Running Central–6/10/11

I’m back! I am alive and well–which is shocking…I’m also super behind on posting, so here we go!

On Friday afternoon, a few people I work with (I guess you could call them my friends :)) and I went over to Running Central to get our feet examined and talk to the running experts about the best shoes for our feet. Maybe I should give some info on Running Central–first, it’s awesome, it’s local, they have TONS of running garb and the employees are the bomb.com…some of the nicest people on the planet.

Since there were kind of a lot of us in our group and we went over the lunch hour, Rose and I were the only ones who got the royal treatment while our friends watched with jealously dripping from their pores.

Anyway, Rose and I got one on one attention from two running experts: Jeffrey and Trevor. They had us take off our shoes and socks and gave us high performance socks to try on throughout the entire experience. Apparently these socks have super powers–they also are not made of cotton–why? Because cotton is rotten. Or so Jeffrey and Trevor say.

Then, one at a time we stood on this thing that looked like a high-tech scale and let the computer examine our feet.

Then we each got an explanation of our feet and how we carry our weight and if we’re flat footed or have high arches..among other things. This helps our experts choose the best shoes for us.

(Rose has high arches…I think?)

I have flat feet…similar to Fred Flinstone.

Then Jeffrey and Trevor wanted to watch me and Rose walk–primarily to determine if our ankles roll in or out when we walk.

The last step was to get our feet measured to determine what size shoe we would wear.

Rose was mortified to find out that her feet are actually bigger than she thought. But finally it was time for Jeffrey and Trevor to go to the wall of shoes and pick out the best pair for me and Rose!

They even helped us try our new kicks on.

Yeah! He found pink ones for me! Then we strolled around the store to see how our shoes fit. (I didn’t get a photo of this for whatever reason–just imagine me walking around with these shoes on–that’s pretty much how it went down)

Although we spent nearly an hour in Running Central, I’m not a runner so I decided not to purchase running shoes–Rose, however, splurged for a new pair! We loved that Trevor and Jeffrey gave us a ton of options–and the ones Rose bought only ended up being $60! We all thought that was a steal!

And Allison got some sweet new running gear:

Jared and JD were great sports considering this trip was the Rose and Tina Show.

Then it was time for us to go–but first we had to get our picture taken outside of Running Central by the mural on the side of their building.

We all look kind of awkward, don’t we? Cool.

In conclusion, we had an awesome experience at Running Central. The owner even chatted it up with us for a bit and that made me feel pretty VIP. It was really fun learning more about my feet and I realize that I would probably appreciate Running Central so much more if I was a runner.¬†But everyone still made me feel super welcome. Maybe I’ll take up running as a new hobby so I’ll have an excuse to go back?

Also, don’t forget that cotton is rotten!!!

And a huge THANK YOU!! to Jeffrey and Trevor–you guys were super awesome and you totally deserve a raise or something for smelling our feet and dealing with us ūüėČ

Sorry I’ve been behind–I’ll be back on track this week. Keep your eyes open for another post coming up soon from a guest blogger–ooooh!

Good night, Peoria.

TP

Psst! Another free “event” yes!¬†

Peoria Chiefs Game–6/9/11

Ok–truthfully, last night I was burnt out. I wasn’t pumped about coming home from work just to turn around and go back out and hit the town. I came THISCLOSE to bailing, but I’m committed to this blog, so I sucked it up and headed out to the Peoria Chiefs Game last night with my BFF Jess, her husband Jim and her cousin Ellie. The Chiefs are the Cubs minor league baseball farm team. They play at O’Brien field in downtown Peoria (also where the Bradley Braves baseball team plays).

Nights like last night are exactly why I love this blog and I love my friends. ¬†Bonus–Jess hooked us all up with free tickets to a Thirsty Thursday promo night with the Chiefs.

We had awesome seats–right behind home plate. Which heightened my anxiety of being slammed in the face with a fly-ball, but I drank some beer and got over it.

Speaking of beer, did I mention that it was Thirsty Thursday? $2 beers! I guess Jim was my¬†pseudo¬†boyfriend last night because he bought all of our rounds–what a guy! I should mention that it was also Irish Night–more people were decked out in green than normal. Including Homer, the Chiefs mascot. Irish dancers from the Flynn School of Irish Dancing in Peoria were also featured.

