Thursday, April 28, 2011

Luc 2.0

I gave up on my commitment to becoming a hobo before my attempt at the 100 miler. The idea started when we returned from our Florida vacation... I was going to let my beard, moustache, and hair get as long as it could with no trimming of any kind until after I finished the Mohican 100 miler. If I didn't finish Mohican, I would continue to grow it (un-touched) and attempt the distance again at Oil Creek 100 (4 months later). If I didn't finish Oil Creek... well I hadn't thought of that, but I would have probably been forced to cut it then. :)

The decision to cut my hair and shave came because I was required to work onsite at a client's corporate office here in Hampton, VA for 4 strait weeks (maybe longer now). I was assured that my "hair project" was not a problem. This was a pretty big deal to me, so I was glad that I got approval to go through with it. Unfortunately, introductions and everyday interactions with my (much cleaner looking) peers was really pulling at me.

When I would introduce myself to unsuspecting business people, I felt like I had to explain why I looked like a slob. I never did explain the reason for my appearance, but I was somehow expecting complete strangers to treat me like a professional. Some said that I shouldn't have worried too much about it, but it was really messing with my psyche. :( I didn't feel professional at all with my scruff sticking out all over the place. Some people were a little standoffish from me when I was introduced to them. I didn't like that, but I understood why they acted the way they did (BTW: Please don't ever do that!).

The bottom line is that first time impressions are a mofo; they stick. I was sending the wrong impression with each new person I met. Dockers, dress shoes, and Polo's had no affect. The face just didn't match the skills or the character. I felt pretty out of place my first two weeks here, and I still had 2+ weeks to go. It was time for me to fix it, and the only way was to bag my idea of becoming Forrest Gump.

I went from this:

To this:

The first day back was pretty weird. Some people had to do a double take. Others just played the "nothing weird here" card, but I could see that people were able to open up to me now. I got some compliments that made me blush, and some crap from a few peers about how young I looked. :) The best thing was that I could now demand respect from others.

Make no mistake! Had I not been required to be here (onsite) in Virginia, my hair would still be growing and I would still have food particles stashed in my beard. The "hair project" will reconvene upon my return to Ohio.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

SETI Stops Searching

This is stupid.

I just read that the SETI telescopes have been turned off due to "budget cuts". This is ridiculous. Why not cut printing more money from the budget instead. Let SETI keep searching.

TrailHacker solution: They should just leave the telescopes on and write a simple batch script (or cron job) to log the information out to a web page. This would be unmanned. It would require a single computer to output the raw data and let others do the work for them. To me it seems that a $1.5 million / year operation get's simplified down to the cost of electricity to keep the batch job running (oh and the satellite array) and the annual domain expense of $15 / year. Right!? :) This would let all the SETI geeks in the world do the grunt work for them. I mean, every programmer has written at least 30 log parsers in their life. Transparency is the key here.

Man, if I were running things over there...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Running in Virginia

I'm in Hampton, Virginia on business. I've been here for 2 weeks and will be here for another 2 weeks. I've been able to come home on the weekends, but the weekdays have been spent here in Hampton. The good thing about being here is that I get to explore new terrain.

Each morning I wake up around 6am and run. I've explored a lot of the area as a result. For example, last week I found that there is a 3 mile running loop around the golf course. The golf course is directly across the street from my hotel. There are beautiful little ponds and the course is nice and manicured. The first time I ran around it, I'll admit that I was a bit intimidated. There is a sign at the entrance to the path that says "Open from sunrise to sunset. Be safe. Run with a friend." I thought this was pretty bold, but I shrugged and kept on... el solo.

I love the new scenery, but it's all paved, all the time. I'd much rather be dodging roots and weaving in and out of trees on a single track trail.

On Wednesday morning I was scheduled for an 8 miler, so I decided to explore a local park in hunt for some wooded trails. Luck was on my side and I found lots. It was a trail running jackpot named Sandy Bottom Nature Park. It's about 2 miles from my hotel. This meant that I would be able to make it there and explore the about 4 miles of new trails before having to head back to the hotel and get ready for work...

