Some days, I feel super motivated to keep going in my journey towards being healthy. I’ve managed to keep on track with the Whole30 for the past week (my second round at it) and having 8 days off from work means I can get my workouts in easily. Not having to deal with sciatic pain is a lovely added bonus and still a welcome novelty to me.

Some days weeks, however, it is harder to find the motivation. I get stuck in a funk at times and I wonder why I put myself through all of this. What is the benefit of all this torture fitness known as Crossfit. Why did I keep waking up at 0500 for 2 whole years, paying good, hard-earned money to subject myself to workouts that are so demanding, I sometimes end up crying on the mat at the end. Nowadays, the 0500 wake-up call have been replaced by rushing through the morning routine for school for the girls, WOD at 0930, then rushing to get ready to pick up Béa from preschool, or groceries or cooking. Some days, I sit down for the first time at 5pm and I’m exhausted. Why do I suck up all of the precious energy I have and go “waste” it all on a workout? Why, you say? I’ll tell you why.

I’m tired. ALL.THE.TIME. It doesn’t matter that I get to sleep in one day a month or not. I’m the wife of a husband who travels a lot for work which means I’m “single-married” (married, but alone at home with the kids for extended periods of time) a lot.

I’m a NICU nurse and I work shift-work and have been doing so for the past 10 years. 10 years of switching between nights and days on a dime. It takes its toll on a body. More recently, I have gone into a Charge Nurse position. I love the challenges it has brought upon me, but it can be added stress at times. That also doesn’t help making me feel less tired.

I’m a mom to 2 lovely, cuddly, active little girls. They like to be on the go and we try to accommodate that as much as possible. Some days, I crave 5 mins to myself. Even if we don’t do something big, they constantly want us to be involved in their little play, which means I can’t focus on anything I’d like to be doing for myself. That’s ok though, if I have a little bit of energy left in the evening after they’ve gone to bed is when I usually try to focus on myself. If the energy is AWOL, I usually just sit and watch TV and find some other time to do MY things.

When you put all those realities of my life together, it’s only normal that I need an outlet to REALLY focus on myself: my physical, emotional and mental well-being. THAT’S why I do Crossfit. When I am there, it’s usually 1hr of my life where I only need to make minimal decisions: Will I use 55lbs or 65lbs for the WOD? Do I need my wrist wraps or not?, etc. Nobody’s life hangs in my hands and I can let out of all the emotions that have been bottled up inside my short little body. Am I exhausted at the end of a WOD? For sure! Then again, I’m always exhausted and at least, I’ve done something for myself to get in better health!

Lately, I have struggled to find the motivation to get going. Whether it’s because the PRs don’t come as easily as they used to or because I have struggled with my sciatica, I’m not sure. I was talking to Kathleen about that a few weeks ago and I was debating taking a break. It is a scary thought. I feel like I would probably get lost if I didn’t do Crossfit. Either that, or I’m afraid I would never go back and all the hard work (and money) invested in myself for the past 2 years would be a total waste. Because of those fears, I have kept going, pushed through the struggles and injury and keep telling myself things will look brighter again soon (hopefully). When I really struggle with my motivation, I like to “check-in” with myself. I did one of those “check-in” 2 days ago and it has lit up a small fire of determination to keep going:

Top is on my 1st day of Crossfit, bottom is a few days ago. 28 months in between pictures

Top is on my 1st day of Crossfit, bottom is a few days ago. 28 months in between pictures

Sure the progress could be a lot better, but like I said, I’m a wife, a mom and a nurse. My diet isn’t always the best and I workout 1-3x/week at best. Progress is progress and seeing it helps re-focus my drive.

This morning was my first day back at the Box for Oly lifting in over a month. I was debating going at all as I feel like I have to re-learn everything about my snatch and C&J as well. I decided to go in anyway with the philosophy that everyone has to start somewhere. I don’t want to make the coaches feel like they are wasting their time with me, but I also would like to move past my injury and finally get proficient at those Olympic lifts. Coach Caleb wasn’t there this morning and we had the lovely Coach Val to guide us through our session. Karen and I struggle with dropping into the squat in the snatch and Coach Val has given us some pointers to fire up our hips and drop quickly.

