Anyway, I had an amazing time at the cabin! Beautiful weather, beautiful people, lots of water, and (because it's Minnesota) puh-lenty of mosquitoes. My friend's cabin is just outside of Mankato, in Southern Minnesota. We took off for the cabin a little after noon on the Fourth of July and got there in the early afternoon. We pitched our tent (the cabin is nice, but doesn't necessarily have enough room to comfortably house thirteen people), and then hit the lake post-haste!
I couldn't even give you a rundown of each day if I tried--they all kind of bled together. But I can tell you that a typical day looked like this: wake up, run (some days), eat breakfast, change into swimsuit, put on sunscreen, jump in lake, sunbathe, hop on the pontoon for a spin, take a nap in the hammock, eat lunch, zip around behind Pete on the jet ski, go for a swim, sunbathe, eat dinner, grab some drinks, hop on the pontoon for a spin, jump in the lake, change into pants, apply bug repellent, grab some drinks, watch bonfire and fireworks, clean up, crash in tent.
Oh, it was so nice to get some R&R. Not a whole lot of sleep, though. I'm a light sleeper, and the lake is HOPPING well into the morning.
I brought ear plugs, but they can only block so much. And the household is full of early risers. I was able to supplement my nights with a few 20-minute naps I was able to grab in the hammock, but Pete and I were both completely beat by Sunday. We've been trying to catch up on sleep since we came back, which doesn't work well because we're both night owls and our employers compel us to appear at our respective offices in the morning (what gives?).
If you're at all familiar with this blog, you're probably waiting for mention of my nutrition and exercise during the trip. That's all I seem to talk about these days anyway. :) Well, I think I did OK. Considering.
See, Abbie and I went into this weekend with a solid plan: pack running shoes and workout clothes, prepare healthy options ahead of time and bring three coolers along (some of the cooler space was devoted to booze because, um, we're twenty-somethings). Not all of the food got packed, in the absolute rush of Wednesday morning. Actually, Pete ended up packing the coolers and he did a pretty damn good job based on the limited information I gave him.
What made it:
- Black bean couscous salad
- Black bean burgers
- English muffins
- Nonfat cream cheese
- Skinnygirl coconut vodka
- Diet 7up (as a mixer)
- Strawberries, white chocolate, and sprinkles (for making this festive dessert)
- Peaches (in all fairness, we probably didn't have any left.)
- Greek yogurt (in all fairness, I think I changed my mind about bringing it last-second. I think.)
- Bran muffins (Dude. Seriously, Pete. Ha! Just kidding.)
We knew from years past that there would be a lot of meat and a lot of eggs. We also knew that there would be a lot of beer. The plan was to eat the meat, supplement unhealthy sides with the couscous. And, like I said, I did OK. I skipped breakfast sandwiches and had an English muffin with cream cheese, I passed on any and all bacon, we avoided the burgers (infused with cheese and bacon) and ate our black bean burgers on a bun, I had bananas and grapes and cherries for some snacks, I opted for vodka and diet 7up instead of pina coladas, I ate pulled pork without the bun, and (my pinnacle of success) I managed to make a salad out of walking tacos--it was pure ice burg lettuce, but a much healthier base than a bag of Fritos.
But I couldn't avoid the "Welcome" daiquiris. And I had chips with the garlic dip. And a waffle (with 2 tbsp cool whip and strawberries instead of syrup, so I did save myself some calories). My darkest moment was when the rest of my fruit was claimed for blended drinks: chopped up and frozen, then later served with an assortment of boozes and whipped cream on top. That sucked, but you can't really raise that much of a stink when you're someone's guest.
But it was hard. It's hard to go on a group vacation where there are all of these traditions--these meals that get planned every single year-- and you have to say, "you know what? Naw, I'm having this instead." Because no one really intentionally fights you on it, but it does make them uncomfortable. The guys were oblivious (more amused than anything), but the host, my friend's mom, who is so sweet and so generous and so genuinely wants to please her guests, presented a problem. It just felt mean. Rejecting the food offered. You come into the kitchen, and there are just mountains of food, and after the meal, she offers the leftovers to anyone and everyone--"Come on, guys, who's going to eat the last xyz? Someone needs to take them." And then you turn down the plate you're offered and say, "I think I'm going to eat this instead," and you get a, "OK, do what you want, I guess," and you just feel like such an ungracious guest.
I was able to do it for some things, but I never had the heart to break out the couscous. I probably over thought it. It probably didn't bother her or anyone else, but I just couldn't bring myself to be as strict as I wanted. And, I'm going to be completely honest, after four days of fighting and trying my damnedest to be healthy, I just gave up. That last day, I ate what everyone else was eating. I was able to track my points every single day, but that last day.
I ended up zig-zagging like crazy, so maybe it will all even out. I honestly don't know what to expect at weigh-in tomorrow.
I know what to do next year. Next year, I'll make a plate alongside everyone else, quietly forgoing the worst options and keeping my portions minimal. Then, after the meal, if I need to supplement it with something healthy, I'll do so when everyone is on the lake. I'll sneak off to the fridge in the boat house and eat the damn couscous and not make a big issue out of it.
Anyway. I ran two of the four mornings. The third morning was raining and the last morning just wasn't going to happen. I had to wake up at 7am to get my run in before it got too impossibly hot and by the end I was too sleep-deprived to make it. I was very active throughout the trip, though. I did lots of swimming and I tried wake boarding, which completely wrecked my shoulders and arms for the rest of the trip. And balancing on the jet ski worked my thighs--I have yet to fall off.
So there you go: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Hope you all had a great Fourth!
Every picture here was stolen from my sister. :)