Monday, August 3, 2009

Baseball and the Everglades.


What do Chipper Jones and alligators have in common? The only thing I know of is that Josh and I saw them both during our last few weeks in Flo-rida. The difference, however, is that I was more excited to see alligators than Chipper Jones and Josh was more excited to see Chipper Jones than alligators. Last Tuesday we went with Josh's office to a tour of the Everglades via "Holiday Park" airboats. When we got to the "park" I finally felt like I was in the South. They were selling fried gator at a little snack shop that was manned by a woman with a fry basket in one hand and a cigarette in the other, there were two grave stones of former employees in the lawn out front (I imagine alligators got the best of them), and the tour guides all had bleached mullets, hiking boots, tight jeans, and tan, leathery skin. So... it wasn't exactly how I pictured my trip to see one of the most fragile and ecologically diverse national parks in the country, but I left feeling quite satisfied that I had gotten a good taste of an authentic southern boat tour. The tour itself was fantastic. The Everglades are essentially a giant swamp with lots of sawgrass, bugs, birds and, of course, alligators. The airboats were loud, uncomfortable, and filled up with water at the bottom when they stopped too long, but when they went fast it felt like Splash Mountain only we never went downward and it was much hotter. Our tour guide talked like Gretchen from Recess and was of the aforementioned description of the Holiday Park tour guides, but she knew her stuff. When we came close to the alligators she always made sure to throw stuff in the water so that they would come right up to the boat. We saw quite a few alligators, very pretty scenery, some other cool animals, and the tour even ended with the classic "gator show" where the guy did daring tricks with alligators and told us about all his near-death experiences. It was only disappointing that he had all his fingers. See for yourselves:

Just feeding the birds with people food while we waited for our tour.

Josh agreed to a photo shoot while we waited.

Our mode of transportation: the Airboat.

We would have used this as our engagement picture but... we're already married.

An actual wild alligator. The tour lady said we might see an alligator brawl, but that was the only time she disappointed us because there was nothing of the sort.

This was at the gator show. We never saw an alligator do that in the wild, fortunately.

And as for Chipper Jones? The Braves came in town this week and since the Braves are Josh's all-time favorite baseball team and Chipper Jones is one of his favorite baseball players, we immediately began employing any means possible to get to one of the games. Josh left work a little early last Thursday for his first and possibly only chance to see Chipper Jones in real life and I was definitely in on the fun because we couldn't let the entire summer pass without seeing one baseball game. I let Josh man the camera (he had the zoom lens on the entire time and before we deleted pictures there were probably 40 closeup pictures of Chipper). It was fun to see Josh so excited.

Josh didn't actually catch that ball... but what if?

And here is part of Josh's tribute to Chipper. Oh there are others... him standing, crouching, every possible movement of his swing, and him walking away from the home plate after striking out (it wasn't his best hitting game). But uh... let us know if you want to see the rest.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Floridians For Now


We've been in Florida for a little over two weeks now. It's been fun to see a new place, and we especially like that we're here together! We have sleepovers every night, watch 2 movies a day sometimes, crack up over really stupid things all the time, eat dinner together, go running, don't go running, play games with 4 other couples every Sunday, make cookies out of cake mix, invite the single boys over for dinner, and regularly sleep in. That isn't ALL we do, but it gives you a pretty realistic idea of what we MOSTLY do.

We live here:

Which is by here:

Which is home to these beauties:

We find a lot of these in our apartment, among other gross things I've never seen before:

It rains almost every day. But it is FUN rain, and always comes with the loudest thunder and brightest lightning I've ever seen (besides in Costa Rica). It's rainy season and when it rains, it really rains. Pours, really. Luckily Josh bought this cool item of clothing:

I'm trying really hard to learn how to cook:

And Josh thinks that because he's not in Utah anymore, he can go out like this:

And do things like this:

Oh yeah and Josh is doing well selling and we spoke in church on Sunday (my first time since high school). That's all.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wedding Pictures


Hey everyone, Kate just put our wedding pictures up on her website! They look awesome! Use this link and click on "view slideshow." I started crying looking at them, it's true. You can also just go to Kate's blog: and click on "view and order prints" on the right hand side, then put in "" for the e-mail address. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The longest post.


