Great Ireland Adventure – Goodbye Sweet Ireland

20160718_015210Sonja is flying back to Northern California and I’m flying back to SoCal so we’re on different flights heading home. (Sad faces!)

 

 

20160718_021729We got our bags checked quickly enough but then we had to get through security, a homeland security kiosk, another security, and finally a chat with the homeland security agent before finally making it to our gates, but not before stopping to savor a quick shot (I mean, sample) and take a moment to reflect on our time in Ireland.

 
2016-07-18-04-41-37--302087197As we were going through security we noticed Lizard Man in line behind us. Sonja joked that he was probably going to end up sitting next to her on the flight. Turns out he’s on my flight instead. Thankfully I’m not sitting next to him but Sonja sure got a kick out of it. She said that was my payback for ditching her and flying international first class back home.

 

20160718_041041Can I just say, international first class…it’s pretty freaking awesome! I’m sitting here with my footrest up and a glass of wine nearby. We’ve had a salad, an entrée, a cheese course, sundaes, cookies and another “light” snack. I had to pass on a few courses because I was worried they’d have to roll me off the plane. I’m flying into Newark where I’ll be hanging out in the First Class Lounge for 3 hours before catching my connecting flight.

The flight into Newark turned out to be the bumpiest flight I’ve ever been on. There was a major thunderstorm in the area and for the first time in my flying history I was actually looking around to make sure there was a little bag in the seat pocket in front of me.

20160718_170017 We arrived early into Newark but the airport was a mess because of all outbound the flight delays. Long story short…my flight was delayed getting out and I didn’t get home until after 11:00PM. The one redeeming factor was that the sky was breathtaking and I got a lot of great pictures.

This little traveler is tired! Unfortunately there will be no rest for the weary because I’m back on mom-duty bright and early tomorrow morning.

Good-bye sweet Ireland; I can’t wait to return.

Dublin Pub Crawl stats:
Steps: 7,987
Miles: 3.48

Great Ireland Adventure – Day 10 (#UpTheDubs)

When we arrived back in Dublin to drop off the car we knew we needed to fill the gas tank before turning it in. We plugged “petrol station” into Fiona and she directed us to this very random station. We struck up a conversation with the owners who told us we had to do three things:
1. We needed to go to the football finals on Sunday,
2. We had to wear blue (“What are our other options?” I asked. “There are no other options,” he replied.), and…
3. Under no circumstance were we to step foot inside Temple Bar.

20160717_064656 Here is was Sunday and true to our word we had tickets to the GAA Finals and we were wearing blue. We had NO idea where we were going or what we were going to see but gosh darn it we were going.

 

 

 

20160717_070742The taxi driver asked where at the park we were going and I told him the section. It wasn’t until after he dropped us off that we discovered we were at the wrong location. We needed to pick up our tickets at the ticket booth. Finding the ticket booth was no easy task. We ended up walking the perimeter of the park, on the hottest of the day of the year, before finally finding the ticket booth which is located across the street from the park. (Everyone kept telling us it was across from Gills Pub, like we should know exactly where Gills Pub was located. Feckin eejits!)Then we had to walk back to where we were originally dropped off to get into the stadium.

20160717_074853Turns out GAA is Gaelic football and Dublin was one of the teams in the finals. Their color is blue so that’s why blue was the only option. (#UpTheDubs) As near as I can tell, GAA is something like soccer, football, rugby, basketball and volleyball all rolled into one. There was a lot of cheering and a lot of swearing and even a streaker. Sadly, we missed the streaker. If you get a chance to see a sporting event in Ireland you must go.

My only regret is that I didn’t get to sing Ireland’s Call because that’s kind of a secret dream of mine. Truth be told, that was the only reason I wanted to go to the game. I probably should have done some research because it turns out that Ireland’s Call was commissioned by the Irish Rugby Football Union for use at International Rugby Union events. I wonder if they’re playing rugby in California anytime soon???

20160717_093736Our final meal in Dublin was at Doheny & Nesbitt, a pub that was recommended by the bellman at the hotel. It is one of the oldest family-owned pubs in Dublin. It was just a short walk from the hotel and I had one of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten. I was halfway through it before I realized there was a big slice of ham on it!

On the way back we took the scenic route so I could photograph the doors.
20160717_033752 20160717_102027

 

 

 

 

 

20160717_113727We came across a little bakery and picked up some donuts for our midnight snack. When we got back to the hotel we ordered half a bottle of wine but when it arrived it was a full bottle. Turns out the one we ordered was out so they gave us a full bottle of a different brand. Score!

