Adventures in Babysitting

September 20, 2015

What happens when my sister Sarah and brother-in-law Justin take off for a weekend trip to Chicago? I head to their home in Colorado to babysit my nephew Sam and my niece Allison! And what a fun weekend it was. Exhausting, too. Turns out that kids aged 9 and 7 have a lot of energy!

I took my nephew Sam to his flag football game, where he caught two interceptions and ran them both in for touchdowns:


I don’t know a lick about football, but I did learn that Read the rest of this entry »

Colorado Nibbles and Bits… PLUS, “American Ninja Warrior” News!

May 28, 2014

There’s more to share from my long weekend in Colorado, but first… I was on TV the other night!  A few months ago, I went with a group of friends to an all-night taping of “American Ninja Warrior” in Venice Beach. We were cheering on our friend Tommy, who was competing on the show, and the episode aired Monday on NBC. Unfortunately, Tommy wasn’t featured during the broadcast, but if you look closely (don’t blink or look away!) or have your finger on the Pause button, you can see me in the stands!

ANW Read the rest of this entry »

Greetings From the Centennial State!

May 28, 2013

I’m in Colorado! I came to visit my sister Sarah and her family for the long Memorial Day weekend. I’m leaving bright and early tomorrow morning, and it’s been a fun-filled few days, full of smart choices and restraint.

First, a health update: I’m healing quite well. The only real issue that I have to contend with is a giant, very uncomfortable hematoma that formed after the surgery. A hematoma is an internal pooling of blood, commonly in the form of a bruise, but this is much worse than a bruise, and in a very delicate area. I’m smart about it by wearing supportive clothing and not pushing myself physically, and there’s nothing I can do to speed up its healing, so I just have to live with it.

Anyhoo… I arrived in Colorado on Saturday morning, and as soon as we got back to Sarah’s house, we turned around and headed out for a walk. There’s a reservoir nearby, and walking to it, around it, and coming back equals about 2 miles. Here I am on the walk with Sarah and my niece (and Goddaughter) Allison:

IMG_5788 Read the rest of this entry »

This Place is a Zoo

November 28, 2011

Yesterday was my last full day in Colorado. It was also a rest day – I had completed five great workouts in a row (including a 2700-yard swim and a 5K race), so I was due for one. Despite the absence of a dedicated workout, I wasn’t inactive. That’s because I went with my sister Sarah, her husband Justin, and their two kids, Sam (almost 6) and Allison (3), to…

…The Denver Zoo! It was probably the best day I’ve ever had at a zoo. The Denver Zoo is spacious and open but not overwhelmingly enormous, and there was great weather (sunny but not hot), small crowds, and most of the animals were out and about, as opposed to napping or hiding in the corners of their habitats. We accidentally stumbled upon 4 different animal feedings or demonstrations (without ever looking at a schedule), so we got to see zookeepers feed the tiger, the sea lions, the seals, and the African wild dogs. Very cool.

We saw a polar bear (one of my favorite animals)…

…and two snakes cuddling together on a tree branch…

…and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a hippo before that wasn’t submerged in water:

We rode the carousel – I was on an ostrich, and Sam was on a cheetah (his favorite animal):

My niece Allison got face-to-face with a huge komodo dragon (don’t worry, there’s a piece of glass between them):

Here’s Sam, Allison and I with two big horn sheep way in the background:

In total, we were there almost 4 hours, so I’m sure we walked around 3 or 4 miles. I was certainly tired at the end of the day! But the fun didn’t stop there – we headed over to a nearby Bass Pro Shop, which had a whole Santa’s Workshop set up. Allison got a picture with Santa, and we rode another carousel – this one with reindeer. Two carousels in one day? I can cross that off the bucket list!

This is the second zoo I’ve been to since September (when I went to the L.A. Zoo with my friend Katherine and her two boys), and sorry L.A., but I like the Denver Zoo more. But I don’t need to go to another zoo any time soon – I’m all zoo’ed out!

I’ll wrap up this post with a video. I’ve posted a link to this video before, but I love it so much I’m gonna feature it again. It’s a commercial from the ’80s for the Detroit Zoo, and it’s one of my favorite commercials of all time. I used to have this commercial memorized when I was a kid. I hope you enjoy!

By the time you read this, I’ll be on a plane back to California. It’s Monday, so I have another week ahead of me of eating well and exercising, so…

…Keep it up, David!

First 24 Hours in Colorado

November 23, 2010

I’ve been in Colorado for about 24 hours now.  Lots to catch up on!

I got in last night at around 10pm.  Last night I slept on the futon in my sister’s library/loft.  I’ve been coming to my sister’s for Thanksgiving for the past 5 years or so, and this is the third year I’ve slept on this futon – every year since they moved in this house.  Here it is:

Yep – that is a Jerry Garcia woven blanket!

The very first night I slept here, two years ago, I got the crap scared out of me within minutes of lying down.  The futon frame wasn’t fully settled into position or something, and the whole thing shifted under me.  I became, in that instant, paranoid that I would fall off the futon, crash through the railing and fall to my death in the foyer below:

It didn’t help that I was also significantly heavier back then – nearly 150 pounds heavier.  As anyone who has spent any time in any college-related living situations know, futons aren’t really the sturdiest pieces of furniture around, and I was also rather concerned that I would break the futon.  That it would splinter and buckle and collapse under my weight.  And after it collapsed, surely I would tumble through the railing, and fall to my death.  I was literally scared to death.

But I slept on it for during visits for two years, and last night, I slept on it again.  This time, I didn’t hear it creak under my weight.  This time, nothing shifted.  It didn’t seem nearly so precarious.  It never occurred to me once that I would plummet from the second floor to the first.

Tonight, though, I’m playing it safe.  Despite my weight loss, and my much-lessened paranoia, I’m opting to share my 5-year-old nephew’s double bed.  I’ll let you know how that goes.

This morning, my sister and I dropped her kids off at school, and headed to her gym, the Bob L. Burger Recreation Center in Lafayette, Colorado.  It was really impressive!  It has a huge pool area, with a 25-yard lap pool, lazy river, 3-story water slide, smaller kids slides, waterfall…  I’ll take a photo because we’re going back to go swimming on Friday.  There’s also lots of cardio and weight equipment, much of it in a huge atrium with skylights, and a track that circles it on the second floor:

I ran around the track for 10 minutes.  Each lap equaled 1/16th of a mile, and I lost count after about 4 laps.  Then, I jumped on an elliptical for 22 minutes, and then I spied a machine I’ve never seen before:

It kinda looked like an elliptical, but different.  I was curious, so I jumped on.  It was tough to figure out, and then it was a blast.  You move your feet in a circular motion, like an elliptical, but you can vary how long your stride it – you can keep it nearly vertical, mimicking the motion of a StairMaster, use it like an elliptical, or stretch your stride out so it’s like you’re making long bounding leaps.  It’s called an Adaptive Motion Trainer, and you can learn more about it here.  Anyway – I was on that for 22 minutes as well – so add in the 10 minutes of running, and the 22 minutes on the elliptical, and that’s 54 minutes of cardio!  My sister, meanwhile, jogged on the treadmill for 60 minutes.  Not too shabby for either of us!

For dinner tonight, my sister and I made a delicious salad together:

Not a great photo, but it’s arugula, roasted butternut squash, toasted walnuts, dried cranberries, parmesan, and a warm apple cider vinaigrette.  It’s a recipe by Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, and here it is.  It was delicious!  A big hit.  We also threw a big steak on the grill, but I only had about 1 or 2 ounces of it, to try it.  The salad was filling enough by itself.

Keep it up, David!