I finally finished #thebigproject

I listed so much the other day I no longer have anything to talk about.

Okay, you guys know THAT’S not true.

I went to bed REALLY early the other night (11pm!) and was out the door early to go hiking with Michelle (oh the joy!) so I didn’t have blogging time. We were both feeling like we didn’t have time to go hiking  with our crazy ass schedules so hey…we should go hiking! Mostly because when you are super stressed you need to take care of yourself.

We went for a short hike and ended up doing 4.5 miles. It was crazy hot and lots of rocks and climbing. We went to Matthew/Winters which is a normal hiking place for us but we went out further than we have before so we took on more than we were expecting. Both of us foolishly left our water in our cars thinking, “we’re okay…we don’t need no silly water…”

dehydrated much?

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it was a great way to start my morning. I had the best time.
~~~~~
I was straightening my closet and I came across this really gorgeous medal I got from doing a virtual race.

I would like to point out the blurry photo is not a testament to my photography skills but in fact my lack of patience. I was in motion and running back downstairs. Ha. I am always running running running.

I had a total flash. I don’t collect t-shirts because in general they just don’t fit me right. So I donate those or choose the “no-shirt” option. But I’ve always taken a medal if it’s offered. And truth be told I love the medals because they’re pretty and shiny.

I don’t need them though and when you’re walking through the store checking out all the pretty things you have to be reasonable on what you really need and what you only like because it’s pretty. I’m pretty good at drawing the line and not coming home with stuff I don’t need so here I’m faced with the medals in my closet.
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That is not really the biggest problem because I know I could donate them to medals4mettle but really I think the bigger question is should I take them to begin with? I have nowhere to display them, and displaying them is not really my style so I stick them in a box and keep them there until I randomly come across them only to question…what should I do with these?

Does anyone else ever ask themselves that question? What do you do with your medals? I think I may be done taking them. I don’t know…I need to ponder this. I am not a fan of clutter as I’m sure you all know. This is just one more thing I don’t need.
~~~~~
Last night at 2am I finished #thebigproject. I KNOW> can you believe it?? Me either.

So here is a peek.


A hint…per se.
a glimpse into what I’ve been doing so many many nights.
Geez..I wish it were more illicit.

Try again? okay…how’s this…

fine. But this is your last photo.   They look much better in person. OH, it’s 2am and I multi task so yes, I’m folding laundry downstairs! ha. So now you know me for real.

