The weekend just gone was fairly jam-packed. I was off to Reading on Saturday morning to meet my university friends and one of those friends, Charlotte, from Brighton caught the train to stay over Friday night, so we could drive together.
It was nice to drive with someone else to minimise any navigational issues. I’ve driven to Reading many times (I had to work there for six weeks on a customer site for my current job in Basingstoke). But that was a few years ago and well, let’s be honest, it’s me. Anything could happen. This did mean of course we were late by about ten minutes, which my other friends knew was down to me and not Charlotte. I’m the queen of leaving no minute spare and believing everything will go smoothly.
Anyway, rewinding to Friday night. We had a delicious salmon and butternut squash meal. She’s a vegetarian and it was a meal that we used to share back at university the night before an exam (though with the less expensive tuna) . Not sure why, maybe because it was easy and we believed the nutritiousness of the meal and fish would add to our brain power (though tinned tuna doesn’t contain any omega 3…). Happy to report we both got a First in our Psychology degree 😉 Basically you halve a butternut squash, bake it, then add a tomato, fish and vegetable mix on top. Standard easy cheap student eats.
We then watched Fifty Shades of Grey. Both of us knew it would be rubbish and we’d read the books and found them fairly rubbish too, but it was such a girlie, easy film and we could talk our way through it anyway. It was terrible but in a very amusing way. And somewhat cringy with just how cheesy it was. Don’t think I’ll be seeing the next one!
The next morning I got up before 7am to get in a six mile run (my “long” run for the week).
It went fairly well. Not “fist pump the sky” amazing, but relatively OK. After showering, having breakfast and grabbing a Starbucks for the road, we were on our way (*cough* about ten minutes late…).
Seeing my friends was, as always, lovely. One of them is at the early stages of pregnancy which is just crazy. I mean, I know pregnancy happens but it’s just so bizarre seeing one of your close friends with a mini bump growing an actual baby. Like an actual adult. I don’t feel like we are adults though yet. Well, I’m certainly not!
We had a lovely meal at Las Iguanas. Shockingly I went for something different. I’d been craving, fajitas and I do love an assembly job meal 😉
It was very tasty – and came with sour cream, guacamole and salsa on the side. The chicken and pepper mix was a bit over-oily, but it still tasted really good and, to be honest, dipping my tortilla in the oily sauce might have happened a few times. I fully enjoyed it. No puddings but I was fairly content with my meal. And I had a couple of apples in my bag soo…
Happily I also managed to pick up a couple of bargains in the sale. I got a beautiful soft leather jacket down from £75 to £35 (!) and an £8 cardigan from Oasis. I’m very pleased. I literally went out with the hope to find a casual jacket and it was the first one I saw.
I drove back from Reading on my own (Charlotte headed back on the train) and then quickly wolfed down some dinner before getting myself ready for my next social outing. My friend, Ant, has just turned 30 and was having a sci-fi themed party at his and his wife’s house. It sounds like a fairly easy fancy dress, right? For a guy maybe, but there isn’t a huge amount of choice when it comes to female outfits. The obvious is Princess Leia. But I didn’t think it in the best of taste and after Googling a bit I found a great outfit. It was about £27 but it came with lots of accessories and I could see myself wearing it to a movie-themed parkrun or race at some point… an investment!It came with an arm gauntlet, necklaces, a feather necklace and the ‘loin cloth’ thing came attached to the blue suit. I added the flipflops, some extra bracelets, blue face paint (a bargain from Amazon) and plaited a few bits of my hair.Not too shabby, eh! I love fancy dress so for me this was great. Though I did feel somewhat naked. Compared to my friend, Sarah, who was dressed up as a unicorn in a very fluffy and huge (self-made!) outfit. But mine was an ideal choice for any running in the future…
The party was good fun. We played lots of board games, ate lots and just generally had a laugh.Our parties are far more low-key now we’re older but we still love a bit of fancy dress. There was an ewok, a storm trooper, terminator robot, Aragorn from LoTR (strictly speaking I’d say this is fantasy not sci-fi…) and Arthur Dent from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (for my shame I was the only one who got the reference…). There was a random nun and Jesus Christ but only because they didn’t have a sci-fi outfit and wanted to dress up. In *some* circles JC might be seen as sci-fi I suppose…
It was a good evening and I was thankful for my friend lending me some baby oil to remove my face paint (the blue had stained my hands and didn’t seem to come off with just soap and water). It came off nice and easily with the oil. Though half way through the removal I did resemble a zombie – noted for another fancy dress option! 😉
I was quite thankful for this as I was meeting a friend the next morning for coffee and I really didn’t want a blue face!
