Tropical storms

Day two in Florida.  Of course, all day I was in meetings, from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm.  Boooring.

I did manage to sneak outside for a little while at lunch to enjoy the Florida sunshine!  The view from this hotel is absolutely incredible.  I found some nice lounge furniture and kicked up my heels and read for awhile.0603 001

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All in all, I have been fairly happy with the conference food.  The options have been reasonably healthy!  Of course, I’ve forgotten to photograph them.  So, imagine the following:

Breakfast:  Coffee.  Pineapple, canteloupe, strawberries, blackberries.  Banana nut mini-muffin.  Scrambled eggs.

Lunch: Minestrone soup.  Salad with spinach, grapefruit sections, blueberries, and a vinaigrette dressing.  About a quarter of some kind of flank steak wrap.  Tiny square of cookies n’ cream cheesecake.  (SO GOOD.)

Snacktime was provided.  I resisted, even though it looked pretty good.

pro_vab_101I wasn’t REALLY hungry.  I had my third cup of coffee for the day instead.  (Yes, I’m in caffeine overload.  I’ve also been drinking a ton of water—when I’m bored, I drink!)

Of course, by the time we were free for the afternoon and evening, torrential rain and thunderstorms had started.  My plans to relax on the beach were foiled. 

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Boo.  Hiss.

The planned dinner event was a four hour dinner and booze cruise.  I skipped it.  The thought of spending four hours on a boat on the stormy ocean didn’t sound appealing.  I totally would have gone if the weather had been nice and I could sit outside with a glass of wine and see the sights, but…staying inside in the pouring rain didn’t sound fun.

Instead I decided tonight called for some greasy pizza and trashy TV!  A total “me” night.  Completely unhealthy…but a little pizza once in awhile is fine by me.

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I am taking the day off running—I’ve run Sunday-Wednesday this week, and I have tomorrow afternoon off, so I’m planning on resting today and doing a “long” run tomorrow.  (Not THAT long yet—I’m hoping for 6 miles or so.)

In other news…we got the exciting news today that we’re going to be Aunt Brie and Uncle Tim to a BOY in October!  I’ve already been scouring Etsy for cute boy stuff.  I can’t wait!

What’s your favorite kind of pizza?

Hey, Florida!

Today was spent traveling, traveling, traveling!

This time…for work.  Not  quite as fun as the honeymoon, but still, not bad!

Tim dropped me off at the airport around 8:30 for my 10:30 flight.  Unfortunately, said flight was delayed until noon, so I spent quite a lot of time sitting around doing nothing!

Before I knew the flight was delayed, I bought a carryon lunch—turkey and cheddar from Quizno’s and a bunch of fruit.

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Unfortunately the fruit was kind of gross.  KCI doesn’t have the best healthy options.  Oh well.

I ate the sandwich about 11:30 before I boarded, and the fruit at about 2 mid-flight.  Got in to Fort Lauderdale around 5, and was happy to see my hotel accommodations were pretty fancy!  See, for example, awesome balcony on my room:

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  Flatscreen TV and plenty of room to spread out…

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And a beach view in the lobby!

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After yesterday, all I wanted to do was run.  Well.

The comments yesterday seemed pretty split on “keep trying the orthotics” and “ditch ‘em.”  After thinking about it—I confess that I probably did not break them in perfectly before running in them.  I’ve been SO busy lately, and they don’t fit in my work shoes, and the weather’s been sucky, that I did a bit of walking in them and then immediately went running.

So, my plan for now: try my new wide, neutral New Balances without orthotics for running.  Once I get back to KC after this trip, I’m going to start from scratch and break these in with WALKING and daily wear.  I may even ask my boss if I can wear sneakers a few hours a day! 

Anyway.  The hotel gym was nicer than my regular gym!0602 014

I am a sucker for individual TVs at each treadmill.  I watched Cash Cab!

0602 015Final result was 5K in 29:20.  Not at all shabby, and I was only a little sore afterwards—definitely no stabby pains.  I felt triumphant!  I can do this.

Also, this gym was awesome because they had ice water with orange and lemon and lime in it, and a FRUIT BOWL!

0602 016You know I decimated an apple.

