Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011- A year in review

We are looking forward to ringing in 2012 with friends and starting a new year of adventures.
This year we've been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to:

Explore Parisian culture:

Walk through ancient history in Rome

 Eat a little barbeque with friends

See the sights of San Francisco

Drink some fine Napa wines 

And enjoy them with friends

Listen to 20+ hours of music at ACL

See some college football (we'll be wearing orange and blue next year- Go Gators!!)

Enjoy the holidays with family

And the beauty of the San Antonio River walk

Enjoy the sites in Fredericksburg

And lots more great times with friends and family!

Cheers to you and yours and may 2012 bring everyone all they looking for in the new year. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Final day of Couch to 5k

It's been nine weeks. Nine weeks of three times a week forcing myself out the door and into the gym or onto my neighborhood streets with the iPhone strapped on and the awkwardly fitting earphones in my tiny ears (seriously they are freakishly tiny).

I am grateful for the fact that Podrunner had the program. I'm glad I like techno music so I was able to enjoy the program with its  preset BPMs helping me to keep going, even if I didn't match them all of the time.

I'm glad I'm not alone in the journey and there are others pinning some wonderful stuff on Pinterest to help me put things in perspective (because sometimes we don't always clearly hear those closest to us).

I am glad the gym is only 5 minutes from our house, which made some of those early morning workouts possible and those after dark workouts safe (even if I think I hate running on the treadmill, cause maybe I don't because when you are done, you are done and don't have to keep walking home).

I'm glad for my awesome support team. A friend from JLSA who told me she was doing it and inspired me in the first place. My awesome friend, work cubie mate and Dance Central Partner who's been there since way before this started and will be here into the next phase of things to come.

My hubby. He went with me to the gym. He went with me on the jogruns in the neighborhood. He might have been moving backwards while I was moving forwards because I am so much slower and shorter than him and his stride is so ridiculously long because he is a 1/2 foot taller than me. He was there when I got home and he'll be ready to go on more jogruns in the future.

To total up week 9:

Jogrun #1: 3.11 miles in 47 minutes and 22 seconds

Jogrun #2: 3 miles on the treadmill in 42 minutes and 46 seconds

Jogrun #3: 3.11 miles in 48 minutes and some miscellaneous number of seconds.

Total for week 9: 9.22 miles
Total for all 9 weeks: 59.73 miles.  I'd almost be in Austin. Hot damn.

Found on Pinterest.
There's a graduation mix that is the finale of the program and has you jogrunning 35 minutes. I'll tackle that this weekend. It's gonna be all good.

Maybe the 10-week Gateway to 8k will be next. Who know's how far one will have to go to avoid the zombies.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 25 of Couch to 5K

Today I did day 1 of week 9.

Day 1 of week 9 of couch to 5k is day 25 of the program.

Of course many more days have passed since I started. But to know that I've laced on the sneaks with the intent of going on a jogrun for some predetermined interval of time for 25 days blows my mind a little.

I woke up this morning, volunteered for JLSA. Came home. Ate a-not-so-worth-of-my-time lunch. Procrastinated by waiting for Justin to come home from Lowe's with more supplies for the dining room remodel (I need to do a whole post on the gorgeousness taking place in there) offered my help, was told it was all in hand (and it really is) and then feigned shock when I saw that the clock said 1:25 p.m. as I was stuffing my iPhone into my armband to hit the road.

And then I did 3.11 miles in 47 minutes and 22 seconds. So a pace of 15:16 per mile according to , or just at about 3.9 mph.

Then I decided to do a little statistical digging and mapped just the part of the route that I jogran. (When you make up words, you also get to make up verb usage.)  The 30 minute bit between the 5 minute warm-up and what turned into a 12-minute cool down.

This is where I got excited. I did 2.15 miles in 30 minutes. That is more than 4mph. Outside. In my miniaturized swiss alp neighborhood. And that felt a-m-a-z-i-n-g.

Pinned on Pinterest from here.

Maybe I could survive a zombie apocalypse.

Week 8 of Couch to 5K

First and foremost a spoiler alert for The Walking Dead. You should click off this entry right now if you didn't see the episode that aired on 11/13/11.

Can you believe Andrea shot Darryl?!  What the heck was that?!?!  Seriously, the expletives that were uttered as we saw the writing on the wall and the shot was fired. Man oh man.

