Tag: Spain

One Lovely Blog Award

meMy friend Kyle nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award. He’s an awesome fellow animation addict and you guys should totally check out his blog.

This is a fun blog tag where you get to talk about 7 Things About Yourself. Now after blogging for 8 years there isn’t much you guys don’t know about me but hopefully I can remind you of those fun things.

  1. I write for Rotoscopers.com- I don’t get to talk about it often on this blog but I write fairly regularly for rotoscopers.com which is an animation website. It’s a lot of fun and my writing has improved as I’ve had to write for a professional site. I brought up the idea of doing a Disney Canon Countdown with the other writers and they have embraced it. My last canon post was on The Little Mermaid, which I love so much. I’d love for you to read it. http://www.rotoscopers.com/2016/08/19/disney-canon-countdown-28-the-little-mermaid/I also got the chance to be on the rotoscopers podcast which was amazing!
  2. I am not voting for Trump- Frequent fans of this blog know I am a strong conservative. I have decided to vote for Evan McMullin an independent candidate. Some say I’m throwing my vote away but I just couldn’t vote for someone like Trump. I thought back on the early history of my faith and when the Saints had nobody they could vote for Joseph Smith ran for President. I figure if it is good enough for them to go third party it is good enough for me! Here’s a little bit more about Evan.
  3. I recently became a Star Trek fan! Starting in May my friend Tom and I started podcasting about all the Star Trek movies. There are definitely misses in the films (14 including Galaxy Quest) but at its best Star Trek is an engaging and smart series with good sci-fi writing and charismatic performances. I have just started on the TV shows but the movies were a ton of fun to watch.
  4. I love to swim. This year I finished my 11th open water race. I really need to get back in the pool more than I do but I really do love it. deer creek
  5. I went to Spain this year! I hadn’t been out of the country since 2008 and that was just Mexico. The last time I used my passport was 2005 to Japan, so it was quite the adventure. I went to the beach 13 times! It was a dream for me. alicante3
  6. I work from home as a digital marketing coordinator. Unfortunately I am not full time employed but with my basement apartment rented out I am able to make it all work. In a way it is nice because I have more time to work on my youtube channel and other writing.
  7. I collect Funko Pop dolls. This is a fairly new collection but I’m having a blast doing it. I currently have 40 in my collection. I’ve gotten 5 since doing this video but it is pretty accurate.  What’s fun about the funko pops is the attention to detail and their relatively low cost (under $10).

    So now is the point where I am supposed to nominate other people to participate. I nominate Jeremy and Abby, Richard, and my friend over at The Love Pirate.  They are all awesome bloggers so check out their blogs.

  1. Write a blog post accepting your nomination.
  2. Show the blogger who nominated you how much you love them by thanking them in the post and linking to their blog.
  3. Tell us seven things about yourself.
  4. Nominate other blogs that you think are totally rad.
  5. Let the bloggers you’ve nominated know about they’ve received an award.
  6. Post the rules again to let those bloggers know how it works.
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Rest of Spain Vacation Report

spain selfie1So I am still feeling a bit jetlagged from returning home from Spain but I thought I should give you guys the details of the rest of my trip. As I reported in the last post we were off for 4 days to Alicante which is a coastal city where we had an Air B and B mere blocks from the beach. To get there we took a train and saw some beautiful Spanish scenery.

spain train2

spain view from train And then on our first trip out to the ocean there was tons of seaweed and I got stung by a fish with a spiney back. It stung so badly that I had to limp over to the first aid station. When I got there a very attractive lifeguard helped me to soak the foot in hot water and it lessened the swelling.  I learned to never risk it and not wear my water shoes again.

After the ocean we went to a nice restaurant and I finally had the chance to try my first paella!

alicante3 paellaThe paella was tasty and rich with octopus, shrimp and chicken. On the whole I didn’t love Spanish cooking but I can see why people love the paella. I would probably add even more flavor, spice and maybe a sauce but it was still very good.

