Saturday, September 8, 2018

Out East

Last weekend we went on a travel. We finally went on our trip to Norfolk Vee-A to visit with Cody and Maral, and to run the hottest race yet, The Rock n Roll Virginia Beach 1/2 Marathon. That’s a lot to say.

We arrived on Saturday after three plane rides that were one after the other. No waiting there. As soon as we landed it started to rain, but that didn’t dissapate the heat or humidity any.

IMG_2190Rain and heat

Maral picked us up and we were able to get our race packets in the nick of time. Well, we weren’t really late to pick them up, but I was worried that if one thing went awry I wouldn’t be racing in the AM.

And I almost didn’t. Dave set the alarm which didn’t go off but fortunately Cody was driving us to the race. Otherwise, I would have overslept and missed the start. Yep—that was a bump in the road but we made it, had a bite to eat, and prepared to run.

IMG_2194Bobby, Cody, and Me

Phew-it was hot. I know, I know, enough with the heat but seriously, it was in the upper 70’s when we started and dew points in the lower 70’s. At least it was early and we had a lot of shade. I was almost used to the heat by this race, my fourth hot 1/2 marathon race of the summer. I was able to run the whole way and my finish was slow-2:16, but about the same as the last race. Cody suffered mightily in the heat and wasn’t happy with his time at all. I know the feeling. It gets so painful when you are too hot and can’t cool off. The last mile was on the boardwalk in the sun. Ouch. Mile 8-10 was also in the sun and that got unpleasant. Cody said that’s where he really started to feel the pain. Sigh.

But we all lived to tell the tale. We immediately went to the VIP area and had some mimosa’s, bad beer, and I got an orange crush.

IMG_2197It was only ok.

I met up with Tiffini and Ali watching the reggae band on the beach.


After an hour or two we decided it was time to go. Dave and I went back to the hotel, showered (well, I showered) and we found lunch and a couple more beers at a Mexican place up the street. We stayed downtown and it was really close to Cody’s apartment, shops, waterfront, and good food. Very convenient.


LRG_DSC01618Azteca Decor…..

We napped and then went out to dinner with Cody and Maral and a great little place in the old part of Norfolk.

Cody’s apartment is super nice and I took a bunch of pictures of the view from their little deck and windows.




The street below


IMG_2248There’s a mermaid theme here and this one was right down below Cody’s place-


And this one was on the side of the building below our hotel-


I thought it was cool but strictly nighttime…..

On Monday Cody took us on a boat ride tour of the harbor. It was hot, just saying, but super fun. I really enjoyed it.

Our boat-The Victory Rover


Us on the boat--

LRG_DSC01640Bad, bad selfie…….

Where Cody works


Oldest Naval Hospital in the US


The Harbor


World’s Largest Naval Base

LRG_DSC01650 (1)

Huge Aircraft Carriers

LRG_DSC01652LRG_DSC01651Pretty Impressive

Sailboat in the distance


I had a great time.

We drove around and saw Cody’s old place where he lived when he first arrived in Norfolk four years ago. Gosh, it is that long? I didn’t take a picture because it was a bit scary. I can see why he wasn’t all that happy there, but he saved a ton of money so it was worth it for the year. His apartment now is 180 degrees from the first place. But there are a lot of good stories around it.

The next day we were on our own. We took a walk and saw some glass headed people….


Old houses and foot bridge,


and we went to a naval museum and toured the USS Wisconsin-


It’s a huge boat-



It holds 1900 men and women, however, during it’s active duty it held 2900. Have mercy cause the quarters are tight.


You can store your stuff under your bunk….


Better like your room mates. AND-can I say—it was pretty hot and stuffy down there. Maybe out at sea in the winter it’s super cold down there. Either way, it can’t be pleasant.

We took a selfie on deck.


After lunch we went to the Chrysler Art Museum. It’s free and the exhibits were fabulous. I only took one picture, and that was outside!


I highly recommend this place. It was huge and I don’t think we saw everything, but we needed a rest after being on our feet most of the day.

After resting, we grabbed some sushi (I’m a sucker for sushi) and got some takeout for Cody and Maral, who both worked all day.



I was so sad to leave on Wednesday. Cody took us to the airport and we flew back, in our usual seat in the very very back of the plane. (The last seat on the plane was the theme of this trip, along with the mermaids). It was pretty chill, more chill traveling home than on the way out.

And now I’m back to work. In a bit of a daze but back. And a week from Monday I’m off to Scotland. I’m really looking forward to it, but I miss these two and their cute apartment and the easiness of vacation.

I guess I’ll try to eek out one more week of work and then leave it all behind again as I cross the pond. Woot woot.

Oh, and did I mention Buzz? He’s livin’ the life……



Sunday, August 26, 2018

August Heat and Fiber, Running and Driving

Well, August came upon me in a big way. I wasn’t even expecting it and all of a sudden I was in the middle of it.

It’s been such a busy month. And September plans to be no different. Only I hope the humidity can settle down a bit.

