Say hello to my dragon buddy!
I met him while vacationing in St. Joseph, Michigan. We watched July 4th fireworks from the bluff, spent lots of time at the beach, and had lots of quality family time. I also biked a lot. Over seven hours, split between six different workouts!
Here are some of my routes:
You’ll note the lower left map isn’t a complete loop, and that’s because my bike got a flat tire that day. My dad picked me up, and we headed to the bike shop, where they replaced the tube. We had a celebrity sighting while we waited: United States Congressman Fred Upton came into the shop. He’s from St. Joe and represents it, along with the rest of Michigan’s 6th District, on Capitol Hill. He’s also supermodel Kate Upton’s uncle, and his grandfather co-founded the Whirlpool Corporation. I didn’t talk to him – I had absolutely nothing to say.
I also explored a couple new-to-me places on the bike, including the cute little village of Stevensville, and nearby Grand Mere State Park, although that visit was a bust, because bikes aren’t allowed on the trails. I tried to check it out on foot, hoping to get to the dunes along Lake Michigan, but the mosquitoes drove me away after only a couple minutes. This sign (and tens of thousands of swarming mosquitoes) is pretty much all I saw.
On Saturday I participated in Virtual Vertical 2018, a social media challenge for tower runners around the world to go climb stairs, no matter where they are. Luckily for me, downtown St. Joe is on a bluff, and there’s a 74-step stairway connecting it to the shore below.
So, for my #VirtVert2018 workout, I climbed the stairs ten times. Five of those times were doing drills: box jumps, high knees, side-stepping, and more. Plus, I rode my bike there and back (slightly over four miles each way). A fun, challenging, different, 80-minute workout.
All my bike rides were in the morning. I started my workouts between 8 or 8:30am. That was so I could have the rest of the day to do all sorts of fun stuff with my family. We spent a lot of time at the beach, where I swam with my niece Allison on a couple different days.
My sister Sarah, Allison and I also walked the pier.
A few minutes after we took that selfie, I slipped and fell on a slick patch of algae, and scraped my knee. A few days later, a huge bruise appeared, covering my entire knee. Yikes. But I didn’t let it stop me!
One day we went to a small, nearby zoo in Michigan City, Indiana, where the otters and bears were playing in the water, as it was a very hot day. The lions were snoozing, so Allison and I posed with a statue.
There’s also an observation tower at that zoo, on a hill. My dad and I climbed the stairs to the top, and between the 60-70 steps on the path to get up the hill, and the 92-steps inside the tower, it was a nice little jaunt.
I ate very well during the week. Lots of veggies and lean protein, very little sweets and bread. I only took two food photos while in St. Joe. One was of a fantastic grilled dinner that I tag-teamed with my sister Laura and my dad: steak and veggies (peppers, scallions, zucchini, yellow squash, eight-ball squash, and kohlrabi).
There’s two pieces of cheese on the side salad, which we had picked up that morning at the farmers market. It’s a Parmesan and Cheddar mix, soaked in raspberry ale, and it was absolutely incredible.
One night it was just me and Allison for dinner, so we decided to have a date night at Cracker Barrel. I had never been to a Cracker Barrel before, and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to order healthy food on their menu. I had grilled catfish, with steamed broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts salad, and fried okra. I also got a biscuit and corn muffin with my meal (which you can barely see at the top of the photo), but I only ate 1/4th of each.
All in all, it was a wonderful week in one of my favorite places. Already looking forward to heading there again next year!
Keep it up, David!
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