Have you ever used face paint for fancy dress?
What would you go as for a sci-fi themed fancy dress?
Are you good with travelling to different places on your own?
Where do I even start?? [Warning: long post alert]So I’m back from Boston. I got back Saturday morning (about 2am Boston time, 7am UK time). Saturday was a tough day staying awake! The flight time was only around 6.5 hours so it’s not fully overnight. But anyway, I’m back and feeling more human (just). I haven’t finished my race recap of Boston yet so that’ll come (hopefully) towards the end of this week. So for now I’ll recap the days leading up to it.
My mum and me flew to Boston Friday early afternoon. I watched two films (Spotlight and The Big Short – both really good. Spotlight was especially interesting as it’s set in Boston). I do love long-haul flights for their movies!
We arrived in the afternoon Boston time (Boston is 5 hours behind the UK). We were staying in the Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor. I’d booked through the Boston Marathon so got a discounted price and as it was connected to the marathon the hotel knew lots of information and themed the weekend for the runners (free yoga Saturday morning, free water taxi to Boston mainland on Monday, carb-based meals in the restaurant, etc.). They even put a finish line on the floor.
The hotel was located very close to the airport which was very handy (and had a free shuttle) though we were, as I mentioned, a water taxi ride from Boston proper. At first I thought this was annoying but actually it was lovely. The views from the restaurant were phenomenal.
We had such good views of the Boston skyline and a lovely path to walk along the water.
As we were tired we didn’t fancy getting the water taxi over and hunting for somewhere to eat. We caught an Uber (honestly, this app blew my mind – it’s like magic!) and went to Angela’s Cafe, in East Boston, which I’d seen on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and I’d also been heartily recommended by Anthony Rodriguez, a member of the DDD team.
As we weren’t hugely hungry we kept it simple with a soup for my mum and a chicken salad for me. We also had a HUGE stone bowl of guacamole and tortilla chips. Heavenly! I was worried that the place would be a bit ‘off-beat- for my mum but she loved it. Honestly the food was awesome and so fresh! The restaurant was very small but clearly a local favourite. I wish we could have gone back there to fully try out some of the other food but sadly we didn’t have time.
The next morning we got up early as we were jetlagged and had an early breakfast in the hotel before catching the water taxi over. The water taxi took less than eight minutes and was a lovely way to travel as the views were great.
Another cheeky selfie
It was a bit chilly and windy but otherwise lovely and sunny. Our mission was to head straight to the marathon expo first to get that done. We used the metro system, the “T”, and then followed all the other marathoners to the convention centre. It was easy to spot runners – they were everywhere and most of them either carrying a map that came with the marathon info or wearing Boston marathon clothing. It was very exciting.
Some firemen were stood watching the 5k ear their fire station and I couldn’t not say hello to their adorable Dalmatian
We stopped a few times to take photos of course. The Boston 5k was going on at that time so there was lots going on.
We found the expo and headed straight to the bib pick-up area. We were actually slightly early as they hadn’t even started giving out the bibs yet. But we only had a few minutes to wait – our timing was awesome.The expo was great. Similar to Berlin where there were large areas of different companies selling running-related stuff. As Adidas were the clothing sponsor for the marathon they got the largest area and I was literally in heaven.
I decided to treat myself to some Boston merchandise because it was all so lovely and I wanted a few items with Boston Marathon 2016 on. It was expensive though as you can imagine! I decided to go for a black Adidas jacket and a blue tank top. There were the traditional blue jackets but I found the colours quite garish, though so many people were going for them and we’d see them everywhere the days after.
We carried on moseying about but I didn’t buy anything else. It was starting to get busy so we headed out to start a day of shopping, something we were both excited about. My mum, bless her, was wonderful joining me in the expo and I could see her getting into the excitement of it all as she was beginning to realise just how big a deal running Boston was to the US.
