Good Eats: Impossible Burger

#foodiefriday entry

As a kid, I was a pretty picky eater. Didn’t like many sauces and wasn’t happy with spices or trying odd foods. As an adult, I am willing and wanting to try new foods and there are a ton of choices out there. I think it’s been a couple of years now when I first heard about a vegan burger patty that looked so much like a meat burger, people were making waiters take their food back to the kitchen because they thought the waiter got the order wrong. Turns out it just was that good of a meatless patty. I was intrigued and wanted to give it a try but just never got around to buying it in a restaurant or grocery store.

Yesterday, I was heading out to a happy hour at a wine bistro place in town. I saw that they do burger and wine deals on Thursdays and one of the choices was with the Impossible burger. I jumped for joy. (Not really, but was happy for sure seeing that). As soon as I got in the door and sat down to order, I pointed to the burger and said that was what I wanted.

If I hadn’t known that it was vegan, I would have thought it a good flavored meat burger. They had added aioli, greens, pepper jam, vegan mozzarella, crispy onions & avocado (I had it without the vegan bun). I recommend and it is definitely worth a taste, it was super yummy.

Find out more about the Impossible Foods here.  Have you tried it? 

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Crab Feeds

Do you like crab? Seems that crab season also creates a crab FEED season that are usually fundraisers for schools, churches, and non-profits. I belong to a non-profit that has been putting on a crab feed for 26 years. Volunteering to work this event got me to try crab and I realized that I enjoy the seafood. I also learned that there are people out there that LOVE going to a bunch of crab feeds each year. I had no idea that it was such a thing to do, but they are a ton of fun (and a ton of food).

I want to take a moment to promote my organization’s crab feed (tickets are still available). And I plan to write up a couple of posts about working a crab feed and also attending one for “bucket” list checks. I really encourage you to go try one out.

Have you worked or been to one? 

Step Right Up for the Active 20-30 Club of Greater Sacramento #1032’s 26th Annual Crab Feed, January 19, 2019 at our NEW VENUE: Citrus Heights Community Center!

General Admission sales ($65). For tickets, click here

DDD: Dad’s Kitchen

Do you know the show from Food Network, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives (DDD)?

With roadside diners, vintage drive-ins and out-of-the-way “dives” enjoying a resurgence of hipness among foodies, host Guy Fieri travels across America in search of some of the best “greasy spoon” eateries. The restaurants that Guy visits are usually well-known among locals and other people in the region. While at each location, Fieri talks to the staff as well as the customers to get their thoughts on the food. Many episodes feature eateries that are connected by a common thread, such as burgers or comfort foods

Click here to see the list as I add them, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives: #2 out of over 800

Dad’s Kichen is located in my hometown of Sacramento, California. I have been here several times for breakfast (or brunch), lunch, dinner, even picking up food to take home. All the food I have eaten have been pretty yummy. They also keep a nice rotating beer menu on tap.

The day I took a photo with Guy’s DDD poster, we were there for lunch and enjoyed the french dip, fries, and onion rings. They have a nice enclosed patio seating (inside seating too, but small area).  I highly recommend.

Have you been to a DDD location based off seeing it on that show? Have you met Guy Fieri?

This location was featured on Season 11, Episode 8 – Soup and Sandwiches

Memorize the name of the play “the Persecution and Assassination of

Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum at Charenton under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade”

play

photo credit: Harris Center/Three Stages at Folsom Lake College

When I saw this item, I wondered if this was truly a real play. It made sense that just memorizing the title would be quite the accomplishment and a great conversation starter. I happened to catch a post about a production of this play being performed last year (2017).

I knew I had to go see it. I didn’t really think anything about what it exactly was about until after I saw it live. The cast did a great job adding in modern elements (not sure if that is part of what the play is supposed to do). I really thought it funny they gave out “Make France Great Again” buttons.

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photo credit: Harris Center/Three Stages at Folsom Lake College

It is not your typical play, you walk in and become a part of the cast yourself. Here, I was handed a clipboard and guided by a “hospital attendant” to a chair. We became observers in a mental hospital where the warden was allowing the inmates to perform a play. It was also a kind of musical.

