Monday, June 29, 2009

28 Days

I returned home from Scotland about 4 weeks ago. I decided to see how much fun I could squeeze in while I had some time off. So this is a summary of what I have been up to these last few weeks:
First of all, I made a quick trip down to Southern California to see my former Seminary students. It was seriously one of the most fun things I have ever done. I really miss those kids. It was fantastic to see them again. My friend Jamie came with me and we also hit the beach.

After getting back from California...wait, let me rephrase that: 5 HOURS after getting back from California, I found myself crawling into the backseat of my sister Bridgett's car. She and her husband Rory were heading up to Spokane, WA to visit our sister Gretchen and her family. Bridgett and Rory were kind enough to let me ride along. We spent a fantastic week up there visiting. We were able to see the largest Radio Flyer Wagon I have ever seen, along with all the beauty of the Spokane area. Plus I have some of the greatest nieces ever.

When I got back from Spokane, I had a few days to catch up on things like laundry and sleep. I did take a Wednesday evening to go spend with my old mission companion Scott. We had a great time out on the town in Downtown Salt Lake.

But then I was off again with Jamie down to Moab. There is a group of guys from Moab that started an annual trip each summer called, "The Massive Moab Trip". They invite more and more people every year. One of Jamie's roommates is engaged to one of the original organizers, so we went with them. There was river rafting, hiking and a huge BBQ to finish it off. It was a fantastic weekend.
After Moab, I spend the next week doing the following:

Monday was a lunch meeting with my buddies in the Man Trust, where we discussed such important matters as: dressing for success, what it takes to make yourself known in the business world, and which buffalo wing flavor is the best at Wingers. That was followed by a viewing of "Year One".
Don't bother.

Tuesday we were at the Midnight Showing of the new Transformers movie.
Do bother.

Wednesday I made a random trip to Cedar City and back.
Thursday I went mountain biking with my cousins Craig and Jen and her kids up beautiful Provo Canyon.
Friday morning I bonded with my parents. While most kids will spend time with their parents over lunch or some other meal, I spent the morning shooting guns with both my Mom and my Dad. Dad just got a new Springfield 9 mm, which is VERY cool. I'm jealous. My Mom wanted me to make sure that I mentioned what a good shot she was. Seriously though...I was pretty impressed at how good of a shot she was. We went out to West Mountain, which is pictured here.
I finally beat Nintendo's Super Mario Galaxy.
Finally, that afternoon, I went searching for a moose with my buddy Jon, and when we couldn't find it, we spent the rest of the evening playing Guitar Hero.
Finally on Saturday, I went down to the Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti. I can happily say that this was the first time I ever made it through the whole thing without falling asleep. It was amazing.

So...what did you do in the last 4 weeks?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Plug For Charity

On June 27th, my brother Gabe is participating in a 75 mile bike ride to help raise money for Multiple Sclerosis, which his wife Julene suffers from. If you've got an extra dollar or two lying around with no plans to use it and would like to invest in some good karma, here's your chance. Go here to donate.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Holy Crap! It's Lifferth!

I bet you are thinking that this is going to be an in-depth dissertation on the origins of the Lifferth last name. Well, it's not. The title comes from one of my seminary students.

Let me explain:

Friday (yesterday), was the last day of Seminary down in Orange County. The Supervisor invited me to come down and surprise my students from last year with a visit. So I and a friend went down on Thursday, and surprised my students from last year on Friday morning. When I walked into the class, one of them turned and looked at me and exclaimed:

"Holy Crap! It's Lifferth!"

It was really good to see all of them! I was so happy to see how many of them are still going to seminary, and all of them remembered me and were happy to see me.

My traveling companion and I had a great time visiting Balboa Island, eating expensive cupcakes with a friend, walking the piers, and boogie boarding at Huntington Beach...not to mention the fantastic road trip. Pictures will be coming, I promise.

However, here is a picture depicting everywhere I have been in the last 7 days...that's right, one week:

Scotland -> Amsterdam -> Detroit -> Salt Lake -> Provo -> Cedar City -> Orange County -> Cedar City -> Provo -> Spokane.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

And Then Back Again

So where is Zach this week? Well, here is a quick synopsis of my latest week.
First of all, I spent one more week in Aberdeen Scotland after visiting Loch Ness. Aberdeen really is a cool town that probably gets overlooked all the time with everything else that Scotland has to offer.
This is evidenced by the fact that it is REALLY hard to find any souvenirs there. (Side Note: The most requested item I have been asked for is a kilt...did you know that a kilt costs between $400 and $1000? Yeah...neither did I.)

On Saturday morning I flew out of Aberdeen and headed to Amsterdam! Sadly, I was only able to see the airport.
But it is a pretty cool airport.
Of course, it wouldn't be Amsterdam without the obligatory tulips.
And it wouldn't be a true "Where is Zach" blog without a side profile of the author.
After my adventures there, I was hopping across The Pond to Detroit!
It's always good to step back onto American soil. Or at least layers of concrete, iron, rebar, carpeting/tile, all piled above said American soil.

Detroit was my last stop before heading home to Utah. I have to tell you that I am truly humbled and grateful for the blessing I have had on my last two trips to fly First Class. I never really thought much of it when I didn't know what I was missing out on. Ignorance really is bliss. But the service of the flight attendants was really appreciated.
Finally I was able to see one of my all-time favorite scenes in the world. Flying into Salt Lake.

No of my favorites. If you have ever flown into the airport from the North, just as the sun is setting on the right side of the plane, and you look out over the Great Salt Lake, you will know what I mean. I have been lucky enough to see some of the most beautiful places in the world. But I would contend that there are few natural wonders that can rival the sheer beauty of the sun reflecting the entire sky in the face of that lake, with several mountain ranges cascading over each other into the horizon.
I wish I could take credit for this picture...but that belongs to this artist.
But it is good to be home. I look forward to hanging out here in Utah for AT LEAST 4 days before jumping the state again.
While I am here, I did get to go another of my favorite places:

This is J-Dawgs. If you like hot dogs and you live near Provo, you HAVE to try this place. Call me if you need directions and someone to go with you. And Thank You Hayley for inviting me!

On a final note, I saw something that made me glad I was an American while I was in Amsterdam. Located all throughout the airport are these kiosks to collect money for various charities. I noticed that consistently, all of the kiosks had far more American Dollars than any other currency. A lot of people may think we are arrogant and prideful...but no one can deny that whenever someone is in need, the People of America are the first to respond.