Don’t Call It A Comeback

Ohhhh hey there cyber world!

I was hoping to get this written more mid-season than 3/4 of the way through. I wanted to update everyone on my ski career and getting back on my feet.

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Most of you know based off all of my posts that it’s been a few years since I competed. The previous two seasons I took A LOT of time off from skiing. Last year I helped launch an all-girls freeski team named She Shreds. That was the only thing last season that helped me find a love for the sport again. To be honest, I had never been the one to spend a lot of time with kids. Discovering the ability to really motivate the younger generation in a sport that I have been more passionate about than anything in my life was something is one of the greatest gifts. The majority of my days last season were spent coaching and I maybe had 10 days on my own. It was the least amount of days I had ever skied in a season.

This year I felt this spark going into the 2013-14 season. I am once again coaching my team but I finally felt like I wanted to push myself again. Since my head injury in 2010 I have had a hard time overcoming the fear of pushing myself on jumps. I think these past two years have allowed me to really want to push myself for me, and not because I’m trying to impress someone or end up on a podium. 

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The snow conditions have been anything but ideal this year so it truly gave me the opportunity to take it slow getting my feet wet in the park again.

I started hitting smaller jumps, working on 360′s and as of last month finally started throwing my favorite trick again, rodeo 5′s.IMG_0339IMG_0405

I’ve had 4 photoshoots already this season which is 3 more than the previous year. We’ve been stacking banger shots all year and I couldn’t imagine having more fun while doing it. I don’t think I can remember having a smile on my face this much. I’m fortunate to have good friends of mine who are photographers. Both Kat and Max are new to the scene of shooting park skiing so it was really fun to work off each other with angles of the photos. Huge thanks to Kat Smith and Max Monahan for shooting with me so much this season. I look forward to some more shoots and a continued relationship!!

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As some of you may have read, I did sustain a knee injury a couple weeks ago. As of right now it doesn’t look too serious and I’m getting back on my skis tomorrow to see how bad it truly is. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

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This was the shot that that led to what I thought was a season ender. This is one of the coolest shots I’ve had in years. I will never say a shot is worth an injury, but I’m still stoked we nailed it :)

Cant thank all my friends, followers and sponsors enough for all the support!!

Fischer, Bern, Dragon Alliance, Saga Outerwear, Skullcandy and VIRUS. 

Precious, Beautiful Life

I have been hesitant to write something so emotional and personal but I think it could really help a lot of people. As most of you know my posts consist of the sports I’m involved in, the adventures I’m going on and the events I’m part of. Finally I think I need to get a little more personal.

In the past year I have lost 5 friends, 3 of which were extremely close. One from a drug overdose, one by traumatic accident and the last one took his own life. I think there is a lot to be said for each of these reasons of death, none of which will ever make anything better or easier to accept. For me, death is death. No matter how the person died, it doesn’t change the fact that I won’t be able to pick up my phone and call them or see their smile again.

Like many of you, I had my childhood problems and struggled with depression. I became familiar with death and suicide at a young age. I don’t think death ever gets easier to accept even after everyone I’ve lost thus far. I can say that throughout losing friends I have grown to appreciate and cherish life even more. You never know what the day has in store. I don’t know why I am lucky enough to be alive today when people I have felt more worthy of life are now looking down on me. I have accepted that I will never have a definite answer to this but I can practice gratitude on a daily basis.

Ashley was one of my childhood best friends who battled drug addiction. I was one of the last friends still there for her and got to speak with her the week before she passed. This is one of the few people I can believe is truly in a better place right now. I miss you so much ANP but your daily struggle was heartbreaking.

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Stephen had been my older brother figure my entire life. He had been there for me through all of my struggles and his family had taken me in when I had no where else to go. Much like other friends of mine he went through a lot, but I never turned my back on him. I supported him in any decision he made until the day he was taken from us. Stephen had the biggest heart and would support me right or wrong.

