Friday, September 30, 2011

Back in Pullman

Happy Friday everyone!

Just to note, my last post was written before I left home and then just got around posting it today. So, double dose of me for you all! I know you're excited! :)

My trip back to the PNW was pretty uneventful, which is good.

Wednesday started out by me packing all of my things that I have acquired in the last 2 weeks into 2 suitcases. Before packing, I had to properly fuel myself with a maple cream stick since they don't make these awesome donuts in the PNW.
There should be filling in all stick donuts!!
One ended up being 1.5 lbs overweight and they let it slide. Thanks Southwest!! Then, I met up with Mom for a good bye lunch at McD's to find out that they have started the Monopoly again! I got a free fry and a free McFlurry! We said our final good byes and Mother and Papa took me to the Pittsburgh airport. I got my bags checked curbside and said goodbye to Mother & Papa. I got through security and then fueled up again.
Pumpkin pie chai and truffles

Strawberry truffle

Creme brule truffle
My plane ended up being a half hour late to Vegas but didn't bother me b/c I had a 2 hour layover anyway. Since it was a 4 hour flight, we got lots of food on the trip.
Love the airplane shaped cookies!
I arrived in Vegas and was disappointed by the aiport. It seemed super old and crummy. It seems in despirate need of a remodel that seemed to be going on in parts of the C terminal that I was in. I got a monster cup of tea from Starbucks, ate my ham salad sadnwich, leftover stirfry and raspberry dessert and decided to try my luck.
Slot machines in the airport.
I put $5 in the machine and ended up winning about $7.25 but played until I ran out of money. It wasn't as fun as I was expecting it to be. :( But I can say that I gambled in Vegas!

I got into Spokane about 20 mins early and my old boss came and picked me up b/c I parked my car at his house. I was on the road for Pullman by 11:45 and rolled into my driveway at 1am. I had the joy of teaching at 8am the next morning, so I unpacked enough to get by and went to bed. 

Thursday, I went and taught labs at school all day and had group meeting. I came home, thanked my awesome neighbors Lisa & David for watching over my house and kids and went to Walmart b/c I had ZERO food in my house. $75 later, I have a stocked fridge and freezer and a happy tummy. 

I sat down to watch some tv and this happened.
Immy on my lap
She must have missed me b/c she NEVER cuddles on me. I love how needy and talkative she is and am wondering how long it will last. Doesn't matter though b/c I love it!!

On a side note... my new camera was delivered today, so you can expected lots  better pictures from me in the future! :)

Are your animals soooo excited to see you after you've been gone?

Home Week #2

Week #2 of my visit home started out with a trip to the Grove City, PA Outlet Mall. I scored some major deals from the Adidas outlet and got some new running tights for $40! Then I went to GAP and got a few things. Followed by the Steeler store, where I got a shirt and 2 antenna boppers for my car b/c I lost my old one and now I have a spare. On the way home from the Outlets, I stopped at Primanti Brother's for a Pitts-burger!! This sandwich is amazing and has the fries and coleslaw already on it!! I got one for my sister too. 
I drove to the Penn State Shenango campus and met Ky (my sister) for lunch. We ate at a lovely picnic table b/c it was nice out and then she gave me a quick tour of the campus, which included a stop at the bookstore, which was way small! :)

After the race on Saturday, we went to Niles, OH where there's another mall and we were on a mission for Gander Mountain. I used to work there in college and was happy to see some familiar faces after being gone all this time. On the way home, we stopped at the D&D (Dunkin Donuts), and I got my monster sized cup of tea with milk and sugar! They put the stuff in for you! You can note one of my new BondiBands and the bad hair b/c I was totally exhausted at this point. Not soon after, we realized that my compression socks smelled like horse poop and I promptly took them off when we got home and put my old man back ups on.                                                

