My April Vacation..in as few words as possible

Wedding

P.s. Photobooths at a wedding are NEVER a bad idea….

Marathon Monday

Good times….

Little bit of painting…

Then into Boston to the Girls on the Run meet and greet.

Tried out Max Brenner’s new restaurant on a whim…it was heavenly!


South End Athletic Company for new sneakers (even though I didn’t do much exercising this week).

Now I am spending the rest of my Friday preparing to get my bake on for Easter Sunday.

For the record I did not go to Regina’s ONCE during this week.  One would think with this much time off I would’ve glued myself in a booth for the week.  Actually, I guess the week isn’t over yet…

What did you do this week?

~L

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Cozumel

Cozumel was the first stop on the cruise and the first thing I liked about it was that it was docked at the port.  I love walking off the boat into the little shopping area.

It was the first day of the trip and Jack was feeling super relaxed, he let me bring him in all the shops (regardless of the fact they all sold the same goods).

Since we didn’t book an excursion we wandered toward where we thought may be the direction of downtown and happened upon a small beachside bar and grill.  The had caronas for me and offered seaside massages for Jack.  While he relaxed, I drank a couple cervezas and chatted with a couple couples from Canada.

I also had a beer at Fat Tuesdays while Jack ran to grab something on the boat.  Fat Tuesdays was also right on the water and was very festive.

Upon Jack’s return I was getting hungry.  When I get hungry I get grumpy (even after a few beers) so we headed to a restaurant across the way called “3 Amigos”.  We got a nice table on the deck overlooking the water and I promptly ordered a mango margarita…

which was served on our waiter’s head?!

Jack must’ve felt left out, so he got a cool balloon hat to wear

We munched on some fresh tomato salsa and jalapeno poppers.  I love jalapeno poppers!

Cozumel was warm, sunny, and a great first stop on the trip.  We spent the whole afternoon there and I enjoyed every second of it.  I even picked up my goodies for my mom, dad, and brother while I was there!

On that note…buenos noches 🙂

Setting Sail with Carnival Glory

Well, it is hard to believe that just two short days ago I was sitting in the warm Caribbean sun *sigh*.  When I heard of the weather conditions on my travels home yesterday I first hoped for a snow day today then, knowing it would never happen, contemplated taking up permanent residence on the Carnival Glory.  I decided against the latter for two reasons:

  1. my wallet probably couldn’t afford anymore martini/wine/beer bills
  2. my waistline definitely can not handle anymore three-course meals 🙂

Yes friends, I am finally home and snapping out of my food coma and back into reality.

But before I go any further with the crazy talk of “I am glad I am back home and getting back into the swing of things”, I’d like to share some highlights of my vacation to get you through this crappy rain.

Jack and I flew into Miami last Saturday and stayed near the Miami Port because we wanted to make sure we made it to the boat on time Sunday.  We putzed (is that a word?) around the seaport, ate lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe, and had dinner at an little Italian restaurant on the waterfront.  It was delightful!

The Carnival Glory set sail on late Sunday afternoon.  I was lucky enough to have my friend Chris, who not only loves cruises but has a travel site to book one, answer all my questions before hand.  I really like knowing what to expect 🙂

We couldn’t get into the rooms for a bit so we headed to the adult only section of the boat and hung up there, far away from the zillion kiddies who took over the pool and water slide.  

I also ordered their drink of the day and relaxed in the warm Florida sun for a bit.

After we got in the room and took a nap we waited until the boat set sail.  I took pictures of what I saw: water and sun.

Ok you get the picture, right? I got a pedicure and then Jack and I headed to the steakhouse for dinner.  It was delish.  I got a whole complimentary bottle of wine for myself (I didn’t drink it all if you’re curious)

and Jack got a taste of the chef’s newest appetizer….

(a hamburger the size of his thumb).

We finished off the night at the Piano Bar, which unexpectedly turned into our nightly hangout for the cruise.  I will talk about Ron the Piano man in another post.  I admire him because I have always wanted to be able to play the piano.  (I took lessons in 5th grade and quit and took two classes in college and quit.)

