Thursday, July 2, 2015

MS 150 Escape to the Lake 2015

(As per usual, I'm behind in blogging.  This ride took place the second weekend in June)

So the annual MS 150 came upon us.  My training was lackluster to say the least.  Training consisted for one 24 mile ride and two 13 mile rides.  Yea that'll get you ready for 150 mile over two days.  If you're interested in my training plan let me know and I'll get that right over to you. 

I was definitely nervous about the ride, but I knew I would make it through even if it was slow.  I had my friends by my side (oh and my husband).  

Kelli, Jaime, Tracey and Myself 
 


We were worried about the weather because it looked like rain for most of the weekend, but it was scattered and off and on.  At this point I can't even remember if it rained on day one (I've slept many times since this ride) but I think it did for a bit.

I pulled into the second rest stop of the day and realized my cleat was falling off my shoe.  Without it, I wouldn't be able to clip into my pedals.  Luckily it hadn't affected anything thus far and I was able to have a guy from a bike shop, who was there volunteering his time, fix my shoe.



I was actually surprised how well I felt the whole first day.  My neck and butt hurt, but I wasn't doing to bad as far as the biking went.  Yes we were slow (13 mph) but we were making it.



I was heading into another rest stop and there was a huge hill leading up to it.  I felt like my back tire felt funny.  I thought I was having a mom moment where I think I have a flat tire (my mom ALWAYS thought she had a flat in the car).  I laughed to myself and thought, "Nah, it's not flat."  Then some guy drove past me and said, "You're looking a little low there."  Yep I had a flat!  I had to walk my damn bike up the hill into the rest stop. Again, I used a volunteer bike shop guy to fix my tire.  Thankfully I know how to time my "events".  


Ok no more "events" please.  I was REALLY happy to be finished with my first day.  No matter how well I felt, being on my bike for a LONG time was taking it's toll and I was glad to be at our last rest stop for the day.  


The lady said to make a funny face, I was the only one who listened 
George and I opted to stay in a hotel room this year instead of the dorm.  So we dropped out bikes and headed for the shuttle.


OMG the hotel room was the best decision of my life.  I was so happy to be sleeping in a nice comfy bed and to take a good shower.  It made getting up the next morning not quite as bad.

The thoughts of getting on the bike day two is always a little daunting, but I did it and even managed faked a smile.



We got off to a fast start and were ready to tackle day 2.  Nate was just behind me on a bridge when I heard a large pop.  I turned and asked, "Was that you?"  He responded, "Yep."  1.3 miles into our ride and we had a flat.  Again, we got lucky and there was a SAG vehicle on the corner who gave Nate a pump so we didn't have to mess with canned air.  The only thing is, once he got in the tube and started to pump it up, the tube was pinched and busted.  So he had to change the tire AGAIN.  It wound up being at least a 20 minute process.

The rest of the day was just getting from rest stop to rest stop and trying to beat the rain.  We made it to the last rest stop (about 10 miles before the finish) before we get held up due to rain. It had been raining pretty heavily and we were soaked, but there was a major thunder storm rolling through and the race officials wouldn't let anyone leave the rest stop.  We hung out under a dripping tent for the 20 minutes or so that it took to pass.


By this point we are all tired and just done.  Ready to be finished, there was nothing that could stop us.  Nothing but a flat tire that is.  5 miles from the finish, Tracey had a flat.


Again, the SAG saved us with a pump (so much easier than compressed air) but we had a bad tube this time.  So AGAIN it was a TWO change process.  We really couldn't catch a break today.  

After what seemed like an eternity, we made it to the finish line.  Yay! After 2 days of riding and almost 150 miles (it was 143 or 147 something like that) we were D.O.N.E. DONE!


Luckily the clouds cleared up and we enjoyed lake Erie and some food in the sun instead of the rain.  



Another MS 150 complete.  I honored to be able to ride for such a great cause, flat tires and all.




Thursday, June 18, 2015

Gateway Clipper Fleet Boat Ride

I came across a groupon to ride on the Gateway Clipper Fleet, so I bought it in hopes of going to see the city when Bianca visited.  What better way to see the city? I can't remember riding any of the Gateway Clipper ships since I was very little.  I was actually excited.  My kids had never done it either.

When we got there Jack said he wanted me to take a picture of him on this bench and he posed accordingly.


Then Ella....


Then Isa....


Then there was Nicholas.  He cracks me up.


Everyone was excited to ride the Gateway Clipper. I'm not sure they knew exactly what to expect.





We got down to the dock and waited for our ship to come in.  It was fun seeing the city from this vantage point.  I don't think I've looked at the city from this side of the river too many times.






It was a really nice day out, but it was hot.  We still opted for the top deck.  The tour guide was really good and he told us a lot of information about the city that I didn't know about, so that was cool.






I really enjoyed going around and hearing all the interesting history, which is so NOT like me.



We topped of the adventure with a little Pirate show that was a little bit creepy due to the on board Pirate.  Jack liked it, however, and that's all that matters.


I don't know why I waited so long to do the Gateway Clipper, my kids really enjoyed it and it's a fun thing to do with out of town guests.  I'm sure one day my kids will say, "I haven't ridden the Gateway Clipper since I was 7 (9, or 11) years old."  Ha!



Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Taylor Swift 1989 World Tour

Once again, and this is NO surprise, I'm behind on my blogging.  I REALLY want to remember this experience so I'm documenting here.  

Ella's best friend from Texas (who now lives in Arizona) came to town for the Taylor Swift concert.  You guys know Isabel and her mom Bianca.  


Santa brought each of them tickets and we've had their matching outfits since about February.  So to say we were excited for this event is a major understatement. 



Of course I was so happy to see Bianca too.  I love her so much and miss her terribly.  It so sad when friendships are divided by distance.  Bianca should totally move to Pittsburgh right?


Anyway, we were all gussied up and ready to go see Tay Swift!  


Once we got close to the venue, everyone was pointing and commenting on how cute the girls are.  Ella thought it was so funny.  I thought it was adorable.


I mean if you saw these two coming wouldn't you think they were too cute?


We got into the venue with plenty of time to spare.  Santa did a good job getting the tickets.  Although I am privy to information that Santa and Mrs. Claus had a huge bickering session when the tickets were being acquired.


Mrs. Clause insisted that Ella would want to sit on the floor even if it was towards the back. Santa, thought it would be better to sit up a level not on the floor. Mrs. Claus instead, yelling at Santa, "I want on the floor."  So yeah, Ella's tickets were on the floor near the back and they were pretty good.
I'm glad Mrs. Claus go those seats.  The first level seats would have been good too.



We had a fun time listening to the opening acts, but the girls were definitely bored waiting for Taylor. It just showed me how much they really LOVE Taylor.  They liked the other acts, but they were antsy and didn't really care. We took selfies.



 Soon enough Taylor came out and put on an amazing performance.


Taylor is a class act.  She has sass and sex appeal without being trashy.  I admire that about her.


She did several wardrobe changes and mad sure her fans had a great time.


I also admire that she can sing, dance, play guitar and piano.  She really is a talented young woman.


The girls never got bored. They sang and danced to every song.  They knew EVERY WORD TO EVERY SONG.  They both would have given anything to reach out and touch her.  The people seated 4 seats over from us were invited to the front row by Taylor's mom.  I guess it wasn't meant to be for us.


It was a great concert, beyond what I could have imagined, but it was the experience with our friends that made it even more special.

We were tired and hungry after the concert and headed to the only place we knew would be open.  Pirmantis.  Isabel wanted to know what happened to her mom and why she was eating such bad food.  Susan happened.  That is all!