RAGBRAI XXXIX Day 6 -- Grinnell to Coralville

[caption id="attachment_149" align="alignright" width="225" caption="Cyclists enter the flag-lined street of Brooklyn, Iowa"][/caption]

As I went to bed Thursday night, I contemplated not riding on Friday, but I decided I would see how I felt in the morning. When I woke Friday morning, I was feeling a little better, so I decided to try to do the ride. The first stretch to Brooklyn was fairly good. Mel and I stopped there for breakfast. She went with pancakes. I, on the other hand, found a big fruit cup to eat. We only stopped in Brooklyn long enough to eat and for a potty break before leaving for Victor.

We did not stop for very long in Victor either. Today was going to be the longest day of the ride, at almost seventy-five miles, so we filled our water bottles and posed Petey P. Cup for some photos with tractors, and we continued on our way.

[caption id="attachment_150" align="aligncenter" width="584" caption="Petey P. Cup drives a John Deere tractor in Victor."][/caption]

Once we got to Ladora, we stopped again for some food. I had a chicken wrap which seemed to sit well with me. For a really small town, Ladora appeared to have done a pretty good job setting up. Besides the chicken wrap, I had some awesome lemonade from the Boy Scouts.

We did not stop in Marengo, and continued on our way to West Amana. The sun was out by now and we were quite hot. Mel was starting to get worn out. I thought I could continue, so we kept going. Mel was going to stop once we got to West Amana, but there was nothing there worth stopping for, so we made out way to South Amana.

[caption id="attachment_151" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Among those set up in South Amana was Mr. Pork Chop."][/caption]

In South Amana we both called it quits for the day. Mel was completely worn out. I probably could have kept going, but I did not think I was going to be able to complete the final eighteen-mile stretch of the ride, so I stopped as well. We waited for a few hours for the sag wagon, but never saw it. South Amana was a good place to stop though. We found some shade to wait in, and there were a sufficient number of food vendors set up. One amenity that was missing from South Amana though was kybos. Apparently one of the store owners in town had called to see about getting just four port-a-potties for RAGBRAI and was laughed at, presumably because none were available anywhere near by. There was one port-a-potty in the area though. It was at the edge of a corn field across the street from town. I am almost certain that it was there for use by detasselers, but the RAGBRAI riders were making use of it. Those detasselers will sure be in for a surprise when they return to work Monday morning.

While we were waiting for the sag wagon, Tara, another member of our team who had only ridden a couple of days earlier in the week, called to see if we wanted her to pick us up a coffee as she was driving to our camp in Coralville. After I told her that we were waiting for the sag wagon, Tara volunteered to come to South Amana to pick us up. Within half an hour she was there driving us to Coralville.

In Coralville we stayed at the house of one of my coworkers, Sandy. Because of this, Mel and I got to sleep in a real bed and in air conditioning. Sandy's husband cooked some wonderful food for us and for the other three teams that were sharing their yard. Also Mel's friend Penny came down from Cedar Rapids and took us to dinner in Iowa City. For once this week, I actually felt like eating. So after having a brat and some other food at Sandy's, I ate again at Carlos O'Kelley's. Our service was quite slow there, so it was close to 9:30 before we got back and were able to go to bed.


RAGBRAI XXXIX Day 5 -- Altoona to Grinnell

[caption id="attachment_128" align="alignright" width="225" caption="This is "Iowa's only banana tree.""][/caption]

After spending an evening in air-conditioned luxury Wednesday night, we returned to the heat and humidity Thursday morning. Nevertheless, we set out on our ride from Altoona to Grinnell. The ride started out fairly well. Our first stop of the morning was in Mitchellville. We had already eaten breakfast at Patrick's house, so we just stopped for something to drink and to use the kybos. We did relax for a short bit before we left. While we were there we saw what was being billed as the only banana tree in Iowa, and a performance my the Southeast Polk High School Band. For one of their songs, Banana Man and his entourage came up and danced to their music.

