Back to the Grind

Well it’s Tuesday and I’m back at work.  On my least favorite day.  Ick!  Oh well, it was soooo worth it. Ashlee and I had a blast yesterday.  We slept in (until like 8:30- woot woot!) and just slowly got ourselves going and making plans.  We narrowed it down to a museum day- Chicago History Museum and Field Museum.  I still hadn’t made my way into the History Museum yet, so I was ready.

We decided it might be fun to do breakfast in the city.  So I grabbed a Fiber One from the gift basket I got at Jaime’s shower to tide me over.  Thank god I did…  we took the metra in and tried out the bus system.  I never claimed to be an expert on public transit in Chicago.  Never.  I rely heavily on Google transit to tell me what to do.  But sometimes human error occurs.  And sometimes you end up getting on the wrong bus.  And sometimes you end up in areas you probably shouldn’t be.  Like what happened to us yesterday.  Uh… oops.  So the bus ride was a little longer than we thought it would take.  But we got to where we needed to get eventually:

Elly’s Pancake House!  Our brunch we planned to have around noon or a little after turned into lunch because of how late we had gotten there.  And we were STARVING.  Hamburger and fries for both of us…

No pictures, sadly.  Why?  Because my camera battery crapped out on me.  I didn’t realize it was low after the weekend.  Even that morning, I thought, “Should I charge my camera battery?  Nah… it has enough power surely…”  Nope.  I turn it on and get the message “Change Battery Pack”.  Damn!  Enough with the camera issues!!!  And Ashlee’s had died well before mine because she was already on day 4 of her trip…

So, I apologize for the grainy crackberry pics you will be seeing for the rest of the post.  But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do…

One thing that did go our way?  We made it to the History Museum, and it was a day of free admission!  Score!  So first, we checked out the children’s museum:

My legs weren’t even  long enough for that bike.  And I’m no shorty! 

Then we strolled upstairs… The little Playboy display was one of my fav things to look at.  Apparently the bunny costume was modeled after the measurements of this girl Suzy- who was decided to be the ideal proportions for the Playboy club.  Yeah… her waist was 23 inches.  I’d have to break a couple ribs to come close to that one…  And we won’t even talk about how much help I’d need to fill in the top of the costume… damn “runner’s boobs”.  :pMany of the exhibits had to do with the World Fair.  They had a train car you could walk into and around and pretend to be a member of the times.  Ashlee was Newton- a grocer who enjoyed the moving sidewalk exhibit. My card said I was Matilda- a widow who liked the Agriculture Building.  I decided she was probably a sassy broad.  Just like me.  ;)The History Museum was a lot of fun.  We stayed until close.  Sadly, there was a fashion exhibit that was closed- we were both a little bummed about that one.  But honestly, time-wise we may have not gotten to see it anways.  After the History Museum closed, we decided to skip Field Museum (figuring by the time we got there, it’d be closed, too, if not already).

To Ogilvie we went to catch a metra back out to the ‘burbs.  Both of us just adore Sheldon on Big Bang Theory, so we got some carryout at a little Mexican place near me and made it back to my apartment just in time to watch it.  Turns out it was a rerun we had both seen, but really- it’s still hilarious.  Check out my burrito I got:

It was a chicken burrito the size of my head.  For reals.  Apparently my toes were just curling in excitement.  The awesome people at the restaurant gave us chips and dip while we waited for our food to be ready to carry out, so I didn’t need that at all!  After the pic, I took a knife to it.  Three meals out of this craziness.  Holy crap.

This morning I sadly took Ashlee to the airport on the way to work. It’s funny because we started chatting away as soon as I picked her up on Sunday straight through the entire trip all the way until I dropped her off.  I’m so glad she came!  She said they might try to make another trip up to Chicago over the summer.  I said fantastic.  Everyone loves the Chi in the summer… :)

Anyhoo, so that was my great weekend!  I loved it.  And now everything goes back to normal…  Back to work.  Back to my workout schedule (Nothing crazy tonight- just The Shred if I’m up to it because I really am a walking zombie today).  Back to my routine.  The sleep will be needed.  But she’ll be missed until I get to see her again! 

Have a good Tuesday everyone!  I’m gonna go grab another cup of coffee…

Impromptu Trip to the Zoo

Yea for Sunday Funday!  :)  The sun was shining and the weather was the best it had been all weekend!  So when I picked up my lovely Ashlee, I said, “instead of going back to my place, do you want to go do something?”  She said sure.  Where did we go?

