Happy WIAW!!  Once again, we're going back in time to Sunday.  Usually, that's because it's the only day that I actually remember to photograph all my meals, but today, it's because Sunday/Monday was an amazing experience that I want to remember for the rest of my life, as the title alludes to.  But as you will soon see, the title has a couple of different references.
I was on the go pretty much all day Sunday, starting with the moment I woke up.  I popped one of Brittany's energy bites into my mouth before heading out the door for another 2ish (no, spellcheck, not fish) mile run.
I hardly ever do anything before breakfast because I always wake up starving, but I knew I wouldn't have time to wait for my food to settle after breakfast and since I need to train for my 5k (more on that to come!), I hit the pavement.
My average was a little bit higher than last time, but I kept a slightly steadier speed so I was happy!  I had to rest a few minutes after I got back because I CANNOT eat right after I run.  But after about 15 minutes, the hunger monster was screaming so after my apple and green tea, I dug into some Fage 2% Greek yogurt with Kind blueberry vanilla clusters granola (my favorite).
Aaaaand a thick slice (the heal) of Rudi's double fiber bread smeared with Earth Balance Coconut Peanut Butter.
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I don't normally photograph my apples because I know you've all seen what they look like before, but I thought this one was kind of adorable. Yes, fruit can be cute.
As soon as breakfast was down the hatch, I whipped out the door, took care of my horse, dogs, and cat, changed, and went for a quick ride on my horsey.  After that, I grabbed another energy bite as I scooted out the door, and I was working by ten.  At around one, I was starving, so I had one of my favorite protein bars:
I'm seriously in love with these.  They're better than dessert.  No joke.  And the creamy peanut butter variety might be even better, if that's possible.  At three my shift was over so I flew back home and had another quick snack of carrots + cherry tomatoes dipped in my favorite hummus.  Then I was back on the road and headed to my best friend's house.  
After I arrived, we chatted for a while, took her dog for a walk, and then had dinner.  Her parents made an amazing pasta salad that had pasta (obviously), lentils, chopped tomatoes, bell pepper, and zucchini, parmesan cheese, and some kind of a balsamic dressing, I think.  I really want to get the recipe!  Then we watched King Kong (love that movie, I think Kong is adorable).  During it, we had dessert, and I had a tangerine fruit pop.  For some reason, I'm not a huge fan of oranges (I like them, they're just not my favorite; though sometimes those mini tangerines are AMAZING), but I adore orange flavored desserts/candy.  

The movie was great, but we stopped it and had the lights out by ten.  I know what you're thinking.  Going to bed at ten at a friend's house?!?  Yeah, but we had good reason. You see, at 2:30 (yes, 2:30 AM) our alarms went off and we hopped (well, um, more like stumbled) out of bed.  Think we're crazy yet?  Well, we had to get up that early if we wanted to go for our sunrise hike!  Yup, we ate some breakfast (I tried this great grains cereal they had - it was pretty good!), piled in the car, and by 4:00 we were on the trail!  

We wanted to be hiking by 3:30, but we kind of got lost.  We thought we had gone too far, so we turned around and thought it was this other road.  But it ended up looking kind of sketchy so we got off of it and went back to where we were.  It turned out that the trail was literally right around the corner from where we initially turned around!  Go figure.

In spite of getting about four hours of sleep, we were pretty wide awake!  And it was a good thing because we came across some pretty rocky spots on the trail.  It was supposedly a 5 mile hike round trip, but it sure felt longer than that!  We eventually made it to the side of the mountain and our eyes met some amazing night views of our town.  As the sun began to rise, brilliant shades of orange, yellow, and pink spilled into the picture.  Unfortunately, most of the early pictures didn't turn out, but I don't think I will ever forget the views.  

At about 5:30, we were sitting on top of the mountain, and the sun was just beginning to peak over the clouds.  We sat up there for about an hour, breathing in the gorgeous views and snacking on goldfish, grapes, and warm chocolate (the thermos kept it from getting cold but didn't exactly keep it hot!).

The way down was much quicker as it always it is, and we talked non-stop the whole time.  It was amazing how different the trail looked in the day-light!  And of course, the views were just as gorgeous but looked completely different as well.  We all decided that we were definitely going to be sore the next day, and I know I was.  SO incredibly worth it though.  I'll let some pictures do the rest of the talking about the hike.  Prepare to be bombarded.  I'm way too indecisive when it comes to pictures.  Though considering I took about 175 pictures, this is really cutting back!
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Finally caught a view of the top!
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Rocks we had to climb to get to the top.
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More rocks to climb!
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Views from the top.
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Literally on top of the world!
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Adorable little fella' that kept us company the entire time we were up there.
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View on the way back down.
So for a small chunk of time this past Monday, I felt on top of the world in two ways - literally and because I was surrounded with two people (my best friend and her sister) that I have known for the past 14 years of my life, who I view as my sisters, and who I love to death.

When we got back to their house, we finished our movie with some cheese and crackers, but we had all fallen asleep by the end.  That was our cue that we needed a bit more sleep so we snoozed the next hour and a half away.  We ended our time together by making and munching on some absolutely delicious pretzels (the soft kind).  I couldn't have asked for a more perfect time with two amazing people who will always be a part of my life.


