Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Category: Uncategorized Page 1 of 201

Taking a break from writing to write

I have been pouring much of my spare time towards goal #5, but I wanted to take a break from making those words to make these below.

Goal #1 – Weigh 178.0 lbs by the end of the month

Well, I did it once (on Thursday), but my average is still a bit above that.

It’s a bit slow going. I’ve had a few… indulgences. Sometimes you have to celebrate good news before you can share it (and probably be too busy) at Trulucks.

And then, you know when you have one of those days where you just can’t even? I had a few of those early in May. I managed to get my shit together pretty quickly, but I took two full days off workouts, didn’t track my food for three days for the first time since the cruise, and just kind of let myself be okay with not aggressively working towards my goals for just a few moments in time. It was enough to get back on track instead of starting a huge rebellion similar to 2020. And 2021. And early 2022.

Calorie Deficits: Week 1: ?? (I’m going to guess about 0, honestly) Week 2: 212 Week 3: -397

I haven’t been perfect this month, but I’ve been pretty good. And that’s way better than giving up. Things are still going in the right direction. This last week being a bit over is just a gentle nudge to me to stay the course.

#2 – Strength Over Stamina

Another place where I’ve been good but not perfect…. please refer to my garmin calendar.

+1 hour today for the walk I haven’t taken yet but totally intend to!

Here’s some hurrahs:

  • I’ve been quite consistent with my swimming, 750y in 14:30-ish minutes for 3 weeks in a row. Improving this isn’t even really in my top 10 things right now, so I’m just happy I’m in the water.
  • Staying consistent with strength training 3x week. Seven months now, forever to go!
  • FTP test done today, and survey says: 182W. My watts are finally higher than my lbs! 🙂 It was the first time doing the ramp test, I think I have some improvement left (5-10W max) just by knowing what to expect next time.
  • I’ve done two bricks this month. Neither were magical (read: runs were 10 min/miles, one day was too hot/late and one day my legs felt crappy) but I am optimistic about what I might be able to do with a little race day magic (and caffeine).
  • I’ve been pretty decent with recovery. I’m rolling/stretching 3-4x week and using the massage boots and ice almost every night. All the parts feel like they work most of the time and I know what to do about them when they don’t before it becomes a huge problem (and that’s proper recovery).
  • Just running in general is a ‘yay’. It’s been really excellent this month. I tend to have to run just a few minutes after I’m out of bed and haven’t had the time to try a workout when my body and brain feel alive yet, but it feels like there’s good stuff in there if I did!
I can’t believe we’ve had wildflowers for soooo long this year!

And the boooos:

  • I haven’t ridden my TT bike outside again since the end of April and not sure I’ll get a chance before the race since it’s in a week.
  • I also haven’t been swimming in open water since Kerrville last year. I will make sure I do this before the race since I need to see if my swim skin fits now. 🙂
  • No practice tri (swim/bike/run) and I am pretty sure I have missed my chance to do this before the race.

#3 Not Just Ignoring My Surroundings

Here is one reason why I blog about my goals. I wrote some excuses about not being able to prioritze decluttering the bedroom, it feels too big, I can’t make myself do this with my precious little free time. And then I asserted I’d be happy with just organizing my jewelry box area and the drawers underneath it. Then, I realized I was about to have my weekly chat with my parents and I could totally multitask.

An hour and a half later, we’d caught up on the week, and that section is clean. I know I’m never going to have a lot of motivation to do this stuff, and if I wait for some mystical force to make me ready, I will be LONG DEAD before that happens. Sometimes, things just take doing.

I will now say that I’d like the next very small section (the rest of my jewelry and hair stuff) done by the end of the month. It may take the same amount of time or less.

