Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Hi and Merry Christmas Month to all my Sparkbuddies!!!
I am accruing miles every day on my virtual bike ride to visit all of my sparkfriends. Trying to get to virtually visit 2 or more of you a month… It is so much fun to ride my exercise bike each day with the motivation to accrue miles to get to see you all.
We left off in Cannon Beach, Oregon roasting marshmallows and enjoying the stars. Come along with me on my December Journey as I head out to visit 2 more sparkfriends this month…hope you enjoy my travels as I blog them to you….
During the month of December I will be using miles to head to California and Arizona. I will be visiting with MAMADWARF and CRAZYDOGLADYBO as I travel and enjoy the Christmas season.
Our 1st stop to see MAMADWARF in Tracy, California comes with a warm invite and plans in an email from Jan…
I LOVE that you are doing this!! It is soo cool! If you came to Tracy, we could go to one of my favorite Mexican restaurant, Sonia's, then we could go for a walk with my dog, Stitch, which we do every evening. WE walk behind Home depot on Naglee road and around the Ford dealership. Maybe we could go to West Valley Mall and see a movie at the Cinemark 14 theater there or maybe we could go to Carnegie SVRA and ride our quads and our Razor in the hills.
The Brighter Christmas 5k walk or run is held at Eagle Lake in Tracy and benefits over 1000 families with food and gifts for the holiday season and is a definite way to support the needs of the Tracy community this December.
While in Tracy I look forward to having some fun hiking, riding on quads and enjoying some Mexican food with Jan. I also want to try out some of Famous Dave's Barbecue which is said to have great food and gluten free options just for me!! Tracy’s ideal location in Northern California places it within 60 miles of San Francisco and is only 100 from the old Sacramento Wine Country. I may stop and visit these 2 areas but know that I will enjoy visiting with Jan and seeing her town of Tracy all decked out for Christmas. I am hoping to see the Art Deco-style Grand Theater and visit the Tracy Historical Museum, which is in the historic 1937 post office building in the downtown district and houses a collection of historic photographs and artifacts depicting life in the Tracy area in its earliest years. I look forward to Jan and I finding a nice quiet coffee shop, ordering our favorite afternoon refreshment and getting to know each other better as she shares her home town with me. I plan to get in a hike with Jan and her family and know I will enjoy visiting with her daughters who are similar in age to my own. Family time and Christmas go together and I know I will love to participate in Jan’s family traditions while I visit there!
Next we head to see my friend Bo who lives in Prescott, Arizona which is known as “The Christmas Capital” and seems the perfect spot to visit in December. In an email from Bo she writes about my visit…
First thing that comes to mind is that Prescott used to be the territorial capitol. Check out Whiskey Row, it is still called that today. There is a bar top at Matt's Saloon that is an original from the cowboy days. Prescott also has the oldest rodeo in the US. and is the Christmas capitol. You can read about this if you “Google” Prescott square.
Thumb Butte is a well known landmark. There are numerous lakes and trails in this area too. The Peavine is a trail on an old railway track. That is the trail I walked when I started my new "lifestyle". (Barb is hoping that she and Bo can go for a walk here and also looking forward to getting to know Bo’s dogs, Jake and Annie.)
I don't dine out much anymore, most of the local restaurants are good old boy types that serve triple servings! (Bo and I will enjoy cooking some meals together as we both enjoy being creative in the kitchen!!!) There are numerous small shops on the square that are interesting and they are fun to browse.
If you see someone riding by on a horse, well don't be surprised, it still happens occasionally. Val Kilmer's mom lives just a bit into our county. Captain and Tennille reside in our small town too.
While I am there I plan to spend some fun time with Bo and found some tourist attractions I must see… I will enjoy some time on Whiskey road learning about the Wild West and all of the character of that time in history. We will definitely be stopping by Prescott Courthouse Square. This central gathering place used to be the focal point of Prescott's Whiskey Row Street, a bustling southwest district that featured dozens of saloons and bordellos. Maybe Bo and I will get our picture dressed up as “saloon girls”…I’m game if she is!!! I would like to go shopping and plan to stop at "Puttin' on the Hats" to buy my DH a new hat!!! I also look forward to seeing "The Palace", Prescott's most historic saloon and restaurant! On Antique Row I would like to visit the Bashford House and Museum store and look forward to just walking through “Christmas Town” and enjoying the decorations and festivity of the month of December in all its glory…Prescott style!
I am also excited about the next part of my visit to Arizona. I am planning on taking ride to view the eagles and tour some of Arizona on the “The Santa Clause Express”. We will board (I hope Bo want s to come along) 30 miles N.E. of Prescott in Clarkdale and our trip will be with the Verde Canyon Railroad. Our 4 hour round trip excursion is advertised with these words… "The scenery is beautiful, and there is nothing like seeing the bald eagles in their natural environment.” Sounds like an amazing celebration of my virtual bike ride so far.
Next I am off for a visit to the Grand Canyon National Forest about 102 miles from Prescott and will blog to you again when I venture forth to Plymouth, MN and a visit with ERIKO1908! I heard it is cold in January in MN so will be packing my down coat, fuzzy hat and gloves and maybe trading in my bike for a snowmobile but I’m up for the adventure!!!
