Rock me gently… Rockaway Beach Trip!

The last evening of Fitbloggin’ I opted to take off and go see my family whom I had not seen in more than half my life. My cousin, my soul sister, my kindred spirit Eva.¬† I was sad to miss out of the farewell reception and the other various activities that night would hold at the hotel… but adventure awaited me! I also got to see my cousin Tyler, whom I had also not seen and met his beautiful girlfriend, who is now his fiance (woo-woo). It was awesome!!

Ready?…Set… ADVENTURE!!!!

Hop in! Let's GO!

Hop in! Let’s GO!

Food on the run, Burgerville Burger and Walla Walla Onion rings, only available seasonally.

Food on the run, Burgerville Burger and Walla Walla Onion rings, only available seasonally.

Into the Woods!

Into the Woods!

Praise Cheezus! It is my Holy Land!

Praise Cheezus! It is my Holy Land!

Squeaky Cheese samples and more!

Squeaky Cheese samples and more!

Tillamook Creamery Icecream!

Tillamook Creamery Icecream!

Loaf Love!

Loaf Love!

Onward! Must keep going!!! Race the clock! Must see it ALL!

Onward! Must keep going!!! Race the clock! Must see it ALL!

Pretty!

Pretty!

Take it all in... for a moment!

Take it all in… for a moment!

Boooooooats on the water.

Boooooooats on the water.

BEACH!!!!

BEACH!!!!

Sand between my toes! Glorious sand!

Sand between my toes! Glorious sand!

Magnificent!

Magnificent!

It's always sunny in Rockaway!

It’s always sunny in Rockaway!

Welcome Home... maybe!

Welcome Home… maybe!

Obligatory family shot!

Obligatory family shot!

Time to hop in the convertible!

Time to hop in the convertible!

And head up the highway!

And head up the highway!

To destinations Unknown to me

To destinations Unknown to me

Enjoy the ride!

Enjoy the ride!

Feels like I'm flying!

Feels like I’m flying!

Don't stop!!

Don’t stop!!

Racing into the sunset!

Racing into the sunset!

Misty!

Misty!

Don't forget to look around once in a while... or you might miss something!

Don’t forget to look around once in a while… or you might miss something!

The beach from the overlook!

The beach from the overlook!

I wish I lived here!

I wish I lived here!

Doesn't she look happy?  I wish I never had to leave her!

Doesn’t she look happy? I wish I never had to leave her!

Nightfall :(

Nightfall ūüė¶

There's always time for selfies!

There’s always time for selfies!

The quiet backyard where I took my coffee for a few moments before we ran back to the city.

The quiet backyard where I took my coffee for a few moments before we ran back to the city.

I could see myself hanging out here... Save me a chair Eva!

I could see myself hanging out here… Save me a chair Eva!

*sigh*

*sigh*

Tearful hotel goodbye!

Tearful hotel goodbye!

#fitbloggin Photo recap!

Okay, so I am lazy… I admit it… The rest of my fitbloggin recap is just going to be the photos off my camera as I was finally able to get them downloaded this morning… and then I will photo recap my whirl-wind tour of the coast too!

FitblogginRoomies

Kris, Liz, & Mer. Fitbloggin Roomies

light fixture

Light fixture reminded me of a Jellyfish

SoyJoy Sponsor Table

Soy Joy Sponsor table

Reebok Sponsor Table

Reebok Sponsor Table (SHOES!!!!)

JumpSport Sponsors!

Jumpsport Trampoline! Sponsor table!

Start of Swag!

And then there is the start of the Swag…

Amazing Fitbloggin13 Staff working hard at registration

The awesome Fitbloggin13 staff!

Killer Posters!

Signage so we don’t miss stuff!

One of the elevator lobbies at our beautiful hotel.

The elevator lobbies were beautiful and calm.

our swanky Hotel

And the hotel was Swanky!

Lunch

Lunch before the fashion show, Fun clique-mixer! Tables were labeled with different things you were encouraged to meet new people. I sat at the Midwest table

meow

Meow

final breakfast. :(

Breakfast the last morning

Kenlie and Dani!!

Kenlie and Dani being their Rockstar selves!

Mer's leftover Voodoo Doughnuts

Mer’s leftover Voodoo doughnuts!

Voodoo Aftermath Liz

Liz’s Leftover Voodoo’s!

lobby flowers

Flowers in the lobby of the hotel!

Delta

Sadness…. Is it really time to go.

Goodbye

See ya Next Year Fitbloggin…. Good Bye Portland!

Onward to #FitBloggin!

