July 12th, 2012
Even as a skinny kid I had a low tolerance to heat. Maybe it’s the whole being born in February thing or my DNA, I do not like heat.
Returning our car in the morning turned into chaos. The rental company did not give me a specific requirement. They called and I said, “Oh yah we’ll be back by 10:30am” and proceeded to not realize it was 10:15am and we were no where near leaving.
Making matters worse was my Mom and Dan had some errands they wanted to run which made it a little more confusing to coordinate, and then it turned out Prescott had Rodeo Days going on, so traffic was insane. I did finally get the car turned in, the guy was very nice and the room full of people waiting on our car return kindly did not kill me.
We then needed to go to FedEx to ship our stuff back home. Lest I not forget, the other car of my parents, now had no fan working. So we were stuck in traffic with no A/C or even air moving.
Boxes shipped and we were off to Lowes because they needed a few more things. We had to do the very scenic route to avoid the Rodeo Days event and parade. Then back to the house to relax.
We opted to eat dinner at my parents place so as to not add another stop on the way to the airport. Dinner was delicious. The mood was bitter sweet knowing I wouldn’t see my Mom for many more months.
Craig and I packed efficiently and we were off to the airport. Now this shouldn’t have been a big deal, our flight was at 11:39pm out of Phoenix. We were driving into the night and it gets cooler, right? No! As we headed south out of the mountains, it got hotter and hotter and hotter. 45 minutes away from the airport I tried to roll down my window for some fresh air, which proceeded to burn as if a hair dryer had been put in my face.
I checked my weather app to see it was 102ºF at 8:50pm. At this point Craig and I couldn’t wait to get to the airport, all we wanted to do was sit in air conditioning. As we got into Phoenix the temperature continued to rise to 106ºF. Hot is hot and I have never experienced heat like that. We had quick hugs and went into the airport and cooled off. I worried about my Mom and Dan getting home. By the time they’d be getting home, we’d be in the air with no communications. Gratefully they did arrive home safe.
I had a feeling the whole trip I’d be randomly checked by the TSA and I was. My laptop is what got flagged and thus me. The woman was very serious and swabbed my laptop and of course there was nothing. Off we went to put our shoes back on and go find our gate.
The flight was packed. Craig slept. I dozed on and off, which meant when we arrived in NYC I was exhausted. Kelly picked us up at the airport and we had one of the easiest exits from NYC ever and were back in Danbury very quickly.
We proceeded to sleep on and off all day. We went to dinner with my inlaws but the following day it felt like a blur.
Glad to be home in a land where temps rarely make it over 95 for any more than a few days a year. Where water is not sparse and electricity doesn’t cost more depending on the time of day. I miss my Mom and I do miss the relaxation of their home and the amazing views around them.
June 21st, 2012
I knew the day before would be crazy, and gratefully I was able to wind down at work without project craziness. I probably should have been suspicious at that point. Craig picked me up at work, we headed to Stop & Shop for some last minute travel items. Back home for pizza with my in-laws. Many thanks to them for bringing it over and taking care of our kitties while we’re gone.
Just as we started packing, my Mom called to say that they were settled and ready for us. We collected ourselves and drove down to the Holiday Inn off Exit 8 to pick up their car for the next morning. We arrived around 9:30pm and the place was packed, cars parked on the grass, valet parking and blaring music. Lots of drunk old people; yes I’m calling you out people we passed in the elevator at 11pm at night acting like you’re 19 but you’re like 49.
We visited for a little while, and then realized the time. Back home, back to packing and finishing cleaning our home. 1am we slept.
Side note: I rented a Canon 17-55mm f2.8 IS lens that is amazing. I got to play with it in the afternoon. Great lens! The depth of field is so nice.
June 21st, 2012
Well it’s that time again, not exactly our plan but we’re going along for the ride. My Mom is relocating from Connecticut to Arizona. I admire her for deciding to move across the country to an area that has always intrigued her. Politics with standing I hope she has a wonderful new life in Arizona. We are helping them move their items, in particular their Honda Civic and 2 cats.
Below is the itinerary per say in Google Maps form.
Wish us luck please!
June 6th, 2010
Unbeknownst to us the spare bedroom at our rental had a taxidermied bear under it. Craig and I had been in the room several times before my sister in law arrived and didn’t notice it. Then when she arrived and we went to make the bed, there was silence, a gasp and a scream. Of course this was all happening at night and thus making the “not what you expected” factor rise a lot more.
Before we left Craig and Kerry took some fun pics. Kerry has been vegan since the start of the year, so it seemed perfect to have her reading her book, “Simply Vegan”.
June 2nd, 2010
Of all the reasons to come to Maine this is by far my favorite; biking the carriage trails of Acadia. The hills are deceiving and I’m in awe of people who just fly by me. Today we did a 9 mile loop with a stop at Jordan Pond House for some pop overs.
Route: We parked at Bubble Pond, headed up to the Jordan Pond loop, went by Jordan Pond House, then around the mountain, down the backside of Eagle Lake and then back up to the Bubbles parking area.
Observations along the way:
- I bike up hills at 3-4 mph
- Stopping for longer than a minute after mile 5 garnered much longer start ups
- 65 degree weather and cloudy is perfect for me for biking
- Pack a small point and shoot camera
- Get an extra battery pack for the iPhone
- Listening to the Crystal Method for most of the trip seriously kept me moving?
- First ride of the season, 9 miles
- Did not have to stop on the hills, just went slow and steady
- Did not stress about hills, but accepted them and chose to conquer them
We managed to time our ride perfectly again to bump into the horse and carriage teams leaving the stables with their passengers. Each group waved to us and said Hi.
