Friday, February 29, 2008


It looks like I'm going to Yellowstone this spring! It's been kind of a quick decision, but today plane tickets were bought by myself and 5 friends to take a 12 day trip out west. We plan to hit up Grand Tetons National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and maybe if we're feeling adventurous (and the roads are open) Glacier National Park. Pretty exciting stuff.

Monday, February 25, 2008

3.3 miles

That's how far I ran on Saturday! Wow. Back in December I could only make it about half a mile. I've been kind of "training" to be able to run in a 5k. There's not really one anytime soon that I plan on doing, but there is one in November I'm looking forward to. This weekend was the first time I made it that far. (I actually went further, a 5k is only 3.1 miles. But I didn't know exactly where 3.1 miles was, so I went a little further just to make sure.) I'm fairly impressed with myself that I was able to get there in only about 2 months. *patting myself on the back*

It wasn't easy though. In fact, it was rather painful haha. I don't think my body was quite ready for it since my longest before then was only about two and a quarter. but still, i did it, and no one can take that away from me :)

one thing that i think seriously helped me was getting some good running shoes. it was painful paying so much for them, but they've made such a difference. I wouldn't quite call it "running on clouds" like i've heard from others, but it definitely took away a lot of the pain i was experiencing before.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Last Friday my friend James sent the following email:

North or South. It's a long weekend. We should do something about it. This means impromptu trip with minimal planning! Who's in?

1. Keys/Everglades
We leave tomorrow morning to spend the weekend in the Keys, stop by the Everglades, camp on a beach somewhere, maybe rent kayaks and paddle around the keys, drive all the way to Key West.

2. North to SNOW
Just start driving North in shifts. Leave as early as tonight and see how far we get. Find cheap campsites on the way. Eat at Waffle House at 3:00 AM. New York City? Bring your passports for Canadian excursion? Worst case scenario we end up in the Appalachians or DC or South Carolina.

We'll take my car. Don't pansy out. It'll be one of those trips we talk about years from now. Let's do something irrational, because there's no homework or practice, and we have the means to do it!

Wellllll.......... we decided to go North :) But me being the party pooper I am insisted that I was not going to just get in the car and drive for 18 hours to see snow. So we decided to go to Charleston for the weekend. It seemed like a nice place, plus it's about 6 hours away so that's a decent drive for a 3 day weekend. And it is a really nice city - the downtown area was beautiful to walk around. While we were there we toured Fort Sumter (where the Civil Way began) and the Charleston Tea Plantation (apparently the only place in the US where tea is grown). We also had a fantastic seafood dinner on a rooftop patio downtown. I guess the only question now is, where should we go next time??

Also, while we were there we got the chance to see some good friends of mine from high school and college who are living in the area. That was really great. I haven't seen them since they got married 2 years ago. Nikki was hugely pregnant, as you can see in the picture. She ended up having the baby just 2 days after this picture was taken! Too bad we missed the little guy...

(I look really short in this picture don't I??)

Friday, February 15, 2008

happy valentine's

darren took me out to dinner last night at this little european market place. they were doing a french themed evening - food, music, etc. it was in interesting mix of casual and fancy. there were 5 courses, but the main course (dinner) was a fancy sandwich. anyways, it was actually really yummy and i thought it was sweet of him to find this french themed evening for us. he's such a cutie :)

Monday, February 4, 2008

taxes done

i sat down and worked out my taxes yesterday. kind of a pain - but so good to have it done! and it's only the beginning of february. go me! i'm getting about $3500 back. it's high mainly because this is the first year i could actually itemize deductions and count my mortgage interest.

so what should i do with the money.....?? hmmm... i mean i guess it could just go into savings, i could forget i ever got it. or i could use it to finish funding my ROTH from last year, i guess that would be pretty responsible too. there's a couple of big purchases i'd like to make too, like a new washing machine, but... oh... i dont know. i'm torn between the desire to use it like found fun money and the desire to be responsible and do something "smart" with it. (sadly, there's no "put it towards the next vacation" option because there are really no trips on the radar anytime soon. darren and i had talked about going to yosemite in april, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen.)

one other thing about taxes - i had to report my "free" tv as income from last year. it was valued at $1650, so it effectively increased my tax bill by $412 (or rather, reduced my refund by that amount.) so i guess it wasn't so free after all. but it's still a sweet tv. and even at 412 bucks, that's still tough to beat.

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