Category Archives: travel

Week 29 – Round 3

Size of Baby (per “What To Expect”) – Size of a head of cauliflower. Approximately 3 pounds.

Weight Gain – I hit the BIG 2-0 this week.  20 pounds that is.  Baby and belly are growing more each week!

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Movement – There is significant movement that can be seen by the outside eye without touching my belly.  At my doctor’s appointment this week, the doctor confirmed that the baby is head down but rolled over to my right side.

Sleep – Dare I say I am starting to feel better?  With that comes more sleep.  I went to see a sinus doctor on Wednesday.  He proceeded to scope through my nose and into my maxillary sinus (right beside your nose).  Completely uncomfortable.  I started my second round of a 10 day antibiotic to rid my body of the remnants of this sinus infection.

What I miss – An afternoon Diet Dr. Pepper.  I try not to drink diet soda while I am pregnant due to the caffeine and aspartame.  That said, every once in awhile I will sneak in a Sprite Zero.

Best Moments this Week – I passed my one hour glucose test with flying colors!  On top of that, the baby and mom had a good check up (her heart rate was in the 150s).  I am now seeing the doctor every two weeks.

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After taking all of Saturday off, I regained my strength for a trip down to Gastonia with the family to berry pick.  I was hesitant to go given the age of the girls and the hot temperatures.  However, the girls never cease to amaze me with their ability to jump right in to a new activity and the overcast skies kept us pretty cool.

IMG_5258We took bets in the car on the way there on how long we would make it before the girls wanted to go home.  My guess? 20 minutes.  My husband?  40 minutes.  We made it over an hour!  I am so happy that we decided to go.  My oldest daughter was on point.  She wanted to control her own basket, so she could independently fill it to the top with blackberries and strawberries.  She was so proud of herself (and so was I!).

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My youngest was engaged for about a half hour before she decided to take a snack break in the double jogger.  She didn’t move the rest of the time.  She didn’t cry either though, so I can’t complain.  See pictures of our crop above.  If I start to look like a berry by the end of the week, you know why.

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We stopped at Tony’s Ice Cream in downtown Gastonia on the way back to the interstate. As the name implies, we had ice cream.  This hole in the wall has been a local favorite for as long as I have lived in Charlotte.  It was packed.  Line out the door.  Nowhere to sit.  It was also cheap and well worth the wait.

Looking forward to – Meeting our baby girl!  The girls helped me unpack newborn and three month clothes this week.  We washed them and folded them before loading them in the baby’s dresser.  The girls each took one of our two bouncy seats to their room to put their own baby dolls in.

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Cravings – Food.  I feel like I eat/graze all day.

Symptoms – Fatigue!  I woke up Saturday completely exhausted.  I navigated through getting the kids out of bed and helping them eat breakfast until my husband got home from his workout.  I then went back to bed until 11:30AM (even cancelling a training session to get rest).  If you know me, this is so not like me.  I didn’t leave the house the rest of the day.  The rest did my body good.  I was feeling like my old pregnant self again by Sunday.

Workouts – I am slowing down for several reasons:  I’m in the home stretch, I’m bigger and I’m peaking the hump of being sick.  You will notice I skipped my Thursday run group this week and I did not work out at all on Saturday.

  • Monday – I taught my regularly schedule 6:30AM class and came back to teach a 10:45 AM Memorial Day class.
  • Tuesday – Strength work in the garage.  I have no problem backing off cardio, but I do try to fit in two strength training days a week to maintain basic energy to stay mobile and fit for birth.
    • 2 Rounds
      • Run 800m
      • Side Extension with Band x 15 each side
      • Dead Hang Max
      • Deadlift x 15
    • 5 Rounds
      • 5 Pull Ups
      • 10 Pushups
      • 15 Body Weight Squats
    • 2 Rounds
      • Side Crunch Bosu x 25
      • Bicep Curls x 20
      • Heavy KB carry x 25 yards
      • Bulgarian Squat x 15 each
  • Wednesday – After sleeping in, I opted to go to Flywheel for an 11:45 class with Robert.  Some days even a trainer needs someone to motivate them.  Great ride in which I didn’t push too hard.  Total power around 250.
  • Thursday – I took a WALK around the block for 30 minutes before heading to Flywheel to teach my 3:30PM class that afternoon.
  • Friday – Strength work in the garage – see workout below.
    • 2 Rounds
      • Run 400m
      • Single Arm Squat to Overhead Press x 10 each
      • Scapular Pull x 15
      • Single Leg Miniband Hip Hinge x 15 each
    • 3 Rounds
      • Kettlebell Swing x 15
      • Backwards Lunge x 20 each
      • Pushup Roll Out  x 8 each
      • Bicep Curl x 20
    • 2 Rounds
      • Slam Ball x 15
      • Pull Up x 10
      • Squat with Miniband x 25
      • Tricep Extension x 25
  • Saturday – Much needed REST DAY!
  • Sunday – I taught my regularly scheduled 7:30AM class.

