Birthdays, Paris and Projects (TOL #52)

Its officially September (ok well it was last time I did this post but now its been a full week) and that means cooler temperatures are just around the corner.  We’ve had 1 or 2 fall-ish days and I’m already excited for it.  Give me all the pumpkin, fall foliage, autumn festivities I want it all!!!

Linking up with Amanda to think out Loud.  You can read the full post here.

  1. This time last year I was elbow deep in Harry Potter party planning.  While I’m super excited to be doing to Paris this year for my birthday, the nerd part of me wished I was doing this party again.  It really was a lot of fun.  You can read all about it here but check out the blog header Harry Potter Party for all the posts in one place.

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2.  We are building a pretty big entertainment center in our living room which is forcing me to keep my fall decorating put up until that is done.  We are going to have to paint it which is going to be messy, better leave the decorations in the box until after that.  I’m sad because I love having my fall stuff up early, but its probably for the best since autumn doesn’t officially start until September 22 anyway!  #homeownerproblems lol

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3.  I’m changing territories at work again and while I’m happy to not go to San Antonio all the time I’m going to miss the people there.  Its strangely bittersweet, I didn’t think I would have feelings about it but I do.  If you know me in real life you know I’m not an extrovert and don’t do well meeting lots of new people.  I am not looking forward to the change but hey that’s life and just keep moving forward!

4.  I printed all my tickets and info for Paris today.  Yup, S*&t just got real!  I now have to make sure I can use my hairdryer and curling iron in Paris and then start packing!!!  Who wants to come help me pack, I have no idea what to wear in Paris.  Ok I have SOME idea but I don’t want to look American and get an English menu😉

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5.  Speaking of home improvement…we are almost totally done with the stairs!!!  You can see from the picture almost exactly what its going to look like all we have to do now is the trim pieces and some touch-up paint.  Let me know if you want a run-down of how we did it I can totally do a post on it.  I am so happy with how its turned out.

6.  I’m feeling very un-inspired lately.  Posts are feeling forced and not myself.  I think a blog break may be coming soon just to clear my head and come back with some fresh posts.  It might also be that I’m just plain exhausted…who knows, sleep-deprivation is a terrible thing.  Instead I’m going to leave you with a sunset from my run the other day.  This one is slightly edited🙂

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7.  What’s new with you?

Workout Recap 8/30-9/5

4 more weeks until race day.  I’m thinking my body is going to give me trouble so I may not be getting the time I hoped for but that’s life for a runner.  Things happen, we adjust and keep moving.

Tuesday:  Easy run today, 4 miles at average pace of 10:50.  I know under 11 minutes, its crazy talk.  Well this morning was pretty cool and I wasn’t struggling to breathe like I have been so that was nice. By the time I got home from work my left hip was beyond stiff and I was walking really stupid.  I spent extra time stretching / foam rolling / yoga poses to keep up with the quad and work out the hip.  I used ice/heat and the torture devices to try and work it out.  Pain pain and more pain.  I skipped pop pilates today to give my hip a break.  To say I am beyond annoyed with these muscle issues is an understatement.

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Wednesday:  My hip is still super tight so I decided not to run today.  More foam rolling / heat / torture devices / bio freeze / alieve to work on inflammation.  I put a call in to my doctor to refill my prescription anti-inflammatory and made an appointment for next weekend with an acupuncturist.  I’m going to do as much as I can to get this fixed.

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Thursday:  Scheduled rest day today and I’m taking full advantage by doing more ice/heat therapy, more foam rolling and more torture devices.  The things runners do to get our bodies back at it!

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Friday:  Recovery run and honestly a test run to see how my body is feeling.  Its one thing to walk around and feel ok, its something entirely different to run.  Hip is still pretty stiff and was an annoyance the whole run but it wasn’t so bad I had to stop.  Ended with 3 miles at 11:22 pace which I was happy with.  More heat therapy and torture tools that night to work out as much as I can before tomorrows long run.

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Saturday:  Half an english muffin with almond butter and banana then it was out the door.  My whole body was stiff today which made for a slower pace but I was able to get 10 miles in.  I took a gel at mile 5 and listened to some fun podcasts to keep me going.  Thank goodness Joe had to work today, he brought me more water at mile 7 and I had almost run out.  I felt tight and not great the whole run but finished with 10 miles at 11:52 pace, its a lot slower than what was on tap but I figured slow it down get the time in and it will be fine.  I did end the run 8 minutes short because I had made it to my street and once I see my house my brain is done.  I didn’t get to do my detox bath because I needed to get to french lessons but I did do about 20 minutes of stretching / foam rolling / yoga poses / heat therapy that night to make up for it.

