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FOUR SHOTS… Just what I needed! Vancouver has good coffee- HOORAY. #myjetlagthanksyou

PACIFIC NORTHWEST

The PAC-NW Tour 2013 is underway, this is what we are calling our mini city break adventure to Vancouver, Portland and Seattle. I am in Vancouver for a work conference and Ben will join me here.

Ben is going to arrange our fun times in Vancouver. We will have the weekend exploring the number two city in the world, the two things I want to cover-sea kayaking and run the Vancouver half marathon. Ben has a friend from his MBA based here and Hilary has given us loads of ideas- it will just be narrowing them down.

We are attempting train travel in the U.S.- something I have never done before. We will board the Amtrak bound for Portland via the Cascades route. Our friend Toni says it is stunning and passed along the tip of getting on the correct side of the carriage to ensure we have stunning views.

We are in Portland for 4 days and have booked a tiny garden cottage (read shed) in a backyard through Air BnB- it is centrally located and with our plan to rent bikes for the duration of our visit, we should be able to cover a lot of the Rose City. Do you have any suggestions of what to do or see? I have started a Pinterest board with some of the ideas I have discovered so far- most of them involve eating and drinking!

Other than our hotel, we have not planned anything in Seattle, I am sure we will tourist it up and hit all the highlights and the gum-wall- this is my nightmare, a wall covered in artificially-fruit-flavored chewed gum. YUCK.

It is going to be fabulous hanging out with Ben on another fun holiday.

YUM… My sweet Ben enjoying a slice of morning birthday cake! Happy Birthday Ben! #benisadorable

EAT UP: TIMBERYARD

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DETAILS FOR TIMBERYARD ARE HERE.

Another Eat Up- Peter’s Yard.

HALF-MARATHONING WITH THE SHERMANS

We had our friends Sarah and Thomas Sherman up from London for the Edinburgh Marathon Festival. They were joined by Sarah’s sister, Jennifer and her fiance Stuart. Their visit was too short, but we packed in a bit of fun.

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Sunday morning, Jennifer and Stuart ran the full half-marathon and Thomas ran the first 8 miles (something about living in Africa and not having time to train). The course, which was different from my recent half marathon, started on Regent Street and ended near the Musselburgh Racecourse. From what the gang said it was a lovely course along the coast.

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Ben, Sarah and I, as loyal spectators, took the crowded bus to mile 8 to meet up with Thomas and then dashed to the finish line to see Jennifer and Stuart cross the finish line.

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While we were waiting, we were able to see some of the everybody runners finish. I have not seen a lot of these races end because I try to compete, but I surprised myself by becoming a bit emotional watching this group of finishers. You could see the determination on their faces as they pounded the last 200 meters. There was a mix of elation and agony. The pride on some of these runners faces made me a bit misty- luckily Sarah shared similar feelings!

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The runner above is Canadian running against diabetes- colorful pinnies!

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Here are Jen and Stuart- look at them go. Poor Stuart hurt his foot, but persevered to complete his first half-marathon and an additional milestone since it was their first couple 13.1 mile run together. A solid start for a future of races together.

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We had Sunday afternoon chilling and lunching at the Cumberland Bar. Then our runners took a well-needed nap. Later Jennifer and Stuart popped down for some snacks and drinks. We all called it a day about 9.30 p.m.

We headed to work on Monday, while the gang made it safely back to London. They might be back next year to run!

Together -She & Him
Wildflowers-Tom Petty
All the Years -Wild Child
Sounds Like Hallelujah -The Head And The Heart
Bon Vivant – Mister and Mississippi
Get Off Of My Cloud -The Rolling Stones
Sweet Pea- Amos Lee
American Girls -Counting Crows
Overjoyed -Bastille
Be A Bee- Air
Come Running- Van Morrison
Friends – Flight Of The Conchords
Summer Rain -The Primitives
Sugar Coated Iceberg -Lightning Seeds
Only the Good Die Young -Billy Joel
Satellite – Lena
Electric Twist – A Fine Frenzy
The Long Way Around -Dixie Chicks

LISTEN UP… This week is just a fun selection of songs, it also appears I have been hit with a bout of nostalgia today. Tomorrow is June 1, so real summer is just around the corner. Is it hot where you are? There were some arms out today in Edinburgh- not mine. Other people, other arms.

