Aloha, Vancouver 2010!

The adventure begins! An easy, breezy flight direct from Maui to Vancouver (go figure!) took only 4:45—only about 10-15 minutes longer than my fastest-ever flight to San Francisco.  Crazy how the “great circle” route makes things so close together that really aren’t!  Anyway, short flight and for some reason didn’t sleep much.  Arrived at 5am and made it through immigration, baggage, customs, found my ride and was at the hotel by 6am.  Unfortunately the hotel wasn’t ready for me until this afternoon, so sleep—maybe next time.

Went to the International Broadcast Center (IBC) but it was so early (6:15am) that nobody was there either.  So the driver took me to Tim Horton’s (Canada’s equivalent to Dunkin’ Donuts) and we had coffee until 6:45.  Then made it in to the IBC.  Found NBC and my desk—though nobody was there for another hour or so.  Then the team arrived.  Great to see everyone!  Got briefed and “up to speed,” so the work-morning-sans-sleep was worth it.  The IBC is gorgeous—beautiful new extension to the Canada Place convention center.  Wow!  And outside—amazing views of the city, mountains, Stanley Park, and seaplanes taking off!

Grabbed breakfast at noon, then the hotel was nice enough to let me crash in another room for two hours.  So I’m up to 5 hours of sleep now :-)

The hotel is nice and my room’s on the same floor as the fitness center—now that is a sign from God above :-)  Internet seems to be working, everything is unpacked and I’m moved in for the next six weeks.

The town is starting to look like there may be an Olympics!  Signage and security popping up everywhere.  Weather is pretty decent—better than it probably should be considering they’ll want some more snow before February 12th! 

19 days and counting! Very excited to dive in tomorrow!

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Master Cleansing

A couple of friends have asked for my feedback on the Master Cleanse, which I’ve done twice now (October 2008 and April 2009) and have loved.  It’s the suckiest week of your life you’ll ever love so much.
 
You can read my MASTER CLEANSE guide here.
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Paddle Boarding and Snorkeling

I am now the world’s newest “convert” to paddle boarding.  Paddle boarding is done on a large surfboard, standing up, with a single oar.  And I love it.

It’s a great workout.  Unlike surfing, you can “keep moving”… you’re not always waiting for “the next wave”, but you can catch waves on a paddleboard, too!  Plus, it’s a great “core” workout—the muscles used to balance on a board get a lot of exercise.

Most importantly, it’s a blast.  Yesterday, my first day, I went with three friends: Keith, Joe, and Brian.  We had a great time chatting and paddling, and the sun was out, the whales were jumping, the emerald slopes of Haleakala were gleaming, and the sea was crystal clear—you could see all the way to the coral heads on the ocean floor, 30 feet below.  Fantastic.  I can’t wait to take snorkel gear and paddle to some remote reef and just “jump in.”

Keith and I also went snorkeling around Makena Landing, and saw what is one of the biggest honu (green sea turtles) I’ve ever seen.  Also a very cool, huge crab (haven’t id’d it yet) that looked like a robot from The Empire Strikes Back, replete with armor and an algae-covered “rock” for camouflage on its back.

I also got to spend a few hours at Little Beach, where I had the beautiful cove called the “toilet bowl” (for its current) all to myself and eight honu who were chowing down on algae in the unusually calm sea while whales breached a few hundred yards off shore.

This is the kind of day that makes life worth living, friends worth having, and work (the next day) worth doing!

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Surf’s Up at Makena (Little Beach)

Surf’s Up at Makena (2009.01.18)

Last weekend, the sun was unusually strong and the waves unusually large, coming in from an unusual direction… The result was an unusually fun day of surfer-watching at Little Beach!

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Perfect Colorado Winter Days

I’ve spent this week in Colorado with my family for Christmas, and it’s been absolutely spectacular weather—all that is glorious about Denver this time of year.  Crisp, sunny, dry, cheery… Wow!

