Back To Real Life

How is this Monday treating everyone?  Sky and I are getting back into our regular schedule.  Still pretty tired from the time change, mostly because Sky is waking up crazy early, I will be thankful when she’s back on Pacific Time sleeping schedule.  🙂

I am so very ready to get back to my running schedule!!!  It’s strange that I didn’t run a bit last week, yet had running related pain in my knee and foot.  Sort of funny that the fear of injury popped up during a non-running week.

I have a few easy runs this week, and then thanks to great timing Dad will be here this weekend and can work on my knee and foot!  Just in time for Tacoma Narrows Half training to start!!!

Before getting back to regular blogging a few more pics from our time in Houston.

Upper Left – Biggest horns I’ve ever seen on a cow/bull ever!

We spent an afternoon at the Houston Zoo and had a blast looking at all the animals, playing in water, and discovering which displays Sky loved the most!

 It was pretty hot and Sky was loving the mister!

 Her favorites were the Komodo Dragon and Elephants!

 My two monkey’s!

And, then we went to the Microsoft closing party at Minute Maid Park, and that may have been where things went wrong.

Sky had been playing at the park all morning, at the zoo all afternoon, had not been eating much, no nap, and probably hadn’t had enough water to drink either.  So, not only was she way over tired, she had been out in the heat all day.  What I thought was her just being tired, was actually her having a fever and being sick/getting sick all over Mark.

Being stuck in a hotel with a sick kiddo that needs to take it easy, but want’s to get out and move is not easy!  We really wanted to go to NASA, I mean how do you go to Houston and not go to NASA right?  But, since Sky was not feeling well we opted for the Houston Aquarium instead.  We figured it would be pretty calm to walk through and look at the tanks, and we know Sky loves fish and can spend a lot of time just sitting and watching them.
        

Top left – after dinner, the sun was in her eyes so Mark gave her his hat.  Top right – aquarium.  Bottom two from the Microsoft Party.  She was so miserable on the way home, and I feel bad that I thought she was just being cranky.

 So thankful that she is a great flyer!  Both ways she was really great.  Especially flying down there, we had to switch flights do to a malfunction and it added hours to the trip.  But, Sky was a champ the entire time! 

 Mt. Rainier from the air, what a nice welcome home! 

 Wine, makes good flights even better!

Houston was lovely and all, but I can’t tell you how nice it was to come home! As nice as it was to not have to cook or clean for a week, and just flit about a new city having fun, I love coming home and being in my routine and being responsible!  Plus, the heat here is so much nicer than the heat down there! 
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#1 City you’ve ever spent time in?
I have to say NY…that was a dream trip for sure!
 

Cajun Crawfish

For those that don’t know Mark’s family if from Mississippi and he spent many a summer living in Mississippi with his Grandparents, and went to school at Mississippi State.  Buckets of crawfish  from the corner gas station were a part of every day life for him. 

I don’t normally trust gas station food, but apparently down South they know what they are doing when it comes to crawfish.  Mark’s craving got to a point that we even overnight ordered crawfish once…let’s just say that experience ruined any chance I ever had of enjoying them as much as Mark.  Some things just have to be enjoyed fresh at the source! 

As soon as the trip to Houston was booked he started talking about a crawfish dinner.  I did some homework and found Ragin Cajun which had awesome reviews online, for good reason too!

 That is a lot a crawfish, and Mark enjoyed every last one!
It’s a lot of work to eat a crawfish…check out these instructions How To Eat Crawfish and it’s only a little bit of meat per crawfish, so while that looks like a lot, it wasn’t as much as you would think.  I tried one and it’s a mix between lobster and prawns for flavor.  The season that it’s boiled in is where all the flavor comes from.  
 Seriously messy eating! 

Just a tip, don’t touch your eyes after eating crawfish…maybe take your contacts out before eating them!  
I opted for the crab and shrimp gumbo (something I can’t make as it should be made at home with Mark’s food allergies) and Sky went with mac and cheese and corn on the cob.  The food must have been good because we all cleaned our plates!  Easily the best meal we have had in Houston so far!  I kinda want to go back actually.  

If you’re ever in Houston I highly recommend Ragin Cajun!  Not only was the food really good, but the atmosphere was so much fun.  You can tell it’s the place to be on Game Day regardless of being a  college or NFL fan. 

They have a New Orleans Saints only bar next to the dinning room, and is the place to go to watch Saints games in Houston.  There is a second bar on the opposite end of the dinning room for everyone else, but with multiple TV’s in the dinning room and football memorabilia all over the place I don’t think there would be a bad seat in the place for football, beer, and crawfish any given Sat or Sunday!

The bottom line…Mark doesn’t get crawfish often and he had been looking forward to this specific meal for months and months…he said it delivered 100% and met all his expectations!

