Running the Cape ~ Ragnar Cape Cod

So, Ragnar Relay Cape Cod.  Where do I even begin?  The fact that I ate more bread in a four-hour period than I had in two weeks (I’m talking heavenly delicious blueberry granola bread from When Pigs Fly)?  Or that I got a total of 3 hours’ max of restless sleep?  Or that I had three of the hardest runs in my life (or last four years) and pretty much was crying on leg #3, my second 9.6 trek? Or that I had an absolute blast and couldn’t stop laughing the entire trip?

Yeah, I don’t know where to begin either so let’s just start at the beginning.  As I mentioned last Friday, I had completed a few of these Ragnar Relays in the past.  As a matter of fact, I completed the Wasatch Back Relay, which was the inaugural Ragnar (it started back in 2003).  When you tell someone that you are voluntarily paying to run between 15-22 miles and sit in a car for 24+ hours, they will probably think you are insane. I tried again and again to explain what would happen and why it was fun but it turns out you can’t comprehend what will go down on one of these trips – no matter how many posts and articles you read – until you have completed one.

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It started back when my friends Kayla and Lauren decided to enter the race lottery.  Due to the size of the cape and the sheer fact that we would be running through the streets during the day and night, a lottery application system was required.  When they found out that they had won a spot, they immediately started to fill a team.  To fill a full team, you will need 12 people.  For the longest time, we only had 6.  It fluttered between 5 and 6 a few times and then I started to freak out.  We were about a month out and still didn’t have a full team.  By the sheer grace of God, we managed to find enough runners only to have three drop within 2 days due to injury.

At this point I had many reasons why the universe was against us. Many of them I no longer remember and probably had made up to be dramatic.  In the end, we managed to get to the starting line and finish AND almost placed in our category (spoiler alert).  But let’s jump back to Thursday.

On Thursday morning, about five of us met up to pick up the minivan from La Guardia Enterprise and drive up to Boston.   Around 7 or so hours after meeting up, we had picked up food at Costco and arrived at Kayla’s house to spend the night.  Kayla’s mom made the most amazing dinner of cous cous, grilled vegetables, and salmon, which was topped with a maple glaze.  At some point during the afternoon we discovered that the van had a low tire and would need to be replaced.  (<< This was one of the incidents that made me believe the universe was against us).  The remaining runners arrived later that night and once we had a mini pow-wow about race strategy, we were off to bed.

Originally when we had submitted our running paces, we (Van #1) were set to start the race at 12pm.  By estimating a 9min mile pace for every runner, we were set to finish by 6:35 or after the race finish area was closed.  I didn’t consider the fact that some people might be 1) injured or sore and need to run slower or 2) people would feel fabulous and run like a bat out of hell.  Let’s just say that everyone had 2 of their 3 legs (and sometimes 3/3) with scenario #2.

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In the morning, we woke up and started to decorate and pack both vans.  Van #1 headed off early in hopes that they could start earlier than 12 and sure enough, they were able to start around 10:15!  Kayla’s mom was the real winner that weekend because she made both teams their own frittata.  Yours truly decided to eat breakfast with both teams because why not?  Well, my stomach would later regret this decision big-time.  Once we sent Van #1 off, a few of us went to pick up bread from Kayla’s favorite bakery When Pigs Fly as well as some cold brew coffee bottles for the next couple of days.

Folks.  This blueberry granola bread is crack.  Whether you toast it with a little butter or don’t toast it, it is pure heaven.  I would know since I pretty much ate half the loaf and I’m sure everyone commented on it.  Awwwwwkward.

Our van left the Boston area around 11:30ish, drove to the wrong destination, back tracked, and finally arrived at exchange #1 by 3:15 or so.  To be completely honest, I’m giving estimations of time because I didn’t note down every.single.thing.  Just go with me. 🙂  Once we arrived at the exchange, we were able to catch up with Van #1, pick up some free samples, and then check out all the other team’s decorations.  Like I said, people had dressed up their cars to the nines and had taken this thing super seriously.  I made mental notes for if (when) I do another race.  Our team was really rolling by the seat of our pants – a Kaitlin classic.

