Great Things Ahead

I’ve got a job. Yep, that’s right.

You may remember that I was recently laid off.  You may also remember that I had a game plan in place that called for sitting tight and seeing how the cards would fall.  Well, last week they fell in my favor.

As planned, I applied for all open positions that interested me at my former workplace.  I never expected I’d be called back for each position I applied for, but guess what?  I was. Sticking to the timeline that was provided, interviews were hosted Monday and Tuesday of last week. While most people came in for interviews for a position or two that lasted a couple of hours I was in non-stop interviews all day on both Monday and Tuesday.  I’m talking two 8-hour days for a total of 24 interviews.  You read that right. Twenty-four interviews.  Let me be clear, I am not complaining nor am I boasting.  I was grateful for the opportunity.

I didn’t hesitate to tell each and every interviewer that I saw the glass half full and that everything happens for a reason.  I wasn’t just putting on a brave and happy face for all of our benefits.  No, I truly believed it.

Journey #quote

While moving from my old position to a new position was on my radar there wasn’t much fire under me given the short amount of time I had been in the role.  And even if I would’ve been on track to move along chances are I would’ve been on a straight and narrow path with little deviation.  Not only did getting laid off provide a kick but it busted open a whole new world of opportunities. Chances are I would’ve never had the opportunity to gain exposure to so many departments or touch base with such a vast network of people if this never would’ve happened.

My only hope was that out of all of those interviews someone would want me.  Thankfully several did and I will be heading back to work in a position that is in a totally different direction than I’ve ever gone before, and I’m pretty stoked about that.

Over the past several weeks I’ve found myself saying, “Great things ahead….” to myself and others. It’s basically become my go-to mantra. But it’s not something I’ve just found myself saying…Once again,I truly believe it.

As expected, being laid off was probably one of the best things that could have happened to me.

Unique Journey #Quote

Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)

Adventuring Without A Plan

You’d think that by being unemployed I’d have sat down and written a blog post every day.  Obviously I haven’t.  I’ve been off keeping busy making plans for future adventures or actually our living them.  Gosh, sometimes I’m not so good at being a blogger.  Safe to say that I’m good at the adventurer part though, eh?  The best way to stay abreast as to what’s going on in my life in real-time?  Follow my instagram feed.

(No, I haven’t forgotten about finding a job….more on that soon!)

More often than not I’m the one who sets out our game plan, deciding where DH and I are going, and mapping out how to get there.  However, before I could figured out our plans for last week DH said, ‘Let’s head to Sedona tomorrow.” He had me at Sedona.  If you’ve followed me for awhile you know that Sedona holds a special place in my heart.  I could go on and on about Sedona but since I already have let’s just leave it at that.

Me: “What’s our plan when we get there?”

DH: “There is no plan. Let’s see what happens along the way.”

Given that Phoenix is in a valley we have a pretty warm climate year round. When you head north, even just an hour or two,  you gain altitude which also means a change in climate.  While it can get toasty Sedona has pretty moderate temperatures and even experiences snow during the winter. As we made our way up north on that Friday morning I kept my eye on the temperature gauge, hoping that it would start to drop….and it did. When we made our exit to head into Sedona we pulled over to remove the Jeep sunroof panels for the first time and enjoy the absolutely gorgeous mid 70s-low 80s weather.

David Heidi Jeep Sedona

Since we’re usually off-roading or hiking we’ve never taken the time to walk through the shops in downtown Sedona, so that’s where we ventured first.  After spending an hour or so browsing we found ourselves back in the Jeep, driving around, taking in the views. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen them, they never get old.  Can you really beat this view?

Sedona Jeep

As we headed towards west Sedona we decided to keep going and take the long way home through Jerome and Prescott, venturing into areas that we had never seen before.  So many people have said that we need to check out this area so it was the perfect opportunity.

Driving up the switchbacks through the mining town of Jerome was crazy.  I’m sure that anyone who lives there is not scared of heights because the town is literally built on the side of a mountain.

Jerome, Arizona

Before leaving Jerome we made a quick stop at the Audrey Shaft.  No longer operating, it was built in 1918 for copper mining and is 650 feet deeper than the Empire State Building is tall.

Audrey Shaft

DH and I love history.  When you couple that with our recent interest in rock hounding it’s been interesting learning about the history of mining here in Arizona.  Some of which still continues today!

