Welcome back to real life, Lindsay.
That's what I felt like when I looked at my bank account, the pile of laundry, the empty fridge and the litter box that needs changed.
However, vacation was amazing and just what I needed after not having one since we went for the long weekend to Chicago in May 2010. We did a whole lot of nothing, took lots of naps, spent a lot of quality family time with the Morrison clan and spent a full 24 hours on the road between driving down and coming back home. I'm so glad we rented a car because we took two coolers, 3 suitcases, a bag, 4 pillows and a large lunch box to bring drinks and snacks in for the trip and neither of our cars would haul all of the above. We got an Impala and it was nice and roomy, had satellite radio, a sun roof and was a comfortable ride.
We left around 6AM last Saturday morning and stopped in Virginia for lunch at a Buffalo Wild Wings since we had a gift card. We arrived in Corolla, North Carolina around 8pm and met up with the rest of Kyle's family at a diner for dinner. Everyone else had already arrived and unpacked at the beach house and we were all hungry. It wasn't the best experience but we were all pretty tired, too. We walked behind the diner and over the dunes to get our first look at the beach and see the sun set and it was beau-ti-ful. We headed to the house and got settled and I was pleasantly surprised that it was a lot nicer than I anticipated. We had a 3 story house with 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, a pool table with small kitchenette on the first floor, a living room with sun room and full kitchen on the third. We had our own pool and hot tub and overall it was super nice and had everything we would need. We had about a two block walk through the neighborhood we stayed in to the beach.
I got up Sunday morning and went for my first run of the trip. I tried to find enough road around the neighborhood to get in my full 3 miles but I fell just slightly short of that but was okay with it. We went exploring and climbed all 214 steps to the top of the Currituck light house (http://www.currituckbeachlight.com) and it was quite a view. I didn't realize we'd be out on a ledge of this thing to see out once we got to the top so I was pretty much plastered to the wall the whole time but did get a nice panoramic picture. We climbed back down with shaky legs (I was surprised how tough it was for me with all the running I've been doing, my calves were killing me!) and went down the road to book some jet skis.
Kyle has been talking about jet skiing since we went to Myrtle Beach for his brother's wedding. He wants to race, and beat me, around the water and just go ripping through the water and have fun on them. He wants to one day own a lake house down at Cumberland and get a boat and a truck and jet skis - the whole nine yards. Anyway, that day we went and made a reservation for Monday morning for us to go out on the sound side of the island for some water sporting fun. Kyle's brother, Chris, and his girlfriend Shae wanted to get one too so they went back to get a third ski for the morning. We spend the rest of the day napping, hanging by the pool and had a taco dinner.
The next morning we went out on our adventure on the sound. I was more nervous than I thought I'd be and even though I wore a swim suit and all that jazz I didn't think I'd get that wet or be cold. Well, it was about 75 degrees for a high and it seems like it was always windy down there. We also had to walk in the water to get out to the skis so there goes my not getting wet theory. These bad boys were supposed to go up to 55 miles per hour and there were already 6 out in the zone they have for their business - there are multiple places to go so they have buoys to separate locations. It was kind of busy out there so I wasn't planning on going super fast anyway and I had our sister-in-law Mallory riding with me and she's a tiny little thing and I didn't want to throw her off. We went a whopping top speed of 10mph and that honestly was because we ended up having sea weed up in there but we were okay taking it easy so I didn't go back inland to have them check it out or anything. We had a good time and got lots of water in the face with the decent size swells out on the water and I was glad I wore sunglasses so I could see!
We finished up, came back to the house for lunch and more naps.
Tuesday I got my second run in and we went south to Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills and saw the Wright Brothers Memorial. It is literally the place where the first flight flew (say that 5 times fast!) and the hill where they took their glider the year before they got the engine plane off the ground. There's a big monument on top of the hill and we got a good dose of cardio seeing that thing up close. There was a museum with a glider inside and pictures of the great people in aviation. It was nice to see and there were markers by big rocks that designated the distances of their flights. Kids were out flying bag-kites and it was a good time. We had lunch at a local brewery and I had the best wrap of my life. So good! Back we went to the house and spent the evening playing dominos.
Wednesday I treated myself to a 90 minute massage to soothe my aching neck and calves from our lighthouse excursion. When I did my 6 miles the previous week I was on the treadmill watching TV for over an hour and I think I strained my neck looking up at the screen the whole time - not cool. I still feel like it's very stiff and can't move it the best yet but it is slowly getting better. I was taking doses of extra strength Tylenol every 4 hours to keep up with it and was having a hard time getting comfortable sleeping. I love massages anyway and so I figured since I was on vacation and we had nothing but time I would treat myself. IT WAS SO AMAZING. The massuse didn't even wear shoes because that's just the type of laid back atmosphere they had at Outer Banks Massage and I've never felt more relaxed than I did when it was over. I had also started developing a bit of a summer cold and just really felt good afterward. My calves were so sore they were sensitive just to the touch but I tried to remain calm and let the therapist work his magic and I wasn't sore at all by the time he was done. My neck felt significantly better and it was worth every penny. We did some shopping in the afternoon and found a neat popcorn shop and did a little sampling. We came out with just a small bag of buttered popcorn but we returned on Friday for more :) The day ended with a heated dominos match and we called it a night.