These are rehearsal dinner centerpieces. The little one is for the little table. The worst part? Finding the flowers. Shoot me now. Michaels and Hobby Lobby carry like..3 flowers of each kind so yeah, I found the perfect flower, I need 7 please. Now go to every Michaels you can find.
It was not a good time. And yes, I have returns. I’m tackling that today. I have multiple receipts, multiple bags. They will not like me.
~~~~~
Moving on to the next project though…gotta keep things going!

Today I’m doing the flower returns, walkin’ the dog this morning, and I haven’t decided what to do for a workout yet. I’m feeling like moving a lot. It’s a gorgeous morning here.
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Run on…

Anyone remember Honey Buns? Talk about food and the mind does wander…

  • I went with my mom to San Francisco years ago when I was  a young teenager. We got Honey Buns at the grocery store on the corner and thought we’d died and gone to heaven. I could have eaten the whole box. I can’t see a Honey Bun in the store now without thinking of that time with my mom, hangin’ in San Francisco at my grandparents house just eatin’ Honey Buns. #memories #mommemories
  • I’m going to skip right over where I’ve been this busy weekend and say I’ve slowed down from going 159 mph to going probably 90 or so which to me is better. The weather gave me a killer migraine Saturday but on the bright side…THE WEATHER! I think it was building for a few days. It happens and I recovered.
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    it’s just around the corner, Baby, I can feel it. 
    It was 50* this morning. So beautiful. 
  • The Cincinnati Enquirer did an amazing spread on the current epidemic of heroin use that has taken over the country. It’s called Seven days of Heroin. I highly recommend this  impressive piece of reporting. Calling it “in depth” would be an understatement.

    The Enquirer sent more than 60 reporters, photographers and videographers into their communities to chronicle an ordinary week in this extraordinary time~source

  • Honey Bunchies Gourmet Honey Bar  are my newest delicious snack find. Has anyone ever had a Salted Nut Roll?  I don’t know what they did but these Honey Bunchies seriously taste just like  a Salted Nut Roll. They are so amazing I could eat ten of them. Okay, I’ll be honest, I really couldn’t. Truth be told I ate the whole thing but I should have parceled it out and eaten just half at a time. They have 8 all natural ingredients, 230 calories  a bar, gluten free, soy free, grain free and It’s like a giant caramel roll. Serious delicious. I loved it immediately. I paid $1.99 at Safeway.
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  • Who is the Enemy Here?
    A beautiful and haunting article of photographs Time magazine has gathered from various photographers who covered the Vietnam war and the photographs that moved them most. They are really quite moving. My best suggestion is to actually read about the photograph and not just skim the pictures. The photos are obviously stand alone worthy but the personal stories attached bring a light to them we haven’t seen before.
  • “mini cupcakes? As in the  mini version of regular cupcakes? Which is already a mini version of CAKE? Honestly, where does it end with you people??” ~Kevin from The Office making a really really great point. We feel your pain, Kevin.
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  • The Vietnam War– A film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick  on PBS
    You just have to watch it. You should be able to stream it online.
  • These 2 London museums viciously battled for supremacy on Twitter
    Twitter user asks a question…who reigns supreme? And the battle begins. It’s pretty great.
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  • I did HIIT over the weekend and as much as I love it my legs surely do feel it. The day feels so good (high of 82* so I’ll take it) but I’m going to go down to the incline this evening I think so I can climb and run at the same time. I’m definitely feeling a little off from several weeks of being too busy to incline.
    I did walk the dog, though, and he’s pretty happy now and sleepin’ away. Must be rough.
  • We lost our internet for a ridiculous amount of time so I’m hotspotting it now so I can finish this. Then I’m going to run my errands and make progress on life and if it’s not back by tonight we’ll have to burn the house down. Or go to a motel or something. Yes, I could read a book but Netflix. 
    Who knew I could make progress on life so easily?
    I’m thisclose People. Thisclose.
  • There’s a lot of information in this post. It was a reading/watching weekend while I worked. Good stuff though.
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    Keep working hard…
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    Run on…

I need to make a direct link from my bank to my veterinarian. #somuchmoney

  • Apparently if you’re just looking at a running stream of my blog posts, you can’t see a place to comment. If you are looking at a particular blog post, you actually have a place to comment. I was reassured about this when Michelle commented but confused as to how the heck she did it. Sean disappeared into his office to hibernate and figure it out. He doesn’t have all the answers but he did figure that out.
