Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tid + Bits Summer 2012

Huge sigh.  Starting this morning at 7:45, my summer vacation is officially over.  Rather than laying out on the back deck soaking up some sun with The Bode, I will be spending my time in a day full of wonderful mind-numbing (but necessary) meetings.  

So I thought it only appropriate to look back on the "Tid + Bits" of Summer 2012.  Here are some of my favorite memories of the summer: 
Summer 2012 edition
*The hubs, my parents, and I traveled to Boston to view the Tall Ships. 

*I competed in a mini-triathlon with the hubs, my youngest brother, and my uncle. 

*Hiked Mt. Monadnock with both brothers, my uncle, and my brother's friend.

*Completed the Tough Mudder!

*Attended Night of 1,000 Cupcakes and (shockingly) only ate one cupcake!

*Spent a long weekend in Lake George enjoying a variety of activities with friends.

*Became a Color Runner for the first time by running in The Color Run New England.

*Went white water rafting on the Penobscot river with my family and hubs.

*Ate more chili than I have ever eaten in my life at the Henniker Chili Fest.

*Went to New York City for the first (and probably last time) in my life.

*Ran in my second Color Run in NYC.

Oh, summer!  I miss you already!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

History & Chili

Lately it seems like all I do on this blog is play catch-up.  But I'm fine with that because it means that I have been super busy and enjoying every last amazing second of summer.

A few weekends ago we spent a fabulous Sunday with some friends of ours doing what I can only describe as "country activities".

We started off our Sunday morning by going to a falcon demonstration that turned out to be a part of the Hillsborough Historical Society's Living History event.  We only went to one of the locations, but it (surprisingly) turned out to be a really fun time.

Sadly, we missed the falcon demonstration; we were running a few minutes late and apparantly the "demonstration" was only a few minutes long.  But we still got to look at a few falcons up close and talk to the experts about them.  We also got to watch one of the falcons eat half of a pheasant, but I did not take any photos of that; it was interesting but disgusting to watch!

After watching the falcons for awhile we wandered through the rest of the site.

We saw cannons being lit off and talked to a man who was impersonating a grenade launcher.  The cannons were really loud and took so many people fire off one cannon ball.

We also got to see Native Americans and their homes.  It was really interesting to talk to all of the people.  They were really informative about the characters they were portraying.

One of the most interesting people that we talked to was a photographer.  He was taking photos using the old school method of taking pictures on tin using chemicals.  I can't even remember all of the steps that he used, but it was one of the coolest things of the day.

They also had old time games set out that were really fun.  Apparantly my husband belongs in the circus, because he was the only of us to get up on stilts the first time.  There was this other game set up where each person stood on a stump, held onto a piece of rope, and you tried to pull the other person off of their stump.  The hubs dominated in that as well.  

After all of our exploring and game playing, we were hungry and ready for a snack.  I enjoyed a delicious peach cobbler with homemade whipped cream while listening to a southern string band.

After our snack we headed off to the Chili Festival in Henniker, where we proceeded to taste close to 40 different kinds of chili.  I can safely say I have never eaten that much chili in my life!  It was all so good though!  I also enjoyed the amateur division of chili better than the professional division; I felt like they were more unique and had more flavor.

Professional Division

Amateur Division
After eating all of that chili, we then enjoyed some hotdogs and hamburgers while relaxing on the grass.

What a great Sunday with friends!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Color Run Boston

Keeping with the catch up theme, back on July 28 the hubs, wifey, and I ran in a fun little race called The Color Run.  Perhaps you have heard of this Willy Wonka inspired run?  If not, then holler!  Visit the website and get yourself signed up won't regret it!

Some information from their website:

What is The Color Run?
The Color Run is a unique experience focused less on speed and more on crazy color fun with friends and family. Color runners come from all different ages, shapes, sizes, and speeds; but everyone toeing the start line has a blast. Whether you are a casual morning mall walker or an Olympic athlete, the 3 miles of the Color Run course will be the most memorable and colorful run of your life!
How does it work?
The Color Run pretty much has TWO SIMPLE rules: 1)  White shirts (any mostly white T will work great) mandatory at the start line.  And 2) color plastered EVERYTHING at the finish!  Runner/walkers begin the 5k at the start line like a brand new pristine coloring book. By the end, they look like they fell into a Willy Wonka… tie dyed… vat of colored goodness. We are the creators of an all new paint race phenomena!
In preparation, Becky and I did our nails, cut up our white t-shirts, and made tutus.  Woot woot!
We also made sure to pick up our registration packets the day before the race (if you are doing a Color Run, this is a must!).  This resulted in a cute little date for me and the wifey.  Packet pick up was in Newburyport, MA so we enjoyed a nice afternoon strolling around the cute little town, taking pictures, and reminiscing about the good ol' days when we got to hang out together all of the time.  Sigh.  I miss that lady.
Following an evening of sitting on our hotel beds watching the Olympic Opening Ceremonies, we were up bright and early to get our color on!
Clothes laid out and ready to go!
I'm pretty sure this is one of the few times I have hopped right out of bed as soon as my alarm clock went off.  I was so pumped to get dolled up and go run frolic through some color with my loves!
Once we got to the start, we wandered around taking pictures and admiring "all of the white people".  Yes, I really did make a comment about all of the white people and then realized how awful that sounded!  I totally didn't mean it that way, but take a look...
And this was before it got crowded.  The estimated number of runners for that day was 11,000!
Even the hubs wore a that guy!

