Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Beach Bums

After last week's hectic schedule, the weekend was a welcome relief.  Saturday was a day of no appointments to keep, no schedule already in place.  A day to do exactly as we pleased.  And what I was pleased to do was to go shopping for a few things for our upcoming trip to Denver this week.  L's idea was to load the bikes and go for a ride.  He kindly brought me eggs and toast in bed, so how could I say no?  I couldn't, so we got up, got ready and off we went.  I had been having a little (actually a lot) of pain in my shoulder, and so when we started off I was feeling a bit sorry for myself.  So I was a little sulky about having to ride bikes and work up a sweat when my poor, poor shoulder hurt every time I raised my arm to do my hair or blow dry my hair, and what was I going to do, have L blow dry my hair?  Oh, the sadness of it all...  Gradually (as exercise is wont to do) I started getting thoughts to pedal harder, keep going, get the old circulation going, and maybe - must maybe - I would start to feel better.  So when L suggested stopping at about 3 1/2 miles and turning around, I said no, let's keep going.

And so we did.  We pedaled and pedaled until we'd reached the 11 mile mark (meaning 11 miles to the beach).  That was the furthest halfway point I'd ever ridden, (our starting point that day was about 3/4 mile before mile 18) and after a quick water break we started back the way we came.  When we (finally) got back to the car, L checked the mileage app on his phone, and we'd gone 15.6 miles total!  I was so stoked.  Yes, my butt hurt, and my knees were a little sore, and my dogs were barking (feet tend to get a little stiff and sore after pedaling a lot of miles) but WE DID IT!  And guess what - my shoulder didn't hurt anymore, and it hasn't really hurt since.  So I'm convinced that getting my circulation going is good for what ails me, as long as I'm not pounding on my joints.  If I do say so myself, I am impressed with ME (and with L - he was pedaling along too) and I'm more convinced than ever that I need to get myself some padded cycling pants if we're going to keep this up.  And we are.

We went back home after purchasing a celebratory Diet Coke for L and a Vitamin Water (blueberry pomegranate) for me.  We toasted each other all the way home, very full of ourselves.  Once we got home and sat down it was hard to get up again.  Really hard.  But we had to go to Target (love Target!) and get a birthday present for Matthew (our grandson that we are going to visit for his birthday at the end of the week) and I needed a couple of pairs of pants for summer weather.  It's hot in Denver now.  So off we trudged.  I also had it in my head that I wanted a new pair of sandals so after Target we went to Macy's.

Now, Macy's is a store that always confuses me.  There's just so much... STUFF.  Everywhere.  And they have a sale of some kind every ding dang day of the week and so everything is always in disarray.  I really hate shopping there.  But they do have a good shoe department.  You see my dilemma.  We walked in, and right next to the shoe department they were having some kind of event in cosmetics.  Loud music.  Very loud.  And the shoe department looked like a bomb hit it.  I'm not one of those people who can shop a sale when everything is a mess.  It just makes me want to go home.  I feel cranky and irritable.  So of course I got in a bad mood and we left.  I've discovered something about myself as I get older.  I simply don't like to shop.  I don't enjoy the hunt.  I don't get off on bargains.  I pretty much want that amazing outfit to jump into my arms.  It'd be great if it also looked fantastic on me, but at the very least I want 5 salesgirls running all over bringing me everything I want.  That never happens at Macy's and that's why I hate to shop there.  What I really need is a personal shopper, so in lieu of that I try to stick with the smaller stores like Ann Taylor, Loft, etc.

Poor L knew my mood was dark, and he was trying hard to get me to lighten up.  So I said I would like to go to Birch Street Promenade to Chico's and he sighed and turned the car in that direction.  They were having a smokin' deal on pants - buy one pair, get the second at 50% off.  I'm almost embarrassed to say that I shop sometimes at Chico's - they are definitely a store for the 40 and up crowd.  The majority are 50+.  And I know that I fit the demographic perfectly, but some of their clothes truly look like gaudy older-lady-in-Vegas clothes.  They look passably good on the tall models in the catalogs, but 5'6" middle aged figure me can't quite carry the vivid patterns and fringe and sequins and who knows what else they seem to plaster on so many of their clothes.  I just look like a very colorful block.  *sigh*

So I didn't have high hopes for the pants, although how bad could jeans be?  And here's where it gets good.  Their pants are SO COMFY.  Their "So Slimming" jeans?  SO COMFY as well!  And the best part is in their sizes I get to wear a size 1.5.  TWO THUMBS UP!!  That felt good.  Really good.  So good, in fact, that I bought jeans AND shorts!  I left that store a happy girl.  A successful shopping trip will do that to me.

