Monday, November 27, 2017

St. Louis Trip (Over the Summer)...

I was looking over the pictures on my phone and I realized I forgot to post our St. Louis trip from back in July! 

We had planned on a weekend getaway to go to a Cardinal game, but we selected the hottest weekend of the year to go, so we bailed on our plans to go to the game.  Thankfully, we were waiting to get tickets for the game once we arrived in St. Louis. 

After arriving at our friend Scott's house and feeling the heat outside, we bailed and just hung out with Scott, Donna, and Grant all night.

Grant and I put on our masks to scare Ken.  The funny part about the entire thing is that Grant thought I was there to play with him and was super excited.  He ended up acting so crazy that he got put to bed while it was still day light.  I guess we should not have brought him all of that candy???

The next morning we finally got to do something that has been on my St. Louis list for a while.  We got to go to Crown Candy!

Isn't it adorable?

People line up early to get inside the small dining area for the famous BLT and Crown Candy shakes and desserts.  Ken was super excited to try the BLT.

Hello heart attack on a bun.  There was so much bacon.  So. Much. Bacon.

Does he look happen to be indulging or what??

I of course skipped lunch and we straight to the Swiss Sundae.  It was complete with brownies and chocolate sprinkles.  Chocolate sprinkles before noon?  Yes please!  What more could a girl ask for!

After Crown Candy we saw Ken's parents for a bit before meeting up with our friend Nolan.  Ken and Nolan had plans to canoe on the Missouri River over night in preparation for the MR 340 that was in August.  

Ken and Nolan in the morning fog at sunrise on the Missouri River

Ken took a quick cat nap and we made our way back to Kansas City after a detour at Imo's.  The only thing missing was the Cardinal game.  Next time, next time.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

My Birthday...

A little over a week ago, I turned 37.  Now, I am fully aware that 37 is not old, by any means, but I cannot believe that I am in my late 30's!  I think one of the reasons that I keep forgetting is that most people at the hospital think I am in my 20's.  Score for me I suppose.  :)

My birthday fell on a Friday and I had the day off.  It was also in the 30's so Miss Kya and I celebrated with a run outside.  It was chilly and wonderful.

Two happy girls after a run

I did a little shopping and then Ken took me to dinner at the Rieger and then for drinks at Manifesto.  These are two of my favorite places in Kansas City.  We were lucky enough that Manifesto had brought out their Fall/Holiday menu that day, so we got to try some new drinks, which were amazing!

Taking selfies in the dark with amazing drinks

All in all, it was an amazing day.  Ken certainly spoils me and I am so grateful for that!  Here's to another year!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Portland: Day 4...

After a wonderful night sleep, we woke up and had breakfast at our hotel.  Afterward, we dilly dallied around and stopped at Target to buy some gloves before setting off on our adventures for the day.  We had big plans to hike in the Hood River Valley, but unfortunately with the wild fires that broke out in September, we were unable to do so.

Instead, we found a hike to do on the Pacific Crest Trail with views of Mt. Hood.  I would say that was a nice compromise.

The view we had for most of our drive.  It did not even look real.

We started hiking and both had a feeling that we would come around a corner and see something beautiful.  Well, we were correct.  After hiking for about 10 minutes we turned a corner and saw this:

Little did we know that this view was nothing compared to what was to come.

We continued on and we had the most amazing view of Mt. Hood.  We stopped for some pictures and were even greeted by a husky that was hiking with her mama!

Beautiful views all around!

This happened.  Don't worry, I have already showed the picture to Kya and told her it was a one time thing and that I talked about her the entire time.

America, the Beautiful

After the glorious views we were tucked away into the trees

We were not tucked away in the trees for long when we came upon a valley with even more beautiful views of Mt. Hood.

Mt. Hood in all her glory

Katie having the best time on the hike

Unreal scenery

Taking it all in

We hiked a little further and then turned around to head back to the trail head.  We ended up hiking about 7 miles total, which is not too bad considering I ran a marathon the day before!

Tucked away into the trees

We ended our day by stopping at winery on the way back to the hotel.  The winery was very, very odd and we did not leave with any wine.  Afterwards we had dinner near our hotel and the next day we made our way back to Kansas City.  It was such a fun little girls trip and I am so glad Katie joined me!  

I leave you with my favorite picture of Mt. Hood.

