Monday, August 28, 2006

Nice weekend, eh?

Shane and I went biking yesterday. There is a really cool trail here called the Huckleberry Trail. It used to be a railroad. I got overheated so we didn't complete the entire route. It was fun, anyway. And today I am not sore.

I learned that we have poison oak here. (No, I didn't get it on me or anything like that. I just spotted it several times on the trail.) Now I am trying to learn to identify poison ivy and sumac(?).

I am off to meet with my new friend, Sarah. We are going to walk into town and back (a total of 2 miles). We plan to walk every Monday and Wednesday afternoon. Toodles!

Friday, August 25, 2006

I am taking medicine for my injured butt...

Yes, I injured my butt. How? From sitting too long on the airplane. Isn't that lame? I am lame. I guess it is my sciatica (?). It felt awful on Monday. As if I had a mean kidney infection or something. But, thankfully it was just a nerve or muscle... that was injured. Anyway, I am supposed to be taking some muscle relaxers and pain medicine. Which knock me out and make me completely lethargic and moody. I was such a boring person for the last couple of days. Poor Shane.

Since I already feel better I decided to not take the medicine as prescribed. I don't have the severe pain from Monday, so I stopped taking the pain medicine. As for the muscle relaxer, I've decided to only take it at night. The bottle says 3x a day, but that is way too awful to endure. I can't stand myself. For Tuesday, and Wednesday, it was hard to get up in the morning. In the afternoon I took 2-3 hour naps. Then when Shane got home from work I was just vegetative and unmotivated to do anything fun.

So, taking the medicine at night will allow me to sleep through the dizziness, sleepiness, groggyness, moodiness and all that. I feel so much better now so I think I should be fine. Besides, they told me the medicine is narcotic and addictive. So, lets just say I am not taking any chances! Who wants to be addicted to that? BORING. UGh! Not for me.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

weeks 3& 4- present, finally!

Week 3

We got invited to an International Student Dinner on Wed. Aug.9. It was fun. I met two spanish speaking girls. One was from Mexico and the other from Puerto Rico. They were fun to talk to. Someone told Shane that he looked European. Haha! The dinner party was nice. There were students there from everywhere! A grad student told me that the town is pretty diverse. I imagine the diversity is among the college students, not necessarily the people that live here permanently. That is probably why the statistics don't show the diversity. As students, they aren't counted in the census.

Saturday, AUg.12th, we were pretty bored and went for a drive to FLoyd. Several people have told us that it is a fun, artsy, and eclectic town. They must've meant that it was fun on Friday nights, because there wasn't much going on there when we went. They say that retired hippies and artsy people live there, which means there is a lot of New Age stuff going on. I spotted some weird crystal looking balls on pedestals out in front of people's houses. Most were blue, but I also saw a white one. (When I looked it up on the internet, I found that yes they are something new agey... it wasn't clear what they meant, though. I just found them for sale on new age and pagan sites.) Before we set out for Floyd, Shane had searched for events going on that night. He found that there was a band playing at some Lutheran church called Zion. The band was called "No Strings Attached." It was an all string band! It was a little too zany for us, so we left after about 10 minutes of listening to them.
The drive to and from Floyd, was very beautiful. As are most drives out here.

Week 4

Shane left for a conference at Princeton. So, I was home alone for two days,Tues-Thurs.

Friday we got on a plane to LA. (Yes, we were in town this past weekend. We were there for what seemed like a split second. Shane was in a friend's wedding on Saturday.) Friday night we got to LA pretty late, after 11 pm. Saturday was the wedding, and then Sunday morning we went to the airport at 10 AM. So, we barely spent any time with family. But the wedding was awesome beautiful! It was a garden wedding by the beach with lots of flowers and beautiful sunshine. It was pretty fancy! We danced all night. We had a good time. Congratulations to John and Allison!

Now I am finally up to date.

