Friday, August 29, 2014

Hiking Cowles Mountain

San Diego doesn't offer a lot of outdoor recreation (at least not in the way that Utah, Oregon, Idaho, or New England did), and we've found that we spend WAY too much time inside. Which is kind of strange, since the weather is always perfect in San Diego. 

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago we decided we were going to stop that trend, and we went and hiked Cowles Mountain, the highest peak in San Diego. Of course, that isn't saying much. We hiked the mile and a half up the mountain, enjoyed the view for a little bit, then ran down. 
Since we went on a Saturday, it was really busy on the hill, but the view was great from the top. I guess you can see the ocean when it is clear... but San Diego always seems to have some sort of hazy fog over it, so I don't know how frequently you would be able to actually see the the ocean, but I would love to venture up it again to try and see. 
So we hiked up in 40 minutes, and then ran down in 15. We felt pretty good about that. We've just started training for a half marathon this week, so I guess Cowles Mountain was our first test. We need to get better at taking pictures so I can fill up our blog with things that we're doing, but we've been slackers lately. This weekend should be fun though, and I'll be sure and update the world about our adventures. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

My Technology Obsession

Since coming back to the states, Caitlin and I have really struggled with technology. It has really overtaken life in the US. We didn't even have a phone in Guatemala. On Wednesday nights, I get together with a group of young adults and play volleyball. They are not very good, and sometimes I get frustrated on the court when people don't pass, or don't even move their feet to hit the ball. But the thing that is the most frustrating for me is that 90% of the people there spend more time on their phones than they do enjoying the sport.
Seriously. 
Every time someone leaves the rotation, they immediately grab their phone and start texting, instagraming, facebooking, or doing whatever else you do on a smartphone. It's kind of ridiculous. They even do it when there is more than one person sitting on the sidelines. Some people even bring their phone on the court and pull it out between plays. 2 weeks ago, I finally told someone how annoying it was that everyone was obsessed with their phones. They actually put theirs away and chatted for a few minutes before I went back onto the court. I was shocked.
Caitlin and I both struggle with this, since it has made our world so much more impersonal, yet at the same time, when we are bored or "killing time" we are on our technology. It is part of the culture and you fit in when you are glued to a screen. But even though it is part of our culture, and we are also addicted to technology, we share 1 phone between the two of us, and that one phone is not a smart phone. And plus, we have no friends, so we don't actually get very many text messages or calls, so we normally leave it in the car or on silent all day.
Anyway, one reason that I'm writing this post is because I found this great video that sums up my frustration perfectly. I think you should all watch it. The second reason is because I just wanted to tell you, my friends, something I learned my second semester of college. My interpersonal communication teacher, Susan Grant, taught us that the person (or people) you are with is always more important than the person on the phone. It is extremely rude when people get a text message or their phone beeps and they interrupt your conversation to answer it. 
When did the phone become more important than the person you are with? If it is an emergency, the person is going to call - not text. How many people text you to say they were in a car accident and bleeding on the side of the road, or that grandma just passed away? I hope nobody has. And if they have - this video is perfect for them. 
So let's all just look up from our electronics and make eye contact, strike up a conversation with a stranger, and enjoy time with the people who are in your life, not the words they write on a screen. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Sea World Birthday

Back in July I turned 28. Remember back when you are in high school and 28 seems so old? Yeah, I still feel pretty young, and I'm starting to realize that age doesn't really define how old you are, but it's more about how you conduct your life that shows your real age. 

For my age, Caitlin knew just how to plan the best birthday. 

We started out going to Dairy Queen the night before to have some birthday ice cream. Dairy Queen sends buy one, get one free coupon for your birthday - so we definitely had to utilize that baby. 
Then, Caitlin surprised me with tickets to Sea World! Her friend Bree works there and hooked us up with some tickets. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN! I seriously loved it. There is a new roller coaster there, so we hit that up a few times right when we got there so we wouldn't have to wait in line. And then we made sure to watch every single show. The dolphins, Shamu, and the sea lions. It was great.
Bree works that the Cirque de la Mar show at Sea World, so we got VIP seats. It is a really cool Cirque show where they use the water as part of the show. We also had fun on the rides at Sea World, playing with the manta rays, and watching the flamingo parade. 
In the evening, we took a break and went to the Spanish branch beach party and had dinner and watched the sun set on the beach. It was absolutely gorgeous.
Then we went back to Sea World to enjoy the night show before heading home. It seriously was such a great birthday. Got to do two of my favorite things: enjoy time with Caitlin, and spend time in the sun. Win/win. Can't wait to see where 28 will take me, 27 was a great year for me, and I have a feeling that every year will keep getting better.