Yesterday All My Troubles Seemed So Far Away

That’s because yesterday I was in Puerto Vallarta. Sunny, cloudless skies, cool early mornings transforming to mid-80s by 10 am, beach, pool, good food and alone with my wife. 4 days 4 nights of heaven.  Came back during a snow storm to cold temperatures and a need to go to work today.

We stayed at a place called Dreams. It is an all-inclusive resort. Drinks food and most activities paid for up front. No money, no watch, no worries. Private beach, relatively quiet. A few kids, mostly young ones, the type that are cute and make you wish you had a little one again– until they dart toward the ocean or try to pet the iguanas. Then you watch the parents chase after them and you are glad to have a teenager who is at home instead.

The hard part is the near instant transition. One moment it is sunny and 85, then you walk onto this metal tube with the things sticking out the side, you read and nap for awhile and the next thing you know it is snowing and 28 degrees.

Now I long for yesterday!

Rain, Rain Go Away

When you leave the Midwest in December/January to vacation you want one of two thing, snow on mountains or sunshine at the beach. Notice that none of the choices is rain.

We went for sun and beach. In Hawaii. After flying all day Friday– left the house at 4 am and arrived at our hotel at 7 pm (11pm central) –we arrived in Maui. Total amount of sunshine over the next 3 days—2 hours. Lots of clouds and intermittent rain. We did the best we could. Walked on the beach the first two mornings, read lying in beach chairs in our bathing suits (after all it was in the upper 70s), did some very cool snorkeling and drove up to the top of a volcano.

Today is a travel day so the fact that a steady downpour greeted us from the time we awoke does not spell disaster. Just minor inconvenience. The 10 seat island hopper was not sure if it was going to fly. That meant booking a later and more expensive flight we expect to take us to the Big Island.

Five real vacation days and a long day of travel remain. We are praying to the weather gods that the Big Island will be deluged with sunshine. Normally I do not ask people to waste god chits that could be used toward world peace or a cure for cancer but if you have some extra pull with your deity a little prayer donation for sunshine at Kona, Big Island, Hawaii, USA would be very much appreciated.

Miles To Go

With less than two months and about 8 training days to go before my second attempt to complete my first century ride I am hopeful but not overconfident. I have been riding 50+ miles for each of the past 4 weekends.

These last two were beyond perfection for biking. Temps in the upper seventies with sunshine and a mild wind. I have ridden 62 and 56 miles respectively over these last 2 weekends.

This past Sunday in need of something to refresh my riding spirit I took the southern route for the first time this season. This takes me along the lake through Lincoln Park, past Oak Street Beach and the museum campus to the south side of Chicago. This is a gorgeous ride through park and lakefront. The only downside is that the stretch through Lincoln Park and Oak Street Beach is the heart of yuppieville. Having once been one, it is not yuppiedom itself I have distain for but for the total self absorption of the people running, roller blading, walking and walking dogs–typically without a leash. This stretch of park has both a 2 lane bike path and a running path and yet people need to run/walk side-by-side or suddenly change direction without looking to see who may be about to run them over. It can be nerve racking which takes away from the zen of riding in such attractive scenery. However, Sunday was my lucky day. The people traffic was light and I sailed through to my favorite riding spot in Chicago.

The ride from just south of the museums to 70th street is paved path with a tenth of the people inhabiting the north side. You view the bright blue water of the lake punctuated occasionally by beachfront or stylish old buildings. Round trip is 16 miles of biking bliss. At the south end is the South Shore Country club. I do not know a good golf course when I see one but I do know that just past the entrance is a beautiful flower garden. A great place for a short rest and rehydration.

Days like this make the days filled with work and airports worthwhile.

I Am A Junkie


Beginning last November I developed some strange behaviors.  At times I get anxious and my palms begin to sweat. I cannot focus on the task at hand as my mind wonders. I experience moments of either euphoria or deep depression. I crave a fix. It started out as an occasional desire but more recently I need it several times a day– sometimes even several times an hour. I’M HOOKED!

I have become a blog stats/comments junkie.  I live or die depending on how many people have read me today and whether someone cared enough to say something in return.

Clarity of my condition became crystal this morning. I have been on the road with little time to access 48Facets. Definitely no time and even less energy to write a new post. Woke up late on a Saturday knowing that I had to write something to feed my modest readership before they left for good. But I was empty. I was ready to write about how empty I felt. But then my magic drug was there waiting for me. Totally unexpected and out of nowhere Pax brought me back to life with a comment on my last post. Someone in cyberspace had reached out and touched me. (Is it O.K. to use an old telephone company ad line in a 21st century on-line experience?)

Now the sun is shining and the day looks beautiful. Unfortunately this will only last until I need my next fix and someone has administered the drug.

Sunny Day=Sunny Attitude

I am sure that there are many scientific studies of the impact of sunshine on a person’s attitudes toward life.  I am someone who takes interest in reading those studies when they present themselves. However, I will rarely seek them out. Especially when the correlation is easy to observe.

The weather in Chicago has literally been hot and cold. Certainly on consecutive weeks sometimes on consecutive days. Today was sunny and in the 80s. People were on the streets, the lines at the ice cream stores went out the doors and smiles abounded.

Chicago is beautiful, for a city, on days like these. You can’t help but be happy.