Fatty Week!

Hi All!

Sorry for the delay in blogging, we’ve had an excellent time on holiday with family to distract us so we’re quite behind!

We got back two weeks ago, and since then we’ve been trying to get back into well-behaved grown up mode… Except for last week, which I’m pleased to announce turned out to be an unexpected Fatty Week! We were invited out to lots of tasty meals with lovely friends, and it would’ve been just rude to resist 😉 So, you get to be treated to a short and unexpected food tour of Fort Collins while I write the next blog. Enjoy, and no judgement please!

So, Monday. We eased in gently with Sandwiches from Choice City Deli, still maintaining a moderate facade of healthiness. This is more convincing if you haven’t seen the Choice City Deli sandwiches:

This was almost the same size as my whole head…

Choice City is famous for selling an exciting selection of local meats, including things like Bison, Rattlesnake and Elk. I tried none of these and settled for tasty Italian Salami, with a side of crisps 🙂 It was very tasty, and I got a great workout trying to fit my big mouth around the sandwich. So far, so good!

Tuesday, we were back at work after the three day weekend due to the Labor Day bank holiday. Boo! We worked long, and we worked hard. We both got back around 6:30 and had no food in the house, so we took the easy way out. Tasty Chinese Takeaway from East Moon! It was fabulous. Not feeling too guilty yet, so life is good.

Plus we plated up the food, so that it felt more classy! #protip 😉

On Wednesday we really meant to do a food shop. We really meant to, at this point the week was still salvageable and no major fatness had occurred. Alas, some great friends of ours from England were visiting Denver and invited us to eat with them at the SaltGrass Steak House, so we had no choice. It was a really warm evening and a beautiful sunset, although the camera struggled to capture it:

I tried. Anyway, my goodness the steak was amazing. Just perfectly rare, with some little shrimp on the side 🙂

How am I supposed to resist this?

This was a little indulgent (especially when accompanied with a 22oz beer, Mmmm ❤ ) but also real high quality stuff. No regrets.

By Thursday, things had admittedly gone a little off the rails. We helped our friends Jaclyn and Willie move house in July, so they invited us out for an unexpected but very pleasant thank you meal! I did almost no lifting and instead spent most of the time playing with the Chihuahua, but Rob worked like a trooper in the 37oC heat, bless him 🙂

First we went to the Chocolate Cafe, which we actually hadn’t visited before despite it being highly recommended. We decided that we probably couldn’t handle a pre-dinner dessert, so instead had a Mexican Hot Chocolate each. It was absolute heaven:

I’m salivating like a beast just looking at it again

Seriously, there are no words. Anyway, after the hot chocolate we walked over to the Melting Pot, which is a Fondue Restaurant in Fort Collins. It’s super tasty – you usually have a cheese fondue followed by a chocolate fondue, both of which they make in front of you. I think it goes without saying that both are accompanied by wine.

The wine adds some challenge to the ‘Don’t burn yourself on the hotplate or drop your bread in the cheese’ game

We had both an Alpine cheese mix fondue and a Chili cheese mix. Om nom nom. Then, after a quick heavy breathing break, on to the chocolate course!

A.k.a The fire course!! Woo hoo hoo 🙂

Really awesome evening, we’re extemely grateful to Willie and Jaclyn for showing us such a good time!

By Friday, we had pretty much given up any attempt at health. It was the end of the week, we were sleepy. We went to McDonalds and then ate it while watching Original Star Trek on the couch 🙂

So admittedly, this all looks pretty bad. OR DOES IT? The good news is that we felt guilty enough after Fatty Week that we went out first thing Saturday and did a big food shop with plenty of vegetables. Side salads are being served with every meal, and we will be making ourselves little packed lunches every day to keep us from temptation. I even felt guilty enough that I went to the gym for the first time in over a month, oh my poor little legs!

Now that we don’t have delicious meals out to distract us so much we will be much more on it with the blogging, so look forward to Grand Teton Part Two shortly!

Much love! ❤

Grand Teton National Park – Part One!