Mt Hood and all the Fall colors.  October 9, 2017

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Portland: Day 3...The Marathon

I woke up around 5:00 am to get ready for the day.  Katy and I hopped in the car and she dropped me off at the start of the race.  We lined up, listened to the National Anthem and were off.  There was a little bit of drama surrounding the Portland Marathon this year and the course.  The marathon organizers almost did not get the permit and the course had to be completely redone with an out and back course as the only option.

Race ready!

Before I started I got a good luck text from Ken with this picture.  My sweet girl was doing one of her favorite things without me:  Starbucks and a walk!

We started off running around downtown and I quickly realized that there was going to be a lot of entertainment on the route.  I really enjoyed the bands and people all along the course.  I had really been looking forward to crossing the suspension bridge.  The hill to get up to the bridge was pretty brutal.

I did not have any real goals for this race, with my longest run being 17 miles on the treadmill.  I am not sure I had run up a hill as steep as the hill to get to the bridge since I ran the San Francisco marathon in 2009.

Running across the St. Johns suspension bridge

The view from the bridge

The most entertaining entertainment that I saw on the course was a group of older ladies that were doing a belly dancing routine.  And, thanks to the out and back course, I got to see them twice!

These ladies were a hoot!

It drizzled on us from my 13 until about mile 20.  It was not pouring, just a drizzle that you would expect in the PNW.  I crossed over the St. Johns bridge again and was excited to be finished with the hills and getting closer to the finish.

Crossing the St. Johns suspension bridge and on the home stretch!

At mile 23 I noticed a sign that said, "Go Keri, Go!" and I thought wow, someone else spells their name like me.  It was then that I realized that it was Katy holding up the sign!  I waved a big hello and got just the boost I needed to make my way another 3 miles.

I came around into the finish at 4:12:56, and felt pretty well.

Marathon #12 in the books complete with a rose from the city of roses.

We drove back to the hotel for me to shower so we could head to wine country for wine tasting.  We headed out to the Willamette Valley and on the way we saw a sign for Alloro Vineyards and decided to stop.  We ended up making a great choice because this place was beautiful!

The grounds at Alloro Vineyards

A selfie in the vineyards

We had beautiful views all around!

Enjoying wine and sunshine

Such a fun girls day

The Willamette Valley is know for Pinot Noirs, but Katie and I did not really care for any that we tasted.  We ended up loving the riesling at this winery because it was a dry one.  It was amazing and we both brought a bottle home to enjoy later with the boys.

All smiles at Alloro Vineyard!

We ended the night at a German restaurant near our hotel where I ate my weight in apple strudel.  I guess marathon running does have its advantages!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Portland: Day 1 & 2...

It seems just as we returned from Colorado, that I was jetting off to Portland with Katie!  I am fully aware at how fortunate I am to get to go to so many places this year.  I was wanting to run a Fall marathon and it just so happened that Portland fell two weeks after Colorado, so off for a girls' trip I went!

Katie and I left on Friday afternoon with a direct flight to Portland.  We landed, grabbed the car, and drove to downtown to get my marathon packet so we did not have to worry about it the next day.  We found a spot for dinner and enjoyed a delicious dinner and drinks before calling it an early night.

We woke up on Saturday and drove to the coast!  One of the amazing things about Portland is that there is so much to do within an hour no matter which way you drive.  We drove to Cannon Beach to check out the Pacific coastline. 

Cannon Beach was an adorable little town.  It seemed like a great little weekend getaway spot for all types of people.  There was a state park nearby, which we ended up hitting up later in the day.

We walked along the beach to get down to Haystack Rock

We were freezing, but these kids were having a blast playing in the water.

Haystack Rock.  Recognize this from the Goonies?

The rocks were massive!  We were too late in the year to get to see the puffins that make nests on the rocks.  

After walking along the beach, we wandered around town for a bit before heading back to the car to drive to Ecola State Park to hike the Clatsop trail.  

The drive inside the park was lined with tall trees with moss all over them.  The park seemed so dark with all of the trees lining the road.

Windy state park roads

We we arrived to the trail head, we learned that there had recently been a mountain lion siting on the trail.  Fortunately, we did not see said mountain lion, but we were prepared to make ourselves look big if we did!

Beautiful coastal views along the trail

Enjoying the hike!

After we finished the hike, that was about three miles, we drove back to town to go to Pelican Brewing Company for lunch and a beer tasting.  The hike was very easy with some beautiful views along the coast.  

Signs you do not see in Kansas

A tasty flight of beers at Pelican Brewing.  We skipped the IPA's since we find them repulsive.  :)

We drove back to Portland, enjoyed happy our at our hotel, ate dinner, and called it an early night before the marathon!