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One move to America, one surprise pregnancy and a lot of fun later.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fall has landed

It is beautiful here with all the leaves falling of the trees and seeing the vast array of colours. What is strange is the ever changing weather. Some days it feels like winter while other days it is 70 degrees and I am out walking with shorts and t shirts. I never know what clothes I am going to wear from one day to the next as it can change in the blink of an eye. The one good thing is that the weather forecast usually gets the prediction right for each day and then that day stays constant – unlike in Scotland where you get caught in a snow drift in the afternoon after leaving the house in a summer dress because the sun was out in the morning. The one piece of advice that has been useful is layering – I always wear several layers so that I can adjust my outfit throughout the day with the weather.

Well the dog walking is going really well and I can already see a change in my fitness and body shape from it. My metabolism has got faster again and I am constantly eating to keep my energy levels up but not putting on any weight as I am walking so much. I am also please that I am still going to my yoga and pilates class each morning and I am now really seeing the results in the change in shape of my body. Jar noticed that my butt had tightened the other day and described it as a “nice pilates bum” and that has always been my problem area.

The job has been doing everything I hoped it would as I am getting so much fresh air each day and I am out even when it is pouring down and I would otherwise not be venturing out in it. I have just taken Elaine (Dingsy) advice on buying myself a very decent pair of waterproof walking boots. I had a pair of good hiking boots but they have never been right on me and always ripped my feet to shreds so we went out over the weekend and bought a new pair which I thoroughly tested in the shop but I guess only time will tell if they work well. I certainly need them as my trainers were not waterproof and I couldn’t really do all the walking and driving in wellington boots. While I was at the sports shop getting them I also bought myself a wee cheap pedometer as I am curious to see what distance I am covering each day – no reason other than sheer curiosity. I will start using it tomorrow so will let you know.

The dogs are just so loving and are genuinely bonding with me. I have been doing the same basic route for the last 3 weeks so have the same core clients each day, with extras added on every other day. It is so lovely when the run to me and bounce around very excited. I will try and get some pictures over the next few weeks and write a blog about my clients. So many different dog types and mixes that I have never come across.

What else have we been up to?

Well we experienced out first American Halloween. They really go in for it in a big way. In the suburbs where I do my walking, every other house had Halloween decorations outside – lots of spiders webs complete with giant spiders and grave yards in gardens complete with grave stones and skeletons climbing out of the ground. Lots of pumpkin carvings as well. We decided not to bother with any pumpkins or decorations as we knew that we were going out for Halloween and would not be having any visitors or trick or treaters. On Halloween night we met up with Kim and Andrew in Georgetown for an early dinner. The restaurant was, aptly, named The Tombs and all the staff were dressed up. My favourite was the barman dressed as an Oompah Loompah. I went as Galadriel (the queen of the elves) from Lord of the rings and Jarlath went as William Wallace from Braveheart. Jars costume was outstanding and certainly got him lots of attention on the Metro as we were coming home later on – if one more person shouts Freeeeedom I would have probably screamed. After dinner we headed up to the Dupont Circle area and went into a bar called Lucky bar as it looked like fun. It certainly was fun as again everyone in the place was dressed up in some way. It was amazing to see almost everyone out that night had made an effort to dress up in some way. I got overexcited to see some of the muppets from Sesame street and almost passed out when I found a Hobbit to go with my costume. Well we ended up going in for the costume competition and Jarlath came a healthy second place to win a $50 voucher for the place. We will go back and have some dinner and drinks soon as it is a nice place. He was beaten by Oscar the Grouch which was a superb costume although it is available to buy as a completed costume on the internet whereas Jarlath’s was homemade from items we had in the house so I felt he deserved his prize just for that! Anyway it was lots of fun. Jarlath and I went to get the metro home just after midnight which was quite a surreal experience as we were surrounded by some strange people – although I am sure we looked just as strange to them. I ended up sitting beside Jesus Christ complete with Crown of thorns and had quite an interesting conversation with him on our way back to Bethesda. When we reached Bethesda we decided to drop into our local Irish pub for a last night cap. Luckily it was still open and some of our friends were still there so we had some fun for another hour before eventually giving it up for the night and getting a taxi home for 2.00a.m All in all a fun night. Here are the photos:


And here are the photos of the pumpkin patch we visited even although we didn’t buy any:


I have been quite remiss in visiting any museums or places of interest lately so decided to go into downtown DC and visit a museum. I wasn’t in the mood for anything of high intellect so we chose to visit the Crime and Punishment museum. It was quite interesting and had the usual sections of medieval torture instruments (which I love) along with more modern serial killers from America. They had a CSI crime lab which was fairly interesting and would be more so if you watched the program, I am sure. It was an interesting day out if a little overpriced – it was a privately owned museum and not part of the Smithsonian. It is also still quite exciting to just wander around down town DC as it is still new to us.

Even more photos:


We also decided to take advantage of the good weather last Sunday by going out a long walk. Vicky had given us a book called 50 hikes within 50 miles as a house warming gift and we have been trying to use it every so often. We chose a walk in Rock Creek park. This park was established in 1890 and covers 2100 acres in the heart of DC. When Sarah (Sazzymch) was passing through on her way to Texas we had tried to find the park to go a walk but only succeeded in finding a small wooded area full of garbage and condoms. Well I am not sure how we couldn’t find this park as it is so big and has lots of sports facilities, planetarium and lots of trails. Jarlath and I found a 9 mile walk in the Northern wooded area and had a lovely afternoon out as the sun was shining through the trees. We also visited the nature centre where I got to handle lots of pelts from real animals, which was a bit gross, but interesting.

Some photos:


This Sunday was another lovely day so we again decided to have a day out somewhere different so decided on driving to Annapolis to see the Naval academy and harbor. You forget how close some places actually are and realized this was only a 45 minute drive out towards Chesapeake bay area. The temperature was at 70 degrees again so the drive was lovely and when we arrived we parked up and went a walk up the main street to look at all the quaint little shops and then around the harbour. We then decided to take a 40 minute boat trip around the bay with a tour guide giving us some history on the Naval academy and local area. It didn’t really tell us very much but the boat ride was quite pleasant and for once I didn’t feel queasy or sea sick. After our boat trip we decided against the tour of the naval academy as we wouldn’t have time to do it properly so we found a lovely restaurant and sat out on the deck overlooking the harbour for some lunch. It was a nice trip out for a lovely Sunday afternoon. All a bit middle aged but I guess we are getting that way now!

Some more photos:


Well spending this week having the book group at my house and getting reading for our week long Thanksgiving trip to Toronto in Canada and Rochester, NY. So, I should have a bit more to write about for my next blog.

Hope I haven’t bored you too much and that people are actually still reading!!?

Happy Christmas and Thanksgiving planning everyone.

H Xx

Ps Hugs to Trudie (notblondereally) and a fast recovery from her post op infection and to Elaine well just because!

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