Wednesday, March 31, 2010

breaking lent

Hello my name is Aimee and this is a real life adventure...

This past Monday was the end of Lent. Which means that red meat, pork, soda, and coffee are all free game. I can consume those items and not feel guilty. Needless to say I was missing coffee in my life the most so after our Chi Omega meeting my fellow sister Sara and I went to one of the best coffee places ever Dutch Bros. Not only are they awesome for their delicious coffee, but they happened to be having $1.50 off all their large coffees which made them $3.00 each. They must have known it was in need of coffee- in the worst way.

Sara, being the wonderful best friend she is, whipped out her iPhone to capture me in all my glory (apparently you have to "charge" the camera battery in order for it to work. Clayton's still trying to teach me how to work the thing...). Thank goodness for best friends.

This is a shot of me with my beloved white chocolate raspberry mocha iced.And this is me taking my first sip of coffee after what seemed like forever.
(yes, I am equating 40 days to forever.)

I was a little jittery after drinking the entire coffee in 15 minutes and my stomach hurt, but man I was flying. It felt so good to have a coffee in my hand after not having it for so long. It was like being home.

I hope you were good during Lent!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

sunday funday

Hello my name is Aimee and this is a real life adventure...
LAST Sunday my sisters and I decided to exfoliate our faces and open our pores.

Afterwards our skin was glowing. It glowed and glowed all through Monday too! We thought we were going to break out hard core after a day or two, but after a whole week we haven't! We're going to have to have spa evenings more often. :)

Also, today Chi Omega had an amazing sisterhood event at Kiwanis Indoor Wave Pool put on my by wonderful little Lane. We had Jimmy John's sandwiches for lunch (delicious!) and played "never have I ever" all house style (hilarious!). I wore my J. Crew floppy beach hat, my navy blue sun dress (it has padding in the top so I don't have to wear a bra-score!), and my super cute $8.00 white sandals from Forever 21. I was standing around all nonchalant like when my little approached me and said "Aimee you look very J. Crew today."

If you know me at all you know that my life dream is to live in a J. Crew catalogue (I literally say that every time I walk by the store) so I was completely floored when I received that compliment. It made me feel really good.

I hope you're feeling good.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

my magic kingdom

Hello my name is Aimee and this is a spring break adventure...

Throughout the entire California trip all I could talk about was Clayton and I taking a picture in Disneyland with Minnie and Mickey Mouse. I wanted to stand by Mickey and Clayton was going to stand by Minnie and it was going to make the perfect Christmas card.

Clayton and I had come back to watch the fireworks show after a much needed nap after a tiring day at Disneyland. Upon re-entering the park we spotted Minnie and Mickey Mouse right by Main Street USA. How perfect! I sprinted to the end of the line only to be informed that no one else was allowed to get in line to get a timeless snapshot with the ever-popular mouse couple. Todd (the man who accompanied the mouse couple and stopped me from joining the back of the picture line) assured me that both Minnie and Mickey would be back in the same area after the fireworks.

After fireworks we wandered over to the same area and waited. and waited. and then we waited some more. Finally Mickey emerged from the magical white swinging doors that always produced idolized Disney characters. I was ecstatic. I quickly jumped third into line to take my photo. After watching a mother struggle with her two kids to stand with Mickey I realized there was one missing component to the equation. Minne Mouse was no where to be seen. As the smiling Todd approached the line I inquired about Ms. Mouse's whereabouts. He answered something vague and general like "she may be out later on in this general area". My heart began to break. It was the last night I was in Disneyland and our tram that whisked us back to the hotel was arriving in 15 minutes. It seemed I was not getting my picture with Mickey and Minnie Mouse after all.
Slowly I wandered toward Main Street USA to make my last minute tourist-y purchases. After finishing all of our shopping was almost finished I left Clayton in a crowded gift shop check out the growing Mickey line to see if by some miracle Minnie had reappeared.

