Florida: The new California
Okay, well not really. But still, I can see why all the blue-haired folk flock here for retirement. It has the same great weather and beautiful beaches, without the same price tag. Rob's parents rented a beach house for the family for Christmas, so we've been here all week enjoying what has been a true vacation. Not the kind that leaves you feeling like you need another vacation afterwards. We are out on a peninsula called Alligator point, and the closest thing to us in civilization is a grocery store about 30 miles away. Now that's vacation. So here is what we've done while having nothing to do...
Overly elaborate sand castles...walks on the beach...
make fun of Amy's hairdo...all day long bike ride...1000 piece puzzle...
get destroyed at cards by Rob...strange competitions on the beach...collect seashells...
family runs (how cute, I know)...
In fact, the only "plan" we had for the whole week was going on a river tour to see alligators, manatees, and other cool wildlife. I felt like we were on the set of Tarzan - and as it turns out, this place actually was the set for Tarzan. For my California friends, it's just like going on "The Jungle Cruise" at Disneyland, except we didn't have to wait in line for two hours, our guide didn't have a script of lame jokes, and we didn't see a rhinoceros using its horn to chase some guy up a palm tree.
Florida: The new California
Who wrote that "Walking in Memphis" song? Man, that song sucks. Since I am on the internet, I am going to look it up...(answer: Marc Cohen). Why am I writing about Memphis...because it is a Christmas Miracle, we are stuck at the airport, in Memphis.
From these pictures, you can see what fun we are having on Christmas Eve. We are trying to fly to Tallahassee (I honestly don't know how you spell it, and I don't care, never was a big Florida State fan anyway) to spend Christmas with my family (for those out there who are confused and thought my family was in Utah, well yes, some of them are. But Andrea is a reporter for the CBS affiliate in Florida, and we are all going to visit her.) Anyway, we are stuck at the airport in Memphis. I'd never been to Tennessee before (what is with all of these places with multiple repeat letters?) but I have now been at the Memphis airport for a while. It is seriously awesome (as in it sucks). First we got on the plane, and then we sat there for a half hour and then we got off. Looks like the First Mate called in sick. That means we have to wait for another First Mate, or until the sick one gets better, which ever comes first. I was contemplating writing about how I hope the other guy is dying, but that isn't nice, so I won't. Anyway, at least they let us get off the plane, versus staying on while we wait for the First Mate replacement. If you look at picutre number too it says that our flight will be boarding at 3:45 (this factors in the initial hour-and-a-half delay). Well, right now it is 3:56 and we aren't boarding. While waiting in the lobby the stewardess for our flight sat down by us. Then she got up and asked us if we would watch her luggage. Here is a picture of us watching her bag.
Isn't that what they have a million announcements about not doing? We still said yes, and then contemplated telling on her and seeing what happens. In the end, we didn't. Maybe we will get a free drink on the plane? If we did, it would be a Christmas Miracle. No wait, actually leaving Memphis would be a Christmas Miracle.
P.S. The FIRST MATE JUST SHOWED UP! IT REALLY IS A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE.
Mike and Sara came to visit us in D.C. It was rad. This was Mike's present to himself for graduating from business school. As you can tell from this picture we had to drug Mike to be able to take him out in public. But it was still a fun trip. We went to Mount Vernon, Arlington National Cemetery, saw the monuments, the National Archives, the Air and Space Museum, and went to a Wizards game. In between we ate some good food, reminisced, and caught up on old times. For those that don't know, I think I met Mike when I was six years old. He likes to tell a story about me getting him in trouble in first grade for swearing. But isn't that how friendships start, by ratting someone out? Or maybe that is how you get killed by the mafia...anyway, it was a fun trip and we were very stoked that they came to visit us.
At the wizards game
At the capitol. Sorry, I couldn't figure out how to rotate the picture...lame, I know
Lorena and Sara at the Capitol. Again, picture rotation problems.