In other news, I finished week 8.  Thank you Podrunner!

This week consisted of three sessions that all have 5 minute warm-ups, 28 minute jogruns and 5 minute cool downs.

Week 8 was happening when I wrote my posts for week 6 and 7.  The day I wrote those posts I had done day 2 of week 8 on the treadmill. If you've been reading about my progress, then you know I dread a long jogrun on the treadmill.  There's something about my wiring that makes the whole thing somewhat panic inducing and the time remaining feel infinite.  But, I got through it, because I've come so far that I wasn't going to let a measly 28-minute treadmill jogrun stand between me and the end of the first leg of this journey.

And now it's time for the breakdown (Am I the only one who thinks of En Vogue's  Never Gonna Get It when they say that.  Here's a reminder: Link to the video.) :

Day 1: Outdoor run, 2.66 miles in 40 minutes and 45 seconds. A pace of 15:20 per mile (or approximately 3.92 mph).

Day 2: Treadmill run, 2.7 miles in 39 minutes and 30 seconds at approximately 4.2 mph ( 14.28 per mile).  It's the one advantage of the machine, you can manage your speed.

Day 3: Outdoor run, 2.66 miles in 43 minutes. A pace of 16:10 per mile (or 3.72 mph).  I blame the cold early morning for this one. But you know what? I still did it.

That evening I pinned the below to one of my Pinterest boards, because I saw it the night that I finished week 8 and damn if it isn't true:
It was originally pinned from this blog that is going straight to my Google reader list.
The post that pin comes from has another saying on it: "I never regret it when I do it, but I always regret it when I don't."  

It's the simple truths that'll smack you across the face.

You like how I managed to work zombies into this post?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Week 7 of Couch to 5K

Oh week 7. How I thought I would surely have to lay down in the front yard of some random house, pause the music and call Justin to come pick me up.  (That could've been awkward for everyone.)

Twenty-five minutes in my neighborhood goes by faster than on the treadmill, but wait, what! That street is way more sloped than I thought it was when I walked Wookie! on it the other day. Tricky street. And that street wasn't alone.  I knew it felt too good jogrunning (yes, it is a verb and a noun) down the street before so, so you when I reverse my route, the pain of the uphill climb is just closer to the end of the jogrun, and let's be real folks- I'm definitely not faster at the end of a run than I am at the beginning.

Three days of 25 minute jogruns. Outside. Oh, but there was some magic that occurred on one of these runs.  Let's take a look at the breakdown that's provided by the lovely

Day 1: I covered 2.36 miles in 37 minutes and 13 seconds at an average pace of 15:47 per mile (or 3.8 miles per hour)

Day 2: I covered 2.39 miles in 36 minutes and 13 seconds at an average pace of 15:09 per mile (or 3.9 miles per hour)

Day 3: I covered 2.39 miles in 35 minutes and 13 seconds at an average page of 14:44 per mile. That is just over 4 miles per hour!!!!!! I finally broke the mark!  Something is going in the right direction!! Woohoo!!!

Here's when the Pinspiration from comes in:

I've only, only, got one more day left in week 8. Way past half way there. Suck it zombies.

Week 6 of Couch to 5K

I'm fully aware that zombies will eat anything. But that's only if they catch me.  I am totally counting on the kind that won't evolve they way they've done in The Walking Dead. 

Right now I am one jogrun away from the end of week 8 so week 6 seems like an eternity ago.  It was the last week with any "short" jogruns. (In the past I mentioned that I would be calling the "runs" jogruns, because I am sinking-in-quicksand slow.)

Short jogruns in week 6 were 5, 8 and 10 minutes long. At the time, that also felt like an eternity.  I did the final 25-minute long run of that week at the gym. On a treadmill. I wanted to stop running all together. It felt like it was never going to end.

I also can't remember how far I went on the treadmill that day.  I did however track my outdoor runs using I still think my neighborhood is hilly. I am sure I am sorely mistaken, but to me it seems like a miniaturized version of the swiss alps. (Not really, but my husband says that I am prone to exaggeration, so I'll take the liberty to exaggerate here.) 

Day one of week 6 went a little something like this: 2 miles in 33 minutes and 39 seconds at an average pace of 16:47 per mile (or about 3.6 mph).

Day two of week six went more like this: 2.21 miles in 37 minutes and 33 seconds at an average pace of 17:01 per mile (or about 3.5 mph- I think the me from two days before over did it).

