Sunday, July 31, 2011

Just a Quicky-

Things have been a bit wild as our long (but feels like a whirlwind) vacation comes to an end. I cannot believe a month has gone by so quickly. We didn't do half of the things I was hoping to nor did I meet half the people I wanted to! We are already planning on coming back this way in the Spring (fingers crossed of course). For the first time ever I have felt completely at home here and would gladly move here given the opportunity.

Grace has had a wonderful time with her same aged cousin. I have had a wonderful time finally getting my sense of direction and ability to navigate around the South Wales area. Getting to know my sister-in-law (finally) and hanging out with my mother-in-law who is a dear. David has relaxed and avoided work (mostly) as have I.

We loved the south side of Cornwall. For the final leg of our journey I am off to Chichester for a couple of days, back to London for a few and then back on a plane to fly home.

No pictures today as they are sitting on my camera...but...soon.

So as not to ignore the topic of food or the lapband entirely here is an update. My mother in law has a wonderful scale that has provided me with a good stable 161-164(with clothes) every morning. My band has mostly behaved itself.

I had two incidents-one when I didn't eat all day and then scarfed half a sandwich containing ham...not good. Stuck and hurled into a ziplock as my poor MIL drove us home. Two-at the Eden project when I failed to resist the Cornish Scone with jam and clotted cream...I should have. At one point I thought I was good and then had to do a runner to the bathroom. It was totally an old style I ate too much PB (haven't done this in at least a year I think).

Other than these two incidences and one in iceland (another stuck) I have been totally fine. I have discovered I have a bit of an obsession with Starbucks (there are just not enough of the places over here). I know where they all are now however!! I figured out how to make a pretty good equal in the blender with 1/2 teaspoon of instant coffee, a tray of ice cubes, 4 teaspoons of nestles quick and 1 cup of milk. I would have experimented with protein powder but didn't bring any with me. This is what I have started drinking for breakfast.

David has carried on pretty well with his low glycemic diet and has done a lot of cooking so we have been pretty good with eating meals that are basically healthy for lunch and especially dinner.

I have had plenty of chocolate, ice cream, and other goodies as desired. I have indulged in my love of UK magazines, yogurts with funky good flavors and CADBURYS fruit and nut :) I have walked my butt off and enjoyed every minute of the activity now possible with this weightloss. Vacation at goal is really the best~


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Oh What a Day-with Boobs and NSV :)

I have three things to talk about today. I had a post all but written in my head when voila the day just kept growing and growing :)

1. I met up with Caroline and Justine at the Mall in Cribbs Causeway today. We had a nice chat about blogs, about our bands, about the UK and Boobs in Chicago. Both ladies look FAB! Both ladies are very nice :) and I always worry that I will not recognize them even though I have looked at their pictures a million times and in all of my meet-ups so far I have yet to have a failure on that score. I recognized Caroline right as she was standing outside M and S when I arrived. Justine was organized and arrived for some pre-meeting shopping :)
we did a Starbucks run (of which I was very grateful!). We had a nice-as my husband would say-knatter for a couple of hours.

From left to right: Justine, Me, and Caroline.

After I left the UK-mini-boob meet up David, His Mum, Grace and I went down to the Bristol Quay (or I think that is what it is called) and took a couple of ferry boat rides having a look at some wooden sailing ships, barges and general warm day fun being had by all of the Bristolians and vacationers. (it was really kind of chilly but apparently a bit of sunshine is all it takes for young men to remove their shirts and children to cavort in fountains here :)).

We drove back to David's mums and debated dinner (yesterday we had bouts of food poisoning and food was the furthest thing from our minds). We arrived home around 6:30 and discussed popping out to the grocery store for bread and is Sunday and it is after 5...both mean that all big stores are closed in the UK. All of the grocery stores advertise that they are open 24 hours but that is a little misleading. Apparently it is against the law in the UK to be open for more than 4-5 hours on a Sunday if you are a big store. According to David this is a law enforced to insure that small mom and pop corner grocery stores stay in business (who knows if this is an actual fact :)). Any how...this brings me to the NSF finally-We walked down the considerable steep hill that David's mum lives on to the corner shop. This hill has been the bane of my fat existence since I married him and visited here for the first time. He walked the mile or so to the village on this hill his whole life. I came and walked down it to the village and then almost died trying to climb back up it to his house when I was at my heaviest. I took the hill on two years ago after having kicked off 40 pounds or so last time i visited but this goal...tonight...I took on that wimpy ass hill and I kicked its ass. I walked down to the corner shop. I bought a small bag of cheese and onion crisps and I ate them while I talked to David and powered up what now feels like a wimpy little hill...My exact thoughts at the time were as I approached the top...Take that you pissy little hill. Not only can I walk up you but I could have run and I also could have ridden my bike up...I kind of feel like a male dog near a fire-hydrant :)