Per usual, there were tons of give aways and awesome people watching.

Surprisingly, that last picture was NOT staged–I’m just really good at catching people in the “moment.”

And while I snuck off to the bathroom, Ellie and Jess had a quick little photo sesh…

And of course, I had to get a picture of the whole group before we headed out.

So around the 4th or 5th inning, it looked like a storm was brewing and temperatures started to drop. It was FREEZING…and by freezing I mean, it got below 75 degrees and I became a giant baby and I was ready to go. (Maybe I should have dressed warmer?) But we weren’t ready to go home, so instead we went to Jess and Jim’s favorite Mexican restaurant, Los Jimadore’s in north Peoria for some bomb Mexican food…annnnd a 32 ounce margarita. (Getting up and coming into work today was torture…to say the least. My brain is still pounding against my skull…but completely worth it.)

In conclusion, I had a wonderful time at the Chiefs game. I want to go back on cheap hot dog night! Oh! And unfortunately the Chiefs lost last night to the West Michigan Whitecaps 3-1. I’m really started to get miffed at Michigan for various reasons–one being that they beat the Chiefs and the others pertaining to Michigan being a friend stealer.

I digress. Wasn’t I supposed to be closing up this post? Yep. So I’ll be posting at some point tomorrow about my super fun trip this afternoon. Tonight I’m heading to STL to see all of my long lost friends so we’ll be TP-ing St. Louie this weekend. Excitement!

Take care.

TP

Psst! My night at the Chiefs game was free because I have awesome friends–but if I did have to pay for something this is what it would cost:

Box Seats: $10

Lawn Seats: $7

Beer: $2

Peoria Municipal Band–6/8/11

Since gas prices are through the roof and I felt like I spent a lot of money on food last week, this week I’ve been trying to find some good free fun. Cheap doesn’t even cut it, it has to be free. So last night I thought it would be fun to head out to Glen Oak Park to watch the Peoria Municipal Band. The bands plays every Sunday and Wednesday night at 7:30–usually at Glen Oak Park….except last night.

I guess the Muni Band is mixing things up this year and we missed the location change. No problem–the Peoria Riverfront is lovely. While there is a “large free parking lot” we didn’t know that we had to bring our own chairs and all we had was¬† a little blanket to sit on. So we improvised and sat on the hood of my car.

I had my friend, Ryan, join me–he’s big into music so I thought he would be a fun companion.

As soon as we got settled on my car and got ready to listen to the band a giant train came barreling through the Riverfront and interrupted the show…which initially didn’t bother us because the guest singer with the band was giving a not-so-brief synopsis of the song she was about to sing and we wanted her to stop.

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMP! Here comes the train.

The drummer of the band took it upon himself to play the beat of chattanooga choo choo. Once the train passed the show continued.

It was especially fun when the conductor (Bradley’s very own, Dr. David Vroman) got the crowd involved in songs–with whistling, singing lalalalala, clapping and even polka-ing. It also felt super nice and cool down near the river and was beautiful as the sun was setting…and the lights from the businesses on Water Street really lit up.

The band concluded with the ever popular, America the Beautiful… made me feel patriotic.

We had a great time listening to the band and spending time on the Riverfront.¬† I want to go back and listen to the band at Glen Oak Park again this summer, but I’ll definitely come back when they play on the Riverfront again–both Kelleher’s Irish Pub and Rhodell’s served food and beverages throughout the performance (although we were happy with our spot on top of my car)… I guess I’ll remember to bring my folding chairs next time.

Tomorrow I am heading out of town, so I’ll be sure to post what I did tonight as well as give you some suggestions for things to do here in Peoria–I’ll be kicking it in STL for a bachelorette party!

Later, Peoria.

TP

Pssst! The Municipal Band was FREE!

Oakwood Dog Park in Morton–6/7/11

The name of this post should actually be “terrible dog photos.” ¬†But, instead I will write about my absolutely hilarious and fun trip to the dog park with my BFF, Jess, ¬†her dog Remmy and my dog Barney. I decided to pick up Jess in East Peoria because that made the most sense to meet between our homes.

