Vacation day… something

Featured photo: an outdoor outhouse

It’s Wednesday morning. We’re in Utah and I’m planning on being back in Michigan Saturday. But first one night in Rocky Mountain park. Then somewhere in Nebraska probably and a night at my friends house in Illinois.  

Last I mentioned we were in Denver for Avett brothers concerts at Red Rocks. That was pretty amazing. Since then we camped in a campsite in the valley of mountains. We hit the continental divide at 11,500 ft elevation, we made it to Arches National Park, explored a bit and now we’re on the Canyonlands Nat Park land just not in the park. 

This campsite is on top of a mountain, and with a tiny dirt road that runs along the cliff. There are fire rings and picnic tables but it’s rustic other than that. The outhouse is a pit toilet with no doors or roof. Just kind of a fence around it. When we first arrived it came with its own lizard. We’re not in Kansas anymore Dorthy. 

This trip has been awesome. I’ve seen so many mountains, desert landscapes, we drove through sleet in Wyoming, touched snow in Yellowstone and ranged in temps from 50-96. 

Can’t wait to see Rocky Mountain Park next, then in a few days I get to wash my clothes, take showers daily again, try a balanced diet and hit the gym. This has to be my wake up call. I’ve got pictures of me and I don’t like what I see. I think I’m 100 lbs lighter than what I am. It’s not preventing me from enjoying this trip but I’m going to work on getting to a healthier me again. That will be good. 

Vacation day 8

Part of me can’t believe it’s only been 8 days with what we’ve seen and done. Part of me knows it’s flying by. Part of me what’s to shout, Get Up Get Up! To my friend and conquer the world. Part of me wishes my internal clock didn’t wake up so early!

I know I’ve done a poor job at keeping up to date with my travels but I’ve got a good excuse. I had no internet or reception throughout South Dakota. As in the entire state. Yellowstone only had reception on top of one Mountain. The past 3 nights we’ve been in hotels but I’ve been exhausted. So here I am. Finally getting a moment. 

I don’t know what I’ve said before so let me try to piece it together. 

We started 1/2 day late. Saturday we made it to the Field of Dreams movie site, then a random campsite in Minnesota. Tuesday we made it to the Badlands and got a campsite at an ok place just outside the park. Wednesday we camped directly below Devils Tower at a KOA. Talk about pricey and posh camping. Thursday we took a detour North to get to the Paradise Valley area. John Mayer lives near here and his snapchats were crazy beautiful of the area around his house. We found a random wildlife/fishing rustic campsite. It was so remote and amazing. All the other campsites were full and we were considering a cabin for nearly $80 at KOA until we found this gem. See featured photo for our scenery. This site was only $18. Nice. 

We drove an hour south into the North gate of Yellowstone. We drove 35 miles to the West Gate, which is midway down the park, in hopes of finding a campsite. By a miracle someone in the back said, we just got one site for 1 small tent, as we pleaded for anything in the park that might be open. We never actually expected to be able to camp in Yellowstone but we weren’t sure where to go if we didn’t. The site was small but perfect. We spent 1/2 day driving around the north loop and taking quick .25 – 1.5 mile paths to see the sites. Desert atmosphere with boiling water and mud pots to Mt. Washburn where we grabbed some snow! We saw wild Buffalo, Elk, Deer, and the top of one Black Bear. We didn’t get mauled by bears in our sleep as I feared and it was wonderful. The park is truly beautiful and a wonder. Thursday morning we headed to Old Faithful and arrived perfectly on time to see it shoot off! Ridiculously lucky, it only goes off every 2 hours! We saw a few more sites but needed to head south to the Grand Tetons. 

Now I thought Yellowstone was beautiful, the Grand Tetons were the most beautiful. I feel like the park is left in Yellowstones shadow but the views are awe inspiring. I must return and camp in this park. There is a section with swimming and the mountains are right there. We stuck our warm swollen bug bitten feet in the cold water and suddenly all was right with the world. If we hadn’t needed to get closer to Denver, if the time crunch wasn’t so big, we would have stayed and swam and slept and experienced more of the Grand Tetons. 

