Category Archives: Travel

Hurricane Irene and Long Run

So I finally posted my Maine vacation recap, but I never even mentioned the Hurricane Irene and all the fun she brought into my life. So last weekend Hubby and I were both headed upstate, but separately. I went to a family party way up in Watertown, NY (up near Canada!) and he was in Utica. I took the train and he drove.

When I left on Friday afternoon, I was getting nervous. Hurricane Irene was on her way, Hubby and I were going separate ways, and our cat was staying home alone in our apartment. Worried momma is what I quickly became. As I headed upstate on Amtrak, I listened as the Amtrak ticket dude laughed hysterically when a woman asked about service back into NYC on Monday and he told her she’d be lucky to get back in by late Tuesday. My stomach churned.

I began making preparations to have our neighbor check on Mr. Murphy, and our apartment, and conjured images of our windows shattering and Murphy dashing down the fire escape. I am a worry-wart – without a doubt.

So my weekend upstate, while fun, was also riddled with anxiety. I wish I could have relaxed a little more, but it’s tough when newscasters a predicting terrible destruction right in your backyard.

To relieve some of my building stress, I went out for a long run on Saturday morning. I ran along a gorgeous road right down by the water, up to a small lighthouse, into the town of Cape Vincent, and then back to my grandparent’s farm (yes, I said farm. They owned a farm and we stay in the farm house). All in all, I covered about 14 miles. Here was my route and splits:

Yes, I was soo slow!! But it was my first long run in a while and I didn’t want to push it. Plus I wanted to enjoy the scenery. It felt good to log the mileage though.

We had a fun family part on Saturday and then on Sunday we woke up to crazy wind and knew it was time to make our way back south. My parents dropped me off in Utica and Hubby and I ran a few errands and then we attempted to make it to Albany. What would have taken an hour and half took 3 hours. It was not fun. Road closures, detours, detour road closures, flooding, etc. We finally got to Albany around 11 p.m.

At that time, we also knew the thurway down to NYC was partially closed. But we got ourselves up at 4:30 the next morning to begin the trek down to NYC. We got to about 50 miles away and then encountered road closures and from there it just got worse and worse. Every road we attempted to drive on was closed. We kept heading West and then South. The best moment was when we got to a closed road with a message on the sign. It said something like:

“This road is closed, but if you can get up enough speed to jump the 15 foot gorge ahead, then by all means continue on…”

It was hysterical and I was soo mad that I didn’t get a picture of that sign. I will never forget it though.

We finally reached home at about 10:30 – 5.5 hours of traveling that usually take 2.5 hours. ARGH! I worked from home for the rest of the day on Monday and then fell asleep at like 7 p.m. – exhausted from my stress.

The rest of my week got better. I squeezed in a 5-mile run on Tuesday and a 6-mile run on Thursday. And now we are headed upstate again this weekend. I’m hoping to get another nice long run in.

So that’s all for me. How about you guy – how did you “weather” the hurricane? And what fun plans do you have for Labor Day weekend?!

Kennebunkport, Maine Vacation Recap

I can’t believe it’s already September. I feel like Hubby and I just got back from our Maine vacation, but in reality, we got back on August 22. We stayed in Kennebunkport, ME from August 18 – 22 in this adorable Bed and Breakfast called Bufflehead Cove. Our room was really cute and had a balcony, a Queen bed (ahh the luxury!), a full bathroom and a Jacuzzi tub. The B&B was situated right on the river and we got to enjoy our breakfast each morning on the front porch watching people kayak and paddleboard on by.


And let me just say that the breakfast each morning was AMAZING!! Seriously delicious, homemade and usually most ingredients were all-natural. I missed taking a picture of the first morning’s spread, but here are the other days:

Mmm yummy. I am getting hungry just thinking about our breakfasts there. But enough about the B&B food, we did get out and explore the area quite a bit. Our first day there, we arrived in the late afternoon, checked in and then headed into the town of Kennebunkport. Our B&B was just outside. We walked around the cute little town exploring and relaxing and then we headed to dinner at Arundel Wharf. It was a gorgeous night, right on the water, so it was just perfect. We enjoyed our meal on the deck and sipped on some white wine and beer. We called it an early night because we had plans to head to a few nearby towns the next day.