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I think what has hit the hardest recently was the death of a close friend in the motocross family. I didn’t know Lane for a long time, but in the short time I did, we became very close friends. I believe we had a very deep connection and there was nothing but smiles, fun times and deep conversations about life. I loved the flirtatious relationship between Lane and myself because he was 6 years younger than me and we always got to joke about the day he turned 18 and could finally take me on a date. His birthday happened to be the day after mine and I think he asked me on a date 3 times in the next month that he lived. I saw Lane in the last week of his life and he made a point to let me know “he’s been eying me for a while and was finally 18″ with the biggest enthusiastic smile on his face. A few days later I spoke with him and he challenged me to hang out with him as soon as I returned from my trip to Utah that week. The morning following my arrival in Utah I was informed that Lane had taken his own life the night prior. I was in such disbelief I couldn’t even begin to put the pieces together.

Anyone who knew Lane would agree that this was the most unexpected event possible. Lane was always smiling, involved in too many sports to name (including motocross where we began our friendship), had just gotten accepted into The University of Oregon and was currently the student body vice president at Wood River High School. The most important part to take away from this is knowing that even trying a drug once to experience some type of euphoria, may easily have the opposite effect soon after. It’s not worth the risk for a temporary feeling of ecstasy when the depletion of a drug can be life threatening. I have gone through the most radical grieving process over this past week and know it’s far from over. I miss you so much Lane, you will never know the impression you left on your family and friends.

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I truly believe I have never appreciated life more than I do right now. Things aren’t ideal in any aspect but I have the opportunity to face life today and continually work towards a happy and healthy life. I know I could unexpectedly get hit by a bus tomorrow and never be able to do anything I love again or even worse, not live through it. I must remind myself to live one day at a time. Projecting the future has never seemed to turn out as expected. I know my friends who have now passed are looking down and proud of me and many others for pushing through our hard times. When I begin to feel fear or self pity, I immediately find a way to get out of myself. I like to look for a way to be of service to others. If there is one piece of advice I can give to anyone who’s having a hard time, it’s just that.

I will cherish every friendship, every photo and every interaction with people I have met along the way. Everyone I meet or talk to becomes a part of my life one way or another. By living 24hrs at a time, you can only imagine what a big role YOU may play in my life. Even taking the time to read this, and maybe reconsider your view of life just for today means a lot to me. As I pour my heart out in this post (at 3:32am) I want to thank everyone for being there for myself and many others.

We have many angels today, and there will be more to come. Reach out when you need help, it may save your life or someone else’s.

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Racing motocross: A late start.

So this past summer had been a little busy to say the least. For a lot of positive reasons, I’ve been slacking on the website updates. With work slowing down and my new sport coming to a season’s end I finally have time to re-engage in the world wide web!

Dirtbikes, a love I discovered in high school. I was 16 years old and a couple of my friends had bikes. Sun Valley is not a motocross town, it’s a ski town, so it isn’t unheard of to start this sport a little later in life. I spent my entire childhood focused on my ski career. There was never time to branch out and do anything else besides ski, and train for skiing. Even my summers were spent chasing snow.

I had always loved the idea that one day I could race motocross, but I had no idea where to start. We have a couple tracks out in the mountains but nothing like what you’ll find when you pull up to a prepped motocross track. I rode for 2 summers in high school where I fell in love with this new sport. Skiing was still #1 so when I started competing on the pro circuit and living in park city, I couldn’t afford rent the bike was out.

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In 2012 I found myself pretty established while settled in back in Sun Valley and felt like it was time to buy a bike again. Overnight I made an impulse decision and I drove to Rexburg, Idaho the following morning and picked up a brand new KX100. Everyone told me I should have gotten a bigger bike, but 6 years later with only 2 years of experience I really needed baby steps. Needless to say I quickly discovered it was not enough bike for me.

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This last March I decided to take things a little more seriously and I purchased a 2013 YZ 125. The passion truly began here.

I am going to go ahead and thank Ryan Dean (amongst many others)  who spent 10 years of his life teaching me how to ski race. Based upon my suscuess within the sport I trusted him when he told me to get my a** to motocross races with him for the summer. He helped me pick out the bike and has encouraged me every day. The debate between that and the 250 was pretty heavy but I’m having so much fun on my bike, I see why they thought it would be perfect for me. Anyone who is familiar with bikes knows how much lighter, easier to work on, inexpensive and what a killer time a 125 is. I honestly wasn’t ready for the weight or skill of riding a 250. I quickly found out that as much fun as a 125 is, it’s pretty technical to be fast on!

