Friday, December 31, 2010


On my way to Michael's for Christmas, we passed by Stonehenge and he was gracious enough to stop and let me take a quick photo as the sun set. Unfortunately, it had closed for the day so we couldn't get closer but it was pretty neat even if I did have to experience it from the road.

I confess that I couldn't remember much about why Stonehenge is a World Heritage site so had to do some research when I got home. Here is more info if you would like.
Hopefully I will be back with much better photos the next time around. Happy New Year everyone! Can you believe it is 2011??? I can't......

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Working His Way to a Lump of Coal

Tucker and I were invited to Michael's parent's house for Christmas. So we got ready for our road trip with me pulling out the wine (to smotth the way with Michael's family) and packing Tucker's bag. After being packed, I had to head out for a few last minute gift deliveries.

Imagine my surprise when I return to find that Tucker has removed EVERYTHING from his overnight bag and proceeded to eat all his Christmas gifts. Are you kidding me? The bag was on the kitchen counter! From the photo you'll see lots of bits of plastic where 1) he ate four days worth of dog treats 2) ate the entire Jumbone that was wrapped 3) ate all of his glucosamine dog snacks 4) attempted to bury his meaty bone behind a plant in the dining room 4) chewed threw three layers of plastic grocery bag and had just started eating his dog food when I returned.

Tucker is seriously lucky that Santa let him enjoy his full belly by the fire instead of in the shed! Naughty, naughty dog. Too smart for his own good...... More Christmas photos soon. My first British Christmas was filled with good cheer, lots of fun and lovely photos. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful.....

You may have heard that England has been hit with some snowy weather. Well, I have to tell you.... it is fantastic!

Tucker and I started out for our morning run with a light dusting of snow on the ground. Just enough to make it festive. Tucker has his snappy red coat on as the temperature was just below freezing.

We went along one of our favorite paths by the river. Was seriously skipping in the snow and finally getting into the Christmas spirit. However, that wasn't the end of it. After about a half an hour, it started snowing again.

And looked what happened! We got over four inches in 2 hours. Incredible! Proper snow too. Meaning = you could build a snow man. Needless to say a few things ground to a halt but I don't blame 'em. If this had happened that fast in Chicago, there wouldn't be any cars on the street either. It's going to be cold this week as well. Yeah! I have to admit... it reminds me of Chicago.. and I like it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Exhausted...but Employed

If you are wondering where I have been lately, I've been wondering that too. After getting back from the States, I spent a few days attempting to get my life in order before starting full time employment. I'm excited to be working again but geesh! Who thought working five days in a row again would be so hard?!?!? Actually, the work part seems to be the easiest to adapt to, it's my commute that is killing me at the moment. But, I'll figure it out soon.
So - as I've been doing nothing interesting of late, I'll leave you with a picture of Winnie, who will love you as long as you give her enough prosciutto. (Trust me) Also, as I've started work now, I also need to buy a car and find a new place to live. So the posts may be a little sparse as I get my feet under me again. Good news though.... the new job comes with 25 days of vacation/holiday so I should have plenty of opportunities for some new travels. Happy holidays!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Three Weeks

I was in the States for three weeks and had a great time. I didn't take lots of pictures or really do much more than visit family, friends and my house. I did eat a lot however. So, in about 4 photos, this is all I did for three weeks. :o)

First I have to show you this picture of my brother and nephew. They brought the baby into the bed and my brother was so freaked out he would roll on top of him that he fell asleep with his arms by his sides. The little man looks pretty comfortable however.

I also visited my other brother out in Cali who was kind enough to take me cycling. He took the day off of work but still had to field a few phone calls. Apparently crime never takes a day off.

I made my brother ride to the ocean. A little gray, but still a warm day.

