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Kicking it XIV

There are a few phrases guaranteed to win a woman's heart. Words like "You look nice today" or "Will you marry me?" Then, of course, the "I love you" still remains at the top of the list for securing a woman's admiration.

Keeping that in mind, I wish to add just one more phrase to the list. My current all-time favorite is "Hey skinny!" I know. I didn't even see that one coming. We need to add it to the list of winning phrases for sure.

Thursday, Jan. 23, was a banner day. Two wonderful experiences occurred within three hours of each other.

First, trying to be on time for my mammogram appointment, it seemed the most expeditious thing to do was to jump back into yesterday's jeans. I zipped up and took off.

While using the automatic appointment self-check-in at the doctor's office, I happened to look down to see I had grabbed the wrong pair. To my surprise, I had put on my skinny jeans. And they fit.

And then – just two hours later, I heard my new fourth-Monday bridge partner say, "Hey skinny." I turned to see who was behind me, but he was talking to me.

Apparently, I have the fat mirror in my house. Therefore, I do not see that skinny person he referenced. The idea behind the "getting fit" issue really has to do with me getting a new mirror. And so, I wonder why if I can't see that skinny woman, how can others? Furthermore, I wonder if other women have that same fat mirror?

Let me enlighten you. I finally have the answer. The truth of the matter is the biggest obstacle between me and the gym is getting from the couch to the car. That's it.

Sure enough, that is the biggest obstacle. Silly isn't it? What I know is if I can get to the car, I never fail to get to the gym. What kind of crazy thing is that?

Keeping me accountable is my-go-to-guy Kellen, my personal trainer. He's just the right person for me. He pushes without being pushy. I doubt my results would be anywhere near this without him. Our standard appointment is 7 a.m., Friday morning. We knock around while he tweaks my routines, adding or subtracting even replacing exercises depending on what little aches have come upon me over the past week.

While I haven't started packing, I do have the suitcases out. Two small rollers. With only 43 days left before heading to my big European vacation, it seems the past six months flew by.

My itinerary: I leave San Diego Friday, March 20, at 6:30 a.m., flying into Newark airport. Departing there at 7:15 p.m. it's an all-nighter, landing at Heathrow Airport in the morning and to clear customs. Around noon, I am off to Paris via Charles De Gaulle airport Saturday, March 21.

It is in Paris I meet up with my 27-year-old granddaughter for a three-night, four-day tour of the city cruising the river Seine.

We depart Paris, March 24, flying into Marco Polo airport in Venice. Our two-bedroom apartment is a boat ride from the airport. Besides being close and convenient it also has a washer-dryer.

Next morning, March 25, we have a reserved entry through the Doge's Palace in San Marco's Square. Our ticket is also good at the other 10 museums managed by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia.

I haven't found a cooking class yet, so I must continue that search. The rest of our time will be free to scout about.

On Friday, March 27, my grandchild takes the train to Rome to meet up with her Contiki tour group, and I move to The Cipriani Hotel to luxuriate and toast the big 75. By the by, this grand hotel is owned by the Belmond Group too amongst its many holdings – the train known as the Orient Express as well as other trains.

I promise to finish my tour in my next column.

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal can be reached via [email protected]


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