Casey and I both spent our college years in Provo, Utah. For some reason, Casey insists on calling it "Pro-vah!" (in a surfer-like accent). He does the same with the cities of "Cupertin-ah" and "Mision Viej-hah". So, last weekend....Provah is where I hung with my sisters and cousins for a great Girl's Weekend. No kids, no husbands, just these girls:

my sister
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Pasadena, CA
my sister
Pocatello, ID
(sadly, Saunja and her husband had a totally fun trip to Yellowstone planned that same weekend, so we actually didn't get to see them. But they let us stay at their gorgeous home, which we thoroughly enjoyed. I love this picture of her, from their party weekend. They snowmobiled 103 miles, bundled up like this)

my sister
Rexburg, ID
my sister-in-law
Huntington Beach, CA
my sister in-law
Provo, UT
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
my cousin, Karen's daughter
Gilbert, AZ
my cousin, Karen's other daughter
Provo, UT
my cousin, Uncle Rich's daughter
Gilbert, AZ
my cousin, Uncle Rich's other daughter
Provo, UT
my cousin-in-law
Provo, UT
That's a lot of fun people!
And now my laundry list of photos. Here's how it began....

My wonderful sister-in-law, Nicole (who also lives in Utah and works for Jet Blue) hooked me up with a buddy pass. It was super inexpensive (hooray!) but you have to fly standby (a little stressful at times). The day I left it had rained and rained. So LB airport was backed up with flights and people waiting for flights. I spent a few hours looking at this:
But I made my flight! And spent the first night/morning with Nicole and her kids. The girls were too photogenic and made the most adorable models:
Sadly, baby Harrison slept through most of it. So we'll have to do a photoshoot with him next time. Thanks Nicole. It was great to see you guys!

Rachael picked me up from Nicole's house in our sweet rental Jeep:
Then we picked up Camille and Laura from the airport and headed to Rexburg. We were worried about the roads and potential snowfall. But all went well. We saw plenty of this pretty sight:
And even some blue skies. It ended up being a gorgeous day:
Our first stop was Pocatello, ID where we ate at our favorite college-life establishment...Chilis! Turkey Combo with a salad and blue-cheese dressing on the side please:
Then we headed to Saunja's house. She lives on a beautiful hill overlooking the valley (gorgeous view and gorgeous house):
We were really bummed not to see them. They are such a fun family and always have fun things going on. Here they are, the Carlsons:
Though they were out of town, they kindly let us stay at their house. And Liesl left us this cute note in her bedroom:
Their house felt like a model home (I guess I'm used to a 2-bedroom apartment. haah). Saunja's done a really great job decorating. I love this dining room table. A large square:
And their roomy kitchen. I just want to make start baking right now:
This was my favorite room, of course...a craft room! Ahhhh. Some day. For now, my kitchen space will have to accommodate my project supplies.
And this room was awesome too, a built in pantry/food storage closet in the basement. The builder left this room un-carpeted so it would stay nice and cool. Really great idea:
Thanks for the wonderful hospitality, Carlsons! We missed you guys. But we enjoyed lounging on your couch:
And this couch in Rexburg:
and this couch in Mere's apartment. I guess we did a lot of sitting, driving, and eating.
After Pocatello, we drove up to Rexburg to:
Camille and Rachael both went to school here when it was Rick's College. We visited their old stomping grounds. First, Camille's old apartment at The Riviera:
The only room left of her old apartment was the bathroom (the rest of it is now the laundry room). So we hung out and enjoyed the moment:
Rachael at her old place, Royal Crest:
The new Rexburg Temple. Beautiful:
And then it was time to pick up Mere. She has a snow-boarding class all-day every Friday so we had to wait for her bus to get back in town. Of course we made a scene, waving and yelling as her bus drove by, next to the Hogi-Yogi:
and we took pictures galore:
We checked out her apartment at the dorms:
Just as I remember my dorm experience....lots of cinder block walls. But an improvement: beds on stilts with desks UNDER the beds. Brilliant. Me and Mere:
Dorm decor:
Meredith and her boyfriend Jeremy (making a funny face):
Though none of us were very hungry, I hear that a Rexburg trip is not complete without a trip to Craigo's. So we hit up the all-you-can-eat pizza bar:
amazing donut/scone treats:
and yes, we all felt sick the whole night and vowed to eat a little less the rest of the trip.
For a bunch of moms who rarely get to sleep-in, you'd think we'd spend most of our trip doing just that. Instead, we spent our mornings waking up at 5am. We had reason for such craziness though.
Saturday morning we needed to be in Provo at 10am for the funeral of our dear family friend, Casey Vongsowad Stolze. So we left Pocatello at 5:30am. The morning sky was beautiful:
And our traveling footwear was a bit funny:
Thankfully it transformed into this (Rae and Mere were twiners):
and later, to this. Rachael wears open-toed shoes 365 days a year (I think). This is exactly how she dressed when she lived in Rexburg too:
The funeral for Casey was wonderful. It was sad, touching, and uplifting at the same time. Casey was diagnosted with cervical cancer just a month ago. She underwent chemo treatments, was in a great deal of pain, and decided to go home and finish her last couple of days of life with her husband and son Tyler. Some really old photos of her. She was really beautiful:
Casey was one of the most positive and happy individuals I've ever known. Her energy was addictive and everyone around her loved her dearly. A few days before she passed, my mom said we could send her an email and her son Tyler would read it to her. It was a strange and sad moment, writing a final farewell to someone.
Here was my little note:

Dear Casey,
Any time I hear your name mentioned, I have a vivid picture in my of you sitting at Sunday dinner at my parents house....your adorable face and cute smile, your voice laughing as you relay a funny story about working in your salon and the nail business. What wonderful memories. And what a vibrant and fun person you are. How I love you. And how dearly you will be missed.
Your positive energy fills any room you are in. You define optimism. And I think Tyler has inherited that great quality from you.
Thank you for blessing our lives with your beautiful voice, strong testimony, and wonderful personality.
We love you,
Dana, Casey, Lucy, and Owen Willard

Casey and her son Tyler lived in Rancho near my family for years. Tyler is the same age as my brothers. A few years back, she moved to Utah to be near her grandkids.
Tyler gave a beautiful eulogy.
He and his wife Amy:
Much of our family was there for the service. I'm really glad it worked out with our weekend trip. Me with my cousins Cameron and Colin. Two good lookin guys:
The whole Suman/Gibbs/Gerdts/Blair group:
The rest of our trip, we stayed with these fun people, the Millers at their cute home in Provo:
Chloe was waiting for us as we drove up. Cute cone head:
She posed for all my pictures. Another great model!
Kam and Gerrit bought their house a while ago and have done some cool renovating. Since she's never posted pictures of the updated look, she said I could have the blog exclusive. Haha. I'm so important. So here it is, their cute Provo house. This fireplace is awesome. They did all the tiling themselves:
Our tour guide and tourees:
They ripped out the old kitchen and put this in themselves. Green cabinets with cool tiled backsplash, black countertops, and a dishwasher!
This is probably my favorite room. Kam is a hair stylist, so they put in a mini salon downstairs. I'd love to get my hair done here:
And have it washed in this sink:
Here's where the majority of hanging out happens. A big downstairs bonus room:
with cute wall decor:
I love her style and taste:
After our home tour it was time to eat! Visiting a city you used to live in means there are a slew of restraunts you NEED to visit. For as much eating as we did, there are still 4 or 5 we never got to. I guess I need a whole week in Provo/Salt Lake area. For lunch we headed to Hickory Kist, a sandwich place on Center Street:
Camille and I, however, had a craving for this place instead:
How I miss Einsteins. Asiago Cheese, toasted with Veggie Cream Cheese (a HUGE cookie for dessert - see pic of Camille at top).
The whole bunch of us:
After lunch, we went shopping of course. We actually spent most of time sitting in the lobby area of the mall just chatting. I guess we're not the shoppers we used to be.
We drove around Provo looking for old landmarks. BOTH homes that I lived in for years have been torn down to make space for condos. Boo. My past is gone. This place, however is still standing!
This is the Blue Cube and was the house that Casey, his brothers, and their guy friends lived in for years. Oddly enough, he lived 1 block away from me for 2 years, AND my cousin was in his ward and we never met....till 8 years later when we both lived in LA. Funny how life works out.

