Comme la vie est fantastique en France and other parts too!

I started this blog in 2006 as a way to stay in touch with friends and family while I was living and working as an English Language Assistant in Nantes, France. Since then, I've become a bit of a "blogger", sharing my adventures on the town, exploring new areas by bike, and any other random details that come along.

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Location: United States

Working, being silly, calling Jodie when I'm lost, yummy dinners outside with a bottle of wine, text message junkie, reader, sister, auntie, donkey-loving fool.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tri For Fun Aug. 21, 2010 - Am I Really Doing This?!

Alright folks, I guess it's official and I'm really doing this. We've got a great group of girls interested, and started sending out motivational emails and talking about training schedules yesterday, so that makes it feel pretty real and official. I'm pretty sure there must be something wrong with all of us for doing this voluntarily, but at least if I'm completely nutzo, I'll be in good company!

The event:\

This will be the 3rd Tri For Fun in a 3 part series, taking place Sat. 8/21. It entails:

400 yd swim (or 356 meters)
11 mile bike ride (about 18km)
3.1 mile run (or 5k yikes!)

I plan to officially start training for this next week, calling this week my "pre-training" week as I've gotten in some nice swims and yoga sessions and plan to get in some good workouts this weekend.

Mon. 6/21

Swim: Aerobic w/ kick

100 warm up


3x100s kick

Total = 2k

75 min. Ashtanga yoga in the evening

Yoga was flipping INSANE. I was dripping huge beads of sweat off my forehead, my tank was 100% soaked, shoulders glistening, arms quivering, shins splashing with sweat pooling on my mat. I'm pretty sure I sweat-ed out like 3lbs and must have gotten out ever ounce of toxins in my body, and I loved every minute of it!

Tues. 6/22 Nothing. Waa waa.

Wed. 6/23

Swim: Threshold w/ non-freestyle (“swim”)

8x100s pull on +15, +10, +5, 0

3x100s stroke, swim in 50s on +40

8x200s stroke, swim in 50s grouped into 200 on +20, then 200 on +1 min

Total = 1.9k

75 min. Yin yoga in the evening

Thurs. 6/24 Nothing, but I did get 10 hrs of sleep, which I'm pretty sure counts for something ;-)

Fri. 6/25/10


300 warm up

6x50s on +5

8x50s swim, stroke

6x100s on +10, 20 seconds of vertical kicking on the wall before each 100

4x100s on -5

100 cool down

Total = 2.1k

On the agenda for the weekend:

Fri. evening 60 min Eclectic yoga

Sat. AM swim from 6-7:30, followed by 75 min. butt-kicking yoga, & 7PM Full Moon hike up Mission Peak!

Sun. My first run!! Lake Elizabeth 9-10AM followed by an hr of Vinyasa.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Something About Swimming Gets Me Blogging...

Long time no blog, so here we go. First entry for the New Year:

Ok, so last night Kathryn and I tried out this Kundalini yoga class that my Mom's friend Barbra teaches in Milpitas. I was a little worried that it wouldn't be enough of a workout b/c I guess Kundalini focuses a bit more on the meditative side than the physical (though I think all forms of yoga do combine both). Well, I neededn't have worried b/c my inflexible ass is OUT OF SHAPE in yet another way. Apparently yogis judge your age by the flexibility of your spine, so I am here to tell ya that I've gotta be pushin' 99!!

When I parked, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Lifestretch Yoga is located next to a bar. My thinking was, "If the yoga doesn't get me nice and relaxed, a drink at Galaxy Cocktail afterwards will!" Um yeah, I'm guessing they named it that b/c the ppl that frequent this establishment are out of this world- literally. This place straight makes Mojos look like a swanky lounge on the Upper East Side!

So, we're in our relaxed pose, humming our mantras, "looking through the third eye" when all of a sudden we hear screaming, "I'M DRINKING BITCH!!' and, "Oh HELL NAW, I ain't going back to jail fool!!". I took this as an extra little challenge thrown my way. All in all it was great experience; I'm already a pretty big fan of the nap time afterwards where we just lie on our backs in the dark. Yep, that's gotta be the kicker for me. We signed up for the new student special $30 for as many classes as you can take in a month, so I'm sure I'll have more to report soon.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Mia's First Birthday

Present time!

