Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Im putting together a post about my recent trip to Hawaii - it was awesome! Lots of fun things to share soon :)

Bringing a Smile to Utah Press Release

Date: May 1, 2012

Bringing a Smile to Utah

National Smile Month is coming to Utah, as West Family Dental will be holding a special event to back the international campaign.

To show their support, the team from West Family Dental in Murray Utah, will be holding a 'Best Smile in Utah' contest from May 1 through May 30, 2012 that aims to put the smile into National Smile Month. By holding the contest on their facebook page, the team hope to raise awareness of how important oral health is. The grand prize is $4000 worth of free dental procedure(s) for the winner's friend, family member, or themselves, and a $250 gift card.

Dr West from West Family Dental said: “National Smile Month is an excellent opportunity to bring an element of fun to a serious issue.

“Good oral health is vital for a healthy smile as well as a healthy body, and we’ll be spreading that message at our facebook page via the contest.”

The Foundation’s Chief Executive Dr Nigel Carter said: “I’m delighted that West Family Dental has joined the many schools, colleges, health professionals and other dental practices in engaging with National Smile Month. It is a great reflection of local community spirit and an excellent way to promote good oral health.

“Taking place from May 1 to May 30, the campaign is an ideal opportunity to learn about oral health in a fun and positive way.

“By making an event as fun and imaginative as possible, we hope it will inspire more people to join in the fun than ever before while delivering the Foundation’s three key messages for good oral health of brush for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks and visit the dentist regularly – as often as they recommend.”

For more information please visit www.danwestdmd.com, and/or their facebook page: facebook.com/bestsmileutah

(News Release issued on behalf of West Family Dental by Adam Torkildson, PR and Press Officer. Telephone: 801.602.9873 Email: adam@customerhook.com).

Editor’s Notes

1.The British Dental Health Foundation is an independent charity that along with its global arm, the International Dental Health Foundation, is dedicated to improving the oral health of the public by providing free and impartial dental advice, by running educational campaigns like National Smile Month and by informing and influencing the public, profession and government on issues such as mouth cancer awareness and water fluoridation.

2.National Smile Month was established in 1977 and is the UK’s biggest annual oral health campaign. The campaign is sponsored by headline sponsors Wrigley, Listerine, Oral-B and Steradent. The campaign runs in the UK from 20 May to 20 June 2012 is also being supported by Aldi, Argos, Bupa, Dencover, Denplan, Lloyds Pharmacy, Save Water Save Money, SleepRight, Smile-on and Wilkinson. The campaign promotes three key messages for great oral health:

• Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste;

• Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks;

Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Livin the dream

How do you ever tell your kids no? I mean if they really believe in something or ‘have a dream’ in life. So, I was watching Glee, I know cheesy, but one kid wanted to be a dancer and his dad wanted him to become a doctor. Obviously this kid loves dancing and performing, but when looking at the big picture becoming a doctor if he was capable would be a much safer and maybe better life path. I hope to be a parent one day and hope to be a good one. I think it will be terribly difficult not to want to protect my kids from pain and sadness; to help them bypass some of the simple mistakes, but how to do that without crushing their dreams. There was a scene in Glee where the father finally watches his kid perform and sees the excitement and passion in his eyes and knows that he has to let his son choose that direction. I just think it will be a hard thing to want all the best for my kids, but then let them make the choices that suit them best. Allowing my kids to ‘fall’ will be hard. Guess I’ll cross that bridge when and if I get there.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Window or Aisle???

Isn’t that the impossible question? I usually go for a window on a long haul flight. Not because I’m concerned with seeing the view, I just know I can lean against the side of the plane and rest a little better, it also helps not to have to worry about everyone else’s bladder control problems. My mind has changed today – On any flight that has three seats on the window instead of just two go for the aisle. Yes, you may have to wake for everyone’s bathroom break, but you’re not stuck in an invisible walled prison. Plus, on the window is impossible for everyone to be on the same bathroom schedule and you’re going to feel horrible waking everyone when you need to go. Go for the aisle!

Also, I’m not trying to be mean here or pick on anyone and I know being heavy and flying must be a nightmare. Still, I need to state that EVERYONE needs to be conscientious of the very little space we all share on the plane. Just because you are bigger than me does NOT mean you can flow into my space as well as yours. The space is tight, as we all know, and when someone starts taking more than their fair share I get really angry. 16 hours next to someone who doesn’t realize that the armrest delineates the difference between your space and mine almost drove me mad! I started off with soft nudges, but it didn’t work… just minutes later each time my space was constricting once again. If I’m stuck in that kind of tiny prison I want clear plexi walls to keep everyone out of my space!

The flight today was really hard. I think my flights to India actually took longer all together, but it’s been at least 6 years since I had a single flight as long as today. The first 5 hours I sat and read and ate and watched a movie before I looked at the flight map – I figured we had to be about half way there… when I looked and saw nearly 11 hours left I was so sad!!! Tried to sleep for a bit, but needed to use the rest room. The next two hours (that felt like at least 6) was the most uncomfortable “sleep” I’ve ever had – even for a plane. With 8 hours left I got up, I walked a bit, used the restroom and ate a snack, read a bit more and then I was finally able to sleep. I passed out for the next six hours and woke with just a couple hours to go… VERY long flight, but glad to be here and excited for what the week holds.

