Monday, July 28, 2014

#381 Shine On

I grew up in a house where after we bought new shoes, the first thing we did before wearing them outside was to shine them.  It came from my dad, who was in the Army Reserve.  He had (and still does) a homemade shoe-shine kit in his bathroom cabinet with different colors of shoe shine, rags and brushes.  To this day I still shine my shoes before wearing them, and I shine them when they get scuffs or water marks on them. 

I believe that shoes say a lot about a person.  It bothers me when someone’s shoes are constantly scuffed or not taken care of.  If you take care of your shoes, they will take care of your feet, and in turn, you will look better.  I would even go so far as to say you will look more polished.  J 

Speaking of taking care of your feet, I also believe that you get what you pay for in terms of shoes.  I admit I have purchased shoes at Pay Less (their sizes go up to 13!) but usually get summer sandals and shoes that won’t get a lot of wear and tear.  They occasionally have leather shoes so I’ve tried to get those when I can.  Normally I shop at Clarks, Nordstrom or online at Zappos.  I gravitate toward well-made, comfortable leather shoes.  I may pay a little more, but they do last. 

So get some shoe shine paste and a soft cloth, and get to work.  Your feet will thank you! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

#380 Sixteen Candles


This year the movie Sixteen Candles turns 30.  Whenever someone asks me what my favorite movie is, I immediately answer, “Sixteen Candles.”  As a child of the 80s, it hits home with me on many levels. 

For those who have never seen this movie (what is wrong with you?!), it’s an iconic John Hughes movie about Samantha Baker’s 16th birthday.  Her family forgets it’s her birthday because they are so stressed about her sister’s impending wedding to an oily bohunk.  Add kooky grandparents and a foreign exchange student to the mix (all staying at the house). 

At school, Samantha has a crush on Jake, who’s a senior and beautiful and doesn’t know she exists.  Jake has a girlfriend, but she’s self-involved and he’s growing tired of her.  I know you want to see it now, right? 

In high school especially, I was the girl who always liked the (tall) guy who didn’t know I existed.  Well, I guess they must have known I existed since I was the tallest kid in school.  But they certainly didn’t like me back in that way.  I still feel like that girl sometimes.  The guys I like usually don’t like me, and I am usually not romantically interested in the guys who do like me (Farmer Ted).  High school never goes away! 

Another similarity to Sam is that I was not in the popular crowd in high school.  (No, I did NOT give my panties to a geek.)  I wouldn’t call myself (or my friends) geeks, but we didn’t go to big parties and mainly hung out at each other’s houses or at Noble Romans on the weekends eating pizza and breadsticks.  With that said, I loved high school.  I had a great group of friends back then.  I’m still close friends with some of them.  I cherish my high school memories and love that there are quality movies out there that represent those times. 

I will always love “Sixteen Candles” and will always think back fondly on my high school days.  It’s a great place to visit but I’m glad I’ve grown up.  And that my boobs finally came in.  Just like Samantha’s  eventually did, I'm sure. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

#379 Bike Virginia 2014 - Eastward Bound!

Last week I was in eastern Virginia participating in the annual Bike Virginia Tour. 

I did this ride in 2009 (Post No. 17) and 2010 (Post No. 93), and although I learned to enjoy it, I vowed to never do it again.  It’s hot.  There are too many people.  I’m usually not in biking shape that early in the summer.  It’s hot.  But when I found out it was going to stop in Williamsburg, I had to do it.  My college roommate, Tammi, moved to Williamsburg in 2009 and I hadn’t seen her since then. 

We spend four nights at Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield, VA.  It’s a nice park, although we bikers didn’t venture too far into the park.  We parked our cars in a big grassy area at the front and camped just inside.  Since our cars were there we drove around for dinner and even drove to Carytown one night.  That was a nice place and TheDaily Kitchen and Bar was great.  Highly recommend!   

We also went to Walmart three days in-a-row.  Steve (I met him on my first Bike VA Tour) needed something Friday so we looked around after breakfast and I ended up buying a new tent.  My 10-something year old Eureka was leaking through the floor and there was rain predicted for the week.  I saw a similar size Coleman that was guaranteed waterproof for $49.99.  Sold!  I love it and it performed well during the week.  Steve bought the Walmart special to test it out and returned it the next day because it leaked through the floor.
Taken by a reporter for the Virginia Gazette
Other bike friends who made this tour were “Little” Linda from North Carolina (guess who is “Big” Linda?), Duane and Andy from Dayton, and Boris from Cleveland.  I met Linda on BRAT (2011?) and the other guys on the Bon Ton Roulette (2012?).  It’s so fun to meet up with everyone on one ride.  (Too many question marks!  I can't remember when I did what these days, and can't even find it in my blog...)

the Lindas!
We rode loops around for four days, then Monday morning packed up to move to Chickahominy Riverfront Park in Williamsburg.  We stayed there two nights and I was able to visit with Tammi and her family in the evenings.  So fun!  Her daughter is heading to West Virginia University in the fall and her son will be a freshman in high school.  Such a great family! 


The Williamsburg area has some nice paved biking trails, although they are still sporadically working on them.  At certain points they would end, only to pick up a mile down the road.  It was nice to get off of the road though.  We also enjoyed walking around Colonial Williamsburg and even took a ferry across the James River.  I saw Jamestown from the ferry but didn’t take time to go in and see it.  Another interesting stop was to see Grant’sheadquarters at City Point.  Very cool. 

After biking back to Pocahontas Wednesday, I took a shower, ate lunch with my biking buddies, and drove to Charlottesville to visit with other friends.  I also had my first Airbnb experience.  I had a private room and bath near the University of Virginia for $85.  I thought it was a great deal.  Kelly and Mary picked me up and we had a lovely evening at the Charlottesville Downtown Mall.  I have been there several times and it’s such a great place.  There's nothing like spending time in a favorite place with two of my favorite people! 

Thursday I drove back home to Indiana.  Another successful bike trip with some bonuses along the way.  This will be my only long bike event of the season.  Even though I vowed to never do this ride again, I’m so glad I changed my mind.