Sunday, April 30, 2006

Ride today

Woohooooo - finally, my first road ride in California! Can you believe it's taken this long? The weather has been so bad for so long, but it's finally gotten nice, and we met a girl Robin at dinner on Friday night who is another Googler, and also just moved to California from the East Coast. She's outdoorsy, and rides road bikes, so we organised to catch up for a ride.

We drove up to Skyline Boulevarde, which is up in the hills, and rode across the hill, so the ride was "undulating". My heart rate got a little too high (ave 125, max 150), but I feel confident that I won't drop dead if I do a slightly harder ride every now and again.

I forgot how much I love cycling, and really loved being out there. Andrew came along as well on his mountain bike, and did damn well. He has full on mtb tyres on his bike, so riding on the road up and down hills with that much rolling resistance would have been very hard work! He enjoyed it as well - it was hard not to with sucha nice day and beautiful scenery.

It was a good 90 minute or so ride, and we had a nice lunch in down Saratoga afterwards which was quite classy!

I also feel more confident about joining a local club's rides, since I wasn't as unfit as I thought I might be :) I'll hopefully get out on a bunch ride this week sometime.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Ski trip report

Well, we're back in one piece with no broken bones, minimal soreness, and minor sunburn for Andrew. All photos are up on our photo website.

Squaw Valley (so I'm now being told) apparently has the steeper slopes in the area, which is why it was used for the 1960 Winter Olympics. They certainly seemed a lot steeper than the stuff at Perisher, and freaked me out a fair bit. I was always fairly cautious at Perisher, but really enjoyed myself and only worried on a few slopes, and eventually went down the slopes which were generally steep but short. Here, the slopes just plain scared me. We started out, and I just lost confidence very fast which set the tone for me for the entire weekend. I was constantly losing control going down hills. and I hate not being in control.

As well as that, this is the first time I've skied since I've given up triathlons, and this is the unfittest I've been in many years. Because of this, my legs felt very weak, and I lost strength in my legs very easily which also didn't help the confidence. Add to this the fact that I still had the remains of a head cold which was giving me sinus headaches, especially at the higher altitudes and I really didn't enjoy the skiing. I also wasn't sleeping at night because I kept having nightmares of skiing crashes, which was making me more nervous and very tired.

We're also used to Perisher, where we would ski over Perisher, Blue Cow and Guthega, which would all end up in different places, and have a great old time. Here, we could really only stick to one main ski area which ended up in the same spot, so it seemed a little mundane after a while. Granted, the ski season was officially over, so a few runs that went to other places were closed, but they looked pretty bloody steep, and above my ski level, so not sure if I would have gone there anyway.

Apart from this though I had a great weekend and overall really enjoyed myself. We did a couple of runs on Friday when we got there before it all closed, Saturday we skiied most of the day, Sunday we went snowshoeing in the morning which was great fun - we saw beautiful streams and water falls, fresh, pristine, untouched snow, and blck bear prints!! Monday we skiied for a bit in the morning, then came home again.

We got to have lots of quality time together, and got to relax and enjoy ourselves which was really nice. Despite this new strange fear of skiing, I had a great time, and am keen to try out a new ski field next year. There's heaps around the Lake Tahoe area, so we'll try to find one we both like.

We did some funny moments out skiing - like when I realised one slope in particular was wayyyy too steep, and I took my skis off before I seriously hurt myself, and (initially) went sliding down half the slope on my arse because it was so steep I couldn't stay in one spot and left my skis and poles up the top of the hill! When a kind Aussie brought my skis and poles down to me, I just put them on my lap and slid down the rest of the hill and had soooo much fun! It was much better sliding down!!! I just flew down :) I had so much snow up my shirt and my pants, but it was worth it!

Anyway, here's some pics!

This is the view from the top

Falling over trying to run in back in showshoes for a self timed photo

A waterfall on our show shoeing trip

The view from our roon

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Skiing this weekend!

This weekend we're heading off to Squaw Valley, which is a 4 hour drive north east of Mountain View. It's next to Lake Tahoe, which is a bloody huge lake. Andrew went there for one and a bit days for the Google ski trip, but we'll have 4 days there, so should have plenty of time to explore and check out most of the mountains hopefully. I believe they also have a heated pool and spa, ice skating and night skiing so should be good fun!

