Tuesday, October 25, 2011

#99 Attend a Presidential Debate

One of the biggest passions I have is politics. I love being in the know and standing up for the candidates that I believe in. Growing up my mom would always make sure that I knew that it was my civil duty to be an informed voter. As we are moving into the next presidential race I have been very involved and have been glued to every single debate to sift out who I feel like I could vote for and who I just don't like. Each time that I sit down to watch a debate I always turn to Danielle and I tell her how someday I really wanna go to one of these things. Wouldn't you know it, someday finally came. Weeks ago as Danielle and I found out that a debate was going to be held in Las Vegas and non other than the Venetian, where she works. She called me up so excited and told me that she was able to secure us tickets to go. Being a big republican buff I was very excited to get to go see my favorite candidates Mitt Romney and Herman Cain in action. As we got to the event that day there were gobs of protestors in front of the entrance to the debate. I couldn't help but stop and read some of their signs. With the whole Occupy everything movement going on there was sure some crazy ones...my favorite though was "I already regret carrying this sign all day." I had to give a thumbs up to the lady that was carrying that one. As we entered the debate, it was in a large warehouse that was converted into a small room with drapes for walls. We got past security and were shown to our designated place to sit.....3rd row from the back. It was great to be there with Danielle, she definitely has been the key to me accomplishing a lot of stuff on my bucket list. As the debate began Anderson Cooper introduced himself to us and kind of gave a run through of what would be happening throughout the debate. The applause and exciement was encouraged and was very controlled. Every time a commercial went out or came in the stage hands would motion for everyone to applaud the candidates. It was great to watch how the whole process worked. Overall, I think Mitt Romney came out as the winner of the debate. He gave the most presidential answers as he worked to deflect the many political cheap shots that came his way from the likes of Rick Perry or Rick Santorum. One of the humorous things that happened that they didn't show you on t.v. was Michele Bachman constantly trying to get the attention of Anderson Cooper. She shot her hand in the air so frequently that it became annoying to the viewers in the audience and many people made fun of her as she repeatedly shot that little hand of hope towards the moderator. It was definitely fun to applaud and to boo and to make the debate much more lively...Danielle contributed to that greatly and had some great quotes of her own that came from that meeting. As the debate ended we were able to mingle with the dignataries in the audience with the likes of Wayne Newton, Governor Brian Sandoval and even got Herman Cain's autograph. It was so fun to pretend to be important and to act as if we knew anything about the whole political election process. Anyway, it was a great time and I am grateful to have been able to check another thing off my list. I didn't think I'd ever get to do this one but it definitely pays to have a best friend and spouse who gets us into such awesome stuff. I think that if you ever have an opporunity to go to one of these things you should definitely take the chance and go because it is not only informative but a great way to spend an evening. After everything was over we went to I Love Burgers at the Venetian and scored ourselves some overpriced food that was amazing. The friend pickles were incredible. All in all though, such a fun night and I can't wait to check off my next thing....punch a shark here I come!

Friday, September 16, 2011

#20 Cliff Jump In Hawaii

Ohhhh baby, what a fun accomplishment this was. Hawaii is famous for it's white sandy beaches, huge waves and most importantly, awesome cliff jumping spots. Ever since Danielle and I went to Maui on our honeymoon, I have always wanted to go back to Hawaii and cliff jump with the natives. When Danielle and I were there we were kind of "occupied" and so we didn't get out much to experience the fun stuff that only natives know about i.e. the really cool cliff jumping spots.A few months ago talk began to spread through our family about wanting to go to Hawaii and naturally I feuled that fire considerablly so we could get to go again. Eventually things worked out and we all decided to go. Thanks to Danielle and her hotel magic we secured a pretty good price on a hotel and scored a sweet deal on plane tickets. We went from August 17th to August 24th. Previous to going every person in the family was designated a day to "plan" with activities and directions so that the trip would flow smoothly.
Danielle and I planned a beach hopping day,
Mallory had a Dog the Bounty Hunter / Pearl Harbor day,

Jeremy had a follow the spirit day,

Dad planned the temple and Polynesian Culture Center,

Mom took us snorkeling at Hanauma Bay

and Kelsey scored us a sweet spot to cliff Jump at Waimea Bay.

