Here We Are.

Well, now that you are all caught up on where I am and how I got here, it’s time to show you around. I’m still learning about this lovely city, but as I learn so will you.

Since arriving here we’ve not done much. I’ve experimented with new food recipes, and looked for a job. We are preparing to move to a one-bedroom apartment. Same square footage, just a different building. I’m super excited! We have been shopping for new house stuff. Since we have to leave all this nice stuff here… :[ But here’s a pic of the new bedroom set we got:

It’s really pretty! We’ve also got a couch, love seat, end table, coffee table, and a new television! Danny’s got a good friend who is giving us a great deal on all of this amazing stuff.

We’ve been relaxing a lot. Catching Danny up on Friends so we can play a Trivial Pursuit game with his friend. His name is Alfonso. He and his wife Claudia are HUGE Friends fanatics and have challenged us to a very tough competition! We have come to love this show. As if I didn’t love it enough already!! He is so hooked on it, we no longer watch anything else!

I’ve also been experiencing with different food recipes. I’ve made an orange chicken dish with veggies and, since we didn’t have lo mien noodles, I used ramen noodles! haha. Danny really enjoyed it. I’ve been experimenting with different cheeses as well. Goat cheese seems to be his new favorite. I made a quesadilla  with it and chicken. Another quesadilla with feta and cheddar was a big hit. In my gallery there is a croissant breakfast with eggs, aged cheddar cheese and spicy Italian sausage, all wrapped in a pinwheel croissant wrap. It was delicious! Pictures are all below, check them out!

Also, you can find pictures of some of the birds around here. We’ve got the ducks, herons, cardinals, and more! I’ve also been photographing the turtles. They are adorable, basking in the sunlight around the pond.

Amid all the chaos of cooking, cleaning, moving and other stuff I’ve been looking for a temporary job. So far, no luck…but I am getting closer! I’ve also been in touch with the USMC recruiters down here…this is not going very smoothly. But, hopefully they will start to help me more. [[Special thanks goes out to RSS Eugene, who have also been helping me stay in contact!]]

Anyway, I think you are all caught up…I’ll keep you posted on anything new and exciting that happens! Thanks for following and remember, your comments are always appreciated!

I love you all and I hope you are doing great as well!

Have an excellent week!


Cross-Country Travels Day 3

Nap time was over. It was nearly 4am on Tuesday and it was FINALLY my turn to drive! I had slept for a little while before Danny pulled over for a nap, so naturally he still slept while I drove. Our next stop for gas was before the sun came up in a small town along the Historic Route 66. As it turns out we nearly paralleled this Route the whole way home!

I digress, Danny was awake now and I had only been driving for a little bit! We made it through Albuquerque  and were inching closer to Texas. He drove through New Mexico and we witnessed a beautiful sunrise

The terrain was desolate. It was flat, dry, and the road looked like an infinite concrete strip stretching to the end of the world. We pulled over and I got to drive again. Other than massive herds of cattle on all of the ranches from eastern NM through Texas, there wasn’t a single animal in the fields. This road was almost as straight and boring as the stretch of I-5 between Salem and Eugene… YAWNNN!

Eventually we made it to Texas and were starving. Remembering Uncle Carl telling me of a place that was the perfect spot to stop, we had a new mission: Find The Big Texan.

We found it! We each had a “Hungry Cowboy,” and boy did it fill us up! As well, it should have, considering it had eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, potatoes, biscuits and gravy!

All in all, it was an excellent breakfast. Check out the rest of the pics from this supersized country western steak house! They are in the  gallery at the end of this post. It was a fun experience. So many animals mounted on the walls. All sizes of elk, deer, antelope, bears, moose, game birds, the list goes on. There was memorabilia from the days of the Wild West. There was a small casino, a “beer garden” and gift shop; all were dripping with classic cowboy/saloon style decor. We got all the pictures we could, but we couldn’t dilly dally any more. We still had a ways to go and we wanted to be home. And so, again, we were on the road.

