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Friday, February 28, 2014

Thursday Olympic Park and Park City, Utah


Thursday I was on my own again.  Well, sort of.  Thatcher was working from home.  And he actually works from home.  He even shuts himself off in a room and closes the door.  RUDE.  Well instead of annoying him I went on a city walking expedition.  





I set out for Lululemon about 1.5 miles away to use up a gift card.   I turned on my garmin, put in my ear buds and headed for the land of overpriced workout gear.  


I passed beautiful buildings, cute shops, and even a big fancy library with the cutest bike rack ;)




I found a dunkin donuts--- something I thought to be rare in these parts, and walked through Trolley Square... another cute mall/shopping center. 



While I shop online sometimes at Lululemon (aka go right to the clearance section or send thatcher a link of something I want), this was my first time in a store.  
My first reaction?  This place is BULLSHIT!   

I am sorry if you are one of these people, but how can I justify spending $60  dollars on a TANK TOP!  Or  $80 on a pair of skimpy shorts!!!! I love my running jacket and it wasn't cheap but that's a  jacket!  With lots of fabric, and zippers, and vents, and reflective stripes, its a technical piece of clothing.  But a tank top!?!?!  The longer I looked around the angrier I got.   I headed over to the clearance rack and saw this super cute wrap sweater.  It was still $100 marked down from $138  but I could justify the hundred much better an this lovely soft long sleeve long waisted sweater.  The same price as a pair of running tights.  



After my shopping "experience"  I headed to Whole Foods to satisfy my sweet tooth.  It was my birthday week damnit and I hadn't had any cake!   Then I saw these beauties for 2.99.  Cupcakes on sale?  How could I say no?



I stopped, grabbed a seat, and enjoyed a cupcake before my walk back.  And yes I carried the cupcakes all the way back to Thatcher's apartment with me.  dedication. 





After my 5.5 miles walk, lunch, shopping, and relaxing, I headed to the University of Utah for an interview to be considered for the Professional Master of Science and Technology Environmental Science track.   The interview went really well and I loved the school :)


Thatcher and I headed to the Olympic Park and Park City for dinner.  
We watched some bobsledders and skeleton racers, walked around the museum, and watched the skiiers before heading into Park City for dinner.










We decided on High West Distillery and Saloon after hearing about their famous burger.   It is an upscale whisky distllery with a lot of people and a long wait.  We waiting about an hour and a half for a table.  We finally sat down and ordered a few drinks.  Warm whisky lemonade for me, and a bison/beef burger.  




The drink was delicious - I was a little wierded out by the idea of warm lemonade but glad i stuck with my gut.  It was tasty.   But the burger did not blow me away, especially with an $18 price tag.  It wasn't bad.. but it was just okay for me.  


The service was also slow and it took forever for our food to come out (after a 1.5 hour wait).  While the vibe was fun and the building was cool, I can't recommend this place for his high price tag and "just ok" food with long wait times and not so great service.


Another fun filled day of vacation.  Early to bed to be up for our first ski day in Brighton Friday morning. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Wednesday Memory Grove Park Running in SLC


Wednesday in SLC, Utah-  Wednesday was a day of jet lag and being off on my own to explore the city.  Because my trip was moved around with the weather, I landed in SLC right in the middle of Thatcher's work week. 




 He left for work around 8:30am and I had until 6pm to entertain myself.  I decided today was a good day to get a long run in.   When my running mojo gets down, running in a new location always helps.  I was originally planning on a long run around 8 miles and had mapped it out on a route tracker.  However, with the change in schedule, I was missing my half marathon that weekend and wanted to stick to my marathon training schedule.  So I decided to run my 8 mile loop with some extra add ons here and there to make it a 13 miler. 




The weather was questionable for the day.  Rain/snow on the forecast but pretty uncertain on when.  By 11:30 I was bored and sick of waiting for the rain/snow to pass.  I decided to make some lunch, stretch, and head out for my run anyway.  



