Tag Archives: travel

A Tahoe Weekend (or Let It Snow!)

It had been a while since I was up to Lake Tahoe, so when my parents invited me to come up for a weekend in the fall I was really excited! The fall in Tahoe can be really nice and there is usually some really gorgeous foliage around the mountains to check out.

I was already pretty excited about the trip when my dad gave me a heads up a few days before I left to say that there was actually snow in the forecast! I hadn’t seen snow in several years so even the possibility of it was making me so happy. I tried to pack warm clothes and after work on Saturday I flew to Tahoe to meet up with my parents (and dog).

When we were driving from the Reno airport to Truckee, the fall foliage was already impressing me. The trees were so full of color that my mom pulled over the car so I could get a picture of the Aspen trees on the side of the road.

tahoe-trees

That first day in Tahoe we didn’t do too much. After I flew in, we drove to Truckee, we got some food, and got to my parents’ place; it was getting a bit late. I was pretty tired from getting up early that morning to work and even though I didn’t have a panic attack on the plane it still exhausted me to focus on staying calm. So I spent some time hanging out with my parents and I went to bed pretty early to get ready for the full day we had the next day.

The next morning I woke up to a beautiful view outside.

tahoe-morning

I was able to convince my dad to join me for some yoga in the morning, and then we all headed off to the unofficial dog park that Tucker loves in Truckee. The dog park is really a road behind the Truckee airport, but since it is gated and no cars can be on there, people let their dogs off leash to play. In the winter it can be a long walk, but when there isn’t snow you can park farther up the road.

Once we parked and started walking, Tucker was in heaven. He was enjoying all of the smells all around and he didn’t care too much that there were no other dogs for him to play with. Of course, as soon as we got back to the car, about 7 dogs and their owners showed up. We let Tucker play with the other dogs for a few minutes before we headed off to our next adventure for the day.

We drove for about 45 minutes to get to Spooner Lake. I’ve done this hike/walk before in the past. It’s a pretty flat road (although there are some uphill bits) and it’s about 2.5 miles around. Usually in the fall the trees are all super bright and yellow, but this time it wasn’t that way. But it was still a really nice day out.

spooner-lake

The walk around the lake took a while since Tucker had to be on leash and we had to keep stopping whenever he wanted to smell something exciting that he found. But it was fine that it was a slow walk since it gave us time to enjoy the view. I was also finding myself really out-of-breath quite a bit since I’m not used to the elevation that we were at. I always hate how I feel super out of shape when I’m in Tahoe since I can’t catch my breath as quickly as I can in LA, but I tried to not think about that too much.

After getting around the lake, we headed back toward my parents’ place to get some lunch at their favorite local Italian restaurant (they’ve been going there for almost 10 years but this was my first time there!). While we were eating, we noticed that the weather had changed from being nice and sunny to cloudy and overcast. And as we were finishing up it started to snow! After lunch we drove around and seeing the snow made me so happy!

snowing

In the snow, we weren’t going to do a ton of outside stuff so we headed back home and relaxed together. Tucker was pretty calm since he went to the dog park and had the walk around the lake. He wanted to hang out with us while we watched tv and decided to be a bit of a rule-breaker. He knows he can’t sit on the couch, but he can scoot back to the couch and he is so tall that his butt rests on it. I noticed him doing that and he gave me a dirty look when I asked Tucker if he was sitting on the couch.

tucker-on-couch

My last day in Tahoe started with seeing the snow that fell overnight!

backyard-snow

Originally, my dad had a couple of projects that he wanted me to help him with at their place. But because of the schedule and other things that happened our projects weren’t possible. But I was inspired by the snow and I told my dad that we should turn an old tree stake in their backyard into a snow stake so they can measure all the snow that falls this season! So my dad and I went outside in the cold with some electrical tape and a marker and we made a pretty impressive custom snow stake.

snow-stake

I helped my parents with a few other small projects and then we went out for a late lunch before they drove me back to the Reno airport so I could fly back home.

It was a quick trip (I was only there for 2 days) and we didn’t do a ton of stuff, but it was still a perfect weekend adventure and I’m so excited for when I get to go to Tahoe again!

Getting Back To Normal Again (or An Off Week)

After a weekend of fun and travel, once I got back to LA it was time to get back to real life. I was pretty exhausted on Monday evening after traveling for 13 hours to get home, so I didn’t get too much done. All I really did was unpack my suitcase and sit on the couch watching some shows my DVR recorded. I tried to stay up until 10pm so that I wouldn’t wake up too early the next morning, but I didn’t accomplish much more than that.

