Archive for the ‘Sports/ Activities’ category

Day 180: Crashing A wedding

July 31, 2011

Movies make everything look glamorous. I believe this to be especially true when it comes to the movie Wedding Crashers. Perfect wedding, perfect crash. Just how it should be. Or not. We’d like to think that we can make our lives, make reality like a movie. But real life is far from the prefect ending, and tonight I found myself far from the perfect wedding.

All dolled-up, but not too flashy to attract attention, Bec, Dana and I arrive at the scene. Hotel Bethlehem, known for their beautiful (and ritzy) weddings, was all abuzz with two wedding receptions underway, one upstairs and one downstairs. We picked this venue based on a previous experience there. Attending a rehearsal dinner, we noticed how easy it would’ve been to slip into one of the reception halls unnoticed. The bars were outside in the lobby, and guests (most half-drunk) were milling all around. If tonight was anything like that, we’d be on the dance floor doing the electric slide with the bride and groom in no time! Unfortunately, that “if” turned into an “if only”- a wish for something that wasn’t.

Enter mean, intimidating, looming, wired, security guards. The minute we walked into the hotel, they had us sniffed out like dogs to a meat bone. I, however, did not know this, and so I was able to enjoy the first 10 minutes of our “scoping out” with a naive sense of anticipation and anxiety. We passed the Johnston wedding and made our way upstairs to see what the Taylor wedding had to offer us. Between the barricaded, closed doors, and the posse of hotel staff lingering outside in the hall, it was clear that we were being offered, well… nothing.

And this was the minute where Dana informed us that we had been and were being watched by the big guys. We were now playing a whole new game. We were in the big leagues.

We headed back downstairs to the Johnston wedding and I started making my way over to the entrance, trying to blend in with the guests in the lobby. The bride was standing right inside the reception hall, making it impossible for us to go all the way in to where the real party was happening. While skimming the “welcoming” table, I read about old Opa, grandfather to the bride, and looked at some pictures. I tried to add my congratulations to the happy couple on their “memory” plate, but the dumb dry-erase marker had run out. It’s too bad. I’m sure the Johnstons would have really appreciated it.

We were trying to figure out how to make our way into the party, when the bride came out into the lobby with some bridesmaids and headed toward the bathroom. Now was our perfect chance to get to the dance floor. And then Bec let out a gasp.

“OH MY GOSH! I know the bride! I know the bride! From work! I can’t go in, what if she sees me? I don’t want anything to happen!” And she was right, of course. What could she say? “Oh hey, how was your time at your wedding? Mine was great. Yea, I unknowingly crashed your wedding. Oops.”? I don’t think so.

All at once, our dreams of the electric slide and pictures with the groomsmen fell to the floor in a puddle of a wedding crash gone wrong. One of us knew one of them! We were doomed. And that wasn’t our only problem.

All the while, the big guys with the earpieces were slowly closing in on us. We escaped the laughing and marital bliss and headed to the bathroom, running into another wedding guest. We started chatting it up with “Betty”.  She asked if we were attending the wedding upstairs to which we quickly replied, “yes”. We sweet-talked her up, telling her that the wedding she was at sounded and probably was way more fun than ours (if the guests we had run into at both were any indication, this was definitely the truth!). She loved it.

She was wearing a glowstick bracelet, which we found out was part of the fun. Apparently the DJ was handing them out and all the guests had them. And then, something beautiful happened. She gave me her bracelet! This was my in! And, it matched my dress!

We happily made our way from the bathroom, Dana and I ready to hit the dance floor with my new, shiny bracelet. Our happiness was short-lived. Walking out of the bathroom, I practically ran head-on into a security guy. Bec and Dana turned back into the bathroom, and I was left to fend for myself. I watched him out of the corner of my eye and acted cool. He went over to the banister overlooking  the lobby and stood there, all nonchalant-like . So… I went over to the banister overlooking the lobby and stood there, all nonchalant-like.

Finally, Bec and Dana made an appearance and we all made our way downstairs, our tail keeping close.

This was not happening. Our crash was over. The guests were great, the music was great, the happy couple looked great, but the dancing? Well, we’ll never know if that was great. But I must say, I would totally be up for having my wedding at Hotel Bethlehem. At least I know the security is tight enough to protect my cake (or ice cream sundae bar:) from any crashers. I’d like to see Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson make it into that one!

