Tuesday, April 27, 2010

three things.

Another weekend, another marathon, more life goals checked off the list. I went to Tennessee to hang out and go zorbing in Pigeon Forge, TN. I forget when I discovered zorbing, but I thought it'd be awesome, so of course, I went. It's like a huge hamster ball for people. You get in it and if you do the dry version, you have to get in a harness. If you do the zydro or the zorb with water in it, you don't need a harness and you sort of roll down the hill with the water reducing the friction in the ball. It's pretty awesome. I recommend doing it at least once in your life. I might have to go again...

While in Knoxville, we watched movies, ate food, and hung out. It was fun. We drove up to Louisville, Kentucky where I need to do 2 more things on my list: go to the Louisville Slugger Museum and run the Kentucky Derby Marathon. It was AWESOME. The museum was one of the greatest places I've been, and I've been a lot of places. Perhaps it's because of my huge affinity toward baseball, but it was good times. I ran the marathon and had local ice cream in both Tennessee and Kentucky while I was in each state.

For the first time I had a spectator with me, which was nice so I have some pictures of myself while running (Sam was there when Kristen and I ran the Greenville marathon/half, which was super great so I have pictures from that run too, but this was also more special because my spectator was there specifically for me). I just wish I was actually in shape... haha! Well, I haven't slept much due to driving around so much, but I figured I'd throw out a quick update on my ever jam packed life of traveling and experiences.(I am tired because I left Knoxville around 11:30PM/midnight Sunday and slept an hour on the way to work and last night of course only slept 6 or 7 hours as usual. I need to get back on my regular sleep schedule!). Well, gotta sleep, more work and letter stuffing (for the Tucson mission trip) ahead before the New Jersey marathon this weekend. I'm excited.

- run for life

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I love good food. I love eating it, cooking it, baking it, and everything about it. I like making food aesthetically pleasing and the smell of glorious creations wafting from the kitchen.

Tonight some of my co-workers at I visited Mamma Zu's in Richmond (Churchhill area) and I had gargonzola sauce over penne with peas (I didn't choose the peas, it came with it, I would have chosen broccoli or mushrooms). I love 'stinky' cheese! It's so delicious! I liked the other dishes they had as well. (I need to remember to bring my camera so I can take pictures of my dishes...) I probably shouldn't get cream sauce prior to a marathon [note to self] because of the whole lactose intolerance factor (and if you read about my lactose tolerance test, you know I'm legit lactose intolerant). We went to The Phoenician last week on Monday night and had the Mezza or appetizer sampler. Their hummus was so smooth and delicious! I was delighted to have the yummy pita and the large variety of dishes to try. The cheese was so good! I liked both the cheese that was crumbled and the cheese that was in the block still (the block was better, but I love cheese either way). I need to figure out the names of everything I like... which was pretty much everything but the grape leaves, their flatires and kebbe.

I was disappointed because Auntie Helen used to make kebbe and I loved it so I was really looking forward to it... theirs tasted a little too fried or toasty/dry for me though. I miss Auntie Helen. I was talking to Anito and I think Auntie Helen was Lebanese... I never thought about it before. Interesting. The minds of young children are so different than adults.

It's past 11PM and I'm trying to get back in shape so I should wake up early to exercise... so it's past my bed time!

-run for life

Monday, April 12, 2010

note to self

Dear self,

Remember the grit, grime, gunk and long waits at bus stations when you have the brilliant idea to take Greyhound instead of flying again to save a little dinero. That was ridiculous. There is no reason to ever subject yourself to anything like that again. Flying is really the way to go, it's faster, more convenient, and usually you can get decent prices if you are looking around. Don't take Greyhound ever again. Sincerely, me.

I went to Tampa this weekend. I got to work a little before 6AM Thursday morning, finished up and got a ride over to the Petersburg bus station. The bus was late. Great start. Luckily I had a 4 hour layover in Richmond to wait for my next bus so it didn't matter the bus was an hour late. When I got to Richmond I was quickly reminded of how much I dislike taking Greyhound. The chairs are uncomfortable, dirty and there is no where to sleep while you're waiting for your bus to arrive. I got on the next bus, fell asleep quickly since it was already 7:50PM when I got on and was rudely awoken by the bus driver tapping my head as a slept telling me I had to get off the bus until they called us again to reboard.