On the way to get Jess and Remmy, Barn (I call him lots of different names) did a really great job of riding in the back of my car. He sat for most of the time looking like a chicken…

I tried to get a good picture…but again I say, dogs (Barn especially) can’t sit still enough to get a good picture..

I’m sure it was really safe that I took so many pictures while I was driving.

Anyway, after getting Jess and Rem we drove about 15-20 minutes to the oh-so-confusing town of Morton. Remmy did such a great job of riding in the back.

After driving down a few country roads, we made it to Oakwood Park.

Barney and Remmy couldn’t wait to get out of the car. We walked down the long entrance gate, shoot-thing to get into the “large dog” part of the park–even though Remmy is anything but large.

As soon as we got through the gate, Barney took off running. Once he made a lap around the park, he came back and was not interested in any other dogs at all.  All he wanted to do was play frisbee with me.

Remmy, however was way more social.

So social, in fact, that he got mauled by some big huge dogs and Jess had to swoop in for a rescue.

Of course our dogs were super tired, thank goodness this dog park provided a little doggie drinking fountain.

After the dogs cooled off, we decided to take them on a walk–the bugs in the dog park were out of control. We took a leisurely stroll around Oakwood Park and called it a day. But first we had to get a quick picture of us with our pups…and of course that’s never easy.

The last picture was about as good as it was going to get.

The Oakwood Dog Park in Morton was my first dog park experience. I liked that it had separate areas for the large and small dogs–even though we didn’t take advantage of that. The doggie water fountain was a little gross, but appreciated. ¬†There was a lot of area for our dogs to run and it was super shady, which made braving the heat much more¬†manageable. Barn and Rem were a little dirty when they got back into my car, but I think it was totally worth it.

I can’t wait to check out the other dog parks in the area and hopefully head back to Morton (if I can find it again!).

Good night Peoria!

TP

Pssst! F-R-E-E fun again!

Brown Bag It at the Courthouse–6/6/11

Even though it was absolutely sweltering out yesterday, 2 of my coworkers and I braved the noon hour heat to catch some local music down at the courthouse for the bi-weekly Brown Bag It. Brown Bag It happens every Monday and Wednesday throughout the summer from 11:30am to 1:00pm.  Local artists perform outside of the courthouse in downtown Peoria during the lunch hour.

JD, Rose and I brought our own lunches and found a spot in the shade to enjoy a local 2 piece cover band.

Besides the insane heat, we loved getting out of the office to catch some tunes. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch the name of the sweet artists, but they mentioned that they will play again for Brown Bag It in August. They played some awesome hits like the Eagle’s “Tequila¬†Sunrise” and John Lennon’s “Imagine.” ¬†Not only did I love the music, but I’m sure my dad would too. Which reminds me, it didn’t seem like a ton of young people came out to catch the music–which really bummed me out. It seemed like it was mostly Caterpillar employees.

I wish I had something funnier to write about Brown Bag It. I think it probably would have been more fun with more people–not that Rose and JD aren’t my favorite people–but I would have loved to bring a big group down with me and spend more than 30 minutes hanging out. I’m interested in knowing what other bands perform during the week and possibly busting out some really sweet moves during their set.

I’m now off to do my TP the Town duty for today/tonight–this one will have 2 special guests! Eek!

TP

Pssstt! Costs? Yep, there were none. It was all f-r-e-e.

Cats at Corn Stock Theatre–6/5/11

One of my goals this summer is to seek out and support the local artists in the Peoria area. When I saw that Corn Stock Theatre was putting on the show Cats this summer, it was obvious that I had to go see it. Corn Stock Theatre is the only outdoor theater in the area. Over the summer they produce about 5 different shows. I decided that I haven’t done anything with my mom lately, so I easily convinced her to come with me (she loooves musicals, so I knew she’d say yes). On Sunday evening, we loaded up the ZUTI car (that’s her license plate, clever?) and drove to Bradley Park where the Corn Stock Theatre tent is located. It was my first time going, so I didn’t know what to expect.

The age demographic tended to be older patrons, but I saw a few families and younger kids…including the one who kicked the back of my seat throughout the entire show.

We purchased our tickets at the show, but we had to option to buy them ahead of time from Corn Stock’s website. Regular tickets are $18, but since I presented my (old) student ID, I got mine for $12. Since my mom paid for the whole thing, I guess you could say it was free for me.

