Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Summertime and the livin's......

This has been a really interesting summer for me. I feel like I have learned and grown a lot. I wish it was all through wonderful and spiritual experiences, but I've also had a mix of really crappy stuff too. This will go down in my life as one of the best summers of my life because of this mix of experiences. I will always be grateful for them.

The most amazing part of my summer has been the improved relationships I have gained. I feel as though I have better relations with my incredible friends, my family and with my Heavenly Father. With all the ups and downs of this summer I feel that these relationships have truly sustained me. They have carried me when I was low and rejoiced with me when I was happy. I have the most incredible support system and I thank Heavenly Father for everyone, every night.

I am so grateful to one person in particular for encouraging me to seek a closer relationship with Heavenly Father. For a long time I felt like I wasn't making any spiritual progress and I knew it was because I was somewhat resistant to it. After many conversations and many tears, this person helped me to understand what I truly want. Being alone in DC I have had a lot of time to study and pray and I now feel as though I am on track and getting to where I want to be. I love my Heavenly Father more than I ever have before and I look forward to an even closer relationship as I continue seeking the Spirit. Thank you anonymous friend, I doubt you'll ever read this but thank you for giving me the push at the right time and right place. I can never repay you. I am so full of love right now, it's just incredible to feel this way. Thank you for being my friend and for your support.

Friday, July 25, 2008

God Save the Queen

Down the street from my office building is a Hilton Hotel. I walk past it often on my way to an amzing eatery called Cosi which we sadly do not have in Utah. In one of the lobby windows they display a table with lovely place settings and a framed picture of Queen Elizabeth II. There is also a sign that invites you to "dine like a queen" blah, blah, blah and stay in the suite where she once stayed.
Today there was a man leaning against the display case window talking to the Queen. The closer I got, I realized that he was not only talking to her, he was trying to "pick her up." I didn't want to be the one to tell him that - A. She's not available B. She's a bit out of his league C. He was talking to a framed photograph, not the real person. I just didn't have the heart to, but I gave him a smile and a thumbs up. Hopefully they will connect soon and then...who knows?

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I have no idea what to title this post, I just needed to mention something. I am becoming completely annoyed with the homeless. In DC they hang around the street and beg for money. The most popular method is to get a plastic drinking cup, put a few coins in it and shake it to make a jangle sort of noise. It's kind of bothersome, I see the same ones all the time....I have yet to part with any of my money for their sake.

Oh, and this was introduced to me today. It helped me start my weekend early.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


1. A bird pooped on me
2. I saw 4-month old triplets on the metro
3. I saw a one legged man on the bus, his left leg was gone.
4. Fireflies walked me home from the bus stop.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Just Because

Why not? Who doesn't need a little Dwight in their life? This is possibly my favorite picture of Eliza's boyfriend I've ever come across. The only reason I now love the Fall is because "The Office" starts up a new season. Enjoy!

Rachel in DC

Now for some personal observations, as in how I see myself here in Washington, DC. By the way, the picture was the closest thing to frizzy hair I could find on Google images...hope this all makes sense.

1. I have a wonderful, amazing, expensive hairstyling tool called a CHI. It's main objective is to take my weird wavy hair and turn it into sleek and shiny hair. The humidity is killing me! A few times I have attempted to straighten my hair and by the evening I end up with weird, wavy, out of control hair. Maybe you're thinking, "Oh, wavy is lovely, Rachel is such a complainer". Well, if you're thinking that, you're a jerk and we're no longer friends. My wavy is very awkward looking, like I have been experimenting with light sockets.

2. I spend money when I am bored or lonely. Lots of money. Guess what? I have been bored and lonely quite often here. I have plenty of things to do and sights to see but I often run into the obstacle of not having a car and I HATE riding the bus on the weekends and evenings. I have gone clothes shopping several times and just yesterday I bought four books. Some of you will benefit from this personal problem though...I already have presents for you!

3. I walk quite a bit here and I notice that I get a lot more whistles and cat calls. I still haven't determined if it is because of my increased walking, because the men a pigs here or because I am sexier in DC.

