Back to School Eve

Well, my dear Summer Vacation,

you’ve come to an end.

Filled with all kinds of amazingness,

you brought me great joy and relaxation.

I vowed to savor every last second of this time off

and I’m happy to say that I met my goal.

I bid you farewell.

Until we meet again!

Disneyland was nothing but fabulous!

My boyfriend and I are similar in our traveling likes and dislikes,

which always makes our adventures that much better.

I’m sad to report I did not take pictures of all our

road trip surprises along the way down to Anaheim.

My favorite surprise I packed was a box of Disney Trivia cards

from the World of Disney Trivia game!

My boyfriend brought me a surprise of packs of baseball cards

in hopes to teach me a few new fun facts

about baseball. (Another new favorite summer love.)

Go Giants, by the way!

I’ve been to Disneyland a ton,

but there’s always something new to do.

And I always leave with things on my list for our next trip.

I’d have to say my favorite part was the

Mad T Party in California Adventure.

It’s basically an Alice in Wonderland  party, Tim Burton inspired.

Theres a House of Cards, themed drinks at a place called “Drink Me”

and even a band where Alice and the Mad Hatter sing!

Pretty much my cup of tea! (haha!)

Though as a kid I always loved Snow White,

Alice has really become one of my favorites!

Alas, the one thing on my list for our next trip has to be

finally trying one of those Dole Whips by the Tiki Room.

The lines are always long, but the treat looks so refreshing!

Don’t ask my why I haven’t taken the time to actually

stand in line and get one!

Next time!

All in all, another great Disney adventure!

Summer Farewell

What are these happy little bags for, you ask?

Well, tomorrow is the day we leave for our last vacation of the summer.

Disneyland!

These bags hold the contents of a road trip tradition.

I simply flipped two grocery bags inside out,

gave them a little Disney lovin’

and wha-lah!

This marks our 4th time going to Disneyland since we’ve started dating.

And every time we go, we always bring little surprises to open each hour on the road.

Well, this trip is going to be extra special because

we’re celebrating my boyfriend’s 30th birthday.

Stay tuned to see what’s inside!

I title this ‘Summer Farewell’

because this feels like it’s the end.

When we get back, there will only be a weekend and a day

left of my “Best Summer Ever” summer vacation.

I feel like it’s been a good one, and certainly lived up to the name

though I always have wishes of things I still want to do.

I will say that I feel that I’ve stuck to my bucket list

and been able to squeeze in some extra fun and adventures.

And so begins

my weeklong goodbye

to the best summer ever!

reality check

They say you learn something new every day…

Well, here are the things I learned while swimming in this gorgeous pool this afternoon:

1. I suck at freestyle!

Holy crap!  I honestly didn’t realize how hard this

swim stroke really is!  No joke – I made it 3/4 of the way across the pool before I

couldn’t bear to plant my face in the water and continue proper form.

Weak sauce!

Which led me to #2..

2. I’ve decided that swimmers do not get enough credit.

No, seriously, they don’t.  One of my summer bucket list items was to spend

a TON of time by the pool. (The one above in particular.)

And I am proud to say I have.

Though I cannot say that I have spent a lot of time in the pool

actually working on fitness and cross training like I should be.

Yowza.  Swimming kicks your butt!!!

Let’s just say I enjoyed a nap after my swim today.

A happy little shout out to any swimmers out there.  You’re amazing!

3. Injuries have a lot of highs and lows.  And because of that,

you have to have a good attitude.  Which is very difficult.

I will say that I am VERY lucky that my injury is not painful.

It’s just annoying and nagging.

And trust me, if it hurt, I’d be crying like a baby.

After all, I cry about being sick.

So I guess this is a good thing that I’m not crying.

Back to the point.  Today was a combination of highs and lows.

I had a major high while swimming (and getting my ass kicked…)

because swimming is shockingly fun!

I was panting like your dog on a hot summer day, but I was having fun!

But my freakin’ leg was obviously not happy with me afterwards.

I keep making vows that I’m “taking a break” when lows like this come around,

but honestly, I can never follow through.

So here is yet another pretend proclamation for now:

I’m taking a break from running until after Disneyland.

Which gives me about a week and half.

Ha!

We’ll see how long this lasts!

And with that thought…came #4

4. Don’t forget about your mantras, even if they are in a different context.

I have a few running mantras:

Warriors don’t quit.

and

Be strong!

I guess even though I’ve been having to take it easy,

I can’t give up on the above words.

I won’t give up.  And, I am strong.

I saw a really awesome quote on Pinterest today,

“Turn a setback into a comeback.”

LOVE THIS!

If ‘warriors don’t quit,’ they don’t let setbacks get in the way.

They find a way to thrive anyway.

So, the chin is up.  I forge on.

What’d you learn about yourself today?

Road Trip Diaries…Part 3

It’s been some time since I’ve continued telling the tale

of my Pacific Northwest Road Trip adventure.

Portland was such an unexpected delight.

A city filled with bridges,

I instantly fell in love with the vibe of this city.

We began our day in Portland at the Saturday Public Market

(though it was Sunday…hmmm?)

wandering and leisurely enjoying the tent vendors.

