Colorado Adventure Day 3

Today, we took Miss Sydney on our skiing adventure.  We arrived at Eldora Ski Resort a little before noon.  Just in time for the half day skiing prices.  I started skiing in 1997 at Boyne Highlands up in Michigan and have since racked up skiing in Indiana, Nevada, California and Colorado.  I counted how many times I’d been skiing in my life and decided it was time to try snowboarding.  15 times… yep, ready for something new.  Here’s Eldora.


Brandon and Syd went off to the greens while Kyle waited with me to get suited up with a snowboard.  I got my boots and went to get the board.  The guy just hands it to me and says “have fun”.  I go…. ahhhh…. can I ask you a question.  Since I had never been snowboarding I needed to know what foot was most likely to always stay strapped in.  I’ve been told I wakeboard goofy foot, but to me it feels right.  Turns out, the way I wakeboard is the way I should snowboard.  We walked over to the easiest green lift and I strapped a foot in.  I about fell right there.  This damn board was slippery!  It took quite a while to get used to dragging a 5 foot long board around while the other foot is trying to keep traction on snow.

Getting off the chair was fine, but maintaining my balance on one foot was not.  I think all day I successfully got off the chair lift without falling 5 times, but luckily you have to sit down to strap in your other foot so you can kind of play off the fall if it’s graceful enough.  After a few falls on my first two runs, I was ready for some bigger greens and blues.  I think I did pretty good for my first time out.  My only falls later in the day were because there was a 15 kid pile up for ski school and I didn’t want to make snowballs out of any of them.  Kyle stayed with me for some runs until he was bored and ready for more challenges himself.  I went back to find Syd and B.  When they were done, I went back to the blues to find Kyle.  I could have stayed up there all day, but everyone in my party was ready to leave.  I think I found my new winter hobby.  If anyone is looking to buy me a gift, I’m a size 9 boot and about a 150 board!

Check out my brother’s story.

Colorado Adventure Day 2

Today’s adventure… 4 wheeling.  We took the Hummer over to my brother’s “shop” (storage shed) to pick up the ATVs.  We headed up to a trail in Roosevelt National Forest.  Usually, when my brother has company, he takes one person at a time and leaves the other person to sit waiting for their turn to ride.  He was bored with that, so he brought his other kids, Dakota and Wyatt, along.  He was going to run them around the trails while Kyle and i went off adventuring.  Here’s where we started.  The trailhead is just in front of the truck.


There used to be a shooting range on this trail too.  I got the pleasure of driving right through it one time without knowing what the hell was going on.  My brother forgot to tell me about that part.  This time, it’s been closed down.  Smart move I think.  Kyle and I got moving pretty well up the trails and got to a steep part.  My ATV didn’t seem to want to gas it up there.  It was stalling on me.  I gave it a third try and off we went.  I got out the video camera to take some shots and when I slowed to put it away, my ATV stalled again.  We couldn’t get it started.  We got into the packs on the ATVs and fashioned a pretty good tow system to get mine down.  On our way, we ran into my brother.  With one pull of the manual start cord, my ATV was running again.  Kyle and I felt pretty stupid but we’re pretty proud of our towing skills.  Kyle and I wound our way up the mountain and took some stops to check out the scenery.




Day 3… here we come!

Check out my brother’s story.

Colorado Adventure Day 1

I have the luxury of my brother living in Longmont Colorado.  Easy access to a ton of adventures.  My winter trip was approaching, so Kyle agreed to come with me to see what Colorado was all about.  We arrived Wednesday night and went straight to rent Kyle’s skis and get our lift tickets for first day of adventures — Skiing at Breckenridge.  

The alarm clock (a.k.a. Sydney and Reagan) went off early Thursday morning so we all got ready to go our separate ways.  Kim took the kids to their daily routine, while Brandon took us to the mountain.  Since we all had our gear, we went straight to the gondola and up to the slopes.  Kyle got his “ski” legs last week in Indiana, but this doesn’t even compare.  He and I went to hit the bunny slope so he could practice, and B left to grab some food.  


The bunny slope sucked, so we decided to head for the greens and work on some fundamentals.  Kyle excused me to go on my own way then check back.  I went to look for B at the lodge, but couldn’t find him.  I was itchin’ to ski, so off I went.  I hit some blues and blacks then managed to find B again.  I’d been eyeing the bowls at the top of the peak, so he agreed to go up with me… up to 12,830 feet!


