Wednesday, March 29, 2017

friends and connections

Yesterday, I taught my sous chef yoga.  We have been practicing together for six weeks or thereabouts.  It is fun to work with him and see how his practice is growing.  A novice to yoga it's been inspiring me to work on my cues and language.  When I work with Brie or Matt, I can say the posture and they know what it is.  I do not need to cue them to get them where I would like.  So it is a nice to work with a mix of people with different levels of yoga experience.  And, working with Ernesto enables me to cue the headstand or incorporate some of the astanga postures into my flow.  I do enjoy that very much.
After our session, he treated me to brunch.  Fewer options are available during the week but we managed to enjoy some creole fare.  I was a little shocked that Ernesto opted to drink a Sazerac to start the brunch sequence.  I mean, that is fierce.  I chose a grapefruit mimosa.  Seemed more my speed and safer to start my day off.  I did laundry, took a nap, read my book before meeting Hung for some afternoon Pho.  My former manager and friend, he and I meet every few months to catch up and enjoy some Vietnamese food.  Eventually, we will move onto a banh mi but for now, traditionally, we find a different noodle shop in the metro area. Yesterday, it was perfect as it was rainy and an eat soup kind of day.  I enjoyed the pho but have had better in other restaurants.  I always look forward to my lunch dates with Hung. 
Speaking of Vietnam and 2011, I met Shari in Belize for our annual trip.  My flight arrived a day before hers and so I took the water taxi from Belize City to Caye Caulker.  The boat was jammed with other people also trying to get to the islands.  I started talking to these two couples and found out that they, too, were mid western and planning on spending 9 days in Belize.  I mentioned that Shari was meeting me and so they invited me to dinner that first night. 
Fast forward to now, I keep in touch with one of the couples--Jackie and Brian.  They visited me in Phoenix when I lived there.  They visited for spring training and met me for dinner.  Again, we had a pleasant time--great food, conversation and a few beers.  We are friends on facebook and so I see where they travel and likewise. 
Last year, I spent three weeks in Southeast Asia with Shari.  We toured northern Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.  I arranged travel through another friend of mine, Shana, since she had recently spent time in these countries.  From Shana's connections, I had a tuk tuk driver in Siem Reap and a place to stay in Hanoi.  And, Shari and I formed a friendship with a server we met in Hoi An.  Jackie contacted me last August inquiring about my Vietnam adventure.  I put her in touch with Luan and Bao, immediately, after she mentioned that she and her husband were heading to Vietnam for a vacation.  Thankfully they were able to meet Luan and Bao on facebook.  On Sunday, Jackie sent me a photo of her and Brian with Bao and his wife enjoying lunch in Hoi An.  It made me so happy to have been able to connect these amazing people.  And all due to random conversations and travel.  I love travel!
I look forward to hearing about their trip at some point in the near future.  Maybe they will visit me in Denver.  Or, maybe I will see them in Mexico sometime soon.  It was awesome!  I am off to celebrate another day off.  It is gloomy here.  Green chile sounds delicious or perhaps another bowl of Pho.....

