How I’m Moving Lately

If you remember, how you’re moving is one of Kris Carr’s pillar’s of good health.   I know this can be an area of everyone’s lives that is difficult to find the time to do.  For me, I’m 10 years in on the exercise thing so it is second nature to me now.   Moving comes as natural as breathing.    Last year after complications with my reconstruction surgery after breast cancer, I developed “frozen shoulder” and movement was taken away from me for about 6 weeks.   It was the most painful time in my whole life and I will never take my health for granted ever again.

If you’re interested in my shoulder recover, I made a YouTube video.  Click here to see my progress from March 9-today.  I am getting there!  Woohoo!

But anyway, I do get it.  Moving can be so challenging.  Before I started running, I was right there with many of you.  Finding the time to exercise is HARD.

Let me slip down memory lane and reminisce on my movement trek and offer some hints and tips to help get you moving.

Back in 2009, right about the time I made my first Facebook post, my hubby got us a treadmill.  I can remember one of my first posts was commenting on how I had run for 3 days that particular week and was hopeful that I could keep it up.  What happened next changed the course of history for me.  My friends and family began liking my posts and encouraging me to keep it up.  Before long, I would post my weekly treadmill intentions and I swear, it was Facebook that helped me stay accountable.  After I posted what I was hoping to do, there was no way in heck that I’d let my friends and family know that I didn’t make it during any particular week.  I can remember jogging for 1 minute and then walking for 3 minutes and being thrilled about my progress.  I remember picking out a mailbox on my street and jogging from one mailbox to the other and then walking to the next mailbox.  Over and over and over again.

My niece commented on one of my posts and said, “Hey Aunt Missy, we should train and run a marathon.”  Now remember, she made this suggestion to me when I was still struggling to jog from mailbox to mailbox.  She had this book, The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer, and wanted me to order it and start training with her.  The crazy thing was I agreed and was immediately psyched to run a marathon.

That was the beginning.

I can’t imagine anyone really wanting to read all these old posts but if you are interested, check out my Race Recap Page and you can see what occupied most of my life for the last 10 years.

20200501_222745

What can I say?  I was hooked.  I drank the Kool-aid and dove in hook line and sinker into the running scene.  I loved every single thing about it!  My hubby (who was already a life long runner} and I ran so many races together over those years, I can’t even keep track of them all.  And come to think of it, that Races page isn’t even up to date.  I know there are some races I haven’t written a recap on.  Whenever it was time for vacation, our first thought after we decided on where we were going, was to see if we could find a race to run there.

Right about this time my sis had lost a lot of weight on a vegetarian diet and was encouraging me to give it a try.   When I started dabbling in the plant based movement, many of the healthy eating blogs I started to follow, were runners too.  If they weren’t runners, they were doing Cross-fit, or yoga, or they were tri-athletes or doing some sort of wonderful movement.

Here are the top reasons I have been able to make moving a habit:

  1. Facebook accountability
  2. Making friends and having an accountability partner – I loved running or working out in the mornings but I also loved sleeping in.  By having a friend I was going to meet, it helped get me out the door.
  3. Having a race on the calendar to train for.  Don’t like running in the cold?  Plan an pay for a Spring marathon.  That will keep you going and on track all through the holidays!  You’ll learn to love the cold.  Don’t like running in the heat?  Plan a fall marathon.  That will keep you running all summer long.Spring marathon
  4. Excel is your friend.   Back in 2009 I actually was just learning Excel for my job.  I know it had been around forever at that time but I had never needed it until then.  Once I learned Excel, I created so many running spreadsheets it was crazy.  I had them color coded and would print them out and check things off every day.  I got a lot of joy checking things off.  If I put down that I was going to cross train on M-W-F and run on T-Thur-Sat and then rest on Sunday, I wouldn’t let a week go by without being able to check those blocks off.  Kinda the same thing as the Facebook posts.  I loved having my spreadsheets to motivate me.
  5. Put your alarm clock a few steps away from your bed so you have to get out of bed to turn it off.
  6. Pack your workout bag and your lunch the night before.
  7. Have your workout clothes set out already.
  8. Just the knowledge that sitting all day may be harder on you than smoking is enough to get me out the door.
  9. For every hour you run, you may gain up to 7 hours to your life!    I know this is debatable but you can’t deny movement is so very healthy!
  10. Grant yourself grace and modify when you need to!

