My Life

International Balloon Fiesta

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international balloon fiesta 2014

Heading To The Fiesta

It was Thursday afternoon and with Molly as my trusty sidekick and navigator headed out towards New Mexico. We thought that leaving at 3:30 would save us from the notoriously bad Austin rush hour traffic…… but we were wrong. So we put on the Tina Fey audio book “Bossy Pants” as we cruised towards Lubbock Texas.

We got there around midnight and were able to stay with a friend of Molly’s for the night. The couple we stayed with was the Thiels, an older farming couple with a giant framed photo of the pope on their wall and the sweetest people I’ve ever met.  We actually arrived at their home before they did because they were at the Paul Mc Cartney concert. Which we heard them rave about until one in the morning and then went to bed.

We woke up in the morning and Mrs. Thiel was kind enough to make us breakfast and told us tales of her running the farm. We then headed out and drove the rest of the way to Albuquerque.  We finished up the Bossy Pants audible book and started a new book called “The Maze Runner”.

Checking Out Albuquerque

We got to Albuquerque around lunch time and grabbed some quick Mexican food at Anita’s which had bomb chimichangas! After lunch we dropped our stuff off at a friends house and headed over to the Sandia Peak Tramway, which is the longest tram in North America.

The goal was to take the tram to the top to watch the sunset and then come back down. It seems that everyone had the same idea because when we got there it was a 2 hour wait! So we waited and watched the sun go down while waiting in line and then took the tram to the top. It was a beautiful view but when the sun went down it was really cold. So we only walked around for a few minutes and then waited in another really long line to get back down.

Balloon Fiesta Time

(Check Out All The Photos / Videos )

The fiesta was scheduled to start at 6:45 so we awoke at 6 am and headed out to the balloon fiesta. The traffic was RIDICULOUS! I’ve never seen a highway backed up for so many miles. I was able to wiggle my way through a lot of traffic, but it still took us like an hour until we could finally park. Despite getting there later than expected we were able to make it in time for the mass ascension. Which is when hundreds of balloons take off!

It was a crisp cold morning so we grabbed some hot chocolate and walked around while balloon after balloon would fill up and take off. It was so amazing to be able to get up close to the balloons and even talk to the people operating them. After a couple of hours all of the balloons had taken off and were flying over down town Albuquerque.

When all the balloons were gone there was not much to do until later in the day when they all come back. So we spent some time going through the souvenir tents & eating a collection of carnival food. Also to fill time they had a wood carving competition going on. It was amazing to watch them take these massive tree stumps and transform them into beautiful pieces of art.

After all this I wasn’t feeling too well so we headed back to the apartment we were crashing at for the night, but decided that we would go back again the next day. 6am Sunday morning came and we knew the drill. We got up and headed back towards the Balloon Fiesta, but knowing how bad the traffic was we took the frontage roads and were able to bypass 80% of the traffic!

The 2nd day the balloons were delayed to take off because it was too windy. After a couple of hours they were cleared to take off and all of the balloons rushed to fill up and take off. This was a big difference from the day before where each balloon took their time getting ready to take off. Sadly the although the balloons all got ready to take off none of them did, but it was still a completely worth going.

We then loaded up in the car and made the long road trip back to Austin.

Moving to Austin Road Trip

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Trip Summary

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CouchSurfing 101: CouchSurfing Basics

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Watching The Sunrise At Arcadia National Park
So I’ve been traveling a lot the last few months and people have been asking me how I’ve been able to afford traveling so much. The biggest expense I’ve been able to avoid is paying for hotel, hostels, etc along the way. The main way I’ve been able to do this is with the website CouchSurfing.org.

Why I love CouchSurfing.org

East Coast Trip 2013

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Trip Summary

  • 2,144 Miles
  • 3 Weeks
  • Countless number of new friends, memories, and jokes

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6 Lessons Learned From Running A 5K In A Sumo Costume

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Run or dye, pre-race

 

The Sumo Saga

A couple years ago I made one of the best purchases of my life, which was an inflatable sumo suit costume for Halloween. I’ve had so much fun wearing the sumo costume that I’ve tried to wear it as often as possible.