4. I am more friendly here. I am smiling and talking to everyone! I don't know if people appreciate it but I think because I am so in love with this city I just need them to know it. Unfortunately, I think that some people take my smiles the wrong way. Several guys so far and only one or two girls. The girls have given me snotty looks and the guys have acted like guys do. My favorite experience so far was on the bus (of course). I got on and I chatted with the driver for a minute, just pleasantries, nothing too crazy. Then he took it to the next level. He mentioned that he golfed four mornings a week and I said "I love golf", I do. He couldn't believe that I love golf. After a lengthy discussion he said that he lives near a course and could walk but why walk when he "can just jump into my Mercedes and drive 9/10 of a mile". Right. Then he invited to take me golfing some time. Yikes. I am now avoiding the evening 2B bus to Tysons Corner, even if it means I never get to ride in his Mercedes.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I'm sure my sister Meghan will think that this is a post about sex, but it's not. (I'll explain that at the end). I had the opportunity to ride in TWO cabs today. On my way to a conference with my boss (I'm SO important) our cab driver burped we weren't even there. I thought it was odd and disgusting but whatev. Right? On the way back to the office we had a driver who seemed annoyed from the get go. He was honking at everyone and almost hit four pedestrians. My hero. One pedestrian that almost got hit yelled at the driver to "slow the f**k down". Cool. He was looking pretty good in my book...until he burped too! I don't know if it's socially acceptable or just a cabbie thing but I wanted to die! His was one of those really disgusting ones too. Yuck. I think I'll stick to the metro from now on.

So, taxi's in reference to sex. Ok, on Full House right after Uncle Jesse and Becky get married they spend a lot of time upstairs in their apartment/loft thing that I was always jealous of. (I was jealous of Becky too because she had beautiful hair and got to kiss Uncle Jesse. I still love him) At one point Michelle is upset that she can't go upstairs to see them and asks what they are doing. Joey, being the total idiot he was, said that they were doing taxes. Michelle asked how long they would be doing their "taxi's" and he said something like, "Well, at least every day for the first couple months". Since then whenever Meghan and I hear taxi's it means dirtiness. Who knew that Full House could be so awesome....I mean filthy?!?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Delicious Muffins!

I've been meaning to post this for a while, I love it! Thank you to Camy for showing me! (She always shows me the best YouTube stuff)

PS - Sorry about all the blogging lately, I'm sure I'll slow down soon

Thanks Eliza!

My roomie Eliza posted this on her blog so I stole it immediately. Apparently her name is much more unique than mine :) But she's a pretty dang unique girl, so it works! Thanks Liza! I miss you!!!!!
LogoThere are
people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Monday, July 7, 2008


7. There are churches everywhere! Being that I am recently transplanted by ways of Utah, I am used to seeing churches but they are normally Mormon churches. I love,love, love the churches here. Most of them are old but well taken care of. There is one by my house (google it) called The Falls Church and it has a cemetery on it's grounds! Perhaps next Saturday I will check it out.

8. If I lived here my whole life I don't think I could ever see everything or become 100% comfortable navigating around the city. The other day I wanted to explore a bit and I rode the metro to Chinatown. When it says Chinatown be means it. The only thing I could really read was the street signs, which I followed to an H&M (yay!). I am loving learning about this city, I think I need to spend much more than 6 weeks here. But next time I need friends with me! It's no fun exploring alone.

9. I LOVE the houses here that are done in the traditional Eastern style. They have very broad fronts, shutters, a back yard enclosed sitting area and are very boxy. I need. We just don't see this style all that often in California or Utah. I'm in love. When I was younger I was obsessed with "Gone With the Wind", the book and movie especially. The houses remind me of the big, old Southern plantations, on a much smaller scale. I can totally see myself living in one of these houses with my family. We would sit out on the back porch/sitting area, drink a cool refreshing beverage and watch the kids chase fireflies. Yeah, I'm stretching a bit but this is my blog, I can do whatever I want!

Speaking of fireflies, last Tuesday I was walking home from the bus stop at about 8:30pm, about dusk, and I walked the half mile home surrounded by fireflies. It was surreal and I felt like I was in a Disney movie. I actually felt like someone sent them to me to remind me of how blessed I am, not only to have the opportunity to be here, but also in every aspect of my life.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Observations of DC

