Friday, September 27, 2013


Greetings from the Caribbean.

It is absolutely gorgeous here and I have no clue why it took me this long to venture here for the first time. I will write more when I get home, but for now, enjoy the view....

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

18 out of 32

What is 18 of 32 you ask?

The number of days, starting tomorrow, that I will be spending sleeping somewhere other than my own bed in the next 32 days.

My trips won't take me all that far, only one time zone away at most, but will involve three flights, three road trips, five hotels, two houses and six zip codes. I'll go to two places I've never been before and see old friends at several stops along the way. I'll do a lot of work related schmoozing, because of course, it's October. (March, June & October = conference season in my world.)

Half the travel is work, half for fun. I'm looking forward to all of the trips for sure.

But I'm also kinda exhausted already.

(Basically, I could have just recycled my post from March but I figured I'd spice things up a bit with math this time.)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Music Monday: Space

My musical interests seem to be running about a decade behind these days.

I'm not listening to much new music, but I keep rediscovering old favorites, again and again!

This one has been going nonstop on my playlist lately...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

10,000 steps

I've been tracking my steps for about five months now, 21 weeks to be specific, and in that time I've consistently averaged almost exactly 10,000 steps a day.

My total for the 21 weeks is 1,479,134, which works out to to an average of 10,062 steps a day.

Now, the beauty of averages is that I've certainly had some less than stellar weeks in there (week 12 and your puny 47k steps, that means you), but there have been some over the top weeks in there to help balance things out (thanks week 19 for the 93k steps!).

I've tried to do this before, I get all competitive and motivated when a walking challenge starts up at work, but then as soon as it ends I gladly put the pedometer away and forget about it until the next email comes from HR.

But not this time.

This time I'm doing crazy things, like yesterday, when I kept my car parked all day and did all my errands on foot. 19,625 steps worth of errands. Or today, when I made plans with a friend to go for a walk this morning rather than go out to breakfast or meet for coffee and we ended up doing 4 miles.

I'm not sure what's different, and why I've been sticking with it, but I'm really glad I have.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Never Stop Exploring

I love this new print I got and felt the need to share it with more than just the people who come to my apartment (which to be honest, isn't really all that many.)

It's from Uh Oh Pasghettio, a new graphic design company a friend of mine recently started. Her work is mostly geared towards "stylish kiddos" but some of the prints are quite grown up friendly as well. 

I spent an indecisive few hours on the site last week, trying to pick out things for the kiddos in my life, and some adults as well, and I can't wait to gift some cool custom art!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Clean Slate

Yesterday was Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Hebrew calendar.

In the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish new year) and Yom Kippur you are supposed to be contemplative and atone for your sins of the prior year, to start the year anew, with a clean slate. This should take place in synagogue, but...Years ago, when I was living in Richmond I heard about a Yom Kippur observance where you go to the river with a bagel and throw in pieces, representing your sins of the year, and watch them float away, wiping your slate clean.

I decided on a warm, sunny fall day that was a much better way for me to observe the holiday. I headed to Jones Point Park, another nearby spot I hadn't visited previously and took part in my own personal Yom Kippur service.
Boundary marker from...
the olden days. (I was too busy
being contemplative to pay
attention to dates)

(Side note: Jones Point Park is really cool! It's basically underneath the Wilson Bridge. A bridge I've driven over countless times in the past 10+ years and I had no clue this park existed until this weekend. Well, that's not true. Probably about 6 months ago I read about a new playground at the park, and knew it was down near the Wilson Bridge, but until I got there yesterday I had no idea the park ran underneath the bridge. With playgrounds on either side and basketball courts directly under it. The Mount Vernon Trail runs through the park and there are walking trails that fan out from it, stopping by historic sites like the first house built in DC and the stone markers that mark the cities original boundaries, when it included sections of land that have since been returned to Virginia.)