I didn’t really plan much for my week besides doing errands, working, and working out and I’m pretty glad about that. I was feeling really jet-lagged on Tuesday and it really surprised me. I didn’t feel any jet-lag on the flight there and I was feeling pretty good on Monday after getting home. But Tuesday was just a very off day for me and I couldn’t seem to get things back on track for me. I eventually just had to accept the fact that the day was going to be off and hopefully Wednesday would be better.

Fortunately, Wednesday and Thursday were much better. But I still ended up being pretty lazy at home. I don’t know if I was dealing with post-vacation let down, realizing how much I did miss my family and wished I could see them again, or just was feeling off but I wasn’t having the best days this week.

I got all my work done and it was easy enough to get back on track with work and workouts. But my food and mental health were off. I was doing so great before my trip and even on my trip (I did gain 4 pounds on vacation but that could be due to a lot of factors other than bad eating). And I’m aware that off weeks are to be expected in life, even when I’m fully recovered. But they still annoy me and I get a bit depressed and upset about them.

I’ve been trying to get food and stuff back on track but it’s not happening for me yet. I know that it’s important for me to keep trying and it’s going to stick again soon. I can’t be too upset with myself because this is normal. This is what recovery is about. This is what my life may look like for the rest of my life.

I’m working on a checklist for myself to try to get things back on track. I’m breaking things down into the smallest steps so I can feel accomplished as I check things off one by one. It’s going to take time to get back on track, but I want to be able to be proud of myself for doing things step by step and not doing things stupidly in a way that cannot be maintained like I have in the past.

I can’t do much more for myself than to try. It’s not easy to be patient with myself, but that’s something I’m working on and I know that this is a test in patience for me.

The Rest Of My Maryland Trip (or More Family Time)

While the main event of my trip to Maryland was the family reunion, I also had all day Sunday there to spend with everyone. I started my day on Sunday with breakfast at Maria’s Love Point with my mom, dad, brother, and sister-in-law. I can’t speak highly enough about Maria’s Love Point. My family were the only guests there so we had some really personalized attention. We had such an amazing breakfast every day and they asked us what we liked so they could make us things we would want. Every breakfast was fantastic and I’m just glad I didn’t gain a ton of weight from the trip!

After a relaxing breakfast at the B&B, we got into the car to head over to my Aunt Susan’s house where most of the family was gathering for breakfast and family time. It was a pretty short drive from where we were staying to her house, so everyone who was there was still there when we arrived. This was the first time I had seen my aunt’s house, so I got a quick tour from my dad and then spent the rest of my time there hanging out with my cousins.

I really was just so grateful that I’ve gotten to know my cousins as adults. I’ve had the privilege with my cousins on my mom’s side, but I see them every year. It’s not really possible for me to go back east every year or for my cousins to come to CA every year so our time together is really special to me. My cousin Danny is working on his PhD right now and he and I got into some really smart conversations. He sent me a couple of papers he’s worked on and while I knew he was smart I had no idea that he was that smart!

My conversation with my cousin Rachel, Alisa, cousin Janis (Rachel and Leah’s mom) and my mom was actually about childbirth and all the craziness that goes with it. I was the only one in the conversation without kids, but it was still fun hearing everyone’s stories. I’ve heard my birth story from my mom a couple of times, but it was fun watching my cousins listening to it and having their stories to share too. And while we had that conversation, everyone was taking a turn with Alisa and Danny’s brand new baby Hendrix (he was only a few weeks old). Everyone wanted to hold him because he’s just so cute, and finally I got my turn.

Hendrix

I’m so happy that I got to meet Hendrix, but I’m sad because I have no idea when I’ll see him (or Sebastian, his older brother) next. I’ve already been bugging Alisa and Danny that they need to come out to the west coast for a trip, so hopefully they will come visit soon!

After a few hours at my Aunt Susan’s house, it was time for us all to leave. My family headed back to the B&B where it was so hot out that the only thing we could think to do is to get back into the pool.

At The Pool

As you can tell from my photo, I got a bit of a sunburn while in Maryland. Only the parts of my body that were out of the pool (including my knees) got burnt and thankfully the sunburn is starting to fade now. I tried my best to protect my skin but I’m wondering if the humidity affected how the sunscreen worked on me. And yes, that is the bathing suit that I bought for Hawaii.

The pool was perfect and we spent a long time in there just hanging out as a family and enjoying our trip. It was nice to have some relaxing time together and I’m glad that we weren’t crazy over-scheduled while we were there.

After some time in the pool, we all got ready for dinner. We went out to a restaurant that was right on the water and we had a gorgeous view from our table.

Dinner View

After a nice dinner together, we headed back to the B&B and we all started packing to get ready to leave the next morning. My brother and sister-in-law were heading to Washington D.C. the next day and my parents were meeting with some friends to go camping. I had to get back to LA to get back to work, but it was nice that we were all leaving at the same time.

