Working Out While Traveling

Friday, November 21, 2014

Roswell, NM: Sad Hotel Gym Albuquerque, NM: Sad Hotel Gym

You can't go on a grueling climb/hike every day of your vacation. Well, you can, but you have to specifically plan for it. And that's not how we do vacations. So I hit approximately four hotel gyms on this Arizona-New Mexico gig in some attempt to not lose all of my muscle development and fitness I've sweated for the past 6 months.

However, it turns out that not all hotel gyms are created equal. The Crowne Plaza PHX and Arizona Inn have free weights and non-slip floors on top of the usual gym equipment. The Comfort Suites and Comfort Inn, however, left some things to be desired. No matter. NerdFitness and Melissa Bender Fitness provide a quick hotel room workout, but I prefer to stick with what I know best. It's possible to do the 30 Day Shred (or any near equipment-less DVD, really) in a hotel gym without a DVD player. You just need this handy list of all the exercises and reps that I've written up below.

These cheatsheets still require familiarity with the DVD, or at least most of the exercises memorized. I've created another version with illustrations to help jog the memory, but I've found that the actual DVD provides a better, more challenging workout. When you're away from home this is better than nothing. I've only included the illustrated version of Level 3, as I feel that even without free weights, you can get a pretty serious workout from it. The other levels, not so much. Bicep curls are not so challenging without weights.

New life motto. Something is always better than nothing.

AZ-NM: Roswell & Albuquerque

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Roswell, NM: Alien Zone Museum
The last part of our trip was not so near the top of the 'magical spectrum' as red rocks, saguaro cacti, white sands, and dark caverns. But it did involve a run down museum. Specifically, the Alien Zone in Roswell, NM. Because it was on our way to the Albuquerque Airport, so why not?

I love rundown museums. The dustier and decrepit the better. Show me what state of the art meant in the 90s, when this exhibit was last touched! Anyways, we elected to do the Alien Zone because the reviews alluded heavily to its campiness. It did not disappoint, especially not at the $3 price point.

There isn't a whole lot else to actually do in Roswell, which is surprising considering the sheer number of hotels built along the main street. Some shops adopted an alien theme, but we were expecting even gaudier. Roswell's aliens are a bit understated.

Roswell, NM: Alien Zone Museum
Roswell, NM: Alien Zone Museum
Roswell, NM: Alien Zone Museum
Roswell, NM: Around Roswell

The Nuclear Museum in Albuquerque, NM was considerably more put together. With interesting bits like the radiated Revigerator for invigerating your water. Nothing says vitality quite like nuclear water! It's interesting to compare the concept of this American Nuclear Museum to, say, the Hiroshima Peace Museum. I can't imagine Japan having a 'Nuclear Museum', much less any museum this focused on all the creations of nuclear weapons to date. In the Nuclear Museum's defense, it did indeed have a [small] section on the aftermath of the Americans dropping Little Boy and Fat Man, but nothing near as moving as the collection at the Peace Museum. I feel like the photos presented by the New Mexico museum were not enough to represent the terrible outcomes of being the first to use nuclear weapons...

After the museum, we checked into our hotel, got dinner, and then left on a airplane the next morning. I'm not a Breaking Bad enthusiast, but Jim tells me we ambled by a considerable collection of locations for the show. Albuquerque is also a bit of a college town, so there was food and entertainment to be found.

Because of this trip, we're both a lot better at spelling Albuquerque.

Albuquerque, NM: Albuquerque
Albuquerque, NM: The Nuclear Museum
Albuquerque, NM: The Nuclear Museum
Albuquerque, NM: The Invigerator
Albuquerque, NM: The Nuclear Museum
Albuquerque, NM: The Nuclear Museum

AZ/NM Vacation
Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing 2014
Sedona, Arizona, 1 day
Tucson, Arizona, 3 days
White Sands, New Mexico, 1 day
Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico, 1 day
Roswell, New Mexico, 1 day
Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1 day

AZ-NM: Carlsbad Caverns

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Carlsbad: Carlsbad Caverns, NM

Carlsbad Cavern, pretty standard caves except they're GIGANTIC. 4,000 feet by 625 feet and 255 feet tall. A pretty intense collection of stalactites and stalagmites.

As we bought our tickets to walk down to the caverns, the ranger drilled us on where we've been. "Have you been in Europe in the past 3 years?" (Um, yes). "Have you been subterranean Europe in the past 3 years?" (Probably not). "Have you been in subterranean North America in the past 8 years?" (Maybe, but not in these shoes, this clothing, and we've cleaned the camera since then). Apparently, going underground repeatedly has an increased chance of transferring white nose syndrome to cave bats. Poor little guys.

