3 Days in Boston with Family

DSC_5797Boston is loaded with family friendly activities, and these sites were helpful in choosing what to see:

TripAdvisor’s 3 days on Boston most helpful, with pics and ratings

Independent Traveler’s 3 Days in Boston My favorite itinerary

Suggested 3 Day Boston Itineraries interesting, with several ideas

Pictures of what to try in Boston I liked these pics and reviews

The best advice I can give for an outsider coming to visit Boston:  hire a guide!  Per hour. Several days in a row.  $65/hr. Next time I will plan a 6 hour tour with a guide.

It’s worth it.  I’m not kidding, nor am I loaded with extra cash.

There’s oodles of history in Boston.  Oodles.  A plethora.  Books and books worth.

In 4 days, we missed some of the most important sites on our “Must See” list.  If we had hired a guide, we would have seen everything, we would have known at what we were looking and why AND had extra time to eat more cannolli in North End at Mike’s Pastry.

Mike's Pastry, North End, Boston There is usually a line out the door, but it moves fast

Mike’s Pastry, North End, Boston

The North End was our favorite, besides Cape Cod, but that’s not really Boston. North End includes a section of the Freedom Trail, including Paul Revere’s house, several churches, and many many plaques with historic info.  But, what is most fun about North End is all the  great food.

 

We really enjoyed:

  • North End
  • The Museum of Science x 2
  • The Blue Man Group!
  • The Freedom Trail
  • Harvard Square
  • Walking around

What we didn’t quite dig… see this other post How NOT to Visit Boston with Family.

 

How NOT to Visit Boston with Family

Boston rocks.  There is so much to see and do, it should be fun & exciting…if you have planned your visit.

I have to chalk this trip up to “How NOT to visit BOSTON”.  A wonderful opportunity to experience lack of planning in action.  A solid list of Don’t’s.  The CARDINAL SINS OF TRAVELING…all in ONE trip!

DON’T:

  • Pack for the entire family the night before without checking the weather  (this paved the way for the other disasters)
  • Check to see if lodging is comfortable (and quiet…but HOW do you check that??)
  • Have a lodging back up plan in place
  • Study the subway lines to know where to go
  • Make a list of the “Don’t Miss These” places, and make them a priority
  • Have sanity, confidence, & rational thinking

This trip was a great example of how lack of planning can create “I wish we were home” type statements…which for me is like a traveling death sentence.

Why was this trip was not our favorite?  Partly because of the cold April weather and mostly because this was the least prepared I have ever been for travel in my life.

I was off my game.

It may have been because of last year’s bombing at the Boston Marathon, or maybe the unexpected cold weather in Spring…I’m not sure, but I was in SLOW MOTION!    It was weird.

First of all, I rolled the dice to save money with lodging, using Airbnb.com for the first time, and choosing a small condo outside of Boston Proper, in Jamaica Plain. I booked months ahead of time.   The condo was charming and a great choice to save money by taking the “T” (subway) into town instead of dealing with pricey parking and LOTS of traffic.  All that was true and money saving.

But…it was loud for our family.  It was ON a main street with traffic noise 24/7,  we didn’t sleep much.  By the 2nd day (out of 8 nights), it was like pulling teeth just to get out of bed…much less go walking for 15+ miles each day in the freezing cold to see Boston.  At 2 AM I was surfing the net to find a different place to stay…but everything was $500+ per night because of the Boston Marathon.  Lesson Learned.

Add 35-45 degree weather with freezing winds…and our family dressed for 65 degree weather (MY FAULT-I KNOOWW) then looking for/at those brass signs “of historical importance” becomes not so important.

Hot chocolate, warm feet and pasta become important.

DSCN1107So, we got to see many Italian restaurants in North End, which we could find, instead of the site of the Boston Tea Party or the Tour of Fenway Park.  We DID get to Fenway park, where we bought $35/each hats because of freezing weather for which we were under-dressed, (And a whopping $150 off budget with one purchase). But, we didn’t get to go on the tour because it was sold out.  This describes our typical luck of this trip:

  • Get up tired from nooo sleep, dreaming of getting hit by the numerous busses that pass by each hour
  • Dress the kids with pants on pants, shirts on shirts, while they grumble, tired & hungry
  • Eat out because our “budget condo” has a vegetarian kitchen…
  • Walk to the “T”, trying to find Fenway Park
  • Get lost.  Ask for directions, get lost. Walk all the way around Fenway Park to find the “tour gate”, which, btw, was RIGHT next to the “T” doors.
  • Miss our chance to go on the Fenway Park tour because of for said “Walk AROUND the OUTSIDE of Fenway Park”
  • Take the wrong “T” train, get lost, ask for directions, realize the directions are wrong
  • Have Pasta, Thank Goodness we could find THAT!
  • Get home, exhausted, to another night of no sleep.  “Yay.” whispers my daughter…

    Boston Subway... Jake dropped his new hat... it was gone in a flash. :(

    Boston Subway… Jake dropped his new hat… it was gone in a flash. 😦

For the Fenway Park Tours, fyi, noon is a popular time, so try for 11 or 1:00.  They leave on the hour, so plan for that.

