Jan 30, 2009

What You Know About It

Peer pressure is good cause it works.

Here is my (Erika's) 25 random things about me. Don't worry. More Costa Rica is to come as well. But... like I said. Peer pressure.

1. I have an extra bone in my jaw and cracks in my tongue.

2. I have been on over 200 plane rides.

3. My dad, stepmom and sister live in South Carolina and people down there tend to think MI is a frozen tundra land.

4. My great-great grandma was in the mob.

5. I have never had a boyfriend.

6. I can't stand Britney Spears.

7. I Love Lucy and The Office are my favorite shows.

8. I have brown, not black, hair.

9. The color of my eyes is highly debatable. I've heard brown, green, yellow... but I say hazel.

10. My favorite book series is the Little Miss and Mister series.

11. I have 4 half siblings - all younger, 2 boys and 2 girls.

12. I'm really good at Mario Kart. :)

13. I love camping and hiking. And waterfalls.

14. I also absolutely LOVE hockey and have since I was... like 7.

15. Since I love hockey, my mom thought it would be a good idea to sign me up for figure skating lessons when i was little.... yeah. that didn't last.

16. I also took clarinet, gymnastics, and played basketball and volleyball in middle school.

17. I have passed out a number of times... I think at least 10. It just runs in my family.

18. I worked at Dairy Queen for 3 years and never got sick of the ice cream.

19. I read part of the Twilight series, and unlike almost every girl on the planet am not head-over-heels in love with Edward.

20. I burp a lot.

21. My parents took me to jail once cause they thought I stole something from a store when I didn't!

22. I love Aretha Franklin. Even when she does wear crazy hats during performances.

23. I was plowed over by a basketball player during a game while standing on the sidelines.

24. I survived the worst earthquake Costa Rica has had in over 100 years.

25. I cry almost every time I laugh - so the term "I laughed so hard I cried" means nothing to me.

Jan 29, 2009

Do You Remember?

I (Jessica) finally caved.

I'm writing my 25 random facts. And you get to read them. I hope they make you laugh rather than want to throw up a little.

1. I HATE peeing. Unfortunately, God gave me a bladder the size of a chihuahua's.

2. I haven't had chocolate milk since I was in kindergarten. I saw a boy drink it and throw up, and have since quit it cold turkey.

3. Six months ago, I never noticed Volvos, but now I'm always curious and try to look at the driver.

4. The scar on my lip is courtesy of a poorly planned game of volleyball in a room with a [formerly] mounted deer head.

5. I have never hated my life more than the 2 days that I had to lift and stack strollers at Magic Kingdom.

6. I think that my dad could beat up my new roommate's dad, no problem.

7.I have ever only had 2 regrets in life
- I didn't take my picture in front of the Black Pearl at WDW
- I didn't buy a Disney Princess waffle iron in the shape of Cinderella's carriage
- Since working at Disney, I rectified both regrets so that now I have none.

8. Speaking of the Black Pearl, I saw Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl 7 times in the theater.

9. I have never dated, or even kissed a boy for that matter.

10. Part of the reason #9 exists is because I'm slightly afraid of rejection, but it's mostly because I just haven't found the right guy yet.

11. I make jokes about how I want to fulfill gender roles (staying in the kitchen, not wanting to drive, etc...), but I'm actually fairly serious about wanting that for my life.

12. I can't let my bare hands touch dishrags or sponges that have already been used on dishes.

13. I used to be pretty unique in remembering people's birthdays until stupid facebook came along and made it easy for everyone to remember them.

14. I love to buy gifts for people, but I never have enough money to do so.

15. While at Disney World, I had a dream where they picked me to be a Belle character and when I woke up and realized it was just a dream, I almost cried.

16. While working at Blockbuster one summer, I rented over 100 movies and watched about 80 of the movies I rented.

17. I feel like I lost some of my innocence watching the Block Party Bash at Hollywood Studios. Green army men should never under any circumstances do any form of the pelvic thrust.

18. I can't wait until I'm an old woman and I can partake in Senior Citizen discounts, play BINGO all the time, and call young people whippersnappers.

