old man wisdom

A year ago, I had my second ACL reconstruction (other knee, thank goodness) and I set out to make this time around a better experience than the first go of it.  First thing I did, fly my mom out to take care of me.  It was March in Virginia and she was over the winter so it wasn’t a hard sell. Next thing I did, buy a Fitbit, so I could focus on my progress each day vice what I couldn’t do (trickery works, ask any mother).  I bought an ice machine and gave myself a pep talk, you got this.

family photo

family photo

I attribute all of these things to a much speedier and happier recovery. I also lived at the beach and not in a condo downtown which was helpful when it came to getting out and about.  I taught Lily to walk off leash, I walked with my crutches and I made friends with every old man in the neighborhood.  Oh, and I found SO MANY AMAZING SEASHELLS because I was always looking down out of fear of falling over. Bonus. My friends all chipped in and helped, they made sure I still made it to sunsets and happy hours.

surround yourself with good people

surround yourself with good people

Over the course of the 6 months or so it took me to recover and to at least begin to jog again, I got to know these men pretty well.  Vietnam vets, retired Fire Chiefs, retired business men, world travelers, amazing surfers, all around good guys who loved coffee and Lily.

The other morning before a flight to the east coast I was out for a run.  It was later in the day and I ran into Barry.  He’s a retired Army Ranger, served multiple tours in Vietnam, has three ex-wives and two daughters.  He rides his beach cruiser every morning down the boardwalk and around the bay, he sits at Woody’s and drinks coffee with some locals who have similar routines.  He reads, he goes to the Open Bar and eats breakfast burritos.  He’s retired and has a great life. He has lived all over and seen a lot.  We have great conversations about life, family, travel and beer.  I know so much about him and I don’t even know his last name (note to self, ask soon).  So when I see him out walking (on his way to get a breakfast burrito) I stop to say hi.  We talk for a while and as I am about to take off, I tell him he really has a great life.  He replies with, “Life’s a journey kid and it’s worth every second of it.”

sunset cliffs

sunset cliffs

This makes me smile for the rest of my run and I make a mental note, he’s right, must ensure I’m grateful for this life I have.

~ happily,

kim

the way life should be

Maine.

I am obsessed with Maine.  It started about two years ago, I went to Portland for work.

Woolwich, ME

Woolwich, ME

It was December and I drove from Boston in a blizzard and I still loved it.  I walked to my first meeting, in what I thought was a winter coat, a cream wool coat from Banana Republic.  I stopped at the light waiting to cross and a car drove by, through a puddle and my beautiful cream, “winter”, coat was now grey and soaking wet. I learned a valuable lesson that day.  Don’t wear white in the winter, it has nothing to do with fashion “rules”.

I realize I am not really selling you on Maine yet.  After my meeting, I walked down the street to find a local coffee shop to work, I stumbled into a fabulous little spot Bard Coffee. I go there at least once every time I’m in Portland. Downtown Portland is incredible, it’s walkable and cute, tons of restaurants and shops and just down the hill is the Port, which has some tourist trap restaurants and then it has J’s Oysters. J’s is where locals drink beer at noon on Tuesday.  Everyone knows each other and an outta towner in business attire stands out like a sore thumb.  Which really just means that they know to help you find a seat and make lunch recommendations. I love it there.

trail running

trail running

Recently, I had a craving for oysters and Sav Blanc so I checked out Eventide. I made friends with a woman who moved there from Southern California, her husband was a local and had just accepted a dare to eat a six year old oyster.  It was the largest oyster I had ever seen and quite possibly one of the more disgusting human feats.  What a fun group! Overtime I’ve made friends in Maine and even found myself at Sugarloaf last January and am going again next January. Also, there’s a great running trail along Casco Bay – little rolling hills and great site seeing, it’s just perfect.

I feel like Southern Maine and Southern California have a lot in common.  Not the weather.  The weather is not the same, at all, not even close. But the food, the lifestyle, the mountains, there’s great running and beaches. Old Orchard Beach is 7 miles of beach! There’s even surfing, I haven’t done it yet.  I’m terrified as the best surfing is in the winter, but it’s on the to-do list. I even toy with the idea of moving there.  Not forever, San Diego is my forever home but just for a little while so I can have a new adventure.  See new places.  I mean I need to go see the stars in the Acadia National Park!