As it turned out, I got lost inside the park and was late for work. :) I ended up turning right onto a trail, thinking it would bring me back out onto the main path. After I was on the trail for about 15 minutes, I realized that I was pretty deep into the park and had NO CLUE which way the entrance was. For all I knew, I was on the other side of the park and would have to run another 4 miles just to get out. I didn't worry about it too much, but I was just concerned about getting back to the hotel so I could take a shower, eat breakfast and walk to before it got too late.

Here was my journey (you can see where I started to get disoriented):

Here are some pictures from my journey:

There were 0 hills on this run, and the park is right next to a high-traffic interstate (ie. very loud), but it's better than a paved 3 mile trail. I miss my Blackhand Gorge and Dillon State Park. I'll be visiting them this weekend...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ordering Domino's Pizza Online

Holy crap! I just ordered my first pizza online at and it is the coolest thing ever. I got to go through the process of ordering my pizza down to extreme minor details about how to prepare it. I configured it to be light on the cheese, extra shrooms, gimme a tub of garlic dipping sauce on the side, etc... Even after I placed my order, I got to see that "Jessie" started preparing it at 7:02pm without having to refresh the page. It was only seconds after I click "Place Order" too.

Talk about customer service!! I would definitely recommend ordering your next Domino's Pizza online! Put the phone down and enjoy the interactive experience.

Since writing the above two paragraphs, my pizza is now "In the Oven"!

Domino's get uber geek points from me!!

2011 Mohican Forget the PR 50k Weekend

What a crazy weekend.

Note: Sorry I had no camera. All pics below are courtesy of Nick Longworth's Facebook album. Thanks buddy! :)

The weekend can be summed up with:
  • Little sleep
  • Long days
  • Lots of friends
  • Muddy runners
  • Amazing time!
Friday night, my flight landed at midnight. I drove up to Mohican State Park and made it there by 2am. My good buddy, Farley had already setup camp and he let me crash in his tent. The alarm went off at 7:30am and we got ready to start preparing the forrest for tomorrow's race.

The first half of the day was a mostly logistics and getting things setup at the Start/Finish. We went through and packed the different aid station supplies. Synced up spreadsheets and did a few printouts to ensure that the runners would have a smooth checkin the next morning. It was pouring down rain for most of the morning. There was a small patch of sun that snuck in there, but for the most part it was raining in buckets and then it was sprinkling (off and on). Yuk.

We broke for lunch at Pizza Hut and gorged like trail runners. :)

After lunch, we all split up and did our own course marking duties. Farley and I took the trail from the Covered Bridge back to the North Rim Trail. This section was pretty easy to mark; there was one turn and the rest was just a long trail that winded along the river. Not a whole lot of flags were needed on the single track trail section, so we gave some extra attention to the river crossing. We used enough flags to ensure that the runners knew how to get into the water and how to get out of the water, and back on the course. We probably used 1/3 of our flags at this section alone. The remaining 3 miles simply followed the river so we would just drop a flag every so often so that runners knew they were still on course. All in all it was a 'no brainer' though.

Around 2pm or so, Jennifer came up with the girls and we were going to try and hang out a little bit. The plan was for them to help with little odd's and end's and just be together. The truth was that I've not been home all week and won't be home for the next couple of weeks, so we just wanted to find some time to hang out. What better place than Mohican. :) However, as it turned out, she decided to take the girls over to play putt-putt golf and let Farley and I focus on our course markings. It turned out to be the absolute right decision because it got pretty gross out on the course and the girls wouldn't have had much fun walking for 3+ miles anyway.