On Friday, we devoured our delicious breakfast, which was served everyday between 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. and hung out with our buddy Loqui the cat while we ate. He reminded me of our Murphy, only not quite as large and in charge.

After breakfast, we drove to the town of Ogunquit and took a nice long walk on the Marginal Way (a long walkway above and along the beach)


and then we drove to York and saw the Nubble Lighthouse.

After our long day excursion, we headed back to the B&B, showered and then had dinner in town at Bandaloop. It was a little bit of a different place, but totally delicious. On Saturday morning it was another busy day after breakfast. We took a schooner ride from Kennebunkport out for about two hours on the water and got to see the Bush estate (it is gigantic). The weather was amazing, sunny with a slight breeze, and our trip was fabulous.

After we got back from our boat ride, we headed to Cape Porpoise for a nice relaxing lunch on the dock outside the Chowder House. There was a pretty decent view of a nearby lighthouse from the Pier. And again, we had such a gorgeous day.

So after exploring Cape Porpoise, we headed to Goose Rocks Beach and chilled there for a little while. The water was a little bit colder than I like, but it was nice to spend some time walking around and hanging out.

After hitting up the beach, it was getting close to dinner so we showered back at the B&B and then headed back into Kennebunkport. We had reservations at Mabel’s, which is supposedly a Bush favorite. I don’t know what I was expecting, but a tiny little shack wasn’t what I envisioned. Mabel’s is completely unassuming and small. We made reservations for outdoor seats and we were almost sitting in the road!

But I completely loved the place. The food was delicious and reasonably priced. My only hang-up was having to drink my beer from a Patriot’s glass. But other than that, Mabel’s gets an A in my book. Here is my dinner from Mabel’s…

The next day (Sunday) was our last day in Maine. We decided to head to Portland for the day and stopped at Orchard Beach to visit one of Hubby’s friend’s along the way. After our morning get-together, we made it to Portland and explored a bit, had some lunch and hung out.

As the afternoon turned into evening, we drove to Kittery to have dinner with one of Hubby’s co-workers. And I got to watch Hubby learn how to properly eat a full lobster, with the bib and all. These instructions helped, as did his friend’s coaching.

Hubby did a pretty decent job. We finished off our night with some ice-cream and headed back to Bufflehead Cove for our final night of our mini vacation.

We thoroughly enjoyed our last breakfast on Monday before we loaded our stuff into the car and headed home.

So what was my overall Maine experience? It was fabulous! We had such a good time, explored some really beautiful areas, ate a ton of great seafood and managed to run into a bunch of people we knew. Seriously, Maine is some sort of hot spot. On top of the people that we actually planned to get together with, we also ran into a neighbor from Hubby’s parent’s neighborhood in upstate NY, another co-workers at Hubby’s company, and a girl I went to college with. It really felt like such a small world in Kennebunkport, ME. And I loved it!!

Just My Kind of Weekend

Welcome to Monday. Admittedly, there is nothing welcoming about it. My only saving grace this week is that it’s a short one for me. We will be heading to Maine on Thursday morning and I could not be more excited!! I am in need of a vacay and this past weekend was so great that I really did not want it to end.

Friday wasn’t at all exciting – we were cleaning and generally wrapping up some business. We called it quits pretty early in preparation for the busy weekend ahead.

On Saturday I managed to squeeze in a 9-mile run in the morning in Central Park.

Look there’s me! The park was super crowded. I was going for an easy run, so I didn’t mind it being a little hard to maneuver. My splits weren’t bad overall…

After my run, I snacked some and then got ready to head to NJ for the Kenny Chesney concert!! Hubby is a huge country fan and I will admit that the music has grown on me. Our first dance song  at our wedding was actually a song by Kenny Chesney called “Me and You.” I was hoping he would play it (sadness he didn’t).

We arrived at the  new Meadowlands Stadium pretty early so we could spend some time relaxing and tailgating beforehand.

There’s us tailgating . Car = proof. The concert actually began around 4:15 and I had no clue how many people were on the lineup.  It was like we got to see four concerts in one! It started with Uncle Kracker at 4:15, then Billy Currington came on and finally Zac Brown Band hit the stage right before Kenny.