….We will have traveled 1248 virtual miles during the month of December and if you are keeping track I have accrued 6000 miles and used 417 miles in October, 805 miles in November and that makes my total miles used 2470!!! I have 3530 miles left in my account and will add in my end of December miles and be ready for my next adventure in January. I am trying to accrue enough miles in my “mileage bank account” so that after I am done touring the U.S. and Canada I will have enough miles to head to China and Australia as well as meet a friend in the Tropics for a virtual vacation. Maybe I will even make it to Europe by the time I am done!!! Feeling good about my real miles toward a healthier Barb as well as having fun virtually visiting with so many of you!!! Hope you are enjoying the journey too!!! Smiles Barb
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Virtual Bike Ride Nov 2011
Hi to all my sparkbuddies!!! I have accrued enough miles to head out on the next part of my virtual bike journey and have chosen a motto for my ride:
“You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” Christopher Robin to Pooh
I am off to visit with and share with you my journey to the home town of 1 more of my sparkbuddies and then we will be stopping at 2 of my favorite places along our way as well since my next sparkfriend is quite a few miles away in California and I need to get riding on my bike to get us there…so here goes..
I am riding across the border from Spokane in Washington State to the neighboring state of Idaho. We will enjoy some beautiful views of the mountains as I journey to visit my sparkbuddy, Julieanne who is known as JUJIEFRUIT on Sparkpeople. She lives in Meridian, Idaho and has invited me to stop and stay awhile. We are excited to meet in person and plan to spend some time sharing our love for sewing. She plans to work on a precious quilt top started by her mother before she passed away and I will be sewing a quilt top I am making to celebrate my husband and my anniversary.
When I asked Julieanne for fun ideas about what we should do while I was visiting she shared her thoughts in an e-mail and I thought you would like to hear in her words all the options we have while visiting together and (my thoughts will be noted in brackets) so here goes…
Hi Barb…While visiting me in Meridian we could hike or bike on the greenbelt. There is a great path that goes through downtown Boise along the riverside. There are fun parks along the way, including Kathryn Albertson Park which is a beautiful wildlife sanctuary with paths running through it. While downtown we could also tour the Old Idaho Territorial Penitentiary which "housed many Wild West desperadoes in its time." (I am hoping Julieann and I can get our picture taken here to commemorate my visit…we will look amazing as wild west desperadoes!!)
Oh, and since the greenbelt goes right past Boise State University (Go Broncos!!) we have to stop and see the "smurf turf"--Boise State's blue astroturf. (Barb plans to buy a warm sweatshirt that says Go Broncos when we stop here!!!)
If you're still in the mood for more hiking (of course I am), we could hike up to table rock where there is a huge cross at the top (this sounds amazing).
Ok. We have to go out to eat at least once. Would you rather go to Flying Pie, (which was featured on Drive in's Diners and Dives) a quirky local pizza place with cool and decadent toppings, or are you in the mood for Boise Fry Company--home of every type of french fry (and sauce) imaginable. Or if you want something healthier, we do have a "Bowl of Heaven" which is divine in it's own right. If you stay long enough, we can hit all these places!! Yumm! (Barb says…we will have to do some major hiking in between all these eating stops…sounds Yumm!!)
There is plenty to do here in Boise, it just depends on what you're in the mood for. There are plays we could attend, a zoo, and even some disc golf courses that would be a blast.
I am so thankful for this invite to virtually visit Julieann and especially looking forward to spending the end of this week and the weekend with her...quilting, hiking and enjoying some delicious dining. I am hoping to get to take in her Zumba class with her on Friday, get to know her family and would like to take a day trip to the Snake River birds of prey National Conservation area which has one of the densest population of nesting raptors. I am looking forward to playing disc golf with Julieann’s family at Eagle Island State Park too. We are going to have fun, fun, fun!!!
Next week when I am fully dressed in my “go Broncos” gear I shall have used 285 miles before heading back across the border and across the state of Washington for a stop at my daughters Art Studio on Vashon Island. I will be stopping to pick up my Niece who is visiting for Thanksgiving on a break from college life in Morgan Town, West Virginia. We will enjoy some amazing views of Mt. Rainier and Tacoma as we take the Ferry ride across the Puget Sound, enjoy visiting the quaint down town shops in Vashon, walk along the shoreline and collect shells and maybe even spot some otters at play or a breaching whale. We will stop and see the last home of “Betty McDonald”, author of the “Mrs. Piggle Wiggle stories, a favorite read from childhood and then head to “The Hardware Store” a local restaurant and caterer for lunch. We will enjoy a fun visit with the highlight of our trip saved till last. My daughter will show us all of her newest paintings and we will spend some time reading the article just published about her in a national art magazine. So exciting and such a fun day on my journey! 394 more miles will be used on this portion of my bike ride!