Monday morning we heard that there was a convict loose in the area. The whole town was in an uproar. Part of the Vtech campus was closed due to the belief that he was very close to it, or he was on campus. There were police cars everwhere and helicopters, too. Everybody was talking about it. Shane went to work anyway because he had a meeting to attend. It was on the other side of campus, so he was presumably "safe". After his meeting, he was sent home. The guy was finally caught in some bushes. He is in some major trouble now. Before his escape attempt he was in jail for attempted armed robbery and other charges. But now, he will face murder charges. To escape from the hospital he shot and killed a security guard and shot and injured a sheriff. Then while on the run, in the Huckleberry trail, he shot and killed a policeman.

It is just so sad. This was a huge deal here in town. This kind of stuff just doesn't happen here. Shane and I feel a little guilty. When we first arrived, there was a heatwave starting. And now this crazy criminal incident! We feel guilty for bringing the heat and crime with us from LA. Okay, we don't feel guilty. But what a coinkidink! Don't you think?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Week 2 summary update

Week 2: Will only post significant events

Monday- Late evening, we went for a walk and got lost in the neighborhood. It was fun. We made our way back safely, we probably walked for 2 miles. [update: it was more like 4 miles!]

Tuesday- We went to lunch in the afternoon and ran into the pastor from the church we visited the previous Sunday. He invited us to sit and have lunch with him. We had very good conversation, I really liked the pastor.

Wednesday- Shane and I went into Roanoke, again. We found a store that was very similar to Trader Joe's. It was yuppie heaven. It was a combination of Trader Joe's, Wild Oats, and Pavilion's. Super expensive, but very enjoyable to shop around in. Very nice classical music, wicker and wooden wall coverings, produce baskets, fresh bread, flowers, and meats sections. Wine and spirits section. Amazing displays. Ahhhh... beautiful place. Too expensive, though!

Thursday- We hit the mall! Shane got a new cell phone and phone number. (If you want his new # send him an Email.) We also went shopping for a dining table. (A whole week and a half later and it still has not arrived.) We've been using a card table, a stool, and a crate! The joy!

Friday- We went to Steppin' Out! The annual summer festival here in Blacksburg. It was fun. Live music, arts and crafts, local merchants and restaurants had booths. There were also booths for different organizations and the farmers market...

Saturday- We went to the Annual Peach Festival in Roanoke. Yum! We had peach cobbler! Afterwards we went shopping and bought Shane a very cool desk and shelves, for his home office.

Week 3- Stay tuned...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Last night marked two weeks that we arrived.
It has been a very good experience so far. The first week we spent a whole lot of time unpacking and shopping for things that we needed- groceries and miscellaneous household items. We explored the area- Christiansburg and some of Roanoke (the city).

Blacksburg, alone, is not a city. Shane found out that the Census B. has combined Blacksburg, Christiansburg, and Radford together to call it a Metropolitan Statistical Area. So, Shane keeps reminding me that we live in a Metropoloitan Statistical Area.

Since (1) we don't know anyone in the area yet, (2)we only have one tv channel (that gets so-so reception), and (3)there isn't much going on in town, late in the evening we have started watching dvds. In the first week we watched the Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring. It took us two nights to watch it. When our Netflix finally caught up with us we watched Motorcycle Diaries (unintentional tribute to Matt! Hey Matt, I can't wait to read your Mattercycle Diaries when you return from Costa Rica! Have fun! I am very jealous, you will have to share all about your trip!) Last night we started watching some cheesy $1 dvds I bought at Target months ago. We watched Abbot & Costello's "Jack and the Beanstalk"! Yeah, we are living the vida loca, alright! :P

Our first Sunday we visited a Foursquare church that we found in the yellow pages. It turned out to be a great place to be. I really enjoyed the worship and the message was good. The people were very friendly; just like our old church in Pasadena. The pastor is originally from Long Beach, CA, and he knew our former pastor from Pasadena. They used to do outreach together in Hollywood!

Sunday night we finally ventured out to explore our immediate neighborhood. We walked a block up our street to the park. The park is amazing! It made me wish to be kid again. It is huge! Lots of open space with little hills- you can see firelies everwhere right as it starts getting dark. There are two jungle gym areas. A regular looking one and one that is totally obstacle course style- tires and everything! It is called Caboose park, so you know what sits in the middle of the park, right? A caboose- a real one. I love this park. I am hoping my nephews will be able to come and visit while they are still little- so that they can enjoy the park!

