Monday, November 19, 2012

Birthday Weekend

This past weekend, Scott and I flew to Chicago. Scott was helping to plan and organize the Southwest portion of the Magnificent Mile Light Festival - and since it was my birthday on Friday, I tagged along as a volunteer (and also because who wants to be alone on their birthday).

On the plane ride over, one of the flight attendants spoke into the intercom and announced that they had the privilege to fly with someone special this flight.

Everyone looked around and I was focused on my knitting - not really paying attention - and then they said my name. I got up out of my seat, face beet red, and made my way up to the front of the cabin which seemed miles away as everyone clapped and cheered like I had won a gold medal in the Olympics.

Scott had secretly told the flight attendants about my birthday when he told me he was going to the bathroom. Oh Scott. So sneaky.

When at the front, the flight attendants crowned me with peanuts, gave me a "birthday cake" made from a roll of toilet paper and led the entire cabin in singing Happy Birthday. The entire time my face was the color of a tomato, but it was fun.

Several people said Happy Birthday to me while walking back to my seat, and even in the airport because they recognized the crazy girl with the peanuts on her head.

Oh Southwest Airlines! I've never felt so special, LUVed, and so embarrassed on a flight before.  A great memory and what a great way to kick off the birthday weekend!

When we got to the hotel, there was a FedEx envelope waiting for us (my birthday present) and I think Scott was surprised that I made it up to our hotel room before I ripped it open. Inside were two tickets to see Les Misérables that night!

I had never seen Les Mis before, so I was pretty excited. And it was fantastic! I had read the book not too long ago so I new the basic frame of the story, but other than that, I was a Les Mis newbie. It was an amazing birthday present and a great surprise!

The next day, the weekend got better with the opportunity to be in the Magnificent Mile Light Festival Holiday Parade! Southwest Airlines was parade sponsor that year and the team of parade volunteers from SWA got to walk in the parade and bring Rudolf down the Mag Mile!

And of course, after the parade we topped the night and the weekend off by getting some Chicago Deep Dish Stuffed pizza - because its what you do. And it was as delicious as ever. Scott managed to eat two slices, which is amazing because I tapped out after one. It was just so filling, so good and a great end to a fantastic birthday weekend!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Papa Louie

My grandfather passed away not too long ago. He had struggled with lung cancer for about a year until he decided it was time to stop fighting and go meet up with his Father in Heaven.

Unfortunately, I was gone for most of that year - either off at school or visiting my parents in Thailand that I didn't get to see him sick. I didn't get to see him become weaker, so his death shocked and surprised me because in my mind, he was still healthy.

My last memory of Papa was at my wedding reception. He seemed healthy. He laughed and smiled his big toothy grin. You wouldn't think just by looking at him that he was struggling.

Papa was always so full of love. I have so many memories of big hugs and service. He never hesitate to help someone out and he always made sure that those most near and dear to his heart felt his love and knew that he cared for them. I know I will see him again and I am so grateful for the time on this earth I was able to spend with him.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Big Tex

The State Fair of Texas is the biggest state fair in the United States with an average of 3 million visitors each year and this year, we were among those 3 million. Southwest had an installation there where fairgoers could test out the course from their latest commercial campaign. So as a result, Scott and I spent 2 days at the fair - once where it was just us, and then another where Scott was working and I was exploring what the fair had to offer.

Us and "Big Tex" - the Texas State Fair Mascot
Of course there was a wide range of fried food and we samples a few delicacies. All of the food vendors compete every year to have the best tasting and most creative foods. The best tasting this year was Fried Jambalaya and the most creative went to the Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll (weird sounding, I know but Scott said it was pretty good).

Scott and his "Cup of Trash" / Me sampling some fried oreos. 
The Texas State Fair is where you can try deep fried butter, fried corn on the cob, fried red velvet cupcakes, fried cookie dough, chocolate coated bacon, fried lemonade, fried PB & J and Banana sandwich, and fried bubblegum. Oh there was so much food. You can even get a pickle juice popsicle!

While Scott was working, I went to every free show I could manage - dog jump shows, sheep contests, birds of the world, creepy puppet shows. I milked that state fair for all of the free attractions it had to offer! Yeah it would have been fun to ride some rides or play some games, but not when it costs $7 just to go on the Farris Wheel.

