Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Our Trip in Numbers

* 18,000 animals at the St. Louis Zoo
* 3,182 miles driven
* 520 stores in the Mall of America
* 465 feet (tall) seen of Mt. Rushmore
* 103 floors up the Willis Building (where I then proceeded to freak out about going on the skydeck)
* 66 the old route 66 that we were on for a little while
* 50 + flavors of Jelly Belly (many of which we sampled)
* 40 cars in the ferris wheel we rode
* 13 states
* 10 year aged cheddar (that we tasted while on this trip...one word: AMAZING!)
* 6 inches of snow we got while on the trip
* 4 plane rides
* 2 PB&J sandwiches
* 1 car
* 0 number of cool things to do in North Dakota
* Limitless memories!

Before and After: What a difference 10 days makes...

A side by side comparison of the States I have visited.  The first picture is before April 19th.  The second picture is of the state after our trip (aka April 29th).  Looks like I really have a mission now going forward.  30 states down, 20 more to go!  Who is up for a trip?

Monday, April 29, 2013

On the way home....

Just sitting on the tarmac in Kansas City for an extra 50 minutes cause Philly is backed up already and its only 7:30.  Here is hoping our connecting flight is delayed or we can get on the next flight to Ric!  So close to my own bed I can almost taste it!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Day 10: St. Louis & Kansas City

Today we woke up LATE (like 8 am) and headed to the St. Louis zoo.  From there we headed downtown to go into the Gateway Arch, only problem was that the wait was like 4 hours....soooo we looked around and then got on the road again. 
We were heading to our last city and state: Kansas City and Kansas respectively.  We hit up Gates BBQ, a local favorite.  It was good but not the BBQ we are used to on the east coast--- forget the pork, we are talking beef barbeque.  Afterward we cleaned out and gassed up the car foe our early flight.  Then hit up free happy hour at our new favorite hotel chain: Drury! 
Back to Richmond tomorrow.... thanks for tuning in for our Midwest Adventures.

Only in the midwest....

can you stop at a McDonalds and see a dead bird in the back of a pickup.

Day 9: Onto St. Louis

We woke up in Chicago and had a yummy breakfast and with Courtney and her sister before heading out of town.  On the way to St Louis we stopped in Springfield to get a corn dog at the home of the original corn dog. After lunch we got back on the road to St Louis and headed to the hotel to check in. Then we went into downtown to grab dinner with my friend Karrissa.
After dinner CJ and I ventured to the City Museum it is pretty much a 10 story adult play place made out of all recyclable materials you could explore through the whole museum which we did some up before getting tired and heading back to the hotel.
This was our day following the historic route 66!

Day 8: Chicago part 2

Not many pictures today!  We got into the city around 10 and headed to navy pier where we road the Ferris Wheel!  Then went on the architectural boat tour.
After a full day we went back to see CJ's friend, Courtney and grabbed some good Mexican food and margaritas!
More posts to come with updates.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Day 7: Chicago

The day started with a metro ride into the city then we headed toward the aquarium to see the animals!!!  Afterward we trekked over to "the bean" then headed onto the sky tower at Willis tower! 
Afterward we stopped at Magnolia Bakery for a super yummy afternoon treat.  Then walked it off all afternoon going to the Magnificent Mile!
Tomorrow is Navy Pier and the architectural boat tour!!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Day 6

Why hello Chicago!!!  Looks like we will be getting up close and personal tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Day 5

This morning we woke up to a white snowy outside!  But that didn't hinder our progress.  We left St. Paul, MN this morning and journeyed to Madison, WI.  Along the way we stopped at a Wisconsin cheese shop and got 10 year aged cheddar..... sooooo good! Then went to the zoo in Madison before seeing the city and head onto Milwaukee.  We had dinner on the water and saw a few sites (art museum picture below) before checking into the hotel for tonight. 
Tomorrow we will head into the city again and then will head toward St. Joseph, MI via Illinois and Indiana before finding a hotel....yup you read that right TWO more states added to our list....so we will have been to a total of 13 states by the end of this trip.
More pictures and blogs to come!

Monday, April 22, 2013

A cupcake from cupcake's!

This one is for you, Erica!!!  From the Mall of America's Cupcake!