_____________________________________

Today it was pretty tough getting up-and-at-’em I’ll tell you.  I must have a decent tan becasue several of my fifth graders said to me “Miss C. you got darker”, haha.  THey are very observant!  Hopefully I can keep my golden-Carribean glow for the rest of the winter. (Hollywood Tans *ahem*).

Well I could keep rambling about my day but this post is probably long enough (though I DID have the most amazing CrossFit workout with Tristan tonight) and I still need to eat some food before bed.

What is your favorite vacation destination?  Would you like to be on a cruise where you bop around to different places for a week, or fly and stay put for the time? I am definitely a beach bum and getting me to do anything off of a beach chair is damn-near impossible (just ask Jack)!

Night

~L


So long 2010…

2010 was a good year to me overall and even though I didn’t begin the year with any formal resolutions or goals for the entire year, I think that I accomplished a lot of smaller goals that I identified as the year passed.

I thought a good way to get started in 2011 would be by reflecting on some things I did last year.

In January I started taking my fitness seriously and stuck to a balanced gym routine that included cardio, strength training, and a little flexibility.  I stuck to a set schedule of gymming-it four days a week, working on a 4 day split that hit all muscle groups, including abs .  I tried to incorporate different cardio exercises and tried to do yoga once a week to keep myself interested.  My energy levels were so high throughout the day and working out quickly became my go-to stress reliever (wine is a very close second of course 😉 )

THe Mayor's Inaugural Ball

I also worked very hard at finding new, healthy food and making simple substitutions (switching to whole wheat pasta for example) to help me stay fuller longer and “get more bang for my buck” with the foods I ate.

In March I started two things that I love: running and my blog!  Starting my blog was an adventure in itself and I got great feedback from family and friends who were trying to life a similar lifestyle to the one I was trying to get into!  I loved writing and sharing my experiences.

A St. Patrick's Day post was one of my first

In April I joined the Melrose Running Club’s Walk to Run program.  I could already run a full three miles but joining the 10 week program built my confidence in running, helped me with my pacing, and got me pumped to keep running.  It wasn’t always easy, and many days I had to drag myself out there to get a run in, but eventually I LOVED IT!  If you’re just starting out, check out my posts on how I began:  week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4, week 5, week 6, week 7, week 8, week 9

Which led me to running my first race on Mother’s Day in May.  It was 3.5 miles and I finished in just over 30 minutes.  I was hooked!

That race led to me completing two 5-Mile races by the middle of June!  (The second was way better than the first).

Baldi River Run

Harpoon

At the end of July Jack and I went to Hawaii.  It was hands-down the best vacation I have ever been on. We went for 8 days, had beautiful weather, saw Pearl Harbor, went to a luau, hiked Diamond Head, took a sunset cruise, and I got to meet his best friend who lives out there.  I can’t wait to go back!

August brought big steps because after my annual family trip to Old Orchard Beach, I gave my 60 day notice to my landlord and moved to Charlestown with the boy. (I am settling quite nicely into my role as a yuppie by the way).

The fall flew by with getting used to teaching a new grade level and this winter I was prepping for the first big wedding in my family!  My cousin Carney got married New Year’s Day (Congrats to Carney and Mark!) and I was a bridesmaid.  I had lots of duties along with my status in the bridal party, and that included planning a shower…

a bachelorette party…

and dancing my butt off at the wedding.

Mission accomplished.

Yes, folks, 2010 was quite good to me, and to recreate that happiest, healthiest version of me it is important I take into account all the things that made me happiest and healthiest last year.  With hopes, of course, to do the same in 2011.