In the Children's Barnyard, they had baby goats, a teenage giraffe, alpacas, and even a zeedonk - a zeebra-donkey mix. The baby chicks and ducklings - Adorable!

The exhibit halls showed the talent and hobbies of local texas. One display showcased a sculpture honoring the Girl Scout program using 1,000 pounds of butter!

At the end of the day, both of our feet were exhausted that we spent the last half hour at the fair testing out the glorious massage chairs from Furniture Firm. Scott and I agreed that the $5,000 chair was the best and if we had the money laying around we may be tempted to buy a luxury massage system.

Scott really enjoyed the massage chair. It took a lot of convincing to get him out of it.
It was a totally fun experience and a good chance to see what Texas has to offer. If we stay in Texas, I'd totally go to the fair again next fall. Especially to see what foods on the best taste and most creative awards! Maybe there will be fried salads - wouldn't that be an interesting sight to see!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

39th Ryder Cup

This year was the 39th Ryder Cup and was hosted on home turf. After losing a tragic loss of just half a point 2 years ago, the United States team was excited and anxious to try and take the title back in front of their home crowd. This year's Ryder Cup was held at Medinah Country Club in Chicago, Illinois.

Southwest Airlines has had a partnership with Sports Illustrated to host events at the various golf Majors. It has been known as Sports Illustrated at the Majors Presented by Southwest Airlines. With Sports Illustrated, Southwest Airlines would set up a tent or area close to the Major golf event and allow any to come in and see the various activities we had. At this particular event we were located at the beautiful Navy Pier and were trying to attract hundreds as they were enjoying the beautiful weekend. We had a top 100 Golf Magazine instructor on site to help anyone with their swing and give quick tips to help them improve. We had a stage where SI writers would come and speak about the Ryder Cup and highlight the day. Also available, was a chance to be on the cover of SI! They had a green screen set up with various covers you could put your picture on and send to your friends. The highlight of the tent though was in the center where people could putt for a chance to win free flights and a t-shirt from Southwest Airlines. It was a busy event and a very lively crowd. I was sent there to help answer any questions and to represent Southwest to anyone that walked in.

The perks of this trip was that we were given tickets to the Ryder Cup and we were able to spend Friday afternoon at Medinah (when the US was still winning!) It was a beautiful course and a HUGE crowd was in attendance. I enjoyed walking around the course and being face to face with the top golfers in the world. Laura discovered that she is not a golf fan and probably never would be! Tiger Woods walked around the corner as we were standing at the 14th tee and I said, "Laura look! It's Tiger Woods!" In her sweet ignorance of golf and one of the best golfers ever to play the game, she must of thought I said there was a tiger in the wood because she didn't look very impressed. She loved being outside and enjoying the scenery but we discovered that when as grow old you will NEVER see both of us on the golf course, on purpose.

I was like a kid in a candy store being able to watch and cheer on team USA as they looked strong on Friday and Saturday and there seemed to be a glimmer of hope that the cup would return to the US, but in a surprise turn of events the US lost their swagger and give up the win on Sunday to lose the Ryder Cup by 1 point! By the end of the matches on Sunday it was another opportunity lost for team USA but it was a great experience for any sports fan. I asked Laura if we go to the next Ryder Cup in Scotland and she gave me her beautiful smile and a look in her eyes that said, "did you learn nothing by taking me to a golf event!?" If we attend the next Ryder Cup in 2 years, it may be me on the course and Laura enjoying the beautiful land of Scotland... we'll see what happens  but don't hold your breath for a post from the Ryder Cup in Scotland.

 The one and only Phil Mickelson! 
 The up and coming, Rory Mcllroy

Tiger Woods! He saw my camera when he walked up and put his head down immediately!

Lee Westwood

Ian Poulter enjoying his day off from golf and following his players

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


This past weekend, Scott and I had the chance to take a quick trip up to Chicago. He had to work because of the Ryder Cup, which he will blog more about later - stay tuned.

Its always fun being in a new city, and this was no exception. While we were there, we enjoyed some deep dish pizza, Chicago Mix popcorn, a trip to Millennium Park and some time at Navy Pier.