Carlsbad: Carlsbad Caverns, NM
Carlsbad: Carlsbad Caverns, NM
Carlsbad: Carlsbad Caverns, NM
Carlsbad: Carlsbad Caverns, NM
Carlsbad: Carlsbad Caverns, NM
Carlsbad: Carlsbad Caverns, NM
Carlsbad: Carlsbad Caverns, NM

AZ/NM Vacation
Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing 2014
Sedona, Arizona, 1 day
Tucson, Arizona, 3 days
White Sands, New Mexico, 1 day
Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico, 1 day
Roswell & Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1 day each

AZ-NM: White Sands, New Mexico

Friday, November 14, 2014

White Sands, NM: White Sands National Monument

I had no idea White Sand National Monument existed. It's even weirder that it's in this country. Sand dunes without a beach. Like a desert that's not hot. Really really weird. And awesome. The visitor's center had sleds to rent, for sliding down the dunes, but it was closed by the time we got there.

I've always kinda wanted to see the sahara. And this is likely about as close as one can get in the United States. Maybe next time, we backpack.

Endless dunes of gypsum.

White Sands, NM: White Sands National Monument
White Sands, NM: White Sands National Monument
White Sands, NM: White Sands National Monument
White Sands, NM: White Sands National Monument White Sands, NM: Animal Prints
White Sands, NM: White Sands National Monument
White Sands, NM: White Sands National Monument at Sunset

Afterwards, we drove a bit to have dinner in Alamogordo and a bit further to camp for the night. At the James Canyon Campground near Cloudcroft, NM we were one of only two sets of campers. Just the way we like sleeping in a tent: nice and deserted with no loud/bright neighbors nearby.

White Sands, NM: James Canyon Campground
White Sands, NM: James Canyon Campground

AZ/NM Vacation
Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing 2014
Sedona, Arizona, 1 day
Tucson, Arizona, 3 days
White Sands, New Mexico, 1 day
Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico, 1 day
Roswell & Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1 day each

AZ-NM: Tucson, Arizona

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tucson: Biosphere 2

Um. You guys. Tucson, Arizona is awesome.

After hiking around Sedona we drove south for awhile to check into the Arizona Inn in Tucson. We relied on Yelp heavily to find tasty pizza, Mexican, and Greek food while spending our days ambling around different sights. First on the list was Biosphere 2. From 1991 to 1993 it served as an entirely self enclosed ecosystem, supporting 8 scientists in an expensive experiment to show that humans will have difficulty cultivating enough calories to survive on other planets. Nowadays the University of Arizona uses the infrastructure to research landscape evolution, water, and climate topics. It's sort of like a greenhouse, but with living quarters and enough space to grow food that should support life. It was pretty cool.

Tucson: Biosphere 2
Tucson: Biosphere 2
Tucson: Biosphere 2
Tucson: Biosphere 2

The next day we drove up through the Coronado National Forest. Beautiful valleys of saguaro cacti, and as we gained elevation the plant life changed entirely.

Tucson: Coronado National Forest
Tucson: Ocatillo Tucson: Saguaro
Tucson: Coronado National Forest
Tucson: Saguaro

To top off our three days in Tucson, we went to the Pima Air & Space Museum but rather than go through the museum, we took the AMARG Boneyard Tour. Basically, we sat in a giant bus and drove around looking at decrepit planes for awhile. The US Military stores airplanes and planes-for-parts on this giant tract of land in Arizona.

Tucson: AMARG Airplane Boneyard Tour
Tucson: Pima Air & Space Museum
Tucson: AMARG Airplane Boneyard Tour
Tucson: AMARG Airplane Boneyard Tour
Tucson: AMARG Airplane Boneyard Tour

Somewhere in there, we spent a day lounging around our hotel. For such a lovely place, it was reasonably priced, had free ice cream every evening, and the maids pre-filled the ice buckets. It felt pretty fancy, and its restaurant seemed absurdly popular with the old white lady demographic.

Tucson: The Arizona Inn
Tucson: The Arizona Inn Tucson: The Arizona Inn

AZ/NM Vacation
Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing 2014
Sedona, Arizona, 1 day
Tucson, Arizona, 3 days
White Sands, New Mexico, 1 day
Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico, 1 day
Roswell & Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1 day each

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