    I want him to have all the answers. Why doesn’t he have all the answers?
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  • Malachi has gotten sick 47 times around the house in the last two days. More realistically…7 or 8 times. Sean has been shampooing the carpets like a maniac. He likes to do it and I don’t so I let him. Plus he does more than spot clean. He says as long as he has it out he’ll do the whole house…
    um…OKAY.
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    Tonight he threw up something quite…unfriendly… and Sean was like…what IS THAT??
    I said…probably one of the socks he’s been eating.
    And that is exactly what it was.
    For some random reason, we don’t know why, he’s gone straight back to puppy behavior. Eating socks. So.damn.frustrating.
    I think I’ll have to email the doctor. And possibly pay her $8000.
    I long to have money again. What is that like?
  • Last year for Adam’s birthday Shaughnessy got him a Little Free Library. I love it so much. It took a while to get it installed because it comes as bare wood, not put together or anything. They built it, Adam’s mom, Joni,  painted it (isn’t it beautiful?)  and then Sean, Adam and Shaughnessy installed it. I came in at the end to be the annoying backseat driver. They were super thrilled with my participation. I want one so much but of course…I also don’t want one if we are moving so I’m going to wait. Shaughnessy says she’ll “believe it when she sees it” about us moving.
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    I digress…here’s the #littlefreelibrary



    Isn’t it great? I’m so jealous. Also, I love books. #littlefreelibrary #littlelibrary 
  • Here’s a friendly reminder...how are your running shoes doing? Are you feeling pretty good while you’re running?  What’s your mileage? Do you keep track of that? Remember you want to replace your running shoes typically between 300 and 400 miles per pair but flip it over and look at it. Is it particularly worn down on one spot or another? It could be causing your gait to be slightly off.  Are you having any aches and pains? Some running shoes will last a little longer and some give out sooner. There’s no hard and fast rule. It’s just important to remember your shoes. Most of the time people just forget until they feel pain and wonder what’s wrong.
  • The fires in MT (#thestatenotthekid)are killing the air here (not that I’m complaining because can you imagine the air in MT?) so running was pretty much off the table Monday. I have an appointment today with the tattoo guy so I’m going to try and get my workout done early. They say you can’t workout after you get your tattoo done. Do you think that’s a hard and fast rule? I’m going to google that. Anyone have a running tattoo? Pfft. I googled, they say I can run. I’m listening to the very VERY wise websites that say I can. Don’t panic, I’m not just grabbing ANY website. I’m doing proper research.
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    I am always a work in progress.

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Run on…

What kind of a driver are you? I’m pretty patient but there are these three things…

  • Starting my day with hot water with a lemon slice is my favorite thing to do. It makes me feel amazing and I swear I feel so much better when I do this.
    11 benefits of lemon water you didn’t know about
  • Are you a road rager? I am not. However…these are three things that bug me about driving. First you should know…I’m a really patient driver. So it’s not like I thought…I’ve got a LIST of things that bug me about driving (RAGE)…no. That’s totally not true.  I just kind of encountered two of them on the same day and thought…yeah. these three things would probably be irritating.
          1. When you’re driving and someone drives just UNDER the speed limit. What is that about? Why? You’re allowed the speed limit and truth be told even a few more. Go the few more! Be wild! If it’s 40…do 42! Maybe 43! Do not drive 35 or 36 in a 40, it just makes us all nuts.
         2. When someone waves you to go first but they’re annoyed with you. ?? What? Why? thanks? I kind of don’t WANT your favor now. How exactly did I annoy you by just SITTING here waiting for you to go first when it was your right of way and then you get irritated because you let me go first. I got nothin’.  That really bothers me and the irritation totally negates the kind gesture. Sorry People!
         3. When you’re in the far left straight lane (now try and follow me here…) and there’s a turn lane next to you with an island next to them. The person in FRONT of you for some reason leaves like…two car spaces open without pulling forward (to what…save it for a friend?) and because they don’t pull forward, YOU can’t pull forward so all the people that need to pull into the turn lane can’t get into it. So the turn lane light turns green and then red and they all watch it and miss it…all because weird guy won’t freakin’ pull forward. You honk…you pull really close to him and stalk his bumper but nothing. Seriously Dude. What the hell?
    Do any of these things make me yell at people? No but I will occasionally talk to them and say, “why? why do you do this? I don’t understand you.”  So far, no one has answered.
