Monday, July 8, 2013

vacation, rest, I don't think so...Part 1

airPlane, cAr, ferrY, sEa plAne, biKe, fEet, traIn- the modes of transportation we used on our yearly active vacation.  This year we decided to explore Washington State- when I say explore, we never stopped!  As usual from the get go, we were on the GO!  I think that's how we like it!
Our first stop (and my obsession), Mt. Ranier- a bit chilly, but absolutely spectacular!

Time to head to the coast- our journey up the Washington Coast will begin in a quaint town, Ocean Shores.  Not a lot going on there, but we had a beautiful view of the ocean.  
Our drive up the coast begins promptly at 7am driving the Olympic Peninsula all the way to Hurricane Ridge.  It's going to be a long day, but we were able to stop and see some amazing sights- Quinalt Rain forest featuring the largest spruce tree, Lake Crescent Lake and Lodge, spectacular views of Olympic mountain range, wildlife- a bear from afar, black tail deer that seemed very comfortable around people!  Such a wide variety of sights, an amazing experience!

We are about half way through our trip- the best is yet to come- San Juan Island, Orcas Island, and Seattle...

Thursday, June 6, 2013


"Your imagination is your preview of life's coming attractions." -Albert Einstein

It's unfathomable to me that I am 4 days into my 25th summer break, which technically means I just completed my 25th year of teaching.  I feel 25, it's incomprehensible that I have been teaching for 25 years.  It's been an interesting ride and that ride will continue come August, but until then I'm going to enjoy every moment!

25 years- seriously??

Summer break is certainly a perk for teachers, but I truly have to say we do need time to reflect and rejuvenate.  I also love the fact that we get a fresh start each school year, it's a new beginning, not everyone has that opportunity.  It's something I'm very thankful for.  It's amazing how many former students have found me on facebook or have tracked me down somehow.  I love hearing from them and what they are doing, (I don't like necessarily hearing how old they are:) But it is one of the most rewarding aspects of the job- I realized early in my career I couldn't change the world and fix everything, but if I could make a positive impact on as many students as possible, my career would be meaningful.  That's all I really ever wanted.

Now as far as summer 25- 2013... 
Obviously, I plan on playing a lot of tennis!!!  That is a given!  I keep to my daily schedule, and get up bright and early to play and get my workout in.  The rest of the day is mine...

I love chasing this ball around!

Our big Trip- My husband and I have (what else would you expect) an active vacation planned to Seattle- hiking in national parks, biking on the islands, running the Seattle rock and roll half, attending a mariners game (I'm a huge baseball fan), driving the coast, taking a ferry, etc.  (It will be a whirlwind.) Although I am obsessed with Mt. Ranier, which is on the agenda, but what we are looking most forward to is the 5 days we will be spending in San Juan Islands (no, not Puerto Rico.)  The San Juan Islands are north of Seattle.  We are taking a water plane- a little scary, but neither one of us have other flown in one, and we like to try new things.  Once on the island, our mode of transportation will be bikes. We plan on biking all over San Juan and Orcas Island, and making to the top of Mt. Constitution.  We will be doing some sea kayaking and going on a whale watching tour.  Of course one of our favorite pastimes will be discovering local craft beers and eating a lot of halibut.  We are looking forward to a fabulous vacation!  I will keep you posted.

This was in Alaska, but I'm sure we will have
a similar picture in Washington State. :)

My Creative Challenge-
My personal creative challenge/goal this summer is to learn more about photography.  I can take a decent picture, but I have always wanted to be more creative, and I'm finally going to take the time and commit to learning all of the settings on my camera besides 'auto.'

My husband and I have a several other physical challenges on our list for 2013- I'm looking forward to a couple mountain bike races, trail runs, and whatever other challenge comes our way.

nothing like an endurance hike

Before I know it, August will be here and I will be getting ready for another school year, which I know will be good one, but not until I love every moment of summer 25- 2013!

Saturday, March 9, 2013


austin half marathon-

was interesting.  first event of 2013- didn't necessarily train, but i can go out and do just about anything i set my mind to, and i did as expected.

austin is an interesting city, i actually thought i would fall in love with it, but i didn't.  places open too late- i'm sorry, i like to eat lunch at noon, not 1:00, i'm just sayin'. i couldn't fully grasp austin, even though it's a college town, and I really tried.  The worst part was I couldn't find a craft beer to save my life, until I walked into a place called The Ginger Man, a nice joint- great beer, good food, and a comfortable atmosphere, but other than the ginger man, i never felt at home.  I've done a lot of traveling, and i know what home feels like, and it isn't austin.  This is what it's all about, finding a place that you can finally settle into, and that is why we travel, to find the spot that will be our last stop.

We made the best of it, and certainly had a good time, other than the last 3 miles of the half marathon that I'm pretty sure were straight uphill. :) I now know, I will never be a Texan.  One thing for sure, when I love a place, i take a lot of pictures- I think i took 5 pictures the entire 4 days- none of the half marathon, that says a lot.  Signing off from austin-

lady bird lake-which is actually a river.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Twelve days in, and off to a great start!  Gary and I have several active vacations already planned and looking forward to more getaways!

February- austin livestrong half...

In March we will be heading to Lexington for the Bluegrass Half Marathon, and then the fun begins...
the Great Lakes Trail Series and the WORS races begin. The Great Lakes is a series of trail runs in Wisconsin and Michigan, and the WORS is the mountain bike race series in Wisconsin.  They are both long seasons, we are not sure which races we will do, but at least two of each!

Our SPECTACULAR active vacation is set for June...

Yes, you guessed it, Seattle, however, not just Seattle.  It will be a whirlwind trip around Washington State of mountains, national parks, adventure, a half marathon, a baseball game, the Pacific Coast, probably some craft beer and wine, boutique hotels, exploring cities and towns...  

I am obsessed with Mt. Ranier, however, I believe the highlight of the trip will be what we have planned in the San Juan Islands (yes, look up the San Juan Islands, Washington.)  Kayaking, hiking, biking, whale watching, inns... I haven't been there yet, but I already love the quaintness...

The summer continues... we will be getting into cyclocross- (we have to because we bought two really nice cyclocross bikes.:)  It's a 'cross' between mountain biking and cross country, hence, running and biking off road, but not as intense as mountain biking, something we can do in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago.

One of the most important aspects of 2013 is for me to get back into competitive tennis.  I'm playing all of the time, but I really miss the competitive aspect... 

2013 will all come together as it should... who knows what will happen, but I'm happy we have so many activities to look forward to already.  I have other endeavors on the list:  learning how to play the guitar, taking a photography class, possibly an art class... who knows.  I'm just looking forward to a happy, healthy, and exploratory new year!