Saturday, April 1, 2017

April Sun Brings Florida Fun

30 Apr, Sunday:  My goodness, where does the time go?  Seems like just yesterday April was beginning, now it is almost over !!  But the fun just doesn't end, thank God.  We slept well but are still a bit tired.  The big decision was whether to stay another night or ride north to visit Jim & Joni, providing that Jim's thyroid-deprevitation headache has diminished.  We agreed to stay another night in Waynesboro allowing time to catch up on SCS family group sheet packages and take a rest from hiking. After Ron worked seriously on SCS packages and nephew Eric's RPM coins (click here)
web site, we walked to Ruby Tuesdays for an early dinner.  During our after dinner stroll, we happened upon a Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt shop (click here) with 11 flavors of no sugar added, fat free yogurt with low sodium.  Mmmmmmmmm!  Not quite Pritikin perfect (click here), but good enough for us !!

29 Apr:  In Staunton, VA we enjoyed breakfast and delightful conversation with Cynthia's friend Suzanne at the historic Stonewall Jackson Hotel (click here).  Ron mended everything green, a fanny pack and his beloved, faded Giant's Causeway tee shirt (from Northern Ireland)(click here), while the ladies chatted.  Lunch at Ruby Tuesday brought Cynthia the devastating news the famous Ruby croutons do not match the on-line nutritional information; they are high in sodium and fat, henceforth verboten.  We now know where Ruby Tuesdays has hidden relevant nutritional information on their web site.  Today's hike was 5 miles from Beagle Gap (click here) northward on the Appalachian Trail.  We are so encouraged that our hiking capabilities have not diminished so greatly; on the other hand, we huffed and puffed uphill.  Spring foliage is still in the early stages here, putting forth cherry blossoms and poison ivy leaflets.  We met about a dozen thru-hikers who started at Springer Mountain, Georgia on the trail; we only learned the names of two, Doc and Crazy Tree.  Crazy Tree filmed us for YouTube, but hasn't posted our photo yet (click here).  Cynthia was astounded to see one woman running on the trail.  Our bodies are weary tonight and we retired early.

28 Apr:  Virginia is for lovers.  Lynchburg in the morning, Waynesboro shortly after noon, 70 miles between the two.  Walking and workout was the morning plan.  After visiting with innkeeper Charlotte and checking in, we ate lunch at a nearby Ruby Tuesday and headed out for a great day hike on the AT.  We met our first through-hiker of the year: Tumbleweed, a young girl out hiking alone today.  We marveled at reaching the ridge without stopping.  Breathing hard yes; 5 miles total walking today for a 10,000 step FitBit buzz.

27 Apr:  On the road again!  Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway
We're the best of friends
Insisting that the world keep turning our way
And our way
Is on the road again
Just can't wait to get on the road again- 

Hi to Wynn, here is our route from Irmo, SC: I-26 south to I-20 east to I-77 north to Charlotte, NC to I-85 northeast to Greensboro, NC and finally old US 29 (a good four lane) to Lynchburg, VA - gorgeous flowers in the medians on I-85 in North Carolina (click here); Cynthia's favorites were the rosy red ones.  The weather is cloudy and cool enough for us to put on jackets at the first stop.  The ride through Rockingham and Caswell Counties was unexpected and meMorable since Cynthia's ancestors hail from there.  Ron had picked "affordable luxury" at the Kirkley Hotel in Lynchburg.  It is pleasantly unique, not a chain, and has a good chef and comfortable rooms.  Luxury it was NOT; the rooms were well appointed except that there was no bar refrigerator, no coffee maker, and most surprising, no bathroom mirror.  The restaurant was semi elegant with a horse trough planter, but the menu was only typical bar offerings, certainly not fine dining.  On the other hand, the chef aimed to please and did well with what he had available.  We would enjoy staying there again.  We walked from the hotel downhill in the evening and saw a cute little skunk foraging. 

Read more:  Willie Nelson - On The Road Again Lyrics | MetroLyrics Sing it Willie!

26 Apr: Ron walked while Cynthia worked out at the hotel.  The concrete walk with hills and speedy guys in Columbia has returned Cynthia's lower back improvements into ugly back pain again.  Cynthia read "The Captivity of the Oatman Girls" written by the survivor in the mid 19th  century after being freed from captivity by American Indians.   Dinner with our friends at 5:30 PM. Now we pack for an early morning 300 mile ride on back roads to Lynchburg, VA for an overnight.  How frustrating to not have access to Google photos on the IPad to upload to this blog.  GRRR!

25 Apr: A Misty Morning; the walk was called off.  Ron's morning mission was accomplished with email to Dr. Gould and the Pritikin Center.  Cynthia lunched at Ruby Tuesdays and shopped for earrings.  Dinner tonight is once again at the favorite salad bar.   Thankful. Yes, we are ever so thankful.

24 Apr:  Rain prevented a usual walk with the guys but offered a lovely, lazy morning instead.  My goodness, April fun just begun, and now its 6 days to May.   It was dry enough we walked to Ruby Tuesdays but Dick gave us a ride home because the rain she came.  Tom and Cheryl joined the gang of 7 for a most entertaining evening.  Thurs., weather permitting, the road beckons.  Ron scheduled the route from Columbia, SC to our favorite-falling-in-love city: Staunton, VA, arriving Friday.

