Tag Archive | New England

Made to Crave: Eating for Two ~

Al and I vacationed in New England recently, and I really didn’t think that I would have THAT much trouble keeping with my new lifestyle eating choices that have paved the way for me to start losing the weight I’ve wanted to for so long.  All my life, really.  I took a couple of snack things ~ some granola bars and some fresh blueberries ~ and I figured I would just “punt” while we ate out for literally all of our meals during the eight days we stayed in Maine, Vermont and Lake George, NY. 

I  had steadily begun to lose pounds since July 15th, when I took on this gauntlet for the first time, for real.  I hadn’t yet begun to exercise due to back and knee issues, but I’d begun to eat differently, preferring fresh fruits and veggies and flavored water to chips, burgers, cookies and soda.  I gave up soda completely and loved it!  A pound down here, two pounds there, up one maybe, down two more.  But this trip would be the test I hadn’t yet had to endure, and I was determined.

I really didn’t have any idea how difficult it would be until we started having trouble finding restaurants in New England with healthier choices on their menu.  What made it harder is that eating establishments were hard to come by as far as being able to find a place to park or a place that didn’t already have a line out the door and around the block waiting to be seated.  Not to mention that we stayed at B & B’s, which feed you a pretty full, and sometimes gourmet, breakfast each morning.  No complaints there!  The first couple of days I kept up, declining certain foods that I knew were taboo, and trying to stick with water or lemonade.  It quickly became a losing battle and I found myself giving in to eating just whatever was there on the menu out of frustration and tiredness of fighting to find something healthy. 

I eventually became accustomed to “sharing” my meals with my husband, giving him the breads, the chips that came with the hot dog, the fries that came with everything, two of the three pancakes I was served at breakfast.  It was a double-edged sword, however, as I knew that as much as I didn’t want to indulge in those calories, I knew he shouldn’t either.  He was literally eating for two:  him and me!  I was sabotaging the both of us!

Lobster roll dinner from Portland Lobster Company

Lobster roll dinner from Portland Lobster Company

Although I ate my lobster, and he gave me his (as he didn’t like it!?), I gave him my bread, fries and cole slaw, and just ate the lobster at the above dinner from the Portland Lobster Company.  Although I tried to be “good”, I was fighting a losing battle as I eventually opted for a hot dog here, clam chowder there, an ice cream cone one night before bed, and let’s not forget the truffles from the Lake Champlain Chocolate Company.

Lake Champlain Chocolates

Lake Champlain Chocolates

I even finally gave in to at least 3 glasses of soda over the 8 days…. but I was pleased that it did not hold the pleasure for me that it once did.  Hence, I would easily go back to my flavored water.

The 5 course breakfasts at the Cornerstone Victorian B & B in Warrensburg were not to be trifled with, however.  I could not deny the decadence they served each morning, and the delightful desserts they offered each evening before bed.  Much as I tried.  I knew I would have to deal with these decisions when we got home and I reacquainted myself with my new best friend, my Weight Watchers scale.  Every calorie would have to be accounted for, and I would pay a price.  I expected it.

Even as tired as we were when we eventually did arrive home, I don’t think I wasted 15 minutes before I was tapping my foot on the scale to activate the digital monitor.  I stepped up, held my breath for a couple of seconds and waited, almost not wanting to look at the digital number that would reveal my poor food choices while away.  There it was… 313 pounds.  WHAT?  I had lost another two pounds somewhere!  I double-checked to see if they weren’t hanging off the side of the scale, hiding, but they were not!  I think I actually giggled like a school girl, right before I closed my eyes and thanked and praised God for being there with me every step of the way and, in some miraculous way, guarding me against the weight gain I’d anticipated.  It was all about Him!  I had strayed, but He had not.  And He never will.

To date I have lost 13 pounds since I began this journey on July 15h, 2013.  Thus far, I have not begun to actively exercise… this has only been accomplished through faith, changing my eating habits and calorie intake, and craving Him other than food.  However, as I posted on my Facebook page last night, my husband found and purchased me a three-wheel bike – a trike – the manual kind, not motorized.  I have health and balance issues that keep me from riding a “regular” two-wheeler.  After he goes over it with a fine-tooth comb to make sure it’s safe, in perfect working order etc, I will begin riding my new tricycle just in time for the cooler fall weather.  Our rural road is mostly flat:  2 miles one way and 1 mile the other to the nearest cross roads.  And wide shoulders.  I’m looking forward to leashing up our Golden Retriever to keep me company and we’ll both exercise together!  We’ll see how the weight loss progresses after I begin getting more active!

 Until then, and until next time, thanks for stopping by and taking a look at my progress.  TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt


Mainly Maine ~

We left for Portland, Maine, on Saturday morning around 8:30 a.m.   All research said we should be there around 7 hours later… plenty of time to make the check-in deadline at the bed and breakfast of between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.   However, our sources evidently did not take into consideration the tourist traffic that hit us hard as soon as we got onto the Mass Turnpike.   At one point, we were going about 20-25 mph, bumper-to-bumper and stop-and-go traffic.   When we finally got closer to our coastal destination, we decided to get off the insanity that was the turnpike and try a local Route 1 that would take us to Portland, but with hopefully less traffic.   We were banking that no one “knew about” Route 1.   Were we ever wrong!   The first 5 miles were great, until we started coming into small town after small town. They were all inundated with tourists, and it was dinner time by now. It took us 25 minutes to get through the first small town ~ it should’ve taken us about 5 minutes. Eventually, we arrived at our Portland B & B at 7:30 p.m. – almost 12 hours after leaving home, and over an hour “late” for check-in. The host/hostess left us an envelope with our key and instructions in the mailbox.