Hi All,

Happy news! We finally managed to scrounge up enough internet to put up a blog post about the fun that we’re having so far this week 🙂

We’ve been having an excellent time already as my Aunt, Uncle and Parents are visiting, which is a treat of the highest caliber! They got here at the start of August and so far have been exploring Fort Collins and the surrounding area. Much fun was had, but sadly Rob and I were at work for most of this fun so were not there to document the experience! We are assured that all the top Fort Collins experiences have been checked off though – they toured New Belgium, hiked around Estes and the Rockies, saw the Lions, Tigers and Bears near Greeley and were forced to play a few games of Shuffleboard!

Now though we have moved on to explore wider America, specifically the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks! The plan is to do five days in each since both are beautiful and relatively close together, and they’re only about a seven hour drive from Colorado. The mountains are puny in comparison to the Colorado Fourteeners (named because they are over 14,000 ft tall) and it does mean travelling across Wyoming, but we are promised that it will all be worth it.

So puny!

The drive to Grand Teton was not actually that bad – it’s a very long way and there is almost nothing of any value along the route, but there is no traffic and the views from the car are pretty spectacular. The landscape is very flat, so you can see quite a long way and we were often treated to big hills or small canyons!


We also saw the occasional crazy cyclist riding along, at least 20 miles away from civilization of any kind, but we were too concerned for their safety to take any pictures. The few populated areas that there were only contained five or six buildings, and looked way too creepy for us to be willing to stop there! Instead we managed to find what I suspect is the one and only Subway in Wyoming in the town of Rawlins, about three hours away from Fort Collins, and so stopped for our first refreshment break.


This would turn out to be last time that we had phone signal and wifi simultaneously for quite some time. After our lunch we continued our drive, and saw literally no humans except for each other for about two hours. We then quite unexpectedly arrived in the town of Lander, which was really pleasant and by far the most built up place we’d seen. It also seemed to have the same hippy vibe that we love so much about Fort Collins, and we stopped for coffee at a chill Café with a Bouldering Wall built into it.

Refreshed, we continued on the last stretch, stopping only briefly to fill our beer cooler with ice at a Gas Station that contained a surprisingly varied range of guns and leather saddles. It also had potato chips, so we were happy bunnies 🙂

At last, we arrived at our magnificent log cabin! We are staying in a group of cabins in Coulter Bay, just at the edge of Jackson Lake. The authentic log cabins are very impressive, and the lack of internet is made up for by the comfy beds and hot shower. There are at least power outlets thank goodness, so Rob and I aren’t in danger of going completely insane away from the gentle glow of computer screens 🙂



We spent quite a lot of time initially walking around with our phones out desperately hunting for signal, so to distract us from this the family suggested that we all go for a walk down to Coulter Bay.


It is extremely beautiful, and the Tetons could not be more picturesque. It’s also a really nice change to see so much greenery, since there are very few trees like this in Fort Collins. We walked around the lake a little keeping our eyes open for bears, but no big animal spots so far sadly!

Lots of little animal sightings though!

After a lovely night sleep in our cabin we decided that we needed to see a little more of the lake, so we rented some canoes and off we went! Canoeing is far more tiring that I remember it and co-ordination in a three person canoe can be an issue, but we got organized and I think did pretty well! We also enjoyed some great views and amazing wildlife:

Mr Pelican!
Whatever this is! I’m going to guess Osprey…
Such awesome views!
Go team 🙂


It was a really good time, although by the end of the trip my arms were basically useless noodles. In the spirit of embracing the holiday (and getting the legs to match) we followed this up with a Ranger led hike around the nearby Swan Lake. The aim was to learn a few more interesting facts around the park and maybe see a little more wildlife, which happily we did!

Ranger Reva taught us a little more about the ever changing geography of the park, as well as about the make-up of the complex eco-system. We also learned a little more about the formation of the Grand Tetons and their Glaciers – part of what makes these mountains so picturesque is that it is not accompanied by foothills and a wider mountain range. The mountains pretty much stand alone, so can be viewed from lots of locations without much effort.

Apologies for wonky horizons!

We also saw Swan Lake as promised, which is covered in an impressive number of lilies with a few ducks stuck in the middle. It’s also changing its geography extremely quickly – silt is flowing in with the water and being deposit to form a growing island, and then grass is slowly growing on that and soaking up the moisture, at which point trees can start growing and eventually the whole thing just becomes more land. That was a pretty heavily over-simplified, but you get the idea!

