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Thursday, November 18, 2010

White Trash Weekend

Once upon a time wayyyyy back in August (because I mostly suck at moment-to-moment blogging), Tom and I took a whirlwind trip to Utah for a visit totaling thirty two hours. Arriving Saturday morning at 10am, departing Sunday night at 5pm. Talk about a quickie!

He had renters moving out / in to his condo and family to see and asked if I wanted to tag along? Pretty much every church friend I grew up with now lives in UT, including my best friend and his wife (who were actually on the brink of moving at the time) and of course I couldn't pass up an invitation to meet Tom's family (aka "the potentials"). It was a fast and exhausting trip, but so much fun!

We arrived Saturday morning and Tom's look-a-like older brother, Tyler, was nice enough to fetch us from the airport and take us to his sister's massive and beautiful house about a 1/2 hour away. We pretty much threw our stuff down and ran out the door to run errands, meet the new renters, and make it to lunch with friends. Tom's condo is really nice and I liked seeing it. It felt a little like setting foot in a time capsule of his past, who he was, the life he led and such, which was kind of weird, but mostly it was really cool to see that side of things--the old home front. Before we went to lunch he even drove me to the BYU Provo campus and walked me around the buildings he'd studied in and gave me a quick run down of all the history there. It was so cool to see where he had spent so many significant years studying and working to get to where he is today. With me! The campus is beautiful and the surrounding mountains gave off this empowering sense of inspiration that I don't really know how to explain. I can see why so many people love the beauty and landscape of Utah.

After my personal tour, we went to lunch with friends at Sizzler. Yes, Sizzler; that was my pick. My white trash roots forever remain true to their all you can eat salad bar. As my Mom said, "Atta girl! Don't forget where you came from!" Our friend Carolyn, who set us up, and her husband Don, both left NYC in the summer to start their new life together in UT. We miss them! It was exciting to get to see them again, along with our own long time pals. My childhood friends Kariann and Amy came with their new babies (Brooklyn and Brek) so I got lots of snuggle time with each.
(New Mama Amy, Me, and Brek aka BJ)
And my best-man-friend Phillip and his wife Brittany came which was super. Tom's friends came too and we sat at a big table and tried to keep up with everyone.

Tom is the youngest of six so there were quite a few people to meet... I met his brothers (Tim, Tyler, and Tanner), who are just the right combination of funny and sarcastic. I very much enjoyed being on the receiving and giving ends of both. It was fascinating to see Tom in the "little brother" role. It was the first time I'd seen him in a position of trying to keep up or seek approval or whatever. It was in very slight and little ways, but it was there and I found it very endearing. Because no matter how old you are, you're still "the little brother" or, in my case, "the bossy-pain-in-the-ass big sister". I'd already met his big sister, Ja-Ann, who is awesome. He has another one, Lani, but I didn't get to meet her. We stayed with Jae and I got to meet her three kiddos as well. One followed me around asking if Tom and I were married and if she could come visit me in New York? How cute is that?! Then there's Tom's sister-in-law Amy (Tim's wife) who is such a sweetheart and made me feel very welcome and at ease. Tom's dad is the most adorable dad I've ever met. I just wanted to squeeze him! He reminds me SO much of Tom in the way he carries himself. He's kind of quiet and shy, but when he says something it's always silly and on point. He has this twinkle in his eye like he knows Santa and the Tooth Fairy personally. It's so sweet! Tom's Mom was in Canada taking care of her own mother so I didn't meet her; next time!

Tom and Tyler look the most alike, so I caught of glimpse of how hot Tom will continue to be in his 30s. Tom denied this look-a-like all weekend, until he mistook Tyler for himself in a picture we took and couldn't deny anymore. I love it when I'm right. He also has his Dad's eyes, which I hope one day have that mischievous, "knowing" twinkle that I suspect comes with age and adventure.

By the end of Saturday we were pretty beat and sleep deprived, but that didn't stop us from sitting down for a game of Poker with the whole family gang once we got back to his sister's. There was some trash talk, I won a hand or two, and then Jae took us all for everything we had after claiming she'd never played before and didn't know what she was doing. Beginner's luck? Or genius bluff? I guess I'll never know... And THEN we passed out around 10pm and missed out on block party down the street where apparently there was some streaking involved. Dang it!

Sunday was family day, which involved further country bumpkin activities such as driving (read: bouncing raucously and endorsing the amazingness of Land Rovers) up the side of a mountain to shoot shot guns and clay plates (pigeons?). AWESOME! Again, my mother was so proud. For the record, I have shot a gun before. Quite well if you'll remember. I grew up shooting rifles at summer camp and then took a shot (wa, wa) with a hand gun a couple years ago with friends in CT. This was my first time handling a shot gun and lets just say... suck is an understatement. But I owned it and I sucked the best I could!

There was the time I was in charge of throwing the "pigeons" (which actually, I was really good at) and instead of throwing it up into the sky I threw it directly into the tip of Tom's shot gun.

Then there was the time Tyler was throwing and I was shooting. I was having a really hard time shooting "on time" to hit the targets thrown because I was shooting too late. After some tips from Ty I was ready to try again. He said "Just say 'when'" and so I said "WHEN!" and pulled the trigger simultaneously in hopes that by shooting sooner I'd hit something. Only I'd shot so fast there hadn't even been time to send anything skyward to shoot at. In fact, Ty's hand was still swung backwards by the time I was done. All the boys and myself doubled over laughing and randomly throughout the day "WHEN!" was shouted all over the place.

I learned that shot guns are heavy. I learned that I lean way, way back to sustain the weight and therefor hold the gun completely wrong and retarded. Which is why I couldn't hit anything either! No matter how much the boys tried to help my stance, it just wasn't happening.

Please note Tom's tall, straight backed stance, and my practically arched one.
Regardless of stances, there was much fun to be had in shooting shot guns with my boyfriend and his fam.
Tom's sister Ja-Ann and me
Tom's brother Tyler
Tim (left) and Tom
Of course I can't wait to do it again and again until I'm as good with a shot gun as I am with a hand gun!

The time passed all too quickly, and I had such a good time remembering what life is like in the wide open spaces of the West Coast, and the simple pleasures it brings. My whole upbringing flashed before my eyes: special meals at Sizzler, shooting things / spending time in the great outdoors, and playing games with family. It felt like home! Only with more laughing and less stress. I think we are both looking forward to going back again for a longer stretch sometime. Long enough for me to hit a clay pigeon, at least!

1 comment:

Amy said...

love the recap. had nearly forgotten about the shot gun experince - and the crazy ride up the mountain.

hope you guys aren't getting hammered with snow/rain like the rest of the northeast.