Five for Friday v. 38 Cancun Edition

I have so many pictures from Cancun. They’ll probably be leaking their way into my posts for quite some time. But since this wasn’t the kind of vacation to do a day by day recap, and that really isn’t my thing anyway, I figured I would make this post an overview. Prepare for a picture overload. 


one We stayed at the Omni via Costco Travel and I can’t recommend both enough. My favorite thing to do was take pictures out our window every day. Sometimes several times. 


Our room was huge and featured these awesome chairs – that they kept turning back in on the room. I totally didn’t get it. 


Above is the hot tub bar where we spent most of our time. The best part was that they enforced the 18 and up rule with no exceptions. The bartenders were amazing at remembering who was drinking what and it was rare to finish a drink without being offered our next. 


two Some of the reviews for the Omni mentioned lackluster food. We didn’t get any of that. Our second favorite spot in the resort was the Sushi Hut. We are there every day and couldn’t get enough. 


The specialty restaurants were also quite good. With creative presentations and solid food. I even convinced B to try beef carpaccio and tuna tartar. 


Even the buffet had tasty food. And there was always plenty of it. Each night had a different theme and we both tried a bunch of new-to-us dishes. It was actually hard to pick where to eat each day because all of the food was so good. 


three Chichen Itza was my one requirement for this trip. I didn’t care if we spent the whole rest of the trip just chilling on the beach or by the pool, I wanted to go visit this World Wonder. 


The first stop of our day was actually a Cenote. We chose not to swim, but had a lot of fun wandering around and listening to everyone else jump in. 


Chichen Itza itself was amazing. All of the ruins are incredible and our tour guide was very fun. His routine involved telling us the truth and not the stories. And regardless of whether that was true or not, he was informative and funny. 


I’m so glad we made this our one exception to lazing and drinking. It was definitely worth the early wake up and long bus ride. If you ever get the chance to go, take it. 


four Pretty much all of our time on the beach was spent walking, running, or taking pictures. I’m not a huge fan of laying out on the beach or in wave jumping. But running or walking the beach? I love it. Even if my ankles don’t. 


I tried to have us go down to the beach every time we got dressed up, but the hot tub and lighting didn’t always allow for it. I took less and less pictures as the days went by, which is a sign of a pretty good vacation to me. 


We did make time every morning to either go for a run or a long walk on the beach. It wasn’t much, but it made both of us feel better about lazing, eating, and drinking the rest of our time. 


five It’s no secret that I don’t do nothing very well. We finally found the magic combo on this trip. After breakfast and a run on the beach, we would go to the hot tub bar until the sushi hut opened. Then we would snag a table by the pool and B would fetch his laptop for writing and my kindle. 


I found it much easier to relax and do nothing when that involved staring at the horizon, eating more sushi, and jumping into the pool. I even managed to spend some time just sitting and reading. I already miss this place. 


We haven’t been the best at taking vacations just us. Or at balancing relaxing with adventuring. But this trip? Was the best of all of it. I’m not sure what we’ll do next year, but it will be hard to top this trip. 


Have you ever traveled with Costco? Would you ever consider it? 

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Back To It

Vacation has been so wonderful. I’m really not ready to face going back to work. Though I am inordinately glad to be home. We have one last overnight trip to pick up our dogs before we’re home for at least three weeks. Haha, you can’t keep a restless couple home. 


I’m also back to LSAT studying. As much as I hoped to only take it once, I’m not satisfied with my score from the June test. Ha. That’s an understatement. I cried over it (I also cried over an 87 on a test in college, so…) and I was very unhappy. The score itself isn’t remotely close to a bad score. I’m still well within the top 20% of the country. I’m also aware that there are people who would love to have the score I’m not happy with. But I can do better. 

Unfortunately, all of the LA testing centers are already full for the September test, so I don’t get to try again until December. But I’ve already gotten back to studying. I want a minimum of a 9 point improvement, so I’ve got some work to do. 

