Well, here we are.
The fateful day when I make the big leap to real adulthood.
I'm 20 guys!
This is real life.
And I have to say I was honestly a little afraid/nervous/anxious
because like Mother's and Father's day this year,
this is the first year I have ever been totally away from my family on July 15.
I was thinking, "I am going to have no way to celebrate, it's going to be lonely, I don't want to force people into thinking they have to throw me some huge celebration, either.
Because I really get awkward in situations where I'm the center of attention.
So what now?
First of all....
Outdoor Recreation class 3-day backpacking trip.
I really wrestled with this one-
I wasn't sure if I was up to the challenge of hiking 24 miles across a treacherous terrain with 30-40 pounds strapped to my back, 13 of those miles being in a single day.
It was honestly one of the most physically demanding things I have ever had to do in my entire life.
There were certainly times when I could just tell that my ankles had swollen to the size of tennis balls and my knees (particularly my stupid bad knee) to the size of grapefruits (they really hadn't), but dang, on that 13 mile stretch I really, REALLY had to just keep reminding myself that
"The only way out is through"
"One foot in front of the other"
and finally, when we saw the heavenly beacon of the trailhead at the end of the third day,
"It always seems impossible until it is done."
(Brace yourselves, picture overload.)
|Another group shot at the top of the Triple Step!|
|View from the top!|
|Making our descent|
|Our knowledgeable and gentlemanly guys making dinner|
|If you didn't want to move to Utah before, you do now.|
|Much needed heavenly swimming hole lunch break.|
|Indian ruins (that brick house just in a hole in the side of the mountain)|
|Escalante natural bridge-absolutely amazing.|
This was the most impossible thing I've ever put my body through, and to be honest my body still kind of love/hates me for it, but based on the pictures you just saw, you understand that I could not and would not have traded my experience for anything.
It was magical.
Anyway, moving on.
Upon arriving home, you might expect that I had a little while of recovery time to nap and get some energy back, right?
Immediately upon arriving home yesterday, it was time to unpack, shower, and get all gussied up to go out to birthday dinner in my favorite city, Salt Lake!
Last night was an amazing reunion with friends and cousins at the one and only Pie Pizzeria in downtown SLC. If you haven't been....get yourself there at the soonest possible opportunity to fill yourself with the most incredible cheese pull-apart, extreme veggie or chicken bacon ranch pizza.
And lastly....my family is the cutest.
Since they paid for me so generously to go to France, I thought we had been pretty clear on the strictly no-presents this year rule. So when I received this package in the mail, I thought, "What are you doing?!" But I opened it up, and it is seriously the most clever, adorable thing I have ever seen.
Behold, ladies and gentlemen, the Party In A Box.
-please do your best to excuse the absolute mess that is my kitchen table-
So tonight, I'm throwing a Party In A Box. Complete with funfetti cake, streamers, noisemakers, hats, the whole nine yards.
And some amazing gentlemen I know are satisfying my withdrawal for french things by combining my party in a box with a crêpe party as well :)
I am so, so grateful to the wonderful friends I have found here who are helping me to make this event so special and memorable for me!
I remember last year coming back to Utah knowing nobody and being so afraid that I wouldn't fit in or make any friends, but that obviously has proven to be no problem at all!
I wish everyone from home could have shared this weekend with me,
but even still I feel so blessed and so loved!
All my love, B.