I’m back!


We had an exciting (ish) end to our holiday, what with Irene heading close. In the end the hurricane bypassed Charleston, so our final day was rainy, windy (very very windy) and some roads were flooded, but we were fine. We did see a couple of news teams out and about filming and interviewing people.

Yesterday we had a final wander around town (and cue much excitement when we found a bagel slicer for sale in a shop!!! They always have them in the hotels when they have bagels for breakfast, and Andy’s parents even spent half their holiday last summer looking for one for me! so anyway that got crammed into our suitcase!), watched dolphins and pelicans on the water, bought some lunch to eat later and then a long drive to Atlanta. I think it was over 300 miles, anyway it was a long drive.

In the end we ate lunch super late (3.30pm ish) as we had to find a rest stop, so I didn’t fancy much dinner and ended up with a yoghurt and some fruit salad. Our flight was still going (but we saw yet more news teams interviewing people as flights to Washington and Philli were cancelled) but when we got on the plane the captain announced that there may be some turbulence as we were going to fly over the hurricane. What now? I have never done this before, but we actually took sleeping tablets (well, sleeping aids like the hayfever medication that makes you drowsy) and I think that helped as I dozed on and off for most of the flight. Normally by the time I get home I fall asleep as soon as I sit down, and although I feel really tired, I am going OK. Anyway, at one point in the flight they announced that they were going to suspend the services (drinks and food) and then the captain shouted at all the crew to get to their seats. It was a bumpy flight.

But home now.

And facing the mountain of unpacking to do.


We went to Wholefoods in Orlando and stocked up, (PB and co was on offer so I had to try the White chocolate wonderful)- later on we went to a Walmart to look for something for Andy’s brother, and it was even cheaper in there, so I got another flavour (Bee’s Knees). I also found coconut essence hooray! Which I kept in my hand luggage along with the boxed cereal bars! Can you guess which flavour I like? We did eat clif bars as our snacks most days (shared one as they are huge!) and I also tried the peppermint luna bars which are amazing!!!! But that Disney bag is full of clif bars as we bought more than we needed for our trip, what a shame. Ahem. Also I love Ghirardelli chocolates (and the free samples they always give out) and so bought a mixed bag from the shop- at the till the lady said to me “if you spend $5 more you get loads more chocolate” (can’t remember how much) but I did resist, although partly from fear of the luggage allowance!

I also got some hand made key lime sugar scrub (I much prefer sugar to salt scrubs) from a shop in Key West (it smells so tangy and amazing), a thing that means I can make a cup of tea using leaf tea, and also a key thing to go on my garage key. We collect magnets for our holidays too, but I have not unpacked them yet. They go on our fridge, so maybe I will take a photo of that one day.

I also stocked up in Gap (jeans, cardi’s), Old Navy (a couple of tops and a running jacket) and Skechers (many shoes). Plus a Discovery Cove turquoise hoody which I could not resist! But no pics of them.

Right, well I am in need of a cup of tea now, normal blogging, running etc should resume within the next few days! I am planning on doing a couple of holiday posts (once we sort the photos) and include some of the places we ate, as we managed to stay away from the chains and I think eat pretty healthily for the most part (this meant that our ice cream was justified haha!).

OK I really am going now!

Bye for now.

EDIT- well guess what- Andy just rang his parents for a catch up and told them excitedly that we got a bagel slicer, and guess what they had bought (they were in the rockies) for my Christmas present? Yup, a bagel slicer. Oops!

Swimming with dolphins!


Thanks for all the comments on my last post. This is another quick one (no photos yet I am afraid) to say how I have been getting on.

Today was our trip to Discovery Cove (which Andy meant to surprise me with at Christmas, but then as our flight got cancelled etc etc it was no longer a surprise). I had no idea what to expect but it was amazing! Here is a (hopefully) quick run-down. And please excuse any typos because I can only see half of what I type.

