I travel the world and am truly amazed with the sights, cultures, and people but in my eyes there is no place like home.


31 July 2009

Cox Classic

I have never been to a professional golf tournament; I definitely don’t watch golf on tv, to be quite honest I am just not excited by golf. But I am trying to be at least slightly interested as it seems to be the “cool” thing in my crowd of hometown peeps. The peer pressure to succumb to all things golf must have worked as I found myself at the Cox Classic at Champions Club in Omaha last Saturday. Cole’s parents are members so we had tickets and club house passes – sweet.

We watched the pros golf – or maybe time was spent critiquing whose outfit was acceptable and whose was not….

But the course and weather were gorgeous so I was happy.

Around 3 we decided it was time for a cocktail, beer was not appealing so we went in search of mojitos. Lucky for us (or in retrospect maybe unlucky) the club bartender is a mojito making pro.

(It was obviously a bit windy hence the wild hair)
I would gladly take one of the brick homes you see in the background if anyone is willing to gift me one…

After play ended for the day we hit up the clubhouse for a few more cocktails and dinner. The plan was to head to the 19th hole (a big party with live music, fireworks, etc…) Well we made it to the clubhouse.

But then the shots started to arrive, first courtesy of Sammy the Manager.

Then the bartenders.

And it was all downhill from there….

We never quite made it to the 19th hole but we did have a private viewing of the fireworks from the clubhouse patio and more or less our own private party. Nice! I am now jonesing to join Champions or some other mega plush country club. I miss my plush club in Kuwait and Council Bluffs Country Club just isn’t the same.

24 July 2009

About that Passport

That passport I lost and fretted over for days. That passport I paid $200 to get a replacement for. The passport with all the fun stamps and cool cover that I mourned…..

Yup this would be a photo with said passport (sorry about the crazy hair the train was a disaster)!! I discovered the passport on the train from Copenhagen, Denmark to Wiesbaden, Germany. Nice eh? Tucked away safely in my carry on suitcase just as I remembered. I wanted to scream – wait I may have screamed or at least made a crazy face. I had loaned the suitcase to a relative, asked the relative to look hard as thought the passport was there, she reported back in the negative. Guess it was in some super secret compartment. Grrrrr –a lesson that I should have rechecked the suitcase myself once it was returned (although I think it was too late by then). Better found than forever lost – now I can report to the Passport police and clear up my shady record………….

I feel like a Slug!

My leg looks like this

And my arm like this

I think it makes me look tough – or like a total klutz. Regardless I can finally move around without total pain so its time to get serious about this fitness thing again. I have slacked off for over a month and I can tell. To motivate I have committed to the following:

* Corporate Cycling Challenge (25 mile bike) August 16
* CB Black Squirrel Triathlon (1000 yard swim, 21 mile bike, 6.2 mile run) August 22
* Omaha Corporate Cup (10K) September 20
* Omaha Half Marathon (13.1 miles) September 27 (not sure on this may be too close to others two races that are definite)
* Army Ten Miler (10 miles) October 3

There will be no backing out and no failure so that means I need to kick it into gear and get back into shape. I also need to work on healthier eating and less dinning out. I think I would love cooking if I only knew how. I now have a brand new kitchen with top notch appliances and an awesome grill outside I barely use. Silly really. Maybe I should sign up for cooking classes. The Classy Gourmet in Omaha has a few that look fun and useful. Anyone have any better suggestions?

23 July 2009

Nightmares about snakes...

I must have a colony of snakes in my yard. Horrendous – I hate snakes as much as I hate bats. At least Aeisha is doing her best to eliminate said snake colony.

I am very pleased with her as long as she doesn’t bring the snakes inside with her again. That truly panics me as I fear one day I will wake up with a snake in my bed. Eeeeww gives me shivers just thinking about it! That and the nasty bats. Maybe I need a few more cats to rid my house and yard of roddents! Or maybe not as then I'll be that old single lady with all the cats.

22 July 2009

Ragbrai (Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa)

(Team photo missing Justin and Tyler as they arrived late - sorry boys!!)
This was my first year to ride in Ragbrai – I had always thought it sounded fun but was never brave enough to try it. This year the starting town was Council Bluffs so the prefect time to give it a go. I gathered a great team together and we rode the first day as a trial to see how we liked it.

We were Team Drinkstrong (knockoff of Livestrong) and our shirts said “Lance Fears Us”. Cheesy but funny and we had loads of people taking photos throughout the day. The shirts were so bright they glowed but it proved very usefual as always easy to find each other throughout the day.
We started off with a great breakfast (to include mimosas) at my parents house and same last minute additions to our shirts.

Then we loaded up the sag bus and were ready to roll. My mom also went along on the sag bus to be our cheerleader. She is the best and always so supportive.

Justin rocked the bike outfit.

Another team camped at my parent’s house in tents. They were riding the full week and ride every year – they definitely looked more professional than us!

