Saturday, September 29, 2012

30 in 1

In case you didn't know, I am coaching a Hiking team to complete 30 miles in one day.  I'm sure you are asking yourself, why is she doing that? Well, I will tell you....

I have run several marathons for charity, but to be honest running 26.2 miles on pavement gets to be a little old.  I saw this poster for the Ultimate Hike (at Panera) (I have a history with Panera that I won't get into right now.)  The Ultimate Hike is a fundraising effort for CureSearch for Children's Cancer.  I love to hike, I love raising money for charities, so I figured right up my alley.

Ellie, the midwest regional manager was in a bind because the coach for the team had to back our for medical reasons.  We started talking and there was no way I could turn her down when she needed a volunteer coach, and I am so thankful I didn't turn her down.  I have met some wonderful, caring people who are committed to raising money for CureSearch and completing the Ultimate Hike, 30 miles in one day on October 20th at Tecumseh Trail in Southern Indiana. 

I have to admit, it has been a challenge living in the Chicagoland area finding hikes that have terrain similar to what we will encounter at Tecumseh, but we are getting the miles in- Blisters and All!!  Next Saturday, we have the big one, 22 miles.  We are heading out to Waterfall Glen in Darien to get her done.  The following week, short hike and some team building, the week after that we head out for Tecumseh Trail for the really big one!!  

I couldn't be more excited and passionate to help our team of 17 hikers to get through this challenge.  I am incredibly proud of each and every member of Team BBC-Blisters Battling Cancer!

Starved Rockers!!-Some of our team Rocking It at Starved Rock!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

not the typical

check camden yards
My husband and I normally take an adventurous and active vacation in the summer i.e. intense bike rides, treacherous white water rafting trips, glacial hikes, marathons, you get the picture.  This summer, we decided to something a little different, an active-urban vacation.  We both love the DC area, however, we had never been there together.  So that's what we did...

My challenge was to make this trip as active as possible.  My first active activity was to bike from downtown DC to Mt. Vernon and back (38-40 round trip.)  The hardest part of that was finding the bike rental place in DC.  I think we walked that distance finding the place, but eventually we did.  I have to admit, the bike ride was a beautiful path along the Potomac, wooded, very nice.

destination: mt. vernon

Our next adventure was a 4 hour guided kayak trip in Potomac and seeing the memorials from behind.  The Potomac has a lot of large boats and a lot of trash.  It was kind of cool to see the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument from a different perspective, however, I had much higher expectations of this guided trip based on the website and talking to the tour guides on the phone.  It is irritating when there's always one person who can keep up and holds everything up.  And then, on the way back we took a detour through an area that seemed murky like the Amazon river and polluted like a chemical company has been dumping waste in for years.  I kicked it into high gear to hell out of there and finish the trip.

I know it sounds like I'm not enjoy this trip, but I actually am.  :)

Annapolis, the sailing capital of the world, has to be one of our favorite cities.  We just love it there!  Between the crab cake sandwiches and the craft beer, it's one of the best towns.  Not to mention one of our favorite stores, Helly Hansen.  Helly Hansen sucked us in in Portland, Oregon, and it sucked us in again in Annapolis.  The strangest thing, Gary and I always pick out the same exact expensive coat, and we aren't even sailors, but we now each own matching rain jackets. So we are ready.  So many awesome restaurants, but the one that stands out is the water taxi ride to the Boatyard!  I almost forget to mention in annapolis we stayed at one of the historic hotels on the circle. (Wonderful.)

Trust me, we are getting exercise without risking our lives.  We put on many, many miles walking from store to bar to store to bar.

So now we are in Alexandria, another incredible city.  We are staying at a great location, and we are about to learn to the DC metro system, I admit a challenge.  I'm a country girl.  The very kind and patient employees, as well as, a kind citizen, guided us in the right direction so we ended up in DC and not Philadelphia.  We are still novices, but realize why people use these systems, they do work.  Thank you to the kind people who told us when it was time to get on and then get off the train.

Alexandria is full of outstanding restaurants, shops, hotels, etc.  and our hotel was great until the 2 am drill. Apparently, someone called in a "threat" and the entire hotel had to evacuate. We followed the instructions and were one of the first people out.  People came sauntering out for 45 minutes.  The police were there searching the building, however no one was giving us any information.  People were getting extremely agitated, and I felt very sorry for the people with small children. (nightmare)  All in all we were outside for an hour and half, and when they finally let us back in they couldn't figure out how to turn the alarm off, which blares in your suite. I took matters into my own hands, and decided to get my pillow and sleep in the hall.  It's not silent, but much quieter.  Sometimes you just have to succumb. The most annoying part we never received an explanation, or an apology from the hotel.  I did expect a letter under my door the next morning, but NOTHING.  I will never stay in an Embassy Suites again.

Highlights of the trip:

  • went to an Orioles game.
  • we survived.
  • indulged in incredible food- mostly, oysters and crab
  • spent some great time with my aunt and uncle in Baltimore
  • experienced our nation's capital with the best guy in the world

Next year, more remote and adventurous........