Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Month: August 2009 Page 2 of 3


Things are still about 85% cuh-ray-zee at work but wanted to check in and make sure y’all knew I wasn’t going off the grid here.  Hopefully I can resume a semi-normal posting schedule soon but hey, what IS a normal posting schedule up in here?  I was aiming for at least M/W/F.  Oh well.  I am here now, and should probably stop wasting precious words blathering about posting in my post.  Oooh, recursive.

Anyhoo, a recap of last week, and what’s shaking in Quix-life this week.

Last Week Wrap Up:

Hello, dinner course on Sunday.  Dont you look delicious.  Hey, those are half taters and caliuflower, so dont judge me (too much).

Hey there, dinner course, you look delicious. Hey, those are half taters and caliuflower, don't judge (too much).

Last week, I ate an average of 1825 calories tracked per day.  I’m going to go ahead and tack on an extra 100 per day with the nibble of this, sip of that habit I have and say 1925.   This was not on accident.  Iput things in my mouth such as an 800 calorie sandwich, 3 servings of potato/corn chips in ONE DAY (and with dip), a sugary alcoholic beverage or 2, and a 3 course filet and crab meal dripping with butter.  So much for after-vacation repentantance, huh?

However, I increased my activity.  Instead of my 417 per day I aimed to burn, I was all the way up at 742.  I did 6 full workout days with at least 30 mins moderate/intense cardio on 5 of them.  I did 3 full weights sessions.  It was a good workout week.

1925 – 742 = 1183 calories.  Oops.  Considering I should be ingesting just over 2000 calories to sit on my butt all day, that might be a little too much of a deficit.  1000 calories is the absolute line, but 800 calories per day is pretty close.  Before I added up the numbers, I was thinking “geez, why did I eat so much, I had a horrible week, I should have busted my butt in the gym more…etc”.  It’s becoming apparent that I must have mistreated my body during half training if I feel like I’m eating too much NOW when I’m training way less.  Next time I will track food but it will probably be a matter of making myself eat more healthy food than I feel like I should.

This week the goal is a little LESS food and a little LESS workouts.  I’d like to bring the ratio to 750 or less also (that is, in theory, 1.5 lbs lost in a week).

The zone ratio this week – epic fail.  Closest I got was 27/26/47 and the weirest ones were 6/19/63 or 12/50/38.  I don’t think it’s in the cards anytime soon for me to eat 40/30/30 effortlessly, but it’s not a horrible idea to work towards it, the way I naturally eat is very carb heavy because I love my fruits and veggies and starches and think meat should be used in between bread/tortillas/etc or on top of salads, stir fries, curries, etc.  I love beef jerky and turkey pepperoni as snacks, and it feels rather sinful to mow down almonds and pistachios, but I find that while I’m satisfied, I’m not satiated and want something carby with it as well.  It’s all about finding a balance.

Last week’s high weight was 157.6 and last week’s lowest weight was 154.6.  I’m going to start tracking both.

Non-Obsessive Fitness Related Stuff:

As for the other stuff in this here post, things have mostly resolved themselves.  Zliten got his offer letter today and starts on August 31st.  The salary, though not the ridiculous money he was making before, is better than expected so that’s a bonus!  It is a relief and came just in time.  It will suck a bit to have to wait about 1 month to get a second income coming in so the savings will take a small hit, but considering it’s temporary – I can’t complain.  And we can finally work to replensh it after that!

The work stuff – while there are still fires burning, things are settling down well.  Coming in at this stage of a project is actually nice because I’m more involved and can contribute to the direction, instead of just feeling like a secratary while the big boys get to play.  It’s nice.  It’s – as always- a work in progress I’ll have to keep vigilant about, but I think this is going to be a good learning experience here for me instead of a disaster, which my initial reaction was last week.

What Now?

This week, she is a busy one.  I’m plowing through insane amounts of documents at work (trying to archive 3 years worth of stuff).  I posted my second best mile time EVAR today at 8 minutes flat.  I could have done it in less time (I wasn’t completely wasted after), but I miscalculated (I start slower at the beginning and then work up – so while I should have started around 8:15ish I started at 8:30 pace).  Next time!   Today we are going out after work for the August Yelp Elite party (organic BBQ and organic Vodka and live music?  Yes plz!) and going to pop the champagne and celebrate Zliten’s jobiness.