You could go up a little further but you had to walk with all your gear… no thanks.  We both got down the double black diamond and decided while we were up there, to do another one then we’d meet up at the end to find Kyle.  Well, I had a little trouble the second time.  I hit a rock, gained control, but then hit another one.  Apparently even though you are so high, there isn’t enough snow cover for everything.  I slid about 30 yards and lost my skis.  The nice skiers around me collected my belongings.  It took me about 10 minutes to figure out how to get 2 skis on while not sliding down any farther and maintaining my balance on a 70 degree slope.  I made it, lost Brandon, but headed down to find Kyle.

He was still mastering the greens and working on his “S” skills.  He was doing really well, but was ready to call it a day.  We caught back up with B and headed to the car.  It was a great sunny, clear sky day full of skiing.  Just what I ordered!

Check out my brother’s story.

Cell phone abuse

I first got my “ninja” phone over 2 years ago.  I fell in love with how it opens 2 different ways so you can talk or text with a full keyboard.  There weren’t too many of those on the market at that time and this was the thinnest one I found.  Since it was so thin, I found myself putting it in my pants pocket with my ID when I would go out so I didn’t have to carry a purse (or luggage as some people would say because of my addiction to oversized purses).  Well, the damn thing kept falling out when I’d sit down and ended up pretty scratched and had some water damage.  But, I didn’t care, it still worked… unti last summer.  It stopped holding a charge for more than 1 day.  I figured “no problem” I’ll just charge it every night.  A little bit of a pain in the ass, but saved me from putting down any more money for a new phone…. until it finally had it.  People could call me, but I couldn’t hear them.  Crap.

Good news was I had saved up a New-Every-Two phone credit with Verizon, so of course, just give me the same phone.  No need to shop.  So about three months ago I got my brand new silver Alias.  I protected it with kid gloves.  It had a specific spot in my purse where no keys, pens, anything could scratch it.  I always made sure to put it in my front pocket, not back so it wouldn’t slip out.  Last week, I cracked the front cover.  No clue how this happened or when this happened.  It’s under warranty so I figure I’ll take it back after my Colorado trip, in case more damage happens there on the slopes.  Well, not sure it’s even gonna last through that trip now. 

This morning, at work I bent over in the bathroom stall to get some toilet paper to blow my nose with.  My phone was in my front jacket pocket.  I bent over just enough for the thing to perfectly slip right out and deep into the toliet.  My first thought was “F*&% my phone!”  My second thought was “F*&% I have to stick my hand WAY down in that toliet!!”  Good thing I chose the stall that had just been cleaned.  I took the battery out and dried everything off for the past 4 hours.  It looks like it’s back in service now, but my front screen is screwed. 

I need to get one of those lanyards like babies have for their pacifiers.



Snow Globe USA

Don’t the weather gods know I’m leaving for Colorado tomorrow and I would prefer to see the snow out there and not here?!  We had our major snow dump last week of 12.5 inches.  Most we’ve had in Indy at one time for 13 years, or something like that.  So I was hoping it was done with.  I don’t enjoy snow where I live.  I prefer to travel to it, enjoy it, then leave to return to the clean streets of home.  My normal 22-32 minute commute turns into over 2 hours when snow falls.  Yesterday I’m at work, and everyone rushes over to the windows around 4:30pm… Of course, I must go see.  It literally looked like I was in an office building inside a snow globe that someone had just shaken up for 5 minutes.  It was a white-out.  Strangely, it lasted about 20 minutes, nothing accumulated and it was gone.  Phew… no long commute home like last week.

This morning, I get up and at 6:45 am, the roads are clear.  No snow, no ice, traffic is flowing.  I decided to actually sit and have cereal at home, then get ready for work.  I walk out the door at 7:45 am…. F’in blizzard is back!  Once again, I had a 2 hour drive to work AND had to stop for gas.  Great start to my day.  WFD was in full effect.

NOTE TO SELF:  If you move somewhere with major weather patterns, make sure they have good public transportation so you can be productive while commuting instead of playing Freecell while driving 4 miles an hour to work.

Hello Cougar-ville!

I’m saying good bye to year 30 of my life today.  It’s on to year 31.  I have many fond memories of my life as a 30 year old.  I don’t even hesitate to say it was the best year of my life so far.  So many adventures, new friends, traveling.  I will take a minute here to reflect on some of my highlights so if I get windy, just stop reading and we are no longer friends.  When I’m 100 and losing my mind, I’ll need this blog to remember what I used to do!!!

