Friday, March 30, 2018

more of Puerto Rico

I was enticed to visit Puerto Rico for my friend's wedding, proximity to the beach and yoga.  Tiffany mentioned the beachside yoga factor multiple times.  The first morning, I woke up a little late.  Keep in mind, we checked into the rental at 3:30 am.  I felt fortunate to have woke up at 8:45 am.  I went outside thinking I would be the first one up and Anne was already lounging at the pool.  That girl is a machine.  Later to bed and first person up.
At any rate, I knew that Tuesday was not an option to attend the class.  We would not have enough time to walk down to the class so, mentally, I chose to attend the yoga class on Wednesday morning.  Tuesday was full of errands and some tasks that were associated with the wedding.  We had a prearranged dinner on the other side of Rincon.  It was a lovely spot.  I tried to go one and one with Anne on the wine factor and found out, quickly, that I could not match her.
Wednesday morning I woke up and made coffee.  I went outside and again, Anne was pool side.  I mentioned walking down to the yoga class and we were off.  The walk down the hill was interesting and challenging.  I was feeling the effects of the previous evening. We arrived, signed into the class and set up our mats.  The setting was gorgeous.  Under palm trees and being soothed by the sea.  No music was required.  Thankfully, it was a restorative class.  I do not believe that I would have fared well had it been physically challenging.  I was having difficulty in the restorative class.  I was tired.  Afterwards, we dined at a spot next door that offered breakfast and mimosas.  I opted out of the mimosa factor and focused on my huevos rancheros.  I can always rehydrate with salsa, eggs and black beans.  I wasn't quite ready to begin day drinking.
We walked back up the hill (not as bad for me this time) and met with Tiffany to see how the day would play out.  We had a few tasks and needed a vehicle to get to and from places.  Dan's parents had a vehicle which accommodated them.  Tiffany's parents did not have a car nor did we.  Her brother offered to rent a car to help shuttle everyone around which helped.  However, actually getting the rental was challenging.  There was one agent and she was at the hospital checking on her mom.  She called in the afternoon to say that she would be able to meet with us for an hour.  So, we were trying to ease the situation and make use of the vehicle when needed.  Dan's parents offered to let us use their car while they were dining and would not need it.  We walked down to the restaurant as it seemed easier to do that than wait for them to finish.  We began our walk down and it was the three of us ladies.  I was walking on the street while Tiffany and Anne were on the sidewalk.  A car slowly approached us from behind.  I remember thinking--what is this guy doing as his pace had decreased.  I look over as he passes us.  Well, let's just say he was bushwhacking as I learned the term to be after the fact.  He did two additional drives around us trying to shock us with his behavior.  And, it was shocking.  I was surprised at my reaction.  I wasn't as horrified as Anne.  She wanted to call the police to report him.  I suppose since I have experienced this exhibitionism in other countries, I wasn't as mortified.  Then, I thought, this is sad that in some ways it is acceptable behavior.  It absolutely should not be!  The guy was a sex offender, for sure.  I was just not that surprised to have been exposed to it.
That was our story of the day and we kept it under wraps to Tiffany's parents.  We did not want to add to their negative perception of Puerto Rico.  And, honestly, this could have happened anywhere.  It is not specific to Rincon.
The remainder of the day we did errands and relocated to our new rental.  Our dinner that night had been hosted by Dan's parents.  It was awesome.  We arrived and maneuvered to an outdoor area that had been set up for us.  Cocktail hour before being seated and enjoying a three course meal.  So much food and it was delicious!
The next morning, I woke up, ready to greet the day.  I knew that Anne and Tiffany would be having their hair done and I could or could not join them was the original plan.  As it became closer to leaving, Tiffany asked me to hang back and manage the bar, charcuterie and set up for the party. I was more than happy to do it and in hindsight, thankful, to not have joined them at the salon.  They were there the entire day!  I would have been chomping at the bit to return to the beach.  And, we would have arrived with fifteen minutes to set everything up which would have made me crazy!
The ceremony was short and beautiful.  Truly, I was happy to be part of their celebration.  So loving and relaxing.  Anne's husband was our chef and I maintained the bar.  It was wonderful.
My final day in Rincon was melancholy.  I was the first person to depart and not prepared to do just that.  I walked on the beach, enjoyed a lengthy lunch and watched basketball before departing for the Aguadilla airport.  Tiffany had offered to escort me back to the airport but I felt capable in arranging my own ride.  Plus, they had already done so much for me.  I wanted to do something myself.
My return flight home was long and painful.  I was upgraded to first class on the first leg of the trip.  I spent this sleeping and not indulging in any of the upgrades.  The additional space to sleep was great.  I arrived in Newark and slept another few hours on the floor.  Not ideal but it worked.  Our flight to Denver was delayed and so I waited to board and hoped that it would be quick and painless.  I finally returned to Denver and took a shower and nap.  I needed it and was extremely thankful to be home.
I am sure there are many details that I overlooked.  All, in all, in Rincon, they have water and electricity.  We did experience a power outage, briefly, a few of the days.  Tap water was accessible and useable.  It is an island and the water was not steaming hot like in the mainland.  I have experienced this in other countries/islands.  I saw only one city in Puerto Rico and know there is devastation in San Juan and other areas of the island.  I will return to explore more of it and support their economy.  I think in July might occur.
I am off to greet the day.  I have a training session and a sushi date!  Life is grand~