Just to keep the positive of Boston positive, I separated what worked during our trip to a different post in this post 3 Days in Boston with Family.

If you have any questions about this trip, let me know.  🙂

Stay Positive After Serious Injury

Are you recovering from a serious injury? Try to stay positive.  Think about your body like a team:_MG_2523

  • You need all players at their best to play a great game…in this case, the “game” is you healing
  • Each player on the team has an important part in the game…or your “healing”
  • The players need to get along, no name calling or negative Nelly, no blaming (is Nelly really someone’s name?)
  • When the team communicates and gets along, amazing things can happen!

So, here are your “Team mates” in your healing process:

  • REST…like NOT moving, sitting still with your affected area above your heart…really
  • Hydration…drink until your lips aren’t dry & your pee is barely yellow
  • Breathing…deep breathing, think oxygen= recovery
  • Light stretches & movement (especially after surgery…move your low back! move your unaffected areas)
  • Good nutrition!
  • Staying positive, keeping hope… watch “feel good” movies like Rocky or “How to Train you Dragon” where you cheer for others

Staying positive is the MOST important part of this list!  It can be hard to keep hope and think that you won’t get out of this injury ever to play or compete again.  EVER.  We understand.  But…try to keep your chin up.  Remember statements like:

  • “Days injured make me grateful for the days I’m healthy!”

  • “This is a great lesson in being patient.”

  • “I’m learning to really slow down and pay attention to what’s really important.”

  • “My health is the most important resource I have.”

  • “Never give up!”

Support your body the best you can with everything you know to be good for it.  Do this in every aspect of your day including your self talk, the food you eat, the movies you watch, the rest you get.

Do each task with intension to heal: rest to heal, not just to rest.  Think of the cells getting more energy for healing while you are resting.  Think of your cells getting more oxygen when you breathe.  Forgive yourself or anything/one you need to forgive to have a clear mind so you can support your healing.

Use your thoughts to orchestrate powerful teamwork that makes healing happen.

If you need support, email us.  Find support.  Help others.  These all help.

🙂

Valentine’s Massage Specials for 2014

Choose from 3 specials for your valentine

Choose from 3 specials for your valentine

Spoil your Valentine with one of these great gift ideas:

  • $240   3-hours Pack of Therapeutic Massages with a Valentines Gift Basket (while supplies last)
  • $95     Valentine’s Choice, any 1-hour massage style with 2 extra added goodies of your choice: aromatherapy, hot towels, facial massage, a take-home skin brush, and several other choices
  • $75     A 1-hour Relaxation Massage with Valentine’s choice of a handmade gift: handmade soap, spritzes, aromatherapy oil

Buy Valentine’s Specials here, if you have any questions, call 505-332-9292.

On Valentines Night, for a unique alternative to dinner and movie traditions, learn to give your Valentine a massage at home and come to our Valentines Couples Massage Class on Friday night, 6:00-9:00.  Call us, for more information.

 

Our Boston Marathon Runner Safe & Sound

Our client finished 20 or more minutes before the tragic finish-line blast.  She had stopped for a drink and a snack and then made her way back to her hotel when the blast went off. We are so thankful and blessed to have her on her way home safely.

Join us to pray for those who lost someone and for the injured spectators to heal quickly.

Kid’s Sports: Finding the Happy Medium

I grew up playing soccer and played into my adult life.  For many years I’d have practice 6 days a week with little rest.

Now, in my sports massage office, I see plenty of athletes of all ages with chronic pain from whatever sport they played growing up and in college and beyond.  Now there is the new generation of athlete, in middle school or high school, playing their sport 6 days a week without much rest.

They show up in my office in pain.  Chronic Pain.  At 12.  Really?

What is the goal, parents, of sports?  Is the goal to have chronic pain and ulcers from the emotional stress?

I understand, and often pursue & encourage, that paying for college with a sport, or playing professional whatever sport is the American Dream.  But, realistically, how many of our children will do this?

Given the obesity problem in our country, exercise and sports are a great outlet and can be very healthy.

There has to be a happy medium.  Maybe if we could encourage sports as a fun daily activity that ADDS to life….instead of BEING our life.  An activity that we can do into our 80’s without surgeries and joint replacements in our 40’s.

Our kids watch us limp around, exercise in gyms and then drive to buy coffee.  We don’t take care of our bodies in America, and I really hope to remind us to, including myself, to be more mindful of our healthy limits.  If we could remember to hydrate…really hydrate, to stretch, add massage as a monthly or weekly part of a self health insurance program of preventative maintenance.

