31 August 2008

Leaving Nashville...

And arriving in Chatanooga!!!

I hit the road after getting my HOT YELLOW (NEON-for sure) Cobalt. It was a very fun, sporty little rental that made me want to speed. I can't really do that since I recently have two tickets in OR and another one would, uh, not be good.

Anyway. I stop and eat at Macaronni Grill and it was so tasty. See, Amity has no restraunts and MAC, not that many more. I had my choice of fun, tasty restraunts on vacay. Anyway, my server was so sweet and friendly. This was my first contact with Southerners outside the "Opry Bubble".

I was so excited to be on vacation and to be in the South. The drive was just dang beautiful. The first thing you notice is that it's GREEN~!
Check out these pics of the lake. I wish I could remember what it's called, but it's HUGE!!! I could probably look it up but what sort of fun would that be? lol...Nickajack Lake. Looks like it might be a resevoir or tributary of Tennessee River.

How beautiful is this view and the lake? It was so gorgeous and I saw only one small boat with a family fishing at any/all view points. I did a little bit of snooping and buying a rental cabin out there probably is only $100K. Probably less even. This is maybe an hour south of Nashville.

Not far from the lake signs began popping up all over the place about RUBY FALLS. I began thinking that these Ruby Falls had better be something special because these were HUGE red billboard signs, and there were a lot of them.

I got into town with lots of time before needing to be in Atlanta. Kami had to work until 7 and wouldn't be home until 8 anyway. So, I stopped and got my hair cut. Then I thought I'll just get my eyebrows done and then some one suggested that I'd look cute with highlights in my hair. They suggested that WalMart was the only place I could get it all done. I headed over there and there was this black gal doing her own hair and flirting with a guy. I was like, oh boy. But she acknowledged me right away and was so sweet. We spent the next like hour and a half laughing and I got to know something about the South. Something hilarious happened - as soon as I told her I wanted to get highlights about 5 other people walked in. She cut one little boy's hair as school started the next day for him and the rest she got rid of. I thought she was just so hilarious and I tipped her a ton. Plus, she didn't charge me for the brows...a little perk at least.
While there, I asked about these famed Ruby Falls and such. After getting the scoop, I headed out to Lookout Mountain. I had heard that you could either drive up or ride up to the top. If I chose to ride, I take the Incine railway. Check these out. Ah, the stories I could tell you.

Pic #1

This is the car at the top and simply does not do justice to my psyche at this point or the steepness of the rail.

Pic #2

From inside the railcar on our way down. I am not angling my camera in any way.

Pic #3

Taken by an employee and I am literally just standing there, and they are standing straight up. It's at like 77 degree angle.

The truth of the matter is that I was all excited to get up there and take this cool ride but I didn't look up the Mt. to see what sort of ride it would be. Just after embarking, we weren't going very fast but it started to get steep. I couldn't face forward because I was getting spooked about the drop. I couldn't turn around because now the view was tremendous and steep!! I get a little (ok, a lot) scared and I begin to get very nervous. Other riders start asking me if I'm going to be ok. Then, we get to the top and they park the thing at 77 degrees! I'm like, pull into the garage or something for goodness sakes. You can't leave me hanging up here in the air at this angle. Kami and I were talking on the phone at that point and she was like "Is everything alright?" You don't sound too good and of course I had to tell her I was a big, fat, chicken butt!!! I didn't want to get off but they said everyone had to disembark. Once I did, I was able to take pic #1. 2 & 3 were taken on the way down.

This is probably enough for tonight. More tomorrow, or whenever I get around to it.

I had insomnia so badly last night that I only slept for 1 hr and wasn't able to go to church. During the day I probably slept only about 3 hrs. I don't know what is wrong with me! The dang stress?

Hugs, Sharon

29 August 2008

Facebook | Sharon Nihipali-Larson

Facebook | Sharon Nihipali-Larson

Seriously folks, this is where it's at - a WOMAN VP for the GOP and a woman who has an awesome family, a NRA toting gal who shoots all the time and DESPISES corruption! Gosh, I am so happy about this choice. No offense Romney, but you cannot pull the necessary Evangelical vote and this gal hits it right where it counts. McCain can share his foregin policy experience. She has cut spending, ear marks, sold the State jet and drives her jetta around the state.


24 August 2008

NLTC - Nashville!~

I have to go wayyyyyy back, all the way to the beginning of the month.

"Once upon a time..." I traveled to Nashville, TN on a red-eye. The trip was uneventful except it was freakin' hot and I had to squeeze into a plane seat. For all of my skinny friends, this was definitely a turning point for me.

Thank goodness other BSA employees are kind and friendly. I met up with a girl at the Nashville Airport and we traveled to the hotel and through check in together (about an hour). Unfortunately, our rooms were across the hotel from each other so we parted and wished each other good luck. I hauled my junk up to the room and my roommie was already there. Her name is Hilary Black-Ward and she is from the Mt. Baker Council (Everett, WA to the Canadian border). I had called her before we left and talked to her. She seemed nice enough - she has British roots and has a cool accent. She was fabulous to me and very, very fun to talk with and go around together with.

All I wanted to do when I first got there was shower and sleep because I'd been up for like 48 hrs. First, I had to go get my shirt, my passport (more on this later) and eat something. Oh yeah, I hadn't eaten breakfast, lunch of dinner because my connecting flight gave me only minutes to run through the Houston airport!! I was famished and dehydrated.

It's so odd because if you all knew that I get anxiety in large groups, you could understand my fear at this event. 4-5000 folks, all crammed into a rather large room, but they were very strict on opening the doors and the crowd (this would've made a great picture) would spill down all the staircases and the escalators and the adjoining hall ways. It was wicked crowded and hot and way overwhelming.

To the conference itself - Bob Mazzuca makes a great visionary and I learned something about the national office that I had never known before. He told the national staff that things were going to change and that they needed to get on board of leave and many left (40 to be exact). How crazy is that? He is serious about change and catching up with technology so that families and boys can learn about scouting. I appreciated that a lot.

Plus, they used some serious technology to share the message. A little circus like and maybe a bit over the top, but very fun. Probably the most FUN I've had was one night they set us at tables alphabetically so there were like 12 tables of Johns and I was at a table with Shane and Shannon's. Pretty hilarious and a great way to get to know folks.

Josh Turner, same night, as the table seating by name, performed for us!!! I couldn't believe it. For those of you who don't really know who he is, he is a HUGE country fan and most of his songs are country-christian. His wife is the keyboardist and the band was so nice. They were performing for like 3000 peeps. It was so personal and FUN! I was only a few feet from him.

Later blogs...Chatanooga, Atlanta, home, golf tourney, Sabrina