Farley and I just hung out and did a lot of laughing. We talked about all the different ways we could totally sabotage the race with the amount of lime and flags we had (ie. turn left! now turn right! go in the river! now come out!). :) We played it cool though and tried to be adults about it. :)

Work it, Nick... :)

When we got back to the Start/Finish we all had some nice frosty beers on tap, compliments of Nick. There was a really nice girl there by the name of Samantha, who was doing some audio and photos for the race. She was interviewing various people about the race and who they were. Nick and I decided to let her interview us together. Nick was half lit and I was feeling goofy from the few beers I had. I'm anxious to see how it turned out. :) I tried to sound as unbuzzed as possible, but we'll see... :)

Around 9pm, Farley and I decided to take a night run through Mohican with our headlamps. We started at out campsite and I took him up Big Ass Hill and we made it most of the way to the Fire Tower before turning around and heading back to the camp. We ran about 8 miles total and had a great time. It was Farley's first night run through the woods, and it was my first time doing that since I paced Kimba back in 2008. Farley and I got back to the campsite, cleaned off our funk and crashed by around 1am.

I froze this night and simply could not get warm. I was pleasantly surprised and relieved once I woke up and learned that my feet weren't going to have to be amputated from frost-bite. It was a horrible nights sleep on a cold hard ground! But it is Mohican and the complaining ends there. :)

The alarm sounded at 5am and we fought the snooze button a few times before getting up and out of there for a 6am volunteer shift at the Start/Finish. Farley was on parking duty all morning and I was on t-shirt duty. The runners all came in and got registered in a frenzy. I saw so many familiar faces and it was great to just be surrounded by so many trail runners.

Before the race started Cassandra McCune got up and spoke a few words about her husband, Mike McCune and his legacy that will live on here at Mohican from now until forever. He was a passionate, passionate Mo runner and he was missed dearly today. As Cassandra talked, it was dead silence. She told about who Mike was, not just to the running community or Mohican, but who he was to her. I don't think that there wasn't a dry eye in the crowd. I had a good cry as she talked. She really did a great job introducing Mike to those that never had the pleasure of knowing him. Mike was there in spirit for sure; you could feel it. Thank you for such a great opening ceremony to the race Cassandra.

The 50K race started at 7:30 am sharp. (30 minutes later)... the 25K race started at 8:00 am sharp.

50K start

Farley and I headed over to the Covered Bridge. I was working the Course Marshall duty again, and Farley was there to lend assistance to the Mansfield Running Club. We got to meet some really cool people at this aid station. I also got to see some familiar faces from last year's volunteer group. What a great atmosphere the Covered Bridge is... It is the heart of most all Mohican running events. Many of the trails meet here and runners pass through here multiple times in most events because of it's location.

This year, Rob threw in a nice river crossing and it was awesome to watch the runners belly aching and anticipating the freezing water. The line of the day was when one runner said.. "But there's a perfectly good bridge right there!?!" It summed up the logic of having a river crossing... it's just what us runners like to do for no good reason. :)

About half way through the race, I went back up to the Start/Finish for some technical support on a small little computer app that I built for keeping times. They were having some troubles with it, so I handed over my orange vest and spent the remainder of my day at the Start/Finish greeting runners and doing odds and ends for Rob and other volunteers that needed assistance. I met a lot of really great people here. One runner (named Seth) introduced himself and claimed he reads my blog from time to time. I didn't ask how he recognized me, but I assume it was my crazy shoes. :) If you're reading this Seth, it was great meeting you and perhaps we'll cross paths again soon. Thanks for reading these silly ramblings. :P

While standing there greeting the runners, I realized that I was spent from lack of sleep and really got to missing my girls. I wasn't much use to Rob anymore (sorry man) and I decided to make an executive decision to drive the hour home and spend some quality time with my girls before having to travel back to Virginia in the morning.

Awesome job, runners! Awesome work, volunteers! Awesome race, Rob!

2011 Boston Marathon Shout Out

Today is the day!! Actually, the "race" part of the event is over. It was over 2 hours after it started. Amazing!!

Honestly, I don't like watching marathon running on TV. However, I do get all psyched up when I know people running in the biggest marathon race of the year. I am tracking a few of my running buddy's on the Boston Marathon's website and I'm there with them in spirit. I doubt I'll ever run fast enough to take part in the race but I really do like the hype around it and running it vicariously through my faster friends. :)

Good luck runners and have fun!

