Tag Archives: adventure

Fam Fest 2012


For this year’s Fam Fest/Gram Fest, we decided to participate in St. Louis Public Radio‘s MetroQuest–an adventure around St. Louis using only your feet and MetroLink (and okay wheels in our case). Rounding out our team were our fearless leaders, Grammy and Grandpa, Aunt Nan, Aunt Suzi, Mom and myself. Aunt Suzi named us (“Fam-A-Lam-A-Ding-Dongs”) and Mom dressed us (in capes and white sunglasses courtesy of Stoli). Then we literally were off.


Taking flight at the first Metro Stop










Along each stop, you answered trivia and completed challenges. Not having a smartphone, we didn’t upload our photos to the site for points. Instead, we were the team creating chaos and laughter along the way. Case in point: the elevator.

It was here the wheels of the Gramses’ got tangled and refused to come apart.  While the elevator door opened and closed at the Metro station, Grandpa used his cane to make it stop and Grammy attempted to use her arm. All to no avail. I made sure to document the fact the sisters could barely get it together in the back to figure out a plan.

Upon exiting, I think everyone was newly invigorated as we took the Missouri History Museum by storm in our photo scavenger hunts.

Sing “Proud Mary” to a stranger. And to think, we were rollin’ all day!

Your best 50s housewife pose in the pink kitchen

Proudly display the beaver pelts

All in all, the day might have started out with this….

But it ended like this. Successful Fam Fest 2012!

Going Coastal


The silence is over, sort of. My apologies for not writing nearly as much as I should have been…the month of July just got lost beyond me. And I’ve returned from my coastal adventure to the East where my friend and I attended a few concerts and slept on a pirate ship. It was to say the least, amazing.

But instead of rehashing a vacation, I want to talk about something else, friendship. Amanda and I affirmed a friendship a year ago when we went on vacation to Colorado. Since that last summer, we’ve logged four other trips and most recently, this eastern adventure. I could not imagine a better travel companion to navigate a city alongside.

My true aha! moment of man, life is good, came while we were in New York. We made our way down to NYC to catch The Lumineers and Old Crow Medicine Show in Central Park and decided to hit up our New York friends for couches to crash on. Most of the “closer” friends were traveling, so we were coming up empty-handed. Then I reached out to Christin, a girl I studied abroad with in Ireland and hadn’t seen since we left the Emerald Isle. And to be fair, we hadn’t really talked much. But she insisted we come and crash with her.

The minute we walked in to Christin’s place, it was like we were back in Ireland. As we readied ourselves and wandered the city, we managed to find a bar with a vacant rooftop where we spent the afternoon catching up on life. It was just perfection and as if this was an everyday thing we did. When we got to the show, I was so overcome with joy that I nearly started crying. It was just so moving to know that there are people in this world that vouch for you and want to spend time with you, no matter how much time has passed.

I have many friends like this in Chicago, but I’ve certainly taken them for granted over the years…just assuming they’re always there. But upon our return to Sweet Home Chicago, I realized how truly lucky I am to live in a city I love, surrounded by water and people that I cannot help but have on fantastic time.

It might have taken all of July for me to realize this, as well as a northeastern adventure, but I’m going in to my 27th year with a much better grasp on life. And I for one, I am eager to see what awaits next.

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And here’s the lastest Mumford & Son’s song (saw them in Maine last week), which I think is so very fitting:

Paging Through Life


Books are more than just weight to my work bag. They’re an adventure. An escape. A lesson. A few more lessons. An inspiration. And my life line. At a young age, books took hold of me. Whether it was our elementary school’s 600 Minute challenges or SSR (Silent Sustained Reading), I could not walk away, and I don’t think my Mom would have let me. Books have always found their way into my hands. Into my brain. And into my soul.

Today on The Book Bench (from The New Yorker), I came across an article from a man, Jonathan Gourlay and his quest to put down the book and walk away. He brings to light the one thing everyone says to me when they see me reading: I don’t have time to read. Gourlay says maybe we make excuses to not read simply because it’s supposed to be good for us, and we tend to make excuses to not do good things (like exercise, eat right, quit smoking, etc.).

He paints the picture of what life in the non-reader swamp looks like–which seems all too real. Without books, we lose our wonder, our beliefs, our decisions, our composure and ourselves. This fear is the reason I make the time to read a book on the train, before bed and anytime I’m waiting for something (including while at the bar waiting for the basketball game to start). My body goes into freakout mode if I’ve gone days without heading to the library. And I’m no doctor, but I had a massive migraine before lunch today, so I sat there reading instead of chatting with co-workers. And lo and behold, it’s gone.

“The habit of reading is the only enjoyment in which there is no alloy; it lasts when all other pleasures fade.” –Anthony Trollope

Eat, Move and Learn


In 44 days, three guys (Rick Mereki, Andrew Lees and Tim White) visited 11 countries and flew 18 flights across 38,00 miles. They captured footage of the adventure and paired all of the clips to three categories eating, moving and learning. Each film lasts one minute, but packs fantastic editing, grooving beats and breathtaking views and experiences.

Needless to say, I’m itching for a traveling adventure again. Perhaps I should just steal the itinerary from these three musketeers.

Note: Andrew Lees is the star of the films and yes, so very easy on the eyes.




Adventurous Spirit Endures


After taking my adventurous, thrill-seeking self to lofty heights last week, I’ve been coerced into taking them to the water over the Fourth during the trip to Denver/Breckenridge.

“You just cannot fall out. Don’t be that person.” — Lisa’s pep talk

Note: Never done this. My track record on boats/rafts is not that great unless I’m doped up on Dramamine.

You only live once right? And good ‘ol Eleanor said you should do something everyday that scares you right?