Weekend Recap: July 27-29

Can you believe today is the last day of July?!  Yeah, I can't either.  Where has the summer gone?

Last Friday, Ryan was out golfing, so I ran out to Eldridge to pick up some paperwork and a super belated wedding gift that was mailed to my parents.  Yeah, over two years late! Lol.  Better late than never right? My dad and bro were heading to the cheap theaters and settled on the movie "The Hunger Games."  I decided to tag along even though I had already seen it...it's such a good movie!
My brother and his new phone
Saturday morning arrived, and I was full of butterflies.  Hello Bix!  If you've never heard of it, the Bix 7 is a 7-mile race and it's becoming world renowned.  Kenyans win almost every year.  It's a hilly course, but lined with fans and supporters along the entire route and boasts the best after-party I've ever attended after a race...yeah, there was free beer!  I opted to do the Quick Bix (2-miles) since I hadn't really been training, and Brooke joined me!

We walked/jogged the race and then enjoyed all of the free goodies!!  Did I mention there was free beer?!  We met up with Jess and enjoyed a couple of hours down at the party and downtown Davenport.
Later that night, Jess, Ryan and I went to the Street Fest and drank some beers, ate some cheese fries and watched Funktastic 5!  I had never seen them before, but it was soooooo much fun!

Sunday, Ryan and I played golf with my parents out in Eldridge, then enjoyed some pizza, and took another tour of our new house!! 

My favorite room in the whole house!
I have lots more pictures, but there are still a lot of personal belongings around the house, so I'm not going to share those pics.  The pool table, however, is ours to keep!  Woohoo!! :)


Take Me Out To The Ball Game

I have not fully adjusted to or accepted the fact that I have free time again!  But it's been nice.  Last week, I decided to become a River Bandits fan, even though they are a farm team for the Cardinals.  I went to two games in a row last week!  Two!
Thursday night was Thirsty Thursday, $2 beers!  Jess met me down there after her run and we had a great time catching up and watching the River Bandits win!  I know what you're thinking...why weren't YOU on a run w/ Jess?  Well, if you must know (and be jealous, it's OK), it was "Keep the Glass" night at Old Chicago.  Buy a $3 Fat Tire and keep the authentic New Belgium glass it comes it!  They ran out of glasses in half an hour, and we got three of them!
Friday night was our company night at the ballpark!  I got to hang out with my coworkers, enjoy some free food, and another Bandits win.

I am looking forward to another game, who wants to join me?


Best. Dessert. Ever.

Ryan and I went to the farmer's market a couple of weeks ago and I just couldn't resist buying a bucket of peaches for $4.  They were good peaches, but there was no way I'd be able to finish them all before they went bad, so I looked to Pinterest for some recipes.  BAM! I found the greatest recipe on the face of this planet.  Behold, Peachy Keen Bars.  I photographed some of the steps, and you'll notice that the recipe calls for canned peaches, but I just used the fresh peaches (about 6-7) and left the skin on!  I would do it the same way again, it was so incredibly fantastic!

I wish my regular camera would have been working, the pictures would have been much better, but I just wanted to show how simple it really is!  I always like to make sure I give credit to the person who created the recipe, so please follow the link above for the recipe.  And trust me, you will not regret making this dessert!

The King and I

I bit the bullet and tried out for a play this past winter, for Countryside Community Theater.  I made it into The King and I along with my little brother.  It was the first play I've been in since high school, so yeah, 8 years! WOW!  I can't say if I'd do it again...not anytime soon at least.  I did have a lot of fun, I met some great people, and it was fun to perform again, but the time commitment really took a lot out of me!  Nevertheless, I'm glad I had the experience and met the really awesome people that I did!


Pura Vida!

Most of you know that I finally got my tattoo or at least that I was planning to get one, and two weeks ago I finally got it!  My friend Stephanie helped me design it.  I gave her this very basic idea of "Pura Vida" being written within the lines of a heart, and she sketched out a couple designs and I told her which one I liked best.  She took it home, designed it more thoroughly and the following Monday, I was off to O'tool Design.  I always work with Ryan at OD, he did the rose I added on to my first tattoo as memorial to my friend, TJ.  It wraps around my first tattoo that has a cross in it with a little "L" as a memorial to my friend, Lindsey.
This time, I wanted that tattoo on the back of my left shoulder.  This way it could be covered up whenever I needed it to be, but visible in the summer so I can show it off. :)  For those of you who may be wondering what "Pura Vida" means, I posted about it when I first started this blog.  So here it is....my new, simple, beautiful tattoo!