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When runner #6 from Van #1 came flying through the arch, it was time for our van to head off.  Kayla jetted out and away we went!  This was probably my favorite part of the day since I was driving and loooooove to drive (except in traffic but who does?).  It was also a bit like the Amazing Race, always needing to figure out the logistics on the fly, check in with the runner and make sure we were at the next pit stop in time, which we were not always.  I would blame that on the fact that one of our runners – Zoe – was SPEEDY and there were a couple of legs where we just couldn’t get in and out of the parking lot in time.

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Around 7:18 pm (thank you Strava) I headed out for my first run.  It was 9.6 miles and I was a little over eager at first.  You can totally notice the excitement start to decrease as the miles went on {7:38 – 7:48 – 7:40 – 7:52 – 8:16 – 8:06 – 8:12 – 8:48 – 8:34 – 8:51 all for a 8:09 average pace} .  Even though the scenery was pretty and the sunset was gorgeous, I was regretting the snacks and REALLY regretting that bread.

As soon as I finished, it was time for Van #1 to start their second leg and Van #2 to take a rest.  By our initial calculations, we should have finished around 11pm and should be ready to nap but that wasn’t going to happen.  In fact, runners usually get no more than 4 hours of sleep during these types of races.  Yikes!  Anyways, I chugged a chocolate milk in the back of the van and attempted to stretch out.  We ended up at the next pitstop and tried to catch a few winks of sleep.  I stretched outside, talked to the family for a few minutes, and then curled up in the van for about 2 hours of restless sleep.  People would be coming and going through the parking lot and chatting at all volumes so sleep was really pointless.

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Around 12:45, the girls came back from sleeping (resting) in the gym since it was time for Kayla to get ready and pumped up for leg #2.  Again, I must note that we didn’t expect for people to be racing these and yet, were running the legs a lot faster than anticipated.

Some people worry about running in the middle of the night but there is nothing to be concerned about.  You are required to wear a headlamp, vest, and reflector clips (“taillights”) and there are plenty of cones and volunteers to help along the way.  Plus, you do end up running most legs with other runners, passing some and some passing you.  My teammates had at least 10 “kills” (where they pass someone) on their routes but since I was stuck with the arguably tougher or just longer legs, I got a total of 9 between all three.

I ran my second leg around 4:15am {2.8 mi – 7:54 – 7:58 – 8} along a bike path and again regretted the bread and snacking that had occurred during the middle of the night.  This whole stomach situation I know is only minor in comparison to what some people have to deal with but is new to me.  It’s also why I love running on a fasted or semi-fasted stomach first thing in the morning.  When I finished around 4:45am, we packed up to go to the last exchange and settled down for a nap in the parking lot.  Ok, I settled into the van in the parking lot and a few of the girls tried to sleep in the school gym.  Again, it was colder and louder than anticipated and they later came back to rest in the van.

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Funny story though about the last exchange.  It was located 15 minutes away from Kayla’s Cape Cod house where we were planning to spend Saturday night.  That meant that we could have easily driven there, showered or at least passed out for a couple hours of SOLID sleep before running the last leg.  I had done something similar in Utah but didn’t realize that Kayla’s house was that close!  Well, hindsight is 20/20 right?

Around 10:15 (or so), our first runner Kayla set off for her third and final leg.  By this point, muscles were tight and stomachs were still out of whack (oh, just me? Cool).  It was an invigorating feeling to know that we were on the homestretch and that we were also crushing our anticipated finish time.  Everyone was coming back with at least 9-15 kills and I was somewhat dreading my last 9.6 miles.  Well, the time came for me to get moving and around 1:15 pm I headed out for the last leg.  For 9.6 miles I ran along a dirt path, side road, and main road to Provincetown {8:54 – 8:10 – 8:48 – 8:32 – 8:50 – 9:41 – 9:43 0 9:33 – 9:42 – 9:29}.  I passed a few people and a few passed me, including someone dressed as Forest Gump.

In my moments of weakness (yes, there were quite a few since it was hot and I was tired) I wondered why I had signed up for something like this.  Why was I running and what am I doing in my life?  Right now running and working out is a passion and there’s a passage from the latest Runner’s World that sums this up perfectly:

{It’s a way to push our limits, prove that we can accomplish something. It’s the stitching that holds our lives together; a means of training to step out of your comfort level.  Running isn’t about the places it takes you but the people you meet on the way.}

Just some food for thought.

