Archive for July, 2011

Summer Vacation 2011: Walking Progress

July 30, 2011 4 comments

This final part to the vacation series I’m doing is about my walking progress before, during and after the trip. I never really know how my walking is going to be from one day to the next. I find out in the morning when I first wake up usually. Every day is like a crap shoot.

Before the trip, my walking was starting to slide into no man’s land again. Very stiff-legged and hard to move. I was exercising, but it didn’t seem to do much for my walking. The elliptical has your legs moving in a different motion than regular walking. When I go from being on my elliptical to walking around on normal surfaces, I unconsciously try to mimic the motion of the elliptical.

The first few days we were in Atlanta, I had a slightly difficult time. Not too bad, but definitely worse than my “good” days. I wasn’t having any of the jerky starts and stops, but I was definitely slower than I wanted to be. Luckily, it cleared up fairly quickly. My husband reminded me to roll my hips as I walked. When I walk and I don’t think about it, I tend not to rotate my hips. That makes it harder to move. But when I focus on rotating my hips as I step, it is a lot easier.

The terrain at Reynolds Plantation actually seemed to help too. At the resort, we were walking from the hotel to the lake and to the restaurant quite a bit. The path we took had us going up and down some fairly steep hills. We took shortcuts here and there through the grass or the sand, and in some ways it was easier, and in others it was harder. Walking through sand is easier on the joints, since your feet don’t impact the ground as hard, but the sand puts more resistance on your steps. The grass is again gentler on your joints, but it’s uneven and you have to watch out for those sticks and twigs that like to “jump up and get you”.

My walking improved so much at the resort, I even let go of my husband’s arm a few times in the hallways of the hotel. I chickened out though as soon as I heard anyone walking behind us. I don’t know why, I don’t really like people walking behind me. Especially kids. I’m always expecting kids to run up and ram into me. I go into self preservation mode and grab onto whatever I can. Need to work on that.

Since being back from vacation, my walking ability is still good. I haven’t noticed any sort of decline at all. We’ve gone to a few movies since we’ve been back, and I’ve had no problems. Went to Costco and wandered around there, and I was a pro at pushing the cart that day. To me, I felt like I was going at a pretty good pace. I was probably going slow in other people’s opinions, but who cares? Now to get me back to using the walker.

So, there you have it. My vacation recap. We had a great time, and are looking forward to our next vacation back east. As always, keep moving.

Read the first two entries of the vacation series. Part 1 and part 2.


Summer Vacation 2011: Reynolds Plantation/Lake Oconee Food and Resort Life

July 29, 2011 2 comments

The first post in the vacation update series was about our outings in Atlanta. This entry is going to be about our birthday bash/family reunion at Reynolds Plantation. Reynolds Plantation is in Greensboro, GA, which is about a two hour drive East of Atlanta. This lakeside resort is a golf resort for the most part, but there are a ton of things to do if golf is not your thing. Water activities are available, including pontoon boats, body boards (where you stand up on a surf board basically and paddle standing up), kayaks and jet skis.

You can also go swimming in the Infinity Pool or in Lake Oconee. Lake Oconee is a 20-foot long lake and less than a mile wide. The interesting and cool feature of this lake is the shape of it. The lake breaks off into finger-like tendrils. If you look at it from an aerial shot, it looks pretty neat.


I didn’t do a whole lot of swimming, maybe a few hours if that in the lake. We did take a ride around a portion of the lake in a pontoon boat. It was very nice just relaxing on the boat speeding along the water and looking at all of the luxurious lake homes and boats.

And I had my first experience riding on a wave runner (jet ski, whatever you want to call it). It was a lot of fun. I rode on the back while my husband drove it. We got it up to about 50 miles per hour at one point and it was great. We went out at a good time too. We went out in the morning around 9 AM, and there wasn’t a lot of activity on the lake. It was cooler at that time of the day too. I’ll definitely get on a jet ski again if I get the chance.

The food at the resort was fabulous. We ate at just one restaurant at the resort, and it was fantastic food. At Gaby’s By The Lake, I had two meals that I really enjoyed. For lunch, there was the Maine Lobster Grilled Cheese. I had that meal twice I think. And for dinner, the meal that stands out the most was the Atlantic Salmon and Grilled Shrimp. I’m not a huge shrimp fan, but this meal was outstanding. I think four people in our party had this meal on the same night, and we all loved it.

I did have a dessert or two also while at the resort. I had a raspberry sorbet two of the nights that we were there. I think that was the only dessert I had. I also had about one drink a night . I don’t normally drink, but I figured I was on vacation, so why not. I had a few mojitos and I tried a mint julep. I’m not a big fan of the mint julep I must say, but I can never get enough of mojitos. I also had a rum and coke the first night were at the resort. I’m kicking myself though now. My husband got a drink called Millionaire’s Coffee. Now that is what an Irish coffee should taste like. Really smooth and creamy. Just thinking about it is making me want one.