#4 Relaxing Hobbies

  • Painting: nope. I have been absolutely sucked into my novel trying to barrel towards a full first draft. I’m cool putting this one on pause until later on because of that.
  • Blogging: here’s Brussels – and waiting on the camping blog until I edit those photos
  • Photo editing: I’m currently in the middle of Day 4 of Paris, and I know I’ll finish that by the end of the month. I may pause before the Louvre on Day 5 as it has over 1000 pictures to sort through and hop over to something else for a while.
  • I have played some guitar, but definitely not 3x week. It’s an afterthought, not a habit.
  • Meditation – I’ve done it more days than I haven’t, but I’m thinking about 4x week. I think that’s where I’m settling now and just can’t bring myself to do it every morning like I used to.

#5 Write Stuff

I’ve spent almost every moment of free time on this that I can without being a complete antisocial a-hole (and maybe treading the line there the last weekend or two, sorry Joel!). I’m at 65k words and climbing, and I’m beginning to write what feels like the ending of book one. The last words in my draft are “F$%k. We’re running out of time” (yeah, the book is definitely PG-13 right now). I’m excited when I think about the story, but not when I read the words. In my guts, I know it will get there, but I need the crappy first draft done first. I need to know the shape before I can really mold the clay. So, I am racing my way laying out the story and will be SUPER excited to just noodle and noodle and noodle with the fiddly bits once I’m there. Then, I’ll have to set some boundaries on how much I do that before I let in a small audience of readers. I also haven’t done any of those exercises the writing books say to do, so I may do that too.

But first, I need to have the words down. I don’t think I’ll type “the end” before May 31, but I also don’t think I’ll be too far off.

So, yet again, goals for the rest of the month, short as it may be:

  • Track every day and try to bring myself back to 1200 + exercise calories consistently to see how close to 178.0 I can get.
  • In this order: open water swim at least once (must), ride my tri-bike outside (would be nice), do a practice tri (highly unlikely), then go see what I can do at my first race in a long time where I feel like maybe I can actually kind of… race.
  • Clean out my jewelry/hair area of the vanity.
  • Play more guitar, at least a few times before the end of the month.
  • Keep plugging away at the book towards a finished rough draft.

Ten days left, let’s go!

Brussels: Un Grand Place

Our day in Brussels was an afterthought, but an afterthought I’m very very glad we had!

When we looked at train trips from Koln to Paris, many of them stopped in Brussels. Joel started looking for an itinerary that gave us a few hours to explore. I decided to take it even further and got us a very nice hotel to stay in so we wouldn’t have to lug our luggage around. The train trip was extremely uneventful in the best way possible, and we were in Brussels mid-morning. Our hotel let us stash our luggage for a few hours, and we went to go play!

We wandered around a little bit, and then found a cute little Italian place to eat, complete with a house cat that lived upstairs. We split a delicious salami and olive pizza and a pretty rainbow salad for lunch. This may have been my favorite salami pizza of the trip. And considering I had many contenders for favorite salami pizza during this trip, I have no idea why I may have gained weight during it… it’s a mystery.

Once we were fueled for the day, I led us to the Grand Place, which was something the internet said we couldn’t miss. Well, sure, you definitely can’t miss this!

After gawking at the plaza for an appropriate amount of time, we wandered back through the streets and noted a multitude of adorable waffle shops. Some were…. themed.

Why so many phalli? Well, it’s in hommage to THIS GUY, the Manneken Pis. He’s the town mascot.

After some more wandering though pristine streets with beautiful buildings, we found a very nice garden and relaxed here for a few minutes.

The backpacks grew heavier and check in time was near, so we headed back to the Warwick and spent a bit of time in the room. I worked for a bit, then I took a nice, long, relaxing bath in our tub.

After this much-needed recharge, we headed back out in search of food and drink. The brew pub kitty corner to the town’s mascot called our name, and one of the three outdoor tables were unoccupied. It was kismet!

Since we had an excellent seat, Joel resolved to have a sampler of each of the taps. I tasted a few and then stuck to my favorites. We couldn’t pass up a Belgian waffle in Belgium, so I retrieved late-afternoon snack for us- we passed on the phallic variety and instead partook of one with caramel, chocolate, and whipped cream.

It was just as delicious as it looked. After two weeks in Germany drinking very light beers, the ABV in Belgium snuck up on us. Around sunset, we started the search for something to soak up all the beverages.

