From the land of sky blue waters…

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

This past weekend I traveled to the Mississippi headwaters in Itasca State Park with my friends Mary Linda, who was visiting from Texas, and Alice. It was a fun weekend but lots of driving. 
Saturday morning I picked them up at Alice’s house which is on the other side of the Twin Cities. From there it was a 4 hour ride to Itasca State Park.  I made a square pan of Special K bars as I know that is a favorite of Mary Linda.  We practically ate the whole bar on the drive up.  They are so good!  The drive was nice and smooth.  The weather was perfect, although a bit cool.  We stopped in Wadena for lunch at McDonalds. When you get up there you need to stop wherever you can find food and it will most certainly be fast food.  Mary Linda ordered a Kids meal.  Boy have they changed.  The fries were micro sized.  Think of it this way, the fries only had 100 calories…so she got 10 fries. LOL!  She also got apple slices so that was cool.  But they didn’t give her the toy.  :(
Walking across the Mississippi River
We got up the park by 2:30 and started at the headwaters first.  We walked across the rocks that mark the start of the river.  The river was very stagnant and the water wasn’t rushing over the rocks like it usually does.  That was weird.  But it was also a good thing because it made it easier for Mary Linda to walk across.  After that we drove around the wilderness drive.  It was beautiful with the leaves changing.  I got some really nice pictures.  We checked out the largest white pine tree and stopped to climb the fire tower.  There was actually a line for the tower!  The climb wasn’t too bad but it got really windy when we got to the top. It was a little scary, but the view was amazing so it was worth the trip up. Going down was actually harder because my quad muscles were freaking out.  I’m still sore from the stupid tower.
We made our way to Bemidji and checked into the hotel.  We had dinner at this fancier restaurant but the food was ok.  Considering the price, I was hoping for better.  Alice and I went for a dip in the hot tub and then spent the rest of the night watching tv and relaxing.
Hiking in Lake Bemidji State Park
Sunday morning was a bit cold. I think it was 25 when we woke up.  We had the awesome breakfast at the hotel and ventured over to Lake Bemidji State Park.  We did some hiking along the lake.  Alice took us off the beaten track and we had to scale the steep hills along the lake. When we got to the viewing area, we had to climb over (or through) a fence.  Again the trees were brilliant oranges and yellows.  It was a beautiful day for a hike. 
We took the other way back to the Twin Cities through the lakes around Brainerd.  It was such a nice drive.  We got to Alice’s house around 5 and I got home by 6.  Like I said it was a lot of driving but it was a nice weekend.  It was so nice to see Mary Linda again.
In other news, Eric’s sister Carrie called and now we (Carrie, Eric and I) are doing a triathlon next year.  Carrie will swim, Eric will run, which leaves me with the biking. When I came home Sunday and Eric told me this, my first thought was I need a new bike.  I can’t show up to a triathlon with my Townie cruiser bike with the fat seat and tires…I’d get laughed off the course.  So this is a good excuse to get a new road bike.  So I did some research yesterday and decided that between work and the Twins/Yankees game we would go to Penn Cycle and try out some bikes.  And hour later, after a 15 minute test ride, I got a new Trek Lexa bike. It is very nice. It moves so fast with little effort and it just glides. I have to get used to the tiny tires again.  But I think this will work great. I pick it up tomorrow.  I’m so excited.  Time to start training!

My new bike!!

Deep thoughts on this hump day

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Two post in one week and I’m not on vacation…wow! I don’t have any particular reason to write right now but I thought why not jot down my random thoughts on this hump day.
Honey Boo Boo Child, you brighten my day
There is a new episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo tonight that I’m very excited to watch. This is my new obsession. If you never heard of Honey Boo Boo, she is a 7 year old girl from McIntyre, GA. It is a spin-off of Toddlers & Tiaras, centered around contestant Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson and her family.  They are very…well…rednecks.  One of her tag lines is “let’s get redneck-ognized” (recognized).  So the show follows the family around and it has subtitles for the whole show because they ain’t the most articulate people. LOL!  Mama is a 300 pound stay at home mom. She has 4 daughters with 4 different fathers.  Honey Boo Boo is the youngest and her daddy (Sugar Bear) still lives with the family.  They aren’t married because Mama doesn’t believe in marriage. The oldest daughter, Chickadee, just had a baby at 17 and the baby has 2 thumbs on one hand.  In case you are wondering, the other two daughters’ names are “Chubbs” and “Pumpkin.” They are kind of a freak show but they really love each other and I’d rather watch them then the stupid Kardashians.  This little girl didn’t whore herself out to get a tv show, nope she just oozes personality and she is so funny.  And the show is not scripted like the stupid K clan…oops I mean klan. 
Dearest iPad, how have I lived without thee?
I’ll admit when the iPads came out I thought who in the world would want that. I can’t upload pictures to my website, I can’t put a dvd in the computer, it really is just a stupid smartphone on steroids.  I recently succumbed to the iPad craze and I, too, am now an iPad owner. I have had it about 2 weeks and I LOVE it.  I don’t know how I lived without it. It is really sad how much it has taken over my life. Swirl makes a perfect iPad holder as you can see.

