Last Day In New Orleans

Yesterday's Pictures:

Archie Manning

Archie Manning

Cute little old fashioned hat store

Today's Post:
Wednesday was our last day in New Orleans. My shuttle to the airport didn't leave until 12:50PM, so I had some time to explore in the morning. I went to one last talk in the morning and walked through the Hurricane Katrina memorial area by the convention center before heading back to the hotel.
I can't believe its been almost 6 years already

I had heard of this restaurant called Green Goddess which serves a bacon sundae. I like ice cream and I like bacon so I had to try it, so Aly and I went there for lunch (or in my case, dessert). It was quite delightful. It had the perfect balance of salty from the bacon and sweet from the ice cream. The sundae consisted of pecan/praline ice cream, caramel, whipped cream, and of course bacon.
I forgot to take a picture of it myself, but I found this one online
This plaque was on the outside of Green Goddess

The alley that the restaurant was quaint

After lunch, Aly had to head to the airport herself. I hung around the hotel until I had to leave. On my way to the airport, I received another call from a job I applied to asking if I could do a phone interview.

And don't get me started about the flights back. I've never been one to have flight issues, whereas my sister is cursed when it comes to flying. Whenever you hear about flights that have to do emergency landings because a passenger has gone crazy, or an engine has stalled, or something completely random like that, my sister is probably on that plane.

To start, because of the shuttle schedule, I had to be at the airport 2 1/2 hours before my plane was scheduled to leave. We boarded the plane at the scheduled time and as we were starting to taxi away from the gate, the pilot comes on the intercom and says, "Just so you know, we are taxi-ing to the run way, but we won't be taking off for another hour. We figured we'd be the first in line to take off instead of making you wait in the airport." Really? Who would rather sit in a stalled plane? No air conditioning. No room to move. You're not allowed to stand unless its an emergency. There's nothing to do. They wouldn't even let us use our electronics. I'm not sure who thought this was a good idea. Thank goodness I had a 3 hour layover in Atlanta, so it was just making the layover shorter.

So, I get to Atlanta and go to a TV to see what gate my flight to Boston will be at and if it was on time. Lo and behold, it was delayed 1 1/2 hours! My layover went from 3 hours to 2 hours to 3 1/2 hours. Are you kidding me? I'm not inventive enough to know what to do in an airport for that long. I found a Sam Adams bar and got myself a bratwurst and Sam Adams Cherry Wheat beer for dinner. It was delicious. I hadn't had their cherry wheat beer yet, but it was good and they even put cherries in the beer. The beer was so big though that it took me almost an hour to finish it (good, one hour down). But now I was drunk in the Atlanta airport and all I wanted to do was sleep, but I still had 2 1/2 hours until my flight was to leave. It was starting to look like "The Hangover: Atlanta Edition". I stopped at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and grabbed a coconut and caramel apple (it was my last day of vacay, give me a break) to help me sober up. I settled down by my gate to charge my phone, eat my apple and read my Nook only for them to announce a change in the gate location.

The rest of my stay Atlanta was me walking from gate to gate, reading my Nook briefly at each one. Fortunately, once my flight did leave, it was uneventful, but it was still a really long day.

Throwback Thursday:

Nola Day 3

Some pictures I forgot to post yesterday...

View of the Mississippi River from the River Walk

Finally, the day of my first interview. I had intended to get a workout in that morning at the hotel gym, but when I woke up, I was exhausted. I figured I would rather be well rested for my interview than get a workout in. Of course, then I rolled over and only fell asleep for another 15 minutes. Grrr...

My plan was to get dressed for the interview, go to a talk in the morning, grab some lunch at the convention center and then go to the interview. I had walked all the way over to the convention center only to realize I had forgotten my badge. So I ended up sorta getting a workout in, a 2 mile walk in the same hot conditions, but this time in a suit. I decided that instead of dealing with the heat again, I would just stick around the hotel until closer to the interview. I changed back into street clothes to allow my suit to dry. In the mean time, I went for a walk down Royal St. and went into a bunch of boutique and antique shops. I found this really cute millinery called Fleur de Paris. Now I really want a fascinator. At the end of my walk, I stopped at Cafe du Monde and got some more beignets (<-- addict) before heading back to the hotel to get ready for the interview.

The interview went well. It was a two part interview. I felt the first part I was a little shaky on. I guess I had to shake off some of the rust after not having done an interview in 2 1/2 years. They also asked one of the questions a couple of times over, so I wasn't sure if my answer wasn't clear or "right". I think that was the part that threw me off the most.

