Sunday, March 27, 2011

Born to Run

No no, I' m not referring to myself...I just finished a book this week called "Born to Run." If you are a runner, I would def. recommend the book to you.

Christopher McDougall sets out to figure out why his foot keeps hurting as he runs. The more that he researches, he comes across a tribe of the world's greatest distance runners (we're talking 100s of miles at a time) and learns that most of the ways we run are wrong.
It took me a little while to get into the book, but once I did I was hooked.
My favorite was that if you start running at age 19, you'll reach your peak at age 27. If you continue running, when you are 64 years old, you will run as well as you did when you were 19. Crazy! That was all written in support of the idea that you are not too old to run, you get old because you stop running.
A great book! Not sure that I agree with everything written in the pages (I won't be changing much of what I'm doing..), but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
(BTW: If the hardback price is too steep, it comes out in paperback next week...or you could check it out from the library like I did.)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Food Detox

After a week full of vacation food, Diet Cokes and Skinny Vanilla Lattes, it was time for food detox this week.

My favorite meal this week: cheese, hummus, pita chips, blueberries, bananas and apples! Yum-o!!

I've also found that I really like vitamin water zero (kiwi strawberry) and lucky for me, HEB has their own brand, Superwater!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Gettysburg, PA

Our last adventure before heading back to Texas via D.C was Gettysburg, PA. We decided to tour Gettysburg via a Segway tour. The Segways really were a fun way to see everything. We also visited the Gettysburg Visitors Center that has a museum, short film and a cyclorama.

We learned a lot about the battle. What a somber experience. No one really "won" that battle with all of the casualties. I guess that's really a good summary of the entire Civil War. So many families and friends fighting against one another. We had such a good dose of history on this vacation which I absolutely loved. It was so interesting to stand where so many historical events occurred that shaped our country.

Where liberty dwells, there is my country. ~Benjamin Franklin

How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy! ~Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Carlisle and Hershey, PA

My brother-in-law lives in Carlisle, PA which happens to only be a little ways from Hershey, PA...the sweetest place on earth. If you know me, you know that I LOVE chocolate : )
We learned about Milton Hershey and how he created not only his factory, but an entire town for his workers. We're talking, everything: public library, entertainment, light posts that are Hershey Kisses on Chocolate Ave and he created the town during the Great Depression! Milton and his wife could not have children, so they created an orphanage. The Milton Hershey school is still operational today and includes not only orphans, but also is also open to other children whose families could not otherwise afford it. Mr. Hershey left his entire personal fortune to the school. Amazing!

We went to Hershey World and went through the museumy part and then Carol, Roger and I made our Hershey's bar. Mine had pretzels and toffee pieces and had sprinkles on top. Perfection!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Our next stop was Philadelphia. What a wonderful place to see firsthand so much of our country's history and do quite a bit of walking.
We started out at Liberty Hall and saw the room where both our Declaration of Independence and Constitution was signed.

We moved on to see the Liberty Bell, which is now in almost a museum dedicated completely to it.

We then walked down to Geno's for a Philly cheesesteak. Yum! The restaurant was much different than I had imagined. You picked up your cheesesteak and sides and then sit at basically a picnic table outside.

Afterwards, we walked on through more of Philadelphia to see "LOVE" park, City hall and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (the Rocky steps).

Monday, March 21, 2011

Maryland and New Jersey

Annapolis is only like a 50 mile drive from Alexandria, so we stopped by "on our way" out of town. What a beautiful place! We got there just in time to enjoy lunch (crab cakes of course) at the Boatyard Bar and Grill.
My blue crab cake sandwich...yum!

We went to wander the town after that and found sailboats and cute little shops. It was a very peaceful town.

Annapolis also boasts the Naval Academy, so we walked around the campus while we were there.

We had originally intended to head to Philadelphia from Annapolis, but had trouble finding hotel rooms in a decent part of town. Upon zooming out from Philadelphia, we discovered that Atlantic City was an hour away so we stayed there. (In order to get to New Jersey from Maryland, we drove through Delaware. The part we drove seemed to mainly be farms.). My favorite discovery in Atlantic City was that New Jersey does not have sales tax on clothes....and there was an outlet mall : ) It was really neat to see the boardwalk and the Atlantic Ocean.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Washington D.C. and Alexandria

Our Spring Break has been wonderful! We knew we were heading up to DC to visit my sister-in-law and Pennsylvania to visit my brother-in-law. We've had fun filling in the time in between with places that Cody and I have never been before (we were in 5 states!).
We started out and ended up in the D.C. area. I have been to D.C. once when I was a 5th grader (which one of my kiddos reminded me was a very long time ago).

Mt. Vernon: (George Washington's home) Such a beautiful place! It was a very windy day though. I was kind of disappointed at the majority of replicas in place of original artifacts. We did however get to see Washington's dentures (he apparently lost almost every tooth in his mouth due to tooth decay..brush those teeth!) Very surreal to stand where the Father of our Country lived.

Old Town Alexandria (King St.): A beautiful street in Alexandria with shops and restaurants. We even tried a cupcake from there!

Morning Run: Sunday morning we got up and headed into D.C. I was really really wanting to run the national mall, so my sweet father-in-law volunteered to run with me. We ran from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial and then back down to the Capitol. I would definitely recommend doing this if you are in D.C. Afterwards we walked around the area and ventured to the White House.

Whole Foods: I know, I know, Houston has these too, but I've never been to one before. I love Whole Foods! I think I would go broke if I shopped there regularly, but what a great place. We picked up lunch from their enormous prepared foods section and ate it at the tables in the store.

Kennedy Center: That night we headed back to D.C. to go see "Shear Madness." The Kennedy center was beautiful and had a great view of D.C. The show was really funny and allowed the audience to choose the ending.

Georgetown: This seemed like a very cool area, but it was just so crowded. There were so many stores and cupcake shops (Georgetown Cupcakes and Sprinkles). We had dinner at an Italian restaurant called Papa Razzi.

Masonic Memorial: Before leaving on Monday, we stopped by the masonic temple (lodge?) across from Lyndsey's apartment. The building was absolutely beautiful and the man giving the tour was very knowledgeable. It was very interesting.

When we returned to Alexandria on Friday night, we went back to King Street in Alexandria to eat at the Light Horse (they had amazing homemade "dressed potato chips").

Eastern Market: Saturday we headed to the Capitol Hill neighborhood to go to the Eastern Market. I really enjoyed this! There was a flea market, a huge farmer's market, people were selling jewelry, clothing, flowers, anything you could imagine. There were foods prepared you could buy to eat and these cute little donuts that melted in your mouth!

Afterwards we picked up pizza at We the Pizza ( the name!), walked around and saw some cherry blossom trees already in bloom,

walked by the capitol & Supreme Court
(this is the Supreme Court)

& walked through Union Station and happened upon a Crumb cupcake before we made it back to the metro.

I feel like we got to see so much in that area thanks to our tour guide (Lyndsey) who knew where everything was! : )