 

Week 27 – Round 3

Size of Baby (per “What To Expect”) – Size of an eggplant. Approximately two and a quarter pounds.

Weight Gain – 18 pounds.  Despite taking several days off of exercise and over indulging at times over vacation, my weight stayed steady.  My guess is that I offset lost muscle volume with weight gain in other areas.  We will see once I start strength work again this week.

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Movement – The baby is definitely kicking.  I came back from vacation with a serious sinus infection.  I’m talking severe pain on the left side of my face.  While the pain didn’t seem to affect our vacation, I must have exerted a lot of energy pushing through the discomfort.  I was completely exhausted by the time we pulled into the driveway on Saturday. I slept close to 13 hours that night.  What does this have to do with movement? My low activity level over the weekend allowed me to really feel how much the baby is moving.

Sleep – With the pain on the side of my face, sleeping has been an issue.  Thankfully, it has subsided some at night making sleep a little easier.

What I miss – Not being on medicine?  Not feeling pain in my face?  Completely unrelated to pregnancy.  I have to say it was hard to miss anything this week.  We had such an incredible trip with the family.

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Best Moments this Week – As I mentioned above, vacation could not have gone better.  I even told my husband this trip ranked as one of our best ever (maybe even better than some of the individual trips that we have taken alone).  The amount of unconditional love that these kids share for each other and their family is so warming.

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We rented a home at Wild Dunes on Isle of Palms in South Carolina for 5 days, 4 nights.  While we knew the home would be somewhat dated, we were unprepared for how outdated it actually ended up being.  Upon pulling up to the house, we found the garage door was so rusted out that you couldn’t even manually open or shut it.  I had my husband do a walkthrough prior to calling the rental office to let them know what damages were already present at the home before we arrived.  We opted to stay at the home either way due to location and the anticipation that the kids had upon pulling up out front.

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While the kids loved the “holiday house” (my oldest daughter called it this all week because Peppa Pig calls her vacation, holiday), we vowed to spend as much time outside of the house as we could.  That said, our typical routine was to wake up, hit the beach, eat lunch at the house, finish the afternoon at the pool and head to dinner.

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Last year, we had a hard time getting the kids to spend an hour and a half on the beach.  This year, we were able to squeeze in close to three hours before they were ready to call it a morning.  That’s right.  We were on the beach most days by 9 AM and breaking down the tent around noon.  The key to staying busy?  Lots of toys, snacks and a beach tent that they could break in.

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The pool was a much easier option to prepare for.  We were within walking distance to the main boardwalk pool.  The girls were even able to walk themselves (swimmies and all).  After about an hour in the pool, both girls picked up on how to use the swimmies to maneuver their way around.

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We often caught our youngest (the social butterfly), swimming away from the family to join other groups in the pool.  Absolutely hysterical.

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On Friday, we took a break from the beach to head to the Children’s Museum in Downtown Charleston.  This is such a great experience.  The kids have mock playrooms and a ton of hands on activities, including: a pirate ship, water play room and grocery store among many other things.

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We parked such that we could take a stroll through the market and pick up a Peace Pie before we got back in the car and headed back over the bridge to Wild Dunes.

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Looking forward to – Is it too early to say:  OUR NEXT BEACH TRIP.  November 2017!

Cravings – I’m going to use this section to talk food and restaurants that we visited while on vacation.  NOTE – all of these restaurants are kid friendly to toddlers.  We were able to take both girls to all meals with no technology or toys.  The atmosphere was entertaining and the food came out quick enough that they did not get bored.

