Beachy Brews

Although living in a beach town in September can be one of the best things, I must admit to you guys that living in a place where you don’t know anyone can become a bit draining to the spirit. I’m thankful that I like my main job, because it’s a bit strange to get out of work and know that you have nowhere else to go or anyone to meet.

I’ve been powering through the days, trying to grasp onto work-life balance. I realized last week that I haven’t had a whole day off since August 26th. But then someone at work said she hadn’t had a day off since May, and another guy said he’s been working seven day weeks for the past ten years. Good grief! Let us remember that life is not a contest to see who can work the most! However, I can happily say that I’ve met my financial goals for this pre-Australia summer of money making.

Manafirkin Brewing

It was nice to slow down for an afternoon when my sister came to visit. She’s a vet, and she only gets one day off at a time, but she was willing to drive down the night before to hang with us. We did some morning shopping, because what else are girls going to do when we get together for the day? After that, we took a little Manahawkin adventure off the island to the ManaFirkin Brewery. We brought our own soft pretzels, played a rousing game of Jenga, and I fell in love with the Oatmeal Coffee Stout. Hooray! Another point for New Jersey.

ManaFirkin Brewery

Unfortunately, Elayne had to head back up to NYC that night, but we slipped into the Hotel LBI to graze the rooftop and eat an early dinner. I was grateful for the visit.

Snippets of Summer

Wow, ok! How did we get this far into September already? It feels like yesterday was Labor Day Weekend, and then I blinked, and here we are in, what, mid-September?? This whole summer has felt that way, but I’ve certainly been enjoying it when and where I can. To be honest, there have been many more full work days than I was expecting in my seaside summer—I’m working at a restaurant, teaching yoga, cleaning and manning the desk at a Pilates studio, and continuing my online writing job—but the steady flow of hours has been a solid way to fill my bank account with funds for upcoming adventures in Australia.

Pyour Core LBI

In between the working hours, I’ve managed to spend a few fun family weekends with cousins down here at the shore and my dad and sister back at home. When my cousins were down for their annual family vacation, we had a girls’ day and got our nails done, shopped a little, and grabbed a drink at the new beer garden on the water. We went out to Nardi’s bar for my first time— Nardi’s has a reputation for its pink party buses and for being a wild time—and I would say it lived up to its reputation!

Cousins

At home, we celebrated my dad’s birthday and took a day trip to the Dutchess County Fair, which was always one of my favorite summer events growing up. It’s been so good to have this time a little closer to home after being in Texas and California for the past six years!

Too Old to Die Young

In any free moment, I’ve been hitting the beach, watching incredible sunsets, and enjoying this magical setting. Even when the weather gets dreary, there’s something beautiful about watching a storm roll in over the ocean. I love seeing the changing weather in different parts of the island!

LBI storm
LBI marina

I caught the last of the outdoor summer concert series that they’d been holding at Bayview Park, right outside the restaurant where I work.

Bayview Park concert

And then it was time to wind down… Everything in LBI slows way down after Labor Day, much like in any beach town. I’m grateful that my jobs are keeping me busy and paid in the off-season. Even so, once the summer season came to a close, it finally feels like we can breathe again. Weekday beach yoga came to a close with a fun private session that I taught to our friend Mary and her family members. I have a new September schedule at Yoga Bohemia.

  • Monday 9:30-10:45am Refine & Flow

  • Saturday 10:30-11:45 Yin Flow

Most mornings were nicer than this one, I promise!

Most mornings were nicer than this one, I promise!

I’m feeling busy but happy. I can’t believe I’m only one month away from my departure. I’m hoping for a couple full days off so I can get some more east coast adventures in! Hope you’re filling your summer with the stuff that makes you sing.

Dog Days

Just over a week ago, I ran a race! I used to run a lot. I’ve run a few half marathons and even a full marathon in Disney World back in 2012. Whoa! Even thinking about running that far now hurts my legs. I’ve been keeping to shorter distances lately; 2-3 mile jogs just to be outside and stay in shape. But for some reason, this summer, I started wanting to run longer distances again. It might be the atmosphere of LBI. People are outside at all hours of the day walking, running, and biking. The island is completely flat, and it makes you feel like you might enjoy exercising, too! I thought about doing the full 18-mile race that runs the whole span of Long Beach Island, but unfortunately it takes place right after I leave for Australia. Instead, I saw posters for the Dog Day Race, a much gentler 5-mile fun run that happens in the dead center of the steamy month of August.

LBI Dog Day Run

I guess most people probably don’t need to train all that much to run five miles, but I felt like I did. And while I was looking for a manageable training schedule, I came across a plan for training called the Galloway Method. I really loved long distance running, because of what it does for my mental state and because it’s my favorite way to see a city, but somewhere around the 10-12 mile training run, I would always get hurt. When race day finally arrive, my knee or hip would be struggling, and I never fully felt my best.

For the Dog Day run, I decided to try out Jeff Galloway’s run-walk method. Since I run about 9 minute miles in short distances, the method suggests that I run for four minutes and then walk for one minute—the amount you run in between depends on your mile time. I was hesitant to try it. I always beat myself up if I have to stop and walk, or I feel like I can’t count it as a full run. Jeff disagrees. He says that walking for a minute won’t set your time back much at all; in fact, most people are able to improve their times using a run-walk approach. The method also claims to prevent injuries. That was what convinced me to try it. I have to be on my feet a lot for my jobs down here, and I want to keep running, so I didn’t want to get hurt.