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Throwback style

Thought I would try something different this week. Why not throwback to a travel related Thursday?Seemed fitting to choose Colombia.  I met an Uber driver in Nashville who seemed so square and conservative. I struggled to think of what I would talk to him about.  Meanwhile, my two friends were in the back seat chattering away.  So, I made a go of it.  I mentioned that I lived in Denver which opened the conversation wide open.  This man, Paul, enjoyed century rides.  He had ridden the Leadville course a few summers ago.  I wanted to related to him and so I told him that my brother in law is a huge cyclist and currently in Medellin.  His response--I was in Medellin in 1979....I about fell over.  Suddenly this man was interesting and we could speak. 
  So, cheers to Colombia.  My current throwback travel Thursday.  This first photo was taken outside of the airbnb in Cartagena.  Cody and I arranged one night in an apartment owned by a guy but met his mother.  Her English was not too much and so we conversed in a smattering on Spanglish and made it work.  She was kind and very helpful.  Talked with her hands to exemplify the point.  The rental was right on the beach and lovely.

Another photo from Cartagena.  We found this great beer shop while exploring the old town.  Although, Cartagena was my least favorite city, it did have its highlights.  This being one.  And, I am certain had we not encountered a conman who owned an airbnb, my time there would have ended differently.  It's sad that individuals can make or break a trip.  Regardless, if you have time, check out the Beer Store in Cartagena.  Great selection and staff.  Super friendly and well air conditioned.  My friend, Cody, and I enjoying a beer and relaxing.

Finally, Bogota.  I loved the graffiti tour that we decided to check out.  My mini had been there about six months prior to my trip and she raved about the free hour and a half tour of downtown Bogota.  I sort of figured what is an hour and half of checking out street art?  It was amazing, actually.  Remarkable and of course, biased to a certain degree  This piece was done by a guy who lives in Los Angeles.  He was contacted about creating some art in Bogota and met a woman and fell in love while doing street art in the city.  I love this piece.  Such passion and love the colors.  

I think this could be a good way to be inspired to blog on Thursdays.  I speak of food, travel and wine often in my posts.  Yet, I could revisit many of the incredible places I have had the privilege of visiting.  I have a great life and just want to share.  Enjoy the rest of your Thursday!  If you could revisit somewhere....where would it be and why?  I would return to Colombia to explore more of the cities and learn to brush up on Spanish.  Maybe eat more arepas?  I don't know.  It was a whirlwind of a trip and I could use more time in Medellin (my favorite place there), Baranquilla and Cali.  I am a huge fan of Narcos, lol.  At any rate, Cheers!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

