Author Archives: modernation

4th of Julys Past

Happy 4th of July! Do you have annual 4th of July traditions? Growing up we always knew we were going to our family friends’ house for pool, BBQ and fireworks. We knew exactly what dish every family brought and even what music was going to be played during the fireworks show. As we got older and more competitive in sports, we were often traveling for tournaments during 4th of July and that tradition went away.

Over the years, Aaron and I have created our own 4th of July traditions. Let’s look back at 4th of Julys from the past since the blog was born. One of my favorite things about having a blog is being able to easily look back at what you were doing in a particular moment in time.

2009

We still lived in San Diego and Aaron had to work during the day. I whipped up some Sangria and hung out with friends before Aaron met up so we could go watch fireworks at the bay together.

2010

In 2010 we were living in Sacramento. I started off the day with the free 4th of July 5 miler race that takes place in our neighborhood.

And to reward me for a good race, Aaron made mimosas and breakfast before went to BBQ with friends and family and watch fireworks from the park near out house.

2011

Last year, Aaron and I started a new tradition of camping for the 4th. We decided just a few days before the holiday to go camping for the weekend – just the 2 of us (3 with Cash). We didn’t have a large selection of campsites that late in the game, but we rolled the dice and really lucked out. We had a great few days camping before coming back the afternoon of the 4th for our other tradition – walking to the park by our house for fireworks.

2012

This year were are kind of combining all our past traditions into one. Since the 4th is on a Wednesday, we are celebrating the actual holiday in town and then taking Thursday and Friday off to go camping. And we started the celebration last night with a BBQ and probably the best fireworks show I have ever seen.

image

And this morning I was excited to be able to once again participate in the 4th of July 5 miler.

image

Aaron whipped up some amazing gluten free pancakes and eggs and we sipped on mimosas while prepping for camping. Most people just bring hot dogs, chips, beer and marshmallows camping. But not us. Aaron hand-ground meat for blue cheese stuffed burgers and he is about to smoke turkey breasts for sandwiches. He even made two different flavored mayos for sandwiches. That is how we roll – we know how to camp!

This afternoon we are heading to a block party down the street and will then, of course, watch fireworks at the park.

In other news – check out these veggies from our garden!! I am so excited. Tomatoes, basil and zucchini. We will be bringing all this camping!

image

A Fun Week

Normally when you come back from vacation, the first week back is tough. It’s all about catching up on work and getting back to the daily grind. After we returned from Carmel, Aaron and I were able to mix all that real-world stuff with fun stuff as well.

We started with a mid-week cheap date night at Scandia Fun Center. Scandia has mini-golf, go karts, batting cages, bumper boats and an arcade. Almost a year ago, I purchased  a Living Social deal for two VIP wrist bands which included all you can play everything for only $19. It expires this week, so we decided to finally use it. Being competitive, Aaron and I placed a little bet based on the results of mini-golf, go karts and the arcade. The loser had to buy frozen yogurt on the way home. Aaron won, but we had a blast. And for less than $30 we had a great Wednesday night.

image

Friday afternoon I had a great meeting, so we celebrated with Happy Hour. This drink was to die for. Jalapeno vodka, fresh watermelon, lime and mint. So refreshing I had two!

image

Saturday we run a ton of errands, worked out and then in the evening attended a wedding of a dear family friend who I have known my whole life. It was a great wedding and fun to see lots of family and friends.

image

And to finish things off, we spend Sunday floating down the American River. We haven’t done a float for a couple years, and the weather was perfect. We were out there a little longer than anticipated, but had a blast floating with friends on the river. And Aaron had a smoked pork butt waiting for us at the end! Complete with coleslaw, and fresh corn on the cob!

Carmel is for Lovers…and Dogs

This weekend Aaron and I traveled to Carmel for our friends’ wedding and decided to stay an extra couple days. Neither of us had ever been to Carmel and we were excited to explore. My dear friend, Lisa, was marrying Alex and the festivities started off with the rehearsal on Friday. The rehearsal dinner was held at Rio Grill in Carmel and it was such a fun night. Great food, great company and lots of love for these two.

image

image

Aaron and Cash were not able to come down until Saturday, so I spent Friday night with the Bride at Carmel Valley Ranch. We got lots of sleep and woke up for a leisurely breakfast at the resort. Lisa and Alex’s puggle, Chesty was a little stir crazy in the morning, so I took him for a long walk around the property. It was so beautiful.

image

When Aaron and Cash arrived, we quickly drove to the beach and checked into our bed and breakfast – the Lamp Lighter Inn. What an adorable place. They are so friendly, allow dogs, have a nightly wine and cheese reception and are just a few blocks from the beach.

image

After a quick change of clothes, we were of to the wedding. Such a beautiful spot and wonderful ceremony. I read a poem by Roy Croft during the ceremony and I managed to not ruin the whole ceremony. :)

The next morning, Aaron and I woke up, enjoyed the continental breakfast at the Inn and then took Cash down to the beach for his first trip to the ocean. City Beach in Carmel is one of the most beautiful places I have seen. And they are completely dog-friendly. Off leash, even! So refreshing. We walked, Cash ran his butt off and played with so many different dogs. He was a happy camper.

image

image

After our walk, we headed back to the Lamp Lighter, rinsed Cash off in their outdoor shower, and relaxed in the sun in the courtyard. The rest of the morning and afternoon we spent walking around town with Cash. I cannot believe how dog friendly the entire city is. We were able to bring Cash everywhere – into restaurants, the cheese shop, retail stores. So much fun!

image

We went wine tasting, had oysters, margaritas – whatever stuck our fancy. We didn’t have to drive anywhere, which was so nice.  We made it back for the evening wine and cheese reception and then sat in the courtyard for our own little picnic happy hour.

image

Our trip to Carmel was perfect. We had so much fun and everyone in the city is so friendly. I was expecting much more attitude and snootiness because Carmel is an expensive town. I was pleasantly surprised with how laid back it was. We will definitely be back!

