**Update: I think we did a pretty decent amount of things on our list and I’m proud of us. It was a great way to plan ahead and also to see how our plans changed/evolved over 1001 days. I hope our next 1001 days are just as exciting!
I got inspired by a post my friend Kate made about making a list of 101 tasks to complete in 1001 days. I thought it was interesting to make a goal list with a time frame other than just a year. So Nick and I sat down and made a list of some things we wanted to accomplish in the next 2 3/4 years. Our list ended up being more than 101 items, but then again, we did break down our travel plans to all of the specific places we wanted to visit – vacation planning: complete :) End Date: May 3, 2015
- 8/29/2012 – did a few things today, including visiting the Zombie Apocalypse Store
- 9/08/2012 – Museum Day!
- 10/02/2012 – USS Midway
- 10/03/2012 – Balboa Park
- 10/04/2012 – Sea World San Diego
- 10/05/2012 – San Diego Zoo
- 10/06/2012 – Renaissance Fair
- 10/20/2012 – Mon Ami Gabi
- 11/01/2012 – Javier’s at Aria
- 11/19/2012 – Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football
- 11/23/2012 – Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris
- 12/10/2012 – Anniversary Trip to Hawaii
- 1/1/2013 – BCS Bowl Game and Brocation
- 6/05/2013 – Grand Canyon
- 8/04/2013 – CraftSteak
- 9/29/2013 – Andre’s Las Vegas
- 2/16/2015 – Model Rocketry as a Family
Go to a MNF Bears game Go to a BCS Bowl game Mob Museum Springs Preserve Natural History Museum Neon Museum Mystere
Jubilee! Jabbawockeez See Book of Mormon Shark Reef Aquarium Bodies Exhibit See Wicked @ Smith Center (Aug 29-Oct 2012) Zarkana Hike @ Mt Charleston Do all Red Rock Canyon hikes Go to the shooting range Zombie Store Grand Canyon
- Build Warthog airplane model
Build and launch a large scale model rocket with E engine Go to a Renaissance Faire Buy Nick a bike Go bowling Go to the Polish Deli off of Charleston Knit a blanket Buy a house Build a home gym New bedding Print and frame wedding pictures New dinnerware New flatware set Get knives sharpened Get a stand mixer Get a grill
- Ship Nick’s workshop to new house
Go to a professional conference Eat at Gordon Ramsay Steak Eat at 12 restaurants on the Strip/Downtown (12/12)
- Mon Ami Gabi
- Gordon Ramsay Steak
- Lombardi’s Romagna Mia
- Cabo Wabo Cantina
- Mesa Grill
- El Segundo Sol (a solid whatevs – check out Javier’s at Aria instead!)
Try sushi Make pasta from scratch Try deer or elk Go to Farmer’s Market Make a monthly budget visit Dad in Alabama Visit Chicago Visit Mom & Grams
- Visit Dad in Indy
Visit James in Washington Go on a bro-cation Go to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Coffee plantation and roast our own coffee Punaluu Black Sand Beach Akaka Falls State Park Go to San Diego USS Midway Museum Balboa Park SD Model Railroad Museum San Diego Zoo Botanical Building and Lily Pond SD Bay Walk Sea World SD Go to Boston USS Constitution Museum Boston Public Garden Go to New York City in the Fall Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island WTC memorial Times Square Little Cupcake Bake Shop Central Park Lombardi’s Pizza Empire State Building Grand Central Terminal Metropolitan Museum of Art Metropoitan Opera House NY Public Library Rockefeller Center Radio City Music Hall
- Go to Washington, D.C.
- All museums of the Smithsonian
- Korean War Veterans’ Memorial
- Vietnam War Veterans’ Memorial
- FDR Memorial
- Library of Congress
- Jefferson Memorial
- Iwo Jima Marine Corps Memorial
- National Portrait Gallery
- National Air and Space Museum
- National WWII Memorial
- Lincoln Memorial
- Dr. MLK Jr. National Memorial
- Ford’s Theater
- US Botanic Garden
- US National Arboretum
- US National Archives
- Supreme Court
- Washington Monument
- Georgetown University
- National Zoological Park
- National Museum of Crime and Punishment
- White House
- Albert Einstein Memorial
- Bureau of Engraving and Printing
- International Spy Museum
- Embassy Row
- Navy Museum
- Theodore Roosevelt Island Park
Get a puppy
Nick and I finally made it to the Springs Preserve. I am so glad we had a voucher for two free admissions because if we had to spend money on it, I would have been even more disappointed. This place was just pretty lame overall. The only neat parts were a couple desert animal exhibits and the Nevada State Museum. We still had a good time cuz we’re awesome like that.