upcoming travel

Still dreaming of being on a beach somewhere.  And, then bought tickets to Minneapolis.  Seems a little upside down.  I have spent some time there years ago.  I figure it is best to go in the spring and summer and perhaps enjoy a lake.  I had a college friend who lived in Maple Grove for 8 years, I think.  I visited her a few times during that time period.
At any rate, I have been further contemplating travel and trips.  It is essential for me to have a travel goal.  It keeps me focused and grounded.  I prefer having something to work towards to keep me inspired.  Well, that and talking about restaurants and food.  These two people came in last night and asked me where I like to dine in Denver.  I named a few spots and then expanded my search.  Their response--you like to talk about food!
Yes, in fact, I do.  I love seeing what is out there.  Fusion, ethnic, traditional, wine driven, pub grub and of course, seafood.  I inhaled fish while in Puerto Rico and it was fantastic.  That is the one thing that is challenging about living in Colorado.  Lovely that it is, it's still landlocked.  There is something enticing about walking on the beach and feeling the ocean breeze.  It's so peaceful and calming.  I was able to do a beachside walk one night and release some ashes.  That was an incredible moment for me.  I loved spending time with Steve, Anne, Tiffany and Dan.  Yet, it is nice to take time to reflect and rejuvenate on one's own.  Plus, I believe, that Anne and Steve did want some time to themselves.
I have other friends that are in Vietnam again.  I am jealous!  It is fantastic that Jackie and Brian chose to return to that country to explore more of it.  I had given them my referrals from my venture and know that they met up with two of my contacts.  However, this time, I think they are checking out more of the north and then to Cambodia.  I think if I could return to another country, I would choose South Africa or Vietnam.  Both are exotic, culturally diverse and with fantastic food.  I did enjoy the wine in South Africa.  Vietnam was more beer driven.  But the food was spectacular!  Oh, and the opportunity to receive body work, daily, also was intoxicating.  I love reflexology and massages.  It was wonderful!
I will be meeting up with my friend, Jennifer, too.  Recently, she began her adventure on the Appalachian Trail.  I will traveling to D.C. in June to see her and maybe get her some supplies.  It is such a feat to take on this challenge.  She has always been driven by impossible tasks and I know she will be triumphant.
I am hoping to brainstorm some yoga clients, too.  I am ready to be teaching more and focusing on my health.  I met with Shari in Nashville in November.  Each year we choose something to focus on to improve our year.  This year, we chose adding.  We can add to the beauty in our lives through evolution, growth and continuing to learn.  At least, that is what it meant for me. I want to add to my base of what is my life.  Part of that is body maintenance.  Tomorrow, I will treat myself to a Thai massage and then Friday, meet with my trainer.  I might even attempt a few back to back yoga sessions in the next few days.  It is important to focus on health and maintenance.  Oh, and water is life.  I definitely understand that!  So that is my way of adding specifically.  However there are other ways, too.  Adding reading, travel, wine knowledge, friends.  Positivity and saying yes to life.  I am brainstorming right now as I am excited about adding to my life.
Please enjoy your evening!  Cheers!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Beginning of trip

Puerto Rico is lovely.  In hindsight, I wish I had flown in and out of San Juan and spent a day in the old city.  I was hesitant to do that mostly because I was afraid I would get stuck there.  Not able to take the puddle jump or hire a car.  And, I know there is still damage from the hurricane and I didn't want to take a resource from someone that lives there.  That was the last thing that I wanted to happen.  So, I arranged my travel in and out of Aguadilla.  Monday was an incredibly long day of travel. I left Denver at 10 am and arrived in Newark at 4 pm.  I checked out the airport since I had more than enough time. I was in the United terminal which coincidentally had the best food options of the three terminals.  I read a few posts about how fantastic the selection was.  And, I concur.  My only complaint would be their system of payment.  There are ipads everywhere to start up tabs.  I walked to the first wine bar and was waiting for the bartender to acknowledge me.  She wouldn't.  Not until I swiped my card and made a selection.  Probably ten minutes passed before I received my first glass of wine in 5 days.  At any rate, I thought there could be a better way.  Maybe say hello to customers and offer water.  Explain the system and that if you sit idle, too long, it kicks you out of your check.  I asked the girl to reopen my check so that I could tip in cash (my preferred way always).  She nodded and acted like she would handle it.  I waited another ten minutes before realizing that she was not going to do anything about it.  I had been talking to a fellow traveler about world travel.  Joanne was from Dublin and had just spent the last few weeks in Colombia and Nicaragua.  I love comparing trips to places I have been with other people.
I walked to a ramen spot.  I have definitely been on a kick to enjoy southeastern food and so, again, I swiped my card and tried to order wine and food.  This time, however, the bartender was kind and talkative.  She poured me a smidgeon more wine for having to wait.  Loved her!  I ended up speaking to a gentleman that lived in NY and was flying to Las Vegas to help out an ex-wife.  It was an interesting conversation.  I loved the Ramen, too.

