Meanwhile … life signs from summer camp

Somehow Julius managed to get online and sent me those two photos with this caption:

And this one he sent me after our good night phone call, showing off that he keeps on doing his skin treatment / facial wash.

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Double Run Fun!

This summer, the climate here is fantastic for running. And unlike last year, when I managed to get a running related injury just before leaving Vietnam, this time I am in top shape and keep exploring all those paths through the fields and try to find new, interesting loops.

So, this morning I set out for 10K and managed to get that done pretty speedily.

In the early evening I went out for a walk and noticed that we would be getting a pretty dramatic sunset.

That was motivation enough to embark on another quickie 5K. This photo was taken at around 8:50PM, notice how the sun is still up!

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Meanwhile … working on Sundays

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13K in 1h!

It has only been 2 years since I managed to get 10K done in 1h for the first time. That was a critical barrier for me back then. (For me, this is  the line separating joggers from runners).

And today I surprised myself that I did 13.08km in 1:00:16, even though I set out to keep this run ‘mellow’, explore some new trails, get close to those windmills, then there was a brutal uphill climb, but towards the end I was really pushing it. (And landed on two #2 spots on Strava segments, for those of you who know what that means 😉 )

Beautiful blue skies and I have gotten into the habit of putting sunscreen on.

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Off to learn some more German

It’s that part of the summer again that Julius goes away for 2 weeks to improve his German (and practice his social skills with a whole new group of other teenagers).

We had selected a different location this time, as he was outgrowing the age bracket for his previous place and well, see something new. This new place has some other advantages: nicer facilities and a breathtaking location up over the Rhine Valley, right next to some old castle!

Checking in was speedy, very friendly people, about half of the other kids were already there and I did not notice a whole tour bus full of Russians or Spaniards. Seems like a good mix. The rooms have 4 beds and unlike the previous hostel, there’s shower and toilet in each room.

We kept our goodbyes short and ignored the fact that there is nearly no cell / 3G reception up there. We will somehow stay in touch … or not … time to grow up 😀

After that I drove around a bit to check if there’s a nice path along the river to run, I had packed everything.

But alas, the path that there is, right next to a busy street, has to be shared with bicycles. And from what I saw, those were not the most observant bunch of people. Did not look too inviting.

I did a quick photo stop at the Loreley though.

With Julius out of the picture for now, I think there will be very little activity on this blog, unless I get some photos from him or the language school posts some on facebook.

Maybe I post some nice run pics from time to time 😀

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Evening Walk with Kiddo

It has been a long standing tradition that on our stays here I drag Julius outside for a walk. He might complain at first (and sometimes even after), but during the walk he is actually quite cheerful, talkative, hums along and overall it is great fun.

Especially when we meet cows!

We also passed this one shed full of graffiti again.
Amazing that after 4.5 years (this photo is from Dec 2013) it looks still well preserved and no one bothered to remove or tag over this beautiful piece of art.

Notice the ever so slight size difference of Julius 😉

And a tiny video clip from this walk. Notice Julius mastering making ‘music’ with leafs!

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Fun with water

In order to keep Julius busy and making him part of the all-men-household, I tasked him today with watering the flowers around the garden (it had been untypical dry the last few weeks, no rain at all)

And here is his reward 😉

And this is actually from yesterday, but I thought it fit the theme: My dad had his little fish pond redone these days and now it is all clear and the fish that survived the pond work living in a barrel for a few days were utterly confused by this giant visitor. (Water very cold!)

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MTZ

One of those malls we always swing by when we are here is the Main-Taunus-Zentrum.
And since it was already lunch time when we arrived (and Julius recalled the Döner place, and preferred it over the Burito joint we had discovered last year) we sat down for some Turkish food.

After that, the usual: Julius trying to find anything and everything resembling a video game and get into play mode, while papa is hunting down first sales specials.

