So, here is the next holiday recap. No running, but there are some cakes so I feel it fits the theme!

On Tuesday after going to the Kennedy Space Centre we drove to Orlando. We did a spot of shopping, and then went to Downtown Disney- basically a lot of shops, restaurants and entertainment things (like bowling, cinema etc). It was really busy, and we were very hungry as we hadn’t had lunch, just a banana and half a cereal bar each, so we headed straight for the Earl of Sandwich (I wish they would catch on over here- so much nicer than Subway) for dinner, before walking around, having a mooch around the shops, and then finally driving to our hotel to check in.

We stayed in the Art of Animations resort, a fairly new one, with different buildings based on Nemo, Cars, Lion King and Little Mermaid.

2015-05-25 21.06.53

Can you guess the theme of our room?

2015-05-25 21.07.17

Yup, the chair is a shell.

2015-05-25 21.08.20

Shower curtain!

The next day we were off to the Magic Kingdom. Because we wanted to do a few rides we got there for the park opening and went on a few (Philharmagic- I love it- a sort of 4D show with songs from different films, lovely smells- it sounds weird but it’s great), before having breakfast.

2015-05-26 10.36.44

The size of that cinnamon roll! Nearly as tall as the coffee cup! We shared that and some fruit to balance it out.

2015-05-26 11.30.40

The weather was fab- hot outside but not unbearable- we have been in August before where you almost can’t stand being outside in the middle of the day.

We went on plenty of rides (no rollercoasters though- that’s why I love Disney so much- they know they don’t need a thrill ride to make a great ride), had a lovely late lunch (an immense salad for me with spinach, apples, pecans, beetroot, smoked cheese, cranberries…), went on more rides…

2015-05-26 15.15.25

Gotta love the Enchanted Tiki room.

2015-05-26 17.21.13

Especially because it means a pineapple Dole whip is close by! It melted very fast!

2015-05-26 19.12.28

I got a bit excited over the Starbucks in the park (sorry)- I don’t like fizzy drinks so unless we go to a restaurant and I can have some iced tea I just have water- sometimes it’s refreshing to have something else.

2015-05-26 19.34.29

Got the last boat ride at sunset, watched the Electrical parade, watched the fireworks, and then did a couple more rides before heading back to the hotel. We walked over 22,000 steps that day, not bad!

The Wednesday was our “day off”- we had a lie in, went shopping (I got a new pair of trail shoes for about £40!) and then it was time for my birthday present from Andy- Afternoon tea at The Grand Floridian (a very very fancy Disney hotel).

2015-05-27 15.23.14


They had a tea menu which is always a hit with me- I had an Earl grey blend with vanilla. They even had tea cosies! There were choices for the sandwiches but we both got the veggie ones- cucumber and dill sandwiches, roasted beet and goats cheese open sandwiches, crackers, cheese, and loads of fresh fruit.

2015-05-27 15.47.23

Later (no rush) they brought out a warm scone with lemon curd (weird but good choice), apricot jam and cream, plus a jam tart.

2015-05-27 16.26.13

Then later still (again, no rush- they just said to ask when you were ready) the dessert- chocolate dipped strawberry, some sort of chocolate thing, and a pastry with pomegranate mousse.

2015-05-27 16.37.31

(It was called The Garden View Tearoom).

While we were there someone was playing the grand piano in the lobby too.

2015-05-27 16.53.27

We had a walk around the hotel and some of the grounds afterwards.

2015-05-27 16.58.03

We had a wander around the grounds of our hotel to marvel at all the theming, before heading to Downtown Disney for the evening. 20,000 steps done- not bad considering we probably sat down at the tea for a couple of hours.

2015-05-27 19.34.44

2015-05-27 19.39.08

2015-05-27 19.35.26

2015-05-27 19.48.15

On Wednesday we were off to Epcot- my favourite.

2015-05-28 08.52.40


As I have said, I am not a rollercoaster fan at all. But that doesn’t matter at Disney. The best ride ever is Soarin’. Hard to describe, but the idea is that you are paragliding over California- you are suspended (gently) in the air while on a huge IMAX screen it shows you flying over Yosemite, San Francisco, the pacific coast. As you fly over orange groves or through pine woods, you can smell it too. It really is just brilliant. A gentle thrill ride. Plus brilliant music.

Anyway, Disney have had a system of Fast Passes, where you can insert your park ticket and select (for free) a timed ticket, so you don’t have to queue. Normally you had to use the machines by the ride, but on this visit we got to use the magic bands.