The next 2 days we went to beach, beach, beach, beach and it was glorious!

beach fun alicante beach by myself alicante alicante2

Finally the day for taking the train home came and we had another pleasant voyage.

spain trainThat day we got to go to the Arts Center and see a concert of college performers which was a lot of fun and then a very impressive fireworks display!

spain arts center selfie arts center spain fireworksAlso I got to see the bull rink and go to the beach one more time before I left.

spain ole spain bull rink spain last day spainFinally the day to return home came and I was exhausted.  I didn’t get much sleep and was crammed into seats once again but it was worth it for a great trip. Honestly there were some challenges to Spain. As I said earlier I wasn’t that big a fan of the food and some of the habits were hard to adjust too like the Siesta and everything having to be so late. Plus, getting service especially as a solo diner was tough. I also found the lack of AC to be difficult as I got overheated and dehydrated very quickly. But none of that really matters when exploring another culture. It’s all part of the experience.

Plus, the main reason I was there was to go to the beach as much as possible and see my sister. Anna says we went to the beach 7 times while I was there and I went at least 3 times alone- not too shabby! In some ways a beach is the same no matter where you go but I think I got enough of the local culture, history and art to be worth going to Spain.  Also it was nice to spend time chatting with my sister. I hope she stays in tropical locations and I can come and visit her.

I’m grateful to my boss who allowed me to take this trip and for my sister for being a great host. Let’s hope it doesn’t take me over 10 more years to get out of the country again! Ole!

Valencia Spain Day 4 and 5

spain profileHey guys! Another 2 days have come and gone here in Valencia, Spain. What a great time I’ve had! The last 2 days have been more about visiting the city rather than beaches but it has still been very enjoyable.

My sister has been working the last 2 days so much of the time I was on my own but Monday morning we were able to go into the city together. Not much happens in the early morning here because they don’t eat dinner until like 10 pm! But the market downtown opens at 7 and it was really neat to see all the vendors with fresh fruit, ham, pastries and more.

spain market2

spain marketEverything we got at the market was delicious including a spanish tortilla or omelet wrapped in a fluffy roll.  We also had fresh squeezed orange juice and fruit which was amazing. They also had a market outside where I bought the hat in the above picture, some fans and a flamenco flower for my hair! spain flowerThe streets are picturesque with buildings that feel old like Europe always has but probably the most impressive edifice is the cathedral.

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After the market and cathedral we went to a restaurant and had churos and chocolate! It was a chocolate feast! I honestly haven’t loved the food in Spain but this might be my favorite thing I’ve eaten and the restaurant staff was so nice and it was air conditioned! Heaven!

spain chocolate chocolate feastAfter our chocolate breakfast Anna had her classes and work so I was to myself for the rest of the day. I went back to Pinedo beach and it was nice and relaxing.

spain beach polka dots spain beach4I had lunch at a restaurant near the beach and was honestly very disappointed. They wouldn’t make much of the menu because it was just me and so I ended with a roll with sausage and french fries on it. Very bland. They have these sandwiches in Spain that are just meat and a roll and I don’t really get it. No sauce. No real flavor.  There isn’t even usually lettuce or tomato on it.

Anyway it was 4th of July so when I returned from the beach my sister made an American spread with hamburgers and sausages with all the fixins!

spain 4thAmazingly enough I still haven’t had paella because you either need more than 2 people for it or no places were open when I was with my sister.

The next day I was basically on my own from the start and decided to do a bus tour around the city.

spain tour2 spain tourIt was fun learning about the city and history and seeing the sights! I only got off once but it was for a Valencia Historical Museum, which turned out to be a real find. First of all, it is free which was nice and I thought set up really well.  They go over the history of Valencia starting very early on down to modern times. They give you a book to follow the exhibits in English but then also have these interactive video presentations to go along with each era. These tell a story and have actors just like a movie clip. I thought it was a very clever way of making the stale artifacts come alive and feel real. Plus, it was air conditioned and did I mention free!

spain museumAfter the museum and the tour ending I tried to find dinner and struggled once again. I sat in 2 different restaurants and was never served. I went up to the bar tried to get help and seemed to be ignored. I don’t quite get it. I like how in the States there is a  hostess who greets you and takes you to your table. Here it is much more confusing. But I finally found a place that served tapas on little crostini. It was my first tapas and was very delicious! I particularly liked one with almond stuffed dates wrapped in bacon. Can’t go wrong with that!

spain tapasIn a way the tapas bar kind of reminded me of the sushi restaurants in Japan. You kept your toothpicks and then at the end you pay per toothpick.

