Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Here are a few things I've been up to lately.

Went to the Arkansas vs. Tulsa football game with Cara, Laura, and Jordan - basically 3 of my favorite people. The picture below was taken from our seats, which were right in the heart of the Tulsa section. I was a bit skeptical about these seats at first, but it ended up being a blast (probably because Arkansas won and we were able to act a fool in the middle of a bunch of angry people holding hurricane warning signs.) Thanks for the tickets Mr. Dean!

Our walk home from the game was beautiful. This was the peak weekend for fall color in Fayetteville, gorgeous!

Last Sunday, I attended a banquet in honor of the Indian holiday of Diwali.  Apparently it's a really big deal to Indian people. I have some Indian friends at work, so a bunch of us (as well as other non-Indian people I work with) went.  And we all wore Indian clothes.  My friend Brenda hooked me up with an awesome male Indian garment (it was actually Nepali, but no one noticed) that she just apparently had laying around.  Indian clothes are comfy, I could definitely get used to them.  The banquet was pretty sweet.  There was lots of Indian music and dancing, some funny clips of Bollywood movies and commercials, and basically the best Indian food I've ever was seriously awesome.  The first picture is me with my friend Sharath, who works down the hall from me.
And this is Carmen and Payel, both of whom work in my lab.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Grim Reality

Fair warning: This is a Debbie Downer post.

So last night I was aimlessly browsing facebook for a long time, and I randomly came across a facebook group dedicated to the death of one of my former students. I had no idea he had died.  He was actually one of my favorite students I've ever had- super nice, hardworking, genuinely interested. I could've definetly been friends with him. After some detective work (searching the archives of the newspaper in his hometown), I found out that back in July he lost control of his vehicle and ran off the road into some trees and was thrown out.

Sometimes I forget that people my age die.  Freak accidents happen.  Life is transient.  I suppose it's a good reminder, but it sucks that such a great human being is gone.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Anectdotes from Sunday School

One of my favorite things about hanging out with a group of 5-7 year olds is the funny things they say or do.  Here are some of my favorites from this morning:

Kid: "We went in a cave once and it was like 50 feet tall.  Mommy said that's about 13 daddies."

While they were coloring-
Me: So what are your favorite songs these days?
Kid #1: Hosanna!
Kid #2: (named another Christian song, I don't remember what it was)
Annoyed Kid #3: Do I have to say a Jesus song?
Me: Of course not!
Kid #3: Ok then, mine is Free Ride with Lightning McQueen. (I assume it's from the movie Cars)

At the beginning of the Bible lesson-
Me: Ok, let's pray. Dear God, thank you for letting us be here, and help us learn more about you. Amen.
Kid: Gee, that was short.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sing to the moon.

I'm might be more overwhelmed right now than I ever have been.  Not by work, or life, or music.  The pace at which I'm getting new music right now is much faster than the rate at which I can actually listen to it all.  I think it's safe to say that I'm probably getting on average about 4 or 5 new albums per week.  There are several reasons for this. 
1. The advent of Ruckus (and my subsequent knowledge of how to free my Ruckus songs from the oppression of the licenses they bear).
2. Mojo, a program that lets you browse the iTunes libraries of other computers on your network and download the songs to your computer.  This has made for some ravenous music sharing with the roomies.
3. Friends making mp3 cds for me.
4. New releases from some of my favorite bands.

That being said, here is a list of albums I have fallen in love with lately.  If you are cool, you will like these albums too.
-New Surrender by Anberlin
-The Sparrow and the Crow by William Fitzsimmons
-You are My Sunshine by Copeland
-For Emma, Forever Ago by Bon Iver
-Conor Oberst (self-titled)
-For All This by The Early November
-and there are others but I'm writing this at the end of a long day of work and my mind is going blank.

What a wonderful thing to be overwhelmed by.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"...better dressed than any girl on her wedding day."

So I've been listening to Jon Foreman's (lead singer of Switchfoot) solo acoustic albums lately and they are way good.  He made four EP's, one for each season, and I thought I'd share one of my favorites from the Spring EP.  It's called "Your Love is Strong," and it's a modern take on the Lord's Prayer.  These are my favorite lyrics from the song:

I look out the window
The birds are composing
Not a note is out of tune
Or out of place

I walk to the meadow
And stare at the flowers
Better dressed than any girl
On her wedding day

So why should I worry?
Why do I freak out?
God knows what I need
You know what I need!

