Monday, May 25, 2009

Here I am, back in Bamberg-

Weirdly enough, formatting on Macs always trips out my blog, so I’m trying this a different way and hopefully it will turn out all right. I would also like to thank all the great people who keep commenting on my blog. I appreciate the feedback and will therefore keep writing tons and tons every time I get on.

 Back on track, I’ve decided to fill you in on the rest of my trip. We ended in Switzerland. It was rainy and I was feeling quite crabby- obviously. After emailing and blogging for two hours, I felt much better about my life and travels.

The rain stopped, the fog started clearing, and I found out Tucino looked quite beautiful. It’s in the state of Locarno in Switzerland. I may have gotten that wrong…but I’m sure someone will correct me if the mistakes are too grave. Someone always does.

After emailing on a train station bench, feeling paranoid about every passing stranger, I got back in touch with my inner adventurer. We met up with Remo, our couch surfing host for the area. He was devilishly handsome and gave us the down and out about the World Trade Center being a conspiracy and filling us in on the many kinds of liquor at our disposal in his flat. Very nice of him, but we did have to fill him in on our abstinence.

Remo was terribly nice, when we were standing on his porch, looking at the view, he saw we weren’t wearing any socks, and brought us out a couple pairs. He also told us to make ourselves at home and said if we would like, we could go out to eat with him and a couple friends. We were pleased as punch and emphatically agreed.

We ended up eating with him, his sister Vera, and her husband Scott. We had some delicious pizza. In fact, it’s the best pizza I’ve ever had. It happened to be $18 pizza as well, so it’s also the most expensive pizza I’ve ever had. Turns out we were in the Italian part of Switzerland, so it figures.

We were also advised everyone gets their own pizza; nobody splits out there. So we each ate a medium, thin crust pizza. I ended up talking so much I only finished half my pizza and ate the other half for lunch the next day. That’s what happens when you love listening to yourself talk… I kid, is joke.

Vera actually had quite a few questions about our church, so I took that time to fill her in and answer any questions she might have. It was a good opportunity to see the simple nature of missionary work and the ease of sharing it with others. It was good to get an extra buoy added to my resolve to serve a mission. 

After much bonding and talk, we took Vera and Scott home and walked around with Remo. We walked right into another restaurant and got some Italian drinks. It was interesting to do so. I’d never realized how crazy socializing is in the single Italian Switzerland. Really, it’s kind of like that everywhere huh? Well, that drink was another 5 euros, so it was an expensive night, but we figured you only socialize in Switzerland so often.

The next day we headed out to the bungee jump after a vigorous morning jog with Remo. The bus took us up a mountain to the dam. It was a steep dam. I’ll probably post some pictures on facebook, or the video. Jasmyn or Colton Hicks may also have put those on facebook. I will only post those things if I can figure out how to get my facebook settings back to English from Czech. Otherwise, I won’t be able to navigate around. Bless google, I’m all fixed up.

Back to bungee jumping- it was scary. We walked up to the bridge, judged the steepness of our jump, and watched a couple people jump off. Then we noticed many people go to that dam to watch others jump. I was feeling quite nervous. Tingly even. Colton and Jasmyn- not nervous. Colton, then Jas, then I went. We got video of all three and some good pictures.

When I was strapped in, I felt fluttery. When I stepped to the edge of the platform, my feelings were quite numb. Finally, I had my toes an inch off the side. I felt ok about it, the nervousness was holding back. I held up my arms, I looked around. The guys on the platform said it was important to have fun, I was all strapped in and ready. They counted to three. I jumped, realizing the importance of not thinking. 

All rational thought began seizing me at once. I thought, “No, no, no….NO, NO, NO!!! Bad idea, BAD IDEA!!!!!!!! By then, it was too late, I had already jumped. Then I let out a scream. Colton said it was a terror scream. I would have to agree with him. In the  seconds after jumping, I felt death had claimed me for himself. Then my head started hurting because of the blood rush, panic, panic. Then the bungee cord held me and I felt safe.

