Friday, August 30, 2013

A Day at the Park

I don't have many weekends off, and those few times I do have off, I always have plans whether it's a race or a party. So when I had off on a Saturday with no plans, Sal and I decided to make the most of the beautiful weather and we headed to a local park, with a lake where he could fish. He brought me to Barnes&Noble beforehand and I picked out a book that I could read while he fished. I'd fish with him, but I wouldn't want to show him up and catch more fish than him, haha... I'm only kidding. Afterwards, we headed to the park, with a fishing pole and a book in hand. As I made myself comfortable on the bench, Sal set up his bait on his pole and our relaxing day began.

Before I knew it Sal caught a fish, and being the professional fish picture taker, I whipped out my iPhone and snapped a few. While the fish were small, Sal was still happy with his catch. I returned to my book shortly after, soaking up the rays of sunlight. 

It felt like hours had gone by, and so we decided to rent a paddle boat on the lake, which was the funniest workout I've ever done, it even beats Zumba! Trying to steer and peddle is not as easy as it seems, even with two people doing it together. I couldn't help but laugh as we tried to retrieve one of Sal's fishing lines that had gotten caught in a tree! At first he assigned me to retrieving it, until he saw what a disaster that would be, and instead he made me peddle until I got as close as I could and then put me in charge of steering, again a bad idea. Our legs began to get sore after we peddled around the entire lake and the half hour seemed to drag! 

We were melting by the time we got back, and so when Sal suggested we grab Italian ice, something I will never crave or ask for... ever, I quickly obliged... because it was that hot. We picked up our Italian ice and headed to the street fair. Why we walked around outside in the heat some more is beyond me, but it ended up being a nice ending to the memorable day together. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Color Run 2013

I signed up for the Color Run with a bunch of Tone It Up girls. I'm normally shy when meeting new people, but I felt the need to push my boundaries and be outgoing. We had planned to meet at the race rather early but Sal and I ended up getting lost thanks to technology, and while I ended up being on time for the run, most of the girls had start times at that time, so I ended up running by myself. It was nerve racking standing there at the start line by myself, but I knew Sal was there at the finish line waiting for me, with his handmade shirt... my #1 fan.  I refused to let not only him down, but my self down. It was unbearably hot, and there were times that I wanted to slow down, but I ran. I ran the whole thing and I did it by myself. No one else received credit for this 5K when I crossed the finish line. It was me and only me, pushing myself until I had nothing left to give. I looked at the next color and told myself I could make it, and kept repeating it.

Just before I crossed the finish line, I saw Sal. I saw him before he saw me and I started smiling and screaming. He filmed me as I crossed that line, as I was shaking with excitement. I couldn't believe I had just completed a real 5K by myself. It wasn't timed and I wasn't even concerned with the time. It was all me. 

We walked around and ate some free samples, took more pictures of my colorful attire, and then met up with some of my Tone It Up sisters for a picnic. While I brought bananas, the rest of the girls brought blankets, chocolate Zico, and other healthy snacks. We sat together, talking and getting to know one another. It was great being able to talk to other girls about fitness and clean eating, two things I've grown to love.

And even though I ate clean that morning, it didn't stop me from going into my local bagel shop and ordering a Taylor ham, egg, and cheese. I'm just keeping it real. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dinner on the Lake

After the foam fest, and after scrubbing the mud off for what seemed like an hour... Sal suggested we grab dinner on the lake and even though I was tired and just wanted to relax, I agreed thinking what could be more relaxing than enjoying dinner with my boyfriend on the water?

We got to the restaurant and had perfect seats right on the water. No ones table was in front of us, and we could see  what seemed like miles of water! It was a breathtaking sight as the sun went down. The food wasn't that great, but it wasn't bad either. He enjoyed steak, while I tried the crab cakes. Not like what we had to eat mattered, because when we're together that's all that seems to matter to me. It's funny though because we're always trying to make sure that the other is happy and having a good time. We always do, but we always ask to make sure. 

After the sun had set, we made our way back home... But not before we stopped for ice cream, that was delicious. I swear I've tried every ice cream shops cookie dough ice cream. I can honestly tell you where the best place to go for it, and the worst place. 

When I look back on these nights though it's not the way the food tasted or the name of the restaurant we went to that sticks out in my mind, it's the way Sal made me feel... nervous, stomach filled with butterflies... beautiful, in my own skin... and so so loved. Every girl deserves to feel this way, every day. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Foam Fest 2013

In the beginning of the year, Sal and I made a list of 13 goals for 2013. On my list, one of my goals happened to be... Run more than 2 5Ks and start training for a 10K. I crossed off part of that goal in July, but I wasn't about to stop there. This past week I completed my third 5K this summer! I've now ran 4 5Ks since I started really running.

My first 5K this summer was the Foam Fest, an obstacle fun run that was based around... yup, you guessed it... FOAM. I asked Sal to join me, and also ran with two ladies I knew from kickboxing. Sal and I ran the entire time, and stopped and completed each obstacle together. It was motivating knowing he was right there beside me and he wasn't going anywhere. We stayed together at the same pace and pushed each other during each obstacle. It was hysterical to get stuck in mud, run through foam, and crawl under barbed wire together. It made me realize that we could get through anything together. There was one obstacle in particular that I was a little nervous about...  you had to climb up a rope ladder and back down the other side and it was extremely steep. I wanted to go first; I'm not sure why but just knowing that he was right there behind me was comforting. I heard his words of encouragement and I felt safe. I knew he probably couldn't catch me if I fell, but I knew he'd at least try, and that in itself helped me get over the obstacle. It was exciting and thrilling to be on a team with others because we were all determined to finish. The huge 3 story slide at the end was exhilarating and if the line wasn't so long I probably would've gone down again.

