Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Happy Tuesday! Tuesday means I am one day closer to the upcoming 1/2 Marathon that I foolishly signed up for in January. I talked my friends into running it as well. I know that Jenn is in as is Lindsay. Sara hasn't responded to a few e-mails that I have sent her. I have no idea whether or not she will be running the Horsetooth 1/2 with us or not. I hope that she does, but have a feeling that she is out. Next year. We always have that to look forward to. I believe this course will continue to be a redemption type of race. I am always going to want to improve my time. The 4 mile hill at the beginning is challenging and something to overcome. I was unprepared for it due to my own lack of research. Still, I had a blast running with Lindsay. The celebration, afterwards, at the Crown Pub was delightful, too. I think they had an omelette with avocado. Heavenly. My plans of having all of my races figured out have not happened. I am fortunate to have one on the books for 2011. Things happen and time moves on. Last year, while in Healdsburg, my three friends and I remarked that we should run another destination wine race together. Sipper returned to the East Coast and found us a race immediately. I told her that I was in. I would run the race in Virginia even if I was the only one. Something kept nagging at me and so I put it off. Finally, I e-mailed Megan and said--I am about to sign up for the 1/2. You are registered, right? No response for a few days. I am waiting to board a flight out of Miami to Key West, when she texts me that we should talk, later that day, when it would be convenient for me. I arrive in Key West, shower, and begin my adventure there. She calls me and says--I have news. Translation--she's pregnant. I knew it with certainty, before, she told me. She said she would sign up for the 1/2 and run. And, believe me, she would. She is a determined chick. But, would it be fun for both of us to run? Probably not the same experience we had in California. I suggested waiting til 2012 or 2013. Being 6-7 months pregnant and running 13 miles, although do-able, does not sound like a good time to me. Moreover, it is a wine race. I am going to want to focus on that aspect of the event. Yes, another year would be preferable. From there, I sort of sat back and watched things happen in life. True, I continued to run and I love it. My focus was no longer of what events to sign up for. I should take, today, and do that. I want to complete two to three 1/2's this year and one full. I like the idea of a fall marathon. Maybe I can convince the Goddess to embark on another marathon experience. If she would sign up for one, I would definitely consider running with her. Hmmmmm. Maybe I will convince her at the 1/2. Regardless, I want to get outside and enjoy some fresh air. No more slacking when it comes to training...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

the final few restaurants in Belize--I promise....

I keep a running tally of to-do lists. Somehow, I keep multiple coinciding (sometimes) lists that I retain until I deem unnoteworthy. I looked over one of the many, today, and realized that there were a few other restaurants in Belize that I had not yet mentioned. Femi's. Happy Lobster. Sand box. Femi's is the best place to begin. I dined, there, once, by myself and once with Shari. My solo dining experience was colored by the fact that I was decently intoxicated at that point. I ordered take-out and enjoyed it. My first night Caye Caulker began with multiple rum and cokes with the Wisconsin folk. They ate when I initially ran into them. I held out until I was past my hunger mark. The grill guy was a gigantic guy. Of course he knew how to grill. Fish, veggies, rice. Yes, I was a happy chiquita.... Shari and I enjoyed chips/salsa and shared a fish burrito. We had wanted to dine at the Lazy Lizard. On a previous visit, the vibe seemed unsettling. Still, we thought we would give it another go. Sat down at the bar and considered the menu options. The chicken burrito was not available. Since the vibe/energy of the place remained questionable, we moseyed onward. Femi's was great. The salsa was fantastic. The fish burrito was interesting. Cucumbers, carrots, cabbage. Untradional, for sure. We enjoyed a lovely breakfast at the Happy Lobster. Shari tried flat jack's with her huevos rancheros. The coffee was strong and eggs, prepared, correctly. We watched one server, scurry around, attending to all of the guests. Up until then, it was the preferred breakfast. The Sand box is located next to the water taxi stand. We were walking around and opted to check out the crab cakes and chips one afternoon. Decent. Not exceptional, by any means, but fair. I cannot remember why we chose that place outside of that we had walked by it several times. I think I covered them all. Favorites for each. Breakfast--Glenda's. By far, the best breakfast we tried. Local fare, supported mostly by locals. Lunch--Pizza Caulker. The best $4 I spent. Slice and a beer for four dollars. Who wouldn't like this deal? Not to mention, it was GREAT. Dinner--hands down--Habanero's. Delightful. Only downside was no chocolate dessert. Regardless, absolutely had amazing meals both times. If you have the opportunity to go to Belize...do. Fly into Belize City and opt to puddle jump to Caye Caulker. Avoid the cheaper (seemingly) option of the water taxi. It is easy to forget that this includes time wasted waiting for the shuttle, the time, itself, it takes to get from Belize City to Caye Caulker. Yes, a flight to Caye Caulker is worth it. Check out the food options and enjoy!!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