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With the encouragement of many, I signed up for my first race that following month. I went into it with the goal of finishing the race and having a killer time, and that was exactly what I did. I may have tipped the bike over every single lap, but with a smile on my face every time. There were people like Zack Lowry watching from the side and running out to help me pick up my bike every lap! haha

I can’t express how quickly I was welcomed into this new moto family at the track. It was something I had never experienced in competitive sports growing up and based off that, I continued to race the remainder of the summer.

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With each day on my bike I got more comfortable. With each race I gained more experience and set new goals. It went from finishing the race, to not crashing every single lap, to not crashing at all, and finally being competitive enough to be beating some of the girls out of the gate to the first corner. I pushed myself to always switch up my lines each lap between inside and outside lines in corners.

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With the snow falling and resorts open this season I’m now obsessing about more seat time. I hope to take this same feeling back on the track again this spring. Maybe even before then!

For my first year I ended up 7th/36 for the overall RMX North Series Races. I look forward to next season and becoming more competitive each race.

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To my sponsors: RMC Graphx, Dragon Alliance, Skullcandy and Vitalire Clothing:

To all the people who swept my gate, gave me feedback, picked up my bike, pressure washed the mud off in-between motos and picked me up on the side of the road with my bike when my truck broke down, and much much more, I thank you.

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She Shreds Team 2013

I’ve envisioned this program since I was 17 years old. Growing up in Sun Valley we didn’t have a terrain park or halfpipe. We would write letters to the company begging for just a couple rails to hit… no dice. It wasn’t until I was in my final high school years that they began to add small jibs and a half pipe. At that point, your options for a freeskiing team was the SVSEF freestyle mogul team or alpine racing. No coaches with park or pipe experience were to be found in the small town of Ketchum.

This being my first year not competing, I was commited to helping bring to the resort what lacked throughout my entire teenage years.

With the help of Sun Valley Snowsports School and The Sun Valley Freeride Team I was able to launch a program called She Shreds.

She Shreds is a non competitive all girls freeskiing team. I teach the girls the importance of an alpine background with the addition of park, pipe and big mountain skiing. Removing the pressure of competition allows the girls to work on their tricks without overly pushing themselves just to produce podium results.

She Shreds will be skiing every Saturday morning from 9am-12:30pm. Most days will be spent on Baldy with a few sessions focused on park and pipe at Dollar.

Below is a video from the first two weeks of She Shreds.

For all the Info please contact the Sun Valley SnowSports school at 208 622 2289 or snowsports@sunvalley.com

Email myself directly at shanny.cohen@gmail.com

Looking forward to a great spring!she shredsd pipe shot

SheJumps! Water Ramp Weekend

If you have ever heard someone refer to “burning the candle at both ends” that is the story here. But I’ll tell you what……. SO WORTH IT!

I got a last minute invite to come out to the UOP (Utah Olympic Park) to jump with, and help coach a camp put on by SheJumps. SheJumps is an organization which helps women network and push eachother in outdoor activities.

I literally jumped on the opportunity to be a part of this. With not much time to plan ahead here was the insane sched. I had going….

12am- Get off work

12:30am- start to pack, realizing my skis are at my dads house

12.40am- Pick up skis

1:30am- Finish Packing

2am: Sleep

3:30am: Leave for Utah

6:30am: Arrive in Utah

6:46am: Give in and get a Redbull after having had 2 cups of coffee prior

8am: Realize it may have been cheaper to fly to Utah…

9:15am- Arrive at water ramps

9:30am- Start by working on the basics at the trampolines

SheJump’s Own Vanessa Pierce displays a nice backflip!

Myself working on some flat 5′s

Then we took our tramp tricks to the water…

AND FINALLY……

WE JUMP! 

I spent the entire morning jumping, while the girls got comfortable on the smaller ramp. I planned to jump the following day with PC FREE so I chose to spend the afternoon up top helping coach the girls.

I believe this is Vanessa taking her backflip from the trampoline to the water

And then came the rain…

Unfortunately, we had to quit jumping due to the rain and thunder but we made sure to finish off the day with some hulahooping.

One of the biggest reasons I’m in the sport is to help share my experience with others. More than anything, I love watchig other women commit and push themselves athletically. I was so impressed with all the girls this weekend. HUGE thanks to She Jumps and Fly for putting this camp on. Stay tuned on my facebook page for the next camp!