23 Apr: Ron joined the Irmo, SC friends at their favorite Sunday-Go-To-Breakfast at Lizards Thicket (click here) for fish n' grits made without salt, oil or sugar, of course! Cynthia slept the morning away and walked to a girlie-i-cue afternoon.  Ron, Dick and Clark helped Ron get the motorcycle tire replaced. Elizabeth showed us some lovely children's books with illustrations by artist Jerry Pinkney; she attended his gallery show.  Cynthia ordered 5 of the books for soon-to-be 3 year old granddaughter Fyn,  born on Ron's Birthday.

22 Apr: We are still tired! No walking on Sat. Or Sunday.  Ron edited Cynthia's DNA research report for her besides updating nephew Eric's coin website.

21 Apr: Another morning walk with friends; hey!  Yesterday's hills turned into mountains overnight.   Four miles turned us into hungry, ravenous exhausted wolves. After a trip to the super market we took a nap.   Cycle Gear has the new rear tire we need; Ron has to remove the tire and take it to the dealer on Sunday,  Cycle Gear can mount it, but they are not insured for the liability of removing or replacing the tire.  Another great dinner was enjoyed by all of the survivors.  

20 Apr, Thursday in Columbia, SC where the morning 4 mile fun walk begins even earlier than one of us wants to be awake.  We tossed down oatmeal, egg white veggie omelets and fruit arriving at Dick's by  7:50 AM for the neighborhood hard breathing test of our endurance.  We enjoyed the fragrance of lilacs walking to dinner, but walked around the cosmetic counters cutting through the mall.  Donna and Greg, Clark and Elizabeth and Dick joined us for a fun dinner; thanks to Elizabeth for the big bouquet of beautiful  red roses.

19 Apr: Jesup, GA to Columbia, SC was an easier ride than yesterday's and cooler, too. We so thoroughly enjoyed the Trowell B and B - Cynthia was wishing we had stayed another night.  Traveling north on highway 301 continued to highway 321 in South Carolina.  The bike's electrical system is acting up again and a screw found its way into the NEW rear tire causing a slow leak.  The small Denmark, SC town park was a fun place to stop and eat veggies and an apple.  Ron asked the maintainance fellow where to find the nearest restroom.  When the guy responded with the name of a restaurant blocks away, Ron asked, "Is the tree across the street hidden enough?"  "Yup, I believe so!"   Nice small town!   Immediately upon arrival, we walked a mile to our favorite Ruby Tuesday's to stuff our stomachs at the salad bar.  The walk back to the hotel was slower because we could hardly move necessitating a nap!!

18 Apr: Sebring, FL to Jesup, GA was a 7.5 hour ride on highway 27 North to highway 301 North that included a stop with last minute recycling, a food market, gas stations, missing turns, being 13 miles from Strake, FL and a great restaurant when traffic cane to a standstill because if an accident.  Turning across the median we backtracked to take highway 26 east through Melrose and then north to once again intersect 301 exactly 13 miles north of Strake and a very nice cafe.   The good restaurants in Jesup are closed tonight so we hoofed it to Piggly Wiggly for veggies.  Ron used his pacemaker mobile appliance to send an EKG report to the electrophysiologist in Houston.  Amazing.  We are ensconced in the Lovely Trowell Victorian B and B for one night.

17 Apr: Sebring, FL, Inn on the Lake and Chicano's Restaurant are excellent choices for a couple of days rest from two week non stop events.  The restaurant prepared our oatmeal and egg white veggie omelets with no salt, fat, or sugar;  we dined enjoying a Great Blue heron, glimpses of an alligator and a couple of turtles in the lake. Our morning cardio was hoofing an hour walk along the golf course. Recycle Ron found a recycling center.

16 Apr, Sun: Alleluia!  He is risen!! Happy Easter!  Our sunrise service is a last blood draw before departure.  The guests and staff provided the greatest intellectual stimulation since MIT.   After breakfast is cardio, pack the bags and have Easter brunch before departing for a lake view BandB at Sebring, FL for 2 days on highway 27 north.

15 Apr, Sat: Another early morning.   Cynthia had her Fitbit buzz before noon.

14 Apr, Friday ... We are off to sugar checks, breakfast, cardio, lectures.  Eating morning oatmeal is a significant change for Cynthia. It is made combining with various other 100% whole grains like quinoa and fruits.   But it has 3 grams of fat so Ron gets a very small amount. There are some interesting people attending; one woman is well over 6'tall, widow of a 9-11 banker in the World Trade Center - who showed us his credit card. It was the only piece of him discovered.  Several women are entrepreneurs with products on a global scale. Several people said we are a cute couple.

13 Apr: And the early mornings rush on to late bedtimes.  Cynthia's total cholesterol (good numbers anyway) dropped 40 points in one week. Ron's went from 130 to 112.  Oh my goodness.   The cooking class was marvelous and the food delicious.  The salmon was prepared without any oil other than that coming from the salmon.  The glaze was a cup of tangerine juice with a bit of lemon juice. Tangerine juice was the dressing for the fennel salad.  And the parfait was banana, fatfree sour cream, ginger root juice and vanilla. Mmmmmmm.  We listened to the lecture on salt as the root cause of hypertension again.  Wow!

