Monday, September 24, 2012

Colorado Fun 2012

Jennifer and I recently returned from a week long trip to Colorado. Unfortunately I think both of us are still there mentally. We were able to do it on a short budget thanks to the help of some amazing friends. The first half of our stay was with an old high-school buddy, Jamie Walbright. He welcomed us into his  house and gave us an amazingly relaxed stay in Denver. Walbright gave us our own room with our own private bathroom and all the relaxation we could handle. Halfway through the week, we ventured up to Steamboat Springs to meet with Farley and Jess. We would be staying with Jess' cousins, who we never met before. It was very generous of them to welcome us into their house as complete strangers. Jennifer and I couldn't be more thankful to both Walbright and the Gatton family.

We arrived early on Sunday morning, and met Walbright and Michelle at the airport. Immediate we stopped for a bite to eat at a local mexican sports bar / restaurant with rooftop party area. It's amazing how big of a football town Denver is. The entire restaurant was all watching the Buffalo Bills game vs. New York Jets (ie. Tim Tebow's new team) and it was PACKED!

We hung around that day and just relaxed. Later that evening, Walbright took Jennifer and I to a Denver Bronco's game... Yeah, THE Denver Bronco's game... The one where Payton Manning started his career as a Bronco. Yeah, the season opener against the Steelers! Apparently, tickets were a pretty hot item and we were there! Walbright totally hooked us up! His buddy had season tickets and wasn't able to make the game, so he sold them to us at face value. Whoever you are, thanks man! We had a blast! It's a memory that we will have forever.

On Monday, Jennifer and Michelle did a little shopping while I worked at a local Starbucks. Around 5pm we got our rental car which we would have for the rest of the week: a Fiat 500 (aka: The JLo).

Tuesday was pretty fun. I worked until noon at a local coffee shop, then Jennifer and hoped in the car and headed up to Estes Park. We had a BLAST! We saw a herd of Elk overtaking the town. They started in the grassy area of the Stanley Hotel (ie. Stephen King's - The Shining), and meandered their way down toward the local shopping center. Jennifer and I spent the afternoon shopping for souvenirs and just enjoying the drizzly day. It was a lot of fun, we just took our time and had no real schedule. The sites and scenery was simply remarkable. Nothing like Ohio!

Jennifer and I have spent the last 9 years decorating our house to mimic a cabin in the woods. Here we were consumed in it. It was all around us. We were in our element. Every store we went into was filled with trinkets and decor just for us. We shopped til around 7pm, then made our way back toward Walbright's house in the rain. When we arrived back at the Walbrights, Jennifer went to bed and I hung out with Walbright, watching TV and hacking on my laptop til around 3am.

Wednesday morning was very fast paced. Jennifer and I packed up the Fiat and began our journey to Steamboat Springs to meet up with Farley and Jess at Jess' cousin's condo. I let Jennifer drive while I hacked all the way through the mountains. It was a perfect mix. Jennifer took her time through the mountains and I had my laptop open debugging code. I got an amazing amount of work done which meant we didn't have to dip into "fun time" in Steamboat Springs... and we had a blast! Of course we stopping at various spots along the way to take pictures and smell the fresh mountain air.

We arrived in Steamboat Springs around 1pm or so and immediately hit a Starbucks so I could check in my code and be done with work for the week. Upon upload, I rejoiced and began my stressless vacation with my wife. Jennifer and I did some shopping and dropped some money on some fun items. Later we met up with our friends at a local sports bar and had some drinks. We finally got to meet Joe and Debra (the couple who is opening their house to us for the next 3 days).

Thursday was yet another fun day. We all headed to Leadville for a fun hike. Actually, Jess and Jennifer did some shopping in Vail while Joe, Debra, Farley, and I all headed to Leadville to summit Hope Pass. It was a bit adventurous, but we made it to 11,000 ft before turning around and heading back down the mountain. It was one of the most beautiful (and challenging) hikes I've ever done. At times, I found it quite a challenge to catch my breath.