Today I saw something I’ve never seen before, and for good reason: sunset Alpenglow.  Alpenglow is a phenomenon where the sun isn’t “up”, but from below the horizon it hits the peaks of tall mountains.  Because the front range faces West, you can get alpenglow in the morning, but not in the evening… until today.  At sunset tonight, there was a bank of gorgeous clouds sitting just in front (east) of the front range.  They were unusually tall clouds for this time of year, and had a very shear ‘face’ on the western edge.  The sunset hit the western edge of the cloud bank, which reflected the orange rays of the sun onto the front range like a mirror, and all the fresh snow on the mountains reflected it back.  So with a fiery sunset hitting the clouds, and the glittery glow on the snow, Mother Nature was putting on QUITE a show!!  Wish I’d had a good camera to capture it, but at least it’s in my memory!

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A Green Stocking Stuffer for Christmas

I wanted to blog about this so that I wouldn’t forget where to find these in the future… these amazing string/net reusable shopping bags are phenomenal. The ‘net’ structure means they expand to carry anything and ‘wrap’ around the contents to keep things in place, thus protecting your produce and fragile items.  They’re awesome—I have several in each car so I’m always “armed” for a quick trip to the market.

http://www.amazon.com/EcoSac-Natural-String-Bags-EuroSac/dp/B000E8UYMC

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Cleansing

Wow… it’s been two months since I last posted.  That’s really sad!  I have a lot of backfilling to journal…

I returned home to Maui, so very grateful for the time I had in China and for the beautiful home to which I returned.  I thought I’d be in for a lean time with work, given the economy and all, but boy was I wrong.  Client projects exploded, and it’s been balls-to-the-wall since the moment I landed.

This, on top of a very busy (if exciting) time in China, on top of a crazy build-up to China, on top of six months of insanity publishing two books while juggling clients… all this leads to a very tuckered pup.  My body is drained, and feels very “sludgy.”

So I was excited, yesterday, to begin my first ever “diet”—cleanse, more specifically.  I’m launching into the Master Cleanse, on the recommendation of my brother who has done it twice and swears by it.  As he’s a former Olympic athlete, I have great faith in his understanding of his body, and if it works for him, that’s what I need to know.  And everyone I’ve talked with who has done the Master Cleanse swears by it—I’ve never heard such accolades heaped on an eating regimen.

The Master Cleanse is a juice diet—also known as the Lemonade Diet.  You eat no solid food, but get your nutrition from a lemonade mixture made from maple syrup, lemon juice and a dash of cayenne pepper which stimulates the release of toxins.  Additionally, you drink a quart of salt water each morning as a “flush.”  Between the two parts of the cleanse, your digestive system gets a vacation from pollutants, and your body gets a chance to expel all kinds of built-up nasties.  People report incredible boosts in energy, vitality, and overall well-being, as well as weight loss.  Sounded good to me.

A friend of mine in Phoenix did the Master Cleanse a long time ago.  I remember thinking he was crazy… maple syrup and cayenne pepper?  But ya know what, the lemonade is actually pretty darned tasty!  The pepper gives it a “zing,” not a taste per se.  And maple syrup, lemon juice, and water make a convincing lemonade, I must say.  I’m sure I’ll get tired of it after 10 days (the length of my diet) but for now, it’s good!

What is not good is the salt water flush. It’s disgusting.  I’m calling that regimen my Survivor diet in tribute of the reality show where, each season, contestants must down terrible foods.  Drinking a quart of salt water sucks.  But it’s all about encouraging your body to expel, and boy does it expel.  Since this is a family blog I’ll spare the details but let’s just say I stick close to a bathroom for an hour after the salt water flush.

So I’m at the end of my second day.  I’m proud of myself, so far.  I’m not hungry, at all… the lemonade does the trick.  I am having cravings, but I’m not truly hungry.  I never knew just how much food is shown on television!  I’m very very tired and a little down, but that’s to be expected at this point in the process, because of the toxin release. 

Most of all, I’m really grateful that I found and took the time to do something that I think will be very good for my body.  I really was beginning to feel gross on the inside, and I know that this kind of challenge is exactly what I needed right now.  It’s definitely mind-over-matter, and discipline.  Hopefully I’ll endure and triumph :-)

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