Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bars, Dogs, and Baseball

Sorry to all six of you "followers" out there (Hi Mom!) for being MIA for the last week or so. I will try and do better. I'd hate to keep everyone on the edge of their seats for too long. I know you are anxiously awaiting my next post on a random piece of orange furniture, large weeds I find, or the fact that I now run like a lifelong smoker. (That's getting better by the way! I made it two miles yesterday and only stopped at a few stoplights <-- for me this equals MAJOR PROGRESS, don't judge.)

I still don't have my camera cord (mail the package already Mom) so no pictures of the house, but I do have this awesome picture that I took when we went out for drinks with some friends last Friday.

It's not the best picture quality and doesn't begin to do the scenery justice but you kinda get the picture.
Colorado is so beautiful, I can't wait to get out and explore those mountains! I am hoping to get out and hike a little this weekend. Ion has been a bit of a downer lately and can't go out and play with me. It's not his fault though, he's studying for the bar. I'm very proud of his work ethic and I try to help by making coffee and staying out of the way. Needless to say though, I'll be happy when August is here and bar studying is over for a little while. Or at least until he starts studying for the Colorado bar...

It'll be ok though because my cousin Kenny is coming on Saturday to stay for awhile until he gets a job and a place here! So Kenny will hike with me and help me find a bike....I cannot wait to get my first paycheck so I can finally get a new/new to me from craigslist bike. (I had to leave my bike in DC, where it's in good hands but I do miss it.)

Ok so back to the title of this post, I have come the closest I'll ever be to becoming a (South) Carolina fan this week. We were walking to the grocery store a fews days after we got to Denver which is only about 8 blocks away and were surprised to see a USC Baseball flag outside of a bar near the store. I mean, it's not like CO and SC are close on the map so we weren't expecting a big fan base out here for either of our teams. Boy were we surprised!

Since South Carolina was playing in the College World Series and we don't have cable/TV at all, (we have Netflix and figured that could do us until football season when we will get everything set up) we decided we would venture to the bar we passed and watch the game on Monday night. There was a pretty good crowd of USC fans there and the bar was fantastic! Not fantastic in a fancy sense though, which really isn't our style anyway. This place is the perfect dive bar and I was in love (and able to ignore all the chanting of GAME....COCKS...) for the following reasons:
  • Drink specials during the game included $2 bud lights (eh.) and $3 Sweet Tea Vodka drinks (Whaaaaaaaa?! To think, I stocked up on STV because I wasn't sure I'd be able to get it here. And it was cheap. And it automatically came in a tall glass, just the way I like it with water and lemon...Mmmmm).
  • They allow dogs inside. There were quite a few cuties there on Monday and so we brought Juneau with us Tuesday for the second game. Awesome.
  • They don't serve food so they "encourage" you to bring food in. We saw someone order a pizza and the delivery guy came in and brought it to the table. It reminded me of ordering Beezer's to the 4th floor of the library at Clemson. (Side Note: I think Beezer's is gross but you take what you can get at 3:00am during an all night study session.)
  • The people, bartenders included, were all so nice and friendly.
  • It's walking distance from our house.
And for your viewing pleasure Juneau living the good life at Don's....

She likes Durham, a lot, mostly because he fed her BBQ and gave her all the treats that I brought that were supposed to be for bribing/behaving purposes.

Disclaimer: I am not and will not ever be a (South) Carolina fan. But I do support my home state and had a great time watching the game. And this bar is awesome. I went to a Clemson Alumni happy hour last week and it was a blast (that bar was also amazing, just in a different way and I couldn't bring Juneau. But that's another post). Don't worry, I will certainly be wearing orange come football season!

Just so you know, I am well aware that I overuse exclamation marks. But hey, sometimes I'm just excited about stuff and if you know me in real life and aren't just creeping on my blog you'd know that I am pretty excitable. (PS if you're creeping, welcome! Leave a comment so you won't be as much of a creeper and I'll try and post something worth reading from time to time.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"Running with a 200lb Man on Your Chest" or Running in Denver

So I ventured out running again today and there is nothing like a little altitude to give you some perspective on your running ability.

We've been walking a ton since moving in out here but only ran once before today. This is partially because we have been super busy with unpacking and guests and partially because we/me were trying to ease into running at this altitude.

