Thursday, August 17, 2017

LumiSnow, Dallas

I follow a lady on Instagram whose husband opened a dessert restaurant in Dallas called, LumiSnow.  It is a shaved ice cream dessert restaurant, kind of like shaved ice, but with ice cream and crazy toppings. 

After my conference I went to dinner with my friends Clarissa and Chelsea. I haven’t seen Chelsea since New Year’s a few years ago so I wanted to catch up with her about her new baby!!!  We stopped for pizza first and then Clarissa and I went for ice cream.

I mean, look at these flavors!  I got s’mores and Clarissa got Circus.

I didn’t know what to expect, but it was delicious.  The place was packed but it did take a while to have the desserts come out.  I guess it’s a lengthy process, but we seriously waited for 40 minutes.  So be prepared to spend some time there.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Kali and Steph’s Week of Fun

My parents went to Cabo for a vacation with friends and asked me to watch my niece Kali while they were away all week.  I went out of town the Friday before to Dallas for Mary Kay’s seminar and wouldn’t be back until Monday afternoon/evening so my older sister, Laura, watched her while I was gone. 

They wore her out playing so hard while she was there and she didn’t wake up the next day until about 10:30.  It. Was. Awesome.  I could sleep in to because I hadn’t gotten much sleep while I was out of town either. 

We had a jam packed week ahead of us and something to do every day so we wouldn’t get bored.  I didn’t want to play kitchen and watch PJ Mask all week, so I scheduled other activities.  I nicknamed this week as #KaliandStephsWeekOfFun.

Tuesday we went to the local library for pre-school story time.  I don’t think Kali had ever been to the library because she was in awe of all the books (she loves books).  Story time featured a few books read to us, songs sang, and two crafts.

After story time was over we went across the street to a bunny event.  They had a group seminar where you could pet a real bunny!  First you had to listen to a speaker talk about bunny care.  Did you know that carrots are like candy bars for bunnies?!?!  I had no idea.  They gave each child a bunny figure to put on their shoulder. 

It is hard for a bunch of kids to sit through a presentation about bunnies, but Kali did not want to leave until she petted a bunny.  She got to pet two of them and then she was ready to leave.  She was so determined to pet that bunny.  Afterwards we went to Wal-Mart to order her birthday cake (more later) and get our nails done.

I’ve taken Kali to get her nails done twice before, so I knew she would like it. She chose pink glitter for her nails since pink is her favorite color.  I got a candy apple color. 

Wednesday was the jumpy place and the pool.  My sister and nephew met us at a local jumpy place so the kids could play.  I thought it was a trampoline park but it was an inflatable one instead.  Later that night we went swimming in my parent’s pool.

Thursday was spent at the Kemah Lighthouse Maze (see this post).

Friday was just a day hanging out at home making cookies. 

I had bought some PJ Masks cookie cutters off Etsy, but they didn’t work out very well.  We just made them into blobs instead.  My parents got home around 6 PM and were greeted at the door with a 4 year old, a bratty dog, and a upside down welcome sign that Kali drew (I wrote the words).  They were all excited to see each other.  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Kemah Lighthouse Maze

I have wanted to go to the Kemah Lighthouse Maze ever since I did the Toughest 10K Kemah run last year.  Several people wanted to go, but our schedules just couldn’t match up and time went on.  I had mentioned it to my church small group as an activity too, and they planned it as a teen outing instead and asked me to be a chaperone.  Yay!! I finally get to go to this thing!!!

I had my niece that week so she was able to go too.  She wanted to “beat everyone” because she is “so fast”. LOL. 

Since I wasn’t sure how long an almost 4 year old would last at a maze plus concert afterward (every Thursday during the summer the Kemah Boardwalk has a concert), I decided that I would drive separately and meet them there.  We left around 2 PM to beat the traffic but stopped at a special place first.

My sister had told me about this place called Brain Freeze in Pasadena off of Preston that had amazing frozen treats.  I showed the FB page to Kali and she of course wanted to go there. We got there and I wanted to get a smaller version of the drink but Kali wanted to “beautiful one like the picture” from earlier.  OK then.  I can’t say no to that little face. LOL. I’m a push over.