The next morning, we all headed to the airport together. The train station (for everyone else) was right next to the airport and we tried to arrange all of our transportation to be around the same time. I was the first one dropped off since I was flying and had to get through security. So I said goodbye to my family and headed into the Baltimore airport for my trip home.

I had 2 flights to get home with a few hour layover in between. My first flight was pretty uneventful. I had my window seat and the flight was full so every seat was taken. I spent most of my time reading my book and taking really quick naps (I think I slept for maybe 5 minutes at a time). My layover was spent getting some lunch and doing more reading. But when I got on the plane, I discovered that my seat was upgraded a bit!

Since I booked my tickets for this trip back in January, I’ve had several flight changes for my flights home. I think at one point I was getting flight or schedule changes every day. At one point, my new flights only had a layover of 30 minutes. I wasn’t ok with that so I called the airline to change it. I guess when I changed my flight but asked to keep my original seat number I got upgraded from economy to the fancier economy section!

The section I was in was only 3 rows of seats so it felt nice and small and I didn’t feel overwhelmed or panicky at all. I had a window seat with a ton of leg room and there was nobody sitting next to me so I stretched out on the flight.

Upgrade

It was so worth it to have the slightly upgraded seat (I would have loved to have been in first class, but that wasn’t in the cards for me), and I think having the extra room in front and next to me really helped to make this flight the most calm one I can remember having. If I have the option to upgrade to the nicer economy seats in the future (which I usually can’t do since I fly Southwest), I think I’m going to splurge on it because it was so much better for my mental health. I really am so happy that my flights were calm and I didn’t even take my meds for it. This is huge progress for me and I’m hoping that future flights go just as well.

Between the drive to the airport, my flights, my layover, and the time to drive back home I had traveled for 13 hours to get back to LA. The trip was totally worth it and I wouldn’t have changed any of it, but I was happy to be home.

I really hope that these family reunions will be more often in my future. I don’t want it to be another 5 or 16 years before I see people. I really do love my family and I want to be in their lives and not just through Facebook. Hopefully some of them can come out to visit me soon or I will have an opportunity to get back east again in the near future.

Trip Planning (or Keeping Panic To A Minimum)

This past weekend, I went to Maryland for a family reunion. I just got back last night so I’ll recap the trip tomorrow, but I wanted to share with you how my trip planning went.

I’m a pretty good traveler, but I get so nervous and panicky about things. I always want to make sure I remember everything and I know I overpack because I’m scared I’ll forget something that isn’t easy to find (like clothing). For years, I’ve taken panic meds before traveling (for a day or so before flying and then right before my flight to be ok with flying). But since I’ve been doing better with my panic attacks and my Vyvanse makes the panic meds not as effective, I’ve been trying to get through traveling without the meds. I’ve been doing ok with doing that at the dentist (which is a miracle), so it should be the same for traveling.

I tried to do all of the other things I do to prepare for traveling to keep myself calm. I made all of my usual checklists, I did all of my usual prep work (checking all my travel toiletries and supplies), and tried to plan for some fun things to do on the flights there and back. I flew there with my brother and sister-in-law, but I flew home by myself so I wanted to make sure I had plenty of new library books on my Kindle to read and other things to keep my mind off of flying.

I was doing pretty great with my prep stuff, until I started planning out my clothes. While I am used to occasionally having hot days in LA, we don’t have humidity like they do in Maryland. I wanted to make sure I had clothes that would do their best to keep me cool in 90 degree heat and 90% humidity. Most of what I packed were workout clothes since those wick away sweat (I know that’s gross, but it’s true). And my outfit for the reunion was a tank top and a skirt so I figured it should keep me a bit cooler than other things. But just knowing that I might be sweaty for the entire weekend stressed me out.

I don’t know why that got to me so much, but I really was stressing a lot about the clothes and what would and wouldn’t show sweat if I was gross. I know that everyone else might be just as gross and sweaty, but I still didn’t want to look that way. I think part of it is knowing that I don’t want to look like I’m sweating because of my weight. I don’t want to be that stereotype and while I’ve been making good strides in my fitness and weight loss, others don’t know that and I don’t want to be judged.

I was talking to my mom about this a bit last week before leaving and she helped to calm me down a bit. I said that I just wanted to make sure I was impressing everyone since outside of my immediate family I haven’t seen any of the people at the reunion for 5 or 16 years (or ever in some cases). My mom was telling me how it doesn’t matter whether or not I impress people. I’m living my life the way I want to and as long as I’m happy it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. I know I’ve known this, but having someone else tell me it made it finally register in my brain.

I really tried to focus on how awesome it’s going to be to be going on a trip and to see family that I haven’t seen in years. I’m so lucky that I had the opportunity to do this and I’m grateful that I got to go. These family reunions are held each year, but since everyone pretty much lives on the east coast they are always held there. And I usually don’t get to go so this time was really special. Focusing on those things did help me relax a bit and not feel like I really need to take my panic meds. I’d rather not have to take them anymore so testing myself is good for me. I’m so used to taking them, and trying to get off them is a good idea since I pretty much have to choose to take them or my Vyvanse (and I would rather be taking Vyvanse).

A full recap of my weekend in Maryland is coming and I can’t wait to share with you everyone that I got to finally see again!

Girls Weekend (or Hanging Out With My Mom And Aunt)

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I think you know that I’m pretty close to my mom and to my Aunt Cindy. I love getting to hang out with them and we had a really great girls weekend 3 years ago when they came to LA to hang out with me for a few days. And this past weekend we got to have another amazing weekend hangout!

After dealing with a bunch of flight delays for my trip with my mom and sister-in-law last year, I got some credit to use on Southwest for a future trip. I thought maybe I’d use it for a trip to Tahoe or something else, but I realized that the one year mark of getting that credit was coming up and I was going to lose the credit. So my mom and I decided that we would go to Sacramento (I flew she drove) where my Aunt Cindy lives to hang out with her! I haven’t really spent a ton of time in the Sacramento area except when I’m there for Thanksgiving. But then I’m usually hanging out at my aunt and uncle’s house and not really exploring the area too much. So I was super excited for this trip!

I flew out after work on Saturday. This was my first time flying while taking Vyvanse and I was so nervous that I would have a horrible panic attack on the plane. But I’m happy to share that just like at the dentist, I did surprisingly well on the plane! I even got to enjoy the view a bit. It was awesome seeing snow out the window since we’ve been dealing with such a horrible drought the past few years.

Snow From The Sky

Once I landed, my mom picked me up and we went to check into our hotel. All we did there was drop off our bags and then we headed straight to my aunt and uncle’s house. It was so awesome to be there again, it had been several years since we had Thanksgiving there. My uncle was spending time with a friend of his while my mom and I were there, so we all went out to dinner to work on planning out our next day. Dinner was fun (we went out for Chinese food), but I was excited for our full day the next day.

On Sunday, my aunt came over to our hotel and we were off on our adventure. Our first stop was the Folsom Zoo. My aunt is a volunteer there so she led us on an amazing tour!

Folsom Zoo

I know some people don’t love zoos and I’ve had some thoughts about them after seeing the movie “Blackfish”. But the Folsom Zoo is actually an animal sanctuary. The animals there were illegal pets, animals that were hurt and couldn’t go back into the wild, or donated after someone could no longer care for them. They don’t buy or sell animals and they don’t have a breeding program to increase their animal population. So I had no concerns with seeing the animals there.

We saw a ton of different animals at the zoo including monkeys, bears, tigers, wolves, horses, pigs, snakes, birds, and chickens.

Monkeys Bear Chicken

The animal we saw the most were peacocks. They were all over the zoo and since they technically aren’t zoo animals, they run free all over the property.

Peacock

The zoo is pretty small, so we were there for about an hour before heading out to our next adventure: the Folsom Prison Museum.

This might seem like a weird adventure to go on (especially since it’s located right next to the prison), but it was a really good little museum. The man working there was a guard at the prison and he had a lot of interesting stories to share. We got to see a video about how the prison was built and the architectural history behind it. The museum also had some artifacts from the early days of the prison and a section dedicated to Johnny Cash.

We had a minor moment of panic when we were inside the museum and heard a siren go off, but it was a signal that it was noon and not anything scary. As we left we saw people heading into the prison for visiting hours, but it was cool to see it after learning so much about its construction.

Folsom Prison

Our next stop was downtown Folsom. We got a quick lunch at a pizza place and then walked a few blocks to the old Folsom Powerhouse. The Powerhouse is a state historic park and there was a very nice museum that we walked through first that explained the history of the powerhouse and the history of having electrical power in the state.

After the museum we headed down a short path to see the old powerhouse.

Folsom Powerhouse

There was a really knowledgeable guide inside the powerhouse who told us all about how it worked, showed us some historic pictures, and even showed us a beaver that was living under the powerhouse that you could see through a grate in the floor. We were also able to walk down to the lower powerhouse (it’s not always open). While walking around, we were so grateful that we lucked out on the weather and it was a gorgeous day!

Gorgeous Day

Our next stop was supposed to be the Folsom Museum, but they were closing early that day and we only had a few minutes to walk quickly through everything before they closed.