I've been running pretty consistently since training for the Mud Run back in August and was pretty proud of my progress. I wasn't going to run a marathon or anything last week but I could hammer out a few miles and still stand up straight. To me, that's amazing progress considering when I was dancing in high school and in the best shape of my life I could barely make it a mile. Today, however I got a pretty hard reality check. (And so did Juneau.) We made it to mile one and I literally felt like there was a 200lb man sitting on my chest. I managed to run some intervals (as in walking a block, running a block, no fancy sprinting or anything of that nature) on the way home but I got back feeling like I didn't really get a work out, at least that's how I felt after I caught my breath.

One of my new coworkers told me that it takes about three weeks for your body to adjust to the altitude and for running to get easier. Here's hoping! For now I am going to stick to walking/running intervals and then hopefully up it to jogging/running intervals. I'll let you knowwhen it stops feeling like I've been chain smoking for the last 20 years.

Near the end of our walk/running adventure, I found the LARGEST DANDELION EVER! Ok, maybe not the largest, I'll have to reference Guinness for that, but it was much bigger than any South Carolina dandelion we made wishes on when I was a kid. (We also made bracelets out of those yellow flower weeds. Fashionable, I know.) But back to my dandelion, it was seriously huge and reminded me of a truffula tree from my favorite book of all time, The Lorax. Go read it now if you haven't. Seriously an amazing book. I read it to all of my students when I was teaching on the second day of class. Yes, I taught high school. Yes, Dr. Seuss is very relevant in a high school science class. Read the book, you'll see.

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Here is the dandelion i found next to Juneau for size comparison and for some added cuteness.

And here are the truffula trees...

see? Maybe it was the lack of oxygen going to my brain from my run but this was very exciting to me.

And then Juneau promptly destroyed my truffula tree dandelion. Perhaps she thought I was a little too excited about a weed.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Missing Boxes, Vodka Bars, and Solar Powered Unicorns

As we have been unpacking I have noticed that we are missing a few things, some more important than others, like the cord that connects my camera to the computer. This is the reason I haven't shared pictures of our new house, which I love! Mostly because I somehow managed to talked Ion into an orange couch that is pretty much the greatest thing ever. How could you not love a house with an orange couch?! (I know many of you will disagree, Thomas' exact words when they picked up the couch were "It's ugly as sin," but I love it!)

Here is a quick phone picture of Ion and Juneau enjoying the couch to hold you over. And also because I get bored reading blog posts without pictures and I want to you keep reading.

So I promise pictures of the house and couch will come soon. As soon as I find that elusive cord. We are also missing the iron and whatever else was in the box with the iron and camera cord that I haven't needed yet so I don't know that it's missing. How do you lose an entire box? I even remember what it looked like but it is nowhere to be found.

On another more exciting note (although Ion is not finding it very exciting this morning...) there is a vodka bar in Denver. Seriously. There is a whole page long menu of different vodkas that you can order by the shot or in a carafe. Last night we went to dinner and then to the vodka bar with some college friends. It was so much fun to catch up with people we haven't seen in way too long and I'm disappointed that I didn't take any pictures. Although I wouldn't be able to get them off of my camera anyway. Fail. So back to the vodka, we tried the green tea, honey, lychee, and orange flavors. Honey was delicious and orange was gross in case you were wondering.

And as for the unicorns. They apparently exist. But they have two horns, not one. Oh, and they aren't solar powered. :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Road Trip Part 2 or "Why Is There So Much Kansas?"

Day 2, also known as the day we crossed Kansas, began bright and early again at 4:00am (central time in case you were wondering). Here is a picture of Vyonne and I looking oh so lovely as we were about to head out the door. Vyonne is from Kansas and so are our two good friends Nick and Amelia so we dressed appropriately for our trip across the Sunflower (not Sunshine) State and sent them this picture to commemorate the momentous occasion.

The first leg of the trip took us through a national forest, American Indian reservations, and finally Oklahoma in some crazy bad weather. And by crazy I mean we were listening to the radio for tornado warnings and it was pitch black outside. But we made it to Kansas in one piece. And Amanda saw a fox that she was really excited about and Vyonne and I ignored her because sleep = more important than a fox apparently.