After spending Thanksgiving with my family in my home town of Kent, Washington and cooking Turkey and all the trimmings I will accrue some more miles riding off the pumpkin pie calories and head down to my favorite vacation spot at Cannon Beach, Oregon. I will be using 126 miles to get there and so ready to show you the amazing coastline and views in this special beach town. We will be camping at the Cannon Beach RV resort and I would love it if you came to a hot tub party on the evening of our arrival. We will be dining at Doogers and I will be having salmon, cod or crab cooked to order…what seafood caught fresh today will you order?
We will spend the next few days going for a bike ride past Haystack Rock to Tolovana Beach while listening to crashing waves, enjoying burgers and homebrewed Rootbeer at “Bill’s Tavern”, Hiking to the view point of the Tillamook lighthouse, seeing spectacular views from Ecola Point and walking where Lewis and Clark trod as we visit Indian Beach. We can even take a day trip to the Tillamook Cheese Factory and watch the process of cheese manufacturing. Our trip won’t be complete unless we check the tide charts and head out at low tide to visit starfish and sealife up close and personal and take a hike at Oswald West state park. We must go across the suspension bridge along the way. We also will head into the town of Cannon Beach, walk through the shops, enjoy the local art galleries and taste a made to order crepe at Crepe Neptune. My favorite is made gluten free and filled with melted dark chocolate, strawberries and a scoop of ice cream just before serving. Delicious!!!
Our last evening at Cannon Beach will be spent by campfire singing songs and roasting marshmallows. We will share our favorite memories and make a few smores all with plans to head out for a new adventure in the morning!
We will be heading south to California next and I will update my blog after Thanksgiving with that journey. Hope you are all enjoying coming with me!!
Happy Turkey Day to all of you!!! Hugs Barb
Mileage on this part of my journey...285 + 394 + 126 = 805 miles total Woo Hoo!!
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Hi Sparkfriends!!! I am heading out on my virtual bike tour today and so excited!! I will soon be posting a list of all of my sparkbuddies I am visiting...close to 25 of you have signed up to host me...Hugs and Smiles!!! Today though I am getting started and heading north of my home to visit Cannie50 in Bellingham Washington (98 miles) . I will be stopping in Mt Vernon, Washington (70 miles) to enjoy a dinner of gluten free fish and chips at one of my favorite restaurants, "Trumpeter Public House" and crashing on a friends couch!! Wednesday Morning I will head to Cannie's and meet her for a morning smoothie or coffee at Woods Coffee House in Boulevard Park where we will enjoy a beautiful morning water view! I plan to spend a couple of days with Cannie and enjoy a 50 mile bike tour around the area. She says I should stop for the best salad lunch at Avenue Bread and I have been told I can get a gluten free sandwich at Avellino Bakery and Gluten Free Pizza at Jeckyl and Hyde Deli! I will be stopping at Western, the local University to check out the campus for my daughter and going to stop in a downtown bookstore to get a book to put in my backpack and read along the way on my journey!!! Cannie says that Bellingham is a beautiful city and has lots of fun shops and beautiful views so I will be having a wonderful visit!
Miles for this trip 70 + 28 + 50 = 148 miles
Days for this trip = 2 days for travel and 2 days to just visit!!!
On Saturday Morning I will be heading to Wenatchee where I will be meeting my sparkfriend Linda 49! It is 135 miles to Wenatchee, Washington! Linda and I will then head to visit the Grand Coolee Dam and take a 138 mile trip together to visit Spokane, Washington. We will be visiting her daughter and attending church with her on Sunday as well as going shopping in Wenatchee Next we will head off to take a tour of the Grand Coolee Dam (48 miles away) and stay at the Gold House Bed and Breakfast Inn with breathtaking views of the Dam! We will be going on some hikes and walking across the top of the dam to get in some chatting and exercise time!!! If you google Grandcooleedam.com you can see where we will be!! On Wednesday we will then head to Spokane which is about 90 more miles and stay with friends! We will enjoy a ride on the Looff Carrousel and take an aerial view on the sky ride in River Front Park where we will see Spokane Falls from the air. We will also get our exercise walking along Centennial Trail! Friday night dinner will be fun at Spaghetti Factory where we will indulge ourselves with their gluten free Pasta! We will enjoy a relaxing weekend in Spokane visiting and seeing the sights and I will say good by to Linda as she heads home and I head off into week 3 of my virtual bike tour!!! I will update you then!!! Can you say adventure???
70 miles to Mount Vernon, 28 miles to Bellingham, 50 miles of bike tour around Bellingham, 135 miles to Wenatchee, 48 miles to the Grand Coolee Dam, 90 miles to Spokane, 25 miles of biking in Spokane!
Total Miles: 446 miles ( Earned in 1st week of bike riding!!! 10/23 - 10/30)
Days to earn these miles at 80 minutes per day on my exercise bike = 80 miles I can travel on my virtual tour. I will earn 480 miles per week and take some time to visit with my sparkfriends along the way so sometimes I will be visiting while I am riding to earn miles for the next part of my journey. You can Google all of the places that I am visiting along with me and let me know what you think of my journey!!
I think it will be fun to take you all on my journey and will try to post weekly and let you know how I am doing.
Hugs and Smiles to you all!!! Barb
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