Papa John's doesn't deliver to us. The nearest one is a couple of towns over. [weeps]
I offered to keep my nerd-posts to my original blog, but Jess said, "If you're still going to post to your old blog, there's no reason to have a joint blog." So, I'm posting a nerdy post to start things out.
The video card in my desktop has been dying slowly over the last couple of months. I was hoping it wouldn't die on me completely, like some of my hardware (I'm looking at you laptop), until I had finished my thesis and moved. Well, it honored that request and lived not a minute longer. I got my computer out and setup so I could make some bookmark changes to my thesis so it can get approved by the electronic submission people, and the fan wouldn't spin at all.
Needing to make these changes regardless of fan operation, but not wanting to run the system without a fan on the video card I had a problem to solve. I have 2 old little fans that I took off of broken motherboards. These have been sitting in a "nerd box", as Jess refers to it, since my electronics lab Physics course. I took off the dead fan and determined that the possible replacement fans wouldn't quite fit and the electrical plugs were slightly too large. So, with some creative adjustments (cutting off the circle of plastic that goes around the outside of the fins) and a little extra force on the electrical pins I got a fan in place and it spins. I probably shouldn't be playing any graphics-intensive games until I get a new card, but I can at least make changes to my thesis and browse the web.
Almost caught up!
June 30, 2009
Like I said, we arrived back in Utah and checked into a hotel in Orem. We tried to get some rest for the insanity we knew was coming.
July 1, 2009
We got up early to get to the dealership and pick up Kyle's car (if you recall, it broke and had to be hospitalized just as we were leaving town). Kyle was scheduled to defend his thesis at 10 am, and the movers were to come to my house between 9 and 10, so he took off for campus and I headed over to my house (aka, T and BJ's house). I was way bummed that I couldn't go to Kyle's defense, but Kyle called me at 9:55 to say that the movers had just called him, and they wouldn't arrive until 10:30, so I could, in theory, come to campus and see most of his presentation. Of course, I couldn't actually get from Orem to campus in five minutes, and when I did arrive, I'd have to turn around and go back. Sadly, I stayed at T's. Well, the movers got lost and called me at 10:55 for directions (apparently, they'd been calling Kyle's phone all through his defense) and finally got to my house at 11:10. I totally could have gone to see Kyle defend. I was pretty annoyed about that.
BUT, for the record, moving with movers is totally the way to go. I sat on the couch, held the baby, and talked to T while they packed up my room and loaded the truck. It was lovely, and I'm considering refusing to ever move again without movers. Especially when compared to the madness Kyle and I both endured getting my stuff to Orem from Provo two months ago. Way more stressful.
The movers finished up my place and we went over to Kyle's. Inconveniently, he was still stuck on campus doing paperwork (after having successfully passed his defense!), so I got them started the best I could until Kyle came back. The company that was shipping my car was there to pick it up, too, so I handed that over to them and said farewell to independent transportation for a week or so. That was weird. We eventually got all Kyle's stuff packed up and the movers were on their way.
Full day, right? Not done yet! We still had an open house that night. We swung by Costco to pick up the cake (thanks, Josh, for getting that all ready to go!) and by Panda for the food and headed up to Riverton. We'd wanted to be there by 5, but with one thing and another (including a crazy thunderstorm on the highway), we were at Panda at 6, when the shindig was supposed to be starting. But we were at the Homers' house by, oh, 6:15 or so, and the majority of our guests were coming from the same direction we were, so they got weather and traffic, too. We unloaded food and Wiis and went upstairs to change into our formal gear (we wanted one last wear out of it, even though it was casual dress for everyone else).
We both had tons of fun seeing our friends and unexpected family members. The food was good, and we got to play Guitar Hero and Mario Kart and even croquet. (Sadly, I don't have pictures of these happenings yet. I'll probably post them when I get them, though, because it was rather a sight.) Very late that night, we trundled back over to the hotel and collapsed. We were exhausted.
uly 2, 2009
This was recuperation-and-tying-up-loose-ends day. Mostly, we slept in really late. And ran a couple of errands before leaving town.
July 3-4, 2009
We packed up Kyle's car with wedding gifts, luggage, and a few more delicate items we didn't want put in the moving van and headed out to California. On our way out of town, though, Kyle detoured us over to the Kennecott copper mine.
