I have not been a part of Saturday snapshot for well… lets say a long time. Today seemed like a good day to do this one again. July was a crazy mess. On top of my own grief, my friend Connie went into the hospital on July 3rd and by the 5th we were told she would not be coming out. This lead to the next couple of weeks of visiting the hospital almost daily, in some cases twice a day. At the end of each day I would be a bundle of emotions – grief on grief I started to call it. On the morning of Thursday July 16th she passed away with her husband and two sons beside her. The world lost yet another amazing person. This set off another flurry of activity as I set up a meal train and helped the family as they needed throughout the weekend and the week of the funeral. On the afternoon of the 17th a friend posted on Facebook she was going to get a Rhino tattoo. (Rhino was our team name for the bike ride, named after a book Connie received 32 years ago when she first became sick called Rhino Success, about being strong and courageous and CHARGING ON like a Rhino no matter what. When Trisha asked if I would do the tattoo with her… I said yes without hesitation…
Three days after the funeral was the Camp Benedict Bike Ride that Connie had created to raise money for Camp Benedict each year. The Camp Board had decided in early July that we would move ahead with the bike ride. So….. that led to a whirlwind of other activity weaving throughout all of this other stuff in July… working on rider count, lining up many volunteers, promoting, planning food for the ride, awards, t – shirts (Connie had already designed this years t shirt), permits, marking the road, etc…. Thank goodness for a great team of helpers! Any hoo…. here for Saturday Snapshot are some of the ride pics…
And… let me just say day 2 was HOT. We were dreaming of riding our bikes right into a lake. Then when passing my friend Amy’s home we popped in to get a drink and wound up in their pool…. yes… in full on bike gear.
So there it is. That was last Saturday. The ride was a good way to complete a hard hard month and honor my friend Connie. Camp Benedict is a camp for families infected and affected by AIDS. I am proud to be the Vice President of this camp that I have watched change lives for the past 5 years that I have been a part of it and I am sure many years before I became involved. Camp Benedict is a non profit 501C3. If you or anyone you know would like to donate to this camp here is a link:
Today… I think I am laying low. In fact I think I am laying low for the weekend and I am looking forward to it. July was crazy busy and even this past week was filled with Wine and Words activity, a visit from one of Justin’s good friends, and catching up on my yard and home. Books and audio and sitting in the sun are on the agenda.
Good morning! Another Saturday is here! Saturdays are my FAVORITE day of the week. The work week is over and usually Saturdays are a day that I have something fun going on.
Speaking of Saturday’s, last Saturday was no exception. After spending the afternoon in a Writing seminar, I sped away to a local gas station where I changed into a dress and went to congratulate my friend Julia Lee at her book launch.
I walked in almost an hour and a half after the launch had started due to the seminar and I was surprised (and excited!) to see how full the room was with people!
I had talked a bit about Julia the week of her book launch for her book Seven Stones when I interviewed her, and then reviewed her book. Julia is so fun and easy to chat with that she is one of those people that when you meet her, you want to read whatever she has written to see if that personality shows through.
She is like a room full of champagne bubbles.
The event was a lot of fun, the venue, Prairie Bay is known for delicious and unique horduerves such as artichoke chicken pizza, and apple and goat cheese skewers. It was amazing food and great conversation as I waited in line with my friend Christy and chatted up what else? Books.
What a great first signing! The event was a lot of fun, I caught the tail end of it and had a glass of wine with Laurel from our Library and then went home after a long and productive day.
Today… I leave in about an hour for the library where a few of us are meeting to start hauling some of the books for the April book sale from the library to the venue we will be using. I am kind of excited to start this process and as there are SO MANY BOOKS this time and we are moving off site every little bit we do helps take the pressure off of the big push in a couple of weeks.
You can read Julia’s fun blog here where she talks about the book, the excitement, life stuff, and great recipes!
Last weekend I was a part of the largest run that Minnesota hosts every year, the Get Lucky. The Get Lucky run is a ST Patrick’s Day Run and it is a 7 K Run or a 7 7 7 Run (21 K). This is my third year being a part of this run.
For Saturday Snapshot this morning I thought I would give you a little recap of the run.
I ran the 7k with 11,000 other people in Minneapolis. In St Paul, another 20,000 were running the Triple 7k. CRAZY stuff.
The run has entertainment along the way. These girls were dancing Irish style at the start of the run…
These little boys were about half way through the run. There were also a couple of Irish bands along the way that played music for us as we went by.
There were signs along the way that marked what “K” we were at to
torture us let us know how far we had gone.
The route is the same every year and towards the end of the run we go over a bridge that is always an uphill battle. Literally.
Sweet victory was mine!
