When the dentist isn’t so bad

Because you have this little cuddlebug on your lap the whole time! Her name is Rizzo and she is a rescue dog from Mexico. She is only 1 year old, but she’s incredibly well behaved and the loveliest little pup. She stayed with me during my appointment and snoozed on my lap (well, lap and chest lol) and made the whole experience so much better. (well, that and the fact that my teeth looked pretty good!).

Rizzo, your friendly dog companion at the dentist!

She is in ‘good etiquette’ classes right now and her owner is looking to have her assessed by St. John’s Ambulance to be a support animal. I think she’s the right dog for the job!

Fake it ’til you take it: Port Alberni 15K Paper Chase Race Recap!

In the midst of this madness…We actually had a fun Sunday! We hoofed it up (of course on Daylight Savings minus 1 hour of desperately needed sleep) to race in Port Alberni. This is the fourth race in the VIRA race series, and it is relatively new- only a few years in existence. You should have seen the sweet-ass medals we had at the first one, niiice!

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Trotting through the Mill site. Photo courtesy of the Port Alberni Chamber of Commerce.

It is a challenging course, and each year I remember getting a 15k ass-kicking. Was this year any different? Ha, not really! I felt horrible all week (thanks, severe asthma and allergies), and was just generally feeling miserable. I did not have high expectations for this race. It was really chilly when we got up at the crack of dawn to drive out there, and the beginning of the race was super cold too, but it cleared up and was pretty darn nice after!

The race is a smaller one- the drive is pretty long for folks- but it has a very generous start line, not congested at all. The vibe was pretty cheerful! ūüėČ Love the run community.

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Trying to get more air by like, craning my neck?? UGH! Photo courtesy of Lyndon Cassels.

It also starts going up hill, and boy…By KM 3 I was like, is this some sort of sick joke? Jesus. I was gasping, coughing up tons of phlegm and just…Kind of struggling. Like I have been every day, ha. It’s a race that has quite a few rolling hills, and then the turnaround is good, and then into the McLean Mill! You run for just over 1 KM I believe, and it’s through the woods, mud puddles (wasn’t too slippy though), and then back to the road.

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I call this one- faces of pain. Photo is courtesy of Lois D’Ell.

I struggle-ran the entire way out, and through the Mill, and then was like, hey you know what? I CAN turn it on! I am running this race, it isn’t running me! And I could pick it up. I was still gasping for breath, and in the photos you can see my neck straining mightily to breathe. That’s just my life right now, breathless, constantly. It sucks.

I felt ok though, and picked it up until the last oh, 2km? We then hit more hills that slowly dragged out my will to live… I needed some go-button help here. My husband helped me finish pretty strong though. I was happy with that! (we still got passed at the finish like we were standing still, ha.). My time was fine, good even for how shitty the week was/breathing/sickness- a 1:07:31.

I, of course, grouched that my time last year was over a minute better, but I checked again and I was wrong- my time last year was like 30 seconds better. So, fine  with all things considering. I need to be friendlier to myself and my efforts, sheesh. I finished second in my AG and 9th woman.

We had excellent chili for post-race refreshments, and everyone was in a good mood~ The sun was out, so we decided to also cruise to the Quay and check things out in good ol’ Port Alberni. We got doughnuts – they were GREAT! So fresh, great flavours and selections, and the price was right- $6 for 6, even. Steal, right??

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Maybe a silver, but I got excellent doughnuts, so who’s the real winner here??

We wrapped up the lovely day by going to a new brewery, and they had patio seating open. Sunshine, a few beers, a 15k race. What more could a girl ask for?

(ok, well a sound horse, no allergies, no injuries, a non-pandemic…but this isn’t reality).

 

Brazil Journey Phase 2: Sao Paulo de Morro!

After landing in Salvador, we hopped the ferry boat to Sao Paulo de Morro (St. Paul’s Hill) a super touristy little island that is for people-only, no cars!

