Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ali's Musings

Monday and Tuesday my office was shut down for anyone who lived in Minneapolis because it was -1,000 degrees outside. Today? It snowed, and snowed and snowed. It was practically Atlanta up in this biatch.
Want to take a wild guess how long a 17 mile commute took? No, not 24 hours like those Southerners, and no I didn't have to sleep in my car. But it took us 3 HOURS to drive in to work this morning! Needless to say that was all the work I was going to do for the day.
When you go on vacation do you ever listen to one artist/mix/song, over and over and you just can't get tired of listening to said artist/mix/song? Music for me has always tied in with memories. Usually trips. When I was 17 I spent a week in CA with my volleyball team for Nationals and I was so homesick. The only thing that got me through was listening to Sugar Ray on my Disc-man.

Answer the Phone by Sugar Ray on Grooveshark

When I was 18 I took a Caribbean Cruise with some girlfriends and got the biggest crush on a southern gent with an accent and Usher was all I could listen to.

U Got It Bad by Usher on Grooveshark

Usher also accompanied me on a trip to Acapulco when I was 16 and I had my first kiss at Palladium with the hotel pool guy. Keeping it classy.

How Do I Say by Usher on Grooveshark

This last trip to Cabo was all JT and the 20/20 Experience Part 2. Specifically these two songs.

Not A Bad Thing by Justin Timberlake on Grooveshark

Slightly obsessed with these two.

Drink You Away by Justin Timberlake on Grooveshark
I'm almost 30, yet whenever I see someone my age with kids, I feel like they look too young to have kids. They look like kids playing with baby dolls. Maybe I'm envious. Maybe these babes do look like dolls. I don't know.
As a near 30 year old, is it wrong that I was actually, sort of insulted when the flight attendant on one leg of my flight questioned my age? I had my ID all ready to show, but she said she didn't believe that I was of legal US drinking age. I shouldn't wine whine, but I'd like to look at least mid 20's.
Here are some random pictures for you to admire.
It's too cold for her to to not be snug as a bug in a rug.
When it's this chilly, you warm up from the inside out.
Or you dream about magical sunsets.
And lit up cruise ships in the bay
And the hot sun on your back. Heavenly.
I'm going to be moving out of my parents house in about two months, or whenever this snow decides to melt and the Polar Vortex turns into the Caribbean Vortex. I'm having a slight identity crisis trying to figure out which city I belong in. I love SLP, but it's pricey and in high demand. I've down the Downtown thing. I'd love to try STP, but I'm a Western Suburbanite at heart and I just don't know if I can move away from all the malls, restaurants, grocery stores and gas stations I can get to without getting lost.
I'm going to end on a sappy note. Dating is exhausting and not even something I enjoy doing anymore. But each day that passes makes me sad that it's one less day I get to spend with the person I'm going to spend the rest of my life with. So, enjoy the one your with. 

And Peace be with you

(and also with you)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cabo :Whales, Pirates & Montezuma's Revenge

After 7 glorious days of sunshine and 80 degree weather, I'm home and have been stuck inside and away from work because of the Polar Vortex that has consumed the country. Well, actually, I'm back at work today, and it feels somewhat nice to be back to a normal routine.
Back to work :(
My family has a time share and this year we chose to go to Cabo. Me, my little sister Kari and four other girls shared a two bedroom unit at Villa Del Palmar and had one helluva good time.

* If you fly out of MSP, you must start your vacation with breakfast and a mimosa with fresh orange juice at Ike's (followed by wine on the plane and mini corona's to the resort, of course).

* On our first full day in Cabo we saw dolphins playing in the water right in front of our beach chairs.

* We took a pirate ship sunset booze cruise and became bff's with some of the pirates!
Buccaneer Queen
*After dinner one night we decided to walk in to town for a night cap and we heard some yelling from a rooftop, 'Girls! Girls! PIRATES!!' We looked up and it was our buddy O'Neal from the ship! We headed upstairs for a quick beer and to hang out with our new friends.

* When we were done with the pirate ship we wandered the marina negotiating the best price for whale watching. 5 for $100 was our asking price. No one took it. But we did get a good deal non the less. Just talk to Diego, who will send you to Diego and the reservation will be under the name Diego. Totes legit.
Pacific Side from Pirate Ship
*Snorkeling off Pelican Rock is amazing yet terrifying. The fish are not afraid of people and your depth perception is way off. Warning: Objects in water are farther than they appear. 

*However, whales are much larger than they appear. In the future, spend the extra money to take a small glass bottom boat whale watching. While it may be terrifying and whale tales may make your boat rock. Do it. You won't regret it. We took a catamaran with open bar and brunch. It was lovely and we saw a lot of whales, but that up close and personal experience would probably rock my world.
*If you are traveling to Mexico with a group of girls, you'll never pay for a drink. Ever. One night while walking around downtown Cabo we were offered free drinks at every bar/club we walked by. Granted the alcohol was barely noticeable, but hey, it's a free drink.

