Sights and Scenes from the Weekend ~ 3.13.17

To be honest, all of last week felt like a blur and a bust.  I’m not sure if I gave my legs the rest they needed following an 18-miler but every time that I ran, it felt like I was dragging through cement.  Every workout was a struggle and even my swim on Friday was lackluster.  Then I went home with either a 12-hour stomach bug or food poisoning.  Either way, it wasn’t how I had planned to spend the week/weekend.  But, we can’t always control what happens and this was an excellent example of going with the flow.

After 9+ hours of sleep on Friday, I woke up with the hopes of running 12-14 miles.  Just a mile in I realized this was not going to happen.  I dragged myself to mile 4 and met up with some girlfriends who quickly told me I shouldn’t be running.  But I was so determined to finish a run, scared that if I didn’t run I would be a failure, and grasping to hold onto any potential social time.  Well, after total of 7.5 miles, I decided to call it quits and walked myself to breakfast.  Don’t be fooled by my smile below – I loved running with these gals but felt awful.

Accepting defeat of a run is tough and so is taking a rest day.  But I know that having these days will only help me down the road.  Not to mention it was SO DARN COLD (maybe exacerbated by my body chills or potential fever…I don’t know since I kept forgetting to take my temperature…#adulting) and running with any type of flue is just stupid.  Lesson learned.

Obviously when running doesn’t work out, washing away your feelings in brunch is the next logical step.  I had been craving avocado toast and Bluestone Lane just happened to be where I stopped by run.  In retrospect I certainly could have found a cheaper place to dine but was in such a foul mood, I let the $25 bill (+ tip) slide.  I mean I never truly know what to do about tip – how much does one tip?  If you don’t tip the 20% are you rude?  What if they are practically watching as you select the buttons on the touchscreen iPad right in front of you?  Oh the moral questions, right?

Once brunch was finished and my expensive solo-bill was paid, I made my way downtown and made myself stop in Trader Joe’s to pick up this week’s groceries.  One of my goals is to be better about meal prep and that includes making recipes other than grilled vegetables and fried eggs.  I’ve been feeling a little “blah” about life and can’t quite put my finger on it.  I know that winter is one element but maybe a change in routine – including eating routing – can help.  Plus one of my roommates is gone for the next week, so we have a 1/3 of the fridge to takeover.  (<< shelf and fridge space are also the things you think about when living in a tiny apartment in Manhattan)

These enchiladas (slightly modified recipe by Ambitious Kitchen) were delicious and almost better after being in the fridge overnight.  It must be the way that the ingredients settle that makes it so delectable.  Anyways, add a little avocado and Greek yogurt and viola!

While Sunday was the day where we turned our clocks forward, I decided to let myself sleep in.  That usually means 6:30 or 7 since my body naturally likes to wake up early.  Nope.  Yesterday I slept until 9am, which with the time change meant I had slept for a full 10 hours!!!  Obviously my body was trying to tell me to slow down between the terrible workouts, body aches and two nights of epic sleep.

After lounging in bed watching the Today Show, I cleaned up the apartment and walked out into the bitter cold (real feel of 11 thank you very much) to meet a couple of friends for brunch.  My goal is to be better about making meals during the week and then keep exploring food spots on the weekend.  This way I don’t feel nearly as bad when we go ham ordering a few extra items.

^^ Ruby’s Cafe is 1) a place where of course it’s mega-popular 2) is run by a crew of Aussies (they seriously know what’s up for brunch) and 3) can be excellent for brunch OR lunch/dinner.  The Murray Hill location had actually been recommended to me by a few of my friends but when their Instagram “liked” my Saturday brunch photo, it was almost serendipitous – we had to go there.

After hemming and hawing over the menu (like I said, they have it all) we agreed to order brunch items and promise to come back for the classic burger and sandwich options.  It was only right and after polishing off our orders of BLTA+egg, Breakfast Bowl, and Green Breakfast Bowl (+ a treat of coffee granola w/ poached pears and greek yogurt), we knew that we had ordered right.

After brunch I decided to check another item off of my bucket list, which was the New York Transit Museum.  I don’t entirely know why I was so driven to see it over the last couple of years but the MTA does an excellent job of advertising for it within the current subways and so, over the Brooklyn Bridge I went to check it out.  The museum itself is housed in an old subway station so for starters, that’s pretty awesome.  Then, for general admission of $10, you get access to the story boards and gidgets and gadgets that helped our public transportation evolve over the last 100+ years.  They even housed every version of subway car on the old tracks so that you could actually see and touch the trains of the past.  I only spent about 45 minutes in there but it was like taking a step back in time.

Then it was back into the cold to walk/ride into Manhattan, where I got distracted by a craft store going out of business, and then took a vinyasa flow class (aka glorified stretching by I love it).   It may not have been the weekend I imagined but I have to constantly remind myself that I’m on my own journey – whether it’s for running or work or just life itself and that’s okay.

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Now it’s time to conquer the work week, continue to make plans for the rest of the year including a few trips around the country and of course my Paris trip, which is right around the corner.  Until then, enjoy this extra sunlight in the evening and if you are in these neck of the woods, good lucky and stay safe with this crazy nor’easter!

“Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

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Make the Most of Manhattan

Those of you who usually follow along will know I spent the last couple days gallivanting through New York City with a couple of my blogger friends.  I had a pretty short recap yesterday, otherwise welcome aboard 🙂

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First off I can’t believe I didn’t include any pictures of the the 3 of us from the weekend!  There were certainly be a few here.  Sarah didn’t arrive until later on Saturday afternoon, so when we picked her up, we were ready for dinner.  After dropping her stuff at my apartment we wandered down to the one and only S’MAC where we each demolished our nosh portions of heavenly macaroni and cheese.  They had read my tiny review from last week and since all three of us could live on mac and cheese, it was only right to  make that our dinner spot.

IMG_2356_Fotor_CollageOnce we had finished dinner, Sarah requested to see Times Square.  I didn’t see why not, so up the subway system we went.  The benefit of traveling with bloggers is they have no qualms about asking for better/additional pictures and you never feel like the geek whipping out your iPhone to snap a picture of your food before you dig in.

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WE LOVE TOURISTS (ok not really, but maybe for 20 minutes in Times Square)

The next logical step was to find a dessert to indulge in, preferably a milkshake.  I pointed out the Counter, which apparently is a west-coast deal, but we kept walking.  I guess I couldn’t sell them on the milkshake selection.  But, being the weekend tourists, we decided that what better way to splurge on dessert than to go to the Shake Shack!  I had been once in the fall at Madison Square Park, but never tested their milkshakes or custards.  Although Carrie sold both Sarah and I on the custard, she went for the good ‘ol chocolate milkshake, which looked divine as well.  (Sure, I did say I wanted to reduce my sugar intake and I think I’ve been good about saving sweets for special occasions, rather than demolishing a bag of drug store candy.)

I think the fact that we were so go-with-the-flow this weekend made for an even better time.  We seriously we had no set plans and instead would decide where to go next based on when we were finished with the current activity.  So, after dessert, Carrie asked what we should do next.  Being the life of the party, I shrugged my shoulders and said I hadn’t been out much.  Not to say I haven’t explored but the nightlife isn’t really my thing when I’m flying solo in the city.  But, putting our heads together (really Carrie’s brilliant ideas), why not go to a rooftop bar that looks out over Manhattan or Times Square?

Heading up to the Marriott Marquee was a prime move and although there was an $8 cover charge and an expensive list of drinks ($13 for a tiny glass of wine and $6 for a not-so-swell cup of coffee), it was well worth the experience.  We must have sat and talked for a good hour and a half, rotating with views overlooking Manhattan.

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We decided to wake up bright and early (*8am) to get a head start on the day.  Walking the Brooklyn Bridge was in the books and we wanted to beat the tourist rush or at least get out and over before we were starving. Luckily the 6 line drops you right off at the start of the Brooklyn Bridge.  The elements were completely in our favor – brisk morning, a few joggers, and a sparse amount of tourists.

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True we could have stayed a bit longer in Brooklyn and searched for Breakfast there, picked up espresso, or acted a little bit hipster, but I had already Yelped (yes, we are now using Yelp as a verb) a diner that looked amazing. It’s safe to say I’m obsessed with diners and I think this was my favorite diner yet.  It was packed with some regulars (you could tell by the way the waiter was talking to them) and the smell of bacon and syrup filled the air.

After Saturday’s egg disappointment, I knew I wanted something along the lines of french toast or waffles.  But, before I found my order, I found myself cracking up over the entrees in the “Weight Watchers” menu – California Salad – fresh fruit salad with Jello and cottage cheese…oh I’m glad we Californians have such good taste. Not.

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I reveled in the endless supply of coffee, enjoyed the fact that no one was pretentious and pushy, and they even brought me an entire bottle of whipped cream for my “Lumberjack Meal” of Challah french toast, bacon, and poached eggs.  Actually I asked for a side of whipped cream (it looked so delicious atop of Sarah’s hot chocolate) and he brought out the entire bottle.  I put a tiny dollop on my plate and he just looked at me and said, “Really?  Is that it?”  I laughed and replied, “Challenge accepted”

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The rest of the day and afternoon was spent exploring the 9/11 Memorial, Wall Street, the Bull by the stock exchange (where tourists had an odd obsession with the rear of the bull…if you catch my drift), Dunkin’ Donuts, and Magnolia Bakery.

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All in all this weekend was an absolute treat.  I’d actually go as far as to say I had more fun (and possibly more genuine conversations right off the bat) than I did with some people in college, a gutsy statement I know but I didn’t feel judged, I could be myself, felt comfortable, and well, it just worked.

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Eating and Exploring Brooklyn

Let’s just say the past few weeks have been a little crazy.  Lots to share but all in due time.  For now, let’s try a relatively wordless What I Ate on Sunday by Jenn at Peas & Crayons.  I spent the day exploring Manhattan and Brooklyn, listening to ESPN College Game Day and having a blast.
IMG_3963 IMG_3968 IMG_3976 IMG_3990IMG_3995 IMG_4020 IMG_4034 IMG_4037 IMG_4039 IMG_4042 IMG_4044 IMG_4048 IMG_4053“Say yes, and you’ll figure it out later”
– Tina Fey