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Back from our NYC vacation

Monday, October 22, 2012

Hi Everyone,

Well, we are back and I am finally getting back on to Sparkpeople. We actually have been back a couple weeks, but it has been a bit busy.

First off, we had a wonderful 13 days in NYC and even squeezed in a couple days in the Mystic/Seaaport, CT area. The entire trip was phenomenal. We took in all 5 burroughs, saw or visited most every landmark and enjoyed some wonderful weather and tried some new and different foods.

Here is a quick rundown of what our itineary ended up looking like:

Sept 19 Arrived @ JFK around 8:45pm
Sept 20 Toured Astoria Park and surrounding Queens neighborhood
Sept 21 Spent about 4 hrs in the Metropolitan museum, checked out a nearby section of Central Park and attended an inaugural Jackson Heights Peruvian Street Festival later that evening
Sept 22 Checked out one of NYC's largest Green Markets and then headed over to Eataly
Sept 23 Took the day off from touring the city visited a nearby Bohemian Ale House to watch some football
Sept 24 Visited Grand Central Station and did some basic touring of the Brooklyn Bridge and surrounding areas
Sept 25 Ascended to Top of the Rock @ Rockefeller Center for breathtaking views of the city and Radio City Music Hall in Midtown
Sept 26 Visited St Paul's Chapel, Ground Zero and the 911 Memorial before boarding the Staten Island Ferry to tour the harbor and the Statue of Liberty. After arriving on Staten Island we walked up several blocks to experience dinner at the highly awarded Enoteca Maria Restaurant where one of 5 Italian immigrant grandmothers prepares her nightly special. This night we shared and enjoyed appetizers of baked squash blossoms, gorgonzola stuffed figs and popettes, a delicioso fresh caprese salad plus entrees which included a specialty pasta, lemon and parsley baked sea bass and stuffed lobster tail.
Sept 27 Visited the Hayden Planetarium, then much of Manhattan including Times Square, the Broadway theatre district and Madison Square Gardens. Lunch was enjoyed at the renown Shake Shack
Sept 28 Our second day of relative leisure in the AM before having dinner at the relatively new Basil Brick Oven Pizza
Sep 29 Brunch at the Astor Room before attending a special function at the Museum of Moving Images
Sept 30 Train to New Haven, Ct area before boarding a bus to the Mohegan Sun Casino and finally lodging at the BW in Uncasville.
Sept 31 Rented a car for the day and drove to Mystic/Seaport, Ct where we walked this beautiful town, taking in all the sights and wandering all the lovely stores then drove out to the Foxwood Casino and wandered around it in awe (3 enormous casinos in one location)
Oct 1 After a leisurely morning and check out we boarded the bus back to New Haven then the train to Grand Central before jumping on the subway back to Astoria
Oct 2 Hubby and I toured the neighborhood shops looking for souvenir treasures while my brother and his girlfriend returned to work
Oct 3 Toured the Bronx area and Yankee stadium before attending the Yankee vs Boston regular season ending ballgame, during which they were announced to be the ALCS Champions
Oct 4 Hubby and I ventured on our own to the Greenwich Village/ NYU/Chelsea Pier neighboring areas before meeting up with my brother and his girlfriend at Caffe Reggio for cappuccinos then heading over to one of their sentimentally favorite restaurants, Arturo's Coal Oven Restaurant -Pizzaria for a family style shared dinner of pizza and spinach lasagna accompanied by a couple bottles of lovely wine and a wonderfully talented pianist who played a lot of older but familiar broadway hits and songs by Sinatra, Bennet, Minelli, etc. It was the perfect way to conclude our last day in NYC!
Oct 5 Packed and headed back home to WA

It was one of those perfectly memorable trips and one we will be able to reflect upon regularly during chats with my brother. We now can relate to so much of what his daily life entails and better appreciate our country's evolution.

The diversity of cultures within the various neighborhoods far surpassed our wildest dreams. Most of the people were polite, clean and respectful and we never felt out of place or in danger.
My husband and I were surprised to find that the water actually tasted very good, that there were so many more restaurants, coffee, bagel and pastry shops than we would have even imagined, that with the overwhelming population the city was much cleaner than we might have expected. Being from a more rural area of the PNW we were somewhat stunned at just how truly easy it is to live in NYC dependent only on mass transportation and your own two feet.

