Saturday, October 20, 2018

Las Vegas

I had the pleasure of spending a few days in Sin City since I had a friend attending a conference there.  I opted to impulsively book a flight for 36 hours and head west.  In hindsight, I should have sought out better flight times.  Arriving earlier on Monday with a departure on Wednesday morning or afternoon.  The flight I arranged was a 1 am red eye which is not my jam I have learned.  I completely overslept.  Frantically, I rebooked a flight and was able to ease back to sleep.  But, let's back up.  That was only one aspect of my adventure.
I arrived Monday night and dined at Bouchon.  I have always loved Bouchon.  It is consistently amazing.  We sampled the mussels, oysters, pate, frites and green beans.  A smorgasbord of deliciousness.  Tuesday morning, I stopped by another favorite, Mon Ami Gabi.  I considered sitting outside to people watch and then reconsidered.  I could absolutely enjoy a fantastic meal sitting bar side.  I ordered smoked salmon and bagels with extra capers.  It was a great way to begin the day.  I prefer a savory breakfast to sweet and actually tend to enjoy green chile and eggs if I have my way.  Mon Ami Gabi is a French restaurant and so that was not an option.
Next, I headed off Strip to a Korean Spa for a treatment.  I was interested in a body scrub/massage combo which was offered as one of their services.  In addition they have a hot tub, cold plunge, two steam saunas and multiple dry saunas.  That alone is enticing and then I had the body scrub combo.  It was good, not great, in comparison to what I have found in Denver.  The massage in Denver entails a cucumber mask, followed by a mix of honey and milk being massaged into your body.  My skin feels luxurious afterwards.  At any rate, it was a nice break from the Strip and a good treatment.  I do prefer the dry saunas that are offered at the Imperial Spa.  There is a red clay room that is magical.
I walked to a Thai restaurant for tuna tartare and cucumber salad.  Perfect way to celebrate lunch.  I returned to the venetian for a quick nap and had baseball on in the background.  I packed my bag and waited for my friend to return for a light dinner.  He had work obligations and so I stopped by Chica for octopus and then beef carpaccio at Del Monico's.  I wanted to continue to watch baseball and Chica did not have a tv.
I thought this was how my Vegas adventure would conclude.  Instead I completely overslept thru my alarm and woke up at 3 am.  Awesome.  I should have been arriving in Denver around that time.  Thankfully, I was able to rebook my flight for the following afternoon.  I pushed back a yoga client and rescheduled my chiropractor appointment.  Then, I thought about how I would like to enjoy the additional day of the food factor.  There was a greek restaurant that looked intriguing and was open for lunch.  I had the most delicious charred octopus over a fava bean puree.  And a Greek salad that was terrific.  I felt very blessed to have missed my flight.  Otherwise I would have missed out on a spectacular meal.
The weather was perfect, too.  I should have packed shorts and a light fleece as opposed to the heavier jacket that I brought.  I was concerned about the comings and goings of Denver.  It has been a lovely October--two trips--one to Santa Fe and another to Las Vegas.  A bunch of yoga and some personal treatments of body scrub and physical therapy.  It's been epic.
Today I will check out another yoga studio and see what they are offering.  Perhaps even incorporate some of it into my teachings.  We shall see.
I do enjoy Sin City.  Not for the obvious gambling but for the delightful food factor.  It truly is endless--so many options.  I could return in a week and explore five other restaurants and be just as happy.  Maybe even more so.
Off to flow and say cheers to Saturday!  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

