Wednesday, 2 May 2012

I would walk 5(00) miles...

It has been a little while since my last post and that is because we have been entertaining visitors from Germany over the weekend.  In 1991-92 my family and I in America hosted a German exchange student, Nina, and amazingly we are still as close now as we were then - I'd go as far to say that she's basically my sister.  For the last three years she has come over to England in the Spring for a weekend visit, but this year was special because she was bringing her eldest child with her (a first-communion present for him!).

They arrived on Friday evening and it's been non-stop since then (unfortunately for them, it was also non-stop with raining!).  This was Nina's son's first airplane trip and obviously first trip to England, so we had a 'checklist' of things to do!  On Saturday, we planned to go to the seaside, which thankfully we still managed despite the weather.  One of the wonderful things about Southend on Sea is the pier - to me, this is a walker's delight.  It's the longest pleasure pier in the world (1.33 miles from one end t'other) and full of history.  It's been burnt to a crisp and rammed with so many boats over the years that you'd wonder how it's still standing - but she still is!  We drove separately to Southend as Nina wanted to do a bit of shopping first, so my husband took all of the children to the Sealife Centre first.  When Nina and I arrived, of course they were all at the very end of the pier, having taken the train there - so Nina and I decided to walk down.

Though it was raining, it was not heavy and we enjoyed our short walk to the middle of the pier before the train came back and we turned around.  All total, we walked about 3 miles in Southend on Saturday, which I was pleased with because it went towards working off my Plaice & Chips!

Sunday, we had planned a visit to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford.  My son had an obsession with planes when he was younger, so a few years ago we practically had shares in the place.  However, it had been about five years since I last visited and I did not realise how many improvements they've made to it! Hanger 1 was amazing!  There were lots of scientific experiments for the children to try, along with many restored planes that we could walk through (including Concorde!).
Hanger One at Duxford

I knew that we would get a lot of exercise on Sunday because Duxford is a big place - but I had no idea how much!  I checked my Walkmeter just as we were leaving the first hanger and we had already walked nearly two miles in that hanger alone!  There were a further seven hangers, however we decided to only visit five of these - and aside from the last, the remainder of the hangers were smaller than the first.

When we had finished visiting the last hanger, we were walking back to the gift shop when Nina suggested the kids have a race.  I was happily watching them run and before I knew it, she suggested that she and I have a race!  I had not run in years, but not wishing to be a spoiled sport, I agreed.  I lost pathetically of course, but at least I gave it a go - and I must say that I was wholly surprised to not be gasping desperately for air at the end of it!  All this walking must be doing me some good!

When I clicked 'done' as we were walking to the car, I was shocked to see that we had walked 5.54 miles!!!  This was utterly amazing to me - but I was really pleased that we had walked so far.

Having been worried initially that I would throw caution to the wind over the weekend and overeat - I managed not only to control my eating, but also lose two pounds thanks to all the exercise!  So it just goes to show, if you have a plan for when visitors come - and you make sure to incorporate exercise - it does work!

On Monday evening, I dropped Nina and her boy off at the airport - sad that they were leaving, but looking forward to a well deserved rest.  Tomorrow is my birthday, which will bring challenges all their own (namely some Chocolate Nutella cupcakes I've made for my work colleagues!), but I'm looking forward to a theatre treat and a meal out on Friday night to celebrate.

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