April Post: Walking my way through Europe

Guten tag Double Chinners from Cologne, Germany!!!

From the last time I wrote, I spent time in Cardiff, Wales (hi Rob!), Galway and Dublin, Ireland (hi Seán!) along with a day in Liverpool and another four days in the rectal region of the UK (London).  After a day in Brussels, I am now happily hanging out in my hotel room in Deutschland!

It’s been twenty days now since I first landed in Europe and I think I have easily walked about 100 miles.

My friend Rob showed me a lovely time in Wales and proved to me that the Welsh are way more friendly and relaxed than what I had been used to encountering in London. As we strolled along the river walk out towards the sea, I took occasional moments to stop and enjoy the crisp air.  I ate fabulous Turkish food and enjoyed amazing Welsh beer called Double Dragon and Tangled Foot. It is pretty rare for me to find new beers I like but Rob amazed me by introducing me to two new beers that I loved enough to get mentioned on this blog. After spending the afternoon walking, Rob informed me that we had done at least 5 miles. I was pretty proud of myself as even by then, a week into my trip, that my legs and feet showed no signs of exhaustion.

The Ashford Castle in Cong, Ireland

The Ashford Castle in Cong, Ireland

After my journey to Wales, I headed out to meet Seán in Galway. I had been really excited to see Ireland as I’m borderline obsessed with the country since I suspected it to be gorgeous and full of smiley people. My suspicions were confirmed as my plane came down and broke free of the gray clouds that had been engulfing my $66 RyanAir flight. Below me the bright blue shoreline hugged the emerald isle and brought happy tears to my eyes as we descended down towards Dublin Airport. Once landed, I walked through the airport to catch my bus from one coast to the other.  I spent the next two days wandering through Galway and a small town called Cong, adding more miles to the distance my shoes had walked.

Speaking of shoes… I don’t know if I ever got to write about one of the best birthday gifts I received a few months ago!  After reading my post about how I needed new tennis shoes and didn’t want to spend too much money, my good friend Ronnie did some undercover work with Alyssa to find out my shoe size and sent me a snazzy new pair of Nike’s, knowing that they would get good use in Europe.  Ronnie was right, if it wasn’t for his generous gift my poor tootsies would probably be covered with blisters and unable to rack up the miles like I’ve been doing… so big thank you to Ronnie Follmann for being so awesome and thoughtful.

Continuing on, my cousins Anna and Jenny came into Dublin on the 24th of June and we spent our time doing what I apparently do best – MORE WALKING!  We walked from the Dublin city center down to the docklands and caught a plane back to the UK after two days in Dublin.  We walked around the city of Liverpool exploring sites like The Cavern, where the Beatle’s first played together.   After our quick day in Liverpool, we took a train for $5 to London and walked some more!!!  I took them to spots like The Natural History Museum and common tourist attractions like Big Ben and Westminster Abbey.

The inside of The Cavern in Liverpool, England where the Beatle's first played together

The inside of The Cavern in Liverpool, England where the Beatle’s first played together

I also convinced them to do some yoga with me in Regent’s Park, the lovely park I had done yoga in two weeks before.  I taught them all sorts of poses and had them test the difference of their flexibility before we started our stretches and after we were done.  Both my cousins were impressed with the flexibility they gained after only ten minutes and I have a feeling they may give yoga a shot again someday.  We had a few spectators during our yoga session and afterwards I joked about how I should go give them one of my Double Chin Diary business cards so they could contact me for their own personal lesson.   I’ve given out a ton of my handy little cards Alyssa made me so hopefully we gained a few more readers – speak up if you’re one of my new European friends now reading our blog!

April doing her tree pose in front of Big Ben in London

April doing her tree pose in front of Big Ben in London

I also managed to get my first black eye ever while dancing with my cousin Jenny in our tiny hotel room in London.  Apparently if you are going to dance to the Cupid’s Shuffle, you want to make sure you have enough space so you don’t bump heads and accidentally get a black eye.  My eye swelled up faster than a marshmallow in a microwave and caused me to have my first session of crying on my trip.  I was so scared that it would spread through my entire eye but luckily it’s remained only on my eyelid, making it quite easy to cover up with the help of Mac concealer and dark eye shadow from Estee Lauder.

April's punishment for dancing

April’s punishment for dancing

Have any of you ever had a black eye before?  How did you get yours?  How long did yours last?  It’s been a week now and it’s slowly getting better but is still quite obvious..  so I’m curious as to when this will finally go away.

Have you ever exercised in a public place?  It’s taken me some courage to get over going into “downward dog” in front of people but I keep telling myself if it’s alright for people to prance around shirtless or in sport’s bras and covered in sweat, it’s alright for me to do some soothing stretches under some trees.

I’ve got two more weeks left and still have Paris, Amsterdam, Madrid, and Lisbon set for my future.  I’m very excited because most of our crazy dashing around will be over by Saturday once Anna and I get into Amsterdam with my friends Anton and Jarno.

Is there anywhere you all recommend that we see in any of those places?

Lots of love from abroad,