So it only took five months for us to get the art we purchased in Bali "stretched" onto a frame so we could hang it up in our house. The best part? Getting it stretched cost more then the picture! Oh well, we think it is cool. And now we can call our selves art collectors. This is our first piece. It's Balinese. It's a picture of ships on the water. It will look a lot better once we buy a house and paint the wall behind it. Until then, this is what you get...
Favorite Christmas Special
Although Charlie Brown's Christmas will always be my favorite, The Office (British) Christmas Special is a close second. If you have never watched the British version of The Office, then you are missing out on pure awesomeness like this...
This post is for a good friend of the Candrian blog, Garrett Snow. He was just promoted to Lieutenent in the US Naval Corps. Congrats G.
Guess the video posted below doesn't work. Here is a link instead: Adam Sandler's Turkey Song
Today I woke up thinking this:
"Turkey for me, turkey for you, let's eat Turkey from a big brown shoe."
So I had to hunt down my inspiration on the internet and share.
We lucked out here and got great weather for Thanksgiving this year and will be spending it the way every proper Thanksgiving Day should be spent - sleeping in, mountain biking, playing soccer, and going to our good friends' Tyson and Alicia's house to gorge ourselves on all their food. I don't know exactly how I've been able to dodge the bullet of cooking Thanksgiving dinner so far into adulthood, but every year we've been rescued. Oh, wait, come to think of it - I guess we did host Thanksgiving dinner once - but we BBQ'd steaks and and crab instead. It was the year when Rob convinced me, my entire family, and some friends to subscribe to his theory that "for Thanksgiving dinner, you should eat the food that you are most thankful for" - which we decided was steak and crab. I guess he was right - it was a dinner we were all thankful for. But I'm even more thankful to be invited to someone else's dinner. Thanks Ty and Ali!
The State of Sports in THE CITY
Where have you gone, Will Clark? A nation turns it's lonely eyes to you. As this blog points out, the Bay Area is having a bad run in the sports world. And this was before the Bonds indictment. I think it is karmanic (a word?) payback for all of the great years I enjoyed as a kid when the 49ers were dominating in football and the Giants and Warriors were half decent. For further information about how craptastic the Bay Area has been in Sports lately, see here (although fair warning: in trying to keep this blog family friendly they start the linked post with a word found in the bible, describing a place that is really hot.)
While we are on the topic of steroids and baseball - not to mention my random musings on life - I can't wait until they announce that Roger Clemens was on the juice. I dislike him very much.
And, while I forgot to comment about this when it was announced a few months ago - and no one except for me, my Dad, and Scott Briggs will even care - but how did Will Clark not get more votes for the Hall of Fame? That is unacceptable.
Finally, I was listening to the Dan Patrick radio show a few weeks ago and he was intervewing Tommy Lasorda. Is it just me, or should the combination of obesity and alcoholism have taken his life long ago?
I know most of the loyal readers to this blog did not serve in the Switzerland, Zurich Mission. But for those that did, or for those that have met my friend Richard Marshall, I'm sure we were all asking the same question. What is Marshall up to? Thanks to the wonders of the good ole intra-net we now know.
The biggest lesson that I've learned so far from this experience is this:
If you are driving a massive object with 20 kids packed into it, traveling quickly downhill, and you find yourself upon one of those yellow lights that has you questioning whether to hit the brakes or to speed through it... don't pick the braking option. Just don't. Trust me.
Cross country has kept me busier than usual lately, and I'm awful at remembering to take our camera with us places, which is why I haven't updated for a while. But then, yesterday I discovered that my school laptop has Photoshop on it. And now my lack of actual pictures problem is solved forevermore!
Rob's family visited last week so that they could go with Brittany to brief meeting with President Bush. She had to quit her job as one of his speech writers when she got married this summer, so this meeting was arranged so that he could thank her for her work.
They all thought it was pretty cool, but weren't allowed cameras inside the office. But that is not a problem. I've got it covered.
Rob and I are now playing in a soccer league together every week. It's a lot of fun to finally get to play with him, rather than just cheer on the sidelines. I love it! Although, I don't think my body is used to doing things other than biking anymore, because since I've started cross country and soccer, I have pulled my hamstring twice, pulled my groin, gotten an asthma attack (haven't had one in a decade), and injured my ankles. I think I'm aging.