 

I’m still running and I did enjoy The Donna Marathon (the national marathon to finish breast cancer) this past February.  (I’ll write a race recap soon I promise!)  It was fantabulous!

DonnaThe gang

However, with Covid-19, my other spring half marathon was canceled and all my running groups were closed.  I’m still going to do the half when they have it later this month but I’m going to walk it with Ron and we are going to do it virtually.

What I’ve been doing lately is LIIFT4 from Beachbody on Demand.  I LOVE it!  I have to modify a lot but I’m giving it my all and it really is helping my shoulder.

And you know I have a tracker!  Check it out!

LIIFT4How are you moving lately?

I pray you find some time to move someway during this difficult time in our world.

Much love and well wishes!

Melissa

 

 

Results!

If you have been around me in the last month and a half, I have probably showed you my Results Journal.  I’ve been showing everyone and singing its praises.

Results!

I mentioned it in my last post but I wanted to go into more detail now.  It really has been a game changer for me.  I found out about it from Kris Carr.  She’s that wellness advocate and cancer thriver that I discovered during my breast cancer trek last summer.

Every morning, usually after I work out, I take a few minutes and fill out my weekly checklist page and my daily page.  All the goals are focused on what Kris calls her 5 pillars of wellness:

  • What you’re eating
  • What you’re drinking
  • What you’re thinking
  • How you’re resting
  • How you’re renewing
20200220_193506

Weekly checklist

Kris wants you to eat 3+ fruits a day and 4+ veggies.  I was doing the 3 fruits a day back in January but I got to the point that it was too much for me.  I’ve cut that down to only 2 fruits and I’m hitting that every day.  I have banana in my oat muffin in the morning and then I have either an apple or a clementine on my salad for lunch.  My 7 cup salad at lunch every day hits the veggie goal out of the park!

For the what you are drinking goal, you are supposed to halve your weight and drink that amount of water in ounces.  I’ve been all over the place with this.  Half my weight in ounces is 72.  The cancer med I am on really sucks all the moisture out of me so I wanted to up that goal.  I settled on 83 ounces and I hit that most of the time.  I’m not gonna lie though.  It is one of the toughest of all the daily goals.  Some days I feel like I live in the bathroom!

The next goal is to take 2 mindful breaks a day.  I love this!  All you have to do is stop for a few minutes and take a deep breath and meditate or pray.  It doesn’t have to be a long break but it is meant to ground you and bring you back to what your intention for the day was.

Recording how much sleep I get is so helpful.  It really helps me stay focused on getting to bed on time.   Sleep is so crucial to our well being.  I’ve been going to the YMCA lately and participating in the LiveSTRONG program on Tuesday and Thursday nights.  I also go to Tea and Yoga at my church on Wednesdays.  I try to run on T/Th with my run club, run on Wed with a group of my very good girlfriends, and on M/F, I try to do my arm exercises at the gym before work.  With all this exercising I have to focus and get to bed so I can make it for the next workout the next morning.

As I am writing this I know it is a lot of exercise but by going in the morning before work, it helps me beat all the very bad traffic.  I have to leave early anyway so why not work out?!  Exercise is not an area that I need to work on.  I’ve got this pillar down!  Getting enough sleep and enough of healing H2O are my toughest 2 pillars!

