Monday, August 5, 2013

I'm're running how many miles?

It's been a while since I've blogged. I have been overwhelmed (or maybe underwhelmed?) with a lack of progress in my life. I have a wonderful husband and home. I have amazing friends who are a constant source of silliness and laughter. Unfortunately, my lackluster attitude towards work has left me with a constant case of the Mondays and I have allowed myself to wallow in the bad. Even as I write this, I am feeling oh-so-sorry for myself after getting a rejection email for a volunteer opportunity. Hello, people! I'm offering you my free time--you don't even have to pay me! Where was I going with this? Oh that's right... 

The hubs and I decided to embark on a little adventure together next January. We registered for the Walt Disney World Marathon that is scheduled for January 12, 2014. A.) It's Disney World. If we can't do it there, we can't do it ANYWHERE! B.) It's a flippin' marathon. 26.2 miles. 42.19 km. And probably the hardest thing I will have ever done at that time in my life. We are in our sixth week of training. My husband, AKA The Flash, AKA is it OK to be envious of your spouse? is a rock star. He has really dedicated himself to this which also makes my training easier. To date, I have had some great runs and some awful runs. I have learned my body does not appreciate a bottle of Pinot the night before a long run. I haven't felt the need to shout this news from the rooftops but I do like talking about it and the further we get into training, the more exciting it becomes. My motivation is to finish, no matter how slow I am. My motivation is to silence the part of me that says I can't do this. I will prevail :) Here's to embracing the Mondays and putting my trust and hope into something I CAN control! 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Thanks for the memories

It has been a BUSY couple of days! We said goodbye to our dear friend Michelle and headed to Amsterdam on Thursday. What a city...we enjoyed great weather, wonderful Dutch hospitality and the spoils of life in the Netherlands.

We arrived too late in the day to see much on Thursday but we did check into our B&B (amazing) and enjoyed a quiet evening in while watching the Dog Whisperer and The Devil's Own.
Brad Pitt is fitting even on vacation.

Friday was nuts. We mustered all the energy we had to see the state museum, Anne Frank house and the impressive Van Gogh collection here in Ams. We saw all of these sites via rented bicycles which was fantastic. A great way to see the city but also very tiring and at times a bit frightening thanks to traffic rules. After the three biggies we made our way toward the Red Light District. No photos to post from that (our cameras would have been thrown in the canal) but suffice it to say we had a few laughs and could have people watched for hours! The night ended with a long ride back through Vondel Park and McDonald's veggie burgers (YES!)

Today we finished our trip with more museums, more art and a canal tour. We flew to London where we will crash for the night then head home tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Last Day In France and Belgium Adventures!

Bonjour.. Hallo..

We're relaxing in our room on Stalingrad avenue in downtown Brussels. The train station across the street is loud and we are tired.

Let's recap the last few days. They've been fun. Here we go:

Monday morning started with a quick breakfast and a delicious lunch with our hosts in the north of France. From there, Xav took us to Ètretat, France's answer to the Cliffs of Dover (so high you can't see ooovvveerrr). What a sight. Sprawling high above the choppy waves and tricky tides, these wind-whipped wonders (oh, yeah) of nature left us in awe. Hopefully our pictures will do it justice (not the ones attached, these are just phone shots).

After the cliffs we stopped by a distillery/monastery for a liquor called Benedictine. It was interesting. The liquor was sweet like bear meat and was overall not very tasty, also like bear meat.

Dinner with our hosts was bittersweet. It was our last night in France with some of the most wonderful people we've had the privilege of meeting. The sweet part was the dinner. Oh, man. So good. Homemade pies! Including ratatouille.

Cut to early morning. We say our sad goodbyes to great friends, then we are whipping through several French villages to get to our train station on time. Success! We're off to Belgium.

We arrive in Belgium mid afternoon and hit the ground running. We stop and get a well known dish, fritas (fries) served with mayo. Delicious. From there we people watch. A World Cup qualifying match between Belgium and Scotland is in town and the hooligans are everywhere! This town is a party!

This is when we meet up with Shelly. We've known Shelly for a year and a half. I worked with her at Yelp. About a month ago she moved to Florence to teach English, so it was a real treat to catch up with her!

We tooled around the town for a few hours then grabbed dinner and a few beers.

