30 Days of Running – Failure…

Well, it started out with the best of intentions…

The last update was day 8 and it was a good 3 mile run.

Day 9 we were swamped with wedding guests and as they continued to pour in, I took time to myself and got in a decent 2.5 mile run.

wedding party

Day 10 was our wedding day, I still managed to get a short run in, but didn’t track the distance.  I would guess it was somewhere around a 2 mile run, but I was focused on a mission and didn’t track time or distance and stopped several times to investigate stick-piles.

Day 11, the day after the wedding, we had time scheduled with our photographer to do the “trash the dress” shots in the lake.  We casually hiked a mile or two to get some of the shots, but there was no running on this day.

trash the dress

After Day 10, there was no more running.  We endured marathon-level air travel to get to Costa Rica which left my wife and I exhausted.  We intended to do some trail running at the resort in Costa Rica, but what passed for “hiking trails” there were not what we expected.  Very short hikes to small vistas, certainly nothing that we could really run.

Then I spent most of our second night and third day there sick.  Really, it was 24 hours of abdominal interval training with 2-3 minutes of intense ab work at 1-hour intervals.  Good times.

36 hours awake and still going....kinda

The next two days after my, um, “Interval Training” were filled with tours.  These did included some hiking, but for the most part were nothing I would consider exercise.  I will get in to the disappointing nature of Adventure Tourism in another post.

After that, more travel back home, another couple of exhausted days of recovery and then catching up on work after being gone for two weeks.  30 Days of Running died…

Now I knew I was taking on something that would be difficult, if not impossible, to stick with through a wedding and honeymoon.  It was just something I did NOT want to keep putting off.  It was a now or never sort of decision.

So now the decision to make is: do I resurrect 30 Days of Running and start from scratch?  Was it annoying to see the daily running reports on my blog?  Should I find a better way to report the runs and stay accountable?  What do you guys think?

Heading to Costa Rica…

Nothing like the last minute…

 

Merelyn and I have been talking about what we want to do for our honeymoon for a long time.  We started out talking about Costa Rica but looked at many other options including Hawaii, Mexico and parts local.  We both have had so many things going on with work, finances, living situations, etc. that, for a while there, it looked like we weren’t going to get a honeymoon at all.

Finally, with much anxiety and great determination we decided to make it happen.

So, next month after our wedding in Lake Tahoe, will will be happily heading south to beautiful Costa Rica for a week at the Hilton Papagayo Hotel in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

Hilton Papagayo Hotel

from the Hilton Papagayo Hotel Website…

We are both very excited about this trip.  Neither of us has been to Costa Rica before and we are looking forward to getting to see as much of it as possible from our little bungalow on Bahia Culebra.  Looking over the activities offers everything from hiking the Arenal Volcano, Jungle Canopy Tours, Zip-lines, Kayaking, sailing and fishing, whitewater rafting and so much more.  We can’t wait to get there and explore and take TONS of photos.

Hilton Papagayo Hotel

from the Hilton Papagayo Hotel Website…

I’ve already found hints of pre-Columbian ruins near the hotel that I would love to check out.  The hotel has jogging and hiking trails and there are tons of activities to keep us busy even if we never left the property.

I’ve always been in love with the thought of going to Costa Rica, and nearly moved there several years ago.  I think this is an appropriate place to take my new bride to celebrate our new life together.  I would like to thank both of our parents for their help and support in pulling the wedding together, and financially helping us so we could be in a position to make this amazing honeymoon happen.

Hilton Papagayo Hotel

from the Hilton Papagayo Hotel Website…

If you’ve ever been to Costa Rica I would love to hear suggestions or ideas of things we should check out.  We will be on the Pacific side near Guanacaste.  And if you happen to know someone in the area, I love to meet locals who can get us off the beaten path and show us some of the real gems of the area.

South Lake Tahoe: Wedding Planning…

“We’re getting married here.”

These are the words my beautiful fiancé whispered in my ear as I held her in my arms on the grassy hill overlooking Regan Beach.  We have researched for months trying to find a location for our wedding ceremony.  Tahoe is a beautiful place, but finding just the right location for our wedding had proved difficult.  We had originally settled on a beach location just outside our reception venue, but once we physically visited the beach we were concerned about too many problems and the search continued.

Other decisions were easier and our trip last week was mainly to see if we had made the right decisions.  I think we did well.  We had found 968 Park Hotel online.  The hotel is a renovation of an older establishment.  The new owners had a vision of creating the first Eco-Hotel in South Lake Tahoe.  The new “Green” Hotel was created with the environment in mind.

“Since day one of the renovation every effort was made to reduce, re-use and recycle as much of the existing materials as possible.  Any materials and furnishings that could not be reused were either donated or recycled for other purposes and the new materials used in the renovation were specifically chosen for their sustainability.”

Lobby of the 968 Park Hotel

Lobby and Bar at 968 Park Hotel

We both fell in love with the concept of the hotel immediately.  But concept and practice are two different things.  We made reservations to stay at 968 Park Hotel on this trip to make sure the hotel would fit our needs to house our guests for the wedding.  There were a few minor issues, not much different than you’d find in any busy hotel (it was the weekend after the biggest snow of the year and they were packed).  We had rooms for us and our parents, and the general consensus was that the hotel would fit our needs nicely.  We had a great stay and we highly recommend them if you are in the area.  Even if you don’t stay there, stop in to the little bar for Happy Hour and just check the place out.

