Saturday, May 31, 2008

tokyo tourists

I know, a whole day without posts from me! Whatever did ya'll do with yourselves? :)

However, we're back. This was Jess' first Saturday as a real tourist. (His first Saturday was spent at Costco and shopping.) So we invited our friend Ryan (a BYU law student doing an internship here as well) along, and we headed out to Rainbow Bridge, which connects Tokyo to the Odaiba waterfront.

It was a somewhat freezing day, as we had the privilege of trekking through rain and wind produced by an oceanic tsunami brewing somewhere near us. But we made the best of it. While in the Odaiba area, we also stopped and visited Palette Town (a shopping mall of sorts that also houses a fancy Toyota Showroom and a ginormous pet store, at which I caught Jess thinking that the puppy I wanted was cute - yes!) and Aquatic City (also a shopping mall, much like what you'd expect in the States). Basically, we just tried to stay dry.

Later that evening, we went to Shinjuku, an area famous for its Electric Street (fancy electronics can be found there) and its bright lights. Many areas in Tokyo shut down at about 8 p.m., however, this is an exception. It is supposedly the busiest subway station, and houses one of the busiest intersections in Japan. Luckily, the rain had reduced itself to mist, so we were able to enjoy the busy crowds of this extremely eclectic area without the added pleasure of umbrellas poking us in the face (being tall has its disadvantages in this country). The highlights included Mister Donut (way better than any U.S. donut) and a fabulous dollar store.

But perhaps the best part of the day was when we headed to the Tokyo Metropolitan Goverment Buildings. They're actual government buildings, however, the observatory level (on the 45th floor) is open until 11 p.m. to the public. And it's free-fitty-free, which is pretty much unheard of in this city. The view was incredible - lights for as long as you could see. And the restaurant on that floor had a live piano player, which I particularly loved. Reminded me of being at home, listening to my mom play.

So, a busy day, but a good day. It was nice to be able to actually do some touring with Jess, as the rest of my days are spent walking around Tokyo solo. And now someone can share the achy muscles that I had the first few days of walking, walking, walking. :)

Friday, May 30, 2008

dear tokyo

Dear Tokyo:

I think it's possible that I will never love you more than I do today. You had a kneestrap!?? Took you long enough to tell me (let's blame it on the language barrier), but I found it, and well, I probably teared up when I saw it. And then the Sprite Zero - apparently it's new and "sexier than water" here in Japan. Whatever the case, I've been seriously missing my artifical sweetener, so the sight of a Sprite Zero? As if I wasn't already on Coud Nine.

But probably you won my heart when, after I left my wallet at the am/pm, you sent the clerk running (of course he was running) after me to return it.

I always heart from the soul me love you Tokyo. (A little Japanenglish for you there.)


Thursday, May 29, 2008

eating etiquette

So at lunch yesterday, we tried unsuccessfully to tip our server. For the second time. The first time we didn't make it out of the restaurant. This time we put the coin on the table and literally ran.

We thought we were in the clear, but the cute waitress who was kind enough to speak perfect English to me and to bring us water when it was clear we weren't drinking the green stuff, came running down the street to catch up to us and return the money.

We're American, so I suppose we think that we can be ignorant and stupid and try to tip. But really, next time you're in Japan, just keep in mind that if you want to tip someone, not only do they consider it rude, but you're going to have to have a seriously quick get-a-way plan. Like your favorite taxi driver waiting with his automatic (yes, they're automatic here) door opened.

But don't worry, if you are indeed in Japan any time soon, you too can order your dinner out of a vending machine (pictured). Simply choose the picture you want, deposit the appropriate amount of money, and give your vending ticket to the server. And wall-ah. Dinner from a vending machine. Makes the whole language barrier thing much easier to cope with.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

runnin' in the rain

I share this photo with you because:

1. I have no shame;
2. Most of you have already seen me looking this pretty, if not prettier; and
3. Today marks my most favorite run in Japan.

