Trails

A coastal run in North Wales

Whilst holiday in North Wales I was delighted to escape out for a couple of runs along the gorgeous coastline that borders the Hafan Y Mor Havan Caravan Holiday Park. If the pull of spending time with my family hadn’t been so strong I would have strapped on a backpack and disappeared for a whole day! The bays that weave along the coastline, with the undulating land rolling into the sea, are a living, breathing gallery of art.

Coastal footpath

The pathways, cut into the dense, fern covered terrain, lead over land that has witnessed centuries of human history.

Ferns, sea & mountains

As I looked toward the magnificent hills of the Snowdonia National Park my eyes kept being drawn to Criccieth Castle, built around 1230. It’s not really visible in this photograph (the zoom on my phone camera wasn’t sufficient) but to my eyes it was a dominant feature on the landscape. A historic marker of the people that have inhabited this land.

Looking toward Criccieth

Running along the trails and along the foreshore, whilst the tide was out, felt so invigorating to my legs. The terrain mixed with the scenery filled my legs with energy to keep on going. My mind travelled from being blissfully in the moment, with the natural surroundings, to stepping back in time to a land that never knew caravans!

Toward Snowdonia from Hafan Y Mor

And then, as I turned inland, I stumbled across a country scene so reminiscent of New Zealand, my home for some seventeen years, and where we are heading back to live as a family in October of this year.

Country scene

But it was the sea that drew me back. Seeing the magnificent blue of the water, surrounded by green hills, under a beautiful blue, summer sky.

A path of natural beauty

And when my run was done I turned to bid the clouds (the non-threatening kind!), dancing their shadows over the distant hills, farewell; grateful for their presence after a year of living under a Californian blue sky.

My body and mind shan’t forget the feeling of running on the North Welsh coastline. I left footprints, I took photographs and Wales left my heart marked with love for its natural beauty so steeped in history.

Things I’m Loving | Catching some air in San Francisco!

The children discovered there was a ‘House of Air‘, in an old airplane hanger, in Crissy Field Park, San Francisco…

House of Air in Crissy Field Park

Our first visit was in the evening, when the older girls could play an exciting game of ball tag on a dozen trampolines, but our youngest had missed out on the younger children’s bounce session, so had to catch some air in another way… So I happily spent an hour kite flying in the park opposite (luckily I’d had the forethought to bring a kite with me!), whilst the man of the house got hot and sweaty with Miss 8 and 10 on the trampolines.

It was one of the most picturesque places I’ve flown a kite; overlooking the majestic Golden Gate Bridge. There were some kite surfers in the harbour having their own fun with the wind, whilst Miss 4 ran up and down catching the wind.

Miss 4 catching air in Crissy Field Park, San Francisco

The next day, after such a wonderful evening, there was only one place all the girls wanted to go – ‘The House of Air’ – again! They knew it opened at 2pm and they opted to walk from our hotel, near Fisherman’s Wharf, along the scenic waterfront of San Francisco. The walk was around 4 miles long, but they were up for it and we part jogged, part walked, pushing Miss 4 along in the buggy (to her delight).

The scenery is beautiful. I love San Francisco. It reminds me of our home city, Wellington, in New Zealand, with its hilly terrain and ever changing views dropping down into bays. The air has a freshness to it that is refreshing; and the temperatures, in northern California, are much more to my personal liking – than the often dry heat of Southern California (though it’s nice to have the choice!).

Once at the ‘House of Air’ the girls booked in for a couple of hours of fun. I was in awe of their energy (and the friendly, fun and energetic staff). There was a great cafe in the old airplane hanger too – which did a Latte to take me back to my Wellington, coffee loving, days. Miss 4 was so thrilled that a bounce house was open for her to go on – and she had a turn on the big trampolines too. What a great place! I loved it – and the setting over looking the Golden Gate Bridge made it all the more perfect.

Here’s a little video of love for San Francisco that hubbie discovered on Vimeo. We saw most of these sights in our week’s stay and I definitely left a little piece of my heart in San Francisco. A very special place indeed.

“I Left My Heart” SF Timelapse Project from Marc Donahue on Vimeo.

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Linking up this post with the wonderful….

and

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Exploring new ground: Labyrinth

Running a new trail, no preconceptions

Following the track, as long as it runs.

Uphill legs are taken without knowing

Desire to explore overriding exertion.

Unexpected surprises of nature –

Cross the path ahead, & sour in the sky.

A labyrinth of trails, for mind and soul –

Prick the senses, revive the body.

© Sarah Lee, August 2013

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Discovered this labyrinth by chance on a new trail today. It reminded me of how uplifting it feels to explore new ground, be surprised by new nature and to run without knowing where the path will lead. I’m going to enjoy discovering Santa Barbara and its surrounding country.

More information on the location of my run today can be read about on ‘UCSB Campus, Lagoon, and Beach‘ and ‘Lagoon Island Labyrinth | Earth Research Institute‘.