That is all. Hopefully I will start posting more often than I have been.

Monday, July 28, 2008

How to dress like a European, and smell like one too!

Hello? Is this thing on? There's like an inch of dust on this thing.

So I just got home from what I'm calling my annual "science camp." This year it was at the University of Toronto, and there were around 700 grad students and professors from my field from all over the world. I always get a kick out of how differently European men dress from Americans. In addition to being the annual science camp, these meetings also give me a fresh look at the new trends in European fashion. So without further ado, here is a list of must-do's to look uber cool and trendy (Euro-style).

-Of utmost importance is the capri pant (man-pris). It was like a floodgate of 3/4 length opened and I got caught in it.
-Of lesser, but very high importance is black socks. With sandals, shoes, any other desirable footwear.
-Extreme v-neck t-shirts...time to show some man-cleavage.
-Faux hawks. Nothing says "I'm european" like a huge spike down the middle of your head.
-A last rule of thumb for dressing like a european is the tighter the better.

Now you can all go and dress like european men. You're welcome.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Skies so blue, hearts so true.

Hello. It has been too long, here's what I've been up to.

-Finished writing my grant proposal. I was so excited to be done writing that I literally could not proofread it as closely as I should've - thus it got turned in with a handful of typos.

-A freakin awesome trip to Albany, NY. The highlights included hanging out with Dan alot, a legendary 24 hours in Montreal, hiking to a waterfall in the Catskills, hiking to the top of Black Mtn. in the Adirondacks (or the 'dacks as the locals call it), visiting Schenectady's finest cougar hotspot, and eating lots of Hormel products.

-Successfully defended my grant proposal! I'm now officially a Ph.D. candidate. Thanks to everyone who celebrated with me afterwards with El Camino Real and Habibi - it was a blast!

-Got selected to give a talk at the conference in Toronto that I'm going to in July. Holy crap I'm talking about my research in front of like 800 people. It's kind of a big deal.

-It's summer!

ps. There's a lab full of Chinese people downstairs and they are ALWAYS listening to country music. I don't know why, but it makes me laugh every time I hear it.

EDIT: I almost forgot! I decided that my all time favorite 80's pop songs are Oh Sheila by Ready For the World, Africa by Toto, and Take on Me by Aha.  At least these are my favorites at the moment.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

and I just can't hide it....

I'm literally minutes away from taking my last final EVER. This brings great joy to my heart. I'm definitely as happy or happier than this guy.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Fleeting thoughts

Throughout my day, I have lots of little random (and I mean RANDOM) thoughts here and there that I usually don't think twice about. But when I do, I usually get a pretty good laugh at myself. In an attempt to enlighten you with what goes on in my head on a daily basis, I've been trying to remember and write down some of these random thoughts. Here are a few that I've been able to remember from the last few days. For comedic effect, I'm not going to include the context from which these thoughts arose.

-Is your hair really blue, or is my brain playing tricks on me?
-You look kinda gross with your fake-back tan and bleach blonde hair, but I really don't care right now.
-Maybe lightning is what happens when God takes pictures of us.
-You make me feel really awkward.
-Who the H cares if Shirley Temple broke her arm?
-I'm pretty sure you guys record the music for the Weather Channel.
-Your name totally means "face" in spanish.
-Is it bad that I want to kick that cat?
-I'm glad I'm so entertaining to myself. It's one of my favorite things about me.
-What if there was weed in this?
-I hope I never get attacked by a Komodo dragon.
-Note to self: do not traffic drugs for anyone when you travel. No matter how legit it seems.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Life update

So it has been 20 days since my last post. A lot has happened since then, here goes (not necessarily in chronological order):