In fact, it's going down as one of the best runs of all time. It's rainy and cold out there, and I realize that the Japanese probably believe I have some sort of chemical imbalance, but I couldn't keep myself from a run in the rain. They are my most favorite runs, and this was postively beautiful. The run around the Palace is just plain amazing, but the rain tearing up the moat that surrounds it, the canopy of trees dripping with excess moisture - incredible. Plus, I had the trail to myself (hmmmm...I wonder why).

And apparently it's magic rain - my knee hasn't felt better.

This is why I love running - the time to think, exercise, pound it out, get your heart beating, and to do it in the most amazing places on earth.

In the rain.

rising up

So I imagine some of you have seen this before, but I think this is just a fabulous use of space. In Japan, they have car elevators everywhere. Our church parking lot uses one - instead of like winding up the floors in your car, you pull into the elevator and it lifts you up to your destination.

Also, they have elevator car garages (like the one pictured), which I find pretty much fascinating. They have them in the middle of town. You'll look over and see a car descending from the sky. It sets the car down, puts it on a revolving floor, turns the car around to face the street, and the driver gets in to pull out into their insanely small streets.

Car smarts. They have 'em.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


So yesterday I went to Edo Tokyo Museum with six billion of my favorite Japanese middle school friends. And while the museum was actually quite fascinating in its restoration of Japanese history, complete with English plaques on many of the displays, what I was really happy to know is:

David Bowie
is alive and well in Japan.


Note: This pic was taken just before I noticed the
"NO PHOTOS ALLOWED" sign. Obviously. This is priceless.

subway snoozing

So I am absolutely convinced that while some Japanese have some sort of innate alarm clock that causes them to arise at their station...

...the rest of them snooze for several stations past their destination.

And then they're suddenly at the end of the line, drool coming out the side of their mouth, wondering where they are...

...and where they may have been drooling for the past 16 stations.

NOTE: Because a few of you have asked - the sleeping woman does not know the two she's taking a snooze on. They got on after me, and the sleeping woman was already out when I got on. The women being drooled on did not appear to be amused. :)

Monday, May 26, 2008

feelin' crunky

So yesterday I went downtown to meet Jess for lunch. However, in the elevator on the way down to meet me, Jess got invited to lunch by one of the firm's partners, and when the partner found out I was there, I was invited.

So there I was, tricked out in my tourist garb - capri jeans, a t-shirt, my messenger bag full of maps, granola bars, and water - going to the 502nd floor of some fancy building to eat lunch with the lawyers (awk-ward). It was actually a fabulous lunch, and the partner spoke excellent English. Thank goodness I can use chopsticks (pretty well). And thank goodness I already love Japanese food. I think he was surprised at what I was happy to put away.

Anyway, so after lunch, we bowed and thanked our sensei, and then he told the two of us to "now go on a date." :) So Jess and I walked over to Lawson's and picked up a few drinks as we were utterly parched (they usually serve tea with meals, and even when we ask for water, it never seems to arrive) and I needed (as usual) a chocolate treat.

So I chose a bag of Crunky. Why? Simple: (1) It's called Crunky, can it get any more Japanenglish? (2) It's description is simple and beautifully Japanese: "popjoy."

The good news is that I have added it to my Japanese treats and foods I am going to DIE without when I return to the States. (If you're wondering, it's like bite sized KitKats, but more chocolate.)

P.S. My Japanese kneewrap/strap seemed to work pretty well this morning. I made it a half hour before my knee requested that we walk home. So we did. And I couldn't be happier.

knee jerk reaction

Today's been a hard day for me. And I blame it on my knee.

You see, I've been running around the Imperial Palace, which is an incredibly beautiful run, and a good hard run at that with its ups and downs (plus, I'm getting this great tan). I love it.

