Sunday, November 27, 2022

Not Working Out, Gaining Weight, and Lost Motivation Since Before Camping Trip in October

Weight Tracking Since Start

I went on vacation and I have not worked out since our trip back at the beginning of November. I worked out one day while we were on vacation and that has been it. I have also completely stopped doing Weight Watchers which is rather disappointing. Going into Thanksgiving Day I had plans to get back on tracking weight this weekend, but the motivation is completely gone.

For three months I did Weight Watchers every day. It worked as I had lost a little over 20 lbs prior to our vacation. I got all the way down to 237. Just a few weeks after my last work out and tracking weight and I am already up to 248. Tough to take off but goes on quick! 

The last time I rode the bike was almost a month ago. So, going camping, vacation, and then enjoying Thanksgiving disrupted my weight loss. I plan to get back to it but taking a break from tracking for now. I plan to not go crazy with eating, but I am not tracking anything I eat. I plan to start it up again in the next week and I want to start riding the bike again too.

I half thought about waiting to track again after December ends, but I think that is too long and it will make it all that more difficult to start it again in January. My goal is to lose about 40 lbs at this point which will get me down to my target weight. To get to my target weight, I need to adjust how I eat. During vacation, and a few times since vacation, I can think of a few times when I ate so much I was full. If I could adjust and keep food to eat later or the next day, this would help a lot. I am happy that prior to going on vacation I lost 20 lbs but now the work needs to start again to continue to my target weight.

Hopefully next week I will have an update of at least getting back on the bike. No plans currently to track food this week, but going to try for moderation of what I eat which can be tough at times.

Until next time, have a great week.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving! Have a Great Thanksgiving 2022!

Happy Thanksgiving 2022!
Thanksgiving is Time for Pie!

Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving! For the first time since 2020, my family will be getting together on Thanksgiving Day. We are meeting at my Mom's and enjoying company and food. I cannot wait! It will be the first time in a few years that we will all be together. It will be good to see everyone. Later in the day, Carrie and I will head back to Topeka to celebrate Thanksgiving with Shirrons' which is always delicious food and good company.

Please be safe and take care of your family and friends. Reach out to them and let them know how much they mean to you.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Trip to Aruba to Celebrate Our Twenty Year Wedding Anniversary from September 21, 2022

Carrie and John in Kansas City Airport Waiting for Delayed Flight
Carrie and John in KC Airport
Carrie and I celebrated 20 years of marriage back on September 21, 2022 (see post) and we were able to take a trip to celebrate our anniversary in November. We scheduled our trip months ago and we were gone from November 6 - 14. We were scheduled to fly out early Sunday, November 6, so we arrived at the airport at 5 am and as we were heading to the counter, we get an alert our flight is delayed. Great! Now our flight leaves at noon, so we completely miss our connecting flight in Miami, FL. The flight was delayed due to “crew rest”, so as it was the airline problem, American Airlines put us up in a hotel in Miami along with some food vouchers. 

Hanging at Bar in Airport Waiting for Flight
Airport Bar and Shows
Carrie and I spent the morning at the Kansas City airport where there is not much to do hanging out at a Budweiser Bar. Drinking beer at 10:30 in the morning, reading, eating, and watching shows on our devices. It was a rather enjoyable morning even though we should have been well on our way to Miami and to Aruba later in the day. Instead, we hung out in Kansas City until our flight was to leave. We arrived late afternoon in Miami and took a taxi to our hotel. 

We talked about venturing out in Miami to see the sights, but getting up at 4 am to get to our scheduled flight had us both rather sleepy, so we decided to eat at the hotel. Expensive meal at the hotel, but it was good food and we enjoyed some delicious drinks. Following dinner, we headed back to our room for the evening. Our flight on Monday was scheduled to fly out at noon, so we went out for breakfast near the hotel. Enjoyable lazy morning although we both had hoped we would have been on the beaches of Aruba by Monday morning, we were enjoying our time in Miami.

Carrie and John in First Class Enjoying Travel
Carrie and John First Class
For the first time ever when flying, we flew first class. Months ago when we were looking at flights and watching the prices fluctuate, we decided to do first class. It was amazing! Not sure we will be able to fly any other way on long flights. We enjoyed the space, the food, and the drinks. Great way to fly out even though our first day was delayed, we had a great time. The food on the plane was excellent! So many ways to connect devices too.