breakfast options

I thought I should include some of the breakfast options, too.
The first day, my solo breakfast experience, I sort of got suckered into a place that in hindsight, I would have avoided. Hungry and wanting coffee is how I look at it. Minding my own business and unaware of my breakfast options, I stumbled into a place boasting mexican/belizean fare and "great coffee". I love mexican food and thought--why not? They should have salsa, at least.
I walked in after the owner greeted me outside his establishment. This should have been my first clue to turn around and walk away. Instead, the coffee is what enticed me inside. I looked around and there was one other lady dining. I perused the menu and it seemed typical. Eggs, pancakes, omelettes. I could find something that looked appetizing.
I ordered a vegetable omelette. It was supposed to come with beans and a choice of tortillas, potatoes or flat jacks. I wanted tortillas and requested a side of salsa. Flat jacks are baked tortillas. It looked like indian fry bread. I didn't need that much bread is what dissuaded me from trying it.
The guy returns with my coffee.
Nescafe--not happy! Nescafe is not great coffee. It is instant crap coffee and I was disappointed. Since I was by myself, the owner decided to entertain me with stories of his life. It was his restaurant and his kids were involved. He used to teach and he felt that teachers were not rewarded financially, in this world, but in the next. He kept talking, but I had checked out of the conversation. Intermittently, he would yell out at passerby's---YES WE ARE OPEN....I wanted to leave, but did have a clear way out. I was uncomfortable and was putting off some vicious nonverbal clues or so I thought. Still, this guy talked and talked and talked.
Finally, a few other people came in and his attention was diverted. He tried to sell them some of their random fare that they had on shelves and I prayed for my food to arrive.
The omelette was fine. I wish it had more vegetables and they didn't have any beans. Slighted, somewhat, but I wanted to just finish with the place and leave. I overheard him explain to the couple that they were out of beans and could have potatoes instead. He didn't say that to me is what I was thinking at that time.
I paid and rushed out. I made a note to avoid walking down that section of Caye Caulker in the a.m. I didn't want to see the guy or experience that again. I wanted to enjoy breakfast not be saved while trying to eat.
Shari and I dined at another spot near our hotel. They had smoothies, yogurt, egg sandwiches and other easy to prepare breakfast type food. The coffee was delicious and so that place was an option.
Until we found Amor y Cafe. Better coffee and selection of breakfast. The bread was scrumptious and the place was always packed. I think we shared the fruit plate on two separate occasions. It had pineapple, watermelon, banana, papaya and oranges. Lovely.
My favorite place was found the day before we left. Glenda's. Located on the back road and mostly home to locals. I wish we had found this eatery sooner. Excellent coffee came with a cinnamon roll, and choice of eggs with beans or bacon, sausage, etc. I loved the coffee and the feel of the place. Welcoming. They opened at 7-10:00 and then reopened from 11:30-1:30. One of the airport guys recommended it. It's true--locals always know best.
I really miss Belize. Breezy way of life, beautiful sunsets and wonderful food.

last night in Belize

Our last night in Belize we took a sunset sail. In hindsight, I think the hot tub would have been preferred, but you never know if you don't try. The boat departed at 4:3oish with fifteen passengers.

The boat was older and the captain was surly. Right away, we both realized that this had been a mistake. Still, we were committed and so I drank rum punch and took photos.
Amazing, right?
The sail was supposed to be done by 7:15ish. The Captain had become more talkative and relinquished some of his responsibilities to this new guy. Well, he had some difficulty in staying the course and so we returned at 7:40. Dark and anxious to shower and return to Habanero's, I rushed to the dock and ran back to the hotel. The bathroom on the boat was uninviting--no light and cramped space. I thought about urinating off of the boat but didn't want to offend Shari. Regardless, after the sail, we walked, briskly, to our favorite restaurant and had another lovely meal. We shared an appetizer and an entree. When we entered the establishment, Shari asked the owner if he had chocolate yet. His response--no.
After the meal, they presented us with a snicker's bar that they had cut up and decorated with sprinkles and syrup. Funny.
Yes, Belize was an excellent choice for the five year anniversary. Food was delicious and the diving memorable. I wish we could have stayed longer. Next trip, I suppose...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

diving and dining....