I’m grabbing the plot from Wikipedia:

Set in the historical Charenton Asylum, Marat/Sade is almost entirely a “play within a play”. The main story takes place on 13 July 1808, after the French Revolution; the play directed by the Marquis de Sade within the story takes place during the Revolution, in the middle of 1793, culminating in the assassination of Jean-Paul Marat (which took place on 13 July 1793), then quickly brings the audience up to date (1808). The actors are the inmates of the asylum; the nurses and supervisors occasionally step in to restore order. The bourgeois director of the hospital, Coulmier, supervises the performance, accompanied by his wife and daughter. He is a supporter of the post-revolutionary government led by Napoleon, in place at the time of the production, and believes the play he has organised to be an endorsement of his patriotic views. His patients, however, have other ideas, and they make a habit of speaking lines he had attempted to suppress, or deviating entirely into personal opinion. They, as people who came out of the revolution no better than they went in, are not entirely pleased with the course of events as they occurred.

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photo credit: Harris Center/Three Stages at Folsom Lake College

In the end, we, the audience, become the inmates and the inmates the audience. It reminded me a lot of philosophical debates and talking about socialism. I used to enjoy those ponderings and had not realized that I had forgotten about it for so long. It was a little hard to follow the dialogue at times, but the gist of it was an argument between Sade and Marat on the factors of revolution, is really good to have for changing the class system and helping human suffering or does it just change who’s at top and who is at bottom. They also discuss if it’s good to have the revolution as a movement by everyone or just work one changing yourself.

I read more about the author being a German and he wrote this during the 1960’s which authors were delving into kind of abstract, bizarre, ways to talk about class struggles and socialism. And his picking the true life people of Jean-Paul Marat and the Marquis de Sade were a good choice. They were very interesting characters.

I wouldn’t mind going to see this play again, maybe catch some things that I didn’t this first time. I might even try to get friends to come with me. They might enjoy or end up asking what the heck?

have you seen this play? Or even heard about it?

Wiped Out at Aqua Park

Wake Island Water Park, located nearby Sacramento, California,

is home to the largest floating AQUA PARK you have ever seen. The equipment is state-of-the-art and it is easy and fun for kids and adults. There is a great variety of different shapes, sizes and functions making the water park exciting and entertaining for everyone. Bring the whole family and wipe out on our enormous floating obstacle course.

I looked at photos and read reports but still didn’t really know what to expect going. We got there pretty early on a Saturday morning but the first group was already booked up. Headed over to the little beach area to watch as we waited for the next session.

When it was our turn, they give a little safety lesson, that basically went over the rules posted on the signs. Grabbed a life jacket and swam out to the floating obstacle course. With kids bouncing, diving, and crashing around added to the challenge of getting around. Decided it is like being on a crazy bouncing bounce house. Gave up walking as I couldn’t really keep my balance and tried sliding over some of the obstacles that are made just to cause you to fall into the water. The fun part was trying to get back up. I found a couple of spots where the corner helped. Other times, friends were nearby to help pull you up. You definitely couldn’t be self conscious of flopping onto the float.

There was one “hill” where you could pull yourself up by rope or use handholds to be able to jump or slide once you get to the top. I really wanted to do the slide part. I started up fine on the handholds, grabbing tight and placing my feet well. At the same time my friend cautioned me about slipping, I was near the top so made a grab. It was still a little to far up for me and so I missed and slid down. Crashed into her a little, She jumped out of the way. luckily i didn’t crash into anyone else, especially a kid. and fell into the water. I had hit my elbow and got my knee really good on one of the plastic holders. I wasn’t inclined to try again.

Got back on the float and realized it hurt to crawl, so I tried walking a little but found a place to sit for a bit. Bouncing takes a lot out of you! I did get around to a smaller slide. One our our friends started to swing his legs around, but slipped sideways off the side of the slide. it was pretty funny. Another started going down face first but we yelled at her that the rules were feet first. So she tried to sit up but started sliding instead and ended up going in a circle down the slide.

45 minutes seemed like it would be pretty short, but when the time came, it was perfect as I was done and ready to get out.

I would recommend doing a floating obstacle course for a bucket list item. It might be nice to just use a float and float on the water, but bouncing and trying to run and not fall in the water is nice too.

Get a Tattoo

I had thought about getting a tattoo on and off through the years. I couldn’t decide on what it would be or where I would have it. I knew it had to be something I wouldn’t regret or get tired of after a few years. I would look at tattoos of things I liked, teddy bears, turtles, ladybugs, and Celtic knot designs. Plus, there was the whole being stabbed with a needle. I get light headed just seeing a needle for blood work. Of course that could be the blood part. So, I would look at tattoos but not really plan for getting one myself.