I ran back to my room, showered and dressed quickly, then went to dinner.  Conference food can be sketchy, but I was happy with the options here!

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About half my plate was mixed greens with carrots and ‘shrooms and vinaigrette, and the rest was steamed carrots, wild rice, a small slice of beef, and a wheat roll.

And a Sam Adams.  And, okay, when I found out there was no dessert…a glass of Cabernet. 

I’m off to take a sunset beach walk—have a great night!

Do you like to travel?  I love airports, strangely, and seeing new places, but I tire of it quickly and miss home!  I’m a homebody!

Heading home

(Note: for some reason this didn’t publish last night.  So…rewind in your head a bit.)

Hi, friends, from the Vegas airport (though the wireless here is wonky so I probably won’t publish this until I’m back in KC for the night).

Anyway.  Today was the same as yesterday.  Breakfast, meetings, lunch, meetings, airport.

Except it’s still pretty cool to spend your lunch break here:

 

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…looking up at this:

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Who am I to complain?

Again, I avoided the sun.  HOWEVER (tangent alert!) in my quest to buy running shorts last night, I remembered “hey, weren’t you going to try various self-tanners before the wedding?”  So I headed to Victoria’s Secret and bought a bottle of their Instant Self Tanner.  (Beach something or other line, it’s in an offensively fuschia package with some kind of palm tree on it, I think.)  And I used it.  And it was excellent!  I don’t look orange or streaky today, but I do look noticeably…glow-ier.  I like it and plan to continue using it at least until after the honeymoon, at which point I will realize “Hey!  He’s tied down now!” and let myself get pale, fat, and unpleasant.  (Kidding.)

Also, on my lunch break, I picked up a little something-something for Tim (since he was so kind to bring me back chocolate from HIS Vegas excursion a few weeks ago.  I also decided that I have never had a real French macaroon and I should probably try one.

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I have always been curious about what these tasted like, what with their bright colors and such.

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I think this one was strawberry-flavored?  Anyway, the experience was interesting.  The texture is kind of cool—very light and melt-in-your-mouthy, but kind of unsatisfying.  I’m glad I tried one, but I think I prefer chocolate.

Speaking of which…Payard’s, the chocolatier in Caesar’s Palace, has this ridiculous looking contraption in the middle of it.  Of course, I Google before I go anywhere, so I realized online that it actually spits out tiny boxes with one little chocolate in them once in awhile.  All week I’d been walking past it to see if I saw one, but alas.

But then, on my way out the door to the airport…I finally hit the Vegas jackpot!

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One tiny, free chocolate, all for me.

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(I’m saving it for my three hour flight.)

So, now, I’m in the Vegas airport, hoping to find something halfway decent to take on the plane with me.   (The Vegas airport is kind of trashy.)  I play favorites with airports, and thus far, I very much like Denver, Kansas City, and Midway.   0415 005

I’ll be back in Kansas City late tonight…I have tomorrow off work, in which I will frantically be doing laundry and re-packing all my belongings because I head to Napa Valley for my bachelorette weekend late tomorrow afternoon!  Talk about a whirlwind.   As excited as I am, this whole wedding/travel crazy few months is really making me realize what a homebody I am—I love seeing new places, and traveling, but after a day or two all I want is my own shower (I miss my shower more than my bed, usually), TIM, and the animals.  I thrive on normalcy and routine, and all this hoopla (while wonderful and touching) is making me feel a little out of sorts.

I probably won’t be blogging from Napa—I’m not out of the closet with my family and most of my friends yet, and I intend to keep it that way.  I’ll be back on Monday with a full recap!

See you later!  Have a great weekend!

Vegas, Day Two!

Hello again from Vegas!  I”m blogging a bit earlier than usual so I can do some more ‘splorin’. 

Conference breffist:

0414 023The eggs and taters were pretty meh, so I left them and ate all the fruit, yogurt, and granola, as well as an unpictured small banana nut muffin. 

Went to meetings all morning, then conquered lunch!