We arrived just after 8am for “check in”. Here we were given ID tags and a map, and told the time of our dolphin swim. Then we went to have breakfast (all food and drink are included in the day)- a massive choice for meat eaters, but not much veggie stuff, but anyway. Then we changed into our swim stuff and picked up our wet-suit vest things. You also get given special suncream to wear which is safe to use with the animals. There was lots to see and do- we went in the lazy river first (which I much preferred to Disney lazy rivers as you could actually swim in them instead of lying in those rubber ring things). At one point it went through an aviary and we could see loads of pretty birds by the water. Then we got some goggles (Andy used the snorkle but I had breathing through the tube like that) and went into the lagoon pool. This was cold (at first) and salty, and filled with beautiful tropical fish and also massive sting rays! At first I was a little freaked out by the fish swimming right by me, but once I realised they would not touch you I was fine. We must have spent over an hour in that place alone. Then we went for a little walk (Andy took some photos) and we went into the aviary to see the birds. I was most excited to see a kookaburra.

Then it was time for the dolphin encounter. We had to have a little talk first, the we waded into the dolphin lagoon with a trainer, and it was just amazing. We all got to do the hand signals to encourage the dolphin to wave, spin, splash etc. The dolphin had a baby who was about 2 years old, which kept swimming near and copying what his mum was doing which was also so sweet. We got to feed the dolphin fish, and stroke her (and they also made us kiss her for a photo op, which I thought was a little weird but anyway). Then we swum out to the deep part and had a dolphin tow back to shore! Exciting! While other people were having their turns the trainers were talking to us and showing us hand signals and things. Then a lot of dolphins came from all around the cove and leapt up in the air all together, and swum around together a bit. It lasted about 45 mins I think, but it went by so quickly! I was excited about it, but also a little apprehensive as I had no idea what to expect. I also thought it might end up being a bit of a queue- touch the dolphin one after another, but it was nothing like that at all. We were always told to move out of their way, and it really was us going into their space- if they didn’t want to do something they would swim away, stuff like that.

Anyway, after that it was time for lunch (I think it was gone 2pm by then). The veggie option was pasta with tomato sauce, but again loads of meat choices. There were also pots of roasted veggies, different salads (lucky I checked as they had bacon bits on them!), fries, fruit, and all sorts of cakes. I had some roasted veggies (with the pasta), fruit and Andy and I shared some carrot cake- we did not want to have too much as we wanted to swim some more in the afternoon. While we ate lunch a steel pan band started playing which was great.

We decided to buy a CD of our photos- we never normally buy those photos at all, and it was really expensive, but we figured that we could print one out, or put them on our calendar and stuff. (But our netbook does not have a CD drive, otherwise I would be loading them up right now!). So something for you all to look forward to 😉

We sat in the shade for a bit, before one last long swim in the ray lagoon. Then I went for a shower (and in the showers there were massive pump bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, plus hairdryers and stacks of towels to use), and then it was time to come back. It shuts at 5pm, although we were there a little after that.

Anyway, it was a brilliant day- busy but relaxed. The park was lovely as it was not very crowded and really everything you needed was there.

So there you go for the little update 🙂 We are off to Disney tomorrow for a few days.

Would you like to swim with dolphins? Or have you done something like that?

Bristol girly fun and 7.53

Hey all!

Hope everyone has had a good few days. I had a lovely time in Bristol with some girly friends.

I had a run before we left, and then topped up on fruit by having a Moma pot with blueberries and strawberries. Yum.

We hired a little apartment which ended up being right in the city centre (although I was driving and finding it involved getting lost in the one way system several times and then seeing it but it being no right turn etc). It involved a meal out as ASK (I am getting over my mushroom issues and had a mushroom sandwich thing), Starbucks chai tea (and I was impressed as they did not try to make me a latte, as is what always happens here when I ask for a hot chai tea), carrot cake in a coffee shop, a trip to Wales, walks in a little welsh town (and up a very steep hill), shopping for pretty summer dresses, hunting for frozen yoghurt (failed at this), a trip to Highclere caste (and of course the tearoom there), playing games in the apartment late at night, early mornings (thanks to the seagulls and the fact the bedroom had no curtains) and so many laughs. It was such fun. I did not take any pics and one of my friends put some on facebook but I have no idea if I can get them off there?

