Monday, July 18, 2011

Adventures Around Kansas

Since July 1, I have been keeping myself busy. I flew back to Kansas on July 2. Celebrated the 4th of July with the family on the 3rd. Relaxed/unpacked on the 4th, 5th, and 6th. On July 7th, I drove to Pittsburg to visit cousin Rachel. We joined with Lexie on the 8th and drove over to Joplin to visit Penny. We ate lunch at Cabo de Sol (I think that's what it was called) and then Lexie had to leave for work, but Rachel and I hung out with Penny a bit longer.

On July 9th, I left Rachel's around noon because she had a birthday party to go to. I went to JD's house in Frontenac. We caught up, then went and got lunch before packing up to go to the Royals game. We left for the game around 2:20pm or so after picking up JD's sister and waking Chris up. We picked up Kevin on the route and then met up with Nick, Ashley, Lisa, Kirk, Autumn, Shauna, Frank, and Emily at the K. I had a lot of fun, and the Royals won the game 13-6! Then we headed back down south and got back to Frontenac around midnight.

I left around 7:30am on the 10th in order to make it back to Iola in time to go to the Royals game with my family. I arrived around 9, and we finally left around 10am. I finally went to the Royals Hall of Fame. I never thought about the fact that the World Series trophy would be in there. I got extremely excited upon siting it! We sat through the game. It looked like the Royals were going to pull of a comeback in the bottom of the 9th since Eric Hosmer started off with a double, but they did not. Jacob and I took cousin Averie to run the bases for Kids Day. After running the bases, we headed to Lawrence, met up with Mandy & Toby, got dinner, then headed home.

On the 11, 12, and 13th, I mostly just continued relaxing and unpacking around the house. On the 13th, I packed for the trip to Florida with the family. On the 14th, I headed to Altamont and had a Harry Potter marathon with Ashley and Kevin before we went to the midnight premiere in Parsons.

On the 15th around noon, my family picked me up and we started the LONG drive to Florida. Finally got to Belleview, FL, around noon on the 16th. On the 17th, we had a family get-together at Aunt Faune's house. All of the old babies are now in elementary school, so I now feel old around the Florida family. We went swimming with the little kids multiple times. It was a fun day. I found out that I share a birthday with little Gavin (he turns 3 on Thursday! It was our first time meeting him).

Well that's all I've been up to the past couple weeks. Next post should be about the rest of the trip to Florida. Then I'll be headed out West for the next year. If you'd like to support me as a Jesuit Volunteer, please donate in my name. You can do so by donating via the website: or you can write a check to "Jesuit Volunteer Corps" with "Krystal Pennuto" on the memo line and sending it to: Jesuit Volunteer Corps; 801 St. Paul Street; Baltimore, MD 21202. Even $1 helps! Anything you can give, I thank you!

Until next time,

Friday, July 1, 2011

Summer Updates

Hello friends!

Since this is my first post, I will attempt to briefly update you on what has happened since May. I hope to post around once a week from now on to keep you all updated on what is going on in my life. I know that moving to Sacramento will make it more difficult to keep in touch, so I hope that this will help keep y'all updated on what I'm up to. So let's get started!

On May 12, 2011, I graduated from Tulane University with a B.S. in Geology. The next day, I was offered a position as a Staff Associate at Loaves and Fishes in Sacramento, CA, through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. I promptly accepted and started trying to figure out how I could see the most friends possible before moving out West.

From May 18-26, I was rafting on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon with my Grand Canyon Colloquium class from the spring. The trip was AMAZING! Our boatmen (Hatch River Expeditions) were all really cool and our group got along excellently. It was a nice way to celebrate graduating (over half of the students had graduated the week before). I enjoyed a week away from technology, but it was nice to return home and be with the family for a while.

Here I am at Nankoweap:

After the Grand Canyon trip, I was home for a week before leaving for Ireland. During this week, I received a packet of paperwork that I needed to fill out for JVC before leaving. The week wasn't as relaxing as I'd hoped due to this unexpected paperwork, but I was still able to enjoy time with the family.

I left for Ireland on June 3, 2011. Last summer, I participated in a field course the James Madison University in Ireland, and this summer, I had the amazing opportunity to be a Teacher's Assistant for the course. I arrived in Shannon, Ireland, on June 4 and quickly began this adventure. I had a week and a half in Clonbur, including the Independent Mapping Project and the first week of Sed Strat/Hydro. Then we took the students to Northern Ireland and brought them to Giant's Causeway (my favorite place on earth), Dunluce Castle, White Rocks beach, and multiple sites of the Old Red Sandstone as well as other places. After our 4 day adventure to Northern Ireland, we headed down to Doolin for the final week of the field course. Here the students completed weed #2 of Sed Strat/Hydro (whichever track they chose). We took the students to the Cliffs of Moher during this week. On Saturday, June 25, 2011, we dropped the students off at Shannon Airport. Some flew home that day, but many continued to travel. I headed up to Belfast that day with 3 of the professors. We had to drop the 15 passenger vans off in Northern Ireland and Belfast is the closest airport to where we get the vans. The night in Belfast with the professors was one of my favorites. On the drive up north, Tony & I played a wave game (we'd wave at basically everyone we passed, and whomever got the most waves in return won) which I won. After we made it to Belfast and checked into the Hilton, we went to Pizza Express for dinner. Evidently Pizza Express is kind of a fast food chain up there, but it was the most delicious food we'd had since we arrived. It was very flavorful and we had an amazing waiter. Then we got drinks at the Crown Bar across from the Europa Hotel... This area had been bombed over 40 times during the IRA stuff. Then we headed home and Tony & I left for America the next day.

Me at Portstewart:

Dinner at Pizza Express:

On June 26, I returned to America, but I flew to Chicago, not Kansas. I'm currently in Chicago visiting my friend Katie and trying to meet up with other friends in the area. The week has been mostly me relaxing, but on Wednesday we went to Beauty and the Beast at the Oriental Theatre (it was AMAZING)! Yesterday, I met up with Kordys and got some Garrett's popcorn (supposedly the best popcorn ever) which I still need to try. Then we went to a rooftop bar while we waited for his brother to arrive. Once Evan got downtown, the 3 of us went to Taste of Chicago and they made me eat more than my fair share of delicious Chicago cuisine. We ended the night walking through Millennium Park and then dashing into the French Consulate in order to escape the rain. Eventually the rain let up enough for me and Katie to make it to the Blue line so we could go meet up with some of her friends at Davenports off of Division. We got there and Davenports looked closed so we went into a nearby Walgreens because it was starting to rain again. When we finally decided to go, we walked outside for it to start hailing (golf ball sized). We went back inside until the hail stopped and the rain let up a little. We then hurried back to the L. We were soaked, but we eventually made it home and were able to dry off. The night was a grand adventure.

Katie & I before Beauty and the Beast:

Buckingham Fountain:

Justin & Evan at Taste of Chicago:

Well, that's all for now. I head home tomorrow and will FINALLY get to spend more than 1 week with my family for the first time since December. I can't wait to return to Kansas because there's no place like home.