melaniesuzanne: (Me at SPWF2014 (by John T Riley))




April: IT FINALLY STOPPED SNOWING! Praise Jesus, God, Buddha, Allah, Steve the Galactic Fruitbat, and His Noodlyness combined.

Saw Lewis Black with the beau in D.C. We laughed until we cried and then took a moonlit stroll under the cherry blossoms around the tidal basin. Tres romantique. Was introduced to Bon Chon Chicken and OMG YUM. (And now I've given myself a craving for their soy garlic potstickers.)

I strolled with friends in pseudo-Victorian finery at the US Botantic Gardens and was accosted by a photo-seeking Harry Potter.
    victorian with HP
[livejournal.com profile] pirategirleee and I attended AwesomeCon in DC and I debuted my very first cosplay: Fionna the Human. We had a blast wandering the vendor floor, seeing great cosplays, and meeting Maurice LaMarche (who signed my "Pinky and the Brain" DVD set) and Rob Paulsen (whose autograph line closed before I could get his signature). We saw Billie Piper and Cary Elwes from a LOOOONG way off and I walked by Sean Astin and PG saw Lou Ferrigno pass us. So many people wanted pictures with me, but my absolute favorite photo request was from a tiny Princess Bubblegum who tugged on my backpack to get my attention.

I because a fully-fledged divorcee on the 21st. Whoo hoo!
    AwesomeCon
   
May: STEAMPUNK WORLD'S FAIR, y'all. OMG, that was so much fun. I devoted an an entire entry to that event.

Went to the beach with my best girls for Memorial Day Weekend. Our condo was in this bizarre wooden building covered with staircases and was five or six stories tall, but the condos were at all different levels, so you couldn't really tell. We called it Hogsmeade-upon-the-sea.
    hogsmeade on the beach
 
While on the Outer Banks, I ticked an entry off my post-weight loss bucket list: hang-gliding! That was EXHILARATING! I whooped and hollered and laughed my fool head off. Bonus: I stuck all my landings.

On the last weekend of May, the beau and I joined several thousand of our closest friends to ride around DC in the New Belgium Brewing Tour de Fat around Yards Park. After riding our bikes around the Navy Yard and Capitol Hill areas, we chilled with pizza and beer. The beau even rode some of the experimental bikes like the one with sneakers on spokes for wheels. A good time was had by all.
    hanggliding
   
June: Local photographer friends held a Cosplay Photography day at their gorgeous Victorian-era home in early June. The beau and I donned our Victorian finery and our Adventure Time duds for lots of hijinks and shenanigans. This experience confirmed my suspicions that I have a face for comedy, not drama. Ah well, that's better than having a face for radio.     flower
I attended a Verizon Women in Leadership conference in New Jersey and had the most miserable business travel experience of my entire life. Yes, I could've driven (I would have needed a rental car per company policy due to the distance), but on paper it looked like flying would be easier. Ha ha. Due to terrible weather, my 8pm flight was delayed for over four hours and then I got lost during what should have been a half-hour drive from the airport to the hotel because my phone chose to crap out. I got about three hours of sleep before the conference. Thank goodness the trip back to Dulles was smooth.

I had a surprise waiting for me when I got back to work: a promotion and raise to reflect my increased workload and responsibilities. WHOO HOO!

The beau's dad and stepmother live on one of Reston's lakes and we spent a peaceful evening cruising about and grilling steaks on their pontoon. This was the most time I'd spent with his folks and they are truly wonderful people.
  
melaniesuzanne: (Kermit on a bike)
Hubbyfink and I participated in the Great Pumpkin Ride in Warrenton, VA, today. We rode the quarter century route and I wore the Creepy Pumpkin jersey from Scudo Sports Wear.

Rose and I are ready for the ride

Highlights of the ride
- The beautifully and deliciously stocked rest stop at mile 14. I did not try the pumpkin soup, but everything I did try was super yummy.
- The gorgeous fall foliage. We rode on a few back roads with little to no traffic and it felt like we were deep in the woods.
- Well-marked route with arrows painted on the roadways as we approached intersections with turns.
- Cheering on another woman rider as she and I struggled up some of the hills. Our husbands pedaled up those hills and patiently waited (and caught their breaths) as we crawled up together.
- All the comments about my jersey from other riders and photographers. It was a hit and many riders told me how happy it made them to see the jack-o-lanterns.

Lowlights of the ride
- Information on a website. There's a reason there's no link to the ride above; it doesn't have a website. No route info beyond route lengths and no rest stop info.
- SUPER hilly course. We were told that this year's quarter century route differed from last year's and was MUCH hillier.
- Nothing happening at the end of the ride. The ride was a big loop and we started/ended at the Trail Head parking lot. When we finished, only the registration pop-ups (unmanned, I should add) were present.
- Not being able to find the Bike Me DC meet up group so we could ride with them.
- The temperature. It was in the low 40s when we started and in the low 50s when we finished just after noon. I finally warmed up this evening.

Apparently, we were VERY spoiled by the Backroads Century and the celebratory atmosphere that event provided before and after the ride AND its full-of-information website. I suppose any ride is a good ride, but both Hubbyfink and I were disappointed with this event. I think we'll give it a pass next year.

Ride stats
Miles ridden: 24.87
Breaks taken: 1 at the wonderfully stocked rest stop and a couple more after hills
Hills walked: 3
Dead squirrels and raccoons spotted: 3
Travel time: 2h 10m

Something else, not entirely related to this particular ride, is that I have got to train myself out of being psyched out by hills. I can conquer a hill if I can see the end of it. But if it's a long incline or extremely steep, I give up and walk before I push myself too hard. A tiny bit is physical, yes, but mostly it's psychological. More training required.

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Mary F'ing Sunshine

August 2015

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