Happy 21st Anniversary!

John started a new job in August, and since then he has been asking me (repeatedly) to gather some photos of the two of us to display in his office. So I purchased a frame that would hold 19 photos, and I came home to start picking the ones I wanted to include.

The only problem was, I found over 100.

So I decided to take a different approach. Using Shutterfly, I made two posters that would hold 30 photos each. I love looking at all of these reminders of how much fun we have together.

I’m so lucky to have you as my partner John Hetrick! Thank you for 21 wonderful years, and here’s to (at least) 21 more.

Anniversary Poster Anniversary Poster

See if you can match the place to the picture.

Anchorage Ennis Ireland Lake Bled Slovenia Roatan Honduras
Arusha Tanzania Ennis St Patricks Day Parade Lake Louise Scottsdale
Baltimore Funchal Portugal Lava Tower Tanzania South Beach
Banff Glendale Arizona Ljubljana Castle St Lucia
Buenos Aires Governor’s Arts Awards Madeira, Portugal Summit of Kilimanjaro
Cathedral of Sts Peter and Paul Guadalajara Mexico McNight Gala Superstition Wilderness
Cliffs of Moher Havasupai Falls New Orleans The Concorde Room
Cork Restaurant Inca Trail Peru Olomana Peak Hawaii The Modern Waikiki
Costa Rica Isle of Skye Scotland PF Chang’s Marathon Vancouver
Cross Lake Key West Florida Phoenix Art Museum Fundraiser Venice Italy
Denali National Park Kibo Tanzania Phuket Thailand Waikiki Beach
Denmark KoKo Head Hawaii Prince William Sound Western Breach
Diamond Head Kotor Montenegro Puerto Vallarta Mexico Whiskey Row Half
Dublin Ireland Krka Falls Croatia Recoleta Zanzibar
Dubrovnik Croatia La Récréation Reid’s Palace, Portugal Zion

 

To the Towers

Autumn and Trish

I’m so lucky to have friends who not only want to hang out–they are up for a challenge! So when Autumn and Jeff invited us to enjoy Silent Sunday at South Mountain Park, I said sign me up! We started at the parking lot outside the park entrance and rode up to the radio towers at the top. Then we did a brunch tour to one of my favorite restaurants, St. Francis, and a place I had not tried before, Snooze AM. What a lovely Sunday with friends.

1 Week to Go: Humphrey’s Summit

At this time next week we will be arriving in Amsterdam, and then 2 days after that we’ll be arriving in Arusha, Tanzania. Our fearless guide Kapanya Kitaba has sent us several emails asking us when we are going to stop exercising. He says we need to conserve our energy for the hike. But we have had this Humphrey’s summit planned for some time as a celebration of John’s 45th birthday, so John, Cindy, Larry and I all went up and climbed the highest peak in Arizona. Sorry Kapanya! From now on you are the boss.

Cindy and Larry rented a house out on Hidden Hollow Road, in between downtown Flagstaff and the trailhead, and we all had a lovely evening there Friday night. At around 7:15 Saturday our dogsitter Jean-Paul came to the door. He’s the boyfriend of a former student of mine who is now attending graduate school at Northern Arizona. This brave man stayed with our 5 dogs for almost 8 hours while we drove to the mountain, hiked up & down, then drove home. Jean-Paul gets the true award for stamina today.

The Humphrey’s hike starts at 9,221 and covers just over 10 miles with 5573 elevation gain and 5576 loss. The Humphrey’s summit is 12,633, which is only about 7000 feet lower then the Kilimanjaro summit. But since John and I came from Phoenix, which is about 1300 feet, our total elevation change in less than 12 hours was over 13,000 feet. I’m glad we won’t have to do that again! We’ll have a lot more time to acclimatize while we’re in Africa.

Larry and John synchronizing watches.

The hike to the saddle was a steep but beautifully wooded walk in the woods. Once we hit the saddle we had some lunch. What a beautiful spot for a picnic.

At the saddle at 11,800 feet.

As soon as we started the 1 mile ascent to the summit, though, we were greeted with brutal winds. The trail was also very crowded, which made for lots of stopping to let people navigate up and down the trail.

Cindy taking a breather on the ascent.

After a few false summits, we made it to the top. It was pretty crowded up there but we managed to get some shots of the great views.

Trish & John and a stunning view.
Larry and Cindy and the beautiful view.

So now all that’s left to do is descend! The descent was even windier and more crowded.

Descending

After about 7 hours on the mountain we were back to the trailhead. What a wonderful hike with great friends. Hard to believe we’ll start our Kilimanjaro trek in less than 2 weeks.

Hiking fools.

Raising the Bar

If you have spent any time with me in the last 4 months, you have already heard me gush about how much I enjoy working out at The Bar Fitness every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 6 am.

In January our neighbors Kaylee and Brian invited John and me to try a workout there so one morning we all piled into Brian’s truck and headed over. We walked into the gym and our trainer Ryan greeted us and encouraged us to “look alive, 6 am.” Friends Ross and Daradee were there to cheer us up as well. Between the 6 of us we produced plenty of sweat and I can say I became hooked on the challenge, the camaraderie, and the results.

The workouts involve a warm-up of 2-3 laps around the block. Then Ryan shows the group of 20 brave souls the 10 exercises we will complete in 2 or 3 rotations. These pictures show us doing Marine Rope Jumping Jacks, Treadmill Sprints, Tire Jumps, The Sled, Spin Bike Sprints, and Kettle Bell Swings. Not pictured were some planks Ryan threw in just because he loves us.

Cindy started going to Ryan’s small group training classes, and soon Larry started joining her. Here’s a pic of the Kili crew with our trusted torturer Ryan. Thanks for Raising the Bar on our Kili training, Ryan. We’ll raise a toast to you from the summit.

Ryan, Trish, John, Cindy, Larry at The Bar

3 Weeks to Go

Three weeks from now we will be on a plane to Atlanta, where we’ll board our flight for Europe. The thought evokes sheer panic in me, perhaps because when I imagine leaving, I know I’ll be second guessing all of my packing choices. I think I need to have everything perfect. I’m still missing an item here and there. We ordered prescription sunglasses that will be here in a week or two. I need to decide what to read on the trek and how to read it. Will I carry any books or will I read from my iPhone? Every time I think all the decisions have been made, here come 20 more.

One thing I know I’ve done right is the training. I have logged many miles and climbed many vertical feet. I have really enjoyed my time with Larry and Cindy on the mountain. We have put boots on just about every trail the park has to offer. John hasn’t joined us because he prefers to cover more ground. He likes to knock out 12-16 milers at a brisk pace. His hardest job in Africa will be slowing down to acclimatize as we climb.