Thursday, July 29, 2010

Round The World in 365 Days

A year ago, Jason and I said goodbye to some dear friends of ours who did what only few people get the opportunity to do, by following their dreams and taking an entire year to travel the world. I know, you're drooling aren't you? Matt & Amy Walter packed up their backpacks, a laptop and a camera and off they went on the adventure of a lifetime. This last year took them to Africa, Thailand, India, Laos, Cambodia, Israel, New Zealand, Ireland, Egypt and Vietnam (just to name a few). From staying in tiny hostels, to huts on the beach and even a brief stay in a Thailand hospital when Amy came down with Dengue Fever.

They are an amazing couple, with a huge heart for others to serve, so even while they were gone they planned some missions work along the way. Matt has an insane gift in photography and took some pictures that are beyond breathtaking. I hope at some point he turns his photos into a coffee-table book, because I definitely think people would love them! Shoot, I'd buy some of his photos just to frame in my house!

Here's just a sample of some of the pics from their year! (copyright of Matt Walter of course!)
Hong Kong
To see LOTS more photos and read up on Matt & Amy's adventures, visit their blog RTW 365!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cicada Snack

The other night as we were letting the dogs in the house, a cicada fell onto the porch from a nearby tree. And without any hesitation, Jeep scooped this big nasty bug up into his mouth and casually walked into the living room and laid down. He had no intention of eating it, he just wanted to sit there holding it in his mouth with the vibrations of this insect on his tongue.

It was seriously disgusting and I thought at any moment he would release this winged beast into my house, but no - he just held it in his mouth for several minutes while it buzzed away quite LOUDLY. Jason and I were ROLLING on the floor laughing as Jeep looked at us like, "What? It ain't no thang." Seven was sitting right next to Jeep with bated breath waiting for Jeep to release his prisoner and give him a turn. After a few minutes, he did release this little sicknast critter & Seven held it with his paw briefly before scooping it up into his own mouth to also hold it while it buzzed away.

Finally, after Jason caught his breath from laughing so hard, he started telling Seven, "Eat it Seven! Eat it!" To which, Seven obediently started chomping away like he was chewing on a walnut. I almost gagged.

I couldn't find a video on youtube where another dog would actually hold a cicada in his mouth without immediately eating it, but I did find one where you can hear how loud the buzzing is when its being squeezed. Cicadas are no joke the size of a cockroach, but with wings. I freakin hate these things and they are everywhere in the trees here in the South. Yuck!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Life Before, During and After Vegas

A couple weeks back, I took a trip home to Seattle for a few days to see both my sisters graduate from The University of Washington. To say I was proud, is an understatement. It was one heck of a rough ride to even get to Seattle in the first place with horribly turbulent flights through Denver and delays from a nasty storm. I didn't get in to Seattle till almost 2am. Dad was the only one still awake to pick me up from the airport & take me home - I of course in no way expected my family to still be awake that late at night. Kati groggily said "Welcome Home" as I crawled into bed with her and proceeded to pass out.

Then Saturday & Sunday was pretty much a blur! Two days of graduation at the U and back to back hours of sitting through speeches...but you know what? It was completely worth it! Every minute of sitting, flying & spending :-) My mom has some great photos on her camera from the graduations that I hope to get copies of soon, so I can post them here (hint, hint, Kati!).

The 3 days of running from place to place was a complete blur and then finally Kris, Kati & I boarded an early morning flight on Tuesday for Vegas!~ We were quite worn out and slept for 16 hours with an hour break sometime during the middle of the night. But seriously, that was the expectation all along - sleep, relax, sit by the pool and read. And we even squeezed in a Cirque Soliel Elvis show and some great meals! It was truly a lot of fun and very restful - and our room was as amazing as I had hoped it to be.
We did see a few nearby hotels, but seriously it took SO long just to walk to one hotel it would have taken the entire week to see all of it and it was EXHAUSTING and HOT going from hotel to hotel. The ones we did see were all very cool, but I would highly recommend people be allowed to rent golf carts to get from hotel to hotel and they should also install those moving sidewalks like they have in airports - boy would that ever help! My favorite hotel by far was probably the Wynn ~ ah-mazing. If Jason and I ever go to Vegas together, I would definitely want to stay there with him. This atrium was in the lobby and from those trees are giant multi-colored flowered balls. It was so breathtaking.Then we found this cute little pizzeria and decided to sit outside on its patio which was surrounded by water & waterfalls. Incredible!
Here's another part of the Wynn hotel where these giant umbrellas hung over a seated lobby.
This was probably my favorite meal from the 5 days we were there. I was dying for some good Chinese food since we have hardly any here in Nashville and we found this restaurant called FIN inside the Mirage. The service was impeccable and the food was INSANELY amazing. The prices weren't too bad either (surprisingly) :-) And it was so worth every bit of indigestion afterwards!
And of course it wouldn't be Vegas without trying the slot machines. Our hotel gave us a $25 credit on the slots and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I. So. Don't. Get. It. People sat there for HOURS playing slots and for what? No way would I spend my hard-earned cash pulling a level and throwing it down the drain! As you can see, I was quite the slot-virgin, so Kris had so show me how it's done.
Two days after returning from Vegas, I was still having nightmares that I was trapped inside a casino and couldn't get out. The bells from the slots were "cha-chinging" through my mind for days - I likened to what it must be like stepping off a cruise-ship and still feeling the tilt from the waves.
I'm so glad we did this as sisters, though next time we all agree that a beach vacation with little to no distractions would be a much better option! :-) I love you sisters - congrats on your hard earned & well deserved degrees!