Category Archives: Sites to See

Q: What’s the Best Way to Make Phillies Fans Sit Down and Be Quiet?

A:  Easy.  Hit a home run to tie the game in the 9th inning with 2 outs and 2 strikes on the board.  Then, go on to win the game in the 10th inning by a walk-off run, with bases loaded. 

The silence was deafening when this happened and it was glorious.

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I experienced a lot of firsts today!  First major league baseball game other than my home team, first time seeing National League teams play, first time experiencing a rain delay, and the first time experiencing a Philadelphia team in person.

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Nationals Park attendees were  90% Phillies fans and 10% Nationals fans today.  How this is possible, I have no idea.  I guess a lot of fans drive down from Pennsylvania for weekend games, and DC surely has a strong Philadelphia community, but I was still pretty shocked by how few Nationals fans attended.  Even though the team isn’t the best this year, the stadium is beautiful and has fantastic burgers at a concession stand called Shake Shack.  Those two facts alone should bring more people out, in my opinion.

More times than necessary, a roaring chant of “Let’s Go, Phillies!” erupted in the stadium which led me to pinch myself and make sure that I was still in the nation’s capital.  I think the City of Absurdly Fanatical Love is a more apt nickname for Philadelphia.

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It’s fun to have a new home team to root for.  I’ve got the Rays, Durham Bulls (for minor league), and now the Nats on my list to cheer on.

Some things that made me like the Nationals right away:

– They don’t have rude fans.

– There is a President’s Race during the game when past presidents are resurrected with humongous heads and race around the bases (see above picture).  It’s hysterical.

– An awesome saxophonist played the national anthem and “God Bless America” today — such a great musician and more unique than a singer!

– There are some darn good ball players on the team:  Morse, Zimmerman, Desmond, and Espinosa were my favorites.

– They won!  Maybe I was a good luck charm?

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Q:  What’s sweeter in life than beating the Phillies?

A:  Not much.

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Filed under DC, How-To, Sites to See

Buehler?……Buehler?

I woke up at an ungodly hour to put in a few miles in honor of National Running Day!  My injury has been much better the past couple weeks, so I felt safe running a little.  My trail of choice for a 6am run was the Al Buehler cross-country trail that surrounds the Washington Duke Inn on Duke’s west campus.  My car was one of two when I got there a little before sunrise, and when I left 45 minutes later, there was a line to find a parking spot.  Obviously, it’s the place to be!  Probably because it’s supposed to get up to 98 degrees today (seems like Durham has confused itself with south Florida) and running at 6am provided the best temperature option.

The trail itself is great, with scenic views of the WaDu’s golf course.  However, there are a few hills that no matter how many times I run them, I will always mutter certain 4-letter words under my breath because they are HORRIBLE.  I walked them all today, and even still, they’re a bit ridiculous.  But, among the soft sunlight and chirping birds, I had a very peaceful run.  

Go outside and get a run or walk in today!  Or, read through the list of 10 Ways to Celebrate National Running Day and do the one that’s best for you.  It’ll make you feel good!

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Filed under Duke, Exercise, Holidays, Sites to See, Uncategorized

Doughman is My Homeboy

I am officially one satisfied Doughman volunteer.  The race went off according to schedule on Saturday morning (Mother Nature cooperated!) and I was lucky enough to be stationed at the VIP tent, which was right in the middle of all the action!

From the start line…

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…to the food tables…

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…to the super heroes and hospital patients having gown issues…

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…I saw it all.

I spent my morning serving corndogs, vegetarian tamales, vegan spaghetti and meatballs, lamb sloppy joes, cupcakes, brownies, bread pudding, and popsicles to the VIPs.  And they started eating all this at 8am.  

Not my cup of tea, but hey, Doughman only comes once a year.  The VIPs were smart and bought tickets so they could not only watch the racers, but also eat while the racers ate.  Very cool.

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Here are some of the eats:

CorndogsHuge corndogs from Dain’s Place.  Racers ate a full one, not half.  And a fun fact:  Dain and his team are the founders of The Doughman!

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Vegan Spaghetti and Meatballs from Four Square….as in spaghetti squash, quinoa meatballs, and a tomato salsa sauce.  Really yummy.

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Hello, Gorgeous!  A variety of cupcakes from Nosh and Daisy Cakes.

The foods I missed pictures of were Six Plates’ famous Lamby Joe Sliders, a tamale from Dos Perros, bread pudding from Piedmont, and gourmet popsicles from Locopops.  All in all, a fabulous showing of all the foodie offerings in Durham!

And the best part about volunteering?

Attending the banquet Saturday night that featured even more local restaurants, breweries, and food trucks!  Talk about heaven in a parking lot.

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My favorite items for the night were both from Four Square — a watermelon slice topped with arugula salad and a white bean ratatouille.  (I think that means that I should visit the restaurant soon as I also loved their vegan meatballs from the race!).  All that finished off with a Summer Basil Farmhouse Ale from Fullsteam Brewery (which uses basil from local farmers!) led to a very happy belly.

I think I’m still digesting.  See ya next year, Doughman.

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**If you’re interested in dough-nating to The Doughman, there is still time to do so!  Just click this link, and then on the orange button that says, “Dough-Nate.”  Your money will go to two local charities that help keep kids busy after school by teaching them how to grow an inner-city garden (SEEDS) or design works of art (Seesaw Studio)!

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Filed under Exercise, Sites to See

SatDOUGHday

It’s Doughman day!  The Doughman is an annual charity eating/exercise quadrathlon that brings smiles to the faces of everyone in Downtown Durham.  It is a ridiculously fun day — filled with teams dressed in silly costumes, stuffing local delicacies down their faces and then running, biking, or swimming different portions of the race.  Eating comes before exercise, so the #1 rule in The Doughman is:  DO NOT THROW UP.  If you do, you are disqualified.