So my Achilles seems to be faring fine, but now my old knee injury decided to flare up with a vengeance. And I didn't bring my kneestrap (I haven't had issues with my knee in over a year, so I decided I wouldn't need it). Now, I realize that my body is quite rundown from years of running, but I simply love it. It's mine. And until recently, I've always been able to do it wherever and whenever I want. It's such a great feeling to just hit the pavement - at home or in different parts of the world. It's a part of me and a part of home that I've always been able to count on.

So my knee started killing me after my run on Friday. And not being able to work out or find a gym that is in the vicinity and doesn't cost as much as a couple pair of Dr. Martens is nigh unto impossible. These Japanese don't need gyms - their tiny little figures are trimmed down over ages of walking everywhere (the women in tall, uncomfortable shoes no less).

So I had a breakdown. I just want a kneestrap folks. I think I just want the ease of knowing where to get it, how much it will be. I want to be able to hit the pavement. Instead, I'm just a foreigner in a strange land with a busted up knee. I suppose I just feel pretty isolated, isolated from my kneestrap and isolated from home.

However, after some searching today, I've got:

We'll give it a try.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Yes, I am standing next to Tokyo's famous golden turd.

Enough said.

Okay, it's supposed to be a beer glass with a "flame" coming out of it? Right...

bulky tourists

So today we went to one of Tokyo's premier tourist attractions: COSTCO.

Lest you think we had something akin to an American experience, let me assure you that this was not a walk down memory aisle. This Costco is six stories tall. And you ride a sloped moving sidewalk with your cart down each floor. (The carts lock at a specific angle so they don't slide.)

We were able to pick up some U.S. familiar foods, as well as some other goods. And it was a serious war. This is unlike any Costco I've ever been to - Japanese ninjas on every side warring for the best slab of meat, the most boxes of donuts (almost everyone had at least one box - in fact, some came just to buy a single box of donuts).

And our friend tells us that they love to come and watch the Americans shop because we buy so much. (Oh, what do you mean? Like our giant tub of Skippy? We really need that for the next four weeks? Um, yes.) They come for the oddities; we come for REAL FOOD IN HUGE PROPORTIONS.

So it with great pleasure that we can now cook our own (massive) dinners.

We also stopped at a regular grocery store for a few more goods, which I found much more enjoyable. Lots of Japanese products (I'm hoping that what I thought was shampoo really is, and that my hair doesn't turn blue or something), but less Japanese sparring. :)

The strange thing is, that for the first time, we were actually a bit homesick, homesick for the real Costco, the familiar. We miss you Costco.

And Diet 7Up.

And soft bed.

Special thanks to the Wests for taxiing us around and letting us fill their sweet van with our food.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Today I visited an area of Tokyo called Ueno. This area is popular for its gardens, museums, ponds, and temples. It also features Japan's oldest zoo. However, I was sort of blown away by the area when I exited the subway station, and I pretty much neglected even looking for the zoo. (Plus, there are some things that are just more fun with the hubby.)

So you exit this massive subway station, which is filled with high end clothes and shoe stores (e.g., I saw a necklace I really wanted - it was approximately $150, and really not much to write home about), into what I would call Mexico-Tokyo.

So far I've seen one homeless person in Tokyo. I supposed that the town is just too pristine and proper to allow for it (there isn't even gum on the ground folks). But Ueno was a different story. Just outside the station, you turn down this long alley of sorts, stuffed with shops, vendors hawking their too expensive imitation purses, fish and meat for sale, and hundreds of people just crowding the shops. It appeared that the locals did some bartering (especially on the meat products), but the few tourists (and there were a few, which is a few more than I usually see when I'm out and about) didn't have that option with the language barrier.

I also wandered through parts of the gardens. They were pretty, and some statues and temples, but they were also filled with people who were literally making the park their home, some inebriated. I wasn't entirely comfortable, but still completely wowed by the difference. The Tokyo I've known so far is proper, polite, and beautiful. It was such a clash of culture, in such a small amount of space.

