Euro Trip 2016: Paris

Paris 2016

Paris was the second stop on our European honeymoon and the top pick on my wife’s list of cities to visit. She was very excited and so was I. I couldn’t wait to see the churches, museums and eat in the different cafes. She couldn’t wait to see the Eiffel Tower. After London, we were ready to take on the most romantic city.

Cell Phones

We narrowed the list of cell service providers to SFR and Orange.  After reading many reviews and talking to a few locals. SFR and Orange were the best providers. We went with Orange since it was the closest store to our apartment. We payed €40 each. It was more expensive than a London SIM but it was slightly cheaper than a pocket WiFi. The service was great and we didn’t lose signal while in Paris. We made use of the data and talk time by calling each other when we ventured off on our own. I would recommend them if you need cell service in Paris.

Transportation

We arrived at Gare du Nord and was planning on calling an Uber for transport to the apartment. I wasn’t able to get service so we decided to find a taxi service. Here, is where I screwed up. You should always go with an official taxi to avoid getting ripped off. We went with an unmarked cab and it costed us €75! The fare should have been about half that. It was an expensive lesson but I’ll be more cautious next time.

While in the city we purchased five day passes for public transportation. The total cost for zones 1-3 was about €40. This was a great deal since we spent a lot more than that in London. It came with unlimited use of both bus and metro.  We also used Uber for a few late night commutes, which were great. We also used Uber to get to the Orly airport which was about $40.

Accommodations

We used Air BnB and stayed in the 4th arrondissement. It was a small apartment but it had everything we needed. It was close to a lot of different attractions.  The Lourve, Notre Dame, Musee d’Orsay and Sainte Chapelle were about one to two stop on the metro or bus.

The Fun Stuff

Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame is one of the churches that I have always wanted to visit. It’s pictured in many movies especially in the Disney classic, The Hunchback of Notre Dam. After visiting churches in London I was eager to see the churches in Paris. We were able to attend Sunday mass at this cathedral and it was beautiful. The choir was amazing and even though we didn’t understand French we felt the presence of God.

Sainte-Chapelle

Not far from the Notre Dame Cathedral is the Sainte-Chapelle chapel. It is a small one room chapel but it has beautiful stained glass windows. Information detailing the restoration of the chapel is also on display

The Louvre 

The Louvre is one of the worlds most famous museums. Within it’s three wings it houses priceless art pieces. The Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and the winged victory are on display as well as other famous works. The Louvre is was on my bucket list and I couldn’t wait to explore.

Musee d’Orsay
I didn’t know about the museum but it’s just as famous as the Louvre. I saw very famous works by Monet and Van Gogh which I have only seen in text books.

Eiffel Tower

I was able to see the Eiffel Tower during the day and night. They had an awesome light show at night.

Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe is another iconic Paris building that I’ve seen in many movies. It’s has a great view of the city.
CrossFit Lourve and Starplayer
 
As with every stop on the city tour we had to stop by a box and game store. We stopped by CrossFit Louvre which was under a Reebok store. The gym was a good size but not too big. They were out of shirts which was a bummer.
 

Paris was amazing but we should have stayed for a shorter time. Five days was too long, since we saw all the things we wanted in three days. We still had a great time and would love to visit again.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

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December 2016 Loot Crate Unboxing: Revolution

Taken from Loot Crate email.

What is Loot Crate?

Taken from the Loot Crate site, “Each month, Loot Crate™ ships a themed mystery box of the best geek, gaming, and pop culture gear to a subscriber base of over 100,000 Looters. We emphasize phenomenal support and content, and include gear from some of the most respected entertainment and consumer product companies in the world.” Loot Crate sells for $15.99 a month plus $6.00 shipping and handling. You can save on the costs by subscribing for longer periods as well. If you like this theme check out the link at the bottom to subscribe.

What’s in the Box?

The t-shirt this month is from Mr. Robot. Mr. Robot is one of my favorite shows and season two did not disappoint.
The exclusive Pop is from Assassin’s Creed. Aguilar is portrayed by Michael Fassbender in the new Assassin’s Creed movie.
The hardcover book in the box is by Daniel Picard. It’s an interesting book with some cool pictures.
The Firefly item is a replica patch from the show.
The pin for this month is also from Assassin’s Creed. The code gives you access to a digital excerpt from an upcoming Assassin’s Creed novel.

Final Thoughts

I actually liked most of the items in this box. The Firefly patch was a bit of a letdown but the other items were great. The photo book, shirt and Funko Pop figure were awesome. I hope next month is just as good.

If you want to sign up use this LINK, also use the promo code BOX5 to save $5 off your first subscription. If that code doesn’t work you can use SAVE3 for $3 off any subscription. I also get credit towards more Loot Crates if you use the link.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

My Week As Rx (Probably Scaled):January 15 – January 22

Strength

Back Squat – Find your 1RM

After weeks of heavy back squats it was time to test my new 1RM. My goal for 2017 was to make it to 400 lb. and I was excited to see how far I have come. The last recorded 1RM was from February of last year. I worked up to a heavy single about 97% and then added up to 380 lb. This would be a 15 lb. increase over my last 1RM attempt.