The next morning we had scheduled a scuba day. Being 2/28 and the entire purpose for going to Belize, we were shocked when the weather made it impossible to dive. No boats were going out since the water was extremely choppy and would have made for a terrible dive. We were told that the dive had been delayed til Tuesday and if not, Tuesday, definitely Wednesday.
Devastated. We were. It felt like the wind had been knocked out of us. Everything centered on that experience. Shari traveled to Belize with her dive equipment without her husband. Unforeseen circumstances kept him in Wisconsin. It was insane that this happened.
We regrouped by taking a walk and reflecting on what it actually meant. I was anxious and after they said we were not going, I felt so much better. I told Shari that we would still celebrate Brian on Tuesday. We could release some of the anxiety and enjoy the day. The dive would be better tomorrow.
And, it was. The winds had let up and our dive was incredible. The boat was full. Everyone that had planned on going Monday got bumped to Tuesday. The lead guy commanded our attention. He went through all of the tedious details of the dive, what would be required of us in terms of the equipment and how to depart and re-enter the boat. He was thorough which I appreciated. My last dive in Key West left me floundering and doubting my ability. I appreciated this guy's direction. He said that if we did not have enough weight, to let him know and he would bring it to us instead of swimming back to the boat, expending energy and losing dive partners. Yes, I liked this guy.
My first dive I had difficulty equalizing. My ears would not clear and it was making me crazy. Still, I enjoyed the sting rays and sea life. When we surfaced, our guy told me that he thought I should add more weight and that my buoyancy would improve.
We ate watermelon and waited. Shari and I approached the instructor about our intention for the second dive. We wanted to release some of Brian's ashes in order to fully celebrate his life and the five year anniversary. The guy said that there would be a very obvious clearing about 5-8 minutes into the dive. He felt that would be an ideal spot to do it.
The second dive went much smoother. My descent was effortless and I didn't struggle with clearing my ears. At the spot, Shari and I, each released ashes and it was amazing. Truly ideal and I knew that we had chosen the perfect way to celebrate.
We returned to our hotel and walked to Pizza Caulker. The $4 deal of a slice and a beer. Loved it. Absolutely loved the slice post dive.
True to form, we sat in the hot tub to watch the sunset. Loved this part of the trip. The sunsets were beautiful and inspiring. That night, we dined at only Italian place. Small, intimate dining. I think there were three tables, indoors, with two bar seats overlooking the kitchen. Picnic tables were available outside as well. The owner and his wife (I think) were the only servers. I enjoyed watching him prepare each table's food. Slow food. Reminded me of what dining used to be. Rustic, intimate and fun. They did not have a liquor license and so I went to the nearest convenience store and purchased a bottle. Yes, it was dining oldstyle.
Overall, the 5 year celebration was lovely. We extended it since the original plan was changed--Tom was unable to accompany us to Belize, the day of the dive got postponed, but it was wonderful. In some ways, we couldn't have planned it better. I think the ease I felt while diving.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

more food from Belize

Too many choices in Caye Caulker for food. I think they claimed to offer thirty-seven restaurants. I feel that there were more.

We walked to the Lazy Lizard and had a beer. My Wisconsin friends said that the chicken burritos were excelllent. I can live on mexican food and so I forced Shari to check it out with me. Crowded, with nowhere to sit down. We bought a beer and felt the place out. The energy seemed off to us and so we headed back towards our hotel.

