Saturday, February 18, 2012

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Travel With Emily is Moving

My blog is moving to!!  Please update your bookmarks, links, etc.

I got a new phone.  What does that have to do with my blog moving?  Well, apparently my super new cool phone sucked up all my photos from my blog (how did they get there in the first place?!) and when I tried to get rid of them off my phone it actually got rid of them off my blog.  Which, how?  Why?  I felt like crying buckets of tears.  Years of pictures gone.  Fortunately (for me) I had been contemplating a move to wordpress already and had imported most of my posts (complete with pictures) so all is not lost.  Whew!!  Now I only have to fix a few posts rather than hundreds!  Of course there is probably an easier way to fix everything but we're going with this.

All that to say I'm moving!!  Be patient with me as I get used to wordpress (any tips out there from wordpress users would be appreciated!).  And see you over at the new 

I hate change - a new phone and a new blog site?!  This might be a rough week!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Off to Neverland

So here we are, on the eve of my trip to Disneyland for the Tinker Bell Half.  I'm nervous and excited.  And really hoping I don't forget anything!  Especially my costume! :)
My goals for this race:
  1. As usual, to finish
  2. To finish in under 3 hours and 30 minutes
  3. To finish in under 3 hours and 15 minutes
  4. To finish in under 3 hours (shh, this is the secret goal)
My nervousness is probably outweighing anything right now.  I am not nearly as trained as I would like to be (but isn't the saying better to be undertrained than overtrained?).  I knew a race at the end of January would be tough due to a crazy work schedule.  But I didn't expect the crazy work schedule to get as crazy as it did.  I also couldn't have predicted the snowpocalypse.  And I haven't really done any hills in the last month either.  All that being said, I'm still excited.  I will finish.  If I have to walk most of it, I will finish (oh wait, that was what I did on my recent 12 miles!  After that debacle, what is 1.1 more measly miles?).

And how do I get to Neverland?  I'll just think of a wonderful thought (any happy little thought?), sprinkle some Pixie Dust, and off to Neverland I go!!  Second star to the right and straight on for 13.1 miles! :) 

P.S. Check out my guest post on Healthy Disney today! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Travel ABC's

I saw Mandi's ABC travel list and was immediately inspired! So here's a little ABC on my travels!

Age you went on your first international trip.
From early on in life I talked about going to Paris.  I can remember being 7 or 8 and saving my allowance for my Paris trip.  I didn't actually leave the country (unless you count Canada but back then you didn't need a passport so I'm not counting it) until I was 20 when I visited my college roommate in London (she was doing a study abroad program).  I didn't make it to Paris until after I graduated from college.

Best (foreign) beer you’ve had and where.
I'm not a huge beer drinker but I have to say Kolsch in Cologne and most recently the fruity beers I had in Belgium are probably my favorite.  Oh, but wait!  I'm forgetting my all-time favorite!  And I've only found this in the UK - cider with black currant (I think it's called a snake bite).  Delicious!  Funny about this drink?  When one of my co-workers ordered it for me, they had to qualify it was for a girl.  Cider is like beer, right? 

Me & Diane enjoying our cider with black currant in London

Cuisine (favorite).
I'm sure this comes as quite a shock, but Italian!!  If I were ever to write a travel book it would be filled with pizzerias (and gelato and cappuccinos!).

Destinations, favorite, least favorite and why.
I have lots of favorites, but probably my number one favorite is London.  I'm definitely an Anglophile and have been most of my life.  Plus as soon as I get to London I feel like I'm home.  Least favorite?  A few years ago it would have been Venice, hands down.  I went for the first time in the middle of summer and it was so hot and super smelly.  But then a few years ago I went back (in the winter) and it was much better but still not in my top ten.

Event you experienced abroad that made you say “wow”.
I had a hard time with this one...  Although I would probably say the view from the airplane on my first trip into London.  Looking down as the plane came in for a landing I knew I had found my second home.

Favorite mode of transportation.
I love the metro.  While I was living in London I got so used to being able to take the Tube pretty much anywhere I needed.  Add in another brief stint in Bonn and using their metro.  A close second would be trains.  I really do enjoy a good train ride.

