Calling all LOUD running songs

I'm putting together a running list full of loud and somewhat motivating songs.  Why?  Um, I just figured out the Flying Pig features a category 5 climbThe hill is so big and steep it has a rating!

I'm calling for recommendations for loud songs which are also good for running.  Here's a few I've come up with so far:

  • Word Up! - Korn. Not sure how I found this song. It's perfect for the occasion.
  • Ladies and Gentlemen - Saliva. Please check to see if you're still breathing. An instruction I will no doubt need.
  • Youth of the Nation - POD.  What does POD stand for?
  • Harder to Breath - Maroon 5. (Oh, the irony.)
  • Bad Romance - Lady Gaga.  You knew she was going to appear right?
  • Yeah! - Usher. All I can see if Will Smith teaching the guy to dance in Hitch!
  • Dynamite - Taio Cruz which I've mentioned several times before as a fantastic running song.


For Easter there shall be running

This is the conversation I've had with almost everyone in my office last week:
Coworker: Happy Easter!
Me: Thanks but I don't celebrate Easter
Coworker: Why not?
Me: I'm not Christian?
Coworker: What are you?
Coworker: You can't be nothing.

Sunday morning since I wasn't celebrating an empty tomb (is that what Easter is about?), Beth took me for a run and kicked my butt *ahem* helped me keep an honest and challenging pace.  I can always tell when I'm working just hard enough by when I feel like I'm going to toss my cookies.  You know, like it says on that shirt. When we got back and I saw how many few minutes it took to run the route I was all, 'yeah, no wonder I feel like this'.  Special thanks to Beth who wasn't really trained for a long run but came along because she's a good friend.

After running, it was time to go over to my pooky bear's house for real Easter meal.  Krazy Kat lady won a 10lb ham.  (Seriously, who else of my friends could I ever say that about?)  She brought said ham for obvious reasons.  My pooky bear cooked an excellent lunch of sweet potatoes.  I think there was other food as well.  Did I mention the sweet potatoes were wonderful? 

Both Pooky Bear and Krazy Kat lady are have cats.  After all the food was away, my pooky bear's husband showed us the awesomeness of the furminator.
Don't be fooled; that cat is in heaven!

Hi!  I won a 10lb ham at work!

My Pooky Bear sets a very nice table.  I think all the girls at the table were suitable impressed and felt it added to the ambiance.  My impression is the boys just wanted the ham and turkey.


You spent how long on the elliptical?!?

Tuesday, as previously mentioned I did some cooking and did no working out.  Technically I suppose I was recovering from an 8-miler the day before.

Wednesday I also had the day off work.  (I know, I love my job too!)  I can't remember how many naps I took.  Let's say several.  I did make it to the gym at the end of the day.  I wasn't sure most of the day if I was really going to work out or just show up for the good behavior discount.  Happily, I did work out.  It was probably my only accomplishment of the day.  Why?  Because I woke up to this:

Snow.  At the end of April. Nice.

Thursday was my students last day as an intern at our office.  I will miss her.  She gave me a cactus so now Amanda (the cactus) has company.  I named this one after my student.  I took her to Punch for a 'Congratulations' lunch.  At the end of the day the real Amanda called me.  I thought I had a coupon that was only good at Punch after 4pm that day.  I was wrong because I can't read a calendar but by that time Amanda was in the mood for pizza so I paid full price for my second pizza of the day as well.

Friday (that's today) I went to the gym and did 9 miles (just over 90 minutes) on multiple ellipticals.  We'll call it preparation for the Flying Pig even though we all know it was penance for that second pizza.  After the gym I headed to work (because I'm a team player).  Work was a short day and at the end of it I got to leave my famous "don't leave me a voice mail; it'll get erased before I return" outgoing message in my voicemail.  Because my office is also closed Monday and Tuesday.  (I know; I love my job too.)

Here are some of the other ways I've been entertaining myself during all my time off work:


New York Monday - Why not to drive through Flatbush on Passover

Monday morning I woke up around 4am when I heard Mark leave.  I kind of fell back into that awake-sleep state for a couple hours.  My alarm went off at 6am so I could take a longer run.  I did the same route as yesterday except I added a second loop of the park including going up that big @ss hill you see between miles 3 and 4.  Nice.  (I wonder if that's why my arches hurt so bad right now.)

