Seattle Expectations v. Reality

The idea of moving somewhere new is often accompanied by the idea of starting over. Before I moved to Seattle, I thought a lot about the why. It’s a big change and I wanted to make sure I was doing it for the right reasons and with appropriate expectations.

I knew it wasn’t going to be a complete fresh start, after all, I’m still me. I changed a lot around me, but a simple move wasn’t going to change who I was. If I wanted to do that, that would take some work. I guess the potential for new things is the whole idea of a fresh start.

Here are some ideas I had of how my life in Washington would be different and how that’s working out for me:

I would be an amazing runner. Well, no. There are certainly more opportunities to run – better weather at any time of the day and fun, new exciting routes, but I have yet to pick up a five mile a day habit.

I would write all the time. Well, since I’ve moved here, the weather has been amazing and decidedly “Arizona winter-like” so my ideas of sitting at the window watching the rain, drinking tea and writing the next great American novel have not quite happened. Yet. Everyone keeps telling me this weather will not last. I’m pretty sure I brought it with me from the desert and it’s here to stay. Also, I don’t have a table at which to write.

Also, I would read all the time. When not inspired to put pen to paper fingers to keyboard, the rain would surely inspire me to curl up and devour books in solid chunks. Yes and no. I’ve made up some ground on the lack of books I read in January, but I haven’t spent a whole day reading…again, the weather is quite uncooperative. My favorites this month: This Is Where I Leave You and Big Little Lies.

I would be so city chic. I couldn’t figure out my fashion in Arizona and I can’t figure it out here and that’s okay. Tell that to the five boxes of online shopping orders sitting on my bed.

My dog would become a city boy and come everywhere with me in this dog friendly city. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. No. In the city, Rigo is even more scared and neurotic and bossypants. I’m working on this.

I would be super social. My job pretty much requires it and as a social introvert, I can hang, but I’m quite aware of when I need my alone time to recharge. However, my friend Robin who once upon a time relocated to Arizona has told me I must say yes to social invites until I have three friends, so I am getting out there. I knew people before I moved here, so while I’m being social with them, I’m afraid they don’t count toward my new friend tally, so for now I’m going to say I’m 0 for 3, but still going for it. My March is full of book clubs because this girl knows how to party.

Speaking of…I would have dance parties pretty much all the time. No. I have yet to push away my coffee table and dance it out.

I would be a terrible (scared and timid) city driver. No. Well, I’m actually the terrible (zipping around and driving fast) driver in a sea of pretty nice and courteous drivers. Normal in Arizona = asshole in Washington. Got it. I also assumed I’d be scared of parallel parking as I’ve never really learned how to do it. Now, a month in, by trial and error (but no dinged bumpers), I’m really good at it and I just want to do it all the time. But not on hills.

I would live in an amazingly beautiful place. Yep. There was only one day when I was coming into Seattle from the east when the water and city came into view and I was like, meh, seen it, and I realized it was far too soon to be unimpressed by the beauty and start taking it for granted. Even growing up in Arizona and being there for the last five years, I would still look around and remember how pretty it is, in its own right. It was a “pretty” I got used to, which is why I think Seattle, being so different, is just gorgeous. I can’t wait for spring and summer when there will be even more green!

Aaaand, now I realize that many of my expectations of city life and Seattle life have come from pop culture – The Killing, SATC, 10 Things I Hate About You, Fraiser, Grey’s Anatomy, Sleepless in Seattle.

Overall, I wouldn’t have wanted it to be exactly how I pictured it in my head. The ups and downs of real life are much better!

Life’s Short, Live Somewhere Awesome

The last few months have been…eventful. Moving out of Arizona has been on my mind for a few years now. There are many wonderful things I love and (spoiler alert) will miss about Arizona, but it didn’t feel like where I was supposed to be.

My two favorite cities could not be more different from each other, but last year I started looking seriously at Seattle and San Diego as my next new home. Having a job I liked in Phoenix gave me flexibility to be patient as I applied to new jobs in those cities. As an out-of-state candidate, I felt like a huge long shot, but I found a few opportunities that were great fits and finally got some traction in December and an offer right around the new year.

