Monthly Archives: February 2010

Martinis, Great Sage and New Soles

Well, this was quite the eventful weekend…in a good way.  After the past few weeks it was really great to some fun things.  Friday night Kate brought me to one of her event/industry parties at Blackfinn in Bethesda, minutes from my office. Martinis and Makeovers featured $5 martinis (too bad I don’t drink), lots of tables feature everything from jewelery to breast implants, and giveaways every 20 min.  I was only one number off from winning botox, but alas my losing streak still hasn’t been broken.  But the night was hardly a bust because I bought a beautiful necklace and received this free, funky bracelet made from all recycled materials.

Artsy Fartsy by Susie D.

On Saturday I journeyd north into Maryland to meet up with a bunch of other bloggers. I met up with Lauren (who invited me – thanks!), Anne, AshleyKat, Sana, Matt, and Jacquie. We went to Great Sage in Clarksville and I had arguably one of the best salads ever!  All the other girls (and one guy!) had their cameras and took pictures of their food, but I guess I’m just not that with it because it never dawned on me to bring mine.  A BIG THANK YOU to Jacquie for taking a picture of my Mediterranean salad for me. Delicious.  It was great to meet everyone and to hear how successful they have been with their blogs.  It was a little inspiring me and I’m going to try to improve upon mine and make a better effort to keep it up.

Today I took yet another step to fixing my legs.  I feel like I’ve done absolutely everything correct in order to get rid of all these little problems so that I can run again.  I think that the doctor I went to on Thursday was in a bad mood.  He really wasn’t very helpful (told me that I was getting on the cusp of being too old to be a serious athlete – I’m 24!!!!!) So today I ventured down to my running shop, Georgetown Running Company in Chevy Chase, to get some inserts and re-evaluate my pronation diagnosis.  I’ve been told multiple times that I’m pretty much neutral and balanced.  Which I’ve always thought was weird because I’m hardly balanced (except on a horse) and I have shin issues that are usually associated with people who over pronate.  So when the doctor told me the other day that I over pronate I thought that might be my breakthrough and thats why I wasn’t getting better.  But after videotaping myself at the shop and watching my feet me, Pete and the salesman (who I run with in my group) all agreed that I don’t really over pronate at all and I am actually neutral.  Which I guess is good because I don’t need to get new shoes afterall.  Instead I got some inserts, which hopefully will work because they were pretty pricey. All in all, it was a very nice weekend and hopefully I’ll continue to do more fun things like it in the future.

Superfeet

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Move over running, it’s time to go curling

Maybe it’s a combination of being slightly injured but also my love for all things Olympics, I’ve developed a crush on a new sport/game: curling. Not only did I spend my weekend watching the game (and asking Pete what they were doing every 10 seconds), I actually got to partake in a little curling myself on Sunday. Our curling team originally began as 4, but unfortunately Pete was called to work at the last minute. Pete and I showed up to the Hilton Garden Inn for the USA Olympic Curling Expo around 1pm where there were four curling sheets set up. We were told it would be a 2.5 hour wait so we put our names on the list, called our friends Kate and Noah, and told them to be downtown in 2 hours – they’re sometimes a little late so we figured it was safer to say 2 ;-) Of course it ended up to be only an hour and half wait and by that time Pete was gone, but my other team members/opponents had arrived in his place.

The Next Big Thing in Curling

Full and youth size stones

So, curling is awesome! It’s also really difficult, especially if you use a regulation size stone. Luckily for me and my scrawny arms I was allowed to use the junior stone. Because I had been watching the game on tv for all of two days I felt that I was qualified to be an expert and therefore looked down upon some of the other players who were throwing the stone incorrectly. Kate called me a purist. I thought that was a very nice term.

It turns out that I really wasn’t so bad. In fact, none of us were. With the “help” of our curling coach (who we later learned had never played the sport and just worked for the hotel) we were able to navigate our way on the ice (plastic) and if I’m correct we each won at least once. I wish we could have played longer because I was totally getting into the feel of things. But alas our turn was up and it was time to go home. But my curling weekend wasn’t over yet. Later that afternoon the US curling team played Great Britain. Having now tried it out for myself I can appreciate the game. Too bad I don’t think it will count for cross training.

Curling in DC

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Pleasure Point

It’s been an incredibly intense few weeks, to say the least.  Two funerals in two weeks is two many (pardon the pun. Any light humor helps in these times).  There’s a lot to say here, but I think for the purpose of me processing everything I’m going to break it into parts.