My stack of mini bagels
Anyway, back to Yom Kippur. I stopped by a small grocery store on my way to the park and planned to buy one bagel. I was fasting for the holiday as you are supposed to do, so the idea of entering a grocery store at all wasn't appealing, but I figured that would be easier than stopping at a bagel shop or bakery. The store I picked however was so small it didn't have a bakery case where I could buy one bagel. So a bag of mini-bagels it was. When I got to the park I decided I'd get rid of those sins first, as the temptation of walking around with food in my pocket when I couldn't eat was more than I could stand. 

My "sins" ready to be washed away!

Maybe it was the ritual of cleaning my slate, maybe it was just luck, but in the end I really did have "an easy fast" which is the greeting you give people on Yom Kippur. I was quite hungry in the late afternoon, but after a few hours it passed, and I made it to Baltimore to break the fast with my family with no cheating at all. I also enjoyed a really nice afternoon, exploring part of the city I had never seen before, and added 11,000 steps to my total for the week.  

All in all, a pretty good way to kick off a new year. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Teddy's Island

Ok, so it's actually Roosevelt Island, but I think Teddy's Island has a nice ring to it.

No matter what you'd like to call it, I can finally check it off the DC To-Do List as done

Teddy is polite too, waving to greet his guests

The island is in the middle of the Potomac River, between Rosslyn and the Georgetown waterfront. It's not huge (according to wikipedia there is 2 1/2 miles of shoreline) but it's a decent size, with a variety of walking trails. The trails branch off immediately after you cross the footbridge onto the island, but I figured I needed to go visit Teddy first, as the polite thing to do since I was visiting his island.

Peeking through the trees towards DC
After visiting the statue I set off to on one of the trails behind it. It started off as a nicely cleared, gravel covered path, but as I got further into the woods it definitely felt more like I was out for an actual hike in the wilderness and not still (technically) in the District of Columbia.

Some people were out there with strollers and while that works for a bit, you eventually get to a point where it really, really doesn't. And then, right after that point (which involved lots of climbing over rocks) I arrived at a lovely elevated boardwalk, which was totally stroller, jogger and even elderly person walking with a cane, friendly. The boardwalk area was pretty long, maybe about a mile, and it runs through the swamp and marshland on the island.

The boardwalk through the Swamp Trail

At times, along the main path, and then towards the end of the boardwalk path you've got some great water views and less aesthetic views of various highways and bridges to remind you that you are still in DC.

After I finished the main trail I took a reading/snack/water break back by Teddy's statue and then decided to try one more trail before heading home.

Welcome to my walkway trees. 
That one was a bit trickier.... from the beginning I could tell it was a bit more natural than the others. It was a cleared path still, but not gravel or paved and it got less and less "cleared" as I walked. I climbed over several downed trees in the path without issue, but as I kept going to noticed the grass getting taller and taller and the visibility of the path getting smaller and smaller. I decided to turn back, as there was really no reason when I was by myself that I needed to continue further into the unknown (aka home of a million ticks.)

When I got back to the main entrance and looked at the island map I saw that last trail I was on was a shorter path, leading back to the main trail that loops the island, on the side I didn't go to. So, I know which direction I'll be heading in first on my return visit to Teddy's Island!


While I still think Teddy is polite, from this angle it seems
like he's a grumpy old man yelling at the plane to stop making
all that racket and stay away from his island! 

Ps. Between exploring the island and a running errands on foot in my neighborhood last Saturday was a 19,000 step day! 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Music Monday: HTTR

NFL season kicked off last Thursday and the Redskins finally take the field for the first time tonight!

Yay football!!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Super Snapshot

I did a lot of walking this weekend, and a lot of taking in the sights in DC. The picture above is quite possibly the best picture my trusty iPhone has taken.

On Friday evening I ended up downtown after work after giving a stranded friend a ride into the city. Rather than sit in traffic to make my way home I decided to go for a walk around the Tidal Basin. It's so delightfully tourist free at this time of year, and parking is a breeze.

I walked for awhile, sat and read for awhile and then finished up my walk, bringing my step count up over 15,000 for the day and kicking off a relaxing weekend.