1st September 2008
Thanks to a surprise in Samford’s academic calendar, Brian had today off! It’s never been a school holiday, but this year his students swore there was no class, and Brian was excited to find they were right. There is always a big cycling race in Atlanta that he’s never been able to do… so within minutes, he was registered :) His parents stayed with the kids, giving us a kid-free getaway! Sweet!
On the trip over, we saw lots and lots of Louisiana cars heading to Atlanta, and our hotel had many LA cars in the parking lot. We stayed in a very nice Doubletree hotel (the bed was absolutely heavenly… like sleeping on a cloud!). Last night we were busy picking up race numbers, driving the race course, and checking in, so it was a late night. Brian was up super early, for the 7:15am start. Thankfully he could ride the short distance to the start, so I stayed in the cozy bed for an extra hour or so, before heading out to the race course.
There were 11 laps, and Brian made it an EXCITING RACE. He was in a break with 2 other riders, and they had 40 seconds to 1-minute gap. I was so excited! This was a HUGE race, with lots of top pros, and the payout was $20,000 over 35 places. I could hardly sit still in the 12 minutes between each 5-mile lap. The break did eventually get pulled back to the main field, unfortunately, but Brian did win $100 in a prime while they were out front. The sprint was downhill and crazy fast, with 100 riders jockeying for position, and spinning as fast as their legs could go… probably hitting 50-55mph into the finish. Brian ended up 41st. Still, it was so exciting and fun to see him be such a big part of the race. Here’s a link to a good picture on Velonews.com, a well-known cycling news site. (Brian was hoping the caption would have been more telling, with something like, “A look at the day’s most promising break”, as what’s written sure doesn’t capture the excitement!). Brian’s written a detailed report on his blog.
We were able to go back to the room to shower and relax before checkout. Of course, then we had to make our obligatory Trader Joe’s stop, since we were withint 50 miles of my favorite store :) Highlights in my shopping cart…
- Gyoza Chicken Potstickers (great quick dinner tonight, and though they were good, we have been spoiled by tasting Corrie‘s homemade ones!)
- whole wheat and tabbouli salad (greek with bulgar, parsley, tomatoes, onions and cucumbers… a treat for me)
- TJ’s Mocha and Chocolate yogurt (!!!! Can’t wait to try it! We CANNOT like this too much, because it’s nearly impossible to bring cold stuff back with us, like if we’re at TJs in Chicago.)
- Vegetable Root Chips – very colorful, and I thought they were tasty. Sweet potoes, parsnips, batara (?) and something else.
- Vanilla paste – I love this. One of my favorite baking essentials. Only at TJs.
- Freeze dried strawberries. A favorite snack of the kids.
Then we had a nice quiet lunch at Joe’s Crab Shack (we didn’t plan the Joe-theme!). We were home by 4pm, and it’s amazing how sweet and cute my kids are after less than 24 hours away! What a treat to have such a nice spontaneous getaway!