Tuesday, January 1, 2019

HNY

Happy New Year's!  Finally the beginning of 2019 and what it could bring.  Oh the excitement.  Yesterday, I slept, watched movies and ordered take-out.  It was perfect and exactly what I needed.  It's been a long holiday season and sleep is my new best friend.  Due to all of the sleep, I had multiple dreams.  I woke up and remembered that I had decided that I wanted to move to another city.  But where would I go?
I even had the dilemma in my dreams.  I could go to Seattle, Portland, L.A....I am attracted to western cities and that was made apparent in my dream.  Eventually, I had reasons why I wouldn't want to move to any of those cities.  Seattle is rainy.  Portland is smaller than I want to live and L.A. is gigantic and finding a good job could be challenging.  Honestly, I love living in the southwest.  I kept considering western cities and in my dream, I even gave my rental up and my amazing job.  I had no plan of where I would go except that I would go to Ojo Caliente and head west from there. I didn't want to return to Phoenix or Santa Fe and I didn't even remotely consider ABQ.  Somehow, I felt that SLC would be a good option.
Where did that come from?  I am still confused by how that ended up in my dream.  I have never visited and so I have no connection to it.  I woke up and kept thinking about how much I enjoy being in Denver and why would I think about relocating elsewhere?  I think I have been thinking about Sara Jo and her relocating back to Florida.  She has been in the Palm Springs area for the last three months but will begin her journey east in a week.  I believe this had been on my mind.  And when she left Denver, she packed her car and drove down to Santa Fe with me where we did soak at Ojo Caliente.  So there was some truth to the dream sequence.
I do know that I am happy here in Denver.  I love living here and I really am happy with my current job.  I have been increasing my teaching yoga and hope to continue to do that.  And, it has been a few years since I have gotten a passport stamp.  It's overdue and always in the back of my mind.
I am going to sit down in the next few days and organize my travel board.  I will finish my loosely planned trips for 2019.  I need an outline!
I am meeting Jenn and Rob for brunch this morning.  I am ready for a retox after my night of sleep.  It's sunny outside and I am ready to greet the day.
So, new year and endless opportunities.  Make it great!

Monday, December 31, 2018

final thoughts of 2018

I forgot that I had been to Las Vegas, too.  How did I do that?  Well, it was an impulsive trip and I stayed with a friend on the Strip.  And, I ate phenomenal food.  Of course, I had to mention my trip to Vegas.
It is snowing in Denver today.  I think I am staying inside, all day. I am not working and I am unmotivated to get up, put on my contacts and greet the world.  I am already planning lunch and take out.  Who can deliver to my house?  I had lunch plans with Roxie but the snow has discouraged my going outside.  I need to go to the library to collect my books and I should pay rent.  How inspired am I to go outside?  Not very.  We shall see.
I do want to get my books from the library.  It would be worthwhile to have those in my possession to kick start 2019 in the best possible way.  I want to  incorporate more reading into my livelihood.  I should limit my streaming to encourage more reading, learning, getting outside.  I met a girl last night that wants to bring people outside to hike to deal with a way to de-stress and not take medications.  It is important to experience nature and feel the sun.  I enjoyed chatting with her and hope that she is able to get her business plan off and running.
What else do I hope to achieve this upcoming year?  What do you hope to achieve?  As mentioned, I do want to read more.  Of course, travel is on my radar (as always).  I told Michaela that I would visit her in Oregon.  I am still trying to make that happen.  I would prefer a Monday-Wednesday type of trip and meeting in Portland.  It will be a push to make that happen.  My sister is more of a homebody and would prefer that I fly into Eugene.  It is challenging in that time frame to maximize time with her due to connections.  Also, she would have to take time off from work which she will also not like.  I don't know how else to do it though.
I had talked to Sara Jo about maybe meeting in NOLA on her journey back to Florida.  It isn't going to happen due to a change of plans.  Her mom is meeting her in Dallas and driving back with her to Florida.  I think, financially, it is probably for my benefit.  Last time we were in NOLA, I went a little out of control on the food and wine factor.  It was stellar!
Everything will work out the way it is supposed to.  I am confident of that and excited for this upcoming year. Celebrate, enjoy and taste life!  Cheers to 2019 and all that it has to offer. As much as I want to hibernate all day, I am going to venture outside.  I am more motivated to get my books, lol