2015-05-25 21.08.50

They worked as our room key, as a charge card (if you entered a pin number) and park tickets. There was an app which was great- it told you current queue times for all the rides, and you could edit dining or pre-book fast passes for each day. Anyway, because Epcot doesn’t have many “big” rides, they were tiered, and of course Soarin’ was in the top tier meaning we could only go on it once. Normally we can play the system and go twice! Ah well.

So anyway, as soon as we arrived we headed to Test Track- the other “big” ride (well I think the mission space one might also be a top one, but I wasn’t a big fan of it so we didn’t bother this time), and then got some breakfast before going on some other rides.

Spaceship earth is aways good for some laughs (and some annoyance as Judy Dench says “math” and not “maths”- argh!). This is my future apparently:

2015-05-28 12.23.23


2015-05-28 16.38.41

We did the little boat ride through their gardens- that is a peanut butter tree. Where can I buy one????

2015-05-28 16.55.15

The best ride!

Then we had a walk around the world showcase in the sunshine, watched the film about Canada (makes me want to go back there asap), had a lunch/ dinner of proper Italian pizza.

2015-05-28 18.53.22

It’s always fun after holidays to play the game of Venice/ Disney/ Vegas.

2015-05-28 19.01.17

It’s like being in a fairytale.

2015-05-28 18.55.47

I think we walked around here at least twice.

2015-05-28 20.32.04

Then it was time for the best fireworks show in the world. Also a fact. The Magic Kingdom ones are good with all the Disney music, but the one at Epcot is just amazing- they have fire torches, they light up buildings, they have a spinning globe thing in the lake, amazing fireworks and brilliant music (not Disney music either).

24,000 steps that day.

Our last day was at Hollywood Studios- they have Star Wars weekends in June and July so Andy was very excited.

2015-05-29 09.14.13

Excuse the thumb! There was some sort of show on the stage, at one point with rather humorous storm troopers.

2015-05-29 09.59.12

The worlds most dangerous frog. Gotta love the Muppets 3D show.

2015-05-29 10.12.49

Of course there were characters dressed up as star wars characters. And loads of people visiting were also dressed up, some had gone to a lot of effort.

2015-05-29 10.14.20

LA or Disney? Add to the fun game.

2015-05-29 11.46.47

This is such a fun ride! You are moved around a sort of games hall in a little car, and you keep stopping at different screens- you wear 3D goggles and at each screen do different things- knock down plates, pop balloons (all virtually, not really).

2015-05-29 12.11.31

A big lego R2D2.

2015-05-29 16.56.22

We went to a show by Warwick Davis- a special Star Wars one (he was an Ewok).

We visited the Darth Mall (get it? Maul/ Mall).

And then, because we had reached Star Wars saturation point, we went to this:

2015-05-29 19.58.19

Yes. You have read that correctly. It was quite fun, and luckily they played the music loudly enough to drown out the noise of all the kids singing along!

They had some Star Wars fireworks so we watched those too, before heading back to pack.

19,000 steps that day.

2015-05-29 22.30.13

The next day we flew to New York. Originally we were going to go in for the afternoon, but our flights were moved, and we only ended up with about 6 hours, and all the guidance said you needed 12 to allow enough time, so we used our air miles to stay in a hotel by the airport for the afternoon, as our flight home didn’t leave until 9pm.

A whistle stop tour, but a fab way to spend half term.

Are you a fan of rollercoasters? Or Disney? Or Star Wars? Or afternoon tea?

Everglades and Kennedy Space Centre

Hey peeps,

Hope everyone is well. I have a half marathon tomorrow and am not quite feeling prepared! I did manage  8 miles on Tuesday evening, so at least that is over half way, but my 12 mile run seems a while ago now (I think it’s a month ago). Partly because of this holiday! Which was awesome.

We booked flights to Florida from Madrid (because the passenger duty is much cheaper from European cities- no way we would have managed in the school holidays otherwise), so on Friday evening as soon as I got home we had to head to the train station, go to Gatwick and then fly to Madrid.

2015-05-22 20.56.07

Friday evening flight

I bought a lovely salad from Pret to enjoy on the plane, along with a spiced orange hot chocolate- starting the holiday off in style! After a short stay in the airport hotel, we were back in the airport bright and early on Saturday morning ready to fly to Miami.

2015-05-23 19.00.23

Flew over the Bahamas

After picking up the car we had about an hours drive to our hotel, and had a walk in the evening to get some dinner before trying to stay away beyond 8pm!

Usually I would wake up early, but I was shattered from a week of work so slept for 12 hours-crazy!

