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Lessons I learned while visiting the Pacific Northwest
Relaxing time away – on overdrive. That’s the only way I can describe traveling with my former college roommate, Shaye, and her sister, Marrianne. Except for the destination, our trips rarely have a plan or involve much sleep. Yet we always manage to see some astoundingly beautiful parts of the country. We somehow manage to get the fantastic photos and have the most amazingly fun-filled time. And we laugh. A lot. This year’s destination – the Pacific Northwest. Here is a list of a few things I learned while visiting. Do NOT let the airline ship your bag to Fort… Read More

Thank you, veterans
This Veterans Day, we salute the veterans of the armed forces of the United States by giving a brief history of the founding of each of the five services. All information below, and much more can be found at the U.S. Army Center of Military History.   U.S. Army The Continental Army was created on June 14, 1775, by the Continental Congress as a unified army for the colonies to fight Great Britain, with George Washington himself appointed as its commander. In 2011, the regular Army reported a strength of 546,057 soldiers, the Army National Guard reported 358,078 and the… Read More

Formula 1 – My day at the race
Last week, I blogged about what I had heard from others regarding the Formula 1 races in Austin, Texas. But this past weekend, I got the amazing opportunity to actually attend the United States Grand Prix in person. My first impression was, “Whoa, this is one of the coolest things I have ever seen.” The Circuit of the Americas track had a magnificent set up. There were bright lights, fun colors, fountains, green grass, bleachers, luxurious VIP tents, fun merchant tents and much more. It was truly a spectacle – fitting for such a big event. A few friends and… Read More

The best of Blog-tober from Santander Consumer USA – only a little scary
Halloween has come and gone but the best posts of October – or Blog-tober, as we call it – are still around for you, the discerning reader of the Santander Consumer USA blog. Click on the headlines below to scare up some treats (no tricks) from last month: How to find the best car deals Here are some of the best resources available online to help car and truck shoppers find the best possible deals on new, pre-owned and lease vehicles. Use them and you’ll be less likely to get lost in the advertising noise that sometimes seems designed more… Read More

It’s that time of year again
Every year, countless children of all ages wait patiently for fall colors and the chill on the air to signal the arrival of one of the most special holidays on the calendar. People who love this holiday associate it with cackling laughs, haunted moans, foreboding bumps on tightly shut doors and October 31. I speak, of course, of National Knock Knock Joke Day! In honor of this most well-loved of holidays, we present these knock knock jokes that we think you’ll find a-door-able.   Knock knock. Who’s there? Theodore. Theodore who? Theodore wasn't open, so I knocked.   Knock knock.… Read More

Keep safe – it’s gonna get scary out there
Halloween approaches, like a foreboding omen, or the fluttering crescendo of a bat's wings. But don't be frightened. If you observe a few simple rules, you can think safe instead of running scared. According to a 20-year survey of accident data by State Farm and Bert Sperling of bestplaces.net, Halloween is one of the most dangerous nights of the year for driving. The summary of their data survey showed that young people have greater difficulty in just drivers' reactions and have a tendency to cross streets quickly, though not necessarily safely. These factors, among others, may contribute to the accidents… Read More

Chicago – My kind of town
Sweet home, Chicago. Ahhh…summers on the lakefront, deep-dish pizza, the blues and the wonderful world of Windy City sports. The only thing better than summertime in Chicago might be the fall sports season. Baseball wraps up just in time for the first hockey puck to drop in the United Center. (As a lifelong, die-hard Cubs fan, I learned long ago the realities of the post-season.) The Bears are in full swing while the Fire are winding down. And the anticipation of a promising Bulls season is on the horizon. Seriously – could it GET any better than this? Toss in… Read More

When Formula 1 makes its only stop in the U.S.
The best part about moving to Austin, Texas, is that I am never bored. There is always something to see or do. Relocating from Chicago a few months ago, everything is a new and amazing experience for me. From concerts and music festivals (the city’s slogan is “The Live Music Capital of the World” after all), shopping, or some new food for me to try, I never cease to be amazed. One of the more interesting things that Austin has to offer is the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix. For the third year, the Texas capital hosts one of… Read More

Road trip: What I learned going from Texas to California
When you find yourself driving from North Texas to San Francisco to help your friend move back home, minor details like making a budget or, perhaps planning a route, might slip your mind. Maybe it's just me. Here are the biggest mistakes I learned to never (again) make on a road trip, planned or spontaneous. Apple Maps is all you need to navigate from point A to B, right? That is until you lose your signal. Or your aging phone enters an infinite shut-off-boot-up loop any time you so much as breathe on the screen. The solution? Bring maps. The… Read More

The World Series – a tale of three cities
October 1985 was a magical time. Especially if you were a baseball fan and living in Missouri. In addition to the annual beauty of the leaves changing color in the Midwest, the Show-Me State’s own Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals were playing in the World Series. Living in southwest Missouri, approximately three hours from either metropolis, our city was divided on those bleeding Royal Blue and Cardinal Red. It was referred to as the “I-70 Series” and it was a blast to be a part of. More so for Royals fans as KC was crowned champs following an… Read More