Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stamp #2-Uruguay

Let's be honest--I can't resist a stamp in my passport, especially when all you have to do is take an hour long ferry across a river that looks like chocolate milk. We spent one of our days in Argentina exploring the other side of the Rio de la Plata in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay.

It is actually one of the oldest cities in all of Latin America and one once used to smuggle "things" into Argentina in the late 1600s. One of our friends was traveling around Brazil at the same time so he meet us in BA and came with us to Uruguay.

We climbed to the top of the lighthouse and you could see a great few of the river and the city. Notice how clean and sanitary the river looks from above--I wish I could say I wasn't tempted to get in...

But Mike said he would pay Meliss and I $100 each if we swam in it. We decided to test it out. But since we couldn't see the bottom in an inch of the water, we decided against South American parasites--we'll save those for the next trip.

They even practice sound public health messages-This is a pack of cigarettes with a picture of a baby that has been effected by a mother smoking during gestation. The package reads: "What kind of life have you given me?". It looks like USAID is needed, even in Uruguay, as the package was completely empty. At least they are making an effort.

Going to Uruguay was especially a priority since it is the only country in the Southern Cone (the southern half of South America) I hadn't been to yet. So least you think I can't distinguish needs and wants, this was definitely a need. And it completed one of my life goals. Plus our team name, The SoCone Cinco, would not have made much sense had we not gone to Uruguay. Mike came up with the name-SoCone like SoCal and if I have to explain the rest you probably didn't grow up in Yaktown. Don't worry Dad, we did daily cheers and had lots of mottos.

So the South America country count for me is 7 countries--all of which I have been to with Melissa, I will continue to blame it all on her:) The group heading back to Argentina to catch our flight to Chile. We crossed three international boarders on this day.

Saving the best for last...Chile!!

Amor en Argentina

Here are the first pics of our trip to the South America. We started in Argentina, celebrating St. Valentine's Day in Buenos Aires. I kept with mom's v-day tradition and we all got matching heart pjs and the boys surprised us with roses. Since we only had limited time, we were on a Smart Travel Plan-go hard or go home, wimps need not apply, big dogs to the top, etc. It rivaled the southern UT spring break from hell when dad and grandma Phyl insisted we see how many national parks we could see in 5 days.

If you think I am kidding, imagine traveling for 24 hours straight and then trying to stay awake in a temple session all of which is in Spanish. Needless to say Meliss and I made fools of our selves trying to keep each other awake.

After a good night's rest, sharing (Sarah, Meliss, and I) two twin beds shoved together (anything is better then sleeping on an airplane), we set out to explore BA. This is us in front of Evita's grave in the famous Recoleta Cemetery. And the Casa Rosada (the Argentine White House) where Evita made her famous speech.

My favorite Argentine!

We met up with one of my mission buddies who is from BA. He was kind enough to tell me how crappy my Spanish has become--gotta love Latin honesty!

Buenos Aires is a beautiful city. It is clean and everything is very European from the architecture to the people. Don't worry Mom, I haven't packed my suitcases yet, but I could easily live in BA. Up next...Uruguay.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Man for All Seasons

In the words of Og Mandino, he IS nature's greatest miracle! And No, I'm not talking about Barack Obama, but he is the El Presidente of our family, the El Capitan, the Puff Daddy. The Darrell that started it all. 
We are so lucky to have such a fearless leader in our lives! Where would the Smart Clan be if we didn't have Puffy to create intense mottos that helped us through life, or make us garden with headlamps late at night, or kill our opponents so we are guaranteed the win in pool basketball. 
While it is true that we thank our beautiful mother for our good looks and flowy hair, we must not forget our Puffy. He has helped us learn how to work hard and suffer. Two of the most important qualities in life. The Smarts have endured, can endure and will endure in the future because of Papa Smart. His natural strength has filtered down into us and no one dare fight us at school for fear we will unless the "Smart gene no one dares speak of." He works hard all day every day to make sure that mom can run the house and take us to school. 
He has more talents than the show America's Got Talent and believe it or not... He can sing! His other talents include knowing every plant in the universe, including the poisonous ones that you shouldn't eat on a hike and always telling Shelly how beautiful and amazing she is! What a guy! He knows American history and Asian history and our own family history! He knows how to fix things and he knows how to build things. He can even sew a halloween costume or two! 
Is there anything this immortal man can't do? No! For he truly his nature's greatest MIRACLE! And we love him very much! Happy Birthday Dad!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The life of SNICK


I'm going to assume that everyone in the Smart family will read every word of this post because my life is extremely interesting right? 


