Day 258. September 18, 2013-Site seeing and captains meeting

Today I needed to get a temporary bank card since my number was taken over the weekend and my card was cancelled. Skip took me to the bank and it took no time which was great so he offered to drive us around.

My mom wanted to see wild horses so we started looking. Bee finally saw some and I will have to say it was worth looking for them. Plus my mom was so happy.

Skip then took us to Virginia City. This is an old mining town that hasn’t changed. The sidewalks are made if wood. It was so cool.


One e there we went boot shopping. I got some nice ones and am super thrilled. We walked around and walked into the casino. My mom won $6.25 on the slots. She was very happy. After awhile I was like ok I need to get back so we went home.

I packed up my stuff and took off to Tahoe City to check in to my hotel room. I gave my name Esperanza Kelly and the girl was oh that’s funny We have an Esperanza Jelly checking in. OMG no wonder they could not find my reservation last week when I was confirming. That’s worse than the Australians calling me SB when I first met Steve. But it was fine because they had given me a 20% discount since they had messed up my reservation.

I then headed to my captains meeting which was very short and I was able to pick up my credentials. I look so official.


Then dinner with Andy and Phil.

What I learned today is that there is some history that has been preserved. I am so used to Miami where everything is just torn down. I loved Virginia City. I also learned that Skip is a really great tour guide.

Day 257. September 17, 2013-packet stuffing at Ironman Lake Tahoe

Today was all about starting my volunteer efforts fir the inaugural Ironman Lake Tahoe. I signed up for a bunch of sessions and the first was stuffing the athlete bags.


It was quite the task but we had a great group of volunteers and we knocked it out just before lunch.

As a volunteer you get lunch so we took a break to eat before doing the registration packets. Lunch was great. Chicken fajitas and they were nice light and healthy.

We then started the registration packets. These have the bib numbers, stickers for helmets and bike and gear bags, wrist bracelets and a bike check out ticket. Each if us got a crate with all required stuff so that we could put everything in an envelope.

I was really impressed by the organization of all of this. We each had to do 100 packets which really only took about 30 minutes because it was so organized. The envelopes have the names and number. The bibs also have the names. Bracelets and tickets had the numbers. A printing success as far as I can see.

The funniest part was when this wind storm came in. Stuff went flying and we all had to stop to secure our stuff. You certainly did not want anything to get out of order. That would have been a disaster.

What I learned today is that there are people that will work their butts of for a common good and have fun doing it. I have volunteered at other events and people do not even show up so today was a big surprise. I am so thrilled to have decided to volunteer this week. Can’t wait for my next session.

Day 255-2566. September 15-16, 2013 Getting to Reno

Today was all about packing for my trip to Reno to visit my sister and to volunteer at the Lake Tahoe Ironman.  So I woke up and ran a 5k at the zoo.  It was super fun but I should have stayed home to pack.  I finally got home around noon and had so much to do.  I packed my bike and race gear and delivered it to Victoria’s house.  She is driving up a cargo van full of bikes for our race in Augusta (I am flying there from Reno).  I then proceed to pack for my trip to Reno.  I managed to finish by 8pm and I was exhausted.  So what did I do?  I stayed up until midnight.  Big mistake.

4:30 am on Monday morning came way to early.  I had to be at my Mom’s at 5:30 to be at the airport by 6am.  The day started with rain and by the time I got to the airport my shoes were soaked and I was miserable but not much I could do.

My brother Robert drove us to the airport and the entire way there my Mom could not understand a word I was saying.  She refused to put her hearing aids in.  I finally told her as we were checking our bags that I would not talk to her fro the next 14 hours if she didn’t put them in.  Thank god she remembered she had put them in her check in luggage before it got on the conveyor belt.

After we passed security we went to the Admiral’s club as we were flying first class.  Apparently they don’t let you in unless it is international flight or if you are going to LA.  It was so early in the morning I didn’t even try to argue.  We just went to the gate.  I was already pissed off that American Airlines changed our flights which added 6 hours to our trip and they never informed us.  I only found out when I checked in.

We finally boarded and the crew was so rude but we managed to get through the flight.  We were now in Houston.  The first thing I wanted to do is buy some flip flops.  I had to get out of the wet shoes.  We walked around for a while and realized there was nothing in the AA terminal.  My Mom wanted to go to the bathroom and when we walked in the girl in front was telling her that the the open toilet was clogged.  She couldn’t hear and after a few tries I just yelled “MOM put your freaking hearing aids in”.  The entire place just started laughing.  

We were bored and knew we had 3 hours to wait so we called my cousin to see if she would pick us up.  She couldn’t but did tell us about the train that links you to the other terminals so off we went.  I found some sandals and I was so much happier with dry shoes.  We walked around for 2 hours then we headed back to the gate.

We boarded and were surprised by a very nice crew.  They immediately got us some wine and already this flight was going better.  This flight got us to Los Angeles.  This has got to be the worst airport in the US.  Again we had 3 hours to wait.  By this time my Mom was spent and she just couldn’t comprehend the layover.  We argued about the time and time zones and Miriam’s phone number so we called her.  All I heard was my Mom tell Miriam is that we were arguing.  I laughed so hard and was ready to keep going.

After about an hour I said i am going for a beer.  The only place to get a beer was the snack bar and you were not allowed to take it out.  I just put the beer in my water bottle and went back to the gate.  I told my Mom and she just thought it was ridiculous.  I made come with me to get another one.  As we were sitting there every person pretty much complained about the same thing.  It was funny.

So we finally boarded again and after 14 hours we made it to Reno.  It was so good to see Miriam and Skip. 

What I learned today is that you should check your flights a few days ahead of your trip.  I may have saved us a lot of hours.  I also learned that my crazy need to carry an insulated water bottle is helpful when needing to sneak a beer out.  But the best part is that traveling on a messed up trip with my Mom is the way togo.  

Day 252-254. September 12-15, 2013-planting at the ranch

The last 3 days I was up in Okechobee at a friends house helping plant roughly 1300 plants. The plants I had been sourcing for the last few days.

When I got there it was pouring rain and none of the beds were ready for planting.  It did not look good so we sent the laborers home and waited for the rain to stop.  Loosing an entire day was not in our plans.

Once it stopped Argo took me for a spin to explore the ranch. There was so much water we didn’t get far.


On our way back we saw some horses so that was fun.

That night Argo was freaking because we had to get it done before Sunday and with the rain and the very slow laborers it didn’t look good. I told him to think positive and that the rain would stop.  We then went to dinner and had some laughs.

Sure enough we woke up and there was no rain.  We started by laying out planting beds so they could be prepared. At about that time my friend who owns the ranch asked me if I wanted to take a quick spin around the place.  I was ok I didn’t get to see much yesterday.  Well it wasn’t a short spin and Argo was not happy.  But I got to see some beautiful landscapes so I didn’t worry too much.


We went back to work until about 4:30 when the laborers went home.  We did not think the effort was all that great and were more worried about getting it done.


As we were walking around mo who was running around discovered some horses. It was priceless. He had never seen a horse (unfortunately my video could not upload but he was running around like a crazy happy dog).  Mo enjoyed his time at the ranch.

That night my cousin who lives down the street came over for dinner.   We cooked all sorts of fish, rice, black beans and ate with a salad.  The food was incredible and the company was was even better.  We had such a great time.

We decided we needed more laborers so on Saturday the guys went and got 4 more and we started working again.

I started laying out beds so the guys could plant.  So many plants I was like I need to leave by 2 and so much still to do. It was crazy but somehow we got a lot done.


I don’t know how much got done after I left but the project was a success.  It is amazing how some planting can change the look of a house.

What I learned this weekend was that heading out to a ranch can be so relaxing.  I don’t think I could live there full time but it sure makes a great place to visit.  I also learned that I need to spend more time with my cousin.  I don’t make enough effort to see her.  As we get older we seem to less spend time together when we should be spending more time together.



Day 251-252. September 10-11, 2013-Hunting down plants

The last 2 days were about locating all the plant material for a friends house.  This task should have taken about a week but I didn’t have a week.  So off to homestead I went and went from nursery to nursery until I finally found that I could get all the material from 2 places.  It was important to get the plants in as little stops as possible since we needed to hire a truck and driver to take this to Okeechobee.  These trucks charge for every stop so it can get costly.

What I learned today is that I miss running around in the nurseries.  Back when I used to work for Vila and Son Landscape I used to do that as part of my job.  It was great to get out of the office and enjoy the beautiful days in the outdoors.  It was by far my favorite part of the job.  It was also fun negotiating with the people to get the best price.  If I remember correctly I was pretty good at it.

After so many years I had forgotten how much time it takes to source plant material.   Plus I used to know who had what and now I don’t.  But the I am happy that I was able to tackle this task in just 2 days.  Well actually it was longer because I was researching and calling and figuring out where the nurseries were and creating a driving strategy.   All very important when you drive down south.

Dat 243-250. September 1-9, 2013-This is getting very hard to do

As I fill my days with more things to do I am finding it very difficult to keep my resolution of getting something major done each day and blog about it.  I still have 115 days to go.  It is time to regroup.  I need to cut some of my activities in order to do that.  Funny thing is that as soon as I decided to do that I ended up with more things on my plate than should be there.

I have so much to do and it seems I am just avoiding some of them.  Now I have 2 days to get everything done and I added an appointment for Wednesday afternoon that will pretty much kill my day since it is at 2pm and about an hour north of where I need to be.  I think I better reschedule that.

So what did I do the last 8 days.

Well I catered a dinner party for my sister and her friends who were celebrating one of the girl’s new job.  That pretty much took up my whole day because of course I went crazy and made some really good stuff but it was all time consuming but delicious.  Totally worth it.  The girls were trying to convince me to do it for a living.  They were all willing to find me clients.


Prosciutto and gouda flatbreads topped with red onion and honey


Skinny chicken salad bites


Tea smoked chicken, black rice and vegetable medley


Peaches in green tea topped with organic vanilla bean ice cream


The group

I rode on the computrainer for 3 hours.  That is an accomplishment in itself as it can get boring but very much needed since it is the only way to simulate hills in Miami.  We actually rode the Augusta half ironman course.  Then I went to a birthday party.

I did some more classwork but not nearly as much as I should have.

I slept way too much.  I got into the worst routine which started by taking a nap after my morning workouts.  Then I would start my day around 12 then stay up until 1 or 2am.  Very bad situation.  No wonder I did not get anything done.

Had a free Funday Sunday with my friend Sue.  That’s what we do during football season.  As usual we had fun.

Gave my dog a bath.

Gave Steve’s car a bath.

Had a breakthrough with my swimming.  I am not a bad swimmer but my coach had us counting strokes and breathing on each stroke and for the first time I actually felt myself propel through the water.  Sort of freaked me out because it felt fast.  But it was fun.

What I learned the past few days is that I really need a full time job.  I have too much time on my hands and it gets me in trouble.  I now know that I do need some structure and accountability to keep focused.

Day 236-242. August 26-September 1, 2013-All over the place

So this week I was all over the place.  Monday started with a site meeting at Moore Park.  The meeting was at 1:15 and it was really hot so I went in shorts.  I was also in Steve’s car which meant that I did not have my hardhat or work boots.  Of course I got in trouble for not having all my safety gear on.  But I did get a new hardhat from the guy who busted me.  Now I can just have one in each car and it will not be an issue.

Tuesday I woke up from my nap that I took after swimming and said I am not leaving this house until it is all clean and all laundry is done.  Well that pretty much took all day.  Then I headed to Trijungle for a meeting regarding our upcoming race in Augusta.

Wednesday was raining so I could not get to my morning site visit so I took a nap after my seriously hard bike session then headed up to Broward for a meeting to discuss the LEED points for one of my projects.  As usual the rest of the team is late.  So I made myself a cup of coffee and chilled out until the meeting started.  The meeting did not go well for some of the consultants but I came out ok.  Thank God for that.  If we do not meet LEED Silver we pay back 3% of the contract amount.  Not good if we have to do that.

Today I also asked my cousin Raquelita what I needed to get my resume done for my new career.  She offered to help me when I went to see her in NY.  She sent me some homework. So I started with that.  I also forwarded it to Steve since he will need to revamp his career as well.  The boat life is starting to take a toll on him and he needs to start thinking about his future.

Thursday was back at the pool and then weight training.  Another nap before spending like 7 hours making travel arrangements.  Steve gets one week off so he is going to meet me in Augusta and then we will head to Montreal for 4 days.  Can’t wait.  It was crazy getting us on the same flight to Montreal and then different flights on the way back as he goes back to Newport, RI.  But I got it all done.

Friday was all about hanging with some friends that I hadn’t seen in a while.  Then going home to watch Below Deck.  Every person that watches that show asks me about it so I thought let me see what it is about so I can respond.  The show is someone accurate in the sense of the politics and drama but in reality it isn’t as bad.  It is rare that a crew will come together and start a charter in one day.  Usually the key members will stay together for many years.  But it was fun to watch.

Saturday was a lazy day.  I started by reading and then I went to a computrainer workout then I ran into my cousins that were heading into Larios for dinner (I was headed to Winn Dixie which is across the street).  I ended up joining them for dinner and we stayed and listened the the band for a little while.  It was a nice surprise and lots of fun.

Today I spent the day reading and then progressing with my online course.  It has been a productive day.  

What I learned this week is that I am tired.  I do not think I have slept so much in my life.  It is not surprising as it has been a stressful year and we are starting the 4th quarter.  This past week  I just slept when I had to and I didn’t worry if stuff did not get done.  My body needed it.

I also had things happen that reiterates the message that everything happens for a reason.  This week I told some people that I was going to be in my new job by the end of the year.  A few jobs showed up in my email that are right up my alley.  So then my cousin’s homework came in and one of the things I need to do is “Describe an imaginary job that would be perfect for you”.  I was telling my cousins at dinner last night about this and how most of the kinds of jobs I am looking at are either in Washington or NYC.

It’s really funny because John, who lives in Washington asked me had I ever been to Washington.  I think he wanted to know if had I been there and not called him but I was there before he moved there so I was in the clear.  But that is how I came to tell him about what I was looking for.  Well lets just say that I think when I finish coming up with the description of my perfect job he will be the one who helps me get it.

So it seems everything is falling in to place but here is the best part.  I was telling a friend how I wanted to buy this house around the corner so my Mom could have a project and he was like well what are you going to do with the house.  I said rent it out or move in and rent my house.  His response let me know because I am ready to move and would love to rent it from you.  

So I am freaking out a little bit because I know the power of speaking what you want and have it happen.  My life is about to change for the better and I am excited but OMG OMG OMG it is happening so fast.