Other than visiting my two brothers and their wives and my parents, I ate a lot. And I mean A LOT. This dinner was fried chicken and waffles. As usual, I couldn't resist a food picture. And I have to say, it was darn delicious. Due to my healthy appetite of grease, Mexican food, In n Out Burger, Five Guys Burgers, Chipotle, Baja Fresh, Steak n' Shake, pancakes, waffles, cinnamon rolls, pierogis and nachos- I'm having a little trouble fitting into my clothes. What can I say? I'm just building that nice layer to keep me warm through winter. Ah... the joys of vacation......

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tucker Shoes

For Thanksgiving, I got to spend some quality time with my nephew. I have to admit, he's a pretty cute baby even if he did come from my brother.

Tague is certainly a stylin' little man.

Just check out these shoes! Who does he idolize?

It has to be Tucker.

You be the judge.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Hart In San Francisco

This post is for my wonderful friend Wendi who let me stay with her in San Francisco last weekend. She is going to be a bit surprised when she finds out that I reset her internet home page to be my blog. It's only because I love her.... ;o)

Sunrise over San Francisco as seen from Wendi's deck. I had fantastic weather the whole California part of the trip. The state is making it very difficult to return to Blighty!

I played tourist for a couple of days and had a lot of fun in the Ferry Building. How can you not love a place that severs Tasty Salted Pig Parts?

Far West Funghi ? Also very creative!

Wandered on the Embarcadero. Loved the view of the Bay Bridge off the pier.

For those who know the NBA, love the clarification from the Advertising company.

Not the best picture but Alcatraz in the background behind the boats.

To be the ultimate tourist, you have to spend some time on Pier 39. I had a hard time concentrating among all the delicious smells...

I got lost in here.

But found my way out and then got stuck in here.

This was part of the reason I got stuck. A glass of California wine and this view? Oh how I like being on holiday/vacation.

Once I was up and moving again, I had to stop for the famous view. Is it just me or does everyone think of Sean Connery saying 'The Rock'?

The Ferry Building was also scene to some good Harvest / Thanksgiving displays. Charlie Brown would be so proud.

Back at Wendi's place, the little pumpkin sits on the porch lording over the spectacular view.

A bit of a repeat but I couldn't help but show how great of a day it turned out to be.

Lastly, my wonderful friends Karena, Patti, Beth and Wendi. It was great to be back in their company even if only for a few days. Whahoo!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

All in a Day's Work

Saturday was the last race of the season. Last week's course recon paid off and I took 7 minutes off of last year's race! Unfortunately, I still finished in 6th place. Once again, one out of the money. I definitely screwed up the end again and went into the final run lap very hungry. Another note to self, when you race for that long, you gotta eat more than one banana on the bike.

Jon Elliot took a nice picture of me rolling into transition after the final bike lap. Do you think I'm under dressed or the guy next to me is over dressed? It was a bit chilly. However, my race strategy was to blind everyone with my transulence. Apparently, it failed.

After almost three and a half hours racing, it was back home to get glammed up for the end of year triathlon banquet. No awards for me this year but it was a lovely evening. It was great to see everyone all dressed up and Darran here made for good eye candy.

Needless to say, the festivities ran late and I may have enjoyed myself a little too much. Therefore, one of these was required the next morning. A bacon and fried egg sandwich. I really, really, really think American's should import this.....
Sorry for the low volume of posts lately. I have to admit, I've been a little too busy for my own health. To top it off, I'm packing today for a trip to the homeland. I'm off to see the family and celebrate Turkey Day. So, maybe a few posts as I travel through six different airports in the next three weeks. The probability of me being stuck in one of them is very high.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Course Recon

The last race of the season is this Saturday and it is a tough one. It is the Ballbuster Duathlon which is an 8 mile run, 24 mile bike, 8 mile run. It is 5 times around a loop which means it is five times up the 1.5 mile steep hill. We decided to do a little course reconnaissance last weekend to remind ourselves what we were getting into. .....Fortunately, I got distracted by the beautiful views and fall colors.

The view looking over the South Downs from the top of Box Hill. At this point on Saturday, I will be desperately gasping for air.

