Thursday Things

1. I’d heard plenty about Little Fires Everywhere over the past year or so, but reading Kim’s review of it last month (in combination with my renewed love affair with the library, courtesy of Libby) finally convinced me to get around to reading it.

HO.LY. COW. What a book!

I started reading the book on my commute Tuesday afternoon and by the time I finished up biking at the gym on Thursday afternoon, I was already 72 percent of the way done with it. I finally finished it Saturday morning, but had I had more free time on Friday, I’m sure I would’ve finished it then. My reading has, admittedly, tapered off a bit since I changed jobs in March 2016, but even considering all the reading I did when I had my old job, I haven’t devoured a book like this since I read The Hunger Games right after I graduated from college (throwback to my first EVER Thursday Things post! “I make no promises of this being a regular thing.” Ha, good joke, 2012 Bethany. Here we are, 275 (!) Thursday Things later. I think it’s safe to say Thursday Things are the most (only?) regular thing about my blog, aside from Chicago Marathon training recaps on Mondays for 18 weeks from June through October.). I could not put it down. I couldn’t stop talking about it, either. It BLEW ME AWAY.

I was super intrigued by the plot, but what really impressed me was the writing. I legitimately don’t remember the last time I read such amazing, beautiful writing. The way Celeste Ng would seamlessly transition from third person limited (mostly, with occasional omniscience) in from one character’s perspective to third person limited (mostly, with occasional omniscience) in another character’s perspective…! *dies* Not only were the transitions from person to person so perfect and smooth, but the little bits of omniscience thrown in with a limited perspective were so perfect. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever read more perfectly executed narration. It was just incredible, like a master class in how to write in third person. I’ve already got a hold on Everything I Never Told You (which probably won’t come in for seven weeks. Womp.) because I want nothing more than to read Ng’s writing forever and ever and ever.

2. I had two other things I planned to include in this post, and now I can’t remember either of them. Figures. That’s what I get for not writing these things down as they come to mind! Well, instead I’ll tell you about how I saw multiple Red-breasted Nuthatches on a bird walk on Saturday!

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I’d read they were supposed to be much more common this year than some years due to food shortages in Canada, and based on eBird, that certainly seems to be the case. I had never seen a Red-breasted Nuthatch before my trip to the Grand Canyon last year (pictured above), but since September I’ve now seen no fewer than three in the Chicago area. I’ll have to bring my camera the next time I go on a bird walk to see if I can get a picture, since who knows when the next irruption will be.

3. That’s it from me before Christmas! I hope everyone who celebrates has a wonderful holiday with lots of love and happiness 🙂

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Best of 2018

I’m a sucker for year-end nostalgia. Give me all the lists, all the song mashups, all the retrospectives. I LOVE IT.

I’ve barely ever done a non-running year-end recap on the blog, though. I guess in other Decembers I’ve had more to talk about than rehashing content from earlier in the year? Not this year, though! So, without further ado, a random collection of favorites from 2018!

Top Five Most Popular Blog Posts Written in 2018
1. Bank of America Chicago Marathon Race Recap

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Always a popular one. I’m glad people like reading about my marathons as much as I enjoy writing about them!

2. Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon Race Recap

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I’m somewhat surprised this is #2, mostly because I don’t consider this race to be A Big Deal, at least not on the same level as the marathon. That being said, it is a pretty large event, so I guess it makes sense that other people want to read about it.

3. Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K Race Recap

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Or maybe people just really like how the skyline looks from Columbus? I clearly like taking a picture of it 😛

4. Excellence El Carmen

excellence el carmen, punta cana, punta cana resorts, excellence resorts, dominican republic, all inclusive dominican republic, all inclusive dr, dominican republic beach, punta cana beach, uvero alto, uvero alto beach, excellence el carmen beach, palm trees, atlantic ocean, caribbean sea

I’d be lying if I said the main motivation I had for posting this wasn’t to drive more traffic to the blog, so high five, post, for doing exactly what I hoped you’d do. And for being the lone non-running post that lots of people had interest in reading!

5. St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon Race Recap

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Oh look, another race recap! This one does genuinely surprise me, though. I’m curious why this race recap was so much more popular than my recap of Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego the week before. My recap of San Diego came in 12th out of all my posts this year, so it wasn’t even close. I understand why my Chicago race recaps are popular–I am a Chicago blogger, after all–but I wonder why more people wanted to read about Seattle than San Diego!