[caption id="attachment_132" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="This ice sculpture of the RAGBRAI XXXIX logo was completed shortly before we arrived in downtown Colfax."][/caption]

After leaving Mitchellville, we proceeded down the road to Colfax. However, before arriving in Colfax, Mel and I became separated along the route. I thought I was ahead of her, so I stopped at the top of a hill and waited for her for about fifteen minuted before deciding to proceed. It turned out that Mel was ahead of me all along. I eventually met up with her on the crowded main street through Colfax. We stopped to eat some lunch. While we ate our lunch, we could hear some kids drumming on the other side of the kybos from where we were sitting. They were pretty good. I had thought that what I ordered for lunch would sit well with me, and it kind of did, but my stomach was still giving me issues. I think that I had a problem other than being overheated and dehydrated. I think I may have had some kind of stomach bug that was making it difficult for me to eat. However I did continue to try to eat. Leaving Colfax we had to climb a rather long and steep hill that they dubbed Mount Colfax. Both Mel and I ended up walking at least partway up the hill.

[caption id="attachment_137" align="aligncenter" width="584" caption="Cyclists climb Mount Colfax."][/caption]

Things got more difficult once we left Colfax. Turning north toward Baxter, we encountered a strong headwind which we had to contend with for a good portion of the fifteen-mile ride between the towns. Fortunately we, as well as many others, rested by either watching, or by enjoying the water slide that someone had set up on a big hill in their yard. There was an ambulance parked across the road from this water slide. I joked that it was probably there to take away any injured sliders.

[caption id="attachment_135" align="aligncenter" width="584" caption="Many riders cooled off on this water slide."][/caption]

We eventually made it to Baxter where we had some more to eat and then took a brief nap before continuing on our way. And it figured that now that we were going east instead of north, the wind seemed to have shifted to be coming from the east instead of the north. This was really wearing us out. About forty-five miles into our ride, twelve miles short of Grinnell, both Mel and I decided we had had enough, and we stopped to wait for the sag wagon. While we waited for the sag wagon, we saw a couple of interesting cyclists ride by, including Elvis Pressley and a guy on a homemade Big Wheel bike.

[caption id="attachment_141" align="aligncenter" width="584" caption="Elvis is alive, and riding a bike on RAGBRAI."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_142" align="aligncenter" width="584" caption="Why ride a bike when you can ride a Big Wheel?"][/caption]

We did not have to wait too long for the sag wagon. Mel and I got the last two seats available. Once our bikes were loaded on the trailer, another man came up and wanted on as well. He appeared very upset that there was not room for him. But they have a fifteen-passenger van, and once it has fifteen passengers, the driver can not allow anyone else on. We eventually made it to Grinnell, riding in the packed sag wagon along the rest of the route there. Once we arrived we found our campground without much difficulty. And after setting up our tent for the final time and showering, we walked down the street to the Dari Barn for a bite to eat.

[caption id="attachment_144" align="aligncenter" width="584" caption="After picking us up, the sag wagon was full."][/caption]


RAGBRAI XXXIX Day 4 -- Boone to Altoona

[caption id="attachment_121" align="alignright" width="225" caption="My breakfast today was a brisket sandwich from Sinful Smokers BBQ Team."][/caption]

I was feeling better again this morning, so Mel and I both rode today. We left Boone a little after 6:00 after stopping for a quick bite to eat at Casey's General Store. The route was not very hilly today, although that is not to say that there were no hills. A couple of things that did hold us back was a headwind from the south, and the high heat and humidity.

After riding through Luther, we stopped in Slater for something to eat. It was only 8:30, but that was not too early for barbecue. After leaving Slater, we pretty much just breezed through Sheldahl as it was only a couple miles later. Our next stop was Alleman, where I had a smoothie.