As well as this we saw a few birds, including a Bald Eagle which was too far away for pictures and a few Grey Jays that were trying extremely hard to get photographed! Here is one blatantly posing:

Possibly it was nailed there?

Eventually it started to rain so we had to make our way back to the cabins, at which point we got a chance to relax and dry off a little. We bought plenty of beer and movies with us so got to spend the evening moving around as little as possible, and we’re now bouncy again and looking forward to the second part of the week!

More soon!


Iceland – Our Mini Holiday!

Hi All!

After our lovely week in England we were lucky enough to have a day layover in Iceland, so we got to see a little of this exciting country! Icelandair, the airline, is both very nice and very heavily interconnected with the Iceland Tourism people. The Iceland tourism people are also extremely active – the flight contained lots of beautiful videos of things to do in Iceland, the airport had lots of local goods and the overhead lighting on the plane even re-created the northern lights!


We flew via Keflavik airport, which is both adorable and tiny. It’s also located way over in the South West of Iceland, near all the fun stuff.


45 minutes away is Reykjavik (pronounced reck-ee-a-vick), the capital and largest city in Iceland, with a colossal population of around 120,000. For comparison, London has a population of over 8,500,000…

Also nearby are some of the most exciting things-to-do, including:

A Tour Inside a Volcano –

For those who like it hot

A Tour Inside a Glacier –

For those who like it cold

Several Whale Watching Tours –

For those who like water

And finally, the Blue Lagoon:

For those who really like water

Our layover was only for about 16 hours, 8 of which we were asleep for, so did not allow for all of the above. We opted to do the Blue Lagoon, and hope to get a chance to do the rest on future visits!

First, we arrived into Keflavik airport around midnight, without much hassle. The low cloud cover in Iceland had made for a pretty exciting landing – you break though the clouds about 10 seconds above the runway, so it comes up pretty quickly. It also does not get very dark in Iceland this time of year, so it seemed like dusk when we landed. We had booked a nearby hotel, so took one of Icelands many super-expensive taxis (£30 for 8 minutes) and went to sleep. The hotel was really lovely, and the views out to sea were amazing!

Figuring out how to get into the duvet sausages was not straightforward, but was lovely once we did!

So, off we headed to the Blue Lagoon (£45 for 20 minutes, damn you taxis) with our swim gear ready and our tickets in hand. The idea was to do something lovely and relaxing before our long flight back to Colorado, and boy did it deliver.

We were dropped off outside the entrance, and got to enjoy a beautiful look around at the Volcanic rock and billowing steam…

Also, the majestic construction works

And then we headed into the Lagoon itself. The Lagoon contains a large amount of Silica, which gives it its amazing blue colour and contrasts beautifully with the black volcanic rock:


The idea behind the lagoon is that the Silica and other minerals in the water give it excellent healing properties, especially in the treatment of Psoriasis. There actually seems to be quite a lot of evidence to support this, which was quite interesting. We’re not convinced that it will have added years to our lives, but floating around in the hot water was pretty amazing.

We started our trip with a shower, and applying lots of conditioner since the water pretty much destroys your hair. We then headed into the pool for a nice walk around, and a long soak.


It was pretty busy, but without being too crowded. The water was also just the right depth to walk around in so that your head was comfortably above the surface. I however chose a different method of transport, which was to rest my head on Rob’s back and let him float me around the pool. It was truly divine.

We then went over to enjoy our complimentary silica face masks:

You can see the relaxation is already making me a little drowsy

I even managed to convince Rob to partake, which he described as “strange”. After letting the masks do their work we then went to wash them off in the lovely waterfall:


Before it was time for round two, the Algae face mask! Rob also found this strange, but was also pretty sleepy from the hot water at this point so went with it:

Although he had this expression on his face the whole time

After that we left the masks to soak again while we enjoyed one of the seated pools, which were unfortunately cool enough that Rob had a chance to come to his senses…

‘Wait, am I missing the cricket right now?’