Anyway, I was intending on going for a run when I got home yesterday, but we decided to go to Highclere castle (fans of Downton Abbey may be excited to hear that they film it there, and I was interested to know that it used to be home of the man who discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb) on the way home (kind of on the way) and when we came to drive from there the M4 was shut so we had to go up to Oxford. Anyway, my car does not have air conditioning so for the entire 3.5 hour journey I was baking, and had only had tea at the tearoom (no water in the car), and had a scone for lunch. I was so hot and sticky that I decided a run would probably make me ill, so I had a shower instead (and a walk to the allotments- you will be glad to hear that the lady has dug up her potatoes, but not the shed, and also took a little blackberry bush (I say bush, it has 3 leaves) which I found while digging up all the weeds and I do not believe she knew it was there- this annoyed me a little as I think if I had left all the weeds then she would not have known about it!). Gosh I am rambling today.

So, this morning it was magic mile time! I got up, changed and drank some water and headed out. It was raining hard. I had mapped out the route, which was a loop and a half, no road crossing needed which would make it more accurate. Anyway, I set off and after a few mins realised I was going too fast- I had to slow a little and then after that got into a bit of a rhythm. I could see the lampost that marked the end I sprinted towards it (imagining the crowd cheering me on) and I was SHOCKED to see that my time was 7.53. Crazy! My best 5k time is 28.10, so I was hoping for a little under a 9 min mile (as this is shorter I should run is faster), but I also feel like I have slowed down a bit recently, so I was not going to be upset if I was slower. But that was amazing! I had no idea I could run that fast! But then I had to walk home as I was gasping for breath.

I had my last Moma pot for breakfast after that, and it was much needed!

Now I have started packing for our holiday 🙂 Some of you may remember that at Christmas Andy and myself were supposed to be going to Florida and a few other places, but our plans were scuppered by the great British winter weather (see here). Anyway, we are off on Saturday for a slightly longer holiday (we added on a few more places as we can go for longer in the summer) so off to Miami, Key West, Orlando (and Discovery Cove- my surprise Christmas present), Savannah and Charleston 🙂 So our bed is now covered in neat piles of tops, cropped trousers, swim stuff etc. Pretty sure I won’t need jeans! I want to leave some space for some Old Navy, Gap and Skechers shopping.

But I will also be tempted by all the clif bars and peanut butter! So, I am after recommendations for stuff like that! What should I try to bring back with me??

And my last post had a lot of questions about the basil tofu! I get Taifun tofu, which comes in a 200g pack, in the chiller section (usually in the veggie section of that with all the cauldron stuff etc). It says on the pack you can eat it cold, so I usually have it in sandwiches and stuff. They also do almond and sesame flavour, which I tried but found a bit smokey for me. I think they do an olive one too, but I don’t like olives. I have bought it from Waitrose before, and from Ocado.  Hope that helps 🙂

Another WIAW!

Hey all! Gosh Wednesday is here already!

I loved the party last week so much (thanks Jenn) that I did it again this week! Although, as per the rules, I chose another day- last Friday! (As that was a day when I could actually take some photos).

Breakfast was some Moma bircher muesli;

After my 10 mile run I had a quick snack of a clif bar, mango coconut water and some watermelon.

After my shower I had half a lunch;

Rude Health Oaty thins with pb and raspberry spread, a pear and strawberries. (Half because I was meeting a friend for lunch but too hungry after my run to wait!)

Then I was off to Starbucks to meet a friend- I looked at the panini’s but nothing took my eye so for the other half of my lunch I went for a cinnamon roll (love those) and chai tea.Yum their chai tea is amazing. And I bought myself a tin of chai tea too!

After a haircut and shopping it was time for dinner– this was a quick and easy meal;

Some of the quinoa salad I made the other day (quinoa cooked with tin of tomatoes, spinach and red pesto, then mixed with roasted beetroot, peppers and courgette) and cooked it in the oven topped with sliced basil tofu. I have never cooked tofu like this before- I have always had the flavoured stuff cold, but this was lovely. I cannot wait to eat it like that again!