We continued through White Oak and then stopped to cool off in the fire station in Elkhart. Finally, we stopped for a bit in Bondurant, where I paid two dollars for a single banana, before finishing our ride in Altoona.

Tonight Mel and I, as well as another member of our team, are staying in the home of another of our team members, Patrick. It is really nice to not have to deal with the heat index that is over one hundred degrees still.

RAGBRAI XXXIX Day 3 -- Carroll to Boone

[caption id="attachment_114" align="alignright" width="300" caption="The Superior Hawgs bus is parked in Carroll, waiting for its departure to Boone."][/caption]

Mel was feeling better Tuesday, so she rode from Carroll to Boone. On the other hand, my stomach was still bothering me, so rather than risk my health, I decided to ride the Superior Hawgs bus. I am not sure if my problem was that I hadn't had enough to drink on Monday, or if I hadn't eaten enough, or even if I hadn't gotten enough sleep. But I think I made a good decision not to ride.

Our bus driver, Walter, and I left a little after 9:00 and stopped for breakfast at the Hy-Vee in Carroll. After breakfast, I slept most of the way on the bus to Atlantic. Upon arriving in Boone, we made a stop at Walmart and then proceeded to the yard that had been previously arranged for us to stay at.

Later in the afternoon I had a late lunch with Lee, another member of our team, at a really good Chinese buffet downtown. It was a very hot day. Walking around in the sun was almost unbearable. This made me more confident that my decision not to ride was a good one.

Later, after Mel had arrived, we picked up a pizza from Casey's General Store for dinner. I had wanted to go downtown to see Hairball perform, but they were not playing until 9:30, and as I was tired, I decided to go to bed. I do regret not going to see their show as I couldn't fall asleep until around 11:00. Oh well, maybe I can see them perform somewhere else some time.

RAGBRAI XXXIX Day 2 Part 2 -- Manning to Carroll

[caption id="attachment_111" align="alignright" width="300" caption="I got my photo taken at the building of the first jail in Templeton."][/caption]

After leaving Manning things got better for a while. Riding to Templeton was a breeze. It was sunny and hot, but the hills were not too bad. Things did start getting a bit more difficult riding into Dedham. While I was there I stopped for a slice of pizza. I wanted to get to Carroll, so I did not stay too long, leaving immediately after finishing the pizza. The ride into Willey was fairly difficult. The hills just kept coming and coming. On my way to Willey, and even after I left there, I saw several sag wagons and was seriously tempted to catch a ride on one, but once I got to Willey, there were less than eight miles remaining, so I pressed on.

After arriving at our campground in Carroll, I ate some food that Mel had picked up for me, but I probably waited until it was too late to try to eat dinner. By the time I found something for dinner, around 8:30, I found that I was not feeling well enough to eat it all. I was feeling much like I felt Sunday morning.


RAGBRAI XXXIX Day 2 Part 1 -- Atlantic to Manning

[caption id="attachment_100" align="alignright" width="225" caption="The street into Manning was VERY full of bicyclists."][/caption]

I have made it a little over half way through today's ride, and have stopped in Manning. So while I let my phone charge at the Windstream Internet trailer, I am going to begin blogging about today's ride.

This morning when I woke up, I felt much better than I did yesterday, so I decided to go ahead and ride. However, Mel was not feeling too hot, so she is riding the team bus instead. One thing that made this morning much nicer than yesterday morning was the fact that it was not sunny, and it was a little cooler. As I write this now at 11:30 am though, the sun has come out. That will definitely make the rest of the day much warmer.

Today's first stop was in Elk Horn where I stopped to check out the sights, including the windmill they have in town. Even though it was almost fifteen miles into the ride, I was not ready for breakfast. I ended up spending about half an hour there before I continued.

