Saturday was our Niagara Falls day with the exchange group. I will never tire of a ride on the Maid of the Mist:
(However, I am tired of Typepad's shenanigans which are now making it impossible for me to blog from my iPad without using glitchy apps - I know they hate me, but I'm stuck with them and I will not back down because I know they can do better.)
We also hiked around the American side, had a lively dinner at the Hard Rock and then spent a few hours on the Canadian side, which is so pretty at night:
It was a very windy day, but warm and sunny, I love that the group is getting such nice weather and hope that it will at least hold for the next outdoor outing in mid October.
I also hope the weather holds for another reason, which is because against all odds, I am spending every second day or so, outside running. Or trying to, via a couch to 10K plan that Laura and I started a few weeks ago.
So far, I'm doing well with it. My knees are not (and never will) be perfect or pain free, but I've been cleared by the bone doc as the conventional wisdom is that running can help knees and mine really can't get much worse.
We are doing the 10K program because we plan to run a 5K in early December and the 8K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. Laura has run a few 5Ks before and her Dad is a marathoner, plus she plans to get back into track when she returns home.
I am running because I've felt that my current workouts needed more variety and because I was walking close to 5mph, which is practically running anyway. However, really setting out to run any sort of distance or duration has changed my mindset and also is starting to do great things to my legs, stuff that even my 10-12 miles a day of stationary biking had not. I now understand why runners run.
Laura is terrific to be doing this with me. We mostly run along the river, but have tried a few nearer tracks. We talk while we run or walk and usually come home ready to devour dinner. Gary is being great by waiting for us, wishing his back would allow him to join in.
If we stay on track, we should be running with enough endurance to finish the 8K in less than an hour or at least without needing a walking break. I am also cautiously thinking about other races, although I'm not sure I will continue running once the winter arrives. Anyway, I can always build back up again.
In other news, we're leaving soon to pick Griffin up for his long weekend home. That plus an apple stop on the way will make this day a good one.
Sunday's trip to Niagara on the Lake was as lovely as ever. The bridge over had just a short line, we beat the crowds at the Butterfly Conservatory and walked the shops, had lunch and then stopped at both the Floral Clock and the Canadian Falls on the way back.
Except for a slightly glitchy reentry through US Customs*, it was all good.
I don't recall ever seeing this green butterfly before:
It was cloudy, but it was still a nice day:
I never get tired of these:
It was sort of relaxing for Laura to have the day to chatter away in German with her friend Lara, although they asked us first if would bother us, which it did not. Laura has told me that she now thinks only in English and has started to dream in English. She is thoroughly at home here and has even said that our home is and will remain hers. We agree.
In other news, the sectional arrived, but the loveseat is now in limbo and I decided that we need an additional end table to finish furnishing our family room. Yesterday, Jim hung empty photo frames on the walls:
I need to go through our family photos and fill 27 spots. This will involve a fair amount of sorting, scanning and reprinting, but it will complete the room we spend the most time in.
* I think I'm going to write my Senators about a new law allowing an inexpensive passport renewal after major weight loss because they always ask about it and that slows down the line. Our bridges have been horrible this year, every little bit helps.