FAQs about the TMB (Tour du Mont Blanc) — Answered!

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My husband and I just returned last week from our amazing trip to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB).  I definitely recommend this trek to anyone who loves hiking, mountains, or cornflakes.  For a recap of our eight-day self-guided itinerary, check out my recap post.  For a list of the gear we took with us, see my gear post.  This post will fill in some blanks and provide some helpful information if you are interested in learning more about the TMB or if you are planning to do it!

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Tour Du Mont Blanc (TMB) in Eight Days: Our Itinerary and Recap!

IMG_2728My husband and I just returned from hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc, a loop trail that goes around the Mont Blanc massif in France, Italy, and Switzerland.  I will have separate posts for what we packed for this adventure, as well as some FAQs if you are interested in more tips about the TMB.  But this post is my recap:  where we went, where we stayed, what we ate, and how long this thing took us!  We decided to do the trip in eight days and book it all ourselves — not using a hired guide company or trip planner.  So here it is — our eight-day self-guided TMB itinerary!

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Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) Packing List — What to Bring and What to Leave at Home

IMG_2673My husband and I recently completed the Tour du Mont Blanc, an approximately 100 mile hiking loop around Mont Blanc in France, Italy, and Switzerland.  This is a popular route, and I benefitted greatly from reading the packing lists and blog recaps of other TMB hikers.  Here is one of my contributions — our packing list!  I am also posting a recap of our eight-day TMB itinerary and some FAQs about the TMB, in separate posts.  Enjoy!

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Home Project Update Number Two!

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As some of you know, we purchased a house in Colorado almost a year ago.  The house was built in 1975, which means popcorn ceilings, textured walls, out-of-code electrical wiring, layers of crazy paint colors and wallpaper, and, my favorite, asbestos.  Oh, and some ugly built ins.  For more background and to read my first home project update, click here!

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Non-Running Travel Recap: Adventures of a Vegetarian in Japan!

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Sooo I’m still not allowed to run after my bulging disc diagnosis.  But I’m trying to have fun anyway.  The latest: a trip to Japan!  My husband had wanted to see Tokyo and Kyoto for years, and before traveling to anywhere new that I wanted to go (like the TMB, planned for September!), we decided to check this one off his bucket list.  I was interested in experiencing Japan but I had one major concern: the food.  My husband eats most meats and fish, but as my readers know, I am a vegetarian.  The Japanese diet is very meat heavy, and especially seafood heavy, with fish broth — dashi — showing up in what feels like every. single. dish.  Plus, the concept of a vegetarian, I’d learned when doing my research, doesn’t exist in Japan.  Buddhists are sometimes vegan, but the ovo-lacto vegetarianism that is common in the U.S. doesn’t seem to have taken hold in Japan.   To cater to the small number of vegetarians that do exist in Japan, both Tokyo and Kyoto have some fully vegetarian and vegan outlets.  However, because my husband eats meat, that wasn’t going to be an option for every meal.  And I wanted to eat Japanese food, not just vegetarian food.  So I developed three food goals for the trip:

(1) Experience Japanese culture

(2) Eat food that tastes good

(3) Eat food that is nourishing.

In other words, I didn’t want to fill up on plain white rice or French pastries (which are everywhere in Japan!) or Japanese desserts (also everywhere!).  So here’s what I learned and ate on our trip, including my favorite picks for best vegetarian foods in Japan.

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I Think I’ll Go to Boston… Even With This Bulging Disc

IMG_1055So my last report wasn’t… the best, happiest update.  I was struggling with back pain, and right on the eve of the Boston Marathon, a race I’ve been dreaming about for SEVEN YEARS.  Today I finally  got the results of my MRI and confirmed the diagnosis…

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