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Week 29

18 Sep

Week 29  was still quite emotional. I felt like I had so many things on my mind that I couldn’t keep straight between everything at home, work and with the gestational diabetes. I would find that the littlest thing would set me on a fit of tears and there was more than one time I would find myself crying my whole commute to or from work. It was very reminiscent of the emotional breakdown I had earlier in the pregnancy…

Work was extremely stressful as things were coming to heads on a major project I was working on. I was up and at work by 6am and often working till 6pm. EXHAUSTING! Lucky for me, The Hubs was super helpful through this especially rough patch, making sure that he took the time to go to the grocery store for healthy food that I could eat, come home and prepare dinner. I would then take the leftovers and pack them into a nice lunch for the next day and repeat.

Here’s a couple images of the meals he prepared. Don’t they look delish! Best part…most of the time they resulted in perfectly low sugar numbers!

I had my first doctor’s appointment since the diagnosis this week. Unfortunately, The Hubs couldn’t make it, so I went at it alone, armed with all of my questions and emotions. When I arrived, I followed my normal procedure of getting my blood pressure and weight taken. Typically, I was always worried about excessive weight gain… Well that was not the case this time… In the span of 4 weeks, instead of gaining 4 lbs like I should have, I had lost 5 lbs, courtesy of my new diet. When I finally got in to see the doctor, she expressed a little concern about this and said that I really needed to eat more to maintain my weight gain. Couldn’t she see from the detailed food journal that I was eating A LOT everyday?! It isn’t my fault that now I’m eating veggies and protein to keep my sugars in check instead of Chex Mix, tortilla chips and slow churned ice cream with chocolate sauce. I then proceeded to have a complete melt down right there in the doctor’s office. I tried to explain how I was feeling through blubbering tears. It seemed she understood and her first mandate was to STOP working so many hours and to only work 8 hour days. She said she would write me a note if need be, but since I was just about to go out on vacation, I told her I would talk to my boss when I got back and try to make it work on my own first. She also wanted me to make sure to set aside some time for “me” everyday, be it doing yoga or just meditating in bed or on a walk. The stress of the gestational diabetes diagnosis was proving to be worse for me than the diabetes itself!  A few other things that we discussed was the fact that I would have to see a perinatologist and dietitian every few weeks so they could monitor what I was eating and my sugars. Then starting at 32 weeks, I would need to come in to the office (or a nearby hospital) and have a non-stress test performed twice a week. Overkill it seemed to me, especially since I was seeming to be able to keep all of my sugars in check, but I guess better safe than sorry. I left the office feeling a little better than I went in, which is really saying something. Having a supportive doctor makes a world of difference.

The next day was my birthday and the day The Hubs and I were leaving on vacation! After much consideration, I ended up deciding to just go with a trip to Tahoe since it wasn’t too far and would be relatively easy to plan. Lucky for me, after the stress of the last couple of weeks, I didn’t have to do any other planning for this trip than to book the hotel. The Hubs did everything else! He went to the grocery store and put together an ice chest FULL of food and snacks that I would be able to eat. He researched restaurants that we could go to that would be diabetes friendly. He planned a special day of relaxation. He got tickets for evening activities. It was AWESOME! What a lucky gal I am!  🙂

After a relatively uneventful, 3.5 hour drive, we drove by our hotel to check it out. Since it wasn’t ready, we ate a quick lunch from the staples we packed and then headed to our first excursion. MINI GOLFING! I hadn’t been mini golfing in forever. Lots of fun!

I even got a hole in one!!

Later that night we went out to dinner at a restaurant called Cafe Fiore. We were able to get a last minute reservation, which worked out great since it was my birthday! It was DELICIOUS and such a wonderful atmosphere. I can’t wait to go back and eat bread with olive oil and vinegar, a pasta dish, and a glass of red wine. 

Afterward we went for a walk by the water in order to burn off any carbs I may have consumed during my meal. It was a really nice night!

Friday brought a day of pampering! The Hubs had scheduled us for a couples massage with a foot massage add on for him and a body scrub add on for me. It was SOOO relaxing! Made me forget about all of my problems for a little while and just escape! I hadn’t had a massage in over 5 years and this was The Hubs’s first massage ever. It was definitely worth the money and something we need to make a point of doing more often.

After the massage we headed to Sprouts, a very popular restaurant that’s got lots of natural, whole foods to choose from. It was also a delicious choice and was great for my numbers! Another WIN for The Hubs! We did some walking around by the lake and down by the shops, then headed back to the room where we relaxed for a little while before heading to The Improv to see some comedy.