Kansas was exciting, for the first few hundred miles. How pretty is that picture?! But it's pretty much flat. And long. This was the most exciting scenery that we encountered in our 8 hour or so Kansas Adventure. Shout out for renewable energy! (Yes, I was a science teacher and I'm cool like that.)

But don't worry, we found many a way to entertain ourselves. Like creative opening of coke bottles. Sometimes you just have to have caffeine and sugar and a pail of fingernail clippers will do in a pinch.

Isn't Juneau such a good sport? Well the nugget, as she is affectionately called, was a good sport all day and Amanda kept us entertained by dressing Juneau up and posing her as a person.
(Side note: she is wearing that shirt because she had a cut, not because I regularly dress up my dog. Although, she does look pretty darn cute!)

Such a good dog.

And then we finally arrived in COLORADO!

Where we stopped and took pictures because a.) we're dorks like that and b.) we were that excited to be out of Kansas (sorry Nick and Amelia!)

Vyonne and I attempted a jumping picture to illustrate our excitement...


However, we quickly realized that eastern Colorado looks a lot like western Kansas. So we continued to entertain ourselves...

We FINALLY arrived at our new house around 5:00 Mountain Time Sunday night.

And the unpacking commenced, more to come on that later...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Road Trip Part 1

Hello from Colorado!

We finally got everything packed and made our two day road trip across the country, it has been a whirlwind week but in the best way possible! There is so much to share but since I have a very limited attention span I won't put everything that has happened in the last week into one gigantic post. So lets start with the road trip adventure....

Packing was nothing short of a MASSIVE CHALLENGE, but with the help of friends and family we got everything into our tiny Uhaul.
There is absolutely no space in that trailer. It was seriously like a puzzle in there!
Ion and our friends Thomas and April drove Thomas' Pathfinder with the Uhaul and my best friend Vyonne, my sister Amanda, Juneau and I followed behind in my car for the 1700 mile journey. Everyone spent Friday night, our last night in South Carolina, at Ion's parents house where we hung out and swam in the pool with family and friends and then went to bed early so we could leave at 4:00am. Everyone was up by 3:30 Saturday morning and we were in the cars at 4:07. (With lots of Sugar Free Redbull and 5 hour Energy in hand!)

We went south through Georgia, (but don't worry, Amanda snapped into a Slim Jim as soon as we hit I-20)

and FINALLY to Arkansas where we stayed with our friend Alex for the night.

We kept ourselves awake with extreme amounts of caffeine, loud singing, and Tina Fey's Bossypants. Go. Read. It. Now. It was that awesome. Plus all of the ladies in my car, Juneau included, have a slight obsession with Tina Fey and Liz Lemon.

Needless to say after 16 hours in the car on day 1, we were all more than excited when Alex took us to a local Fayetteville Brewery for dinner.

I think Juneau enjoyed the trip the most, you couldn't ask for a better road trip companion. (It was probably because Amanda kept sneaking her beef jerkey...)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

5 x 8

So, the plan for the move is our amazing friend Thomas driving his Pathfinder with a 5 x 8 Uhaul trailer and me driving my car. All, of course, with the sweet additions of friends and sisters along for the ride!

To recap, we have a Pathfinder trunk, a 5 x 8 trailer, and the trunk of a Honda Accord and we need to fit all of this...

Mind you this does not include my belongings that I moved home to my parents house back in March when I began my couch surfing adventures...

Combining two peoples things is difficult enough when you aren't having to move everything 1,700 miles. We have already gotten rid of most of the furniture and I'm pretty excited about hunting for some fabulous craigslist finds when we get there. Where did all of this stuff come from?! Consolidating and downsizing are the themes of this weekend. Or at least this afternoon
before we get together with friends and family for a pool party tonight!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Starting a Blog

So.....a few people have suggested I start a blog over the last few years and I've always thought that I'd like to but was never able to find the time. I figure that with all the exciting new adventures coming up there is no better time than now!

I hope that the three people who will probably read this will enjoy laughing along with me at the craziness that is sure to come with a move almost completely across the country, living with my fiance' for the first time (we have never lived in the same state for more than a few months!), starting a new job, planning a wedding, running a half marathon, AND hopefully learning to ski!

Cheers to new adventures!