We got to the shops just as they were opening. We mainly stuck to the Prudential Centre, which is basically a mall with an observatory on the top floor (it’s a huge skyscraper).
Though we were tempted by the observatory and seeing the city from so high we were too distracted by shops
I found a Lululemon and almost bought one of their swiftly tops which I’d be hankering over for ages on the Internet. It’s so expensive for basically a long-sleeved running top but it’s such a lovely fit and lovely material. It also had “Boston 2016” on the back. In the end I decided not to buy it (MISTAKE).
After lots of of shopping we started to feel hungry so decided to try out the Cheesecake Factory as it was close by, relatively inexpensive and easy. It was ridiculously busy everywhere now (runners everywhere). We had a 20 minute wait but we decided it was worth it as everywhere else was rammed. We’d never been to a Cheesecake factory before so it was a new experience.
I couldn’t believe all the cheesecakes and cake that were in the display cabinet. It was amazing! As we instantly knew we were going to have cheesecake for pudding, we decided to be a bit sensible and have a light salad for lunch.
The salad was delicious, with goat’s cheese and chicken. But obviously the cheesecake was the winner here. It was ginormous.
I went for the Ultimate Red Velvet Cheesecake while my mum went for the Salted Caramel Cheesecake. I’d love to say that I couldn’t eat all of it but that would be a lie. I’m such a greedy cake monster that I polished the entire thing off. I felt ridiculously full afterwards of course but I fully enjoyed it! That cheesecake will forever haunt my dreams now…it was so good. My mum, being a far more reasonable human being, couldn’t finish hers. Luckily the waitress took it away quickly as I was eyeing it up. God.
I rationalised that as the marathon was on Monday I could enjoy my eating on the Saturday but on the Sunday I’d be more sensible. In theory. During the meal we chatted away to two ladies who were running the marathon the next day in the table near us. It was incredible, everywhere there were marathoners.
We did a bit more shopping and sightseeing then headed back, by walking this time, to the harbour area. We decided to go back to the hotel to chill for a bit and then head out again for dinner that evening. We made sure to book somewhere before we got the water taxi back as it was so busy. We booked dinner for a lot later as obviously we were stuffed!
The next day I got up with the intentions of doing a shakeout run. I asked at reception where I could do this and they provided me with a handy hand-size map that showed different options – a longer 6+ mile run or a shorter three mile run. This was fantastic! I eyeballed it for a while then decided I knew where to go for my three miler. It basically ran alongside the water so it was lovely and scenic.
In true Anna standard, I did get lost. But amazingly I managed to find my way back and run exactly three miles! I saw lots of runners about and we all smiled and waved at each other.
Then my mum and me had breakfast again in the hotel. The breakfast at the hotel was lovely; it was a buffet-style affair but you could order off the menu as well. I ordered a bacon, cheese and lobster omelette to have alongside my oatmeal and black coffee.
This set me up nicely for another day of walking around Boston. We decided to follow the Freedom Trail, which would take in the main historic sights of Boston on foot. It was quite fun as we used an app on our phone which would tell us information about each thing we saw and it was a bit like an Easter egg hunt trying to find the different things.
Basically red bricks would guide you to each different place and there would be a plaque giving information about different buildings and places. The app helped though giving a map and some context (you could use it offline).Not knowing a huge amount of American history (or barely any…) it was quite interesting. It also helped us get a good bearing on the city. This was really helpful for me as the next day, marathon Monday, I’d need to get myself to the Boston Common ridiculously early on my own from the hotel (catching the water taxi, then walking about a mile) to catch the shuttle buses to the start of the marathon, 26-something miles away from Boston.
Whoops, my mum cut off George Washington’s head!
We walked down Newbury Street which was teeming with people. The sun was shining and it was a lovely day. We found a lovely little Italian restaurant, called Trattoria, for a light lunch.
Again I had a salad with chicken and goat’s cheese (I know what I like!). It was delicious and the atmosphere was lovely. We chatted to a table next to us who’s dad was running the marathon for the seventh time. It was great to chat to someone who had done it.
