Apr 21, 2008

Of Exercise and Exploration

I was thrilled to wake up at 5:30 am this morning, since what woke me up was sunlight pouring in through the curtains. Spring has arrived in Norway at last! Mother Nature has forgiven me.

Which is why, after sending the boys off to school and putting out a few work-related fires, I put on my shoes and went for a run.

Oh.My.Gawd.

Six months of chocolatey sedatedness have done more damage than I imagined. There was jiggling of body parts I didn't even know could jiggle. And in this country of mountains, even the slightest incline seemed like a Mt. Everest climb.

I eventually managed to run for 25 minutes - with a couple of life-saving breaks thrown in - and I suppose that's OK for the second run this year.

But I clearly have my work cut out for me, and I was so disappointed because my first run - just three days ago - had been much more enjoyable.

Of course, that may have been because it was on a flat surface. Or, more likely, because I got to run past this:



I mean, who wouldn't be able to manage a few minutes of leisurely activity if you got to do it along the Seine, past the Notre Dame in Paris?

Jiggling notwithstanding, Mike and I spent a fabulous 3 days in Paris, as part of my Christmas present. I'd been to Paris a long time ago, and frankly wasn't very impressed with the city, as I found it dirty, crowded and the Parisians rude.

But no more. I now officially 'aime' Paris.



First of all, the buildings look like they've all had major facelifts, or at least undergone serious sandblasting. In addition to the sparkling clean Notre Dame, both the Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay were in impeccable condition, as were the gilded statues that abound in Paris. Perhaps they'd been cleaned in the hopes of being awarded the 2012 Olympics.



What's certain is that Paris is now one of the cleanest European capitals I've been to. Every morning, the garbage receptacles were lined with new, empty bags, and beautiful floral displays could be found on almost every corner.



Furthermore, while Paris is still a huge and busy city, its people couldn't have been friendlier, or more gracious when silly foreigners try to test out their tenous grasp of the French language. You know, like responding with a resounding 'si' instead of a 'oui'. Not that I'd know anything about that!

The weather was variable on our weekend away, but we still managed to make the most of it, visiting all the usual tourist traps...

Sacré-Coeur



Arc de Triomphe



Moulin Rouge



Versailles and its Hall of Mirrors



And of course...



But now it's back to reality, which for me means facing suitcases bursting at the seams. We have one week left in Norway, and I'm not sure there's enough hours in the day to get everything done.

Plus squeeze in a run each day.

I guess I'll be jiggling a little longer...

56 comments:

Sue said...

How completely wonderful.

Becky said...

Oooooo! Looks so pretty.

Um - you're not the only one jiggling - winter been berry berry bad to me. Icky!

Aliki2006 said...

Oh, the countdown has begun--I know you have mixed feelings. Lovely pictures--all of them!

And I completely relate to the jiggling part!!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

What a great last adventure.

Don Mills Diva said...

What gorgeous photos! I was there in 1995 and I am dying to go back - I think it's the most beautiful city in the world...

Mary Beth said...

Ooohhh - beautiful pics. Definitely gets the travel juices flowing:)

My Ice Cream Diary said...

I wouldn't mind jiggling so much if I could do it in Paris. The photos are lovely and everything does indeed look clean and beautiful.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

One week! I can't wait to hear how Canada looks to you after being away for a year...

Misty said...

Paris looks lovely. Wish I were there!

jenontheedge said...

I'm so glad you had a nice getaway! We're thinking of going in a couple of years and I'm already excited.

Chantal said...

That looks so wonderful, what a way to cap off your year. Looking forward to hearing about the trip home and wishing it to be easy and as stress free as possible!

jennwa said...

Beautiful pictures.

I too have some jiggling from not working out for a few months. Hopefully the jiggling will stop soon for both of us.

Kyla said...

25 minutes is longer than I've ever run in my life. Jiggling or no. ;)

Beautiful photos!

Amy Y said...

Very proud of your 25 minutes! I haven't worked out since January and when I cleaned the house for the first time in months this weekend, I could feel it. It's sad how quickly your muscles can deteriorate!!

Thanks for the photos ~ they are gorgeous! What a lovely trip you had... We were in Paris (in a nocturnal adventure) at the Eiffel Tower the other day... I wish I'd known you were going to be there too :)

Steph said...

Good for you on the run! I have yet to get up off the couch this Spring :) Gorgeous photos of Paris. I went there about 13 years ago, and would love to get back someday.

painted maypole said...

i'm jiggling, too, unfortunately.

oh for a weekend in paris...

;)

you are a lucky girl, jiggles and all

Barrie said...

You have the best photos! Don't sweat the jiggles. They'll disappear as soon as you get back into a routine. Happy packing (if there's such a thing!).

Chichimama said...

Looks much cleaner than I remember too...glad you had fun!

E said...

Hell I discovered the fresh hippie dairy this winter and, I was a little depressed over the lengthy gray, and I kept having all this coffee with CREAM...Nothing, absolutely nothing fits. I don't need to get a cow. I am a cow....
You and Paris looked lovely. No jiggles detected....

Kellan said...

What a wonderful trip and you all saw a lot!! I'm glad you enjoyed your weekend and I can't believe you only have 1 week left in Norway - that is wild. Take care and I'll see you soon - Kellan

Alpha DogMa said...

What great photos. It looks like a lovely weekend romp.

When I backpacked Europe I skipped through Paris to grab connecting trains but never did the sites. I fully planned to return the following year and do another tour of just France and Spain, but alas I got sidetracked. 10 years on and I still haven't been back.

Good luck with the jiggles. If all else fails: cultivate an air of zaftig-iness.

Mrs. G. said...

Have you heard about Spanx underwear? Just kidding.

Thank you for sharing all your travel photos. I get such pleasure reading about your life.

LaskiGal said...

I am in awe of these photos! Beautiful. I now know where I want my ultimate vacation to be . . .

As for running. I ran for the first time OUTSIDE since getting pregnant (that puts me at 2006!). Running on a treadmill is nothing like running outside. My body is still aching . . . and I ran 3 days ago. I have so much work to do :(

kim-d said...

Ahhh, Heidi! Those pix took me right back to April, 1974...17 years old...two weeks in France...HEAVEN. We got to go to Easter Sunday services at Notre Dame. Didn't understand a word, but it was still pretty fine :)! My favorite was L'Arc de Triomphe; not sure why, I just loved it and still do. And I must say, everything does look cleaner now. Although I had such a wonderful time back then, I just don't remember noticing much about rudeness or dirt--17 and in Paris without parents? Goats and chickens could have been running the streets and I wouldn't have cared...BWAHAHAHA!

And, the jiggling? I don't believe you. Now I can show you some SERIOUS JIGGLING :)! I truly do embrace my zaftig-ness...hehehe!

Lisa @ Take90West said...

I went for a walk for the first time last week on a 5 mile path and I was so out of breath half way thru. Too many winter naps for me!

Paris looks beautiful, but I can't believe you only have a week left in Norway!

Amy said...

That sounds like a gorgeous run!!! Those pics are beautiful and so aren't you! I would enjoy the last leg of your trip and let the running wait. One mile at a time and you'll get there. Take care! =)

Victoria said...

Count me in the Jiggly Club too. Eek.

Your trip sounds fabulous - I must let hubby read it as he refuses to go to Paris with me - for all the reasons you refute here.

Good luck with packing. My sympathies. =)

Gina said...

Beautiful!

You of course, but the city too!

Beth said...

Paris in the springtime! Lovely!

Robyn said...

The last time I was in Paris, I felt the same way as your first trip. Perhaps I need to give Paris a second chance.

As for the jiggly, yeah, I can't help you. I think jello has more muscle definition than me now. :)

Dawn said...

I enjoyed the Paris photos very much. What a fun weekend for you and your husband. It's tough getting out and running after the long winter, I'm pretty jiggly myself right now. I hope you continue to blog when you return to Canada.

Stomper Girl said...

I checked you out in your Paris pictures you don't look at all jiggly to me! I haven't been to Paris since 1990 (sigh) but when I went the locals were tres friendly, especially the men, oohlala.

Mrs. Annie said...

What beautiful pictures and memories!

Cheri said...

You did it! You went to Paris. I love the photos. Did you only run along the Seine or did you also sit there and eat chocolate crepes like I told you to do?

dkuroiwa said...

I have enjoyed your pictures oh so very much!! What you and your family have done this past year is just something the majority of us can dream about!!! Thanks for sharing your adventure with all of us!!
And jiggling?!?!?hahahahaha....I'm going to start calling mine "creative movements"....thank God I do hula where "big" actually works better!!!

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

Wow... I am in awe of those pictures. Thanks for sharing. I want to travel there someday.

Cyn said...

Yeah, I didn't totally fall out of the blogosphere - just crazy life stuff and spring vacation (including a cruise to the Bahamas).

Paris - aaaahhhh... on my list of places to visit.

Christie said...

JEALOUS, is what I am. I'd take all your so-called jiggly body parts if I got to see all those cool sights!

LoriD said...

Your Paris pictures are gorgeous! I was there with a friend many years ago and would love to return with my husband.

shay said...

25 mins is a pretty impressive first run!
And how amazing was your trip?! Paris looks beautiful. We'd so love to visit there and want past and through all those same places. WOW. You are blessed!

Julie Pippert said...

*weeping* from the beauty, jealousy, and joy you enjoyed. I love France.

Do you have time for Provence and the lavender fields?

That's where I want my ashes scattered. Maybe. My poetic side, anyway.

Kathryn said...

It is so hard to start running again. The first few weeks are always hardest for me. I have a few good runs and then I have a few bad runs. It is difficult for me to keep my motivation through the bad runs.
Oh, I so want to go back to Paris! What lovely pictures!

Amber said...

Ohhhhhhh, j'aime Paris! Sometimes I sooo miss living in France and Suisse.

And 25 minutes after you haven't run all winter? I think THAT is some kind of a record!

another good thing said...

the more I read about my friends running- the more i want to try it again-- after a traumatized meniscus, chronic lower back pain and tweaked hips I thought it would never appeal to me again-- but somehow-- I think it would do me good.

MamaGeek said...

Girl, I LOVE your style! And I can relate to the chocolate butt syndrome!

Isn't Paris just amazing? I backpacked there for 2 weeks (and only got mugged once, not bad) - the architecture is so ornate and mesmerizing! :)

Cathy said...

Sounds lovely! I love it when you take us with you on these trips!

MadMad said...

Aw, man! I'm so envious! I LOVED Paris, even with all the rude people (cuz I fit in, doncha know!) And they weren't that rude - if you at least tried to pretend you were going to try to pretend to speak French for the first two sentences. Then they would jump right in with their English and save you. But everything was so darned cute there - even the garbage trucks looked like little Playmobil ones... loved it, loved it, loved it. What the heck are you going to do when you get back to boring North America, though? There is nothing going to compare with that year of yours. Nothing. Oh. Sorry. You probably didn't need to hear that now. Forget it. Go pack or something. Oh! Sorry. you probably didn't need to hear that now... ;)

CC said...

We are all jealous here!!!!!

katie said...

I'm jealous (not of the jiggling of course, I have my own, thank you)... what beautiful things to see!

BeachMama said...

Oh wow look at you in Paris! I am a little jealous, but that could be said of your whole trip to Norway :).

Good luck with all that packing, I can't believe you only have a week left.

And jiggling when you run... ha ha ha... I can't believe the jiggle I have going on. I can't wait to not jiggle anymore.

Karen MEG said...

Down to one week ... boy has it ever gone fast!!!

Lovely of Mike to take you on that jaunt to Paris. It's just beautiful in the spring ... awesome photos! Surely you got your exercise running up those steps at Sacre Coeur ;).

I am officially green.

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

What a fabulous trip! You are sure making the most of every moment you have spent in Europe.

Kathy said...

I just started jogging again with my sisters and it's amazing how you have to relearn how to move your body like that. It's like my butt is screaming "whoa whoa whoa, what are you DOING!?!"

Beautiful pictures by the way!

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

I always complain that everyone is moving too fast in that city. So many pretty things to see - it makes me want to move slower.

ewe are here said...

I adore Paris, I just adore it.

sigh

the dragonfly said...

I spent a few days in Paris when I was in high school, and I hope to go back sometime while I'm in Europe. It looks so beautiful! (in my memories, too..)