Since we weren’t spending time at the Folsom Museum, we decided to do some walking around and checking out the stores. My mom found something really cool to get my grandma for Mother’s Day and I found something that I’m going to give Rayshell for her wedding (I can’t post it on here yet because I know she reads my blog!). There was also a store that had some really cool decorative things made out of old silverware. I really liked them, but they were a bit pricy. I have no idea if I could do it myself, but I think if I found some awesome cheap silverware I might try it.

Crafty

After all that walking around and exploring, we headed back to the hotel to rest a little bit and then headed out for a quick casual dinner to end our girls weekend. It was a super full day and I had a great time, but I wish that I had a bit more time to spend with my aunt. But overall, it was an awesome Sacramento adventure.

On Monday, my mom and I were originally going to try to go to the Walt Disney Museum (my brother and sister-in-law gave me tickets for Hanukkah), but timing things out with rush hours and my flight home (which was out of San Jose) wasn’t going to work out. So we just drove straight to Saratoga so I could hang out with my dog and my dad.

We didn’t do anything too fancy when I was hanging out in Saratoga. I hadn’t been home in 2 years (since the first time I met Tucker), so there were a bunch of cool new things my parents wanted to show me in the house. We also took Tucker to the dog park (his favorite place!) and for a couple of walks. He’s gotten bigger since I saw him at Thanksgiving and he’s calmed down a bit too!

Tucker

Before I knew it, it was time to go to the airport to fly back home. I had another relatively calm flight and was home in time to get a good night sleep to get ready for the week.

I really had the best weekend with my mom and aunt. We’ve joked that in 3 years we’ll have to figure out another adventure to do together, but I really hope that we are able to do something together as a group sooner than that. We do such fun adventures/trips together and I can’t wait to see what we plan on doing next!

Staying Calm In The Crazy (or Is This Month Over Yet?)

In my effort to do more fun adventures this year, I may have overdone things lately. There are a bunch of things back to back in my schedule and it’s starting to stress me out a bit. But I know my schedule calms down soon so I’m just trying to focus on getting through things.

My schedule craziness has a lot of factors in it. I’m currently doing the Orangetheory Weight Loss Challenge. While the weight loss challenge isn’t too crazy, one of the requirements made my schedule a bit weird lately. You have to do 3 workouts a week, but the weeks are from Friday-Thursday. So when I did a workout on a Thursday instead of a Friday recently, I had to make up an extra workout on a day that I don’t usually go on. While that alone didn’t make my schedule crazy, it did eliminate a free afternoon that I’m used to having and that threw things off a bit.

I’ve also just spent the weekend out-of-town. I went to Sacramento with my mom and my aunt (recap to come tomorrow) and being out-of-town for about 2 1/2 days changed when I would have time to do things about in my life. I had to rearrange when I could do errands that I typically do on the weekends. I had to figure out a new time to clean, do laundry, and do grocery shopping. With most of my afternoons the week leading up to the trip busy with workouts, I had to figure out when I had little breaks in my day (typically before 9am) when I could do things. It’s not horrible to have to schedule like this, but when things are a bit different they can be stressful for me and make me feel a bit too anxious.

I’m also going out-of-town this weekend. This time it will be to San Diego for Rayshell’s bachelorette party. I’ve been looking forward to this for a while, but again it’s requiring me to do some crazy scheduling. The party is from Friday evening until Sunday. Fortunately, I got that Saturday off of work so I could drive late on Friday night (after my workout) or early on Saturday morning without having to worry about working until 11am. And while some people will be hanging out there for a good chunk of Sunday morning, I will need to be back in LA by noon on Sunday because it’s Oscar Sunday! I made a really simple costume for the party so I don’t need much time to get ready, but I still need to get back to LA, get ready for the party, and I’d like to do laundry then too. I have the option of driving back late on Saturday night and I’m still debating about doing that. I think I might not know what I want to do until I do it.

Besides those two weekend trips (which I hadn’t planned to be back to back but are), I’ve got some other fun adventures in the next few weeks. I’m going to see my WIF mentees soon, I’ve got another bonus show at the Pantages that I just got tickets for, and some of my friends and I are trying to figure out a time to go whale watching together.

These are all super fun things coming up. And I’d love it if I could get used to schedules like this. I think it could be really good for me to have more social time and less alone time at home. I love my alone time to read or watch TV, but I might do better with less of that. I’m already alone most of the day working at home, so making my afternoons, evenings, and weekends more social helps to balance things out. I think that I might have jumped into making myself busier with both feet instead of easing into it and I’m a bit overwhelmed right now.

Despite my stress, I’m really excited about every event I’ve got in the next few weeks. I do plan out my blog posts and I love that my upcoming schedule is pretty full with fun posts and less boring ones (like this one). I hope that you enjoy reading about all of my upcoming adventures and hopefully these next few weeks for me go by without too much more stress added to it.

