Monday, August 20, 2012

What Happens in Vegas… gets posted to my blog.

This past week has been a blast.

IMAG0185 It started on Thursday night when Bradford and I went to the Iron and Wine concert in SLC as part of their summer Twilight Concert Series. It was fun but once we remembered how close were to Copper Onion, we knew we had to make it there for dinner. We left the concert early, hopped on the trax, then indulged in an absolutely IMAG0709delicious meal. I love that place so so much. Some of the best food I’ve ever consumed. Ever. (Also, if ever there was an appropriate time to take a picture of your meal, it would be here. Though I never seem to remember because I can’t wait to dive into it the second it touches down on the table in front of me. I may have a problem.)

Friday, we met at Bradford’s parents house so we could do some car work before we drove down to Las Vegas the next day. Bradford’s car has been giving him a lot of troubles lately and he had a hunch it may be his fuel pump. After scouring a wrecking yard he found a similar car to his, took it’s fuel pump, and then put it on his car in place of his old one. Much to Bradford’s excitement, it worked! He was very pleased, and I couldn’t help being a bit proud of him myself.

After then changing the oil in my car, we grabbed some dinner from Kneaders, and went to the Scera Shell Theater in Orem to watch their production of Fiddler on the Roof. I wish I had taken pictures, but I seem to be forgetting to do that more and more lately… It was a wonderful show and we were glad we went. Also, its one of the few places that I know of that still sells Dippin’ Dots so that alone made me a happy camper.


The next day, bright and early, Bradford and I drove to Las Vegas. His brother, Richard, is an ER Doctor there and has a friend who for some reason or another can get really discounted tickets (like, almost 85% discounted tickets) to the Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian. I’ve been wanting to go since the spring when I found out that after September 2nd they’re no longer going to be doing it. It was a pretty last minute trip plan but we are so glad we went. The show was amazing. We got our 4th row tickets for $75 total for the two of us (normally would be $400!) and the theater itself, let alone the performers, were absolutely incredible.


Before the show, we went to a sushi restaurant that Bradford found on Yelp that promised to be tasty. He let me order $35 of sushi, just for myself! He sure knows how to woo a girl. After dinner we went and picked up our tickets for the show, and then we walked around the Venetian fIMAG0201or awhile, enjoying some of the similarities to the real deal, and kind of wishing we were back there. It was a fantastic evening. We even tried our hand at some of the slot machines. I still haven’t decided if that was bad of us or not, regardless, It was soon obvious that one of the two of us should probably not gamble. Either Bradford, because he lost all his money, or me, because I almost tripled mine. We still aren’t sure which is worse and would breed the bigger gambler. (Also, Bradford at first made fun of my choice of machine since I only chose it because it was cute. Looks like that’s a pretty good method after all.)IMAG0198

Sunday, we drove home after attending Richard’s sacrament meeting with his family. Before we left Vegas, however, Bradford wanted to stop by the fast food restaurant, Jollibee. Its a Filipino restaurant and it was fun to get a taste of something that Bradford has often talked about from his mission. We each had a “Yum” burger with cheese and we split some fries and some halo-halo from Red Ribbon (another Filipino establishment) that shared the restaurant space with Jollibee. It was an experience for sure. The burgers did not taste like our American burgers (though weren’t altogether bad), and I’ve never really like halo-halo (this one had the usual ice cream and gelatin cubes, as well as cornflakes, kidney beans, chunks of cheese, and strips of coconut), but it was fun to feel transported for a bit.

It was overall a great weekend and we are so glad Richard and Christy finagled those tickets for us and let us crash at their house.

Week(ends) like that make it oh so much harder to come back to work on Mondays…


What’s that, Bradford? Where are my posts about our REAL Italian trip? Oh… uh… I think I hear my mom calling me…

Friday, August 10, 2012

Lay Off Me I’m Starving!*

I think we can all learn something from these photos.


Clearly I need to calm down when it comes to my food.


Apparently I get so excited about what is before me that its hard for me to wait, even if just for a camera shutter, before my taste buds lose control, resulting in blurred photos. And a snarful Julie. 


Here’s to cooling my jets about the meals I’m about to consume. And being patient during photo shoots. Not that anyone really cares about what I’m eating though, let’s be honest. Except maybe Instagram. I think that’s one of their requirements actually, that you must take x number of photos of your food to be allowed on the app…


But golly do I like food.


*This I love.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


I love Kentucky. I feel so alive when I am here. My family moved here from Oklahoma the summer after I graduated High School. I lived here with them for about 5 months before moving out to Utah for school. My love for this place definitely has to do with the people I met here as well as the beautiful countryside. More than that though, I realized that I love Kentucky for the personal discoveries I had here.

IMAG0593Two of my favorite people that have become lifetime friends I met here. I visited with one of them last night and after driving down the 22 back toward home, I was pondering again how much I love this place. I love the easy, flowing, landscape with the gorgeous green hills carpeted with fields, wildflowers, and trickling creeks. I love the majestic thunder storms and the magical evening fireflies. I love the spatterings of wooded groves and abundant wildlife and the way the homes and dwellings are tucked between the hills. I love the unpretentiousness of the towns here, the way they are almost part of the land instead of dominating over it.

As I was day dreaming, following the swerving road that twists and turns along the natural curves of the land, I was struck, as always, when I came to the town of Crestwood. Suddenly, there between the trees, is the Louisville temple. Its a breathtaking sight, one that would be easily missed if you so much as blinked. To unexpectedly be wowed by the simple beauty of the temple never loses its charm.

Its a small temple, hardly any grounds around it, and shares the parking lot with a chapel which is just as small. There is only one row of parking spots separating the church from the temple and it is right there that I chose to park my car for a bit before driving on home. I love this spot.

I remembered back to a night, now almost exactly 7 years ago, when I sat in that very same spot. That moment was easily the single event that rooted part of my soul in Kentucky soil forever.   

That night I had a mental, spiritual, and emotional shift. I learned what it means to truly heal and be healed. I knew what it meant to be released from the lonely darkness and sent forth with all the freshness of a free life. I knew how it felt to be loved eternally and against all reason. In the days after I discovered that, each new day offered its own promise of sweetness and hope. How I soared on that newfound knowledge!

It was a very poignant night. And I’m not ashamed to say that on the way home from that parking lot last night, I wept, just like I did that night years ago. I loved every tear. They represented the honest joy those memories and lessons brought to my life and reminded me that I can feel that way again.

Joy is so much more than happiness. I know that thanks to my lovely, green, Kentucky.