So we waterfalled again and Rob went to enjoy a drink, some nibbles and the seated relaxation area. Meanwhile I went to the lovely floaty area at the back, where they give out pool noodles and you can just pass out while floating around looking at the sky. Finally, a tasty smoothie from the floaty bar area:

All pools should have these

We then got out, and I took a shower just long enough to make us almost miss our flight. Happily though we found the coach going back to the airport, and managed to convince the bus driver to take us by handing him all our remaining kroner and looking at him sadly. He sort of went ‘Pfff!!’ in a way we took to mean ‘Silly English!’ but kindly let us on.

We then enjoyed the scenic ride back to the airport, and got our flight back without any issues. Icelandair were once again flawless in their service despite a small delay, and off we went! We’re now nicely settled in Colorado again, and excited for our next adventure 🙂

Much love! Xx

Graduates are hot, because they have more degrees

Last week, we journeyed back to England for family, food, fun and my graduation ceremony.


Food might sound like the odd one on the list so I will tackle it first. We love it here, like a lot, but there are some things we miss and certain British/European/Asian delicacies are one of them:
food montageLuckily, the Pecks and Cheethams took us to play badminton later in the week, so we did work some of the tasty meals off.

We were fortunate to be able to catch up with the Channons, Marchs, Boultons, Pecks, Cheethams and various Warwick University friends at the graduation and afterwards at the pub. We also managed to sticker-ise some twins (sorry but also not sorry Kat and Chris) and I went for a slow run at sea level (Parkrun #33).

Best of all, check out this hat:

P1010709 adg
Only the most gangster of graduates wear their ‘hood’ on an angle

We (Cat, Mum, Dad, Nan, Nan & Grampy) spent a fair amount of time at the graduation trying to figure out what my stupid hat was called, turns out Cloth Bonnet (although Tam or Square Academic Cap are also acceptable apparently). Of course everyone had a go and I think you’ll agree it adds a certain je ne sais quoi to most outfits:
hatsHere I am below in various family formations. You may notice I look quite warm / like a professor of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It was about 29 °C (84 F, 302.15 K) and humid, so we all were pretty cooked by the time Simon picked us up to take us to Three Ponds / Derby.

We had a lovely time in Derby though didn’t manage to win either the pub quiz (we came 4th ish) or the best Russian-Olympics-doping-scandal-themed team name (Stop Putin the drugs in me).

We finished off the holiday with a trip to the Blue Lagoon spa in Iceland, but more on that in a later blog post.


bison joke



Softball; almost the classic underdog victory

For a while now, my friends Jaclyn and Mike have been trying to convince me to play softball with them. After 9 months of avoiding the question with such excuses as “I have old man knees” and “well, it’s just not cricket is it?” I finally gave in last night.

I played for the Scared Hitless team (which I initially thought said Scared Hitlers and was quite confused by the name) who were seeded last in the league and were thus playing the top of the league – who are undefeated – in the playoffs. Coupled to this, our team were missing 7 of our usual 10 players, meaning we had myself and two other people who have never played softball before. It is little exaggeration to say the other team were like:

Vetsports 2013 team picture
The Wounded Warriors national Softball team

… and we were like:

Notice the wrong clothes and bats – this is an apt analogy.

We even looked like what I would call a ‘village team’, as only four of our co-ed team had the team jersey on and I managed to wear my Denver Broncos top – just to get across mixed sport messages.

The thing I found most difficult was catching with the glove (on your left or non-throwing hand) as I’m used to using both hands from cricket. Fortunately my team refused as they didn’t want to deal with broken fingers.

Suprisingly, this didn’t happen

I (and we) actually did ok. I got told off once for blocking one of the runners running between bases (I had my back turned so had no idea I was even in the way!), and at one point heard somebody shout ‘back’ (they actually said bag), and I stopped just before reaching home base, so almost screwed that up, but I did get a catch, an out (on 2nd base – pun intended) and make it round to home base twice so wasn’t a massive burden to the team.