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I seem to be doing a good job with the “fill half your plate with fruit/veggies” rule.  I had a giant salad with a balsamic dressing, plus some roasted chicken on the side.  I got some beef and cheese, too, but…it was kind of like eating lunchmeat/cheese without bread, so I left most of it.  I also had a wee bit of tomato basil soup and a PRETZEL ROLL.  (OBSESSED.)

We had an hour and a half for lunch, so I went exploring!  Mostly to the pool area of Caesar’s Palace.  Can you blame me?

There was some sort of photo shoot going on.  You can see the photographer up on the balcony.

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Basically, there was a model floating on her back, and some guy had to keep throwing those red balls at her.  Weird.

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Everything here is so massive!  I can hardly believe it.0414 0030414 004

I finally settled down in a beach chair in the shade (don’t want to get tan lines before the wedding/didn’t have sunscreen!) and relaxed and people watched for the remainder of my break.

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After the afternoon sessions were over, I ventured out onto the strip for a very special task given to me by Leah

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The Flamingo!  She’s getting married there a few weeks after our wedding. 

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I did a little more wandering on the Strip, BUT I had a lot of strange men coming up to me offering their sexual services.  Like, at least 2 or 3.  It creeped me out, so I headed back to Caesar’s.0414 0080414 009

There’s more than enough to entertain me here for a long, long time, and I am completely paranoid when traveling alone, so…yeah.  Also, with all the events I have to pop into here and there, I don’t have a whole lot of time to stray too far anyway!

The plan for tonight?  We have a dinner/reception thingy, then I plan to gamble a bit more (NOT blowing $15 in one bet this time).  I’m also debating splurging on a pair of running shorts from the Nike Store for my “souvenir”—I only have capris, and I’d love to find a pair that doesn’t chafe my thighs.  Oh, and who am I kidding, probably another television bubble-cuzzi!

Re: exercise.  I wanted to exercise here, but they charge $25 a day!  My sister has been pestering me about running with her in Napa, so we might wind up doing that.  If not, I won’t stress about it—I’ll be back at the gym next week!

Question of the day: Are the mixed nuts and chocolates next to the “Welcome” note on the minibar free or not?  They are not in the “lift the chips up for 20 seconds and get charged” weighted looking thing, and not listed on the minibar menu.  Discuss.

Viva Las Vegas

Hello from sunny Las Vegas, Nevada!

This morning I went into the office for a few hours, but left around lunchtime to head to the airport.   Our food situation at home is a little off—I didn’t shop for the stuff I usually eat this weekend because, well, I’m going to be gone more or less until next Tuesday.  So, there was nothing for me to pack for lunch. 

Enter…airport food!  KCI doesn’t have a whole lot of healthy options, so I opted for Starbucks—iced  coffee with a splash of skim milk, a yogurt parfait (I ate about 3/4) and a bagel (ate about 3/4, no cream cheese).  Not half bad.

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Planes!  I love airports and flying more than I probably should.

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Of course, I fell asleep immediately, but woke up to find that the flight attendant had left me some snacks on my tray!  How sweet—peanuts and some kind of cheese cracker things.

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I ate the peanuts when I woke up.  I loathe Cheeze Nips/Cheez-its generally speaking, but by the end of the flight I was hangry and knew dinner was a ways off so I ate them anyways.

I landed and took a cab to my final destination—Caesar’s Palace!

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Unfortunately, the line at check-in was ridiculously long.  Like, half an hour long.  At least they brought me water in line!

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But when I got to my room…oh yeah, it was all worth it.  Check out my view!

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Yup.  That’s the Bellagio fountains, right in front of my room, and hey!  I happened to catch the show for you.

 

So, yeah, my suite is pretty sweet.  Easily the nicest hotel room I’ve ever stayed in.

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The BATHROOM.  I have a full marble jacuzzi tub with a… 0413 009

FLAT SCREEN TELEVISION.

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Oh yes. After this posts, I’m getting in a bubbly jacuzzi bath and watching Glee.  Luxury.

I was starving after finding my room, and I wanted a cheeseburger.  So I found one.  And I ate it.  And it was delicious.

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Unfortunately, it didn’t really agree with me.  But it was lovely while it lasted.

After dinner, I explored…

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Basically, there is an entire fancy pants shopping mall in the hotel.  I actually needed to buy something—my purse strap broke, so I replaced it!