Then I didn’t know what to do, even though they’d explained it to me right before. Jumping off a dam does that to you. So I hooked the hook onto my clip and got hauled up. I probably wouldn’t do it as a hobby. I was terrified, but it was a cool experience. Tick. I also got a 7 inch piece of bungee cord to take with me as a souvenir. Very cool.

That afternoon we climbed up the side of the city mountain, far surpassing the church we wanted to see. Oops. Then we had to run and meet Remo for dinner again. We got lost and eventually found the tennis club. We ate bbq and ate at the restaurant again. It was great bonding time with the Swedes. I enjoyed myself immensely.

The next day we headed to church in a nearby city with all our stuff. The bus we were going to catch didn’t run on Sundays or some such nonsense, so we had to hitchhike. Luckily Mike picked us up and took us to the train station. Bless you Mike. He was a caddy on his way to a woman’s golf tourney; Sunday was the last day.We got to the city a little late, so we had to take a cab to church- expensive b/c it was further from the station than we had originally thought.

From church, we got a ride back to the station and rode on to Florence. For some reason, we were feeling out of sorts. I’m not sure why, we were just tired from train riding around. We were trying to figure out what to do in Florence, and I ran into…Drew Horton from freshman year. Crazy small world! AND, his wife Jess is the sister of Braden, that boy Jasmyn dated last semester. Their other sister Stephanie was there with her friend Liz.

They took us to a scenic viewpoint that night. Drew helped us set up a hostel; he ran lots of stairs, bless his heart. We checked quite a few places. The next day we went to Cinque Terre- it’s a cool seaside hiking area. On the way we stopped into Pisa and checked out the leaning tower. We met some boys on the way and saw Steph and Liz again. We met them on purpose that night for gelato. Ah, the blessed gelato of Italy.

On the train to Cinque Terre, we also ran into three attractive boys traveling from America. One of the three actually came with us to Cinque Terre. His name was James. He was quite keen on libertarianism and was a hoot. He’s ridden quite a bit in motorcycle world. He sold his bike because he figured it would eventually get him into trouble. He said people don’t call you in on the highway on a motorcycle, because they just think, “That guy’s gonna die. I hope his mother knows what he’s doing.” However, in fast cars they call you in all the time.

Cinque Terre was beautiful. While there, we swam a bit, but mostly hiked. Hot day it was, but most of the coast spots were quite a climb down from the main trail we were on.

The next day we investigated Florence and watched Demons and Angels in the theater with the girls, Jess, and Drew. Intermission is still going strong in the Italian theatres, and another stop happened because the power went out. Turns out both times the movie stopped were the most exciting parts of the movie. Figures 

After the movie we got pizzas and gelato and hung out with our friends. From Florence, we hopped to Rome. We flew through Rome, seeing everything, but in a hurry. It was cool, but I feel I saw everything in Rome there is. It would have been fine to amble, but we got through it and still got to see Prague, which was our main idea.

From Rome, we got a night train to Vienna. Colton will attest, my feet were in rare form that night. I washed them and everything, but my well-worn sandals were hard pressed and no shower was available. I eventually put on socks, but seriously, I hate sleeping in socks. It was for the good of the people.

From Vienna, we jumped to Prague. We exchanged our money to Czech crowns. I exchanged 20 euros, spent like 4, exchanged the rest and had 7 euros left over. I lost half my money in the exchange process. GAY! Anyway, I had no idea how much I would spend out there. I should have just eaten myself silly, but I didn’t know how much I would lose in transition.

 We wandered the city looking for hostels and found nothing. It began raining, but the rain was warm. We found an apartment for the night, it was 23 euros; most hostels and night trains cost about 20, so we felt alright about it.

 That night we wandered the city, Colton and Jas saw a concert. I skipped it, but should have seen it because I lost all my crowns anyhow. We investigated the fortress on the hill. We saw much cool stuff. The next day we had a day trip to another castle on a hill.

 We walked slowly to the castle and walked slowly back, missing the train by 2 minutes. We saw it leave the station. Luckily trains left for Prague every 30 minutes. Unluckily, the schedulers lied to us and we had to wait another hour before the next train came. Luckily it began pouring rain and cleared the air. Unluckily, the train stopped and everyone had to get off at the next station.