Five hours later I departed for Aguadilla for another three plus hour fight.  My friends' flight was delayed out of Orlando and so I spent time at the airport bar and think we made it to our rental around 3.  I definitely needed sleep!  Tiffany and Dan, graciously, offered to pick us all up from the airport and drove us to the rental they had secured.  They had had a week of reorganizing since the original rental experienced a enormous loss of sand and structure from the storm that hit the east coast last week.  They scrambled to find another lodging to give the owners time to fix the problem.  Thankfully, it worked out well.  But when I think of everything they had to do to walk down the aisle, well, let's just say they were saints!
Tuesday morning we ran a few errands and had lunch at Bamboo.  We did see where we would be staying and what type of sand loss they were dealing with.

They had their work cut out for them.  I think it took three truck loads of sand to fix the structure.  I wanted to add to the solution, not to any more stress.  They made it easy.  They drove us to prearranged dinner spots and returned us home.  I am fortunate to have such accommodating friends. This was the start of my trip.  I was treated to good food and access to cool bars.  Let's just say, I was in heaven!
There is more to post and consider. I am in basketball zone for the next few hours.  I managed yoga, being a voyeur and in charge, lol.  Life is grand! 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

the three R's

The three R's--reading, relaxing, resting.  Best way to spend a weekend.  I have been trying to incorporate more reading into my daily life.  I think I have allowed other things to distract me.  Social media and streaming random shows have taken over my desire to read.  It is sad. I benefit more from reading than watching a show.  I remember my optometrist warning me of the harms of always being attached to my phone and/or laptop.  The blue screen that is scorching people's eyes and creating more cases of macular degeneration.  I believe it, too.  It is scary to consider and so I am trying to stop being so available to my phone.
I have a stack of books to sort through that I was given by one of my colleagues.  Chad is an avid reader and is downsizing some of his collection. I gladly accepted any and all books.  Some of been insightful while others are quick reads.  Perfect for the airport travel.  I need to select a few for my flight to Puerto Rico tomorrow.  I have a long day tomorrow.  Flying to Newark to spend five hours and then head south to Rincon. I will arrive in time to go to bed.  I am sure that I will be toasting the beginning of my trip though.  Bed will wait.  I might check out the ocean, too.
I asked my friends if they wanted me to bring them anything from the mainland.  Initially they said no and when I pressed them, they asked for decaf coffee from a place in Denver.  Apparently, it is quite good and well known.  I found the nearest location and made an inquiry into the decaf selection.  They had two pounds, only. I wish they had had more to bring to my friends.  One time, I was visiting friends in Phoenix and they gave me 8 bags of coffee.  When I went through security at the airport, they stopped me to sort through my coffee selection.  I thought it was sort of funny in hindsight.  At the time, I was irritated since it was only coffee.  To imply otherwise seemed ridiculous if you know how I live my life.
I am relaxing and resting my body.  Too often we go, go, go and do not take time to decompress or heal.  When I work too much or overindulge, immediately, I experience the start of a cold or laryngitis in the extreme form.  I have experienced this three times and it is not at all welcoming or easy to rectify.  I have found that apple cider vinegar is my best friend in this case.  So, I am taking the time to rest and heal.  My trainer told me my homework for the weekend was to abstain from drinking wine.  She said that I would be celebrating all week while on vacation and that I could minimize the effects if I took it easy this weekend.  And she is right.  I will be celebrating all week.  I almost caved last night.  My uber ride home was annoying and it would have been easy to toast the holiday with a glass of wine.  I considered it and then discarded the idea.  I hired a pool to minimize costs and regretted it.  There were so many people downtown that had been overserved.  The couple in my pool were kind and tourists.  However, we had another stop to make to pick another passenger up.  Traffic barely moved and when we finally arrived at the predetermined spot the guy was no longer there.  He was intoxicated based on his speech and said that he had moved on.  Oh, and sorry that I left and it took you over ten minutes to find me.  So, yes, I considered having a glass of wine when I made it home.  Did I mention that the driver forgot my stop and that I had to chase them down.  There was that, too.
At any rate, I am resting and gearing up for another day of basketball.  I have considered traveling to Minneapolis soon and of course, there is D.C. in June.
I could add reflect to my R's too.  Reflecting on life, choices and the present.  I am here due to choices I made.  Where I go tomorrow is based on decisions I made today.  We shall see.  I am thankful for the opportunities to begin again and enjoy life.
I have a friend who is celebrating a birthday today.  I hope he fully enjoys and toasts his life.  Cheers!  Keep resting, relaxing and reading!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Ahh....March and other considerations