Brain Freeze only takes cash so be aware of that.  We waited around for about 30+ minutes before it was ready and there was no one else in line.  I mean, the creations are HUGE and take a little while to make, but the wait time is looooooooong.  It seems even longer with a four year old. 

When this came out Kali’s face was like “whoa!”  Kali is allergic to strawberry (artificial or natural) so they had to alter it a bit.  Normally this one is full of strawberry candy and is even more colorful, but they were able to work around her allergy.  Just ask them!  They are super accommodating.  We ate a little bit, but there is only so much you can eat before you had to stop.  Luckily they have some to-go containers where I was able to take some of the candy home. 

We headed to Kemah afterwards to meet up with the group. They split us up into two teams and everyone got their own punch card to go through the maze.  I thought it was just a maze but it turns out that you have to find five letters throughout the maze and get your card punched.  Kali was so cute running through the maze like a mad woman looking for the blocks.  She was SO excited when we found a letter. 

The last letter was difficult to find but we finally made it out of there.  We got a small toy when we finished for “beating” everyone.  We were actually about 5 minutes slower than the fastest team, but she doesn’t know that. LOL.  We were waiting for the rest of the group when she asked to do it again.  I asked if we can just walk through again and they said sure. I just pretended to punch a card since it was mainly to keep her busy while waiting.  The rest of the week she kept asking to go back there.  I think she liked it.

After the maze we went to the concert area (the Boardwalk) and walked around.  4 year olds don’t really like to sit still and watch concerts so we walked around and found the train.  We waved to everyone like we were princesses. :)

She promptly fell asleep on the way home. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

One Life

There are two parts to this blog post.  One is a lot heavier than the other.  It’s your choice if you don’t want to read the other half.   I just had to get it off my chest because it hurts and I’m tired.  I have a few more blog posts coming up that are MUCH lighter in the next few days, so I will return to writing about my ONE LIFE tomorrow.

One Life-Part one
I believe we all get one shot at this thing called Life.  That’s it.  One.  I believe that once we are done there is one of two places that we go and we don’t get a 2nd chance.  So why aren’t we running at the things we dream of?  Doing the things we dream of seeing?  Loving the people we dream of loving?  Eating what we wish to eat? Taking risks and chances?   Chasing dreams?

I always try to write about my bucket list experiences that I complete, big or small.  (I will admit some do take a while to be written. Haha #badblogger) It always makes me so sad to hear of a young person who died or even someone in their 50’s who died. 

Chances are the old person is waiting on retirement, but what happens if you get to retirement and your knees won’t get you to the top of that mountain you have dreamed of climbing?  What happens if your finances are wiped out?  What happens if the person you want to retire with isn’t around?  What happens if you aren’t around?

Chances are they didn’t do everything on their bucket list, or chances are greater that they didn’t have a list at all, just a couple of sentences that were spoken of “one day”. 

One day is TODAY!!  Don’t wait until you are retired to go anywhere.  Plan them for THIS YEAR.  Big or small, something that you have wanted to do is not too expensive that you can do this month (or sooner!).

Yeah, yeah, but….I’ve got bills…Work is too busy…My kids are too young…My kids need me…My work needs me…I don’t have anyone to go with…It’s too expensive…I’m too old…I’m too young…My husband/wife doesn’t want to go….

NO!  No buts.  Do something that you will remember years from now.  Life is way too short to wait. 

When I turned 29 I realized that I was full of a lot of “buts”.  I hadn’t really done much in my life.  I made my 30 under 30 list and did them! And then I made a bucket list afterwards.  I am slowly but surely checking them off, one by one.  I hope to finish all of them, but only God knows which ones I will complete before I am taken to Heaven.  As I get older, I am holding mortality in a much higher regard. 

If you need help with your list, look at mine.  I would LOVE to help you do some of them! :)

*Note, I’m not encouraging going into tons of debt to pay for that dream vacation!  I’m just saying to chase your dreams.

On Addictions-Part Two
I don’t talk about this situation much because it makes me so sad.  My real dad is an addict and has relapsed once again.  I have been dealing with it the past 35 years and I’m tired.  For 35 years I have had to watch him struggle to get his demons in control, and watch him hurt the people I love.  Don’t get me wrong, his demons are very real and they are painful. He had a very rough childhood.  I only know a short number of his memories and I can see why they are real and painful.    I know he is the hardest on himself though.

