(Not) The same as it ever was: Wildflower Triathlon

But still awesome and an amazing experience.  (Except for that soul-crushing run!)

In some ways, Wildflower Triathlon *was* very much the same – a great, fun, supportive experience with terrific energy – and definitely NOT an Ironman branded race.  And hard.  Did I mention that it was hard?  I will always have a place in my heart for this race as it introduced me to triathlon.   I’m going to sound like a broken record repeating “great” or “awesome” throughout this post, but those adjectives sum up the weekend and this particular race experience. Continue reading “(Not) The same as it ever was: Wildflower Triathlon”

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A southwestern Christmas

So, yes, Virginia, it IS January, Christmas is long over, and Santa, I suppose, has returned to the North Pole.

But, since our holiday decorations continue to deck the halls and walls AND since winter really hasn’t hit Colorado (it was 62 degrees on Tuesday!), it doesn’t seem *that* late – or not too late – to share a little about the holiday season, mainly the few days that we spent in Taos, NM.  We came upon this idea back in October, scheming with some other family members about where to spend Christmas.  A few people were up for a change – for different reasons – but then the question remained –  “where to go?”.  No one felt very flush with cash (all of us involved in the trip had recently moved), and we all preferred to stay somewhat close to home – to go some place that would be a fairly easy drive.  Ski resorts were out because of the first criterion.  Plus, we already had passes, so it would have been silly to go to Telluride and spend  lots and lots of $$$$$$$ on skiing when we’ll be skiing at Copper or Eldora on a regular basis as it is (fingers crossed that some more snow will fall!). Continue reading “A southwestern Christmas”

Is it summer or something?

A rhetorical question because I can say, with a resounding YES, that it is, indeed, summer.  Apparently it began last week, on the 21st, but I’d say that I kicked it off as soon as school ended.  So, right around May 30/June 1.  There were, as always, a few loose ends to tie up the school year, but I’m happy to say that it didn’t take me long (maybe 5 minutes?) to switch gears and embrace the summer pace.  While we don’t have a major trip planned or anything that seems ambitious, I also can’t complain about lots of small getaways, both near and somewhat further afield, but this will, hopefully, give us the time and space to enjoy the summer.  We have good plans with friends and family and will try to take advantage of the mountains when we can.  Continue reading “Is it summer or something?”

Off the grid in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Happy Leap Day!

I’ll finish writing about Thailand soon – promise!  But it’s quite fun to revisit photos and relive, through these images, some aspects of the trip, even 2 months after the fact.  From Chiang Mai, we took a bus to Chiang Rai.  It’s not too far of a trip – just a few hours (2-3), and the Green Bus is a good operation.  You do need to make a reservation at least a day before (better if you can make the reservation a few days before) and choose the class that you want and also the seat.  While I didn’t *love* traveling by bus, it was a great way to see the countryside.   Continue reading “Off the grid in Chiang Rai, Thailand”

Exploring northern Thailand – Chiang Mai

While we were sad to leave Cambodia and felt that there was still so much to see, we were looking forward to returning to Thailand to see more of the country.

Just a few departing shots the morning that we left Siem Reap – which was Christmas Eve day.  So, lots of Christmas decorations, which we found funny since it’s a Buddhist country!  The ‘tree’ to the left was really cool, though, made from baskets.  And the macarons were vanilla and pineapple flavored – there was a macaraon shop that sold all sorts of tropical flavors.  We stayed fairly conservative, skipping out on jackfruit and other such exotic options.  

Most people and guidebooks recommend touring northern Thailand and then finishing up with beach time in the south, and we followed that advice.  Our first stop was the city of Chiang Mai, which was probably our favorite place in Thailand.  After Siem Reap, it felt more like a ‘normal’ city.  Yes, it was plenty touristy, but that was not the ONLY industry or the one driving force of the city.  Also, while there was a certain hustle-and-bustle typical of any city, it felt MUCH more low-key than Bangkok which we enjoyed as well.  Despite being smaller, it offered plenty to do.  We mainly walked and walked and walked – and ate!  The food was amazing!  Northern Thailand, at least in December, is a bit cooler than the south and than Cambodia, so that came as a welcome relief too.  Finally, the culture is distinct (I know that it goes without saying, but really, it is!).  Northern Thailand was an important part of the Silk Road trade route, and even today, arts and crafts and markets abound.  Also, the Lanna architecture differs – they use more wood, especially in the temples, and different designs. Continue reading “Exploring northern Thailand – Chiang Mai”