I started the month at Stitches Midwest with Julie—and we didn’t get one selfie. Jeepers I am losing my touch. But just because we didn’t get a selfie doesn’t mean that we didn’t have a wonderful, wonderful time.

Stitches Midwest is MUCH different than West. First of all, it’s spacious and roomy and manageable. There are great places to eat nearby—within walking distance AND in the hotel. Oh, and did I mention at a reasonable cost? I saw some local people I know which was super fun. The rooms were so, so nice and I was able to afford a single room. I took a really good class about the Anatomy of Yarn. I learned so much. There were a ton of spots to sit and knit with plenty of widows and light. I plan to return next year for SURE. Did I mention the market? Not as big as West but that was ok because I was still able to spend too much money!

LRG_DSC01590Beautiful hotel.

We were able to see our friends from West though……..


Julie pointed out there was a TV in the bathroom mirror. A mixture of creepy and fabulous.


My view of Schaumberg Il. There are a LOT of tolls to get here but it was an easy and nice drive. It was also hot there. Hot and muggy. The story of my life.


Our empty bar for Saturday dinner!


And seriously good food.


There was lots of yarn and fabulous fiber just down the hall FYI-

I bought the kit AND the book. My biggest spend. Can’t wait to knit it and my goal is to wear it to West.


A little sampling of the market---




There was so much more. AND they had quilting and sewing too which I think I will take a class in that next year. I love it. I tried to get some fashion show pics but they didn’t turn out well. The fashion show is on a raised platform instead of in a theater and we thought that was a much better venue. We could sit closer and see better.

So—we left on a fiber high. I dropped Julie at the airport and headed back home.

The next weekend I ran the annual Western Days Stampede. It’s a trail race and I’m getting better. I was a minute faster than last year AND I didn’t fall down. Win-win. The weather cooperated and wasn’t chokingly humid.


and Finish


Weekend three found us driving up to Grand Forks-—


or more accurately Veselyville


We spent a nice weekend chillaxing with Blane and Melanie doing nothing which was just fine with me.

Pen Pen and Squirrely Bird


Flat views and corn

LRG_DSC01601LRG_DSC01604 (1)

It’s hazy due to the fires in Canada. But not too bad. We got there Saturday and left Monday. I took more naps in those three days than I’ve taken in months. But it was much needed and very relaxing. I was hoping to get up there Friday but Dave didn’t get the day off. Oh well, next time.

Thursday was Laura’s birthday so we had dinner on Wednesday at her place. And again, I have no pictures of people but I was VERY intrigued by a chicken casually walking up on the deck to partake of some cat food.

IMG_2145   Say What?

And I could not leave without some pics of these girls--

LRG_DSC01609Are you talking to me?

And babies, lots and lots of babies.


The population has tripled since our last stay there…..

Happy Birthday to my Blog Muse!  I was looking for the famous Laura picture of her carrying a calf but I found this one called Laura and Gargantua. I think this is possibly related to the fact that the calf was huge but it cracked me up and deserves a repeat in the blog—

Happy Birthday!!

Gargantua and Laura

Finally, last weekend was the Scheels Health Human Half. Ugh. It wasn’t as hot but the dew point was up in the mid 60’s. I can’t even. My time was 2:14:47. I can’t seem to finish it up anymore. I am losing my strength early and I don’t know why. I need to research better training or something. I had my doubts about this race since all my half marathons have been going off the rails this summer. I was pretty demoralized but oh well. As the pacer said when she was trying to pass me “At least you are out here running”. Yes, but running so much more slowly than two years ago. I am discouraged. And next week I have the half in Virginia and it looks to be even hotter and more humid than ever—high of 85, dew points have been up in the upper 60’s. Maybe stormy which will likely add to the moisture. I have already got a poor attitude about that. I told Cody that if it’s truly that hot I’ll be running a mile and a half, then walking a half. mile, rinse and repeat. There’s not way I can tolerate  running in that for 13.1 miles.

BUT—I did get out and run the race and I did finish and Cathy did a great job and we had our ritual post race bloody which was the best part of the whole dang day.



So that’s why I haven’t gotten much done around here-and next month is the trip to VA and then Scotland!! Woot woot. I can’t wait. I’ll have better hair and my teeth are fixed. Way too much fun.

I forgot to mention that I voted in the primary and I hope you all did too-


Miscellanous thoughts--

It’s been hazy here as mentioned before

IMG_2095IMG_2117 (1)

Manny has been holding his water quite well for the past 3 or so days. Of course, we’ve been here letting him out on a regular basis. But I was checking out some solutions at Pet Smart the other day….


I think these would save us some frustration, and he’d sport them like a champ.

Dave says no, no diapers for Manny….yet.

So, that’s about it for August. We are in the final week and then we leave for Norfolk, a place I’ve never been.

Enjoy the rest of the summer-it’s going fast!

IMG_2143A Happy Mother Bear