Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Here's a quick day-by-day recap of our vacation - no pictures yet, but will post those soon!

Friday - July 9
We left Cary around noon - much later than planned but we had a bunch of stuff to take care of and also didn't want to kill ourselves trying to get out of town. About 30min into our drive Marty turns to me and says, "Do you have Beth's key?" Cue stomach drop. We were planning on stopping in Pittsburgh Friday night on our way to Buffalo and Beth & Oscar had so kindly agreed to let us stay at their house -- EVEN THOUGH THEY WOULDN'T EVEN BE THERE! We weren't that far away so turned around and went back home so I could retrieve their house key. Added an extra hour overall, but the drive up there is really quite beautiful so no worries. Until we got to downtown Pittsburgh where we were supposed to take some bridge that was closed - we didn't know this until we got right to the exit and then we had a nice little tour of downtown (insert heavy sarcasm) trying to figure out where the detour was. The GPS was of no help by this point and we both ended up just yelling at her a lot until we shut her off :) We did finally make our way onto the correct road, albeit very late and promptly fell immediately into the Shutt's guest room bed where we slept like logs.

Saturday - July 10
We ran along a river path that Beth had recommended Saturday morning and got in a good tempoish-long run before stuffing our faces at an Eat 'N Park. Then we hit the road again to drive to Buffalo. Here's where it got ugly - see we weren't doing the entire bike tour which would start in Buffalo and finish in Albany. They had a shuttle for people who needed to park their cars in Albany; but we were stopping early and needed to park our car in that town (Rome, NY). This meant that once we got to Buffalo (around 3 or 4), we would need to rent a car, and drove both cars to Rome (250 miles one way) drop our car there, and then drive the rental car back to Buffalo. We got back to Buffalo very late on Saturday night and stayed at a super skeevy hotel. It was at this point where I decided that Marty was never planning our vacations ever ever ever again. He redeemed himself, though in the coming days.

Sunday - July 11
This tour had something like 500 participants of all shapes and sizes and on all shapes and sizes of bicycles. Most were on hybrids, there were quite a few tandems, several recumbents, even recumbent tandems, and there were also quite a few road bikes out there. I was one of the few on a true mountain bike. We got to the starting point which was some small college where most had camped the night before, and ate the breakfast that was cooked for us. We had one last logistical issue where Marty had to drop the rental car back off and then ride his bike to the start, but everything was in a few miles of where we were staying so it worked out - we just ended up being the absolute last people to start. Today's ride was from Buffalo to Medina (which was a very small town). It was about half and half on paved trail and crushed gravel trail. This is where the fun started happening and I began to forgive Marty for all the travel we had to do to get up there.

Monday - July 12
Today's ride was from Medina to Pittsford, and mostly on the canal trail. It was 55 miles or so and about 45 miles into it we stopped at an outdoor LCM pool that was free to the cyclists. It was a beautiful day and although I felt pretty slothful in the water, the entire ride and swim were wonderful. Pittsford was a super cute town and we stayed in an awesome bed & breakfast right on the canal. Incidentally, Mary Eggers lives here, but unfortunately I wasn't able to meet her in person.

Tuesday - July 13
We rode 60+ miles from Pittsford to Senecca Falls - finishing on the road with some hills. Marty and I had a very nice lunch break in the tiny town of Lyons and then decided to hammer the last 25 miles in - we got moving on our big bikes! Senecca Falls was another nice town and Marty surprised me once again with a very plush hotel in their downtown area.

Wednesday - July 14
Senecca Falls to Syracuse today, with another outdoor LCM pool at the finish. Marty was a little more motivated than me in the water today but a little bit of splashing around counts, right? We stayed in downtown Syracuse this night and it was really quite nice! Too bad it snows 120 inches in the winter because the downtown was very fun. Every other place seemed to be an Irish bar and they had lots of shops and restaurants in the area (Armory Square). We stayed at ANOTHER swanky hotel and I couldn't get over the shower that had one of those giant rainfall shower heads hanging from the ceiling, as well as 3 other shower heads that came out of the wall.

Thursday - July 15
Syracuse to Rome. Rome is where MTV had their Woodstock in 1999, in case you were wondering. This is where we had parked our car and it was weird to finally have another form of transportation besides our bikes and a backpack (the company transported all of our luggage town to town, but since we stayed in hotels we had to get from the campsite to our hotel with whatever we needed - this meant we had to be a bit flexible and carry one backpack each with what we needed for the night and next morning before we headed out each morning).

Friday - July 16
We were originally going to ride a portion of the ride this morning and turnaround at some point, but decided against it as my glute had really started to bother me the last few days. Turns out, sitting on a mountain bike for lots of miles is quite a different position than my tri bike so it needed a rest. Instead we went to a local park for a run and then got into the car to drive to The Big Apple. It also started storming after our run so it turned out to be a good decision to skip the ride that day. We got into NYC without too many delays and stayed in another swanky hotel right next Central Park - it was even a suite! Yes, Marty had more than made up for the beginning of the week and has vacation planning privileges again :) We took a cab (very nice cabbie) to Battery Park, walked around the financial district, Fulton square, then took another cab (another nice, very talkative cabbie) to Times Square before getting some dinner and heading back to the hotel.

Saturday - July 17
We woke up and went for a run through Central Park - it was packed! With runners, cyclists, people preparing for the NYC tri the next day, rollerbladers, some dude that was on an outdoor moving elliptical, and other people on moon shoes. And that does not even factor in the 4 mile road race they were having at 9am that had a 10,000 people! We didn't do the race because we were meeting one of Marty's former clients for swim. After that we had a great breakfast then got back in the car to head down to South Jersey - 112 miles, several detours and 4 hours later (!!) we made it into Ocean City. Just in time to relax for a bit at our b&b before heading to the beach for a 1 mile open water race. The current was ripping and the 450 competitors all had very fast times. I came in at 21:26 and 2nd in my age group. After the race we hung out with some of Marty's old buddies where I got to hear about all their lifeguard stories for the two-hundredth time ;)

Sunday - July 18
We ran on the boardwalk in very hot and humid conditions, hung out at the beach, got some italian ice on the boardwalk and made it to a barbecue. Hung out some more later on with friends and then back to the b&b for our last night of vacation.

Monday - July 19
Although it's a long trip home, we enjoyed ourselves on the Cape May Ferry, and then made a quick stop at my sister's house in Virginia before finally getting home. Pictures to come!


Beth said...

Let me guess...the 31st bridge...ARGHHH!!! Just the other day I drove over that stupid thing only to realize (even though I already knew it) that it was closed! Double ARGHHH!! Anyway, I hope Eat'n Park made up for it - a Pittsburgh icon! :) I'm glad you stopped!!

Sounds like an AWESOME vacation. Marty gets an A+ for planning (after actually getting started that is :). Can't wait to see the pictures!

Now, wonder where I can get a pair of those moon shoes... ;)

ojs said...

So yinz gawt lawst in dahn-tahn Picksburg and went to Eat'n Park for supper n'at.

Sounds like you're an official Pittsburgh-er.

Also, what an awesome trip. I was wondering the logistics of cars and lodging.

See you this weekend!

The Tylers said...

That made me tired just reading it!! Good for y'all, I am so impressed!!