Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Retrospective Summer 2013 Post: June/July

Oh blog, oh blog, where have I been?  Are you hungry?  Thirsty?  Do you need a hug?  A binge-post?

It has been an enjoyably full summer.  In June, I flew to Washington, DC, where I ended up staying with my sister, my cuter-than-a-bug-in-a-rug 4-month-old (now 6!) niece, my sister's husband, and the family pooch.  This was not part of the original itinerary for the trip (see previous posts regarding WGIAC), but a blessing to be able to spend 1.5 weeks with my sister, whom I see maybe once or twice a year these days.  We also spent an afternoon visiting with WGIAC, who adored my niece and is picking up Honduran Spanish in his new (safer) neighborhood with rapidity.  I attended various Air Force retirement functions, met an Olympic medalist, ran the perimeter of Joint Base Andrews in 80+ degree (F) temps, did my annual "cute dresses and other things I don't really need" shopping with my sister, and tried to not coo at my niece too much. 

From Washington, DC, I flew to New York City to meet Ed in Brooklyn.  I spent my first trip to New York since age 11 months in the fogginess of a head cold.  After two sleepless nights in a sweltering AirBnB apartment in Brooklyn, we opted to use hotel points and transfer to a hotel near Times Square... it was quieter there.  We did much walking around the usual suspects of Manhattan (see below), but also visited a few friends who showed us around the hidden corners of the island.  We dined well and memorably:  Momofuku Ko and Katz's Deli, in particular.  Sadly, little running was to be had, but I did enjoy a brief stint in the hotel weight room (with A/C).

From New York City, we flew Southwest Airlines to Chicago, still milking Ed's companion pass for all it's worth.   Visiting Chicago for a summer week was infinitely more enjoyable than living there, I discovered.  We stayed with friends in Wicker Park, a neighborhood neither of us had thoroughly explored during the time we'd lived in Chicago (two years for me, three for Ed/seven if you include college in Evanston).  We visited our favorite eateries, drank many ounces of cold-brewed coffee, visited old workplaces and many friends, scored cheap tickets to Broadway's The Book of Mormon, and spent nearly every day sweating in the company of our favorite Lakeview fitness yuppies at CrossFit Defined.  We had such a good week in Chicago, in fact, that I neglected to take any photos.  My good friend from college, Ali, even drove down from Madison for two days!  That was Chicago.

Not yet tired of living from our duffel bags, we flew next to Seattle, which was predictably whimsical in its weather.  Mostly, though, it was lovely, and I finally picked up the running again... accepting with resistance how few hills my legs have climbed in the past couple of years... and validating my suspicion that running was the primary reason for the annoying pain in my right piriformis, which I'd been dealing with since moving to Amsterdam.  Again saw many friends, biked out to Potlatch, panted awkwardly through a swim in Green Lake with my college friend Kate, had a sleepover with my graduate school friend Sonja, did a requisite speedy loop around the outer path at Green Lake, viewed the 4th of July fireworks and a blazing boatyard from atop Queen Anne, and, yes, ate very well.  Again, too much fun, too few photos.

While Ed returned to Amsterdam from Seattle, there remained yet one leg further to my journey:  My 10-year high school reunion in Colfax, WA.  What's a trip to Colfax without a spontaneous shotgun wedding in Idaho (because it's cheaper and the judge is available)?  So, I witnessed a wedding, too, which was pretty special.  

The reunion itself was sparsely populated with actual 2003 Colfax High School graduates, but those in attendance made the trip worthwhile.  Colfax always entails running, this time on both old favorites and a new route early in the morning with my coach from high school.  The Palouse is always beautiful, but especially so on the cusp of harvest season.

 After all that, which tallied to four major cities and one small town, three time zones, and five weeks, I made it back to Amsterdam on July 17... and Lo!  It was summer in Holland.  And my ability to understand/speak Dutch had gone the way of my unwatered hydrangea plant and my fitness...  I had several self-dug holes out of which to climb.

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