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Macy’s Theatre of Lights – Old Sacramento

On Sunday my mom and I were supposed to drive up to Sacramento, pick up my niece, and then head to Old Sacramento watch the Macy’s Theatre of Lights.  Plans changed and my niece didn’t want to go anymore, so my mom and I decided to go anyways (adults need fun, too!)

It’s a free program that basically tells the poem of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, with Santa, Jack Frost (why is he always so naughty), him cancelling Christmas (instead wanting Frostmas) and the cheers of the people bringing Christmas back.  They shut down a section of Old Sac, so only pedestrians are allowed, and use the square as an interactive storyland.   The characters are dressed as pioneers, as they would have been in the 1850’s and they light up the entire square, which is pretty awesome.  Nearby, they are also running the Polar Express train ride, so quite a few families showed up in pj’s and robes!  It runs from around Thanksgiving to NYE and is fun for the whole family! The show itself lasts only about 20 minutes, but there is plenty to do in the area, restaurants, local, family-owned shops, etc.

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They lit the Christmas tree as soon as the sun started getting lazy.

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My mom and I were trying for a solid 10 minutes trying to figure out what that second word could have been… and also why someone would begin the House name with “what”

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It still looked light out, but it was already almost completely dark outside! Great job, night filter on my iPhone!

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Santa explaining that Jack is always on the naughty list (felt bad for a little boy near us named Jack – he was SO upset he was on the naughty list since “I’m a very good booooyyyy!”)

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During the story time, they lit up most of the buildings in this square – it was pretty neat watching the faces of people go back and forth between the two buildings. Jack Frost was on a balcony on one side of the street and Santa was on this balcony across the street.

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One final view of the completely lit up tree (it was also interactive in the story). When Jack Frost turned Christmas into Frostmas, all the colors disappeared and it looked like the tree was covered in white and blue ice. Don’t worry though, our cheers brought back the candy canes and sugar plums!

Have a wonderful Christmahanakwanzika!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hot Chocolate 15k/5k Giveaway

Last year I was a Hot Chocolate race ambassador for the San Francisco race, and I just found out I’ve been chosen again.  The catch? The race is in only a month, so we’re going to be moving fast!!

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Look how awesome the jackets are this year!!

Sad story about the jacket you get. The one from last year was super awesome. I decided to wear it pre-race for the Rock n Roll San Francisco 1/2 in April because it was FREEZING.  I knew it would be fine because my friend/coworker was going to meet me at the end of her street (along the race route) and grab it from me at like mile 3.  Turns out she just turned her alarm off and never got up, so she didn’t show up. I had to toss my hoodie and I was SOOOOOO sad.

The race this year takes place on Sunday, January 11th, still starts and finishes in Golden Gate Park, runs along the water (cross your fingers for beautiful weather like last year!) and if you register for the 15k, you get a medal this year!  If you haven’t already registered, but want to do the race, make sure to use the code “SFBlogger8” and you’ll get a free hat!

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And because I think you’re awesome, you have the chance to win a race entry to your choice of either the 5k or the 15k! The winner will get to choose from any race that there is currently a date for (so that means no 2015 Denver, Columbus, Chicago, St. Louis or Phoenix).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please make sure you leave a separate comment for each additional entry so that all your entries are counted.  The giveaway will be open until Monday, December 22nd at 8pm PST.  The winner will be randomly selected and announced on Tuesday, December 23rd (Merry Christmas to you!)

And don’t forget SF racers – if you’re not a winner, you can still register for the SF race with the code SFBlogger8 to snag your free hat to go along with your awesome hoodie!

 

**Disclaimer: As a Hot Chocolate Blog Ambassador, I will be provided a free race entry to the San Francisco race.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Myanmar travels and pagodas

Unfortunately, since my phone died upon returning to San Francisco, I lost all of my photos from my trip 🙁 A few people that I was traveling with for the work trip graciously shared some photos with me, so I have a few to share!

Myanmar was a fantastic experience. Since the country has been closed to outsiders for so long, we were all unsure what it would be like. Since we were only traveling to the capital, Yangon, and the surrounding area, we were able to see all of the construction that is now happening, as they gear themselves up to be a more modern society. While there was lots of construction, it was also genuinely nice to see a slower pace of life. Living a simple life, with less “things” to worry about was so refreshing.

