Tag Archives: drink

a Lululemon adventure

Last night we pulled into the train station in Vancouver and got a taxi to take us to our AirBnB off Cordova St. It was $8 and well worth it to avoid having to walk late at night to an unknown spot that we don’t have cellular capabilities.  (Remind me to do a throw back post to the time we traveled across the Dominican Repbulic).

We showered and slept like rocks. Then awoke at 4:45am to get to the Lululemon Seawheeze Expo.

Last year we were one of the first 100 people in line to get our hands on exclusive Lululemon Seawheeze gear.  We arrived about twenty minutes later this year, and already 1000 were in line.  Holy bananas!

Slowly the sun started to raise above the horizon.  But not after another hour of darkness, and some shut eye for Panama Jack.


  The line was long, but the event was well organized this year.  A new guy-friendly corner helped appeal to the handful of boyfriend and husbands who were perhaps running in support of their ladies. A pool table and barbers giving haircuts, among other details.  Of the 10,015 runners, my guess is 75% were female.

The inside of the expo was an insane shopping frenzy. Like wild hyenas grabbing at any and all hangers and carrying piles of exclusive Lululemon to a corner of the floor to commence the deciding between their ‘yes’ and ‘no’ piles.  

  
Ten points for this guy, digging through other peoples ‘no’ piles to find specific items. He treated it like a Supermarket Sweep game and killed it.

The convention center was well decorated in typical Lulu sense. And we enjoyed all of the outdoor patio activities.  Complimentary cold brew from 49th Parallel, fresh watermelon juice, Rise Kombucha tastings, and fro-yo.  Cool art installations and the race packet pickup were also reasons to stay near the Vancouver Convention Centre and kick it for a few hours.


  
  

  We got temporary tattoos and decided to haul our Luloot back to the apartment before we searched for breakfast.


Along the way, we walk past Canada Place whose hosting Anirevo : Anime Revolution 2015, an anime and Japanese convention this weekend, cosplay and anime merchandise galore.

Arriving to our apartment is a welcome sight, as we have been pulling in less than 6 hours of sleep recently. Here is the AirBnB in nicer light.  A quaint two-bedroom apartment overlooking Gastown.


  

Perk alert : from the 12th floor of this building, we can see the tops of others. All sorts of beautiful patios to share a bottle of wine on. I counted at least three, each can take advantage of a beautiful Vancouver sunset.

  
We had the patio to ourselves and quickly had a selfie shoot.


  
  
Sometimes it took a second to perfect, but we got the hang of it!



We did a few p extra online things and changed clothes.  The natural light of the big bedroom window was perfect, almost like my own little studio.  The outfit I chose for the evening has no less than three black and white combos, I refer to it as ‘Couver Lululemon Derelict.



Late brunch was around the corner at Catch122. They serve brunch until 4pm, which I think should be a world law.  He got the Dirty Breakfast and I got the Eggs Benedict. (3.5 stars)


  

world’s best eater! he tries anything!

We then wandered down by the convention center. 7:30 was Sunset Yoga, and we really wanted to loosen up before tomorrow.


  
At the morning expo, we found the Saje Natural Wellness booth and they gave us a 20% off coupon.  They have the best roll on greatness for headaches and tension. Last year, we learned about Peppermint Halo and now it’s our favorite: as we sipped chamomile tea, we loaded up at their store down the street.  (5 stars)



We stopped at Bella Gelateria, because duh. It’s one of our favorite spots to visit in all of Vancouver.  He got Whiskey Fudge + Essex Sea Salt, I got Stracciatella + Akbar Mashti (rosewater, saffron, pistachio).  (5 stars)


  
Sunset Yoga was held inside the convention center.  We borrowed Lulu mats and calmly waited for the start of the practice. It was led by instructor Reno Munez, the guy who started the first Dharma Yoga studio in Canada.

Apple Watch, Seawheeze band, one love

Reno stood on a table in the middle of about 500 yogis

His voice is my new inner conscious voice.

We were centered,  we were zen-like.  Shout out to this guy for wanting to start practicing yoga to improve the quality of his life.

 

we may have fallen asleep, don’t tell

A huge ‘thank you‘ to the Saje team for gifting these You’re Awesome Yoga Kits to the yogis in attendance, attempting to achieve equilibrium.

 

the satchel is made of yoga mat material!

As we returned the mats afterwards, we were handed bottles of Rise Kombucha in Lemongrass.


We wandered down by the Seawall and decided on a rendezvous point after the race tomorrow morning. We settled on the iconic, 25′ tall Digital Orca on the patio near the sea.