Since dinner took longer than I expected I was pretty tired and went home. I’ve had a bit of a hard time with being overheated here and not being able to cool down effectively. I have the same problem in Hawaii so this isn’t a huge shock. I thought I was staying reasonably hydrated but started to feel light headed anyways. Steve, Anna and I went to a different tapas place for a late dinner and I ordered a coke instead of water and I think it did the trick. I think my blood sugar was a little low which caused me to feel light headed.

So that is my last 2 days in Valencia! It’s been an amazing time!  The next 4 days we are going to a neighboring town where we have an airbnb rented close to the beach! I’m greatly looking forward to it but no wifi so my next update will be over 4 days instead of 2.

I hope you are all having a nice week and what sounds the most appealing of the things I described?

Valencia, Spain Day 2 and 3

spain beach day 2Day 2 and 3 have come and gone here in Valencia and they can be defined by one word- BEACH!!! I’m sure some people would be up in arms at my missing out on cultural attractions and historical landmarks but aside from seeing my sister the reason I came on this vacation is to go to the beach. (Today we should be getting more of those cultural attractions). It’s also been so hot that all I really want to do is be at the beach.

Day 2 we went to a beach called Pinedo Beach.  It is close to where I went on day 1 but a little more crowded. I’d like to find that beach from the first day because I think it was still the nicest I have been to yet.

This time Anna and Steve were able to join me at the beach and we had a great time together. These beaches are different than what you get in Hawaii- more of a commercial feel but it is still beautiful and tons of fun!

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When we got home Anna made Italian food, we talked and then crashed! I still haven’t adjusted to the time zone change yet and have fallen asleep very early each night I’ve been here.  That’s probably why it is 6 am and I am writing this post right now. I am also finding it a bit hard to sleep with the heat. It’s just tough to deal with being hot all the time.

I have started to get more sun despite my best attempts. I think it just goes with the territory when you are the beach a lot. Everyone gets a little pink.

sunburnThe next day was Sunday so I went to church on my own.  That was an interesting experience attending sacrament meeting without understanding a single word that was spoken.

church in spainThen I ducked into some little shops which was really fun to interact with the local Spanish people.  So far I haven’t had any real Spanish food yet but everything I’ve had has been delicious. There is a pastry shop close to my sisters that was a lot of fun to try the various treats.

spain treatsWe were all so overheated we decided to go to the beach again but this time went to Playa de la Patacoma. This is a very crowded beach but it had nice big waves that were very fun to play with.

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I almost wished I’d had a surfboard but it was fun to use my safe swimmer and ride the waves a little bit. I think you can see in these videos how strong the waves were.  It was great!

We were all pretty tired out from the strong waves and 3 days of sun but it was still a wonderful time.

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After the beach I started to notice I had been bitten by something in the ocean. This of course concerned me especially with how purple it appeared.  I didn’t want it to have some kind of venom that would really hurt me.

biteBut Anna and I went to a pharmacy and got some gel with antihistamine and pain relief qualities. It has already helped a lot.

spain day 3Between the bite and having more than a little bit of redness from the sun we may not do a beach day today. I think it is good to give your body one day to heal and then be ready for the next day! Like I said we are going to the market today and that should be very fun.

I hope you all have a Happy 4th of July holiday and we will be celebrating America one way or another here in Spain!

Valencia, Spain Day 1

The first day in Valencia has come and gone and I am tuckered out! (If I fall asleep while typing this you will understand why when you hear all I have been doing!)

First a quick update on my day of travel to get here. So I was pretty nervous about the long flights. Being a bigger girl I usually try to get an upgraded seat but it wasn’t an option for this flight. It was just too expensive. Part of my apprehension came from a bad experience I had a few years ago where a woman made a scene because I had to sit next to her.  It was very embarrassing. Anyway, I was nervous something like that would happen and the flight would be a nightmare.