We then drove into the Everglades National Park. By the way, the American National Parks are the biggest bargain in the entire world. For I think $80, you can get a ticket, for a year, for a car load of people, Valid for any park, and unlimited entries. Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, plus loads of other amazing places.

2015-05-24 10.45.30

We drove into the Everglades, visited the Visitors Centre, and then headed out on a few walks around the water.

2015-05-24 10.37.56

We saw these huge grasshoppers.

2015-05-24 10.54.15

An alligator (we saw a couple, but they were so hard to photograph as were so well camouflaged)

2015-05-24 11.06.09

And a turtle!

We did a few walks in different parts of the park, and then headed to our next hotel, closer to a beach.

2015-05-24 18.21.23

After checking in, we had a wander around the town (which was very empty) and the headed to the beach (along with everyone else). We sat outside at a bar, had some dinner while live music was being played at the place next door.

2015-05-24 17.14.37

This was the view at dinner. Perfect.

2015-05-24 18.30.23

Then we walked along the beach a bit, and sat for a while watching the pelicans diving.

2015-05-24 18.58.27

Just after seeing this, we saw a manatee in the water! I was so excited by this, as I have only seen them in rescue centres before. But it went underwater before we could take a photo.

The next morning we were off to Kennedy Space Centre. We had been there years ago (possibly 12 years ago?) so a lot had changed.

2015-05-25 10.27.07

As soon a we arrived we got on the bus tour which takes you around the various launch sites and buildings.

2015-05-25 11.27.03

That is what a launch does to metal!

2015-05-25 12.15.10

It is hard to imagine the scale of the rockets.

2015-05-25 12.16.02

I even got to touch a piece of moon rock! How exciting!

2015-05-25 13.11.31

We saw some more rockets, and then went inside another building for an IMax film about the space shuttles, which was brilliant. The most amazing part was going into the room afterwards and seeing one of the shuttles.

2015-05-25 13.28.46

Very cool.

2015-05-25 13.50.49

They had a ride, which Andy did, but I didn’t fancy, so I looked at some of the other exhibits- it’s a bit like the Science Museum space section, with astronaut suits, the car they ride in to the launch and other paraphernalia.

2015-05-25 15.21.16


It was interesting to hear about the new companies (like Space X) and what they are building. We saw information about inflatable domes to be used potentially on Mars, or as additions to the Space Station.

Even though I would not fancy being an astronaut, I always loved astrophysics and it was inspiring to see all the obstacles the engineers had to overcome. 2015-05-25 15.28.16


It was a great place to visit, and I am very glad we made the time to go there this time.

We left mid-afternoon, for the drive to Orlando. During the drive we went across a long causeway (I think) and saw lots of dolphins leaping in the sea- very exciting! Once in Orlando, we stopped at a few shops, and then drove through the gates…

2015-05-25 18.05.01

But I will save that for another day.

What did you want to be when you were younger? I was too practical for my own good I think. I considered being a zoo keeper until I realised I would have to clean up the muck, and I didn’t like the idea of breathing through a tube so astronaut was out pretty quickly.

White towns, grey rocks, blue skies

Around where we stayed in Spain there are lots of little white towns. One was signposted nearby, so we drove the very steep and winding road to Comares one day to have a walk around.

2014-12-26 12.08.00

The town was so high up so as well as admiring the town, we were treated to magnificent views across the valley.

2014-12-26 12.03.41

There was a path with  tile footprints to follow, although we diverted from this towards the end due to the large amount of stray dogs.

2014-12-26 12.12.12

Another day we drove to El Torcal, a national park famed for strange rock formations. The limestone has been eroded by wind and water, leaving interesting shapes in the rocks.

2014-12-27 12.08.52

It reminded us a bit of when we visited Bryce Canyon in the USA (only smaller, and grey).

At one point we saw a herd of mountain goats- one balanced right on top of a rock with a perfect silhouette, but my phone could not zoom in that far. The agility those creatures have is amazing though.

2014-12-27 12.41.49

It was also freezing cold here! When sheltered by the rocks we were OK, but when you got to the edge of the mountain the wind whipping up the sides was chilling (and so strong that it was nearly blowing my phone out of my hands- I couldn’t hold it still enough for a proper photo!).

2014-12-27 12.47.07

The clouds were covering the very top of the mountain at some points.

We had packed a picnic, and there were benches outside, but we wimped out and opted for a warmer lunch in the car!

Another day we opted for another beach trip. This time we headed to Nerja, which came recommended as having less concrete monstrosities and a pretty view.