Top Five Favorite Blogged Pictures from 2018 (in order of posting)
1. Hermit Thrush on a birding walk, Aprilhermitthrush-1

2. Last Sunday at my church, April (miss you forever, church 😦 )
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3. Skyline from the Playpen, July
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4. Skyline from the Rose Garden in Grant Park, September
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5. Cardinal on Montrose Point, September
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Top Five Favorite Blogged About Memories
1. PRing at the Chicago Marathon (and all my subsequent thoughts on the marathon)
This was easily one of the biggest highlights of my year.

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2. Seeing the Old Post Office during Open House Chicago. That was more than worth the price of a Chicago Architecture Center membership.

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3. Traveling up the West Coast on the Coast Starlight train. While I do think this trip would’ve been a lot more fun without a stomach bug, it was still a really cool experience and something I’d do again in a heartbeat.

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4. Accurately calling the outcome of the Final Four. I don’t care if it’s all luck – I’m very proud of myself for doing that 😛

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5. Cheering on my sister from afar as she ran her first half marathon. I’m still so proud of her for doing that!

What are your favorite memories from 2018?

Thursday Things

1. I really liked what strength training did for me during marathon season this past summer, so I decided to keep it up after the marathon. I took a few weeks off, then started back at the beginning of the strength training plan Erin generously put together for throughout marathon season.

I intended to keep up with strength training for the various benefits I reaped from it over the summer (increased strength, increased endurance, increased desire to brag about how good my legs look), but I’ll admit that I haven’t been nearly as strict about getting in three sessions per week since after the race. I’m not actively chasing any big goals (training for my sub-2:00 half marathon attempt doesn’t start for another month), so everything right now is more maintenance than anything. That makes it a lot easier for me to slack off.

But BOY is that a bad idea! I feel like I’m right back at the start of marathon season when I was sore all. the. time. for weeks on end. It wasn’t until the middle of marathon season or so that I stopped dreading getting out of bed in the morning for fear of discovering which muscles would scream at me that day. Since I stopped being so consistent, I’m back to being consistently sore, and I’m super over it. I just keep reminding myself that getting all of this out of the way now will make things a lot easier come January, when I hopefully won’t be hobbling around every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday thanks to the previous day’s workout.

2. I’m curious: what’s your stance on giving cash (or the equivalent of cash: a Visa gift card, or a check, for example, but not a store or service-specific gift card) as a gift? I ask because this has come up a couple times over the past year in my family, and it’s surprised me how adamant a few adults in my family are about not giving cash, even if it’s been earmarked for a certain purpose, even if it was specifically requested by the recipient.

It surprises me because I 1) would have absolutely no problem receiving cash as a gift–I’d prefer it in most cases, honestly–and 2) have absolutely no problem giving cash as a gift. But clearly everyone doesn’t feel that way!

3. I’ve been dreading this upcoming weekend for awhile, and my dread isn’t lessening at all the closer we get. I have a birthday party Friday, an all-afternoon/evening Christmas party on Saturday, and another all-evening Christmas party on Sunday. *screaming emoji* Don’t ask me when I’m going to get my grocery shopping done (or do: the answer is, “I’m not,”), never mind find time to, you know, breathe. I already spent an entire blog post complaining about how busy this time of year is, so I’ll try to refrain doing it again. I do wish it were more generally acceptable to celebrate Christmas during non-Christmas times, though. Like why can’t we have one “Christmas” party per month? Or per quarter? That would make December so much more tolerable!

Cash for gifts: yay or nay?

Thursday Things

1. Every December, most of the women on my mom’s side of the family (my grandma, my mom, her sisters, and sometimes my cousin-in-law) come to Chicago for a shopping trip. This year’s trip was on Tuesday, so I took most of the day off and hung out with them downtown and in Lincoln Park!

We started the day at Macy’s, per our tradition. I didn’t have any shopping to do on this trip, so I tagged along while everyone else debated the pros and cons of various ties and sweaters. Eventually we made our way up to the seventh floor to see the Christmas tree in the Walnut Room.