-Two AWESOME bluegrass concerts.
-3 birthday cakes. Please stop, Brian. Or keep doing it...I'm really ok with either.
-One of the more enjoyable Saturdays of my life...farmer's market, good music, planting things, baseball game, sunshine, topped off by an awesome evening with bff's.
-Laptop conveniently needs repair when I need it the most.
-Momma raccoon in a cage on our roof, baby raccoons in our walls miss their momma dearly and scream. Alot. In the process of catching the babies - 1 down, 2 (we think) to go.
-First sunburn of the year. Feels so good.
-Finally found a great place for my GPS in my car.
-Ate goat meat and drank goat milk. Not at the same time. The meat was pretty decent, somewhere between lamb and beef, the milk had a weird twang to it.
-Watched the ncaa championship, and by watched I mean sat on Weston's patio and smoked cigars and drank margaritas during the game and went inside for overtime. Fantastic.
-My hair is the longest it's been in quite a while. So far I'm liking it, but I do miss the buzz.

Definitely not an exhaustive list, but that's most of the high points.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Cultural awareness: so hot right now.

I had a very culturally diverse weekend. On Saturday, Brian and I visited three different international food stores. First stop: Betty Jo Corner gas station on Wedington which has a small selection of Middle Eastern groceries. I bought some Arabian cheese (really good!) and some hummus. Next stop: Mexico Aqui Tienda (also on Wedington). I bought a couple of Coca-Cola (hecho in Mexico) in glass bottles and made with real sugar....muy delicioso! Last stop: Oriental market/Philpino restaurant which was next door to the tienda. I bought some cassava chips and coconut milk.

Later that night, Brian, Cara, Laura, and I went to an Indian restaurant in Rogers for dinner. It was pretty good! They had a buffet so we got to try a few different dishes.

To top the cultural weekend off, we watched a movie called Kite Runner last night. It is filmed mostly in Afghanistan and most of the dialog is in Arabic. It was pretty good, I recommend it.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday: Weirdos and Withdrawals

Is anyone else concerned/annoyed that it is 30 degrees colder today than yesterday? I am.

I walked to the union for lunch today and the crazies are out, folks. Here is a sampling of just a few of them:
-Guy/girl with green hair juggling by RZ's

-Crowd of medieval enthusiasts by juggler with green hair.

-Some sort of international fair thing between union and library - the international people weren't weird, but the non-international people there were.

-There was a table of hippies with a sign for peace or something at the international fair. That wasn't too weird (it is Fayetteville, after all) but the punk girl with plaid skirt roller skating around the table was.

Yay for diversity!

In a completely unrelated story, I stopped taking zyrtec a week or two ago after taking it pretty solid for several years for allergies. I don't like being on medication long term and it didn't seem that necessary anymore. I noticed that my skin has been really itchy the past few days but I couldn't figure out why. The only thing I could think of that was different was that I wasn't taking zyrtec anymore. So I googled it (as I do) and sure enough, I'm having "zyrtec withdrawals." It's not listed in any of the side effects or in any professional literature, but lots of people are realizing that it's a real thing. Apparently when some people stop taking zyrtec after extended periods it can cause them to have really sensitive and itchy skin. It can be really severe, mine's not though (thankfully). So just fyi, if you are considering zyrtec as your allergy medication of choice (especially now that it's over the counter) you might want to rethink. Class-action lawsuit, anyone? Jk Jk.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Psalm 30

1 I will exalt you, O LORD,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.

2 O LORD my God, I called to you for help
and you healed me.

3 O LORD, you brought me up from the grave;
you spared me from going down into the pit.

4 Sing to the LORD, you saints of his;
praise his holy name.

5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.

6 When I felt secure, I said,
"I will never be shaken."

7 O LORD, when you favored me,
you made my mountain stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed.

8 To you, O LORD, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:

9 "What gain is there in my destruction,
in my going down into the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?

10 Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me;
O LORD, be my help."

11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

World's Youngest Hey Jude

The whole L pronunciation probrem apparentry happens at a very young age.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sleepless in Fayetteville

I'm having trouble sleeping, so I thought I'd blog. Just so you know, I have no idea where this post is going so don't be surprised if it doesn't make any sense.

I'm thankful for people who have talked me through things lately. I've realized in the last few months that I think through problems/issues best when I can bounce my ideas off people instead of trying to figure it all out in my head. I'm amazed at how God has been continually providing ears for this purpose recently, and in places I didn't necessarily expect to find them.

