Family, Friends, Soccer Games and a Half

Monday, September 10, 2018

We spend the beautiful weekend in Sioux Falls.  We meet up with some friends and family and of course ran a race.

We started our trip down to Sioux Falls after work on Friday. We picked up DJ on our way, getting into Byron’s house at around 9:30. Theo, the baby, was still up! It was his 7th month birthday.

Saturday morning, we meet Eric’s childhood friend, Kevin at his kid’s soccer game. Kevin is the coach, so we didn’t talk to him until after the game but we sat by his wife Jana and other son Isaac. Isaac was getting bored with the game, so Eric kicked the ball around with him. After the game we went to Fuddruckers for lunch and went to Isaac’s game afterwards. That was a hoot!  It was 4 on 4 on a very small field (5-6 year olds). There was a lot of hugging on the field. Little boys are so funny! Haha. Isaac has been watching too much World Cup because he tripped and fell and immediately got up and said “Come on, he pushed me” with his hands held out. Just like the pros. The thing is there is no refs on these games and no fouls. Haha! After he scored a goal he did the running slide on his knees…just like the pros. It was hilarious.

After that we went back to Byron’s and the entire family went to the Expo to pick up our packets for the race. It was a very sad expo. Hardly any exhibitors. :( We got our stuff and started to head out the door when we saw the 605 Running Company contest. You get your picture taken with a dry erase board with your estimated finish time. Whoever is closes wins a pair of shoes.  I wrote down 3:07:25. I had predicted a 3:07 finish anyways which is 10 minutes or faster than my other halves this year (except for my amazing first half at Grandma’s Marathon).  I will write a separate blog on the race, but my finish time was 3:07:24…I was one second off. I’m still waiting to see if I won. Fingers crossed nobody got right on the nose.

We went to Red Rossa pizza for dinner. I love traditional thin crust, wood oven Italian pizza. We did some grocery shopping for the race and spend the rest of the night hanging out at the house.

Sunday was another early morning. The race started at 7. DJ was nice enough to come with us. We started in the Denny Sanford Premier center. That was nice since it was kind of cold outside. The race was ok for me, not my best but hopefully I got the shoes mentioned above. Eric had a pretty good race, almost beat 2:30.

Kevin, Jana and the boys meet us at mile 9 and then saw us at the finish line. Adam was really interested in running and races now. He wants to go watch us at all our races. Haha.

We went to Perkins for a late breakfast…oddly enough, I was craving pancakes!

After breakfast we went back to Byron’s to watch the Vikings game and eat some nachos. It was good. We stuck around until 6pm because Eric’s brother Chris was driving through on his way home to Omaha. He and his daughter, Banyan were in Rapid City for the weekend.

It was a long ride home, we didn’t get in until after 10pm. I’m exhausted today! Ha!

Dublin Trip Review

Friday, August 24, 2018

August 9 – Dublin City Tour & Guinness Storehouse and Brewery Tour 
We started our day in Iceland and a 2 hour flight later we were in Dublin. Another 30 minute bus ride and we were finally at our hotel. Thankfully we were able to check in immediately and dump our bags in our room and out the door. Rule #1 of international travel is to keep going even if you are exhausted! We walked to McDonald’s for a quick lunch and on to a Hop On Hop Off tour. These tours are like most of the HOHO tours. The guide had interesting jokes and some history. We stopped at Guinness Storehouse and Brewery Tour. Thanks to our Dublin Pass, we walked right in…the line was crazy long. Yay Dublin Pass! The tour was interesting, we learned a few things about beer and ended up at the top floor Gravity Bar for our free beer (or soda). I went for soda, Eric had the beer.

After that we finished the hop on hop off tour and had a quick dinner before crashing for the night.

August 10 – College, Cathedrals, Vikings and a Castle
We slept in a bit and went to Starbucks for breakfast. Our first order of the day was packet pick up at the Expo at Trinity College. Trinity was a very cool campus. We walked through the campus The Expo wasn’t really an expo like we are used to but it was quick to pick up our stuff for the race. I bought new backpack…just want I need, another bag. But it is so cool, haha. We dumped our stuff and did more touring. We started at the St. Patrick's Cathedral, then to Christ Church Cathedral, Dublina (Viking Exhibit) and Dublin Castle.  We eat lunch at a local pub. I had a flat iron steak, it was delicious. The potatoes were very oniony, yikes! We swing by the Ha Penny Bridge o our way back to our hotel. Another fun filled day      

August 11 – Rock of Cashel, Cork City & Kissing the Blarney Stone
We had an early morning wake up call for our first bus tour of the trip. We had a great tour guide/bus driver. It was a long drive to the first stop at Rock of Cashel. It was an interesting stop but we could get inside.  We had a quick lunch in Cork before the boarding the bus for the highlight of the tour, Blarney Castle. The day was cloudy the whole day but really didn’t rain until we got Blarney Castle. We immediately stood in line for the climb to the top of the castle so we can kiss the Stone. It was a very tight spiral staircase. Shirley and Betty, our new friends from California, were in front of us. They were so cute. They were in the upper 70s and had some issues climbing the steps. We finally get to the top and it starts pouring. Yep, we kissed the stone in the pouring rain. Ick!  I didn’t actually kiss it, I just acted like I did.  After we climbed down we walked around the grounds before boarding the bus back to Dublin. Another long ride. We didn’t get back until 8:30. We stopped at Ray’s Pizza, a local place for a thin crust pizza…a pre-race tradition.

August 12 – Running Hills, Eating in Church and Stephen's Green Park
Another early morning wake up call for our half marathon. I had a few bathroom issues but thankfully I got it resolved before the race (the port-a-potties didn’t have toilet paper!). I went into the medic tent for some tissue…thank God they had a big roll of tissue!  I started near the back like always. The start was very slow like normal for Rock n Roll races. This race had mega hills. It sucked and my time was terrible but I didn’t care, I had fun.  After finishing, getting a ton of food from the volunteers, a new finisher long sleeve shirt we waited an hour for a tram to our hotel. We met a nice couple from Philly. They actually invited us to stay with them when we come out to run Philly. We aren’t but that was cool. We took quick showers and ventured to The Church for a late lunch. Eric had Irish Stew and I had the roast beef dinner. We had a nice conversation with the people sitting next to us. They were from Austria.  We went from there to Stephen’s Green Park to check out the beautiful green space of the city.

August 13 – More Castles and Cliffs
The last bus tour of our trip was way longer than the first. We had a driver and tour guide for this trip. I can see why because the roads were crazy narrow. Our trip didn’t start out great…our bus driver backed into a car. That was at least a 30 minute delay. We stopped at a Castle, went to see some baby cliffs and the best thing of the entire trip, the Cliffs of Moher. They were amazing. I would say these are a must see and if I had to chose between that and the Blarney stone, the Cliffs win hands down. We had another late return to our hotel. I quickly packed our bags and went to bed…another early morning wake up call to catch our flight.

Ireland was amazing!

15 Years of Wedded Bliss

Thursday, August 23, 2018

2003 Death Valley

2004 Washington DC


2006 Maine

2007 Arches National Park, Utah

2008 Lake Michigan

2009 Lake Michigan

2010 Great Smokey Mountain NP

2011 Chicago


2013 Texas

2014 Greenland


2016 Saguaro National Park, Arizona

2017 New York City

2018 Target Field

Kissing the Blarney Stone