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Gimmewald, Switzerland

The most beautiful and majestic place we've ever been.

Paris, France

By far Adri's most favorite city and monument.

Istanbul, Turkey

The most culture shock worthy and wonderfully diverse city we know.

Cairo, Egypt

Our craziest, most intense story to date.

29 September 2013

New York City and Valley Forge

And, we've been behind... yes, very behind.  So, a quick catch up, although not comprehensive.

We went to New York City one Saturday to test out an efficient way to get there.  There really isn't a truly efficient way to get there, but we wanted to find the least stressful and least expensive way to get there.  Well, based on information from a friend we drove to a bus station in New Jersey that was easy to get to with little traffic, free parking (yes, free!) and only $8 round trip right to basically Times Square.

We walked around for as long as our feet could take it and then went home.  The experiment was successful.  Now the next time we go, we'll be sure to plan more than just seeing if we can get there easily.

Regardless, there are always sites to see in NYC.
This is the church that stood through the 9/11 attacks, literally across the street from where it all happened.  It is called St. Paul's Chapel and has stood since 1766.  It was used as a place of rest and refuge for all those who were working at the 9/11 site to clear the rubble.

This is one of the 2 fountains that is in place of where the original Twin Towers stood.  It was a very humbling place to be, and site to see.  To think what happened there, and in so short of a time, really brought things into perspective.

The above two pictures are at the Brooklyn Bridge.  The last time Adri and I were here it rained on us, so we never went all the way across, but this time we did.  It was fun to have all the other pedestrians crossing and also the bikers as the cars passed by on the lower level of the bridge.

This building was rather mesmerizing.  It is just called New York, and was designed by Frank Gehry.  It is quite impressive to see how it looks like waves all the way up and down the building.  I wish I could have had a more direct view point where I didn't have to look up at it, but it was still rather impressive.

You see a lot of street performers in New York City--from dancers, to musicians, to statues and people in extremely random costumes.  I swear you can see anything in New York City.  This was probably the oddest I have seen.  The whole time we stood there this girl held this guy up with her legs as he moved around into different poses.  I actually saw this girl on the subway to this location, but didn't think anything of it until I saw her laying on the ground holding this guy up.  I wonder if Adri and I could do this and make a little extra money on the side... ?!?

Shortly after going to New York I headed out to California for a work conference and Adri's mom flew to PA.  They ran around for a couple days until I got back, and sadly I don't have any of those pictures. I think they are all on their phones.  But, when I returned we headed to Valley Forge and got a great history lesson.

 This is a monument, the National Memorial Arch, that was built by the Free Masons 1910.

Adri and Kerri hanging out in the outdoor hallway of the Washington Memorial Church.

The above 4 pictures are from the Washington Memorial Church.  It was an incredible church, and I wish I would have had my tripod, because it was poorly lit, so it was harder to get shots without shaking the camera.  But, regardless, it was beautiful.  The big window with all the different stained glass portions is actually a depiction of the life of George Washington.

And, lastly, just some architectural shots that I like of doors and stonework and such.  All around a very beautiful building, with a TON of history.  There was a guy inside talking to us about all the symbolism of different pieces of the chapel, as well as the history in general and how old some of the different pieces are. 

01 September 2013

First triathlon... hopefully not the last...

Some of you may already know that I was training for, and participated in (yes it is important to note I didn't back out) my first triathlon.  Adri has been talking to me for a long time about doing one, and I finally decided that I would do one.  But, I didn't want her to do it with me.  Only because I wanted to see if I even enjoyed it before Adri and I do one together.  So, I convinced a friend of mine, Amos, to join me and we trained and completed it.

I just have to say, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life.  Yet, also one of the most rewarding.

I was able to do a lot of biking and running training, but the swimming... well... let's just say it didn't happen the way I was hoping (the training to begin with).  I tried finding a place that would let me come pay a couple bucks and swim.  But everywhere I looked said I had to sign up for a gym membership to use the pool... but they were like $50 a month plus "activation."  I think I'll pass on that just to swim.  So, I didn't exactly train in the swimming.  Trust me, I will next time.

This is Amos looking all excited about the triathlon.  He kept asking me why I talked him into it.  I told him it was his idea, I just decided to follow through on it, and then hold him to it.  Now he is already asking about when we can do another one.

 Not sure if that is a look of worry, or if I am just stuffing my face with pre-race energy.  Hoping I am just stuffing my face.

Getting ready to get in the water and start my first triathlon ever.  They had everyone broken up into waves... elites, olympic distance, sprint distance, men, women, etc.

Just after I got out of the water Adri was standing right there with the camera snapping away.  I'm just glad she didn't get any of me in the water... it was brutal.  Again, I will find some way to train for the swimming part for my next one.

First transition for me, above, and Amos, with yellow bike.  I was feeling alright at this point, and I felt fine through the whole race.  I just was thinking I could have done better in the swim and not used as much energy.  I think the bike and run would have been better than they were if that were the case.  Regardless, you live and let learn, right?

On my way back in from the bike ride, headed to transition and then out to the run.

The run went well, except the timing ship on my ankle started bothering me quite a bit.  But, as always, I had to finish strong.  I sprinted the last bit quite hard.  I ended up passing a couple people at the last moment and then was going so hard that someone had to catch me on the other end of the finish line so I wouldn't run too far... haha.

Here I am, celebrating with my cool down towel and a cup of gatorade.  Sadly, Adri missed Amos coming in, so we don't have any finishing pictures of him.  But, he still did fantastic!

I'd say that 1:41:18 is not bad for my first ever triathlon, especially considering I didn't train for the swim.  Just gives me something to shoot for next time I participate in a triathlon... and I don't think that is too far away.  Once Adri finishes her marathon we'll both start training together for our first triathlon together.  Wish us luck!