Lincoln Park Zoo!The animals were having a lazy Sunday, too.  Almost all of them.  Sleeping… Except the bears.  I was really excited to see the bears!  Although I felt kind of sorry for one of the sun bears we saw.  The sign said she had some sort of surgery done on her jaw/mouth area and as a result, her tongue constantly hangs out.  That’s gotta be awful.  Poor thing was just walking around with her tongue dragging along… grossness. 

My favorite exhibits are those that include large and scary for some reason… I like the gorillas, lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!).  Not a lie.  Favorite exhibits anyone? After we were done walking around the zoo for a while, we were a bit hungry.  Ashlee had already hit up quite a few good spots over the weekend, but hadn’t done Chicago hot dogs yet.  So I took her to Chicago Dog House!  (thanks for the suggestions guys- and I’ve been there before and loved it!)

Obviously Ashlee’s very excited as well!  She got the Mayor Daley.  And we split this basket of awesomeness:I got the T-frank:The avocado and bacon were what sold me.  Clearly.  I’m not a huge hot dog person, but every once in awhile, they’re delish!  :)

Such a good day!  We got back to my house and I cleaned up to go to Jaime’s shower- cupcakes in hand!  Check out the prize I got for knowing Jaime and Scott better than everyone else:Coffee!!!!  Score…  I’ll be using it soon.  Like this morning.  Like right now. We’ve got another day of Chicago tourism…  I took the day off of work to spend time with Ashlee (and the mental health break never hurts).  Not sure our plan of action, but I believe we have settled on finding a fun breakfast spot before hoofing it around the city again (which will really take it out of you!). 

Have a good Monday!

Don’t touch my camera.

I need this. That lost hour from daylight savings would have been very much appreciated.  It seems so no matter how late I stay out the night before, I can’t seem to sleep in at all!  Yuck!  The corporate world has ruined me!!!

Last night Annie and I headed into the city- still with destination unknown.  She had friends in town as well, so we knew we’d hit at least two spots.  We ended up meeting up with the Mizzou boys first at McFadden’s.  I’d put up pics of the group of us crazy kids, but Chuck was a little booger and acquired my camera at one point and decided to delete all pics of him.  So there goes quite a few of the group shots.  This is one thing that annoys me to no end.  I am totally OCD about my pictures, so I take it really seriously.  And my feelings on camera etiquette are you are NOT allowed to delete even one picture on someone else’s camera.  Not one.  Ever.  I do not post every single one, and you can tell me not to post something and I won’t.  But the picture stays on the camera.  So Chuck’s getting a little bitching out later.  Because there was one pic of the group that I really liked and wanted and now it’s nowhere to be found.  GRRRR!  Seriously.  Who does that??? 

I hope he knows next time we hang out there will be a ridiculous amount of pictures taken of him.  And posted.

Can you tell I’m bitter?  Is there a way I can possibly recover them?  I’m all ears…

But here’s one of me and Annie (since Chuck wasn’t in that one, I was still able to salvage this):I wasn’t wearing green.  Shhh…. St. Patty’s is Wednesday, so I didn’t feel too bad about it.  This was right before we left McFadden’s and then headed to Rockit downtown.  Nothing super crazy (thank goodness, I’m glad I don’t feel too horrible this morning!).  Just a fun night of catching up with everyone.  My friend Jeff (the one who flew in from St. Louis for work) said he had a pretty complete Chicago experience and had a lot of fun.  Success!

*I also forgot to mention this in my last post- a little warning when making caramel.  When you’re making caramel, it can get a little messy.  This can get you into a sticky situation (ahahaha- get it? I just kill myself sometimes…).  Make sure to not let the caramel get all over your stovetop and ranges.  Because the next time you use the stove, the burning off of the caramel can create a bit of smoke.  A bit of smoke that causes your fire alarm to go off.  Under normal circumstances, it may not always do this.  But because I have a smaller apartment and an unfortunate placement of the fire alarm, it does.  I’ve set it off before by just roasting veggies.  Not one thing was burnt, but there I was running to throw open the sliding door and fan the air under the alarm like crazy.  Annoying…

More details of shenanigans  later… I’m off to pick up the lovely Ashlee!!!!  Watch out Chicago- the Missouri girls are combining forces today!!! 