(And no, I did not get that jacket. While I am slowly warming up to adding blue to my work out clothing, it is just too warm in SL to ever really wear this [and too cold when I run in Japan in the winter] {but who knows, if I happen to come across it again and they knocked another 10€ off the price .. maybe …})

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Meanwhile … soccer fever over …


Gotta love that they had a tuktuk painted in German colors for the event.

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Red Bell Pepper

Today at the supermarket Julius asked if he could have a red bell pepper ‘no questions asked’ …

Not sure if some internet meme or youtube challenge got him to want to eat a bell pepper like and apple, but heck, anything that involves eating raw veggies is fine with me.

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Shopping Goofballs

Not much to report today. As a special treat, my dad accompanied us for our shopping round and he and J just had way too much fun goofing around

Took me a while, but in the afternoon I finally kicked myself enough to a nice long, all over the place (including crossing the German Autobahn) 10 mile run under wonderful skies.

 

 

And today’s lunch was one of Julius’ favorites: Meica’s Currywurst!

 

(while the old guys were still full from breakfast) and our dinner was greek meatballs filled with cheese (something that Aldi has in its freezer section sometimes) and plenty of Feldsalat, which kiddo loves.

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Flea Market, Round 2

It is Sunday again, which in Germany means ALL shops are closed, but there’s at least one flea market in the vicinity.

By now Julius’ patience holds for about an hour and he actually sees some stuff he at least wants to check out, or old toys from his childhood, like a bag full of Bakugan. Always fun is always flipping through old record covers (what were they thinking?) and on rare occasions there is even a fun find:

I saw this headphone box, looked inside, headphones looked rather pristine, never seen this make / model before, but at a 2€ price tag, how could I say no?

Googling has brought up very little so far, only that something like that (without box) was sold on ebay for 30€ recently.

The writing on the box is all German, there is NO mentioning of a manufacturer or country of origin (no ‘made in China’), I actually think this might be an old relict from the 1970ies GDR!

Very unique is that they have a switch from stereo to mono, and volume knobs on each side.

Since there was no way of shopping for food today, dinner was pizza from a nearby place we usually order at least once a summer from.

Grandpa just wanted salad. And I don’t recall that Julius’ Hawaiian comes with no tomato sauce …


Today’s Outdoor Run:

Getting a bit more adventurous, trying to find new ways, even if it includes crossing ‘big’ streets (which were mercifully un-busy this Sunday afternoon). Trying to get close to those fascinating windmills, but then the path looped around and I found myself in an area I knew and was able to run a sweet 8K loop.

Very dark skies, but no rain.

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Meanwhile … Soccer Fever!

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Goodbye Farm!

One last round this morning, petting the horses …

… the goats and hugging some chickens and then our time was over again and we headed back home.

But Julius already said that he wants to visit again next year!

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Got Cold – Need Hats!

Over night it has gotten really cold!

Wasn’t it like 28-30˚C just 2 days ago? And this morning it was down to 13˚C.

But somehow Julius wanted to go out with his sketch book (and in my jacket), but after a while it was just too cold.

 

Since we had to go back to the next town to resupply our fridge, we stopped by our usual shenanigans place KiK&Tedi, where we goofed around with the plethora of hats, until I found (and actually bought) this green skull / halloween leftover beanie which I had found in the 10 cents bin.

Once we got back, Julius kept trying to entice the resident peacock to sing along his violin play.

Maybe it was too cold for that, too.

But now that I had a warm beanie (and I actually had packed my running gloves), I set out to get utterly lost in the woods :)

This is me after getting out of the forest, checking the signage and realizing just how far away I am from my starting point (those windmills faintly visible in the back)

And I did mention gloves, right?

My problem was that instead of just retracing my steps the way I came, I had gotten cocky and tried to rely on my sense of direction (which was actually spot on) and the hope to find some cross path (instead I came across a 3m ravine which I rather did not feel like crossing), so, back through the ‘there is no path anymore forest’ until I was safely on my way back.

Eventually I made it back safe and sound with a slight salt crust around my eyes.

Dinner today was a simply, but also very delicious meal of Schlemmer Filet (some white fish covered in a flavorful crust) and our usual veggie medley.

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