Saturday, February 13, 2016

On the Run

I know, it's been a while, like over four years. Sorry. Since I seemed to be doing a lot of running, I thought I would document some of my running thoughts. Hopefully this isn't too boring. So, back in the day, we only ran if we HAD to-- at Hyde Jr. High we had to do the 6 Minute Run for the Presidential Fitness Program, or the dreaded mile run, with Coach Chuck Heinrich yelling out your time as you completed the 4th lap around the track. We even did the "Cross Country" every now and again which included running around the baseball fields. Then at Cupertino High School PE classes had you run a lap or two for warm up, and occassionally we would have to run a mile for time, too. During wrestling practice we'd run, and to make weight I would put on my wetsuit and take off running for however long it took to drop a pound or two. But these were forced runs, running because I had to, not by choice. And now I run because I WANT to. What is wrong with me?! It's funny how fat I got during the 2 year EMBA program at the BYU. I was the bishop, too, and I worked at Gary Price's, where we always seemed to be eating. I had purchased a bike and was thinking that biking would get me fit. Well, getting hit by a car while biking isn't the best way to get in shape! (You can read about that in a previous post from 2008). My brother, Carl, had taken up running and invited me to run the Orem Summeriest 5K in 2006 in the which I found that I couldn't run at his pace... it was way too slow. (He wasn't very happy that my first 5K destroyed his best time). However, I continued to bike until the accident, then Jayton Wakefield talked me into running with him. And that's really where I started to enjoy running. I also dropped over 20 pounds once I started running consistently. There's really nothing like running up the Provo trail on a summer morning. It smells great, there's other folks out running and walking, and the scenery is awesome. It's great to only have to wear a shirt, shorts and shoes as opposed to running in the freezing months from November to April where, like this morning, I'm wearing base layers, jackets, gloves, hats, then getting back and standing in a hot shower hoping to get the feeling back in my extremities! And during these ugly months, I am on the treadmill every morning. Up until Netflix, I was renting movies or watching the same ones over and over to keep my sanity as I run in the garage! I can quote A Knight's Tale word for word. I even watched Rudolph last year! The humanity! My daughter had talked so much about Psych I decided to rent the seasons from the Orem Library. Yeah, ever used DVDs from the library? Scratches, skips, freezes... ugh. I readily admit I am not a patient man and that about sent me over the edge. So Netflix was a blessed relief! Every runner has their favorite shoes. Mine are Pearl Izumi, though over the past 7 years they have made yearly changes which I think are ruining their shoes! Anyway, they seem to be the best fit for my Flintstone feet and I like how many miles I can usually get out of a pair- roughly 500. I bought some Asic's a few years ago and it's the only time I got blisters! What's nice is that up at Park City they have the Pearl Izumi Outlet, so I buy a couple pairs at a time and still save a couple hundred bucks. I miss having Jayton here because running by yourself kind of blows. We would tend to push each other and there was even some competitiveness every July 4th at the Freedom Run 10K. (He didn't want to lose to the old man). However, there are times when it's nice to run by yourself, crank up the music and be in your own zone. The funny thing is I can't NOT try running hard... people say to throttle it back and have an "easy" run. Yeah, I can't do that! Psycho? Yes. And that leads me to some of my favorite songs to run to- Boston's Walk On part 2, Joe Satriani's Andalusia live, Pete Townsend's Gonna Get Ya, April Wine's High Roller, Pat Traver's Boom Boom Out Go The Lights, Sammy Hagar's Heavy Metal, and the list can go on and on... Well, that's probably enough for now. I'll just end with saying that running has probably been the best thing for my psycho Snyder anxiety levels. If you're a freak like me, it really helps!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

That's a Wrap!

My goal was to blog a bit more, yeah, I kinda suck at it!

So here is the last half of the year and what took place. Teresa started the Accounting Program at BYU. Needless to say, we weren't hanging out much together at nights. Heavens, she was slammed with homework, group projects, tests, and the never ending pages of textbooks to read! Kind of fun to see it on the other end (I did the EMBA a few years ago). I would chuckle at how on Sunday nights she would start getting all antsy and stressed for the upcoming week of schoolwork. BUT... she rocked it and got phenomenal grades in her classes! I knew she would; she is brilliant.

Madalyn started junior high, which freaks me out a bit- she's my little girlie getting all grown up! Hard to believe. She's 12, in Young Women's, went to Girl's Camp. Just as long as there are no boys in the picture, I think I'm okay.
Abby is driving. Now that seems scary! I will always think of Abby as 10 years old. I'm sure she'd be happy to hear me say that. But she has ditched the glasses for contacts and is looking like a babe!
Chelsea is a Math major at BYU. She and her sister both work at the Print & Mail Department with their dad! It is so fun to see them in the bindery. We have had Chelsea stay with us during the Thanksgiving break and she has been here during Christmas, too. She is a funny girl, but stays out waaaaay too late! Get to bed!!! Why doesn't anyone believe me when I say if you go to bed earlier, get up earlier, that you'll feel better? Blimey, I guess I will always be background noise to some. Oh well.
So Chantel just finished up and is done with college. She will have to do the Graduation thing in Spring. Broadcast Journalism. It has been so fun to watch her do the weather on channel 11. AND, she is pregnant and due in March. Way to go, turning us into grandparents!
Austin is trying to decide what he wants to be when he grows up. He did run with us at Ragnar. I'll say more in a second.