After our hike, we all met back up with Jess and Jennifer for some delicious Mexican in Vail. Around 7pm we headed back to Steamboat Springs (a 2+ hr drive) on a beautiful starlit night. On our way there, we stopped out in some remote area deep in the rocky mountains and turned off the cars. We could see every single star in the sky... Yes. Every. Single. Star. :) Ok, we saw a lot though... It was a moment I won't forget for a long time, I'd never seen so many stars at once in my whole life. Amazing.

Friday was an easy day. We woke up early so that we could all get a good nights sleep that night. We headed down to the starting line of Run Rabbit Run so that we could see the 100 milers start their race. It was amazing to see the spread of runners of all different levels. Some were young, some were old. Some were tall, some were short. All were anxious to get started... The "tortoises" took off at 8am, and it was neat to see them all take off knowing that slowest of the runners had until that next night at 9pm to finish their race. We came back to see the "hares" start their race at 1pm. These runners were all eligible for the $10,000 cash prize for the first place finish.

After seeing them start their race, we all split up and did our separate things. Farley and I got some lunch and did some running around. Jennifer, Debra, and Jess went out for Margarita's, and Joe did "Joe things" somewhere (?). :) After lunch, Farley and I prepared our "race do's" for battle! I have this weird thing where I have to have a mohawk for my big races. It's weird, but it's my thing... and my girls like it too; they think their Daddy looks cool. :)

Later that night, two more of Joe and Debra's friends showed up to join us in this huge house party. Scott and Susan drove up from Boulder and were going to be working the aid station with the girls.

Saturday was race day (wait for the next blog post).

Sunday was Funday with Jennifer. Her and I travelled to Breckenridge to do some site seeing and shopping at a leisurely pace. We were in no hurry and just took our time enjoying the beautiful weather. The weather was absolutely perfect! It was mid 60's and sunny. Jennifer and I went from shop to shop and found a few bargains. I hobbled mostly everywhere and I'm sure people were talking, but I just did m'thang... slowly.

Best yet, it turned out that the day we were there was their Octoberfest and we got to enjoy some street partying in between shopping. We ate pork sandwiches and bavarian pretzels. The streets were alive with party people Couldn't have asked for a more perfect day. Just look at the views of our shopping day:

Monday was travel day. We got back into Ohio around 11pm after a full day of travel and just hanging out. This trip was supposed to be a huge race trip, but it really turned out to be a second honeymoon with Jennifer. We got to hang out with friends and enjoy beautiful Colorado with each other. Family vacations are one thing, but every now and then Mommy's and Daddy's need Mommy and Daddy time.  This trip was long overdue for us. We vowed that we won't wait for another 12 years to do this again. Next time... maybe Vancouver? San Diego? Tahoe? :)

A HUGE thank you goes out to Jamie Walbright and the Gatton family for welcoming us into your homes. You were both amazing hosts and we learned quite a lot about what it means to be good hosts. If any of you ever venture to Newark, Ohio to fulfill your dreams of seeing a large basket building, you have an entire 1,100 sq ft basement all to yourselves! We'll never forget your hospitality and generosity during our stay in the beautiful state of Colorado.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Blackhand Gorge Trail Series 2012

This past weekend marked the first annual Blackhand Gorge Trail Series running event put on by the Friends of Blackhand Gorge. The event took place at (where else) Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve. The purpose of the race was to raise money for the preserve in order to maintain the preserve and restoring structures that have been decaying over time. The event was a smashing success and the friends group was able to race $2,000 for our cause.

The race had 5 local sponsors who contributed money and supplies for the event:
Our logo was designed by Hyrographix Design. Jonathon does amazing work! He designed the race logo above. He's also designed our Friends Group logo as well (showcased at the bottom of this post). Jonathon does high quality graphics design, and right here in Newark, Ohio! Thanks Jonathon!

This years event offered 3 distances: 5K, 10K, and 20K. The 5K course took runners around the old quarry pits on the south side of the Licking River. The 10K course had runners ascend 400 ft of elevation in less than 1/4 mile. From there runners traverse through the woods along a grueling terrain of old rock beds and along sloped terrain. The 20K course allows runners to see all of the beauty that Blackhand Gorge has to offered along the south side of the Licking River.

