Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Our dear son and daughter in law are expecting first baby in January!!! They are over the moon and so are we! There were many reasons we were afraid this wouldn't happen for them but it seems it was easy-peasy!!! (TMI?) They will be amazing parents!!!
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
That blog sounded like a boring travelogue. Let me give you some of the inside dirt. Leaving Dulles my husband was told his carry on was too big. It wasn't. The guy was just giving us grief and being "tough". He said he'd let it go this time (it fit in the measure thing!). Nobody else on the entire trip made a peep about the size of that bag and we saw at least one carryon that was almost twice that size.
I got stopped a Dulles security. They had 3 different people come up to look at xray of my bag. My husband does our packing (he has better visual spatial) so I'm standing there thinking "what the heck!" (or something similar). They open my bag (after they dusted it; why, thank you very much), TSA guy digs around through my underwear and pulls out a CPap machine. Yeah, so what? Well, under the cpap was a boatload of extension cords. The guy smiles at me and says "a box sitting on numerous wires sends up all sorts of red flags. Have a nice day." My husband is surprised--never thought of that.
We stop for a quick breakfast--yummy egg sandwich--and get to our gate. The rest of the flight is fairly uneventful. Reading, sleeping, legs cramping, using the nasty bathroom (I managed to keep it to one time!) Had some yummy plane food--remember when they used to feed you all the time??? Well, you're so hungry it seems like 5 star restaurant fare.
Land in London--ya da, ya da, ya da. Filled you in on the sightseeing events. Hubby walks twice as fast as I so I'm like the toddler always trailing behind. Occasionally, he will pause to make sure I haven't gotten lost or kidnapped. He also has a hearing problem so to get his attention, everyone for a square block turns to look at me--well, except him. Actually, the days in London were pretty routine sightseeing, eating, etc.
Saturday we're up and at 'em to head to Dublin. Cab to train, train to airport. Heathrow loves to make you think you're gate is right around the corner--WRONG. It's long hallway after long hallway like you're in a maze. Very discouraging as a traveler. Got into Dublin--here's where it gets interesting. My dear hubby has always thought he could do anything--drywall? not a problem; fix a car? not a problem, fix the septic? not a problem. I will not comment on his success. So he had decided we would rent a car and drive from Dublin to Galway ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD!!! His friends told him he was crazy but his response "how hard can it be?" Well, he discovered it is much harder than you would think! Most of that trip was on 4 lane freeway so it wasn't so bad. Oh, yeah--our first meal in Ireland? Burger King! We don't eat there at home. Hubby tried to convince me it was Burger O'King. I wasn't buying it.
Ok, driving into Galway now and it's getting a little dicey. They have numerous round abouts and it is difficult to stay on the wrong side of the road going in a circle looking for your road. Geez! Understatement to say it was stressful. By this time my sweet husband has figured out he made a terrible mistake thinking he could drive in a foreign country on the left side of the road so he's getting somewhat tense. We find our hotel, park the car and haul luggage to the room.
OK, so what does the dear man want to do for the evening? Well, of course, he wants to DRIVE us into Galway city center. Does he know where that would be? Well, no but it can't be hard to find. Like a fool I got in the car with him--I was afraid for him to head off alone. First of all, he kept wanting to be on the very, very left side of the road. Hence, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride---tires rubbing the curb, on the sidewalk. Holy Moly just get me out of this car. Of course, he's getting more and more stressed. To add to the fun, they do not mark their streets so you have no idea where the heck you are! We made the "difficult" decision to try to get back to the hotel in one piece. We were successful and had a great dinner in their restaurant!!
Sunday, we get a cab to take us to city center. He laughed and laughed at these 2 Americans thinking they could drive in Galway!! More sightseeing, shopping, lunch. Fun!