In September I was able to attend a big print show in Chicago with a big group from work. That was my first time in Chicago. I really liked downtown Chicago. Surprisingly clean, as compared to Manhattan. We had perfect weather, too. We were taken out by some vendors and ate at some really nice places. I did have lobster for the first, and last time. I still can't figure out the big deal with lobster. Jeeze, just gimme a steak! Anyway, it was a pretty cool experience. I was roaming around alone one night taking pictures when suddenly I thought to myself, Snyd's, you're all alone at night, if you disappeared, no one would ever know! And, it is Mafia Central. So I called it a night and went up to my room. Fun trip. I was able to bring home some HUGE posters for my girls.

I reached a huge goal for myself this year- I read 7 books! You gotta understand, I don't ever just sit down and read! I would rather draw. One of the problems of not getting through a book is that I usually start reading a non-fiction book and after a while, i just can't take it anymore. So I borrowed the Hunger Games books from my neighbor, Laurie. It was so fun to be involved and rip through a book! I got done with those three and read a few more. WHo knows, I might even try and read 10 books in 2012.

In October we ran the Las Vegas Ragnar Relay Race. Austin ran with us, and so did Matt's sister-in-law, Stephanie. Kinda felt a little bad for her- she's the only girl stuck in a van full of stinky dudes. We spent the night in St. George at Austin's parent's house. I didn't even want to say anything around them for fear of sounding like an idiot (I think I said too much during the wedding). We got up early and headed out to Lake Mead. I ran into Janell from high school She was shocked that I recognized her. Well, she added me as a friend on Facebook a long time ago and I see her updates occasionally. She said Oh my gosh a couple times and walked away. Hmm, oh well. Anyway, Stephanie was runner 1 and I was runner 2. My first run was close to 8 miles. Matt took a cool picture of me with the rocks in the background. We had a fun time with our first go around. We swapped Dan for Jeff, who had flown in from Nashville! I don't think his wife was too happy about that, but, as we have learned, Ragnar Ruins Families!
We hung out at the Lowes Resort again, even in a cabana! My second run was just as it started getting dark. It was a 3.5 miler, but went up and down little hills. Austin had a fast 5 miler for his second run. We finished up that leg at the Gold Strike Casino and slept for just a few hours. The other van got there at around 2, so they called and woke us up at 1:30 am. I went to wake up Austin and wasn't sure it was him- he had his head in the sleeping bag, it was dark and the funky parking lot lights don't do a whole lot to help you make out colors! It was funny that he, Carl and I walked over to the casino and all used the bathrooms at the same time. Warm, friendly, and smelled like cigarettes!
So my las run was at 3 am. 4 miles straight uphill then 3 straight down! It was hectic. As I was running up Carl leans out of the van and shouts It's just around the bend! Yeah, 2 miles around the bend. Holy cow. It was a hectic run. I got passed going uphill by some old dude! Man, made me feel like a slacker. I had to walk once or twice, too. But those 3 miles downhill, I was flying and passed a bunch of people. Carl had to run in the dirt that I had last year, but this year it was dry and there was dust everywhere! Austin did the last leg and was having some major leg pains. It was nice to be done, though. We cruised into Vegas and ate at IHOP.
We ran to the finish and picked up our medals. We got the Saints & Sinners medal because we ran the Wasatch Back race this year, too. But, and I didn't notice until my wife said Why does yours say Pennsylvania? that somehow I didn't get a Las Vegas medal, but a Pennsylvania medal! Classic.

Carl, his son Michael, and I went to California to visit my Aunt June and to see my cousins Debi, Jeanine, and their families. We also went to a 49er game. Debi's daughter is a cheerleader for the Niners, so we got some free passes. Carl had some business in San Francisco, so while he was doing that, Michael and I went to the Castro District, to Safeway, and hit the Nut Bar! I love the maple almonds. Beautiful. We cruised around, walked around Fisherman's Wharf, etc. Lots of fun.
We met up with the family at Cicero's Pizza. I haven't seen my cousins since 1985! It was a lot of fun. We had some delicious pizza, laughed, then went back to my Aunt June's house. I brought a bunch of old photos with me. Jeanine has done a lot of genealogy, but had never seen the pictures of all these old ancestors. We spent a couple hours looking through them all, laughing and having a great time. It was so awesome to reconnect with them after so many years. And I am excited to look through all the genealogy that Jeanine has uncovered. Carl is lucky with his traveling- he gets to visit them often.