20K Leader

The 20K race started at 8:30am, followed by the 10K at 8:45, and the 5K at 9am. Runners started showing up around 8am, while I was still putting out some last minute signs along the course. Volunteers kicked in took charge of everything that was needed. Parking seemed to be no problem. Registration appeared to be going smoothly, and runners were mingling waiting for their start.

Race Parking near Blackhand Gorge

Blackhand Gorge Trail Series race was my first race as a Race Director. I really enjoyed the whole experience and it truly was a dream come true for me. I've been running these trails for years and have always thought about how cool it would be to show other people how amazing Blackhand Gorge is. My passion is running, so a running event was the perfect thing for me, and it proved to be quite a successful event. I learned that Race Directors do a lot more than just send runners on their way at the starting line and shake their hands when they finish. There were a few sleepless nights thrown in there prior to the event, and I loved every minute of it!!

There were so many volunteers on race day that it was almost overwhelming. Everybody seemed to have a great time and the community really came together. Bill Weaver had an old student of his come in from out of town and ran the 10K. He had never run a trail race before and said he loved it! He lives in Chicago, IL and happend to be in town, so he signed up on a whim. He got 3rd place 10K finisher award! We sure hope he comes back next year and claims his 1st place plaque. :)

Button Bush Trail meets Quarry Rim Trail

Jennifer brought the girls to the race. It was their first 5K ever. I was so proud of them and will remember this day for the rest of my life. They were all so proud to cross the finish line, and I gave them all a big hug. Jennifer and Janet were the local comic relief party. They showed up with the giggles and left with the giggles. I expected nothing less! :)

My 5K Finishers!
Daizi, Jennifer, Lizzie, and Jazzy

1st and 2nd Place 
Goof Ball Award Winners

This was a huge success for The Friends of Blackhand Gorge!! It marks our first public event that raised money for the Nature Preserve. We have yet to determine how to use the money, but you can bet that we are already thinking about the next event. I have big plans for next years race, and there's been talk of a new Pedals to Paddles event. This event will allow participants to ride their bikes down the bike path for 4 miles, and then paddle a canoe back back down river to the finish line. This sounds like a really cool event and I'm excited for the friends group to begin planning it! This would allow Blackhand Gorge to showcase all of her natural beauty from both the old train tracks above to the old canal path below. A lot of history has passed through this place! Other events include evening hikes by moonlight and even dog walks down the bike path. These are all just ideas for now, but The Friends of Blackhand Gorge are all very passionate about doing all we can to support our cause.

Friday, June 22, 2012

2012 Mohican 100 Mile Race Report

Mohican beat me again. The weather was great, the aid stations were packed, and the trails were beautiful as ever. Best yet, I actually ran a better race this year than I did last year. I kept my pace slow and steady, and I felt strong through most of the race. Ultimately, my stomach got the best of me around mile 55, and I dropped at mile 60.

Pre Race Drama
I showed up Friday night and went to check-in to get my race packet. Oddly, they couldn't find my name on the list. After talking with 3 different people and a few phone calls, it was determined that I never actually signed up for the race!!?? How could this have happened!? I was able to convince them that I really did think I signed up (I was sure I did), and the race organizers let me pay the original fee to sign up and join the race. Phew, silly me...

After getting checked in, Farley showed up and we just hung out up at our campsite and started drinking some pre-race beers. Our old college buddy, Jauffrey Fougere, showed up and was going to camp with us for the night. It was like old times at BGSU! Only instead of being ultra party animals, we were ultra athletes. :) It was unfortunate that I had to pack in to my tent early and missed out on catching up with Jauf. We vowed to do it again soon when didn't have to go to bed so early. Farley and Jauf hung out by the fire til around midnight. Oddly, I think I stayed up long after they fell asleep. I had the pre-race jitters and simply couldn't shut my mind off.