This didn’t happen either

The best bit was, the league has a rule that if one team is destroying another (e.g. 20 to 0 after 20 minutes), the umpires will call the game early to save embarrassment. But after 4 innings each, we were winning 5-4. Nobody quite understood how this had happened, especially the really good team who seemed quite annoyed that a bunch of randomers were winning. They then brought there A-game and ended up winning 15-8 after 6 innings each just before time ran out, but this is apparently very respectable against a far better team when half of your team thought you were playing basketball not softball (I made this pun last night and nobody thought it was funny 😦

We were so happy at not being crushed, we went out after for post-match beers.

Dramatic re-imagining

My favorite bit though has to be when a batter on the other team hit the ball behind him over the safety fence. Another teammate of his near me commented “you hit it the wrong way” to which I countered “he should have hit it over the other fence” (a home run – what you are supposed to do – I think). The guy then said “yea, ha! Who does he think he is, a Mets batter?” which I am assuming is a baseball joke, though I just did what anyone would and laughed nervously whilst nodding.


American Independence Day (Best Birthday Ever?)

It will come as no surprise that my birthday (a British person) being on independence day (America’s moving out party for British people) was both wonderful and amusing to our new American friends. Me and Cat ended up having a very busy day.

In order to start my birthday off in style, I ‘decided’ to take part in the Fort Collins 4th July 5 km Firecracker race (though if I’m being honest, a certain Harry-Potter-loving, anti-clapping office friend talked me into it!). Despite the early start (7.30 am), the race was really good fun with a trumpet lead national anthem (I still don’t know the words), and some great fancy dress. This was about the median level of America-loving clothing:

Thanks Twitter for the pic

Cat felt this was exactly how not to spend a birthday, so organized a birthday/4th July pool party/bbq at our friend John’s house (thank you John!). It was sunny, hot (36 °C), the pool was warm (29 °C), the food was obviously excellent, the craft beer tasty, and my friends Rachel and Morgan got me some strong American clothing to let everyone know how much I loved the 4th:

The glasses and neckace both lit up at night.

Now you might think that the fact the pool was full of inflatables such as a grumpy-looking turtle would not matter to a bunch of serious 20-somethings, and we would just sit around drinking beer, throwing an american football around…


… and you would be wrong:

Though to be fair, I think the turtle won in the end.

We also played some disk dunk, which is like a cross between Frisbee and basketball. Your teammate throws the Frisbee towards your bin and you have to dunk it in for points. Check me out below inventing the reverse dunk and doing a celebratory lap hi-5 lap of the pool:

To finish off the evening, the whole of Fort Collins decided to throw me a fireworks show to make me feel welcome (is a solid joke and I’m sticking by it). It’s quite hard to put into perspective how impressive the fireworks show was, but needless to say they did not hold back, and my eyes and ears hurt afterwards:

Happy American Independence day you guys!


Gordon and his conference

Last week, I went to visit Salve Regina University / Rhode Island for the Bioanlaytical Sensors Gordon Conference (translation: making devices to measure and understand biology stuff, to help fight diseases and things ). This is by far the best work-conference I have ever been on, even though the science was out of my specialty. I will do my best to explain:


In order to make it to the conference on time, I took an overnight flight to Boston / Massachusetts (arguably the most stupidly spelt state). I shared half my seat with a well built, leather jacket clad biker, who seemed very friendly. Although, unfortunately we did not become friends quick enough to let me sleep on his shoulder! The highlight of the journey was probably taking the train to Kinston train station in Rhode Island. It had a very western feel to it and was lovely and quiet at 7am on a Sunday, with just little robins for company.

P1030035So to give you some idea, Rhode Island is in the top right of the US:

RI mapThe University is on the southwest coast of RI, right by the Atlantic Ocean and it’s very pretty. The middle brown building in the middle of this picture below is where we had our poster sessions:


The Science

This particular conference is fairly high profile, with about half the people attending being professors (though you would not guess it from the casual picture below), and everyone talking about their latest crazy ideas:

grc big picture.jpgAs I’m fairly new to research level biology, I was quite lucky to get accepted. I managed to employ two main faces during conversations,  firstly, the “hmm, yes, I see, very science-y, have you considered science scince science?” face:

IMG-20160628-WA0007And of course, the “I hope you didn’t notice most of that going straight over my head” face:

IMG-20160628-WA0009There were some great posters and some mind blowingly good talks (for the scientists: Elizabeth Hillman, John Rodgers, Kevin Plaxco and James Ajioka), also, very interesting evening discussions in the bar.