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Sunday:  Scheduled rest day and it felt so good to sleep in!!!  I put heat off and on to the hip then at the end of the night I did my yoga poses / foam rolling / stretching.  It hurt but in the “this is going to feel good later” kind of way🙂  Oh and we are installing a media center in out living room so today was also spent “supervising” that project…while watching Harry Potter weekend.

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Monday:  Scheduled rest day!  I was going to start POP pilates for September today but we had friends over so I decided to push it back.  It was so nice to have 2 days off in a row that I didn’t have to go to work.  My body needed the rest for sure.

CHIME IN!!!  How did your workouts go this week?  Whats more important to you, hitting the distance or the pace?  What has been your longest run lately?

5 tips for a Quad Strain

Happy Friday everyone!  I’m linking up with Courtney and Mar to bring you some Friday things on fitness today.  Check out the full link-up here.

I’m still working on the issue with my quad but these 5 tips have helped alleviate the pain and have put me back on the road to no issues.  Funny (not funny) how these things crop up so close to race day.

  1. RICE Method.  I didn’t catch on right away so I did this probably later than I should have but Rest-Ice-Compress-Elevate.  I used an ice-pack that can be wrapped around the leg so it got as deep down in the muscle as I could get it.  Only ice the area for 10 minutes.  Don’t put the ice directly on the skin to prevent burning, wrap in a towel or use an ice-pack that has a built in insulator.

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2.  Heat therapy.  After the RICE I put a heating pad on the area for probably 30 minutes.  You only need to do 10 minutes but I was cold and it felt nice.  Heat is optional and to be done after the ice.  Be careful here again that you don’t burn yourself since your skin will be pretty cold from the ice.

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3.  Massage.  I didn’t actually get to do this one because my substitute therapist cancelled on me the night before and there was no one else available.  Boo on you therapist.  Massage helps promote recovery and gets the blood flowing to your muscles.  Massage is a great way to get your muscles back to normal after long runs.  Remember to drink lots of water after to flush the toxins out of your body post massage.

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4.  Anti-Inflammatory medicine.  I use alieve it seems to work the best for me but advil and tylenol are good too.  I did have a prescription anti-inflammatory that worked really well indomethacin but it ran out and had no refills.  Pineapple is actually a very good natural anti-inflammatory and with some nutella its just downright delicious🙂

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5.  Stretching.  You can read about my yoga poses here but stretching and foam rolling with some of my torture devices has helped.  The stretches will depend on where you have your issue but its always a good idea to do some light stretching to keep your body limber.

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CHIME IN!!!  Have anything to add to this list?  Do you like nutella and pineapple?  Massages, love them or hate them?

Acupuncture, Blogilaties, and Home Stuff (TOL #51)

Its about to be a holiday weekend!!!  Yay Labor Day, you make September awesome!!!  I love Labor day, its a random holiday that we don’t really celebrate so its a day that I get to sit at home and chill instead of being in an office I dread.  I don’t know all the history behind Labor Day but it makes me happy🙂

Linking up with Amanda to Think Out Loud, click here for the full link-up.

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  1. Everything hurts and I’m dying.  Sorry to start off on a bad note…let me turn it around…I’m getting acupuncture next weekend!  Its still really weird to me but the few times I’ve done it in the past for my shoulder have been very effective.  I was hoping to get it done this weekend but with the holiday that was a no go😦  Looking forward to being stabbed by tiny needles yay!

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2.  Who is doing Pop Pilates Blogilaties September calendar?!  I just printed mine yesterday and cant wait to get toned up and feeling great.  I love how its several videos so I can break the workout up if I need to.  I don’t know why but 2 10 minute videos is so much easier to me than 1 20 minute video.  These videos also  kick my booty, they are so challenging in a good way.

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3.  I posted this on instagram earlier in the week but we have been working on our media room this past month and are almost done.  My vision for the stairs is coming together and I could not be happier with how it turned out.  I am so glad I have a husband that can draw otherwise this would not have turned out as beautifully.  He hand drew each letter and I painted them.  I cant wait for the whole thing to be done!

