Swimming!

The pool is open!!!!

My gym has been open since June-ish but I have not been. I wrote about our home gym a few months ago. Honestly, it’s been great. We have a treadmill, kettlebells, weights, a weight bench and recently got a free elliptical. It was definitely a good option and I didn’t feel like I needed to go into the gym. I definitely did not feel comfortable going back!

I did feel bummed about not using the gym, which I’ve paid for. As each month of the pandemic went by and I wasn’t going to the gym, it became more and more of a bummer. I was not the type of person who paid for a gym membership and did not use it. ๐Ÿ™

But most of all, I missed swimming. That was the one thing I could not “do at home.” Swimming is my favorite. It makes me happy. It relaxes me. It’s a good workout. It’s my “me” time. It’s meditative. I’ve been pretty depressed the last few months. And when I see people posting pictures from other parts of the country with their pools open (or outdoor pools open) I was definitely envious.

Well, my mom told me recently that the YMCA pool in Seattle opened. So I called my gym and the POOL WAS OPEN! Finally!!!! This was the one thing I was willing to do. I still don’t feel comfortable going into the gym right now, maybe in the future (we will see) but swimming was the one thing I was baffled that it wasn’t open. The chlorine in the pool kills everything. It made more sense to open pools BEFORE gyms, to me anyways.

So how does it work? You call and make a reservation. There are 3 lanes in my pool and one person per lane. You get a 30-45 minute slot (depending on if there are people waiting for the next slot). My slot was at 9:15 but I got there at 9 so I got 45 minutes.

I guess they close the gym every 2 hours to clean, so that’s good!

I took some vacation time Friday morning. Fridays are pretty slow for me at work. I got there at 9am and checked in (touch free, on your phone). You can use the lockers and the showers. I got in the pool. There were two other little old ladies in the pool with me, one swimming laps, one doing aerobics.

I was so nervous! I had some anxiety for a few days. First, I haven’t been swimming since March. The longest I’ve ever NOT swam in 15+ years. (I took like 10 weeks off postpartum and that’s it!). I was nervous about going to the gym, I was nervous about covid, I was worried I’d be out of shape, that swimming would be hard. I was also SUPER excited.

Swimming was amazing. It felt awesome to be back in the pool! Seriously, it was like I’d never stopped. I swam laps and I definitely felt fatigued. My arms, especially, felt tired and my muscles burned. But I felt really good. My time was basically what it was months ago.

I swam 40 minutes and did 1 mile.

I thought I would be sore the next day, but I wasn’t. I went again on Sunday–my old usual routine. It was so great! I saw my swimming buddy there. This older gentleman that I used to chat with before. We had the same Sunday swim routine. He seemed excited to see an old friendly face ๐Ÿ™‚ and said he was glad I was safe and ok. We chatted for a bit, catching up. He said he’d missed the pool so much (me too!) and he’d been doing mostly Peloton this summer. I did not see the other two older ladies I usually saw on Sundays. I hope they are ok.

It was so good to be back in the pool!

Thunder Down Under

Saturday morning I woke up about 7:30am. I got a good solid 6 hours of sleep and apparently that’s all I needed! ย Anna was still asleep so I got dressed and went down to the gym. The Bally’s gym was SO NICE! One of the best hotel gyms I’ve used (The Monte Carlo being my other favorite). They had half a dozen treadmills, about 7 ellipticals, some stair-masters, exercise bikes and TONS of weight machines and free weights.

I was one of three people in the gym that early. My friend Debby and the people she went to Vegas with were on their way to Red Rock Canyon for a hike (which sounded awesome to me). I warmed up on the elliptical, did some body weight exercises (burpees, jumping jacks, crunches, etc) went through the weight machines, did some free weight stuff and finished up with a half mile run on the treadmill.

My legs were tired from all the walking we did on Friday. I knew I should take it easy with the lower body cardio because we were going to do even more walking on Saturday. I got a fantastic workout in, burned some calories and then checked out the spa that guests could use. They had a body temperature hot tub, a hot hot tub, a dry sauna, a steam room with eucalyptus and then your typical spa services. The men’s and women’s spas were separate and there were a bunch of ladies in there waiting for massages. I told Anna that we should make good use of it (especially since we were paying $20 per night for the “resort fee” to use it) but sadly we ran out of time and didn’t get to it.


I got cleaned up and then Anna and I went out in search of breakfast. I was staving! We walked over to Paris (which is right next to Bally’s) and the fancy Parisian outdoor cafe was packed! The line just to get to the hostess to get on a wait list was at least 20 people deep. We decided to keep walking. Next door was something called The Sugar Factory and they also had a huge outdoor patio.