We were in the second wave to take off, and we had a blast running and getting covered in color!  Basically there are no words to describe this run; the pictures speak for themselves.

I also put together a video from the day that I have watched almost daily since then.

And on that note, bring on the Color Run NYC this weekend!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Row, Row, Row Your Boat 2012

Due to a killer summer cold and double ear infections, my blogging has been suffering.  And if I'm being completely honest, there was a lot of laziness thrown in there as well.

What can I say?  I've been "busy" laying out soaking up some sun while reading cheesy Nora Roberts' books and watching crazy amounts of 7th Heaven re-runs.

But I did want to write about my family's white water rafting adventure, which took place, oh I don't know, weeks ago?!

Yup.  Way back in the beginning of August (the 4th through the 6th to be exact), my family traveled to Maine to go camping and white water rafting down the Penobscot river.

Unlike last summer, when we found ourselves attempting to set up camp in the pitch black, we made sure to leave early this time.  (In our defense from last year, it was a family emergency with my grandmother that caused us to leave in the late afternoon rather than early in the morning like we had planned.)  So this year, after a delicious breakfast of blueberry pancakes cooked by my lovely mom, we were loaded up and off to Maine by 9:30 am.

Since we had a nearly six hour drive ahead of us, my dad decided that we would stop in Old Orchard Beach and have a picnic lunch.  Which sounded like a wonderful idea, until we realized that we would be rolling into a jam-packed tourist area right during lunch time.  So rather than fight the crowds and pay to park (we're cheap!) we drove further down and picnicked for free at an inlet.  It was nice to get out of the car and stretch our legs and have a quick lunch.

After lunch we piled back in the cars and were off again.  Three hours and one quick stop at McDonald's later (I'm ashamed of myself...) we were at Three Rivers and unloading our gear.  Thankfully I had convinced my dad to splurge on the extra few dollars per person and we were camping in cabin tents.  I was so thankful to be sleeping on a cot with a mattress that was raised off the ground!

Once we were unpacked, we enjoyed dinner around the fire complete with s'mores.  The boys stayed up playing cards, but I went to bed early so that I would be ready for rafting the next day.

Sadly (or luckily, however you want to look at it) my parents' tent's zipper was broken, so they were upgraded to a yurt for the next night.  The yurt was like a castle!  It had electricity, a shower, and a flushing toilet!  Due to my parents' horrific snoring, the hubs, my brothers, and I all opted to rough it in our cabin tent for both nights.

After the fun and games of the night before, our early morning wake up call sucked.  I'm pretty sure we had to be up and ready to go by 7:30 am.  Gross!

After a quick breakfast and sweet-talking my mom into braiding my hair we were ready to get fitted with our gear.  The guides got us all set in some awesome smelling life jackets and helmets.  We were given paddles and then briefed with safety instructions.  Once were outfitted and armed with knowledge, we climbed on the bus and got comfy for our 50 minute drive to the Penobscot river.

Here is what the website has to say about the Penobscot River:
"The Penobscot River, a tough class V river, has chutes, drops, and large holes that challenge both guide and guest alike in exciting rapids like Exterminator, Cribworks, and the huge Nesowdnehunk Falls. Combine this with the spectacular Ripogenus Gorge, a scrumptious river lunch and great views of Mt. Katahdin, and this Maine rafting trip will be one you will remember for a lifetime! Due to the difficulty of this river, guests must be 14 years of age and weigh at least 110 pounds. 13 Miles of Pure Adrenaline!" 

And they weren't kidding!  Our rafting trip started with a bang and the excitement just kept coming!  The picture below is where we put in.  Hello class V rapid!

We spent an adventure and fun filled morning working our way through class IV and V rapids.  We also got to get out and swim around for a bit, which was really refreshing.

Soon enough it was time for lunch.  And oh man, was it delicious!  We had our choice of steak, chicken, fish, or a hamburger along with rice, 3 bean salad, coleslaw, a roll, and a cookie.  So good!

Following lunch, we got back into the rafts and headed off to play in the falls.  We got to go over a water fall in our raft, surf in the currents, and climb underneath the falls.  It was so much fun!  We could have spent all day here playing around.  

The falls we rafted over.
Getting ready to surf in the waves.
Family seeing the backside of a waterfall.
I also tried to climb underneath the waterfall, but my exploration did not go as planned.  I got my head and most of my body in the space between the water and rock, but as I was turning around to sit down my foot came off the ledge I was standing on and the next thing I knew I had fallen butt first out of the water fall!  

Luckily I didn't get hurt (too badly) thanks to my large ass breaking my fall on the rocks below.  My brother Michael and my Dad hauled me back into the raft and I sat very carefully for the rest of the day on the one non-bruised butt cheek.  I also had a very colorful backside for the next few weeks.

All smiles before the waterfall adventure/right before I fall on my ass.

All in all we had an amazing trip and I can't wait to do it again next summer!