upcoming travel

Next week, I am returning to Santa Fe.  I had mentioned to Melody that the girls and I might postpone our Santa Fe adventure in September since she would not be able to join us at Ojo Caliente.  I have great friends.  The last few years either they have traveled with me to celebrate my birthday or made time to treat me to dinner.  This year, Lindsay, Sara Jo and I discussed heading to New Mexico.  Lindsay has never visited Santa Fe and so it would be her entry into the land of enchantment.  We considered possible dates and came up with a plan.  Next step was confirming that Melody would be in town to celebrate with us and also spend a day at Ojo Caliente.  It is now a mandatory part of my trips down south.  I texted Melody to tell her our of news and she told me that she would be absent as she would be on a cross country road trip the last two weeks of September.  Melody is an essential part of my trips and friends and so I asked the girls if they would consider delaying our trip.  That put a bug in her ear and she blocked off the 9th of October from scheduling appointments.  Then, Sara Jo decided she would relocate to California by the end of September and so I knew I would have to commit to that trip.  And that I would be driving back down two weeks later.
My birthday trip was great!  Lots of food, margaritas and memories.  Lindsay had to back out due to work and so I figured maybe she could return with me in October.  So, I floated the idea by Lindsay when she canceled the September trip.  She agreed to request off those days and I found another Airbnb.
She still is uncertain if she can join me or not.  Her boss is unwilling to grant her the days off in a timely manner.  My bases are covered.  My oil is changed.   I have communicated with the Airbnb hostess and texted friends to arrange meals.  I'm fairly certain I will see Jennifer from ABQ.  We can chat the remainder of her AT adventure.  Earlier this summer, I met her in D.C. and we toured the monuments and food scene for four days.  Then, she returned to the trails and headed north to Maine.  I believe we will meet for happy hour on Monday for a few silver coin margaritas.  I reached out to Libby, Danielle and Lawrence.  I am sort of in a holding pattern til Lindsay confirms whether or not she is joining me.  I know that if I drive down, solo, I will leave earlier than if we travel together.  I am aware of that.  I will more than likely stop in Rye for a potty stop.  I prefer that BBQ spot right along 1-25 to break up my trip.
I can also commit to doing another Barre class or perhaps seeing a few other friends.  If I get down early enough, I can meet a friend for lunch.  I would like to do that if possible.  And, I hope to purchase a ring.  That had been a goal of my September trip.  Time got away from me.
Palm Springs will be another trip I will make happen.  I figure it is much easier to head west to visit Sara Jo then go to Florida.  That eastern trip entails a connecting flight which adds more time to ask off for.  I want to avoid that.
Celebrate and enjoy the day!  Happy Thursday!

Monday, October 1, 2018

The start of clean eating

Happy Monday!  Officially saw my trainer and now my arms are aching.  Honestly, I think I did more pushups than I thought was possible.  Everything centered on arms, some core and balance.  I am fried.
I arrived and immediately she pointed out that I should get on the scale.  Probably my least favorite way to start my week.  Thankfully, I am okay.  I was shocked about where I am at.  My base is actually decent and I am surprised that it is not worse.  I was super indulgent the last few weeks.  Months, even.  Dining out, day drinking and less walking to work due to the ankle injury.  Somehow, I have managed to maintain a decent balance.  I think my trainer was shocked, too!  She suggested that I decrease my wine intake and also dining out.  It is a difficult decision.  Social, interactive and something I truly enjoy doing.  I should be doing less of that and more cooking at home.  The proximity to the farmer's market will help me with this task.  And the fact that my friend circle is diminishing.  Sara Jo is in Cali and Lindsay rarely takes a day off during the week.  Jenn has a new job and her schedule is constantly changing.
I should be more focused on meal prepping.  Just see how it alters my diet and how I benefit financially.  I am sure that I would be able to travel more often if I had less boozy lunches.  I love them so!  I would like to visit Sara Jo before she heads east to Florida or return to Minneapolis to try more yoga at that one studio that was incredible.  Of course, it would be wonderful to see my aunt.  We have a bunch to catch up on and I did truly enjoy my mini visit in May.  There is more exploration to do in Minneapolis for sure.
I had a dream about Chicago last night.  Maybe I will try to go there again.  It's been a year and the restaurant scene is endless there.  I could pick a random area and be overwhelmed with the food option.  Hopefully, I can make something happen soon.  There are too many places that I want to explore.  I will be returning to the Dallas area in February.  Originally, Shari and I considered flying to Puerto Rico to spend the anniversary in Rincon with Tiffany and Dan.  Honestly, that would have been ideal. Spend some time on the beach--yoga, see Tiffany and Dan, and discover the food factor in Rincon.  However, timing is not ideal.  I would want six days to spend there and due to my work schedule, I would be restricted.  And, I believe, Shari also had some scheduling woes.  We chose to reconvene and take a shorter trip.  Dallas seemed like a natural fit.  I am still exploring where to stay, dine, soak.  I met a gentleman last night that had a few suggestions and was helpful.  We will see.
It feels like we just arrived at 2018 and yet, somehow, we will be embracing new year's eve in three months.  Three short months.
Perhaps, I will actually try to eat clean for a stretch.  Don't they say if you can alter your routine for 21 days it becomes a habit?  Be it, exercise?  Diet?  Sleep?  Well, maybe not that.  I'm off to continue my day before heading into work.  Life is grand!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Clean eating