I competed last year, and my team and I dressed as Richard Simmons.  We actually won the Best Costume award out of 70 teams!

 

This year, I am volunteering instead due to an injury that’s keeping me out of the race.  But, it will still be fun to see all the teams and be in the midst of the competition.

Have a great SatDOUGHday, and if you want to donate to the causes (two awesome local charities:  SEEDS and See Saw Studios), here’s where you can do so:  http://www.seedsnc.org/.

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Filed under Exercise, Sites to See

Flying High

This weekend I went indoor skydiving at Paraclete XP in Raeford, NC.  It was my second time doing this, the first being at a family reunion in Pigeon Forge, TN, many many years earlier.  I really didn’t remember my first experience that much, so I was excited to try it again with some friends.

The verdict?

SO FUN. 

I’m a little sore still in my shoulders and lower back (so don’t do it if you have any major problems in those areas), but it was so worth it!  Just imagine…you’re in a wind tunnel with your arms and legs extended, and you just float.  It’s quite peaceful.  Of course there are 105+ mile per hour winds engulfing you, but it’s still relaxing. 

And that’s actually the trick to doing this well.  As my instructor said about 20 times during the training session, “Just chill out.  Relax.  And breath.”  Sounds like a yoga class in the air.

If you do “chill out,” you tend to catch on faster.  I did really well according to the instructor and learned how to spin and fly up higher and lower on my own, all within 3 minutes of total flight time. 

The best part?  At the end of my last minute of flying, the instructor asked (or really gestured and mouthed the question to me since I was flying about 15ft. above him and couldn’t hear anything) if I wanted him to take me up to the very top of the tunnel.  Obviously, I mouthed back a “Yes.”

**Side note:  This is probably making my mom really nervous as I have a penchant for jumping (and now flying) down from great heights.  I will never be forgiven for cliff jumping off of 60ft. cliffs in college.  And though I don’t have plans for jumping off ledges anymore, I may have a new love for flying in 56ft. tall wind tunnels.  Sorry, Mom.

Anyway, I said yes to the question, and before I knew it, I was catapulted to the top of this tunnel by 105+ miles per hour winds.

And then dropped.

And then catapulted, again!

And then dropped.

And then catapulted, again!

And then dropped.

My instructor was with me the entire time in the air, and the speed at which this took place was incredible.  Such a rush.

If you want to see what the pros are capable of, here’s a fun video.

I didn’t do any flips or walking on walls like the instructor does here, but who knows…maybe I will one day.  I just won’t tell my mom.

(Kidding.)

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Joie Revisited

I have been absent on this blog for a very, very long time.  I’ve been busy, to say the least, but need to get back to regular posting.  I find it only fitting that I do so after a trip to the location of where I first spotted the painting that now serves as the “Joie de Vivre” header on this blog.

I spent the past 24 hours in Washington D.C. and stayed in the Georgetown section of the city.  After checking in at my hotel, I set out on what turned into a very long jaunt and walked from Georgetown to the White House to the Mall to the Smithsonian and back.  While walking down M Street (the main thoroughfare in Georgetown) on my way back to the hotel, I stumbled upon the Joie de Vivre painting.  I was really happy to find it again, because honestly, I couldn’t have told you the exact location of where I originally took the photo.  I knew it was in Georgetown, but that was it.

Now I know that the painting is at the corner of M and 30th street on the side of a Parisian style café and bakery called La Madelein.

Sometimes re-discovering something is even better than finding it the first time.  There are times when you learn a piece of information, or you find a great photo opportunity, but all the details don’t necessarily stay with you because you’re not ready for them.  Perhaps it’s because you’re too encased with other details to worry about.  Perhaps it’s because the details are too big to comprehend.  But then, you reach a point where the thing you discovered re-presents itself to you, and it clicks.  You notice the artist’s signature.  You notice the jagged crack cutting through the yellow at the top of the painting.  Ultimately, you just pay more attention.  Such was the case with me re-finding this painting on Sunday.

So, going back to the blog.  I hope that I don’t have another extended break like the one I’ve had the past three weeks.  Who knows what life will bring, but hopefully I can keep some semblance of recipes/travel/photos/life experiences coming to those of you who read.  To start you off, here are some photos from my walk. 

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On Top of the World

In case you haven’t heard, it’s Earth Week!  This week (really April 17th – 22nd) is a chance to not just learn more about environmental impacts that you incur on the environment every day, but also to make some changes to make your life better, and hopefully the planet a little better.

I’ve loved this holiday week since elementary school.  Yes, it may be weird, but Earth Day was always one of my favorites!  The highlight of Earth Day came in P.E. class each year.  My school had these huge inflatable Earth balls (and oddly are available for sale on Ebay!).  I would run, jump, and roll onto the top, trying not to fall off as my teachers kept the ball rolling.  As corny as it sounds, I really was on top of the world then, and it was a great feeling. 

Well, I do not get a free Earth Week to just play outside with huge balloons anymore, but I still find ways to celebrate the planet each April.  If you’re looking for a way to make a difference this Earth Week, just make a pledge or attend a local event.  You’ll help raise awareness and probably learn some new things, too.

Another option — just take a walk and marvel at what Mother Nature has to offer.  I went for a walk this evening in the Sarah P. Duke Gardens on campus.  These gardens are one of my very favorite places to visit at Duke, and are absolutely gorgeous this time of year.  Spring is definitely their time to shine. 

Enjoy the pictures!  I was amazed by many of the plants and flowers I saw, and just being able to see, smell, and take photos of them made me feel like I was on top of the world again.

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. 

– Native American Proverb

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Filed under Holidays, Sites to See, Uncategorized