A Speedy Friend Visit (or Making The Most Of 24 Hours)

When my friend Kate stayed with me the last time, she mentioned that she might be coming to town in February to watch the Olympic marathon trials. I set the date aside in my calendar and was really excited when Kate told me that she had booked her flights and that she wanted to stay at my place again. But because of her work and the varying costs of flights, Kate was only able to be here for 24 hours (almost exactly). So I was planning out how to make this the most awesome 24 hour visit ever!

Kate got here on Friday afternoon (which is why I couldn’t work out on Friday). I picked her up at LAX and I was super excited to see her. I miss having her live in LA, so even when her visits are super speedy it makes me so happy to have her in the same city as me. It’s funny that it’s such a big deal because since we graduated high school, we’ve lived in the same city for a very limited time. But since she moved to LA briefly I am even more excited when she comes back!

I had gotten an email from the SAG-AFTRA Film Society earlier that week that there was going to be a screening of “Hail, Caesar!” at the DGA that evening. So I asked Kate if she wanted to go to that and she did. It was actually her first time going to a screening with me (for some reason we could never coordinate schedules with the screening schedules when she lived here). But this time it worked out pretty nicely so as soon as I had picked Kate up we headed over to the DGA.

Since the screening wasn’t until 6:30, we had some time to grab dinner before the movie. We walked across the street to The Counter (I love that place!) for burgers and some catch up time. Kate filled me in on her work and her cats and I filled her in on the craziness of everything and my workouts. We had to eat pretty quickly to make it to the screening, but it worked out fine.

I really enjoyed “Hail, Caesar!”! It was really funny and even though some of the jokes were very much about the entertainment industry, I think that enough of the movie isn’t insider stuff that everyone should be able to enjoy it. I was laughing quite a bit through the movie and I think that the entire cast was amazing!

After the screening, Kate and I walked over to the West Hollywood Orangetheory location. I don’t work out at that location, but I wanted to show it to Kate because there is a Orangetheory near where she lives and she’s thinking about checking it out. Even though the studio was closed, the manager (who I’ve met several times and he knows me) was there and he let us in. I showed Kate the various equipment inside and I chatted with the manager about the crazy workout from Thursday (where there was 22 minutes on the floor straight). We didn’t want to keep him there too long after hours, so Kate and I headed out and headed back to my house.

The next day was the main event that Kate came to town for: the Olympic trials. I’ll share more about this tomorrow but Kate went early in the morning and I was able to join her there after I was done with work. Even though I missed most of it, I got to see a little bit.

After we were done watching the racers, we headed over to my side of town to get some lunch at one of my favorite places, Lyfe Kitchen. Even though they have so many good things on their menu, I tend to get the same things each time. I love their BBQ chicken flatbread but instead of fries (since I had some the night before), I got a side of steam veggies with my food.

Lyfe Kitchen

After lunch we only had a little bit of time left before Kate needed to be back at LAX for her flight home, so we were trying to figure out what to do. We finally decided on doing a bit of random searching in the car for new wine bars. My favorite local wine bar, Bottle Rock, closed down right after the last time I was there so I was on the search for a new place. I knew that any new place I found wouldn’t be walking distance like Bottle Rock was, but I still wanted to see what other places were out there.

I had randomly seen a wine bar driving around a few weeks ago, so we headed over there first. Sadly, the place wasn’t open yet for the day. But we were able to see a menu online and it looked promising. After checking out that place, we did a search on Google Maps for other wine bars in the area and we set off on an adventure! We ended up checking out 2 other wine bars (one that looked good and one that didn’t) and then it was time to go to LAX.

Considering that this was all done in 24 hours, I think we succeeded in maximizing the limited time that Kate had in town. She kept saying that this wasn’t really a friend visit since she was coming here for the Olympic trials, but I lucked out because she was staying at my house. So I wanted to make sure that Kate had a fun time in LA and didn’t just feel like she was flying in, sleeping at my house, watching the Olympic trials, and flying out.

I’m just glad that Kate was just as up for going on as many adventures as we could like I was.

My 2016 Goals (or I’ve Got Some Big Ideas This Year)

Happy New Year! I hope that you all got to spend New Years Eve last night with people you love and had a great time (and hopefully not feeling it too much today)! As I’ve done the past few years, I’m sharing what my goals are for this year and what I hope to accomplish.

First is my big workout goal. I want to do 180 workouts in 2016. It’s only 5 more workouts this year than I did last year, but I wanted to make the goal not too much of a stretch. I’d love to pass this goal and do closer to 190, but I also know that life can get in the way and I don’t want to stress out about reaching my goal like I did in 2015. I think it’s very doable and I’ll be tracking my workouts using the same app I did last year (it made this very easy for me). So hopefully in a year I’ll be telling you all how I got this done!

