Monday, August 13, 2012

BFF4L Time!

As you can imagine, living in a time zone that is six hours ahead of my best friend kind of cramps our style, so she was due for a visit!

The ladies in her family took a girls trip to Europe, so Sarah (aka SP) took some time out in the middle of the trip to stay with us for an extended weekend.

Let the good times roll...

Day one, we met Sarah at the airport in Roma, checked her luggage in at the train station and we were off to take on the city!

The coliseum and some legitimate Roman soliders. Completely legit.

What year is it again?


A group shot- Our friend Miguel would be moving in a few weeks so he joined us as a farewell to Roma.

No idea when or why this was taken but I love the confusion... All our trips aren't as smooth as the pics make them seem... But you know this if you've travelled with us (and not vicariously, hah...).

Cake Topper. Well, that's what it's often refereed to. It's really the Victor Emmanuel's memorial... Yeah, we'll stick to cake topper.

Alas, the Trevi Fountain and all it's gorgeousness.

More confusion... Love it.

An attempt at a self group shot at the fountain. At least all the people are there.

Sarah and I ensuring our visit back to Roma.

What's a trip with Miguel without some planking?

Pantheon. Love this structure. So old yet so sturdy.

Oh, these boys...

Spanish Steps.

And finally, Vatican!

Normally you are not allowed to take pictures in the Sistine Chapel so, naturally, we had to sneak one...

Tell an American not to do something and see what happens...
... just after our success (after about three failed attempts), we looked around to she flashes and cameras all over the place. Apparently these security guards were not getting paid enough today...

Judgement Day
 So we took full advantage!

We are in the Sistine Chapel. Promise.

Photo Bomber James...

I couldn't help myself... This was like the third picture of his that I jumped in. 

Seriously, it's the guard fault - if they wouldn't have let us take pictures that day I wouldn't have photo bombed... hah!

I had to go with the classic Asian tourist peace sign...

 Later that night, when we got back to Naples, we took Sarah out for some fine Neapolitan pizza.

It never disappoints!
What's BFF4L time without sugar overload? It's what we're good at...

Really, Sarah couldn't pass up the deals. Love those commissary prices.

Day two we took Sarah down the beautiful Amalfi Coast.

 It too never disappoints...

Then we stopped in Positano for lunch.

James' fave antipasti - Prociutto e melone.
 Sarah taking it all in...
People do it to wine, so why not...

 While digesting we took a quick stroll through the town. The cutest town.

Finally were were sent off by a rainbow.

As if it wasn't picturesque enough without a rainbow.
Day three - 4L day!

We took a day trip to one of my favorite cities, Florence!

4Ls in front of the Duomo.

Duomo Dome

Sidewalk art. Always awesome.

Enjoying the beauty that is Ponte Vecchio
And then she was off again to explore more of Europe *tear.*

Wish you (and SP) were here (again)!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Run Love...

I never thought we would be "runners." Ever. I thought it would be a check in the box.

I was ever so wrong.

It all started when our friends Juan and Viviana suggested we run a half marathon in Rome with them. Why not right?! 13 miles sounded like a good challenge for three-miler-runners, and how cool to do it in Roma!

*Spoiler*  We caught the bug - on the bus ride home from the half marathon we signed up for the Rome marathon (which was three weeks away)! We have been going strong since. Darn Sandoval's!

Race #1, Roma Ostia. Let's do this...

Any good race day needs to begin with a pre-race day dinner... and every good pre race day dinner needs to end with a yummy dessert.

I give you nutella pizza.

Buon Apetito!
Race Day!

When in Italy, race day must start off with a caffe! It's mandatory. Ok, it's not that serious, but we love our caffes, as do the Italians, so why not?!

Check out the growing crowd of racers behind us...

Warm up dance.

They were supposed to be taking a picture... but instead...

The silly Sandoval's. Love them!

The Keaton's (love them too)!

I couldn't believe all the clothing people were leaving behind.
(But now, the more I run, I realize some times you just don't care - you gotta do what you gotta do!)

And we're off!

Best oranges ever! Blood oranges never tasted this good!

One of my favorite parts about running is the food. And there is always food.

Our time was 2 hours and 17 minutes so you can ignore all the times displayed in the background... But that is the finish line.

Oh the relief!
Get a room Keaton's!

Medals. Another reason we run. Well, James anyways... Though after that race I must admit, I kinda felt like an olympian... Or in Juan's terms, a boss. Just saying...


Keaton's first half marathon - check!

It was pretty hard. Lots of inclines that we did not train for- the furthest we had run before this was eight miles (and even that was only once), and we were wearing Nikes (no need to explain that one to my runner readers...).

And three weeks later we were off to the FULL Maratona di Roma!


Oh, and I dragged my co-worker "T" into it the race as well.
She's a beast.
Sweet Le Piume Nere hats (Our running club L.P.N. = The Black Feather) 

 Keaton's in their too cute hats.

Boys will be boys...

At the end of expo for the marathon our names would pop up on the screen to let you know it was reading the chip in our bibs... there are our names.... Yay!
Clearly it scrolled as T is pointing at James name and I'm pointing as her's. Oops.
 Two of my fave ladies, Viviana and T... and the balloons we borrowed from the kiddies...

Roma on race day!

By the Colosseum, getting ready to start. Ooh. Ahh.

Running past the monument for Victor Emmanuel... 
Check out the lady in the background. Many people wore costumes... Or just random clothes.

T being that asian tourist we all love- throwing up the peace signs and wearing her I heart Roma tee.

Too excited.

Potty break... I know you're glad we captured this moment.

Vatican city! We're almost there!

The clowns. They were awesome. At first I think they were pacers, eventually they were just obnoxious, yet admirable at the same time. They never stopped being loud!

Staying ahead of the clowns with Rich, another member of the running club. 

Pitt stop at the Spanish Steps. Don't judge our break.

Running past Fontana di Trevi.

FINALLY!!! 5 hours and 41 minutes later... 

I almost cried. I look happy but it was ROUGH! So mentally challenging!

There was a sign posted all over of a couple kissing... we tried to out do them...

I know, I know - get a room Keaton's...

Again we were running in our Nikes... we didn't learn. Neither of us run in Nikes now, hah...

It was a struggle for me, my stomach wasn't having the snacks or water, and my feet and knees were hating the run. But as they say, it really is a mental thing- you have to push yourself even when you want to cry, stop, eat, crawl, catch a cab... let's just say I probably would have received a DNF (Did not finish) if it weren't for James. What a man. I'll get you back next year ROMA!

Oh and T finished an hour a head of us... with very minimal training!
I told you... She's a beast.

This is only the beginning of our running adventures, but enough for now...

Wish you were here!