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  • Taylor Swift!  Taylor Swift gets a giant ~hell yes~ from all of us for how she handled this whole situation with the groping DJ. She had absolute grace from the beginning to the end and what a great outcome that the jury came back in her favor. Although I don’t see how they could have done anything different. The evidence was so terribly against him, the pervert.
  • So I’m leaving the country next week for approximately… 47 hours (how crazy is that?) to do some family history investigating with my mom. I did a little ~do I take my running gear or don’t I~ with myself today. I ALWAYS take my running stuff. I never ever EVER don’t take it. And the chance to run in another country is pretty awesome. I love running in new places and a new country would be so cool. We lived in Germany for six years so I’m not new to the international scene but I’ve always liked the idea of adding places to the list. If I thought I could get a run in that morning before I left I’d leave it at home but not being able to is a true let down. So both days with nothing…I’m leaning towards taking the running stuff. Just so you know, as I wrote this paragraph I changed my mind twice.
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  • It poured rain with wild wind so I did not get to run. Even Sean was bummed for me. Every day…hope for tomorrow.  I always say a little rain is good, pouring rain is just inconvenient.  It’s a nice way to end the day though.  Theboy and I hung out at home except for a few small things. We’ll talk about what we did tomorrow.

PANDORA Jewelry More than 60% off! 35 USD ladseap.evazface.... click to come online shopping!

Run on…

Suppose he still loves me after I did that?

  • Yesterday I posted I quote from GlutenDude where he said, “I think having an autoimmune disease means your body is in fighting mode much of the time.”  A follow up comment from one of his readers to that said, “Basically having an autoimmune disease means your body will spontaneously attack itself, sometimes for no apparent reason.”   As someone who doesn’t like puzzles, you would think I would hate the very idea of this. But I totally get it. In fact it explains it so well to know I’m always in fighting mode explains so much~ I feel better when I’ve done everything right and I still feel bad because it tells me it isn’t something I did.  I am reassured that time will pass and I’ll feel better soon. Maybe even later that day but sometimes just in a few days. #alwayslearning

  • In the land of  Tess is a little off this week…my brain is foggy, my stomach is BAD…my head hurts and I just ache all over.  I can already feel it passing though. Lots of water with lemon. Meanwhile I went to bed last night about midnight, closed up the house and went to bed. About 3:45 we heard crazy barking and Sean got up and headed downstairs all calm like. HE woke up to it. I DIDN’T. That’s pretty key. I wake up if the cat sneezes downstairs. I realize as he’s opening the sliding glass door that I left my poor dog outside. That’s right, I went to bed and left the dog outside. What do you suppose he thought as he saw the curtain close, the lights go out…?? What the hell? I’m still out here! I’M THAT PERSON> I suck. I’m terrible. I met Sean on the stairs and I said, “I left the dog OUT??” and he said very casually, “yeah”, as he passed me and headed back to bed. LOL. huh. okay then. The dog meanwhile was having a BLAST. He’s so freakin’ cheerful. It’s hilarious. He didn’t seem upset at all. I’m still wearin’ the guilt though. Pretty sure he still loves me. I do a lot of the puppy walks…
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  • 94-Year Old Widower Installs Backyard Pool For Neighborhood Kids

  • Mid-Life Exercise Could Jog Your Memory

    Can a new exercise regimen boost your brain health if you’re over 50?  Possibly, suggests a new research review that found middle-age folks can improve their thinking and memory skills by adopting regular moderate-to-vigorous routines involving aerobic and resistance exercise. ~source

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    Image result for amy poehler just do it gif

  • I have this guy all week and this is how we started his morning…what a lovely little guy he is to just want to hang out and enjoy the morning…

    On another note..I read this on someone else’s blog a while back and laughed pretty hard. It does remind me of a few people…who shall remain nameless. But it’s pretty hilarious.
  • In case you’re wondering..nopeI didn’t run. I could barely function by the end of yesterday and theboy and I were super busy running errands and visiting Miss Norma and baby Margaux. I did get that cake made though. #priorities
    I’m hoping for tonight because I MISS RUNNING. I ran in MT but not a lot because the road my hotel was on was like…if you run here you’ll take your life in your hands with traffic. Good luck. They were short runs and I mixed them up with yoga. I’m feeling mushy. Oh! I bet that’s contributing to my not feeling good! I better run tonight for sure. #lightbulb
    too often - we forget to take care of ourselves first. Then we wonder why we run out of gas.
    Run on…

Some days we’re pretty and some days you get the real thing.