My next goal is to have a new PR for my 5K. This one is going to be difficult for me because I’m still dealing with calf pain, but I think that maybe I can do it. Right now, I have 2 5Ks that I’m planning on doing (the same ones as last year) but I might add another one in there. So there aren’t a ton of opportunities to get a PR, but I will have a ton of time on the treadmill at Orangetheory to work on my speed training. I still have an ultimate PR goal for my 5K (15 minute miles) so I can feel comfortable doing a Disney race, but I know that this goal is very possibly a few years away.

Next on the list is a money goal. Or more like money goals (but I’m combining it into one goal). I want to get my debt down farther, budget better, and even maybe start having more savings than just what I’m saving for my taxes (as a 1099 employee, I will probably owe a lot in taxes). This is not an easy goal. Money is tight and while I wouldn’t say that I have a spending problem, it’s hard to not spend like some of my friends do at times. And those friends sometimes make 4 or 5 times what I make. I’ve been using You Need A Budget for a budgeting app and I think I’ve gotten budgeting close to what I want it to be. However, YNAB just launched a new version and it’s a subscription payment model. I can still use the old version and not have to spend money on the app, but I’m also looking into new apps to use because I don’t want to spend $50/year on a budgeting app when that money could go to something better. I do have an amount in mind as far as reducing my debt goes, but that’s something that I’m going to keep to myself for now.

Next is a fun one. I want to travel more and find more ways to spend time with my friends. While I’m ok with saying no to going to parties and things, I like going on adventures and fun outings. So I want to work on figuring out adventures to go on with my friends so that we can have more fun. And for traveling, I’ve got one trip planned for February with my mom and I’m hoping to do a trip with my sister-in-law in March or April. So that’s a step in the right direction.

I’d also like to do another acting class this year. I think it will probably be the next level at UCB, but I’m open to acting classes that fit into my schedule and my budget. While it’s important for me to keep working on my acting skills, I want to be in another class for other reasons. It’s great meeting new actors, it makes me happy because I get an opportunity to act, and I feel like I’m making progress in my career even if I’m not auditioning. So I feel like this is important for me to do and I feel pretty confident that I’ll be able to get this done.

And finally, I want to be either in recovery from my eating disorder or on my way to recovery. I’m starting to look at my eating disorder as something to research and educate myself on instead of an emotional thing. I’ve been doing reading, listening to podcasts, and using apps for my eating disorder over the past week and I’ve already felt a difference. It’s still a battle that I lose sometimes, but I’m feeling much better about how I’m approaching things this time. And hopefully in a year I will be posting that I’m either in recovery or I’m getting very close to recovery. That would be such a wonderful thing I could accomplish in this year and if it happens I know that it will change my life.

So that’s it for my goals for this year! I think that I’ve got some good plans in mind. And while they won’t be easy to get done, they are not completely out of my reach. I’d love to hear some of the goals that you have for the coming year and hopefully we can keep each other on track!

Happy 2016!

Full Thanksgiving Trip (or Being With My Family In San Diego)

My Thanksgiving trip to San Diego was from Tuesday until Friday last week. I had to work on Wednesday and Friday, but since I work from home I was able to bring all my stuff with me to San Diego and worked from the place we were staying (I did the same thing last year).

Those few days in San Diego were pretty packed, but it was a great family visit. I was nervous how it would be without my grandpa there, but it wasn’t as weird as I expected.

Tuesday I drove down to San Diego (it took 4 hours) and arrived there to have some dinner and spend a bit of time with my parents, aunts and uncle, and grandma. We really didn’t do too much that evening (I was pretty exhausted), but it was good to be around my family.

Wednesday I started with a short work shift. I worked in the kitchen so I had my family hanging out with me. It wasn’t a horribly busy shift so I’m glad that I worked in the kitchen and not in my room. That afternoon my mom, aunt, uncle, and grandma had some errands to run. So I spent a lot of time relaxing at the house and hanging out with my dad and aunt.

Wednesday evening was my grandma’s birthday dinner. We used to do this on Friday after Thanksgiving, but a couple of years ago we moved it to Wednesday before Thanksgiving and I think it’s better that way. We had a private room for the family, so it was nice that we didn’t have to worry about being too loud or my grandma being distracted by a lot of noise. While my grandma isn’t as involved in the conversations as she’s been in the past, she had a nice birthday dinner and it makes me happy to see her so happy.

Grandma's Birthday

Thursday starting with the workout at Orangetheory. After we got back from the workout, we helped set up the dining room for dinner (we did this in our gross gym clothes so we didn’t get our nice clothes dirty). The dining room has a gorgeous view and even though we weren’t able to see it at dinner, it was very nice to look at during the day.