I'm pretty sure on the indoor jogrun I must have hit 2 miles. So that's what I'll give myself some credit for in this.

For week 6 I completed approximately 6.21 miles.
In total through week 6, I completed 35.35 miles.

Found some great inspiration on, but I'm saving that for a week 7 or week 8 post.  So you'll have to come back and read those.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Week 5 of Couch to 5K

I'm still here. Still plodding along and actually in the midst of week 6, but wanted to catch up on week 5.

Before I do that though, thank you to those with the encouraging words!  I am signed up for a 5k- Light the Night for Prevent Blindness at SeaWorld of San Antonio.  (Maybe it will be flatter than my neighborhood? A girl can hope!)

So for week 5, I kept it real and went outdoors to my neighborhood.  However, let's remember that when the zombie apocalypse hits I'm never leaving my house.  (It will be like that house on The Walking Dead with perpetual electricity.) 

With my chosen route it seems like the walking warm-up ends and my jogrun (that's what I'll call it from now on) always starts when the road starts curving uphill.  Seriously, you can do a loop in my neighborhood and go uphill both ways. So if the zombies chase me uphill maybe I'll outlast them.  (Does anyone outlast a zombie?)

Basically I averaged a 16.85 minute mile, or 3.56 mph. I used to track all of this
Day 1 looked liked this: 37 minutes, 2.21 miles, the max run was 5 minutes at a time (3x).
Day 2 went a little like this: 35 minutes, 2 miles, the max run was 8(!!) minutes at a time (2x).
Day 3 was the biggun': 32 minutes, 1.96 miles, but I did 20 minutes nonstop!!

Total mileage for the week: 6.17 miles
Grand total for all 5 weeks: 29.14 miles

I'm making it through week 6 right now.  Obviously I don't have any real speed at this point. Right now my mileage and times are pretty close to week 5, but I keep going and going and going.  This week I've been tracing the alphabet with my foot to stretch things out and try to avoid the shin splints that tried to creep into my legs.

Trying to remember the following:
Found on pinterest of course.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Week 4 of Couch to 5k

A little shout out to the awesome website that is making my progress possible (Yes, I know there are other programs out there, but this is free and easy and I like the music. ) Podrunner Intervals.

Yesterday morning I finished week 4 of Couch to 5k. That's 12 days. Still almost halfway there. 

Stats for this week are interesting.  Everyday, I basically did the same thing:
33 minutes (I tagged on extra cool down time because I needed it)
2.15 miles each time
3.9 average mph.
Total couch to 5k mileage for the week: 6.45 miles.
Grand total for all 4 weeks: 22.97 miles.

Why am I doing this?

I am doing this because I want to know that I can run in the event of a zombie apocalypse. 

I am doing this because I want to know that I can do it. I've always hated running.  I did the mile warm-ups when I rowed in college because you do what you have to do to do what you love. I loved rowing. 

I'm doing this because it will hold me more accountable to myself for a workout schedule. And I don't want to wake up at 6 in the morning to do P90X.  6:30 a.m. is a much better time for me, at least in these first few weeks where 30 minutes on a treadmill is totally doable (yes, I know I'll eventually have to go outside) and I know I'll either have to wake-up earlier to fit in the 45 minute sessions, or iron my clothes the night before to save morning prep time. I am perfectly capable of bursting my own bubble.

In short it's all about me. Not a self-centered "I need to look hot in hot shorts" all about me. But a "honest understanding of the fact that my future depends on it" all about me.  (I might still be talking about zombie apocalypses here. If you aren't watching AMC's the Walking Dead, you are missing out.)

And no one likes a quitter. Except the zombies.
Via Pinterest-

Friday, October 14, 2011

End of Week 3 of Couch to 5K

Almost half way there.  Almost.  I completed week 3 of Couch to 5k yesterday morning.  To make it through, I simply slowed it down when running, but I kept going. So moving forward is what it's all about.

On day 8, I did 1.8 miles at an average speed of 3.8 mph on an incline of 1 over 30 minutes.
On day 9, (nine!) I did 1.81 miles at an average speed of 3.8 mph on an incline of 1 over 30 minutes.

So for week 3 I completed a total of 5.36 miles.
Over the past 3 weeks the grand total comes to 16.52.