  • I felt so much better on Friday I ran a ton of errands. It came back a little in the afternoon like a bad boyfriend but I took some Excedrin and kicked that sucker to the curb. I talk big. I never had a boyfriend like that. Hey, I read Pinterest.  I got my HIIT workout in which felt AMAZING and headed to bed fairly early so I could rise and shine at 4:30 to do the Manitou Incline with Michelle.  I took a good half hour off my incline time which was awesome. It was way cooler Saturday than it was in June when I did it and I felt so much stronger climbing I would love to get to do it again.  Solongo wants to try it on Saturday and I might give it a shot. I do love climbing. Check out this hair…hahhahahha. I love it. When we got to the top Michelle WHIPPED out her camera and I took one look and said NO WAY. My hair was all up in funky clippies and I looked totally whack. So I grabbed my clippies out and shook my hair out and gave myself two minutes to recover from climbing 2000 ft in one mile and just had a good time with my friend who looks this beautiful ALL THE TIME> Every picture. Always beautiful. Here you go People. The real me. ha. Don’t be scared.
  • I went to church on Sunday morning ~they haven’t seen me in a while and are always surprised when I show up. I’ve decided when I go to church now and they express surprise I’m going to look at them and say, “I was just here last week!” like they should know that. So far it’s going well.
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  • Our priest spoke about The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston and how when Moses comes down off the mountain he’s been stylized. How hilarious. If God is thinking of providing divine intervention and styling people I could use some stylizing…
    Image result for charlton Heston the ten commandments source
  • My dad was a hairstylist and you couldn’t leave his shop until you looked like this. ha. As a matter of fact my dad looked like that. Here’s a photo of the three of us…Alex Michael, me and my dad, it’s pretty tame but my dad could be wild. So.much.hairspray. My poor husband’s hair wouldn’t move for three days after getting a simple cut.

    My dad was ridiculously handsome. Look at my super round ~what the heck is wrong with me (before we figured out I had hypothyroidism-Celiac) oh look you’ve gained 30lbs~  face. ha. I still love the picture because I have his face and my kid has his face. Family. I do love family.
  • I didn’t work out on Sunday, I wanted to go to the Shrine of Cabrini but I was waiting for Sean to get back from camping and that took way WAY longer than I thought. When he finally did come back into town we ended up going to a late late movie and seeing Detroit. This is a true story of what happened in Detroit during the riots of 1967 and the Algiers Motel Incident when three black kids were tortured and killed by police (allegedly…) and nine others were beaten and emotionally abused during the entire incident. I highly recommend it to everyone but my mother (it’s okay, she really doesn’t like movies). It is a hard watch. I’m not going to sugar coat it. I actually got nauseous and physically ill and what was happening on the screen and felt chills. I couldn’t imagine one of my own kids having to go through what these kids went through. How terrified they must have been. An amazing movie.
  • MT’s girlfriend, Allie, just came over and while I was in the crawlspace getting something for her she found THE WORLD’S BIGGEST FREAKING SPIDER RIGHT NEXT TO THE CRAWLSPACE DOOR HOLY FREAKING COW.  So then she called a wonderful friend to come over and kill it and he was awesome and he said WOW THAT’S A BIG SPIDER alerting both of us that wow. that’s a big spider. huh.  So yeah, I was on the phone with the pest control guy telling him how I was being held hostage by THE WORLD’S BIGGEST SPIDER>
    Nick is my hero. You’re my hero Nick. Nick doesn’t read my blog but he’s my hero.
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  • I have my Botox appointment today and I’m very not excited, especially since I have to travel today. Every time I fly…I get a migraine. I’m optimistic that the Botox will help and some preventative assistance from my doctor. He’s pretty awesome. Not looking forward to a repeat of last week.
  • I didn’t run again today, It poured rain and I was ridiculously busy. I’ll see if I can get something in before I get on the flight tomorrow but even tomorrow is tight. Worst case, I’ll do something after I land. It’s a short flight.
    ~~~~~
    Run now, there may be time days, weeks, months when you can't...
    Every day. I feel like this every day. The need the pull the force. I know how necessary it is and I have to do it.
    Run on…

#allthestairs of Red Rocks.

Friday I volunteered for a race that was taking place on Saturday. I didn’t run it, I just did some volunteer work.

It was the most unorganized situation  and 90* so it was utter and total chaos in the hot sun. I have only volunteered a few times for racing events, as much as I love volunteering the racing events always seem to be unorganized. I’m not sure if it’s a world of people with order issues or if it’s the world of racing. The organizer in me wants the answer to this question.

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~~~~~
Totally worth watching.

Sandra Bullock – Go Find Your Joy

Sandra Bullock reacts to criticism in an inspiring way

Posted by Goalcast on Wednesday, July 26, 2017

