Sunday, May 29, 2005

Home Stretch

Well, here it is... the last day of our vacation. Sadly, I am sitting in the Frankfurt airport killing time by using the FREE internet kiosk, knitting baby booties, eating lots of nasty food and trying to spend the last of our Euro coinage. There was actually some sort of bomb scare earlier!

GRR, the keys on this keyboard SUCK. Like S. SSSSSSSSSssssssssssssss

Anyhow, Jason and I spent a livley 5 nights in Praha, eating, drinking and geerally being merry. When the thermometer regitered 36 degres, we decided to hit the countryside, sans cycles. SSSo we hopped a train to Kutna Hora for a night of quiet and a bit of sightseeing. St. Barbara's Cathedral was amazing, as was the Charles' Bridge lookalike leading to the small castle. Good food too, with an unparalleled view of the valley. We stayed at a pension, serenaded by a bunch of drunk Austrians singing what sounded like ABBA, but newer. The next morning we took off for Karlstejn to see yet another castle. Breathtaking. Another night in a swank 80's decor hotel, and it was back to Prague.

Prague is beautiful, don't get me wrong, but the city is fairly polluted and graffiti'd. We were reminded the minute we arrived, sucking back car exhaust and watching parents let their kids pee on the sidewalk. So strange. We are both ready to return home.

Getting to the train station with our fully-loaded bikes and the boxes we needed to put them in was a nightmare. It might have been easier if we didn't purchase 6 large and extrememly fragile crystal wine glasses, plus asorted liquors and souvenirs from Karlstejn! Anyhow, Jason - strong and muscular as he is - managed to carry both bike boxe on his head!!!! This was truly a feat! While wheeling his bike DOWNHILL and not getting struck by oncoming traffic. Yes folks, this is the man I'm going to marry!

So we got everything dismantled, bike boxes packed and even managed to sneak them on a train that didn't allow bicycles! Sneaky Canadians. We pulled into Frankfurt station, to take another train, then a shuttle, then countless elevators to get to our terminal. 5 hours later we are quite bored... Another 5 to go before we check in. Egad.

But we are both happy to be getting back to Bella-girl, smoke-free restaurants, food that doesn't contain meat or cheese, training, and of course beautiful and sunny Vancouver.

On a training note, we actually did some running and swimming while we were here. I had to talk Jason out of doing a marathon in Prague! Swimming at the YMCA in the Czech Republic was like swimming in human soup. No lanes, old ladies doing breaststroke trying not to get their hair wet, and us sticking out like sore thumbs, trying to dodge everyone! That mission was quickly abandoned.

Only three weeks till the 1/2 Ironman! Ack!!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Good luck ladies!

Just a quick entry to say GOOOOOOOOD LUCK to my little Persian kitten Maryam, Ina, Nicki, and all the others that are doing the North Shore sprint today! I look forward to hearing your stories when I get home! The weather was great last year, hopefully this year will be the same!

I just partook in a triathlon of my own... BEER, dinner and dessert. Three 500ml beer atually, which is making this entry quite difficult. Jason and I went for fancy dinner at 6, then decided after a few beer that we weren´t actually full enough. So we went to ANOTHER eatery for goulash and dumplings... I knew I was full (for sure) when I leaned across the table to talk to Jason and the velcro on my pants ripped open with a nice RRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIP sound. Yeah, maybe more carb-loading than I needed between beer, potato pancakes and bread dumplings. I m starting to look like a bread dumpling....

Oh well, Iĺl fix that when I get home.

Love to all!

Sunday, May 22, 2005


Okay, we're finally here! After days and days of cycling through Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic, we've arrived in Prague just in time for "Prague Spring".

Cycling through the terrain has been amazing, challenging and appetite-inducing! I swear, I've never eaten so much meat and cheese in my life. We usually make our own food, and so are able to get some veggies in amongst the countless beer... Luckily we bike an average of about 4hrs a day, so we aren't getting too fat!

I've been on cloud nine this entire trip. Travelling with Jason has been amazing for a number of reasons. Even though we're doing things on the cheap, we've made our homemade dinners and wine stops on the road quite romantic! He's been very patient with my bonking at the end of long days and my inability to read topographical maps! Seriously, if I were leading, we'd be in Russia by now. Every morning my map-fanatic-fiancé (I love that!) charts out our territory and tells me where we will be sailing like clouds with a tailwind on the downhill, or climbing like monkeys over fields of lush greens, yellows and browns. I don't have to think - just pedal!

Austria and Germany were immaculate - full of well-kept farmhouses decorated with wood panelling, flowers and perfectly-groomed shrubbery. Even the trees in the fields seemed to line up perfectly in rows. It was actually very strange to go days not seeing anyone of a different ethnicity, yuk. We cycled from Salzberg, along the Salzach and Inn rivers (gorgeous) to Passau, where we connected with the Danube and headed East. To Linz we travelled, camping, taking in the breathtaking scenery and fighting a bit of a headwind. Wonderful. For most people, that trip would take a few hours in a car. For us it was days! We also stopped at Mathausen to see a former concentration camp, a very depressing and disturbing (but much-appreciated) stop. At that point, we headed north for CR.

