The Interior for a holiday

Featuring…lots of haze and smoky skies, courtesy of the wildfire situation happening all over B.C. at the moment. In Victoria right now, it’s crazy smoky and the air quality is really poor. I am happy to say it wasn’t that bad in Kelowna- some high haze but still fairly warm and sunny. It got a lot worse when we left actually- they had to shut down the airports! Yikes…

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Dirty Laundry winery.

Anyways we went to the interior for a bit of sun and summer warmth (that was only partially thwarted by the wilfires). We visited wineries, went on a run to the 12 trestles trail at the Kettle Valley Railway,. ate at restaurants, bought wine by the case (me), went to breweries and cideries, did some short hikes with Gidget and swimming! (pool, Similkimeen River and Okanagan Lake).

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Hot dog! At Dirty Laundry winery.

All in all, it felt really good to get away.

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Swimming in the Similkimeen. COLD! 

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Really smoky in Keremeos. View from a winery.

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Finished the run at the Kettle Valley Railway. Hot but good! 

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Vice & Virtue Brewery art- Kelowna.

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Yes we did a lot of this!!

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Back from holidays! (nothing was the same)

A week away feels so much longer, particularly when I was coming down from several months of extreme stress, pressure and sickness.

And WOW it was worth it. Such a great holiday, such a great time.

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Greetings from sunny Sayulita!

We visited Sayulita in Mexico, close to Puerto Vallarta – roughly an hour away. An easy place to get to, and an easy place to like. Eternal summer.

We did everything. Horseback riding on the beach, hanging out with friends, boogie boarding at the main beach, swimming in the ocean every day, snorkeling, stand up paddleboarding, hiking, I went on one run, and a boat trip to the Marietas Islands (more on that later…).

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We even got to gallop on the beach!

I miss it. I feel sad to be back.

The food was so great, we cooked/ate a lot of meals at our VRBO rental- which was great, by the way. The only downside was the shared plunge pool that ended up being not-so-shared as our neighbour unit had a large family and kind of ended up occupying it. Oh well!

What did we eat? Octopus! Shrimps! So many shrimps, I felt sick. Shrimped out!

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Cooked my first whole octopus

We made fresh salads with avocado, queso fresco, salt and lime. That’s all you need for seasoning, as we found out. We drank Coronas (me) Pacifico (Ian) and then later, Agua fresca  Jamaica for me (when I was off booze).

Restaurants? We did that too! We ate at La Esperanza, pricier than the other joints but SO high quality- I had tuna steaks in hibiscus sauce on mashed plantains, and it was AMAZING. So much tuna I gave some to Ian because I was full and still kind of reeling from my hangover.

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Souvenir beach bag I bought for my sister.

We also did an entire night of street foot- we started with tacos el Ivan and got eight – ocho-tacos al pastor for super cheap, $100 pesos? Next we had hot churros, and then a beef tamale, and then corn in a cup. It was all so good! In the beginning of our trip, we ate ceviche from a street vendor and it was excellent and fresh. So much good food!

The only tragedy was our boat trip to the Marietas Islands. I was excited for it, and the boat ride out was really nice, we saw dolphins and blue-footed booby birds and their chicks at the islands!

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Ill fated boat trip, oh against my better judgement

We snorkeled a bit but I was freezing- the water was cold and kind of silty so it wasn’t great snorkeling so I swam back to the boat and hopped on a stand-up paddleboard. It was tough and tippy!

On our way back, we swam some more, had lunch and plentiful snacks, and ….my ultimate downfall, copious amounts of free flowing booze like pina coladas, margaritas, tropical drinks and shots. Jesus.

Anyways, you can see where this is going…I drank WAY too much, encouraged by the atmosphere and fun and I completely lost control. The minute I stepped off the boat and onto the bus to head back to Sayulita, I was throwing up uncontrollably. Ian gave me a water bottle and it fell uselessly out of my hands because I couldn’t even clutch anything.