Greatest feeling while traveling.
Getting to learn about a new place and experiencing new things.

Hottest place you’ve traveled to.
So this probably isn't the hottest place I traveled to but it is the one that stands out.  My first time to Italy was in the middle of July and being from the Pacific Northwest I had never really experienced heat and humidity until then.  It stuck out because when I got home from this trip I was moving to Houston (where it was hot and humid) and I just kept thinking how am I ever going to survive living in weather like this.

Incredible service you’ve experienced and where.
Jana & I have experienced a couple of great waiters (one in London, one in Vienna, and one in Zagreb) and I think my favorite was the one in Vienna who gave us Hotel Sacher pens (we were eating in the hotel cafe).

Journey that took the longest.
I think one of my trips home from Bonn I had to transfer a couple of times and I think a plane was delayed.  It just seemed to take forever before I finally got home.

Keepsake from your travels.
I love postcards!!! I send most of them out, but I usually keep one or two.  My other keepsake would be magnets.

Let-down sight, why and where.
El Greco's house in Toledo, Spain - it might not have been a let down, but I wouldn't know since we never found it!!  We searched and searched but to no avail.

Moment where you fell in love with travel.
I'd probably have to go back to the plane landing in London on my first ever trip.  Although hearing my parents talk about their official honeymoon (they bicycled around Europe for two months) probably instilled a love of travel in me from very early on.

Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in.
I don't know - it was probably a work hotel but I'm not remembering any that stand out so maybe the hotel in Budapest (it was brand new and gorgeous!).

Obsession—what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?
I love taking pictures!!  This might be a tie between food (especially cappuccinos) and doors.
Mmm, cappuccino
Santorini, Greece
Passport stamps, how many and from where?
From my latest passport, I have 32 stamps (UK, Ireland, Germany, Croatia, Greece, Mexico, Austria, and Italy and a few others that I can't read what the stamp says).

Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where.
I'm totally copying Mandi on this one but the catacombs in Paris.  Similarly the crypt of the Cappuccin monks in Rome.  Lots of bones, some just stacked, some artfully arranged.

Recommended sight, event or experience.
I don't know if I can narrow this down - Tower of London is probably one of my favorite places to visit as is the Eiffel Tower.

Splurge; something you have no problem forking over money for while traveling.
So I'm going to copy Mandi again on this one and say food.  You have to eat, and why not enjoy it! :)

Touristy thing you’ve done.
You name it, I've done it! :)  Disneyland Paris, maybe?  Or the Eiffel Tower?  The Colosseum?  Taking pictures of everything and anything?  Oh, I've got loads of examples.

Sleeping Beauty's Castle - Disneyland, Paris
Unforgettable travel memory.
The ruined Moorish Castle in Sintra, Portugal.  We climbed all over the ruins and just had a grand old time.

Moorish Castle Ruins
Visas, how many and for where?
I don't think I've had any visas - but I have had 2 work permits - one for when I was in London and one for when I was in Bonn, Germany.

Wine, best glass of wine while traveling and where?
I think when my colleagues took me to a winery near Bonn.  I don't remember the name of it.

eXcellent view and from where?
The London Eye - looking out over Parliament.  It's just like the Peter Pan ride!  Only for real! :)  Cabo da Roca in Portugal - the most western part of Europe - looking out and seeing nothing but ocean for miles and miles.  Oh, and how could I forget?  The view from our own private terrace at our hotel in Lisbon.  The view was nice, but having our breakfast every morning and enjoying the view was fantastic!!

View from the London Eye
Cabo da Roca

Lisbon, Portugal
Years spent traveling?
Since that fateful trip to London way back in 1997, I don't think I've stopped traveling!  

Zealous sports fans and where? Hm, this would have to be a toss up between the Germans and the Brits.  Both are pretty zealous.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Run #1.10 Quantity over Quality

This could also be called the "it wasn't pretty but I survived" run.  Or actually walk as it turned out to be.  I didn't think a run could be much worse than last week's snow filled run but I was wrong.  Take a path filled with icy, slushy mess, add in hail and wind and you get a recipe for disaster.

