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Posts Tagged ‘Half Moon Bay’

bilbl_mainGeez, it feels like forever since I’ve written a blog entry, right?  I’m so sorry.  I think about this blog all the time, but lately I just don’t have enough hours in the day to get in the right mind space to write a good post.  I’ve missed it so much, though, and really want to make the blog a priority again. Since this is a “catch-up” post, it’s going to be long, so sit back, grab a drink, and enjoy…

Please don’t take my lack of writing as a sign that I’ve “fallen off the wagon,” because that couldn’t be further from the truth.  I’ve been maintaining my weight since my last weigh in post, probably because I haven’t been able to dedicate as much time as I should be to working out.  Most days I’ll fit some cardio in, but lately I’ve been really hit and miss with the toning workouts.  My food has been great, though, which is why the scale is holding steady at 171.

I really, REALLY want to see the 160s soon, but to do that, I know that I need to kick my workouts into high gear, drink plenty of water, and make sure my protein intake is high.  I’m 21 pounds from my ultimate goal weight, and I would really like to make more progress towards that goal before the end of the year. So for the rest of this month, and actually, for the rest of the year, I’m going to make sure I’m on point with my food and my workouts.  Except of course on the holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, & Christmas Day – I’m going to allow for indulgences, although I’ll probably get a workout in on all of those days to help compensate.  Which is not to say I’m not going to enjoy a glass or two of wine with my friends or family or have a few beers on SundayFunday while watching the 49ers – I want to enjoy life, but I also want to make sure I’m getting in a good calorie burn on those days to keep it all in balance.

Speaking of balance, in order to make sure I’m not totally abandoning this blog or all of my blogging buddies, I’m going to get back in the habit of setting aside an hour a day towards “blogging.”  If I have something to write, I’ll make sure to post, but if not, I want to visit all of the blogs I love to read but have been neglecting lately.  Blogging is still a passion of mine, and what I attribute much of my weight loss success to.  It’s been an amazing vehicle for my emotions, struggles, ideas, and inspirations.  And reading blogs is just as important as writing my own.  So it’s time to get back into it, full force, no matter how busy I am.

I’ve really been enjoying my new job, even though I am getting used to the longer hours.  The thing is, on a daily basis, I’m working later than I did when I was teaching, but the fantastic part is, once I’m home, I leave work at work. No hours spent grading essays on the weekends. Or more accurately, no hours guiltily agonizing over the essays that I should be grading, but aren’t.  I do miss the interaction with my students and the colleagues at the high school where I’d been working for the past 10 years, but this new phase of my career is really nice.  It’s a welcome break from all the stress that comes with being a teacher, especially an English teacher.  Plus, I adore the new teachers that I’m working with, and I think I’m really making a difference in their professional lives, which in turn has an effect on the hundreds of students that they’re teaching.  All in all, I’m really glad that I made the move.

In terms of life, things are good.  I’ve been seeing friends and family here and there, enjoying football and baseball season, and I checked two major items off my #FriskyFall Bucket List:

Going Apple Picking: I was able to tag along with my niece’s Girl Scout Troop (my sister is their troop leader).  We headed to fun little apple orchard in Watsonville, which coincidentally is owned by a family who’s grandkids attend my niece’s elementary school.  I love that we supported a local family!  It was a really fun day, and the apples we got were delicious.

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Heading to a Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Patch: My sister and I headed up to Half Moon Bay a few weekends ago to get our pumpkins for all of our Halloween decorations.  Sure, the local grocery stores have pumpkins for sale, but nothing like the variety available at  the pumpkin patches in HMB.  Plus, it’s a nice drive, and we took advantage of the sunny day and drove the Beetle with the top down.  Wheelbarrow in hand, we explored the entire pumpkin patch for just the right pumpkins, and boy did we!

pumpkin

 

There have been a couple of milestones that I’ve enjoyed while I’ve taken some time off this blog.

The first was going to my 25th high school reunion.  What a difference 5 years made!  I remember how I felt before my 20th reunion: very embarrassed about the way I was looking, how much weight I’d gained, the fact that I was single, and just sort of nervous about seeing all these girls I went to school with after so long.  I ended up having a good time, but when I saw the photos we took that night, I wasn’t happy with the person I saw.  Fast forward to this year – I couldn’t wait for the reunion because I felt so confident in everything I’d been doing. Not just my weight loss, but my overall outlook in life.  I was still single, but it wasn’t as much of an issue because I knew that there are lots of possibilities in that area.

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Next up, on the NSV list is the purchase of new, size 10 jeans!! I’d been wearing my size 12s all spring and summer, and while I knew they were a bit loose, I didn’t realize how much until one of my colleagues saw me at the SAT and told me how baggy they were on me.  The next Monday I was at the mall, and was so proud that I found several pair that not only fit, but looked good.

size 10

tryon size 10

As you can see, the boot legs are still too long on me, even though they’re “shorts;”  I have to take them to the tailor to have them hemmed. This is a new first for me.  I never remember owning and wearing size 10s –  ever!  I’m really proud of myself, and this is a great NSV because even though my weight loss has stayed the same, I’m still loosing inches, which is so nice.