There was a place offering donuts and the shrimp guy. We had walked past him the day before and I will admit, I was intrigued. He had a sign (poorly made) with his offerings. Shrimp on a stick for 5 BLZ dollars. The aroma of grilled shrimp enticed us to his stand one afternoon. After selecting our sticks of shrimp--me, honey bbq, and Shari--cayenne and olive oil, we asked him how he ended up in Caye Caulker. He told us that he arrived with $19 to his name. He had a boat and that was about it. After living off of the sea, for some time, he recognized a need for tourists and discovered a way to sustain his living in Caye Caulker. People bought beer for 5 BLZ dollars. Shrimp could sell, too. Hence, shrimp on a stick. He would stay out at his stand until he sold all of his shrimp or it got dark.
Great concept and a lovely snack.
That night, we dined at Enjoy Bar. Interesting name, true. We had walked by the host, several times, and felt it was time to check it out. Seating was limited. Our options were to sit, inside, under a bright light or up against a tree stump. That won.
We started off with chips and salsa. Decent. I could live off of chips and salsa, truly. I love it that much. We shared a chicken breast and a grilled snapper. Both were accompanied with jasmine rice and vegetables.
Again, the protein was overcooked. I was disappointed as that was the second night in a row where the meal lacked due to being overcooked. I mentioned to Shari that maybe, we should dine at Rosie's since we knew they knew how to cook over a grill.
We concluded the meal with a no-bake cheesecake. It was fine and part of the meal. They had some offer of appetizer and dessert with an entree, I think. Overall, the service was great and I did enjoy the chips and salsa. I remember waiting for the meal and overhearing conversations around us. A couple--I think Norwegian, were sitting near us and some solo guy decided to befriend them. The entire time they tried to eat, he was telling them stories of how bad life in the States was. He mentioned some story of being hassled by cops and this story went on and on and on. I wanted to choke him. He was so annoying. I kept thinking--why don't these people tell him to leave? Boundaries. We all need them. I made a mental note to remember what this clown looked like and make sure that we avoided him like the plague. He had a cast on his right arm. Definitely stood out.
Outside of the weird conversations and overcooked protein, we did enjoy ourselves. Not enough to go back for seconds, mind you, but enough.

one of those types of days...

Running can be joyous. Or despicable.
I experience both of these emotions and a mix of in-beween while training for endurance events.
For instance, I went on an urban mix of sidewalks/trails, last week and felt confident in my ability. A little hungover, but mostly able to run through it.
On Friday, I convinced myself that I must go. The Horsetooth 1/2 is a month away. There is urgency to begin running. I woke up, stretched, put on my visor and other necessary must have items--ipod, watch, sunblock and headed out. Immediately, I knew that it would be a fail type of day. I told myself it would be okay since I would go longer on Saturday. Isn't Friday normally my "rest" day? No wonder I was experiencing issues.
Saturday, the run was definitely more pure and consistent. I wasn't hating the experience and overall, the run went extremely well. I felt normal--joyful, even. I felt that my training was back on track.
Today, I headed out after discovering how much phlegm I could get rid of in one cough up. Unimpressed with that fact, I talked myself into going regardless of the residual cold that I was battling. Last week, I felt it creep up. Until today, I have managed to block it out of my thoughts. Today, it became unavoidable. I definitely have a cold.
The run was trying. First, I had phlegm issues.
Then, I felt shin splints--a little. I tried to focus on the music. I have a random mix of Kanye West, OutKast, Atmosphere and other rap inspired artists. Normally, I can focus on the beat and ran through whatever is holding me back, mentally.
Not today. Kanye West worked. From there, I suffered through the Atmosphere list. A friend of mine burned a cd for me when I was training for the Denver Marathon. He said that this cd always motivated him. It was a guarantee.
For me, not so much.
Stop. How long have I been going?
F^*k--not long enough. The next song is.....skip. Not working. Keep running.
Finally, Baby Got Back. Yes, I can run to this....it reminds me of my friend, Hailey. She loves this song. I think it played at her wedding. Yep. I can run. I am running.
Next song...skip. Why can I not find a suitable song?
This monologue continued in my head for about 45 minutes. Fun stuff, right?
Tomorrow is definitely a new day and I am planning on running a different route to be more successful. I will rest. Avoid alcohol and get a great night of sleep. Smile and have a positive outlook on running. Remembering that some people are so caught up in career, family, etc., to never be able to experience this joy. Thankfully, tomorrow is a new day. And, I got out there. Being out there is definitely preferred over just thinking about it....

more dining in Belize

I thought I had more photos from this meal. We considered dining here for the celebration. Italian, wine, on paper, it appeared ideal. They had traditional fare and then offered "twist" items. Basically, they took a traditional dish and added a twist to the meal.