I was hungry after the interview, so I grabbed a small bowl of gumbo afterwards. Aly met up with me at the dining area and we went to listen to Archie Manning give the keynote speech. Yes, you thought right. He is Peyton and Eli's dad. You know you're young and naive when you have no clue who Archie Manning is beyond Peyton and Eli's dad. I had gone to one other keynote speech at a past national athletic training conference. The other speaker obviously had no clue what athletic trainers were as she kept referring to what we do as personal training. She thought we were all about giving people workouts and keeping them in shape. Not quite. Archie Manning is a former NFL player himself, so at least he knew what an athletic trainer was through that. But in addition, he also did his research and quoted things from NATA's website about what an athletic trainer is. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone did their research? It doesn't take longer than 5 minutes to even get the general idea of something. Plus you look smarter if you can say "Well this study/site says..." opposed to "I think this...". *stepping off my soapbox*

That night, Aly and I went to Buckeye Bash which is a party for Ohio State alumni and friends. It was nice seeing old friends again and meeting new ones. It was also nice to have more free drinks and food. I tried a mint julep for the first time. I have been really wanting to try one, but I'm not a huge fan of whiskey. I figured while its free is a good time to try one. Worst case scenario, I don't like it and I'm not out any money. The verdict is that I enjoyed it, but I probably won't get it all the time. Its one of those drinks you would really have to be in the mood for. It is strong in every way. It contains mint, whiskey/bourbon, and sugar (or a simple syrup). It was very minty, very alcoholic, and very sweet. It is definitely more of a sipping drink, than a "I'm going to drink a bunch of these and get smashed" kinda drink. Not that I get drunk ever ;)

The appetizers were pretty much your standard cheese and crackers. They did have some pulled pork sliders, but there was only enough for everyone to have one. So afterwards, Aly and I grabbed some dinner and went back to the hotel. She wanted to go out to Bourbon Street. I was tired, but I was gonna go until she said, "I want to go, but I want to hang out in the hotel and rest an hour or so". This was at 11PM. I said, "Ok, but I can't promise I'll still want to go in an hour. I'm already exhausted." She was fine with that, so we turned the TV on. Before I knew it, she was fast asleep, so I turned the TV off and went to bed myself. A couple minutes later, Aly rolls over and says, "So does this mean you're not going out anymore tonight?" Me: "Yup. Too tired." Aly: "Ok" and rolls over and falls back to sleep. I'm not even going to begin to fool myself into thinking that you can honestly take a one hour nap at 11PM without just sleeping the whole night.

Note: I have more pictures, but my picture uploading tool is not working. I hope to have them posted tomorrow.

Western Wednesday:
I heard this oldie, but goodie on the radio yesterday.

Nola Day 2

I had to get up early on Monday to go to a talk at the conference. The conference of which I speak is the National Athletic Training Association conference. I was at the convention center until about 11AM. I was planning on meeting up with Aly then for lunch around the convention center, but then I received a text from her saying she just woke up. So I headed back to meet up with her and we just had some Subway for lunch. They actually have seafood subs, so of course I had to indulge. We went back to the convention center afterwards for one more talk at to peruse the show floor.

During that time, I had received a voicemail from one of the jobs that I applied to saying that they wanted to interview me the next day (they were also in town for the conference). Finally! My first interview! Maybe now more people will start calling, because they're jealous and they know they really want me too.

That night, I attended the Boston University Alumni and Friends Party (yay for being both!). They had some New Orleans style appetizers like gator bites, buffalo wings and crab cakes. There was also free booze, but due to my impending interview, I stuck to two hurricanes. It was great seeing everybody again and meeting new people. I got back to the hotel around 10:30 that night to make sure I got my beauty sleep. While I was at my party, Aly was at her Texas State party. She invited me to come out with them after I left my party, but I explained to her that I didn't want to make a bad first impression by showing up to the interview hungover. She ended up staying out until 1AM. She's definitely my drunk half. Everyone thinks we are twins, but we're not even related.

Old picture...from my 22nd birthday
On a non-NOLA related note, the hubby and I started packing already. Our lease ends at the end of July, but with most of my potential jobs starting Aug. 1, we will likely move earlier. We want to get as much stuff packed as possible due to the unknown moving date. It never ceases to amaze me how you don't think you have much until you start packing it all and then all of a sudden its like "Where did all this crap come from?" We've also figured out a better way to go about moving too. As you all know, we live in Boston. When we first moved here, we had to park the moving truck in a meter spot (actually two spots) and the police told us that even though we were present with the truck all day and were actively moving stuff, we still had to feed both meters all day. It was a pain in the ass and expensive. Plus, we didn't want our belongings to be stolen, so we had one person stay with the truck at all times. It made for a really long day. One person would take a couple trips in, then the next person would go. Now that we have a storage space, it will be much easier. We are going to take as much stuff over to storage in the time leading up to the move. This way, we can drive the moving truck into the secured storage area and not worry about things being stolen. And even if one person does stay with the truck at all times, they have huge rolling carts, so even small people such as myself can move a lot in one trip.

Toss Up Tuesday:
I haven't heard this song in a while, but now I've heard it three times in one week. My parents were huge Eric Clapton fans when I was growing up, so I always feel a sense of nostalgia listening to them. And he has a house in a suburb of Columbus, OH. He's pretty much the best.
It wouldn't let me embed, but here's the link!

New Orleans Day 1

Thanks so much for all of your support. I think I'm finally starting to feel better about it. I ran 9 miles on Saturday, so it felt good to be training again and I think that is helping as well.

