Monday, December 8, 2014

London

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London holds a special charm for us.  It was the first place outside the US that we traveled together, and almost certainly where David finally fell in love with travel.  We spent just two days there on our first visit in 2003; we were traveling with David’s mother, and drove on through England and Wales, and finally Ireland (as an aside, this is also when we discovered how much more fun travel could be with other people).  We returned for 5 days in 2006, celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary.  This was our third visit.  Generally, we are much more interested in traveling to new places than revisiting old ones, but London keeps drawing us back.  It’s the only foreign destination we’ve been to more than twice.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Aston Martin

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We happened to be in London during two big events.  One was the birth of Prince George, which was more interesting to watch other people be excited about.  The other was the 100th anniversary of Aston Martin, which Lana wasn’t that interested in.  David was riveted.  The centenary was held in Kensington Gardens, just a few blocks from our hotel, and Lana very patiently spent part of a morning there as David ogled and snapped pictures.  She did have some interesting people watching, as it drew a different crowd than the park typically sees.

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Scotland

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We flew from Amsterdam to Edinburgh, Scotland, where we rented a car, and immediately drove to Glasgow, an hour to the west.  We rented a cottage in Glasgow for a week (a cheaper town than Edinburgh), and were looking forward to a slower pace, and cooking our own meals.  Our travel fatigue is obvious when we reviewed our pictures for the first two days.  On the first day, David took his normal series of pictures of our accommodation, as a visual mnemonic, and we both had snapshots of amusing aisles in the grocery store while we shopped for our meals.  Half of one, long aisle was devoted to canned beans, from single cans, to 4-packs, and even small, wheeled palettes (maybe 30 cans each?), ready for customer pickup.  We didn’t know the Scots were so serious about beans.  Another aisle was taken up by ketchup, mayo, and other condiments.  On the second day, there are only pictures of the three meals we made—we didn’t even leave the cottage.  It was wonderful!  The cottage itself was another AirBnB arrangement, and was very nice.  We had a full kitchen at our disposal, as well as a washing machine (and clothes lines in the large back yard, for drying).  The street out front has little car traffic, but lots of pedestrians, and we enjoyed people watching.  It was in the 70s, and apparently that’s roasting hot for the locals, who are all wearing as little as possible, and sporting lobster red sunburns.  We read books, reviewed our photos—we were just catching up to pictures from Croatia by then—and watched a movie.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Amsterdam

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We flew from Copenhagen to Amsterdam in mid-July 2013 (whoa). It was chillier and rainier there than it had been further North in Denmark, but after so long chasing the summer, we were more than happy to be able to don jackets and scarves. We definitely felt a wry sense of humor in Amsterdam. From these giant clogs out in front of our hotel, to the strange giant horse wallpaper above our bed in our hotel room.

We stayed in the Vondelpark area of Amsterdam, which was near to the canals, but far enough outside of them to be able to afford our hotel. The location proved to be great one, near the freshly completed renovation of the Rijksmuseum.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

New York City Marathon

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We’ve fallen even further behind on the final ‘Round The World posts because we had some actual travelling to do!  One of Lana’s long-term goals has been to run the New York City Marathon (she’s run three other marathons before our trip), and she entered the marathon’s lottery for several years. The rules have since changed, but when she set this goal, if you entered the lottery for three years and didn’t get in, then you had guaranteed entry the following year.  Her plan had always been to run it on that fourth year, which is also the year she turned 40 (ahem, that would be this year).

Unfortunately/fortunately, last year she somehow managed to “win” the lottery, but found out while we were in Istanbul. At that point we didn’t know when we’d even be home, let alone how Lana would manage to train for a marathon while still traveling. Thankfully, the NYC marathon allows you to defer for a year (of course you don’t get a refund for the year you defer). But realistically it made more sense to defer, and run it in 2014 as she had initially planned.  The theory was that she would have plenty of time to get back in shape and train. 

Due to a series of unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances (family health, injuries) it was not, in fact, her best training cycle. Add to that the 40 some odd pounds she’d gained on and after the trip, and not managed to lose. All of this an excuse explanation as to why she was nervous that she was not feeling particularly confident going into the trip.