Happy 2013!

I have been an unbelievably bad blogger in 2012. Let’s change that …

I am just finishing up my first official vacation of 2013 … I took 2 days off! The plan was for Josh and I to spend some time in Richmond and then head down to North Carolina for a little sand, seafood, and chilly salt air.

We actually ended up leaving early for Richmond because of threats of a wintry mix descending upon the DC area. That just gave us more time to spend in Richmond.

Virginia's Capitol
It was a rainy day in Richmond …

First we walked past Virginia’s capitol in Richmond on our way over to one of Richmond’s Museum of the Confederacy, and the “White House” of the Confederacy. I put that in quotation marks because that is what they called it, but I feel weird putting White House and Confederacy in the same sentence. The tour we got was really great, and I highly recommend stopping in at this museum if you’re ever in Richmond.

The White House of the Confederacy – which later became the Union Headquarters in Richmond

An impressive number of people have been in this house – including Abraham Lincoln, Margaret Thatcher, Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day Lewis (the latter two when they were filming Lincoln in Richmond).

After the history lesson and tour we were hungry. Josh knows me well – and he knows that my belly loves some BBQ. So we headed to Buz & Ned’s Real Barbecue. (Apologies for the subpar photo … I liked their handpainted sign and I am not a great photographer)

Buz & Ned's
Buz & Ned’s was seriously some of the best BBQ I’ve ever had. Program your GPS now.

I feel it’s only fair to disclose my BBQ allegiance. I grew up an Eastern North Carolina style girl. Then in college (with many friends hailing from Texas) I learned to respect and admire the artistry of Texas BBQ. It was during my years in Tennessee that I also fell in love with Memphis style BBQ. What I love about Buz and Ned’s was that it was what happened if all of the BBQ styles got together and made a super BBQ baby with their best traits. That’s a weird analogy, but stick with me here. This BBQ had it all – we’re talking smokiness, subtle sweet notes and that vinegar bite that I still love. Honestly Josh and I were both sad that we didn’t get two sandwiches. It was that good. I have a feeling we might be stopping here again in the future.

We made a few other stops including Hollywood Cemetery, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (amazing collection of art), Carytown (for a little shopping) Legend Brewing (across the river from downtown, but a great spot to catch the sunset and grab a beer) and a quick evening bite at Captial Ale House which we washed down with some local Virginia beers.

It was going to be hard to top all of our Richmond adventures…but we headed down to North Carolina on Sunday … and were greeted by our favorite familiar sights:

Duck, NC
who says east coast beaches aren’t beautiful?
Duck, NC

I love this beach. It’s my happy place. And I am so lucky that Josh loves it as much as I do.

Being back in North Carolina always gives me a new sense of purpose. I love being able to step away from email, twitter, texting and Facebook.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my goals for 2013, as I’m sure many of you have. I’d like to be a better runner this year. I’ve set the preliminary (and ambitious goal) of trying to PR in a few distances: half marathon, 10 miler, 10K, and 5K. I’d also like t be a happier runner this year. Last year my heart just wasn’t in it, and it showed in most of my race times. I look back and the races that were the most fun, were the ones where I felt like I had the least on the line. I want to get back to being able to just be present when I am running, to relish every single stride.

My first race of 2013 will probably be the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in DC. It’s the first year the race is being run in DC (it’s had a tremendous following in San Francisco). I’ll be keeping track of some of my progress here.  But mostly, I am looking forward to running a big race with a bunch of women. I think it will be inspiring and exciting. I can’t wait to cross the finish line a little stronger than I am now!

What are you goals for 2013?