We're staying at the Olympic Village Inn, which looks quite nice - certainly much nicer than the accommodation at the ski fields at Perisher, and probably cheaper!

We're certainly looking forward just to having some time away together and skiing is always fun!

We'll have photos and reports up by Tuesday most probably :)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Sniff sniff snork

I hate being sick. I always get head colds which are such a pain (hehehe pun there...). Anyhoo, my sinuses always get clogged up when I get sick, my head feels as though it would be much happier if it could just explode, and I sound like I have a peg on my nose when I talk.

So my head is all stuffy, I keep getting sinus headaches, and we're supposed to go skiing for 4 days from Friday. I hope it clears up by then!!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Sorry, more cat piccies :)

The photos are of the little tabby Mojo posing (he's a good poser!), and Shadow who fell asleep in Andrew's lap after a belly rub :)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Very special appointment

Just looking at the Evans Transportation website, as we're thinking about planning a winery tour, and looking to get a chartered bus.

The website says "Let Evans help plan your next special occasion:" then has a list of special occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, sports events, graduations, and the last one is....

Doctors appointments.

Yes, doctors appointments. When you plan that next special doctors appointment, consider taking a chartered 57 seater bus, or maybe a stretch Hummer. Because they can do that. No, really they can!


The kittens have discovered that there's life outside the spare room!! They still generally stick to the spare room, but they have now discovered there's stuff outside, and they also learnt how to mostly use stairs! One of the kittens decided he'd try getting a run up and leap off them, and the ol' claws finally kicked in after the 5th stair, but the rest have generally been a bit more careful.

That 5th stair has been the limit so far, but I'm sure it won't be long until they're tearing around the entire house!

They went back to the shelter yesterday for their weekly weigh in and everyone commented on how much they'd grown. We were only commenting the day before how they hadn't seem to have grown at all! The biggest one, Byron (who is the only one to be munching dry kitten food), is 1 lb, 7.5 oz (about 700g), and the smallest is Bella (the only girl) who weighed in at 1 lb, 4 oz (about 550g).

Sunday, April 09, 2006

One a penny, two a penny...

Hot cross buns!! They don't seem to do hot cross buns over here. I saw them in one bakery, and they looked weird (ie. not like "traditional" ones), and we saw some at Whole Foods Market, but they were very small, and still not like the yummy ones you get from Brumbys and even Woolworths!

So I had my first foray this evening in making some myself using a recipe from the Ninemsn website. I've never cooked with yeast before, so I was a little hesitant but they turned out to be pretty yummy!

Next time (which will be in the next few days probably!), I'll put in more sultanas, orange peel, and maybe more yeast. The recipe wanted compressed yeast and I only had the quick rise stuff, so had to approximate what I needed (once again, no experience with yeast), but did ok.

Now after 3 hours of preparation and baking, we get to enjoy hot cross buns!!! It was much easier to just grab a bag while we were at Woolies.... :)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Kittens grow so fast!!!

We've had these guys for 4 days now, and they just develop so fast. When we first got them, they were quite timid, and just walking very unsteadily.

Now they're running everywhere (still a bit wobbily), starting to pounce and jump, exploring everywhere, getting a little more independent and wanting to investigate everything.

Yesterday the young female, Bella, starting scratching in the kitty litter, now I think I've seen most of them get into the litter tray, scratch and squat. I'm not sure if they're actually doing anything, but they're obviously learning very fast! There was a cute moment this morning where one of the boys was in the litter tray, and 3 other kittens had their front paws up on the edge of the litter tray all watching, almost as though they were cheering their brother on :)

They were playing for 10 minutes or so at a time, now they play for almost an hour at a time before they need a nap. A couple of days ago they would generally play for a little bit, feed, then fall asleep while feeding. Now they feed, then continue playing. They are just so much fun to watch, and they love crawling over my jeans, and don't shy away when I go to pat them or pick them up, and they also mew a lot less when we hold them which is great.

I think these guys will grow up into very happy kitties :)