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I got a great deal—this was on sale at the Gap, and I had a $10 off coupon, so I think I paid $13.99 for it?  Fine by me!

Anyway, Caesar’s Palace is absolutely incredible.  Everything is insanely ornate.

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I went into the Nike store and salivated for awhile over their running gear.  I very nearly bought a t-shirt that said “Runners have the best buns” with a picture of a running hamburger on it.  But I refrained.

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After I shopped, and walked what seemed like ten miles, I decided, hey, it’s Vegas, I have to try my luck!

0413 016Of course I pick the one with cats on it.  Of course.

Unfortunately, I accidentally bet $15 instead of $0.15 and that was the end of my gambling for the night.

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Unfortunately…EVERYTHING is extra here.  Internet is $15, and it’s $25 to use the gym!  Ick.  And I already miss Tim.  But, obviously, this is a pretty awesome set-up and I’m totally excited to see Vegas.  I’m pretty sure I will spend most of my time in Caesar’s, but still…awesome. 

Anyway, I went down to the “hospitality suite” for awhile but I felt exceedingly awkward so I left.  I had half a glass of wine and two tiny desserts and watched the flair bartenders and naked-behind-a-screen dancing ladies for awhile.  Everyone in my field seems to no each other and I feel like the awkward newbie.  The only people that approached me were guys that I think were trying to hit on me!  I am just not good at talking to strangers.  I always panic and the conversation ends randomly.

I’m off to the bubble-cuzzi for some Glee and then BED.  I’m exhausted and the time change is killing me!

Any tips for making friends with people who already seem to know each other?

Snow? In March?

This has been SUCH a long day. 

I rolled out of bed at 5 so I could be at work by 6:30.  Worked from 6:30-noon.  Hey, guess what?

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It started snowing/raining/sleeting late last night and continued throughout the night.  This morning, it turned to snow.  We now have probably 4-5 inches of snow on the ground.  And it’s March 20th.  Not cool, winter.  Not cool.

The upside is that it’s supposed to be in the 40s tomorrow so hopefully it will all melt.  But still, sucky.

I was absolutely determined to get the shopping-related errands done today.  They’ve been stressing me out for the last week and I was tired of it.  So I forged ahead and did my errands, snow be damned.

First stop: Ulta, for shower hostess gifts.  I have 7 hostesses (roughly) so it had to be something reasonably inexpensive.  I’m going to wrap them up with a note hoping that all their showers will be as nice as mine!

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And a nice flatiron for my hair.  My straightener right now is a joke—I think I bought it at the drugstore for $9.99 my freshman year in college, and it doesn’t work.  I’m so tired of long hair, but I want it to look nice for my shower/bachelorette parties/etc, so I figured I should splurge on a nice one.

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Then I stopped by the running store to a) restock on Gu and b) pick up some odds and ends to wrap up for my sister’s maid of honor gift half marathon registration.   My friend/the owner Bob was there, and of course he asked about my shoes.  Guiltily, I told him that they just weren’t working all that well and showed him my dead toenail/new blisters. 

He felt bad and gave me some new cushiony insoles to try.

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They are so wonderful there, but I think they think I’m a lost cause at this point.  Bob admitted that he can’t think of one more thing that would help me that I haven’t tried, and recommended I see a doctor.  (Which I plan to do after the wedding—things are just too crazy now.)  It makes me sad that there’s really nothing else they can think of that will help my poor feet.  😦

Bob even said, “I’ve never said this before, but maybe you should just go to a sporting goods store, find a pair of shoes that feels good on your feet for $50, and keep trying that until you find something.  At this point, you don’t have anything to lose.”  (Except more money.  But…a nice sentiment.)

Anyway, I got this.  I’m not sure if it’s going to be for my sister or for me quite yet.  Oops. 

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And an array of goodies to give my sister—non-cotton socks, sport beans, shot blocks, various Gu flavors, and Body Glide.

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I also bought a whole box of Chocolate Gu.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?  This should last me awhile, and it’s discounted if you buy by the box.

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Then I headed to the mall and picked up some bronzing airbrush spray while I waited to get my eyebrows done.

