Vacations and Sink Holes

How exciting the past few days have been!  Fortunately my little break had the desired effect on running, but more on that in a bit.

I know I mentioned NYC was awesome, but I failed to mention how awesome everyone in my family thought it was.  It was hot – grossly so – but we had an absolute blast.  I already blogged about Friday, so let’s see…what happened on Saturday?  D walked to the Corner Bakery to grab us coffee as he did every morning.  Nothing fancy for me – just a large black java.  Then we headed to take the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise around Manhattan.  We did the 2 hr, which is all about the kids could handle sitting still.  We left the apt around 900 in the morning, took the subway to Times Square and walked to the harbor.  It was right across the street from the Chinese Consulate which I thought was really cool (I have a slight obession with Asian culture).  On the way we had to stop for a bite to eat because everyone was hungry.  D, M, and R had McDonald’s (I wish I had taken a picture – it looked like they had rock concerts there).  A and I went next door to a hippie deli.  She had a muffin and a snapple, and I had a tomato, cucumber, and avocado sandwhich on whole grain bread. 

My camera died JUST as the cruise was taking off, so no pictures of the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn, Manhattan, or Williamsburg bridges, skylines of New York and Jersey City…nada.  Stupid thing got stuck in the open position, but wouldn’t actually turn on.  D thinks it fried in the heat…I think he’s right.  After the cruise we hung out for a bit in Times Square, the Apple Store, and FAO Schwarz.  After, we decided to go chill (literally) in the apt. 

After drying out, D and I went to Gobo, a Vegetarian restaurant in Manhattan a few blocks from the apt.  We shared a yummy appetizer of tofu and spinach rolls with a mango puree.  My lunch was a Vietnamese Tofu Stir Fry – which we both thought was fabulous.  D had Avocado Tartar with Wasabi Lime Sauce (he was saving himself for pizza later that evening).  It was beautiful.  I didn’t try it because it was Vegetarian and not Vegan, but D said it was rich – like guacamole – so it needed chips.  We both had a glass of organic Malbec wine, which was very good.  We walked back to the apt, stopped at a wine shop, and bought a few bottles.  I do have to say that the food at the Vegan restaurant Candle Cafe was better.  I had grilled lemon basil tofu and D had a salad (again, saving himself for pasta this time in Little Italy).  He did eat a few bites of my tofu and really dug it.  Turns out that the Candle Cafe has a cookbook which I promptly ordered upon my return to VA. 

After lunch, A and I went to the Guggenheim, which was only 2 blocks away from the apt.  D walked us there which was very sweet.

After the museum, we went back to the apt.  It was starting to get late, and D and I decided that R had had enough heat (she’s 6 and doesn’t react well to long term heat exposure).  She and I stayed back at the apt, watched movies, and did the wash, while D, A, and M took the subway back to Times Square to appreciate it in full darkness. 

Sunday, we hit the road back home.  It was a good drive other than the toll booths.  People are stupid and it took us a half hour to get off the Jersey turnpike.  Joy.  BTW…people have been asking why we didn’t fly.  Other than the obvious expense….my youngest has very severe allergies to nuts (both peanuts – which are technically beans – and tree nuts).  I’m scared to put her on a place until the airlines ban nuts.  If she got sick, there’s not exactly an ER I can rush her to.  So until they have that option, I’m avoiding putting her on an airplane.  Anyway, we got home around 7 on Sunday eve.