Next year that will be us. Unfortunately within the first 10 miles I crashed – hard!! We rode Wabash Trail to Minneola. Great plan as very peaceful and scenic but part of the trail was suddenly all torn up and there were no warning markers. My road bike hit a super deep spot and stuck -I flew off.

I am sooo very grateful I had a helmet on as my head hit first and it was not a soft fall. I can’t imagine the shape I would have been in had I not had a helmet on. I ended up getting the wind knocked out of me and some good scrapes but no broken bones and the bike was still rideable so onward we went. Upon arrival in Minneola (the first meet town and home of the crazy Thursday Taco Rides) I had a quick trip to the first aide stand for clean up.

Tom thinks the EMT’s purposely dug up the trail so they could meet chicks….It was crazy how many bikers were in each town.

Then a bloody mary to help with the pain.

Gotta love Ragbrai as not only do you get in loads of exercise but you also get to mix in just the right amount of party! Every 10-20 miles you stop in a different small town for food, drinks, and fun. There are also stations along the route.

The ride itself was very scenic and amazing. Cornfields and farms galore which I love. Makes me want to live on a farm right now.

But there were also hills, hills, and more hills. The first day we rode 52 miles and climbed almost 3800 feet! Seriously. But I can proudly say I never walked my bike up a hill – miracle really.

Our next stop was Henderson where we had another chance to refuel with a bit of alcohol and take a much needed break after all the hills.

Then on to Emerson which was the big party of the day as after that just a short 9 miles to Red Oak.

It was packed in Emerson and the tiny town bar really was not equipped to handle that many people but we had a lot of fun.
Finally we rolled into Red Oak I have never been so happy to see a sign welcoming me to a town. Just a great sense of accomplishment to have finished the first day – even with a big crash.

The whole team rode the final leg and finished strong. I was proud of everyone.

Since everyone rode at their own pace we waited for our group to arrive.

Somehow part of the team took a detour to the bar instead of town center though. Who would’ve guessed? By the time we found them we were partied out but really it was an amazing day with a great group of friends. We are all excited to ride a few more days next year and I am ready to get back on the bike now that the injuries are healing.

17 July 2009

Back to Reality

Vacation was amazing and I have 300+ photos to sort through before sharing. Now it’s back to real life. You know the 9 to 5 (well really the 7 – 330) that pays the bills, the house that always needs work, and of course the fun. My yard looks like a jungle. Extreme rain and 3 weeks of not mowing does not make for a pretty site. However, while I was gone Weilage Landscaping worked their magic. How fun is that to come home to? The new and improved backyard will be revealed soon. I of course have lots of work to do of my own but excited I can finally start.

The inside is also currently in a state of distress. I need to put back furniture, dishes, and other dust collectors. I also have two suitcases filled to the brim to unpack. Once this is done the floors will be revealed. They aren’t perfect and I am a bit unhappy with a few rooms. But that is to be expected with floors that are over a 100 years old. The Mark David Floors did an excellent job and for once the house feels almost clean. An added bonus is my new appliances get delivered Monday! Yay for me – I smell a dinner party in the very near future. Or maybe a backyard BBQ.

Then there is the fun - the part of life that always seems to overtake the work. Why can’t I be a trust funder that doesn’t need to work!! This weekend is Ragbrai and I found several friends crazy enough to agree to ride the first day. Sunday several of us will suit up in our sweet bike jerseys and bike it to Red Oak. Photos and stories sure to come next week. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

02 July 2009

Happy Fourth of July

I know it’s not the fourth but I will be out of the country on the 4th!! Yippee, although seems funny to leave the country during our nations’ holiday. However I must confess I am very antsy for travel and adventure. I have been in the US since mid February. This is record breaking for me so time to mix it up. Lots of photos will be posted when I return mid July. Even more of a bonus is I return home to a newly landscaped yard and freshly stained floors. Woooo wooo.

I celebrated the Fourth of July early. Council Bluffs Country Club had their annual 4th party and firework show Sunday. We went for dinner (not so good),
drinks (strong),

dancing (well technically I observed Courtney’s nieces dancing),

and fireworks (excellent)

It was gorgeous weather and amazing views as the club is right on the water.

Especially as the sun set, it almost felt like we were on vacation. Too bad we weren’t in Hawaii or some tropic paradise.

I forgot how pretty fireworks are!

It also amazes me how much they sound like an incoming mortar or rocket. I jumped a time or two at the loud ones. Even though it’s been a few years since my combat stint one doesn’t easily forget that feeling of unease when you hear an explosion and wonder how close it is or if anyone was injured.

(I need to figure out what setting to use to take night photos!) It’s good to be home amongst family and friends and live in a wonderful country where we have freedom of choice. Freedom to live the life we want not the life we are told to live. I hope everyone has an outstanding, fun, and safe Fourth of July!!!!