Be good to yourself!

This was a good week for a first week of trying to get back on track. As I posted earlier, I have had a difficult time following a healthy eating and exercise regimen and basically fell off the wagon for a couple of months. On Monday I started to turn it around and have done well with my clean eating all week. I have THE worst sweet tooth; I am beginning to believe all of those articles I have seen lately about sugar being an addictive drug. So, for me, success on this healthy road is defined by not digging into ice cream, oreo cookies, those fantastic desserts from Costco. I have also reduced my bread intake to nil since I could eat a whole loaf with molasses!! This week my sweet tooth was satisfied with a bowl of fresh fruit and it wasn’t all that hard! Well,it was a little tough!

The next step is to get back to regular exercise. This past week I was supposed to start golf in the ladies’ league. We got rained out and frankly, it has been brutally miserable with rain and cold temperatures all week….until today! Today the sun was out and, while it was still cool, I went for a brisk walk along Rennies River trail and around Long Pond. It took me about an hour; I even managed to do a few short uphill sprints….just a few!

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It is always nice to meet people I know on the trails. Today I passed a couple of friends and I couldn’t help but think that they were out to honour and celebrate their wife and mother whose funeral was earlier today. She was a vibrant personality who loved life, did wonderful things during her life and fought a great battle; no doubt she was smiling down on her guys as they were out doing something good for themselves on this beautiful day.

So….do good things! Be kind to others and just as importantly, be good and kind to yourself! Leave them something to honour and celebrate!

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Getting back on track

The last couple of months have been more or less a vacation for me. I have eaten what I wanted and have done very little exercise. Of course, I have my excuses: I got sick, I worried about my Dad’s deteriorated health, I haven’t been in my own home…..just excuses!

Desserts

Well, now I am back home and, after a spree at Costco to stock up, I started this week off on the right track. On Sunday I prepped for the week, chopping up peppers and broccoli, cleaning and cutting up fruit and portioning up chicken and salmon. I signed up again for lunchtime workouts with the Metabolic Meltdown crew for the month of June and for golf in the Clovelly Ladies’ League for the summer. I go back to the workouts on Monday but I am dubious about ever getting in a round of golf, considering the un-Spring-like weather we have been having!

So, now that I’ve put it out there, I hope that this blogging keeps me accountable. I am not weighing myself but will measure my success by the fit of my clothes, hopefully when they start to fall off of me! My 2013 Christmas Day wish at the annual “family meeting”  was to drop two sizes in 2014 so I have a bit of work to do to meet that goal! Here goes! No excuses!

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Home

On Thursday, G and I drove all day, sometimes with knuckles whitened through heavy rain and fog to just get it done! She drove and I had eyes wide watching for moose…I saw seven in total! It is always nice to get home, but the getting here was not the best part of the road trip. The highways in this Province are among the worst…no, they are the worst that we experienced. As G said numerous times, “They’ve got to figure this out!” The deep ruts in the pavement and parts of the highways where the top layer of pavement is completely gone just makes for very dangerous driving. At least we made it unscathed, except for G’s sore butt cheek and my swollen ankle!

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Here are some things we learned along the way:
1. Raccoons win the prize for the most road kill. We also saw deer, rabbits, skunk, gull, moose that lost the battle of the road!
2. We definitely have issues related to retail therapy! We stopped at outlets or some other places each day even though the truck was jammed when we left Purple Lane! Lucky for us, the border officers didn’t want to inspect our vehicle because we just would not ever be able to get it all back into the truck!
3. The hardest part of the drive is through the Maritimes and across the Island. There is definitely something to be said for shipping the car to/from Montreal and flying to meet it rather than driving those parts of the country.
4. We really do enjoy one another’s company! We drove over 3500 miles without a cross word and even had dinner together with the hubbies once we got home! How lucky is that?!
5. We will definitely do it again!

So this is it….the road trip is over! Here is a little photo montage of our selfies! I think there is some improvement!

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Making our way

I wrote this entry in phases over a couple of days using a Notes app on my ipad because I didn’t have wifi. Sorry it is a bit long!

We left Toronto on Tuesday morning after two wonderful nights with great friends, Phil, Jan and Mark. Although we don’t see them often, whenever we do, we just pick up where we left off without skipping a beat! I took a walk down Queen Street toward the Beaches area where Arleen lived her last years. I always like to walk past her apartment on Scarboro Beach Blvd and then stroll along the beach boardwalk and stop at her “spot” to recall some of the times we spent there together. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and the beach was swarming with people…families and friends enjoying the holiday and waiting for the fireworks that would take place in the evening.

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Our drive out of Toronto wasn’t too bad as we heeded Jan and Phil’s advice and took an alternate route before hitting the 401. We drove steadily through Ontario, stopping only for a pee break, gas and Tim’s coffee. We needed a new wiper blade and pulled off in Montreal at a Costco to get it. Getting out of Montreal was a nightmare…and it wasn’t even rush hour!

