Happy weekend, all! Or maybe I should say happy Monday as you’ll likely be reading this as another new week begins. There’s something so great about being away and then coming home, sleeping in your own bed, and getting back into some routine, even if it’s as simple as going to church on Sunday and out to lunch afterward with friends. It was an incredible two week trip away stoked full of good experiences and new connections with people, but it’s nice to be back home and to be getting into a sense of rhythm already again.
Before I fill you in on some exciting new work opportunities for me, I thought I’d back up to where I left off: at the end of the conference! We had some free time before a very special date so Mikey, our favorite Canadian researcher friend Emily, and our new Miami Beach friend David all headed over to the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s building for a tour.
It.was.incredible. It’s hard to believe this place is a non-profit! It had an open, airy feeling with a focused yet laid back vibe to it. Sunshine streamed through the huge windows and friendly, fit-looking people nodded to us as they went about their work – they must be used to tours! Austin just opened a new young adult specific cancer center that’s attached to the LiveStrong building, and Mikey and I were especially interested to get some information on it and to hear about how they operate. For as much as young adult cancer advocates and non-profits need to “fight” to have their voices be heard in Canada, it’s even harder in the States with the health care and insurance system. It’s truly a different world and the patient navigator does SO much that regular hospitals don’t provide like they do in Canada…everything was very much put into perspective for me and my view of the LiveStrong Foundation is now even higher knowing this small organization (who only seems “big” because of their success in branding themselves!) is helping others who truly need help.
We loved the tour as we got some insight into Lance Armstrong’s story, his preferred style of artwork, and as we witnessed a great example of company “doing it right” on so many levels.
The Twitter/Social Media Board & a West Coast Chopper’s LiveStrong Motorcycle!
Real bike frames from the Tour de France on the right – that you can spin and touch! – I love hands-on, Bonnie-friendly places.
Posing with Lance’s 7 winning yellow jerseys from the Tour de France & my jumping shot: “LiveStrong!”
After a very informative, fun tour of the non-profit, open-concept building, Mikey and I hopped in a cab and headed to Lance Armstrong’s bike hop, Mellow Johnny’s, with the Juan Pelota’s Coffee Shop in the back. Here they have all of Lance’s favorite items (including Stumptown Coffee, which made me think of my fellow Stumptown-loving friend, Cora!) and where you can get a good cup of coffee along with some organic food items and browse bike gear.
The real reason we found this place, though? Because we wanted to visit the Cotters! Mikey and I LOVED meeting Lindsay and James in person – they were easy to be with, warm and friendly, set you at ease instantly, and the conversation flowed easily. On top of all that, they’re a handsome looking couple who love Jesus and have some incredible life stories – what a great couple to connect with! They’re about to move to New Zealand (where James is from originally) and we were SO thrilled we caught them two weeks before they leave Austin!
Thanks for the visit, you guys! We’ll be praying for you next adventure in life as you continue to follow where God leads and live an unconvential live…love it.
We had a bit of time after saying goodbye to our new (more-than-blog, “in real life”) friends and decided to walk along the streets. Soon enough, on our way back to the hotel, we caught a glimpse of the Capital Buildings and went to explore.
With the sun setting and buildings still open, we went inside and walked around the gorgeous building, learning more about the history of Texas and glad to stretch our legs a bit after the end of the conference. Lots of great tours today!
The dome inside the Capital Building; reaching across the void; “Both of our countries were founded by bearded men!” (Mikey’s famous quote)
It was great to be able to stroll the streets of Austin and go on this self-guided tour – getting a sense of history in a new place is always something Mikey loves to do and something I’m learning to appreciate more and more thanks to him.
One short nap back at the hotel for Mikey and a little chill TV watching for me later and we were back out for our last meal in Texas. We had enjoyed Mexican fare and tasty hotel-catered food (which was happily healthy and delicious!), so our group decided to hit up Bar-B-Q! When in Rome…
We went to Stubb’s a finger-lickin’ Bar-B-Q place that Lindsay had recommended and that sounded better than the more upscale Bar-B-Q place we’d heard about – we wanted some good Texas food to finish off our trip!
From L to R: Lee & Pat, Lorna, Mikey & I: almost the entire Canadian contingency at the conference! Plus: Jalapeño brisket with pinto beans (the BEST!), fried okra (like tater tots!) & Texas white bread…& a VERY meat-happy man.
The meal was delicious, although I’m not a huge Bar-B-Q fan – to be honest, I can take it or leave it. I’d much rather had some closer-to-authentic-Mexican food than what we get in Calgary…can’t get enough! But I enjoyed the meal and the company best of all; it was a great end to our time in Austin.
Mikey and I hit the hay early in anticipation of a long day of travel the next day (plus, we’re just not party animals! ). I got up and enjoyed a hard-but-good feeling 6.6 treadmill miles plus my 200 KB swings (using the 25 lb dumbbell) and was glad I got up to move. Here’s how working out ALWAYS makes me feel:
Strong. Aggressive. Capable. Content.
And just like that, we were off. From Austin –> Denver –> Calgary! It was another long day but a good one, and we are now happy to be home and to have many new, neat experiences to reflect on…and laundry to do.
Well, I’m off to prep workouts for tomorrow clients, plan a bootcamp class (my first-ever! Pray for me!) and to squeeze a workout in between laundry loads.
How was your weekend? Share some highlights!
How does a good workout make YOU feel? List it off, feel good!
And give me one thing you’re looking forward to this week. I’m looking forward to a new round of clients and classes…but more on that later. Now returning back to my regular blogging/working/living schedule.
Live well & be well friends!