Thursday, October 27, 2011

September Travels

The month of September was a blur.  It started out with FINALLY a trip to West Virginia for Labor Day.  I thought that by living 10 hours closer to home I would get to actually go home more often.. so far, that hasn’t been the case.  We headed to Princeton Friday after work with Mr. Henderson in tow.  It was a nice, somewhat relaxing and low key weekend with my parents, grandma and Miss Abbie.  I was super-excited to have tickets to the WVU/Marshall game in Morgantown that Sunday for several reasons but was really excited to get to take Adam to Morgantown for the first time and his first WVU home football game.  We went to the WVU/LSU game in Baton Rouge last September but it was just not the same thing as being at Mountaineer Stadium. 

We got up early and set out for Morgantown for the 3:30pm game.  All day they were calling for severe storms but up to halftime, the sky looked overcast but decent.  About 10 minutes into the 3rd quarter, they called for an evacuation of the stadium due to seeing lighting in the distance.  About the time all 65k fans got out of the stadium, a massive rain and lightning storm hit the stadium area.  Lightning was ALL around.. pretty crazy.  The rain was coming down so hard it looked like a monsoon.  We stayed huddled beneath the stadium for about an hour and then looked up at the sky and saw a break in the storm clouds and made the decision to run for the car.  About halfway to the car, the monsoon hit again and we got drenched.  I figured by the time we got to the car they would be ready to start the game again.  No such luck.  We actually listened to the game broadcasters the whole way back to Princeton and when we pulled in the driveway around 10:30pm, the 2 coaches had agreed to call the game.. Luckily, WV was stomping Marshall J   

Monday we headed back to TN and had the pleasure of driving thru the lovely storm produced from Tropical Storm Lee.  Chattanooga actually set a record for the most amount of rain received in a 24-hour period – about 13”.  It was enough rain to earn us a 2-hour delay in going to work the next morning… which we needed after all our driving!!

Last Tuesday, I flew down to Baton Rouge for college recruiting festivities at LSU.  That was my first time going back since I moved… it was really strange to be back in LA.  I definitely do not miss the scorching heat and miserable humidity.  I drove around our old neighborhood and they are still building houses like crazy in there.  I saw 2 guys working in the yard at my house, I hope they have better luck with the flowers than I did, hah.  After I finished up interviewing on Friday, I flew to Atlanta to meet Adam.  We arranged to be on the same evening flight to Phoenix.  I had to be in AZ anyway that next week and his older brother Jason lives in Phoenix so he decided to go spend the weekend out there with him and it gave us some time away together too.  We got into Phoenix late Friday night and it felt even later with the 3-hour time change. 

Saturday we had lunch at a very authentic Mexican restaurant and then drove around some of the million dollar neighborhoods in the mountains/valleys.  We hung around the house Saturday and then went to the Cheesecake Factory Saturday evening.  Sunday, Adam, Jason and I went for a “hike” on Camelback Mountain.  The name is derived from its shape, which resembles the hump and head of a kneeling camel.  I wasn’t quite prepared for Camelback!!  There are two hiking trails which ascend 1,280 feet to the peak of Camelback Mountain. The Echo Canyon Trail is 1.2 miles and the Cholla Trail is 1.4 mi.  Both trails are considered strenuous with steep grades. The hiking path has dirt, gravel, boulders and some handrail-assisted sections.  We attempted to get an early start before it got too hot but ended up getting there around 10am.  I explained to Adam that this hike is something you do on a first date when you’re trying to impress the other person.. but after 3 years of dating... I was way beyond ready to get off that mountain pretty soon after I saw how steep parts of it were!!! 
Lunch Saturday

Dinner at the Cheescake Factory

Camelback Mountain

Adam had to fly back Monday and then I headed to my hotel which was closer to Arizona State to catch up on some work.  Tuesday started the Career Fair and then Wednesday was interviews.  One of the engineers from the Charleston plant was out there with me to help with interviews; we went to some unique places for dinner and took a scenic drive and… I saw my first roadrunner!!  He was so TINY and fast!  We ended up eating dinner at this place called Rustler’s Roost which I would highly recommend to anyone that’s in the area.  It even had live country music for entertainment – much to my surprise – at one point I heard Country Roads playing!!  The restaurant had a great view over the city as well.

Thursday morning I flew back to Chattanooga.  After a quick unpack/repack stopover in Chattanooga, I flew back out Friday morning.  This time to Pittsburgh!  I had dinner with Jen and her new boyfriend in Pittsburgh before making my way down the interstate to stay the night with Jaime.  We scored tickets to the WVU/LSU game on Saturday.  That was the first time since Lauren’s wedding that Jen, Jaime, Lauren and I were all together.  It was so good to be reunited!  As an added bonus, I got to see Will!  We had not seen each other since Christmas 2009!  How does that happen?!  At least we do a decent job at staying in touch.   Even though WVU got their first loss of the season it was still a great time. 

Since I was already in WV, I was able to make it to my Grandma K's birthday lunch/party.  It was nice to get to spend a few days in WV; I don't think I've spent that much time there in a while.  It was extra fun because Abbie was there as well.  She is sooo much fun right now, she says the cutest stuff!  Tuesday-Thursday I had to go an Engineering Career Fair at WVU.  I think that was the first time I had been in the Engineering School.  I was pleasantly surprised at the competency level of the WVU Engineers.  I don't know what I was expecting.. :)

I got to visit with so many old friends; it was a great week in WV and very much needed.