Thursday, March 31, 2011

For A Cause

So one of my high-school friends Kyle just completed Low2High, a bike ride from the lowest point in Africa to the highest. He was working in Ethiopia with the Peace Corps for the maximum number of years and worked at the New Day Childrens Center. Anyways he liked it so much, he did the bike ride to raise money for the school. You can still donate HERE.

So Kyle asked me if I was doing my Coast 2 Coast for charity. Honestly I never thought about it. I just saw the hike in Backpacker magazine or something along those lines and decided it would be fun. Plus next to his event, sheesh walking 190 miles in England seem like no big thing :)

However, I can tell you who I recently donated too, and if you would like to contribute as well, then so be it. Or find one the suits you and go for it! Use my walk as an excuse-- fine by me!

  • Give2Asia: I donated here for the Japan Tsunami Relief fund and my company matched it, so double bonus
  • Bulldog Club of America Rescue Network: Because lets face it... Bulldogs are so cute >.<
  • Bulldog Rescue and Rehoming: Like above, but in my soon to be new home, England (I can't 100% remember if I donated here... however I DO remember going "eeeeeeeeeeeeeekkkk!" a lot at all the adorable Bulldog photos)
I always suggest anything having to do with animals or the environment. Everyone has their passion in life-- choose whichever is right for you.

I actually may look into asking the UK Bulldog Site if I could raise money for them. Maybe I could finish my hike and there would be bulldogs (and ice cream) waiting for me... omg best thing ever.

Wherever you donate too-- thanks!
This ADORABLE image is from

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Getting to St. Bees

So one thing I really did not think about when deciding to embark on
this journey was actually getting to St. Bees. Its not exactly on the M4. However
after poking around a few places there are some decent options, bus or
train, I am apparantly doing both. I used the National Express Website to book my trip.

Basically-Carlisle seems to be the closest major hub... not sure if its the
same coming from the north/south/east. From there you can catch a
direct train towards Barrow to St. Bees!

Pricing is well... I don't know it doesnt seem so horrible. About 50
GBP to get there? Coming from a land where we have no such thing
really as an interstate public transportation (plus the USA is just so
darn big) system it seems OK to me.

Oh! I also went for a hike in the England Countryside last weeked.
About 12 miles roundtrip. Was not tired at all, but to be fair we did
stop for some homemade blueberry muffins and later a pint :)

Pics posted soon!

- Melissa

Sunday, March 13, 2011

12 Kilometer wandern en Stuttgart!

Sometimes you do not have to go too far to find some awesome places where you are living. This is so true in Germany. I decided it was high-time I just walk around and see all the things there are to see, and the best way is to climb some steps...

I bought a booked called "Treppauf Treppab in Stuttgart" (Ascending, Descending in Stuttgart) and it lists about 12 hikes in Stuttgart using the famous steps (Treppen).

So the one I chose started at the Hauptbahnhof (yay mass transit) and I hoped that there was an U-Bahn or something near the end! Anyways, you can see my meanderings.

View Treppen en Stuttgart in a larger map

If that doesn't work, try this!

What I learned was there is A LOT more green space in Stuttgart than I thought. I definitely found some nice walks amongst tons of trees and some pretty nice views. In the summer time I also found some excellent looking restaurants!

Good way to spend a overcast Sunday :)

However, I got another blister... that makes me VERY nervous. I will have to do a hike with a band-aid on that spot and see if one forms there. This was the same spot as the one I got on the Westweg :(

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Not forgotten!

Sorry for not posting in a while! Life has been a bit hectic with work and travel. However, I am happy to report I lost almost 7 pounds since starting this blog! W00t! I would not say I made super drastic changes. I still steal away some Ritter's Chocolate Squares (which btw the Diat ones are not too bad at all, stay away from the Yoghurt one though!) and no matter how hard I try I cannot avoid carbs (Dear pasta: I love you) but still I think I am doing well! I am now back to a more regimented workout schedule, mixing up cardio and strength, with one day as a break.

Tomorrow if the weather hold up, I hope to do a quick 12k walk up one of the famous Treppe of the city. Pictures to come!

I will say one thing about Germany- its GREAT for walking/hiking!