P.S. We left our phones in the car, so no pictures were taken. Here is one of me after the fact with my special wedding bracelet!

Thanks for the bracelet, Mr. and Mrs. Johnston! Congrats!

Day 179: 3 Step Hide Knocking

July 29, 2011

This afternoon found me in a stranger’s garden, cowering up against the corner of his house, my feet covered in dirt, my heart racing… hoping I wouldn’t found. I was 3 Step Hide Knocking. If you have never heard of it, you must watch this. It is possibly the funniest thing since the invention of clowns.

Basically, 3 Step Hide-Knocking is this: You get a friend, put a bag over his head, lead him up to a house, ring the doorbell and rip off the bag (and run!). Your friend now has 3 steps he can take before hiding from whoever comes to the door. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

So I tried it. I was the “friend” who had to hide in 3 steps.

Now, if you watched the video above, you’ll see that Hamish and Andy got very daring when it came to hiding. I’ll just tell you right up front, I was not! In fact, I almost chickened out while driving to the first house! It didn’t help that I was sitting in the back of the car with a smelly bag over my head, listening to my sister and friend talk about how crazy this is and what people will think.

Once we got out of the car, we decided to forgo the bag. It would have caused quite a scene with passers-by. Instead, I just closed my eyes. You’ll have to trust me on that one.

So, unfortunately the first house, which was supposed to be the most climactic and nerve-racking, turned out to be a dud. No one was home.

Was I courageous enough to try again? Yes. Ok. With a little coercion, I did.

Against my better judgement, I will encourage you all to try this. It is probably dangerous and not very nice to your “victims”, but what an adrenaline rush! And it’s so fun for your friends to watch.

Here is a video of one house. (After I hide, fast forward to 1:56) It’s not the greatest, because the man didn’t come to the door for like a minute, and when he finally did, he just closed it right away, not seeing me around the corner. I’ll have you know that that minute I was hiding felt like forever.

Another surprising fact: having my sister lead me while my eyes were closed might have been scarier than trying to hide! I am definitely going to have to try this more often.

Ah, what I would give to go 3 Step Hide Knocking with Hamish and Andy…

On a side note: Tomorrow I will be crashing a wedding. I hope that turns out0 wish us luck!

(P.S. DID I MENTION I ONLY HAVE 2 MORE BLOG DAYS LEFT?!?!!?!?!?!)

Day 178:Doing Doughnuts

July 28, 2011

I remember the first and only time I was a passenger in a car that was doing doughnuts, and it was possibly the best time of my life. However, I’ve found that being the driver of the car is a whole different story. At least for me it is.

Tonight, my sister, Bec, came with me as I attempted to do doughnuts (doughnuts with my car… if you didn’t figure that part out yet:). It was somewhat terrifying. I spun my wheel hard and held it, that being the easy part, but I just couldn’t seem to make myself go very fast. I mean… I felt like we were going fast, but Bec was apparently not impressed.

I just felt like my car was going to flip over at any second, sending me skidding across the pavement. And I could hear my tires squealing, and feel them starting to skid. Why in the world would I want to go faster? I wouldn’t!

Here is a video Bec took while I was driving. That little liar told me she was taking a picture! Sorry you can’t see anything, but that makes two of us. I pretty much had my eyes squeezed shut throughout the whole ordeal. (Bec would want you to take note of my little laugh at 0:20)

After trying to coax me to go faster (more like demanding it:), Bec made me switch seats with her so I could experience a “real” doughnut. (My previously mentioned experience was years ago). She sped up the car and then yanked the wheel to the left. I let out a terrified and distressed shriek as my body slammed into the passenger door. I begged her stop as we spun and spun. Finally she complied and I got off the ride.

I think I’ll stick to eating doughnuts, and not driving them.

Day 177: Using a chainsaw

July 28, 2011

Remember when I discovered my love for power tools on Day 23? Yea, I didn’t really remember either. Well, I rediscovered my love for them today when I was introduced to… the chainsaw. (dangerous music plays) Now, while I loved the power I felt while using (and even just holding) the chainsaw, it was still a very scary thing for me.

If you think about it, the chainsaw is a really horrifying invention. It’s a chain that spins so fast it can cut clean through a thick piece of wood in a matter of seconds. How did this come about? In my opinion, any tool that can be used as the primary weapon for a horror movie about torture and killing should not be allowed to be invented and used by man.

I guess my opinion really doesn’t count. Well, you know what they say- “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!” And join them I did.

