Christmas was one giant blur

So it’s been a while since I’ve written anything, mainly because our Christmas and New Year’s were insanely busy (and not at all because I’ve been balled up in the corner with my knees in my chest, rocking back and forth and sobbing like a child at the thought of turning 42 next week. Not even a little bit.) The past couple of weeks have basically been a blur – the usual flurry of toys, wrapping paper, and eggnog (and I’ll be the first to admit very little riding, though I did manage to get a couple of nice rides in here and there). It wasn’t really realistic to expect to stick to a training schedule during the holidays, so my goal was just to not do any irreparable harm. And to get a sweet new bike seat. Mission accomplished on both counts.  Here’s a short recap that is as much to help me remember what happened than anything else.

Christmas Eve and Day, aka Christmas 1

First off, Byron helped me pick out Mrs. Lo’s gift, a sweet two-wheeled ride of her own. It’s pink. Very pink. And if you are thinking that this was little more than a semi-transparent attempt to get the wife into biking and blind her slightly to my expenditures at Orange Cycle, shame on you. How dare you think that?

Ain't she purty?

Speaking of cycling, I’m still extremely chuffed about the most awesome gift that my family got me, a handmade wallet with an original design by local artist Seth Daniels at Imperial Wolf.

Zombie Cyclist. Seriously, how cool is that?

The boys were very excited about their gifts from Santa, though for at least one of them (I’ll let you guess which) making the nice list was a pretty near run thing this time. I shudder to think what will happen when the jolly fat man is no longer a go to “you better behave” threat.

Nobody should be this active at this hour of the morning, Christmas or no.

I kid you not, a Lionel Messi Barcelona shirt in a youth medium was the single hardest gift in the world to track down this year. Insane.

Another handful of dollars for the Angry Birds empire.

Christmas 2

Just as we were getting cleaned up from this madness, it was time to pack the car up and drive up to the Carolinas to celebrate with my family, a ritual the boys have dubbed Christmas 2. We had every intention of getting on the road early, but somehow managed to leave 2 hours late despite my best efforts to get everybody out the door. It was a pretty uneventful ride until we hit the Georgia/South Carolina border, where traffic bottlenecks every year for several miles thanks to my home state sporting one of the few 2 lane stretches of I-95 left on the East Coast. Oh, and I did I mention it’s also strewn with potholes? Way to represent, Carolina. Good first impression to make on visitors.

We eventually made it to Columbia and turned the kids loose with their cousin and grandmother for a few days, which they always enjoy. One of my favorite reasons for going to Columbia is my annual trip to Papa Jazz Records and their gloriously ramshackle vinyl stacks, where I managed to pick up a couple of sweet vinyl finds, including this one from Dave Brubek which was worth the $3 I paid for it for the cover alone.

One of the reasons why us old timers still dig the vinyl LP, kids. Sweet artwork like this.

After a quick trip back up to my hometown, Greenville, for a visit, it was time to make our way back to sunny Florida. The lads were fully loaded down with entertainment options, so we anticipated another uneventful ride back, even though we were going back through Atlanta and down I-75 this time (dum dum duuuhhhhh….ominous music foreshadowing later tragic events).

All hail the hypnotic power of portable media devices, at least for long car trips.

At this point the story took a turn for the annoying. What was supposed to be a relatively painless 8 1/2 drive turned into a 12 slog thanks to traffic, surly kids, and general mayhem. For someone like me who is claustrophobic to start with and hates being trapped in the car, it was pretty close to a slow descent into madness. Thanks to social media I documented our struggle, presented here in poorly edited graphic form (by the time of this first post we’d already been on the road for 2 and 1/2 hours):

The short story version of the Rastafarian drug dealer: We stopped in Gainesville to pop through a drive thru and get a drink and a snack for the road. There were a ton of cars backed up in the drive thru (which maybe should have been a clue), so I got out and ordered inside. On the way in I passed a comically stereotypical dread-locked gentlemen (bright rainbow garments, boombox, the whole nine yards) who asked me for a couple of dollars. I told him I didn’t have any cash (I really didn’t, I wasn’t being stingy) and moved on with out much thought. After waiting inside for 30 minutes for a coffee, a couple of sodas, a bottle of water and some fries, I headed out the same door and was stopped by my Rastafarian friend with an offer to sell me “a joint for the road.” I told him no thanks but did complement him on his current music selection, Al Green’s Greatest Hits. I don’t smoke pot but if I did I hope my dealer would have such excellent taste in panhandling/dealing tunes. Well done, sir.

So we finally did make it home, and I was excited to collect my holiday gift cards and head to Orange Cycle for some needed cycling gear, a new cold weather base layer and the above mentioned sweet new bike seat.

Ahhhhh....this provides some serious comfort where it counts.

Looking forward to a 40 plus mile ride on this beauty this weekend. Our Christmas and New Year’s were hectic, but lots of fun nonetheless. I hope you and yours enjoyed it as well and wish you a fantastic 2012.



Posted on January 5, 2012, in Cycling, The Dad Life and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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