January was a total blur of every kind of stress imaginable, but three weeks ago, my condo was packed in an ABF UPack moving container (highly recommend it, I had a great experience with them) and en route and my mom, my dog and I hopped in my trusty little Corolla for a three-day, 1500 mile trip to the Pacific Northwest.

It’s been everything I’ve expected – and more, and less – but for the most part, it’s starting to feel like home.

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A morning walk around Lake Union.

Oh the Places You Will Go: Belize

Last year was a big travel year for me and my blog became mostly a picture album for those wonderful trips, so I can hardly Belize that I got back from the biggest, best trip of my year over a month ago and haven’t even posted anything about it!

Over the summer, my amazing, adventurous friend, Emily, said, “I’m going to Belize for Thanksgiving, want to come?” It wasn’t, “I want to go” or “I’m thinking of going.” It was just, hey, here’s where I’ll be, will you be there too? See? Amazing.

In college, I had a chemistry professor from Belize and it seemed like a cool place to visit, so it’s been on my list ever since, so when the opportunity to go with two of my best friends came up, it was a no-brainer. (Except for the brain power it took to figure out how to get more vacation days that I really didn’t have.)

Lists of locations and activities flew between us as we planned the trip and we ended up with a great itinerary for our eight days there. I flew into Belize City to meet Emily and Robin, who had been there for one day already and we took a van inland to San Ignacio for the first part of our trip. It was about a two-hour drive, but it was filled with anything and everything the driver could tell us about the country. All of our tour guides were so friendly and knowledgeable. One point for being a fantastic travel location…English is the official language of Belize.

In San Ignacio we stayed at Maya Mountain, which was a highlight of the trip for me. The staff was so welcoming and accommodating, the food was awesome and they helped us coordinate our fantastic tours.

Day 1: Actun Tunichil Muknal or ATM
This is the “must-do” tour in San Ignacio and we were told to save the best for last because nothing would top it, but with the threat of rain that could close the tour down (as it had the previous week), we wanted to make sure we got it in while it was sunny.

We were going spelunking, so we wore helmets:

photo (7)It’s a cave tour and you start by hiking about two miles to the cave entrance, then it’s go time. You swim, wade, walk and climb almost a mile into the cave, which was a Mayan ceremony site, so it’s full of ceramics and skeletons from human sacrifices (yeah, for real, like right next to you). Because you get up close and personal with the artifacts, you can’t take cameras in (someone dropped one on a skull once) and at the end, you climb in socks. Seriously, such a great experience.

Day 2: Cave canoeing + picnic + swimming
On this day, I understood why we were told to save ATM for the last day. This cave canoe trip was fun, but just very tame compared to ATM.

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I really enjoyed, well, the picnic, because Maya Mountain packed our lunches on these tours and they were maybe the best sandwiches I’d ever had. But, I also really enjoyed the swimming afternoon. We hiked down to the pool of a waterfall and swam around there. It was a hot day and the water felt great.

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Day 3: Tikal (Guatemala)

DSC01234Tikal was a massive Mayan city in Guatemala. We were told that, but seriously, it’s huge and one of the most fascinating things is that it was abandoned at the end of the 10th century and, since it’s in the middle of a rainforest, these massive temples just got buried under all the new growth and it was undiscovered until the 1800s. Not much money was put into the excavation until the 1950s and even now there are buildings that are currently being excavated and some that haven’t even been started. And there are thousands of buildings in the city, including temples, which were a lot of the buildings we did get to see and even climb. The temples sticking out above the tree canopy was so cool, it was used in one of the Star Wars movies, which maybe made it less cool, but still beautiful:

Oh, and I also made a new friend:

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Since the basis of the trip was that it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a lot of the things I did were based on the same idea, as well as the theme of What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding, which I had just finished reading: Do the thing you’re supposed to do in the place you’re supposed to do it. 

Day 4: Travel to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
We had to say goodbye to Maya Mountain and make our way back to the coast to stay on the cayes, pronounced keys and cayes are like islands, but different in that they are actually formed on top of coral. The reef that stretches from Mexico to Belize is one of the biggest in the world, BUT it protects Belize, making it unsurfable. I only mention it because when I put Belize on my bucket list it included surfing in Belize, so I was kind bummed when I found that out. And because I’m a huge nerd who was so excited to learn everything on vacation.

