Shark Bait

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Newport Beach Palmer Family Vacay was fantabulous. It was great. What's not to love about hanging out in a condo in California with the sun and sand for a week?

Seriously it was amazing and sooooo relaxing.

Good thing I didn't leave on my mission this week or I would be so underprepared.... because I was so dang lazy for a week straight...

Some things that happened:

My mom and I went to the Newport Beach temple. So small! But so gorgeous. #qualitytime

I taught my little favorite cousin Colty-poo how to do a fish face.
most adorable kid ever. ugh I just want to snuggle him all the time.

I accidentally stepped on a snail and squished it to smithereens... (imagine Luke Skywalker's reaction when he found out Darth Vader was his father.... that would give you a pretty good idea of how I reacted... sooooo gross)

At the Huntington Street Fair, I saw Jack Sparrow, a possum with a top hat, and a creepy giant stuffed bear. And flirted with the guy at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.

Chocolate and boys. Best combination there is (other than the #9 at wendy's... heheheheh)

We went to Balboa on the pier... which means...

my one true love.

Also. It's possible my sister in law and I watched lilo and stitch...

twice in a row... (whatever-- it's a good movie and it has elvis songs in it)

while she kicked my butt in phase 10...

Friendly reminder that the Steele family is obsessed with phase 10 and sometimes we stay up until the wee hours of the morning holding phase 10 championships and we play it pretty much every trip to newport

Don't mess with us in the realm of card games because we will kick trash.


I had managed to score some tickets to Jimmy Kimmel about a week ago, priority tickets. I would expect nothing less of me. (excuse me while I high-five myself )

So my padre and I spent the afternoon in LA (thank you rental car red camaro for the experience of a lifetime. no thank you to the crappy LA traffic that gave me a heart attack every five minutes and simultaneously made me want to punch every person I saw).

It was a dang funny show though. The guests were Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel promoting their new movie. It was called Sex Tape.

Awkward on so many levels.


it definitely wasn't as awkward as your boss asking about your undergarments for your mission.... uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..... w h a t

Nevertheless, we scored bigtime when they gave us fifty dollar gift cards leaving the studio.
I mean... I guess that's the least they can do considering they had us cheer so loud and so often I almost lost my voice... score to the max, missionary stuff here I come

Bless you Jimmy Kimmel and your ability to give away large amounts of money at a time the dream.

It being Friday and all, we decided to check out this beach that Cody and 'Chelle had raved about by Dana Point. It definitely wasn't a bad beach. Not too crowded or anything.

At low tide, you could walk about like a quarter of a mile and be only waist deep. Pretty legit. Thank you to the thirty something waist-deep surfers for providing some entertainment while we were sunbathing.

Back to the story.

There was a part that was pretty rocky so we went out to explore low tide. Thank goodness I wore shoes because I think every step I was trying my hardest to not step on the little hermit crab shells that were chilling on the rocks.

trying... and failing..

We got out to a point and decided to turn around. The water was rocky and knee deep and silly me didn't raise my foot high enough and sliced my toe open from nail to bridge

Thought it was just a scrape. Nope. I only discovered the bloody mass of a toe when I got to where I could step on the rocks and not submerge the dang thing in dirty salty bacteria-ridden ocean water

As we were walking back to shore (pre-toe discovery), my brother turns and says "Look, do you see that? It's a shark"

It was a blobby shadowy mass in the water until I looked closer...


It was a great white shark


nah I'm totally kidding.

It was just a little three-foot long leopard shark which I may have mistakenly called a tiger shark on multiple occasions.

Big difference.

Ahhhh. my shark-week obsessed self is so disappointed.

Here's the thing: I like shark week. but I hate sharks.

As soon as I saw it, I booked it back to shore

"I will not be eaten by sharks today!" I shouted triumphantly as I ran back to the shallows
(note: this didn't actually happen. I was too busy getting the hecka out of there. but it's nice to pretend I was calm and composed...)

Apparently (says the lifeguard who bandaged my nasty-A toe) they are pretty common in the area.
At least.. on that particular beach

Will I ever be swimming there again?

... nope. hard pass.

On Saturday, we got to go whale-watching with our cousins

We didn't see any whales but we saw a lot of happy dolphins (like.. hundreds. I have never seen that many in a pod in my entire life) and some cute seals.

props to xander for yelling "beluga whale" every time he saw a dolphin
youth these days...

So to sum up...

I would never want to live in California but...
I am okay with visiting there every once in a while.

Especially with my family.... #bestfriendsforeternity


BFFs in Zion

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Let me tell you a little something, first of all. Everyone loves their mother. Well, pretty much everyone anyway. I love my mother to pieces. I honestly consider her to be my best friend. I've gone through a lot of friends, because I've moved so many times, but my mother has always been there for me. And not even in the traditional "I'm here for you because I'm your mother" sense. I would honestly rather spend time with my mother (and my sisters and dad) than just about anybody else. She is my favorite person in the entire world, and I have never been more grateful for anyone (besides my Dad and siblings) in my entire life.

I'm fortunate enough to live in the wonderful Cedar City, where there are a bunch of national parks well within driving range. A favorite here is Zion National Park. Seriously, I think I go basically every weekend during the summer. I love that about Cedar. Because it's the summer months, I've been basically living alone in my fabulous house on the mountainside. Other than working, I haven't really had tons to do. So when I told my Mom that I would probably spend the weekend alone, watching the Office and sleeping, she decided that it would be a great idea to come down and visit! And go hiking, of course! Zion is one of our favorite places in the whole world. We're big fans of anything outdoors. Hiking is a staple in our family during the summer. Also trips to Yellowstone. We're amateur animal stalkers... ha ha ha! No but really. If there's a chance to be outside (and not wear shoes...) I take it.

So she drove down on Friday, and we had a fun time visiting the St. George temple. I love being able to go do a session with my sweet mother. It's one of the most rewarding and spiritual experiences! On Saturday, we got up and drove to Zion! I convinced her to hike one of my favorite hikes, Hidden Canyon. It's a really cool (slightly strenuous hike) that shares a trail with Observation Point for part of the way. It leads back into a slot canyon type environment, with a beautiful natural arch towards the end of the trail. It was SUCH a nice day to be able to hike! The trail wasn't too bad because it was mostly in the shade, so we had a pretty easy time. After we finished the hike, we got lunch in the Zion lodge, and then (slightly sore) we headed back to Cedar to see the Cedar Valley Community Theater (and some friends/old roommates) perform Oklahoma! which was fabulous! I love doing all these summer-y things. Even though I won't be able to have these kind of experiences or trips while I'm on my mission, I will always treasure the memories! And of course, I'll be all the more excited to hike and explore and travel again when I get back. Our next adventure will be in Newport Beach with the rest of the family and some of my amazing cousins! I can't wait!