Waiting at bus stops near plugs is not the most fun thing in the world. They do have "charging stations" at some bus stations at least. Most of them (like Richmond) have very few plugs and some of them are oddly placed 5 feet above your head. They're also so loose you have to hold your plug in at an angle in order to get it to work. It's so frustrating. When I got to Jacksonville a guy came up to me and was SO excited I had an ipod... which everyone and their mom has an ipod these days right? He wanted to charge his, I'm nice so I let him. He went to smoke and came back in... he asked me where I got my plug and I told him I bought it from the apple store. He asked how much I got it for, I told him $30 bucks. He went back outside to finish his cigarette, came back in and offered to buy my plug for $20 bucks... I was like, "dude, I just told you I bought it for $30, why in the world would I sell it for $20?". He offered me $30. I told him I wasn't interested unless he was going to give me $300 because I used it for my ipod and phone, so why would I sell it, then I wouldn't have a charger, duh.

Weird people.

I finally got to Tampa where my CS host picked me up and we drove over to St. Petersburg where the Rays play. The stadium was interesting looking, all indoor stadiums are kind of ghetto. We bought the cheapest tickets, took a few pictures outside as per my custom and headed inside where I took some more pictures. We missed free t-shirts (to the first 10,000 fans), I blame Greyhound for that since I was over an hour late. I got over it really quickly when I saw them. They were baby blue and quite ugly at that, I would have just donated it to Good Will anyway. We found some seats in the front of the bleachers where we sat until we were kicked out. We thought perhaps the man at the end (we dubbed him 'peanut man') would be nice and let us sit next to him, instead my CS host got sprayed by peanut flecks and spit from peanut man's mouth when he was yelling that the seats next to him were taken. Interesting. We moved down closer to the players and I was having difficulty seeing because tall people kept sitting in front of me... and the lady behind us was all into the cow bell thing (which is really loud and annoying). A family sat in front of us and I occupied the youngest girl by making funny faces (fish, platty, etc). Soon more people moved into our row and we were forced to move again.

We moved down closer (you'd think we'd have to move further but that was not the case). We sat in an almost empty row on the first base side. A guy in a hat was sitting 8 or 9 chairs down from me. It was the worst hat I've ever seen, I almost lost it right then as I was turning to say something, my CS host made a comment sending me into fits of laughter. It became the butt of our jokes for the rest of the night. I got a picture of it too. Wow. It's interesting right? The Rays and Yankees both had home runs in the game, continuing my streak of home team home runs (home runs in general really). The game was uneventful, the Rays beat the Yankees 9-3, no come backs by the Yankees at all. They had indoor fireworks... really the lamest show I've ever seen in my life, but they let us walk across the fake astro turf and exit out the back which was kind of neat.

We left the game and went back to the small parking lot we paid to park in ($10 vs. $20 for the team parking lots that were the same distance away-within walking distance). I wondered if the lot even belonged to the boys and father who were taking money and showing us where to park behind the fence. I really doubted it. We got into the car, I ate a snack (I refused to buy food from the Rays and support them more, especially since tickets cost $23 each for the cheapest ones!) and we headed back to Tampa on a mission to find a restaurant to eat. I spotted IHOP and we pulled in. It was super cold inside so I went out and got my fleece pants and sweatshirt. It was a good choice. I got a Spinach & Mushroom omelet with 3 pancakes (cheesecake pancakes with blueberries on top). Unfortunately I couldn't really taste any cheesecakey bits so I was a little disappointed but they were still good nonetheless. The Hollandaise sauce on my omelet or whatever it was, was disgusting so I scraped it off and proceeded to consume my entire order. There were some interesting people in IHOP at 1AM including a girl who looked like she wasn't wearing any pants when she walked past. I didn't get to see the rest of the ensemble, but that's probably for the best.

