Social Media Stuff Here

Gimmewald, Switzerland

The most beautiful and majestic place we've ever been.

Paris, France

By far Adri's most favorite city and monument.

Istanbul, Turkey

The most culture shock worthy and wonderfully diverse city we know.

Cairo, Egypt

Our craziest, most intense story to date.

30 September 2008

Weekend with the rents...

So, a few weekends ago my parents were in town. They came to see my new place and spend some time downtown. The last time they were in Chicago was last Christmas and it was too cold to be outside really, so they were excited to be downtown when it was nice out. We took the Metra down and walked around to see a few different things. We saw the Bean and Crown Fountain at Millennium Park, Navy Pier and a few other things along the way. As we were walking we crossed paths with this...
...a "Segway Tour."

Now, I have always made fun of these things, and those that ride them. But, I will admit, that it is a nice way to see a city. It requires less walking obviously, so therefore less energy. And on a hot summer day, that could be pretty nice. But what I don't understand is the helmets. I mean honestly, you go maybe 5 mph tops, so why the helmets? I see people riding through, and against, the crazy downtown traffic at 20 mph on bikes without helmets on. Granted, I don't think that is the smartest thing, but a helmet on a Segway...?! How often do you even hear of someone getting in an accident on one of those things, let alone injuring themselves. I guess you do have those people out there that are so uncoordinated and lacking in the common sense part of life, that when they are on it and it starts to fall over they don't think that if they just step off they will be ok. Hmmm... maybe the helmet is needed then because it seems the only people that do ride those things are those that don't have that kind of common sense and coordination.

26 September 2008

Latest and greatest!

I thought I would put up some of my favorite pictures that I have taken recently.  That's really all this post will be.

I hate vintage door locks

So, I just got back from Greenville, SC last night and got back to my apartment around about 2:00am.  Yeah, late I know.  Anyway, I walked from my car with all my travel stuff, into the building and up 3 flights of stairs to find out that my door did not work properly.  I was able to unlock it, but I was unable to open it.  I tried for a bit but the nob would not turn.  After a couple minutes of trying I thought I would go try the back door.  So I go down the stairs, outside and around the building and then up the back way.  I open the screen door, and start to open the next door but of course I have chain locked this one.  I thought maybe I could undo that if I used a piece of cardboard and bent it around the door so that I could push it as I pulled the door closed to get more slack on the chain, but I was unsuccessful.  Then I thought maybe I could just ram the door down and hit it a few times (but not too hard, more just testing it to see).  Then I decided that if I did hit it harder a few things would happen.  I would wake the neighbors who would call the police and report me as breaking and entering.  I would break the door and then not have any working door at all.  Or I would break my shoulder and not have a working shoulder.  I decided to leave that door, but thought about climbing to one of the windows and trying to jimmy rig that.  Then I remembered that I live on the 3rd floor and decided that I did not want to die, or at least be injured really badly.  So I called the maintenance man who did not answer and I decided to sleep in the car.

In the end the maintenance guy and a locksmith showed up in the morning and cut the chain lock and let me in.  The locksmith then looked at my front door and had no idea what had happened to it, but he fixed it.  So now I have a working vintage door, but I still hate those dang locks.

On a side note, they told me they are going to replace all my windows with new ones, and my new bed is being delivered today!

20 September 2008

Huntington Beach, CA to Chicago, IL... what a ride!

Alright, here is the long awaited story of what happened as I drove from my home in Huntington Beach to my new one in Chicago. Hopefully I remember all the details.

I woke up early Tuesday morning, 26 August 2008, to hit the road. I hadn't planned on moving until the 1st of Sept because I couldn't be in my new place until then. But, due to needs of the company they asked me to move a week early. So, I went all the way to Michigan instead to see my parents and my youngest brother before he went on his mission. As a result of driving the whole time alone I wasn't able to really take my time with pictures, I just had to point and shoot hoping that I would get what I was seeing.Anyway, when you wake up before dawn, forget the butt-crack of it, you don't really see much except the few cars on the road and whatever your headlights will illuminate. Once the sun started coming up I had already been on the road for about an hour or more and this is what I started seeing.

Beautiful sunrises, and yes my GPS ended up in t
he picture.
Mountains and lots of trucks.
After passing through the desert of California and into Nevada, then through Vegas and up into southern Utah (where I saw an In-N-Out in St. George, I was surprised) I thought I was about to die of boredom. There really was just nothing to look at. At that moment I started driving through the eastern side of southern Utah. The landscape was absolutely incredible. The jagged cliffs, red rocks, and random rocks in the middle of nowhere. I see why people visit Moab, Canyons, Zion, Arches, and everything in between. It may be without vegetation, but that doesn't mean it isn't beautiful.