We were looking to try a restaurant Joel picked out, but they were reservation-only with just one spot available hours later. The need for food was imminent, so we wandered back to the Grand Place to watch the last vestiges of light disappear behind the impressive buildings.

Right there was a restaurant with an expansive menu that looked yummy, so we found a table.

We started with a charcuterie board, and then split a beef stew and fish and chips.

Because, Europe, both actually came with the chips as a side dish. Beef stew for proof.

The view did not suck. After a leisurely dinner enjoying the perfect weather and gorgeous scenery, we retired to our hotel and crashed HARD.

…because we did that, we forgot to buy our train ticket to Paris the night before. This resulted in us waking up, realizing we needed to get going NAOW because the only train trip option remaining left in 30 minutes. There was bit of drama with stops and missed connections when we should have had a very quick straight shot. What could have taken 2 hours took almost 8.

Was it worth it for one night in Brussels? You bet your Grand Place it was!

It May be a good month

I blinked and now it’s gonna be May tomorrow.

This May be my one of my favorite photos from April

So, yeah, time to recap April and talk about what May be. And no, I will never get sick of stupid puns, just relax and go along for the ride.

#1 Weigh 180.2 lbs by the end of the month

Well, sort of. I had not one, but TWO weights in the 170s this month, so that was neat! And I was 180.1 today. But… trend weight still sez I’m 182.0. So, not quite.

I’m still moving in the right direction, so that’s all that matters. April was a bit of a challenge to navigate – we had a four-day camping trip and multiple gluttonous celebratory meals/food occasions with people – so I’m quite pleased the line continues its downward trend. My average in early October was around 194 lbs, so I’ve lost a solid 12 lbs in 7 months. 1.75 lbs per month is super snail-y pace but it definitely beats the alternative!

I’m now in a place where the majority of my closet fits, I can put on my skinny jeans (though they still have a bit of a muffin top), I don’t feel my joints sob in agony when I try to run, and I look like me again – not this weird, marshmellow-y person that’s somehow wearing my face. I was heavier than this by a few lbs (though better trained, for sure) when I qualified for nationals in 2018. If I’m being honest with myself about where I was in March 2020, I’m about 5-7 lbs away from where I started the pandemic (records say 175-177 even if my brain had me closer to 170). While I have further goals, losing all the takeout/ramen/pity-drinking weight is the first big benchmark I want to hit. Eyes on that prize first. If I can not screw it up, I’ll be there in the next few months.

Still haven’t wrapped my head around the fact this me weighed more

I will continue by doing the same thing that I have been doing – 1200 calories + activity, tracking my food daily – as it’s working. My dance card doesn’t seem to be too full of food-related festivities in May, so I’m hoping to get another month of solid progress. My goal is what it always is; to lose 1 lb of trendweight per week. This means, by the end of May, I will weigh 178.0 and that’s heckin’ exciting!

#2 Strength Over Stamina

My weird and wonderful body has worked out the hip issue that sidelined my running much of March. My right hip hurt because my left hip forgot how to activate itself (?). I seem to have retrained it to remember how to hip again. Then, the niggles morphed into a weird arch pain that was okay while running but a bit uncomfortable otherwise the rest of the day, which seemed to be exacerbated by too much sandal wear (?), and also seems to have sorted itself with some targeted icing and wearing shoes (?). All the question marks because these are stupid reasons that shouldn’t make a difference (same sandals I always wear, same hip I’ve had for 44 years). However, I’ll take the glass half full attitude of all’s well that ends well because I’m back to running 5ks three times per week at or below the previously agreed upon pace and not limping afterwards.

This is what the garmin looks like these days. I ain’t mad at 7-8 hours a week right now (remember this skips all my walks, which is now down to probably 2h/week but still nice low-impact activity).