Thanksgiving Table

I did a last minute grocery store run for my mom after that (who would have guessed that grocery stores would be out of green beans?!?) and then helped my parents get the bears set up to give out to the family before dinner. We put all the bears on a couch and covered them with a sheet so nobody would see them before the presentation. Of course with our sick sense of humor we thought that we made it look like we were hiding a dead body and my dad added some shoes and a hat to the pile to make it look even sillier.

Hiding the bears

My cousin Stephie and her kids arrived after that and my cousin Adam was able to take a Thanksgiving day flight to arrive in time to help carve the turkey (we’ve named him the official family turkey carver).

Adam and the turkey

We had a pretty nice spread for dinner and the evening went really well with no awkwardness with my grandpa not being there.

Thanksgiving Food

I didn’t end up using the face paint on my cousin’s kids (they took the face paint home so it won’t go to waste). It was a bit weird not doing that tradition, but the evening was pretty full. And after dinner was done, I went to see the final Hunger Games movie with my cousin and her husband (that’s been our tradition for the past few years).

The next day, my grandpa’s ashes were being scattered at sea. The entire family was going on a boat, but I was not able to get the day off of work so I stayed back with the dog. I’m a bit sad that I wasn’t able to spend time with the family, but I’ve gotten seasick in the past so it was probably for the best.

I had fun with the dog at the house and took lots of silly photos of him. This is him trying to help me work.

Tucker Helping

After my family returned from the boat, I had enough time to get some leftovers for dinner and then I packed up my car to head back to LA.

I’m so lucky that I got to spend as much time with my family as I did. I know that not everybody gets the time off from work or have the ability to travel. I might not have had the time off of work, but I have the luxury of bringing my work with me and since San Diego isn’t a huge drive it’s not a big trip for me.

We are planning on going back down to San Diego to the same place again next year for Thanksgiving. It’s a great house that fits the family nicely and the set up is pretty ideal for a big family meal. I know I’ll be back in San Diego before next November, but I’m glad that I have next Thanksgiving to look forward to as well.

A Bit Over-Scheduled (or Starting To Stress Out)

For the past few weeks, my schedule has been pretty crazy. Every weekend is filled with something (sometimes something fun and sometimes lots of working at some of the day jobs). A few weeks ago, I realized that my next day off without having something on my schedule like work, class, or hosting an out-of-town friend would be Thanksgiving. I’m not used to not having a day every so often to just relax and do what I want to do. Right now, every day has something important and on a specific schedule. And that freaked me out a bit.

Now that my Thanksgiving trip is about a week away, I’m still extremely busy and I’m starting to worry about how I will get everything done before I head down to San Diego to be with my family.

I have to work while I’m in San Diego (I work the day before and the day after Thanksgiving) so I need to make sure I pack all of my work stuff. That ends up being very last minute because I will be driving down to San Diego right after a work shift next week. So I need to wait to pack everything I need until I’m logged out of my shift. But I’m starting to work on a work related packing list so I don’t forget anything.

I also have a few food things I need to make and bring down to Thanksgiving. I won’t have time to make them until after my class on Monday next week (that alone is stressing me out), but I’m starting on my shopping lists now and I’m hoping that I can get the ingredients this week so everything is ready for me to go Monday afternoon.

I also have gifts for a couple of people. I have a Hanukkah gift for my mom (I’ll write about that next week because it’s an awesome gift that I think you all might love), a Hanukkah gift for Ross and Krystle, and a birthday gift for my Dad (he got his Hanukkah gift back in April because I knew he’d want it as soon as possible). I’ve also got face paint for my cousin’s kids (it’s tradition) and I’m still thinking about bringing something else to maybe help decorate the house. Fortunately, all the gifts are all wrapped and in a bag with the face paint. It’s ready to go in my car but again it’s something else to have to remember to pack.

And of course, I have to start thinking about what clothes I want to bring with me. I’ll be doing another Thanksgiving morning workout with some of my family so there’s that checklist too (can you tell that I’m checklist obsessed right now?).

With all that I have to do plus lots of work do to for my day jobs, I know that when Thanksgiving day comes and I have the day off to spend with my family I will be very grateful. I’m trying not to get overwhelmed by everything I have to do, but that’s just who I am. The checklists are helping me because I can see exactly what I’m planning on bringing and when I’m packing up my car and I make sure that I don’t forget anything.

I am very happy that I can drive to Thanksgiving and don’t have to worry about flying because I can bring a lot more stuff and it’s easier to pack my car with several random small bags instead of trying to make sure everything fits into airline regulations. At least that’s one thing I don’t have to stress about.