Any day now I wouldn’t be surprised to hear my dad had a heart attack due to his meth use (oh wait, he already did that) or hurt someone (did that many times), went off on someone (ditto), over dosed (thankfully, not yet), etc.  He was recently in an accident while on meth and broke both of his feet, and shattered one of them.  When you deal with someone you love having a major addiction for 35 years, you become numb to hearing it all. 

I can cry and stress about it, but until he controls it for himself, it won’t do you any good to try to help. HE has to make the decision to change.

You also have to realize that you aren’t just hurting yourself, you are hurting the ones you love.  My earliest memory is being pushed against a wall and being screamed at because I did something (don’t remember what).  I rolled my head to the side to look at my mom and sister, just holding hands because they couldn’t do anything.  That is my very first memory.  No child should have to deal with that.

My pretend used to be cutting lines of cocaine and snorting them.  True story.  I was less than 4. 

We all have our demons and addictions.  I am clearly addicted to food.  It is something I can control.  Being a child of an addict, you don’t have much control (actually, being a child, you don’t have much control).  Luckily, I had my awesome mother to snap out of it and get us out. I have to make the decision to change myself.  My life is my life. I am in control of my decisions and heart breaks.  You have to want to take control, you kids for darn sure can’t make you want to change.

God has blessed you with kids or other people in your life, don’t you want to change to see them hit their dreams and goals?  If you are an addict (whatever addiction), would you want your kids to have the same addiction as you?  Probably not, so why do it to yourself? 

The thing is, my dad is the coolest person.  Everyone LOVES him the 2nd you meet him...that is when he's not on Meth.  He's an angry, controlling, paranoid person when he does drugs.  I only bring people around when he's not using because no one should be exposed to that.

When I was in college I hardly partied, ever.  I realized a few years ago that it was because I like being in control.  I don’t want to get messed up and not remember what I did.  That makes me so scared and doesn’t sound fun at all.  Even to this day I hardly drink and haven’t touched drugs.  I know I have an addicted personality that could easily spiral out of control.  People still ask me why I don’t drink, but I rarely say why.

Take control of YOUR life today.  Get a handle on those addictions like smoking, drinking, drugs, sex, porn, gambling, Pokemon (IDK), or other addictions that are holding you back.  It’s not easy.  I get it, but you don’t want to be dying from a meth overdose and look back at your life you messed up because of your addictions.  People are counting on you.

You get ONE LIFE.  Just one.  Don’t waste it on "some day's" and addictions.  I am begging you.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Mom's Birthday-Hello Fresh Delivery

So, my Mom's birthday is in September and she mentioned she wanted to try a service like Blue Apron one day.  I made a mental note and moved on.  My friend on Facebook is working with a marketing company to promote Hello Fresh and had a 50% off coupon.  She was in a contest to win a trip to NYC if she sold three within a few hours so I talked to her and said that I wanted to wait until September because of my mom's birthday, but if I can buy it now and save it until September, I would do that.

She said it was no problem and that she would set a reminder to push it back to September so it wouldn't come early.  Well, last Thursday I got an email saying that the box was on it's way and would be delivered tomorrow.  Wait, what?!  I messaged my friend and she said she would take care of it but I never heard from her again that day, even after me asking for an update several times.  I called Hello Fresh myself to see if it can be stopped but they said it couldn't be stopped because it was already out for delivery.

Luckily, I explained the situation to a manager as to why I didn't want the box now and how I didn't even get a chance to pick out the food!  He said he could not cancel the delivery but could refund my money and cancel my subscription.  I had planned on having a 2nd delivery but I was so aggravated that I cancelled it.

That night when I got to my parents house (I had to house sit the next day so I came the night before) on Thursday I told my mom that her birthday present would be delivered the next day and I didn't get to pick it out.  I wasn't going to tell her what it was at first but she wanted to know why I didn't pick it out.  I just told her because I couldn't keep it a secret any longer.  (Any longer as in the few days I had had this set up. LOL).  She was excited but wish she could have chosen the meals.  I agreed but I didn't have any choice.

