Arlington National Cemetery

This morning started out with a trip to Arlington National Cemetery. I took this HDR photograph (or actually 7 photographs) of the cemetery. Combining the photographs produced this gorgeous effect. It’s always nice to have a lot of clouds and some interesting foreground. In this case, it was a numbered gravestone, typical in this cemetery.

Our purpose in this trip was to bury Ray’s grandmother in Arlington National Cemetery. She died last year, but her ashes were interred today.

Ray’s cousin Morgan prayed by the grave stone after the ceremony, while everyone else was walking back to their cars. I thought this image of her was beautiful and glad I snapped this shot.

Lunch: We didn’t eat breakfast, since we had planned to go eat around 10am after we were back from the cemetery. I had a very big lunch. What I consumed probably was around 2,000 calories. The “healthy” Blueberry Yogurt Shake was advertised at 600 calories and the Cheeseburger on a Glazed Bun and Fries were around 1500 calories.

Dinner: Because I consumed so much, I just couldn’t even force myself to eat dinner. I was outside of my daily limit during these 1300 calorie days and I felt full all day.

Long Bus Ride to Washington, DC

Ray snapped a shot of me working on my phone (thank God for smart phones!) as we rode on the Bolt Bus to DC. We got on the bus at 7:30PM and got to DC at 12:30AM. Ray’s parental unit picked us up and we went to our hotel near Arlington National Cemetery. We said our hellos very quickly to the rest of the family in the lobby and were off to bed.

Breakfast: Corn Flakes with Skim Milk.

Lunch: Mac and Cheese with Brocolli and Lots of Hot Peppers.

Dinner: I only ate breakfast and lunch today. I thought I’d have time to grab us some deli sandwiches before we got on the bus, but time ran short. Luckily, I had some apples and water with me, so we had a little snack during our 5 hour ride. My mother-in-law had delicious peaches with her in the car, so I had a mouth watering peach before I went to bed.

A Day at the Beach

We met up with our friends, Joanna and Alice, to drive to Fire Island and spend the day at the beach. Through a democratic vote, we decided on Ocean Beach, so when we parked, we walked over to the ferry, bought our tickets (one way is $8.50 for a half hour ferry to Ocean Beach) and boarded the boat.

People even brought their dogs on board. This little weiner pup didn’t like the sun, so he would hide under newspapers to stay in the shade.

I had never been to this side of Fire Island, so it was fun to see an island with wagons instead of cars!

What a cute little town, with lots of shops and ice cream stores.

When we arrived to the beach, we set up our umbrellas and napped in the sun and sand.

I took an obligatory feet and beach photo!

Joanna and I decided to take a long walk on the beach. We ended up walking and talking for two hours. We’re both into photography, so we kept snapping things we found interesting. Though both of us were stung by jelly fish, it was nothing like what I experienced in Japan. This sting just caused a tiny bit of numbness in the toes.

I saw this tiny bird perched on a rock and he looked at me right when I needed him to model in the photo.

This man was paddling on a surf board. I’m not really sure why he was doing that, but I thought he was great.

This dog kept running up to me and kept trying to lick my camera lens when I crouched down to take his photo.

I thought these kids were cute. They just sat in the surf and got bashed by waves.

We went to church on the island and enjoyed an evening ferry ride back.

Breakfast: Cottage Cheese and Granola.

Lunch: Alice brought a treat, so I had half a banana nut cupcake from Billy’s Cupcakes, which was unbelievably delicious. Finally, a good cupcake in NYC! I also ate the snacks we brought, Empire Apples and Peaches.

Late Dinner: Beef Salad.

Airport Delays

Six hours later and I’m home. I feel lucky to not have been on Spirit Airlines during this strike, but still, even my flight had delays. I missed a doctor’s appointment and got home a lot later than expected.

Today, was mostly about saying goodbye to North Carolina and airport delays. After unpacking, eating a sensible dinner after having Subway for lunch, I was ready to soak in the tub, read a book and relax. Unfortunately, other things had to be done, delayed blog posts and bills and organization for the day tomorrow.

Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs with Red Peppers. Loved having this lovely breakfast with the family in the morning. My husband and I worked together to create a nice family style breakfast to eat with his mother and father. It was perfect to have one final morning, overlooking the ocean, drinking out of my flamingo coffee cup and chatting away with the family.

Lunch: Subway-a turkey and cheese 6″ sub. Additions: Greenpeppers, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce and LOTS of jalapeno peppers. You know what that looks like!

Dinner: A French Bread Hoagie with Turkey, Low-Fat Swiss Cheese and Low-Fat Salami.

Seashells and Planet Fun

After a good run in the morning, filled with sprints and pushups, I headed in for a quick breakfast, so I could get back outside quickly to enjoy my last full day in North Carolina.

Ray’s cousins came to visit and so Ray’s dad, Ray and I went on a long walk to collect seashells.

We found some beautiful seashells, saw a jellyfish swimming in the ocean, grabbed up crabs and did jumps and cartwheels in the water.

The cousins, Katelyn and Madison, didn’t mind me taking a bunch of photographs. The girls are so sweet and gorgeous, it was easy to take beautiful shots of them.

The obligatory jumping photo had to be taken!

The excitement continued into the evening. We went to a fantastic restaurant called Duffers, where I ate delicious food and had a lovely time, laughing and chatting with the family.

After dinner, we headed out to Planet Fun, which literally is fun! We played laser tag (I’ve never done that before and now, I think everyone should do it. It is a BLAST to run around and catch people!), did glow in the dark mini-golfing and played really fun arcade games.

Breakfast: Greek Yogurt and Granola.

Lunch: A Hebrew National 97% Fat Free Hot Dog on a Wheat Bun with Tomatoe and Sweet Relish.

