JB and I managed to have our kids-free outing today and it was perfect. The weather was glorious — a lovely last gasp of summer — and the hike on Tiger Mountain was gratifyingly ass-kicking (about 2000 feet straight uphill, woof). We missed the kids enough to talk about them a lot but not so much that we rushed immediately back to daycare afterwards; instead, we lolled around our sweetly silent house for a bit and leisurely ate slices of homemade apple bread — WITHOUT SHARING. Bliss.

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Always tempting fate, this guy.

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It seems hard to believe but I realized this was the first real hike I’ve been on since before I was pregnant with Riley. That’s over three years, jesus.

(Also, I seriously hate having hair that’s too short to pull back, but long enough to get all sweaty and gross.)

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The last bit of the trail before the summit, right about the point when my legs said EXCUSE ME BUT PLEASE STOP THIS INSANITY RIGHT THE FUCK NOW.

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At the top there were these birds checking us out and stealing pieces of our sandwiches, I don’t know what they were (some kind of jay? JB said he knew them only as “camp robbers”) but they were incredibly bold.

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See? Check out that Dr. Doolittle shit right there! Of course, I’m grimacing and squealing in fear because OMG BIRDS. Their scrabbly, gritchy FEET. GRAH.

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I have an incredibly awesome photo of JB from when he first held his hand out for these birds and they completely freaked him out by immediately swooping in; in it he’s sort of shrieking and running away and it is SO GREAT, but he REFUSES to let me post it. So you’ll just have to use your imagination. Remember: shrieking.

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The view from the top. Ahh.

After today’s break, I feel like my parenting reserves got refreshed in a big way. Which is a good thing, because someone in this house still looks like this:

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workout mommy
14 years ago

oh, I am so incredibly jealous.

(and would love to see the shrieking picture!)

WaltzInExile
14 years ago

Okay, how is it that YOUR kid looks all cute with the grumpy face on? He needs to have a seminar; I’ll send my grump (because she just looks scary.)

Valria
14 years ago

Tiger Mountain is a fabulous hike and what a perfect day.

The birds look like Grey Jay’s. They can be quite bold. Hard to tell from the photo.

I say put that ‘shrieking’ photo in the flickr link and some of us will see it. :)

Meg
Meg
14 years ago

Omg, Riley is so funny! Why does he do that? Can he see okay? I mean, he’s not squinting right? Is he really just that suspicious? Wow.

Kudos to you guys for the awesome kids-free hike. That is important to do!

Also, to JB – PLEASE man, let us see the photo! That sounds awesome!

SJ
SJ
14 years ago

The hike looks glorious! And those birds! They sort of look like Magpies, which we have here in CO. They too are very bold and would steal in a heartbeat. I once saw one chasing and pecking at a poor cat!

Glad you and JB had a good time sans kiddos. I’m due for a re-charge myself.

Half Assed Kitchen
14 years ago

That looks so awesome. But…can. not. do. tiger. mountain.

You’re so buff.

Dianna
14 years ago

I live at the base of Tiger Mountain and have never been up there. I’m forwarding the link to this post to my (loves-to-hike) boyfriend so he can drag his (never-been-on-a-hike-will-probably-die) girlfriend up there. Also, yes. The short hair that won’t even make a Pebbles Flinstone “pony tail” sucks. I hate it and can’t wait for another inch so I can somewhat pull it back. Completely in the same boat with you there.

Kristi
14 years ago

OMG Jealous is not a strong enough word. I need a parenting recharge! Wah!!!!

Amy
Amy
14 years ago

I love the grump…and oh my god…birds in your hand! eeek. Images of Alfred Hitchcock! My parenting reserves are barely hanging on. Headed to SF Thursday for work. Won’t be home until Saturday night. Long hours, but a hotel to myself for two nights! Room service, quiet….a hike would be better for me, but I’ll take it!
You’ll have to sneak the shrieking picture on some day!

Jacqueline
14 years ago

Did you do any geocaching?

I started this last weekend and it is so much fun – and so addictive! :D

thejunebug
thejunebug
14 years ago

They’re Grey Jays, but I only know that because I looked them up. I too only know them as “camp robbers” – must be a western thing.

You’re looking hot! And I love how young JB looks when he’s clean-shaven. Awww.

beach
beach
14 years ago

I love that Riley face!