This last month has been super indulgent.  It's hard for me to not be.  It's my birthday and I tend to over celebrate with friends.  I love the opportunity to see people.  Of course, food and wine is involved and the celebratory status lasts for days.  I saw the Goddess, Jenn, Roxie and helped Sara Jo depart from Denver.  That definitely added to my excessive ways.
I am returning to my trainer tomorrow morning to face the music in a way. I know that I have been excessive and not exercising as often as I like to do.  I did attend a TRX driven barre class last week while visiting Santa Fe.  It didn't kill me.  I was sore, afterwards, but I also identified that I am stronger than I was a year ago.  That felt good and I suppose will help me face the fury of my trainer tomorrow.  It's been three months since our last session.  Some of it is due to the fact that I have been nursing an injury.  The high ankle sprain that will not end. I finally broke down and found a chiropractor to assess the situation and help me with pain management and releasing some of the chronic muscle contraction in my calf muscles.  I think the brace that I had been wearing made it worse for me.  It became more of a crutch.  I thought I needed it and forgot what actually walking felt like.  My chiropractor took one look at my gait and taped up my foot.  He wanted me to utilize my natural walking as opposed to relying on the brace.  I have been dry needled, vascular flushed and had a raptor utilized on me.  The raptor is a hand held device that stimulates the muscles.  It hurt so good, lol.
Since incorporating the chiropractor into my life, I do feel better.  Immensely.  It inspires me to consider how I want to spend the next month.  With the addition of my trainer resurfacing, I want to maintain a cleaner lifestyle.  Minimize the wine intake and attempt to dine at home more frequently.  I have pickles, olives, and tuna burgers from Sara Jo's kitchen.  I went to the farmer's market this morning and picked up some tomatoes, cucumbers, mixed greens and peaches.  Why wouldn't I cook at home?
Thankfully, I have the opportunity to do just that.  And plan travel.  I hope to visit Sara Jo in Palm Springs before she heads to Florida. That trip will definitely be more challenging to pull off in three days.  And, I don't know how long it will take Sara to settle into Florida.  Heading west is more attractive to me and I could explore more of Joshua Tree.  It was beautiful.
I will be in Santa Fe, again, to visit Melody and do another soak at Ojo Caliente.  I want to focus on my needs and what makes me happy.  Clearly, travel is always a factor.  And., I believe it is time to finally create a home out of my rental space.  It's challenging since I do not like clutter or things and tend to purchase more airline tickets than anything else.  Maybe refocus and create some space in my life for roots.  I have multiple plants to add life to my home now.  I gave Sara Jo my plants from Brian's memorial.  I received them in 2006 and they are still thriving.  I love it!
So, perhaps, slow down.   Write more.  Read.  Expand my yoga and reflect on what I truly want out of life. I felt so fortunate on my birthday.  Spent time with my aunt, saw Jenn K and heard from many, many friends.  I am extremely grateful for the friendships I have in my life.
Tomorrow is a new day.  My focus will be on the clean eating and taking care of me.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Dreams and realizations