Friday, April 15, 2011

My Patchy Beard

I've decided not to cut my hair or shave my face until after the Mohican 100 mile run in June. Jennifer's cool with it and my boss is cool with it, so that's all I cared about. So far it's been pretty hard to get used to all the looks. Especially being here in Hampton, Virginia as a contract programmer in large corporate office building. Everybody looks professional, except for me. I look professional from the neck down, so that has to count for something.

So the next time you see me and wonder why I look like a homeless person, there's a (personal) reason. It looks gross for now, but it's growing on me... get it? :P

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mohican Forget the PR 50k Race Report

This may appear odd, since the race report is being posted a few days before the actual Forget the PR 50K race, but there's a reason for this. The reason is that the race director (Rob Powell) is cool enough to allow the volunteers to come and run the course a week before the "official" race takes place. For this particular run, Rob promises to:
"have a poorly marked course" and offers "water and terrible aid"
However, the event was absolutely awesome in every way. I wouldn't have changed a thing about it!

I'll admit: I almost didn't run this race. I was on the couch all day Saturday with a box of tissues guzzling cup after cup of hot green tea. I never get sick, but this day I was sick. When I woke up at 5am on Sunday morning to get ready for the race, I felt like crap. I stood up to walk into the kitchen and got really dizzy. I got a total of about 3.5 hours of sleep. I still had a headache. My face was all stuffy with snot. I could only breath out of my mouth. I had heartburn from the meds that I took the night before (which I never take medicine either). Most of all, I just felt weak. I needed more sleep. I actually went back to my bed and laid down. No way could I run 31 miles today...

As I laid in bed, I thought about how ridiculous it was to even consider NOT doing this run. The 1hr drive will wake me up. The fresh air from Mohican forrest will help my sinuses. I'd probably sweat the sickness out of my body. The heartburn will be solved after the first mile. And my legs will be throbbing with pleasure after the run... All signs were actually pointing me to get up rather than lay in self pity. I got up and had a change of mood; I decided to fight the negative thoughts with positive ones... Glad I did!

I didn't know what type of weather to expect so I dressed warm and hoped for chilly weather (long sleeve & long pants). I screwed up on that one. :) It turned out to be the hottest day of the week; 80+ fahrenheit. Oops. This would actually help me sweat out my cold though, so there's another way of looking at it. :) I decided to show up and treat this as a slow 30+ mile training run rather than a race. I wanted hills and time on my feet. After all, it's called "Forget the PR". Therefore, I decided to use my CamelBak as my portable aid station. I had it swelling with a bladder full of day-old water that I filled the evening before. I had some apples, bananas, napkins, Vaseline, and some extra nip-guards. I didn't know what to expect in regards to aid, so I packed for the worst...

The drive up was dark and foggy. We all gathered around the starting line around 7:25, for the 7:30 start. Some of the finest racers were there: Rob, Mark, Kimba, Cheryl, Michelle, Paul, Jim, Glenn, Terri, Bob, and (of course) Myself. :) Rob quickly briefed us all on some tricky areas and handed out some maps to those that needed them (myself included). There were some new trails being ran on this run, so I took a map and listened very attentively to his instructions... At one point, Rob interrupted himself in mid-sentence and said "Oh... go!". We were off! :)

I should also add that I wore my VFF's and got some crap for being a "hippie" from my buddy, Kimba. :) For those that may recall, I wore these shoes last year on this run and ended up in pretty bad shape after the run. It was my first time running more than 5 miles in them at that time and I did some pretty nasty damage to my feet & legs as a result. Since then I've done most of my runs in them, minus Oil Creek and the snowy/icy runs this winter.