Casey
14 years ago

Dude, I’m so jealous of the scenery out there. I can’t walk to the mailbox without getting drenched in sweat, it’s way too hot for hiking in FL.

Glad you got to hit the reset button with the kids. It’s so much better when you get a break for awhile and can put things into perspective. It’s definitely easier to stomach the tantrums.

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
14 years ago

OMG that picture of JB on the tree almost made me crap my pants! How high up was he??

Frank
Frank
14 years ago

Looks like a fun day and a great hike. You are also looking hot. All that Turbo Jam is obviously working.

Kari
Kari
14 years ago

It sounds like you guys had a fantastic time! Gorgeous photos! Oh, and that little grump face made me laugh. I remember the days of grumpy preschoolers…hopefully sunny faces are right around the corner!

warcrygirl
14 years ago

Wait a minute…we get to see a pic of his nekkid toushie but we don’t get to see him screaming like a girl? Come on, JB, RELENT. Also: WHAT does Riley’s shirt say? Because the way it’s folded up and that expression, well, the sophomoric imagination begins to kick in.

autumn
autumn
14 years ago

I just wanted to say that you are looking really good. I’ve been reading your blogs about working out and I saw the picture of your Seven jeans and you look even better in these pictures. Your blogs and obvious commitment to get in shape is actually what inspired me to try to lose my post-baby chub (which I’ve had for three years now). Anyway, you look great!

Claire
14 years ago

That looks like so much fun! I keep telling my husband we need to skip work like that one day but we’d just end up playing on the computers all day or watching TV. (No good hiking in Florida).

Amblus
14 years ago

Linda, I’m sorry, but I think we’re gonna need to see that picture.

Jennifer
14 years ago

The pictures are beautiful! I haven’t had a day without kids in 2 years, maybe by the time they are 3 I can have a recharge day :)

Tiffany
Tiffany
14 years ago

Although you have no idea who I am, I read your blog everyday. You are hilarious and the visualization of JB shrieking and running away from the birds is amazing. I am literally “LOLing” at work…that’s right, “LOLing.”

Thanks for the laughs

Kathryn
Kathryn
14 years ago

Okay, several things:

1.) Look at you, skinny girl!
2.) Regarding the birds, my husband and I were at a nature preserve here near Chicago a few months ago when a certain (extremely aggressive) species of bird was having its nesting season. He walked under a tree that must have had a nest, and two of them dive-bombed his head. He ran, shrieking and flailing, as they chased him. If only I’d had a camera, I’d have had to start a website just so I could post the pictures. As it was, there was an article in the paper a couple weeks later about that species and their tendency to dive-bomb angrily, and I nearly fell off the couch laughing at the memory again.

jens
jens
14 years ago

ooh, that looks like fun! You look great! The last hike I went on was on my honeymoon 4 years and 3 kids ago, and I was pretty fit then. My hubs and I are thinking of taking a long weekend in mid-October to go back to the same area and I’m thinking- if I start training now, will I be able to hike up Chimney Rock without passing out? And do my hiking boots still fit or did my feet get fat too? Anyway, you’re inspiring me to try it and find out! I miss being kick-ass!

Jem
Jem
14 years ago

You look like Lara Croft or something!

Amity
Amity
14 years ago

Hot mama!!! :)

MetroDad
14 years ago

Awesome! My wife and I have been talking about playing hookie and having a day like that. Except, you know, without the hiking and outdoors stuff. We were thinking of just sneaking a bag of McDonalds into the movie theater and just staying there all day until they kick us out.

SART
14 years ago

I miss hiking. I used to go all the time when I was in HS and College. I live in the foothills of the Appalachians where I’m literally 30 min from all kinds of trails. What happened? Oh yeah, my kid. Now I’d rather sleep when I have free time. Maybe one day we’ll get our lazy asses off our couch and get back out there.

sweetsalty kate
14 years ago

You look incredible, Miss I-Can-Bounce-Nickles-Off-My-Flat-As-A-Pancake-Midsection.

I’m hoping for the same, actually, having bought that damn Gillian Whatshername self-torture DVD that you recommended. It’s been sitting next to the TV for at least a week now and I’ve been staring at it and I haven’t lost a single inch yet. What gives??!

Christine
Christine
14 years ago

Dude, You look unbelievably awesome! Totally hot.

The scenery is gorgeous – what a great way to spend the day. Glad you had a good time.

Sam
Sam
14 years ago

I’m so jealous!!!

