Tag Archives: Tourists

Something New

For someone who complained terribly all summer long about not getting to go running, I turned into a bored runner too quickly.

I suppose it is time as I have been running the same basic route into town and back for over a year now.  This is partly because I have to cross a bridge to get anywhere in town.  As a result, the first 1/2 mile of any run going into town will always be the same.  The houses never change, the trees haven’t changed yet, and it’s the same ol’ streets.

I give big thanks to the Run Smiley Collective (and my blog) for this morning’s run.  Oh, I would have run anyway but I might not have enjoyed it as well as I did.  I reached back into my collective memory for ways to run smiley.  I thought about really looking at the homes and buildings in town that I so happily bragged about and included pictures in earlier posts.  I was also milling about a topic for my blog.   Not having anything new to say about running can be a bit of a downer.


A new landmark popped into my head.  It is famous (sort of) and I never run past it.  I still had to cover the same 1/2 mile going into town but afterward I would move into untested asphalt.   My goal location would provide me with a unique and historic landmark to appreciate and capture.   

Suddenly, the run became fun again. 

Meet the Gemini Giant along Route 66.  On of the last remaining “Muffler Man” of the 1960’s.  Funny that it took me this long to take a picture and post it since this is the most photographed landmark in the area courtesy of tourists travelling the historic Route 66. 

Gemini Giant at the Launching Pad on Route 66

This is not trick photography.  He is bigger than that house. 


2.5 miles barefoot on very rough asphalt, oops… forgot to do the push ups!


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Filed under Barefoot, running, travel

Visitors From A Foreign Land

I’m more tired then a… then a … then a… Ok. I’m tired, let’s just leave it at that. Sunday, my husband’s cousin paid us a visit from Latvia and brought his daughter (and his mother who lives in the States) to meet her cousins for the first time. We spent a quantity of quality time with them.

Before they arrived my mind was a whirl of ideas for showing Meitena what American life is like.  I wanted to take her to Route 66…

Flat Stanley Visits Route 66

and show her the Gemini Giant…

Flat Stanley and The Gemini Giant

For sure we needed to go for ice cream….take a look at the river…visit the boys’ school…bike ride to the park…

In the end, we were just plain tuckered out so, we just showed Meitena a great day in an American home.  Meitena could hardly wait to get into the pool.  She tugged at her dad’s arm during the house tour until he relented.  Formalities mean nothing to a child excited to jump into four feet of wonder.  Once she was in, it was hard to get her out.

We also took them out to dinner at our favorite local restaurant.  Hayden’s Crossing is a marvelous place to eat.  Don’t pass on the pub sticks, the side of veggies, or the mashed potatoes.  Although, it is hard to find room for all of it in my tummy.

Then the kids had a little Sunday drive around the yard.  The gator was given to us about six years ago as a hand-me-down present.  They are really too big for it but they don’t stop driving it.

Hey, hey. You. You. Get into my car.

I didn’t manage a trip to the ice cream shop but, lucky for Meitena, my BIL had delivered my favorite Plainwell Ice Cream from back home just the day before.  I could almost run all the way home for a scoop of their ice cream.  It’s hard to pick one favorite flavor when they have so many delightful ones.  At the top of my list is Chocolate Hazelnut, Pumpkin, Mint Chocolate Chip, Butter Pecan, Lemon Chiffon… maybe I had better save that for another post… Bonus for me that PIC can travel three hours in a car then refreeze like the master ice cream it is.

After ice cream, K-man and Meitena rode up and down the block on our bikes.  Soon, even with the glow necklaces on, it got too dark for riding so they took a late night dip in the pool.  Glow necklaces are always a big hit at night, but they are an even bigger hit in the pool at night.  It took me a while to convince K-man that the hot water of the pool (92 deg F) would not ruin them.

Late night swim by the glow of a necklace

Not willing to let the party end so early, the kids hung out in the family room watching their favorite Disney pre-teen episodes.  Meitena was delighted to get to watch new episodes.  The boys were delighted to stay up until 10:30 pm.  They were not so delightful the next day.

Bedtime wind down

In hind sight, I’m a little sorry I didn’t show her Route 66, but I’ve never seen three kids become such good friends so fast despite some language barriers. Meitena’s English is pretty good but the boys only know a few greetings in Latvian.

The cousin kept us up all hours of the night solving the world’s problems.  I still managed to roll out of bed the next morning to go for another  3 mile VFF run.  The Aunt was up early too and surprised to not only find me awake but sweaty to boot.  Although it was tiring, I could not resist the cool morning air and clear skies (no orange, no green).

Some day, we’ll make the long trip back to the motherland.  I love to travel and really feel a need for the boys to connect with their paternal heritage.  In addition to going over seas again, I plan to visit all 50 states.  So, it got me thinking… if I was visiting your town or your state (or country), what would you show me?

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Filed under cycling, Michigan, running, swimming, Vibram Five Fingers