A couple of years ago, as I was looking online, I came across this Wild Bills Tattoo place located in Roseville, California. There was information on a day that they would host a tattoo-a-thon and 100% of the cost of the tattoo would go to the UC Davis Children’s Hospital. I thought to myself, “Well if I do get a tattoo that is when I will do it and then I can say I got tattooed for the kids”. It was an awesome find. I put it in my calendar to remind myself about the tattoo-a-thon each February.

I think it took me another couple of years to work up the nerve to go for it and get that tattoo. In 2016, I decided on getting a shamrock (because I’m part Irish, and it’s for luck, and it’s cute) and started looking at different photos online to see what kind of design I wanted and where. I found a cute one where it was just an outline and the leaves also looked a bit like a heart, and it was on the wrist. I really liked that idea, then I would be able to see it. I showed my mom and told here I wanted to get this one but not to worry, it would be small. She liked it be was iffy that I would go through with it from seeing the needles and getting poked. I made my appointment for early that Saturday morning.

A friend said she would come with and check it out. She was thinking about getting a tattoo and wanted to see. We got to the place and had to wait a bit for one of the artists. When one came over, I showed him the photo of the shamrock tattoo I wanted and that it’d be a small one on the inside of my wrist. He said okay and went to sketch the design on the transfer paper. That was something I hadn’t realized they did but totally makes sense. That took a while and then he came back and we grabbed seats. Luckily it was near the waiting area and my friend could sit and watch.

The artist told me to relax my wrist and warned me that doing it there, my fingers might twitch. Whoah! What? I hadn’t thought about that, but with the nerves being right there. Something else to get nervous about. How much twitching would they do? Deep breath. He transferred the design on the wrist. It was a little larger then I was thinking, but didn’t look too bad. I had told him I wanted it in green, he suggested doing a green and black coloring. I figured he knew what he was talking about and said sure. He placed the needle over my wrist and started the process. It went up and down so fast that at times felt like it was slicing me like a knife. That is when I realized, tattooing is basically have people stab you on purpose and scar you. Usually we try not to leave scars if we get cut. hmmm.

It felt so uncomfortable, but so glad he was was fast, and that I got a simple enough design, that it was over pretty fast. My friend got a photo that perfectly summed up what I was feeling. I am glad she got it while I was getting tattooed. The artist finished up and went over the care for instructions and I was done. He told me what the cost of that size tattoo would be and I wrote a check for a little more for the donation to the hospital. Then got a sticker that said “I got tattooed for the kids”. I really wanted that sticker.

A friend that lived nearby messaged us to come over for brunch, so we did. We said there almost all day, just chatting away. Hope she didn’t mind. I waited until the tattoo was healed and took a photo to show it off while wine tasting at a winery. I think it turned out cute. Took a while to get used to the fact I have something permanent on my arm.

I don’t know if I will get anymore. I have thought about it now that it’s been some time. But then I look at that photo above of when I was getting this one and remember. I am not closing the door, but I am happy with this one.

Did it take a while for you to get a tattoo? Have you done something like this where the money is for a benefit for children?

 

Throw a Surprise Party

My favorite so far is the surprise birthday party my sister and I threw for our mom a few years ago.

This was one of those milestone birthday’s (I won’t say which one so she can’t get mad at me) My sister and I wanted to make sure to do something special. Her birthday is at the end of July and there were several years she had to celebrate it at a swim meet.

I had gone to a friend’s wedding at a little winery not far from our house. It was super cute and their wines were pleasant to taste. I had the place in mind right away when we started discussing this. AND it would serve as a great cover of getting her to it, by using the excuse of wine tasting and then lunch.

We created a list of family and friends and sent out invites. This was my first time planning a big-ish event like this. Lots of little details became clear. Not to mention costs. There was the location, food, drinks, cake, decorations.

My uncle (her brother) was very helpful with the planning and when I became worried about having the money for it all, said he would be willing to help cover the cost of the food. My cousin was dating (and now married to) a very nice gal whose family managed a food place (Armadillo Willy’s). They talked and worked out that they would bring the food as a buffet. It was a perfect choice because it was food we knew my mom would enjoy, especially the coleslaw (side note: I am not much for coleslaw but this one is very yummy).