In late September, Angela and I journeyed to the east coast of the United States, visiting Boston, Rhode Island (Newport and Narraganset), and New York City. We had a ton of fun and did a lot of cool stuff. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, however, I’ll just let them tell the story:
Also, a wedding happened here, but I’m not about to steal someone else’s thunder by posting wedding pictures.
New York City
Had a blast in NYC. Loved everything.
I can’t believe I’m 27. I can tell I’m old now that my outlook on time is “Where has it gone?” as opposed to when I was much younger and it seemed like time dragged on and milestones were a forever away.
27 has been pretty amazing so far – Mom came to visit; saw Bruno Mars in concert; ate an amazing dinner at Craftsteak; lots of shopping; dinner at Mesa Grill; and my first ever experience with coin slots!
One of the nights we were out, Mom and I stopped at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill (because I could never get Nick to go – he’s not interested in “Southwest flavors”) and I had rabbit as a main dish for the first time! (Tastes like chicken. Seriously.) It was the Cascabel Chile Crusted Rabbit with spring pea cous cous, green chiles, mint, Marcona almonds and a smoked red pepper sauce – if you want to get all technical. It was pretty tasty and I especially loved the cous cous. Note to self: smokey pepper flavor is not my favorite. I like my peppers unsmoked – thankyouverymuch.
Another night we ventured downtown (eek!) and I had done some research and found that the new hotel, The D (don’t even get me started on that name), had an area of the casino that still had real coin slots. Mom and Grams always talked about coming to Vegas and playing the slots and using the buckets for their coins, getting their hands all gross and filthy from the dirty money, but by the time I was 21, those slot machines were pretty much history. I was so excited to experience a part of Vegas history myself – it was even more exciting that I ended up leaving with more money than I put in. PS – $27 in nickels is pretty dang heavy. (I didn’t say I was a high roller.)
Thanks to everyone who made my birthday extra special! I’m excited to see what the rest of 27 has in store.
A couple weeks ago, James came to visit us and attend an NSCA conference down on the strip. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to spend a lot of time together as he was mostly in town for the conference getting his CEUs to keep his CSCS cert current. We pretty much only had a couple evenings together.
On his last day, we had some Mexican food at the Cabo Wabo Cantina at Planet Hollywood/Miracle Mile Shops. Honestly, the food was pretty good but the atmosphere left much to be desired.
Then it was dessert time at Serendipity! I had been wanting to go to this place since it opened years ago but we never managed to get there. It was extra nomtastic and a special treat since we don’t usually eat such decadent desserts.
Spurred by the opportunity to visit with family and mark another item off of our 101 list, we finally made the drive (including Fitz!) over to the Grand Canyon (South Rim). The 4 hour 30 minute drive was pretty uneventful and Fitz slept in the back the whole way. We stayed in Tusayan, minutes away from the entrance to Grand Canyon National Park. If you plan on staying in Tusayan, prepare to pay a lot for everything and don’t have your hopes up in terms of quality. Fitz was awesome except for not wanting to sleep in his crate at night. Of course this spoiled pup wanted the whole middle of the bed:
As for the Grand Canyon itself, Nick and I thought it was pretty grand and canyon-y. We weren’t upset that we only spent a couple hours there.
It was a good vacation as it was an opportunity for Nick to get away from his office for the weekend and we got to spend some time with family.
Almost every year my Mom and I go on a trip some place awesome for her birthday and to get some Mom and daughter time, especially since we don’t see each very often. This year we went to Cabo san Lucas, Mexico and stayed at the Sirena del Mar (Welk Resort). This place was super duper awesome and a really good deal. This was the view from our room (all the rooms have an ocean view!)
Our vacation consisted mostly of chilling by the pool and catching some extremely potent rays (70 and 120 are the most common SPF numbers at local stores), but we did have one big adventure day.
Our first stop was a glass blowing shop where we saw the workers make a fish from start to finish (unfortunately, those pictures didn’t come out).
Then it was off to downtown Cabo san Lucas for a little tour and local history. CSL used to be a fishing town with a huge tuna cannery, but tourism was definitely a bigger boost to the economy, so the factory got shutdown and dismantled. The land is still owned by the tuna company and there are giant billboards all over it saying how it’s not for sale. Wonder what they’re waiting for as it is some prime real estate right by the water.