Today was another absolutely gorgeous day.  Too nice to stay inside taking a nap.  The beautiful day beckoned, and we hopped in the car after church and drove down to Corona Del Mar.  The water was blue, the temperature was perfect, and L and I just walked along the beach and then up along the avenues, pointing out our favorite houses, dreaming of a lifestyle we'll never have, but it's fun to dream.
When my ankle had had enough walking we made our way back to the car and headed for dinner on Balboa Island.  Bellies full, we walked along the island perimeter and watched the boats in the bay.

The sun was just starting to go down, and there was a lovely golden light reflected on the water.  There were lots of flags flying in the breeze and we could hear the seals barking out in the water.

It was a perfect end to a pretty good weekend.  Tomorrow may be back to work and the daily grind, but it's days like these that refresh and revive you.  The coming week will be busy wrapping up loose ends, packing to go to Denver for a few days, and planning what to do when we get there.  Another busy week AND weekend, but in a good way.  It's hard to have our family spread out all over the country, but I feel fortunate that we're able to go and visit them a time or two each year, not to mention the wonderful technology like Skype and cell phones that make keeping in close touch so easy.  And at the end of the day I'm grateful to live in such a beautiful place where, just a few minutes away, I can find peace and tranquility watching the waves roll in and out as the sun sets in the horizon, the fire pits on the beach start to glow in the twilight, and the smell of woodsmoke fills the salty air.


  1. Way to rack up the miles on the bike. We enjoyed CA weather all last week. San Diego was cool and incredible

  2. These are lovely pics, karen, and you are lucky to live close to scenes like these. I live in the geographic center of the Florida peninsula and the Atlantic and Gulf beaches are less than two hours away by car. However there are many beautiful lakes much closer than that making Central FL a biker's paradise. That long bike ride you took was quite an accomplishment. If your pain subsided as a result of that type of low impact exercise and your body didn't complain too much afterward, then it looks like you found an activity that will keep you toned and give you a nice cardio workout.

    Dear karen, I need to let you know that I am scaling back my blogging activity effective immediately. For one thing, my new posts are slipping through the cracks of the Blogger distribution system and have not been showing up in the readers of good friends like you. Another major concern is the adverse impact of full time blogging on my family life and my health. Like you and several of our mutual friends I need to slow down and take a break once in a while. With that in mind I want you to know that I will only be publishing about once a week from now on, probably every Tuesday. Of course I will be posting more than once during weeks when I observe Father's Day, Mother's Day, special birthdays, etc. I will also be reading fewer blogs and leaving fewer comments. Important friends like you will remain a priority but please understand if I miss a post or two of yours. If I do it is only because I am devoting more time to "real life" experiences and getting some much needed rest. I hope you can stop over to my blog sometime this week to see Part 9 and say goodbye before leaving town. I wish you a safe and happy trip. Thank you, dear karen!

  3. Wow, cannot believe what a serious biker you have become. I am awed by your magnificence!

    The day at the beach looks wonderful. I am really looking forward to getting down there next month. The days are flying by...


  4. Congrats on the biking! Wow, I wish I had a fun place like a beach to ride to..in a car! Your pics are beautiful...and the smell of woodsmoke is one of my fave things! Enjoy your trip to Denver and also congrats on the pants...and the size!

  5. Again, I was drooling at the lovely pictures of the lovely places where you live. Sigh..I'm so glad you had a great biking experience and ya know I'm just not a shopper either. My daughter inherited that gene and from time to time I indulge her needs. Not anywhere often enough to soothe her shoppers soul.

    Have a great trip with the little ones...

  6. Karen, that was fun to read. So much I could relate to and I enjoyed how you described things. I'm glad your achey shoulder improved after your exercise, and you had a positive shopping experience and a full day of learning and living! Not to mention appreciating it all along the way. Nice. Hope you have a great trip!


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