Friday, September 29, 2006

Yosemite National Park


4 am wake-up calls

4 days without a shower

40 mile bike ride.

All just to bring you this post. Monday I returned from our 3 day extravaganza with Grubbs, Zach and Adam in Yosemite National Park in California. The weather was amazing. The views were stunning. And we didn't kill each other.

When I got back from Colorado my computer was having issues with randomly shutting down. I got on the internet to see what was going on, and lo and behold, its an epedemic sweeping the Macbook community. So I rode my bike, with computer in backback, all the way downtown to the apple store to get it repaired. And 40 miles later, my legs are still worn out. But it assisted in bringing this post to you. I'll be posting a lot of pictures, so keep scrolling and enjoy!

If you would like a more detailed account, please visit Grubbs' blog. And for even more pics check out The Prophecy.

Mariposa Grove: Home of the Giant Sequoias





Sunrise Over Half-Dome at Glacier Point





Yosemite Valley Floor




Tuolumne Meadows: A Dip in Lake Elizabeth..err...FREEZING Lake Elizabeth


Yes, that is my frozen underwear


Tuolumne Meadows: From Meadows to Desert




Drive Home: Starry California Night


-JJ

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

More Pics

Heres some more pics!! More info about him. I think he's the calmest kid I've ever seen. He takes after my family though. My mom mentioned that everyone in my fam is laid back and relaxed..except for me. So maybe i won't have a child. I'll just be uncle J.



Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Uncle J!!

Thats what I will be called. I'm officially an uncle. Austin Michael Jackson is 9lbs 6 ounces. yeah, big boy. broad shoulders. He was born this morning on the coast of New Jersey, not far from Atlantic City.

Check later for more pictures, I'm having problems with Blogger.



Thursday, September 14, 2006

Time Change Goofah


I'm just posting this literally because I have absolutely nothing else to do. I live in a world of time changes and if your not on top of things, this could happen to you.

It's 5:37am exactly, central time. you see, we have a thing called "Lobby Time" which..you guessed it...is the time we are supposed to meet in the lobby to go to the airport. More accurately, its the time that our shuttle leaves. Lobby time is always written down on the door key sleeve.

Our lobby time this morning was 5:30, so at 5:15 I was down in the lobby and ready to go. As the time neared, I decided to pull out the sleeve, only to see that lobby time was 5:30...CENTRAL TIME. And since I'm on the ole Long Island, I'm in eastern time. I still have another hour. Since our headquarters are in Dallas, the airline runs on central time ALWAYS,(sometimes called Herb Time, after one of and the most popular founder, Herb Kelleher) but when I'm at the hotel I run on local time. Sometimes crews decide to jot the lobby time down in central. I was not notified of the decision.

Oops. Better early than late.

PS New York folks, I FOR REAL almost took the LIRR into town, but there just wasn't enough time

-JJ

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Day 7: Wrappin' it all up

I slowly opened my eyes on saturday morning, only to see the faces of Brock and Madison staring down on me. Kind of a creepy way to wake up, but I laughed it off, then in turn laughed at Dearing because at this point she was practically sleeping on the floor, with the air mattress deflated around her.

Brock made us waffles and coffee (or coffee flavored candy, just the wayI like it), and after lounging around for a few hours and being corrected by Madison on my table manners (Jeremy!!! do not talk with food in your mouth!!) we got dressed and headed out to the farmers market. I wish I lived near something like that (well..i might I just don't have a car to drive to it!) because there was pretty much everything you wanted...only fresh. They even had salsa out for free tastings. It was a very fun family atmosphere.


Leaving the farmers market, we strolled along "downtown" Corvallis, buying myself some Teva's (my favorite!), and stopping for some more coffee!



Back in the minivan, we took a tour of the Oregon State campus then stopped for lunch at an Oregon staple...organic food. It was a place called nearly normals, and it was surprisingly tasty. About 3pm, Dearing and I loaded up, left Brock and Natasha, and headed for Portland.

This hostile was a lot more like normal hostils. Vagrant teenagers everywhere, sleeping, playing cards, and just being wierd. We felt like we fit right in. Finding a place to park on the street, we headed downtown to Powell's Bookstore, home of the largest collection of new and used books in the USA. I felt compelled to buy something, something like a cookbook for guys who don't have a clue, but there were just absolutely too many to choose from, and I walked away with Nada.

Moving on.

We wandered over to an Italian festival, where we picked up some pasta, pizza, and some wine and settled onto some stone steps for some people watching.

As the evening winded up, we wanted to go to a bar..yes mom and dad..A BAR! and sample some local brew. We felt like it just needed to be done.

It was a pleasant evening and a great way to wind up our adventure. We sat outside, and asked the waitress for advice on which beer to get. I ordered something called "The Terminator", and I can't remember what D ordered. Either way, mine tasted like metal and hers was just...gross..but we forced it down, and spent the time talking about all we'd done, how much fun we'd had, and congratulating each other for not killing one another.