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Hobbies and travel

Hobbies?  Anyone?  Any suggestions?
At one point, I did, in fact, know how to crochet.  I was ten or eleven but I could crochet a pot holder.  I learned to knit, too.  Well, sort of.  I never fully embraced that skill set.  Looking back, I wish I had paid more attention to some of these hobbies offered in 4H.  Crafting, creating art or gifts.  My mom has always cross stitched.  I did not have the patience for that one.  Too much detail and sitting.
I think I am considering a hobby or distraction after talking to my friend, Jan.  She went to some metal works class with some of our mutual friends.  It sounded fun and something different.  Of course, adult beverages were involved knowing her.  She made an outlet cover with some design.  Cute way to customize a room in a small way.  I would do it. 
I have been reading more.  It is an enjoyable hobby.  Can be done anywhere and is a great way to use a few hours up.  Coincides with my mid work schedule too.  It has been challenging to work the mid shift mostly because I do not have enough time to return home on my break.  I stay downtown and either grab lunch or run errands that I can do in the metro area.  Reading has been added to keep me busy during the break.  I either borrow books from the free libraries that are conveniently located in neighborhoods or buy used books. I alternate and contribute to the free library system myself.  I agreed to a gift exchange around the time of Christmas with some friends from Tucson.  I sent a book to some random guy--Love in the Time of Cholera--great book, I think.  I have not received a book from my string of people that agreed to do this.  Somewhat bummed since it is a neat idea and way to connect through books.  There is hope that I will eventually receive something. 
Until then, I continue to peruse the free neighborhood libraries.  And consider a new hobby to embark on.  Photography?  Home mec type of skills?  Metal fabrication?  Painting? 
In the physical sense, I feel a return to running.  I would like to sign up for a half marathon to motivate me to actually embark on running.  Maybe a fall trip.  I was talking to my sister yesterday and considering trips for the remainder of the year.  Seems my year is filling up quickly.  Palm Springs, Kansas, Aspen, Puerto Rico, Kansas, maybe Chicago and another return to Santa Fe and perhaps, D.C. or Texas.  I have been invited to three weddings this year.  Two are destination weddings.  For sure, I will go to Puerto Rico.  I wish that I could attend my friend's wedding in Tulum.  I just don't think I can swing it. I am considering if and I could take off from work and make it happen.  It's my old boss that I adore and am truly happy for his upcoming wedding.  I would love to share in the day with them in Tulum.  We will see.  He texted me last night to remind me of the event and gave me shit about basketball.  I received many texts last night about that game.  Tragic and difficult to watch.  Every time I was able to look up, we were throwing up a quick shot that did not complete the play or watching the score advance in the ducks favor.  I stopped watching as it was completely making me nuts! 
Heading to yoga to see what is out there.  Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Adventure in New Mexico

The view from my airbnb in Santa Fe...gorgeous.  Such an enchanting sight and peaceful, serene, tranquil.  I had considered a trip earlier in March and chose to make it happen with three days off in a row.  Initially, I planned on going solo and then thought better of it.  I asked Maghan if he would like to join me and he did.  Last year, we had made a similar venture down to Santa Fe but our visit was cut short due to weather.  We hit snow both ways.  The first day we spent six hours in the same spot about 20 miles south of Denver.  Eventually, we were able to return to Denver after exhausting our options in Castle Rock.  We tried to acquire a hotel room but everything was booked.  It was brutal!
This time the weather was glorious.  Easy drive down with a stop in Rye for a quick lunch and beer.  I love this roadside cafĂ© that is an ideal spot to break up the drive.  Always great service and the beer selection is fine.  After the mini stop we continued into New Mexico and arrived in Santa Fe around 5 pm.  Found our rental for the next few days and settled in.  Translation, opened some bubbles and took in the view.  Delightful.
Dinner was spent at La Choza with friends.  I always manage to dine here on my visits.  If not once, then twice.  Always a treat and fun experience.  This time was no different.  Melody and Clayton joined us for a nice meal.  I met Melody in 2004 and we have remained friends from my annual visits and brief living in Santa Fe.  She celebrated my celebration in New Orleans last year, for example.  She is that type of friend--long lasting.  We sampled guacamole, pork tamales, enchilada and green chile.  That is, by far, the best.  I love the chile!  Oh, and the silver coins are a must while dining there, too.
Ojo Caliente was definitely in the cards this visit.  What a glorious way to spend a Thursday. 
We soaked, steamed and felt extremely rejuvenated.  Afterwards, we drank some wine on their restaurant porch and continued to relax.  I drove us back to Santa Fe before making reservations at a French spot.  Delicious.  The entire trip revolved around food, wine and relaxing.  Epic adventure!
It feels nice to be back and figuring out an upcoming adventure.  Seeing Aspen in my future along with Kansas and Puerto Rico.  My friends are getting married there later this year and my youngest sister is exchanging vows in Kansas.  It will be a great year of travel and food.  I may even return to making this more of a priority.  I have been getting distracted by little stuff.  I should be free flowing more here.  Hoping to make it happen.  Cheers!