Friday, January 27, 2012


Food poisoning on a 6 hour cross-country flight is not cute. But, better to have it happen on an empty flight so I could spread out in a row and run to the bathroom every 20 minutes (luckily, I never had to use the gross little pukey bag). But I had pretty cool views over Canada.

Varicose-veined river (yes, that's the geological term)

Banff National Park

Since Doug and I can't fly together (you know, what would happen to the dogs if our plane went down?;), I hung out for a few hours in Vancouver while waiting for him to fly in from San Fran. Since I was a bump on a log, I hung out in a coffee shop downtown before heading back to the airport to pick him up. We jumped in our Dodge Caravan and started heading north to Whistler. The highway hugs the beautiful Pacific Northwest coastline until making a right to start climbing into the mountains.

We got to Whistler, checked into our cute boutique-y hotel and headed out to see if my belly would hold down some food (flatbread pizza is a good thing to put on an iffy stomach, right?)

The Nita Lake Lodge

Luckily food was my friend again, so we chowed and called it an early night so we could get a good jump on the skiing the next day! The first day on snow was burly cold, but sunny and blue, so it was a great chance to get our bearings on the mountain.

Looks cold right?

We hiked to get to the good stuff (and to see teetering huts)

And we found lots of good stuff

"Doug, just wait a second, I'm posing"

We cruised around the mountain, taking in the views.

See, check out this view. I think this was called Black Tusk or something.

Apparently when you're up north, it gets dark early, like real early. Most of the ski lifts closed at 2:30 instead of the normal 4pm in Utah. So, when they kicked us off the mountain, we headed into Whistler Village for dinner and checking out the sites (which included lululemon, whoops).

The next day we woke up to lots of new snow, I'm not sure how much because I can't convert centimeters into inches very quickly (thank you again, Tooele High School), but it looked like 8 inches or so. We hit the hill and did lots of laps on some great tree runs and then Mr. Doug got himself in quite the conundrum.

They have hairy trees in Canada


It actually wasn't too much of an issue for Doug, but would have been disastrous for me. I actually went with my better judgment this time and went around the steep, narrow shoot.

Victorious Run

We got a great, full, snowy day in on day 2, so when they shut us out at 2:30 again, we were more than okay with it. We figured we still had one day to go.

The next day was a cluster%*@&. Apparently since Vancouver is only 2 hours away, every single person in the city comes up to ski on Saturday's and Sunday's. Couple that with another foot of snow that we couldn't ski because of avalanche danger and it makes for stupid long lines, like 30-45 min. long. I have never waited in lift lines like this...not even on the East Coast where there are at least 1/8 of the lifts. It got pretty old, pretty fast, so we skied a bunch of runs, had a long lunch, took another run and retreated back to the lodge for the night. Even with a bummer of the last day, we had a great time in Whistler.

The next morning we jumped in the Caravan to head back to Vancouver for a couple days before flying out. True to the Pacific NW form, it poured rain both days. Even though it rained on our parade, we loved this city. It is such a perfectly sized city with very happy people to boot (even in the rain). We wandered over to Granville Island, which is this awesome artsy village just over the bridge from Vancouver. There is a big public market that is a cross between Seattle's Pike's Market and Reading Terminal in Philly. There were lots of vendors selling fruit, food, crafts, soaps, etc.

Granville Public Market

Vancouver from Granville Island

After wandering in the shops, we went to a highly recommended Indian Fusion restaurant in Granville. We had a 90 min. wait for our table, but we gorged on tons of free appetizers and got drinks from the bar, so 90 min. flew by and were totally worth it! If you ever find yourself in Vancouver, hop over to Vij's for dinner...tell them I sent you...or don't, it really wouldn't matter.

The next morning we got up to go for a run around Stanley Park. The park is at the end of Vancouver, so the seawall trail takes you along the coast for views that will take your breath away. Of course, it was pouring rain the whole time, but I really didn't mind it for the first 7 miles because the views were perfect. After that, I just couldn't wait to get to Starbucks and then our hotel.

After warming up, chilling in the hotel for a bit and grabbing some lunch, it was time to say ciao to my new favorite city. I know we'll get back there sometime, I'd love to see it in the summer.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Not Your Average Xmas Card

My Grandma writes the most amazing cards...I've saved all of the ones she's ever sent me. Doug wasn't used to them in the beginning, but he now finds the randomness of the cards pretty hilarious. Here's the most recent addition to the Grandma Card Scrapbook:

(click to enlarge)

The card included $20 (thankfully a twenty, and not single dollar bills) presumably to buy diet coke and pretzels.

I hope I'm that cool...and flexible...when I'm a Grandma.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Years and A "Little" Race

Our New Years was pretty low key this year. We road tripped it up to New Hampshire for some skiing, hiking and relaxing...we accomplished 2 out of 3. Unfortunately, there was not great snow and it rained on us the day we would have skied, so we passed. We met up with our friends Nate and Jenny who rent a winter home near where we stayed, and took the dogs (our 2, their 2) for a fun hike right by their place. We couldn't find the trail, so we just climbed straight up the mountain, which proved to be very entertaining and much more fun than just following the path (hmmm, possible story of my life?). That night we all just chilled in an empty bar in our hotel playing cribbage and watching Ryan Seacrest. I'm good for a big New Years Eve about once every 5 years, and last year was that year. It was so much fun just hanging out with these three goofballs.

The next day, Doug and I left Mt. Washington and headed down to Hanover, NH to visit Doug's college stomping grounds. We bummed around town, had a great dinner at Simon Pearce in Quechee, VT and then headed all the way back to NYC the next day. It's always baffling to me how many states you drive through on the East Coast in 6 hours (and how much crap 2 people and 2 dogs need for a 4 day road trip)!

In other exciting/crazy/ridiculous news...I have signed up for the Hagg Lake 50K Trail Race ( on February 18th...yeah, like February 2012, like next month, like in 44 days!! To say I am ill prepared is the understatement of the year (let's count last year too since this year is only 5 days old). The longest run I've done since the NYC marathon is 13 miles...and it hurt. Ruh roh.

Why put myself through this? Well, my good friend Courtney is a bit of a long distance running masochist. Last year she did one marathon every month of the year (in the midst of a very difficult year). This year, she wanted more of a challenge and is doing a series of trail races with the shortest distance being a 50K. She threw the idea of me coming out and joining her for this race and after milling it over for a bit, I made a hasty, late night decision and bought a flight, signed up and called her to tell her I'm coming! She's promised me that we are not doing this for time, only for fun and to finish. We'll check out the scenery (nature and I'm sure some pretty fit other runners) and catch up on life. We'll have more than enough time to catch up on life...I figure we'll cover a year every mile or so.

I'm not as nervous for this as I think I should be. I guess it's just calming to know that I get to run through the woods (for a really long time) with a friend I don't get to see very often! to run...cramming applies to running too right?!