Get Off Your Ass April

So this April my friend LB and I decided to do a 30 day challenge to work out (in some capacity) every day. i also recruited my friend and one of my sisters.  So far we have been successful, at best it’s gym, yoga or running, at minimum it’s situps or planks or squats.  It always amazes me how some days it’s hard to find the time (or the motivation) to do just 10 minutes of working out. but i figure not only will this be good for our health / bikini bodies, but it will also get me in the habit of working out more steadily.  so feeling lazy or winter heavy? start doing Get Off Your Ass April.

A few highlights:

Last weekend we decided to get our workout in by kayaking for the first time this year.  it wasn’t so much the cold (50ish) as the wind that made this such a bad idea.  we literally paddled furiously for like 20 minutes and i’m pretty sure we barely got to the next dock. after we bailed on that idea and let the wind blow us back in we did a little ab and plank work to round out the arm bonanza of windy kayaking.  Even though it was an epic fail, it was still fun and we did get the kayaks cleaned off and ready for the season, so, bonus.

Yesterday we went to 6 Flags for the Brown Girls’ b-day.  And i’m gonna make it official: Riding rollercoasters is INDEED a workout.  If it wasn’t, then why am i so sore today? i love rollercoasters, but i still have to grip the handholds SUPER tight and generally close my eyes.  that is apparently both an arm and ab workout cause those are mighty sore today.  also mighty sore? the inner thighs from the Green Lantern coaster.  go ahead, take some time to giggle at the jokes you just crafted in your head.  Green Lantern is a stand up coaster, and you have basically a bicycle seat between your legs (i’m assuming in case someone passes out they don’t just slide out of the restraints then) which can be a bit harsh when the g-force hits you. plus we walked at least a few miles. 6 Flags is big! i needed this when i got home:

Easter weekend my fam spent sunday walking around the Capitol building in DC.  super pretty with all the flowers out and between that walking and farmer’s markerts walking i count that as a workout.  any walking over a mile i count as a workout btw.

spent a whole evening going through my giant stack of shape magazines and ripping out the workouts i liked. then i recycled the rest of the magazine (good for me and the environment).  these i use for the nights when i only have a little time/motivation.

Iceland: Day 3

Day 3: Blue Lagoon, Departure, Icelandic Bug of Death

On our last day we did a little more shopping

Then headed to our big destination: THE BLUE LAGOON. Possibly the most famous geothermal pool in Iceland.

That day it was FREEZING and WINDY.  the kind of wind that blows and you can’t breathe for a little while.  As we walked down the wind tunnel of hell that leads to the blue lagoon building we contemplated our level of crazy. on a day when we were bundled to the max and were freezing our butts off after being outside for 5 minutes, we were about to go back outside, in our BATHING SUITS and get into a supposedly hot natural geothermal pool with a bunch of other tourists? challenge accepted Iceland.  apparently we were that crazy.  and it was quite the experience.  from the neck down we were toasty warm and basking in the luscious minerals and salts of the lagoon, from the neck up we were quickly getting wind burned and seriously considering the likelihood of our faces just cracking off our heads. see that mist? thats steam hitting the frigid air.

but we did it! and it was def a unique experience.  we lasted about 30 minutes, 10 of which were spent in the entrance cave hiding from the wind, but i would def do it again, preferably on a day with less wind…

after that we headed back to the airport to begin our journey home.  after a 5 hour flight, hour in JFK, 3 hour drive home, and five minutes in my house, the Icelandic Stomache Bug of Death hit.  so i had a FANTASTIC weekend AND got to lose 8 lbs in 36 hours. Quite the week indeed. thanks a heap Icelandaire.

Iceland Fun Facts

1. If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes. Literally. it changes like 57 times a day. snowy, sunny, cloudy, rainy, windy, sleety. everything all in one day.

2. Iceland has no standing army. standing trees, yes. army, no.

3. Iceland has around 318,000 people.

4. A vast majority of street names have more than 16 letters. and a vast majority of those letters are consonants. this is the street our hotel was on.

5. Superjeeps- preferred form of transportation for tours.

6. Their specialty is lambs head stew. As in a whole lambs head IN a stew.

7. Even tho they use polar bears as their unofficial mascots, apparently there are not really any polar bears in Iceland.  It seems they swim 200 miles from Greenland and are promptly shot when they get to Iceland.  No standing army but pretty fierce game control.

Iceland: Day 2

Day 2: Shopping, Golden Circle, Dinner & Drinks

Shopping– What is a trip to a fantastical location without some serious souvenir shopping?  What to buy in Iceland? Wool hats and gloves, carvings, books, icelandic herb tea that may or may not have been what made me so hideously sick the second i walked in my house, and of course spa products from the blue lagoon. Where to shop? at The Viking of course, our favorite store with our favorite graffiti.  it also had a sign inside that cautioned people to think about their karma before shoplifting.

After a lovely breakfast and leisurely shopping we headed off on our adventure:

Driving the Golden Circle– apparently the #1 day trip in Iceland. And with the desolate drive and stunning scenery, it was a little like driving through a James Bond movie. Specifically the one where he goes to the ice hotel with Halle Berry.

We saw the three major sites on the circle:

#1 Pingvellar- the first site of the Viking Parliament in 930, and also the site of a huge lake.

#2 Geysir- home of many famous geysers.  Iceland has tons of natural hot springs and such everywhere we went smelled like sulfur. or fish. beware, it’s hot.

Little Geyser

Big Geyser

#3 Gullfoss waterfall- Awesome. We pulled up the site, marked by a small sign and gift shop/restaurant, and saw nothing.  heard nothing.  saw no crowds…. and then we walked around the building, down 100 steps, and saw it. tucked away behind a mountain was the most gorgeous waterfall. that we could almost walk out onto after walking down a 1/2 mile path of snow and ice (that was technically closed due to weather) with a rope for a guard rail.

clearly we are at a tourist sight

After all that excitement we settled down for some lunch. With Viking beer of course

We also saw the famous Icelandic horses. all over the sides of the road and we just went up and petted some, they were adorable.  We had a tentative plan to go horseback riding, but had to scrap it because it was in the 20*’s and we were afraid we would freeze to the horses….

Finally we made it home safely (the road was a little treacherous at times, and toward the end we were storm flee-ers, as opposed to storm chasers that is). So back at the Holt Hotel we asked our friendly concierge about a good dinner place and he directed us to a good local place:

I dare you try and pronounce that sucker. local cuisine on the menu? Cured Shark, Breast of Puffin, Filet of Horse, Dog, and Whale.  Our desire to eat weird local cuisine kind of abandoned us at this point and we mostly played it safe with mussels, soup, and fish.  All local though! and the mussells were the best i ever had, complete with our very own gravy boat of delicious lemon, white wine, garlic, butter broth.  I did kind of want to try the shark, but chickened out.  After that we hit the bar scene which was a little slow (Reykjavik doesn’t get hopping till about midnight apparently) but we did go to B5*, which i JUST saw on MTV’s The Challenge season finale last week! We also saw this on our walk home and got irrationally excited that we could finally sound out a word and figure it’s meaning.  ha.