Have a good Sunday!  Be lazy! ;)

Don’t look them directly in the eye!

This morning I walked out of my apartment building and stopped dead in my tracks- absolutely terrified.  I was confronted.  By these bad boys:I hate geese.  They scare me.  I think it’s because they’re so damn uppity and don’t give a crap.  Have you ever had to stop your car for geese crossing the road?  They. Do. Not. Care.  I swear at some  point they stop and look at me and are like, “whatcha gonna do about it biatch???”  And I’ve heard stories.  My mom said she grew up with a lot of geese around and sometimes they’d start to chase you.  Uhhh… chase you?  Oh my god! 

So I walk out and they’re just standing there blocking my way.  And won’t move.  So I just keep standing there not sure what to do.  Should I try and scare them?  Do they bite?  I don’t want them to chase me!  Finally, they sauntered off to the side enough for me to slip by unharmed.  Thank goodness.  But as soon as I got through, they posted up to blocking the walkway again.  Probably enjoying terrifying all the residents.  Great.  This better not be a morning ritual from now on.  Otherwise, I’m gonna have to start getting crafty…

It was another rainy morning for me yesterday.  Apparently Wichita was experiencing rain and stormy weather as well.  Ashlee’s flight got delayed because of lightning.  So I didn’t get to pop over and meet her for lunch after all.  :(  But that’s ok.  Sunday afternoon through Tuesday morning are dedicated to quality Ashlee/Amy time.  I can’t wait! 

I was taking care of some errands and such after work, so I got home later than usual.  But I still managed to squeeze in The Shred.  The leg wasn’t really telling me not to, so Level 3 it is.  Do you know what walking pushups are?  They’re torture.  But I kinda like them.  Rockstar jumps repetitively?  Not so much.  And sorry Jillian, I can’t do a jumping lunge for the life of me.  But, I will however, top the beginner adaption by doing regular lunges but with weights in hand.  Take that!  I’m not doing the beginner because I’m slacking, but simply because my coordination is not up to par.  Yet. 

Of course this means I’ll be catching up on Grey’s Anatomy tonight with my usual glass of Trader Joe’s wine in hand.  I sound soooooo disappointed, right?  :)  I’m planning for a lazy night because I have another friend in the city for a little work and play, so I’ll be heading downtown on Saturday night to hang out with some of the good ol’ Mizzou kids!  As I’m sure many of you know, college friends in town for the weekend = crazy weekend shenanigans you need to be properly rested for. 

Will I work out before said relaxing night?  I plan to at least do another round of The Shred.  At this point in the morning, I would say I may do a little running or elliptical, but I’m not sure.  It all depends on how I feel after walking around all day.  hmmm.

Well, we made it to Friday.  Good work, kids.  I don’t know about you, but this week seemed to be a slow one.  And what do I do after miserably slow weeks?  I make dessert oatmeal.  Yes I do.  I’m that girl who thinks a little chocolate goes a long way.  Why?  Because it freakin’ does!Oatmeal, TJ’s almond butter mixed in, coconut, a little Special K for texture, and Trader Joe’s white chocolate chips!  By the way, if you haven’t picked up on it, I make breakfast my time for comfort food… :)  Along with some green tea, of course.  I can’t believe my mom never let me have chocolate for breakfast.  And I can’t believe I never thought to use white chocolate chips vs. semi sweet chips?  It was lovely!  Of course it was much sweeter than I am used to (the almond butter vs. peanut butter also adds to that factor).  I think I took care of my sweet craving for the day- very early on. So that’s pretty neat.

How do you do your oatmeal?  Plain?  Savory?  Sweet?  Mine becomes a monster creation on most days, but it seems to work well for me.  I usually get through the morning until lunch without much hunger.  I think it’s the nut butter that gets me through.  Maybe it’d be smart to break up the hours between breakfast and lunch with a snack, but this works just fine for me.  And that’s what matters, right?  I feel like everyone’s different in this category…

Ok, time to wrap this up and get myself moving.  Have a good weekend everyone!  And I won’t lie- I’m a little jealous of all the springbreakers out there… so enjoy!

