Monday, February 17, 2014

Skiing and Other Updates

I hope everyone is surviving this terrible Winter!  Even our family in Florida has not escaped it!  Tom and I have been trying to make the most of this horrible polar vortex.  We have really made an effort to have fun in the snow and what better way than skiing?   I guess we should be grateful.  Last year, around my birthday, I wanted to go cross-country skiing and there wasn't enough snow to do it on.  Guess it won't be a problem this year!  Lucky for us, our good friends April and Calem are almost always down to travel to Alpine Valley.  It works out well, because April is new-ish to snowboarding, I'm new to skiing and Tom and Calem are both pros (Calem is especially good - he was cutting through the trees, doing jumps, and going backwards downhill when he broke away from the snowboard after lunch).

We've gone about 3 times this Winter and I'm learning a ton.  Tom "gently" broke the news to me that it isn't acceptable to "scooch" down the hill on your behind when you fall and get scared...sigh.  With all of the practice, I am slowly getting better at this down-hill thing...

...Which is a good thing as we are actively planning a quick ski-get-away.  I'm so excited that we made Companion pass status at Southwest, because that means we have until 12/31/2015 - almost 2 full years! - to take advantage of free flights.   First up, is a weekend trip to either Park City or Tahoe.  I am expecting to be in California for one more training, so our thought is to do it the following weekend.  Hopefully we can get things nailed down this week.

Other updates:

  • We had a wonderfully low-key Valentines day.  Champagne and Chocolates.  We decided that next year in lieu of candy, he will get me a super fancy bottle of Champs, and I will get him a nice bottle of bourbon. I call that a win-win. Goodness knows, my diet is not lacking in chocolate as it is. Our Valentine's Day tradition is usually cooking a fancy meal at home (to avoid the crowds and to try something new together), but as it fell on the last day of a 3 week training, nothing sounded better than champagne and Netflix.
  • We are stoked about a friends get-away to Napa in June!  The B&B is booked and we are in the process of nailing down the details. Tom and I loved it so much when we first went there years ago and always said we needed to come back with friends.  The 8 of us are gonna have a blast!  Tom and I will be staying in the Mansion Room called "Angel's Share" and the others chose Mansion rooms as well which makes me happy :)
  • Tom and I are excited for a trip to Italy.  Due to my training, we had to push it out from our original timeline of July, so it is looking like September will be it!  Just have to finalize some projects and we can start booking.
  • I passed my certification with flying colors!  It was definitely an intense few weeks but I actually really enjoyed most of it. I will take that as a good sign for what is to come. I'm really excited!
  • I've finally gotten around to trying Shred 415 and love it!  Its an intense boot-camp like treadmill class where you do approximately 4 sets of 15 minute workouts (sometimes its 6, 10 minute sets) alternating between the treadmill and floor weight exercises (think squats, kettle bells, box jumps, burp-ees, etc).  It has really pushed me as there is no way I would ever go that fast on a treadmill or think to do those exercises on my own.   The weather and training have really gotten in my way (I've eaten way too many classes due to last minute cancellations and not being able to dig my car out in time) but I look forward to getting back into this now that my schedule has opened up. It's very intense so I do have to be mindful not to overdo it (I sometimes still get very lightheaded and weak out of the blue) but I am excited to add this to the mix. I'm hoping I can fit in about 2 a week plus a Flywheel class, and focus on other less intense forms of exercising like yoga, Bar Method, and walking to balance it out. That's the plan anyway...
  • I want to give a shout-out to CJK foods which saved my rear during training.  We were so sick of take-out and delivery (which really adds up) and this was like having someone go to Whole Foods for me, chop and prepare a weeks worth of meals, and all we had to do was heat it up. They include instructions on the best way to heat up each item (microwave, oven, stove) and you can choose if you'd like to pick up your meals (Shred415 is one of the location hubs) or have it delivered for $10. It was all gluten-free, mostly-grain free (depending on what we selected), paleo, organic, free-range, grass-fed, blah blah blah. But the important thing was that it was really flavorful and tasty.  At $12-$15 a meal, it was extremely reasonable for the quality of food and convenience. I will definitely do it again for the weeks that we know we won't make it to the grocery store or just need a break.  Tom gave it a big thumbs up as well.  For the record, whatever they put into their sauces is like crack. So good.  I also really liked their snack options. I ordered the sweet potato waffle bites as quick out-the-door breakfasts and they were so delicious on their own - no added maple syrup needed.  It's handy services like this that make me extremely grateful to live in Chicago.  I started to take pictures so I could document the week's worth of meals, but got too busy. Next time, I'll do a better job for those interested.  Here's a peek of what it looks like (note: Bourbon not included)

Stay warm!

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