We went to Santa Cruz and went on the Giant Dipper. I haven't done that in years! Beautiful weather and big waves. We went to dinner with Matt Kakaio and Lalani Nailau. We ended up at Chevy's and hung out for a couple of hours, telling stories. It was a lot of fun. I told Lalani of my first experience with her was when she ripped me a knew one for making, what I thought, was a harmless comment about why her friend who wasn't at school that day. (How was I supposed to know she had cancer?) Matt & Lalani are quite the couple and it is real cool to see Matt look so happy. We hope they can make it out this way sometime.

Of course we did the Turkey Trot 4 mile run on Thanksgiving morning. The weather was soooo much better than last year, by 35 degrees! Carl and I had signed up and had the shoe chip to record our time. Austin was there to just run. When we started, some older dude fell and it was a big pile up! I felt bad for him. Anyway, the run went real well and I posted my best time of 26:58. I was pretty happy about it.
The bad part of Thanksgiving was the 49ers playing the Ravens at night. Kind of ruined the fun of the day.

Christmas time was a bit weird this year. Teresa was so busy with school, finals, etc, that we didn't get much decorating done. I put up the tree the day after Thanksgiving and got the lights up on the house, but Madalyn and I kept saying, It just doesn't feel like Christmas, which it really never did. You know, I think we forever try to get back to feeling like we did when we were kids; trying to capture the nostalgia feeling. I don't think it really can happen again, so you gotta create the nostalgia for your own kids, the stuff they will remember and tell their children. We went to Carl's for Christmas Eve and had a lot of fun & delicious finger foods. I think only Teresa and I ate the stuffed mushrooms that she made. Man, everyone missed out! They were awesome! Bacon-wrapped Lil' Smokies, too. Serena made some spicy dip (jalepeno's in it!) that was real hot, but so yummy, you couldn't stop eating it! I made Carl a Ragnar calendar that turned out pretty nice.
We were going to wait until after church to open gifts on Christmas morning, but Madalyn would have none of that! She woke everyone up at 7:45. I had already showered, you know, go to bed early, wake up early, the way God meant it to be! (D&C 88:124). We had a real fun time opening gifts and everyone was real happy. Chantel & Austin were down in St. George.
Anyway, the tree is down, and so are all the lights and stuff, and here we are waiting for the New Year.
I just hope that we end up with a new president of the USA. I don't believe in the direction the president has led us in. To me I feel we have lost the feeling that America is a special place. If you don't believe it is, go live out of the country and see what you think. I remember when Reagan got elected, it was like we were proud to be Americans again, after the Carter fiasco.

So, onward and upward and God bless us, everyone!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

God Bless America...

You know, I kept saying, "We're gonna wake up and it will be 95 degrees!" and it happened! The weather has been sooo blasted cold and awful forever, it seemed as though summer would never arrive. Snowbird had people skiing on July 4th!!

So I asked the family if anyone wanted to go see the hot air balloons on Saturday. Everyone was in, but they all wanted to sleep as much as possible, so I didn't insist on being there at 6:30. We all got there around 7 and the balloons had all taken off! We did get to hang out next to the Coke ballon. It was funny watching the Darth Vader balloon come peering over the bushes now and again. Stupid Anikan! How could he have given in to the dark side so easily?! You big wuss! They were cranking up the music pretty loud, and I managed to get a shot of the girls doing the ski dance!

We decided to head over to Macey's for the French Toast breakfast. Jenny and her friend showed up as we were waiting in line. You know, nothing like free food to bring out all the "interesting" people. The French toast was awesome and the syrup is outstanding! I know Jayton Wakefield will debate about the Magleby's syrup. They are both delicious in their own way. Regardless, I want to drink them both! We had fun and laughed a lot. We tried to ignore Jenny's New York Yankees hat, but she is living out in New Jersey and is in New York all the time. Still, the Yankees?! Ugh.

Chelsea, Abby, Madalyn and I decided to check out the Freedom Festival and walk through the carnival. Now there's an event that brings out the dregs! Oye! And of course it was 500 degrees out. We walked around for a bit and noticed it was pretty crappy this year. Mostly just food vendors, and I had just had lunch before we went! My girlies were all beat red by the time we got back into the car. I pulled into 7 Eleven and got them all a Slurpee.

The Stadium of Fire was going on, so Madalyn and I drove down State Street and parked on the side of the road and waited. Brad Paisley was finishing up. Finally the fireworks started. We had a pretty sweet view! When it was done we were able to book it on out of there and were home in about 3 minutes.

Sunday, after church and fasting, we had a delicious dinner. Teresa and Madalyn made cake balls. Holy cow they were good! And after fasting, I lose my senses a bit and eat way too much. Brad and Andrea Frandsen stopped over and had some, too. They hung out and we laughed. We love the Frandsen's.