Not what I expected…

Yesterday was just one of those days that left me guessing the entire time.  Here’s why:

Usually Hump Day is not on my shit list of long and awful days to get through.  But yesterday was different.  The work day could not have seemed any longer.  Ugh!  Why was that?  Most of what I had to do was in the form of tedious paperwork.  I love monotonous work.  Weeeee…..

The weather was partially to blame, I’m sure. I was thrown off- but in a good way!  After a dreary and icky drive to work, it’s like the skies opened up.  The sun came out to play.  Or at least I think it did.  I watched it from my desk.  Slightly bitter that this is my later week at work and wasn’t able to enjoy the crazy beautiful 60 degree weather except for maybe five minutes after I left the office at 6:00- which at that time, it was already well on it’s way to getting darker and cooler.  Oh daylight savings, you can’t come soon enough! 

Another thing that left me surprised?  This:I have a loving relationship with Clif bars.  I’m a big big fan.  But I was not so crazy about this one.  I expected more of a “toffee” flavor.  But it could have just said “peanut butter” because that’s what it tastes like.  Don’t get me wrong- I’ll eat peanut butter until my insides stick together. That statement was meant as a joke, but now I’m not sure if I’m actually kidding… hmmm. But anyways, I just wasn’t so hot on this bar like all the others.  Oh well.  Now I know.  I still ate it, of course (not like it was bad or anything).  Gotta have that energy for my run later, right?

And yeah, I ran.  Sadly, I didn’t get to enjoy running in the sunlight, but that will happen soon enough.  I took it outside with my Nike+ and said I’m running at least a mile.  I wish I had taken a better look as I started my run- didn’t push the button the right amount of times to get the sportsband to record.  Oops.  Damn! I’m not making up this sore feeling- as much as a worrywart as I’ve become about such things.  That happens to be in the same area as where it was on my left leg when I injured it.  So I got outside and did a little over a mile zig-zagging through the complex because the lighting was not nearly as good as I thought it was on the sidewalk that connects my complex area to the other neighborhoods that I wanted to go.  I did it knowing the entire time it wasn’t going well.  Then, I swung by the workout room on the way back to my apartment and hopped on the elliptical for awhile to see if that would go better.  It kind of did.  After some weights, I went home. We’ll revisit this issue at a later time…

My dinner was this veggie-tacular dish: Great combo of roasted veggies I threw over a salad.  Bad dressing for this particular combo.  I have this Asian Sesame stuff that I’m not particularly crazy about, but I keep giving it a chance.  Sort of a fail on this one.  It was actually fine until the end- where I realized I had used too much and the bottom of the salad was soaked in the dressing.  In moderation, it was acceptable. I’m thinking I might just use it as a marinade or use it in stir fry from here on out… 

Over Christmas, my mom and I went through my grandma’s house a little more.  She passed away when I was in highschool, but we’ve been extremely slow with going through her stuff.  We own the house (so it’s not a pressing issue) and that side of the family is pretty small, so it’s been a slow slow process.  Anyways, I grabbed a few things (like her super awesome heavy as hell skillet that I can finally make frittatas or possibly knock an intruder out with) and an old cookbook.  I finally flipped through the cookbook tonight, and had to smile a little when all these random recipes and clippings fell out:

I love that I get to see a few of my grandma’s favorites or things she may have wanted to try.  Unfortunately, I don’t share her love of fruit-filled cobblers and pies (sorry grandma- I really don’t like fruit!). But I noticed a honey whipped icing recipe that looks like serious decadence (Which I don’t doubt- my grandma was curvalicious ;)). 

Anyone else have fantastic family recipes or findings that get passed down?   My grandma made THE BEST sugar cookies of all time- soft and buttery and just sweet enough- which is a recipe I grabbed years ago already because my mom had also written it down for herself.

So yeah, it was an interesting and random day.  But that’s life, right? 

Today, I’m excited because my friend Ashlee, who I rarely ever get to see, is flying in and I’m meeting her for lunch!  She’s doing family fun activities until Sunday- then we’re reuniting and I’ll be taking over as Chicago tour guide until Tuesday (did I mention Monday is a vacation day for me???  Yea!).  So now I’m trying to find new and interesting things that she’d like to do while she’s here… if any of you Illinois kids (or peeps who have visited Chicago) have any thoughts (that don’t include Navy Pier, Sears Willis Tower, Shedd Aquarium or any of the other top 10 touristy things to do in Chicago), I’m all ears!  And this includes good eats!  I assume her family will do deep dish pizza at some point, so I’m thinking of taking her for a super awesome gourmet hot dog somewhere…  She’s kind of like me and I think would appreciate the tour off the beaten path.  I’m looking forward to the challenge.  I’m a huge nerd like that.  The end.

