Posts Tagged ‘travel’

miami definitely brings the heat

For some reason, whenever I come back from vacation in beautiful locations, NYC likes to greet me horrific weather.  Is this a sign?  Do I need to move south/west?  What is the universe trying to tell me?

But seriously.  Add this to the fact that I can’t seem to fall asleep before 3am when I’m in my apartment, but can fall asleep by midnight anywhere else, I’m beginning to think something is wrong.  That or I need to get a new apartment or stop working nights.  (Spoiler alert:  Both of those might be happening this fall!  Emphasis on the “might,” especially for the night shift thing.)

So yes, Sunday night I arrived back in NYC from Miami for Abbe’s bachelorette party, and it’s supposed to rain/storm Monday-Wednesday.  HOORAY.  But let’s backtrack and discuss Miami.  I was in Miami (left for a cruise out of there) once before in January 2009, right after I finished nursing school…and not too long after I started this blog!  Crazy times, people.  I will admit I was a little skeptical of going to Miami in July, as last time I was in Miami was in January and it was plenty hot then.  Let’s just say that Miami did not disappoint and the heat was most certainly raging.

Since this is (supposedly) a running blog, we can talk about that first.  On Friday morning, Abbe asked if we’d like to join her for a run.  Bojana was smart and said that she was heading to the beach while one of Abbe’s other friends, Katie, also said she’d like to join.  I don’t quite remember what time it was, but it was still in the morning (9?  10?), and we headed out to the beach.  The first part of the beach had pretty packed sand, so it wasn’t bad to run on.  Once it got a bit softer, we darted over to the boardwalk and eventually the sidewalk when the boardwalk area was under construction.  (Newsflash:  Half of South Beach is under construction, apparently.)  It was SO UNBELIEVEABLY HOT.  Some storefronts were opening up, and it was great to run past the AC when the doors were open.  The plan was to run four miles, but I had high hopes for adding on a little bit to make it five or maybe even six (getting crazy in here…I mean, it is Miami), but once we got back to the hotel after four miles, I called it quits.  I really have no idea how people in Miami run in this heat…if I ever lived there (which I’m 99% sure will never happen), I think I’d just give up running.

photo 3 (9) Boardwalk running.  It does look pretty.

photo 2 (15) And the beach view from the boardwalk.  Life could be worse.

Once we determined that we would be crazy to run the rest of the weekend (props to Claire for getting her 14 miles done on the treadmill), we spent the rest of the time on the beach, in the ocean, on the rooftop of our hotel, eating, or partaking in the night life.  Our hotel was right across the street from the beach (we stayed at the Betsy, highly recommended!) and we certainly took advantage of that.

Photo: Catching some rays! #miami #makeherabakerStolen beach picture.

Growing up in Chicago, I don’t have a ton of experience with the ocean, but Miami was fabulous.  It is hot on the beach, but the water is warm and lovely to float around in and jump over the waves.  It’s also pretty clear with soft sand, and I could have spent hours in there.  If I worked three 12 hour shifts in Miami, I’d spent the rest of the time floating in the ocean.  I’d also be the most tanned raisin known to man.

Side note:  Starbucks was on the way to the beach, and this is where I learned that no one in Miami knows how to spell “Susan.”  The hotel people put both “Susane” and “Susana” on my luggage tags, and Starbucks took it a bit further…

photo 3 (10) SOUSON!  With palm trees.

When we were done with the beach, we headed to the rooftop of the hotel for some cooler breezes and lovely views.  (You could also have coffee up there in the morning, which I certainly wouldn’t complain about if I had to do that every morning…)

photo 1 (13) Rooftop life.  Better than fire escape life, which is what I have now.

Otherwise, we spent our time eating.  We had tapas (Tapas and Tintos), Asian gatropub/tapas (Pubbelly), and Cantonese inspired/Asian fusion (Hakkasan).  I don’t know if I could pick a favorite because they were all so delicious…the benefit of having the guest of honor being a chef!  It was also great that we had a large group of lovely ladies so we got to try many different dishes at each place.  Check them out if you’re in Miami!

The evenings, of course, allowed us to enjoy the Miami nightlife where I learned that I am not suited for the Miami nightlife lifestyle, but it was fun for a couple evenings.  (Much like Vegas.)  But it was fun for everyone to get dressed up and head out!

Photo: Abbe's Bachelorette weekend in Miami!Abbe has wonderful friends.  (Seriously, they’re all awesome.)

And because this will be the one time in three years you see me in heels, I must give proof that I don’t always wear running shoes, Danskos, or flip flops:

photo 2 (16) Is that a tricep?  I can’t tell.

So that was Miami…and what happens in Miami stays in Miami, right?  (Newsflash:  Nothing that crazy happened, ha.)  But once I got back to NYC, it was back to business.  And by business I mean triathlon training because this half Ironman is coming up and I only ran and biked once last week.  Oops?