Mr. Disney

The Anders Family


Mia's First Halloween

The G-pas

So the big event this weekend was Mia's first birthday party (she turned one on Sun. 26 Oct.). True to form, Holly went crazy with decorations, and all the little kiddos were so cute in their costumes.

Monday Morning Swim:

*400 w/u
*2x400 free/back, free/breast in 100s
*2x200 free back, free/breast in 50s
*2x100 free/back, free/breast in 25s
*400 building kick/swim in 100s
Total = 2,200

The swim today felt amazing; sometimes you're just in that groove.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Gavin aka "Spanky" aka "Spanktastic" - 6 weeks

Whatever you like, eerr scratch that, whatever I can afford

Wednesday's swim:

*300 w/u
*3x200 IM on:
15m IM of each 50, rest swim
25m IM of each 50, rest swim
entire 50m IM
*3x100 swim on cruise, 100 kick (no fins) on +1 min
*2x200 pull where the first 25 of each 100 is a non-free stroke
Total = 2,100m

So somehow, though don't ask me how, b/c I can't imagine why, I have emerged/been nominated the leader for our lane. At first I just thought it was a fluke or a random thing, but now it seems that every time, I'm starting off the sets. Oh, I don't know if I can handle the pressure! ;-) It's not something I was particularly interested in doing (b/c you have to actually pay attention and listen to what we're supposed to be doing, keep track of the clock, and of course no slacking off b/c you've got sometimes 5-6 ppl following you). I will gladly give up this position to any takers, however there don't seem to be any. It reminds me of ballet bar work and how we weren't supposed to watch to see what anyone else was doing, but rather take everything that were instructed to do in and execute it. Some tiny differences though are that I actually knew what I was doing in ballet and I could hear what we were being told to do (now, half the time I've got water plugged in my ears, am half asleep, and have the gushing water going into the drains to try and drown out). Have I mentioned how much I hate the fact that we have to be out of the pool at 6:25 (damn Stanford students! You'd think it was their facility or something) vs. the 6:45 end time during the summer?

Also, I just have to take a moment and say that some really great music has been recently released. Some of my current favorites include:

*TI "Whatever You Like"
*Kanye "Love Lockdown"
*Estelle feat Sean Paul "Come Over"
*E40 feat Akon "Wake It Up"
*T Pain & Lil Wayne "Can't Believe It"
*Leona Lewis "Better In Time"
*Shontelle "T-shirt"

Monday, October 13, 2008

Smack go the goggles- right into the eyeball

Well my Monday morning swim started out splendidly until I tried to wipe the condensation out of the inside of my goggles mid-way through the swim so that I could see the clock, and more importantly, where I was going when they slipped out of my fingers and slingshotted back into my face, more specifically, into my eyeball. Ouch. Swim, despite, that minor incident was as follows:

*300 w/u
*1200 on +15
*300 on cruise, 100 kick on +25, repeat
Total = 2,300m

This weekend was rather lackadaisical. I did go out to the city on Fri. night to see an art showing that one of the ladies at work was having in the Mission. Afterward, I met up w/ Jed at his place since he was home alone w/ the babies (Holly and Kendall were at NKOTB).

Sat. I didn't really do much of anything, and yesterday was mellow and the 49ers game. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous; it even smells like fall. I need to get out on some trailrides to take advantage before the rain comes.

Not much going on this week either, so I am going to try and get/stay well rested and really get in the zone on my workouts. Today's felt great. Sometimes, it feels so much more effortless to glide through the water, while at other times, it feels like I'm fighting my way through it. Today was one of the good days.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Lanelines--gotta love 'em

Lil Gavin, 5 weeks

So I haven't been in much of a blogging mood lately and then it starts to get overwhelming to catch up, so here we go.

I guess I'll start w/ this morning's swim since it was a good one (Andrea, you might like this one):
*500 w/u
*4x100 descending 4-1 on +10
*700 on cruise
*1200 odds kicking on +40, evens swim IM order on +20
(I loved this set. Very aerobic.)
Total = 2800m

The pools were uncovered (bbbrrr) this morning and the lane lines were already in as well which had us getting in the pool a little quicker than normal. However, b/t all the steam off the top of the pool and the bright (think football stadium here) lights, I couldn't see the flags when doing backstroke (and I need them to stay straight) so I crashed and burned like a drunk otter a couple of times. Ouch. Doesn't feel too good on the wrist.