Lunch was a grilled cheese sandwich with peas and cauliflower.  I had limited supplies in Thatcher's fridge.  I strapped on my camel back with half water half gatorade, buckled up my running fanny back (so stylish), and headed out into the city with google maps and my Iphone as my guide.  And of course Garmin. 

 I had planned on running in Memory Grove Park (voted best urban run)  - the city runner's oasis.  A gorgeous run into the canyons right at the edge of the city.    Read this little tid bit on Running in Salt Lake City- Utah is the "trail running capital of the world" and this article mentions the wonderful Memory Grove Park  (I love reading the Rave Run page in RW Mags!)

Highlights from the RW Article :   
'Every time I go to Salt Lake City, I think this: If I couldn't live in Portland, Oregon, this is where I'd go. Here you get wide streets (really wide--132 feet, enough room to do a 180 with a team of oxen) that escort the eye to the snowcapped Wasatch Mountains, which seem to rocket up right out of the suburbs; Sam Weller's, one of the country's largest used-book shops; a half-dozen world-class, dry-powder ski resorts 40 minutes from downtown; and a pair of boffo brew pubs (Red Rock and Squatters) barely a block apart.

Plus enough running routes to keep your legs lively and your senses well-fed, both in town and all over the foothills that surround the city. "My first summer here I made a point not to run the same trail twice," says Travis Hildebrand, manager of the Salt Lake City Running Company. "And that was no problem at all." If the active outdoor life is a priority, what more could you want from a place?
From almost any downtown hotel, you're no more than a half-dozen blocks from Memory Grove/City Creek Canyon (see "Best Urban Run Bar None" ), and within a mile of Liberty Park (see "Other City Choice Cuts"). 

"Right behind the stunning state capitol, you can begin a run through Memory Grove/City Creek Canyon, one of the best city-to-nature running segues anywhere. A half-mile and 200 vertical feet after entering Memory Grove (a pleasant little piece of urban greenery), you'll pass through the City Creek Canyon gate, where you can run northeast on a smooth asphalt road, or drop down to a parallel, no-bikes-allowed, shady creekside singletrack. From the gate, it's all uphill--3.2 miles (and 700 more vertical feet) to the water-treatment plant, and another 2.8 miles (and another 700 vertical) to Rotary Park. Ah, but coming back down . . . .
"Run the whole Grove-to-Rotary route, and you can put in nearly 14 miles with more than 1,600 feet of elevation gain/loss," says Salt Lake City Track Club President Bert Ley of this immensely popular run. "Lots of us locals use the Canyon to 'tune-up' our downhill techniques for the St. George Marathon." 



About 5 minute into my run, it started blizzarding (no its not a word but it should be).  I mean-- the snow was coming down hard.  But I had already mentally prepared myself for this run so I was not going to let some (or a lot) or snow stop me.   I ran the 1.5 miles to Memory Grove Park (sneakers already soaked) where I could get "out" of the city and run up into the canyons.  Key word UP. 




Good thing the scenery was gorgeous because miles 1 to 4 were nothing but straight incline up a windying road into the canyons.   I am used to rolling hills, but I am not used to a steady constant incline fo' miles.

  So at this point I was jet lagged, with foregin elevation and lets not forget the altitude.   I was winded just walking up the stairs in Thatcher's apartment complex (I shall blame the altitude).  I decided to take this trifecta into consideration, run nice and slow, and take plenty of walk breaks when needed.  And boy were they needed. 




I was feeling pretty tired and beat down when older gentlemen approached me to chat- I noticed he was wearing a Boston marathon jacket. I asked about Boston and we started talking .... He told me the marathon this year will be his 37th Boston marathon. 

Over 130 marathons total- Talk about inspiration! 
What a privilege to meet such an amazing runner and Boston Marathoner! 

Read his story here!




After I left the park, I ran through the city and the "avenues"  where I ran by the children's hospital and saw this beautiful heart covered in snow.  Another smile and pick me up on this touch and go run.  