We did a bit more shopping in the Prudential Centre and I decided to go back to Lululemon to buy that top I’d seen the day before. Alas though they’d sold out of the Boston 2016 one… I was fairly grumpy but tried on a load of stuff and decided to treat myself (I had gone with a shopping budget) to a few things. Lululemon is expensive but the quality is good. I treated myself to two jackets and the swiftly top sans the “Boston 2016” on the back. (It wasn’t until later on when I checked the receipt I realised they hadn’t charge me for one of the jackets. Though I had watched the sales person ring them up and fold them! Unknowingly I’d walked out of the shop without them charging me for a £90 jacket!! My lucky day it seems! My mum joked that we could now never go back to that shop).
I also treated myself to a few Nike items (one long sleeved top and a tank top with Boston on it and personalised with my name – for free!).
We checked out the finish line as well – which was ridiculously busy.
The Marathon Daffodils were lined up all along the streets and outside shops
We then spent some time around Quincy Market as well, which again was just heaving with activity. So many people! It was mental. In fact the entire day we couldn’t move for runners running everywhere or just people wearing Boston marathon jackets or just lycra-clad people. Everyone looked super fit and healthy. It seemed the whole city knew about the marathon. In shops the staff would be talking about it, wondering whether to go down and watch it (it’s a holiday for them on the Monday) and people would ask if you were running it. Though it was nice, it was making me exceptionally nervous. My hamstring had been really tight for a few days and I was so worried it would cause me issues. I could feel it when I ran that morning – not pain, just a tightness. I was worried about all those hills. My mum, bless her, did her best to calm me down.
Quincy Market is full of restaurants, food stalls and shops. We wandered around for a bit and then I spotted someone with a chocolate covered apple. Where was this!? I soon found a stall inside the market hall and bought one immediately.
Nothing calms me more than apples
We had already decided to eat a meal in the restaurant that evening as it was easy and I didn’t want to have too late a night. The hotel’s restaurant was very posh and looked out onto the harbour. We’d booked in the morning (or so we thought) and at 7.30pm arrived for our table. They looked confused and said there was no reservation. We clearly saw a woman write down our names, our room number and our time that morning so we were a bit annoyed. Especially as we had nowhere else to go really for dinner (without stress) and it was fairly important I ate a good meal. It was busy though and I started to get nervous.
Thankfully the hostess was very apologetic and got us a table and told us our appetisers would be covered, which was a lovely touch (and quite appreciated as the menu was quite expensive!). So it actually worked in our favour. Boringly I went for a salad for my main as I wanted to keep things simple but I just could not resist the chicken wings for my starter.
The chicken wings fully rocked my world. As a starter there were LOADS. It was pretty much a main meal (for a normal person). Perhaps not my wisest choice before a marathon but they were bloody awesome. And you know I love my salads
And then we headed to bed. Saturday and Sunday we’d walked over 30,000 steps each day. I was shattered. I knew this was a bad move before the marathon but at the same time, we had a great time and I would rather be busy and walking than sat contemplating the next day. It also helped me fall asleep quickly and deeply both nights.
And then the marathon…
What expos have you been to before?
Have you ever been to Boston?
Do you do a lot of walking the days before a big race?
Right, bare with me. I know I talk a lot about cake. I’m trying to tone things down a bit (talking about it and eating it). BUT it was my birthday…so I’ve got a free pass.
My birthday was last Thursday, and sadly I was at work so it was fairly nondescript. I hadn’t asked for anything from Ben as I couldn’t think of anything I’d want. In the end we agreed to go on a daytrip and do some shopping together and have a nice lunch out. But this will need to be sometime July as our weekend’s are so fully booked!
Just to rewind quickly back to Wednesday first. I ran the 10k Race for Life in Basingstoke with my newbie runner friend. She’s ran the 5k RFL before and she has done quite a bit of training so I wasn’t worried she wouldn’t complete it. She’d previously done a training run of 11k in 1hour 15minutes so I suggested we try and beat that and maybe aim for around an hour.
Ben, my mum, my dad and my friend’s husband and son came to cheer us on. The three of us girls were kindly bought a flower by our respective loved ones (*cough* let’s not talk about how I cajoled Ben to do this *cough*).I’ve never been to or raced a Race for Life before (if you’re not aware, it’s a women’s-only charity based event raising money for breast cancer – pink is a major theme!). It was completely different to any of the races I’ve been to before. There was a kind of party atmosphere and it was very informal. So many people had pictures of loved one attached to their backs for whom they were running and raising money for. It was very sobering.
