to Disneyland to meet up with my sister and Mom. I waited for the omnibus which was taking forever. Then I decided to take the train and as I was traveling realized I didn’t have my cell phone. I had to wait until the train stopped, walk back to the omnibus area and it wasn’t there. (It was also close to 100 degrees plus humidity!). I went to lost and found and spent time filling out a report with a rather unhelpful lady (and very hard to understand).
I also didn’t know my sisters cell phone number or I would have called her to meet up. My Mom didn’t have her phone. Anyway, I had no idea what to do. Then we called my Dad ( I realized I only have 4 phone numbers memorized. Not good!). He was able to reach Madi’s phone and she actually had my phone! I guess someone had found it and called the last number which was her. Thanks kind stranger.
Anyway, I was pretty stressed out and then when I went to get back into the park I couldn’t find my ticket. Despite taking a photo of me and stamping my hand they still require a ticket. Sorry Disney but that is dumb! The whole situation made me cry.
A lot of this has to do with my frustrations over my pain and my unmet expectations of training and working hard on my physical fitness. I was hoping to have more energy and fun this trip. It was very disappointing.
So that was the drama for the day (worthy of a Disney movie right?). Don’t worry though. It got better quick.
I’ve learned from this trip something about myself. I like vacations where I can sleep, reconnect with myself and soak in sun (and swim as much as possible). My Mom referred to Disneyland as a ‘walking vacation’. Here’s what I now know: I don’t like walking vacations. I like sleeping vacations.
Good thing to learn about myself right?
So, I don’t want you all to think I didn’t have a good time or am ungrateful because that’s not true. I did have fun. I am grateful, especially for my Dad, everyone at Poler and my roommate for making this all happen. Thank you so much!
Now tomorrow I’m going to the beach. HURRAY!!!! I can’t wait.
So you’ve got to keep learning and growing. Hope you are all doing well.
So I’m here in Anaheim for my first vacation in 3 years. Yesterday I had a fun day at Disneyland but was pretty exhausted and my feet hurt very badly. My back had also been seizing up on me. Normally in my training I can take a day off to recover after a day on. Walking all day is one of the hardest things for me. I would much rather swim a 5k than stand and walk for hours. Strange I know but its true.
I woke up this morning and knew I was in trouble. I was in a lot of pain and didn’t want to move out of my bed. Even my new shoes weren’t helping much. I honestly thought about getting a scooter but that felt so embarrassing. Plus, I’d worked so hard and was frustrated that nothing seemed to be showing from it. I had gotten the whole inspiration to get in shape from going to Disneyland in 2010 and having so much feet pain. I thought that if I got in shape I would be able to do better but it didn’t work out that way.
I guess I just have bad feet and walking all day isn’t my thing. I’ll swim all day instead!
Anyway, I was at the park until about 2 pm and went to the hotel and honestly felt really discouraged. I was in pain and discouraged about it. I felt like a failure and a little judged, not by family but by the nameless masses at Disneyland (I realize that is ridiculous but sometimes we are ridiculous!)
After a little cry I went for a swim with my Mom and that made me feel much better spiritually and physically. Then I said to myself ‘I wish I could have a massage right now, especially on my feet. Then I said ‘maybe I can?’ I did a quick google and found a service that did door-to-door massages and the price was reasonable. I made the appointment and they came at 5:15. It was an hour long and the best massage I’ve ever had. It was deep and strong but so great. I felt near-comatose after, so relaxed.
Then I ordered thai food and relaxed the rest of the day. I feel like I’ll be ready to go for tomorrow. Wahoo! I realized something about myself. If I’m going to have fun on vacation I need to plan a day on full of busyness, a day off relaxing, repeat. I think that will be true no matter what shape I’m in. When you have chronic pain that’s the way life is.
So I may have wasted a day at Disney but I don’t see it that way. I learned something about myself and had the day I wanted to have. Its my vacation and I have to take responsibility for having a good time. That’s the way it is! Live and learn.
So we had a successful day in Disneyland. I was amazed at how much we go through in 1 day. I honestly did almost every ride I wanted aside from the one’s that were closed (thunder mountain railroad and haunted mansion are closed 😦 ). Its hard for me to stand and walk for hours. I was hoping as I got in better shape that would improve but it really hasn’t. In fact, if anything its gotten worse as my pain sensitivity and fibro has increased.