Thursday I woke up at 5AM and got my 6 mile run in. I couldn't see myself trying to stay in the neighborhood and running in circles for 6 miles so I drove down about 5 miles into Duck, NC where there are paved bike trails along the side of the road. I parked in a raquetball club lot and went out 3 miles and then back to get the day started. The day before someone had gone to get Duck Donuts and I did allow myself to have one when I got back to the house - I didn't let myself feel guilty either. I popped that bad boy in the microwave for a few seconds and it was AMAZING. I showered and took a nice nap and that afternoon we went on the Wild Horse Adventure Tour. We packed into an oversized jeep and went all the way up the road until it turns into beach front driving on the sand. The driver took us over a huge dune and I was so surprised how many homes are up in that area where you must have a 4x4 vehicle to travel on the beach. Total isolation out there and it was so cool. We saw 10 wild horses of the 130 something there are out there. In the 1500's Spanish ships headed this way and they got stuck on a sand barge and released the horses they were carrying to drop weight to get off the barge and they swam to shore. At one point there were over 5000 horses but were being considered a nuisance and open hunting season was declared at one point and we're left with only the 130 there are now. They are never touched but have over 7500 acres of land to roam with lots of lush greenery and some man made canals for fresh drinking water year round. They aren't vaccinated, fed or given veterinary care otherwise and have a 95% survival rate. They also live about 5 years longer than domesticated horses so that's pretty awesome too. They were so beautiful.
Friday we went back to the popcorn store and got a tin to bring home. We went to watch the nephews ride go karts and had ice cream and then went for pizza for dinner. Totally went off on the calorie goal for the day but I did so well the rest of the week I was okay with it. I went to get my last run in Friday night but it got too dark and there were no streetlights - only the moon - so I had to cut it short. We were all packed up and headed to bed with a 4:15 wake up call.
Saturday morning we all headed out around 5AM. Kyle got us over the bridge off the island and I took over for the first leg of the drive home. As freaked out as I am about bridges I was super impressed by the bridge and tunnel in Norfolk, Virginia. It was just such a cool design and going under the water in the tunnel was neat as well. We got home around 5:30 last night and unloaded the car and went to pick up Penny from doggy day care. She looked so tired on the cameras and we were missing her so we decided to get back in the car and get her last night instead of this morning. I slept like a baby in my own bed last night and we got up this morning to return the car, bring Levi his shirt and sea shells we got for him and have a belated anniversary lunch at Long Horn. I went grocery shopping and did laundry and wrote my first ever guest post interview for another blog. If/when it gets published I'll let you guys know :)
My goal was to lose a pound on vacation and I'm waiting a day or two to weigh myself because I was so dehydrated not drinking a lot the night before or day of the drive home so we wouldn't have to stop every 45 minutes and I know I'm bound to be retaining any water weight possible. I rehydrated like crazy today and got lots of fresh fruits and veggies for lunch this week. I'm working every day but Friday and switch back to nights starting Thursday night and work through the weekend. I picked up tomorrow and Tuesday by choice at Bethesda to make up for some of the hours I missed being off this week and I'm actually super excited to see everyone the next two days that I've been missing!
I also have been considering hiring a trainer for further fitness and nutrition coaching. I follow a lot of inspirational people through Facebook and Instagram and see their progress and how they are reaching their goals. I'm on the right path but I could certainly be eating better and could use a structured meal plan and other fitness besides my running to complement my training and to avoid injuries. I found a person I really like and is very affordable compared to many other coaches charging 100's of dollars and beyond for their services. I'm going to re-do my budget and try to stick better to my financial plans and will see if this will work out for me and go from there. I'm excited and hope I can make this work out!
I also got my first "fan girl" shout out from a reader, Beth Morvay. Thanks Beth! I was seriously smiling ear to ear when I saw your post and am so happy to be a source of motivation for you. Like I keep saying, if I can do it, ANYONE can do it. Keep it up and you'll be happy you did. My newest favorite quote that I keep seeing it seems like EVERYWHERE is "a year from now you'll wish you'd started today" and that is so true. So many years ago I think now "if only!" I had started caring more about my health, my life and longevity. No more. Never again. I'm setting goals and holding myself accountable because no one else can! YOU'VE GOT THIS!
I'm determined to get all this laundry and everything put away tonight so I better wrap up this ever-long post but I'm glad to be back and here's to being refreshed and back on track! Have a great week!