Thursday, July 30, 2015


We've had reservations for months to camp at Mount Rainier. And in late July, you'd think the weather would be perfect. Well, you all noticed that weekend rain? We had it up there, too.

We had a great site at Ohanapecosh in Rainier National Park. Luxury!
We went to a ranger talk Friday and Saturday nights, learning about park animals and then the power of the mountain.
Saturday was supposed to be climb day. Brad picked out Tamanos Mountain for our adventure. But it was wet! We weren't prepared with rain gear - plus, what's the point of climbing something if there's no view at the top?

Instead, we checked out the Sunrise Visitors Center and spotted Karen's favorite book:
The clouds broke late in the day, and we did a little 3-mile loop hike near the campground:
Silver Falls was much more impressive than this picture shows:
Sunday was dry when we woke up, so we decided to hit the Owyhigh Lakes Trail and just go to the lakes and not try the summit:
It was a beautiful trail with good incline. But as we approached the meadow at the top, the rain started coming down. The meadow trail narrowed, and we suddenly had soaked feet.
We spotted the lake, snapped a couple pics and headed down to dry land.
In all, we did about 8.5 miles.

While the top was socked in, we saw the saddle and Tamanos Mountain and imagined what the view would be like from the top. We can't wait to go back in a couple weeks to try again!


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Adventure Thursday: double run

Last Thursday's adventure started with a morning run/walk with Eryn and Mom. Eryn's nursing a bad back and was cleared to do a little running, so we joined her for moral support.

In all, I did about 4.5 miles with one lap on the THS stadium thrown in for good measure.
Then I cooled down to this view of my lush back yard:
In the evening was the monthly Discovery Run:
We got lots of tickets, and Brad won a cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes!!
I was thrilled to be running under clouds!
And Dad didn't get hit by a car this time :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Weekly Wednesday: dresses for everyone

I owed Eryn some workout clothes from her birthday, so the McKee ladies hit the outlet mall last Wednesday.

We all found dresses at Eddie Bauer... matching dresses!! Mom thought it was hilarious that she was actually wearing a dress. Apparently, it's been many, many years. She might be wearing it to Jill's wedding next week in New York.
The dresses were on super sale, so we each got one! We felt like bridesmaids :)

I've always loved making Eryn try on stuff... like these "shoes":
She only fell over once :)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Atlanta Adventure Run - prizes all around!

The fam has started a tradition of running a race while on vacation. Unfortunately, we found races the weekend before and the weekend after we were in Florida. But - Atlanta has a Road Runner Sports store and was holding their Adventure Run when we were in town! That's even better because it's free :)
Our trusty GPS took us straight to the store, where we changed in the back seat of our rental car. Since we had no idea where we were, we planned to rely on the Google maps they e-mail at the start of the scavenger hunt.

Unfortunately, there was a hiccup in the Google world, and none of us got our maps until after the event. So we basically just faked it, following some local runners and getting as much as we could.

Mom ended up walking with a big family/friend group while Eryn, Dad and I did some run/walking on our own. It was going well until Dad got hit by a car!!!

This lady did the class thing of looking left as she approached an intersection. Dad was coming from her right and went with the walk signal. She moved forward without looking right and hit his hand. Fortunately, it was just his hand.
We did get her license plate in case something came up later. She was very unapologetic and kept saying, "I didn't see him." - but as an excuse, not an apology. I repeatedly told her it didn't matter if she saw him or not - she still hit him! Idiot!

With that excitement behind us, we raced back to the store to divide up our tickets. This store's event is much different from the Tualatin store. It was very orderly and precise and timely. There was no waiting around for stragglers. There was no repeating the numbers. They were all business. Plus - the beer wasn't free! That would not have gone over well in Tualatin!

For being completely lost, we did fairly well:
I won a raffle prize!!! I got a big bag of groceries from Trader Joe's:
It was full of all kinds of snacks and treats and yummy food - and some sunscreen. I bet it was at least $50 worth of stuff.
The rest of the fam caught things the employees were tossing to the crowd:

Because Atlanta has a large black population, it was really great to see so many participating in what's really a white sport. I've read articles about Black Men Run and other organizations to get people out and healthy. It was terrific to see them represented.
A good, sweaty time was had by all!

Summer streakin' - Week 6

Monday - bike errands:

Tuesday - kickboxing:

Wednesday - morning walk to THS:
evening kickboxing:

Thursday - morning run/walk with Eryn and Mom:
evening Discovery Run:

Friday - bike shakeout:

Saturday - Silver Falls Loop hike:

Sunday -  soggy Owyhigh Lakes Trail hike:

Friday, July 24, 2015

Atlanta: President Carter, CNN, Coke, MLK, Braves

After Miami, St. Petersburg and Orlando, it was time to say goodbye to Florida and check out Georgia. 

