This last weekend I made the trip back to Minnesota....again. It looks like I will be making the trek every 2-3 weeks for the next few months. That is the great part about being so close...I can still make it back for everything! I did have a concern about the volume of driving I would be doing....eating the whole time I was in the car. When I have done road trips with my friends, it involves food - typically at least one stop at Culvers (any place that serves cheese curds or tator tots is a crowd (and by crowd I mean me) favorite) and also requires stocking up on snacks at a convenience store. The good news for me is, I have gotten through my last 3 trips with only one stop, and have avoided buying food entirely on 2 of them. For some reason I just can't talk myself into getting Subway while driving - so it is better that I learn to do without. I think I will be OK. I can do it! (my new mantra)
The purpose for the trip home this weekend was 2-fold. I wanted to watch 3 of my friends do a triathlon on Sunday, and it was also my niece Macy's 5th birthday party. I had given myself a stern talk the week before about getting in my exercise, and trying to not eat like a horse - and always have slight panic that I will make nothing but bad decisions when I am out of my own kitchen. My friends organized a dinner on Friday at Chateau Hastings, which was great. Lots of healthy options, some not-so-healthy options, but it satisfied my friend Marilyn's request that it be free of cream cheese!
It had been about 1000 degrees in Minnesota for a week, so I opted for staying at my sister Wendy's house in their fancy new basement. I got up Saturday morning, and forced myself to go for a walk. I was asked to take my nephew (a 70 pound boxer who thinks he is a lap dog) Reggie with me. Now I am not one who likes to have to work around a dog constantly at my feet, and I NEVER want to be someone who has to walk with a bag of poop for my whole walk - but I said yes reluctantly. He was so good!!! You don't even have to keep him on his leash! I was amazed. By the time we got back we were both over-heated and tired. He may be my new perfect exercise partner!
I went along to help with Macy's kid party at Chucky Cheese. I was certain this would be my personal hell - but was delighted to find that it was really quite easy, and pretty tame. Don't get me wrong - I am certain I lost some of my ability to hear due to the volume in there...but overall it was a really nice party. Not nearly as many tantrums as I thought there would be, and I heard one of Macy's friends punched Chucky Cheese in the head - so that was pretty cool. I tried to watch Jorey so everyone else could focus on Macy. Except for the minor issue of her not being able to "find the slide" while she was in the tubes up by the ceiling, it was incident-free!
After a night out at my favorite old stomping ground (shout out to Coopers in Eagan - - I LOVE that place!) and not nearly enough sleep (about 3 hours) we were off to watch Darcy, Shannon and Stephanie complete in the YWCA Triathlon (I took a before picture of the 3 of them, but did not get their consent to put it on here - - so in an effort to not get myself into trouble, I left it off). I had Nina as my co-pilot (shout out to Nina for knowing where we needed to be, and finding us a fantastic parking spot) and we arrived in time to visit with the ladies before the whole thing got started. They all did such a fantastic job!!! Darcy even finished in the top 50 of like 860+ people on the swim portion - - she is fast!! I heard a rumor that one of them took a poll after the swim segment, to see if anyone wanted to quit. Having no takers, they kept going... I was amazed at the array of body-types at this thing. The typical body-type that I envision when I think of someone doing a triathlon was definitely in the minority! And all of these women, with ages as varied as their body types, were kicking ass! It was so great, and inspirational, to watch.
Our spectating counterparts did not have as much luck in the parking department as we did - - they could have just parked in Eagan and walked from there and been closer. After the race, we were asked to give them a ride back to their vehicle - and this is what we found. It appears that if you have the wildlife license plates, you are allowed to park in the trees?
Then I was on to Macy's adult birthday party. She is starting school this year, and is 5 going on 12! I asked her if she felt any different now that she was five, and got told "it feels WAY different". Seriously!! The weather was absolutely gorgeous, so we were all outside. I bought a ring toss game for Jorey, so we spent the bulk of the day playing that. When she got sick of playing the actual game (which lasted longer than I thought it would with a 3-year-old as my competition) she made up different ones, which eventually turned into flipping her around my arm. It wasn't long before Macy wanted in on the action as well. I may not have gotten my walk in that morning, but I definitely got my exercise in! Being able to play with my nieces was one of the major incentives for me to want to lose some weight - and I definitely felt like it was working! Normally I would have just sat in a chair and watched them play - - it was nice to be in on it for a change.
It was a very fun/motivating weekend! Now I am back in Milwaukee, feeling more inspired to move!