Jauf, Luc, and Farley

Race Morning
I woke up to a faint voice saying "Luc... Luc... Dude, you missed the starting line, it's quarter after five..." I shot up like a rocket and said a few choice words... I then gathered myself and started getting ready. My biggest fear was "fighting the clock" and by the time I actually set foot on the trail, I was 45 minutes behind it. Crap! Although, to be honest, it worked out great, because I got to run my own race at my own pace. I didn't have to get stuck running someone else's race while being caught up in conversation. I just focused on staying slow and steady.

First Loop 
I did a lot of power walking and jogging on my first loop. I felt strong enough to run, but also knew that I had all day to make up for the lost time and didn't want to use up all of my energy. I felt extremely strong and kept a close watch on my calories, hydration, and keeping cool. I peed like a rockstar so I knew I was staying well hydrated. I never got hungry, so I knew my calories were great. And everytime I started to sweat I would slow down and pour icy cold water over my neck and head. Towards the end of the first loop, I had actually passed a few people. Therefore, I had caught up with the back of the pack and was no longer in last place. This felt great.

I ran a few miles with Fred Davis III and got some tips from him on how to finish a 100 mile race. He said I was on a good pace and to just stay slow and steady. It was great to run with him. I've seen him at lots of ultra events. I remember running a few miles with him at Oil Creek 100 a few years ago, and he's always happy and full of stories. One great guy!

The first loop was pretty uneventful, I powered through the aid stations and kept moving at a steady pace through the entire first 27.4 miles.

Second Loop
I met up with Farley and Jauf at the campsite before getting back to the start / finish. Farley hooked me up with some ice and I hung out for a bout a minute or two before powering on towards the start / finish. We all had a few laughs about me missing the starting line like Jean Paul in Seinfeld. :) Doh!!

As I sat on the bench talking to my brothas, the sun was in full force and the humidity was pretty high. It was about 1pm and I was ready to start my next loop. The sooner I got back into the forest, the sooner I get out of the sun and under the canopy of the trees. I still felt strong and made sure to pay extra special attention to keeping cool. From this point on, I left every aid station with both water bottles full of ice and a large cup of ice chips. I would literally walk with my cup of ice chips in one hand and my 2 ice filled water bottles in the other. I made my own rule to not start running until all my ice chips were gone. It worked great and also kept me motivated to get to the "next" aid station (ie. more ice).

Covered Bridge
I felt amazing through the first two aid stations on my second loop. However, by the time I got to the Covered Bridge, I was feeling pretty gross. My calories were still on par, my hydration was good, I was still peeing (sorry for all you non runners, but this is an important aspect to distance running), and best yet I was staying cool by squirting ice water on the back of my neck from time to time. When I entered the Covered Bridge, I decided I should sit down and get my stomach in order. I killed about 10 minutes here and talked with ultra-rock-star, Jay Smithberger for a while. He had good advice and was very supportive with various tips on how to get my stomach back. Eventually, Shelley (his wife) warmed up some potato soup and then Jay kicked me out of the aid station with the cup and said "keep moving".

For the next 2 miles, I ate the soup and crunched on more ice chips. By the time I ascended the switch backs of the Orange loop, I was feeling amazing! I had no more nausea and I was running again. I ran and power walked for the next 4 miles with no worries in the world. It was a great day to be running at Mohican!

Hickory Ridge
When I arrived at Hickory Ridge I saw a few familiar faces; one by the name of Don Baun. It's always great to see him, and he's one of my favorite Mohican..inians...? I decided to sit down for about a minute and chose wisely as to what I put in my stomach. I was feeling great, but I knew that the wrong thing in my stomach could change everything. I grabbed a PBJ square and pushed on...

Around 2 miles later, the sun started to go down. I ended up running 4 miles in the dark back to Mohican Adventures. This caused me to come to a slow walk towards the end of the course. Amazingly my eyes were adjusting as the sun was going down and I was able to see every root and rock on the trail. However, I was not able to judge depth and the trail has lots of dips and mounds all throughout it. I ended up walking very slowly for the last 2 miles before descending down onto the campground road.

