These Are The Days

Smart ~ Writer ~ Mom

Month: July 2014

52 Weeks of Sisterhood: My Good Travelers

If there’s one thing our family loves to do it’s travel. We travel to New England, Texas and California to visit family. We take day trips to NYC and long weekend trips to nearby states. No, we don’t hesitate to load up the car with all our stuff and just GO.

My husband and I adore traveling. And our girls have inherited this love of travel, too. They have their own little suitcases and they are expert at wheeling them through airport terminals. Our latest adventure revolved around my oldest daughter, who is 10. My sister came to New Jersey to pick her up and bring her back to Florida for a few days. My sister was very complimentary of her niece – impressed with her confidence and ability to glide through the airport terminal. That made me smile. We try to teach our girls to be aware of their surroundings and to be prepared, especially when it comes to navigating a strange city.

Flash forward a few days and I’m on a plane with my three-year old and we’re headed to Florida. My husband chose to drive our car the twelve hours or so from Jersey to Orlando and would be meeting up with us later in the day. My little one did great on the plane. She’s potty-trained as of a few weeks ago and to my great relief, there were no accidents at all on the plane. Also no crying or fussing. She was AWESOME.


We had a great 4th of July with my sister and her partner. It was a quick visit and before we knew it we were heading out on the second day on our long drive home. We came prepared with a DVD player and some fun movies for them to watch. And we made sure to factor in some pit stops along the way.

First stop: Daytona Beach. Although, the weather forecast for the day showed many thunderstorms along the stretch of Route 95 we’d be driving, somehow we lucked out. Skies cleared just long enough for the girls to splash around in the warm ocean water. It was perfect. And then, not five minutes after we got back in the car? Rain. Like treacherous, car-shaking rain.

Next stop: Savannah. Rain stopped again – just for us 🙂  My husband found a beautiful park right in the middle of Savannah, Forsyth Park. It had a lovely fountain and gorgeous weeping willow trees. And of course, it had a playground for two restless monkeys children to stretch their limbs.

Final stop at 11:30pm: Raleigh, NC. Our pit stop for the night. It was a long day of traveling, but again, the girls did so well.

We were able to connect with some new friends we had met in NJ who had moved to NC a year ago. The husband and wife are from India, but have lived in the US for decades. Their two daughters are similar in age to our girls. It was a great reunion. We shared donuts, good conversation and of course, a “performance” by our kids. It was like no time had passed at all.


My girls and their fellow performers. Best friends 🙂


We stayed too long and were on the road later than we’d hoped to be. But it was worth it. The rest of the day was UNBELIEVABLY LONG. We detoured off 95 because of traffic or construction. So while we kept moving, we didn’t take the most direct route home.

Made it home around midnight and we were BEAT. Another great trip under our belt. Fun memories from Florida to Georgia to North Carolina to home.

As much as we love traveling, at the end of the day (literally, in this case), we all love coming home.


20 Miles Per Week Challenge


These sneakers got me through my second half-marathon about a year ago. Probably time to get some new ones, but I love them 🙂

So I follow this wonderfully inspirational woman on Facebook – she goes by “Sexy Mother Runner.”  Don’t you just love her handle?

Anyway, occasionally she issues health and fitness challenges and I’ve taken her up on a few. Last month was a grueling daily squat challenge. I surprised myself at how many I was able to do. Some days it was 75 squats, other days it was 150…I figured out early on to space them out throughout the day so I wasn’t doing 100 squats at once. Same effect, but less tension on my knees. Anyway, I did get some unsolicited compliments from my husband about my…um…back side…which made that task MORE THAN WORTH IT.

This month, she issued a challenge to log 20 miles per week. It can be biking, walking, running, hiking – whatever. I signed up for the challenge even though after the first week I realized I’d fell short of 20 miles.

Not making excuses. I could have / should have gotten out there more. We had to go to Florida to pick up my older daughter, who spent a few days with my sister. My little one and I flew while my husband made the drive from Jersey to Florida. It was long days in the airport and waiting for him to arrive. Lack of sleep and 100% humidity got the best of me. However, I did post two (short) runs in the blistering Florida heat. So here’s where I’m at currently:

TOTAL FOR FIRST WEEK OF JULY: About 14.7 miles. This is a combination of regular walking and dedicated running. I wore my FitBit and used the end of the day totals to compute my weekly mileage. Not bad for traveling, but still short of the goal. I probably could have run a greater distance in Florida if the humidity hadn’t been so bad. Oh well. Week one – done.

TOTAL FOR SECOND WEEK OF JULY: 22.43 miles. Woohoo! I’m inclined to think it’s a little higher than this, since there was one day (Monday) where I didn’t have my FitBit on. So for that day I only clocked the distance that I ran, which was four miles. I’m fairly certain my regular walking activities would have added at least another mile or so -but still. I’ll take the total. I’m pleased that I actually ran four miles on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Kind of slacked off on Friday and Saturday, but my FitBit tracked every movement and pushed me over the top.

So now it’s on to Week 3. I’ve done nothing yet today, but we’re headed to our local gym later on, so I’ll run then. We are lucky to have a great gym with a fabulous child play area and an outdoor pool. Goal for today? Four miles. Got to start the week off right 🙂


Getting to this gloriously tall tree was my goal on my super hot Florida run last week. Damn was it hot.

I used to love going to the car wash in our hometown when I was a kid. It was one long seemingly endless tunnel of suds and scrubbers and I thought it was AWESOME. It was a ride-through car wash and whenever we would go, our folks would tell us to hold up the roof so it wouldn’t cave in 🙂

The car wash was a weekly venture for us in the non-winter months, it seemed. A Saturday morning affair after cartoons and sugary cereal was consumed.

20140626_104802Last week I brought my girls to the local car wash. Side note: if there’s one thing this Boston girl has learned since living in New Jersey it’s that New Jerseyans take the cleanliness of their cars VERY SERIOUSLY. Who knew?

Anyway, there are some really fancy shmancy car wash places nearby. I chose the one closest to us. It was the kind where you get out of the car and watch it through a hallway of windows as it makes its way along the track. I have to admit I sort of miss being inside the car during the whole process. But my girls were fascinated to watch their car get the royal “bubble bath” treatment. They even waved to some of the attendants who were inside the car wash and noticed their eager faces pressed against the glass.

Yeah, I love the car wash. And I love Christina Aguilera’s rendition of the song. Can’t wait for my car to get dirty again. I’m gonna try to find a drive-thru car wash for our next visit. Hold up the roof!



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