Next it was a boat ride past Cabo’s main attractions – Lover’s Beach (on the Sea of Cortez side), Divorce Beach (on the rougher ocean side) and El Arco with “Land’s End” where the Sea of Cortez and Pacific Ocean meet.
Finally, it was a long ride down the coast to Santa Maria beach for a little snorkeling and kayaking.
I really enjoyed our time in Cabo san Lucas and would definitely go back and stay at the Sirena del Mar again – it was a 10 minute cab ride into downtown, so it was close enough to the action and good restaurants, but far enough to be nice and quiet the way I like my vacations.
PS – Almost forgot to talk about my Mexican coffee experience (see above pic) at Pocho’s at the Marina (tell them the 2 crazy blonde gringas sent you). It was a crazy show of lighting tequila on fire and then pouring the liquid fire back and forth between two gravy boats, then again with kahlua. Pour about 1oz of the weakest coffee ever in that, a spoon of vanilla ice cream, then some more tequila and kahlua and topped with whipped cream and a cherry. It was boozy.
Nick and I went out to Red Rock Canyon to take advantage of the first really nice day of 2013 – it reached 75 degrees! One of our 1001 goals is to do every Red Rock Canyon Hike (except the scary one people die on), so after perusing the list, we chose First Creek Canyon. It’s listed as an easy to moderate hike of 3 miles, but a slight detour on the way back made it more like 4.5 to 5 miles for us.
Here’s Nick looking all fresh right at the beginning of our hike. It starts right off of Charleston and you head straight back through open desert to the mountainy areas you see in the back.
We didn’t see anything too exciting – some Joshua trees, yucca plants and cholla cacti. Also, rocks that are red – shocking to find in Red Rock Canyon.
The hike description mentioned the possibility of encountering seasonal streams and waterfalls in the canyon on “unimproved trails.” We continued our hike on into the canyon, but didn’t have any luck finding water of any sort. Nick still felt really accomplished though:
Pro Tip: Don’t be too lazy to change into your hiking socks. You will probably end up with a lot of blisters if you don’t.
I make these bars for Nick and he thinks they are mega delicious, so I figured I’d share the recipe I threw together from multiple banana bread recipes along with some healthy substitutions.
I throw the following in a bowl (why do that whole “mix the dry then the wet and combine them” thing and get multiple bowls dirty?):
- 1 1/2T stevia (equivalent to 3/4c sugar)
- 1c oat flour
- vanilla or unflavored protein (I use 4 packets of Perfect Fit Protein because that’s what I happen to have right now, but you can use any protein of your choice)
- 3/4t baking powder
- 1/2t baking soda
- 1/4t salt
- 1/2c nuts (about 2oz) – I usually use walnuts
- 1t vanilla
- 6T liquid egg whites (about 2 large egg whites)
- 1/4c no sugar added applesauce
- 3 medium bananas, mashed
- 45g unsweetened coconut flakes (about 1/2c) – totally optional
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes in a greased 9×13 dish or baking pan. I use Pam spray for baking. Let it cool before cutting into 12 squares.
Nutrition info for each square is:158.6 calories/6.6g fat/16.9g carbohydrate/8.9g protein/4.5g sugar. (Without the coconut: 131 calories/4g fat/15.9g carbohydrate/8.7g protein/4.4g sugar)
Some notes on my ingredient choices:
Stevia is a South American herb used as a natural sweetener for centuries. The leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant have a refreshing taste, zero glycemic index, zero calories and zero carbs. It is 25-30 times sweeter than sugar, and far more healthy! (from stevia.com)
I make my own oat flour by throwing some whole old fashioned oats into our magic bullet blender and grinding them to a powdery consistency, but you can purchase oat flour in most stores now. Oat flour is gluten free, so these bars don’t rise as much as other baked goods might. Feel free to substitute any other flour, but also keep in mind that other flours may absorb the liquid components of the recipe differently.
Almost all of the fats in the recipe come from the walnuts and coconut (if you used it). Walnuts are full of heart healthy monounsaturated fats and are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids along with being full of all sorts of good for you stuff. Coconut, on the other hand, is a more controversial ingredient. It has many antioxidants, but is primarily made up of saturated fats which are thought of as “bad” fats. Some recent research suggests that not all saturated fats are equal, and those found in coconut are better than other saturated fats (like butter). Honestly, I’ve just been tossing some into these bars because I had it in the pantry and it tastes delicious.