My cousin is amazing. He's a photographer in New York City and his work is currently featured on the front cover of the July 2009 Anthropologie catalogue. I couldn't be happier for him. Check it out here:
I'm beyond proud of myself for posting another post so soon. I'm a crazy posting machine.
Right before Christmas I received a package from Turkey - I totally forgot that I'd ordered a vase while I was there! So many happy memories. Ah, the days of not checking my blackberry, being completely confused 100% of the time because no one speaks English and being a million miles from my reality. My trip was amazing - I went with three girls I've met in NYC and if we weren't the closest of friends before we went, we certainly are now!
In typical Jenn fashion, I procrastinated packing, left finishing up work until the last minute and left leaving to the airport for the last possible second. No worries though, I made it through the door of the plane as they were making the last boarding call and I quickly collapsed into my seat in order to sleep soundly for the next nine hours into Istanbul. Thank you Daddy, for your incredible ability to fall asleep on any airplane that you've passed onto me! We arrived in Istanbul to the cold and rain but I felt refreshed.
Istanbul is incredible. To me, New York is a city of dreams; Paris a city of lights; London a city of history; and Istanbul a city of contrasts. Old and new exist side by side gracefully, with no unsightliness of discord. You can be standing in the Old City, at the seat of the Ottoman's power in their fortress and gaze out on the Bosphorus, marveling at the power behind the huge oil tanker making its way towards the Black Sea. I saw a picture of Hagia Sofia in a textbook when I was in like, the sixth grade. Ever since then, I've wanted to see it in person. I'm fascinated by the history behind the place and the enormity of the space. Being inside was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for me - how often does that happen?!!!
We saw the Blue Mosque, the Yeni Mosque, the Bosphorus, the Asia side of Turkey, the Europe side of Turkey, the Grand Bazaar, the Spice Market, the whirling dervishes, a church made out of wrought iron, and enjoyed a real turkish bath experience and Ottoman palaces. One morning we dined al fresco along the banks of the Bosphorus and since it wasn't quite a tourist spot and the menu wasn't in English so much, I ended up eating french fries with mayonnaise for breakfast. There are worse things I could have ended up eating, I suppose.
We only spent three days in Istanbul. We traveled to Cappadocia after Istanbul and I LOVED it. We had our own tour guide for two days who showed us all over the countryside. We saw cave churches, toured underground cities, hiked through the countryside, and stayed at a cave hotel. The food in Turkey wasn't my favorite - tons of meat, including lamb - a meat I don't particularly love - but my favorite meals were in the Cappadocia region.
My favorite thing we did in Cappadocia was going on a hot air balloon ride. It was so beautiful and quiet from the air - I couldn't believe how far we could see from up there! We counted at least 25 other hot air balloons that morning.
Our last stop in Turkey was to the Aegean Coast and the ancient city of Ephesus. Paul preached in Ephesus, in the large theatre on the hill. We walked the streets of that ancient city, checking out stones piled upon stones and my favorite, the library of Celsus. I really heart old rocks.
I love vacations and exploring new places. Some friends and I are planning a vacation for this October but we haven't been able to decide on a place to go. Any thoughts?
I lost my camera cord thingey for a while there, leaving me unable to post pictures but I've found it and in what has now become a tradition on this blog, I'm posting pictures covering almost six months! It has been a long, cold, bitter winter in New York and I must admit I'm glad to see its backside as it runs away with its tail between its legs. Run away winter, run away like the coward you are - take that!
I enjoyed the first snowfall of the year with my co-workers (not knowing at the time how long and snow-filled the whole season would be).
The Shake Shack is, of course, my dietary staple (hell on my health, I'm sure). Throughout the fall, Rustin and I met up once a week for a pow-wow and a seriously great burger and amazing concrete. We told ourselves that it wasn't going to get that cold and we could totally hack the cold because it was worth it. Well, all I can say is that it's a good thing that the Shake Shack opened up an Upper West Side location that is indoors because my life might have ended without my beloved shack burger and fries! (By the way, did a taste test when I was home in California - compared the Shake Shack to In-N-Out and sad to say, I love Shake Shack more! My law school roommate's husband Kyle will be proud to hear me knock In-N-Out from its high and mighty pedestal.)
Christmas found me hosting a score of visitors in NYC - law school friends, family etc. There were many opportunities to snap photos in front of the Rockefeller Christmas tree. I love New York City at Christmastime - I've never experienced Christmas like Christmas in New York.
Christmas at home was great. I got to spend almost a full 10 days at home in well, not so sunny Southern California, enjoying family time and being away from work. I even got to bake my good old (emphasis on old) friend Bart a birthday cake for his like, 39th birthday. I'm pretty sure in this picture he's wishing that he was so lucky as to have me in his life for more than just one night.
Despite my joy of Christmas in New York, by February I had had just about enough of cold. Good thing that I had the foresight last November to book tickets to Belize. Thank you American Airlines and incredible $150 roundtrip airfare to lovely South American countries by the ocean! Following two planes and two boat trips, my friend T. Bentley and I arrived to our own personal paradise. Four days of nothing but sun, sand and trade winds - life doesn't get any better that that.