The photo above shows where we were sitting. We were pretty close – it was pretty cool. And actually, when Kenny came on later that night, he came out of the big gray thing to the left. A seat came out from the middle of the roof of the gray tent and he flew right above our heads. Apparently, he does some crazy entrance at all his concerts.

There we are cheesing it up! Right after Zac Brown Band finished playing it started raining.  At first, we were worried that it was going to start pouring, but it really only sprinkled for the rest of the night. And right around that time, Kenny started playing!

This is one of our last photos from the night. They seriously played forever. I think Kenny came on at about 8:20 and played until almost 11! The whole concert was really good – I’m glad I’ve given country music a chance. (I know my husband is saying “I told you so” right about now.)

We headed home looking like drowned rats after the concert ended – we were exhausted and crashed almost as soon as we got in the door.

But there’s no rest for the weary when you have a jam-packed weekend in NYC planned. We slept in as much as possible on Sunday, but then headed out for a day of fun at the American Natural History Museum on the Upper West Side. It was a rainy and dreary day – so a museum trip was a no-brainer for us… and about a gazillion other tourists and New Yorkers.

So five years after moving to NYC, I finally made it to this museum. It took a long time, but I think it was worth it. I really enjoyed the hours we spent there…despite the herds of people we had to contend with. And of course, I couldn’t help comparing it to the movie “Night at the Museum.” I felt like a kid doing it, but I couldn’t help it.

I kept waiting for the little miniature model people to come to life and attack me.  Or for a zebra to jump out of the glass box enclosure. Didn’t happen, but it was fun to imagine.

We stayed until they started kicking people out and then headed back out into the rain. The weekend ended with a some laundry, a pathetic dinner (too tired to cook) and True Blood of course.

And now it’s Monday and I’m kind of exhausted. I have a lot to get done before our mini-vacation and it feels like I have hardly any time to do it. Not to mention that I need everyone to do a “no rain dance” for us because I really don’t want my first trip to Maine to be completely dreary and cold. 😦 So dance if you can!!

How was your weekend!? If you live in NYC, what are some of the best “touristy” things you’ve done during your time here? What would you say is a MUST?! 

A Weekend of Fun…And Not a Photo to Show

Happy Tuesday – hope you all had a nice weekend. I had a fabulous time seeing some great college friends, but not a second of it was caught on camera. We either didn’t have a camera or didn’t think to snap a shot. So now I will artfully describe for you what my weekend entailed and hopefully my wordy description will cut it.

Saturday morning I woke up a little late and was only able to squeeze in a 5-mile run before I had to head out. I had hoped for more, but took what I could get done.

On Saturday afternoon, I headed to Connecticut to my friend’s father’s house for a delightful little BBQ. At said BBQ, we had: chicken, burgers, veggies, burger, corn on the cob, and fruit salad. If that doesn’t scream good-0ld fashioned BBQ, I don’t know what does. It was perfection.

We spent the rest of the day hanging out and catching up, watching an adorable baby gurgle and laugh – you know, all the important stuff.

Alas, the day ended and it was time to think about dinner. Anyone who knows me well knows that this is pretty much how my day is split up: When is the next meal, where will it be, what will I eat and so on. Food rules my life. We headed to my other friend Kim’s house to pick her and determine where to go for dinner.

We hit up Butterfield 8 (yes, there is one in NYC) for a casual dinner  and spent the rest of the evening chatting and catching up.

Sunday I headed home and did laundry, cleaned, etc. for the rest of the day. I finished the evening by baking some delicious Banana Bread. I only remembered to take a “before” photo though.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 c. mashed ripe bananas (3 medium or 2 large)
  • 1/2 c. agave nectar
  • 1/4 c. canola oil
  • A pinch of sea salt (1/16 tsp.)

Directions:

  1. Coat an 8x4x2-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Mash bananas and set aside. In a medium bowl combine whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and sea salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine egg whites, banana, agave nectar, and oil. Once mixed well, add flour mixture all at one time to banana mixture. Stir until moistened. The batter should be lumpy. Spoon mixture into pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 to 50 minutes. Test doneness by inserting a wooden toothpick near the center of the bread. The toothpick should come out clean.
  4. Cool in pan on a wire rack for approximately 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan and cool completely on the wire rack.

