You Really Should Enjoy Downtown Savannah…

Sometimes the world works in crazy ways.

We arrived at the airport yesterday, exactly one hour before our flight, only to find out that it had just been cancelled. While most of the Midwest and Northeast flights yesterday were cancelled due to weather reasons, ours was cancelled due to mechanical issues. However, these weather issues meant that there was no way they could rebook us on another flight yesterday.

Before he left the ticket counter, the kind ticket agent gave him a tip, "You really should enjoy downtown Savannah. It’s quite lovely this time of year."

Bo, my mom, and I each quickly embraced the idea of enjoying the sunshine and 70 degree weather for one more day!

Taxi and food vouchers in hand to use Tuesday morning, we decided to embrace the extra day and spend it enjoying downtown Savannah.  Luckily, my mom didn’t have any plans yesterday so she was able to enjoy the day with us.

IMG_0496 IMG_0498 IMG_0497 Our first stop was Soho South Cafe, one of our favorite lunch spots in downtown. A funky, hip art boutique and restaurant, their menu is extensive and always delicious. This is one of those restaurants where anything you order arrives just as your taste buds imagine.

IMG_0506 Soho South Cafe Savannah We each tried something different than normal, but also decided that we were in the mood for their famous sandwiches. They make their chicken and tuna salad in house as well as their pork. Armed with this knowledge, my mom and I decided to order the Waldorf style tuna salad sandwich and the chicken salad sandwich, sharing each of them.

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We weren’t able to finish either of these sandwiches due to their enormous size, but they were out of this world! The toppings (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and sprouts) were piled high and both salads included apples, grapes, and the perfect level of seasoning!

Bo ordered their Cuban sandwich as it came highly recommended and is always one of his favorites.  As Cuban sandwich lovers know, this is often a risky sandwich to order at restaurants. It is either delicious, and spot on, or it is underwhelming served with one slice of cheese and a slice of ham.

As you can tell from the below picture, this Cuban was a gooey mess of ham and cheese.

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If you’re ever in Savannah, I highly recommend stopping by Soho South Cafe for a wonderful lunch break. They feature indoor and outdoor seating, a full beer and wine menu, a large assortment of sandwich and salad options, as well as some out of this world desserts!

After our lunch, we spent the afternoon walking around the historic downtown area and City Market.

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IMG_0525 IMG_0523 Garibaldi Seafood RestaurantA final vacation day wouldn’t be complete without a dessert stop, now would it? :) Luckily, we came across a new to us cupcake shop. Mabel Francis Potter’s Cupcake Emporium has been in Savannah for 5 years, serving creative cupcakes and cookie cupcakes to locals and visitors alike. outside of Mabel Francis Potter's Cupcake EmporiumMabel Francis Potter's Cupcake Emporium

Unfortunately, a busier than normal holiday Monday caught them off guard yesterday. Therefore, they only had two flavors when we arrived- cotton candy or coconut.  The owner warned that the cotton candy is a child favorite due to it’s extreme sweetness. We tried the coconut, thinking it was a safer choice.IMG_0509IMG_0510Coconut Cupcake with Coconut Buttercream IcingThe coconut cupcake with coconut butter cream icing did not disappoint! The cake was very moist, one of my requirements for a good cupcake. The icing was a traditional butter cream with only a slight hint of coconut extract topped with fresh coconut.  While I was disappointed in their selection, the cupcake was perfect and my mom said she would definitely order cupcakes there in the future.

 

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Crazy Friday and Yoga Works NYC

