Adventure Home

Our adventure home was one for the books.  We were quite fortunate that DorianHurricane, hockey and airports stayed offshore, but it gave us quite the scare with the cone of death showing a direct hit into Palm Beach county.  Unfortunately, the Northwestern Bahamas took a direct hit from the devastating category five storm.

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While the media was whipping up mass hysteria about a possible Florida landfall, Goalielocks and I were safe in Worchester, MA.  Our only complication came once the airports in South Florida started to close.   Fortunately, I was able to rebook our tickets with a brief pit stop in Minny.  Of course, leaving Worchester was complicated by weather in the area causing an almost two-hour departure delay.  This was compounded by a ground stop that was lifted shortly after we landed in Detroit.  Sadly, we missed out flight after sprinting through DTW.  We sat at the gate as the agent refused to open the door even as I received notifications that our bags had been loaded onto the MSP bound bird.

To say I was upset may have been a bit of an understatement.  It makes sense to not hold planes for passengers, I understand how that impacts operations downstream and flight connects for fellow passengers.  However, when it’s the last flight of the night some consideration should be given to connective passengers whose landings had been delayed.  Alas that’s not Delta’s policy or practice.  After waiting in line for thirty minutes to get our new boarding passes and hotel room, the not so patient or kind agent told us to go stand in line at the customer service desk at A43.  Cheese and rice, I was about to blow a gasket.

We paraded down to A43 only to overhear a woman requesting a new flight and a hotel room after falling ill with an asthma attack well running to her gate.  The supervisor was quite kind and set her up with a room at the nearby Embassy Suites. It was our turn next and I explained our adventure and the commitment to providing a hotel room I had already obtained from corporate.  She balked at first but softened throughout the conversation and ultimately gave us a complimentary room at the Embassy Suites.

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Before heading to catch the shuttle, we picked up some Chic-Fil-A.   There was nothing more satisfying than some fresh and hot fries.   We made our way down to the shuttle area and secure our seats on the Embassy Inn shuttle.  As we checked into the hotel, the asthmatic women was checking in at the next counter.  No sooner had she finished the check-In process, when she asked the hotel staff where the smoking area was.  Goalielocks and I looked at each other and I motioned for him to stay quiet.  As soon as she walked away, he noted that it was no surprise that she, as a smoker, would have had some difficulty when running.

 

The accommodations were perfect for their purpose.  We quickly ate our dinner, called home and went to bed.  Sadly, we had a 5:00 am wake up call for our flight into Minny.  The hotel had a wonderful allotment of sundries, which was quite helpful since all of our luggage was on its way to Minnesota.  

I was a bit worried about security in Detroit, but those fears proved unfounded when we found ourselves in line with 3 other people at 5:45 am.  Fortunately, it allowed us time to grab both Starbuck and Chic-Fil-A.  Our flight was uneventful.   I watched Rocket Man and quite thoroughly enjoyed it.  Despite little issues that morning I was still worried that our luggage didn’t make it, or it would be long wait.  Fortunately, my fears were proved unfounded as the baggage clerk had pulled our bags and set them out for us as soon as we landed.  We were both relieved that our luggage arrived without issue.

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It was great to be home if only for twenty-four hours.  We got to my folks’ house relatively quickly and. I was able to wash our clothes and check out the gardens.  After starting the laundry, we went to pick up my Grandma T for a quick lunch at Culver’s.  It was great to see her again.  Afterwards, we took her home and made our way to my Grandma H’s house.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see her when I was home in July, so this was a great opportunity to see her.   We visited with her for about a half hour before heading home.  Unfortunately, Goalielocks and I were quite tired and not feeling the best.IMG_2007

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Goalielocks was asleep before we made it home.  It’s a mere fifteen-minute drive from my Grandma’s house to my parents’ home.  Once we got home, he went to take a nap.  I completed the laundry and then went to read my book.  I was able to read a chapter before I too fell asleep.   When Goalielocks woke up he still wasn’t feeling great . Consequently,  my Mom and I went to Target to get gatorade, medicine and some dinner.   She even got me some potato wedges that she owed me from last month.

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The next morning, we left early for the airport due to road construction.  MSP airport is also experiencing long waits at security due to construction at the airport.   The waits at TSA had been several hours over the course of the summer.   Goalielocks and I lucked out! We made it through in fifteen minutes, which gave us too much time to shop at MSP.  Our adventure home was finally complete when we landed in Florida Wednesday afternoon. All in all, it was quite the adventure home.