So on Friday a box was delivered to the front door for free that had three meals in with enough servings for 6 people.  The selections were:  Sizzling Southwestern Chicken, Italian Meatloaf, and Cherry Balsamic Pork Chops.

We decided to have two that night for dinner (I ate the veggies), the chicken and the pork chops.  We had a helper helping us.

Super cute helper, Kali Claire

The meals come with simple instructions on how to create each meal.  There is usually a meat and a side dish, all in perfectly portioned sizes.  I don't have a final product picture, but this is what it looked like.

The meals were fantastic and super simple to prepare.  I loved how just enough of everything you needed was included (besides things like S&P, olive oil, etc), they even sent little things of balsamic and cherry jelly (see above pic for the tiny sizes!).

My parents had been wanting to try it but were afraid that the meals wouldn't be good.  Trying this out (for free! haha) really made them interested and they might sign up soon.

Try it (or one of the competitors)!  I don't have any coupon codes or anything to give you, but there might be some online.

Make Origami Animals

I have wanted to learn Origami for awhile now so I decided to look for a class.  I found one at The Path of Tea every Thursday at 2 PM for only $10.  I have been trying to go for a few weeks now, but things kept coming up and I couldn't make it.  My schedule is flexible so I can go during the day.

I got there and ordered some strawberry green tea.  'Twas delicious!  I don't really like hot drinks but they were able to brew it hot and then put it over ice.

We started simply with plain origami paper.  I had no idea there was even such thing as origami paper, but apparently there's a lot of options.  Deborah (the teacher) said sometimes it's hard to find your folds on the fancier papers, so you need to start with simple, plain paper while you learn.

There were some great mobiles all over the tea room and I wanted one!  I almost got one in Africa a few years ago, but I didn't have much space in my luggage.  There is a world-wide mercantile place in Galveston on the Strand that I saw them at, but I did not buy it.  So, I've been looking for it for awhile now.  I will just have to make one now that I'm an "expert" at origami.  Ha!

We ended up folding a bird two different ways.  It was basically the same except the way the tail went.

Let me tell you, it's not as easy as folding paper. I mean, I guess it is that simple, but it is NOT EASY!  There were flips and turns and oh my.  My brain had a hard time, but at least I can say I did a bucket list item and tried it!

We also folded a dollar bill into a heart!  Wouldn't it be cool to have a dollar bill mobile?  Or $100 bill mobile! Haha.  Maybe....

Will I go again.  Maybe but probably not, I wasn't that interested.  I do want a mobile though!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Washington DC Day 2

Here's another recap of D.C.  It was another loooooooong day. :)

We were up and about early on Wednesday to finish our to-do list.  Our feet were aching but we had to make the best of our time in the city since we only had two short days there.  We were dropped off at the train station again and were in DC at about 9 AM.

Our first stop was the Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument and were one of the first to enter the doors.  One of my favorite movies is Iron Jawed Angels and it is based on the Women's Suffrage Movement and tells about Alice Paul and other women who helped earn the vote for women.  Since it is one of my favorite movies, naturally I wanted to see the museum. It turns out that the museum was an old house that they used during the "fight" for the Equal Rights Amendment.  How cool is that?!  Alice Paul actually lived there at one time!

I loved this museum and wish I had more time to spend there.  There were old artifacts, newspaper cartoons, old furniture (even an old desk that I think was Alice Paul's and Susan B. Anthony's!!!), quotes, old banners, etc. that were used during that time.  I liked that it wasn't all Suffrage stuff (even though I loved that), it had Equal Rights Amendment era stuff too.  Please go there when you visit the DC area.  This place was a highlight of my trip.

 After the Women's Museum we headed down to the Smithsonian Zoo.  Normally I am not a zoo kind of person, but there are only two places (that I have found at least) that have a flamingo carousel, and one of them is in DC at the zoo so of course I had to go!  (The other is in Detroit and I'm never going there if I can possibly help it. LOL). Bucket list, check!

