I’m Not Tough Like This

The Runner’s Forum was offering an outdoor movie night. Yes please!

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I’d never heard of The Barkley Marathons (as I will find out later why) and was instantly intrigued with the tag line. The hardest 100 mile race around. I’ve seen a few. Heard of a dozen. What is this all about? Before the show started, I was motivated to be out with the old, and in with the new!

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From Nike to New Balance, so let’s try Saucony. On with the movie!

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Holy shit this is nuts. 100~ish miles in 60 hours in Tennessee. Watch this movie if you feel like you are a bad ass. You might not be. I am not.

Netwalking

Netwalking. What?! Integrating Woman Leaders sponsored an event at my home turf, Holliday Park. I was ready to represent and pay admission to support the cause. DnKpresents.com were our guides. We walked through the park and were reminded of how to disconnect with the modern world and use nature as a gift and retreat to be mindful of our lives. I learned about Jewelweed.

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Jewelweed grows near poison ivy. Back the F up. Great fact I learned that day. Orange pretty flower? STAY AWAY! K was so gracious and knowledgeable about our surroundings. Loved seeing the appreciation she showed for life and land. What are you looking at?

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Gorgeous light!

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As we walked DnK would ask us thought provoking questions and encourage us to pair up with peeps we didn’t know. I starred into a strangers eyes for 2 minutes while she just shared her life. So… so…. i don’t have the words. It was challenging yet amazing. There. I tried. We had an exercise in trust. Trust a complete stranger to help you walk backward across a bridge while you only look up at them. No looking down.

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Happy to report no falls! We all passed! So, big question of the event… What does being mindful mean to you? I gave a few attendees this today.

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I’m going to love this toy.

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I’ve been wanting one of these for years. I even tried to use work as a reason. I finally caved and shelled out the cash myself.

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What is it?

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All the reviews said the circular cutter that came with it was crap. Recommended you download the 1 inch template and just cut yourself.

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Load it in, and out comes a BUTTON!

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994 buttons to make until I run out of supply!

Rock The Ruins

After a long Corporate Challenge morning, I was ready to relax. My roomies agreed to chill with me at Rock The Ruins!

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Holliday Park has been raising money for 2 years to revamp and refresh the ruins sculpture at the park. I expected a good crowd but was delighted to see it packed with friends, couples, and families.

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Toy Factory played for us, while the kids played in the new water splash area.

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Can’t wait to use that after my next run!

Delayed Date Night

With other Thursday night events on the calendar, I had to delay June’s date night until September. But where was I taking CS with his putter?

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We checked in at the front desk and since we brought our own putters, we couldn’t walk thru museum gallery. We had to take the back stairs to get to our event… Mini golf at the IMA! 18 different Indiana themed art installations turned into a massive putt-putt course.

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First hole was a tribute to the Great Squirrel Invasion. You could turn the squirrels or use them to ricochet your ball towards the hole.

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Rainbow cat

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Cardinal

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It happened to be Pacer’s Movie night, so we took a quick break to get a pic with Boomer.

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Back to golf! This one was a maze of chimes that if you played them, it played “Back Home Again in Indiana”. Really annoying when the kids would just bang on them.

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A nod to the State’s covered bridges.

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My hole in 1!

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Two 6’s killed me.

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Good times for a cheap price! Head over before it closes in October.

Indianapolis Foundation Turns 100

I was invited to attend a gala to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the Indianapolis Foundation, hosted by the Central Indiana Community Foundation. Very few events keep me from a summer lake weekend. This one took the trophy. They were boasting about a one million dollar giveaway at the event. I had no clue what I was in for.

We entered the Scottish Rite and were welcomed into the beautifully decorated ballroom.

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Unlike other events, I was ready to eat.  A small late lunch didn’t hold me over. I spied the first food station with pasta and chicken. Sign me up, twice!

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The walking servers had several delicious plates but my favorite was the mini taco with a mini margarita cactus drink!