I must say that being at a lakeside resort makes me to want to live on a lake. It’s very calming, and you don’t have to worry about salt water. That’s one thing I never liked about the beach, you had to deal with the sting of the salt water in your eyes. A fresh water lake is my ideal place. Pick one of those humongous houses, and I’ll be a happy camper.

The third and final part of this vacation series is going to be about my walking progress while we were away.

If you missed the first part of this series, check it out!

And read the third post of the seres here.

Summer Vacation 2011: Atlanta Outings

July 28, 2011 3 comments

For the first post of the vacation series, I’ll be talking about our outings while in Atlanta.

We had two meals out during our visit this time around. For our first dinner, we went to our favorite place the second night we were in town. Ted’s Montana Grill is the best place to get bison. I always get some kind of bison burger when I eat there. They serve normal ground beef, but bison is healthier, and it’s hard to find in restaurants here in the Coachella Valley. So Ted’s Montana Grill is always a must when we go to Atlanta.

The second dinner out that we had in Atlanta was to a restaurant I have never been to before, Social Vinings. This restaurant has a variety of food, from seafood and sushi to chicken and pasta. I had the Pan Seared Trout Filet which came with a sweet pea risotto, crispy capers and a lemon butter sauce. It was fantastic. I’m not a real big fan of risotto, but this sweet pea risotto was pretty good. For dessert, my husband and I split an Irish Coffee and Deep Fried Oreos (I think that’s what they were called, I can’t find it on the menu online). Unfortunately, the Irish Coffee wasn’t a real Irish Coffee as they were out of Baileys, so they substituted it with something else. It definitely did not taste like an Irish Coffee to me, but it was still good. The Deep Fried Oreos were excellent. I don’t even want to think about the calorie count on those suckers. I definitely want to go back to Social Vinings sometime in the future.

Our daytime fun activities in Atlanta consisted of the movie Mr. Popper’s Penguins and the Georgia Sequarium. Mr. Popper’s Penguins was a fun movie to see. It is a bit slow in the beginning, but I would say it’s a good movie to see. I doubt it’s in theaters anymore, but there’s always Netflix or other DVD rental places you can rent it from eventually.

The Georgia Sequarium is always a fun place to go. We’ve been there about three or four times now, and it never gets old. My favorites are the otters. I thought I wasn’t going to see them this time around, because the first walk-through we did they were all sleeping. We decided to make one more pass through before we left, and they were wide awake and active. I also love to see the beluga whales. Huge, massive white whales gliding through the water. The tank they swim in is huge. One wall of the exhibit is glass, from floor to ceiling, so it’s massive. And my third favorite is probably the penguins. You can never go wrong seeing those black and white tuxedo birds playing around.

That pretty much wraps up our outings in Atlanta. We basically just hung around my sister’s house for the rest of the time, getting caught up with family. reading, playing Angry Birds and playing with the kids.

The second part in this vacation series will cover our journey to Reynolds Plantation.

Read the third post of the vacation series here.

Blog Posts Are Coming/Mileage Update

July 26, 2011 2 comments

I’ve been back from vacation for several weeks now, but have not gotten back into any type of blog routine. Not that I ever had a blog routine, but there you go. I’m in the process of writing up a vacation recap. Instead of writing one giant five page post, I’ll be breaking it into smaller posts.

This entry is going to be a mileage update post. I’m still exercising, and I’ve been entering my mileage at the virtual walk site as usual. I’ve gone about 8 miles since my last post. I need to get back into a more steady exercise routine again. Excuses abound, and none of them good ones. Tomorrow starts the “No Excuses” boot camp. If I come up with an excuse to not exercise (or anything else for that matter), I’ll throw it out the window and do it anyway.

I’ve decided to give my Virbram Five Finger shoes another try when I’m on the elliptical. I’ll be taking it really slow this time around. The last two times, I didn’t break into it slowly enough, and ended up with an ankle tendon problem. When I transitioned to my Five Fingers in the past, each time I was used to going a mile every time I got on the machine. I cut down my distance from one mile to .1 or .2 mile. After a week or so, I got impatient with going such a short distance, so I increased my mileage too fast, thus the injury. This time around, I’ll be doing one full mile with my tennis shoes, and then I’ll switch to my Five Fingers for another five minutes. We’ll see how it goes this time around.

As of yesterday, I’ve gone a total of 286.6 miles. I’m on way from Lexington, VA to Buchanan, VA and am currently in the county of Rockbridge. I’ve got about 15.25 miles to go until Buchanan.

Here are the last several pictures from the site.

Mile 279.6                                                                  Mile 280.6

279.6           280.6

Mile 281.6                                                                 Mile 282.6

281.6            282.6

Mile 283.6                                                                 Mile 284.6

283.6            284.6

Mile 285.6                                                                Mile 286.6

285.6              286.6


(photo credit – Copyright 2006 Lawrence Berkeley Lab)