But, San Pedro on Ambergris Caye is beautiful (La Isla Bonita according to Madonna) and a really fun, lively place to stay. Unfortunately, our luck with the weather wore off by the time we got there and it was cold and rainy for much of the rest of our trip.

Day 5: Fishing + snorkeling
We still wanted to see all the things and do all the things, so we chartered a boat tour, aka, asked the bartender to help us set something up and when a man in a boat appeared at the end of the dock the next morning, we jumped in his boat. Fortunately, it was actually our guy.

He took us out a ways and we went fishing, which was kind of unexpected, but a lot of fun. Our fishies we caught were kinda small, but pretty. We had to catch a lot because we were going to eat them for lunch! Our guide BBQed them and some potatoes and it was delicious.

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The dive location we wanted to go to was difficult with the wind and rain, so we ended up detouring, but still seeing coral and fish. I hadn’t been snorkeling in a long time, so I was a little unsure. And then right when I put my face in, I saw a shark! It was a nurse shark and at the floor, which was maybe six feet down, so I wasn’t too concerned. It was actually really cool! I was swimming right on top of big schools of fish and saw a big old stingray too.

Day 6: Boat taxi to Caye Caulker + drinking weather
We decided to split our beach days between two of the cayes and I’m so glad we did. San Pedro was fun, but Caye Caulker was so wonderful. I read that if you want to see what San Pedro was like before it got totally popular and commercialized, go to Caye Caulker. They have three main dirt roads that have real names, but everyone calls them Front, Middle and Back. There are no cars, just bikes and golf carts, but everything’s walkable anyway. We stayed at a little condo place at one end that had a patio with an exit right to Front Street and the ocean.

Unfortunately right when we got there it started raining. Optimistically, we headed to a snorkeling tour company to sign up for a tour the next day assuming it cleared up, which (spoiler alert) it did. However, for the rest of that day, it was just a downpour, so we just sat at a restaurant drinking two very Belizean drinks – Belikin beer (you say, “I’ll have a beer,” and that’s what they give you, it’s awesome) and a Panty Ripper, which is pineapple juice and rum and delicious. Aaaand, I don’t remember what we did after that, probably read and went to bed early.

Day 7: Snorkeling sailboat trip
Another highlight of the trip was waking up on our last full day to SUNSHINE! We had a great breakfast and boarded a Rastafarian sailboat for a snorkel tour of the reef.

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We stopped at a place called Shark and Ray Alley, which you can guess meant it’s where the sharks (again, nurse sharks) and rays hang out. Even more so when the tour guides throw fish at you while you’re in the water and they come up and get it! It took me a while to get in, but it was amazing.

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At the next stop, we swam out to the reef and saw everything! More rays, a few turtles, eels and lots of fascinating fish. Then we sailed back with ceviche, rum punch, reggae music and the sunset. It was incredible.

After some warm up showers and shower beers, we went to a restaurant the crew suggested where you pick your dinner from a table of fresh seafood on the street – I got a lobster – and they take it in and cook it up for you! Then we went to a reggae bar (one of two bars on Caye Caulker that came highly recommended – and the other one was closed). It was dead, but we met a few Americans and then it began to fill up, including with a few of the guys from the boat. We danced and drank and stayed out probably not very late at all, but the latest we were out all week.

Day 8: Home :(

Just like that, it was over.

So, obviously, I had a great time. I’ve been telling anyone and everyone to go to Belize! It’s accessible and easy-going with so much to do and such great people, but not yet overly touristy. I would go back in a heartbeat to see the places we didn’t get to and even return to some of my favorites that we did.

I got the travel bug big time and can’t wait for my next trip!

In the last two months…and starting (quitting?) Whole30!

In the last two months I…

Donated blood. Went to TopGolf a handful of times. Went to an ASU football game. Went to a wedding in Sequim, Washington and rode the ferry back to Seattle…

Another hello gorgeous weekend in the PNW.

Another hello gorgeous weekend in the PNW.

Attempted and failed at seared ahi tuna steaks. Got my hair did and done and redid. Had an awesome yoga/brunch/pottery painting date with my mom…

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Went to the dentist. Went to the dentist again (waaah). Celebrated the return of football Sundays (and Mondays and Thursdays). Joined/started a book club – so far we’ve read The Burning Air and Rooms. Was excited for – and then reminded that it’s not quite yet – race season…

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Esprit de She 5K 35:05 – You almost wouldn’t even know by looking at this picture that I had to sit down for about 5 minutes two miles in so I didn’t pass out :(
Oktoberfest 5-miler 50:27
They were both just really warm days and I was unprepared. Hello wake-up call!

