Day 3: Duke Gardens etc

November 24, 2021

Duke Gardens: beautiful but definitely cold. We followed this adventure up with hot chocolate from Parker & Otis. G managed to spill most of hers (after we had already walked a distance back to our car) and there was drama but we all recovered. In the afternoon, I let the kids have WAY too much screen time because I was kind of done. Um, vacation?

It was fun spending time with family but solo-parenting-while-traveling is definitely not my favorite. I will not be seeking it out again, or at least until the kids are a bit older. Especially with an audience! Makes discipline stressful and more difficult. Anyway, we survived. And we had family time. So that was good.

I am dying to:

Work out. I didn’t do anything while on this trip. It was too exhausting, I didn’t really want to get up early or leave the kids with my parents, and I am also such a wimp I didn’t feel like running in 30F (or less) temps. It’s 26F right now!!!

Eat less garbage-y food. Actually considering a Whole30 cycle, we will see.

Play with my Hobonichi weeks (I just found out it starts in December! YAY!)

Get my to do list a bit more under control (I did finally start playing with Todoist and I think it may be a useful adjunct to my current systems!)


Visit Baby M + my sister one more time; try to get group shot of all the kids

Clean up and pack up

Airport adventure (hopefully won’t be too bad. I just wish we had slightly less luggage.)



  • Reply Gillian November 24, 2021 at 9:17 am

    I just read this after coming home from 28 F run. It was chilly out there, but if you run in the cold regularly you invest in the gear to make it more comfortable. All that said my 14 yo son walked out the door in SHORTS this morning. We’ll see what he thinks of that decision when he gets home today.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns November 24, 2021 at 10:46 am

    I ran in 28F yesterday, too, although I have the gear for it and we have to be more hearty up here in Minnesota. But I can see that is not at all appealing for you since 30F must feel freezing for you! “Cold” is such a relative term. It will be good to get back on track with better eating. But OMG whole 30 sounds AWFUL. I did it once and that was enough! That was pre-kids. I do not know how I could do it now that I have kids since it required so much prep work. But your kids are much better eaters than mine so maybe they would eat what you are eating? I started weight watchers in early October when I realized training for and running a 10 mile race did nothing for the number on the scale. I like the program because nothing is forbidden. I had a good 10+ pounds to lose, though, so am in a different situation than you. Maybe some little changes like cutting out dessert or cutting down on snacking would be a good intermediate approach? I’m thinking of all the social events you’ll likely attend in December related to the holidays. W30 would make it a real drag!!

    I hope your flight home goes smoothly. Solo parenting is so exhausting. And your kids aren’t around your parents very often so I imagine it’s harder to leave them with them. We are going to my parents for Thanksgiving and I am very much looking forward to the break. They are super hands on and I have older nieces and nephews who will be excited to see my kids so I am hoping I can lay down at various points of the day or leave the baby w/ my mom after I nurse him when he wakes for the day. My mom had 5 kids and is baby crazy so she will want to hold him as much as possible which gives me a really nice break. But it’s a different story when we are around my MIL. She is not comfortable w/ babies and not as agile as my parents. She’s helpful with the 3.5yo but for brief periods of time!

  • Reply Elisabeth November 24, 2021 at 11:09 am

    It’s currently snowing – like really snowing – outside my window. I am no ready for this. I’ve switched to exclusively treadmill runs right now; I have the right gear, but still find it miserable.

    It is so exhausting to parent (solo) around family. I’m so sensitive to my kids behaviour which can run to more extreme lengths (good and bad) when out of their normal environment. Total get you on this one.

    Hope the return trip is smooth and you enjoy settling back into a routine at home that feels a little less daunting?!

    We did a Whole30 as a family last year and I’ve toyed with the idea of doing one in January, but I just don’t think I’ll have the energy. When we did our last Whole30 everything was in lockdown, so the kids weren’t going to school, going to birthday parties etc. I guess I could let them do their own thing, but I categorically hate cooking more than one meal for our family…and this feels like it would be extra complicated. Maybe I’ll do a few “cleanse” weeks that align with paleo and only worry about myself in terms of those meals?

  • Reply omdg November 24, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    I used to have a rule when I lived in Chicago that I wouldn’t cycle if it was less than 30 degrees, and I wouldn’t run if it was less than 0. When I moved to Philadelphia I found that it was unbearably hot, and that running felt even worse. Now I don’t run at all anymore, but we do go for frequent walks, and pretty much will go any temperature as long as snow or rain isn’t blowing in my face. I love the feeling of being all toasty wrapped up in my clothes with it so cold and still outside! Swamp ass is the worst.

    • Reply Amy November 25, 2021 at 8:16 am

      Yes! Totally with you on this, walking in the cold is so lovely. In the heat, not so much. (But we are taking our 9yo out to run a mile + some sprints [alongside us] bc he needs to get out some energy. It’s only 31 degrees out right now 😬)

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 25, 2021 at 8:33 am

      You would not enjoy my usual 70-80 degreee runs I am guessing 🙂 But if I waited for sub-70 temps to run here I’d only be able to run during a few months/year so I guess I’ve gotten used to it.

      I used to run in 20s-30s in NC all the time but I’m out of practice and don’t have great gear anymore

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