Friday, October 30, 2009

Long Live the Queen!

I was fortunate this week to catch the state visit of the president of India to greet the queen in Windsor. They had big procession through the streets up to the castle.

The castle is decked out with flags for India, Britain and the queen.

For this occassion, every bear hat in the country must have been out. Here the band hangs out and then shortly started playing Star Wars music, I kid you not. I laughed really hard when I heard the Darth Vader march. I'm not sure how many of the Brits really got that....

This is the first time I've seen the furry hat guys with guys. An assault rifle none the less.

Then all the furry hat guns came marching down the road!

There were even snipers on the rooftops. Well, maybe not a sniper since he was police. But I bet he had a gun. Safety first!

The procession starts with the two scouts in the front, leading the charge. I thought to myself, 'they seem to be moving pretty fast' and they were. The procession came charging by - I was quite impressed.

Now, I know this was a show event and these are not battle horses and the polished silver battle axes were ceremonial only, but I have to admit, it was quite daunting have these guys come by as if ready for war. If this was real, I most certainly would have cowered and begged for mercy or just wet my pants.

Here she is! The Queen! Um.. yeah. Not the best photo. She's the blue shoulder at the left of the carriage. I did actually see her face though.

Then came more horsemen. (The battle axes are in the last row)

Prince Charles doesn't get to ride in a bullet proof carriage. Do you think that says something? Can Camilla's purple hat be any bigger?

I didn't get a good picture of the Indian President (also in a bullet proof carriage) but here is the VP I think. All in all, very cool.

Monday, October 26, 2009

All Smiles

Saturday night was the triathlon club's end of season awards banquet. Yes, again with the triathlon. I promise I am diligently trying to get myself out of the country. Really.

The boys are all dressed up.

The girls too! Gemma is wearing a rockin' red dress but not looking at the camera. C'mon Gemma!

At the awards dinner - we have quite the dapper table.

Chris Harris and I are co-winners for the Smiley-est Triathlete award. We won dental floss and bottles of Listerine. I do question the wisdom of the voting public on this one. They obviously voted for Pre-Race Lynda as Post-Race Lynda is never quite that happy.

In any event, a fun night all around. Tall Jerry says something extremely witty - either that or the bubbles in my glass just make everything funny. The rest of the pictures tend to get more blurry and random as the night wore on so I'll leave it at that. No need for y'all to stare at the same people you see in lycra and neoprene all the time all dressed up and boozing it up. Yep, no need. And for the record, this is the most I've ever inserted myself in the photos so I think my quota for the year is done. I can stop with the dorky photos for a while. Thank goodness.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


So..... didn't go out of town again this weekend. Still working on getting my life in order. Translation: Boring. Therefore, here are random photos. Note to self: pace blog site better....

I was trying to take a photo of one of my morning walks. I love the leaves on the ground and the fall colors. Instead it looks like I'm on qualudes.

My wonderful friend Holly doing yoga in Times Square

The usual photo of Tucker. He's in serious mode. He seriously wanted my brother to throw the ball.

And my brother got a new dog. Well, my sister-in-law got a new dog. My brother just gets to live with the dog. :o) My brother has now turned into quite the pet photographer. Here are a few photos of Tucker's cousin, Winnie.

And let's see, it wouldn't be a post for me without some mention of alcohol or biking. So, here's one of my favorite pictures that combines both....

And to close with the usual dorky of photo of myself, here I am showing off my camera skills. I'm frowning and Julia has her eyes closed. Story of my life....

I really need to get some travel booked, eh?

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Little Taste of Home

When my brother and sister-in-law were in town, I was treated to a home cooked meal. Bob and Tara were kind enough to pull out the family recipe for pierogis and slaved away while I was at work.

Here Tara is concentrating on rolling out the rest of the dough.

The finished products ready to be cooked up in some butter and onions. Oh yeah, it doesn't get any healthier than this. Yum!

And speaking of home, upon my arrival home the other day, after being gone for an entire hour, Tucker decided to decorate the front window with my slipper. It's a good thing he didn't decide to show off my underclothes to the neighbors......

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tour de Caffeine 2009

Once again, it is the time of year for the Tour de Caffeine. A much contested, much maligned, much celebrated feat of caffeine, calories and a wee bit of cycling thrown in to make it interesting.
The group is outside the first stop, the Chocolate Cafe at the end of the Prologue. The group gets their scoresheets, starts the caffeine intake and begins the weigh in process. (See Tour de Caffeine 2008 for rules on how to get points and how points are deducted)

As with last year, the coveted jerseys are up for grabs after each stage.