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Hurricane, hockey and airports

Hurricane, hockey and airports oh my! Goalielocks and I are Boston bound for his first tournament of the year. Providence clearly had a hand in the planning as we’re escaping Palm Beach right as Hurricane Dorian is knocking on our door. It’s slated to hit somewhere on the East coast of Florida as a cat 4 storm. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of uncertainty in both the path and forecasted strength. At this points, it’s a plan for the worst and hope for the best scenario.

As crazy as it sounds, it’s a bit tough to leave the state right now. While my goalie and I are heading north, we’re leaving behind the hubby, the mayor, Jake and our puppies. I think I’ll be equally nervous for them as I am watching my goalie play. I’ll try to update on both the hockey and hurricane preparations as much as I can. If you’re in Florida, stay safe. If you’re not in Florida, please pray for my family and neighbors’s safety.

Signing off from 36,000 feet!

One Week

It’s been one week since I left the office for the last time.  So many emotions and so much fun has been had over the past seven days.  It’s not that I’m not sad to move on or anything like that, but I choose to embrace the madness and the excitement of moving forward. That isn’t to say I don’t have tough moments, but by and large I’m feeling good!  I started my first week off with a brilliant session at the salon with my girl Daniela and Jenja.  Nothing makes a girl feel better than a fresh hair cut and a nice brow wax.

During the intervening days, I had the occasion to meet several former colleagues and friends for lunch and drinks.   A fantastic time was had by all.  As an aside, I went to Farmer’s Table for the first time for lunch.  The food and service were absolutely brilliant.  Fortunately, Farmer’s Table’s menu had several amazing gluten free options.   I quite enjoyed the spasta with meatballs – spaghetti squash with marinara and chicken meatballs.  It was absolutely amazing.  I can’t wait to go back.  The next day, I had an amazing meal at Taverna Trela in Delray.  This meal was equally amazing.  I thoroughly enjoyed my steak, mushroom and onion rice bowl.   Another menu with some great gluten free options.  I look forward to going back there as well.

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Friday also brought a doctor’s appointment, where my doctor noted how much happier and relaxed I looked.  My blood pressure was pretty freaking phenomenal too.  They see me all the time there on account of the regular bloodwork I need to get down for the thyroid, so it was encouraging they noted the change.  It was also encouraging that my thyroid is starting to approach the normal range!  Yes – victory is in site my friends.

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The weekend brought happy hours, another massage and some mini golf.  I thoroughly enjoyed my blueberry martinis at Burt & Max’s.  The lettuce wraps were pretty freaking good too.   Of course, the Chipotle at the end of the night was pretty good.  Admittedly, it was the first time I’ve had Chipotle in years.  I enjoyed the steak tacos on a hard shell.  It brought back memories of driving across the University of Minnesota on game nights to get to the only Chipotle close to our house because it was the best thing since sliced bread. Now that Chipotle is on every corner and they’ve had a couple e-coli scares, the novelty has worn off a bit.

Sunday night we hit the mini golf course with J&M2 also known as Jake and Mel.  .  Even though we went in the evening, it was still hot as hades on the course.  By the time we finished, I felt like I had been sitting in the sauna for an hour in my jeans.  Fortunately, the club house had the same temperature as the Baltic Sea.  In 5 seconds flat, I went from near heat stroke to hyperthermia.   If I’m being honest, mini golf isn’t my sport, but we had a blast.  I’m also declaring victory having ended a mere 13 above par.  Over previous efforts, this represented a serious improvement in performance

Meanwhile in Minnesota, the boys are living their best lives with their cousins.  They’re having a blast hanging out with their cousins and chilling on the boat with their Uncle J.  The Mayor loves tubing with his cousins, while Goalielocks is enjoying fishing the Minnesota lakes.  He caught a nice sized large mouth bass on Lake Minnetonka Sunday.  Last week, their cousin X and his soccer team were playing in the USA Cup in Blaine.  Needless to say, given the heat indices in Minny last week, I’m thrilled my boys play hockey.  I’ll never be sitting by a sideline in an 115 head index.  Suffice to say, if you asked the boys, they would tell you there’s no better passage of summer than one spent in Minnesota.

