Road Trip with Grampa – Travel Day

Today we set out for our Southern destination of California from Las Vegas – and the day was incredibly beautiful.   We traversed plains and hills starting in dessert, and ending with some greenery.

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We drove past a really incredible display of solar power collection… I have never seen anything like this:

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Solar Power

Overall, it was a really wonderful, and relaxing, day of travel to be with family.  I am so grateful for the wonderful people in my life whom I get to share this marvelous adventure of living.

What are you grateful for today?

Happy Friday!
~Alaina

Running and Travelling; Balancing Vacation and Training

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On a train headed out-of-town!

As I was packing to go on my first vacation since the Christmas/New Year’s Holidays, I realized I need to run four times while I am out of my city.  In unfamiliar territory.  Out of my comfort zone.  In cities where I won’t know North, East, South or West like the back of my hand, and frankly, it’s a little intimidating.

Fortunately, this will not be a super long distance weekend for me.  With the Newport Marathon only a week and a half away, this Saturday I only need to run 8 miles, and tomorrow, I happen to be lucky enough to get to run with my Grampa – a nice, short four mile run (I’m learning to love the short).  I am especially grateful that it is short because I am no longer in the cool, breezy northwest, having taken up residence slightly further South in Las Vegas for a couple of days.  This run may be in 75 degree heat, and I am trying to mentally prepare myself to feel too warm.  

The lights of 'The Strip" and the Luxor pinpointing it's location on the cloud-map.
The lights of ‘The Strip” this evening, and the Luxor pinpointing it’s location on the cloud-map.

On Saturday, I will have the good fortune to be spending time with my best friend in LA, who tells me she knows the perfect spot for me to do my 8 mile run (possibly – or quite likely – also a warm run).  I am looking forward to exploring some unknown terrain over the next few days.  A change of scenery will (hopefully) bring some great photo ops!

How do you prepare for travel when you are training for a race?  

Happy running!
~Alaina

A Shift in Perspective – Last Full Day Away

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I sometimes wonder if I got off track, and if my life really was intended go a different direction. All throughout high school and my first couple years of college, I wanted to be a meteorologist.

Then something changed; the drive to complete my dream degree disappeared.
I switched majors to Apparel design,

I think perhaps, life is not about learning a specific skills. We are here to allow ourselves to be happy and pursue life lessons, or rather, let ourselves be led to the answers to your unspoken questions

~Alaina

Day 2: The Reality of it All

Looking toward the hills in El Salvador.
Looking toward the hills in El Salvador.

Today was amazing.

Traveling with coworkers for work was an opportunity I did not think I would get this year, or even next year for that matter.  I was resigned to the fact that it wasn’t my time, and perhaps it never would be. But here I am, with seven co-workers, on a two-day quick pace visit in a foreign country.
The landscape is lush and green, cars drive fast, people cross the road where ever they want to, and pop-up vendors on every major street.
The most remarkable thing? The people.  Everyone has been incredibly kind and friendly. It almost seems that life is lived more lightheartedly and people work to live their lives to the best of their ability.  To pursue what makes them happy.
And I think that must be what life is all about.  
It makes me think more about what I am doing with my time here on Earth, am I living to work, or working to live?  Do I actively pursue what brings me happiness on a daily basis?  I certainly want to make myself happy.
Are you pursuing the activities that make you smile and bring you pleasure?
Food for thought.  I’d love to hear about what you are doing to live your life fully for you.
with joy,
~Alaina

Live From El Salvador

Today was a very long day of travel.  I slept a whole two hours last night, after crawling under the covers at some time near one am.  I kept waking up before my alarm went off: at three am, 3:15, 3:20… I wasn’t even falling back into sleep, just closing my eyes and willing myself to give in to the exhaustion… And failing.  I finally got up at 3:30, deciding to shower and take my time.

Arrival time at the PDX airport was ten till 5 o’clock am.  (A huge thanks to the gentleman who drove me to my beginning destination, so I could sleep a little later than if I had taken Tri-met.  The sacrifice of your sleep will not go unnoticed, and you shall be compensated for your kindness).  I quickly acquired my boarding passes, got through security and hunted down the nearest coffee shop.  When I returned to my gate, I was obviously a little early.

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It was a quiet morning at PDX.  So, I sat, caught up on my Instagram friends (find me @alainamaeve), and sipped contentedly in the grey stillness.

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Just  a few people joined me, but by 6:30am our gate was full for the flight, we boarded and we were off!

… to Denver.

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It was beautiful looking out the window at the mountains we passed over.   Their white, snowy tipped tops looked as if they were dusted with sugar, some massive, decadent treat just waiting to be eaten.

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Then we headed to Houston.  With the light still out, I was able to see spectacular farming land circles.

The clouds were spectacular to behold: fluffy, white, casting shadows, it was perfect.

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By the time we were heading to Central America, the sun had set, and there were no pictures to be taken.  I did see large boats out on the bay, beautiful symmetrical oblong ships, lighting up the water like it was Christmas.

And now, here I sit, ready for sleep, yet determined to get my NaBloPoMo writing done today, so here you are!

I did bring a book for all my traveling today: Illusions By Richard Bach.  I know this book must have jumped out of a yet unpacked box of books and into my backpack for a reason.  And now I only have ten pages left!  (It is a quick read -but extremely insightful). Here is a quote that stuck with me today:

“You are never given a wish
without also being given the 
power to make it true.”

I have been very interested in traveling for work; being given the opportunity to visit with factories and mills and work on process improvement. And here I am!  Doing exactly that.  No matter whether or not I did this for myself, I am sincerely grateful to have the opportunity to work with our partners in person.  

To All, I bid  you goodnight.

with joy,
~Alaina

Adventuring in Far Away Lands

Finally finding myself in a seated position tonight, after finishing laundry, washing dishes, and packing a bag, I am feeling the exhaustion of the day seep into my aching bones.  The past two weeks have been long, packed with social engagements and the responsibility of moving my home, and now, only two days after setting up my bed in a new part of town, I am about to embark on my first-ever trip out of the country as a Product Engineer.

And I am so excited!

I will be attempting to post from another part of the world for the next few days, and they will be long, busy days, but I hope to remain a productive post-er even during my travels.

In a mere four hours my alarm will go off, and I’ll be jumping into the shower to wake myself up enough to find my way out the front door.   And by the end of the day tomorrow, I will be in a much warmer land somewhere South of here.  Yes, you are welcome to guess where I am going. 🙂

Have a wonderful week!  Here’s hoping for smooth, safe travels.

with joy in new and unexpected adventure,
~Alaina