You’re A Fool

I woke up with a little soreness in my right leg yesterday morning.  I am horrible at trying to pinpoint what kind of “soreness” it is.  Thinking about it bothered me all day.  Because I was planning on running 5 miles again.  Then it became 3 miles and elliptical (as to not put as much pressure on it).  Then it became just the elliptical for a few miles.  Then I decided just to run the 5 miles again.  Clearly, I am a very indecisive person.  Or just really stubborn.  Either/or.

Because I’m a fan of gchat (which of course I never use at work), I was discussing this with my friend Adam.  I love Adam.  He is one in a million.  I’ve known him since freshman year of college when we lived in the dorms together and can’t imagine not talking to him almost every day.  I have quite a few guy friends, but I can seriously talk to him about anything and everything.  He doesn’t judge.  He’s the most honest person in the world.  And is blunt and doesn’t spill alot of bullshit.  Plus he’s hilarious.  So when I tell him stuff, I expect the tough love and honest opinion.  Which is exactly what I’m looking for.  So this may not be word-by-word exactly, but you’ll get the idea:

Me: So I don’t know what to do.  I was planning on running 5 miles tonight, but my leg is sore and that makes me nervous.  Oh hell, I’ll probably just run it anyways. 

Adam: You’re a fool.

Me:  I’m not a fool.  There’s a difference between “good sore” and “bad sore”, one I can loosen up during the run, the other not so much.  I’m not a fool.  I’m just not normal.

Adam:  If your leg hurts and you insist on running on it, I don’t care, you’re a fool.

Point taken.  Not to say I didn’t still go back and forth about running/shorter run/elliptical options, but the more I thought about it, the more I know he’s right.  Even if he doesn’t get my crazy running ways.  So I cancelled my Friday night run.  And hated doing it.  Because really, it’s not that bad.  I may just be overreacting.  But I’m not going to screw this up.  There’s no way in hell I’m spending another 8 weeks not running.  No way.  I’m usually not one to think like this, but in this circumstance, better safe than sorry.

So I poured a glass of vino and caught up on some Grey’s Anatomy.  Some friends were going to Gatsby’s, but I was pretty tired at that point and I knew I’d be up early in the morning.  Not only to run, but because when I’m up at 5:30 everyday for the whole week, it’s hard to sleep much past 7:00 the next day.  And I was right.  Wide awake at 6:30- peeled myself out of bed at 7:00.  But that’s ok.  I’m feeling pretty good and am going to run this morning before I head into the city for Lunch Club.  I’m sure I’ll get a nap in at some point after I get home from the city.  Naps are absolutely fabulous- and I haven’t had one in forever, so yeah.  Love it!

Are you a nap person?  My favorites were when I just walked through the door after class, kicked my shoes off, and faceplanted into my bed for an hour…  ahhhh.  There was something so great about taking a nap in the middle of the day in the middle of the week.  I miss it a little…

Have a good Saturday!

Sunday Funday

Everyone loves a good Sunday Funday every once in awhile.  I was in an interesting mood (if you didn’t pick up on that pent up aggression at the end of my last post).  So I decided one was necessary.  Here is what I do on my version of a Sunday Funday: 

I run outside.  I was in a weird mood.  Originally, I had planned to attempt at least a few of the four miles I’m allowed to do.  But I decided to switch it up.  I knew that machine would not cut it.  So I went on one of the shorter trails by my house.  Not sure what to expect, but I figured surely I wasn’t the only one who has had the idea to run on it.  I wasn’t the only one.  But it was rough.  Because the entire trail looked like this.  And I don’t mind running in the snow too much.  But it was slushy and slick- so running was only half of my journey.  The rest of the time I was slowing it down as to not crack my face open.  Just because I wasn’t the only one who had obviously ran on it (due to all the footprints and beaten down path), I was one of the only ones there at the time.  And the others that were there were two old men and their dog- walking slowly.  So it would probably have taken them quite some time to come across my lifeless body. 