When I’m on vacation, I love to do what the locals do

and this was a perfect way to get a taste of what Portland is like.

wandering through the market

I bought a tshirt with this bridge on it.

Our exploring continued with a trip to VooDoo Donughts.

I wasn’t really sure what the hype was about this place

as I’m not one to get excited about doughnuts.

But this was a definite ‘must do’

based soley on the fact that the line was wrapped two times around the place.

I wanted to just say that I had been there.

VooDoo prides itself on its funky and creative donut toppings.

I peeked in the window to see donuts with Oreo cookie crumbles,

others with Fruit Loops, and alas, the VooDoo donught.

We weren’t planning on getting more than one donught,

as it was just for the experience.

So in that case, we opted for the VooDoo.

It must have been our lucky day. Our VooDoo doughnut was two-headed!

All our wandering of course made us hungry,

so we dined at Deschutes Brewery.

Beer? Yes please!

Table outside? Why, of course!

The burger was delicious, the beer satisfying.

After that meal, I was a very happy camper.

Ahhhh, but wait, there’s more to this dandy adventure in Portland.

The grand finale included a trip to Powells books.

Seriously, you don’t know what kind of heaven this place is until you’ve been inside.

No joke, 4 million books. Yes, you read that right.

4 million books!

3 stories of gloriousness.  (Is that even a word?)

We gave ourselves a half hour to roam, which obviously wasn’t enough time.

I felt panicked.  Where do I even begin?

I could have spent hours in there.  I felt lost, but yet so at home.

Shockingly all I bought was a Walking Dead graphic novel for my boyfriend,

but I vow that if I ever visit Portland again (which I know I will)

I will be spending way more than a half hour in that place.

Powells covers one entire city block, holds over 4 million books, and buys about 1,500 used books daily.

Portland, you were an unexpected, yet, pleasant surprise.

Hope to see you again soon!

my summer mottos

Having all this extra time to do anything and everything I want

feels like a life of perfection.

In a earlier post this summer, I wrote about being thankful.

I feel like this summer has had two common themes for me:

being thankful and being brave.

My summer mottos, if you will.

Yesterday I tried paddle boarding for the first time.

I knew I would love it, but I didn’t really have any idea how much.

We put our boards in at Negro Bar, which is a part of the American River.

As we traveled upstream, I found myself just taking it all in

remembering how much I loved the river, and how much I’ve missed it.

I grew up on this river.  Bike riding.  Rafting.  Skipping Rocks.

Some of my favorite memories with my family are on this river.

Especially with my dad.

And it’s been so long since I’ve actually spent a lot of time here.

I felt so lucky that these were my memories.  And I wanted them to be my reality again.

I had made a promise to myself that I would on my Summer Bucket List

but it’s crazy to me that it’s taken this long to actually do it.

After about a mile of paddling, we took a break on some rocks

just beyond the Rainbow Bridge.

I was already sweating from the heat, and the warm breeze wasn’t helping.

My friend challenged me to jump in, though she herself wasn’t looking so brave.

The water looked so appetizing, but I could already tell I’d be on my own on this one.

I teetered back and forth deciding, but finally

I just had one of those “what the hell moments.”

So I did it.  I was brave.

Ahhhhh, and it was so refreshing!  I was proud of my courage

to stand alone and just do something because I honestly wanted to

and didn’t have a single care of what anyone else thought of me.

It was awesome.

Be Brave and Be Thankful.

This really is the best summer ever!!!

So as part of my Summer Bucket List,

I made a goal to read one novel a week.

So far, so good!

This week I read Ultra Marathon Man.

I gotta say first that I have no intentions of ever running 100 miles.

And this book didn’t really fill me with inspiration to do so.

In fact, a marathon is good enough for me.

However, I’m really glad I read this book.

This guy is nuts!

He is adventure crazy, and seeks out the most challenging races he can find.

First he shares his experiences of running in the Western States 100,

leaving out no details of the pain, blisters, and deliriousness he endured.

Then he shares his story of attempting to complete another race in Death Valley,

where he collapsed and woke up to find himself in a hospital.

And what was his reaction?  “Why didn’t they let me finish?”

Not a normal response!

Later, he completes the first ever marathon in Antartica,

which was delayed by two weeks due to terrible weather conditions.

And finally, he chooses to run the Relay, from Calistoga to Santa Cruz.

No big deal.  Only that it’s an 199 mile race meant to be completed by teams of 12.

Yeah, he ran that whole race himself.

This man is nuts!

Why am I glad I read this book?  Well let me tell you.

If this man can run “crazy races,” as I like to call them, and survive,

then I can run 26.2 miles and be just fine.

Reading this book reminded me of the goal I’ve set for myself

as I undergo this training for my first marathon ever.

Be strong.

I wouldn’t call myself a super tough person.

I cry when I get sick.  I cry when I get hurt.  I’m a big baby!!

Not because I don’t feel good.  Because it prohibits me from doing things I love most.

Mostly running.

So, I’ve decided these next few months are going to be about

building strength – physically and mentally.

Ultra Marathon Man gave me a clear head, and a vision.

It’s going to hurt.  It’s going to be rough.

But honestly, the endgame is going to be so worth it

if I just shed my “babyness” and be tough.