 

exhausted, at peace, comtemplative

 

Our AirBnB host, J, recommended Peckinpah barbecue in Gastown. We ordered takeout and people watched while we waited for a pulled pork sandwich and collard greens. (3 stars)

top knot in Gastown

 

i could not agree more

 

We ate on the balcony in the dark after we rode the elevator up to the apartment building.



We finally got to sleep at midnight and will promptly regret getting to bed so late, achieving less than five hours of sleep the night before a half marathon.

Here goes nothing,

em

Listening to

Sipping on

Thinking about

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Heading home

Our last morning in Vancouver!  We showered and scrambled to get all of our clothes into our suitcases.  All that Lululemon took up some extra space we weren’t expecting.  Some Sitting on the Lid to Zip took place.  Finally, we were off.  Wheeling our heavy rollers down the streets of Vancouver once more.  It’s nice the train station wasn’t more than a quarter mile from home base.
We boarded and snuggled into our seats.  Part of the trip was giggling, the other part was playing our card game.  It felt like Harry Potter… the train taking us through the green forests of Canada thru the US border.  I hope’d there’d be a candy cart like in the movie series… but no luck.  We found our way to the food car and grabbed breakfast : bagels and coffee
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I didn’t take pics when we arrived in Seattle because I was too busy hugging my best girlfriends.  We departed the train and those with flights leaving caught the tram from downtown Seattle to Sea-Tac International Airport.  Kates and I had the latest flights out so we spent the afternoon downtown.
Downtown Seattle was bustling with activity.  We had a taste testing (i.e. hydrating) stop at DRY Soda whose headquarters are in Seattle.
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We found a tiny paper store on a corner called de Medici Ming – French for..?
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We weren’t supposed to take pictures, but of course I took one. A wall of wrapping paper, unique cards… we both got a journal and chatted with the little lady who hand wrote our receipts.
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We watched some music acts at Pike’s Place and sent a SnapChat to the ladies at the airport.  Filling them in on our adventures thus far.
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We grabbed sandwiches and seaweed wrapped rice rolls from Michou before we headed back in the direction of the tram.

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One more selife to complete the adventure.  The last two standing.  Waiting on the tram platform to take us to SeaTac.

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I’m going to miss Vancouver, Seattle, and all of the adventures we had.  Each girl’s trip weekend brings new conversation, memory making, and new culinary discoveries.

I’m going to miss getting coffee-to-go and dancing in the streets.  Giggling and taking the sights in.  Dayshopping in Gastown and sampling pastries at Nelson the Seagull.  Dining at The Lamplighter … Vancouver, it’s been real.

Seattle, you’re beautiful
Until next girl’s trip, two-thousand and fourteen…
xo
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Lululemon is queen

20130811-075931.jpgMirror shot of the whole fam! Our plan of attack was to wake up super early and get to the race expo. Expo includes packet pickup, race chip registration, and the showcase store where exclusive Lululemon clothes only for the Seawheeze are sold.

I knew it was going to be a good day because the first thing Carley told me was that I had Disney Princess hair.

We woke at 5am, throw on some workout clothes (duh!) and head towards the Vancouver Convention Center. A quick coffee stop along the way ensured a clearheaded shopping conscious. Ha! Chai lattes and iced Americans. Cheers to early morning experiences!

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We thought we were being proactive in rising before the sun – everyone else had the same thought process. We arrived at the convention center and joined the end of the line. We people watched, laughed, and drank our coffees. 20130811-080149.jpg

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As rounded the center, there was a giant orca whale statue and some Lululemon marketing telling us to “get our hair did”. I love it. This company and their marketing, their fabulous fabric yoga pants, the bright colors, obsessed.

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Inside the center is a beautiful big circus tent where packet pickup takes place.

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We line up for the expo store area and are in within minutes. The race expo store is filled with the exclusive Seawheeze clothing only found at the race store. It’s a clothing feeding frenzy and there are hangers with $42 tank tops flying left and right. We can’t get our hands on enough stuff… and there’s a 15 item limit per person. At one point, we have to pull up a spot in the corner and play the “do I need this?” Game. Which helps, but we still leave with quite a bit of loot.

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In case you are curious, this right here is what $1,700 will get you at Lululemon.

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When we walk to and from our apartment to the expo, we never trust any splatters, avoiding all liquids and questionable things laying on the sidewalk. E Hastings Street is a circus, filled with characters.

The rest of the expo was filled with getting free hairstyles, henna tattoos, and a local chiropractic clinic gave us all pre-race massages. Divine.

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We got bands with our race number and name on them in lieu of race bibs – so much cooler!!

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We got fresh mango Popsicles and shot a mantra pic they displayed on the wall of runner mantras.

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We signed our names on a large Seawheeze banner to hopefully be hung in the hall of fame somewhere.

Hard cider was calling our name, so we headed back to the apartment and lounged. Carley took it upon herself to slyly rearrange all of the art hung on the walls.