ANyway, Monday morning Austin and I were running the 10K. We didn't sign up this year- we just wore our Ragnar bibs. I walked outside and it was 77 degrees and super humid! I picked up Austin and we were unable to drive on 900 East, so we were speeding around the back side of the temple, trying to find Kiawanis Park. We finally got there and ran over to the starting line. They moved the 10K starting line east of where it used to be. We seriously had about a minute and they started the race. Austin and I stayed together for the first couple miles. He stopped at the water station and I kept going. I was able to grab a water later on. It was really hot and sweaty out. It is always fun to run along the parade route and have everyone yelling and cheering. I didn't see anyone I knew. This year they had us go up Center Street and all the way around the Mental Hospital! Ugh! More uphill. That turn onto 9th East for the last mile is a killer! It's all uphill. I kept churning and running. There was no sprint in me to get to the end. It was weird; I wasn't mentally in to this run at all. After the Ragnar, I was kind of in a no-intensity mode. Oh well. I had my unofficial time of 45:53. Austin came in a few minutes later. We were both dying from the humidity. Plus, we had a hard time trying to make it through all the people to get a drink. And one tiny cup.

We all went to Carl's for dinner and fireworks. Dinner was awesome. Burgers and dogs, guacamole, corn, fruit, brownies. I was bloated. We played a fun game of Croquet on the back lawn. It came down to me versus Austin & Marissa. They eventually won. Lance Phillips came over with his daughter Kiley. I haven't seen Lance in a long while. He and I did a ton of stuff together back, oh, 30 years ago! We used to go surfing all the time, hang out and do whatever. He was an official brother in our family. The fireworks were crazy this year with the new ariels they were selling! If you were a vet, you probably went into flashback mode. Carl's neighbor put these "seal bombs" into a watermelon! Holy cow! It was everywhere!

Anyway, it was a very fun few days. I have come to the conclusion that I prefer Monday holidays better than Friday holidays. It's great to have a day after Sunday to hang out and it also makes the rest of the work week go pretty quick.

But the best thing of the 3-day weekend is that I beat my son-in-law in the race... again! (I say that with love, because at the rate I'm aging, I only have a year or two left where I can!)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

RAGNAR Wasatch Back Run! and run... and run!

So I ran the Ragnar on June 17-18th. I drove to Carl's house in Lehi, Brad Shafer came by with the rented Chrysler Mini Van. Chuckle and laugh, but it actually worked out waaaaaayyy better than an SUV! We got the shell put on the top, loaded our gear and drove up to Olympus Cove to meet up with the rest of our team. We had to drive out to Eden. We went through the Ogden canyon. Man, the rivers are running real high! Of course we get behind some dude pulling a load of mulch and going 15 MPH.

We finally arrived and were heading over to the orientation area. As we were crossing the street one of the volunteers starts yelling at us because we weren't crossing with our flags. We didn't have them yet, and were actually picking them up, but he said we should be using them... I don't know, chicken and the egg thing!?!?!

We met up with Van 1 from our team, (we were named Hot 'n Runny) and waited for April, their last runner, to arrive. The whole valley of Eden is really beautiful. Anyway, she arrived and slapped the bracelet onto Sean, and he was off and running. April looked pretty hammered, and actually didn't run again; she got sick and later had her husband come pick her up.

So we drove up to the next exchange and waited. Sean came in and handed off to Matt, who had a quick 3 or so miler. Jeff was next and had a 3 miler, too. While we were waiting for him, one of the volunteers said there were only 29 teams left behind us! Our team officially started at 2 pm. It was getting dark and a bit cold! We went up to the next exchange and I got ready to roll.

I wore my reflector vest and Matt's headlamp. You know, putting on someone else's sweaty head lamp is a bit nasty, but eventually we were all pretty sweaty. So jeff slapped the bracelet on me and I was off. I had my RunKeeper app going. It notifies me every 5 minutes and at every mile. I was totally shocked when the voice came across my headphones telling me I was on a 6:41 mile pace! It was dark now, and I couldn't see where the heck I was supposed to be running. The markers are barely blinking and the volunteers are just standing there. I had to yell "Which way?!?!" to which they just point. I ended up on a road that people were driving pretty fast. I just kept hoping that they saw my vest and headlamp. So I ended running four miles at a 6:50 mile pace. I was shocked. I guess the adrenaline kicked in.

You gotta love being all hot and sweaty and even a bit gooey, then climbing into a van! Brad took the next run, which was straight uphill. He burned it up and did real well. Brad had surgery on his abdomen back in April and hasn't been able to eat a lot. In fact he has been losing lots of weight, so he wasn't sure how much he could run. It was getting pretty brisk and windy. Carl took off after Brad and had a long run that ended at Earl's Lodge at Snowbasin ski resort. We had to laugh because at every exchange, they were taking everything down. No difference here. We met up with Van 1 again. That's where we found out April was done. Dan had tagged along with them, not planning on running (he said he was too fat. Yeah right!) So he took over for her. We were able to use the bathrooms at the lodge before they closed it up. And we were able to get some nasty tasting free drinks from a vendor.