I think my favorite moment was when I bought my favorite ice cream treat, sat on the corner of a huge intersection and just watched the masses. I'm learning that Tokyo has many faces, and not just the millions of literal faces. And even with all the free time I'll have here, I imagine I won't see even a fraction of them.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

first visitors

So a few nights ago, we got home after a gourmet McDonald's dinner, and to our surprise, we had a few visitors.

As it turns out, one should not leave food out unless it is properly sealed. And I had put the fruit out on the counter. And apparently these GINORMOUS cockroaches enjoy fruit. So Jess (who, I might add, actually does not kill bugs in the states - he scoops them up and puts them outside, letting them be on their merry way) went on a killing rage. Just call him the terminator.

First he asked me for the dish soap. Then he grabbed a shoe and smacked them - however because they're so freaking big, they require more than one smack. So for efficiency's sake, he'd smack then drip with dish soap - they don't so much like gooey legs. He got five, and we watched the sixth disappear into a hole in the kitchen floor.

Which of course is now lined with dish soap. :)

P.S. For an excellent view of the cockroaches leg hair, I'd recommend clicking the photo. Gag. Me.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


So I was in the mood for a not-so-Asian lunch today. And while I must give Japan-McDonald's props for creating a fried shrimp patty sandwich (I kid you not), I just wasn't feeling it today. So I ran to the convenience store and picked up a sandwich and chips. As I opened the sandwich, I noticed the writing across the front:

(We hope you can choose the best one for yourself.)

I hope I chose the best one...tasted good...quite good actually.

P.S. Notice my sandwich is crustless. Gone are the days of my sneaky crust removal. Brilliant move Japan, simply brilliant.

watcha got cookin'?

So I had to warm up some noodles yesterday. And luckily, this apartment is equipped with a microwave. I put the food in the microwave, shut the door...

...and then stared.

So correct me if I'm wrong, but it appears that I should:

Press 1 to cook ice.
Press 2 to cook bread.
Press 3 to cook milk or cheese.
Press 4 to cook a casserole.
Press 5 to cook a cupcake.
Press 6 to cook poultry.
Press 7 to cook rice (pudding?).

As it turns out, I just pushed the red button. Which seems to have done the trick, as the unit started whirring and my noodles came out hot.

Now for the washer.

Green looks like a good button.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

lost in translation

So I've thought of a job I could do while in Asia.

You see, they really love shirts with English phrases on them. However, they rarely make any sense. It's like you can see where they were trying to go, but they're always just a little off, like, "Peace, Love, Equal in the Heart," random phrases. And because the Japanese girls are the size of my calf, I rarely even have the option of purchasing these shirts. So when I stumbled upon one yesterday that looked as though it might fit, I had to buy it.

What the?

So I'm thinking I'd make a really good English slogan t-shirt designer/proofreader. I could help them out with some sweet shirts that actually said something.

Although then they wouldn't be Japanese, which is why I love them so.

PLEASE NOTE: The shirt came with two extra button pins. Sweet.

at home

So it's Day Three, and it's already feeling much like home, which I really didn't expect to happen so soon. I guess in a way, it's because I was pleasantly surprised. Our apartment is bigger than I thought it would be (just ignore the insanely strong fish smell when you walk in the stairwell), and it reminds me of a New York or D.C. Just cleaner. And much more friendly. And they drive on the wrong side of the road. I wish desperately that I spoke at least a little Japanese, but they're so patient and kind anyhow.

Today was Jess' first day at work. He's working at a law firm called City Yuwa, which is located in downtown Tokyo, just across from the Imperial Palace. This morning, I "walked" him to work (we rode the subway - please picture a bunch of men in suits and me, in my runners and shorts) and then hopped on the Palace trail and ran home. Despite my oh-so sore legs from all the walking, and the blustery weather we had this morning, it was beautiful. It's so green here, and it hasn't gotten hot quite yet. I imagine it's relatively miserable when it gets hot, as I already sort of just have perma damp skin from the water in the air.