As rough as it was, the run was fun.  Really fun.  Like awesome fun.  Did I get my point across on that one?  And I need to map out some more.  Not today- we got another dumping of snow over the night- fantastic.  

I went on meat detox after our little lunch club outting yesterday.  My appreciation of broccoli is really starting to come through.  Ahhh… veggies after a day that included a big meal and sharing some quesadillas (oops- did I not mention that earlier?  Yeah… I shared some chicken quesadillas while at The Spread.  Not bad, and splitting them was a very good idea) was a refreshing and wonderful thing. Broccoli, mushrooms, and a little bit of white cheddar.  Nom nom nom…  And yes, I clipped coupons yesterday- check out that stash of coupons for Target!  Wooo hooo for saving 25 cents off of fabric softener!  Holla’… 

And finally, my desire to throw things was met.  Sort of.  My friend Mon was checking in on my anger status and I had the bright idea to track down some batting cages.  I really really wanted to find some batting cages.  A healthy way to get out some pent up aggression?  Again, probably not, but we do what we can.  So we braved the heavy snowfall and headed towards ESkape.  We walked in, surprised how busy it was later on a Sunday night, and looked.  And looked.  

The batting cages had been closed since last summer.  WHAT?!?!?!  Oh no!  I was disappointed.  Really.  But we had traveled so far… so we compromised and met somewhere in the middle.  

It was a combination of this: Whoever said tequila on a Sunday night was a bad idea is clearly mistaken.  Anyhoo, it was that and…. BOWLING! 

Sassy Shoes!

 

Sure, I hadn’t gone bowling since I was in high school.  But I did ok.  I’m sure the tequila helped.  Positive… 

Unfortunately, I broke my nail on the very first frame.  Lame.  But I guess it was a small price to pay.

 

Good times… we had adult beverages in our systems, got there right for 99 cent games, and bowled our hearts out.  No, it wasn’t the batting cage, but it was a nice way to check out mentally for a while.  I even had two strikes in a row!  Which may be a first for me. 

I did, however, get a little weirded out when the lights on the pins dimmed… and then all the sudden the lane lit up in red lights.  Projecters dropped from the sky.  Oh there goes the light… What is going on?  Oh shit… 

Cosmo bowling. 

I blame the dark lanes with flashing lights as the reason I didn’t do well on the last game.  Yep, that’s all it could have been. 

Have a good week everyone!  I’m going to go fight the snow and traffic.  Spring is supposedly less than a month away.  Cross your fingers…

Mardi Gras Weekend 2010

Sigh.  I think I just caught up on sleep.  Almost 11 hours last night.  Thank goodness I have today off- it was a life saver.  St. Louis was a lot of fun, but the fact of the matter is I didn’t get proper rest one night while I was there.  A small price to pay…

We made good time to get there (always better than when I drive- I still have a ticket or so on my record that I’m waiting to drop off and my insurance doesn’t need to get any higher).  My parents picked me up pretty much as soon as we pulled up.  So I had said a quick hi to Adam, threw the cupcakes in his general direction, and off I went again.  Like I said, my parents love the gambling and so we stayed at Harrah’s.  All the sudden, my brother and I found ourselves standing alone in the casino entrance feeling like we just got sucked into Vegas Vacation.  Our parents had already bolted toward their favorite games.  I stayed for a while, but was tired from the trip and knew I had a long couple days ahead of me, so I snuck into bed earlier than most.

Apparently, Sammy Hagar was making his way to the casino.  So I got to “meet” him.

So Saturday… when the shenanigans begin…

Laura, Mary, and I met up and made our way to Soulard around 11:00.  Traffic was a mess, but we parked about a mile away from the action (not bad).  Mary had her trusty watter bottle of vodka, so we carried our bottles of vodka sprite and started our day (hey, it’s 5:00 somewhere).  We realized once we got to the gates, that they weren’t allowing us to bring anything like that in (something forgotten from years before), so we had two options.  Throw it away, or drink it before we go in.  Something to note for next year- THROW IT AWAY.  Instead, we hung out and drank it:

After meeting up with some of the guys, we went to McGurk’s for a few hours.  Luckily, they let me bring in my beer I had only gotten 10 minutes earlier (maybe not so luckily?).

