Friday, April 23, 2010

Mark's 40th Birthday weekend

Kris: This past week we had a few fun things going on.   Last Friday night I bought tickets for Mark for his birthday for us to go see "My Run" which was playing as part of the 2010 Minneapolis/St. Paul Int. Film Festival.  To quote the website the movie was this:

"My Run tells an amazing true tale of two incredible journeys. One took place in 1996, when Terry Hitchcock ran from St. Paul to Atlanta in 75 consecutive days, covering the equivalent of a marathon a day. Terry’s “mega-marathon” was an incredible feat but it wasn’t even close to being his greatest challenge. That began 12 years earlier when Terry’s wife Sue, a woman of incredible warmth and strength, died of breast cancer and Terry suddenly found himself alone raising three small children. That marathon was the tougher journey, one much harder emotionally and spiritually than running 2000 miles from St. Paul to Atlanta."

I would recommend this film to everyone.  It was very well done.  After the screening, we went over to the after party at Zahtar restaurant.   That was a fun little fancy hangout with appetizers, drinks and cake.  The special was the My Run-tini which we were going to get one to share but as we were impatiently waiting at the bar for a bartender, a couple next to us said they ended up having two extra Run-tinis ordered for their table so we could just have them.  Nice, free drinks ;)

The next day was crazy busy.  It started out early with a run at Hyland park.  Mark and I signed up with my friend Mandy and Mark's friend Steve to do the 50k Trail Mix relay race.  We each had to run 7.75 miles on the trails.   It was a beautiful morning for a run and I loved it.   We all wore ZapEvent hats to do a little advertising as well :)  I will detail more of my run experience in a following post on my blog.

Then Mark and I parted ways for the afternoon as I had to go to a baby shower for my good friend Becky and he headed home to work around the house.  But what I told him was that he needed to meet me back at my house at 6:30 for "plans".  Pretty sure he knew it was something relating to his birthday but he didn't know what.   I actually have spent the past few weeks putting together a surprise 40th birthday party for him at my place.   So he got to my place and walked into a crowd of family and friends, obnoxious "Happy 40th" decorations, lots of food and even a pirate cake I had made for him.

Mark: I knew Kris was up to somthing and way in the back of my mind I wonder if she would throw me a suprise party but then I thought that I don't have enough frineds so I dismissed the idea. I was suprised and I guess I do have enough frineds. Thanks Honey!

Kris: The party was so much fun and lasted until well into the evening.   The weather was fantastic so thanks to a borrowed grill, we got to grill for dinner and have some fun telling stories in the fresh air.

Sunday we got to sleep in  (YAAAY!!) well not as much as I would have hoped since the calvary (the dogs, well mostly Truffle) decided we needed to be up for breakfast shortly after 7am.  It was another beautiful day so we just moved slowly, went to our favorite spot for breakfast the Good Day Cafe, then went back to my house to clean up from the night before.   After that we headed back to Mark's to do a few house projects.  His main floor bathroom has been out of commission for quite awhile and due to water damage needs a chunk of the floor replaced so we started tearing into that project.   We got quite a bit of work done before we needed to get cleaned up for our evening plans.

Mark: That project will take a few weekends to finish up. Sigh... I think getting started is the hard part of any project.

Kris: Our evening ended up being a TON of fun out with Mark's brother Michael and his wife Cari.   We started with dinner at OM Restaurant (thanks to Groupon we had $100 in gift certificates that we only paid $50 for)   Food was incredible and we got a good start on the wine here as well ;)

After dinner, we headed over to the Orpheum to see Avenue Q.   That show is a total riot.  Think of Sesame Street puppets but a Rated R version.   Terribly funny!  Especially when we added another glass or two of wine :-P

Mark: Cari is very entertaining when she has some wine!

Kris: Monday we decided we were going to go geocaching after work after a quick run along the river since usually Mark goes geocaching every year for his birthday.  Since our weekends have been so full, we decided this year was just going to be a week night since the weather has been so great.   Well our caching starting out horribly with 2 DNFs!   Our geo-senses and high muggle traffic were making our start quite frustrating!  Luckily we made the find on the 3rd cache and then picked up a nearby Earthcache on the walking bridge over St. Anthony Falls.

Final grab was a quick PnG and we added it to the list since it had a cool coin in it and luckily it was actually there too :)

Tuesday, Mark's actual 40th birthday, we unfortunately were both working all day but I did pick up a few quick groceries the night before so I could cook him breakfast of blueberry pancakes, maple sausages and orange juice :)  I was out for an eye appointment mid day so I picked him up for lunch and we went to a restaurant which is another special spot of ours.   Black Sheep is where we went on our first official date :D and is in between where he works and where I work downtown.

That evening we went to use another Groupon gift certificate to go try out the restaurant Moto-i.  We had $50 to spend there on dinner.

Mark: I really liked Moto-i, the food was very tasty and more then a little bit spicy.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Kris: I managed to forget one of the main photos from the event that I have to post.    Here is "Team Dogs" (aka Mark) signing the log that he attended MOGA which marks his 1,000 geocache find.