  • Acme Low Country Kitchen – Located on Isle of Palms, we arrived shortly after 5PM. Getting to dinner early is imperative to avoid long lines and waiting.  My youngest daughter fell asleep at the table while my oldest enjoyed saltines and talking to us about her day.   Hands down the best meal of our trip. I ordered the grouper special, over top mashed potatoes and fresh vegetables.  IMG_4936-1
  • Taco Boy – Again, we arrived shortly after 5PM.  My kids love Mexican food – rice, guacamole and quesadillas.  We also knew we could get something quick that we could enjoy.  This was one of my personal favorite casual restaurants when I worked in Charleston several months of the year. I ordered a veggie rice bowl with a side of grilled chicken.

     

  • Morgan Creek Grill – Located a few miles from Wild Dunes, this restaurant sits perfectly on the intercostal waterway and hosts live music every Thursday – Sunday.  We chose to go on a Thursday, again arriving early and when we knew music would be playing.  To avoid overindulging in mercury for the week, I picked a lower mercury seafood for dinner.  Crab cakes with a side of grits and collard greens.  Let me note, my oldest daughter had grits for almost every meal.  Her favorite.

     

     

    IMG_5109We enjoyed music outside following dinner.  While we relaxed, the girls enjoyed dancing and playing in the sand.IMG_5113IMG_5111

  • Sea Biscuit Cafe – Breakfast.  Our best breakfast of the week.  I kept it simple with a veggie egg white omelette, some hash browns and a biscuit.  GET THERE EARLY.  While the line moves pretty quick, it gets long FAST.IMG_5140

Symptoms – Feeling like I got punched in the left side of my face.  That’s from the sinus infection though.

Workouts – I started the week strong before taking plenty of rest and relaxation time off the rest of the week.  Granted we were on our feet a decent amount of time while on vacation.

  • Monday – I taught my regularly scheduled 6:30 AM class.
  • Tuesday – I did a strength workout in the garage before hitting the road for our beach trip.
  • Wednesday – Beach day 1 – I did no planned exercise routine.  That said, we walked over 5 miles between moving on the beach and going to the pool.
  • Thursday – In an effort to feel like I did something, I spent some time during lunch doing a super low intensity Tracey Anderson Pregnancy DVD in the house.   It was more so stretching than anything.  Done in 30 minutes.
  •  Friday – Okay, okay, I can only take off so many days now.  I woke up and went for a 30 minute walk/run on Friday.  I caught the most incredible sunrise. Run 10 minutes, jog 5 minutes.  Repeat.

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  • Saturday – I tried to survive the significant pain that I was experiencing in my face.  Hence, I did not workout.
  • Sunday – I rode my bike around the block twice.  Once with each girl.  I sat on the couch ALOT.

Week 25 – Round 3

Size of Baby (per “What To Expect”) – Size of an eggplant (approximately 1.5-1.75 pounds)

Weight Gain – 17 pounds.  Bump keeps growing and growing.  It’s hard to believe we are already this far along!

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Movement – A lot more movement these days.  The movement has started to grow from my lower abdomen up my belly and above my belly button.  I can certainly tell when she stretches out.

Sleep – I got SICK this week.  Just a common cold, accompanied by a lot of coughing and phlegm.  The cough will keep me up at night if I don’t prop my pillows up on top of each other.  I actually pulled back significantly from exercise this week and slept with a humidifier on for one night.  That said, at this point in my pregnancy, I have been able to relieve some of these symptoms with Sudafed, cough drops and nasal spray.

Best Moments this Week – One word.  STAYCATION.  My husband and I love some alone time, but we also love some time with our two girls.  That said, while an extended “baby moon” would have been nice, we spent a night out in Charlotte and opted to take the girls on a beach trip before baby number three gets here.

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It only takes a little bit of time together here and there to make a big difference.  We headed uptown for some relaxing time at the Ritz Carlton pool before heading out for appetizers and drinks (mine a “mocktail”) at Sea Level.  Gotta love hanging at the bar while watching the Kentucky Derby.  We headed out post horse race and enjoyed dinner at BLT.

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How had I never been here?  Have you seen the size of the popover dinner rolls they bring you BEFORE dinner even starts?  Big mama was hungry.  Unfortunately, I fill up very fast given the small amount of space my stomach has left in my midsection.  I couldn’t even eat the whole thing before my steak came out.  I highly recommend the restaurant for food and service, but I caution you in that you may be sitting within eighteen inches of the table beside you on both sides (which can be awkward if another restaurant patron wants to listen to your conversation – as was the case in our situation).