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Got my eyebrows waxed, came home, ate dinner, and now we’re watching The September Issue and possibly The Hurt Locker later.

Anyway, not a cheap day, but I think I’m mostly done shopping-wise for my Chicago trip.  Tomorrow’s MUST GET DONE LIST:

  • thank you note for the gift we got this week
  • print/cut/assemble/address rehearsal dinner invitations
  • write out cards for shower hostesses
  • try to get as much Chicago packing done as possible

Anyone else getting unseasonably awful weather?

Irish eyes are smiling

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  I have not celebrated in any way at all today, which makes me a little sad.  I didn’t have the foresight to pack green clothing, unfortunately.  However, I am indeed Irish—75%.  (The other 25% is northern Italian.)  My mom’s maiden name begins with O’ and my paternal grandmother’s maiden name starts with Mc.   I have pale skin, freckles on my shoulders, and enjoy beer more than I should.  I think that qualifies me, no?  Growing up, we would always have corned beef, boiled potatoes and cabbage and soda bread today.  Last year I made soda bread, but this year I’ve been lame and forgotten altogether.  Fail.

Anyway.   Woke up in a hotel room.  My room service breakfast order showed up shortly thereafter.  On the menu today?  More food than I’d intended.  The card I filled out was for eggs and toast and coffee only, but much to my surprise, I got scrambled eggs, bacon, breakfast potatoes, orange juice, and coffee.

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The eggs were terrible.  So was the bacon.  So, I had toast, potatoes, orange juice and coffee for breakfast.  Not the healthiest, but such is life.

I did my work thang in the morning and got on the road back to Kansas City around noon.  It was a four hour drive.  After the coffee debacle, I decided to grab lunch BEFORE I got on the road.

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It was a long, foggy, boring drive.  Thank goodness for Dan Savage podcasts.

Somewhere along the way, I decided I might as well do my long run today.  I’d be back at the office at 3, meaning I could be at the gym by 3:30, do the run, and be home before 6.  If I waited to do it tomorrow, I wouldn’t be able to start until 5 and wouldn’t be home until 7:30 or 8!  Plus, I got a lot of sleep last night and was sitting on my bum all day.

I changed and walked over to the gym.  I wasn’t sure if I’d want two gels or one, so I brought two just in case.  I also brought some Gatorade powder because I remember craving it during my run last week. 

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And…the running commenced.  Today marked the start of double-digits for me with my first 10 miler!  I broke it into two 5 mile segments.  I took the Tri-Berry Gu at mile 5, and refilled my water bottle and added some of the Gatorade powder.

The first five miles weren’t bad, and I definitely felt a nice energy rush after the Gu.  But at about mile 7.5, my energy started to wane.  Fine.  I can push through low energy.  But at mile 9, I realized I probably a) should have saved the gatorade for post run and b) probably should have incorporated both gels into the run.  My stomach started feeling kind of barfy and sloshy.  Nonetheless, I pushed through, literally counting down the seconds until the 10 miles were done!

All in all, 10 miles in 1:40:00—I stuck the treadmill at 6.0 and left it there.  (I took maybe 1 minute to reset the treadmill and fill my bottle, but whatever.)  It wasn’t a bad run, but I think that I learned that 9 miles and over requires two Gus—maybe at mile 4 and 8 or something.  I also forgot a stick of gum, which helps with dry mouth, so I drank too much water which I think contributed to the stomach issues.

My right foot is also a hot mess.  It kind of reminds me of raw ground turkey.  And the toenail just keeps getting blacker.  Sigh. 

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In other news, remember the awful yellow flowered capris Victoria’s Secret sent me instead of my rehearsal dinner dress?  Well, the actual rehearsal dress showed up yesterday.

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I need to wear it with Spanx to smooth everything out, because it’s a little clingy, but I do like it and the price/casualness level was perfect.  I think I’ll wear it with some kind of sandal, maybe.  It’ll also be good to take on the honeymoon. 

So, that’s that.  10 miles, in the books, and I lived to tell the tale.  Just tack a 5K onto that and I’ve got a half marathon!  Eep!

Are you Irish? Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?