Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ride for the Fallen

This weekend Brian and I had the awesome opportunity to participate in the Ride for the Fallen. The Ride for the Fallen is a huge motorcycle ride dedicated to Fallen Utahan Soldiers that were killed in the line of duty. Every year they dedicate a ride to a soldier. This year the ride was dedicated to LCPL Michael Allred. You may remember hearing about him in the news. He was from Hyde Park, which is very close to Logan, and was killed September 6, 2004 in Iraq. Brian worked with Mike back in Logan and knew him pretty well. It was really hard when he was killed. Before the ride started they did a presentation for the soldiers. I could not believe how many names they read off. It was very heart breaking to hear how many families lost loved ones. This is SGT Nathan Barnes. He went to school with me. He passed away in 2007.
This is one of my husband's best friends from Iraq, SGT Ronald Wood. He was killed in 2005. It was very hard on Brian because Ron was killed when they were serving in Iraq together. Everything that I have heard about him has been amazing. I wish I would have had the opportunity to meet a guy that everyone looked up to.
Here is one of the displays that they had. This setup is a common one when a soldier is lost.
The turn out for the ride was so amazing. There were 278 bikes! It was insane! The pictures I have do not do it justice. Lets just say that if you were in Logan on Saturday you would have definitely seen us coming. The span of bikes went on for miles. It was so fun to be a part of something so special. Here is the parking lot of bikes before the ride.This is a short clip of when everyone started up their bikes. It was insane!

Here are some pictures of the ride, but I would first like to say this was the first and only time we have ever rode without our helmets. We always wear them, but since it was going to be such a long ride and we were going to be in such a big group we didn't wear them. At least that was our justification. Here is a picture of us before we set out for the 6 hour ride-or however long it took us. I honestly can't say how long it was, but my butt told me it was LONG.Can you see how far ahead the bikes go? We were some where in the middle so it gives you an idea of how many bikes there were.
This is the only time I have seen a men's restroom line longer than a women's.
This was such a neat experience for us. I plan on making this a tradition. They dedicate each ride to one soldier that was killed, so unfortunately, this is a tradition that will be going for many years to come. I am so grateful for the soldiers that have served and sacrificed for our country. Without them, our country would not be the wonderful safe place that we call home. God Bless those that serve!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Back from the S.C.

Sorry for the long delay, but my camera cord has been MIA for a couple of weeks. Brian and I just got back from SOUTH CAROLINA.

I needed to go to a training for work and we thought that it would be an awesome opportunity to take a little "us" time. My training was in Greenville, which is inland South Carolina. We had a little trouble getting in to Greenville though. America Airlines was TERRIBLE! Our connecting flight from Dallas was 90 minutes delayed and then when we finally got to SC, my luggage was missing. Most women know that when you are traveling for a week the last thing that you want to hear is that your bag didn't make the flight. Of course Brian's things made it ok. I was freaking out just a little bit. More so because of America Airlines' attitude towards the whole thing. Never once did I get an apology. They acted like it was my fault that I had the nerve to check a bag. Are you kidding me? Wow, it was my first time-and last- ever flying with them. I finally got fed up and returned to the airport at about 10:30 that night. I waited for the next flight coming in from Dallas and thankfully, my bag was on it. Phew, that could have gotten really ugly! Once the travel drama was behind us, Brian and I set out to explore the beautiful city of Greenville.

The downtown area was so nice. It reminded me a lot of Salt Lake with ten times as many trees.

Probably the neatest thing about Greenville was the River that went through the downtown. I think the area was called Reedy Park, but don't quote me on that. It was gorgeous. They had a few different walking bridges and trails everywhere. It was such a cute little town.

This is the view from one of the bridges that went through the park.
One of the nights we decided to take a recommendation on dinner and we went to a restaurant called, The Lazy Goat. It was a cute little restaurant that was right next the river. Well when we sat down and looked at the menu Brian and I were a little puzzled. I'm not sure what type of food they had but it was FOREIGN. The menu looked French, but it also looked like it had some Italian. Lets just say it was very European. I didn't know what to order so I stayed safe with the meats and cheese sampler. They brought out a tray with a few different kinds of meats and cheeses. It was ok, but when they brought out Brian's meal we almost died! It was this big black bowl that was filled with rice sauce and "creatures."
Yes that is an octopus in the middle there. I have never seen anything gross Brian out, but this one did him in. While we were in Greenville we decided to travel up to North Carolina and see Chimney Rock. It was so beautiful up there. To get to the top of the rock we had to climb hundreds of these:

There was an elevator there for people to ride up, but what fun would that have been? Man I wish I didn't where flip flops that day though! What a work out. Here is a view of the rock from the parking lot below. It is about 2200 ft elevation. I'm not sure exactly how high from the parking lot, but it was still a good hike up there.
This is a picture at the top of the rock. It was so gorgeous. It was amazing to look down and see everything that you couldn't see at ground level because the trees were too thick.
After our long hike, we decided to take another trail that lead to this huge waterfall. It was 450 ft tall. It was so refreshing to take a little dip after our hiking that day.
After I finished my training, we still had a couple of days left before our flight back home. We decided to pack up our luggage and drive to Charleston. Charleston is an amazing city. It reminded me a lot of Europe because it is so old. There was a ton of Civil War History there and it was too bad that we didn't have more time to check it all out. Here is a picture of our amazing room. We stayed in the Planter's Inn. It was an original building from the 1800's that they turned into a hotel. The bed in this room was so comfortable. It was hard to come back home and sleep on our bed after experiencing this piece of heaven.
My favorite thing about Charleston was the cemeteries. I have this weird fascination with cemeteries, and the ones that we saw were incredible. This one that we saw was very very old. most of the headstones, that were legible, were from the 17-1800s. It was crazy to see them still standing. This one is not as old, but amazing none the less.Here are some other cool buildings that we saw while we were there. There were a ton of churches in Charleston.Probably my favorite experience at Charleston was going to Fort Sumter. Fort Sumter is a tiny island about a half hour off of Charleston. It is an old fort where the civil war started. It is amazing that it is still standing. There is a lot of rubble and artillery in the brick, but for the most part it is still standing strong. Unfortunately we didn't get to see any of the plantations while we were there. A day to see everything just is not enough. Oh well, for what we did get to experience, South Carolina was a fun place to visit.