and finally the third thing (sorry that last bit was a little long-winded). While drinking our coffee Caroline and Justine told me that I could spy on my blog stats and see who were my top visitors and what countries my readers were coming from and what my most popular blog posts were...I am a dork and supposed to be somewhat tech savvy but I have never known I could do that and never took the time to click on the perfectly obvious stats index at the top of my page. Well I came right home and clicked. As Caroline and Justine suggested that all of those porn or boob related tags result in the most traffic I was not surprised to see that my boobs and skin skin and boobs was the most popular blog post. Any way..thanks you frequent readers I now can ID you :) and more people from Indonesia read my blog than the UK (kind of a surprise).

More pictures:

I love taking pictures of David his mum and Grace walking away near each other. They walk in very similar ways and it is cute.

Grace and the stones of Avebury (much better than Stonehenge because you actually get to walk near the circle of stones and they spread out for acres).

A cool shadow picture of Grace and I while in London. I took this on the same day I was drenched and freezing. In the afternoon the sun came out and I snapped this picture with my phone. Technology and London weather are both amazing.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I Could Get Used To This

I am still having fun out and around Wales and other nearby locations in England. I spent last weekend and a very beautiful manor house in the wilds of the Kington area. The House was located down very narrow lanes bordered by very high hedges teaming with rabbits, small frogs, birds and hedgehogs I am sure (I only saw the road kill during the day).

The house was as one would expect a manor house right out of some Jane Austin novel. There were two concrete dogs on either side of the front door. antique (well more like inexpensive but well placed used furniture). There as a formal living room and dining room. a large family room with a huge fireplace (and I suspect the oldest part of the house circa 1600's or older). There were loads of stairs that went up and down and around to one bedroom after another. With five couples in our party we had several good ones to choose from. David and I went with a modern one that came with an attached bathroom. Each couple chose, bought for and cooked one meal over the weekend. As David and I arrived first we chose to cook dinner on Friday. David made steaks while I did all of the chopping to make carrots, broccoli and yummy quinoa risotto.

The weather was warm at times and rainy but we all had a great time listening to music, imbibing, dancing on the front lawn, and visiting the mapa mundi in Hereford.

Saturday evening David and I took a long walk along the back lanes and watched nature. David even taught me how to play pooh sticks in a river along the way. We found tiny frogs, hawks, cows, and bunnies.

On Sunday all 10 of us went out to a local pub for lunch and had a great time talking and visiting. By Sunday evening we were all tired and snoozed and lazed about in the family room.

By Monday morning at 10am we had to leave so it was a mad dash to clean up after ourselves and get out the door. David's cold during the previous week seemed to get passed along to me and three other people who stayed with us for the weekend.

On our way home we stopped off at Hereford for some shopping and took a side trip to Gloucester to look around. We have both decided if we can somehow figure out a way to retire we are ready to leap :) This life of leisure if GREAT! We finished up the trip back to David's mums along the Severn River on the Wales side.

at the airport on our way out of Seattle.

Icebergs in the sea near Greenland.

On the bus on our way to our hotel in Iceland.

David and Grace in front of a statue along the bay in Reykjavik.

David Grace and I at the place here the North American Tectonic plate hits the European one.

A big impressive water fall.

A geyser. Apparently they are all named after the town where this one is located.

This is at really never gets dark in Iceland.

The whole island is was covered in blue lupine plants.

Grace and I petting an Icelandic horse.

First attempt to get a good was a fail but there is no Starbucks Iceland.

This place had a really similar logo however

There are vast areas of lava rock. This is out on a remote beach and behind us are some crude fisherman's cottages.

Our last morning in Iceland. I found some wonderful coffee and knitted art on a tree nearby!! I wish I had found it at the beginning of the week.

Our first morning in London and the rain was horrible. David waiting in line to get on the Eye.

Rain soaked Grace.
On the Eye but miserably cold!

One of many views from the top of the Eye.

Our last morning in London-photo of Grace and our friends' two children.

Tea and tuna sandwiches at the Welsh cultural center. Grace, David and Granny.

A small black and white house in Hereford. This was tucked back behind an alley.

All ten of us in front of the house..David Calls it the Walton's shot.

More of the front of the house.

A picture of the formal living room in the house.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I'm Here

Sorry I have been absent of late. I am VACATIONING :)...We are having a grand time running around London and now Wales. I now have reliable internet but have been trying to juggle fun and work and blogging has gone silent.