Have a fun-filled weekend, we are taking it easy! Nothing on the agenda for the moment and we are trying hard to keep it this way.

Spotify users, you can listen to the mix here! My father-in-law has joined the fun!

WEDDING STYLE

I was invited to a wedding this past weekend.  It was as the plus one of my fabulous friend Toni. It turned out to be such a beautiful, sunshine-filled day in Edinburgh, I was able to get another wear out of my favourite wedding frock (here I am at Ieva and Will’s wedding)- complete with cardigan and trench- even May in Edinburgh is chilly!

There was dancing so flats were perfect. 

Completing the look- arm party with some special jewels.

I am off to get a haircut tomorrow, so the decision about my bangs will be made then- to grow or to cut- I just cannot decide. Any thoughts?

EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

The Edinburgh International Film Festival releases the schedule for this year’s event tomorrow. The 2013 festival runs from June 19-30. The festival started in 1947 and has boasted some fabulous premieres- Brave made its European debut last year.

What I am hoping for is another set of fantastic films shown outdoors in St. Andrew’s Square the weekend before. They were a complete surprise last year, but now we know there could be a possibility of screenings, we can look out for them. 

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Last year was just miserable, we only saw about thirty minutes of Toy Story II, before turning in our free ponchos and heading home for dry movie watching.We have June 14 off, so this would be the perfect day to picnic and movie watch in the city centre.

What would be your favourite outdoor film?

YELLOWCRAIG’S BEACH

Sometimes I regret my ideas to get out and embrace life! Our recent trip to Yellowcraig’s beach was not one of these times, even though our adventure did not go as originally planned. Curses new running shoes, but we still had a fun few hours out and about.

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My Scottish and outdoorsy colleague Seonaid, suggested we visit this particular beach between Edinburgh and North Berwick. Since Ben and I are ‘in training’ for the Vancouver half marathon. We wanted a change from my usual loops- I can run the same loops repeatedly and I do not like running-loop changes, but Ben does, so I thought, let’s mix it up!

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Compromise is key- so off we went in our City Club Car to the beach. It was windy, cloudy, misty and cold. A perfect mix for our planned six mile run.

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We had new running shoes. During all the years I have been running, I have always had 12mm running shoes, but due to the barefoot running craze, they are harder and harder to track down, so I opted for an 8mm pair. I had heard stories about how these lower shoes can lead to injuries if you do not break them in slowly. I quickly realized that running six miles might be a bit much- I am sure you are thinking- wimp- and you are probably correct, but I did not want to injure myself and jeopardise our upcoming race.

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We ended up running just a few miles on the trails- I got in another run later in the day. My shoes now seem nicely broken in, we had a long run last weekend in the pouring rain.

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The next time it is sunny and a bit warmer, Yellowcraig’s would be a perfect spot to picnic. Ben thinks we should cycle out here the next time, I remember hills, so I am not entirely onboard with this plan.

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LISTEN UP… The tunes coming to you this week are my interpretation of the mix we heard during our recent experience at the Roller Derby. The star is worn on the helmet of the jammer, the skater who scores. Edinburgh has several teams and we saw the Auld Reekie Roller Girls. It was such a fabulous atmosphere. I took pictures which I will be posting soon- promise.

What are your plans for the weekend? We have friends coming tomorrow, Sarah and Tom, friends from Ben’s MBA year. I am a plus one for a wedding- my friend Toni is taking me. England has a Bank Holiday, we do not have the day off here in Scotland. 

Wishing all my American friends and family a Happy Memorial Day!

Enjoy the long weekend!

Listen to the mix here if you have spotifiy.

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