Sunday, December 7, 2008

Florida in November

I decided it was time to head back to Florida for a visit. I hadn't been there since I moved almost 1.5 years ago, and it was time to see the family again. Additionally, I knew that it would be a perfect time to throw my sister a bridal shower. Because grocery stores are busy the week of Thanksgiving, Robb couldn't take any time off, so I headed to the Sunshine State on my own for a week.
I only had to take three days of vacation and I managed to arrive in Florida on a Saturday and not leave until the Sunday after Thanksgiving. It was a nice visit with great weather - mostly in the 70s. I saw the various grandparents and relatives. I had a huge Thanksgiving dinner at my grandfather's house. I spent some good time with my parents (I hadn't seen my Mom since May and my Dad since LAST Thanksgiving!) I got to eat at my favorite beach restaurant, Frenchy's Rockaways, twice! I got to sit out on the beach for a little bit. And we went to the local park to see an alligator.

Briana's bridal shower was lovely, if I do say so myself. I'd been thinking about it and planning for months. It was a vegan dessert-themed shower, with a cupcake focus (Bri is a vegan who has become quite the cupcake-baker). Pink and yellow were the colors. I was told by the bride to not have stupid games. I think I managed that. We played the board game "Dirty Minds" and had a cupcake decorating contest. Briana picked the winner of the cupcake contest, see if you can figure out what it is.... I also had everyone write marriage advice for Briana and I'll be putting those thoughts in a scrapbook with pictures of the day. I think the day was a success. The bride had a good time and she cleaned up on the presents. And most importantly, everything was vegan and tasted delicious. I think it surprised some people that vegan desserts could be so good.

The other exciting part of the week was completing my first 10K! I convinced my Dad to run the Turkey Trot with me on Thanksgiving morning. We'd been training for it for a few months (since I completed my 8K in July). My goal was to finish it feeling good, not walk, and stay at 11 minute miles or less. My goals were met beyond my expectations! First, I ran the entire 6.2 miles. I'd been training for this, but had always stopped at 6 miles. So this was the first time I went the full distance. I also finished the race in 1 hour, 5 minutes, 1 second. That's an average of 10:27 miles. That's an incredible time for me and much faster than I thought it would be. My Dad finished in about 56 minutes, which was pretty good for him too. Although we didn't run "together" it was nice to know we were doing it together. And I really like making my parents proud. They're pretty excited about staying in shape and exercising, so it's fun to feel like I'm a part of that now. A year ago I could barely imagine running a 5K, now I've just completed a 10K. That sounds crazy! And, by the way, I've lost 17 pounds since this running/eating right thing started last March. I have to figure out what my next race will be. It's important for me to have a goal so that there's something to work towards.

Now I'm back in Washington and back at work. (This was the first vacation I've taken since starting work, it was weird to come back.) It's gotten pretty cold this week, the highs are projected to only be in the 40s. So it's time to start bundling up more. But you know, while those sunny Florida days were a nice break, I love wearing my sweaters and scarfs. So I'm back home to enjoy the cold, the fireplace, and the flannel sheets. I get to see the fat squirrels do anything to get extra food before hibernation. And as I decorate for Christmas, it's nice to feel a nip in the air. And if I start to get sick of the rain, I know that I'll see sunny days again when I go to Florida in March for Briana's wedding!

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