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.

Ok Google

I had a belly laugh out loud moment tonight. It’s been a hot year since I can remember one of these. While watching Blacklist, Reddington uses a word that was foreign to CS and myself. Phonetically, it sounded like “Gene-u-is-tic”. My parents have become masters of “Ok Google, what’s…” I thought I would try it. Here is what Google heard and how it responded.

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I see this on my screen. Show CS. Then while laughing say, “I need to get a photo of this!” To which CS responds, “Oh no. Don’t. Why would you?!” I meant a picture of my phone. He thought I meant a picture of the result of the Google search “G newest dick”. I’m impressed he thinks my brain works like that.

After a few more Google tries, CS unlocks the mystery. Survey says “Jingoistic“.

Reality Check DIY

My Dad forgets he’s 70. I needed to find a way to remind him of this fact that he could appreciate. Patent pending, I introduce Reality Check CardsTM.

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The goal of this DIY was to remind my father, he didn’t have to save the world anymore. He’s worked hard, so take a break. 1/2 of the cards are uplifting and sweet. That half of the deck also has images of him with family over the past 10 years.

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Every day, he pulls a card, reflects, then shares it with Mom. Of course I required proof. Started getting texts w/ images. These 2 are up to no good some days!

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Then he found his favorite card.

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Point made and point taken.

Next comes that friend who just picks the wrong girls. I asked “Is your red flag radar broken?” I made him one to replace it.

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There are 8 categories to consider. It includes questions he needs to ask himself when continuing a relationship with females. Once he finds 4 red flags, she has to go.

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It’s effectiveness is currently being tested. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a slam dunk and the hottest Christmas present for 2016!

OneAmerica 500 Festival 5K

Previously.

Lately, I have alarm fails when Mom visits. Our race starts at 7:30 am. She wanted to get up at 5:15 for our 6:15 exit time. My right brain had it’s own agenda. It got up at 6:15. She does this now. Well, shit. Sorry Mom, let’s go!

We get parked and then the bathroom pit stop had to occur. Hey 5K Race, go ahead and start. We’ll catch up! As we are walking to and past the start, we get on the route. Mom says, “Where’s the crowd?” Me, “We’ll catch them, we are are late but it still counts.” We start right behind the EMS cart and this guy getting the job done in his own way. Humble reminder we are all on our journey and to be proud for others on their personal journey.

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Mom was raring to go! She was ready to pass people like a race car driver. We had pedicures and shopping to do afterward! Traditions.

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After mile 1, we caught up to the “Back of Pack” sign. This helps you know to get your ass moving or get your ass on the bus. We don’t do buses.

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Usually you see Mom and I arm-in-arm making our way to the finish. This time, we saw a new approach. Awwww… (what’s happened to me?!)

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We finished in under an hour and happy as could be!

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Once we finished, we went to the team tent, hydrated, got some food and made our way to the grandstands to wait for the Mini finishers. This was a new experience for us! We were giddy and add to that, these “clappers” to cheer in the elite runners this race draws!

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While waiting for the elites, our buddy from mile 1, GOT IT DONE!

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The annoucer calls his name and he acknowledges the remark. Cue my tears. I didn’t even know this guy, and damn, mad respect for his journey that brought him to this race. Thanks to Karma for letting me witness someone else’s fortitude. Being bold with my message here… life is a classroom… We learn every day from ordinary experiences. Or did Tay-tay Swift teach me that?!

The top finishers started arriving! Never seen it from this side before.

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I think Mom and I found our new race. I couldn’t have asked for a better day and wonderful experience with my beautiful Mother. Here’s to 10 more!!

The Graffiti Run 5k

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PS has been talking about doing this race for awhile. I kept checking the race calendar and finally one came to town. Then so did the rainy chilly weather! I was just at the beach in 80 degrees. Grr. Who cares, let’s get dirty!

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We arrived promptly for the 10 second count down. Perfect! We just hopped right in line and started our race. They had 4 color blast stations on the course where volunteers reached into 10 gallon drums and peppered you with a color. The first one we avoided. The 2nd one, it was like “what the hell”, it’s why we are here. So we got a little. The 3rd was slow motion. The girl cocked her arm back and, with a hot pink fireball, she nailed me.

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Now I know the drill. I’ll use PS as a shield at our next one.

My First Kid

I don’t know when this obsession began. I love the claw machine. Maybe I’m a reincarnated alien from Toy Story. The Claaaaaaaaaaw. The “Claw” will somehow choose one of them to “go on to a better place.” My generations Calgon, I guess. During a recent spring cleaning effort I found Bessie.

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Bessie was, at one time, the largest stuffed animal I had ever gotten from The Claw. She was special. With CS’ help, he said “Take a picture then walk away.”

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Fine. Good bye my sweet friend. Sorry I had to choose to keep this over you.

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Over-sized hot pink punching glove 1 – Bessie 0.

Can’t Believe I’ll Say This

I’m a fan of Hoosiers.

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Hoosiers meaning the state, not the University. Get it?! I was privileged to attend the preview screening of the new documentary about my great state. I must admit, I cheated on my history test about presidents. I didn’t think that info was useful in high school. History, not my thing. Only so much room in our brains for info. But tonight, I was excited to gain insight into my state’s bicentennial celebration. And I even got to hear from the historian James H. Madison himself.

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I may start learning about history. Shit. I’m old.