Day 46 – Around Nice, but not actually in Nice

When I decided to stay in Nice, I was mostly interested in being on the coast and seeing some of the places around Nice. Don’t get me wrong, I’d heard nothing bad about Nice, but really it seemed like nothing more than a giant vacation town.

So in the morning I was off to Monaco. I had planned to take the bus to Eze, then to Monaco, but turns out that on Sunday, the bus doesn’t run, so I had to change plans. Not a big deal. Train to Monaco it was.

The train runs past a bunch of smaller towns between Nice and Monaco, which I was scoping out for a good beach. Super easy train ride with really nice views on the way.

Luckily, Monaco is a tourist hot spot to arrive via train. The tourist information is right in the station, making getting a map very simple. I figured out the route I wanted to take, heading to the harbor right away. The station is in the middle of the hills around Monaco, so the walk was all down hill. A great start, never fun to know what you’ll be hiking up on the way home.

The boats in the harbor were insane. I mean, maybe to see one or two, okay, but tons of them. And the water was absolutely clear. Some of these boats had their little attached/stored on deck run-arounds that are bigger than the boats most people own.

Just one of the many. Showing the "small" run around tied up.
Just one of the many. Showing the “small” run around tied up.
Not quite as large, but can you see the massive number of "smaller" boats?
Not quite as large, but can you see the massive number of “smaller” boats?
See those rocks through the water? That water is many, many feet deep.
See those rocks through the water? That water is many, many feet deep.

I wandered around a bit. My original plan had me here in the afternoon, which probably would have been preferable. The town is a bit dead in the morning (I think it was 10 when I got there). Got up to see the famed Monte Carlo, and was sadly unimpressed. Good thing I was there in the morning though, looks like there’s a dress code to enter when people are playing. You have to pay to enter the casino, which is stupid, but I had to see what all the fuss was about.

The one the only.
The one the only.
I've never been anywhere where gambling wasn't allowed 24/7.
I’ve never been anywhere where gambling wasn’t allowed 24/7.

The rooms are pretty, but nothing to write home about (so I’ll full fill that statement by writing nothing here as well).

Wandered around a bit more. Really found nothing of huge interest to me, so I headed down to where the Monaco Grand Prix starts. Mostly just for shits and giggles. A lot so I can tell my cousins I was there.

Looks like not much most of the time.
Looks like not much most of the time.

Then I hit up the grocery store, because anything is cheaper than buying food and drinks AT the beach. Normal food wasn’t so bad, but they had a huge section of imported food. I guess they want all of their super rich clients to be happy. Because they’re all obviously shopping at the grocery store.

That says 7.45€. For a jar half the size of home. Ouch.
That says 7.45€. For a jar half the size of home. Ouch.

Food collected and I headed back up to the train station. For anyone ever looking to improve their calf tone, take a trip to some hilly place and walk a lot. It’s doing wonders.

I decided to stop at Beaulieu-sur-Mer. Don’t ask how to say the first part, I have no idea. The second part means that the train stops at the Mediterranean part of town, not the hill side where lots of things are. Which is a huge deal, not something you want to mix up if you are aiming for one or the other. It’s quite a hill. Luckily, when looking for the beach, the sea is where to be.

Mostly I was aiming for a beach outside of the main town because I hate when it’s super packed. This fit the bill just fine. Definitely not empty, but it’s not like someone was within touching distance on either side.

The beach. Very nice, almost sand, but more like tiny rocks.
The beach. Very nice, almost sand, but more like tiny rocks.
Yachts off in the harbor area. They must be just HUGE. Probably way cheaper than getting a spot in Monaco, and still very close.
Yachts off in the harbor area. They must be just HUGE. Probably way cheaper than getting a spot in Monaco, and still very close.

Turns out I should have taken a better look at the wine I grabbed. I completely missed the dry to sweet scale. I’d grabbed a very sweet wine. Absolutely not what I was looking for for my picnic and chilling on the beach. Probably won’t do that again.

Everyone owns these umbrellas (top picture above) and brings them to the beach with them. I didn’t get it when I got there, but after an hour or so, it makes perfect sense. If nothing else, it will shade your things for you.

This was my first encounter with the topless-ness I’ve heard so much about. I was a tad shocked at first, as American culture (or perhaps English speaking culture) is very anti-topless-ness. Anyways, when in Rome…. which is all fine and dandy but I’ve grown up with no sun exposure to such areas. And can you imagine getting sun burn on such sensitive areas?! Sounds very painful and therefore I’m rather cautious.

This was where I gave up on my awesome Enlite sensors. The one I had in had been rocking for a couple days, but with the sweat and water, it just wasn’t really holding on, which sent it off to crazy number land. I thought about putting one in the next day… but how was that possible, I was always (really, always) sweating. That doesn’t make for good adhesive contact.

