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Showing posts from October, 2011

Offically a Vampire (and how to survive on only the Hampton Inn Continental Breakfast)

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How appropriate that just in time for Halloween I've turned into a Vampire. I'm fully adjusted to the night shift, so I'm up all night and sleep all day. In some ways it stinks- it's creepy in the command center at night, I miss the sun, and it's hard to sleep during the day because the hotel is so loud. On the other hand, it's nice because when I wake up at 3 pm before my shift, it is light and I run outside. Yesterday I checked out the Hammond Trail I parked on the Arcata end because it was closest to my hotel. It took me a while to get into my run. The first mile or so is on a really rough road, it's hilly, and you are surrounded by smelly cows on both sides. There was also a roaring headwind. But then the trails turns into a lovely paved bike/pedestrian p[ath through the woods and then by the ocean. Once you get to the long ocean the path splits, a dirt trail runs right along the water, while a paved trail goes more inland. I ran 30 minutes out and the…

Humboldt County California

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So I should have been sleeping during the day yesterday and today to switch acclimate my body to working the night shift, but I was too used to getting up at 4 am! And there was just too much amazing stuff to see here! I started off with a run at the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Refuge. It was stunning and my run just flew by! There were little pools completely grown over with bright green algae, little inlets filled birds, and then the giant sweep of Humbolt bay. There was that great earthy,salty smell that you only get where the land meets the sea. And there were so many birds- from hundreds of little pipers to giant pelicans. Despite the fact that it was a clear, cool morning I finished drenched with sweat. I think I must still have a fever, because I looked like I had done speed work on a hot summer day instead of an easy 60 minute run on a cool fall day. So I made a quick stop back at the hotel for a shower and change before heading up highway 101 north. I am not usually one for…

Arcata California

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I am in the Eureka/Arcata area of Northern California this week for work. It is stunningly beautiful for sure. I took a little plane in from San Francisco and we were just feet above the rugged mountains. And then we landed at the tiny airport (and I mean tiny- no gates, you just land on the runway and walk across the tarmac and out a gate) and I was hit with a blast of cool wind. The ocean here is wild, dark blue and constantly whipped up and white-capped. The people are definitely free spirited. Walking around Arcata I saw a lot of dreadlocks, tie-dye, hula-hopping, and crazy things. I thought I had a hippie spirit, but this town makes me feel pretty straight laced. The center square in Arcta. And after feeling better on Sunday, I am back to feeling not good. So the strange atmosphere added to my dizziness makes me feel like I am in a strange alternate universe. The fact that I am never outside during daylight hours does not help. I’ve gotten up at 4 the last 3 days to work-out a…

Where to run in Portland, Maine

I am so in love with the running near my new house. Today I was determined to shake off the pain in my head and general laziness so I made myself go out and go for a run this morning. Being out on the Greenbelt by the water looking over at the city skyline made me so happy. I decided to share the wealth and contribute to Runner's World's new travel running wiki. I always appreciate being able to look up potential routes when I am traveling, so it's only fair that share some of the best runs in Portland. Here is a link And the text of the article.... Portland has some great running! The Back Cove trail in Portland is one the most popular trails. The 3.5 mile dirt and crushed stone loop is mostly flat and goes around a lovely cove. There is plenty of parking at the Preble Street Extension (across from the Hannaford store on Forest Ave) and on the north side of Baxter Boulevard at Payson Park. The back bay trail connects to the Eastern Prom Trail which leads to the Old…

Out Cold

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One of the best things about having my own house is that I can have lots of visitors without feeling like I am imposing on my room-mates. My cousin Lindsay came down from College of Atlantic for the weekend, which was a great chance to scope out the vegan food in Portland. In advance of her arrival I got great sourdough Maine grain bread at The Standard Baking Company (and a chocolate croissant for myself for breakfast) and dark chocolate sorbetto at Maples (and caramel and sea salt gelato for me for later!). Then Friday we spent the day wandering through the city. We had a great lunch at the Public Market House - wild mushroom and barley soup with 7 grain bread from Big Sky Bread Company and then a sweet potato quesadilla. For dessert Lindsay struck out at Bam Bam Bakery- they have a lot of dairy free and gluten free options, but nothing was totally vegan because they use honey. But I got an AMAZING Peanut Butter Delight Bar - shortbread crust topped with layer of chocolate then fluf…

Handyman Kier

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Owning a house is definitely pushing me to expand my handyman skills. I don't know a lot, but I am always willing to try. My Dad had been saving my great-grandmother's dining room set for me. It is a beautiful old dark wood in an Italian style. However, it's old, it has been moved around quite a bit, and it's been in storage for quite awhile. It needed some serious work. I got the right screws for the table and the right stuff to clean the wood last week, but the chairs were this week's project. They desperately needed to be reupholstered. So, after a great run and a yummy pumpkin apple waffle, I learned how to upholster! Yesterday I took the chairs apart and took off the old fabric. I was really careful to pay attention to how the chairs came apart and keep all the parts together! Then today I ventured to Jo-Ann fabrics were I was for WAAAAY too long trying to decide. I decided to go with a simple small print that would be pretty neutral. Both because I didn…

Greek Yogurt Madness

So after my great run yesterday, I have been striking out majorly on the fitness front. My Mom came down yesterday afternoon and I tried to take us to a yoga class. The class was called relaxation yoga, which sounded nice. However it turned out to be basically lying on the floor for an hour. Which is great for some people, but not my cup of tea. I know I should work more on being able to quiet my mind and be still, but I don't do well with still. The only way I can quiet my mind and stop the constant barrage of thoughts is through movement. Strike one. Then this morning, I tried the kickboxing and strength classes at my gym. Kickboxing was okay, but the instructor just didn't seem that into it. It's hard to have fun and get excited when the instructor seems bored. Unfortunately she taught the strength class and was even less inspired in that. It was so slowly paced and we never did enough reps for me to feel it. Strike 2. Strike 3 for the day was not fitness related. I…

Happy 1 Week Anniversary House!