Since Mark was gone, the ladies and Little Cousin had the day to ourselves. Irmghard left Little Cousin with me so she could get dressed.  It was hilarious and fun until he started to cry.  Seriously, I love you but I am not capable of feeding you.  I am so sorry.  Mom took care of that and then we headed out.
With my feet up after the run!

Ollie keeping me and Little Cousin company.

Little cousin before he was hungry.  The striped sheets clash horribly with his outfit but I find it only makes him more cute!

The plan was to go by the post office so Irmghard could mail her taxes which we did.  It was at that point she asked me to drive to the breakfast place where we planned on having empanadas.  (Of course I can drive a stick.)  In true Latin style, the place was closed so we headed over to a coffee shop nearby that Mark loves.  (Too bad you weren't there.) I enjoyed awesome coffee and the second questionable chocolate croissant of my trip. (Sorry New York, but Turtle Bread could kick your butt.)
We changed Max's diaper and gave him a little food. By 'we' I mean I talked to Irmghard and sat in the car while she did those things. Then we walked around Williamsburg for a few minutes before needing to get back to the subway.
Best photo of the whole trip?

This was the point of the trip when all hell broke loose. It wasn't so bad for me but I really wished Irmghard could've had a glass of wine when it was all over.

We were in Williamsburg and needed to get back across Brooklyn to their house and so I could pick up the right subway line to JFK. That meant getting across a little place called Flatbush. (You want to take a picture of all the orthodox Jewish men don't you?) I mean, I didn't because I'm sort of used to it, but there really were a lot of people.

Did I mention it was the morning before the first Passover Seder? For those still playing, all the orthodox families were out burning the chametz on the sidewalks along all the streets. It was mayhem because traffic was stopped completely so firetrucks could get through. (The fires seemed to be controlled, firetrucks were maybe just a precaution?) But traffic was stopped.

Traffic was also stopped in such a way that we could neither pull over or switch drivers. I mention this because it was about now that Little Cousin started crying his eyes out and poor Irmghard was stuck in the drivers seat, nothing we could do. Eventually I climbed in the back and tried to comfort him. Seriously, still can't feed you. Irmghard eventually got out of the traffic jam and Little Cousin fell asleep as soon as the car started to move. Thank goodness right? I can understand now how biological it is to respond to the cries of a little baby. Wow!

The train ride was nice and easy. I even managed to get on the correct A train and not wind up at Lefferts Blvd or someplace equally stupid.

I had lots of time at the airport so I had lunch and then found a place to charge my phone (which needed it after all the pictures I'd taken that day). I wound up sitting next to this woman who is from New York, heading to Vegas for business and fun, and a psychologist. I talked to her until my plane boarded. 45 minutes before departure time. Seriously?!?

The plane ride home was basically uneventful other than that people kept grabbing the back of my chair. This may be my flying pet peeve. Crying babies don't really bother me. But when you are behind me and you grab the back of my chair for support to stand up, it moves me and after an eight mile run, it hurts more than you think it should. Perhaps I would have been molested less if I'd been sitting in front of a kid.

Most shocking of all was that my flight landed early.  From JFK. 

Final thoughts:

  • Pandora rocks!
  • My Android's native GPS app is far superior to the native GPS app of the iPhone.
  • I need an "angry birds for idiots" guide.  Perhaps the 5-year old at the Seder tonight can teach me.
  • The people next to me on the flight reminded me of Chris K's family and I have no idea why.
  • Spell check and auto suggest on iOS is also inferior to Android. Ask me about swype too.
  • Both Irmghard and Mark have great taste in music.

Great vacation and congratulations again to new Mom and Dad.  Kiss the baby one more time for me please!

New York Sunday

By Sunday morning, I was ready to run again.  Luckily for me, there's a great route right in the neighborhood, complete with hills to help prepare me for my next race.  (Mark thinks I'm crazy for getting up early to run.  Whatever.)

The Brooklyn Museum: also the highest point in the run.

Grand Army Plaza and the entrance to the park

Cherry Blossoms (or some other kind of blossoming fruit tree)

Our first outing of the day was to Manhattan for Irmghard to collect her tax forms (it has to do with being self-employed). The tax preparer was right next to this Church, ahem, Church-turned-nightclub, no, seriously, Church - turned nightclub - turned shopping mall. Shopping! I actually am not that dangerous at high end places in Manhattan when I've packed only carry-on luggage. It was a fun place to walk around, for both the stores and the architecture.