As I was climbing the dirt road up to the bath house at the campground, I saw a headlight coming towards me. The light said "Luc!?"... It was Farley! He had my headlamp for me and he was ready to start pacing me. It was around 10:30pm by this point and I still felt great after the potato soup @ Covered Bridge. I think I surprised him when I nudged him and told him how great I felt. I was surprised myself actually... I've never felt this good after running 50+ miles before. I was ready to tackle the 3rd loop and we had a plan! We got up to the campsite and I had a few crackers with hummus, and some ice water. Farley and I spent about 2 minutes getting ready for the 3rd loop and then headed down to the start / finish where he would "officially" start pacing me through the night.

Third Loop
We left the campground eager to run Mohican at night. Quick recap: I had lost some time at the starting line when I slept in, then I lost some more time at Covered Bridge where Jay kicked me out of. My pace came to a crawl from running in the dark, but I was still NOT BEHIND THE CUTOFFS! That was huge for me and had me pumped up about being able to finish this 100 mile race. I was one of the last runners in the race and the cutoffs were creeping up on me, but I wasn't scared by this. Knowing that I came into the race 45 minutes late and caught up with the clock after 3 aid stations convinced me that I had nothing to worry about.

Houston, We Have a Problem
Farley and I power walked most of the first section toward the aid station. About 4 miles into this leg, I tried to consume a Hammer Gel. Immediately, I was overcome with nauseau and chucked... No warning. No build up. I went from 95% awesome to puke... Just like that! It surprised me, and I'm sure it surprised Farley too. We were laughing and talking and power walking without a worry in the world, then I went and did that... After it happened, I still felt fine so we kept moving. Oddly, I still felt ok... I actually kept jogging after that little episode. About 1 mile from the Park Rd. Aid station, I had to sit down though. My energy had drained and my stomach was starting to feel nauseous again. We pretty much walked to Park Rd.

Park Rd.
When I got Park Rd., I felt pretty bad; like I could puke at any second. The thought of any food, water, heed, or motion made me want to vomit. I decided to sit down on a milk crate and gather myself. Perhaps my will power was taking a hit here... My stomach is what destroyed me last year, and here I was dealing with it again this year. As I sat on the milk crate, someone eventually suggested a Dramamine. I thought it couldn't hurt, so I took it down and was waiting for it to "kick in".

About 5 minutes later the nausea waved through my body and I got sick right right on the street in front of everybody at the aid station. I apologized to them in between heaves, but there was nothing else I could do. It was mostly water, but upon further investigation, I saw that the Dramamine pill had never digested either...

I didn't want to sit back down because my legs were starting to lock up, so I decided to walk back and forth there at the aid station. A minute or so later I started seeing stars and things started to go dark. I felt cooky, so I walked up the road a bit and decided to sit down on the concrete... quickly. I really wanted to lay down on my back and take a nap, but knew that was out of the question. Once the shakes kicked in, I knew that I was probably not going to finish this race. I was now hyperthemic (I think), with gross stomach, fighting the clock, and had 3 miles of darkness until the next aid station.

I Dropped
Farley and I talked about it for a while, and I really wasn't feeling it anymore. It's amazing how last year I felt this bad (maybe worse), but pushed on for another 15+ miles. This year, I think sleep deprivation and exhaustion had a bit to play into it. I didn't get much sleep the night before and I really just wanted to lay down and pass out. We had an aid station member drive us back to the camp ground and I got my 50+ mile medal (again). I took a shower, and then passed out in my tent thinking about what went wrong... :(

Already, I'm thinking about trying it ONE MORE TIME next year. In hind-sight, I think it was poor electrolyte management. I didn't take any electrolytes the entire day and stuck strictly to water and ice. Lesson learned...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Preparing for Mohican 100 (take 2)

Well the time has arrived. I'm going to attempt the Mohican 100 again this year... Actually, the starting gun fires in about 15 hours. I think I've learned my lessons from last year and I have a bit more confidence in myself this year.

Last year, I felt great and ran a little fast around mile 35 and it ruined my race. I got my body too hot and the temperature didn't allow me to cool back down. My stomach shut down and I couldn't hold anything down from that point on. I was taxed for the next 20+ miles but crawled up and down the hills. This allowed the clock to catch up to me (ie. there is a cut off time), and then I found myself being forced to pick up the pace. With no food, no water, and no energy, I decided to let Mohican win. My plan was to come back "next year" and conquer it.... It is officially "next year" and I'm ready.