At the end of the run they had up signs for other runs they will be having in Minnesota this year. I am signed up for the Tiki run next that will be a night run in St Paul. SWEET!
One of the things I really enjoy about the Ortho Runs is the swag you get for doing them. Ortho does not give out yet another event t-shirt. They usually have cool hoodies or running gear.
SO that was the run. Today is a literary day. After a walk with a friend this morning, this afternoon I am attending a writing class and after that a book release party. I am looking forward to a good day!
Kind of hard to believe from the comfort of my cozy home this morning that a week ago I was loading up the car with a prom dress, bubble toe tennis shoes, a black make up marker, and wearing a friend of mines dog tags to go to Anoka Minnesota to throw myself in the lake.
Crazy Minnesotans… we will do anything for entertainment in the winter. :)
SO for this Saturday Snapshot, I give you the Polar Plunge pics that I have. There are more to come from the professional camera peeps of the event however those are not posted yet.
and the pictures you are waiting for….
It was for a good cause, our area alone had 1,000 plungers raising a total of $208,000. Other areas:
South Metro: 985 Plungers raised more than $232,000
Alexandria: 435 Plungers raised more than $93,100
Today there is a plunge in my home town of Brainerd Minnesota. Oddly, I have completed two now but I have never jumped in Brainerd. Hmmm…. maybe next year :D
You may recall in January I picked my word for this year to be Emerge. I purchased the above necklace for myself on my birthday to remind myself of my word. I think so far… I am living it. :)
Today is a day of reading, web design, working out, and just chilling around the house. I rented Mockingjay for my hubby and I to watch tonight. Laying low and loving it!
Good morning! As the sun comes up this morning in Central Minnesota I am prepping to leave for my two-hour drive to Anoka MN where at approximately 1:45 pm today, I along with many many other crazy people are going to jump in the lake for Special Olympics.
I am guessing I signed up, I received pledges. I am doing this.
I offered the people who pledged me to have a say in one thing that I wear. I will be wearing a prom dress. Dog tags. And something Harry Potter. I will show you what that ensemble looks like at a later time.
For the rest of you… stay warm. Read something good. I will be finishing the audio book All The Bright Places today during the drive time.
I am linking this post to Saturday Snapshop. Stop and see what everyone else is taking pictures of today :)
Good morning! For today’s Saturday Snapshot I thought I would share with you a little information on the Glow Worm Caves in New Zealand. When traveling there last month I had never heard of the glow worm caves. Our travel-mates were signed up to do a tour at the caves and we decided to join them.
What a trip in education!
The caves are located in Waitomo, New Zealand. From our cruise ship that had docked in Auckland it was about an hour to the caves.
The glow worm is actually while pretty to look at, also gross. It is apparently the larvae life cycle of an insect and looks like a maggot. (The caves were dark so thankfully we only seen the pretty part).
The caves themselves are beautiful lime caves. I wish we could have taken pictures inside, the rock formation was beautiful.
The female glow worms drop a line which is what you see in the picture. The line attracts insects and they get stuck to the line. It is crazy but the females live two days and the males live three days. The cycle continues due to the thousands of eggs each female lays in her short lifetime.
It is deep within the caves that we then get in the small boats. We are asked to remain very quiet as our voices cause vibrations and disturb the glow worms. It is a pretty cool experience.
You can read more about the glow worms on the Glow Worm Tour website. It is a unique tour. I had never heard of a glow worm until the tour.
Check out more Saturday Snapshots here.
Today I may just read. Or I am talking big. I keep saying I am going to read all week but I have been busy with projects and the books kind of go to the wayside. I do need to have some book time this weekend. Order of the Phoenix and a few others wait on me.
What are you reading this weekend?
Happy Saturday! I have the best weekend ahead of me here…. no plans!!! I love it! I might have lunch with a friend, visit my aunt, try out the snow shoes finally… the possibilities are endless :)
As you probably know, today is the official release day of the 50 Shades Of Grey movie. It’s Valentines Day… aren’t they cute? I have not read the book and do not plan too and will more than likely be passing on the movie as well. However, I would be neglect if I did not say the play on the title (mush as I have done today) has been fun. :D
Today for Saturday Snapshot, I thought it would be fun to post pics of my book club through the years because they really are 50 shades of AWESOME! I was going through pics on Facebook the other day and thought it was fun to see all the crazy things we have done through the years. Granted, this is not all of the craziness… this is just some.
This has been fun for me to look back through these pics of a book club I adore. Going strong since August of 2001! There are a lot more pics, but now I think I am on a mission….. more on that later ;)
Good morning. It is Saturday. Coffee Cup and I are on round two. It looks as though it will be a nice day here in Central Minnesota, the sun is already shining…there really is no snow… so odd.