Had a mini high school reunion aka drank beer on a patio with the people I actually liked…

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Went to Tour de Fat.  Saw the Zac Brown Band in concert…

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And started the Whole30. I have a few friends doing it with me and I posted one pic on Instagram, but I feel like for some reason this blog keeps me most accountable.

This was breakfast. BREAKFAST.

This was breakfast. BREAKFAST. Meat and vegetables for BREAKFAST.

I started on Monday and it’s going well so far – no “hangover” or crazy cravings. Maybe a little food boredom already, which is no bueno, but having a plan makes it easy to stick to it. Kinda. I’m having a few moments of weakness and considered failure an option before I even started but as of now I have no good reason not to keep going, so I guess I will?

Have you done Whole30? Success or no-go?

Work it Out: Orangetheory Fitness

Run, don’t walk, to your nearest Orangetheory Fitness! During the month of August they are doing a salute to the troops and giving new guests a free three-class package. I joined a friend who already is a member and a friend who was also doing the trial and finished the last of my classes last night and I loved it.

Orangetheory is an hour-long class that fits in cardio and strength training. Everyone wears a heart rate monitor and TV screens around the room show your heart rate and what zone you’re in, with the idea being to stay in orange or red (84% max heart rate and above) for a good portion of the class. Or if you’re me, like the whole class. I’ve never worked with a heart rate monitor before, but apparently my body likes to get to work.

No, everyone is not looking at your heart rate and judging you. Yes, I did look up and compare to see if others were in the same color zone I was in or if I was the only one totally overexerting myself, but in a group of strangers, I didn’t know which profile on the screen matched which sweaty class goer, so I wasn’t too worried about it.

The class of 24 (different sizes at different studios) is split into two groups. One group does cardio first – treadmill intervals – and the other does weights – three rounds of 3-4 exercises AMRAP style. They say you can burn 600-1000 calories during the class (my results told me I was burning about 500-600).

What I liked: Someone telling me what to do. All I had to do was show up and commit to working for an hour. It forced me back into running and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be and I love it all over again. The music and the fast pace – the hour just flies by.

What I didn’t like: Personally, nothing. Well, okay, I guess the price of actually getting a membership because I’d love to join, but since I can’t quit my gym and it has all the equipment and more to do the same type of workout on my own (minus the motivation), I can’t justify spending even more monthly on a class-based studio.

The thing I didn’t like in general is that it’s a fast-paced class and you have one instructor working with a large group, split up doing different things, so the newbie in the corner doing either ineffective at best, unsafe at worst, strength training is not going to get the coaching he or she needs. I witnessed it last night when the older lady across from me was swinging her weights all over.  While they don’t necessarily emphasize speed over form, they also don’t promote form over speed.

As I said, though, I really liked it overall and I’ve already got my own OTF-style workouts in the works!

Oh the Places You Will Go: Phoenix (Summer Edition)

I have no clue why people want to visit Arizona in the summer. All I want to do is leave. But, my college roommate, Amy, has visited a few times in the summer, including this last weekend! She lives in the San Fernando Valley, which is just about as hot and dry as Arizona anyway (just about).

She started planning her trip and I told her no, that I was going to be the tour guide. Now that I think of it, I kind of wonder what she had in mind. Oh well.

Instead of showing her what I normally do on a summer weekend (currently: binge watch The Killing), I wanted to make the best of it and take her to favorite places of mine. So, if you’re planning on visiting Arizona, here, from a native is a list of suggested activities:

On Friday, I picked Amy up right after work and we went to the best pizza place in town. No, not Pizzeria Bianco. Pizzeria Bianco is delicious and it’s a cute, little restaurant in a fun neighborhood. Oprah and Jimmy Fallon love it. Heck, it’s even worth the usual hours-long wait. But, locals know the better wood-fired pizza option is nearby Cibo. It’s even more delicious and even cuter.