So, while contemplating oh so many things and almost 90 minutes later, I arrived at P-Town and reconnected with the rest of my teammates.  Our team had finished in just over 28 hours and we later discovered that if we had a team of all girls (which we had initially), we would have placed 5th!!  Not only that but our name “Big Apple Cod Squad” was ranked as one of the top names from this year’s race!  After a quick and complementary meal of sandwich/soup, we started to head out to Kayla’s house for a night of celebration and relaxation.

All in all it was an amazing weekend.  I had no idea that it would go this well and I have not laughed this much in so long.  We had plenty of time on Sunday to chat/laugh about what went right and what went wrong.  There’s no point in writing it all out since it would be it’s own post and most of it wouldn’t make sense to anyone besides our van. But there were some tips and tricks we took away from the trip and were certainly use when/if we were to do this again.

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Tips

  • When runners are on deck (getting ready to run), you should have someone walk to the exchange point and wait for them to head off. You can also bring water, food, a blanket or whatever requested to hand over to the runner finishing their leg.
  • NYC poncho: Since we were in the NE, there were a ton of people who had run the NYC marathon and brought their super soft (and warm) poncho along. This is perfect for in the car or even while waiting between legs.  I definitely need to get more use out of this!
  • Try to cheer for your runner along their leg – either pick a halfway spot or cheer as you drive by (carefully…duh)
  • Portable speakers: Again, something I own and just don’t use that often. This would be helpful when hanging in the car or if we are camped out somewhere.  Our minivan didn’t have a cord to connect the phone to the speakers so portable and wireless would have come in clutch.
  • Pack your clothes for each leg in a separate plastic bag.  Bring warm clothes because it does cool off at night!!
  • Shelving for the van: There were tons of expert teams with mega vans, lights decorating the interior and exterior and a couple teams with better layouts than we did. Some had hammocks and sleeping bags and others had mattresses in their vans.  One team – Team Sloth – put a piece of shelving in their trunk so that they could place the bags on the bottom and plastic containers for each runner on the top. For a team that pretty much unpacked and repacked the car every.single.leg, this might have been helpful.
  • Have fun.

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Have you done a Ragnar or have any interest in Ragnars?

May Highlights ~ 5.27.16

Just as I was about to write my weekly (almost weekly) life of late post, I realized that this was the LAST FRIDAY OF MAY.  But really, how in the world have we already reached a full 5 months of 2016?  Spring has arrived and really before we know it, summer will be here – hot and humid in all of its glory.  You know, with a few days of heat already, I’m wishing I lived closer to a beach (or pool).  Thank goodness I sleep right under the air conditioner and oh spend 90% of my day inside underneath fluorescent lights (sarcasm people. all sarcasm). Hey, I can thank my lucky stars that my office has wonderful air conditioning.  I’m sure there are some that can’t say the same.

But onto what I have been doing the last few weeks.  Oh there is always a bit of running and eating going on, but some other fun things in between.  It may be the same ‘ol same ‘ol stuff that I post about but it’s what brings me joy.  Jordan from Balanced Blonde made an excellent point about the purpose of a blog.  There are many people who start a blog with one theme in mind – food, fashion, travel, etc and some people are able to monetize their content.  To those people I say well done.  Although I’d like to consider my own blog as a lifestyle blog since it pretty much documents my style of life.

It all comes down to what I am passionate about and that’s what I write here and share with you.  So sit tight because this is turning out to be a long one 🙂

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^^ Birthday run to brunch bash.  I organized a fun run around parts of the Brooklyn Half course and it just so happened to be the day after my birthday.  We then made our way to an epic hole in the wall joint that serves some of the best biscuits around.  Now I’m not an expert so we can call them the best biscuits around Prospect Park.

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^^ But really, I’m game to go back for a snack and maybe even a bloody mary.  I’m not usually a boozy bruncher but apparently those too are some of the best around.

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818 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225

IMG_6996^^ Still ever so grateful for the friendships I have made here in this city.  As Ali mentioned in her blog (I know I mention her a lot but she speaks words of wisdom and she shares my birthday so obviously I’m biased), finding November Project was a godsend.  I have learned to push myself, learned how to relax, and made genuine friends in this strange city.