Garrett's Popcorn opened in 1949 on Madison Street, Chicago and still makes delicious hot air popped popcorn in their large copper kettles. Their Chicago Mix claims to be a blend of salty and sweet pairing cheesey covered popcorn with their carmel corn. We tried it and its interesting. It shocked me when I first tried it but I definitely warmed up to it and actually enjoyed the weird combination of flavors.

And of course, no trip to Chicago is complete without a trip to Millennium Park and taking a picture in front of Cloud Gate, or "The Bean." Most of Millennium Park was closed for an event, but there was a nice crowd gathered around a giant silver kidney bean.

All in all a good trip. Scott had a blast at the Ryder Cup and working this weekend (stay tuned for more on that, remember?), and I enjoyed taking a little spontaneous vacation.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Scott's Two Weeks at Southwest Airlines

This is Soxx himself this post.. Laura has been working very hard on the last ones and thought I should try a run at this blogging.

As some of you have heard I started an internship with Southwest Airlines this September and it has been a blast! It was a long road of sleepless nights, phone calls, emails, interviews, and prayers before we found out we were coming here.

Southwest Airlines ( has called Dallas, Texas home for over 40 years. It was started in 1967 by Rollin King and Herb Kelleher. Like all great companies the idea for Southwest was written on a cocktail napkin when Herb told Rollin of his idea of an airline that should fly between Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.

It was a long fight between other states and other airlines but Southwest always found a way to prevail and win over more and more customers. One of my favorite stories that I never knew before was the Malice in Dallas. It a nutshell the dispute was between Southwest and an airline called Stevens Aviation.  Steven's claimed that Southwest had copied one of their ad slogans and instead of filing a law suit and waging millions in legal fees they decided to settle it like real men... with an arm wrestle! The two CEO's agreed and the winner would be allowed to continue to use the rights of the slogan. For the final results and what happened with the whole disagreement check out the entire story on YouTube.

That's the kind of company I now work for... it's great!! Herb served as Southwest Airlines CEO for many years before Gary Kelly was named the new CEO. Southwest has an amazing history and a bright future. It has a fun-LUVing spirit and shares that with it's customers and expects it's employees to do the same. I've only been here two weeks but I LUV it!

They hired me on as a Customer Engagement Intern in the Marketing department. The jist of my job is engaging with customers and making sure they see our brand and have a positive experience. Meaning I get to go to concerts, sporting events, food events, etc. and interact with our everyday customer. It is a dream job! This past week Southwest opened it's 3rd porch here is Dallas ( and Citizen Cope was the opening show. Laura came with me and we handed out key chains in the shape of a guitar that also serves as a bottle opener. After we handed out all 1,500 key chains with the other interns we got to stay watch the show for free!! The night before was the private opening with Gary Kelly and the local news. Both nights were great and made me feel very lucky to have the job I do.

Next week we are off to Chicago to work the Ryder Cup and work on Navy Pier with Sports Illustrated. I cannot wait!! Neither of us have been there and we are very excited to see what the windy city is all about. 

My desk when I first arrived. They decorated it with Southwest and BYU-Idaho swag (see above)

We won two tickets the Ranger game at an intern party 
Pool table for free play at the Southwest Porch at Strauss Square

The view from the porch

Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest, giving the opening day speech

Fellow interns handing out blankets
Citizen Cope warming up for the show
The team getting ready to hand out key chains and welcome customers

Citizen Cope 

Every Monday after work they have a Deck Party with free food and drinks

Some of the props from the new Southwest Rapid Rewards commercial that is airing right now, we helped unload them at the warehouse. If you haven't seen the commercial, here is one of the spots...

Stay tuned for more updates over the next couple months. We LUV Dallas and I am LUVing Southwest Airlines even more!!! Below are some of the photos from my first two weeks here...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Got Me A Cadillac Car

Cadillac Ranch: A lovely little stop off of the highway outside of Amarillo. It was created in 1974 by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michaels. A number of Cadillacs from 1949-1963 are half-buried, nose first in the ground.

When I was researching stops along our drive, this little gem popped out at me and we had to stop here. Scott can tell you I was going crazy over the idea of Cadillac Ranch. It was all I could talk about the days leading up to the road trip. Did the idea of seeing the Grand Canyon and Four Corners excite me? Yes. But not as much as Cadillac Ranch. Weird. 

I was so excited because its such a weird stop. Millions of people can say they've been to the Grand Canyon, but what about Cadillac Ranch? How many people have gone there, huh?