Things to also note:

  • I have figured out my window to swim (Monday afternoons, when I am not out of town) and my pace has magically dropped to about 1:55/100y. Not speedy compared to pre-pandemic but a heck of a lot better than anything since. I just need to keep consistent.
  • The three times a week strength training streak continues through April. Six solid months of lifting and I can definitely tell in numbers progress (15 lb dumbells became 20, then 25, now 30), and also in how I look and feel (read: the joints not groaning when I run). I will maintain that these are the most important workouts of my week, maybe forever and ever, but at least through 2023.
  • I owe myself an FTP test next week. I got a new garmin, so it’s a new test, and I expect the number to change wildly from the last one and use that as the new baseline. Joel’s was much higher than before. I look forward to it.
  • Four of five weekends, we rode bikes outside. Three were road bike outings that extended our comfort zone distance a bit (20-30 miles) and this week we had our inaugural outing on our racing bikes which was also outside the comfort zone until I remembered how to ride aero not on the trainer.
  • Two bricks done. While I may be lighter than I was in 2018 when I qualified for nationals, I’m not sure I can hold that 9 min/mile pace in the 5ks like I did then (I did a mile and a half and then two miles and gosh, I dunno if I have more of those at that speed in me). I suppose we will see when I’m fully caffeinated with people chasing me.

Pretty stoked in April to have hit most of what I wanted in this category. So, in May, I will:

  • Continue with 3x week strength training as my most important box to check
  • One brick per week, and one of them needs to be a practice tri with swim, bike, and run
  • Ride my tri-bike outside at least one more time before the race
  • Swim once a week, and two of those need to be… open water (dun dun dun)
  • Maintain the 7-8 hours a week of activity with 5x30mins or more of swim, bike, or run
  • Prioritize recovery better. I need to stretch and roll at least 3x week. Those have fallen off in favor of just sitting on an ice pack in the massage boots lately.
  • Race with joy. It’s a very large one, so no podium goals, I just want to be happy with my performance after.

#3 Ignoring My Surroundings

Note the title, it’s indicative of April’s progress. My focus has been elsewhere this month. And that’s okay as long as it doesn’t happen every month. I’m going to repeat the goal but also change tactics a bit.

  • First priority goal: declutter the master bathroom and vanity area. The “spend 5 minutes a day” thing just didn’t work out. I’m going to take an hour a week to do this instead.
  • Second priority: help Joel with the pool and organize the craft/work/dining room whenever he gets motivated to do it.

While we’ve slowed here, I am really happy at our progress thus far. It’s nice to have a guest room that doesn’t have crap all over, an organized and fully usable workout room, and a pleasant and decluttered office I’m actually happy to walk into each day I WFH. When I whine about precious free time spent on the herculean task of the master bedroom, I need to remember how much calmer I’ll feel when there’s not piles of stuff everywhere.

#4 Relaxing Hobbies

First up – let’s talk meditation. I was so, so, so good about this earlier in the year. I know I wake up a better me when I do it first thing. But, I don’t know why, but lately I just get BOOOORED doing it and am excited to get out of bed and DO STUFFS. If I’m being honest, I’m probably down to 3x week. Better than nothing, but still. I need to make it a priority each morning and figure out a backup plan (when do I meditate if I don’t do it first thing?).

The rest of the fun things are appropriately being enjoyed. I am picking up my guitar a few times a week (WFH days as a break or the end of my day works out really well!) and actually started learning a new song (!) for the first time in a year. I blogged about Koln. I finished the minis I wanted to finish in time. While I’m not *quite* done with day 2 of Paris pictures, I’m really far along. I went camping and it was nice to be in the urban woods for 4 days. Fun was had. Much enjoy. Wow.

For May, I would like to:

  • Touch a paintbrush to a canvas for the first time in forever and relocate the existing ones to their new home instead of in the corner of the kitchen.
  • Edit through middle of Day 5 of Paris (the Louvre). This should get me halfway through what’s left of the 2022 EU trip (before I go back again!)
  • Continue WFH guitar breaks, aiming to play 3x week and make sure the new song is in my “known” archives by the end of the month
  • Blog on our day in Brussels last year and our camping trip last month

And finally… #5 Write Stuff

I continue to plug away consistently at the book. I’m at 51.5k words again (which doesn’t sound like much progress from mid-month, but it is, I shall explain). I’m at this point with my current draft:

Thanks I Hate It Die Cut Sticker - Etsy

…but from what I hear from one who does it professionally, that’s progress. And I get it. I’m no longer just super stoked that I’m making coherent words on a page, I’m actually able to critically analyze what I’m writing. And it’s all crap right now! Why? Because I’m powering through this part of the D&D campaign where I just didn’t know or really like the character I was playing and it’s all just super awkward. It will get better, little Fork, don’t worry!