We chose from both sides. Our appetizer was a watermelon, feta cheese salad. It boasted mint, basil, and black pepper too. I liked the idea of the salad. I wanted to love it, but it was predominantly watermelon, some basil, a little mint and feta cheese. Not exactly what it claimed to be. Twist on traditional, though, right? Honestly, had there been more mint, basil and feta to balance the amount of watermelon, I think it would have been delightful.

We selected a bruschetta as well. Simple and delicious. They served bread and olive oil, too. I remember feeling rushed to order. When we entered the establishment, there were three other tables. We ordered the salad and brushchetta and mentioned that we were in no hurry. We wanted to enjoy the meal.

Our server approached us, numerous times, after serving the appetizers, trying to take our menus or force us to order. Somehow, we managed to relax and enjoy the surroundings. Dining outside gave us the ideal spot to people watch and create stories for some of the people vacationing at Caye Caulker. Shari and I were definitely in the minority. Most of the people were familes or young couples. I did see some back packers, but even that seemed limited. We were definitely a rarity.

Eventually, we ordered snapper. The wine continued to flow and we were catching up on respective trips. Shari, like me, enjoys traveling. We met in Las Vegas for my marathon and compared how many trips we had taken in 2010. I think we were neck and neck which bummed both of us out.

Our server was pleasant and initially, overbearing. Like I said, she really wanted us to order. The minute we were served the snapper, she became nonexistent. It was strange, to me, but it happened. The snapper was overcooked and I was disappointed. We finished it and considered dessert. Uninspired, we waited for the check.

Afterwards, I told Shari that I was glad that we had Habanero's to look forward to. It felt like we had made the right decision for Monday night's celebratory meal. Sure, the Italian meal was fine, but I wanted spectacular for the 28th. That, being the five year anniversary deemed a lovely, memorable meal. Brian wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
I need to conclude this to go running. Now that Lindsay is in, I need to focus on the training. There will be more Belize food stories later.

Monday, March 21, 2011

best news ever....well, to me....

I have been active on the internet today. I suppose the fact that, last week, I had difficulty finding an internet connection could be reason for it. I never thought I would be so reliant on the internet, but I am. Daily, I check my e-mail, facebook and blogs that I follow. Addict, you could say.
After my umpteenth time of perusing e-mail, I received a message from Lindsay informing me that she was signing up for the 1/2 Marathon. Can you stay stoked? This is awesome news. We ran that 1/2, together, last year and I am seeking redemption. Plus, I really enjoy running with Lindsay. This will be our fourth half marathon running together. Training really starts, tomorrow. Now that I have concrete proof that she is running, I will get serious about my training. I don't want to hold her back or force her to walk the majority of the course. If I remember correctly, the initial four miles of that course is all uphill. Lovely.
I hope that Sara signs up, too. I am not going to hassle her, though. If she feels confident in her ability, she will. It all goes back to how much she is currently running. Sara and I differ on how we train. She can run endless laps around Cheesman Park whereas I must change up my routine. I enjoy running to Wash Park, completing a lap and then returning to Capitol Hill. Other times, I will cut up Alameda and return down Speer Blvd. I enjoy parks, but prefer more urban routes. I am not forced to only run on trails, yet. My knees hold up, for now.
Sara tends to run, solo, at Cheesman Park. Even if she is behind in training, she won't stop during an event to walk. She refuses to stop. Persistent, determined, capable. She is a bad-ass. Me, I run for myself and have been known to walk if need be. I want to be able to run for the rest of my life without pain.
I have another friend, Jenn, that is also signed up for the event. We have not run together, though. I am a little fearful. Jenn is a "run" runner. I definitely do not want to hold her back. My comfort zone is running with Lindsay or Sara.
In her e-mail, she also relayed some other good news. Being positive is contagious and I am thankful for Lindsay's friendship. Her e-mail made me smile. She reminded me to enjoy the present moment and life. The rest is just b.s.
Yes, this news is welcome. I am now committed to this event.

more food from Belize....

