Weekend update! Beer, wine, maple syrup, and more!

by Christine on March 21st, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Diet, Food, Nutrition, Exercise

Happy spring, Revolutionists! What are your goals for springtime? How will you begin to prepare for the summer that is looming?

I’ll tell you what. This 100 pound weight loss is messing with my head recently. I have been feeling so fat and so bloated lately. In fact, this morning I was laying in bed thinking that perhaps I need to get a tub of “too-big clothing” out from storage to wear, and I also pondered at what point I should go back to get another fill from the bariatric surgeon. Then, when I stepped on the scale, it said I was 127 pounds, which is pretty much within my maintenance range. Why am I feeling so fat when I am not really gaining any weight? I feel as fat and awful as I did when I was 225 pounds; I KNOW my body is different, but my brain is on a different path. Why the discrepancy?

So much of weight-loss is a big head game.

The last few days have been very very busy! Let me recap!

Thursday, St. Patrick’s Day

For St. Patty’s day we did our usual pub trivia at our local establishment. (No, we didn’t win this week!) We had a group of 12 friends join us, so it was a great celebration with friends! It was also a very long evening; I showed up at the bar at 5 p.m. to get the big table to accommodate our group, and we didn’t leave until 10 p.m. That’s a long time to be sitting down! Fortunately I only drank one beer that whole time, so I didn’t overindulge. Hubby and I split an order of chicken tenders. (not the healthiest option, I know, but hubby doesn’t eat healthy food like vegetables. The best I could do was to watch my quantity when eating crappy food.)

Friday March 18th

Friday was my Uncle’s memorial service. I was very sad that I could not make it to Chicago to honor him, but I kept him in my thoughts all day.  After work on Friday I went out with some friends drinking. This night, however, I did overindulge! I had a margarita with dinner (which was 1 small fish taco and some black beans with salsa. Delicious!), followed by three pumpkin spiced martinis. They were delicious, but really, three was a little excessive. One should have sufficed, then I should have switched to water. There is a lot of sugar in martinis.

Saturday March 19th

On Saturday a friend and I went for a beer tour in our local area!  Tomorrow I will post our itinerary (with notes) for anyone local that wants to re-create our route.  First we hit a maple syrup refinery. March is the month that maple syrup is produced, and upstate New York and Vermont is famous for its maple syrup! We ventured out into the middle of godforsakennowhere and talked with a maple syrup maker about how he makes the delicious goodness. Then, for $7, you could have all-you-can-eat pancakes. My friend and I split an order, and man, fresh, hot maple syrup was really delicious! We waited an eternity for our order, but the wait was well worth it.


Photo above: They tap the maple trees and run tubes from the trees to the collection tanks. This whole area has hundreds of tubes running from the trees; it’s a real labyrinth! Can you see them?

Photo above: The tubes run to collection tanks like this one. Pure maple syrup only had 2% sugar; the rest is water. Who knew?

Photo above: Inside the refinery, they boil the maple syrup over and over again. This is steam billowing from the boilers; you can see the steam coiling above the refinery for miles! Before packaging the maple syrup, they add some white powdery stuff to help purify the syrup. And that’s it! Collect it, boil it, package it. Pretty simple.


Photo above: You know you’re in the boondocks when llamas greet you outside.


Photo above: Standing in eastern New York State, looking at the Green Mountains in Vermont. I am so lucky to live in such a beautiful area of the country! Look, our snow is almost gone!

Then we hit two brew pubs (microbreweries) in Glens Falls, NY. We had so much fun at the Davidson Brothers Brewery! Although they had a lot of IPAs and bitter beers on draft, which are not my thing, I had so much fun bantering with the bartender and one of the owners of the place. What a FUN place to hang out!

From there we hit a winery in Lake George, then another winery in Saratoga. After that we discovered a microbrewery in Saratoga that, well, I won’t give away their secret, but it is truly a fantastic gem for us localites!!!

Although we hit a lot of breweries and wineries, and we did samplings and flights at each destination, I didn’t overdo the drinking. After all, I was driving! I sipped and sampled, then let my friend polish off the rest of the drinks at each place. I paced myself, don’t worry.  For lunch I had soup at the Davidson Brothers Brewery, and for dinner we nibbled on some homemade cranberry cheese spread at Olde Saratoga Brewery that was absolutely divine!

