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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Will you hurry up?

The other day I posed the corgis, took a bunch of lovely pictures and came back inside only to find out the memory card was not in the camera.

So, we went out again and took more pictures. This time around, the corgis were a little more cheeky and I managed to get this gem.

Friday, August 19, 2016

National Photography Day 2016

As today is National Photography Day, (according to Twitter), here are some of my favorite shots from the past year.

Halloween Corgis


That face!

Tynemouth Priory, Tynemouth

St. Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall

Row of houses in Betws y Coed, Wales

Blooms from the Candie Gardens, Guernsey

Friday, August 12, 2016

Thursday, August 11, 2016


Last year I was struggling with shin splints and frustrated. I had completed the 5k and 10k, (first ever 10k), at the Walt Disney marathon weekend earlier in the year and I was starting to think I could really get into this running thing.

But those shin splints kept at me. I had taken time off since the races and it was now June. I researched and struggled and stretched to get my calves, ankles, and feet stronger. By August I had a good stretching/strength plan and I was feeling better.

I was looking at my numbers in Runkeeper and for the last year, it said I had run 263 km. On a whim, I made a goal with myself to double my mileage over the coming year to 526 km.

Last August it seemed like such a huge amount to cover.

This August I fell short of that 526 goal. But, I completed 487 km - the most distance I've ever covered in a year.

So, what's next?

My first half marathon in September. My only goal is to finish... alive.

Then, the Star Wars half marathon in April.

Beyond? Ask me again in a few months :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Heading to those white cliffs of Dover

We woke early on Sunday morning, partly excitement and partly not wanting to miss the Disney bus. We spoke to the Disney representative in the lobby and she confirmed that our luggage would be picked up from our room and brought down to the bus.

Mike and I headed to breakfast in the Gatwick airport terminal and checked out the shops - we were looking for Worcestershire flavored chips for a friend of ours. Alas, no chips. This became a recurring theme across our trip.

We returned to the lobby and saw our luggage sitting with the rest of the group's luggage waiting to be taken to the bus. It was a short wait until we were told we could head to the bus. Waiting for us was our little reserved sign.

A short time later, we were off heading to the port of Dover. Other than a brief stop on the side of the road to double check that the baggage doors beneath the bus were properly locked, the trip was uneventful.

The highway into Dover

Dover harbor and Dover Castle in the distance

We disembarked the bus and left the cruise line staff to handle our baggage, much like at Port Canaveral. Check-in was uneventful, they gave us our boarding number and released us into the terminal. At this time, the building was packed and was standing room only.

Finally boarding began by number, ie 1... 2... etc. There was a few rowdy people attempting to jump the line by pretending to pass off a card with #10 as #1, but the people in charge were not having it. Must be a British thing... mind the queue and wait your turn.

After several groups had been called, Mike and I were allowed to jump the line. How? We made our way into the loading room and waited in the corner. There was a lull in the passengers and the person in charge of the queue called us over and allowed us to board. Your mileage may vary, but it helps if you don't act line a moron, calmly wait your turn, and don't feel entitled to anything extra... you know, act like a decent human being.

We headed to Cariocas for our buffet lunch. I had only eaten in Parrot Cay, (the restaurant that was in place before the change over to Cariocas), a few times before, but I quite liked the new decor. It had been reimagined in a Rio/Brazilian theme. Alas, I didn't take any pictures of it on this trip, but you can see some of the pictures from other travelers here: Cariocas on the Disney Magic/Wonder.

After lunch, we explored the ship and took some of these pictures:

Not long after these pictures were taken, the Disney Magic left port and headed north to Newcastle.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Flat Corgi Friday - The other other Elizabeth

There's Elizabeth I - the Virgin Queen.

There's Queen Elizabeth II - the current monarch and corgi owner.

And there's the Queen Mother, who was also a corgi owner. This is the Queen Mother monument that stands on the Mall in London.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Look... Big Ben, Parliament

As I mentioned before, our flight was delayed arriving into Gatwick. This meant our original full day of sightseeing was shortened to a few hours. Prior to leaving for England, we paid and printed our tickets for the Gatwick Express train to Victoria station and so we were determined to use those tickets!

We boarded the train and settled into our 30 minute journey into London. I was immediately taken at the number of rail lines crisscrossing the land, up and over highways, right behind rows of homes, rushing through tunnels and fields. I was slightly jealous too... all these rail lines to traverse England, Scotland, and Wales, but back here in Ontario, not so much.

Once we arrived at the station, I took a few minutes to hunt down an attendant who would install the ramp so Mike could exit the train. We got our bearings and headed in the direction of Buckingham Palace. This was one of my must do stops on our journey, well for obvious reasons.

Who should I see on our way to the Palace

I had planned to stop in at the palace shop, but on account of our delay, the shop was closed. Oh well, maybe that's a good thing for the old pocketbook after all!

The first building we saw was the Royal Mews, which houses the horses, coaches, and livery used by the Royal family.

Continuing up Buckingham Palace Road, we came upon the palace itself.

Directly across from Buckingham Palace is The Victoria Memorial.

We continued past the palace and into Green Park, which houses the Canada Gate and the Canada Memorial. The Canada Memorial was erected in homage to the one million Canadians who served with the British forces in WWI and WWII.

We left the monument and headed up the Mall towards the Charles I statue and roundabout.

We turned down Whitehall and headed south towards Big Ben and passed Downing Street.

I didn't take any pictures here on account of the large police presence.

By the time we made it to Big Ben and Parliament, the sky was starting to darken.

We crossed the street and headed to Westminster Abbey. It had since closed for the day, but we were fortunate to take some exterior pictures.

Where Duchess Catherine entered on her wedding day.

By this time, we were starting to tire, so we headed back to Victoria station. We shared a large Cornish pasty for dinner before heading back out on the train to Gatwick.

What little we saw of London was lovely and we plan on returning... some day.