  • Purdue Pete delivering my birthday cake
  • Week of skiing and rejuvenation in Steamboat
  • Final Four in San Antonio
  • PR’d my mini-marathon with the help of my brother and broke my goal of under 2 hours.
  • A couple of Cubs games
  • Got downsized from my job
  • 14 week sabatical in the gosh darn middle of summer… such a shame
  • Vacationed in North Carolina
  • Turned a shade of golden brown that I’ve never seen before.  )My friends asked me to stop going out in the sun.)
  • Completed my first Sprint Triathalon and Urban Adventure Race.
  • Placed 2nd in the CCA Kickball league and learned to catch a ball without using the “twins”
  • Spent a day at a Med-Check clinic in Vegas
  • Climbed 3 14’ers in Colorado
  • Got a kickass job

Thanks to all my family and friends that made 30 so special to me.  Here’s to hoping 31 is just as fun!  We’ll kick it off right tonight with some Saki Bombs!


Here in the midwest, we are experiencing a winter storm.  I think we got over a foot of snow last night.  The cold temperatures are reeking havoc on my WFD.  What is WFD?  WFD is White Finger Disease.  Sometimes when it gets really cold outside, certain finger tips of mine turn white.  Like all the blood is just drained from them.  I like to self diagnose my aches and pains, so I chose words that best described what was happening with me.  I looked up WFD on wikipedia and got “No article title matches”.  Go figure 🙂  Anyone out there ever get this?

My friend Andy is the first person that has heard of this.  He dated someone who had the same thing happen to her.  I can remember it happening to me as far back as high school, but not nearly as often as it does now.  My bare hand is exposed for just a few minutes and boom, WFD.  Is it because I’m getting older?!  Funny part is, it’s always the same freakin’ finger tips.  Left hand, it’s the ring finger.  Right hand, it’s the pinkie, ring finger and index finger.  I end up rubbing my finger tips like I’m trying to start a fire and the circulation returns.  
Looking forward to Colorado in a week… can’t wait to see how many times it happens out there!  Guess I better get to the health food store and pick up something to help.  Oh wait, I’m stuck in my condo today.  I’ll use the Wii to keep my circulation pumping today!

Paoli Peaks

Announcement… Announcement… Kyle survived.  He did more than survive, he did awesome!

I feel sorry for guys that date me.  I put them through the ringer.  I’m a very active person.  Very.  Volleyball, running, kickball, mountain climbing, wake boarding, golf, frisbee golf…  You name it, I’ll try it.  And if you show an ounce of interest, I’ll make you try it too.  Today’s excursion:  Snow skiing.  Kyle and I have been gearing up for a trip to Colorado.  I’ve been going out to visit my brother and his family each winter for the past few years.  He and I have it down to a science.  Arrive on a Wednesday, ski a resort Thursday, do something random Friday, ski locally Saturday, fly home Sunday.  I asked Kyle if he’d like to join me.  He agreed to!

Kyle is a ski virgin.  I’ve been trying to get him to go skiing around the midwest for the past 2 months so he’d get the initial nerves out here rather than at 10,000 feet.  On top of him being a ski virgin, he doesn’t like heights.  Are you starting to see why I feel sorry for my boyfriends?  Ask him about our trip to Cedar Pointe and my requirement to sit in the front seat of every roller coaster.  Back to skiing… We were going to head to Caberfae in Michigan, but with our schedules, we just couldn’t get a weekend together up there.  So today was our last last last chance to go.  We settled for Paoli Peaks in southern Indiana.  I had never been there, so it was a good first for both of us.  

I’ve been skiing since 1997, but only hit my second attempt in 2002.  It took me some time to move from the beginner snow plow to the “S” of fancy skiing.  Kyle wanted the “S” today.  He didn’t get the “S”, but he did pick up skiing like a champ!  I was very proud!  We spent some time on the bunny hill, then when he got comfortable, he sent me off on my own to check on him later.  So I did some runs and came back and gave him some more pointers.  After that, he was ready to hit the trails!  I scoped out where the green runs were, so we headed that way.  He mastered the balance of skis, now on to the chair lift.  Remember when I said he didn’t like heights… yea… didn’t tell him about the distance between you and the ground.  Granted, it is still Indiana and these are hills, not mountains, but to someone that isn’t used to this sort of thing, it was high!  He did remarkably well.  