[caption id="attachment_101" align="aligncenter" width="584" caption="Petey P. Cup and I got our photo taken as vikings.There were mermaids in Elk Horn!"][/caption]

My next stop was just three miles down the road in Kimballton. By this time I was getting hungry so I stopped for a Farm Boys breakfast burrito. The line was long but moved very quickly. In addition to the rather tasty breakfast burrito, I had a Danish. I needed to be sure I had enough to eat because the next town, Manning, was almost twenty miles away.

[caption id="attachment_104" align="aligncenter" width="584" caption="The Farm Boys made some really good breakfast burritos in Kimballton."][/caption]

About halfway between Kimballton and Manning I made another stop. This time it was for Beakman's Specialty Homemade Ice Cream. I had a cup of half chocolate and half raspberry ice cream. With the temperatures rising, the ice cream was very refreshing.

[caption id="attachment_105" align="aligncenter" width="584" caption="The Beakman's ice cream was a refreshing treat."][/caption]

I have about twenty-eight miles to go before I make it to Carroll, and from what I have heard, it is much less hilly than the first half of today's ride. That is a very good thing. While I have managed the hills fairly well so far today, I could really use a break from them.

I will try to blog about the second part of today's ride either this evening or sometime tomorrow. However my first priority is getting my butt across the state on my bike, so the blog entry will come when I get to it.


RAGBRAI XXXIX Day 1 -- Glenwood to Atlantic

[caption id="attachment_96" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Petey P. Cup sits by the side of the road as RAGBRAI cyclists ride by."][/caption]

Upon waking up this morning I was not feeling the best. My stomach had been hurting all night, probably contributing to my lack of sleep, but I figured it was just because I was hungry. Mel and I therefore set out on our first day of RAGBRAI XXXIX, planning on riding the 59.5 miles from Glenwood to Atlantic.

Our first stop of the morning was in Silver City both Mel and I were quite hungry so we decided to seek out some breakfast. We got in the pancake line, but even as I took my plate of pancakes, I was not sure if I was going to be able to eat them. I quickly drank my glass of orange juice, but after just a few bites of my pancakes, I could tell they weren't sitting well with me. Before leaving Silver City I found a banana. I thought that would help, but I couldn't finish that either.

Having finished the first nine miles of the day, we continued on our way to Carson. However, we would not end up making it there. My body continued to give me problems as I rode. At one point I was waiting at the top of a hill for Mel when I lost my balance. I had only unclipped one of my shoes from my pedals, so unable to balance on the uneven surface, I toppled over, cutting my right leg up pretty good with my gears.

We did continue going, but the extreme heat was beginning to get us despite the face that it was still early in the morning. Even as I write this, the heat index in Atlantic is 92°F. We ended up stopping about eighteen miles into the day. We waited for the Des Moines Register's sag wagon with a ham radio operator who was helping to communicate what was going on along the route. We, and the seven or so other people who were in need of transportation to Atlantic, waited over three hours. Every time a sag wagon passed by it was already full. The ham radio operator decided that he needed to do something about this. He called up his sister in Glenwood, and she and her husband brought a truck to haul our bikes, and we rode in the car we had been waiting by. We ended up arriving in Atlantic before 3:00. I have not decided yet if I will ride my bike tomorrow or not. That will depend on how I am feeling.

Mel and I did have a nice dinner at a locally owned Mexican restaurant in town. The food did help me to feel better for a while, but I am still not feeling my best. After I finish with this blog entry, I am going to continue to rehydrate myself with Powerade. Hopefully that replenishes all my fluids.

RAGBRAI XXXIX -- Getting to Glenwood

[caption id="attachment_91" align="alignright" width="300" caption="This is GeekAaron with the Superior Hawgs team bus."][/caption]

Mel and I arrived early to meet our team in Evansdale, Iowa, yesterday morning to be sure we would not be late. We were actually quite early as we were only the second ones there. This year we only had twelve people riding the bus from Evansdale to the start of RAGBRAI in Glenwood. We ended up leaving at 9:00, and after our traditional stop at the Casey's General Store down the street we were on our way.