I'd been to this beach with my family previously when I was a baby

but no way was it as cool then as it was when we went this time. In the Bay there is a 40 foot rock that many beach goers and locals were jumping off when we got there. Luckily, I was prepared for the occasion and had just purchased an underwater camera called a GOPRO. We had such a fun time jumping and doing flips. Some of us were a little bit more timid than others (cough cough Danielle) but everyone jumped in and had a great time. The water was so clear and warm that I never wanted the day to end. At the end of the day we watched an amazing sunset together as a family. It was an experience that I will not soon forget. I am definitely glad that I got to check this off my list with the people that I love. As my siblings are getting older we are all starting to spread out a lot more, so it was nice to have everyone together for one last trip before everyone heads off to school. If you're ever in the mood for an amazing vacation I suggest Hawaii. The natives are awesome and the cliff jumping is amaing! Below is a video I put together of our fun week....hope you enjoy!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

#9 Go to a Weezer Concert

Ever since I was a pre teen I have been obsessed with Weezer. My Life Coach and Uncle...Bryan Young introduced me to them and kept the fire of obsession burning within me. He made me jealous as he went to concert after concert and even went as far as playing on stage with them. I am not one to normally go to concerts because of all the horror stories I heard about in high school of mosh pits getting out of hand and that kind of stuff. However, I have always dreamed of seeing Weezer live. This year Danielle surprised me and got us tickets and made my wildest dreams come true. Just to give some back story to how awesome this surprise was....earlier this year during mother's day I was thinking of fun ways to help Danielle through that day. It's not easy to watch other mother's celebrate that day when you're trying so hard to have children but can't. One night, as I was praying an idea came to me to come up with a new tradition and instead of having mother's day, we would have "best friends day" instead. We would celebrate being together and enjoying what blessings we do have instead of concentrating on the blessings that have not yet been given to us. I got her flowers...which is a rare occasion for me and I took her out to her favorite restaurant. She loved it and when Father's Day rolled around she took the idea to the next level. She told me that because I am so good to her she would not just celebrate best friends day as a singular day but rather an entire week. Every day she surprised me with a note telling me how much she loved me and a gift for that day. I loved every minute of it. I scored gift cards and favor coupons and all kinds of stuff, it was great. The last day, she told me to review every note from the week, luckily I had saved them all.....with a little help from her. On every note the first letter in the first word was capitalized and throughout the week as I compared every note the letters spelled out W-E-E-Z-E-R. I thought, great, I am happy that after almost three years of marriage and seven years of being together, she finally figured out that I love weezer and got me like a cd or something. She then proceeded to present me with tickets to a concert! I tackled her and couldn't believe it, Weezer almost never comes to vegas and would yah believe it this time they would be coming to Red Rock which is right across the street from us.
When we got to the concert we were sure to get there a little early so we could get great seats. It was a poolside concert and so people were spread out just hanging out in the cabanas waiting for the concert to start.
Eventually it came time or the concert to start and everyone gathered to the stage. We were lucky to sneak right in front of the stage. They started out with a few of my favorite songs and even threw in a few cover songs. They covered the new song Pumped Up Kicks that's been on the radio recently and I thought they did a great job. It sure was fun to be there singing my heart out knowing all of the words. All the concerts I had been to before were to weird things for Danielle like Rascal Flats, Carrie Underwood and Secondhand Serenade with my sister Kelsey where I knew maybe a half of one song. Not this time though, I let everyone around me know that I was a fan of the band.

At the end of the concert the lead singer of the band, Rivers Cuomo, came down into the crowd. We immediately made our way over to get a piece of the action. Danielle grabbed him and came out of the crowd screaming "I touched him, I touched him." He made his way through all of the crazy fans and jumped into the pool. Of course tons of people jumped in to swim with him too. It was nuts. As he eventually got back to the stage they played one more song and the concert ended. It was an awesome experience and I loved every minute of it. I had such a fun time being with my best friend celebrating best friends day and if this is any indication of how things will be every year, I can't wait for future best friends day for sure. If you ever get the chance I highly suggest you see these guys in concert, they're amazing!

