Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lausanne Half Marathon

The Race Expo

Getting ready for race time!

The lakeside finish line

Finish line

Happy to be done!

#1! (Not really, but it was fun to pretend!)

On Sunday, I ran the Lausanne Half Marathon! The 13.1 mile/21 km race started in La Tour de Peilz and ended in front of the Olympic museum in Ouchy, the lakeside area of Lausanne. Mark and I picked up my race bib from the expo on Saturday night. I spent Sunday morning prepping for race time, and then headed down to the train station at 11:30 am to get one of the "race" trains to the starting line! I officially crossed the start line at 1:46 pm and spent the next 2 hours and 21 minutes running!! Over all, we had pretty good running conditions...the temperature was in the 50's (Farenheit)...a little chilly towards the end when it started drizzling. The race course was beautiful! I had vineyards on my right and Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) on my left. It was a great experience for my 1st international race!

Fall in Switzerland!!

Love these fall colors!
Snow in the mountains!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Fray in Paris!


Two weekends ago, Mark and I rode the TGV to Paris for a long weekend! We took the morning train on Friday, and arrived in Paris at 1:00 p.m. We checked into our hotel, the Hotel Elysees Regencia, which was near the Champs-Elysees. We had tickets to see The Fray perform on Friday night, so we took the metro to Le Bataclan, the concert venue. It was a fantastic show! The Fray is a great band to watch live! After the show, we grabbed a beer at the cafe next door.

Saturday, we woke up and headed to the Seine River to take a riverboat cruise. It's a great way to see a lot of sights in the city. We got on the Bateux Moucheux and headed to the top deck of the boat so that I could take pictures. Mark was a good sport about it, since it was pretty chilly!! LOL! It lasted 70 minutes and took us past a lot of "must-see" sights, including the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower. After our cruise, we headed to Bert's , Cafe contemporain, a great eatery we discovered a few blocks from our hotel. After we had rested up (and warmed up!), we continued our trek around Paris at the Louvre. We ended up having a great tour guide with us, as we met up with previous boss's daughter, Brittany. She is doing a study abroad program in Paris. It was fun to have someone with us who knew a lot about french art! We also saw the Mona Lisa and a great temporary exhibit of famous Venetian art work. After we left the museum, we took a snack break in the Tuileries Garden outside the Louvre. We ended our night at one of my favorite places, the Eiffel Tower!

Before we got back on the train on Sunday, we took a walk over to Les Invalides, which a military museum originally built by Napoleon. The church attached to the museum has a beautiful gold dome that can be seen from afar. Napoleon's tomb is located in this church. After that, it was time to go home. We had another amazing weekend get-away! Looking forward to what the next one has in store for us....stay tuned!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009



The 1st weekend in October, Mark and I caught a plane to Munich to take in our first experience of Oktoberfest! We took a short flight via Lufthansa and flew into Munich's International airport. From there, we took the train to our hotel, the Sheraton Westpark, which was located very conveniently right next to the train station and was approximately a 10 min. walk to Theresienwiese, the area where the Oktoberfest is constructed.

Once we checked into our hotel, we walked to the Oktoberfest grounds and had a blast taking in all the sights. It was really crowded, as it was the last weekend of the festival. It houses 14 big beer tents. Each one has hundreds of tables where, if you are lucky enough to get seat, everyone heads to drink a lot of beer and eat some traditional German food! We took in all the sights and then walked back to our hotel to clean up before dinner.

As we were not able to reserve seats in any of the tents, Mark and I bought tickets to "Dis Weinsplatz", an Oktoberfest party at the Lowenbrau beer hall in the city of Munich. It was only about a mile away from the main Oktoberfest location, so we took the train a couple of stops into the city and then walked to the beer hall. We were seated with 8 other people, so we had a very full table! Although we had a language barrier at the table (Germans on one side and Italians on the other), and were definitely lacking in space!!, we ended up having a terrific time. The servers came by to take our order and then brought us each a liter of beer! In all truthfulness, the beers were as big as my head! LOL! The hall filled up with people, and then the band got everyone in the party mood with a string of German beer-drinking music!! We also enjoyed a pork dinner (which, of course, included, sauerkraut!!) By the time dinner was done, most people were standing on the table benches, belting out the music and toasting to their tablemates! Not being used to drinking so much beer, I was done after only one liter! LOL! It was a fantastic evening!

We spent Sunday sight-seeing in the Marienplatz area in the city and then did one more walk through of the Oktoberfest grounds. It was not nearly as crowded so we were able to walk into a few of the beer tents and check out the festivites. It was such a great weekend that Mark and I are already planning our trip for next year's Oktoberfest!