Someone upstairs had been listening. I turned the corner and there standing together was the duo in flesh and blood (or fur and zippers). Again I ran to the end of the line and was allowed to join the gathering crowd for an opportunity to stand next to greatness. After a few minutes of listing off the people in my head that would be receiving a copy of the darling photo about to be taken, Clayton came up behind me and asked "Where's Minnie going?" I craned my neck to see past the group in front of us just in time to see Minnie Mouse exiting the Main Street USA through the swinging white doors leaving Mickey to attend to the crowd.

My heart sank. I knew that Minnie was definitely not coming back out and that Clayton and I had no chance of getting a picture with the enigmatic characters. I fought back tears as my boyfriend grabbed my hand and tried to console me as he walked me out of the park and towards the shuttle stop.

It was then I realized that the magic I had been looking for throughout the happiest place on earth all day was right beside me, guiding me through the darkness and making everything all better.

I hope you find magic in your everyday.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

california adventures

Hello my name is Aimee and this is a spring break adventure...

The second day of our trip consisted of waking up early to enjoy the free continental breakfast offered by the hotel (this wasn't just bagels and coffee- there was juice, waffles, eggs, and sausage in addition to the normal free breakfast stuff) and then scurrying to the first theme park visit of our trip: California Adventures. I made Clayton take a picture of me with my ticket before we got into the park.
If you look close you can see Minnie kissing Mickey on my ticket. :)I insisted carrying around a backpack filled with water, snacks, and things
like my nifty camera all day long.The main entrance gift shop had this John Muir quote.
I think that is pretty awesome.Upon exiting the park we took pictures next to our respective letters.
I think it's more than coincidence that the 'C' is next to the 'A'.

The highlights of the park were the California Screamin' roller coaster, the Hollywood Tower of Terror, the Maliboomer, and Soarin' Over California. Collectively we spent four or five hours in the park before becoming sunburned and nauseous from all the thrill rides. After shuttling back to the Meridian Inn we showered and headed to a local restaurant for sushi and Saki bombers.

Overall Feelings of Day 2:
First Day at the Park: awesome
Minnie and Mickey on my ticket: fate
California Screamin': breath taking
Sushi: delicious
Trying to explain to the waiter what a Saki bomb is: ironic

I hope your waiter knows the menu.

lookout california

Hello my name is Aimee and this is a spring break adventure...

For my last undergraduate spring break my boyfriend decided to take me to the happiest place on earth, Disneyland. Lucky me! We started our trip at 6:00 am on Monday morning and after a few minor set backs (we had to put air in the tires, get gas, and turn around after 20 minutes on the road when we realized Clayton forgot his swim trunks at home) we were on our way.After several hours of driving, a Starbucks stop, and a small disagreement over which CD to listen to we hit California. Woo-hoo for us!

Unfortunately we got turned around somewhere towards the end (dang Google directions) and instead of ending up on Huntington Beach we were lost. Thankfully the ever prepared Clayton used a GPS application on his Blackberry to figure where we were. Turns out we were just a few streets away from Newport Beach, so we decided to roll with it. We found parking (everything is metered next to the beach= lame) and a cool pizza shop. We decided to split the lunch combo since we had been snacking on granola bars and breakfast tea all morning.

If you're wondering, yes that is a ton of cheese for that salad. I ended up eating maybe a fourth of the super rich and delicious fresh mozzarella.

After lunch we wandered down to the beach and found an open area to lay our beach towels down. The afternoon was filled with sunbathing, Frisbee, jumping into the waves (that was just me, I found out Clayton doesn't really like the ocean), and attempting to construct a sand castle that ended up looking like a turtle in the end.
The ocean was gorgeous. We should get one in Arizona.

If anything happened, I knew the Frisbee would save me.

This last picture of us on the beach cracks me up. We were trying to get ourselves with the ocean in the background. Clearly we are not great at photographing ourselves in coordination with our setting.

After the beautiful afternoon we set off in search of our hotel. Oddly enough we found that Huntington Beach and Newport Beach are only 10 minutes apart. Thirty-five minutes later we found the Best Western Meridian Inn & Suites. After checking in we were upgraded to a suite room instead of the regular room we booked online. Holla!

