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Operation: Sloth Week

Hey, friends—how’s it going?  First, thanks for your kind comments on my previous post.  Although that half-marathon went from really good to really bad in a matter of seconds, I probably spoke too soon when I swore off the distance.

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Shout out to my mom for the picture.  Even though my stomach was down for the count, it looks like my form is somewhat decent, ha.

I will not let 13.1 miles get the best of me!  But before I make a rash decision and sign up for another race, I’ve been taking advantage of some much needed downtime—which I’ve deemed Operation: Sloth Week.

The premise is simple: no training, no exercising, and eating whatever I want.

Let’s start with eating because that’s easy.  My dad is visiting this week, so we’ve been enjoying meals out.  As you saw on Sunday, we hit up Madison Square Eats, and on Monday, we went to a neighborhood favorite, Markt, a Belgian restaurant.

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Boo for poor lighting.

This meal isn’t incredibly slothy: red snapper with mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts.  Unpictured, however, are two glasses of wine and coffee heath bar ice cream.

Tuesday evening, we went to see Kinky Boots on Broadway.

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It won the 2013 Tony for Best Musical, and it was a great show!  Plus, how can any form of entertainment that centers on shoes (shoes, shoes, shoes, OMG, shoes) be a bad thing?  We grabbed some pizza after, and I inhaled it so quickly that I forgot “proper blogger technique” and didn’t take a picture.

It’s also highly possible I had pizza for lunch yesterday.

We also had a store meeting last night, and since I’m working on being a real person, the 8:30 p.m. start time didn’t phase me as much as it would’ve last week.  And no swimming at 5:45 a.m. this morning meant I could actually have a beer.  I know—I’m going crazy.

So yeah, the food has been great, but honestly, not working out has been challenging.  I relished in doing absolutely nothing Monday and Tuesday, but I really wanted to run yesterday.  And today. (Victoria, you were so right; it’s Thursday, and I’m dying to do something!) On the bright side, I have an outreach “meeting” tomorrow morning at a cycling studio, and the instructor invited me to try out her class. (Have I mentioned how much I love my job?) So slothing—in terms of not exercising—will end shortly.

One aspect of Sloth Week I didn’t anticipate included how going from regular training to absolutely nothing would affect me mentally.  Monday was OK because it seemed like a normal rest day, but by Tuesday, I felt ancy; I didn’t have as much energy, I didn’t feel sharp mentally, and I basically didn’t feel like myself.  And I’ve also felt like a poser this week at the store.  I mean, when customers ask how often you run, what do you say?  ‘Usually four times a week except when I’m being a sloth’ doesn’t sound legit.

Anyway, yes, I’ve taken advantage of this unstructured downtime, but I’m definitely ready to start sprinkling in some swimming, biking, running, and strength training again.

How often to you take a break from training and/or exercising?  How does working out affect you mentally?

Foodie Friday – Chelsea Market

Happy Friday, everyone!  I’m currently en route to Montauk for Saturday’s triathlon, but I want to share some escapades from my mommy’s visit last week.

Wednesday

My mom met me after my shift ended at work, and we wandered around Union Square and went to The Strand until it was time for dinner.  This was a no-brainer:  Rosa Mexicano, here we come!

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We polished off some guac, chips, and one pitcher of red sangria, plus our delicious chicken enchilada entrees. (She totally copied me.) Everything tasted so delicious, but not going to lie, my stomach was not happy the next few days.  You win some, you lose some.

Thursday

Since I had a double-off day (no work and no workout), my mom signed us up for a Foods of New York walking tour of Chelsea Market.

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Fourteen people comprised our three-hour long tour, and our guide Darryl was hilarious.  He’s an actor, so he’d randomly start singing and dancing.  Anyway, our first stop of the day was Eleni’s, a bakery that fuses sweet treats with graphic art.

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The Chelsea Market shop was huge and had a ton of delicious looking cookies.

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And cupcakes.

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Nothing like a mini-red velvet cupcake at 10 a.m.  And I know Tim O’Donnell and Mirinda Carfrae would approve!

Next, we took a quick peek inside Chelsea Wine Vault, and I loved seeing a few CNY bottles.

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Woohoo for hometown pride!  No tastings unfortunately, but the store does offer classes, and my mom and I decided we’ll do one next time—with my dad, too, of course.