I've been wanting to go for months, and Kyle said we could. But at the time, the visitors' center was closed for winter, and then things got really busy. I mentioned it once a month or so ago, and Kyle said we still had time. But then we both got really busy, what with moving and thesising and marrying and such, so I just figured it wouldn't happen. I should have known Kyle wouldn't forget!
It was way fun, too. It's an open-pit mine, and it's huge. Just a mind-blowingly massive hole in the ground, but it's all tiered and such, and you can see trucks working down at the bottom and all along the roads up it. They look like little toys down there! There's some fun stuff at the visitors' center, too, about the process and suchlike.
We decided to take this trip a bit slower than the last one and stay the night in Winnemucca, NV. There's really not a lot to say about the area: it's desert and casinos as far as the eye can see. Both days of travel went smoothly, though, and we got to Livermore in plenty of time to check into our hotel and find fireworks to celebrate the Fourth. Livermore has a whole fair-type-thing, and we got cotton candy, which made my day. The fireworks were awesome, and I was glad we got to see them. (Usually, if I don't get fireworks on the Fourth, I can always try again on Pioneer Day. That probably won't work this year...)
July 5, 2009
On Sunday, we attended our new ward, and it went well. It was weird to introduce myself as Jessica Dickerson, but everybody was really nice and welcoming. Most of the people here seem to really like the ward, so that's a good sign.
July 6, 2009
We finally got to move into our apartment! We got over here, did check-in and inspection of the property and whatnot, and then it was time to try and procure some necessary furniture and housewares and such. Mostly, we wanted to get a bed on Monday so we could have something to sleep on that night. That so didn't happen. The entire process was one frustration after another: nowhere did same-day delivery, the mattress we wanted from IKEA didn't come rolled up like we thought it did, Home Depot wouldn't rent us a truck for long enough to get back up there again, etc. We were both very frustrated with the mattress situation, but we did find a fabulous bed we both like that should last us for probably the rest of forever. Major sale, too, which was the only way we could afford a bed that would last us forever. 😀 We found some bedding at Bed Bath & Beyond, and an air mattress at Walmart. Very much not the best night's sleep we've had.
July 7, 2009
This brings us up to yesterday, which was also very full. Kyle started his job at the lab (it was all orientation-type stuff, and it sounded very boring) while I stayed home for deliveries. The movers came at around 10 and brought everything in. The unpacking of it all looks to be a very daunting task:
That should take some time. Yeah. Also, though, the bed was delivered, which was nice. And we even managed to get a mattress! We rented a truck from Home Depot, drove out to IKEA, got the mattress and box spring loaded up, came back, unloaded the truck, and got the truck back to Home Depot in just a couple of hours. It was great. (I learned, though, that my side muscles are NOT as strong as they used to be. I could feel all the muscles around where the chest tubes went pulling and straining: lifting that box spring about did me in. I wonder if it's still just healing, or if the scar tissue is what it is and that sort of thing will always be more difficult. Guess we'll find out.) We slept lots better last night, in a real bed, on a real mattress.
And now we're up to date! Kyle just left for work, and my morning dose of Excedrin is kicking in, so I'm about to go get ready for the day. My car should be delivered at some point today, so that'll be nice. Then I'll be able to run errands while Kyle's at work, instead of having to wait until he gets back and traffic is bad and stores are closing.
Still playing catchup here. It should go faster now, though.
June 24-25, 2009: New Haven, CT
We stayed at a hotel near Yale. Not much to say about this bit: it was rainy. Connecticut is beautiful, though, and I really like it. Oh, and our hotel was awesome. It's called the Study at Yale, and it's all studyish! Way fun.
June 25-26, 2009: NYC
We left Wednesday afternoon for New York City. I'd never been there, so I was excited. We took a train, too! I found this immensely exciting.
The day pass came in handy when I locked myself out of the subway by not knowing how to properly negotiate the turnstile. That was annoying, but we got cheesecake while we waited for it to let me in again.
Wednesday afternoon, we just went to Central Park and Rockefeller Plaza. So, I knew that Central Park is big, but I thought it was all grass. Not so! Tons of trees and such, and they hide things in there! Like a carnival. And a zoo. And it's so weird to see all those trees with the skyscrapers rising up behind them.