Overall Feelings of Day 1
Road trip: entertaining
Lunch: super rich but delicious
Beach: amazing
Room: freakin' sweet
Meeting Clayton's Grandma: a cool yet sad experience
Watching your bf get hit on by a 250 lb. woman in a tight black tube top with painted on eyebrows and bouffant hair at the bar: hilarious

More to come tomorrow!

I hope your break was adventurous.

Friday, March 12, 2010

funky fish friday

Hello my name is Aimee and this is a real life adventure...

On a count that it's Lent season, and on a count that Haleigh and I wanted to go to lunch on a Friday, and on a count of Clayton's recommendation we decided to try the ever tempting Pete's Fish and Chips on Apache Boulevard near Adelphi.

Let me preface this story by saying that Haleigh and I did not grow up eating seafood. At all. First, we live in Arizona and there is no ocean nearby. Second, our father HATES seafood and thus it was never served in our household. Not even fish sticks.

So we were excited/nervous to try out Pete's, but during Lent you cannot eat any meat (except for fish, which I find kind of weird) so we decided to go for it.
The most important thing about Pete's is that the only form of payment they accept is cash. So after we got there we had to go to the ATM and then go back to Pete's. After that you get to order. You walk up to a window and order. There is no inside. There are tables under a covered patio and tables on the second story of the building. This is important to know because you will want to go when the weather is nice. Not when it's rainy, windy, or freakin' hot.

Along with our food I purchased a shiny "I'm addicted to Pete's Fish and Chips" bumper sticker for $0.50 with optimism that our food would be delicious.Clayton convinced the two of us to order Pete's special including one fish fillet, four shrimp stick things, french fries, two red cocktail sauces, and a fountain drink (we both got lemonade since we gave up soda for Lent). Our food came out pipin' hot and looking quite good.Unfortunately, Haleigh and I were both extremely disappointed with our lunches. I ate my whole plate while Bee was only able to get down half her fish, two of her shrimp sticks, and all of her fries. I really like the cocktail sauce (but who are we kidding, I love ALL sauces) but it was too spicy for my little sister. Our overall review of Pete's is to never go there.
Let me say that Haleigh and I doing a review of this establishment is like a vegan eating at McDonald's. We are not fish connoisseurs so we have no clue what we are talking about. All we know is that it made everyone extremely nauseous for the remainder of the afternoon.

There was one redeeming factor about Pete's Fish and Chips: their ranch. It was the only way we could choke down the mediocre fries served with the deep fried shapes called "fish" and "shrimp". It made us happy.
Besides the ranch the other redeeming thing was that Clayton came with :)

This is him being annoyed at the obscene number of pictures I was taking and me doing a kissy-fish face in honor of the lunch establishment.

I hope there are better options for next Friday.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

look out mickey, here i come

Hello my name is Aimee and this is a real life adventure...

It's official! The tickets have been purchased and reservations have been made...


Who: Me, duh! and Clayton :)
What: an amazing adventure
When: next week
Where: DISNEYLAND, aren't you paying attention?
Why: Spring Break of course!

Let the countdown commence! I am keeping this short and sweet so I have can print directions to the beach and check the weather!

I hope it's sunny in California!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

wednesday= free art

Hello my name is Aimee and this is a real life adventure...

Every Wednesday afternoon from 3-9 pm the Phoenix Art Museum opens their doors and invites the community to visit the museum for free although making a voluntary donation is highly encouraged. The same phenomenon happens during First Friday evenings from 6-10pm. This makes art accessible to everyone in the community. Last Wednesday my little sisters and I made a date to go visit the art museum.

One of the exhibits was this cool looking black bean. It is very similar to the instillation at Millennium Park in Chicago.
The museum happened to be featuring Ansel Adams, a famous American photographer who specialized in photographing the outdoors.

This one was Emily's favorite
Haleigh just wanted a picture with something. She chose this Ansel Adams photograph.
After about an hour of being there Haleigh and Emily were losing patience with the museum rules of being quiet, no running, and turning the flash on the camera off (I still can't figure out how to turn it back on).

We were so obnoxious that the museum had a guard dedicated to following the Williams' girls around making sure we didn't touch, break, or breath on anything.

The best part of visiting the museum (besides the free entrance) was the firefly instillation on the third floor. If you have yet to experience this please make an effort to go and visit. I won't tell you much more about the exhibit except that I happen to think it is magical.

I remember the first time I ever went to see it. Clayton made me cover my eyes and wouldn't let me open them until everything was just right. When I was allowed to open them it took my breath away.

Official Review: The Phoenix Art Museum makes for an awesome time with the absence of admission prices and spectacular displays (can you say cheap date?). Just make sure the crowd you roll with is patient with art.

I hope you take time to appreciate the arts.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

advobuddy sing along

Hello my name is Aimee and this is a karaoke adventure...

I will keep it short and simple: in order to clench victory in the advobuddy challenge Patty, Brett and I subjected ourselves to humiliation last Tuesday night at Barney's Boathouse to earn 15 points. The three of us teamed up to pull off Shania Twain's "That Don't Impress Me Much". It's not the greatest version I've ever heard, but for being dead sober at a bar we sound pretty amazing.

Check out our singing talent here.

My favorite part is the girl on the left of the screen in the blue t-shirt. She was our biggest fan, cheering the whole time and cheers-ing us with her drink.

I hope you let me live this down.

Monday, March 8, 2010

yummy burger shop du wop

Hello my name is Aimee and this is a real life adventure...

Going to school in downtown Phoenix for most of my life has its perks. For instance you find really AMAZING burger places. My sisters and I have developed a little tradition. Every once and a while Haleigh and I will pick up the younger girls from where we once walked the halls and take them to Lenny's Burger Shop. This epic burger joint is a rare treat for us, but is well worth the wait. The family owned and operated 50's themed diner caters to middle and high school students looking for a treat on weekday afternoons. The fries are always crispy, the ranch is always cold, and the shakes are to die for.
We usually go for an after school snack so we order one (sometimes two depending on how hungry we are) basket of fries, a shake each, and of course tons of ranch! Bee and I love to get chocolate-peanut butter shakes while Emily and Abbey choose from assorted flavors each time. The most recent was a chocolate-strawberry ordered by Emmy. Delicious!I especially recommend trying a burger once you get there, they are unmatched and simply mouth watering! Since Haleigh and I gave up red meat for lent its been hard to resist temptation, but the shakes distract me enough to remember what I'm missing out on. Besides the yummy snack, I get to spend the afternoon with my sisters. :)

they are wonderful

I hope you try Lenny's and make your own family tradition.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

you are valuable

Hello my name is Aimee and this is a real life adventure...

Currently obsessed with: Stay Here Forever by Jewel

I do this thing where I start writing down my great ideas for a blog and then I push the "Save Now" button on the bottom of my screen and forget all about. So today when I was putting off working on my GIANT Working Plan of Operation (WPO) project I was scrolling through my list of unpublished blogs. I found one from a few semesters ago (a long freakin' time, I know!) when I was taking PRM 380 with Dr. Megha Budruk. It was mostly me rambling, but I did happen upon this awesome quote:

"when the end of the supply is in sight [do] we 'discover' that the thing is valuable"
-Aldo Leopold

It seems I was going to apply it to non-renewable resources, however today it strikes me a little differently. There were flowers in the office and yummy pastries in the kitchen. I thought we had won department of the week until Eddie told me they were the remnants of a memorial service held for Dr. Frank Sackton, a founder of the College of Public Programs.

Once again I was reminded at how precious life is. In conjunction with the Leopold quote I decided it was my duty to remind everyone to be thankful for the wonderful things in our lives (even if the wonderful things drive us crazy sometimes).
I am thankful for...

my family (and David even though he annoys me sometimes)

my friends

my amazing boyfriend

and among other things...

Filiberto's (cause it's freakin' delicious)

I hope you're counting your blessings.