Allllso, last week upon some solid feedback, I switched the POV character from third to first person with a quick few hours edit of the draft which knocked a few thousand words off the count. It takes away about 5% of the charm of awkwardly trying to write a gender-neutral character without using many pronouns but solves 95% of the problems of trying to write a gender-neutral character without using many pronouns. Me, my, and I are so easy and comfortable. It’s the right call. But I need to do a better edit now that I have them at my disposal (not just replacing Fork or the bard or they with me, my, and I, but also reworking the language to fit it better).

I have realized the way out is through. Instead of getting hung up on the deficiencies of the current draft, I need to ignore all that noise and power through to the end of the book, even if I hate the words right now. Once I have a full picture of what Fork Files Volume 1 actually IS, I can shape it into coherence. I have the character development sorted, I know where it goes, I know where it ends, I know why it goes where it goes and why it ends how it ends and I know how to set the stage for book 2. This is exciting stuff, folks, to finally have a map and a plan instead of just putting words on a page and hoping they make a story.

I also have a writing buddy, who’s doing the same thing, and we’re trading feedback and war stories about writing, which is awesome and motivating.

My goal in May is to continue continuing. I don’t think I get to the end next month, but unless my progress slows to a crawl, I could be really close. The 12+ hours of travelling each way in June I’m looking at? That is CHOICE writing time and on the way home could be the moment I type THE END (well, not really, since I’ll pick up the story right after in book 2, but y’know what I mean).

So, to wrap up – in May, I may (just kidding, I WILL, this is the year of MOMENTUM, after all):

  • Weigh 178.0 lbs by May 31
  • Get ready for racing with bricks, riding my tri bike outside, swimming in the lake (and once a week), and one more FTP test.
  • Declutter the master bathroom and vanity
  • Prioritize recovery (full list 3x week) and meditation (5x week)
  • Start a painting!
  • Blog on Brussels and Camping
  • Continue guitar breaks and Paris photos
  • Keep plugging away on my book, with the end in sight this month

Looks like it May be a good month to me 🙂

April Check-ins Make May Progress

I’ve been focusing much of my creative time on fiction writing, but lest we think I’ve jumped off the wagon, ’tis not the case, friendos.

I ate pizza but I rode 30 miles first, so it checks out.

So, here’s a quickie check in on April smack dab in the middle of it!

#1 – Weigh 180.2 lbs by April 30th. Progress is being made. I’m tracking on the daily (not days at a time). Using the formula of 1200+ exercise calories – I’m staying an average of ~50 per day under that. I’ve reversed the upward trends from March, and I’m making my way back towards the 170s. I’m honestly not sure I’ll make the number goal I want this month, though anything could happen. However, I will keep at it and would be stoked to see the line continue to creep on down and would sure be neat to see at least one weight in the 170s this month.

#2 – Strength Over Stamina. Well, this is a whole lot of NOT NOTHING!

I finally figured out when to swim this week (as early after work on Mondays as possible), and I found a little speed last time and brought my pace under 2:00/100yd. Woo!

Running is back on the menu, and I’m here for it. Pain free is a bit of a misnomer, but I’m running with a warmup/prehab routine, vigorous applications of my new massage gun after, and most importantly, with the blessing of my chiropractor. I’m almost back up to 5k and will hang out there again 3x week until there’s zero issues. And maybe even longer, I’m not racing anything longer than 5k off the bike.