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We were in bed by ten and up by eight.  Even staycation didn’t slow us down.  It is easier to relax knowing the girls are in good hands.  My parents made all the stops Saturday afternoon/evening and even Sunday morning.  The girls absolutely loved the Disney Pixar show at the Belk Theater.

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Looking forward to – I mentioned our upcoming beach trip with the girls, but before we get there, my husband and I will be celebrating our five year anniversary on Friday.  It’s hard to believe it has only been five years.  We have certainly been busy.  I found out I was pregnant with my first child a little less than eight months after we got married.  It’s easy to see how we could already be expecting our third.

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That said, I have been trying to spend some quality time with my youngest daughter in the days leading up to summer vacation and our third child arriving.  Both my husband and I have worked hard to maintain separate relationships with both girls (i.e. individual time in which their real personality can shine without the other dictating).  It’s certainly a special time.  They still describe us as “awesome”, “fun” and “the best”.

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Cravings – I’m loving some good old fashioned hearty meals.  In other words, steak, potatoes, beef broth soup and veggies.  I could still do without the sweets.  I met my husband uptown this week for lunch and enjoyed a spicy soup and noodle combo.

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Symptoms – Congestion, but I’m sick.  Did I mention my belly has gotten bigger?

Workouts – Since I was sick, I did significantly pull back this week.  Listening to my body is key to making sure baby stays happy and healthy (especially at this point).

  • Monday – I taught my regularly scheduled 6:30 AM Flywheel class.
  • Tuesday – I did a short strength workout in the garage before teaching my standard 3:30 PM Flywheel class.
  • Wednesday – what started as a planned 30 minute run turned into a 30 minute walk.  After running for 10 minutes, I started to feel cramping and called it.  It was a beautiful day.  I had purposely parked my car near a nail salon so when I was finished I could get some “me” time in.  I don’t do the whole nail routine often, but I did both a pedicure and manicure post walk.
  • Thursday – whatever cold was developing came on full force Wednesday evening.  I dropped out of my usual run group workout to get some much needed rest to be able to teach my 3:30 PM Flywheel class.
  • Friday – I slept in AGAIN!  Going on three days straight.  A huge rainstorm made a mess of our garage.  While I was moving some things around with my youngest daughter, I snuck in a 38 minute workout.  I got ALOT done with her in the garage and in a short amount of time!  I also maxed out at 8 pull ups in a row.
    • 2 Rounds
      • Jog in place 2 minutes
      • SKLZ single arm roll out x 10 each
      • PVC single leg hip hinge with rotation outwards x 10 each
      • Sandbag Deadlift x 15
    • 3 Rounds
      • Static Squat with Should Mobility x 10 each side
      • Pull ups x 10
      • Goblet Squat x 15
    • 3 Rounds
      • Side crunch on Bosu x 15 each
      • Single Leg Squat with TRX x 10 each
      • Squat Thrust x 15
  • Saturday – After communicating with my doctor Friday night about what over the counter medications I could take, I started to feel a change towards the better by Saturday.  I was invited to the Lululemon Southpark store to test out their newest sports bra – the Enlite Bra.  I warned them in advance that I was pregnant.  They were all game to still have me visit the store.

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I joined several other fitness personalities in Charlotte that I had never met before.  This is why I am glad I decided to go.  Not only did I buy into the bra, but I connected with some absolutely fantastic women.  We bonded over a fitting, a 5k run and some breakfast.  Let’s be serious though, the bra is $98.  I get it.  Mouth drop.  Ladies,  everything at Lululemon is wearable and returnable.  If you are interested, put it on, run in it and see what you think.  I’m sold.  Biggest thing for me was not feeling trapped in the straps.  No chaffing.  No need to take it off immediately post run.

  • Sunday – I swapped my early Sunday class to teach the 2:45 PM class that afternoon.

NY 2016 – Eats, Deets & Workouts

Oh New York.  I’m not talking about the city.  I’m talking about the state.  When I say we are going on our annual family trip to New York, I mean we are going to visit my husband’s hometown.  The small “village” is actually situated approximately 30 minutes Northwest of Albany and about 45 minutes southwest of Saratoga Springs.  We choose to go up every year in August so that my husband can catch the summer meet at Saratoga Race Track (we are talking horse racing).  Before I met him, I had no clue there was actually enough people watching the sport that a venue could sustain an event like this for over a month (holding approximately 10 races a day, 6 days a week). Don’t these people work?

