Category Archives: Travel

General travel

Whistler, BC

Whistler, fondly nicknamed Bear Country, is one of the largest ski resorts in North America, located about 75 miles (125 km) north of Vancouver, British Columbia.  It hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics and is home to Ironman Canada.

While skiing and snowboarding are its main attractions, there is also a myriad of things to do during the summer:

  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Ziplining
  • Bungee jumping
  • Bear watching
  • Peak 2 Peak Gondola
  • Golf
  • Canoeing, kayaking, SUP
  • Cross country biking and road cycling
  • Rock climbing
  • Glacier Tours
  • 4×4 Jeep Tours

The Valley Trail runs all throughout Whistler and surrounding areas.  On the below map, the yellow indicates the trail system.  The orange circle indicates the area I covered on my run while we were there.  We covered a larger area with the bikes.  Alta Lake is where the swim for the Ironman takes place.

The day after my long run, we had plans to go up the mountain, go hiking, and ride the gondola, but we didn’t account for the thousands of people that were there.  The lines were crazy long, so we were unable to do that.  There was also a mountain biking/BMX event going on and lifts were extremely busy. Whistler has dedicated parks/trails for mountain bikes which is a big draw in the summer.  I wish I had taken a picture of the event as it was quite fun to watch.

A million and one people in the village.

The day we were to go up the mountain, we decided to rent bikes instead and go for a nice long ride.  If you read my previous post, you saw the elevation profile, so lots of hills, which were actually quite fun on a bike (what goes up, must come down…and fast!).  Me being the old lady I am, poodled along quite nicely behind James and AJ, eventually catching up to them when they would stop to wait for me.  Hey, if I wouldn’t have taken my time, I wouldn’t have been able to see that sweet little black bear crossing the trail in front of me… for which I couldn’t grab my phone quick enough to get a picture (but then again… I’m thinking it’s not very safe to take a selfie with a bear).  Okay, honestly, it scared the ever-loving hell out of me and I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

The following day was dedicated to me and AJ going for a horseback ride.  Once again, the old lady (me) reared up the back.  My horse was named Sam, extremely tall, and took his time on climbing the hills (sound like anyone you know?).  I don’t know how the stable owner managed to match us up so perfectly.  Even on a horse, AJ was saying, “Mom, you’re so slow.”  I get my money’s worth, what can I say.

See the white horse way up there? Yep, that’s my son’s, and that’s how far behind Sam and I were. Sam and I had an understanding… I wouldn’t make him go faster and he wouldn’t turn around and nip at me.

Anyway, a great and exhausting little holiday.  If you’re close enough and ever looking for an outdoorsy type of vacation, I would highly recommend this place.  There are activities for everyone to enjoy and the weather is gorgeous. I’m sure we’ll be back… time and time again (especially given that it’s only about 4-1/2 hours away from us).

We Have Arrived…

… in Reno, that is.  I probably mentioned it like once a long time ago, but we are here for the Reno 5000 Series Downtown River Run.  I may have even possibly mentioned (or not) that both James and I have dropped down in our categories… him to the half, me to the 10K… this won’t count towards our 50-state goal for either of us.  James wants a PR this spring, so we’re holding out for a race closer to home… the North Olympic Discovery Marathon and Half in Port Angeles; one that is at sea level as opposed to 4800 feet.  (Reno is in the mountains… I never knew!) We’ll go to Las Vegas to eventually conquer Nevada, but for now we’re just here to have a good time.

We’re staying at Harrah’s Downtown, right at the start line and super close to the river.  After getting off our little propeller plane (I kid you not) and checking in, we took a lovely walk to see what the downtown had to offer.

I’ll say this… Reno is clean.  The only other downtown that I’ve seen this clean is Tulsa.  But downtown Reno is a happening place.  It’s beautiful, and it’s so refreshing to see people and government officials taking pride in their city (as opposed to Seattle which… never mind, don’t even get me started).

Anyway, the river overfloweth.  A dam floodgate near Lake Tahoe has been released to allow for melting snow over the next couple of months; therefore, the river is flowing high, fast, and furious. Wouldn’t want to be on it, but it is a beautiful sight:

#spottedthebird!  He was patient and posed nicely for me until I was done taking his picture. I’m out of my element, so I don’t have a clue what he is… where is my Sibley bird-watching book when I need it (and if any of you actually know what that book is, you’re my new BFF)!

As for news from the home front… the child is leaving Sunday on his first trip without Mom or Dad. He’s going with a friend to Maui for the next 2 weeks. I think I forgot to tell him he’s not allowed to grow up.

Now I’m off to go explore Reno and the raging river some more.  After two leg cramps in the middle of the night last night from being poorly hydrated, I’m sucking down the Nuun and water, and need to stretch out the tightness.  I logged 4 miles yesterday… we’ll aim for another 4 today, then the race tomorrow.  Should be a great time!

#spottedthehusband 🙂

 

Hurricane Ridge

We’ve left the real world for a few days and have hopped on over to Port Angeles for a short break before school starts up again.  Port Angeles is about 100 miles from where we live (by ferry) and it’s right next to the Olympic National Park.  It sits  on the Strait of Juan de Fuca (the waterway that represents the border between the U.S. and Canada), and Victoria, B.C. is only 20 miles by ferry.

Okay, all that being said, we had a very full first day.  Before heading up to Hurricane Ridge, we stopped in Sequim (pronounced ‘skwim’) at this charming little ’50s diner to have lunch.  AJ wants to go back for the milkshakes alone:

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After lunch, we headed up to Hurricane Ridge for a little hike.  They call it that because of the 75+ mph winds that blow through there.  It was indeed a hike, and once again, I wish I hadn’t worn my running shoes (she will never, ever learn).