I don’t spend much time in downtown Phoenix, but I do really like it when I’m there, so our next stop was my favorite bar, Copper Blues. It’s big inside and out, but gets packed and it’s just a fun vibe with a live cover band playing behind the bar.

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Completely unplanned, we then stopped by two additional bars in Old Town Scottsdale on our way home – Amy would have gladly told you the next day that even just one extra bar was a bad idea. We went to two of my favorites for low-key fun and strong, cheap drinks – Giligin’s and The Lodge.

I wasn’t totally wastey pants, I did stop at a point and also drink a lot of water, and miraculously the next day, I made it out the door for an 8:15 spin class to sweat out the night before. It wasn’t pretty, but I was happy I fit it in.

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On Saturday, since it’s best to be around a cool pool on a hot summer day, we went to Talking Stick’s pool party with a few of my girlfriends. We got there early enough to get chairs to relax in for the better part of the day – going back and forth to the pool to cool down. I wasn’t interested in drinking, but the servers there are fantastic with endless buckets of bottled water – gotta stay hydrated!

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A day in the sun wears you out, so we stayed in for the night to make enchiladas and watch some romcoms we picked up from Redbox. Walk of Shame and That Awkward Moment do NOT get a best of Arizona award, but they were entertaining and when I dozed off a bit, I didn’t miss much of the plot!

The next day we checked out North Scottsdale’s new OHSO Distillery for their brunch – $10 for a meal and a BIG mimosa or beer. That hit the spot for sure! Then we went to Topgolf, for what was my third weekend in a row! The first weekend I went for my BIL’s birthday and I was awful, the next for my own birthday (oh yeah, I turned 30!) and I wasn’t terrible, then on Sunday I actually won the first game! Also this time we were finally up on the third floor and it was so much fun!

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Then we hopped over to the Tavern Grille for a few pitchers and some girl talk before doing dinner at Oregano’s.

Somehow I rallied that night since it was her last night in town and my idea the whole time to go see an 80s cover band at Wasted Grain, which apparently was having its grand opening party last weekend. I’ve always wanted to go see them but they were more rock than pop so I only knew a handful of songs they played – oh and the singer made a rapey comment that totally turned me off of them, which is why I won’t even post their name, but that damper aside (plus the damper of having to go into work after just a busy weekend and long Sunday night), it was a really fun weekend!

Amy commented how fun Arizona is since there’s actually things to do and this weekend was a nice reminder that, yes, Arizona can be fun if you suck it up and deal with the heat – and do a lot of eating and drinking!

1910 Minutes

This month, I spent 1910 minutes on my mat in a 30-day yoga challenge. It was….not as big a deal as I had built it up to be in my mind.

I’ve been practicing yoga for three years now and I’ve always wanted to do a 30-day yoga challenge, but just like when you’re told to hold a bound side angle pose indefinitely, suddenly your brain starts telling your body you probably can’t do it. Spoiler alert – I totally can.

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I hadn’t been to yoga in a while and I hadn’t been consistent with yoga in even longer. All my fun summer trips and activities were in May and June, so July looked a little sad. Until I decided to change that thinking to “July is an empty book, an opportunity.” It also worked out that doing the challenge in July meant finishing three days before my 30th birthday – and yes, the challenge was on my 30 before 30 list.

The first day, I was nervous but I was ready to rock and roll. Getting to my mat the first week was easy, but the second week started to take its toll and I didn’t feel mentally ready for the challenge (the whole brain v. body thing) and felt like I was more going through the motions of getting to class than actually choosing it.

My home away from home.

My home away from home.

As I sat there waiting for a class one day, I considered that I should probably make a yoga-loving friend. I needed a friendly face greeting me and I need an active friend in general so I can be surrounded by good influences, do the things I love and not get the are you crazy look from EVERYONE when I suggest yoga at my bachelorette and/or wedding. On day 10, in walked Emily. She joined the same gym/yoga studio about a week in and we hit a lot of the classes together. Sweating awkwardly next to her helped a lot!

By day 21, I started to think I’d just keep this going, oh I don’t know, like forever? That line about it taking 21 days to form a habit is no joke! The last week was pure enjoyment and getting there was a necessity – it was part of my routine and WTF am I going to do now that it’s over?