So, I guess some news is that I went to WI 2 weekends ago for my cousin Andrew's wedding. I flew out w/ my Dad on Thurs. morning, arrived in Chicago and drove to Madison. We checked into our hotel and were out to dinner at the Capital w/ my cousin Brandon and his gf Anne. We had a great time, and I had my first Old Fashioned. Now I can die a happy woman. Anne braved a freakin' turkey gizzard (yes, this was really on the menu and I've got the pics to prove it). It reminded me of something out of the Ladies Man movie. On Fri. we slept in a bit and then headed to the University where my Dad had mtngs lined up all day before his lecture (me? I hung out at the student union on the deck overlooking a beautiful lake, did some reading, met up w/ Brandon and Anne to share a pitcher of beer and headed to listen to my Dad give his talk- which I could actually follow. Nice job!).

State capital at Madison. We had dinner at this great little place called Fresca (serving locally organic foods in season) on a rooftop!

See? I TOLD you it was really on the menu!

Yup. You guessed it. Turkey gizzard.

Lake by Student Union at The University of Wisconsin at Madison.

From there I dropped my pops back off at the airport (in Madison) and drove to Delafield to meet up w/ my Mom and Auntie Susan & gang for the rehearsal dinner. It was so great to see all of my cousins. I hadn’t been back in over 15 yrs which is just too long. The wedding on Sat. was beautiful, and I’m so glad I made the trip, getting to see my grandparents etc.

Bridal party, duh.

My cousin Jacob and his girlfriend .

Simon and his girlfriend.

I got back late on Sun. and that week was pretty much painful since I was in recovery mode. I think I finally unpacked my suitcase on Wed. night. Went out to dinner/drinks on Thurs. and then out dancing on Fri. Sat. was the barn and on Sun. I had one of the best rides of my life! I think it did Pokey some good to have a little bit of a break and change in routine. Not to say that my Mom’s not doing a great job w/ her; I’m just a big believer in taking a step back every now and again. I think there’s something to be said for a rest period, and she’d had a pretty light couple of weeks. I think it’s good for them. Anyways, Sun. was the first time I rode in my close contact saddle in MONTHS. I don’t know how I used to do it! It was slick as butta and she was pretty peppy. In all honesty, I had a moment of doubt where I thought – “If she bucks, I’m a goner!” In the end, I just ended up having a phenomenal ride in the outdoor arena and then took her for a cruise around the property. The weather has been just beautiful (albeit w/ some random cold/rainy days mixed in) but Sun. was sunny and crisp- just how I like it.

I swear this baby straight up turns her head and makes eye contact when she hears the camera!

From the barn I headed over to Casa Cloern for spaghetti dinner. I feel like I have barely even seen Gavin, Kendall was voted student body President (you go girl!), and Mia took her first steps, so a visit was definitely in order.

Not much else to report other than I was a total f-ing badass on Mon. (swam in the morning, rode my bike home, and rode Pokey in the evening). Granted, I almost fell over from exhaustion when I dismounted, but we can ignore that minor detail. My new tires will hopefully hold up a little bit better with the rough road terrain and wet wintery weather, but (and this is a big BUT) I swear I feel like I’m riding a Huffy. More work to go slower? Now that’s just not good. Oh well… I guess I will eventually get used to it.

What else, what else? Pedicure one night this week (my body just feels beat up, esp the little footsies, so some TLC will do me good). Friday I’m going to an art exhibit in the Mission; one of the ladies at work is a photographer and is having a showing. Sat. I will most likely hang out w/ Holly and co. and do the barn and who knows what else.

Oh yah, Halloween is just around the corner, and I can’t wait!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Starlit Swim

Forgot to mention yesterday that as I was doing my first couple of laps, I realized, as I was turning my head to breathe, that I had a perfect view of the stars- which were still out. I even caught a glimpse of the big dipper! It's odd to have the pool so well lit up and then look up to a sky of darkness. Very cool, and not spooky in the slightest (as in nighttime ocean swimming).

The bad news that I didn't report is that I had to leave my bike in the shop for a week b/c they were out of one of the tires that I need. Can't wait to have a spankin' new front and rear tires and be good to go!