N&K review of 3 Trails in Palm Springs

N&K went to Palm Springs🔗 last month for the annual birthday jaunt.

We had good food and wine (stay tuned for reviews). Good pool time. Good sleeps. #renindianwells. Good shopping. And of course a good bit o’ exercise.

Click here🔗 to read related N&K’s Palm Springs posts.

Read our other Travel posts here🔗.

Hike v. Walk*

We had a discussion about hikes versus walks🔗. We both think the term hike means a walk-with-attitude. So immediately you know it won’t be as easy as walking to the corner store. Thus, for folks with mobility or health issues, hikes will generally be harder.

If you have concerns… We recommend you research a hike site well, before you go. Reviews are a good source of secret info. You will need to consider access to: Help/Rescue, rangers/guides, cell service, water availability, transport, seaaonal access, etc.

What we love in a hike

…good exercise, solace, lovely things to see and peaceful to hear. So, doing the Grouse Grind🔗 (in Vancouver, Canada) with crowds, unvaried scenery and a sense of urgency doesn’t appeal to either K or I.

The Cross

The Cross🔗 is a walk-up, upside big hills† with windy, narrow★ dirt paths. Some parts have rocks, shrubs. Others have a baby-bluff for respite and to take in the scenery. You end up at the summit with a… You guessed it: a big cross.

I’m not in phenomenal shape. But I do cardio 6-7x/week. And, I was quite surprised that I was dying on the Mount Everest-esque hills leading up to the Cross’d summit.

Later, we realized it was 39C, dry blazing sun. I should have drunk more water before heading out.

So our plan for the next day’s hike was to get out earlier to avoid blazing sun. And I’d have more water beforehand.

(And yes, this helped immensely!)

7 Sisters (Water)Falls

There are several beautiful hikes available through the Indian Canyons 🔗.

Kells chose the 7 Sisters Falls hike. The hike took us across a varied landscape. We went from desert dryness to an Oasis to shaded green majestic tree’d areas to big climbable rocks and the soothing waterfalls.

TBH considering it was called The 7 Sisters Falls, I was kind of something explosive. It was definitely enchanting but don’t expect Niagara Falls.

(Kells did this hike with one of her besties last year, and with her infink nephew in a bjorn… And though lovely, it was unfortunately too dry to see the Falls.)

This hike was challenging for me not because it was hard per se. It was more about challenging my own anxieties. I had to cross waters by balance-walking on logs. I had to climb across smooth rocks (smooth=no friction=trouble for Nals). Lots of fallen vegetation around, which creates fab hiding spots for biting, stinging creatures. So yeah… There was that.

I left a piece of myself in 7 Sisters that fateful morning.  And, I will always have a piece of 7 in me.                                        

As I was surveying the sheer rockface that I was to climb (that K just basically hopped on like a baby goat), I noticed a nemesis lodged in the rocky outcrop. I said to this stick “we will be like ships in the night, you and I…” Unfortunately, it had other ideas. As I climbed that rockface, I promptly stuck the stick promptly stuck itself into my knee. This gd stick. Just a half-inch diameter. A fallen child trapped in a rock world. Shriveled. Dry. Pathetically beige. And fierce enough to almost penetrate my knee cap. Touché my friend. Touché¹.

The road Runner Trail

The Road Runner Trail is an oddball hike. It’s on the outskirts of the city, near some ritzy hotel and regular streets. Seems like it’d be an easy stroll with nicely planted flowers and shrubs.

Except it’s not… There is a collection of rancid hills that you ascend (then descend). You aimlessly traverse these rando hills for eons. (Remeniscent of that movie The Cube🔗.) And suddenly, you’ve got an amazing bird’s eye view of the area. It’s surreal!

You must become one with the narrow★ trails.

There were times where the precariously-gravelled trail was flanked by (guaranteed) steep falls into one rock abyss or another. In a Black Swan ballet move, some of the gravel seemed fall away at the trail edges, at the same moment I was approaching it. Like a warning. Or a taunt. I paused. Time stood still. Eerie crackle-sounds of the falling gravel. Puffs of dust billowed as each piece bounced off the land, and twirled up again. My stomach lodged in my throat. That gravel bit could be me in a heartbeat. I was quite concerned that it may be idiot-proofed, but not Nals-proofed. It all turned out okay. But it got dicey².