March Madness continues...I remember watching Thursday night and being shocked that the Wildcats were upset.  They just couldn't get anything going.  Last night, I watched the Orangemen typically show up for the tournament.  Being a KU fan does inspire enjoying Syracuse play.  Still, I can respect their program and know that no matter what they always show up and win in the tournament. I was not surprised that their zone was giving TCU issues.  I started flipping channels and noticed that the Retrievers were still in their game.  I continued to flip and noted that they were actually winning.  So, I adjusted my viewing and watched as they created history by upsetting the Number seed of the tournament.  Wow.  It was insanity.
Mad props to them.  They had nothing to lose and played loose and extremely capable.  I loved that their point guard's dad, proudly, held a gigantic sign of his son's face.  And continued to wave it around.  It was awesome.  Part of the beauty of this particular time of year.
I watched the first two games today.  I wish more of the games had been shown this afternoon as opposed to tonight.  I will be distracted and unable to watch them since I am working.  And, it is the day of debauchery for anyone that suddenly is Irish, lol.  I attended a yoga class this morning, and bars were already open with people imbibing and enjoying life.  I say, good for them!  A few of my fellow yogi's commented on it with dismay.  Who doesn't enjoy a beer or mimosa to kick off the weekend?  I say, cheers and enjoy!
I am packing for my upcoming trip to Puerto Rico. I think I will be taking summer clothes and camping out on the beach.  Of course, I am curious to what it is like down there. How they are recovering and how I can help?  My friends relocated their in December and I am happy for them.  It has been their dream for the last five years.  They worked towards it and planned their exit strategy.  I am happy to see and support them.
Moreover, it inspires more travel and opportunity.  Makes me think of where I would like to go next and how to make it happen.  Not going to lie...I am enjoying teaching yoga and building up that practice.  Traveling can interrupt that as I am seeing.  I had made plans to teach a friend and her colleagues a month ago.  Illness and scheduling has prohibited it.  I am more communication friendly and my friend, struggles, to text to solidify plans.  I am not the type of person to wait around.  I can fill my days with other things--seeing matinees, reading, writing, walking, taking care of the dentist that I try to avoid, trips, etc.  And, it if is a true day off for me, I might have a luncheon scheduled.  I am finding it difficult to keep myself available to her and her needs.  I think I am just going to have to be completely honest that I need more communication and expect it.  I guess that will be a conversation for when I return from Puerto Rico.  I would love to have the opportunity to teach a group twice a month.
I taught two friends yesterday and customized my flow for them.  I enjoy being able to do that and know that I could focus more on fundamentals and alignment and that would benefit both of them greatly.
I am off to enjoy the day.  Listen to music and catch more of the Madness.  I am hopeful for my team.  I want them to be the team that I know they are.  Play loose and dominate!
Cheers and enjoy your Saturday!