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4.  I found my neighbor’s dog wandering around outside the other day and brought him inside to my house until the got home.  Poor puppy was filthy and terrified but luckily my dogs were so well behaved and were nice to the little guy.  When I called my neighbor apparently the dog is prone to seizures, yikes!  Good thing that didn’t happen I would have felt so terrible.  Isn’t he just so cute though.

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5.  I may be boarding the NUUN train.  I used to use Gatorade drink packets (like crystal light) but heard about NUUN and decided to try it out.  Gatorade gets a little sugary so I wanted to try something different.  At first I really hated NUUN because its slightly fizzy and I am so not into that.  The more I used it though the more I liked it because I felt less thirsty drinking this than the Gatorade, which during summer, at the end of the day, is the priority.  I’ve tried the tropical fruit, citrus fruit and strawberry lemonade with the citrus fruit being my favorite so far.

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6.  Aaaannnnnd apparently I have no more thoughts, this post has been sitting here too long so I’m going to end this one with a funny pic!

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7.  Whats new with you?

Workout Recap 8/23-29

Well my friends the day has come…and that day is a quad injury😛  I’ve been having this stupid pain in my right quad for a while but it just recently escalated to full blown “hurts when I walk” pain.  I did some googling and it looks like its a minor quad strain.  I let my coach know and we are taking a few days off from running.  Boo hiss!!!  I have gone so long on the healthy train so this stinks.  I am too close to my race day to get careless and let injuries fester so I’m doing all I can to help recovery.  More notes on that to follow.

Tuesday:  Today was another “track” workout but since school is back in I cant use the track on weekdays anymore.  The goal was 6×800’s with a 8:13 pace.  I got through 3 then my quad was out of control in pain.  I came back home and did some major foam rolling that night.  I also skipped pop pilates today because #1 my body is exhausted and #2 I was concerned about my quad.

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Wednesday:  I was supposed to have a recovery run today but I woke up and my quad was hurting to just walk around (escalation from yesterday) so I went back to bed.  Which makes me sad because I was ready to run but I did my research today to find some ways to get this on to recovery.  I iced it that night, added some KT tape around lunch time, took alieve, ate pineapple and sent plenty of good vibes to my leg.  Why pineapple you ask, its supposed to be really great for anti-inflammatory and its delicious duh!

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Thursday:  Day 2 of recovery.  My friend Lauren re-wrapped my leg with a real application instead of my amateur hack job (and it feels better too).  I did ice/heat therapy but kept away from stretching it for now.  The ice helped yesterday but its still not right now Im going to continue to monitor and hopefully Saturday I can go for a test run…literally🙂  I need to get 11 miles in but not at the cost of being injured for longer than a few days.  Its a wait and see game at this point.

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Friday:  Rest day!  I mean, the past few days have been rest days but at least this one is official.  Still ice/heat therapy with the leg and its still KT taped.  Its feeling better slowly and I think it feels well enough to try a run tomorrow.  We shall see how it goes.

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Saturday:  4 mile recovery run but only did 3.5 because my leg was starting to bother me and I was getting eaten alive my mosquitoes!  Ugh I never have this happen so it was really annoying.  Did a lot of gently stretching and foam rolling tonight followed by ice/heat therapy.  My leg doesn’t hurt badly but I just want to keep on top of it at this point.  I was supposed to have a massage today but my substitute canceled the day before and I wasn’t able to get another person boo!

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Sunday:  Goal was 9 miles I did 8.55 with a 12:15 pace.  Yeah it was rough out there for me today my body was super tight and it was so humid I was struggling to breathe.  Luckily all the rain has made it considerably cooler so I wasn’t pouring water over my head every 5 seconds.  The run wasn’t pretty but I made it though with close to no pain.  It still twinges a bit so Ill continue the therapy and gentle stretches for a while yet.  What a beautiful sunrise though, so glad I was outside to catch it.  Oh and this is before I did any editing, so this image is totally raw!

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Monday:  Rest day from running but I got back into the Pop pilates groove today.  Still monitoring the situation with the quad and doing lots of gentle stretching and foam rolling.

CHIME IN!!!  Have you ever dealt with quad strain?  Do you like pineapple?  Have you been injury free this season?

What Can a Travel Agent Do for You?