Since we had some time to kill before the show, we thought it was completely necessary for us to photograph ourselves by the giant Cats sign out front to prove that we were actually there.

Several self-timed pictures later, this is what you get…

We walked over to the concession stand for some fresh popcorn and water…which was also FREE! (although they graciously accepted donations) My mom and I picked up a program, found our seats and did some light reading while we waited for the show to begin..

Finally it was show time!! I wasn’t allowed to take pictures during the show, so what follows is the stage without the dancers.


The show was wonderful. There isn’t a bad seat in the house. I was impressed with the extend of the cat-y make up and I loved that the actors were all different ages–from seniors in high school to senior citizens. I was reminded how much talent is in the Peoria area.

I might be back later in July to watch Footloose–pending the weather. It was a little warm under the tent last night, I can’t imagine how hot it would be in the middle of July.

See you tomorrow, CI!

TP

Psst! Costs to follow:

Adult ticket: $18

Student ticket: $12

Popcorn & water: FREE

Total: $30 (for two people)

(actual total for myself, $0 because my mom paid. What a gal!)

Elmwood Strawberry Festival–6/4/11

You would think that I’d be burnt out from small town festivals after crossing into enemy territory on Friday night at the Washington Cherry Festival…but I packed up my car, picked up Lindsey and headed out to Elmwood for the one day Strawberry Festival. It was a delightful day full of sunshine, strawberries and people watching.

When Linds and I first got to Elmwood (about a 20-30 minute drive from North Peoria), we walked right into the on going car show.

Cars aren’t my thing, but it was more fun to see the owners of these swanky vehicles lounging in the shade..I’m assuming most people who enjoyed this part of the festival would also chat it up with the owners–but we don’t know anything about cars other than how to pump gas. So instead we picked out our favorites for a little photo op:

This car looked like it was eating Lindsey–so I added eyes and teeth for a dramatic effect. Once we were bored with the cars, we need to cool off with a sweet strawberry treat (sans alcohol–the Elmwood Strawberry Festival didn’t have a beer tent in sight!). ¬†As we headed to the food tent, we noticed these awesome sandbags:

Aren’t those hilarious?On our way, we passed a bags tournament, a hula hooping contest and a live band! Once we got to the dessert/food tent, we bought some desserts from some little old ladies at the one and only food tent at the fair. I got strawberry pizza and Lindsey got a piece of strawberry pie. (She later went back to buy a whole pie to take home!)

Holy strawberry party in my mouth! My strawberry pizza was awesome, but I had a bite of Lindsey’s strawberry pie and that won me over, hands down! Next in line was finding something to quench our thirsts–Strawberry lemon shake-ups, it is!

We walked around the festival with our drinks in hand to check out the local craft vendors.

We even ran into some friends of mine–Howie, Heather, and their adorable baby Dahlia (who was decked out in a strawberry onezie!!)

We made one last stop at the old lady booth to pick up some strawberry jam…which we found out that it was made with over 500 pounds of strawberries! Also the strawberries for the jam were imported because the strawberries grown in Elmwood weren’t ripe yet…I felt a little betrayed after knowing that.

After that it was time for us to hit the old dusty trail. It was sweltering and I needed my car’s A/C stat! Linds and I discussed the differences between the Cherry Festival and the Strawberry Festival. The Cherry Fest had a beer tent…but the Strawberry Fest had an all around better/cuter vibe. The Strawberry Fest also didn’t have hand sanitizing stations, which we concluded were unnecessary considering the Strawberry Fest made us feel way less dirty than the Cherry Fest. (Sorry Washington)

The Elmwood Strawberry Festival was a cheap and delightful afternoon. You can bet that I will be back next summer.

I’m excited about my “activity” tonight–my mom and I are going to kick it old school.

See you tomorrow!

TP

Pssst! Cost break down, anyone?

Strawberry pizza (slice): $2.50

Strawberry lemon shake-up: $2.00

Total: $4.50

(Lindsey spent $2.00 on a slice of pie, $2.00 on a strawberry lemon shake-up, $10.00 on a strawberry pie, and $5.00 on a jar of jam… $19.00 total)