Then – it’s all wedding all the time.  47 days until it.  Yikes!  We are working on registry stuff at Penney’s,

These shoes are the trifecta of awesome, just cross your fingers they work with the dress...

These shoes are the trifecta of awesome, just cross your fingers they work with the dress...

Target, and Amazon.  You’d be surprised how hard it is to do this – I decide, “Ok, I want some luggage.”  Then it takes me an hour to pick out the one piece I want and read reviews and such.  Zliten during this time has added 40 things.  So it’s been a long, slow process.

Sunday, I was fortunate enough to find shoes.  They were cute, comfortable, and on sale.  Now, I’m crossing my fingers that they match the dress and we’re solid.  I also grabbed some silk flowers from the craft store and am trying to wrap my head around how I want them in my hair.  I’m hoping to make them myself because they are so freaking expensive online.  Clip+silk flower != 50 bucks in my world.  I have a bracelet, I need a necklace and earrings, spanx, and am looking for a tropical-ish brooch possibly to go on the front of the dress.  I think I’ve nixed the veil idea although I wouldn’t mind something similar/in place of it.  Maybe a colored, super short veil?  Maybe I go with a flower crown and do ribbons?  Lots to think about, but it’s getting put together.  Next month we start talking with the site and getting all that dealt with – though they assured us they do tropical themed weddings all the time so it wouldn’t be a problem.  Hope that’s as easy breezy as they say it will be.

Beyond that, I’m just going to try to get through the week alive and enjoy the ride.  I miss your blogs, and hope to catch up on them soon.  Any wedding tips?  Doing something cool this week?

It’s Been a Hell of a Week…

Earlier in the week, it totally would have been on notice...

Earlier in the week, it totally would have been on notice...

Since I’ve gotten back, it’s been an emotional and mental rollercoaster over here.  The three pronged attack on my psyche has been:

A)  A MAJOR shakeup at work.  It started Tuesday morning and didn’t involve me, but happened all around me.  I have gone from pleased to pissed to disappointed to feeling lost to feeling like a part of the team and back again.  As the dust settles, I think things are going to work out alright.  I just really need to stay on top of myself and not retreat when I feel like I’m being ignored or I’m not needed.  I have been given permission to butt in on anything I need to, and once you give me permission – hoo boy, you better hope you meant it.

B) Going, as of Monday, to a truly one income household that doesn’t take enough in to pay the bills.  As of the time of penning this, Zliten is currently camping his email box waiting to hear back about a promising interview.  This is making life very tense this week.  Essentially, if this falls through, it’s take-whatever-he-can-get mode which is not optimal in any way.  It’s a really sad sign of the market when someone that has 4+ years in their position and 8 years in the game industry that has shipped more titles than everyone in his last interview COMBINED is a year unemployed and on pins and needles for a contract job paying probably about half what his last position paid.

C) The ridiculous reason – those 5 lbs.  I know I deserved it because of the way I ate through NOLA with reckless abandon, but it still weighed heavily on my mood.  I wrote up a ton of crazy emo thoughts and decided NOT to post them here.  I’m glad I didn’t because while it was not ultimately unproductive to think and go through the emotions (it rarely is), it’s not something I needed help with or to share.  It might help that I’m down 2 lbs today from my 157.6!!! but it’s also just accepting my fate.  I am NOT going to give into the temptation to do 2 hours of intense cardio per day and eat like a bird.  I am going to go back to my normal workout schedule and my normal intake of healthy foods.  It might take 2 weeks to get back to where I was instead of a few days like normal, but it’s probably better for me.

So, instead of the whining I was going to do, I am going to post the lessons I’ve learned this week:

-Even if it feels self-indulgent, speak up and state my opinion, intentions, and desires.  I am a big champion of communication flow, but I was waiting for members of my team to read my mind instead of speaking up about what was grinding my gears.