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The master bedroom is huge and the bed holds us all. So we played  Cards Against Humanity.

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Love, lounging and laughing.

For lunch we went to a little spot in Gastown called the Lamplighter Pub.

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All of the food served on wooden cutting boards, cool!

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We spent the rest of the evening drinking hard cider and toasting to our half marathon adventure in the morning.

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Our sunset view looked like this…

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See you bright and early!
xo

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hello, Vancouver!

Good mornnnnnnnnning, Vietnam!!!!!!!!! I mean, Vancouver! What an early morning. This apartment has many rooms and 90% of them are lined with windows that show off our spectacular view on the 16th floor of this building.

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We look over the ocean inlet of the Science World and BC Place, home of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Both monuments light up like Christmas trees at night – beautiful!

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We found that the large mirrors in the foyer turn out to be great group photo tools. And we all know I love photos.

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We searched for a solid breakfast joint and we absolutely found it. Well, it took a little bit of adventure on E Hastings Street. Slightly nerve-racking, more about that later.

Breakfast takes place at a coffee + waffle spot called Cafe Medina. It’s a spot where there’s a wait, always, and well worth it. There’s fresh waffles in the entryway window. We ordered coffees (lavender latte for me) and enjoyed the fresh air out front while we waited. Foam heart etched into mine. #lucky

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Half hour wait and then we’re in! The place seemed to have 15-20 tables and every single plate brought out from the kitchen looked fabulous. We perused the menu and decided on cocktails to start. It doesn’t matter that it’s 10am when you order your first cocktail when you’re on vacation. Moll had a Moroccan Mimosa while the rest of us ordered Medina Lemonades: sparkling water, lavender, gin and mint.

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You could order a single homemade waffle and unique topping. We ordered the waffle + white chocolate pistachio rosewater. And another waffle + fig orange marmalade. The rosewater pistachio was stupid good. Like, are you kidding? What is this stuff? Heaven??

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For an entree, Kate’s and I split the Saumon Fume: open faced ciabatta sandwich- fried egg, smoked salmon, caper cream cheese, sliced avocado, arugula, peppadew and artichoke salad. Yum.

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The rest of the afternoon, we wandered round Gastown and peeked in different boutiques. One called Meadow. Cute little gifts and baby things. This mug called my name – the quote speaks true to my life – always on the go.

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And there was a small white shelf of little stuffed handmade animals. I knew my mama woulda bought them all, cause she’s cute like that. They made me want a child immediately. JUST FOR A SEC

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We grabbed java at Smart Mouth Cafe – cute presentation and the creamiest chai teas.

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Different boutiques had necklaces, pictures, glassware, throw pillows. Everything was lit with shadows and modern lines. I found a horse print I wanted to buy my mama but thought $1,500 was a tad pricey. Sorry mama…

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A clothing boutique had a circular book stack for their dressing room. Really?? What a cool touch!

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After we thoroughly explored Gastown, we kept hiking and out front of Nelson the Seagull I realized I had to pee right NOW! In exchange for a bathroom visit, I bought a chocolate croissant.

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Apparently on Wednesdays they have free yoga in the middle of their cafe and afterwards, everyone has a big family dinner. How awesome? They make their own bread and the emptied tables looked as though the patrons had been there for hours and talked about the deepest of secrets together. What a great spot.

We jumped to a highly recommended place called Rodney’s for bloody Mary’s. I mean, Caesars… they use clamato juice and therefore their bloodies are called something different. We spent a good two hours there, quizzing the oyster boys and enjoying ourselves at the bar. Our bartender, Joel, even shredded fresh horseradish for us – divine!

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Megan made it so we paid and left. We hiked back to the apartment, and lounged for awhile at home. Dinner took place around 9:30pm at Tap & Barrel.

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Love these girls. And I love our memories.

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Tomorrow is Friday. A new day in ‘Couve
Xo

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A day of history in Belfast

We woke up with the intent to do a lot of activities, and we accomplished all of them. Yay! Breakfast at the hostel was your typical cereal and toast. We found a cute small cafe to get coffee from called the French Village Cafe and Bakery on Botanic Ave. I got an apple cinnamon muffin for takeaway later.

The first adventure was a Black Taxi Tour. Our driver, Walter, picked us up outside the hostel. The first few sentences with his extremely rough Irish accent had me concerned I wouldn’t understand 80% of what he said. But, turns out it was easy to pick up on. Chelsea and I were the only one on this tour (£15pp), flying solo was slightly more expensive. Walter took us absolutely everywhere. The 90 minute tour spent a lot of time explaining the turmoil between the Catholics and the Protestants (or as Walter said, the British and Irish… because that’s how most of the people living in Northern Ireland view it). There are Irish flags and British flags flying on their perspective sides. We drove along the “peace wall” that divided the two sides of the city. Chelsea and I discussed later on in the evening, how can a wall, 9 meters tall… separating two conflicting groups, be called a ‘peace wall’? Walter stopped at one part and gave us markers to sign our names. We noticed a Steve Jobs graffiti mark nearby.