The next to the last row on the weekly checklist is my very favorite!  It is how you are renewing.  On the snapshot above, both my “fun” outings also involve exercise.  I noticed that week after week, I was struggling to find things to do that truly made me feel renewed that didn’t involve exercise.  Running on Wednesday mornings with my girlfriends is more fun to me than exercise.  Yoga on Wednesday night at church is the same thing.  I love visiting with all the other ladies at church and hearing the devotion that we have before the yoga.  I wanted to make sure I had some variety in the weeks and I am doing better now.  Some of my fun things that didn’t involve exercise was a date night out to the movies with Ron, a brunch date with Harley and Lydia, and my monthly book club get-together.  Tonight Ron and I are going to the RV super show and tomorrow we are going to a Murder Mystery dinner theater.

The last row you get to pick a goal and I chose flossing my teeth.  I hate to floss but I’ve been doing it almost every single night.

Now for the daily pages.

20200220_193439

Daily thoughts and goals

 

You start the day off with reflecting on how you feel.  Every single day that I work out in the morning, I feel fantastic!  Almost every single morning that I don’t work out first thing, stress starts to creep in on me.  In the month and a half that I’ve been doing this I have noticed this pattern and I’ve decided to really strive to get to bed on time so I can wake up early enough to get a workout in first thing!

Next on the 2nd page, you write down 3 things that you are thankful for.  I LOVE this!  No matter how bad we are feeling, there is always something to be thankful for.

Then you write down your intention for the day.  Another LOVE.  You are in control of your day.  By writing down and focusing on how I want my day to go, I feel so much more focused.  During my 2 mindful breaks during the day I really try and come back to this and not let the day get away from me without working on what I intended to.

Then you write down your daily affirmation and your Big Sky Goal.  For me these are the very same thing every day.  I want to maintain vibrant great health and for Ron and me to get out of debt once and for all.

The last part is when you write down what you are going to do that very day to help you get closer to your goal.  Most of the days so far for me in January and February are exactly the same.  I have been working very hard to gain 100% mobility in my shoulder since my breast reconstruction surgery.  I write this down and then you have to write specifically what you are going to do and WHEN that day you are going to do it.

Like I said, TOTAL GAME CHANGER.  If you focus every single day on your most precious goals, you really look at all the millions of choices you make every day with a tremendously different mindset.

Here’s a choice I made this morning.  My favorite whipped banana oatmeal and some Glory juice from Wegmans.

20200222_100529

What are you drinking and eating?  What are you daily thoughts?  How are you resting and renewing?

Best wishes always and may all your Big Sky Goals come true and all your little choices you make every day help you get there.

xxoo,

Melissa

 

 

Favorites

I always love it when the bloggers that I follow most have a “favorites” post.  It is so fun seeing what other people like and picking up on new ideas.  I decided to highlight some of the things that are new to me that I am loving and also showcase some things I’ve loved for quite some time.

First up on the loved for quite some time is our wonderful church Mt. Zion!

Mt Zion

Last Sunday when Ron and I were walking in I snapped the picture.  I actually was trying to take a video because the bells were ringing and with the sun shining, such a feeling of calm and peace came over me.  Mt. Zion is a fabulous church and if you are in our area and are looking for a new church home, we’d love to have you.  I think one of the best things I like about our church is the community.  We have small groups that change up every so often and it is a great way to meet others and to fellowship.  Over the years I have led a couple of small groups and I need to get back to it.  One of the groups I led was on dog walking.  I think we only had about 4 or 5 of us in the group.  We would meet and walk our dogs and discuss different topics about how to sit, stay, and come when God calls.  I based the small group on this book.  Such great memories.  Another small group that I led was a Run for God group.  We trained and many of the participants went from the couch to a 5k.

413408_3056539737566_1871840898_o

This group was so popular, we followed it up with a Run for God half marathon group.  We all trained and ran the Myrtle Beach half marathon.  Even after those 2 seasons, other leaders stepped in and continued the small group for many more years.