Monday it was back to the grind.  Work was good, and I can’t really complain.  D took A and M to their TKD class – where they advanced to Yellow Belts!  While they were gone, I started feeling like total poo.  I wanted to run my 40 minutes, but D (and quite frankly, I) didn’t think it was such a hot idea.  It sucked because I really wanted to run too.  I made dinner…and that didn’t turn out so well either!  At least 2 of the 5 dishes didn’t.  I made taco filling in my rice cooker; threw in some short grain brown rice, a can of black beans, a can of tomatoes, some cumin, red pepper, and siracha and turned it on.  It was really good – thank goodness too because it became dinner.  I made banana muffins too, which everyone liked.  They weren’t vegan, so I didn’t have them, but the kids have been chowing them down.  The plain basmati rice was hard to screw up in the rice cooker, so that turned out as well.  What DIDN’T turn out was a BBQ tofu recipe from one of my favorite websites.  It was gross.  I was inspired to make tofu for D since he actually had some he liked over the weekend.  Ick.  I’m going to wait for the Candle Cafe cookbook before asking him to try anymore, lest I turn him off of tofu forever.  D also mentioned after our appetizer at Gobo how much he liked spinach.  So I decided to make creamed spinach.  It was nasty too.  I was mortified to cook such an icky meal.  D made me feel a bit better when he told me I almost NEVER made bad food, and we’re all allowed an off day…but still.  I was actually really upset by it.

I was hoping for a good night’s sleep to feel better.  It didn’t work, and I barely slept.

Today I didn’t feel any better.  In fact, I felt worse, so I decided to work from home.  I had 5 hrs of scheduled meetings, so I did them all by conference, got a lot of work done, and got to stay in my jammies all day.  Around 330 I thought I was feeling well enough to do my run from yesterday.  It wasn’t awful hot like it was the past few, so I was feeling very excited.  It was sporadically good.  I’d run for 10, feel awesome, then suddenly feel like poo and walk for a couple minutes.  I got through it, but that was about it.  It was 89 degrees, muggy, but overcast so the sun wasn’t beating down on me or anything.  D took the kids to the gym for Fitlinxx (so proud).  I stayed home and took a bath.

I tried to make up for my bad meal yesterday by making a Moroccan inspired meal today.  I made a crockpot soup of lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes, carrots, and spices.  I served it over Israeli couscous and A and I both thought it was fabulous.  R even was surprised by how much she liked it.  D and M weren’t the biggest of fans, though they tried.  I even made a homemade harisssa hot sauce (which was incredible – and incredibly hot!), which you add to taste to the soup.  A used a lot.  D used enough to melt his mouth.  M stuck his finger in it, screamed, and was done (he’s not a fan of spicy things).  I’m taking a batch to S tomorrow to try out.  I also made some Moroccan spiced pork chops which went over well, though I obviously didn’t try them.

So I have to mention the storms that hit my hometown of Milwaukee.  Over the weekend, they were hit with one of the worst storms on record.  It was no laughing matter, and there were floods, tornadoes, and overall deadly weather.  My sister was stuck after the interstate flooded, and that scared me until we texted and she said she was ok.  My parents had some flooding, but are okay, so that’s what matters.  My Dad called me last night to make sure we got back to VA safely…and to tell me that an intersection (which housed one of my favorite bars as a young adult – Judges, where you could get 32 oz drafts of ANYTHING on tap for $1.50!), got swallowed up by a sink hole!  WITH a truck (put the passenger is okay – saved by a passing pedestrian).  I’m glad the driver was okay.  I’m hoping the bar is too.

So that’s it.  It was a long one, I know.  I had a vacation…really had a great time….and am focused and back to my running routine.  I may not feel overly hot right now, but I got my run done and even though I had waves of ickiness, it felt really good to move.  I even had urges to run in NY, but between the heat and all the walking (and when I could run, I had drunken some wine!), I didn’t.  I wore my bodybugg on Saturday and all the walking burned as many calories as my workouts do, so I don’t feel too bad.  A little, but not a lot. 

Below are pictures of food.  I don’t add pictures very often, but am making an exception today!  D was very adorable while we were gone.  He’s a carnivore to the core, but has always been supportive and sensitive to how I eat.  He was happy for me that there were Vegan restaurant options where we were, and each little trip the two of us made were his idea.  And he ate the food with a smile on his face.  Thanks honey.

my stir fry
D’s avocado tartar
my Candle Cafe lemon basil grilled tofu

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I am a 45 yo busy career single mom and doctoral student attempting to find her inner athlete, be a gluten-free(ish) vegan, and find a way to balance it all without going crazy! I love to cook, read, run, box, do yoga, dance, travel, and learn as many new things as I can - which often gets me in trouble.... I am passionate about life in general, and if I didn't write about it, I'd probably implode.

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