Friday, February 26, 2010


YAH Tommy Ford International Heart Throb Olympic Sensation!

Just rolled into Bend from our trip north to the Olympics. Ville and I met Sarah and Jordan in Portland and drove up to Seattle to check out the city and stay a night with some great family friends who spoiled us rotten (thanks again Danny and Mary!) and walked to Pike Street Market (watched the guys throw fish around) and to the Space Needle. We all agreed that Seattle is a pretty cool city.

The next day we hit the road up to Vancouver and were able to find parking to walk around the city and see the torch. The feeling and atmosphere just being there was electric. For it being the Olympics, we were shocked at the almost non-existent traffic and smooth travel over the boarder. The immigration woman in Canada even welcomed Ville to Canada! (Not quite the same as the hour and a half to 2 hour full-cavity search welcoming he gets EVERY time he comes into the U.S.) Drove up past Vancouver and stayed the night in a sweet (nicer than all our places) one-bedroom apartment we rented in Squamish.

This was a perfect location to roll out of bed and get on a free bus to Creekside Village in Whistler were the Men's Giant Slalom was on Tues. Jordan and Sarah had seated tickets in the stands and Ville and I standing tickets near the run. Ville and I stood up against the partition and had a great view of the skiers and the big t.v. viewing the entire run of the skiers. As the first of the 2 Finnish skiers came down, I waved a Finland scarf and and Ville cheered. All of a sudden we were up on the big screen and Ville began yelling "aiti" (mom) into the camera. Not 3 seconds later Ville's phone started going off and texts and calls came in about us being on t.v. in Finland and Norway! Now we are famous! (e-mail us for an autograph). Ville found out later we were on EuroSport (much like ESPN shown all over Europe)

As Tommy Ford (Jordan's best bud from Bend) came screaming down the run we were screaming our lungs out. And he did awesome! And then the camera zoomed in on Jordan standing and yelling in the stands and he was up on the big screen! With his sweet t-shirt and everything. (long story, but they had these t-shirts made for Tommy's 18th birthday to embarrass him and we had more made to wear to his Olympic debut)

Both times Tommy finished his runs were were able to see him at the bottom (he was "thrilled" to see we were all wearing the matching shirts). Heading up there we were told not to expect to see Tommy other than his run, so spending time with him and his family was more than we could ask for. A moment we will all never forget. So stoked for you Tommy, way to be a stud.

Unfortunately, we were extremely disappointed to hear that NBC sucks and never even aired Tommy's run. There was 4 American skiers and his was not aired. SO, I have attached 2 articles where you can read about Tommy and his runs aired on NBC's website. I highly recommend watching the Truth In Motion documentary done on the U.S. Ski Team, it's so awesome!! Look for Tommy Ford in the future of skiing, he is 20 now and only getting to be more of an "international heart throb"

Oregonian: (um, notice the Sarah and I misprint. Thank Sarah)


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, Olympics!

FINALLY!!!...HOME...for now...

Ville and I came up with this great idea to surprise my Dad for his 21st :) birthday and so booked a plane ticket from Utila before heading to Guatemala. After a thrilling 18 hours on buses and border crossing (NOT recommended, i had to peel my butt from the seat when we got there), we made it to Antigua, Guatemala. Highly recommend this city to the less adventurous traveler (meaning you don't have to sail all the way here there is actually a plane that flies here), it has beautiful cobble-stone streets, cathedrals, colorful buildings, tourist police everywhere (safety first), cheaper than cheap (we spent $2.50 a night for our room), and some of the nicest people we came across on our travels.

While in Antigua, we did a day hike up an active volcano and played in lava. Yes, real lava! We even have video to prove it. We bravely followed our teenage guide up into the molten hot rocks, so hot it melted both of our shoes like marshmallows, and threw our walking sticks into the lava slithering down the mountain. I was a firefighter for a while, and i am sure this stuff is hotter than fire. Only in Guatemala can you hike into lava without safety equipment led by a 10 year old kid. Sweet. Why I travel.

From Antigua we bused it to Flores, this nifty little town on an island in a lake. The weather was great and water perfect for swimming. A day trip to Tikal, was some incredible ruins pretty well preserved. We sat on the tallest ruin that was high above the canopy of the rain forest and listened to the howler monkeys, parrots, and all kinds of crazy animals while we ate lunch. From that vantage point it was rain forest as far as the eye could see and 2 of the other ruins sitting out above the forest in the distance. One minute it was pouring and the next the sweltering sun was out. We took some pictures of animals we have never seen nor have a clue to the name of. Met some great friends, played some jenga, had some beers, and back to the open road on yet another crappy bus heading for Belize.

Belize was nice. After being so spoiled on cheap countries, this was not the place to save a buck. We stayed for a few days to lay on the docks, listen to the Lyrical King play some "entertaining" reggae, chase some barracuda and soak in the sun. Splurged on a great street dinner of 2 lobster tails, fish, mashed potatoes, rice, garlic bread, 3 mixed drinks, and chocolate cake for desert for 12 bucks. That was the best deal there by far. Onto our last bus over the border and onto Playa Del Carmen in Mexico. This last bus ride was our least favorite. We got ditched from our bus because of a "big bus holiday" at the border into Mexico (Ville and I laughed at the guys because we knew we were getting ripped off and so did they, but what do you do?) From the border, we had to get a cab to the next bus and then got screwed yet again and had to stand for a couple hours as the bus bumped on down the road. Needless to say, we were over it and ready to be over the bus fun in Central America for a while. Playa was touristy as all hell, but a great place to eat some great spicy tacos and sit our butts on some white sand and people watch. It was great.

Our flight to Portland went well (went from hot Mexico to a layover in Denver with a blizzard) and Lisa (my stunning, sweet, SINGLE sister) picked us up from the airport and drove us to Bend. The surprise was awesome! Dad was shocked and, of course, my mom cried. I had told them I was coming home in a month and Ville couldn't make it, so they were really surprised. Now that it has been about 2 weeks, we are off yet again....

To the Olympics here we come! My brother's best friend Tommy Ford from Bend made it into the Men's Giant Slalom (will be this Tues. so ALL of you better be cheering) and for my brother's up and coming 21st birthday (March 7th, Dad and my brother will be the same age, weird) Ville and I are driving him and his girlfriend, Sara, up to cheer our buddy on. Portland today, Seattle tomorrow, and onto Vancouver and Whistler. If any of you know anyone or have a place in Vancouver, we are looking for just some floor space to throw a sleeping bag down in the evening. Anything will do!

So, watch for us on t.v., tues. night, and will hope to see you all soon in person when I get back to Bend next week. Hope all of you are swell!!

Hugs and smooches,