I can't believe I have already been in my house for a week. Last Sunday I remember waking up feeling slightly disoriented. I wasn't used to the sounds of my new neighborhood or the way the light came in my windows. Today though, I woke up feeling right at home. In just a week, I have settled back in. Yesterday morning I went to the kickboxing class at my new gym, Lifestyle fitness in Scarborough. It was hardcore- so obviously I loved it. I had planned on staying for the Zumba toning class afterward, but I just wasn't feeling it. The sun was calling me. Just because I could, I headed down to Pine Point beach and went for a wonderful, but windy, walk on the beach. The wind was really whipping- the surf was huge and the sand was flying all over the place. But the sun felt great on my face, and there were plenty of other intrepid Mainers out there with me. I LOVE being able to see the ocean multiple times every day. After lunch I headed over to Breezy's to watch the worl…

TurboFire, and Punk Rope, and Yoga... Oh my!

Now that my house is looking more like a house and less like a disaster zone, I'm making an effort to get out, explore the community, and make new friends. This is the first time I've ever lived alone, and given my hermit tendencies, I could quickly become a recluse. Last night I joined the Southern Maine Fit Club for some turbo fire. We had a big room with a giant screen and followed along with a turbo fire DVD. It wasn't the hardest workout ever, but it was fun and got me off the couch (where I had been enjoying too much biscoff spread all afternoon). Even better was that afterward I invited everyone to join Breezy and I at Jimmy the Greek's for $5 martinis and free manicures! Unfortunately we got there too late for free manicures, but I enjoyed my Gossip martini and conversation with new friends! This morning I ventured out in the rain for Punk Rope at the Portland Y. Punk Rope is a jump rope based interval class. They used to have it at the Y in Framingham, and …

Officially a Maniac again

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Hello, I am finally emerging from a very long weekend of moving. I took the red eye home last Wednesday night, packed like a maniac Thursday and Friday, loaded the truck in Framingham Saturday morning (with only the help of my Dad and Brother, since none of my other helpers showed), unloaded in Portland Saturday afternoon and then have been unpacking ever since. Well not exactly non-stop, I did take some time out to enjoy the amazing Indian summer we were having. Sunday I did a bike ride out to Portland Head Light, Two Lights State Park, and Crescent Beach. Getting used to the Maine hills again is going to be a challenge! Monday I did a wonderful run along the Maine Greenbelt out to Bug Light and then met my friend Breezy for a sunset walk at Kettle Cove. I just LOVE how accessible everything is- the beach, the city, my old friends. I really feel at home!

Holy Waffle Yumminess

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I go a little stir crazy sitting in the office all day, so I like to get out for lunch. Today, I organized an outing to Bruxie, a waffle sandwich shop a co-worker recommended. It is down by Orange Circle, which is a cute, old fashioned downtown area in Orange. The restaurant is an adorable little hut with outdoor seating (luckily the rain had stopped by the time we got there.) The staff was super helpful and friendly, and we had our food in no time! I had the wild mushroom, goat cheese, arugula, and sun dried tomatoes. It was great. The waffle was thin and crispy with a light cornmeal texture. The goat cheese melted into the squares of the waffle, tangy and sour against the sweet waffle. I gobbled it up in about 3 minutes. Most of my co-workers went with the Bruxie special- the Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Waffle. And I of course, could not pass up the sweet waffles. We got one Nutella,sweet cream, and bananas waffle and then one Liege Waffle with Caramelized Pearl Sugar and b…

New Orleans Day 3

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Sunday I was looking forward to sleeping in, since I was out waaay past my normal bed time Saturday night. But when 7:30 am rolled around I was wide awake. I laid in bed for awhile, just because I could, but that didn’t last long because I was super thirsty. After downing a good liter of water, I headed out on a run. I’d spent some time with the map the day before and scoped out a good route. I decided to basically run the square perimeter of the French quarter. Each of the 4 streets had a very different character. Canal street had a big city feel with high rise offices and hotel. North Rampart was leaning towards seedy and run down. Esplanade was residential with gorgeous houses and a canopy of moss covered oak trees. Then N. Peters was people clogged and touristy. The sun was bright, the wind was cool, and it felt so good to run off the excess of the night before. My garmin had trouble finding a signal, and I was too impatient to wait, so I ran just by time, which made it even mor…

New Orleans Day 2

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Saturday morning I woke up feeling much more rested than the day before and headed outside for a run. I had seen a path along the river while at dinner the night before that looked promising. It was a great spot for running- there was a strong breeze, the sun was incredible rising over the river, and there were lots of other runners. The only draw backs were that it was only 1.5 miles long and it was brick. I had to go back and forth quite a few times and the bricks were unforgiving on the body. But, getting outside was totally worth it. I started the day in a great mood. During the morning meetings, our practice finished early. So we decided the absinthe bar would be a good activity for 11 am. Oof. I like the process of pouring it, but I did not like the taste. They light a sugar cube on fire over the absinthe and then drop water in over the burned sugar, which makes the absinthe foam and get cloudy. After eating a good lunch to soak up my absinthe,I headed out for a walk throug…