With the alarm set, we settled in for our final night in Ireland. Sleep was spotty during the night because the ceiling started leaking so we heard dripping all night long. And for some strange reason I kept having the urge to pee…

Dublin Pub Crawl stats:
Steps: 15,825
Miles: 6.9 (Half of that was walking around the stadium)

Country people, filters, frizzy hair and a pub crawl

Thank goodness school is finally out! Our school didn’t get out until June 22nd then we headed to Kansas the next day for a very fast visit with the grandparents. Speaking of grandparents, my brother and his family stopped by for dinner while we were there. My son came out of the bedroom long enough to eat then headed right back in. When I went in to see what was going on he informed me that he, “didn’t want to hang out with those country people.” (Thank goodness he didn’t see my nephew peeing in the backyard.) Considering he’s still working on his filter, I figured it would be best to just let him hang out in the bedroom with his video game just this once.

92b426d1f293c3020875836fb9804978We weren’t there long enough to do much but Wichita has some hidden gems: art, nature, theater, great food, the birthplace of Pizza Hut. If you get a chance to visit make sure to do plenty of exploring. Oh, and never, EVER, go in the summer. I remember when I was growing up and I thought those people in California were freaks. The “big one” was going to hit and California was going to break off into the ocean and become part of Hawaii. Now I live here and I realize I was right. I’m one of the freaky Californians and we are going to be a Hawaiian Island when the next “big one” hits. And I’m okay with that!

9a257ebad4fbbc53f60d3b828a8bfa53We got back Sunday just in time to get the kids ready to start camp/work. We’ve been counting down the days until Saturday so we can sleep in! I figured it out that I’m in the car 2.5 hours dropping/picking up kids and driving 75 miles per day. My son keeps reminding me that I’m the one who signed him up for camp so technically it’s my own fault. That’s what I get for not wanting my kids sitting around on their behinds all summer because I have this pesky thing called a JOB.

This week my son was in a volunteer camp for teens. You have a sense of how his filter works (ex: country people) so needless to say we had a lengthy talk on the way to camp the first day. We chatted about social cues, engaging filters, not offending anyone, not saying everything that pops into our brain, etc. I fully expected a call from the counselor the first day asking me to come pick him up. Thankfully he made it through  a trip to the Humane Society, painting a fence at a senior center, planting at the botanical garden and even tye dying 400 shirts for fellow campers. However, the thought of going to the beach for a beach clean up proved to be his undoing. He decided to stay home today even if it meant not getting a Camper of the Week award. That kid really loves awards and REALLY hates the beach, which is pretty ironic considering we live in San Diego. (The beach part is ironic, not the award part.)

475b101f831ab04e3c5c7c9057db7034Full confession here…I had some work done today. My travel plans for Ireland are in full swing but my biggest concern has been my hair. Those of you who don’t have frizzy, curly hair won’t understand this but those that do are nodding along right now. For starters…it’s rainy and humid in Ireland…ALL THE TIME! Moisture and frizzy, curly hair Do Not Mix! So, today I invested 3 hours and a lot of money on a straightening treatment at the salon. (#14 on “The List” is to get a new hairstyle. I think this qualifies?) Here’s hoping I enjoy a frizz-free trip. Other travel plans include purchasing a GoPro, new walking shoes, a few new sweaters and…collapsible water bottle/wine flasks. *Snap*

Dublin Medal-LRebecca over at the Travel, Running and a Little Bit of Style blog commented on my last post that I should do a race while I’m over in Ireland. I’m pleased to announce that I took her up on her suggestion and I’m officially signed up for…The Dublin Pub Crawl! Okay, so it’s a virtual run, but since I’ll be doing plenty of walking and hiking (and possibly partaking in a pint or two) in Ireland why not get rewarded for it, right?

So here’s to a long weekend and checking things of “the list.”

Have a safe and happy 4th of July.Independence Day_Banner

Fifty Shades of Crazy, Mama Bear and 9-1-1

Countdown to @RunCarlsbad: 274 days

Would you believe that I’m already pulling things together for the marathon next January? And I’m only staffing a water station and providing course support for one mile. I don’t think the runners are even preparing this early!

Have you evcrazy2er been stuck in a situation with someone who is fifty shades of crazy and you can’t leave? I had such an experience this week and it was Awk-Ward! There really is such a thing as TMI…especially at a business lunch. There are some things I really don’t need or want to know about your life.

1a3a10701e2dd1ce4cd82d0bf86a7023In equally awkward news…I had to summon my inner Mama Bear this week and take care of some business. One of my kids was shamed in public at school, to the point that my child was in tears, for something that was not their fault at all. Not only was it not their fault but the person berating them was publicly disclosing personal medial information about my child in front of others and the issue they were being called out for was something the school was responsible for and not my child. Yeah, that’s just not okay with me. I got a text from my child telling me what happened and I had a call into the school faster than you can say Pissed Off! I like to think that I’m a pretty laid back but if you mess with my kid then I’m bringing out MY fifty shades of crazy.