Get me out of Manhattan! We headed back to Brooklyn and dropped off Mom and Little Cousin at home.
So glad I wasn't driving in Manhattan!

Mark needed a haircut so we headed over to Park Slope to a barber shop he wanted to try. I walked around Park Slope and missed my brother who used to live in that neighborhood before moving half way around the world again.

We'd talked about walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, it seemed open even though they're doing repairs.  Mark and I braved the throngs of tourists and bicycles.  (Although the cyclists yelling at everyone did almost have a point.)  The bridge dropped us out in lower Manhattan, very close to where Mark lived the first time I saw him in New York.  We stopped and had a hot bowl of noodles (it's a long walk across the bridge).  The noodle shop was next to this store called Century 21 which Mark describes as "like TJ Maxx after a week of drinking and acid" or something similar.  It was a wild, completely packed store.  I took one look and was all "please can we leave".  PANIC!  Even for New York that place was too crowded.

Back across the bridge and into Brooklyn we went.  We found Irmghard in a mild state of anxiety over the taxes.  They spelled my name wrong!  It is a difficult name to spell, the last name is a piece of work too although that's Mark's fault more than hers.

We had Seafood salad redux for dinner.  Not sure if it's odd that I'm so willing to eat squid (hell yeah!) but I think it made Mark happy when I loved it the first night and was interested enough to ask if he'd add mangoes to the leftovers.

Sunday night little cousin was a fuss pot (poor thing!).  Mark was trying to pack and comfort Little Cousin while Irmghard trained me to be her design assistant.  It mildly worked.  He was better at getting the kid to not cry than I was.

Mark got up and left super early on Monday morning for some business in Miami so that was my last night with him.  Thanks Cuz; I had a great time.

Brooklyn Saturday

The Avett Brothers unknowingly provided the soundtrack for this trip.  Nice.

Saturday for some reason I didn't want to run. I can't remember why now but sleeping seemed a better idea.

Mark and I walked the dog which is always an experience. Everyone stares at the dog and the human walking him. Some people come over and talk, some people want to pet him but are scared, some people run the other way, some just stare. It's quite an experience.

We left the dog at home for the farmer's market and the coffee stops we made along the way (Decaf?!?) I'm jealous that New York's farmer's markets are open already. I'm still counting the weeks until my market opens with it's awesome-bacon and pasture fed eggs. (Maybe I am a food snob.)

Most of the rest of the day was similarly spent hanging out at home. I got my first chance at putting Little Cousin to sleep. Great success. (Had to make up for all the times I made him cry.)

A friend of Mark and Irmghard's came over for dinner and brought her son who is Little Cousin's same age. We passed babies all night long. I can't remember if I made the other kid cry too. (Not really made them cry so much as they cried because I couldn't feed them. Sorry.)

Also, I believe there was Passion Fruit Ice Cream for dessert. Win!

Friday - Let the vacation BEGIN

April is my month of vacations. Sweet! Maybe I'll be coming to a town near you.

Exercise!: Last Friday I woke up around the crack of dawn and headed to the gym for a light workout of the rowing machine. (It's called I need to go the gym a certain number of times each month and last night I ran up big hills and then had beer. I'm doing my best.)

Provisions: Next was a quick trip to the Co-op when I realized I had no real food for breakfast and I'd probably need something for lunch as well.

Dentist - oh fail! No one knows why I scheduled a dentist appointment today. It was a quick one though. He just had to polish the fillings he put in earlier this year so they stop shredding my dental floss. Thank you!

More provisions: Clerk at Walgreens - no we don't have a travel section. Me: Yes you do; it's right here.

Airport: Thanks to Bonnie for leaving her family long enough to take me to the airport. Gramma called while I was about to go through screening so I called her back once I was through security and talked for a while. I enjoyed my gadgets and listened to all kinds of music. I snapped this photo of a fellow passenger. It made me smile that her wardrobe and the way she carried herself it was like she was already in New York.

Musical gates and musical planes: We started at C22, all ready to get on a flight that appeared to be on time. Then the gate agent made this announcement like the plane just accidentally went to another gate and would we all walk down to C16 and boarding would be basically on time. At that gate they announced the plane we were scheduled to take needed some maintenance and we'll have to use the plane from the next inbound flight which is a few minutes away. A few minutes later gate agent kindly asks us to haul ourselves back to gate C21. We were delayed like 45 minutes I think. (Good thing I had a nice lunch!)
Final announcement from Gate Agent was "plane side checking luggage is not an option. If we hand you a pink tag and advise you to check your luggage you must do so or step out of line so we can board other passengers". Hilarious.

Welcome to New York - Mark came to pick me up at the airport. We headed back to the apartment and stayed in for the night. I got to meet Little Cousin and hang out with everyone. Fantastic.
This guy thinks he's the welcoming committee.

Here's the other welcoming committee!

Music Tuesday

I spent most of the day asleep (vacation: WIN for Lizzo!).  Happy Passover to all who know what I'm talking about.

I did make it out briefly.  I purchased provisions for Crispy Roasted Chickpeas and sesame kale salad. I made them both and am hoping they freeze well.  I think there may be too much honey in the sesame kale salad.  I can't be sure yet.

The rest of the day has been spent listening to some great music courtesy of Pandora and some great songs I heard on vacation.  It's been a very acoustic kind of day. Take a listen:


I just saw a Blue Herron! Ask me about Spring!

5:00am: Why did I think going to the gym at this hour would be a good idea?  I reset my alarm.
6:50am: This hour is only minimally better than the 0500 hour.  Got up, took a shower, ate some oatmeal (yum) and started work at home.
8ish: Drove to St Paul and started the work day in earnest.
2:00pm: Two meetings and two home visits later I finally arrived in the office.
2:01pm: I hate coverage.
5:30pm: Bar Girl (shortened from "Girl the other girl met at a bar") and I ran up big hills.  We named the hills "Papa bear" (miles 0-1.5), "Mama bear" (miles 2.2-2.8) and "baby bear" (short hill right after mile 3).  It was a blast.  Bar Girl liked the route and was even willing to entertain the idea of running up all of Montreal Avenue, from the bottom.  (Just to see if I can.)
7ish: To the bar.  We went to this little neighborhood dive in the West 7th neighborhood.
The moment I turn around: Bar Girl is talking to a semi-retired history professor who wanted our table and was giving us a fascinating look at the history of St Paul.  I love hanging out with extroverts.
Photo from here.
On the way home: That's a Blue Heron!!.  Nothing says warm weather like shore birds.  Just saying.
Now: Doing laundry and drinking another beer.
I don't have to go back to work until next Thursday.  Niiice!


In which my leg hurts and other random thoughts

Thought process for the week: "I need to do at least a 10-miler this week.  Sunday and Monday are out for recovery days.  Friday and Saturday are out becuase I'm busy both days.  Thursday is out because I have an 8:30am meeting.  Wednesday it might do the r-word".

Those of you who could follow my thought process: good job!  For everyone else: Tuesday is the only day I could've done a long run.

I have this issue where the night before long runs I have a hard time falling asleep.  All I can think about is my route and how early I'll have to wake up and what snacks I should bring (Gu: yum) and so on.  To calm myself down last night I practiced a new technique: don't think about the run, just think about the outfit.  I also made an agreement with myself that I could do 10 miles on an elliptical instead of running if I wanted because of some of the other mileage I have planned this week.

At 5:20am the elliptical sounded better than outside so I headed over to the gym and spent quality time on several ellipticals.  (Thanks to the YWCA for straightening out your billing issue by the way.)

Work was fine.  At the end of the day I ran with a member of team:work who is also now GymBuddy.  Because I avoid the Y during the 'after work gym rush hour' at all costs, we ran outside tonight and had a nice time.  Other than my right leg which hates me.  I'm experiencing the 'this is more than stiffness or a little ache' ACHE in my quad (which happens sometimes) and my ankle (which is new).  It started during the run and is finally being alleviated now by ibuprofen.  Mercifully it is the kind of pain that responds quite well to one dose of ibuprofen and won't come back after the drugs wear off.

After elliptical, work, and running, I headed out with Crazy Kat Lady (is that her name now?) for Punch Pizza.  I was happily surprised that I like the Neo style pizza despite the picture of the tomato on the menu.  Yum.

Before I go, let me tell you about one of my new favorite songs.  How had I not heard this before?


Hill training

Last night I got this text - 'wanna run tomorrow' from Neighbor Bok who is apparently a new running buddy as well.  Neighbor Bok said to text with other new running buddy, 'girl I met at the bar' (they need better nick names; open to suggestions) and figure something out.

Since these are new running buddies, I didn't feel I could say no despite having run 11 milesMaybe it'll be a recovery run?
The fact that I only own three running bras meant I had to do laundry last night as well.   (Not that many guys read this; it's fine.)  Running Saturday quickly turned into chore-and-productivity Saturday.  (Nice that's it's done now though.)

This morning I woke up and headed over to 'girl I met at the bar's' house with Neighbor Bok.  We ran down an awesome hill; and then we ran back up it.  New running buddies are faster going up hills than myself so they're good training partners, even better practice for my next race.  You may have heard me mention before, this race has quite the uphill.  The half-marathon (my race) has a fairly technical descent as well.

I think I won't see Neighbor Bok again until next week.  I will see Girl I Met at the Bar for a Thursday night hill run I think.  Perhaps I can convince her that this route will be a good idea.

I also need to pick an early day and go see the St Paul runners whom I have not seen since the day I had to stop running because I nearly hacked up a lung.  (See; that was so bad I didn't even write about it.)  And I need to find a day before Friday to either run 10 miles (ha!) or find a time to spend quality time of the elliptical.  Wish me luck!


Running Saturday - 11 miles in the books!

I decided it was time to actually start doing long runs again since the Flying Pig is actually coming up pretty soon and I did pay all that money.

Last night:  I was thinking to myself, 'huh, the only real 10 mile route I have is underwater at the moment.  I guess I'll have to come up with something else.'  I have a couple twelve mile routes over the river or involving some combinations of the lakes but 12 was too long.  The closest I could come was either a nine-miler involving a weird lap-and-a-half deal at Lake Harriet or an 11-miler likely to involve a large hill.

This morning: Why is it still dark out?  Must be too early to get up

A few hours after that: Ok, I'm awake.  Don't think about the run, just think about getting dressed.  It seems to be how I get myself going in the morning.  I picked out a cute outfit and then gasp got out my fuel belt and loaded it with some water and a gu pack.

 Here's the route I took.  Ultimately I chose the hill because I need the practice. 

The run itself was uneventful the first seven or so miles.  I was able to go a little harder than I'd originally anticipated and felt like I had lots of energy.  I saw a Bolder Options pair training at the lake.  (I know my people.)  Then I headed back down to the creek.  A vague sense of dread *panic* set in around this time because I was thinking about the hill I'd have to scale to get home.  Dynamite (Taio Cruz) came on my iPod at what is literally the low point of the hill.  The song had a fantastic calming power and I made it up the hill just fine.

The run down the hill could've gone better.  ::Side note to the toenail on the big toe of my right foot - you are the only part of my entire body that hates my new shoes.  You only seem to hate the new shoes when we run down big hills very fast and you bang into the shoes for some reason.  I'll work on solutions, I promise.  Let's make peace before the Pig.::

Once my toenail stopped protesting:  Running back along the creek towards home is always where I loose my mind.  I just want to be done and can't seem to calm my body down.  (Seriously, slow the hell down, there's a couple miles left.)  Plus there's this hill coming up from the parkway to 46th street.  (Who puts a hill that big at the end of a run like that?)  I made it all the way up the second smaller-but-still-full-of-suck hill and even better, past the 10-mile mark before I started throwing in walk breaks.  (Seriously, it's 11 miles and my longest run before that was 6.7; it's fine.)

Post run: I have several thoughts post run.  Here they are in no particular order.
  • Gotta find headphones that don't pop out of my ears.  Sadly, noise cancelling headphones are unacceptable for road running because they'd fit the bill nicely.
  • That huge blister/cut I get on my back from the Fuel Belt - it's like seeing an old friend.
  • My calves hate me.  This forefoot striking thing is not for sissies.
  • My arches hate me.  These shoes are not for sissies either.
  • I wonder what's going to happen to that toenail?  My one toenail on my big toe; it's not going to fall off I don't think.  It just hurts when I run down hills and me toe slams into the front of the shoe.  I'm experimenting with ways I can trim the toenail to reduce pain on impact. 
  • These shoes are PINK
  • I need more Gu.
  • There should be a little man who cooks me breakfast after these runs.
  • Speaking of breakfast.  Mmmm. Bacon and eggs.  At 12:15pm.
  • It's 3:30pm.  I'm hungry again. 


Whoamygosh I can run!