We were visiting a few international schools in and around the city, and had a wonderful guide, Thida, to translate, give us a tour while we were on the bus (and trust me, everyone was staring. It’s hard to disguise a gigantic coach bus holding 28 Americans on the streets of Yangon with the bicycles, pushcarts and open-faced smaller busses).  I would like to give mad props to our bus driver – I would have been having an anxiety attack the ENTIRE time.  Since it’s still developing, the streets aren’t great, are super narrow at some points, and when we traveled to one of the schools, we had to go through a more rural neighborhood to get to a major road, and there was negative room for error on his part, trying to turn down these dirt/clay roads.  We drove by people just going about their daily lives, small metal shacks that were fix-it shops or repair shops, some that doubled as homes and some as cafes.  One of the things I thought was the coolest? There were always people out and about at all times of the day and night.  There were these pop-up “restaurants” where they’d set up a burner and cook food right there on the street, and for furniture, they had those little plastic kids table and chairs that we used to sit in and use when we were little (do you remember the ones that had the cartoon character stickers on the back?)

Overall, the city was great, the people were so incredibly nice and the food was good (though I probably still wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between Burmese curry and Thai curry).  Now onto the photos!

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Shwedagon Pagoda

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Nike Womens 1/2 marathon 2014 recap

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I ran the race in 2011 as my second 1/2 marathon and vowed to never do it again. Then my cousin really wanted that to be her first 1/2 marathon in 2013, so I ran it with her… and then vowed to never do it again.  The disorganization of a race put on by such a large, global company amazed me. It was entirely too crowded, there was almost no communication before or after the race, it was hard to find information online, the race itself was ridiculously crowded and never started on time, the finish area was entirely too crowded (you just ran 13.1 or 26.2 miles and then you’re at an immediate dead stop for at least 10 minutes trying to push through the crowd to get your food, necklace, photo or gear bag), and both years it took almost 2 hours to get on the shuttle back to Union Square (that you paid for).   But when I was asked to run the race for Nuun (they are the hydration sponsor) this year, I couldn’t say no!

I went to the expo on Thursday as soon as my plane landed at SFO and LOVE LOVE LOVE Thursday NWM expo! It’s not crowded at all, since the people flying in haven’t arrived yet. Packet pickup was a breeze (no line!) and I was able to get first dibs on any samples that were there (and they were good!).  I went and picked up my car afterwards and made the long drive home, arriving around 9:30pm (after traveling for almost 24 hours).

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I really wasn’t sure how this race was going to go.  Actually, I was quite sure it was going to be really bad. I had just gotten back from 3 weeks in SE Asia just 2 days prior, I had been having tummy issues (more on that in another post) since the day I left India, severe jetlag was still in full effect and I had spent over an hour the night before the race attempting to find a parking spot near my friends apartment in the Mission (where I was spending the night).  To add to that, my left knee had started to throb 2 days before I left India.  I finally fell asleep about 11:30pm, woke up at 1:50am, fell back asleep at almost 3am and woke up at 440am. Awesome nights rest, right? The night before that (what some say is the most important night of sleep before a race), I had only gotten about 3 hours of sleep. I was doomed!

They changed the course this year (and eliminated the full marathon) – two things I was excited to experience. Less crowding and a whole new view of the city? Yes please. We got dropped off at the start (thanks Alvaro!), didn’t check any bags (though it looked WAY easier, more organized and less crowded than years passed), walked to our corral and got in and out of the portapotties in record time – SCORE!  Since we were in one of the last corrals, it took about an hour for us to finally cross the start line (something I really wish they’d work on). I was running the race with a friend who was running her first 1/2 marathon (longest run 9 miles), so both were excited and nervous at the same time. (more…)

PR Soles review

After a long, hard run or race, what’s the first thing you want to do? Take off your shoes and let them breathe! Followed by a foot massage (wouldn’t that be nice!?) – now you don’t have to nag at people to rub on your sweaty, smelly, hot feet (unless they’re into that sort of thing. No judgement zone here haha)!

I usually throw on a pair of flip flops after a race, and while it feels good, they aren’t super supportive in the arches, so it doesn’t do much of anything besides give them some breathing room. When I was looking on Gone for a Run’s website, I noticed they had some sandals for runners called PR Soles, but wasn’t sure how I felt about them since they looked a little bit bulky (I have baby-sized feet).  They’re dubbed a “recovery sandals for runners,” so I was intrigued.