Our B & B, the Inn at Park Spring, was a quaint brick townhouse with Victorian interior decorating, but our room was small and our bathroom/shower even smaller. However, it was home for the next three nights, and we were ever so happy to have it! Parking was a little over a block away in this cityscape area. We weren’t far from anything, but because my walking ability is limited to about a block, we had to drive everywhere, which meant finding a place to park even closer to our ultimate destination ~ whether it be the Schooner cruise or dinner or shopping. What a nightmare! It got so Al would drop me off in front of our destination, then go find a place to park, usually several blocks away.

I don’t know what I was thinking when planning this little getaway. Portland is a city. A very BUSY city, with hordes of tourists at every turn. It was, however, beautiful and enjoyable. Just a little hectic for what we expected. Much of the Commercial Street shopping district had touristy shops from every walk of life. However, most seemed geared toward the younger, college-aged crowd… same with many of the restaurants. Most were Indian, Italian, European, bistro or “eclectic”. There were only a few that actually catered to the seafood menu. Portland Lobster Company was one such, and had delicious food ~ but it was VERY expensive for a help-yourself atmosphere. It was more like a hot dog stand. We each ordered lobster rolls w/fries and cole slaw … Al got a beer and I a Pepsi for $55.00. We eventually decided it was easier for us to go OUT of Portland to eat, down Route 1 there were some nicer restaurants, and even some favorites like Dairy Queen. Fortunately, breakfast was provided for at the B & B each morning.

On Monday we went on the Windjammer schooner cruise which took us out into the bay for a couple of hours. Being a lover of water, I especially loved this excursion. There weren’t a lot of guests on this cruise, but a few were kids that grew bored really fast. After the cruise on Monday, we traveled down along the coast to Old Orchard Beach, which consisted mainly of arcade games, souvenir shops and a decent carnival with rides. We’d hoped to park and take a look around, including seeing a beach, but the throngs of people prevented anything but a quick drive through and back to Portland again. Although we knew we were driving right along the coastline, the over abundance of hotels, motels, resorts and private residences kept us from even seeing a glimpse of the water. Monday night would be our last evening in Portland, as we would be heading out to Burlington, Vermont on Wednesday morning, so we were hoping to find a nice place to have a quiet dinner with relatively little parking issues. There was this little hole-in-the-wall place called “Andy’s Pub” amidst all the stores and restaurants that were packed with people, and we decided to give Andy’s a chance. I don’t know how this place remained undiscovered! It was a nice little pub w/restaurant that offered great food and a singer that started crooning around 7:00 p.m. It was quiet, only a couple other customers that were obviously locals remained. Even though we had to drop and park about 6-7 blocks away, it made for a nice final evening in Portland.

The next morning, Wednesday, we were off to Burlington.

Thanks for stopping by and reading about our excursion.  Check out our continued vacation to Burlington and then Lake George, NY.   TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt


V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N ~

It’s finally here!  That time of year when I get to take some vacation time and get away from work for more than just a 3 or 4-day weekend.  I live for vacation!  I love to travel!  I get three weeks of vacation beginning this year, my fifth year at CNYEMS.  Al and I will be travelling to Maine in August for a week.  Well, we won’t only be in Maine.  We’ll be staying in Portland for the majority, but then coming back through New Hampshire and Vermont on the way home, with stays in Burlington, Vermont and Lake George, New York.

Have I mentioned that I’m a “planner”?  I’ve been planning this week long vacation since January… seriously.  I have every detail under control, planned out, reserved; from the B & B’s we’ll be staying at to the kennel boarding our dog, what we’ll do/where we’ll go each day, down to the mileage and time it takes to go from place to place.  I actually have a three-ring binder dedicated to our vacation.  Everything is not written in stone, by any means.  We can change our plans, except for where we’re staying and the Windjammer cruise from Portland, at any time.  The shopping, beaches, dining etc. are totally fluid.

Windjammer cruise out of Portland, Maine

Windjammer cruise out of Portland, Maine

Did I mention that I’m excited?  I have a tendency to think that each vacation I’m taking could very well be my last, so I make sure that it will be enjoyable!  Al?  Of course I consult and plan with my husband!  Well, sort of.  I do all the planning, then consult with him to see if he likes what I’ve planned, or if he wants to make changes.  Generally, he seems satisfied with my ideas.  Actually, when we began discussing 2013 vacation plans LAST DECEMBER, Al was the one who suggested New England.  We honeymooned in Massachusetts, but I’ve never been farther north than that.  I LOVE the east coast!

Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine


Where will you be vacationing this year?

Until next time, TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt