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The big hole in the ground

January 24, 2012
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With the race completed, it was time for a mini-vacation (aka yummy food and sightseeing). It was only fair that we have dinner at PF Chang’s since they were sponsoring the race and there was a location 2-miles away from our hotel in downtown Tempe.

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I don’t know whether food just tastes better away from home or it was the runner’s high from the race, but this dinner ranked high on my tasty and healthy list. We started with steamed chicken dumplings and shared Asian grilled salmon with asparagus, ginger chicken with broccoli and brown rice.

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A while back I saw a recommendation in Runner’s World for PF Chang’s Grilled Salmon, Asparagus and brown rice as a pre-race dinner. I have to concur that brown rice is a much better carb option, at least for my digestive system. It’s filling and gives me lots of energy without making me feel heavy and bloated like when I eat pasta.

And then the weirdest thing happened… I am generally not superficial at all and often skip the horoscope section in magazines and newspapers. But check out my fortune:

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Do you think the Arizona location just orders a bunch of custom ones with the word desert in them? BTW, I stopped eating the fortune cookies when I found out they are like 200 calories each– their size is totally deceiving.

Instead we stopped by a local frozen yogurt shop (Arizona just like California has frozen yogurt shops on every corner. Sometimes there are even two on the same corner. So jealous!)

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Post-race we headed to a Jewish Deli where I indulged in my favorite sandwich – Chopped Liver on freshly baked rye, coleslaw and dill pickle.

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We finished the meal with fruit, apricot Hammantashen and apple-cinnamon rugelach.

After lunch, we headed to Old Scottsdale which looked just like an old western movie set. I kept waiting for Clint Eastwood to pop out spinning his guns.

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Later that evening, we headed to a local brewery which is one of the top-rated eateries in Tempe.

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The Peach and the Hef were my two favorites. Both had a light summery taste which seemed weather-appropriate for the Russian Canadian since it was 65 degrees and we were sitting on an open patio. The chicken spinach salad was pretty average.

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The following morning, we woke up early, packed up, had a quick continental breakfast where I mistook gravy (to be served with biscuits) for oatmeal. Thankfully Eric jumped in between me and the ladle as I, filled with excitement to have found a healthy option, was about to pour myself a large bowl. He must have read my mind.  The drive up to the Grand Canyon took about 4 hours but felt like we drove all across country as the  scenery changed from the red desert to snow brushed woods to golden brownish fields of hay back to rocky/sandy mountains.

We stayed at the Bright Eagle Lodge on the south rim of the Canyon. This lodge was one of the first hotels at the rim built in 1937. As soon as we arrived, equipped with a hot beverage and wind-resistant Lulu gear, we decided to venture for a 2 mile hike to face the wilderness of the Grand Canyon. Ok, I might be exaggerating a bit. Smile We strolled along a nicely paved walkway looking at billion year old rocks and along with dozens of other tourists snapping hundreds of Canyon photos which all pretty much looked the same upon further examination.

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There is just no way to capture one of world’s great wonders. It’s absolutely breathtaking, though they cheat a bit since the air is much thinner due to the elevation. Smile

The next morning we bundled up in blankets and watched the sun rise over the Canyon while sipping our morning coffee.

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The road trip to the frosty Canyon prepared us well for what to expect upon our return home. For the next three days, Eric and I were trapped in the house as Seattle and neighboring areas experienced one of the largest snow storms in years.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 25, 2012 9:43 am

    200 Calories in one fortune cookie?! That is utterly shocking. Froyo is for sure the better option!!

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