Finally, what went up must go back down.  I had an amazing view looking down at the foggy city.   And yes Jill you were right, the downhill was pretty tough.   At this point I was about 9-10 miles in and my hips and knees were aching.  Something that NEVER happens during a run.  Then I realized a lot of my run had been on cement sidewalks-- a surface my body is not used to running on.  Note to self*  more advil when I get home. 





I was quite happy to get back downtown and back to Thatcher's apartment.  I took two advil, hopped in an ice bath (another first) and took a quick shower before finishing some stretching and couch sitting.  






The plan for the afternoon was to head to Ikea and do a late dinner.  I knew my stomach wasn't into the idea of "late dinner" so I went out and get some supplies for a wine and cheese plate. 




Long story short we spent WAY too much time in Ikea, got a lot of great stuff for the apartment (coffee tables, night stands, shelves, etc) and grabbed a pizza on the way home.   The ice bath must have helped because I felt great walking around IKEA and walking around the city the next day.  

Another good day in Salt Lake City and a tough long run for the books!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Salt Lake City Day One- "Pretty Lady Katie Day"

Hello!  
Welcome to the Tuesday Salt Lake City recap. 
(and an overview of my favorite meal!) 

 So... as I was saying.  
 For those of you just tuning in, I was supposed to fly out on Valentines day to meet Thatcher in Salt Lake City.  Mother nature is cruel and a nasty storm came in  on Thursday canceling my flight out Friday morning.  Next available was Tuesday so I took it and flew out to Salt Lake City on my birthday for almost a week of food and fun.  


3 am wake up, 4:30 at the airport, tired airport selfies.  
my flight left at around 6:00, I had a layover in Dallas/Fort Worth, and landed in Salt Lake City at about 1:40 with the time change.
My attempt to look cute on my flight.  



Meanwhile, back in Connecticut, 
a little pup was wishing me a happy birthday.  
26 feels so good already!
Vacation helps..... 

When I landed, Thatcher was there to pick me up.   It was so nice to see him after over a month.  We got to Thatcher's apartment, had a delicious random lunch of french fries and thai food (so weird, his selection... but so good), and headed out to do some shopping.  

Nothing says happy birthday welcome to a new city like a birthday dress.  We went to the biggest Forever 21 I have ever seen where I found three adorable dress candidates.  
And I have to remind you it was my birthday, therefore, according to Thatcher... it was 
"Pretty Lady Katie Day"  
He was right this birthday ;) 



I got this red and black number for 20 bucks with a gold necklace for 6 bucks.  



While the front was cute..... I LOVED the back.  
I love dresses with different backs and for 20 bucks I was sold.  
A little short.. but you are only 26 once! 


Thatcher had made a dinner reservation at a wonderful little restaurant called The Copper Onion.  It was in downtown Salt Lake City so we walked there on crisp lovely Salt Lake City Night.  I loved being able to walk to dinner.
And for all of my CT readers... it was a lot like the River Tavern.   



I decided on a birthday gin/vodka martini with lillet and a lemon twist.  
 Refreshing and delicious.




If you zoom in you can see the yummy menu.   The menu had so many delicious options.  They are well known for their handmade pastas but I was not in a pasta mood.  



I love seeing my birthday printed..... had to snap the photo
 and no I did not order that drink ! 



We started with the fried goat cheese salad.  It doesn't look very special or decadent and I was a little let down when it came out... until I sunk my fork into that little hunk of heaven.   Crispy goat cheese salad- shepherds hill goat cheese, house fine herbs vinagrette .
  
This was AMAZING.  Crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside, over this bed of greens and a light dressing.   I was a happy happy girl.  


I decided to order the chicken-  note:  I NEVER order chicken at a restaurant  (usually bland) but this just sounded so so good- the sides sold me and the waitress confirmed that this was an excellent pick (I am that annoying person that asks the server for their opinions).  Cast Iron Mary's Chicken- Kale salad, anchovy crouton, currants, pine nuts, and roasted carrots.   Amazingly good.  


