Boston 2016, Day One

Okay, technically Day Two as we got in super late on the first day, but we’ll call it Day One as it was our first full day in Beantown.

April 14th, we woke up at our Holiday Inn Express down by TD Banknorth Garden, ate pancakes from the awesome pancake machine, grabbed coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts, ensured we had a late checkout, and headed over to the Museum of Science. Not your typical tourist destination, I get it, but it was FREE with our DMNS membership. We’ve talked about this reciprocity. It’s awesome.

Outside was our first taste of the Marathon, and a dinosaur.
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The evolution on how people have thought T-Rexes to have stood/walked.

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We built our own fish.

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Because who doesn’t remember/like playing with these?

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In a space capsule!

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Second T-Rex with a bib.

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Our own baby T-Rexes in a T-Rex footprint.

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Street art just outside the MoS.

After the Museum, we headed off to our actual hotel, the Holiday Inn Brookline, to check in. We dumped our stuff and headed back downtown to meet our friend Lindsey for lunch. Lindsey works for adidas and was in town to work the Marathon expo. Lunch, as you might remember from my food series, was at Union Oyster House.

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Brandon trying oysters.

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Hey, trick lobster! It can hold stuff!

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Me: Presenting, lobster.
Lobster: Presenting, human.
(The guys were very impressed with how much the lobster liked me. I am the lobster whisperer. It’s a thing.)

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Trying oysters.

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Lindsey getting on the oyster bandwagon.

After lunch, we dropped Lindsey back off at her hotel in Copley, randomly ran into our friend Nic (who, to be more accurate, literally almost ran into us; she also works for adidas), and checked out the Boston Public Library.

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The lights outside the BPL are the best.

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I am a sucker for spiral staircases.

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The main hall.

After the library, we headed back toward Brookline and Boston University (campus! home!) for our hotel and dinner.

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Oh Brown Sugar Cafe, I miss you.

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Ivan with the Oreo Angora and Gustave with the coffee Angora.

Day one, in the books …

Creativity Corner: Dino Pillow

A good friend of mine had a baby back in December and I had wanted to give her something dinosaur-related for the kid, since that’s what we do. I was out of the typical dino stuffed animals we keep on hand and I didn’t have time to try and make one (she had to move back to Canada), so I made a cute applique dinosaur pillow.

I would have done a T-Rex, but they’re not so easy to do in silhouette. Dinosaur outline found online and hand-sketched on to fabric; cut out and sewn on before making pillow. All hand-sewn.

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I forgot how quick and easy it is to make pillows … and how much I enjoy doing it.

November Vegas Trip: Part Two

Friday morning dawned and we were ready for another day of adventures – most of which I’ll put here, except for the Neon Museum, which deserves its own post.

The day, in photos.

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Blueberry Hill, a local diner chain we hit up for breakfast. Very good.

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Brandon looking down at his breakfast. You get a sense of the decor here, too.

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Nelson hates “Pawn Stars,” and therefore is cranky we’re driving past the pawn shop.

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Dinosaurs in a dinosaur footprint outside the Las Vegas Natural History Museum.

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Dinosaur sculpture.

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Buffalo. Pretty sure all the animals in this museum were real and taxidermied …

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Sting ray. We are the ray whisperers, it’s kind of awesome.

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“Carrying” “water” like an Egyptian. It’s heavy.

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Brandon made a design. He’s proud.

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Tribal hut.

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Picture taken for the Englestad name (also associated with Fighting Sioux hockey).

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T-Rexes and a sign about themselves.

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Nelson and the T-Rex.

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On a shell seat, in a submarine.

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Brandon in the sub.

From the LVNHM, we checked in to the Bellagio where we’d be staying most of our visit.

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Room at the Bellagio.

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Oh yeah, race expo.

After the expo, we took our realtor and local TV/radio personality Susie Wargin around to grab a bite and then help her get to a studio so she could do her radio show from Vegas (she was out running the full marathon). From there, it was off to the Neon Museum (next blog!) and after that, dinner at the Peppermill.

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Just like I remembered …

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Me at the Peppermill.

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Fountain view with the fountains going.

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Ceiling between Bally’s and Paris. Never knew this was there …

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Hey thanks, Planet Hollywood/Miracle Mile Shops!

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Bellagio conservatory.

We also went to Tao Nightclub that night, but no pictures. Honestly, it was kind of a disappointing experience …

Morrison Natural History Museum

On one of our mutual off days in June, we went hiking in the morning and then, since we were in the area, decided to do a nerdy dinosaur day at the Morrison Natural History Museum. We had heard about it, but had never gone, so we decided “screw it,” and went.

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It’s certainly small, but explores paleontology in the region – Dinosaur Ridge is essentially a stone’s throw away, after all. They also have an active paleontology lab on the top floor to work on specimens. Below is a smattering of the stuff we found the coolest there.

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Cast of a T-Rex head that was found in Golden, Colo.

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Our own baby dinosaur, Gustave, next to a life-size replica of a Stegosaurus hatchling.

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Herkimer, a monitor lizard who lives upstairs. They also have a few live snakes.

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Baby T-Rexes in the back of a Triceratops skull.

If you (or your kids, if you have them) like dinosaurs, I would recommend this place for sure. Small, quick and easy to do – especially if small attention spans are involved. You could easily make a day out of it by seeing Red Rocks and the aforementioned Dinosaur Ridge as well.