Audrey Shaft

Audrey Shaft

After stopping we carried on, driving up and up and up, finally descending into Prescott Valley and the town of Prescott.  We made our way through the center of town and Whisky Row, which is the area named for the numerous saloons that once lined the street. Although we weren’t on a set schedule it was getting later and our curiosity to explore would have to wait until another day.

We continued on down the mountain, back into the valley of the sun. We’ve always wondered what the route from Sedona through Jerome and Prescott had to offer and it didn’t disappoint.

Drive Home From Sedona

So often planning is a must when it comes to our Jeep off-roading adventures, but sometimes it’s nice to have variety and adventure with no plan in mind, enjoying whatever comes our way.

David Heidi Prescott

Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)

Delicious, Nutritious, & Vegan – Pomegranate Cafe’

One of the first vegan restaurants recommended to us when we first moves to Arizona in 2012 was Pomegranate Cafe’. Unfortunately it’s on the other side of the valley. While we get over there a decent amount we just never found ourselves stopping in. Not to mention, while DH is pretty open-minded I found it’s best if I scope out vegan restaurants first.

Luckily for me my first #RunEatTweetAZ meet up just so happened to be right around the corner from the Pomegranate Cafe…and a few friends, Jeremy and Mike, wanted to join me for brunch after our workout. How perfect?!

Pomegranate Cafe

Pomegranate Cafe prides itself on making everything from scratch with the highest quality, nutrient rich, organic, whole, plant-based ingredients.  All of their produce is 100% organic as is most everything else they serve. They are 100% non-GMO and do everything they can to ensure that they are supporting companies and growers who share their philosophy.  In addition they support small, local farmers and artisans who provide exceptional products with ecologically responsible methods.

Although one of my friends had eaten at Pomegranate before I wasn’t sure what to expect. Their location was easy to find strip mall and had plenty of parking. Walking up I noticed the fresh herbs they were growing just outside of their door. Upon entering we were immediately drawn to the case full o’pastries and other delicious-looking baked goods along with the board of specials. Once one of the servers was able to grab our attention they invited us to grab a menu, find a seat, and someone would be with us shortly.

Pomegranate Cafe

The bright but warm colors of the restaurant along with their use of repurposed materials made it welcoming. When we took a seat we started to check out the menu. The awesome thing about Pomegranate is everything is served 100% vegan. However, if a patron wants eggs all they have to do is ask and they shall receive. They also have multiple raw options.

Pomegranate Cafe

Although I debated on going with something light along with a fresh juice I ultimately chose to indulge by ordering the Tropical Paradise Pancake special.  One of my friends ordered the Basic Breakfast with eggs and the other went for the Fired Breathing Dragon Omelet special.

Pomegranate Cafe Menu

Pomegranate Cafe Menu

Pomegranate Cafe Menu

Pomegranate Cafe Menu

Pomegranate Cafe Menu

Knowing that it was Sunday and having been forewarned by others at the meetup we were prepared to wait for our food.  While the wait wasn’t horribly long and the company was great I’m glad we had a heads up because it did take slightly longer than a typical breakfast joint.  But the short wait was worth it.

When my huge stack of pancakes arrived I knew there was no way I was going to finish them. And yes, they are topped with vegan whipped cream, macadamia nuts, strawberries, blueberries, coconut, and pomegranate seeds.  I don’t think I’ve ever had pancakes that decked out before.  They were delicious and dare I say almost too sweet. While I made a good dent in them as expected I didn’t clean my plate. So.Much.Food.

Pomegranate Cafe

The others were pretty happy with their choices.  However,  Jeremy wished he’d ordered something bigger than the Basic Breakfast.

Pomegranate Cafe

I so wanted to try Mike’s potatoes that came with his omelet.  Don’t they look tasty?

Pomegranate Cafe

All in all it was a great experience.  The staff was super friendly and the food was excellent.  After taking a decent look at their menu I have no doubt that DH or any other meat-eater could easily find something to satisfy their palate.  I’m already planning to make another trip to try out their lunch/dinner options!

 

Pomegranate Cafe

Pomegranate Cafe’
4025 E. Chandler Blvd, Suite 28
Phoenix, AZ 85048
Phone 480.706.7472

Tuesday-Thursday: 8 am – 4 pm
Friday & Saturday night: 8am – 9pm
Sunday: 8 am – 4 pm
Closed Mondays

Credit cards accepted

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Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
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Looking for more vegan food in Phoenix and beyond? Check out my Vegan Travel, Reviews, & Recipes.

