Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Winter Vacation 2011

Happy Holidays and New Year! The end to 2011 has been quite a fun time for me. Seth and I took the last two weeks of the year off from work (actually the college is closed from Christmas to New Years, so I only had to take off a week!). We spend the first week just hanging out and having a good time. We went out a few days and also did a massive house clean (yay!), but mostly we laid low. Seth played a lot of his new online computer game, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and I did a lot of reading. Because I am a total nerd I decided that for the vacation, I wanted to read all of the Star Trek: Voyager relaunch books -- aka. the books that are set after the series ends. There are only seven of them, and I had already read the first two. At present, I have only a book and a half to go. I wouldn't say that they are my favorite, but it's fun "brain candy" reading for the break.

Very early this past Saturday morning, I headed down to Connecticut to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with Mom and Greg in Bethany. I left super early and thus made it down in a record breaking hour and a half, avoiding all traffic.

We had a relaxed day for Christmas Eve. Greg and I went for walk with Demo on a trail he loves in Woodbridge that the local Boy Scouts set up. Demo is such a smart dog that he can run off leash back there. He also meets other dogs and gets to play and make many dog friends. 

After the walk with Demo, Greg and I made a trip to the local gym where I had the good idea to watch Netflix on my iPhone while working out on the Elliptical. For anyone who has an iPhone, I highly recommend this -- it was awesome! 

In the evening, we exchanged gifts. I got an awesome set of shoes, Nike Free Mary Jane II sneakers from Greg.

From Mom, I got a super intense workout program, Insanity: The Asylum.

We  also decorated the house for Christmas the next day. The mantle was made festive.

The table was nicely set for dinner. We used a silver and gold table cloth paired with gold chargers, Evesham dinnerware, the nice silver flatware, and Mikasa waters and wines. The beautiful flowers are, of course, from my Aunt Geraldine. Everything was very festive and all set for the next day when Aunt Geraldine and Uncle Jimmy would be over to celebrate with us.

Meanwhile, Demo waited patiently for Santa...

Christmas was loads of fun with visiting and eating. Demo received the world's largest bone! (Which was super smelly -- probably that made him love it more.) 

We had bacon and water chestnuts, steamed dumplings, and pigs-in-a-blanket for appetizers. We had a lovely chicken with mushroom pate and swizz cheese along with potatoes and salad for dinner. There were homemade cookies that Mom baked for dessert. 

I also got to talk with the Sibley's throughout the day and heard wonderful news from Seth's mom: his eldest sister is having a baby. I have already inquired about what color I might knit them a baby blanket in.

I traveled back to Massachusetts on Monday, stopping in Glastonbury to have a lovely brunch with Dad and Lisa, and exchange gifts. I received a Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor.

This is a lot of fitness stuff you might be thinking. You are right! It's part of my plan for my next workout program. 

As you may recall, I recently finished the 90 day TurboFire, cardio kickboxing and HIIT (high intensity interval training) program. I loved it! Since then, I have been wanting to complete the Insanity 60 day program, which I started last year and never completed. 

Insanity, is a very intensive plyometrics and max interval training program. Last time I tried it, I made it through the first month, but got busy and never committed to the second. For this year, I plan to complete the whole program. My motivation: I have the sequel program, The Asylum.

After returning from my Dad and Lisa's on Monday, I began the program with the Fit Test. The Fit Test is the first workout you do, and it serves as a benchmark throughout the program. The 25 minute test, has you do ten sets of exercises that you will see in the 60 days of the Insanity workout. You count the number of reps you do. You take the test five times and see your progress. I did quite well on the test with the cardio (less well with the parts that involved upper body strength), but totally kicked my butt, as it were. For the first workout on Tuesday, Plyometric Cardio Circuit, I was super sore. I continue to be quite sore in my chest today, Wednesday.  But I am keeping with it. I know that the sore muscles will go away. I will keep you apprised of my progress.

Seth and I are looking forward to Saturday and New Year's Eve. Dad, Lisa, and Seth's parents will all be visiting. A lovely evening with family. 

Happy 2012!