On day 28, my instructor shared some words of wisdom she heard from a Tibetan monk she met in Hawaii (btw, can I have her life, please?):” People make a lot of excuses for why they can’t to they things they want to do. The excuses will always be there, just ignore them. Don’t let anything stop you from doing what you want to do.”

I realized how I had gotten so far where previously I stopped short. I’m stubborn. I absolutely wanted it. I usually do make excuses to skip evening workouts and except for one pre-work class and weekend morning classes, all the classes were after work, but for once, I had no (good) reasons to skip them.

I did hot Vinyasa, slow flow, slow burn, Ashtanga, Yin and Hatha and even worked in a crossfit/yoga hybrid class. I made it to the studio 28 of the days and did an at home flow twice, including one day on my hot patio as a storm rolled in. I loved the variety (okay, I didn’t love Yin…lying on my back for an hour felt like cheating).

I went in with no expectations, so I think the biggest surprise was that I really improved my handstand, as in, I got a handstand! Really on the first day, and it just kept getting better. I did notice my arm strength improved and they are feeling pretty firm. My core strength came back and my legs are showing a little more definition.

The only potentially negative physical effect is my neck pain starting flaring up again. I really hope the two are not connected, but I started to adjust some postures to avoid putting pressure on that side. I put it off as long as I could, but I started going to a new chiro to try to figure it out and make it feel better.

So, I guess that’s it. 30 days done and done – a great, big deal and not all at the same time. I did take today off, but I’m excited to get back to some of the classes I discovered are my favorites and spend some more me time on my mat. 

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So, I turn 30 in 20 days…not that I’m counting. I actually don’t feel good or bad about it currently, but ask me again at crunch time and I may have a new answer.

This week, though, a mini panic did set in that I made a 30 before 30 list last July and I have not crossed many items off. I’m a crosser-offer, so obviously the next few weeks will be a rush to hit at least a few things. The first of those things was “take a pole dancing class.” Remember when that was the craze, oh like five years ago? Yeah, it’s been on various lists of mine since then, so it was time.

I went to Express MiE in Tempe for their pole-ah-tease teaser (intro) class. The studio is a mile from my parents’ house and was convenient since I was already in that part of town for my niece’s third birthday party at Chuck-E-Cheese. Seems like the appropriate time and place to learn to pole dance, right?

Express MiE has been in place for a while and it’s where I always figured I’d go, plus they had a Groupon for the intro class – $15 for the 90-minute sampler.  There were 11 women in the class – many came together in pairs – ranging from probably early-20s to 40s, everyone full of nervous giggles. The instructor was an ASU grad student – pole dancing is for everyone!

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The 90-minute class moved quickly, from warm ups that pulled in sexy touching right away, then some sexy walking, then a quick pole routine, then a wall routine. Lots to do and learn in a short time. It ended up being fairly simple and easy – it just looks like magic when you put it all together.

Was it a workout? There were some toning moves that left me a little sore already, but there wasn’t much cardio or sweat involved. We traded off on the poles with two others and learned the short routine in mini steps, same with the wall routine. The pole was maybe 30 seconds and the wall just a little longer. At the end, the instructor did a demo of everything she’s learned in her two years dancing and it definitely looked like a workout, but it would take a while to get there.

Did I feel sexy? Yes, for 30 seconds. The touch-your-curves and t-shirt tease portions of the class started pretty much right away, so there was no time to be shy. There were no mirrors so I have no clue what I looked like. The other women, who also had no experience, looked great, so I choose to think I looked sexy too. With no dance training or real rhythm, this may be a stretch, but the whole class was about how you feel anyway!

I’m tempted to take the six-week level one class, but I have other, more challenging workouts to do. I’ll make sure to take the few sexy moves I learned with me though!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go set PRs for my half marathon and triathlon, learn to surf and read five books. BRB.

The Most Fun You Can Have in Arkansas With Your Pants Off

Because it’s hot and you just want to wear dresses and as the maid of honor, I had to wear a dress! For her gift to her dad, my bridefriend April gave him a shirt that said, “My daughter got married outside in Arkansas in June and all I got was the bill and this shirt.” And that about sums it up, but I could think of nowhere else I would have rather been last weekend than in Rogers, Arkansas celebrating her marriage!