Pleasure Point

I’ve spent the past five days out in Santa Cruz, quite a lovely contrast to the blizzard-plagued DC.  The travel was tough, but well worth it. (Worried about my flight out of DC last Thursday I hopped on a very early train to NY, bummed around SoHo where my dad works for a few hours, took a nauseating cab ride to JFK, flew to San Jose, and then drove my dad and uncle to our hotel in Santa Cruz.  My return flight yesterday had us flying into Dulles but unable to land because of snowy conditions and thus we wasted all of our fuel flying in a circle and had to make an emergency landing in Richmond only to get back in the air and fly to DC. Thank you to Kate (www.mixedaccordingly.blogspot.com) – and Noah who was checking my flight status from home – for braving the weather to pick me up at the airport, only to have to turn around because of the delay.)  
 

the theatre where the memorial was held

The three of us (my father, uncle Kai and I) flew out west for my Uncle Phil’s memorial.  I was honored to give his eulogy (in front of a whopping 300 person crowd!) on Saturday, but even more honored to have been able to experience his life out there and meet the incredible community that he was an integral part of.  My uncle left the east coast when he was 18, lured to Santa Cruz through his passion: surfing.  I don’t think it was just the sport that captivated him – after all he had surfed all his childhood in Newport but still decided to leave.  It was the ocean, the atmosphere, the way of life.  He was a longboarder.  I’m told there is a big distinction between longboarders and shortboarders, although I understand that he has surfed both in his life.  His surf spot: Pleasure Point.  We stayed at a hotel in Capitola, a section of Santa Cruz closest to the Point.  I tried to spend as much time as I possibly could near his surf spot.  Obviously because it’s beautiful, but also because I wanted to feel close to my uncle; to soak in what he experienced every day.  Every morning I woke up early to go for a run at

After our run

 daybreak, arriving at the ocean the same time as a lot of the surfers.  And I returned for a walk at sunset.  Phil used to always tell us that the sun rose and set over the bay.  We never understood how this was possible.  Honestly, I’m still not quite sure how this possible (it’s a little confusing figuring out what direction your facing, especially if you’re used to having the ocean to the direct east).  But it’s true.  The sun rises and sets right there on the bay, giving these surfers the most amazing views.
 

Pleasure Point

Pleasure Point - the route of my daily runs

 

Pleasure Point is quite long, especially when you’re used to surfing at First Beach in Newport where there’s only really one small spot.  Over the course of my days there I learned that a great ride was from Don’s house (Phil’s best friend) to Jack’s house (that would be Jack O’Neill – founder of the legendary brand and resident along Pleasure Point’s cliffs).  Both my runs and walks there were absolutely incredible – not just for the spectacular views, but also because of the people I met.  My uncle was a member of the Pleasure Point Night Fighters a “neighborhood group that originally started as volunteer firefighters during Prohibition in 1919. Through the decades the Night Fighters evolved into a club of surfers that works with residents and elected leaders to protect the area from becoming overwhelmed with new large homes that dwarf the neighborhood’s quaint beach cottages.”  My uncle was the vice president for many years.  The Night Fighters have been absolutely incredible since his passing.  They’ve helped my aunt, organized the memorial at the theatre downtown, and pretty much orchestrated what needed to get done to honor a man who had been their leader for so many years.  Wherever we walked (we being me, my father, uncle Kai, and our Newport “contingent” featuring four of Phil’s best childhood friends who I have known since I was born and I’ve grown up with their children), someone stopped us to tell us their favorite story of Phil.  Usually we heard people yelling “Niece”, trying to get my attention – they recognized me from the memorial. More than once someone shared their own story of learning to drive stick (my uncle taught me and this was something I spoke about).  I think my dad felt a little out of place during these encounters – he’s an east coaster after all – but I loved these guys.  Santa Cruz is quite different from DC, NYC, or even Newport for that matter.  It’s a much more laid back atmosphere, where friends, family and surfing take priority.  I can see why Phil loved it there. There’s a pretty healthy mix of white collar and blue collard “dudes”, all surfers who spent as much time as they could in the water. They all seemed to know Phil, and all had a kind word.


 
I’m trying to hesitate on looking into the past and saying “I’m sorry I didn’t get to…”  I’ve heard enough of my family say those things in the past month and frankly I’m a little sick of it.  I am a little sorry that I haven’t been out to Santa Cruz before, although I’m not sure that I’d be able to appreciate it the way I can now, as an adult.  Most importantly, I’m thrilled that I was able to take this trip.  It was important to be with my aunt, and it was important to learn about Phil and appreciate his life.  Santa Cruz was all his.  He made his life for himself, and I can see why.  Now my goal is to not stay away for too long, and share Pleasure Point with Pete soon.

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Word Cloud

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