Jackson Hole Wy is a cute touristy BUSY town. A little too much for tired campers to deal with. The rest of Wy was natural gas fields. Uh what? I still haven’t researched it. I’ve been meaning to. The section was boring. Night fell, it was dark and we thought it would be best to drive further and get a motel if need be just to be closer to Denver. The motel was fine, we had BK for breakfast and hit the road by 7 am. We drove straight to our hotel in Denver. Checked in, got our concert tickets and VIP passes, then chilled in the hotel room until we boarded a shuttle to Red Rocks! Part of the VIP trip packaged included a pre-party dinner, first night taco bar, second night Pulled pork and BBQ beef sandwich bar, and I’m excited to see what’s in store this afternoon. 

The food is delish, the venue is incredible and I really enjoy the Avett Brothers, they are a really good band! And yea, if you hadn’t been following along… I didn’t know their music. My friend bought these tickets ages ago and I wanted to go on a vacation. So I said I’d go with IF we took a road trip to Yellowstone, and the rest happened. 

Now, today is the last night in Denver. We meant to explore more but the shuttle leaves at 4 pm and gets back at midnight. A long day at a concert and it makes a late morning. 

We still haven’t planned what to do after we leave the hotel tomorrow, or for the rest of the week for that matter. It’s like the trip is over but we could still do so much. 

I promise to update with some photos but the shower and breakfast are calling my name. 

Night 3

Featured photo: the Badlands

My phone didn’t work for almost all of South Dakota. We’re now in Wyoming at a KOA campground below Devils Tower. 

I haven’t had more than 7 hours of sleep in the last 2-3 weeks. Usually teetering between 4-5 hours per night and vacation has done nothing more for me. My internal clock goes off at 7 am EAstern time zone, but we’re now 2 hours earlier so I’m awake by 5 am while my road trip friend snores on beside me. 

Last night a storm came in. The wind almost blew the tent down. Like it actually bent the tent down and a corner pole hit me in the head a few times. Miracously the tent stakes held true and the rain fly never flew off. We stayed up for a few hours in the middle of the night. Me holding one corner of the tent up while watching the rain puddle inside of the tent. It was dramatic and the worst I’d ever experienced in a tent, but sogginess and all we slept for another few hours once the storm passed. 

Wall Drug is my least favorite place on earth… for touristy stuff. 

My travel buddy has decided to ignore lunch and instead “snack”. While on the road she refuses to stop to buy food but thus far I’m the only one cooking. Annoying to say the least. But last night I fell ill, and she did give me ice to put on my blazing hot head and allowed me to nap for an hour while my head tried to crack my skull open from the inside out. 

That’s about it for now. I’m still exhausted. But we’re one days worth of driving from Yellowstone. That’s exciting!

Vacation, finally

Featured photo: the 55′ Green Giant Statue in Blue Earth MN. 

Well. Last week was insane. We spent 69 hours in the office working on our proposal. Our longest day was 18 hours and the shortest was 12.  I don’t even want to talk about it except to say, Thank God that’s over… for me at least. 

I left, after 12 hours on Friday and drove 6.5 hours to my friends house. After a week of no sleep, then 4 hours of sleep we got on the road finally Saturday AM. 1/2 a day later than we wanted. We finally stopped randomly in Blue Earth MN. After stopping to see the Field of Dreams movie set in Iowa. Our camping site was odd, small 9 site spot in a fairground, but cozy. We reek like campfire smoke since we barely could get a fire going. It was so humid here condensation set on everything and the wood was damp. 

So far lots of laughs. Today we’re heading for the Bad Lands National Park then Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone. Super excited for all of it!

Especially after how insane work has been. 

Follow along for more pictures and details. 

Almost the work week: day 2/22

Featured photo: a bridge and sky

Today two of my brothers and their wives, my aunt and uncle, and three nephews came over for breakfast. In typical fashion my Dad kept the TV on as we all ate in their small apartment. There was no talking or enjoying each other’s company. Just watching TV in silence. 

Family can be awkward. 

I stayed until 2 pm then began the drive across the State to the office where we will be working on the proposal. I’m here 5 nights total. 

