Friday, August 31, 2012

Gerber Generation Photo Search 2012

Hey! For anyone who reads my blog, first I'd like to thank you and I will hopefully have another post shortly after this weekend as I'm planning to head to Michigan to visit my best friend. Also if you could vote for my friend's baby starting on Tuesday September 4th for the gerber baby, I would really really appreciate it. Thanks! Here's the link!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Camping Part 2

Tuesday we decided that we wanted to stay at Rollins Pond for another night, but our site wasn’t available for another night, but there were others open, so we took a drive around and picked one. We stopped at Brian’s house for lunch and then headed back to set up the tent once again.

shaking out the tent to pack it up
Then we went out onto the pond (side note: this pond was bigger than Wolf Lake in NY and the definition of a pond is “a body of water smaller than a lake” according to 
Brian canoed while I kayaked. I have only been kayaking once before in my life and that was on my family trip to Hawaii in 2007, so that was a while ago and I’m not the best kayaker yet. It was definitely quite the workout for my arms. Despite all the working out I do, I clearly don’t work those particular muscles enough. I felt that I got better as we went on.
ripples in the water and the lily pads. just thought it was pretty

me kayaking

We kayaked across and then to one of the islands where we got out and walked around a bit.

BRIDGE on the island

just doing some yoga posing
soaking up the sun. really love how this photo turned out

Then we went around the next island and then headed back. Before we knew it, it was time to start dinner. We had steak, corn on the cob and beans. It was delicious! I then watched a chipmunk finish the few burnt kernels of corn I had left on my cob.
I could have watched this little guy forever. He was so cute!
At sunset, we took out the canoe and kayak again and watched the sun set behind the mountains.

A little later, the stars were out and we did a little star gazing and saw a shooting star. Living near a big city, I don’t get to see many stars, so it was like a once in a lifetime viewing for me. When I told that to Brian he said “next time, we’ll make it twice in a lifetime.” It was a great end to the evening though.

The next morning it was time to pack up and then do a bit of driving and switching cars again as Brian drove me to Albany to leave from the airport. This vacation was just what I needed though. A little getaway into the woods and peacefulness. 

Camping Part 1

As I said, I went camping for a few days in New York. Whenever I mention I’m going to New York to my friends here in Chicago, they automatically think the city and I was nowhere near the city. My train ride was a long 14-15 hrs. Luckily, a nice girl, named Ally, sat next to me when we got on in Chicago and we actually talked for a couple hours before getting some sleep. She was heading home after visiting her mom and siblings who recently moved to Chicago. It was the first time I had actually had a conversation with the person who sat next to me. She was my age though and we talked about college and things. She was only traveling to Indiana though, so her train ride was only 3 of my 14 hrs. I then gave her my number before she got off the train for the next time she is in Chicago.

By the time I got to Syracuse, it was nearly 1pm. My boyfriend, Brian, met me at the train station with a Tim Horton’s iced tea that I had requested. It’s the one place I really miss about New York. We then met up with our friend Marc. We walked around the huge carousel mall, had a late lunch and then went to mini golf. I did terribly in mini golf. I think I have gotten worse as I have gotten older. LOL. We didn’t have time to go to a camp site the first night so we stayed at a hotel in Syracuse.

The next day (Sunday), we headed to a water park in Old Forge, NY. It was a bit chilly in the morning for a water park, in my opinion, but it did eventually warm up. We went on many slides and went around one of the lazy rivers. Brian did a few more things as I soaked up the sun in the afternoon because I was cold for a so long as we waited in lines, though they were short. My favorite 2 rides were the tube slide that is like a toilet bowl. That one I actually screamed as I thought we were going to get stuck and then we went down backwards. Luckily Brian sits in the back and I sit in the front, but I still always worry about flipping over. We also did a race on a mat, though we failed at starting at the same time. It was a “surf” slide because you slide on mats and it’s like you are surfing waves I guess. It was a pretty cool water park. I’d like to go again on a day where it’s warmer than 70 degrees. I’ve been completely spoiled with these 90 degree days this summer that I’m so used to them now and 70 seems cold.

That night we camped at a park nearby. We set up the tent and made a fire so that we could have smores. I have been craving smores all summer it seems, so I finally was able to satisfy my smores craving while camping.

Monday morning, we had pancakes and bacon for breakfast at our campsite. It was delicious! Then it was time to pack up, as we had to check out by 11am.