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Who wants a slider from a slide?! This guy!

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CS partook in a few of these shrimp ceviche which flew in from the 3rd floor on a zip line.

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I noticed some people with mashed potatoes. I asked CS to go find them and bring me back some with… bacon bits and cheese. Forgot I was at a high class event. He came back with potatoes with short ribs and shaved parmesan.

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They had a cool light display, so I thought it would make a great selfie. My fail.

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Let’s have someone else take it!

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No mascots, but these guys will do!

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The big moment of the night was arriving. CICF was giving away one million dollars live and by surprise. That is not a typo. One million dollars. Let the count down begin.

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CICF chose 7 organizations to receive $100,000 Visionary Awards that share their the values, history and mission, as well as a commitment to the future of Indianapolis. The Foundation also awarded $10,000 each to Indy Professional Theatre MVPs, creative professionals whose work in theater contributes to the vibrancy of the cultural community and the strength of our city. Next, 10 organizations whose charitable endowments are maintained and managed by CICF were randomly chosen to receive a $10,000 gift into their endowments. But that wasn’t enough. 10 randomly-selected audience members were awarded the opportunity to work with The Foundation to allocate $10,000 each to a Marion County not-for-profit organization of their choosing. Holy shit. My jaw was on the floor. This was amazing to witness. Crazy to think my name could have been called.

After the we were ushered out to watch the amazing light show on the side of the building. Our event was in tandem with the INLIGHTIN festival on the canal. It was the Midwest version of this. Good enough for us!

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We even made a cameo on TV. Can you find us?

Zoo Brew

Mom’s been talking about this event for years but it sells out literally 3 minutes after tickets go on sale. She made some networking calls and finally we had 2 tickets to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo fundraiser called Zoo Brew!

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I can’t even remember the last time I was here, but I do remember my first job working with the ponies and horse rides. That lasted one summer due to my hay allergy. But it did give me a great memory of one car ride home with my Mom… I was 14 and couldn’t drive yet so she carted me and my lunch there every day. This was back in the day of the hard Igloo coolers. A rabbit had built a nest in the middle of the pony ring. Once the babies were ready to flee, my fellow co-workers were trying to catch them. Once you touch them, the mom won’t take care of them anymore. Dad and I had raised bunnies in our neighborhood quite a few times. So I thought, I’ll just bring them home. I put some grass in my cooler and in went 2 bunnies. Mom picks me up and asks

Why do you have grass coming out of your cooler?

I have 2 bunnies in there.

Natalee, you can’t steal animals from the zoo!

Duh! Back to present time… She got us VIP so we could get access to all the food and drink an hour before the general public. Very good choice as the lines got ridiculous as the night progressed. The zoo is laid out by continents so we headed to Africa first.

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Each continent had about a dozen food vendors and a dozen drink tastings. I was happy with my Mo’s tacos, but the caprese salad looked great.

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Bourbon tasting? Yes please!

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But we were really there to see the animals. A lot of the cats were sleeping.

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Hyena

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Zebras on the veldt.

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As we watched this monkey, he started to relieve himself from all ends. We hightailed it out of there. No poop thrown at us please!

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As we headed to North America, we hear the classic train horn. Mom got giddy like a little kid! She wanted to ride the train. I walked over to the empty station and asked the worker if it was open to the guests. It was so waited for it’s return… it had 4 people on it. 4. We were the only ones in line, everyone else was scarfing down food and booze. Alright Mom, let’s ride the train.

Alone. Seriously hilarious that we were the only ones. This is not a small train.

After our ride we headed to Austrailia.

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They turned the old bat exhibit into an interactive sting ray pool.

Roos hanging around the walkabout.

The huge aquarium is still a favorite of ours.

Puffer!

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Penguins weren’t very active in heat.

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I was excited to see the Lion drinking fountain was still functional!

Great day & memories with Mom! Thanks Momma!