More acupuncture, pedicures and dreams of travel.  I have been loitering on my days off.  Trying to fill them up with yoga teaching and it has been plentiful.  I am conflicted for as much as I yearn to travel, I need to have a routine for clients.  I cannot just up and go on a whim as I have in the past.
Still, I want to travel.  It is a natural part of my life and I find myself talking about it often at work.  I had a lovely conversation about Santa Fe on Tuesday at lunch and then New Orleans inspired another lengthy conversation last night.  These conversations motivate me to book a trip and do it.  Not just wait around
I will be heading to Santa Fe, twice, in the next month and possibly a trip to Chicago, Austin or Aspen.  I need to confirm dates with my friend and then commit to the trip.  I think about it often and visualize a foodie inspired venture.  Especially with this friend.  He has similar likes and we travel well together.  In the past, we have ventured to Chicago and Santa Fe and so I would like to try out a different destination.  Heck, I would be happy returning to New Orleans.  That city has the best food and the options are limitless.  Not to mention, music, endless sazeracs and beignets.  I had some customers last night request a Sazerac and I was unable to find the absinthe so I refused to make it.  Instead, I offered to make a vieux carre which seemed to make them just as happy.
I am trying to minimize my acupuncture and do one session weekly.  I can supplement with massage, pedicure and PT.  I have started trying to balance on my right foot and do a few strength enhancing moves.  It is helping and I feel better.
The pedicure, today, was amazing.  I attempted to arrange a pedicure last week but my place was booked solid.  I stopped by today and waited ten minutes before siting in the chair. The calf massage was epic and I think it is another way to ease the ankle stress.  I am trying everything to heal and faster.  The essential oils are helping and as noted, I know, that the swelling is down and my ankle is beginning to look the right shape again.  It's been a long road to healing.
I am blessed though. I have a healthy gut.  I have a friend that has been dealing with some intense GI issues.  I really don't know how she does it or why it has lasted this long. I feel very fortunate to not be dealing with that myself.  I would be hydrating, hydrating, hydrating and skipping all the wine and margaritas that I like to ingest.
I'm sort of interested in learning how to golf.  I have been golfing a few times and so it is not completely foreign to me.  However, how great would it be to actually be able to participate and compete?  Or tennis?  I think golf would be a more natural fit for me.  Not that I am scared of all of the running and agility in tennis.  I'm not.  I just sucked at it so bad when I was in high school when they were trying to teach us.  I always had an "open" face.  I got kicked off of the gym aide duties in tennis and thrust in to managing the runners.  Never returned to tennis after that point.  I have a friend that is retired and possibly 78 years old and she is still playing competitively.  She loves it.  I think it is great and her and her partner are super cute when they travel together.
Golf would be preferable.  However, I want to return to seeing my trainer.  Which brings us back full circle--healing the ankle to be at least 90% so that I can be athletic and continue to train with Courtney.  Golf will have to wait for the time being.
Acupuncture will continue.  Massage, too.  My goal is to return to training with Courtney by October.  Means I will be diligent in my taking care of my ankle.   I must decide that I am ready and that I want this.  I do.  I want to be 100%. It aids my teaching, my well being and my health.
Here is to that!  I am off to enjoy my Friday~

Saturday, September 1, 2018

day off and frustrations of the ankle

Day off and what a day it has been.  Lazy.  No yoga.  New restaurant checked out and a return to a local brewery.  I have visited this place three times and try to like it.  I have friends that love it.  Me, it's meh and will continue to be.  I will return to that later.
My ankle continues to frustrate me.  Acupuncture helps me, somewhat, and will continue to do so.  I think, though, that I need to make a more concentrated effort in physical therapy.  I can walk (thankfully) and can work. But, running is challenging and balancing on my right foot scares me.  I am afraid of messing it up.  I have been doing some writing the alphabet with my toes which helps but my foot wants to cramp.  It is always something.
I skipped yoga today and yesterday.  I thought I had a client this morning but she canceled, last minute, to go to Aspen.  I do understand the desire to travel.  I only wish that she had some consideration of my time and the effort I take to put into the planned sequence.  She hasn't yet.  I have been on a pozole kick.  I continued that trend today or tried to.  Instead, I found a Colombian spot on East Colfax that offers Mondongos.  I was super excited to sample their offerings.  I had tried mondongos in Medellin and loved it.  I entered this cute spot and was surprised to find football on and a group of six ladies enjoying lunch.  I perused the menu and chose the mondongos, a Colombian beer and an arepa to start.  About fifteen minutes later, she returned with my beer and told me, in Spanish, that they were not offering mondongos today.  I could choose between two other options and I replied--which do you prefer.  I loved that she spoke to me in Spanish.  I wish I could have responded in Spanish.  It was awesome.  Reminded me that I want to learn another language.
The food was good.  More pedestrian and clean which I enjoyed.  I would love to return to try the mondongos.  I prefer them to the soup I sampled.
Yesterday, I had pozole at a spot on south Broadway which I have tried a few times.  It is a popular mezcaleria and the food is adequate.  The pozole was oily and not at all what I wanted.  I was super disappointed in that option.  The guacamole was delicious and of course, I enjoyed the salsa and the conversation with my lunch date.  Troy is travel friendly.  I think he did 320 days last year and this year, is on point, to do 345.  It's nuts!   He owns a home in the Springs and travels all over with a bike company.  As much as he loves it, I think, the travel does wear on him.  He goes everywhere--stateside and internationally.  of course, I am jealous!
So, lunch today was good and Colombian inspired.  I returned home, afterwards, and took a nap.  I think I needed it.  My body needs to recover.  I have been binge watching SOA in preparation for another series the Mayans.  I seriously, should, read more, lol.  It is more noise for me to have while I sift through the day.
Finally, I walked to the market to pick up garlic.  I would like to attend the farmer's market to choose produce tomorrow.  Fortunately, it is located about three blocks from my house.  Anyways, I walked to the store and picked up a few items and opted to stop by the local brewery which I want to like.  I entered the brewery and selected a spot at the bar.  I was approached, quickly, and asked for my i.d.  Not that big of a deal.  I get it.  It's their job.  I chose a beer and the girl returned with it and asked it I wanted a tab or to pay.  Super direct.  I paid.  I tipped her and she didn't say thank you or anything else.  That is annoying.  How difficult is it to be friendly?  I then watched and saw the three bartenders check their phones and basically suck.  I really don't think that I can support this place again.  My boss likes the beer and has a difficult time picking up beer to go and so I have done it for him.  I don't know that it will be frequent.  It is a not a vibe I enjoy.   And, I have tried to like it.
It is a new month.  My birthday month.  I am inspired to really put myself out there and accomplish some goals.  I want to travel, I do.  I can taste it.  However, I think, patience is my friend in this situation.  I need to be patient and relax.  Everything will happen when it is supposed to.
Making dinner tonight.  Continuing my binge of SOA and relaxing.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