My good friend Anna Kelso took me to a show at GW by Garrison Keillor, of "A Prairie Home Companion". Too be honest, I haven't listened to his radio show before, and I was a little worried when we walked into the autitorium and saw were the only people there who didn't qualify for the senior citizen discount, but I really enjoyed it. Having the old man on my right startle himself awake from his own snoring several times throughout the performance, the lady in front of me wearing one of those really great banana clips in her hair that girls wore in the 80's, smelling all sorts of bad old lady perfum,and listening to old people hack up their lungs throughout the performance just made it that much more of a night to remember. And Anna is just the type of friend you would find yourself with in such an out-of-the-ordinary situation having a great time. Thanks for taking me with you, Anna! Garrison Keillor has the most amazingly soothing barritone voice, and it got me thinking it would be nice to listen to him read me a bedtime story every night.
I thought he reminded me of someone, and now I know exactly who it is. Dwight Shroot, anyone?
So if you look to the right of this blog, you will notice a list of links. They are either Lorena's friends, family, or mutual friends of both of us. But there are no links from my friends. Why is this you ask (and yes, I do have some exclusive friends)? I have several theories, none of which are humorous enough to share on the blog. In any case, I am issuing all of my friends a challenge: Start a blog, losers. I know some of you have myspace pages, and that is soooo 2006. And don't get me started on facebook. At least make something up so I can post a link and not let Lorena dominate the ole' blogosphere. Thank you.
UPDATE: The Burts (Jason and Ashlee) have a blog. They are now on the links. My challenge still stands for the rest of you.
UPDATE II: Mike and Sara (and Max, not quite sure of his typing skills, though...) now have a blog. Holla!
UPDATE III: Scott and Sophie, welcome to the fun!
If this wasn't so incredibly hilarious, it might be a little amazing. I think my feelings regarding this are probably somewhat akin to how a competitive swimmer feels about synchronized swimming.
$25 Dining Cards for $10.
And it's legit - just read the terms (like minimum purchase of $35, gratuity, etc).
New York, New York!!!
Okay, it's a little late now, but here's a few pictures from our trip to NY.
Before the women's US Open final, we watched the wheelchair tennis finals going on in a court right outside the stadium. It was pretty amazing how well they could play from their seats.
Brittany and Brian
I haven't lost my fascination with the long-legged guys at carnivals. When I was a kid I used to think they were actually that tall. Plus, they didn't creep me out like the clowns. But I'm still afraid I'll knock em over if I get too close.
The US Open: Rob Candrian vs. Pat Cash
Rob decided to get his sister Brittany and her husband Brian tickets to the US Open tennis final for their wedding gift (a good excuse to get tickets for us also), so we headed out to NYC for the weekend. But we got a lot more than just the show down between Henin and Kuznetsova. There was an exhibition game afterwards with the retired pros Pat Cash and Todd Martin. So as soon as Henin won her trophy and many people left, we worked our way down from the very tip top seats in the stadium to the first row seats for the exhibition match. (I like to think I grabbed Donald Trump's seat, but who knows or cares.) Since it was retired pros, they probaby felt a little goofy about taking this game too seriously, so they alternated between competitive tennis and totally goofing off. The crowd joined in their comical antics with occasional jaunts (Come on, Venus can serve that fast!). After one error, Pat went over to a boy in the audience and handed him the racket to play for a point. After Todd and Pat resumed play and Todd hit the the ball out, Rob jaunted loudly "Come on, the boy could have done that!". (Even thought the stadium is huge, it is as silent as a library while they are playing - so any comments, even from afar, are heard crisp and clear by all in the entire stadium.) So Todd looks out amoung us to find who made the comment, looks at Rob and was basically like, "oh, yeah? Then let's see what you can do!". So Rob actually got to go out on to the stadium court (which is only used for a total of two weeks the entire year, solely for the US Open) and hit a few balls with these guys.
And leave it up to Rob - he missed both serves!