Tomorrow I will post our itinerary (with lots of links, information, etc).  Because I seem to be really good at putting together these beer/pub crawls in the New York and New England areas, I will start compiling these tours into a resource on the website, so be looking for it!

Sunday, March 20th

Sunday I went snowshowing with a friend in the morning. Well, he snowshoed and I hiked with small crampons attached to my boots. It was a beautiful day! We hiked for about an hour and a half, which was about 5 miles or thereabouts. A great way to get a workout in!

Afterwards, hubby and I did some much needed errands, such as a trip to the hardware store and a trip to the grocery store. We also stopped at our local gaming/comic book store (Zombie Planet, which is a great store!) to pick up some new board games. We really enjoy a game called Dominion, which is a deck-building game. This concept of “deck building” is a new genre of board games that is really taking off in popularity! We bought “Thunderstone” and “Ascension” and pulled out Thunderstone to play yesterday evening. It had more rules and is marginally more complicated than Dominion, but it seems fun. Hubby tells me that Ascension is easier than Dominion and simpler in terms of game play, but we’ll see. I suspect we’ll try playing that tonight.

Then it was bill paying, dinner (leftover grilled chicken and leftover mushrooms), read a little bit of my book, and before I knew it, the day was over. Man, Sundays just go by too dang fast!

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Pink Floyd Experience + Snowshoeing in Lake Placid

by Christine on February 20th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates

What a fun weekend I have had! On Friday night I went with a friend to see The Pink Floyd Experience. Although it was essentially a really good cover band with a really good light show, the show gave me a real appreciation for Pink Floyd music and the talent of its guitarists. Fun night!

Before heading to the concert we stopped at a bar, and I had fish fry and tartar sauce (no french fries) and a beer. For lunch that day I had a can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup.

On Saturday some girlfriends picked me up and we headed up to Lake Placid for a moonlight cross country ski/snowshoeing trip. (www.cascadeski.com) It cost about $15 to use the trail, and that cost included beer, smores, and hot dogs on the trail. Unfortunately there were so many people at each bonfire that it would have been a 20 minute wait to stand in line to get a cup of beer. (I snuck in once and got a cup!)  Everyone in my group snow shoed, and it was so much fun!!! I got a new pair for Christmas and it was so easy to adjust, and the crampons just seemed to work and be manipulated much easier. Loved them.

The best part of the outing, which was about a 1 or 1.5 mile trail…nothing very long…was the scenery. The trail was lit periodically with LED lights,  but mostly the trail was dark. It was snowing a little, and the trees had a beautiful coating of snow on it. You could see the tree tops contrasted against the night sky, and it was so perfectly beautiful it took my breath away. Unfortunately, because it was at night, I didn’t get a good picture of it.

There were 7 of us girlfriends in our group, and we all piled into one small hotel room to sleep. Somehow we all fit! We snuck in a quick wine tasting during the day, and had a really delicious dinner at the Northern Exposure restaurant on Main Street in Lake Placid. I got the veal piccata that was sooooo delicious! The only downside was that it took about 45 minutes to get our food, and we were so hungry–and so pissed about the wait–that we all got pretty cranky.

Lake Placid is such a great small town, with plenty to do both inn the winter as well as in the summertime. Imagine snow-covered streets and everyone walking around in ski pants and parkas. The Olympic Center is in the middle of town where you can watch a hockey game or the speed skaters in their outdoor rink. The Olympic Center just outside of town has sledding and luge rides, too! Our hotel overlooked Mirror Lake, and the hotel had plowed out an ice skating rink on the middle of the ice, and the hotel offered dog sled rides for $10!  Really, seeing all the fun outdoor activities really reminded me what a real gem of a town that Lake Placid is.  If you ever get a chance to visit Lake Placid, you should!

This morning we stopped at the Noonmark Diner on the way home. Delicious diner food! They make homemade bread, pies, and even jam. Totally worth a visit to, especially after a long hike in the mountains! I had some scrambled eggs and 2 slices of bacon. Yum!

Unfortunately I had a hard time keeping my delicious dinner down (barfed it all up, thanks to my gastric band), so I actually ate very little food during our snowshoeing trip.

FYI, you burn about 400-500 calories per hour snow shoeing (125 pound woman). I burned a little over 800 calories on my excursion out, but maybe more because I jogged a quarter of the way back! What a workout!!!

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