I was trying with an empty 35#-bar this morning and Coach Val suggested I get a training bar (10#) and put some plates on it so that I would get the proper feel of the bar. That meant I started my snatch work at a very low weight, but I was at peace with that. I got my Dynamax ball for my butt depth into the squat and got working on things.

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Snatch 6×2 E2M: Here were my reps for this one:


I stayed at 50# for my last 2 rounds and had to drop the bar in-between all my reps in order to reset my form, but I managed to get it done and somewhat drop into the squat. I was happy with that. Not quite at the 90% target of my 1RM (50# was 77% of my “fake 1RM of 65# and 83% of my real 1RM of 60#), but not too bad considering I’m re-learning to move safely for my sciatic. I was glad I managed to get up that high as I was expecting to stay at 45# and just work on form.

Death by Power Cleans: It was my 1st time doing this one and since I don’t even have a 1RM at 92.5# for my C&J, I was definitely going to scale down for this one. After discussing with Coach Val, I decided on 65# and warmed up to that. Coach Val told us to aim for 10 rounds and I felt like I would probably bail out before then, but I went it anyway. I managed to go unbroken for rounds 1-7 and then things started to slow down a little after that. I had to drop the bar a few times during my round of 8, then started introducing singles into the round of 9. I was pretty pumped to complete the round of 10 and still have 15s to catch my breath before diving into the round of 11! 😉  I had to do them all as singles and there were a few reps that I caught really high in my neck, but I pushed through and squeezed in my last rep with 1s left in the round. Technically, I could have started right away on the round of 12, but I had nothing left in the tank. My for was getting wonky, my neck was catching the bar more and more and my left wrist was getting slow in the catch so I chose to stop there.

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What do you get at a 5am lifting class? Bruised neck and dark circles, that’s what you get!

I came back home and jumped right back into the realities of motherhood. Béa had tried to go pee by herself. She managed to get her pants off, hoist herself onto the toilet and couldn’t figure out the toilet paper, so she called out for help. I’m just thankful she didn’t put that pile of paper in the bowl as that would have been a nice plug! 😉

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See? Finding balance and purpose is what keeps me motivated! 😉


Today was another fun one at the Box. I walked in apprehending the work, but other than the last 2 rounds, it was right up my alley. I was reminded once again that I need to work on my snatches, but I feel like I have to start from the beginning. Let me explain:

Warm-up: I was happy I was able to get through this one without any leakage in my pants. Could it be that the days of urinary leakage are finally behind me?

WOD: Metabolic HEAT

This one looked daunting when I peaked at it online last night, but I was determined to give it a go. I was thinking of using 55# for the snatches, but I quickly realized I would struggle enough with 45#. I was also using 4×45# plates as a box in order to really work on not jutting out my hips when I step down.  It feels like I’m starting to control my step-down better, but when it comes to the snatch, I am back to square one. I have to relearn how to squat using my deep abdominals and controlling how low I allow myself to get at the bottom of the squat. In order to do that, I did a few rounds of the WOD using the MedBall as a guide for the depth of my squat. It’s hard to correct something that you have been doing wrong from the beginning and even more so to keep my internal ab muscles contracted when my legs are open at the bottom of the squat. And for all those reasons, I decided to stay at 45# and work on form instead of weight. It made for a fairly easy WOD (we were to use the same bar throughout), but, again, I focused on form and re-learning my snatch, squat and box jumps. I’m still weak in the stepping-down of the BJ, but I met with my physic again today and we’re working on that. It is pretty much a return to the basics for me in all of the lifts, but at least, I’ll do them right this time around.

I got sweaty on round 3 and the last 2 rounds were horrible for the snatches as I just couldn’t drop below my bar fast enough anymore, but I was glad I went and got to work on technique!

On the home front, Ben just got over a bout of food poisoning that kept him in bed, sleeping for 30hrs. Must be nice! When I get sick, I still have to keep up with the house and the kids! Women are the weaker sex my butt! 😉

Our basement is slowly getting dried up from the flood we had 2 weeks ago, then they’ll start the rebuilding and replacing what needs to be replaced. The fans and dehumidifier are going on full blast 24/7 and it’s driving me bananas. I can only imagine the noise level for our tenants who have decided to stay in the chaos for now! They are troopers! I’d be out of there in a heartbeat!


The Return Of The Klutz!

