When In ROME!!!

rome view

What can I even say about my trip?! It was exhausting, scary, amazing… EVERYTHING!

If you’d asked me where I would want to travel if I could go anywhere in the world, my answer for years was “Italy!” I want to travel everywhere and anywhere but Italy has always been my #1.

So here I was about a month away from my the big 3-0 and not really feeling up to a big party like originally planned so I decided to look around for vacation deals. And I found one! I asked some gals at work if I was a crazy person and they both said now is the time! No husband or kids keeping me here. Go while I can. So I did!

I left Phoenix at 7am on Sunday sand landed in Rome 7am Monday morning (my birthday.)

colo 2

Guys, that first day was rough! I made all these plans and researched so much and yet it all went straight out the window when I got there! It took so much longer to get out of the airport and off the train into the city than I thought and then I was lost! I had a walking tour audio guide on my phone starting at the Campo de’ Fiori but I had no CLUE how to get there. I was starving, tired, lost and scared in country who’s native language I did not speak. Oh boy! I talked to an employee of the metro who spoke English but just barely and came to the conclusion that I would just not find the Campo de’ Fiori today. But I could easily get to the Colosseum which was the plan for day 2 so I just headed there and adjusted the plan.

colo.jpg

arch.jpg

I downloaded Rick Steve’s audio tour that walks you through the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Arch of Constantine and Palatine Hill.

colo self

forum

After I tried to continue on with my plan but boy oh boy I was lost and confused. I got on the metro and saw a stop called “Piramide” and figured that had to be near the Pyramid of Caius Cestius that I wanted to see so I got off and sure enough, found my way to the pyramid (after getting some gelato!)  Tours were closed but it was still cool to see.

statue

Then I wanted to go the Aventine Hill and look through the keyhole so I walked, and walked, and walked and died. My feet were hurting, I was lost and still had to make my way back to the hotel with NO idea how I was going to get there. It was rough, But poor me, lost of the streets of Rome, right? I finally hailed a taxi and just said ‘take me here.’ That was the SCARIEST car ride of my life. Italians really are crazy drivers! I got all settled at my hotel and the next day asked for directions to Campo de’ Fiori and finally was able to find my way around the city!

Day 2 was my fav day! Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps. Then the Capuchin Crypt which was so creepy-cool. The walls were decorated with thousands of skeletons from Catholic monks!

navona.jpg

panth

step foutn

I think the Pantheon was one of my fav places!

steps.jpg

I also LOVED walking through the Villa Borghese! I would have loved it even more if my feet weren’t so achy.. but it was green and gorgeous and an absolute beautiful day. There was even an accordion player outside playing stereotypical Italian music like you hear in movies and I just loved every second of it. Cheesy? Yeah but it was a dream!

villa

And finally day 3 was the Vatican (Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica) followed by the Castel Sant’Angelo. By day 3 my feet were hurting! I wish I kept track of how far I walked! Farther than I should have since I kept getting lost haha.

st-pete.jpgpete viewcastel.jpg

It was beyond beautiful and I am so thankful the opportunity I had to go to Rome. Are you allowed to be proud of yourself for going on vacation? I went to Europe alone. It was kind of scary but I made it. I found my way (with the help of Google Maps and some very helpful English speaking Romans!) and I crossed another major thing off my bucket list!

gelato.jpg

EATS: I know what you are thinking, that this should have been quite the  culinary adventure but I don’t like pasta! Plus it was so hot over there that I wasn’t very hungry, especially for anything heavy. I mostly ate gelato! I tried a bunch of flavors (favorites: crema and cantelope!) But lots of the flavors are chocolate based which I’m not a choc fan either! I kept eyeballing them and then just going with a fruit flavor.

pizza
I was so surprised by how much I liked it I had to stop taking bites to snap the pic!

I did try a bunch of different pizzas and I always like to be adventurous but you know what? The best pizza slice I ate over there was at the airport when I just needed to eat something before the flight* and ordered tried and true cheese! But I’ll tell you this, for both red sauced based pizzas I tried over there, the sauce was too sweet!

Also, I did not need to eat before the flight because for the 10 hours I was trapped on that trash can I swear I ate 7 times. They were constantly passing out lunch, then a snack, then dinner and the constant bev cart. I’ve never eaten so much in my life!

treviAll in all it was a wonderful, once in a lifetime trip and I did throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain so I guess that means I get to go back someday. Which I would LOVE to know what I know what I’m doing and where I’m going!

 

 

 

Advertisements

Another Spin Around the Sun

On Monday I turn thirty. Thirty! 

30

I didn’t expect it from myself but I am one of those girls that is sad about turning 30! I don’t want to. I saw some meme thing online the other day that said the only other option was being dead which… I’m still not sure which is worse! Haha. Okay fine. I’ll turn the big 3-0! I still have a lot of things I want to do.

