Sunday, January 8, 2012

That's a Wrap!

2011- the year in review.

You don't have the read this.  There aren't even any photos.  It's more me giving myself a pat on my back...sorry.  The post before this has several photos, enjoy that post instead.  I just think its important to remember where you've been and to appreciate the experiences that you have; because, if you forget, then you haven't learned and you haven't improved yourself.  I try to do both every day- learn and improve myself, and I find this easy & fun to do when I am out there doing!

Looking over past blogs, photos stashed on my Desktop, and entries in my calendar, I can say that I had some amazing experiences this year.  The theme seems to be cultural experiences- whether an international festival, or a national museum, I did a lot!  I even can cross a few things off the old bucket list after this year, including:

  • Eat at the Blue Bayou in Disneyland (CHECK!)
  • Ride on the paddle boats in the DC Tidal Basin (CHECK!)
  • Live in or near Washington D.C. (CHECK!)
  • Explore the Guggenheim Museum in New York City (CHECK!)

That's right- FOUR life goals accomplished! :D  And all while maintaining insane full-time law student status.  I am very proud.

Some other noteworthy experiences include:

  • I saw the infamous Spiderman Broadway show
  • The Greek Festival at the Greek Orthodox Church in Harrisburg, PA
  • Indoor rock climbing twice
  • Buying last-minute scalped tickets to see the New York Ballet
  • I participated in Yoga for Congo Women
  • For the entire year I worked as a Certified Legal Intern at the Children's Advocacy Clinic, appearing in court on behalf of minors- and I LOVED IT!
  • Internship in Maryland in the Juvenile Division of the Public Defender's Office- AMAZING! New life dream!
  • I went to jail!  Lots of times!  I had never been before!  Fortunately, they let me out every time :)  [advised incarcerated clients]
  • I ran in Race Judicata- my school's 5K- and I got my best 5K time ever (7:47 pace!)- which got me 3rd place
  • I ran in my first half marathon!  It was crazy!  I ran at Hershey, PA, and finished in 1:55 :D
  • I had my first experience at Sacrament Meeting with kids...I was watching Ali & Patrick's boys and it was DEFINITELY a learning experience! Haha!  I will never judge the moms of noisy kids in church again!
  • Cool things while living near DC:
    • West Indies Festival
    • Learned to salsa dance
    • Watched the 4th of July fireworks show from the lawn of the US Capitol
    • Attended 2 Nationals baseball games
    • Went on the Gargoyle Tour at the Washington National Cathedral- so cool!
    • Became a Smithsonian expert, including seeing:
      • The National Portrait Gallery
      • The Arts & Crafts Museum
      • National Gallery of Art
      • National Sculpture Garden
    • Went to the Women's Art Museum
    • Went to the Newseum- very interesting
  • I participated as a "lawyer" in the Penn State Medical Negligence Colloquium mock trial, and my side won!
  • I made it onto the Penn State Law's National Trial Team :D
Yeah, I'd say it was a good year :)

A Disney-Star Wars Christmas

For Christmas, my parents treated us to a day at Disneyland! :D  Going to Disneyland used to be no big deal for me growing up-- it was right down the street-- but now that I'm states and states away, it was certainly a major source of excitement!

And if you know anything about my family, We Know Disneyland.  We know the ins, the outs, the employees, the artists, the shortcuts, the best order of rides, the time/place/order to get Fast Passes, the times of all the shows, the locations of which food carts, the hidden Mickeys, the locations of the characters...BAM.  If there's any Disneyland question, we know it.  I even managed to do a biographical report in elementary school on Walt Disney, and where did I do my research?  That's right, within the Disneyland park itself.

In fact, we are so smooth at working it at Disneyland, that even though the day we went the park was CRAMMED with people to literally its maximum capacity (they closed the gates before NOON!) we all still got on EVERY major ride, saw Fantasmic!, and ate at the Blue Bayou [which is so awesome because its INSIDE the Pirates of the Caribbean ride!] without having to wait in line!!!  Boo ya.

And if you know anything else about my family, you know that We Love Star Wars.  From Yoda cookie cutters, to R2D2 cookie jars, original T-shirts, billions of pins, virtually every version of the films ever sold, and on and on.  And let's not forget that my brother Mike's first phrase as a baby was a line from Star Wars, "What a piece of junk!"

And therefore the happiest place on earth gets a little happier for the Price family each time they add more Star Wars elements.  For example, the Jedi Training Academy- basically the cutest thing in the galaxy.  And they also just re-vamped the ride Star Tours, so now on each flight is a secret rebel spy- and who was that spy when the Price family rode?  You guessed it- ME!  I'M THE REBEL SPY!  The ride operators surely saw me coming from a mile away and said, "There she is!  Our biggest fan!"

In short, it was AN AWESOME trip home, with not just a great Disney day, but swimming at Belmont Plaza where the LA Olympics were held, eating at the world famous Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles, seeing the fossils at the La Brea Tar Pits, shopping at The Grove in LA, going to the Griffith Observatory, running around the Hollywood Walk of Fame (and of course seeing the Star Wars feet prints outside Grauman's Chinese Theater), eating Crumbs cupcakes(!), going kayaking, Corona Del Mar tide pools, jogging with the dog, performing some salsa dancing for the family, family blow dart war, the Newport Beach Temple + lunch & shopping at Fashion Island with Mom and Chelsie, etc., etc.

And the weather was beautiful.

Yep, basically the best vacation ever.

Merry Christmas!