I saw the WOD last night and I knew it looked harmless, but would be a tough one. I just didn’t know how tough I would really make things on myself! I thought, if the WOD is going to suck, at least, I’ll have fun with my outfit!

Calling on my inner cheetah, not cougar! Lol!

Calling on my inner cheetah, not cougar! Lol! I love how they make my quads look big! 

I showed up for the 0930 class and Coach AJ welcomed us. I warmed up my hips, posterior chain and my wrists because I knew we would be working them and those are my weak spots. For once, I felt I warmed-up properly for the skill and WOD. I didn’t know it would be downhill from there.

Skill: Hang Snatch 6×2 E90s

My plan was to work up to 65# on my last rep. While I was warming up with an empty bar, I lost my balance at the bottom of the squat and because I was wanting to save the empty bar and not let it drop to the floor, I fell on my butt, pulling the bar towards me and ramming it into my shin. Yep! That made me see stars and my foot got numb and tingly. I took off my lifting shoe while Coach AJ brought me an ice pack and I slowly made sure nothing was broken. The pain was real and I was breathing through it. I managed to move my toes, then my ankle. It was sore, but after a few minutes, I took off the ice pack, put my lifting shoe back on and the sensation came back in my foot. I had missed the warm-up and the first 2 sets of the skill, but I picked up the bar and worked my way up.


My first few reps were pretty broken down and I admit I was scared and guarding my shin, but then it got a little bit better. I didn’t quite make it to the weight I had in mind, but it’s ok. It wasn’t my worst set and it wasn’t my best either. Somewhere nice in the middle.

WOD: Thrundle

After I hit my shin with the bar, my super cute leggings were clinging to the part where the skin got ripped off and the friction was not fun, but I was pretty confident about doing the WOD. Plus, I figured, the running would increase the blood flow to the area and help bringing on the healing, oxygenated blood. See? Who knew I could use nursing in Crossfit?!? LOL!

I chose to do FG2 with my thrusters at 65#. I knew it would be challenging, but it is time I start increasing the weights on these during the WODs. There were only 4 of us actually running outside and I was the only girl. The guys took off like little gazelles and I stayed behind. My goal was to break the thrusters into 4s and hopefully finish under 12mins. I came back in from the run dead last and took 4 deep breaths before getting onto the thrusters. I did 2, held on to the bar and regulated my breathing before doing 2 more and putting the bar down. I took 4 more breaths and picked it up again, only to do a wonderful power clean! Space cadet! I finished up the movement by doing a push press and then did proper thrusters.

The second run wasn’t any worst or better than the first one and I repeated my strategy for the second set of thruster, minus the power clean 😉 !

Back out for the 3rd run. Everybody was inside by the time I reached about 100m out and my shin was throbbing a little. I took a walking break for 8 deep breaths and picked it up again. Only a short few minutes left to suffer before I would be done, I could do this.

I came back in, took 5 deep breaths and picked up the bar for 2 thrusters, caught a few more deep breaths and finished off 2 more reps before putting the bar down. I was looking at the timer and it was already 11:28, so I knew I had to pick it back up and finish those last 4 reps if I wanted to reach my goal. I made it just in time, finishing last at 11:58.  I’d say it wasn’t too bad, considering how clumsy I’d been!

I put my bar away and was pretty proud of my time. I came back home to shower and then iced my shin once more. I will repeat that a few more times today and make sure to mobilize my foot a bit to prevent stiffness from setting in.

I will leave you with my very own little fierce Crossfitter. I took Rina to her 2nd Crossfit Kids class yesterday and she had a blast, all while surprising me. I didn’t think she could row to accumulate distance, but she actually managed about 100m/2min!

Love that determined / fierce look in her eye!

Love that determined / fierce look in her eye!

Pulling the sled

Pulling the little sled (empty, obviously)

Body Weight, I’m Coming For You!

Béatrice is finally on the mend which means, I have had a solid, uninterrupted night of sleep until 0600, when Rina came to ask me if she was still grounded… She had been without iPad privileges yesterday for not listening and giving me attitude and she was anxious for the sanctions to be lifted. I told her it was too early to discuss that and that she needed to go back to bed. I half expected her to stay in her room for a short while and then go downstairs, but she fell back asleep until I woke up at 0715! Last night, I was debating going to the 0600 class, but I kind of wanted to sleep in this morning since Rina has a Pr0-D day. That meant attempting to sleep in was something fathomable and I chose to do just that! Hurray for sneaking in extra rest!