Apparently there are some "famous" panda bears or something at the zoo but they weren't out when we were there.  I wasn't too impressed by this zoo (I might have just gone on a slow day), except for the apes that went above your head on a wire from enclosure to enclosure.  One of them even has a blanket (it might be a shirt) that he carries everywhere and had it with him.  They said that he likes to show off in front of a crowd and usually only uses the enclosure during busy days.

After the zoo we headed to Arlington National Cemetery via the subway system.  We decided just to walk by ourselves everywhere instead of taking a formal tour. I was amazed at how big Arlington National Cemetery is! I had tears in my eyes as I saw row after row of tombs.

We were there long enough to see the changing of the guard ceremony too.  We were inside looking at the museum area when everyone rushed outside.  We peaked out and realized what was happening and watched it.  I didn't take video of that because I just wanted to focus on it and soak up the moment instead of always paying attention to my phone.  I'm working on getting better at being present to the moment.

We were leaving but we decided to stop by the Marine Corps Memorial, Ima Jima.  Let me tell you, that thing is massive!  It was so cool viewing it from all sides.  One of my favorite pictures is the fire fighters recreating it on 9/11, so the original memorial was pretty cool to see.

We saw the Lincoln Memorial and stood in the spot MLK did the famous "I have a dream" speech.  This monument was beautiful!

The Franklin D. Roosevelt monument was probably my favorite.  So, a bad sign for my public school education (LOL) was that I had no idea that FDR was elected to four terms!  For some reason I didn't know that any president had ever served for more than 2 terms.  Duh!  I was either out that day or not paying attention in class (you decide which it was).  Anyway,  it was my favorite because it encompassed things about him but also the era that he was President.  Each of the four sections (one for each term) was something new about him or what was going on during the term.

One of my family members (Mom's side-my grandpa's nephew) died in Vietnam and his name is on the memorial wall. I didn't know you could bring flowers or some token for the section of your loved one, but if/when I go back, I will be sure to bring something.  I liked how there is a book (several actually, they look like phone books and are in alphabetical order) that you can look for your loved ones name and find what section they are in, instead of looking at the wall itself.  I found him easily and walked over to take a picture.

The Jefferson Memorial was alllllll the way around the other side of the tidal basin.  I decided I really want to ride in a swan boat the next time I'm there because I kept seeing them while walking towards the monument.

We headed to the White House on the other side this time and it looked just like I was picturing.  You could get closer this time but there were still barricades.  We took pictures and talked to a really nice Secret Service agent for a few minutes.

After that we headed back towards the train to go back to the hotel.  We crashed early that night because we had a 5 AM flight!

There were a few things that we didn't get to while we were there.  2 days is NOT enough to see the city.  Plan at least 3-4 days to see everything you want to see.  Washington is spread out and we were bookin' it to each item.  I saw a lot of things but here are some things I still want to see: Declaration of Independence and the Constitution (at the Archives), tour the inside of the White House (since it was a last minute trip we couldn't request to go in), see the 9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon, ride in a swan boat in the Tidal Basin, see the Cherry Blossoms bloom in the Spring, have a Georgetown Cupcake.

For more pictures go HERE and click on the Washington DC Link.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Washington DC Day 1

Backstory:  So back in January I almost spent $900 on a flight to DC for the inauguration, but I just couldn't pull the trigger.  I did end up buying a $200 flight for a few months later but ended up cancelling because I have to go to Vegas for a bachelorette party in September.  I was sad but I knew I would get there one day, just not when originally planned.

My uncle (my aunt's husband) is from England and still has family there.  His niece was in town and since my aunt couldn't walk (she had knee surgery), I was asked to show Zoe around Houston.  We went to the HMNS and were talking about other places in the USA that she would want to visit  and she mentioned San Francisco.  We go back and were talking about other places and my uncle goes "I think we can arrange that".  Yes!!!!  Free trip to San Fran.  But alas, no tickets were available for the days we could go so we tried other cities like Seattle and New Orleans.  Nope.  DC was pretty much the only option that both of us would actually want to go.  That's OK though because I was sad that I couldn't make it to DC.  Trip booked.  We flew into Baltimore, stayed at a hotel near there and road the train each day for $7 each way.  Since they were paying for the flight and hotel, all we had to pay for was train rides, food and anything we wanted to do.  Good news:  almost everything to do in DC (museums/monument wise) is free!  I think I spent about $100 for the entire trip.