Saturday, we had a 3 hour cruise of the lake planned on the Safari Rose. It was absolutely beautiful. We were also treated to a delicious lunch that was totally diabetic friendly (and I even snuck a tiny bite of brownie!). We had a wonderful time and took some amazing pictures.

Saturday evening we went to a magic show at Horizon.  At first I was a bit skeptical… I mean, aren’t we a little old for a magic show???  But Illusion Fusion was so entertaining!! It was one of our favorite parts of the whole trip and was actually a last minute add on to our itinerary! I’d definitely recommend it to anyone visiting Tahoe.

Sunday we had to head back to reality, but before we did, The Hubs had planned a lunch for us to BBQ right on the water. We had an appetizer of veggies with hummus, followed by a main course of buffalo burgers. It was a yummy meal with a great view!

Our vacation/babymoon was awesome! I am so glad that we actually made the effort to go. It was just what we both needed at the perfect time! Week 29 ended MUCH better than it started! 🙂

Vacation Blues

28 Jun

Although I can’t use a ton of vacation this summer (in order to save for maternity leave), I have planned to take a few days off in early August near my birthday. The plan was to go somewhere within California, preferably near a body of water, to just veg and relax before the baby comes.

Well, it is already the beginning of July almost and that vacation has still gone unplanned. I’m the vacation planner in the family and while most of the time I’m fairly good at it, I’m always very frugal and try to get the best deals I possibly can. This is good to a point, but lately it’s become paralyzing. I just can’t justify spending a ton of money for trip with a baby on the way.

But then I overanalyze…

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a room with a view…

Wouldn’t it be nice if the hotel bed was actually comfortable…

Wouldn’t it be nice to go to the spa and get massages..

Cha ching! Cha ching! Cha Ching!

The Hubs is not much of help because he says he doesn’t care what we do or where we go, but then makes comments otherwise!

Here are a few of the places I’ve considered and then dragged my feet:

San Diego – Hotel Del Coronado

Image Source: Hotel Del Coronado

This was my first choice. I had heard rave things about this hotel and thought it would be perfect. However, there were no special rates left when I finally decided to book and $375/night for a room just seemed SOOO expensive. Now I’ve dragged my feet even more and room rates are up to $425/night. I’ve NEVER paid that much for a room EVER. Add to these costs, the cost of a flight and rental car and any activities/spa/food and you have one expensive 2-3 day vacation!

I looked into other San Diego waterfront hotels and they all seem expensive (that’s what you get for being near the water I guess). They also are all booked (online at least) cause I waited til the last minute!

Big Sir – Ragged Point Inn

Image Source: Ragged Point Inn

We’ve never stayed in Big Sir and it looks beautiful. I figured we could also visit Hearst Castle which we’ve never done before. Again most of the hotels are expensive and the one reasonably priced one I found there is no cell phone service or WiFi or barely any TV. This would normally be ok if The Hubs didn’t rely on these things for entertainment. He’s not into reading, so just sitting on the patio with a book isn’t his cup of tea.

Tahoe – 965 Park Hotel

Image Source: 965 Park Hotel

Tahoe seemed like the good ol’ standby and we haven’t been there during the summer in quite awhile. This “Green” hotel seemed interesting and wasn’t that far from the lake. We know there is lots to do there, as well as the opportunity to just relax. When I mentioned this to The Hubs, his response is “I thought you wanted to do something bigger.” – Well when I worry about money, can only stay 2 nights, I don’t have a passport, I’m not allowed to go on a cruise and most of the country is EXTREMELY hot right now and doesn’t sound like ideal vacation locals, my “big” vacation  seems to get smaller. It really shouldn’t matter though since it’s just about relaxing!

Then there are options like Santa Barbara, Sonora, or just staying locally in SF or something. I’m overwhelming myself with options and worrying about all the little details that basically nothing is going to get planned.  My mom says to just book something, but I’m seriously paralyzed about choosing somewhere we won’t enjoy. (Irrational thought, I know!) I don’t know if it is worse now since I feel like this will be our last vacation sans baby or what!

Do any of you have this vacation planning problem or is just me???? Shouldn’t planning a vacation be fun?

Sunny Seattle – Day 5 – Alki Beach & Headed Home

4 Oct

I’m sure you’re all sick of my Sunny Seattle updates, so lucky for you, we’ve reached the last day of our trip!