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Sigh. I’ve been to Macy’s a few times recently, but this was the first time I had been up to the seventh floor since early August. At the end of August, Macy’s sold the eighth through 14th floors of the building. Floors nine through 14 weren’t open to the public in the first place, so that’s not much of a loss, but the eighth floor was where they sold furniture–and, more relevantly for this particular post, where you could get the best view of the Christmas tree, in my opinion. But now that’s all closed 😦

It made me unnecessarily sad, as did all the consequential rearranging of the store: furniture is now on six, the home goods from six are now in the basement, and the whole Christmas section that used to be in a corner of six is now on seven (and WAY smaller than in years past). I took an absurd amount of pride in my ability to navigate Macy’s on State Street with ease, but now I’m not as sure where things are, and that contributes to my sadness. I also really liked the eighth floor. It was quiet and generally uncrowded, which made it a lot easier for me to imagine what it must’ve been like when the store opened 100+ years ago–not that I think it was quiet and generally uncrowded back then, but the wood floors and such made that easier to visualize than the carpet or tile and racks of modern clothes on other floors.

2. After Macy’s, we went to lunch. I made reservations at Remington’s on Michigan because it was nearby and a survey of the attendees said that Remington’s was the top pick. I assumed we’d get a table and that would be that. Boy was I wrong!

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Our table ended up being IN the wine room! It was incredible! There were doors on both sides, so we could close them and actually hear each other talk. The food was also delicious, so win-win. I think it’s safe to say that Remington’s will be our destination of choice for future December family shopping trips!

3. One of the biggest draws of this trip for my family in the past was the opportunity to go to Crate & Barrel on Michigan Ave. Since that no longer exists (because apparently nothing is sacred in the cold, unfeeling world of real estate and retail), my mom wondered if it’d be reasonable to go to the Crate & Barrel at North and Clybourn instead. But of course! So up to Lincoln Park we went, where I found the Crate & Barrel experience to be approximately 2983472 times more pleasant than it ever was on Michigan Ave. due to the dramatically smaller number of other humans in the store.

I think the real highlight for my family, though, was The Container Store across the parking lot from Crate & Barrel. There are exactly two Container Stores in Michigan, both of which are in the Detroit area. Since my family lives in West Michigan, most of them had never been to a Container Store before, and it was, as far as I could gather, utterly life changing. Not that I can say I blame them–The Container Store is a place where I think I could genuinely buy their entire inventory.

I had to head out early to get to my usual Tuesday evening obligations (therapy + dance), but it was really nice to spend some time with my family!

It’s the Most Busiest Time of the Year

(Yes, I realize “most busiest” is bad grammar. That was the point.)

I want to like the holiday season. I really do. Every year, I think, “THIS will somehow be the year where I do all of the things with none of the burnout! There will be nothing but cheer from now until New Year’s Day!” Yet here I am, a whole 12 days into the “official” (i.e.: post-Thanksgiving) holiday season, and I’m already finding work to be a nice reprieve from the insanity that will be every weekend from now until the beginning of January.

The season started off on the wrong foot, I suppose, with a totally packed Thanksgiving weekend. Instead of a relaxing couple of days off work, I had something going on from the moment I woke up until the moment I went to bed on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. It was a lot–too much, really–and I said that I couldn’t keep doing this to myself. If I was going to insist on doing ALL OF THE THINGS on weekends, I had to keep it to one day.

So, naturally, I did ALL OF THE THINGS every day this past weekend, too.

On Friday, I went to see Ralph Wrecks the Internet after work, which was just delightful. The story itself was great, but I was a particular fan of the seemingly endless Easter eggs throughout the movie. My hands-down favorite part, though, was whenever the Disney princesses were involved. There’s a scene towards the end of the movie that is accompanied by a song that combines big musical themes from each princess’s movie when she’s contributing to the action on screen (so when you see Pocahontas, for example, the soundtrack is Colors of the Wind) that I want to watch a million times in a row to catch all the references.

Ever since I started marathoning, I’ve had this intermittent knee soreness that usually flares up once or twice a year. It started bothering me last Sunday, but I really did a number on it at dance on Tuesday. Since I have a race that I care about coming up this weekend, I thought it’d be in my best interest to take it easy for a few days, so I bailed on my long run on Saturday. Couldn’t have picked a better day to do that! The weather was horrendous, and I was glad to not be outside. After the weather cleared up, I headed downtown to the Christkindlmarket, hoping the earlier rain (and continuing wind) had scared enough people away that it wouldn’t be a totally miserable experience.