Next up was ordering a fruit basket cake from Whole Foods. That part wasn’t hard at all. The hard part was getting my sis here from Hawaii and making sure not to blow the party to our mom. I was living in an apartment at the time, so she was able to fly in and stay with me without mom being aware. She went to our house during the day, while mom was at work, and looked for photos to use as part of decorations. We found some fun ones of her throughout her life.

My sis thought she was being clever in setting up a call to mom to make it seem like she was still in Hawaii going about her daily routine. I just had to make sure not to say anything about the party when my mom was around.

We almost got away without her being completing aware, but then the winery made the mistake in calling her house phone instead of my cell phone. They wanted to make sure I was sending the final payment for the event. I was SOOOOO PISSED! It worked out in the end because, as my mom said, I didn’t need to come up with an excuse and she didn’t know what or who might be there.

The day of, we went to the farmer’s market to get a bunch of flowers. Then headed to the winery. Our uncle and family was there to help set up the food and when a few other guests got there a little early, gladly helped us finish setting up tables. We had bought glass jars from Goodwill that we filled with the flowers and then had the photos placed at the different tables. The winery had a table for the wines and set up another one for the cake and any presents people brought. I had a little stereo that had music, but it was small so people couldn’t really hear it (turned out to be unnecessary anyway). Being at the end of July, I wasn’t sure if it’d be super hot like it can often times be. Luckily it was only warm with a slight breeze coming over from the river nearby.

Then I went to go get the guest of honor.

One last thing, the week before my mom had gone out to dinner with a friend. They decided to get a bottle of wine and asked the waitress for a recommendation. She mentioned Scribner Bend to try. My mom came home to tell me that we have to check out this winery and that the wine was very nice. I almost said something then, but I was able to stop myself. Was very glad to know she would enjoy the wine.

So, I went and got her and came back to the winery. Now, where we all were was in the middle of some of the vines, so she couldn’t see it right away. She walked through the flower arch and everyone yelled, “SURPRISE!!” and she was. There were a few people she hadn’t seen in a while. But when she noticed my sister hiding in the back, she said “I KNEW you were here!” Later, she admitted she didn’t really, but had hoped.

In the end, it was a very pleasant afternoon and so fun. Definitely a surprise party to remember and cherish.

Have you thrown a surprise party or been the recipient of one?

I Sat Next to a Killer

Yup, you read that correctly. I sat next to a killer and had dinner with him at my table, and I am here to tell you about it.

A couple of my friends; “Penny” and “Lizzy” sent me a message asking if I’d like to join them for dinner on the Delta King. This is a docked steamboat located in Old Sacramento that has been turned into a hotel and restaurant. I quickly sent back a message saying, heck ya! I had dinner there as a kid, but couldn’t remember how it looked inside the boat and since it was the last Friday of the year, it’d be a treat.

I met up with the two friends and we headed to the bar for a pre-dinner cocktail. Loved the wooden ambiance. While we were deciding on a cocktail, the bartender was making a drink that caught our attention it was white and had chocolate in a martini glass. Lizzy and I decided to order that and we all split an order of fried calamari.

I have been getting better about asking other people to take a photo so I can make sure I am in some. What I now need to work on is asking; “Can you take a photo of us?” NOT “Can you take a photo?” Otherwise I’ll end up with more of these kind of photos

 

Then we ventured down to the restaurant and sat down. The tables were set up like they would be on a cruise ship, so the three of us were at a table with 8 other people. There was one older couple with the wife celebrating her birthday, two pairs of couples out enjoying the dinner together, and another couple. This was also a pre-fixed dinner with a salad, main entree, and a dessert. The guy from the couple was seated to my left and he leaned over to us before dinner started saying that he was going to propose to his girlfriend and would like us to video tape it. We all thought that such a sweet thing and said yes, of course.

Dinner was good, and we had entertainment provided by the Delta King staff. The host that seated us came over a few times to make sure we were enjoying ourselves and he was quite the character, always had a joke and made us crack up. During the main course (I had the pasta, and Penny and Lizzy had the beef). The guy to my left got up and got a microphone and proposed. She said yes and we all clapped for them.