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Neither here nor there, we try to fly out such that we have two full weekends at the track (when the most anticipated horse races are competed).  This is the third time that the girls have flown on an airplane together, so we are starting to get our hands around how best to book flights that revolve around nap times and meals.  We typically pack a lunch for us all to eat on the plane, as I have found that trying to buy food at the airport can be completely inconvenient and expensive.  The way there was smooth sailing.  We opted to fly out on a lunchtime flight, in which both kids (surprisingly) fell asleep.

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My husband’s mom picked us up from the airport, and we were on our way.  Am I the only one that thinks it’s odd that so many people in New York have pools when they only get a few months of warm weather?  The girls sure were excited to get in Mimi and Papa’s (that’s what they call their grandparents) pool.  Our youngest didn’t even have time to get her bathing suit on.  They swam long enough to work up an appetite before we headed to one of our favorite Italian restaurants in town.

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Pretty mom and pop.  I wish I would have taken a picture of the “buttered bread” that they bring to every table.  If you can picture an entire homemade loaf of bread sliced thickly before each slice is covered in smooth butter, that would be what they serve.  My children typically do not shy away from butter, but I have to say they even wanted me to scrape some of it off.  One glass of wine down, our pizza arrived!  See picture above.  Two slices was all I needed.  They serve the sauce on top of the cheese (almost like a deep dish).  Feels (and tastes) like home.

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We went to bed as early as the kids would let us.  Why is it so hard to get the kids adjusted to a bed time on vacation?  We started with one room for the girls and one room for us.  We played musical beds all week (depending on who was more tired).  I’m not going to lie, sleeping was pretty rough out of town, which is why it was good we had time to rest if we needed to.

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Maybe it was vacation or maybe it was lack or activity, but I just don’t get hungry as early when we are in New York.  On Saturday, my husband and I slept in (ultimately meaning we didn’t get up early to exercise).  We dilly dallied around the house before we headed to the local golf course clubhouse for brunch.  Anticipating that my next meal may not be until later in the day, I ordered two pancakes and bacon.  You have to have protein right?  The girls took a ride around in the golf cart before we headed home and my husband and I got ready to go to the track.

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The girls are finally getting to an age where they recognize their grandparents and feel comfortable with us leaving them over night.  A day at the track is literally a day at the track.  We drive 45 minutes before parking, walking a half mile to the entry gate and getting settled.

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I am an accountant.  I understand odds.  I bet a little here and there, but I don’t bet with much intention.  Sometimes I try to pick a winner.  Other times I pick a name or a number.  For the most part I just enjoy walking around, people watching and having a few adult beverages.  I couldn’t tell you how many thousands of steps we take at the track.  There is a lot of time between the races. There are a lot of things to look at.

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We got caught in a complete downpour at the track the first day we went.  We huddled inside a long bar and munched on kettle corn popcorn while we waited out the storm. They ended up calling the remaining races.  My husband can’t remember the last time this happened.  To say he was disappointed is an understatement.  Once the rain slowed up, we stopped for dinner at a local Saratoga restaurant.  I feel like this is another one of our “regular” spots when we head up north.

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On Sunday, my husband opted to hit the track while the girls and I stayed at the house.  One of the neighborhood kids was having her birthday party.  A pool party.  With an obstacle race bouncy house and magician (who actually made balloon animals).

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Since both of the girls are now preoccupied with pools, my mother-in-law and I both suited up to watch them as they swam.  My oldest daughter is dabbling with jumping off the little diving board.  As such, I had to demonstrate a “cannonball” to entice her jump herself.  It was kind of fun.

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I mention the obstacle race bouncy house because I was obsessed with it.  Maybe I will have one at my 32nd birthday party later this year?  I was surprised how good my girls were at climbing through, up and down the massive structure.  It really was fun. In fact, it was so fun, I challenged my husband (who showed up after the last horse race) to a competition.  I narrowly missed beating him (we attempted to take a video, but it didn’t work out).

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All in all, we had a great time at the party.  We actually ended up eating there.  They had an incredible spread of grilled chicken skewers, chips, fruit, macaroni and cheese and cake (of course).

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Let me clarify.  We had cake at the party.  We then headed to the local diner to get ice cream.  Another thing I am still trying to figure out is why there are so many ice cream places in an area that isn’t that warm a better part of the year.  I’m not complaining.  Just saying.  Let me note, I did go for a slow 5 mile run that morning.