Driving on, we passed through Oklahoma, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and finally made it home. This leg of the trip was very uneventful. When we reached Tennessee it was dark, so we didn’t get to enjoy the area. Crossing into Mississippi the lightning bugs came out! We first noticed them when one smashed on the windshield and glowed bright green! It was such a cool sight looking out the window and seeing these bugs looking like shooting stars on earth!

We reached Birmingham and this was where the weather took a drastic change. Rain like I’ve never seen it before! We got within 30 minutes of the apartment and it was 3 am Wednesday. Picture this: Florida rain quantity, for the length of time that it rains in Oregon…it was the most intense thing I’ve ever seen! We could barely see out the windshield! Nevertheless, we made it home safely by 3:30 am Wednesday morning. A shower, pajamas, midnight snack and sleep followed. It’s safe to say, we spent the next 5 days relaxing and enjoying each other’s company before Danny had to go back to work. We picked up his truck…

He missed her… haha.

We also went to Callaway Gardens to go rollerblading. I had not been rollerblading since I was little but, to my surprise, it wasn’t difficult to pick up again! We had such a good time and I felt like a little kid again. Across from the Gardens there’s a viewpoint. We drove up there to see what we could “view.” Sitting on the top of his truck we looked out over Columbus. Not to my surprise, it was flat! We were probably sitting at the top of the highest part in Georgia… It was gorgeous, don’t get me wrong. So many different types of green trees [none of the evergreens we have back home], but still very green! It was beautiful and we plan on going up there again.

Well, here we are, in Columbus, Georgia. I couldn’t be happier with where we are. I am so thankful that I get to spend the summer with my love. One more post might catch you up on the week we’ve spent here. After that, I hope to post regularly on updates of our lives this summer. Stay Tuned!

Cross-Country Travels Day 2

Bright and early Monday, April 30 we were on the road again…Our goal was to reach the Grand Canyon before dark…meaning we had to drive all the way south through California and halfway across Arizona. Here’s the map of our journey to keep you updated:

trip map

One would think that being stuck in a car with one person would get old after a few hours…It didn’t. There wasn’t ever a lull in conversation, ranging from crazy people, to tumbleweeds. We thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company. Before we knew it we were nearly all the way through California! And around the next corner was quite a sight:

They were EVERYWHERE! These windmills gave the dry, rolling hills a larger-than-life, almost robotic feel. They were massive machines. Awesomely powerful, and inspired me to learn a little more about them and how they worked. A little of what I found came from this website: Check it out, it’s pretty amazing!

To Danny these windmills were supercool. To me, terrifying. Since I read a book in 6th grade called The Tripods, windmills have become alien-like machines that could attack at any moment! Silly, I know and I will never be able to explain why this book, out of all the books I’ve read, has stuck with me.

The journey continued, and finally we got into Arizona. Without a real camera I was unable to do the terrain justice with the photos I’ve taken but they are still an astonishing depiction of how dry it really is down there:

This, friends and family, is the Mojave River. The Mojave River is an intermittent river in the eastern San Bernardino Mountains and Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County, California. It is 110 miles long and…I can’t tell you what it looks like with water in it… it was a large dried up riverbed. The source being in the San Bernardino Mountains and the mouth at Soda Lake.

As we drove, enjoying all the desert and hot, dry air…I realized we hadn’t checked the tires since Sacramento. We pulled over in this desolation and checked.

