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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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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Big Sur International Marathon 2017 Recap and Review (Marathon 22, State 17 — California)

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Race: Big Sur International Marathon, a race that some regard as the most beautiful marathon in the United States

Location:  Point-to-point course from Big Sur, California to Carmel-By-The-Sea, California; approximately 2 hrs south of San Francisco

Time of Year:  6:45 am on a Sunday at the end of April, when the flowers are in bloom

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Non-Race Travel: The Best of St. Moritz, Florence, and Rome

IMG_3321Better late than never on this one!  My husband and I were fortunate to be invited to a wedding in St. Moritz, Switzerland in mid-January this year.  I honestly had never heard of St. Moritz, but as soon as I Wikipedia’d it, I was pretty pumped, even if I mis-pronounced it for several weeks until someone correct me (Mor-RITZ, not MORE-itz).  We also decided to extend the trip with stops in Florence and Rome, Italy.   Here are some of the highlights.

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Mesa Phoenix Marathon 2017 Review and Recap (Marathon 21, State 16 — Arizona)

IMG_0209What:  The BMO Harris Bank Mesa-Phoenix Marathon, aka The Phoenix Marathon, aka The Mesa-PHX Marathon. (There were approx 17 different hashtags associated with this race at various points — a little bit of an identity crisis, I think.)  (Not to be confused with the Rock ‘N Roll Arizona race, also held in the Phoenix area.)

Where: Mesa, Arizona, just a few miles outside of Phoenix.  Race started in Usery Mountain Regional Park and ended in the Mesa Riverview shopping center.

When: Saturday on the last weekend in February.

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