But let's start at the beginning.  I had 12 miles on the docket for today.  I had hoped the promised rain would have swept through and melted the snow off the path.  I wasn't sure where would be the best place to run but I figured my normal trail was as good as any.  I arrived and was greeted with sloppy, slushy, icy remnants of snow covering the path.  It was quite slippery and I started off nice and slow.  It did cross my mind that I should take this inside and on the treadmill, but I quickly said no as I can't imagine doing 12 miles on a treadmill.  (More power to those who can!)

It finally cleared out enough that I didn't have to watch each step.  Of course it was around this time when I swear it started hailing.  Ugh - hail, really?  After a long stretch of good path, it started getting worse.  And worse.  I was walking on the grass at this point, as it was much easier to keep my balance and not slip.  I finally turned around when I didn't see it was going to get any better.

I really hadn't run very much at this point, thinking it was much safer to walk.  When I got back to the most clear part of the path, I doubled back and made up my missing mileage, running where I could.  I had about 2 miles left when the wind started up.  Sure why not?  It was a strong cross-wind.  And I was so done at that point.  I gave up any pretense of trying to run.  I was ready to sit down on the path and cry.  Except then I would have been even more wet than I already was.  I was wet, cold, and in pain.  Only two miles left, only two miles left kept running through my head.  I got to the last messy, really ice patch and slowed down considerably.  And I could feel my body shutting down.  Finally, mercifully I was done.  These weren't the best miles I've done, but I'm hoping getting 12 miles in, regardless of the type of miles, will help.

In the good news category?  I finished (barely) in under 3 hours which was my goal.  And helps with my confidence for next week.  

Friday, January 20, 2012

Five Senses Friday

It's been awhile since I've done one of these and even though this one will be dominated with the sights and sounds of the snowpocalypse turned icepocalypse, I thought it might be fun anyway. 

  • Winter Wonderland everywhere

  • Tree branches cracking and breaking under the strain of the ice and snow 
  • ETA:  At my massage I was told I had well developed calf muscles!  Nice! 

  • I made some more Red Lentil Soup because a snow day sounds like a soup day to me!

  • Hot Chocolate  

  • Wishing for spring to be right around the corner!!  (And might I add a tad FREAKED out by the fact the Tinker Bell half is a mere 9 days away!!!)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Run #1.9 Beware the Snowpocalypse

After my two week hiatus I wasn't sure what to expect from my 11 miles.  Add to that uncertainty the threat of snow.  Snow & Seattle are like oil & water and other things that don't go together.  According to the weather it was supposed to snow during the very early hours of the morning but it would warm up.  So I figured I could sleep in and get a later start.  

I woke up and it was barely snowing and not really sticking so I made my way to the park and bundled up.  I forgot my Garmin, but in the end I figured it was a good thing since I wasn't worried about time on this run.  I was more concerned with not slipping on the snow.  I started off on the trail and the snow started coming down a little bit harder.  But it wasn't sticking (yet).  If course as soon as I said that the snow started coming down.  And sticking.  Ugh!  I kept going.  I can be a bit stubborn at times and I was determined to get my 11 miles in.  The snow kept coming down and down and down.  It switched from fat fluffy snowflakes to hard hail-like pebbles and back again.  The path in front of me looked like a Winter Wonderland.  It started coming down extremely hard and I finally turned around and headed back to my car, figuring I could pick up 2 miles somewhere.  Or not since it finally dawned on me that if it was accumulating on the trail, it would be accumulating on the road and I didn't want to get stuck since I am a wimp when it comes to the snow.

I got back to my car and since it wasn't too bad I decided to keep going to get the last 2 miles.  And of course it started getting bad again - the snow was sticking to my eyelashes but I was so close.  Finally I was done with 11 miles (or thereabouts - it was definitely over 10 so I'm rounding up!).   

Seen during my run: a snowball fight, a kid on a sled, and several snowmen being built.

The more important question is - is tomorrow going to be a snow day? :)