My computer has been having battery problems, so the battery was about to die before I could talk about my nutrition for the race. Here's just a quick run down as I would much rather talk New Orleans (obvi!):

Bagel with PB 3hr before, 20oz Gatorade 1hr before (was supposed to be 30min before, but then the race kept getting pushed back)

Honey Stinger waffle

2 20oz bottles of Gatorade
2 20oz bottles of Heed
1/2 20oz bottle of water
3 Gu's
3 Honey Stinger Waffles

1 Gu
Supposed aid station right outside of transition was not there, so no agua to wash it down with

There was an aid station at each mile. I alternated what I would do at each station. I would do 2 cups of Heed at one and then 2 cups of water and a Gu or some Chomps at the next. I also took advantage of the ice they were handing out to cool my body down with.

1 IV
1 Wendy's Frosty

Finally, New Orleans!! Just a note, I have been to New Orleans once before, and pretty recently too, so I didn't do very much picture taking as I already have a bunch from my last trip. I was also there for a conference this time, so pictures wouldn't have been as exciting anyways. I'll put in the few pictures I have over the next couple of days, and then supplement with old pictures or Google pictures.

So I flew out Sunday morning. My boarding pass said that I was to leave at 10:30AM and arrive at 1PM. Not too bad. A 2 1/2 hour flight. I get on the plane and the pilot says that the approximate travel time is 3 1/2 hours. Crap. Forgot about the time change. Good thing I brought my Nook. Although, Pride & Prejudice is quite possibly the most boring book I've ever read and it doesn't end.

My friend, Aly, from undergrad and I decided to share a hotel room together and it just so happened that our flights got in around the same time. Her's was a little later than mine and she had checked luggage, so I enjoyed my first beignets of the trip while waiting for her.
These things are sooooo deadly
We took a taxi to the hotel to check in before doing some damage on Bourbon Street. We stayed at the Iberville Suites, which was only a block off of Canal Street and Bourbon Street (for those of you who sorta know your way around Nola). 

While we were still sober, we walked the mile over to the convention center to pick up our registration materials for the conference. Let me tell you, normally, walking 1 mile is NBD (no big deal), especially considering I run more than that 4 days a week, but it was HOT! And HUMID! The feels like temperature during the day never got below 100F until Wednesday, but that was only because it was cloudy...and the feels like temperature was still high 90's. It didn't even cool down that much at night. We would pray for even just a small breeze. I don't know how people live down there...especially fellow runners and triathletes. 

We dropped our stuff off back at the hotel and then went to Bourbon Street to look for some dinner. I got a bowl of gumbo and sweet potato fries and Aly got chicken fingers. She's what I would call a safe eater. She doesn't venture outside of her comfort zone very much, and her comfort zone is chicken tenders/nuggets. I couldn't even get her to try a beignet. Seriously, who doesn't like beignets?

After dinner we grabbed some hand grenades before checking out the scene on Bourbon Street.
Also very deadly...and over priced
If you've never been to New Orleans, there is no open container law. You can walk down the street sipping your bevi of choice, no problem. So the places that do sell drinks are more like walk up bars or drink stands. Just buy and go. We bought the hand grenades from a very jolly fellow. But I guess if your job consists of large amounts of alcohol and seeing topless women daily, I think any guy would be jolly doing it. Although, aside from the alarmingly large number of homeless people in New Orleans, the locals as a whole are very friendly. Its a nice change of pace from the Massholes in Boston. And not that the homeless aren't friendly either, but you can't even breath without being asked for money.

After walking up and down Bourbon Street a couple of times (and finally finishing our hand grenades), we went back to the hotel. You know its bad when bar employees starting yelling at you, "Hey, I've seen you walk by three times now. Come in and ride the mechanical bull!" That's when you know its time to call it a night.

Mellow Monday:
Ignore the donations stuff...

Race Report: Patriot Half Ironman 2011

Sorry, followers, for not posting my race report sooner. The past couple of days have been a whirlwind. I had the race on Saturday and then had a quick turn around and left for a conference in New Orleans Sunday morning. I didn't get back until 2AM Thursday morning, so I spent a good bit of yesterday sleeping and allowing my liver to recover. I haven't even unpacked yet.

To be honest, I thought about just skipping this race report. I have been so frustrated with most of my results in this race that I just want to forget it. I felt like I did everything right and it turned out worse than expected.

I hate reading about what other people eat and when before during and after races. I feel like its all the same after a while, but somebody must be interested or they wouldn't blog about it. I'm skipping my nutrition entirely now and putting it into a separate nutrition section for those interested.

We arrived to the race 1 1/2 hours before the race was scheduled to start. Due to the tardiness of others, we ended up arriving 2 hours before it actually started. We went through the usual motions of setting up our transition area and spent our spare time talking to our Wheelworks Multisport teammates. The poor guy next to me seemed to be doing his first triathlon (or at least first half). He had stepped away for a moment (bathroom maybe?) and we heard a loud "PFFFFT" characteristic of a tire losing air. Everyone in the area quickly checked their own tires and we deduced that the new guy was the one who suffered the flat. We told him what happened when he returned and he fortunately had enough time to get it fixed by the bike mechanics.