One last NSV is all about Halloween. My Halloween costume, specifically.  It’s been so long since I’ve been able to wear any costume I want, right off the shelf of a costume shop.  In the past, I’ve had to select from the slim pickings of the plus size section or the super-expensive plus size costumes available online.  Not this year!  I knew I’d have my choice of whatever costume I wanted.  Such an amazing feeling.  So when I went to a local vintage clothing store to see what they had to offer, I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted.  I knew it would either be a 50’s-esque retro dress or something dark and gothic.

spikedI went with the latter because I’d purchased this cool “buried bauble” from Bauble Bar, and knew it would be great for Halloween.

So when I found this costume, and then realized it was on sale for 50% off, I knew I was going to transform into Vampira for Halloween (more on this in another post).

vampira

So that’s what’s been going on in my life.  I’m really going to make more of an effort to write more posts, because I really still enjoy it.  In fact, I have some fun to share with you in my next post, so I’d better end this one so I can start that one.

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bilbl_superToday’s edition in Adventures in Fitness is just that – the story of a crazy adventure I had while attempting some water fun.

Over the summer I bought an Amazon Local deal for stand-up paddle boarding (SUP).  Several of my friends on FB had posted pictures of themselves giving SUP a go at Lake Tahoe and various other locations around CA.  I’m always up for a new fitness adventure, especially when it involves water sports.  So, I purchased the $15 deal.

Ani and I arrived at HMB Kayak, and I was surprised to see that it was basically a tent on the beach.  (I’d expected more of a proper storefront, I guess).  We decided to forgo true wetsuits (there was no way I was going to try to squeeze into one of those) in favor of our dri-wik yoga pants and wetsuit jackets.  One of the employees gave us a very brief (and I mean very brief) basic intro on how to paddle, and we were on our way.

How many of you are thinking that I should’ve chosen a tamer waterway for my first SUP experience, rather than Half Moon Bay, open ocean, on a windy day? Oh, and it was also high tide.  Yeah, hindsight.

I started out on my knees, keeping balance pretty well.  A few moments later, Ani had dropped into the water, and was having some difficulty getting back up onto the board.  So much so that she needed the employees to come out and help her.  All the while, I was still floating along, balancing on my knees.  I was having a good time, amazed at my balance. I’d been out there for about 15 minutes. So when I was feeling super confident, I decided it was time to try to stand up.

Not a good move. I fell off right off the paddle board. After failing to pull myself out of the water and back onto the board, the way the guy had told me, I decided it was time to make my way back to shore and switch to kayaking.  As I mentioned, wind was really strong, and it was high tide, so I’d gotten pretty far out in the 15 minutes I’d been floating on my knees.  To get back to shore, I had to swim for 20 minutes, against the current, lugging the paddle board behind me (attached to my ankle). That same employee came out to check on me, and I assured him I was a strong swimmer, and didn’t need any help.  Which was true – I swam back to shore without too much trouble, but I have to admit, I was very tired by the time I’d hit land.

So, I decided to try kayaking. Again, after very minimal instruction, I was out and trying to get myself into the boat, balance, and get out on the water.  I fell out of the kayak a bunch of times close to the shore, but finally righted myself and found my groove.

I kayaked for about 25 minutes, and was really enjoying myself. I got pretty far out, was enjoying the sunshine, the ocean, the boats, the harbor, the sea lions. Feeling so proud of myself and lucky at the life that let me enjoy an afternoon of fun at the ocean on a Friday afternoon.  Just as I was finding my zen…  the kayak flipped over!

The current was so strong, and I was so exhausted from falling all the other times, as well as the huge swim, and I couldn’t even turn the boat right side up, let alone entertain the thought of pulling myself  back into it. I had the oar in one hand, and was trying to keep a hold of the kayak with the other, while staying afloat. (I did have a lifevest on, thank goodness).

At this point, I knew I was too far out to get myself back to the shore.  I wasn’t pancking, but I was a bit worried about how cold the water was, how close the sea lions were, and how far I was from where the employees of HMB Kayak could see me.  Then the current started to really pick up, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to get back.

Just then, some women who were walking along the pier saw me, started yelling, and tried to get help for me.  I told them I was fine, and that there was no emergency, but they said to hang on and that help would be there soon.  I was feeling utterly embarrassed that I had to be saved, but I realized that it was true, I needed some help.