So far the hotel looks really nice. I’m actually tempted to use the pool. Usually traveling for work there are workers around. Being the only female and the boss I prefer not to be anywhere in my swim suit. But here there are only coworkers from the same company. All are married and not interested in staring at my breasts or (hopefully) not making inappropriate comments about my anatomy or brain or lifestyle. 

In my typical fashion I got to the hotel at 5. Decided to nap and woke up at 9:30 to take out my contacts. I then woke myself up, browsed online, started a text convo with a friend for 1 hour and now it’s 1 am. I’m still sleepy, I haven’t gotten any work done and my alarm will go off in 4 hours. Awesome. 

Good luck to me and the next 4 days. Vacation is hopefully starting in 5 days. 

Out of town: Day 1 of 22 

Featured photo: sunset from my parents town

I meant to leave town yesterday. I thought I’d be here for my parents 50th wedding anniversary surprise party. Yup. Fail bus. 

I’ve been exhausted. I’ve been trying to veg out, be a touch social and still get all my work done. I’ve been working 14 hour days. Working on the weekends and I’m still not prepared for this coming week. 

I thought I could go to the chiropractor and see my dentist for a check up then drive to my parents town 7 hours away on Friday. Easy peasey. 

Insert failbus. Like a huge tour bus of fail. You see, in order to leave from the dentist meant my work had to be done. It also meant on Thursday my house would need to be cleaned and I would be packed for a weekend at my parents, a week in the office downstate and 2 weeks of car camping/ possible backpacking in conditions from 40 degree mountains to 100 degree valleys.

Wanna know how I spent my Thursday night? Working until 11 pm at night. Yup. Awesome. 

Friday I was called to research more items, take pictures and measurements, send emails, answer phone calls etc. I decided by 4 pm I needed a nap then I could pack and drive. When I woke up at 6 pm I vetoed driving for fear of falling asleep. Suddenly it was 11 pm and I had time warped into the future somehow just by sitting on the couch. Still not packed, I went to bed.  Geared to wake up in 5 hours. 

Of course I laid in bed longer than I should, I debated on what to pack and how and finally crunch time came and went and in a hurricane action I threw stuff in bags, threw it in my car and without looking back I left. 3 hours later than I should have. 

I arrived 2 hours late to my parents party. So far on night one of 22 nights away from home, I already think I forgot to pack my glasses. MY GLASSSES! I’ve got at least one pair of extra contacts for the next 22 days and i do not have decent vision. I can’t drive, I can barely walk without glasses or contacts. Hopefully I threw them in my other bag and quickly searching in the dark I simply missed them. Otherwise I pray my dog sitter can express mail them to me. Ekk.  Not going to lie, I’m freaking out. 

Also, remember my sexting subcontractor? He texted me at 3 am again. I sent him a follow up text saying it was unfair he only texted after bar close and he needed to invite me out for a drink. He replied a few hours later, You’re right. I’ll make it up. 

We spoke several times on Wednesday and Thursday about work. I could hear him smiling on the other line, I enjoyed how he said Hello & Goodbye with my name. How we started just saying Hey when answering the phone and smiling. I’m smitten. Fully smitten with this boy. Now I have to wait 22 days before we’re even in the same town. 

22 days wondering if he’s sexting someone else at 3 am. If he remembers his promise to make it up to me or that I even exist. 

Arggg. He’s really really adorable. 

Some people say they met someone and instantly knew they were going to marry them. That they were going to pursue them until it happened. Sometimes I think that I think that about everyone. But I want to say that about this guy. He’s the bees knees. 

Sigh. It’s dreamy just thinking about him. 

Two weeks

Featured image: a calm Lake Superior looking innocent as a swimming pool

Oh Boy. Don’t think I’ve given up on you. I’ve thought about posting. I had thoughts to tell you. But I have been pulling 12-14 hour days for work. 

We’re developing a large project and everyone is out of time. I’m still out of time. In the past, well over a month, I’ve only missed 3 days of walking. Today is my 4th though I was active for work. Well, more than normal. 

