Back In Town

Tonight is New Year’s Eve, and I wish I could say I’m going into it ready to enjoy myself, but I’m experiencing lots of hesitation about my plans for the evening. I don’t have super-high expectations of a special New Year’s Eve; I learned long ago not to hope for “that magical night”. But my plans involve dinner at Bricco Trattoria then celebrating at Rooftop120. I’m going to be with my siblings and some of my oldest friends. I need to be excited! But New Year’s Eve out after trips to NYC and Florida, which happened to fall around the food-and-drink-heavy Christmas season, just has me thinking about calories. And the poor workout I will have the next day if I feel even the slightest bit hungover.

I got in almost all of the restaurant trips I wanted to this vacation. I already mentioned Chick-fil-A and Duffy’s. I also got to have a healthy plant-based lunch at Christopher’s Kitchen, got my Quizno’s fix in the airport during the trip home, had a special dinner at Seasons 52 with my family, Kat, and her sister, and got to take my sister and good friend Greg to the Rum Bar for some tropical beverages. And though TooJay’s was out of black and white cookies on Christmas Day, I got one later!

FL Chopped Salad: kale & romaine, sunflower sprouts, garbanzo beans & lentils, apple, tomato, cranberries, herbs, avocado, pumpkin seeds, house vinaigrette

Fig & Honey Trio: vegetable flax crackers, macadamia ricotta, sliced apple, baby arugula, turkish figs, honey & chili flakes

Me and my awesome grandpa George at Seasons 52!

Aren’t my grandparents cute?

Mojitooooo on the last night of vacation.

That cookie was way too tiny.

My workouts varied, but I snuck in at least some activity each day. I used four out of the five Accelerate Your Fitness spin classes I purchased, and while I didn’t feel 100% for every single one, I always left extremely sweaty and with an elevated mood. Thank you, endorphins. I’m very grateful I had the Tone It Up DVD and a pair of dumbbells for days I didn’t make it to spin. I actually had a chance to use the fifth spin class on Sunday morning, but cancelled my reservation after I ended up not getting to bed until after 1AM the night before. I slept until almost 11AM the next morning and could’ve slept later if I hadn’t forced myself to get out of bed because I knew sleeping any longer was going to make me feel very lazy. Of course it’s hard for me to focus on the days I DID go to spin – instead I’m thinking about the days I didn’t and did “lighter” workouts instead. But I keep trying to actively give myself credit for working out on vacation at all.

I had the chance to try shark, freshly caught from the Florida waters and paired with a Florida IPAa truly local lunch. I also got to try kayaking and spotted a couple of huge starfish (after Kat’s dad pointed them out, of course).

Step 1: Catch shark, place on grill!

Step 2: Add olive oil and spices.

Step 3: Cook very slowly!

And of course this epic moment happened…matching Penelope in her Lilly Pulitzer swimsuit and my tunic in the same print. Oh yaaaaas.

The only reason she’s tolerating the pic is because that red solo cup is filled with Cheerio’s.

I tried a few new restaurants too, including an adorable French bistro-style spot for dinner, which had 1/5 the wait of other restaurants we’d considered going to.

Volga salad with smoked salmon, capers, poached egg.

Cheese plate!

I was able to spend more time with Greg than I have in the last several months, which is always a treat. I’m going to see him tonight for NYE too!

We are a watermelon.

One thing I never have done when visiting Florida is go out. I never really had anyone to do that with. This time I had Hannah, Kat, and Helen. I went out a couple of nights and had an amazing time dancing, especially at a very Rooftop120-esque place called Dirty Martini.

Honey Cherry Manhattan: Jack Daniels Honey, M&R Vermouth, cherries


Ladies night at Cabo Flats!

Ladies night means sister night!

Our last night was hard for me because we went out for Mexican food. I tend to avoid going out for Mexican because I feel like no matter how much I eat, be it a normal amount or too much, I feel SO full. This time was no different. I didn’t finish my entrée (I ordered something healthy because I knew I’d want chips and salsa) but still left stuffed. I ate my grandpa’s fried plantains as well as my own, and as I sat at the table waiting for the waiter to clear away the chips and salsa, I just kept eating them.

I went home and crawled into bed in an effort to lay down flat and sleep, waiting for the full feeling to go away. But it didn’t for quite awhile and I felt it each time I woke up throughout the night – every couple of hours. The next morning, with a stressed-out stomach in tow, I went to spin class and felt weak the whole time. That made me feel like I’d been abusing my body with drinks and “bad food” all week, and I even found myself tearing up in the dark room with the music pumping and my feet spinning as fast as they could go.

I almost skipped my airport Quizno’s later that day (yesterday) and just didn’t want to eat all day, but I let myself have it because it was my only chance. I’m glad I did. I just wish I had a few more days of being back home to be in my normal routine before NYE shenanigans this evening. But I WANT to go out tonight. I WANT to be with my friends and wear a black dress and high heels and curly hair and hold a glass of Prosecco at midnight and feel fabulous. I want to dance at Rooftop and take lots of silly pictures and eat baby cabbages at dinner (obviously).

Me and the Pirate Blackbeard.

So I will, but I’m not exactly looking forward to how I’m going to feel mentally (and physically?) on New Year’s Day. I know that going out doesn’t HAVE to involve drinking more than a few drinks and it doesn’t have to involve late night snacking. But what if, in the moment, I want it to? What if I want another cocktail, or an order of nachos at 1AM? Is that really so bad? I know it’s not nearly as bad as my mind is telling me it is, that’s for sure. I just hate this obligation I feel to hate myself after I have a good time.

Do you have any NYE plans?

Have you ever had one of those “magical” New Year’s Eve nights?

As the holiday season winds down, how do you feel?

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