The course was great. It's quite different from last years course due to some downed trees from recent winds. The course was 2 loops, so we had to do everything twice. Well, except for the Purple loop; we only did the Purple loop on the first time around. Also it started at Mohican Adventures Campground this year, and also had a new section added to the course. Rob decided to throw in a funny joke around mile 3 this year which he calls "Big Ass Hill". Yeah. I was completely winded about 1/4 way up the first climb of it (which we had to do twice today). Once we get to the top of the vertical ascent, the course meets up with the old Red/Green loop where we immediately go back down the other side of "Big Ass Hill". When you get to the bottom of that, you go back up another hill. Ouch.

Looking up 'Big Ass Hill'

There were a few times where I got to run with a few people and it was great catching up with them. For the most part though, I just kept to myself for the majority of the run. A few times I'd bump into others, then I'd let them trot ahead of me. I enjoyed shuffling through the woods and hills in silence with nothing but my own thoughts...

Oh, here comes a huge and deserved shout out to our rolling aid station, Ron Dukes. Ron drove all over Mohican State Park with his pick up truck and provided cookies, snacks, water, and other fuel for us runners. He always greeted us with a big smile and a gallon of warm water ready to rehydrate us. We were all so thankful that he came out and did this. A few times I stopped and enjoyed his conversation before heading back out onto the trail. Thanks a bunch, Ron. See you this weekend!

The run was oddly relaxing. It got really hot around noon, and my clothes were saturated with sweat. Even though I was dressed for winter on a hot summer-like day and trudging through the forrest, I felt great. I ran out of energy a few times, but kept moving toward the "next downhill". The heat didn't bother me too much... If anything, it was good training for the 100 miler. After all, it's going to be much hotter in 2 months for the Mohican 100. Although, I'll be wearing much less clothes for that run. :)

My favorite part of the race was the finish. I was the last of the 50k runners to cross the finish line and all of the other runners and attendees of this race came out of the conference hall and greeted me with a tunnel of cheers and high-fives. It was a finish that I'll never forget! Thanks everybody! I felt like a sweaty first place finisher. Hopefully my energy depleted 100 meter sprint to you all looked half-way believable.

I finished in 8 hrs and 17 minutes (or something like that)

Post race fun @ Mohican Adventures

The post-race meal was spectacular. There was beer and lasagna (thank you Betty Baun) for all of the runners. Rob handed out our t-shirts and the 50k finishers all got fancy belt buckles. Rob explained some last minute details for next weeks logistics, then we all sat around and had conversation for a few minutes before departing back to our normal lives.

Mohican Forget the PR 50K is a great race with great views of a great park that is always accompanied by great people.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Punked by U.S. Airways

My blood is boiling and the only thing I know to do is blog.

I'm travelling to Virginia for business. I had a flight from Columbus to Charlotte. And then I had a quick run through the airport from gate E18 to E27 to get to get on another flight to Norfolk. When I arrived at the gate, the door was closing so I ran up to it and knocked. Nobody came back. I knocked a few more times... nobody. By this point, I was a little anxious, but I saw the airplane was outside the window getting fueled up and prepped for flight. Please note that I (honestly) made it to my gate at 10:58am. I know this because I checked my watch. The flight wasn't set to depart until 11:14am, so there was PLENTY of time for the "gate keeper" to come back and check the door one more time before they pull the sky walk away from the plane.

As I waited, I saw the fuel truck get packed up, pull away, and the ground crew was disconnecting hoses and finishing their prep work of the plane. I realized that my flight is going to be pulling out soon and nobody has come to the door yet. It's now 11:10am. I'm making quite a ruckus at the gate door. The sky walk is still connected to the plane, so I begin kicking the door, and pounding on it. I even go to the window and put my ticket up and wave it back and forth in hopes that the pilot will see me. Nobody sees me.

Eventually, the walk way begins to back up away from the plane and the pilot comes to the door to give the thumbs up to the crew on the ground. They cabin crew begins to pick up the steps to close the door to the plane. They forgot me! The witnesses at the gate are now on my side. I'm pretty upset by this point and I"m pacing back and forth trying to make sense of it all. I finally give the door one more last (hard) set of kicks.

FINALLY!!! A woman comes to the door and says:
"I"m sorry sir, this flight has already been boarded." -- Jessica O.