Manana I start week 4. Five minutes in a row here I come.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day 7 to 5K

So, this morning we went to Anytime Fitness and I hopped on the treadmill, fully aware of the fact that I was going to have to keep up a faster pace for 3 minutes at least twice during the workout. 

Somewhere along the way I must have missed a cue and I didn't end with the last long run. I'll pay more attention next time- or maybe I'll listen to it before the next run so that I have a better idea of what to expect. 

Anyway there are still stats to report and in about 27 minutes, on an incline of 1 at an avg speed of 3.9 mph I did 1.75 miles. 

On the entertainment front we just watched what we're calling the mid-season premiere and man was that a heavy episode. They talked about taking a hard left in this episode and it seems like the creators took a hard left. 

We'll see how this plays out. If you want to see the episode you can see "Ass Burgers" here, but you should really see the episode before it "You're Getting Old" first.

Now to clean the pantry and do more laundry. Yay Sunday!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Week Two to 5K

This morning I wrapped up the second week of the couch to 5K program.  I was maybe half asleep when I started it and I don't know if that worked for or against me.

But I got it done. 

I didn't blog separately about my fifth workout I did 1.95 miles in about 30 minutes on an incline of 1 with an average mph of 3.9.

In my last workout this morning for the second week of C25K I went 1.94 miles in about 30 minutes, on an incline of 1 with an average mph of 3.9.

So in total this week I did 5.8 miles this week. 
In week one I did 5.36.
Add 'em together and so far though C25K, I've done 11.16. 

Wow. You do the hokey pokey and you shake yourself around.  That's what it's all about. (Yes that's random, but that's me)

This morning I realized that the week two workout was closer to 28 minutes and  30 seconds but with my fumbling around at the beginning of a workout trying to get headphones situated while the treadmill is running I ended up tacking on extra time at the beginning. (Brilliant strategy right? Add extra time and not even realize it. Guess again, I'm a girl who got a burn from coffee maker steam last weekend. I shouldn't try to multitask too much, though I have the whole chewing gum and walking/jogging thing down).  This morning I got things going right when I hopped on and cooled down for an extra minute and a half at the end. 

Tonight we are going to ompah it up with the big brass band during the First Friday Oktoberfest at Beethoven Maennerchor.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

One line a day journal

I saw this at Paper-Source in Austin a few months back. I didn't buy it, because I didn't think I needed it. 

Available on for $11.53
I've decided I not only want this, but it's become a need. It's inexplicable really. But Justin did so well with my list last time that maybe I'll find this in my stocking during the holiday season this year. 

Justin, if you are listening-
You can break the "no present" vow for this gift. Tell me what you want for under $15 and I get it for you! Or else you'll end up with an iTunes gift card. 

When the love of your life owns an iPhone and an iPad, iTunes charges show up on your bank statements more regularly than a person would think.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fourth day to 5K

Technically day 4 is day 1 of week 2!  I've graduated to the second week.  Or at least stumbled into it and managed to keep moving.  

I was talking to my significant other, Justin, about something I experienced during the first week. Rather than feeling time was on my side and rushing by, it felt like it was crushing me. The amount of time left in every sixty second interval during which I was running felt like an eternity. 

My solution? 
Image courtesy of here.
A towel over the part of the treadmill that said the time remaining/expired. And I turned off the T.V. too and tried to just get lost in the music.  I think this helped a little bit. Of course my mind still tried to figure out the time left by looking at the mileage.  I even toyed with the idea of cutting a hole in my towel so that the only thing I could see would be the mph. 

I am neurotic. 

On to the stats. In about 30 minutes I did 1.91 miles, at an incline of 1 at an average pace of 3.8 mph. YAY! 

I then hit the leg machines cause I figure it can't hurt. Or if it does then it's just me getting stronger or something. Right?

Also, today I re-downloaded the iphone app My Fitness Pal.  I'd done it once before and for some reason stopped using it, but I think it will help me reach my goals. And boy do those calories go in a hurry. 

Now I just need to add some Rosetta Stone time into my day and I'll be on the right track all around. Hasta Luego!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Third day to 5K

So all I could think while pounding the treadmill at a blazing 4.8 mph (instead of the 5 mph I did the previous two days) was "Man, it isn't any easier to 'run' for 60 seconds."

Which is partly why I slowed it down, cause if I'm ever going to make it farther going faster than a fast walk, then I need to be able to more comfortably make it through these intervals.  