Traveling Takes a Toll

Being a creature of habit who thrives on routine, traveling takes a toll on my energy levels, training, diet and overall sanity. But I love traveling, so it is all worth it. The past couple weeks have been non-stop travel and have worn me out. But they have been super fun as well, so I thought I would recap.

Before I left on my trips, the first thing I packed was my goodie bags of gluten-free snacks. GF oats, KIND Bars, GF pretzels, almonds, individual packets of peanut butter. These rations saved my stomach and my mood a handful of times. They also saved some of my travel buddy’s as well.

image

The first stop was Palm Springs for a Bachelorette party. Lots of girl time, pool time and drink time ensued.

image

image

image

image

Less than 12 hours after returning from Palm Springs, it was off to Florida for a mix of work and fun. Right off the plane, we headed to Four Rivers Smokehouse for their famous BBQ. I managed to get one short run (2.5 miles) in while in Florida, but the late nights, heat and humidity made a second run just not possible.

image

Go Kart racing was fun and intense – 10 competitive people racing against each other can get hairy.

image

Mini golf at Disney World, on the other hand – not so intense. But equally as fun and hot!

image

And more pool time

image

And just a few hours after returning to Florida – it was off to San Diego to see friends.

image

I went to Balboa Park for a scenic 3 miler and it felt so nice to run in cooler temps.

image

image

Best menu innovation I have seen in a  long time – Roulette Wings. 9 regular hot wings – one really f-ing hot wing. You don’t know which is which. Aaron, our friend Joey and I played and Joey “won”. It got down to the last two wings and we were all so nervous. Joey took the wing like a man, but said it was definitely one of the hottest things he’s ever eaten. We loved the concept, though, and will implement our own version and future parties, for sure.

image

I also found the most amazing sunglasses in San Diego for $5. Fake Ray Bans with an attached mustache. They had different style stashes and they were a huge hit! The cigar is just for show.

image

image

We couldn’t go to San Diego without hitting up Ramone’s – Aaron’s favorite Mexican food spot in the world and the thing he might miss the most about living in San Diego.

image

image

And then the long drive back from San Diego, with a pit stop to visit Aaron’s gramma.

image

image

It sure is nice to be home – leaving really makes you appreciate what you have, doesn’t it?

Staying Healthy While Traveling

I am gearing up for some major traveling in the coming weeks and months. Starting Friday, I will be traveling 16 out of 18 days. WOW. I will be traveling for work and pleasure and am looking forward to most of the trips. But I am anxious about staying healthy, gluten free and not totally blow my half marathon training. But traveling does not have to mean you have to put aside health and fitness.

Here is what I do to try to stay healthy while traveling:

  • Come prepared: Don’t assume you will be able to find the healthy food you are looking for. I always come prepared with my go-to, travel friendly snacks. Some of my favorites are; KIND bars, almonds, brown rice cakes, Justin’s nut butters in individual packets, cut up vegetables, trail mix, dried fruit.
  • Stay hydrated: The whole no liquids thing has probably lead to the dehydration of countless passengers. I often find myself wanting to boycott the $4 bottles of water just to spit them. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Bring a reusable water bottle with you. All you have to do is empty it before going through security and then you can fill it up. My favorite is Water Bobble because the bottle has a built in filter so you can fill it up in your hotel room or a sink and not worry about the water tasting nasty. If you have it, drink some coconut water the day before and day of your trip. And grab some from a grocery or convenience store when you arrive.
  • Plan to exercise: If there is any chance you might be able to exercise on your trip, even if it is in your hotel room, pack your workout clothes. I will admit, there have been plenty of times where I have packed my workout clothes and not used them. But there are even more times when I have used them and so glad I had them. Look at your schedule and try to anticipate when you might have some time to workout. Running or walking is a great way to get to know a new city. Bring a workout DVD, or find workout videos online on sites like Body Rock.
  • Research: If you are traveling to a new destination, research your surroundings. Look up restaurants with healthy menus or options that meet your dietary needs, look up running trails close by, gyms that offer day passes, yoga studios, etc. If you are trying to find somewhere heathy to eat when you are already hungry, you will be more likely to settle on the fastest and easiest thing. Have a few options in your back pocket.
  • If you are staying in a hotel, ask for a mini fridge. I did this in Florida in January and it was a lifesaver. I stocked up at the grocery store for healthy snacks and things for breakfast, so I always knew I had something on hand.

See you on the other side! What are your healthy travel tips? 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 29 other followers