Nice job honey ;)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Kris: So we began our MOGA morning pretty early for the Individual Competition. It was a somewhat chilly morning but pretty nice weather for running through the woods. It was 30 caches in 3 hours and we had a pretty good run until about half way through we came upon a cache that was supposed to be hung in a tree. (Mark: Cache #23 and the hint was Christmas Ornament) Unfortunately after about 15 minutes of searching we found it under a bunch of leaves on the ground. We continued on and Mark pulled me to keep moving as my legs were DONE. After the Christmas ornament cache we ended up following along with another “team” of dad and daughter. And to put it nicely….he’s the type of dad you’d hear yelling obscenities at the umpires of a little league game. Way too competitive but maybe you can say it paid off since his daughter did get 1st place in MY age division. (I took second)

We had a short break for lunch and then had to get ready for the 2-man competition. There were quite a few other people down from MN to compete in the 2 or 4 man competitions as well. We started out pretty strong and managed FTF on 4 of the caches which worked out nicely because each one had a MOGA pathtag in them :) And we actually were following along with a 4 and 2 man team of army guys that were there with their sergeant. They were entertaining to follow since they were chanting along while running but not being true “geocachers” kept being amazed at how quickly we could find the containers. (Although we did find out that they didn’t get to decrypt the hints and I think that was our real advantage.) Mark: I was amused by the army guy in fatigues who kept saying "I wanna find one" About half way through the team competition, I was fighting a headache and we crossed a large area of tall brush to Cache #50 and I looked at Mark’s shirt and saw at first glance 3-4 wood ticks crawling on him. Further inspection and freaking out by me we found a number of deer ticks on both of us. We decided that this morning’s competition was great, we found half the caches and 4 pathtags so we were satisfied to call it a day. We found the shortest way out of the woods and proceeded straight to the tent and to the showers. (and yes we found MORE ticks during our pre-shower inspection) I swear I still get the creepy crawlies every time I think about it.

Mark: We did manage to find 15 of the 30 Team Competition caches.In the map below, the red square represents the Individual competition caches and the blue square is the Team competition caches.

After getting cleaned up we headed to dinner (and might I say MOGA supplied us with great food for the weekend) Mark: (I have to agree that the MOGA meal package was one of the best values of the entire weekend. Camping with out the need to bring any food or cooking equipment) where we managed to find quite a few people interested in trading pathtags. Mark: All we had to do was sit down with our blue pathtag drawstring bag and all of the traders came to us. After dinner was the awards ceremony and presentation of next year’s theme and location (Pirates at Rand Lake, Illinois) A handful of MN people got awards. Surprisingly not as many people that come to MOGA do the competition. I managed 2nd in the “Under 30” category (out of 3 :-P) Mark SHOULD have gotten 2nd (sorry honey) and I’ll let him explain….

Mark: Due to the problem with the "Christmas Ornament" cache in the Individual Competition the judges declared that it was missing and told teams that they did not need to find it. Unfortunately after that the cache was found, and I found it as well, but since they declared it as "missing" they were giving credit to all teams for the cache. Had they not declared the cache "missing" then I would have had all 30 finds and moved up to 2nd place since 1st and 2nd did not find the "Christmas Ornament" cache. Oh well....

Gilby4 and his 4-man team took 2nd and Pippin and Mary won the 2-man “Over 50”.

We would have liked to visit the Astronomy club’s setup at the campgrounds in the evening but after dinner we were wiped and headed straight to bed without passing go.

Sunday morning we still had to get up to an alarm for breakfast but luckily it was a bit later. We grabbed some breakfast and then went out to grab the Poker Run caches before lunch. Probably the easiest set of caches I’ve ever done. With the number of people that were going after these the past few days, the paths were worn in and you could just drive down the road and spot them, like this one:

(And yes that little pile of hay at the bottom of the birdfeeder is barely hiding and ammo can)

So now we just packed up, ate lunch and now blogging and planning one more cache grab “The Monolith” before we start the trek home.

Mark: Monolith was quite the hike back into the woods, probably about 3/4 of a mile but it was defiantly worth it and was the capstone of the weekend.

 All in all a really fun weekend with great weather for caching. Definitely looking forward to next year :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Back on the road

Kris: We have a larger write up on the MOGA experience but there is little to NO WiFi anywhere near here so as soon as we get nearer to civilization, I will post but for now here's a sneak peak photo :)

-- Post From My iPhone

Location:U.S. 24,Monroe City,United States

Friday, April 9, 2010

MOGA Friday night

Kris: So we made it down to MOGA in Monroe City, MO. It was a long 8 hours of driving but before we leave Pizza Hut (yeah so much for the diet today it ws pretty much the only option for dinner) and head back to the campsite for bed, I wanted to post a few quick pics from the caches we grabbed on the way down:
The cache container is the lighthouse.

