Monday, December 30, 2013

Mission Accomplished.

The month I just spent Australia is an experience I'll never forget. I'm so lucky to have had so many wonderful people  over there take such good care of me and I feel like I got to experience more in a month than many do in a year...

But, as always, there's no place like home. I must admit I was most excited to return to all the "little things" like:
- asking for ketchup at a restaurant and not getting a blank stare,
- driving my car & riding my bike on the right side of the road- not always praying for my life that i looked the wrong way or turned into the wrong lane
- going to Masters at the Encinitas YMCA
-the Whole Foods salad bar
-seeing my friends and having training buddies (though w/some we did a pretty bang-up job of keeping up via snapchat) while I was away.

And when this is home on the last week in December.....I really can't imagine anywhere else I'd rather be. Seriously, this kind of weather forecast should be a joke. Wait, is it?

The last few days in Australia were spent on Luke's sister's boyfriend's boat (you follow me?) and a perfect Christmas celebration with his family.
On Christmas morning I flew home, and thanks to the international date line, was treated to a second Christmas when I actually arrived in California. And by "treated", I mean walking around in a foggy jetlagged haze wandering from CVS to 7-11 trying to find something, anything!, to eat on Christmas (I found eggs)... and since Keith had left me some cupcakes, for Christmas #2 I ate eggs and cupcakes. winning!

I feel very lucky this year. I really struggled in closing out 2012 and though long and hard about how to make 2013 different.

My 2013 New Years resolutions were:
Find Peace.
Give Love.
Dream Big.

To everyone who helped me take 2013 from pulling up the bootstraps and trudging through to that "I can't imagine being happier" life.... Thank you.
Mission accomplished.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Endless Summer: Australia

you know you're in #straya when....
What's that quote about "You don't realize what you have 'til it's gone"? Well, that's how I've felt about my dear old friend "WiFi" the past few weeks. Since I've been in Australia, I've only been connected at hotels, cafe's and occasionally personal hotspots....So most of my internet time has been spent checking in with all of my athletes, writing training plans, and of course the occasional twitter or instagram update (and some snapchats keeping in touch with friends in Cali). In some ways, it's been nice to unplug (ok, not really, who am I kidding! I feel like a WiFi junkie).

But, I have had the amazing opportunity to see the Australian countryside in New South Wales and Queensland and everything in Bali from the beaches to the jungle. Soon after arriving in Noosa, Australia, Luke & I commandeered his parents Motor Home and hit the road.

We stopped in beautiful beach towns on the way down to Sydney, training along the way. Running and cycling somewhere new every day is pretty incredible and definitely never part training, one part sightseeeing- the best way to truly see a new place I think is on foot or two wheels.
It's also quite amazing that there is an accessible 50-meter pool in nearly every town round here in Australia. Towns with literally only a post office and a pub will inevitably have a 50-meter pool at the town rec center. So awesomely convenient.

two pools: 50 meter and an open water pool right next to it! 

On the way to Sydney, I also had the chance to meet up with my Australian athlete Kerensa and support her at Kingslcliff triathlon on the Gold Coast.

Kerensa & I pre Kingscliff tri pep talk 

Run to Byron Bay lighthouse....doesn't suck! 

Run from Bronte to Bondi in Sydney

Spin on the Cannondale Evo in Royal National Park, south of Sydney.

Black sand beachwalk in Bali

Once we hit Sydney, we stored away the van for a few days and made my first trip to Asia....A short flight later, we landed in Bali, Indonesia. We did it all in 4 days- markets, traditional Balinese ceremonies, beaches, monkey forests, and getting to know the locals....

our plunge pool in Ubud, Bali

View from our Bali villa

Monkey Forest! Ubud, Bali

Breakfast in Ubud, Bali

Ku De Ta, Bali

Back in Sydney, Luke had some visa things to attend to & we saw my cousin Abby who lives in Sydney now....
Luna Park, Sydney
Sydney Harbor Bridge & Opera House in the distance
 then we began the 1000k trip back up to Noosa! On the way home, we visited Luke's grandparents in Coffs Harbor, his best friend from childhood in Newcastle, and his sister Jackie in Brisbane.... We also made a stop for a little wine tour and of course some training along the way.

Hunter Valley wine region (Northwest of Sydney)....Shiraz!
Run in Cronulla on Ladybird road.
Yesterday, our tour de Motor Home concluded and we're back in Noosa until I fly home for Christmas. Hope everyone is enjoying this time of year as much as I am!