Race Weekend

So I am turning 30 in 11 days. I know I am ONLY turning 30, however, leaving my 20’s behind seems a little scary. Earlier this year I vowed to myself I wanted to achieve a few things before the big 3-0. One thing was to step up my fitness game. Enter my goal: Run in an organized race by November. Well folks I can check that off the list! I ran in my first 5K race this weekend.

The run took place in Golden Gate Park on Halloween morning. Here is a lake in the park. Eerie right?!?

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Since the race was on Halloween it was encouraged that you run in costume. I dressed as a black cat and my fiance was Waldo.

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The race started and we got off to a great start. Unfortunately, around 1.6 miles I started loosing steam. My fiance thankfully had some encouraging words  and we finished in 30:04!

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Boy did that finish line look glorious! I have to say I feel super proud and accomplished. Maybe I can train for bigger races…half marathon maybe? (haha)

WIPs on WIPs on WIPs

There is a lot going on in my project bag. I don’t know what is up with this week. My hands have wanted to dabble in a variety of things. Generally I am a pretty monogamous project knitter. However, some of these projects have emerged from my efforts to de-stash.

WIP #1- Striped Baby Socks

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Another pair of baby socks are on the needles. I swear my size 1 DPNs are going to be worn out by the end of the year. This time I am using the rest of my Debra Norville Serenity Sock yarn to whip up some striped footwear. Aren’t they cute? It is hard to believe people start so tiny.

WIP #2- Alpaca Heaven

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I began my secret project with the alpaca yarn I picked up in Peru and OH MY GOODNESS! Knitting with this yarn is like knitting with clouds! It is sooooo soft. I wish I had bought more so I could have a whole alpaca wardrobe.

WIP #3- Vibrant Textures Cowl

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Mix extra sock yarn and a desire to try new stitches and you get a pretty interesting result. I think I am going to try and get all the colors of the rainbow in this project (minus indigo). Only purple and orange to go!

Happy Thursday!

Bolivia in Pictures

Okay last post about my South American adventure. 🙂

The final 2.5 weeks of our travels lead us to the Eastern side of Bolivia. We had the opportunity to travel to Copacabana, Isla del Sol, La Paz, and the Salt Flats. Each had its own unique charm and amazing landscape. While we were there we biked down Death Road, hiked across an island, hovered above the city in cable cars, and road tripped through the Altiplano. But enough talking I will let the pictures do that.

La Paz, Bolivia

Copacabana and Isla Del Sol

Salar de Uyuni (Salt Flats)

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Peruvian Homestay

While traveling, our journey took us to the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca. Here we had the opportunity to stay with a Peruvian family for one night to gain a perspective of local life. It was a really interesting experience. After a lengthy boat ride, we arrive at the dock where we were greeted by the locals. Once in the village center, we were given traditional outfits to get prepared for  the “dance party.”   The party was quite entertaining. There was lots of music and laughter between us visitors and the locals. When were done, we hiked up to our home stay for the night. There was no electricity, so we ate our delicious dinner ( 3 kinds of potatoes, soup, quinoa, and rice) by candle light. Peruvians love lots starch so rice and potatoes are served at every meal.  You most certainly never leave the table hungry!

Here was our view the next morning:

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Gorgeous right? At around 7:00 am we headed  to the kitchen to make some grain like pancakes ( think something like fried dough) for breakfast. Our hostess did the actual cooking as the stove was a heated by a live fire.  Our cooking efforts came out pretty tasty. IMG_7232

After breakfast it was sheep herding time. Yep you read that right. Sheep herding time. We got the sheep out of pen and started to lead them to pasture. Herding 15 sheep to one spot is not as easy as it looks. Let’s just say I would rather knit with the wool than care for the sheep. They are quite stubborn. 🙂

 The night before I told my hostess that I liked to knit. Knitting is not uncommon among Peruvian women. Everywhere you go women have yarn slung around their necks and their fingers are moving rapidly. One thing I noticed was that not many women used patterns. It seemed that in most communities access to patterns was very limited. My hostess had never made socks before, so she asked me to show her how to make some. The task was too great for a couple of hours ( we only got to the heel gusset) so I am going to try and mail her a pattern. The only problem is that all of my patterns are in English. So if any of you know of any basic sock patterns in Spanish please leave the link in the comment section or email me: knitbywhit@gmail.com. It would be much appreciated by the local women.