Since we went "light" on our lunch, we had room to live it up for dinner at Cafe Rio. Then we hit up He's Just Not That Into You, which was a big disappointment. Definitely some funny parts. But overall bad messages about marriage. I do not recommend.
Our last day in Provah was spent going to church, hanging out:
sewing and working on projects:
playing with friends:
cutting hair:
More family came over for dinner:
And our friends Gordon, Tyson, and Justin came over for dessert:
We topped off the night with a little Rock Band:
Chloe was seriously rocking out. It was real cute:
One more 5am wake-up call and we headed to the airport:
We all made it home safely and though the snow is beautiful, I do love living in Pasadena. This is what February should look like:
And besides, these cute kids are here too:
Fun weekend, ladies! It was a nice break to be away from normal life and to live-up the old days. We'll have to do it all again!


dietcokegrrl said...

HOLY CRAP!! You weren't kidding when you said you had just done a long post!!!

First of all. I think this is one of my favorite posts from you, EVER!

LOVE the beginning where you introduce everyone. heehee

I didn't realize you were flying standby, so I'm glad you made a flight out! And Saunja's house is so pretty, so much space and I am jealous of the pantry!

I am so in love with the fireplace at Kam and Gerrit's house! She did a great job decorating!!

Glad you were able to hit a few of the must visit restaurants...and jealous you got to go to Einsteins!

And I LOVE Mere's haircut...so cute!!

Sounds like such a fun and busy get-away (I got a little exhausted just reading all that you did!) and came back to sunny weather for a few days before the rain started again.

Jen Suman said...

Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun! Make sure you guys call me next time you're here, I'd love to see you all!

Suman Family said...

great pics! you really recapped it nicely! the intro in the beginning is still making me laugh - it's like we are on an old sitcom or something. anyways, it was fun. i'm glad your flight stuff worked out.

Jean said...

Great post! Sounds like an incredible trip!! When you said a girl's weekend, I was picturing a couple of girls, but you had quite the group there!! Yay! I bet that was so fun. Those homes are beautiful - very nice digs for a fun weekend. And I'm really glad you fit in some Cafe Rio during your Provo stay. :-)

Camille said...

Such a great recap!!! You got great pictures! It was a fun weekend...I'm glad it happened!

lyndsey said...

wow, was that really 80 pictures? went by so fast. i took notes on what i wanted to comment about :)

a. love the intro photos at the beginning...totally a sitcom montage in my brain.
b. um...those matchy shoes? i have them too :)
c. your tights are so cute!
d. that wall by the hairstylist mirror -- LOVE it!! is that wallpaper?
e. craigos! i have been there too. did you try their version of a pizookie? i guess you DO have to go there on a trip to rexburg. there's also an amaaaazing crafty store there...forget what it's called. those two locations alone would make the whole trip to ID worth it!
f. mmmm. cafe rio. [guess i'll be eating all the cafe rio and einsteins i want in just a few months...wink]
g. glad you're home!

jd said...

love the individual photos at the beginning! very cool looking :)

Nicole said...

I actually feel like I experienced what you just did from you recap. Great recap! Sounds like it was a BLAST. I am so glad you got there and got home too! =) It was sure fun seeing you!

the bates motel said...

nice recap. i dig all the pics. fun times. we'll def need to do it again. next time i'm thinkin somewhere warm...........

Saunja said...

WOW! Great post! That must have taken you so long to put that all together. Good job and great recap. I'm glad you all had a fun time.

Super Kate said...

rad, what a fun weekend and I'm so happy to see you utilize your camera skills I love all your photos!

Karis said...

Woooo! That was way long but...loved everyminute of it. You are a skilled blogger. That would have taken me forever to do and to get all those pics in order!! Fun weekend..when is the next???