Luckily for me, a wizened, old fisherman with a small motor boat came to my rescue. When he pulled up, I told him I was too heavy for him to lift up, but he assured me that he could get me out.  He pulled me out of the water, and I was angled directly into his lap.  Awkward!  But I wasn’t worried about it at a time like that.  He got me into his boat, made sure I was ok, which I was, and brought me back. When I told him how embarrassed I was, he said that on the open ocean, things can go from “fine” to “bad” in no time.  And I know he’s right.

Ani saw what was going on and grabbed my iPhone to capture the rescue.  LOL.

Ani saw what was going on and grabbed my iPhone to capture the rescue. LOL.

I was just grateful to have his assistance, and to make it back to shore safely.

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All in all, I am glad I tried it, but my adventure helped me realize a few things:

  1. I need to do more research about the company I use.  HMB Kayak was terrible. They gave little instruction, sent me out ill-prepared, and I’ll never use them again.
  2. My next SUP/Kayak will be done on a lake or smaller body of water.  The ocean is way too rough for a beginner.
  3. I am strong.  I have come so far, and I have so much to be proud of.  When I look at myself in this photo, I notice significant changes in my body.  I have a ways to go, but I am happy with the way I look now.

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I had the most amazing day in recent memory today! I spent the day riding my bike in Half Moon Bay with my friend Ani.  The forecast was crisp (54 degrees), but sunny, so I knew it would be a perfect day at the beach.  It was such a simple yet delightful day, and I wanted to make sure to document it and share some beautiful photos I snapped.

(I know my iPhone camera is no DSLR, but I am pretty impressed with how well these shots turned out).

As we were riding our bikes down to the bike path by the beach, we passed the strangest sight…

furryfellow

This furry fellow was just hanging out, eating the grass behind an old fence in the middle of a neighborhood.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen an alpaca in person, but he seemed to enjoy hamming it up for the camera.

There were lots of other beautiful images that I captured, all before I ever reached the beach.

unbeachy beautiful

Before we road along the beach, Ani and I decided to stop and have our lunches.  To make sure I stayed on track, I packed myself a little picnic to enjoy on one of the benches that overlook the ocean.

picnic
aniAni’s been getting into taking film photography, and she spent the afternoon taking many of the same photos that I did, only on black and white film, paying attention to the proper F/stops.  I can’t wait to see how her shots turn out, since she’s going to experiment with a new way to develop them, using tea instead of chemicals.  And yes, she did read about it on Pinterest.

I like to think I have a fairly good eye, and learning how to take better pictures would be something I’m very interested in, although I see myself as someone who would invest in a decent DSLR camera rather than film.  Digital is more forgiving.  Imagine what kinds of pictures I could get with a nice camera…

beachy beautiful

meonlola Although I’m sure I’ll look at this shot later as one of many “before” photos, I love it because it captures how much fun I was having riding my bike in the sun, the beach to my right, wind whipping all around me.  The wind was super strong!!  The only thing that kept me going as I was pushing myself against the brutal wind was the thought of the great resistance workout it was providing.  Riding my beach cruiser at the beach has to be one of the most simple pleasures I can think of.  Not only does it allow me to exercise – we biked for an hour and 20 minutes and I burned 1065 calories – but it makes me feel free.

Now for my favorite beach shot of the day.  And yes, it’s now my FB cover photo:

oceanviewhmb

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Since we were only about 20 minutes away from the nearest David’s Tea, and since Ani is now even more obsessed with their loose leaf tea as I am (coffee will always be my #1), we decided to make a pitstop.

davids

I was struck by how immaculate the store was, and now knowledgeable and friendly the staff was.  I’ll definitely be back to their retail stores, especially now that I know they’re opening up a third San Francisco location.

tea

In case you were wondering, I got a fresh-brewed cup of pumpkin chai – yum!

All in all, yesterday was one of those picture-perfect days that come along every so often.  It’s definitely one that I hope becomes the norm during my summer vacation.

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1. I’m thrilled that as I type this I’m getting my “sparklers” worked out. It’s been far too long, but I had to recover from Christmas before I could afford it again. I love the whole salon experience, and especially the feeling of being a “girly girl” and taking care of myself. Plus, it’s nice to get time to sit and read (or blog).

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2.
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I saw these “Jane Eyre” shoes the other day on one of my bibliophile sites, and I love them. They seem pretty easy to make, so I just may have to make this my first 13 in 13 Goal #7 craft. I have the week of February 18th off, so look for a post about my “novel shoes” sometime around then. I think I’ll make Catcher in the Rye flats as my first project.

3. I’m excited for tomorrow because LC and I are going to spend a “sister day” together. We’re heading out to Half Moon Bay early so we can ride bikes along the beach. Then we have a pedi scheduled later in the afternoon, and we’re going to finish with a yummy sushi dinner. Can’t wait!!

4. I saw this on FB early this afternoon, and it couldn’t be more true!

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5. What pre-Superbowl post would be complete without a little 9er love? I’m so looking forward to the game, and can’t wait to celebrate a SF victory!!!