We headed back to the hostile, took showers, and headed off to bed.

The next day we got up early and headed off to the airport. We flew to Phoenix together, where she caught a flight home to Nashville and I headed off to Denver.

The trip was awesome all together. Probably at LEAST top 2 adventures I've ever had...you know what, it may just as well be #1. I really enjoyed the freeness, nature, and Dearing was one of the best to do it all with.

I've found that in my travels, the best person to travel with is someone who doesn't complain. If something goes wrong, you deal with it and laugh at it and roll with the punches, and D was good at that.

So thats it! I'm sure everyone is glad to be done with it, and honestly so am I, and lucky for you I'm going to Yosimite in 2 weeks! But thanks to everyone who put up with these stories for all 7 days!!!

-JJ

Friday, September 08, 2006

Day 6: Time to Relax! Kind of

We slept in. We had comfy...bunk beds? so we decided that our bodies deserved a nice rest. Once again I woke up first, headed over to the kitchen, and had breakfast. (After about 15 mins of deliberation, I could not come up with what I had for breakfast. But I decided you didn't care.)

Dearing stumbled out of her slumber, we packed up, and after a pit stop in the town of Seaside for a gift for Brock and Natasha, headed back up to Cannon Beach. There was a park there called Ecola State Park that we wanted to explore.

Driving through the wooded forest, we paid our toll and enjoyed a beautiful view of the foggy beach and the rocks.


Up on the hill, we spotted another beach towards the north where surfers were a plenty. We hopped back in Fuggie and headed that direction. It was a short drive through another densly wooded forest, and we had found surfers paradise.

I wanted to hike, and D wanted some alone time, so we split. I headed up a trail that had been explored by Lewis and Clark. There were markers along the way that explained what Lewis and Clark had seen. This one was my favorite.

If you can't read it, this is what it says:

"...the grandest and most pleasing prospect my eyes ever surveyed." William Clarks journal, January 8, 1806

I couldn't agree more. And thats saying a lot coming from a man that travelled through Montana Idaho and Washington.

I'd like to point out that that was written 175 years to the day before I was born.

The hike was difficult, I won't lie, but it was serene and had the feel of a caribbean island, though the pictures may say otherwise.


Arriving back from my hike I met up with Dearing and it was time for the trek down Hwy 101 down to Corvallis.

The drive was nice and relaxing, for the most part. We past HOSSES, I mean COUPLE HOSSES riding their bikes up the steep terrain while carrying luggage on the wheels and in a cart behind the bike. Amazing to say the least. We passed scenic overlooks and quaint little towns.


Then we hit Tillamook. It started out like any other coastal town, then we began to pass a rather large warehouse with a rather large number of people outside of it. Both our heads slowly turned in the direction of the monstrosity, and we both thought "WHAT ON EARTH IS THAT?"

It was Tillamook Cheese, thats what. Havn't heard of it? yeah, me neither. But cmon, we had to stop. I'll admit I didn't want to, but D wasn't being turned away.

What we found was Disneyland, except cheese. You could buy cheese, fudge, ice cream, and take a tour of the cheese making process. There must have been 2,000 people there, 75% of which were in line for ice cream. We were slightly in a hurry, so we grabbed some packages of chedder cheese, Truscuits, inquired about the absurdness of the whole thing to the cashier, and skeedaddled.

We began to get frustrated. We were exhausted of being in the car, there was traffic on the 101, we were exhausted of being in the car, we were running out of cds to play in Fuggie, and we were exhausted of being in the car.

FINALLY arriving in Corvallis, we got to Brock and Natasha's.

If you are confused about who these people are, they are friends of D and mine from ACU. They were married in college, and had their first child Madison right before we all graduated. They now live in Corvallis where they met and grew up, and now have a second child Alex.

We immediately packed up the kids and us in the SWEET minivan (it plays music while the sliding doors close..automatically!), much to Brock's shagrin. We were going to a church BBQ (oregon style, with barbequed tofu and all...jk)

We went swimming with the kids and got ketchup and mustard all over ourselves just like them. We ate too much food and too much desert. Good times had by all.

Afterwards, we headed back to the house, where Brock and I ditched the women (all 4 of them) and headed to the grocery to pick up his favorite wine, ice cream, and to blockbuster to pick up The Goonies.

We ended the evening with our tummies filled with ice cream, watching The Goonies, sipping on wine, and poking natasha to stay up and watch the movie. it was nice to be on a nice comfy couch, and I'm sure D was enjoying the king sized inflatable mattress. Needless to say, it wasn't long before we were all fast asleep.

Next up: The last day (i'm sure you're all cheering to get me off this topic), more fun with brock and natasha, and Portland!

-JJ