The day of the race was insanely hot! I wondered why they decided to start at 9:30am instead of earlier. I wondered why there weren’t more people passing out from heat exhaustion around me. I set up my new Bluetooth headphones that my friend gifted to me and set off on my run-walk. I was feeling pretty good considering the heat. I felt kind of silly stopping after four minutes for my first walk break, but the recipe says to start it from the very beginning, before you get tired. I could tell it was working. While I was walking, other runners would pass me, and then I would catch up to them or pass them on the next time segment. Of course, I’m never expecting to win any races, but I’m still competitive and like to do well compared to my past times.

When we came to the final mile, I was exhausted and happy to have friendly neighbors who set up sprinklers and hoses in their yards to cool us down. [Note to self to serve as a race volunteer someday!] I think if I hadn’t been doing a run-walk method, I would’ve ran over ten minute miles or decided to stop and walk altogether. I was hotter than ever, but I saw the lights from the firehouse finish line and gave it the final push. I was stoked to see that the timer was under 50 minutes.

IMG_6732 (1).jpg

I declined any of the post-race hot dogs, but treated myself to some watermelon and loads of H2O. As I walked back to my bike to ride home, I was reminded of one of my favorite Tim Ferriss Show podcast episodes when Derek Sivers talks about how he would always take the same bike ride to work every day and would really push himself, ignore his surroundings, and gas it as fast as possible. Then one day, he decides to slow down, take in the scenery, and enjoy the ride. He winds up making it to work in the exact same amount of time, with a much more leisurely spirit.

I’ll be thinking about that on my future runs and whenever I try to rush from one point in life to the next. Wishing you the most enjoyment in your journey, too.

Beach Days

Wow! Hi! It’s been over a month since we (I) have been at the beach in LBI, NJ. Can you believe it? We (I) can’t! What have we been doing while here, maybe you are wondering? Well, we have been…

  • Watching some incredible sunsets over the bay

LBI sunset
  • Working… a lot! At a yoga studio (first and foremost), and a Pilates studio, on the internet, and at a restaurant. We are really filling up the days.

Yoga Bohemia LBI
  • Actually going to the beach. To watch some surf competitions, no less. But not actually surfing yet, which is something that needs to be rectified in the coming weeks now that I’ve been sufficiently inspired.

Jetty Coquina Jam 2019
  • Making art, sporadically, as usual. I usually like the things I paint, and then I celebrate by not painting anything for the next six months or so. Consistency is key.

Firefly Gallery LBI
  • Enjoying the outdoors. I played beach volleyball for the first time since the year before leaving Austin, so it’s probably been about 2-3 years since then. It shows! I also ran a five mile race last weekend! (I’ll tell you more about it soon.) Here’s the view I get to see at the end of every run:

LBI bay view

We’ve got a month left of summer here in the states! Soak it in, soak it in.

Best Friends at the Beach

My first week at the beach was a big one. There was hardly time to rest and recharge. My friend Annie and her husband were in town, and I was eager to meet their new baby. She’s a good one! She doesn’t even mind being wrapped up and taken to breakfast for pancakes.

baby

I started teaching beach yoga for an amazing studio that I’m honored to work for. And I got a waitressing job down the street—I’m still in training! My friends Brittany and Tom were also down at the same beach with their new baby—I forgot to take any pics of him, sadly!— so there was a lot of meeting and greeting to do.

And then there was the visit I had arranged my summer plans around. My friend Brianne was home from Argentina! I always try to get over to the east coast when she’s in town (just like last winter) , and this time she made it down to the beach to spend a couple of days with us. We sunned our buns and tried out the new local beer garden. She came to beach yoga, too!

Yoga Bohemia beach yoga

That wasn’t all! Over the next weekend, I attended my first baby shower, because my friend Amanda from back home in New York is pregnant. My mom drove us all the way up and back in one day. We colored and played games, and it was more fun than I expected baby showers to be. I also got to pop into my dad’s house to say a quick hello. It’s nice to be within a few hours of home!

baby shower

The Last Day!

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… Sike! After eleven days of driving almost all day every day, it was pretty much only the best of times. Once I’d left Richmond, I was feeling pumped about being out of the car for good later that evening. But first, I had to make a quick stop through what was once my home for six years: The University of Delaware, which is, regrettably, no longer the number one party school in the nation, but hey, don’t look at me. I went there for the pretty brick buildings and study abroad program.

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I met my friend Jesse for what was supposed to be a bagel lunch, but I’d forgotten that college towns are different when the students leave, and our plans were foiled by the dreaded sign on the door revealing summer hours. Not a huge problem, BrewHaha is and always has been here for us. It was nice to catch up with Jesse, another regular friend turned yogi friend!

Then, no more stopping, there were two-ish hours to go and it was time to finish this whole thing. My sister and her boyfriend were down at the beach for the weekend, so we all met up for an early dinner at one of our favorite LBI restaurants (Parker’s Garage). Back at the house, everyone helped me unpack my stuff and leave it in the living room like this for days:

Unpacking

Because why even bother having kids if you don’t want them to keep messing up your house and living arrangements for years upon years? There were better beach things to do that night! Like play mini-golf and eat soft ice cream (twist on a cone with rainbow sprinkles, duh). I had arrived!

LBI sunset