So a while back, Dave and I did a Segway tour. I'm just now getting the photos, which is why I didn't blog it earlier. :) I had taken my fancy camera with intentions of taking it with us, but as it turned out, there was no way I could have hauled that thing around my neck while trying to concentrate on driving the "personal transporter." Ha! It looks easy, and it is, eventually, but it sure was hard (for me) in the beginning. I was super slow!
Here we are getting oriented inside the store before heading out to the parking lot to continue orientation. No, don't adjust your video, it's not in slow motion. :) That's really me creeping along like an old lady. VERY skittish at first.
It took me a while to get up to speed (such as my speed was) but I did catch on, and did okay with it. In fact, I completed the whole tour which was miles and miles on that thing. Seriously, it was SO FAR. We just kept going and going, all the way down Elm St, down to the Hilton and the Fishercats Stadium, way down the Riverwalk/ Rail Trail, and finally over the Hands Across the Merrimack Bridge, waaaaaaay down to the end at Kelley St. And THEN, turn around and all way back to Hanover St. Phew! It was very scenic and very neat. It was actually the first time I'd ever been down any of that area, but for Dave it wasn't new since he goes running down that very trail often. I thought it was cool.
It's a strange feeling to travel that far and not move a muscle. It got uncomfortable after a while. I kind of felt like it would have been easier to walk that distance, because you're not just standing there not doing anything. But it was fun, a novelty. People see that stuff around here so often that they don't take much notice but it was a fun geek experience and something that you don't get to do every day. :) Good times!
Dave didn't like the way he looked in his helmet, so I'm not allowed to show that picture. :)
Or as Clinton Kelly "CK" says, Freakin' fabulous. During my visit to NC a few weeks ago (yes, I'm still not done with that topic yet) my best girlfriends and I all met up for a girls' night in Chapel Hill. Except for Shelly, she couldn't make it--missed you girl!! I love these girls and I can't think of too many other human beings on this earth outside of this small circle that I feel as 100% comfortable with. It's an amazing thing, especially as I get older, to have a group of friends like this that I've known for so long that I can't really ever remember NOT knowing them. It's liberating to know people like this who have known you since before you became the person that you are today, who have seen you at your absolute worst, and celebrated you at your best, and laughed and cried together the whole way. And I have to admit that I like the way I feel when I'm with them, because I feel like we're 20 years old again, the way we giggle cackle and carry on. Yeah, we're not the giggling type. We guffaw.
Here we are at some timeless UNC landmarks. We marveled at how much has changed, and how much stays the same. Browsing through souveniers at Student Stores, we decided that those prices were geared towards alumni who had majored in things other than Religious Studies or other somesuch nonsense. Ahem. ;) Who the hell would do that?
Bandido's was great as usual (after a quick table change from a lame location to a much better one). A pitcher of margaritas got the party started and we laughed the time away. Who knows how many meals we had spent down in that little basement restaurant 10-15 years ago.
After Bandidos..... cupcakes from Sugarland in the street lights of Franklin Street. My 50mm lens allows me to take photos practically in the dark.
So I basically went on a personal vendetta against Weight Watchers the week I was in NC and threw caution (and moderation) to the wind. Bah!!! To hell with it.
The first day alone we hit up Hursey's BBQ..... had to get my hushpuppies fix. I still after all these years can't get used to not having any in New England. What is UP.
Found the coolest frozen yogurt place in the Burlington Holly Hill Mall called YoZone. It's a total make-your-own sundae bar! You grab a bowl and put whatever flavors and combinations of frozen yogurt in it, with a wall o' toppings to choose from.... everything from fruits and nuts to chocolates and candies and cereals and sauces. You pay by weight on the way out and voila!!! Fantastic.
Panera bagels for breakfast every morning ensured I got my blood sugar spike early in the day. :) And then my mom and I were on a mission to get gourmet cupcakes from several different bakeries in Greensboro. We were very successful (whether that is a good thing, I'm not sure). Easy on the eyes but a little rough on the waistline. I won't pretend that I didn't walk around downtown Greensboro in a sugar coma after eating the below red velvet cake at 11am on an empty stomach.
We needed to stop for lunch quickly so I could get some protein into me to balance out the sugar. Fincastle's was the answer. I had a Fincastle burger and a Green Drink. Classic and perfect. The green drink has pineapple in it. My idea of health food at its best.
