Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dogs, sheep, hiking, and good times.

Aiight... soo little update.  Been a fun week (from last Tuesday) thus far.  Lots of things going on.  Marathon training is in full swing... and my ankle isn't feeling stellar right now after yesterday's run... BUT Im proud to say Ive not skipped workouts!  In fact... I think I did more than I needed to.. haha.

Well, starting with last Tuesday, we usually do Trivia night now at a local pub.  1/2 price pizzas and all that.  Its a good time.  But this time, Pierre was sick, and Kate wasn't feeling great either (apparently sickness is going around now...), so we all skipped out, and Kyle and I went to see X Men: First Class.  LOVED it.  Great movie.  We got some chinese food, then some ice cream, and then headed to the movie.  Had a really good time!

Then, on Friday, I was supposed to head out to Blue Barn where Kyle works to do a Poker night with them after work.  Unfortunately that got cancelled, but I still headed out to Kyle's office for the evening, because his boss, Matt, had invited us to dinner.  Matt asked us if we would house-sit for he and his family while they are away on vacation for a week and a half!  Looks to me like Kyle has made it in good with his boss!!  Haha, anyway, he's a really really nice guy, and his family is fantastic.  We had a really nice dinner and enjoyed hanging out with them.

They have a dog, 2 cats, and 4 sheep!  So we get to look after those while they are away.  Really cool too because they have the type of dog that Kyle and I have considered getting one day when we head back home / settle in somewhere.  Her name is Sky, and she's a labradoodle.  SOOO cute, and so incredibly friendly.  Big too, and she's only 18 months.  She's more lab than she is poodle (1st generation labradoodle I think they said...), so she still sheds and smells kind of dog-ish (the one thing about dogs I dislike is how they smell..), but shes awesome.  I think we'll have a lot of fun hanging out with her.  And we get to feed the sheep too!!  haha, they have one ram, and 3 ewes.  That sould be fun!  Their house is really nice too; heated (which is STELLAR since ours isnt), wood floors, a stereo / sound system, a PROJECTOR to watch movies on.  Its going to be a good week.  Plus, its out in the middle of nowhere... quiet, peaceful... theres hiking trails around, and its close to the water.  Who could complain?!  So yea, it will be nice.  I'll have somewhere new to run as well for a week.  Yay!

So, after a very nice / fun Friday evening, Saturday Kyle wanted to check out some hiking trails out at Bethells beach.  So, after a lazy morning (I got some drawing on Evan's tattoo finished, and then we headed to the French market for some coffee), we geared up with our backpacks / cameras / food / snickers bars :-) and headed off.  About a 40 minute drive,and off we were.  Started out with some HUGE sand dunes, and people were sliding down them into the streams below, and just hanging out.  Black sand everywhere.  It was really unusual.. seeing this farm land / mountainous landscape... with this huge ass sand dune in the middle!  haha.  Really cool.

From there, we headed down to the lake... and here is where it got muddy.  And I mean... MUDDY.  I was really thankful I had finally bought some cheap hiking shoes that had some tread on them (sadly I had never owned a pair before that!)  I had some trouble at first, cause it was all up hill in the mud and I kept slipping, but Kyle found me an epic walking stick that helped a lot. 

We heard ALL kinds of birds... LOTS of Tui hanging out in the trees, which was so cool.  They make such an interesting sound!  They have two voice boxes, so they have distinctly different types of chirps.  Kyle LOVES them, so it was neat to see / hear a bunch all over.  So, the hike continued on, we followed along a ridgeline, finally got out of the mud, and hit some really really nice views.  Kyle has all the photos on his camera (sorry), but we got some good ones.  The weather was perfect too.  A lttle chilly, but not cold / not hot.  Shaded for the most part too.  We saw some wood pidgeons as well, one scared the crap out of Kyle when it came out of nowhere and landed on a branch above his head.  MASSIVE birds!  Seriously.. like... 3x the size of a regular pigeon.  Really pretty birds though, they have kind of a greenish-teal color to them.  Pretty cool!  We saw King fishers too.  Lots of birds for sure.  Not really any other wildlife though!  No squirrels, thats for sure ;-). 

Anyways, we are almost done with the hike, heading down toward Bethells beach, and we come across what looks like an Army Training compound.  SO weird.  Right along the trail!  I mean, there were tanks, wooden training equipment... it was crazy.  Pretty neat / random.  We also realized we covered quite a bit of random terrain... sand dunes, to mud and grasses, then to clay and rocks, then through a pine tree forest with a sandy floor, and then down to the beach.  SO weird how many different things you can encounter in one place.  Turns out... once we finally reached the beach.. we had hiked 12km.  WOW.  Quite the hike!  So we hung out at the beach just as sun was setting, and enjoyed the views. What a day!  We had a great time.  Those Snickers were AWESOME too :-D  Great hiking food!

Next day, we had our 10k run.  Went good for Kyle, rough for me though.  I just wasn't into it.  We did it though!  Just wasn't in the mood for it, you know?  But it got done.  Then we did some grocery shopping, nothing too exciting.  Chill day for the most part.  But it was good.  We managed to get in our 5k run on Monday too.. but man my ankle was killing me.  Took yesterday (Tues) off though, and didn't cycle.  Feeling better today.

Last night was fun too, no one was in for trivia again, so Kyle and I went out anyway on our own to do something.  When no one can come to Trivia its kind of becoming like... a regular Date Night.  Fun!  We have some vouchers for fun things that we've purchased on those "Grab One," or "Daily Deal" web sites, so last night we used one I had gotten.  It was for a "tasting platter and a bottle of wine," at a restaurant up the street from the house that we had never tried.  Awesome, cause I got it for $30, when it would have normally been $70 ;-).  So we enjoyed hanging out over our platter and bottle of wine.  Some interesting food in there.. funky cheeses and meats, bread with this AWESOME Capsicum (red pepper) spread, and olives.  We were still hungry thoguh, so we decided to order dinner as well.  Lucky enough, we were there on Tuesday, meaning it was "get any two mains for only $30!"  SO... what did we do?  Order the two most expensive things on the menu!  :-P  HAHA.  Kyle got a Venison Shank with some AWESOME garlic mashed potatos, and I got the mixed grill which had every kind of meat on it.  And let me tell you... their food is GREAT.  We will definitely go back there agian, I was really impressed.

So in the end... we spent $60 for like... $130 worth of food and drink.  WOOHOO!  Bargain shopping = TOTALLY WORTH IT. 

Twas a great night.  Its so nice to spend quality time with Kyle :-)  We have some fun together.

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