This is at a rest stop that I made at the top of climbing a lot of hills in my car. I don't remember the name of the valley, but I will never forget it. As I stopped and got out I walked around a bit and took about 5-10 minutes to stretch and breathe in the fresh air. As I went back to my car I saw a green liquid that had spilled out onto the ground, not a good sign. I bent down to see if it was still coming, and oh was it ever. I popped the hood to see what was the matter thinking maybe there was a hole or something in the tank for my coolant/anti-freeze. The fluid stopped gushing and as I looked at the tank it was boiling. I let it sit for a bit until it cooled to see how much was in there and it was still about half full, so I called my dad and asked his opinion. I figured that if I drove with the a/c off and was going mainly downhill I would be ok. My dad thought the thermostat was maybe not working properly and with the load that was in my car, the a/c on, and all the climbing I had worked the little guy a bit too hard. I made it to a gas station, double-checked the fluid level and bought some more to put in the tank. From then on I was good to go... or so I thought.

After passing through Utah I entered southwest Colorado and the landscape got even better.

I've always wanted to see a train as it chugs along the mountain side weaving in and out of tunnels cut right out of the store. I wanted to find a place to stop and take a real picture of this so you could see everything, but there was not a place on such a narrow stretch of highway.

I was able to drive through Vail as well and see the ski resorts without snow. They look so funny all barren and people-less. But in my minds eye I saw snow falling and just a wonderful looking place to be. I asked myself in that moment why it was that I was continuing on to Chicago, can't I just stop and be a ski bum? You know, find some job as a liftie and stay there all winter long and work on the river as a rafting guide in the summer.

I stopped just outside of Denver, well about an hour east of it, because there was nothing in the city as the Democratic National Convention was going on that week. But in the morning I woke up and headed back out. The sad part of it all is that I was now in the boring part of the United States. All I saw was flat land with some treest, fields of corn and little red barns dotting the landscape.

That night I stopped in Chicago because I had to pick up my key the next day since the rental office was going to be closed on the 1st, the day I wanted to move in. There were a few of my co-workers there on an install and so I met up with them and went to dinner and chatted about how things were going as I was to be the rep for the dealership they were taking care of. The next morning I woke up and drove on to Michigan to see part of my family. I explored the area and played with my dog Arthur... I love that little guy!

As a family--well, just dad, mom, James and I--went to the Detroit Temple. It was a great experience as James was soon to be leaving on his mission to Pocatello, ID spanish speaking. It was a wonderful place, with a great spirit and calm and a beautiful site to see.

We spent the rest of the weekend together and I went to church with them. It had been quite a while since I had been to church, not out of not wanting to be there, but out of the sheer fact that with my job I was traveling most Sundays (soon to change).

On Monday, 1 September 2008, I began my trip back to Chicago to officially move into my apartment and get started on my new life. Little did I know the adventure in store.

I was about two and a half hours from home, out in some random town in Michigan when I stopped to get some lunch and gas. As I got back onto the freeway I heard this rattling noise that didn't sound good. I turned down the music, rolled down my window and payed a little closer attention. It seemed to be worse as I pushed on the gas and not there when I took my foot off. I pulled off at the next exit as the rattling seemed to get worse and worse. As I was coming to a stop my car shut down, just turned off and coasted to a stop. I tried turning it back on but the noise gave me an instant sign not to. Upon popping the hood again I saw the coolant boiling over and knew it was not a good thing. I called home and asked my dad what he thought. Over the phone I turned the key again to let him hear the sound my car was making. He advised me to call someone and get it towed. I called up the towing company and they came and picked me and my car up and took me to the nearest mechanic. Being a holiday the mechanic was not open. The tow man said that I could have one come in and look at it but I would have to pay him his hourly rate plus over time, which would be over $100 an hour. I declined that and called home to give them an update. I then called my boss and told him the situation and he said I needed to do what I could to get to Chicago as I had an install to fly to the next day. Whether it be a cab, rental car or whatever, I just needed to get there. The local rental car place doesn't allow you to take the car out of state, so that was a no. A cab would cost an arm and a leg and I wouldn't have anything that I could drive around Chicago. I called my parents back up and they offered to come down to where I was a let me use my dad's truck for as long as needed. I love my parents for that! As a result of their kindness I was able to make it back to Chicago that day and get to my install the next day. Once on the install I called up the mechanic and found out that my car had blown a rod and the engine needed to be replaced... not fun, and not cheap.

In the end it was quite a move, one like I've never experienced before. 3 weeks after my car broke down I was able to get it back from the mechanic and now am enjoying having that again. All in all, I love Chicago and am so happy to be here! I really am looking forward to what the future holds.