Carl came in, handed off, and we went to Morgan High School to get some sleep. We arrived there around 12:30 am. Brad and Matt decided to sleep outside, the rest of us slept in the gym on the wrestling mats. When we got there, there were lots of vehicles all over, and 50-60 people in there sleeping. Jeff and I stopped by the bathroom. He pulls out his toothbrush and toothpaste. He got about 3 strokes done when he dropped his toothbrush onto the floor. He swore and chucked it into the trash! I offered him mine, after I used it, but he declined. I didn't really get too much sleep; I would doze for 15 or so minutes at a time. I got up at 3:30 to use the bathroom. When I came back in, our dudes were the only ones there and were up and packing. The old man that was helping said he was going to come and wake us up because everyone was gone. He said they were waiting on one final female runner!

We got outside to find we were the only vehicle in the lot! All the Ragnar stuff was stacked up and ready to go. We booked it to the next exchange at East Canyon State Park. It was dark and in the mid 30's outside. Sean took the bracelet and was off. He had a short run and handed off to Matt. He had a long 7 miler to Hennefer. When he got done, he had frost on his gloves! Jeff took off for a grueling 10 miler along Echo Reservoir. We drove up to the next exchange (there was no van support for him on his run) at Coalville. Carl, Sean and Brad got the pancake breakfast there at the school. They were charging to use the bathrooms! The Honey Buckets outside get SUPER NASTY, especially when thousands of people have already used them!

Jeff made it in and I took off. I ran about 1/4 mile down a road then onto a dirt path! No van support, but they had some Gatorade stations. You know, it is utterly impossible for me to try and drink while I am moving! I ended up with a big slash up my nose and down my shirt! I had a long 8 mile run that was on an uphill grade. I did pass 10 people, though. Chantel and Austin were working as volunteers at the exchange there in Wanship. It was good to see them. Too bad it smelled like there were dead animals in the bushes! And the aroma of the Honey Buckets. Mmm mmm.

Brad got to run along Rockport Lake for a 5 miler. By the time he was done, he was done running the race. We had told Austin he might have to step in and help. Carl took off on a 7 mile run into Oakley. We got some cool pictures of him by a big red barn. Some runner that passed Carl stopped a couple times and looked like he barfed both times. His van would give him some water and he would take off again! Van 1 was there waiting for us in Oakley. We made the exchange and took off to Deer Valley to Jeff's dad's huge big house!

Jeff told us we could each use one of the 5 showers downstairs. Five showers on one floor?! Holy dooley! I was wasn't planning on showering since I still had my worst run waiting, but I got in and man, it felt real nice! We hung out for a while. Carl and Brad played shuffleboard on a miniature set. There were big flatscreen TVs in every bedroom, along with satellite TV. We got a call that Van 1's runner was starting his last leg, so we packed it up and headed to Heber to make the exchange. Well, we get there only to find out that the runner had just started leg 4! So we hung out with Chantel and Austin, who was ready to run for Brad. As we sat on the blanket with them, Brad says "We left Paradise for this?!" Classic. I passed by the Honey Buckets to see a huge tanker truck and a dude with a big hose sucking up each unit. I looked at a dude standing next to me and said, "You know, whenever you think you have a bad job, you could be sucking poo!"

They finally showed up and Austin took off. In our van someone asked if he's going to need water, to which the reply was, "Aw, he's young and it's only four miles", so we didn't stop and offer. He ran into Charleston, hands off to Matt and promptly says "Don't you believe in water support?!" We all felt bad.

Matt ran up to Midway and handed to Jeff, who had 3 miles of the Ragnar Hill. Brutal! Jeff flew in from Tennessee to run with us, so he's already having altitude issues. I was feeling bad for him. He had one of the funniest statements of the whole adventure later when he said "I think I caused irreparable damage to my heart!" We laughed because Carl's wife, Ivette, made a comment that Ragnar ruins families. We were afraid we were going to have to make a phone call to Jeff's wife that he'd died! As we were driving next to Jeff, Brad looks at me and says, "You know, yours is steeper."

I got ready and took the handoff from Jeff. Austin had said a while ago that there is no shame in walking on the hill. I thought I could make it without walking. I ran for a bit over 1/2 a mile when I thought my heart was going to explode! I had to walk. Ugh. I felt like a failure and wanted to pull my shorts down around my ankles. I couldn't believe how steep the hill was! Brad came out a couple times with water. I did pass a number of people, though. You know it's bad when we went from dirt to a few feet of snow! Brad came out and told me I needed to pass some buff dude who was running without his shirt on who was asking how far back the next runner was. They were going to take a photo of the dudes face as I passed him, but just as I got there, I had to walk. I didn't know that was their plan, or I would have done better. When I did pass him, I made a comment like What were we thinking? to which he made some macho dude man statement. Teresa would be upset, but I rolled my eyes. The hard person to catch was this girl in pink shorts, who was pretty good at hocking loogies! I pushed and kept churning and finally passed her. I had to walk, and for a while we would go back and forth. I finally passed her for good and was extremely happy to be done with the most hellish 4 miles I have ever run!

