After being out of town almost every weekend in February, Hitomi and I have been at home during the weekends of March.
Yesterday was an unseasonably warm day, the First Day of Spring. I had spent Friday night (until 2AM) at Ian's place playing Magic which made for a lazy day. Instead of cycling, we decided on kayaking for the afternoon.
I kayak so infrequently these days that I found myself fairly stiff. But I was steadily paddling throughout the afternoon. We launched at "Good Turn Park" under I-5 and went around Lake Union, paddling first into a wind and then in front of it. The high temperature brought out the smell of cherry blossoms and earth but then there were plenty of motorists out filling the air with the stench of diesel and gasoline.
It was nearing 3PM and a little late for lunch, but then again so was our breakfast. On Foster Island we sat in the grass and we shucked Kumamoto oysters, drank beer, and smeared soft cheese on crackers. And then we napped in the low but warm sun.
Returning home, Kevin and Stacy invited us both out to Chinese and we ate at Chiang's Chinese Restaurant. The place is always packed on weekend nights, with tables full of families but we managed to secure a booth off in the corner where we could converse in peace. We ordered three dishes, and they arrived every 10-15 minutes or so after each other. It made for a long meal where we could talk about Hitomi and my plans for Norway.
Bicycle trips all have their logistical challenges: Dealing with getting to and from the airport, trains, taxis, bus assembly, and the like. Once you're on the saddle, it all is quite straightforward.
We were at Bike Expo last weekend. We were there Saturday morning to watch the Artistic Cycling demonstration and filled up the rest of the time visiting the many booths. There are so many fund-raising (and commercial) rides that it's quite competitive. The Lion's Club or Rotary Club are very eager for you to visit, say, Eastern Oregon: Old men and women who probably haven't ridden for years are aggressively handing out pamphlets for their event. And there are plenty of boutique and mainstream companies peddling their wares. A large showing for city bicycles almost seemed to dwarf the typical wanna-be racer offerings.
I snagged a Bicycle Adventures catalog that was 60-70% rides in the Northwest. A week's worth of riding is about $2-3000 per person. Which makes cycling on your own seem quite affordable. (And it makes me feel quite blessed to be a cyclist in the Northwest.) Still, as I was just done saying, travel on your own can be quite stressful so I can understand why affluent folk go with package tours.