Jun 26, 2014 - Trail Tales, Wanderlust    No Comments

Scaling the highest peak in Wales

I have always kept a record of my travels.  It used to be with a pen and paper and 35mm film.  Now it’s all digital.  Back in 1997, I spent a summer living in the UK…actually, I had a place but nothing to do… so I wandered…and wandered, and one weekend I ended up at Snowdonia National Park in Wales–where I spent more than a couple of weekends while I was in the UK.

Taking on Wales’ tallest peak

My first weekend away landed me in the charming village of Betws-y-coed, North Wales, a village of about 500.  Bewts-y-Coed is located in the heart of Snowdonia. Wales may not be home to the tallest mountain peak, but it still has some challenging hiking.

It has charming waterfalls.

But really what I came to Snowdonia National Park to see was Mt. Snowdon, and it did not disappoint. You see, I like to think that I’m a bad-ass hiker chic. I have visions of hiking the Appalachian Trail or some other multi-week trek. Or climbing Aconcagua. Or Denali. In reality, I’ve rarely done much more than overnight camping and nothing more than a day hike on my on. Certainly not scaling any peaks anywhere. But back when I spent an entire summer in Great Britain, I was a 19 year old college athlete who thought I could do anything, and anything included climbing mountains without any preparation and only minimal supplies.

You see those little squiggles… that’s the hiking path… It’s none too wide, and a bit scary the higher up you get. I didn’t know that these peaks were also ski paths in the winter.

If I’d known what I was in for, I might have been content to hang around the lake all day.

Tips for Climbing Mount Snowdon

  • Entrance to the park is 100% free.  It costs to park, but some B&Bs offer shuttles to the park so if you can snag one of those, total cost is F-R-E-E.
  • Bring lots of layers! It was quite chilly on the summit and this was in June! — bring a water-resistant parka, gloves,  and a hat.  All I had with me was a light windbreaker, a long- sleeved shirt, and a baseball hat.  Clearly, I was expecting better weather from June.
  • Try to climb on a clear day. Your photos will be so much better.  I got lucky.  With minimal planning or prior knowledge of Welsh weather, I had a great day.  As I have since learned, weather at the bottom of a mountain is no prediction of weather at the top of a mountain.
  • Snacks, water, and for me ibuprofen are crucial.  I only had 1L of water, a few power bars and fruit, and zero painkillers.  I crawled up into a ball when I got back to my room, and finally, after a hot shower or two, I could walk normally again.
  • Believe in yourself.  Before I started, I NEVER thought that I couldn’t do it.  I didn’t research it.  I just heard about it and it sounded like a cool thing to do.  Once I got started, I didn’t think I’d make it.  But I’m too stubborn to quit.

This is Wales’ tallest peak; had I known I’d be hiking a ridge, I probably would not have done it. Balance has never been my strong point.

  • Climbing Snowdon is absolutely worth it. This is one of Wales’s best adventures, and one that you’ll always remember.

Be prepared for anything when you are hiking in the Welsh mountains.  The weather can change in an instant.

The view from the highest peak in Wales–simply breath taking.

Apr 17, 2014 - Postcards from    1 Comment

Pembrokeshire

I have always kept a record of my travels.  It used to be with a pen and paper and 35 mm film.  Now it’s all digital. On Flashback Fridays I reflect back on some of my past travels and travel mishaps before I started this blog.

More Wales…though this time farther south than Anglesey and  a little more north than Cardiff and Swansea.

 A lot of the charm of Pembrokeshire lies in its remoteness.  It seems as if it is a different world.  On the edge of the Earth.  Rocky coasts.  Charming little towns.  The craggy coastal towns on the Atlantic Ocean. Castles. Sleepy little towns.

Some of the best walks on the Wales Coast Path runs through Pembrokeshire.

If I had to choose one are of Wales to visit over and over again it would be Pembrokeshire. Cardiff is nice for industry and Snowdonia is mountainous and wind, but Pembrokeshire gets my vote. It is wild. And beautiful. And sparsely populated. And of all the places I’ve ever visited, this land speaks to me more, and I could one day, you know, immigration laws notwithstanding, call it home. I’d even commit to learning as of now the unpronounceable Welsh language.

Apr 1, 2014 - Wanderlust    No Comments

My 2006 Olympic Experience

I was lucky enough to attend the 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta, Georgia.  Don’t get me wrong; it was awesome, but it wasn’t the true experience.  I only live a couple of hours from Atlanta so I just drove down the day of.  I was able to get tickets for 4 events–baseball, soccer, rhythmic gymnastics, and volleyball.  Not swimming–which I would have loved, but still… it’s the Olympics.