This is the only part of the race that I am happy about. I started the swim like every other swim...all nervous and shivery. It took me a minute or so to get my breathing under control once the race started. They said the water was 70F which would make it warmer by about 5F than where we usually do our OWS, but Ben agreed with me that it was definitely colder, not warmer.

The water was calm overall, except for the few times that the "speedboat" swimmers sped by. This was the first race that I have ever been dunked in. The first time wasn't so much dunking as they pushed off of me and I stopped having forward motion. The second time, the girl literal put her hand on the back of my head and pushed down. I'm thankful for learning how to swim in the ocean. If you can keep your head above water sufficiently long enough then, you can pretty much handle anything. I took a surfing lesson once and the teacher said, "If you can hold your breath for 10 seconds, you can surf." I think the same thing could be said about swimming in a triathlon.

Time - 48:31 
Timberman - 57:12
Improvement of 8:41 - I would have to attribute a good bit of this to my teammate Anne Traer who helped us with proper swimming form. I think it has really helped a lot.

Nothing really exciting happened here. Dried off my feet, put on my shoes (I still don't have bike shoes), sprayed on some sunscreen, threw on my helmet, etc. etc. I must comment on how long the run in from the swim and the bike out were. It really tacked on a lot of T1 time.

Time - 4:11
Timberman - 5:56
Improvement of 1:45

The bike was a 2 loop course. It was a little bit more hilly than expected (I keep forgetting, as a Midwesterner, to not listen to New Englanders when they say that a course is "flat"or "rolling"). As I described to Ben, the first half had more hills, but they were pretty small and easy. The second half had fewer hills, but they were more challenging.

I don't know about anyone else, but I think the positioning of the aid stations on the bike course were oddly placed. One was at 11/39mi which was fine, but the other was at 26/54mi. It was kinda weird going past an aid station with only two miles left on the bike. I feel like it could have been placed maybe a few miles earlier.

I already knew for quite some time that my bike time wasn't going to be anywhere near where I thought it would be, but with 9 miles left on the bike, to add insult to injury, I get a flat. I was getting ready to change it myself (I've only changed a flat once, and with assistance from the hubby and without the pressure of being in a race) when the bike mechanic van drove by and asked if I needed help. What perfect timing? I told them I needed help with a flat, figuring that they could probably do it twice as fast as me. From there, the bike was pretty uneventful other than the fact that the race was turning into an oven. Even the formerly cool breeze was now blowing hot air. So much for a predicted high of 75F. It ended up being 90F during the race.

Random note, I tried to pee on my bike, but failed. I can't move my legs and pee at the same time, and the downhills weren't long enough to start peeing. I had to pop a squat behind a tree twice.

Time - 3:55:29
Timberman- 3:54:32
Slower by 57 seconds...would have been faster by seconds if it weren't for the flat :(

Nothing exciting here either. Just dropped off my bike stuff and left.

Time - 3:22
Timberman - 6:05
Improvement by 2:43...I'm not sure what I was doing at Timberman, but I think I was peeing.

As I left for the run, a bunch of people had already finished. They were saying that it was a flat and shady course, so I should be fine. Turns out, those people were from New England as well. It was flatter than the bike course by a little bit, so I'll give them that. Also, by this time it was about noon, so the sun was straight up in the sky and the trees were providing zero shade.

There was an aid station at each mile, so I made sure to stop at each one. The first three miles went by fast. After that, I had to start mixing up walking and running just to stay coolish. I had made a little run/walk group with a couple of other participants and we talked along the way. I got to the point where I could walk the rest of the way and still finish if I had to do that, but obviously I wanted to finish faster than that, so I kept up the run/walk. In between miles 6 and 7, I started having issues with my heart palpitations. I have had issues in the past and this past winter had a complete work-up to make sure it was nothing serious. They didn't find anything other than premature atrial contractions, which they said was benign and wasn't occurring while my palpitations were, so they didn't think they were causing the palpitations. In the past, they only occurred when I was lying down, so the fact that they were occurring with activity was kinda scary. Plus, they didn't stop, so I notified the people at the aid station at mile 7 that I was having issues. It was a tough decision. I really wanted to finish, and aside from the heart palpitations, I felt good enough to finish. But I wanted to be safe instead of sorry. I didn't want to pass out like half way between aid stations and no one would even know.

The ambulance took me to the hospital and I called Ben to let him know. I wasn't sure if he had finished or had dropped out, but I figured I could leave him a message if he was still racing. Turned out he had a fiasco of his own that prevented him from finishing, so he was able to pack up our belongings and met me at the hospital. They did an EKG, blood work, and listened to my heart and found nothing. They hooked me up to an IV and I actually started to feel better. I didn't think I was even feeling bad until the IV's effects hit me. The doctor said that the palpitations were likely due to the heat and dehydration. Like any other muscle, it can cramp or spasm with dehydration and that's likely what it was doing.

