Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Thursday, August 22, 2013
I left August 14th at 6pm from Newark Airport in NJ and luckily had two very nice women sitting next to me which made the 8-hour flight more bearable. I landed in the Frankfort Airport hoping to just find my son right away since I had turned my cell phone off before I left the United States and I didn't speak German. It was such a relief and happy moment to see him walking towards me near the coffee shop we planned to meet up at in the airport. That was a very over-due hug!
We went to the place on the Ramstein Air Force Base where the military people go to for shopping, eating, and other necessities. My first purchase there was a bottle of German wine to take home, but it didn't quite make it back since we decided to open it one of the nights. The currency on the base is the Dollar, not that you can get anything anymore for just one! After seeing his dorm room, we actually went to a Chinese buffet called Bambusgarten to eat since he wasn't sure where to bring me that would have vegan food.
We drove to Landstahl and checked into our first hotel of the trip called Zum Storchennest which I think means Stork Nest. They had a very large cage on the property which had 4 storks and an Albino Rabbit. The property was very country like with a nice terrace, but we didn't eat there. The room was OK for one night but my first shower was with cold water until we told the owner to turn on the hot water, and the beds were way too soft, but I got to relax and also walk around and take some photos of the neighborhood.
After resting up a bit, we drove to Keiserslautern, also commonly known as K Town where I bought a change person to separate my Euros from my Dollars. We stopped at the Brauhaus for my first German Beer. I drank a wheat beer called Weizen with a salad and he had a dark beer called Dunkles with a steak dinner...he's clearly NOT vegetarian. We walked around a bit and then went back to the room to get some sleep since we had a 6-hour drive the next morning to Prague.
We gassed up the car with Diesel Fuel and me with caffeinated Coffee and drove a few hours before we stopped to eat in some little town called Kammersteiner and I had to get another salad due to lack of vegetarian options. My photos from the road are blurry since it's common there for people to drive 100mph! Every thing there is the Metric System which had me guessing the speed he was driving, the distance of our destination, and the temperature outside.
We found an Internet Cafe once we entered Prague so we could connect to WiFi and find a hotel and figure out how to get around while we were there. A helpful server there mentioned the high-rise hotel across the street which is rated #2 called Panorama Hotel. We booked a room for that night and were able to park in their garage for 490 CZK and walk to the subway a block away. Once we stepped out of the subway station we knew we were in a big tourist location, Prague Old Town....WOW!
Unlike Times Square in New York City, these buildings were not tall, but the architectural structure of them had great detail and a nice look. Up the street is a popular structure called the Narodni Muzeum. I took out my camera to photograph it and what did I see standing in the middle of the pedestrian walkway, playing an instrument, being photographed, and accepting tips? No, not a Naked Cowboy or Naked Cowgirl, but a Bagpipe Player in a kilt just doing his own thing. Since I decided when I planned this trip that I'd be strictly a tourist and NOT bring my "Naked Cowgirl Cindy Fox Signature Bikini" and guitar, I figured the tourist-like thing to do would be get my photo taken with him and give him a tip!
We walked over the Charles Bridge and saw more street performers, monuments and religious statues, and many people taking photographs and enjoying the view. After walking around for about 5 hours, we decided to finally stop to eat. We decided to eat at Caffrey's Irish Bar & Restaurant and sit outdoors since it was so nice out. My son got the Shepard's Pie and I ordered a side order of sauteed mushrooms and a side of fried mashed potatoes...SO Good!
In the morning my son got breakfast in the hotel and then searched for other hotels in the area. We booked a night at Hotel Herrmes a little further out of the way in the middle of a residential area, but we were very pleased when we got there. The place was less expensive and very modern and clean and a block away from the train station and parking was free.The front desk staff were very helpful to us. We thought the only way we'd actually be able to experience the "nightlife" of Prague was to go out for a while during the day, come back and nap, and then get ready to go out much later. That's exactly what we did!
We stopped again to watch these acrobats perform in the Square that was there the day before. They have 3 guys that perform stunts and a guy playing an electric guitar for them. They are from France and I was told they are called BAM. Ever since I was 3 years old I wanted to be an acrobat in a circus doing the trapeze, so I loved watching their act.
Considering it was 3am and the only thing I ate that day was homemade potato chips during the day from a vendor, we both decided to try to find food, after all, isn't that what people do after the clubs? Being a vegan really limited my options at that time so I jumped at the opportunity to go into
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Friday, July 26, 2013
I've acquired many certifications over the years, worked in numerous fitness facilities, and worked with as well as worked out with some experts in the field. It's safe to say that I have a lot of experience when it comes to working out and I find it disturbing when I see other trainers having their client do exercises that are either incorrect in form, inappropriate for their size or age, or just harmful for their joints. I don't want to come across as a "know-it-all" because I don't, but when I see this I cringe.
My objective here is NOT to criticize other instructors/trainers because I probably did some of the same things when I started working in a gym at 17. I am trying to raise awareness to all of you who use a trainer, take group exercise classes, or just train with a friend who helps motivate and guide you. I totally encourage getting help form someone who knows more than you or someone who will actually get you to "Just Do It" as Nike says.
The phrase "No Pain No Gain" is something athletes and bodybuilders have been saying for years and I've said it myself. That refers to the "burn" you fee when your muscle is fatigued, or the way your body feels when you're doing an intense workout and your MIND is telling you to stop. This is very different from feeling pain in your knees when you're being told to do "step ups" on a bench so high that you need to shift all of your weight on your front knee to get up there...over and over. I'm referring to using dumbbells so heavy that every time you raise them you feel an uncomfortable pain in the joint of your shoulder. Another one of my "pet peeves" is seeing people do lunges incorrectly either in place or especially across the floor. Your front knee should never be coming in front of your toes (of the same leg), so if you can't take a big enough step forward to get your foot in front of your knee when in the down position, do NOT do them across the floor...work on proper form in a stationery position first. This same principle goes for squats. If your going down and your knees are coming way out in front of your toes, you are putting too much pressure on the joints of your knees.
My last tip (for now) is about working your "core muscles", which refers to your midsection. If you're abdominal muscles aren't strong and your being told to hold a plank position on the floor (resting on your forearms and toes facing down with your body off the floor and straight in a line) too long, you can strain your lower back. Planks are great exercise to strengthen your back, but if you start to fatigue to the point that your back is arching and your abdomen is starting to drop to the floor, you need to stop and take a break for a few seconds.
The same goes for doing abdominal exercises on your back...do not arch your back or you will strain it. Straight-leg raises or any other "abdominal" exercise that hurts your BACK is either improper form, or your your abdominal muscles are fatigued and your back is starting to do the work instead. When doing "crunches", your neck should stay neutral (looking up to the ceiling) and you only need to lift your shoulders off the floor to the point you feel your abdominal muscles working. It's normal in the beginning to feel your neck get tired from the weight of your head, but when it's feeling strained in the back, you need to rest a few seconds and then continue.
A trainer is there to guide and inform you, motivate and encourage you and teach you some new ideas to keep your workouts interesting. Don't be afraid to ask for an alternative exercise if the one you're doing is causing pain to your joints, back or neck, or if you're afraid of losing your balance and falling. It is your money and you only get one body in this lifetime, so be safe.....and get "FOXY FIT"!
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