That time we came face to face with a bear

Thanks for all your comments in yesterday’s post about the Lake Tahoe Ironman being cancelled after my husband signed up for it, trained his heart out, and only to be disappointed by the outcome. Ironman rectified the situation, which I have to be honest about – am shocked, really. Ironman is known for never issuing refunds, but they sent out an e-mail yesterday giving athletes options for other races for a discounted price, or signing up for Ironman Lake Tahoe 2015 for free or nearly free.

Drive-to-TahoeDespite the unfortunate circumstances which lead to cancelling Ironman Lake Tahoe on Sunday, my husband and I still managed to have a decent trip before it was called off. Our drive up took a little longer than usual, mainly due to traffic – but once we got close to Tahoe, the road cleared out.

Inn-At-Truckee-CADuring our stay we rented a room at The Inn At Truckee. The hotel itself is a little outdated but overall we had a great stay. Our room was basic, but it was spacious, clean, had an updated bathroom and dog friendly. Even though the hotel is off the I-80 we didn’t hear any highway noise throughout the night.

Inn-At-TruckeeThe Queen Room we rented included a fridge, a fridge, microwave and bonus: cable tv and free wi-fi for guests. There wasn’t a hair dryer in the room, so I walked down to the front desk and they let me borrow one for the duration of our stay. It’s great going to Ironman events like this, because we get to explore new-to-us cities, since we are new to California and this is our first time out in North Lake Tahoe. My husband and I don’t have cable, so we both love indulging in a bit of television when we’re on vacation. The Inn At Truckee was in close proximity to many shops and restaurants, so we walked anywhere if we needed to pick something up. Continental breakfast is available in the morning from 6:30am – 9:30am in the front lobby. There isn’t too much of a selection, but the fact that it’s free to guests is a bonus which we really appreciated.

However on our second night, we had a bit of unexpected company when we went outside to hop in the car and grab a bit of supper. It was dusk when we left the hotel, and we exited the side door of the hotel. This is when we came face to face with a bear. I’m surprised that my natural instinct was not to scream, but simply boot it back into the hotel, I suppose fear silenced me. Luckily we were close to the door and got back inside quickly. We were no more than 8-10 feet from this black bear, hanging out on its four paws rifling through the garbage can. The bear was as scared as we were thankfully, so it took off when we ran. The Guy mentioned our bear sighting to the friendly woman at the Inn At Truckee front desk, and she said it’s common this time of year. Holy smokes, we definitely got a freight, that’s for sure.

Bear-SightingFor comparison, the bear was at this garbage, and we were were on the path that leads to the side door shown.

Taste-Of-Nature-barThe day before the race, The Guy needed to head back to Squaw Valley where the Ironman Village was, to pick up a few essential items and tour around the expo.. This is when I decided to finally dive into one of my Taste of Nature bars. These little bars were given to us as freebies at the BlogHer conference in July, but they contacted me shortly after to see if I wanted to receive more and possibly review them. They’re delicious, Canadian, and all natural (organic + gluten free too). So I brought a bunch with me to enjoy over the weekend. Since I gave up Paleo, the majority of my snacks still are clean, and mostly paleo friendly. So this was nice to bring with me, along with my unsweetened dried mango, and raw nuts. I’ve seen them both sold in stores in the USA and in Newfoundland, Canada when I went back home to visit. I can talk more about them if  you wanted, in another blog post.

The-Village-At-SquawAlfie was being a little villain, barking at everyone in sight. Luckily most people found him cute.

Of course he’s only quiet when he’s in my arms and lemme tell you, it’s kinda difficult taking these pictures from a BlackBerry, holding a ten pounder in your arms. I have skills. Here’s a look around the Ironman Village, and Transition areas:IMTahoe-2014-vendors






No-Parking-AlfieAlfie the rule breaker.

Ironman-teesI’d like one of these two shirts. Preferably support crew.

Ironman-Bikes-in-T1The bikes all set up in transition, the day before the morning of the official race start, then cancellation.

Chair-at-Squaw-Valley-ResorAlfie and I hanging out in a massive ol’ chair in Squaw Valley Resort, where transition 2, and the finish line was.

Alfie-sitting-at-feetHe’s smiley, until you speak to him. Angry schnogg.

Athletes-MeetingAthletes meeting.

Redbull-truckI don’t think this truck has wings.

Paraglider-in-Squaw-ValleyWalking back to the car, we spotted a paraglider coming down off one of the ski hills at the Squaw Valley Resort. Not something you see everyday.

Smoke-in-Squaw-ValleyThis was also the time the smoke was at its heaviest, late afternoon in Squaw Valley – you couldn’t see too far ahead due to all of the smoke.

