Friday, May 26, 2006

The Final Stretch

Just one more day of work to get through before 2 weeks of vacation.

Focusing on work is not easy at this point.

The mind wanders, items are remembered and added to the packing list.

Maya is all packed and ready for the long journey, although she is having a bit of rough time. She knows it is going to be a long trip and everyone will be missed.

I pick up Maya at BWI airport at 5AM. Emily will stay and the airport and return right back to SLC!

Maya and I will pick-up Rachel in Falls Church then begin our 6+ hour drive south to the Outer Banks. Hopefully we will not hit any traffic in the Mixing Bowl.

Movies have been selected and copied to the laptop for the long drive. I just hope that does the trick on Rachel, otherwise Maya and I are going to have a Very long ride!

Music has been updated on the MP3 player for the long drive.

Maps, directions, the Duck 2006 Directory, contracts, contact lists have all been printed.

FYI, according to the Duck 2006 Directory, there will be approximately 350 young adults invading the Outer Banks of North Carolina with our loosely formed group. They will be packed into 16 houses and come from at least 11 different states (and a district).

By Wednesday afternoon, only two of us will remain in our house through Saturday. That's right, just Maya and I in a big beach house all to ourselves for 3 days!

OK, back to work...

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Caged Animals

Saturday was spent enjoying the great weather and great friends at the National Zoo with a wild group from Langley.

You can see a bunch of pictures here and many more on Tara's site

After a nap and some yummy dinner we ended up caging ourselves. Tara, Anne, Katie and I went to batting cages to hit a few balls.

The day ended with a healthy heaping of icecream at Friendly's. They were surprised that it was my first time will not be the last.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

8 Days and Counting

Woo Hoo!

They finally posted pictures of the house we are staying in. So far we only had a picture of the outside and hoped that the inside was just as nice.

But Wow!!

Check these out.

Thanks to Tara we have an amazing group of people from across the country staying in the house. People are flying in from Portland, Salt Lake City, New York, Baltimore, and of course the DC area. It should be a great time.

Here are few more teasers...

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A Few Firsts this Week

It was not much of a noteworthy week although I did do a few things for the first time this week. None of which are particularly impressive, but I'm hoping that added together they amount to a blog entry that isn't completely boring.
  • Watched a whole episode of Survivor
    • I witnessed a new level of reality tv watching. The Van Atta's love their Survivor. There were several pauses and discussions on strategies. I'm not sure what they would do without Tivo. My eyes have been opened.
  • Shot a bucket of balls at a driving range
    • Anne and I shared two buckets at Woody's and had a blast laughing at each other's attempts to hit those little white balls. Then we stuffed ourselves at Outback where Anne had prime rib for the first time.
  • Completed the full loop at Rosaryville
    • I have been there a few times for trail work days, but have never been on more than about a mile of the trail. Today, I caught up with Peter as he was finishing his third 10 mile loop and wanted to do another.
  • Used Duct Tape and Zip Ties to fix my broken seat
    • About half way through the loop at Rosaryville my seat post decided to desintegrate. As I am collecting the pieces to put into my pack, Peter says "Don't put anything away. You forget who you're riding with." MacGyver, I mean Peter, procedes to reattach the seat to the post with zip ties and Duct tape and we rode on. I spent most the the remaining 4 to 5 miles standing up which was quite the workout.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Swapping Spit on a Coaster

There seemed to be a common thread of thought among the women in the group at King's Dominion. I'm not sure if the view point was shared by all, but at least three were talking about it.

What is it?

The appeal of having a significant other at the amusement park and particularly to ride the coasters with.

Holly talked about it, Tara discusses it on her blog and Lara issued a challenge (and vowed that she would follow through some day) of making-out on a coaster.

No one (that I know of) succeeded in completing the challenge.

Although Lara and I did swap spit on the Avalanche!

The Avalanche is a bobsled coaster. Two people to a car. Lara is in front trying not to completely give in to gravity as we climb to the peak. Smooth swooping turns, the coaster gains speed. Then it happens. From her left side there is an sudden eruption and my face is sprayed. Awkward laughs. 'Bless you'. 'I'm Sorry'. I wipe my face and we finish the ride.

OK - the swap was really only one way and caused by the inhalation of a bug, but that's more action than anyone else got! At least those of us who are not already dating!

Cami and Matt visit Richmond

After the full day at King's Dominion, Tara, Jeremy and I headed to Jeremy's place in Chesterfield (South of Richmond). They were kind enough to let me tag along so that I could meet up with my sister Cami and her husband Matt who are visiting Richmond for a few days.

They are on a scouting mission to find a place to live, visit VCU, and get more information on teaching positions. Matt starts dental school at Virginia Commonwealth University this fall and Cami is looking for a teaching job in the area. They are planning to make the big move across the country from Utah later this summer.

As I was enjoy my festive day at King's Dominion, Matt and Cami spent the whole day flying across the country to Richmond, VA (three flights). They are staying in some 'amazing' accommodations - you gotta love the cheap package deals! They're cheap for good reasons.

On Sunday morning we lazily got ourselves together, grabbed some yummy breakfast and met up with Cami and Matt. Jeremy was gracious enough to be the tour guide for the day as we went to several apartment complexes, the VCU campus and don't forget the all-you-can-eat pizza, pasta and salad buffet at Ci Ci's Pizza!

THANKS Jeremy!
(Hey Tara, this one's a keeper!)

After dropping off Matt and Cami, (and watching them be denied access back into their room! Stupid access cards!) we headed back to Jeremy's for some XBox360 action and watched a movie with his friends. After the movie, Tara and I headed back north in the rain and an end came to another great weekend.

I am continually amazed by the great people that have impacted my life. Friends and family make the day to day grind so much more tolerable and weekends incredibly fun and rewarding. It will be nice to have some more family here in the east relatively close by.

The Roller Coasters in Spring

Amusement parks are a great way to usher in the summer vibe, have a great time with friends, act like you're a teenager again, and pay outrageous prices for mediocre food.

Tara and Lara planned this small Saturday jaunt to Paramount King's Dominion which turned into a larger group as the date got closer.

We ended up with Lara, Tara, Anne, Rachel, Katie, Holly, Jeremy, Ben, and me.

The side challenge of the day was to keep track of how many white trash icons we could find - mullets, tramp stamps, tube tops, bad ink, etc.

The winners of the day: Female - a very unflattering (and often adjusted) tube top while sporting a chest tattoo. Male - brown Carhartt overalls (just over one shoulder) with no shirt.

The weather was amazing, the rides were awesome, and the company was a blast.

When are we going back?

Here are some more pictures.
Here are Tara's pictures and her blog account of the weekend.

Here is a video of Tomb Raider. I held the camera against the restraints in front of me so this is the perspective of someone looking straight ahead during the ride. Watch it if you Dare!!

Here are a couple more videos. Sorry the camera work is pretty awful.
This one is an upside-down video of Rebel Yell (backwards).

Here is the Drop Zone at night. Sorry you can't really see anything but the screams have a nice effect.