So when I awoke at 7am Saturday morning and tried to decide what to wear to the Run or Dye 5K, which is probably the worse name for a 5K ever, as I rubbed the sleep from my eyes I looked up into my closet and saw my sumo costume sitting there. I put on the sumo suit just as a joke, but when Whitney showed up to carpool down to the stadiums she concurred that I should do the 5K in it. I learned several things from running A 5K in A a sumo costume, and here they are!

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Duck Beach 2013 – Memorial Day

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DB-Top-Photo

I had never heard of Duck Beach before moving out to the East Coast and luckily arrived just in time to go last year. Some people refer to it as the “Mormon Spring Break” and some people even did a horribly bad, but funny Duck Beach documentary.

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Parents Philly Visit 2013

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I’ve lived in Philly for over a year now and my parents wanted to come and see what I’ve been upto since moving out here.  Here is a summary of our adventures.

Grabbing Philly Cheesesteaks

The 1st thing everyone wants to do upon arriving to the great city of Philadelphia is to grab a legit Philly Cheesesteak. They were so excited to get a cheesesteak that while I was giving them a tour of my room they discovered my cheesesteak hat and almost consumed it. Eventually we headed over to Tony Lukes, home of my favorite cheesesteak from the triple bypass challenge I did with David.

Greg & Joanna eating cheese steaks (2)

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2012 Resolutions and 30 day challenges

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When thinking of what to do for New Year Resolutions this year, i decided to change my strategy to doing a 30 day challenges each month instead of committing to doing a lot of goals for a whole year. I got the idea from someone that I really look upto, Matt Cutts, who explains the 30 day challenge strategy in his Ted Talk video.
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Flash Mob Fail

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So one of the tasks on my bucket list is to be apart of a flash mob! If you haven’t haven’t heard of this before i really feel sorry for you! But not to worry i took the time to put this YouTube playlist together of my favorite Flash Mob videos. Or as i like to call them, my “Flash Mobspiration”

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Great Urban Race 2011

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I’ve always thought that doing the tv show “The Amazing Race” would be so much fun, but after this weekend I realize that I would suck at it. My friend Alexis and I decided to try our hand at the Great Urban Race in Phoenix this year. The race encourages you to dress up in costumes and Alexis really wanted to be Shamu for reasons i still don’t understand, which made me her “trainer”.

So we got their and we were excited to see all of the great costumes. We walked around for a bit and then it was time where they handed out the clues, and then we were off. A bunch of people bolted for the door, while Alexis and I found a table sat down and devised a plan.

We were already at a disadvantage because we didn’t have a map or smart phone! So we quickly came up with the game plan of going to the Phoenix Library to use a computer to look up the clues and map them all out and do them. Great plan right!? So we started our adventure out walking towards the library, and when we got there it was not what we expected!
All the computers were full and we would have to wait an hour to get on a computer. Luckily we found Jerome, who had a ticket that allowed him to get on the computer in a few minutes. He was so nice and wanted to help us,so he offered his computer time to us. I think he was doing it because he crushing on Alexis. The funny part was Jerome was so nice but wasn’t very good at using mapquest. Hahaha, by the time we got done he printed off a several pages, mostly ads and small maps that weren’t readable. Out of 5 pages printed we only had 1 that was semi useful as a map of downtown Phoenix.

So we were off again still with almost no directions, we just ended up asking fellow racers for answers to clues and directions. I know we are totally cheaters but walking for hours in the Phoenix sun was starting to get old. Even with cheating it was still fun going around to find the different clues, and doing the activities.

Some of the Activities we had to do

* Unscramble a quote and who find the author who said it?
* Find 3 differences between 2 pictures
* Take pictures at landmarks
* Take a picture with someone who has a mustache with your fake mustache
* Make a hand puppet
* Take a short yoga lesson

After our last clue I was so happy to ride the light rail back to the finish! We completed it in just under 4 hrs, the winners finished in just 2 hrs. We would of finished a lot quicker if we didn’t have to backtrack so much.

I decided that i want to do it again next year, but we will be much more prepared with smart phones, food, and will not lock my car keys in my trunk (whole other story)

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