Aside from the usual, not much is going on at Casa West this week. But I did want to share something that’s making me happy lately:

Bicknell Avenue

I’ve run hundreds of miles, back and forth, on this path. It’s where I trained for my marathon in 2006 and where I developed the chronic achilles tendonitis a few years later that plagues me to this day. For a few years, Mick and I ran this path together (well, separately, because he runs much faster than I do, but together because we were on the path at the same time). But when we moved to Venice we got out of the habit. The distance to the path, though not far, required a car or a bike ride, and instead I joined a gym nearby. Mick pretty much stopped exercising altogether.

But our trip to Peru and our Wayna Picchu climb were good reminders for both of us that it’s incredibly important that we do what we can to stay in shape. I want to be skiing down mountains when I’m 80, after all. Though by nature I tend toward laziness and inertia, I can’t imagine not being able to do the things I want to do because I’ve allowed myself to become too sedentary. It’s no longer solely about my weight or appearance, it’s about enjoying life as much as I can, for as long as I can.

I’m happy to say that in recent weeks, Mick and I have begun running this path again. It’s great to have regular access to a gym and its equipment, but running outdoors is something that just can’t be duplicated on a treadmill. It’s harder, but it’s so much more rewarding. I’m getting close to running 3 miles without stopping to walk, which is my first benchmark for being in some sort of shape. Mick, of course, can already do it, and is working on his speed at the moment.

Mick and Holly Run
We earned that sweat, yo

So that’s what we’re up to. Do you have any plans, big or small, for this summer?

Five things that caught my attention this week:Marilyn Monroe Suite

There’s something about traveling that turns my normally relaxed husband into a little old lady. His need to plan out every detail, complete with hand-drawn maps, is endearing, yet also annoying. He’s so fixated on getting things right that he gets little things–like what direction our hotel is in–wrong, then corrects me when I go the right way.

We’re in Lima, staying at the Marriott in Miraflores. It overlooks the ocean, and we’ve a lovely view of a park and the water beyond. Hang gliding is popular here and we saw quite a bit of it yesterday afternoon.


A walk in the park across from our hotel revealed that it seemed a popular place for young couples to go and make out. Perhaps it’s a welcome refuge from chaperoning eyes at home?

It wasn’t long before we partook of our first Pisco Sours. I’ve had two more since and so far, the one at the hotel bar wins.


Our first ceviche came from a restaurant called Amaz, which was featured on Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. While I was a bit disappointed in the rest of the meal, the ceviche was divine. I don’t generally like it in America (raw onions, don’t you know) but I was determined not to let that stop me. So we ordered a ceviche comprised of wild snails and mussels and we both loved it. Despite my dislike of onions, I do like to eat adventurously.

And so, I’ll leave you with this:


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