Matt and I went to Norway and Sweden for 10 days of hiking and exploring. Our AirBnB in Bergen, Norway was around the corner from Barry’s Bootcamp. It’s just called “Barry’s” in Norway. I wonder if the word “bootcamp” doesn’t translate.
After a week of challenging hikes, Barry’s wasn’t exactly what we needed, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to take a New York favorite while abroad. Also, fun fact: Despite the fact that EVERYTHING is more expensive in Norway (compared to the US), Barry’s is cheaper!
We visited on a weekend, and Barry’s in Norway follows the same calendar as in the US, so it was a Full Body workout (the schedule varies by day of the week). My short vacation in Norway doesn’t make me an expert on it’s culture, but it’s hard to escape the view that Norwegians are fit. Here read this study about the culture of fitness in Scandinavia. Even in the US the Barry’s regular is a self-selecting crowd and the average participant is in pretty solid shape. I steeled myself for a tough workout and that’s what we got.
Remember the scene in Clueless where Tai (RIP Brittany Murphy) hits her head at a party and is out cold? Cher instructs Elton on how to care for poor Tai:
Cher: If it’s a concussion, you have to keep her conscious, okay? Ask her questions. Elton: What’s seven times seven? Cher: Stuff she knows!
So here I am. After not posting in months, using Clueless to warm you back up to me and taking Cher’s sage advice: telling you about stuff I know. Which recently is more about hanging out than working out. So I thought I’d share some “stuff I know” about spending an active summer weekend in Great Barrington, MA.
Where is it: Great Barrington is a town in Western Massachusetts about 2 hours and 15 minutes from NYC and 2 hours and 30 minutes from Boston Why go: To become a relaxed country-version of your urban self without sacrificing the finer things in life How do you get there: I recommend renting a car since you’ll want wheels once you arrive. Other options include bus (Peter Pan right which drops you off in GB center) or train (the closest Metro North stop is about 40 minutes away). Where to stay: Find a cute B&B in Great Barrington or a town nearby (West Stockbridge, Lenox, Lee) When to go: All year-round, though this post describes a summer weekend
Drive up after work. If you’re getting a late start and want to stop for dinner on the road, head to the Red Rooster, a burger and ice cream drive in in Brewster for a quick meal or if you’d like more formal dining, there are some great options along the way on Route 22.
On a Saturday afternoon in mid-March, I finished a terrible 3-mile run. It was one of many terrible recent runs.
I don’t have a sports agent. Speaking frankly, only one person would care if I quit running. I am married to him. So I called him. He answered from a chair lift in Beaver Creek. I got right to the point.
Me: Matt, I want you to be the first to know. I’m taking a break from running.
Matt: Does this mean you’re not running the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler?
Me: Exactly right. This interview is over. It’s my turn to order at Muffins Cafe. Love you.
I hung up the phone and I didn’t run for a month. I still found myself in DC the weekend of the Cherry Blossom race since Matt was running and I love our yearly trip. I used to live in DC and coming back for a weekend is always a delight.
One of my closest friends, Tricia, lives in DC and is the chief of staff in a congressional office. Tricia had convinced her entire team to sign up for the race with her. Then she didn’t train for it. A natural born leader, she planned to run the race anyway. The day before the race, we had the following exchange:
I love planning trips. Gone are the days when I buy a guidebook in advance of booking a flight. Nowadays I scour the internet to read travel blogs and websites for hotel recommendations, must-do activities and insider tips. To that end, I’ve found others’ itineraries and recommendations so helpful so I wanted to share a great long weekend Matt and I spent in Maine last summer in an easy-to-copy format.
Who should go on this trip: Active east coasters who want to go to a national park without flying west When to go: Maine gets cold and windy, so this depends on your personal constitution. We went in July and I thought that was perfect Is it expensive?: It doesn’t have to be. JetBlue offers relatively low fare flights from JFK to Portland. You could stay in a luxury hotel/B&B right in Bar Harbor or find something smaller further afield.
Here’s a 5 day/4 night plan for enjoying Acadia National Park.
Matt and I spent three nights in Queenstown, New Zealand during our honeymoon. We loved every second of this restaurant-packed, lakefront little city.
Queenstown is adventure capital of the world. You can famously bungy jump at the first commercial bungy site (Matt did!), mountain bike down steep trails, go white water rafting and find countless other thrills.
But mostly, we wanted to hike.
We spent hours googling trails but in retrospect, the good stuff was obvious. I’m sure you could find other day hikes in the area, but in my humble opinion (and the opinion of all the Queenstown locals we polled) these three experiences are must-dos for those spending just a few days near Lake Wakatipu.
This hike takes about two hours (roundtrip). It starts right outside of the center of Queenstown, and you can absolutely walk there. (I don’t think there is parking closer to the trail head anyway). The hike is steep, but short and the trail is packed dirt and well marked. You’re rewarded with incredible views of Lake Wakatipu below.