Saturday, October 30, 2010

1st Annual Las Dos Amigas Triathlon...

My friend, Nic, and I have been workout buddies since the spring. We get together to walk and ride. I've really enjoyed it. I even started running this summer and swimming in the pool. Towards the end of the summer, Nic thought it might be a good idea to culminate all of our summer training by doing our own mini-triathlon. I thought that sounded like a great idea. It would keep us focused and give us a goal to shoot for heading into the fall. We both had vacations planned, as well as visitors coming in and out of town, so we had a little trouble finding a good date for the tri. Finally, we were able to settle on October 5th. Our husbands kept saying they thought the pool water would be awfully cold by then, and of course, they were right. We didn't have a choice, however. So on a crisp, clear, sunny October day, we swam, biked, and ran our little butts off...Here's a few pics from what we have dubbed the 1st Annual Las Dos Amigas Triathlon!
We set up our changing station in Nic's garage...we didn't plan to match in pink and black...haha...
No race is complete without swag...I made t-shirts and Nic had some cute mugs made for the event. Nice momentos!!

The swimming venue...notice the nice fall leaves at the bottom of the pool...brrr...Temp of the water at race time?? Around 65 degrees...
Nic's dog, Roxy, made herself comfortable on our towels...
Don't we look cute...Obviously, vanity is not an issue when running a tri...
I'm so glad this pic came out with the timer...Totally cool!
Ready to roll...
I got hit in the head wit a low branch on the trail...that's why you wear a helmet...We died laughing when we saw this acorn stuck in the top of my helmet...
Time for the run!!! Finishing up with a 5k...
Total time for our tri was 1:32...That's right in line with what we were shooting for...Here we are all finished with our race shirts and mugs and our adoring public...Barley, Nic's other doggie...Time for chips and salsa washed down with a nice cold Diet Dr Pepper...Can't wait to do it again next year...Hasta luego...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday #30


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Beat the Madrid Heat Tour: Part 3-Biking in the KBHVN...

When we were in Copenhagen (Kobenhaven/KBHVN) this summer, we were surprised by the number of bicycle riders who were out and about...I've always thought of Amsterdam as the quintessential bicycling capital of Europe, but the KBHVN could give Amsterdam a run for it's money. Everyone seems to be riding, and why not? The biking lanes are so well done here that bicycles and cars almost never have to cross paths. It's great...and in the summer, I can see how it is a great way to get around the city. These people have some really cool bikes with great adornments, seats, and innovative cargo holds. Wow! But it gets cold, and slushy, and slick. Why would these people choose to do this all year long??? I've seen the pics...I once found a blog that was devoted to biking in Copenhagen and showed them doing it in the dead of winter! Then I realized why?
Husband was reading to us from the Rick Steves' Scandinavia guide book, and that's when we discovered that if you buy a car and live in Copenhagen, you're going to pay ALOT of taxes on the purchase price of the that car. Any guesses??? 50%...higher...100%...higher...150%...higher still...you will pay 180% of the purchase price in taxes...So on a $10,000 car, you would pay $18,000 in taxes for a toal cost of $28,000...Talk about behavior modification to the extreme...No wonder the inhabitants of this city have tricked out their bikes and trikes!!! These are some seriously hardy people...Here were some of my favorite bikes we saw around the city...Hasta luego...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My "New" Favorite Museum in Madrid...

Located just west of the trendy shops of ABC Serrano and the upscale neighborhood of Salamanca, is a little gem of a museum...my new favorite, in fact. The Museo Sorolla is the former home and studio of the famous Spanish impressionist, Joaquin Sorolla, and his family. His wife, Coltilde, bequeathed the family residence to Spain in her will in 1925. It was open to the public in 1932, and what a national treasure it is. I can only imagine what it must have been like to live here at the turn of the 20th century. The high rises have grown up all around this family home. It is so unassuming, you just might miss it if you didn't know it was there...
A little oasis in the big city...In August, we were visited by Nana from New York. While researching things for us to do while she was here, I ran across the Sorolla Museum. I had been turned on to Sorolla by my friend, Irina, who has a print of Sorolla's Boys on the Beach in her foyer. That painting hangs in the Prado, but there are plenty of paintings just as striking as that one right here. I absolutely love his paintings. He is often referred to as the Master of Sunlight, and you can see why when you view his Valencian beach scenes. Born in Valencia in 1863, he lived and studied in there, as well as Rome and Paris. Although he settled in Madrid, the Mediterranean beaches of Valencia, along with his wife and children remained a constant source of inspiration.
I loved these gardens. They were full of beautiful fountains and trees and flowers...
What a studio...I loved the light in here...and the paintings, of course. I would love to have a place to display art in this way...
I have never had paintings translate to photos as well as Sorolla's...Here were some of my favorites...
This is one of several paintings in the museum of his Sorolla's family. You can really see his love for them in his work...
This is Husband and Eight's favorite. It's called Siesta...
A lady dances flamenco...did he plan to paint another?
Here is one of a bride and groom from Salamanca...Sorry to say it, but she doesn't look too happy...
I loved this one of a mother with her baby...So much emotion...Again, I can't believe how beautifully these paintings came across on camera...
Here's a glimpse inside his studio and some of his works at various stages of progress. Here is another painting of his wife, Coltilde...
I loved seeing all his brushes displayed in these pretty spanish vases...
Here are some little miniatures...practice paintings, I suppose...
Here are some of the family's treasures...
There are several statues placed around the home. Some were gifts and some were works of Sorolla's sculptor daughter. Eight calls this one...Kung Fu Baby...
Here is a view of the dining room. Everything is exactly as it was in this room when the family lived there, minus an oriental rug. The boughs of fruit were painted by Sorolla, himself...
More scenes from inside the Sorolla home...I loved some of the mudejar touches in the house...
Downstairs, in what appears to be the kitchen...
Pretty courtyard off said kitchen...
This was a great way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon. Admission is free on Sundays, but otherwise, it is a very affordable 3 euros per person. Afterwards, we walked down some shady promenades to Madrid's Hard Rock Cafe for a late lunch...This one museum that both boys agreed they'd return to again and again...I'm so glad to hear it...Hasta luego...

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