Ultrarunning: A New Adventure

Just about 2 weeks ago I received an email titled “I have an idea” from #omniten sister Heather.  She knows me well…and how to get my attention.  I quickly read it and knew I had to mull it over for it bit. Her idea? To run a 50K race.  Not only that, but she wanted me to join her. Uh, me?  Oh yeah, and she had already chosen a race that was within driving distance of me.  And of course it wasn’t just any ol’ course.

Ultra Adventures Antelope Canyon

It’s the Ultra Adventures Antelope Canyon course in Page, Arizona complete with views of Horseshoe Bend….a location I’ve wanted to visit, but have yet to, since we moved to Arizona.

Horseshoe BendHorseshoe Bend – Source: Wikipedia

Unfortunately moments later I received another email telling me I had been laid off.  Heather’s email sat untouched for a day or two while I created a game plan to secure employment (FYI, game plan is in effect….just waiting to see how the cards fall).

For those that aren’t familiar, most people consider an ‘ultra’ anything over the typical marathon distance (26.2 miles).  A 50K is just over 31 miles and then there are 50 and 100 mile distances.

While the idea of running an ultra may seem totally off of the wall it’s actually been on both of our radars for awhile. We both have several ultrarunner friends and most recently Heather got to witness and pace another #omniten sister, Heidi of Run.Around.Aroo, for her first 100 miler. As I looked to the future I always figured I’d tackle an actual marathon first given the progressive distance.  However, as time goes on the idea of attempting to run a non-stop 8 minute mile while pounding pavement doesn’t seem all that fun. (Not that I could keep an 8 minute mile for more than a mile anyway…just keeping it real).

When I got around to responding to Heather I was still trying to wrap my brain around the idea of running an ultra.

Ultra Adventures Antelope Canyon 50K50K course doesn’t run through Antelope Canyon but the longer distances do

Instead of answering her with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ she received a crazy long email from me with questions like, “I’ve never run a marathon…can I do this?”and “What am I going to do for fueling? After running for 7 years I still haven’t figured that out….”

So began the back and forth conversation of us talking each other into registering for an ultra….

-Ultras are a totally different animal and just like any sport, it’s a different culture.

-We both know it’s important to respect the distance and training required, but we also know that ultrarunning is different than any other race we’ve ever done. For instance, many ultra runners hike the uphills and run the downhills/flats. In other words, it’s like combining two of our favorite things, hiking and running.

Ultra Adventures Antelope Canyon 50K Elevation

-While there are ultrarunning road races there are many that are on the trails with some amazing views. (Like Antelope Canyon)

-Ultras have actual food at aid stations instead of gels. (Something that will hopefully help me with my previously experienced tummy troubles).

-We both like to try stuff and are constantly challenging ourselves, but there’s no way we’d run an ultra without the other.

After a few back and forth emails it was settled. We’re doing it and we’re in this together.

Antelope Canyon Ultra Registration

I’ve got some serious work to do.  Not only do I have to work on endurance and distance but I have to get back on the trails.  Thankfully Fall has started to arrive here in Phoenix and the temperatures are starting to drop, which means the rattlesnakes will (hopefully) be heading into hibernation soon.

As stated above I also need to work on my fueling.  It’s something I haven’t quite mastered and need to figure out. I know what works for one doesn’t always work for another but if you have any great vegan-friendly fueling products/tips/ideas/resources….I’m all ears! As you probably guessed, I’ve already started my own in-depth research.

I’m happy to say that being unemployed has given my running the kick it needed. While I’ve been running all summer it’s been great to get out whenever and however long I want for the past week or so.  It seems as though my body has adjusted well to my new shoes and orthotics so running a solid 4 pain-free miles each day has provided the boost of confidence I needed in my running, especially as I take on this challenge.

Heidi Running

I must admit that I was hesitant to post about this for fear of jinxing us.  Sadly we’ve each had at least one experience where we’ve posted our plans only to have them fall through due to injury, sickness, or some other setback.  However, we decided that this is something we’re too stoked on to keep a secret and want to allow our friends and family to follow our journey to becoming ultrarunners.

Make sure to follow #50KAdventure on Instagram and Twitter to keep track of our training and follow us come race day!

Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)