day off

Day off translated to cleaning house, reading, watching some tv, cooking dinner and teaching one client.  Originally, I thought I would take the day to detox and had believed I would stick to it.  Then, I thought about what I would prepare for dinner and wine accompanies pasta too well.  I couldn't resist!
My client arrived around 6:30 and hung out with me until 7:45.  She likes to chit chat after the sessions which is lovely and, at times, irritating.  Last night, I was ready to be back in my own  space before she was ready to depart.  I understand wanting to hang out, I do.  Only, last night, was my only night off and I wanted to fully utilize it.  So, I made pasta and drank wine.
I attempted to make lunch plans with Roxie.  We had been practicing yoga fairly regularly until she experienced a shoulder injury.  It was an old injury that had been acting up and so after she had it checked out, she experienced a lower back issue as well.  Now, it's been six weeks since we practiced together.  It will be an interesting start of practicing together or maybe we will focus on the lunch factor.  She is still healing and so I don't even know when she is wanting to practice yoga together.  Plus, her job is requiring a bunch of her time and so I don't know how much free time she actually has to do yoga and or day drink.  I have clothes to drop by good will and should get that done.  It would also be nice to pick up a new vase for my gratitude bowl.  I have been slacking on my notes of gratitude the last few months.  Mostly because my vase is being used to house flowers on a regular basis.  I am trying this new thing where I purchase new flowers weekly and enjoy them until they are no longer fresh.  It adds a nice energy to my house and reminds me to be thankful on a daily basis.
My current book is challenging.  I am struggling to get vested into it.  I am still waiting for that spark.  You know the one I am talking about?   Where all you can do is read until you finish since you are so enticed by the author.  My current book is not providing any energy for me.  I am struggling to read it and if I make it to page 100 and still feel nothing, well, it will be going back to the free library.  I sort of have a feeling that is where it is destined to go.  I just cannot seem to get into this book.
I have others to choose from.  I could find something to occupy my time.  Make me day dream.  Reflect.  Release.  Absorb my thoughts as opposed to watching tv. I really should limit that time suck part of my life.  It seems too easy, at times, to fall into a show.  Especially late at night when I am not yet ready for bed.  I should make more of an effort to read or write, even.  Use my mind instead of having it crammed with reality tv.  Yes, I do get sucked in to some of that b.s.
I arranged another acupuncture treatment for this week.  It seems to be helping my ankle, immensely.  I am healing.
I looked at flights.  I always rely on travel as a gateway for fun.  I keep returning to heading to Aspen on a road trip.  Or, perhaps a flight to Seattle.  I have a friend that could be my tour guide in Seattle.  I see some wine tasting in that trip and perhaps some foodie driven experiences.  I should just commit to one or the other.  Not worry about the others involved.  It will work out the way it is supposed to.  I can delay or postpone my clients and create some space for a trip in my near future.
I should get up and greet the day.  Drop my clothes to good will and explore part of the city before heading into work.  I am thankful that I have the opportunity to work today.  It is an overcast day and inspiring me to be productive.