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Life Happening 3.10 London

I went to London for a week and I FELT in LOVE with the charming London! From day 3 as I toured the city during my morning runs, my heart moved and felt deeply in love with the city. It is so historical, charming, good balance of history, modern, nature. Even the colour mix looks just perfect.

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I stayed at Hampton by Hilton in Waterloo and that was a mile away from London Eye. I got to see it everyday. so beautiful.

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the highlight of my day was my morning runs as I got to visit different sites everyday

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here’s the balcony that Churchil declared the end of WWII, now being part of the Revenue and Custom authority

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Although london is a very busy city, it has plenty of public parks, this one is part of the loyal garden parks

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here’s the famous London Bridge… the very same one from the “london bridge falling down” ūüėČ

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the next day I run through it

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another great thing about London is that most of tourist sites are close by. One day, i just passed by Harry Porter museum.

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after I spent some time in the British Museum

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I also visited the London School of Economics. What a lovely place to study economics.

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in our last day in London, we went outside and visited Hampton Court Place, where Henry VII lived.

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a very funny garden

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Now into FOOD. I’ve so many horrible things about London food so I had expected very low. Here’s a snapshot of breakfast food being offered in the hotel. The first day wasn’t too bad. I had few spoon of the oatmeal (cooked in milk so it felt gross to me), toast with PB, baked bean (way too sweet), fruits and weetabix that I got for snack later. This was okay for 1 day but 6 days.. I couldn’t do it. I skipped breakfast on last day.

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we were offered sandwich in one of the lunch meetings. The vegetarian version had cheese and jam. Couldn’t do it.

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but if one explores outside, there are plenty of options for vegan eaters. I just walked around and when I get hungry, I look at HappyCow app and go to the nearest place. This place was buffet and charged by weight.

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I had an assorted dishes that were just okay… too salty for me

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one of the best meal I had was at an italian restaurant close to the Hampton court palace. As I glanced through the menu, there was nothing vegan. So I almost gave up and was willing to settle with some bread, then I asked, can you make the vegetarian pizza without the cheese? The lady immediately responded: so you want a vegan pizza. YES! I gave a big smile. Not only she knew what vegan was, the pizza was delicious!!! I ate 2/3 of it and was so satisfied with my food.

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And my friend treated me at french restaurant, a vegetarian tasty menu. Way too fancy.

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the food despite being super expensive (85 pound for one), I didn’t like it much because it was super rich (a la french) and had cheese in many dishes so i passed them to my friend. But I did enjoy a lot catching up with my friend.

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I got a flu on Thursday/Friday… headache followed by fever, so I didn’t run on Friday and Saturday. But I gathered my strength, popped a pill, and went to Notting Hill on Saturday morning as I had an evening flight.

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the Portobello market was fully packed!

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and got to meet with an old friend from Argentina. It was nice catching up with her and enjoyed the avocado toast.

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that concluded my trip to London. I will definitely go back soon. ūüôā

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Life happening 2.26. Post-long run sickness

Last week I attended Sofia’s teacher parent conference. The funny description of Sofia from the teacher was: Sofia is really smart, super logical and fast. But sometimes she could be impatient with her classmates who are not so fast or efficient.¬†I couldn’t stop laughing and asked myself: is it nature or nurture?

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and wonder who Lizzy will be? Rational, big picture, impatient like mom? or meticulous, detailed oriented and laid back as daddy?

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Saturday started with a 12 miles long run at La mesa trail.

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given that it’s a fairly easy trail I bought the family with me this time. They walked for 4 kms before settling for picnic time

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it was good to be out at the nature for the kids

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I had a super fast runner guide that took me around the trail and ended up doing 12.8 miles. I felt super good during the long, and was relatively fast for a trail run.

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then we got home and I prepared meals for Tony as I’ll be out for almost two weeks

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after a home massage that really relaxed me, I started to feel sick. Headache and generally unwell and zero appetite, even a bit nauseas.