Saturday, December 29, 2018

2018 year of travel

Every year, I enjoy looking back on where I have traveled, eaten and created memories.  This year, I relied on my Airbnb receipts to figure out where I had traveled.  Ironically, after writing down the places, it looked a little light.  I had to remember that there were places I visited where I stayed with friends and family and so no Airbnb was necessary.
Here is the breakdown--
Santa Fe (six times)
Nashville  (first time)
Rincon, Puerto Rico (first time but will definitely return to visit friends)
Minneapolis (first time in years)
Palm Springs (second time in two years)
Walla Walla, Washington (second time in 8 years)
Kansas (family)
Washington D.C. (3rd time in my life)
Not bad, I think.  In retrospect, maybe I could have shifted a trip to Santa Fe and headed to Pagosa Springs or Aspen.  Both of these towns elude me.  I will have to change this in 2019. And, let's be honest, I love Santa Fe.  I love visiting friends, soaking at Ojo Caliente and of course, the food factor.  I think I may be able to arrange a quick trip down in January.  And, in February, I have bought tickets to go to Dallas.  That is the destination for this year's trip with Shari.  I have my eye on a body scrub at a Korean spa and will start investigating the restaurant scene.
Back to my year of travel, 2018.  Yes, multiple trips to Santa Fe.  I toured wine country in Washington State with my friend, Jean.  We found the best food truck across the border in Oregon--Bomb Tacos.  Wine was delicious and the food factor was pretty great, too.
D.C. encouraged a mini reunion of sorts.  I met up with my friend, Jennifer, from middle school.  Over the years, Jenn and I have met in Las Vegas, Denver, ABQ and now D.C.  She took six months off to hike the AT and I met her in D.C. for a city break.  There was never a mention of me hiking with her and for a minute, I was semi-offended.  I am healthy.  Why wouldn't she want me to experience some of the beauty of the AT?  The more I thought about it, though, I knew we had made the right decision.  I am a great guide in most cities. I enjoy finding restaurants and bars.  And D.C. does not disappoint.  We dined at Bad Saint and Tail Up Goat in addition to a few other spots.  Both are amazing and I am so thankful to have found them.  We met up with classmates--Mitch and John for dinner and drinks.  That was great to reconnect and chat about life.  Also, I introduced Jennifer to my friends, Megan and Marc.  They were my neighbors from my rental on Logan Street in Denver.  Megan has always enjoyed cooking and we had a chill night with them and their kids.
Minneapolis and Kansas were inspired by family trips.  My mom turned 65 in August and my aunt and I surprised her with a quick visit to Kansas.  Also, I treated my mom to her first ever pedicure and she loved it.  I couldn't believe it!  65 years and no pedicure.
I adored Minneapolis.  The yoga scene was off the hook and I enjoyed day drinking and finding new restaurants to dine at.  My aunt was a gracious hostess and I enjoyed spending time with her.  We did some thrift store shopping in EDINA and spent the majority of time in Uptown.
Nashville was fantastic.  We chose that location for our anniversary trip and Sara Jo joined us.  Four days to eat Hot Chicken, explore music and the city.  I had a great time and would love to return at a later date to see more of the city.  We packed in as much as we could and there was still so much more to do.  Palm Springs was a little laid back.  Spent time with Sara Jo and my friend, Marc.  Hiked at Joshua Tree and checked out the high desert.
I conclude my year of reflection with Puerto Rico.  My friends, Tiffany and Dan, had planned a relocation there for a few years.  They had everything planned and then the hurricane happened.  Still, they were determined to move there and so they waited for a bit.  They didn't want to go there and take away from people that already were experiencing difficulty with resources.  I commended them on their foresight and compassion.  They invited me to their wedding in March and it was lovely.  Spending time and seeing how resilient Puerto Ricans are.  And, I do love the ocean.
Quick recap of my year.  I am thankful for all of the time spent traveling, drinking wine and seeing friends--creating memories.  I look forward to this upcoming year and think of where I will go.  What does 2019 hold for me?
We shall see.  Til then, cheers and enjoy your Saturday!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