Oh yes that’s right! 160 days and counting!¬† Excitement is building as the Fitbloggin’ date grows near.¬† My flights are booked, my hotel room is reserved, I have 2 roommates secured, Mer and Liz, and I am so very ready to go!

I used to be so very afraid of meeting new people, and stepping our of my comfort zone, but not so much when it comes to things like this, at least not anymore.¬† One of the things that I have fallen in love with about this community is that everyone has at some point felt the way I do.¬† We have all at some point felt like the biggest one in the room.¬† We have all felt like the outcast.¬† We have all felt like we are going to fail, or that we aren’t going to succeed, and we have all made a decision that we are ready to change our lives.¬† We have all has hit’s and misses.¬† So many of us have tried and failed more than once, on more than a few occasions some of us have even quit and thrown our hands in the air.¬† We are a persistent bunch though.

I can’t wait! I am looking forward to meeting some of the people that have shared their stories with me.¬† People who I have cheered on, and shed tears for, and who I so desperately wanted to give a hug to for so many reasons.¬† I am ready to step out of my comfort zone and try new things.

Will I see *YOU* there?

Traveling Day 1

So yesterday was my travel day. I live about 1100 miles from my parents. It keeps our relationship healthy. The farther I get the better we get along. I am certain a few of you can relate to this.
So a few times a year I get the luxury of going east to see my parents. This will change in time, as I know most people don’t have the flexibility that my job allows.
Thursday morning I got to the airport, checked it, zipped thru the full body scanners, got my “flagged” patdown and was on my way. I am always to the airport early, it gives me a chance to find calm before I fly. I sipped my Starbucks, then walked the airport concourses for over an hour. I like seeing the hustle and bustle of travel and being mobile enought now to keep moving.
Flights weren’t full, I had empty seats next to me into DTW and ABE. So even if I needed the extra seat that my #toofattofly fears make me worry about it wouldn’t have been a thing.
I am faced now with my parents trying to be “helpful” with my food choices. It makes me feel overly self conscious having to decide for others what to eat. I know how I eat and shop at home. Stopping at the storeon the way from the airport and trying to pick food for days on end or what I might want to eat 4 days from now is stressful. I appreciate the support but it is uncomfortable at times because I don’t want to make a wrong chooce for someone else.
I have a moderately full schedule over the next few days here, trying to cram in visits with family and perhaps catch up with a friend or 2 but not forget about my exercise. I’m ready however to be home in my bed. ūüôā

Out of My Control

So in that last post I mentioned my trip to Chicago.¬† It was a quick trip for a wedding.¬† I stayed in a hotel, my available food selection wasn’t the best.¬† I made the best choices from what was available, but it still wasn’t without flaw.

So how do you deal with traveling and lacking food choices?  When I travel out-of-town generally I make sure I stop at the store when I get into town and load up on groceries so I can have some healthy options on hand.  I was unaware that the hotel room I was staying in was going to have a fridge or when we made the quick stop at Wal-Mart for sandwich meat the first night I would have grabbed some real food to stick in it.

I did pack in my carry-on¬†some packets on Barney Butter, (which had to go in my 3-1-1 liquid bag!) and sandwich thins.¬† I grabbed some bananas from the breakfast bar in the morning. but other than that most of my food for the time I was there was bad news.¬† I had pizza, and I had a cupcake when the food for dinner was pretty much gone by the time we were fed at the wedding.¬† For breakfast I had yogurt, but wasn’t satisfied, so I ended up with some sugary-cereal and skim milk.

Do you have any tips or tricks for living out of a hotel?  I know Jen, a priorfatgirl spent a few days stuck in a hotel due to her house being fixed up post-tornado.  She had access to a car though, which makes like a different story.  I was stuck in a strange city relying on what I could scrounge.

When I visit my parents the first thing I do is make a trip to the store.    Loading up the fridge with things that are familiar to me.  Not so much snack-type things, usually I throw a bag of popchips or something in my suitcase for snacks.  Lean protein, fresh veggies.  It was just hard having no, or very little control over my food for a few days.  Then coming home and being sick, I feel like a bit of a failure.  I know I am not, but it is just how I feel.

So here I am, making my recovery stating there are some things that are just out of my control, admitting my choices were not 100% on target, but they were reset as I made each new decision.

So that being said, Don’t give up when you are having a bad day, or a bad run of decisions!¬† You have the power to start, and restart over and over again whenever you want or need to!

You hold the power in this relationship!

Fear of Flying

Once again, it is time for my palms to get sweaty… and my anxiety to go through the roof.¬† Today I fly to Chicago, well Midway, but it’s still Chicago.¬† Just a quick out and back for a wedding.¬† So what is the big deal?