You may know by now that I’m a vacation specialist (I like that better than travel agent) and I specialize in Disney/Universal/Cruises.  I talked here about some misconceptions about travel agents and wanted to continue my “informative” posts with what exactly a travel agent can do for you.  I also HAD to share the illustration Lisa Penney did for me.  She is so talented and I had the best time working with her.  Check her out on instagram and at her website.  I think she really captured the whimsy I was looking for.

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Ok sorry back to the post!  Keep in mind this list is based on my experience and like I’ve mentioned before not all travel agents are created equal.  The team I’m with does all of this and to my knowledge most Disney Authorized agencies do the same.  If you are going with AAA or something like that the services are probably less (which is why you should just let me help you, link here).

  • Book your travel for you!  This seems simple but its not always easy to book travel.  Making sure you get the right room, the right ticket combo, the right bed configuration.  You tell your travel specialist what you need and they take care of it for you.  No muss, no fuss🙂

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  • Book dining for you.  Now this is one of those that not everyone will do but I sure will.  For my personal vacations I get up at 6am to make sure I am on the phone when the dining reservations open 180 days in advance to get my spot.  I do the same for my clients.  For some dining locations you have to be this aggressive or you will miss out and I know not everyone wants to get up at 6am (I feel sorry for those of you on the West Coast!).  I will gladly wait on hold to make your trip experience even better.

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  • Book fast passes at Walt Disney World.  Another one that not every agency will do but I will is get your fast passes set up.  Again there are some rides you have to get up right when the queue opens for bookings to get a time (Frozen ride I’m looking at you) and if its important to you Ill make sure and get up so you don’t have to.

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  • Make recommendations on things to do.  As you can tell from this blog I’ve been to Disney/Universal my fair share of times.  I’ve eaten at a vast majority of the dining locations, experienced many extra features available and know the best spots to escape from the heat.  All my recommendations are at your disposal to make your trip the best possible.

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  • Help with logistics.  This could be getting to and from the airport or cruise terminal, around the destination, important information before you trip, basically anything I can possibly think of to help your trip goes as smoothly as possible that’s what I’m here to help with.

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  • Over the phone or in person consultations.  If you live in my city I would love to meet you and talk face to face about your vacation, its easier to relate to people when you see them🙂  If not I’m available by phone to consult, advise or anything else!  I know email is so easy but sometimes you just need to talk with someone to work through all the thoughts you have in regards to your vacation.  I get it, I talk vacations all the time!

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  • Most importantly of all, I help custom the vacation to fit your needs.  What I would do on a vacation is not the same as others so its important to me that the recommendations/tips/secrets I share reflect the kind of vacation a family wants to have.

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That’s just the tip of the iceberg, really my job is to make your vacation awesome so Ill do everything in my power to make that happen for you.  I know from personal experience not all agencies do that.  For example, I HAD to book through a UK agency for my Paris Half Marathon, no choice, you either did that or you didn’t get a spot.  So I did and it was a mess.  Horrible communication, no offer to help with any part of the stay, no recommendations, and rejected when asked if they could book my dining.  Are you a travel agency or not?  When I was booking my Italy trip (first international big trip) I thought I would use a travel agent.  She kept pushing what she wanted us to do instead of listening to our wants and needs.  I ended up not using her because clearly she had a commission based agenda and not a “help the client” agenda.  That was a little bit of a tangent but all to say find the right agent.  The good ones know the value of hospitality and will do what they can to help.  After all, you are trusting us with your vacation, and I take that very seriously🙂

I hope you found some parts of this useful and I hope this gets your excited for your next adventure!

Don’t forget, I can help you plan your vacation to Disney, Universal or cruises!!!  Here is the link to my facebook page or email me at rachael {at} DreamComeTrueVacations {dot}com

CHIME IN!!!  Have you used AAA to book a vacation?  What would you like to know about travel agents?  Have you been to Italy?

5 Things to Do at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

So much Disney love lately but I would be remiss if I didn’t give you my 5 favorites at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!!  I don’t love Universal, in fact I spend zero time anywhere in the park aside from HP.  #SorryNotSorry  I’m just not a thriller roller coaster fan…or a simpsons fan…or really any of the lands they have there…fan🙂

I love the Wizarding World, its THE BEST immersive experience I have ever seen and its worth the hype.  I will say Universal Hollywood Wizarding World is the same as the Islands of Adventure version in Orlando so if you’ve seen the one in Orlando you aren’t missing anything in Hollywood.  Either way though, whichever coast you are on make sure and get your tail to the Wizarding World and thank me latter…preferably in the form of buttetbeer.

