Life After it's Planned
FACE AIDS Ride Against AIDS 2010 Blog
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Thursday, August 19, 2010
Rolled out as a pack of 7 at 8:30 am. 52 miles to destination. It was a fun, exciting ride. Of course we couldn't finish out the ride without a few more flats though. Brought back memories. The 7 of us all in our FACE AIDS jerseys definitely made a statement riding through towns and into Boston.
We found the Entering Boston sign and found our way to the meeting place - a boathouse on The Charles. There we met up with a bunch of Partners in Health employees and Claire's dad and brother. We finished up the last 7ish miles with a huge pack. From there we all made our way to The Boston Harbor so we could finally dip our front tires in the Atlantic. Something we've all been waiting for.
This was a riot. We found our way down to a dock and all dipped our tires, drenched ourselves in champagne, and jumped into the Atlantic. I can honestly say that this was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I can not even describe in words how exciting and how fun it was to have all of us out on the dock finishing off the ride with a bang. We definitely also drew a crowd and word got around about our ride. On our way out we got a number of high fives and appreciative remarks from the people around the harbor. That was also very cool, beyond description.
All smelling like cocktails and dripping wet with salt water, we headed to lunch at Dick's Last Resort. Then we showered up and had a great BBQ and get-together with more Partners in Health staff and friends and family. It is so great to hear how much the ride means to others as well as to us. Wonderful, wonderful, indescribable day and night.
Looking back, I literally can not believe the journey we have been on the last 67 days. It truly was an experience of a lifetime.
Now I have a couple days in Boston with Jay, former teammate, before I "become a real person" according to the group (aka I'm done with school and will be getting a job). To top off a great night, guess what was waiting for me in the passenger seat? You guessed it - half a dozen cupcakes from Kick*ss Cupcakes.
More pictures and videos to come, the camera is still being stubborn..
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
We got a very late start today, leaving Old Lyme around 2. It was like pulling teeth to get us all out the door. We had 70 miles to Providence, RI. The hills just kept on coming too - the knees were taking a beating. Downed a bunch of Advil and kept trucking, there's no way I wouldn't finish the last 2 days.
We pulled into Providence around 7 and cleaned up quickly to head out for our last team dinner together. We had an amazing time at a Hibachi restaurant called Shark. We reminisced, talked about all the inside jokes, the ridiculous things we had gotten ourselves into and out of, and predictions of what would come after the ride. Tonight was one of the most fun nights we have all had together and will definitely be remembered.
I can not believe tomorrow is our last day, what a journey it has been.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
We left with a "Cheerio" and a motivational, admiration speech from the Stearn's Grandpa. We had about an 80 mile day into Old Lyme, CT which consisted of 95 steps in the Google map walking directions, which is our normal routing. Needless to say, it was a flashback to the first day and we obviously got lost a few times. We just kinda had to laugh and kept wandering around, trying to get back on track. Luckily we actually were in a big group today, so it was pretty humorous.
We wandered around Yale's campus as well in New Haven on our way. The final destination was definitely worth the day's struggle as we pulled up to an amazing farm house in the woods of Old Lyme. We had an awesome dinner and enjoyed wonderful conversation again. We're being hosted by one of the guys' crew teammates and his family so we were blessed with some more crew stories. One of his cousins is also just ending a cross-country bike trip to fight cancer. He's dipping his tire in the Pacific tomorrow as they started in Maryland and will be finishing up in Seattle. I'm still pretty surprised by how many people we've run into along the way that are either biking a trip like ours, have done it in the past, or know someone who is or has had a similar adventure.
I also had the chance to finally test out an erg machine. I'm pretty uncoordinated with it and it'll probably stay that way. On to Providence, Rhode Island tomorrow. I can not believe we are so close to being done.
Almost forgot...I also woke up to this amazing surprise. A bag from Crumbs, with another cupcake inside.
Monday, August 16, 2010
We switched houses and hosts in Greenwich today. The day started off with a humorous mistake of pulling into the wrong house. Good thing we didn't start unloading quite before we realized this was not the house we were supposed to be at.
After we did find the correct house, we were welcomed with an amazing lunch spread and went on a short driving tour of The Avenue. We also saw The Boys and Girls Club where Lebron made The Decision. I took quite the bum day of a rest day, while a couple of the others went back into NYC. I spent a majority of the day hanging around with the family and reading an entire book. The dog, Lilly, had the most personality I've ever seen in a dog. She was quite entertaining.
Mike gave another magic show after dinner and left everyone flabbergasted again. Not much to report, but an enjoyable, actually relaxing rest day.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I was shocked once again as the group hit the road by 7:15 am. Today was my LAST driving day!!!!! It was kinda a bummer not to be able to ride out of the city, especially since there was hardly any traffic that early on a Sunday morning, but oh well. We made it to Greenwich, CT in time to join our hosts for their church service which allowed us to talk with a ton of people. A reporter for one of the local papers also met us to do a little bit of interviewing and take a few pictures to showcase the ride.
After church we had a great lunch with some of the family's friends and then headed back to the house, which was on the ocean to regroup. I grabbed my book and took a nice nap on the hammock, just my style. Then we talked with the Kings for a while about their travels and work in Rwanda. It was great to meet Leslie especially, as she is a board member for Partners in Health and has been able to work closely with Dr. Paul Farmer and other Partners in Health members. She even was given the Mountains Beyond Mountains manuscript as a gift by Tracy Kidder. That was very, very cool to look at and go through.
Even though it was gloomy and drizzling we headed to The Point for a picnic and some games with more family friends. Our time with this family and all their friends was amazing.
Friday, August 13, 2010
The cold I've been trying to fight off unfortunately finally settled in, so I spent a good chunk of the morning just relaxing. My options for the day really only consisted of entire day endeavors, such as the Statue of Liberty so I decided I'd just hang around and wander after I recouped a bit. Good thing I didn't attempt the Statue of Liberty trip, Zane went and quickly realized it was not going to happen considering the line was 6 hours long. Yikes.
When I finally did get out of the apartment I wandered around town and through Central Park a bit more with Magnolia Bakery as my destination. There have to literally be about a million nail salons and Dunkin Donuts-Baskin Robins combos. And I love that there were fruit stands on almost every corner.
I ran into this store with my life motto across the entire store front: Workout to Eat...
I tested out some New York style pizza as well, which was really good. I did finally make it to the bakery and then headed to meet the group for dinner. As I was walking back through Central Park I even got invited to join some guys as their date to a wedding. Haha, very funny. Dinner was obviously more important though, so I trekked on to our Italian restaurant to join both Claire and Jason's families and the rest of the group. After dinner I walked back on 5th Ave and enjoyed the never ending street of stores.
Unfortunately I never made it to Hoboken, NJ to Carlos' Bakery (Cake Boss), but I hear from Wally who tried to order me a cake that they've become a bit too famous and busy to deal with our small orders. Oh well, we'll have to save that trip for another time and a bigger occasion.