Taking a quick break from getting ready for Japan for a short update. With the conference going on, I haven't had much time for anything else besides packing for my trip and sleeping (although Chris and I were able to go to Plumas Pines for our anniversary dinner on Saturday, which was really nice). Ernesto was kind enough to make me a training plan for hiking Mt. Fuji, which I unfortunately did not stick to with all the company, traveling, work and other stuff I've had going on. I have been able to do a couple hikes and have been walking every night this week (nothing like the last minute!). I feel prepared now that I've bought everything I need, I just hope I'm in good enough shape! As far as the conference, it ends tomorrow and it's been a great (although exhausting) two weeks that's allowed me to see our area like a tourist and get pumped up about journalism all over again. Although my job includes things like running copies and scheduling food deliveries, I've also been able to act as a writing coach, and I really enjoyed it.
Here are a couple pictures of some things we've done:
It seems like the longer we live in Reno, the smaller of a town it becomes. On Friday night, we took the teachers from the conference to a Basque dinner and then to the Aces game. Chris was covering the game, so we decided to go out to the new adjoining Freight House District afterward with our friends Chris and Tyler.
On the way to the FHD, I ran into Derek (right) who was also going to the bar with our other friend T.J. (left).
My friend Carlie from school is interning with the Aces, so she was there as well.
And then we ran into Chris' cousin Brad and his girlfriend Linda.
I was anticipating a pretty low-key, no fuss birthday yesterday, but I was just blown away by all of the cards, calls, texts and Facebook greetings that came my way. It made a day spent working feel really special.
Chris also went out of his way to make it a nice day for me. Since I had to be at work at 8, he got up before 6 (which if you know him, you know doesn't happen too often) so he could take me out for breakfast. We went to Squeeze In, a great place that we hadn't tried before and it was really good.
Later, since Chris had been scheduled to work at night (although that later changed) I went to dinner with Na and Erin at a new restaurant and we had a nice time catching up and laughing.
When I got home, Chris surprised me with cheesecake! Which was really something because earlier in the day during the conference we were asked to do a free writing exercise on the topic of our favorite dessert, and I wrote about cheesecake and how much I love it. I guess Chris read my mind :-)
This week and next I'm working for the High School Journalism Institute, held at my school. It's pretty much all-day, every day, but some of the work is more like fun and it's nice getting to know the high school teachers who are here from all over the country. Yesterday, we took them on a day trip to Virginia City and I had a chance to cross an item off my Nevada Resolution list: Have a Bloody Mary at the Bucket of Blood Saloon.
Erin's wedding shower was held at her mom's house in Carson City on Saturday. I'd never been there, and the backyard was so nice and just great for a big party. Erin requested that everyone wear sun hats, which was a fun idea.
Sarah, Erin, Na and I
The Bride and her Unofficial Bridesmaids -
Na, Sarah, Erin, Ashley and I
Erin was resistant to the bow bouquet, but she came around
Sarah did the game where she asked Sandor questions ahead of time and then Erin had to answer them at the shower. For every question she got wrong, she got a piece of gum. You can see that the game did not start off too well! Teehee.
I made the favors :-)
It was a really fun day and it's always so nice to get to know the people in the bride's life before the wedding! Erin's mom and aunts did a great job getting it all together with tons of food on the grill and a great set up. I'm so excited for the wedding next month!
I remember one time my Great Aunt Ruth told me she always considered my sister and I to be a little bit hers. The feeling was mutual. Although Aunt Ruth was my mother's aunt (by marriage at that) she was always more like a grandmother to my sister and I, from the minute we were born (even my sister's middle name is Ruth).
Our relationship was always special. Last week, her son Johnno told my mom - "Do you know why everyone always felt like they were her favorite? Because she never played favorites." How true. Aunt Ruth had seen some rough times in her life, but she was always a delight. She had the most amazing laugh, and she laughed a lot. She gave the greatest hugs. She had a cupboard with toys dating back to who knows when - they were older than me - but she never got rid of them because she knew when we came to visit the first thing we'd do would be to take the toys out. (I am happy to know that Chris has been there and played with those toys, more than once.) When we were kids, she would take us to the beach or to lunch (or both). You know something else? She took us to the Ports O' Call in San Pedro one time (apparently when we were too young to remember she and my mom would take us there for Sunday brunch all the time) and while we were there, she took me to a bead store where I believe I made my first bracelet.
That bead store is no longer there, and sadly, neither is Aunt Ruth. She passed away on Wednesday morning. At home, with her children at her side. She lived a great 90 years. She traveled the world and visited friends and family members all across the country well into her 80s. She always remembered birthdays. She welcomed our friends into her home as though they were family. She was a special woman. And she made everyone around her feel special. I don't have the words to express what a huge hole is left in my life with her gone. I will always treasure every memory I have of her.
On Friday, Chris, Scoop and I headed to Quincy for the High Sierra Music Festival. Although the festival is in its 20th year, it hasn't always been in Quincy, so I have never been. Since some friends from high school were going, and because I wanted to see The Avett Brothers, we decided to get one-day tickets for Friday. I expected to see people that I knew, but the weekend turned out to be something of an episode of "This is Your Life." I got into town earlier in the day while Chris was still working. Walking around the festival in the afternoon, I ran into an old friend from Monterey who I adored, but fell out of contact with when I moved to San Jose. It was so great to see her and I hope we remain in touch this time. When Chris got there, we met up with my friend Whitney, who is in my grad school program, and her boyfriend Dave for The Avett Brothers performance. While we were there, I saw a lot of people I grew up with, and we also saw one of our editors from the paper. Considering that the stage was in the very same place where our high school football games were held, and where I graduated from high school, you can imagine how surreal the whole experience was!
The Avett Brothers
Me and Whitney
On Saturday, we met up with Whitney and Dave for breakfast, took Scoop to the river in the afternoon, met up with my high school friend Ashlie at the Polka Dot, and then went to a barbecue hosted by my friend Hannah from high school. I haven't seen Hannah in more than 10 years, and it was so great to see her and other old friends even though it was for just a short time.
Hannah and Me
Since Chris and I are both working today, we had to get back to Reno Saturday night. It was great to spend time with Mom and John and see some friends. Quincy is so great - especially in the summer, I wish we could have stayed longer!