Utah and Dinosaur National Monument

Earlier this month, we drove to Utah to race a half-marathon (which, if you want to read about, you can do so here).

The drive to Vernal, Utah, took us through parts of Colorado that I’d never seen before, which was exciting.

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Meeker, Colo.

We passed by a lot of livestock – we estimate we saw close to 10,000 head of cattle over the weekend – and got paused on some county road due to a sheep drive.

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Right before the border, we hit the best town ever for Team Baby Dinosaur:
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Dinosaur, Colo.!

About 20 miles after that was Utah.

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The next day, we took a quick trip into Dinosaur National Monument – Utah side. We definitely plan on going back and camping – the area is huge and definitely deserves way more than the few hours we gave it – but we didn’t want to walk around a whole lot due to our race the next day and we didn’t have all that much time.

We ended up taking a short hike and seeing the Fossil Bone Quarry, which was one of the coolest things ever and TOTALLY worth it.

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Brandon and petroglyphs.

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In front of some cool rocks.

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Kidlets on the path.

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Sign in the bone quarry.

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Brandon and Nelson next to a thigh bone.

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Dinosaurs and dinosaurs. So the quarry wall was left behind because paleontologists had gotten enough bones out of the site (well, of the dinosaurs that were found there) so they decided to leave the site and all the bones.

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Brandon looking out at the vast.

Afterward, we went to the Utah Field House museum (more dinosaurs!) and packet pick-up.

Saturday, we raced and then left town.

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Dinosaur in Vernal they dress up for the holidays.

We went a slightly different way back home – through Craig, Hayden, Steamboat Springs. We stopped in Kremmling for a bite and so Brandon could catch the Kentucky Derby. Then continuing on US-40 to I-70 and back home.

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US-40 sometime before Craig.

On the DMNS Mythbusters Exhibit

Probably should have done this one before the holidays post, but I forgot when we actually did this until I looked at the dates of the photos. Oops.

In any case, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science held a Mythbusters exhibit this fall/winter (it ended in early January). Both Brandon and I used to be huge fans of the show so when we saw all the billboards around town advertising the exhibit, we decided to go. With Ironman, it kept getting put off … until right before Christmas when on the 23rd, we said “Screw it,” and went.

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Brandon … and I forget which myth this was a part of.

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Buster! Buster the crash-test dummy is probably my favorite character from the show. They abuse him so much …

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Outfits worn by the show’s cast.

The first part of the exhibit was mainly comprised of items from the show and tidbits about the myths they were a part of. Even though neither of us have watched the show in a few years, we remembered quite a few of the myths involved.

The second part was more interactive – you got to be a part of myths yourself. Some of the myths included building a brick house and seeing if it could withstand high winds (we both pretty much failed), throwing playing cards at a dart board and seeing if toast really always lands butter side down. A few of the others are below.

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Post the run/walk myth. Do you get wetter running through the rain or walking? I ran, Brandon walked. What do you think? Creepy glowing spots are due to the “raindrops.”

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Both of us on a swing suspended by phone books – you can see that better in the picture of me. Basically, are phone books strong enough to do this?

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Brandon trying (and pretty much succeeding) at ripping a tablecloth off a table and keeping the dishes on the table.

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Hanging off the side of a building. I’d die quickly.

The exhibit was fun, but we had trouble deciding if it was ultimately worth the price of admission (doubled the price of museum admission). Maybe if we had kids …?

After, since we had paid for museum admission, we wandered around a bit. Brandon found a triceratops puppet after the dinosaur exhibit, and well, had to play a bit.

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Team Baby Dinosaur, forever and always.

If this exhibit comes to a museum near you, I’d say it’s probably worth going to if:
– you were a HUGE fan of the show and wanted to experiment with some myth busting of your own
– you have kids who are interested in this type of stuff
– you need an excuse to go on a fun date (pretty much us)

Images of Boston: 2013 Edition

After Ironman, we went to Boston for a few days. Brandon’s team, the University of North Dakota was playing mine, Boston University, in hockey. Since we couldn’t go to Grand Forks last year when BU played up there, we decided to take a few extra days after Arizona and head to Boston.

It was a simple trip – not too much touristy stuff – we mainly walked around a bit on a clam chowder tour of the city – four cups of chowder in two days. But it’s Boston, and we both love the city, so it was worth it.

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Thai fried rice at Brown Sugar Café.

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All my time in Boston and I somehow never noticed this in Copley Square. All the names of the marathon winners (male and female, able-bodied and wheelchair) are engraved around it.

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Brandon in the Public Gardens.

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Awesome knotted tree.

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Bobby Orr “Goal” sculpture outside of the new Garden.

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Chowder stop number one: Warren Tavern, in Charlestown.

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Hey look, Paul Revere!

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North End. Right before pastries at Modern.

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Chowder stop number two: Union Oyster House. Cornbread was fantastic alongside it. This was probably ultimately our favorite of the four.

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Outside Union Oyster House.

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BU dino Gustave at Agganis Arena for the first time (for a hockey game).

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Hockey people will know why this scoreboard is a fail.

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Marsh Plaza.

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Gustave in a BU cycling jersey.

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Dinosaur story time.

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Chowder stop number four: Boston Chowda Co. Not pictured: Legal Sea Foods.

Order of preference?
1. Union Oyster House
2. Legal Sea Foods
3. Warren Tavern
4. Boston Chowda Co.

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Lone remaining Boston Marathon bombing memorial in Copley Square.