When I’m on the bike this month, I’m doing something challenging to see if it can improve my fitness. Technically I did an FTP test already, but it was just in place of a difficult workout (and my numbers went down, actually, I wasn’t feeling it). I got a new bike Garmin, and I have a new type of test to try later this month. Excite! I’ve ridden outside twice this month, and plan to get plenty of smiley bike miles outdoors whilst camping. I haven’t run off the bike recently, but I imagine that will change soon as I have actually signed up for races!

  • Cap Tex Triathlon – Sprint (May 29)
  • Lake Pflugerville Tri – Sprint (June 25)
  • Kerrville Triathlon – Sprint (Sept 23)

Keeping it short and sweet to stay true to this year’s focus on strength, but this will keep me honest with my cardio. I need races in my life to scare me into doing the things that I actually really enjoy once I start doing them, if that makes any damn sense.

#3 Stop Ignoring My Surroundings

Let’s move on. I’m letting Sir Joelio dictate the timeline and my involvement in helping him with his projects, and we just haven’t done much. S’okay. Other stuff is happening and it would be a shame to waste this beautiful weather cleaning things. Bleh.

#4 Relaxing Hobbies

  • Continue my meditation goal of 5xweek and go camping! Ehhh, it’s close if not exact. I’m hoping camping helps me focus a bit more. Focus is a little challenging these days.
  • Finish the minis by our first April play session. Hey, I did this!
  • Every WFH day take a guitar break. YES! I’ve been pretty darn good at taking some guitar breaks this month. I just need to intend to do it until it’s habit.
  • Finish the post on Koln DONE!!!
  • Get through the first 2 full days of Paris photos. Well – I’m done with Day 1 and moving onto day 2. And day two has almost 600 to sift through. I may not complete this, but I’m moving through them. I’m motivated by impending travel. 🙂

And finally, #5 – Write Stuff.

This is going REALLY REALLY well. I’m closing in on 50k words (~49k now), which is great. But much more importantly, I know where I’m going now. One evening, the payoff at the end came to me, and I loosely wrote the ending and the epilogue to lead to the next book in my head. Then, I watched ahead and found out the ending I came up with actually goes along with the campaign timeline that actually happened! I now have progress happening on all the plots and I’m preparing to wrap them up.

I plan to do another “kindle read” at the 75% complete stage while camping, and… if nothing completely throws me off track, I might have a rough draft sometime this summer!

This has been a pretty solid month so far, and I’m enjoying the ride (especially because I’ve been able to ride outside, woohoo!). I’m VERY VERY VERY much looking forward to our camping trip coming up here shortly to play bikes, read books, and just chill the eff out.

Koln, a smorgasbord of work and play

Koln was the third of five legs of our EU journey and the last that was for work (though we squeezed every moment of play we could out of our free time!).

After a very pleasant morning and early afternoon on the train from Hamburg, we departed the Koln station to see the Dom being gorgeous and impressive right there in front of us!

This is the view 30 seconds after departing the Koln Hauptbahnhof

Then, we checked into our hotel and found two things: one, it had a lot of character in that it was partially renovated but not entirely. So, we had this giant, almost suite-sized room with a new, nice tub and shower, and a great view from the giant windows that let out to the fire escape. However, there was also really ugly orange 60-year-old shag carpet and furniture and also a weird closet/room area.

This was some of the best parts of the room – the view…

There was also no AC, just one teeny fan from 1980, and the weather was unseasonably warm (upper 80s, pushing 90). So, the first thing we did was take a team building trip to Ikea in the suburbs via U-Bahn and we boughts some really high-powered fans. After returning to the city, we saw a Mexican restaurant and decided to see what German Mexican was like. It was… interesting. Not bad, but definitely not the same as any Mexican food I’ve had anywhere in the US.

Then, we went to the convention to get set up. It took a few hours, so when we left at 10pm, nothing was really open for dinner, so we hit the Doner shop.

This did not make me sad in the slightest. I’ll take a Doner for any meal, any time. 🙂 I figured the fans would just barely cut the heat, but they were pretty breezy. Also, the white noise made it so easy to ptfo. Best sleep of the trip so far and woke up feeling refreshed the next morning!

Well, in comparison. I look HECKIN’ tired here.