Goalielocks is also enjoying lessons with his former goalie coach from the Hawks, Coach Ryan, who is now coaching with MEGA Goaltending in Minnesota.  It’s fun for the boys to reconnect with Coach Ryan and to get back on the ice.  Since Goalielocks went on a growth spurt, we’ll need to buy him a full set of gear upon his return to Florida.  Oh the expensive joys of the hockey mom life.

Today is my father’s 66th birthday please join me in wishing him the happiest of birthdays!

Calling All Beer League Heroes

Calling all beer league heroes!  Pure Hockey just launched an exciting contest that will afford one lucky monthly winner (through June 2020) a comprehensive gear upgrade.    Each winner will receive a $500 Pure Hockey gift card, and a prize package for themselves and the rest of their team.  This prize package includes customized jerseys, matching Bauer gloves and helmets and a $50 gift card for every team member. Now is your chance to shine on the ice with some great gear, but also have the beer league jersey of their dreams.  The contest runs through June 2020, so sign up now for your chance for the gear upgrade of your dreams!

Lazy Sunday

After an insane week, lazy Sunday was the perfect follow up to lazy Saturday.  Yep, there was a 90% chance that today was gonna be a Netflix and chill type of day and indeed it was.  That’s not to say I wasn’t productive.  I caught up on all the laundry after Goalielocks finished scorekeeping at the rink this morning.  I even meal prepped for the week.  Meanwhile Goalielocks fished and the Mayor watched Netflix from the comfort of my yoga silk.

As I continue to on the Graves/thyroid rollercoaster, meal prepping has become increasingly important in my attempts to stay healthy.  I say healthy because while I see no change on the outside, I’d like to think under the layers I’m getting both stronger and healthier.  We’ll see what Dr. G has to say when I see her on Tuesday.  I’m sure she’ll be none to thrilled that I didn’t just complete the corporate run, but two other 5ks as well, but more on that later.

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For my meal prep, I look for something easy, high protein and relatively quick to put together.  This week I made five containers of chicken stir fry and brown rice.  For my fasting days, I’m currently doing the 5:2 intermittent fasting plan, I did not include brown rice.  For simplicity and time’s sake, I used Target’s Simply Balanced organic steamed in the bag stir fry vegetables.   Tyson’s thin sliced chicken strips, non-gmo and antibiotic free, were the perfect protein for the stir fry.

I started my meal prep, by firing up my Instantpot to make brown rice.  Fortunately, the Instantpot has proven to be a real time saver for cooking rice.   If you’re not a fan of brown rice, you could definitely substitute white rice.  Each weekend, I’ll cook up an entire bag of brown rice, which I’ll use for my weekly meals.  In addition, I have enough rice to package up three portions of rice that can be used for family meals.  This is where my Foodsaver plus is truly clutch.  I cook the rice in a 1:1 ratio rice to water for 22 minutes on high pressure followed by 10 minutes natural venting.  Lastly, I turn the knob and release all of the pressure.

Meanwhile on the stove, I’ve already browned my chicken.   The vegetables, which were steamed in the microwave were then stirred into the pan with the left over oil from the chicken.  Once I’ve cut up the chicken, I add it back to the pan with the veggies and teriyaki sauce.  In the span  of less than an hour, I’ve made my lunches for the entire week.  Additionally, thanks to my beautiful egg cooker, my breakfast for the week was done even before the rice had finished cooking.

The key to maintaining healthy habits is ensuring it’s simple, easy and can fit into your lifestyle.  If it takes too much time or is too cumbersome, it won’t stick.   My Instantpot, Foodsaver and egg cooker have been complete life savers.  These three handy appliances have been life altering.    I can now plan ahead and meal prep my lunches as well as family dinners.  We don’t time during hockey season to make family dinners.   Fortunately, being able to prep on a rare free weekend gives us the help we need to eat healthy during the crazy hockey season.

This evening I was able to sneak in a 30 minute run on the elliptical as the roast cooked in the oven.  My ankles have been a bit sore since the last 5k, so I’ve taken it easy on them this week by sticking to the elliptical instead of the road or treadmill.  Tomorrow will be leg day – oh joy!

P.S.  Tonight’s drama was our duck’s escape from its cage.  Yeah, there’s a whole series of posts coming your way on our duck drama.  I assure you it will be worth the wait.

Products used for today’s Meal prep:

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It’s Time For States!

It’s time for states!!! The vaunted state hockey tournament. The culmination of countless hours of practices, driving, off ice sessions and games is finally here. Fortunately, both of our boys are playing locally this year for states! Yay!! Unfortunately, we’ll be at the rink all weekend with nary a break.