Here's the first MOGA cache. It's a mini Inn by the Monroe City Inn sign.

And my favorite trackable we found when we got to check in...

Her name is (er...was?) DeeDee

So now I have 299 caches logged and Mark is at 999 so tomorrow's attendance at MOGA will mark our 300 and 1000 finds. Excited for both the competitions tomorrow. Please pray I don't come out covered in ticks I hear they are bad down here.

-- Post From My iPhone

Location:Unnamed Rd,Monroe City,United States

topics for next blog

Kris:  So I am desperately looking to catch up real quick on where we are at so I can blog on the go this weekend while we are in MOGA.  We are leaving tomorrow morning (Friday) and heading back on Sunday.   It's going to be about an 8-hour drive.  We picked up 4 caches tonight (we brought Misty along and I think she enjoyed it.  She gets that I'm a big nerd and there is just enough nerd  in her as well to check out this geocaching thing.   We had fun and even picked up a travel bug, tusk.

Mark: Kris forgot to mention that at one of the caches tonight she had to climb up a tree about 50 feet to retrieve the cache. Reminded me alot of another cache a long time ago called Heavenly Garden.

So on the way to MOGA we are planning to get 4 random caches along the way and 4 "directional" caches when we get close.   The reason for the exact numbers is that Mark is going to log MOGA as his 1000 find and I'm going to log it as my 300 find :)

Oh yeah, and a few weeks ago we bought mountain bikes.   Mark already has been a mountain biker but this is going to be a new adventure for me.  We are planning to do some single track riding and train for an off-road triathlon this summer.  I have no idea what I'm doing and very glad I now have insurance :)

And we were floored to walk out the front door on April 2nd and find the flowers were blooming!   Fragrant and beautiful and I think the earliest I've ever seen flower color in MN.

We've gotten into this orienteering stuff and are getting better at working as a team to decide how to best run the courses.   Last weekend we tried out the intermediate orange course and I think we did pretty well except for the first control point.  We totally missed that one but then got on track for the rest of them.  Other than getting really scratched up running through prickly bushes and praying for no tickets, it's a lot of fun ;)

Mark: We didn't do too bad on the Orange course, we even came in 4th and 5th place with Kris posting the fastest split time on the third control point.

And of course we had to grab a few caches around the park before heading home for Easter dinner.    Here's Mark in a tree ;)

After 2 attempts to hide a cache in Eden Prairie and getting denied twice I decided to wander down the trail a little farther and crossed the line into Chanhassen.   We found this GREAT path by accident that looks like possibly an old rail line.  It was a beautiful walk, might get a little more difficult when it grows in in the summer but I really love the location we found for the cache.  I rated the terrain as a 2 but if you take the wrong way in, it's more like a 3-4

And we found this great sign on the way out.   Funny considering how many wild animals probably walk through this area and leave their poop behind :-P

Mark: I see that Kris did not post my picture with that sign ;) Probably a good idea, since little kids might read this post.

Mark also placed his ever cool Stargate cache.   Check out the listing to learn more about what exactly this is all about.  It's pretty cool and is going to help me send a Belgian geocoin back home after 3 years of traveling around the world.

We also have released our first trackable items.  The hopes is that they can make it to Scotland.  Read up on them so learn about their goal :)  Atomic Popsicle and Dazzle Duck

No real updates on wedding plans.   We have exhausted the wedding fairs and expos that have gone on this spring and we have decided we are going to put our deposit down on the Garden Room for our reception.   I'm still very UNdecided and a little stressed about how we are going to recognize our wedding party since we aren't doing the full formal "thing" for our reception.   Ideas accepted, please :)

And I'll leave you with a fun set of "Geocaching Pick Up Lines" I found that gave me a good laugh:

1) Do you cache here often?
2) Ever done a ‘night cache’?
3) Nice camo!
4) Let’s calibrate our GPSrs.
5) Your coordinates or mine?
6) He’s got great stats
7) Would you like to see my trackable collection?
8) What’s your caching name, and how did you choose it?
9) Are you a hider, or a finder?
10) Wanna go on a FTF run with me?
11) TFTD (Thanks For The Date)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Quick update from the road

Kris: Been spending days if not weeks feeling guilty on how far behind our blog is. But I'm not going to fill in the gap right now, just merely fill you in on today.

Weather has been beautiful although today is a little cooler in the 50s right now but the sun is shining and should get to the mid 60s

Headed to REI right now to pick up another compass Mark ordered and see if we can use our 20% coupons on anything. Then it's down to Burnsville for a regular Orienteering event. Without the snow these are much more fun :). And we've been getting the hang of map/terrain reading. Plus we figure this is great practice for MOGA ( geocaching mega event) that we are headed to next weekend in Missouri

Probably not enough time to geocache today since we have to do the event, run 6 miles and then get cleaned up for dinner with Mark's family tonight

Here's my attempt at taking a photo one handed. I look all serious but hey, it's a pic from today :-P

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Eden Prairie,United States

Search This Blog