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Friday, March 29, 2013

livin' it up

because i'm a nut, the weekend in san diego included not only the diva dash, but also the hot chocolate 5K.  i'd missed out on this fun-sounding run last year, and when i realized that we'd be in the area, i threw it out to the group.  while only kelley took the bait, the others were perfectly happy to spend saturday night in san diego and sleep in while we ran the next morning.
after we'd stuffed ourselves silly during our post-dash lunch, we headed downtown to the hot chocolate expo for our race packet.

the expo itself really wasn't much to write home about.  there really weren't very many vendors there, although there was a pretty decent selection of race merchandise for sale.

of course, there was lots of chocolate in various forms.

this particular booth caught our eye:

the guys who were running the show were clearly out to get rid of as many full-sized jars of delicious biscoff spread as possible.  and we did our best to help them in their mission.

the stats for the race were interesting.  3,000 tons of chocolate fondue to hand out to the racers at the finish line?  yes, please.

thanks to lilcee and her many connections, we'd secured a sweet room at the marriott marquis.  the view we had from the 17th floor was pretty spectacular.

i wasn't kidding when i said we helped the biscoff spread guys out.  this doesn't even include the jars kelley took home.

the bean had sent me off with a pillowcase she'd decorated at a friend's birthday party. 

after we'd all gotten showered and cleaned up, we headed out on a short walk to the nearby gaslamp district.  kelley had gotten us a dinner reservation at cafe sevilla, and it only took about ten minutes to get there.

sangria is delicious.

we shared a plethora of tapas - short rib, pork belly, paella, meat on a stick.  the lighting was really bad, so my pictures are extra awful.  just use your imagination.

because we'd gotten such an early start to our day, we were all pretty pooped by about 10.  ha!  party animals we are not.  although i have to admit, i was grateful for the early turn-in - considering i needed to be downstairs to meet kelley for the 5K before 6 the next morning.

sometimes i wonder what the hell i'm thinking when i sign up for these things.  heh.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

hunger dames

until this past weekend, i don't think i've had a girls-only getaway since before the bean was born.  well, there's the night i spent in anaheim with kelley before the tinkerbell half a couple of months ago.  but for the most part, i think i can count the number of nights i've spent away from her on one hand.  crazy, right?  so anyway, i found myself feeling all the feelings as i packed for this trip.

we'd signed up for a really fun-looking obstacle course sponsored by shape magazine.  come on, as if we'd pass up something called the "diva dash." ha!  we registered as a team and after polling my friends via twitter, settled on "the hunger dames" as our name.  check out the logo we used on our shirts:

lilcee and i decided that we needed to complete our ensembles with tutus.  we'd originally thought about making a version of this:

we even took a trip to joann's and had all the material in the cart and everything...and then decided to bag it and just make simple black tutus instead.  ha!  but considering we had seven of them to make and only a week to get it done, it was a natural conclusion.  you know, if you're a procrastinator like me.

saturday morning found four members of team hunger dames packed in my pri-YES.  our start time was 10:00, and with a 2-hour drive down to san diego, we met up at 6:30 and headed out on the road.  after a trip to the starbucks drive-thru, of course.  and because it was so stinking early, there was very little traffic out on the freeway.  despite a tiny snag that involved too much chatter and not enough paying attention to the road, we pulled into a parking spot with plenty of time to spare.

it was a gloomy, cloudy morning - perfect for a 5K!

one by one, the other three members of our team found us - which, of course, means a group picture!

while ordering the shirts, i'd completely spaced out and forgot to add my friend kirkette's name to the back.  damn.  i felt awful, but she took it in stride and in this shot, she's pointing to the empty spot where her name should be.

an oh-so-helpful tip:

the group starting their wave just before us was doing some sort of crazy zumba-style warmup.  i don't do that, yo.  all that does is wear me out before the main event.

i liked that our bibs had our team name on it, albeit in microscopic print.

and as we waited in the corral for the gun to go off, i checked into foursquare and got this:

so, okay.  running in sand really sucks ass.  a lot.

especially when it's super duper crowded, like so:

but as we jogged along, the crowd thinned out (either they ran faster or switched to a really slow walking pace) and then we reached the first obstacle - the "spiderweb."  

then we had to climb over a series of these:

all with smiles on our faces.

this thing was a little scary.  all we needed was for one strap to snap or one bar to bust, and we'd have been toast.  luckily, we escaped unscathed.

the first of two tire mountains to climb over:

and just past that, a test of strength.  or, you know, risking a splinter.  whatever.  we had to pick up two of these logs and carry them through a little maze.

i'm not sure if this was an actual obstacle or just something they decided would be fun to make us climb over.

i've often wished i were a little taller.  hell, i'd be thrilled to be at least 5'5".  but at times like this, when i have to crouch down and make my way through a maze in a squat-like position, i suppose it ain't so bad to be a shorty.

tire mountain #2.

when i was little, i kicked ass at monkey bars.  i could zip back and forth on those things all damn day long.  i didn't realize i had such great upper body strength when i was younger, but at 41...not so much. thank goodness for the cheater bars at the bottom for my feet.

rope ladder!  after the one at spartan...ain't no thang.

the final obstacle was fun - you had to run through tires on the ground and push the pink happy-face bouncy balls out of your way.


look - i actually had an obstacle course injury!  damn wooden logs.

the sweaty, happy, triumphant group photos.

celebration lunch was here:

the ladies making the fresh tortillas gave me the stink eye as i took this.

while i happily gulped down my mexican beverage of choice:

a couple of the other girls went with a grown-up drink.

mmmmm, chips and salsa.

house specialty:  carnitas.  and half of it was thrown onto a hot grill and cooked until it was a little crispy on the outside.  drooooooool.

i love girls' weekend.  fun, food, and more fun.  oh, and more food.  that comes later.

squeezing in all the sightseeing

this was our NYC home for a whole week: it was one of only a few hotels that i could find that offered two beds in a room rather than, say, ...