As the day looms near, I can’t help by reflect on this past year and what I did on my last birthday. I set up my 30 before 30 goal list. I accomplished ehhh… about 1/2 of them. This year, it’s time to do BETTER! So if you want, go check out my 30 “while I am” 30 list! Some are health related, some are personal, some are spiritual and some are just for fun!!

I know I’m already checking off #1) put a stamp on my passport because 1st thing in the morning I am flying off to ROME!!

If you ever had asked me where I would want to travel if I could go anywhere in the world, I would’ve said Italy. So since I’m still single and have no husband or children weighing me down, I bought myself a very expensive birthday present and going on a Roman Holiday!!  Just call me Anya 🙂

 

Pros and Cons of the Wildfire Half Marathon

What a weekend!  I drove up to Pinetop AZ for the Wildfire Half Marathon on Friday afternoon after like 0 planning or training! Let’s do this recap by the pros and cons.

CON:

I realized that driving long distances is an anxiety trigger for me!  I was able to kind of keep my anxiety in check but yeah, I’m not doing that drive for a while.

I was more than ready to be done driving by the time I got the hotel! When I went into the lobby, passing the ‘no vacancy’ sign and said I needed to check in, the manager said those dreaded words, “Could it be under any other name?”

Um… no! Not at all.

CON:

They didn’t have my reservation! I booked through Expedia (which normally is a breeze) but there’s was a problem with their system and long story short, the motel no longer partnered with them so they never got word of my res. It’s all Expedia’s fault and the manager was beyond helpful about it and they got me another room in a near by hotel. Problem was, this hotel didn’t have a microwave! So I couldn’t reheat the pre-race meal I prepped and packed! After scrambling for a new hotel room and checking in for the race and not knowing the area at all, I got the best meal I could think of fast. McDonalds Chicken Salad w/ Balsamic dressing.

chk-sal.jpg

It’s been a while since I went to McD’s and they didn’t even have this on the menu. I probably sounded pretty dumb asking for it but oh well. Plus he called it a “Ranch Chicken salad” so I had to even further ask if they had other dressings. But if worked out enough. Luckily my room did have a coffee maker so I heated up some water in that in the A.M. to eat my oatmeal before the run.

CON:

I did not sleep well!  I think I woke up 4 times during my 6 hour sleep and had 1 dream that really shook me up. I was planning on waking up at 4 but when my eyes opened at 3 I decided I might as well get up and get moving.

PRO:

Pinetop is beautiful!! I loved loved loved running through the trees and part of it was even around a little lake. Ya’ll know how I feel about all bodies of water so that was my fav part.

pt-selfie.jpg

CON:

The course was rough, man! It was a trail run for the most part (maybe about 2 miles of pavement?) but lots of either loose dirt or either groovy, rained on then driven over dirt packed roads. Avoiding all the grooves and holes and ankle-twisting paths was definitely a challenge!

dirt

PRO:

The first 4 miles were downhill.

pinetop

CON:

The next 3 1/2 miles were uphill and I mean uphill! I didn’t see anyone run up those steep hills. I walked up a lot of this segment. Sometimes it was the kind of walking where you have to hunch over and keep your balance it was so steep. It would level off a little and I would try and catch my breath and then run the straight bits but they weren’t very long till it was uphill again.

 

mile-10.jpg

PRO:

I saw the mile 8 marker and next thing I know it was mile 10!  I love when this happens. 🙂

CON:

I am not used to running in high elevation. Where I live it sits at about 1,000 ft. This course got up to 7,300 ft! I could feel it for the first couple miles but luckily it wasn’t a big issue and I could breathe the whole time. But keeping this in mind (along with all the other things going on) I kept a very slow pace and put absolutely no pressure on myself time-wise. I knew I wasn’t going to PR so I just enjoyed being outdoors and looked at it like a long hike.

medal.jpg

PRO:
I finished! It may have took me barely under 3 hours but I did it and I didn’t give up. And now I have another medal to add to my collection.

PRO: (CON??)

I was CRAVING ice cream the entire last 5 miles! I knew there was a Burger King across the street from my hotel and so I set my mind to getting a Froot Loop Shake. And while I’m there and just exercised off 1000 calories, dammit I’m getting Mac n Cheetos!!

Both were satisfying as in they fulfilled what I was craving but neither tasted so spectacular that I’d 1) get them again 2) recommend them.

bk-lunch.jpg

 

CON:

By the time I finally got back to the hotel, I had just enough time to eat, take an bath and clean up before I had to check out. I peeled off my shoes and socks and laughed at my dirty self! I really did run through the dirt trails!

dirty-ankles.jpg

CON:

Ice bath! enough said.

ice bath

CON:

Time to drive back home!

pt-drive.jpg

PRO:

But the BIGGEST pro is really, just how freaking gorgeous this Earth is! The older I get the more I just want to be outside!! I love than running takes us all over the world and to such beautiful places and courses and we get to just do what we love in the sunshine (mostly…) and out in nature.

pt lake 2

Overall, even though I think there were more cons on this list than pros, I am happy with this weekend. Normally a 3 hour time would make me so miserably depressed but I just had the attitude from the start that I was going to enjoy the course. There were a few road blocks that definitely tried my anxiety and state of mind  but I’m proud of how I handled it all.