The race was all on grass and through a very windy course completely off-road.
We were running around 10-11 minute miles. I found this quite challenging as this is quite slow for me. I don’t mean any disrespect to anyone who runs at these paces, this is just something personally I found. It helped though as I could chat away and encourage my friend easily.
My lovely sparkly pink nails done specially for the event
My friend achieved the brilliant time of 1:04! To be fair, she could have got a better time but we were held up a fair bit by walkers (it was a two lap course). She’s really getting into it now though: she’s going to Parkrun at the weekend and trying to improve her times. I’m so proud 🙂
Right, so back to Thursday and cake. Sorry, my birthday. I got into work to find one of my other friends had made my friend and me a Mars Bar crispy cake to celebrate our 10k.
Ohmygawwwwd this was incredible. I could eat so much of this, it’s so moreish. I had about two…yeah let’s say two, pieces of this. Then at lunch I wandered over to nearby Tesco to by the standard cakes for the office. A weird tradition but one that I think is important to be upheld 😉
I tried to be good. I tried to buy things that didn’t really take my fancy. Except I picked up Smartie cookies. How can you resist a Smartie cookie?
When I got home one of our friends was over and Ben was being all sheepish. I wasn’t allowed in the living room. My friend (yo Nathan!) gave me some birthday goodies…err think he’s got me down to a tee!
Mini rockit apples (a variety I must say I have not been acquainted to before), some M&S sweets and muffins. Boom. Edible gifts are the best gifts in my book 😉
Then the piéce de resistance…I was allowed into the living room. And there on the table was the most phenomenal cake I have ever seen.
A Paris marathon birthday cake, made by a very talented lady at Ben’s work. I mean seriously, how absolutely fantastic is that?? There’s a little me on the top, even wearing compression socks! And the medal is very similar to my Paris marathon one – she got Ben to describe it!!
Needless to say I almost cried and then debated whether I should have dinner or just eat cake? Well, the sensible Anna implored the Cake-Frenzied-Anna to eat something sensible and then gorge on cake.
Alarmingly though I was only able to have one slice as it was so dense and sweet – but 10/10 in terms of flavour and consistency. And four layers?? Jam and butter cream? Heaven.
And I guess as we’re on the subject of cake I might as well mention the incredible chocolate cake I had a slice of (I say slice, more like WEDGE) at my other friend’s birthday party on Saturday. How dare she have a birthday so close to mine! 😉 It was a bit of a shame considering after my cake-filled birthday I had decided to lay off the cake a little bit…then arrived at Saturday’s birthday BBQ to find this bad boy. How can you refuse?
Whew. So there we have it. What more could a girl want? This week I’m trying to eat less cake. That’s my mission. It hasn’t gone entirely well but the motivation is there and that’s half the battle right?
What is your dream birthday scenario?
Favourite type of cake…? I’m not sure I could narrow it down. Each cake has its merits.
After Ben had finished the marathon, we staggered back to the hotel room both eagerly recounting our races. Ben sadly didn’t enjoy his and felt very disappointed with his time (despite the huge improvement on his last one). It was hard because I enjoyed mine so much. But I knew I’d feel the same way if I’d have been unhappy with my race. Sometimes it just works out like that. I remember at the Great South I hated the race, but when I met up with Ben afterwards he was absolutely buzzing with how much he loved it.
Anyway, I had the best shower in the world. It was one of those really good power showers and the heat of it was just amazing. I had been fairly cold after the marathon waiting for Ben so this was pure, unadulterated joy.
Afterwards I wrapped myself up in the hotel dressing gown and slippers and enjoyed my first post-marathon apple. No apple will ever taste as good.
Then Ben presented me with the best present ever. A Marathon Talk 26.2 Adidas hoodie.
So soft! I love it. I’ve wanted one for ages but obviously couldn’t get it until I’d run a marathon. I love that he knew that’s what I wanted. What a guy!
