Sunday, July 29, 2012

I Love Boston Project: Day Trip to Ogunquit Maine

I bet you thought I possibly gave up/forgot about my I Love Boston Project. I didn't though! I just was a bit busy in there and couldn't do any cool stuff around Boston but I am back to it this summer. I've already done a couple of things I want to write about. Yay! 

Our first adventure in Boston this summer didn't really involve Boston at all, but did involve a nice day trip to Ogunquit Maine. Since I usually am spending a lot of time in the Cape, my experience with Maine is pretty limited but Ogunquit is only about 90 minutes from Boston, maybe even less. 

The drive up to Maine was completely smooth for us. We basically took 95 all the way up, and I love that they have an Easy Pass lane for the toll where you aren't supposed to slow down at all. Awesome. We also drove right to the Perkins Cove area, and had no problem parking. Once we arrived, we decided to eat lunch first. I had done some research on restaurants but I wasn't super successful so we ended up at a place called Jackie's Too which looked awesome, but did not have the best reviews on Yelp. Well, all I can say is we had no complaints at all. 

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The view was amazing, we were literally right on the water and the food was good too. Eric had a soup and a sandwich and I had the lobster roll. I will say that we were pretty early for lunch, so it's possible the service would've been less attentive if it was more busy. Oh well, it was good for us :) 


Before we ate lunch, we actually bought tickets for a boat ride that was leaving in about an hour, so after lunch we headed right over there. The boat company was called Finestkind Scenic Cruises and we took the Nubble Lighthouse Cruise which was an hour and a half. The boat was nice, and we got a nice spot in the front of the boat which is my favorite place to be. While we rode to the lighthouse, we learned a lot about the geography and history of the area. The lighthouse itself was beautiful too...

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My favorite story about this lighthouse involves a time back when families used to live in the lighthouse in order to run it. Multiple babies were even born out there! But the cool thing was that at one point a little kid who was elementary school aged lived out there, and obviously there is not a school. So, look in this picture below: first look at the lighthouse itself, then look a little below. See that little white swing type of thing below the electrical wires? 

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The kid who lived at the house used to get on that swing/seat type of thing, and his parents would pull him across the ocean so that he could get to school on the mainland. I have always thought it would be really cool to take a boat to school/work in the morning but even cooler riding on some kind of crazy swing type of thing across water to get to school. Cool. Apparently, the coast guard got wind of this arrangement and was not happy about it, but it sounds pretty cool to me. 

After the boat ride, we got some ice cream and then headed over to check out the only pedestrian operated draw bridge in the country: 

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The coolest part was that Eric and I got to actually raise the bridge for a sailboat going through. Such a cool experience!

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I'm still a bit amazed that they actually let people like me operate this thing, but hey!

Our last adventure in Ogunquit was to do a beautiful walk called Marginal Way. It begins in Perkin's Cove and is a nice path that follows along the beautiful rocky shoreline. IMG 6103


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On the way back to the car, I played with my camera in a beautiful garden...

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I love trips. Even if they don't involve an overnight stay :) 

Where is your favorite place to day trip? 

I'm hoping to see a bit more of Maine this summer, so stay tuned. 













Friday, July 27, 2012

Does Weather Affect Your Training?

Good morning and Happy Friday! As I mentioned last week, I'll be recapping my tri training each Friday :) 


Week 2

Friday- off

Saturday- Ran 2 miles

Sunday- Swam 40 laps

Monday- Biked 8 miles

Tuesday- off

Wednesday- Ran 2.5 miles

Thursday- Swam intervals- 30 laps


Overall, it was a good week of training. I continue to love swimming, and I continue to try to find people to bike with because I just do not love it and get seriously bored while on my bike haha. Another small issue I ran into at the end of this week was weather. 

I was planning to do a swim/bike combination where I bike to the gym, swim while I'm there and then bike home. I planned out the route because I am terrified of biking on roads (I always go on the path) and I wanted to see how wide the streets were and what intersections I'd be going through. Then I woke up yesterday morning and it was rainy with chances of thunderstorms ALL day. Now, I don't really mind running in that kind of weather because the place I run, I'm never more than half a mile away from my car. However, when biking I could be 8-10 miles away and then have a huge thunderstorm hit and I have no idea what exactly I would do (I could potentially call Eric to get me but where am I going to wait in the meantime?). Yesterday I just decided to do a swim, and then today we have the same weather so I am going to go to yoga. Hopefully next week I'll be able to get in more bike rides to make up for it! 


Next week I'm hoping to get in: 1 bike ride, 1 run, 1 brick (bike/run), and then 2 swims 1 in open water and one in the pool. 

How does weather affect your training? What do you do when the weather is not good? 