Get a cab back to the hotel and now we have to drive back to Dublin to spend the night for early morning flight back to London. Load up the car--head out. Cocky couple are sure we got off on the right road on the round about. It's raining--hard to heavy. On the road. Uh oh, not surprising that we believe we're on the wrong road to Dublin. Hubby decides he needs to pull over to look at a map and mull things over. A couple of convenient places pass us by and I can tell he's getting stressed and upset. He sees a ????. Not sure what it was--an old building behind a fence with a gravel lot. He has to turn across lanes of traffic. He's nervous--too much acceleration and, well, yes, we did run into a stack of wooden pallets. Many small/ medium Irish children come running and on bikes. They are screaming "he crashed, he crashed!" This was not soothing to either of us. Punctured tire and lost part of bumper. Hubby pulls back into what seemed like a parking lot. Surrounding this concrete were a number of RVs and small motor homes. It was a community! A couple of young, brutish Irishmen came to make sure we were OK. They then left the 63 year old on the verge of a nervous breakdown to change the tire by himself in the pouring rain! Luckily, those kids hung with us the whole time--"why did he hit those?", "is he a bad driver?", "where are you from?", etc. Neither of us were in the mood to be friendly to these young children, let alone polite. Finally, some older gent (our age?) came out and offered to help since it seemed the old American guy had no clue. (Actually, hubby is very good at changing tires, just not in pouring rain, in strange place with a bunch of kids yelling at him!) So, hubby is soaked but they finally get it changed. We tried to give this angel some money and, of course, he refused. He was just happy he could help us. I'm sure we gave those kids and that community something to laugh about all week!
We FINALLY get to the airport. Turn in the damaged car and the Avis man seemed almost giddy that we had wrecked. We had the full insurance so he was delighted to repeatedly tell us that there would be no charge!
Many delays with the flight. It took us until evening to fly the short distance from Dublin to London. ARGH!
Rest of trip was pretty uneventful. (thank goodness!).
One more thing about that Heathrow airport. They don't post your gate until maybe 10-15 minutes before you board. That's fun. So we're EARLY for our flight. Have a great leisurely breakfast. I decide I should use the bathroom by the restaurant. Hubby recommends we get closer to what we think is our gate. I'm not happy but agree. We turn the corner thinking we were about at the gate and the sign told us it was a 15 minute walk from where we were to the gate. Are you kidding? We are bookin' it to the gate. Luckily the flight was a little delayed so I could use the bathroom, hubby got more coffee and we could get on the plane!!
Now, was that better than the boring travelogue????
Monday, June 16, 2014
We had a wonderful time in London and Ireland! I'm an OK traveler but I do not like the airport stress!! And, flying international seems to add to the stress for me. Anyway, we were plenty early for our flight but still had little wait time by the time we stood in all of the lines.
Arrived at Heathrow 5:30 pm our time (10:30 pm England time). Took the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station; caught a cab to hotel. We were exhausted. Had a nice room; got unpacked and collapsed into bed. Did not get up until noon!! Had lunch in the hotel and headed out. We had planned on doing the open top tour bus on our first day to get a feel for the city. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate for long. We had about 15 minutes and then the wind whipped up and here came the rain!! Had to run downstairs and had the rest of the tour in the enclosed portion of the bus. It was OK but more difficult to see the sights. I was a bit disappointed but it was OK, I guess. We ate fish and chips at a pub around the corner from our hotel and I tried a local cider! (I only drink wine but was determined to try local!). Yummy stuff!!
Had a traditional English breakfast the next morning. Yeah, not impressed. Runny egg, "baked" beans and hash brown "squares". Sausage and bacon were included as was toast. My first and last traditional breakfast. Do not like beans for breakfast or runny eggs! Tower of London day. Fascinating, beautiful, impressive. Had a fun time wandering around. Saw the crown jewels! Unbelievable! They look fake they are so big!
St. Paul's Cathedral in the afternoon. Fascinating, beautiful, impressive. (see a theme?). Wandered around with the tour headphones. Amazing! Light dinner and off to bed.
Buckingham Palace and changing of the guards on this day. Got to the palace about an hour and a half before ceremonies began so we had a great spot to watch. We waited and waited. The weather was beautiful--cool breeze and warm sun. Hubby is not a fan of the pomp and circumstance so he left me to go get a coffee and people watch. I lasted till the bitter end of the ceremony at the palace. (about an hour and a half). I enjoyed every minute. The respect, dignity and pageantry fascinate me. I can't think of anything like that in the states.