I inherited two fish earlier tonight. My buddy Dan is moving (river of tears) to New York and can't take them with him, so I volunteered to be the godfather. It'll be a nice memento to have when he's gone. I hope they don't die.

There's real therapeutic value in music for me I think. I pretty much have music for any possible emotion (at least the male spectrum of emotions), and when my soul can identify with a song it can be really comforting.

Speaking of emotions, I feel like I'm alot more emotional the older I get. I haven't quite figured out the reason for this, but I have some ideas. Maybe I'm more comfortable with who I am that I'm not afraid to be vulnerable. Maybe my world view is changing and it's not all about me anymore. Maybe my life sucks more now than before (I'm 100% positive that this ISN'T the case). I feel like I've been teary-eyed and/or cried more in the past 6 months or so than I have my whole life. And it's been a variety of reasons such as crying to God in prayer, sad movies, saying goodbye. I'm really thankful I'm surrounded by people that I feel comfortable crying with.

I'm gonna try this whole sleeping thing again. Goodnight.

Friday, March 7, 2008


The last few weeks have allowed me to spend some quality time with some of my closest friends. Some of which live here, some visiting from exotic places such as Tennessee and Mississippi. I'm kinda prone to becoming delusional in my spiritual view of things (I know that is vague), but something about being around my best friends brings tremendous clarity to all my delusions. Whether it be dumping all my sinful baggage on someone, laughing at inside jokes from back in the day, wrestling with God together about injustice in the world, or just riding in the car listening to music and being silent, the Lord blesses me from just being in their presence.

If you've never read Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller, I recommend it (and I hate to read). I really like the image he presents at the beginning of the book about his spiritual journey. He is walking down a long dirt road and he can barely see God as a tiny speck way off in the distance. As his journey progresses he can see God getting closer and closer. I'm so thankful for the people in my life who help me see God more clearly. He is coming into view on my dirt road.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Those crazy Sunday school kids...

I forgot to write this in my post yesterday. Here is the funny Sunday school story of the week: The kids were coloring pictures of baby Jesus, and then they started coming up with names for their baby Jesus. Most of them were just silly kid names, but then Max (the youngest kid in the class) says "Mine's name is Lord." He said it so matter-of-factly as if to say "try topping that, fools." The kids stopped coming up with names after that, and I laughed real hard. Way to go, Max.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Winter's almost over.

This weekend was good for my soul. My least favorite month of the year is over, and there is finally a sense of anticipation in the air for Spring.

Saturday was probably one of the most fun days I can remember from the last two or three years. The weather was GORGEOUS and I got to play a sweet game of ultimate frisbee at the park for a couple of hours. This was followed by an impromptu cookout at our house. As if that wasn't enough fun, a bunch of us went to Dickson for some adult beverages. Eventually, the night was capped off by me smoking Dan in guitar hero and a fun game of "find the liquor that mysteriously got hidden."

The day was definitely enhanced by the people that were involved. I love all of you guys. A lot.

After a warm weekend, it's supposed to snow tomorrow. WTF? Oh well, this weekend was enough to get me through the rest of the winter I think.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wednesday thoughts on God and such

God is a much better friend to me than I would be to him if the roles were reversed.

I wish I could see God. Hear him. Touch him. Have an audible conversation with him. The Christian life would be way easier. There are times when I can see God in his creation and hear him in the symphony of a summer night and touch him in the much needed hug from a friend. I wish I were more aware of these moments.

I long for stability in relationships, but am learning to appreciate instability. I don't like it, but it fosters growth.

In the words of Further Seems Forever, "This winter is lasting forever, at least for tonight."