Now I’m stretched out in a huge king bed at the Intercontinental Johannesburg. I took a long bath, brushed my teeth and feel like a million bucks – a clean million bucks. Love how good washing my face and brushing my teeth and hair feel after a long flight. I will try to rest now and then, tomorrow, on to the Kruger.

(I have lots of back posts to do, but they’ll have to wait until after Africa :) )

Friday, May 14, 2010

Gross Out!

Don't use airplane bathrooms. If you have to, then use them right as you get on. They are cleaner at that moment than at any other moment and probably a little more hygienic too. I know it can't always be avoided, but should if possible. As I stood in the bathroom today and listened to the sticky noise as my shoes caught on whatever disgusting cesspool of disease and germ and filth was there, I was taken back to Cambodia and our boat ride from Siem Reap to Phnom Phen. Awesome experience. Would recommend the trip to anyone at least once, but the one tiny bathroom on that speedboat for the approx 100 passengers for 6 hours was insufficient and disgusting to say the least. Of course there was no toilet paper - there never is in Asia, but that wasn't the bad part. No sink, so no hand washing or even water to make you feel better. Also, imagine any airplane, sporting arena, basically the grossest bathroom you've ever been in and multiply the gross factor by about a billion and you'd be getting close. The smell the filth it was tangible.
I was having tummy issues, so I had to frequent that smelly little room more than I would like to mention during our trip, but I was smart and brought toilet paper. I also could hold my breath long enough to last through most of my trips in and I had hand sanitized in my bag for as soon as I came out.

The real story here is my friend Jamie. She's a little of a germaphobe - had to be she's a Dalton and it's in the DNA. Anyway, I can't remember the exact why, but she went in there with no shoes on... I'm not kidding NO shoes. I think she had come in from being on top of the boat and left her shoes outside. She had to make a decision whether she wanted to go in without them or go back up the scary ladder thing to retrieve them. I don’t think I would have gone in without shoes and I’m a pretty tough girl, but remembering that bathroom can almost make me gag. Jamie said when it came to that point she was trying to prove to herself she could do it (and I think she really had to use the bathroom). Now, I'm not a doctor, but I do know lots of stuff can come through the thick skin on your feet and I don't think somebody could have paid me enough to do that.

Not sure what she gained except possibly some really nasty bacteria or virus or worse, and a really cool story that not many can trump, but she did move up a notch in the tuff girl book – that was gutsy!!!

Full Circle

It ended where it all begin… next to a swimming pool in the warm spring sunshine… on a small island in the pacific… and I LOVED it! Today Krista and I woke up late after my 4am conference call with work. We packed our bags and delivered them to the bell desk and then we went poolside. We basked in the warmth and the idolness for nearly 5 hours. We ate some fruit and drank some ice water, read a little and listened to a lot of itunes, but other than that we did nothing. PERFECTION!

When we felt sufficiently kissed by the sun we borrowed the hospitality suite to shower and get ready. We still had a few hours before our late night flight. The plan was to head north again to have one last taste of Jo Jo’s amazing shave ice… little did we know it closed at 5:30 and we got there at 5:35. We decided we’d try the cheap knock off version, but when we got there the server was rude and they were out of haupia sauce anyway so we decided to skip our last shave ice and savor the flavors from yesterday. We did however want to repeat one other favorite thing from Kauai…so, we drove to Kalapaki Joe’s and ordered – you guessed it – seared ahi tacos – YUM! What a way to end the day. Oh, and don’t worry, we didn’t skip dessert. We shared a huge slice of mud pie to top off the evening before the flight home.

I was lucky and my flight was fairly empty. I ended up with a full row to myself and took advantage. As soon as the door was shut I pulled on a blanket, spread across the three empty seats and drifted into Hawaiian dreams for the next 5 hours. LA was a bit of a blur; except the creepy married guy who was rude to his wife on the phone and then hitting on me as I charged my iphone. Exhaustion over came me on the last flight and then I woke in Utah to 40 degree weather.