But it was while we were enjoying our cheesecake desert that a cop came in to announce there was a killer in our mist and we were all suspects. He asked the guy to my left to stand up and started grilling him, the guy was darting his eyes around, and getting very anxious when he suddenly pulled a gun on the cop. His new fiance ran and got the cop’s gun. The guy had been drinking redbull all night, he said it was his favorite drink, so his hands were shaky and he ended up killing the host and his finance. It was terrible.

We all just clapped and they got up, went to the front and took a bow. Yup, I just experienced my first murder mystery dinner. Did I have you going?

It was so much fun and I highly recommend going to a dinner performance like that. Who knows, you might be sitting next to the killer.

The host

The actors

We made up names for the evening “Penny, Lizzy, & Shelly Lane”

 

Go Skiing

I was lucky in that my family was able to use cabins from family friends & relatives, so we went skiing quite a bit. When I was old enough, I joined a program with a friend and we would go every Saturday for the winter season. We met way early in the morning at a parking lot, got onto a bus and went to Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows (half the season at each resort). First there was the group lessons, then lunch break, after that we had our own time to go ski.

At the end of the season, they would host a family ski day. All the kids in the program got to race down a solemn course and compete in age groups for trophies. The families get to come and ski and have lunch. It was sooo much fun.

Now that I would have to pay for myself, I’ve only been able to go a few times for the last decade. Every season, I say I’ll get up to ski and then its over way too fast. One of these days…

Be on a Bone Marrow Registry

Gotta tell you, sometimes I feel like I’m a dog who gets distracted by squirrels, food, and toys, when finding out about some amazing charities. Ones like Active 20-30 Club, Comfort Cases, Girls on the Run, and 916 Ink are JUST A FEW of the ones I love to keep an eye on and see how I might help. And I keep coming across neat non-profits all the time.

Recently heard a story on the national Nightly News about a guy taking a break from college to help his best friend whose cancer returned, and crossing things off his bucketlist. (right here in Citrus Heights, California) They had also created a non-profit called, Gamer’s Gift, that high schoolers run, whose goal it is to help different groups, such as kids in hospitals and seniors, anyone with restricted movements and promote well-being and positive spirits through the use of video games and other electronic media.

NOW, the story of these 2 friends mainly caught I ear because of the bucketlist, I love hearing and reading them. I wanted to see if they had a blog or something where they were posting about their adventures. Sure, enough they are on a few sites. Find, One List, One Life on Facebook.

The biggest reason I am writing about this is because of how much they encourage people to sign up to be on the bone marrow registry. I am already registered as an organ donor. Being on the bone marrow list scares me a little. The more I was thinking about it, the more I realized that is kind of silly. My being scared of needles, prevented me from going and donating blood for a long time. I was fine once I finally worked up my nerve to go try. I am still nervous and can’t watch the needle being inserted or look at the blood because I’d probably faint. But I have gone a couple of times now.

I decided to go ahead and sign up, get that cheek swab kit, send it back, and see what happens. I am a healthy person right now, if I can be a match and help someone, why not do so? It will take a little bit to work up my nerve to help if I get a call, because I know that probably means more needles. I just need to remind myself, I’m fine and I’d like someone else to be fine too and this is one way I can help.

You can sign up here

Break the Tape at a Triathlon (Phase 1)

I did not get to break the tape at the finish line, but this was my first time doing a triathlon, so I’m counting this as phase 1. Phase 2 will be breaking the tape or at least coming in first in my age group.

I raced a triathlon for the 1st time in June 2012.  This is something I’ve been wanting to for a while now.  I just needed to get enough workouts in to be able to finish it.  I mostly worked out, but there were also a lot of lazy days.  I felt very out of shape, but overall so glad I did it.  It was a lot of fun.  Here is a race report I wrote up for beginnertriathlete.com where I found a plan to follow and people to chat with in their forums.

 TRI for FUN Triathlon #1

Sprint (0.5 mile swim / 16 mile bike / 3 mile run)

June 2, 2012 in Herald, California

Weather was sunny about 70 degrees / high of the day was 97 degrees

Total Time = 2h 37m 47s

Overall Rank = 398/421

Age Group = 30-34

Age Group Rank = 24/25

Pre-race routine

racing site was less than an hour away. Woke up and had cereal, toasted wheat bread with peanut butter, and on the drive there had a small bottle of Gatorade.