When we crossed the finish line, I felt like I could accomplish anything. They handed us our medals, which I took proudly. It would be the first medal I'd receive for a race, and hopefully not the last. We took a team picture and grabbed our freebies from bananas and juice to a shirt and beer. The foam washed most of the dirt and sweat off, so I quickly changed in the makeshift tent and grabbed Sal's hand as we made our way back to the car on a mission to eat Taylor ham, egg, and cheese on a bagel, because, honestly, what else is better than that after a run?! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Remembering my Grandma

Months and months fly by, and eventually life goes on without you even noticing. This happens... Time ticks, even after a loved one passes away. After I wrote about losing my grandmother, months had gone by and we hasn't celebrated her life. It was as if we closed the book of her life and it started to collect dust on the bookshelf. Family moved on, as if nothing had even happened. However, there were a few individuals who wanted to make sure her memory lived on. My aunt decided to take it into her own hands and put a rose bush in her front yard. My grandmother loved roses and therefore, her memory will forever grow.

We all gathered in my aunt's front yard, and shared fond memories of my grandma. I held on to my cousin. I didn't say anything, although I'm good with words on paper, I'm not the best conversationalist. I have a tough time getting my thoughts and feelings out verbally. We grabbed a shovel, as we shoveled dirt into the ground, we each said a small personal prayer. Sending good thoughts and love into the ground to enable the flowers to bloom. Where there is death, there is also birth. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Weekend Getaway to Lake Seneca

Whenever Sal says let's go away, whether it's for a weekend or a week, I know it's going to be unforgettable. He researches and plans it out so that we have things to do, but we also have time to relax and explore on our own. Since I'm a new found wine lover, he knew that the Lake Seneca Wine Trail would be perfect, and let me just tell you, it was. We arrived at our hotel before I knew it, but not before we stopped at a diner straight out of a horror movie. We were too early to check in, so we decided to explore the town.

We immediately found a dinner cruise on the lake and signed up. Considering we had area hours to kill, we started to hike Watkins Glen State Park, famous for its 13 waterfalls, that were absolutely breathtaking. I don't know what it is about waterfalls with Sal and I, but we just can't get enough of them. We even found smaller ones the next day. Walking through the park was incredible though, and as cheesy as this may sound, really made me feel one with nature, looking up at the surrounding rock and sun peeking out behind a cloud, reflecting off the falling water. We eventually made it back to our hotel to get ready for our dinner.

We, of course, arrived early and stood on the dock, waiting in the breeze. While we walked along the dock, I came across a wooden carving that said K+S. Now I don't know about you, but I believe in signs like that, but even without that sign I know that Sal and I are meant to be. When we were finally sitting at our table, toasting our memorable weekend to come, I couldn't help but smile. We enjoyed drinks over a great dinner, listening to live music, trying to take in all of the views.

As the sun set, I couldn't believe how lucky I was at that moment, holding hands with the man I love, looking at the sun. Pictures couldn't do it justice, and eventually we stopped trying; living in the moment together. 

I never thought the weekend could get better after that, but it did. We woke up early to start our wine trail adventure! Of course we had to stop at the penguin bay winery... Because penguins are my FAVORITE. I was able to snag a wine cork holder, and a bottle of wine or two. The day continued and we kept adding bottles to the box in the car. Not only did we buy a bottle from almost every winery we went to, but we also bought wine glasses from each winery to add to our collection. We want to be able to bring them out to drink from when we have a place of our own! What great conversation starters, don't you think?! We ate lunch at one of the many wineries we went to, but it didn't seem to stop the warm feeling that makes you feel like you're floating on air. The pretzels and breadsticks didn't help either. We didn't even cover half of the wine trail, even though we went all the way around the lake. We ended the night with dinner at a winery with beautiful views and decided to head back to the hotel. 

The next day, our last day there, was spent relaxing... Fishing on the lake, since Sal made the previous day all about me, I decided to let him have his morning. While he fished, I read, and it just worked. We ate lunch with more spectacular views of the lake in sight, and enjoyed one more glass of wine and a beer before heading back home. I always get so emotional after a vacation with Sal, no matter how small. Going from seeing a person 24/7 and sleeping in the same bed together, to seeing a person 2 days a week, is difficult to adjust to, and takes time. I start to feel anxious, but not before I scream out my love for Sal. Whoops! Haha, at least it make for a funny story. 

We sat in traffic on our way home, which only made us want to go back even more. We made the most of it by blasting country music, and taking silly pictures, and maybe just maybe, facetiming my brother.

We kept laughing and talking about our weekend together, and how we couldn't believe that it was already over. Even with the traffic it felt like it took no time at all to go home. Why is that? It takes forever to get to the destination, but it doesn't take very long to get back home. I guess that's with life too though.

All I know for sure is that we will be going back to Lake Seneca. We're definitely not done with all the wineries, yet.