Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Out and about in Charlotte

With the arrival of the warm weather I have been spending my lunches walking around the Queen City. My coworkers take their lunch inside the lab every day, not a working lunch either. I do not know how they do it when it is just so nice out.


I finally felt cool enough to get a coffee from Not Just Coffee which is located in the 6th Street Market. I was wearing a necklace with a bird on it and had my Timbuk2 with me so I fit right in with all the beards, plaid shirts buttoned to the neck, tattoos, and skinny jeans.


I also picked up some honey truffles from the BarCocoa kiosk to compliment my delicious iced pour over ultra hip coffee. Treats like these make the rest of my work day palatable.


I love the summer and spring is just a pleasant appetizer. Despite the fact that the City of Charlotte is cutting down trees right and left (see the once tree lined Trade St), the trees that are still standing are blooming in full force. I dig it. I dig getting out of the lab to feel the sun shining, see the city colored by the season, and smell all the blooming flowers.


And finally, once a year there is a big pro bike race uptown. It is a lot of fun to spectate but this year an ICE Racing teammate of mine qualified to race in the amateur shootout prior to the pro races. It was so much fun to watch him and the other racers careen through the town. I already can't wait for next year!


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Caturnalia: Protesting

Sometimes I think the cats protest my lifestyle. I am never home to give them all the lovin' they deserve.

They most definitely protest me getting out of bed, well unless they think they need to be fed. 

And they absolutely hate it when I get on the computer. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Traveling to New Orleans and back

I was really excited about taking a trip to New Orleans. I visited the city once when I was a kid but I remember nothing. Well that's not exactly true. I remember my brothers standing outside a bar type of establishment. Being the youngest and a big brother groupie I went over to see what they were staring at with the world's goofiest grins. When I arrived all smiles and giggles a scantily clad female started screaming and slammed the big wooden door in my sweet innocent face. And that, folks, sums up my only experience with New Orleans prior to this trip.

We packed up the car Friday morning and delayed leaving so we would miss traffic in Atlanta. News flash . . . you don't miss traffic in Atlanta. 10 hours is a lot of time to entertain yourself when you are stuck in a car. So what did I do? I took a lot of naps. Lots of little naps.

I ate of lot of snacks. I read some of my book. I watched James sing and try to dance. And I took pictures. Check out the video I made for a complete summary of the drive.

We arrived to New Orleans somewhat sane and that kind of tired only driving all day can make you. We only had one down day before the race and while James wrote in his blog "We did the usual pre-race stuff that isn't worth writing about" , I would argue the re-race activities completely made the trip.

First off, James made me a waffle.

My day could have ended right there but it didn't. We drove over to Audubon park and went for a short run before testing out the bikes. We returned to the Haycraft homestead where I got a chance to stretch out my wetsuit and take a little dip and swim in the endless pool. Swimming in an endless pool is a blast. Since you have to focus on staying in the one position and catching the flowing water (especially when the speed settings are with someone outside the pool), I really felt engaged while I was swimming. Most of the time I just tune out.

After we finished our pre-race workouts we took a little aerial and driving tour of the city.

Finally we headed over to the mandatory pro meeting. It. Was. Intense.

After the race I made James give me the grand tour. Beads still littered the trees, buildings, and power lines. While there were a lot of tourists in town it was hard to imagine the mayhem that took place just a few weeks before during Mardi Gras.

We walked through Bourbon Street and the French Quarter through a mass of street performers and fortune tellers. I wanted to get my fortune read until I noticed a fortune teller with a bad case of meth mouth. Hmmmmm moving on . . . I skipped getting my fortune read and grabbed a plate full of beignets and a large chickory coffee in the traditional "Au Lait" style. Delicious.

And that little meal there completed my weekend.