Things have been exciting and crazy and drunken. I went to Chicago, saw Everclear, went to a German Fest, ran into an old HS friend. I went kayaking. It’s been 85 down to 52 degrees outside. There have been thunder and lighting storms, rain and full sunny days. Whoo, I mean so much!

But I’m still working. It’s 9 pm. I need to take the garbage out cuz I skipped it last week. I also need to do laundry and more work and dishes and pick up the house for the potential new dog sitter tomorrow. 

Oh yea, and more work. 

I have 2 more weeks before I leave for my epic vacation. But 1 more week before I leave my house to strangers for 3 weeks while they pet sit for me. 

Ekk. 

Ok. Back to work. I’ll be sure to try harder to take a minute to post. Especially while on my trip!

sleep schedule

Featured Image: The setting sun reflected on clouds on this soggy Memorial day.

Can you believe its the end of May? I’m getting closer to half way through my year of 37. I think about it every time I get my period – TMI maybe but it’s part of life so deal with it. I realize every time I get my period that its another month that I’ve been alone.

Thankfully, I have been keeping up with my walking. Last night I was playing board games with my friends until 11:30pm. By the time I got home and got ready it was just past midnight when I went on my walk. Technically did I  miss a day? Hell no! I got out at Midnight and still did my mile walk, then tonight at 9 pm I went on a 2.3 mile walk. So I don’t care what time it was – I still did my walks! Today was day 24 in a row.

Today was also a big milestone in me accomplishing goals. I told myself that I would finally vacuum and get out the carpet shampooer and clean all the damn carpets in this place. Memorial Day weekend was scheduled for rain Friday – Monday and it held true. There were weird periods of sunshine followed by downpours. I not only mowed the jungle of a yard during a dry sunny period, but I also cleaned the carpets and by default slightly organized/cleaned my bedroom, guest bedroom, office, and living room. I changed and washed all the bedsheets on my bed and my two guest beds. I washed the dog’s 2 blankets and his dog bed- yes he is spoiled. I emptied container after container and cleared out the carpet cleaner of heaps upon heaps of pet fur sucked from the carpet. It was glorious. Yea, this place was pretty dang gross.

I did think about it during my walks, that on a 3 day holiday weekend and I had planned to clean my house. I got out once, as a 5th wheel for dinner and board games with 2 couples. But at least I got to be social. I still feel good though, better that I take care of my house and get rid of the nagging voice in the back of my head that I have all these things to take care of. I can finally check a bunch off that list. It feels good.

Also I’m leaving in 3 weeks for 1 month. So it’ll be good to have a clean house while I’m gone and the animals can shed all over it for my return. Insert sarcastic tone and annoyed rolling eyes. But still – now I can at least be slightly proud that this place isn’t completely disgusting. It had this winter funk smell that just had to go. I replaced the furnace filter, opened all the windows, and hopefully all that gross fur lying about – well now that its gone – hopefully that will help!

Unfortunately I stayed up late every night and tonight is no different. I’m meeting a contractor and the city at 8 am for a walk through and I have tons of paper work I should do before hand but here it is almost 1 am and Im typing away here rather than sleeping. Sigh, I guess I should try to pass out – yet I’m wide awake.

Well… The other thing I can be happy about – after poor choices the rest of the weekend, today I started the day with a green pepper and spinach omelette, I had some cherries then finally I made BBQ chicken kebabs with green pepper and zucchini, and corn on the cob for a late lunch. Cleaning took most of the night and before I knew it, it was so late and I wasn’t hungry so I skipped dinner.

I know skipping dinner isn’t the best when you want to diet but I legit wasn’t hungry – I had some other snacks, like a yogurt and such. I’m hoping it’s all the fruit and veggies that filled me up but I think just being super busy and a nod to my ever fluctuating hormones helped.

Here’s to a new week, with new challenges – this Friday I’m leaving for Chicago. Driving down for a concert Friday night – which means I need to go on my walk before I leave – early in the morning. Then on Saturday? Will I get it in? I’m staying with friends and going to a street fair – but it shouldn’t be too hard to get away and walk around the block a few times. Sunday I will be driving back. Wish me luck!