Knowing what I know now, I wish I had finished the race. I felt good as new when I left the hospital (other than still feeling a bit toasty) and wanted to go finish the race then. During the days following, I didn't have any muscle soreness whatsoever. I was kinda expecting the duck waddle that I had going on for like a week after Timberman. This tells me two things. One, I probably could have pushed myself a little bit harder. Two, I was definitely a lot more trained for this race than Timberman. I don't think the lack of soreness has anything to do with not finishing. I don't think running six more miles would have made me that excruciatingly sore.

Obviously, I'm frustrated because I feel like I could have and should have finished. I know, its better to be safe and get stuff like that checked out, but it sucks knowing that it was nothing and that I could have finished.

Also, all the crazies are at the ER and I would prefer not to go back. There was a guy there who was in a motorcycle accident. I could see him across the hall in a cervical collar. I could only see him from the neck up and he was screaming and yelling and throwing up. Of course, one would imagine what had happened below the neck that was causing him so much pain. His wife or girlfriend was there with him and he kept yelling to her, "I'm so sorry. Don't leave me. I'm so scared." And she would just respond with, "Just relax. You're making yourself sick." Eventually, they took him to get x-rays and put him in a different room and it was quiet for a while. Later, they took me to get x-rays (not sure why), but they wheeled me past the guy's new room (still groaning obnoxiously loud in his cervical collar) and I could get a good look at his whole body. He was moving his arms and legs, no obviously deformity other than he had really bad road rash. Maybe there was something else going on, but if he was screaming like that over road rash. Sheesh.


I think congratulations are in order for many people today.

First, I would like to congratulate everyone who was chosen to be a FitFluential Ambassador! I hope it gives you a lot of fun and new experiences. I didn't apply for two reasons. One, I didn't know about it until after applications were due. Two, I think my blog is too all over the place. Its not a dedicated fitness blog like a lot of the ones that were chosen. But in my defense, fitness is more than just being vegan and losing weight. You have to be fit to play hockey, soccer, baseball, etc. so maybe that fact that I talk about being a triathlete AND a huge sports fan might play in my favor.

Anyways, another HUGE congratulations to the BRUINS! If you don't already know, they won one of the most coveted (although, I'd argue THE most coveted) trophy in all of professional sports...the Stanley Cup! Its so crazy living in the town of the Stanley Cup champions. People were going crazy, screaming, blowing whistles, honking car horns, waving flags, etc. all over the place last night. I guess, it was even worse down by the Garden (where the Bruins play their home games).

In the Square by my apartment

The Square from a different view
I think in comparison to what it could have been, the riots were rather tame.

This morning, the local TV stations showed the plane landing and the buses driving back to the Garden from the airport. And of course they arrived to the welcome of many cheering fans. It just makes me want to be a Stanley Cup winning ATC even more.

I've never been to a championship parade either, so here's to hoping its tomorrow morning (riiiight) so I can go. I have the race Saturday and am out of town for my conference Sunday through Wednesday.

Throwback Thursday:

Social Media, Pt. 2

Limited Twitter quantity should not limit Twitter quality.

Perhaps you can relate to this. I have noticed that people tweet like 10 years old, even if they are double, triple or quadruple that age. I understand that there is a character limit, and I can forgive changing "be" to "b" or "to" to "2" in an effort to complete a thought in one tweet. However, throwing all communication skills and reasoning out the window is not acceptable. 

Here is a situation that I had a couple of days ago:

Someone had commented on whether or not V-neck t-shirts were in. I responded with: "V-necks are so in...thanks or no thanks to Jersey Shore". Obviously, I meant it as a joke and I in no way said I am either for or against Jersey Shore. But that didn't prevent me from having to endure the following conversation over Twitter. The conversation did not take place with the person who I originally tweeted, but rather with some rando. (Note: The conversation was a couple of days ago, so I couldn't bring up the verbatim conversation, but this is pretty close.)

Rando: Jersey Shore blows

Me: I agree

R: V-necks were popular before Jersey Shore

Me: Yes, they were, but they really became popular when the Jersey Shore guys started wearing them

R: The people on Jersey Shore are stupid

M: Agreed

R: I was wearing v-necks long before Jersey Shore. They have been big for a long time.

M: I think in some parts they may have been big, but it got big everywhere after Jersey Shore

R: People who wear v-necks because Jersey Shore people do are stupid

M: Yeah, the Jersey Shore people are fake right down to the spray tan...LOL

R: There is nothing cool about Jersey Shore

At this point, I just stopped responding as the conversation was clearly going nowhere. I felt like I was talking to a 10 year old who thought it would be cool to talk to and debate with an adult, especially considering the repeated use of "stupid" and no reasoning or support for their stance. Imagine my surprise when I found out it was an adult. 

Has the limited quantity of characters imposed on us by Twitter led to limited quality of speech? Granted, its not the best place to have a debate anyways, but there's nothing preventing someone from throwing in a "..." and finishing the thought in a second tweet. I think some people do feel limited, or maybe I'm just giving them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe, they are just "stupid".

Western Wednesday:
Kristin Chenoweth is just such a doll. She was amaze-balls on Live With Regis and Kelly this morning. She reminds me of myself...if I was 5 inches shorter, 30 lbs. lighter and could sing. 

Weekend Highlights

This last weekend was pretty uneventful. The hubby and I are now less than a week out from the Patriot Half Ironman, so we spent the past weekend tapering and relaxing at home. It has been in the 50's here in Boston (yes, its mid-June here too), so it hasn't been warm enough to do much outside.

I don't know if I ever said it here, but when we move away from Boston and buy me a car, I want to get a Mini Cooper. As of this past weekend, I had not driven one yet. We do have a Zip Car membership, so we rented a Mini Cooper for a couple of hours so I can drive it and see if I still like it. Of course, now I just love it even more.

The Mini I designed for myself on the Mini Cooper website

On Sunday, I did some last minute shopping for the conference that I am attending early next week. Actually, I had a $25 Gap gift card and $25 left over from graduation presents, so I went shopping at the Gap Outlet. I got a pair of black dress pants for the conference and a black pencil skirt for fun.

Now, I just need to find a top to wear with the skirt.

Toss Up Tuesday:

Social Media, Pt. 1

I have a pet peeve with some people on Twitter and Facebook. I can't stand when people like their own status or retweet their own tweet.

This came to a head yesterday when someone that I follow on Twitter (who is about to be unfollowed for a number of reasons, the least of which is this) retweeted a retweet of her tweet. The person who initially retweeted her tweet did not comment on the tweet at all, so its not like she was retweeting the comment. It was a literally retweet of a retweet of her tweet. So is she full of herself or just doesn't have social media etiquette?

I think people need to take an etiquette class or read an etiquette article when the sign up for a social media account before they are allowed to use it.

Or maybe I'm the only one who is annoyed by things like this.

I also can't stand when people like their own Facebook status. Of course you like your status, or you wouldn't have said it!

For example, status: "I am having a really good day"...status "liked". Well, yeah. It is when you dislike the fact that you are having a really good day that we want to know about it.

Or another example, status: "I can't wait to go on vacation this week"...status "liked". Is that supposed to differentiate this status from the time you said "I can't wait to go to the dentist" and didn't like it? I think we can all assume you want to go on vacation and don't want to go to the dentist. You shouldn't need to hit the "like" button.

Just a note, the "like"/retweet button of your status is for other people to use. NOT FOR YOU!

Mellow (Mumford) Monday:
"Oh, tell me know where was my fault, in loving you with my whole heart"

Song of the Week

As I said before, Celine Dion's "All Coming Back To Me Now" was a popular song with the team this year. They would sing it before games, after games, during games. The rendition that I will remember the most was when they sang it after our National Championship game loss. The coaches even got video of it and replayed it at the annual banquet. Everyone is red-eyed by that point and still crying, and yet they are singing it with just as much emotion and passion as they always do.

Scott Weighart, author of "Burn The Boats", wrote an article for Scarlet Daily Digest (a section of the website) about the team and the song. You can read it in its entirety here, but here are a few excerpts.

Senior captain, Holly Lorms, on why Celine Dion:

 Celine speaks to us. She's French-Canadian, and we have a couple of French-Canadians on our team. They brought it into the mix, and it caught on pretty quick. You don't play the song often--it's probably not on your iPod too often--but for whatever reason everyone knows the words. You start singing it, and you belt it, and you're terrible at singing... It just makes us laugh. Every time it comes on, we know it's us singing it and no other team can share that.
Later in the article:
For years to come, the Terrier women will hear that ballad on soft rock stations and think of a historic season, singing, "It's all coming back to me now." 
 Song of the Week:

Oh, Canada...

I don't frequently check to see how many hits my blog is getting, because frankly, I don't get that many. There will be five here, ten there, and a really slow Sunday of one, but nothing too substantial. I'm not sure what it was, but all of a sudden, I had a huge spike in hits yesterday. Can you guess how many?

No, not 20. Higher than that...

Nope, higher than 30...

Even higher than 40...

Yup, I had 52 new posts!

I am still in blogger shock. I may need an AED, but I'm working with the paper bag right now. That is, not the kind of paper bag that comes equipped with a 40 of beer, but rather the hyperventilatory kind, but I might drink a beer later depending on how the game goes.

As I was trying to determine the root reason for the sudden influx in viewership, I started by looking at where all of these readers were coming from. I have a few observations. First, between 2/3rds and 3/4ths of the readers were from the Great White North (aka Canada). Interesting. More specifically, of the Canadians, about half were from British Columbia. I think the Canucks fans are on to me.

Yup, definitely on to me

Fist Pump Friday:
Well, to wrap up "what the team listens to in the locker room" week, is a song that was popular last season ('09-'10). At the same time, its funny considering the topic of today's blog post. 

Sports Moments That Have Made Me Cry (For Better or Worse)

5. Last summer's World Cup pitted the US vs. Algeria in the round robin round. The US needed to win to advance to the elimination round. A tie or a loss would mean they would not advance. The game was going into stoppage time (in other words, it was almost over) with the game tied.