Honestly, while I’m disappointed in myself, I’m not surprised. I’ve been under a lot of stress, including have a difficult visitor during the two weeks prior to my test.  I was not close to my best and I will need to be for the score I want. This will give me something to do this Fall that will help toward my future goals. And it will fill my Thursdays so I don’t go insane from traffic. 

Work starts back up for me this week. A lighter than normal load thanks to summer. While I’ll miss the higher paycheck, I’m glad I get to ease back in. B has two cycles to work before he leaves for a month to do his military time. It’s going to be a busy summer for us. 

And, finally I’m ready to get back to half-marathon training. I gained five pounds over vacation, probably not all real gain. But, there’s been too many meals out and not enough miles run or weight lifted. We hit the gym this morning and I have a long run tomorrow, I’m already feeling more like myself. These last few weeks have been wonderful, but I’m ready to get back to normal life. 

How’s your summer going? 

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This and That

I’ll skip the lamenting over how long it’s been. I’ve spent a huge chunk of this year in a funk and blogging has been too much work. But like a moth to the flame, I just can’t quit. 


We just spent a week in Cancun and it was amazing. It was our first all-inclusive and we loved it. We did one excursion out to Chichen Itza and otherwise we ran on the beach, drank in the hot tub bar, and ate way too much sushi. I’ll do a full recap soon. 


The whole trip we kept getting asked if we were on our honeymoon. Not just by employees, who are probably trained to ask – but by fellow travelers. They were always astonished to hear that we’ll hit seven years this summer. Our relationship isn’t always easy, whose is? But it is always good. 


I haven’t seen my puppies in ten days. And the earliest I’ll see them is still another nine days away. I miss them. We took the opportunity of them being gone to do a deep vacuum and mopping combo on the whole house. It looks so nice. But dog hair is still turning up. I guess we’ll never be free of it. 


I turned 32 earlier this month. It passed with very little fanfare, which was fine by me. I’m still loving myself more every day and enjoying my thirties a lot. I’ve never been in better shape or happier with myself. The bigger deal to me is that I took the LSAT right after my birthday. And I’m planning to apply to law school this fall. I needed a change and this just feels right. I’m in the horrid wait period for getting scores back and am really hoping that I hit my goal. 


After a terrible interaction with Fitbit regarding the warranty on my Surge, I decided right before we went to Cancun that I was done with Fitbit. In just under 18 months I’ve been through three Charge HRs and in 10 months my Surge had already fallen apart. Then Fitbit told me they wouldn’t honor the warranty because they now have authorized retailers and the store I bought it from wasn’t one of them. So today I went out and got an Apple Watch. I want a watch for running, but I wanted it to be a smart watch too. I’ve only had it for a couple of hours but I’m already impressed with it.  

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Fragility

Life is fragile.

Or is it that life is precious?

What if it really is true that you never know what you had until it’s gone? 

Can we learn to know what we have?

Blink your eyes. Too late, they’re gone. 

Answer your phone. Answer your phone. Answer your goddamned phone. 

Take a deep breath. 

Rage. Cry. Frantically google. 

Pray. 

Live. Die. Repeat. 

Isn’t that supposed to be a movie tag line? 

Fall apart. Pick the pieces up. Keep them safe. 

Breathe. Please breathe. Don’t you dare stop breathing. Fucking breathe. 

Rage more. Go numb. Drink too much. 

Love. Cry. Love more anyway. 

Run. Stop running because you can’t breathe from crying. Run more anyway. 

Life is terrifying. Life is hard. 

Listen to the waves crash on the shore. 

Breathe. Scream. Love still more. 

Pick out sympathy cards. Hate every second of it. 

Buy plane tickets. It’ll be ok. Repeat it louder until you start to believe it. 

Lose yourself in everything. Finally ask for help. 

Life is precious. It is fragile. It is terrifying. It is hard. 

Live. Love. Die. Repeat. 

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Long Runs

There’s seriously nothing like a long run on my calendar. It’s an attainable, but stretchable goal. It sits there as the pinnacle at the start of my week. The good start that sends me rushing into the week on the back of that elusive runner’s high.

Not that I’ve ever had an actual runner’s high. But the elation that comes as the exhaustion drops away? It’s the buzz I need in this life.