Dinner: Chicken Gyro with Pepper Jack Cheese, Lettuce, Tomatoe and Steak Fries. I gave the pickle away.

Sea Kayaking

Anytime I’ve ever kayaked, I was not scared…until today. I’ve kayaked in the ocean, I’ve even kayaked with whales swimming close, but I’ve never had waves keep knocking me over. Luckily, my hubby was close by to rescue me each time!

I’m also not used to the Atlantic, since my family always went to the Gulf or the Caribbean to swim. With clear waters, you see what critters lay below and it’s not as scary as dark waters. The closer I was to leaving the shelter of beach under my feet, the more worried I was about the things I couldn’t see.

My brother-in-law did a much better job at staying afloat, so I caught a shot of him floating forward on a wave.

It definitely is good exercise to keep attempting to stay afloat!

Exercising in the Sun

I was determined to have a somewhat healthy day in the south, so after Mass, I started off the morning by cooking breakfast for Ray and myself.

I chopped up red and orange peppers and browned them on the pan for a few minutes.

Then, I mixed eggs in a bowl, with red crushed pepper, salt and pepper.  I poured that mix into the pan and in a few minutes, I had a delicious breakfast ready for us, completed with a flamingo coffee cup!

I started the morning off with some exercises on the beach. I’m attempting to be able to do pushups daily now, so I did those in the water. It was refreshing to do them as the ocean water came over to make me feel a little less sweaty as I worked hard. I also did leg lifts, crunches and pelvic thrusts. It was Sunday, so I usually take Sunday off from major exercise anyway.

I had to do a jumping photo! I love this style of photography, since my fellow friend and photographer, Andrea, got me into the art. It makes you look like a leaping gazelle!

Breakfast: See above. Scrambled Eggs with Orange and Red Peppers

Lunch: Salami and Swiss Cheese Sandwich with Tomatoes and Red Crushed Peppers.

Dinner: Seafood Pasta, Corn on the Cob and Salad.

Hello, North Carolina.

I’ve been looking forward to a weekend on the beach and was very excited about this trip. My husband’s family rents a house in Holden Beach every year. This year, the house had a pool and elevator and an inverted floor plan, which made it the most beautiful house I’d seen on a beach thus far!

We started off the morning in the Presidents Club Lounge at the airport. Ray’s card was upgraded and with all the flying we do, it was a lovely change to start off the morning with no hassle to find comfortable chairs. It was also a plus to have free food and drink.

I can imagine that free wi-fi, office areas, showers and free bar will be useful on other trips!

The house was beautifully decorated and I love this new style of a beach house, where the second floor is the one with the kitchen and living room.

The second floor has the best view of the beach and ocean and it’s where everyone always hangs out.

The bedrooms are on the first floor and no one spends nearly the same amount of time there as they do in the common areas of the house.

When we got to the house, we quickly unpacked, which was made so easy with the help of the elevator. Then, we headed out to the beach. I couldn’t believe how incredibly warm the ocean was this year. Each year, the Atlantic Ocean is always chilly, especially this early in the season, and you have to enter it in stages. Unbelievably, the pool was actually cooler than the ocean, which seems…impossible!

Ray and I enjoyed a long walk on the beach that evening and went to bed early, since we wanted to be up for 8AM Mass the next morning to have the rest of the day free to enjoy the beach.

Breakfast: At the Continental Presidents Club, I ate a bagel with Philadelphia Creme Cheese and had Coffee with Skim Milk, while reading a magazine.

Lunch: The sun seems to suppress appetites, so I just made myself an orange shake. It was just orange juice and about 20 ice-cubes. Delicious! I followed it up with an orange. I know it seems like a healthy choice, but I did flub a bit and had icecream and banana bread as well…

Dinner: Sweet Potatoe. I added salt and pepper after it came out of the microwave. It didn’t need any other condiments, since the sweet potatoe is very flavorful.

Halfway Done!

Happy Half-Way Day. Today is day 45, so I am celebrating!

After a weekend of some self-indulgence, I went to Marina‘s class, which made my entire shirt soak in sweat. I feel a little guilty for taking the subway back tonight, since I could definitely smell my sweat and it wasn’t good. I think Marina knew that we needed that workout after a Memorial Day weekend break. It was incredible to power it out together.

FYI, if you want a move that will make you sweat like nobody’s business, try the one Marina is doing in the photo above. Just holding your leg straight out like this and then doing leg lifts is brutal. In moments like this, sweat is just pouring down my face and neck. It’s interesting how a tiny movement like this can do a lot of strength training and feel like an incredible amount of work. With a trainer like this, you know you’ll get a full body workout.

Breakfast: Multigrain Muffin with Low Fat Laughing Cow Cheese.

Lunch: Multigrain Muffin with Ham and Low Fat Munster Cheese. Melted in the toaster oven, of course.

Dinner: Chicken Quesidilla with Hot Peppers.

Goodbye Cayuga Lake

Sadly, we had to leave today to drive the 4.5 hours back to Manhattan.

Before we drove back, I sat on the dock for a while and dipped my feet into the water (with some trepidation because I was wondering if a snake would come by) and snapped a few photos.

I made sure to eat outside to enjoy the last moments at this gorgeous lake.

Breakfast: Granola and Skim Milk.

Lunch: Chicken Lasagna with Whole Wheat Noodles. Believe it or not, each serving is around 200 calories. The key is…stopping at one serving. Yikes, that’s always a challenge, isn’t it?

Dinner: Mushroom and Cabbage Krokety (or Crepe type things!) Our friend, Monika, who stayed in our apartment for the weekend, was there to greet us and eat dinner together. She made some delicious Polish food, which we shared together. Ray had the potatoe salad, but I just had tomatoes with the krokety.

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