Our tournament started with our U12 Panthers Gold taking on the undefeated Blackhawks Red. It was an exciting game. I had expected a lopsided affair, but it was 0-0 through much of the game. The Hawks put one in while on a 5-3 power play. Our squad didn’t stop their effort and kept it a tight game, but we couldn’t bury the puck. All in all it was a good game.

Well after my bedtime, Goalielocks’ U16 game was scheduled. Okay, maybe 9:50 isn’t my bed time, but by Friday night I’m exhausted. Fortunately, I packed my beta blockers so I could take the edge of my nerves and my heart rate. The game opened with a breakaway against Goalielocks and he came up with a huge save.

The rest of the game was back and forth. Goalielocks saw a lot of shots, but was on point. TK buried the puck early in the first to put us up by one. We netted another goal in the second putting us up 2-0.

The second period had me worried, but our squad stood strong. They ended up banging one in, but I couldn’t see what happened from my angle. When the period ended it was 2-1. Thank God for beta blockers.

As the third period got underway I was hoping for a quick goal to allay my nerves. I got it! #relieved. The team had some great offensive moments in the third period. Consequently, we went up 4-1. It was then that the wheels started to fall off for the other team. They took a 2-10 penalty followed by another minor penalty late in the third. Happily, the game ended a 4-1 decisive win for our Panthers Gold and my Goalie.

Now it’s midnight, we’ve been at work and school all day. Tomorrow starts early with a call time at the rink of 9:30. We have game all day and another late night at the rink. I’m off to bed to get some much needed sleep. Let’s Go Panthers!

They’re Back From Quebec!

They’re back from Quebec!!! Thankfully, their early departure from Quebec City got them out before the snowfall started. I figured the big storm that hit the Midwest earlier this weekend would hit the Quebec area today. Luckily, we booked super early flights. Even so they were delayed an hour getting out of Montreal.

The later arrival gave me more time at the gym this morning. I feel like I’m fighting a sinus infection. Since I had no fever and no symptoms below the chest, I opted to hit the gym. I put in thirty minutes on the elliptical and was able to do 4.5 miles in that time. Happily, I can report my knees have improved dramatically week over week. Yay!!!!

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After finishing my run on the elliptical, I made it leg day at the gym. My knees feel much better, but I was careful to pick exercises that did not hurt my knee. I would usually do single leg cable kicks on leg day, but that brought too much discomfort to the knees. Consequently, I skipped the exercise.

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After my workout, I headed to the airport to pick up my boys. It was exciting to watch them land and taxi as I was driving down Southern towards the airport. I quickly parked, as quickly as one can when snow birds are involved, in the short term parking and headed into the terminal.  Fortunately, they were quickly off the plane and so were their bags. Yay! The Mayor wanted Wendy’s, but that was a hard no from both of us. Everyone was exited to see them back home especially the puppies.

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Unfortunately, my hubby had the distinct pleasure of getting to work on the broken items list right away. He immediately tackled the garbage disposal and was able to fix it quickly. Thank goodness! Next up was the air condition. I was pretty sure it was the capacitor that crapped out. Turns out I was right!! Thank you YouTube. He’ll pick up the part tomorrow, so by tomorrow night we should be in the business. Woohoo! It’s great to have him home!

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The rest of the afternoon we spent relaxing and baking. I made my first attempt at an “easy Kouign-Amann” recipe. I’ll be devoting a whole post to it tomorrow. I absolutely loved Quebec City. Moreover, I loved Brittany and Saint Malo. In 2011, we spent some time in Brittany and saw where Cartier sailed from when he discovered Quebec and the Saint Lawrence Seaway. The Breton influence on Quebec is unmistakable.

Speaking of French, I just finished volume one of Proust’s In Search Of Lost Time. While I wait for Amazon to deliver volume two, I’ve started Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. At this point, I’m only ten chapters into the book, but I’m finding it quite enjoyable. I’m off the read, good night my friends!

Last Day in Quebec

It’s the last day in Quebec for our Florida Bulldogs. They spent the morning at the Ice Hotel right outside the city. When we went in 2016, we were lucky enough to get some snow and see a wedding. From the looks of the pictures, it seems they got some snow this year.