We went to Harrod's in the afternoon--bought nothing. What a massive, confusing store. Way too "stuffy" and "uppity" for me although we did eat in one of the small restaurants there and had delicious pizza!
Then off to spend a couple of hours at the Victoria & Albert museum. Dinner at a different local pub. Broccoli/cauliflower/cheese pie. YUM!!
Saturday we were off to Dublin, Ireland. We rented a car and drove to Galway. Driving on the "wrong" side of the road proved more challenging than my hubby had thought. Riding with him in Ireland was very similar to "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" at Disneyland.
We poked around a bit and had dinner at the hotel.
Sunday we took a cab to Galway city center and did some sightseeing and shopping. Weather was rainy/cloudy but it was still a wonderful time. Loved it. Drove back to Dublin; spent the night and flew back to London on Monday.
Tuesday was hubby's big day! Abbey Road and Beatles. Fun! Saw the crosswalk, the studio and a home that one of the travel sites claims Paul still owns. Who knows? We ate lunch at Victoria Station and went on Thames cruise. Glorious weather. Great time.
Back to hotel to pack. UGH!
Up bright and early on Wednesday to catch our flight home.
I'm sorry I haven't gotten to my pictures yet. But we did have a great time. The trip was all I had hoped for. And, my foot held up fine!
Went to the nutritionist today. that will probably be my next blog!
Monday, May 19, 2014
Well, it's been awhile but I've been busy! We got the boat down to the lake. That is also known as the trip from hell or Black Thursday!! Very convoluted story--it's funny in retrospect (well, my husband still won't laugh). 4-5 hour trip took us 11 hours (yes, with the dog!) Long story short, bad tires on the trailer (at different times on the trip). Not good. I spent about 3 hours at a Walmart in Orange County. Never been so happy to unhook a trailer/boat in my life. The rest of the trip was wonderful. Beautiful weather, the dog was good, and we had a great time.
I did my monthly weigh and measure a couple weeks ago. I think I lost 2 pounds. I never like to claim it because my weight fluctuates a lot. I was happy with that. But, I gained an inch on my hips and thighs. What's up with that? Food is good; fairly good portion control but the exercise has been erratic (as usual). We have 2 weeks til we leave for England so I had planned on a lot of walking these last 2 weeks to get ready for the trip. However, I've been having some recurring pain on the top of my left foot--right where I had a stress fracture in 2010. I got in to podiatrist today and he thinks it may be precursor to another stress fracture. Are you kidding me???? When we're going to England???? AARRGGG! He put me back in the boot until the day we leave. He's hoping we caught it early enough that 2 weeks of rest should take care of it. Hope so! It wasn't constant pain and it wasn't severe pain so I'm optimistic.
Of course, I'm pretty sure the reason for this is my weight gain. The original stress was from using stretchy band during exercise. I asked dr. if weight could be the cause and he would not give me a straight answer. So, again I'm thinking more about my weight and losing some of it. I had seen some pictures of me with grandkids and my reaction was "whoa, momma!". I'm more than chubby, I've moved into heavy (but she has such a pretty face!). Gotta do something and now my exercise is so limited for the next 2 weeks.
I emailed my PCP today. We belong to Kaiser and I may have access to nutritional services. I also looked online for nutritionists but not many listed and many of those are pushing special diets, supplements, or acupuncture. Not opposed to any of those but very skeptical of all but acupuncture and I'm not sure that works for weight loss. Any one have any info? What I'm looking for is more of a counselor. I NEED a live person who I am accountable to. Someone to be my cheerleader and keep me pumped and on track. I love SP and it's great but none of you can see me. I don't have to look any of you in the eye. You are all so encouraging and supportive and, sometimes, I think that allows me to excuse myself and my actions or lack thereof. Having a counselor to see may be one of the reasons Jenny Craig worked for me. That, and you eat all of their food. Just not in a position to afford that anymore. Has anyone used a counselor/nutritionist? I don't know--the cost of that may be prohibitive, too.
I'm not feeling down (except for this foot and possible impact on England) but I think I'd feel better if I could just lose even 5 pounds.
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