And I’m glad I’m not the only one with a grumpy 3 year old, must be something about that age 3. Would you agree that 3 is worse than 2?

Bumbling
14 years ago

Dear JB: Dude, seriously – I have seen your manly man pictures, pictures of you leaping over things in a single bound, daddy pictures and even a pic of your naked behind. Don’t deny me a glimpse of you shrieking! I have no doubt about your manliness. So please reconsider!
Dear Linda: You.Look.Awesome.
Dear Riley: You are too cute for words. Also, adorable when mad.

nonsoccermom
14 years ago

What a view. I really wish I lived somewhere other than boring flat Central Texas. Bah. Am jealous.

Glad you got your kid-free outing, it does make a HUGE difference, doesn’t it?

H
H
14 years ago

I am jealous of the terrain there. It is too damn flat here. Looks like you had a super time and please post the shrieking photo.

JennB
JennB
14 years ago

did you bury Riley in the couch?

donna
donna
14 years ago

Wow! You look awesome! Last hike I did I got bitten by a squirrel cuz I was feeding it, I’ll try to remember to only feed birds from now on.
Just out of curiosity, is that Riley’s lair, nest or trap? Ha, yes I started that discussion again, lol!

Christina
14 years ago

Damn I miss the pac-northwest! What a view. I could NEVER let a bird do that, I am totally freaked out by them, h8te! GAHHH!
We havent been out alone since I had the kid, 11 months ago. Living away from family blows in so many ways. Glad you had some time together.

Traci
Traci
14 years ago

Other people’s grumpy child = so much cuter than my own. Great pics!

Maria
14 years ago

Holy crap. Florida doesn’t look like that.

Also, Riley and my chipmunk should hang out and try to out-glare each other.

chaosmomm (aka justmouse)

ok, 3 things:
1 – holy SHIT are you ever hot. seriously. quit.
2 – Beautiful scenery! so glad you got to have a nice day off :)
3 – not that i know ANYTHING about birds, but they kinda look like Whiskeyjacks?? maybe?

jen
jen
14 years ago

yay for being refreshed! when i read your first post about taking a day for yourselves it made me think you guys need a sitter! i know its quite the hunt but it will seriously be soo good for you both.

Jamie
Jamie
14 years ago

You look amazing! I’ve been trying to lose the baby weight and you are certainly an inspiration!

telegirl
telegirl
14 years ago

I love Camp Robbers, they’re so funny. And bold! I had some friends visiting so we snowshoed into a lake here in the Oregon Cascades and I have a picture of my friend with 8 Camp Robbers on him… on his head, on his arms. They were loving his trail mix. :o)

You look absolutely fabulous, by the way.

jess
14 years ago

Seriously you look SO FREAKING FIT! I’ve followed your recommendations and have ordered the 30 Day Shred. I have NO DOUBT it will KICK.MY.BUTT. Any other advice or recommendations??

Sonia
Sonia
14 years ago

Linda, you look like Hiking Barbie. And I mean that in a totally jealous but inspired to get off the couch way. ;-) *snort* Seriously, you look GOOD. You should be so proud of yourself!!!
PLEEEEEASE JB?! PLEEEEASE let her post the shrieking photo? We all have our Achilles heel, right? If you let her post it, I will so get close to a spider and let my hubby take a photo and send it to you.

Carol
14 years ago

First, you look mahhhh-velous! I’m still trying to get rid of baby weight… and my youngest are 18! Sigh.

And you’ve convinced me that we need to do the Tiger Mountain hike. Maybe it can be our foray into empty-nesthood. Sigh!

Carol

Kathy
Kathy
14 years ago

Ok, I really need to know what Riley’s shirt says also because in my mature as a 15 year old boy brain it says “little dick” as in I am being a…

Laura
Laura
14 years ago

Sounds heavenly but you forgot to post the most important thing- the apple bread recipe. I know that sounds all Martha Stewart but damn I love me some apple bread and I can’t find a decent recipe. Don’t make me beg.

Gwen
14 years ago

My husband had the same encounter a few weeks ago on on mountain in Vancouver. He found another name for the birds (though they are still Camp Robbers or Grey Jays) Whiskey Jacks. I kinda like the sound of that better. :)

I am a little envious about the hike, at 7 months pregnant I am not doing any major hiking for a while.

Kelsey
14 years ago

What a gorgeous day! The picture of JB on the log freaks me out. You look completely incredible.