There were murals protesting many conflicts, political thoughts, people in jail, hunger strikes, everything. A few that showed up quite often were the idea to free Marian Price and memorials about Bobby Sands, the first man to die while on a hunger strike whom was in jail for 14 years because a gun was found in his car… yikes.

Walter said the worst year for Belfast was 1972 when 1,370 bombs exploded and around 470 people died.

He was a wealth of knowledge and pulled the taxi over every now again for us to jump out and snap pics. He kindly dropped us off on the northeast side of the city. This was time and money well spent. To hear firsthand experience while viewing the actual locations was better than any travel book could offer.

Our next adventure was the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience called Titanic Belfast. This is a six-story, six month old, unbelievably awesome exhibit. Student admission is £9.50 and well worth the price. The level of interaction and digital multimedia was amazing – it was truly built to cater to our generation. Halfway into the exhibit was a gondola-style ride that took you thru a day in the life of a shipyard worker (recap: 63 hour workweeks, below minimum wage, paid by the number of rivets completed, death by falling into water/being hit by falling materials from above).

The extensive, real dialogue used by way of telegram was typed out on the walls from the moment Titanic hit an iceberg to when the power went out and there was no more communication. The air became somber amongst the exhibit viewers. I’ve never learned about the Titanic beyond the 21st century movie with Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. There were replicas of the different first class, second class, third class state room on the Titanic. Examples of linens, flatware and carpet. They really detailed every bit of the ship itself as well as the passengers. Impressive.

One small part of the first floor had the actual outfits worn by those actors from the movie, on loan from Century Fox. And last week, the director James Cameron had flown out to view the exhibit. After about 2 hours, our brains were filled up with information.

We walked 20 minutes to the Victoria Square Shopping Centre. The only Apple Store in all of Ireland was located there. We just had to request a tour since we’re so close.

Lunch, in the mall, took place at wagamama, a chic noodle bar. I had the ebi raisukaree. Coconut and lime curry with grilled chicken, peppers, pickled ginger, yum!

The mall was a beautiful covered yet open-air multilevel facility. Many restaurants, a theatre, tons of shops that we explored. Six floors up at the tip top is a 360 degree dome that showcases a rewarding view of Belfast.

We walked towards the hostel and on the way, stopped at The Crown for a Guinness. During the taxi tour, Walter mentioned it was worth visiting. The Crown was packed with both locals and tourists. A small bar with wood ceiling treatment, gold fixtures, and small booths for being separated from the masses at the bar. We shared a small booth with a handful of locals and truly enjoyed all of our conversations. The Guinness was £3.75 and after one, we both counted the pounds and pence that we had left…. not much. We had to head out after we each had a brew.

Continuing in the direction of the hostel, we stop and buy a cheap bottle of red wine to split (£4.99) and Chelsea picked up some pizza for dinner. Back at the hostel, we drink wine out of hostel mugs while eatin some grub (me: leftover wagamama). Our conversation ranged everywhere from religion to love to travel to life and death and I realized, as I have before… I’m so very blessed to have a friend like Chelsea.

It’s not where you are, but who you’re with, that make experiences memorable,
Xo

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adventure time: round-three

I’m going to try something a little different. I have not been keeping up on my blog and it isn’t for lack of trying… my life has been nonstop, less than 6 hours of sleep, work, work and more work.

After Vancouver – I spent a weekend in Chicago w my girlfriends (I will post about that once I’m back)…. then I worked the good old Minnesota State Fair for 9 long days straight. Which brings me just about to my current spot.

I’m sitting at Gate E12 about to get on a plane to Dublin, Ireland. My girlfriend Chelsea and I have decided to take a 10-day trip to the land of leprechauns and Jameson-induced debauchery.

On the docket: visit the Cliffs of Moher, hike the landscape, Jameson distillery, Guinness brewery tour, sleep in a castle and spend many an evening in pubs, chatting up the locals.

I’m utilizing the WordPress app on an iPhone, let’s see how this works!

Nothing like the old ‘work hard play hard’ adage… I have worked my tail off in the last 6 months and am about to depart on a third adventure. It’s all about the work-life balance. Find out what works for you!

Small to medium size shout out to my parents for watching my Yorkie, Oliver, all of this time. He’s such a good investment, eh?

I’ll toss a Jameson back for everyone of you!

Cheers (literally!)
Xo

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A quick thank-you to charging stations at the MSP airport! #thankful

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