After 35 years of life, I have a few things to say.

Tag Archives: adventure

Mother nature has a sense of humor.  She can’t decide of it should be cold or hot, wet or dry, or sunny or cloudy.  One minute, it’s bright and vibrant outside with a cool breeze.  The next minute, it’s dark and gloomy, and you can feel the storm coming.  The wind picks up and the chimes begin singing beautifully, and the next thing you know, there is a down pour.  30 minutes later, it’s back to sunny again.  I can’t make up my mind whether camping this weekend would have been a good idea or not.

As it turns out, we decided to stay home this weekend  because the forecast was so bad.  Of course, the current situation is not as bad as the forecast, but I’m still not sure I would want to be out in the woods in this weather either.  Even though we stayed home, I did setup the pop up in the driveway in order to air it out from last weekend, and also to get it ready for next weekend.  So far, the forecast looks good for Memorial Day weekend, so camping is definitely in our forecast as well.

The camper seems to be handling the wind just fine, and I checked the inside this morning to make sure the heavy rain didn’t penetrate.  Everything was still dry, so nothing to worry about.  I re-shocked it with fresh towels, clean dishes, fire starter newspapers, and clean bed linens.  It’s ready to go for the holiday weekend, but I won’t pack it down until it dries out, either tomorrow or Tuesday.  I don’t want to pack it down wet, even if it is just for a few days.  I did that once with a tent, expecting to camp the next weekend, but then when the trip got cancelled, the tent sat in a bag wet for a few weeks and by the time we opened it back up, it was ruined.  I’m not taking that chance with the pop up.  The whole weeks shows sunny, so it should be dry in a day or so.

So regardless of Mother natures plans, next weekend will be a great weekend of camping.  I just hope she remembers that it’s a holiday weekend and that staying dry will make us all happy.

Happy camping.

Simon A.


I promised myself that I would make time to write and even though it is getting pretty late tonight, I intend to keep my word to myself.  It may not be a long post, but it’s going to be from the heart.

It’s been two days since the camping weekend came to a close.  Now that we are back home, we had to catch up on lots of things.  The lawn needed to be cut, the animals needed extra attention, and all the house work was backed up as well.  So needless to say, it has been busy around here.  But I am happy to say that things are looking good now, except the weather.  It has been a gloomy day today, with rain on and off, misty and then downpour. The dogs had to spend the day inside, which I assume is boring for them because there is nothing to bark at except the cat.

The temperature has been very nice and cool, which is great because our A/C is being stupid right now.  We’ve enjoyed having the breeze come through the open windows  and the sound of the rain makes it even better.  It’s a great atmosphere to write.  I would love to set up my writing desk in front of the window, but the room is not the correct configuration for that to happen.  Besides, once the A/C is fixed and summer hits, the windows will be closed and the sounds will be gone.  Then I’ll have to rely on Spotify for my audible motivation and inspiration.

Unlike while camping last weekend, I am now using all my fingers on the keys, making it much easier to type a post.  I know I will be able to take my laptop with me on the next camping adventure, and even though I won’t be able to publish while in the woods, I can type my heart away at speeds thumb typing on the phone can’t match.  So my next promise to myself will be to get my thoughts into a draft before packing up to come home from a trip.  Get my thoughts out while I am still in the atmosphere that inspires the thoughts in the first place.  That would make the most sense I would imagine.  The farther away from nature I get, the more detail I will lose in the creative process.  So while I sit here in bed, feeling the cool breeze from the open window, listening to the crickets and birds from that same window, I remind myself of a few things.  When I find myself lacking inspiration or the mood to put words to paper, all I need to do is simply open a window.  Nature is my inspiration and whether it’s coming from outside my bedroom window or through the canvas and zippers of my pop up camper, it will enable me to keep my promise to myself and just keep writing.


Simon A.

It took a few weeks, but the 2015 MS Tour To Tanglewood Finish Line Photos are online.  Here is Cindy and I crossing the 50 mile mark and ready for lunch.  This is from the 30th Annual Tour To Tanglewood, a National MS Society fundraising event.

Bike MS Tanglewood 2015 Finish-1314

Fall Leaves are here.

With all the rain here lately, I have had the urge to start writing again.  Throughout the entire summer, reading has been my literary activity, from mystery fiction novels, to non-fiction outdoor adventure autobiographies.  It’s been enlightening and enjoyable, but I feel it is time to create my own material for awhile.  I have no theme for this entry as of now, but I just want to get some words on the page.  We’ll see where this goes.

The last time I wrote, my wife and I were training for a marathon, starting guitar lessons, getting ready for the spring season.  Well, many things have changed since then.  For one, the marathon, and more specifically running, has been put on hold indefinitely because I rolled my ankle a few times during training.  The doctor told me to keep it wrapped up and not to run on it for 6 weeks while the tendons healed themselves.  Well, it’s been like 4 months since I saw him and I am still wrapping it and it still gets sore.  I need to go more physical therapy, but for now, it’s only the bike for me.

Guitar lessons started off great and I was learning a lot from a great teacher at a local music store.  I took a few weeks off here and there during the summer for vacations and travel, and then my life seemed to get so busy that the practicing became more of a chore than a hobby.  I still plan to keep practicing and learning, but for now, I have stopped the lessons.  Hopefully I will continue to grow as a player and will get back into lessons soon.

One thing that I did get done these past few months has been traveling and camping.  My family took a trip to NYC earlier this year, and this summer, we drove up to DC to see the sights.  Great memories on both trips.