Some of the small groups that are just starting up next week that I have my eye on joining are the Talk, Tea, and Yoga for Women and the Beginning Ukulele group.  Click here to see all the small groups that are being offered.

Okay, back to favorites.

I adore Japanese sweet potatoes.  I can’t even eat a normal sweet potato anymore I love these so much!

Japanese sweet potatoes

I made these in the Instant Pot (10 minutes on manual) last weekend and I usually have one every night for dinner.  Most of the time I only have them with some broccoli and beans or stir-fried tofu but this week I added a new favorite, No Evil Foods.

No evil foods

The thing I love the most about this brand is that it doesn’t have protein soy isolate.  Isolates are when they process the heck out of soy and it becomes a “processed food” that I try to limit.

Here’s a shot of a basic dinner:  potato, No Evil Foods Italian Sausage, and some spinach.

dinner

Another old favorite is the awesome Juice Vibes juice bar.  When I was healing my breast cancer last summer, I would go here all the time.  I hadn’t been in a while but on Friday, I was doing so well in my PT exercises, I decided to celebrate.  I got the Green Detox smoothie.  It was delicious!

Next up on the new favorites list is this awesome new journal that I’ve been keeping.

20200111_065641

And right beside it are some new favorite pens.  I got my journal from my favorite wellness advocate and cancer thriver, Kris Carr .  She has lived and thrived with a stage 4 incurable cancer for over 17 years now.  I’ve always loved the art of journaling but I’ve never really been able to keep up the habit.  I’ve made it 11 days so far and I haven’t missed a day.  Below is a snapshot of the daily and weekly pages.

Kris says the secret to getting “Results” is to write your goals down every single day.

The pens that I am using were recommended to me by my oldest daughter, Andie.  Andie is an avid planner keeper and she uses Emily Ley’s planners.  She is crazy about Emily Ley and has now got me hooked on her too.  Andie got me this book for Christmas and I’ve already devoured it.  I can’t wait to read her other books.

When Less Becomes More

A couple more favorites and I’ll call it a morning and head out for my run.  It is Saturday and Saturdays for me means log run and I have 8 miles ahead of me.

Here’s a new toothpaste I found accidentally.

Fennel

I didn’t mean to get the fennel flavored one and boy was my mouth ever surprised when I first used it.  I wasn’t sure I was going to like it but I love it now!  Fennel has great health properties.  

And the star of the week were these banana oat quinoa muffins.

banana oat quinoa muffins

They are vegan, gluten free, sugar free, and oil free.  Since I’ve been working out every morning, I’ve needed more than my smoothie to tide me over until my lunchtime salad.  These have worked out great.  I made a huge batch last weekend and I’m all out now.  I will definitely be making these again this week.  So yummy!

Well that’s it for me.  What are some of your favorites?  Are you a journaler?

Happy Saturday!  Now, I’m off to run!

xxoo,

Melissa

 

The End of Challenges

Okay, it is time for an update for the Epic 50 Day Christmas Challenge.  Or should I say the EPIC FAIL of my 50 Day Christmas Challenge.

IF you remember, here were my goals:

  1. Beginning today and for the next 50 days, I’m going to follow Lindsay Nixon’s slimming options. I’m not going to cheat and eat candies, breads, chips, and vegan junk food.  I’m really going to eat clean!
  2. 64 ouces of H2O daily! It’s happening!
  3. I’m not going to run or do any of the boot camp exercise groups that I adore. No long and vigorous exercise sessions.  I’m going to focus on yoga, push-ups, and planks.  Probably 15 minutes a day or so.
  4. Along with these, I’m going to try and add some good habits. First up is flossing my teeth nightly.  I do it religiously for a while and then I don’t.   I really want to make it a habit that will stick.  After about 2 weeks, I’m going to add getting enough sleep to the agenda.  7+ hours minimum.  I’m so bad at staying up late and then getting up at the crack of dawn.  No more.  Sleep is so crucial to good health!  Then after another 2 weeks or so, I’m going to add on making sure my sink is clean every night.  My hubby and I are so bad about leaving dishes!  We rinse them out but we don’t take that extra step to unload the dish washer so we can put the dirty ones in.

