For the love of Blog

Hello, I am back from South America and have made an important discovery: I can get a wifi signal from the balcony of our apartment. Hell to the yes!

The only problem?  It’s still hot as balls during the day here, so balcony surfing before sundown is challenging.  And once the big yellow guy sinks, the mosquitoes come out.  (And the little shits just love me.  Seriously, the hubs and I can be sitting side by side and I will acquire dozens of itchy bites while he gets zero.  Apparently I’m delicious.)

So I am sitting out here risking malaria so I can catch up on internet happenings and update the blog.  (Sympathy?  Applause?  Anyone?  No?  Okay, I’ll stop being a drama queen.)

Anyway.  Paraguay and Brazil were a blast.  I’m not one for long trip reports on how I spent my summer vacation, but I’ll just say that the wedding brought the fun big time (we were out until 6 AM) and that South America is kind of cold this time of year.  As evidenced by the photo of me looking rather amused-slash-surly about the prospect of getting drenched on a raft ride at Iguassu Falls in Brazil yesterday:

Also, it was like 9 AM when this photo was taken, and we all know I am not a morning person.  But as it turns out, the trepidation was justified.

Fortunately, the sun did come out and we all warmed up and dried off after being poured on by Brazil’s version of Niagara Falls (except much bigger and badder.  Seriously.)

But now it’s back to the ol’ routine.  Unpacking.  Settling in.  Finding a job (groan).

Truly, I have missed you guys these last couple of weeks.  I know my tweets, comments, etc have been sporadic but I really have been keeping up with y’all as much as I can (although my Google reader is glaring at me over a pile of unread posts at the moment).  If I normally comment on your blog and have disappeared, please know that it’s nothing personal.  Things have just been insane lately.  Looking forward to returning to my normal routine of wasting hours on the internet every day very soon.

Today’s EAT: The hubs wasted no time getting back into the swing of things and headed to the office this afternoon after our 20-hour overnight journey.  He said he’d be home for a late dinner, though, so I threw together these wanna-be pizzas:

Corn tortillas, brushed with olive oil and baked until just crisp, then topped with pesto, chicken, vine-ripened tomato and fresh mozzarella.  I threw some simple salad on top of each one, too.

I picked most of this stuff up at the local Fresh Market tonight, but am planning a major Trader Joe’s run to stock up on essentials tomorrow.  I mean…we have no ketchup in the house.  And this makes me very uneasy, actually.

Today’s DRINK: As if I had not had enough red wine in South America, popping open a bottle sounded improbably appealing tonight.  I went for this Castano 2009 “Yecla”:

“Yecla” is apparently a wine region in Eastern Spain.  The things you learn. I would have thought it meant “somewhat forgettable table wine” because that’s what this tasted like.  It wasn’t anything special, but it was only $9 at the Fresh Market.  A fair price, I think.

Today’s RUN: Gotta say…I’m glad I got that 15-miler in on Thursday before we left, because I didn’t run much this weekend.

Friday was entirely consumed by travel.  We arrived at our destination in Asuncion at 8 PM and had to immediately depart for a dinner.

Saturday, I managed a quick 5-miler on the treadmill at the hotel.  I banged through 8K in just over 37 minutes, which is a pretty decent tempo pace for me.  Done and done.

Sunday…well, let’s just say the sun had risen by time time we got home from Saturday night’s wedding reception, and we had to be on a bus to Brazil by early afternoon, and sleeping trumped running.  It happens.

Monday was jam-packed with organized touristy things and then we had to get on a plane in the early evening.  No running.

Sooo…5 miles over the course the the weekend.  Not exactly awesome.

Today I made a pact with myself: no matter how tired I was, I’d get some sort of run done when I got home.  Even if it was a two-mile shuffle.  So this afternoon I headed down to the treadmill with the intention of running for 30 minutes.  I actually made it 40 and an even 5 miles.  Small victory.

Tomorrow I get down to business again.  I’m not sure what my body thinks about this pseudo-taper.  I mean, my mileage is way down but moving is not exactly a physical break.  And nor is traveling through multiple airports and foreign counties for that matter.

Here is the goal: get two more decent mileage (50+) weeks in and one more 20-miler, and then taper.  Speedwork peppered throughout.  I just hope I haven’t already ruined things by messing with my mileage.

Today’s QUESTION: Mosquitoes – do they love you or hate you? Anyone have any homegrown insect repellent ideas?  I’ll definitely be buying a citronella candle for the balcony, but I refuse to douse myself in DEET every time I want to go outside and have a glass of wine.


22 responses to “For the love of Blog

  1. Dryer sheets work really well for me. You’d think that since Drew and I are related, I would also repel mosquitoes, but no such luck. Just take the sheet and rub it on you/keep it next to you. There’s also this blue mini fan you can get from Walgreens that you clip onto your pants and acts like a citronella candle.