Our kids don’t need to have the same battle scars of their parents.  My own 2 blown knees, broken neck and broken sternum from years of soccer show their ugly whining as I get up from a restaurant table or can’t run with my daughter more than a 9 minute mile and she is running circles around me, literally. Our kids can be smart, notice their physical limits, how to de-stress their own bodies with breathing, stretching, massage, ice/heat and rest.  Lets teach them healthy habits, not the idea of getting used to pushing their bodies, emotionally and physically, past a healthy point of return.

Our kids can play hard and still stay healthy, with rest, hydration, massage, stretching, better nutrition and WARM DOWNS.

My goal for sports in my athletic children’s lives:  to give them an emotional outlet, to create fun & team work, great friends, good sportsmanship, family fun and strength/speed.

What I hope NOT to do, even though I lived this, is NOT to put their sport above their health, above their schoolwork, above family time.

Muscle of the Day: Sartorius

A great muscle to study, causing pain after thigh injury, can be stretched like the normal quad stretch.  Its sometimes mis-diagnosed as a quad injury.

Origin: Anterior Superior Iliac Spine

Insertion: Proximal Tibia

Action: Flexes, Abducts and Laterally Rotates Hip. Flexes Leg at Knee

The Sartorius, the longest muscle in the body, is narrow and ribbon-like; it arises by tendinous fibers from the anterior superior iliac spine and the upper half of the notch below it. It passes obliquely across the upper and anterior part of the thigh, from the lateral to the medial side of the limb, then descends vertically, as far as the medial side of the knee, passing behind the medial condyle of the femur to end in a tendon. This curves obliquely forward and expands into a broad aponeurosis, which is inserted, in front of the Gracilis and Semitendinous, into the upper part of the medial surface of the body of the tibia, nearly as far forward as the anterior crest. The upper part of the aponeurosis is curved backward over the upper edge of the tendon of the Gracilis so as to be inserted behind it. An offset, from its upper margin, blends with the capsule of the knee-joint, and another from its lower border, with the fascia on the medial side of the leg.

Henry Gray, “Anatomy of the Human Body”

Our Favorite Stretch

If you don’t have a ball, you can lay on the ground. Or, you can do a side bend…but the ball works best.

Try this stretch for aching in your neck, shoulder, arm or low back. The key is to point and push your big toe into the ground. This will help stretch your hip away from your shoulder which gives a great stretch.

Start by sitting on the ball, turning on your side with your hip pointing toward the ceiling. Push your upper toe into the ground, and try to place it as far behind you as possible.

Next, reach your arm over your head.

Try to get the most distance between your hip bone and your shoulder. Twist your chest toward the ceiling, then away–looking down–to get the best range of stretching from this position.

This is by far my favorite stretch and the most requested by my clients.

Does it work for you? If not, what is aching on you? Maybe we can come up with a better stretch for you. Email me.Image

Runner’s Edge: Stretch Problem Calf in Different Directions

As a runner with chronic foot/leg pain, or as a massage therapist working on a client with this issue, you may need to be creative to find relief.

I’m going to address this article to the massage therapist, so if you are trying this on your own leg or foot, just keep that in mind.

First, try myofascial release (MFR) from the bottom of the foot all the way past the knee, deep stripping, petrassage and cross fiber friction.  Next, Stretch the effected area and do MFR and deep stripping again.  Go past each joint with your work, being mindful of the area behind the knee and the possible tender areas around the ankle.

If these techniques are not getting the job done, and the pain or tightness is still there, make sure you are stretching the effected area in different angles.  We were taught that the gastroc flexes the foot, but you must flex and move the foot in many angels to pinpoint the specific strand of the muscle that is feeling pain.

Usually, you must try several different angles of stretching to find the angle you need.

First, find the specific area that is bothersome. Hold your finger in the middle of the most painful or most tense area.  Have them flex their foot.  Have them push against your hand, with pressure on the big toe, little toe, side of their foot, etc, one at a time until you get the effected muscle to contract.

Once you find the problem spot, stretch it in the opposite direction, do MFR, compressions and deep stripping. You can also do ice massage and heat, which I discuss in another article, “Self-Care for Bruises,” and “Ice Massage”.

If you ever have any questions, email me and we can try to find a solution.

The Great Southwest Track and Field Classic

 

Southwest Classic Track Meet

Southwest Classic Track Meet

The Great Southwest Track and Field Classic

Some of the best high school track and field athletes in the nation will be gathered in New Mexico on May 31st-June 2nd! They will be competing in the 37th annual Great Southwest Track and Field classic that is hosted at the University of New Mexico’s Track and Field Stadium. Come and Take advantage of the opportunity to see some up and coming stars in the sport of Track and Field!

And wave to Cory and Daniella as they provide Sports Massage for the Athletes. 🙂

Thanks Cory & Daniella!