Dinner at Elements located in Bucuti Resort
Dinner at Elements
By the time we arrived at Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, it was evening, so we had dinner at Elements which is located on the Bucuti property and then headed out to the beach for an evening stroll. It was so nice hearing the waves crash into the shore as we strolled along the beach. It was good to have finally made it to Aruba. So excited for the week ahead of us and ready to start exploring plus soaking up the sun. Tuesday morning we were going to get our car rental that we would have for the week and go to the grocery store to pick up some snacks and drinks for the week. We went to our first breakfast on site and it was delicious which was a great way to start the day and time at the resort.

Eagle Beach at Bucuti Resort
Eagle Beach at Bucuti Resort
We spent the afternoon at Eagle Beach which is where Bucuti is located. Enjoyed our first day beachside and everything that comes with hanging out at the beach. Tuesday night we were going to a German Restaurant that Carrie had found. Good food, but there was only one guy that could take orders for the entire place. One of those instances where we will need to go back to see if it is the same or always lousy attention on the customer. Beer was good though as I enjoyed a few different German beers. Yum!

Arikok National Park Natural Pool
Arikok National Park Natural Pool
Tuesday morning we had planned a very early start to the day with a sunrise walk at Arikok National Park. The hike out to the natural pool was about 1.5 miles, so it was a good hike early in the morning. The hike to the pool was dark but we are so glad we scheduled the tour and hike. It was amazing! Beautiful scenery we were able to swim in the natural pool which was incredible. I had no idea that Aruba was built from volcanos. As we were walking the trail, noticed a lot of rock that was dark and looked like volcanic rock. Sure enough, our guide said the whole island was built from volcanos although no active volcanos in the area for years. The trail was tough going at times with steep inclines, but it was so worth the journey. Our guide was great and took a number of pictures of us while we were in the natural pool.

Arikok National Park
Arikok National Park

Arikok National Park Splashing Waves
Arikok National Park Splashing Waves

Arikok National Park as We Walk
Arikok National Park as We Walk

Carrie found Fins & Feet Nature Tours which is who we used for the guided tour in the national park. Monica, our tour guide, was excellent! Knowledgeable and she said she does the hike we were doing daily. Highly recommend Fins & Feet Nature Tours for your tours in Aruba. Following our tour, back to Bucuti for breakfast. We were then headed out on the town to catch lunch and do some shopping. 

Everywhere we ate, I tried to do some type of seafood. I think I did pretty good overall as I am not sure I ate anything other than seafood everywhere we went. Here are some of the foods I was able to capture. Carrie does a much better job of remembering where I had each of these items, but the food was so good everywhere we went… I was just lucky to snap a picture before I gobbled up the delicious food.

Dinner in Miami
Dinner in Miami

Romantic Dinner is Seafood
Romantic Dinner is Seafood

Seafood Lunch So Good!
Seafood Lunch at Bistro

Shrimp at West Deck in Aruba
Shrimp at West Deck

Carrie Relaxing and Reading on Baby Beach
Carrie Relaxing and Reading
We did a lot of relaxing and reading on the beaches. I only got one book read while we were in Aruba, but Carrie read four or five books. I had hoped to read more, but I am happy with the amount of reading I completed. We visited so many wonderful spots and would not have done it any other way. 

Romantic Dinner at Elements on the Beach of Bucuti
Romantic Dinner on Baby Beach
November 10, we had scheduled a romantic evening on the beach for dinner. Good food with my beautiful wife. Food was really good and we had a bottle of wine to enjoy privately while steel drums played in the background. 

Carrie and John at Baby Beach in Aruba
Carrie and John at Baby Beach
For those that do not know, Carrie and I met on a cruise back in 2001. The cruise consisted of people from Topeka, Manhattan, Lawrence, and Kansas City with around 150 people from the area going on the cruise. I was going with friends from Washburn and knew a few people but this is the trip where Carrie and I met and fell in love. One of the ports we visited on that first cruise was Baby Beach in Aruba. One of the reasons we selected Aruba for our anniversary trip was because we had been here back when we first met and had fond memories of Aruba and Baby Beach. It was good to be back at Baby Beach which was about a 30 - 40 minute drive from Bucuti Resort. Easy drive and so worth the trip. We took a cooler full of drinks and enjoyed those while having fun at the beach. It rained briefly on us while we were at the beach, but soon the sun came out and we enjoyed our time.

Sails for Evening Cruise
Sails on Ship for Evening Cruise
The evening of November 11, which was the same day we went to Baby Beach, we went on an evening sail. Again, wow! It was amazing! So beautiful to see the shore from the sea and it had drinks that we were certainly enjoying on the evening sail. That evening, we went to a place to eat that was close to our resort and it was amazing! Probably helped we had been enjoying drinks most of the day and into the evening, but we had a great time at dinner before walking back to the resort.