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I don’t know that I’d say it was totally miserable, but I don’t know that I’d say it was totally pleasant, either 😛 I guess that’s the nature of the Christkindlmarket, though. It’s a cool thing you can only do for five weeks of the year, and obviously weekends are much easier for most people (including me!) to go visit than weekdays. I wanted to go only because I really like the mugs this year, so I at least it wasn’t a bust in that department.

On Saturday night, my company held its annual holiday party. My company throws two big parties per year: one in August just for employees, and one in December for employees and a guest. I’ve attended six of these parties thus far, and in my experience, one usually VASTLY outshines the other. One event (historically, the August event) is focused almost exclusively on eating and drinking, while the other (historically, the December event) is focused on eating, drinking, and cool things you can do while at the party. This year, however, the August event was one that I truly don’t think they’ll ever beat (I mean, we got to see the Cubs clubhouse, hang out in the 1914 Club at Wrigley Field, see the 2016 World Series trophy, and meet Ryan Dempster and Ryne Sandberg (and get their autographs on a baseball). I don’t think anything could possibly top that.). Because of that, the holiday party was a little more low-key than usual, similar to what I expect at the August party. The venue was pretty, though!

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All of that running around left me pretty tired (and, consequently, pretty cranky) by Sunday. Fortunately, this upcoming weekend will likely be moderately more low key (I don’t think I have anything going on Saturday after my race!) – but don’t even get me started on the weekend of the 14th-16th 😛

 

Thursday Things

1. Oopsies.

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So much for that whole, “2018 is my last Chicago Marathon and I will not be told otherwise!!” thing.

If I’m being honest, I didn’t sign up for the Chicago Marathon in 2018 intending for it to be my last. It occurred to me early in training that it likely would be my last and I should treat it as such. By mid-July or early August, I was already wavering on that. I distinctly remember being in the middle of a run commute one day during the summer and thinking, “You know, I really do enjoy training for marathons. I’d really miss this if I didn’t do it next summer.” So then I thought that maybe I’d train for a late summer/early fall half marathon, and if that went well I’d sign up for a later fall marathon–most likely Indianapolis. I also considered entering the NYC lottery and seeing what happened (I…may or may not still be considering that, despite having an entry to Chicago.). As this year’s Chicago Marathon got closer, I became more and more unsure of my insistence that this year would be my last Chicago Marathon, and when I found out that the 2019 race is on October 13–the same day as my first Chicago Marathon in 2013–it was all over.

BUT! 2019 will be my last Chicago Marathon–last marathon, period, most likely–for awhile, pinky promise. And the 2019 Chicago Marathon is going to be a victory lap, not a PR attempt. The only goal I’ll allow myself to have is to run faster on October 13, 2019 than I did on October 13, 2013. Assuming all goes as planned next year, I’ll be moving to the suburbs in the middle of the summer (consequently, the middle of marathon training). That will mean a lot (a lot) about my running will have to change. Run commuting will be off the table (*genuinely sobs*), and I’ll no longer have easy access to the Lakefront Trail (*more genuine sobbing*). Since nearly all of my running life has consisted of out-and-backs on the Lakefront Trail and two-thirds of my past two marathon trainings have consisted of run commutes, that’s going to be a pretty significant change, especially during a time where I need to be logging eight, nine, 10 mile weekday runs on my own (I can run with any CARA group, including the suburban ones, so I’m not concerned about my long runs). I expect at least a little learning curve, and I expect that my race training will suffer anywhere from mildly to moderately while I’m on that curve. I don’t need the added pressure of a PR. Besides, I can genuinely say that after this year’s marathon, I’ve accomplished everything I wanted to with the distance. If I never run a faster or stronger marathon, I’ll be okay with that. I just want to get in as many marathons as I can while I still have the freedom and flexibility (and desire) to train with relative ease, and 2019 will likely be one of my last chances to do that. So, victory lap it is!

2. I have yet to meet a running sock I don’t like, so when Swiftwick reached out to me to see if I’d be interested in trying a pair from their newly rebuit PURSUIT line, I took them up on the offer.

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Holy smokes you guys, these socks are SO cozy. Like, I legitimately said, “Wow!” out loud in the gym locker room when I put them on. They’re super comfy and soft, which I didn’t expect at all, and made with merino wool to help keep your toes dry. Highly recommend! (Opinion is my own, of course.)