It was really great to sing at CG last night. That's probably the thing I miss the most about my old CG. There's just something about singing praises to God in a small group that is really refreshing to my soul.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Kids are freakin hilarious

I teach a kindergarten/1st grade Sunday school class at church. Tonight (while the girls were all playing quietly and peacefully with each other, as girls do) the boys were being crazy and sword fighting with these swords they made out of these Lego type things. Eventually, the sword fighting regressed to typical boy-humor and they started strategically placing the swords in the genital region of their bodies and walking around with their, um, new endowments. In all fairness, it was actually really funny....but I had to be a responsible Sunday school teacher and tell them to stop. So then I had a huddle with the 3 boys and I was like "Guys, when there are ladies in the room, you cannot make jokes about your penis." And then one of the boys asks, "Is it ok if it's all boys?" I thought for a moment and then said "Yeah. It's not like a great thing to do, but it's ok." Those kids are so great.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sweep Me Away

I like this song by Monk & Neagle. Life is funny. And difficult sometimes. Thank God for difficulties.

Standing in this valley
Broken down, all alone
I haven’t seen the sun
For so many days
I’m clinging to the promise
Of a mountain top
But right now, Lord
I’d settle for some rain

Sweep me away

By Your great love
Cover my life in Your holy flood
Let the currents of change
Come and carry away
All of my questions, my doubt, and my pain
Deliver my life from this valley, I pray
Sweep me away

There’s a blessing in the valley

I cry out in faith
But my mind begins to wonder
If I’ll ever see that day
I know that seasons are expected
But Winter leads to Spring
So I will thank You in the middle of everything
Thank You in everything

Friday, February 8, 2008

Two ways an afternoon can change from good to bad real quick

Overall, my Friday has been great. I had a rather productive an efficient day at the lab, got out of going to a boring seminar, the weather is nice, etc. I finished up everything I needed to do at the lab at 2:00, with plenty of time to spare before my meeting with a professor at 4:00. I decided I'd walk home and work on my proposal some until my meeting, and that would also allow me to drive to campus for the meeting instead of walking all the way to the Poultry Science building and back home. Let's just say the walk home was more eventful than normal.

Incident #1
I was walking down Dickson St. and just passed Bank of America and had come to the intersection of University and Dickson. There was a car waiting to turn left onto University. Now for those of you who don't walk my route regularly, sometimes it's hard to tell if a person is waiting to turn left on University or if they are just waiting at the stoplight at Arkansas and Dickson. Anyway, right as I get about 1/3 of the way out on the crosswalk, this lady finds a tiny opening in traffic and decides to go for it. She turned REAL fast and had no idea a freakin pedestrian was in the crosswalk until I did a nifty little jump move to avoid her taking out my knees. She simultaneously slammed on the brakes and I missed being hit by no more than a couple of inches. Definitely the closest I've ever been to being run over by a car.

Incident #2
So incident #1 definitely got my adrenaline going. I was kinda shaking and a little freaked out that I almost got run over real hard. My trek home continues down Dickson past Qdoba and George's and into the Walton Arts Center parking lot. By this point I wasn't quite paying attention to where I was walking because of all the death scenarios running around in my head. The lack of attention led to me missing a step down from a curb in the parking lot and I totally sprained my ankle. At first I was real mad and didn't think about it, and then after being mad for about 5 seconds I realized it hurt real bad. And I still had to walk the rest of the way home. Crap. I'm sure I had this hardcore gritty look of determination on my face, but deep down I think I just wanted to sit down in the parking lot and call people to come pick me up to take me the last 1/4 mile home. I made it home writhing in pain and without any more incidents, thankfully.

Hope y'all have a good weekend!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Costa Rica Day 6 and 7

Finally, here is the rest of my trip to Costa Rica. I know you all have been eagerly awaiting it (I can pretend). Right after I posted Day 5, I got REALLY sick, then really busy, then really lazy, then kinda sick again. But anyway, here we go!

We decided to make our last full day in Costa Rica a "beach day" and relax a little. We went to the public beach in Manuel Antonio and hung out there for a while and did some shopping at all the street vendors. We also rented some sea kayaks and snorkeling equipment for one and a half hours and paddled out to the 2 smaller rocks you can see in the picture below (just to the right of the big island). There was a couple of buoys out there to tie the kayaks to, and then we got out and snorkeled around. There were tons of cool fish to see!

After a day of fun in the sun -- our last sunset of the trip.

Yet another great seafood dinner. Dan really got intimate with his oysters.