Luckily, I got it on video, so he can't refute that one. (Although while filming, I'd thought he made the shots.)
It's a little hard to tell what is going on - but notice that before Rob's serve, he decided to make fun of Maria Shirapova's serve, which got the crowd laughing. After he walks off, it's a little hard to tell, but some guy taunted "the kid was better!", and then Todd Martin makes fun of Rob by acting like he is failing a sobriety test - because he thinks that Rob is drunk for some reason. He joked a couple of times saying "make sure he doesn't get the keys to drive home." Anyway, we were just all stoked that Rob had the chance to hit a few balls on one of the most renowned tennis stadiums in the world (perhaps the biggest?).
Lorena, if she had been a beauty contestant...
I found this on another blog. It is funny. Unless you are part of the 20% of U.S. Americans that she is talking about...And, yes, that is A.C. Slater hosting.
A friend sent me a link to this article. I thought it was hilariously true... Plus if you try and read it with a British accent, then it's even funnier.
The Truth about Clubbing
Cambodia and Bali
Rob was stoked about getting to fly around the world...but to me all that means is the craziest jet-lag ever and watching way too many B-movies on the flight. Thankfully it was a cool enough trip to make it all worth it.
Okay, I think our pictures pretty much show it all, so I won't write more here.
Click on the picture below to see some of our photos I posted from Cambodia. Clicking on the photos on that site will show the caption and an enlarged photo.
And click on this picture to see more photos from Bali.
Oh, here are some comics strips I made (while waiting forever at the airport) of a few things we didn't get pictures of. My drawing skills may have reached their peak sometime around 2nd grade.
The first two captions are self explanatory - an illustration of the irony of a few of our shopping trips. The next two panels (can't figure out how to format it better) are more irony of Rob's words while we were getting hoarded by kids trying to sell us stuff at the temples.
This last one is of the monkey that almost made me jump to my death off the roof of the Angkor Wat temple, all so that Rob could get a picture of me next to it.
UTAH TRIP: July 2 - July 15
Rob and I had a great time visiting friends and family in Utah this July. I left a week before him for a reunion with all of my siblings. We really missed Mom and Dad, as well as Rob, Lisa, and Adam...but we didn't let that stop us from having a great time together. Our time together was spent with the usual Davis activities - lots of sports, fireworks by Pyro-Troy, game nights (including many rounds of mafia into the late night), hiking to Donut Falls, plenty of time in the pool, etc. Of course it wouldn't be a true family get together if someone didn't get sick, and I took my turn this year.
Click on this picture of to see all the photos in my album from the trip.
Davis Kids reunion
The next week was spent with Rob's family, busily preparing for his sister Brittany's wedding. She had a beautiful wedding and a gorgeous reception (despite the blazing heat - of course it was the record hot day for the year) in the garden center of Le Jardin. She and Brian were glowing with happiness. It was a really nice day. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of her wedding yet, or I would post some.
We also got to visit with some good friends....Kelly, Andrea and her cute daughter Kate, Mike, Sarah, and their cute boy Max, Scott Rice, another Scott (last name?), Craig, and Peter.
Another highlight of this trip for me was going mtn biking at Sundance resort in Provo. I love that place. It is where I did my first race ever and fell in love with mtn biking, so it was a lot of fun. The bad thing is that this is the day I started getting tendinitis in my knee...and now over a month later it still hasn't gone away. Cut my racing season short and I have to stay off my bike now. BUMMER! I brought my bike all the way out there and between getting sick the first week and my knee problem, didn't end up getting out to too many trails after all, and missed the races. I've yet to go a full race season without getting it cut off by an injury!
Around the World in 11 days!
Lorena and I just returned from our trip to Southeast Asia, complete with flights that took us around the world. We visited Lorena's parents in Cambodia, and then spent five days in Bali. It was an awesome trip. As soon as we find the right cord, we will try to post some pictures. I'm sure Lorena will write a better summary of the trip in the next few days.
I know where Lorena and I are going:
And I don't leave until the summer of 2009 so there is still time to come visit us in D.C.
