While we lived in Newport, we were part of a pretty fabulous network of friends. Everyone knew an engineer and there was always something going on or something to do. There was also always a trip here or there being planned. One annual trip that we've done about 6 times now is the April New Hampshire hike to Tuckerman's Ravine.
Last year we bailed. I used the sick lame excuse that we were busy with wedding stuff...shame on me since we were getting married months later. But, we made our way back there this year. We left Rhode Island around noon on Friday and leisurely drove up to North Conway. One favorite stop---the second rest stop once you cross the NH border...where there's a state liquor store...we stocked up on around $175 worth of wine, Bombay Sapphire (Mr. Allan's favorite) and Maker's Mark...for when Mr. Allan is feeling like a classy S.O.B. :)
Friday night we did the usual dinner at the Red Parka Inn where you dine and look at millions of license plates adorning the wall. The weather wasn't really cooperating. We woke up early to see about 4 inches of snow on the ground. Mr. Allan went with the boys and hiked up to Tuckerman's Ravine. I stayed back, since I've done the hike a bunch of times and didn't have waterproof pants. I opted to go on a smaller hike with some of the families.
We hiked up to Aerthusa Falls. It was about a 3 miles round hike. But, even better, I got to do it with 2 amazing ladies!
Here's what we saw at the top of the hike. The hike was amazing with fresh snow falling. Although, it did become a bit bothersome when the tree branches became heavy with snow and a big plop fell on your head. The falls look small in this lovely Blackberry phone picture, but they were quite impressive and alot bigger in person.
Here are my partners in crime, Meg and Diana. Meg (in the back) gets some props for not having been hiking recently and for completing the hike in boots a tiny bit too small. Diana gets mad props. Diana (in the front) is six months pregnant. Can we say trooper!!! This hike wasn't a stroll in the park. It was probably somewhat of a moderate hike, but we climbed almost the whole way.
We made it back to the condos, had a fun pot luck dinner. We took off early sunday morning to make a pitt stop at my sister's house in Beverly, MA for a visit. All in all, a successful trip with 54 of our closes friends!
I used to be a lot bigger than I am now. Sometimes it's weird to tell people. Like, hey, 5 years ago, I weighed 50 lbs more than I do now. I was born at 9lbs 11oz and steadily gained weight since that day up until I was 25 or so. I was a big kid in elementary school, an awkward fat kid in middle school, and a big athletic girl in high school, and pretty chunky in college and law school.
When I took the bar exam in the summer of 2003, diet and exercise was the last thing on my mind and I hit an all time high. Around 2004-2005, I just got sick of it. I went to Weight Watchers and signed up. Every Tuesday night I'd go to this run down VFW hall in Middletown, RI and wait for the AA meeting to let out. I'd grab my booklet, get weighed in and then sit and hang out for a 20 minute meeting. On the way home, I'd call my mom and dad and tell them how much weight I lost, like the big dork I am.
5 months late, I was around 30 lbs down, by summer I was in a bikini.
It seems so long ago. But, the memories of being so uncomfortable in my own skin are quite familiar.
Just for sh*ts and giggles..here are some old school before and after pics!
The one on the left was a Florida vacation that Bill and I took in October of 2004. The funny thing was, I never thought I was fat. I was a big girl, but I could fit into clothes. We got our pictures back and I nearly died. Not to mention...I wish I had a good friend that told me I needed a better bra.
The one of the left was taken in September 2005. We went to Vegas to celebrate my college roommate's wedding. I'll never forget--my roommate's mom, who I met numerous times, didn't recognize me.
The battle continues. Sometimes I think maintaining is harder than losing it all!
I'm glad to report that I lost that weight about 5 years ago. For the most part, I've kept it off, although it seems like every day is a battle. It's funny how when I was overweight, I never thought I was that fat. But, looking back on it, I thought nothing about downing icecream, Wendy's, desserts, and candy..you name it. So, while I'm glad i'm not the fat girl anymore, it's really become more about being healthy and taking care of myself. So, put the soda down, drink some water and get your butt outside for some good ole exercise.
It's back on. Hell, it even pushed the local news back a half hour.
I hopped on the Glee bandwagon. I wouldn't classify myself as a gleek ( definition from http://www.urbandictionary.com/ "To LOVE the show Glee, or if you are in Glee club at your school "). But, this was a great clip from last night's show!!!
Mr. Allan travels a lot. I typically find myself alone for a week about once a month.
When Mr. Allan travels, not only do I get a little bit sad, but our three cats do as well. The first day, they typically act normal. The second day, they're all over me and become clingy. By the third day, they're going nuts. They run around the house like chickens with their heads cut off, scratching at doors, thinking I'm hiding Mr. Allan in a closet somewhere. The fourth, fifth, and so on days, they ignore me in protest for Mr. Allan being gone. Mr. Allan typically comes home to a fanfare from the cats, rubbing up against his legs, purring, showing him how happy they are that he's home.
For example, this morning the cats decided to gallop around the house chasing each other and practically shrieking. I've never heard such a high pitched meow come out of our male cat. He typically doesn't make alot of noise at all. He seemed to enjoy the sound of his meow and kept going in the hallway and living room to hear it echo even louder. Oh yeah, all this at 5:10 AM.
I do realize that I sound like a crazy cat lady. As a co-worker told me, it's not normal when the number of cats outnumber the humans in your house. The child-less peeps will know what I'm talking about. When you don't have kids, your pets are your kids. So crazy as I may sound, these cats are the cutest kiddos we have right now!
