Sunday, October 9, 2011

What was I thinking??

I finally have a blog worthy running story.  Training for this half has been relatively uneventful hence the lack of posts.  Yesterday I decided to do an 11 mile run before taking this week off before the Baltimore half.  I planned a water break around 7 miles back at the apartment.  When I got back I glanced at my phone and saw a text from Fran asking if I wanted to run the Army Ten Miler today.  I called her knowing I needed to make a quick decision to either keep running the planned 11 or stop and do the 10 today.  You know where this is going.  This morning the alarm went off around 5am (why do I do this to myself on the weekend?) and I made my way to the pentagon for the start via the metro. 

The theme of the day: crowds!  Apparently 30,000 runners were signed up.  People could barely get off the metro cars because the platforms were so packed while everyone waited patiently for their turn to go up the escalators.  Then the bathroom lines were ridiculous.  A drill sergeant tried to help out by counting down from ten and seeing if people could emerge from the porta-pottys by then.  The finish line continued with that theme and you had to walk forever even to get a bottle of water.

So now I'm tired and my knee is bugging me but I enjoyed the course...flat and lots of monuments to look at.  I'm hoping to get through the half next weekend and then I'm planning to take a break for a little while and let the knee heal up.  Good running Fran and family :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I survived an earthquake, hurricane, and the DC dmv!

Well it's been an eventful couple weeks since I moved to DC.  I could go on and on but I'll try and be as brief as I can. 
  • Switched to DC plates/license...a hassle but could have been worse.  They tried to convince me my birthday was 5 days later when they printed the wrong birthday on my first license.  I assured them they were wrong.  
  • Have failed to master traffic circles in this city.  No matter how well I think I'm doing I either take the wrong road or get honked at.  Will I ever learn?
  • Embraced the uniqueness of the new apartment.  Welcomed with a flood in the laundry room, disposed of a trapped mouse, killed the biggest spider ever and promptly bought & sprayed bug killer all over (during the hurricane), lost hot water for a day which resulted in "ladle dishes" where you ladle hot water from the stove to clean the dirty dishes.
  • Had the BEST weekend in OCNJ with college friends.  Lots of sun, drinks, laughs, and skee ball!
  • Lunch with Erin and Nick followed by custard that rivals Klines :)
  • Saw the Hope Diamond at the Museum of Natural History...along with lots of other cool stuff
  • Visited the Air & Space museum which was very neat.  Didn't get to do most of the upstairs so I'll have to go back.
  • Walked Arlington National Cemetery and saw the horses and the army blasting off cannons.  The views from Robert E. Lee's house of the city are amazing.  I don't think there is a better resting place for those that gave their own life to protect this country. 
  • Viewed the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights at the National Archives.  I think this has been my favorite spot so far.  The public archives are so interesting and seeing the Constitution gives you the weirdest sense of connection to history.  This was also memorable due to the earthquake hitting and the sardine-like metro ride home.
  • Spent a short amount of time at both the American Indian museum and the Hirshhorn museum.
  • Met the puppies with Marissa.  Our outdoor plan to eat lunch in the park backfired and we ended up getting soaked.  The poor pups were drenched. We did however locate Georgetown Cupcakes in Bethesda and the red velvet cupcakes were yummy.  I was very pleased considering the mixed reviews I had heard.  
  • Headed to the Orioles game tonight on a whim.  Thanks Jamie and Luke!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cake Batter Pancakes!

So I finally had an occasion to make these cake batter pancakes (happy birthday mom!) which comes from this recipe at How Sweet It Is.

The pancakes
The frosting/glaze with lots of sprinkles
The finished product
The only change I made was halving the recipe (which still made 8 pancakes).  It's also really important to cook them on lower heat.  I cooked them at 300 instead of the usual 375.  This keeps them from getting brown and hiding all of the sprinkles.  Next time I wouldn't add any sugar to the batter because with the sugary glaze you won't miss it in the pancakes.  You should try them, they are really fun!

I also made Marissa's amazing chocolate peanut butter cake for my whole family.  It was a big hit and this is all that's left.  It took some serious will power not to eat this yesterday.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July Pics

Here are some pics of what I've been up to during the month of July, doing a little traveling around Maine and New Hampshire.