Ok on to the top 5, in no particular order.  Linking up with Courtney and Mar.  You can see the full link-up here.

  1. Drink a butterbeer!  Of course!  I’ve had 5 versions of butterbeer (soda, frozen, hot, ice cream and fudge) and my favorite is the classic soda.  Its the original and delicious.  I admit though I make it better at home but it may be because I add butterscotch schnapps to it😉  Make sure and enjoy it in a souvenir mug at least one, oh and don’t forget the foam mustache.  You don’t have to try that hard, that foam gets crazy.  I know the butterbeer ice cream looks nasty and brown, it was just ok I would get a different flavor unless you just HAVE to try it.  Butterbeer is available at Hollywood and Orlando with the different flavors of ice cream only at Orlando and the hot butterbeer is seasonal.

2.  Ride “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” its the most unique ride I’ve ever been on.  When I get off I have slight motion sickness but its totally worth it because the ride is just too cool to miss.  Fair warning though, the seats at universal are really tight so if you have a broad chest you might not make it on.  Be sure to check and see if you can fit into the seat before you wait in line.  There are ride cars outside the attraction expressly for this purpose.  As I mentioned I did get some motion sickness feelings, not actually SICK but close.  The ride has a lot of 3D portions with the car you are in moving around a lot.  If your body just cant handle those kinds of things best wait in the gift shop.  Good news though, they still let you tour the castle even if you aren’t going to go on the attraction.  Find an attendant and ask where the entrance is for the castle tour.  This ride is available at Hollywood and Orlando and is the same at both locations.

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3.  Get a wand and cast some spells.  You can do the whole Ollivander’s wand choosing ceremony but to be honest there is usually a really long line and I’ve never known it to pick adults.  This is one big complaint with Ollivanders for me because a big majority of HP fans are adults now and we want the magic just as much as kids.  Sorry that could turn into a big rant…back to the fun!  Its so entertaining to find all the spell locations and try your hand at some magic.  I did a facebook live post here on one in Hollywood but Orlando has many more locations with some very unique magic.  Adults and kids get in on the fun, judgement free zone here people!

4.  Take a ride on the Hogwarts Express.  Yes this requires a park to park ticket but its so worth it.  Make sure your first ride is through Platform 9 3/4, its the best way to get the full experience.  Make sure you take the express back because the scenes on the train are not the same in both directions.  You might have to wait, but like I said, its worth the experience.  Below is a terrible picture but I’m walking through the platform!!!  I said it before Ill say it again, its the experience!  This is only available in Orlando.

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5.  Take a stroll down Knockturn Alley…if you can find it😉  Practice your dark magic in Knockturn Alley, buy some illegal magical merchandise or just be up to no good.  Who knows what will happen down this dark alleyway!!  Knockturn Alley is only in Orlando.

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Don’t forget, I can help you plan your vacation to Disney, Universal or cruises!!!  Here is the link to my facebook page or email me at rachael {at} DreamComeTrueVacations {dot}com

CHIME IN!!!  Have you been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter?  Do you like butterbeer?  What house were you sorted into (Im a Ravenclaw)?

Thoughts on the City of Angels(TOL #50)

Last week I was in LA for work and actually saw a lot of the city.  I wanted to share with you some of what I found throughout the city in today’s Thinking Out Loud post!  Thanks to Amanda for hosting, check out the full link-up here.

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  1. The traffic is just as bad if not worse than what you think.  No seriously, I knew it was bad but almost every single street I went down there was backed up traffic.  My last day I actually almost had a panic attack from all the traffic issues.  I live in a busy city with lots of traffic but this was another level.

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2.  Parking is a nightmare.  You thought traffic was bad?  Try finding a place to park your car that is not in a sketchy lot or a million miles away from where you want to be.  Some places have valet but believe me you will pay for it!

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3.  The weather really is amazing.  I did outside runs and wasn’t sweating like crazy.  I took walks after work and got warm but didn’t need to go into every place with AC just to cool down.  The sun was always shining and I wasn’t being drowned by humidity.  I can see why people love SoCal.

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4.  The landscape is beautiful.  The Hollywood hills, the beach, even neighborhoods are so picturesque its silly.  While I may have been stuck in traffic all the time at least I had nice things to look at.