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Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience. I don’t know if I personally could lead a life like this, but it is always intriguing to be able to take part in the local way of life while traveling.

~W

Conquering Machu Picchu

Hello all! I am finally back stateside, which means I have reliable internet.The internet  was so slow in Bolivia I could barely load pictures. So for the next several posts I will get you up to date on my vacation adventures.

It has been a couple of weeks now, but I am in still in awe that I did it. I hiked the Inca Trail and made it to Machu Picchu in one piece YAY! It was the thing I was most worried about on my trip. Don’t get me wrong I love hiking, but hiking up to altitudes of 4200 meters for 3.5 days straight was a little intimidating. I definitely psyched myself out with all the blog posts I read and YouTube videos I watched. Here is a recap of my encounter:

Day One-  The anticipation had built up and I was a ball of nerves. I was going to do this…yikes! The first day of hiking was not too bad. Basically some rolling hills on a dirt path. A pretty good warm-up in my opinion. We made it to camp in the early evening and enjoyed a  beautiful night under the stars.

Day Two-  By far the hardest day of the hike. We hiked for about 7 hours straight and ascended around 1000 meters. Hours 1-4 weren’t that bad. The scenery was quite pretty and I had a great playlist on my iPod. It felt like any other hike I had done in California. Then hour 5 came. I hit a wall. I was getting dizzy and I felt I could not catch my breath. I had to stop every 50 paces or so to rest and convince myself not to quit. Thankfully there were some encouraging people in my group and they got me through the “Dead Woman’s Pass” to the summit of the mountain. The sense of triumph I had was unbelievable. I did it!

Day Three-  I could finally enjoy the scenery. Since it is mostly downhill, I could focus on what was around me rather than concentrating on all of the pain I was putting myself through. We got to enjoy some lovely ruins, snow capped mountains, and jungle-ish landscape. Aside from some blisters I was feeling good.

Day Four- So on Day Four you wake up really early…like 4:30 AM early to make it to the Sun Gate around sunrise (entrance down into Machu Picchu). As we waited at the park entrance in the dark, I began to reflect on our adventure and that feeling of excitement stirred in me again. This was the moment I was going to lay my eyes on an another UNESCO World Heritage Site :). Machu Picchu is notoriously foggy in the morning so we were praying that the site would be clear and sunny. Boy were we not disappointed. The sun came over the mountain and it was beautiful.

All and all I am so happy I did this. It was not something on my bucket list, but it was a personal achievement that I will always remember.

Stay tuned readers for some more adventure recaps!

Looking for Adventure

“I have this desire to explore.”

Thanks Pinterest! This quote sums up where I am in life right now. I need to, have to, want to explore the world around me.  Recently, I was thinking, “Why I was feeling so “blah” about everything?”  Work was blah, school was blah, and my social calendar was blah. Nothing was bad, yet it wasn’t super duper awesome either.  I have been doing the same thing day after day and it is becoming bland.  This weekend it hit me. The reason that everything has become “eh” is because I am not taking the time to bring a little adventure to my life. Anytime that has been  a great moment  was because I was taking a risk and exploring. Don’t get me wrong, I am not flipping off dirt bikes or skydiving. I am simply pushing myself toward novel experiences. Adventure can be right outside your door. It is seeking out new cultures, food, music, hobbies…etc. This is what brings me joy. It also motivates me in other areas in life. If I feel excited about life, I want to be better version of me, whether it be at work, school, or when just hanging out with friends.

So the quest for adventures begins! This weekend we took a risk and went camping. I haven’t been since I was 8, so this was like going for the first time. We went to Del Valle Regional Park outside of Livermore, CA. I am not super outdoorsy, but camping wasn’t too bad.

One of the funniest moments was when we woke up and notice we had had some night time visitors:

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Despite our curious friends, we had tons of fun hiking, climbing trees, fishing, and riding bikes. All in all I would say camping was quite successful. Who knows maybe another camping adventure in the future?