My wife and I bought a pop-up camping this summer, so that has been our focus most of the summer, and will continue this fall as the weather gets cooler.  I plan to be better with my entries as we get more into the camping life.  To add to the excitement of outdoor life, we upgraded our kayaks to new ones with dry storage, which will make our kayak camping trips easier and well, dryer.  The hammocks dry quickly in the wind, but the sleeping bags stay wet for days, which is not fun when you are in the middle of nowhere.  We have only taken the kayaks out once since we got them, but looking forward to camping on the lake where we can take them out on the lakes like we used to with the old ones.

I know I am not being very detailed about any of these topics, but I just wanted to let all of you know that I am back and plan to post more often.  I will not make any promises about how often or what topics will be posted, but I will do my best and I hope you all enjoy the words that make it to the page.

Talk to you all again soon.


Today is the last day of Week 2 of our 12 week Half Marathon Training Plan.  So far, we have ran close to 25 miles, 12 last week and 13 this week.  It’s going pretty well so far, but I am still doing short walking breaks during the runs, firstly to give my heart a break because it gets up to 187 bpm, depending on my pace.  Secondly to give myself a chance to get some water.  I feel that my heart is getting stronger by the day, and since my weight is dropping as well, it is having to work less to keep me moving.  My breathing is pretty much under control with the help of the Albuterol inhaler.  I no longer wheeze when I run, which I am sure eases the nerves of the person running next to me.  Hopefully I no longer sound like I am going to drop dead at any moment.  I honestly feel better too.  The process is slow, but baby steps is the key to getting me into better shape and event ready.  I am looking forward to crossing the finish line, no matter what the time.  I will be proud of myself just to be able to call myself a Half Marathoner.  Bring it on Week 3.

Raleigh Rock & Roll Marathon - 4/12/15

Raleigh Rock & Roll Marathon – 4/12/15

Today was the first day of our 12 week Half-Marathon training.  The plan actually started yesterday, but since Mondays are “rest” days, today was the official start of this adventure.  Two miles was all that was required today, so it was a quick trip to the gym to knock it out and then head to the hot tub.  The weather was perfect for outside running, but since I need to work on pacing myself, the treadmill will be my best friend for awhile.  Not to worry though because tomorrow is going to be nice too, and I plan to get the bike back on the road for the first time this year.  I hope to see the trees passing me by at 16 mph during lunch tomorrow, while the wind blows through my beard.  🙂

My wife and I signed up for the Raleigh Rock & Roll Marathon many many months ago when we were feeling, ummm, for lack of a better word, I’ll just say crazy.  We were on a high from doing some other races and thought that signing up so far in advance would give us plenty of time to get ready for it.  Well, as the high wore off and other priorities took over, so did training.  You know how that goes.  Anyways, awhile back, we decided that we bit off a little bit more than we could chew, so we opted to training for the half marathon instead.  Now that we are 12 weeks from the event, it’s time to get busy training.  On top of starting to run again, I have also joined my wife in eating low carb, hoping to trim down a little bit before April.  Cycling will help with that as well, so the plan is in place.  Now for the execution, that’s the hard part, at least for me.

The particular running plan we chose has rest days on Mondays and Fridays, run days of Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays (long run), and Sundays (recovery).  Wednesdays, as well as some Fridays, and an option on Sundays, are cross train days.  I will probably be cycling 2 to 3 times a week also, sometimes on run days and sometimes on CT days.  With all this and also eating better should help prepare us to run/jog/walk/crawl/finish our first half marathon.  The best part is that it is a Rock & Roll event, so there will be bands playing at every mile. Smash Mouth is the headliner, so I assume they will be at the Start/Finish Line.  There is no shame for us to have downgraded to a half marathon, even though we signed up and paid for the full 26.2 miles.  It was only $10 less to sign up for the half, so we will only lose $20 total, and that’s well worth it if it means we survive to the finish line.  Our future may have a full marathon in it some day, but not this year.  We are too busy of a family at this point in our lives to commit to the rigorous training schedule required for 26.2 miles.  Maybe after we retire, who knows.  For now, the half is the goal, and for me at least, it is a major challenge, and I look forward to conquering it in Rock & Rock style.  Wish me, and both of us, luck on this new adventure.


Simon A.

My new adventure!!!

My new adventure!!!

Yesterday was my first ukulele lesson at the music store.  My brother-in-law and I went there a little early and tested out the current stock of acoustic guitars while we were waiting for the lesson to start.  I found the 2 that I had been looking at on my previous visit.  They were both calling my name and I had a very hard time choosing between them.  Both of them felt like good matches for me, but in the end, I decided to go with the Epiphone over the Fender.  There were just a few differences, and those differences helped me make my choice.  The neck on the Fender had a glossy finish, whereas the Epiphone had a smooth polished finish.  My thumb slid back and forth better on the Epiphone.  Although I loved the natural wood colors of the Fender, the Sunburst paint job of the Epiphone looked even better in my eyes.  I know that color is not the most important attribute, and it wasn’t in my case either.  I really liked the sound quality of the Epiphone, as well as the on-board tuner and pre-amp.  The strings on both were really low, so that was not a deciding factor, but there was enough positives for me to make my choice.  As you can see the from the picture, it fits me well and I do believe I will enjoy it for years and years.  I’ve already started practicing with it. If anyone has any pointers for a very beginner, drop me a line.  I can use all the help I can get.

The ukulele lesson was ok, but the guitar shopping was the highlight of the trip, if you can’t tell already.  Ha Ha.

Hope to be playing around the campfire this summer.

Simon A.