Well, I finally got internet in my new apartment.  You know what that means... I can now post my story with pictures of my travels from Huntington Beach, CA to Chicago, IL.  And, I can post pictures of my new place as well.  Start getting some ideas from people as to what to do because this place is so so empty.  It is kinda sad, but slowly and surely I am acquiring a few things here and there to start giving it some life.

But, for now you are going to have to wait yet again.  It is past 1am and I need to get some sleep as I have a long drive ahead of me tomorrow morning... so for now, good night!

06 September 2008

Well, am not on my computer at this time so I don't have access to the pictures that I want to put up. But, I promise that I will put them up with the story of my cross-country (really only to the middle) move. I wanted to mention 2 things though real quick.

First, I was sitting in the airport on my way back from Atlanta on Friday evening and I was watching CNN on the TV while I was eating. As I was watching they were talking about the election of couse and they started talking about who to vote for. They said that the black republicans were having a hard time trying to decide who to vote for. They were torn between voting for what they stand for and voting to be a part of history. Now, I'm not racist but I think that is ridiculous. Honestly?! This whole election is so retarded this year. People don't seem to care much about the economy, our world relationships and what is going on. It seems to me that people just think this is going to be a historic election, which it will be. But, it shouldn't be about that. I don't care who you vote for, just so long as you vote for them for the right reasons. Vote for someone that you really believe is going to do the best job running our country, not the person that is going to make history. Just because Obama is black doesn't mean you should vote for him. And just because McCain has a woman as his vice president running mate doesn't mean you should vote for him either. This whole thing is getting way out of hand.

The other thing I wanted to mention was in regards to my first full day in Chicago. Before I got here a friend of mine gave me the number to a friend of his who lived here and said that I need to get in contact with her and that she could get me a lot of great information. I was grateful for that, and made the call Friday night when I got back to my place. Little did I know the day and adventure I was in for. I woke up Saturday morning knowing that I was going to be at least going to her apartment for brunch and then figured I would go to IKEA to get some furniture then go home, put it together, organize a few things and then go to bed. No no, not the case. Tiffany and Chrissy decided to bring me under their wings and show me around Chicago. I was invited to go to the Red Bull Flugtag (yeah, I don't know).On the way there we watched this lady try to clim a fence in nice pants and high heels, probably the most awkward thing I've seen in a while. She stopped as she was straddling the fence and seemed to almost be stuck. If only I had my camera at that exact moment in time. I'll just have to hope there is a next time. After driving for a while we couldn't find a place to park so we decided to just go to IKEA, m original plan. We walked arond looking for anything and everything and left with things I wasn't even thinking about when I showed up. We found a circle bed and then decided we needed to find a circle mirror to match. I asked a guy and he went into this huge schpeal about circle mirrors, and that was just too much so I didn't ask him for ceiling mounts. Then we found a huge bookshelf that had like 20 different spots for things. They said I should get it for all my scrapbooking stuff that I don't have. I studied them for a minute and decided that I needed 2. We jumped on couches, felt blankets, ate chocolate cake and looked at a lot of furniture. I ended up leaving with a dresser, coffee table, 2 end tables and a desk. No bed, no couch, no chairs and no rugs... hmmm... does that seem weird to anyone else? I'll probably just take pictures of couches for now and put them where they should be. Then we went back to my place and dropped the stuff off and they deemed my apartment worthy to visit. We got on the El, elevated train, and rode it downtown back to their apartment. We went to Potbelly's for sandwiches, mmmmmmmm, and walked to Millennium Park. We met up with Courtney, Steve and Brent and listened to opera music, laughed, they all talked about past times while I felt awkward (not really) not having any idea what they were talking about. We left there and went looking for a Walgreens that had cookies and cream icecream and went to Daley Plaza with this huge Picasso statue. We made icecream cones and watched skaters and took pictures. Then we went to Vietnam Memorial Park over on the river and chatted more, took more pictures and just had a dandy (yes I said dandy) old time. The end the night I caught the Metra home at 12:35am. Long day for sure, but the best long day I've had in a long time. In short it was worth every minute. What's sad is that tomorrow I have to fly out of town again and I'll have to wait until next weekend to have another adventure... worth the wait I'm sure!

02 September 2008

Chicago here I am

Well, I finally made it to Chicago.

The first thing I noticed when I walked into my apartment is that I don't have anything. My apartment is so very very empty. But, in time I will have more and more things and it will actually feel like a place I live and not just a place to sleep and make echos.

The trip from CA to Chicago was quite the trip with cool sites, visit to the family and unexpected things. I want to share it all with you, but I want to include pictures as well. So, since I am on business right now I don't have my pictures with me. But, as soon as I get home with the internet then I will put up pictures with the great story of my travels from Huntington Beach, CA to Chicago, IL.