D & D Heaven!
On Monday, I went to Sheetz, which is a gas station but they have made-to-order (MTO) food, with Ky and I got a big tea, a Shmuffin and a Shmagel!! And I ate them both! They were great!! Then Ky dropped me off at work with mom b/c I was stealing her car to visit some friends before she was off work. I hung out with mom at work for a while and then we got some lunch and went to the park to eat it.
Casino and fountain lake

Funky black and white ducks

Running path through the park

A nosey squirrel

The park's lake swans

more running path

I want to run here! Do you?!
After lunch, I headed home for a bit and then went to my friend Amanda's house and she drove to our friends' Lisa & Mark's house in Leroy, OH. There were lots of storms that day and their power was out when we got there, but I got to hang out with their one kitty Mandu... as in Cat-Mandu!
The storm's moving in! 
On Tuesday, Mom got off work early and we went shopping for my 'Last Meal at Home.' I decided on chicken stirfry with raspberry dessert for dessert. I HAD to pair it with a Mountainy Dew!!
Last meal!
Raspberry Dessert!!
Then it was time for the chores and I had realized that I hadn't taken any pictures of the other critters, so here they are...
Barn kitties

Chip & Gypsy



Ace with his blue eye

Ollie the Mule

Joey & Jasper the goats

Mr. Peeper the Rooster

The babies getting ready for bed!

I had a great trip home and was sorry to leave but was ready to get back to my real life. I look forward to my next trip home and plan on it not being so long again before it happens.

Do you like going back home?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Akron Half Marathon Race Recap

Mom and I left the house about 3:45 and started driving to Akron, OH. We got to our hotel, checked in and watched the end of 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High.' We drove to the expo to pick up our numbers and wander through the vendors and met up with Rob and Sandy (works with Mom).
The starting line/ staging area

The BondiBand stand. I bought 3. Love these things!!

After the expo, we went to Olive Garden and had their All You Can Eat pasta bowl for $8.95. I had 3 bowls with salad and breadsticks and totally forgot to take pictures. But I can say that their new sauce with mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes is really good!!! After dinner, we drove back to the hotel and settled down for the night. I made chocolate protein oats for me, Rob and Sandy.

The alarm went off early at 4 or 4:30. I let some other people tackle the bathroom first. I think we ended up leaving the hotel about 5:30 and the streets downtown were shut down at 5:30, so we just followed the traffic into a parking deck. 
Mom driving to the race

Me in my new skully BondiBand and SR shirt!

My number and the spelled me name right!!

We got to the starting line, put our stuff bag on the truck to pick up at the finish and waited in the staging area for the race to start. We had to take pictures, of course!!
140 port-a-potties at the start

the racing girls!

The race started a few minutes before 7am and it was still dark. It took us about 5 minutes to cross the starting line. Mom and I started running together but she's speedier than I am and took off about a half mile into it.
Race start
Sadly, I was crampy pretty much the whole race but miles 8-11. I took pictures of some markers and came across my family just after the 5K mark. They are blurry b/c I was running and using my sister's camera b/c mine has finally kicked the bucket after 5 years and I ordered a new one!
my blurry family as I ran by

5K down!
Mom running

Me running in my SR shirt

Just chugging along...


The Polymer building I worked in for 2 summers

The Chihuly artwork in front of the building
Crossed the start line again on the course

Coming into the Akron Aero's baseball stadium to the finish...

You had to round the bases before you could get out

My family (on the bottom right) in the stands

Me crossing the finish

Mom crossing the finish
I thought it was a nice touch that the race director shook the hands of everyone that crossed the finish line...
We did it!!

With one of the signs my sister made...

Here's the course.

I really enjoyed this race! It was my very first time finishing a HM after my last mountain attempt didn't go so well. This was a really pretty course and not very challenging as far as hills went. I would totally run this race again and will hope for a better time!!

With that said, I have already signed up for the Spokane Half Marathon in Spokane, WA on Oct. 9!!

Here we go crazies here we go!!

How did you first HM go?