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5.  Hollywood is gross but always worth a stop.  I like walking the walk of fame and seeing names I recognize.  The area is seedy and finding a place to park is an adventure but hey its iconic and to me worth the trip.  My only regret is not going to see Pete’s Dragon at El Capitan theater.  I didn’t because my car was parking far away and I didn’t want to walk back to it in the dark.  Safety first but still a little sad about that.

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6.  Beaches, mountains, city scapes, LA has it all covered.  While it make take you a little to get there in traffic LA is situated right between mountains and beaches.  Take your pick and go check either out.  I think next time we go to Anaheim we are going to take a day trip to the mountains.  I love mountains🙂

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7.  I wasn’t impressed with the food, maybe because I was too stressed out with the traffic to find a truly remarkable place or its just overrated.  Either way, I had some surprisingly decent eats at food trucks but restaurants were very lack-luster.  Luckily its not as expensive as NYC so that’s a plus!  I also tried Falafel for the first time ever and actually really enjoyed it!  I have always wanted to try it but never have.  I will definitely get this again, yummy!

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8.  Have you ever been to LA?  What was your favorite thing?

Workout Recap 8/16-22

6 weeks until my goPro and I will be running the streets of Disneyland Paris to make a movie for all of you at home to watch.  Hopefully…lets not get carried away🙂  I spent the week in LA mostly and it was AWESOME!  My morning runs were in the 60’s.  I think I died and went to summer runner heaven.

Tuesday:  Today was by far the worst run of the entire week.  I decided to use the treadmill because it was 2 minute interval training and I didn’t want to deal with that on the road.  MISTAKE!  This treadmill was such a POS it stopped 3 different times on me during my running.  Oh hell no!  I was so annoyed a giant headache was forming so I just gave up and went back to my room.  I had too much stuff with me to go outside to finish so today was a bust😦  I did get 3 pick-ups in and they were going well.  Ended with 28:40, 2.97 miles average pace 9:39.  Below is the face you make when the hotel has a s@*t fitness center.  I got back to my room and did Pop pilates then 15 minutes stretching / foam rolling that night.

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Wednesday:  I had to get up at 5:30am but it was worth it for the cool breeze on my face, low humidity and free running that is the outdoors.  I did have to stop a few times because of traffic at signal lights but overall this recovery run was dare I say enjoyable!  Ended with 3.69 miles for an average pace of 10:52.  I could have gone faster but there were a few hills to deal with and we all know how totally un-versed in hills I am!  After the run I did Pop pilates and then 15 minutes stretching / foam rolling that night.

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Thursday:  My least favorite workout was today and I took to the streets again.  10 minutes warm up, 10 min goal pace of 8:53 two times.  I got goal pace for the first set but the second set was 9:15 because of the hills on the way back up.  I also have been having this stupid front of my quad issue that I cant get to leave me alone.  I probably should webMD it but then I would probably find out I have caner😛  Rest day from Pop pilates and 10 minutes stretching / foam rolling that night.  Oh did I mention how cool it is in the mornings!!

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Friday: Running rest day!  Good because I went to Disneyland last night…well Downtown Disney anyway…and got back pretty late so the extra sleep was needed.  I did take a nice small hike up to an observatory and watched the sun set over downtown LA that was really serene.  Back on the pop pilates train that night with 10 minutes stretching / foam rolling after.

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Saturday:  Today is the day!  Back to double digit runs…or that was the plan anyway.  I headed out to Santa Monica for a long run on the beach then half way through, disaster struck…I ripped my shorts.  Yup you read that right.  I stopped in a restroom to make some adjustments and RIP right up and area that should not be ripped.  I stayed in the bathroom for at least 5 minutes trying to figure out what to do.  I was minimum 4 miles away from my car but I didn’t want to call an Uber…so I made some more adjustments and finished the run.  So embarrassing!!!  The sad part is I was doing really well with pace and felt great too.  Ended with 8.18 miles for an average pace of 11:15.   I did Pop Pilates when I got back to the hotel with some stretching.

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Sunday:  Oh all the soreness today.  I made the mistake yesterday of taking an very steep uphill that didnt look as steep as it was.  My knees and calves are stiff and sore so I skipped today’s run to give them a break.  Pop Pilates that night followed by 20 minutes of deep foam rolling / stretching to get whatever pain in my left leg out!