Day 4: minneapolis

Today we left Fargo, ND and headed east to Minneapolis!  We got to the Mall of America about lunchtime!  We walked all four floors of the mall and were done in about 2.5 hours (check out the Lego art below)!  From there we headed into the city to check out the Mississippi River and see the city skyline.  Unfortunately of had already started raining so we dipped into Guthrie Theater to go to the top floor for some indoor (albeit yellow) pictures of the skyline and the river.  Afterwards we headed to stillwater ( one of the top 10 cutest small cities in the US).  Here we got a hotel, had an early dinner, and are now in our PJs to watch the 6-9 inches of snow expected here tonight (craziness).... so tomorrow is up in the air based on the weather!!!  Stay Tuned!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Day 3

Today is all driving!  We are trying to get ahead of some 5ish inches of snow threatening to hit the west side of South Dakota!  So here is a picture of the North Dakota landscape for y'all!  Just past a huge group of Buffalo/bison....which is great cause I really wanted to see some on this trip.  We should be getting into Bismarck around and 2:15 ( central time), we are currently in Mountain time zone.  So the plan is to stop for a late lunch and then finally relax!  Too much time in the car the last few days.
Happy Sunday!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Road trip

Life on the road!  A view from the car....here we are in Iowa about 50 miles to Sioux City!  It is freezing here, well 47 degrees...we miss the Richmond weather!
**note:  this is from Friday afternoon but it never posted**

Day 2

Today started in East south Dakota and will end with a quick drive through Wyoming and Montana.  But the coolest thing.....this!!  I have waited my whole life to see Mt. Rushmore and it did not disappoint! 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Weekend Recap (just a few days late)

This week has taken on a new level of crazy!  So I had planned out and tried to start tying up loose ends here at work the last couple of weeks and I thought I was good to go for a slow week, but alas, the market is never predictable so the last few days have been filled with lots of trading, so the blogging has been taking a back-seat.  But thought I would update with a little weekend update (of mostly pictures) before I head out for my Midwest adventure TOMORROW!!!

So Friday night, I was super boring.  I had put off my taxes until the last minute so I spent the better part of Friday night finishing those up and submitting them while waiting for Erica to arrive at my mom's house (I was house/dogsitting while she was on vacation).  Erica arrived around 10pm and we chatted briefly before she headed out to bed and I capped my eventful night off with some laundry.  

We were both up early on Saturday for the Monument 10k Cheering Party that I already blogged about.  Afterward, we hit up The Mill for brunch before running some errands.  We did not get much down time before we were over at CJ's to set up for her Glee themed 30th birthday party!

Glee Cupcakes

Birthday Girl

Erica did a fab job on the outdoor decor

Colorful decorations


Wall -O- pinwheels


Third Pres Girls: Jessica, Kathryn, Kristi, Charloote

G friends: Laura, CJ, and Emily

Roomies!!!  Erica and me--party decorators!!!

Kathryn, CJ, and me

Erica, CJ, and me
Sunday morning I was up early for nursery and church, then it was back home where I spent the better half of the afternoon/evening getting over a migraine or some kind of stomach bug--no good!  But alas, another week almost done and I am back to normal again.

It was a great time to spend some time with some good friends and be able to celebrate so much!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

And this is why I like vacations.....

They force me to SLOW THE HECK DOWN!!!

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday....CRAZY Schedule!
Thursday-on....Pack and leave for Vacation!!!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

CJ turns 30

So many of you that follow my blog know that CJ's name comes up a lot!  Well that is mainly cause she is awesome, but also cause in the past few years I have come to think of her more as family than a friend.  She is family in every sense of the word: she has listened to me complain about things in my life, has given me support and words of encouragement as I work through my various issues, she came into my house and cleaned up my dirty dishes and unloaded my dishwasher this past Sunday when I was not feeling well, she will go out of her way to make my day a little brighter, she has offered to take the dogs out when neither my mom or I could be there, and she is willing to go on crazy vacations with me!  If that is not family, I don't know what is!  Well since this year was the big 3-0, I felt like I needed to dedicate a blog to CJ today!  So here it is CAROLYN--it's your birthday (well it was yesterday)!!!

Crazy Fun

Responsible  (she is always ready and prepared)!!
One of a Kind and Open-minded!

Nice (I know its lame but there are not many 'N' describing words)

CJ, I hope this birthday is the best one yet and really how can it not be, we are visiting 11 states to celebrate it!  I am so happy our random first meeting 9-10 years ago would eventually turn into such a great friendship!  Thanks for all you do for me every day and most of all, thanks for being a great friend!  Happy 30th birthday!


Magnificent or Magical with how often you sneak into my house!