daily walk: bangkok taste

Dear Internet,

When TheHusband and I were bouncing around dinner ideas yesterday, he suggested making Thai food which I immediately grabbed on to as I love peanut curry with chicken like no one’s business. TheHusband, however, seemed convinced that the only way we could make it was with crunchy peanut butter and we only had creamy. So obviously we had to go out to our favorite local Thai place to have dinner.

Like I’m going to turn that down?

One of the best things about our location is we’re about a mile from the downtown core where Bangkok Taste is located, so it’s easily within walking distance from the house. As I knew today I was not going to get my walk in, I felt more motivated to do a second walk last night to alleviate the guilt of not walking today AND plus there is food at the end of the rainbow. DOUBLE WIN.

(Well, triple win. I have leftovers!)

bangkoktaste

Distance: 2.34 miles (round trip)
Walk time: 46:40 minutes
Pace: 19:56/mile

Even with TheHusband’s sauntering ways, I made it under a 20 minute mile.

Even though I fixed the problem I was having with Walkmeter, I decided to use the Fitbit walk tracker on the way home to see how that compared — and wow is it easy and awesome. No overly complicated controls, is easy to navigate and understand, and WORKS. I’m sold.

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2003

daily walk: pineapple on plinths

Dear Internet,

Consider the pineapple.

In Michigan, where pineapple is definitely not a native fruit, you may think seeing pineapples on plinths at the end of driveways and walkways would seem weird and out of place. So why on earth would those in ye olden days use pineapples decoratively? Why the pineapple and not say a banana, or an apple, or grapes?

Glad you asked!

While the past is a bit murky and conflicting of when pineapples were introduced into the western world, what is clear is that the social history of the pineapple exploded during the Georgian era, as due to their rarity, pineapples were considered luxurious and heavily desired goods. Having access to a pineapple, either by renting it or owning it, cemented the pineapple’s owner of their high status in society. The same pineapple would often appear at numerous dinners, to be admired and never eaten, until the fruit itself went to rot and then the process would start all over again.

England is not the warmest of countries so special techniques were formulated to successfully grow pineapples in English soil in special greenhouses called pinerys.  This of course raised their value even more as only the wealthiest could afford the time and the money to build and maintain what the pinery required.

So how does this connect with pineapple on plinths at the end of a walkway in good old Grand Rapids?

pineappleonplints

Distance: 1.12 miles
Walk time: 23:20 minutes
Pace: 20:71/mile

Well, it could be a couple of things.

The first is as most of the houses in my neighborhood date back to the mid 1800s, it’s not a leap to imagine a local captain of industry and his family made various Grand Tours to the continent. The wife (or hell, even the husband) saw pineapples used decoratively as they travelled – pineapple as a motif was seen in paintings, china, wallpaper, building design and more. What up and coming Grand Rapids socialite wouldn’t want to be considered the height of European fashion by having her own pineapple plinths?

The second, and probably the most probable, is several social historians suggest that Carib peoples, native to Guadalupe, would put pineapples at the entrance of their village to let visitors know they were welcome at anytime. When Columbus and his dudes took the fruit back to the continent, this same practice started appearing at the entrance European homes. It was also apparently a huge todo here in the colonies to have replica of pineapples built at the entrance of your home to indicate to all that entered  would be given the utmost in friendliness and hospitality.

We’ll never really know the story of the pineapple on plinths for this particular sliver of land in my neighborhood. As the historic register requires all modifications and rebuilds to be period specific to the origin of the house, when a home has been destroyed and cannot be rebuilt for whatever reason, the land becomes  small parks.

And this particular place, all that is left of that once stately home, and the history that once surrounded it, is a pair of pineapples on plinths.

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2010, 1999

daily walk: pleasant park

Dear Internet,

I am a dilly-dallier.

When my alarm goes off in the morning, there is usually a minimum of two snoozes (18 minutes), then I check the weather to suss out the days outfit. At that point, I should get out of bed, do the walk, and then start the rest of my day. But then I need to figure out my route because I change it up everyday. Then I need to do a hundred different things and instead of getting in a walk at 730AM, it is now 9AM.

Pleasant Park - coming July 14 near you.
Pleasant Park – coming July 14 near you.

Distance: 1.54 miles
Walk time: 31:19 minutes
Pace: 20:25/mile

Pleasant Park is located down the block from Throbbing Manor. It is a city initiative to turn an old parking lot into a 2 acre green space. The project has been plagued with financial problems from the start, since this started before we moved here in January 2011.

Last year we took to the polls to approve a $500 per property owner tax in the adjacent neighborhood, levied over 10 years, to pick up the financial slack. Because of all the setbacks, the park that was to open last year is finally opening this month. We hope. But right now, it doesn’t look like much.

Because of the problems I had yesterday with everything crashing and my phone had been sluggish as hell as of late, I did a restore last night which seemed to have cleared whatever problem was ailing it. I also figured out the sequence of which apps to run when so everything works harmoniously.

Until I got home and saw the Walkmeter recorded my time, but definitely did not record pace or milage.  There was a lot of, “Are you fucking kidding me?” as I stood in frame of the front door.

At least I know how to use a calculator.

When I had my arthritis surgery a few years ago, they cut the fascia of my right tendon in my calf (warning: not for the squeamish) to lengthen it because I was having problems with cramps and locking up when I was doing couch to 5K plans. So now my right calf is like, “I CAN WALK FOREVER,” while my left calf is, “BITCH, PLEASE.”

Thus, when I sorted out two walks this morning figuring I would choose the one at the split on how I was feeling with my left calf. I thought the shorter walk was barely a mile, while the extra few blocks would push me more towards the 1.25 mile. Nope, I was wrong — the first walk was 1.25 while the additional blocks pushed me closer to 1.5 miles. About half way in, the tightness of my left calk was getting pretty unbearable, there was a few times I almost cut the walk short, but after a few more blocks, the pain started to lessen so when I came to the split, I opted for the long way. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I saw how far I had walked today – – profanity in front of my house of a piece of shit app notwithstanding.

Hey! Looks like the latest Fitbit app update now does the same thing. Sorry, Walkmeter. I am going to have to quit you.

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2010