Friday, March 16, 2018

basketball and rambling

I love this time of year.  Every March, I find myself glued to the tv to watch college basketball and I appreciate being off the initial days to absorb all of the games.  It is not the same to watch games while working.  I don't want to miss anything especially when my team is playing.  And I yell at the tv (super helpful, I know).  I am a fan of my team and am not ashamed to say that.  I get a little out of hand and while working I cannot fully watch the game.  Thankfully my game was early yesterday morning and they were successful.  Survived the first round without being upset.  Although there was speculation that they would be the first ever number one seed to fall to a sixteen seed.  Thankfully, this was not the case.
I went to a sculpt class before watching the evening games.  I was a little lazy this week.  I skipped yoga on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday due to timing of the class or boredom.  I know I get in phases of boredom and irritation with instructors that I frequent their class often.  I have to break up with them for a week or two to remember why I enjoy the class.  This week, I chose to be lazy.  I did force myself to go to the sculpt class last night.  It was okay but the music selection continues to be dreadful. I want to ask the girl why she chooses her playlist when she is attempting to match the movement to the beat.  It never works and I get irritated which I was reminded of last night.
There was only one game that I wanted to watch and I alternated between it during the first half and other games.  I wasn't that invested in it since they looked good.  The beginning of the second half had a completely different vibe.  They looked defeated and as time dwindled, I felt that they would lose the game.  It was hard to watch and I can only imagine how frustrating it was to actually play.
Today, I will watch some of the games while teaching yoga.  I have a session with my trainer and I should figure out any and all items needed for my trip to Puerto Rico.  I leave on Monday to attend my friend's wedding in Rincon.  I am excited for some beach time and celebrating the wedding.  My friend's have been planning this day for over a year.  They had plans to marry in October and then the hurricane altered their plans.  They did choose to move to Rincon and make a life there.  I am excited to see their life there.
I am collecting items to promote my teaching.  I have a logo (I think) and need to stock up on props for clients.  I need to truly free up time to do this and start filling the time with clients.  Utilize my connections and do something for me.  I love connecting people and supporting friends in their ventures.  Maybe I could expend some energy and create that for myself, too.
I am excited for today and upcoming adventures.  I think I will be in Minneapolis at some point in the near future.  Then, there is D.C. in June.  And, I keep seeing ads for trips to Greece.  I am so doing that this year.  Maybe next.  You have to think...what is stopping you?  Fear of not having enough money?  Time off from work?  Opportunity to go?  All limiting personal beliefs that absolutely can be and should be handled and taken care of.  Life is to be lived and enjoyed.  I enjoy traveling and meeting people.  It is enriching to my life and history.  I can exchange post cards with my nieces.  Thereby creating a dialogue between us. 
I can learn of other cultures, food, languages and continue to learn and grow.  I think when we stop learning, we stop living.  I want to challenge my mind and strengthen my soul experiences.  I don't want to just exist.
I am fortunate that I enjoy taking photographs of my life.  Daily, I am reminded of memories and am so thankful that I enjoy taking photos.  I have created a memory book for my friends in Puerto Rico and think I could probably create one for Sara Jo, the Goddess and definitely Shari.  I still look through the first one I created for Brian.  I am so grateful that I wanted to do that for him for our anniversary.  I will always hold those memories dear to my heart.  It is not as breathtaking as it once was.  Now, I can look through and find joy.  Not just sadness.
Back to basketball.  Today will continue with sixteen games and will keep me preoccupied.  I should figure out my laundry situation and pack for my trip next week.  I tend to wait to pack and then re-pack.  The last few trips, I have definitely brought too many clothes.  I should keep that in mind when considering my clothing options.  Less is more!
Enjoy your day.  Find your passion and seek it!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Nashville delights no drinking involved...

Nashville was all about food, drink and music.  I overindulged and told my trainer at my way in this week.  She chuckled and told me that my session would reflect the fact that I chose to cheat instead of clean living.  I survived.  Barely.  I think my abs will hurt for days.
There was more to Nashville for us, too.  We did manage to check out the Parthenon.