2016-04-12 00.42.37On a much lighter note, I got to hang out with the 9-1-1 dispatchers this week. It’s National Public Dispatcher Week and I was fortunate enough to be able to highlight these seldom-seen heroes on live television bright and early Monday morning (that’s my amazing PR Goddess in the middle) and I treated them to a yummy lunch today.

Oh, and I got to accept a big donation from PizzaRev. They did a special fundraiser to celebrate the 1st anniversary of their local restaurants. How cool is that?2016-04-11 10.08.00

Yeah, my life doesn’t suck!

Stay tuned for an exciting announcement next week.

 

Table Topics for tonight:
If you were in jail and could request any person to break you free who would you choose?
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Hard habit to break

Countdown to @RunCarlsbad: 284 days

I feel incomplete if I don’t open my post with a race countdown so in case you’re wondering, it’s 284 days until the next Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon & Half Marathon. I already have “my mile” reserved (3/23) and my incredible team of volunteers will be there supporting our runners and the San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation.

In the meantime…

bc6912c7a2579c5b1d913e445c9962caCan we chat a bit about bad habits? More specifically, breaking bad habits? I’ve been reading a lot about mindfulness thanks to the health & wellness class I’m taking and I’m really hoping something clicks.  When it comes to bad habits, my mother is very fond of reminding me that, “Stupidity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” I know already!

power of habitI’m currently reading The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. I’m not very far along but I can tell you that I’m learning a lot about the relationship between cues, rewards and routines. Duhigg notes that when alcoholics learned alternate routines for dealing with stress, they stopped drinking for good. And once they incorporated those new routines for coping with stress and anxiety in their lives, the successes were dramatic. Science seems to support the theory that this approach works for all kinds of habits: overeating, sedentary lifestyle, procrastination, overspending…need I go on? I guess the good news for me is that bad habits can be changed!

12920461_10156741391530156_4881089207484859035_nSIDEBAR/SOAPBOX: Did you know that today is Organ Donor Registration Day? If you’re a registered organ donor, thank you! If not, why not do it this week? It’s not like you can take it with you. Right? And how cool is it to know that YOU have the power to give life.

 

 

 
51SWAg1t46L._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love fame was recently on Good Morning America talking about the 10th anniversary of her book. She said something that really resonated with me. She said, “Tomorrow doesn’t have to look like today.” How perfect is that?

Side note: If you’re too lazy to read the book (ahem…like me), the movie is cute and perfect for a lazy Friday night at home on the couch with a glass of wine.

 
In related news…I joined a new gym today.

And with that, I’ll leave you with these words of wisdom:
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#DonateLife #EatPrayLove @GilbertLiz @cduhigg

 

 

Vacuum hack aka why I’m drinking pumpkin spice lattes in March

Last week I was on a roll and ran FOUR times! This week I haven’t logged more than 6,000 steps in any given day. It’s been a busy work week. Not to worry though because it will all be worth it when I’m enjoying a girls’ weekend with my daughter and my person. YAY!! Can’t wait!!

879f7c9f89b77b629569b65feee4a267I, like many people, cannot function without my morning coffee. I’ve been trying very hard to be a coffee connoisseur but if I’m being honest…I’ll drink just about anything in the morning as long as it’s hot. My friend, Miss Brenda, is a real coffee connoisseur and I’m constantly disappointing her. Two years ago, at her recommendation, I invested in a very expensive burr grinder and I switched to top-quality beans. That grinder lasted less than a year. I wasn’t giving up that easy so I invested in yet another very expensive burr grinder. Well, last night, less than a year after purchasing my second grinder, it also died.

043656f70c32ff0dcf9fd01d3063c1d3Hoping to salvage the damn thing I decided to see if maybe there was a bean or two jammed somewhere. I slid it across the counter and accidentally knocked an completely full bean hopper across the floor. (Insert swear word!) Deep breathe. I swept them up, tossed them in the trash, and kept pressing on. I cleaned everything as best I could then refilled the  bean hopper to test my handiwork. No luck. (Insert swear word!)

Okay, let’s try this again. Carefully remove bean hopper…oops. (Insert swear word!) This time I’m bringing in the big guns…the Acme 5000 vacuum.

In hindsight…

549cc3c4691c397774737dad1db2541aDid you know if you try to vacuum coffee beans with a vacuum it will actually grind them for you and spit said coffee grounds all across the kitchen floor? Who knew? (I’m not going to lie; I considered sweeping them up and putting them in the coffee maker. I’m not proud but desperate times…)

Alas, the very expensive burr coffee grinder is now in the trash and I’ve come to accept the fact that I’m not a coffee whore. I’m perfectly fine with pre-ground coffee, well, except for Folgers.

ca706a090729eb4787474f5575a30517Which is why I’m drinking Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice coffee in March. (Hey, it was the only thing I could find in the back of the pantry. Don’t judge!)

 

Are you a coffee snob? What’s your morning drink of choice?

#CoffeeSnob #PumpkinSpiceLatte