Have you ever done a sunrise hike?
Is anyone else picture obsessed?
 My parents have nick-named me the happy clicker... and for a good reason.  In my defense, each angle offers a different view of the same scene, and no angle should be left un-pictured.  Right?  Right?
 


Comments

07/03/2013 09:04

That apple is seriously adorable! I need to make Brittany's energy balls too! I'm always hungry before I run, but I never know what to eat! That sunset hike is so beautiful! I need to add that to my bucket list!

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Alex
07/03/2013 16:46

It's so worth the early wake up call! And definitely try Brittany's energy balls - I'm kind of addicted ;-)

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07/03/2013 10:19

So many good and nutritious eats here! Yay, you're training for a 5k :)! Lately that's all I've been running because of the hot weather.

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Alex
07/03/2013 16:47

It's so hard to run when it's hot out! I have to go early or it just doesn't happen.

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07/03/2013 11:01

While I'm not an early riser you seriously have me long for going on a sunrise hike myself. Too bad I'm not living in the countryside anymore but I hope I'll somehow be able to work out a way to go on one, too. It's awesome you were able to go on your hike with two people meaning such a lot to you. Sharing such an experience makes it even more amazing, right?
Snap-happy right here, too. It's probably a smidgen annoying to go on a walk with me AND my camera. But it's just like you said: there are so many different angles to every scene and what a shame it'd be to miss the best one.

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Alex
07/03/2013 16:48

Exactly! I'm so glad that someone else shares my picture taking philosophy! ;-)

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07/03/2013 11:13

Oh my gosh I don't know if I could handle waking up that early to hike, but it looks beautiful!!! :)

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Alex
07/03/2013 16:49

It absolutely was! The measly four hours of sleep was totally worth it :)

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OH MY GOSH those hiking photos are STUNNING! The gorgeous rocks really remind me of a few hikes that we took in California. You lucky girl to be so close to the mountains!

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Alex
07/03/2013 16:50

Thank you! I definitely had fun taking them.
I do love the mountains! It's not home without them :)

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07/03/2013 13:39

That actually sounds fun to wake up early to watch the sunset. Now I need to find friends or a boyfriend who would actually get up and follow through with me. :)

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Alex
07/03/2013 16:52

Haha, yeah both my friends' parents and my parents were kind of surprised that we actually did it. But it was so, so worth it! Definitely do it sometime!

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07/03/2013 15:15

Wow waking up 2.30 am for a hike is intense buuuut that kind of view makes it SO worth it..absolutely breathtaking photos :D

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Alex
07/03/2013 16:53

Yeah it's a good thing it was so beautiful or only having gotten 4 hours of sleep for nothing would have been kind of awful haha!

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I don't know if I could handle that early wake up time, but those views definitely make it worth it! Seriously so gorgeous, you got some incredible pics!

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Alex
07/03/2013 16:55

Thank you, Sam! We had such a great time :)

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07/03/2013 17:01

Wow! What an amazing experience! I have never gone hiking before, there really isn't anywhere to hike in Chicago.. except up stairs, but I will be going on my first hiking trip with my teammates in September! I can't wait! I think we are going to a hiking location called Big Sur.. but you probably have no idea where that is.. lol :)

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Alex
07/04/2013 17:59

Haha, well I didn't it, but when you mentioned it I just had to look it up! So now I know where it is ;-)

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07/03/2013 19:31

Cute blog! It's always so nice to see young people taking such an interest in their health and nutrition.

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Alex
07/04/2013 18:00

Thank you, Jenn! I'm glad you stopped by :)

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07/04/2013 09:04

First off, gorgeous pics. Second, I've been dying to try that coconut pb but can't find it anywhere!

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Alex
07/04/2013 18:01

Oh I hope you find it! It is truly amazing.

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I LOVE the idea of a sunrise hike. I got into hiking when I moved to Alberta and never thought of getting up that early to hike but am definitely putting it on my list of things to do this summer :)

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Alex
07/04/2013 18:03

Definitely do it!! It's such a wonderful summer activity!

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07/04/2013 12:52

I LOVE THIS POST!! Getting up before the rest of the world is SOOO tranquil. In Arizona during the summer when I visit my dad, we HAVE to get up early (not quite 2:30 early) to hike because by the time 7 hits it's already in the 90's and getting hotter!

I can't eat right after I run either..no no no. I have to wait a good amount of time!! Awesome job on all the workouts!

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Alex
07/04/2013 18:04

Wow, Arizona gets hot quickly! It doesn't get to the 90's until at least 10 where I live, and I thought that was early... I now have a new appreciation of early ;-)

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Those mountains look seriously beautiful! I am pretty jealous of that view you experienced. Those energy balls look so delicious. I've never had the caramel fudge bar of think thin. It sounds like a good flavor though.

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Alex
07/04/2013 18:05

It's an amazing flavor! Definitely give it a go if you see it!

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07/05/2013 17:15

LOVE hiking! (as I'm sure you can tell from my page) Those pictures are GORGEOUS! Sometimes its so fun to get to the summit at dusk--its totally different than during the day. Your eats look so yummy too! That apple is HUGE and perfect :) Happy week!

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10/07/2015 04:41

Interesting post..

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04/28/2016 21:34

Read your blog it is really great and Beautiful Images. Thanks For Posting such a nice post. Keep Updating!!

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