Local Appetite

The sole reason that I came to LA (Lower Alabama) was due to the fact that I have family here. I have spent plenty of time in this area, and it holds many great memories for me. I have been struggling getting back onto the Losing Weight Off the Interstate so I was ecstatic when my cousin Hope told me that her brother, Karl Brantley owned a farm along with his business partner Will Mastin that catered to the locals.  I took a trip out to Local Appetite to check out their farm firsthand. It was a quick drive, within twenty minutes we were pulling up to the greenhouses where fresh Kale and tomatoes were growing along with plenty other items.

Will and Karl greeted us along with their two dogs, they really just kept calling them both “dog” which I found incredibly endearing. They gave us a quick history of how they came to be, both having experience in the landscaping business and Karl having a family history of agriculture and produce in the area. They toured us about and showed us their planting system which I thought was quite ingenious, using gutters with irrigation to feed the plants as they grow.

Local Appetite is hoping to fill a niche in Baldwin county and eventually the city of Mobile in locally grown fruits and vegetables. They currently are focusing on the restaurant business as opposed to straight to the consumer as they believe they are able to foster and develop these relationships and currently their production is small enough that they are not finding a lot of extra product on hand to sell to the general public.

It was inspirational to see two men doing what they were passionate about while creating something that was good and healthy for their community.

Will Mastin (left) & Karl Brantley (right)

Will Mastin (left) & Karl Brantley (right)Local Appetite Local Appetite - Greens Local Appetite - Kale Local Appetite Bagged Lettuce Local Appetite Greenhouse Local Appetite Growing Local Appetite Planting Local Appetite Toms Local Appetite Toms 1 Local Greens - Greenhouse greens

Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama

Did you know that Mardi Gras was actually created in Mobile, Alabama? Growing up I had always thought that it originated in New Orleans but it actually was in Mobile, the first capital of French Louisiana a full fifteen years before New Orleans. I accidentally arrived in the Mobile area Mardi Gras weekend and was able to go to a parade in downtown. There were plenty of floats and while I was somewhat disinterested in the beads once the floats started parading by I was all arms and hands trying to grab whatever I could flying off the floats. It was like I was a desperate bridesmaid at a Bride’s bouquet toss, all elbows!

I walked away with a very large bag of “loot” none of which I have any need for, perhaps I will throw a Mardi Gras party next year back in Seattle….

Me and my cousin Jodie waiting for the beads to fly!

Me and my cousin Jodie waiting for the beads to fly!

2014-03-02 15.04.10

Check out my haul!

Check out my haul!

What to do with these????

What to do with these????

Florida Fun

I was lucky enough to spend a good portion of February in Florida, along with what seemed like half of the retired population of the US. It is a good thing I wasn’t in a hurry as no one was going anywhere fast.

I dropped Sara, my friend and trainer at Sync Fitness at the airport in Ft. Lauderdale and headed West to meet up with a group of my favorite people, the Fennemen/Stokes family in Naples, Florida. They were kind enough to invite me to stay with them at the tail end of their family gathering. We spent several days relaxing in the Florida sun, and several evenings chilling in the hot tub. On our last day together we gathered for a game of Pool Olympics, spending several hours in the pool splashing around and competing in games such as horse riding (imagine riding a pool noodle from one side of the pool to the other), chicken races and lap swims. My team, Team Norway lost but in the end we were all winners!

We parted ways and I headed down to Fort Myers Beach for a relaxing week at the beach. I know my life isn’t incredibly hectic and stressful right now but it was a welcome experience to spend my days lazing around the beach and pool again. I was able to get several workouts in, not as many as I had intended, but more than I had been prior to my Florida vacations.

I decided to leave Fort Myers a few days early so that I could hit Disney World and Universal Studios midweek as opposed to the weekend. I knew that going alone to these parks was going to be a bit lame but I underestimated how lonely the happiest place on earth can be, the bonus was that I did get to sneak to the front of many lines as a single rider. I don’t foresee myself going back to Disney any time soon, it is definitely more enjoyable through the eyes of a child, to me it mostly felt like riding slow boats through elementary school dioramas. Universal Studios was more fun with their roller coasters and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter however, my first ride was one that drenched me so I spent the remainder of the day waddling about trying to dry my jeans while making my way around the park.

I counted the thousands of steps I walked around the theme parks as my exercise but I don’t know if they were enough to combat my overpriced Disney burger and fries……

Beware, there is an overload of selfies following this post.

Fort Myers Beach Sunset

Fort Myers Beach Sunset

My kitchen! Breakfast smoothies!

My kitchen! Breakfast smoothies!

And the award for most Fake Smile goes to......

And the award for most Fake Smile goes to……

I managed to have some fun on the Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios.

I managed to have some fun on the Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios, though I was too cheap to buy the photo so this is a quick iphone snap.

Freezing Day at Epcot

Freezing Day at Epcot

Captain Eo! Not my best look!

Captain Eo! Not my best look!

Toy Story Mania, this was my longest wait and totally worth it!

Toy Story Mania, this was my longest wait and totally worth it!

Wizarding World of Harry Potter @ Universal

Wizarding World of Harry Potter @ Universal

Dragon Challenge, Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Dragon Challenge, Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The seats for the Dragon Challenge Roller Coaster

The seats for the Dragon Challenge Roller Coaster

Selfie in Seuss Landing

Selfie in Seuss Landing

Southern Descent

With all my delays in various locales and the added visit to New York City for the Super Bowl weekend I was short on time and had to speed down the East Coast.

I took a train from New York to New Jersey where my car was parked at my friend Eva’s home. We had a few days to spend together before I had to head South as I needed to get down to Ft. Lauderdale within the week. This didn’t give me the time I wanted in several states but I was able to spend a few days with my Aunt Lynn and Uncle Mitch in Charleston, S.C. and was able to visit my cousin Carl who I hadn’t seen in several years.

Continuing my descent South I made my way to Jacksonville, Florida where I was finally able to put my feet in the sand, and walk along the surf! I spent several nights with my friend Charlie and her family and was treated to some great Southern Hospitality.

My itinerary stayed on track and I picked up one of my good friends Sara Dean, who also happens to be one of my fitness pros supporting my trip, in Ft. Lauderdale. Sara has a very successful business in Seattle and (kindly) beats many Seattleites into fitness submission with her boot camps. I was excited to spend a few days with a good friend in the Florida Keys but I was a teeny bit scared that this good friend was Sara as I hadn’t been working out much.

Our first day we did a quick workout in the hotel gym, impressing an older gentleman on the elliptical trainer with the intensity of our workout. We hopped in the car and took the long yet beautiful drive to Key West, Florida, stopping about halfway to grab a coffee and after the workout and sitting in the car I was already waddling about, pathetic.

The remainder of the weekend we were able to squeeze in more exercise with a run (for Sara)/walk (for me) and a good water workout. We started our mornings with a protein smoothie and spent the majority of the days laying by the pool or at the beach soaking up the sunshine, the evenings were spent trying to find some quality entertainment and dining options.

I feel so blessed to have had the time with Sara, who has always been so wonderful and supportive as both a friend and a trainer. Now if I can just keep the workouts going now she has left me!

First steps in the sand, Jacksonville, FL.

First steps in the sand, Jacksonville, FL.

Beach Day!

Beach Day!

Beer Thirty!

Beer Thirty!

Sunset

Sunset

Sunset!

Sunset!

Sunset

Sunset

Sunset

Sunset

Sunset

Sunset

Getting my tan...er pink on.

Getting my tan…er pink on.