Oh well, I’ll hold on to the lovely weather and fun adventures in my heart! Until next time!!! Kauai, you will always be my favorite Hawaiian island! I heart you!
Damage done to my legs in the past week.... the bruises are more impressive in person...
Headed home :(

Top of the World

I woke this morning and I was so sore from kayaking and so tired from lack of sleep that I almost didn’t go on our planned hike. The call of the pool and the sunshine was great and with Kristin opting out I almost gave in, but I decided I wanted to go on this hike and I knew that I had tomorrow to be out at the pool. Krista, Lizzy and I headed north to meet Brandon and stopped to get some drinks and food for the cooler for lunch. We all drove to the Kalalau Lookout and as we did I slipped in and out of consciousness along the way… I was really exhausted, but as we came to the top of the mountain to start the hike I took a deep breath and we walked out to the lookout. We got to the railings and instead of a stunning view of a canyon, we saw…. white, lots and lots of white. There was a thick fog over the whole valley :-(. Trying not to let the lack of enticing views thwart us, we followed Brandon over the railing and down the beginning of the narrow trail. As we hiked down the path the clouds would move and sway like swirls of cotton candy, but it took about 20 minutes before we had any measurable clearing of the clouds. Finally it happened, slowly the clouds danced away and we could see the huge green hills on the other side of the lush valley below. We could see waterfalls and sharp peaks below us and we knew…. we were on top of the world, and it was captivating!

As we walked all we could say was “WOW”, with every step. Literally I think Krista, Lizzy and I said wow somewhere near eleventy billion times in the 2.5 hours we were on that ridge. After about an hour we hit the peak and had some of the most breathtaking views I’ve ever seen. The huge green mountains were below us and then even lower was the beautiful vibrant blue ocean. It was stunning! The things we saw on that lookout very few are ever fortunate enough to see – even the locals. It was spectacular. We sat quietly and enjoyed the view for a few minutes before we headed back up the mountain.

As we sat there looking down on the Napali Coastline, from the mountains we had watched above us from the sea at the beginning of the week, we took in the beauty. I remembered that on the catamaran as I looked up at some of those extreme peaks I thought how smooth they looked and how fun it would be to slide down them. I know that sounds very strange, but from so far away they looked like they were these inviting rolls of dirt covered in a lush green carpet. I imagined sliding down them like we had done on our stairs as a kid on a piece of cardboard or some manner of sled. It’s the same sort of thought I used to have as a kid whenever we passed the old Reams building in Provo. For those of you that grew up here you know the one I’m talking about… it was large and green with rolling curves – it looked like a huge turtle shell and I used to imagine skating up and down the large swerves of the roofline like a mini rollercoaster. Maybe I was just a weird kid and now I’m a strange adult. I realize the impossibility of these things and the danger each would pose but something in my imagination sees such a thrill in either and at that moment the idea of hoping on something smoothing and flying down the some 3000+ feet of green mountain sounded fun. Ok – enough crazy talk…

We headed back up the ridge and did to our legs what we had done to our arms yesterday. This wasn’t as severe as the kayaking was to my arms. Likely because my legs aren’t as weak as my arms, but it was a good work out. As we hiked back up, the clouds came back in over the valley and hid the amazing views from us again. We had hit the summit at exactly the perfect time to see the whole vista before us. As we hiked it got pretty hot and loved standing at the edge of the white abyss and feeling the breeze as the clouds blew by. It’s pretty amazing to be above the cloud line on an extreme cliff like that. A little scary to think one faulty step and you’d fall thousands of feet with nothing to stop you (especially with my record over the last couple days), but exhilarating too. I would stand on the edge and let the breeze blow up from the ocean and up my body and out through my hair. There was a slight mistiness to the breeze that would cool my skin and instantly take the heat off my body in tiny kisses of moisture. It was an amazing sensation.

We finished the hike and headed down the valley again. We stopped to look out over the Waimea Canyon – the Grand Canyon of the Pacific – and its vast valleys of trees and waterfalls. Another stunning view. We even treated ourselves to some fresh pineapple and mango from a local vendor. One the way back to Poipu we stopped to get some shave ice at Jo Jo’s shave ice. Now, I don’t usually think shave ice is all that impressive… usually; I just get it with no flavor because I love ice and the flavoring is too sweet for me, but this time was different. Brandon took us to the “real” Jo Jo’s. This place was incredible. All the flavors are homemade and the ice is as fine as power and packed tight to hold in all the flavors. The best one was called the Double Haupia special – YUM!!! It has the most incredible macadamia nut ice-cream at the bottom of the cup then all the shaved ice is first covered in a clear coconut flavored syrup and then topped off with what I can only call liquid heaven, haupia. It’s a coconut cream syrup that is the perfect amount of sweetness mixed with the perfect amount of creaminess. I could drink that stuff straight from the bottle (and would have if they offered it that way). Unfortunately I asked them not to put too much sauce on mine thinking it would be the sickeningly sweet stuff they usually have at a shave ice place. After tasting mine and realizing I was wrong and should have let them just go for it I was really grateful that Krista would share hers, since hers had the proper dosage of this magical substance. Lizzy even stumbled a little on her diet and had bit of this heavenly mix – well worth it :).

After all this excitement it was back to the hotel and a relaxing evening for me. Lizzy and Kristin headed to the airport and I sat and listened to the birds coo as the sunset on the pacific. AHHHH – another perfect day in paradise.
I have loved being so active and I’m so glad that Brandon was kind enough to take us on all these fabulous adventures, but I’m pretty excited to do nothing tomorrow. I need a vacation day before I head home.

These pictures dont do it justice, but enjoy:

Waimea Canyon

More memories tomorrow…