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^^ As I always say, running with friends makes things 10x better.  This is me and my friend Annelise at November Project, just waking up the sun.  Now if you are curious to learn more about running, the ins and outs, why it sucks sometimes and how to make it better (LIKE MORE FUN!!!), check out my friend Ali’s new segments on the run section of the Fitness site.  Words upon words of clutch information right at your fingertips.

Oh and you get to know some of my cool friends from November Project 🙂 But really.  Check it out!

IMG_7220^^ When you need a snack and the dynamic duo come to your rescue.  Thank you Starbucks and Pinkberry.  It’s quite funny how my body reacts to sugar now that I don’t eat as much of it.  Sure, sure if you follow me on IG/Snapchat or this blog you may be rolling your eyes but what that really means is I used to eat a WHOLE bunch more.  Anyways, I’ve figured out a little trick where if I drink straight black coffee, I can stop slow some of the nasty side effects.  Ok mostly slowing the sugar crash.

IMG_7229^^ A new watch for my birthday with only the best and brightest blue wristband.  I also discovered that Mile Posts had created a Garmin interface with the runner movement phrase “I Run this Body”.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with this, it’s a movement (trending with a hashtag and clothes to match) that celebrates runners of all types – all speeds, all body shapes, and all levels.

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^^ One AMAZING kale salad from Westville.  My first time dining at the east village location and boy was it love at first bite.  The kale was shredded and dressed and mixed with walnuts, blue cheese, and cranberries.

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IMG_8501 (1) ^^ Last weekend Lindsay’s family (at least the girls) came out to visit and I was lucky enough to tag along on Sunday.  We started up at the Boathouse with a truly delicious brunch (frittata for the WIN), some time spent wandering Central Park, and then down along 5th Avenue with a stop inside Tiffany’s.

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^^ Absolutely ADORING my birthday bouquet from my friend Liz.  She ordered some of my favorites – Gerber daisies – from a new company called Bouqs.  What’s great is that they are 1) eco friendly and 2) cut to order.  I swear, those flowers lasted longer than I have ever had a bouquet last.

IMG_7219^^ After my very quick trip to LA for Meghan’s graduation, I saw this at LAX.   Now remind me why I’m living in a concrete jungle and not by the beach? 😉  Thank goodness I’ll get my ocean fix this weekend when Lindsay and I go to check out not one but two seaside escapes.  We both agree that we are spoiled by our proximity to favorite Laguna Beach back in California but since that’s not an option, we must venture out and try new things.  At least for now.

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^^ Some excellent street tacos by Tacombi found in Nolita, Flatiron, and Bleeker Street.  Guacamole is highly recommended a non-negotiable.

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The sun may set on another day but have no fear as there is you have the whole world out there to explore tomorrow.

Life of Late ~ 4.8.16

First off, a very happy birthday to my mom, or Madre as Meghan and I like to call her, as well as a happy birthday to my uncle Kevin who just so happens to share the lovely April 8th birthday.  It turns out that I don’t have many recent pictures with my mom, probably because I live practically 3 thousand miles away, so here’s a throwback to her 2014 oh-so-humid visit.

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What’s been happening in these neck of the woods?  Well Mother Nature has decided that we are not ready for spring and has delivered some brutally chilly mornings and freak rain storms.  Cool.  I have caught a cold despite all the vegetables and jugs of water that have been consumed.  I am still running every few days and am training for the next race – Brooklyn Half in May.  I’m not sure if I’ll try to PR on that course (when I ran the course in 2014) or if I’ll just take it easy.  Since it does happen to be a NYRR clubs point race, maybe I’ll find a happy medium and try to maintain a fun tempo. Stay tuned to see if that actually happens 😉

Other than that, it’s been lots of wandering, working out, and eating.  All good things.

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IMG_6153^^ The Easter brunch spread with some of the tastiest homemade quiche! I was invited out to Brooklyn by a new friend and she had the most adorable apartment.  But really, it was something out of a magazine.

IMG_6231IMG_6225^^ Friday Destination Deck at Fort Green Park – A few of us ran across the Brooklyn Bridge to the park where we then spent 30 minutes going up and down the steps and pumping out as many burpees as possible.

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IMG_6236^^ Listening in to those after-workout announcements and wondering why our Co-Leader Paul said caravan in such a French accent.  Good times.