Despite the long winter, I had few joys - good friends, lots of eating at fabulous restaurants (including Le Cirque - eek!) and the joys of being in a city that both heightens your senses and dulls you to life ... but that's a topic for another time. P. Collet is always there to pull me to my senses though and remind me of the truly important things in life.
I ate a lot this weekend. I enjoyed spring weather, shopping, brunch, cadbury mini-eggs (I found them!) tulips, daffodils, babies, people watching in Central Park (I'm talking to you man walking around in his pjs without a shirt) and General Conference. What I learned this Conference weekend: (1) go to the temple, (2) get married (I'm coming around to this idea after shunning it for several years now ... I have jars in my fridge that are stuck - I cannot open them for the life of me and I find myself thinking... if I only had a husband type person in my life to open jars, reach high shelves, help make the bed and kill mice... that's what I figure those husband type people are good for), (3) babies will attack your face if it looks too clean or if you look vulnerable... so watch out, (4) when you go to mass on Palm Sunday, you actually get palms and (5) I'm not the only one who thinks it's distracting when Pres. Uchtdorf speaks because the man is good looking!
Other details of my weekend as described by another:
The only thing I really love at McDonald's is their McFlurry. My blond, hairdressing ex-roommates introduced me to that wonder and my heart always goes out to the 96th & B'Way Mickey D's where our favorite McFlurry-maker, Special, worked and I discovered my love for the Oreo McFlurry. Special made those McFlurrys like nobody's business and when McDonald's started delivering in our neighborhood, she made sure we knew about it! She had our back. Those were the days. The only thing about McDonald's that my co-worker loves is their FiletO'Fish commercial with the talking fish. I don't have TV, so You Tube introduced it to me tonight and I must say, I'm hooked (pun intended - love me those puns).
Brit completely called me out. She has publicly shamed me and I must respond. I haven't posted anything on this blog for over a month. Mea Culpa. It's not that I haven't been doing anything, just that I've been lazy. Brit was sweet enough to make me live up to my new year's resolutions and she tagged me on her blog. (See grantandbrit.blogspot.com) Brit has challened me to go to the sixth folder under "Pictures" on my computer and pick the sixth picture. In response, I've posted the above picture - which is pretty darn awful. It's in my photo folder entitled "Christmas 2005" and is my brother holding my nephew who is digging into a Christmas present. However, I really feel like it doesn't do my cute nephew justice, so I decided to try the seventh picture in the seventh folder instead.
So much cuter. Those are my cute parents (my mother doesn't smile in pictures) and my cute nephews. So now I'm tagging six people to go to either their sixth or seventh folder and pick either the sixth or seventh picture and post it on their blogs (I'm not a real stickler for rules here ... it's just the internet - brought to you by Al Gore). These are the following people who I know read my blog so I'm picking you: The Goodsells, Christy S., Rustin R., Danielle C., Ashley P. and Justin W.
Thanks for the fun Brit - good times were had by all (mainly me), refreshments were served (lemon bars... yummy) and the glory of the internet was prospered.
Peace - oh, and in case anyone was wondering, Belize was awesome and as soon as I find the little cord thingey that transfers pictures from my camera to the computer, I'll post again!
I've always kind of loved Che Guevera. I don't know a thing about him, but I love him nonetheless. He reminds me of one of my college roommates, Marge. Not that they look anything alike, but she loved him and was kind of a communist. So now I love him. I got to thinking about Che today because my brain was less than engaged in other pursuits. If I wanted to start a revolution, what kind of revolution would I start and how? "Well obviously, it'd have to be a political, take over the world kind of revolution" - was my first thought. I mean, let's be real, I have a lot of potential and I'm not going to waste it on silly little revolutions like recycling or saving the whales. Go big or go home, that's my motto. Then I got to thinking that I should probably have a starter revolution so that when I go for the big revolution, taking over the world, I'll have some experience. So I've set my sights on Cuba. I have a plan. Now, I know in the past that us imperialist, capitalist pig Americans have tried to make Cuba our little playground and have failed. However, I think that I will succeed because I have something the CIA never did: simple dreams and Sony. My purpose behind igniting a revolution in Cuba is simply to get myself some beach front property and live out my days away from the cold dreariness of winter. I have no delusions of grandeur. Now to the details:
First, I'll ship in several thousand Sony Wiis, just enough to give the Cubanos a taste of life in the west. The demand for Wiis will rise, but that's when I'll cut off the supply and move to phase II of the plan: starting rumors that if not for the Castros (Fidel and the other guy - who incidentally will never make it as a dictator because no one can remember his name and if no one remembers your name, please tell me how your name will ever incite fear just by being spoken? Never gonna happen.) the whole island of Cuba would be rolling in Wiis. Then I'll sit back and let good old capitalism run its course. Before you know it, the Cubans will have a "democratically elected" leader (that I'll hand pick from the Marriott Corporation who will then put up amazing resorts all around Cuba) and I'll be sitting pretty, basking in the glow of my first successful revolution and sipping fruity poolside.
A girl can dream, can't she? Stay tuned for my plans to end the Middle East conflict.