Sunday, March 31, 2019

A much needed respite

Wow!   I can’t even begin to say how badly I needed this past weekend!!!   Work has been a bit on the crazy side lately (I have been involved in launching a new nothing is set in stone, everything changes on a daily it changes on an hourly basis, and so many things have no answer yet.  I am a person that likes to know what I’m doing, so the uncertainty has been stressful!  Jason likewise has had some upheaval in his the weekend was soooooo badly needed!   I could literally feel the stress and worry when I woke up on Friday...and I could feel it fall away as we relaxed!

We woke up at the normal ‘work time’ and just relaxed on the couch and  slowly finished packing.  I munched on a bowl of Cheerios for breakfast.  Optimally, we would have gotten an early start out the door but the first part of our trip would take us through Washington DC (via the road of my daily commute) or via a different route that would take us closer to Baltimore.  Both routes would be full of harried commuters on their way to work.  Yeah, we do that enough when we we decided to sit at home and relax and just leave at 8....and without the rush hours traffic we would get there the same time as if we had left earlier!   Worked like a charm...the drive was uneventful!

We arrived and parked at the hotel.  It was around noon and check in was at 4pm. I popped in to see if we could leave our car parked in the lot (At one place we stayed down at the ocean we could not park our car there earlier than check in and they would no allow us to park there a minute after check out...even during off season....we haven’t stayed there since!!). Luckily for us, this place said ‘sure and while you are at it, your room is ready if you want to check in now!!!  Well of course I wanted, and of course we did!!  It was perfect because it allowed us to split up the afternoon between bike riding and walking (since we checked in we could walk knowing that the bikes were secure in the room!)

We hopped on the bikes at first!   
We headed down to the inlet first.  Then back up the boardwalk.  Then back down to the inlet...where I got a small Thrasher’s Fry (a boardwalk delicacy!). I ate probably about 3/4 of that (maybe a bit less).  Why did I not eat the whole thing?  Believe me, it wasn’t because I had will power...part of the charm of Thrasher’s for me is feeding the birds!!!     When I was finished I told the birds to go find their next target and I hopped back on my bike.  Up the length of the boardwalk we went again!  Northbound riding was fantastic...away from the wind.   But southbound I really had to push to ride against that wind!!!!  While riding we noticed a ‘perimeter’ set up in one spot on the beach and what  looked like ‘guards’ on each edge of the perimeter.  People had cameras and were taking pictures.   Odd!  Finally my curiosity got the best of me.  Jason watched the bikes and I trucked  across the sand to see what was up! 

Apparently seals will ‘haul out’ of the water for various reasons.  In this area they usually only haul out if they are in distress.  Apparently most of the time they just need to rest.  (If they are sick or injured they get them and drive them up the coast to a rehabilitation area.  The volunteer told me sometimes they only rest for 2 or 3 hours but they have had a seal ‘rest’ for 6 days before leaving the area.   Seals are a protected animal.   So a group of volunteers will set up a perimeter and stand guard to insure that the seals and humans and animals on the beach are safe.  (Sorry, I haven’t had a chance to get the really good pics off the good camera, the camera with an excellent you get a cell phone pic!)

Jason and I jumped on our bikes and headed back to the hotel.  We decided to walk back to the seal resting area to get some pictures and take some time to pop into some of the stores and sites along the boardwalk.
We walked into the room and Jason said ‘holy cow, look at this’!

This bird stayed on our balcony rail, with our balcony door open and talked to us for at least 15 minutes. Jason would mimic its sounds and it would answer back.  We were only able to watch him from inside the room.  I found a packet of sunflower seeds in our bags and the bird was going to get  a nice nutritious snack!  Finally we left the room.  We could tell that the bird really wanted the seeds but wouldn’t eat much while we were there. Plus we had a seal haul out to attend!

We walked back to the seal area and checked out the seal!   After grabbing a few pictures we headed back down the boardwalk on foot!  For the next two hours we roamed on foot.  The restaurant that we wanted to eat at (Bull on the Beach) was closing at about 5 PM....(remember it’s off season so we were just happy that they were open). So we ordered our food.  Sandwich rolls on the side please. And we carted it back to our hotel room to heat up later for dinner.  Also on our walk we picked up two big buckets of popcorn. (Caramel and cheddar cheese). (If you have been to OC, Maryland...Fishers Popcorn). We ALSO stopped at Dolles Candyland and each picked out some chocolate for a sweet treat!

So for dinner I ate a beef sandwich and coleslaw, I had some popcorn and I had some chocolate.   I feel like I ate a ton!  But I never felt ‘stuffed and sick’. I never even felt full!   I did eat it in stages.  I ate the sandwich first.  Then I waited a bit before I dove into the popcorn.  I then waited a bit before eating any chocolate.   And right before we went to bed (probably an hour after the chocolate) I ate another handful of popcorn.  I was purposefully doing that in order to give my body time to tell me to stop!!!  I kept saying ‘I just still feel hungry!’

We cranked the heat up high and threw open the door to the balcony......and crawled into bed!  Ahhhh. Sleep was wonderful with the natural sound of the waves rolling in!!!  Just for the record, We chose our ocean front rooms the hotel we stayed at this time the balconies are cantilevered little half circles and at least 5 feet or more from the balcony of the next room...and we are the top floor!  So while not impossible for someone to come into our room via the is highly unlikely!