Winter 2006 was a lot different… winter sports vs summer sports.  Torino, Itlay vs Atlanta, USA.  Olympic village vs my own house.  4 days + opening ceremony vs random days spread out over the two weeks.

2006-winter-olympics

Opening Ceremony:  There’s nothing quite like seeing the opening ceremony in person…The pomp and circumstance, the parade of athletes, the cool costumes, and the lighting of the Olympic flame—it’s all pretty amazing.  There’s such a feeling of hope and opportunity in the air.  It’s the only time–especially at the Winter Games when a lot of events are some distance from the host city–when everyone is together.  All [or nearly all] of the athletes, the spectators, the media–everyone is in one space for the opening.  After the opening ceremony, people scatter, and they don’t always meet back up at the closing.

Seeing the flame be lit  and watching the parade of athletes was awesome.  I always wanted to be an Olympian, but when it comes right down to it, I don’t have the competitive nature to push myself day in and day out.  Sure I always played sports… even went to college on athletic scholarship, but at the end of the day, I played sports because they were fun… and I enjoyed the camaraderie with my teammates.

Bardonecchia:  I stayed in Turin for the day prior to and the day of the Opening Ceremony and then next morning high tailed it up to the mountains courtesy of the free Olympic shuttle.  I based myself in Bardonecchia because 1).  Mountains…skiing…the cool winter sports 2) closer proximity to the other winter villages than Torino 3) free shuttles to and from the games and 4) It’s where I could find a place to stay that didn’t use up the entire monthly budget at one time.

The games:  I grew up in the south eastern part of the USA.  Skiing, ice hockey, ice skating, ect are not things that I could have participated in easily.  I mean we were always taught to never walk on frozen ice because it never gets cold enough to freeze solid and then we’d drown and/or get hypothermia.  SO that being said, winter sports have always fascinated me and I thought that had I grown up in the appropriate environment I’d would excel in biathlon.  I mean I can shoot like a champ and though I’ve never been on skis, cross country skiing doesn’t terrify me like down hill skiing does.

Biathlon does not get any love in the USA.  Its not fast or glamourous or shiny.  I mean they don’t even use real bullets when shooting, but for whatever reason, it fascinates me.  I was beyond thrilled to stand in the freezing cold and watch the biathletes ski and shoot their way to Olympic Gold.

torino biathlon

I also got to see some snowboarding…which terrifies the snot out of me…as well as bobsled and luge. No pictures from those events as they were whizzing past much too past for me to get a decent shot.

But bilathalon, though…it was beyond cool to see it.

Mar 22, 2014 - Life    No Comments

Flashback Friday | 2005 in review

I have never been good a doing a year-in-review, partly because I like to forget the negative and only remember the positive.  It’s said that you can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been so with that in mind–the last 53 weeks in review. And yes, I realize that a year has 52 weeks, but the last week of 2004 was a doozy so I’m definitely including it in my review. 2005 was definitely a mixed bag as far as major events goes…High highs and low lows-I’m am looking for a more even keeled 2006.

Let’s review, shall we

December 2004:  technically NOT 2005 but since it happened in the last week of Dec, I’m counting it.  I’ve never been a slave to a calendar anyway.

  • Although we’ve not talked nor seen each other other than professionally since the fall, the fella invited me over to the new house after Christmas for dinner.  I am a sucker for a man who cooks well [Italian mama and all] and can afford the ‘good wine’ and lots of it.  We decided to ‘try again’ and all that entails.

January 2005:

  • I hung a new storm door on the fella’s new house [because I can and he couldn’t] and installed a personalized doorknocker [my gift to him].
  • My dad had a stroke and spent most of the month in Neuro ICU.
  • My routine became very routine:  sleep at hospital on the floor of the waiting room, be up for rounds with physicians, head down to the school to finish my last semester of respiratory school [the irony:  our clinicals are in the same ICUs where my dad is a patient.  I refuse to allow any student to take care of him].  Head over to my job as ‘Hostess with the mostess’ but not before downing a fishbowl or two of margaritas so that I can inure myself to the asinine customers who complain that their ‘view’ isn’t that great.  Head back to hospital after the buzz has worn off and rinse and repeat for three and a half weeks.