A quick chocolate milk break at Ronnybrook Milk Bar followed, and then we looked around Spices and Tease and Nutbox.

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You’re not a healthy living blogging unless you photograph various nutbutters, right?

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We visited Lucy’s Whey for cheddar cheese and a sinful grilled cheese panini.

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I’m not a huge cheese person (so weird, I know), but I easily polished off this comfort food favorite.

During our break, we had time to browse a bit, and I found this chipotle extra virgin olive oil at The Filling Station.

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Yes, chipotle EVOO.  How good does that sound?

Farther into this store area, there was a book exchange.

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Too funny!

Anyway, even though I started to feel full, I powered a quiche-like sampling at Buon Italia, a sausage roll, and some chocolate at Jacques Torres.

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Our final stop in Chelsea Market was Sarabeth’s where we tasted a scone with jam and marmalade.

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The tour then took us outside to the High Line, and we walked further into the Meatpacking District to Marcelleria for some pasta.

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And later that night, my mom and I saw The Book of Mormon on Broadway.

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Two words:  hilariously obscene!

What’s your favorite way to explore a city?  Have you been on a walking tour?

Home Sw-EAT Home

Hello, hello from Upstate New York!

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Even though spring has officially arrived, the lake remains frozen.  Before I left practice Wednesday, my teammates said I should drill a hole and hop in for some open-water swimming.  It sounded like a great idea to me, but my mom shot it down—ha!

Anyway, it feels so nice to be home!  My tiny hometown is basically the exact opposite of New York City, and although I love living there, I do like escaping the concrete jungle every now and then.  My train yesterday arrived almost an hour late—you’re killing me, Amtrak!—so lunch was on my mind. (Not that there’s ever a time when I’m not thinking about food, but you get my point.) Luckily, my mom had some Easter grocery shopping to do at Wegmans, so we went there for lunch.

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Holy cow—I’ve missed Weggies so much!  I planned to get the citrus tofu roll, but it wasn’t available, so I went with a spicy tuna roll, plus a side of roasted mushrooms and asparagus.

For dinner, my family went to Circa, our favorite local restaurant.

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Luckily, my sisters and I “like” Circa on Facebook, so we knew there wasn’t wine—and alerted my parents, so we came prepared!  Salad and turkey mole for dinner.

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Mmmm!

Breakfast after my swim this morning was my standard spinach and egg white breakfast sandwich, and I enjoyed a delicious bowl of homemade black bean soup after my tempo run.

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Black bean soup never photographs well, but trust me:  To.  Die.  For.  I also chased it with an orange.

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Speaking of orange, Syracuse beat Indiana last night and advanced to the Elite Eight—woohoo!  I’m so happy the Cuse-Marquette matchup will start at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow afternoon; the past games have tipped off around 9:40 p.m., which is past my bedtime. (Seriously.)

I’m going shopping with my sister now—enjoy your Friday!

Do you certain meals or visit certain restaurants when you’re home?

Snapshot Friday and Saturday

Every time my family visits, I tell myself I’ll be a good blogger, take tons of pictures, and write a really detailed recap about our adventures.  And every time I fail miserably—ha!  This weekend, though, I managed to snap a few pics, so I’ll share those with you.

Friday

After rocking my wetsuit at Friday’s swim practice, I spent the day hanging out with my sister Margaret.  First, we ate lunch at Terri, an organic and vegetarian restaurant.

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I ordered the “tuna” melt (aka chickpea salad) with a side of roasted sweet potatoes.

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It tasted great and kept me full during our entire shopping trip, which included stops at Zara and Kate Spade.

Margaret trying on shoes—YOLO.

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I took a class in college with Michele called “He Says, She Says,” so I found this iPhone cover oh so rhetorical.

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Even though it was blizzarding in NYC, Margaret and I ordered our first iced coffees Americanos of the season.

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Spring better be on the way!

My parents and sister Ellen arrived later that night and brought some goodies from my grandma—homemade sauce and meatballs for the win!

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I cannot wait to break into this stash.