What are you up to this weekend? Tell me one fun thing you have planned :)  I have a few fun things planned: visiting my friend who just had a baby, going out to dinner with friends tonight, and Katie's baby shower tomorrow, wahoo! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Saying Goodbye to the Pacific Northwest

I can't believe it's been two weeks since Amber's wedding already! Crazy. I am finally going to finish recapping our lovely trip and I guess it's clear why before this I've always tried to blog while on vacation because it will take me too long when I get home :) 


So, by now it was July 10th, Eric and my 2 Year Anniversary. I'm not going to lie, I woke up feeling pretty terrible that morning. As I mentioned before I was a little unclear on exactly how much wine I was drinking. Luckily, with a combination of a delicious breakfast with a delicious view, some ginger gum and a Starbucks Passion Tea, I recovered. 


We spent most of the day with Anais and Olle, attempting to find Starbucks, lounging on the rocks and swimming in the crazy water. Okay, it wasn't that the water was crazy so much but just that there were some obstacles when actually getting in. I didn't take any picture of this thankfully, but just picture crazy rocks with barnacles all over them. At one point I went up to the hotel to make a reservation for dinner and when I came back, Eric told me watch out for the snake. Awesome. 

For dinner, the four of us went up to dinner right at the hotel. The food was seriously amazing. I got pistachio crusted halibut and my mouth is watering just thinking about it...

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After dinner, we decided to check out the famous Tenthouse Suites so we took a little walk up to the boardwalk and bridge that leads over to them. It was gorgeous over there, not that I was shocked since clearly the whole place was beautiful. 

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It was a lot of fun hanging out with Anais and Olle, they are both awesome- as are all the bloggers we met on the trip. I hope we can do an Amber's Wedding Reunion at some point so we can all hang out again… thoughts? haha. I'm not sure if we will find quite as gorgeous of a spot but I bet we could try. 

The next morning it was time to start the two day trek back to Boston. We took our time leaving Rockwater because we knew our train from Vancouver to Seattle was not until 5 pm. We got up and ate one final breakfast at the hotel and then headed back to the ferry and then the train station. The train ride home went smoothly, but it dragged compared to the fun we had on the way up. Eric and I did manage to get the water side though, so the views were seriously amazing...


I have to say that after doing it I would definitely recommend the train for a trip from Seattle to Vancouver. It's really cheap compared to trains over on the East Coast, and it's a comfortable way to get from one place to the other with a nice view. I think technically it takes a little longer than driving, but if you factor in lines at the border it's probably really about the same. They did check Passports right at the border heading back into the US, but it was a very, very quick process and overall it's a lot easier to get out of Canada than into it, it seems. 

When I originally planned the trip, I figured we would just stay at the airport the last night since we'd be flying out in the morning and not even arriving until 10pm. But, when I looked into hotels at the airport they were all either terrible or $250+ a night. I figured if I'm going to pay over $200 I'd rather stay downtown, so we ended up at Warwick Hotel with a gorgeous view of the Space Needle...

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The hotel was okay overall, we basically just slept there, but the location was definitely fantastic and left me time in the morning to do some things I still wanted to do in Seattle while Eric slept. I got up the next morning, went to get a crumpet that Ash and her mom had been raving about and then checked out Pike's Place Market when it was quiet. It was fun to actually see the fish out (still didn't see the throwing because it was too early)...

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I also got to actually go into the original Starbucks and it was not packed with people, wahoo. 


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When I first woke up it was actually foggy and you couldn't even see the Space Needle, but by the time I returned to get to the airport you could start to see in peeking out behind the clouds...

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Only in Seattle :) 

The plane ride home seemed to go faster than the train had the day before, and we got to go to our favorite restaurant on the way home from the airport. All in all it was a bit of a long trek home, but no major problems. I was definitely ready to sleep for a long time and even though I did tutor the next day I think I was in a daze because I can't remember much at all of what I did with the kid ha ha. 

It's been over a week since we got home though and I think I'm finally back on East Coast time and in a good routine. I miss everyone though and hope to have a trip back sometime in the future!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Amber's Wedding!

Another weekend over, and another wedding in the books. I know, it's actually absurd how many weddings Eric and I have had in the last month or so, but I have to say I really have no complaints. We are having a blast. I LOVE weddings, especially when I don't have to plan them! :) I'll get to the wedding from this past weekend eventually, but let's go back to my epic Pacific Northwest adventure. 


When I last left off, Eric and I were saying goodbye to Vancouver and it was time to head up the coast to Amber's wedding! As you may know, the wedding was up on the sunshine coast which is north of Vancouver. It's hard to explain and i'll probably do it wrong, but essentially the wedding was on an island. I am pretty sure it's really a peninsula but Amber told me there are really no words that go there, and I heard it referred to as "the island" several times, but it shouldn't be confused with Vancouver Island where Victoria is. In order to get there we had to take a car ferry. I was actually excited for the ferry ride especially after we already experienced one in Seattle so I knew kind of what to expect. I suppose it would get annoying waiting for the ferry if you do it often, but I liked how you could get out of your car, go to the bathrooms, get a snack and even access wireless internet while you wait. 