We had a lot to do that day! We started out by going to Times Square. It was so busy! And those ads are huge. Then we found a subway station and were off to the site of the World Trade Center. Basically, it's a huge construction site. Complete with fencing so you can't really see anything (if there's still a viewing platform anywhere, we couldn't find it). At this point, we got very lost. Kyle got all turned around and his internal map was no longer matching reality. (I still don't quite get this, since I have no internal map at all. This means there's nothing in my head whatsoever to confuse me when I arrive somewhere I didn't think I was going, but that's what kept happening to Kyle.) For obvious reasons, we let the guy with a map in his head navigate, and he eventually got it sorted out. We spent a long time wandering around in search of a subway station, but we did get there. Of course, that's when I locked myself out, so a cheesecake break was actually exactly what we needed, I think.
Anyway, we did eventually get onto the subway and down to the ferry (another mode of transportation I was very excited about, having never been on one before). Kyle stood in the blistering sun to buy tickets while I sat in the shade (such a good husband!), and then we got to go through security, just like at the airport. But we eventually got onto a ferry headed out to Liberty Island. Guess what? The Statue of Liberty is large. Which is basically all there is to say about it.
Next, we hopped back onto the ferry for a trip to Ellis Island. This was super cool, 'cuz they've got an amazing museum there. The main floor has a bunch of exhibits about immigration, like country of origin charts and such, but they're done in interesting ways, so it's not lame. The second floor has several different rooms, each explaining a different step in the immigrants' process of being allowed into America. There were all kinds of examinations, like intelligence, mental health, and legal status. It was super interesting, and one of my favorite things we did in NYC.
We took the ferry back to Manhattan, then got on the subway again. (Side note: some of those stations are massive! I had no idea how big they were until we got lost in a couple of them.) (Other side note: I'd always heard that New Yorkers were rude and mean, but we had several people offer to help us figure out where we were going or help us with stuff. It was very nice and very unexpected.) So, we get off the train and head above-ground again, only to be stopped at the bottom of the stairs by a crowd of people who weren't quite ready to venture out into the pouring rain that had appeared out of nowhere. (Now, I'd been carrying around an umbrella all day b/c the weather forecast called for thunderstorms. Thus far, it had been sunny and hot, and I figured my umbrella efforts would be wasted. But I was so glad to have it with us!) We busted out the umbrella and tromped up the stairs into the worst thunderstorm either of us has had the pleasure of being in in years. The Manhattan temple (which was what we had come to see) was just across the street from the station, so we darted across and sheltered under the overhang with a bunch of other people. On the way across the street, I peeked out from under the umbrella long enough to see the angel Moroni. It was impossible to get a good look at the building, though, 'cuz it was just raining too hard. We could see Lincoln Center across the way, though, and we enjoyed watching the storm for a while. It just kept getting harder and harder!
We had wanted to visit the Empire State Building and the Met, but we were both really tired at this point, so we decided those could wait until our next trip. I was all for walking back to the hotel, but Kyle insisted that it was a lot further than I thought it was, so we popped back underground again to the subway. (He may've been right about that, but don't tell him I said so.) So we went back to the hotel to retrieve our bag, then headed to Central Station for the train back to New Haven. Kyle's parents picked us up there, and we got back to Cromwell.
July 26-30, 2009: Cromwell, CT
We stayed in a hotel in Cromwell, and our main priority for this part of the honeymoon was to relax and recuperate. NYC was awesome and fun, but very tiring, so we took that weekend very easy. Saturday night, we went to see Up, which was great fun. I loved the short at the beginning, too. On Sunday, we went to church and then had dinner over at Kyle's parents'. We also opened gifts, which was fun.
On Monday, we went out to Mystic to the aquarium there. This was my other favorite thing we did. It's a great aquarium, with sea lions, beluga whales, and penguins outside in tanks so you can see them both above and below water. The inside exhibits had all sorts of crazy fish, sharks, and octupi, which were super fun, too. Kyle was disappointed that the penguin shelter was closed for renovation (he'd been telling me about these penguins for weeks!), but we did still get to see a couple of penguins in another room. Just not nearly as fun since there was no water. I told him we could go back, though. For dinner, we managed to track down the one and only Mystic Pizza, which was quite good. We also got to see a drawbridge in operation with real ships going under it!
June 30, 2009: return to Provo
This was the day we flew back to Utah. That basically took the entire day. I had the longest flight of my life, from Hartford to Las Vegas. But I got to see cool Las Vegasy stuff from the plane, so that was neat. Once again, we were exhausted. But even though the honeymoon was over, the fun was just beginning.