Saturday

My weekend started with a Full Throttle Endurance swimming practice at Chelsea Piers and brunch at my teammate’s apartment. (Er, triathlete brunch, I guess; we ate around 9:30 a.m.—ha!) I didn’t want to be a creeper and whip out my iPhone, but the spread was impressive:  waffles and whipped cream made from scratch, asparagus and goat cheese frittata, plus bacon, Italian biscotti, and sparkling apple cider.  Holy moley, everything was so good!  I also enjoyed hanging out with my teammates outside of swimming, biking, and running.  Yes, we talked triathlons the entire time, but it was great to focus on the conversation without keeping an eye on the clock to time our rest and intervals.

Back at my apartment, my family and I watched the first half of the Syracuse basketball game (I don’t want to talk about the final result) before heading uptown to see Jersey Boys.

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Absolutely incredible!

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And get this—one of the “swing” cast members played Frankie Valli, and he totally killed it!  He even had his own friends and family cheering section.

Speaking of family …

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Doing what we do best—goofing off!

Next, we wandered around Chelsea Market briefly, but it was a bit difficult navigation-wise with all five of us, so we didn’t stay very long.  I was also experiencing some stomach troubles and was so not in the mood to take pictures.

For dinner, we went to a Raymi, a Peruvian restaurant for dinner, and it was phenomenal!  Again, not pictures due to being girl-down, but we plan to go back.

How was your weekend?

Snapshot Saturday – The Best Day Ever

Hiya, friends—hope your Saturday is going great so far!  As you know, one of my best friends from college visited yesterday, and we had so much fun! (I used the Twitter hashtag #bestdayever quite frequently.) Here’s a quick look at how Melissa and I said TGIF.

While wandering around Grand Central and waiting for Melissa’s train, I walked into Pylones and immediately noticed these handbags.

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Yes, those are chocolate bar purses; yes, they smelled like chocolate.  And yes, I considered buying one.

Once Melissa arrived, we grabbed lunch at Guilty Goose, and then officially kicked off #TheBestDayEver with a trip to Crumbs.  Obviously.

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We struggled to select our desserts—not that you can pick a bad cupcake, know what I mean?—and we eventually bought three:  chocolate red velvet (in the back), starlight, and peanut butter cup.

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Look at these stars!

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Talk about intricately detailed.  We left the cupcakes at my apartment and headed to The Strand, aka the best bookstore in the city.  After flipping through a Downton Abbey book, we poked through the gizmo and gadget areas, and I almost bought this for my grandma.

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Ha!  Next, we made a quick pit stop at The City Bakery to try the best hot chocolate in New York City.

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Friends, if you visit NYC, you must stop here.  Hands down, this was the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had—rich, creamy, and not too sweet. (It tasted like semi-sweet chocolate, not milk.)

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Melissa and I actually split a small (they poured the portion into two cups) and even opted for marshmallows.  Neither one of us love marshmallows, but this tower convinced us to go for it.

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If there’s a marshmallow tower, then chances are the sweet fluff tastes incredible.  We decided to further fuel our chocolate highs, so we came back to my apartment, opened a bottle of red wine (more antioxidants!), ate one of the cupcakes, and watched a few episodes of Say Yes to the Dress.  Talk about perfection!  A few hours later, we went to Room Service to meet up with Melissa’s roommate (small world, right?) for drinks.

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Some sangria was consumed before we went to Brgr for turkey burgers.  No picture because I inhaled it!

What’s your favorite kind of cupcake?  What’s your favorite way to spend a girls’ night?

Déjà Vu at the Pool

Happy Friday, everyone!  This week flew by, right?  Having a holiday in the middle of the week seems throws things off.

Dinner

Last night, the family and I went to Circa, one of our favorite local restaurants.  Prior to last night, I hadn’t been there in a few months, so I was looking forward to going back.  Plus, since its menu changes every week or so, there are always fresh dishes that reflect seasonal foods and flavors.  For my meal, I ordered the spicy shrimp gumbo.

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I really, really wanted to love it, but it was just OK; I hoped for a spicier, more flavorful dish.  I ate the shrimp and sausage and left most of the rice; I had plans for dessert—for Christmas Eve, my sister made a roasted pumpkin gingerbread cake, so I had a slice.

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It hit the spot!

Breakfast

Back to an old favorite this morning.

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An open-faced spinach and egg white sandwich with Sriracha.