Now it’s my turn to push it! 

I figured while I was in town for the shejumps camp I would spend an extra day ramping with PC FREE. I’ve trained with Mick Berry and Park City Freestyle every summer since I’ve been in this sport. They are hands down the best team I’ve worked with and Mick continues to  push and encourage me everytime we work together.

I didn’t have enough time to learn a ton of new tricks but I wanted to get the ones I have cleaned up and comfortable again. I spent the afternoon with them working on my rodeo’s and both direction spins. I did spend a good amount of time working on some shifty 5′s and switch 5′s.
With Mick yelling at me about patience I got my flat 3′s on the tramp looking and feeling better than ever!

We were a little unprepared with the video set up but I did manage to get a shot of one rodeo via iPhone. Please excuse the quality on this one…

I’ll be back sooner than later to work on some new tricks with PC FREE for next season. I’ll be sure to make an edit on this next trip.

Monday morning came quick and it was time to head back to Sun Valley.

I made a quick stop at the SKULLCANDY HQ. I’m stoked to say I’ll be on the Skullcandy Am Team for the 2012-2013 season. Next year’s product is SOOOO SICK. Thanks to Rob Layer and the Skullcandy Crew.

and…matching Cassette headphones and hoody? #steeze 

The Trip would not be complete without something going wrong though.

The passenger rear window in my truck may have been masking taped on for this trip. I was feeling confident after the 90mph drive there and the rain storm that it survived through.

I made it until 4 miles out of Snowville on the way home when i started hearing a whole lot of wind start pouring into my car. I had enough time to take a picture of my window falling off my truck…but not quite enough time to stop. Right after I GTS, the window set sail to the interstate….and shattered. Laughing my ass off I didn’t even look back, and I kept driving. It was bound to happen. Farewell window!

I’ve lagged on blogging for months so this HUGE post makes up for it. If you’ve read all the way to here i’m super impressed and I thank you! Please subscribe to my blog if you’re interested in all the chaos of my life.

xoxo

SHANNY.

Spring Splurge…brap brappp

Splurge: noun

The act of spending money freely or extravagantly.

The older I get the better I am at doing this. If you’ve read my previous Athlete Bio’s, you will see that one of my dreams is to own all the toys.

Well I’m starting to achieve that goal a lot sooner than I thought. And in a extremely expensive manner of buying brand new toys.

No, i’m not talking leggos and barbies here. I’m talking about working 60 hour weeks, snowmobiles, trucks and dirtbikes.

I’ve wanted a sled ever since I got into Freeskiing. Two years ago when I made the decision to move from Park City home to Sun Valley, I saw some hope. I worked all of that summer and put a down payment on a RMK 600 155” that fall. It took me a year to get it paid off but damn it feels good. It’s still brand new….with a whopping 467 miles on it.
That spring I also decided I wanted to buy another Dirtbike. I got into riding back in Highschool but sold my bike when I ran out of money living in Park City a few years back. Well, before putting myself deep in debt I played it safe and paid off my sled.

Since paying off my life (pictured above) I’ve been saving for a new truck to park it in. My bank account was starting to look decent again. Of course right when I feel good, why not feel better?

Current day: This is where the impulsive buying comes in…. Yep that’s right. Bye Bye Bank Account! I made an overnight decision that I needed to get back into riding. I withdrew the cash I was putting towards a new truck and instead drove to Rexburg Motorsports where they had exactly what I wanted. A brand new 2012 Kawasaki KX 100 Motocross Bike. I was in a major debate between this bike and the CRF 150 that I had ridden a few years ago.

What sold me on the KX?

1. It’s a 2 stroke 2. It’s BIGGER than the CRF 150 and 3. It’s a bike I could begin racing on if I chose to.

Fortunately for me, some of my ski sponsors also make moto gear. Thank you to Alex and Trisha at DRAGON ALLIANCE for sending some sickkkk MX Goggles and Maxx at Pow Gloves for summer bike gloves.

http://www.dragonalliance.com

http://www.powgloves.com

I need to thank Rexburg Motorsports and Gear Head who are my newest sponsors for this summer. They have the top quality product and pricing.  Thanks to them I’m  looking good in brand new gear to accompany my bike! STOKED :)

Keep tuned for some summer edits of dirtbikes, wake surfing and all around madness. I feel so fortunate to have the support of all my sponsors in this life I am so grateful for. Thanks for making it happen!