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I flew from Mesa’s Gateway airport on Allegiant – that cheap, but nickel and dimey, airline that flies to the most random airports – to Springfield, Missouri last Thursday. It took a few hours to drive to Arkansas, but immediately, I was like, “okay, I get it…it’s green and gorgeous.”

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Plus, I know most people say they will take a dry heat, but I enjoyed the weather, if only because it was a break. They were having a warm spell, but that’s still just upper 80s and humid plus they have nice breezes. For people who think a dry heat would be like the same but without humidity, no. Try 110, but at least it’s a dry heat!

I’ll take the cooler humidity. Maybe not forever, but for a break. On the second day I figured out the massive amount of gel my hair would require and then on the wedding day, it was perfectly coiffed, all held back and sprayed so that it wasn’t going anywhere. So, the weather and my hair were really my biggest concerns there and once those were out of the way, I had a fantastic time.

I didn’t have a lot of time in Arkansas to be a tourist, but I got in a run on Friday morning. I found what I thought would be a cool place to go, but there wasn’t a sidewalk to get me there on a curvy, two-lane road, so I decided to skip it and just run on the sidewalk past the highway and toward the mall. I only got in three miles and by the time I got back, I checked the elevation – surely Rogers, AR had to be higher than Scottsdale, but nope, only by about 100 feet, so that couldn’t have accounted for my difficult run, it was just the heat, humidity and oh yeah, my lack of training recently.

IMG_3230Then I joined April at her house in Fayetteville to wrap up some of the DIYs she had left. Who knew I could make a boutonniere?! I ate BBQ for lunch, because Arkansas, before getting ready for the rehearsal and dinner. There were about 10 attendants on each side, so both events were big affairs, but went very well. By that time a few other Arizona girls had arrived and they were eating at Apple Blossom Brewery in Fayetteville. I told April I might just head back to the hotel, but she said GO. I had their brown beer and a good time with the girls, so that was a good call. Then I got lost in a Hills Have Eyes locale almost out of gas with a dying phone. Luckily I made it back in time to party at the hotel bar.

IMG_3236

Saturday was for wedding everything – hair, make-up, setting the venue and getting married!

I think the best weddings require a few things:

1. Being on vacation. As much as I bitch about taking time off and having to travel for someone’s wedding, being away from the real world sets the mood and gets me ready to just have a good time.

2. Knowing a bunch of the guests. I’ve known April for half of my life and most of our high school friends were in attendance and also, her group of college friends – some bridesmaids, some guests – who I had met during our weekend in Seattle were there as well, so it was just a great time. And they were all there on vacation too, so we all stayed at the same hotel and that was great.

The Arizona group

The Arizona group

IMG_32453. Something going wrong. No wedding is perfect and laughing it off almost makes the whole thing better. For April’s outdoor wedding, she got tents at the last minute in case it rained. Twenty minutes after the ceremony, which was not tented, ended, it poured for about a half hour. The bridal party was inside the property house and I can only imagine what the guests outside were doing, probably crammed under the two tents. The rain cooled everything off and made a bunch of mud that everyone slipped in, but who cares? It was fun!

That’s all you need. Bridezillas, take note.

I had so much fun, I attempted to change my flight because basically I had to wake up and leave the very next day, which was just a terrible plan, but that’s Allegiant and their weird flights. Just like that, Arkansas was over.

 

Yoga. Again.

Sitting waiting for my hot vinyasa class to begin last night, I was a little nervous. I had been to the studio and taken many classes from the instructor (it was this one), but I couldn’t remember the last time. I finally figured out the last time I did yoga was a Tone It Up video sharing my mat with my puppies and before that was a free lululemon community class at the W. Not that those don’t count, but they don’t count the same way. Plus those were in May.

I’ve had all intentions of getting to numerous classes since then, but have failed, but last night was the night. I’m sad all my travels are over, but now I can focus on creating my Arizona summer. And getting my summer body back…better late than never, right?

The class was hot and challenging, but familiar. It was definitely easier to get back to than running after a string of weeks off. I got into a good extended side crow and held my longest free handstand ever, which is not very long, but it was more than a bounce up and back down so I was pleasantly surprised! That savasana was well-earned. And so was the 14-lb. watermelon I picked up on the way home – HYDRATE!

Today? I’m a little sore, but in a good way and I’m ready for class #2 tonight!