I got up, made the girls pancakes while I made myself an egg, 1/3 sweet potato, with salsa and 1/4 avocado! Yum! Topped it off with a coffee and got ready for Crossfit.

Skill: Back Squats 5×3 E90S

I’ve been chasing my goal of squatting my body weight on the back squat and I was wanting to try to get up to 135# today. I’m usually cautious with any squat and deadlift since my sciatic has a tendency to get angry with them, so I wasn’t feeling too hot for these this morning. I remembered the last time I had tried 130#, I was seeing stars and had to back out of a lift, so I wasn’t hopeful that I could get to 135# today, but I made it my goal.

I warmed up to 115# and we got going. At 125#, Coach AJ came over to tell me I was “stripping” my lift (not keeping my shoulders up on the up of the squat and leading with my butt instead of my shoulder). She reminded me to keep the shoulders back and the core tights, all the while, pressing my shoulders into the bar.

I loaded up my bar with 130# and tried as best I could to do everything Coach AJ had just told me. Yes! 3 reps done! One set to go.

I loaded up my bar with 135# and shared my plates with Marika. We had a nice system going and it worked out well. I managed 2 reps with some effort, but I think I managed to keep my form proper. The 3rd rep was a little stripper-ish, but I dug deep, pulling the bar into my shoulders and managed to get back up for my 3rd rep! OH YEAH! Heaviest squat I’ve ever done in my life! That means I am officially 10# away from back squatting my body weight! Gainz and weights going up! Woot! Woot!


WOD: Hung Up

After celebrating the high of my back squat, I had shaky legs and was very apprehensive about the WOD. Coach AJ had said we should aim for a time of 10:00 try to break our snatches into two for each rounds. Ha! Here I was aiming for 3 reps before putting the bar down! I scaled down the weight to 40# and was planning to do all the reps. For my pull-ups, I scaled it with the red and blue bands. I tried with the red and purple, but I was struggling way too much.

3-2-1-Go! The snatches were hard, but then again, they are my weakest lift I feel. I’m still not able to snatch a decent weight (in my opinion) and I struggle with these. I made sure to have perfect form on most of my reps though and I think I managed to do so. I broke the pull-ups into sets of 3s, then 2s. 21 was a lot and I was drained.

I got to the bar for my set of 15s and I wanted to quit sooooo bad! I was really trying to break them into 8-7, but I had to do 4-4-5-2. My forearms were done and the thought of 15 pull-ups was crushing my spirit, let alone another full round of 9s. I broke all the pull-ups into sets of 2 and made my way back to the bar.

I managed to break the last snatches into 5-4, then onto the rig for my last pull-ups where I broke them up into 2, except for the last 3 that I somehow managed in-a-row.

That WOD looked all innocent and cute, but it was a monster in disguise. I’m so proud of myself for not quitting on the round of 15, though because, once again, it means I am stronger than I think I am physically and I just need to keep pushing through the mental barrier in order to succeed.

That was me today, and pretty much everyday at the gym!

That was me today, and pretty much everyday at the gym!

It gives me hope for my upcoming 5k that I plan to run on October 5th. I’ll talk more about that in a separate post… That run will be all mental and I’m going to need to dig deep into my mental fortitude in order to finish, I just know it! I left the Box with shaky legs from the squats and shaky arms and hands from all the grip of the snatch and pull-ups!

On my way home, I saw a biker that had been hit by a car, so I stopped and asked if he was ok. He was bloody and couldn’t move one of his shoulders, but I didn’t have to intervene since the ambulance and cops arrived just shortly after I did.

I am now planning to take the girls to Hotel Transylvania 2 this afternoon. It will be their very first time watching a movie on a big screen! I’m not sure that Béatrice will tolerate the noise and length of the movie, but I plan on going with my sister-in-law, who would then say with Rina at the theatre while I take Béatrice home if she’s too bored. Keeping my fingers crossed it will be a successful outing! Who knows, maybe I’ll even be able to sneak in a nap in the dark! 😉


“If It’s Hard, You’re Doing It Right!”