Living the Dream <3 

SHANNY. xoxo

1st month, 2 sports, 3 states & 4 injures

I have survived the first month of 2012. It hasn’t been easy but by putting one foot in front of the other, one day at a time… i’ve made it!

The first two days were great. I started doing tricks I haven’t done since my serious TBI injury 2 years ago. Anyone who’s had a serious head injury understands the battle i’ve been dealing with the past two years. (Picture below is from the past injury)

It’s been a very slow progression since then but i’m finally starting to feel confident again. Or so i thought….

My shins have a tendency to act up to the point I can’t even put on my boots. After the first two days into Jan. i was crying like a little girl at the bottom of the hill because I couldn’t flex my boot. The only way to heal shin bang is not skiing so, I took up SNOWBOARDING! Um…okay snowboard boots are like slippers. Dont’ get me wrong, my Surefoot foam fit liners make my Head ski boots are so nice..but snowboard boots are amazing. I plan to continue my snowboard career next month!

I then was moving my snowmobile around and threw out my back. Trying to be a tough girl thinking i can lift the back end of my sled 180 degrees is stupid when you have herniated L4 L5 discs in your back. So once again took a break.

Then, I went to park city for a few days to spend some money and make fun of the SUNDANCERS. Nicole and I spent most of our time on mainstreet and eating really healthy at Super wal-mart at 4am.20120202-234657.jpg

The Thursday we were leaving Park City I got the news about Sarah Burke’s passing. I was in such shock that I almost threw up my lunch I was eating..and couldn’t even cry for a good 20min because I was in such disbelief. I have so much to say i’m going to write an entirely separate blog for you Sarah…. <3

Day after Park City I went to San Francisco to spend more money and enjoy the rain! We ran out of gas in the middle of the Nevada desert. Right outside of the Nevada State Prison… I was looking for a boyfriend, no luck.20120202-232929.jpg

Meanwhile, Sun Valley was getting the most snow we got all year. Needless to say, my powder skis have only seen the inside of my closet at this point.

In a hurry to get home I set the cruise control on 90 and didn’t leave the fast lane …well until i got us lost.
Talking about boys at 6:30am, wearing prescription Dragon sunglasses I missed where the interstate split. I took us from Sacramento to South Lake Tahoe… on 50 instead of 80. Which means 30mph turns the entire way. It was a serene f-up at least. I mean.. i could have ran us out of gas in the middle of a desert! Oh wait, Ingrid took care of that for me :) CHECK haha xoxo

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The 5 days I did ski in the month of Jan. I at least got some footage. Thanks to Oren Currier, Alysha Herich and Eric Anderson I managed to get an edit released on time!

Check it out : 

The last day we shot this edit I went down hard on a 7. Concussed myself, separated my right AC joint again and strained my ankle. I’ve been doing well since then and will be back shredding in no time!

Hopefully Feb. has more powder and less injuries!!

The groundhog saw his shadow, LETS SEE SOME SNOW!

xoxo S.

They save the best for last…

December is the best month of the year…and I will tell you why

1. My birthday is Dec. 2nd

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2. It’s the first real month of skiing…

(I pretend to know what i’m doing for 3 weeks)


3. Holiday Parties

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4. Clean Slate for a new year ahead

(resolutions… where to begin?)

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NYC

From Florida I was supposed to go directly to BEAUTIFUL Buffalo NY but, my best friend happened to be in NYC…so I detoured.

Believe it or not, I had never been to NYC. Once I arrived I made sure to find the $45 flat rate cab to the city. I had heard about how crazy the cab drivers are in NYC but I was not prepared for this man’s driving. Not to mention he didn’t speak any english. I have NEVER in my life been so terrified being in a vehicle. (In the 3 days i ended up spending there, not one cab driver came close to how frightening this guy was) So, my first impression of NYC was unforgettable.

As soon as I arrived I called my oldest friend Chyna. She took us on a tour through central park and joined us for lunch at The Boat house. I’ve known her since we were a couple weeks old!!

