Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Back to School aka Farewell to Summer

Hello bloggy friends.  Today, I am partnering up with Amanda from Mom Who Tris and Sue from This Mama Runs for Cupcakes for a new link up called Wonder Mom Wednesdays!  

Please make sure you play nice and follow the guidelines (see end of post)! When you link up please link back to your hosts and grab a button below for your post.  

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I've been sitting here staring at the screen trying to come up with a "Back to School" post, but nothing was really coming to me.  The reason?  I'm not really ready for back-to-school.  Yes, I am one of those moms.  I'm not doing heal clicks as my kids board the bus.  Instead, I am sad that our days of summer are over and mourning the fact that ALL my kids will be in school full-time this year.

Now do NOT misconstrue anything, I am definitely looking forward to ending the bickering.  My kids have been spending WAY too much time together and the bickering his out of control.  So no, I will not be missing that.  I'm also looking forward to a little bit of routine.  I get lazy when there isn't a schedule.  With a schedule I'm more regimented in my planning and my life just seems to run more smoothly.

So instead of back-to-school, I've decided to say farewell to summer.

Goodbye MS 150 

Ciao Kennywood 

Farewell Luke Bryan

Bon Voyage Dam Tri

Cheers to McConnells Mill 

Sayonara Family Frenzy 

Bon Voyage Butler Sprint Tri 

Bye-bye Raccoon Creek 

I bid you Adieu Vegas 

What a great summer we've had, but all good things must come to an end.   Summer, you've been great.  We'll see you again next year.  

Join the Wonder Mom Wednesdays link up hosted by Mom Who TrisThis Mama Runs for Cupcakes, and myself Mom Swim Bike Run.   Here are the instructions for linking up:  

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Happy Linking!!! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Vegas Baby

George and I were in Vegas for 4 days.  It was our first vacation alone together in 11 years.  11 years!!!!

There's not much to say, because you know... what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but I did want to share some of our fun.

George and I got to Vegas on Thursday morning.  We weren't supposed to check into our hotel room until 3 pm, but decided to head to the hotel and ask that they hold our luggage.  As it turned out, our room as ready!  Seriously?  Score big for Venetian.

We spent most of the day Thursday going around to all the casinos/hotels and checking them out and also shopping!  Shopping will be a theme here.  I could NOT believe the amount of walking that we did in Vegas.  We even got a 3 day bus pass, but still wound up walking over 31 miles while we were there.  Can you believe that?  Every day I was exhausted.

Wearing my walking shoes 
Thursday night we decided to just go to eat at one of the buffets.  I had read up on so many buffets via Trip Advisor and finally settled on the The Buffet at the Wynn.  I HATE buffets.  Hate them!  With a passion! I loved The Buffet at the Wynn.  It was top notch and everything I ate was amazing.

Headed to The Buffet 

We came back to the hotel pleasantly plump and collapsed in bed.

We made plans in the morning to meet up with my relatives.  Nancy and Patty are my..... Grandfather's, second wife's daughters.  So basically my grandfather got remarried after my grandmother passed away.  He married Dottie whose daughters are Nancy and Patty.

We spent the morning indulging at ANOTHER buffet and then headed out to Gold & Silver Pawn where they film the TV show Pawn Stars.

I don't know why it's so cool to see something you watch on TV, but it just is.  None of the "celebs" were there, but I enjoyed it anyway.

After visiting there for awhile, we headed back to the Venetian to Madame Tussauds.  I know some people probably think the wax museum is dumb, but I found it pretty fascinating.  The figures just seemed so real.  If they could find a way to make them blink, they'd definitely seem real.

Obviously I had fun 
After Madame Tussauds we said goodbye to Nancy and Patty.  They were going shopping and I didn't want to torture George anymore so we decided to head to the Vegas sign.  

I know it's a very touristy thing to do, but I REALLY wanted to see it.  I'm glad we went.  Worth it!  

Believe it or not, that's pretty much all we had time for on Friday.  It takes a LONG time to get from point A to point B in Vegas.  We headed back to hotel and freshened up for dinner-- a surprise for me.  

I had made dinner reservations at Craftsteak, but George canceled them (fine by me) and made us different plans.  He took me to Delmonico-- it's an Emeril Lagasse restaurant.  

When we got to the table, he gave me a card.  I asked him if it was an invitation to the fantasy suite.  If you know what that means, there's a reason we're friends.  haha

It was NOT an invitation, but instead was a gift certificate for our meal from my friend Jami.  How sweet is that?  What an awesome birthday surprise.

Everything about this dinner was top notch.  From the service to the food, it was all fantastic.  I had the filet oscar and the crab meat was melt in your mouth amazing.  Seriously, this was one of the top 5 meals of my life.  SO GOOD!! 

After dinner, the restaurant gave me a little birthday surprise.  Chocolate gelato!  Yum!

After dinner, we headed out to the Fremont Street experience.  It was an experience alright.  The bus ride in and of itself was an experience.  The people were sketchy, that's the only way I can describe it.    Not scary, just sketchy.

concerned on the bus ride 
When we got to Fremont Street, it was clear we were out of our element.  This is the Vegas I had anticipated.  It was wild, unpredictable and just downright strange.  

I thought the experience was totally cool, but I didn't want to hang out long.  I felt very out of place and wanted to get the heck out of dodge.  We quickly headed back to The Venetian. I think we stayed up a little later Friday night, but we were still exhausted and in bed early-ish.

