Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Guess that's what I get for trying something new, right?

Let me back up. Here in Philly dragon boating has a growing following and if you run a search in Google, you see a bunch of cities with their own dragon boat clubs. Philly is no exception. There are competitive teams that folks can join (and get up at the crack of dawn for practices - no thanks) and there are regattas where teams from different employers and groups get together, usually for charity, to compete. EPA has a team, so I decided what the hell, why not try it out. The first regatta is on June 7.

We had our first practice this afternoon after work. I don't know if it was smart or not, but I rode my bike up to the boathouse. Should have paid attention to the forecast that called for stronger winds. That 3+ mile ride took longer (and more energy) than I had expected. We then spent the next hour in the boat doing stroke drills and speed drills. To know when to put the paddle in the water, you need to watch the folks in front of you as well as the folks in the front that are setting the pace. Um, that was a bit of a problem for me since I'm so short and I was at the back of the boat. Still, I made do.

By the end, I was totally fading. We came around this little island in the middle of the Schuylkill and I was distracted by the nesting pair of swans in the trees. I tried to take a picture w/ my phone, but the camera isn't very good. I was toast by that point. After finishing up, and riding back home, it only 2 about 20 minutes for the pain to set in.

I stretched, but there was no way that would help. Oh, and it probably doesn't help that I did an arm workout last night at the gym. Duh. I did manage to take one picture w/ my phone. I was at the back of the boat so it's not much of a shot.

I found this picture online from one of the regattas last year. See the boat in the middle w/ the green t-shirts? Yup, that's our EPA team.

I will admit that the pain was worth it. It was so nice to be on the water. It reminded me of the canoe happy hours we used to do when I lived in DC. We'd rent canoes at Jack's Boathouse, load up w/ wine, cheese, etc. and paddle out to the Three Sisters islands in the Potomac and watch the sun set. It was such fun. I wish it was possible to do something like that here in Philly.

Now that I think of it, these are kind of like the boats we went on in Ketchikan after our jeep tour. Not that you can really see the boat, but it is the Tongass National Forest and a nice shot. ;-)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Why I love Philly

Aside from the fact that I can roll out of my apartment and have Kelly and West River Drive at my footstep, I love how small Philly is. I love that I am in a city (and 2 hours from NYC or DC) but most of all that I can walk down the street and run into folks I know. A few weeks ago I ran into a family friend on my way home from the gym. Today, I'm putzing around Target and run into a distant cousin of mine. How often does that happen to you in a big city?

On another note, I've been the total happy homemaker today (minus the cleaning and organizing aspect) and have spent the day cooking. Yup, you read that right. I hate to cook, especially when I get home at the end of the day. If I do get it together to buy stuff to cook, I usually am not in the mood for it by the time I'm ready to eat it. So, the fact that I am making two dishes -- chili and Mexican lasagna -- is pretty impressive. I usually cook every 1-2 months and put it in the freezer. I will say that I still have a ton of Yucatan chicken soup in my freezer from last fall. Just couldn't get into eating it b/c of the spice. Anyway, I now have food in my apartment. Like that will keep me from eating out all the time. Ha!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Of all the things I've lost . . .

. . . I miss my brain the most! I knew there was a reason why I bought that key chain. I really wish my brain would kick in sometimes.

I spent a great weekend w/ my family down in Florida. Iflew in Thursday night so I had 3 full days to relax in the sun. My weekend started out with a relaxing massage, 3 gorgeous days of walking along the water, 3 sun-filled days on the beach, time with the family, etc. (If you haven't noticed I was having fun w/ my cell phone on the beach)

Sadly, it ended with my brain taking a nice little hiatus. I showed up at the airport without my wallet! Yup, I somehow managed to leave it on the counter in the kitchen. Duh? In acutality, I did have my work ID, so I technically could have made it thru security; however, I didn't have any money to pay the cab fare home. Luckily, my mom had her cell phone on her and she and my dad rushed home (15 minutes away) to grab the wallet and meet me back at the departures area. I cut the security line and managed to get to the gate w/ 5 minutes to spare!

Now I'm home and wish I had one more day left at the beach.

On another note, my mom and grandmother always have the most beautiful flowers in their apartments (the benefits of living in Florida). The roses in my grandmother's apartment were just begging to be photographed and shared:

Aren't they beautiful?

While I was away, I also got a lot of knitting done. I made some headway on my first Monkey sock, did about 4 inches on Josephine, a pattern from last summer's Interweave Knits, and also worked on my tie-dye boxes sweater. My mom gave me the unfinished blanket she started for me 2 years ago with no plans of finishing it. I'm not sure where in the pattern she is, so I might have to rip it out and either redo it (yikes) or make something else w/ the yarn. We'll see. For now, I'm off to bed.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spring is in the air!

The cherry blossoms are in full bloom along the Schuylkill and everyone is out and about enjoying the weather. Couldn't resist breaking out my bike on such a gorgeous afternoon!