Hello from 35,966 feet! I won’t be able to post this until we land, but I am writing this as we are en route to Minneapolis/St. Paul. Thanks to the handy flight tracker on the plane, I can tell you exactly where we are as I start to write.
Time to destination: 5 hours, 14 minutes
Distance to destination: 2,777 miles (4,469 km)
Distance from origin (Amsterdam): 1,432 miles (2,305 km)
Latitude: 64degrees, 54’ 18” north, Longitude: 28 degrees, 5’ 17” W
Ground speed: 552 mph (888 km/h)
Altitude: 35,966 feet (10,962 meters)
Approximate location: somewhere between Iceland and Greenland
Current time: no idea. In fact, I don’t even know what time zone we are in.
The Christmas before last I posted several travel tips for long haul flights (Part 1 and Part 2). I have another one to add. Don’t ever watch a movie based on a Nicholas Sparks book on a flight. In case you haven’t read any of his books or seen other movies based on the books (e.g., The Notebook), they seem to have a common theme: they are tear jerkers. I just finished watching ‘Safe Haven’, mostly because I figured it was something Ben would have no real interest in seeing and it wouldn’t matter that it was a tiny screen. It was a fine way to pass the time, and the small screen definitely didn’t matter, but I had to spend quite a bit of time looking out the window and pretending to be very interested in the wing of the plane. Lesson learned.
Anyway, normally the time on these long haul flights drags a bit, and there is plenty of time left for this flight to drag, but so far, I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of our trip so far. We got to sleep in 40 minutes later than a normal work day before heading to the airport, which was a treat because we often have to leave the house by around 3:00 am to get to the airport in time for our flights back to the US. We left plenty of time so that we could have a nice, relaxed experience at the airport, and after a smooth check-in/baggage drop and pass through security, we walked straight into a Dixon’s electronics store. As luck would have it, after months of searching for a new laptop for Ben which would be relatively portable, have a relatively good specification, and be within budget…we found it! Ben’s old laptop is in pretty rough shape. He has had it as long as he has known me, which is a long time…..at least for a laptop. The laptop is starting to have more and more problems, and Ben is about to start writing his MBA dissertation so he needed something reliable. Anyway, you don’t really want to know all about Ben’s laptop…but it felt like a very exciting start to the trip! After that, we wandered around and looked at some books and magazines, bought some extra granola bars for the flight in case they didn’t have a dairy-free meal for me, and then went to the gate.
Update: I can now see mountain tops which I believe must be attached to Greenland peeking through the clouds. I have just tried to take a picture, but my window is so dirty that my camera on my phone can’t seem to focus on anything beyond the window itself.
I feel like I start every post lately with an apology for not posting in a while, but I do feel like I have really neglected the blog lately. So, as usual, I’m sorry.
I don’t like to make excuses, but I realised that I have mostly just been posting pictures or recipes lately, so I thought I would update you on a few of the reasons why the past weeks have felt particularly busy. These include: Ben has been finishing lots of assignments and studying for finals for his MBA, I have been far busier at work than normal so I have been working longer days and doing some research on the weekends, I have started running more frequently in the evenings as well as on weekends, AND….we go away to visit my family in the US just a week from tomorrow and will be away for three weeks!!!
None of these things are bad…in fact, I have felt consistently happier and more energetic the past few weeks, presumably as a result of running more (I’ll post more about running soon) and we can’t wait for out trip to the US. It’s just that all of these things take up time. And I can tell I’m feeling more stressed than usual as I’ve been having nightmares the past few nights. I have been exhausted from running/climbing away from polar bears, lions, and bad guys by the time I wake up!
However, in spite of everything that is going on, I still seem to be finding plenty of time on the weekends to cook and bake. Here are a few pictures from this past weekend:
My purchases from our local greengrocer on Saturday morning…
I had thought that ten nectarines might be too many, but we had five the week before and they were delicious. However, it’s only Wednesday and we are nearly out. I will have to go for fifteen if they still look as good this week.
This recipe comes with a small warning: it definitely tastes healthy. However, this is part of what I loved about it. Roasting the carrots and broccoli brings out their natural flavors more than boiling/steaming would, and combined with the whole wheat pasta and lentils, it was filling and delicious. In addition,I should probably mention that it is not so much a recipe as a meal/side dish idea since I haven’t closely measured quantities. However, I loved it too much not to share it.
Roasted vegetable and lentil pasta salad
Sorry for the lack of posts last week. I hope the peanut butter chocolate chip banana bread recipe on Saturday made up for it at least a little bit. The truth is, I was too busy taking my own advice from last Monday. I have felt absolutely exhausted by the end of each day, but I have been very productive and the week absolutely flew by.
The past few days, I have spent more time than usual wishing for a crystal ball to find out a few things about the future… So when I was looking for a quote for today and saw this, it seemed like a good reminder. We may not be able to magically see the future but we can do something even better. We can shape it!
Happy Monday Everyone!
Last weekend, I had big plans for these over-ripe bananas….
They (and two other over-ripe bananas) were going to be a key ingredient in a double batch of these chewy vegan chocolate chip cookies, as I wanted to bring a treat to a lady who had kindly been picking Ben and me up in the mornings to give us a lift to our park and ride bus while our car was being repaired (and I knew that not all of the cookies would last until morning, thus the double batch). However, when Sunday night rolled around, the couch was calling my name, and I really didn’t feel like standing in the kitchen pulling tray after tray of cookies out of the oven.
I decided to bake these peanut butter chocolate chip muffins instead. However, halfway through mixing up the muffins, inspiration struck. I didn’t dare adapt the muffin recipe since I was baking for someone else and I didn’t have the energy to start over… and although I knew that I could mix up a batch of bread in minutes, I wouldn’t be able to taste test it. So, Sue got the muffins as a thank you….and we got this!
Peanut butter banana chocolate chip bread