We woke up Saturday morning and again went shopping.  This time we headed to the Outlets because I wanted to hit up the Tory Burch outlet.  There isn't a Tory Burch outlet near me and I really wanted to go.  The trip was a success!!!

I got shoes!!!!  
Saturday night was a night I had been looking forward to for a long time.  We had reservations for Bouchon, but I decided I didn't want another fancy dinner and opted for Hash House A Go Go. 

I went with the Pork Tenderloin sandwich (a Indiana tradition) and I was VERY disappointed.  It was HUGE, but it wasn't very good. 

I would NOT let that get me down, however, because we had tickets to Michael Jackson One (Cirque du Soleil).  

 I wish I could describe to you what an awe-inspiring experience this show was.  The music, the performers, the choreography, just everything was fantastic.

I have loved MJ since I was little, so I think that's why I loved the show SO much, but I believe a non MJ fan could equally enjoy the show.  The performers are out of this world.  The things they can do are unfathomable to me.  I just kept thinking the whole time, how great of shape they had to be in.  I was out of breath just watching.  I can't recommend this show enough.  If you're in Vegas you HAVE to go!  Period!

It was the perfect ending to a perfect trip to Vegas.

Hopefully I don't have to wait 11 years for another vacation 
P.S. Turns out I did have a lot to say.  ha!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Janney and the Y (North Park) Triathlon Relay Race Recap

I had the North Park Triathlon on my radar for my summer events.  It was a "maybe."  When Kortni decided she'd come and visit us this summer and it fell on the same weekend, I pretty much wrote of the North Park Tri.  Then I had an epiphany-- why not do the relay WITH Kortni.  So that's what we did.  I did the swim (700m) and Bike (12 miles) and Kortni did the run (3.1 miles). 

We got to the pool by 7 am for our 8:20 start and it was cold!  I mean sweatshirts cold.  I was dreading getting in the pool.  

I saw some of the professional looking people putting on their wetsuits and I immediately started to panic.  I mean if THEY were wearing their wetsuits, then why wasn't I?  The water temp was 77 degrees, which is definitely cold, but it was a SHORT course and in a POOL so I had never even thought of brining my wetsuit.  

I finally got brave and decided to dip my toe in the pool and I was pleasantly surprised.  It didn't feel cold to me at all really.  Maybe it was better that the outside air temp was so low; it made the water seem warmer.

I wasn't really worried about this swim.  I mean I had the usual pre-race jitters, but I knew I could do the swim.  I thought maybe I'd do better than I do in open water an hoped I wouldn't suck as badly as I normally do at the swim.

I started off pretty well and kept that gentleman behind me there behind me for about half the race.  Eventually he and a girl who started at the other end passed me.  Oh well, slow and steady is all I kept telling myself.  The thing I was most worried about was miscounting as I do that all the time when I swim laps.

I did NOT miscount and got out of the pool after what seemed like an eternity.  I quickly looked over to the other lanes and I wasn't the last one out of the pool.  Whoop!  Progress haha!  Nonetheless, I still had a pretty slow swim.

Swim and T2:  20:50 I think I transitioned pretty darn quick.  I didn't even wear socks so I just put on my shoes and got the heck out of there.

The bike was a short looped course.  The loop was 2.5 miles, which meant we had to do it 5 times.  The loop include one significant hill.  It wasn't particularly steep, but it was long and it really slowed me down.

I had one goal on my bike.  I wanted to stay above 15 mph.  After the first loop my average was 15.9 mph.  I wondered if I could get my average up over 16 mph.  I decided right then and there I was going to work as hard as I could.

I told myself, if I wasn't breathless then I wasn't working hard enough.  I pedaled  as fast as I could for the whole time.

On the last loop I was so excited and told Kortni I'd see her soon.  I was really happy with my bike  performance and even more happy to not have to run.  It was so nice to do the bike portion and not have to worry about saving anything for the run.  That was all Kortni!

I got to the transition area and Kortni was there waiting.  I handed off the timing chip to Kortni and sent her on her way.

Bike and T2:  43:57 16.4 mph!!!!!!  That is REALLY good for me.

I got some food and a Gatorade and headed over to the finish line to wait for Kortni.  I knew she would be quick on the run.  It was just a 5k and Kortni is pretty fast.  This was a trail run, however, so I didn't know exactly what to expect.

Before long I saw Kortni coming along and she looked strong, but she looked mad.  I yelled out to encourage her and she kicked it in for the finish.

 Run:  26:08 (8:25 pace!!!)

Total:  1:30:54 

We finished 3/3 for female relays (I was so happy when I realized we came in 3rd place and then I realized there were only 3 all female teams.  haha).  We finished 9th out of 14 for all the relay teams.

Like I said, Kortni did NOT look happy when she was finished.  I thought she had just given it her all and was tired.  I said, "what's wrong, why do you look so pissed off?"  She quickly pointed down to her knee.  Kornti had fallen on the course.

She wound up falling on her knee and then skidding on her shoulder.  She wasn't the only one who fell either.  I saw a few other people including the 2nd place female finisher who fell.

No worries though... a little ice and Kortni was all smiles again.

I'm so glad I asked Kortni to do this race with me.  I think I've found my new favorite triathlon but it's not actually a tri when it's a relay.  Maybe I'm a better biathlete-- is that a thing?   Well maybe I should just stick to biking.... Ok whatever, I'll just stick to being slow at all three.  Ha!

Thanks for making this such a fun race Kortni!  You did an awesome job (fall and all).