This morning we took a train to Brugges. We spent the entire day wandering through the streets. Really lovely place. We took a beer tour showcasing the last beer made in the city walls, ate lots of chocolate, a waffle, and had more fries. What a day.

Cutting this short as writing on my terrible phone is making me nauseous.

Tomorrow we'll walk around Brussels a bit more then head to Amsterdam, our final stop on this trip!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

France as we know it

We have been eating too much bread and cheese to blog...apologies.

We are spending our fifth night in France and it has been wonderful. To wrap up the last few days...

We spent two nights in Saint Malo at the home of Mathilde's mother's cousin. It was lovely and very close to many beautiful sights. We spent the mornings waiting out the rain but took advantage of sunny afternoons at Mont St Michel and the old town of Saint Malo...which it turns out was bombed almost completely to the ground during the war and since been rebuilt. We were able to cook dinner both nights at the home which was a nice way to end the chilly autumn days.

Today we left Saint Malo and visited
the sites of the plages du débarquement (D-Day.) It was a very full day but well worth the walking and time in the car. Grégoire was a trooper! We began at Utah Beach and continued to the German cemetery. This was a path less traveled and had twice as many graves as its American counterpart. Sad and humbling as this was not all that long ago. We continued on to Pont du Hoc which house the remaining German bunkers for visitors. These were exactly as portrayed in the movies and very interesting to stand in.

We continued on to Omaha Beach (aka Bloody Omaha) and the American cemetery and memorial. Breathtaking. Neither of us have many words for what we saw but I think it's true when others say you will never forget it. The feeling of camaraderie was palpable and I am grateful we were not there to live through such horrible times. We finished our day at the musée in Caen dedicated to the war and to a future of peace.

Now we rest at the home of Mathilde's good friend Bea and her famille near Etretat where we will spend the remainder of our time in France. We had a delicious dinner of crepes and laughed together in spite our mutual language barrier :) I love France and have very much enjoyed our time with Mathilde and Xav. Mathilde has been wonderfully patient with my French and I look forward to impressing her with my skills next time we see them! Bonne nuit!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Today was rainy but it was maybe a good thing as it helped Steve and I  catch up on sleep. We woke up at 11:30, had a late breakfast with Mathilde, Xav and little Grégoire. The rain cleared for the rest of the day and the five of us took the opportunity to tour Château Angers. We also saw Mathilde and Xav's new house which will be ready for move in by the end of the month! C'est magnifique and so beautiful.

We had a quiet evening at home eating pizza, drinking wine and watching Final Destination part deux en français. Tomorrow morning we depart for Mont St. Michel where we will tour and then spend the next two nights in Saint Malo. Au revoir for now.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bonne nuit

We are saying goodnight from Angers, France. As we have been neglecting our duties, here is a recap of the last couple days.

Yesterday we attended a morning tour of St. Paul's Cathedral. The highlight of the tour was the view from the top, 600 feet above the church floor.

From there we went to Buckingham Palace to take another tour. Turns out, you can only tour during the summer months. The Queen did not respond to requests of a public viewing.

We then walked to the museums in South Kensington. They were nice.

The next morning (today) we woke up at 3 to catch an early train to France. We said goodbye to our amazing host, Kaitlin,and the city of London.

Lots of hours on trains landed us in Blois where we met up with our friends from Angers. We hopped over to Chambord to tour the castle then back to Angers to wrap up a long, fun Day.

Please excuse strange formatting or misspellings. It's late.

Top of St. Paul's
French train station
Chambord Castle

Monday, October 8, 2012

London: rainy day two

Oh, hi there.

We started our day with a huge breakfast at our hotel room. T'was delicious.

We then hit the street to visit the Yelp UK office! Once outside we were showered with a proper English rain. First thing Lindsay said was, ”Would ya look at it?!” I looked at it.

The Yelp UK office was awesome. Really great building, great people. There we met up with Kaitlin, our host for the rest of our London stay, then we were off again.

First stop was the British Museum to see the Rosetta Stone. That was swell. Then we just kinda walked around. We ended up at St. Paul's Cathedral. We popped in a bit late for a tour, so that'll be tomorrow.

Tomorrow will be a busy one. St. Paul's, Buckingham, and 3 museums.

Hopefully we get a wee bit of sun as well.

Attached photos:
Lindsay's ILLEGAL photo inside St. Paul's.
The Rosetta Stone
Roasted cacahuetes (peanuts)