IMG_6223IMG_6224^^ Currently obsessing over almond milk and almond milk lattes.  I have even picked up my own Califia Barista Blend to keep at work.  Turns out bringing your own milk and adding it to the $1.80 espresso is way cheaper than ordering it out.  Duh.

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IMG_6192^^ Thank you CNN for deciding to celebrate its employees with all the quesadillas, guacamole, and chips one could ask for.

IMG_6168The other day we had a baby shower for someone at work and the setup was safari themed and there were little printed pails with various snack foods and a full on ice cream bar.  Now despite having just finished lunch (a very healthy lunch if I might add >> tuna, hummus, carrots/brussels sprouts, sweet potato chips, and avocado), I proceeded to inhale a mini sundae and a couple handfuls of extra toppings.  I wasn’t exactly hungry but it felt like a mini fight or flight moment where if I didn’t eat it then, I wouldn’t ever have ice cream again.  I then decided to swear off sugar for a month and then found this mug cake recipe on Running on Veggies.  That’s where my #raceweight mind is at apparently.

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In similar news, I bit the bullet and signed up for Inside Tracker, a test that looks to optimize your body’s performance.  I’ve followed a few people insdie and outside of November Project (here, here, and here) that have been utilizing this program and am very curious to see what types of nutrients that I am lacking or over-doing.  My sugar intakes aren’t nearly as bad as they used to be (besides the above paragraph incident) but there’s room for improvement and with running on my mind, it’s worth a shot.

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^^ When find something that I really want to purchase but shouldn’t because I already spend too much money (namely at Lululemon).  Good thing it was sold out in my size. \

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^^ So if I won’t let myself buy clothes, what about prints for the wall?  Found from reading The Well Traveled Wife and now I’m absolutely in love with this Etsy prints shop.

Runners World ~ “Eight Reasons to Sip on Coffee” ~ You don’t have to tell me twice.  I do think that I over-did it in DC (averaging 3 cups at brunch) but who knew that restaurant coffee could be so rich and tasty?

YouTube ~ “Mirinda Carfrae training for the Ironman World Championships” {Australian professional triathlete and current triathlete world champ training video} ~ I used to have this dream of going to Kona and participating in the Ironman World Championships.  This started years ago when I was truly in love with Hawai’i and had never actually finished a triathlon.  Today the desire to do a full is still there, but not anytime soon.  Starting with a half would be smart and for that, I have my eye on the Oceanside location.

Gothamist ~ “Top 12 NYC Bridges Ranked” ~ With our mini rogue race (Take the Bridge) over the Williamsburg Bridge a couple weeks ago, that puts me at  5/12.  Meet November Project at 5:30/6:30 on 4/27 to check off #9

Pure Wow ~ “Perfect Poached Eggs” ~  Perfecting the poached egg is actually on my bucket list and with this how-to video, it should be a no-brainer.  Also, the fact that I’m outsourcing restaurants and paying $16-$18 for avocado toast and a poached egg is insane.  So maybe it’s time I give this a shot.

Soul Cycle ~ “Inside MB Regan’s Soul Journey” ~ Forever in limbo between east and west coast and I loved what she said regarding NYC >> “the intensity, edge and realness of the people. What you see is what you get. No BS!

IMG_6450 ^^ Double days with these gals.  Just making our way down the west side highway and back to the Lululemon store in time to get a free headband.  Always in it for the free swag.  Jessica (left) even lucked out and won a free gift card!!  That girl is amazing and is training to run the Boston Marathon next weekend and the Big Sur Marathon the weekend after!!

IMG_6198 IMG_6191^^ Eating the rainbow in a different fashion.  This time it was thanks to a November Project friend who brought the tasty treat back from Long Island.  Deeeelish.

IMG_6444“Don’t be afraid to give up the GOOD for the GREAT!” – Steve Prefontaine

Blondes Abroad ~ København 2015

For the past four and a half months, my sister has been studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark.  This is a normal thing to do when you are a junior in college (at least for those studying in the USA) and I myself spent a fall semester absorbing the culture in Barcelona, Spain.  Well, what do you do when someone you know lives or is abroad for a long period of time?  Visit them of course!  (sadly Meghan wasn’t able to visit Spain because of school and cross country, but I did get to see my mom for a short time).

