Tag Archives: Travel

Hotel Hibiscus – Moshi Tanzania

Hotel Hibiscus on Trip Adviser

Our stay at the Hotel Hibiscus was awesome. 

Accommodations

Our room at the Hibiscus was clean, spacious and totally charming. The beds were comfortable and had nice mosquito nets conveniently suspended on wire tracks from the ceiling. We had a private bathroom that was very clean with a western toilet and a shower with warm water!! (Note: There was one small issue with the shower here. The hot and cold water nobs were reversed!! We didn’t notice this until well into our stay unfortunately. Once we figured this out though, the showers were fantastic.)

The common areas were welcoming and clean. There was a comfy front porch that was great for read on during the day and a fire ring out back that looked like a lovely area for night time activities. (The evening temperatures of +80 F and previous engagements prevented us from checking this out during our stay.) Inside there was a living room with plenty of seating, a little library with books to share and a sizable community dining area.

A really delicious breakfast spread was served each morning in the indoor common area. Options included, coffee and tea, oatmeal, fruit, yogurt and toast with jam and peanut butter. It was a great way to start the day, it was also a great way to meet and get to know other guests staying at the Hibiscus.

Management and staff

The owner, Rebecca, and the staff Rosie could not have been better! They were sooooooo welcoming and friendly and helpful. You could really not ask for better hosts! Rebecca even drove me to the packet pick up site for the marathon when she found out I had no idea where I was going. They were absolutely fantastic.

Location

The Hibiscus is located just north of the main part of Moshi. It is a quick (15 min) walk to the town center and the dala and bus stands or a 5 min (3000 $TSH) cab ride if you have lots of luggage. It is also just a quick (10 min) walk to the start of the (2011, 2012 and 2013) Mt. Kilimanjaro Marathon! This was a very luck coincidence for us as we just selected The Hibiscus based on its reviews and adorable pictures on Trip Adviser (which it totally lived up to). SCORE! Unfortunately, it is also about 1 American block away from Zumbaland – which is rather loud all day and late into the night. This would probably be my one and only complaint.

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Filed under Tanzania, Travel

And we’re off!! :-)

Minneapolis is sure sending Aliesha and I off in good old-fashioned Minnesota style!

SAMSUNG

 

Hopefully we’ll be able to take off tonight after all this snow we’re getting. Let’s keep all of our fingers and toes crossed that the MSP grounds crews are in top form today.

I can’t even express how SUPER excited I am for this trip – the safari, day trips, the marathon and then Zanzibar.

Unfortunately there is no real-time tracking for the Marathon (imagine that) and I don’t even know what my bib number is yet. (Frankly, I’m not even 100% sure when and where I’m supposed to pick it up, but I still have a week. 😉 Anyway, I did map the course on MapMyRun and here’s a screen shot of the route and elevation:

YIKES!! :-)

YIKES!! 🙂

I received the most appropriate encouragement from Dr. Annebelle earlier this week:

You will kick ass in the marathon (and by that, I mean you will finish in an upright position!)!

This will be the first marathon with out you buddy! :-/

I also got a most appropriate piece of advise from Dr. Allison last night:

Have fun! Be safe! Run Slow!

Yes! Yes! And yes! 🙂

Alrighty, have a great two weeks everyone and prepare yourself for an arsenal of travel and run updates/recaps/reviews starting March 10th!

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Filed under Marathons, Tanzania, Travel

Packing!

I’m typically not the best about preparing for trips in a timely manner. Rather, you’ll find me tending to laundry, packing and last minute runs to Target the night prior to departure. This time it is going to be a bit different. 🙂 If for no other reason than to do something besides look at my frustrating manuscript, I’m going to be ready to go by Thursday. Being that it’s only Tuesday, I’d say so far so good…

Air plane outfit

Air plane outfit

The flight is going to be 36 hours with one stop in Amsterdam so I am definitely wearing comfortable clothes! Much to poor Al’s dismay, I am also wearing very colorful clothes! (I don’t want to get lost after all!)

Since planes are always so chilly I’ll wear my Nike Relay – Women’s Running Capris and my bright pink Pro Compression marathon socks on the bottom. A) Everything else that I have for bottoms come down only to mid-shin at best and B) I will never fly without wearing compression again! Compression both makes the low cabin pressure much less uncomfortable during the flight and also significantly reduces the recovery time that (at least) I require coming off of a long flight. Given that we’ll be on our feet a lot over the next few days at altitude and that the marathon is in less than 2 weeks, I’ll take all of the help I can get! On top I’m planning for three layers of tanktop-tshirt-long sleeved tshirt. I’ll also have my Mountain Hardwear super power hoody. This little friend is the thickest extra/outer layer that I’m bringing with to keep me warm at night in the mountains while we’re camping and as a first line of defense against any nasty weather that we encounter. I’ll wear my Wave Creation 12s to top off the outfit  because they’re the pair of shoes that hog up the most space in my pack, and then a headband for when the hair gets too greasy of course.

Now considering it’s going to be ~95 F during every day of the trip and then ~60s at night, packing actual clothes is a bit tricky. Never mind that the malaria and dengue fever ridden mosquitoes don’t help one bit! As of now, I think this is going to be the plan of action…

tank top, t-shirt, long-sleeved t-shirt layers

tank top, t-shirt, long-sleeved t-shirt layers

lower shin length skirts, floppy pants and maxi dresses

lower shin length skirts, floppy pants and maxi dresses

mama's wool hat and wool travel blanket and then a wool scarfs for wrapping up in at night

mama’s wool hat and wool travel blanket and then a wool scarfs for wrapping up in at night

the shoes--Mizunos, Vibrams and grandmas Tevas

the shoes–Mizunos, Vibrams and grandmas Tevas

and swim suits for Zanzibar!

and swim suits for Zanzibar!

And then there are all of these…

SAMSUNG

 

There are few things that can make you feel as old as a bag full of life-saving prescription medications can!

But, I should be able to distract myself with the entire “Tanzania” section of the Minneapolis Public Library that I have borrowed…

SAMSUNG

 

While this is already a whole lot of shit very important stuff, I’ve totally saved the best for last…or last for the best…hmmm… Regardless, I am very pleased to introduce my…

Mt. Kilimanjaro Marathon Outfit!

Mt. Kilimanjaro Marathon Outfit!

 

I still haven’t totally decided on whether I’ll wear the Nike Relay – Women’s Running Capris or the Champion skirt, but I’m pretty sure I’ll go with the skirt. It’s going to be really f#c%!n& hot warm and humid throughout the run (even though it’s starting at 6:30 am!) so I think the skirt is probably the best choice. My only concern is chafing, but lord (and my jeans) knows that these trusty little legs can deal with chafing and I’d prefer to avoid the heat stroke. Anyway, lets say purple Champion skirt and tank top with bright orange trim and running bra, either bright green or pink Pro Compression marathon socks (I can’t decide which will maximize the outfit until I put it all on the morning of the race…although…maybe I should avoid the decision and just wear one of each! I’ll also choose the preferred headband and lace up my lovely Mizuno Wave Creation 12s.

The awesome yellow Suunto Vector (on loan courtesy my generous friend B) will be along for the ride in addition to my new pair of Women’s Tifosi Slip Wrap Sunglasses. I’m super excited to check out this watch. I’ve been playing around with it a bit over the last few days and it’s totally awesome to say the least. I’m also stoked to try out my snazzy new shades. They are a very recent purchase and had good reviews online so my fingers are crossed.

My little stash of snacks must not be forgotten either. Both Jelly Belly Sport Beans and Clif Shot Bloks will be getting me through the energy crashes and the walls that I hit. I sure hope they’re up for the challenge. Also, and these are very important although they aren’t pictured here, I will be carrying two 4 oz water bottles from my wretched not particularly wonderful running belt. I’m not sure what the water situation is going to be and I’d rather carry 8 oz of water unnecessarily than not have enough. Plus, If I find the extra hydration to be unnecessary, I can always just chug it and stuff the bottles in my bra. At least I’m bringing two, I wouldn’t want to do the whole run with lop-sided boobs!

The only other item that isn’t pictured that is an absolute MUST for the run are my tunes. My trusty Sandisk will be facilitating the all important sing along with Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Pitbull, Akon, Fun , Nicki Minaj, and whoever else happens to partake.

Ok, so what’s left? Let’s see, I’m going to pack some snacks (Clif Bars, Luna Bars and mixed nuts) just in case I really have issues with the food and need emergency fuel the day(s) leading up to the run. I’ll also have my trusty purple Nikon Coolpix camera from about a million years ago. Although, Al will have her brothers far superior camera so I’ll probably get lazy and depend on her and her photography skills. :-/ (Just for the record, she does have mad skills. She’ll take on anyone in a go-go-gadget-extendo-arm-self (or two-person) portrait. We have these from all of our vacations, and from many other random social events when everyone else is too clumsy and/or drunk to take a good picture. I swear, she is spot on every damn time.)

With that, I think I have most of it covered! I guess my Passport and Visa are also essentials and then I have my travel notebook and a couple of beach reads stashed way too. Speaking of reads, it’s time for this kid to pull out a bed time journal article to fall asleep to and get some pre-trip rest!

 

 

 

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Filed under Tanzania, Travel, Trotting, Uncategorized