Sean wanted the long downhill run into Park City, so he traded with Brad, (who had Austin run... you know already). I felt like a sack of goo. We got down to the last exchange and waited. When Sean was coming in, Carl pulls out his Nacho Libre mask! Classic. He only wore it for a minute. Anyway, Carl's run was a long 7 miles that wound around Park City. While he was running the rest of us went up to the Red Banjo Pizza restaurant on Main Street. Pizza never tasted so good! Jeff told us stories about being on the city council and some lawsuits, etc.

We went to the Park City High School and waited for Carl to come in. They had all kinds of tents and stuff set up. Carl came and the 6 of us ran through the finish line. Our time was 30:24. Ugh. We got our medals and shirts, etc. and packed up and headed out!

It was a lot of fun and real hectic, too. It is a great experience to hang out with the dudes in the van for that long, too. Kind of a weird bonding experience, but something that we'll have forever. And you know, I hope we are up for the Las Vegas run again!

Friday, May 13, 2011


So apparently Chelsea had chosen a trip to Hawaii for a high school graduation gift. What the crap? Back in my day I didn't go on any kind of graduation trip! I don't even think there was a gift of any sorts. But then again, my high school career wasn't what you'd call stellar, so I probably didn't deserve much, and that's pretty much what I got.

Anyway, we also decided to celebrate Chelsea's first year of college being done, her 19th birthday, Teresa's first year of college being done, as well as her being accepted into the Accounting Program. I was obviously the tag-along slacker with nothing but my charm and wit.

We flew out by way of Seattle. Now that is a grungy airport. (They did Cobain proud!). On the flight to Hawaii, there was a baby that SCREAMED, not just cried, but screamed for 5 of the 6 hours! We also flew right into a huge lightning storm. Chelsea was freaking out that the plane was going to get hit and go down.

We landed, got our bags and picked up a rental car and drove to Kailua to a rental property. It was 10:00 pm local time when we finally got there, so I was feeling the 2:00 AM time and couldn't even think coherently! (You know me, if it's past 9:30 pm, I'm trying to get into bed)

And I woke up at 2 am local time, wide awake, laid around and finally got up around 4. Once we were all up, we went down to Kailua Bay and walked around for a bit on the beach. We decided to go to the North Shore. We kept laughing because it was so early! We kept saying to Chelsea, "You're in Hawaii!" She was soooo happy.

It was fun to stop in at the Kahuku Grill for some delicious Teriyaki Chicken, and head up to Sunset beach. Chelsea and I did a bit of snorkeling at Three Tables. She was having a tough time with the fins and didn't believe me that she just needed to turn around and walk backwards! We cruised around a bit checking out the fish and such. The currents are pretty strong right there, so we bailed out, but not before Chelsea was on her bum getting nailed by waves shooting sand everywhere! She looked like she was wearing a loaded Depends! We stopped at Ted's Bakery for some desserts, too.

We had shaved ice at Aoki's, which is right next to Matsu Moto's, and from what we understand, no different. I had the ice cream and the sweet beans in mine. Yummy! And who doesn't want more fiber?!?!

When we went to Waikiki, we parked at the very end and went into the nasty public bathrooms to change. Oye! I had some homeless dude ask me, "Hey, uncle, go buy me a Subway sandwich..." Uh, no thanks. He followed me into the bathroom and I thought for sure I was going to get mugged!

It was pretty surreal being at Waikiki Beach; I've seen it in pictures and movies and tv shows, but to actually be there was weird! We got a photo next to the Duke, and went out with some Boogie Boards. It was great. A few days later we rented surfboards there and Chelsea learned to surf! It was awesome! I've never been on a longboard, so I didn't know how she should be positioned on the board. There was a surf instructor out there teaching a guy named Mark how to surf. So I saw how he had Mark and got Chelsea in the right place. The instructor was a crack up- he kept yelling, "Mark! Paddle like you want it!" and "Stand up!!!" We surfed for a couple hours and had a blast. Too bad we live in Utah, because I believe now that Chelsea has tasted the joy of surfing, she would be doing it all the time!

We went to the Dole Pineapple Plantation. Cool to see how pineapples grow, but that place is a tourist trap rip-off! And they have this pond thing where you can feed the fish. Ugh, what looks like a couple hundred koi fish going nuts trying to suck up all the food that people were dropping in. Nightmare in the making!

We drove the Pali Highway and went to the lookout place up at the pass. Super windy! But breathtaking views! And what's up with all the chickens and roosters running wild everywhere?