But I still felt kinda down on the whole thing. 

Then I went to my Pinterest board "Words Matter" and re-read this little ditty that I re-pinned:
Source: here
Cue the "duh" moment.

In just over 29 minutes I still managed to do about 1.8 miles at an incline of 1 going an average of 3.7 mph (I think this is magic- cause I don't know how that remains the same).

So I should say "yay me!"

In the words of Santigold: "I got to be unstoppable." (Disclaimer: this was playing on one of my Spotify playlists while I wrapped up the post, hence the inspiration.)

If you aren't familiar with it here's the song (no crazy video this time.) Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Second day to 5K

Today I did the second day of Couch to 5k that I talked about on my First day to 5K blog post . This was just as hard, probably cause I went to the gym last night and did a dance class (or would have it been even harder if I completely rested?). 

Again my average speed was about 3.7 (I don't know where I got 3.79 last time) and total milage for just over 29 minutes was 1.80. 

Aptly, this has been floating around Pinterest (just let me know if you want an invite) and I'll just say, I really only feel like the bottom image. No way am I like Lola in Run, Lola, Run, just yet. 
Apparently this was found here, but I couldn't find the exact location. 
 And I'll leave you with this thought because I'm sure it applies to you too. "Every day I'm shufflin'"

Sunday, September 25, 2011

First day to 5K

You read that correctly.  Today I did the first run in my now 9-week goal to being able to run a 5K. I download the mps from this Podrunner Intervals website here. So in just over 29  minutes I did 1.75 miles on the treadmill at the gym at an incline of 1.  After my cool down, my average speed was 3.79 mph. 

But let's get it straight, I just want to be able to run without feeling like a fish out of water.  Or even jog. I think this image pretty much sums it up. 

Found on Pinterest and pinned from here

Today was rough towards the end, but it felt good to do it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The big 3-0!

I started this blog a year ago tomorrow.  It was the day after my 29th birthday and I was having that last year of my twenties anxiety that seems to float around. Well, the year was amazing and this weekend we celebrated with a trip to South Padre Island. (Thanks to my free birthday day off from work!!)

The beach was awesome. The weather was gorgeous and the sun beat us into the cool ocean with its unbelievable heat.
Naturally, we had mimosas! We keep things classy with the strawberry garnish!
But we know how to have fun while on vacation too!
The amazing view from our amazing condo!
Justin's big beer and my sampler beer at Padre Island Brewing Company.
Birthday Bar-B-Q lunch at Van's on the way back from SPI.
I think the best Bar-BQ joint sausage I've ever had.
Homemade Chocolate Pecan Pie from my awesome friend and neighbor.
Other highlights:
  • Tossing the Frisbee on the beach.
  • Seeing what we thought were baby sharks in the water. (Highlight cause I'll never forget it.)
  • Awesome Friday night Fajitas.
  • A beautiful homemade birthday dinner by Justin: Wedge salad with blue cheese and bacon crumbles, Filet Mignon and shrimp with a Gorgonzola cream sauce, roasted asparagus and broccoli, oven baked macaroni and cheese, and an awesome chocolate cake with a fun frosting I picked out.  I was too busy eating to take pics of all of this awesomeness. 
  • Fun with Friends.
  It was a super fun weekend! I'm definitely stoked for the all the fun to come in the next year. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Oh Wookie!.

Our cute pup, who I prefer to think of curled into a giant puppy ball as seen here:

threw up. Yes. He threw up part of what appeared to be a towel he ingested. Normally this is not notable, but he is now sleeping in our bedroom at night. Not in our bed- that's like an extra person- but on the floor like the sweet puppy he is. 

But this morning at 5:30am- he threw up. I didn't take a picture to share because, really, who wants to see that? Definitely not me. And I had to get up close and personal with it to detect what it was. He has an old beach towel that he lays on to chew down his rawhides and he's torn it apart a bit too.  Well, he must have still had some chewing to do. And I have no idea how he managed to swallow it either. I also hoped this wasn't an omen as to how my day would go- so far, so good.

A contributing factor to this might have been all the bread he ingested on Monday. You might be thinking, "what are you talking about Ariana?" Well we had bought some yummy and delicious smelling King's Hawaiian rolls and 8 HEB Bolillo rolls and when I got home, they were gone, save a piece of cardboard wrapper and a shred or two of plastic bag. Our pup is apparently a carb addict just like his mommy.