12 Apr: The days are racing by filled with energizing lectures, cardio, doctor appointments.  Kimberly, the nutritionist wants Cynthia to do a sugar blood draw 2x day for the remainder of our stay.  The program is so fine.

11 Apr. Tuesday: blood draws, cardio, stretch core, Ron has a follow up from back therapist.

10 Apr.Mon: Cynthia has an 8:30 personal trainer appointment with a 10:00 medical appointment. The lectures on atherosclerosis are excellent.

9 Apr, Sun: The days are so filled with activity we fall into bed with no time for our computer work!  Newly discovered Rambo cousin David L. lost 9 pounds this week.  Ron lost several pounds. Cynthia gained half a pound. The plant based program is proven to eliminate meds for hypertension, diabetes in three weeks and reverse coronary artery disease (which is why we are here).  The brunch was magnificent, especially the veggie pancakes.  We waddled to the room.  Last week's guests departed and new ones arrived.  Ron did yoga, we both did cardio intervals, core strength and stretch, plus two great walks with 13, 000 steps, so we are feeling mighty fine. No apparent muscle soreness.   We may return in November.

8 Apr, Sat: 15,000 steps on the Fitbit.

7 Apr, Fri: Great lecture today on metabolic syndrome.

6 Apr: Morning arrived too early because Cynthia had a metabolism test at the crack of dawn.  Eating is our favorite activity at the Pritikin Center, It is really popular!   We are encouraged to eat, eat and eat.  We are learning never trust the front labels of packaging: marketing scams call foods100% healthy, natural, or ORGANIC!  Walmart is the largest buyer of organic foods.   Instead, read the ingredients for no fat, sugar or preservatives in the first 3-5 ingredients. Salt is corrosive to arteries causing arteries to stiffen.  Oatmeal, fruit and egg whites in the mornings, lots of raw and cooked veggies before more calorie dense food like starchy veggies and  2 snacks a day.  Fish, chicken or turkey 3x week. Big changes for our eating plans.  Interesting to hear the stories of guests who left insulin and blood pressure meds free after 3 weeks.

5 Apr: our days are filled with exercise, lectures, med appointments and EATING.  Ron was diagnosed with sleep apnea.

4 Apr: Another day with medical appointments, lectures, and eating. The back seminar was excellent. Ron learned why he has a back issue and how to remedy it.  Dr. Frank recommended an orthopod  that does a new minimally invasive knee surgery allowing tennis and basketball with five day down time. The sports med Dr. Frank spent 2 hours evaluating Cynthia's spine, hips, knees, how she walks, etc., with  exercise recommendations for corrections tailored for our travel.  We enjoyed the relationship seminar; the psychologist Caron said needed: warm relationships,, being vulnerable and validating, criticism destroys.  The food is very low fat to zero fat, high fiber, meaning mainly vegetables, fruits but protein, too.  Tonight's baked squash with quinoa was excellent, so was the amaretto parfait. We are full.  Ron is outfitted for sleep apnea testing tonight.

3 Apr: Pritikin Longevity Center, Doral, FL.  After fasting through the night we had blood drawn, vitals taken, ate a lovely breakfast of egg white vegetable omelets, fruit and fake coffee.  The yoga class was terrific. The rest of the day is interspersed with medical doctors and cardio. And food. They feed us a lot.  We are amazed that our schedule is so busy.

2 Apr: On our way rejoicing as we forward go!  Packing is nearly completed.  After a stop at FedEx,  we had time for a walk to Smoothie King to drink lunch before venturing forth to the Pritikin Center. Our arrival was at 4:00 promptly.  Staff gave us a tour followed by medical check of vitals.  We have both shrunk.  Ron is now 6'1/2". There are three golf courses at this hotel/resort and several swimming pools.

1 Apr: Florida's sun is fine for fools.  After a long night's sleep into day,  filling our stomachs with egg white veggie omelets,  we hit the shady side of the sidewalks to Runners Depot to buy Ron a new pair of Hoka One One's, but the wide toe box he needs is not in stock.  Onwards, we ventured to Smoothie King to drink lunch befire returning to our room for Ron to do his mending.  Cynthia located the right  Hoka style and Ron's size online to purchase with arrival due Wednesday - no shipping costs.  No fooling.  Dinner at Nanking on the canal was entertaining watching the bridge open for tall ships to pass through.  It was fun to see a  huge cruise ship maneuvering into the channel; we wondered if granddaughter Lauren was onboard; she is returning from a nine day cruise.  We won't see her because she is being transferred directly to the airport.  Our entertainment is so cheap: we rode the elevators to the top floor of the empty convention center parking garage to watch the sunset and finished Fitbit steps exploring the views of the channels from on high.   Surprisingly, the convention center was still open auctioning luxury old cars; we ohhhhed and awed at cars selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Good news: our Hawaii property has a buyer!

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