We went to La'ie, drove around BYU Hawaii, then went to the temple and into the Visitor's Center. That was cool. The plan was to go to the Polynesian Culture Center, but it started to rain, real hard, and the wind was blowing hard, too. We parked, went in, and decided to bail. Good thing- it never let up and would have been miserable. But we did get the BEST shave ice of the trip at Angel's. Ice cream in the bottom, then they drizzled sweetened condensed milk all up and down it and whipped cream on the top. Oh baby!

Chelsea and I also did some snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. Kind of a rip-off to get in! $7.50 per person. We had fun checking out all the fish and trying not to get stuck in the coral. We stopped one time so I could clean my mask. I look at Chelsea and she is just treading water like crazy. I started laughing and said, "Stand up!" The water was only up to her chest. She cracked up.

So I went to Agnes' Portuguese Bakery one morning to get us their malassadas (Portuguese donuts), along with a Long John and a Chocolate Pocket. Holy cow! Phenomenal! We ate there a couple more times. I haven't eaten donuts in years, but they were so yummy, I couldn't not eat them! Plus, Teresa kept saying, "You're on vacation! It doesn't count!"

I ran a couple times right on the beach. That's a workout to do 5 miles in the sand! The other times I ran I did it on the streets. It was really nice to not be freezing while I ran!

We went to Peal Harbor. It was very interesting. I don't recall learning about how the Japanese took out so many airfields all over the island. The thing that was kind of weird was there were tons of Japanese tourists there. I just kept wondering what they thought about the whole thing. Oh well. When we were taking the boat to the USS Arizona, I commented to Teresa that the water looked pretty mucky. The Naval Officer out on the Memorial said that in the 45 years he's been there, the weather has never been this wet. He said it's usually like standing on a piece of glass there, but we could barely see 5 feet down! Shrug. He explained about how much oil they estimate is still down there and how much comes up a day (3-4 quarts). They figure at this rate it will take a couple hundred years for it to all come up. Crazy.

It was sad to leave. We had a great tome and it was real fun to do so many things with Chelsea. The flight left at 10:00 pm. Holy cow, who designed airplane seats? Obviously they never tried to sleep in them. Brutal. We had a layover in Seattle then went to Portland and hung out with Teresa's folks for a few hours. We stopped at VooDoo Donuts for the other girls. Marilyn made a yummy lunch/dinner for us. Teresa and Chelsea both took showers. I figured I'm greasy and have to get back on the plane. Heck, I'll just save my grease until the next morning.

So, we had a blast and will always be thinking of how we can get back. Chelsea and I will be thinking about trips to the coast and renting some boards!

Friday, April 22, 2011

I'm Bloated!

The Wakefield's came up for a visit this last week. It's been great to hang out and be around them again. And I've eaten an enormous amount of food since they've been here! Jayton and I went to the temple on Friday morning (I took a little time off of work). After that we went for a run up in Cedar Hills. I took a couple weeks off of running due to a nagging neck/back/shoulder injury (I think I will forever be susceptible to injuries due to the bike accident). We ran by the golf course, down a huge hill, which meant we had to run back up it!! Ugh. Man, my legs were hurting bad. We decided we would all meet up later.

I took Abby out for lunch at The Italian Place. I love the steak and everything sandwiches. Love them. Not just a liking or partiality, but true love. I want to carry a picture of a sandwich in my wallet type love. We split a bag of salt & vinegar chips and had a cherry Coke. We hung out, went to the Hobby Lobby and had a fun time. Abby rocks.

Well, we did all meet up at Brick Oven for dinner. The Grover's, Frandsen's, Wakefield's, and even the Hanks' came along (you know, my daughter and son-in-law). We had a great time, laughed, were loud and finally left and drove back here to our place. I drove with Brad because my little wife had to stay on campus for a test review. Finals, you know. Anyway, Brad and I started laughing at the restaurant @ 12, that's the name of the place. Chinese take out. So, what, you start throwing up @ 12? That led to other topics and finally to a discussion of how when I was about 12 and came to the realization that Loni Anderson uses the bathroom?!?! And then Brad says "Yeah, Loni's probably had to light a match a time or two." We started laughing so hard we had tears. Classic.

Teresa took her Calculus final on Saturday, and just as I thought, she got a 90! She is awesome. I am so proud of her for doing the math thing. It has been a hectic semester for her and there has been a lot of stress around the home front, but understandably so. She has also been taking an economics class. Good stuff.

Jayton and I ran around the streets here in Orem on Saturday. He always says I am trying to kill him, but my legs were extremely sore and I could barely run.