Luckily everyone in the station was confused. Unluckily, we had to make it to Prague before 5:11 because our train left then. Jas and Colton had to catch that train because it was the last train to Nuremburg and their plane left Saturday morning at 6 am. 3:30 we were getting antsy. The train had stopped because the previous train, the one we missed by two minutes, had caught fire. Luckily, we weren’t on that train. Unluckily, we were going to be hard pressed to catch our next train.

We took a bus to another train station, got to Prague at 5 pm, ran to our apt. to get the bags, ran back to the station with our huge bags. We didn’t know what platform to go to. No number was listed, just the letters NEJ. Who the heck knows what that means? I certainly didn’t know.

We saw a sign with a city starting with N on it, in Europe some cities are spelled differently. The people on the train kept telling us it wasn’t going to Nuremburg, but we’d been lied to before. For what reason, I know not. They left right after telling us to check the other train station.

We rode to the next station and headed to the information station. At this station, we found a Slovakian lady speaking in behalf of a group of English speakers who had also missed the train. Apparently it had skipped our station after all. There was a fire on the tracks…we knew all about that. Anyway, they’d posted something about it 10 min before, saying it was only going  through this station and we should have known. We were screwed.

However, the Slovakian lady, bless her forever, talked in our behalf to the train employees and got us a train, to a bus, to take us to Munich/Nuremburg. When we got to the bus- it was a van- we found there were only 12 seats and 13 people. Despite the numerous volunteers for the floor seat, the company would not let anyone sit on the floor because they might get stopped at the border and someone would have to get out.

They needed someone to stay behind. I didn’t have a flight, so I said I could do it. I volunteered, they said they’d give me a 100 euro voucher for a hotel and take me there, but I’d have to find my own way back to the train station. Who knows how much or how far that would be? So I said I’d only stay if I had a ride or money to get back to the station as well.

Plus, there was a fight in the parking lot and I totally thought a guy was going to get golf clubbed in the head with us all watching. The altercation was eventually circumvented by police, but it was nerve racking to watch. We did not know what to do about this problem. Golf clubs are dangerous, especially those wielded by crazy guys in parking lots.

The Prague train people ended up just sending another car, we got to Munich about 1 am and I slept in the train station. Info was closed for the night and I didn’t know where to go. I was tired and found a waiting room in the station on the second floor.

Despite the creepy oldish man watching me read my scriptures and write in my journal, I was ok. I fell asleep at 3, only to be awakened by crazy homeless people yelling at each other in the otherwise silent waiting room. All the older people started leaving and I thought maybe I should go also. 

I was so tired though, so I slept until 6 am, since the crazy people finally left. 6 am I woke up because train people came up to shoo us out of the waiting area. Cruel demons. I ran to the toilet, then upstairs to eat something. I’m not a morning eater, so I went upstairs to the Burger King and tried to convince myself to eat.

As I stared at the sign, I heard the guy at the table next to me say, “Nice pajamas.” He seemed to be normal enough and had a New Zealand accent. I quite enjoy these accents, so I sat and talked with him and his friend. Their names were Fergus and Patrick. They had been partying all night and were hungry. Apparently the hotel they were staying at didn’t serve the continental breakfast until 7, but they were hungry at 6, so Burger King it was.

I had an over bright, cheery countenance for 3 hours of sleep and Fergus asked what I was doing the next hour before my train came. I wasn’t sure, so he said I could come to their hotel and shower up before my train. It sounded unwise, but I like a good shower. So I did it. I took a shower in the strange circumstances of this, with my wisdom telling me no and smelling like moldy sea urchin.

Afterwards, I ran back to the station, missing my train by seconds. I waited another hour, planning my day in Salzburg Austria with care. I then slept on that train. When I got to Salzburg, I wanted to see the Eagle’s Nest and Dachau. I found out both were a ways away. Dachau was back by Munich and the Eagle’s nest required a bus ticket and some time.

