Monday, July 30, 2007

Brickyard 400

No matter what they try to call it ("Allstate 400 at the Brickyard")--it will always be the Brickyard 400! I'm not a huge NASCAR fan, but I know a few people who are (Jack Heim, Justin Brownfield, Mathew Eliason...) so by default I have learned a few things about it and caught a few hours (here and there) of races on TV, but my brother-in-law and sister (Matt & Rachel) came to visit and go to the race (which happened Sunday), and they invited me to go with them.

Let me tell you, watching a race in person is SO MUCH better than watching it on TV--although you probably know what's going on more from home! I had heard that the cars whiz by so fast that I didn't think I'd even be able to see them and that it was super loud at the track. Matt and our friend Warren Powers got seats in the Paddock and Rachel and I had the cheap seats in the First Turn Terrace, but it was so much better than what I'd thought, actually! Since Rachel and I were on the first turn the cars came by "slowly" enough that you could make out who each one was clearly and get a good view--even though we couldn't see the Jumbotron (unless you got a peek through the bleachers behind you) and seldom heard the announcer, we had a good idea of what was going on. And Matt's recommendations of ear plugs was a great one, even though it wasn't as loud as I had expected it to be.

We didn't leave Lafayette until after church Sunday morning (we got out of town around 11:45), then we stopped at Subway (Thanks, Warren!) for a quick bite for the road, and we found the same free parking spot Matt & Rach had found last year. We were inside the gates by about 1:15 probably, but by the time we picked up our drinks (lots of walking) and got to our seats it was about 2:00 and the race was on! I was honestly expecting to be somewhat bored but found myself not wanting to leave my seat for the next 4 hours until the race was over, so Rach and I both ended up with some nice sunburns to show for it! :) Our seats on the first turn ended up being quite good for seeing the 2 crashes that happened on that turn. We enjoyed cheering for Jeff Gordon and were pleased with his 3rd place finish. I'm sure the people behind us were quite disappointed when Dale Jr.'s engine blew near the end of the race (they were pretty loud at first!)--but we got to see that firsthand because that happened on our turn, too! Rachel and I got pretty good communicating with gestures, pointing, and lip reading--and by pointing to my "cheat sheet" of driver information.

All in all, it was a great day. The weather was perfect--not too hot, a perfect day to sit out in the sun, Jeff Gordon finished in the top 3, we got 2 free cokes, and we had fun! We met up and wandered around the infield for a little after the race then ventured out into traffic around 7:00 p.m. It took about 3 hours to make the normally one-hour trip home because of traffic and a semi with a blow-out (we think) backing up the already busy interstate. But we still made it to Cracker Barrel before it closed and had a meal there (we didn't exactly get what we ordered, but that's a different story...I guess you're stuck with what they have left at the end of the day)! Then we had cupcakes back at home to celebrate Matt's 24th birthday! Happy Birthday, Matt!

I would highly recommend going to a race if you get the opportunity. I learned more about racing and really enjoyed it!Rachel & Matt, Warren Powers, and me at the track.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Price is Right

I love watching the Price is Right when I have the time, and I've enjoyed the summer reruns, but I can't imagine the Price is Right without game show host Bob Barker! I remember growing up, helping mom fold laundry while we watched the Price is Right. Of course, Bob Barker was still the host even then. I don't know how it will be with Drew Carey as least his name has the same amount of syllables, so when Rich introduces, "and now, the star of the Price is Right: DREEEW CAREY" it can at least sound somewhat similar. I just hope Mr. Carey keeps it as family-friendly of a show. But I just can't imagine it being the same.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Vacation: Part 5

For my last vacation post I wanted to share a few cute photos of the dogs! In this first one, Juju and her dashchund cousins are playing with a balloon while Zack & Jackie Parks look on. The dachshunds had never seen a balloon before but they all had fun chasing and popping them. It was quite amusing!

Tippy & Juju sleeping on the couch:

Here are all of the dogs: Tippy, Baruch, Reeses, and Juju! (Reeses and Baruch of course belong to Rachel & Matt--my sister and her husband).