So for #1 I started off pretty good.  I was following Happy Herbivore’s slimming options and had gotten to the lowest weight I had been all year.  After the marathon, I couldn’t stop eating!  I saw a post on a Marine Corps Marathon FaceBook page from another marathoner that said she couldn’t stop eating either.  That just gave me more of an excuse.  After a week, I tried to get back into really watching my diet but I just couldn’t muster up the motivation.  For the last 50 days I’ve been eating everything in sight.  (and even some omnivore dishes too – cheese included!)

#2 I’ve done really well on!  On Black Friday, we got a new Big Berkey Water Filter and I have been rockin’ the H2O.  We use our Berkey water for cooking, drinking, and even for washing our fruits and veggies.  We also use it to water our organic micro greens.  I’ve got this water challenge in the bag for life!  We even got a Berkey shower filter so we can let our bodies’ largest organ, our skin, enjoy the benefits!  Thanks so much to my sis and brother-in-law for this suggestion!

 

47086318_10213174330377936_3272135274137649152_n

For #3 I didn’t run, do yoga, or practice my push-ups or planks.  I did go 4 times with my good friend Heather to Burn Boot Camp.  I loved it!  It is sorta like Camp Gladiator except that you are indoors and they provide all the wonderful equipment!  They were running a New Year’s special and I have signed up for the next 6 weeks with them.  I want so desperately to get stronger and I’m not going to get it done on my own.

For #4 I did pretty good on flossing and I have done great on sleep.  I failed miserably on keeping a clean sink.  Oh well.  No Fly Lady certificate for me!

So there you go.  Looking back over the list, I don’t think it was as epic of a fail as it felt like.  So that’s a good thing.

Since it is almost 2019, my gut reaction was to buckle down and whip out a new set of challenges and give it a go again.  However, my WordPress buddy that inspired me to take on this challenge, recently published this post that has me questioning everything!

I also love this post from Happy Herbivore and everything from this blogger!

Whether or not you make a list of resolutions or try some 30 day challenge, I pray your New Year is blessed with love, kindness, and all the blessings you could ever imagine!

Happy New Year!

 

 

Fellowship of the Idiot 19.7 mile Run

My sister lives near Morrow Mountain State Park so I’ve known about the Albemarle area for over 40 years.  In fact, my niece got married on the top of Morrow Mountain.  What I didn’t know about this area until I got into running was this awesome running store called Vac & Dash.   Vac & Dash is a unique store.  They sell vacuum cleaners and running shoes.  They also are a UPS shipping outlet, sell and repair bikes, time races and sell disc golf supplies.

Back in 2012 when I was doing a race a month, I stumbled upon Vac & Dash and the awesome Run the Valley half marathon.  I was very intrigued about running to the top of Morrow Mountain.  I signed up and ran with a new friend from my Galloway running group.  I wasn’t at all concerned with speed at that time so I went into that race with a very relaxed attitude.  It was a hoot!  Beautiful scenery and very well run race.   It is the only race to date that I have placed in my age group.  (disclaimer:  I got 3rd place in my age group…and there were only 3 of us in the group.  I got a trophy though.  LOL)

Fast forward 5 years and my oldest and one of my dearest running friends, Lisa, messaged me and ask me to join her in the Fellowship of the Idiot Run.  The Fellowship of the Idiot Run started back in 2003 with a few friends getting together for their last long run before the Myrtle Beach Marathon. They started at the YMCA in Albemarle and ran to the top of Morrow Mountain and back.  Every year since then, idiots have gotten together for this awesome long run.  This year there were 174 runners making it over 600 official idiots since the run’s inception.  Fellowship was 19.7 miles and there was a hard cut-off at 2 hours to make it the top.  I jumped at the chance to run such a fun run with such a great friend and said yes immediately.  However, when I learned about that hard cut-off, I worked myself up and became very anxious.  That meant I had to average about a 12:00 minute mile.  Not too much of a worry on a flat course but going up the mountain…. Hmmmm, I didn’t know if I could make it or not.