I went to put my bag in a locker and three frat boys were doing the same. They were from Iowa, just traveling like me, and I said I wasn’t sure what to do that day. They asked if I’d like to travel with them and I said I would love to. Their names were Ryan, Phil, and Casey. We wandered the city until 2, when Ryan finally succeeded in convincing me I had to see Dachau because it was a very moving experience.

I got back to the train station, finding out I wouldn’t get to Dachau until 5:15 and the camp closes at 5 pm. Then I couldn’t find the boys, so I looked for a hostel to spend the night in. I put my bags away and walked back to the train station locker area to leave the boys a note, in case they wanted to hang out that night. Their train didn’t leave until midnight.

On my way I stopped to get a donor kebab and some indian boys started staring my way. Now listen here, I know I say a lot of males stare at me, but seriously, it’s true. I cannot possibly be imagining it. Weird ones all over the world, it’s uncanny. Danielle, Jenny, I’m telling you, lots of weird people stare at me. When I get my life film, I will show you. It’s all taped, then you will believe me.

So after buying my donor kebab, I walked to the train station and put a note in the locker of those boys. Then I noticed one of the strange Indian boys was following me. I walked all over Salzburg, and he just plodded behind me in his flip flops. I would stop, he would stop. Outside the residential area, he stopped following me, but I know he knew I knew he was following me.

I’d put on the train note we should meet there at 9, so I was back at 9. As I passed the kebab place, the Indian guy started following me again. I went to the train lockers, he followed me. I stopped and looked back, he stopped and pretended he hadn’t noticed. I walked again, he commenced walking. He said “Hi.” I ignored him and kept walking. I don’t speak German. I didn’t want to talk to him, he was creeping me out.

Then I sat in the station and waited a while in the main area. He stood outside the station, checking every once in a while to make sure I was still there and waited as I sat on the bench. I felt ridiculous, like I was in a spy movie.

Then I started walking back to my hostel. He followed me the first block, I turned around and said, “Why are you following me?” He said, “Nine.” Yeah right, like I was some kind of idiot. What the heck was he doing? Hunting for rabbits? Anway, his creepiness made me even more anxious to meet those American boys, but I had had enough waiting and following for the night, so I went to my hostel. As soon as I turned the corner, I started running. When I looked back, weirdy was gone. Whew, maybe he figured out I wasn’t interested.

The next morning I awoke at 6 am to drug addicts screaming at each other in the streets.  It was terribly invigorating. I didn’t want to miss my train to the Eagle’s Nest, so I ran up to the train station, whereby the bus station was set.

It turned out I was an hour and a half early for the bus. Instead of returning to the hostel, I just sat on a tire by the bus post. A lot of strange people stared at me that morning as well. One kindly looking old man stopped his van at the bus stop across the street and waved me over. I walked over and he slurred something to me in German.

I had no idea what he was saying or inferring to me, so I just recrossed the street and waited for my bus again. He drove past a couple more times and even parked his van and walked across to where I was sitting, waiting for my bus. I don’t speak a lick of German, so all I could say was, “I don’t speak
German, just English.”

He tried waving me over to his van. He was trying to persuade me to do something… Do I look like an idiot? I also tried shooing him away with my hands, like I had shooed the pigeons, but it didn’t work as well with him. Finally he left. I think he had hoped I was some kind of hooker or something, but sorry, I’m just a weirdy magnet.

My bus came, I got onto two other buses, and 30 euros later, I ended up at the Eagle’s Nest- a really pretty area Hitler had built up a secret bunker in. It was cool because of the scenery, but I was a little disappointed. Then I realized I was there, so I hiked around. I also filmed some people walking over the snow, I didn’t catch any big trippers, but some of the footage is pretty funny.

Then again I got back to Salzburg by 2 pm, so I was disappointed again. I did not realize the Eagle’s Nest would be a day trip. I will go to Dachau before I leave Europe. I’ve met many people in my travels. It was an adventure for sure. I’m now set to babysit for 2 weeks for my cousins. Today was grand, I’ll let you know at the end of the two weeks how it goes.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Sorry about the mac formatting, here's my Euro trip update-

ravel is good. Today my enthusiasm is waning a bit. I'm sure 
tomorrow, when we bungee jump, it will 
return. I read someplace that there are really friendly people who need 
alone time to recharge. I think I 
need that alone time now.

