Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Mishmash

We had some exciting news on Monday morning - Jeff and I, along with seven others from our running club, were picked via lottery to run the Houston Aramco Half Marathon in January! This is a big race, and we've all talked about doing it for a couple of years now, so earlier this month, we entered the lottery as a group (meaning we'd all be chosen or none of us would be). The emails were sent out just after midnight and I happened to be awake to see it - woohoo!  This race is one month after the BCS half marathon, so all we have to do is stay healthy and injury-free for an extra four weeks...totally doable, right?  Anyway, we're seeing this as a "destination race" even though Houston is just a couple hours away.  We've all booked rooms in the same hotel for Saturday night and are looking forward to having some good times, both that weekend and with all the training runs leading up to it.  We're even going to get shirts made with our team name on it...we are serious about having fun with this!

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Last week we loaded up the car, complete with Paco, and drove to North Carolina.  That is one LONG drive, let me tell you.  Two full days of driving, through seven states total (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina).  We stopped fairly often to stretch our legs and let Paco out of his crate - he did really well and was happy to explore all the new places.  One of his (and our) favorites was in Mississippi, just after we crossed the big river.  They have a nice rest stop where you can hike around a bit.  Some pictures:
Paco and I, Mississippi river and bridge (that we just drove across) in the background.
Jeff and Paco climbing the stairs to go to the other side of the rest stop...nice exercise after sitting in the car for so long!
Cannon from Civil War - Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Jeff and Paco, with the old and new Mississippi river bridges behind them.
We stopped for the night in Birmingham, Alabama, which was a really beautiful area to drive through.  Lots of tall trees, lush valleys - quite nice.  Paco was happy to have the run of the room (note the blurry tail wag). 

The next day we drove, and drove, and drove...something about knowing your end destination is coming, but still many hours away, made for a long day.  We were less than two hours from Sam's place when we hit a massive thunderstorm.  One lightening strike was REALLY close to us on the freeway - yikes!  It made all of us jump.  This was Paco shortly after:
I DO NOT LIKE DIS, NOT ONE BIT!!! 

We finally arrived at Sam's place, where Jeff and Paco immediately went into relaxation mode:
Sam wasn't pleased that Paco claimed his chair... 
 But soon, they were sharing nicely.

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No pictures of this, but every evening, as we sit out on Sam's balcony, we've been treated to a firefly show in the grove of trees nearby.  I haven't seen fireflies since we lived in San Antonio, so this has been especially nice.

Have a great weekend!

24 comments:

  1. I love Paco's travel journal! LOL at him stealing Sam's chair. Hope you have a wonderful time!

    Oh, and glad you could see fireflies (or lightning bugs as we call them up here). Jude and I saw a few on our run last night, always a sign of summer :)

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    1. We called them lightning bugs when we first moved to Texas, but were corrected often enough that I now say fireflies. Cool that you could see them!

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  2. This whole post makes me happy! Happy for your group getting into the half, happy you guys are getting a little vacation time (even if it means 2 days of driving), and happy Paco got to go with you.

    When I was sitting on Little Helen's deck last weekend I saw fireflies as well. Her apartment has a large area of woods behind it so I guess that makes them come because we never get them on our citified patio. They remind me of my childhood too - chasing them around and putting them in jars!

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    1. Even with all the trees and brush in our backyard, we don't see them, so it's especially nice to get the show here. And I appreciate it all that much more, knowing that firefly sightings are so few and far between for us!

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  3. How awesome you all got in to the lottery! I was just talking to a friend about how that HM went lottery, yesterday :)

    Aww, poor Paco! Thankfully he got to chill when he got there! Have a great time :)

    And I didn't know you don't see fireflies in San Antonio. Fun fact!

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    1. Paco is enjoying his vacation, that's for sure!

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  4. How cool for you all to win the race lottery. My only destination race so far was in Tacoma - only about 90 minutes away - but it was nice to stay downtown and just go down the elevator to catch the shuttle to the race, instead of getting up at o'dark-thirty to drive there. I'm sure you all will have a blast!

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    1. The hotel is at the finish line - I'm so happy we won't have to stress about getting back to it before check out.

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  5. Wow, that is a long road trip! But I actually don't mind drives like that at all - although I like to stop pretty often, and Tony just wants to get there.

    I'll never forget when we drove to Austin last year - we hit the border of Texas and we both like "yeah - we are in Texas!" Only to realize we still had five hours to get to Austin!

    Congrats on winning the race lottery too - love that you are having shirts made!

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    1. Heh - yep. Texas is no fun to drive through when you're trying to get to another state.

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  6. Woo Hoo!!!! YAY for the race lottery!!!!! AWWW...Paco is sooooo adorable! Glad you had a good road trip with him, and ooooh fireflies!!!! (I've never seen one in real life, would love to)
    Have a wonderful weekend Shelley!

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    1. You would be fascinated by the fireflies, with your love of insects, Roz!

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  7. Congrats on winning the race entry! and WOW, that is one long trip. I'm glad Paco got to go on vacation with you!

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    1. We won entry in the lottery...still had to pay the entry fee. Which, yikes. I should run really slow to get my money's worth! ;)

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  8. Poor Paco and the lightening! That is how Pixie gets when fireworks go off in town. She hates them.

    Enjoy your trip!

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    1. We saw a firework show last night and I kept thinking Paco would be freaking out if he heard/saw it! Poor Pixie!

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  9. Wait a minute. Running 13 miles is a "prize"? Do you not see how wrong that is? :)

    You were only 3 hours from me in Vicksburg and in Birmingham. Just sayin'.

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    1. ditto... I never thought winning the lottery would mean hard work ??

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    2. You ALL are making me laugh with this...we won! I think???

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    3. The prize is that it isn't 26 miles.

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  10. You look cute in those shorts!

    I cracked up at Jeff and Paco taking over the recliners on their arrival.

    I'm so glad you're enjoying your trip!

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    1. My legs gladly accept your compliment! I think the leg press and all that walking/running is showing. :)

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  11. So cool that you won entries to the half marathon, it's going to be a fun trip, I'm sure.

    Love the travel report through the eyes of Paco. And I love it even more you brought him on the trip. We try to take Bella everywhere too. She's not afraid of lightning thank goodness. Paco looks scared, I wanted to hug him.

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