Monday, February 20, 2012


It's no secret that my friend Jenni and I love going to concerts. It's also no secret that Jenni is super lucky at winning all kinds of things and finding great deals. Gavin DeGraw was in town and Jenni found a deal where you could buy 2 tickets for the price of one. Score!! We ran in to some friends so that was fun! Also playing the show were Andy Grammar (he did such a good job!) and Michelle Branch (talk about a blast from the past). Gavin was as loopy and crazy as ever and we had a great time singing along and laughing at his on stage antics. Another great night with my best friend for life Ms. Jenni Mini Van Wyk.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wisconsin Hockey

Mom, Dad, and I made the trip to Madison to visit Jon and Krista and watch Krista's brother Matt play hockey for the University of Wisconsin. I wasn't super excited about having to cheer for a Wisconsin Badger (Hawks for Life!!) but I decided it was okay if I just cheered for Matt.
We met up with everyone in downtown Madison at the Nitty Gritty before heading over to the Kohl Center for the game. There was SO MUCH RED it made me want to throw up a little bit. My parents were laughing at my aversion to all the Badger gear everywhere. The game was really fun and the Badgers beat North Dakota, who happened to be rated #5 at the time. It was a weekend sweep so people were pretty excited. Matt skated away with an assist on the night.
After the game we all went to the KK. It was loud and packed and everyone (excluding the Trost family) was devastated at the stunning Wisconsin football loss to Michigan State. You should have seen everyone's reaction at the end of the game. Pure happiness on my face that's for sure. Anyways, we didn't stay long because it was a college bar after all and I haven't been in college for quite some time.. and my Dad was ready to leave before we even walked in the door. ha
The next morning we headed back to Appleton to see Jon and Krista's new place, do some shopping, we went to a movie, and out to dinner. It was a great weekend and I can't wait for the next hockey game!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Center Grove Orchard

One thing that I love about the fall are the orchards. There are a few orchards around Des Moines that we like to frequent when the weather turns prime. A bunch of bible studies rented Center Grove Orchard for a Friday night and it couldn't have been more fun. The night started out with a run through a corn pitch black darkness. Naturally, some of the guys thought it would be funny to scare people by hiding in rows of corn or taking some of the cobs off of the stalk and throwing it in the air to land right beside you and scare you. Real funny. I got a few of them back though.
They were giving hay rack rides out to the maze so we rode that back towards the giant jumping pillow. Center Grove Orchard has so many fun things to bring out the kid in you. They have this giant slide that, in the dark, makes things a bit more interesting. Once again the guys thought it would be a good idea to pile on top of each other and ride the slide. Hilarious.
We ended the night by sitting around the campfire eatting s'mores... and then making our way to the corn pool. That's right, its a giant bin filled with corn. The guys built a pyramid and then the girls tried. It was pretty funny to watch the building process. It was such a fun Fall night.

Friday, February 10, 2012


ROADTRIP! Jenni, Allison and I did it again and made another roadtrip to see one of our favorite bands. This time we headed up to Minneapolis for the Parachute concert. We left work a little early and hit the road with our eyes focused on the Mall of America. We did some damage in the mall before heading towards the concert venue. The Cabooze has terrible parking so it took us quite some time to find a spot. Allison almost hit a lady on a scooter and we broke a few traffic laws but we eventually made our own spot.

Kate Voegle opened up the show (actually, another band did before her but we didn't get there in time). She was pretty good. I have one of her cds and I like her style but I really was more excited for Parachute. They put on SUCH a great show. Will and his v-neck has so much energy running around the stage, jumping into the audience. Their setlist was 14 songs long and I LOVED every minute of it, especially when they sang You and Me and the American Secrets Part 2.
Once again we made the delirious drive home in the middle of the night/morning. I started talking in a strange accent about milk and cookies for Santa, we lost Jenni to sleep in the back seat, we jammed to classic Mariah Carey songs and Hanson Christmas music, and Allison did an excellent job driving by getting us home safely. We are total Parachute groupies.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Dublin, Ireland: Day 13-15

Our last days in Europe were spent in Dublin, Ireland. This city is beyond cool. The vibe is very relaxed and chill yet at night, the energy is pretty great. There are so many young people all over the city and at night, everyone is out and about. The Temple Bar area was always filled with people and there are so many musicians on every street, some very very talented musicians. We had a great time shopping, sight seeing, and exploring Dublin. Our hotel was right across the street from Parliament so we shared our hotel with diplomats. At least once a day there seemed to be TV cameras outside our hotel interviewing someone. You can walk almost everywhere in Dublin, which I think is great, and the shopping is excellent. One of my favorite parts of Dublin was St. Stephens Green. Its a beautiful park that is tucked in the middle of the city. I loved Dublin... and all of Ireland for that matter. Spending our final week in Europe touring the entire country of Ireland was definitely the best way to end our trip. Ireland is so beautiful (and SO green) and the people are so friendly (and have the best accents). Near the end of the trip we almost took for granted the beautiful scenery and landscape because it is everywhere! Everything about the experience was great... even learning to drive on the other side of the road with the steering wheel on the opposite side. While it was terrifying 98% of the time, we survived and were left with a thankful heart.

I cannot wait to return to Ireland and explore more of the country. It was another amazing European adventure!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Blarney, Ireland: Day 12

Kissing the Blarney Stone is just something you do if you ever find yourself in Ireland. None of us are Irish so we really didn't plan to stop in Blarney but we woke up that morning and decided that we should probably make a stop... after all... eloquence for life?! Who is going to pass that up? So we made the detour to Blarney. It was another beautiful day in Ireland which allowed us to tour the grounds of the Blarney castle as well as the castle itself. Blarney has all kinds of weird, interesting, and unique finds throughout the grounds. They have a cave that goes underneath the castle. They have some really cool gardens with lots of really awesome trees! They also have a poisonous garden which I found really fascinating. We were really glad that we made the stop in Blarney to experience some true Irish traditions.