This past weekend I took a trip down to BYU. I've travelled by myself before on the way to internships, etc. but it was weird just taking a vacation without my family in tow. There was no one to play the alphabet game with on the way to the airport. On the other hand, there was also no one to argue with over the proper internal temperature in the car or complain about my girly music.
Once my flight landed in Salt Lake, I had to rent a car. The self check-in machine's inability to read my new credit card confirmed that the bank did indeed make a mistake in printing the back of the card upsidedown. Once I successfully procured my rental and hit the windshield wipers when I meant to put it into reverse (who puts the gear shift on the floor?!) I remembered how fun it is driving a new car for the first time. Once I pulled onto the Interstate I also remembered how fun it is driving in a new city for the first time. Considering 99 percent of my freeway driving has been up and down the gorge, I was a little freaked out by the number of lanes on the road. Also the fact that the road was perfectly straight for miles. I didn't know that was allowed. Despite all of that, I made it to Provo safely and managed to find a parking spot that was a mere three blocks away.
The next morning I went to the French class Bethany teaches, despite not speaking a word of French, besides, for some reason, knowing that Je suis un ananas means "I am a pineapple." Unfortunately--this being a 100-level class-- fruit-related delusions were not on the list of topics for the day. Still, it was amusing to see how much of the class I could understand by comparing it to Spanish and obscure English words with similar roots. Later I went to visit the Universe's newsroom, had a reunion with an ex-roommate and had a long lunch with my brothers, where I made sure to gather some of the intell I knew my parents would grill me about when I got home. I also discovered that despite what the math says, if only one out of 30,000 people on campus is an ex-boyfriend he is guaranteed to be one of the people you run into.
That night I did dinner with the guy friends who always saved my sanity when I couldn't handle another second of being in an apartment/dorm of all girls. We played games afterwards (they cheated and brought out all games I didn't know how to play), debated some politics, reminisced, caught up on each others' lives and just generally had a good time. It made it seriously tempting to move back to Utah, despite the list of reasons I never wanted to practice journalism in Utah again.
Another temptation to move back to Utah was the above-mentioned Bethany, who I had a great time with. During freshman year, while the guys fulfilled my need to stay out until all hours of the night doing crazy immature things, Bethany fulfilled my need to spend quiet evenings at home talking about boys and books over ice cream. We did both of those things and also planned to take a cruise together when she's got her master's degree. Unfortunately we couldn't come up with a good way to become roommates while each fulfilling our desire to settle on our native coasts on opposite sides of the country.
The rest of the weekend included a Young Ambassadors concert, a basketball game (Go Cougars!), going to church in my old ward and catching up with old friends and roommates and cousins. While shopping at the mall I also fulfilled my prophecy of seeing at least one marriage proposal during the weekend.
Unfortunately on Monday I had to leave. On the flight home the lady next to me spent the last fifteen minutes throwing up into a variety of airsick bags. I couldn't decide if she was a worse seatmate than the toddler who dumped a full cup of yogurt on my lap on the way home from New York. When I landed I knew I was back to Oregon, owing to the appearance of the people at the baggage claim, who were long-haired tattooed plaid-wearing hipsters instead of cleancut guys and modestly dressed girls holding signs saying "Welcome home elder!"
The drive back to The Dalles was uneventful, minus the police cars parked across the street from my house when I got home around midnight. Apparently someone had set off a minor improvised explosive device made from a pop bottle covered in Nazi symbols. Who says The Dalles isn't exciting?