But I'm loving it here. I ventured out on my own today to find a "dollar store" (which involved a line change on the subway, thank you very much). These are much like our dollar stores, but they're huge - this one was four stories. Our apartment came equipped with the basics, but there are a few things we need, and if you buy in Tokyo, you pay much more than it's worth, plus your first born child. So I went and found some cheap towels and such. And then I might have stumbled down a side street of little boutiques ideal for perusing and experiencing with my newly found yen. :)

I put together a little slide show of our first few days. There are, of course, many more pictures, but I tried to be selective for your sake. :) At the first, you'll see the little street we live on (we're that first balcony above the red car), and at the end, just after the working man, the red brick building is where Jess works. And then just some random shots of Tokyo that we've taken as we've been out and about.

So it's strange. But this crowded place is fast becoming home. I'm grateful and feel very lucky. It's truly the experience of a lifetime. I hope I can remember that. And enjoy this home while I have it. :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

subway stupid

So yesterday we bought our subway passes. And we assumed that the little arrow on the card was indicating that we should insert it into the gate (similar to how we would do it on the subway in D.C., our most recent point of reference). So we slid the card in, and the gate started whirring and making all sorts of funky noises. So the gate attendant walked over with an understanding look on his face (hmmm...I wonder if he'd had to fix this before?) and pointed to this blinking electronic pad of sorts. Then opened up the machinery, extracted our subway card, and moving the card above the pad said, "Touch."

Two empty stares.


Oh, so that's what the touch pad is for.

Stupid Americans.

PHOTO: Babysitting, Tokyo style. Actually, behind this cart is a trail of little people walking. It appeared to be a field trip, and the smallest legs got to ride in style.

packin' it on

So as it turns out, I have the potential to gain massive amounts of weight here.

We arrived at the Narita airport, and Jess brought me two yummy Japanese drinks - Pocari Sweat (I know, excellent name, but it's good - kind of like Fresca/Sprite) and Calpis (the closest thing I can compare it to is the white SoBe drink, but not so sweet - it's my favorite), both deliciously refreshing and of course, full of sugar.

Then this morning, we stopped at Lawson's (a convenience store - they're everywhere) to pick up a few Japanese pastries on our way into town. Oh I'm sorry that the Swiss Roll is like heaven. It's like a Twinkie, but good. And I - of course - also picked up some grape gummy candies. (Why don't we have those in the U.S.? Why?!) And then we got lunch at this tiny restaurant in the subway, where we both pointed to our food as they kept yelling this funny phrase over and over to people walking by (it's like a welcome phrase, welcoming people to join their lunch crowd). And I pretty much DEVOURED both my and Jess' lunch. (I'd tell you what we ate, but like I said, we pointed. They cooked. We ate.)

So you'd think that without all my American fried food, I'd lose a few. Not happening. My Japanese cuisine has only just begun. Good thing I've already scouted out the Imperial Palace trail. I'm going to be running it over and over and over again. And I'll be happy to do it. Just keep those Swiss Rolls a-comin'. :)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

potty humor

So I knew I was going to love Japan when, at the airport while waiting for our luggage to descend from the death grip of baggage claim, I made a pit stop. (The middle seat is not so ideal when the Japanese man in the aisle won't wake up!) So I walk into the bathroom and there are these random signs next to each stall. I had no idea what they meant, but I was in need of a toilet, so I assumed that a toilet is a toilet, whether it speaks English or not, and I proceeded on my mission.

I was greeted by one of the greatest toilets I have ever seen. It had about 20 buttons on one side, and a map on the wall next to the toilet explaining the use of said buttons (dead serious). You could, of course, use the bidet and choose the water pressure of your liking, but my most favorite feature was the "flushing sound." In case you don't want to be heard taking care of business, you can turn on the flushing sound (you choose the volume, naturally) to make sure you have your privacy.

