Fort Mason, San Francisco

Saturday started out as a great morning. . . I had been to the Britannia Arms (an English pub near my house) with my cousin and a couple friends Friday night, getting home around 1am. So I expected to be a bit tired come Sat morn but I woke up raring and ready to go! (a benefit to not drinking: no hangover!)

The plan was to volunteer at the Wipro San Francisco Marathon’s Expo from noon to 5pm. Since it’s a bit of a drive to SF, I wanted to have the family packed in the car by about 9:30, so that way I would have plenty of time to drive, get caught in traffic, get lost, find my way there, find parking, and walk up to the Expo. Have you ever tried to drive and park in San Francisco? Yeah, good luck with that. It’s like a traffic scene from The Fifth Element. Insane.

All the way up to SF, the boys were amazingly well-behaved. This was surprising to me. There were no tantrums, “are we there yet”s, and no barking at other cars. Not that my son would bark at other cars. . .

 

As we were driving, I noticed that it was getting a little hard to talk. My throat was sore and scratchy and the junction of my throat/mouth was stinging. Crap. Well, as usual, I made a comment about and then promptly ignored it. It took about 45 minutes for the rest of my body to start yelling at me. We were just outside South San Francisco when I admitted that all I wanted to do was crawl into bed and nurse my aching body. Awesome. Thank you, Universe, I love being sick on the weekends during the summer. Yay.

So instead of spreading my sickie germies to a bunch of marathoners, we decided to just take a walk and get some fresh air, since we were pretty much in San Francisco. We went to Fort Mason (I highly suggest going there if you’re in San Francisco!) and visited a Swiss Mountain Dog event. Just an informal barbecue with lots of Swiss doggies. Chewie was in heaven. Puppies and hot dogs?!?! SCORE!!! He was one of the only 2 Saint Bernards there, which are the biggest of the Swiss breeds, so he got lots of attention.

Since I wasn’t feeling up to socializing, (oh hell, I wasn’t up for even smiling. by this point, i felt like dog poop) we started out for a little walk around Fort Mason and down to the water’s edge.

Little history lesson: Fort Mason was built in 1864, and used as a defense for the San Francisco Bay during the Civil War. Yes, you read that right. The Civil-frickin-War. Needless to say, Fort Mason is old and has some great history to it. If you’re interested in learning more about it, click here.

So here are some of the pics from Fort Mason:

There’s a public garden on Fort Mason that was beautiful and it had an amazing view of the city. 

The garden and the garden’s view.

Since the Fort is a Historical Point, there were lots of signs around describing different aspects of what the Fort used to do/serve as. 

Leve it to my son to find the artillery.

Just hanging out with a cannon, Mom, nbd. 

The Golden Gate Bridge. And fog. Can’t go to San Francisco and not expect the fog. 

From 1909 and through WWII, soldiers were shipped out to war from Fort Mason, helping the US to become a global power. Wow, that just sounded like a book report or history homework, didn’t it? Sorry about that. 😉

See that group of people down there? Yeah, that’s a BEER FESTIVAL. That’s cruel, Universe, to make me sick and tease me with a Beer Fest. Just cruel.

For everyone outside of California, San Francisco was destroyed in 1906 by a major earthquake. The city made a huge recovery and hosted the World Fair in 1915. Does the World Fair even still exist? Add that to my “Google it” list. . . 

Anyone up for a swim to Alcatraz?

It wasn’t long before I was at my limit, so we headed back to the car. Whenever I’m sick I crave french fries, so after a trip to In-N-Out, we were back on the road, heading home. And apparently, I missed the memo that it was nap time.

When we got home, it was time to snuggle on the couch and watch the Olympics. This is my son’s first time really watching the summer olympics (he was too young to stay up late for the Beijing broadcasts) and he’s really into the swimming! Time to get him back into the pool! 😉 So I’ve been on the couch since Saturday night, recuperating from whatever I’ve got. While I’m not healthy yet, I am feeling better, so we’re going to brave the park today. My son can play for a bit and then hang out while I walk up and down the hill. My Nike+ Running app is going to yell at me for slacking in the speed department, but hey, you’ve always got to take care of your body and come back into exercising slowly.