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Anyone else a crawfish fan out there?

Pilates Challenge

Since my opportunity to run is very limited this week I jumped in and joined the Athleta sponsored 3 week Pilates Summer Series.  Check out the link for more info and to join…it’s FREE! 

I love that the workouts are less than 10 minutes, and it’s M-F, and it will (I hope) jump start a daily strength training habit!  I need to work on that, as do most runners.  7 to 10 minutes a day is no big deal, and Sky had fun doing it with me yesterday.

Thankfully it’s something that is easy to do in the hotel room while Sky is resting, or wanting to sit on my back while I do the planks.  Nothing like an extra 32 pounds to make planks easier!

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The weather was a bit blah yesterday and it was raining every time Sky and I stepped outside.  So, I opted for the Galleria shopping center.  It’s pretty high end, which is not my preference, but they had a Lululemon store, and they have a great indoor play area that is free! 

We were both starving though and had to have lunch before shopping and playing!

I found a salad place that is like Subway, only for salad.  They build your salad as you watch and tell them what you want on it.  Seriously they had more options than I knew what to do with.  Did not even come close to eating all of this, even with Sky’s help.  It was sure yummy though. 

On our way to Lulu we found the Disney store, and let me tell you I almost cried watching Sky’s reaction. 

We walked in and her eyes double in size and all she kept saying over and over was, “Mommy, it’s so beautiful, it’s so beautiful.  It’s Disney, it’s so beautiful”.  I wish I had thought to take a video, but I was trying really hard to hold it together, the amazement and wonder on her face were priceless! 

I knew we were not getting out of there without something for her so I told her she could pick one thing and this is what she picked…

Tinkerbell for the win.  She found several things she wanted, but each time she found something new she put what she had in her hands back.  I think the sparkly wings won her over, she is fascinated by Tinks wings!  I can not wait to go to Disneyland with her, it’s going to be so much fun!

Then it was my turn…Lululemon!  I debated and debated going in actually, trying to keep this trip low cost, but I really wanted (almost a need with how much I run!) a lighter colored skirt to wear for summer races, oh and it needs to work with the HF singlet.  The only skirt I have right now that looks ok with it is my black one, but my August PR attempt could end up being a hot one and I don’t want black!  So I broke my personal running rule about no white and got this new beauty! 

From seeing others in it I knew I loved how the white skirt looks with the singlet, so I went for it.  Gonna be fun keeping it clean, me and white yikes. 

After that we hit up the play area and Sky had a blast running around and playing with the other tots. 

The play area is a soft foam replica of the mall with slides built into some of the stores, and foam cars that could be pushed along the floor which was a map of the surrounding roads leading to the mall. 

The play area had the cutest Mommy and Me bathrooms! 

I have never seen a family bathroom like that, but it’s a really great idea…too bad Sky wasn’t as impressed with the little potty as I was.  All she cared about was washing her hands over and over. 

We caught up with Mark after play time for an awesome dinner, but that deserves it’s own post, so will share that later today/tomorrow!

Now that the rain has finally stopped and the roads are no longer flooding Sky and I are venturing out for lunch and park time!

Have a great Tuesday! 

 

Fun in Houston

What isn’t fun in Houston is driving.  Just saying. 

It’s really hard having zero clue what direction anything is.  Thank goodness for navigation, but I have to say the freeways here split in 2 or 3 different directions with very little notice.  I spend most my time hoping I’m in the lane I need only to find I’m not and have to backtrack/turn around taking 20 to 30 extra minutes.

What I love the most about Houston so far is all the parks and runner/walker only trails that weave their way all over the city.  Every block I find myself wanting to pull over and just take off on a trail for a run.  The trails are busy too, lot’s of runners and walkers out and about enjoying parks.  Love it!
So far we are sticking to the outdoors playing at the playground and swimming a lot!

 She love limes and lemons…silly girl!
 Love those two!
After dinner it was finally pool time!  Sky had been talking about swimming in the water all day long, she was so happy!
 Just hanging out with daddy talking about life. 

 She loved this water fall, it’s actually stone steps that the water flows over to heat it up and then cycles back to the pool,so it’s not freezing cold water. 

 My view while they were swimming.

Big deal that she is all the way in the water and enjoying it!
 Winding down after swimming! 
It looks like there are some storms rolling in tonight, so we are going to enjoy being outside today.  The sky is already full of heavy, storm looking clouds, and it’s windy, really windy, but hot still.
P.S. Super excited that I found a Lululemon!  I’m not much of a shopper on vacation, but I do love getting a new running skirt/tank/running item when I travel.  Every time I put my race day outfit on I’m reminded of where I got it and it makes me smile!