*Beware of Seagulls. A recent study has been done showing that 3 out of 6 girls laying on a beach, will be shat upon.  A drink has even been named in that honor. I believe it was called the "Seagull Poop" drink, or something of that nature.

*Traveling with a group of girls can be a good and bad thing. Our age ranged from 26-29, so all adults, but the front desk gave us the run around by putting us in the worse room (back of the property, ground floor, looked into a cement wall). Wouldn't honor the reservation room type we reserved. And questioned our age and if we were of legal drinking age. We were by far the calmest group. Those 40-50 year old ladies like to party!
We got a new room with a great view
*Because we are time share and have nearly a full kitchen in our unit we stop at the store to get some groceries. This time I was able to find transportation that gave us 45 minutes between the airport and our resort so we didn't have to go back out after checking in. But, remember, you can always make a second trip. On our last night we were practically giving away beer.
(1/3 of the beer for the week)
*I heard a lot of people talk about how unsafe Mexico is (usually all-inclusive people afraid to leave the resort). Here's my two cents. It's only unsafe if you make it unsafe. We walked the beach to get to dinner and walked through town at night. Stay with a group, be aware of your surroundings, and be nice but assertive. Don't be rude or disrespectful. It just pisses people off.  Also, remember you are in another country. Even though most people speak English, they don't always know what you are saying or if you are trying to be sarcastic. Give them a break and try to speak their language. It goes a long way.

* Once you've made friends with a local, ask them where they like to go for dinner. We kept getting coupons for free drinks at very American restaurants where the resort was getting a kick back. We asked our buddy Diego where he goes for good seafood and he recommended a small restaurant called Tres Islas. It was very good.
Garlic crab from Tres Islas
* If you want to go to The Office, make reservations in advance. We had about a 30 minute wait. The food was good, but the prices were really high. The cheapest bottle of wine was $60. The atmosphere was fun with live music and lots of candles and lights strung about. I'd recommend going for lunch vs. dinner.

*If you are going to travel to another country, bring a pharmacist with you. I had some stomach issues and thanks to our on hand pharmacist, I got all the pills I needed to be able to enjoy my trip and only be out of commission for a day.

In conclusion, I'm freezing and I feel like my tan has already faded away. The girls and I decided that we are going to move to Cabo with all of our friends and start a woman's pirate ship. Less clothes, more booze. It's  a solid business plan.

Cabo. I miss you.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

40 Day Challenge: Check in

Hi Everybody.

I haven't been around these parts lately, but that doesn't mean I've fallen off the 40 Days of Fitness Challenge. I've actually been doing exceptionally well and have tweaked things a bit.

When I started to up my mileage and speed on the good ol treadmill, I was getting really bad knee pain. I've always had horrible knees growing up and I'm sure the older I get the worse my lovely knees will get. I've stepped away from my buddy Treadmill and have moved on to the elliptical during the week.

On my lunches I head down to my office building's complimentary fitness center and rock out 45 minutes of hills and high resistance on the elliptical. I've been able to get this done about 4 days out of the week. On the weekends is when me and Treadmill hang out again.

Since I actually enjoy running and signed up for a 7k in March, I didn't want to completely cross it off as a workout. Here is what I did this weekend for my Saturday and Sunday workouts.

Total calorie scorcher. I burned around 500 calories on this bad boy.

Just a little over a week to go before Mexico so I'll be keeping this up as much as I can until then.

Friday, January 3, 2014

What will 2014 bring?

Happy 2014!

I hope you all were able to ring in the new year with loved ones, family, friends or a first date. Wait, who goes on a first date on New Years Eve? I guess I do.

No one wants to spend NYE alone, or sitting at home with their parents snoring next to them, so I opted to take a chance and meet someone new for drinks and conversation. Honestly, I guess spending it alone isn't too bad, but it was fun to get out for a little bit nonetheless.

I don't like resolutions. I feel that word sets us all up for failure. As a matter of fact, I woke up on Wednesday, January 1 and said 'my first resolution is to not nap today'. Guess what? I failed that resolution and napped for a good two hours.

Instead of resolutions, I'd like to just make a list of what I'd like to accomplish this year.

- Run another 1/2 marathon and several 5+k's (Already registered for Get Lucky 7K in March)

- Not let other's ideas about me affect the person I am or my happiness

- Laugh. Laugh a lot. Laugh at myself. Laugh at life.

- Take a vacation...or two (Cabo is booked and packing will soon begin)

- Go after what I want. Don't sit around waiting for others. Make the first move.

- Finally, if by chance I win the Power Ball, I'm going to buy myself a turn key island. Apparently they only run a mere $5 Million.

There you have it. This is what I would like to accomplish in 2014. If I buy an island, I'll be sure to send you an evite for my 'island warming' party.