Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The 2nd Fittest City in America

I recently came across an article talking about America's fittest cities. This past weekend I had the pleasure of visiting #2 on the list....Washington D.C. Fortunately this is where my dad and stepmom have chosen to "retire" and they have "officially" moved for the last time...we'll see how long that lasts...yes Dad...I know you will be reading this! ;) Anyways, I have determined that it truly is an inspiring place to be even though I don't think I'll be moving there anytime soon, if ever. Along the Potomac River near George Washington Parkway, from basically downtown DC to Mount Vernon and possibly beyond, there is a fitness path. For those of you in the Western Suburbs, this is no prairie path or western trail. It is paved with strength training stops along the way and there are always, and I mean ALWAYS, people at every level running, walking, biking, etc...down this trail. There are drink stops and you can pretty much see the river along a majority of the path. Just driving past it a good number of times was inspiring much less seeing the fact that the people on the trail ranged from fit to, well, unfit. There are plenty of places to walk...all through downtown DC would be plenty. If you've visited, you know what I mean. Then you have the trail and you have the water sports along the river and nearby. Now I know that we have Navy Pier here in Chicago but that requires a much more significant drive than does this wonderful trail. It is literally across the street from thousands of homes over its 14+ mile length.

One time I visited, my dad and I paddled around between the Washington Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial. Here is a picture from that event circa 2008 or so:

This time we went canoeing...we don't have a picture because let's just say that three people in a canoe is far too least when they are all adults. We did do plenty of other things like walking around downtown, eating out at restaurants...since the kitchen in their newly renovated home is not in complete working order quite yet. One of our frequent stops was breakfast at Breugger's Bagels...

They used to have some here in the western suburbs but I am not sure many exist with the proliferation of Einstein's and Panera as well as the few remaining Great American Bagels.

Anyways, gettting away always provides a fresh and new perspective on life and this trip could not have come at a better time as I had really been struggling through some things since my job ended earlier this month. I can't believe that July is almost here and I will certainly be better at posting in the coming weeks and months.

Hope you are able to get away and get a new and fresh perspective and can come back and be absolutely inspired to do what you need to do and want to do.

Happy End of June and "official" beginning to summer (a few days late)!

Friday, June 17, 2011

One week into Summer and I'm LOVING it already!

Summer may seem like it's the same each year but for me it's filled with uncertainty, sometimes pain and loneliness and sometimes it's entirely too busy that I seem to miss the "enjoyment of the season" altogether. This year is different. Fortunately, I've been blessed by the long term position that I took in March and therefore do not have to work full time this summer to pay the bills. In fact, if I stay on budget each month, I technically don't have to work at all. However, I want to do some special things and they require just a little money so I'm still doing some work here and there, I'm fortunate to not feel the stress I've felt for as many summers as I have before.

It's only been one week of summer break and I've been in heaven. Last Friday was my last day, then I planned, shopped and crafted until my sister's graduation party on Sunday. After that, my summer truly began (even though it was fun...I felt like I was still on a spinning wheel). Monday and Tuesday mornings, I leisurely awoke and made my way to the deck where I soaked up the sun, did a little planning, read some magazines and drank iced tea! Now I could certainly get used to that... I also took on a last minute long weekend "sitting job"...the kids are going into 7th grade and one will be a freshman...let's just say its really fun to do extended times when they are older than toddlers! My sister has jumped in to tag team with me since I've had some other things planned. Today I hit up the beach with my two dear friends Jaimie and Katie and the three little peanuts between them, Maddie, Haley, and Brooke! We had quite the adventure and look forward to many summer adventures together! We ventured to downtown Chicago in the van...all 6 girls and made our way to North Ave. Beach. Let's just say, I'm so glad I'm not in high school anymore! :) Tonight I am participating in an adult sleepover (girls only of course) and I am really excited!

I'll share more soon and hopefully get pictures from Katie to post of our day at the beach!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer Break is here!

In case you have not seen me lately, I'm officially on summer break and free to relax and enjoy!

The past 3 months have been a whirlwind and I feel like I had to let most things fall by the wayside to keep afloat at work. Over the coming months, I'm looking foward to getting things in order around the house, posting some under utilized things around the house on Craigslist, having a garage sale, using Rosetta Stone to work on my Espagnol and building up my photography skills and business.

If you are around or come into town...let me know! I'd love to see you and hang out! :)