The digs

One of the nice things about this particular conference is that everyone stays together in student halls. This means everyone eats all their meals together and you make friends fast. The food was absolutely 10/10 (for example, we had fresh lobster on the last day), but the rooms were… interesting. It has been a few years since I lived in student accommodation, and I loved it at the time… but it was strange going back to being Harry Potter and living in a cupboard under the stairs.

P1030043P1030042At least the outside looked very pretty, maybe that’s how they get you…


The non-science

Another nice aspect about the Gordon conferences is that you do science talks and posters from 9 am till 9.30 pm, but get a 3h break in the middle of the day. This is great for the professors as most of them get about 1 week holiday a year, so this is like a backup holiday / work outing for them. This also meant we could explore Rhode Island / do team building in the day.

I’ll be honest, the first activity break I just went to bed (after 2 hours sleep the night before), but during the rest of the week I did manage to do a Boat trip around Newport harbor:

Newport bridge and Rose Island Lighthouse, http://www.newport-discovery-guide.com

I also played football (Soccer) the day after Iceland knocked England out of the Euros (leading to many good jokes like the Italian professor diving, the German Postdoc pushing other guys of the ball, and every time I managed a pass / save, i’d get comments like “Hey maybe you should drop Roy Hodgeson a call, he could do with people who know the basics of Football”)

Best of all, I went for a swim in the sea with some Postdocs and Professors from around the world. It’s strangely nice to have swam in both sides of eth Atlantic Ocean, and given that Fort Collins is 15 hours from the sea, it was very refreshing.

About 25’C for those who want to be jealous.



Island Party!

Hi Again!

As promised we had a very exciting and busy weekend, the highlight of which was my work party! For those of you who don’t know I’m currently working in the customer experience team at Maple, a newly formed New York food delivery company. We make and serve tasty meals that people can order via our website, and working for Maple is a lot of fun 🙂

Although salivating excessively is an occupational risk…

As well as being fast changing, working for Maple means that I am working in another time zone (Eastern Time) and get to talk to lots of New Yorkers, which is mostly fun! The best thing though is definitely the work events, of which we have now had two big ones.

The first was our Christmas Party, which was a glorious trifecta of Bowling, Laser Tag and free alcohol. Sadly I could not tell you much about it afterwards, mostly because I don’t remember much but also because what I do remember seems very unlikely. Rest assured, this time I was more vigilant in my blogging duties!

So anyway, our work party. We were all pretty excited when we found out it was going to be an Island Party, whilst also being a little confused about what exactly that entailed. It turns out it does exactly what it says on the tin: some lunatic has built a man-made party island, and you travel to this island and party. What a time to be alive.

Party island

The East side of the island! So fabulous:

One arrives by boat, of course 🙂

It wasn’t that sunny on Saturday, but that was definitely a good thing. It was still very warm and humid, but without the direct sunlight overhead burning all of our skin off.

face melting
This is what would’ve happened if the sun was out, sensible hat or no sensible hat

But anyway, the dress was of course island themed, and so everyone dressed appropriately. There was a much needed work outing to stock up on hawaiian shirts and dad shirts (both, where possible) and many leis were bought. Our CEO even flew over to party with us, which was outstanding 🙂

My party gear, complete with Watermelon accessory!
Manager/ Papa Stephen on the left; CEO Caleb on the right, throwing out gang signs

There was a lot to do on the island, including but not limited to:

  • Playing on the water trampolene
  • Swimming in the Lake
  • Canoeing
  • Pedaling the Pedalos
  • Roasting things on the Fire pit
  • Partaking in the open bar
  • Volleyball
  • Feeding the hungry and numerous Catfish
  • Eating the tasty food that Papa Stephen cooked for us
  • Chillaxing

It was truly a magical place. The Catfish definitely merit a picture or two because they’re amazing:

I believe the collective term is a ‘frenzy’ of Catfish
Oh hai there!!

Volleyball also took up a lot of time, with Rob of course leading his team to repeated victory! I was very proud.