Throughout the day I also had a fair few pieces of chocolate covered mango;

Some I topped with coconut, and some was plain, and all very yummy!

An evening snack was some blueberries and a berry crumble bar (heated in the microwave) with a bit of cinnamon ice cream. Yum 🙂

So, the question is, do you like your ice cream melty or solid? I am a bit fussy- I hate the Mr Whippy/ McFluffy style ice cream- I love the proper scoop stuff and I love to let it melt a little. Mmm.

Holidays are busier than work days!

Sort of!

I somehow thought that I had loads of free time, but in fact I have been super busy these last few days. Wednesday I went out and did my Audiofuel run before breakfast, as I had loads to do. This was good, but hard work- probably a little further than I normally would run before any food. Plus it was warm, but I did take water with me.

Then it was a busy day of going into work, a quick rush to the shops (not to put a downer on it, but I need to find something to wear to Discovery Cove- swim shopping is what I dread the most) and then cheering myself up at the allotment!

See this bed at the bottom? Well it goes the whole length of the allotment and that was what I spent a lot of the 3 hours digging up! And that pile of rubbish is what the lady left behind- after clearing 8 tubs of the stuff I dug up I could not be bothered to move her stuff. Plus I was a bit worried that there might be a frog or a hedgehog living in it.

This is it from the other side- I was not going to attempt digging up the potatoes (they cover about 1/3 of it I think) and apparently the lady is coming this weekend to take away her shed and dig up the potatoes. This picture makes it look like there is loads to do, but honestly it is just the potatoes now!

Thursday I did some yoga before breakfast (yoga for weightloss- I downloaded a few other ones which looked good, and at my level as this was a beginners one). Then I had some friends over. I was pretty pleased (food related) as we all bring something, and tend to snack and chat- often I get tempted by the crisps, nuts, cakes etc. But this time I had a Food Doctor pitta, some crudites, half of a berry crumble bar, and a lot of watermelon.

Watermelon just looks so refreshing 🙂 Love it!

Then it was body pump time, and actually I was really pleased. We always do a stretch at the end (for the glutes I think)- you lay on your back with one leg up in the air, then you cross that leg over the other one, reach through and hold on to the other leg. Not sure if I have explained it? Anyway, I have always struggled with this, being inflexible,and have always had to hold my leg first, then hook the other leg over the top, but the last couple of weeks I have managed to do it properly, and I am wondering if the yoga is actually making a little difference. It will be a long time til I can put my forehead on my knee though!

Anyway, I was hungry after that, so I went for a Moma porridge pot, as I have been sent a few Moma products to try and I could not wait for breakfast!

Verdict? Delicious. It is ready made bircher muesli- this one is made with yoghurt, apple juice, oats, apples, peaches, agave nectar, rice starch and lemon juice. It was lovely and very filling. Yum.

Today I had another pot for breakfast;

This one was a blueberry one. Then I was off for a 10 mile run (I have a family wedding this weekend so would not be able to go out tomorrow or Sunday morning)- this was hard as my legs were getting stiff from body pump last night (I also drank a lot of water before I left so I had to stop at the toilets in the park!). It took me longer than last time, 1hr50 something, but with the stop that is not too bad.

After a snack and a shower I was off to meet a friend for lunch- we went to Starbucks and I was excited to see they sell their chai teabags!!!!!!!!!!!!

Woo hoo!!!! I mean, perhaps they have for ages, but I have not looked/ noticed them before. After resisting ordering Teapigs for ages, I am yet again adding to my tea collection.

Then I was off for a haircut (plus buying a dress for the wedding tomorrow- last minute much?).

So there we go. Some exercise, some socialising, and some de-stressing.

So nice weekend plans? The wedding will be keeping us busy as we have a family lunch on Sunday too. Hope you all have a good one.

Laters dudes 🙂