Category Archives: trip

NYC: race weekend with the family

We had our second family vacation with Lizzy. This time we went to NYC for the weekend of Shape women half marathon 2017 event.

Our family of 6 left Saturday morning in a rented mini-van. Tony drove alone for 5 hrs and we arrived the Big Apple around 2pm. Girls behaved really well during the ride. Lizzy didn’t nap at all but ate assorted snacks, same with Sofia who had a sugar-comma that day. (sigh….) After checking in at Hilton Midtown, we went out for a walk. We stopped by a French pastry store for a quick snack. Lizzy enjoyed it.

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Sofia got an ice cream instead

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Tony went to Metropolitan museum alone, the main attraction for him in NYC. Dad wanted to take a nap at the hotel before dinner, so I went out with grandma and the girls. Lizzy was so happy to see so many people on the street

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Sofia was excited too, first time in NYC, and she got a new set of Legos (Elsa obviously).

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love love her smile

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and Lizzy was being silly with her sister

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This picture of 4 women in the family together will be cherished for a long time. I can’t be more grateful to have my mom who’s taking care of my babies the way she does, and how lucky Sofia and Lizzy are to have grandma in their early lives.

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then we went to NYRR to pick up the bib and fun pic was taken

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we had dinner at a Chinese restaurant with a friend from DC. The food was just okay but we all enjoyed the atmosphere and the company.

After dinner, we went back to the hotel to call it a night for most of us. Tony went to see Phantom of Opera. His first Broadway show. I stayed with Lizzy to have a good rest before the race.

On Sunday I woke up around 4am and got up around 6am. I had laid everything out the night before to not wake up Lizzy and Tony. Sofia stayed at grand parents’ room. I had my coffee and a bar in the hotel lobby and left the hotel around 7am.

I met with the group of girls in the wechat group I created. They were coming from Boston, NJ. First time meeting them and it was nice talking to them in person.

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just few minutes before 8am, we went to my corral. My last half marathon back in September 2016 was 1hr 55 min. My goal this time was under 1 hr 50 min, and ideally around 1’48” as my last 10 mile would have predicted.

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I Cut 7 min! I started a bit slow due to so many runners (+7000!) which I think was good for me to warm up. Then for the following 2-3 miles I had to hold myself to not go too fast, although I still did pretty fast. Then I worried I was going to run out of gas after 7-8 miles so I hold it back and averaged around 8:15-8:20. I felt great the whole run despite some rolling hills. The last time I did a half marathon race I found miles 7-10 to be hard. Not that day. They went very well. Then the last mile I pushed and finished strong. I think the training really prepared me well. It gave me more confidence for the marathon in June.

After the race, I walked to meet with my crew.

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the medal

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so happy to see them after the race

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Lizzy was happy to be munching on the bagel I had

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then we walked to Time Square

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so crowded as usual

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then we had lunch as Xi’an noodle bar… Tony loved it! I ate few bites on mine before giving it to Tony, it was too spicy and too oily. I then grabbed a turkey-brie sandwich to eat on our way home. We arrived home just past 7pm.

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it was a short trip but a fun one. Can’t wait for our next family vacation in early june for my big race, the rock n roll san diego marathon! 🙂


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Travel: Buenos Aires day 2

I woke up after a wonderful 8 hrs sleep with only 1 pee-trip at night! 🙂 I made myself a quick breakfast: 2 toasted with cream cheese and a yogurt calcium fortified.


Then Mara, Gunther and her mom arrived! We catch up for hours before we decided to go our for lunch to a cafe close by


they brought us some bread. One kind is completely black… we didn’t know if it’s whole wheat or what, maybe black sesame seed paste or something. It was quite tasty.


both Mara and I had a smoked salmon salad with fresh mozzarella. We both enjoyed it.

We hang out at home and then went to a shopping mall. It was very clouded so we left.

Jeanette was preparing dinner. And Gunther introduced me to the world of balsamic vinegar. I didn’t know that there’s a large variety of the vinegar and that they could be so different. They brought this one from Germany


I tasted it straight from the bottle and woooo!!!!!! I’ve never tasted anything like that! Sour, very sweet and tasty! I was in love!!!!!


a big salad using olive oil and balsamic. Absolutely amazing!!!


as main dish, Jeanette prepared chicken with marmalade and assorted vegetables



I had two plates of the salad


and chicken with rice


both were delicious!!! We all enjoyed it a lot. In addition to the food, I think what we enjoyed even more was the conversation. Dinner lasted for like 2+ hours and we talked and laughed so much. For me, they’re my second family and I love being with him, listening to him and watching them laugh! What a satisfaction!!!

Finally, the dessert: homemade flan


Delicious. I asked Jeanette how she made it. For my surprise, it’s not made with egg, sugar and milk. She used only 4 eggs, 1 can of condensed milk and water. Brilliant! 🙂

We ended up going to sleep around mid-night! That’s vacation!!! 🙂


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Travel: Sydney day 1

We’re back!!! 😀 After our 8 days trip to Australia, both mom and I miss our cozy apartment!  It was a great trip. In just 8 days, we flight 5 times; we visited Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane and Cairns! So, be prepared for the recaps! Day 1: We arrived Sydney at 9AM. We met with our local guide who took us to Bondi Beach, one of the famous beaches in Sydney. DSCN1017.JPG

It’s a relative small beach. It’s famous for its U shape.


It was sunny when I arrived


and 30 min later it began to rain, and it stopped in 10 min.


And then we stopped by Rose Bay, where the most expensive mansions are located


We had lunch at Sydney Fish Market.



Our group (9) shared the three most famous seafood in Australia: Jumbo lobster that weighted almost 5 pounds!


two wild abalones


and two jumbo crabs





It was delicious and expensive! Each of us paid 50 australian dollars.


City tour in the afternoon


the famous Sydney Opera House




getting closer


Sydney Ann Arbor


We ended our first day with a cruise dinner! 🙂 More to come later! 🙂


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