Caught the train back to Nice, hit up my hostel for a quick shower, then headed off to find some place with wifi and air conditioning. It’s surprisingly rare to find AC, even for some place that gets plenty warm, and my hostel definitely didn’t have it. And the room was TINY. So I decided my next stop, which was only two nights in Nimes, should be moved to a hotel in the center of town. The hostel wasn’t particularly convenient, and I needed a break from the lack of space and sweaty nights. That and other chores completed, I headed back to catch some sleep.

66 Days of Diabetes Supplies

Have you ever wondered what two months worth of diabetes supplies looks like? Well now you can see.

I did a “test pack” two months ago to see how much stuff I actually use. Turns out I had a pretty good guess already, and didn’t change much from that packing to this packing.

I’m sure I could get by with a lot fewer things, particularly if I decided to not use my pump or sensor. But I have decided that I am going to continue using both, assuming all goes well and nothing breaks.

This is everything I'm bringing
This is everything I’m bringing (let’s ignore my extremely poor spelling)

My packing list is the following:

  • 30 Infusion Sets
  • 27 Reservoirs
  • 10 Sensors
  • 600 Strips
  • 5 Bottles of Novolog
  • 10 AAA Batteries
  • Sensor Supplies
    • Lots of Tapes
    • Insert
    • Charger
  • Back-up Supplies
    • 15 Syringes
    • 1 Bottle of Levemir

Not pictured is 2 meters and associated pokers and strips, as well as things that are currently attached to my body which is a sensor and transmitter and pump.

I’ve got 3 of the slim ebags that I used to pack all this stuff into, plus one small bag that I’m using for an easy to access option to hold one set of everything. Packing is always an art. Sensors on the bottom, infusion sets and strips next, topped off with all the randoms and reservoirs. The insulin went back in the fridge to be packed closer to leaving. It will be packed in a Frio Insulin Wallet to stay chilly.

Pump Supplies

My little bag of extras
My little bag of extras

The end result was more compact than I expected, also heavier than I expected.

Neat and Tidy!
Neat and Tidy!

Up next is packing the rest of my bag! That will probably be more difficult as everything is subjective and almost nothing is a “need”.


*These are amazon links because I think the products are cool. I’m not someone who has the amazon advertising deal or anything fancy.

Dblog Week – Day 6: Favorites

Today’s topic is all about blogs!

If you have been blogging for a while, what is your favorite sentence or blogpost that you have ever written? Is it diabetes related or just life related? If you are a new blogger and don’t have a favorite yet, tell us what motivated you to start sharing your story by writing a blog?

I definitely think that I fall under the “new blogger” bit here.

The first thing that got me thinking about starting a blog was my upcoming trip this summer. Of course, I hadn’t booked or scheduled any of it when I started this blog, but I was hopeful. I figured if I want to blog about my trip, I should probably figure out how it works before I actually leave.

Then I was searching around trying to figure out what else I might possibly want to put out in public for the world to see. I was also trying to figure out what could possibly make my blog special. So I googled diabetes and traveling blogs. I didn’t come up with very many so I thought this might be a good start. Of course now I’ve found oh so many more than I did back even two months ago. Things like #dblogcheck and this DBlog Week have really opened my eyes to many other diabetic bloggers out there.

When I first started this, I also saw all these people that seemed to have diabetes “figured out”. I’d see their awesome flat lines on Dexcom sensor and was like, well, that’s not me. So I thought there might be a chance some people would be interested to see a view from someone who’s not got it figured out. Of course, once again, the longer you lurk around blogs, you notice that no one has it perfect!

There’s not many people who blog about curling, for good reason. There’s generally not much to blog about and it’s a pretty small circle of people (especially in the US). Knowing myself however, I knew there was no way to completely avoid the topic of curling with my life. Therefore, there’s a tiny bit in here about that as well. I’m sure this will take a larger portion when it gets back to being the normal competitive season. It doesn’t help though, that curling is no where near a full time job, and curlers aren’t celebrities, so no one tends to care much about what we’re doing 🙂


Thanks for following along. Check out everyone else here.

Carb Counts

This past Friday I was lucky enough to be invited to a going away party for my friend Emily. We were headed off to a cabin for the night. It was described as a “cabin cabin” not a “house cabin”, out-house and all. Packing list to include sleeping bag, pillow, warm clothes, shoes you don’t mind getting muddy, snacks and drinks.

I was in charge of hashbrowns for breakfast, so I had to run to the store to grab those. I decided to pick up some snacks while I was there. You’d never know I try to eat healthy and am diabetic by looking at this pile of treats.