In protest of her dad leaving, our little Tortie cat, Reese, slept on his suitcase hoping he wouldn't leave.
Now that I'm newly in my 30's, having a couple drinks or maybe staying up too late is taking its toll on me. I can remember back to some UMASS days where we'd start at 6pm and end around 3am and I'd bounce awake in the morning, shower, and head to the GAP for an 8 hour shift.
ahhhh...the good old days. Now everyone that lived at 288 Puffton is now married, some with kiddos, and most, not hanging until 3am anymore.
One little secret weapon I've grown to adore is Origin's No Puffery. This is a miracle gel. When you go out on a Friday night, have one too many drinks or are convinced to take a couple shots and you wake up the next day feeling like H-E- double hockey sticks, this stuff works wonders. If I wake up looking sunk in, or with puffy dreary I'm really 31 now looking eyes, I rub this cooling gel on and it helps start the day not feeling like crap
Last year at this time we were furiously saving and planning a wedding. I'm glad to be past it, although it was an amazing, life changing, day I'll never forget, when you think about it, sometimes it seems awfully silly that you put that much time and effort into planning one day. I do, however, think we were very realistic and great at keeping it real and telling ourselves, it's one day.
I'm part of a great message board compiled of all ladies who were married around the time that I was. We were posting about our engagement pictures and sharing them with each other. Our photographer, Melissa Robotti, Melissa's awesome website, took our engagement pictures last summer. Here are a couple of our favorites below.
Just a funny story about our engagement pictures. They were orginally scheduled for a couple weeks before we actually took them. But, weather didn't cooperate and we rescheduled them. Mr. Allan thought they were at 6pm when they were really at noon. We were so frazzled and upset at one another. I drove like an absolute maniac because we were running late and I HATE being late for anything! So, Melissa worked absolute miracles since we look like we like each other in our pictures.
This was taken outside the timeshare condos on Wellington Ave. Mr. Allan and I lived a few blocks from here
This is the gazebo at King's Park on Wellington Ave. Mr. Allan and I run alot to keep in shape. Our daily run routes differed a bit, mostly because Mr. Allan can run alot further than me. Our routes used to meet up by King's Park. Well, Mr. Allan used to pass me along this stretch and meet me at home, I should say.
Sitting on the gazebo steps.
Walking at King's Park. One of the many things I love about Mr. Allan is that he's always got an arm around me, holding my hand, or touching my shoulder. I usually reign him in like this for a smooch. It's funny, but we had so many wedding pictures with my arm twist bringing him in pose
During our engagement shoot, we retraced our steps the night we got engaged. Mr. Allan brought me to places that had special meaning to us all over Newport. This was a stop on Thames St. for a photo op
Nothing says Rhode Island or Newport like a nice cold Del's on Ocean Drive
I think Melissa told Mr. Allan to say something funny...I think it worked
We then headed down to Gooseberry Beach. I love this picture. It is a great picture, but I work out alot. My butt is at step aerobics, kickboxing, or running at least 3-4 times a week. I felt like Melissa captured my hard worked calves in this picture. Thanks Melissa!
The concession stand at Gooseberry Beach!
I could have posted all 80 or so pictures that Melissa captured. She was our #1 best decision when it came to planning our day. I love to look back at all the pictures. I love how they're artistic and different, not just smiling at the camera and saying "CHEESE" types.
Melissa also featured us on her blog...woo hoo...we made the blog
When we got married, we registered for a ton of stuff. When Bill and I moved in together, he had this thing about me buying new items and "purging" him of all his belongings, as he'd like to put it. So, I seldom shopped for anything house related, unless something broke or we desperately needed it. So, registering was like a big old party that I'd been waiting for for 8 years.
One of my favorite gadgets has got to be my pineapple corer and slicer from Crate and Barrel.
Here's the Pineapple Slicer working it's wonder. It's April and that means fruit is starting to taste good and be in season in the grocery stores. Since we try our best to eat healthy and not eat processed foods, this tool is making it might easy to cut a good pineapple.
first...chop of the top part of you pineapple
You just place the gadget at the top and turn and it pops out the good part of the pineapple like so
Here's the cored pineapple skin..you could even go all out and maybe fill it with fruit. I think we had something similiar in Hawaii on our lovely, long, relaxing, best vacation eva honeymoon
It's caused such a stir in little ole Rhode Island this week. President Obama has declared 4 of the 5 counties in RI a disaster area. We're fortunate. Our home survived with only a puddle in the garage. As I drove to work both yesterday and today, you can easily tell who was hit hard by the piles of rugs, and soaked belongings at the end of driveways.
While our house survived...the pool, on the other hand, did not. We went to bed on Tuesday night. It was pouring out. The pool was brimming with water. We figured if there was too much water on the cover, it would simply spill over the sides. On Wednesday morning, I woke up early to get ready, preparing for a bad commute. When I got out of the shower, I peeked outside and did a triple take. The cover of the pool was sucked down in the middle and no water was in the pool.
Once we dried out, on Thursday we went to assess the damage. We pulled back the cover to find a giant sink hole in the middle of the pool. The ground is still soft to the touch underneath the dents in the ground and these sink holes literally sucked all the water out of the pool and sucked the liner into the ground.
Here's a picture of Mr. Allan by the sink holes.
So, while this spring was supposed to be all about replacing the roof, fixing the central air and getting the house in order...an unexpected pool repair may be in the works as well. Boo Hoo Mother Nature :(