I miss Caye Caulker.
The other day, I met this couple that was in Belize the same time that I was. Our trips overlapped a couple of days which was ironic. However, they spent some time in San Ignacio which is near the Guatemala border and San Pedro. I suggested checking out Caye Caulker on their next visit. I think they would love it since they are both avid fisherman.
Anyways, the reference to Belize reminded me that I didn't really write much about the food factor. I cannot believe that it has been a month since my trip there. Time flies truly. My first night in Caye Caulker I was by myself. I met two couples on the water taxi over who were from Wisconsin. We traded small talk while waiting for our luggage. Outside of knowing where they were from, I was clueless as to their names, where they were staying, how long they were in Belize, etc.
My hotel was located eight blocks from the water taxi stand. After checking in and showering, I decided to find food. There was a sign offering a beer and a slice for four dollars. Tempted. Really, I was. Yet, I wanted to see what else was available near the hotel.
I stumbled into another small place that had beachside dining and a deal on rum and cokes. I figured if the food looked lame, I could always go to the pizza place. One rum and coke wouldn't kill me.
I walked into the bar, ordered a drink and while I was waiting, one of the guys I saw on the water taxi sauntered up to the bar for refills. I asked him if he was on the water taxi and he goes--yes. Actually, we were just talking about you. My friends and I felt bad that we didn't catch your name or information since we knew that you were by yourself the first night. You should join us. Come have a drink with us.
I did which led to several more. They were great. They dined at Las Olas and I drank. I wasn't quite ready to eat. Afterwards, we headed to Femi's bar for the famous one last drink. I think I had two. I ordered take out since I was beyond hungry at that point. Grilled snapper and rice.
The next morning, I snacked on craisins and almonds. Shari's water taxi would arrive around 3 and I didn't know if she would want to eat then. I checked e-mail, facebook, etc, before they turned the electricity off for 1/2 the island. They needed to change out a transformer and projected that the electricity would be down from 9-2.
I wish it had only been five hours. Instead, it continued until 5ish. I was so thankful for the pool at the hotel. Definitely able to cool off that way.
Shari arrived and we enjoyed nachos at Las Olas. Delightful. They had salsa, many jalapenos and guacamole. I was ecstatic!
That night, we chose Rosie's for dinner. It was near Habanero's that I wanted to check out anyways for the Monday night celebration dinner. Rosie's offered grilled seafood and two sides. We sat down and were informed that we needed to order our fish and then we could choose sides. Shari and I both wanted a shrimp skewer.
The restaurant was packed and the energy great. We sat overlooking the grill guy. In my mind, the perfect spot. I was starving and able to watch the guy cook my food. Talk about ideal. It reminded me of a restaurant in Roatan, Honduras. Los Arcos offered Argentinian fare prepared over a huge grill. Massive open fire grill. Brian and I found it while being certified for scuba diving in 2005. We loved Los Arcos so much that we dined, there, two or three more times. Maybe a return to Roatan is in the works.
The only drawback to Rosie's was the side factor. They had rice and beets, potatoes, or pasta salad. I feared the pasta salad and chose the potato and rice and beets. Too much starch. I thought I could work around it. However, it was rice and dry red beans. Bland.
The shrimp was tasty and I really enjoyed the vibe of the place. On the walk back to the hotel, we stopped by Habanero's to peruse the menu. I wasn't sold on that place, quite yet. We also looked at Don Corleone's. Still undecided, we concluded the night. Shari had an early morning scuba class. I had oodles of time to figure out the food factor.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


The Horsetooth 1/2 is a month away. Yikes. I am completely behind on my traditional training schedule.
At first, I procrastinated, telling myself that it doesn't take four months to train for 13 miles. I could start, really training, the next week. I used this tactic when it was cold in Denver. Most of you can understand this, right? Running outside is unpleasant when 20 degrees or under. Other winters, in Denver, I would be able to jusitify my laziness on the weather. This winter has been mild. Clearly a delay tactic. Pure and Simple.
Or, something would come up--Belize--and my training would take the back burner.
I wasn't completely lazy while in Belize, either. Shari and I went on numerous walkabouts of Caye Caulker. The running part eluded me however. I saw other people running during the day and did not envy their struggle with the combination of heat and humidity.
Then, I returned home and my running partner was extremely busy with her life. Plus, I was uncertain as to if she and Sara were actually going to sign up for this event. As long as they remained indifferent to it, I could delay training for it.
Now, it is officially one month away and I must start running. With or without the assistance of the Goddess, it is time. I believe Lindsay signed up for it, but Sara is a wild card. She is busy with work and preparing for her friend's wedding. To me, what a great way to prepare for a wedding. Training is a great stress reliever and the physical rewards aren't that bad either. I am not counting her out, completely, yet. She might surprise me.
Thankfully, we have a place to stay and I know the course is hilly and a great workout. My quads will be reminding me of it days after the 1/2. All worth it in my mind. Running is amazing. This is the mantra that will now play over and over in my head. I need some motivation to begin the training cycle. With or without my friends, I am committed to this 1/2.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I miss this view.
Caye Reef Hotel, Caye Caulker, Belize.
Each night, Shari and I would sit in the hot tub and overlook this beautiful view. Yes, I absolutely miss that freedom.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Finally, feel beter (confident) in the kitchen.

