Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday. March. What more can I say.

Although the sun is warm, there is still snow on the ground and we (I) are (am) at our (my) breaking point....

At least it is supposed to be in the 50's by early next week.

Monday, March 9, 2009

BEST $20 bucks I ever spent...

Hubby's birthday was last week.

We had a small celebration on the "official" day by having dinner with Sabrina at Famous Dave's BBQ (one of Hubby's fav restaurants) and then cake at our house.

For his gift, I redeemed the two free nights I had accumulated at any Kimpton Hotel and found cheap airfare to Midway Airport in Chicago. We flew there last Friday and came home yesterday.

We love Chicago -- I used to live there and we both love the vibrancy of the city, the cool stuff you can do at any hour of the day, the great food, fantastic people watching, and, of course, the "El".

Unfortunately, it rained all weekend. And I mean RAINED.

We were lucky in that it didn't rain when we walked from our hotel to the Art Institute, where we waited in line for about 30 minutes to get tickets. (Apparently a rainy day spent inside the Art Institute wasn't just our good idea...). I love this photo because it is so "touristy"....

We spent pretty much the whole day at the museum and had a blast.

We went to a hip, cool trendy restaurant for dinner on Saturday night: Sushi Samba. Dee-licious food, fun atmosphere. The rain also let up enough so we could stroll back from the restaurant to the hotel.

Sunday, the rain gods were not so kind. It poured all day. Buckets and buckets and sheets and sheets of cold, March rain.

We slept in late and then took a cab to Gino's East to indulge in some really great deep dish pizza.

The cab driver was a nice, friendly guy and we chatted about stuff on the way to Gino's. Thanked the guy, paid the fare and went in to the restaurant.

Being the nice (vain) girl that I am, I wanted to go to the restroom to wipe the rain off my head when I discovered that I LEFT MY PURSE IN THE CAB.


My ID, my credit cards, my camera, my make up, my cash, my PURSE! Left in a cab in a city with millions of cabs.

The waiter at the restaurant said "Just call the cab company".

Under normal (not pouring rain) circumstances, this would be a smart idea. But, because it had been raining so hard when we hailed the cab, we just jumped in, rode to the restaurant and jumped out.

"Company?" Ummmmm, errr, ahhhh. No clue.

For once, I had no idea what to do. Usually, I'm pretty good in a pickle. I can figure out "Plan B" probably faster and quicker than most (if I do say so myself...).

This time, I was stumped and fearful. I could certainly cancel the credit cards, but how do you get on an airplane with NO ID? How do you replace pictures on a camera?

After a few minutes of fretting and using the "F" word (a lot), who walks in the restaurant, but our friendly, cheerful, honest, WONDERFUL cab driver, who says "You forgot your bag in the cab".

I ran over to him and hugged him, which I think surprised the heck out of him. I was very, very grateful.

We went to the cab, I got my bag and give him a $20.00 for finding it and returning it. To the left, you see the bag, on the table, at the restaurant, with ME!

Hubby and I were able to enjoy dee-lish-e-ous pizza and the rest of his birthday weekend.

After lunch, we hopped on the "El" back to Midway and the birthday adventure was over...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A HA! It all makes sense now...

For a few weeks, I've been trying to figure out why I've been so loooooowwww energy. Why my runs have been sooooooo hard. Why sleeping more hours every day than a cat sounded soooooo appealing.

I've been sick!

This may sound gross (at least it sounds gross to me), but I have shingles. It is an aftereffect of chicken pox, which can lie dormant in your nerves.

(Sidenote: The chicken pox thing was also a surprise, as the only childhood disease I thought I had was the mumps (were the mumps??? Is "Mumps" as a disease singular or plural?))

Apparently, once you have chicken pox, the virus stays lurking in your nerves. Some people go the rest of their life with no sign of the virus.

Others, like me, get shingles. The virus decides to pop its little head out of sleep and runs wild through your nervous system.

Symptoms are rash (my rash is on my neck) and swollen lymph glands, bumps, etc. which tend to congregate on one side of the body (my left side of my head is where it is showing up: my head, ear and neck are all swollen and very, very tender).

Bummer -- BUT may explain why expending energy was a big issue. Why I've been so achy for the last few weeks.

Stress is a factor that can help wake up the virus, and heaven knows I've been a bit stressed lately, so that must have been the trigger.

The doc gave me a Rx to help fight this thing faster and I've been asked to "take it easy". (What does that mean again?)

Training? I'll do what I can, when I can.

Fargo 1/2 is really only a placemark race for me this year. I won't start tri training in earnest until the end of April, so I have some time.

I'm kind of mad this happened, though, because I really don't get sick much.

Perfect timing!

(Similar to the "perfect timing" of the delivery of the Girl Scout cookies I ordered in January coinciding with my re dedication to Weight Watchers.....")

Starve a cold, give a cookie to a shingle...