Tuesday, June 20, 2017

It's About Time!

Oh my, I have been a lazy blogger lately.  Or maybe a busy blogger which is why I haven't been writing much.  My free time has been precious and I guess I have chosen to use it in ways other than writing.  I also don't feel like I have much to say, so... Ironically at the same time, this is a long blog.

When I last left you I had completed the Memorial Melt with disappointing results.  But we were getting ready for our long awaited vacation so I said to heck with it and resolved to have a great vacation regardless.  And we did, despite how terrible it has become to travel via air nowadays.  Both going and coming home we had to literally run across airports to make our connections due to delays. And I swear, the seats and aisles and legroom have gotten even smaller than I'd remembered.  Not pleasant at all.

We vacation in St. Martin, French West Indies and stayed at the Grand Case Beach Club in a studio with loft.  This is our favorite place to stay on the island and it's a treat to stay there. As this was our 25th wedding anniversary celebration/trip we decided to stay for 10 nights and waited until June because the Beach Club runs a special where you pay for 4 nights and get the 5th free, which means we had two free nights. Everything was as fabulous as we remembered.  We love sitting on the balcony of our room staring out at the blue, blue water and watching the little village of Grand Case wake up.  We also love watching it go back to sleep with the spectacular sunsets we are able to see.  It was so much fun to reconnect with the staff we have come to know over the years, not just there, but also out and about in town. Mr. Helen's best friend was there (we stayed at their house 3 years ago) and saved us literally hundreds of dollars by very generously taking us out on his boat several times - and the guys even had a fishing expedition one day while I went out shopping.

The weather was darn near perfect and some of the best we've had in several trips. We spent those 11 days sleeping, eating, drinking, resting, beaching, and generally spending time doing things that restored our minds and bodies.  I didn't do any planned exercise the entire time, not even taking walks on the beach.  But I did spend about 2 hours a day snorkeling.  I'm a terrible swimmer but a great floater/snorkeler.  Mr. Helen had to make me get out of the water many times because he was tired but didn't want me out by myself.

It was everything a vacation should be - and more! When I got back to work last week several people said they'd never seen me looking so relaxed, so I guess it served its purpose.

The newest version of the entrance sign.  I should do a collage of all the variations over the years.


A view of our resort (yes it's tiny) from one of the boat trips we went on.  We were in the middle building on the top floor.

I loved sitting on the balcony watching the village wake up.  There is a small local airport and when this plane comes in, you know it's close to 9:00.

I have tens of photos of the sunsets from this trip!



Here's a shot of the sunset looking at the bay instead of out over the ocean


Typical "beach bar" - fancier than in the USA. We sat on the beach all day but took a break and came up to have a nice lunch.

Looking out at our umbrella.  La Playa, Orient Bay

Mr. Helen's fishing expedition.  From our balcony, I could see the boat and watched them leave.


Fidget spinners are everywhere.  One night walking to dinner we saw these kids and they were quite excited to show us their new toys!

Some of the food - we ate in and out and enjoyed it all

An appetizer plate I made us one evening after we came off the beach.  I brought the napkins from home.

A typical "Lolo" plate.  Lolos are the locally owned, locally operated grill joints.  You pick your meat and sides.  This one has ribs with garlic butter, rice and peas, corn on the cob, and a johnny cake. Costs about $8 for all this food.

Mr. Helen's gorgeous Conch Cocktail appetizer, served in a Conch shell.  He looks forward to this each time we go.

Fabulous desserts.  First up is "The Rock" a flourless chocolate and pistachio cake served with house made ice cream.  This is our resort's specialty named for Grand Case Rock aka Creole Rock which is visible from the resort.


A raspberry souffle crepe.  I was full and still ate it all. My last dessert on this trip.


Short Rib appetizer served with salad, coleslaw and creole sauce. One of my favorites on this trip.
 I could have eaten just this and been thrilled!

Another favorite dish I had, believe it or not.  This was grilled vegetables that were marinated and served cold.  Delicious!

A toast to all the great food and a great vacation!

Finally, a shot of Mr. Helen and me - one of the only photos of us together.

... and a shot of me in the dress I wore to Le Cottage which is where we officially celebrated our anniversary on our last night there. I bought this dress a little small and it fit perfectly so maybe the work I did in May paid off a little anyway!

Another memorable trip in the books!
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I had about a week from the end of the Memorial Melt until we left for vacation and as the week went on, I felt more and more unhappy about how that program ended.  Finally, while we were in St. Martin, when we had wifi, I emailed the owner of the training facility and asked to meet with him when we got back.

I met up with him a week ago Monday and explained my feelings about how that program ended.  I told him I wasn't asking for anything other than for them to understand that not every person who walks in there is going to have typical results and that I felt brushed off when I turned out to be one of those people.

He was fairly shocked and then mortified, and apologized for how it was handled.  He also said he disagreed with my final numbers. Basically for me to have lost 3 pounds of muscle in that short time is nearly impossible - I would have had to be lying in a bed doing nothing for several months.  He felt strongly that the machine they used to measure me was off for some reason and that I had at least maintained body composition AND lost 3 lbs.  

Now, I'm going to tell you why this guy is so successful in our area, where there is a lot of competition for training services.  Like I said he was mortified and told me he wanted to do whatever it took for me to be happy.  At first, he offered me a full refund and then offered (in lieu of refund) to let him personally take me on for a month AT NO CHARGE. (He doesn't take on any new clients except professional athletes at this point in his career.) He ended up offering me 12 sessions (he would create the training, though I might work with other trainers), he would personally take my measurements, and wanted to set up a 2 week check-in to look at my food diary (he asked if I'd track food) and recheck measurements. He said if nothing had changed he would figure out where to adjust. He'd also  design a workout for me to use on my own whether or not I join. 

I took him up on that offer.  I really do want to look and feel better and healthier and honestly, I couldn't ask for more than that.  I'll let you know if he was right and the machine was wrong - that I was making progress.  I sure hope so!