For those concerned, he was his usually happy-go-luck self by the time we left for work.

Monday, August 15, 2011

My 30th Birthday Week!

The week leading up to my birthday suddenly got a whole light brighter when I found the following on my desk at work upon my return from lunch:

Pretty birthday flowers!
A balloon to go with them!
Everyone at work was confused and suddenly thought my birthday was today. But nooooo, my dear friend Amy (with an assist from my husband) sent them to me to start the week off the right way.

A bonus with these flower- they want you to reuse the vase so if you bring the vase and a coupon that came with them to a 1800flowers location they will fill the vase with $10 worth of flowers!  So it's like two gifts in one! And the closest location is only 5 minutes from my office. Winning!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of July!

The pool is ready, the meat is marinating and the patriotic funfetti cupcakes courtesy of my friend Amy are ready to be eaten.

So far it's been a awesome long weekend!  Hope everyone has a great Day, with or without the fireworks!

And if you want some fun here's the link to all the NPR reporter reading the Declaration of Independence.

What are you doing to celebrate?

Friday, June 10, 2011

To sleep or sell...

We choose sleep. Why? Well because there's just not enough in it for us apparently to make a yard sale happen.  We even went so far as to purchase the fluorescent signs to lure people into our neighborhood after going to the gym and on the way home from that purchase decided to just donate everything to Goodwill. 

We did not come to this decision lightly.  But we did make it quickly so that we could rip that bandage off and have the decision made.  Stuff will still be hauled off to Goodwill during the previously designated time of the now cancelled sale.  That stuff still has to get out of the house. We haven't needed like 99% of it since we moved into our place 4 years ago.  This will also take care of my JLSA quota (I inventoried all of it!)

This lack of ability to make things at the house like this happen is probably why I'm not a home improvement blogger and never posted after pics of our 1/2 bath on twitpic after we updated it slightly. 

But ask us to plan a trip to Europe and we're all over it like melted butter and syrup on pancakes. (In an effort to get healthier, my food intake has been reduced this week. I'm hungry. Send food.)

So onward and outward with the junk and maybe I can reclaim the "Room of Non-Requirement" before our guests arrive for the Fourth of July. (Maybe they'll bring food.)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Anyone have an extra three hours lying around...

or do I just need to sleep less. I'm an 8-hour sleeper people. 

But is that the key, go to bed later, wake up earlier and get more done? Seriously, I don't know how some people squeeze everything they do into their day.  Yes, this is a little bit of a complaint, but yesterday my day was like a blur. 

6:40 am Up to walk Wookie! with Justin.
8 am Dressed for work and drinking my breakfast smoothie
8:30 am At work and busy bee until lunch
Lunch- home for lunch, chatted with my pal and started pricing stuff for our yard sale this weekend
Back to work by 1:30 pm and busy, busy, busy until 6 pm
6:20 pm Back home and inspected the fact that the house was 85 degrees. Reported my findings to Justin. Changed for the gym. Made a snack and waited for Justin to fix the AC. And yes, I played some Words with Friends. 
7:15 pm at the gym for a class so that we were home by 8:30
9:15 pm feasting on a dinner of grilled salmon, grilled zucchini, convection oven roasted brussel sprouts and red potatoes while watching South Park
9:55 pm Rosetta Stone to prep for my studio session en espanol with a native speaker that I have at 10 pm tonight. 
11:10 pm Made one last move in my Words with Friends games before hitting the light because I was up at 6 am for meeting at 7 this morning. 

So really. Do I just need to figure out how to function on less sleep without injecting coffee into my veins.  I know other people can do it. I guess I need to become other people?  I don't really like the sound of that. (Side note- I can't get this paragraph to be the same size font as the rest of the entry.  If you are seeing this as smaller than the rest just know I tried.)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

What's a Monaco?

On the right is the Monaco in all its pretty pinkness.
My mom asked this very good question, because I've mentioned them a few times in my posts about Paris.  A Monaco is a drink they make with beer (over there it's typically Kronenburg 1664).  The most common recipe I found online was:

1 splash grenadine syrup
2/3 glass beer
1/3 glass 7-Up® (I think they used a lemonade/limeade there.)


Springtime in Paris- Day 3 (Part 2)...