The day of our departure turned out to be the cloudiest day of the whole week. After checking out of our hotel, we only had one last place that I wanted to explore. So we got in our rental car and headed toward West Seattle, where we drove along the waterfront to Alki Beach.

There was sandy beach…

And rocky beach…

And somewhat hazy views of the Seattle skyline, but pretty none the less.

Although we had an amazing time in Seattle, once we were back in Cali, we realized we didn’t really have to travel all the way to Washington for some beautiful views.

Home Sweet Home!!

** Want to see the rest of our trip Sunny Seattle??**

Sunny Seattle – Day 1 – Pioneer Square
Sunny Seattle – Day 2 – Boeing and Snoqualmie Falls
Sunny Seattle – Day 2 (Evening) – Sunset Cruise
Sunny Seattle – Day 3 – EMP, Savor Seattle & Space Needle 
Sunny Seattle – Day 4 – Aquarium, Pike’s Place & The Locks

Sunny Seattle – Day 4 – Aquarium, Pike’s Place & The Locks

2 Oct

We were over half way down with our trip to Seattle, but that didn’t mean we weren’t going to make use of our last full day.

The planner in me knew there were a couple of other attractions that we NEEDED to get to in order to make our trip to Seattle complete.

First up, was a trip to the Seattle Aquarium.

This activity was mostly for The Hubs as he LOVES fish and aquariums.  We did have a great time though, learning about the fish and wildlife native to the Pacific Northwest. I must say though… for someone who has baby fever…an aquarium is NOT the place to go. So many cute kids playing in the touch pool and ooohing and ahhhing with wonder at all the new things they are experiencing! Definitely made my ovaries ache a little. hehe 🙂

We then explored our way through Pike’s Place Market.

WOW! So many beautiful flowers that were SOOO cheap and lots of different fruits, vegetables and of course seafood to choose from. It was a quite eclectic place with a wide variety of stores from magic shops to truffle shops to candy shops.

It was also where we peeked inside the original Starbucks. (The workers there were a bit Nazi-ish, as they wouldn’t let us linger unless we were buying a drink. The line wasn’t worth it so upon many people’s recommendation we got our coffee at another Starbucks a block away!)

In the afternoon, we headed back to the Space Needle in order to catch the views during the day, which were also very impressive. It made me realize again how much I love all of the trees and bodies of water in Washington. Totally a place I could seem myself moving!

Our final activity for the evening, we headed back to the Locks that we had first seen from the water on our Sunset Cruise, to explore by foot. From this vantage point, we could really see what the difference in the water level was before and after the water was pumped into the Lock.

We also went to the visitor center so that we could see the salmon swimming through the fish ladder in the underground windows.

As Day 4 of our vacation came to an end, we only had a few more hours of exploring time before we had to head back to good ol’ Cali…

** Need to catch up on our trip to Sunny Seattle??**

Sunny Seattle – Day 1 – Pioneer Square
Sunny Seattle – Day 2 – Boeing and Snoqualmie Falls
Sunny Seattle – Day 2 (Evening) – Sunset Cruise
Sunny Seattle – Day 3 – EMP, Savor Seattle & Space Needle

Sunny Seattle Trip – Day 3 – EMP, Savor Seattle & Space Needle

30 Sep

Day 3 of our trip to Seattle included A TON of walking!

Since we only had one activity planned for the day in the afternoon, The Hubs and I decided to do our own walking tour of Seattle.

We ended up walking from our hotel in Pioneer Square all the way to Seattle Center, where the Space Needle and the Experience Music Project (EMP) are located.

Our Trek across Seattle

We explored Seattle Center to see what it had to offer and decided since we had  a few hours to kill before our afternoon activity, that we would cruise through the EMP and check that off our “must-do” list. It was a  pretty cool place, especially for my guitar loving husband! We were also impressed with the level of interactive technology in the museums and attractions. There were iPods and touch screens everywhere, often instead of the traditional and boring placards.

Here were some of the highlights from EMP:

  • A special Avatar exhibit where we got to see artifacts from the movie and got to interactively partipate in learning how the movie was made. 
  • An interactive area where you can learn how to play musical instruments and mix your own tracks
  • A guitar sculpture that was over two stories high and actually played music 

  • A history of Nirvana and Washington native Kurt Cobain (totally brought me back to the 8th grade!)
  • An exhibit on the the evolution of the guitar

After EMP, we hopped on the monorail, which conveniently dropped us off in the shopping district of Seattle and near where our Savor Seattle Gourmet Food Tour started. This 3 hour walking food tour was an amazing way to see the city and learn more about it, while tasting some delicious food that we wouldn’t normally eat and drinking some yummy adult beverages.

