Tuesday, June 30, 2009

July SOTM Blog Hop

(If you're following my blog because of the bike trip. I'm alive, well, and having fun! Please excuse this little diversion. I gotta keep up with regular life too. :-) Each month I do a blog hop with my fellow CTMH consultants, featuring our special stamp set for the month. It's pretty fun. You might want to check it out while you're here. I'll update about the bike ride again tomorrow. )
Welcome to our Stamp of the Month Blog Hop! We will be featuring July's SOTM, which is You've Got Flair, a set of 8 stamps. If you have come here from Sherry's Blog, you are on the right path!

This month we have 39 Close To My Heart Consultants sharing their creations using this month's SOTM and other great CTMH products on their blogs. This is simple to do - just click on the link at the end of the post on each blog to move to the next one! Here we go!

Here's the first card I made with the set.
As I was playing around with the placement of the stamp, I realized it would make a nice patterned background. I was packing/preparing for my bike trip, so I just did a sample so you can see the possibilities.
Then I made one more card. You can add the sentiment of your choice to the little half circle.

Now "Hop" on over to Brae's Blog to see her work! Be sure to visit all the Consultants at their Blogs to get some great crafting ideas and other fun ideas! Remember, the July SOTM is only available until July 31st! Contact your CTMH Consultant (or click here) to see how you can get this stamp set at a discount or even free!

Here's a complete list of the consultants that are participating, in case you get lost on the hop or find links that aren't working. Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to leave a comment. I love comments!!!!!!

Jena Devries
Wendy Kessler
Sherry Thompson
Dawn Heuft
Brae Montgomery
Melissa Laverty
Karen Norman
Deb Young
Adeline E. Brill
Tammy Lea Pinchard
Jen Rubio
Cibele Glazer
Laurie R Newton
Kami Welter
Helen Onulak
Sarita Schraeder
Chris Shouse
Paige Dolecki
Dawn Ross
Jamia Bankhead
Nona Davenport
Haley Dyer
Misty Jackson
Jennifer Patrick
Carla Ironside
Jody Gustafson
Heather Painchaud
Julia Menssen
Lori Miller
Pamela OConnor
Reba Poquette
Anne Beck
Shannon Pelletier
Caren Goldsein
Jan Moxey
Kristie Horness-Herdener
Alanna Moses
Leslie Markland
Barbra Otten
Traci Godbee
Jill Lucas
Amy McVey
Laurie Levnik

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Got Bikes?

We got our bikes today. Woo Hoo! So much fun. The best part is that they are hanging out in our rooms with us!! I kind of feel like it's so that we can get to know them. There's probably a more practical reason than that, but I like my reason better. I've been telling my bike that we are in for a fun adventure!

I'm riding a Fuji Silhouette. So far I've only ridden it around the parking lot, but I like it. I love that it has pretty much the exact handlebars that I have on my Schwinn... and believe me, there are a ton of different varieties of handlebars so that's kind of cool. AND... my saddle matches the paint job on the bike. I think little mister Fuji was meant for me. :-)

Jane is riding a Terry Madeline and it is absolutely beautiful! It's a women specific bike and it has a smaller front tire. We've read about the design before, but never seen one. Jane is trying to get used to what it looks like, but she said it "rides like a dream."

By the end of the week we'll either love these bikes, or be grateful to be reunited with our own bikes at home.
Our group seems really nice! We had fun getting to know them at orientation and dinner. We seem to have varying degrees of experience. There are even a few who have done some tours before. Our guides (Patty and Linda) are both great. Very easy going personalities. We had fun chatting with Patty at dinner. Turns out she met one of the guys riding in the Great Divide Race last week! So we had fun talking about different tours and all things cycling. (I'm sure a couple people at our table might be a little scared of me now that they know I'm obsessed with cycling and blogs and know all about the crazy people riding the GDR.)
Well tomorrow is the big day. At 47 miles, it's our longest day. I'm a little nervous to see how well I'm able to keep up. The whole group has to meet up after about 22 miles so that we can enter the Grand Teton National Park together. I'm really hoping that I don't have the entire group waiting on me. :-)

After I posted on the blog last night, we made a late night run out to the street corner.... Turns out there is a live webcam on Town Square so we decided to embrace our inner dorks and go wave to our honeys who have been tracking our every move. Vic and Rick have looked up our tour on the internet, call for constant status updates, check the weather for us and all sorts of other sweet things so we thought they'd enjoy the webcam. I think they might have... both of them saved the screen shots! Too funny! So here's us hanging out on the street corner last night.

