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Posts Tagged ‘hiking’

I just realized that I have not written a post since March. March… how can that be?!?! I remember writing the last post a month or so ago… or so it seems. I guess between taking care of Julia, doing house chores, cooking (yes, I have been cooking), reading my book, trying to finish off the entire Breaking Bad series (just finished it last week), and trying to stay active… yeah, yeah, yeah… excuses, excuses.

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Hiking on the Crescent Trail.

Trying to stay active has been a bit challenging, but it is getting much easier. Instead of running, hiking, biking on our own, we have been bringing Julia along a bunch. We have a running stroller, a backpack for hiking, and a bike trailer. Luckily she loves all 3!!

As I mentioned, we have a bike trailer… our friend let us borrow it. I have always heard mixed things about what kids think about the bike trailer. Some apparently love it and some apparently hate it. As soon as Julia climbed in it, she was sold. Joel rode around the neighborhood for the first ride.

Julia's first trailer ride!

Julia’s first trailer ride!

Then we did our first family ride to the Village of Fairport. That was fun since it was during the Fairport Canal Days festival, so we had lunch and listened to some music.

Our first family ride.

Our first family ride.

Then a few weeks ago, Joel took her on an RBC ride. He rode for an hour and a half and I guess she really liked it. I rode separately and when I saw her that evening, she told me about her adventure… how she saw a rooster, a bunny, a horse, and deer. She was super enthusiastic about it. :)

Julia's first RBC ride.

Julia’s first RBC ride.

The downside of it is that the thing is a tank! Because of that, we cannot really transport it, unless that is the only thing that we put in our trunk. Our neighborhood is so hilly that riding with it is a workout, for Joel at least since I do not ride that bike. I think that my legs would fall off. Ha!

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Julia did not care for the backpack for a long time, but lately she is more interested in it. At the beginning of June we went camping at Watkins Glen State Park with a couple of friends who have a little girl, Chloe, who is Julia’s age. They played so well together!

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Hiking with Chloe.

Chloe has a backpack too, so we went hiking together. The trip was so memorable for Julia. A week or more after the trip, she was still talking about hiking by the waterfalls.

Hiking at Watkins Glen State Park.

Hiking at Watkins Glen State Park.

I think that that hike definitely helped with being more fond of it. We have taken her on several hikes since then and she stills seems to like it.

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Hiking with Chloe at Abraham Lincoln Park.

The running stroller has been a hit too. She loves to “run” with us. She loves looking at the trees, spotting birdies, and waving to doggies. A few weeks ago we decided to do a run loop from the house to the playground and back. She was so excited once we arrived at the playground.

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Ready for a run!

Riding, hiking, and running is SO fun! We look forward to many more adventures!

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One of the items that I registered for as a shower gift was a play mat/activity gym. I really loved this particular one, Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym, since it included birds and trees… it was kind of my theme for Julia’s nursery. It was one of the best things that I could have registered for. Julia just loves it! She has been using it since she was a few weeks old. She loves the birds, especially this particular one that includes noisy wings and a clear ball with small beads inside it.

Julia’s favorite birdie…

I used to, and still do, show it to her and tell her about the real birds that you can see and hear in nature. Since one of my favorite birds are the chickadees and their call is easy, I decided to tell her that it was a chickadee. She loves it every time I sing the call to her… chickadee-dee-dee, chickadee-dee-dee. So fun! She usually has the biggest smile on her face. :)

Hiking with Daddy.

The weather two weekends ago was really nice, so we decided to take Julia for a hike. We decided to hike in Mendon Ponds Park on the South Meadow Trail, which connects to the Quaker Pond Trail. Both of these trails are a favorite. They are great for running as well as cross country skiing. They are also great since you can make your hike/run/cross country ski trip as long or as short as you want it. Another great thing about them is that you can feed the chickadees. So that is what we did… we fed the chickadees. Julia was very intrigued by the birds. It was so fun to watch her expressions.

I cannot wait until she will be big and brave enough to hold her hand out to feed the chickadees. :)

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Since my pregnancy is coming close to the end, I started reminiscing about it. I have been so lucky to have such an easy pregnancy, which allowed me to stay fit all along. As I look back, I did do a lot of things as far as fitness goes.

I ran my first race when I was a little over a month pregnant in the Webster Turkey Trot. That was definitely an experience in itself. I did enjoy it more since I ran it with my sister. I told my sister that I was pregnant that same weekend and I remember her saying that she felt bad that she pushed me to keep going. HA!

At the end of the race…

I kept running for quite a while after that, since it was a fairly mild winter. Unfortunately at about 21 weeks, I had to stop running since my legs and feet hurt. I guess my legs and feet could not handle the extra weight that I was carrying. I tried trail running, but that did not feel any better. It was fine though, since there were other activities that I could still do.

During the winter months, Joel started to rock climb indoors. I decided to join him one day. We went to the Red Barn at RIT. Most of the climbing there is bouldering and not wall climbing. That part was a little better since I could not really wear a harness. It was definitely fun, but my belly kind of got in the way. :) Bouldering requires you to be close to the wall to keep your balance. Since my belly was sticking out, I could not really do that. HA! I did have fun, nonetheless, but I realized that it was not a good idea to keep it up.

Climbing at the Red Barn (16 weeks pregnant).

Cross country skiing was another activity that I did during the winter months. Although we did not have much snow this winter, I did manage to get out at least 4 or 5 times. The place to be this winter was at Bristol Mountain, since they made the snow for the cross country ski trails too. Even though the trail was not too long, it was still fun. I was lucky enough to have a few friends come with me, which made the outing more fun.

Cross country skiing at Bristol Mountain (17 weeks pregnant).

