winter is here for a good time, not a long time

Or should I say : winter is here for a long time, not a good time.

I was listening to This American Life‘s episode DAY AT THE BEACH yesterday – they interviewed a woman who moved to Venice Beach California primarily to escape winter. She now works as Metre Maid, handing out parking tickets all day and loves her job. Why? Because she lives in Venice Beach! Any job in which you get to spend the day walking along the California Coastline sounds pretty good to me.

Guys, I’ve entered the winter funk. I am tired of bundling up, I am sick of salt on my boots and floors, I curse the cold and I am just all over grumpy. Usually this hits in January, but I have made a bit of an effort to embrace the season.

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So, with it being mid-February, lets recap.

  • Mike got me a ski helmet and ski pants – that’s a good start
  • I back flipped off a sled and seriously hurt my back (people with a rod attached to their spine are not meant to bend that way!)
  • We had a family curling day over Christmas – a fun positive winter experience

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  • Winter running has been minimal due to the extreme cold or messy morning conditions
  • My iPhone does not work outside in the winter. If that’s not a sign… what is?
  • We went skating at the Oval… once
  • We had a family day at the ski hill

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  • And, mom and I went snowshoeing

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I am pretty proud of most of this but am really ready for it to end. I close my eyes and imagine sockless days and backyard glory. As always, I never ever complain about summer heat. xomeg

i left my heart in San Francisco… again

In 2009, when David was just seven months old, Mike and I decided to take a family trip. We chose California mostly because it was the farthest our Air Miles would take us. No regrets.


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The drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco, along the Pacific Coast Highway, pretty much sealed the deal for me. This was my new favourite place away from home. We spent three days in San Francisco and saw a lot. There were a few setbacks due to having a baby in tow – we didn’t go to Alcatraz Island or ride a cable car and we were back at the hotel early in the evening every night. Despite this, we had a blast and returned to the state two years later – without David. We flew into San Diego and did a loop into Arizona passing through Phoenix, Sedona, and the Grand Canyon. We entered back into California near Joshua Tree National Park and stayed in Palm Springs before returning to San Diego. It was an eye-opener for me because I quickly discovered I enjoyed San Diego as much as San Francisco!

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This fall, I was lucky to have an opportunity to return to California. The original plan was to travel with my sister Jill but her job sent her off shore and she had to cancel. Luckily my parents came along and it was great.

This time in San Francisco, I rode a cable car, visited Alcatraz, toured Muir Woods and stayed out past seven o’clock. It is truly a beautiful city with no shortage of hills to climb.

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muir and northbeach

After a weekend in the city, my dad returned home. My mom and I took off in a rental to Yosemite. Yosemite was another destination on my list that did not disappoint. The lovely part about visiting Yosemite in late October is the lack of crowds and the fall foliage. We did a great 9-mile loop that was challenging enough for us. I was slightly disappointed that the climbing cables were down for the hike to half-dome but I guess it means I will have to go back!

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After a full day of hiking and a great dinner at The Ahwahnee Hotel, we headed south the next morning to Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. We didn’t anticipate the 2.5 mile hike would be difficult but should of expected nothing less than more hills.

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The next day, we drove southwest to the Pacific Coast highway and reached the ocean near Cambria. We drove north and arrived in Big Sur mid afternoon. We were lucky to find accommodations that met all of our requirements: A private cabin… in the red woods… with a restaurant and a hiking trail! We set off on our hike at 4:30, and again, we didn’t anticipate the 2.5 mile hike would be difficult but should of expected nothing less than hills! Just when we began to question if we should turn around and head back before dusk, we arrived at the top and found a breathtaking view of the pacific coast at sunset. The descent was fast and the wine was lovely that night.

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The trip concluded with a drive up the coast to San Francisco airport stopping in Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay. As much as I love visiting the West Coast, I know the East is where my family and friends are. xomeg

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these are a few of my favourite things

You know the song right? Well if I was Maria, and singing along with the Von Trapp children, I’d put San Francisco and Running on the list of a few of my favourite things. So I was pleasantly shocked last week when the powers from above combined them and now I’m planning a trip to California for the Nike Women’s Marathon • San Francisco.

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I know, I know, more Cali-love but long story short – I entered my name in a random draw to run and figured I’d have a slim-to-nothing chance of getting in. I unsuccessfully tried to get in the New York Marathon three years in a row and figured this one would be even harder. The Nike Women’s Running series has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while now and when I saw that it’s the 10th anniversary, I decided to put my name on the list and VOILA, i’m in! (Glad I didn’t sign up for the full marathon because i’d be seriously freaking right now). 21 km is doable, nothing to stress about and an easy recovery which will allow me to enjoy the rest of the holiday. I am a ‘little’ worried about the hills and may not love my two loves when combined but I will give it my all and enjoy the view… not to mention the Tiffany’s necklace handed out by men in tuxedos as motivation to get to the finish line.

Halifax is a great city for hill training – and after running a 12 km trail race in Wentworth over the weekend, I am reminded that practice won’t hurt!

As for my vacation plans –This will be my third time to California and second time to San Francisco. I’ve already walked the city and saw a lot but I didn’t get to vist Alcatraz and the SFMOMA. When we were in San Francisco, David was 8 months-old so it will be nice to have a bit more freedom to hop on a trolly and stay out later than 7pm. The other plan is to leave the city and drive to Yosemite and then come up the Pacific Coast. Not too sure on the details but it will be fun and something to look forward to. xo-meg

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​David and I at the top of Lombard Street, 2009