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July 16, 2009

Seeing all fifty states

Filed under: Personal — Tags: , , — llcall @ 8:20 pm

This is a goal of mine.  Some people have no desire to do this; to each his own.  But I swear I haven’t been to a state yet where I didn’t find some local color to enjoy, beautiful scenery to admire, or funny people to love.  Cross-country travel has been one of the true joys of my life.

Someday Rachel Nelson and I will write the story of our first cross-country roadie…driving the wrong way on one-way streets, asking helpful locals what time zone we’re in (“Alls I know is the news always comes on at 5:00 here”), passing the universe’s largest crucifix (they advertise these things).  In the meantime, I wanted to take stock of where I’ve been and where I’m going:

States I’ve lived in: (6)

California

Illinois

Texas

Utah

Virginia

Washington, D.C. (not technically a state, but weird nether-region)

States I’ve spent significant time in (month or longer): (4)

Maryland

Massachussetts

Nevada (not by choice)

New York

States I’ve stayed in, explored, and was quite taken with: (14)

Alabama

Colorado

Connecticut (mainly because a certain someone I had been dating was at Yale for the summer–Neal made it magical)

Florida

Idaho

Minnesota

New Jersey (ever been to Cape May?)

New Mexico

North Carolina

Oklahoma (someday I’ll dig out the photo demonstrating just why I was so taken with it)

Pennsylvania (not so much Philadelphia, but pretty much every other city/town I’ve visited)

South Dakota (really amazing…the 30-below winters just give it a bad name! Visit the Badlands in the summer!)

West Virginia

Wyoming

States I’ve stayed in, explored, but was not so taken with (outside of the friends that lived there) (7):

Arkansas

Georgia

Indiana

Kansas

Missouri

Nebraska

Ohio

States I’ve been in terrible car accidents in, and thus need to make better memories of: (2)

Oregon

Tennessee

States I’ve driven through or stopped in, but only give partial credit to: (8)

Arizona

Delaware

Iowa

Kentucky

Michigan

New Hampshire

Rhode Island

South Carolina

States I’ve been to, but was too young to remember: (1)

Hawaii

States I’ve yet to visit: (9)

Alaska

Louisiana

Maine

Mississippi

Montana

North Dakota

Vermont

Washington

Wisconsin

Do you realize that’s only 9 states I’ve never set foot in?!  Wow, I didn’t realize I’d hit 41/50.

Of course, the really exciting part is that on July 23rd I’ll knock off Washington as we drive up the Oregon/Washington coast and stay at a little place right on the shore.  From there we’ll continue up to Vancouver, Canada, enjoying a couple of days in that magical city before we hit Alaska on our cruise.  By the time we get back to Utah on August 4th, I’ll be a 43-state woman.

July 15, 2009

Recent happenings

Filed under: Family, Lindsay loves Neal, Personal, Pregnancy — Tags: , , , , , — llcall @ 6:36 pm

Thanks for the well wishes after my last, mournful post.  I have a newfound empathy (deep, deep empathy) for anyone who itches.  I don’t think I ever realized how awful it could get.

So some quick updates: the rash is still present some 5-6 weeks after it first appeared.  It’s a lot better, but 3 different doctor opinions and treatments later, it’s still with me.  Some days I do okay and then about every 3rd night I am so itchy I feel like I’m going insane and I just want to tear my skin off (last night Neal got to witness one of those nights with all the attendant writhing).  I really don’t know what to say except that I never would have imagined how much a rash could throw my whole life out of whack!

***

Meanwhile the big Horton family reunion (my Mom’s side) came and went.  I am glad it happened; I’m always moved by the sacrifices that some family members make to not just come but to really participate and give and show love.  Unfortunately, I didn’t really feel like I was in good enough shape to be as participatory as I would have liked.  Most of the conversations I had with people revolved around them asking about my rash since I couldn’t stand anything on my lower legs (which for those who don’t know is kind of crazy for me because I’m just NOT a shorts-wearer) and so they could see some of the worst parts in all their hideous glory.  I had to take lots of breaks to get my energy back up, but even so, two thumbs up.

***

Directly on the tail of the Horton reunion was Stevie B’s Party Week, my immediate family reunion.  This is Stevie B:

ayda & grandpa

The day he became Gramps in 2008

(who along with Neal REFUSED to call it Stevie B’s Party Week–party poopers!)  This reunion was perfect for most of us because it was basically just one string of games, movies, and relaxation.  I only left the condo we rented once to go to the condo clubhouse, some 100 feet away, for the double-elimination Air Hockey and Ping Pong tournaments.  This cute guy was the undefeated Air Hockey champ:

(He's a little older now)

(He's a little older now)

My hero!

***

This little girl was the real star of Stevie B’s Party Week:

Larson-100_9656We need some more kids in the Larson/Call family soon before all the attention permanently goes to her head.

She particularly fell in love with “Uncle Nino” as evidenced by the fact that she called me, her Aunt Kimby, Uncle Ben (on her Mom’s side), and all sorts of assorted people “Nino” forever after.  I’m still hoping to get my own name someday, but for now “Nino” and I are one and the same to her.

***

Speaking of Neal and Ayda, they had a sweet moment together in which Neal was trying to convince her to call him Uncle Hawkeye. This is a dream of Neal’s, to be called Hawkeye.  Someday soon I’m sure it will catch on with people.

Of course, the funny part is that my sister-in-law Marisha thought it was very peculiar that Neal was trying to get his niece to call him “Uncle Hot Guy.”  But can you blame him?  This is a Hot Guy, no???

really good one

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