Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

The Cheapest Round of Golf You’ll Find in the NW Suburbs August 25, 2014

Filed under: Kate — Uncharted @ 4:13 pm
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So it turns out we live close to an awesome little 5 Hole Golf Course located in Barrington, IL and we had no idea! We believe the course is owned and operated by the Barrington Park District, but I can’t say for sure. If a volunteer is not collecting money/donations ($10 non-residents, $8 residents of Barrington), they leave an Honor Box out for you, so you can still be a good person and contribute to keeping this little course going.

So the course consists of 5 Holes. Your payment buys you two rounds though, so you’re actually playing a Round of 10 Holes. The course is well maintained, especially considering the price, though the “Rough” is quite rough and the Greens are a wee bit slow (OK, really slow, but hey!). Also of note: the holes are great for practicing on some Par 3’s, but the longest hole is only 200 yards. Don’t let this little course fool you though, Hole’s 1 and 5 have quite a few trees, which always seem to get in the way!

Hole 1   Hole 3

Anyway, Eric and I have been going every weekend since our discovery of this neat little place because it’s super casual (you can literally wear whatever you want), cheap, and a great way to practice our golfing. Eric’s even birdied – twice! If you’re in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago and looking for a relaxed and fun place to golf (it’s a great place to take beginners or kids to learn!), you should check it out!



March Maddness March 20, 2013

Ok folks, are your brackets field out? The big dance starts tomorrow and I cannot wait. And yes, I have all my brackets filled out. Yes, bracket(s) plural. Personally, I’m using ESPN and CBS for the different pools I’m in. Don’t worry, none of the pools are for money. Just bragging rights and well one dinner.

If I had to recommend a site to use for managing your brackets, it would be ESPN. The tipping point is ESPN’s mobile bracket app, “Bracket Bound”. It nicely and conveniently syncs up all of your ESPN account information. This allows me to follow my “favorite”d teams like Duke, Illinois, Kansas, Indiana, North Carolina and of course Valparaiso in one easy spot. Don’t judge my teams too harshly. Yes, I follow both Duke and North Carolina. Why, you might ask? It’s because of the team’s coaches. My favorite teams are led by my favorite coaches. And it’s good to have a few favorites. It happens when you’re a coach. Plus I love watching each to learn valuable coaching tips, special designed plays, and of course gestures. Don’t worry, I have yet to throw any chairs at my kids. 😉

But getting back to the topic at hand, the Bracket Bound application…it features all of my brackets that I have created with ESPN. I can easily click on one bracket or another to see how I’m fairing.  One of my favorite feature is the real-time updates and live coverage. Being able to watch games on the go is perfect for me, a person on the go all the time!

The only negative item I’ve encountered is when you on accident make a bracket that you don’t need. The delete option doesn’t seem to be readily available  I’ve just held on to the empty bracket, but I know folks who have completely deleted their account and started a new one because they couldn’t figure it out.  If anyone figures it out, let me know!

So who do you have picked to win it all? Or at least go to the final four? Only time will tell! Oh, and go Valpo! 🙂


NCAA Bracket 2013

NCAA Bracket 2013


Going to the Big Dance March 13, 2013

My favorite time of the year is approaching…March Madness. Even as I type, I’m nervously watching my alma mater, Valparaiso University,  battle for the Horizon League Championship. Good thing I’m writing the day before so I have some time to review for any typo’s or special character inserts.

Last year Matt and I were able to go to the Horizon League Championship. Unfortunately this year we have to watch it via a couch and ESPN. There is something special about being at a live game.The intensity of everyone in the gym radiates off the walls. You can’t help but get excited or emotional over each and every play. High-fiving the person next to you or holding their hand for a miracle free-throw. Plus you know, we have to help the refs out, even if we’re sitting in the nosebleeds.

Strangely this same effect happens even when I’m waiting a game from the couch. Coincidence? Probably not since I’m a huge sports fan. I’m simply staying true to who I am no matter where I am. All through the Valpo game I was cheering, clapping and shouting words of encouragement. And of course, coaching. Because you know, just like the refs can hear me so can the players just as if I were standing court-side.

But what really helped make it feel like I was at the ARC was constantly updating my Twitter feed. It was awesome to see my college friends posting similar tweets. It was like getting virtual high-fives as comments rolled in. We were all rooting for a VU win from all over the country and world. And with every hashtag we wrote as the minutes decreased we only wanted it more and more.

Luckily Valpo pulled out a win. It wasn’t an easy win as they did give me a few scares. I definitely needed an hour to “cool down” after the game and make sure my heart rate was back to normal. The day after the game, it’s been fun to watch fellow alumni change their pictures/backgrounds on social media sites to further show support of Valpo. I think it’s so cool to watch! Plus it’s a great way to show the team how proud the alumni are of their achievement. These boys have worked very hard over the last four years. And now they need to get their dancing shoes ready. I’m only a little excited.

But nonetheless, I’m curious about what our readers think about college basketball. Who are you rooting for? Does your college alma mater have any special traditions during March Madness? Share your comments below!

And of course, go VU!



Guess I’m a Michigan Fan September 5, 2012

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 9:31 pm
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Since I’ve started dating Matt, my affinity for collegiate athletics has grown to embrace college football.  And this past weekend, quite literally, kicked off the start to the 2012-2013-college football season.  Many of you know I’m fan of college sports so it works out quite well.  Basketball will still be my favorite and when it comes to professional teams, I do follow faithfully the Bears and Cubs for the record.

