Skyr!

Skyr

The number two thing I miss about Iceland.
We were introduced to Skyr at lunch on the first day of driving. It looks like a container of yogurt, in fact until you taste it you would think it is yogurt.

Then you taste it and it’s not yogurt. It’s smoother, lighter, it’s SO GOOD!
Skyr is actually a cheese product and I REALLY REALLY wish we could get it here. It’s zero fat and sixteen grams of protein per serving, as part of breakfast or as a snack it fills you up and keeps you happy for quite awhile. It’s been a part of Icelandic cuisine for over a thousand years and once you’ve tried it you understand why.

Like yogurt it comes in quite a few flavours, my favourite was Strawberry. Although the Blueberry, Melon, Vanilla, Caramel, Banana Chocolate …… basically all of the flavours, were really good as well!

Please somebody start importing Skyr to Calgary!

My roommate Kath was basically addicted to the stuff and I can’t imagine the withdrawal she’s going through now.

Tacos!

While in Tijuana we went for TACOS! At Tacos Los Paisas, good enough for Anthony Bourdain, good enough for me!
Really, really good tacos, I still dream of kind of tacos. We had the pork tacos and they were so good. How can they not be good when this guy is making them for you:
Tacos Tijuana 1 Tacos Tijuana 2

Here is one of the tacos, my plate is such a mess because I had four of them:
Tacos Tijuana 3

Right now I could eat four or more, they were SOOOO GOOD!
Tacos to dream of…….

Coffee Macadamia Nut Ice Cream!

Wandering around one gets hungry and I found a wonderful little place to stop and relax for a bit.

Kopi Lani Cafe

Coffee or ice-cream?  I love both so I went for the coffee, macadamia nut ice-cream:

Coffee Macadamia Ice cream

It was SO good, creamy, coffee and bits of I think macadamia nut brittle. I almost went back for seconds. Also this was the beautiful view of the Ship from the little table I sat at. Ice-cream, sunshine and a great view, life doesn’t get much better.

Beautiful View Maui

La Casa Sol And A Wonderful Waiter

It was another lovely hotel and my room was lovely. Meeting up with Carole I said how happy I was and that I had a t.v., Carole didn’t have a t.v. in her room but felt better when I told her the next day that there were very few channels and the reception sucked.

There was a beautiful view from the room:

Fun artwork around the hotel:

When we headed down for dinner there was nobody around and we weren’t sure if we should seat ourselves or not. Eventually we did and were handed a menu in spanish. Neither of us speaks spanish very well. The chef, who was a very pleasant young man, came over to our table and spoke almost no english. The conversation between Carole and him was a lesson in patience on both sides. Carole was trying to speak in spanish and the chef was trying to speak in english. At the end both were visibly happy with the effort they had made, after all this is how you learn a language by using it in an everyday situation.

We had the chicken soup which was so good. Ecuador does soup really well, I ate a lot of soup while I was there.

I’m Flabby! (or Thanks Olympics….)

Flabby is me. I’ve been lazy, very lazy. After watching the Tour de France for three weeks and then watching the Olympics I haven’t been exercising as much as a normally do. The result is I am feeling flabby.

Last week I started getting back into my routine, back on the bike, back to yoga, back to walking home. Oh everyday I curse myself for being lazy because once you lose it you can only get back in shape by putting in the work and that takes effort. Now I am coming home putting on my yoga or cycling gear and heading out the door, as long as I do that I can whine and complain as much as I want. I’m the only one listening anyway and well even I start to block myself out.

Slowly I can feel it coming back, the bike is feeling good again, I’m not feeling like I’m straining in yoga and the walk home is pleasurable. So YAY! Starting to feel good again.

When I tell people that I’m flabby and getting back in shape diet always comes up. The problem is I said flabby not fat. I’m not worried about weight gain, I may have gained a few but I know with the exercise those will come off and if they don’t I’ll look fine because I’m not flabby, I’m in shape. My diet is fine, I eat pretty healthy possibly a bit more chocolate than I should but generally I make my own food, don’t eat fast food and don’t eat too much  (oh except for the cinnamon loaf from Cobb’s bakery that I discovered, that I can eat a WHOLE loaf of no problem!).