Tomorrow I plan on taking things more slowly with breaks. I also bought shoes today that should help. I just wish my feet and back weren’t so sensitive. It would make things like this a lot more fun.
It was also super hot today. 99 degrees with high humidity. Made the whole day challenging for me; nevertheless, it is the happiest place on earth and my first vacation in 3 years. Still had a great time and am very blessed. The prices also seemed more reasonable than I remembered them. I don’t know if that is because everything else has gotten more expensive or prices at Disney have gone down. Either way it wasn’t too bad.
So my name is Rachel and I’m a workaholic. Want to know the proof? I’ve had kind of a miserable day and do you know what it was- my day off! I will probably end up with close to 50 unused vacation hours this year (my strategy of no vacation/no distraction was great for training, not so great for mental health). The last 2 weeks I have tried to take full days off and have failed miserably ending up with 2-4 hours off if at all (Monday I tried to take off and I ended up working 9 hours…Sigh).
Today I thought ‘I’m just going to relax, watch some movies, pack some boxes and enjoy the day’. (I did go to the PO box, check emails and make a deposit but come on I can’t go from hero to zero all at once!).
Well, my plan didn’t work very well. I woke up way early (I’ve been doing that lately. Not sure why?) and by about noon I was in a bad mood. Feeling crotchety and frustrated.
Things that helped me out of my bad mood- my friend Miriam called just to chat who lives in Virginia and is in town for the holidays. She wasn’t even calling to get together- just to talk. I love that! Thanks. We have been friends for 10 years and as far as I’m concerned the best of friends are the longest lasting.
Then I watched Home Alone and that was hilarious. I forgot how funny it was. I went to see it when I was 10 with my grandparents and remember rolling in the aisles laughing. I had never laughed so hard in a theater. It holds up remarkably well and isn’t being home alone every kids dream? It was for me!
Then I went to mixed martial arts and that made me feel better. I could release some frustration. Frustration at being single on Christmas. Frustration about not finding out about my house. Frustration about my weird lazy day. Frustration about how I was feeling that I couldn’t even explain. I love it! I’m going to do a session Christmas Eve and I think it will be good to get the frustration out.
I know I should have a perfect response to being alone for Christmas but I don’t. I’m sorry. Being 32 and alone at Christmas is nobody’s dream least of all mine. Personally I think you’d be a little strange to not feel a little sad at being alone for Christmas.
But that really wasn’t while I was feeling frustrated. It’s just my life is in flux and I want it to be done. The waiting is driving me crazy! I guess at least work is a distraction from all the other things so trying to be lazy today just didn’t work. There’s something to be said for keeping busy.
Sometimes I also wonder if I’ve lost the ability to really relax? At least there is always Hawaii. I can relax there. Or perhaps my version of relaxation is just busier as much as it drives me crazy? I don’t know? I’m not sure the best way to order my life?
Do any of you struggle with that?
Thanks for all the Christmas cards I got today. That really cheered me up. I have the best friends! Merry Christmas! (and yes facebook friends I do think chasing our childhood Christmases is a mistake. Like the scripture says ‘When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man [or woman], I put childish ways behind me.’. Part of growing up at least for me but still a lot to be merry about.
Anyway, so that’s my random thoughts on my day of laziness.
So the last day of my trip has come and gone. It was a fabulous day but the entry will probably be a little shorter because it was pretty simple.
Today was all about relaxation and inspiration
Started out with room service. I’ve only had room service one other time on my cruise (not as expensive as you think $11 plus tip)
Then I watched General Conference in my room. In April I discovered Conference twitter groups and I love it. I find I learn more because I’m involving more senses. Plus I make new friends and get more followers (like 35 new one’s today!).
I was so inspired by every talk. To me a lot on staying strong no matter what. A lot about loyalty and Christlike service. Of course, with the new announcement yesterday there was a lot about missionary work which I love. I am going to try and be bolder with my testimony.