Recommendation


Kells & I loved all of these “easy” hikes.

Side effect: We’ve known each other now for over a decade. We need know each other well. But during the quiet peace of the hikes, we shared some new and interesting thoughts with one another. So yeah, hikes are definitely worth the effort!

More info on Palm Springs hikes here 🔗.

Footnotes
*For some perspective: The Vancouver walks that Nals has been on were at Burnaby Lake, Deer Lake, etc. There’s the Coquitlam Crunch. I would consider this a hard walk (or easier hike). The actual hikes I’ve previously done were at Deep Cove, or upside a volcano in Costa Rica. Those I’d consider easy but towards the harder side of easy.
† I don’t know the difference between a hill and a mountain but this was a big ass mofo hill. So let’s just call it a mountain. With no trees, minimal shrubs and hot dry dirt.
★so narrow that if another person was coming in the opposite direction, one of you needed to hug the wall. And there wasn’t always a “wall” to hug. If you’re afraid of heights then you may want to avoid this one.
¹I survived to tell my tale. How did it happen, Nals? What a weirdo, freaky thing, Nals. This is the life that Nals has come to call her own… Where physics meets magic meets the exact opposite of what Nals was thinking. ²Dicey in my head. Sure, one should be cautious. But, I wasn’t going to let my anxiety rule me.

Burlesque Babes Update (Fall 2019)

N&K are again joining burlesque progressive classes leading to Vancouver Burlesque Company‘s 🔗 Student Showcase (adult version of a recital). It’ll be Thursday December 12, 2019 at 9 pm at the Rio Theatre 🔗.

Unfortunately Kells and I couldn’t join the same class this quarter (boo!). Her themes are Mad Scientist (Cleo Victory’s contemporary) and The Circus (Chastity Twist’s chair). They sound like so much fun!

Kells in Chastity’s chair class: Circus Bunny

My 2 classes are more classic burlesque styles. My themes are Women*’s Personas: Public & Private Faces (Cherry On Top’s Ingenue level) and Vegas Showgirls (Ariel Helvetica). My classes are a lot of fun, too. We’ve mistreating pink feather boas* and red-and-silver heels.

Nals in Cherry’s classic class: Women*’s Personas

There are a variety of babes in our classes: some new-to-the-scene and some familiar faces. Very exciting mix!

The show is going to phenomenal folks! So please come to see us and cheer us on. We promise lots of good energy, fun vibes and good times.

Footnotes:

*mistreatment as in humping and other fun things. No feather boas were harmed… Yet.

Me vs the World

So if you follow us on Instagram you know we recently did the student show case with the Vancouver Burlesque Company. I got to dance with a level 2 group. I was totally out of my element and felt very insecure.

Dancing puts me in a vulnerable position.

  • 1. I’m not a small girl. So I feel like its obvious, me, this giant chick on the stage
  • 2. Being giant, you are gunna see that a) I’m bigger than others, height and weight and b) you will see I’m not a good dancer (especially since I was dancing with former dancers).
  • 3. Others in my dance classes are good dancers. They have danced before and they know what position 1 means.
  • 4. I was told when I was younger, and wanted to join ballet, that I cant be a dancer because I’m to tall (Stupid that the things we are told when we are young sticks with us). 

So yah, I’m feeling vulnerable but determined to do it. But this experience got me thinking about my thoughts vs others. What I see is me as an elephant in the room, dancing with cute ballerinas. BUT what others see is me doing well. I got good feedback from my friends. But these crappy feelings of me looking stupid flood other parts of my life too.

For example, at my gym, for the longest time, I always thought I could see my tummy reflecting off the heater that is located on the roof right above me. It literally took me over a year to realize it wasn’t my belly at all, but the big ball I was using making the reflection!

Like what the heck!?

Why? Why do I assume, this big ball is my stomach reflecting? Why do I go to a negative place? Why didn’t see a ball? Why didn’t I see me accomplishing this one work station that I’ve struggled with for so long?

Whhhhhyyyyyyyyy???? 