Got to the site just as the transition opened. set up my spot and then found a couple of people to talk to from a tri club I am thinking of joining. Moved my stuff to their rack. A lady that has done triathlons for a year was very friendly and nice, and a guy that was his first time too. Talking to them calmed my nerves.

I walked around making sure to see where we were coming in from the swim and where to leave, come in on bike, and run. small enough of transition area (421 total people) so it was easy to find my bike.

Swim

Course: U shape course starting on the west side of the swim beach and ending on the east side of the beach

Started off in the water. I was going to be in the back, but no one wanted to tread water on one side of the start line, so I tread water and had hoped that it would help loosen up my muscles.

Took off fast at the start to try to stay away from the pack. swam to the outside the whole way. I think it was because i had a crick on my left side of the neck so ended up doing a shorter stroke with my left arm. felt like a decent enough pace. swam until my hand touched mud, stood up easily enough and ran up grassy area to transition.

I forgot to start the watch at the start and completely forgot to tap it for splits.  So I have no idea what my time was for each leg of the race.

T1

(Transition from swim to bike) sat down and dried off feet, put on sock and then shoes.

re-applied sunscreen to face and arms, put on t-shirt. headband, sunglasses, and helmet. grabbed bike and was off to the next part.

Bike

Course: Out and back from Rancho Seco park onto State Route 104. SR 104 is relatively flat with a couple of rollers thrown in. Had to deal with drivers coming from both directions

Heard a lot of “on your left” as bikers rode pass me. that was frustrating, but I knew I had to just ride since I haven’t done this before. it felt like a good pace to me, but guess it was a bit slow with the number of passerbys. I did have to move to the left once to avoid a pothole and a biker yelled at me to stay on my left. Sorry wasn’t going to ride through that pothole. but i didn’t waste my breath yelling at her back. most bikers were nice, a few added encouragements as they passed. Wasn’t used to the slopes up and down. toward the end, I was really hating even the slight incline.

T2

(Transition from bike to run) got off bike, feet felt like cushioned tops. got the bike racked, helmet off, hat on. made sure to grab a gu. I didn’t have bike shoes, so didn’t have to change that. put on race belt and took off for the run, volunteers all around to point the way.

Run

Course: Grass exit from the transition area and then an out and back on a dirt road. A little bit hilly, but not too high. lots of rocks. had water stations as you left for the run, and at mile 1 / mile 2 marker

by this time, was just doing what i could to finish. I was going run/walk but ended up walking a lot of it. my left foot and lower leg became completely numb. people later said it might have been because the shoelace was too tight. it felt better running for a little bit, then the inside part of my knees cramped up. first time that happened. easily out of breath.  very warm out by this time

Post race

walked around some, ate a banana & some pasta they had there.  was sooo glad that a guy gave the tip to freeze the water bottles the night before so the water was still cold for the bike and run

40 til 40 Journey Begins Today

Today marks the start of my 40 days til 40 countdown. In the past, I’ve gone on trips or stayed and ate pizza (Oct is national pizza month). This year, I am looking to change things up and do something a little different

In addition to my normal posting of “bucket list” adventures and checking off things from my various lists, I think I would like to document the journey of counting down until my birthday and this milestone number.

Besides the number count for Scrabble, I get to move up in age groups for any races (running, swimming, triathlons) yipee?

 

5k Mud Run

borrowed from the facebook page

When I started paying attention to all the different kind of running events out there, one of the ones that sounded fun to try was a mud run. This is a 5k (3.1 miles) through mud and different kind of obstacles.

This last Saturday (April 6, 2013) I got to go to my 1st mud run with 3 other friends. We had signed up a few months ago and didn’t think about it until 2 weeks before the event. No training and preparing for it; we weren’t sure what to expect. A friend drove us and looked after our stuff so we didn’t have to put them in gear check. Added bonus was that he took photos and we didn’t have to worry about getting our cameras dirty.

The day of, the weather was overcast, but not too cold. So, it was in fact perfect for a run in the middle of the day. The race had different wave times throughout the day. I saw a post they had over 10,000 participants. that would have been super crazy to have them go all at one time.

I hadn’t paid attention to the website recommending not to wear shorts but capris or long pants. Learned the reason soon enough for that statement. my legs and knees got all scraped and bruised.