On a different day, my mom and I had Brixx Pizza for lunch and it was delicious. I was kinda food-ed out at that point so I went with something really light and refreshing, the margherita pizza, and it was AWESOME. So perfect. It hit the spot and did not make me feel gross (so that I had the room of course, to go home and pig out on cupcakes....priorities)
And speaking of those cupcakes, let me not keep you in suspense any longer. I bought beautiful and expensive cupcakes at Delicious and Maxie B's in Greensboro and they were fantastic. A few tasting notes: Maxie B's is the REAL THING. Their buttercream icing is to die for, thick and filling and awesome. Delicious was great too, but much lighter. Their icing was MUCH lighter in taste and I'm not even sure it was buttercream, but it was great too, and both bakeries have such great things to choose from and gorgeous decorations. Hard to choose a favorite based on just a few cupcakes, but I'm gonna go with Maxie B's based on what I tasted. Such punchy flavor in the pink lemonade cupcake!
On a different night, we went up to Wholly Guacamole one night for Mexican food, and it was of course delicious. I don't know that I ever met mexican food that I didn't like. Cheese, beans, chicken, sauce, what's not to like? Supremely comforting. Camera phone to the rescue!
And let's not forget, another Mexican food meal an hour down the road in Chapel Hill-our old favorite Bandido's!! I regret to say that none of us (me or my friends) have ever worn the sombrero. Gotta work on that.
In the end, I gained exactly 1 pound when I got back home for my weekly weigh-in day. :) I should be a
So I had my third weigh-in for Weight Watchers today and I gained 0.2 lbs. GGGGGGGGGAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH. I'm not sure what's going on. I guess I should be happy because for a while there this week I was up 3 and 4 pounds. So to come in at only .2 I guess is a good thing. (maybe?) Not sure what all this starvation and living at the gym is good for. I stayed within my points and did everything right.
I say starvation in Erika-speak. When it comes to food, I am very dramatic and passionate. And now that I cannot eat like a 250-lb football player like I used to, I'm very often hungry which to me is OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOD I'm going to DIE starving. I'm sure I'm getting plenty of calories. Too MANY apparently!
But I shall keep on keepin' on. A grand total of losing 4.0 pounds in 3 weeks. That is not exactly the fireworks and parades I was hoping for.
And because a whining blog post is no good without a photo, here are my bathing beauties. Drew goes through phases with the baths, and recently he would protest and fight going in the bathroom. But for this week, at least, he's all into it and asks 15 times a day to go take a bath. Parker loves his bath, but loves even more the streaking naked around the house that occurs afterwards.
Woohoo! So I just did my 2nd weigh-in and I lost another 2.4 lbs since last week for a total of 4.2 pounds in 2 weeks! And lost 1 inch off my waist and .75 from hips. It's working! muahahahahahaahaaa!
I'm very pleased with this small, slow weight loss. Slow is good! It means it's the loss of the right kind of tissue, not muscle or water weight. I'm pretty impressed with their system.
AND I did way better this week, I came out with a +8 leftover activity points. So I did totally use up all my weekly points by the 4th day but had enough activity points to get me through the rest of the week, and didn't end up in the negative. :)
Yeah...... so I joined Weight Watchers Online this past week. Heh. I need to lose about 15 pounds and I need some structure in my life where there is none. I know I'm not overweight or anything, in fact I'm right smack in the middle of "healthy" for my height. But I'm not in my happy place and I'm not disciplined enough to do it by myself anymore like I used to be. My life is chaos, and counting calories is pretty much the last thing I'm ever interested in. I just want cupcakes and wine!! BAH. But I also want my clothes to fit.
So I've had to reign in the reckless abandon that is my eating. I get 29 points per day, and 49 additional weekly points. Well, let's just say that in the first 2 days of my plan, I had blown through all my daily points and ALLLL of my weekly points, and by the fourth day I was at -9 for the week. Haaaaaa!! In fact the only thing that allows me to keep eating is all my activity points that I get at the gym, which is one thing that I do (and almost always have done) right. My 10+ years of weight training is pretty positively the only reason I don't weigh 200 lbs. Thank GOD I have one activity that I actually enjoy that isn't detrimental to my health. :)
In the first week, I lost 1.8 pounds. :) Despite my rough start.
So I've included my weekly summary for my first week, for a chuckle. Clearly I am NOT the poster child for WW, and if I actually went to meetings they'd probably politely whisper to me to not come back until I can get serious about it. It's going to take me some time to figure out how to eat without STARVING, because I was totally hungry and cranky and low on energy this week. I hate fruits and vegetables so that doesn't leave me a lot of options. But I'm going to have to be a big girl and eat like a grown up.
I finished up the week with a big fat -12 (and that was AFTER 20 activity points!!!!). But in my defense, I'm very tall, I have a lot of muscle mass, and a fast metabolism, and I'm freaking STARVING. Grrrrr. ANGRY ERIKA!!!
And with that, let that be the last thing I ever say about it on my blog. Weight loss is kinda like a birth story..... nobody cares about all the gory details except the person it happened to, and all anybody wants to know about is the final result! I'll let you know periodically how I do...... I'm paid up on this thing until mid-May so we'll see if I last that long, or if I gnaw off my arms before then.