2014-12-28 12.37.16

We were very pleased with our choice. It was a really windy day, so the sea had huge swells and lines of waves crashing into the rocks and beach.

2014-12-28 12.53.50

It was hard to capture, but the waves that were rolling in were enormous.

2014-12-28 12.57.18I love this photo, the water was almost silvery, and not a weird instagram filter in sight.

We walked down the beach for a bit, then up in the other direction, then back and into the town.

2014-12-28 13.23.20

We spotted some beautiful tropical flowers (hibiscus are my favourite).

2014-12-28 13.36.29Then we walked around the town to find this beautiful cove on the other side. Again, it was teeming with people- I was still surprised to find so many people there (and so many shops and restaurants open) but I really shouldn’t be surprised.

For the last couple of days Andy had to work, so we stayed around the apartment. I spent most of the day sitting outside reading and it was bliss.

2014-12-30 12.36.23

Or just looking at the birds in the trees.

2014-12-30 12.36.00

A lovely end to our winter break.

Sunny Spain

Hey peeps,

I hope everyone has been enjoying the festive period and relaxing/ doing whatever you enjoy.

After our long journey to and from Granada on Christmas Eve, we decided to stay nearer to the apartment on Christmas day. After a leisurely morning, we packed a lunch and drove off to the coast. We were so lucky.

2014-12-25 12.56.30

The weather was just gorgeous.

2014-12-25 13.57.06

No coat needed!

We walked up and down the beach, sat in the sun and had our picnic lunch, and then walked some more.

2014-12-20 19.38.41

I packed this gingerbread in our suitcase (from the Vienna markets) so we had that to make our picnic festive!

2014-12-25 14.12.37

I even made a Christmas tree and snowman (sand-man?).

2014-12-25 14.22.25

But the snowman kept being washed away by the tide- should have chosen a more sensible place on the beach perhaps!

2014-12-25 12.42.53

I expected it to be fairly quiet, but it was really busy with people walking along, eating or drinking in the bars by the beach, and a few brave (stupid?) sunbathers. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised as the climate was good, but I think as where we are staying is so isolated, it feels like there isn’t anyone else in the country. I can’t imagine coming here in the summer though- not being a beach-to-bar person anyway it would not be my kind of thing, but also it would be so hot. And as you can see, the sand isn’t exactly perfect for making castles. But for winter sun this has been perfect.

Good news on the cough front- it seems to be nearly gone, apart from a few coughing fits when I first wake up. But all the shortness of breath that I was experiencing has gone, and I feel like I have my normal amount of energy, no headaches, my rubs and back don’t ache any more, and my cold is pretty much gone too, so I am certainly passed the worst, and am hoping for a New Years Day parkrun to kick off Jantastic 2015 in style- hooray!

Has anyone picked up anything good in the sales? We have wi-fi here, so I have browsed a few shops and ordered myself a pair of very warm and cosy looking slippers, and (how exciting) a new washing basket. Yep, I know how to live!

Feliz Navidad

Hey peeps, I hope you have all been enjoying the last few days.

2014-12-23 13.47.52

The two of us have been relaxing in our little Spanish apartment. The road up to this is a very steep track, and the roads beyond are thin and twisty mountain roads, so I don’t think I would have been brave enough to go running here anyway. But we have been doing a lot of walking.

On Christmas Eve we drove to Grenada to see the Alhambra. We had booked tickets in advance, but then had a bit of a mix up with our times (my Garmin thing is still on UK time as I am not sure how to change it) so initially we thought we had loads of time, but in fact we were nearly an hour late. Whoops. Luckily we were still allowed in.

2014-12-24 10.40.05

The weather was fantastic, although pretty cold ( it is right up near the mountains).

2014-12-24 10.50.15

I didn’t know what to expect- I had seen photos but it was just spectacular. These intricate carvings were everywhere, plus beautiful coloured tiles.

2014-12-24 10.56.48

We must have walked around for at least 3 hours.

2014-12-24 12.35.00

There were some lovely gardens too- we could smell the oranges as we walked towards the trees (like being on Disney’s Soarin’, except it was real and not fake orange scent….).

2014-12-24 12.41.50

It was well worth a visit, and we were pretty shattered when we got back later in the evening (it was nearly a two hour drive each way). We took a lot of DVD’s with us, so watched The Snowman (my favourite Christmas Eve film) and then It’s a Wonderful Life, although I fell asleep during part of it!

2014-12-23 19.23.25

The other day we found some oven bake churros, so the night before we heated some up and had them with nutella- when in Rome right? They were enjoyed in front of Home Alone- another Christmas classic right there.