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Anyways, the fact that Meghan’s program was set to end around Memorial Day made for a perfect work break and ultimately 10-day excursion to Scandinavia.  (I had actually traveled to a number of these locations previously but that was when I was less than the age of 3 and my parents and I lived in London for my dad’s work.  Needless to say I have pictures of it all but don’t remember a thing.)  She had been documenting her travels here for the few months and did an excellent recap of our Copenhagen adventure here.  Forewarning, I am posting picture heavy because I just love images are worth 1,000+ words, don’t you? If anything, my favorite part of traveling and even walking around NYC is to take in the sites and listen to everything around me.  Let’s begin, shall we? (forewarning, this is lengthy but has lots of fun pictures that also tell the tale)

Day 1: Arrival in København

IMG_6894The people, the languages, the cobblestone streets.  Everything here just screams Europe to me and I love it.

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~ Nyhavn ~

I took an overnight flight from good ‘ol Newark into Iceland and then another flight into Copenhagen.  From there, I following Meghan’s directions on how to get into the city (note: it’s a simple process but make sure you take the subway not the train…cough cough inside family joke 😉 ) After picking up an avocado flatbread sandwich and coffee from Joe and the Juice (which I thought was a small operation and that I was acting like a local – wrong – it’s a full-blown chain that hilariously only hires what look like male models), I met up with Meghan in Nyhavn.

Neither of us had international cell phones (her’s was finishing up that morning) so we decided to go old school and simply agree to meet at 3pm by the anchor.  No ability to say if you are running late, look up directions on your iPhone, or call each other to verify.  So strange and yet already I had the feeling of freedom from my iPhone.

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Walking around the palace

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The Little Mermaid
(no, not Disney created but rather Hans Christen Anderson inspired and Disney adapted)

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Sort of like the Mona Lisa portrait in the sense that it’s quite built up as an attraction and yet is so anti-climactic.  Still, I had to check it off the list.

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I found it fascinating that they 1) are super obsessed with Nike shoes (as well as the brand in general).  Nike is somewhat of a status symbol and you will see everyone walking around in different kicks.  Worked in my favor since that’s all I seem to wear while walking and had just picked up a pair from DSW.  A blonde in Nikes and I already fit into the culture.

Something else that intrigued me was that they are big into sweets (especially candy and licorice) but are so self-regulated that it is only a weekend splurge.  Stark difference to my American background and experience with indulging on the daily.

IMG_9913 Lucky for me, my arrival coincided with a Saturday evening dinner (Frikadeller – Danish meatballs, cabbage, & potatoes) and this lovely creation (chocolate mousse cake with vanilla ice cream, raspberries, a raspberry sauce, and dark chocolate shavings).  Meghan’s host dad, Tommy, is a chef and boy does he know how to present a meal.  If I had been their host student I would have surely gained 20 pounds from the trip.

Being jet lagged from the travel, I promptly passed out around 8pm.

Day 2: Exploration of København + Tivoli 

After sleeping for a solid 10+ hours (this.is.not.normal for me) we set off on a run through Hillrød, where Meghan’s host family was from, and had a lovely Scandinavian breakfast of homemade rolls with butter, jam, and cheese.  Meghan has always known how to self-regulate her meals and she has also been exposed to the type of spread Scandinavians eat for breakfast.  I on the other hand felt that my eyes bulged at every meal and subsequently left with a stuffed stomach (all in a good way).

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Sites seen: Rosenborg Palace, Christiansborg, through Christianshavn and Christiania, and to the trampoline sidewalks.

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denmark trampoline sidewalk

Around 2, we met up with one of Meghan’s school friends, Ruth, at Copenhagen Street Food.  This is very similar to the Williamsburg Smorgasbord but is housed inside a warehouse.  They run it every day of the week and during the warmer months, open it on the weekend.  After browsing from all the selections, I went with a pulled pork sandwich and Meghan selected a pork egg wrap (the wrap was literally made out of egg).

