10 Things I Learned on my 3rd Trip to New York City

>> Wednesday, November 21, 2012

1.  If you thought there couldn't possibly be a place with less sitting room than economy class on an airplane, try a Broadway theater, specifically Nederlands Theater (where Newsies is playing).
2.  You can end up never paying for a bus ride by having a different payment issue every time you board.
3.  There are Obama condoms for sale on the Brooklyn Bridge
4.  If you are still in a cab to LaGuardia 25 minutes before your flight home departs, you AND your checked bag can still make the flight, as long as you don't put your shoes back on after security and run.
5.  If your brother is dead set on eating at Chipotle in Chelsea after his Volleyball practice, but you have no desire to be judged as "that person who eats at Chipotle and not somewhere fabulous while in NYC"  check in on Facebook at the local coffee shop next door. :-)
6.  Even in NYC you can spend four hours shoe shopping, and never find anything

7.  If you are super tired at 1:30 AM after the long haul back from Brooklyn to Queens after a BYU basketball game and you don't want to walk the 12 blocks back to the apartment  just jokingly stick your hand out and what you can only describe as "The Night Bus from Harry Potter" will appear from no where,  run red lights for the 12 blocks, and get you back in 45 seconds flat.
8.  The free apple juice that comes with your breakfast will be roughly the size of a sugar packet

9.  The half time show for the college basketball tournament game between the Catholics and the Mormons will be a Baptist gospel choir.

10.  Having fabulous friends pick you up on your birthday for a quick birthday dinner and cake (complete with GIANT lighter as seen in picture) will be one of the most appreciated gestures of the year!


10 + Things I Learned on my First Backpacking Trip

>> Thursday, August 09, 2012

Last week I went on my first High Adventure Mountain Backpacking trip.  Embarking on this adventure with me was a cast of 16 others who inspired, humored, endured, enjoyed, frolicked, and reveled with me.

We spent four days backpacking in the Eagles Nest Wilderness in the White River National Forrest.  30 miles total.  I would do it again in a heartbeat!  Here are the things I learned.

  1. When the person saying the prayer before we set out on the adventure says, "...and please, Heavenly Father, bless us that no one will get hurt too bad..." and you interrupt and say, "...or not at ALL", it will be a certain sign that you will be the one that gets hurt.  The hurt that you get won't be TOO bad, but you will come back with giant gashes and enormous bruises.  At one point you may even be accused of being a leper.
  2. If you forbid (or strongly suggest) certain young men from using their sling shots to kill ground squirrels and chipmunks (their reason being that they will get into the food (even in the bear bag)), and make a very convincing argument involving the social disruption and power vacuum in chipmunk society killing them will create, be prepared to be gracious in the morning when you have found that the only food supply the chipmunks get into to be yours.
  3. If you have a choice between bringing a backpacking pillow OR rain gear, choose rain gear every time!
  4. Hiking in a skirt is AMAZING under 10,000 feet.  Above 10,000 feet is solidly in the "wear full length pants with zip offs" category.
  5. The hanging of the bear bag at night and the lowering of the bear bag in the morning is almost as ceremonial as a flag ceremony.
  6. Things I couldn't have survived without: a HAT, Dental Floss, Toe Sock Liners (Injingi and Skeletoes were the two brands I took), Under Armour Sweat band, chapstick, and Benadryl. 
  7. Even if you pack and repack and repack five or six times, there will still be things that were useless:  Sunglasses (a hat was perfect), eyeglass cleaner, and gum.
  8. Sleeping under the stars (in a tarp) will be the best sleep you get of the entire trip (at least it was for me)!  However, beware of your zipper breaking in the night time and not noticing until you roll over at 6 AM and FREEZE! 
  9. FlatOut! Bread is the perfect backpacking food.  I had one package of it and it lasted all four days, took a beating, got smashed, thrown, folded and through it all it it remained perfectly intact.  It was perfect for peanut butter flat bread lunches!  Mmmmmmm!
  10. Backpacks with LOTS of pockets and compartments make the trip MUCH easier.  I only had two big compartments and I had to completely repack at least once a day and I spent WAY too much time rummaging through all the stuff that shuffled, settled, and shift during the hiking to find things.
  11. If you are no expert in wildflowers, every red flower you see will be deemed "Indian Paintbrush".
  12. Filtered stream water up there tastes like melted snow and is AMAZING.  Filtered lake water... flavor it (Mio works, but leaks and stains)
  13. Four days of hiking can equal four days of completely different terrains, and they can all take your breath away!  The Earth is AMAZING!

Interesting facts:

1.  The sleeping bag that I bought for myself for my 20th birthday made this trip with me.  It was the first really significant thing it has done since it spent the night with me, Donna, and Heather on Mt Timp in college. :-)
2.  The total elevation gain was about 3800 feet (from about 8500 to about 12000)
3.  It has been a LONG time since I have been this impressed with a group of youth!  They were all so talented, inspiring, fun, and kind!  I think I got more from them then they did from me. :-)
4.  My tentmate was one of the most talented and inspiring people as well.  When I grow up I want to be like her!
5.  It seems wrong to leave out the names and experiences of the 16 others, because this trip was NOT about me, but I can't make myself name them and blog about them without permission. 


10 Things I Learned at Denver's 2011 Race for the Cure

>> Monday, October 03, 2011

    1.  $35 is a freaking deal for the rollercoaster experience that is the Race for the Cure

    2.  Running a race at 7 am with 55,000 of your closest friends is surprisingly not crowded.

    3.  You will VERY much appreciate the participants who wear bright orange instead of pink, reminding your eyes that they are not colorblind.

    4.  You need to watch your step lest you trip over the smashed guts of a poor road kill raccoon that did not get cleaned up before the race.

    5.  If you ask for the free spray on tattoo to be put on your boob they won’t even balk, but you will reconsider and then have them put it just below your clavicle.

    6.  In order to entertain yourself while participating, you might judge all the funny/moving statements on people’s shirts.  You will decide that, “Saving Second Base” will be your favorite.

    7.  You will find that you can move twice as fast while you are chasing down the guy wearing a headband with boobs on the top of it just so you can get a picture.  It’s amazing what will motivate you to “give it your all”.  Now if only every race had something like that to chase!

    8.  Pink tutus and feather boas have replaced fun pink socks as the fashion statement items of choice.  You might get secretly jealous that you don't have one either, (but you would NEVER admit that...not even in a blog.)

    9.  Many people choose to run with pink signs on their backs with the names of who they are running for.  The ones that moved me most were the ones without names and just simple things like “My Mom”, “My Sister”, “My Grandma” and of course, “My Father” and “My Grandpops”. 

    10.  If you have the emotional temperature of frozen yogurt, you will surprise yourself and become a bit overwhelmed by the entire event and the memories of those you have lost to breast cancer.


    10 Things I Learned at My Sister's Las Vegas Wedding

    >> Sunday, September 11, 2011

    1. They sell souvenirs at the wedding.  Mugs.  Bumper stickers. Bobble Heads.  License plates.   Posters.  Gum.  Sunscreen. Shot Glasses.   Bubbles.  T-Shirts.  Elvis Hair.  Back Scratchers.    The only things I wanted, but they didn't have…bottled water. 
    2.   Who knew you could get a fabulous wedding dress in 2 weeks for only $100. It will have a train, but no bustle.
    3. Having a sister that likes to “play with your hair” can pay off when the hotel salon calls you the morning of your wedding and says they had 5 people call in sick and will no longer be able to accommodate you and do your hair for your wedding.  The results can be PERFECT!
    4. The ONLY good non cheesy wedding card will be about Vegas and when YOU find it, you will have to do rock, paper, scissors with your siblings (which you will lose (paper sucks)) to see who will get to buy it, and you will be stuck with some other lame old lovey dovey card about how the best thing about marriage is not having to hold farts in.
    5.  The wedding chapel will broadcast your wedding live on the Internet, so that all your loved ones not in Vegas (and any other random people in the world) can watch you get married.
    6. Bring the $60 cash that you will need to purchase your marriage license (open till midnight 365 days a year), or else you will have to borrow it from a sister who will then joke about “owning your marriage” until you pay her back. J
    7. If you are kind enough to babysit your niece, you should at least have her to the chapel on time, because apparently, the bride and groom aren't the only necessary people.  For some crazy reason they want their daughter to be there too.
    8. The Elvis who marries you may be so considerate as to bend down during the ceremony to ask if you are exchanging rings.  He won’t know your names or refer to you by name at any point in the ceremony.
    9. If you have already arrived in Vegas, and your sister (who is the bride) texts and asks what the chances are of getting a picture of your deceased mother to be displayed at the wedding is, say yes.  Then enlist the help of your siblings, email archives, a smart phone, the USB cable, and a quick photo machine at a photo processing center.  In less than an hour you have exactly what the bride requested, and your siblings are heroes!
    10. If you and your two other siblings are planning to do a relay of a sprint triathlon at 6 am the morning after a Vegas wedding, quit planning that now.  It will be a waste of time, since you will all choose to sleep in and then never even mention to one another that you missed it. 


    "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished"

    >> Thursday, June 02, 2011

    I prefer to think that it was Oscar Wilde that coined the phrase, but no one knows…. But it is part of my life.  J

    It all started when I got sick of the nasty carpet in our family room.  It looked like this:

    Then I discovered that underneath the nasty carpet was this:
    So, with a bit of help and a lot of resolve, the carpet went “away”. 

     I am soooo happy with the results.  However, this was my “fabulous” MIL’s response.
    “Linnea, I am not happy you removed the carpet.  That room is going to be SO VERY cold now without that carpet.  How dare you think that you know better than the professional master that built the house!  He put the carpet there for a reason (to keep the house warm) and who do you think you are to remove it!” 

    I, however, LOVE the floors and I made sure to get the some great soap and a nice hardwood floor moppy type thing so that my MIL will have an easier time of cleaning it.  See how nice I am. J


    10 Things I Learned at My 1st "On the Road" and "All Women's" Triathlon

    >> Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    This past weekend I took my triathlon “show” on the road.  Thanks to my FABULOUS friend and former roomie, Karen, I loaded my bike in my trusty handy dandy Element and drove to American Fork, Utah for my first (and probably last) all women’s race.  This new venue and experience provided me with plenty-o-things that could make my “10 Things I Learned…” list….I had to narrow it down for you to these:
    1.     For some reason the girls set up next to you will have found bringing a Fondue Pot to the race (and enjoying Fondue in the transition area) a necessity.  I kid you not.  Nothing says “race” like fried meat and melted cheese… well, I guess they weren’t THAT ridiculous, they did the chocolate dipped fruit thing.  Still…WHO DOES THIS!!!

    2.      Naming a port-a-potty “Honey Bucket” doesn’t make it any less disgusting.  A portable crapper by any other name still smells just as …   I still want to puke.

    3.     It wouldn’t be a real race if I hadn’t learned some sort of wardrobe lesson, and this one is it.  If your bathing suit is now a tad too big, and you have a larger than average bust,  pushing off the wall will probably pull your suit down and create some SERIOUS drag, not to mention the “joy” of having to figure out how to stuff yourself back in while you are swimming. 

    4.     At least 4 of the 1000 Women in the race will be downright rude and mean (and somehow I think I found all 4 of them).  “Get out of my way!”  “Move when you hear me coming!”  “Kill yourself on the gravel, just don’t slow me down!”  AS IF I wasn’t faster than them at some point to be ahead of them…. I wish I could do an evil laugh. J

    5.     If you haven’t raced in 5 months, you might forget you are even racing and just be celebrating the fact that you made it up the giant hill for 3 miles before you think…”CRAP…why are so many people passing me?!  Oh, it’s because I am only going 14 mph!!!”

    6.     A race with 1000 women participating should have better food than Diet Coke, Chocolate, cookies, and orange slices.  I felt like I was 7 years old and it was half time at my soccer game!  Give me some REAL food!

    7.     Having assigned transition spots saves tons of headaches in getting set up.  I was very lucky and got the BEST spot (right by bike in and out and run out).  I think they took pitty on the not so “competitive looking” women and put them in the best spots.  It rocked!

    8.     At first you will be overjoyed that the water in the outdoor swimming pool is over 80 degrees.  By the time you are done with 200 meters of the swim, you will be annoyed that you are sweating and wonder if you will pass out from dehydration before you finish.

    9.     The kids that line the run course will all want to give you five.  If you happen to miss one, and she starts crying, it is kind to go back and make sure she gets five too. 

    10.  The announcer at the finish line will announce the finish of EVERYONE, except you if your name is not pronounceable.  From now on I might just start registering with the phonetic version of my name, though now that I think about it, that may not help.  J

    FYI:  Karen KICKED BUTT as did her Sister Bekah in their 1st tri!  These two will be powerhouses in the world of triathlon!


    10 Things Linnea Learned about Becoming an Aunt

    >> Tuesday, March 29, 2011

    1. If you are having “creative differences” with your Dr, you can decide to change doctors, even while you are in labor.

    2. If your sister chooses to go to the Olive Garden for dinner (and not home) the wait staff and mgmt will keep a close and fearful eye on her and your table as your sister eats dinner while experiencing strong contractions that are 4-5 mins apart.

    3. The server will also bring you a huge pile of extra mints with the check and wear a look of extreme pity.

    4. C Section babies don’t get their head’s squished so they come out looking pretty “normal”

    5. There are some “new mothers” who SOMEHOW have cute hair and makeup and pjs as they take their little 5 hour old newborns for a walk in the hallways. How is this possible?!?

    6. The hospital provides the cutest, most fashionable, highest quality mesh underwear for the new mothers to wear. They like to joke that it is the latest “secret” that Victoria has introduced exclusively for hospitals as a gift to new mothers!

    7. Breast Feeding: TONS more work than I thought it would be. It may be free but it is NOT easy.

    8. Linnea can actually make it through a major three day event without having a wardrobe malfunction, crashing anything, breaking anything, but will lose her keys in the hospital.

    9. Blood. Blood. And MORE Blood!

    10. The doors in labor and delivery are surprisingly sound proof, which was kind of disappointing. We were looking forward to the yelling, and screaming, and swearing, and “You are NEVER touching me again!!!” tirades.


    A Maria Gem

    >> Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    On Monday I got into a “spring cleaning” type kick.  I was obsessed and cleaning out junk as fast as I could from all over our house.  At one point Maria was just standing back watching in awe at the speed I could just huck, chuck, and shred.  She called Gary over and whispered to him, “Gary, look, Linnea is getting rid of all the crap in this house.  I bet we are next.”


    Things Linnea did in 2010 she had never done before

    >> Saturday, January 01, 2011

    1. Been a bridesmaid
    2. Visit Spokane
    3. Enjoy the capital of the USA
    4. Play racquetball
    5. Bowl with Greyhounds
    6. Wrecked my scooter without losing my pants
    7. Hula Hoop (I did lose my pants once on this one though)
    8. Get on the JumboTron at a MLB game
    9. Tried Hot Wasabi Peas


    Linnea's 2010 in Numbers

    One: Number of wedding rehearsals Linnea did with her zipper open.
    Two: How many times I fell in love this year (Yes, Artur knows)
    Three: Movies viewed in the theatre (Eclipse, Toy Story 3, Hubble 3D IMAX)
    Five: The number of 14 lb bowling balls I have lost in weight.
    Four: Months it took to listen to the War and Peace audio book (60 hours and 38 mins)
    Fifteen: Number of time I decided NOT to kick my mother in law out of the house
    2221.65 Miles Biked
    109,835 Calories Burned Biking


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