Threw up out the window the whole way back, and we staggered to the plaza- we stopped there so Ian could go to the bathroom, and I proceeded to throw up over the back of the park bench in the middle of the day, bright sunlight. YUCK.

We staggered back to our place, and I was so sick I couldn’t even make it to the bathroom (yes puking in a bucket, please and thank you)…

Passed out apparently with my eyes open, creepily.

Threw up at night again.

Rinse, repeat.

So, Thursday was not a great day after but I rallied and we went to the beach and got a Chocobanana (great!) and I managed to eat some stuff later on. I wasn’t feeling too miserable, because I guess passing out at 5pm the day before gives you plenty of time to stew in your misery before getting it over with.

So, yeah I am kind of off booze for now, giving my poor liver and brain a break plus GAG.

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The endless summer of San Pancho

But, I LOVED Sayulita and San Pancho and would definitely go back. Love Mexico!

A long weekend worthy of BC day

A good weekend- didn’t feel overly busy but was packed full of fun!

At the birthday party

At the birthday party

First I rode on Friday in the outdoor, trying to stay mindful of what I’ve been learning about Oats and my relationship when we’re working through his sticky situations (spooky at the far side of the ring) and we warmed up well and the BLAM! He spooked – hard – at the same spot again! ARGH! It wasn’t quite as dirty as the other spook so I stayed on, and he didn’t get to look left again until we started cantering and jumping.

Sorry Oats, if you do that, you lose your ‘looking left’ privileges, because all you seem to do is search for monsters…

Our jumping was over tiny little things (I was on my own, this is for safety) but quite fun! I did quite a few loopy turns, cut-ins and such. He was very good for this.

Saturday Ian and I headed up-island for his grandmother’s 90th birthday. I know, crazy eh? She is doing very well and is quite spry. Aside from a few hilarious encounters with his more, umm…unique relatives..I was bored silly! It was kind of a long event for me, who isn’t really familiar with any of the 100+ relatives that descended in Nanaimo.

Sunday– I had promised a friend I would go watch her eventing at Avalon. Got there in time to catch her cross-country round and she rocked it! It was a great weekend for the girls from the barn, their horses performed perfectly and they did super well, all placing in their respective divisions. A good day to watch!

Go for it Oats!

Go for it Oats!

Then back to Ian’s parents for another birthday- his aunt’s 60th birthday. Definitely toned-down, more my style…

And then, the fun never stops does it? We were off to Koksilah river! That’s right another swim day. The weather was AMAZING (unlike today, cold, windy, grey) and the water was great. The dogs came, and his brother, sister and dad also came. Loved it!

We then packed up our stuff and drove straight to the barn, where I took Oats for a gallop in the field. He had pretty much no ‘go’ so our gallop was a bit…slow but he tried and was a good boy alone in the field. Ian was able to take some photos, which was so nice!

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Monday, ended up having plans in the evening so my day consisted of a run to the beach, and then I returned to the beach to do some hard-core sunbathing (hey you only get a few chances in life to enjoy yourself in the sun…) and then Ian and I took Gidget blackberry picking. Got a ton of blackberries! Oats got the day off so he would have a bit “more” to give me during my dressage lesson…Back to work for both of us, unfortunately.

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Tuesday– and he did! I warmed Oats up indoors because I’ve been very unhappy with the negative vibes we’ve been getting together warming up in the outdoor, so I figured- just don’t go there! So I didn’t. And he warmed up great!

Calm

Calm

Hm….

He did fuss and fight a little bit, but overall his attitude towards dressage seems to be improving? It has been a long and hard road, for sure. We worked on getting them responsive and connected over their back through transitions and boy, did we struggle with the trot- canter transition…He hollowed and threw his head up. Well, I guess Rome wasn’t built in a day, was it?

The Tape Breaker- MEC half marathon recap!

I know what you’re thinking- another half marathon? Did you even enjoy the first one?

The truth? Not really!

