Valentine’s Day, Our Way

Since the beginning of the year, Sean’s and my lives haven’t been very normal. I’ve spent the majority of the time hopping back and forth across shifts and Sean’s spent that time trying to figure out when he’s actually going to get to see me. As a result, Valentine’s Day was a little weird for us this year. Granted, we’re not big on Valentine’s Day. I like to observe it if for no other reason than it’s just another excuse to go on a date with Sean. Most of the time, we don’t even get each other gifts. Instead, we’ll pick some activity to do together, such as go to a nice restaurant we’ve been wanting to try.
This year, since Valentine’s Day fell on a weekday and I’ve been on 3rd shift the past couple of weeks, our celebration of V-day was postponed until the Saturday following. What did we choose to do this year? Why, go race cars of course. 🙂 We decided to go down to one of the indoor kart racing locations here in town, called F1 Race Factory. What a blast! In case you’re not familiar with the concept of indoor kart racing, think of the go-carts that you can find at your smaller amusement park locations. Make the cart itself a little bigger, with a 4-point harness and a bigger engine (270cc). The result? A kart that has the capability of going much faster. I’d never actually gotten to race one of these things, so Saturday was a whole new experience for me. Sean had raced them once before when we still lived on the East coast. It was so much fun getting to run around the track. Oh yeah, these little karts, much like go-carts, have no power steering. With the speed of a go-cart, it’s no big deal, but holy cow, my arms are still feeling it today after running for 10 minutes around hair pin turns and having to muscle the steering wheel on my own. It certainly made driving the Miata an absolute breeze the next morning.

Other than going kart racing (which, btw, Sean beat me, but only by .8 seconds), we hopped over to REI’s Garage Sale (a quarterly event where they drastically mark down all returned items, no matter what condition they’re in), where I picked up a new snowboarding jacket, a great new bag for backpacking and some shoes for Sean; and we climbed Camelback Mountain. Actually, we made it about 1/3 to 1/2 way up before I called it quits. Camelback Mountain is a very steep mountain smack in the middle of the Phoenix metro area. It offers the best view of the entire valley, but you have to be willing to climb 2700 feet in 1.2 miles to enjoy it. We’re going to go back this Friday and after that every Friday that I have off until we can climb it without killing ourselves. Then, we’ll just find another mountain to conquer in the area.

That was a bit of a rambling post. Sorry for that. This is me trying to keep myself awake at work. Hope everyone has a great week at work.

A visit from Huntsvegas

A couple weeks ago, we had a small contingent of some of our very good friends from Huntsvegas come out and visit us for a long weekend. The long weekend wasn’t nearly long enough, but we settled for it. Misty, Stephen, Eli, Sean and I got to go on a tour of the parks in Phoenix that weekend which made Eli a very happy man. On Sunday, we squeezed one adult activity in and that was going up to Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s home here in Phoenix.

I’m a horrible writer, so I’m sure whatever I say on this topic won’t express how much I enjoyed having Misty, Stephen and Eli come out and visit us. When we lived in Huntsville, we were always getting together for one activity or another. I would consider them some of the best friends I’ve had the fortune of having in my life. Having them out here over the weekend reminded me of how much I missed having them in my life on a more regular basis. Phone calls, e-mail and blogs just don’t replace physical presence for me.

At the beginning of the weekend, I was so worried about having a child running around Sean’s and my house for a weekend. Since we’re not parents yet, we’re not used to a kid’s time table and our house isn’t exactly child-proofed. I don’t know why I was so worried. By the end of the weekend, our house was almost too quiet and too empty after Eli had been in it for a weekend.

Enough of my babbling. I did take some pictures of the weekend. I didn’t take as many as I wanted to, but when you’re having fun participating in the activities it’s hard to remember to take pictures.