So we ate out again at Macaroni Grill. That is where the photo is from. One thing that really stinks about the Droid phone is the camera is a big piece of crap and takes terrible photos, especially in low lighting. Anyway, one thing I don't understand about the Macaroni Grill... the are always soooooo SLOW!!! Good grief, there was three other groups of people there, and it took FOREVER to get anything! Heavens. We thought about walking out a few times because we couldn't find our waiter. The food, and especially the bread (and dipping it in the olive oil and balsamic vinegar) is delicious. Teresa and I split a dish. It was real fun to just hang out again and laugh. Teresa and Beth both got the lemon cream cake. Yummy, and I'm not a lemon cake fan- hard to believe, I know.

We did eat Cafe Rio the next night. We all got our food then came over here to eat. It was rowdy and fun. Chelsea is done with school and has moved back home, so her stuff was all over the front room. Teresa, Madalyn and I all shared a chili roast salad. Chelsea helped Beth with hers. I even had some of Oliver's black bean. Yummy. Man, my cholesterol is going to shoot up! Good thing I started running again to try and offset the calories.

Today for work we went to a meeting up in Salt Lake City, at Sizzler. Salad bar, lots of fruit. But I did have a couple skewers of the shrimp. And then there was tonight- we went to Sakura so they could all eat sushi. Teresa ordered the chicken teriyaki and I just got a bowl of fried rice. Well, the Frandsen's and Wakefield's all ate their sushi and we waited and waited for our food. When it came, the rice was super shiny and extremely oily, and Teresa's chicken was waaaaay over cooked and dry and nasty. Our waiter just says, Sorry. So we spoke to the owner. Needless to say, we are never going back there, ever. Osaka is our Japanese food destination.

We went to Farr's for them to all eat ice cream. I just had a few samples. Holy cow, good stuff. I want to bring a Dixie Cup with me and when they ask if I want a sample cup I can pull out my cup and say "Got one!"

So, the Wakefield's are on their way home, and we miss them already. Stupid Wakefield's. Jeeze, why did they have to move? We hope Jayton can buy a business around here. Oh well.

And there you have it. Bloated! You know, I mowed the lawn for the first time last week. I'm not excited about that weekly ritual. It is still quite cool and real wet. I hate this time of year because I am ready for it to be nice and warm, but not in Utah, nooo.
And where the heck did all the dandelions come from? Good heavens!!

And why is gas so expensive? Back a couple years ago we hit the high prices when barrels of oil hit $!40, so why are we paying even more when barrels are only $112? So what does Obama do? He's going to get a committee to check it out. What?! Here, I'll help... LET US GET OUR OWN OIL!

Okay, well, the Giants are generally do pretty good so far. Blew the first few games, but I think they needed to shake off the World Series hangover. LA Dodger fans showed how awesome they are by putting an innocent Giants fan in the hospital with brain damage. Quality LA fans.

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It Was Work!

So I was able to go to a conference down in Palm Desert, CA last week for work. We stayed in the J W Marriott resort. Holy Dooley that place is huge and awesome! Four pools and three jacuzzi's, and, yes, I jumped in all of them! I flew down with a co-worker and was freaked out to see what seemed to be countless golf courses surrounded by homes! Lots of pools, too. I was excited to get off the plane and step into the 86 degree warmth. We met up with another co-worker who had taken his whole family on a vacation.

Monday morning around 6:20 I went for a 5 mile run. Perfect 65 degree weather and a beautiful pink sky! The conference was really good, too! The first keynote speaker was an economics professor from New Mexico State University. He was like Doc Brown from Back To The Future! I don't know if I agreed with all his thoughts, but he was fun. Lots of good discussions and speakers. Crappy lunches, though.

After the conference sessions we hung out at the pools and got some needed sun. Yes, a Utah winter makes one very pasty! We were invited by a vendor to a dinner at another golf resort. We got shuttled over and were taken to the bar. You know, living here in Utah and working at BYU I just don't see a whole lot of drinking going on, but at these events with an open bar, people are just throwing them down! Crazy. But, they had phenomenal hors devours! We adjourned to a room for a beautiful steak and fish dinner. I hate fish, so the steak was what I ate. And can someone please tell me why asparagus affects the urinary track with that smell?!?!?! Oye!

Another early morning run on Tuesday. It's been a long while since I have sweat while running in the morning outside! Lovely.
We had another economist speak, but this one was more realistic on what's taking place in the economy. Fun topics and speakers, another subpar lunch, but more pool time! We also had a big conference banquet. Holy cow, people were getting hammered.

The best part of the dinner was this luscious dessert! Chocolatey and rich. Ed ate two of them! Anyway, pretty sweet gig. I had a blast and it was so nice to be in the warm weather.

The cab driver sure took the long way to the Palm Springs airport!

And I must say, I have seen enough old, leathery, wrinkled skin to last a lifetime!

Of course when we landed in Utah, it was cold, rainy and windy. Welcome home. March and April are tough months for me; I am programmed for Spring being nice and temperatures going up. Here you get snow into April. I think it snowed last May. Ugh. Anyway, it really was a work trip. I could handle those more often.