Colorado Vacation: Days 7 and 8

The end of our vacation had arrived, we had one last day in Colorado Springs before making the painfully long drive across Nebraska the next day.  That didn't stop us from exerting some energy and having a fantastically awesome last day!  First stop, Garden of the Gods.  If you are ever in or near Colorado Springs, you must stop by.  It's free and full of great hiking!  Plus, it's pretty awesome just to look at!
After Garden of the Gods, we got roped into this ridiculous tourist trap, Manitou Cliff Dwellings...here I am thinking we are going to see some real cliff dwellings, and after spending $20 just to get in, we quickly gathered that those cliff dwellings weren't original.  I will say that it was semi-fun to walk through them, but it was disappointing to learn that they were moved from another location and rebuilt.  We didn't feel too bad about the money though, it was free to go to Garden of the Gods and we would have paid $20 or more to experience that!
Whew, all that hiking was making us hungry!  We needed a bite to eat and oh my goodness, thank you UrbanSpoon for leading us to a place in Manitou Springs (Urban Dictionary definition is great).  This little city was surreal, it was like diving into the early 70's where we suddenly surrounded by hippies, real freaking hippies, not hipsters!  I'm talking dirty, drug using, vegetarian, anti-war, dreadlocks sporting, roaming the streets with a guitar, hippies!  And they were singing in the streets, congregating in parks, operating businesses (ie. vegan cafe, clothing store, etc.), and just plain wandering around.  IT. WAS. AWESOME.  I had never been anywhere like that before and it was kind of fun to feel like we had gone back in time.  

We ended up eating at Adam's Mountain Cafe, and it was so good!  Unfortunately, I have no pictures of this experience thanks to my broken camera, but I'm glad we did it.

We debated between spending 4-5 hours going up and down Pike's Peak on a train, or driving for another 4 hours going to Royale Gorge and back...but we ended up deciding to keep it local, and free!  So we went to Cheyenne Mountain National Park.  Awesome!  We drove around this gorgeous park and then checked out some waterfalls.  We hiked up to the top of the main waterfall (I was panting, yuck!).  We had some gorgeous GORGEOUS views!
Sadly, after a long day of hiking, we were ready to relax!  We stopped at a beer store and stocked up one last time with beers we can't buy at home and headed to the hotel.  Our hotel, like most of the other ones, had a full kitchen so instead of going out to eat, we ran to Papa Murphy's and got a take-and-bake pizza!  We enjoyed our last night in with a couple of good beers and got to sleep pretty early.

Our last day was spent driving to Omaha, which was long, and boring, but we did get to hang out with Laura and Jason for the night!  We had a good time celebrating Laura's birthday at Nebraska Brewing Co and this local dive bar they live next to.  We had a really wonderful vacation, despite some of our plans being changed and I would love to go to Colorado again!  


Colorado Vacation: Day 6

So about that wildfire...in the news even today you will hear about several wildfires burning in Colorado.  I guess we were fortunate that when we were there, it was only one.  The smoke from the High Park Fire had settled into Fort Collins over our first night there, and we woke up the next morning, we could smell the fire/smoke inside of our hotel room.  We made the ultimate decision that staying in Fort Collins another night wouldn't be quite as fun as we had hoped.  We called and got a hotel room down in Colorado Springs a day earlier than planned to be far FAR away from the smoke.  I wanted to see some mountains darn it!

We decided that we would still drive out to Estes Park like originally planned, I kept being told it was beautiful up there and apparently the smoke hadn't blown that far west.  Woohoo!  Check out this pic from the drive there...incredible.
Estes Park was beautiful, a little kitschy though for my taste.  However, I dove right into tourist mode and called the Stanley Hotel to make reservations for the ghost tour!  Now that was fun!  It was a great tour, fun little "true" ghost stories, and beautiful views of the mountains.
After the tour, we grabbed a quick lunch and headed to Colorado Springs.  This was a fairly long drive, but it was still pretty beautiful.  Once we got through Denver, we could start to see Pike's Peak...man that mountain is huge!  Our first stop though, the US Air Force Academy!
The Chapel at the USAF Academy
We took a nice hike through part of the academy, and pretty drive through more of it.  It was huge, and in such a beautiful setting right at the foot of the mountains.  After a long day of driving, we were ready to relax.  We checked in to our hotel, got some Mexican food, and stayed in for the night.  We had a big day ahead of us on our last full day in Colorado...