USA vs Brazil + Myrtle Beach

Guess who just got back from a 4 day weekend? If you guessed me, then congratulations, you’re a winner! I took a bit of a technology hiatus this weekend while I was kickin’ it at Myrtle Beach and it was SO nice. I might have to do that more often, it was a much needed break!

But first, let’s rewind back to Wednesday for the USA vs Brazil soccer match. A few months ago I found a deal on Livingsocial for 50% off Club Level tickets. The deal was just too good to pass up, so I bought them! The only downfall was that game day was on a Wednesday night. Luckily, we crept our way around rush hour traffic somehow and ended up at FedEx field with enough time to have a solid tailgate.

My only complaint was that it didn’t last longer! 2 hours flew by and before we knew it, it was time to go in.

Livingsocial seriously hooked us up with these seats. The Club Level was a lot nicer/less crowded than other areas of the venue. The bathrooms were cleaner, there were lounge areas where you could sit in the air conditioning and watch the game (if you needed to), and you could see the whole field from our view without being too far into the nosebleeds. The game itself was not anything to write home about. The only shining moment came with the lone USA goal to make it a 2-1 game, but in the end Brazil ended up blowing us out of the water: 4-1. Oh well, the outcome was expected. It was still a fun event for a Wednesday night!

The next morning I woke up bright and early to prepare for a full day of driving down to Myrtle Beach. Luckily, I really only had to drive 2 hours by myself to Richmond where I met up with Jim. He drove the remainder of the way. I like being the passenger on long road trips!

Apparently when boredom strikes, my swag comes out in full force.

We stayed at the Schooner II Beach & Racquet Club in Myrtle Beach, which honestly, I would recommend to anyone looking for a place. The rooms were huuuuuuge. We got a one bedroom condo, but could have easily slept 6 since there were a pull out couch AND some rando bunk beds. Plus there was a full kitchen and a sweet balcony that overlooked the ocean.

Balcony View

Aside from Jim’s epic sunburn (which he forbid me to photograph, LAME), the trip was a relaxation success. One of the best parts about going on vacation is, of course, the free license to essentially eat whatever the hell you want. The first night we had pizza from Mellow Mushroom, which I had never been to (but upon further research, I’ve learned that there is one located in DC! Definitely going to have to hit that up soon) but is apparently pretty popular.

This was so good, but I could only eat half. I saved the rest for lunch leftovers for the rest of the week. YUM!

Unfortunately, due to my inadvertent technological hiatus, this was the only food snap shot I took all weekend. Bad, bad blogger! I know. However, other notable eats of the weekend included:

  • Crab dip from Joe’s Crab Shack
  • Coconut Crusted Shrimp also from Joe’s
  • Peanut Butter Cup ice cream from Kirk’s 1890 Ice Cream Parlor (good ice cream, but the place smelled funky)
  • Really good Caesar Salad from Carolina Roadhouse (it came with a croissant drizzled in honey? on the side, whoever thought of that deserves a high five)
  • Marinated Sirloin also from Carolina Roadhouse (marinated in fruit juices, soy sauce, garlic, and spices. You could really taste the fruit juices!!)
  • The best margarita EVER also from Carolina Roadhouse (can you tell I really liked this meal?)

For the record, besides the ice cream and margarita, I wouldn’t have touched these foods with a 10 foot pole before about 2 years ago. It was a pretty adventurous weekend!

To make up for my lack of foodie pictures. Here are some awesome ones of the beach!

So fun.

Anyway, now it’s Monday and that means it’s back to reality. I went for my first run in about 2 weeks today…yikes! It didn’t go so well, but I got to test out my new Garmin watch. So far, so good. It’s slightly confusing to figure out what all the buttons on the bezel do, but I think that’s because I haven’t read the manual yet. I’ll get to it. It’s time to start marathon training again. Also time to resume my diet. Someone has to fit into a bridesmaid’s dress in a few weeks. EEK!

What’s your favorite part about vacation? Food? Relaxing? Sightseeing? Something else?

Time Yourself

For the past few weeks, I’ve been debating back and forth about whether or not to invest in a Garmin (or other brand, doesn’t matter) running watch. I’ve been thinking about this for awhile and I’m still at a stalemate, so I thought I’d see what you guys think.

I’ve never been one of those runners who cares much about time. I’ve always been a pretty average/moderately fast runner, but I never worked hard at making myself quicker. I always ran just to…run. Recently though, I’ve had dreams of increasing my speed. It all started a few weeks ago when I PRed at the Shamrock Half Marathon. I liked setting a goal (albeit a very loose goal, but still a goal nonetheless) and achieving it. I realize that if I do interval training and apply myself, I can (hopefully) make myself faster. My marathon times have been pretty mediocre thus far: close to 5 hours for both, and I’d like to improve GREATLY upon that time for the Marine Corps Marathon in October. If I can run a 1:55 half, I’m thinking that I should be able to run a 4:30 marathon. Easier said than done, of course. It’s going to take some tough interval training and I will have to start paying attention to time during long runs. Which is why I’m thinking about buying a Garmin watch.