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Of course, like everything in this area of North America, the ferry view was gorgeous. We were easily entertained just starring at it for the short 40 minute ride. Once we got over to the "island" we still had about 45 more minutes to drive, so we decided to stop for lunch on the way. Lisa recommended a place called The Wharf that she had lunch at the day before, so we went with her recommendation. Just for the record, Lisa is the only person I know who gives good recommendations/directions while on a trip, especially a trip that she is not driving. If it was me, I may have not even known the name of the place I ate, I *definitely* would not know how to get there, but Lisa did! Lunch was delicious and this was the view, clearly I have no complaints. 

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Eventually we made it to the hotel, and checked in. While we were checking in, I said our name and they were like "oh yay, the anniversary couple!" I was like wait… what? They insisted that I mentioned it on the phone when I booked a room, but I was like… that really doesn't sound like something I would do ha, ha. Even when I try to get free stuff I am bad at actually telling people it's our honeymoon/anniversary etc. It turns out Eric's mom, working with Ash, figured out where we were staying and called ahead to get us champagne and breakfast. Totally did not see that coming! AND, look at the view from our cabin...

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The resort itself was really beautiful and obviously you can tell the views are amazing. They are pretty much known for their special Tenthouse Suites, which I only peeked at but they looked amazing. They clearly don't pay as much attention to their cabins, but honestly the view was just as good so if you are looking to save some money and don't mind very small bathrooms and 70s decor, I kinda liked the cabin :) 

Oh, also I could SEE the ceremony from my cabin, which is a pretty amazing way to go to a wedding. Since my commute to the wedding involved about 15 steps, I arrived early to take some detail photos and get a good spot to be a pretend videographer. 

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Since I had my camera video tapping the ceremony, I didn't get any photos but as you can see from the picture above, the ceremony was gorgeous. The weather was perfect, the view was perfect and of course Amber (and bridesmaid Lisa) looked gorgeous. I love short and super personal ceremonies like Amber had, and I especially loved that she had her aunt (I think it was aunt, maybe cousin ha) sing in the middle of it. That was a fun personal touch that I enjoyed. In a flash, the ceremony was over and we got in line for the cocktail hour. This is where the beginning of my downfall was at this wedding because I did not notice how heavy handed they were pouring the wine, I swear there were like 10 glasses for every 1…okay fine maybe 2-3 for every one, but seriously Rockwater, were you trying to kill me? haha. 

We took some cute pictures during cocktail hour of the bloggers: me + Anais + Lisa + Amber :) 

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After cocktail hour we headed back down to the tent for dinner. Amber's little brother Logan was the MC while we were eating, so he had contests for us to see who would get to go up for dinner first. We had to guess what song he was playing, and it was actually pretty hard! Then, it was time for speeches. The best man and maid of honor gave a speech first, and Amber and Eric gave a thank you speech, then the microphone was open for anyone to go up. I should just say now that I would NEVER have let this fly at my wedding because something ridiculous would have been said, but everyone who got up and did a great job and it was really fun to hear lots of hilarious stories mostly about Amber. Some of the highlights were hearing about her 21st birthday and hearing how organized she is over and over haha. I might be biased but my FAVORITE part of the speeches was when Lisa got up to talk. She got big cheers from Anais and me when she said she was representing the blogging community, wahoo!


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I did not know Lisa had a secret hidden talent for spontaneous public speaking, but she does! We also played some other games during dinner, one involving shoes and Amber and Eric having to guess who was more likely to do a variety of mostly embarrassing things. I have to say, I've never been to a wedding with games before and I kinda liked it. 

I got some cute photos of Amber and Eric during dinner too: 


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 Plus, we took more of the bloggers: 

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After dinner, things got more crazy when I ended up in a pink cowboy hat...IMG 5908

 and Amber ended up with cake across her face...IMG 5915


 There was also some cute dancing...IMG 5924

and cute crying...IMG 5953

and shocking events… (no idea what was shocking)

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Of course, Eric had to shock the Canadians with at least one of his tricks (as Lisa calls them)


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At midnight, we took a picture of Eric and I because it was officially our 2 year anniversary :) 

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It was overall a wonderful night! I'm so happy we were able to make it up to this beautiful, beautiful spot to see Amber have such a happy happy day! Believe it or not, I'm not done recapping this amazing trip. I think my next post will be my last though, so stay tuned to hear how we spent our anniversary and our adventures on the 2 day trip home. 

What are some things you love about weddings? 

I love so many things: beautiful places, delicious cocktails, dancing, listening to sweet/funny speeches, and so much more. But the thing I love the most about weddings is spending time with friends/family and getting to see the bride and groom be very happy!


Friday, July 20, 2012

Tri Training, Take 3, Week 1

While I was galavanting around the Pacific Northwest, some of my work friends were persuading me to sign up for a September triathlon. It didn't take much convincing since I knew the summer would be a perfect time to train. Since I was away, I didn't get much training in then, just 1 run and a bike ride in Stanley Park. I decided to start training as soon as I got home, so my training "week" is going to go from Friday-Thursday this cycle. 


Recap of Last Week

Friday- Swim 30 laps

Saturday- Bike 8 miles

Sunday- Run 2 miles

Monday- Swim 30 laps

Tuesday- Off

Wednesday- Swim 30 laps (with speed intervals)

Thursday- Brick, Bike 10 Miles/ Run 1 mile

I felt pretty good this week. I guess the Grouse Grind crazy hike and the 11 Mile Beach Hike prepared me well to start training. My biggest difficulty was the fact that I sort of fell down the stairs on Sunday. Ha. I put my hands down to stop myself and it kind of hurt my back/arm. I definitely felt it swimming on Monday, but it seemed to loosen up the more I swam, so I think it will be fine. Gotta stop being clumsy! 

Plan for Next Week: swim/bike combo (I think, still haven't fully decided), 1 swim, 1 bike, 2 runs, 2 days off


What's New this Training? 

1. Swim Intervals: I am going to do some swimming intervals this round. I don't really care much if I get faster at swimming since it's such a short part of the triathlon it doesn't affect overall time much. But, after the last tri I was really out of breath after swimming, even though during my training I always breathe fine. This showed me that in order for me to start the bike feeling good, I need to go a little faster in training. So I will :) 

2. More Combo Workouts: I'll be somewhat following this training plan, which includes a brick workout (bike/run) every week. I'm going to do some kind of combination but not necessarily bike/run most, but not all weeks. I think this will better prepare me to do all three sports together. 

3. Open Water Swim or Swims: My first tri was in open water, but I still didn't do any open water training swims. That was okay actually, but this time I plan to do it, mainly because I'll have some friends to go with me. 


What's New this Week? 

I got a Spibelt! After Lisa's crazy Seattle running experience, I decided it was about time I invested in a spibelt. I always bring my phone when I'm biking but lately I have had no idea where to put it and I figured it makes sense to bring it on runs as well. My local running store had it in bright pink, so I was sold. I've biked with it twice and ran with it twice and I really like it. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

So, Is It Like Sydney?

Friday morning it was time for our Canada adventure starting with officially "meeting" Lisa and taking the train up to Vancouver with her. The train ride went by so fast with Eric, Lisa and I chatting with another kid sitting at our table who was from Canada and had been seemingly everywhere in the world. Since Eric and I needed an afternoon of relaxation when we arrived in Vancouver we parted ways for a bit, but met up with Lisa again for drinks before dinner. Lisa is one of the easiest people to talk to ever and Eric was quite happy with the drink he got, so much so that he has mentioned it several times since.

On Saturday morning I got to officially "meet" both Amber and Anais, who like Lisa I have been reading their blogs for over three years and already feel like we are all friends. We ate a delicious brunch at a fun Italian place called Scoozi.

The rest of the day was spent exploring Vancouver, first on bikes in Stanley Park and then all around the city on a open top tourist bus.

The night ended with yet another Italian restaurant called Italian Kitchen with the best possible bruschetta sampler with pesto, chickpea and a traditional bruschetta.

On Sunday I got coffee with Amber and Lisa before they headed up to the Sunshine Coast. Amber recommended doing a hike that she said was a very Vancouver thing to do. It was called Grouse Mountain and it's only 2.9 kilometers up and you take a gondola down the mountain. However that was easily the hardest 2.9 miles I've ever done. It was basically really steep stairs the whole way up and it took almost 2 hours to do. Give me an 11 mile hike any day! About halfway up Eric and I did start to plot exactly what we will make Amber do when she comes to Boston, and it's not going to be easy :) Seriously it was a really cool hike though and I'm glad we did it.

The other cool thing about this hike was that even though it was about an 80 degree day, there was snow on the top of the mountain!

Ever since I studied abroad in Australia, people have been telling me that Vancouver is like Sydney. I was eager to find out if I agreed on this trip and I think in the end I can definitely see the similarities. They are both pretty clean cities, right on the water with cool harbor areas. They also both seem to have an emphasis on outdoor activities like biking, hiking and going to the beach (though Sydney has better beach weather and much more impressive beaches). Canada Place even resembles the opera house in Sydney.

After spending a few days in Canada and also attending Amber's wedding with many Canadians, I would also say that the Canadian culture (at least in BC) reminds me a lot of the casual, laid back atmosphere that exists in Australia. So, of course, I love it!

Stay tuned for my recap of Amber's wedding and the rest of our trip :)

Have you ever been to two cities that remind you of each other?