My favorite talk from morning conference was Elder Holland’s talk. Elder Hollands teaches the scriptures in such a personal way. I felt like I was there with the early apostles. Powerfully Elder Holland asked the question to each of us asked Peter “Do you love me?”. If we do than we need to serve Him and feed His sheep. Gosh I just can’t do it justice. I honestly think it was a masterpiece. I don’t know how you don’t feel something when He testifies of the Gospel. I’ve listened to 3 times today and still blown away Just listen:
I know I want to be a better, more faithfully sensitive saint. I want to serve in any way I can. No half-hearted devotion for me. No complete returning to my normal life after this weekend. Powerful experience may only subtlety change you but they do change.
President Eyring’s talk also inspried me. Sometimes I feel like aiming high is aiming for the impossible. It has given me encouragement. Just this week I did a seemingly impossible thing for work and look, I got through it. His talk also reminded me that sometimes what we think would be good for our career or life may not be what God has in store. Powerful.
Then we got to the break and I had to get some lunch. Problem is most everything is closed on Sundays so I walked around until I found a large sports bar famous for subs and pizza I decided to give it a try. Glad I did. Delicious! It was called Maxwells Deli
After lunch got back for 2nd session (I’m seriously sore from all this city walking! Such a wimp!). 2nd session was also wonderful but the highlight for me was Elder Bednar and President Monson.
Elder Bednar spoke about the importance of loyalty to the church and not just testimony but true conversion. It is one I will have to reread over and over again because it was so deep with content and doctrine. Profound. Again it made me want to be more bold in my testimony and to make sure I am spiritually ready for any challenges.
I thought Elder Bednar’s distinction between a testimony and conversion was profound. “Conversion is an enlarging of the ungirding base of testimony” “Conversion is an offering of self, love, and loyalty. We give to God in gratitude for the gift of testimony”. But why should I quote Elder Bednar when you can listen to the address:
President Monson was inspirational of course and told a lot of new stories. Each story was about how the Lord will use you to answer promptings. He also reiterated President Uchtdorf’s thoughts about not losing God in the details of life. It’s so comforting to hear the words of a prophet and to know that we have a prophet to lead and guide my life. I have a testimony that President Monson is the prophet of our age.
After conference I was sad (the spiritual feeding was so wonderful. I wish I could have it every day!).
Anyway, I went up to the pool to relax and unwind, read
Once I was seriously unwound I had no more energy. I called a few friends and ate some food from the hotel. Then I watched some special TV
So there you go Friday I ate miraculously, Saturday I felt tons of love from my family, Sunday I prayed, contemplated and listened to the prophet.
I know I will be a better person after this weekend. I’m not saying I will never have an anxiety attack again but every year I’m getting more skills and learning how to deal. Every year I’m growing stronger in my testimony and more passionate in my faith. It is my everything. You could take away my swimming, singing, even my family as painful as that would be and it would be nothing to taking away my faith.
I have never wavered in my faith despite the trials that I have gone through. I Know it is true and it is my life. I know Jesus is the Christ. That the Book of Mormon is true. I know covenants are real if we chose to keep them they will give us power now and later.
The work of the gospel is progressing. We are going to have thousands of new missionaries. I wouldn’t be surprised if triple the sister missionaries go out. That means we will also have thousands of endowed individuals who will be able to do work for their family. Everything is moving up mountains as President Eyring would say. We have to be ready to follow. We have to be strong. We have to support each other and most important we have to be loyal, honest and examples of integrity
I’m a Mormon. I know it. I live it. I love it.
Ok. I’m super tired. What a relaxing wonderful weekend. I feel inspired. I know who I am. I know that I wasn’t listening to the what God wanted when I fought Him on the Slam the Dam. I know that Heavenly Father helped me through the anxiety attack and helped me make the right choice. I know He loves me and am grateful He allowed me to have this wonderful weekend. He knows our needs. He really cares.
I feel renewed, at peace and energized. (Remind me of this moment when things get rough)
Thanks to all my friends for putting up with my constant photos and ups and downs. I’m trying really hard to do what is right and to be happy, treat everyone right. I hope you all know that when you are down or happy I am here for you night or day. Seriously 2 in the morning call me and I’ll be there.
On to regular week. I’m going to be watching for ways to fill my daily life with pieces of this magical weekend. Goodnight 🙂