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After lunch, we walked back towards the center of town with Ruth, in and out of a few stores, and of course ended up in a sweets shop.  Copenhagen has these chocolate delights called fløbollers, which look like little snow caps with marshmallow and marzipan, all covered in chocolate.
Next stop…TIVOLI!
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We decided to go for the all ride wristbands, which enabled us to ride everything as many times as we pleased.  Like most city passes or ride passes, it’s important to think about how much you will get out of it versus paying ad hoc fees for rides or museums.  Well, we TOTALLY made the most out of our bands.
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I LOVE ROLLERCOASTERS! But really, it’s a problem.  I also seem to do this thing where I have a huge adrenaline rush while riding them and then can’t stop laughing and screaming.  Strange, but apparently I have had that problem (habit?) since I was little.
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Dinner at Cafe Paludan…possibly one of the best meals of the week – prosciutto salad with pesto, bacon, cheese, and a bed of greens.
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Though stuffed, a vacation is not complete without a scoop of ice cream (this just happened to be one of a few on my journey – but quite possibly the best).  Folks – if searching for something sweet, GO TO PARADIS!! Do NOT go to one of those pop up tourist traps, find your way to a Paradis and you will thank me later.
Day 3: Exploration of Helsingør + Copenhagen
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IMG_7047Local train ride (30-40 minutes) to Helsingør where we wandered Hamlet’s castle and along the harbor.  Apparently I had been inside the castle as a baby and Meghan advised that we skip the indoor tour.  I trusted her judgement and had a much more enjoyable time wandering the exterior.
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From there, it was back to Hillerød in order to pick up our bags before taking the train back into Copenhagen and grabbing salads from the Glass Market (at a paleo place none the less).
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We wandered up Strøget (the main shopping street) and I purchased my first souvenir of the trip.  A wooden horse that I named Sven. 🙂
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We then climbed up the tower in  Church of Our Savior
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(note – you will have to purchase tickets to climb the stairs but the views are totally worth it!)
 IMG_7061Testing out one of Meghan’s favorite pastries from Lakagehuset during our coffee break (ok, my coffee break).  We walked a bit more before grabbing our luggage, which had been stored at Meghan’s abroad program, and jumped on the metro to get to the airport.  From there, we scouted out a dinner option and played bananagrams until our flight to Bergen (Norway) was ready to depart.  If you are interested in a super cool hyper-lapse (or so I thought) check out my instagram here.

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Back at the castle near Hillrød

~ Danish Phrases ~

Goddag, mint nan er … ~ Hello, my name is …

 Tak {tahk} ~ Thank you

God morgen/God nat ~ Good morning/good night

Nej {nigh} tak ~ No thanks (and if you are just looking in a store you can say “Nej take, jet bigger bare” to say that you are just looking)

Meg vil genre have … ~ I would like … (polite way of ordering)

Undsyld ~ Used if you bump into someone.  They don’t seem to say “excuse me” so I guess this would be important to know

Jeg taler ikke Dansk ~ I don’t speak Danish

~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~

Well, if you happened to make it all the way to the end, congrats!  Stay tuned for our adventures in Norway.  Also, happy national running day!

Life of Late ~ 5.29.15

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Yes, I’m back in the states after a lovely trip to Scandinavia.  No, I was not prepared for the massive wave of humidity that greeted me at Newark Liberty Airport on Tuesday.  However, I can’t really complain because 1) it’s not even peak humidity season (or so I hear) and 2) it’s much better than the bitter cold we had during the winter months.

The last few weeks have truly been consumed with birthday shenanigans, November Project, getting ready to travel, and ultimately traveling. There will be more on those travels shortly but I have to say – it’s fascinating what “unplugging” does to the mind and how active I am when I do travel versus sitting at my desk during the work week.  I would like to think that I came back to work refreshed and ready to conquer anything that comes my way.  I’m 99% sure that’s true.  The 1% (or more just wishes that summer vacation was still a thing…)  I’m also trying to figure out how to move more throughout the day since we had been walking 5-8 miles daily in Scandinavia and now I’m limited to my morning workouts and a bit of to/from water coolers.  Good times.

But anyways, with the last Friday of the month upon us (how did May fly by so fast???), here’s a little bit of random and fun.

IMG_0166>> don’t mind me.  just getting in some cardio in Tivoli’s hamster wheel 🙂 sort of like this hamster magnet I posted about a few weeks ago.  always on the move  <<

~ Links that I Love ~

Sometimes, Always, Never Blog ~ “Why Don’t We Believe We Are Beautiful?