My friend, Roger, gave me a lesson in chainsaw 101 and supervised me as I cut through some tree branches. Let me tell you, that thing was scary in my hands! If the loud, harsh noise isn’t enough to make you want to hide, then the spinning chain in your hands will definitely get the job done.

It took me a couple of tries before I was able to get the hang of it. I would start to put some pressure on it, pushing it into the wood, but it would start to bounce a little. Instead of taking this as a sign that I needed to apply a little more pressure, I would get nervous, and pull it back a bit, causing it to buck even more. I finally got out the guts to control the darn thing, and was soon cutting enough wood to fuel 10,000 fires! (Total exaggeration)

Once I felt comfortable using the chainsaw, I fo- wait a second… I never felt comfortable using the chainsaw. In fact, putting the chainsaw down didn’t come soon enough!

Once I was done with my lesson, I had to do something girly right away. Roger has an awesome swing set up in one of his trees and I made a beeline for it. Now this was much more my style.

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Day 176: Gathering eggs from a chicken coop (and more!)

July 28, 2011

While I am no snooty city girl, I am certainly not a farmer’s daughter either. I did not grow up milking cows at 4 a.m., I did not have to muck out stalls, and I never had to gather the eggs from the chicken coop. I will admit that I am really glad I haven’t done these things. Not only are they hard work and not that enjoyable, but they also provided me with some great blog experiences.

On Day 112 of this blog, I got to experience milking a cow for the first time, and today… I did my time in the coop. (and, NO, I will not be mucking out stalls!)

My friend, Steve, grew up on a small farm and was willing to take me and show me how to gather eggs. I was pretty excited and slightly nervous about this. I was excited because I could finally share an adventure with Laura Ingalls (Little House on the Prairie, anyone?), but I was nervous because I didn’t want to get my hands pecked at.

When we came upon the chicken coop, I was relieved, but surprised, to see that the chickens were outside attacking the grass and not inside waiting to attack my hands. I somehow visualized having to stick my hand under the chicken to get the eggs. I think I got this picture from a movie. And of course I believe everything I see in movies.

Now, I don’t know why, but every time I stuck my hand in one of the coops, I was afraid something was going to happen. I don’t know if I was expecting something to bite me, crawl on me, squawk at me, or for my hand to hit a pile of poop, but I just felt so timid and cautious. This could also have something to do with the fact that Steve and his wife, Courtney, were standing behind me inspecting my job, taking pictures and, I’m sure, wishing that the chicken nearby would start attacking me or hoping that I would drop an egg.

Thankfully, I collected all the eggs without mishap. When I was done, they both asked me, “Are you sure you got all the eggs?” I was suddenly second-guessing my egg-collecting skills and double-checked each coop. (Are all the individual “cubby holes” called coops? Or is just the whole structure that houses them?)

Anyways, after collecting eggs, I got to hold a little baby rooster and feed the chickens. The baby rooster was obviously the highlight of the experience. On our way out of the chicken coop, we had to walk down a wooden ramp that had little ridges on it to step on. Of course, of all the times to trip, I just had to pick the 3 seconds I was walking down the ramp. I tripped. And up went the milk jug… and down went the milk jug… and all I could see were eggs hitting the ground with big splats!

OK, not really. However, while walking down the ramp, I did mention to Courtney and Steve how awful it would be if that did happen. Then I would have really shared an experience with Laura Ingalls.

I was just starting to really feel like a farm girl, when Steve’s dad asked me if I wanted to dig out some potatoes and onions from the garden to take home. Of course I said yes! It was the perfect way to end my “farm” experience.

I think I just might be ready to marry a cowboy. Maybe.

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Day 175: My miserable attempt at mud sledding.

July 26, 2011

This was one of the biggest firsts-gone-wrong for me.

After watching the movie “Charlie St. Cloud”, I have been very eager to experience mud sledding, and have tried to go the past few months. However, I could never find anyone who wanted to go with me! It seems that my once-adventurous friends have grown up. (I will probably be getting quite a few rebuttals to that statement, but I’ll take my chances:)

Today, with all the rain we got, I figured I would try one last time to round up some sledders. In the end, I found myself alone in my car, making my way to some hills, a pizza box on the seat next to me. Now, I know what you’re probably thinking. “A pizza box?” In my defense, I will tell you that I wasn’t thinking. When I think, I’m quite smart, but when I don’t think… well, let’s just say things can get ugly.