If you’ve never been to an ice hotel or ice bar, it’s definitely worth experiencing once. The beauty of drinks at the ice bar/hotel is they’re always perfectly chilled in their glasses made of ice. As for the kids, they love the hotel’s ice slide. Unlike the Ice Bar in Sweden, the Ice Hotel doesn’t require special gear. Rather you simply enjoy the venue in your regular winter wear.

After the Ice Hotel, they headed to the Patro for lunch before heading back to the hotel. They spent their afternoon at a beautiful park up the hill from the hotel Old Quebec. The rink and surrounding area are absolutely beautiful and the ice is pretty nice. Based on the pictures, it looks like they had a great time.

Afterwards they headed to the rink for the other team’s semi-final game. My Mayor did play by play for the first period, but spent the rest of the game hanging with friends. I couldn’t watch the rest of the broadcast since I was driving to pick up Goalielocks from volunteering.

Unfortunately, our other team lost a tough one and got knocked out of the tournament. Post game they went out for pizza. I have so many question about pizza in Quebec based on the restaurant’s sign. I guess it’s not surprise my hubby opted for a calzone instead of pizza.

Meanwhile, we’re still down an A/C unit, freezer and no garbage disposal. I’m sure my hubby can’t wait to get home tomorrow to fix it all. Needless to say, I can’t wait to have my guys back home!

Last Day in Quebec

It’s the last day in Quebec for our Florida Bulldogs. They spent the morning at the Ice Hotel right outside the city. When we went in 2016, we were lucky enough to get some snow and see a wedding. From the looks of the pictures, it seems they got some snow this year.

If you’ve never been to an ice hotel or ice bar, it’s definitely worth experiencing once. The beauty of drinks at the ice bar/hotel is they’re always perfectly chilled in their glasses made of ice. As for the kids, they love the hotel’s ice slide. Unlike the Ice Bar in Sweden, the Ice Hotel doesn’t require special gear. Rather you simply enjoy the venue in your regular winter wear.

After the Ice Hotel, they headed to the Patro for lunch before heading back to the hotel. They spent their afternoon at a beautiful park up the hill from the hotel Old Quebec. The rink and surrounding area are absolutely beautiful and the ice is pretty nice. Based on the pictures, it looks like they had a great time.

Afterwards they headed to the rink for the other team’s semi-final game. My Mayor did play by play for the first period, but spent the rest of the game hanging with friends. I couldn’t watch the rest of the broadcast since I was driving to pick up Goalielocks from volunteering.

Unfortunately, our other team lost a tough one and got knocked out of the tournament. Post game they went out for pizza. I have so many question about pizza in Quebec based on the restaurant’s sign. I guess it’s not surprise my hubby opted for a calzone instead of pizza.

Meanwhile, we’re still down an A/C unit, freezer and no garbage disposal. I’m sure my hubby can’t wait to get home tomorrow to fix it all. Needless to say, I can’t wait to have my guys back home!

Last Day in Quebec

It’s the last day in Quebec for our Florida Bulldogs. They spent the morning at the Ice Hotel right outside the city. When we went in 2016, we were lucky enough to get some snow and see a wedding. From the looks of the pictures, it seems they got some snow this year.

If you’ve never been to an ice hotel or ice bar, it’s definitely worth experiencing once. The beauty of drinks at the ice bar/hotel is they’re always perfectly chilled in their glasses made of ice. As for the kids, they love the hotel’s ice slide. Unlike the Ice Bar in Sweden, the Ice Hotel doesn’t require special gear. Rather you simply enjoy the venue in your regular winter wear.

After the Ice Hotel, they headed to the Patro for lunch before heading back to the hotel. They spent their afternoon at a beautiful park up the hill from the hotel Old Quebec. The rink and surrounding area are absolutely beautiful and the ice is pretty nice. Based on the pictures, it looks like they had a great time.

Afterwards they headed to the rink for the other team’s semi-final game. My Mayor did play by play for the first period, but spent the rest of the game hanging with friends. I couldn’t watch the rest of the broadcast since I was driving to pick up Goalielocks from volunteering.

Unfortunately, the Bulldogs lost the game.  It was a tough one.  Consequently, they were knocked out of the tournament. Post game they went out for pizza. I have so many question about pizza in Quebec based on the restaurant’s sign. I guess it’s not surprise my hubby opted for a calzone instead of pizza.

Meanwhile, we’re still down an A/C unit, freezer and no garbage disposal. I’m sure my hubby can’t wait to get home tomorrow to fix it all. Needless to say, I can’t wait to have my guys back home!