And the random sign next to the stall? It was like water squirting - to indicate the presence of a bidet, I believe, as the other stalls didn't have a squirty sign, and didn't have a bidet. Or a flushing sound.

And then we got to our little apartment, and what did I find? That the toilet had been "SANITARIZED."

I love this place.


departure: 8:51 a.m., Saturday, May 17
arrival: 1:40 p.m., Sunday, May 18
actual flight time: 12 hours, 52 minutes
total air miles: 5,708
hours of sleep: maybe 5 (Jess even less)
best Sudoku time: 10:33
worst Sudoku time: 25:30 (I am hopeless)
number of times I cursed Sudoku: countless
number of Middle Eastern Sprites: 1
minutes I lasted watching The Golden Compass: like 7 (what the?)
number of pages I read of Moby Dick: 10 (27 Dresses came on just in time to save me from my literary goals)
visits to the lav: 1 (for me, ZERO for Jess - he's a mutant)
number of swollen ankles I have: 2
number of beds in our apartment: 2 (twins...hee hee)

SO ready for bed. My very own Asian bed (and yes, it's very close to the ground). :)

Stay tuned for updates...

Friday, May 16, 2008

flying time

It's interesting how time passes. I mean, when you really stop and think about it. We've been in Utah for almost two weeks. But it feels like we got here yesterday. And we've managed to see all of zero people on our "people to see" lists (except family, of course), as our running around is pretty much continual.

And time just keeps slipping right through our fingers. Last night I took a long look of the Salt Lake Valley, the last glimmers of sunset holding on. I've missed that mountain outline surrounded by sunset colors. And I've missed home. It's strange that we leave so soon. I feel all sorts of emotions - an ache at leaving the home I've been missing, sadness at the things I didn't do before I left, the people I didn't see, but an undeniable excitement at the new home that awaits me.

I know I will be overwhelmed and scared and TOTALLY stressed out because that is just how I am. But I can't help but be excited about the adventure I'm about to embark on with my most favorite friend. I just love the boy, and if I'm going to jump into something pretty much blindly, I wouldn't want to jump with anyone else. (Plus, he speaks the language, which is pretty handy.) I'm excited for the new world I'm about to discover - the funky smells, the short little Asians (we are so going to stick out with our height and his flaming hair - they call it "gin-ga" [ginger]), the culture, the new treats (they have the best gummy candies), running routes through crowded Tokyo streets. I want to experience every minute, live it all, find every experience I can and just let them wash over my ignorant American mind.

So I'm just trying my best to not think too ahead of myself. Let's just make it to Tokyo, and take it from there.

And in the mean time, I'm going to enjoy every minute with my Jess, cramped in a coach seat, giggling about the money we saved as we become delirious from serious lack of sleep.

Stand by for updates. I'm told I'll have Asian Internet when I get there. I hope the Internet speaks some English. ;)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

home sweet

So here is the first view of our home in Tokyo. A mere (approximate) 500 meters from the Imperial Palace.

A close up for ya'll:

I'm currently trying to memorize the dang subway stop by my apartment. Kujimachi. Say it with me. Kujimachi.

It's total jibberish. What sort of word associations can I create out of jibberish? :)

Does anyone else find it totally bizarre that I'll be in Tokyo this Sunday?

Kujimachi. Kujimachi.

Monday, May 12, 2008

strange love

So if you've read this, you probably harbor, on some level, a love for vampires. And I know that if you haven't read it, you think we're crazy. But really, vampires are just so hot. (Ask anyone who has read it.) I will admit that I don't agree with the long, drawn-out series the author has created out of this, as we all just want the main characters to live happily ever after (and let's admit it - we are all living vicariously through Bella, and happily ever after with a hot vampire is always fun). And I'll admit that the books are bordering on trendy and obsessive, which drives me batty. But...

