October 17

Riding Horses in Playa del Carmen

For my first riding lesson I was put onto a horse bareback, the trainer leading it on a lunge line so I didn’t even have the reins to hold onto. “This is it,” I thought as the animal slid around underneath me, “this is the day I fall off.” Continue reading

August 31

We Bought A Car!

We tried life without a car, and all our reasons for doing it were sound. We’d save money, we’d get in better shape, it’s better for the environment, and if all else fails there’s always public transportation and taxis. So why didn’t it work? Continue reading

October 18

“Bike Friendly” Iowa vs Biking in Mexico

Last month in Tulum I was delighted to stay in a hostel that included a bicycle even though it turned out to be a rust bucket (hey it was free!) It’s a common thing there for people to ride bikes to get around and there are trails in many places. On Cozumel I rented a bicycle and rode all over town on the roads with the cars and motos (scooters) and I hear that south of town they have completed their first bicycle trails there too.

Bike trail along the highway that lead to the ruins in Tulum, Mexico.
Bike trail along the highway that lead to the ruins in Tulum, Mexico.

Bike trails are a new thing in Mexico because bicycles usually ride in traffic. When I am there I ride on the streets, something I would never feel safe doing at home in Iowa, and I started to wonder why it was different. Continue reading

September 9

Do You Know the Way to Pa-len-que? Mayan Ruins in Chiapas

A highlight of Blogger Boot Camp with Marginal Boundaries was all the Mayan ruins we visited, starting with the one just down the road a little further into the jungle, the ancient Mayan city of Palenque. We started walking down the road Continue reading

August 1

Learning to Sail, Day 4: The Final Day

Are you all caught up? No? Start with Sailing Lessons on Gray’s Lake.

DAY 4: the final day of the lesson.

It rained off and on and got really stormy during the day. I watched anxiously out the window at work as the wind blew sheets of water sideways and soaked our patients no matter how close they pulled to the door. The skies cleared late in the day and Jason met me at the lake with all three girls at 5:30. I overheard the marina attendant complaining on the phone about the weather, not wanting to be open: “And now there’s some woman here who wants to sail.” Carol showed up just after we did, and the rowing teams were not far behind, so he was stuck. Continue reading

July 2

Sailing Lessons on Gray’s Lake, Iowa

For those unfamiliar with central Iowa, Gray’s Lake is not a large lake. It’s in the middle of Des Moines near downtown, and in previous incarnations it was part of the Raccoon River and a gravel quarry. After the epic floods of 1993 destroyed the fancy Holiday Inn that dominated its south shore it was kind of a nasty run down eyesore for years. In 2001 it was re-born; a 2 mile paved trail runs all the way around it including over a pedestrian bridge, a playground and a small marina were built, and the 167-acre park quickly became a favorite of Des Moines residents. It is haven for outdoor activity with kayaks, canoes and paddleboats as well as the trails and reclaimed prairie. The water is still dirty (it is Iowa after all) but the overall effect is pleasing and people flock to it year round, walking their dogs, riding their bikes and circling the shore rain or shine.

This is where our first sailing experience takes place. Continue reading

June 3

Learning to Scuba Dive in Iowa

After several minutes sitting alone on the bottom of the pond watching bubbles float up from my regulator I felt a sharp tap on the back of my head. I thought my scuba instructor, Craig, had returned without me noticing, but when I turned around there was only a small fish floating in front of my face. A Bass maybe? Continue reading

May 10

Bringing Healthy Travel Habits Home

Mexico

When I travel I walk everywhere, I snorkel for hours, I bicycle and climb and spend every minute of the day exploring. I eat lots of ceviche and fresh fruit, and I drink tons of water. I always lose weight, and I feel stronger.

Then I come home and fall back into the same sedentary habits Continue reading