Remember way back when, we went to Thailand. We had a week in Ko Lanta, a perfect little island and a week in Bangkok. It was the first beach vacation Ben and I had ever taken together and it was perfect. Slow paced, with a lot of reading, swimming in the Andaman Sea, tasting a wide-variety of the fabulous Thai cuisine at our eco-resort, Hotel Narima and enjoying refreshing coconut water and tropical cocktails in the beach-side bar. We managed to rally for a day-long adventure of kayaking, seeing a cute little white-sandy beach Bu Bu Island and feeding some very greedy monkeys. We went for a couple of runs along the coastal road and then ate our weight in fresh pineapple and papaya. Ben practiced his Thai with the young, extremely efficient staff of the Narima. We spent our evenings in our beach view bungalow reading aloud- The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. We were so relaxed by the time we headed to Bangkok, it took a few days to get up to speed. In retrospect, if it had been possible, we would have started in Bangkok and ended on the beach. Next time!
Tomorrow- some photos from Bangkok- man it was HOT and HUMID!
Hello! I am typing this from the Toronto airport, I am waiting for my 10.30 p.m. flight which will get me back to Edinburgh by 1.00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. This will be the longest part of my three-week adventure. I will undoubtedly spend my weekend in deep slumbers recovering from the overnight flight. What will you doing with yours?
I will be posting photos from far and farther next week, belated pictures from our summer trips and it has occurred to me, I never shared our memories from Thailand- so I will throw a few of those in next week as well.
El Parque Del Amor (Love Park) in Lima, Peru overlooking the Pacific Ocean and based on Gaudi’s mosaic-tiled Park Guell in Barcelona, is verdant and lovely. It rains so infrequently in Lima, there are no drains in the streets. All the water which is used to water the city parks comes from the Andes.
‘El Beso’ is the sculpture in the center of the park is by Victor Delfin. Each year there is a competition to see who can kiss in the position of the statue the longest- at the moment the record stands at 45 minutes. How uncomfortable, the position, not the kissing.
It was brief, it was busy, but I had a great mini-tour. I braved the teacher protests and the demonstrations for a walk around my neighborhood, got over my fear of eating alone in foreign countries and sampled some of the best enchiladas con mole, met some of our fabulous alumni and caught up with them over tequila and beers (not for me). They can put it away.
Today, I am in Peru and am very excited about this, I arrived last night. I have not yet been to Peru but have heard great things about the country, the city and the cebiche!
Even with bruises on my hips from slamming into the board, bruises on my shin from falling more than is recommended, sore arms and legs we had the most fun. We cannot believe it has taken this long to try this activity. The best part was spending the weekend with the team from Coast 2 Coast Surf School, Tim, Rory and Josh (serious surf handsomeness)- oh wait, no BEN! He was the one with whom I enjoyed spending my weekend. Learning something from the beginning was a challenge (especially at my age, can I say this yet?). I spent most of my time with my face in the water- I would become over-excited I was actually upright and focus my attention on my feet instead of the on the horizon as instructed and then BAM! Salt water up the nose.
Ben cottoned on to this whole surfing thing quite quickly. I would say it is was because he was given a stand-up paddle board to start- something to do with his height. This board was much more stable than the other boards in the group. Once I had a go on this board I improved and was able to get more confident which helped when I moved back to my smaller ride. Ben would say his natural talent is because he is so much more flexible than I am and has formed two to three new muscles during a few trips to the gym.
On the second day, the wind had blown away the surfing waves and left the sea choppy and chilly, so we spent the morning Coasteering. An outdoor adventure which involves climbing, cliff jumping and wild swimming. We warded off the cold with our 5mm wetsuits- they were surprisingly toasty. Getting the on and off was a mini-workout itself. Sunday afternoon we learned stand-up paddle boarding (SUP). It sounds easy, but involves a bit more skill than I had planned- again- loads of tumbling into the choppy water. I am even more impressed by mom who has done yoga on a SUP on a lake in Minneapolis.
I think we are going to go another morning (dry wetsuits) before I leave on my fall travels, it was that fun!
It is always such fun to get away with Ben and our trip to Canada and the Pacific Northwest was one of the most fun. Our time in Vancouver was a mix of work and pleasure. I was there for work, Ben flew in to meet me and enjoyed some time on his own exploring the city with visits to the Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver Art Museum and exploring the waterfront. It is great because Ben susses out all there is to do and then takes me back to the best things (Madrid, Thailand, Vancouver) it means I just get to see the best a city has to offer. He always finds such unique places.
We had a full day of seeing the sites on the Saturday before our Sunday half-marathon and went for a massive walking tour of some of the cute neighborhoods. Post half marathon, we had a tasty brunch at Forage and then relaxed reading some magazines by the cost enjoying some people watching and Vogue and Vanity Fair.
OH CANADA… Happy Canada Day from Vancouver. We are heading back to Edinburgh today. Maybe we will see some fireworks from above. Enjoy the celebrations.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Six years of wedded bliss- this is completely true. As my grandmother would have said, ‘you picked a winner ‘. The winner and I had a low-key anniversary. Breakfast at home, followed by tasty coffees from the newest cafe in our neighborhood- Blue Bear, coffees in hand, we strolled to the Botanical Gardens to people watch while we read magazines and books. I realize these sound like activities for a 20th anniversary when we are in our fifties, but it was just our speed!
Then we went nuts and had dinner at our local cafe-The Roamin Nose and listened to a band of the cutest, hipster teens- The Haar. I think we were the only people who were not ‘with the band’, but they were fun to see- you can follow them on twitter @thehaar .
For those of you who are not in the know on Scottish meteorology, haar is a coastal fog. It is mostly used in towns which border the North Sea. So educational this blog.
We did not exchange gifts this year- we are going on a trip this summer which will be our special treat.
Thanks for the fabulous years, Ben- here is to six more- minimum!
AROUND TOWN… Greetings from Moscow! Safe and sound after a very early start this morning. I am only here until Friday- I did not even bring my camera.
I take quite a lot of pictures which are never displayed on this blog and I am going to change that. These are from a recent saunter around our ‘hood and some of the surrounding areas. This set seems very wrought-ironed themed. For those of you who have not visited Edinburgh, it is a stunning city and I still cannot believe we live here.