This time of year, I just have absolutely nothing to talk about. Nothing to take pictures of, nothing to be interested in. I just try to keep my head down and get through each day. We're cooped up inside, buried under 2 feet of snow, too cold to go outside, and just trying to keep the kids occupied with mundane trips to the grocery store, Target, BJs, and occasionally take Drew to BounceU to burn some energy. January is like that. February is pretty much the same, except that the days get noticably longer. I know it's happening, but I just can't tell it yet. Unless there's daylight after 5pm I just don't care that it really IS getting longer. I don't believe it.
For now, a gorgeous injection of green. I don't really know how much effectiveness there is in color therapy, but I can definitely tell you that these pictures make me feel really HAPPY right about now. Anything but gray and white. Beautiful produce helps me feel better, even if it did come from Mexico. I make an awesome margarita--albeit a little messy, but awesome.
Anyway, I've been working my butt off on Erika Follansbee Photography. Ever since the new year, I've been nailing down my official pricing lists (I got a PRINTER for Christmas from my in-laws!!!!) and WOW is it handy. Kind of hard to run a business without a printer. I had some gorgeous marketing postcards made up and I'm about to mail them out. So excited. Gathering addresses, working on never-ending SEO problems, pricing, getting info on advertising....... all this and not one tiny clue of any definite business or inquiries for the coming year. Kind of depressing, but I keep on keeping on. My very small circle of "word of mouth" has completely run out, so I have to find new ways to get my name out there.
Also, I have lost almost 10 lbs! :) That's something to be really happy about. I went the whole month of January without a single bite of dessert or junk food. Very strange for me, and definitely no fun, but it's paying off. Unfortunately there is no change yet in how my clothes fit, so apparently it's really going to make me work for it. I cannot afford new bigger clothes right now so I have to find ways to continue to fit into the ones I already have.
Blog readers, don't leave! I'll post more when things pick up.
I have had so much fun this past weekend! I got to go back home to NC and enjoy my long lost friends and roommates from 10 years ago--what a crazy long time ago! Our friend Laura has the most incredible waterfront beach house near Beaufort, NC and we so enjoyed every minute spent there. It was awesome to catch up, relive old times, eat at nice restaurants and otherwise enjoy our little break from our normal lives. This event may take a few posts to fully elaborate, but for now here are a few highlights.
Saturday night after dinner at Amos Mosquitos we stopped in Morehead City to briefly walk around, and a nice guy saw us trying to take pictures and offered to take one of all of us. It ended up being one of my favorites of the whole trip! It's wonderful to be able to crank the camera into auto and just let somebody else snap away!
Laura's beach house is BEYOND amazing, and we can't thank her enough for letting us stay there! The house is beautiful and comfortable, and the porch overlooking the water is to die for. You can just spend all day watching the pelicans come and go, and YES there were dolphins cruising by at almost any time you looked out. We saw a pod of at least 10 go by..... just incredible to see.
Awesome times were had, and great memories were made! Waaaaay too much laughing and giggling and overindulging were had but that's what makes it great. More pictures later!
One of the highlights of my trip home was getting to go to dinner with my AWESOME best friends from high school and college. I was soooo excited to see them all since we haven't seen each other in five years at Kelly's wedding in 2005! That's just way too long. But you know what changes when four women who have grown up and gone about their lives get back together? Nothing at all. :) It seemed like the years had just vanished and it was just us hanging out again like old times. Loved it. I had the most fantastic time and I think my face hurt the rest of the night from smiling and laughing so much. One thing missing was our friend Sara who lives in the area, but she was on vacation at DisneyWorld so we accepted her excuse as valid. :)
We planned our reunion at --where else? The Olive Garden! We have been to the OG a zillion times together over the years so it seemed fitting that we'd end up there again. The sun was setting right through the window over our table, so I can't do a thing about the neon yellow light coming through those curtains!
It was all just too fancy..... which was Ella's catch phrase of the afternoon during her photo shoot. She's only just two and she's already adding to the inside joke vault! So here are the four of us, cheesing it up as always..... Jenny, Kelly, Emily, and me:
And the food. We came there to eat, and eat we did! Emily and I both had the longtime classic Ravioli di Portobello (but where was the sauce!???) and Jenny had the Parmesan-Polenta crusted steak, and Kelly had the chicken alfredo. YUM. Awesome choices all around.
We go for the full meal, so dessert was in order also! We don't play around. We ordered up a smorgasbord of sweets and everybody had a bite of everything. We do miss the old Chocolate Lasagna they used to have!
Then we went outside and made effective photos in the soft grass. It was just a couple minutes before 9:00 and the sun was setting and made such lovely warm light!
Emily the Triathlete:
And then ironically and somehow not surprisingly, I got lost in the shopping center going home. IN THE SHOPPING CENTER. I spent 20 minutes driving around trying to find just how to get out. That place is so huge.