That was my outfit going out for late lunch/early dinner that day. I must say walking was a bit of an issue! Everything was 10 seconds behind and I was shattered.
My unhappy post-marathon walking (hobbling?) face
My expectation after the marathon was that I’d be ravenous with hunger. I wasn’t. In fact my stomach was just not happy at all. It coped well with the apple but then really wasn’t up for anything much else. But we had to eat obviously. We kept things simple and went back to the same cafe we’d been to before and we both had a starter (goat’s cheese on toast for me) and I had the same Caesar salad as before.
It tasted very nice but my stomach still wasn’t completely OK. Funny side story, the waitress was only vaguely aware of the marathon and even asked how far it was. Seriously??
We picked up some food from a little corner shop to munch on in the evening (and Ben needed wine – he’d not drunk for four weeks prior to the marathon bless him).
At this point I was so completely fed up with water. I’d been drinking it all damn day I needed something else. I’m not a big drinker (one G&T and I’m anybody’s and post marathon it’s probably not wise for me) so I went for some crazy sparkling chemically-induced ‘fruit’ beverage.
We rented a film from the hotel TV thing (World’s End) and I promptly fell asleep at about 9pm. It was a horrific sleep though trying to get comfy with my very achy legs. And I woke up about 6.30am wide awake. Ben was like a rock next to me. I woke him at 8am out of boredom and sudden onset of RUNGER.
We headed to a lovely little cafe for petit dejeuner. We went for the whole hog.
Plain omelette, croissants, bread and butter, dried meats and coffee. Everything but the croissants disappeared. We were seriously stuffed though until about 3pm.
We then went for an ill-advised walk to the Champs-Élysées and then down to the Tuileries Gardens where we collapsed onto some lovely chairs.
It was lovely and sunny and we kept spotting fellow marathoners wearing their finisher’s shirt and hobbling along like us, struggling with very simple things. Honestly curbs – who invented curbs??
We needed mini breaks like this for every 15 minutes. It was so tiring walking. But also good to keep the legs moving.
We carried on walking to the Louvre. The queue was huge so we decided to move on.
Possible the most stupid thing I’ve ever done – that landing was incredibly painful!!!
We walked up the road we ran along the day before. It brought back so many memories. It was great chatting to Ben and reliving it as we were walking.
We finally got to Notre Dame (after two hours of walking and stopping).
Bit ski-whiff sorry!
After this we decided to trek back. All I had in my mind to keep me going was the thought of a break in one of the parks near the Champs-Élysées for an ice lolly. Honestly we were both fading by this point.
We got there an hour later and enjoyed a lovely ice lolly. Then headed for the next part of our trek back to the hotel with a cake pit stop for lunch.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love cakes. But I’m talking bit old fat slices of Victoria sponge, moist carrot cake, and chunky brownies. OK yes typical British cakes. In my marathon-fogged brain I stared around me in the French Patisserie…their delicate cream cakes and choux pastries I realised weren’t quite going to kick it. Yes I KNOW it’s France and it’s different but I couldn’t help but feel a little bit disappointed (I’m not entirely sure what I expected to be honest!).In the end I went for a rather large meringue and giant cookie. I’m sorry Paris, but British cakes are much more satisfying.
We had an earlyish dinner and another early night. We were absolutely knackered.
The next day we had a bit of time in the morning and early afternoon before flying back. We decided to treat ourselves to breakfast in bed.
I had the omelette, a sweet bread roll thing and a couple of pastries (they were only small honest! :))
Then we headed out for more walking. The legs were feeling more normal (though still fairly stiff and achy).
The day before I’d worn some plimsolls. I think my feet had swollen from the marathon because they were so uncomfortable. So I made the good move of wearing trainers the next day.
All in all, we had a great time in Paris. I must say we went more for the marathon than the sights but I’m glad we got to see them (both running and walking). I’m not sure we would go back as it was fairly expensive and I’m not hugely cultured to appreciate the significance of the different sights.
Now, enough marathon talk! Time to move on…until Berlin gets closer that is 😉
Are you a a fan of ‘cultural’ sights when you go on holiday? Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate them and it was absolutely fantastic to see such epic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower. But I’m not one to spend hours around them. I’m ore a fan of ‘natural’ landmarks – like beautiful mountains, lakes, etc.