Unfortunately though, since I’ve started watching college football, it has created a minor rift with my best friend, Jill. Why you may ask? Well, Matt’s favorite team is the University of Michigan. And Jill’s is Michigan State. So yeah, a little rivalry. And I’m in the middle (well maybe be a little closer to the U of M side…). Truth be told, they’re pretty good about playing nicely. And the trash talk is pretty amusing.

One new thing that I’m learning about watching college football is all the preparation to watch the game from your sofa. It starts with the apparel. At least a t-shirt or shorts displaying the school is required. Baseball caps can be worn for additional flare.  Once you’re properly outfitted, it is time to add some flare in the room of which you will be watching the game.  This can be done a few ways. One way is to hang up flags and or pennants.  If that’s not enough, break out your cozies, plastic cups, beer glasses, or shot glasses from your favorite team. They might come in handy later pending on how well they are doing. Once the stage is set, it’s time for the meal.

I’m not going to lie, the food is my favorite thing. Matt had picked up New York strip steak for us. We grilled the steaks and topped them with blue cheese and fried onions. Tasty! For a side we baked sweet potatoes together with brussel sprouts with garlic, thyme and olive oil. Also very tasty. And for dessert we enjoyed New Glarus’s Raspberry Tart over vanilla bean ice cream. This was extremely tasty!

Raspberry Tart Float with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream – Epic! *Photo courtesy of Matt

Even though Michigan was not able to win against Alabama, I had a great meal and learned about the proper preparation for a college football game.  I’m ok spending the rest of my Saturday nights watching college football if it means getting steak and drinking good beer. Oh, and the company is not so bad either.


Touchdown Rush May 4, 2011

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 9:58 pm
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Whether watching it on TV or at a tournament, watching golf can be like watching paint dry. Even baseball as a spectator can be a little sluggish sometimes. (Unless it’s the Cubs playing, of course.) Faster-paced sports have always been my game, either playing and/or watching them, sports like basketball, hockey, soccer and football I could watch all day with no problem. It’s even better if they are collegiate teams.

However, I found a new sport that I really enjoy, arena football. Fun fact: Chicago is home to the “Chicago Rush”, who are actually celebrating their 10th season this year. I remember seeing something about arena football a few years ago on ESPN, but otherwise I never paid much attention to it. That was until one of my co-workers asked a few weekends ago if I’d like to go to a game. And of course my answer was yes!

The Chicago Rush play at the All-State Arena, and rock a five-month season which starts in mid-March and runs through the end of July. The Rush is part of the national conference, central division, which is comprised of teams from Dallas, Iowa, Kansas City and Tulsa.

Talk about a quick-paced game. In arena football, a team can score within the first 10 seconds of the initial kick-off and final scores of games can easily reach over 60 points for each team.

Contributing to the high scoring game is the small field size of 85 feet wide by 50 yards long. Only eight players are allowed on the field at a time. And you can also play off of the “goalside rebound nets”. This can be pretty nifty if you can properly catch or get a lucky bounce, if not you might be in trouble.

Aside from that though, what I was really impressed with was the dedication of the players during the game. They played hard with their whole hearts. The team was definitely tuned into the crowd and you could tell they were out on the field for their fans.

After the game many of the players went back out on the field to meet with the fans. They took the time to great each one individually, to sign their playbook or take a photo. Players even took critiques about their touchdown dances in stride.

Who knows, with a ticket only costing $25 I might check out a few more games this season!

Chicago Rush Field


Let’s Go Bears! October 24, 2010

Filed under: Kate — Uncharted @ 10:30 pm
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Ok Ladies, here is the 411 on football. We think we don’t like it because it is boring and it’s a bunch of guys running at each other and not making sense… (I’ve thought that before, I promise), but then I starting dating a guy who’s first love was football. Hopefully his second love was me… I think. But here is the real low down. This sport takes guts, smarts and talents. And let’s face it, a football player or lover is dead sexy. This is a man’s game. 

You will read this if you want to make sense to the opposite sex, whether for business or pleasure, and yes, both have come up in my life. The Bears take years off of my life. I, myself, am secretly in love with Charles Tillman, number 33, or better known as “Peanut.” This is mostly because he calls the country station, 99.5 regularly, so I feel like I know him. Maybe we all have our favorite players, but no one player on the Bears is going to make this sucky team win. We all want them to win, because a happy boyfriend is a sexy boyfriend. But let’s face it, the Bears suck. Their coaches suck, the players suck and well, let’s all admit it, Chicago hasn’t had a good team since the 2005 White Sox. Or better yet, the 90’s Bulls.

Hester, #23, could run the ball if Washington would kick it to him. Cutler, #6, could pass the ball if Knox, #13, was paying attention and Moore, #30, could intercept the ball if the refs didn’t call bogus calls. But the fact of the matter is, the refs hate the Chicago Bears and they are doomed to become the next Chicago Cubs. Sorry Cubs fans, but it is true. It takes years off of my life to be a Chicago Fan.

Every Sunday I wear my #22 jersey and pray,l and every Sunday I am either feeling lucky or disgusted based on their performance. C’mon Bears, let’s see some action. Yeah the owners don’t pay you well, but you represent the best city in the world… let’s show them what we’re made of.


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