Sadly, I forgot to bring my pedometer, but my brother guesstimated that we averaged between 10 and 15 miles per day and yes, we ate of lot of higher calorie meals, pastries and desserts as we experienced the lifestyle, however, with all that walking I was pleased to come home and find that I had only gained 5.4 lbs.

Thanks to Deidre and everyone of you who were curious enough to want to hear how our trip went. I hope you enjoyed this blog.

So it's back to reality and back to striving to reach my goal weight!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOODIE59 10/25/2012 10:16PM

    Yes, NYC is a very special city. Sounds like you walked it into the ground!!! I'm glad you had a wonderful visit -- the memories will get you through winter, and planning for your next adventure:)
Take care

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BEWELL48 10/23/2012 3:54AM

    Wow sounds like you had a great trip!

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WENDYWITKOSKI 10/22/2012 7:29PM

    That sounds like an amazing trip!

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Good news, bad good news

Monday, September 17, 2012

At last the scale has moved down into the teens for me!! emoticon

I wondered if I'd ever see that day.....granted it isn't the low teens, but it's the teens nonetheless!
As of this morning I weighed in at 218.5. I found myself wondering just how long it had been since I had weighed even anywhere near that.....and I honestly couldn't remember! That is my good news!

Just to let you all know, this will probably be my last blog for a few weeks, as DH and I leave for NYC on our 16 day trip tomorrow. That's the bad good news! The bad part being that I am relatively certain I won't end up eating completely healthy for the entire trip...but I have made a silent pact with myself (and now with all of you reading this) to not through caution to the wind during this trip. I have worked diligently to get to where I am today and I certainly have no intention of letting a vacation completely destroy all my hard work. Not to say I won't indulge a little and enjoy some of the wonderful ethnic foods that I have yet to discover, honestly, isn't that part of what a vacation is all about? Indulging ourselves, even if just for a little while!

I want to wish all my emoticon a truly successful couple of weeks and know that I will be thinking my congrats and words of encouragement for you all. I'll be back in just over 2 1/2 weeks with the same passion I've had this time around!!!

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HUNGRYWOMAN2 9/18/2012 12:23PM

Congratulations on your weight loss! emoticon Vacations offer healthy benefits even though we may not adhere as well to our plans. However, you will have oppotunity to make choices. Simply make the best you can, and enjoy!
Looking forward to an update! emoticon for now.

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MIZCATHI 9/18/2012 6:49AM

    Great news on the downward trend for the scale!

You can eat healthy on the trip and still indulge for your favorite meals to a certain degree! Vacations and trips are always a challenge for me so good luck with that!

But more importantly, have fun and keep your progress in mind. Big Hugs.

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VIMVIGOR 9/18/2012 1:46AM

  emoticon Have a great time.

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UMUCGRAD 9/17/2012 10:00PM

    Enjoy your trip. Try to get in as much exercise as you can. Walking maybe?

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WENDYWITKOSKI 9/17/2012 9:53PM

    Have a wonderful trip!

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DJ4HEALTH 9/17/2012 9:52PM

    emoticon on the weight loss and have fun!!

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SWTHNY- 9/17/2012 8:25PM

    Have a great trip and throw all to the wind EXCEPT eating surely so many other things can be done in the name of FUN!!!

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DOODIE59 9/17/2012 8:14PM

    Have a great trip!! And congrats on the number moving downward.:)

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KICK-SS 9/17/2012 8:11PM

    I hope you have a wonderful trip!! Be safe and have a great time!!

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SUCCESS-AMT 9/17/2012 7:41PM

  Great!!! When you want to lose any lower amount is great. Good luck. emoticon

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The elusive teens

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Well, I actually did get my weigh-in done yesterday morning but the past couple days have been so busy, I am just now getting this opportunity to track and blog about it....
My early Monday morning weigh-in this week found me having neither gained or lost since last week. I wish I could say I am shocked, but honestly, I am not. There was dinner at Mom's on Friday night which consisted of home prepared BBQ ribs, and although I only ate of fraction of what I would have eaten in the past, they sure accounted for alot of my days calories. What an eye opener it is to do your nutrition tracking. Then there was the lunch we took my Mom and sister to on Saturday afternoon at their favorite Chinese restaurant. Although, I tried to eat fairly healthy, I did enjoy some of the Almond Chicken and of course there is always the sodium concern when eating almost any Chinese foods. So all in all and needless to say, it wasn't a week of going strictly by the book, but I feel as though I made some wiser choices than in the past without feeling "deprived". Compound that with my lack of exercise over the past few weeks due to my still injured toe, I really don't feel too bad about my weigh-in.