Lori bought this ice cream sandwich thing at a little grocery. It had graham cracker crust instead of chocolate and was really good!

That evening we went back to the hotel and relaxed by the pool at the hotel with Cuban cigars and Bavaria Dark, our favorite Costa Rican beer. It was a good way to spend our last night!

Day 7, we left the hotel in the morning and began our journey back to San Jose to fly home. Even though it was only about 100 miles, it took 4 hours...that's how awesome the roads are in Costa Rica. Overall, the journey was pretty uneventful except for getting pulled over twice. The first time was just to check passports, and the second time (less than 10 minutes after the first time) Dan got a speeding ticket for 88kph in a 60kph zone. It cost 20,000 colones ($40) and the cop "let us" pay him directly instead of filing it with the bank of Costa Rica, which is the standard procedure. We suspect a little shadiness. Below is a picture of our beloved car for the week. It was just barely big enough for the 3 of us with our bags. We had a couple of close calls, but in the end it got us where we needed to go.
A nice view in the mountains on the drive to San Jose.Costa Rica was completely outstanding. I can't wait to go back someday. The Costa Rican people where honestly the nicest people I've ever met in the world. We didn't come across one single person that wasn't willing to help us -- even those that didn't speak English. We would speak our horrible Spanish to them, and they would speak their horrible English to us and somehow we always managed to understand each other. It really was beautiful.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Costa Rica Day 5

We spent Day 5 in Manuel Antonio National Park. It is a nature reserve with very nice beaches, rain forest, and lots of wildlife (monkeys!) It was really cool, because the beaches and rain forest areas were all intertwined by hiking trails so you might be walking along the beach one minute and in the jungle the next. Very cool. Below is a picture of the beach we hung at the longest. The picture doesn't really do justice to how beautiful the beach actually was. The lighting was kinda weird that day so none of our pictures turned out so well. The water was a dark emerald green color, and there was a barrier of rocks a little ways out that kept the water near the beach very calm. I would describe it as idyllic.

Dan and Lori found a cool starfish.

And the moment I had been waiting for. We saw monkeys, lots of them!

And just when were leaving the park and thought that were weren't going to get to see the elusive sloth, we saw two of them with the help of a local guide that was walking with another group. He let us tag along for a little bit so we could see one. They were kinda high in the trees so I had to zoom all the way. This is the best picture I have. The guide said that it was a mother and baby, but we couldn't ever actually see the baby.After leaving the park, we found a new place to stay in the area and had a great dinner at a restaurant that had a full size C-123 in the middle of it. We got a great deal on a really nice hotel (our first with a tv all week). We were pretty exhausted so we watched the end of the Patriots football game, some of Liar, Liar in espanol, and then crashed for the evening.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Costa Rica Day 4

We awoke to a rather rainy day. The owner of the hotel told us the night before that there were really good sunrises there because the sun rises kinda right over the volcano, so we had hoped to see that. But it was far too cloudy that morning, so no sunrise to be seen. We were treated to other cool things to see, however, like the parrots in the trees right outside of our room!

And our jungle-yard, complete with a nice clump of bananas growing.
And some crazy jungle flower thing.
Some people from Alaska that we talked to at breakfast told us about some really cool waterfalls that we hadn't heard about, and it wasn't out of our way so we decided to hit them up. So glad we did! There were 4 really great waterfalls within short hikes of each other, and we were able to swim in 3 of them. The water was on the chilly side, but it was totally worth it.
This was the most powerful one. It was like being in a hurricane, or at least what I envision a hurricane to be like.
This one was technically the tallest one, but it was more of a "slide" waterfall instead of just coming straight down. It made for a nice shower!

Lori wanted a "cute" picture of us in front of the waterfall. We complied, but Dan and I suspect that this was the cause of our mysterious jungle rash that both of us developed on our stomachs the next day.