Oh Running, why have you forsaken me?
I really have been bad. I did so good in August, ran 4-5 times a week and loved it. I couldn’t wait to get home and get out for a run.  August has come and gone and now it is 19 days into September and I‘ve gone once. Yep one time.  Where did my enthusiasm go?  Where did my drive go?  I wish I knew. I’m not blaming the iPad because I got that 9 days into the month.  The main reason is vacation. I don’t why this happens to me. Every time I go on vacation I come back lazy and stop all work out routines.  Last night I could have gone running but instead I went shopping (I got some really nice clothes though). I need to get back on the running bandwagon.  Oct. 1st is a Monday…what a prefect day to start anew. 
Well that is about from here today.  Nothing that exciting but still insightful.

Another Chicken Q

Monday, September 17, 2012

This past weekend was another busy one for us.  We drove down to Independence on Friday to see the Indees play Eleva-Strum.  I haven’t been to a high school football game in 16 years.  And this is the first time that I’ve seen a football game at the new field (which is like 10 years old). It was a different experience from when I was in school, that is for sure but it was still fun.  John, my cousin, is the coach. The good guys won 18-8.

Saturday, I was up early thanks to the stupid train.  I’m not sure why but the past year the train always wakes me up at mom’s house.  It goes at like 5:30 am.  Seriously! I feel back to sleep for a little but finally crawled out of bed around 8.  We had to get to George’s Lounge for the Chicken Q. Mom and I helped out serving. The served quite a few meals. We were off and on busy the whole afternoon. The chicken was again delicious.  We stuck Eric in the corner so he could work on his paper.  After that we went to 4:30 Mass.  The church is in the middle of renovations so it doesn’t look the best. One of the big windows is gone and there is scaffolding. Thankfully they didn’t do this the year we got married! We went for a ride after church to check out the sand mining pit by our old farm and eventually made our way to Whitehall for dinner.  It was a very eventful day.

Yesterday was another day of busyness.  Again the stupid train woke me up and then mom and cleaned off the old band equipment.  Mike came over and we loaded it into the pickup and when Nancy and Greg came by we went to Eau Claire to sell the stuff to Pawn America.  I think mom is happy with what she got and the stuff is gone.  We had lunch after that and then came home. 

So we had another weekend where my mom just tired me out.  And I actually got to sleep, she worked Friday night so she went without sleep again.  

Fargo to Reno

Friday, September 7, 2012

Wow I’m a slacker!  I haven’t posted in like 10 days!  What is wrong with me?  Well…I’ve been busy!
Let see…Friday and Saturday night we went camping in Elbow Lake, MN with DJ, Abbie and Ethan.  It was such a nice weekend for camping.  The weather was perfect, maybe a bit cold for sleeping Friday night but otherwise it was a fun time.  Saturday we visited Beth at Morehead.  It is a nice campus.  Their football team sucks though.  Good thing we didn’t go to the game.  We traveled home on Sunday because I had to get ready for my next trip…RENO!
Monday morning Eric took my Mom and I to the airport for our adventure to Reno.  I was a bit nervous because our connection in Salt Lake City was only 30 minutes.  Thankfully we got into a gate that was sort of close to the next gate so we made our connection just in time.  The flights were uneventful. We got into Reno and met up with Dave and Joanne, mom’s friends.  We started out our stay in Reno with a trip to Rib Fest.  I’m not a fan of ribs but there was plenty for me to eat.  We had these really good Texas potatoes…fresh potato chips.  
Emerald Bay, CA - Lake Tahoe

Tuesday we started our day early with a trip to Lake Tahoe.  It is incredibly beautiful.  We drove around the entire lake.  Emerald Bay on the southwest corner was the crowning jewel.  Get it emerald…jewel.  I love puns. We also ventured up to Truckee, CA and Donner’s Pass.  It is all so amazing.  We swung by the capitol building in Carson City on our way back to Reno. It was an all-day event.
Wednesday we had breakfast at Peg’s Glorified Ham N’ Eggs…a Reno tradition.  It was good.  We took another fun road to Virginia City, NV.  If you’ve been to Deadwood, SD it is like that. Old buildings from the 1800s, old casinos from the 1800s and a gunfight.  It was a tourist trap with all the shops selling the typical corny items.  But it was interesting to see and I got my fudge!  No trip is complete without fudge. We took a train ride on a vintage train to Gold Hill to see the old mining areas. After that we took Mt. Rose highway to the summit and an awesome overlook of Lake Tahoe.
After our second day of driving we had dinner at Dave and Joanne’s son, Mike’s house.  It was a very nice house up in the hills around Reno.  We had tri-tip steak, potatoes and the best corn-on-the-cob I’ve had this year.  It was all delicious. After that we drove through downtown Reno to see it at night. It isn’t as exciting as Vegas at all. It reminds me of downtown Vegas BEFORE they did the overhang and light show. 
Thursday morning we slept in until 6:30am!! I hate being on vacation and not being able to sleep in when I can.  I went for a swim in the really warm pools. It was chilly out but the pools feel great and being it was so early it was dead there.  We enjoyed their hotel’s buffet and made our way to the airport.  Reno’s airport is small, security took us 2 minutes and mostly that was because the TSA agent was picking on us.  There isn’t much to see or do.  If you get there really early, like us, you will get bored.  The flights were empty and as a result they were really cold.  I froze on our way to Salt Lake City. I bought a clearance rack USA Olympic sweatshirt for the next flight. I’m sure glad I did as it was just as cold on that flight. We got home about 9:30 last night.
All in all it was a great week.  I had lots of fun, ate lots of food and did zero running.   I have no plans for the weekend besides eventually getting my pictures on the website. Oh and maybe a run or two.