Things escalated quickly.  At some point (I lost track of time), I wandered back out into the street to meet up with a few other people.  Something to note- never ever walk by yourself at Mardi Gras when you’ve been drinking.  That was stupid and I realize this now.  But luckily, I found everyone again.  I ended up just spending the rest of the day with the boys- Laura and Mary went to a house party after the bar. 

The streets were packed.  I think even more so than last year (last year was obnoxiously cold and windy).  I didn’t see the parade this year.  Oh well.  But I still saw plenty of costumes, debauchery and bad decisions being made.  So I doubt I missed much.

Another thing to remember for next year?  EAT something while you’re there.  I had toast at Laura’s, and a Cliff bar on the way there.  Ten hours later, I needed some food.  And anyone who knows me, would be shocked I let this happen.  Because I don’t.  Ever.  I let the beer and vodka (and the shot or two we took at the bar) get away from me.  Someone mentioned pizza.  Being as how I live in Chicago and have found myself becoming quite the pizza snob (for the record, there were three other boys there who were the same), we finally settled on Pizza Hut.  Who knew we could have a heated argument about pizza?  I actually love Pizza Hut, though- it reminds me of when I was little.  My parents would bring it home as a surprise for when they went to Jefferson City to go grocery shopping (obviously, in my small town, the local convenience store was really all we had for basic necessities- not ideal).  So three pieces of pizza later, I was feeling back to my old self.

Yes, I'm embarrassed, but I did drink that Busch Beer in the corner. Gross...

Another couple hours of hanging out there, our friend Adam picked us up to hang out at his house for a while.  Soon it’s 4:00 in the morning, we’re all struggling to stay awake, and a taxi FINALLY makes it there so we can go back to Jeff’s house to sleep.  Adam already had two other people there who had claimed the couches.  And I was not about to share the hardwood floor in Adam’s “bachelor pad”.  Jeff at least had extra bedrooms and couches.  So if you’re keeping track, I didn’t make it back to Laura’s, but she was already very much asleep and it would have been quite the ordeal for me to try and make it there.  Apparently, I slept around all weekend…

That’s what she said.

And just to be clear, that’s a joke…

Seriously, let’s make sure that’s clear.

The next morning, Laura picked me up and we went to a breakfast spot called Gingham’s in South County.  My one complaint?  We got seated in the smoking section.  Not that it really mattered- it was just one big open restaurant.  And it’s like this in most bars/restaurants in St. Louis.  It’s rough to be hungover and enjoy your omelette and pancakes (see below!  mmmm) when you’re secondhand smoking a pack of cigarettes while you’re there.  And yes, I smoked.  And yes, I do occasionally partake in enjoying one with a good cocktail.  But even when I smoked on a regular basis (in my crazy college days), I would prefer to happily go outside to do so.  I absolutely hate having to wash my hair and clothes twice the next day to get the smell out.  Especially when I’m not the one smoking.  Thank goodness for the smoke-free cities becoming a much more regular thing. 

I was downing the liquids at this point.  But it wasn’t enough.  Dehydration was an issue for us all.  We’re not in college anymore.  This is always a rough realization for us all- that we generally tend to ignore.

Laura and I bummed it out at her house while we waited for my departure time to arrive.  She was treating an injured foot.  Hopefully it’s just a sprain.  House party injury.  Happens to the best of us.

We arrived back in the lovely ‘burbs around 8:15.  The entire drive back was a struggle.  Drivers got switched up because the fatigue was really setting in for everyone.  Dinner wasn’t Wendy’s (like I had predicted), but Taco Bell.  So… uh… a step up or down- not sure, you decide.  My chicken quesadilla was surprisingly yummy.  But I’m pretty sure my foot may have been just as tasty at that point.  So far, no “Taco Hell” incidents to report.  I think I’m in the clear.  I stayed away from the burritos.

All in all, a successful trip.  I got in family time, girl time, friend time, drinking, gambling, good eats (and bad), shopping, and other little bits of trouble here and there…  no wonder I didn’t have time for sleeping.

Now, all I have to say is, “thank goodness we got today’s holiday off.”  That was seriously CLUTCH!  Well, that and I am glad I stayed away from the Hurricanes this year.  No one needs to be drinking those…  I’m going to be a lazy bum for a little while longer, then make my way to the gym.  And Monica and I have plans to catch up about our weekends.  Happy Monday!

