Friday, July 22, 2011

Glacier National Park

The night before backpacking, Jess was giving Nik and me a few different tips on what to pack and why. I asked if we would need our bathing suits for any swimming fun and she answered, "Well, it is glacial runoff so I don't know how much swimming we'll be doing."

Noted. We leave our bathing suits at home. (The car.)

After our hike into backcountry we got up the ganas to take a dive sans clothing! (And by dive, I mean cautious but simultaneously clumsy tip-toeing off the rocks.) And guess what? Glacial runoff is COLD. We dunked ourselves in the lake, came up gasping for air, and took a really fast splash-bath. Reaching for the edge of the water almost as soon as we got knee-deep, Nikk and I had a new respect for backpackers who do this on the regular (aka Jess, our wise backcountry guide).

Here are some funny pics for our blog friends, and not our Facebook friends:

Note the CAMP SOAP, our BFF

Fly high!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Break Down//Miracle on Rt. 90

We're putt-putting along Route 80/Route 90 into Chicago, and Nik is in the driver's seat. She starts to tell me what to look for in case the car breaks down. (Her car shut down when she was coming home this summer with her mom.) Nikki says, "Kels, just in case it happens, I want you to be prepared. The last time it happened, we lost the ability to accelerate, we lost power-steering...oh, WAIT, IT IS HAPPENING NOW."

She smoothly glides the car onto the side of the road. I have to give her props, she seemed totally unfazed. I, on the other hand, after the car was safely stopped, instantly got out and opened up a bowl of pasta salad (from my Aunt Debbie, thanks!). WOOPS. Stressed-out eating habit, ay-yayay.

Anyway, Nik calls her parents to see what she should do. We're sitting on the side of the road, about 102 miles from our destination (Chicago). Not sure what to do, we take a look at our surroundings...

We're in SOUTH BEND, INDIANA. You might be wondering, "Um, what? What's that town like?" Well, person, it is home to Penn State rival Notre Dame. Do we want to celebrate the 4th of July in rinky-dink South Bend with a bunch of Fighting Irish? Let me remind you of who we are.

WE ARE....

Speaking of which, we were also SHC scholars. Using her brain, Nik tries to restart the car on a whim. It runs. Perfect, leh-go!

Now, keep in mind that we were 102 miles from Chicago. Nikki has AAA insurance that allows for towing up to one hundred miles of the breakdown. We're just outside the window of 100 miles. (Get ready for el milagro) The car drives for about 5 more minutes when the engine totally shuts off again. We pull over to the side of the road and check the GPS...we're 92 miles (or so) to Chicago. Yes, that's right, by a strike of luck, we made it within 100 miles of our friend Daissy's house!!

The decision is made--if we're gonna be stranded, it will be in Chicago! Nik calls AAA and all we have to do is wait out the tow truck. A REAL LIFE MIRACLE. We're getting towed ONE HUNDRED MILES TO A HOME AWAY FROM HOME, SUCKERS.

In another post, you can read about the shenanigans we got into while waiting!

Wall Drug

Hey All,

As my blog recently reminded me on facebook, we've been a bit absent from keeping this up to date...mostly because we don't have internet! But we're aiming to do better. I'm adding a few tonight, and then in a few more days check back. We'll be out in the wilderness until Tuesday (I think). Tomorrow we're going on a backpacking trip through the "back country." YIKES BEARS! A REAL HIKE. This time, I'm all sorts of ready.

Check it:

1. I bought hiking pants (not gonna be sporting my NWMS gym shorts! not sure what I mean? check out a post on here from the inca trail)AND THEY ZIP APART. One pant leg up! what's it mean!
2. I'm wearing my sneakers (aka not breaking in hiking boots the day before and forming outrageous blisters)
3. I'm borrowing Jess's mom's sleeping bag and backpack so I won't die of frostbite.

But back to Wall Drug. Nik and I saw so many billboards along the road in South Dakota. They were made of wood. (not metal.) Most were encouraging us not to get an abortion, one suggested we start wearing fur! (for population control, of course) and mannyyy were advertising Wall Drug. This place was made famous during the Great Depression because it gave out free ice-water. NOM. It still does!

Here is a photo journal of our short time there:

Just sayin' HI!

Me and Jess being culturally sensitive!

Jess taming the mysterious, wild jackalope!

Me, being a party pooper. (That shit wasn't wild.)

Nikki riding a fake horse.

Boob-grab. BOW-WOW-WOW

Guns for kids!

So long, Wall Drug!

Monday, July 4, 2011


As we sit in a park listening to some marching band pop band (it's a band of nerds!) and playoff bs nik says to me- I am trying to collect all the cards because lying stresses me out! Haha, I predict she will not win that strategy!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

On the road...again!

Just about to start our month long trip across the country! First up, State College and after Chicago.
Gotta figure out how to upload an image of our bucket list-- 11 items since it's 2011 and a mix of easy to complete and less easy but still pretty doable items.

I'm not even sure how to make this post! I still do not own hiking pants. I am reviving the traveling hat! It's with me.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

KeZley part 2...

It became immediately clear uppon arrivein in Ecuador that Kelsey is not a very common name here. Not only that, but also that nearly all spanish speakers across the board, regardless of whether they are indigenous folk from ecuador or bilingual tango show hostesses in Buenos Aires, can not for the life of them pronounce her name. Her family lovingly referred to her as kesley (pronounced kezley, like elvis presley) the entire semester, the customs men at the post office in ecuador laughed bluntly in her faced and asked if that was seriously her name, but the icing on the cake occurred last night at our tango show.