The metro we took spit us out at the entrance to the underground bridge that takes you to the area in the middle of the insanely busy traffic circle where the Arc de Triomphe lives.
Fun overexposed shot of the Arc.
We got a shot tour bus free!
Justin knew he wanted to head to the top of it and the entrance was on our museum pass so this was a no brainer. Plus I was promised an elevator ride.  Wikipedia says a lift will take you to the attic and then from there you only have to conquer 46 steps to get to the top. See here. Well, we weren't given a choice.  We were funneled into a spiral staircase (at this time we're totally familiar with the never-ending feeling of these things from climbing them at night to get to our studio apartment) and started climbing.  I said something to the effect of "I hate you for tricking me Justin" and his reply/motto for the trip was "The greater the effort/risk, the greater the reward." And I shot him venomous looks. They did nothing to deter him. But he did apologize for for not realizing that the elevator option never really was going to be presented.  Whatever, I needed the workout after all those Monacos.
Yes, it's a long way up and down.
That's just the head of one of those sculptures on the outside of the Arc.
The Arc is dedicated to the armies of France.
Once at the top we were like little kids exclaiming over the awesome view and how spectacular it was to be able to see so many things from one place. Of course we took pictures!
Justin's panoramic picture from his iPhone. Imagine the streets as a semi-circle.
The Eiffel Tower from the Arc.
It was breezy up there.
Sacré-Cœur Basilica.


The gold dome is Les Invalides.
I thought all the trees lining this street were pretty.

The underside of the Arc de Triomphe. There are four flowers in the pattern of squares. I sat for a little bit.
Another shot of the underside.

The scale of things is incredible.
Justin found the lens cap we're always misplacing.
After enjoying the view and the breezy wind we decided that the group of tour kids that had just joined the crowd at the top were going to make things a little unbearable and it was time for a snack.  So we decided we'd commit to a short jaunt down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.  We went to a Pharmacy on the Avenue where I decided now was the time that I absolutely had to buy more bandages. So we bought some of the most expensive bandages I've ever bought in my life/the cheapest bandages in the store. 

This same store also had a macaroon stand.  So we decided to indulge in some.
The green one is mint and the brown one is chocolate. The colors of these things are so vibrant!
We wandered down a little bit and stopped to eat in the outside section of a place that was tented in blue.  And that is why I chose it. The blue.  It's my fave color and apparently I will go so far as to decide where I'm spending my money based on it.  Justin and I split a pizza and enjoyed being able to just sit for a little bit.
Where we ate under the blue tent on the Champs-Élysées.
Justin's beer and my coffee.
The menu. Cause I can't help myself.
Justin writing away.
We walked along a little bit more and stopped at a Toyota concept car showroom.  We marveled over the fact they spent all that money for a place on that road and who really walks out of there owning a new car.  But the advertising account executive in me acknowledges that it's all branding and every Joe Schmo, including me, walks out that much more impressed because obviously Toyota thinks the showcase spot is worth while and hey we stopped in even though we aren't in the market for a new car.
Vroom! Vroom!
You can almost see it smiling at you.
Next stop for us was Centre Georges Pompidou, basically the acting modern art museum in the city.  It was open late on Sunday, and we wanted to see it anyway, so a perfect storm of timing for us really.
Justin taking the following picture.
That tube is the escalator that goes all the up to the top.
We took the escalator to the top, the sixth floor, and enjoyed another awesome view of the city.
View from the top. I don't know what's in the distance. Bonus points if you can tell me. Justin identified Notre Dame with the Pantheon in the background. Winner!
We got two awesome views of the Eiffel Tower that day.
Then we walked around to see the art.  We tried really hard to appreciate a lot of stuff that we didn't understand.  But there was one piece by Dali that was particularly disturbing (about his bad childhood and poor relationship with his father and on and on) and we decided we'd seen enough and it was time to have some drinks. We found a little spot that had Monacos on the menu and took in our surroundings.
I'm writing as I enjoy my Monaco and Justin's enjoying his beer.
Of course once we were ready to go it was almost impossible to get the guy to give us our check because he was chilling outside with his friends.  Eventually we settled up though and went looking for a place to eat that we had definitely marked on our map.  The place definitely was not where we'd marked it and it was getting late and places were closing up shop, so we figured we'd try our hand at looking for a place near the apartment.

Dinner that night was at a place around the corner from us and a little lackluster for me, but it was food and I didn't go to sleep hungry.

All in all not bad for the third day in a new city.