Piña colada On the Beach
Piña colada On the Beach
After spending most of the week at the beach, we decided to spend the day on Saturday, November 12 at the pool. It was nice not having to get sand off of our feet. Wonderful time hanging around the pool, reading, eating, and having Piña colada‘s. They were so good and perfect on the beach or at the pool. We had already had a few of them earlier in the week while at the beach, so it was good to have them pool side too. 

As Sunday rolled around, the sadness was starting to kick in that it was our last full day in Aruba. We went to breakfast early so we could get out to the beach earlier in the day. Another enjoyable day hanging out at the beach reading, drinking, and playing in the ocean. That evening, we went out on the town to have one last fancy dinner in Aruba. Another good spot and good way to spend our last evening in Aruba.

Lunch at West Deck Before Airport
Lunch at West Deck
Monday, November 14 we were scheduled to fly out in the afternoon, so we made our way to town and ate a good lunch at a local favorite. Had some drinks as we had some time to kill before we needed to return the car to the rental and get to the airport.

We had a great time at Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort and I would highly recommend staying there. They took good care of us in the restaurant, the bar, and throughout the resort. Getting around Aruba in a rental car is the way to go. It was cheap and easy to navigate. There are so many wonderful places to eat on the island, it was fun to try all the different places and see the different areas of the island. It was our first time at Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, but I expect we will be back again in the future. 

Cheers to Carrie!
Cheers to Carrie!

We had a wonderful time in Aruba! I cannot wait to go back. I am so happy that Carrie and I were able to make this trip, celebrate together, and enjoy time together. It was much needed and fun to disconnect, for the most part, from life and enjoy each other. Happy Anniversary, Carrie! I love you!

We are already talking about where we will go next time. Visiting Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, which was not an all-inclusive, was a fun change. I really enjoyed visiting the places to eat and seeing the island. I cannot wait to go back!

To see full album of pictures, please see below where you can go through all of our pictures.

Aruba 2022

Until next time, I hope you enjoyed visting Aruba through our trip summary and pictures. Do you have a favorite spot in Aruba, we would love to hear from you and share in your experiences.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Exercise Stats from October Down from Prior Month Still Making Progress

October Monthly Workout Listing
Exercise stats from October were not great with being away for part of the month and then laziness kicked in a bit. I only ran a few times and did not ride the bike as much as I wanted to so I have work to do in November to get my numbers back up. I worked out a total of seven days for the month of October. Not very good! Again, it was a busy month where I was out of town the second week of the month for the blues festival. Not terrible, but certainly a drop from where I had been consistently working out each month.

Stats from October
November is already starting off rough with only a few workouts the first two weeks of the month. As long as I can get some workouts in the week of Thanksgiving and not go crazy with eating, I should be good. Still, it is an ongoing process just to be motivated and make time to get a workout into my weekly schedule. It is so easy to come home from work and just sit down in the chair to relax and suddenly I am asleep. I do enjoy my bike rides as well as my weekly runs that I was doing. As I mentioned in a prior update, I expect my weekly runs on Saturday mornings will come to an end with winter months approaching, but I am still thinking about adding the gym from Washburn so I can have that as an option on Saturday mornings. Again, the motivation to join the gym is not yet in place.

 Eleven workouts for October which was down twelve from the previous month. Wow! Really letting it slide and November is going to be worse. Every category is down from the previous month which is what happens when not working out on a regular basis. At this point, I think I will plan to get back on track following the weekend of Thanksgiving. 

Meanwhile, I continue my journey on doing Weight Watchers although I have taken a break or two from it the past week or two as well. More on that later, but for now, I just need to focus on riding the bike… or join the gym so I can run when it is cold cold cold outside. 

Enjoy the journey and ride on…

Sunday, November 06, 2022

Camping Weekend October 28 - 30 on the Saline River with Pictures and Description of Camping Experience with C2T and

Panoramic View of Our View From Camp Site

Only our second camping adventure of 2022, but we had a great time in western Kansas. We stayed at the C2T Ranch on the Saline River. Beautiful time of year to go camping and the weather was perfect! Carrie found this spot last year, but we did not have a chance to get out there last year. So, we decided as our second and final camping trip for 2022 we would do it here in late October. We booked our spot and headed out Friday morning to western Kansas.