I’m so annoyed with myself when I realized I’ve been doing this. Nals and I have talked about this (a lot). We always remind each other that we are pointing out negative things and will say “that’s not what I see”. As much as I have focused on trying to be body positive, and not negative on myself, I still find I have moments (like mentioned above) where I still beat myself up. I still see negative things. 


But here’s what I can do:

 1. Listen to the positive feedback

2. Recognize when Im being negative 

3. Continue to challenge myself

4. Remember to love myself 

5. Celebrate my accomplishments 


I know I’m not the only one that goes through this. Please share the ways you challenge your negative self talk and ways you love yourself!! 

Thoughts on Burlesque

As you N&Kers know, both K&I are taking burlesque classes through Vancouver Burlesque Company. In fact, 2 each this term!
So, this will be K’s 2nd & 3rd performances. And my 3rd & 4th performances.

Instagramming our way through chair burlesque

When I first started burlesque, I was shy about telling people.

I thought I would be judged for the type of dance, or that I would dare to do it because I don’t have a dancer’s body. And culturally speaking, I was taught to be modest. Prancing around in your undergarments is not modest. I’m also too old to take on something like burlesque! And lastly, there are only a handful of visible minorities in burlesque. I definitely felt out-of-place. This translated into me being shy about talking about it.

Holy batman! All these internal battles!

Rectifying internal battles

Type of dance: I try to educate people on the burly history. It’s not just about shaking your tail feathers. This is another way to express how you’re processing society’s zeitgeist. Don’t believe me? Then look at all the sub-genres: nerdlesque, contemporary, chair, etc.

Dancer’s body: Burlesque initially came out because poor folks poked fun at the richie-rich operas/shows. With burlesque, essentially, anything goes. Different bodies, shapes, colours, abilities… it is about you telling your story. How are you interacting with the audience?

Too old: Yes, I’m older than my instructors and classmates. But, the only person who has made me feel ‘too old’ is me. Last showcase, there was a 60+-year-old woman who did a saucy chair solo. She was fantastic!

Modesty: This term means to act demure, and can include dressing in a non-sexually aggressive manner. Is it a vehicle of oppression? Perhaps it is to be deliciously explored in future burlesque?

When you are on stage, you are taking on a persona that’s bigger-than.

Maybe you’re klutzy? Super comedic? Have the ability to sensually slither along the stage? Have long legs? Expressive face? Love performing in drag?

Now…

… I talk about being in burlesque all the time. I’m excited that I can be part of it! I’ve got access with Vancouver Burlesque Company. (Screaming Chicken, K&I are coming for you, soon!) It’s affordable both financially and timewise.

The benefits

I’m engaging in self-care. I’m getting fitter and honing in on different fitness goals. I get to dress up, make costumes, have fun, learn to move, meet new people, dance with Kells, listen to music, feel inspired, feel empowered, feel confident, have a creative outlet and be around positivity.

I’ve learned that I’m not as klutzy as I thought I was. I’ve got a bit of rhythm. I’ve learned that I can jellybean, plank off of a chair, go from a standing position to the floor then do an inchworm push up in heels… all in rhythm to music!

Stage Presence

Performing on stage isn’t for everyone. With VBC, you can actually just take the class without doing the final show. And, last Fall when I took my first class, I didn’t plan on performing. But by the end, I thought: why the frig not?

Being on stage is simply exhilarating. Hearing the audience cheer and whistle. Feeling those positive vibes. Performers excited and buzzing with adrenaline. It is a fabulous feeling!

So, if you are remotely interested in this genre, K&I encourage you to take a class with VBC (or SC). Or in the very least, come and check us out. Tickets available online here.

VBC 1-2-3 Doe Ray Me





VBC 1-2-3 Doe Ray Me

Well N&Kers, Miss Kells☆ popped her burlesque cherry last week. She & I performed at the Rio Theatre for the Vancouver Burlesque Company’s (VBC) Student Showcase starring Jett Adore (aka: the Prince of Burlesque, The No Pantser Romancer).

People think of burlesque just as “sexy”. And yes it certainly can be with the stocking peels, gyratin’ and inch worming. But it’s so much more than that! It’s BoPo, sexuality & gender welcoming, theatrical, political, comical, satirical, glamourous, vulnerable… It’s fluid and changes with time.