So I am in Switzerland right now, checking my email at the train station. I 
am with the bags. We had them 
in a locker, but we had to get a phone number out of the bags, so we 
took them out again. The locker was 
8 francs, so 7 bucks roughly. I don't care to shop, so I said I'd sit 

It's pretty rainy today. Overall travel has been crazy. We started in 
Bamburg Germany. We went to the 
train station after sacrament meeting, Danielle dropped us off. Then it 
occurred to me I might need the 
passport I had not taken from my dresser. So I had to run back to the 
church from the train station and 
get back onto the army base and go back to the train station.

I also couldn't figure out where Danielle's other house key is, so she told 
me to just ask the neighbor for 
her copy when I get back. So felt pretty dumb Sunday. Plus, my period 
started, so I was kind of moody.

We took the train to Munich and walked around there for the day. It was 
pretty, we wandered until we 
were starving, got some donor kebabs to eat. Then we wandered 
around some more. Munich was a 
great city to explore. That night we took a train to Paris. We've taken 
quite a few night trains on this trip. 
You have to pay about 20 euros to ride them, but then you don't have to 
worry about finding a hostel and 
losing a day to travel. It's a good idea when you don't have much time.

We stayed on a guy named Pax's couch in Paris. We utilized a system 
called couch surfing. You stay at 
people's houses for free. They register on a site and you stay with 
them. We are doing that tonight in 
Switzerland as well. Tomorrow we got bungee jumping 250 meters or 
so. I'm pretty nervous about it, but 
we'll surely have lots of fun.

After we got to Pax's house in Paris, we ate some pastries and saw the 
sights. We saw Notre Dame, the 
Louvre- for free 99 since we're all under the age of 25. Tip to everyone, 
if you can travel before you hit 25 
it's much cheaper than after. The eurail pass for trains is more 
expensive after that b/c they figure you're 
not a poor student anymore.

We saw the Eiffel tower and climbed the stairs to the second floor. We 
saw it during the daylight hours 
and right after dark. We ended up back home at midnight b/c we had 
some trouble locating the metro near 
the Eiffel tower. When climbing the Eiffel tower stairs, we also had a 
sickness come over us. It's called 
"No more stairs." Yes yes, I'm sure you understand, but I figured it 
would never get me b/c I'm in pretty 
good shape these days. I was wrong, it got me.

The next day we took the train to Versailles. They have a fountain show 
at the palace of Versailles so we 
paid 6 Euros to see the fountain water show. Colton wanted to see a 
certain fountain called Neptune or s/t 
but the water wasn't on there. We walked quite a distance, the garden is 
quite large. We walked back to 
the rest of the fountains...and the water turned off. Then we walked 
around the garden with no water until 
5:30, when we unwittingly missed the time when Neptune's fountains 
were going. Quite disappointing. The 
gardens were lovely and had a plethora of statues and fountains 

We couldn't enter the palace either, b/c we only had 30 minutes until it 
closed and the cost was 10 Euros, 
even though we'd only have 30 min inside. So we felt ok skipping that 
cost b/c we'd seen similar rooms in 
the Louvre. That's what the Louvre rooms were fashioned after yes? 

We also got lost in the Louvre. We couldn't find our way out at the end of 
the day. We heard the 
announcements and couldn't figure it out. Finally we found our way, but 
it took forever. Lost in 
Mesopotamia or some such place. My favorite part of the Louvre was 
the mummy section. Cool to the 

In between all these little excursions we've been stopping to eat pastries 
along the way. They've been 
quite delicious I tell you. All the cities have been beautiful and the 
weather has been cool, but fine. After 
Paris we headed to Barcelona.

Tons of people told us how cool Barcelona was, so we decided to bolt 
down there for two days. There 
were tons of cool frescos and crushed plates combined know 
what they're called. The parks 
and buildings there were amazing. Barcelona had rainy, but warm 
weather also. Many palm trees grew 
there as well. It reminded me of Las Vegas at times.

The next day we went to a cool beach South of Barcelona called 
Sitches. I think that's what it's called. It 
was rainy when we first got there, but we decided to investigate the 
beach anyway b/c we heard it was 
ideal. It was, the rain stopped, and although it was cloudy, we had a 
grand day at the beach. We also tried 
taking pictures of this butcher shop with cow legs with the hoof still 
attached, but they told us no pictures. 
We snuck a picture on the way back from the outside of the building.

I'll post pictures when I get back. I didn't bring the connection. I bought 
stamps for the last four postcards 
Mom's class needs from me but I can't find a post office and they've 
been a huge pain to mail. I'll mail 
them when I find a blasted post office.

On our night train last night we roomed with a girl named Denise. Her 
brother was in the room with Colton, 
my roomie Jasmyn's brother who also came traveling with us. Denise's 
brother looks like my Ken doll. 
He's quite an attractive man. Anyway, they were both great to talk to. 
Denise is a hs chemistry teacher. 
She's single and 28 and figured this would be a good time in her life to 
see Europe with her brother Andy.

We also had a visit in our cabin from a boy named Eric. I saw him on my 
way into the train and ran into an 
old man b/c I wasn't paying attention to anything else. He laughed and 
asked if I was American. I said, 
"Yes, just a stupid American." He said, "Hey, me too." I felt dumb, so I 
got on the train. He was quite 

Turned out he was in the room right next to ours. He's taking a break 
from Paris b/c he was there for a 
film festival. He helped construct the 20 foot model of the transformer 
Bumble bee and had nothing to do 
in Paris. He decided to travel a bit instead of sitting in Paris the whole 
time. He was terribly interesting. He 
flew helicopters for a while and ended up doing groundwork for movies 
b/c he said helicoptering over 
Egypt is really dangerous. 

That's about it for the trip so far. Today it's rainy. Tomorrow it's 
supposed to rain. We've seen   many cool 
things and despite the rain are having the time of our lives. When I have 
again revitalized I will feel the 
grand profound creativity of travel again. I cannot wait to start working 
on my mission papers. If anyone 
knows of someone looking for a good car, my saturn still has a year of 
warranty on it. I'm going to look 
into selling it. Seems like the thing to do if Saturns are being 
discontinued. It's a good car, but if I'm leaving 
for a year and a half, that might be a good idea. So yeah, that's my life 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Poppin' wheelies over the dog-

In Germany there are several laws dedicated to recycling. In this house there are four types of trash. Plastic, glass and cans, paper, and trash. After making some cornbread, I decided to take the dog, Prince, on a nice bike ride around the block to the paper recycling bin.

Walking the dog is a trick. You have to give him enough room to walk, without letting him overpower you. Prince has lots of power. He is a one year old golden retriever and has not had much exercise this week on account of the chilly weather.

Biking with Prince is even more of an adventure. First,  you must take the dog outside and get the bike. The bike is in a shed, so you must hold the leash, while first opening the garage like door, and detangling the mountain bikes. You cannot set the bike on a kickstand. Mountain bikes have no such stand. You might perhaps lean it against a nearby tree, or place it sideways, straight on the cement. 

In order to keep the bike from getting in the way of the closing shed door, you must put the bike far enough away from you to keep it from getting in the way of the door. Meanwhile, the anxious golden retriever tugs on his leash, so you must keep a firm hold on the leash, or if you have already bound them together, the bicycle. 

To keep the dog from pulling your bike sideways during the ride, you must wrap his leash around your bike frame. But wait, is this wise? I will tell you. Yes, if you and the dog are riding alone. No, if you happen to be balancing a bag of paper or other types of recycling in front of you between seat and handlebars. 

"What could possibly happen to me?" you may think. "I have been biking with this hound on numerous occasions and nothing amuck has ever occurred." I will tell you what could happen if you were thinking these foolhardy thoughts.

Hypothetically, if you are riding your mountain bike with fantastic brakes through the neighborhood, with Prince's leash possibly looser than it should be, you may be full of confidence. You may be riding along, waving at neighbors and feeling quite prideful about your prowess riding a bicycle, walking the dog, and dispensing with the paper recycling all at the same time.

