Monday, October 26, 2009

Arizona Vacation Recap

My vacation is coming to an end and here I am spending the day at the Tucson airport waiting to get on our delayed plane home.  The trip was incredible.  First it started out with Bisbee, then a day trip to Sedona and ended with a birthday bash/Halloween party.  Charlie and I slept in the trailer with weather that dropped down to the 50's every night.  We slept with the windows open.  It was bliss.

So when I arrived, I picked up the girls and headed out to Bisbee.  I have not hung out with just the girls in so long that I did not realize how much I missed it.  We had a wonderful meal at the Bisbee Grille and then headed out to try and map out our route.  Unfortunately, we got lost too many times and did not make it even a quarter of the way.  We decided to at least tackle the "Ice Man" stairs and were breathing so hard with the altitude I thought we were going to pass out.  I thought to myself "Dear Lord, what have I signed us up for?!"  Me and my great ideas....

We took a nap and then headed out for dinner and the Bisbee Ghost Tour.  I had the best tacos at Santiagos.  Oh and let me just say, the hotel we stayed at, the San Ramon, was just awesome!  A historic hotel with modern furnishings and so much CHARM.  The owner, Tamara, was super sweet and kind.  In fact everyone in Bisbee was just so friendly.  The hotel only had 6 rooms.  A definite place to stay again.  So we met for the ghost tour at 7pm.  Renee was our ghost host and we walked around the town.  She told us stories of the history of Bisbee.  Half of a street  burned down in 1908 so the town is filled with haunted hotels, bars, art gallerys and even the city park.  The city park used to be a cemetary so sightings of children have been seen playing on the stairs. One of my favorite ghosts stories was about a Calico cat.  I am not going to spoil it for you in case you are ever in may want to take the tour.

SO the next morning we are up and at 'em.  The race is 1034 stairs and 4.3 miles.  The stairs are broken up in 9 stairwells, ranging from 80 to over 200 steps.  Jil and Jennifer are nervous.  I have it in my head that I am going to walk the whole thing if I have to.  We grabbed our t-shirts and strapped on our monster timing chips to our ankles.  It is not until we corralled at the starting line waiting for the gun to go off when the butterflies start to flutter in my tummy.  Finally, we are off.  Jenn and Jil start out  ahead of me but I am determined to go slow.  We reach the first set of stairs when I noticed everyone lined up to walk the stairs.  Well, at this rate, the stairs are somewhat a rest from running.  I am able to catch up to Jil but Jenn is long gone.  Jil and I run together the rest of the race and finish in 1 hour and 13 minutes.  The toughest stairwell was #8.  After you complete that set you have to run up a steep hill.  That knocked me out.  I had to walk to catch my breath, actually, I had to do that several times.  Once I did though, I was able to start running again.  But overall it was not so bad...and I definitely want to do it again next year.  It looks like we have a new tradition.  But at least next year we will know what to expect and we will dominate.

Next stop Sedona.  I have always wanted to go and now I definitely want to go back. This was a day trip. My aunt Lourdes drove us all up in her van with her four children, me and her sister Coyo.  It was breathtakingly beautiful.  Sedona is a small town with red, orange and yellow rocks, but within 10 miles, the land completely changes.  Soon you feel like you are in Colorado, with the smell of wood surrounded by mountains, the sound of a trickling streams in the background, and the changing color of the leaves.  I would love to camp and explore the trails by foot.  I am now going to have to add that to my list of 1001 goals.

The rest of the week was spent getting ready for the party.  I loved seeing the happiness on my mom's face.  It was so worth it to make the trek here.  What a way to celebrate a milestone!  Coyo and I saw a cute movie called the "Ugly Truth" and I discovered close hiking trails within walking distance of where I slept.  I managed to get my running done although I did not get my 9 mile long run in.  I was hoping to do that today when I get back to Houston..but it looks like it will be a short run at the rate we are going.  Que sera! At least  I will have one more day to recover from such a fabulous trip.  I am already looking forward to doing it again next year, but hopefully next time I can add the camping trip in Sedona.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

July Fly By

Wow, didn't this month go by in a blink of an eye?  It has been a busy one.  Kingwood Fit is up and running (no pun intended).  I have enjoyed being a coach so much that I am starting to research options on obtaining a personal trainer certificate.  It is one thing to learn on your own by reading all you can, but when people start asking you questions, then you really want to know your stuff.  Weight training is also going well.  Charlie put together a workout plan for me and a friend of mine.  We have been going religiously at 6am to the gym, on Monday,Wednesday and Fridays.  Although I still have my sore days (like last week), we are really making progress.  The hardest exercise for me is the military press, where you take a set of barbells (or just the bar in my case) and lift it to the sky.  You do this standing, and you are supposed to lift from the chest.  Just like you see on weightlifting contests or in cartoons.  Kicked my butt last month, but now I can do it without shaking.  Go me!

So since my interest in raw food has been mentioned in previous posts, here is my latest hair-brained idea.  Last Thursday, we had a fierce thunderstorm come through our area which forced me to do my weekly run on an indoor track.  So while I am forced to run in little bitty circles, I thought it would be a good time to listen to a podcast from Revvell's radio Web site,, and listen to her interview of Sunshine Boatright.  Sunshine Boatright is a raw food activist who promotes raw food for autistic children.  In fact, she has her own raw food site called Anyway, when she was asked about where she learned about her raw food techniques she mentioned taking all of Alisa Cohen's raw chef classes.  Of course, that piqued my interest and I went home and devoured any information I could find on Alisa's classes.  I found a 4 day retreat but the cost is $2400.  Needless to say, the idea has been shot down, unless I can come up with a way to scrape up that kind of money by September 18.  I am still thinking about it. The classes will enable me to teach classes under her name in my area.  That potentially could pay for the initial cost of her class.