Sangria from Andaluca

Duck cake from Andaluca

Pike Brewing Company

Pad Thai from Thoa’s

Is your mouth watering yet??

I would recommend a Savor Seattle Food Tour for tourists and locals alike. They have quite a few tours to choose from and I will definitely do another the next time we are in Seattle (the Capital Hill Chocolate Indulgence tour is next on my list!)

Since our tour ended relatively close to our hotel, we stopped back there to rest for a bit. We knew that we had more walking in our future, as we wanted to spend the evening at the Space Needle. We had a special ticket where we were able to take a trip to the top both during the evening and during the day, as long as it was within a 24 hour period. So… we treked back across town towards City Center, stopping for sushi at a place recommended by a friend (it ended up being just ok and the service was less than stellar…)

 

At the Space Needle we were pleasantly surprised that there was no wait to travel to the top. I was a little worried about the elevator ride up, as I’m not that great with heights, but it was a really great ride. And at the top, the view of Seattle was AMAZEBALLS!

After we got our fill of gorgeous views, we took the monorail back in order to cut our walk in half. When we FINALLY got to the hotel, we both plopped into bed! Walking back and forth across the city 5 times was great exercise, but exhausting!!!

** Need to catch up on our trip to Sunny Seattle??**

Sunny Seattle – Day 1 – Pioneer Square
Sunny Seattle – Day 2 – Boeing and Snoqualmie Falls
Sunny Seattle – Day 2 (Evening) – Sunset Cruise

Sunny Seattle – Day 2 (Evening) – Sunset Cruise!!

29 Sep

Back to our regularly scheduled blogging…

I decided to dedicate a whole post to what became our FAVORITE part of our trip to Seattle (Warning! Lots of pictures ahead!).

After returning from Snoqualmie Falls and another drive around the greater Seattle area, we stopped at the room for a quick rest before walking to the Argosy Cruise  dock to board our ship for our 2 hour Locks Sunset Cruise.

Since we got to the Pier a bit early, we decided to hit up Elliott’s Oyster House for Happy Hour. Might I say, they have an AWESOME happy hour. We ate these delicious tequila lime mussels, as well as tried a couple of different oyster types. I drank white wine, while The Hubs tried an assortment of drinks, including a Bloody Mary which he DID NOT like! The whole bill didn’t total more than $40 which was AWESOME for the amount we ate AND drank!

We boarded our narrated cruise at 6pm with blue skies and blue water around use. As we pulled away from port and into Elliott Bay, we were able to take pictures of the AMAZING Seattle skyline. I know it doesn’t always look like this (with the crazy amounts of cloudy/rainy days Seattle has), but we were lucky enough to experience this gorgeous weather every day on our trip!

Here’s the skyline looking at the south side of Seattle.

And another, albeit a little farther out, looking at the north side. You can see the Space Needle at just a little left of center. It looks so small and not quite as spectacular as some of the other building in the skyline, but it’s a Seattle landmark so I had to make sure it made it in one of my skyline pictures!

We cruised around Elliott Bay and headed for Puget Sound as the sun began setting in the sky. I was able to take a montage of some images of the sun actually setting. It was a gorgeous sight that reminded me of our Honeymoon Cruise to Mexico and the many beautiful sunsets we saw there!
  
The sun finally disappeared as we arrived in Puget Sound. There we were able to see Ray’s Boathouse, where we had our first dinner in Seattle, from a different perspective. 
 

We then looped around and began to make our way toward Lake Union. Here’s a picture I snapped looking back into Puget Sound. Aren’t the colors amazing??? It’s like a postcard!

Seattle has TONS of bridges (obviously) with all of the lakes and bays in the area. We were able to pass under this draw bridge without a problem (although it was a close fit), but a boat behind us required it to be lifted. You can see two kayakers also enjoying this beautiful evening on the water.

Now for the reason this tour is called the Locks cruise (which we had NO idea about at the time of booking). The Ballard Locks provides a link between the salty Puget Sound and the fresh water of Lake Union. Since the two bodies of water are at different levels, the boats are moved into a container area.  The image below shows our “cruise” ship in the area, with the big doors closing us in.

Then the US Army Core of Engineers (who maintains and runs the locks) pumps water into the contained area raising our boat up like 10 feet. It was SO cool! Here is us at our new elevation, making our way into Lake Union.