I really, really wanted to become an Official Idiot and earn my shirt.  I tried to keep a positive attitude and tried very hard to just enjoy the run and not stress so much about pace.  My good friend Claudia told me to run 30:30 intervals if I had to on the steepest incline (30 second run: 30 second walk).  So that was my plan.

The run starts at 5:30am and since my sister lives about 25 minutes from the start, we traveled to her house on Friday night.  I stayed up way too late visiting but somehow managed to wake up at 4:00 and make it out the door by 4:30.  I was in Albemarle just before 5:00 and had plenty of time to use the bathroom, find Lisa, and check in.

Peter, the owner of Vac & Dash, welcomed us all, said a few words and then it was a simple, Ready, Set, and Go.  We were off!  Here we are just before the start.

Idiots at the start

The first few miles were in the small town of Albemarle.  Since it was so early there wasn’t anyone on the streets except us.  It was very dark.  I had my reflective vest on for safety and I also wore my new headlamp.  By the way, I highly recommend the Petzl Headlamp.  I love the USB charging feature and it is very comfortable.  It stays put on my forehead and doesn’t bounce at all.  The only thing I wish is that it had a blinking feature on the back some way.  That would be cool and even safer.  There was one hill early on in the run and it was very tough.  Lisa and I were talking and I was having trouble completing my sentences.

The next miles passed effortlessly.  We talked and talked and enjoyed meeting other idiots out for this 19.7 mile run so early in the morning.  Before long, we started seeing the sun begin to rise.  It was a beautiful orange.  The weather was on the chilly side but not too bad.  I like chilly for a run so I was in heaven.  There really wasn’t a wind to speak of at all.

Lisa’s whole family came out to support her and they were blasting cool songs and ringing cow bells, and hootin’ and hollerin’ and pretty much being the very best supporters ever!

We stopped a few times for pictures and I walked a few steps when I was drinking or taking a Gu but for the most part, I ran all the way.  I didn’t even have to use the 30:30 plan to make it up the mountain.  I was so surprised I was able to run the whole way up.  I was all smiles coming in at the top of the mountain!

Here’s a shot that Lisa’s husband, Wes,  captured of me.

me at top

 

And here we are at the top.   This shot was from the race site and we must have been looking at Wes.

us at top

And just look at this amazing shot Wes got of the sunrise!  Breathtaking!  We really ran to heaven that morning!

 

Wes' sunrise

After these photos and a quick Gu and bathroom break, we headed back down the mountain.  The run back was just as awesome.  Morrow Mountain State Park is so peaceful.

Morrow Mtn

The roads were a little busier when we got back into Albemarle but not too bad.  The directions were clearly marked and before we knew it we were back at the Y.  We had earned our shirts and now were official idiots!

got our shirts

Note, In years past someone was pictured holding their shirt upside down by mistake and now everyone does it.  An Idiot Tradition!

From the race you get that awesome shirt and a funny idiot certificate.  Wes however, couldn’t have us complete a run of this magnitude and not get a medal.  He designed this medal and got them for us.  Lisa was Idiot 1 and I was Idiot 2.  Lisa’s daughter made the buttons for us.

I had the most fun ever.  Thank you so much to Lisa and her whole family for including me!

Thanks so much to Peter from Vac&Dash and thank you to all the volunteers that make the run possible year after year.  I certainly want to be a returning Idiot next year and beyond!

When you are planning your 2018 race calendar, you really should include Fellowship of the Idiot Run.  If something comes up and you can’t make it, you can’t get a refund.  But somehow I think you’ll be okay with that.  There isn’t a race fee at all.  Completely free!