Roughly 2.5 hours of bike riding and about 2 -3 hours of walking for the day. (And just for the record...this one day of walking allowed me to say that I completed my step goal for March....the one I talked about in my last post ). While I ate candy and popcorn...and fries my food intake was under control and not a free for all!  I actually ended the day a bit hungry...just not able to feel satisfied! Upon tracking my food I found that I was only barely over my goal range (1200 to 1500.) and then on top of that add in all that activity...yeah I did good with my numbers but no wonder I was hungry...when I look at my net calories for the day I had quite a few more calories I could have in just in the exercise alone I burned 1800 calories...above and beyond what I burn just through normal living. And on that day I didn’t eat any of those extra calories!

I woke up early and laid in bed basking in the peaceful sounds of the crashing surf! Ahhhhh. That is the life!  I managed to write my recap for Friday (above) and was ready to hop out of bed when the sun started peaking over the horizon!

We showered and relaxed a bit...this was a mini vacation, we wanted active time but also relaxing time!  Finally we set off.  It was still chilly so we set off on foot.  We walked for hours!   Literally!   From 9am or so until about 4pm.    

I grabbed a breakfast sandwich. (Sausage egg and cheese croissant).  We checked out the seal who was still on the beach!  (Wish I could have gotten closer, but apparently a law keeps you 50 yards away.). We checked out various stores.  We enjoyed the beach. 

I was feeling a bit confused because I was feeling hungry and I had just had breakfast.  But then I looked at my watch and low and behold it was 1PM!   Where did the morning go!   I was scanning for something to eat and saw the ice cream place....oh yeah, I did!  I had a chocolate sprinkle waffle cone with vanilla ice cream....covered in sprinkles!!  

Sprinkles make the world a better place!   And yeah....that WAS my lunch!!!

We walked some more.  Around 2 Jason looked at me and remarked that he had developed a hot spot on his foot.  We immediately headed back to our hotel to rest our weary feet and check out our hot spots/blisters.  Yup, I had a blister too (on the bottom of my middle toe of all places)!   We sat on the balcony enjoying life when our friend came back...and got so much closer to us this time...literally 3 feet from zoom needed today!

We rested for a bit and then headed out to pick up the few things at some stores that we knew we wanted to take home.  (It was calling for rain on Sunday and we wanted to make sure that we had made our purchases so that we didn’t have to walk forever in the rain on Sunday before we left.). So what did we buy?   An ornament for our Christmas tree.  Some more chocolate.  And a new pet!   Yes we got another hermit crab.

  We have two tanks going at home.  One for the two small crabs and one for a big crab that I rescued about 6 months ago.  The big crab is healthy but rather ‘depressed’....we have tried to put him in the tank with the smaller crabs but it just isn’t working yet because of the size discrepancy.  Crabs are social.  So we are hoping another crab will help ‘big boy’.  The crab we got is rather large (double the size of ‘big boy’...and he is feisty and not overly afraid of us.  Our hearts melted with this jumbo sized crab...he was healthy looking and had obviously just molted.  You could tell that he hadn’t been in captivity for least not in the cage that he was currently housed in!  Honestly the cages they keep the crabs in are horrendous and NOT at all conducive to life for these crabs!  (I’m not talking about quality of life...I’m talking the wire/mesh cages are not suitable for a hermit crab for any length of time and will eventually lead to health problems and death.  I would buy every crab and set them free on an island if I could...but I can’t so we just saved one!). 

After we made our purchases we went back to our room. It was about 5pm but we were DONE!  We let our crab roam a bit on the floor.  We moved the couch and sat looking at the ocean and chit chatted and enjoyed each other’s company.  We watched tv.  We ordered delivery because we were too whipped to head out the door another time!!!  Delivery was pizza and chicken tenders for me (Pizza and calamari for jason). Oh and some chocolate! 

What a good day!  Lots of activity.  My calories were a bit higher!  Right under 2000 for the day.  I didn’t have quite the deficit of calories that day...but I’m good with what I ate.  I didn’t go to bed hungry!  I also didn’t stuff myself and feel ill.  (And I had self control with the chocolate....only three small pieces!) I felt good!

The day to go home. Boooooo!  But of course we were excited to get our new crab home and in a quarantine tank....a tank where he could be somewhat comfortable, small for him but with everything he needed to be comfortable (not a wire mesh cage that we transported him home in!) until we deem him safe to mingle with his new buddy!

We started the day with another sunrise. 

A nice lazy morning in the room enjoying the views....and trying to not think about going back to the rat race!!

We headed out on our bikes this morning and rode.   We grabbed an early lunch (fries again) and just enjoyed the ocean views and the wind in our faces as we rolled down the boardwalk.  It was colder so we were wearing our winter jackets and my jacket took a hit when it got caught on something on my bike and ripped! was new this year too!  Oh well!

We rode until it started to rain!   (Which we knew was forecasted). Cold we fled back to the car and headed home.  It was time anyway.  Boooo!

The ride home was uneventful....but we both talked about the dread of returning to work.   Man, we need a ‘normal/long’ vacation!!!

Overall...what an active weekend!   I closed out March very positive.  While my food may have been a bit higher, it was not outrageously high!  (2000 calories was the highest day but add in 8 miles of walking and a couple hours of biking and I think that day evened out!).  I’m home and while I don’t want to return to work, I’m ready to get my health back on track and get my fitness levels up and my weight down!  Bring it on!!!!