~~~~~
Saturday I had such a migraine I don’t even remember what I did. I just stayed drugged. I’d started it on Thursday and nursed it through Friday. By Saturday I wasn’t really able to focus on anything and was pretty sick. I crashed early so I could be up at 4:30 to head to Red Rocks for massive quantities of stair climbing with Michelle. I wanted to be there by 6 and I got there at 5:45. Then I drove around for 45 minutes trying to find her. It was a damn good time.
She got there first so she got the winning shot…

Nothing beats sunrise at Red Rocks.

I did finally find her and we started our prep for the 9/11 Memorial Climb.

The 2017 Colorado 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb is a way to honor and remember the FDNY firefighters who selflessly gave their lives so that others might live on 9-11-2001. Each participant pays tribute to an FDNY firefighter by climbing the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center.

We learned it’s 11 times around so we did 8 times around to start and see how we healed. Afterwards we both felt like we could have done more. I was feeling pretty hungover from migraine drugs so I struggled but I wasn’t sore at all yesterday and I’m not sore at all today so I think we’ll be fine.

~~~~~
Meanwhile it was a BLISSFUL 57* this morning when I woke up at 4:30 (not sleeping great) and it stayed 57* for a while. I didn’t run because I was really really REALLY tired and I feel like I need to just chill out for a few hours and maybe even…

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take a nap.
A much much needed nap.
Before I tackle my incredibly full list.
I’m so tired.
But I felt pretty grateful for my fake fall morning… #fakefall all the way. hmm. #alternativefall?
~~~~~
just look at these boots and laugh accordingly. Or shake your head shamefully…

Forever 21 Privileged Shoes Denim Boots 

(how do you like that name?)
~~~~~
In fun political news…
Scaramucci is out after TEN DAYS!! I’m gonna miss that guy. He was like the Jersey Shore took over the White House. It was entertaining as hell. To everyone but his wife I guess. I really feel bad for her.
Tomi Lahren admitted to still being on her parents health insurance at 24 even though she’s totally against Obamacare Being able to stay on your parents health insurance until you are 26 is a GREAT benefit of Obamacare and  two of my kids have totally taken advantage of it and the third will be following right behind. One would think she would be highly vocal about it’s benefits as she is being so critical of it.  Apparently not. Tomi, Darling, this is why people tear you down. Well, this and your incredibly horrible belief system.  We don’t get it. Keep working on it.
~~~~~
I feel pretty damn strong right now and that’s pretty sad because I have a long way to go but that just shows you how far gone I was. hahahhahaa.
Keep moving forward, right people? Keep moving forward.
Running tonight. Strength today. Pushups, lifting. Planks planks planks.
It doesn’t get easier, you get stronger. FitBodyHQ.com for more motivation and inspiration.
Run on…

Camping…do you love it or hate it?