Burlesque isn’t just one thing, which is why it is captivating.

So, c’mon out and check out the next show. Vancouver International Burlesque Festival is April 3-6, 2019.

Footnotes

☆Nals popped her b-cherry last year with VBC’s first Student Showcase at Rio Theatre.

You’ve gotta fight, for your right, to heeeaaaalllttthhhh care! (cont’d)

Last week I talked about my car accident that left me with disabling back pain, the struggle to get a specialist appointment… all while completing my masters & working fulltime.

So the doctors ordered surgery. Finally, I was getting somewhere!

The next hurdle.  I was put on the list for surgery, but was told that it could be years before I get it.

I cried.

I was not going to make it.

I wasn’t thinking about hurting myself, but I understood why those in chronic pain end their lives.

More ideas from the physiotherapist

Thankfully, my lawyer was also there to help me. She got my surgery done in a private clinic a few weeks later. I walked out of surgery standing tall. (also vomiting, but I was able to stand up straight).

Heading in for an MRI (post surgery)
  • Here’s what I realized:  I know my body. And after this whole ordeal, I really learned about my body.  
  • doctors also know what you tell them. Which also means that what the doctors hear and what I say can be 2 different things.
  • I need to ask. Ask for referrals to be sent. Ask for results, ask for the better imaging.
  • And when I hear, well you need to do A before we can do B. Ask that B also be started.

The other thing I learned was that I have put a few other parts of my health on the back burner because I just didn’t have energy to to keep advocating for myself. I wasn’t happy about this…also annoyed, that I would have to speak up again to have my health taken seriously.

As women*, we are often not taken seriously when we tell the doctor that something is wrong.

We are often viewed as overreacting or unable to manage the slightest bit of pain.

We often have to put our health on the back burner because we need to care for others.

This has got to stop!

And it will stop with us advocating for our own health.

Yes, this is a scary thought. BUT we deserve it. AND we need to support each other. We don’t need to do it alone. Please share with your sisters*. We don’t need to be embarrassed. We need the support and their motivation to get through.

My back surgery and injury was a motivator for me to get my health in order. As I have shared before, I need to keep active in order to keep my back health in check. BUT this also motivated me to get the other health issues in my self checked out. I will post on those later.

But please, today, share with your closest person the health concern you have and what you need support with.

And advocate for yourself! You are worth it.

Welcome to 2019, you gorgeous N&Kers!

While most others are focussing on New Year’s Resolutions posts… here at N&K, we like to do things a little differently.

First thing is first: let’s look at the importance of routine. We feel that routine rules the roost. Once we get back on the horse, many things fall into place- eating better, drinking less alcohol, watching nutritional intake, exercising more, meditating more, increasing awareness of snarky moods.

NY Resolutions are like “diets”… people think that a new year is going to automatically & magically change behaviours. People don’t think things through, don’t plan for obstacles, then fall off the wagon and say… FML, I’m going back to my old habits.

So… During the holidays, we have likely all have stopped our daily healthy routines. We have been indulging in sweets & savouries, taking lots of down time, having lots of sleep-ins. Or, maybe we’ve been the hosts of a huge family/friend gathering and the anxiety of making things perfect for the guests. Perhaps we are in retail business, so we’ve been stressed with working: making quotas, working OT, plastering on smiles…

Nals started the downward spiral in early December. I was getting ready for a performance. So, I was practicing a lot & doing late night dress rehearsals. I was going to bed late, not eating at my usual times, and not doing meal prep… I wasn’t exercising at my usual times or places so it all went to hell in a hand basket PDQ. Right now, I’m probably sleeping off the ringing-in of The New Year in NZ. (BTW, one of the first folks in the world to do so!) So when I get back into GVA, I’m going to start off by getting proper groceries, doing meal prep, and getting back into my early-to-bed early-to-rise routine. That’ll be best, & also will help me mitigate that bloody jet lag.