For today’s Saturday Snapshot I thought I would pop out a few more pictures from Australia. We did spend three days in Sydney before we boarded the cruise ship. They were not snoozy days – we were up early and exploring. Here are some random shots of that time:
I can not recall if I posted about this lady before. I know I put her on Facebook and if I did already chat about her here, sorry about that but perhaps she is worth repeating. (Honestly I am too lazy to look back through my posts this morning). In Sydney on the pier we found this lovely lady all in white paint standing as still as a statue. However, if you were say a middle grade child… she would slowly move her hand and wave you over. If the child’s parent/guardian were to take a picture of the smiling child in front of her… she would bend over the child and show her fanged teeth. Yup. It was super cool and the smiling child would not suspect until he seen the picture. Awesome.
Two things about Australia…. Tim Tam – the cookie several of you told me I had to try so I diligently purchased a bag and shared them with the group. Mmmm… they are good. The coffee. EEP. When I would order coffee in the morning at the hotel (at about $4.00 a cup!) they make it one cup at a time. I would have been happy for a good old gas station coffee but instead it was this super strong foamy brew. Don’t get me wrong… I drank it. It is coffee after all. ;)
Hmmm…. flippy bad hair. We were on a boat and it was beautiful out. Behind me, of course is the famous Sydney Opera House. From reading Bill Bryson’s book, In A Sunburned Country I learned this… Sir Eugene Goossens, the man who had started the idea of the Opera house never seen it completed. In 1956 while passing through customs he was found to be carrying a large amount of pornographic materials. Australia security pretty much said “not in our country”, and he was asked to leave… permanently. That said, Goossen never did see the Opera House completed in all of its glory.
So.. the Sydney Harbor Bridge is the world’s largest bridge – but not the longest. Once again, in Bill Bryson’s book I learned that it was meant to be the longest as well, however the bridge took longer to build than anticipated. 10 years later when the bridge was complete, it was discovered that just shortly before, the New River Gorge Bridge in Virginia had opened up and it was 10 inches longer. “Doh!”
We purchased Ferry tickets one day in Australia and tooled around on the different Ferry’s going from here to there. One of the Ferry’s went to an area where people came into the main town by Ferry. It was a very ritzy area and this is one of the homes that we passed along the way.
Another view from the ferry.
I will leave it at that for today.. more to come… more sights to share. :)
This afternoon my friend Amy and I will leave for the cities, putt around, and wind up at the Great Gatsby Party this evening. I am soooo excited! This is part of my birthday weekend plans (my birthday is on Monday).
On another crazy note…. yesterday I was chatting about the Polar Plunge I participated in 4 years ago. My mouth got the best of me on Facebook as I teased my cousin’s wife about her saying she would never do it again… by the end of that conversation she and I had both signed up to participate in the Plunge on February 28th in Anoka Minnesota. :shock:
Ahhh well…. it is for a good cause.
Have a super Saturday!!!
As you probably know (from all the gushing over here, on Facebook, etc…) my husband and I along with friends went on a 17 day trip to Australia and New Zealand earlier this month. We spent three days in Sydney before we boarded our Cruise ship for the rest of our journey.
This post is for Weekend Cooking and for Saturday Snapshot and it is all about FOOD. Food is really part of the experience and my rule for traveling is that we can never eat at a place that I could eat at around where I live. I love new food experiences!
Disclaimer: Not all food pictured is mine (thank goodness!) I took pictures of the food that my hubby as well as our friends were eating too.
While in Sydney, we stopped at a little pub for lunch. I ordered a burger that was to come with “hot chips” and I was very curious about these chips. Turns out, chips are french fries. Now I am not a huge fan of thicker french fries, I like the crispy fresh thinner ones with that salty yum flavor. These were DELICIOUS. I became a big fan fast of the hot chips of Australia and New Zealand.
We were in Sydney 3 days and at one stop enjoyed a Japanese Cuisine meal. The four of us girls were really excited about this, however the two guys, Ray and Al were not… thinking it was going to be like a china buffet. The boys were converted quickly. The food was incredible and Al (my hubby) said he would stop anytime that he sees Japanese noodles.
At our hotel was a very nice restaurant and the above picture if from their display window. We never had a chance to eat there, we were too busy out exploring.
I wish I had taken better notes, but I did not. While in Sydney we took an all day trip to go and see some of the sights. We stopped at a quaint little town where we had a change to grab a bite to eat. We walked into this corner cafe that displayed the above window. I chose a delicious sandwich pictured below:
On to the cruise….