And just in case you are REALLY obsessed with me (which might just be possible since I am the most popular girl at byu) Nick and I finally have a blog! I don't know the rules about making blogs if you are engaged, but I figured it was okay. the address is and for more details on our fun little SOcal adventure feel free to visit. 

Okay, Now I'm really going to get posting. Is that a real verb? It is now thanks to the WWB (Wonderful world of blogging.) So the first cheesy picture is again, one of my floral design accomplishments - a Valentine's Day Basket design. I'm sorry I couldn't make one for everyone in our family, but the demand is just so high for my baskets in my apartment. And although I will probably never replicate my Vday basket, I can now say that I can at least do one if I am ever called upon to show my talents.

Our SOcal trip was filled with lots of fun and In-n-Out. For those of you who don't know what In-n-out is, I feel sorry for you! It's only the best hamburgers and milkshakes in the world! You can see a picture of my small vanilla shake next to Nick's XL Strawberry one. Now if you would all take a moment and pause and remember me when I try to cook for my fiance. He is an impressive eater who fortunately for me, eats whatever I make regardless of taste, texture, or appeal.  We did lots of wedding planning and even had time to play. On Valentine's day we went to the same beach where we got engaged and played in the tide pools. It was a chilly weekend for SOcal. It even rained! (Californians act like the world is going to end when it rains, it's actually quite hilarious) Even though the weather wasn't the best, my Valentine's day was! Nick is so sweet and I'm grateful for his constant efforts to make me happy. (It works!) 

Because we had such a long drive down to CA I had to entertain myself. Nick gets sick of my car dancing, so I started cutting out paper hearts to decorate the kitchen table at the Jordans. As you can see it escalated into a full on Valentine's Day Extravaganza complete with individual Valentine's and candy. Nick laughed at me the entire time, but he thanked me when I put the vast majority of my 115 paper hearts next to his valentine. 

Well, sadly I'm back and school and its time for midterms! If I survive, you'll see more posts from me on the blog of SNICK, if not...pray for me, I'm going to need it!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Negative 40 and Counting

Yes thats correct everyone it was officially -40 degrees the other day. I had a 7:45 class and had to walk about 20 minutes to my class . I can only remember one other time where I have been colder in my life , when I was in Bowren Lakes with Dad and it had rained for a week straight. Valentines Day was this weekend and no I didn't spend it with any girls. I spent most of my time sleeping due to the hydrocodene I was taking from having my wisdom teeth pulled last Friday. (I doubt any girls would want to hang out with me while I looked like Alvin the Chickmunk. Ive been on a steady diet of chicken noodle soup, and hoping to move up to Keith and Cole's far advanced levels of eating solids. I have never been so jealous of two kids who aren't even potty trained. Well thats about it ill keep you all posted on anything else that happens here in exciting Rexburg.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Flowers are in my blood!

I love my floral design class! It has been so fun to learn about different types of flowers and to learn how to put them in beautiful arrangements! Here are some very cheesy pictures of me with my latest accomplishments - boutenieres! We made three in class today. Our lab fees provide unlimited flowers and we get to pick the colors in our arrangements. I get extra credit if someone wears my bouteniere, so this Sunday Nick and friends will be wearing a little surprise courtesy of floral design! The bouteniere with the rose is a "prom bouteniere." The carnation is for a funeral and the wild flower one is just for fun. Next week we are doing basket arrangements for Valentine's Day. I think we can attribute any floral skills we have to Dad! Thanks for making me weed in the garden every Saturday since my existence! Now I know why arranging flowers is so fun for you!