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My husband used to scoop ice cream at the local diner, so the owner asked to grab a quick picture of the family on our way out.

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Monday is family day at the track.  Quite literally.  I guess Mondays are considered a slower day, so they put together a variety of activities to entice families to check things out.  We grabbed bagels, donuts and coffee at Dunkin Donuts before making the 45 minute drive to the track.  We left early so the girls could watch the horses do their workouts.  The track is open early every morning for the horses to workout, prior to racing later on in the day/week.

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I guess our two year old wasn’t feeling the early wake up call because she refused to participate in family pictures.  Maybe it’s her age.  She preferred to walk around with her potty seat on top of her head.  I let her do it.  I even took a picture of it.  I’m sure she won’t believe she acted that way when I tell her the story years from now.  My youngest on the other hand, loved watching the animals and was more than willing to spend some quality time with her grandma.

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We hit the “step and repeat” wall before heading to the playground.  They have all of this at the track.  The environment is quite welcoming to children.  The remaining family activities were not set to start until closer to lunch, so we walked to downtown Saratoga to do some shopping and ride the Carrousel.

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This umbrella.  My oldest got a horse umbrella.  The youngest got a matching horse lunchbox.  Needless to say, the umbrella was out the rest of the day.  It didn’t matter if we were inside, outside or trying to ride home in the car.  I don’t know how it didn’t break.  By the end of the day, she had successfully mastered opening and closing it.

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The Carrousel.  The main attraction for children in downtown Saratoga – Congress Park.  Merry go round.  I literally made it one time around before I felt like I was going to throw up. Good thing the girls were able to enjoy the ride and spend some quality time with everyone else.  We grabbed sandwiches at a local deli before making the walk back to the track to watch the first race and head home. Between our early morning run and the walk to downtown and back, we accumulated over 13 miles.

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I figured both kids would be exhausted from the morning and fall asleep in the car but nothing ever goes as planned in mom world.  My oldest was itching to do something Monday afternoon, so I took a gamble and opted to take her with me to get a pedicure and a manicure.  Wow.  Let me just say this.  Wow.  She did better than I ever could have guessed.  She sat amazingly still as she watched them massage her feet, paint her toenails and wait for them to dry.

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Monday night dinner at home.  Our oldest became quite the sous chef while in New York.  She was more than willing to help Mimi in the kitchen.  While we are talking about the kitchen and food, I should bring up Stewart’s ice cream.  Stewart’s is actually a type of 7-11/gas station in the north that carries its own line of ice cream.  You can actually walk in and get sundaes and milkshakes as well.  My favorite – Crumbs Along the Mohawk.  Just read the description.  It’s a shame they don’t deliver.

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The track is closed on Tuesday.  We had all day with my husband to do something as a family.  My mother-in-law had mentioned going to “Animal Land” one of the days that we were visiting since our youngest loves animals so much.

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Animal Land is about 20 minutes from where my husband grew up.  It actually reminds me of a zoo.  There are a ridiculous amount of animals there – giraffes, zebras, bears, gosh the list goes on.  They even have a safari ride where you ride an open air bus around an uncaged area.  Animals are free to walk up to the vehicle as the guide explains the various creatures.

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The girls really did have a good time.  My youngest more than the oldest (as we expected).  She really had no fear when it came to reaching out to some very large animals to feed them.  They also had several (Chuck E Cheese type) rides at the exit for them to enjoy.  We enjoyed yet another meal at home that evening before having some Crumbs Along the Mohawk.

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Wednesday was another low key day.  We drove to a nearby lake where we grabbed lunch and let the girls run around on a man made beach.  The water was actually warmer than we thought it would be.  Since I had never been to the area before, we spent some time driving around and sight seeing while the girls took naps in the back.

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Since I was still gambling back and forth as to whether I wanted to compete in the Spartan World Championships, I figured I should try to get a strength workout in one of the days we were out of town.  In an effort to spend time with my husband, I asked him if he wanted to go to a local playground with me.  This picture is actually from last year.  He was in such a bad mood about “Spartan training” that he did his own thing when we arrived at the park and gave me 40 minutes to get my stuff done.  Mouth shut.  I was off, and I wasn’t  asking him to take videos or pictures.  I wasn’t too thrilled about exercise myself, but I got in a solid workout.