This year the bus ride to the start of RAGBRAI was very uneventful. We made really good time, stopping in Stuart for lunch at the Burger King, and arriving in Glenwood by 3:00. Our campsite was located pretty close to the town square where food vendors were set up. It also was not too far away from the bike expo. Mel and I were able to find some RAGBRAI XXXIX T-shirts for ourselves.

There was a rainstorm in the evening, but it was not very severe. The town's sirens had actually gone off earlier because of the severe weather. It had been really hot before the storm came through, but the storm helped to cool things off a bit.

While our campground's proximity to the downtown area was nice there was one negative aspect about its location. We were less than half a block away from a bar's beer garden, and the music continued until around midnight! I do not think I got much sleep at all. The longest amout of uninterrupted sleep I had was from 3:00 until 4:30 this morning. Hopefully this trend does not continue all week.


Traveling to Iowa

[caption id="attachment_84" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Maximus plays at the Boondocks truck stop while we wait for his aunt."][/caption]

Yesterday the family made the trip from the Twin Cities to Iowa in preparation for RAGBRAI. We met Mel's sister and one of our nephews at the Boondocks Truck Stop along I-35 to drop the kids off with them. Emma was excited about visiting her cousins yesterday morning before we left, but while we were waiting for her aunt, she got a bit apprehensive telling us that she would miss us. By the time my sister-in-law arrived though, she seemed better. And from what we heard last night, she is having a fun time.

And my fears the other night about forgetting to pack something were proved to be valid last night. As I was getting ready to go to bed, I discovered that I had left my bag with all my toiletries at home. I know exactly where it is. It is on the shelf in the bathroom. Fortunately I discovered this last night. I was able to make a quick trip to Target to get most of the things I need. I did have to go to Walmart as well to pick up a contact lens case though. The only one that Target had in stock was one with a feminine design, and while the design didn't really matter, I didn't want to pay a premium price for a contact lens case that wasn't really me.

There were thunderstorms all night. It seems like they have ended for now. I was worried that we would have to be loading the team bus in the rain before departing for Glenwood in a couple of hours. Hopefully any more rain holds off until we are on our way.


Preparing for RAGBRAI XXXIX

[caption id="attachment_77" align="alignright" width="300" caption="This is a photo of cyclists riding on a gravel road on RAGBRAI XXXII in 2004."][/caption]

This evening, after the kids went to bed, Mel and I packed for RAGBRAI. Well actually, Mel had already done most of her packing and just had a few things to finish up with for herself. I had to start, and finish, packing my things tonight. And as much as I check things over, I still feel that I am missing something. Fortunately it's not like we will be in the middle of nowhere. If I forgot to pack something, I am sure we can find it wherever we are. I also had to take care of a few last minute work things tonight, such as submitting my time cards for this week and next week. Now that I am done with that, I will not have to think about work at all for the rest of the month. That will be a nice break.

Since the kids are staying with Mel's sister and brother-in-law in Ankeny, Iowa, we had to pack their things as well. And with both my bike and Mel's recumbent bike in the back of her truck, there was not enough room for the things we need to take for the kids, so we are going to end up taking both of our vehicles on our trip to Iowa. I just hope my sister-in-law's minivan has room for the things we are bringing for the kids, especially since we are bringing Emma's bike along for her to ride next week.

While I am on RAGBRAI, I do intend to keep up with my blog, writing about each day's ride. I will probably do most of this from the Windstream Communications trailers if I find the time. If I appear to miss a day's blogging, do not be too concerned. It is probably just a sign that I did not have time to stop to blog that day.


Watching My Weight

Over the past few months I have really been struggling with my weight. I have been paying for the Weight Watchers online program, but I have not been as diligent as I need to be when it comes to recording what I eat. I am usually careful the first two or three days of the week, but by the time I get to the weekend I am not recording everything. This is the behavior I need to change.