ramen, podcasts and yoga

I did find ramen and it was delicious!  I attended a noon yoga class and decided to find food afterwards.  Initially, I toyed with the idea of being healthy and preparing something at my house.  I have eggs, tortillas, soup and a few other stapled.  Yet, the idea of savory ramen lingered and I was unable to quash that craving.
Of course, I wanted a beer to accompany it.  The normal girl that waits on me was not working yesterday.  The ramen was amazing as usual.  Pork, scallions, udon noodles and ginger.  I added a fair amount of the hot sauce and it all worked well.  There is something enticing about ramen.  I wish I had discovered it years ago.  I think I was insecure about my chop stick capability in the past.  I am now more confident in working with them (finally).  I see more ramen in my future.
I returned home and tried to digest my ramen so that I would be able to teach yoga in three hours.  It is not ideal to teach or practice on a full stomach.  I drank water and continued to listen to the podcasts.  I am intrigued by the topics that are considered and discussed.  I began listening to the Dirty John series.  That was nuts!  I have been watching the series on Bravo but listening to the podcast is more revealing and shocking.  The details of this conman's ability to integrate himself into these women's lives is remarkable.  How he manipulates and isolates each woman is scary.  I started listening to an after the series and there were more women that came forward and had other stories of deception, betrayal and fear.  It was crazy!
I taught yoga to my regular clients and afterwards, we drank wine and ate crudité.  Lovely way to end a Tuesday and consider how to expand my practice for 2019.  The ladies had a few ideas and have continued to encourage and support me which I appreciate.  We concluded the evening and I returned home to make dinner.  Squid ink pasta with tomatoes, garlic and tuna.  I received a cookbook while in college that remains in my rotation of use.  The pasta recipe is one that I have altered and reused many, many times.  I should thank my friend, Jean, again, for that practical gift that continues to thrive in my house.
All, in all, it was a peaceful day.  Today, I will be treat myself to a thai massage and perhaps do a little accounting.  Or organizing.  It remains to be seen.  I am excited about the massage, of course, and know that it is much needed.  I have some shopping to attend to and should go to the market.  The next few days will be full of work and productivity.  I do have an eye appointment on Saturday and that will conclude my health driven  goals of the year.  Oh the joys of being an adult.
Enjoy your Wednesday!


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Days off and goal planning

Day off number two....how do I choose to spend it?  I woke up to a text with that exact inquiry.  My response--rest, sleep, recovery.  That was a few hours ago.  Now, I have yoga planned, teaching later, finding wine for my clients and possibly catching a matinee.
I am resting.  I am finding time to recover and plan.  Yesterday, I listened to podcasts which I think I am going to increase in my life.  Instead of watching mindless crap, aka tv, I could be listening to podcasts.  Or reading books.  I want to be continuing to learn.
I needed to create a playlist for the school teachers as they feel music would help transport them out of the classroom.  I cannot help that we are in a kindergarten classroom surrounded by miniature tables and chairs and I think, I block that part out.  I just focus on the yoga which I am supposed to do.  I think it is challenging for the ladies since they leave their respective classroom to enter another one.  There is no break in their landscape.  So, I do get the desire for music.  I messed around with creating something that would not be language offensive or derogatory.  I also wanted to create a list that increased in tempo and rhythm, too.  Need to be intensifying not putting people to sleep.
It became all encompassing and over took my afternoon.  Then, I received an email where the teachers are canceling this week due to lack of attendance.  Mostly, I think it is too close to the holiday and people are already on their vacation in their minds.  Instead of doing yoga, they can take an additional hour to shop, organize or write cards.  I wasn't offended and actually recognize that I can take more time to craft a fantastic play list.
I wanted to leave my house and continue to write cards and have a glass of wine.  I walked to a nearby restaurant that has a separate bar area that I like.  I considered a coffee shop that offers beer, whiskey and wine but opted to skip it.  I didn't feel like beer and their wine pours are minimal.  I walk into the restaurant and there is one table occupied and one remaining bar seat.  There are two women sitting next to each other and one open seat followed by two seats occupied by two men.  When I sit down the men give me a dirty look.  I was surprised since I felt I had done nothing to attract that sort of attention.  However, I arrange my journal and settle in.  The ladies next to me are chatting away.  The bartender doesn't see me at first but I am okay with it.  I order a glass of wine and water and listen to these gals go on and on and on about their days.  As noted, there were four other guests in the restaurant and so we were all privy to their day.  Then, it made sense why the men gave me the dirty look on my arrival.  They thought I was joining the ladies and adding to their conversation.
I deducted that after the men looked at each other in disgust and said, let's just close out and go.  I looked at them and nodded in agreement.  I felt that the ladies could have adjusted their voices to classroom settings so that others could enjoy their own conversation or in my case, just being able to be silent.  I wanted to write cards and enjoy wine.
It was funny.  And it is life.  We all choose to go out and be social or not.  These two ladies had every right to talk about whatever they wanted.  However, I wish they had had the savvy to pick up on the fact that no one else was interested in their day.  The men were so disgusted.
Eventually, they left and I said something to the bartender about it.  She said that she felt bad for the regulars that left since they were clearly annoyed with the women.  I told her she could have increased the volume of the music to indicate perhaps they could lower their voices.  She said that next time she would.
I considered making dinner.  I had pasta, tomatoes, garlic and a few other staple items.  Then, I thought better of it.  I could pick up some take out and skip all of the prep, clean up, etc.  I chose that option.  Seemed more enticing.  I wanted to  minimize the amount of effort in my day.  Perhaps lame, but honest.
Today, I am listening to more podcasts, attending yoga and eventually teaching to my regular clients.  We are concluding this year with a happy hour yoga session.  I am excited to teach and then retox.  I should be doing more of that!
Maybe finding some ramen, too.  I had lunch with my friend, Thomas, yesterday and as much as I wanted ramen it is challenging to share with someone that you don't know well.  If I were dining with the Warrior Prince, well, it would be a non-issue.  I have shared many meals with him and so it is natural to share food.  I think I might find some ramen today.  Although the weather is not indicative of eating ramen today.  It looks gorgeous outside.
We will see where the day leads.  Tomorrow I have a thai massage scheduled and perhaps a matinee.  I just want to enjoy the present moment and I hope you do as well!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