Bike-CourseWe had only arrived the night before, so The Guy decided to drive the Bike Course as it was known for a lot of twists and turns in the road. Shortly after I took this picture, The Guy ran over a squirrel. He was so upset, and I know this is morbid of me, but I couldn’t help but laugh when he said he’d have to pass it on his bike and knew that he was the one who killed it. I always seem to laugh at the most inappropriate times. I swear, I had to hide my face from him in the car because tears were streaming down my face from silently laughing. Poor little squirrel.

So what’s The Guy’s plan now that Ironman Lake Tahoe got cancelled? Find another race, ASAP. How about you? Did you get screwed with the Kings Fire at Lake Tahoe this weekend? Friggen’ arsonist.

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That time I got in trouble on the border crossing

Man. I can be a real idiot sometimes. I received a  finger-wag directed towards me, yesterday at the border crossing to USA, but we’ll get to that in a moments time.

run-for-heros-marathonSaturday afternoon seemed like the perfect time to drive down to Amherstburg Ontario for a marathon with my boyfriend. We had planned on staying overnight due to the race being on Sunday morning and we didn’t feel like getting up at 3am to drive straight from our apartment. So, we rented a hotel in Windsor.

Folks, let me tell you one thing I love about staying at hotels.

Cable TV.

Watching TV in bed is one of our little pleasures. The boyfriend and I are quite active in fitness so we haven’t had cable for over 5 years. The best part is, that we don’t even miss it! We have a TV in our apartment but we use it for Netflix (rarely) and he mostly uses it for training on his indoor bike trainer.

So zoning out in front of a TV on a Saturday night in the hotel room was glorious. As soon as I flicked to one of the channels, it stayed on that channel for the rest of the evening. Hilarious right? We watched Man-Tracker, and a few episodes of The Liquidator after that. I forgot how addicting it can be, and HOLY commercials. Forgot the annoyance of that.

detroit GM buildingWe had a great view of Detroit across the river, and I took a snap of the ginormous GM building lit up in these forever changing lights on Saturday night. Pardon the cell phone quality photo.

ironman-tattoos The next morning we drove back to Amherstburg for the race for a 7am start. I spotted a man who had a similar tattoo to the boyf’s. Ironman Canada finishers tattoo! The boyfriend has completed 5 ironmans in the last 5 years. 4 IMC’s and 1 Mont Tremblant.

ironmenThey posed together and shortly before the gun went off for them to race.

out-they-goand off they went!

hot chocolate and pretzelsIt was windy most of the morning so I stayed inside the building and warmed up with some hot chocolate and ate pretzels.

My boyfriend mentioned he was going to run a fast marathon and told me what time I should expect him to come through the finishers chute.

I went back outside early enough to secure a good spot around the fence. Half marathoners started the same time as the marathoners, so the half-people were coming in and I got a good view and wasn’t waiting too long in the cool windy weather we were having.

finish-line-crashWe had a little bit of unexpected excitement at the finish line. The blow-up arch ended up falling down right in front of people crossing the line! It was an easy fix and back up in no time. Oops.

The first marathoner came running in with his long, speedy stride so the spectators started ringing their cow bells and cheering.

Second place guy came in, and looked like he had a bad race (he seemed angry and swatted away his medal).

Third place male came in and looked a little older than I expected. None of these men looked relatively young so I was kind of surprised. Then again, it was a small race.

I spotted a guy who looked like my boyfriend. I didn’t recognize his running stride because he was going full tilt. His stride was quick and he was coming in fast. Holy dang-balls, it was The Boyf. I think I was the loudest person there screaming and shouting “YEEEAH BOYF. WAY TO GO. OMG FOURTH!! YOU GOT FOURTH OVERALL” even before he crossed the finish line. Then quickly after that I shouted at him to give me a high five. HAHAHA Who does that? An excited cheerleader girlfriend, that’s who.
Not only that he did his first ever sub 3 hour marathon. finishers-chuteWhat speed and endurance! Unbelievable. What a guy. It was a proud moment for us both.

He laid on the grass for a bit since his legs took a beating after that race pace. So I wrapped him up in one of those emergency blankets to keep him warm.sub-3hr-marathon
We were both thrilled with his results!chilly day after the race

It was a small race so he didn’t expect much in the way of an awards ceremony (there wasn’t one). scotts-prize

But he did place 4th overall and 1st in his age group so he was given two free movie tickets valid only at a location in

Like my new zip up hoody? It kept me warm throughout the day. I’ll be reviewing it shortly on the blog. Stay tuned!mpg-hoody

We clued up at the race site, buckled up and started the drive to the car with MPG sweater

We ended up going across the border to go see the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). I’ve always been big into taking a sickly over abundance amount of photos, and for some reason it didn’t occur to me that I should probably stop taking photos at the USA border crossing.