Monday, July 25, 2011

#66 Ride in a Helicopter

I have to honestly say that one of the biggest perks of going through fertility struggles is the amount of time I get to spend with my best friend. We have such crazy adventures and I love that we get to do them together. This past week Danielle took me on a surprise date. One of the running jokes that we have is that we try to pretend that we're rich even though we're poor college students. This date was definitely a part of that joke. Through work Danielle got a sweet hook up and took me on a comped helicopter ride. When we got to the airport we were weighed and paired with two other couples. It was kinda fun to see another couple ahead of us actually got married on the helicopter ride over the strip. They were from rome and were "so in love" according to Danielle. Once our names were called we were walked out with our group to the helipad. We all got in the helicopter and put on our headsets. It was surprisingly very spacious and comfortable. As the pilot took off I was so excited and it was so cool to see how smooth the helicopter actually flies. The view was amazing and we were just taking pictures left and right. The coolest part of all was that I got to be flying over the stratosphere with my best bud. She made it all happen and I couldn't be happier to cross this off the list. I definitely recommend it anyone and I hope to one day be able to fly one of those bad boys myself.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

#46 Bobsled on an Olympic Track

Who hasn't seen the age old classic Cool Runnings. I remember when I first saw it when I was I kid. Who wouldn't want to feel the rhythm....feel the rhyme....give it up it's bobsled time? Putting together this Bucket List I thought about things I never thought I'd be able to do but would love to do someday. Well, this past weekend someday finally came. Every year we have a father and sons ski trip in Park City Utah. Normally we spend time on our trip hitting the slopes, playing video games and watching the STEELERS dominate the AFC championship time and time again. This year when planning the trip we thought back to last year's trip and how great it was and spit ideas back and forth about what we could do to make this year's trip more epic than it's ever been in the past. The idea of Bobsledding came up but was dismissed because who actually goes bobsledding...really? Anyway, time passed and it became a possibility that bobsledding was going to actually happen. Long story short we booked our reservations. It was probably one of the most anticipated activities in ski trip history and rightfully so. All day saturday while we were conquering double blacks and epic falls the olympic track couldn't be removed from anyones' minds. Finally the end of the day came and we got to go to the track in Park City. When we got there we were immediately ushered to sign our lives away through various waivers. We sat through an orientation of the many ways death could possibly happen. Following that we were shuttled up to the top of the track. We were assigned to different sleds and went over even more safety rules, it turns out this stuff is pretty dangerous I guess. When we got to our sled, my dad and I decided to ride in the back. The driver packed us into the sled and we were off. My dad tipped the guy at the starting line to give us an extra little push. It didn't feel like much at the beginning as we started off pretty slow. As the track progressed though we went...fast. Holy crap did we go fasst. I couldn't see much as I rode in the back but oh man could I feel the 4 g's that piled down on me with every turn. We reached a top speed of 78 miles an hour and finished the track in 54.01 seconds. It felt like a lot more than that but it was honestly one of the greatest rushes of a life time. The craziest thing is that it was like ten times more intense than any roller coaster I've ever been on and I didn't even wear a seat belt. We found out that Michael Howarth and Chris Wood who also rode with us in a different sled rode with a celebrity driver, Pat Brown. Pat was the coach of the Olympic bobsled team from Jamaica that Disney based their hit movie Cool Runnings after. It was cool to say we were amongst so many olympic gold medalists. Honestly, this was one of the coolest things that I've ever done in my life. It showed me that really nothing is impossible and that anything on a bucket list can be checked off as long as you stick to it and work hard to cross things off the list. I would recommend this experience to anyone! I absolutely loved every minute of it! Thank you to those who made it possible.

This is just before we head in to orientation and sign away our lives.

Just before we got into the sleds. The girl with us is an olympic gold medalist in luge. She rode with Michael and Chris.