Then today after taking my sister for a medical procedure we met up with 4 former co-workers for lunch to celebrate one of their birthdays. I was very pleased with myself I must say, as I simply passed the warm garlic bread basket around, passed on the appetizer of deep fried pickles and later declined on sharing the enormous Banana Split. Instead I ordered a cup of barley vegetable soup and the small Butter lettuce BLT salad.

Next Wednesday, DH and I are off on our 16 day adventure in NYC to visit my brother and his significant other, Meg. She has become quite the food critic and just completed her commissioned book on Restaurants in the Queens neighborhood. I know she has some favorites and is going to want to take us out to try some of them. I have been attempting to convince DH that we should plan to "share" meals, but only time will tell how successful I have been. Hopefully, all the walking we will be doing will help to curb too much weight gain. I know I have started making much healthier food selections over the past few months but I also know that there are some foods that are considered part of any NY experience. Wish me luck!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOULFISH80 9/16/2012 1:57AM

    Good luck, it sounds like you are doing really well. You are making smart choices when confronted with temptations, and that is what it is all about. No deprivations, just small, smart, healthy choices. Have fun in NYC, sounds like you have a good handle on what to do and what not to do. Enjoy yourself, and enjoy the diverse food options available to you in the city, just eat less than you would have, drink lots of water, and walk, walk, walk. NYC is a good place to walk............or so I've heard! Hope you share with us about your trip, I love a good travel story!! Have fun, stay focused, and spark up that city!!!!

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GLC2009 9/12/2012 5:27PM

    oh, i'm sure it will be tough. i went to new york once and probably never will go again. it's a long way away and i don't have any reason to go there.

i had the most amazing lasagna in little italy in new york and i wouldn't have wanted to miss that for the world. it was that good and i will only experience that once in my ya go. sometimes you have to say screw the diet! just make sure it is truly worth it.

or share meals with your hubby. have one just special dish and appetizers of salad or fish or seafood to share.

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DOODIE59 9/12/2012 10:49AM

    I am going to wish you luck and a most wonderful vacation -- it's going to be FANTASTIC!
I would like to add that I never gain weight on vacation. I usually only have two meals a day ... a later breakfast than I normally would, and an earlier supper. Certainly, you can brown bag an apple, cut veggies, etc to counterbalance the restaurant fare. As well, in any restaurant there are good and bad choices to be had (mix and match to suit your tastes best:)) You can always skip dessert. I find a glass of wine much more satisfying an oral treat than a dessert that I would regret -- and generally it's only a measly 120 calories vs 400+. Make a point to be conscious of your choices. Last, but not least, remember that you're striving for betterment, not perfection:)
Have tons of fun!

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MIZCATHI 9/12/2012 8:34AM

    Have a wonderful vacation! Your attitude is getting you through to success - and that weigh in is really a success - celebrate it!

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SUSANBEAMON 9/12/2012 12:31AM

  don't sacrifice flavor for pounds.

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WENDYWITKOSKI 9/11/2012 11:58PM

    Have a wonderful time in NY!

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Reason to smile

Monday, September 03, 2012

Got up this morning and as I typically do first thing Monday mornings, I stepped on the scale and much to my surprise and delight, I lost 4+ lbs this past week. I have been pretty much following the 17DD with an occasional mini cheat. For instance, last Friday when we went to have dinner and play pinochle at my Mom's, as we do nearly every Friday evening, I enjoyed a 1/10th sliver of her homemade rhubarb pie. I actually didn't feel like I just had to have it, but because she had made it and the other 2 persons who typically would have enjoyed the pie didn't show up, I wanted her to know her efforts weren't in vane. She knew that I have been trying to lose weight though and she was courteous enough to only cut me a small slice. Saturday night, DH and I went out for the evening and dinner ended up being an oriental chicken salad with mandarin oranges and sliced almonds. Not a bad choice, except for the dressing....but to my credit, the salad came lightly tossed in dressing with an additional side of dressing. I didn't even touch the side dressing! The amount that had been tossed on it initially offered plenty of flavor and moisture.