I’ve got to do a little more pondering about what I want out of 2011, though…

In what ways was 2010 good to you?? 🙂

~L

Take a hike, or a nature walk

WARNING: This post has a lot of pictures…but smile, the post could be way worse 🙂

Saturday morning I woke up feeling refreshed.  I actually slept like a log and woke up around 9.  I always get worried when I go away that I will either sleep too long or not long enough.  I stress over what I will do if I wake up too early and hate the thought that I would hold everyone up.  Since I slept of the murphy bed (which pulls down from the living room wall) I knew that movement of the ladies would wake me!

Breakfast was pancakes.  I heart pancakes for breakfast.  Since the beginning of the summer I have been super lazy with my breakfast, often just eating an energy bar or waiting until lunch so I forgot how much I missed these babies.

Amy mixed the batter and I cooked them up.  I always cook my pancakes in butter.  I love the crispy edges they get when they cook that way.  When I was younger I used to LOVE when my dad made us pancakes because he would put chocolate chips in them.  Since I was on vacation, and had none available to me (I did contemplate adding some cookie dough), I settled for a yogurt on the side.

Stonyfield Key Lime is delicious.

After breakfast we got dressed, jumped in the cars, and cruised to our hiking spot for the day which was about 5 minutes from the resort.  The trail was a very flat, very straight, 3 mile walk to some natural water slides and pools.  I was looking forward to an easier hike than Friday’s.

Amy, Me, Andrea, Maria, Devon

The path was soooo straight.  We literally saw this for 3 miles (each way!)

We kept ourselves entertained, don’t worry!  First, we stopped and checked out a log that had fallen across the rocks in the river.

Amy is a daredevil!

Then we came across this nifty sign:

Fun!  We all immediately stopped talking to count (in our heads) how many paces were in 200ft.  I forget exactly but I want to say it was like 80-something for me.

End 200ft.....

And then we came to a bridge, which we didn’t have to cross…….

so we took a picture on the rocks in front of it.  See, we were very entertained 😉

When we got to the natural slides the sun was not out (so it was chilly) and the water wasn’t too high.  We took some time to enjoy the scenery.

I liked taking pictures of the moving water with my camera on “sport” mode.  It looks like it is still moving!

I snacked on a Dulce de Dulce Luna Bar around noon.  These are fantastically sweet and satisfying.

I built some rock piles…..

I am uber talented..don't hate

Amy did some heavy lifting…..

Devon cheered on Maria as she “slid” down a non-slippery rock….

Andrea jumped right into the very frigid water……

Everyone took turns sliding down a very steep, slippery rock…..

ok, everyone but me (yes I am a chicken) slid down that rock….I took pics!

After nature-walking 6 miles and taking so many damn pictures, I couldn’t wait for a local wine shop’s wine tasting that night!  We had eaten lunch (intentionally) in front of The Abbey Cellars after the hike Friday so that is how we found out about it.

The wine tasting featured three red wines and three white wines.  I tried all six because the pours were so small I felt like I just had to.  We tried to talk up the lady but I think she was a wine snob and referenced hundred-dollar bottles of wine several times.  I will probably never drink a glass of wine from such an expensive bottle and I am ok with that.  Free wine that night tasted like a million bucks!

Before going to bed I told Amy that I really wished we could get a couple of days of rain so I can spend a lazy Sunday doing nothing and a productive few days in my classroom.  Rain definitely makes it easier to return to school.  Famous last words because what followed was FOUR freakin’ days of rain in the Boston area.  What a waste of the last week of summer!

Anyway, we woke up Sunday to the fire alarm blasting throughout the hotel.  We got evacuated and stood in the rain (well under the awning in front) for quite sometime before they let us back in and apologized for the “false alarm”.

Girl’s weekend= a must to get through the fall/winter/spring

peace out

~L

New Hampshire: Friday Night

So you may (or may not) have noticed my disappearance in the blog world for the past few weeks.  I have no good excuses…and I am sorry if you have missed me (I have missed you 🙂 )….

Now, let’s move on….

The weekend of August 20th I went on a girls weekend in New Hampshire with some lovely ladies.  I headed up early and hike with Amy to the summit of Bald Peak, which is located on Mt. Kinsman.  It was a lovely hike, check it out here.