It's only taken me this long.

I suppose I have been spoiled--parents, Brian, even roommates. Sara was handy with tomatoes. As such, I never had to confront my lack of knife skills or food prep knowledge. Instead, I could rely on others. Yes, my mom was a fan of the casserole, or as Brian referred to it--hot dish. Anyone from the midwest can identify with this particular meal. Noodles or rice topped with vegetables, some sort of meat, cream of mushroom soup and cheese. What can you not like about this? Cheese makes everything taste better. Can you say nachos?
Instead of hot dish, I made pasta with garlic, basil, onions, tomatoes, black olives and tuna. I experimented with the addition of tomato paste. The original recipe calls for tomato paste. The sauce was thicker due to the paste. I liked it, but prefer the lighter pasta.
I think my friends enjoyed the meal. I plied them with alcohol and light conversation. I am too comfortable at adapting to my friend's living spaces. When I visited Michaela in Oregon, I let her plan the meals. I didn't want to disrupt her space. I even vacuumed, one afternoon, while she was out for a run. I wanted to save her that chore. My sister has OCD when it comes to vacuuming, I have found. While living in Lawrence, she would come home on her lunch breaks to vacuum the house. I think she skipped the substenance to make sure her space was pure.
Anyways, I am enjoying cooking. I feel at ease without too much wine to inspire creativity and/or confidence in attempting new things.
Happy Sunday! I am off to contemplate tonight's meal....

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Beautiful day. An improvement over the last few days in Denver. For sure, no pants necessary. This is my type of preferred weather. Yes, today is an excellent day.
I find myself inspired by reading other people's blogs. Especially, those, along the lines of like attracting like. Synchronicity. Attraction. Visualization.
Yes, I absolutely believe in the whole thoughts become things type of reality.
I look back over the last three years. I returned from Belize uncertain of my present or future. I dreamed of travel, but wasn't ready to pursue it. All I knew was that I was still enjoying life and I wanted to continue to do it in Denver.
In many ways, I wasn't ready to take the next step. I could only dream about it. A day when travel would become more present in my life.
Last week, I returned to Belize for my first stamp in the new passport. Irony? The last trip there was the ending of a five month around the world trip. I returned undecided about how to proceed.
Flash forward to now...still undecided about a plan, but feel reborn after my visit to Belize. Wasn't it fitting that we chose to celebrate the five year anniversary in Belize and not Costa Rica or Bonaire? Both of those places were options when we considered the five year celebration of Brian's death. I know that sounds harsh. It is. But, it is also very present in my life and will continue to be.
We celebrate his life, every year, on the anniversary of his death. Embarking on the five year mark, we wanted to do something special. Shari and Tom got certified to scuba and we agreed to meet in Belize.
Initially, I suggested going somewhere that I had not been. Why return to a country when I could use the new stamp?
We talked about it. Bonaire. Cayman Islands.
Eventually, I suggested Costa Rica since I enjoyed it, there, and knew that Brian's first experience of the ocean was in Montezuma, Costa Rica. We could make it work and scuba dive. For whatever reason, it never stuck. Belize kept surfacing in our discussions. People would tell Tom and Shari that that was THE place to go. I agreed to return and suggested we stay at Caye Caulker, not San Pedro. I wanted a more "chill" visit. I didn't need a golf cart to get me around the island.
Belize was amazing. I feel rejuvenated and full of ideas. Ironic, right? I ended my last trip there and stayed in my comfort zone. I returned to Belize, this year, and felt motivated to try something new and different.
Like definitely attracts Like. Enjoy your day. I am off to dinner with the Goddess....