London was miserably cold and all of my summer skirts are chilly. I went shopping with my mother in law yesterday and bad news girls...In the UK I am two sizes larger!!!! There is no vanity sizing here. I went from my luxurious size 8 to a size 12. This was at a trendy store so I am hoping that if I go to a larger department store that I might get to wear at least one size smaller. Now shoes on the other hand...I wear two sizes smaller!!! I tried on a size 7 and it fit (but oddly was a bit narrow).

They cut clothing and shoes differently here so it is taking a bit of trying on to figure this out. the bust seem a bit smaller but the waist a bit more roomy. I could for example wear a 10 except for my bust (and although I still have one the girls have shrunk away quite a bit). On the shoes they offer a shoe size number and different widths (although I know they had this when I was a child I find that in the states most shoes are one width and some stores offer a wide but no series of letters like they used to.

I have not yet met up with any UK bandsters. I am hoping to set up something with Caroline in Bristol in a couple of weekends (We are going away to a country housethis weekend). I am hoping to go out to Bletchley Park (WWII code cracking museum). In any case we are here until the first week of August so I hope I can arrange to see everyone.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wednesday and Saturday are party nights in Iceland

It is 1am. It is still daylight. I can hear them raising a fuss. David is snoring. Grace is tossing and turning. I am in the dark typing noisily on my computer.

PDD--public displays of drunkeness. I have seen it here.

We rented a car today and drove out to some bubbling geothermal pots. We hiked up to a lighthouse with a view across the Atlantic. We then booked Grace for a horse ride and had lunch in a suburb of Reykjavik. We found a fake Starbucks (very similar logo). The food was better the coffee..not so much :(.

Grace had her horse ride and then we drove out to a black sand beach on gravel and bumpy roads. We hiked across lava beds and the coolest lava rocks rounded by the sea. We hiked out to some old abandoned fisherman's huts from the 1850's and on our way back found some very nifty shells.

We had dinner at a fishing village pub (fresh sole and chips) and then came back to our apartment. This town is hopping right now.

I am sitting up typing this hoping my meal goes through soon so I can sleep :)


Monday, July 4, 2011

Such News: From Iceland

So when I left off my teaching week had begun. It turned out we had a wonderful time even though I was stressed out to the max over David's passport and standing up in front of the room and keeping them excited and occupied everyday for 8 hours. My teaching partner and I did an excellent job if I do say so myself (and thankfully our students agree). We integrated geometry, measurement and various physics topics quite easily and smoothly. This math/science integration thing has taken up many meeting at the university and this is our first try at really doing it.

On Thursday much to our surprise Davids passport showed up on our doorstep without any warning. The embassy never called back and when he called them they just kept repeating that the embassy would call (it was very strange but in a good sort of way). David did hear back from his childhood MP who promised to look into the issue but this was on the same day as the passport arrived and I am sure he cannot work that quickly :)

We flew to Iceland on Saturday arriving Sunday morning at 6am. although we had great hopes that we would travel to our rented apartment and lay down for a nap...nope. We could not check in until 2pm. Iceland is a party town. On Sunday morning at 8am when we hit the streets there were broken bottles and glasses all over the place and weaving people still wandering around. We walked back and forth until a bakery opened (phew) and sat for some DELICIOUS baked goods and tea for me. David came up with a smart plan to take a bus tour of town so we splashed out some cash and drove around Reykjavik twice. The first time we stayed awake and the second we stopped at the history museum and then napped back to the center of town. Thankfully by this time our beds were ready and we checked in. We fell into bed and did not leave for 12 hours.

In the middle of the night we all woke up at various points. David took a walk first then Grace woke up wanting food (thus waking me up twice). I thoughtfully brought nuts and fruit to keep myself fed between meals. Grace ate some. I had a few later in the morning (4am) and then tried to go back to sleep...not such a good idea with food in the pouch. I had reflux but the bed in this place is one of those adjustable ones and I could lift up the back so that I was sitting!!!

We woke again at 2pm Iceland time and went for lunch. We found a great restaurant and were all happy with our delicious meal. We then did some shopping, It is very expensive here!! The Krona is .009 cents on the dollar but stuff is inflated. It is also freaking cold! I brought one pair of jeans and they are going to be standing up on their own by the time I get to a washing machine. Stupidly we did not even think of coats. I brought a couple of sweaters and Grace a sweat-jacket. David did not even bring that. We bought Icelandic made gear for a small fortune but we do at least like them enough to wear them at home this winter.

We went on a bus tour this evening up to a large lake, some geyers and a huge waterfall that were all very impressive. We were grateful for the warm clothing. It was still daylight when we walked in the apartment door at midnight!

I will upload pictures when I get them off the camera.

We will arrive in London on Wednesday late. Tentative plans are to meet up with some on the 8th. does anyone have any ideas? Is there a good pub somewhere? Is Paddington the best station for all or will you all come into different stations? Email me (I have some but I will put a combined list together this time) and we can sort it out.