Road Trip: Indiana, 2018

I like to run distance races. I used to run marathons, but my marathon-runner sports medicine doctor advised me that I wasn’t doing that any more after my last one in 2015; it was apparently a bad thing that my right knee sounded crunchy for six weeks after the race. Half marathons aren’t banned, and I haven’t had that kind of problem after one of those, so I run them.

Sometimes, I run more than one a weekend. In 2015 and 2016, I completed the Midwest Half and Half Challenge by running both the Wisconsin Half Marathon and the Borgess Run for the Health of It in the same weekend. In 2017, I missed the event due to my ongoing recovery from my 2016 ankle surgery, but I returned to the event in 2018.

I didn’t snap many photos in Kalamazoo, because I’ve spent years there. I hadn’t been to Bloomington or Indianapolis, though, so photographs were required. I have family-level friends in Bloomington, so my trip started early enough to allow me to hang out with them.

The real queen of the house in Bloomington is Pearl. She’s a lovely gray-and-white cat with lots of attitude and a solid vocabulary. Pearl is amazing, and here she is:

Bloomington has a lot of great eats and fun places to go. Here are a few of my favorites from the trip.

The Owlery in Bloomington has legit vegetarian poutine, and it is delicious.

This bridge carries the B Line Trail over 3rd Street.

This coffee shop is both excellent and located right along the B Line.

Look at this beauty of an espresso machine! The folks at Hopscotch couldn’t bring themselves to part with it.

Bloomington was fun, and seeing my friends was even more fun, but I had to move on to Indianapolis for race day #1. I didn’t get around much, given that I had a race the next morning, but I had some great views from my hotel room.

White River State Park

All in all, it was a great trip, and I can’t wait until my next visit to both cities.

The Month in Cats: April 2018

This update is late, but whatever.

Gobo loves shoes and feet and smelly things. He’s so weird.

Gobo also loves the heat vent. Maybe he’s not so weird.

Apparently, Wembley decided to hang out by the bathroom door while I showered. When I opened the door, this scene greeted me.

Wembley is overly dramatic.

Wembley also likes to see if his dramatic reactions have any effect.

Wembley is round, y’all. He’s been on a diet, and it’s had some positive effects, but it’s still a work in progress.

Sleepy kitty.

Look at all those toes!

Cats don’t need two eyes to be awesome cats.

The eye of the Ursula is upon you.

She’s a little round.

Old Photographs: Mostly Cats, Plus Some Other Things

I’m continuing to work my way through photos from the last few years, rediscovering some fun moments, attractive scenes, and my cats. Enjoy!

I would say that Wembley was surveying his domain, but he’s not really brave enough to hold territory.

Spice Girls lyrics always make me happy. Don’t judge.

Ursula works hard to keep up her appearance.

Gobo always has such a serious look about him.

When we lived in Marshall, Wembley loved that spot on the stairs.

Running in Lansing often offers wonderful views.

Photos: Cats, a Squirrel, Tater Tots, and a Mailbox

Our cats are particularly brave when they are protected from the outside world by a pane of glass. Here, they’re aggressively stalking a squirrel. The squirrel is completely unconcerned by the felines who are aggressively … ummm … “pursuing” him.

Cats: “We’re really aggressive!” Squirrel: “Yawn.”

Long out of service, this is the best mailbox ever produced. It is not the droid you’re looking for, though.

Minor League Baseball games are pretty much all great.

When you add cheesy tots to Minor League Baseball, it’s pretty much an unstoppable evening.

Wembley occasionally looks very regal.

Gobo is basically the only lap cat in the house.

Wembley lying on his back is the best Wembley.

The Month in Cats: March 2018

My wife and I share the house with three cats. They’re great. They’re also perfectly defective, each in her/his own unique way. Here are some of their better (?) moments from March 2018.

It’s pretty obvious that Wembley was asleep until right before I got home. Note the ruffled fur atop his sleepy little head.

Hunger + anger = hanger

Ursula’s face is curious, sweet, and intimidating all at once. She can take care of herself. She also likes the nook she’s found in the cat tower.