Papa Stephen with the serve!
Go team, Go!

Our intrepid CEO even joined in, but it was not enough:

Sweet action shot by the photographer, what top photography 🙂

Anyway, we partied away and had a great time, and we now know that party islands are another fun thing that America has to offer. I am absolutely building a much worse version of this in my back garden when we move home, as soon as I figure out how.

So yes, that was the magic of party island, as well as an inspiring tale of how Rob and I successfully entered a Lake a second time without dying of parasitic infections. Where is your science now, Dad?!

Anyway, Love you all lots! 🙂 Xx

American Food Shopping – A Horror Story

Hi All!

One of the best things and one of the worst things about living in the US is the food, and whilst we’ve shown you a lot of the good food I wanted to show you a little of the less delicious side of things for your enjoyment.

It’s much easier and cheaper to eat out in America, so people generally cook less and eat out more. There are also much bigger wage gaps, so there is a need for some of the food to be very low cost. The good part of this is that the fruit and deli section in most supermarkets (called Grocery Stores here in the US) are extremely awesome:

Although mostly organic, and you get judged for asking for non-organic produce…

But there are also horrors. King Soopers where we shop is actually really nice, but not nice enough to be free of the occasional catastrope.

The meat section for example has a nice deli, and whilst meat standards in the US can be pretty poor we are generally okay here in Colorado 🙂 That said there is also some ‘pre-cooked’ meat available that is always a source of concern…

How? I dont understand!!

And there is also a strange tendancy to pack things in cans/ tubes. I’m assuming that this has something to do with making sure that everything lasts longer and can be stored long term, but it’s still a little odd:

Also, 20% fat?! The struggle to not become obese continues…

What else can you get in tubes you say? Glad you asked!

Hold back your tears, The French…

Before you ask, no – I have no idea why croissant is spelt ‘crescent’, nor why these are considered ‘dinner rolls’. We have also not tried them, because oh the horror. However we have given another of the canned desserts a try, again as a result of a weird cultural interpretation. Brace yourself, for the English section of the supermarket!

Always at least 50% Biscuits

This is actually awesome, if not a little expensive. The Bisto gravy is especally appreciated, as are the Maltesers 🙂 However they also have a ‘traditional english dessert’ that is inaccurate at best and a little weird. Behold, the food of our people, according to America:

Our legacy, if you will…

Unsurprisingly it doesn’t taste that good once you scrape it out of the tin and blast it in the microwave, but it could be worst. And if you buy this as a gift for any American the will be amused and delighted, so that’s a plus!

It’s probably also worth mentioning that the Royal Family is ALWAYS in the news somewhere when you go past the magazines. Based on the titles we’ve seen so far the poor royal family have seen more action that the Game of Thrones people:

In Touch are all about journalistic integrity, one assumes…
Sidenote: National Examiner is awesome

Anyway, on to the American section of the store, which is basically the whole rest of the store. If you want anything in a US flat pattern you are not out of luck!

We’ll start subtle to ease you in…
Now this is happening
I promise you that this is completely non-ironic
Drink it in

I actually think that all of the above is pretty awesome, I love the American sense of National Pride. Take a lesson, England!

Anyway, back to the gross food. More horrors await in the ready meal sections:

I didn’t get any pictures of the ingredients lists, but rest assured that they are not entirely foody… Corn Dogs continue to be a real source of fascination to me, although we haven’t given them a try yet. We probably want to have some medical support nearby before we start eating them.

Speaking of non-ingredients, colours! I hope you like Powerade, now available in the following extremely bright colours:

Again, we have not dared to give this a taste yet…

And finally, a sweet memory of my old company, still with real cheese!


So yes, there are lots of delicious foods all over the place, but many hazards await the unworthy. Be vigilent, friends! And more posts soon 🙂

Much love xx


Lake McConaughy!

Hi Again!

We had a free day on Sunday, so decided to do an exciting road trip over to Nebraska to check out the famous Lake McConaughy! This is a very big lake to the west of the state, which totals 4 miles wide and 22 miles long, so pretty impressive. It also has white sandy beaches around the edge and allows all sorts of fun water-sports! Plus we’re like 1000 miles from the actual ocean, so this is our ocean now 🙂


But first, we had to get there. Our lovely car is all fixed and working now (it turns out that because there are no MOTs and the oil here is terrible you need to get the oil changed every 5000 miles or less. Now we know!) so we loaded it up and off we went.