I was shaking by this point and I'm sure my face was red. I was clearly here in enough time, there were 3 witnesses at the gate that were charging their laptops that saw the whole thing unfold. The bottom line is that she didn't do her job and check the door one last time before she signed off. I don't go off on tangents and bitch at people, and I never yell. I stayed (somewhat) cordial to her, but also let her know that she screwed up and not me. It was HER fault that I missed my flight. Yes, I'm passing blame. :( She insisted that it was my fault and that she was already holding the plane up. Bull! That plane sat there for very long time and could have allowed me to walk on it at anytime. The witnesses at the gate even spoke up for me as I had my head on her desk in disbelief. They said that I'd been sitting here for a long time.

She was convinced that she was right. Therefore, I let her believe it and just kept my cool as she rescheduled me for a 2:01 flight... plenty of time to blog my experience and cool down.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Florida Vacation 2011 - Pt. 2

Ok, so I left you hanging in my last post when I mentioned our room in Ft. Lauderdale... Our room was supposed to be on the 4th floor with a beach view. As it turned out, we got to the hotel too early. Apparently they were cleaning the carpets in our room, so we had to settle on a lousy 9th floor beach front room instead! :) Darn. So we got to our room and checked out our stellar view before heading down to the beach.

The beach front view from our balcony

Looking south toward Ft. Lauderdale beach

Remember, we had already had a full day at various places across the Florida Everglades on our drive from Naples. So once we got to our hotel room it was pretty uneventful; we walked down to the beach, swam at the pool, ate a nice dinner, went to bed.

That next day, we all woke up and had our breakfast down in the lobby. Immediately after breakfast, I drove the rental van to the airport to return it to Hertz. I took a $20 bill, my iPod, my sunglasses, and a cell phone; I was going to run from the airport back to the hotel in the mid-day Florida sun. The run was great... hot, but great. I got to see a lot of Florida on my little run. My plan was to run north, up the A1A Ocean Front Blvd. back to our hotel. It was a 30 minute drive, but would be a 3 hour run back.

My route from the Airport, down the A1A

One key thing that I took away from this adventure was that it's pretty hard to get out of an international airport on foot. All roads in and out of the Fort Lauderdale International Airport are constructed for efficient traffic flow to and from the highway through a series of on and off ramps. I had to navigate through the parking garage and through a few terminal tunnels to get down to the ground floor, then I had to run against the grain of traffic that flowed into the airport on a 2-lane utility road out to another road named 'Perimeter Rd'. This road followed the train tracks that wound around the runway and under the maze of highways that led in and out of the air port. I cranked the iPod through here because it was pretty loud to say the least. :)

Once I got out of the airport congestion, I made my way up to the A1A and just enjoyed the sights and sounds of the busy streets. At point I got to climb and descend a toll bridge that seamed like the highest point in Florida when I made it to the top. I could see for miles and actually took a video that I sent to Jennifer. From the toll bridge, I weaved in and out of some residential areas and then strolled down the public beach area. Best yet, it was a Saturday afternoon, so the beach was BUMPIN... but so was the sun. I could write another 4 paragraphs about this run and all the cool sites I saw, but just know that I ended my 15+ mile run in the sand, along the beach where I fell into the ocean once I reached my girls. :)

Beginning of Ft. Lauderdale Public Beach

Million dollar yachts from the toll bridge

After the hot run on the asphault, we all swam in the ocean for a while, then we got some food before heading out for some shopping down the road at the local surf shop. From the surf shop, we all walked back to the hotel along the beach. After the walk, the kids were pretty well spent, so we got back to the hotel and just chilled out for a while. We ended up eating candy bars and chocolate for dinner before everybody kind of fell asleep where they were. I, for one, fell asleep on the too-small-for-a-grown-man couch before waking up and stumbling to my bed.