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Pros of buying a Garmin:

  • Can finally time myself and figure out what my average pace is/should be.
  • Improve on my speed for the marathon.
  • Be more accurate in my distances. Right now I use google maps, and perhaps this isn’t the best judge of running distance.
  • With that, I can try some new running trails since I won’t have to map them out beforehand. This would be great in marathon training since I tend to get bored of the one I do everyday.
  • Be more of a “real” runner. Don’t all the real runners have these things?

Cons of buying a Garmin:

  • It’s expensive! Ahhhhh!!!
  • Will I become one of those people who is constantly looking at my wrist during races? And the anxiety that comes with that.
  • Clunky, extra weight.
  • Waiting for satellites, I’ve heard fun stories about this.
  • Will it take the fun out of running?

The big con that I’m worried about is that last one on the list. Will it take the fun out of my favorite sport? Thoughts? Should I get the watch or not?

I’ve got some time to figure out if this is a smart investment for me. No better place to contemplate such things than here, which may or may not have happened this weekend:

Happy (belated) Cinco de Mayo!

My “Grown Up” Christmas List

This weekend I came to the realization that it’s freaking DECEMBER already. And you know what that means! It’s time to hang those lights, decorate the tree, eat a metric ton of cookies, and listen to my *NSYNC Christmas album on repeat at an obnoxiously loud volume! I did all 4 this weekend.

As proof, here’s a photo of my painfully small tree.

This season brings about that inevitable plethora of holiday commercials with annoyingly catchy jingles. While watching football this weekend, I saw the same one for Walmart about 40 times. While I don’t remember the exact words of the obnoxious tune (I could hum it for you, but that wouldn’t help), I do remember that it consisted of two red-headed children waking their parents up at an ungodly hour by excitedly jumping up and down on their bed. Despite being annoyed by it, the underlying message tugged at my nostalgic heartstrings. I remember being excited into hysterics on Christmas morning when I was a kid. One year, we were out a little late on Christmas Eve and I literally cried all the way home because I was worried that we stayed out too late and that Santa was going to pass over our house. Christmas makes kids do crazy things, I swear.

Times have changed a bit. But opening presents with my family is still one of the highlights of the season. However, these days, I’m no longer wishing for Polly Pockets and Barbie’s dream house. I suppose my tastes (not necessarily in food) have changed a bit. Of course, this wish-list would be if we had unlimited funds (which we, obviously, do not), so it’s a bit far-fetched. But hey, that’s why it’s called a WISH-list right? 😀

Garmin Forerunner 405

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Okay, actually, any old GPS watch would do but this one is freaking sweet. This fall, my brother and I went on a 10 mile training run around our neighborhood. He had a Garmin watch and it was SO useful. It told us how fast we were going and how far. Ever since then, I’ve wanted one of my own. I chose Garmin because they are a nice, reliable brand and I trust their GPS systems.

Red Kitchen Aid Mixer

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We don’t have a mixer in my apartment. I feel like if I were to invest in one, I may have more incentive to cook and bake. My batters would be much smoother than they are now and my arm muscles would be seriously thanking me. I chose the red color for no other reason than vanity. It’s kind of cliche, but I’m obsessed.

SLR Camera

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Yes, PLEASE! I’ve been “borrowing” (read: stealing) my roommate’s nice DSLR camera literally for months now for this blog. I’m not claiming to be an expert on photography, but I would love to have my own camera to play around with. I love fiddling with all the different settings and staging up shots. If I got my own camera, I’m sure it’d be attached to my hip at all times.

Pandora Charms

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I suppose this is a more realistic wish on my list. I actually just got a Pandora bracelet last year and have slowly been filling it up with cute little charms. I’ve been receiving them as birthday and Christmas gifts and am pretty close to filling up my bracelet. After this Christmas, I suspect I will only need a few more!

A Pillow Pet!

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I know that this is supposed to be a grown up Christmas list….but, I am under the impression that even grown-ups are fully capable of loving fuzzy pillows that look like adorable, little wild-life creatures. I would love to have a giraffe or a penguin to cuddle with on long car rides.

iPad 2

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If you know me at all, you know I’m a tech nerd. I love to be on top of the newest technology, especially if it involves Apple. I already have a MacBrook Pro, an iPhone, and an iPod. I would love to round out my collection with an iPad 2, but I can’t justify buying one for any reason other than it’d be fun to have. I would love to be able to “test drive” a tablet for awhile to see if I use it enough to actually invest.

What’s on your wish-list?