Car Loaded Down for Trip
Car Loaded Down for Trip

We wanted to all ride in one car, so Carrie and I bought rails for the Pilot along with a luggage carrier for the top. Worked out great! We met at our house at 7 am to pack and get everything ready. It took us a little while to figure out the luggage carrier or to get it packed correctly. We finally got on the road about 9 am. Almost three hours to get to Hays, Kansas where we stopped to get some drinks before heading out to C2T Ranch on the Saline River. The C2T is north of Hays, KS by about 10 - 15 minutes, so we headed out to find our camping spot. Easy to find the C2T location where we met the owners and they led us out to our spot.

Tents Set up and Ready for the Weekend
Tents Set and Ready for Camping

Nice spot for us to set up our tents for the next two nights. The C2T has an option to buy unlimited firewood for $25 which we gladly took part in doing. We had a fire going most of the time we were there and it ran all day Saturday as we were cooking and hanging out at camp. More on this later though in this update.

Burgers and Potatoes on the Grill
Burgers and Potatoes on the Grill
Friday night we also took advantage of an option to have burgers and brats provided by C2T which worked out great! Burgers on the open flame were fantastic. I was too full to have a brat, but they looked good and heard they tasted great. They also served cut up potatoes which is in the picture on the left although foil is on it, so you cannot see them cooking. Everything was delicious!

We finished up dinner and hung out around the fire until about midnight. Talking, telling stories, and having a great time. We were commenting how during the day we were wearing short sleeves and could have worn shorts, but I think everyone had on long pants. By evening once the son went behind the trees, immediate drop in temperature, so we huddled around the fire. 

Tents at Night with Lights on in the Tents
Tents at Night with Lights

The tents at night our first night with the lights on within the tents looked so cool! I had to snap a picture of it as we have done all the other times we have gone camping too where the tent looks so cool at night.

Being out in the middle of nowhere with no city lights is always a high point for me. I cannot get over all of the stars or the feeling of vastness from being in the dark. It is a fun and spooky feeling not knowing what is out where I am looking. While we do have headlamps, they do not do a lot for what is happening away from our immediate area. Again, this is part of the fun of being in the middle of nowhere and not knowing what we are seeing as we look out into the darkness.

Tents in the Day
Tents in the Day Backdrop of Trees
I am not sure the pictures are doing justice to how amazing the trees looked while we were camping. We were all surprised to see the bluffs in and around where we were camping. We knew that's what C2T had mentioned, but seeing it was cool to see. We did not hike up into the bluffs as we had planned as it was difficult to get across the water at least the few places we checked to see if we could get across, we would have had to wade out into the water. Maybe our next trip to C2T we will hike up the bluffs.

Carrie and John in Front of Bluffs
Carrie and John in Front of Bluffs

We enjoyed touring the property to look at the bluffs that were throughout the area. I had driven through western Kansas many times and I have been out there for conferences at Fort Hays, but I had not ever been out to the country to see the views of bluffs or the incredible trees that were changing. I would be interested to go back in the spring, or early summer, to see what it is like in the area. Maybe take in the lazy river that goes around the property and to see how everything looks much different from when we visited in October.  I am hoping to go back to C2T in the future at a different time of year.

Carrie and Greg Hiking
Carrie and Greg Hiking

I mentioned we did tour around a little bit and got out and walked around. Not long hikes as we could not get across the low river, but hoping to do so the next time we visit C2T. There are a lot of paths or areas where we can walk to check out the property. 

As we were leaving, we talked about checking out other HipCamp sites in other states. A interesting way to see the country and to see areas we might normally see if we were camping at a state camp ground. Carrie and I have talked about doing something similar in Arkansas, but have not yet made that jump yet. My hope is that in 2023, we do a lot more camping and hopefully in different locations and states. Colorado is still on the list to do at some point, but we heard that those spots have to be booked out way in advance.

Part of the Saturday afternoon cooking was Carrie making Beef Bourguignon. Below are pictures of the process from basically the start to the end. One item I left out of the pictures was the bacon cooking, but figured you get the idea.

Dinner Saturday Night Was an All Afternoon Event
Beef Bourguignon Starting

Beef Bourguignon Wine Added
Beef Bourguignon Wine Added

Beef Bourguignon Veggies Added
Beef Bourguignon Veggies Added

Beef Bourguignon Finished
Beef Bourguignon Finished

This was the first attempt at Beef Bourguignon and it turned out great! It was really good and fun to watch it take shape during the afternoon while we played Rook.

I would highly recommend C2T and we hope to return there at a future date. The overall experience with HipCamp was easy and enjoyable. Sad that the camping season has come to an official end, for us, but looking forward to 2023 when we triple or quadruple our camping events.

Thank you for reading and have a great week! If you have used HipCamp or been to C2T, please comment to let me know. I would be happy to connect and discuss your favorite spots or your experience at C2T.