Workout – Swimming

Good news—the local pool was open today!  I headed over around 11 a.m. for 45 minutes of drill work. (On a semi-related note, I’ve been loving sleeping in, eating breakfast, and having a relaxing morning before working out.)

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Back when I was in elementary school, there used to be a “kids night out” event, which allowed students to hangout at this facility—it includes a pool, a few basketball courts, etc.—for a few hours on a Friday night, and I remember swimming in the pool and thinking it was absolutely huge. (After today’s workout, I can assure you it’s a standard lap pool!) In addition to this déjà-vu/blast-from-the-past moment, I also recognized the on-duty lifeguard who currently goes to my alma mater. (He’s actually the same age as my younger sisters.) We chatted for a few minutes—I had to tell him I graduated in May, ha!—and then I got to work.  I didn’t have high expectations for this swim because I hadn’t been in water for about one week, but it went surprisingly well; plus, it felt really good to swim since I’ve only been running while being home.

As I progressed through my drills, I noticed a few kids enter the pool, and they seemed to be goofing off—lots of laughing and very little swimming—which is totally fine.  Anyway, during my final set of 5x100s, one of their kickboards hit my arm, and instead of getting angry, I simply batted it away and thought to myself, It’s going to take more than a tap like that to rattle me.  Oh, open-water swimming …

I’m sure I’ve shared this before; it never gets old!

Lunch

At home, I heated up half of a leftover chicken breast and wilted some spinach for round one.

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This didn’t fill me up after swimming, so I also finished up the last of the jalapeño-stuffed peppers, plus some wild rice.

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Mmmm!  I then proceeded to eat my weight in chocolate-covered raisins—ha!

What’s the most recent (or strangest!) déjà-vu/blast-from-the-past moment you’ve experienced?

A New-to-Me Sports Drink

Hi, friends—Happy Hump Day!  And Happy 12/12/12!  Did you make a wish when the numbers lined up?

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Dinner

I invited two friends to my building’s holiday party last night, and we enjoyed some wine before heading to GustOrganics for dinner.

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It’s funny what you’ll find when you veer off your traditional route.  Because the restaurant is situated farther south than I usually walk, I had neither heard of nor walked by it before last night.  I really wanted a turkey burger, but they don’t serve burgers after 4 p.m. (weird, right?), so I ordered the hummus pita and quinoa tabbouleh instead.

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It was delicious, especially the grilled zucchini and eggplant.

Workout #1 – Swimming

Not to jinx myself, but I think I hit a swimming turning point.  The 45 minutes of drill work flew by this morning (no Vince Vaughn sightings, by the way), and I feel more fluid in the water.  The body rotation exercises are becoming easier, but I still favor turning to my left, which is why I breathe exclusively to that side.  Swimmers, do you drill more on your weaker side? (During my basketball days, I used to shoot twice as many left-handed layups because I’m right-handed.) Now if only I could learn how to do a flip turn!

Breakfast

Good thing breakfast required zero prep work.

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I inhaled these overnight oats in a jar; swimming gets me every time!

Lunch

When lunchtime rolled around, I didn’t think twice—repeat of yesterday’s lunch was a no-brainer.

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I also ate an unpictured banana and carrots.

I have a 60-minute interval ride scheduled this afternoon, and I’m trying a new-to-me sports drink—PowerBar Perform. (Thanks for the clarification, MB!)

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During prior rides, I’ve been drinking Powerade, which has kept my energy levels up, but has led to some stomach cramps.  Nothing too bad, but I want to experiment with other kinds of nutrition.  Even though I don’t plan to do an Ironman anytime soon, this drink is dolled out at Ironman-sanctioned events.  Plus, if it’s good enough for three-time World Ironman Champion Craig Alexander, then it’s definitely worth a try.

Are you left- or right-handed?  Are certain tasks reserved for your dominant hand?  Do you use your non-dominant hand?

An OCD Moment and Dinner at Penelope

Hi!  Happy Hump Day!  How’s your week coming along?  I have some good news to share on the apartment décor front—my area rug arrived yesterday!

This looks innocent enough, but upon closer examination, you’ll see this setup simply will not do.

Cue a frantic OCD reaction.