Would you ever do a race in a different country?
What would you/did you do post-marathon? I thought I’d eat more than I did. My stomach just didn’t feel right for quite a while.
After Orlando, we caught a flight to Houston (random I know) and then to Colorado Springs. We spent enough time in Houston airport to need to grab some lunch. We went to Cat Cora’s Kitchen. It was very good – sweet potato fries, where have you been all my life?
[Beetroot and rocket salad with goat’s cheese on bread & fish burger with salsa and sweet potato fries]
And after checking out every single damn shop in Houston airport while we waited (for FOUR hours) we caught our fight to Colorado Springs.
For our first day we decided to go horse riding in Garden of the Gods. We felt very cowboy-esque. My horse was super speedy, while Ben’s took his sweet time.
It was an amazing day! And baking hot! I thought it’d be cold but it was so warm. It was so much fun horse riding through this beautiful scenery. Such a difference from Orlando!
We also went mountain biking twice as well. The first time it was still so hot. I got badly sunburnt (whoops). We cycled some crazy routes through the Red Rock Canyon for about 2.5 hours. We were shattered.
Check out my cool helmet!
It was quite scary at times but definitely exhilarating. We had to get off the bikes at times and walk because it got a bit precarious. I could just hear my mother’s voice in my ear telling me to go back to safety…
And the second day of biking it was freezing. It was crazy hot one day and then the temperature dropped so quickly.
[Ben was clearly too cool to wear his helmet. Safety first!]
We cycled to keep warm! We saw an elk as we were cycling along as well which was really cool. We were one with nature…careening through the wilderness.
We were intending on driving up Pikes Peaks (the main peak in Colorado) but it would have taken two hours apparently to drive it and so this is why we decided to do the biking again as we enjoyed it so much
And we did lots of walking. It was just so beautiful. Towards the end of our time there it just got so cold it was unbelievable. Really biting wind.
[That’s my ‘hurry up and take the damn photo I’m cold’ face]
We made a road trip out to the Royal Gorge Bridge as well one day. Absolute fantastic views. Though pretty much everything was closed – apparently out of season. No white-water rafting for us! We were sad but it was so cold we were quite relieved.
Food-wise was a culinary delight in Colorado. IHOP for breakfast every day, yes please!
I’d like to point out that the left-hand side are mine and the right are Ben. Don’t get me wrong, pancakes and sweet things like that are yummy for breakfast but all that cream and sauce…my stomach just turns.
The meals in Colorado were really good. For lunch one day we went to a Black-Eyed Pea for something a bit more relaxed and ‘lunchy’. I got a turkey meal with two added vegetable sides (my kinda sides!)
It looks like a crazy roast dinner! And a little portion of cranberry sauce on the side. I think the bready thing in the corner was cornbread. It didn’t taste very healthy but it was very good!
For dinner one night we went to a Mexican restaurant and, unsurprisingly, the meal was HUGE, but very yummy.
Spiced pork with pineapple, rice, black beans, guacamole, sour green, salsa and a rolled tortilla in the foil. I just don’t understand how someone can eat all of that?? I gave it my best effort.
[Thought I’d do a little before and after!]
I didn’t even make a stab at the tortilla. Poor effort maybe, but I think I did pretty well!
I’ve shown quite a few of the meals I’ve had on the honeymoon and most of them probably weren’t that healthy (hello, turkey leg). But I think it’s important to relax a bit on holiday and try things you might not have normally. We were fairly active and we didn’t go absolutely mad so I think the ‘damage’ is fairly minimal. My jeans still fit and that’s all that matters! I can’t be one of those people who goes on holiday and worries and frets and not enjoy myself. I know I eat healthily at home and I exercise so I knew when I got home things would balance out. That’s not to say that if Pinkberry became available in Southampton I wouldn’t have it every day week…
Other than lots more sight-seeing, walking, eating and just having fun, that’s pretty much it! And the perfect end to the holiday was on the flight home:
I slept well on that flight
So that’s my recap! We had an amazing time. We really had fun together, a little adventure if you like. And we’re so excited about the future and our life together (sorry, a bit sappy).
I hope you enjoyed it! Has anyone else been to Colorado?