Extreme Vacation 2012, Move more, Eat less


Last Wednesday I started my vacation.  The first one in several years, unless you want to count months off due to being hit by a truck.  My partner’s daughters are in town.  I took the time off to coincide with his time off and to spend time with his girls doing fun stuff.  So we basically had a staycation.

I kicked it off Tuesday night with a sailboat race on Lake Union.  Had a blast, and dressed like the millionaire from Gilligan’s Island.  Every week these races have a theme and I am just happy to be invited.  Too much fun.  Did I mention that one day I will live on a sailboat and spend my life on the sea?  Well if you didn’t know that, you might live in a cave.

Day one was a trip to Northwest Trek and ziplines.  I am terrified of heights.  I was not going to do the ziplines, but Richard bought a  non-refundable ticket.  Ok great, you want me to get up in the trees, suspend myself in this dinky harness on this little wheelie thing across this incredibly long cable.  This is fun?????  Ok so it was terrifying, I was not sure I would make it.  I managed to not die, not get hurt and not need rescuing.  Go me! The girls even got scared, but they loved the zip line part.  Oh I guess you should know that it isn’t like you just zip line, first you have this extreme challenge.  First challenge to climb up this 35 ft rock wall with large gaps of missing rocks.  My knees are damaged so they do not bend like they used to.  I was climbing up and back down in several spots to get to the side with the non-missing rocks.  I did make it though.  Next was this rope and log bridge across 25 ft of tree canopy.  Then even less wood and rope bridge.  It got scarier and scarier.  Then there were these swings that you had to step on and keep balanced and walk across.  Oh the cargo net gave me some rope burns.  Then the worst of all, a tight rope.  This is fun?   So yes we survived.  There were moments of OMG I cannot make it, for myself and the girls.

After that we got a tram ride through the wilderness.  We saw a ton of animals including the bull moose.  The Caribou stopped our tram and led us back to the station.  They are quite friendly and quite unafraid of the tram.

Day two was a long drive out to my dad’s to ride horses.  My dad’s wife, no not my step mom, has a paint, a pony and a Percheron.  I should pause to explain my dad’s wife, or my mom’s husband.  Step parents had a part of your life growing up.  They would be step parents because they helped guide you.  My parents divorced after I was 18 and moved out on my own.  Therefore any partner or spouse they have at this point is not a step-parent.  I know who they are but I do not really know them very well.  Anyway, she took us all on her beautiful horses.  I even rode the big draft horse, and he was big.

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Friday was the big bike race I do every year.  Dead Baby Downhill.  A drunken non-stop ride from one location to the biggest, rowdiest party in Seattle.  I rode downtown to catch up with Richard and the girls for a moment.  We had Ice Tea at the Red Robin on the Pier.  I simply wanted to see him before my big race.  He decided against taking the girls to the party, which they could have gone to, but might have been too rowdy for them.  I then caught up with my friend Brian, who rode up Queen Anne Hill with me.  We met his partner there and waited for the race to begin.  This year they had two options, the counterbalance or the safer, not so scary winding down the backside of the hill.  We opted for the backside, although the counterbalance sounded fun to me.

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I saw two accidents and one pedestrian spoke a guys tire and send him flying over the handlebars.  I nearly got hit by a bus, my own fault.  The goal of the ride is to stay in a tight group.  If the light changes and half the group is through you continue on.  As though you were a semi truck.  I was with a group, a very large pack, and someone left a gap so the bus started going.  I realized almost too late as I pushed my feet down on my coaster brakes and spun my backtire completely 90 degrees from where it was.  I managed to stop as I felt the bus whoosh by.  As a disclaimer, I do not normally ride this way.  This is a bike race that many times the intersections are corked off.  Corking, is when riders at a green light will block the opposing cars so that the massive group can ride through the red light.  As the groups loose people, due to wrecks, different abilities and even riders taking wrong routes the corking is less and less.  The best part of the ride is the confusion of the drivers.  It is like a bike circus just came through town.  You have frankenbikes everywhere, tall bikes, choppers little kids bikes with giant men on them, I have even seen Unicycles and bigwheels do this ride.  It only messes up traffic for about 20 minutes and the cars can take alternate routes.

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As the party winds down, the bike jousting begins.  Bike jousting is  something that is uniquely Seattle.  It started here, and we have perfected it.  After a hard night of drinking, getting on a tall bike, (two frames welded on top of each other to create a 7 ft tall monstrocity) and grabbing a long stick with a boxing glove duct taped to it, is totally a great idea.  Not so much, there is a ton of road rash at the end.  In fact, the DBD is where I first learned to embrace scares and really focus on how many bruises I end up with.  The more bruises, scars and road rash means that you did not sit at home all night watching reruns of cops eating Doritos and bud light!  Screw that!!!!!

Saturday I caught the bus over to Issaquah for a family dinner.  I stopped off at the market to pick up some produce, which Richard’s mom and sister noted tasted better than grocery store produce.  When was the last time you had a peach that just dripped juice the second you bit or cut into it?  That is what I am talking about.  It was a nice and relaxing time to visit and just kind of recoup from everything.  Oh yes, while I was bike racing Richard had been watching the Blue Angels, and took the family on the Ferris Wheel.  So everyone needed a slow day.

Sunday we had tickets to the Sounder’s game.  Ok I am not a sports fan, but soccer I can get into.  They do not stop the clock to figured out calls.  A call is a call.  What a great game to go see for the girls first.  We kicked LA Galaxy, 4-0.  Beckham was playing but he was not doing so great.  And the poor goalie probably went home and cried.  Exciting game and so much fun for the girls.

Today we go sailing.  Tomorrow I have a block party to attend then back to work on Wednesday.  I cannot imagine having this much fun leaving town.

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