Friday, July 20, 2007

Vacation: Part 4


I am dedicating this post to the Jeff & Debbie Parks and family. It was so good to see them after all of their world travels in the Air Force. It will good to be able to see them when they make their permanent move to the U.P. next year, too! We had fun at their campsite at Van Riper State Park (making pudgie pies and s'mores) and also enjoyed spending time with them at our house, looking at pictures, playing Apples to Apples, etc.

Jeff & Debbie, Jackie, Brianna, Zack, and Daniel

We had to say goodbye to them on Wednesday, but they had their coffee and soda so they could stay awake for the trip as they continued on to South Dakota to see their other daughter Lisa and her new husband.

See you later!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Vacation: Part 3


Black River Falls, Ishpeming, MI
My dad and I were reading a tourist brochure about sights to see in the Ishpeming area and read about Black River Falls, which neither of us had seen before. So we thought we'd take a little time and check it out. They were okay--probably not on my list of things I HAVE to see again, but not a bad little jaunt if you want to drive way out into the woods and check it out.

Dave's Falls, Amberg, WI Driving back to Lafayette on Monday I wasn't in a hurry, so I made a stop in WI to see some falls I had heard of but never visited before. Right by Northland Baptist Bible College in the northern woods of Wisconsin are some county falls called Dave's Falls, that I found out are just off of the highway. I decided to stop and check them out. It was only about 275 yards to the falls, so there was hardly any kind of hike involved, which I was a little disappointed in (and the $3 entrance fee was a little disappointing), but the falls were spectacular. A really nice place to visit. I would recommend these to any future tourists!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Vacation: Part 2


My first day back in the U.P. I enjoyed taking my dog and my parents' dog Tippy on a hike up the Bluff. Here in Indiana I can walk for 45 minutes from my house and just see cornfields and more houses. At my parents' house I can walk for 45 minutes and have been hiking through the woods, climb up the bluff, eat fresh blueberries, and go down to the lake! Which is exactly what I did that first morning back. (I do have to admit that while I was looking forward to this treat, I had conveniently forgotten all the mosquitoes they have up there!) Juju & Tippy LOVED it and also enjoyed splashing in the lake and running around.

One day that week my mom and I went downtown Ishpeming to visit my sister Rachel on her lunch hour from work and to visit a little festival set up for the holiday on Main Street. One of my favorite things to see was the Butler Theatre turned into an antique museum. My favorite thing to look at wasn't the antiques inside but at the original walls, ceiling, balcony, and imagine it back a few decades as the theatre it had once been. We had fun window shopping and enjoying fresh elephant ears, too!

We took one day to go downtown Marquette to the Lower Harbor of Lake Superior and visit Columbus' ship La Nina, an exact replica of the original vessel which had been built by hand in Brazil and happened to be in port that week. It was cool to get a tour of the ship and imagine what it would have been like coming over with Columbus.

I also enjoyed spending time with my brother Tim and his new wife Kristen as they were home on the tale end of their honeymoon. We had fun playing Rook with Mom & Dad and Apples to Apples with everybody.
Stay tuned for more...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Vacation: Part 1


A big part of my summer vacations is spent in Vacation Bible School, and this summer was no exception. I didn't capture any pictures from VBS here in Lafayette, but it was June 18-22. I was involved with music and powerpoint help with that (and working behind the scenes helping to organize it, come up with songs, etc.). But then I brought a lot of decorations from our VBS here in Lafayette up to MI July 2 when I went up to the U.P. because they were doing the same Rescue Zone Bible School July 9-13. So we had a truck in the 4th of July Parade and Juju and I walked in that, passing out flyers and candy--Ju helped eat the candy too. ("Did you know your dog is eating candy?? Your dog has a wrapper! Your dog has gum stuck to its paw!" Thankfully that gum came off quite readily!) Then we decorated for VBS and I helped organize it and get the prizes put together and songs and orders put together. Thankfully we had quite a good crew of helpers for everything. We were a little disappointed in the attendance because our high day was only 27. But it was an easy number of kids to work with and once things were planned out it seemed to run quite smoothly. We had a good attendance for the closing program on Friday night, too. VBS just seems to tire me out, though. So I enjoyed sleeping when I could. I enjoyed doing a few other things while I was home, too, but I'll write more about those next time. I traveled for about 11 hours yesterday coming back to Lafayette, so I need to unpack today, get the mail read, etc., etc.!