CR has been beautiful and challenging. The language barrier was quite brutal in some of the small towns we stopped in after a day of biking. Cesky Krumlov was achingly gorgeous, we holed up in Krumlov House hostel for 3 days waiting out a bit of weather and letting our legs relax a bit. Although, we walked around so much taking in the castles, churches and restaurants (and brewerys!) that we didn't really relax toooo much. But it was nice to fatten up a bit on the tasty Czech food - gulas, potato pancakes, smoked ham and dumplings, spit-fired meats, garlic soup... did I mention the beer???? OMIGOD, so good! Jason is so happy! Beer, 500mL, is 20K, about $1.25 CAD, so you can imagine how easy it goes down. AND of course, it's damned tasty.

Our last three days have been 75km, 70km and 80km. We stayed in a nasty dorm last night and have found a beautiful hotel to spend the next 4 nights in - Miss Sophies, 1500K a night. A little expensive for CR, but not for Prague. Everything in Prague is ridiculous. But it's a beautiful city. Lots of grafitti and garbage - surprisingly, but young and full of culture and buzz.

So we are off this afternoon to start our city touring... so many things to see and do here. I think I'll start with a coffee though. I can guarantee that Jason will opt for beer! The bikes are stowed away safely and I'm actually wearing civvies! No padded bum! Wahoo!

Oh yeah, and our tans rock!! Very sexy bike-shorts and t-shirt tan lines.

It was wonderful to hear from all of you on my last entry! We are both very excited, making plans and talking about what lies ahead. And the ring is stunning, you'll have to see!

SnowVixen, I love it! I can picture you on your snowmobile right now! Vroom!

Love to all!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


On a warm night in a castle in Germany, over a pot of Earl Grey, Jason proposed to me...

I said yes!

Saturday, May 7, 2005

Finished in the nick of time! Posted by Hello

Europe Ho!

And we're off! We've go it all packed up and waiting for our flight tonight out of Vancouver to Frankfurt. When we get there, we hope to hop a train right away to the German-Austrian border town of Passau, then start biking to Vienna!

I can't wait!

So the next installment will probably be Live from Vienna!

Bikes are boxed and ready to go! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 4, 2005


So last night, instead of my normal swim workout, I decided to try benchmarking a bit to see where I might end up in the 1/2 Iron. So I swam laps (no flip turns) - 80 of them - for my 2000m. Here's what I ended up with...

first 750m: 14:06

second 750m: 16:00

last 500m: 9:11

grand total: 39:17

Not too bad! My pacing was good, although I was sorely tempted to sprint a bit to catch up with a dude in my lane that kept passing me. Then I kept getting stuck behind large-breaststroking-lady. Gr. I didn't do flipturns because I figured that was an advantage that I won't have in open water.

BTW, it's REALLY hard to count out 80 laps.

So I think I should be able to get the swim in the 35-38min range when I'm wearing a wetsuit and hopefully drafting off some poor schmuck! Hopefully the next three weeks in Europe won't throw that off too much!

I'm nervous, but at least I know I won't drown!

Monday, May 2, 2005

Toooo small sweater!

I'm so upset!!! I've been making this amazingly adorable little teeeeny sweater for my future neice/nephew to match the blanket and toque I made a while back. I didn't have the right needle/yarn combo for the pattern I found online, so I decided that I knew enough to fandangle something out of what I had at home. DUMB DUMB DUMB!!! I was so wrapped up in the cuteness of the sweater, that I didn't bother to measure the chest... it's supposed to be 19" and it's only 14. SOOO, I'm going to finish it and send it and hope that my sister doesn't have a 9lb baby!

This is what happens when you don't pay attention to the INSTRUCTIONS... Posted by Hello

Anyhow, my friend Jen is a professional baby hog (nurse) in the NICU at the Prince George hospital and has assured me that the sweater will fit a super-adorable and deserving preemie. So if my sister does in fact give birth to a baby watermelon, then hopefully she will agree to give the sweater to a wee littlun.


On the plus side, I completed my Yogafit Level II course and am now better versed in the chakras, breathing techniques, advanced poses and adjustments. I apprenticed my first class tonight at the YWCA and was walking all over the place adjusting people! So fun! Teaching group fitness, you rarely come in contact with your participants, nor do you get to walk around and see everyone in class. This is much more hands-on and personal, as well as gratifying. People came up to me afterwards, one woman said that my adjustment for her in child's pose felt like a mini-massage! So that was positive. Stringing advanced poses together to get them to flow is still quite a challenge for me, so that is my next big hurdle. Eventually it will all seem like second nature, I hope!

In other news, only 5 more days until Jason and I are off to Europe! Very hard to stay focussed at work right now, especially with all the last minute preparations. I'm so excited!