We then went for a hike up Blue mountain. The hike was 2 miles each way. I’ve never really been on a real hike before and that 2 miles felt more like 5 miles. I thought we would never reach the top. It took us between an hour and a half to an hour and 45 minutes to get up to the top and unfortunately, it started raining/hailing when we were 20 minutes from the top. I kept pushing through, hoping that the destination ahead would be worth it.
my favorite rock along the hike because I could climb on top and rest LOL

When we finally reached the top, Brian then wanted to climb up the fire tower for the nice view. 
fire tower

the view
However it was quite breezy and since we were soaking wet, it made it really cold. I was also quite hungry and just wanted some food. We had brought a sandwich with us to eat once we got to the top. I climbed down the fire tower and found a spot to sit. The sun was starting to come out finally, so I was trying to get a bit dry.
While I ate, Brian walked around and found a cabin at the top where someone lives for the summer. He got me up and we went over and talked to the guy who lived there. He was living there for school credit. He is a student at SUNY Potsdam and had been living there since July. He is brought water once a month or so and he is allowed one day to hike down to get more food and then hike up. I don’t think I could ever carry all the food I need to live off of, but it was nice to meet him and here about his time on the top of the mountain and he took a pic of us.
of course I had to do a bridge

me and Brian

I think we spent a half hour or so at the top and the sun had come out, but it looked at though another storm was on its way so we decided we better start heading down. The hike up took us about an hour and 45 min or so and the hike down took an hour and 15 minutes. While going down I wasn’t as out of breath, I think it was pretty hard because since it had rained, that made the steeper parts more slippery and so I was trying to be careful and stay flat footed and low to the ground.

I was so happy when I could hear the cars on the road and finally reached the parking lot. It was nice to be able to sit down again and relax. I took a short nap as Brian drove us to his parent’s house. We then ordered pizza and salad for dinner and then switched cars and packed some pillows and more blankets and headed to Rollins Pond to camp that night.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Random Acts

I know I haven’t written in a while. I have been so busy lately. I just recently got back from New York state, camping with my boyfriend. I was lucky enough to get 3 days off from work. Who knows when I’ll be able to take time off again within this 4 month training/interview period.

Anyway, I wanted to bring up a blog I’ve been reading lately. I heard about it on the radio one morning as I was headed to work. It’s called A guy in Chicago made a New Year’s resolution to do a random act of kindness each day this year. I caught up on all the 200 entries or so in just 2 days! I think the blog is quite inspiring and there are some really simple tasks that one can do to help make a difference.

So I took the train last Friday night from Chicago to Syracuse, but I first had to take a train to downtown Chicago. My mom dropped me off at the station and as I was carrying my suitcase up the steps to the platform, I noticed a woman struggling to carry her bag up the steps and walk up the steps at the same time. I offered to help her and she was very appreciative. It made me feel so good that I helped someone. So that was my first truly random act of kindness. I also recently donated a few dollars to a friend who will be swimming a mile for cancer. My goal is to try to do one act of kindness each week if I can or at least a couple times a month to start. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Calorie Count and Personal Training session

Yesterday I went to get my Calorie count done at Lifetime Fitness and found out my bare minimum calories I need each day is 1641, but add my lifestyle (basically sitting at work) and I need 2133 a day. But that still doesn't include if I want to gain weight and I have to include all the calories I burn while working out. For now I will have to just estimate that until I can afford a heart rate monitor watch, which I have actually wanted to get in the past, though I didn't know they made some that you can swim with, because I feel like when I swim I must burn quite a bit of calories in 100 laps. So for now, I'm estimating I need 2500-2700 a day, depending on my exercising. I was also told to increase the amount of protein I eat and eat less carbs. That will be a challenge, especially for snacks since I don't think I have a fridge to put food in at work.

Later in the afternoon, I went back to the gym for a personal training session. I have lifetime bucks to use so why not? My personal trainer was very nice and we did some basic exercises, but it was challenging for some, such as the low squats and the push ups (doing 20 in a row). She told me that I have very good form though and that I don't have any imbalances, which is good. She then helped me on my form for deadlifts, because I have long legs and my knees seem to always get in the way and I'll end up using my back too much. She helped me correct my form though and it felt much better. I just have to lighten the weights again and work my way up again.
Between the circuit we did of lunges, squats, push ups, crunches and assisted pull ups, I am quite sore today.  I went to yoga this morning at Lululemon, which was nice for a stretch but definitely a little more challenging when going from standing to sitting hurts due to the squats I did yesterday. Lunges were also a bit of a challenge with my legs so sore, but I made it through and managed to be productive the rest of the day, including getting a couple hours of beach time!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bridges at the Planetarium!

Again I'm sorry I'm like 4 days behind on posting. On Sunday I went to the Adler Planetarium with my family since my grandma was in town. We have a membership there and since we went to 3 shows and walked around, I think the membership served its purpose. That will probably be the only time my family gets there this year.
After a few hours in the planetarium, my sister and I walked to the beach next to the planetarium and then walked around the planetarium along the water. Then we met up with my mom and grandma and we took some photos outside with the Chicago skyline in the back. It was such a beautiful day. I, of course, needed to do a bridge at the Planetarium because I don't think I have in the past and also one with the beautiful Chicago skyline in the background.
1 legged bridge with Chicago skyline

Bridge in front of the Planetarium 

Theresa (my sister) and I near the beach. it was a tad windy