We did a few runs, no chair lift wipeouts, no falls.  Things were going great!  We took a break, grabbed some much needed calories in the cafeteria, drank a cocktail in the bar, and he was ready to go again.  Then the chair lift falls started.  I think he just got nervous.  Skiing is all about weight distribution.  The chair lift is the hardest part for most people because it kind of pushes you along without being gentle about it.  Once, he mistakenly stayed on the chair, then fell the next time.  After that, he was good to go again.  We did a few more runs, finished with a blue run, and we were ready for the drive home.

I’m very glad we were able to make this day happen.  It’s a great practice step to what Kyle will experience in Colorado in 10 days.  Good work today Kyle, you did fantastic!  Here are some short videos of our trip.  (1) was one of Kyle’s first attempts on the beginner slopes, (2) was after 30 minutes on the beginner slopes and (3) was on the green slope… a real run.

This is my first attempt at posting video, so I’ll get better at shooting and I’ll learn how to edit.  Until then, you get what get.

Bop to the Top ’09

I started a tradition for myself in 2007.  As a New Year’s resolution, I vowed to participate in one community event per month.  I ran into some medical issues during the spring of 2007, but was still able to hit 8 of 12 months.  In 2008, I was 100%.  It’s something I see myself continuing as long as I can.  I have found a good set of races in Indy that I enjoy.  Some are on roads, trails, or both.  Most range from 5K – 13.1M.  Today was the first race of the 2009 season… Bop to the Top.

Strangely enough, this is my third time doing this race, but my first time participating as an employee of the building that hosts the event.  If you don’t know what Bop is, here are some stats for you:  805 steps, 515 feet tall, 37 flights of stairs.


That’s right, straight up!  I love it when I hear people that work out say “I did 340 stairs at the gym.”  I don’t care if you did do 1340 stairs, it’s not even close to actually doing it on stationary stairwells.  I tried to rope some Bop Virgins into it this year by offering homemade breakfast and Mimosas afterward.  I got 2 takers.  Kyle & Audrey Brames joined me.  They run ALOT.  More than I care too.  Hell, Kyle ran over 5 miles to the damn building this morning!  Audrey and I drove and met him there.  I think they enjoyed the idea and being at the event, but didn’t enjoy the coughing and lung pain that follows.  Here’s how we finished.  Kyle 6:42.  Natalee 7:17.  Audrey 8:04.  The winner was 3 minutes 52 seconds.  I have no desire to be that fast!  There are even people that sign up specifically to do this 3 times in 1 day.  No thank you!  I will say there a few extra seconds on my time, probably about 10, because my stupid chip didn’t register when I came across the mat. So I had to go back and cross the finish line again. Not sure if Kyle and Audrey will do it again next year, but I’m a sucker for it, so if there is anyone out there that needs talked into it, shoot me an email!  Thanks for joining me guys!


EDIT:  This is not an attractive race.  Pictures from the stairwell.


Boiler Victories

My volleyball game overlapped the Purdue basketball game again, dammit.  I listened to the first few minutes on my way to my game.  The only part of the game that made me sick was our foul problems.  We were already in the bonus 5-6 minutes into the first half!  Since I couldn’t see it, I couldn’t tell if they were sloppy fouls or the refs were calling any touch on a player.  I was able to catch the last few minutes and we looked pretty solid as a team.  I’m happy to report a Boiler basketball victory!

On the topic of refs, I do wish we would have had refs at our game last night.  Oh man the team we played was annoying!  They were the type of team that read the rule book fourteen times, quizzed each other before the season started to make sure they knew every rule of the league, then played Dungeons and Dragons until midnight in someone’s basement.  I’m sorry but they were dorks.  I know the rules.  I’ve been playing volleyball since before the Berlin Wall came down.  I call my own “fouls” when I’m in the net or carry a ball.  I don’t need the other team to do it for me.  When there isn’t a ref, etiquette says to call your own faults.  This team wanted to challenge everything.  Jumping ahead of the 10 foot line.  Ball hitting the atennea.  The score.  It seemed like every 5th play we had to stop to discuss what happened.  Totally takes the fun out of it, but makes us want to pound the ball into your face.  Which is what we did.  I’m happy to report a Boiler volleyball victory taking our team to 2-1!