Monthly Archives: July 2007

The Road Trip

Originally uploaded by Jason Archer

Well, it’s been three days since we’ve been back. Grabbing some time here to briefly recap. I’ll title the Flickr pics too so you all can enjoy.
Basically, Micki has been taking two classes toward her Master’s. They are week-long classes. Since we don’t have family in the area to lean on to keep Grace, I decided to take a week off of work to spend with Grace. Take her on a road trip/vacation to invest in her. And alleviate the pressure of having to find two weeks of childcare.

We left last Tuesday night and couldn’t find a campground until we hit Kentucky. We spent the first night at Big Bone Lick State Park. Great campground. Arrived at 10:30pm tired and tried to set up our new tent in the dark. In the morning, we packed up and headed to the bison farm as well as museum. Fun. We then left and met up with Jon Kulaga at Asbury College. Our neighbor who just became Provost at Asbury. He gave us a tour of the campus as well as their home. Fun to see him there. Then we headed from Asbury, KY to Cleveland, TN. Ryan Hulton and his new bride, Keenan, hosted Grace and I in their new home. Ryan was one of Micki and I’s first and favorite teens. He’s all grown up, but still cool as ever. And his wife Keenan was really sweet.

Thursday we headed toward High Point, NC to meet up with the Spriggs family so Grace could hang with Amanda, her best friend since pre-school. She just moved. We stopped in Knoxville, TN, site of IYC, to have lunch with Mary and Terry Darling as well as an old friend and mentor, Oreon Trickey. “O” is on staff at LaSalle St. Church in Chicago, and we already began to make plans to do a family mission trip to serve in the city. After lunch we took a spontaneous detour and found that Knoxville has the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. So, we checked it out and could afford it, so we went. It was really cool. Fun experience. After the WBHOF, we headed to High Point and arrived there in the evening. Reconnected with the Spriggs, and tried to get some sleep for Friday’s adventure.

Friday, we left to drive to Carowinds, a Cedar Point-type park just across the border in South Carolina. Lots of driving to get there and lots of fun there. We had to leave early to get back to High Point so the girls could dress up and head to the Harry Potter release party at Barnes and Noble from 10pm-midnight. We got there at 11 and stayed til 1. Amanda was on a pre-order list so she got hers at 1. We were on the general list and were slated for 3-4AM. So, that didn’t happen. Grace didn’t sleep well that night and we finally dozed off at 4. Got up at 8 to head home.

Saturday we left early and decided to stop in Lexington for the night. We were both wiped out, but I wanted to end the week on a high note. So, we found a cool campsite, the Kentucky Horse Campground, set up early, and headed into town. Found a bookstore with the new Harry Potter book, and had dinner at Waffle House. We then headed back to camp and watched a Harry Potter movie in our tent.

Sunday we got up and were on the road by 10. Took our time getting home and arrived around 5ish. It was good to be home.

We made some fun memories. I left my wallet at the WBHOF, so we wound up having to drive back to Knoxville to pick it up. We put over 2,000 miles on the car. When we were unpacking the tent the first night, exhausted, the first piece of instruction on the tent read, “before you go out on your camping trip, you may want to set the tent up in your yard in daylight so it will be easy the next time.” How ironic. Grace and I laughed at that one as we crawled into our tent after 11. It was also really cool to connect with Dave and Julie and their family. We’re looking forward to visiting sometime in the fall to keep connected with these friends.

Enjoy the pics. If you stop by the house, we’ve got more to share. As well as more stories. Bottom line: It was a great time to invest in Grace and make some deposits in her life. Hoping to make it an annual event. But maybe not a whole week….

Long Way to Go

Long Way to Go
Originally uploaded by Jason Archer

This is the screen cap of my first run. Yes, i’m trying to train for the Chicago Mini-Marathon September 7th. With a leg injury that has kept me out for a month, I’m completely out of shape, heavier than I was a month ago (gained 9 pounds), and feeling a bit overwhelmed. I have six weeks to get up to 10 miles and I can’t run 2 right now. I’m seriously wondering if I have enough time to make a run for finishing. I don’t know.

But I’m going for it.

John Edwards on Gay Marriage

I watched the YouTube Democratic debates on CNN last night and some of the subsequent jibber-jabber on who the “experts” think won the debate. Truthfully, I haven’t been keeping up with who is running (other than Clinton, Obama, and Edwards), but was pleasantly surprised by Chris Dodd and especially Joe Biden. Micki and I were talking about it later that Biden’s respnoses to foreign policy were probably the strongest of everyone. Probably because he’s had the most experience.

But for me, Clinton and Obama are the glamour pics. They were strong. Obabma was a bit shaky from time to time on his answers, but didn’t hurt himself. Clinton was polished. But for me, I think I resonated with John Edwards a bit more than the rest. And I think it’s because I sensed an authenticity and agressivenes to him that I was attracted to. He was set up by the gay marriage question and I love how he opened up and shared what he was really feeling. Then even better how he said he would not use his religious beliefs to drive policy. To me it was strong in its weakness. Opposite from what President Bush broadcasts.

Knowing that it will take a complete miracle for a Republican to win the next election, it was great to hear the candidates answering and not stumping (for the most part). Anderson Cooper did a good job of holding their feet to the fire. And integrating YouTube into the mix was masterful. I hope it becomes the future of how we do presidential debates. Our country. Our voice. I may just submit my own video for consideration for the Republican debates in September.

See the entire debate at CNN or each question broken down at YouTube

What are your thoughts? Impressions? Would love to hear feedback.