I’ve had a lot of diet advice flung my way on how to lose the weight. NO I’m not fat I want to be in shape! Especially after watching the Olympics where there are some AMAZING bodies and actually not a lot of size zero’s. These women are strong and fit, they look GREAT! I don’t have the time or inclination to put in as much time as an Olympic athlete but I do want to be stronger, able to get out and do stuff without dying.

People seem to confuse fitness with thin. I know lots of thin people that are not in good shape, I also know people who are carrying a few extra pounds but they still look good because they are in shape. There is an obsession with not eating carbs or not eating after six in the evening or other tricks to cut calories. Well with my new love of cinnamon loaf the carbs are staying and to not eat after six? I don’t get home from yoga until after nine. I can’t go to bed hungry.

I will smile and thank people for the diet advice which I don’t need (also I am not overweight by any stretch of the imagination, really I’m a size four) and keep exercising to get rid of the flabby and find my strength again.

Plus the wonder of exercise is you can eat MORE!

Really it’s a win-win!

Calgary Stampede!

What says Stampede more than a picture of a big ol’ bull?

Well a lot of things actually. Drunk. Drunk says Stampede even at two o’clock in the afternoon which is about the time I saw the girl throw up outside Nashville North.

YEE HAW!

Also deep fried. Deep fried anything says Stampde. Deep fried oreos, cheesecake, corndogs, kool-aid, the list goes on and on and on. Also tons of small children and young teenagers running rampant. It was everything I remembered.

I hadn’t been in about five years so thought it was time to go down again. I enjoyed myself because I got to do what I wanted to do without somebody impatiently wondering when I was going to get tired of all the crap in the BMO centre. Well that is never going to happen I LOVE all the crap in the BMO centre. I love the art and the competitions, somebody knitted the whole royal wedding party from William and Kate’s wedding last year. There was a whacked out paper mache cowboy, I love the art from the kids and I LOVE to look at the quilts. Then it’s on to my favourite part. All the products for sale and the demonstrations! The magic mops, the popsicle makers, the knives, the vegetable slicers, the best pillows, all the cleaning products, you name it and I want to look at it. I spent a glorious two hours wandering through looking at it all. I didn’t buy anything but I am thinking about a few things that will apparently make my life SO much easier. Many things are now available online so why carry something home when you can get it delivered?

Well that’s not true I did buy fudge, beer nuts and salted caramel peanut butter (there was also a maple bacon peanut butter). The Stampede is always about the food. Outside on the grounds I got some of “Those Little Donuts”, love them and they are GREAT for breakfast! Also a big lemonade, I do love the lemonade.

I didn’t last as long wandering the grounds. The rides are noisy and I’m always worried somebody is going to throw up and it will spray the crowd (I have seen this happen and it’s not pretty, it was a girl on the USS Enterprise and it went EVERYWHERE!). It started to rain a little and I immediately thought it was puke and made a run for it. Then I walked through the games, it always surprises me that people still want a stuffed animal and will spend so much to get one. It was so noisy and packed that I just walked through without stopping, it also tends to be a lot of couples or family’s. These are the people who want the stuffed animals. Nothing says “I love you” to a sixteen year old like her boyfriend winning her a BIG stuffed animal.

All in all I found comfort that the Stampede never changes. There are drunks, girls who mistake dressing like tramps for Stampede wear, a jean miniskirt with a plaid bra top and heels does not make you a cowgirl. So many people breaking in new cowboy boots and limping along. People at every turn complaining about the prices (it’s the Stampede you should know that everything on the grounds costs MORE than it should). People complaining about the crowds (it’s the Stampede). Also people having fun, mostly the young teenagers running around giggling and having fun, at one time I was one of those and used to LOVE the Stampede.

I am glad I went but I think I’m good for another five years now because I was once again reassured that the Stampede when I do return will be the same.

Visions Of Shopping On The Way Home

I love all the little shops in Paris. No wonder people eat so well there. Good food is everywhere and from the little shops very reasonable. There are also flowers and it’s easy to imagine walking home picking up food for the evening and maybe breakfast then stopping and getting some flowers.

It’s a vision I really enjoy and although I could do similar at home, it just doesn’t seem the same. In Paris it seems like the thing to do, at home it seems like a special occasion.

This was our hotel, it was lovely (with a GREAT shower, anybody who travels knows how much a GREAT shower is appreciated) also the staff were very helpful, I would definitely stay here again:

Some shops:

How about one of these for breakfast:

They only have “Fine Claire No3” because I’m No1 (I don’t know who No2 is):