Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Week in Paradise

For the past year or so, Nick and I had been planning on taking a graduation trip this spring. However, when we found out he'd probably have to take spring classes to stay on track for graduation next year, we discovered he probably wouldn't be able to take a week off. So, being the amazing husband he is, he let me leave to paradise without for a week to take a little mommy-daughter trip to Oahu.
If you know my family at all, you know we have quite the travel bug. Throughout my life I've come to find that there is a HUGE difference between traveling and vacationing. My dad is definitely a traveler, and not a vacationer. This was the first trip my mom and I had taken together, and we both agreed we needed some serious real vacation time which included excessive time at the beach and at the pool.
Two sights I don't think I'll ever get sick of: Waikiki beach and a classic Waikiki sunset. Amazing!
I decided to try out to see what kind of deals I could find on hotel rooms. I was a little apprehensive because it was my first time ever using it, but we ended up getting an awesome room at the Marriott beach resort for a killer deal. The location was probably the best of all the Waikiki hotels I've stayed in -- and the pool was amazing too. I can definitely say I'll be using Priceline more often!

 Loved all the vegetation in the courtyard and at the pool
I'm a huge fan of tropical flowers. Plumerias are my ultimate favorite!
 What we did almost every day on the trip. We spent almost all day at the beach and then topped it off with Yogurtland. I kind of have an obsession with frozen yogurt.
 There's definitely something to be said about Waikiki's nightlife. There's an endless selection of restaurants and more luxury shops than I've ever seen on one street. And, lucky us, we were there on the night of the "Spam Jam." Yep, Spam. Hawaiians love it. I don't think I've ever even tasted it. They blocked off the entire main street to set up the festival devoted to this processed meat. It was quite the event.

 All the local restaurants had a food booth with all-Spam recipes. I wasn't daring enough to try any, but everyone on the street looked like they were loving them!
 On Sunday we went up to Laie for a few hours to go to the Temple. They just finished renovating it a few months ago and the exterior looks amazing!

 We also met up with our good friends, the Blau family, on Sunday. My parents have known them since before I was born and their family is some of our dearest friends. Seriously some of the nicest people I've even known. They have an amazing house in Kailua and were so nice to have us over on Sunday for dinner. 
They even have a DOG! Little Reese was my friend for the weekend. I've been dog deprived lately.
 Our plan was to fly home Sunday night, but as you know if you've ever flown standby, you're never quite sure if you'll make it on the flight or not. There had been a cancellation earlier so our scheduled flight filled up unexpectedly. The Blaus were so nice to let us spend the night and the following day at their house. I felt terrible for leaving my lonely husband at home longer than expected, but the extra day in Kailua was amazing.
I got to spend the whole day in the pool reading a book. I can't remember the last time I read a book for fun!
 The week of R&R was just what I needed to jump back into real life for the upcoming summer!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I Graduated!

It's kind of crazy to think that I've spent the majority of my life in a classroom. It's also kind of crazy to think about that era of my life coming to and end. Will I miss the homework, tests, and no sleep? Nope! But will I miss learning every day (even if I might feel forced at times)? Probably yes. But I guess the challenge in life is still continuing to learn day by day even when you're not in a classroom. 

The 17 year journey has been so worth it!
Luckily the weather held out for us on the day of commencement. It was such a cool sight to see thousands of graduates lined up to walk in to the Marriott Center.
A group of my PR friends

Loved this sight
Richard G. Scott spoke at commencement and gave us some pretty profound words of advice as we move on in life. Two of my favorites were to "always smile" and to "always do what is right, and let the consequence follow."
Some of my best PR friends -- Emily, Lauren, and Lauren. They made my time in the program so much fun. Each one of them is so talented. I know they'll have amazing careers and I'll miss not seeing them every day!
Friday's convocation was at the De Jong Concert Hall with only the communications students. It was fun to be able to sit with all of our friends and not in alphabetical order!

The Brimhall Building -- my home for the last three years or so. It's one of the oldest buildings on campus and has so much character. I'll miss it!  
We lucked out with beautiful weather on Friday. Spring in Provo is so pretty with all of the tree blossoms and flowers. Next year Nick and I will switch places and he'll be in the graduation robe!
I was lucky to have most of my family there with me to share the day -- along with my cute mother-in-law too.
Even my aunt and uncle joined us for lunch! La Jolla Groves is definitely one of my new favorite restaurants in Provo. It was so great to be with everyone!
Though exhausting and extremely difficult at times, I wouldn't trade my college education for anything. It's taught me so much about not just my future career, but about myself, too. It's been a great 4 years!