My plan this year is to keep a slow steady pace from start to finish. If I get to mile 80 and feel strong, I'll pick up the pace then, and only then. I have the same kick ass pacer that I had last year, Jamie Farley. Last year, he wasn't able to pace me at all because I dropped before he was to join me. He did however help me at each opportunity with lots of support, suggestions, and just good advise. I'm anxious to have him on my side again this year. He's now a seasoned veteran in the ultra running scene having run his first ultra a few months ago. I'm very much looking forward to running (or walking or crawling) with Farley through the hills this weekend.

I'm all packed up and ready to go. I'm hoping to finish before the 32 hour cutoff. If I'm not on pace to make the 32 hour cutoff, I'm not going to let it scare me like it did last year. I'm going to keep pushing and hope to make up for lost time. The fact is that a 32 hour cut off means that you have to run 18 minute miles. This is a fast walk in most cases. Therefore, to get behind the clock on this pace means that you simply have to move a 16 minute mile pace. Sounds easy enough... right?

As long as I keep my body cool, fed, and hydrated, there is no way I can fail. I'm approaching this years race with a confidence that I've not had before. This is my goal right here:

Now I'm going to go find myself and the meaning of life in the forest... I have a long and exciting 2 days ahead of me...

Saturday, May 05, 2012

European Adventure - Day 27 (Homeward Bound)

Today was my day to fly back home! Dariush and Nouchine picked me up at Bob and Michelle's house around 8:30 am and we headed toward the Dusseldorf International Airport. It was raining and cold; perfect weather for my departure (remember).

We stopped at a great little restaurant and had a nice hearty European breakfast. Breakfast consisted of a heap of scrambled eggs, meats, breads, yogurts, fruits and veggies. After we all gorged and had a few laughs, we headed to the airport which was only about 10 minutes away. Dariush helped me get checked in and saw to it that I made it through security before he and Nouchine headed back to Cologne.

Nouchine helping me with my luggage. :)

Fast forward 8 hours (no sleep). I landed in Chicago and had a 4 hour layover. Talk about maddening!! I was so close to home, but had to sit around and watch the clock tick by before the quick little flight back to my girls.

Finally, I made it home to Jennifer, Lizzie, Jazzy and Daizi @ the Columbus Airport. My plane landed a little before 9:30 pm, which was about 3:30 am by my internal clock. The reunion was AWESOME! The girls met me at the gate and gave me a huge family hug. Each of them made me a 'Welcome Home' card and I read each of them with 100% of my full attention. They had so much detail in them and I simply loved them.

The girls giving me their cards

We left the airport and headed for the CheeseCake Factory @ Easton. I was so happy to be home!!

Thanks for reading all of my adventures! :)

Friday, May 04, 2012

Dusseldorf, Germany - Day 26

Today was yet another great day. This will be my last full day in Germany.

I woke up around 8am and met Bob at the table for work shortly thereafter. The idea was to cram in a few features while I was still here in Germany. I was actually pretty amped to knockout some final features before wrapping up for the week.

The InfoPlanIT Meeting Table

As it turns out, we didn't do much work at all. Bob and I just sat around and geeked out on other (non-work related) stuff most of the morning. He was showing me some cool stuff with virtualization and networking. He drew up a very slick model for me to configure my own network at home, and I learned quite a bit about configuring virtual servers before lunch. It was so cool!

Around noon, I headed down to the Altstadt for the last time to do some last minute souvenir shopping. I popped in and out of a few different shops and found some great gifts. I am not a big shopper. I dread shopping, but I must admit once I got in a flow I was actually having a good time finding all the perfect gifts for everybody.

After 3 hours of solid shopping, I headed back to Bob's flat and we had to jet back out the door for an event for their kids. Michelle had been working overtime for the last two days preparing food for this event and we were all attending to partake in the evenings events. The event was a blast! Dariush joined us and we had a great time. The food was delicious (props Michelle), and the dessert parade was great as well. Dariush and I played Mario Kart Wii with some little kids and they put a hurtin' on us.