Fridays are supposed to be relaxed and a time for catching up since I have “Summer Fridays” from Memorial Day through Labor Day. This means that Monday thru Thursday all summer we come in 30 minutes early and stay 30 minutes later so that Friday afternoon at 1pm most people can leave.While I rarely get to leave at 1pm, it is nice not to have any meetings planned after 12.
My Friday started with a quick Weight Watchers stop. I lost .5 lb this week which all things considered isn’t horrible. In addition, I picked up more of my favorite oatmeal and had a great chat with the leader their about my experience thus far. Some people have asked whether I’m going to the meetings. As of now, my schedule doesn’t allow for a 30 minute meeting and I’ve seen results historically without the meeting. Therefore, I go to their “open hours” where you can walk in and weigh in without waiting for the meeting.
Breakfast was refreshing and energizing! I’ve found that my oats stay with me longer when I add flax seeds so this week I’ve tried to get back to that. In addition, I’ve been easing into Maca Powder.
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1/2 c blueberries (0 points)
1/3 c Chobani yogurt (1 point)
2 Tbsp flax seeds (2 points)
1 Tbsp Maca Powder (0 points)
1 package Weight Watchers Vanilla Oatmeal (2 pts)
I worked like a crazy lady going meeting to meeting until 1pm. I spent the next hour working through my inbox. Doesn’t it feel great to make it through your inbox and actually file, delete, or respond to everything? Before heading to my PT appointment, I had a quick call with OpenSky to discuss my upcoming shops. I’m really excited about this venture and am equally thrilled that it will launch sooner than I expected.
Unfortunately, I lost track of time which meant I had five minutes to reach my PT appointment. Friday afternoon traffic meant a cab wasn’t possible so I power walked a mile to the appointment as quickly as possible. I’ve really come to love my mile walk to and from PT. We’re making great headway in therapy and finding that a lot of my issues also come from tight hip flexors. He couldn’t believe how tight they were yesterday when he spent 20 minutes digging at them. Luckily, he’s set me up with some great stretches that I can do everyday at home or in the gym.
After my appointment, I planned to head back downtown towards my normal Equinox for a great workout but instead literally ran into an Equinox at Broadway. I love that there are locations throughout the city. It makes working out so much easier!  I ran 15 minutes at 6.2 on the treadmill which is great headway! I’m still worried about getting into marathon shape but it’s a great improvement versus two weeks ago when I could barely walk due to my back injury. About 15 minutes into my elliptical HIIT session that I found on Fit Sugar I realized that my Yogaworks groupon had to be activated by July 2nd and it was in fact July 2nd. I was literally going through my weekend checklist in my head while working out and realized that I’d always thought July 2nd was Saturday which would fit my workout schedule perfectly.  After muttering a few select words I quickly dashed into the locker room, changed, and called Yoga Works. I was hoping they’d say that I could show the Groupon on my Blackberry. Unfortunately, I had to bring the actual coupon which meant I had to rush 20 blocks back to my office, print the coupon, then grab the Subway down to Union Square for the 5pm class.  

My Yogaworks experience was wonderful! The studio was a little cramped overall but our individual studio had huge open windows which allowed fresh air to flow through. The sunlight and fresh air helped put me in a relaxed state of mind. I was apprehensive about the Level 2 Vinyasa Flow class as I wasn’t sure what their level system meant. But, this hour long class was the perfect end to a stressful day. It definitely challenged me as the instructor included many poses that I’ve never done before and 10 minutes of inversion work. Janna, the instructor, really made this class for me. 

Janna did a great job adjusting us throughout the class, describing the poses, and helping us focus on our breathing. My goal for the class was to make a conscious effort to breathe into and through each pose. I successfully held warrior three for an entire minute and did a wall hand stand and head stand without assistance!
I would love to include this 5pm YogaWorks class into my normal schedule. It shed the stress of my Friday and helped me “let it all out” before arriving home to Bo for our date night.
How do you let your stress go after a long day and week?

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Marvelous Monday Meals

Today was the first time in ages when I didn’t get anything take-out or delivery, except for Starbucks! The extra planning guaranteed a delicious day of food!

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Weight Watchers Vanilla Almond Oatmeal

1/2 c blueberries from the Union Square Farmer’s Market

1/3 c 0% Fage (on sale at Whole Foods this week)

Venti Iced Unsweetened Green Tea

Delicious and filling!

Lunch was a salad topped with last night’s leftovers.

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Tomato slices

1/4 c greek quinoa salad

4 shrimp

2 Tbsp Whole Foods FF Balsamic Dressing

1/3 c green bean salad

Mixed greens

This held me over until 6pm when I got home from my doctor’s appointment. As I was prepping dinner, I enjoyed fresh cherries as an evening snack before our favorite easy, healthy dinner.

Did you know that the butchers at Whole Foods will take chicken breasts and cut them into cutlets for you? We discovered this yesterday during our hunt for easy dinner ingredients. We’ve found that cutlets cook easier and more evenly than breasts.

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Chicken cutlets rubbed BBQ spices and pan grilled

Sauteed mushrooms and onions

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I’m definitely in a veggie coma! Delicious!

Want a laugh? Bo’s friend discovered this and it really may be one of the most hilarious You Tube videos I’ve seen in a while! No joke!

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Ashley Simpson is crazy!

 

Ashley Simpson, our ATV guide from Northwoods Outfitters, is one crazy woman! Blog Pictures 2010 476  What we thought was going to be a 2 to 3 hour excursion along the beautiful Moose Head Lake ended up being an 8 hour all day off road experience across 200 miles of the rocky terrain of the surrounding hills and mountains!

   

Before our trip, Bo and I read the website’s description so we’d be prepared for the day.

Guided ATV Tours
For the best riding experinece join one of our guided ATV tours. During your tour we will lead you to some of the regions highlights such as fabulous views, remote trout ponds, and moose and wildlife watching. Trips are offered daily as 1/2 and full day tours. Private or small group trips available.

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The first mistake was that both Bo, my mom, and I assumed my dad had purchased the 1/2 day guided tour. In addition we assumed the moose and wildlife watching was along the lake.