Once the warmer weather arrived, I started to bike again. There were actually a few times that I was able to ride in March due to the warm weather. I was able to ride a fair amount throughout my pregnancy. However, the closer I got to the last few weeks of my pregnancy, the more uncomfortable it got. I also felt tired more easily.

Riding belly shot! :) (22 weeks pregnant)

The last ride that I did was at 34 weeks. That was pretty good in my opinion. :) I felt lucky to be able to ride at all, especially as I was getting closer and closer to the end of my pregnancy. I was also lucky to have Joel and my friend Jane ride with me, since I did not think that riding by myself was a good idea. The miles went from 24 miles to 9.5 miles. It was interesting to experience the effects of pregnancy on my riding. The fact that your hips change greatly affects the sitting bones. The outcome is an uncomfortable saddle. Also, as my belly grew, I could feel it more and more while pedaling. That part was not uncomfortable, but I felt bad for hitting the girl with every pedal stroke. She probably did not appreciate that too much. :) It was also interesting how easily tired I got. This was even more noticeable during the rides that I did closer to the 34th week. I could only tolerate about 45 minutes of riding by that point. I must admit that I was a bit sad to give it up, since I really love cycling. But I am sure that I will be able to ride soon after the girl arrives.

After the ride (31 weeks pregnant).

I started taking a yoga class before I found out that I was pregnant. I think that the class has been helping a ton. I am always relaxed due to it, since the class is a restorative class. The poses have changed a bunch throughout my pregnancy. I no longer can lay on my back, among other things, and most of the poses are very supportive. Nevertheless, I still feel great after every class, so it is definitely beneficial. We have also been practicing breathing a bunch, which is good no matter what. I also think that the class has helped keep my balance intact. Everyone mentioned to me how pregnancy causes your balance to be off. That was not the case for me at all. I wonder if cycling helped with it as well.

32 weeks and 1 day pregnant…

Aside from all the activities that I mentioned above, walking and hiking was something that I always did, since they were tame on my legs and feet. I was lucky to have my friend Kristin join me a fair amount of times. I remember a couple of times we decided to go for a run, but then it turned into a hike or a walk. She has been super supportive of my changing body and abilities. We were always just happy to enjoy the outdoors and chat (of course!). :) Mendon Ponds Park, the Crescent Trail, and Dryer Road Park have been my favorite spots to hike. The canal has been a good spot for walking.

Hiking at Dryer Road Park.

As I mentioned already, I have been super lucky to  have such an easy pregnancy, which in turn allowed me to be stay active. I feel like being active was great for me as well as for the girl. I hope that it will continue after the girl arrives too. I am also looking forward to introducing the girl to all of these awesome activities. :)

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After years of talking about escaping the Rochester winters, we finally did it. We booked a trip to St John in the US Virgin Islands for 9 days. That’s right… 9 days! And as an added bonus, my brother, Patrick, and his wife, Jeni, and baby, Jack, decided to join us.

The magnificent view from our villa's porch.

St John is… well… heavenly!! It truly is! The weather was in the 80s, the beaches were pristine and not crowded, the water was super clear, warm, and calm, and the island is very green, since most of the island is a national park.

View of Trunk Bay.

Aside from going to the beach, swimming, snorkeling, diving, hiking, and just relaxing, we, of course, ate. We did not eat very many dinners. Since our trip to the beach started at around 10:00 am and ended around 2:00 pm or 3:00 pm, we ended up eating a late lunch, which meant that we were no longer hungry for dinner. We did, however, have a few delicious outings.

Jeni and Patrick

One of my favorite spots was called Shipwreck Landing. The service was super friendly and the food was delicious. I ordered the Curry-Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi sandwich. The curry-nut crust was a blend of curry spices and peanuts. It was really nice!

Jack, Patrick, and me

A very popular dish in St John was conch fritters. We of course tried them… at two different restaurants for that matter. They were pretty good. I am glad that I tried them, but I would not go out of my way to eat them every time.

Conch fritters

Another great place was called Donkey Diner. We had a delicious breakfast there! I, however, had breakfast envy. Typical! Jeni ordered the stuffed French toast, which included homemade cinnamon bread stuffed with cream cheese and topped with a homemade Mango and Pineapple Chutney. YUM! The chutney was so delicious! I ended up ordering a side of it and savored every bite.

The last place that I would like to mention is La Plancha del Mar. Oh my! We had the most amazing dinner there! If you are ever in St John, this place is a must! The food and the service were outstanding! Our server (who apparently went to school in Ithaca!) was super friendly and made our outing even more pleasant.

To start, we ordered the bruschetta, which included a perfectly toasted baguette slice topped with herbed goat cheese, an almond mushroom tapenade, and caramelized onions. Need I say more??


For my entrée, I ordered the seared Wahoo, which was served with a fire roasted red pepper and tomato purée and a butternut squash polenta. My mouth is watering as I am typing this post! Apparently Wahoo is a local fish and it was prepared similar to tuna. It was great! The best part of the dish, for me at least, was the butternut squash polenta. Who would have thought about making polenta with butternut squash? It was so delicious!! I could have eaten the entire pot! :)

Joel ordered a special, which was supposed to be an appetizer but they agreed to make it as an entrée. The dish included tuna served with a tomato foam, Israeli couscous topped with crisped basil leaves, and a side salad. The dish looked and tasted equally delicious! In fact, the dish looked so good that the head chef came to our table to snap a photo of it as a marketing piece. :)

For dessert we settled for a pineapple flambé. The fresh pineapple was topped with this really delicious cake. YUM!

Their drinks were very good as well. The drink menu reminded me a bit of the drinks that are on the Lento and Good Luck menus. They used a very interesting mixture of ingredients. One of those ingredients was habanero bitters. It worked really nicely in the drink.

Beautiful island, wonderful company, and delicious food. What more can you ask for?? I cannot wait to go back!!

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