Sunday was pool day. We pretty much spent all day at the pool or in our room. Lots of lounging around in between pool time and meals. This was our "recovery" day in a sense. Around 6pm or so, we decided to take some family pictures down by the ocean. Jennifer packed the girls matching dresses and she MADE me buy some nice clothes at the Gap store in Naples for this particular event as well. :)

We all headed down to the ocean during the sunset and took about 200 pictures of various poses against the sunset and with the ocean behind us. They turned out great and we will have these pictures forever to remind us just how much fun we had on our Florida trip. The girls were all sun-kissed and the breeze was coming off of the ocean pretty strong. It was neat to feel how warm the sand still was on our barefeet even after the heat of the day had gone. These are all things that we don't get to experience too often in Ohio.

The Hardbarger's

Lizzie, Daizi, Morgi, Jazzy


After our photo shoot, we went down to the pool again and the hotel had a complimentary viewing of 'Despicable Me' by the pool after the sun went down. We made it halfway through the movie before we all realized the breeze was too cold on our hot skin, so we decided to go back up to our room and watch a Netflix movie on Jen's MacBook with popcorn, Coke, and more chocolate.

Poolside movie at night

Monday morning, Jennifer and I woke up to watch the sunrise, and then we went down for breakfast (no kids). :) It was much less chaotic without having to manage all the plates and drinks. After breakfast, she went back to bed and I read for a while. Eventually I tried to wake the girls up, but Lizzie was the only one that actually woke up. Her and went down to breakfast and just hung out for a while. The others kept sleeping. After our little "Daddy & Lizzie" time, we brought some waffles and drinks back up to the room for the others. Unbeknownst to me, they were already eating breakfast (ie. Chips Ahoy Cookies). :) Ain't vacation awesome!?

Morning Sunrise

Once everybody had their breakfast, we decided that today was going to be "beach day". Lizzie and I rented some boogy boards and decided to "catch some gnarly waves duuude" while all the others played in the sand and found sea shells. We were literally at the beach ALL DAY. We got there around 11am and left around 6pm. We broke for lunch at some point at a nice little beach side Tiki Bar, where we all had Pina Colada's and burgers in the shade. By the time we got back to the hotel, we were all spent! We ordered Pizza and leisurely packed our bags to dance music on the FM radio. Everybody got their showers and prepared for the long venture home that next morning.

Catchin' some gnarly waves with Surfer-Girl Liz

Ok, so I have to tell this side-story real quick... After we were all done eating our pizza, the girls were being extremely silly up in the room. They were laughing, telling corny jokes, and just being crazy. At one point there was a quiet moment; almost an "awkward silence". Then Daizi leaned back in her chair, put her hands on her belly as if she had eaten too much pizza, and says "Oh... I'm sooo prednick!" (ie. I'm so pregnant). We all lost it! I think she's been hanging out with Jazzy too much. :)

Tuesday morning was pretty uneventful. Lizzie and I tried to wake up to see the sunrise, but it was too cloudy. We lasted about 10 minutes on the balcony, then went back to sleep. About an hour later, we all woke up and ate breakfast before checking out of the hotel. On our way to the airport, I asked our cab driver to drive us down the A1A so I could show everybody the sites that I saw on my run. He gave us some history lessons and "local facts" about the sites and dropped us off at our terminal.

Jazzy and Me relaxing at Ft. Lauderdale airport

We made it to the airport ontime, but when we tried to check-in, we learned that our flight was delayed due to nasty weather north of Florida. We were supposed to fly to Washington DC to Columbus and be home by around 4pm. As it turned out we went through Charlotte, NC (which also got delayed) and then got on "stand-by" for a Columbus flight around 8pm. We got into Columbus around 10pm and we were happy to be back. One cool thing about the flight into Columbus was that Mr. Craig Krenzel himself was on our flight. I (personally) didn't see him, but Jennifer did and so did many people on the flight. :) He may not be a HUGE celebrity, but he was absolutely a "household name" for a few years around here. Go Bucks!

Love birds

There you have it! This was the 2011 Hardbarger Family Vacation. We all had a wonderful time and made memories to last a lifetime. We will soon start planning our next big adventure... (?)