Great success.  I got up this morning and went for a run around the lakes.  When's the last time I did that?  I honestly have no idea; long before the snow fell I'm sure.  (Winter has been rough.)   I was a little on my guard still this morning looking for snow and ice patches but it was all unwarranted as I found none.  Even the running path along the creek was open, meaning the creek went down a few feet.

I ran tonight with team:work as well, we 2.8 miles and used the intervals from week 3 of the couch potato plan. A new member joined team:work and we will call her the "fastie in sheeps clothing" 'cause she's got some speed.  She's still building up the endurance and getting used to running but she's got a great level of fitness to start with.

I'm starting to anticipate my next race (the Flying Pig Half Marathon) with excitement.  I should probably start working in some longer runs.  Sadly one of my favorite training spots, Ft Snelling, is under water right now so I'm looking for a different place for 10-12 mile runs with hills.

While I'm figuring out a 10-12 mile route with enough hills to prepare me for Cincinnati, here's what I've been listening to from my Kansas trip play list.


Vacation Kansas - Day 4: The Drive Home

Monday is driving home day. The paint reared it's head today. It survived the 90* heat, a rain storm and hail the day before and continued putting up a fight today.

The ride home was uneventful.  I did eat more cheese balls.  So did everyone else.

We kept trying to find a car wash.  Reality: vans may or may not be appropriate for an automatic truck wash but Beth was not willing to pay the $25 it would've taken to find out.

Vacation Kansas - Day 2 (Saturday)

Sun is shining in Kansas.  In Minnesota it's dreary and cold. 

Saturday Kansas rolled out the welcome mat for me and I totally enjoyed it.  It was 75* and sunny.  Niiiice.

In the morning we went to Khol's because Beth had a coupon burning a hole in her pocket.  (Actually it was a wild combination of multiple coupons that could only be used that one day.)  I got the orange jacket featured above.  It's almost as bright as the sun.

Beth's family dropped me off at home for my nap while they visited some old and new family friends.

Then they came and reclaimed me so we could go to a place called Yello Sub.  Beth said it's a great place to eat and I enjoyed my meal thoroughly.  I maintain that Beth and her mom only wanted to eat there so we could hear Beth's youngest daughter say the word "yellow" several times.  (It comes out 'lellow' and certainly added to the experience.)

After lunch we headed home and did some light yard work for Beth's mom.  Everyone helped.  Snow shovels double as a nice dust bin for leaves.  Just in case you need that information.
Snow shovel and flip flops.  

Then we all walked to the park at the end of the street.  The park has a 'spinning thing' which is very fun and not exactly what you think it is, but similar.
The park also has some fantastic static cling which Beth's older daughter demonstrated.

Magnolias.  In bloom.  Kansas has rolled out the welcome mat nicely.

Beth and I left the girls at the park with her mom and headed into downtown Lawrence for packet pickup, general tourism, and to meet all of team Bringing Up the Bok.
Kathy sporting the team uniform.

Cotton candy: $3 as big as you want it.

We met at the Free State Brewery (if you've been to Lawrence, you know what I'm talking about) for beer and planning.  Then we went over to Bob's (he's the only guy in these pictures) place for pre-race pasta dinner and van decorations.
That paint plays an important role in the rest of the trip too.  Much like the cheese balls.

Vacation Kansas - Day 1

This is a Minnesota swimming pool in April.  It's still cold here.

Friday morning: I woke up and finally came to grips with the fact that I need to run a relay on Sunday and should run outside without stopping at least once before then.  The running outfit was tights and fleece pants, a winter running shirt and vest and wool socks.  (Just for reference.)

It took me all morning to pack.  I finally just had to pick about five different running outfits because the weather predictions for Lawrence had been so unbelievable up to then.  I also did some cleaning around the house so I'd have a clean place when I got back.

In the afternoon I headed over to Beth's and we started the trip.
Cheese balls were very important to our trip.  We had a container of cheese balls roughly the size of a five year old.  It was more or less the perfect size.
Friday was mostly driving but we did stop a couple of times and have some fun in the gas stations looking at all the candy they have in those places.
Anyone who's been to Iowa knows this is a gas station chain there.  Everyone else just thinks I have a dirty sense of humor.

My car buddies modeling hats at the gas station.

We arrived in Lawrence around 10:30pm and went to bed shortly thereafter.  I was in the 'tv room' at Beth's mom's house.  The TV room features a sofa-bed that is was surprisingly comfortable.  (Sorry Amanda.)