3. I fear I may need to get over my hatred of the treadmill this winter. I plan to start training in the middle of January for my sub-2:00 half marathon attempt, and, unsurprisingly, that involves a fair amount of 1) running and 2) speedwork. It didn’t occur to me that accomplishing either of those things outside might be more difficult than I anticipated until Monday, when I was reminded just how many people view clearing their sidewalks as optional.

I planned to run when I got home on Monday but scrapped those plans almost immediately after getting off the CTA, when a seemingly infinite number of unshoveled blocks and/or lots greeted me on my walk to my house. Trudging through snow is a nuisance, but due to the nature of the storm we got Sunday night, the sidewalks weren’t covered in snow: they were covered in ice. I’ll run through snow (cautiously), but I certainly wasn’t going to attempt 5×400 on ice.

Obviously I wasn’t thrilled to skip my workout, but the sidewalk situation really upset me more than the fact that I couldn’t do my run (especially since I had plenty of time to make it up later this week). It had been nearly eight hours (eight daytime hours!) since the snow stopped falling by the time I got home. While technically any of the snow that fell after 7 a.m. didn’t have to be cleared until 10 p.m., per city municipal code, the vast majority of my walk home takes me past businesses. There is absolutely NO excuse for them not having their sidewalks cleared! You were there all day! It stopped snowing before noon! Get out a shovel and a bag of salt and do your job, darn it! It’s annoying to me that I couldn’t do my 400s, but it’s not just about me and my silly workout plans: it’s about public safety. What about the elderly or disabled who also need to travel on those sidewalks? Falling for me would be an embarrassment; falling for them could be a crisis. Clear your sidewalks or hire someone to do it for you. I’ve got to imagine that’s a whole lot cheaper than being sued because someone slipped and fell and broke a bone on your property due to your negligence.

Who else is running Chicago next year?
Tips for making the treadmill tolerable?

Las Vegas

This year’s trip to Vegas was a bit abbreviated compared to those of the past two years. I’m penny pinching my PTO to roll over the maximum I’m allowed into 2019 for a trip I have planned in the spring, which meant I couldn’t take more than a day off for Vegas. We packed more than enough into the little time we had there, though!

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I arrived in Vegas around 10 p.m. Friday night and originally planned on going straight to bed as soon as I arrived at Harrah’s, but ended up hanging out with the other people along on the trip in the casino for a couple of hours. I didn’t bring much money to gamble (only the $10 I had left in my wallet that never got spent at the farmer’s market this summer), so I watched while they played video craps for awhile, then realized it was nearly 3 a.m. in Chicago and WELL beyond my bed time. I went upstairs and called it a night.

It turned out that a mutual friend of the other people in my group was also in town that weekend for a conference, so we all met up with him and his girlfriend for lunch after the expo Saturday. That was a lot of fun! We wandered through a few hotels, including the Flamingo.

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Visiting the birds at the Flamingo was easily one of the best parts of the trip, in my opinion (I know, I know. Very out of character for me 😛 ). I liked seeing the birds, obviously, but I particularly liked learning about them during the 2 p.m. pelican feeding!

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These are Bugsy and Virginia, two pelicans injured by fishing nets off the coast of California. Their wings were damaged to the point where they can no longer live in the wild, so now they live at the Flamingo. I learned a lot about pelicans and other waterfowl, and I was especially excited to see the Mandarin Ducks.

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Aren’t they beautiful?! There’s been one floating around Central Park in New York recently, and even though seeing one that lives at the Flamingo isn’t exactly the same as seeing one in the wild in New York, I’ll take what I can get.

It is a hallowed Vegas tradition among this group to have dinner Saturday at Hugo’s in Four Queens. I have no problem with that, since it’s fun to get all dressed up and have a fancy meal where I’m treated like a princess. (Though I will admit that I don’t like getting my nice clothes all smokey. If Vegas ever outlaws smoking inside casinos–something I can’t imagine is coming any time soon, but one can dream–I think I’ll find the entire experience of being in Vegas a billion times more pleasant.) However, Hugo’s was a bit more of a challenge this year, because the restaurant doesn’t open until 5 p.m., and we had a 7 p.m. show to attend at MGM: way, way far away (like 15-20 minute drive away) from Four Queens. The person in our group who made the reservation told them during the reservation process that we had a 7 p.m. show and would be on a tight schedule, and the staff was more than accommodating. I was so impressed! They got us in and out in 75 minutes: bread, drinks, salads, intermezzo, entrees, bill, done. We were offered fruit and fresh cream for dessert, too, but declined in the interest of time. I’ve always been impressed by the service at Hugo’s, but my experience there this year was truly next level.