So...we got married!...and thought we'd make a blog to make it easier to catch everyone up on the happenings. We had a beautiful wedding (thanks to everyone that worked their tails off to make it happen) on June 4th and were so lucky that it was good weather, seeing as it rained all week before and everyone at home says it's been raining ever since. Josh and I stayed at Little America that night before we flew to Costa Rica the next day for our honeymoon and barely made it to the airport on time (it is a long story, but let's just say that we're learning a lot about the differences between men and women). Our flight was long and so was our layover (a bit of an oversight when booking on our part), so we were pretty excited to be in Costa Rica. We had booked a company called "A Safe Passage" to pick us up at the airport and as it turns out "A Safe Passage" is quite a misnomer because they never showed up to the airport! So after being incessantly harassed by a Costa Rican with a "nice van, lots of storage space, only $120 to La Fortuna," we decided to rent a car. And YES, in case you're all wondering, we are old enough to rent a car as it turns out (in Costa Rica, at least). See? We are grown ups. But that actually turned out to be the greatest thing that happened to our trip because the roads were really easy to navigate and we were free to go wherever we wanted. I should point out that although the roads were easy to navigate, most of them were not paved, full of potholes, narrow, windy (well they were all narrow and windy), and impossible to drive on in the rain without 4-wheel drive (it was rainy season and we were driving a Toyota Yaris). But all of that made for some really, really fun drives! We stayed in La Fortuna first--home of Volcan Arenal--and hiked to a 70m waterfall and swam in warm little water holes at the base of it, then we spent a day at The Tabacon hot springs resort (thanks Jared), which was the most beautiful place in the world! There were tons of natural hot springs--some of them really hot--animals, and beautiful plants everywhere. Everyone we'd talked to that had been there described it as the Garden of Eden and that is probably the best description of it there was. It was a really relaxing, fun day. Then we hiked to a lava flow overlook at Volcan Arenal and came across a huge snake that we were sure was poisonous and ready to jump out and bite us (it was Josh that convinced us of that, by the way) so we took the long way around the snake. I learned on this trip that Josh is really afraid of snakes and spiders and bugs, and not helpful at all if we see one that is scary. Our next stop, after a beautiful drive around Lake Arenal, was Monteverde, where there is the biggest biological reserve in Costa Rica. We were only there for a day, but we did a cloud forest walk on suspension bridges through the reserve which was way sweet and we saw some cool animals. The night we stayed there I stepped on a scorpion in our hotel room and it stung me! Well, we didn't actually know it was a scorpion at first, and I probably would have been fine not knowing what it was, but remember how Josh isn't helpful when it comes to scary bugs? Well he insisted that we drive down to the main office with the bug (it was the middle of the night) and find out what it was. They told us it was a scorpion so Josh proceeded to look up on the internet whether or not the sting was fatal and then we both got worried that I was going to die on our honeymoon, and then the people at the front office laughed at us and put some yellow stuff on the sting and we went back to our room. It was pretty exciting, but we forgot to get a picture of the scorpion. We left the next day for Montezuma, our last stop in Costa Rica before flying home. We had to drive a long way on bad roads and take a really ghetto ferry (thank goodness for Skip-Bo), but it was well worth it. We chose the perfect destination to end our trip. Montezuma was by far our favorite part. We got there and had to check in at a different hotel because ours was right on the beach and not accessible by car! So they drove us out to the resort in their cute little beach cruiser (he drove right on the beach!) and we were really glad at that point to be there. The beach was beautiful (the resort had its own private beach), and it was about a 30 second walk from our room. There were miles and miles of empty beach to choose from. We had a king-size bed facing a huge window where we had a view of the ocean and could hear the waves crashing all night long. We played at the beach all day and did a zip line canopy tour where we got to stop and swim at a waterfall. The resort fed us breakfast and dinner as part of our rate that was delicious and fancy. The next day we took a boat ride to Tortuga Island and went snorkeling. It was our first time snorkeling and we loved it! We saw tons of exotic-looking fish, an octopus, a shark, starfish, and puffer fish (the coolest animal I've ever seen). We spent some time on the island itself -- it had white sand beaches and the water was great. We left that night for San Jose, got lost trying to find our hotel, and were ready to be in America. We left Costa Rica straight for Florida where Josh is working for the summer. It was hard coming straight here because we barely have anything for our apartment, we miss our families, don't have a car, and we haven't even opened our wedding presents yet. But it is the best time of our lives we can remember so far, because we are together! Finally!

p.s. see more pictures on Rachel's facebook page or Picasa web album (

About Us

When we were first dating, our niece Madilynn called me (Rachel) "Rayjosh" and the name stuck. The name came to represent us as a couple, seeing as it's a combination of "Rachel" and "Josh." Hence the title of our blog.