  2. I’m an expat living in Nigeria- where malaria is a really bad problem. And mosquitos love me :(. We are very lucky to live in a housing complex where they fumigate however we still get some mosquitos bothering us. I have concerns with DEET so we’ve been using this Lemon-Eucalyptus non-deet spray from Repel ( it doesn’t smell great, an okay smell, but it works for me. Not greasy either. They sell it at Target and REI too. I have also gotten advice that using eucalyptus oil can help- but you’d have to look more into it I don’t know too much about it. Good luck!

    • Thanks for the recommendation!

      Do you have a blog about your expat adventures? I’d love to read it! Sounds fascinating!

      • I don’t have a blog, but I have thought about it. Friends have suggested it’s a good way to keep in touch and talk about our adventures and post pictures etc. I have only been here for a month so it’s not too late- I’ll let you know if I start one!

  3. BAD ASS!!

    Yah – the mosquitos, they love my sweet ass too. A friend had some of that lemon-eupcalyptus oil the other night though and I think it worked. Which is good because I plan to get cancer from the sun or maybe my phone, not pesticides.

  4. lifeisbeachykeen

    Glad you had a great trip! That waterfall looks ridiculous!

    Yes yes mosquitoes love me too. I was just almost carried off while taking the dogs out this morning. We also have sand fleas…be glad you don’t have those nasty little things.

    Avon sells Skin So Soft bug guard that is deet-free. I haven’t used their newer products but the old stuff smelled nice and wasn’t oily.. I don’t use bug spray unless I’m going to be out in the bugs for hours, like fishing, if that’s the case i’m using 100% deet thanks.. =/

  5. Mosquitoes LOVE ME….it’s ridiculous. I’ve even been terrorized by them at night while in bed, trying to go to sleep. I have yet to find a good repellent that doesn’t include lots of nasty chemicals. 😦

  6. Mosquitos definitely love me! I’m just so sweet. 🙂

    We have used those clip-on fan-looking things and they work suprisingly well. I think Off makes them?

  7. Mosquitos think I’m the tastiest thing on the planet. I think my personal record is 86 bites at once — and no, I’m not exaggerating! Want the ultimate instect repellant? Invite me to join you on your vacation next time — with me by your side, you’ll be safe!

  8. Welcome to NC. I, too, am eaten alive by mosquitoes every summer. Meanwhile, my husband remains unbitten. What can I say, mosquitoes love women in the south 😉

  9. stunning pics from the trip! and i appreciate you risking malaria to update 🙂

    i actually managed to not get bit ALL summer (thank you mcat studying!) until this weekend and i’m covered. ughhhhhh

  10. Pick up some rosemary and marigold plants for your balcony–mosquitos hate both of them. The mosquitos like me okay, but if my husband is around forget it–he is apparently much more delicious.

  11. Mosquitos love me. Not as much as black flies, but I’ve been chased by swarms of them before.

    Also, so jealous of your trip! Looks gorgeous.

    And you sound like you’ll be good to go running wise; down weeks happen! And you get to explore new places now so…that’s fun?

  12. looks like an awesome trip you had! I think it’s better to under-do the mileage at times than overdo, you know?

    The wanna-be pizzas look pretty amazing! As for a skeeter repellent, I hear compression socks are good at protecting the lower leg uuurea. Other than that, I got nothin’ 🙂

  13. Looks like an awesome trip! I espeically love the pics; I really want to get to South America at some point. As for mosquitoes, they love me! We joke that mosquitoes are the “state bird” of Minnesota in the summer time, and they really are everywhere. I will use a heavy duty bug spray if I’m out at dusk/after dark. Hope everything still works out well with marathon training – I’m sure it will:)

  14. i missed your blog posts like whoa! glad you have returned safely and that the trip seemed to be worth all the effort, even though it was so quick! that raft ride looks awwwesome despite the fact that i have an irrational fear of water sports.

    never thought about using corn tortillas as pizza crust. it’s like thin corn crust er something. yeah? yeah. methinks that would be good with Mexican pizza toppings?

    mosquitos love me (’cause i’m so loveable) and i’m not happy about it. moo.

    • I loaded them with so much pesto, you couldn’t really taste the corn that much! I’ll bet the concept would work really well with a mexi-pizza though!

  15. Sounds like YOU are mosquito repellent for the hubs!!

  16. Looks like a great trip!!! 🙂

    Mosquitoes love me, too, much more than they love my husband. UGH!

  17. Mosquitos LOOOOVE me. I got back from Colorado (there are none out there) and promptly got 6 bites on my legs:( *sigh*

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