June 17, 2013

Whirlwind (Long) Weekend

What a whirlwind (long) weekend!

Friday was fairly low-key until the evening, when I ushered a friend off to a second date that I later found out went fabulously well. Following my pep talk, I stayed to hang out at the bar (Valhalla – one of my favorite beer bars in the city) for an hour or so, and then it was off to my friend Jon’s “Influencers” cocktail party.

Jon is one of those people who seems to know anyone and everyone, and a few years ago, he began hosting dinner parties that brought people with very different backgrounds together. Termed the “Influencer Dinners,” he extended invites to people from many different industries but who were at the forefront of their field – and I was very pleasantly surprised when I received an invitation. The events have grown in popularity (to the point where who knows if I’d still make the cut as influential enough!), and now that the invites are so coveted, Jon follows each Influencer dinner with an open cocktail party where anyone who’s attended a previous dinner is welcome to come mingle.

My crazy schedule has prevented me from going to the Influencers’ cocktail parties in the past, but this time I made it a point to show up, and I was so glad that I did! I met so many fascinating people and made a lot of great contacts that I’m excited to work with on various projects in the upcoming months.ย One of those I met on Friday was Jeff Pulver, the co-founder of Vonage and a huge “influencer” (to use Jon’s term) in the tech community. Jeff is currently organizing The State of You conference, which is kind of a TED-like event that focuses on health, wellness, fitness, and food. I had already heard of it through FitFluential and was dying to attend, but unfortunately the timing didn’t work out – it’s this Tuesday and Wednesday. Huge bummer, but I already had some other crazy things going on early in the week (hint, hint: foreshadowing)…

After a super-productive Saturday morning getting errands done, I finished up my last one by heading down to the bike storage room in my apartment, retrieving my bike from where it had been gathering dust for 2+ years, and taking it to the bike shop across the street to get my tires filled up. Although I hadn’t ridden it in a while (I went on a Colorado biking adventure in September but hadn’t ridden in the city since taking a “How to Ride in Manhattan” bike class a few years back), the cliche about never forgetting how to ride a bike was true. Cruising through traffic with less difficulty than I would have thought, it didn’t take me long at all to reach the east side of Central Park, where I was meetingย Ashley for our grand adventure.

Ashley is moving to Switzerland in less than a month (in fact, she’s leaving on my birthday!), and so has been organizing lots of one-on-one friend dates to spend time with us before she goes. Two of the items on her New York bucket list were going biking and visiting the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, so we decided to combine those on what turned out to be the most perfect sunny summer day. After renting a Citibike for Ashley, we circled Central Park (lazily skipping the Harlem Hills in favor of the 102nd Street transverse), exited at 72nd Street to head for the West Side (me pointing out all my favorite places in my ‘hood), and then glided down the West Side Highway to the Village and our ice cream reward. Our goal wasn’t fitness; just a cool adventure and lots of time to catch up with each other as we cruised around. Sometimes, the best kind of workout is the accidental one where you’re having so much fun you forget you’re sweating!

Ashley and Laura at Big Gay Ice Cream
The other best kind of workout = anything with ice cream at the end!

Since I didn’t know how much energy I’d actually expend doing semi-leisurely biking, I had also booked a Flywheel class at 5pm with Jen to get my workout in for the day. But when I arrived back home at 3:45pm already exhausted and pretty sweaty/gross, I wished I hadn’t been quite so eager. I considered skipping, but since I had already paid for the class and Jen was counting on me, I didn’t want to bail. Plus, despite how much I go to Flywheel in Dallas, I had actually never been to a Flywheel Upper West Side class – pretty silly given that it’s where I technically live! I dragged myself over to the studio, started pedaling, and was shocked in the second song when the instructor revealed the Torqboard and I saw that I was only one power point behind the top female. The New York Flywheel scene is supposed to be super-competitive (more so than Dallas, which isn’t surprising given the general tendency of New Yorkers to be super-driven and Type A), plus I had already been bike riding outside for hours (albeit at a leisurely pace). How was it possible that I was doing so well? I decided that I owed it to myself to push hard and try to beat the girl in front of me – and beat her I did, winning by a solid 5 points. Furthermore, I got one of my highest Flywheel scores of all time! It seemed that it was just a red-letter biking day for me ๐Ÿ™‚

Sunday was a little bit more low-key. Although Jen and I hit up a Kripalu yoga class at Athleta in the early morning and I followed it up with my first Refine class in several months, the rest of the day was spent brunching with girlfriends, relaxing on the Megabus to Albany (well, relaxing until it turned out the driver didn’t know where he was going and had to request passenger assistance), and then taking both of my parents out to dinner in Albany for Father’s Day. My parents are divorced but I’m really lucky that they’re still on good enough terms that I don’t need to split time between them at holidays or for visits upstate! We had a great time.

Me and Dad
Happy Father’s Day!

And this morning, I really needed both of their full support – because I headed up to Saratoga, New York to buy my first house! My brother had called me a long time ago when the townhouse next to him went up for sale at a great price, but when I learned it was a short sale (aka the-longest-kind-of-sale-there-is), I didn’t hold out much hope. Sure enough, although I put an offer into the bank in February, it’s taken all this time just to get it to go through. The road to ownership had plenty of difficulties along the way (an inspection that turned up some issues I wasn’t thrilled with, an owner who refused to vacate on time, and even the keys to the house going missing after we had completed all the paperwork), but I’m now the proud owner of a great little three-bedroom condo right next to my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew. Woo hoo!

Me in front of my house
Pretty flowers already hanging by the front door thanks to my kind realtor!
Me and my ice cream
Why yes, I did reward myself with ice cream – haven’t you learned how to get me to do anything? This particular flavor happens to be titled “No Regretzel” and is from the most amazing convenience store in the country, Stewart’s Shops.

I’m going to be traveling a lot over the next few weeks (a wedding in Aspen this weekend and a fourth of July vacation in the Hamptons, sprinkled with my usual Dallas business travel), but I’ll be back up to Saratoga on July 11th for a combined family birthday party and champagne toast to my new house. Of course, it wouldn’t be me if I weren’t also combining that with a wedding on Saturday night and a race on Sunday – I’m planning on running the famous Boilermaker 15K on Sunday July 14th! I’m definitely looking forward to another whirlwind weekend upstate soon ๐Ÿ™‚

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13 thoughts on “Whirlwind (Long) Weekend”

  1. Congratulations on the house! And I had no idea I was brunching with such an influential person! I ran the Boilermaker last year. It was a fun race, but Utica is not exactly a hotspot…

    1. I did the Boilermaker in 2008 and it is still my 15K PR; I’m determined to break that and then have celebrate at the brewery after ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Congratulations on the house!! It’s such an amazing feeling to be handed the keys to your first place! I’ve never considered doing FlyWheel mainly because I didn’t think there were any in Seattle, but then one just popped up in west lake and now you’ve got me considering it. Anything competitive, I’m in, even if I finish last!

  3. congratulations on the purchase!! Saratoga is such a beautiful town too ๐Ÿ™‚

    good call on Valhalla, love that place!

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