Sweet Rewards, Ghost Stories, & Zumba Heart Rate Monitor

935 calories burned teaching Zumba with Susie + some of my chocolate caramel M&M apple from Tweetsie or molasses spice cookies from Charleston = guilt-free dessert! Mmmmmm...

Disclaimer: my Zumba class isn't a full hour & 23 min! It runs b/t 65 & 70 min; those last 15 min were me cleaning the mirrors & going down to the hot tub. :-D

And b/c my *most often asked* Zumba question is about my heart rate monitor: I use the Polar FT4. I have tried three other cheaper models, and they were totally useless = completely inaccurate. This one is the cheapest (listed $99.95, but often cheaper - I've seen $65 on Amazon; I paid ~$75 at a sporting goods store) for the best quality & accurate data. The chest strap is key!

Treats: that apple is my *must have* sweet each visit from the Tweetsie Fudge Works, and when I saw those cookies in the Charleston Market, I knew they must be mine. Not only are chewy, spicy, molasses ginger cookies my ultimate fave, but what sealed the deal for me was the name: "Grey Ghost Bakery". Now, I am *not* into any horror movies or gross scariness AT ALL; but growing up, I was fascinated with the culture of Carolina ghost stories. There are myriads!!! (I always wanted to see the Brown Mountain Lights!) One of my most favorites is the legend of the Grey Ghost or the Grey Man along the Carolina coast: it's beach-themed, he's a good ghost :-P, and my family knows people WHO HAVE ACTUALLY SEEN HIM! Yeah... The story is simple: a figure walks the beaches warning visitors and residents of the potential danger due to an approaching storm. He's not scary; he just wants to spare people his same fate. First sightings appeared in the early 1800's and have been reported into recent times. (I know there are reports of people who saw him before the category 4 Hurricane Floyd in 1999.) People disagree on who he actually "was", if he verbally speaks or not, and where he's from - the Grey Ghost is claimed from Cape Hatteras, NC down to Pawleys Island, SC - but everyone agrees that he's a friendly spirit with noble intentions, and that if you have an encounter, you better pack up and evacuate posthaste!!! I remember hearing how "someone we know" (Mom, who was it?) saw him at the beach in 1954; remember, that was before our advanced weather forecasting, satellite warning systems, etc. Right afterwards, Hurricane Hazel, a category 4 storm, hit. He's never wrong, and I've always been fascinated by the tales...

...And his namesake's bakery makes some darn good cookies! :-D