After the waterfalls, we stopped for lunch in the town of Tilaran. We ate at Super Pollo, and the chicken was in fact super. Costa Ricans really like to use "super" to describe everything.
And eventually we arrived at the beach town of Manuel Antonio later that night and stayed in a pretty gross hostel. Definitely the worst place we stayed all week. It was right on the beach though, and it came complete with Sesame Street curtains.After smoking cigars on the beach and talking a French guy for a while, I noticed something bright orange flashing down by the water. We were on a log probably 40 or 50 yards away from the water and it was dark so I could not tell what it was. I thought it was some kind of crazy glowing fish or sea creature, so I took off running towards it with Dan in tow. As we got closer (like really close) it became apparent that it was in fact two humans in a heavy make out session. We totally tried to play it off and started walking a different direction, only to realize that there was another couple making out right behind us. Oops. It was definitely the most awkwardly funny moment of the trip. I think Dan and I laughed for at least a really long time.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Costa Rica Day 3

Day 3 in Costa Rica was probably the most exciting. We went whitewater rafting on the Rio Picuare, which is CR's premier rafting river. Since we went rafting, there aren't any pictures from this day. Dan took some with a waterproof camera, but I don't have those yet. The company we went with provided all transportation (3 hours each way), breakfast, lunch, all equipment, and guide. We had 8 people in our raft including the guide, who was named Ricky. He is probably one of the coolest guys in the world and I want to be him. Dan and I were definitely man-crushing hard. He was probably a couple of years younger than me, and you could tell that he just LOVED his job. The river was amazing! It was all class III and IV rapids the whole way. There were two really sweet canyons that we went in with really high cliffs. Probably one of my favorite things besides the sweet rapids was that we went by lots of indigenous villages. It was so so so cool to see these villages and huts on the sides of jungle mountains. It was pretty much straight out of the Discovery Channel. There were also lots of great waterfalls to see.

Apparently the river had received a lot of rain earlier in the week, and when that happens it can change the routes that rafts need to take in the rapids. There was one such rapid which conveniently happened to be a class IV. Our guide nor any of the other guides was completely sure which way to go, so basically we just had to guess and hang on tight. In the middle of the run, our raft kinda went up on a rock and a HUGE wave of water came over the raft and knocked me and the girl next to me out of the raft. I honestly thought at the time that the whole raft was going over. It's all kind of a blur to me, but somehow I managed to do a back flip over the side of the raft and I came up still with a grip on the rope on the side of the raft and my paddle in the other hand. I remember the only thing I was thinking when I went over was "I sure hope I don't hit my head on a rock." Anyway, it was pretty intense because this all took place right in the middle of this huge rapid. After a failed attempt to get me back in the boat by two tiny Indian (India) kids, Dan came to the rescue and got me out of the water.

After returning from rafting, we drove to the town of Nuevo Arenal. It was kinda late by the time we got there so we pretty much just got some dinner and went to bed.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Costa Rica Day 2

Day 2 In CR brought lots of excitement and fun. We began by going on a zip-line adventure through the rain forest canopy. The ride to the zip-lines gave incredible views of Arenal Volcano.There were 10 zip-lines in all, the longest being 900m long! One of the zip-lines went right beside a waterfall. It was simply incredible.
After zip-lining, we visited the Maleku indian village on horseback. One of the Maleku men told us about their tribe and showed us some of the masks that their people craft. Very cool stuff.
My steed was nobler than Dan's.

Later that night we went to this resort-ish type place near the volcano. There are lots of hot springs in the area due to the volcano, and this place sort of made a water park out of water from the hot springs. There were 10 or so different pools with different temperatures of water (all very warm). It was fantastic! One of the pools even had a waterslide, and 3 of them had swim up bars. It was one of the most relaxing and awesome places I've ever been.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


I'm going to attempt to give a day-by-day synopsis of our trip to Costa Rica, both for the sake of posterity and for anyone who is curious what the heck we did while we were there.

After arriving in San Jose and going through customs and immigration and all that good stuff, I only had to walk around for about 3 minutes before I found Dan, so that was great. We began our drive through the mountains to the town of La Fortuna. We stopped at great little restaraunt on the way and had a great seafood lunch.
And here is Dan inspecting our very first bottle of Imperial, brewed in Costa Rica.

We arrived at night so we found a place to stay first. We stayed at a place called La Posada Inn. It was a hostel and it only cost us $5 a night each! After cleaning up a little, we walked around the town and found a place to get some dinner and drinks.