How was your weekend? Do anything interesting? Racing? Traveling? 

Healthy Brownies!!!

No joke. I don’t joke around about the sweet nectar of life brownies.

Alas, my waistline triples in size when I start chowing down on brownies. . . Which is my fault. They’re like frickin’ Pringles! You CAN’T have just one!!!

So imagine my utter delight when I found a recipe for a healthy treat, that when added enough chocolate, tastes like brownies!!!!! EEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! that’s me squealing with joy

So without further ado:

photo from NiaShanks.com

 

Nia’s Brownie Balls!!

  • 1 cup raw nuts (Nia said she uses 1/2 cup almonds, 1/4 cup pecans, and 1/4 cup of walnuts, but that it’s really easy to experiment with other nuts and combos)
  • 3/4 cup raisins or dried dates
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (seriously, go for more like 1/3 cup. Plus an extra few.)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (approx) water

Put the raw nuts and raisins/dates in a food processor. Blend on high until everything is chopped/mixed together well.

Add in the cocoa powder and vanilla extract and blend/pulse until the nuts are finely chopped and all of the ingredients have combined.

Add in a teaspoon of water. This allows the mixture to bind together. Add very little water and only add more as needed. You just want the balls to hold their shape, but not be wet.

Once you’ve attained the proper consistency, divide the mixture and form them into little brownie balls.

Nia said she puts them in the fridge for a couple hours, but that’s like actually making brownies from the brownie batter: a foreign concept. 😉

for more recipes and ways to be a bada$$ chick, hang out with Nia at NiaShanks.com

Look out! Changing topic! 😉

I have a little secret: I’ve kept my son home from school today, simply because I wanted to. We went on a field trip yesterday to the Natural Bridges Tide Pools, so my son and I were both exhausted by the time we got home in the middle of the afternoon. (I’ll do a post later about the tide pool adventure)

23 wild, crazy 7-year olds. (the one on the far right is my little man)

So this morning when the alarm went off, I made the executive decision that Kael and I were going to have a “family day.” We were both tired from yesterday, and sometimes, you just need a mental health day! I even told the attendance office that we were having a family day. Oh, I guess that means it’s not a secret then. Hm. Oh well. hehe

I love love love my little man!

So after we run our errands, I’ll be running while my son rides his bike. (read: probably not a very successful run)

Anybody else take “family days” from school? my grandma used to check my mom and my uncle out from school early because she was bored and wanted some company at home. My mom never did that with me. I guess it skipped a generation. 😉

Try the brownie balls recipe and let me know what you think!! eating clean doesn’t have to be boring and gross!

Drooling on a Wednesday Morning

Let’s all take a minute this morning and drool admire David Beckham running, shall we?

There, now how can you have a bad day when watching that?! You’re welcome! 😉

So today I am going through my bookmarked racing events, trying to pick out a race that I’ll volunteer for. Let’s face it: no race happens without volunteers. So it’s time to do my part.

I told them to screen their applicants... *sigh*

I thought this was going to be easy and fun… Oooh! There! That one! Yay! *sign the forms* Done!

I should really learn to shut my inner blonde up.

This is harder than I thought it would be. The logistics to consider: Do I really want to drive over an hour to San Francisco to BE AT the race at 4:30am? Not really. Who’s going to watch my son for me? Probably my mom… I should probably ask her… Do I want to volunteer as an individual, or gather up a team? Hadn’t really thought of it… Green Team? Water? Metals? T-Shirt Exchange? Expo? Crap. There’s more to this than I originally thought.

Side Note: I wanna be this lady when I’m her age:

seriously-- how adorable is she?!?!

After looking around (my love for the internet is reinforced daily), I have decided to volunteer at the San Francisco Marathon in July. I figure I can volunteer at registration on Saturday and then run it on Sunday. I know, I know, what can I say? I’m a genius.

Plus, although it’s not on the same “course,” it’ll help me figure out what running in San Francisco is like. I need to be prepared for the Nike Women’s Marathon in October.

Have any of you volunteered at a race before? What’s your most memorable (good and/or bad) moment having to do with a volunteer?