It’s been such a great trip so far. There is nothing more satisfying than traveling the country with my love. He makes me so happy. —This paragraph is going to continue with mushy gushy love talk, if you don’t want to read please skip to the next paragraph — Mr. Hodges is an amazing man. Yes, he has been through a lot. We have had our ups and downs, and even further downs. But after everything we have been through, I couldn’t ask for a more supportive, loving, handsome man by my side. He is my forever and always. Since day one we have always fit together like puzzle pieces…which will explain to a lot of you the tattoo on our forearms. He is my best friend, and the love of my life. I am so grateful for where we are now in our relationship. I look forward to everything we get to experience together in the future. —end lovey dovey rant. :]

Anyway, around 4pm on Monday, somewhere between Mojave and the Grand Canyon we ran into our first problem:

The dry, dusty air more than likely combined with the altitude changes along the way gave me a MASSIVELY bloody nose! Here you see my [Danny’s] solution: a tank top that just happened to be within reach. No, we did not have a single napkin in the car… Luckily it stopped after a few miles and we made a stop for gas and to get precautionary paper towels. Waiting next to the car, Mr. Hodges almost skips out of the gas station with his new purchase:

Yes, people, those are sunglasses…with a strap…so they didn’t squeeze his head… and that allowed him to do this:

This would be Danny…hanging out of the car window…like a dog…haha. It was quite a sight to see. So, on we drove. With not much to see. We did see, however, a LOT of different animals! We saw a herd of elk, between 10 and 15. A bunch of antelope roaming the fields, and a few small herds of deer, my assumption was they were mule deer. Maybe one of my hunting fanatic friends can confirm. They were smaller, grey in color, but I didn’t see any bucks. It was pretty cool seeing this wildlife in another state. The elk looked to be a herd of cows. I’m sure if I was paying closer attention I could have found the bulls in there somewhere!

By the time we got to the sign that read: Grand Canyon Entry Fee $25…It was already dark. It was probably the only bummer of the trip. I was really looking forward to seeing this Wonder.

Moving on, It was past 8pm and we were only halfway through Arizona. We had put in 18 hours of driving and weren’t nearly as far as we’d hoped to be. However, there was a “super” moon out again and we chased it heading east. Tearing through New Mexico as the face in the moon looked down at us. It wasn’t until 2am that we pulled over for a nap.

To be continued…

Cross-Country Travels Day 1

On April 29, Danny and I began our cross-country road trip from Eugene, OR to Columbus, GA. It was an exciting day for both of us. This is a huge step for me, leaving my family and friends for the summer to be with the man who’s had my heart since June 2008. Image

Here we are with his niece, Jazmyn and nephew, Jaden before driving away. These little ones are adorable. I’m so glad I got to see them again before we left! So, we set off at around 3:30 sunday afternoon. I was exhausted from all-night last-minute packing and such, so a nap was in order. When I woke up this is what I saw:

It was an incredible sight. One that told me we were almost out of Oregon. I’m no geography wiz…so I assumed it was Mt Shasta. Someone correct me if I’m wrong…. Anyway, the drive continued, we stopped for gas once before the night was over. We were starving by 8 and the timing was perfect. We had just reached Redding, CA and the closest In-n-Out burger an Oregonian can get to…

After stuffing our faces wit Double Doubles and fries “animal style” we were on our way again. We didn’t drive quite as long this time…Sacramento was where we stopped for the night.

As I lay my head down and tried to subdue the anxiousness of getting on the road again in the morning, I thought to my self how blessed I really am. I have the opportunity to experience so many new things with this amazing man. I have the most supportive, enthusiastic family which has given me everything I could ever hope for and more. And which has also raised me to know that, no matter what I do, no matter where I go, no matter how far away my adventures may take me, I will always have roots in little Pleasant Hill, Oregon where I know I can return at any time with open arms to greet me.

To be continued…

The opener.

I’m Courtney. I’m from Oregon, currently live in Georgia with my love, Danny. In September 2012 I will begin my journey to becoming a US Marine. This blog is intended on keeping friends and family [and whoever else may stumble across this] posted on things that are going on in my life (…our lives…?) When it’s not so late, and we find a computer with enough space to upload pictures, I will begin with our journey from Eugene to Columbus. It was SUPER interesting so STAY TUNED!