20111104-225124.jpg Ali and myself(thanks to her family) shared a beautiful room with a balcony at The Kimberly Hotel in Manhattan.  20111104-225426.jpg I felt like showing you our skin colors. PS. We are the same ethnicity…. i think? ;)

For our first dinner we headed to Frankie and Johnnies Steakhouse. It had been suggested to us by the front desk. Let me just tell you that if I go out, I usually order steak. This was hands down the best steak I’ve ever had in my life. Ali’s dad and I split the $95 Potterhouse cut. It was AMAZING.

20111104-225502.jpgFor the dinner guests they provided a complimentary limo ride back to your hotel. ANOTHER FIRST… I had never been in a limo. No, I never went to high school prom.

We also ate lunch at the famous “Serendipity” Ali had their famous frozen hot chocolate while I indulged in some insane chocolate brownie with ice cream… Thank god for portion control. 

For something on a little more important note of the trip, 9/11 memorial. I remember waking up that morning when the first plane had hit. My mom was watching it on the news and I didn’t really understand the severity of what had just happened. I didn’t know enough about the World Trade Centers at that age either. By the time I got to my 6th grade class, the 2nd plane had hit. Seeing the tears through all the eyes of the adults, I started to realize these were some very serious attacks happening to our nation. To see people literally jumping out of the building to their death was one of the most horrific things I have ever seen. Nearly 3,000 people died. I made visiting the memorial my number one priority in NYC. Here is a picture of the only tree that was still standing after the attacks.

20111104-225544.jpg The 2 Waterfall pools are located where the buildings were. They are the largest manmade waterfalls in North America. The names of the people who were killed are engraved surrounding the pools. The next important place we had to go was The Empire State Building. I’m usually not the one for tourist attractions, but I got this one checked off my list now! Here is a view from the top  And a group photo… what an unbelievable shot hey ? ;)  Next tourist attraction… TIMES SQUARE!! We went after dinner at 11pm on our last night. I wasn’t expecting all the stores to be open, but i was pleasantly suprised. If you’ve met me… you will know my addiction to espresso and how much I love Sephora. How perfect for me ? 

AND THAT’S A WRAP.  Well, at least as much as I want to write about NYC. Ali and I headed out the next morning for BUFFALO, NY together. Check back for that post…. If you’ve never been to Buffalo, don’t worry.. you’ll never have to go! Just read my blog instead.

SHANNY.

Soaking up the Sunshine

What better way to prepare for snowfall than soaking up every last ounce of sunshine you can?

Fortunately for me, My mother lives in Sarasota, FL. Being on the road makes it hard to keep on my fall ski training the way I would like. My mom does’t own a car down there so at least I got to bike everywhere we went. I can’t say i had the most deluxe of cruiser bikes, but it did get me where I needed to go. Where I NEEDED to go was Lido Beach. I spent the majority of my time there laying in the sun, trying to conquer my fear of water and birds. I picked up a new hobby; shell collecting. While we are talking about birds…i visited the Bird Rehabilitation Center where they have rescued  injured birds. This was actually really sad and made me feel bad for these birds I was once scared of. This guy had a broken foot and it was so sad to see him try to jump around :(

20111025-225646.jpgIt’s heart warming to know that there are places like this for animals to rehab from injuries. Even if some may never leave the facility, they can at least start to recover. It felt really good to donate after seeing the birdies20111026-001157.jpg On a more humorous note, I did get to check out DRAG QUEEN BINGO. I took some video that is honestly so offensive I’m not going to post it. It was more of “drag queen performance” with a bingo number drawn every hour. I walked out after and hour and a half. Here is a picture at least… I guess one exciting thing was when an ” O-69″ was called they would pass out free jello shots to the song “shots shots shots…(you know that really annoying one?)” I think you had to be pretty intoxicated if you were to sit through this DRAG QUEEN “BINGO”.

I got to ride my bike by the protestors everyday. I love the statue in the background !20111028-002657.jpg

More than anything, it was great to spend time with my mom and all of her friends.20111028-004717.jpg

Having my flight itinerary read: SV->SLC , SLC->DEN, DEN->ATL. ATL->SRQ i’m astonished I made it. But this wasn’t the end of the trip. SRQ->ATL, ATL->JFK awaits me. NYC HERE I COME!!

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