So last night, we attended our first tango show in Buenos Aires after it was recommended to us by a New Zealandish...New Zealander...New Zealandian??...New Zealandic!!! comrad at our Hostel. He RAVED about the show, telling us they were ¨like, real professionals¨(pronounced profishonells) and that it was the best steak he had in all of Buenos aires, and the Tango musicians and singers were just.... FANTASTIC!!! We took his word for it and were presented with something between a strip show and the dance fighting scenes from West Side STory...the whole time i whistled ¨when you´re a jet you´re a jet all the way¨ in kelsey´s ear. Speaking of Kelsey....

So, in order to schedule the tango show kelsey called to make a reservation... now in her words a recounting of what happened:

¨i call the place, talk to the lady, get the information and hang up.
then nik is like, she told you the wrong time, call back and make sure its right.

okay, i´lll call back.

i call back and the lady is like OH GOOD i forgot to tell you about this promotion with your hostel, you get the whole meal for 180 pesos (originally we were just going to get drinks and desserrt) so i´m like COOLIO that´ll work just fine. and she´s like can you tell me your name again? and so we go through the whole process of trying to get her to understand that KELSEY is a NAME. but like everyone else in latin america, she doesn´t believe it for a second. so then i get off the phone, and am fairly confident that she has an idea of what my name is and that we do in fact have reservations.

but then nikki still isn´t convinced that the time the lady told me was right. so i call back AGAIN. in like a five minute period. but it is a good thing i call back because the lady is like OH GOOD YOU CALLED BACK AGAIN. i forgot to get your full name. (which was her way of saying, i still have no freakin clue what the hell your name is. why isn´t your name REAL??)

so i start to tell her my last name is stewart. and she´s like how do you spell it, and i´say S-T-E- and she´s like no your first name. so i change to K-E and nik is like NO THE NEXT LETTER IS W!!! hahahaha. but finally i spell it out, k-e-l-s AS IN SUSIE...etc. etc.

a few hours later we finally arrive and go to check in, and what is my name written down as on the reservation??



Also, another quick and trivial happening that just occurred. We were just taking the elvator down in our Hostel to head over to this internet cafe and when we stepped aboard the 60 year old door man of the hostel was standing in the elevator car. I walked in, the doors closed, and immediately i had the sensation i was being suffocated. Initially confused, i quickly realized the waning oxygen was the result of a growing abundance of cigarette smoking filling the elevator and sneaking up my virgin nostrils. hahahaha. Anyway, i look furtively using my peripherals and see the door man holding a marlboro, sucking on it idiotically with his old chapped lips. Horrified i instantly started shooting dagger eyes of death at kelsey and then down at the cigaretted hand. She began to laugh. Then the man dropped his cigarette after hot boxing the ´vator and put it out on the ground. Then i burst out laughing until i realized i shouldn´t waste what little oxygen i had left.... Moral of the story, WHO THE HELL SMOKES A CIGARETTE IN AN ELEVATOR.. A SMALL ENCLOSED METAL BOX. WHO FREAKING DOES THAT?? IS IT EVEN LEGAL? I´m inclined to complain and say what the hell is wrong with the whole rest of the world why do they all smoke, but i realize the real problem is the GODDAMN TOBACCO INDUSTRY...YOU FUCKERS HOT BOXED MY ELEVATOR IN BUENOS AIRES. TAX THOSE CIGARRETTES, TAX ÉM ALL DAY CONGRESS!!!

ok ok we´re getting a little loopy down here. Tonight or tomorrow night we´re trying to go to this greek restaurant where they break plates and stuff. i´m hoping for a rousing rendition of mizerlou on the bizouki!


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Buenos Aires is a black hole.... sucks you into this ridiculous partying lifestyle where everyone starts drinking at 2am and stays out being mental until 9am and then they sleep until 18:00 when they roll out of bed and start all over again. The first three days we were here we saw nothing because we slept all day and then just went out with Bob and Anna Frank. Today we finally got up early, at noon, and saw a city of dead people where i sang that marly and marley song from a christmas carol and tried to get Kelsey to sing ¨DONT CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA¨in front of Evita´s grave, but she wouldn´t. Then we saw a giant flower. We were really impressed. Then kelsey ate plastic again because she cant resist buying lollipops made out of that candy apple candy, or mojjjie apples or whatever, and she asked the guy selling them to take the wrapper off but instead he just held it over a flame until it was melted on and all the plastic chemicals were inside the lollipop. Delishish. THen we saw a tree with these big pod things hanging in it, kelsey got one down by yanking on a braNch. Michelle Branch. Then she tried chucking it at the ground to see what was inside, but it didnt break open. Then i tried and it hit a car. Then we left. Tonight we are trying to see an ESPECTACULO!!! A tango show at Señor Tango where Bill and Hillary and Selma and Sting all saw shows. Hope we can get in looking like hobos (we always sleep too late to do our laundry). Luckily tomorrow night we head to Iguazu falls to see the coolest waterfalls in the world. It will hopefully break up the cycle. Peace and Love. (when you sneeze 3 times in spanish speaking countries they say Salud, Amor y Dinero for each sneeze, love, MONEY)