Dining in Belize

Habanero's restaurant, Caye Caulker, Belize.
This is where Shari and I celebrated February 28th.
We considered Don Corleone's and Rosie's. We kept returning to Habanero's. Thankfully, they would be open on Monday and we were able to get a reservation. We dropped off wine so that it would be table ready when we arrived. Meaning, they would chill it for us.
Coconut encrusted snapper. Exquisite. Perfectly executed and delicious. By far, the best meal we ate while in Belize.

Chicken satay. Blissful and lovely. We considered the pork with chimichurri sauce, but the satay triumphed. Equally tasty to the snapper. The previous night, we tried a chicken dish and found it to be extremely dry. The satay erased that experience completely.

The beginning of the meal. Trio of appetizers. Ceviche. Samosas and voodoo cakes. I preferred the ceviche to the other two. Probably because I love chips.

Rutherford Hill Merleot. Shari brought this from the States which was ideal. Otherwise, we would have had limited options. We like this merlot. It is nostalgic.
The only downside was the lack of chocolate. On the menu, they listed a chocolate dessert. However, when we asked for it, we were informed that they no longer offer that particular item. They suggested their key lime pie. I wasn't interested in that that night. No, I wanted/needed chocolate to complete the celebration.
Still, inspite of that lapse, the meal was amazing. A perfect ending to the day.
If you are in Caye Caulker, make sure to look it up.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

welcome to Belize

I was in awe of the sunsets I observed while visiting Caye Caulker, Belize. Truly stunning and inspiring.

Each night, Shari and I would sit in the hot tub and overlook the water. It was our nightly ritual and I adored every minute of it. A few nights, the hot tub was not functioning or even, that hot. Still, we would sit, talk, discuss future goals and watch the incredible sunset.

I hope you enjoy some of my photos as much as I did....

Monday, March 7, 2011

the pat down

The required boarding pass at Caye Caulker.
Co-piloting the puddle jumper.

Instead of taking the water taxi back to Belize City, Shari and I, both bought puddle jumper tickets. The flight from Caye Caulker to Belize City is 17 minutes. The water taxi took an hour. Not to mention, it's cramped, choppy and after arriving at the port, you have to deal with a bunch of people all seeking refuge in the nearest taxi. It can be unsettling and chaotic.

It was a no-brainer. We both wanted to take the puddle jumper.

Shari's flight left at ten and mine departed at 2 pm. Since I was the only passenger on my flight, I became the co-pilot and even flew a little bit. Terrified, sure. Fun, absolutely.
I arrived at the International Airport and walked towards the check-in counter. I printed off my boarding pass and walked to the security check. The lady would not let me pass since my ticket was not stamped with whether or not I had paid the departure fee. I returned to the ticket counter and explained the situation to the agent. She asked how I had a ticket and I explained that I had printed it off at the kiosk. She looked surprised that I didn't have a bag to check. Apparently, this is a rarity and due to that I passed through the line quickly.
She checked my ticket and stamped it that the departure tax was included in my ticket price. I went through security and waited.
My flight to Houston was on-time and full. I filled out the customs form and waited to deboard the plane. Eventually, we disembarked and I headed towards the customs agent. He asked me the purpose of my trip, what I purchased, and other random questions. Afterwards, I briskly walked towards the main terminal. I wanted to find chips and salsa and my layover was not too long.
At this point, I am still in a secure area. Armed with a water bottle purchased at the Belize City Airport, I walk towards a security screening area. I mention this because I felt that they should allow me to keep my full bottle of water since I bought it within a secure area. No dice.
I strip down--shoes off, jacket in tub--and am directed to the full body scan. I walk in and put my arms in front of me. Apparently, I shifted my feet which altered the scan. They wouldn't let me out of security until I had the full body pat down. Really. Extremely intrusive and annoying. The security agent told me that they thought they saw something on my pelvic region from the scan. I couldn't believe it. I didn't realize that buttons would imply that I was a terroist.
Instead of apologizing when they didn't find anything, she took my passport to make a notation of who I was. Unbelievable.
I didn't appreciate having to dump my water or the full body scan. I know it is atypical to travel that lightly, but I don't like checking bags or carrying unnecessary items. Next time, I might to avoid the intrusive scan and agents. However, in my mind, I blame it on Houston....