I was happy Ben and I came to a pact that I could still go to the 0600 Oly class on Thursdays if I wasn’t working. The evening classes were just impossible for me to attend having to deal with the girls and Ben has agreed to be on “school duty” an extra morning so that I could go lift some weights! He is pretty amazing! Over the weekend, he told me he loved my determination at getting fit and doing Crossfit. If that’s not a supportive husband, I don’t know what is! #hesakeeper


I got up before sunrise (hello autumn) and made my way to the Box for this:

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The snatch balance from the warm-up somehow were hurting my neck, but I was fine afterwards.

Snatch 10×2 OTM

I am still using my “fake 1RM” of 65#, therefore I went with 52# for these. I failed 2 reps total (I repeated one and half made up for the other one) during the 10 rounds and the hardest was catching my breath during the rest. That little sequence got my heart pumping and I got sweaty fast doing these. Still pretty happy with having managed to do all 10 rounds, even though it was hard. Coach Caleb said: “If it’s hard, you’re doing it right!” 😉

Hang Snatch 6×3 E2M

Since I had managed 90#x2 a few weeks ago (90# is also my C&J 1RM), I used that to calculate my weight and did 76.5# for all 6 rounds. The last rep was hard and I was having a hard time hanging onto the bar (we weren’t allowed to drop the bar between reps) and I could definitely feel it, but I managed all reps successfully. Getting up from the squat was much harder on some reps, but I managed to get up for all!

I rushed home so I could walk Rina to the bus stop and then, Ben dropped Béatrice at preschool. I had time to take a bath and cook some food for my night shifts uninterrupted. It was nice, but weird to have the house empty of kids. Something I will have to get used to for sure… For now, I get to enjoy some alone-time with Béatrice and it’s quite nice to focus on be able to spend some one-on-one time with her. She’s such a cuddle-bug!

Out Like A Belly Button

I swear, the kids are adorable and all, but I sure wish they would sleep through the night. Béa was up multiple times last night which means I’m not getting the rest I need to recover from all the intensity I’ve been putting my body through lately.

She's got gorgeous brown eyes! I just wish she'd keep them closed through the night! ;)

She’s got gorgeous brown eyes! I just wish she’d keep them closed through the night! 😉


Yesterday Kathleen cancelled our mesh on Sunday and I wasn’t too sad she did so. She’s been bombarded with visitors and hasn’t had time to unpack into her new house, so she will make time for that this weekend. I, on the other hand, will use this opportunity to do nothing (workout-wise) and just enjoy the long weekend with Ben and the girls, before I head back into work on Monday.

I woke up startled by my alarm at 0500 and somehow managed to get up and ready for my last workout this week:

I saw this on Facebook as I was feeling up before the workout and thought: Yep!

I saw this on Facebook as I was fuelling up before the workout and thought: Yep!




I teamed up with Tracey for the warm-up and literally was biting my arm during the wallsits! The plank holds weren’t as bad and I felt like I could have held a little longer on them, but those wallsits were pretty horrible, considering I had just finished those air squats at a good speed (for me!)

Skill: Kipping pull-ups 4×6 E2M

I focused on my strict for these and used the red and blue, but maybe I should have used the red and purple instead. It somewhat easy to do the 6 reps, but I my hands felt like they were on the verge of ripping.

WOD: Snatch & Grab

I had never done this one before and since it involved the ever elusive snatch, I had to resort to TG for today. I felt like a wimp using such a low weight, but then again, seeing as my 1RM is 60# made it easier to swallow. Here’s how I scaled it:

4 rounds of

  • 6 Hang power snatch @ 45#
  • 8 burpee bar hops
  • 10 front squats @45#

I really thought the front squats would be a piece of cake at that weight, but man, was I wrong! I had to break them into 3 sets for every round! I tried my best to keep all the burpee bar hops Rx, but had to drop to granny-style for a few reps each rounds. Jess walked in and smiled at me after one of my rounds. She was dancing and the best I could do was to give my Bitchy Resting Face. Sorry Jess! I was trying to save every calorie of energy for the WOD and smiling was impeding on that! 😉


I have BRF and I own it!