-Not everyone is looking for a way to screw me over, so I shouldn’t be paranoid, but sometimes it does happen, so I should stay aware.  I am this strange combination of naive and distrusting, and it does me a disservice sometimes.

-Be confident.  No real qualifier here.  I have this real bad tendency to retreat into my comfort zone when things get rough and no one is pushing me (very much unlike my workouts), I need to say screw it and go storm castles when I need to.

-Save when you can, even if it seems silly.  We would be in a world of hurt right now without a savings account.  Always save some for a rainy day, and just hope you don’t need it.

-The grass is always greener.  Right when Zliten got laid off, I was extremely a little jealous.  I was badly burnt out and thought I needed some extended time off.  After a year, I am, even on stressful days, reasonably glad to be employed rather than sitting at home.

-Go crazy on vacations, but not so crazy.  Going out of town does not empower you to eat fried foods at every meal and not gain weight (and not even scale related, I felt like CRAP this week, my body is working out all the ick).  Moderately crazy is better.

-The actual losing weight thing that is the root of the problem?  Still figuring it out.  It is going to be a fucking long hard road to get from 150-something to 1-2/3/4-something that makes me content.  I am going to get pissed and frustrated and lost and confused and want to cry about it but you know what?  That is what it is.  I am allowed to be upset and grumpy about things sometimes.  I do not have to accept it.  I can be dissatisfied with myself without losing my self worth.  I have to remember that last part though.  I may not be happy I gained weight, but I don’t lose the ability to call myself a fit and healthy person simply because the scale climbed over 155.

That is all, campers.  Have a lovely weekend and I’ll see you bright and shiny Monday with more words about another topic.  Funny how that works.  What did you learn this week?  Any tough times you want to vent about?  Come lay down on the couch and I’ll get out the notepad…

New Orleans Vacation Part 2: Tour De Fried Foods

Here’s the continuation of my vacation stories!

Friday, later:

Oh, jester bar and your many, magical potions...

I had spent the last week reading up on things to do, places to go, places to avoid, what to eat and drink, etc. and I had made a list.   Hand grenades are pretty much something that one must have at least once.  The bar that sells them brings them in pre-mixed and they are a secret recipe.  If any other bars are caught selling something called a hand grenade, they get in trouble (plus whoever reports it gets a 250 dollar bounty).  I’m usually skeptical of fruity strong drinks but this one packed a g’ddam punch.  One drink and I went from sober to a bit tipsy – which with my Russian tolerance just doesn’t happen.  There was a dude playing guitar and singing, and he was really quite good!

Next, we made our way to the carousel bar in Hotel Montelione – which was pretty disorienting in a sweet way.  You sit at the bar and it rotates around slowly.  It took us about a revolution and a half to finish our 8 dollar vodka and cranberry drinks.  That drink price was disconcerting in a not-so-sweet way, so we moved on, after I got my fill of the snack mix they had out.  That was sweet and not disorienting!

Hurricane the size of my HEAD!

On the list after that was the jester bar, as Zliten had declared that we get our touristy, fruity drinks out of our system in one night.  The jester bar was the next stop to get our namesake jester drink (Zliten is pretty much obsessed with jesters so it was a natural thing).  We met a bartender dude there that had been up 30 hours straight and also was a sidekick owner.  We talked phones a bunch while we drank our drinks.  They were pretty much full of kiwi strawberry, love, and rocket fuel.  After a bunch of brain freeze and the sun going down, we headed out.

Next was Pat O’Brien’s where the original hurricane drink, uh, originated.  This drink was so the size of my head, even more than the drink was on the cruise.  Somehow, this was the most serious drink of the night even though the others definitely contained a ridiculous amount of jet fuel.  This place was super cool because there were fountains on FIRE!  Also adding to the supercoolness was the hundreds of individuals dressed in red lingerie who were in town for a running/drinking event of some sort.  I am totally going to have to look that up.  Apparently the “race” (though they said they hated calling it that) had a beer stop every mile and they had 6 hours to hit up as many of them as they could or something.  Sounds like a recipe for dehydration – but too fun.