Monday:  Running rest day but still going strong with Pop Pilates!  20 minutes stretching / foam rolling that night. 

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Checking In! Hotel Emma Review!

Well this is a first!  I decided to do a review of a hotel because this hotel is just too fantastic not to tell you about.  I stayed at the Hotel Emma as part of my job but I had to share all the details with you just in case you are ever in San Antonio and want to know hands down the best place to stay.  I was not asked to write this review or anything I just love the hotel so much I had to do it.  In fact I’m sitting in the library of the hotel right now prepping this!  Yup, pretty awesome I know🙂  Below are some pictures of the library and house made margaritas served daily at check-in time.  These are THE BEST margaritas I’ve ever had hands down, and they have a serious kick.  Oh and the library, smells gloriously like an old library filled with booked that have rich history.  I love it and am obsessed.

There is so much history at Hotel Emma you really have to go and experience it yourself.  Basically the hotel is converted from a brewery and some of the hotel rooms actually still have architecture from the brewery.  Almost all the pieces in the hotel are locally sourced or handcrafted which really highlight the rich history and craftsmanship of San Antonio.  The staff absolutely prides itself in the hotel and take pride in everything they do.  I did not meet 1 person who was not friendly or helpful.  This is one of the very few hotels I can say is worth the price paid (and its not cheap folks).  Let’s dive in to some of the details.

These are photos of the lobby and a shot of the very unique bar.  Its such an awesome vibe I love to come here when I have some spare time and just work (free wifi for the win).  The furniture is old and awesome and plentiful.  There is also an area of the lobby that has some old school desks that have power hook-ups!  Which is pretty freaking fantastic if I do say so myself.

Another shot of the bar showing the main seating area (complete with awesome handmade light fixture) and a private seating area that is actually an old brewing chamber.  I never got to sit in it because people were always there but how cool is that!  This bar gets pretty busy, all the times I stopped in around 6pm almost all the seats were already filled.  I can only image how crazy this places gets on the weekends.  There are also 2 restaurants, one (Supper) is actually Hotel Emma’s the other is just attached Southerleigh’s.  I love Supper they have a great breakfast and lunch (haven’t tried dinner yet) but was totally underwhelmed with Southerleigh’s.  The food there was way too experimental for my taste, below is a photo of I don’t scotch eggs I think it was called.  I went away hungry so that right there should tell you how I felt about the food.  But that’s not Hotel Emma’s restaurant, Supper is and while I didn’t take any photos both meals I had here were superb.

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Now that you’ve eaten and had your free marg lets head up to the room!  I got to stay in the brew-house side (meaning its more raw and exposed and non-traditional hotel room) in a slightly larger than standard room.  The details here are really spectacular, the bathrooms huge and the amenities perfect.  There are power outlets a-plenty, enough floor space to do Pilates (trust me on that one) and a giant TV which I apparently didn’t photograph.  The pillows were giant and plush, the bed wasn’t as comfortable as others but I got some great sleep.  Best of all though, in the brew-house side the walls are concrete so its QUIET.  I cannot tell you how important that is to me, peace and quiet.  Oh man I had some great night sleeps simply because there was no noise to wake me up.

I don’t know if you can tell from the pictures but these are some seriously high ceilings and I loved it.  The cement floor was also something I thought I would hate but really enjoyed.  You will have to stay here to see all the details in person but let me tell you they are plentiful.  Oh and how can I forget, the nightly turn down service with macarons from a local french bakery.  I had a different flavor each nice and it was delicious.  Other amenities that were available that I enjoyed was the pool and fitness center.  While the pool is small its got plenty of furniture and a great view.  The fitness center has fantastic equipment and is very clean.

Here are some other details from my stay at Hotel Emma, like the fact that the bell staff brought my luggage and groceries to my room and put my groceries away for me.  Now that was such a nice surprise!  I cannot tell you enough how awesome the staff here is and they really make your stay memorable.  There is so much I’m not telling you and showing you but really I just want you to come stay here and experience it for yourself!!!

There will come a time when you have to leave and it will be sad because you will come to love this gem of a property.  Just remember that Hotel Emma will be here to welcome you back anytime!

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CHIME IN!!!  Have you been to San Antonio before?  Do you like hotels or Air BNB better?  What’s the most you will spend on a hotel room?