For now, I'm smiling. I love riding and running in the fall.

Caught a picture of the boys running up ahead. They are dressed for a Canadian winter. You'd think the Brits would be used to this cool weather by now?

I had to stop and take a picture of this lane. Autumn is my favorite time of year.

Lastly, a view from halfway up the climb of Box Hill. This is one of the reasons I don't live in the heart of London. Although I love the city, I love riding and running out here much more......

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Seasoned Traveler

Since I still don't have a car, I've gotten pretty creative with how I run my errands and get around these days (mainly with my feet and bicycle)

So Tucker and I braved the bus when I had to take him to the vet! It's just one adventure after another in this country.....

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Amsterdam Marathon

Apologies for the delay folks. I've actually had some technical difficulties with the photos - apparently my camera and home computer aren't playing nice. I'm still working on it but I did manage to get most of the photos so I'll post what I have.
Oh - so I ran the Amsterdam marathon. The site of the start and finish was at the Olympic stadium. I think we passed by it about four times during the race.

Here we are pre-race. Me, Jo and Ian C entered the full marathon (a few other BTS'ers were there including Sarah, Debs and Joe M) while Louise, Ian W and Zowie were there to run the half marathon. However, the marathon started at 9:30AM while the half marathon didn't start until 1:30PM so needless to say, the half marathoners were in bed while we were getting ready to run.

The weather turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous day. The race was great - I must say - flat marathons are definitely the way to go. This race was packed though. I started a little too far back and have to say I was never clear of people. This is not a race for the claustrophobic. This picture is supposed to represent Jo Weatherall crossing the finish line. However, I can't find her anywhere in the photo.

I did find her here though! Jo did fantastic for her first marathon and finished in just under 4 hours. I also did really well with a personal best of 3:28:15. Actually, the race was a bit long too. I could tell at the end of the race that even though I know I was running faster (I'm pretty darn sure I was) the km markers were not appearing any sooner. The last few kms were definitely long according to my legs and according to a few Garmins. I guess what's a half mile more when you've already run 26.2?

This picture is realy blurry but you can just make out Jo in the middle with BTS on the back. Her black top stands out against the sea of red!

After the race, it is straight on to the reward! Yes, this is why we run.......

Later that night, we get cleaned up and celebrate a little more. Ian W did really well in his half marathon so smiles all around.

Louise and I are coordinated in our pink scarves.

Louise shows off the pink scarf the next day while we wait in line at the Van Gogh museum. We went first thing in the morning (as fast as my stiff legs could get us there) and our wait in line before the museum opened paid off. It was packed by the time we left!

Outside the Van Gogh museum is the National Art Museum. Just in case you forgot you were in Amsterdam.....

Wandering around Amsterdam, I found this very interesting. You can see at the top of the buildings, they iron girder with the hook on the end. You see these on farms, etc, so that you can lift the hay bales up to the top of the barn. Well, I thought these buildings were very old and that is how you used to get the furniture in through the windows... but... it turns out that this is still how they build it today. Apparently, they still prefer the classic 'haul the piano up through the window just in case some antics need to ensue beneath the dangling potential disaster'

This hook is only placed halfway up the building. Does that mean you aren't allowed to have furniture on the upper floors? So, not the most surprisingly architectural invention, but one that I find fascinating in this city.

Not necessarily architecture, but I loved this picture of all the bikes racked by the canal. Sadly, I can't get my other canal photo off my camera (stupid technology!) but you'll have to imagine all the lovely serene water and brick roadways.

I think I mentioned before (see the Carnival blog post), how the Dutch cycle everywhere. I love it! I want a Dutch commuter bike. Fenders, a basket, a chain guard - seriously people - this is absolutely the way to commute.

How can you not have a smile on your face if this is the way you are commuting to work?
And so ends my weekend in Amsterdam. I got to see more of the city this time - granted I was running giant laps around it - but it was a fun trip and hey, I did well. Can't complain now can I?