Recursive Mirror is Recursive...

Next, Zliten decided on another hand grenade.  If I would have had a little sense in me I might have protested.  But I didn’t.  Went back to the Tropical Isle and the same dude was singing and guitaring with a keyboardist this time.  They were even better!  We snagged two more seats at the bar and found a recursive mirror!  It was quite a trip indeed.

After that one, I wasn’t doing so well.  I needed food (note that it was encroaching upon midnight and I had only eaten a late lunch).  We ended up hitting a Krystal because I was getting desperate (which is fast food… note that I have not eaten a fast food meal in about 3 years).  While Zliten was standing in line I started feeling really rough and started towards the bathroom to pray to the porcelian god, and three sorrority sisters cut in front of me and ran in.  I then decided it was time to go back to the hotel RIGHT THEN.  I power walked back and made it to the room and removed the offending elements from my

Evil, evil little man-drink...

Evil, evil little man-drink...

body.  Food then came.  I enjoyed the hell out of it, full fat mayonaise, nasty fast food beef-like burger, and greasy salty frozen-from a package fries and all.

I was done.  I sat on the bed for quite a while.  Zliten decided he was going back out and I decided that even though I was done drinking, I was on vacation and I was going to hang out.   So I rose from the dead and we got him another jester (in a souvenier jester glass this time) and then some  blue death drink which ended HIS night.  Sleep was imminent.


Zliten, waiting for the trolley that never came...

We slept in pretty late.  Combined with about 8 hours sleep in the last 2 days and the curious events of the night before, it was about 10:30 before I got out of bed and close to 11:30 before I got Zliten up.  We decided it was the day to hit Emeril’s restaurant for lunch.  We walked the 3 miles down there, and enjoyed seeing a different part of the city we hadn’t yet traversed.  And… we got there and it was closed on the weekends until dinner.  Boo!  We were pretty hungry (and both were craving something including freaking VEGETABLES) and had wanted to hit the casino, so the buffet it was.

Pretty much the OPPOSITE of our plans for lunch – instead of gourmet, we were all about the big troughs.  It did give us a chance to eat the biggest salad ever and then sample some regional fare (though I’m sure it was crappy regional faire, I got to taste jambalya and seafood gumbo).  We ended up gambling for a while after – up, down, up, down…though we were only playing penny slots, so it was like wooo! up 3 dollars, noooo down 4 dollars.  Just fun to play.  I think we spent 10 bucks to be amused for 2 hours.  Then, it was back to the hotel.  I think it was to change shoes, but really… just to visit the comfy bed and tv for a bit.

One thing on my list was riding the trolley around to see the sights.  Being that it was nearing late afternoon on our last

Me, waiting for Godot.  Or the trolley.  Both had the same outcome.

Me, waiting for Godot. Or the trolley. Both had the same outcome.

day, we decided it was time.  On the way back to the hotel from lunch, it had passed by us.  No one on it, no one waiting.  Now, it was totally packed on the street waiting and after about 20 mins we gave up on it.  I wasn’t sure we would make it on the trolley the first time, and I didn’t want to spend our last day of vacation waiting in line.  So instead, we hoofed it.

We decided to head back down to the water and see if we could find somewhere to eat overlooking the river.  We happened into a mall and walked through soaking up the AC.  This thing was a freaking half a mile long.  At the end, we found a place called the History of Food and Drink Museum.  We were intrigued, it was only 5 bucks, so that’s how we spent our early evening.  It was really cool to see the history of the regional food (like po boys, red beans and rice, crawfish, etc), and though we rushed through the bar exhibit, it was neat to see the first bar bottles of booze, stuff on prohibition (they showed a book with the title “Four Swallows”, and it had 4 test tube size shots inside) and some of the historic bars around the area, one of which was at the hotel where we were staying.  We resolved to have at least ONE drink there that night.

After they shooed us out because they were closing, we were ready to eat

I give this museum 2 thumbs up!

I give this museum 2 thumbs up!

inanimate objects, so we headed to a place we saw just outside the mall called the Crazy Lobster.  It was on the water, had some fun live music playing, and sounded yummy.  I know not what possessed me, but this was the place I got the crazy meal I talked about during the intro, sharing an appetizer of fried pickles (seriously, try this once in your life… it sounds gross but it’s AWESOME),  and an entree of a crab cake po boy (which was HUGE, I could only eat half the sandwich, I ate the crab cake out of the other half and left the bread) and cajun fries (which I didn’t finish but could have finished a lot LESS).  Our stomachs settled as we walked back and we hit the pool one more time, marvelling at the pretty lights and wishing we could take it home with us.

Then we got all swankified and headed down to the hotel bar.  Unfortunately, it was WAY too crowded, so we walked up and down looking for some of the dive bars on my list.  They were all either crowded or further than we wanted to go.  The

At the Alibi.

At the Alibi.

last one we hit, called the Alibi, was perfect.  Not too crowded, really close to the hotel, cheap drinks, and Mad TV playing!  We hung out there for a while and talked to some of the red lingerie-clad runners, one who said he had been up and drinking since yesterday afternoon.  He was looking pretty ragged.

After a bit, we headed back to the hotel, and success!  We got seats.  The rest of the night was summed up with my facebook status update from my phone:

Went back to the hotel bar and got a sauzerac which was <3 and is now enjoying the dive bar across the street. Do not want to go home tomorrow. Considering draining my savings taking up residence in the roosevelt hotel and drinking in nola. Will surely reconsider tomorrow.

So yeah.  Also, there were cheese fries.  We got to bed somewhere around 2-3ish and planned to be up bright and shiny to leave at 9am.


We bolted out of bed just after 10am.  Oops.  One more shower in the awesome bathroom, packed up our stuff, and

Just before the horizontal rain...

Just before the horizontal rain...

waved bye bye to the pretty pretty room.  We checked out, got the car from valet, and then went in search of a gas station.  Half of them were still closed.  Just outside the French Quarter, things looked way different.  Buildings collapsing, windows boarded up… very sad.  We drove back through all the cool bridges and shared a turkey sandwich for lunch got stuck in a very SCARY rainstorm.  Seriously, it was almost horizontal rain and we could barely see the car in front of us.  I was so very happy I wasn’t driving.

After getting back under sunny skies, we decided to take a different route home and skipped Houston in favor of a more direct route through little towns and smaller roads.  We had a BBQ pit stop for dinner and saw it fit to have more turkey.  Was delicious!  Had to convince Zliten to stop instead of driving straight through, but it was for the good of everyone involved as we were getting cranky.

We got through months of podcasts on the way there and back.  Zliten drove the whole time so I let him pick what he wanted to listen to.  The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful (we attempted to stop at the Blue Bell factory about an

Hey there, bbq (to be)...

Hey there, bbq (to be)...

hour outside town and it was sadly closed), except we ran out of gas RIGHT as we were pulling into the gas station 7 miles from home.  Yay for hybrids, as all it did was go into straight electric mode.  If you’re curious, we made it there and (essentially) back on a 10 gallon tank of gas each way, and it was about 525 miles.  Do I love my Prius?  Yes I do!

We got home, hugged the couch, watched a movie, and then hit the bed.  Great vacation,  would definitely do it again.  I’d probably consider flying instead of driving and maybe giving myself one more day either ON vacation or after I got home.

Damage done: gained about 5 lbs (as of this morning).  I’m going to guess about 1.5 is actual calorie overage, and the rest is bloat due to weird eating.  I got all huffy about it today but I will give myself another week before I panic.  Miles walked – 15 (Zliten kept track).  Different bars hit – 12.  Number of different fried food items I ate – 12.  Number of awesome vacations had: 1.

New Orleans Vacation Part 1: Good Intentions and Good Times

Ever notice how your head just changes on vacation?  At home, I have sense.  I know that I need my veggies and fried food is like a once a week thing max and exercise happens when it should and a little whiskey or a little wine is also a once-ish a week thing and certainly not to be mixed in big fruity cocktails.  Once I leave town, my head changes.  All of a sudden it’s ok that my dinner consisted of fried pickles, cajun fries, and a crab cake po boy one night.  Maybe that daquiri or 4 in the big souvenier cups isn’t absolutely unthinkable.  It’s that sort of fuzzy logic that makes me glad I usually take short vacations and that my instinct is to IMMEDIATELY snap back to my healthy lifestyle as soon as I’m home.


Did I lose anyone?  Yeap, didn’t think so.

Day 1: Thursday

The plan was to head out at 5am.  The alarm went off at 4:30 to which we both groaned and flopped back over (I couldn’t fall asleep until after midnight and Zliten was even later, even though we both really tried to tire ourselves out that day).  Finally we got up around 5:10 and headed out around 6 am.  20 minutes out of town, we realized we forgot to leave the door in such a way that our lizard feeder-person could get in the door so we headed back.  Finally, about 2 hours late, we were back on the road.  That’s about par for the course for us.

We first drove to Houston and hit some post-rush hour traffic.  It wasn’t *too* bad, but I’m happy we avoided it on the way back.  Oddly enough, Zliten elected to drive the whole way.  I guess he just really likes driving my car or hates when I drive.  One of the two.  We had a Jason’s Deli stop for some healthy lunch (as we figured it was the last healthy food we’d get).  Once we got to Louisianna things got super green (poor Texas and our exceptional drought) and there were lots of little casinos and adult shops.  Coming from TX to LA was just about like  leaving California and going to Nevada.  Any of you in games, my first instinct on that sentance was to say “zoning” into Nevada.  Oh yeah – and just about every restaurant claimed to be the “original” cajun restaurant.  Perplexing!

We drove over a bunch of bridges that seemed to go on forever.  Hey, if anyone was wondering, Louisianna is pretty wet!  Who knew?  Then, we finally got into town and found our Hotel.  The city seemed sort of familiar in a way (and I’ve never been there) like some of the little parts of San Francisco.  I had been warned by a lot of people that it was a dirty place and that things might be all shut down still being rebuilt from Katrina – at least in the super touristy areas, not so.  But venturing outside of the French Quarter or casino/warehouse district – it was kinda rough looking.  Only half the shops were open and there were a lot of buildings literally falling over.  But, upon the advice of one of our first bartnders, we stayed in the touristy areas lest we’d expect to be mugged.

The hotel.  Oh the hotel.  I’m not entirely sure I ever want to book a room this nice again, as sometimes it was hard to leave it.  The bed was probably more pillowtoppy and cushy than ours at home.  We had a super hi-def flat screen tv and even a bathroom TV and phone.  The shower had 4 nozzles that sprayed different ways.  There were super cushy robes available for use.  The decor was awesome.  Oh, and somehow we even got to stay on the top floor with an AMAZING view.

But leave it we did.  We headed to a place called Bourbon Rocks, which incidentally had a CRAPPY bourbon selection, but also had a fun band playing.  We hung out there for a while and watched a group of people from St. Louis get super drunk on 2 for 1 beers.  After soaking in a little sun, music, and booze, we were in need of food.  However, we decided to head down to see the river.  Literally saw the river, said hi, took a picture, and then headed back.  We hit up another little corner bar and got more drinks, spicy fried cheese sticks, and found some slot machines.  I didn’t have much luck on this trip, but Zliten kept turning a dollar into a few and once paid for dinner with it.  Nice place, great happy hour, but there was much more to see/eat/drink, so we moved on.

Next, we walked down a street that apparently was the art gallery street, and we mosied in and out oohing and aahing.  We inquired in one of the galleries about the price of something and the dude spent the next HOUR trying to sell us something and wouldn’t let us leave.  Apparently they didn’t know they were not exactly speaking with people with extra money, but it was kinda fun to try to be coerced.  Also, we definitely got a nice sobering break from the bars.  After finally getting out  of there, we made it to the R bar, which our good friend’s brother was bartending.  Things got a little hazy there, but Zliten annoyed the DJ and we were well taken care of, and invited back for a 6pm shrimp boil (which we sadly did NOT make it to).

We walked back to the hotel from the farfarfar side of the French Quarter, and stopped at the little divey bar across the street from the hotel.  The bartender there was pretty kick ass and the cocktails were strong and stylishly poured.  I devoured a shrimp po boy (fried shrimp on french bread with lettuce, tomato, and mayo) and some fries.  They were totally diet fries.  We did a Jaegermeister shot with the bartneder and that pretty much ended the night out – we were done (stick a fork in us).

Day 2 : Friday

Somehow, after all that silliness, I was up and out of bed at around 9:30 am (I think we called it a night around – 4? 5? ).  I do believe it was the sheer amount of caffeine I had the night before.  We got up and hiked down to Cafe Beignet and I got the reasonable, healthy breakfast of a large coffee with half and half, an order of beignets (fried donuts with powdered sugar), and a muffaletta (ham, salami, and cheese sandwich with olive spread).  We enjoyed the morning reading the paper and enjoying the not-100-degrees NOLA weather outside.

Then, it was totally pool time.  We swam for about an hour, which felt like 10 minutes.  The pool was a perfect warm-but-not-bathwater temp, and was even somehow cushy on  all the sides and the bottom.  So considerate of them!  The hot tub was out of order and the pool bar never seemed to be open, but the hotel WAS in the middle of a remodel and we couldn’t complain.  The outdoor pool area was on the 4th floor, and had an awesome view of the buildings around there.  There was a church with gorgeous stained glass windows and we could see where was hosted (because they were reporting live from there during Katrina).  It was fun playing peek-a-boo with all the people looking out from their rooms.  I still had some super twitchy energy to burn after that so we headed to the gym.  Super fuzzy picture, but notice each cardio machine has it’s own tv (with cable)?  Um, swanky…

After the gym, we got dressed and headed out for a late lunch/early dinner.  We walked down bourbon street again and found a nice little homey restaurant that was reasonably priced and looked like it used to be an old house inside.  Zliten had the BEST red beans and rice there, and I noshed on a delicious stuffed crab claw and some heavenly mac and cheese.   Totally healthy, I know.

Then…we decided it was time for a hand grenade.  I think I’ll end it here for now.  Tune in next time for part 2!  If you just want to check out the pictures, you can do so here!

NOLA Bound

This week is a short week for me, as we decided a while ago that a mini-vacation was needed.  We were going to wait until we heard about Zliten’s employment prospects, but a rumor of a vacation black out period at work made me decide to just go sooner than later.  We had considered cruises, mexico, and other destinations, as well as just staying in town at a nice hotel or even just at home.  We compromised and decided to hit New Orleans.  It’s an 8 hour drive, it’s somewhere we’ve always wanted to check out, and we got a KILLER deal on a fancy hotel (warning – the site has sound).  Apparently we heard from a native it is probably one of the nicest there, period.

It has been brought to my attention again that I am just so NOT spontaneous.  We spent three days of comparing reviews and pro- and con- weighing before we booked the damn hotel.  I have begun to make a list of restaurants and bars we need to hit and what has specials and when.  I want to try a shrimp po boy, a muffaletta, a hand grenade, an original hurricane, eat at Emeril’s restaurant, beignets, and more.  Mostly, Zliten and I just want to have a nice, relaxing vacation where it’s just us, and we have a few days just to lounge by the pool, explore a new town, party it up a bit, and don’t have anyone we have to meet or anything we have to do at any time.  If we decide to go out at 2am and sleep until 5pm, we can do it.

My vacation strategy is: eat small and often.  If I want to try something, get the smallest size they have and/or split it.  I can always pop in somewhere if I get hungry later and try something else that’s on the list.  I plan to bring my workout/running gear because the hotel has a killer looking gym but also am ok with life if all the exercise is swimming and walking.  I know that I’ll be back to it Monday as normal no matter what!

Now… to get through the last few hours of work today, get one more run in (did you see all that fried goodness and sugary drinks?  I must pro-actively repent, tee hee), get packed, and get my ass up for a 5am departure!  Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you crazy cats on Monday!

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