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  • Sometimes, you have to indulge and take a break.

    Oh, no, I didn't forget. In fact, I added a day this week and did seven workouts.

    But where? Well, I'm glad you asked. We took a trip up to St. Charles, IL to visit my nephew and his family and spent the night at a really nice resort hotel; Pheasant Run.

    Pheasant Run is an older place, built in the 1950's when golf resorts were just coming in to their own, and it's been kept up beautifully. The rooms are spacious and very comfortable, there's room service if you like or your choice of several on-site restaurants if you don't, and they feature all sorts of activities for the entire family, from theaters and comedy club to special supervised activities for the kids. There are three pools, a full service spa and fitness center, and of course many specialty shops including souvenirs and apparel. There is even a Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream parlor. (I looked, but did not go in.) And for you golfers out there, they feature 36 beautifully maintained holes on an absolutely breath taking course surrounded by groves of maple and pine trees.

    But the most impressive part of the trip for me was the drive up and back. Fall is in full swing here in Illinois, and that means the trees are beginning to change colors. And what lovely colors they are. Red and orange and yellow intermixed about the landscape with the fields ready to be harvested. Farmers out with their machines harvesting corn and soybeans. We even passed a field at least two acres square where the freshly harvested stalks were populated by southbound Canadian geese. And I am not talking several or a small group. The field was literally crowded with geese picking through the remaining chaff looking for stray kernels. It was loud, it was very busy, and it was beautiful.

    The weather was typical, slightly overcast with huge, cotton ball clouds interspersed here and there with patches of blue sky and sunlight. There was a drizzle of rain now and then, but nothing extreme. We followed directions from the internet until we missed one turn and had to backtrack about twenty miles, but even then we passed through a small town resplendent with art deco and Victorian architecture from bygone years. It was a pleasant and relaxing drive.

    We checked in at about 4:30 pm and took a stroll through the various shops while waiting on Jack and Sarah to arrive from Elgin with their children, Jack the 4th, Jordyn, and Jason. They arrived about 6:30 and we all spent some quality “catch up” time in our room before heading out to Olive Garden for a nice meal and continuing family time. Jordyn (age 7) had to show us her cartwheels and somersaults from her gymnastics class, Jack the 4th (age 9) talked about his beginning guitar classes (YES! Another guitar player!), and Jason, being 2 ½, was showing us his Thomas the Train and getting lots of hugs and kisses. Jack and I talked about work and family while Sarah and Sandy chatted about kids, weight loss and other things. With that many conversations going on, it was a little difficult to keep track of everything, but it felt like family. And family is a really good feeling, isn't it.

    As to the workouts, yesterday I did my standard Saturday morning routine, V-ups, bicycles and situps followed by a 30 minute session on my Gazelle at a brisk march pace. Ten minutes after I finished, I headed up to the shower and backed a grip with clothes for the trip and loaded the car. About 20 minutes after that, we were on the road.

    This morning, I decided to check out the resort's fitness center and was not disappointed. Now some hotels or motels have a couple of aerobic machines with an exercise ball, if that. Pheasant Run has the Life Fitness machines you often see in local fitness centers. So I was able to do a nice weight lifting routine with all my standard exercises and even do my shoulders and arms, since there was a rack of dumbbells ranging from 8 to 50 pounds. For aerobics, I had my choice of an elliptical, a treadmill, or a stationary bicycle. (No Gazelle, darn it.), so I chose a treadmill and did a very nice 3 mile an hour walk for ten minutes with a three minute cool down at 1.5 mph. They even had a television where I could watch the local news while I walked.

    I walked down to the fitness center in my sweats, but could have carried them with me and used their locker room. At 6 am, I pretty much had to myself.

    See there. You can even stay fit away from home, if you want to.

    I sure hope you are taking the time to appreciate the colors of the season. And as always, I hope your weekend has been blessed.

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