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Way out in the tidal flats

Well that was the plan, except it is winter and the Atlantic was so rough we had to cut sideways to a closer island, hop into vans and drive for two hours, to get into another boat to get to the island. It took closer to 3.5 hours than 2 on the open ocean! Argh!

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Boat ride #2

Once we were on the island, everything was so close. We walked to our hotel, and it was super nice, a boutique hotel. Things on the island are NOT cheap- quite pricey compared with Salvador. It was much quieter than we anticipated, apparently the island as ¬†reputation for being quite wild, a real party town in tourist months. We had our pick of restaurants- there are like a zillion, and they seem to offer a lot of Italian food for some reason hahah. We had lobster two days in a row! Can’t complain about that!

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View from our hotel…Amazing.

The draw there is the beach- it is enormous, there are three of them and we had the beach right outside our room. There is also a big zipline, which I didn’t do because I am quite frankly afraid of heights!

Swimming was fun- because it is winter, the rainy season also happened and it was hot and sunny, then pouring rain, then hot and sunny, then pouring rain. Made for an interesting day!

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The town square.

We ate acai (yum!!) frozen gelato, chips and bought beers and generally just had a fabulous time. It’s very easy to like the island Sao Paulo de Morro, I can say that! We even waded out to a tide pool that has a ton of very friendly fish- it’s like snorkeling except you don’t even have to snorkel, haha.

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I loved the breakfast our hotel had- it was AMAZING. Best spread of the stay I think! I would definitely recommend visiting the island- the trip out can be a bit of a pain in the butt, but you it’s worth it.

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Tranquil.

Winning at winning?

Didn’t ride yesterday because…We went to the Foxstone Stable winter series awards dinner!!

Because I’m kind of dumb about the idea of year-end awards, I didn’t really think it through (because let’s face it, my and Oats’ performance rarely merits awards so that is not my first idea when signing up. Getting around is kind of the end goal…) I had one champion division at crosspoles, and one champion division at 2′. SO that meant I was the lucky recipient of two fourth-place year-end awards!

The other side of me was like, huh genius, maybe you should have kept in one division- added those two fourths into something a little better? But then the other side of me says- shut up! You had a really fun time at the shows, and they were GREAT experiences for you and Oats. Be glad with what you did, and think about what fun you’ll have next year maybe!

(Plus, the awards at the shows themselves are really great too!)

Great horse show prizes!

Great horse show prizes!

Anyways I didn’t have time to ride, we zipped out ASAP and attended the dinner. And wow, the awards are so generous! For my fourth places, I won Antares leather conditioners- two containers of it in total. I figure the price is something around $25/container. Not too shabby! My friend was reserve champ and made out like a bandit!! Antares saddle pad, a huger ribbon, AND she won the draw for the leather halter (jealous!!) and won a $200 bursary cheque for more horse-related activities. Wow!!!

Winter series awards

Winter series awards

I’m sold on the winter series- they are so fun, and they really seem to be interested in giving back.

Fun times all around!

And- I have been particularly lucky lately. As I mentioned, at the show I won the draw for my division entries, which is fabulous AND last week I won a Granville Island Brewery date night crate valued at $200. Photos below: We are eating our way through it this week and I LOVE it. Yum!!

Granville Island Brewery crate

Granville Island Brewery crate

  • Two s’mores from Butter Bakery
  • A tin of crab pate
  • Brie
  • Hand made crackers
  • Butter cookies
  • Sea salt caramel chocolate bar
  • Cappuccino truffles
  • Two bags of Hard Bite chips
  • A small bag of Stacey’s Brownie Chips
  • A bag of vanilla marshmallows from Butter Bakery
  • Rogers Chocolates sea salt chocolate cashews
  • Vanilla-infused honey (I am deathly allergic to honey, boo hoo it smells amazing!)
  • Red wine cranberry jelly
  • A crate from Cumberland Crates (yes this is a thing, apparently)
  • Two Granville Island Brewery glasses
  • Two packages of roasted nuts
  • Beer can chicken seasoning package

Close up of the gift crate

Close up of the gift crate