We had a great day meeting current and future partners, talking to press, and meeting some more of our German coworkers.

After the show closed, we were invited to a team dinner at a traditional German restaurant on the waterfront. I got my first schnitzel of the trip and man, it was AWESOME. We enjoyed good food, good drinks, and good company for the rest of the evening and into the night.

I have no pictures but good memories of the paragon of confidence walking out of a bar with an unauthorized drink like he owned the place (and I tried the same and got stopped, heh). I talked with a girl from France that gave me all sorts of travel tips, and the departure home was interesting. The most adventurous took a scooter, the least adventurous took an uber, and the rest of us hiked through the city like little baby ducks following the leader in the wee hours to arrive back to our hotel and have another night of white-noise induced great sleep.

Thursday was another excellent day at the convention. After the evening before, I definitely made use of the free cappucinos and free food to counteract the debauchery, but this is how these things go. 🙂 Afterwards, we tried out the steakhouse in the host hotel and it was pretty darn yummy. However, more fries. Always fries. In Europe, everything comes with fries. I was hoping for some other sort of potato but… fries.

You know it’s trouble when your drink comes with a both a candy and a marshmallow…

Afterwards, we let one of our coworkers pick the rest of the evening’s plans, and they chose these crazy large rainbow fruity drinks at the Mexican restaurant. Ok, well, fine. Let’s go! We finished the evening with a trip to get said coworker “chicky nuggies” (hell, I wanted chicky nuggies too at that point) and they came with this delicious side of jalapeno cheese bites I honestly still dream of to this day. Looking on the McDonald’s website, I think they’re widely available but, in my mind, (and for the sake of my waistline), they’re a German thing.

Friday, we were up and at it again, and closed out the convention successfully. The team decided to do dinner together and ended up at the same steak place. To switch it up, I got a burger (and fries, sigh), and sadly, the Hamburg-er will be the best one of the trip.

After the crazy few days, we didn’t want to go out and party with people again, so we sipped a glass of wine in the trippy pre-renovated basement lounge on the cushy brown couches and prepared for two days of aggressive sightseeing.

Saturday, we slept in a bit and then took a trip outside of town to visit a palace! We walked the grounds and took a tour of Schloss Augustusburg. It was very, very cool. It was also apparently a popular site for weddings and wedding photos, as we say many, many bridal parties around.

The inside was so ornate and beautiful, and the grand staircase (one of the only places they allowed photos) was one of the most awesome sights, though I loved the Summer Dining Room. It had tile all over the walls to keep things cool (and holy cow, it really did!). This event took most of the day, so after tromping all over the exterior and interior and then a long trip back, we ate pastries, took a quick nap, and then got some delicious Indian food to close out our Saturday.

Sunday, we finally got the word that the hotel had breakfast (!!), and we partook before we headed out for the day. First, we toured the Dom.

It was also awesome and ornate and gorgeous and beautiful.

After touring the ground floor and then the catacombs, we left our group to go climb the 600 stairs to get the view. It was a rough climb on a very very narrow winding staircase, but the scenery was totally worth it.

Then, we got a salad. Because OMG, after two weeks of eating junk food, all I wanted out of life was a salad.

After resting at the hotel a bit, we went to climb the Triangle building at sunset so we could get the iconic Koln picture. I really wanted to go at sunset and wait until dark to get the city all lit up, but they close early on Sundays, so that will be on the list next time for sure!

We strolled over the bridge and looked at all the love locks, and wandered into a street performance of a guy juggling fire balancing on a balance board. As one does.

Then, we spent our last night in Germany getting a smorgasbord. This was entirely too much sausage and we did our best, but could only eat about half of it. You know your meal is heavy when the fries are the palate cleanser and the least greasy thing about the plate.

Finally, we took one of our last U-bahns back to the hotel and I ruined my Bloodbowl opponent 3-0 to finish out the evening (my dice were on fire).

In the morning, we woke up in time to get one more German breakfast, and caught the train to our next destination. Tchuss, Germany et Bonjour, Bruxelles!

Page 1 of 201

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén