This little lady just graduated....and is officially all moved in.
With me. In Provo. For the summer. Oh blessed summer classes.
It's been quite fun. Everyone and their hamster asks if we are twins....and if she's older. But I'm not quite at the stage of life where that's a compliment, at least not yet. You see the problem..
She has honestly been having the time of her life. And I'm not even remotely exaggerating by saying she has gotten a surplus of attention.
Tonight one of her dates came by to see her. I was in the process of cutting a watermelon. He politely introduced himself upon hearing I was the (currently) not-so-famed older sister. So I offered my hand forward for a friendly handshake. Only I was still holding the large knife.
It was totally and completely unintentional. Of course.
*In a puffy black vest, jeans, ultra-durable tennis shoes, and 2+ headlamps attached to his forehead.
*In a white robe on the couch eating fancy, protein-ambushed eggs while watching the morning news.
*In pristine, ironed golfing attire and an obnoxiously big golfing club as an accessory, practicing his swing in the family room with the professionals (boringly) doing what they do on the tv screen.
*In a white lab coat and freaky magnifying glasses peering into my mouth with an odd instrument at his office.
*In my high school stadium wearing red attire and a paparazzi-status camera lens...taking flip-book like pictures while cheering/graduating.
These are the images that flood my mind regarding my dad. My sweet, can-talk-to-anyone-in-the-elevator, athlete obsessive, too-kind-to-yell-at-a-fly, and tells-his-patients-more-about-me-than-I-know-myself father. He's the absolute best. And I want to celebrate him on this Father's Day. Because he is extra special to me....and he deserves to know that.
Dad, thanks for being so supportive, loving, and generous. Thank you for specially ordering my personalized license plate HAYBAY, that I now get teased for as an aspiring young professional in the university world. Thank you for only getting truly mad at me once, that being when I destroyed my front bumper after accidentally driving into a center divider. Oops. Thank you for selflessly financing all of my worldly adventures. Thank you for shedding a tear (I can almost swear you did) at my graduation...adding to the only other two times you've cried on record in your life (while watching the movie Field of Dreams and when Magic Johnson announced he had AIDS). I guess mostly, thanks for being you. I love and adore you more than High School Musical, more than So You Think You Can Dance, and more than my mascara--which really means a lot because there are very few things in life that can compete with the three.
I love you, Dad.
And I hope you've had a wonderful, stupendous, LOVE-filled Father's Day.
The biggest, baddest (the good kind of bad), and the best: Rome.
They say you could visit for two whole weeks and still not be able to see it all. I don't know who we thought we were trying to cram it into forty-eight hours. It really is overwhelming. We were running around like an episode of America's Most Wanted.
But see and experience it we did. It just wasn't on the back of a motor cycle, accompanied by a deceiving Italian pop-star, like I would have hoped....but my time will come.
A taste of the local flavor.
Fountains. Highlight was the Trevi. One of the coolest things I have ever seen.
Coliseum. Again. Only this time, I was listening to a Catholic service in Italian with the Pope. THE POPE! That's Good Friday for you.
Who's one of the luckiest girls in the world? Me. Who's BEYOND thankful and indebted to her parents for the rest of her life? Me. Who will remember this forever and ever? Me. Who's done talking about it? Okay, fine. Me.
One, is that of Disneyland. Anytime of year. Small and crowded. Requires that you look down at the ground while walking to prevent injury from running into another body. Souvenir stands are at every light post, all selling the same merchandise. Expensive and average food--simply because they can and do get away with it. And let's not forget its standing as the mecca for classic Asian tourists. Who wear their new Mickey sweater over their old Mickey tee (the product of their last trip four years ago). We love these foreigners!
Two, is the feeling that permeates when single on Valentine's Day. You can't help but feel pathetic and lonely while watching couples seemingly smother each other with feelings. Even if you really aren't pathetic and lonely. I will not expand. We all know this feeling. ......Right? Riggghhhttt?
Venice. (More or less a combination of these two things.)
Short couples. Honeymooning couples. Terminally engaged, French couples. Pubescent couples. Red-headed couples. Asian-with-matching-visor couples. We saw couples from every stage and walk of life.
And then there was us in the middle of it all. I felt like I was intruding the romantic high by being there. Single. Like the person that shows up to a costume party without wearing a costume.
(Our wannabe couple picture.)
It was a BEAUTY.
Definitely worth feeling pathetically out-of-place for. Like when waiting in the pre-judging tryout room and watching all the other girls on-deck do their last practices--which practice or not make yours look juvenal and you'd rather back out now rather than follow them but you've already signed the contract and paid the fee. So you can't. Just can't.
Movies are seriously the devil. They are one of the most detrimental devices to health I can think of. Mental health, anyhow.
1. They showcase these beautiful celebrities that appear to be perfection incarnate....causing you of course to ensue in a chase for a caliber that is completely fabricated. And thus, unattainable.
2. They make you believe it's a completely innate and natural ability for men to sweep you off your feet in some original romantic gesture including, but not limited to, freezing their butt off in oceanic waters and insisting you (as the loved one) use their own, personal raft life-line.. or breaking out in song and dance to you (their high school sweetheart) on a rooftop overlooking the "New Mexico"--but really Salt Lake--valley. How often does this really happen?
3. They make you want to go to Italy. Where dreams are made of. Where love and beauty abounds. And you feel unsatisfied until you get there, even if you are traveling to other exciting places like England....or France. They aren't Italy.
It stole my heart. It was so quaint and charming. The perfect blend of tourist appeal and authenticity. And color.
We stayed at the Giulietta e Romeo Hotel, truly capturing the city. Shakespeare's legendary city. Though let's be honest, the only reason I really know this fact is because of Letters to Juliet.
See? It's those movies agian.
Anyways. The markets, the friendly people, the cobble-stone streets, and the letter writing to Juliet's secretaries are the real deal. I did it. And the effect all those cat-calling men have on your movie-weathered self-esteem? It's practically heaven on earth.
PS. I hope she writes me back soon.
PPS. It's fun to see your mom get checked out and hit on. SHE'S STILL GOT IT.
This is the wisdom I was given by all of my friends that had already made a weekend excursion to Paris--not to assume the French could speak my English language. If I made an effort to accommodate to their culture, they would appreciatively reciprocate.
And let's not forget about the circulating rumor that the metro system was dumpy and smelled intensely of non-artistic graffiti and urine (pretending of course that graffiti has a scent).
For the latter tid-bit of counsel, they were 100% correct. For the former, you would have thought I was obnoxiously flashing THE finger and marching around loudly to the National Anthem for merely being present. It was a definite wound to my supposed wise and well-traveled ego.
I'm not as cool, cosmopolitan, refined, wonderful, and cultured as I thought I was. Whatever.
I retaliated and eventually gave up talking much aloud at all....which is almost a good thing because in France there is almost too much to look at and take in. Such intricate details. To and on everything.
No seriously, everything.
Versailles (below) was almost like being on a sugar high from sour razmataz at eleven at night. Talk about nuts.
Let this be a testament that Paris CAN be done in forty eight hours with no sleeping, lots of walking, and frequent stops for crepes, macaroons, and all other delicious varieties of pastry (okay, so maybe I was enjoying Versailles on a sugar high).
-Arc de Triomphe
While we were trying to capture the Eiffel Tower, one of the street vendors approached us in the hopes of pawning off his keychains for more than they are worth. Taking my new no-talking-to-French-people rule to heart, and my zero tolerance for salespeople that think overbearing persistence will win them every potential transaction, I kept trying to shrug him off. I could make a living off of ignoring someone. My mom on the other hand, blame her faulty kindness or the recent Diet Coke flooding her veins, but she was handing him over a few euros before I could say "c'est la guerre"--the only other French phrase I know. (Readhere.)
He took this as grounds to flaunt a victory and consequently, I was called Lady Gaga everytime we passed him the rest of our Parisian stay (which surprisingly was quite a few times in that big city...).
Would you be a little offended?
L*sacde#@blu! I wish I had known more French phrases..