Running, Writing, and Traveling For Life – Episode 14



It’s been another long hiatus between blogs.  My main excuse this time is I took an Advanced Creative Writing class at Stanford this quarter from Professor Nancy Huddleston Packer.  This was by far the best writing experience I have ever had.  We had 18 students in the class and each of us submitted 2 pieces (mostly short stories) during the quarter for critique by the other students.   It was a large writing class, so each of us had to critique 3 or 4 stories each week, plus find time to either do two of our own, either a new one or rewrite an old one. 

The results were incredible!  I think most, if not all, of us read each story several times before we wrote our critiques, which we spoke from in class and then gave them to the writers of the week in class.  The comments were primarily positive and even the negative ones were mostly constructive. 

Professor Packer gave us in class exercises every week, reviewing the fundamentals of powerful writing, and then gave us homework to employ what we learned in class to present the following week.

I would suggest you search for a class of this type near you because I believe this is the best way to learn to write more successfully.  I would also suggest you sign up the moment registration opens up because these classes fill up rapidly.

Anfi Beach Resort, Grand Canary, from the top floor
Anfi Beach Resort, Grand Canary, from the top floor


My wife and I are currently at the Anfi Beach Resort on the southeast coast of Grand Canary Island which is part of Spain.  The Island is in the Atlantic, off the coast of Africa, west of the country of Western Sahara.  We drove over to the town of Playa Del Ingles, caught a glimpse of sand dunes, found a parking lot, and walked over to the beach.  As we stood on the promenade, which was set back from the water’s edge a few hundred meters, it really was as though we were looking at the other end of the Egyptian Sahara, which we visited a few years back.  Huge dunes rose and fell across our field of vision.  A few people appeared to be returning from a trek across the dunes to the water’s edge, and they looked hot and exhausted.


Playa del Ingles
Playa del Ingles

We also drove over to Puerto Del Mogan at what appears to be the end of Highway GC1, the main freeway or dual carriageway on the island.  It’s a bit reminiscent of Venice, with small footbridges over canals which crisscross the oceanfront.  It’s quite picturesque and the choice of restaurants is staggering.  That said, some of them were closed for the month of May which we ultimately discovered was the slowest tourist month of the year.  There’s a lot to be said for that.  And we didn’t starve.

Canal Bridge in Mogan, Grand Canary Island
Canal Bridge in Mogan, Grand Canary Island

We had read on the RCI web site complaints about the lack of view at the Anfi Beach Resort.  They mostly were from those who had rooms with numbers in the 500s.  Our “confirmed” room number was 1027, but more often than not, resorts in the past have ignored the confirmed number and assigned us another room.  It was usually disappointing.  So we expected we would be relegated to a room in the 500s. 

Wow, were we greatly surprised!  We were confirmed in room 1027 which is on the top floor with a great ocean view from a large lanai.  The unit was very spacious with a large living room, bathroom, and bedroom.  The kitchen had a large freezer/refrigerator and cook-top stove and microwave oven.  We were so comfortable and relaxed there that we spent the majority of the time in our rooms.

The fine sandy beach was right in front of the complex, but the water temperature was a bit colder than I expected.  It was very clean and clear, however, and I enjoyed my time in the water, albeit was brief.  The resort has several pools, including a water slide, and we could hear children enjoying themselves and chattering and screaming throughout the day.  Adults played games and did exercises as well.  We watched and listened from the shade and relative quiet from our top floor lanai.

Anfi Beach Resort from the Breakwater
Anfi Beach Resort from the Breakwater

The major language we heard was Spanish of course, but we heard a lot of Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, and British English.  We didn’t hear much American English, probably because the trek to Grand Canary is long and difficult from the U.S.  Hawaii and the Caribbean are much more accessible tropical paradises.

We arrived at Las Palmas Airport one day before we could check into our timeshare, so we stayed at the AC Hotel in Las Palmas, a recent acquisition by Marriott.  The rooms (2 of them) were spacious and comfortable, and their restaurant food was quite good.  The only funny thing was the bathroom basin was slanted down toward you, so anything that could roll that you placed on its surface did roll.

One tip I will pass on that we never noticed before on our European trips.  At both Frankfurt and Las Palmas, you can find out where to find the Airline check in spot from the departure board.  There is a column listing a range on numbers (i.e. 17-21).  This indicates the check-in positions at the Airline counter.  Then look above the ticket counters around you, and you will see numbers.  They are sequentially numbered as you proceed in either direction to make it easier to find.  I know this sounds complex, but it will make sense when you are there.

Another tip to make the trip easier from the U.S. is to connect in Madrid or Barcelona.  The flights to Las Palmas are shorter and more frequent than from Northern European cities.

We’re headed back home, the coming week’s schedule is pretty free, so I plan to update you on my personal work with the power of positive affirmations for running and the rest of your lives.  To refresh your memory on these affirmation please go back to my post of December 19. 2013.    
Link To Affirmations Blog
I have been repeating these and other affirmations daily since that time.  Here are 2 more key affirmations that I have added: 

1.  I enjoy doing my affirmations, and I repeat them daily. 

2.  Affirmations work to improve my life. 

Please look for my next blog soon for concrete examples of what the affirmation process does for me.  Thanks!  




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