As always I loved the ride, had a great time and wish I could do it every weekend. A slightly easier version would be nice everyday to get to work.
We had fun later in the trip where we seemed to be the only ones on the trail and we shot some video. Craig is going to be compiling it into something fun to watch and I’ll post when he does.
May 31st, 2010
Kerry and I decided to explore Great Wass Island today. The weather was perfect and we wanted to get out of the house, as well as get some exercise. My inlaws and Kerry had gone to this island last year but I never made it. It definitely ranks up as one of my favorite trails to hike.
The trail included several varieties of terrain, from roots and dirt, to boardwalks and several large boulders. I love the trees through these island landscapes, they’re small and scraggly growing in directions clearly blown by the Atlantic wind. In the woods the temperature was perfect, we worked up a good sweat. Along the trail I managed to scare a red squirrel and a spruce grouse.
At the terminus of the trail we got an incredible view of the Atlantic Ocean. We had the whole beach to ourselves for quite a while.
The rocks were wonderfully sun baked and kept us warm as the wind picked up and made for a chilly but sunny lunch. We were able to keep with our vegan eating packing left overs. It was a great way to spend the afternoon. According to the LoseIt app, our 2.5 hour hike totaled 1100 calories burned. We spent a total of 3.5 hours out on the island.
Onto tomorrow and more adventures!
May 30th, 2010
This year we’ve taken two weeks to vacation/retreat in Maine. The house as it turns out is being rented out to the public for the first time and I think we are the first renters. The view and location are incredible. We’re only 45 minutes from Bar Harbor and 20 minutes from Ellsworth. High speed internet was supposed to be in place, but it took a while for the internet company to get things going. With that said, Fairpoint is so much better to deal with than AT&T.
Unlike last year we’ve had incredible weather. Almost everyday has been sunny with a light breeze and as I said before, gorgeous views. I’m incredibly grateful for that. We’ve spent a lot of time reading and brainstorming projects and future plans. We’ve made some delicious healthy meals and working on sun tans. We both managed to get decent burns after sitting out for 5 hours on one day.
We made a trip into Bar Harbor and enjoyed town life and lots of lobster. I visited my favorite store, Cool As A Moose and picked up some new Life Is Good swag. Today begins the second week and we’re off to do some biking and enjoy the outdoors.
November 30th, 2009
A few weekends ago, we had finally set a date for our [Kelly, Debbie and myself] 30th birthday weekend away. It should be noted our birthdays are all in February and March. It has taken this long to get everyone’s schedules together. Just before the trip Kelly had to back out due to having contracted the swine flu. We only had a few more weeks left in the year, so we opted to go ahead with the day trip.
To add to the chaos of the weekend, we were also being deluged by tropical storm Ida. Our plans were to visit Newport, RI; shop on Thames St, eat at the Red Parrot and then head out to the cliff walk and mansions. We managed to keep our plans with several puddles, umbrellas and rain drop dodging runs.
The food at the Red Parrot was very delicious and we spent quite a while just catching up. Then we ventured back on to Thames and did some fudge shopping and Christmas gift shopping. We browsed through the GAP and the General Store. We decided to try to see at least one of the mansions before we headed to dinner. Turns out they have really short hours and high costs. It was $18.00 a ticket and we got 45 minutes in the mansion before they closed at 5pm. We visited the Breakers which Craig and I hadn’t been to in a very long time. They had some Christmas decorations out but not the full regalia as it will be this week.
If you’ve never been to Newport, RI and have never seen the mansions, it’s worth the cost and trip. They are amazing. To create these today would be nearly impossible, the raw materials would be too expensive, even for the Bill Gates of the world. The land is is beautiful and the views are amazing.
After the mansions, we tried to see if the ocean was visible enough for photos, but it got dark so quickly. We even went out along the Ocean Drive but it was just dark and foggy. The group had filled up on fudge and jelly bellies from earlier so we headed back into town and then back home.
I’m hoping Craig and I will get over there again before Christmas to see Marble House decorated for Christmas.
September 6th, 2009
While on vacation we had planned to get some biking in. I’ve been pretty out of it this past year. Also it’s not advised for Craig while he has his neck issue.
We finally got a break in weather on Wednesday and we headed into the National Forest to the Lincoln Woods trail. We talked to these wonderful park rangers who gave us our options. They said the trail that leads up to the falls has “some” railroad ties left in place. Ok… not a problem, because it’s a rail trail, so guaranteed nothing more than a 3% grade and a few railroad ties is not a big deal.
Turns out it was lots of railroad ties. The trail turned out to be a lot of fun. The way out to the falls and trail terminus (for bicyclists) was 2.8 miles, it was also the 3% up. Imagine having to bike over roots and rocks, but throw in speed bumps every 3-4 feet, you’ve got the Lincoln Woods trail. About 3/4 way out I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to keep going. It was really kicking my butt and I was burning out. Craig stopped with me while I caught my breath and we decided to give it a little more.
One positive of the trail is on either side of the ties there is a small path to ride that is just dirt and roots. I was wondering how I was going to do on the way back but was glad to be able to rest when we got to the bridge.
The ride back turned out to be a lot of fun. It was 3% grade down. It pushed me to use my biking skills to pick a good line, avoid the nails that were still in some of the ties, ride out of the saddle to avoid destroying my butt and back. I also realized after a good mile that I would need to float my hands on my handlebars because my wrists were getting very sore. As usual my extra weight gave me quite a bit of momentum going down hill, I even hopped my bike up on to a bridge and kept going. I felt great after the ride, I loved the technicalities of the trail and was ready to go do it again the next day.
If your in that area, have a mountain bike, go do this trail. For those experienced and in shape riders this probably won’t be much of a challenge, but for the novice group it’s a good and safe technical challenge.