So That Happened

Ever have a weekend where you know you did a lot but on Monday you can’t remember anything.

If April showers bring May flowers, we should be covered by a jungle of petals.

Ask me two months ago if we get a lot of rain, and I would have answered we probably get about as much we did in Atlanta. After last week, I am considering writing a letter to Hunter Boots thanking them. My wellies got their money’s worth. Poor Dr Jones got three baths in three days. He sparkles now. We have ducks on the sidewalks, rivers bursting – everyone is confused. To be fair, this time last year the weather was said to be warm and sunny.

And as for Norak in Nashville. She proved there is a little bit country at the Rock N Rock half marathon. She was aces. Under 2 hours! Can you friggin believe it? May my legs hold up to see me run that many miles someday.

Lastly, we went honeywagon shopping and have sealed the deal on a “new to us” car. I’ll share the pics once we pick it up. In the words of Stevie, I’m very superstitious.

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Team Norak

Hey Norak, you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind….hey NORAK! Hey, hey Norak!!

I think every other week I’m talking up my family, because they’re amazeballs. Today, we’re cheering on Norak as she prepares for her second half-marathon.

I graced her with my presence during the Disney Princess Half Marathon a year ago. Fairy dust flies! The running bug was born and she’s off solo this go-round for the Nashville Half Marathon. Nashvegas was one of my favourite races! I cannot wait to see how much a** she kicks. Tootsies, Robert’s, Spam Sandwiches! Ahhh I miss some good ol’ country and blue ribbon beer.

Mom – you never cease to amaze me. I am so proud you’re COMPETING in a race. Cannot get over it. Get at it girl! We’ll be supporting you every step and mile along your run.

LOVE YOU NORAK!! You trained longer than Kim Kardashian’s marriage!

Manarola – Bella Italy

Here’s a glimpse into a small slice of heaven where we stayed in while in Cinque Terre – Manarola.

Cinque Terre is a national park, which means you aren’t going to get the crappy tourist stands and shops in the streets- just the local shops selling homemade goods. OK, and a few magnets and postcards. No buses, no cars, no moped bikes. Glorious.

The food courtesy of Trattoria Dal Billy: lobster pasta one night, Sea Bream the other night. Seriously the best dishes of our lives. I always wondered how someone can say they’ve had the best [insert food] ever, but after this experience I certainly understand. I will never forget these meals. Not to mention when Andrew ordered the 12 small plate mixed-fish appetizer. His Christmas morning. Yep, we tried everything.

The restaurant overlooked a beautiful hillside, glowing with my favourite view of the Easter Resurrection scene.

The streets smelled like lemons, which grew on the trees and were the size of your head. Each town makes their own limoncino, which is a not-so-sweet version of limoncello.

Definitely one of my favourite of the five villages. And now I’m hungry again…

Cinque Terre – 5 Lands, 5 Loves

My Italian cheeks hurt.

You can take that whichever way you choose. I shoved my face full of the freshest seafood, home-made pasta, gelato, and vino. Yep, and I’m not even a huge seafood lover. I tried it all. We hiked 35+ miles over the span of a few days walking town to town, challenged by the natural elevation changes. My calves are barking and my backside, is well, tight.

Cinque Terre was the most exciting, surreal vacation. If you like to layout on the beach and have a pool boy bring you drinks, this is not for you. We were constantly moving between the towns, rewarding ourselves with a delicacy at each stop. Andrew now knows how to bribe me to go anywhere.

“The Five Lands” is composed of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.

Andrew, bless, picked the best of everything. He did his homework. We stayed in Manarola, the most picturesque town in my opinion. I’m going to have to break it down by food, towns, and hiking. I have no idea where to start.

In an Italian pistachio shell:
Riomaggiore -> Manarola – 25 minute paved walk via the Via Dell’Amore (“Love Walk”)

Manarola -> Corniglia – map said 3 hours, we did 1:45, beautiful walk in the vineyards

Corniglia -> Vernazza – OK this is a no-no, but we didn’t know the path was closed, due to the floods last October. It was a gorgeous trek, not bad at all, in an 1:10.