Got my camera out and started clicking away — when we got to the toll, I was taking a photo of a sign in front of us before we went to see the Border crossing guards. Looking through my cameras view finder, I saw a lady’s finger wagging at me. I jumped a little in my seat. I made an apologetic face as she walked over to the window mentioning that there was to be no photos taken on the border. Thankfully she didn’t interrogate us any more than scolding me for snapping pictures and off we went. The heart was-a pumpin’.

We were only in Detroit for a few hours, mainly to see the DIA (before they possibly shut down the museum). The building is just beautiful. All made of what seems to be marble and stone. Very historical and so stunning to look at.DIA
Inside the DIAinside-the-DIA
Some areas of DIA allowed for photos, and one of them happened to be the van Gogh area.van-Gogh-at-DIA
I’m not the biggest fan of van Gogh as I am more of Picasso. As a teenager and in my early twenties I painted a lot of “replicas” of Picasso and gave them away as presents to family members and friends. I haven’t really painted much of anything in the last 10 years. I did two paintings (and the last one in 2011). So I really do miss it. I don’t know why I stopped.

So. That’s that. I don’t really have much more in my blog post to say, so I’m going to end this post awkwardly and say so-long until tomorrow.

What did you do this weekend?

Have you ever gotten in trouble with officials, whether it be on the border or elsewhere?
This isn’t the first time I had something strange happen to me on the border.  When I flew up to Ontario with a few climbing buddies in 2003, we did a u-turn on the Niagara border. Literally. We were lost since we were looking for Niagara Glen bouldering area – the officials pulled us over for a quick moment and questioned my friend, the driver. Thankfully that was just it.

Are you a runner?
Gotta say, watching triathlons I don’t have any desire to ever do one. But watching running races makes me want to run a race again. Maybe another 5k.

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The bread winner

Funny moment #1: Yesterday I was coming out of the parking garage in my apartment building. I go behind the building’s parking lot up this lane way which is technically one-way and everyone breaks the rules to avoid the street lights. So, I was venturing up the lane way…the wrong way. And the superintendent (who I LOVE…and is just freaking hilarious) waves me over to the side as if he wanted to talk to me. I turn my tunes off, roll down the window and he walks over to me . He points to the back of my car saying…. “Nancy. (serious look on his face) Your back wheels?…………. Are moving forward”. He stumped me for half a second until I BURST out laughing and had a good chuckle at his joke. He ALWAYS has something funny to say. I hope that man never leaves the building. Then again, he probably won’t after he’s been there longer than we have (Boyf moved into the building over 6 years ago).

Funny moment #2: My Mom e-mailed me a Graphic Design position at the local university back home in Newfoundland as she always does. Not the most subliminal message asking me to move back home. This time I sent it to The Boyf saying “If I apply to this job and get it. I’ll be the bread dough winner“. TOTALLY meaning to write bread-winner of the relationship. But I forgot how it was worded. Then than e-mail thread totally got hijacked by him saying he wanted to buy a bread maker (he’s been going on about getting a bread maker for the past few months). Was that funny? lol…I feel like it was. Then again it doesn’t take much to make me laugh.

Yesterday on my lunch break I went shopping. I bought 3 pairs of sunnies for $10. Heck yea Ardene!sunnies

I sat on my other sunglasses (shown below, but they’re exactly the same) and broke them. So now I’ve stocked up on three pairs that all look pretty similar. Love the black ones the best. In retrospect I should’ve just got three pairs of black ones. Creature of habit. 1063923_10153005567830176_279018400_o
I then picked up 4 pairs of socks for $18…I love how summery they look! Am I the only one who gets excited about things like this?
The Boyf and I went on a small, but fun adventure this weekend. We picked up some fresh produce from the local Farmer’s Market. I love that we have more than one market to choose from (I only know of three), so each week I literally go to a different one. Love how inexpensive the produce is. We didn’t need too much, so I only picked up tomatoes, peaches, strawberries and bell peppers.

Then we drove to Burlington to pick up a new wetsuit and tried it out on one of the lakes. wetsuitcoming out of watermuscle back

This pic below is an old one of him, but I still love it and it kind of relates to what I’m talking about lol.
2xu wetsuit

From there we packed up the car and headed out to a friends house for a potluck. I immediately spotted some homemade lemon macaroons (macarons?). They were to DIE for. Everyone was gobbling them up.macaroons

Totally getting photo bombed here. I wanted The Boyf to take a picture of me with this vodka bottle that has the best packaging ever. It’s made in Canada, but someone at the potluck mentioned it was made in Newfoundland? I’m not sure if it was the vodka in them that was talking, or if it’s truly made in Newfoundland. Anyone know? hahavodka skull photo bomb

What did you do this weekend?

What do you normally bring to a potluck?
We were requested to bring a spinach salad which I loaded up with nuts, seeds, tomatoes, peppers and strawberries. Topped with some coconut oil and balsamic vinaigrette.

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