This is such a feat of endurance that Michael brought his dad, Keith, along with him for support. Keith and I were partners and kept each other in check to make sure no cheating happened. That, and we'd keep each other inspired throughout the grueling day. (And yes, I lost points for a trip to the loo)

Mark earns the Calorie jersey early, with a massive 600 points gained at the Prologue and never lets it go. Although an impressive win, he's now nicknamed 'Fat Boy' after his efforts. Yes, there is a price one has to pay for greatness.

The group at the Marlow stop. After last year's blustery day, almost everyone is severly overdressed. You can just pick me out in the front between the two white jerseys. I'm hiding in the shadow made by Fat Boy.

David wins the hill climb jersey. This year I wisely decided eating 4 cakes before the challenge was a bad idea.

At the finish I squeeze in next to Rob and Darran - race directors extraordinaire.
Jeeves and Andy decide that such a feat deserves an Italy-like celebration. The beers are out!
The race directors and winners. Rob the race director, Michael wins for caffeine, Mark runs away with the Calorie win, David the hill climb, Darran the race director, and Gemma wins overall leader for her impressive feat of skidding sideways down a hill and still keeping her saddle. And so ends a successful Tour in 2009........

and lastly, I just wanted to share my pretty fall flowers. Happy Autumn everyone!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Gone to the Dogs

When Bob and Tara were in town we dropped by Harrods, the famous department store. It is quite the amazing store that I highly recommend going to see. Sadly, I can never leave there without buying anything. This time around, they have added a pet department. Absolutely amazing!

Here is the bed section. I really wanted to get Tucker a new bed, it's nice to see dog beds that match furniture. Unfortunately, it was just a wee bit out of my price range. Besides, I've got the couch, remember?

And here is the doggy clothing section. They even have an area where dogs can 'try on' the clothes! (And in principal, I am against dressing dogs up unless A: It is Halloween or B: they need winter clothes to stay warm. Otherwise, it's just mean)

I really, really, really wish the Elvis outfit came in a Tucker size. I would have definitely bought it for him if it did. Halloween is right around the corner - or even for next year's Carnival!! Sigh. Sadly, it was too small for him so my dog will continue to remain un-stylish.

Lastly, while out and about in Kensington park, I came across this fountain specifically for dogs. How great is that?!?!? England really is a country that is dog friendly - as countless pictures of Tucker traveling and in the pubs can show. My dog is getting really spoiled.. pubs, dog walker, fountains, running around in parks off the leash... I guess that makes too of us who are happy. :o)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Captain's Challenge

This weekend was the Captain's Challenge triathlon for the club. Last year, I just volunteered to help out. But as a captain this year had a few more responsibilities. We had a great turn out for our intra-squad challenge and included a few competitor's clubs. A big thank you to Alex for the photos.

The poor swans just do not know what they are about to have to avoid. Everyone lines up on the beach for the start. This is a relay race where each lap the swimmer must exit the water and tag the next swimmer.

The first wave is off!

If you weren't swimming, you were waiting. Needless to say, it was MUCH warmer in the water than it was on shore.

The men's race was pretty competitive with only a few seconds between the teams. Therefore, hustling out of the water was mandatory.

Tag- you are it!

I can't dive like this. I hope he didn't land on any rocks.

Catch him!

Not sure how Alex got this shot since he wasn't in a boat but good form by this swimmer.

Tucker also volunteered to help out. He's just making sure this swimmer is safe. Safety first!

Race director John is all smiles. Or, there is not enough oxygen in his brain to realize that it is still too chilly outside this morning.

No pictures of me swimming since I only did 1 lap. (I secretly plotted that). But here I am waiting for my final teammate to come out of the water.

Now it is on to the bike and Race Director John shows us how it is done.

Here I am getting passed like I am standing still by the men's A team. Is it because I'm way over dressed? It was windy so quite cold when standing around. I was a big baby and didn't take my layers off before starting the ride and I paid the price. I was one sweaty betty.

Hmmm...maybe I was passed by this guy because of his bike and helmet. Compared to me....

Right. So maybe it's not the bike but the engine? Either way, he passed me like I was standing still so I gotta do some work this year. A new bike wouldn't hurt though....

Here I am just watching to see who is finishing next. Same as with the swim, each cyclist does one lap before the next one goes. I had to do three laps to make up for my non-swim.

Gervase didn't realize she had to watch out for cars AND horses!

Michael is working hard. Really, I bet I could be that fast with the bike and helmet....

No pictures of the run as Alex had to leave - so I'll include pictures of the after party at my house instead.

The kitchen is packed. Not too much room to maneuver.

Yum. Lots of food. And lots of people hanging out by food. ;o)

Tucker is just making sure nothing falls to the ground unnoticed.

Race director John, Ralph and Men's Captain Guy all pose for the camera. Good times.

A little Barcelona reunion - Michael, me, Sarah, Julian, Gemma, Tom

And sadly, all good things must come to an end. The after party, after party cleanup. It must have been good as there isn't any counter space to spare.......