PR Soles

I chose the Periwinkle/Teal option in the XS and as soon as they arrived, I slipped my poots into them. They are super cushioned, so it took a few seconds to get used to them, but hot dang they felt good! If you look closely, the footbed is bumpy (thanks to Acupoint soles) so it basically feels like a bunch of tiny hands massaging your feet as you walk – SCORE!

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I’ve worn them around the house after work (depending on the shoes I wear to work that day, sometimes my feet are literally DEAD when I get home), and they really help. I’ve also paired them with socks for ultimate sex appeal when I’ve run errands. If you’re single and ready to mingle, holler at this girl! hahaha (for bonus points, pair them with your favorite Injinji toe socks!)

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Chiang Mai: Temples, Thai Massages and Street Markets

I’ve been back from SE Asia for a little over a month now and haven’t been able to write a recap of the trip. About 20 minutes after landing back in San Francisco, my loaner phone (that had all my pictures from the trip since I’m currently without a camera), died. Like, no resurrecting, won’t power on AT ALL, kind of died. I lost all of my photos from the trip. Luckily I had made a Facebook album during my first couple days in Chiang Mai, so I had those, but the rest of my 2.5 weeks I was there, gone.

I went on this trip for work, but wanted to throw in a few vacation days in the beginning, since I had never been to Asia before. I had heard good things about Chiang Mai, Thailand, so I decided to go there for a few days before meeting the group to start work, and get some rest and relaxation in.

I stayed in a little hotel off of one of the main roads, and for as cheap as it was, had everything I needed.  The Nimman Mai? Design Hotel was in a perfect location for restaurants and shopping, and was extremely walkable.  The staff was very nice and helpful, which proved very helpful when I needed to get directions (they wrote it down in Thai for me, to show the Songthaew driver).  It was extremely reasonably priced (like less than a Motel 6 in the US), had a super comfortable bed, free bottled water (important!), cheap laundry services and a great complimentary continental breakfast every morning).

I was able to explore the city, the old city (walled city), go up the mountain to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, and hang out with some elephants.  Here are some of my adventures!

The first full day I took a songthaew up the mountain to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. It was amazing. I knew there were temples everywhere in Chiang Mai (and in SE Asia in general), but this one was phenomenal!

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I mustache you some questions – blogger survey!

Hello readers!

I’ve been slacking. Like legit, the struggle is real, what am I doing with my life kind of slacking. For that I apologize. I’m going to try to get better at drafting posts for those weeks (yep, weeks) where I just don’t have the time to blog regularly.  I wish a million times over that I could read or do things while in moving vehicles, because that would give me 2 more hours of productive time per day when I’m commuting!
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No one tagged me in this survey, but I’ve been seeing it make the rounds and I realllllyy wanted to do it!

Four names people call me other than my real name:

1. Bean

2. Shenna

3. Shoshana

4. sheenabean


Four jobs I’ve had:
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Ragnar Relay Napa Valley 2014 Race Recap

I can’t believe another year of Ragnar is over. It’s been a  crazy busy year of trying to herd all of the local ambassadors, make sure our events are covered, postcards are handed out and info sessions are given in the Bay Area. The race sold out (yay!) earlier than last year, so that was a pretty awesome feeling, knowing we had helped with that.

Then I broke my toe less than a month before Ragnar. I was super worried about it healing in time and also having zero runs under my belt for 5 weeks before the race.  I’m happy to say that my toe didn’t fall off, but was NOT happy during the weekend.

We woke up super early on Friday morning to head to Golden Gate Park to meet with the rest of the team.  While at the start area in Marx Meadows, I was eaten alive by who knows what. Seriously though, they bit me through my compression socks. WHAT THE WHAT.  I had welts all over both legs and they were super itchy. That was at 7:30am and as runner #12, I still had about 10 hours before my first leg.  By 10am, the two bites on my left calf (same side as my broken toe) were painfully swollen. It looked like someone cut a baseball in half and then attached it to the side of my calf. It was rock hard and felt like one of the deepest bruises I’ve ever had. Just walking on it was painful.

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it was so early that everything was still illuminated!

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This was my ankle 1.5 days AFTER the race. You can imagine how swollen it was DURING the race!

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