Friday, January 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Glenn!

Just a few of the reasons why I love you...

you've been a cat and computer lover since the beginning

you know how to succeed

you are willing to dance through this life with me :)

you smile and you laugh with me

you drink rum punch....with 2 fists

you can proudly wear glasses

you create scale models

and you look great standing in an Irish pasture

What more could I ask for?

Happy Birthday darling! I hope this year is a good one. :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Xmas and New Years, 2009

We had an absolutely wonderful Christmas and New Year's vacation in 2009. The bulk of our time was spent at St. George Island on the Florida panhandle, but we also stopped in Charlotte, North Carolina and Conyers, Georgia. We got to spend a good amount of time with both of our extended families, plus experience some unseasonably nice weather at the beach. All in all, it was a great vacation — perhaps our best one yet!

After first leaving the Triangle, we drove to Charlotte and stopped there to have a Christmas get-together with my brother Mike and his family. My parents and brother Paul drove up from Athens and met us there as well. We caught up with Mike, Martha, and the kids, toured their new house, and later shared a delicious Christmas dinner with a traditional Scandinavian feel. (I found out that I actually rather like glögg and pickled herring - I guess it's something in my genes!)

Soon it was time for us to leave Charlotte and continue on our southward journey. Our next stop was in Conyers, where we stayed with Heather's parents and were joined by the rest of her family. We celebrated Christmas morning there with the family tradition of "monkey bread" for breakfast, followed by opening of gifts around the tree. Later, we headed to Heather's grandmother's house to celebrate with the extended family, and a good time was had by all.

Next came the great journey down to Florida, which we drove as a caravan of vehicles united by walkie-talkies and guided by not one but three different GPS units. It turns out that Garmin and Tom-Tom either use different data or different algorithms, because we had some confusion when different GPS were telling us to take different routes to get there. But we sorted it out and made it safely to our destination, a rented beach house named Eye Catcher. The house was absolutely huge (four stories, seven bedrooms, even an elevator!) which was good, as we had quite a crowd coming — 14 people all told. It was located all the way at the end of the island, so while it was quite a drive to get there, the ocean views were absolutely spectacular and we had a corner of the island beach basically to ourselves.

Our stay at the beach was filled with non-stop activity yet highly relaxing all the same, if such a thing is possible. We played board games, card games, party games, and video games until we'd all had our fill — even Heather's cousin James had had enough Rock Band by the end of the week. We walked up and down the beach, collecting shells and watching the dogs run and play in the waves. (Pasha and Red both played to the point of exhaustion, to where they would all but fall over the moment we got back inside the house.) Other members of my family came down to stay in another beach house, so we got to visit and play games with them, and we brought both sets of family together one evening for a big dinner. Heather and I went jogging to keep preparing for Heather's upcoming triathlon, and found that a barefoot walk on the beach makes for a lovely "cool-down" at the end of a jog. In short, it was a wonderful time.

We stayed at the beach through New Year's Day (and yes, we managed to make it to midnight on New Year's Eve, if only just), then on January 2 we had to make the long drive back home. Google Maps and our GPS told us that we could save several hours by driving up the coast along I-95, but that turned out to be a mistake. I can never understand how I-95 manages to have total gridlock out in the middle of nowhere, miles from any city of any size, but this time was no exception. After several hours of frustration, we ended up taking state highways across South Carolina to rejoin our usual route along I-85 instead, and eventually made it home, tired from the long drive, and sad that the vacation was over, but happy that we had the vacation and that it was such a good one.

We hope your holidays were wonderful as well!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Something New to Tri

I have been thinking about doing a Triathlon for several months now but had not committed to it for fear that I would end up not doing it or not being able to. I wasnt sure it made sense given that I hate to run, didn't own a bike (and have barely ridden one in years), and had no place to go swimming, plus the fact that even though I've been working out regularly for most of a year now, I'm far from in shape. Nonetheless I still just wanted to do it - and that counts the most in my list of pros and cons. So I've signed up for a super-sprint triathlon in Raleigh on May 23rd. Super-sprint is the shortest distance tri's come in so its no Ironman event but still something that will require much training on my part. Glenn and I bought bikes last weekend, I've found a beginner's training program (and started the first week!) and even convinced a couple of friends to sign for the the tri as well! So really that only leaves a couple of steps right?

1) Figure out how to jog for more than a couple mins at a time without dying
2) Find a non-gross-me-out pool to swim in
3) Figure out a bike route that wont get me killed by passing cars
4) Don't quit
5) Train for many days, weeks, months
6) Don't even think about quitting
7) Figure out what the heck you wear in a triathlon
8) Lastly, don't die while attempting to complete the triathlon

Not much left at all! :) I'll let you know how its going.