Day 21

Featured photo: sunset from yesterday taken from a bridge

I’ve been exhausted. Waking up early, staying up late, sitting through meetings and still walking everyday. 

I thought today was day 20, but it’s day 21. I started walking on May 6. 

Today I weighed myself. I’m 241 lbs. I was 247 and I’m on my period which usually adds a few lbs. 

I haven’t started a diet but I know I should. My hormones and stress have been crazy too. I’ve been cranky and short, over emotional and loud. 

But now the count up for ‘in a row workouts’ and count down for lbs. 

I see my friends. One after another they drop weight and get engaged. It’s not even a joke or elaboration. Legit they dropped weight and got engaged. And yea you’re not supposed to drop weight for a guy but fuck it. It’s a superficial world out there and in order to meet people, there has to be a level of attraction in order to start the conversation. So duck it. I’m gonna lose weight in order to get a man. 

Let’s get at it. 

Bonus post: happiness acquired 

Featured photo: a fountain shaped like a fire hydrant from the hotel

I really struggled today. I knew I would. 

I went to bed late and woke up early. I wore my glasses all day because one eye stung when I attempted to put in my contact lenses. I got super cranky mid day followed by sleepy. 

I haven’t been to the gym since January. Even then, I think I went twice. There is something about going to the gym that I abhor. Something that’s off putting. When I’m there nothing bad happens. Usually I feel good when I’m there, but the thought of going is not pleasant. 

I knew I’d have trouble going to the hotel gym. Walking my dog is easy, you’re doing it for the dog. Half the effort is just holding on while he pulls me forward. Any judgement by strangers is subdued. She’s just walking her dog. 

But walking alone? At night? Speed walking? JUDGEMENT! Going to the gym? What about the way I run? Am I even doing this exercise correctly? JUDGEMENT!!

That’s what’s in my brain. That self doubt. The self loathing telling me I’m too fat, I’ll disgust everyone, I can’t run, I look awful. I’ll be sweating without doing anything. 

I waited until after 10 pm. Then I thought, the gym in the hotel prolly has limited hours, I’ve missed it. My streak has ended. Nope, no such luck. Gym is open. Ok. Get your workout clothes on. Ok, let me check my email, maybe a few solitaire games on my tablet. I’m sleepy maybe I’ll just lay down…

Yes, that all actually happened til I told myself, Day 17!

I got my gym shoes on. Grabbed my John Mayer nalgene full of water and headed to the gym. RELIEF! It was empty!

I got on the treadmill and started a slow walk. After a few minutes I turned it up to a jog. My shins started burning and after a minute and a half I was gasping for breath, sweaty, red faced with burning shins. I slowed to a slow stroll but I kept going. In the course of 30 minutes I repeated that 3 times. I don’t care that I only jogged for a total of 4-6 minutes. I Jogged for 4-6 Minutes! 

Screw the haters! Screw my ex who told me if I didn’t give it 100% all the time I might as well not do anything. That’s WRONG!  And also what got me to 250 lbs. but guess what! 17 days of walking! 17! With 4 minutes of jogging (at least). 

My lungs hurt a lil, my shins are tight, I’m burning up, but every day I’ll get better. And it felt GOOD! 🙂

Here I was talking about my self loathing in my other post, but now I found my joy! Yes, it was JUST 30 minutes of walking. It was JUST a few minutes of a slow jog. But I did it! I didn’t lay in the hotel room making excuses, I did it and I can and will feel proud. 

If I can keep this up, I can lose the weight. This might be my calling. I tried counting calories, I’ve tried diets, I tried 30 days of abs and squats , and none of them were bad but I couldn’t force it in myself. 

I started by walking my dog on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday I thought, this would be day 3. Repeat everyday and here we are, day 17. 

I guarantee if it weren’t for this daily counting game I probably would have never pushed myself. I’ve found something. I can’t cheat at it. I can’t lose it and say screw it I’ll wait for a new week. Nope, everyday. At least 30 min. 

I’ve got a couple friends who slimmed down. They run. They enjoy it. I tell myself every time, that won’t work. You don’t enjoy running. But I’m not running. I’m just walking. 

Baby Steps.