I felt very confident since I was able to squat my old 1RM of 365 lb. for two reps earlier in the week. I walked the bar out and although it was very heavy, I felt it was achievable. I descended at a controlled pace and was able to complete the lift. Thankfully I was able to get through it smoothly and not stick on the ascent. You can watch the video below.

I attempted 385 lb. but I was not successful. I had a controlled decent but I stayed in the bottom position for a second too long and was not able to get back up. I dumped the bar and called it a day.

WOD

Partner WOD – Bear Complex, 20 Minute AMRAP

This workout was an alternating bear complex. The goal was to keep a steady pace and not rush the reps. I started at 95 lb. but my coach kept adding weight and I ended it up at 125 lb. At 95 lb. the reps were not too bad. I was able to keep moving at a smooth pace which is probably why my coach increased the weight. We finished with a combined total of 57 reps. This was a great workout because I was able to do it with my wife. We pushed each other and were able to keep a great pace. My wife and I are becoming better athletes together.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

My Week As Rx (Probably Scaled): January 9 – January 15

 

Strength

Back Squat – 4×2 at 90% (345 lb.)

I haven’t lifted this much weight since the last back squat cycle. It was a 4×2 but I was only able to complete two sets at 345 lb. The squats felt great, and I would have been able to finish if I had enough time. I feel very confident in my squat and hopefully I can set a new PR next week.

WOD

Fight Gone Bad – 3 Rounds, 1 Minute Per Station\

Wall Ball (20 lb.)
Sumo Deadlift High Pull (75 lb.)
Box Jump (20 in.)
Push Press (75 lb.)
Row (cals.)

Rest 1 min

It’s been over a year since doing this workout but I was determined to set a new PR. My plan for the workout was to at least complete 20 reps for each movement, it was a lofty goal. The first round started well but I wasn’t close to my 20 reps. I was able to at least get at least 15 reps on all the movements including the row. I finished the round with 81 reps total. The next two rounds were not easy. I was able to keep up with the 15 reps on each movement but failed to get more than 10 or 11 reps on the row. I was exhausted by the end of the workout but I was at least able to set a new PR. I set a new total at 225 reps which is an increase of 15 reps. It’s not a large number but hopefully I will be able set a new PR next time I attempt this workout.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

Back From the Holiday Break
 
The podcast is back from the holiday break. Rodel and I were extremely busy and our schedules didn’t line up. We didn’t play any table top games either for the same reason. In this episode we recap our holiday season. We discuss some pr’s and the increased intensity during CrossFit classes. We also talk about video games that we have been playing and are excited to play in the upcoming year.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or email them barbellsandboxcars@gmail.com. Check out the Barbells and Boxcars Facebook Page as well as the Limitless Fails Gaming Group Facebook Page. Also, Follow us on Twitch and watch us play some live table top games!

RSS Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/BarbellsAndBoxcars

LinkEpisode 15

Drop the Controller and Get at It!

Miniature Mondays: The Testament of Menoth

The Testament of Menoth

The first miniature on the painting table will be the Testament of Menoth. I have had this miniature for a while and decided to make it my first miniature of the new year. It came assembled and since it’s the “epic” version of High Reclaimer, I do not need to make a base. Hopefully I can get this done within a week. Check out the photos below.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

 

My Week As Rx (Probably Scaled): Holiday Highlights

Strength

Power Clean

I set a new power clean PR with at 105 kg lift and surpassed my clean PR of 102 kg. I felt that I could have went a bit heavier, maybe a kilo or two. I was surprised that it was a large jump from my previous power clean pr at 98 kg. I hope I can get to 125 kg before the year is over.

Power Snatch
 
I also set a new power snatch PR with a 78 kg lift. My heaviest snatch was at 75 kg and any increase in my snatch weight is great. My wrist and forearms have been hurting lately and I haven’t been working on my snatches since it becomes painful when the weight gets too heavy. I hope it clears up and I finally hit 91 kg.

WOD

CrossFit Games Open: 15.4
 

I was excited and a bit scared when I saw this workout on the board. I have been working on oly lifts and neglecting conditioning. With the open coming up in a few weeks, this workout would be a good gauge of my fitness. My previous PR was 51 reps but I was able to I finish this workout with 57 reps! It’s a small increase but hopefully I’ll do better next time.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

Blog News: 2017 Resolutions

2016 was a great year. I got married, hit some fitness goals and played a lot of games. I have a lot of room to improve and I want to start off the new year right. Below are goals that I want to accomplish.

Blog Goals
 

I want to write more posts and stay consistent. With the holidays finishing up I will be back to writing more stuff about CrossFit and gaming. I just picked up the new Inov-8 235v2 and will be writing about it soon.

CrossFit Goals

I will write about a few PRs from the holidays but I have a few goals in mind for 2017.
  • 400 lb. back squat
  • 200 lb. snatch
  • 275 lb. clean and jerk
  • Under 5 minute Fran

These are ambitious goals but I know I can do them if I stay consistent.

Gaming Goals

I used to paint my models in pieces but I found that not all models need to be painted this way. I want to play more Warmachine lists but my lack of assembled models is hampering me. My resolution for 2017 is to assemble my easy to paint models and play them while I get them painted. Also, to actually paint more models in 2017! I also want to work on streaming more games I’m playing like Hearthstone and other games on the PS4.

Thanks for reading and be sure to look for more posts in the new year!

Lift Heavy and Level Up!