I have always joked I will hike all day long with you straight to the door of a Holiday Inn. I like bathrooms. Bathrooms and showers.
That’s not really a joke, I really do like bathrooms and showers.

Oh man did I want my hair washed.

Lesson #1…dry shampoo. Why…WHY did I not think of dry shampoo?
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There’s really no help for the restroom situation. I have a disease that requires clean normal bathrooms to maintain  any sense of comfort and dignity.
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It makes for great small talk.

So on that note…let’s discuss the pros and cons of camping:

Pros:
um…Colorado. duh…

Great hiking!
Get away from the city
Mostly no electronics… (my phone had some limited service for which I was grateful. I don’t love the #noscreens trend. #buckingthesystem)
family time
fishing
#greatoutdoors #alldaylong
new experiences
pretty sure most of that is redundant and boils down to Colorado is awesome and that’s reason enough.

Cons:
the bathrooms (a polite word for them. yuck yuck yuck). 
You need to limit what you carry in
Bears (you can’t have anything but clothing at your campsite. Nothing. Not even a bottle of water. Everything has to be               packed up to a bear proof food lockers)
It’s so very very cold at night and in the morning
the dirt in the tent which can be unavoidable sometimes (we had Malachi with us)
no shower (that didn’t bother me but…my hair. Oh man my hair)
and really…sleeping on the ground isn’t comfortable…those pads aren’t fabulous. They say they are but they aren’t.                       Don’t take mine though…it’s better than nothing. LOL
~~~~~
Eleven Mile State Park Review
This is our experience with Eleven Mile State Park.  The good the bad and the ugly. Overall I would say we really had a great time but I don’t want to gloss over the unfriendly parts of it.

Shaughnessy made the reservation online but I’ve done a quick trial and it seemed fairly user friendly. The cost is $18 a night plus a $10 fee for the first day registration because they can. So for two days it’s $46. A reasonable price for sure.

We reserved two back country sites and they were very near the water and the water sites were an oasis. It was so beautiful. The site says the back country camp sites can be 1/2 mile to up to 3/4 of a mile from the parking lot. They had very easy trails to follow, there were restrooms (so gross but I’ve seen worse) and of course the bear proof food lockers. Those were all up at the top of the hill from the campsite. It may not be the favorite way to camp but it’s safe and they go out of their way to provide these options so you can safely camp there.

Sean and I went early to get the lay of the land and we were glad we did because we couldn’t freakin’ find the site to save our lives. In the end this was to our benefit because it was kind of a hidden site and we weren’t bothered by other campers.  The first site we got to had the previous campers name still on the reservation stick and number of the site. It also had trash all over it. The final straw was a small pile of little chipmunk corpses under a tree. Like…five of them. This did not look like an animal did it, it definitely looked human and it was pretty awful. We were horrified and refused to stay at this campsite. We traveled next door to the secluded nearby site that did happen to have our name on it. This site was much better (and pretty gorgeous) however it also had some trash in it. Considering the high bear warnings everywhere it was concerning. We cleaned up the small bits in the second campsite, the worst part being (TMI here) a used feminine hygiene product. Yeah, that was tough to clean up but it also called the bears.  And I didn’t need my grandson to see it.
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grossgrossgross

Knowing someone comes by and changes out the names for the sites…it’s pretty disappointing they don’t do a quick sweep and clean up trash there. It wouldn’t take anything to get the names of the people that were there before and charge them a trash fee on their credit card. Put that in large letters on the website as they are checking out so they know it’s going to be there. If I have to acknowledge a box before I can “pay now” you can bet I read it. When people pay money they are more inclined to behave accordingly.

Our neighbors included college kids  on one side and a family on the other. The college kids were there with beer and a need to socialize. They didn’t really bother me but I know they kept Shaughnessy and Adam up with their talking. The family on the other side kept all their stuff at their campsite encouraging bear activity. They also had two dogs who were sometimes on the leash and barked if they saw you. They rarely saw us so that was fine.

I’m actually pretty scared of dogs and on the last day when I went up to use the restroom one of their dogs rushed me and jumped on me.  When this happened I freaked completely out and screamed my ass off. The owner gave a “sorry” in that “I’m only half sorry” kind of tone that says I’m making way too big of a deal about it and then she insisted loud and terse that “he’s friendly..he’s not going to hurt you.”.  You have to say that like you’re irritated with me. ha. She clearly was. I had some minor scratches running down my legs (I was wearing shorts) and I was shaken up. Again, people that feel like they don’t have to follow the rules. We had Malachi with us and he was on a leash 99.9% of the time. If he wasn’t he was in the tent. We were always completely aware of him.

We would totally go back to this campground. We liked it a lot. The upsides definitely outweighed the bad and no place is going to be perfect.
EDIT:
We passed probably ten campsites and they were clean and beautiful and just as perfect locations.  And every campsite we hiked around seemed clean and beautiful and totally up to standards. Of the probably twenty plus campers in our area I would say there were the two who were slightly difficult and all the others were quiet and polite.  I do not believe you will always run into this. I actually believe the opposite is true. I would definitely not judge camping by our run in at this one campsite. And we will totally go back to this campground and we want the same campsite even…it was lovely, secluded and so close to the water and fishing. It was perfect. We just ask for better monitoring of the campsites so everyone gets to walk into clean beautiful campsites and not what Sean and I walked into.


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this is so me.
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Run on…

 

There was no warm fire but otherwise…it had everything promised.

We got back from camping today. Yes, you read that right. I went camping. And I survived.

I know. I haven’t been camping since MT was like..5 years old. MT. The Marine.

Yeah, that was a long time ago. Don’t remind me.

We went to Eleven Mile State Park and it was really beautiful. We chose a back country camp site which required a half mile hike to get to it. We took Malachi with us and I think if we had known the full situation we might not have. He’s older now and has a harder time with the hike in and the cold at night.  It was very hot during the day and it was pretty freaking cold at night. He struggles with the cold so we would bundle him into the tent and try and keep him warm. He did okay though did have a pretty good time. He chased chipmunks, played in the lake, fell in the lake totally upside down-legs straight up (that was hilarious and scary) and slept in the tent like he owned it.

The trail to the tent was pretty technical. It wasn’t difficult but it was technical and I would not take heavy coolers or strollers to get to it. We saw both of those things happen.

We had no idea it was so much of a task to get back into the campsite so none of us were prepared but we were more prepared than other people and we had four grown adults to pack stuff back and a six year old who could walk on his own. Reluctantly but he could.