Family Day in Nappanee

Since last summer, I’ve been threatening to take my parents some where in Nappanee Indiana they will never believe. Today, I made good on my promise. Introducing the Nappanee Horse Track!

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We parked in the shade, popped the hatch and waited for the race to begin!

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We were in turn 4. There were people lining the fence in turn 2 around the finish line where the grand stands were then down to us. Still had 5 more cars add to our turn after a few races.

A red El Camino would pull up to the finish line with these huge gates on the sides. The drivers and ponys would do a big walk down and back to get in line behind the car.

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Drive around to turn 2, then the El Camino takes off, folds up his gates, and off they go!

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Go ponies!

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It was so crazy! These guys get some major speed. We even saw one guy wreck and had to watch in agony for a few minutes to see if the pony could get up. After 7 races, they take a break and it’s practice time. We counted at least 30 ponies out there at one time. There were 19 races tonight! We had our fix after about 10. Carole needed chicken.

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Afterward, we headed into town to dine with some of Mom’s new friends at the Mexican restaurant. Someone’s getting a bonnet for Christmas.

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Afterward, I had one more stop on our visit. My friend’s parents help Nappanee create quilt gardens each year. I’ve only heard of these so I was ready to see one. It was gorgeous! With the State’s bicentennial this year, they are State themed.

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What city is next?!

A little video of the ponies. After a few races, Dad and I really enjoyed watching the El Camino try to pull off the track after the start. Comin’ in hot! Not a lot of room there! On lap 2, this was the race a pony went down. Hard to watch, but remember he did walk off the track on his own. Oh, and the driver was fine too.

Our Beach Return

Previously.

We. Made. It.

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Herbie @ the beach! 4 weeks prior to this, I wasn’t sure it would happen. Fears of playing Aunt Edna kept entering my mind.

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Our first stop was for some big chair time.

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Get this man some food!

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After a few days at the beach, the Indiana girls needed a shopping fix. And I needed to see if CS fit into this contraption.

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And we thought this was funny.

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CS was craving a po’boy the whole trip! With the help of some locals, we did find a few new eateries to try.

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Dad witnessed a Blue Angels fly-by over the beach, hopped on the internet, and we made plans to watch a public practice over in Peniscola. Bucket List! Mom, pack the Triscuits.

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My 2 favorite men in the whole wide world.

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They had an old Fat Albert plane you could tour. Might as well!

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I love this photo of my Dad. He’s walking by, “Herb, stop right there. I need a pic.” Payback for all the pics as a kid I had to pose for. Parenting your parents is fun!

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The cloud cover kept the practice to just a few stunts, but still impressive.

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Video will be coming soon.

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Then ole’ Fat Albert took the stage.

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After the show, we visited the massive National Naval Aviation Museum.

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I was very impressed with the history of planes and equipment this place had. Imagine this R2D2 cage was your job for months or years.

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Front row seat!

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You can’t see shit out of this thing. Radio contact must have been crucial.

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We tried to figure out if we could put his on the pontoon and race some boats at the lake.

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Finally time for my repeat bucket item… Lemur play time. I was armed with more interactive video this time.

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COME PLAY WITH ME!

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Carole was all about it.

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Chad found a new lover. In, this guy loved to lick is sun burnt forehead clean.

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I was in heaven. When I go back, I will likely do this every day we are there. Every day.

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Next animal encounter? Sloth! I sent this image to a friend. His response, “Nice stuffed animal statue.”

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Nope, he moves!

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There were 2 slothes in the cage. Let’s feed one.

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The sloth-y, as we will call him, would creepily move around the ropes.

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And I figured he was doing yoga moves.

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Photo ops with a sloth. And again, video will be coming soon.

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Another encounter was Kangaroos, but they put them in this pouch and you hold the pouch. Pass.

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CS had fun getting this guy agitated.

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Amidst all our fun, I found a little time for self improvement. Excellent Read. Highly recommend it.

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To my new favorite US beach spot… until next time.