I may have to create a Top 10 To-Do list for Maine.

~ happily,

kim

pura vida

surf, sunset, cocktails at the El Bee.

surf, sunset, cocktails.

It was a short trip, benefit of traveling constantly for work – flying on miles can justify ashort trip to Central America for a friend’s wedding.  I feel as if I dipped my toe in the water, just enough to know, I want to come back here.  We stayed at an all inclusive for the wedding, which to me is like a vacation prison but I understand the appeal for a wedding and for families. Although I did manage to meet the one single guy at the resort, a United Pilot, named Craig, super cute but lives in New Jersey.  Craig, call me, let’s get fish tacos next time you fly to San Diego.

Luckily, I had my birthday twinsie, Stacey, there and we took a day to explore. Stacey is a gypsy at heart as well and I love her. I came home and when people asked about the trip, I described it as my neighborhood, Pacific Beach on steroids. The people were friendly and chill, the food was awesome, the beaches lovely and the culture was a total surf town.  However, day we had to surf was not very good, in fact, the winds were so strong that my surfboard blew out of the water after I jumped off it and I had to catch it in the air to keep from knocking myself out.  It was intense but we had so much fun. First of all, we surfed in bikinis, that does not happen in San Diego, the waters are just too cold. Also, we made friends with a guy from Boston, Nick, and I learned you can surf in Boston – MIND BLOWN.  Will have to find that spot.

After being offered a sunset ride on a pony by not one local but two, we found a little place in Tamarindo called The El Bee and had sunset drinks.  Oh and also, just to be clear, there were TWO locals on ONE pony.  I laughed heartily and then instantly felt awful for the pony who looked miserable with two drunk dudes riding on her back trying to pick up women. The El Bee is a fantastic place with great drinks, hammocks, swings, bean bags, live music and it’s all right there on the beach. I never wanted to leave.

We're not actually a family...

We’re not actually a family…

I didn’t think I would want to go play with monkeys at one of the local Canopy’s but everyone said it was amazing and I had to do it. I mean I do love monkeys, slightly terrified of them but not one to miss out on something I tagged along.  Although when he offered to hold the snakes, I not only declined I went to the other end of the farm.  He had just brought two back from the woods that had ESCAPED.  He dropped them back through holes into their cages. I kept thinking this system is not very secure. I hate snakes. I hate snakes more than Samuel Jackson.  Actually, I still blame Harrison Ford for my fear of snakes.  Why did they have to have that snake pit scene.  I mean how many times did I wake up in the middle of the night only to step down into that pit.

Totally off track…what did I learn in Costa Rica? Well I knew when I headed down there that I was already planning on going in August for another Surf Camp.  But being there in vacation prison reminded me that I don’t want my vacations scripted, or an agenda or schedule or whatever you want to call it.  I want to be free, to explore, to learn what the locals do or eat and see it all. I want to really experience the place that I am in.  So Costa Rica I will be back, but it will be on my terms, so I can experience as you say, the pure vida.

~ happily,

kim

Here I go again…

Third times a charm, right?  People say that, I think… I’ve tried this blogging thing a few times now.  The first one was for a failed business, an ironic one that I won’t get into now, my next was an attempt to be a story teller, lacked focus, I think…this one is about the one thing I’ve always been passionate about: seeing the world, never sitting still, taking full advantage of every opportunity.

Keep moving.  Stillness doesn’t look good on you, like “hangry” on a girl with low blood sugar. Give that girl a snickers and me a plane ticket.

FullSizeRender (1)

Two weeks ago I was in Austin, TX to run my 16th marathon with my lovely friend, Lori.  We’re shopping, drinking and talking about her new business, heylucyjane.  There must have been a hundred adorable shops there, my favorite this place called The Gypsy Wagon, that had an old beach cruiser in the window and this lovely sign on the wall.  I just thought to myself I love this place…moving on.IMG_4217

Fast forward to an incredibly hard run Tuesday morning and it hit me. I should write a kick-ass travel blog.  What are things that have been constant – my entire life?  Well when I was a kid i wanted to be like Indiana Jones or work for National Geographic, every decision I’ve made since then has been based on my ability to travel and not be tied to a desk.  To see things.  What?  Well anything and everything of course.

~ happily,

kim