Wednesday, June 30, 2010

News and Notes

On the day my wife started her own blog, (probably mostly to talk about the horrors of having to live with me), I am drawing a complete blank as to a blog topic for today. I'm guessing it's mostly because of all the focus we have on next week right now. So here are the little tidbits i've got, do with them what you will:

- We leave for London and Paris on Monday. If any of you lovely readers have been (or live) there, I'd love any tips on things to do, places to go, that are off the beaten tourist path. Any place a reader points out that we wind up going will definitely get a picture on the blog.

- I ran 3 1/2 miles yesterday, with only a quick stop for a water break after 2 miles. Notice, I say ran. Gone are the days of walking, at least for any distance under 4 miles. Rach stayed with me the whole time and pointed out that in the last mile, my running was almost as slow as my fast walking. Maybe so, but I still was running and not walking. Stamina will improve.

- After using and liking Runkeeper for a while, I'm giving SportyPal a try as the GPS workout tracker of choice on my Nexus One Android phone. I should have enough experience with it by Saturday or Sunday to do a comparative review of the two products.

- 25 miles scheduled for the bike tonight. Going to head into the hills and make this one hurt since it's one of the last few times I'll get to ride my bike for a while.

- 311 this morning. It's going down, but boy is 310 taking FOREVER to get here.


  1. Congrats on the running progress! Always a great feeling when you conquer a new distance without stopping to walk.

    In Paris, check out restaurant times. When we were there they tended to have varied hours and not open all day. Least the less expensive ones we tried to eat at:) The train system is great for getting around.

    Have a great time on your honeymoon!

  2. Howdy,
    We spent a year in London, and could give you plenty of tips... the real question is what to do with a limited amount of time... Here is my shortlist:

    - tower of London + ferry ride to Grenwich
    there's a day... a few hours in the tower (make sure you do the Yeoman Warder tour and see the crown jewels. Then jump on the Ferry to Grenwich - they give an amusing running commentry of historically significant sites along the Thames. Grenwich I loved in particular as I am interested in naval history, but at the very least go to the top of the hill and check out the observatory. If you have time, read Dava Sobel's "Longitude" (or watch the doco) and you will get an amazing appreciation of Harrison's clocks that solved the problem of longitude (spoiler: 250+ years old and still running!)

    - Notting Hill and surrounds
    We lived near Ladbroke Grove station, and really fell in love with the area... So if you were to start down there, or perhaps Holland Park Station, you can walk up Portobello Rd (if possible, try to go on a Friday. All of the Saturday stalls are there, but there are less people), continue to Notting Hill Gate and down to Kensington Palace Gardens (lay down and soak up the sun next to the round pond). Take high tea at the Orangery (a VERY English thing to do) and continue down the Serpentine to Hyde Park. While you are in the area, you could have a look at the Albert Memorial, Royal Albert Hall, and maybe duck into the V&A and Natural History Museum. Don't expect to get through a lot of any of the museums or galleries, each one is big enough to spend a lifetime in! Just focus on one or two exhibits that you really want to see. One thing to look at at the V&A is actually outside. They have left the shrapnel holes from WWII in the side. It is kind of freaky to think about the bombing of London, and how it would have been living in those conditions. Anyway, more than enough to fill another day (or year!).

    - head in to the city and see what interestes you. Very unspecific, I know, but it is a small place with lots to see and walking around is easy (don't get sucked in to only travelling by Tube, things are really not that far apart!) I like Nelson's column, British Museum, Tower Bridge, Soho, Borough Markets (great food), Oxford St, Wellington Arch, Buckingham Palace, Regent's park, etc. etc. etc...

    contact me directly if you wish to discuss more, check out my no-longer-updated blog (via profile), or just flick through my pretty pictures:

    Enjoy you honeymoon, limit what you try and see so you can do it properly, and have fun!

    Oh, and I can recommend this restaurant in Paris:
    small, homely, authentic... a true French experience.


  3. damn! just typed a whole bunch out and it got lost :( I'll try again. *sigh*

  4. oh, wait, no there it is. Weird.

  5. Just remembered on other thing. This may sound weird, but there is a French restaurant in Notting Hill that I highly recommend. It is called The Ledbury:
    Absolutely awesome. They do a set menu lunch at a very resonable price, and you get treated like a superstar. Disclaimer: the chef is an Aussie from my home town (Newcastle), so I know people who know people who know people who know him. Still awesome though.