...the writing is incredible and sucks you in, so I can't complain too much. After all, you are talking to the girl who will throw a book out for the smallest of reasons. I'm a self-admitted book snob. If the grammar or punctuation is off (I won't name names, but...) or if it gets dirty, the book goes in the garbage. I love reading. I love good literature, the way certain words put together in just the right combination can convey a world of feelings, a world that isn't my own but that I get to experience anyhow. And when I find good literature, especially good contemporary literature, I stick with it. Promote it even. This world needs more quality in our written word, so when I find it, I love to share it.

So now would be a good time to announce that I also have a not-so-secret love of aliens. Small, silvery ones - souls if you will.
I love them.

Read it.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

poppy shots

So Jess and I stopped by the local camera shop (of course we did - actually, we may have left our tripod in Durham and are looking for a suitable replacement). And while there, I ran into my most favorite teacher, Mr. Holt. I had Mr. Holt for band through middle school and then high school, as he moved to the high school the year that I moved up. He was a phenomenal teacher - he believed in his students and encouraged us to succeed. And he was a friend. Mr. Holt retired from full-time teaching when he began losing his hearing (too many years of bad notes from marginally talented high school students :) ).

Mr. Holt mentioned that he had just been out shooting pictures of the bear-claw poppy. I had never heard of the little flowering herb, but the bear-claw poppy is an endangered species, native only to St. George. They dot the hills very sporadically, and apparently they're running out of time. Jess and I went on a quick scavenger hunt and snapped a few shots. Pretty little things.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

zion inspired thoughts

1. So I'm not made to exercise. I don't think I'm genetically designed for it. I decided this today when Jess and I were hiking in Zion. You see, years ago, I decided to reverse the track that my genes were destined to follow, and I adapted my body to run. I taught it how to press through mile after mile. And after years of practice, many of my sentences now begin with, "So this morning when I was running," and I've developed a love of running. But my point is, it was a learned behavior.

This whole hiking thing? Okay, I actually like it. But only when the sun isn't making me sweat profusely. It was at that point today, sweating it out as I climbed a never ending trail, that I determined that I'm not genetically set up to exercise. Plain and simple.

2. Speaking of sweat. So I was sweating bullets as I hiked up the never ending path of Hidden Canyon Trail. And as I wiped the sweat from my dripping brow, I noticed my hands were a sort of orange hue. Hello Jergen's Natural Glow. Glow gone. :)

3. Speaking of the Hidden Canyon Trail. So you hike a mile uphill to Hidden Canyon. Well, it gets you to the mouth of Hidden Canyon. But then the adventuresome souls can take to scaling cliffs and jumping off slippery slate to continue up the slot canyon. Well, I got tired of ascending, and Jess decided he just wanted to see a "little" further. A half hour later, I began to panic and started up the canyon in search of my husband. I came to a sort of end, and turned back as there was no redhead in sight. I figured he had continued up the cliff that I didn't want to attempt (as my stupid tendon is way temperamental).

But that didn't stop me from having a full blown panic attack - tears, shaking, the whole bit.

If anyone was wondering, I really, really, really like my husband. And I'm glad he came back alive and had simply lost track of time. And I'm glad that we're now clear on the "leaving the wife behind for long amounts of time in a lonely slot canyon" rules.

4. Speaking of slot canyons. Okay, not really. But we did find this lizard (not in a slot canyon) that was a serious poser. We took pictures of him for a good ten minutes, with our camera no more than a foot away from him.

5. Even though I'm no longer speaking to Achilles, and even though I sweated off my glow, I have to admit that I have been spoiled. I've lived in St. George most of my life, surrounded by some of the most stunning landscapes on this earth. And being so surrounded sort of made me forget they were even there. It was a beautiful day today, especially seeing the day through Jess' eyes, who didn't get to grow up in the shadow of Zion.

What a beautiful earth we have the privilege of hiking (and sweating) all over. :)


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