We left right after I got off work and got there about midnight.  We didn't have much time to sleep though because we only had two full days to sight see an entire city that is jam packed with touristy things.  Go!

We stopped by Congress and got a private tour of the building with an intern from my Congressman's office and then went to his office.  Congress was not in session so I wasn't able to meet him, but his staff members were very welcoming to us.

We stopped by the United States Botantical Garden and WOW, it was so awesome.  It is basically a huge green house (but a really nice one) that has different rooms with different types of plants.  There was a fruit tree section, cacti section, Jurassic era plants, roses, etc.  It was great!  It might sound weird, but it is a cool get away from the sun.

We took pictures by the reflection pool and then went in search of lunch.  We ate at a section with lots of food trucks that is two blocks away from the mall area.

After that we headed to the Smithsonian to see the Hope Diamond.  The Smithsonian is actually several locations so be sure to look online to see which one you would be more interested in.  At 45.52 carots, the Hope Diamond is HUGE and I would say that I want it, but I don't want to be cursed and I'm not that fancy to where wearing that makes sense.  I don't have anywhere to wear it but I guess if you are rich enough to own that diamond, you are rich enough to attend fancy parties.

After we saw the Hope Diamond we walked around the rest of the museum, and spent some time in the natural gem area.

We saw Dorothy's ruby slippers and even Burt and Ernie!

My favorite item we saw was Alice Paul's women's suffrage 13 state charm bracelet from her personal collection that her estate donated to the museum.  Oh, I want one so bad!

We waited in line to get tickets to the butterfly area where live butterflies are flying all over a room and will even land on you!  None of them landed on me, but one did land on Zoe.  It was a really cool (and free the day we went) experience.

We saw a replica of the Statue of Liberty made from Legos!

My favorite part (I guess I didn't get any pictures) was the first lady part of the museum.  (I think we were in the American history museum).  It had old gowns that former first ladies wore on inauguration balls and other galas.  It had a lot of the fine china that was used to serve guests at private dinners.  It was a really cool part of the museum.

And the Star Spangled Banner-the actual one!  I had no idea that it still existed but it is in the Smithsonian (I forget which one) right when you walk in behind this metal wall.  You can't take pictures of it and it's behind glass.  There is a film you can watch about it and I actually teared up looking at it.  Our nation is going through so much right now and I think back on what the pioneers of our country went through.  Did they know there would be so much corruption and hate?  Anyway, the flag itself is worn and torn but it is AMAZING! I felt so patriotic just looking at it.  It is more precious than the Hope Diamond (even though I would totally take the HD if asked)

We saw the Washington Monument but could not go inside do an earthquake that happened awhile ago and the structure has not been made safe they say.  Where's Nicolas Cage when you need him?

We headed to the White House since it was getting late. I wasn't able to take a tour because it was a last minute trip, but when I had originally requested a tour but cancelled the request when I cancelled my trip.  We got to it and were hanging out just looking at it.  There were barricades and it was so far from from the gate and us.  I recognized it but I thought it looked different.  Turns out, it was the back!  I didn't realize it until someone mentioned the other side and I was like DUH!  It had been a long day, ok?! :)

We had been there for about 5-10 minutes when cops came and rushed us out.  Literally, they were moving us out and wouldn't say why.  "We don't have time to say why".  I was halfway scared and halfway wanting to see what was happening.  I'm very nosey.  We stayed in the general area and kept hearing and seeing sirens from fire trucks and other official looking vehicles.  About 20 minute later I saw one of the cops and asked him what was happening and if we should stick around.

He said "I can't answer that."
Me:  "Hmm.  Well, if you were me, would you stick around?"
Him:  "I would"
Me:  "Cool, if you were me, where would you stand?"
Him:  "Over there in that field with those other people."
Me:  "Gotcha, thanks!"

I wasn't totally sure what was happening but by the time I got to the field I figured Trump might be driving in or something.  Well, nope he was driving in, his helicopter was flying overhead!  You can view the video here.  There are snipers on the tops of buildings so anyone that tries to mess with him is out!