Last week my weight increased significantly, mainly due to overindulgence while on my business trip to Sioux Falls. I am therefore redoubling my efforts when it comes to watching what I eat. Since I likely will not be carefully tracking my points next week while I am on RAGBRAI, I thought about waiting until the beginning of August to restart the Weight Watchers program. However, the more I thought about it, I really should start immediately. I do not need an extra week of overeating. So I started back up with Weight Watchers today.

My weight this morning was 230.0 pounds. That worked out being a nice, round number. For my height I need to get my weight below 200.0 pounds for my body mass index to be in the normal weight range, so I am setting my goal to be 199.0 pounds. I have had my weight this low before, but not since October 3, 2007. I will get to this weight again. And to help me succeed, I recorded everything I ate today, even the package of four smaller-than-average Oreo cookies I had after donating blood.


RAGBRAI and the Global Corporate Challenge

My employer is one of many around the world participating in the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC), a 16-week-long walking challenge in which employees walk around the world virtually. This challenge began on Thursday, May 19, and ends on Tuesday, September 6.

While this event focuses on walking as exercise, having participants tracking their daily steps recorded by their pedometers, it also makes allowances for people who cycle or swim. This is going to help me and my team out when I am cycling across Iowa on RAGBRAI next week. According to GCC's website, 2.5 miles of cycling is the equivalent to 0.6 mile of walking, or 1,563 steps. So if I ride all 454 miles of RAGBRAI, excluding the optional loop on Tuesday, I will earn 283,841 steps for me and my team for the week. Of course, this is just the steps I will earn from cycling. I will be walking quite a bit once I reach my destination each night. I will of course be counting these steps as well.

Now I am concerned that the average of 40,549 steps from cycling each day will earn me a GCC "speeding ticket." Such tickets are issued whenever someone records an abnormally large number of steps for a day. If this happens, I will just have to explain to GCC why my step count is so high. This should not be too much of a problem, but it could delay my entry of some of my steps. As I have been averaging around 10,000 steps a day so far, this would be a significant increase.

I will be blogging about my progress on RAGBRAI, so be sure to check back next week to see how the ride is going.


Shove Six Tacos...

[caption id="attachment_52" align="alignright" width="300" caption="This is one way to quit a job."][/caption]

I saw this news story earlier today about a guy who quit his job at Taco Bell on Independence Day after working 22 days straight by leaving a message on the restaurant's outdoor sign. This reminded me of an incident from my youth. During the summer when I was in college I worked at a fast food restaurant as a crew leader in my hometown in Iowa. After closing one night one of my employees, who had access to the restaurant's Zip-Change Letter Changer, went across the street to a fast food taco place and did some rearranging of letters on its sign. When he was done, instead of the sign advertising the restaurant's six-pack of tacos and a pound of its potato item, the sign stated that if you "shove[d] six tacos up your ass" they would be free. To the best of my recollection, as my coworkers were finishing up the sign, a police car drove by and caught them. The cops had a good laugh about it and simply made them change the sign back.



This morning I woke up in my hotel room to discover that the electricity was out over most of the hotel. Fortunately I swam in the pool last night and showered afterward, because I really did not want to shower in complete darkness. Some of the lights in the rest of the room were working, so I was able to see well enough to get dressed and to finish packing my things. I had to walk a mile to Burger King for breakfast, once the rain stopped, since the hotel's restaurant could not serve anything more than toast and cereal.

After getting back to the hotel I decided to head to the airport to either use its Wi-Fi connection to work, or to see if I could get on an earlier flight home. I was pleased to discover that I could get on the flight that was scheduled to depart just one hour after my arrival at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport, and even better, my seat was in the exit row. The flight did leave about twenty minutes later than scheduled, but I still arrived in Minneapolis before 11:00 this morning. I did have to wait a very long time for my luggage though. It was eventually discovered to be stuck on the conveyor that brings it to the baggage claim area. I am glad to be home finally. Now I can actually get my project work done.


