Sunday, May 31, 2009

Barcelona...Sort Of

So I've been talking for awhile that I had a trip planned to Barcelona. That wasn't exactly true.. I did fly in and out of the Barcelona airport. But I really went to Spain to compete in a Half Ironman in a town called Calella (I survived by the way). I did go to Barcelona however, those pictures are below. However they are a wee bit scarce due to the amount of time I spent at the beach or freaking out about my race. I have a few more race/beach photos then city pictures. So - those will come next as soon as I steal a few from some of the best race spectators ever! Read on...

Sarah (who competed) and her boyfriend Julian (best race support ever) changed hotels after the race. This is what happens when you have to carry your bike everywhere with you.

The Cathedral in the center of Barcelona. Built in Roman times it is one of the oldest structures in the city.

Lots of pedestrian friendly places to walk and shop

A wonderful square off Las Ramblas, the main pedestrian thoroughfare. It was a great place to rest with a fountain in the middle and cafes lining the perimeter.

Michael and Tom (fellow competitors and appearing in previous posts) get us a table in the corner. The tapas was yummy!

The statue honoring Christopher Columbus, having been sent abroad with money from Spain's Queen Isabel.

The Barcelona harbor - I loved the contrast of the boats in the foreground with the European buildings in the background.

Billed as the most beautiful church in Barcelona, it has the largest and oldest circular rose window. I love the cafes at the base so that you may just sit with a glass and admire it.

Sarah and Julian check out my new favorite store.

Very narrow streets - you could jump from one balcony to the other!

Las Ramblas - filled with more people and street performers than you could believe. It actually made me nervous that I was going to be pick pocketed so I didn't linger long. Barcelona is known for having your valuables relieved of your possession.

Me being a dork at Park Guell. One of Gaudi's (the modernist architect) main creations.

The columns amazed me how they were built and continue to hold strong today without the help of modern technology.

Tom helps just in case it might fall.
A fanciful lizard guarding the entrance to the park.

Tiled art on the ceiling of what was meant to be an open air market (columns below)

Originally designed as a market, now a resting area out of the sun!

Another Gaudi design still under construction after 100 years! The cathedral is built to hold 13,000 worshippers.

Tom and I (with my crooked hat) in front of the Cathedral.

So ends the Barcelona portion - pics from Calella and the race soon. Except I'm off to Italy on Wednesday so there might be a slight delay ... :o) Ciao!

Friday, May 29, 2009

How Coffee Beans are Born

Saw this in a coffee shop in Spain and just had to laugh.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Just Call Me a Guinea Pig

My good friend Tom needed a few subjects for a cycling study so I volunteered to help out. The study took into account cycling technique and how that affected your heart rate, oxygen intake, etc.

As part of the study, reflectors are placed at key points and filmed by 12 separate cameras. This gets transmitted to the computer where you can see my form and technique. Very much like The Matrix or how they film people for video games! I'm glowing!!

Next they set up the test bike in the middle of the cameras

Here I am looking extremely happy that I'm wearing a very attractive nose clip to keep me from breathing through my nose. At least I'm glowing.

I'm sure they are discussing how excellent I am doing. Don't even ask why Lee is wearing latex gloves. It's all in the name of science....

As promised, I'm off to Barcelona for a week so photos and stories when I get back. Happy Memorial Day my U.S. readers...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Did my first triathlon in a l-o-n-g time. Finished 8th in my age group only after a mild panic attack in the water.

Here is another dorky photo of me. Why is it that my rubber suit doesn't make me look like Catwoman?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

This is SO Bridget Jones' Diary!

I actually contemplated going.

And here is Tucker helping me mow the lawn. Oh wait. No, he's just lying in the sun.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Flavors (or Flavours)

I thought I'd share some new flavors that I've discovered here in the UK. Or that is flavours depending on your version of English.

Crisps, a.k.a chips in the U.S., have many unique flavors here. Pictured above, Roast Ox. Or, you could have Roast Chicken, Prawn Cocktail or Pickled Onion.

I laughed out loud at Cajun Squirrel. Really? Be happy I did not take pictures of the tuna sweetcorn pizza......

Friday, May 8, 2009


I need to start taking my camera with me when Tucker and I are out and about. I've had some good photo moments and the camera phone is just not cutting it.

The other night we passed by the Royal Windsor Bowls Club. The club is located in the shadow of the castle just by the Thames. Bowls, if you are not familiar with it, is otherwise known as bocce or lawn bowling to those of us from the States. The competition looked fierce and Tucker and I looked on with interest. Me - I was interested in how you know which team you are on if everyone is dressed in white... Tucker - he was interested in trying to retrieve the balls as they were thrown. He wasn't a big fan of the fence. They have an open day next week for tryouts, I might just have to join....

Monday, May 4, 2009


Headed back to the good ol' U S of A this week for work and had a chance to catch up with a few friends.

What makes a friend? Someone who lets you stay with them and doesn't mind that your crap magically expands once out of the suitcase. In my defense, I brought running, cycling and swimming gear with me - not to mention work clothes.

What makes a friend? Someone who frys up 5 different kinds of vegetables and serves it as a starter/appetizer. Good thing there were 3 of us to eat all this.

It's been 9 months since I crashed Jeff and Michelle's vacation in Italy. Therefore, we are celebrating with more wine and food. Ahh... THAT'S what makes a friend.

Thanks again to the people who let me stay with them, the people who let me borrow biking equipment from them and the people who made time out of their schedule to drink, eat and ride with me. Let's hope it isn't 6 more months until we meet again....