My inner perfectionist could not deal with the rug-rug pad nonalignment, so I spent a good 30 minutes fixing the non-slip pad, unrolling and rerolling the rug, and obsessively adjusting it.  I couldn’t figure out why I was struggling so much, but I realized the rug pad measured one foot longer than the area rug, which was why things weren’t matching up.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and the labor was totally worth it.

Success!

Dinner

Last night, I made plans to meet up with my friend Sara for dinner at Penelope.  Sara and I go way back—we embarked on our Writing and Rhetoric Honors projects together, and we ran the Boilermaker 15-K this summer—so it was great catching up with her over a great meal.

Situated in Murray Hill, Penelope boasts a “refreshing twist on mom’s recipes.”  Ready to whet your whistle?

Did you spot the “seasonal sangria” on the board?  Once in our booth, Sara and I ordered two glasses of the harvest sangria, which contained apples, pears, and blueberries. (Sorry about the bad iPhone photos.)

For my meal, I went with “When Veggie Met Sally”—chopped greens with grilled veggie burger and green apple. (It also came with goat cheese, but I ordered it without.)

Whoops, such a fail; this picture doesn’t do it justice.  The fare was delicious, and it was great catching up with Sara.  Can’t wait to do it again!

Breakfast

Although I had an a.m. bike ride on the docket, rain and wind prompt me to postpone, so I ate my morning meal shortly after waking up.

Whole Foods didn’t have my standard Kashi waffles, so I picked up a box of Van’s Power Grains.  They definitely tasted grainy-er, and I topped them with almond butter and banana slices.

Time to start the day—have a good one, friends!

Happy 77th Birthday, Grandma!

Last night, we celebrated my grandma’s 77th birthday with dinner at Canal View and a delicious chocolate cake from Wegmans.

That’s our version of 77—“76 plus 1.”

What a great evening!

Workout – Bike-Run Brick Run

Originally, a bike-run brick workout was on the docket for today, but the weather had other ideas.  With showers all morning and afternoon plus a tornado watch beginning at 3 p.m., a ride wasn’t going to happen. (Note to self: Get bike trainer ASAP.) Instead, I swapped today’s multisport workout for Thursday’s 30-minute run; I’ll complete the brick tomorrow and bump my final pre-DeRuyter Lake Triathlon OWS to Thursday.  Anyway, I hopped on the treadmill for half an hour this morning, and it wasn’t bad.  Definitely not my best run ever, but far from the worst.

Breakfast

Soaking in sweat, I knew a cold morning meal would hit the spot; after rummaging around the fridge and freezer, I compiled a yogurt bowl.

Come to think of it, this mess looks more like a deconstructed parfait.

Banana slices and frozen blueberries lined the bottom, Greek yogurt comprised the middle layer, and Fiber One cereal, Seitenbacher muesli, and more banana slices topped the mixture.

Lunch

My mom and I met my dad at Zabroso’s this afternoon.  I’ve been to this Spanish eatery once before—many, many years ago, and I loved it—so I had high hopes.  Unfortunately, though, lunch was a bust.

All three of us ordered the chicken and rice special, but it wasn’t good.  Chicken and I are acquaintances—I don’t love it, but I’ll eat it if no other health options and/or protein sources are available—but this dish didn’t exactly help our trying friendship.  There was barely any meat on the bones, and the chicken that was present lacked flavor.  I ate two pieces and half of the rice before throwing in the towel; it just wasn’t worth it.

Afternoon Snack

After a disappointing lunch, a more substantial snack was in order.

First, I sliced an apple and microwaved it for one minute.  Next, I added some cinnamon and 1/4 cup instant oats, 1/2 cup water, and zapped the combo for another minute.  Topped with a heaping spoonful of peanut butter, this hit the spot.

OK, so changing gears a bit, you know how I found a big-girl apartment in New York City this weekend? (Here are the recaps, part one and two.) So, I received more paperwork this morning via email, and one of the forms listed restricted dog breeds.

No joke.

Luckily, the building is greyhound friendly, which means Zelda can visit.

Do you have any pets?  Did you have any growing up?  Does your building allow pets? (Is this list normal for an NYC apartment?  Just curious.)

Trip to New York City, Part Two

Part One left off at Friday night after two days filled with traveling, interviewing, apartment hunting, and eating some delicious food.  Time for part deux!