Bike Tour Posts
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6

Saturday, June 27, 2009


So we had this grand plan.... We were going to drive to Yellowstone and see all the sights. We were "just" gonna drive the whole figure eight loop. It only takes a couple of hours, right? We started around 9am and we got back around 7pm. Not bad eh? Well here's where we went....

First we took an interesting route through the Grand Teton National Park, which included a very muddy dirt road. Our white rental car look fabulous now!! We got a sneak peek at where we'll be staying on Monday and Tuesday and it is absolutely breathtaking!!! (My favorite spot from our whole trip today!)
We finally got to Yellowstone, after what seemed like hours of driving and slowly made our way to Old Faithful. We had absolutely perfect timing. We only had to wait 15-20 minutes to see it erupt. It was pretty amazing...and a little stinky! The wind was blowing our way so we enjoyed a little mist too.

When we first walked up, we saw several people enjoying some yummy looking ice cream cones and they were pretty big. Of course, we had to have one. Jane ordered first and very confidently said "Large, swirl please." We both laughed when we saw what a "large" looked like. Thankfully I was able to learn from her mistake and I ordered a small....yummy!

Jane and her large ice cream cone!

After the eruption, we walked along the boardwalks and looked at the other geysers and springs. It was a nice little walk. It felt really good to stretch our legs after being the in car for so long.

After a quick little shopping trip, we were ready to hit the road and continue on the "little" loop. When we decided....we were done. We came, we saw, we enjoyed and we were tired. So we turned around and headed back down to Jackson.

We were both exhausted and had to play games just to stay awake on the ride home. I can't even imagine how we would've felt if we had continued on.

Yellowstone was gorgeous, but it's definately not a one day tour! You'd need several days just to make a dent.

When we got back to Jackson, we went to Bubba's BBQ and had the MOST amazing ribs!!! They were delicious. Good thing we will be riding soon. We need to start working off all the delicious food we have been eating. Tomorrow we check in with the tour and get our bikes fitted!! Woo Hoo!!! Can't wait to share pictures of where we are riding!

Jackson, Day 1

Day 1
We made it to Jackson….well two of us did, anyway. Candace got a pinched nerve in her shoulder/neck and had to cancel her trip. It’s just not the same without her. We’re having fun, but we’re missing her!! But it does seem that a little piece of Candace’s spirit has come along because everywhere I go, I seem to be making friends with strangers. It’s either Candace or she’s been rubbing off on me.

I chatted with a girl as we boarded in San Diego, made friends with a grandmotherly type in the airport in Denver and talked to the girl in front of me on the plane to Jackson. I’m friendly, but I don’t usually make that many friends in one day!

The Denver airport is HUGE. We know that because we had to hike from one end to the other. The moving sidewalks saved me. Otherwise, I might’ve passed out trying to keep up with Jane. Walking with her is just like riding bikes with her. She is quick! At one point, I couldn’t help but laugh. I had to try and take a picture with my cell phone. You might think it’s blurry because it’s poor quality, but I think it’s because we were moving so fast.

Jackson is absolutely beautiful and so so green! It was raining when we got here and then we saw a gorgeous rainbow.

After we got all settled at the hotel we were starving and thought this restaurant was pretty appropriate for us.
I had the most amazing mango shrimp wrap. Yummy!

Here’s the view from our balcony at night.

Tomorrow we’re heading to Yellowstone.

Monday, June 15, 2009

11 more days...

11 more days and the countdown no longer strikes fear in my heart. I ended up cycling about 70 miles last week. Not bad! I enjoyed it. I wasn't sore. I didn't have to push. It was a nice, easy 70 miles. That means I rode over half the distance I'll be covering on the tour; while working full-time and taking care of all the other things in a full and busy life.... and now I'm excited!!!! I think the additional miles on the tour will push me a bit and help me to feel like I truly accomplished something, but it shouldn't break me. :-)

And with that, I am officially done with training! I have really done all I can do. I'm not going to experience any great gains in strength or endurance over the next 11 days so it's time to just relax, have fun and pack....

Here are my tentative plans:
Drink more water (I am sooo bad about this!!)
No junk food!

Monday - Commute (I'm switching to the longer route, but it's easier 11-12 miles)
Tuesday - Lake Murray (17 miles - 2 laps, plus ride down to the lake)
Wednesday - Commute (11-12 miles)
Thursday - Commute (11-12 miles)
Saturday or Sunday - ?? Maybe a beach ride? I'd like the do the 26 mile ride again.
Monday - Commute (11-12 miles)
Tuesday - Lake Murray (17 miles )
And that's it!!!

We leave next Friday, but I'm going to stop riding on Tuesday. We're supposed to taper back a bit since we're not used to the elevation AND more importantly... I need to wash all my gear and pack it. I forget something almost every day...so I need to make sure I give myself plenty of time to pack everything up. I don't want to forget something because I used it right before the trip.

Friday, June 12, 2009

An Easy Ride...

Yesterday Tony dropped Candace and Linda off at my work so they could ride home with me, but we made a few adjustments to my normal commute.

When I plotted and planned my commute, I picked the shortest distance possible. Then I adjusted it to be the shortest/safest route possible. Translated that means that I added an extra hill, but avoid all the traffic in front of the mall and along Broadway.

I have struggled with my route for almost a year now. I can do it, but I would never venture to say that I find it easy. I still haven't truly conquered one of the hills. I have to be having a great day to make it up without stopping.

So after a year of hearing me talk about my commute, Candace decides she wants to ride home with me, but she wants to go a different way. Oddly enough she wanted to avoid one of my downhills. :-)

After discussing and researching it for a couple of weeks, we finally did it yesterday. Oh my gosh, it was so stinkin easy! Seriously!! The alternate route added a couple of miles, but was much easier. Granted, she misses the hardest part of the ride because her house is before the last hill, but still.. Easy...

As soon as we hit downtown Lakeside, I knew we were going to breeze through it in less than an hour. I started saying "Hey, we can go around the Lake." "Hey, let's go down to El Monte."
I tried everything I could to distract them and make them ride further so they wouldn't realize how stinkin easy it was.

Sadly, it didn't work. Now it looks like I've been enjoying a nice leisure ride every day. Sheesh. I think I might have to make them go the other route...just to be fair....

Now I have to decide how dedicated I am. Do I want to go the hard way and get the extra workout...or go the easy way? Hmm.... No one said Bike Commuting was supposed to be hard. I'm not stupid!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Coming Along...

I've been plugging along and getting as many miles in on my bike as possible...which means I've had to bug multiple groups of friends. :-)

On Saturday Amy, Tim (Tyler in the bike trailer), Rian and I went on a nice little ride down to the beach. It was absolutely beautiful and we had a great time!!!! We're already planning more rides for the future so I'm sure you'll see more pictures of this group.

I'm not sure they'll believe me about starting locations anymore though. For some reason I thought the bike trail started at Fashion Valley. Ooops! I guess I just wanted to add a few more miles on to our excursion. It wasn't that bad so I think they might forgive me.

On Sunday Joshua and I did the 25 mile loop that starts by the Star of India and ends with a ferry ride back from Coronado. We had a great time, but we definately worked hard on that ride. It's a nice flat, easy ride...unless it's windy and boy was it windy.

Josh liked the Osprey nest at Pepper Park.

Ahhh...here we are under the bridge. We can smile now because we are no longer in the wind!! You may think I exaggerate, but that 19 year old boy in the picture was also "hatin the wind." I even taught him how to draft me so that I could try and give him a break for a while.

This picture just cracks me up. We were almost finished with the ride and I could tell he was trying to take a picture of himself on the bike.... so I sat up super straight and tall to try and make sure I was in the picture. I thought I was being sneaky... turns out I think he was trying to get me in the picture anyway.

So far I've ridden about 60 miles this week. Hopefully I'll squeeze in another 10-20.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A little funky....

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I've got a few things lined up to post so hopefully I'll pull myself together. Just struggling a little bit lately. My good friend Debbie lost her battle with cancer suddenly. We knew the time would come, but I wasn't ready for it to be now. I'm not in some deep depressive funk, but that, combined with a list of other, more minor things...just kind of slowed me down a bit. I think I just needed to slow down a little bit and grieve.