I had such a blast, it’s definitely not for time, and you would benefit having friends doing it with you. Good for helping each other get over obstacles. There is one major one where the front side was just wood panel set at a 70 degree angle and you have to somehow get yourself up and over. People ended up having to make chains to pull their friends over. I got on the side where I could step up halfway on a beam, and then a bit of the wood paneling was a bit caved in, so there was a lip there, then I could get to the top and over. I have a HUGE bruise on my arm that I think I got from this obstacle.

borrowed from the Facebook page

Any of the other obstacles I was able to pull myself a little, of get help pushing/pulling me up. Except one, the rope climb. I was able to pull myself up most of the way, but then I could tell if I tried to moved my hand up to grab higher, it would probably slip and I’d fall. That or I got too scared to try, so went back down and then around. Definitely will work on my upper arms strength for next time.

I was the only only that got mostly covered in mud because I slipped and fell in one of the mud pits. I did try to push one of my friends down when crawling under wire, but she was strong enough to stay up.

We crossed the finish line and got a finisher’s medal. Then over to get a celebratory beer. Almost forgot, we of course gave our friend watching all our stuff a muddy hug. Lastly was time to get under the shower of water they had to wash off and changed out of a bit of the muddy clothes and shoes and then headed home.

thanks Mike!

I would recommend trying a mud run, totally fun. Especially trying a 5k one before attempting a Tough Mudder, if you are thinking of doing that one. This was a very tame obstacle course from overheard comments.

I CAN Be an Artist

It seems there is a growing trend of learn-to-paint classes, which encourage novice artists to gather with a group of friends and create a piece of artwork, all while enjoying a cocktail or two.

This is not an item written down to check off my list, but it is something I’ve thought would be fun. March 2014, I went with a bunch of friends in my Active 20-30 Club to a place in town called the Painted Cork.

Have you ever felt like taking a painting class to unleash your inner Picasso, but felt as though you couldn’t even paint a stick figure? Are you looking for something different and new to do for a birthday party, ladies night out, team builder, first date, couples or even as a single person who is looking for some unique social interaction in the Folsom or Midtown Sacramento area? The Painted Cork “paint and sip” Art Studio creates a comfortable, fun, hip and exciting atmosphere where you and your friends can enjoy a fantastic time while a professional art instructor teaches you a step by step 2 to 3 hour painting classes. The Painted Cork offers a completely relaxed and social painting class/party where guests are allowed to bring with them their favorite wine or beer and delicious snacks to enjoy throughout the class!

I’m definitely not an artist, so I was guessing that my painting would turn out really bad. Got to the place and found the easels and paints all set up at tables. The artist instructor told me to grab an apron and then drinks, snacks, and a seat. I put down the bottle of wine and snack mix I brought and grabbed a glass and apron and a seat. The canvas had a penciled outline of the skyline we were going to be painting. Up front there were different paintings that were completed, the instructor told us to take a look at each one to use as a baseline for inspiration or ours. Then we started painting.

It was a very simple step by step processing. Mixing colors and watching what she did and then doing similar. By doing it this way, I realized that each person is different in how they paint the same object. This in turn means that no one is a bad artist. I don’t think I’d be able to do a painting like that without watching the steps to get it done.

Overall, it was a very fun evening and I’d totally do this again. I can see why it’s become so popular.

Go Wine Tasting in Sonoma County, California

The first time went wine tasting in Sonoma County I think was in 2009. My family rented a house in the Russian River area for the weekend. This was a lot of fun because a number of them had been living in other parts of the country and so it was a big family gathering. While visiting, I went with one of my cousins and his girlfriend (at the time) to a few wineries.P1010199The only one I know is Hop Kiln because I got the name in a photo. There were two other places that were beautiful and had tasting rooms outside, but I’ve forgotten their names. Guess I’m just going to have to go back to match the photo to the place and re-taste the wine.P1010203What is neat about Hop Kiln is that the tasting room is in a California registered landmark.

This structure served the important hop industry of California’s north coast region, once the major hop-growing area in the west. Built in 1905 by a crew of Italian stonemasons, it represents the finest existing example of its type. The building consists of three stone kilns for drying hops and an attached wooden cooling barn with a two-story press for baling hops.

I definitely want to go back and explore more and taste more of the wineries. I would say that Sonoma, especially the Russian River area, is more pretty then Napa. But I would bet the prices for tastings are about the same.

Have you been to wineries in Sonoma, Russian River, or Napa? How was your experience?