If you have ever taken a cruise, you know there is a lot of food. There was a buffet area that was open all the time. A pizza place, hamburger and hotdog spot, your main dining area, a steak house, Italian restaurant, and a Sushi restaurant. The food, other than the steakhouse, Italian, and Sushi, were all included in your cruise cost so knock yourself out. :) The above picture is my dinner on the first night we ate in our dining room. This is a chicken Alfredo in a Parmesan shell. I know right? I dont even want to think about that calories in that mouth watering, buttery yummy concoction.
Al and I ate in the steak house twice. Once with our whole group, and then once just the two of us, a gift from our Travel Agent. The steak house menu gave you choices of appetizers, soups and salads, your main dish with choice of sides and of course dessert. Everything came with dessert. Below is one of the appetizers I had, a crab cake with shrimp on top. This was also the night I had the creme brulee. I was so full!
On one of last excursions we went to Christchurch in New Zealand. We had heard that they had amazing fish and chips (there’s that chips word again!). We stopped at three different fish and chips places and all three were closed or out of business. By mid afternoon we were pretty hungry and finally found a nice looking pub style restaurant. (I love these pubs you can find some of the best food there!)
I ordered a chicken sandwich which I was sold on because it came with avocado. I also ordered for all of us, the nacho’s as us girls had been craving nachos but unable to find them anywhere in Australia or New Zealand. Wendy ordered for us to all try the potato wedges.
My sandwich was good, but the nacho’s and potato wedges were excellent. Each had a tasty chili sauce that I would love to try to duplicate. The portions were HUGE, but all 6 of us were able to get our fill of these delicious treats.
I of course have to talk about the deserts on the cruise ship. They were always beautiful and you just had to try them… no matter how full you already were. Below are pictures of some of the deserts we experienced on the cruise. Again – note, these are not all mine :)
If I were to mention any favorite of the entire trip it would have to be the Japanese Noodles we had in Sydney, the chicken Alfredo in the Parmesan bowl, and the nachos at the pub in Christchurch.
This is why I have been on my treadmill almost every day since we have returned. Ha! :)
Do you have a favorite that you see here?
Many of you know I just returned this Thursday from a 17 day trip to Australia and New Zealand. Fair warning: I am sure I will be talking about this trip and posting pictures for weeks to come.
Today, for Saturday Snapshot, I thought it would be fun to share with you my husband and my trip to Middle Earth, the bookish tour we were able to take part in New Zealand…. yes,
I absolutely would not be me if I did not take the opportunity to get my geek on. We were not the only ones… 1,500 people a day, seven days a week, on average visit this site. At $75 a person… that’s a lot of “cha-ching”.
We were lucky enough to have out tour guide be a nephew of the owners of the property the Hobbiton movie set and tour is on. The story of how this came to be the permanent movie and tour set is an interesting one.
When Director Peter Jackson was flying over New Zealand looking for a potential spot to shoot parts of the film, The Hobbit, he could not believe his luck when he seen a piece of property that had the makings of covering the Hobbit Village. The property is owned by a family named The Alexander’s and when Peter Jackson came knocking on their door with their idea they pretty much told him they were busy and shut the door. Peter Jackson showed up the next day with more people and more money…. and so it began.
The project was a BIG secret. Peter Jackson even had the air space above the property as a “no fly zone” to keep what was happening under wraps. The New Zealand Army brought the set up to the property in army trucks and if people asked questions, they were told it was exercises for the NZ Army.
Note: During filming two pilots did fly over the set. They were tracked down, made to give up any cameras, film, and memory cards they had that could carry pictures of the top-secret set. These pilots also lost their licenses to fly in New Zealand forever. It was that serious.
Initially the set was to be built, filmed, and then tore down restoring the land to its natural state. When it came time to tear it down, New Zealand was experiencing extreme weather conditions and the project was delayed by three weeks. During this time a few of the people on their tear down team went into town to a pub and proceeded to drink a little too much ( true story!). While in this pub they said a little too much about the filming of the movie on the property. Neighbors went nuts wanting to see the set, demanding to see the property and initially it was opened up a tour only for those who lived around the area.
Then, a different idea came to be. With the potential of future movies being made, the set was rebuilt using sturdier materials and this time built as a permanent set. The windows to the hobbit houses were real glass heated to give the wavy “aged” look they have. Thatched roofs were built on some, the hobbit homes were painted and then sprayed with vinegar purchased at the local stores to give it the worn and aged look.
As seen above in the movie clip, Al and I walked on the bridge to the Hobbit Village where we had a snack along with special made beverages made only for the Hobbiton Village. I tried the cider beer and Al tried an Ale, both were very good.
This was a great tour! If you are ever in Matamata New Zealand I highly recommend you experience this village. I can only imagine how blown away JR Tolkien would be.
Thanks for visiting Hobbiton with me! :) Here is a link to the tours and more information.