I’m a curious balance of excited and anxious all week. Excited to boost my mileage and get more comfortable at longer distances. Anxious about how my lifting will impact the run. I refuse to quit my lifting routine, but I do cut my weights back the day before a run. I cut lifting before my last race and I think that’s part of why it went so terribly wrong. I won’t do that to myself again. Lifting, and lifting heavy, is a big part of my health both mentally and physically.

The night before I’m all nerves. I drink a glass of wine to calm myself down. And then another. And then worry about being hungover off of two glasses of wine. I’ve run hungover before but it wasn’t pretty or fun.

The morning of my long run starts with nerves. The perfect timing of coffee, food, water, and let’s face it the bathroom. A slow warm up, dynamic stretches, and getting my devices to find the satellites. All with the dogs barking out the window wanting to know why they can’t come too.

Finally, all too soon and after way too long, my feet hit the pavement. Stride after stride, I check my breathing. Not too fast, I’ve a long way to go and don’t want to run out of energy. Not too slow, that’s often harder in the long run (sorry) than too fast.

In for three, out for two and before I know it I’m not counting my breaths anymore. Step after step everything else just drifts away. I find my zen where I’m not constantly checking how many miles are left (the answer, always .10 miles less than the last time you looked).

The aftermath is as beautiful as it is ugly. Sweaty, crusty, and exhausted I stretch and roll my achy hips and legs. I gulp at my water while marveling at how much easier the long runs seem this time around. My pace stays much steadier, I don’t feel completely dead after, and I’m already planning the next time out.

I’m not sure when running became my way of life. But it is. And long runs are my church. They ground me, they refresh me, they help me find my center. Some days I don’t recognize myself anymore, but then I just go on a long run and find that I’ve been there all along.

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Come What May

My words don’t come easily here anymore. This place has been my safe haven for over 9 years. And yet. 

I cringe whenever I see the app on my phone. I hate the nagging feeling that I need to come write. I feel guilty when I’m on my computer killing time and writing is the last thing I want to do. But still. 

I don’t want to be finished. Or maybe it’s that I know I’m not finished. This season is one of few words but hopefully they’ll show back up. 

I’m trying to honor when I don’t feel like writing. But it’s an outlet for me and I think that letting it get all plugged up is less than helpful. Writing is a big part of how I process things and gosh do I have things I need to process. 

Here’s to tomorrow, come what may. 

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Catalina Island

gloomy catalina

gloomy catalina

I keep trying to find the right words to recap this day. But my story hangs in my heart. Early in the morning, before I was even awake in California, my Uncle departed this world. I received the news right as we boarded the tender. I wanted nothing more than to run back to our room and bury myself away from the world. Instead I sat shaking next to my husband, trying to understand why people can’t just live forever. My heart is still raw.

all the boats

all the boats

The day was gloomy, which matched my mood. We hadn’t signed up for any excursions, so we were free to wander the island. I drifted in and out of grief as we meandered. There weren’t many other people pressing around us which left me free to feel what I needed to feel. B was amazing at giving me space to dwell and simultaneously gently cajoling me back to life.

bell tower

bell tower

My pilgrimage point was the bell tower on top of the hill. It was critical to my mental state that we make this point. B’s favorite method of drawing me out of grief was to point at surrounding hills and talk about the fortress he would put up there and how he would defend it. On our way back down to the ship, we visited a few stores including a couple of grocery stores so we could gawk at their food prices.

formal night

obligatory formal night pose

That night was formal night on the ship. I actually love the formal nights as I find that we don’t dress up enough in our every day life. We took advantage of the fun on the ship jumping into karaoke, the comedy club, and of course late night pizza. The only downside to such a short cruise was that we only had one formal night, I seriously wish that formal nights were a regular part of my life.

towel animal the second

towel animal the second

This was a hard day in my life. I think the worst part was being out of touch from my family and not being there with all of them. I was so glad that it was a fairly chill day but also that I was able to distract myself with the festivities during the evening. While it wasn’t the day I originally imagined us having, I was incredibly grateful to have that day be what it was.

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