So much American pride!

4. When my girls lost the National Championship game this year. We had such a great season and not a whole lot to show for it (lost the Beanpot and our conference tournament), so we were really hoping to bring home a National Championship trophy. The locker room after the game was so quiet and emotional. The seniors gave farewell and "Thanks for helping us get here...Thanks for the experience" speeches, making it even more emotional. It was hard on me as well as it was my last year with the team too. There is no doubt in my mind that they will be competing for a National Championship again next year.

3. Last year, we were the underdogs in our conference tournament. We managed to make it to the championship game, only to face UConn, an opponent whom we not only lost every game to this season, but they weren't even close. It was also a must win game for us if we wanted to make it into the NCAA tournament.

Going into OT, the girls kept saying, "We're so tired. We just want this game to be over early. If we're going to lose, we just want it to be over already instead of dragging it out. But if we're going to win, we want to score early." The goal happened so fast that the coaches and I just turned at looked at each other like, "What? We won?". The whole experience was*no words*

2. Speaking of *no words*, I'm near tears every time I see this commercial. I think its because I feel I can really relate. I know what its like being a fan and seeing a team win and the excitement you get from that, but being a part of a team that wins is completely different. You have so much time, work and emotions invested in the team, and to see it all pay off gives you an emotion that just so hard to put into words.

1. And who doesn't cry whenever they see this...

I still get all nervous and excited whenever I watch the movie, even though I know what's going to happen. Again, another sports moment filled with so much American pride.

Sorry, this was really hockey based. I'm just a huge hockey fan, and its hard for me to not be proud and supportive of my girls.

Throwback Thursday:

Western Wednesday

Falling Skies Premier Party

As you all read yesterday, Ben and I went to the premier of Falling Skies. It is a SciFi TV show that is going to be on TNT starting June 19. We received an invite to go to the premier in Boston, as well as a cocktail hour with appetizers (can't spell hors d'oeuvres) before hand. One of the stars from the show was scheduled to be at each premier party with Moon Bloodgood being at ours. Ben really wanted Noah Wyle (the male star of the show) to be at our party so he could take a picture of me with him. But I want to call him out on his bluff. I think he was very happy to have Moon at ours.

Noah Wyle attended the premier party in Chicago we later found out. The party took place at Felt Nightclub in downtown Boston. It was complete with an open bar (beer and wine only) and, as I said before, appetizers including veggie spring rolls, mac 'n' cheese, flatbread pizza and more.

Just chillin'

Like I was saying yesterday, I was having a hard time deciding what to wear. I had never been to Felt before and had never been to a TV show premier. I didn't want to be way over or under dressed so I decided to go with something more middle of the road "glam".
The dress I wore for graduation
The night was running a little late. The premier was supposed to start at 7:15, but it hadn't started as of 8PM when we left. Obviously, we didn't want to be too too late for the game. Although, knowing what I know now, I probably would have stayed for the show. I didn't realize the game would be such a blowout. And the show was filmed in Toronto (one of my most favorite cities), but takes place in Boston (obviously, another one of my most favorite cities). I'll definitely watch the first episode when it premiers on TNT on June 19 at 9PM Eastern Time!

The extra time did allow for us to get pictures with and talk to Moon Bloodgood, however. She is such a sweetheart and I hope all celebs are this down to earth. She really knows her stuff when it comes to movies as well. She seems to be the type who really researches her role, the plot, the scene, etc. to make her part as accurate as possible. Ben mentioned to her that I had been taking some acting classes and she had some kind words to say about that as well. It just makes me want to be an actress that much more. Gotta keep doing work. Nothing in life is free or easy. If it was, everybody would be doing it.
She even said that she doesn't understand why when she takes pictures
she's always pressing down on the other person's shoulder.
I said, "Its not your fault I'm short."

Some pics of our walk home through Boston Common:

G. Washington in his Bruins jersey

A beautiful garden outside someone's hard to do in the city
Toss Up Tuesday:
Our "entering the ice" song when the band isn't there to play the school song...

Première Premiere (First Premier)

Tonight, the hubby and I will be going to some TV show premiere party that he was invited to. We're not sure what its all about or how we even got invited in the first place. Its something to the tune of there is a new SciFi TV show that is premiering tonight. So to celebrate the premiere, there are I believe four cities around the country that are having premiere parties, including Boston. It is being held in this upscale nightclub looking place in downtown. One of the actors or actresses from the show will be at the party. Then following the party, they'll obviously be watching the premiere of the show. I'm still deliberating on what I should wear. We're also unsure at this point how long we will stick around (Game 3 starts at 8!!!). I keep telling the hubby that I want to go to more events like this, whether it be for charity or premieres (although, I never thought we would actually be invited to one). And then it dawned on me while I was in the shower today that they call those people socialites. And the word socialite usually comes with a negative connotation like "Paris Hilton" or "Kim Kardashian". It sounds silly because I'm for the most part a tom boy, but I love getting "glammed" up and I love going to parties or events. That's my real reason for wanting to go. Plus, maybe we'll meet some new peeps there, just in time for us to move away from Boston :( . Oh well. Hopefully, wherever we move to next will be close enough to a big city for us to attend these kind of functions.