As I was driving, I realized that there might be people running on the trails where I was going, and it would be pretty embarrassing for them to see me sledding down a muddy hill on a pizza box by myself. I could just read their piteous thoughts: “That poor girl, what a weirdo, sledding on a pizza box in mud? And she doesn’t even have any friends!” I panicked for a second, wondering what I would say to passers-by, and then came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t have to say anything. No one would be running on the rainy, muddy trails.

Well, as my luck would have it, the car in front of me pulled into the parking lot. A dog jumped out of the car, followed by two men. I waited for a minute in my car, seeing what direction they were headed, thinking that I could wait until they were out of sight and hit the other side of the trails. But of course, they decide to just hang out in the field by the lot, throwing a ball for the mutt. I sighed and weighed my two options. I could either drive to some not as awesome, but decent hills I knew were on the other side of the trails and keep my dignity, or  I could get out here and say hello to them, while carrying my flattened pizza box across the field in the rain. This was a no- brainer for me. I chose the former and put my car back into drive.

A few minutes later I was sitting on my “sled” at the top of a grassy hill. A friend of mine who had gone mud sledding before had told me that you usually have to create your trail before it gets slippery and muddy, so I assumed that a grassy hill would work with a little patience. I pushed my body forward, waiting for gravity and the slippery grass to do their work. Nothing. Not even a slight slide. OK, I guess she wasn’t kidding about having to create your own trail! I started to push myself down the hill, slowly, my cardboard squeaking as it matted down the grass. I finally got to the bottom and looked back at my worn-down path. The good news was that I made it! The bad news was that my cardboard did not. I picked up the soggy box and realized that it would only last a few more runs and my grassy path would need more than a few runs to get muddy.

I made a quick decision. I would have to go to the hills that were already worn down to mud. I jogged the trails some and came to the steepest hill. It had a long, muddy path worn down the center of it. Perfect! I sat down on my box and pushed my body forward. Again, nothing. I was now getting frustrated. My sled was terrible! What was I thinking bringing a cardboard box? Cardboard softens and breaks! I’m so dumb! I was getting nowhere! And, I was going to miss the Bachelorette!

I tried a few more muddy hills, all unsuccessful. Aside from my first self-powered trip down the grassy hill, I had probably only sledded a total of 5 feet. That’s not even sledding! That’s sitting on a box and just happening to move a bit!

It was a long, embarrassing, defeated walk back to my car. This just might have been the biggest failed attempt my blog life has ever seen.

I blame my mud sledding failure on my friends and family. If I had had some other people with me, we might have actually had a sled made out of plastic to slide on, and we could’ve made a super muddy trail in no time at all. It is all your fault! ;)

But really, it was just pathetic. I fully intend to try mud sledding again. I will not be pathetic.

Day 174: Archery

July 24, 2011

I had my first lesson in archery today! I think Robin Hood would be proud. I was born to shoot things with arrows. It’s too bad that I don’t have my own male version of Miriam to protect and fight for.

Again, this lesson was one of L.L. Bean’s ODS programs, and because I was the only one to sign up for the particular time slot, I had a private lesson!

My favorite part was definitely getting to wear these cool leather protection pieces. I wore one on my right hand, which pulled back the arrow, and on my left arm, which held the bow. Then I got to wear a little bag on my waste to put my arrows in! If only I had had these things when I was little and playing adventure in my backyard all by myself. I felt like a warrior from Braveheart or Lord of the Rings. Too bad Legolas wasn’t my teacher, though. Now that would have been awesome.

It took me a couple of shots before I even hit the foam block that the target was centered on, and then it took me a couple more to actually hit the target. It was harder than I thought it would be! I wasn’t expecting the bow to be so heavy and the string to be so hard to pull back! My arms were tired after the first round… and one of my rounds was only 3 shots! (Half of a normal round.)

By the end of the lesson, all my arrows were hitting the target, and I even got one bullseye! I felt like a warrior princess of the woods. Just call me Saraphina.

Now, my instructor said her husband hunts with a bow and that the tips on those arrows are a lot different. She started going into detail, and I felt like I wanted to throw up. I will admit, though, I would love to get an amateur’s bow and arrow and have target practice on the squirrels in my backyard. But I know if I hit one that I would probably cry.

I’ll just stick to shooting foam blocks with colored targets that remind me of rainbows and puppies and butterflies, and all things beautiful and happy.

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