Saturday, October 20, 2018

Las Vegas

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

Thursday, October 4, 2018

upcoming travel

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

Monday, October 1, 2018

The start of clean eating

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