The day BEFORE the Halfathon

So yesterday I gave you a run down on Michelle and Kim’s great Halfathon.  Those two rocked it beyond belief and I am very proud of them!  But that was Sunday.  The day before was pretty damn eventful as well!

We woke up early Saturday to head south.  The run was in Portland, which is only a little over 3 hours from here.  However, we don’t do things the easy way…

Our plan was to beeline 90 minutes further south of Portland to Corvallis, the home of Oregon State University.  Michelle and I had 2 goals.  One was to drop off her wedding set to be permanently turned into one ring (Not sure how they attach them, but I was told it was NOT with duct tape).  The other was to let Michelle run around the OSU book store.

We got into town before noon and somehow scored a parking spot right across the street from Olufson’s Designs and walked in.  I REALLY need to be better with names, but the lady running the place recognized us right away, and just happened to be the one I worked with to surprise Michelle with the wedding band! If you are in Oregon and ever need jewelry, there is NO one better!

Turns out, after they made the set, they took a picture and it is not in the photo album of the store for all to see.  Shoulda seen Michelle beam when she saw that!

We dropped it off, and moseyed around town.  We were told we had 2 hours at least.  Less than an hour later, we were walking into a store downtown and ran into the same lady!  She told us she was pretty darn sure they had jumped on it quick and it was ready!  (It helps to have the jewelers REALLY like you!)

They did an excellent job!  But we learned when you attach them they can shrink, it needed to be sized up a smidge.  We used that half hour that needed to go to the bookstore.  When we got back, it was ready and we pointed out noses north.

In Portland, the hotel was a madhouse.  10000 people all converging on downtown to pick up their race packets AT the hotel we were staying in.  Luckily it was the other tower.  Unluckily, we were too early to check in, but luckily Kim and company already had!

We moseyed over to their room, dropped off some stuff and went to get the race packets. We descended so deep into the bowels of the hotel. I started looking for whatever the opposite of the pearly gates are; when we finally reached the bottom and the numbers, it was mission accomplished.


We weren’t done yet though.  There were booths galore ALL with the coolest new running and workout gear.  All 5 of us had a blast looking around, but nothing was purchased, that is until the last booth.

Some of the booths were for future events (5 and 10 K’s half and full marathons.) and we stopped at one for the Santa Rosa, CA  2015 marathon (and half).  Well, to be fair, they had wine on the table, which is a weakness foe all of us..

Turns out, it is in August of next year.  If you signed up today, you got a free 2014 shirt (and a 2015 at the race) $10 off the entrance AND the bottle wine.  Hmmmm.  Well the ladies had to ponder this so we moved into the hallway to discuss.  The guy popped out and told us “If you sign up right now, we will also give you 2014 hoodies!”

SOLD!  The ladies signed up, so next August Michelle, Kim and their support crew will be in California Wine country for another run! (This could be bad!)

But the evening wasn’t over with….

After we checked in it was time to eat.  Did I mention 10000 people extra in town.  The places around the hotel were mobbed.  Undaunted, our daring band of misfits entered the fray looking for sustenance.

In our travels, we noticed something.  Here we had a number of people ready to run 13 or 26 miles the next day, but they refused to walk more than a block for food.  We went long, and with the help of our wilderness skills, keen tracking ability and Kim’s smart phone we stumbled on a hole in the wall called Ristorante Roma.  The smell was  amazing, but it was a tiny hole in the wall place, and we were 5.

In a situation like this, there was only one call to make!  We sent in Rob, who has been known to  charm a french fry from a female seagull, to talk to the hostess.  We were soon seated at a table that had a canceled reservation, and ready to order, as long as we promised to be gone in 65 minutes (for the next reservation). Done!

The food was perfect!  Gnocchi for Michelle, I had spaghetti, the others all different dishes, PLUS good wine!

However, aside from Bucca De Beppo, which is served with family platters and everyone helps themselves, I had never eaten with the clan before.  Next thing I knew, Rob reached over to help himself to a bite of my plate.  In this group, they make a point of trying each other’s dinners so they can see what they like the best.

I, as the newest member, had now been fully accepted into the clan!

We were out the door as promised, and went back to the hotels.  The guys were going out, and Michelle convinced me to go.  NOT a good plan!  Watching my Cougs score 59 points at the bar, (and losing) while having 3 beers (After wine, do I remember NOTHING from my college days NEVER mix types of  booze) resulted in two things.

First I spent most of the night sleeping on the floor (why is it the bed spins when I lay down but the floor doesn’t?).  It has been YEARS since I have had this happen, so long ago, I honestly don’t remember when.  I am just sorry it happened that night when Michelle needed sleep.

Secondly I awoke with the WORST hangover in years.  It didn’t stop my support duties, but lord it hurt….

So all in all a VERY eventful first day of an eventful weekend.  We all had a blast and I am very lucky to have married into the close-knit friendship.  Even luckier that they have accepted me with open arms,  Yep, even Mark, though at least once a day I say something that results in this look and a death threat.

15292716476_e47b898d39_oNext year will be a blast!  Once again GREAT job ladies!

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