The other easy decision was the venue for the Rehearsal Dinner.  Almost every time we visited Lake Tahoe we would be in Tahoe City on the north side of the lake.  Our favorite spot on the north side is Rosie’s Cafe.  Rosie’s is fantastic and a perfect little local restaurant.  When we got engaged, they worked with me to set up a special dinner for Merelyn and they even brought us Champagne, on the house, and insisted on serving us cake for Merelyn’s birthday.  It’s a great little place with TONS of personality and we wanted to share it with our friends and family.  So we had breakfast at Rosie’s and met with the manager, Deanne, who cheerfully talked to us about how easy and fun it would be to have our rehearsal dinner there.  It’s the only part of our wedding that will not be in South Lake, but it’s well worth the drive.

We were also in town for the important business of settling on our reception venue.  More than anything else, this had us worried because these places book up FAST in Tahoe and we had chosen our venue without ever having visited them.  We were worried about the decor, the space, the food…

interior of Riva Room at Riva Grill

Interior at Riva Grill Event Room...

Riva Grill sits at Ski Run Marina right on the beach in South Lake Tahoe just behind the dock for the famous Tahoe Queen paddle boat.  We loved the beach front location and it’s only about a mile away from the hotel, an easy walk.  Sunday afternoon we stopped in with our parents in tow to have lunch and meet with the event coordinator there.  We all made sure to order something different off the menu so we could get a good picture of the quality of the food.  The food was amazing!  Their Conchiglie Pasta was fantastic and you can have it with grilled vegetables instead of chicken (for the vegetarians!)  They will also do a vegetarian Risotto (rich, creamy and delicious).  The food turned out to be incredibly good and once we got a look upstairs at the room reserved for our event, we were sold.  It’s a beautiful space, and there is tons of room.  The entire wall facing the lake is glass and the glass doors open to a narrow balcony overlooking the beach.  Their event coordinator, Amanda, was very friendly and helpful.

But we still needed a place for the ceremony.  Our contact at 968 Park Hotel, Cristina, listened to our dilemma one afternoon and recommended we look at Regan Beach.  We separated from our parents after lunch the next day and decided to swing by and take a look.  The beach looked ok, parking was sufficient, it wasn’t ideal…but better than the beach in front of Riva.  Then as we started to drive away we saw a small posting about a wedding.  The small hill above the beach, lined with trees and overlooking the lake, must be the spot.  We kicked below the icy snow and discovered grass and a small brick patio in the middle of the space.  With our imagination we shook off the cold of winter and could see the space as it would look in Ooctober…the trees full and green, maybe just starting to turn color…the grass and shrubs green and full and the beautiful blue lake in the background of it all.

view of Lake Tahoe from Regan Beach

We brought our parents back to show them and get their opinions. But as we stood there in the middle of the snow-covered knoll, we knew this was the place.  Merelyn reached out and grabbed my hands, and whispered, “We’re getting married here…” and I knew by the smile on her face that she was right.

We fell in love in Tahoe…we fell in love with Tahoe…and we can’t wait to start our lives together in Tahoe.

Getting closer to the Big Day…

Lake Tahoe from Heavenly

We’ve been working toward this trip for months now.  Countless emails, phone calls, spread sheets, and folders have gone in to setting up this trip.  It’s the Wedding Planning trip to Tahoe and it’s a big one!  We are finalizing decisions on the ceremony location, the reception dinner location and menu, the rehearsal dinner location and menu, the photographer, DJ and potentially making decisions on the florist and stylists.  We are also staying in the hotel we’ve chosen for our wedding party so we can decide if they will fit our needs.  We have so many things to consider and so many decisions to be made in a three-day time frame next week.  So much time and planning has gone in to this, and so much rides on this week’s trip, it feels like it should be stressful.

But it’s not stressful.

First off, it’s a trip to Tahoe.  I don’t care what you’re going there for, it’s really hard to feel stressed when you go to Tahoe.  It’s one of the most beautiful places on the planet and right now it’s covered in fresh powder.  Even though we are not going to have time for skiing or snowshoeing, I’m still looking forward to being in the mountains.

Merelyn and I on Mount Rose...

The day she said "Yes"...

Another thing that makes this trip exciting is that my parents and my soon-to-be-inlaws get to finally meet in person.  I’m very excited about the opportunity to bring our families together, even if for a short trip.  I really do love that we’ll all get a chance to enjoy Tahoe together and having them both there to help us with some of these important decisions is priceless.

The wedding isn’t until October, but time seems to be flying by and the Big Day will be here before we know it.  I know I can’t wait.  Even though it has made things more difficult to plan, I think Tahoe is the perfect place to have our wedding.  We began our romance in Tahoe, I proposed last year in Tahoe and, in October, we will be married in Tahoe.

Now we get to start thinking about where to have the Honeymoon!