Friday afternoon we checked into our suite at the Rivergreen Resort, which is near Loon Mountain.  The hotel was kind of dated but the suite was H U G E!  it slept 6 people comfortably, had a separate bedroom, two bathrooms (one had a hot tub), a living room, dining room, and kitchen.  It was a great deal (scored on the site Buy With Me) at $150 for the weekend.  Each girl paid $25! (The very tiny photos below are courtesy of the hotel’s website)

I made dinner Friday night.  I like cooking so it was no big deal to me.  Of course I only cook when I have a big glass of wine to enjoy while doing it!

This was a Tuscan blend of 85% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot.  It is so smooth and tasty and pairs perfectly with pasta.  If you are a red wine drinker, looking for a new fall wine, try it out!

Amy started us out with her now-famous bruschetta made with grape tomatoes, garlic powder, basil, EVOO, and crispy baked baguette slices.  We topped some with the tomato mix and mozzerella cheese and some with just cheese.

Tomato-less bruschetta is quite fancy 😉

Dinner was chicken parmesan with whole wheat pasta.  We all planned ahead and tried to bring as many of the non-perishable cooking materials we would need and headed to the store for milk, eggs, cookie dough, etc.  We remembered everything but the most important part: the breadcrumbs (fail!).  Andrea headed to the store though and saved the day….

We (or at least I) chowed until stuffed silly.  Had a couple more glasses-o-wine and decided dessert was a must.

In celebration of being in the mountains we did the most out doors-y thing we could….

we made s’mores on the stove.  YUM.

My s’more roasting technique (though usually done over open flame) is to let the marshmallow catch on fire so it is super crispy.  Then I eat the crisp part and smear the gooey part on the chocolate.

Heaven!

I forget what time we actually called it a night, but I know that after waking up at 5 to head up for the hike, and actually hiking the hike, I had a full belly and could’ve fallen asleep on my empty plate.

Next post: hike numero dos……

~L

New Hampshire Weekend: The Friday Hike

This weekend I got to get away with some lovely ladies.  It was a great end-of-the-summer type trip that included lots of hiking, eating, and wine drinking!

Amy and I headed up to New Hampshire very early Friday morning- 6 a.m. to be exact. Our plan for the day included a moderate hike up Mount Kinsman to Bald Peak, which has a summit at 2,470 feet and a total mileage of 4.6 roundtrip.

We got to the trail head around 8:45 and promptly geared up with our sneakers, lots of bug spray, and an energy bar.  I had a Blueberry Bliss Luna Bar.

The hike started off pretty easy, with wide, flat surfaces that walked us passed an old sugar house and plenty of trees 🙂

Sorry it's sideways 😉

But, let me tell you, once we started our climb to the summit (I’d say around the end of mile one?) we didn’t stop climbing.  It was pretty tough!  We would keep trying to push through until we came to a plateau but they almost never came!  It was a pretty steep climb too!

Now you see me...

Now you don't!

My hamstrings and calves burned almost 100% of the time (in a good way).

The ground was mostly dry so I didn’t get muddy like I have in previous hikes.

When we reached the summit  around 10 there were 360 degree views of Mount Kinsman and the surrounding area.

We took a bunch of goofy pics.

cell phone service at top of the mountain!

We also met a girl who had camped there at the top for the night.  She must’ve been super lonely, or friendly, because she talked our ear off for about twenty minutes.

We lounged around the top for about an hour before heading back down.  Say hello to Mr. Frog!

Thanks to Amy for being such a great hiker/photographer.  I don’t know how she had the energy in her to snap pics while walking up a steep mountain side.

After the hike we drove into the town where we were staying for the weekend.  We parked in front of a wine shop (my idea) and ate a couple of peanut butter sammies and sour cream and onion Cape Cod chips.  Yum!

Friday night dinner post and Saturday hike post coming up!

Stay tuned 🙂

~L