Fast Company ~ “7 Habits of Highly Influential People” ~

On Being ~ “The Disease of Being Busy” ~ (lives being blurred between activities, work, etc…we become our devices)

A Cup of Jo ~ “The Secret to Female Friendship” ~

Almost Getting It Together ~ “Healthy Homemade Frozen Yogurt Recipes” ~ (if only I had packed my froyo machine with me)

The Sunday Chapter ~ “9 Benefits of Warm Water & Lemon in the Morning” ~

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>> the lunch view when I decide to eat outside.  it can be very easy to just sit around at my computer, waiting for 5:30 pounding out projects, but I have realized that getting a least a 30 minute break provides just the right motivation to finish the afternoon strong <<

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>> bareburger.  a new favorite.  especially when they have such scrumptious vegetarian options (when I need a break from meat) and fresh lemonade.  not to mention their sweet potato fries = heavenly <<

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>> one of the best.gifts.ever.  a whale hat (love me some vineyard vines) and in the BEST color? why, I’m in love.  <<

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>> friday morning runs away from manhattan and into the piers of brooklyn.  magical, right? <<

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Recaps of my adventures with my partner in crime to come soon!

“If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine” – Morris West

Linking up for the first time with Life in Leggings!

Sights By The Sea ~ A Trip to Cape Cod

One of my many lofty goals is to explore the entirety of the east coast.  On a grander level, I would love to explore each and every state, as many countries as possible, and maybe even a road trip or two with pit-stops at random eateries and national parks.  But for the time being, I’ll stick to east coast based locations that are a hop, skip, and a jump away.  As a matter of fact, a month or so back, I waslucky enough to spend the weekend with my grandparents up in Cape Cod.  Yes I have been hoarding this recap in my drafts folder and so now it’s time to share the love.  

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While I don’t actually have any family that lives on the east coast, I do have lots of loving relatives who are willing to make the trip out from sunny Southern California.  Also, this might be a complete east-coast-ignorant statement but when I first proposed visiting the Cape, I had no.darn.clue how many places that potentially included.  Here I was thinking it was all one beach town.  Noooope.

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To be exact (wikipedia exact), there are 15 different towns {Bourne, Sandwich, Falmouth, Mashpee, Barnstable, Yarmouth, Harwich, Dennis, Brewster, Chatham, Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown}, each with a number of different villages.  Well thank you to my good friend Sarah, who has extensive knowledge of the area, I narrowed it down to Chatham and that is where we traveled.

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Once we selected the town, it was time to figure out where to stay.  Thanks to my dad’s excellent travel research skills, we stumbled upon possibly the most adorable B&B I have ever visited or seen before. The cute couple has been running this B&B for almost 20 years and they certainly have it all down to a science.

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The Old Harbor Inn
22 Old Harbor Rd, Chatham, MA 02633
(508)945-4434

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^^ perfectly decorated bedrooms filled with little snack baskets, the most luxurious mattresses, chocolates on the pillows, and an endless stream of snacks, cookies, coffees and teas one could ask for.

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^^ Even a daily breakfast selection by the hostess.  The night before, you will find a perfect little menu printed on your bed with all the potential options and boy is it delicious.  I certainly had way too much fun playing with the Nespresso machine.  Who wouldn’t?

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~ united states coast guard ~

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^^ on the first day that we were in town it happened to be 1) raining and 2) we were sans electricity as some fuse had blown out.  So instead of sitting around, we decided to drive out and around the various cape towns.  Lucky for us the sun decided to shine by the time we reached the tip of the “arm” (how some like to describe the shape of the cape)

grandparents on the beach

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^^ traveling out and around the coast to Provincetown is a must

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On Saturday morning, the sun was shining bright and early, so once we were finished with our lovely B&B breakfast, we set out for a walk about town.

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^^ salt water taffy, another must when you find yourself on any coast

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^^ a Massachusetts and northeast classic

IMG_6706^^ with so many different mom and pop stores to wander, I was in seventh heaven.  While the weather might have edged on the chillier side, it was lovely to travel and walk around town without all the tourists.  You know the overwhelmingly obnoxious tourists, not us of course 😉

More to come on some of our delicious eats!

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many many thanks for making the trip!

“Life is like a camera focus on what’s important and capture the good times” – unknown