A Semi-successful Trip

[caption id="attachment_31" align="alignright" width="225" caption="Water Slide at the Sioux Falls Ramada's Buccaneer Bay Indoor Water Park"]Water Slide[/caption]

As I previously wrote, I am in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for a business trip. Overall my trip has been a good one. I facilitated meetings both today and yesterday, and they each went quite smoothly. My group got done with yesterday's meeting fairly early. We did not finish today's meeting as early as yesterday's, but we still got done with some time to spare.

Part of my trip has been less successful as I hoped however. I had hoped to get work done in the evenings on another project I work on. I got a little work done yesterday afternoon after finishing my meeting early, but I have had a heck of a time with my Wi-Fi connection. I am not sure if the fault lies in the hotel's service or in my old laptop, but regardless of what was at fault, after being connected initially for almost an hour, I was disconnected and then repeatedly lost my connection again just minutes after I regained it. That made it impossible to get anything done. Hopefully my new work computer arrives shortly after I am back in my office Friday.

Since I have been unable to get much work done, I had time to check out the hotel's water park. I went down the large water slide a few times last night and a couple times tonight. It was fun, but it would have been a lot more fun if Mel and the kids had been here to enjoy it as well.

I fly out tomorrow and am really looking forward to getting home to see Mel, Emma, and Maximus. I don't mind business trips but I do miss my family while I am gone.


Sioux Falls

[caption id="attachment_21" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Pirate Ship at the Sioux Falls Ramada's Buccaneer Bay Indoor Water Park"]Buccaneer Bay Water Park[/caption]

Today I flew from Minneapolis to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for a business trip. My flight was uneventful. Prior to leaving for my trip though, I heard that the hotel I was staying at had some sort of water park. When I got here I discovered that the Ramada Hotel and Suites has a pirate-themed water park which it calls Buccaneer Bay. I think that my wife and kids would have enjoyed this water park. It would have been nice if they could have come along on the trip. The slides on that pirate ship, and the larger water slide, shown in the background, look like a lot of fun. It is a good thing I brought my swim suit. I may have to check out the pool and water slides some time during my stay here.


Emma Goes to a Birthday Party

Today Emma went to her first birthday party that wasn't for family. The party celebrated the third birthday of one of her classmates from daycare. The funny thing is that this girl isn't even in Emma's class anymore. A few days after receiving the invitation, Emma moved from the preschool class to the prekindergarten class.

In preparation for the party, we went shopping earlier this week for a birthday present. It was a little difficult getting Emma to understand that we had a limit on how much we would spend on the present. We eventually settled on a Play-Doh set with Cookie Monster and the tools to make all the letters of the alphabet as well as different food items.

The party today was at the Giggle Factory in Hudson, Wisconsin. The Giggle Factory is kind of like the play rooms that some McDonald's restaurants have, only much larger, and with sufficient space for hosting as party. I was a little worried about how Emma would do there as the last time she played at the McDonald's play area she said she didn't want to go back as it was too loud. I had no reason to worry though. Emma had a great time running through the play area and repeatedly going down the numerous slides. She also enjoyed watching her friend open her presents even though some of the other kids didn't stop playing to watch. Considering how much she ran around at the party, I was surprised that she didn't fall asleep in the car on the half-hour drive home. She did go to sleep fairly quickly after going to bed tonight though.


A New Blog

I have not done much blogging here lately but want to resume blogging. I have decided to create a brand new blog for this purpose. Please check out my new blog, GeekAaron Presents:.

A New Beginning

I have maintained a blog for several years now, although in a different venue. Recently though, my blogging has been much more sporadic than I would like. I have decided that perhaps what I need is to start fresh with a brand new blog. The appearance of my new blog, GeekAaron Presents:, will likely change as I take the time to learn some of the features of WordPress, so do not be alarmed if you do not recognize my blog upon visiting. Please be sure to return to read about what I have been up to.