Recharged, Rejuvenated and now back to Reality

View from Piestewa Peak summit, Phoenix AZ
All good things must come to an end… and now it’s back to reality.
Spring Break/Vacation 2014 was here and now is a wonderful memory!  After spending a week in sunny, WARM Phoenix, with great friends, I have spent the better part of the last week trying to get back into my “normal” routine!  I am really not liking the fact that it has snowed not once, but twice since we got home last Thursday!  
It was an amazing week filled with adventure and fun.  There is no way that I can give everything that we did proper detail here so here’s a “quick” summary:
1.  Running:  We wanted to get in a bunch of outside miles while were had the chance, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. Saturday morning, however, we hit the streets of Glendale for the Kiss Me I’m Irish Run.  I can officially say that I completed my first ever 17k race!  Yes, 17k – in honor of St Patrick’s day!  It was so nice to be able to throw on my running skirt and a tank top to go for a run instead of putting on multitudes of layers just to stay warm!  Plus there was free beer at the end!!  Official course time = 1:52:24  Yay!  Granted, my knee ended up paying for it over the next few days, but it was worth it!

Start line of the Kiss Me I’m Irish Run 17K

2. NHL Hockey! Nothing brings back the college days like watching some good hockey!  While we were in the area, the Phoenix Coyotes just happened to be playing at home vs the Calgary Flames so we had to fit a game into our schedule!  What a day!  Running in the morning, relaxing by the pool all afternoon and a hockey game at night!  That makes a good day in my book!

3.  Brewers Baseball!!  We were able to get to 2 games to watch the Crew in action!  Unfortunately we missed meeting Hank by a few days as he had already made the trip to his new home in Milwaukee.  Nothing can make you forget about the long, cold, snowy, cold, harsh (and did I say cold) winter that we have experienced in Wisconsin this year, than some Brewers Baseball in Maryvale AZ! 

4. Hiking!!  We made two morning adventures out to Piesetwa Peak and both hikes were worth the climb!  Once you get past the half way point distance-wise on the hike to the summit, you are actually only about 1/3 of the way elevation-wise to the summit!  Over the second half of the climb, those switchbacks get tighter and steeper!  You have to really work for it, but your efforts are definitely rewarded once you reach the summit!

Molly, Matt and I, on the way back down the mountain

Piestewa Peak Summit!

5.  The Food!  I was determined to find a way to enjoy the foods of the area without completely falling off the wagon.  Yes, there were many times when we went out to eat that I did just order a salad, but these salads were amazing!  Who can complain about a huge bistro steak salad like this with tons of spice and flavor and a honey balsamic vinaigrette?  Don’t get my wrong, I did splurge and enjoy many things that I normally try to stay away from, but I just made sure that I didn’t do all my splurging in one day!

Southwest Bistro Steak Salad from Oregano’s in Tucson

 6. Relaxing!  This was the one thing that we made sure happened!  We knew there was a bunch of stuff that we wanted to do, but we also wanted to make sure that we had plenty of time to relax and enjoy the time away from home, work and life in general!

 7.  Fun in the sun! When in Arizona, why not rent a convertible?  Especially when you find the deal that we found!  For less than the cost of a compact car, we enjoyed the Phoenix sun in a 2014 Mustang Convertible!  John said that we will never own one for several reasons… WI weather really does not make one practical (so my solution… we move somewhere warmer!) and with how tall he is, he said he always felt squished (hence why I put the top down whenever we were driving somewhere!).  Regardless, it was a fun car to drive when we had the perfect weather for it!

My 2014 Mustang Convertible for the week

All in all, it was a fabulous week spent hanging out with friends, reconnecting with others that we have not seen in years, relaxing and just enjoying each others company. Getting away from the every day stresses of life is always a good thing to do from time to time.  It was nice to get away, but all vacations must come to an end and reality must be faced!

Before we knew it, it was back to the cold and snow.  Back to the gym.  Back to running in near freezing temperatures.  Back to work.  Routine is good to get back to.  Maybe one day we will be able to say that reality is in some sunny warm location, but until then, we just will have to settle for enjoying it in short spurts on vacation!  Time to start planning the next trip!

enjoying out last full day in Arizona!

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