the last few weeks

Good morning!  I feel like I took a brief hiatus and need to return to my love of blogging before the year ends.  First off, I spent the last few days in Santa Fe.  As noted, I love visiting Santa Fe and do it frequently and often.  It keeps me centered and grounded, perhaps.  I found a great Airbnb rental near my old rental by Frenchie's Park. The owner was a lovely woman who greeted me when I arrived.  It was such a cute casita. I hope that I am able to rent it again.
I arrived in the city different and headed directly to La Choza.  I wanted to celebrate with a silver coin and some pozole.  Afterwards, I met Melody for dinner at Jambo and concluded the night going to bed early.  I think I needed to focus on the sleep factor and hydration as well.  My skin is dry and I have had chapped lips for the last six days.  No amount of chap stick can help me.  Sleep and water are the best doctors.  I considered going to Ojo Caliente on Tuesday like I normally would do.  However, this trip, I thought, why not leave from Ojo and head north to Denver?  I texted my friend, Danielle, to see if she would be able to meet in Taos for a quick visit. Impulsively, I sprung this on her and it didn't work out.  There will be other trips and I know that I will be able to see Danielle on a future trip.
I was able to re-focus my trip. I could attend a TRX driven class at a Barre studio that I adore.  The class is offered on Tuesday mornings and they have more traditional barre classes offered on other days.  Although, I can appreciate a barre class, I prefer the TRX class.  I think I get more out of it.  And, I love the two of the instructors.  Great music and a killer work out!
It was a nice way to explore Santa Fe and Ojo.  My drive from Taos was pleasant and I avoided Raton Pass.  They are doing road construction along the pass and it is a little annoying.  I enjoyed the drive to Colorado from Taos.  I think I might consider traveling this way on my next trip down.
In the past six weeks, I have been working and trying to work on my yoga practice.  I visited Sara Jo in Palm Springs.  It was a lovely trip.  Too short but I had a blast.  We hiked Joshua Tree and spent the afternoon with my friend, Marc, from Santa Fe.
I am thinking about travel for 2019.  I know I will be in Dallas in February and I would like to return to Minneapolis to see my aunt and explore the yoga scene again.  I loved this studio I found and only had the opportunity to experience one class.  I would love to return.  I would love to see what else they offer.  Sara Jo is chatting up Kentucky and Bourbon road.  Maybe an international trip could happen, too?  I don't know.  It is something that is on my mind and I want to have some plans to kick start 2019.
I am off to teach yoga.  It feels great to be back!  Cheers and enjoy your day!

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!