adventure

Surprise Adventures

Alarm set: 5 am. I did not want to wake up on a Sunday sleep in day at this hour. Quick shower to wake up. Reality hits. Starbucks isn’t open yet. Arrived at the planned meeting spot for 6 am. Party of six women off to adventure the unknown. Two know the plan. Four only know it’s a surprise. A packing list was assigned. Car shuffle occurred. 2 cars head out with random people assigned to each. Off we go. Oh wait I forgot to lock the car. Back we go and the caravan is broken immediately. Are we lost? 

We are not exactly lost but we are a bit behind. Glad we went back to grab my purse as I had left the car unlocked. Potty break in car two. The car that started out behind added to their delay. It’s about an hour into travel,   And we just completed our first car ride activity. Mad libs virtual edition. We each filled in the blanks and did a FaceTime chat to share answers and giggles. One might have been raunchy while the other one family appropriate.

Now the downpour starts. Visibility is low in the car. Our activities are supposed to be outside. Will we survive the weather?  The packing list called for a poncho and change of clothes. Who actually planned to use them? First stop was breakfast and the coffee art was a big hit. The food was good too, but the coffee art won me over.

Off we go to the next stop. Lula Lake, Tennessee was the destination spot. Only open a few days a month to the public and we were on the list for today.

The first view was the mini falls into a nice pooling area. The picture doesn’t really do it justice but it was breathtaking in person. As we left this area the downpour came. It was like buckets and buckets of rain drops. We were drenched but it added to the fun of the day.

The main event was the big water fall. It was beautiful from the top with the mist and the fog but the real amazing view was at the bottom. A little wet from the rain but the mist of the falls sprayed you when you were up close. It was an experience to say the least.

A lot of wet fun was had on the hike but we then ventured off to the park for a cute fall picnic. Thank you to Trader Joe’s, a ton of fall delights that we all grazed on. Some pumpkin spice hummus, a tasty charcuterie tray, everything but the bagel chips, pickles, moist cinnamon bun cookies, pumpkin white chocolate brownies, nuts, pumpkin flavored seeds, green goddess dip, pumpkin granola bark, cranberry chicken salad, spinach and kale yogurt dip, chocolate almond spread, crackers and so many more treats. It was a feast of sorts in the park. I am so ready for my next picnic. Anyone can make the best of a cloudy day. 

Hopefully you are not hungry after reading this but I am in a food coma thus I must end this post right here.

adventure

My Firsts

This week I did some new things or firsts for me. I decided I should log them and put a little entry in here. Then I decided I’d keep doing it here and there to make sure I’m staying fresh or continuing to try new things.

I hung out in a vintage camper. Don’t know the exact year but I got to think about what kind of life this old trailer had. The memories. The miles traveled. The people who shared the journey. A fun little first for me.  Did I mention the camper sat idle while I wondered how it fared on the road in its heyday?

I babysat a Great Dane. More of a horse than a dog. Large in size but more like a mini Dachshund when it comes to measuring its fierceness. Lots of slobber. Some interesting feeding sessions to say the least.

I played tennis with a new partner. Such an experience. We both had to display patience, foster hope, and develop teamwork almost immediately. We struggled in some ways but conquered in others. I’d highly recommend trying something new like this that requires teaming.

I stopped to help an injured animal on the side of the road. It didn’t seem like much but I was comforting the injured animal in his last hours. Not something I’d recommend but I am glad I was able to experience such a moving moment. I certainly hugged my dogs upon my return home. I just knew that puppy’s family was hurting with their recent loss.

I took a group lesson this week. I didn’t have an expectation. I went with the flow and I had so much fun. Getting coached in a weak area is great when you are coachable and I am happy to report that I am coachable. 

I cleaned up poop in record quantity. From smears in the carpet to full blown shit stream down the long hallway. You named a spot and there was most likely a shit gift waiting for you. Oh the smell. Oh the consistency made cleaning a real nightmare. As I scrubbed, wiped, sprayed and cleaned I thought to myself I’m lucky to have a dog so I’ll just clean away. Good thing this doesn’t happen everyday! From now on I will not get the dog flu shot.

I went on a hike with my two dogs. First time for not only me but my puppy. At three months old she did amazing and I surprised myself too. The picture below shows my sassy girls Teddie and Bear. This dynamic duo was great on the hike. They were so tired when we were done. Such a great first with them.

These are just a few of my firsts but I’m sure I’ll have future first posts.

adventure

Staycation

I had a staycation this spring break. It was amazing. I didn’t need an expensive beach trip. I didn’t need the crowds of Disney. I didn’t need to figure out travel restrictions from state to state.

Instead I opted for easy. Simple. No frills. Just a local staycation. I stayed and played. Lunch dates sitting outside enjoying the sunshine and company. Outdoor activities with friends and family. From bike rides to hikes to just playing fetch with the dog in the yard.

A little catch-up on the home to do list. A little planting. A little too much shopping. Some driveway car washing. Home cooked meals some which were good and some not so good. That is funny in itself.

Slept in a few days because I could not that I should. A little mix up in the routine and mundane. Let the laundry sit in the dryer an extra day. Spent some time visiting on the spur of the moment. A little thing I missed during the pandemic.

No rules. No have tos. No timelines. Come and go as I please. Something as simple as camping in your own yard or toasting marshmallows over a fire pit can seem like a vacation. Whether you stay or whether you go is up to you. You can make memories either way.

For me a staycation was just right for me. Now my family may say otherwise but this Chick enjoyed the stay. As simple as it was.

dare to be different

A Day in My Shoes

Flashback to girls night, one of those guessing games…

“Has more than 12 pairs of shoes.” My friends had to go around the circle, guessing yes or no to this fact about me about me. And on this one, most guessed no. I was shocked. Really, people who see me often don’t think I have more than 12 pairs of shoes?

Upon reflection, I’ll admit…I am pretty basic in the shoe department. I’ve never been a shoe fanatic…maybe that’s a byproduct of my size 11 feet. Most of my life my shoe size limited my selections, and I guess I didn’t love drawing attention to my big feet anyway.

The shoes I remember most from my youth were my black patent leather Doc Maartens with steel toes from a very long moody emo phase. And I loved Birkenstocks even as a teen (so don’t call me trendy on that…they’re pretty much the only shoes that support me!) But even then it was simple Arizonas or basic clogs. Keep it low key.

Up until a few years ago, I stuck to mostly brown and black. A pair of each and you can match anything. Even today, I don’t buy new CrossFit shoes every time one comes out. I have three pairs so I might get a new one once a year (and the snazziest one was a gift.) But between sandals and clogs I have at least 12 pairs of Birkenstocks. Maybe my affluence is showing.

This got me thinking about recent changes in my life. My shoe wardrobe has expanded along with my roles and ambitions. This came to me most clearly on a recent Saturday…Here’s a glimpse into a day-in-the-shoe-life of Chick 2.

Morning: Brutal CrossFit class. Wearing: Snazzy Nike CrossFit shoes. Keeping me moving through burpees, jumps, and everything else.

Midday: Planting bulbs. Wearing: Cute Sunflower boots. Keeping me safe from critters and prickers in our burgeoning flower field.

Late afternoon: Short hike on the Appalachian Trail. Breaking in my new Rainbow Merrell Antoras. Keeping me stable over rocks, ice, and leftover snow.

All these colorful shoes are new to me in the past year (and not a Birkenstock in sight!) Each has its purpose and its role in my life. They help me get jobs done with a smidgen of style or at least a bit of a smile. I’ll never be a shoe guru, but a bit of color beyond the neutrals can add variety and spice to life.