Sometimes races are way more mentally challenging than physically so even though I may not have pushed myself to be fastest or strongest or whatever there, I did push myself mentally to be positive and kind to myself so I still win!

Plus this was the inaugural Wildfire Half Marathon so who knows, maybe I’ll do it again next year!

 

It’s been so long!

Hello again!

It’s been a while since I’ve updated here. I sometimes feel so silly writing into the void of this little blog but I think it really does keep me somewhat accountable. And lately I’ve been holding myself accountable for well, nothing! So let me take up this little corner of the web and ramble. 🙂

snowflake

What have I been up to?

I joined a diet bet! I was so good for the first week and then so bad for the second. I have till 6/18 to lose 7lbs or I gotta pay up! Time to really buckle down. (how many times have I said that lately??)

I decided that every day in June I’m going to workout. I WILL work out for a mere 10 minutes every day. I can run, strength train, do yoga, anything for 10 minutes. I made this decision after I already got to work but didn’t want to let even 1 day go by so on my 1 and only break before the clock turned 12:00 I ran down to the gym and used the treadmill for 10 mins in my jeans and sandals. But hey, I got it done.

I have a half marathon this Saturday! The Wildfire Half in Pinetop. I really have not been training very hard and didn’t really let myself comprehend what I was getting myself into. I always think half marathons are like literal walks in the park but they are HARD. I have ZERO time expectations on this one. It’s a pretty small host and it’s up in the mountains with a high elevation so I’m just going to take it easy, go slow and my own pace, enjoy the scenery and run through the forest and hills. (that picture is from a couple weeks ago when I went up to Pinetop/Show Low for a hike. It’s so beautiful up there! Being outside, near the water. that’s all I need!!)

 

 

 

Feeding my Feelings NEVER Makes Me Feel Better. You’d Think I’d Learn!

Well… I definitely did not do well this week. It was rough! And to be honest, I just gave up.

Saturday night, I went on another bad date. I came home starving and upset so I went out and got take out that I knew 100% was feeding my feelings and wasn’t going to help me feel better in the long run but I also 100% did not care.

We all eat lies when our hearts are hungry..:

I also eat  LOTS of fries…

Sunday, my dad and brother picked me up and we headed out for California for my grandfather’s funeral. I planned all these options for fast food but I didn’t think about breakfast! And that’s the first place we headed after they got me. I was half asleep and my defenses were shot so I got some breakfast. The rest of the weekend was just eating whatever and whenever. Plus all the funeral potatoes after the service.

 

cem

It was definitely hard to say goodbye to my grandfather. He was a really special guy.

gramps

I mean, look at this stud. He only had 1 arm but never let that stop him and did everything he wanted. He danced, played tennis, played the piano, hiked, flew planes and crashed a couple times! He was brilliant and became an electric engineer and worked on the Apollo Space program! One of a kind. I was super proud of him and so thankful to have him as my gramps!!

back-with-copper

I was sure happy to get back to my pups!! This little guy makes every day better.

After my hard weekend of boy trouble, trying not to let boy trouble overshadow grandpa grief, dealing with grandpa grief, and then Valentines day to remind me of boy trouble, I did NOT take care of my body or fuel it the way I should’ve and let me tell you, I am feeling the aftermath! I did weigh in and it was a scary number. Back to normal life today and back on the wagon. That’s all I can do!

Make A Plan to Eat Healthy Even When You Can’t Plan Everything

Sometimes, life is beyond your control. This week, I planned to go out to dinner with friends on Monday and ended up going out to eat 2 other times! I still lost weight so I’m stoked about that.

149-1

And this week, I suddenly have to go out of town for a family emergency. There’s obviously a lot going through my mind, and “what am I going to eat?” is one of them. I feel selfish for even thinking of myself & food at a time like this. Weight loss itself, right now, is such a low priority but I also don’t want it to take up space in my mind when I should be focusing on other things. If that makes sense. I already went through the pantry and grabbed things that I can pack in my suitcase. (Things like protein bars and almonds. Plus I’ll run and grab fruit and veggies, like baby carrots and grape tomatoes that are easily portable. And I’ll boil some eggs to take on the go.)

But I’m sure there is going to be fast food stops in the future. Which causes me a little anxiety…

I’ve decided to just make a list now, with a clear head and full stomach of some viable options for me when the times comes that I need to stop at a drive thru.

ff