Sugar? There's no sugar here...
Sugar? There’s no sugar here…

Now, this wasn’t nearly as amusing to me until I went to the Liquor Store for something to drink. I decided that I would like to have cider for the night, as I drank my fill of mixed drinks the weekend before. I’ve liked the slightly less sweet ciders for a while, and keep looking for more. Besides the fact that with my CGM now, I can see how everything affects my blood sugar. 12g of carbs/12oz cider is a pretty nice even out amount for me. No insulin needed for the drink (probably shouldn’t have forgotten about the insulin for the peeps though). For those of you who don’t drink cider, or don’t care about carbs, most ciders on the market now have 26-29g carb/12oz. That also ups the calorie count, which I wouldn’t care about if it was needed. So I spent at least 20 minutes at the Liquor Store reading labels on the cider bottles. People probably thought I was crazy. I ended up with a couple different new kinds to try.

Party Fridge

I took a shot of the fridge when we started the night off. It was pretty darn empty when we left, and I was very happy I suggested that we bring something to cook for breakfast. Not much better than eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns. It was a blast of a night with fun had by all. Minnesota to Vermont is a pretty big move and was well worth celebrating.

The hardest step

This was definitely a perfect description today. I got home from work, knowing that a run was on my calendar. I had zero desire to do it. However, knowing myself, I changed out of my work clothes and straight into running clothes. Then I sat down. Oops. 35 minutes later, I finally made it out the door.

I decided I would run to the gym and swipe in (the whole, if you get 12 gym visits you get $20 back is a pretty good motivator). The gym is 1.4 miles from my house. So of course by the time I was back close to home, I was in enough of a groove to decide I should really knock out a 5k (3.1 miles). I was pleasantly surprised that I killed it in 31 minutes! That includes the time I had to stop for traffic and for my swipe at the gym! I had originally had a goal of under 30 minutes for my 5k on April 18th, but I think I can do better than that. We shall see what I think as it gets closer.

I’m not sure what everyone else eats for carbs before exercise, but I’d love to hear it. My current favorite is the Starburst Fave Red Jelly Beans. So good. So many carbs that hit me quickly. 180 before my run, 15g of jelly beans and off I went. Felt great, it wasn’t a long enough run for me to worry about seriously dropping while I was out. Came home, checked the CGM before hopping in the shower and I see 123 with double down arrows. I seriously didn’t think I worked that hard! After the shower 91 with one down arrow. And I wasn’t hungry. Good thing those jelly beans are tasty because my meter says 77. I used to try to determine if my runs were calorie neutral, but that can be such a bummer when they aren’t, so I stopped.

More runs to come!

Paint Nite and a New Pump

I want to give a quick thanks to everyone that stopped by on #dblogcheck day! Perhaps some of you saw that on Monday night I was going to a Paint Nite event… this is the outcome from that!

It was a blast. I am actually super surprised at how much I like my painting! As you can tell from the pictures, they aren’t lying about painting in a bar. There’s a small glimpse of my drink right next to the canvas. (I got to try a cider I hadn’t had before… Hoppin Mad Apple by Angry Orchard. Quite a nice change from most of their cloyingly sweet ciders.) The downside of the painting in a bar thing, is that the lighting was atrocious — hence the also atrocious pictures. It did make for a more interesting painting being slightly unsure of what it would look like in real light.

Paint Nite

It was interesting to see that everyone’s painting turned out slightly differently. But the most surprising was when everyone was frustrated with how bad they thought their trees looked. Someone decided to go grab a glance at the instructors painting a bit closer up, and noted that her’s looked just like ours! It was just that from a distance you couldn’t tell. Shortly after that, everyone is painting, then backing up ten feet to look at it. Very much a good way to go about it.

On unrelated news, I got a new pump today! I’ve been getting a “MOTOR ERROR” quite frequently lately and was sick of it, so I called. Turns out if you try to look at your CGM data while a bolus is in progress, it freaks out. They decided to send me a new pump anyways. Good thing because my most recent pump has once again gotten cracks at the corner of the screen (this is time, 3 I believe). This is a fine thing in the winter when there’s less than zero humidity, but come the Minnesota summer, my screen starts to fog up when I go outside.

I’ve been using my sensor like crazy lately (can we say love?), so I set that up right away on my new pump. To return my old pump, I just had to set the basal to zero, so it was still up and running. I let both of them get the sensor data for a while. It was interesting to see. They would both have the same arrows (one up or one down, they would agree), but the numbers were off! This sensor is about 5 days old, and has been quite well tuned after day one.

I had heard that the Medtronic CGM uses multiple calibration data points to determine blood sugar, but I’d never seen how that could affect the data before. This definitely explains why the sensors get better with age. To a point.