We made it to Rivière du Loup before dark but decided to keep going to our planned destination, Edmundston, NB. The highway was not the greatest, with construction causing narrowed lanes and it was also raining ….all the reasons we had made rule #2: No driving after dark. After going in circles to find a hotel we ended up basically back at the exit and checked into a Quality Inn ( ” quality” is a relative term!).

On Wednesday morning we slept in and scrambled through our showers and dressing in a record half hour to be on the road by 8:30! We missed the turn for the local Tim’s so had to go off the road about 20 kms later to gas up and get our coffees. New Brunswick has done some highway work since I last drove through here and those famous moose fences are evident along the brush.

We arrived at North Sydney ferry station in plenty of time before boarding. Apparently there is a strategy to lining up for boarding so as not to be last off and thus waiting an eternity to get into the Tim’s in Port aux Basques! Some things ARE important!! Our stash of beverages is now so well concealed amongst our purchases that we stopped in at the local NSLC to get a few cool ones. While I waited in the car, G took forever, and as I suspected, she made a detour into the adjacent supermarket for some snacks for the journey on the ferry! As you can see in the photo, she was true to form! We ate our salads and had a beverage in the car as we wait to board. We finally boarded and ended up in the belly of the ship, meaning that we would be last off in the morning. It would be a long day, as the last day driving usually is!!

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Back in Canada

We hated to leave Chicago….we really enjoyed our stay with Jennifer and Touly!

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The sun was out as we made our way to the highway and that made for a pleasant day of driving. We headed to Windsor, ON where we were to spend the evening with Kenny, the baby brother. We stopped at a nice outlet mall before organizing our documents for crossing the border and drove the last few miles in the USA. At the border we were able to have a quick chat with one of Kenny’s buddies before entering Canada and checking into our hotel. By then it was already time to go meet up with Kenny. It was great to see him doing what he does best.

After spending a few hours  at Bistro 507 and meeting many of Kenny’s friends we hunkered down in our two-star hotel for the night. (A major swim meet in Windsor had all hotels booked up!). We lazed around on Sunday morning until meeting Kenny for a late lunch and then we hit the road for Toronto. We arrived around 7pm to a wonderful dinner with the best hosts – Jan, Phil and Mark Bastow.

Today is a holiday in Canada so we will relax and enjoy a non-driving day, take a walk along the boardwalk and pay a visit to Arleen at the Leuty Lighthouse tree. Later we’ll watch the fireworks from the patio and be grateful that we don’t have to fight the crowds and traffic on the boardwalk!

Here is a collage of pics! Still working on those selfies!!

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Touring the Windy City

Yesterday we slept in, lounged around for the morning and in the afternoon we headed out with our personal tour guides, Jennifer and Touly to experience a little of Chicago. It was cold (5C) and damp and we were ill-prepared for the cold! At least I had my jeans and sneakers with me but nothing like a warm jacket! I ended up layering up with three tops and a cardigan; G luckily bought a rain jacket at the outlet mall on the drive yesterday so she was in better shape than I. Eventually I bought a little jacket at Macy’s…any excuse for a little retail therapy!

We hopped a bus and then a train and made our way downtown. Needless to say, we had a brisk walk trying not to get chilled! The pics below are some of the sights we saw and the folks who visited with us. And I think I am improving at taking selfies, with a little tutorial from Touly! Not sure how to delete that white space ..having issues with doing this blog on the iPad!

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On to Chicago!

It probably seems odd that we would be in Chicago on the way home from Florida to Newfoundland! But today we left Chattanooga and after almost twelve hours we finally arrived in the city of the Black Hawks, Bears, White Sox and Cubs! We are staying with our cousin Jennifer and her hubby Touly; Jennifer was the flower girl at both G’s and my weddings! We are so glad to be here with them!

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The drive today was not as enjoyable as yesterday’s trip. First off, it was cold … In the 50s…and wet for much of the day. At one point I had to have the heat on in the truck because my feet were icy! The ride through Tennessee was quite nice…rolling hills and great roadways. Then we hit Kentucky…not so much so! It kind of reminded me of the Canadian prairies…flat farmland and not much to see. This pic is a bit dark but you can get the idea!

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We drove through Nashville, Louisville and Indianapolis and the traffic going through these centres was nuts! We have never seen so many 18-wheelers on the road. We were slowed not only by traffic and rain but also by road construction and repairs the whole way through Kentucky; what should have taken us 10 hours took us twelve…but I will confess that we had several pee stops and the obligatory twacking at an outlet mall!!

It was a relatively uneventful day except for getting to Chicago and enjoying the wonderful company of Jennifer and Touly! We are staying here for a couple of nights and will get to see some of the city tomorrow. We head across the border and on to Windsor on Saturday. Tomorrow I might post a photo blog post of our day here in the “Windy City”.

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