After that, we headed back to the hotel to turn in.  My feet hurt sooooooo bad but it was a super fun day. Part two tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Secret, A Treasure Hunt

So, I’m obsessed with a treasure hunt!  In 1982 Byron Preiss published a booked called, The Secret.  No, not the Secret where you wish for a million dollars and it comes true, it’s a treasure hunting book.  He buried 12 cache’s in 12 different major cities throughout North America in 1981. Inside the cache is one ceramic key that can be turned in for a real jewel that is/was in a safety deposit box in NYC.  One was found in Chicago in 1983 and the other was found in Cleveland in 2004. Unfortunately, Byron Preiss died in 2005 and didn’t tell anyone where the jewels were.  He used to respond to treasure seekers with clues or to tell them they are on the right track, but now he’s gone and there isn’t anyone to do that.

To date, only 2 of the 12 have been found.  Some people say that you can only find the cache and not receive the jewels and others have said that his widow said you can still receive the jewels.  I guess we won’t know until someone finds the next cache!

Guess where one of the 12 is hidden?!?!?!  That’s right, Houston, TX!!!  There is one  picture and one verse that goes with each treasure.  You can’t use a metal detector because the key the cache is a ceramic box inside a plexi-glass box.  You might be able to use a ground penetrating radar, but even that may not be possible.

This is the picture that is associated with Houston.  Well, they think this is it because it has all the clues of Houston.  The book just gives you 12 verses and 12 pictures but doesn’t tell you which goes to which.  A few of the images/verse combos are controversial and they don’t know which city they are for sure in.  Most of the pictures have latitude/longitude coordinates, but a few don’t. 

A couple great resources:  PBWorks Wiki and Quest4Treasure Forum (HUGE backlog of info dating way back)

This is the verse associated with Houston: 
Fortress north
Cold as glass
Friendship south
Take your task
To the number
Nine eight two
Through the wood
No lion fears
In the sky the water veers
Small of scale
Step across
Perspective should not be lost
In the center of four alike
Small, split,
Three winged and slight
What we take to be
Our strongest tower of delight
Falls gently
In December night
Looking back from treasure ground
There's the spout!
A whistle sounds.

I have used this forum and this Wiki to help point towards clues!!  The people that post are really good and most have been working on the puzzle for years.  Good luck to whoever goes looking for it!  I am also interested in the New Orleans one since that is within a short driving distance too.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Mud Factor Mud Run

Back in November or December I signed up for a mud run with Mud Factor.  I signed up during a “special pricing” window for (I think) $35 but every time I looked at the website, it was always the same price.  So, I’m not too sure about that special pricing.  I think they were on Groupon too.

Anyway, I didn’t get ANY communication (besides the sign up email) until the day before the race.  I thought surely there would be some sort of communication, but nope.  Luckily, the day before the race they did send something, otherwise I would have completely forgotten! 

I got there about 30 minutes before the race (they suggest an hour) and parked haphazardly.  They were directing us to park really close together but we were blocking everyone in.  At the end I had to wait 30 minutes for someone to move their car enough for me to get out.  AND you had to PAY $10 to park.  They did say that in the sign up but for us to get blocked in and have to park, that is no Bueno.

I got my bib, bandanna and temporary tattoo quickly and walked around a bit looking for at everything.  They were charging $25 for a t-shirt (!!!) that they probably got for $6.  The food and drinks were not included like most races, not even something like a bottled water or bananas were free!  There was water after the loop (two loop course) but that‘s it.

The obstacles were cool, two were walls you had to climb, one was a slip in slide down a hill (!!!!!!!), a cargo net walls, barbed wire through mud, etc.  I was only going to do one loop because it was lame, but I wanted my medal so I did a 2nd loop.  I got my medal and took a picture of myself caked in mud.  There were some showers that were pumping water from the local creek.  Some people were just wading in the river to get the mud off.  No one (that I know of) got bit by an alligator though. LOL.

I got back to my car, changed and waited for someone next to me to move their car so I could get out.  The parking situation really irked me, can you tell? LOL.

Anyway, all in all mud races are not for me.  I for sure would NOT recommend Mud Factor as the race to go with.