Saturday

My morning began at 5:10 a.m.  No, it wasn’t for a workout.  Well, it kind of was—I went to Chelsea Piers to observe a Full Throttle Endurance (FTE) swim practice!

Before leaving for New York City, I emailed Scott Berlinger, the head coach of this triathlon club, said I would be in town, and asked if I could watch a practice.  He invited me to his Monday morning swim session, but since I would be gone by then, I tagged along to Coach Danny Viera’s practice.  I liked Coach Danny immediately.  He’s young, fit, and very knowledgeable about all things triathlon.  Everything about the practice—the facilities, the atmosphere, the athletes—I loved (more detailed blog post to come!), so it’s safe to say I found my NYC triathlon training club.

Next, my parents and I went to Made Fresh Daily for brunch.

We had to work for brunch because it took some walking to find this café.  By staying in the Financial District, we experienced firsthand how the neighborhood essentially shuts down during the weekend; nearly every bar, restaurant, and most convenience stores closed Saturday and Sunday or kept very strange, abbreviated hours.  Made Fresh Daily, however, was quite busy, and the food was fantastic.  I ordered the summer veggie frittata.

Stuffed to the brim with mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, and cheese, it totally hit the spot.

With our bellies full, we took the subway to Chelsea and met Alex at the apartment (“the one”) my mom and I loved.  My dad ended up loving it, too.  Although we were ready to say yes then and there, we discussed a few additional options Alex found.  We vetoed places two immediately, but decided to see the third apartment, which was located way over on 11th Avenue.  I knew it was too far away from everything—subway, grocery stores, etc.—but both my parents and I wanted to see one more to ensure our favorite was “the one.”  Twenty-minutes later, we entered the posh building—it felt like a hotel turned dance club—and basically went through the motions (looking, asking the right questions, etc.).  Not surprisingly, it didn’t top “the one.”

During the 40-minute round trip, Alex and I bonded and “broed out.”  He’s three years older than me and went to a Big East school, so we had a ton to talk about in terms of Big East Sports, basketball rivalries, and other general NYC sports stuff. (Remember my obsession with Syracuse Basketball and March Madness?) I’ll tell ya, I can be a bro.

Anyway, as we filled out paperwork for “the one,” I noticed the management company’s name on the top of the forms; it’s the name of the boathouse at my alma mater’s campus.  After some quick Googling, I discovered the management company individual donated the money for the boathouse.  What’s more, the individual is on the board of trustees—what a small world!  So, folks, this means I officially have a big-girl apartment!

After taking care of all the logistical stuff, my parents and I went to Tarallucci e Vino for a celebratory drink.  Being a lightweight, I decided it would be best to bypass the booze until dinnertime, so I ordered tea instead.

This pot, called Chaucer’s Cup, contained apple, spices, ginger, and mango; fresh and light, it was a perfect late-afternoon pick-me-up.

And with Rosa Mexicano conveniently located next door, picking where to eat dinner was a no-brainer.

At the bar, we started with a pitcher of sangria and guacamole.

I tend to order the same dish here time and time again, but I looked at the menu away.

A few options sounded good, but I really wanted salmon.

Anytime salmon, pineapple, and black beans appear on one plate, I’m a happy girl.

Since we were in the area, we hit up Soft Serve Fruit Co. one last time, too.

I went with apple again, and added Barbara’s Puffins.

It was the perfect blend of cold, creamy, and crunchy.

Sunday

On Sunday, we packed up and shipped out.  Breakfast came from the Dunkin’ Donuts at Penn Station.

Veggie egg-white flat bread. (As I ate it, I tried not to think about The American Way of Eating; I knew it wasn’t freshly prepared and littered with preservatives.)

Our train was late getting into Rhinecliff, so as soon as we arrived, we picked up my sister Margaret and headed to the Me-Oh-My Pie Shop in Red Hook.

Craving eggs and spiting the study, I ordered the scramble with mushrooms, onions, and red peppers.

My sister and I also split a side of multigrain toast.

After taking Margaret grocery shopping and seeing her dorm, we headed home.  Dinner was Thai takeout.

Chicken with sautéed vegetables and peanut sauce.

Whew, what a whirlwind trip!  It passed super quickly, yet it seemed like I was there forever.  Either way, I can’t wait to make the move!