The triathlon training has been put on hold until next year.  Still need to work on my swimming technique.  After the half marathon training I will tackle that swimming by signing up for a Masters swimming group.  I am ready for the next challenge.

I went to the Houston Symphony on Friday night and saw The Blue Planet.   Talk about amazing.  It was edited scenes of Discovery Series Blue Planet synchronized to the amazing sounds of the Houston Symphony. Ocean footage of the deep abyss.  The seas of the North and South poles.  Penguins. Dolphins. Jellyfish. Killer Whales. Blue Whales.  If it ever comes back to is a must see and a definite highlight of my weekend.

Finally, to top off the weekend, I started drawing again.  I am still bummed that I will not make it to another artist retreat in August, because we have to work an extra day each month at the training center starting next month.  But at least I have picked up the pencil again.  I am working on a pencil drawing for an anniversary present (1st year) of the hands of a husband and wife wearing wedding rings over a bouquet of roses.  I will post a picture when completed.

Friday, July 3, 2009

My Best Holiday

The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday and it is due to a combination of things. It is the one holiday that does not have the pressures of buying a gift.  You get to hang out with friends or family...swimming....barbecuing...or just sitting around the back porch.  The day usually ends with a gorgeous, hazy, hot summer day sunset.  Topped off with a display of fireworks.  A celebration telling  you have made it mid-summer.  If you get the patriotic music while the fireworks shoot off, that is only an added bonus.  Always sends chills down my spine. The music always makes me  feel so blessed to live in this beautiful country.

I always wanted a first kiss on Fourth of July.  Call me cheesy...but I always thought it would be cool to kiss while the fireworks went off .  I had one date back in the day with a firework kiss.  We went to an Astros game (talk about American pie) and then went to a picnic with fireworks.  It was so dreamy but it wasn't my happily ever after. Just another happy memory in my book.

Another memorable Fourth was also at a baseball game.  Astros vs. Phillies at Veteran's Stadium.  Best firework display in my life.  I think I was 11.  American flag caugh on fire from one of the fireworks.  I will never forget that ending.

In fact, we went to New Jersey quite often for the Fourth.  As a family, we would walk to the banks of the Deleware river and compare Philly fireworks to Wilmington, DE fireworks.  We could see both shows from the riverside.  I lived for those days.

South Padre Island. Louie's Backyard. Sunset. Fireworks. Best friends. Need I say more?

South Padre Island, take 2. Coconuts. My first Fourth of July with Charlie, my happily-ever-after.

Fourth of July is the only holiday I have never had to work.  Even when I was on reserve...I never had to fly. My lucky day I tell ya!  LUCKY!

Some years, it is just watching fireworks from our local Metro parking lot...speeding away as the finale ends so we do not get stuck in traffic.

Last year we were in New Braunfels and I watched the fireworks from the balcony of the condo. Friends. Swimming (Toobing down the river for some of us).  And of course, BBQ.

This year, we do not have any plans.  Just a quiet day at home.  Maybe we will go swimming. Or for a bike ride.  Eat some BBQ and of course, I will not miss those fireworks!

It makes my summer simply majestic. Best holiday ever!

Monday, June 29, 2009

New Beginnings.

Well, lately, within the past week, I have been gently nudged by two friends of mine to write in the blog.  I see I may have been gone but not forgotten.  Thank you for the nudges  (you know who you are) and you know it is what I needed.

Tonight is the night for change.  After not having a drop of rain for the month of June, it is raining cats and dogs in some parts of the city.  Except I am hoping we can make it without a drop.  We have a hole in our roof...and Charlie and I are petrified of heights.  Especially on the roof of a 3 story. Someone needs to go up and put a tarp on the roof.  And I would rather that person be a professional roofer than one of us become a lovely Picasso painting on our front lawn.

I have been busy this year of 2009.  I joined Toastmasters. The Kingwood Art Society. Started weight training.  Painted. (Yes, would you believe I have painted?)  And I am going to coach this year for the half marathon.  Exciting stuff, I know.  Finally making some progress with some goals too.  Maybe this is the start of a new beginning...

Friday, February 27, 2009


Yes, I know.  I dropped off the face of the earth.  But I am ready to come back.

I am on the computer way too much.  But I can not seem to break away.  This is how I spend my Friday nights.

I am still reading about RAW foods. And listening to podcasts of RAW food pioneers.  My diet is slowly improving.  And I am slowly losing the taste and cravings for cooked foods.  Green smoothies ROCK.  I think I am going to go make one after I write this entry.

I attempted another wake-up early trial and failed miserably.  Should I give up or keep trying?  Will I eventually get it?  I am at a crossroad.

I signed up for a tower race.  Cool huh?  It will be a first and I do not know what to expect.  Maybe one day I will run the Empire State building.  :) May 16, 2009.

Art.  At another standstill.  Damn computer takes up my time and I let it.

Well that green smoothie is calling my name.  I will be back.  Promise.  And I wont take 4 months either....