Fitchburg Longsjo Classic Stage Race
Stage 3: Wachussett Mountain road race, 69mi
Uf! That was a killer stage. At the same time, it was also the most fun. I feel good about the fact that I pushed myself right up to my limits, wondering if I would make it to the finish before collapsing in exhaustion. But then I also can't help but kicking myself for not going with a 2-person break on about mile 15, that somehow lasted for the 54 miles to the finish line. I had even started to go with the girl who attacked, but then I thought she wouldn't be a strong enough breakaway partner (not on a big team, didn't know who she was) and that it would just be wasted energy when there were still SO many miles left to go. So I let myself drop back to the pack to get back into a protected draft. Anyway, I think that the big teams there raced really stupidly, because none of them really attempted to chase, and the break actually stayed for the remaining 54 miles to the finish. And all the big teams with girls in contest for the GC (general classification, overall win) lost their leads as a result of unintelligent racing. That's the cool thing about bike racing - if I had gone with that break, I would have placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd - but since I didn't, it came down to just pure ability on the final climb to the summit, which put me in at 22nd. It's cool that there are so many tactics playing out, that by putting yourself in the right move at the right time, sometimes you have the chance to beat people who are actually stronger. So I am bummed that I missed my chance to do that in this stage!
Well, it was a really fun race, nonetheless. I don't know why I get such a sick pleasure from the pain of climbing. It really hurt. It was about 6400 ft of climbing. But then you also get the fun descents to balance it out - we were going over 50 mph on the downhills - FUN!
Fitchburg Longsjo Classic Stage Race
Stage 2: 34mi Circuit Race
My favorite quote of the day: "That hill climb was really tough. On one lap, it almost made me cry." - from my favorite junior rider, Nathan, summing up the course.
Well, stage 2 was fairly uneventful. The most memorable moment for me was being the victim of a snot rocket at 30 mph from the rider in front of me. Seriously! But the good news is that I did much better than the time trial, placing 13th in this stage. The bad news is that it only moved me up 2 places in the GC (general classification). We dropped about 15 riders throughout the race, but unfortunately only two of them were ahead of me in the first place, and the rest of us got the same time for a pack finish.
Fitchburg Longsjo Classic Stage Race
Stage One: 10k Time Trial
Foiled! My grand plan to sweep every stage in the race: already foiled in stage 1. Okay, I know that is a pretty big stretch of the imagination, but still, I didn't exactly hope to come in 35th place either. Not a good way to start my first four day stage race. I haven't really practiced time trialling, and have only done one other time trial, over a year ago. And today I remembered why I haven't: they hurt, and they aren't much fun. It's like mountain bike racing, minus the fun. Basically, the winner is going to be not only the person with the most fitness, but the person who is best at staying focused and motivated to suffer the most. I guess I just didn't have that today. Good aero equipment definitely makes a difference too. I was a little jealous of the girls with the special aero TT bikes, funny looking aero helmets, disc wheels, long sleeve skinsuits, etc. But really - even the best equipment and mental state wouldn't have made up for the three minute gap between me and first place - fitness is still the biggest factor I needed more of.
My teammate Anna's plans were foiled also. So here we are, in our nasty smells-like-an-armpit (or dogfood, take your pick) Fitchburg State dorm room, making each other feel better.Okay, so regardless of the race....I'm actually having a really good time here. Since Anna and I are staying in freshman dorm rooms, we are having fun acting like giggly freshman girls again. And it's fun to stay in a place swarming with cyclists.
To the place, I belooooooooooooooong
West Virginia, mountain momma
Country roads, take me home.This song has been ringing through my head for several days now, since I started out my summer vacation this week with a trip to the mountains of West Virginia. This yellow barn (used to house pigs) was converted into living quarters a few years back, and is now a popular escape for DC cyclists. My team came here a couple months ago for a quick training camp, and I've been itching to return ever since. So I was stoked when I found out that I could squander away my first week of summer break with some friends who are even more obsessed with cycling than I am. I loved every minute of it! The barn is at the peak of the mountain, so every ride starts with a fast, fun descent and ends with a killer climb back to the top.