Warp Speed

Ever since Memorial Day Weekend, I feel like I’ve been living in warp speed. There’s been a lot going on to say the least, but all good things, so I’m okay with that! Ian and I started apartment hunting that weekend and ended up loving the first place we looked at. We went back there shortly after our tour to put a hold on the unit we wanted and filled out some paper work to put things in motion to sign a lease. We move in tomorrow night and I cannot wait! I’ll have more on the new place in a later post.

The following week we had an open house at our current junior one-bedroom condo, which I own, in hopes to find a renter. Everything seemed to fall into place as we had a lease signed shortly after. Then our crazy month of travel started. First we drove up north to his brother’s wedding in the Thousand Islands, which was a great weekend. We made that trek in a ZipVan so we could bring a whole bunch of furniture back down to bring to our new place since we’re renting the current place out furnished. Needless to say, it’s been a little cramped since then.

Less than a week later I headed off to Montreal for five days for a work trip, came home for two days and just like that we were back on the road to Hoboken. My brother and his fiance live there so it’s always fun to visit. We also made it into Manhattan for a 30th birthday celebration for one of my good friends from grad school. They rented out a back bar at Bourbon Street Bar & Grille in Manhattan and we had a blast. She’s a big Harry Potter fan, and while I have to admit I’ve never read the books or seen the movies, this cake was still pretty amazing!

Harry Potter Cake

Harry Potter Cake

I’m about six weeks in to working with a running coach and am really feeling good about the progress I’m making. I’m running a local 5k tonight and hoping the 90+ degree temps don’t thwart my attempt at a PR. I feel like I have a great base built to lead into Marine Corps Marathon training – hard to believe it’s that time already!

During all of this craziness I also got an exciting job offer and I start my new gig on July 8. Learning about all things biotech for the last year and a half has been a great learning experience, but I’m really excited about this new opportunity. More to come on that!

After the big move tomorrow night (it’s hard to say big move and not giggle – we’re moving less than a mile from our current place!), we head to Portland, Oregon. I’m spending the first couple days at FitBloggin’13 – sooo excited! – and then we’re going to stay and check out the city for a couple days. It should be a great trip! It’s already been quite a month…maybe in July I’ll have a minute to rest!

Montreal

On Saturday I headed off to Montreal for a work trip and my second trip of the month. Two more to go, but both of the next two are fun ones, so I’m very excited for them! I was a little leery when we had to walk outside of the airport to board our plane – a very small one at that. There were 13 rows of seats and it made for a bit of a crowded and noisy ride. We arrived to beautiful weather in Montreal though and I managed to fall asleep for half of what was a pretty short flight.

littleplane After checking into my hotel I hustled over to the Convention Center for lunch a few hours of bag stuffing and other pre-conference prep. Then I got to explore the city in one of my favorite ways – on a long run. I set out from my hotel in search of the river enjoying the perfect temperature and low humidity. About 90 minutes later I still hadn’t found the river, but I had gotten to tour a good portion of the city. My Garmin battery died on me around mile 8 so I’m not sure exactly how far I ran, but it felt great to just run. I conveniently ended my run right next to a pizza/pasta place. Once I got past the menu being in French and thankfully realized the waiters did speak English too, I ordered a delicious pepperoni pizza. It was the best meal I’d have all week.

The conference went well and I was also happy that I was able to still find time for my workouts. It dramatically increases my mood when I’m on the road and still able to get my runs and workouts in. I did find the river on a later run. Turns out I just had to turn right instead of left! I also hit up the hotel gym one night for some time on the elliptical and strength training. It was a pretty decent hotel gym – especially for an older hotel. There were even individual TVs on all the cardio machines so I was able to watch some of the NBA finals while I got my cardio fix in.

montrealhotelgym

The food left a little to be desired for me on this trip. Granted I am a pretty picky eater and my food reviews should probably be taken with a grain of salt. I stayed in to eat at the hotel bar one night and was surprised to learn it’s a federal law in Canada that you can only be served hamburgers cooked well done. Does anyone know why this is the case? I decided to go with pizza again instead. Bad choice. It was thin crust, which I normally like, but this crust was cracker thin, burnt and crunchy. It kind of tasted like they’d made the pizza on a bunch of saltines. Oh well, the beer that I washed it down with tasted just fine!

pizzainmontreal

Next came the fancy dinner night. Not being the most adventurous eater, I tend to not really enjoy these kinds of places and oftentimes try to avoid them. Still I understand that most people do like them and sometimes I do need to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. This one was a bit too far out of my comfort zone though. A French speaker translated the menu for us and there was not a single thing that I liked. There was one pasta dish and although it included seafood, I figured I could just eat around what I didn’t like. To my surprise, the pasta dish came out and was completely black. Apparently the sauce was squid ink and it came loaded with every kind of seafood imaginable. I tried to eat as much as I could, but it was a bit hard to stomach. Thank goodness we ordered dessert or I would have gone home very hungry. The restaurant itself looked very cool. It was in what looked like an old, converted church.

apollorestaurant

Overall, it was a good trip, and while it’s a very cool city, Montreal is definitely not my favorite Canadian city.

Are you an adventurous eater while traveling or do you like to stick with what you know?