Dariush and I took off around 9:30 or so and headed back down to the Altstadt to just hang out and enjoy the evening together. I was going to try and meet up with Illuk, but I didn't have access to his number and it would have been a stretch to try and make it work tonight (my last night in Dusseldorf). I'm vowing to hook up with him the next time I'm in town. It just didn't work out this time... Sorry Illuk! :(

Dariush and I had a blast like we always do and just walked all over the place. We stopped for a beer, and then walked up and down the river. We eventually took the train back to Bob's flat around 11:30 and I packed my bags for the journey home.

Bob and Michelle were great hosts. I learned a nice German proverb while over here and felt that 3 nights in their house was a perfect duration for my stay in their home. The proverb states that "Guests are like fish. After about 3 days, they start to smell." :) Bob and Michelle saw to it that I was well fed and entertained during my stay here. They saw to it that I got to experience all the great things of a lifestyle of living in the "Zentrum" of Dusseldorf.

Not only that, but it was very cool that Bob let me come over and take a 2 week vacation during a pretty critical time on a project we were working on. My vacation set our productivity back a bit, but it was just what I needed to "reboot" and I made memories (with associating blog posts) during those two weeks that I'll have forever. It was actually Bob's idea to have me come over during the Dusseldorf Marathon and he actually helped me schedule it into our work schedule. Not many people have such a cool employer. I'm pretty fortunate to say the least. Thanks for everything Bob!

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Dusseldorf, Germany - Day 25

Today was epic. :) First of all, the day started off with home made blueberry muffins. I actually left out the fact that Michelle made fresh blueberry muffins after we got back from dinner with Dariush last night. The smell completely consumed the entire house and Bob and I got to be her taste testers. We thought they tasted amazing, but we had do another test, so we each had another... Yup, they were delicious. :)

Needless-to-say, we woke up to these delicious gems, and topped them off with some fresh coffee. Then it was off to the office in Dortmund again. The reason today was epic was because I was going to finally meet this guy that everybody has been talking about, by the name of "Bill". I've heard so many stories about this guy, and feel like I know so much about him.

When we got the office, there was a guy sitting in our room and I stood patiently waiting while this guy talked to Bob. I was dying to know if this was Bill or not. After their brief conversation, I said "Are you Bill?", he said "Are you Luc?", and then I knew it had to be him. It was a pleasure to finally meet him. I was ready to go home after that, for it was the only thing I had to do in Dortmund today... Mission accomplished.

Bill, Bob, and I all worked in the office til around noon, and then headed to that delicious restaurant for lunch, Divan's a few kilometers from the office. I ordered the exact same thing that I ordered last time and had no regrets. This stuff was so good! From lunch we headed back to the office and worked a little longer before heading back to the house.

Today was an exciting day for Bob too. He got his new car today. His new ride is a VW Passat with all the fixins. It literally had 10km showing on the dashboard when he got in it today. It was an honor to be his very first passenger today. :) On our way home, we actually stopped at a truck stop along the auto-bahn and were able to geek out with it. We learned all the buttons and knobs and basically just played with it for about 10-15 minutes... Yeah, we're geeks.

By the time we got back on the road, we had figured out how to work the on-screen navigation system. Bob had his iPhone hooked up to the car so he had full access to his contacts, phone numbers, music collection, etc all accessible from a few buttons on his steering wheel. This car impressed the crap out of me. It had even more features that I could go on and on about, but I'll just end now by saying it kicked ass.

When we got back home, I updated my blog for about an hour or so, and then we had a great meat loaf dinner which was prepared by the world famous chef Michelle. It was really good. I mean, really good! I'm a huge meat loaf fan! One of my favorite things about meat loaf is that everybody makes it different, and Michelle's was very good, even though she claimed she "forgot how to make it"! Honestly, it was da-bomb...

Michael, Michelle, Bob, and Matt

After dinner, we all sat around and enjoyed some laughs and then called it a night around 11pm.