So I am learning that my hunger levels and cravings are decreasing (for the most part) and things that I used to think would enhance a meal, don't necessarily. Also, it is amazing how once you have cut unnatural sugars from your diet, things really taste plenty sweet. Nectarines, grapes, melons, berries, etc. all seem really sweet and flavorful. I am also noticing just how salty some foods are. For instance, last night I prepared some spaghetti squash with a small amount of prepared pasta sauce, broccoli and rotisserie chicken. I couldn't believe just how thirsty I was throughout the rest of the evening and even this morning. ... I usually make my own sauce, but I keep a jar on hand for the rare occasions when I just don't have the time. You hear about how much sodium is in prepared foods, but WOW, I felt so dehydrated.

So here's hoping everyone is enjoys a wonderful Labor Day and keep on Sparking!! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MIZCATHI 9/6/2012 11:27AM

    Congratulations on your progress!

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DEBBY4576 9/3/2012 7:16PM

    Wow!!! I have only lost that much when on some dumb diet. And you didn't even expect it!!! You go girl!!

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HUNGRYWOMAN2 9/3/2012 6:10PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TERRRI 9/3/2012 12:28PM

    Good job Linda! Isn't it amazing how quickly our tastebuds adjust to healthy eating?

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GOODEN66 9/3/2012 12:13PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SCRAPPINPOLLY 9/3/2012 11:19AM

    WTG on losing four pounds!! You can do it!

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SANDYW1945 9/3/2012 11:11AM

    Hi and
emoticon emoticon emoticon.

I know what you mean about the sugar and salt thing. An apple tastes unbelievably sweet to me now.

And most prepared foods are so way too salty!

Here's to you.



Comment edited on: 9/3/2012 11:13:29 AM

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Doing well with the of today I am at the lowest weight I have seen in at least 15 years....225 (that was my weight at my Dr appt this afternoon) Woo Hoo!!! So excited. However, I am not on track with my fitness here lately. About 20 years ago, I fell up (yes, I said UP) a set of stairs while in sandals and nylons and partially lifted the big toenails in the process. They have grown in rather ugly ever since, but never actually came off. A week and a half ago, I caught my toenail again with my other heel (don't even ask how) and severely lifted it again and it has been oozing and bleeding sporadically ever since. Went to the Dr last week in hopes of having it removed, but instead he put me on antibiotics and set me up to see a foot and nail specialist yesterday afternoon. She finally agreed that the already previously injured nail had to go. Underneath it she found the beginning of new toenail attempting to grow in....but it was deformed trying to grow around the upper loose nail, so she removed them both. I have to keep my leg elevated for 24 hours and continue the antibiotics to avoid infection. Anyways, the bottom line here is that I have been having to wear flip flop type sandals for almost 2 weeks now, unable to go for "walks" or go swimming at the public pool.

Meanwhile, I am still eating healthy and losing at least a little weight, YEAH!! Can't wait to get this thing healed and back on my feet again!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MIZCATHI 9/2/2012 1:52PM

    Ouch, that toe situation so hurts me just to read it! I guess this new injury happened for a reason, and after all the discomfort becomes a thing of the past, your poor toenail will have the chance to grow back properly. Ouchies.

So happy you saw the lowest weight on the scale! Woohoo! Great work!


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DJ4HEALTH 8/30/2012 10:40PM

    Just keep doing what the doctor said and when you are able then you can walk or swim again after it is healed.

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DEBBY4576 8/30/2012 9:14PM

    Picturing them taking off your toenail, plus a new one, made my bones hurt. How on earth is it now? Throbbing?
I am thrilled to see how well you are doing on your eating!!!! And I hear ya on getting off track with the exercise. Here's to both of us getting it going again. I hurt my foot. But it's been healed a whole week and I haven't gotten back on the elliptical. Bad Bad BAd.

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WENDYWITKOSKI 8/30/2012 5:08PM

    Owwwwwie! I hope that heals quickly!

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FP4HLOSER 8/30/2012 1:34PM

    Ouch is right! Praying for a fast healing!

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BLUE42DOWN 8/30/2012 1:30PM

    Ouchies! But good news that it is now on the road to healing properly!

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