Once we got back there and settled in with tents up and things put where they need to be we had time to really recognize where we were and how lucky we were to have this place.

By the end of the weekend we had completely fallen in love with the place, it was so secluded and beautiful and just what we needed. I take that back…there was a fire ban so we couldn’t have a fire but other than that…it was perfectly lovely. We ate s’mores. We drank wine. Okay, they drank wine. I watched them drink wine. We laughed a LOT. Theboy explored and fished and played and got dirty and was a boy camping which is what is supposed to happen. It was a really great weekend.

I did not run. I hiked a lot the first and second day and got my time in but running would prove to be too difficult.  There wasn’t a really great place to run that wasn’t a direct trail to someone else’s campsite. I figured that would be awkward. The rain poured the second afternoon and by the third morning even my second pair of shoes were wet so I just gave up on the whole running thing and called it good. I have three layers of dirt on me at least. I’ve used the campground facilities more times than I ever wanted to in my whole life (gross gross gross) and oh my gosh I was cold.

Camping.

My next post I’ll talk about the camping a little bit more. This post was a good “oh my gosh look how beautiful it is” post and also..you can totally be jealous. We passed probably twenty campgrounds at least on the way up to this one. Welcome to Colorado. I’d like to say this is special but this is just us on a regular day. We’re always gorgeous.


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Run on…

Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated…

Wild ponies have inhabited Assateague Island for hundreds of years. Some have suggested that the wild ponies of Assateague trace their origin to horses released to forage on the Island by early settlers. However, the evidence strongly sugests that they are the descendants of the survivors of a Spanish galleon which wrecked off the coast of Assateague. This story, which has been passed from generation to generation on Chincoteague Island, is stronger than fiction. source

More history of the Chincoteague ponies…

When I was little I read this book called Misty of Chincoteague. There was actually a series but this was the first. It’s a true story based on the ponies of Chincoteague Island. I loved it immediately. I loved the idea there was a pony island and these beautiful ponies lived there wild and free. It made me so happy and like all little kids, I used to dream I’d get to go visit the island.

The book was written in 1947 so that dates me a bit (not too much, I was born twenty years later) but I still loved it even with its age.

When we decided to go to Virginia I somehow got a twinge of…I wonder??  And I pulled up Google to see if Chincoteague Island was anywhere near where MT was stationed. It was four hours away.

Four hours was totally driving distance OR it could be really really far away depending on who you’re asking. MT is definitely up for an adventure and didn’t hesitate. He dove right in and said we could totally go.
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Day 3 started  innocently enough. I threw a quick dress on and some sandals with a little heel because I was going to be riding in the car instead of walking everywhere. It was super comfortable and easy.
I chose to ride in the back seat, I’m shorter and I figure for long distances it’s just more comfortable for the tall people to be in the front.
If you guys recall, Sean plays a game called Ingress. In DC it’s an opportunity for new portals and whatnot (I kind of know what I’m talking about and kind of not). Just off base there was a trail where they were going to go “just a little ways on the trail, just a few feet” and I said okay…no problem. I’ll just stay in the truck.

I mean I’m in my dress and little sandals. Who goes hiking in that??
So I stayed in the backseat, turned myself so my feet were up on the seat and I was leaning against the door and I played on my phone. MT left the truck running for air conditioning and I waited. and waited. and waited.
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they were gone like…a half an hour (that’s a long time). While they were gone there was a woman standing in front of the truck for a while on her phone. It was kind of random and I watched her for a minute but whatever. I just went back and forth. Phone…random woman. Phone. Random woman. Eventually she left and I stopped caring.

Nearly a half an hour later MT comes back without Sean. He’s sitting there waiting with me and a police officer pulls up with a base MP. He comments that they aren’t here for us. Then they walk up to the truck…

“Maybe they ARE here for us”, he says…

The officer looks in the truck and says, “nevermind. We got a report of a truck with someone lying down in the back. We check these things out to make sure there aren’t any dead bodies but everyone seems fine here”.

THE CHICK ON THE PHONE

Yes. The chick on the phone who ACTUALLY LOOKED at me. I LOOKED at her. I WATCHED her on the phone with the cops. What a twit. I was leaning against the door and my feet were up on the seat but I could see straight out the front window and I could see her on her phone! What did she think I was doing? Head up…head down…head up…looking at her. We LOOKED at each other.

I can’t even. Seriously.

He took MT’s information so he could have it for his report and then he and the base MP left. So…

that was exciting.

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You can imagine Sean’s confusion when he came back to us with all the police cars. Ha. I always was a trouble maker.
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We left from there to head to the island and things got better from there. I mean, they would have to. I was dead and then I wasn’t. It was tragic and then it wasn’t.

I died and then I didn’t.

Reports of my death and all that…
It took four hours and LOTS of heavy traffic but we eventually got to the island and then I really did die of sheer joy. It was an incredible feeling. Driving to the island…over the bridges (the bridges!) and the water (oh man the water!) so incredible. Our hotel room didn’t suck. That’s so happy! Parking was awful. AWFUL. But we went out to dinner at the ONLY place open at a ridiculous hour of the night and ate outside in beautiful breezy ocean air on a sandy beach and had crab legs. IT WAS SO AWESOME.

Then we sat around the fire and enjoyed the evening and thought…this is the best night. It cannot get any better than this.
And then it maybe did.
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Day four:

Day four we headed down to the docks to meet up with Captain Dan! (please say that like a super hero. I’m sure he doesn’t but that’s how I say it in my head… CAPtainDAN!) We took a lovely boat ride that was several hours long that took us all the way around the island and over to Assateague island where the ponies are kept now away from prying annoying people.
It’s well known I don’t love being wet but I love the water so much. I could live on a boat and Sean and I have dreamed many times of boat living and sailing around the world. We would do that in a heart beat. So those hours on the water were incredible.

    

     
Assateague Island is a national park now and could not be more lovely. The ponies are on the island and protected.
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We went from there to the beach where Sean and MT played in the Atlantic Ocean for a couple of hours and had an amazing time. I could watch that forever. I hated to leave. It was the fourth of July weekend. Apparently the island’s busiest weekend of the year. An insane time to be visiting and the beach showed it. But it didn’t matter. There were people everywhere but people were great and we had a wonderful time just playing on the beach, in the water and having so much fun. Day four was the best day.
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Travel Quotes | Travel checklist: complete.
Run on…