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We spent the rest of the day at the house playing with the girls, before I actually took a nap.  It was incredible.  I hope you notice the Dora bib my oldest is wearing in several pictures.  She loves Dora.  She found this in a drawer at the house.  She literally slept in it.  That lasted about three days.  I was on vacation.  I didn’t argue.

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I had a few “bucket list” foods that I wanted to eat before I left New York.  The pizza on day one was one of them.  The second was a pizza roll from Brooklyn Pizza.  Look at those beautiful rolls basking in the sunlight.  If I am going to go all in, I am going to go all in.  They stuff each roll with whatever you want and then give you a side of marinara to dip it in.

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I opted for the veggie roll.  Cheese. Mushroom.  Spinach. Red peppers.  Bread.  Lots of it.  I ate every bite, and I didn’t feel bad about it.  I work too hard to deprive myself.

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Nights are the absolute best!  Little to no humidity.  It’s quiet.  It’s cool.  We spent a lot of time just sitting out in the front yard.  I used to do the same thing when I visited my grandpa up in Floyd, VA.  There is something so humbling about sitting out in the country without the phone, music or television.

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This is a long post.  Stay with me.  The rest of the week went by pretty fast.  My husband and I booked a room in Saratoga for Thursday night and left the girls with my in-laws.  Prior to hitting the road for the day, we hit the road for hill and speed workouts.  I typically work out with a running group outside of my house on Thursday morning.  I knew they would be working hard, so I was motivated to as well.  I hit the pavement and completed the following speed work out.

  • Warm Up
  • 2 x mile
  • 2 x 800 m
  • 4 x 400 m
  • Cool Down

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My husband finished the 400 meter repeats with me.  Well, he actually smoked me, but he started at the same time as I did. It was actually fun this time. I love how much he ball busts me and jokingly eggs my athletic endeavors on.

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We held off on eating anything before we got to Saratoga.  By the time we had showered, said goodbye to the girls and arrived at our breakfast destination it was close to 11 AM.  Hangry.  There was a reason behind this.  Our favorite spot is called Mimi’s. They serve breakfast until they close.  I had to share this picture.  We each ordered an appetizer for breakfast.  Who does that.  I had a biscuit and he had a grilled muffin.  My “entree” was not as large, but my husband went on to order the Georgia Southern French Toast with a side of sausage.  Um, look at those sausages.  Are we at a tailgate?  He almost finished the whole thing before the waitress said, “Wow, nobody finishes the french toast”.  I think she forgot he had an appetizer as well.

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We walked to the track from the breakfast restaurant (we needed it).  We spent the afternoon there before grabbing a few drinks and checking into our bed and breakfast.

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I stopped taking pictures at that point.  It’s okay.  Maybe things got a little blurry.  It was like pre-kids days.  We didn’t eat dinner until 9:00 PM and we stayed up past 10:00 PM.  We woke up the next day without an alarm, and we both decided not to do a workout.

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This is the second year that we have stayed at the Circular Manor Bed and Breakfast and it was just as good round two.  My husband’s mom and aunt drove up to Saratoga with the girls and met us at the track before I drove the girls back and hung out with his dad that afternoon.  He had knee surgery in July.  While he is usually more mobile, he was limited this year.  The girls were great about finding ways to be around him as much as possible.

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Saturday.  Our last full day of vacation. We did run in the morning.  We spent the rest of the afternoon at the track.  We saw the horse “Songbird” win the Alabama Stakes.  If you don’t know horse racing, know this:  she is the top three year old filly and is in contention for horse of the year.  She is undefeated. I don’t go to many big races, but this race was really cool to see.  We grabbed one last Italian meal on our way home before we had to start packing things up for our flight back home.

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Sunday was a long day.  We got delayed on our way out on Sunday.  After a 45 minute drive the airport, we got through security and waited another hour before boarding.  Once we got on the plane, the girls fell asleep for a little bit, before getting anxious.  Storms over Charlotte delayed our landing.  By the time we got our luggage and made it home, we had been traveling for 7 hours.  I hate to complain, but we are getting close to just packing the car up and driving.

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The time is worth it though.  I needed a vacation. My husband did too.  One in which we didn’t feel obligated to do much.  One in which we didn’t have anywhere we had to be.  Even when we go to the beach, we feel like we have to be out there as long as possible.  It’s getting easier every year.