You may even begin to feel quite popular in your teal bicycle helmet. Then, the dog may veer in front of your bicycle, causing you to hit the excellent brakes. With about 6 people surrounding you, on an otherwise deserted street, you might pop a wheelie over top of said dog and let go to keep from losing all of your adult teeth.

The dog may then take off at full speed, with the bike trailing behind him, in terror of the noises he himself is making by dragging it along. In your mind you will probably wonder how much you will have to pay to replace this bike lent by your cousins. In process of wheelie, the paper recycling may also explode from the paper bag and make a complete mess in the driveway of your cousin's gawking neighbors, who may also go to your same church.

The other neighbors may possibly repack the paper into your carrying bag and look at you with concern in their eyes as you try and remount the bicycle with your recycling. As the bag drops three more times to the ground, they may even ask if you need any assistance. No assistance needed. Not for a simple errand like taking the recycling out. 

The dog may then insist on pulling you along, since the bike seems to be broken and having some troubles, and the dog is cemented to the body of the bike by leash. As he pulls, the bike clicks in full resistance. He pulls, you stop and pull back. Each time, three or four pieces of paper fall from the sack and you curse the day you made such excellent plans for multitasking.

This could possibly go on for 10 minutes, when it would usually take roughly 1.3 seconds. On the way to the recycle bins, your dog may also relieve himself of all remaining wastes and keep you within 15 feet of tossing the recycling alone. You can either leave the dog pooping, but tied to the bike, giving yourself a 30 second window to run there and back before he has recovered. 

Or, you have a 79 percent chance of leaving the dog, tossing the recycling, and having to run after the dog, who has finished and decided again to pull the bicycle behind him, which would then be covered with his own fecal matter. So I waited, erstwhile untangling the leash from the bike frame and handlebars. I put the leash on my handlebar and tried to remount the bicycle. This was when I figured out the handlebars were backwards, which is why the bike was having certain problems after our earlier escapade. 

I flipped the handlebars and put the least on the handlebars. Prince jerked hard, the plastic leash dispenser almost ripped my hand off, I swore in my head, and walked Prince the rest of the way to deposit my recycling. I walked to the doggy doo container, grabbed a little poopy bag, walked the bike-dog combo to scoop the poo, with the dog tugging the entire time, and tossed the little bag of trouble. We then biked around the block with no incident. It could happen to you, it would happen to me. I have a monopoly on such stories.

Second of all, I walked on a treadmill for the second time in my life. I got on and wasn't sure what to do. I looked at Danielle and looked back at my treadmill. She seemed to be rapidly running in place. To my dismay, I had to jog in place. It did not feel natural, and when Danielle looked me, she asked me what I was doing. I said I had no idea. So she helped me. We put the mileage up to 5 mph. Wow, I'm a speed demon. Well, it was our exercise off day. Just know now, with grateful heart, that I know how to use a treadmill and I wear biking helmets with good reason.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cactus foot-

I don't know what I just stepped on, but I cannot find it. Every other step feels like a stabbing prickle in the bottom of my foot. And the dumb dog keeps barking for no reason. He has been put into his box. It seems Prince is going ever increasingly into his box. It could be because it's cold outside, so I'm not walking him as much and he's going crazy. He's bored with his doggy toys, he needs adventure. 

The dog is insane. He ate a vial of blue dye the other day and drooled blue onto the carpet and vinyl. I think one day Danielle may kill Prince in a fit of rage. Until that day, I will be forever wishing he was not scooping hairballs and dental floss from the bathroom trash cans and stepping in his own waste after emptying himself. He seems to be lacking in certain coordination skills. I can't teach him such things, they are beyond my grasp. In Europe, my eating skills have gone exponentially downhill. Amongst other things...

Today I almost fell off the biking trail and died. It was not a narrow biking trail, nor a steep trail. Mostly, I wasn't paying attention, and hurtled off the side. Unfortunately, the bank was steep. Fortunately, the part I flew down was  padded. I ended up getting some mud on my striped pink sparkle socks and on my grey capris. It was a small price to pay for life.