My weekend ended with Trueblood of course! I thought this week’s episode was REALLY good. And now all of  a sudden its Tuesday evening already!

Quick Trip to Florida

Hello all. How is everyone? I got back late Thursday night from traveling for work for a few days, hence the blog has been a little quiet. The company I work for has an office down near Orlando and we had a big meeting onsite. Those who know me well, know that I like traveling for personal vacations, but am not a huge fan of traveling for work.

Why you ask? Well, traveling stresses me out. Even when vacationing, I don’t fully relax until I’ve arrived where I’m supposed to and have checked in to my hotel. I have developed a little OCD when it comes to traveling over the years. I am constantly worried about being late, missing flights, etc. So the end result is that I tend to make people I’m traveling with leave extremely early and then sit with me in airports and train stations for obscene amounts of time. Boring at times, yes. But it’s worth it for them not to have to travel with a stressed out and crazed Lindsey.

What about you? Are you a laid-back travel or a worry-wart like me?

So my travel went well. I was going to post from the hotel, but then things got hectic and I ran out of time. I was pretty pleased to have my very own suite for this trip – not that I spent any time in the hotel really. But the room wasn’t bad.

All this space for little old me!? Yup, I had a full suite to myself. I barely used any of it.

Plus, this crazy hotel served a complimentary breakfast (normal) and dinner (what?). We didn’t partake in the dinner, but I could not get over the fact that they provide their guests with two free meals a day! I saw a ton of families staying there and it seems like a pretty smart plan in my book to make a trip to Orlando a bit more affordable.

Today is Saturday and I’m headed to Connecticut in a bit for a little reunion with my college girls. I am also going to try to squeeze a short run in before that. I slept until 8:00 a.m. today – I think I really needed the rest. So I’ll only run maybe 4-5 miles this morning. It hasn’t been a great running week for me, but a few miles is better than nothing.

Also – I’m very jealous of everyone who went to BlogHer and will be going to the Healthy Living Summit. For some reason, my schedule never coincides with those events, but I love reading the recaps!

Anyway – it’s a gorgeous day for a quick run, maybe some pool time at my friend’s house and then some quality friend time! Hope you all have a great weekend!

Finally, Here Are My 7 Links

So this was kind of a time-consuming post–hence it took me a while to get it all together and up. It involved going back through the past almost two years of posts to select the ones I thought fit best into the 7 categories. I’m just going to jump right in…

Most Beautiful
I don’t know that I would really call any of my posts “beautiful.” I don’t really get very sentimental or poetic on my blog. It’s all pretty cut and dry, with maybe a dash of cynicism and humor. That being said, there is a tie for this category. My Relfections on 2009 post was surprisingly touching to re-read over a year later. It was really nice to look back on 2009 and see all the amazing times we had. You forget about all the events, anniversaries and family moments that were very special.

The second one would be my “Back from Ireland” recap post because the pictures were absolutely gorgeous and we had a beautiful time. I kind of skimped on the recap because I was too exhausted to go through each and every day. But the overall photo recap was amazing.

Most Popular
So this one was immediately evident to me. It was my Poconos Marathon Race Recap. I started my blog just after finishing my first marathon and I quickly decided to run another one and announced it to the blog world. I also announced my HUGE goal that I wanted to try to qualify for Boston. EEK! But once I put it out there, I was more determined than ever. Over the course of the next 6 months, I received so much advice and encouragement from a ton of people online that I kind of knew that my race recap would be my “grand finale” and culmination of all my hard work. The thought of all these people who tried to help me and inspired me really made me push to my limit during the race. And thankfully, I did it. My Poconos Marathon Race Recap was by far my most popular post on my blog to-date. And I still look back to read all the wonderful and supportive comments.