This comes only after a week, so don't assume this list is comprehensive. Most of my observations come from the public transportation sector because that is where I spend at least 2 hours every day (often times more because I get lost easily).
1. No one on the bus reads
2. Everyone on the metro reads. Saying "everyone reads" is a pretty strong statement but really, I'd say at least 75%-85% of all metro riders will read to pass the time. Ahhh....I'm home, I love reading!
3. Office skirt length? How about mid-thigh. Not my office, but I work in downtown where there are only offices and Starbucks so I see what the other "ladies" wear to work. Yikes! (Bikes! That's for you, Eliza)
4. Bus drivers are VERY friendly. Unfortunately, I think a few of them have misinterpreted my friendly attitude and think I'm flirting. Nope, I don't flirt. I have been called Baby, Honey, Sweetie and Doll by these guys so far and I look forward to even more.
5. Tourists are painfully obvious! I am still a tourist but I'm more of a long term visitor. My philosophy, any time I go anywhere new, is to not look like a tourist! I just observe the locals and try my best to do what they do! I have only been here a week and I hate tourists.
6. The metro is great for getting around the city but it would be hard being Deaf and riding during rush hour. If you want to chat with friends, you still have to hang on for dear life because the metro is anything but steady. Thank goodness I can hear...and that i don't have any friends to distract me.

That might be it for now. It's late and I was out walking all day so I'll need to think on this some more. Either way, I have one quick story before I depart. On the bus on the way to the metro the other day, we stopped to pick up a rider. This rider was what I would call "homeless looking" and he was getting around in a super ratty wheelchair. As he rolled down the aisle he said good morning to everyone except me. To me he said, "Hola, como estas" (hello, how are you in Spanish). Awesome. I have no further commentary on that because yeah, what can I say. So I dedicate this post to him. Buenos noches senor y ojala que tenga un buen sabado.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Saturday in Utah

Last Saturday I flew out of Salt Lake International Airport to start the rest of my summer in Washington DC. I didn't fly out until 11pm though so we had some time to play around. Jordan helped me finish moving (he's a Saint!) and we then headed up to SLC because his friend got free tickets to the Utah Blaze game.

Let me fill you in, the Blaze are an arena football team. I have been to one other game in San Diego and it's actually pretty fun. It's a lot like indoor soccer and there are definite reasons that these guys aren't in the NFL (although they celebrate as if they are). I took a bunch of pictures and I will post some when I get home, in 5 weeks. It's awesome for these reasons:
1. Rednecks....lots of them. We had a contest to see who could find the biggest redneck and Jordan and I were lucky enough to spot him together. We were walking down a hall and he turned a corner in front of us. His mullet was thinning on top and it was bleached blond, stringy and glorious. The icing on the cake was his pristine Jack Daniels shirt. Winner!
2. High scores - they pretty much score with every possession so it's fun because it's fast paced and exciting. The celebrating? Too much for arena football, but I bet their moms are proud.
3. The "entertainment" - there were several options to be entertained during the game. There were dancers (exposing a bit too much if you ask me) and they would run on the field at odd times and do their thing. At one point 2 guys with shiny stuff walk on to the field and at the sound of a horn flop down on to a blanket and start rolling around. Upon closer inspection we saw that the shiny stuff was tape and they were rolling over dollar bills. Another horn sounded and the first to run past the endzone won all the money still adhered to his body. Yep, I'm serious. Then they had 4 people in sumo outfits start at 4 different corners and try to put footballs into a basket in the middle of the field. The catch, the Blaze mascot (a dog) did whatever possible to prevent the footballs from going in. I swear he scissor kicked someone.
4. Text Twist - I am amazing at Text Twist and when I got bored (disenchanted?) with the game I started playing it on Jordan's phone. His roommate, David Jones, currently has the high score but got it by CHEATING! It was then my goal to beat him, honestly. Dave, I hope you read this and weep buddy, I have the high score now!

After the game we decided to go to Temple Square and walk around until the Joseph Smith movie started at 7pm. I love Temple Square, you just feel different when you walk on to the grounds. I especially love the architecture and the gardens. We then went into the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and walked around a bit until the movie started. That is such an incredible building, if you have never gone, I highly suggest it. It used to be the Hotel Utah and was bought by the Church and renovated/transformed into the current building.

We went into the movie, which was my third time seeing it but I love it, and I held in my tears until the very end. That is a huge accomplishment for me, thank you. I am so impressed with the quality of that film, the Church did an excellent job.

Afterward we had dinner at Macaroni Grill, it was my first time and it was delicious. Our server, Carol, was awesome and helped us out with more bread. Go Carol! We got to draw on the butcher paper they had on the table. My doodlings consisted of my name in print and cursive and stars. I love stars. Jordan primarily focused on Chinese characters, I have no idea how he remembers all of them. But I guess he could make them up because I wouldn't know either way.

Then off to the airport...more on that later. It was sad to leave and I was very nervous but now that I'm settled I'm feeling a lot better. I'll post again soon!