Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Architects of Air

After the Color Run The Hubby and I called up his folks and met at Tavern on The Square for lunch.  I was very surprised with how good the food was and how reasonable the prices were.  My Buddy Andy was in the kitchen and I should have known it would be great.

The Hubby and I had loaded up our bikes to go for a ride, but we were too full so we drove home instead.  We shared a bottle of Spumanti, and waited a little while then headed out for the Murphy's Law Ride.

We had gotten our bikes all ready to go before we loaded them and went to Tavern.  We put everything together, packed our bags, and hopped on the bikes only to discover my front tire had gone flat. Oh No! The tube had to be replaced.  We got back on our bikes and discovered his front tire had gone flat as well. Fortunately it didn't need a tube replacement.

We decide we are going to try bar hopping on bike.

All aired up we hopped back on, packed tools in case, and started to go. Neighbor #1 shouts and stops us for a moment. We hop back on and neighbor #2 shouts and stops us before we can go. Conversations completed, we set out on our way.

We managed to catch Architects of Air at the Riverfront Park on our ride.  Pretty neat Luminarium built by one guy. He now employs a staff. They tour around the world and inflate this strange bounce house style artwork.
“What motivates me to design is the fact that I continue to be struck by the beauty 
of light and colour found in the luminaria. These structures nurture an awareness
 of a pure phenomenon that gently cuts through everyday conditioned 
perceptions and awakens a sense of wonder in people”
- Alan Parkinson

The experience is surreal.

After AoA we continued our ride up to the Turner Dodge House at the end of the river trail. We were having loads of fun until the Hubby's chain broke!  Thankfully everything was back down hill from there. We walked our bikes to the big down hill and coasted to Sir Pizza.  We called his father to come pick us up.  We didn't get to go bar hopping, but we did at least have the chance to grab a beer while we awaited our rescue.

Camping at Sleepy Hollow

We go camping at Sleepy Hollow on a pretty regular basis.  The camp sites are okay, they have electricity nearby in case of nebulizer worthy asthma attacks and there are flushing toilets with running water just a short walk away.  There are cheeky little squirrels that like to climb into your car, a lake to canoe on, islands to explore, and a pretty nice swim area. All in all it is an epic place to take a kid camping.   And for dad there is a disc gold course and plenty of fishing.

They sell firewood at the camp store for $4 a bundle, and it is just enough to make smores before tucking the wee ones in bed.  The rangers have all been very friendly with us.  

The Dollar Castle had little bug catching kits.  The lid has a magnifying glass. There are a tiny net, and tweezers included in the pack. There are holes so the bugs can breathe. The cord is long enough to go over the neck for easy carry.  The wee one was thrilled.  She was happy to let the bugs go before they came to any harm and it has been a fun and intimate way for her to explore nature.
Best Dollar Store find in a long time!

Two Marked Treehopper

Red Spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis)
 We spend quite a lot of time fishing and exploring by canoe at Sleepy Hollow. There are bass and blue gill.  I search for fossils while the hubby fishes.
keeping out of the sun.


Someone hasn't had his coffee yet. Too bad he is still handsome.

Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota)

Purple Loosestrife (I think)

Red Admiral  (Vanessa atalanta)
Blue Dasher Dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis) - I think

I don't always drool in the car. But when I do it is sticky and all down your back!

Princess Zelda is living up to her name.

The Color Run Hits Lansing

 Yay The Color Run came to Lansing!  We signed up to do it twice this year since it came to our home town after we signed up elsewhere. For some reason, this event is just super fun.  It's really happy and really mellow.  Men and Women of all ages, shapes & sizes come out and everyone has a good time. There are wheel chairs and tutus and strollers everywhere. And they find charities specific to each town to support.

It seems to be becoming an annual family event.  Even my grumpy husband joins in and finds something to smile about.

Here we are before the race, getting ready to go out.

Me with my friend Marc and My TGU (Tiny Grown Up)

Hubby with a "Happy" Tattoo. It's a reminder.
So excited to do the Color Run.

I think he is a little nervous about his first time out being so colorful.

Last Color Run in Ypsi the sign said "I LOVE ORANGE"  I was glad they fixed it this time:

After the Color Run we went to Capitol City Scoop on Michigan Ave.  They let us use their restroom to was up and it was the first time Tiny Grown Up got to see her face in a mirror covered in color.  Emily was the young lady in charge of scooping the icecream. She was super friendly and patient (I am so indecisive).  The Ice Cream was from MSU Dairy and it was fantastic. Apparently their portion sizes are out of control. I asked for two scoops for Calli and I think they gave her a pint. So I went with one. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Out West Part 11: The Long way Home

On our last night in Colorado, we swung through a small town called Durango and ate at a small restaurant called Tacos Nayarit.  The place was packed and we had to wait for a seat. We took that as a great sign. The margaritas were strong, and  the homemade salsa was fantastic. Probably why there was a wait.

 They served horchata which is my daughter's all time favorite drink.  It is basically rice pudding with a straw.  They didn't have much in the meatless category, so I went with cheese enchiladas. They were divine. The Hubby went with a taco combination plate some were cactus, some were beef tongue.  The cactus was fantastic and he claims the beef tongue was even better but I wouldn't know.  

Then we moved on.
A Sinclair station with a dinosaur!

Black Eyed Susans along the highway.

Colorado Day Lilies

Someone can't wait to get home!

Wood Carving at the Colorado Visitor Center
We made a quick stop at the Double Nickel at exit 366 off I-80 in Waco, Nebraska.  I can't say that I liked the camping, but the amenities were pretty great. They had a swimming pool, a mini golf course, showers, flushing toilets, and a laundry facility.  There was probably wifi but I didn't check.  The R.V. campers looked at us like we were nuts when we were rolling up our tent, so I guess the feeling was mutual.
Taken by the only tent campers in an R.V. park.

For the 12 year old in me.

We finally rolled in around 11pm, having taken the longest road trip of my life.  Even with all the hiking, I think the fast food and sitting won out, as all my pants were too tight when I got home.  While I am terribly happy to shower and sleep in my own bed, I'm not really ready to start the diet and exercise plan.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Out West Part 10: Mesa Verde, Accidentallly

Our detour through Kayenta brought us to Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado.  We did the tour by car and stopped at all of the scenic overlooks.  Apparently you can take guided tours of most the ruins and there is even a  kiva you can climb down into. 

We wanted to hike the Petroglyph Trail. it was only about 2.5 miles and labeled "strenuous" but most of the walk wasn't that bad.  There were a lot of narrow stone stairs and a few places where I had to not look over the cliff, but we were able to do it with our 6.5 year old daughter in tow.
Ruins of Cliff Dwellings on the Petroglyph Trail

The petroglyphs just had a really awesome vibe.

Vultures posing

I totally failed to get a picture of one of my favorite parts of the petroglyph trail.  The path is fairly easy to follow for most the trail then just suddenly vanishes. There is a sign pointing straight up to direct you back to the trail.  UGH! It actually wasn't that bad. That's a lie. It was really fun.  We had to climb up the rock to find the next section of trail and it opened out along the cliff edge. 

The desert is full of awesome pokey things!
Thistle Bristle