Well, it was a long, exhausting day of travel but luckily nothing too terrible happened.  It was uncomfortable and things were definitely tight but I made it through. The Paris airport was a maze and very overwhelming- probably the  most complicated airport I have ever seen in my life. But after 16 hours of travel I made it to Valencia and my sister Anna was there to greet me. What a nice smiling face to see! spain day4Once we got to my sister’s apartment we went to thai food of all things. Despite it being after 6 pm none of the restaurants were open.  I have learned quickly that you have to eat late in Spain! 9 pm is the opening time for some of these restaurants.

After dinner I had been going on 48 hours with no sleep and my body felt it, so we went home and crashed. I woke up early in the morning because of the jetlag and then Anna and her boyfriend Steve and I went to a neighboring restaurant for a baguette sandwich that was fine but kind of boring. After that Anna and Steve both had to work/go to class so I was on my own.  I took a taxi to the beach and as you can see from this photograph was in heaven!

DSCF0012I was a little nervous about going to the beach by myself because I didn’t want anything to happen to my stuff but I put my phone and other valuables in my safe swimmer which kept everything dry. There was a man selling chair and ‘umbrella’ space and that was well worth it. I got to enjoy the sun and ocean without being over-exposed to it. I was in heaven!

spain day1 spain day3Here is a little video clip I took of me in the water!

I stayed at the beach for 5 hours and loved every minute of it.  The water was the perfect temperature and it wasn’t too crowded to make it unfun.

Then I went and met Steve for dinner but again everything was closed so we ended up going to Burger King of all places but I was so hungry it didn’t really matter.

Once we finished dinner we met up with my sister for a concert of salsa music.  It was so much fun and made me feel right at home in Spain.

DSCF0028 DSCF0042Here’s a clip of some of the music.

A bunch of couples started dancing along which was fun to see!

Here is Anna and I at the City of Arts and Sciences building where the concert took place.

anna and rachelFinally we made our way home and I am one tired gal!

So that was the travel and my first day in Spain. What a busy great way to start out my trip! More updates to come

News and Updates

Hey guys! I just wanted to give you a quick update as Memorial Day is coming to a close. I hope you had a great day! I am happy to inform you I am pretty much healed from my illness of the last 2 weeks. It was brutal but I’m so grateful for all the support I had. If there’s one thing a tough experience can teach you it is it shows you all the love you have in your life. Thank you for all your love, support and prayers.

I have some fun news to share with you! The first exciting news has to do with the church congregation I go to. I have done my fair share of complaining on this blog about my family wards and how out of place I feel. Unfortunately it was my only option because I was too old for the YSA singles ward and the midsingles ward was 30 minute drive and that wasn’t going to happen. Well, I am so excited to announce that we are getting a midsingles ward in Draper!!!!  They announced it last week and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  It is going to start up right away with a fireside to be held on Sunday and the first meeting on June 12th!

This does have its downside because the ward will be massive- containing singles 31-45 from 28 stakes in the Sandy and Draper area. I am sure I will feel somewhat lost but as I already feel that way in the family ward at least there is some potential to make friends/date. Currently my life has little opportunities to meet new people so I am most excited for activities/Family Home Evening and other gathering times in the new ward. It should help my social circle at least a little bit (hey even if I meet one additional person that is a plus!)

midsingles

The other drawback is I will lose my home teachers, The Porters, who I love very much. Hopefully we can still stay in touch because they are only 2 houses down from me but I will miss their visits. They are the coolest people I know and so warm and accepting of me with all my flaws. I could talk to them for hours and have on a more than a few occasions.

Other than that I am excited to at least try something new. Hooray!

The other exciting news is I had to get my passport because I am going to Spain for the beginning of July!  I will be visiting my sister Anna in Valencia, Spain. I was determined to go to the beach this summer and she was there so I figured why not take advantage of it? I don’t know much about the area but am doing research. It looks like a neat place with beautiful water, which is most important to me.

valenciaI have been to Europe since I was in high school and haven’t been anywhere aside from a Mexican cruise since 2005! I am very excited.

I also don’t think I will be swimming the GSL race this year. It was a very hard decision for me but this recent illness finally sealed the deal. I just don’t think I will be strong enough Saturday to take that on. It’s so hard on my body with the salty water that it just doesn’t make sense. (It pains me to write that and a side of me still wants to do it. Darn it all!).

Anyway, that’s my news. I hope you are all doing well.  Let me know what you think!