The next day I had scheduled yearly check up at a very fancy wellness centre

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and even did a treadmill stress test. Then I got home still feeling really sick. Headache continued, nauseas continued and zero appetite. It was like my GI system just shut down. But I knew I had to refuel so I still made food although nothing sound appealing. I couldn’t even finish the noodle bowl with veggies and tofu I made for lunch. Then I took a nap, woke up, headache continued. I asked my running mates and they said it’s normal to feel lack of appetite and nauseas after a long run. Maybe I was under-feeling during the run, maybe I was not hydrated enough before the run, maybe I pushed myself too hard without realising it. What I knew was I needed to fuel to feel better. I made a smoothie bowl with frozen banana, strawberries, almond milk and vegan protein power. I successfully kept it down.

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then I slept another 10 hrs that night and woke up feeling a bit better, no headache but still not normal yet. Appetite and hunger were still absent and didn’t have energy to run. From past experiences, the day of the long run I don’t usually have appetite, but 1-2 days later I’d have hunger attack. So still waiting it to come.

Now it’s the third day. I slept 9 hrs, woke up feeling a bit better. Hopefully my appetite comes back soon! ūüôā

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Travel: longest solo trip

I’ve traveled for work many times but this trip is the longest time I am away from my family: 18 days in DC!!!

I left these girls for few hours and I was already missing them a lot. On my layover in Tokyo, my mom sent me these pics and my heart melted. Love love love these two

isn’t her the cutest¬†little bunny?¬†

I can imagine Lizzy posing for pictures. so funny!

I¬†was¬†lucky¬†to¬†travel¬†in¬†business¬†for¬†this¬†trip!¬†Thank¬†God!¬†Otherwise¬†I¬†don’t¬†know¬†how¬†my¬†back¬†will¬†survive¬†the¬†18¬†hrs¬†trip.
I ordered vegan meals. My first flight was by ANA and they bought me this lunch: rice, split pea, assorted vegetables. It was okay but not super good. I was glad I brought corn and sweet potato with me to supplement.

I had 2 hrs and half to kill before getting the long flight (12 hrs) to DC. I worked a bit in the lounge, munched on copious plates of edamame and rice crackers


and more vegetables

then dinner was served. first course was salad with avocado and the second course was this plate with beans, vegetables, and potato slides

finished with Japanese bean curd dessert. Super sweet and beautiful

I worked and watched two movies (downsizing and geostorm), both very good. I managed to take two naps in between. So when I arrived DC I was well rested. 12 hrs flight is a piece of cake when flying on business. ūüôā

I quickly check-in in my hotel (two bedroom suites! omg!!!) and went to meet with friends for dinner. My friend Belen was very considerate to choose a restaurant with many vegan options. We shared bread with tomato dip, ratatouille, roasted cauliflower, and a chickpea pancake. It was super nice to see and catch up with Carmen as well. She lost tons of weight (for health reasons) and looked fantastic.

Then I went to Whole Food to stock up some essentials (bread, avocado, cereals, coffee, creamer, and ice creams!) because I am staying in a suite with kitchen. So excited to eat some food that I’ve been missing from the States.

As I come back to this city that I spent the last 11 years living. It feels very familiar but also remote in certain ways. I love my life in the Philippines but I also miss the convenient, comfortable, and independent life in the US. In the Philippines we have a lot of help and I don’t need to worry about daily tasks from the house. Yet, traffic is bad, city is not pretty everywhere, groceries are not as abundant and convenient, and people has different culture. In DC, everything looks clean and beautiful, I identify myself more with people I see on the street, and I love groceries shopping here. And obviously, I miss my friends and social life in the States. Well… we will come back one day. Just not sure how soon.

Writing this post reminds me of my grad-life, when I first started blogging. I had the time, desire to say, and freedom to do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. Not that I miss that life or would exchange with the family life I have now (not for anything in the world), but this short trip to be more in tune with myself is a nice break, it makes me appreciate even more my family.

Okay… time to wrap this up and get ready for a run! I miss running in DC so much! ūüôā

 

 

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