Thatcher ordered the Duck Cassoulet -- griddled breast, pulled confit, liver pate, zurson borlotti beans, roasted carrots, turnips and kale.  Equally as delicious. 

Thatcher and I had an amazing meal, but had no room for birthday dessert.  Maybe it was the insanely massive lunch of thai food and french fries.  Regardless, I was jetlagged and excited to crawl into a bed.  We walked home -which was the perfect way to end a great day and an amazing meal.   I was instantly asleep when I hit the sheets and dreamed of all of the delicious foods that were waiting for me in the city ;)  





Quick trip recap! Salt Lake City, Utah

Hello friends! 


Sorry for the blogging hiatus, but I am back from Salt Lake City, Utah! I had an amazing week and cannot wait to share it with you.  I took A L O T of pictures and did a lot of great things so I am going to break the trip into a post a day.  I figured I would give you a teaser of my trip until I have all of my pictures uploaded.  




Enjoy the preview!  Check back in for Tuesday's summary, pictures, and a fair amount of food pictures  :)  

Tuesday:   Flew into SLC with a layover in Dallas/Fort Worth.  Walked around the city, had amazing fries and thai for lunch, went shopping, birthday dinner at the Copper Onion.



Wednesday:  Thatcher worked all day, I did my 13 mile run around town.  Went grocery shopping and to Ikea to get some things for Thatcher's apartment.  Had delicious pizza from Settebellos. 



Thursday:  Thatcher worked from home, I walked around the city, did some more shopping, went to an interview at the University of Utah.  After work/interview we went to check out the Olympic Area, and Park City, had drinks at Collies sports bar and dinner at High West Distillery and Saloon.  



Friday:  First ski day!  Skied the day at Brighton and then we did some grocery shopping at Tony Caputos Gourmet Food Market and Deli and made dinner (homemade pasta!).  We then went to the piano bar Keys on Main.  



Saturday:  Tourist day!  Breakfast at Ruelas Cafe before heading to Antelope Island State Park where we saw Great Salt Lake, bison, the mountains, went down to the ranch, and drove around.  Stopped at our first In-N-Out Burger.  Relaxed for a bit before heading back out to tour the city more-  went to Temple Square  and then to a Mongolian Grill for dinner downtown. 




Sunday:  Ski Day number 2!  Off to Park City to ski the Canyons.  Spent the day skiing.  Came back and relaxed around the apartment. 



Monday:  3 mile run around town and breakfast with Thatcher before catching a 12:30 flight back home with a layover in Dallas/Fort Worth. 








Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Birthday! Salt Lake City Bound

Good morning world- a few things:

First- Yesterday I ran 5 mile Fartleks and hit 100 miles for 2014- not a lot compared to many runners but a lot for me so I will drink to that.

Secondly-
it's February 18th- IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!! 26 today and I cannot believe it. I have already been showered with love and gifts from my amazing friends and family.

Last big update- after Fridays cancelled flight i am fine- uh-lee on my to utah! I am currently writing this post at Bradley International Airport in Hartford, Connecticut waiting for my 6:40 flight to Dallas, Texas. Then another plane to Salt Lake City where Thatcher, skiing, and a lot of food awaits me.

Because I am nuerotic I was up at 3:00 and parking my car at 4:30 I as at the airport before five with plenty of time to get to my 6:40 flight and relax.

I did a little research last night and discovered you can basically bring any food from home into the plane (excluding liquid and gels). Airport food at Bradley airport stinks and I had a few things left in the fridge so I packed lunch and snacks for my travel (big money saver too!)

I packed a chicken Cesar wrap, strawberries, blackberries, cookies, and a banana - pretty pumped about this discovery. When I got here I caved and bought a chevron neck pillow and coconut water (5?!!). I slept awful and was up early so I am hoping these two tools help.


Can't wait to check in about SLC running and Utah!!!! Have a wonderful day friends :)