I am going to run in China!

I have been keeping this amazing secret in until it was announced but now I can share it all I want!  I have been selected to go to Hefei, China in November for their half marathon to represent the Columbus Marathon through Sister Cities Athlete Exchange.  I feel so honored to be a part of this experience and I am so Excited!

So how did this come about?  I can’t even say for sure how I found it, it was on an email or a FB post–can’t remember but I read the information and then talked to the hubby.  I told him about it and he was 100% on board so off I went to work on the application.   I really didn’t think I would get a spot but I was still really excited.  The questions were pretty basic, not like a physics exam or anything but they did take some thought but they were good questions.  Click link below to see the application: Sister Cities Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon Exchange 2017

So I worked on it on and off for about 2-3 days (I am crazy and re-read about 40 times!) and I sent it off.  Then of course, how it usually works I see a post on Facebook that they are having an information meeting 2 days after I sent in my application-LOL.  So I went to the meeting and it became real that this could possibly happen.  Past participants were there and they had such great stories about their experiences and the people at Sister Cities were great and the director of the Columbus Marathon was there and it was awesome to hear him speak.  It was pretty casual meeting but really informative, I left anxiously/cautiously excited.

We left for vacation right after the deadline and they said at the meeting they would notify 1-2 weeks after.  So I  was anxious every time my phone rang wondering if I would get a call.  So mid week we went to lunch and I didn’t bring my phone so of course, what happened?? I got the call!!!  I was so excited and nervous so while the boys swam in the pool (while it rained!!) I sat under the tiki bar to watch them and called them back.  She was super nice and asked a couple questions and then said, “So what are you doing November 12th?  We would like to invite you to join us in Hefei, China as an ambassador for the Columbus marathon”.  I didn’t hesitate and said, “yes!!! I would love to!”

SOOO that is how it went down, now stay posted on the rest of the adventure 🙂

Check out the Announcement Page:

Columbus Marathon Sister Cities Announcement

My Facebook Announcement Picture-Cheeseball!!!!

China

 

The Shell Hunt

I love shell hunting, I think I am the only one in my whole extended family that likes to but I can’t help myself -I love it.  I am not sure if it is the hunt, possible awesome find, the anticipation, the curiosity of what could be out there, maybe missing out on something or just walking the beach.  I would guess it’s a combo of all those things because I love a good sale too-which are the same reasons as above (minus the awesome view of the ocean!!)

So I have been hoping at least one of my kids would take up the love for shell hunting but I am not sure it’s working.  Every time we go to the beach I plan and research where to look, what time of day, what is the best beach, what we are looking for-hours of time on good old GOOGLE.  Drives the husband nuts.  So this vacation was no different.  We came to Outer Banks last year but we really just looked at the beach where we were staying.  We didn’t find much on the beach BUT we did find an absolute gem of a shell shop called Shipwreck.  It took a lot of digging to find this place and it is a bit out of the way depending on where you are staying but definitely worth the trip.  Great assortment of shells (though most not local), great prices, very mom and pop shop.  I will warn you though if you are looking for great customer service, this is not your spot.  Both trips we have made we weren’t spoken to until we were at the checkout but to me the experience, the variety of shells and items makes up the difference.  Check this link for their information:   Shipwreck Shell Shop

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This year, I didn’t do homework ahead of time because I didn’t know if I wanted to bother with making a trek to some random part of the island and coming up empty handed.  But once we got to Duck I was determined yet again on this vacation to have a shell hunting adventure. I googled like crazy our first night at our rental house for about 3 hours.  I found some beaches that were supposed to be good spots but ALL of the pages I looked said (of course) shelling is partial luck, partial weather, and partial location.

The next morning off we went!  We started in Duck, OBX and we headed down to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse area (We wanted to visit the lighthouses too).  The drive was about 1 1/2+ hours so we arrived around 10.  (We lost Kid #1’s flip flop somewhere in the house and after 30 mins of looking we just bought a new pair on the way but that put us behind!!)

We got to the beach we could see the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in the background-so cool!!  It was cloudy and a bit cool but still good shell hunting weather.  As soon as we got there we found an awesome screw shell.  It wasn’t in perfect condition but I was ecstatic, one of my all time great finds!

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The kids and hubby weren’t as excited as I was to find all the shells especially since we haven’t had great luck at the last couple of beaches for shells.   The boys played in the ocean, dug some holes, then would look for some shells and then go off to play again.

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The baby LOVED the beach, the ocean and the shells!!  Once she realized what we were doing she was picking up all kinds of shells and adding them to the collection.  It was a great success at the beach and while I might still be the only one with the true love of shell hunting, it was still a great family adventure!!!

And then off to the lighthouses we went!  We got to see Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and the Bodie Island Lighthouse.  We didn’t get to climb them because the 2 youngest weren’t tall enough to climb so we walked around outside and took in all that was around the Lighthouses.  Definitely a great day!!!

Once we get them all cleaned and dried we are going to work on some fun craft projects with our shells, we will post once we complete them!!

If you are ever in the Outer Banks and like shell hunting I highly suggest checking out the beach and shell store!  Happy Hunting!