I am afraid of flying… Even as a kid I was afraid of flying.¬† There is a video of me when I was in about 4th grade in an airport talking about how the plane was going to crash.¬† It was a “death ship” and it was going to take us to our doom.¬† This was just before my first international flight.¬† Desert Storm was underway, security was high.¬† It was a scary time for the little bit that I remember.¬† Flashing forward in time many years, I flew shortly after September 11.¬† I was freaked out.¬† I knew it was something I had to do.¬† On my flight out security was high… and flying home it was even scarier.¬† The men with the guns in the airport, scary!

My fear isn’t so much about terrorists, or crashing really.¬† My fear is about what most bigger folks¬†fear.¬† Those little tiny seats on the plane.¬† What if I am too fat to fly.¬† I have been downsizing over the last few years.¬† In fact I really shouldn’t have much fear over being too fat to fly anymore.¬† I am fairly average-fat sized now.¬† I don’t think that I would take up two seats anymore.¬† There was a time when I willingly bought two seats just so I wouldn’t have to have that awkward conversation.¬† Also so that I could just relax a bit more on the flight.

The last time I flew I didn’t need a seatbelt extension, but was that a fluke?¬† I am not much smaller than I was then.¬† In fact¬†only a few pounds have left my body since I last flew.¬† I had been feeling okay about the flying up until it was time to check in.¬† Now as things get closer I get more anxiety ridden.

I don’t quite understand what is so different now.¬† Luckily this time flying is a bit smoother, no CPAP¬†to deal with at security.¬† No checked bags, just a carry on.¬† It should just be smooth sailing.

So deep breathing is what I should be focusing on.  One breath at a time.  I can do this.  I am not the 400+ pound person I was before.  I am not as large as I see myself.  I will survive this flight.

History Lesson

So after Thursdays adventure to Ringing Rocks Park I was happy to have logged some major mileage n my shoes!¬† Two days in a row of some major miles and I was ready for more so Thursday night I sat down to dinner with Mom and Dad and tried to lay out a battle plan for Friday.¬† I had some things I wanted to do on my own but they wanted to take advantage of every moment I was there.¬† I get it, they don’t see me very often so it’s all good! So a plan was enacted for me to get some time with just my dad.¬†

Both of my parents grew up in the city of brotherly love.¬† So the idea of going into Philadelphia for them is no big deal.¬† I live in a city now, which boggles their mind.¬† They can’t fathom the fact that this former country girl craves big city living.¬† However to me Minneapolis is not big city.¬† When I was asked what I like about city living I can list off SO MANY things about where I live.¬† I almost feel bad about how much I love my city.¬† The energy, the noise, the convenience of the shopping.¬† The opportunities for culture like museums and the opera the people, it is just wonderful.¬† I have a T-shirt that says I ‚̧ MN and I mean it!

So Friday My dad and¬†I headed into the¬† city.¬† Our first stop was his old neighborhood!¬† We were making a stop off at Swiacki Meats.¬† If there is one thing that a good Polish girl knows it is good kielbasa… and they make AWESOME kielbasa! I however don’t eat it anymore… I try to avoid processed meats as much as possible.¬† So we headed up Salmon Street and found a spot to park.¬† Dad and I headed into the small shop and proceeded to order 10 pounds of smoked kielbasa.¬† Time to refill the freezer! He also snagged some rye bread babka and pierogis.¬† None of these things hold any deep routed ties for me.¬†

We next headed¬†around¬†the rest of the Port Richmond neighborhood where my dad¬†grew up and he showed me much of his old stomping grounds.¬†¬†I saw¬†lots of what would now be called townhouses¬†but were once rowhomes.¬† Philly has a much different feel than Minneapolis… I almost want to call it dirtier feeling… or cramped but maybe claustrophobic?¬† I got to see a lot of the places my godfather lived then I got to see where

P5130049

My Grandparents Bar in Port Richmond Philadelphia

my grandparents used to have their bar. I hopped out of the car snapped a photo looked around a little bit.  The garage door on the left side of the photo my dad tells me he used to throw a ball at as a kid.  Dad like me was heavy as a kid, and seems to not recall much of his childhood.  I was happy to once again get to see some of where he grew up. 

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My dads childhood home in Port Richmond Philadelphia

We headed off from the bar and around the corner to just a few blocks away, or it seemed a few blocks away, maybe two or so to the house where he grew up.¬† It wasn’t much to see but it was his home.

So we finished touring around his neighborhood, dad told me a few stories about how¬†they used¬†his aunts address to get him into a different school¬†and then he¬†didn’t go to school for an entire month leading to the truant officer showing up at his Aunts house looking for him.¬† Then it was off to another part of the city!