19. I can relate almost any situation in life to either an episode of "The Office" or "Friends."

20. I cry ALL the time watching movies or reading books, but hardly ever cry in real life situations. I even cried while watching "Elf."

21. I love to take jumping pictures, but not as much as I love to photo-bomb people and jump in their pictures.

22. If I really like a book, I reread it more than any human being should. I read the Chronicles of Narnia twice a year, have read each Harry Potter book 7 times,and have read each Twilight book four times since June.

23. I really hope that my Disney World roommate gets famous because she said she'd put me in one of her movies and introduce me to other famous people.

24. If I didn't have a GPS, I don't think I could find the way from my bedroom to the kitchen.

25. I would love it if Rasheed Wallace from the Detroit Pistons punched me, just so that I could tell people that Rasheed Wallace punched me.

Jan 26, 2009

Sun is Shining

Oh gracious. Where to start...?

How 'bout here:

...or here:
... or here:
Yes. It's true. I [Erika] spent my January in the most beautiful place I have ever seen: Costa Rica. I honestly don't really know where to start w/ talking about the trip... so much happened....
Ok. I think I'm going to just list highlights of the days I was there... hopefully this doesn't become too long winded. Heh

Day 1 -
We spent the day in San Jose. Which was kind of different than I thought it would be. It's big, but the whole city shuts down at like 6:30-ish. And then there are only sketchy people on the streets. Well... sketchy people and us. Heh. I was a little out of my comfort zone for a while there.
Couple things I've noticed so far: (1) the women all wear very high heels (2) they label very few of the streets (3) they sell "butt-booster" underwear.

Day 2 -
We went to church today. In the red light district of San Jose. It was cool. A lot like a non-denominational type church in the States. Except during the meet and greet time, people actually do that. And enjoy it. We had so many people come up giving us hugs and kisses on the cheeks welcoming us. It was cool.
Couple things I've noticed today: (1) A lot of women and girls wear like... boots w/ fur. Even though it's summer here. (2) The cool thing to do in the parks is chase the pigeons.

Day 3 -
Today was one of my favorite days of the whole trip. We spent the day in one of the burrios of San Jose. Translation: kind of like the ghetto. All we did was play with the kids. It really made me realize how blessed we are. Really the only thing that is different between me and the kids is where and when we were born. They aren't going to have the great opportunities that I had as a kid. I just hope and pray that they can grow out of their circumstances and live a great life.
Couple things I've noticed today: (1) kids LOVE tattoos (2) if you make balloon animals for a group of kids they will all be popped in a matter of hours.

Day 4 -
So. Today was another favorite of mine. We went to La Paz waterfalls and the Poas volcano. I am in love with waterfalls. So it was great. I am just amazed at the beauty of God's creation.
Couple things I noticed today: (1) I'm out of shape (2) Cocoons can be absolutely beautiful (3) Snakes don't freak me out, but very large bugs... they may freak me out.

Day 5 -
Not much happened today. We went and heard a couple lectures. Yawn. Brooke's camera was stolen today. Literally right in front of me. If you want to hear the story... I'd be glad to tell it. Just ask.
Couple things I noticed today (1) People are very good at stealing things. (2) Brooke handles things very well.

Day 6 -
We went to the Basilica in Cartago and QERC (Quetzal Educational Research Center) today. At the church there were tons of kids trying to sell us little necklaces and bracelets and stuff. It's sad that they are forced to do that. At QERC - one of the most beautiful places on earth, I'm sure - we went for a "little" hike to some mini waterfalls. And since I am in love with waterfalls, it was great for me. :)
Couple things I noticed today: (1) Costa Ricans must have very tough knees. At the church they "walk" up to the altar on their knees. (2) It's much harder to say "no" to a cute little kid selling you things than an adult. (3) "Peter" is much more fun to say in an English accent. (4) I felt an earthquake today. (5) I am still out of shape.

Day 7 -
Today was a hike through the forests of QERC. I love hiking. So this was great. Not quite as tiring as yesterday's hike. But still great.
Couple things I noticed today: (1) Baby hummingbirds are TINY. (2) Don't always trust the guide when they hand you something and tells you it tastes good. Even if they've eaten one too (3) I love hangy chair things.