Mom and Dad originally thought we'd fly from Orlando to Atlanta. But it's only about 6 hours by car, and by the time we did the whole airport thing and then rented a new car, it wouldn't really save time (and it would have cost a lot more than a tank of gas). Since I'm the driver, I offered to just do the work and let us see some of the sights along the way.

We try to eat at places we don't have at home. And since Chick-fil-A is out for political reasons, we had a hard time finding something along the freeway. Lots of Wendy's, but we have those at home. We ended up at Steak 'n Shake for some road-trip fueling.
We stopped at the Georgia welcome center to get some brochures, stretch our legs and buy a lottery ticket. We didn't win.
Atlanta is toward the top of the state, so we got to see it all. Georgia was very pretty with lots of green (I like green!) and rolling hills.

The weather was pretty horrible with storm cells throughout the drive north. I didn't mind, but it sure made for some tense miles. Fortunately, we passed through each cell quickly. 

We arrived in Tucker, just outside Atlanta, and went straight for food. Just around the corner from our hotel was Mellow Mushroom - a favorite restaurant that used to be in Portland. (The waitress said the Portland location closed because they were having trouble getting fresh dough that far away from HQ. The chain is working on a solution to bring more Mellow Mushrooms across the country.)
While we were inside, a huge storm was brewing outside. The National Weather Service issued storm warnings, and the local news was going wall-to-wall with coverage. Getting our luggage from the car into the hotel was a drenching experience - and a bit scary with the lightning and standing water! We just don't get storms like that at home.

Wednesday started with a run on the treadmill. I love the "act now, feel good later" sign on gym the mirror:
Then it was a trip into the city to explore the Carter Presidential Center.

And... President Carter just happened to be there that day signing his new book! Talk about good timing!
We had a couple hours to check out the museum and learn about the 39th president. Really fascinating stuff - I really admire this guy!

Oval Office replica:
Then it was time to get in line for the book signing:
It was all super-organized and ran like clockwork. We didn't have time to chat, but I did manage to say, "Thank you, sir!" and he said, "Thank you for coming!"
My signed copy!
Thai food for dinner:
Then my one Dunkin' Donut of the trip (such will power!!):
Thursday was CNN day:
Mom was SOOO excited!
We took the tour and saw some fun insider stuff. Control room monitors:
Mini display studio:
A kid doing the green-screen thing:
The newsroom:
Eryn and I had some minor PTSD flashbacks from our news days.
Like any good tour, it ended in the gift shop. Anderson Cooper!
Next door is Centennial Olympic Park: 
The city turned some run-down blocks into this large, beautiful, clean park. We were really impressed! A lunchtime concert was under way:
Olympic fountain:
At the other end of the park is Pemberton Place, named for the pharmacist who invented Coca-Cola:
And World of Coca-Cola:
Time for another tour:
The Vault holds the secret formula, which only a couple people have ever seen... ever.
It was all very dramatic:
The tour was full of interesting history and artifacts, like this original bottle for Coca-Cola Tonic "for headache and exhaustion". No one mentioned the cocaine in the original pharmacy formula, but I'm sure it really took the edge off those headaches and exhaustion!!
We learned that the bottling rights were sold for just $1. And the history of the bottle shape (super interesting!).

A little bottling line:
And then it was time for the tasting room, which featured all the common flavors, as well as sodas from around the world. I tried most all of them - and then felt really sick!! Urp!
They sent us home with our own little bottle:
And then a chance to buy souvenirs from the store:
Lunch in the park:
Our exercise for the day was the local Road Runner Sports Adventure Run - the same as our monthly Discovery Runs in Tualatin:
Friday morning was spent in the Center for Civil and Human Rights.
It's also in Pemberton Place, and the land was donated by Coca-Cola.

I know a lot about the civil rights movement, but this was still very eyeopening - and very sad. Since Martin Luther King Jr. was from Atlanta, the exhibit focused on Georgia and MLK's part of the movement.
There was also a section on current human rights worldwide:
After, it was time to finally visit a Waffle House so Mom would stop whining:
Then we stopped by Ebenezer Baptist Church, where MLK preached:
Enough with the learning - it's baseball time!
Turner Field:
Veggie dog!
Gorgeous view of the city:
Atlanta: check!
Saturday started with one last run - 6.25 miles on the 'mill before heading to the airport. It was one of those runs that started weak but felt great after a couple miles. If time had allowed, I would have kept going:
Mom and Dad were supposed to stay a couple extra days, but Mom flew back early with Eryn and me to attend the memorial service for our friend's daughter. Dad kept his original plane ticket and stayed to explore more and see another game. Here we parted:
Like any family vacation, there were moments of tension. Put four strong-willed people in a car together for 11 days and something's bound to explode. But overall, it was a good trip with lots of fun and good memories!

And we hit our goal of checking off three ballparks from our list. Click HERE to see my count.