She's a beauty, right?  It was pretty excellent and worth the $6 to enter.  We read some of the history of the building and the city.  Also, it was nice to get a feel of Nashville through a different medium than the food and drink factor.  And I do love Athena and greek mythology in general.  What a warrior goddess!

I asked Shari if she wanted to take a walk around the pond that is in front of the Parthenon.  Centennial Park.  It was a gorgeous day and I felt thankful that we could take the time to reflect on our trip.  From here, we returned downtown to check out famous watering holes.  I don't want to rehash more of the bar scene.  I can do that at a later date.  No, I want to focus on the reflexology treatment we received the previous day.  I have found that I enjoy exploring the spa scene in cities.  When we were in L.A., I found a Russian Spa with Shari.  I was so excited to check out the banya sauna amongst others.  They had a Turkish sauna, multiple dry saunas, a steam sauna.  Truly, one of the best maintained saunas I have experienced.  The massage that I received was one of the worst, however.  So, I will not note the name of the establishment. 
I found a great spa in Chicago with Maghan.  It was his first time to a Russian spa and so I insisted that he try the banya treatment.  He enjoyed it but the cold plunge was a bit much for him.  Red Door, Wicker Park, is awesome.  In Las Vegas, Jenn and I experienced a Korean Spa off strip that was delightful.  I loved how user friendly Imperial Spa was and hope to return next time I am in Sin City. So, in Nashville, I hoped to find a spa that would accommodate our needs.  A banya or a body scrub.  However, that has not caught on there that I could find.  Most spas were day spas and too clean in my opinion.  Finally, I extended my search to include reflexology and found the ideal spot.  Bucca Reflexology.  I called to make an appointment and the lady kindly set it up for me.  Three sixty minute treatments which included 40 minutes of feet with ten minutes focused on the neck/face and other ten minutes of chair massage.  It was amazing!  I cannot say enough about it.  The reflexology was perfect.  I have been dealing with plantar fasciitis the last ten months and sometimes, the foot treatment can be too intense.  I think we all melted into the chair and then had to be reawakened to move to the continuation of treatment.  I think Sara Jo was shocked at how relaxed she could be.  I told my airbnb hostess about it.  I insisted that she check out Bucca and add it to her lists of things to do in the city.  She was kind enough to compile a thorough list of restaurants, consignment shops and bars.  It was amazing!
One other thought about Nashville.  We had some of the kindest uber and lyft drivers.  All had something to say about things to do or why they had moved there.  Our guy that picked us up from Bucca was interesting.  I got in the car and was a little judgmental based on appearance.  He seemed too clean/conservative.  I told him that I lived in Denver and he mentioned doing a century ride here. So, I tell him that ironically, my brother in law was in Colombia currently, checking out cycling in Medellin. The guy tells me he was in Colombia in 1975. I thought--wow, this guy was in the country when Escobar was running it.  He became more and more interesting to me after that comment.  It was funny!  He told me he had traveled all over the country, hitch hiking and staying in cheap motels with his brother.  Oh, the good ole days.  I had a great time in Nashville and meeting some of the people.
If you have a chance, do yourself a favor and book an appointment at Bucca.  It's reasonable and amazing!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Beginning of the week

I woke up, three days last week, and chose to eat tacos.  Now, I want them daily, lol.  Definitely not happening today.  I managed an early morning yoga class and am trying to be more honest about my life on this medium.  I am actively planning yoga this week and spending time on me.  My life is full of possibility and opportunity.  Make it happen today.
I have a reminder that I just read about communication.  How it differs for people due to upbringing and meaning behind words.  An agreement is only an agreement if each party knows the condition of the agreement and the satisfaction and time for the satisfaction to occur.  I would agree with this sentiment.  I was raised to believe in principles and respect.  I hold them dearly to what I value in my life. I find it difficult to deal with people who are not similar beliefs and/or standards.  I have high expectations of myself and others you could say.  To my detriment at times, too.  However, I still believe, that ultimately, this is the way to live.  To be accountable for choices made.
I feel like lightening this up.  Today is a beautiful day to get outside and explore.  I had a lovely yoga session with the reminder that I do enjoy traveling.  My instructor said we should focus on what brings us joy.  Food, a person, your dog/cat, travel, places you have been recently (I think that was directed at me.  He knows that I spent last week in Nashville, lol.  And, I should be reflecting more on that.
I walked to work which allowed more reflection of life.  That and trying to not be wind blown.  Super windy this morning and cold.  It was misrepresented.  Sun shining and yesterday was gorgeous.  Today the wind kicked in and was chilly!  I did manage to walk to and from work.  I enjoy days like today when I am able to do that.  I can listen to music and reflect on life.  Thankfully, I have the ability to walk to work instead of driving and or dealing with parking downtown.  It does make a huge difference.  More and more people are moving to Denver and parking is becoming more problematic.  I detest dealing with that downtown or in Cherry Creek.  There really isn't many options in either area.  Sure you can pay to park or maybe find a metered space.  But I get super irritated and find walking more of what I desire.
I am hoping to do more yoga this week.  I have reached out to some of my people and know that I can and will make it work.  My one client has a bulging disk and so she is resting and trying to ease some of the inflammation.  My other person I teach, frequently, is in New Mexico for a stretch of time and my friends have been out of town.  I just need to hustle a bit and make it work.
Until later, cheers!

Sunday, March 4, 2018


Nashville.  What a lovely city.  I didn't really know what to expect outside of that is renowned for its music scene.  There is honky tonk downtown, more local driven in the Gulch and a few venues that host musicians nightly.  We didn't even make it to Broadway until our third day.  I was interested in checking out other areas of the city.
Our first driver from the airport was super helpful in suggesting places to check out.  He had relocated five years ago and had a bunch of ideas of how we could spend our time.  And, ironically, he won tickets to see a show while we were in his car.  That was interesting.  I have never seen that happen. 
Everyone commented on how East Nashville is now a great place to live and/or spend time in.  We were dropped in our airbnb and scoped out the nearby eateries.  We were steps away from a brewery, a tap house and a cafĂ©.  Perfect.  We ordered trout toast and waited for Sara Jo to join us.  Sharing a few beverages and figuring out the night.  I had made plans to dine at a spot in Germantown, another area that I wanted to explore while in Music City.  I found a nearby bar that offered craft cocktails and some wine.  When we arrived it was not busy but in the hour we were there, the place filled up.  Looked like a great option.
We walked a few blocks to our destination, Silo.  We shared ricotta dumplings, meatballs, deviled eggs and macaroni and cheese.  Everything was fine and the service was okay.  I noticed that I poured more of our wine than the server.  They were attentive to the water situation which I can appreciate.  I tend to be dehydrated most of the time.
We hired a car and returned to our area of town and concluded the night at the taphouse.  Very convenient and a great way to end the night.  Our airbnb hostess had thought of basically everything.  Coffee, creamer, water bottles, muffins, protein bars and a wine opener with red plastic cups.  Ironically, we did not touch the wine opener.  For the first time, ever, we did not find a local bottle shop to stock up the rental with wine.  I still have no idea how  nearby the market is either.  We relied heavily on cars to explore the city.
The next morning, I forced Shari to accompany me to a heated yoga class.  I felt it was a great way to experience a city.  And detox.  Every anniversary trip we have either gotten lost on a long walk or gone to a yoga class.  This class was not too bad.  Music was decent and it was packed. We were mat to mat which limits the opportunity to have an active flow. A little on the simplistic side but not terrible.
I think I ate more Mexican food than I thought would happen in the south.  However, nothing is more satisfying than enjoying chips and salsa after a night of imbibing.  It is the best way to rehydrate and I love it.  We did find three options that highlighted different aspects of what I enjoy about Mexican food.  One place had fantastic chips, one had better guacamole and the third had lovely margaritas.  I was happy in all circumstances.
I did experience hot chicken.  It was okay.  Not that hot and I wasn't that inspired.  However, it is off the bucket list!  I had a wonderful time and will reflect more on it later.  I need to organize and prepare for the day!