Mardi Gras Weekend

Hey kids.  Since I’m not around to post, I thought I’d show you the standards as to what I’m holding this weekend up to.  This was last year’s random weekend of shenanigans…

We brought my friend Chuck’s dog along on the five-hour drive.  He fit quite nicely in the back of my car:

No worries.  Mason kept his drool to a minimum.  I’ll have to report back on if this equate to what sharing a car with three boys was like.  Only problem with Mason was he needed more bathroom breaks than me and my tiny bladder did. 

We made it to the parade by about 11:00 in the morning last year.  As we walked towards it, we saw a lot of people who were already struggling… Obviously amateurs.  But we enjoyed the sights nonetheless.  I think this year we plan to get there a little later.  It became a very very long day, and we were struggling by the end of it.  I believe I was in bed by midnight.

I got to party with the Captain.  He used to be my old drinking buddy in college until I decided to attempt to become Russian and stick with the vodka.  Apparently he also likes Bud Light. Here’s to old friends!

It was a bit chilly.  So my friend Laura and I ducked into a little bar to warm up a little and uh… rehydrate before figuring out the gameplan for the rest of the day.

After that, we met up with all the boys and partied on the streets until we couldn’t feel our hands anymore.  Seriously.  My hands were so cold, that I couldn’t zip up my pants after taking a much needed potty break in a port-a-potty.  My friend Rachel is an awesome friend.  Enough said.  Note for this year- bring two pairs of gloves.

So right now, I should be heading to or already am somewhere in Soulard.  Wish me luck.  The bitter cold is gonna make it rough.  Eek!

I’m Doing It!

So I woke up today feeling fantastic!  Surprisingly, considering I should have had a carb or wine or combination of both hangover…  But that’s not the point- I’m talking about the leg.  No pain.  And I’m still being cautious.  But I decided I was ready.

Sooo…..

Yeah, I forked over my money.  I may not be where I was a few months ago.  I may not be fast at all.  But I’m gonna finish this thing either way.  Hooray!  Otherwise, heaven forbid I re-injure myself, I may just have to call on Courtney again to pick up another race for me.  ;)

I’m very excited.  I think we’re going to make it a little family weekend- my parents said they’d come up with my aunt to watch Niki and I run it.  My friend Annie also said she’ d be there to cheer me on!  Ahhhh- I just really hope it doesn’t snow this year!!!

And thank you everyone for being SO supportive and just completely awesome as I moped through my stress reaction that seemed to take FOREVER to get better! You have no idea how  much it was appreciated!

I’m already done running errands for the day.  Just finished cleaning up around the apartment for tomorrow- we’re having a little impromptu girls get-together during the Super Bowl.  No worries- it will still include pizza and beer (whereas any proper Super Bowl get-together should).  :)  One reason the whole idea for our little Super Bowl night is I was talking about the cupcakes I’m going to make for my upcoming Mardi Gras trip.  I’ve been DYING to make them- I’m not giving away too many details yet (just in case they turn into an epic fail and I’ll have to whip up something less exciting (although equally delicious,  of course).  But the filling is a caramel filling.  And I want to add whiskey.  Well, let me tell you, it’s hard to just try and search out “whiskey caramel sauce”.  But the best filling I’ve found, which is giving me serious anxiety, requires me to actually start a 1/3 cup of whiskey on fire in a saute pan.  ON FIRE.  This is a whole new level for my mediocre baking skills.  EEK!  But this looks like the yummiest out of anything else.  So I’m going to attempt it.  And have another recipe on backup in case this one doesn’t work out.  Which only requires dumping a teaspoon or two of whiskey in after you’re done making the caramel. 

So I was discussing how I’m a little scared to do it, and really feel like I need adult supervision.  And someone to hold a fire extinguisher.  Because getting arrested for arson would really be a buzzkill to my upcoming weekend.  So Jaime volunteered.  And then Annie came on board.  So we’re making whiskey caramel tomorrow (the recipe says it will keep for a while in the refrigerator until I need it).  Hopefully.  Stay tuned for that one…

I gotta go- just because I’m not running today does not mean I’m completely taking the day off.  I did yoga this morning before my running around getting errands done.  And now Jillian’s giving me the stink eye from the dvd case on my tv console.  FINE, Jillian- I’m getting up…  Here goes another day of the 30 Day Shred!

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