Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Austin

...pretty easy to relax when the sun is shining and temps are climbing to 80 degrees the Hottest SegCity...that's right...
Good Sports
zooming toward the Capitol at a whopping 16mph...vroooooooooommmmmm
still sunny, still relaxed...
bike lust at Mellow Johnny's
tough decisions at Amy's
trouble at Toy Joy
more curiosities at the coolest toy shop ever
ummmm...wow...NOT Toys R Us...not at all
Kids
stretching our legs with the doggies at Barton Springs before departure...
Day One:
Upon arrival, we head straight to the Mother of All Whole Foods for lunch (which we enjoy under the sunniest sky I've seen in months)...BBQ, Ginger Beer, fresh pineapple and 80 degrees. Anything else will be a bonus...
Carolyn takes us back to her home where I promptly trade my red suede Camper boots for FLIP-FLOPS (ahhhh, bliss)...after acquainting myself with the lovely surroundings, I want to stretch my legs and explore the neighborhood. Following a lazy walk (Carolyn's dog led the way)and a long nap, we are ready to join Laurie & Carolyn for some fine Texas home-cooked goodness at Threadgill's (where Janis Joplin used to sing). Our servers are Crystal Gale (her Momma was a fan) and Heidi Claire (for real).
Bronzed (buttered?) Catfish, sweet potato fries, and roasted corn for me...yummy. This little getaway is all about relaxing, enjoying good food (and tasty Margaritas), soaking up some sun, and sleeping as late as I can...when Colin informed me of his jaunt to Austin to visit family, it only took a minute to envision my budget, check the schedule at work, cover care for Feisty Four Year-Old and sheepishly ask, "May I go with you??" Here I am!
Day Two:
Blue skies, warm sun greet me again...Colin's cousin, Ryan, is dressed in pink elephant pajamas & playing Wii tennis (please don't make me play, please)...She got home late last night from a concert (Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley & Darius Rucker...this is Texas, folks) and we have yet to meet.
"Hi, I'm Kim..."
We click immediately...I love her! In a matter of minutes, we are already conspiring to make Colin's heinous rockstar shades disappear...
A little breakfast, a little more Wii (Ryan & I are the backup dancers to Carolyn & Colin's American Idol duet), lazy time on the deck with the dogs...starting to feel like a vacation.
Carolyn informs us of the only planned activity for the weekend...(wait for it, wait for it...)
SegCity Tours of Austin!
"Wait, like, a Segway? We're riding a Segway?"
"Yes, all 5 of us."
Ryan and I agree to stick together at the pack of the pack, but it doesn't take long to feel like a Segway Badass (if there is such a thing)...It is weird. It is fun.
For the next two hours, we zoom around downtown Austin in dorky helmets and huge grins, eliciting all kinds of looks (bemusement? annoyance?) from pedestrians and traffic.
Texas is the only state that can fly its flag at the same height as the flag of the United States...
Am I bonking on my Segway? Do I need a Gu?
The Segway tour renders us tired and maybe a little cranky, but we dutifully soldier on to Mellow Johnny's (sans Segways, thank goodness) for bike lust & tee shirts! I score a Mike & The Bike Hat for Sonny Boy Dubeck and a cool tee for BP...I ogle a pair of gray leather Campy toe straps and some orange Velocity rims...just because.
Dinner is healthy at home...grilled Portobellos, quinoa, veggies...but, don't you worry because Ryan is taking us to Amy's for their famous ice cream!
Ice Cream. In January. Wearing Flip-Flops. I miss my kid, but man, this right here, right now this is heavenly.
I enjoy Cookie Monster (Mexican Vanilla ice-cream with crushed Chips Ahoy, broken Oreos and cookie dough), while Ryan & Colin have Leroy Jenkins in a cup...mmmmmm...so good.
Giddy from sugar, Ryan drives us the scenic way home...the deer in Austin are skinny, grayer and awfully skittish.
Early to bed...
Day Three:
First stop, Toy Joy...words cannot describe this incredible shrine to all things Toy (see pics, above)...I want to bring my kid to Austin for this little gem alone. Holy Sh**...Carolyn gives us an hour and time flies. I am a kid again. Suddenly, I need miniature plastic Romeos and Chinese New Year lanterns and googly eyes and Day of the Dead Nesting Dolls...it's overwhelming and I am nearly 34.
For the Boy Back Home, we procure a Jolly Roger Toast Stamper (!), Shark King & Super Boy Action Figures, a Star Wars lunch box, and a superhero magnet. Go, Mom! I can't leave without some vintage Valentines for myself and a Kabuki bottle opener for my gracious host, Colin.
Next stop, Buffalo Exchange thrift shop where I score a comfy hoodie and an RIP YSL tee (so hot).
Lastly,
Movie at the Alamo Draft House (Slumdog Millionaire...so great, go see it)...The beer selection on tap rivals most bars around here (Fireman's 4 for me, Arrogant Bastard for Colin...Ryan and her mom had Texas-sized waters) and the burgers are excellent.
At first, I am a little disconcerted with a burger instead of popcorn, but after a few sips of my lovely blonde ale, I am getting used to this.
I am not thinking about my bike.
I am not thinking about insomnia.
Or bills.
Or work.
I am watching an amazing film and eating a burger, having a beer in the afternoon...
Later, Ryan's other mom, Nancy & Emily pick us up for dinner at Chuy's (where the Bush twins got popped for underage drinking, apparently)...Margaritas and gluttonous, yummy Tex-Mex...We are a loud bunch. Well-fed and loud.
Back at the house, more rowdiness ensues as game night takes off...this is gonna hurt tomorrow...
Day Four:
Maybe a little hung-over, maybe a little travel-weary, I am anxious to get home to my son. Laurie is still down & out with a nasty cold, so Carolyn, Ryan, Colin, and I head to Barton Springs to walk the dogs and see the south side of Austin.
The temps are cooler...cold, actually...I am coming back to life.
After a tasty burrito at Shady Grove, we pack up and spend the afternoon relaxing.
Carolyn takes us to the airport in her glorious Mystery Machine...I'm lucky to have spent time with her because she makes it impossible to feel anything other than relaxed.
The flight is uneventful...what am I so scared of?
I get home close to midnight, but wake my son anyway... I've missed him and it's good to be home.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

