Thursday, June 11, 2015

A No-Soda Summer

I've long been something of a Coke-aholic. I especially like a really cold one, often more than one a day, though I've been easing back as I hear study after study that warns of the dangers of artificially sweetened drinks (whether saccharin or aspartame or ...) -- strokes, heart disease, other unhealthy behaviors.

I suspect the Coke Zero I consume has something to do with the weight I've put on as well. Which doesn't help my lung capacity, and I really want to make that climb up Mount Canigou.

So this summer, I'm going to take a serious shot at going soda-less. Plenty of cold water. An occasional glass of wine or beer. But no Coke.

Anyone starting a pool on how many days my experiment will last? 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Pitch 'N Putt in the Pyrenees

S2: Hey, Ange, how much ya wanna bet Rick makes this putt? Ange: 2 biscuits; you're on!
Last July when we mini-honeymooned in Andorra we discovered a little par-3 golf course in the next village. We weren't here long enough to play then, but this time we brought a few clubs with us.

Donna-Lane reluctantly took golf lessons when she was growing up in Massachusetts, and I probably don't need to tell you my passion for the game. (Her dueling blog can be found at:

It was an absolutely gorgeous sunny day with fluffy white clouds, and the setting spectacular in the narrow valley between mountain peaks that rise from 5-10,000 feet.

Despite not having played for about 30 years, D-L did remarkably well. Her final tee shot was straight at the flag and carried about 75-80 yards, just shy of the green. This while gripping down the handle of my 7-iron. With her own right-sized clubs, I think she'd move the ball around the course pretty well. She already has a very good putting stroke and distance judgment.

I managed a few good shots, though my first tee shot ended up lost in the weeds.

On the final hole, Ange and Scooby Two tried to guide my birdie putt toward the hole. Watch the video for the result (or maybe you don't need to from my reaction in the photo).