Kells’s routine was mucked up due to the common December cold. Usually I just power through the cold and keep it going… but this year I was exhausted and slightly feverish. So I missed one day, then a few days, then a week. Yikes! And here’s the thing, it was so easy to fall. Way to easy. I was getting pretty proud of myself for not falling…be even the mighty fall. Hahaha!

Ok…so I got a cold and I’m not going to the gym, and it wasn’t far after that, I wasn’t eating well and wasn’t drinking lots of water! And it didn’t help I made 4 types of cookies. And we all know it’s coming…holidays, cookies, turkey dinners and we plan for it…even I planned for it. I was determined not to fall but down I went.

But now its time to get back in the swing…and honestly I’m not looking forward to squeezing myself into the gym with all the new years resolutionars. But unfortunately it’s part of the process of getting back at it after the holidays, just happens to fall in January.

I just want to suggest that before you dive into the gym, work on your SMART goals and figure out your motivation (what is motivation, what’s your motivation and how does your motivation help you). Nals and I have talked about it many times in our previous posts so I really recommend scanning through those.

How about you guys? How will you get back on track?

Packs a punch!

Nals tried 30 Minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIT)  on Sunday.

It’s a power packed kickboxing and boxing routine for ladies only4. The circuit is designed to hone self-defense skills, improve core and increase strength.

 

                   Activity                  

There are 13 stations that last 2 minutes each.

You start off with a 2 minute jump rope warm up. Next stations are something like:

  1. hook/jab,
  2. sit ups on fitness ball,
  3. round housing a punching bag,
  4. semi sit ups with arms slightly throwing medicine ball¹ straight up,
  5. kneeing an-imagined-assailant-turned-kicking-bag,
  6. hook,
  7. Bridge & squeeze on a fitness ball,
  8. on a mat, turtlekicking & punching a heavy douchebag squarebob-a-thinger, ²
  9. free-for-all kicking/punching the stink out of Bob, the flesh-coloured silicone bust on a pole, with the invisible Punch-Me sign.

There are 3 levels, starting at 1.

 

 

                  Procedure                

So you do a period of time (ie: 30 seconds) of regular-paced and regular-powered activity
then when the buzzer bings once, you either power up or go fast (ie: 15 seconds).  Repeat
Double bing means switch stations.

 

                  Atmosphere                

Loud pumped-up music, very small area (great for focus), personal trainer attention with quick corrections/ encouragements/verbal pushes.
I think I have auditory processing disorder so it was a bit of a challenge to keep all the instructions, directions, movements clear with the music and timer. I think I did okay3, and will obviously improve with more exposure.

 

                  So… ?               

I was totes prepared to join Miss Kells in her Kick the Flip out of Cancer in October. This would’ve entailed getting to the HIT daily.  I work out weekday mornings at 630.  So unfortunately, their hours didn’t work for me. From experience I know I will not go regularly at another time.

There are no drop-ins4. There are monthly pay options.  The fee decreases depending on if it’s month-to-month, for 12 or 24 months.

The trainers are fabulous – full of pep and sugar. But don’t let their smiles fool you.  They’ll push you, bootcamp style.

If you are interested, check them out: 30 Minute Hit!

Foots
1 Nals dislikes medicine balls. Maybe if it came with a spoonful of sugar…
2 Yes, this is indeed the technical term, as per Nals.
3 And by “okay”, I mean I didn’t quit and got a workout, even if I did most of the moves wrong.
4 Except Sunday was one of the fundraising days so it was drop in and a couple dudes came to participate.

Kickin’ Cancer

So if you follow us on IG you probably saw that we have been saying we are going to focus on Women’s Health for the month of October.  Part of this will be me documenting my journey on Kicking the Beep out of Cancer with 30 Min Hit. Please follow this link to my page:https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/FundraisingPage.aspx?registrationID=4292199&langPref=en-CA

I have never done this before, so I am a little  nervous. First of all, I’m not one to ask people for money. So please don’t feel you need to donate to me (but I won’t say no if you want to donate). However, I am asking you all to join in the conversation around women’s health AND to support me while I kick the stink out of cancer this month.

Secondly, the only option for t-shirts were pink. Ugh. I’m not a fan of the pink, or pink, or pink. But I will bring it to the gym every day and get it signed. Oh I should mention, that for every work out we do this month, we get a signature on the pink shirt. Maybe I should set a goal of signatures? Any suggestions? (please leave a comment).