It was a pretty long drive of about 3 1/2 hours each way, but we got to drive through parts of Wyoming and Colorado that we hadn’t seen before which was cool. Also Rob fell asleep immediately and stayed asleep for most of the drive down there, so the drive was not too taxing for him 😉 Here is the route we took:

Not to scale

So on the way there we went up through Wyoming, and we came back via Eastern Colorado. As promised both are almost completely empty of anything interesting to see, but we did get to stop at the signs on all the boarders and judge them! Wyoming’s sign was fabulous, and we were very impressed by it:

I made Rob wake up for the picture, which he did not seem enthused by…

We have been to Wyoming a few times before but this was the first time that we had driven in via the I-25, because whilst the sign is awesome the road itself is a disaster. Lots of potholes and cheap tarmac. But I digress!

The Nebraska sign was also nowhere near as excellent at the Wyoming sign, which we found a little disappointing. We liked the green, but where was the wood? Where was the pizzazz? Also it meant waking Rob up again, which he was still not a fan of:

“Just pose by the sign. No, pose! Like, move your arms!”

Still, we get to add Nebraska to the list of states visited (between us we are up to 14/ 50!) and I can scratch it off my map of the world.

As for Nebraska itself, it was almost exclusively grassland and an extremely straight road, but visibility was outstanding! We think we could see at least 50 miles away based on what towns we could see from how far out, plus we could see the mountains on the way back whilst still 60 minutes away from Fort Collins. Eventually we got our first peek at the lake!

“I can see the sea! Kind of…”

We drove down to it, and tried to find a spot to relax for the day. The lake is actually super full this time of year, so most of the beach was underwater. This was actually quite a nice thing, since it meant that there weren’t too many people there and all the beaches were broken into little tiny hidden beaches. We found a fun secret spot and hunkered down:

❤ ❤ ❤

The water did not look very clean, so we set up on the mini-beach and sunbathed for a few hours. Occasionally people would go past on their boats or paddle boards for our amusement:

They fell off a lot, it was great

After a few hours we were extremely hot and sweaty since it was boiling hot and I refused to move into the shade, so once we left our mini-beach we had to make a desperate dash for liquids. Fortunately, you are never far from a bar in the US!

Sweet salvation

Rob is still being an absolute hero and not drinking any sodas, but alas I was not so strong. In fact I was extremely unsupportive and chugged down like five pints of coca cola right in front of him, bad wife. It did bring me back to life though, and we had a good time laughing at Rob’s beer. For reasons unknown Budweiser has renamed itself ‘America’ for the next few months, because why not.

“I’m done with the America, get me another”

We also got some fries, because so sue me.

Anyway, after our tasty break we went down to a beach in front of the bar and found an even better secret place to call our own.

You walk behind the hedge at the end there…
And voila!
We marked it as our own as proof! ❤

We set up our chairs and towels again, and read in the shade like the old people that we are. You could see more of the lake from here and there were more boats going past, plus there were lots of rocks so you could hear more gentle splashing. It was very zen 🙂


After some more reading we decided that we should at least touch the lake itself, so did a little paddling and jumping around on the rocks:

It was not warm, which was very welcome!
So Lake!

It was lots of fun, and as of yet we’re not showing any signs of parasitic infection. Anyone who gets in touch to let me know what parasites we might have (DAD) will be responded to harshly :p

After a little while we had to dry off and head back to the car for our drive back home.

Cue artistic shoes and towel photo

We were lucky enough to see this little bird friend before he left, so once again we play name that bird:

And I mean name the type of bird. His people name is Kevin ❤

Lake McConaughy is actually very famous for it’s bird watching, and has all sorts of rare birds that live there. However I don’t know anything more than that about it, since it was and is too hot to use my brain. Maybe we will take a more bird focused approach next time 😉

Anyway, we made it home safely and had a great time! We’re now working on planning our next adventures, so watch this space 🙂

Much Love! Xx