Oh well, not my best WOD at all. To be honest, I didn’t really care. I just wanted to be done. Done with the WOD, but also done with the intense week I’d just put my body through. Here were my times for the rounds:

1:35 – 1:45 – 1:45 – 1:34

Which gives me 3:19 for this WOD.

I can’t wait to go for my massage this morning! That’ll start recovery painfully well! I don’t go for fluffy massages. I prefer the deep tissue kind and my RMT is also a Crossfitter, so she knows which muscles we work and what needs to be worked on. She’s awesome in a dominatrix kind of way! Teehee! I find myself breathing through the pain when she works on certain areas, but I know I always feel better after!

In the meantime, don’t expect a lot of posts until next week, because I’ll be out like a belly-button for some well-deserved rest & recovery!


Barbells and Princesses

I had such a full day yesterday!

Crossfit in the morning followed by more house cleaning (I’m almost done deep cleaning the kitchen), interrupted with a lovely at-home pedicure by a mobile pedicurist /fellow crossfitter, more cleaning and finally, falling asleep on the couch while “watching” TV.

After I made my way to my bed, I woke up at 0500 and got ready for Oly lifting class this morning, because it’s “just lifting”!

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The tall snatch was a struggle with just the empty bar and it’s still something I need to work on. Why is everything snatch-related such a struggle? I guess we all have our weaknesses and the snatch truly is one of mine.

Since I missed the last testing session, I’m still using 65# as my 1RM for the snatch and that meant I used 55# today for the Snatch EMOM x 10 @85%. I think it went well overall, but I was feeling fatigued on my last rep.

For the hang clean, I really wanted to attempt 90# on my last set, just to prove to myself that I could do it without catching it on my sternum. Coach Caleb wanted us to focus on not dropping the bar in-between reps and get back into the hook grip.


My “wings” (as Ben calls my bruise) are healing nicely. And yes, I know, I look exhausted!

Everything went peachy until my 6th set. I managed all my reps without hesitation and after a pointer from Coach Caleb, I reminded myself to keep my chest and elbows up in the catch. When I got to 90#, I was in my head and really afraid of failing the lift.

1st attempt: failed.

I came back to the bar and approached it. Pick up the bar. Exhale. Inhale. Block breath, dip and lift.

2nd attempt: failed.

I walked away from the bar. Sat on the bench for about 30s, then approached the bar again. Pick up the bar. Exhale. Inhale. Block breath, dip and lift.

3rd attempt: failed.

This time, I sat down right away and had a chat with myself. I knew I could do it, I had managed 2 reps earlier this week. Yeah, I’m tired, but I can totally do this. Just get to the bar and DO IT! You just need to drop into the squat to catch it.

Approach the bar. Set my hands. Pick up the bar. Exhale. Inhale. Block breath, dip and lift.

4th attempt: 1st lift successful! I wanted to celebrate, but there was still another lift to do. I reset the bar on my hips and reset my hook grip. Dang! That bar is heavy. All you have to do is repeat what you just did! You got this. I can barely hold on to the bar! Just do it, don’t think about it. JUST DO IT!

Hook grip. Exhale. Inhale. Block breath, dip and lift.

2nd lift caught very deep at the bottom of the squat and I was afraid I would crumple into the bottom, but I managed to push out of it and managed my 2nd lift! I threw that bar on the floor and was beaming! I had just done 2 reps at my 1RM C&J!!! Whoot! Whoot! Also, that was a 15# PR from my previous attempt at this only 3 short months ago!

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I couldn’t stop smiling! Looks like even though I’m exhausted, I can still find it in me to push hard and improve!

I came back home for a shower and a hearty breakfast before taking the girls to Hatley Castle for their surprise Princess Day! No cleaning today, I’m taking a break from being a housekeeper and I’m taking time to rest and enjoy my last few days off before my vacation is over! We went to pick up Nanny as I had asked her if she wanted to come with us (not to work, but to enjoy the day and be tourist in her new town).

The day had started a bit cloudy and cooler, but the sun came out and the heat did too. I chose to only pay for the garden tour as I highly doubted the girls’ attention span would last enough for the indoor guided tour. I think it was the best decision, even though I will have to go back one day to visit the inside of the castle.

We toured the Italian garden, the Japanese garden, the Rose garden and the green houses. The photographer in me had a blast taking some shot and editing them. Below is just a small sample of the 140+ shots I took today! 😉