There are more things to share about our second week here. But I will post that later. My hand is starting to flare up- need to rest it.

more tree people?


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Tree people?


On the road through Tenesse, it was fascinating how the trees were covered in ivy (?) creating different figures. Some looked like tall tree people and animals. It was pretty cool. I captured some, but there were many better images that I missed. Oh well. Enjoy. I hope you can see the figures.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Are you lonesome tonight?


Arkansas is the place to be. They not only have Hope, but they have Friendship and a Social Hill...

Friday, August 04, 2006

This is the house in Hope, Arkansas


where President Bill Clinton grew up. We drove passed it kinda fast, so I wasn't able to catch the plaque in front of the house that said it was the house I say it was. But you can trust me. Down the street was the stand selling Hope watermelons. We drove by that way fast, so I didn't get a picture of it. It would've been really funny. Oh well.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Fireflies, make the world go round...

Hi ya'll...

Just writing to let you know that we arrived safely to Blacksburg, VA. It was a pretty short trip across the country, sort of.

Wed. the 19th, the movers showed up bright and early at 7 am. They left by 10:30am. We finished cleaning out the place and left Pasadena around 1 or 2 pm. We then stopped in Whittier to visit my brother, Rene, his family, and my mom. We took a nap then had dinner at my favorite pizza place in the whole world, Pizzamania. Then we got on the road around 9 pm.

On Thursday morning we stopped in Albuquerque to visit with my brothers, Adrian and Aldo and his family. My brother, Aldo, and his daughter, Amanda, are starting a snowcone and popcorn stand business. So they made snow cones for us. That was nice.

Friday evening we left and headed to Waco, Texas. We arrived Saturday morning. We had breakfast with Shane's dad at the Dairy Queen that is a block from his house. We also visited Shane's grandparents and his Aunt Kay and Uncle Ronnie.

Sunday afternoon we left Waco and zoomed over to Dallas. There we met up with Shane's mom, sister (Natalie) and her husband, Chris. We had dinner and coffee with them for about 3 hours. Then we headed on up to Hope, Arkansas (birthplace and boyhood home of former President Bill Clinton). We spent the night in great Hope and anticipation.

Monday, in the late morning we cruised passed Clinton's old home. As we were leaving we saw a fruit stand selling... Hope Watermelons! Isn't that funny! They weren't just watermelons, they were Hope Watermelons.

We had planned to do some sightseeing for the remainder of the trip, but soon realized that we were limited due to Chispita. It was too hot to leave her in the car and leaving her in the hotel was not an option. So, from Hope we drove on to Little Rock, for lunch. We bought sandwiches and ate them at the tree lined river walk of the Arkansas River. (Where there were some pretty huge black ants the size of Shane's toe.) We continued on to Memphis, Tennessee. We just missed the last tour of Graceland. We got there a half hour late. What a disappointment that was. Okay, not really. We are way closer to it now than before, so I am sure we will have another opportunity.

We proceeded onto Nashville. We got there late for dinner and lodging.

Tuesday morning, having realized that we were close enough to our destination, we hightailed it and arrived in Blacksburg, VA, by 8:30 pm. We unloaded our vehicle and went out for a much deserved pizza and beer.

Shane did most of the driving because he can. (I get hypnotized by the road, and start to blink off after the first hour or so. At most, I drove 3 hours at one time.) The road through Texas was dreadful! I say driving through Texas is to be avoided at all costs. So, the best part was visiting with family.

From Arkansas onward, the drive was scenic and quite beautiful. Amazing, even. There were some pretty funny exit road signs (I will publish them later).
Since this is a pretty long post, I will stop here.

Today, this very moment actually, marks exactly one week that we arrived. I thank God that we had a safe and joyous journey across America the Beautiful. Our trip was good, and our stuff arrived right on time. Thanks to all of you that kept us in your prayers. (When we first arrived, we were greeted by an amazing show of little blinking stars flying around the grass, near the trees and all around. I love fireflies -Shane calls `em lightnin' bugs. They make you feel like a kid all over again!)