Vernazza -> Monterosso al Mare – a great hike, easiest of them all, but Monterosso was not my favorite. We only visited once; odd as Monterosso is where mostly everyone stays.

Would I have picked this vacation spot, not right away, but after our recent ski trip I’m definitely learning to love a getaway that keeps you moving. Prego, Cinque Terre!

We’re Off to Cinque Terre

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

We are heading off to Cinque Terre as a belated anniversary treat from the hus. Hiking, vino, gelato…not necessarily in that order. I absolutely adore Italy and am looking forward to the views and lovely people.

You can certainly expect obnoxious amounts of updates and pictures from the trip.

Il bel far niente! Ciao!

Ho-Hum

The weekend was a glorious nothing special. The hus has been seriously under the weather, which means we only managed one major hike in two days. Mwhahaha.

But yet I’m surrounded by culture. Teaching friends how to NOT order ribs at a Mexican restaurant is still something we’re working on. I’m also “llentamente” /slowly picking up Italian from a buon amico.

OK so it’s not nothing. Good friends, great food, and crazy weather. We’re getting by just fine.

Race Weekend – The UK’s Derby

How was your weekend?

We were in race mode. Sunday morning I baked homemade banana bread and we enjoyed an amazing F1 race; coming off of a spectacular Saturday in which we watched The Grand National – a horse race that is like the Kentucky Derby on steroids.

The Grand National at Aintree has been a British sporting institution since 1839. John Smith’s Grand National, Aintree is one of the world’s most famous racecourses.
The Grand National (also known simply as the National) is a world-famous National Hunt horse race which is held annually at Aintree Racecourse, near Liverpool, England. It is a handicap steeplechase run over a distance of 4 miles and 856 yards (7,242 m), with horses jumping thirty fences.

That’s right, 4 miles with jumps, and did I mention 40 horses? The course is unreal. Seeing highlights of past races made was highly emotional. The sport is intense and it seems to take a casualty each year.

This year’s Grand National packed plenty of drama. The race ended with a photo finish and with 15 of the 40 starters completing the course. You’ll see throughout the race horses still in the hunt without their jockeys, as jockeys were previously unseated after jumps. It’s bizarre and intense. I had my hand over my mouth for much of the race.


Sadly, two horses suffered fatal injuries and were put down. Twenty horses have died in races since 2001. Gut-wrenching.

According to news reports, this race’s history is in peril:
“There is no doubt this is a black day for the Grand National and for horse racing. Nobody should under-estimate it – this is very serious for everyone in the racing industry. A big dark cloud hangs over the Grand National. Its future is in a certain amount of doubt.”

The news since the race has been absolutely buzzing about changes that should be done or considerations to cancel the race altogether.

This race is the UK’s Derby and the history and passion behind the race is beautiful. I am sure there are many avid horse enthusiasts out there, but for me I don’t think you’ll ever find me at a race.

And Now A Message From Our Sponsor

Like we learned in preschool- remember to choose your words. You never know what someone is thinking, doing, or going through. With all the things that go swirling by us daily, take time and be thoughtful and considerate to others. If you can count your true friends on even one hand, consider yourself lucky. Listen to others booshi*t without judgement.

Know your intentions.

Happy Anniversary To My Parents!

Karon & Michael – 33 years of wedded bliss. May your marriage be a guide for how we can be example for our children.

Seriously folks, these kids are grossly in love, but I’d rather catch ’em kissing than fighting. I mean it’s pretty rare these days to have longevity in a marriage.

So to mom and dad,
I know it wasn’t always easy finding the balance between marriage and raising us crazies, but you always found a way to put each other first. It’s been wonderful being raised in a home where the love is truly overflowing. You guys are great together, double bonus. Your love is a reflection of your faith and trust. I wish you many more merry anniversaries.

Cheers to the bride & groom!