Saturday, July 17, 2010

Wherein I Have Selected

You guys! I'm SUPER SUPER excited.

You know how I work like a beast these days and don't have any time to do things like cook dinner let alone see my friends or, er, blog? Well, in the few minutes I have been able to carve out for myself over these past few months my favorite pastime has been planning vacations. I'm not talking about the odd weekend getaway. No. I'm talking about a Granddaddy Vacation. A truly epic adventure that will serve one purpose and one purpose only: To get me OUT of incessant blackberrying hell for a while.

And so it was. When I needed a break I'd start scoping out amazing vacations.

Here were my criteria:
  1. Aforementioned blackberry hell = it needed to be international
  2. I want something active, since I am a desk weenie. How great would it be to come home THINNER from a vacation?!
  3. I prefer a group so I don't feel so weird about being a solo traveler

My first plan was to go on a 7 day cycling tour from Prague to Vienna. But I won't be able to go until October or November. Alpine weather being what it is, this could make what sounds really fun really miserable. So while I harbored this as my fantasy vacation for a while I eventually opted to not follow through. I still might do it though ... just not this year.

And THEN! Then I found The Island Experience. All of the criteria were met. All of the reviews were raving. All of my dreams will come true!

TIE (as I will call it, because the full name is pretty lame) is an "adventure spa" on an island off of Rio de Janeiro. They only have 12 guests at a time so it is very customized to meet everyone's needs. Together we hike the rain forest, sea kayak, yoga, and swim in waterfalls and coves around the island. A nutritionist provides gourmet vegetarian meals (with unlimited fresh produce) and a masseur provides a daily hour long massage. The beach front accommodations are beautiful and in our downtime (what there is of it) can be spent relaxing or doing various activities such as painting.


There's one little thing ... all of the reviews I read raved but they made sure to mention that the trip was "intense" and all of the exercise, while great, was very challenging. When I described this trip to my friend Jennifer, she said, "So, you're going to Jungle Fat Camp?" And basically, yes I am. But if I can survive it, it will be super amazing. I've got almost 4 months to get in-shape enough to ensure that I don't die on this trip. One reviewer said she participates in 7 hours of gym time a week between yoga, kickboxing etc, and TIE pushed her very hard. But at the end of it she had gained a great sense of accomplishment aaaaaand lost 7 lbs.

Sounds like a win-win to me!

Now that I've put down my deposit I'm committed and I will have some serious motivation to go to the gym. I think this trip will be a great mix of fun, exercise, nutrition, travel, and relaxation.

I really couldn't be more excited about it!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Little Mormon, Big World

A few years ago I was watching an episode of "Little People, Big World." In this particular episode the teenagers were going to a Little people conference so they could socialize with other little people. And I thought to myself, "man, that would suck to have to go to a conference to meet people. Like, who does that?" It struck me as a very awkward social situation and I felt sorry for those poor kids being forced to attend. I remember feeling very superior and very tall.

Well I don't feel quite so tall anymore, because this past weekend I, of my own free will (and some empty threats from Camie), attended an equally awkward conference to meet people. It was a conference for single Mormons in their 30s and 40s. It had the potential to be tremendously painful and exponentially embarrassing. So, being the cautious (aka cynical) lady that I am, I went in with extremely low expectations.

But it was fun!

And I met some cool people!

And I laughed a LOT!

No one was more surprised than I, of that I can assure you. (This low-expectation strategy is really panning out.)

Enjoying this event really hinged on being less critical. I think I've definitely mellowed out over the years because now I can just chuckle good-naturedly when I hear people say things like "The second time I took the Bar ... " (vs the fourth or fifth time), "You can call me 'Hey You'," or my personal favorite, "So, enough about Perrier."

Awkward? Yes. Weirder than the Little People convention? Eh, it's a toss up. All in all, pretty damn fun.