After dinner, we hopped in a Lyft and headed back to the Strip for our show: Jabbawockeez at MGM!

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*squeals*

I’ve wanted to see the Jabbawockeez since the first time I walked through MGM and realized they had a permanent show there. Having taken hip hop for six (!) full years now, the opportunity to see a professional crew was obviously very appealing to me. They did not disappoint.

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The show, JREAMZ, was awesome, both from a dance standpoint and from an overall show standpoint. It was a cohesive show that told a story rather than 90ish minute of strung together dance pieces, and I LOVED IT. They danced on the stage and in the audience, and even pulled a few audience members to participate during the show (tragically, I was not one of them).

I think anyone can appreciate the difficulty of spinning on your head for a literal minute (or longer?), like one of the Jabbawockeez did, but I feel like my background in breakdance gave me an even bigger appreciation for the tricks they did during the show. One of the marks of a talented dancer, in my opinion, is that you walk away thinking, “Well, that didn’t look so hard. I could probably do that,” because they perform the moves with such ease that you can’t begin to wrap your mind around how challenging they actually are. That is 100 percent how I would’ve felt leaving Jabbawockeez if I hadn’t taken break for two and a half ish years. I am very well aware of how hard some of those moves are, and to see them do them as if they were nothing: wow. So much respect. To say I left inspired would be an enormous understatement!

Unfortunately, after Jabbawockeez I hit my stimulation wall for the day with a ferocity put all of my marathon walls to shame. I was DONE. Done with other humans, done with noise, done with lights, DONE. Like, swearing-at-strangers-in-their-face-at-the-Bellagio done (come on, Bethany. If you’re going to swear at strangers, at least don’t do it at the Bellagio. Have a sense of propriety!). While the rest of the group went out for the night, I went back to my room and introverted. I don’t normally actively need to be alone, but I’ve found that Vegas does that to me big time. The whole city is just too much, and I definitely can’t handle a full day of all the much-ness.

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Sunday was a bit more low key, thanks to the race. We got breakfast and went to M&Ms World (my only demand on any Vegas trip. You can keep your gambling and alcohol, but I will not be denied my bulk M&Ms!! Haha 😛 ) and then chilled until the race. We got pizza and gelato after the race, and then it was time to pack up for the trip home.

On Sunday, I was informed us that the plane that would take us back to Chicago had changed, and I’d need to update my boarding passes. I updated mine but was still assigned to the same seat, so I didn’t think anything of it until arriving at my gate Monday morning and looking at the seat map on the screen. Turns out, I was going to be flying on a big plane – one with a middle aisle! I haven’t been on one of those since a long-ago trip to Seattle (like, probably a 1999 or 1997 long ago trip to Seattle), so that was quite the surprise! I don’t understand why we had been put on that plane–our plane came to Las Vegas from Chicago (I checked) and then went right back to Chicago. I’m not sure why that round trip warranted a 767, but it was still really cool! (After arriving in Chicago, the plane continued on to Paris, which made more sense for an aircraft that size.) My usual middle seat turned into an aisle seat, which was a nice treat, and there were super fancy seatback screens! My flight to San Diego in June had seatback screens (of the non-super fancy variety), and that was the first time I had seen one of those since I went to Scotland in 2011. I certainly didn’t expect them twice in one year, especially all on domestic flights. The part that I thought was especially cool about the whole situation, though, was that there were a TON of Europeans on our flight from Vegas to Chicago, and the Europeans sitting around me (in front of me, in the middle aisle next to me, behind me) were all DUTCH!! *dies* My Dutch isn’t good enough for me to have the guts to talk to them (or to be able to understand a single thing they said, womp), but I was enamored nevertheless. I may or may not have set the language on my seatback screen to Dutch in an effort to fit in, HA. I kept my screen on the flight map the whole time, so I now know the word for “tailwind” in Dutch (I learned lots of other words, too, but have already forgotten all of them).

All in all, it was a nice little vacation before things get holiday crazy over the next few weeks 🙂

Have you ever been to Vegas?