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Needless to say, we were wrong on all accounts and definitely assumed way too much. This was hands down the scariest experience I’ve ever had. Now that we survived it, my mom and I can appreciate it for what it was while the boys are already yearning to go back.

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Our adventure started promptly at 10am. We met Ashley about 10 miles outside town where she was waiting for us with three ATVs, one for her and two for us to share. It had been established ahead of time that similar to jet skiing, my mom nor I had any interest in driving the ATVs. We were definitely fine riding behind my dad and Bo. Ashley took us through the safety, use, and rules of the ATV for about 15 minutes before we took off. Notice the smile on me and my mom in these pictures. That is 100% ignorant bliss!

The first hour was primarily flat, gravel trails combined with a few rolling hills which took us to the beautiful streams and small water falls. Ashley was great about stopping for scenic picture opportunities during the entire trip!

The best part about all these pictures is the fact that Bo is in jeans. I think I see him in jeans and a t-shirt 2-3x per year. Normally his weekend wardrobe is khakis and a polo so this was a fun, casual change!

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And my friends, this is where the fun came to a rapid hault. After this picture was taken the terrain turned rocky and hilly. Once we hit the true off road terrain which included 45-60 degree accents over loose rocks and boulders, I was all tears and overcome by fear. This was NOT my nor my mom’s idea of fun. But, I kept thinking that it was okay because the less I yelled at Bo to slow down the more he would and the quicker the 3 hours would be over.

After finishing a rocky terrain Ashley suggested we pull on our bandanas as we were in for a fast, flat gravel area. She bragged that we’d be able to reach speeds of 65 miles an hour on the gravel and dust would be flying! Once again, I started to grow wary. I don’t like heights or uncontrollable speed. I’m not one to go bungee jumping though I don’t mind rollercoasters or sky scrapers because for some reason those seem safe.

Bo immediately became excited and gunned it. I yelled for him to stop as my gloves weren’t on. After a quick break for my adjustment we were off. Unfortunately my parents and Ashley were a good 2 minutes ahead of us and not in sight anywhere. In fact, that is my only complaint about Ashley. She liked to go fast and would only turn around to check on us every 5 minutes or so.

About 20 minutes into the path Bo took a curve too quickly and didn’t see the sharp curve ahead. Blog Pictures 2010 486We slammed off the trail into a ditch that immediately threw me out of the ATV and flipped it on top of me. HANDS DOWN THE SCARIEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE! I slammed on my back and at that moment knew all my dreams of running a marathon and living a normal life were gone.

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My second thought was that we’d wrecked the ATV which we’d already been warned was worth over $8,000. All I could think to do was cry and pretty much wail. Mean while Bo was fine and pretty much panicking as I refused to move. I’d seen Rescue 911 one too many times and knew that I shouldn’t try and move until help arrived. However, I saw the ATV sinking deeper and deeper and saw that Bo couldn’t flip it back over by himself. Out in the middle of no where far from my parents and Ashley there was no way we were going to get help. I gingerly tested movement. I was sore but nothing was broken. I gradually stood up and started crying again, this time with relief. We were able to flip the ATV over just as we heard another one approaching. Ashley had noticed we were missing and back tracked until she found us. She made me bend and try some twists before prescribing Emu Oil for my back and the impending swelling.

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Bo rubbed the emu oil all over my back which Ashley insisted would help the pain and swelling as it has numbing effects. I looked at her in tears and said I could continue as I didn’t want to ruin the fun and figured we only had another 30 minutes to an hour. “Ha, no we have about 5 more hours ahead of us, you’ll be great!”

Excuse me!? Oh yes, only my father would sign up for the full day as his family’s first ATV experience just because it was a better value. I love my dad sometimes. :)

The rest of the afternoon pretty much included me counting the seconds, enjoying parts of the scenery, bonding with my mother over our fear and hatred of this experience, and then a few laughs in between. It wasn’t that the ATV experience was bad as it wasn’t. It just wasn’t our cup of tea. But, we did get some great pictures and enjoy some amazing views of Maine!

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Now that I’m safely curled up in bed I can say that there were aspects I loved about this trip. It gave us a chance to experience something new which my parents love. It was also a great event for the four of us to do together as it was a great bonding experience. Even though Bo and I have been together for almost 7 years he and my parents are still getting used to this new relationship/friendship. Laughing about the tears today was great!

By the end we were all filthy, sore, and excited about a shower and glass of wine! The trip was 8 hours in total which meant engaging muscles we never knew existed. The guys used their legs, chest, and arms while mom and I primarily engaged our arms during the trip as we held on for dear life!

Look at this dirty gang!

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I’ve gotta say, I really do love that my family and I can have such diverse adventures and experiences together. I can now say that I’ve been off-roading in the backroads and hills of Maine on an ATV. And now, thankfully I never have to do it again. Or, at least not until my teenage children beg their cool mom to go with them! :)

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