We headed back to sleep, he slept on the couch and I slept on the bed because he felt bad that I had spent so long on a Greyhound bus. When I woke up it was nearly 1PM and unfortunately the last run for kayaks was at 2PM so we missed that. There was also a new zipline Safari in Florida that was full for the night (moonlight Safari). Rock climbing was expensive and the other options just didn't seem worth it so we went down to the pirate ship and bay walk where I got a jumping picture in front of the boat and we walked for an hour down the bay walk and back. It was nice and fun to just chat and hang out (for free). On the way back we stopped at Bo's for ice cream, I got a vanilla ice cream cone dipped in chocolate. It was great. We hung out for a bit at his place before we hit Carraba's where I got lobster raviloli which were delicious. The bread was good, my salad was better with cheese on it and I was disappointed to find they no longer at canolis. There were some kids going to prom there also.

We hit the grocery store to get some ice cream (moose tracks with health magic shell) and headed back. I was excited to watch Die Hard... but it turned out that Live Free or Die Hard was on Sunday night, not Saturday! So disappointing. We ended up watching Fever Pitch and The Bank Job instead. Fever Pitch was okay, I didn't really like the acting but the story was decent. After all, I do like baseball. Could you tell?

I went to sleep again on the bed after taking a shower and woke up at 7:30AM, ate some breakfast and we were off to the Greyhound station... I was not excited. I said farewell and waited for my bus. It was late. I got on and we ended up getting late to our stop in Jacksonville (big surprise) and I ended up missing my exchange. Luckily there was another guy who missed his transfer also... because we ended up outside McDonald's in Waterboro, Georgia and sat there for over 20 minutes wondering if we had just got left in the middle of nowhere. We got on the correct bus and I sat next to an ex-Marine (the CSer I stayed with was also an ex-Marine). We chatted for a bit before I passed out and was sleeping soundly. We arrived in Columbia, South Carolina at 1:15AM, only 5 minutes behind schedule. My bus was scheduled to leave at 2AM, his at 2:50AM. I was glad mine was going to leave earlier. Unfortunately... they ended up leaving first and my bus didn't leave for an hour and forty minutes after the scheduled departure. We got to Charlotte, North Carolina late and to Petersburg, Virginia an hour and forty minutes late. Luckily I had chosen the earliest arrival so I was still on time to work. I got everything done and was able to make it to my appointment for my oil change and dentist on time. It really pays to work ahead and sort everything out to be sure that I won't be swamped on Mondays.

Overall, Tampa was definitely more fun because my host was hilarious. We joked around like old friends and had a blast. The food was good and I was a fan of the ice cream as well. I love couch surfing. I have made so many good friends while traveling around sleeping on people's couches. Good times, but I'm still never taking the Greyhound bus again. It's definitely not worth it!

- run for life

Saturday, April 3, 2010


I am officially done with class as the final day of school was yesterday. Monday will be my first day as a non-student since I was four years old. That's a long, long time. I am gearing up for the day ahead at work, finishing my ServSafe certification is one of my priorities in the coming weeks.

Yesterday I faxed my official 'acceptance of appointment' to the PC USA to be a Young Adult Volunteer in Tucson, AZ. I've been praying about it and God has really given me a peace about it. He's done so much, even my dad has now said that he just wants me to be happy and if God wants me to go to Arizona and not move home yet, that's okay. :) I nearly cried when he said that and apologized for getting mad at me and hanging up abruptly when I first proposed the idea. It really means a lot to me to be able to honor God without feeling conflicted inside by disobeying my parents.

I created my new YAV-only blog yesterday. Raisin helped me with the title. It's called: babbling oasis. I posted my first post yesterday. I'll still be posting here now and then, especially while I'm still in Virginia (which is the original reason made this blog... because I was so far from my family and friends) and driving across the nation. I'm excited about moving closer to home.

Dad also wants to go to Japan and China this summer. I'm pretty excited about that. I need to take my new passport picture tonight and get the renewal form sent off. I decided I was going to do the Running with the Devil 50 miler in Nevada. I still need to buy my plane tickets to get from Denver, CO to San Diego, CA and back for Rachel & Jeff's wedding the day after Ashley & Brian's. It's going to be a great summer.

- run for life