The other really cool thing about the locks, is that it is on the route that the salmon take to get from Alaska to their breeding grounds. To aid in their ability to navigate the locks, a fish ladder was created for the salmon to easily move from the salty Sound to the fresh Lake Union. They swim against the current and jump from one rung of the “ladder” to the next. Since we were visiting during the salmon migration, we had the opportunity to see quite a few salmon jumping out of the water. When we went back to visit the Locks, we also went to the visitor center where they have windows at the water level so you can see the salmon swimming in the ladder.

The sun finally set and darkness fell and all images that I began taking didn’t turn out as well as I would have hoped. Some highlights from this part of the tour were seeing one of the Deadliest Catch boats, The Wizard, docked for the season, as well as the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat (I really need to watch that move again soon!). It was hard to see the houseboat since it was dark out, but you could identify it by the cute twinkle lights decorating the outside. Here are some images I found online to jog your memory of what they look like.

Image Source: Discovery Channel
Image Source: Brian Teutsch

 We made it back to port to amazing view of Seattle at night, although the pictures I took while on the cruise didn’t turn out great. I took some better ones of the nighttime skyline from the top of the Space Needle, which I’ll share tomorrow!

** Need to catch up on our trip to Sunny Seattle??**

Sunny Seattle – Day 1 – Pioneer Square
Sunny Seattle – Day 2 – Boeing and Snoqualmie Falls

Sunny Seattle Trip – Day 2 – Boeing & Snoqualmie Falls,

27 Sep
Monday morning (Labor Day) we woke up bright and early, stopped at Starbucks for coffee (not the original one, this time, but a nice new one half a block from our hotel) and headed north to the town of Everett, Washington.

Everett is where Boeing assembles their fleet of large planes that go overseas including the 747, 767, 777, and the new Dream Liner and where we would be taking the Boeing Future of Flight Factory Tour. The drive north from Seattle was amazing. It reminded me of driving around Tahoe while on vacation. I couldn’t imagine having such a pretty commute to work everyday!

Upon arrival at Boeing, we awed at the parking lot of planes and landing strip that the company uses for its test flights.

Plane Parking Lot and Landing Strip – (ugh..more black spots!)

We then went into the visitor center where we watched a short movie about the history of flight and Boeing’ s huge impact on the industry.  After the movie, we loaded onto buses that would take us to the manufacturing floor. Let me tell you…the building where Boeing assembles these planes is HUGE. In fact it is the LARGEST building in the world! Unfortunately, we couldn’t take any pictures while on the tour (they were SUPER strict about leaving all personal items in the car).

We did see numerous planes that were in the process of being assembled and the guide explained Boeing’s revolutionary way of slowly moving the plane up through different stations creating a makeshift assembly line. The Hubs and I were really interested in how the planes were built since we are both materials engineers. We were especially interested in the new 787 Dream Liner which is an all composite (instead of aluminum) plane that will be the most fuel efficient plane available. The Hubs and I both enjoyed the tour and said we would definitely like to take it again, except next time we’d take it on a weekday when people were actually working!

Here’s a few images of what we saw on the tour from the Boeing website and “If its not Boeing, I’m not going!”:

Largest Building in the World! ~ Image Source: Boeing

Image Source: Boeing

After the tour, The Hubs and I sat in the car to decide what to do next. The remainder of the day was unplanned so we went to our list of possible things to do. The first thing that caught my eye was a cruise on Elliott Bay. I went to the website on my handy dandy Smartphone (SO glad I got one of those!) and discovered that the VERY LAST sunset cruise of the season was taking place that evening. The Hubs is ALWAYS a sucker for a good sunset, so we decided to purchase tickets. Awesome! Evening activity planned…check!

We still had a few hours to kill before we had to get in line to board our cruise, so we went on a recommendation from a friend of my mom’s to head east to see Snolquamie Falls. It was great because this was a FREE activity where we could just relax, walk around, and enjoy the beauty of the Falls. This would definitely be a great place to take a family for a picnic!

After enjoying a lunch of a Haagan Daas ice cream bar (for me) and a Butterfinger bar (for The Hubs) we headed back downtown to get ready for our next activity.

In our next installment of Sunny Seattle, I’ll show you the beautiful pictures we took from our FAVORITE part of our Seattle trip!

**Need to catch up on our trip to Sunny Seattle?**

Sunny Seattle – Day 1 – Pioneer Square