Do however, make sure to make a donation to help support this remarkable run.  Make sure to save some time after the run and go on down street to Vac & Dash.  If you’re lucky like me you might just find something on the clearance rack!

singlets

A Hinson Singlet with the year I ran on it!  Woot Woot!  Best $4 I’ve ever spent!   (Vac & Dash does the apparel for Hinson.)  I also got the red one and it was only $4 as well.  I’ll be stylin’ for sure this summer!

Happy Running Friends!

Basic 5 ingredient overnight oats

I eat a lot of oats.  And I get a lot of questions about them.  I’ve had friends text me while they were in WalMart looking for rolled oats.  I’ve had questions as to if I eat them cold.  And….do I really put beans in them now? 

Well here you go.  This is my go to recipe for what I eat most every morning.  Let me preface this by letting you know that I have been eating these for about 6 years and my taste buds have changed a lot.  If you’re not into oats yet, start out with them warm and make them the whipped banana oatmeal way.  These are the bomb!  Put a little shredded coconut on top and a little White Chocolate Wonderful Peanut Butter.  Oh man!  Delish!

But if you are ready to go hard core, follow these simple directions.

Get out a 4 cup glass bowl.  Slice up one ripe banana into the bowl.  Add in 1/4 cup of Cannellini beans well rinsed.  Now take out a potato masher and mash the banana and the beans together.  Add 1/3 cup of old fashioned oats and 1/2-3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk.  (depending on how thick or thin you want your oats)  Drop in a few drops of vanilla extract.  Stir well, cover, and refrigerate overnight.  If you don’t mind the banana getting brown, it can last in the fridge for one week as long as you put them in glass containers.

I make 5 of these at a time almost every Sunday.  (The other 5 glass bowls are my chopped salads.)

14639854_10207407553652122_554887916747697386_n

Enjoy!

Freedom

Last night Ron went to the WRAL’s Freedom Balloon Fest.  It was a blast!

The balloons were so pretty and the weather was wonderful!

DSC_0012

The festival is still going on for the rest of the weekend so if you have a chance, I’d highly recommend it.

DSC_0016

We parked at the Mudcat’s stadium and took one look at the free shuttle line and opted to walk the 2 miles from the parking area to the festival.  We made it in about 40 minutes.  I met a person that rode the shuttle and she said it took her 2.5 hours.  It was obvious that the organizers were not prepared for the amount of people that turned out.

DSC_0007

DSC_0011

DSC_0014

DSC_0017

DSC_0015

DSC_0019

Ron happily enjoyed the beer garden and then I went in search of some food.  This is where the wait got me.  I waited almost 50 minutes and when I finally made it to the front of the line I ordered Ron a BBQ sandwich and me cheese pizza. They were out of pizza and it was going to be another 10 minutes so I just asked the guy to run and grab whatever was available.  He came back with 2 ears of roasted corn, 2 hot dogs, and some funnel cake bites.  I also grabbed some peanuts before I walked away.  I ate the corn and funnel cake bites and some peanuts and Ron ate everything else minus one hot dog that I offered our new friend that had waited so long on the shuttle.

Next up was the balloon glow!  So amazing!

DSC_0043 DSC_0044

Afterwards guess what Ron and I did?  You guessed it.  We walked the 2 miles back in the dark to the Mudcats stadium.  We walked along with hundreds of other festival goers that didn’t want to wait on the shuttle so even though it was dark, I didn’t feel unsafe at all.

If you go, I hope they have more shuttles running.  Or, just go ahead and go early and pay the $30 premium parking up close.  If they are full at the $30 lot there are some houses along the way that are offering parking for $15-$20.  Or, be crazy like me and Ron and log thousands of steps and enjoy this beautiful weather!

Happy Memorial Day weekend and thanks to all those who serve to protect our freedom!