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Jul 19, 2016

Summer Vacation

Hello friends,

I just returned from an amazing long weekend in Colorado, and hope my travel hangover lasts for weeks.

We have been visiting Boulder, in July, for almost a decade.  Bill plays in a golf tournament while I hike, spend time with friends, and enjoy a break from technology.  Over the five day visit, we see little of each other yet the energy from tournament activities and daily adventures make up for time apart.  It's a bit of a boondoggle!

Arriving in Denver at noon, we gather our luggage, pick up a rental car, and drive about an hour towards Boulder.  Bill arrives for his practice round one minute before tee time. Whew!  With him dropped off safely, I head to Pearl Street for a lunch/shopping date with a dear friend.  It's the day before my birthday so I treat myself on a mini shopping spree...

A few hours later I met Christy for dinner before driving up the canyon to their home.

I'm up, dressed and out the door by 6am. Eager to hike and start the new year surrounded by nature. A thousand foot climb to the top of Mount Sanitas, followed by a three mile run before meeting a new friend for coffee at 9am.

After my coffee date, I joined the guys for lunch. Their tournament starts at 1PM, two rounds of afternoon golf.  Christy and I played in a golf scramble, barefoot. Happy to report we finished in third place!

Meanwhile, the guys lost both matches. A rough start. In the evening we attended a safari themed social, play 18 holes of mini putt golf, food, travel stories and dancing.

Jul 12, 2016

Retreating to Boulder

Hello Friends,

In twenty four hours I will be in Boulder. A short trip that let's me unplug.  Literally. I lose connection to the outside world thirty minutes before getting to my friends home.

In addition to hiking, reading, sleeping, shopping at a few of my favorite local shops, and exploring...  I'm having lunch with a friend tomorrow, and will meet Denise Dollar, founder of Heart Strides, to drop off a donation on Thursday.  Thursday night I have a casual social, Saturday night a formal dinner/celebration.   

Look at the books I'm bringing with me to read, all courtesy of netgalley ARC. {whoop!}

Have you read any of these titles?  I started FALLING last weekend and made myself stop until settled on the plane.

Maybe I should step away from my laptop and start packing... I have so much to do before getting leaving for the airport early tomorrow morning.

Do you have any fun travels planned this summer?

Jul 9, 2016

A fortnight in London

Hello friends,

Can we time travel back a few months, to April?

We traveled to London to run a marathon.  I had just one must see on my list, touring The London Tower.

We planned our trip to arrive a week before the marathon, to adjust to the timezone, and allow time to explore the city. 

Regents Park served as our home base.  We took the red-eye from NYC to London. Bill had meetings within hours of our arrival so I grabbed my umbrella and walked every inch of Regents Park. The flowers were spectacular but expected since this is home to The Queen's Walk. It's absolutely divine.

Primrose Hill is connected to Regents Park.  I didn't realize Primrose Hill is a hill with vast open space for concerts, filled with dogs and children playing, and people taking time to relax.  It reminded me of Stephen's Green in Dublin.

I walk everywhere when we travel. This let's me get lost, discover, and feel the city.  One day while walking from Covent Garden to our hotel I spent an hour walking in circles at Seven Dial Corner.  I did master navigating Seven Dial which sends you in seven directions and serves as a shortcut.

Right: Covent Garden, Neal's Yard, and Seven Dial.

Covent Garden: I walked through this place several times to absorb the energy, shop the outdoor market, take in the performances, and people watch. Make sure to find Neal's Yard when you visit London, it's a hidden alley with shops, coffee, and food. 

The Underground... we were a bit reluctant to use it but it's SO much easier to use than the NYC subway system.

We even spent 24 hours in Birmingham.

Jun 29, 2016

Adios Mars Retrograde!

Hello friends,

Mars Retrograde...  Have you heard about this astrological event? If not, you will be happy to know it's over. Today is the last day and you survived!  I learned about this 'happening' in February while driving home from a business trip. It occurs from mid April to June 29, 2016.  Life taking three steps forward, one back.

The last few months have been crazy busy, sprinkled with goodness.  Here are the highlights, ones I have decided to attribute to the red planet. :)

April 5: We come home from dinner to discover our wood floors are soaked.  The water damage in our entryway created a six week project that involved moving ALL the furniture on the first floor into storage. 

April 13:  One week into this unplanned project... the union supporting my company went on strike for 49 days.  I was working seven days a week, 7AM to 7PM with a 90 minute commute. 

April 17 - 24: I traveled to London and ran a marathon. click here to read about it

May 1 - 5: Still working 7-7 x7, we moved to the basement while the floors were stained/poly.

May 6 - 11: My father came to visit before traveling to Europe for a few months.  No furniture but the stairs are not accessible (whew).  Bill leaves for Switzerland.

May 13: Furniture and boxes delivered.  The movers unpack and I have 24 hours to put everything away because.... we are hosting a BBQ in two days time. ;)

May 14: Bill returns from Switzerland (for 48 hours)

Apr 30, 2016

London Marathon

Hello Friends,

Back in 2014 I left this comment on a photo posted to fb, just days after running NYC2014: For the first time ever I teared up at the end. The conditions were tough, I was so happy with my run, and knew this was my last 26.2... but seeing blind runners and a 89 year old on the course inspires me to never say never. I would love to run London.(click to read my NYC 26.2 recap).
-  I didn't realize it at the time but I was adding London to my bucket list.   
-  Last April I entered the lottery - which was open to International runners for the first time.  Seasons change, Spring to Summer, Summer to Fall.  At the end of October I received a number.    
-  Last weekend I ran the London Marathon!  
My last long run was a half marathon in May 2015 so I started training in December, to build up my endurance.
  • I joined a marathon training club that provided a training plan, and a virtual community for support/accountability (Another Mother Runner).   
  • London Marathon provided me access to a personal coach to customize a plan that worked for me. Living in a VERY hilly area, running 3x/week is best for me.   
  • Time trials: I provided a few to my coach, running 10:30-11MM on the hilly trails resulted in 8:50MM at the track.  I was running 8:06MM 10K's (gulp.. too fast)
When my coach told me they predicted a 4:03 finish for me I started to get nervous.  I didn't want to run three minutes over BQ, the pressure... and I meant it when I said this is my last marathon.  I wanted to take a few photos if the opportunity arose.  I'm in London!

Mar 31, 2016

Dresses for Nepal

Hello friends,

One of my earliest memories (age 6-7) is attending anthropology classes with my mother.  This is where I became captivated with Jane Goodall, monkeys, and Africa. This interest continued into my college years where  I took so many African Literature, Anthropology and History classes that I earned a minor in African Studies. I am astounded by village life, the simplicity, tradition, and community.

As an adult, my attention expanded to South Asia. 

While raising a family, I quietly began researching how I might bridge my personal experiences and dreams with a desire to contribute.  I found myself drawn to novels and memoirs set in Nepal and India.  Drinking in the stories about daily life, traditions, etc...  offering my support to a few organizations along the way. 

Like many of us, I donate to a few organizations.  Have volunteered at local non-profit - while meaningful, the organization wasn't related to my personal interests.

In late 2015 I joined Mahila Partnership, a grassroots non-profit serving women and girls. Mahila Partnership provides local support to remote villages, mostly unreachable by larger nonprofit/post disaster organizations.

I never expected to find a opportunity to volunteer from home, with the flexibility that complements my daily schedule.  My efforts focus on business operations, and outreach. I'm thankful to Theresa,  a friend and fellow volunteer, for helping me find my way!