October 1st, here we go. Starting the month off at the gym in a pink shirt, getting signatures and starting the conversation around Women’s Health.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer are the most common types of cancer (not including skin cancer). Also, cancer is the #1 cause of death in Canada. We also know that the earlier the detection the better the outcome. We also know that there is no known cure, and we need to find it! No one should have to lose their life to cancer. No one.

I’m assuming here, but I’m pretty sure that we have all been impacted by Cancer. I have lost 2 important people in my life to Cancer and I have also have a survivor in my life. This month I want to honor my friend Amber, who even while she fought her hardest and even in her sickest moments, chose to be happy and live for every moment. I also want to honor my bests Dad, Rick. He was the cool dad that made those ridiculous jokes and always made us laugh. I will never forget these two.

I also want to use this month to fight for never receiving that call again. The call where your soul sister calls and tells you she has cancer. That call literally took my breath away. It made time stop and has burnt a hole in my memory. I vowed to be with her every step of the way. I was there after her surgery and helped take care of her kids. I am so thankful she is still with me, as I can’t picture my life without her. and I am so happy to say her kids still have her. She is also the one that lost her dad last year. Cancer sucks.

Let me share this one last thing. A couple of months before Amber passed away, I went to see her in the hospital. She was so thin and on oxygen. It was hard to see her so frail. But she smiled the whole time. She laughed and joked and wanted to know the latest news with everyone we knew in our lives. I asked her what can I do to help her. She told me she was happy. She said that after she got the news she had a choice, to fear the future and be sad about her extremely aggressive cancer or she would wake up every morning and say “today I choose to be happy”. That really hit me. My gosh, it’s hard to be wake up happy without knowing you are dying from cancer. And let me tell you, Ams lived her word. She was happy. She was happy to see her friends, happy to have another day with her family. She was happy. I try hard to live by this. And when I hear our song, Sugar by Maroon 5, I get a reminder to be happy. It’s a choice.

So here I am, choosing to do my part for fighting for cancer and choosing to be happy. Please join me. Help me. Encourage me. Follow my fundraising and if you can please donate: https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/FundraisingPage.aspx?registrationID=4292199&langPref=en-CA I hope to post some pictures there soon!

Explicit Expose on Vancity Womens Expo 2018

Kells & I checked out the Womens Expo in Cloverdale this weekend.

The $8 admission gets you into 170 exhibits, workshops & presentations. (FOLKs Were eligible to enter the door prize after geTting 8 vendor stamps.)

Some vendors were assertive but no one was pushy. Everyone was super friendly.


There were the usual suspects: clothing, hair, makeup, food/cooking, anti aging¹, fitness, home decor… But also realty, sensory deprivation, aromatherapy & sexual health.

We stopped or breezed by:

Army of Sass : dance drop-in and set classes for all shapes, ages, experiences and fitness levels.

Avon : cosmetics, etc.

Bathfitter : don’t provide estimates without a free in-home consultation.

Chef Pieter : delicious cream cheese dips like aged white cheddar habanero & cranberry ghostpepper.

Club Pilates : mat & remoter classes.

Edward Jones : financial bits n bobs.

Epicurious : delish spice rubs and bottles of goodness (with little or no salt)

Hanky Panky : sexual health & clothing.

Little Fox Apothecary : aromatherapy goodness.

Mr. Frank’s Spices  : yummy spices that come in funky re-usable shakers.

Pure Romance : sexual health & sexual medical/physio aids

Spark Fitness : small class sizes allow for more instructor attention.

Sweet Legs : kitten-y soft patterned leggings that keep your gams warm. Comes in kidlet, average & voluptuous sizes.

Zealous Art : art parties & classes, she outreaches!


Conclusion

Yes you should go with your girlfriends, sister, mom, neighbor…. set aside a couple hours and maybe even go for lunch.  

Don’t forget to stop at nearby Little UnChocolate Candy Store.


Footies
1 This was a non-surg eye lift, and worked with bee venom. As our Miss K gets all anaphylactical around bee/wasp stings, we thought we’d steer clear.