I couldn’t recall the last time I went into Philadelphia to see our nations historical stuff.¬† I have been to the Franklin Institute since elementary school, and the Academy of Natural Sciences, and perhaps even the US Mint, but it had been a long time since I visited all the other things there.¬†

We found parking several blocks from the historical attractions, paid the new-fangled meter put the slip on the windshield and hoofed it from there! My dad was so impressed with the ease of which I moved!  He remarked that I should join him on his hunting trips because I could keep up better than some other people who have joined him recently!

We headed over to Independence Hall, the line was INSANE!!! We opted to skip heading to the secondary location for tickets to get in there and instead headed over to see the Liberty Bell.¬† We waited in line, observing all the school children and I strained my mind trying to remember the last time I was there.¬† So much had changed.¬† There is security all over the place now… things don’t really look the same.¬† We wandered through the exhibit, but only after security went through my bag.¬† I get it you need to make sure no one has weapons and such, my epi-pen and inhaler are such a threat! We made it back to the area where the bell was.¬† There were SO MANY PEOPLE!!!

I waited and examined where it take a photo not full of random people.¬† I kinda wanted my photo with the bell, but¬†I knew that wasnt likely to happen.¬† I waited for just the right moment, and snapped my photo… Success! Not full of strangers!
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After we left the Liberty Bell we headed over past the Visitors Center and up to the National Constitution Center! Inside there they have all kinds of neat things, you can sign the constitution, take photos with statues of our founding fathers in theoretical positions that they were in.¬† There was a whole exhibit about Abe Lincoln that was kinda cool, we read some of the panels but not all of them.¬† (We really would need all day there!) We wandered through the “core exhibit” that they have which is “We the People” it was really cool, you could take interactive tests that would tell you when in history you would have the right to vote.¬† They have artifacts on display like social security cards of former presidents and other things.¬† It was really cool!¬† There was also a live one woman show that we saw that rocked too!

After that our parking meter was sue to expire so we hoofed it back to the car and decided it was soon time to head out of the city to beat the Friday night traffic!¬† We were going to be meeting my mom for dinner and a movie anyway and didn’t want to be late.¬† We made it back to the car with a few minutes left on our parking slip.¬† Philadelphia parking enforcement is no joke! As we got closer to the car I saw no less than 6 parking citations on the street we were on!

So out of the city we ventured, traffic was picking up but wasn’t too bad.¬† We took the turnpike, which I hadn’t taken in a long time.¬† I think it was possibly 2005 when I moved when I last actually saw the rates for the turnpike.¬† It had jumped in price by an amazing amount.¬† The fare that used to be $.50 was now $1.10.¬† Crazy! We headed to the diner where my grandparents used to eat dinner every night.¬† (My dad’s parents)¬† They would drive the 45 minutes to this diner every night of the week for dinner, the food is good, but to me, not worth the insane drive!¬† It is across the street from Willow Grove Naval Air Station.¬† When I was in college I used to hang out at this diner and study between classes.¬†

My mom was about 15 minutes late to dinner, but Dad an I ordered our dinner anyway and ordered for her too.  I loaded up a plate full of salad and relaxed while I waited for my chicken breast to come.  We enjoyed dinner and talked about our day full of adventure and then it was off to the movies!  We saw Bridesmaids.  It was okay, not as good as I had hoped it would be.  They missed an opportunity to go a different direction with the movie, but my parents thought it was hilarious. 

After we left the theater we headed off to a bar on the way home to hear some friends play some music.  This was a HUGE step for me.  I would have NEVER gone out to a bar at 400 pounds, let alone a bar in Pennsylvania where I could have potentially run into people who I might have known!  Luckily my friends here in Minnesota have shown me that it is okay to step out of my former self and have fun!
P5130064

I was a bit nervous when I first got there.¬† I didn’t know anyone other than the guys in the band and well my dad.¬† How lame is that.¬† After a few songs I went up and said hi to Brendan (the guy on the right in the photo) He didn’t even recognize me anymore.¬† He was happy that I showed up.¬† I had relaxed into my element, the music was awesome! Although I did feel a little bit like I was cheating on my own bar, I thought of my friends, the regulars at my bar and how much fun we would be having here.¬†

We stayed until the band was done playing at just after 10:30.¬† I chatted with some of my dad’s former co-workers and current colleagues.¬† It was a great time.¬† It was nice to have spent the day getting to hang out with my dad.¬† We were never close when I was younger but we are working on our relationship now. So I got a dose of both the history of our country and his history as we looked into our own futures!

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My Dad and I