No Photos, Please!

I've misplaced my camera...tomorrow I leave for an impromptu little vacation and I want to come back with pictures to prove it. I have fallen in love with winter riding once again...thank goodness. Honestly, I was starting to worry about myself a little bit several weeks ago. Skinny jeans weren't so skinny anymore, Word Challenge was taking over every spare moment (oh, who are we kidding? I was making time for Word Challenge), and pancakes every day seemed like a perfectly reasonable idea...I found myself cringing at the sight of Dirt Rag, rolling my eyes at all the spare Michelin Muds in the laundry room, and shopping for cute pajamas for no reason... What was this? A bad break-up? What's next? Steady diet of raw cookie dough? Cobwebs on the Moto Rapido?? Never. 3 Weekends of great rides and even better company finally flipped the switch and Cupid's arrow plunged into my singletrack-loving heart... I just needed a break. Laziness felt good for a while, but I will be ready to hit it hard again upon my return. (until then, there are some tasty Margaritas in my very near future and hopefully temps in the high sixties!!!)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

"Winter Hymnal"

Two hour ride at French Creek...fifteen degrees felt like...fifteen degrees. Just enough snow to fill in the gaps between the rocks, like mortar...just enough snow so you could just motor through & sail across, keeping warm, keeping steady. Following the ride, fell asleep by the fire listening to Fleet Foxes.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Name of the (Winter) Game...