I thought I was going to end up heading to the gym because of the threat of rain, but luckily it was clear in the early afternoon, so I took my bike out for 25 miles of glory along the Hudson.  I’m learning that riding is much easier than running in the heat, as moving faster gives you a nice breeze, and I can carry plenty of water right on my bike with me.  Another bonus is that I loosened the tension on my right pedal, so it is now much, much easier to clip in and out of…which makes riding less stressful.  Life is good.

After a couple hours where I didn’t even bother showering or changing my clothes (I never said I was good at this double workout thing), I headed out for a run.  My legs felt a bit tired from the bike ride/general lack of activity the past weeks/maybe walking distances in heels, but my pace was about 7:45 so maybe it’s just the heat making me feel like a slug.  Then I took the coldest shower and it felt lovely.  Looking forward to a solid week of training this week!

And speaking of that, it appears that there’s a break in the rain that is resulting in flash flood alerts, so I’m off to the gym to get a swim in before work tonight!  (Back to the real world…sigh.)


07 2014

california road trip: san francisco to monterey

Now that I’ve headed back to work, I’m miss vacation and feel the need to buy lottery tickets until I win it big.  Since that probably won’t happen for awhile (or at least not in the next few days…), I can look back on vacation and wish that I traveled for a living.  Or at least had the guts to eat through my savings in the name of life experience.  Hmm….

Anyway, enough dreaming for now and time to talk about the rest of the California Baseball Road Trip.  Since we’ve already covered the baseball stadiums, we can talk about the road trip which might interest some of you more.  (Especially since Katie [high school friend!] and Caroline are both headed there soon!)

Day 1 of the road trip was one of the shortest drives we had, since we left from San Francisco and headed to Monterey to hit up the aquarium.  It’s about 125 miles and a 2.5 hour drive, so nothing too crazy.  We left our hotel, headed to the BART to get to the San Francisco airport which seemed like the best place to pick up a rental car…and it was!  We jumped on the road, and I immediately begged Eric to get off the highway so we (and by that, I mean I) could get some coffee.  We stopped a place called Happy Donut, grabbed some coffee and donuts, then hit the road for real.  (If I was a better blogger, I might have pictures of donuts for you, but I can’t imagine you don’t actually know what a donut looks like, so just use your imagination!)

We relied on Google Maps to get us everywhere, which is a reminder to make sure you have a phone charger in your car because that eats up your battery!  (We will also learn in the coming days that much of Hwy 1 doesn’t have service, oops?)  Anyway, we drove along, didn’t hit much traffic although Eric would jump in here to tell you how much he hates California drivers…I’m secretly convinced that Eric hates all drivers, but it’s just a theory of mine.  Eric did all the driving and I did all of the car dancing to my favorite playlists (aka Top 40 music).  I don’t think he fully appreciated the entertainment early on, but he came around.

Mainly, I think he was focused on the first destination of the trip…which was In n Out Burger.  When figuring out how to work at  least one stop to this burger joint into the trip, we had to do some research…and that research revealed a location that would appear right around lunch time on day one of the road trip, so that worked out nicely.  I’ve had Shake Shack a couple times since moving to NYC, but otherwise I couldn’t tell you the last time I had a fast food type burger…but In n Out isn’t quite like McDonald’s (or so they say!), and I will admit that it was delicious.  I don’t know if I would seek it out on my own, but that’s what Eric is for.  He also reminded me of the secret menu, so we got animal style burgers, and I ate obscene amounts of ketchup with my fries.

IMG_4920 I’ll admit it’s delicious.

With bellies full, we continued on our journey.  I think I mentioned this earlier, but I asked Eric if there was anything he wanted to do in California, and he didn’t say anything.  Then he realized that the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was basically on the route to Monterey.  Since he wants to be a race car driver when he grows up, we drove on the road around the race track so he could see cars go by.  Boys…

IMG_4930 It is worth noting that our rental car was a Mazda.  Zoom zoom!

IMG_4926 Race car things.

After Eric enjoyed his boy adventures, we finished the drive into Monterey with plans for the Monterey Aquarium, which both of us missed in our times there previously.  I’ve heard that the aquarium is a must see in Monterey.  I wouldn’t say my aquarium knowledge is that extensive, although I’ve been to a few before.  We visited on a Saturday, so the aquarium was full of families, and it’s a very family friendly place with lots of interactive activities and “feeling” tanks where you can touch sea cucumbers and urchins!  Although it was crowded, we were able to make our way through the exhibits…including lots of jellyfish.

And I think I was pretending to be a jelly fish…

We watched them feed the penguins, saw the sea otters, and learned about shark fishing.  After a few hours, we headed to the El Dorado Inn, which is not in the main area of Monterey, but a quick drive away.  We had dinner at a Mexican place nearby (nothing too noteworthy), and called it a night…a busy day for sure, and we had a long way to go on day two!

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06 2014