Most Controversial
This one was tough for me. It was a toss-up between my “To Eat Meat of Not to Eat Meat” post and my “Yucky Yogurt” post where I said that I was not a fun of the Yoplait Greek Yogurt–neither the taste or ingredients. In the end, I guess I’ll go with the yogurt post because Yoplait actually contacted me with a coupon to try their new redeveloped and relaunched yogurt a few months later. And if a blog post can get the attention of a company, then I’ll go ahead and dub that controversial.

Most Helpful
Easy one to pick. My “How I Got My BQ” post is without a doubt my most helpful post. People consistently find my blog through this post and have contacted me to thank me for my advice and candid words on the topic of qualifying. I talk about working on speed, tracking your pace, increasing your mileage and paying attention to your food, among other things. I still look back at this post when I find my endurance and speed decreasing and need to pick things up a notch.

Surprise Success
There have been a few posts that received a lot of comments and feedback that have surprised me. I guess the one with the most comments was the “Where Did All The Food Go?” post, where I talked about how shocked I am by the amount of food my husband and I consume in a short timeframe and how much it costs! A lot of people could relate. This post also included a recap of “Angela’s Ashes” so there were a lot of comments for that as well. Overall, it seemed to be a post that many people could relate to and were interested enough to comment.

Not Enough Attention
I don’t know about this one. Who am I to say that I think any of my posts really deserve more (or any) attention? I’m not going to get all serious with this one. Instead, I am going to say that my post “You Know You’re a Winter Runner When…” deserves more attention because I thought it was kind of funny and I really wanted to hear other people’s “you know you’re a winter runner” stories and commentary. I love these kind of posts that point out the hysterical but oh-so-true and ridiculous things about ourselves. I should write more of them… 🙂 Do I see a new blog post forming?! 🙂

Most Proud
I’ll say it yet, again, easy – my “2011 Boston Marathon Race Recap” is the post I am most proud of. I started this blog basically because I had this goal in my head and didn’t know how to get there. I think writing this blog really helped me get there and kept me on track and accountable. It helped me achieve one of my life goals and I am forever grateful. This post also marked my “return” to the blog world after a long hiatus, so I’m doubly proud and thankful I wrote it.


In conclusion – thank you again for tagging me Katie. It was a very nice trip down memory lane. Now I know the rules state that I have to tag other bloggers to post their 7 links, but let’s cut me a little break – ok? I am just returning to blogging, hardly anyone is reading my blog, and the chances that anyone will see this and then post their 7 links is slim to none. So instead, I will say – if you are a blogger and you have NOT been tagged to do this yet, then consider yourself tagged – courtesy of me. But don’t blame me when you lose half your day working on this post. 🙂

Question of the Day: If you’ve done your 7 links, how much time did you spend on it? And did you enjoy your trip down memory lane? Can’t imagine those bloggers with years and years of posts – how did you choose?!!

Post From The Road

So the title is pretty self explanatory. I’m writing my first blog post from the road. We are on 87 in the worst traffic ever. Regardless, I thought I’d give blogging from the road a shot. I’m not entirely sure if I can post photos this way and I’m sure my spelling will be horrendous.

The good news of my week is that I managed to accomplish all of the goals I set for myself yesterday which were to get out of work on time, squeeze in a 5 mile run, and make a delicious dinner. Check, check, check.

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While I was on my run, I got to thinking about how I tend to compare myself to my “peak” of fitness pretty often. You might think it’s weird that I’ve already passed my peak and can pinpoint it. It was when I was training for the Poconos Marathon last spring. I had incredible endurance, speed and muscle tone. So inevitably, I find myself comparing my current fitness level to that “peak” and I always wind up feeling sort of disappointed. I don’t think it’s a particularly good thing to be doing, but I just can’t seem to stop it.

So my plan is to strive for a new level of fitness that fits with my current level of exercise and life. I am not training for a marathon so I have to accept that I won’t have that endurance and muscle tone that I previously had. So instead I want to strive to run 3-4 times a week and eat healthy overall. It’s hard for me to not have that marathon goal driving me and I need to create some new motivation and challenges. Maybe that will be half marathons, finding new running buddies, maybe taking some classes. But I need to stop comparing myself to that peak because it’s unrealistic and maybe a bit unhealthy right now.

What about you? How do you stay motivated and comfortable with your level of exercise and goals?