Day 8 -
Today was the first of 3 days spent with coffee farming families. It was a little overwhelming at first. Mandy and I didn't know what to do... so much so that we just looked at each other and laughed our eyes out for about 5 minutes. We got a hold of ourselves. Thanks to my high school Spanish teacher. :)
Couple things I noticed today (1) They eat dinner about 8:30... at about 6:00 they serve a snack. Don't think that the snack is dinner and get totally full... trust me. (2) These people are SO nice and good at making us feel welcome despite the language barrier. (3) You don't have to speak the same language to have fun playing cards and the guitar. (4) Baby cows are SO cute.

Day 9 -
Second day on the coffee farm. And it's Sunday, so we went to church. And then the families did something that is rarely done in my house: absolutely nothing. It was so great to see them just chill out and enjoy each other's company. I also found out today that the earthquake caused tons of damage. If we had been at the waterfalls or the volcano 2 days later, we would have been killed. Thank God for his protection.
Couple things I noticed today: (1) Everybody is so good at soccer here. (2) I loathe roosters. They don't just crow in the morning. All. Night. Long. (3) I know enough Spanish to give them
English lessons. How cool!

Day 10 -
Today is our last full day with the coffee farmers. We picked coffee today!! Something I never thought I would do. It was nothing like I pictured. We were like... in a jungle... on the side of a mountain. It was fun, though.
Couple things I noticed today: (1) It's hard to keep yourself standing on the side of a mountain w/ a basket of coffee strapped around your waist. (2) I hate bugs. (3) I am out of shape. Still. (4) I am not a very fast coffee picker.

Day 11 -
We all reunited and headed back to San Jose today. It was nice to see everyone and exchange stories. When we got back to our hotel, we splurged for an All-American girls' night. Manicures, pedicures, and pizza.
Couple things I noticed today: (1) It's amazing close you can get to people when you are w/ them 24-7 (2) Manicures and pedicures are much cheaper in Costa Rica. (3) San Jose has become like our home away from home. (4) I can't stand living out of a suitcase.

Well. I think it's time for me to end this mile-long post for now. I'll fill you in on the 2nd part of the trip when your eyes aren't burning from reading so much and I can think again. :)

Ok, peace out.

P.S. If you want to see more pictures click on these: Album #1 and Album #2 and Album #3 and Album #4 and last but not least, Album #5

Jan 19, 2009

The Rose

Tonight was my first official date with Jason Mesnik.

And he didn't exactly give me a rose, but it's ok, becuase I already had one :)

I know that some people think that "The Bachelor" is a terrible show and has a total lack of morals, but I don't even care. I love it.

What I don't love is how DeAnna broke Jason's heart two seasons ago. Anyone who lets a man propose to her on national television, just to say no is a terrible, awful person. Every time I see her, my blood pressure goes through the roof. She's pretty much the bane of my existence.


Back to my date.

Some of us from the village (P.S. I'm back at SAU now. In case you didn't know...) got all dressed up like the ladies of The Bachelor and drank sparkling juice and had variations of pizza and it was the BEST. We got to watch TWO WHOLE HOURS of The Bachelor followed by my other new favorite show, "True Beauty."

People are nuts these days, let me tell you. One of the bachelorettes threw up. One bachelorette went in for a kiss and got more than she bargained for. Numerous bachelorettes were involved in cat fights.

Seriously. Go watch it NOW on ABC.com. It's phenomenal.

And we took many pictures - this is going to become a weekly ritual.

There's nothing like watching a man date 15 women to try to find his one true love.

Also. I've been meaning to give a shout out to my aunts Cindy and Judy.
Aunt Cindy - thanks for commenting on my blog and making me feel special. Holla! ;)
Aunt Judy - thanks for commenting to my mom that you love my blog. I love it :)

Peace out

Jan 9, 2009

I'll Be Home for Christmas

Well, I missed Christmas, but I'm coming home!!!

Much to the chagrin of Prince Caspian, however. ;)

Peace out and see you SOOOOOOON!!!