Author Archive: Erin

Midwest Road Trip

Whoa, we are getting really close to the start of our South American adventure – we leave tomorrow!  We’ve been hanging out in Brookings with my family, mainly relaxing, eating and drinking for the past week.  We had a great little road trip to get here!  We left Michigan on Thursday, June 5th and drove to the Quad cities in Iowa.  Friday morning we drove to Omaha and spent the day (and night) with family and friends.  Saturday morning was spent in Lincoln with more family and friends and then we had a long drive out to Chadron, NE.  Sunday we spent in the Southern Black Hills of South Dakota and then explored the Northern Black Hills on Monday.  Tuesday was a long drive day from Western to Eastern SD with stops at Wall Drug, the Badlands and the Corn Palace.  Here’s what we saw along the way:

Memorial Stadium

Quick stop by Memorial Stadium in Lincoln

Exploring Wind Cave National Park

Exploring Wind Cave National Park

Brandon's first visit to Mount Rushmore!

Brandon’s first visit to Mount Rushmore!

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Cruising around the Black Hills

Cruising around the Black Hills

We hiked to the top of Little Devil's Tower in Custer State Park.

Top of Little Devil’s Tower in Custer State Park

B&E on Little Devil's Tower

Both of us on Little Devil’s Tower


View of the Needles


Bison on the side of the road

Waterfall in Spearfish Canyon

Waterfall in Spearfish Canyon

Relaxing with some beers at Crow Peak Brewery in Spearfish

Relaxing with some beers at Crow Peak Brewery in Spearfish

Badlands 2

The Badlands


More of the Badlands

Hiking in the Badlands

Hiking in the Badlands

Brandon hiking Badlands

More hiking in the Badlands (I went a little photo snap happy!)

Half Marathon Weekend in Madison

We headed up to Madison for Memorial Day weekend to hang out with my sisters and brother-in-law and to complete my 6th half marathon!  Saturday we went downtown to visit the capitol square for the farmers market.  And obviously carb loaded with Stella’s hot and spicy cheese bread.

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We picked up our race packets, poked around the capitol, stopped by the zoo and then headed over to the University of Wisconsin campus for some beers on the terrace at the union (More carb loading. Duh.)



Sunday was race day!  I have to brag a bit because I KILLED IT!  I beat my previous PR by almost 10 minutes and finished solidly before the 2 hour mark at 1:50:53.  This was the 3rd half that I’ve gotten to run with both Jen and Steph and our friend Hannah came up with a good tag for us – Chases Run Races!


Brandon (with Adam and friends David and Hannah) got up early to cheer us on!


The rest of the day was relaxing with brunch (and a visit to the National Mustard Museum while we waited for a table), napping, and helping my bro-in-law Adam celebrate his birthday!  We did a brewery tour at Ale Asylum and then headed back to Steph and Adam’s for more beer, pizza, cake and movies.  HBD Adam!


Chicago Bucket List

As we’ve been getting ready to head South, Brandon and I have been crossing a few things off our Chicago Bucket List.  Even after living here for the last 4 years, there are still some must dos (and eats!) before we leave.

Dinner at Girl and the Goat

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A few more visits from family (and runs past Wrigley)


A trip to the Sky Deck at the Sears Tower


Up next: Dinner at Honey Butter Fried Chicken with a stop at Black Dog Gelato on the way home.  And then maybe a walk to burn off 1/100th of the calories consumed 🙂