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While we waited we sat at their bar and got some coffee and Bloody Mary’s. ๐Ÿ˜€ Their coffee was AMAZING!!! The best coffee I’ve ever had. We asked the bartender, waiter, waitress and no one seemed to know what brand of coffee they served. I was disappointed because I totally would have bought some if I knew what it was! Their Bloody Mary’s were fantastically spicy. They used a spicy infused vodka in the bloody mix. The salt was huge, flavorful crystals that clung to the glass, there was a hint of lime and cucumber in the drink and there was a cucumber and olive garnish. So tasty.

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It took about 20 minutes and then we got our table outside. There was a gorgeous breeze and it was about 70 degrees so far. We were across the street from the Bellagio. It was a peaceful, relaxing time as we lounged on the patio. It was hard to decide what to get. I REALLY wanted the carrot cake pancakes but I knew the cream cheese frosting would just be too much sugar first thing in the morning. The blueberry pancakes sounded great and let’s be honest, so did the Fat Elvis Waffle (ok not really).


I decided to go for the croissant sandwich. It was ham and cheese and came with crispy potatoes (that were exceptional). The sandwich was big and honestly half would have been the perfect portion. The croissant was heavenly–flaky, buttery and perfect. Dang, I want another!

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After breakfast we walked over to the Bellagio and caught the bus to Mandalay Bay. We walked around the gardens, checked out their AMAZING pool (it was packed!) that had a lazy floating river, and then went to see the Shark Aquarium (which was kind of expensive so we skipped it). Then we saw MICHAEL JACKSON!! Woot!!! The street performer was great! He sounded, looked and danced just like the real thing. It was great getting a picture!

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We meandered down to The Luxor and then decided to take aย gamblingย resting break in New York New York. Our feet, legs and calves were aching. I could have used a massage. ๐Ÿ™‚

We decided to hop on the bus back to Bally’s (our poor feet). Thankfully our bus pass was still valid! I have to admit, we stopped for more $2 tacos at Bally’s (they were that good) and then went down to the pool. We stayed out fairly long and the sun was hot hot hot! It was around 88 degrees on Saturday. It felt like heaven. For months I’ve been craving that exact thing–sitting poolside in the sun with a cool drink and a book.

After the pool we got cleaned up and dolled up and we were ready for the night! First we did some gambling at the Bellagio and got lucky! It was nice! We had an hour to kill before meeting up with my friend Debby and her party at Excalibur for Thunder From Down Under!! Debby goes every single time she’s in Vegas and talks about it all the time so I said, sure why not? It could be fun. We liked the movie Magic Mike. ๐Ÿ˜€

It was a huge auditorium packed full of women of all ages. There were a ton of brides-to-be with the veil and tiaras. There were a bunch of girls there for birthdays. There was this one girl that was called onto the stage because it was her 21st birthday and her mom had brought her! Awesome! Debby and her family were sitting over on the other side of the room and Anna and I were at a table with a bunch of adorable little old ladies that were doing Jello Shots. LOL!!! My friend Debby:

Hell ya we did Jello Shots! It’s been like 10 years since I had them. Haha! So the show…It was totally awesome. It was worth the money for the ticket and the guys definitely looked great–just like the photos. Afterward we could get pictures with the guys. ๐Ÿ˜€ We all got a free pass to a nightclub in the Luxor and free drinks til midnight but the line to get in was kind of long and I was starting to get tired (and blisters on my feet). Debby and her people ended up dancing til 2am! Anna and I walked back to our hotel, enjoying the nightly sights on the way.


Why I decided to book us a flight so freaking early on Sunday morning is beyond me. UGH. Coffee was needed. We had a few minutes to hit the tables before leaving and we both left winners! I got a hit on #29 and won $35 buckaroos. I was happy to leave after winning. Debby had rented a car (a bright blue mustang convertible) and she kindly offered to take us to the airport. It was so AWESOME riding through Vegas in a convertible! One of the highlights for sure.

Our flight was super turbulent — like the first hour of the flight I felt like I was going to barf and then die–and that sucked. The winds had started late Saturday night and Sunday was just as windy. I guess that was the cause of the turbulence. Dang it was not comfortable and I spent most of Sunday feeling nauseated. I was glad to be home and on LAND. Bella gave me lots of kisses, Fat Kitty gave me lots of love nibbles and it was so good to see Michael again.

I had a fantastic weekend. Everything was great and it was SO good to spend time with Anna. We were travel buddies for a really long time and then she moved to Morocco for the Peace Corp and was gone for about 4 or 5 years. We were still in sporadic contact (email and phone calls) but not seeing her for a long time made us drift apart a bit. It was nice to reconnect. And lay by the pool. And drink some umbrella drinks. ๐Ÿ˜€