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For the month of December, I’ll be participating in #WEverb11. Each day gives a new prompt, each of which is a chance to reflect and look forward.

December 26: Revive

Share a favorite photo from the past year. What was happening behind the scenes? What were you thinking or feeling? What could you smell, taste, see, hear at that moment? Contributed by Tara.

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This was taken on the beach in Carmel this summer.  It was the first time that Sofi had ever been on the beach, and the first time I’d gone with my sister and my nieces and their dog this summer.  In fact, I think it was the only time all of us were able to go.

I love how Sofi’s hair is so wind-blown and her eyes are all squinty, because of the wind.  She was in awe of all of the sand around us. It was so much fun just being out there with her and watching her observe everything.

It was good for me because I got out of my own comfort zone and let Sofi go off leash.  I had to put a lot of faith in the fact that she wouldn’t go off too far and that she’d come back to me when I called her.  I remember just how nervous I was that day as she walked just a few feet from me.  And when she went a bit farther, I got even more nervous, but I just let her go, with my sister’s coaching and encouragement.  And then I called to her and she came, and it was the best feeling ever.

It was the only time I’ve ever taken Sofi to the beach, and I’d had such a good time, I think I might just take her again this week.  So what if it’s December and it’s cold outside?  We’re not going to go swimming – Sofi is scared of the ocean (or she was, last time, anyway) and I’m not going to take a swim.  The weather at the beach is usually warmer than inland (where I live) this time of year, and our weather has been gorgeous around here lately – 60s and sunny.  I don’t have any plans on Wednesday, so I think I’m going to head to Santa Cruz (or maybe Half Moon Bay) with Sofi and make a day of it.

This photo also reminds me to take more photos of everyday life.  Because you never know when you’re capturing a memory.

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If you’d like to join in on the daily writing prompts, go to WEverb11, sign up for the email notifications, and join us! Or follow along on Twitter using the #WEverb11 hashtag!

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For the month of December, I’ll be participating in Reverb 10. Each day gives a new prompt, which is a chance to reflect on 2010 and manifest what’s next in 2011.

December 22 – Travel
How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year? (Author: Tara Hunt)

I didn’t travel at all in 2010.  Sadly enough, I didn’t even go to the beach much.  I did make it to SF a few times, and I went to Napa, but since those are local trips, I don’t really consider them traveling.

I really need to make up for lost time in 2011!  Money permitting, I’d like to travel to:

  • Vegas for my 40th birthday in July.
  • Boston to visit CTLB (or, she can come here)
  • Michigan/Chicago to visit my uncle.  I’m hoping my sister & nieces can make the trip with me.
  • I’d also like to take a road trip in the Bug.  I’m envisioning somewhere coastal, so maybe north to Seattle?  Who knows, maybe SeattleRunnerGirl and I can meet up.

And in the spring, summer, and fall of 2011, I want to take plenty of weekend trips to great local places:

  • Half Moon Bay
  • Santa Cruz/Capitola
  • Napa/Sonoma

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…and spending the day with my sister, riding bikes in Half Moon Bay.  Does it get any better?

What an awesome Saturday I had today!  Not only did I get to spend the day with my sister, but we got in a ton of exercise, biking along the Coastside Trail in Half Moon Day.  We couldn’t have asked for better weather either.  Half Moon Bay is known for its fog, but today it was gloriously sunny, although really, really windy.  (Which is why there was no fog). The water was sparkling and so blue, almost glittering, to our right as we road south-bound on the trail.  The people we passed along the way were all so happy and friendly, saying hello and wishing us a good day.  It was one of those afternoons that comes around so rarely that you have to cherish it and know that this is karma’s way of letting you know you’re leading a good life.  It was magical.

I’m not sure exactly how far we road our bikes, but we were riding at a fairly moderate pace (especially when the wind was against us) for over an hour and a half.  I can’t think of any better way to spend 90 minutes than seeing the gorgeous ocean below our paved path.  It was exactly as I had hoped when we first planned the day.

LC and I said how much we wished we’d done this bike ride earlier in the season, so we could’ve taken advantage of the great weather.  Now that it’s mid-October, this is probably the last bike ride we’ll be able to do in Half Moon Bay until January.  By then it will be really cold and rainy much of the time, which doesn’t make for great biking conditions.

Still, with views similar to these (below), it’s worth the wait.  Not only that, but I earned 7 Activity Points on WW the day before my first weigh-in – bonus!!

This shows the paved path we were biking on

This shows the paved path we were biking on

Another view of the Coastside Trail, with a bit of the ocean to the left

Another view of the Coastside Trail, with a bit of the ocean to the left

Another part of the Coastside Trail

Another part of the Coastside Trail

Gorgeous Half Moon Bay

Gorgeous Half Moon Bay

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