February 2006:

  • Have a date with the fella, attend Mozart concert, go to the symphony which makes me think that “this” could work… you know, after I deal with my dad.
  • See the fella out with some other girl… on my birthday no less
  • Have ‘words’ with my dad
  • Get rip-roaring drunk on my birthday, skip two days of school, take advantage of the situation
  • Have desire to castrate ‘fella’

March 2005:

  • Have an interview at Duke Children’s Hospital for a job once I graduate.  Feel the need to ‘get the hell out of town’
  • Receive job offer

April 2005:

  • Move my dad to a rehab facility; consult with hospice
  • We’re still not talking
  • Soldier on through school

May 2005:

  • My dad dies after a week of Hospice care
  • Get rip-roaring drunk again
  • Refuse to go to funeral with ‘family’
  • Sit on the back row for service

June/July 2005

  • It’s a blur as I am doing my student practicum.  36 hours a week for 6 weeks in Peds ICU… working part time at the restaurant and hospital so that I can have some modicum of income.
  • Shut the world out
  • Drink myself into oblivion when I’m not in practicum or working at the hospital…restaurant somewhat encourages drinking (and such).

On my own…

August 2005

  • Graduate (on a Tuesday)
  • Take boards (two days after graduation)
  • Get licensed (on the next Monday)
  • Move to Durham…live in a tiny basement apartment, but rent is only $282
  • Leave Shadow and Spot behind

Oh how I loved and missed my boys

  • Start new job
  • Get deployed to a natural disaster

September 2005

  • Assist with medical relief efforts from Hurricane Katrina
  • Feel overwhelmed at job daily, but love every minute of it

October/November 2005

  • work a lot, learn a lot
  • start talking to ‘blast from the past’ again.  He’s been my ‘fallback guy’ since 2000, and as much as I don’t want to go down those roads again, it’s awfully comfortable and it’s nice to have something familiar when literally everything is new.

December 2005

  • decide on a whim to go to Italy for the Winter Olympics and my birthday–which is only in two months… no previous planning, no real ideas on what to do
  • request 4 weeks off from work, and gets approved

and just like that, it is 2006 and I have experienced all life’s stresses except marriage and divorce in one year.

Mar 15, 2014 - Life    No Comments

The birth of Adventure Adikt

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all…

sea lions

Hi, my name is Michelle.  Welcome to my blog.

Adventure Adikt*, is my blog 3.0.  I wasn’t really sure what to do with this re-incarnation of the blog. I started blogging way back in 2005 (that one was private, but still let me get a hold on web site stuff, and picture manipulation), and at some point around 2009-10 I upgraded to a proper WordPress blog. That upgrade happened right before I set off on my big adventure around South America. I changed the name–Peripatetic Michelle, and found out that if you have a blog that no one can spell, then it might as well be private too. When I got back from South America, I changed the name yet again–this time to A Traveler Rests. That name was a little punny as the town I was living in was Travelers Rest, and secondly, I’d just returned from 16 month of  traveling and I was T.I.R.E.D.

Then tragically my blog was claimed by the internet black hole. All those years of blogging–gone.  2005. 2005–when blogging was in its infancy. 2005 — When I first moved to North Carolina. 2006 –when I went to Italy, the Winter Olympics, Rome, Florence, and Naples… and started long-distance dating… 2008– when I moved back to South Carolina.  2010-2011– when I traveled the entire South American continent.  2012/3– when I 1. was accepted to medical school and 2. self-destructed, went to Europe on a whim, checked out, and was gone for two months, and 3. got diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. All gone.

But ha-ha you ungrateful internet, I get the last laugh because I’ve kept a paper journal since I was 13 years old and it was far more detailed than my public life ever was.

I’m starting a new adventure in  May… I am taking my first step to become a nurse practitioner and starting classes to become a Registered Nurse. It’s going to be an adventure, that’s for sure.

Until school begins, I am using this time to work on the blog: change formats, change platforms, and do a major re-design. Additionally, I will slightly change the focus. In a nutshell, the newly reformatted blog is a [very] vaguely chronological timeline of life events, travel, and mishaps along with some life lessons and musings thrown in for fun.  Life is life. Adventure is still adventure, and wanderlust is still wanderlust; I’m trying to find new ways of having a bit of each in my every day.

There were a lot of memories documented in those lost pages; some good, others not so good . So I am starting over; people say change is a good thing.

 

bulls island - Copy

Edisto Island, SC

*Why Adventure Adikt?  I went through a lot of names before I decided on this one.  Somehow, it just fit.  And I like the word adikt better than the word junkie. I seek out adventure–in all ways, traveling to foreign countries to explore history and culture, hiking in my back yard and across the country, trying out new recipes in the kitchen, and life in general. My goal is to never stop learning and never stop adventuring… just never stop.

 

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