...is "Fun." Here we are, nearly halfway through January...I haven't devoted much time or energy to...anything (except caring for a wily FOUR year-old)... Sunday morning found the street glazed with ice... (Rotten) Robert showed up at 9am, ready for a ride that I wasn't sure would even happen...although we had crossed paths many times at races & such, we had never actually "met", so there I was, half-pajama'd/half-geared up for a ride, introducing myself in my living room...ha! Gracious, he was...rotten, not so much. Shortly thereafter, the tenacious Crafter wound its way through my neighborhood, carting Faticus, Lauri, and (not riding) Transporter Tom McD...My dad showed up, as did Colin-O, bundled & ready to ride. Slowly, our motley caravan plodded along slippy, slid-y, icy roads toward Downingtown...slippy, roads...yikes. Surprisingly, the trails did not let us down (do they ever, there? noooooo)...a crust of ice made for a fair bit of trepidation, but barneys & bungles were few (yay, everybody!)...Hopefully, we gave our friends a fun (though, slippery) glimpse of our favorite local trails and led them to the MASS Promoters Meeting hungry for more... It was precisely the kind of ride I have been craving... After a perfect grilled cheese, I took a short nap and still had energy to spare for the aforementioned FOUR (!) year-old. As for that (amazing) kid, I should take a page from his book...he's got the right attitude... it's a blessing & a joy to be his mom.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Right?

...nobody reads blogs anymore anyway, right? I mean, Facebook has taken over... gross.

Just Checkin In...

I still like Q-Tip... I still wish I was two inches taller... I still fret about choices big and small and how the affect everyone around me... I still try not to miss out... What else is there today? I have no intention to ride...I have all day, all to myself...the conditions are perfect, the bike is ready, the clothes are clean, bottles ripe for filling... What the??? Where is my motivation? Cold doesn't bother me...never has. My dad is ice climbing today, but there are others to ride with (many, thankfully)... What the??? I have not moved since the (extraordinarily fun) Fair Hill ride last Sunday...I mean, I moved around at work, kept my house (fairly) tidy, danced around the kitchen with my son, partook in a Nerf-dart battle...the usual...but, no attempts to gain (or retain) any kind of physical fitness... I feel alright. Clothes fit...fine. I feel healthy. A little blue (winter-y), but healthy... Just don't feel like riding much. Or running...at all. This time of year is always a little tricky for me...maybe more so this year, being on my own (no, I didn't say alone)...no shortage of family or friends, lucky me... I don't know... My needs, however basic, are met these days... A continuous block of sleep, however/whenever I can get it (REM...that is a bonus)... A happy, healthy home for my kid... A paycheck... and maybe some hot cocoa, overflowing with mini marshmallows... So, what's up, Kimmy Kim...??? Chin up. Get out there...

Monday, January 5, 2009

I'd Like to Thank My Agent, Anne Rock...

Here I am... eating Cheerios (dry...mmmm, just the way I like it) and drinking green tea... My son is fast asleep (we only made it through 2 of our 3 stories tonight, then zzzzzzzz)... Between New Years Eve revelry, back-to-back-to-back rides, the Prom, effing Facebook, and Twilight (rrrrr...I loathe to admit, I find it...entertaining...thanks for the present, Liz), I have forgotten how to blog/speak/return phone calls/fold laundry/cook anything other than Kraft Macaroni & Cheeeeeese (Scooby Doo shaped, please)... Sigh. I have a badass cowbell. I went on a fantastically serendipitous ride at Fair Hill, led by Faticus & his many cohorts (in one breath, I went from panicking and driving in circles around Elkton, late for BP's ride to ahhhhh, Fatmarc saves the day...thanks, all)... I survived the holidays, wholeheartedly, with my best foot forward... Feeling (mostly) great. this is a post? truly?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Ringing in the New Year Rubber-Side Down

Buttered a toasted bagel, drank hot tea, and bundled up for the first ride of '09.
Damien, Colin, BP, Susan, Jeff, and I convened at the Harmony Hill lot for a lively little rip around our favorite Downingtown trails (Damien's first time here)...frozen ground & plenty of sunshine made for a super-fun way to start the year right.

Happy 2009 (two-thousand NINE?!)

Family & Friends The Young Folks
New(er) Friends
Divas
Youth & Hormones
Old Friends
New Years Eve Party (co-sponsored by our favorite New Years Baby, BP...happy birthday, Dad!):
Perfect mix of family and friends (old, new, barely acquainted, reacquainted, and no less than 3 PA State Champs...), (too much) good food, abundant cheer (in a variety of bottles), great music, excellent company. Midnight arrived with fanfare & cowbells, followed by lively revelry into the weeeeee hours.
Success (and perhaps a new tradition?)...
Thank you, all, for sharing a fantastic night with me!
More photos (if you dare) courtesy of Anthony .