I’m not sure who did this, or how, but the football ended up on top of the can of cat food with the closet door closed.

Ursula was curious about the box in my hand. Also, I love the way her whiskers go all over the place.

She can be so dignified sometimes … assuming you ignore her permanently rumpled whiskers.

I do have three cats. One of them, Gobo, spent most of the month curled up on a heat vent. I think he was responsible for the getting the football in the closet, though.

Road Trip: Georgia/Alabama, 2014 – Part 3

Here are a few more photos from this Southern adventure.

My sister’s cat, Phoebe, is amazing and cranky all at the same time. She adopted my sister, literally — she got in the car and wouldn’t get out.

Toe beans.

I ran a half marathon the last day I was in Alabama; amazingly enough, I finished second in my age group and (if memory serves) seventh overall.

That’s all for this trip! If you enjoyed these photos, you can find the rest of the highlights here and here.

Road Trip: Georgia/Alabama, 2014 – Part 1

In November/December 2014, my wife and I traveled to see family in Alabama and Georgia. We started in Georgia, seeing my adopted big sister and her family.

My amazing relationship with Stacey, Patrick, and Noah are proof positive that you can choose family, too.

There’s always a pet or three in their home, and my favorite is Turkey. That cat is not smart, but he’s a good-looking guy.

As the adage says, he fits, so he sits.

Aside from our hosts, the highlight of the first stage of the trip was a visit to Old Mill Park in Roswell, Georgia. The park is full of history and natural beauty.

One of the many old structures standing in the park.

Part of the old mill

Covered bridge over Big Creek

I’m sure Bob Ross would have considered this to be a happy little waterfall.

Mill race to serve the mill that used to be in service next to Big Creek

The water was still enough in places to serve as a mirror.

Looking back toward the waterfall.

You can find more photos from this trip here and here.

Road Trip: Marquette, 2014

In August 2014, I was part of a quick trip to Marquette, Michigan. It was a quick trip, but it nonetheless took me to several interesting places. Because of the distance involved, the trip north involved a few stops; my favorite was in Clare.

Cops and Doughnuts

Cops and Doughnuts has never disappointed. The baked goods are always excellent, and the staff are always friendly. The shop’s existence is also a great story, with the city’s police officers having bought the bakery when it was at risk of closure. If you’re in the area, it’s definitely worth a stop.

Things got historic in the Upper Peninsula. There are so many amazing sites to visit, and I always feel like I missed so much even when I visit a lot of different places. The ore dock in the lower harbor is one of the great landmarks in the entire UP, in my humble opinion.

Lower Harbor Ore Dock, Marquette, Michigan

Engine House #3 at the Cleveland Mine, Ishpeming, Michigan

Michigan Iron Industry Museum, Negaunee Township, Michigan

The Iron Ore Heritage Trail offers some great views. This one is in Negaunee Township, Michigan.

All trips end one way or another. This one ended with Wembley doing Wembley things in my suitcase after I had (mostly) unpacked it.

He’s so very special.

Non-Road Trip: Alabama, 2016

In June, 2016, I traveled down to Alabama to help take care of my mom while she recovered from a knee replacement. Normally, I would have driven to Alabama, but my doctor discouraged that, given that I had surgery scheduled a little more than a month from when the trip started. So, I flew to and from Alabama, making this a non-road trip, even if I did some driving while in Alabama. I still took photos of things during my travels, because that’s just what I do.

When this trip took place, we didn’t have Chick-fil-A restaurants popping up all over Michigan, so this sign was a welcome sight, because I knew waffle fries were in my immediate future.

This is the post office I visited when I was growing up.

This is Phoebe. She allows my sister and brother-in-law to live with her.

She also felt the need to carefully inspect my camera.

The folks who named this place were doing it right.

It was nice to explore a bit of history while awaiting my flight home.

This is Fisherman by Frank Fleming.

My mom sent me home with toys for the cats. Here, Wembley shows his approval.