Second, we biked 8 miles. I'm not a great biker, but apparently mountain bikes are harder to utilize on straightaways. That made me feel better about myself. Danielle and I were the tail end of the excursion. The other half of our exercise group went another 9 miles, I'm glad my cousin D and I are not exercise obsessed and stopped so we could use our day more effectively. I have a busy life that cannot be trivialized by such things as obsessive amounts of exercise. No matter, my legs are getting quite trim from the daily exertions of this newest fad. 

I ended the book I was reading, "Ender in Exile" the next book in the Ender series and we went grocery shopping. It seems to mean more and more to me when I meet people and actually do things worthwhile, but I've also come to appreciate the off days. Errands get done and I get to spend another day with my inspirational cousin. 

I also signed up for the underground tunnel tour of Bamberg. I've heard it's cool, but still don't know from experience. I'll let you know after Thursday. I am supposed to bring a flashlight, but all I've got is this little pen light. We'll see if it's any use. If I meet any nice young men with flashlights, that will be another benefit to tripping with base members. 

Friday, May 1, 2009

Juniper blossoms-

I went to the German stake dance tonight. It may or may not be officially called the Nuremburg stake. Anyway, lamest dance ever. Here's why: 

1. The first hour, my friend Maria and I were the only two dancers on the floor with a bunch of married folk at the tables watching us. We felt like the floor show.

2. The second hour, after dinner, we were two of four dancers. The other two were ages 2 and 3. 3 wet her pants, but luckily her parents had a change of clothes for her.

3. Nobody in Germany dances in a cluster, they only dance in pairs. Girls dance with other girls, but in pairs. Boys dance with girls, only in pairs. That or sit on the sidelines, I am so glad I was born American.

4. The teenage girls gave us looks of disdain when we waved them over to dance with us.

5. The uncle of our dancing partners came over to dance with Maria who told him all about my single status.

6. Uncle asked me to dance right when we were leaving and continued dancing with me the next three songs without reasking me.

7. My knee got tweaked in the middle of dance time and was killing me the last two hours of it.

Q. Uncle's dance style required much weight to transfer over to lame knee, causing it to buckle numerous times.

8. The four single males in attendance were all age 14 by the looks of them and all sported weird vibes. Bless the German girls who danced with them all night.

9. I was told again my idea to hold off a mission for a cell contract is unwise, dumb, and completely unnecessary. Problem solved, my mom solved it- (this is a side note and does not count toward the lameness of the night and should be put on the record as improving it immensely.)

Advice for future living

A. Never run 5 miles before going to a promising stake dance in the springtime dales of Germany.

2. If your knee hurts, don't dance like a freak for a couple hours and act surprised when you can't walk the entire next week.

D. Don't judge people, because they sure as heckfire are judging you, and weren't you supposed to stop gossiping last week?

5. When a strange man asks you where you live, don't tell him. Even if he is a return missionary and especially not if he lives in the area.

6. If you take the dog out, he doesn't piddle, and you hear people breaking beer bottles in the distance, go inside. B/c dog, you had your chance.

7. Giant gingerbread cookie necklaces are not meant to be worn, especially not during swing dances, double especially not when you have a tender chest and are at risk for bruising after multiple hits from your dance partner's chest. Don't even put it on, he will tell you it's too late to remove it and make you wear it for the duration of the dance.

8. If a little girl peed her pants, why would you let her sit in your lap? Oh good, they fitted her with a diaper.

Z. Always wear sunscreen.

This is all. Mostly, it was a grand dance, but I was disappointed about the man count. Not terribly surprising, considering my decision, but still strangely disappointing. My knee hurts. I'm icing it currently. Then...maybe I'll heat it. My wall plugs are far away from my bed, so I'll have to sit on the floor to use the heating pad if I decide that option is wise.

And I'm babbling. For the record, it's getting late. I usually go to bed at 10 pm. It's 12:41 am. For those of you surprised by the insert about a mission, I've decided to go on a mission. It will help to humble me, something I need. I'll learn tons of stuff. It will help me grow spiritually, so I'm going to start filling out my paperwork and telling all my suiters to find other girls to shower with love.