Monday, 2 December 2013

The weekend in review

Walking, bad food, excellent company and good viewing.  That pretty much sums up my weekend.  I picked up my bff from the airport on Friday evening, and we just chilled for the night, talking and watching random stuff, and going through our bits and pieces for the walk - accessories, snacks, hydration etc.  Saturday was all about the shopping, registration for Walking Stars, and eating lots of junk.  We absolutely had to go to Whites Freezery for some salted caramel frozen yogurt, and it was T's 9th birthday so we had to have Sal's Pizza for dinner (their vegetarian pizza is awesome, as are their garlic knots).   Then it was suddenly time to get dressed in our gear, accessorise, and go.  Unfortunately the weather had decided to be a little sulky and drizzly, so rain jackets became essential.  This totally ruined the look of our outfits, but we weren't alone in this so just went with it.  We managed to find a park not too far away from the Auckland Domain, the start and end point of the walk.  We milled around soaking up the atmosphere and making complete idiots of ourselves taking selfie after selfie after selfie.  Apparently neither of us are very good at camera phone selfie pics (and she calls herself a photographer! ;P)

These are only a few photos from my phone - you should see the ones on hers!!  She's got ones of us pulling faces, me walking out of the portaloo...

There were some neat costumes around - lots of people got into the spirit of the evening.  Most people had a bib on the back of their shirts with the name of the person they were walking for, or two people, or three, or several.  We saw one lady that had at least 20 names on hers.  It was a little sad.  But the night wasn't meant to be a sad one, it was to celebrate our loved ones and have fun remembering them and raising money for the Cancer Society in order for them to continue their work researching the disease and supporting families living with it.  So, fun we had!

We did a bit of a warm up to get moving, then we headed off at 8.30pm.  The beginning was really slow because of the traffic jams and bottlenecks, but once we got out on the road it was a little easier.  People were having fun, chatting and walking along.  Out on the streets people were tooting their car horns and yelling their support out the windows (or asking what on earth we were doing, then yelling their support).  We received many compliments on our attire, and had a great time.  Somewhere between 13 and 14km we stopped for a cup of tea/coffee:

Multi-coloured Sky Tower, from Viaduct Harbour

Te Wero Bridge, and some Walking Stars participants (the ones in the yellow)

We immediately regretted it because we wanted to keep moving but it was really hard to do that with a hot drink in hand.  Still, we motored around the course and were making such good time that we decided to try and aim for 3:30 instead of the original goal of four hours.  Our last kilometre around the Domain ended up being our fastest of the night, so determined were we to finish quickly (bragging rights, y'know...)

The times are not official since it wasn't actually a race, but by our estimation (and using our respective GPS tracking apps) we did indeed manage to complete the course in approximately 3:30, give or take.  My tracking says we walked 22.5km in 3:31:35:

The hardest part of the walk was stopping for traffic lights.  Or rather, starting up again once we got the green light.  My incredibly annoying injury was very much present during the entirety of the walk, and I think I narrowly avoided a black toenail or two.  But we were so very happy to have walked the course in such a good time, and cross the line to receive our special finisher's medal (yay, we got medals!!):

It was a little surreal for my friend, whose father had been at the Auckland Hospital just a year earlier having just been diagnosed.  She could even see the window of the room he'd been staying in.  This walk was important to her, and I'm very proud of her for doing so well on the night.  We got home around 12.30am, had a hot shower and a cup of tea (or cider in her case) and went to bed.

The next morning my dear newly-nine-year-old child woke me up at 6.45am (no sleep in for me!) and I pottered around until my friend woke up somewhere around 11am.  We headed (very stiffly and slowly) out the door - she went for a wander through Ponsonby, checking out the shops, and I went and had a lovely one hour full body massage!  That was her birthday present for me.  Best friend evaaaaaaar!!  It was amazing.  Then we headed in to town to watch Catching Fire at the movies.  Since it was such a special occasion, we splashed out and went Gold Class - the reclining arm chairs and foot rests were totally worth it!  We had a late lunch during the movie (she had Thai green curry, I had fries three ways - told you the weekend was full of bad food...) then we came home and blobbed out upstairs watching a TV series and eating a bunch more junk (salted caramel fudge, and vanilla bean custard with caramel and pecan sauce).  Surprisingly, we didn't go to bed until after 11.  I thought we'd be zonked out by 8...

This morning it was time for her to go home, and I dropped her at the airport at 10am.  The poor dear has to go to work today :(  Back to reality...  

My body kindly reminded me several times over the course of the weekend that yes, I do still have IBS.  But I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, and the food.  Now, I will more than happily revert back to my mostly-vegan diet - the sudden onslaught of dairy and greasy foods did not go well for me after having mostly avoided it for the last few months, which isn't surprising I guess.  On the menu tonight we I have spinach balls with a courgette sauce.  I'm skipping the pasta.  Too many carbs over the last week.  I'm absolutely craving fresh fruit, veges and salads, which will work in very well with this week's Foodbox (kale, lettuce, spinach, eggplant (baba ghanoush!!), mushrooms, strawberries and nectarines!!  Can't wait for those nectarines!!!)  

And, now that all the birthdays are out of the way for our family and it is officially December, it is time to start thinking about getting a little more organised for Christmas.  The stockings have been sent to get the names embroidered on the cuffs, I have my ingredient shopping list for this year's baked goodies (two types of truffles, pepparkakor, shortbread, peppermint bark, candied pecans and fruit mince pies - a much shorter list than last year!), and I'm narrowing down the gift list in preparation for Christmas shopping over the next couple of weeks.  Some people are a little more challenging to buy for than others - I have no idea what to get my niece and nephew, or my parents (mum, any hints?) but I think I have everyone else sorted.  We've booked X for all his weekly allergy shots right up to New Year's so we can spend a little more time in Napier for Christmas, yay!

Are you prepared for the silly season?  Making gifts this year?  Or are you one of these 'last minute' people?

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