They let me out of the Nut House! Funniest gift shop with great fudge.  Met family here before heading to lunch in Belfast.
Portland Head Light with Erin, Nick, and his family
Sabbaday Falls off the Kancamagus Highway in NH
Rocky Gorge also off the Kanc
Zipline across the Pemi River in NH- so much fun to take a giant leap off the platform!
View of the White Mountains from the Loon Mountain gondola
The passages were really tiny.  The woman in front of us got stuck.  It was comical.
The lake on top of Loon Mountain which helps to explain its name.
Tangy Park?  Spelling wasn't their strong point but the margaritas were fantastic
The Basin at Franconia Notch State Park
Hope your summer is going well.  I'm in total vacation mode and loving it (which explains the utter lack of blogging)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fourth of July Festivities

The fourth in Belgrade is full of fun.  We got lunch from vendors in the village, stopped for ice cream, saw a neat art exhibit, and toured the new conservation building.  After waiting out the rain and hail storm back at the house we had to hurry to make it down to the parade.  The staging area for the parade was by our road so as we rushed to get to the bridge to watch we actually became part of the parade and got lots of goodies thrown at us from the kids waiting on the floats.  This little girl scout was my favorite.  She ran up to me and said "excuse me, would you like a popsicle?"  I never turn down a blue freeze pop, especially from this cutie.
The little Daisy in her pink sneaks handing out popsicles
The parade is fun and anyone can join in.  Not only did we make out with popsicles, candy, and keychains, but one float representing a farm threw out peas!  Here were some of the things we saw:
Festive kids on bikes
Festive kid in a wagon
A kayak float
Old cars
Little cars 

An old lady skipping along!
Dressed up geese
Spectators watching from their boats
After all that we had the perfect fourth of July dinner featuring Maine lobster- yummmmy!
Hello dinner
It was a little more work than usual since this guy wasn't a soft shell and we didn't have lobster crackers up at the lake.  We resorted to using scissors to get into the claws and with a little muscle power we all got to eat our lobsters.  When it got dark we headed to the fireworks on Long Pond.  Without being able to watch by boat we had to find a spot on a crowded point.  The only spot open when we got there was between two cars so we stood in a line and joked about how a tree was going to block our view.  That turned out to be a reality so we sneaked over and stood in the last row up against the building.  Well the air conditioning unit was right there and it was blowing out hot stinky air.  My sis and I then hurried and sat a few rows up where there was some room in the grass.  Bad decision, very bad decision.  The stench over there was overwhelmingly horrible.  It came in waves and had both of us dying with laughter.  Even better was a little girl behind us who complained during the whole thing.  "The fireworks are too loud" and "the fireworks are too bright".  Then some kids came out of the icecream shop and one of them whispered, "it smells strange over here" and the little girl chimed in "the fireworks are soooooo long".  I've never laughed so hard during a fireworks show, even though the actual show was really good.  I hope you all had a fun and festive fourth as well.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Take a hike

I've gone on two hikes in the last couple days.  The first was more like a walk in the woods up "The Mountain" which we can walk to from the house.  From the highest point you can't see anything because of all the trees but there is a nice lookout over Long Pond at one point along the trail.  While stopping to enjoy the view, we got to see a hawk or eagle soaring just in front of the tree line.  Of course it flew away as soon as I got the camera out but it was a cool sight to see.  It had rained the day before and the rocks were a little slick so a picture in front of the caution sign was a must!
Long Lake from the lookout spot on the mountain
The second hike today took us to the top of Round Top, a total of about 4 miles.  I had remembered the climb as steep and tiring last year but I'm clearly in way better shape because it was a piece of cake.  There was a lot of evidence of moose activity with droppings and tracks but unfortunately we didn't catch sight of one.  The view from the spur trail was great but a little hazy and we even managed to balance the camera on a broken birch tree to snap this photo.
Compliments of the self timer
On a clear day you can see Sugarloaf in the distance
On the descent there is another nice lookout spot complete with a bench for resting the legs.  This view is of Long Pond in the foreground and Great Pond in the background.
The break in the islands on Great Pond is the view we have from the docks
There are several other trails to tackle this summer, all of which my mom and I climbed last summer.  I also tested out one of the quiet dirt roads for running and it was so peaceful for a 2.5 mile jog.  The only thing I had to be careful about was running through swarms of gnats and not swallowing any! 

One downside of all this outdoor time is allergies.  Having survived allergy season already in Virginia I'm facing them again given the lag in the change of seasons here in Maine.  I was hit really hard today and even the surface of the lake has turned yellow with all of the pollen.  I'm hoping it doesn't last too long. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

From sweating to sweatshirts

After sweating to death packing my car to the brim and driving about 700 miles I made it home to Maine.
Just enough room for me to sit & believe it or not I fit another bag in the passenger seat.
"The beast" (huge red bag) just barely fit in the trunk
I'm not sure if it was the lack of room or what but for the first time while actually driving I felt really carsick.  Thankfully I had Advil and Pepto readily accessible which helped.  Overall the drive was uneventful aside from a couple close calls of cars nearly sideswiping me.  Funny enough the perpetrators drove cars just like Marissa's and Erin's which I found ironic.  Here you can see the drive via the major bridges I cross. 
Nice and sunny crossing the Delaware Memorial Bridge into NJ 

Couldn't see NYC from the Tapanzee Bridge because of the fog

Getting close over the Piscataquis Bridge from NH to Maine

As usual I was welcomed with cold temps and drizzly rain and have had sweatshirts on ever since.  Luckily the weather is supposed to warm up into the 70s and 80s soon and the sunshine should return so perfect lake weather is on the way! 

It's so good to be home :)