The other truth? I wanted to do better! To challenge myself, and to quite frankly, not have to deal with the hit-and-hurry feeling of another 10k. My lungs can’t take it, haha. So, awhile back I signed up for the el-cheapo MEC Tape Breaker half marathon, held at the Sooke Potholes on the Galloping Goose.

Victorious! It's a hot one.

Victorious! It’s a hot one.

My husband reluctantly signed up with me and our friend too (maybe reluctantly?). We had a BUSY Sat/Sun this past weekend-

  • Oak Bay Tea Party Parade,
  • Gidget gets a hair cut,
  • I do another equine wellness counselling session- and have an emotional response?
  • We attend a dinner-dance fundraiser for my former boss, who passed away last year due to complications from living with an eating disorder. It was a fun night!
  • And…a half marathon on Sunday! hahah.

And how this the half go? Surprisingly well, considering my legs felt like total shit the week before. I was worried…Until we started cruising on the track and I got into the groove. The trail was GORGEOUS. It was a very hot day, but we were mostly in the shade thank god. I grabbed water at every water station, and was still thirsty! My husband set an ambitious pace- I was keeping up well until the turnaround at 13k, and then I felt super grouchy and like I was struggling a bit. Then at the turnaround, we grabbed Clif Shots (gummis for energy) and some more water and I felt revived!

Race time- photo courtesy of MEC Jennifer Latham

Race time- photo courtesy of MEC Jennifer Latham

The next few kms flew by, I felt good, life was good! The other runners were so friendly, we were all encouraging each other.

A flower for Ian

A flower for Ian

Until…running up to 17km, my good vibes fell out the window and all of a sudden the kilometres started stretching out… Way out…

I was like where the EFF is 17km?? I was getting tired, my legs were starting to feel like they didn’t belong to my body anymore and my lungs were even starting to burn a bit? I guess that’s due to the increased pace. I was thirsty, and feeling crabby. The gravel was starting to hurt my feet! (I was even complaining that my feet felt like hamburger, haha).

The stretch between 17-21km was certainly looooooooong. At 19km, my legs kind of wanted to stop working. I slowed down. I cranked at my husband for ‘going too fast’. I grabbed some more water at the 19km station- and was soo glad it was there.

I wanted to walk SO HARD.

MEC race near the finish- photo courtesy of Jennifer Latham

MEC race near the finish- photo courtesy of Jennifer Latham

But, we were so close! I was almost there!

Somehow my legs kept moving, even though it seemed to me that some nasty troll was probably moving the kilometre markers further away with every step. And then, we turned around a corner and out of the woods- the FINISH LINE!

YEAH!

I finished not strongly. Rather, at a slow jog because that was all I was capable at the moment. But hey, we finished! And, thanks to my husbands pace-setting, we also got a good time for us- 1:54:40!!! Our first half was at 2:05, so hey not too shabby eh?

Oh and the best part? Hanging out in the Sooke Potholes afterwards!!!! Most amazing post-race chillout ever. What a beautiful weekend, and what fun.

Ahh..summertime

Ahh..summertime

I want to bottle these good vibes, and share them forever- to take me out of dark days, or dark times…To this soundtrack, which I am super into right now: Gosh by Jamie XX.

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Holiday Hangover

Holiday Hangover

Back to work today after a glorious holiday, and man, it does not feel triumphant.

We spent time in Panama City, and then 3 nights on the San Blas islands. This is a photo that we altered (put in a vintage tint) and the island is called Isla Diablo (Devil Island).

I ate seafood twice a day, and it was good and cheap and fresh. Caribbean lobster, ceviche made from Corvina and pulpo (octopus), Ian had Mahi Mahi, we ate conch and fish…Oh, the seafood makes my mouth water even now.

I miss being on holiday, the heat and the water. We snorkeled, swam and sunbathed. It was lovely. Ian got crabs in his tent (camping was EXTREMELY rustic) and I crunched one crab under my mattress. Oops!

We had other causalities too…I broke my expensive sunglasses and Ians too for good measure. Shit!

More photos to come!