Can't wait to let you all know how it goes tomorrow!

Mellow Monday:
I'm doing a "hockey" theme this week, using songs that are frequently used in the BU women's ice hockey locker room. Cue Celine...(borderline mellow)

Two Weeks Till Patriot

I will be completing my last long, hard workout today before I begin my two week taper for the Patriot Half Ironman. As much as I'm looking forward to having a me/pseudo-relaxing weekend next weekend, I really despise tapers. I have improved so much over the past couple of months that I just want to keep going. I hate having to rein myself in. Sometimes, although I know better, I feel that toning down on my training will make me out of shape for the race. I also continue to eat like I do while doing big time training which means an increase in weight. I am still trying to lose my taper weight from Timberman. I realize that's the point, to build up glycogen stores, but it still makes my morning weigh ins sucky. Plus, the race itself blows you up like a water balloon. You get all the belly bloat from eating a lot of Gu and drinking a lot of Gatorade and water. You're muscles swell up from all of the stress and inflammation. Whenever I walked around after Timberman last year, I felt like a pregnant penguin. I know part of it is I just need to eat better outside of race day. I need to stop making excuses like, "I'm training for an Ironman, so I can have donuts daily." And it will all be worth it and forgotten when I cross that finish line.

Obviously, I hope to finish faster than Timberman, but I think I've finally narrowed down my goal time. My "I'm having a really good race" goal time is 6:30. My "more realistic" goal time is 6:45. And my "I'll be happy with this, but I really should be faster" time is 7 hours. My time from last year was 7:33, but that was with a lot less training and a much more hilly course. I feel I can easily knock off at least 30 minutes from my bike time just due to the lack of hills. We shall see. I'm definitely super excited and ready for the race. Bring it!

Song of the Week:
I just loooove this song. So sweet.

"How To Be Famous" Friday


Celebrities spend a good deal of their time away from home, so finding a hotel that feels like home is of utmost importance. Quality of hotels vary from cheap motels, more often used for drug deals and prostitution than family vacations... the fanciest of the fancy (ie celebrity/you worthy).
I personally do a lot of traveling for both work and leisure. I really look forward to that moment when I first open the door to my room. I'm pretty sure I get excessively excited, like a child opening a present at Christmas. What am I going to get? What will it look like? Will the bathroom be nice? One king bed or two queens? Will the beds be comfy? Will there be a fridge or microwave? What will the view be like?

I know its a little ridiculous. When I travel for leisure, either my hubby or I booked the room. Either way, we specified that we want one king and we picked out the hotel and room type. We even look at reviews and pictures of the hotel and its rooms to know what we are getting into ahead of time. Despite all of this, I still wait in eager anticipation when I put the key in the door for the first time. You never know when something exciting will happen like getting a smoking room when you asked for non...
Happened when we went to Vegas this January
Getting two queens when you asked for a king...
We have a tough time deciding which bed to sleep in
But its funny that you never accidentally get a better room.

Working as an athletic trainer for an ice hockey team, we do a lot of traveling. Thus, I am spending the night at a hotel at least once every other weekend during the season. Now, that I have been with the team two years, I have stayed at some of the same hotels multiple times. Or if we are traveling somewhere new, we usually stay at the same hotel chains (Hilton and Marriott). Either way, I know what to expect, but I get excited nonetheless. I also wonder who my roommate will be, even though its the same person every time. I keep thinking that maybe one day, they'll decide to throw a curve ball and mix it up a bit.
Frozen Four Hotel Room Door Decor
 I have stayed at many different hotels during my lifetime, and have been able to narrow down my favorite chains to two. One of them is the DoubleTree hotel chain. The hubby always gives me grief for my reason why, but I think a lot of people will agree with me. It is owned by the Hilton company so it is a Hilton quality hotel, but the winning feature is the warm cookies.

Me on a recent visit to a DoubleTree Hotel
My other favorite hotel chain is the Westin. I like sleeping in fluffy, cushy goodness, like it would feel to sleep in a cloud. The Westin beds and blankets epitomize cloud sleeping. I honestly have not had better sleep than when I slept in a Westin bed. It is one of the more expensive hotels, and the hubby values firmness over "cloudiness" when it comes to beds, so we don't stay there often. I feel like it is worth the money. Who needs sleeping meds when there is the Westin?
THE Cloud
Before I wrap up this post with some personal pictures of other nice hotels I have stayed at, what do you look for in a hotel? What are some nice or unique hotels that you have stayed at and what made them so?
Cute London hotel bathroom

London again

Tea time at London hotel

View from Paris hotel

Our elegant Parisian room

View from Mirage in Vegas

Also from Mirage

George in our hot tub in New York, New York (hotel in Vegas)
Fist Pump Friday:
Appropriate to the post...
(Warning: Adult language)