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The views at the top were just amazing:

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You can look down and see Port Angeles, as well as Victoria, B.C. on the other side of the water.

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Views of the strait:

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You can just see the hiking trail we used to get to the top of the mountain (there are fires burning on the range right now, hence, the haze):

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Going back down, James made a comment that the only exciting animal we got to see all day was a chipmunk.  Not 5 minutes later, we got to see this (can you see him?):

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James found a charming, 2-bedroom, vacation home to rent while we are here.  So after a long day of being out, tired and grimy, we got to come back to this (which was a very pleasant surprise as we hadn’t seen it yet):

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With fabulous views of the water (#spottedtheship):

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Next up, Lake Crescent… 🙂

 

Meanwhile in Scotland…

Check out these desserts my in-laws are enjoying while on holiday!

  • First up, from the Brig O Doon in Ayr:
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My mother-in-law, Janet, who recently visited us in June. No, she didn’t eat this all by herself, 🙂

  • From Souter Johnnie’s Inn, Ayr.  The dessert so big, two pictures had to be taken so we could see the beauty of it all:

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Oh hey everyone… this is my father-in-law’s first appearance on my blog!  Meet Alan!  Hi Alan! Great dessert you have there!  Care to share?  

Brag time:  Alan ran a 2:58 London Marathon in the early ’90s.  He was in his 40s.

Fact: My son is named Alan James, or A.J. as we call him… unless he’s in trouble, then all the syllables in his name come out.

What’s on your dessert plate today??

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Credit of all pictures go to Janet and Alan… unfortunately I was nowhere near the above desserts.

Seattle’s Columbia Tower

Today was good and hot, and clear, and a great day for a trip to the Columbia Tower. On the 73rd floor, there is an observation deck where you get the best views of the city and surrounding area… you can see forever.  Well… you be the judge…

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The address of the Columbia Center. And what category does this also fall under? Numbers for the The Daily Post Photo Challenge!

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Going up?

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First thing’s first… coffee at Starbucks on the 40th floor!

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Mount Rainier… 65 miles from the Columbia Center…

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… and to the north is Mount Baker which is 136 miles from the Columbia Center

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Century Link Stadium and Safeco Field

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We are about 400 feet above the Space Needle

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City of Bellevue

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Seattle Skyline… from above

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The Puget Sound with the Olympic Mountains in the background

It was a great day, and I have so much more to share!!  🙂  Hope you’ve had a great Saturday too!

Seattle Date Day

Even though we live about 35 miles from Seattle, it’s not often we get to go spend the day there and just have fun.  Saturday was originally planned as a family outing, but the child was invited to a birthday sleepover party with bowling, so he much preferred that as opposed to spending the day with his parents, go figure.  We’re fun, I tell ya, really fun!!

20160430_190358.jpgSo James and I had a wonderful date day out all by ourselves without any cares or having to worry about being home at a certain time, so much like the carefree days of our younger years! (Or our racecations sans child, hehe).  First stop… hopping the train to Seattle to go watch the Sounders soccer team play!

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After visiting the Pro Shop to buy a hat and eating a fabulous hot dog from a local vendor, we made our way to the nosebleed section, known otherwise during Seahawk season as the ‘Hawks nest.  Great view though.  We could see all the action happening on the pitch.

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After the Sounders won against the Columbus Crew 1-0 and we enjoyed some post-game festivities…

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…it was time to make our way into the city to see what trouble we could get into.  There’s some interesting people and stuff to see in downtown…

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Then we found Pike’s Place Brewing Company, and that’s all she wrote.  A great place for a bite to eat and a few cocktails!

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I had a couple Celestial Cosmos, their house special.  Wouldn’t want to light a match near me though… the fumes alone would’ve ignited.

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Afterwards, we stopped in at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory to get treats for everyone, then headed to Westlake Center to catch the bus back home.  Interesting things going on there as well. Lots of pot smoking, game playing, people preaching about Jesus, people preaching about the first ever Hemp Fest in Boise… it was a menagerie of misfits.  Even a band playing in the midst of it all… I wonder if this is how Nirvana got their first nightclub gig?

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It was a great day out!  Hope you’re having a fabulous weekend as well!!

We Have Arrived!

It has been a long and tiring day, but we have finally arrived… happily and joyfully… in Maui! Even the child, who got up at the unholy hour of 5 a.m., is feeling happy-happy-joy-joy!

Things started off great!  Traffic cooperated in Seattle, so we were able to get to the airport with enough time to eat some breakfast before the plane left.  Yay!

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When we finally arrived in Maui around 3 p.m., we went directly to the rent-a-car place. Did you know chickens run wild and free here?  I kept hearing a rooster crow, and I couldn’t figure out for the life of me where it was coming from.  So I had to go investigate.  Indeed… they were just hanging around the parking lots waiting for people to feed them (tourists are so very kind)!

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After that, it was off to the store for supplies for a few days.  And we went on from there to our hotel.

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We were so happy to get to our room finally!

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And yes… James and I are still streaking.  Shortly after I took the above picture in our suite, the two of us were kitted up and on the treadmill, making sure we got in our runs today no matter what (it was too dark to run the outside and unfamiliar territory, although the weather was just gorgeous). And yes, it was semi-painful to have to streak today because we both wanted and were more than ready for our Friday Happy Hour, but we couldn’t start happy hour until after our run.

So, we’ve landed, arrived at the hotel, completed our daily run, and guess what we’re doing now?!! You know it!! Cheers!!