Nevermind the Car, where’s the Parking Garage?

Late for a meeting, I duck into the first parking garage I see with vacancies. Downtown is wretched for parking and I didn’t want to waste valuable time hunting for a spot closer to my destination.

Snapped a pic of the location pillar closest to Roo (my car), another at the elevator, and yet another of the sign about the floors of the garage.

When I finally reached the surface – underground parking is not my favorite thing and I had failed to comprehend that I hadn’t taken the elevator to the ground floor of the building – I took in my surroundings, made a mental note of the unattractive building I spotted as I emerged into daylight from the subway, and high-tailed it to my meeting several blocks away; the parking stub safely zipped in my bag.

Meeting over, I retraced my steps towards the parking garage, spotted the subway station entrance and headed unground. It took about 15 seconds to notice that nothing looked quite right.  I’d had a hell of a time finding my way from the elevator to the outdoors in the first place having not chosen my floor of exit very well.

I decided to follow the signs leading to the Garage & Elevator, assuming that would eventually get me where I needed to be. I ended up in a lobby. That totally was not right. But I did spy a pay kiosk which I took to be a good sign. Until it rejected my parking stub, twice. Feeling a little desperate, and tired, and hungry, I took the elevator down to Parking Level A. It was clearly NOT the right garage. The floor was color coded baby blue, instead of navy.

Back to the surface and outside to try again. I walked up and around and still was finding the right identifiers outside, but once underground it was all wrong. Fed up and not caring if I came across as an incompetent idiot, I located the concierge in the lobby and said wearily, as sweat rolled down my face, “I’m a complete idiot and am completely bloody turned around and can’t find the garage.”

One of the young men at the desk took pity on me and indicated to his colleagues that he would lead me to the garage. Having more than a sneaking suspicion that I was indeed in the wrong damn building, I showed him my parking ticket and sure enough, my original interpretation of the situation was correct. I was in the wrong building. Fortunately, the nice young man took pity on me and walked me through the underground connector between the not-right-building and the very-right-building, depositing me in front of the elevator to the garage. I thanked him profusely and said, “Well at least you’ve got a good story to tell about the idiot from WV who lost an entire parking garage.”

chris on August 21st 2017 in Blogroll, Travel

Little Fuzz’s First Flight

There’s an unfinished nest in the wisteria. It’s one column down from a nest stuffed full of baby robins. A pair of cardinals have come to check out the nest multiple times. I think they are interested, but just not sure if it’s worth a mortgage. The gent cardinal spends an inordinate amount of time carrying on nearby. I wonder if he’s trying to convince the Mrs. that it would be a great spot to raise a family. The other day Mr. C landed on my car and practically did a bird version river dance trying not to slide off.

Last night the birds were raising a ruckus. Dashing madly to the front door in case I was needed to scare off a predator, I instead saw a little ball of fuzz sitting awkwardly on the porch swing. It clearly wasn’t a robin; those kids are big and rather homely. Nearby Mrs. C peeped and flapped and fluttered at what, I could only assume, was her kid.

About this time, our cat Nyx finally realized something really very important was going on right outside the front door. She came barreling from the back of the house, plopped herself at my feet and commenced making terrible threats to Mrs. C, the fuzz, and the entire robin family who, quite frankly, were minding their own business.

The fuzz gave a few valiant flaps of its stubby wings, landing on the back of the porch swing. More encouragement ensued from Mrs. C, who took off to the pine tree bird condo, where I assume the family had found a better piece of real estate.

Nyx was still carrying on with her threats, so I shushed her out of the way and shut the big door, in the hopes that the fuzz wouldn’t pick up such dreadful language.

I checked later that night. No fuzz, no frantic parents. All was well.

chris on August 8th 2017 in Animals

Nine Things I Learned from the 2017 Rachel Carson Trail Challenge

My BFF convinced me that this was the year we would gloriously return to the Rachel Carson Trail Challenge! The timing was perfect, not only was it not near any birthday celebrations, but it was going in the opposite direction from when we first hiked it in 2006. I started training at the beginning of the year. Then managed to sprain my ankle May 19. There was a crazy deluge the week leading up to the challenge. That set the stage for 14 hours 16 minutes and 42 seconds of hiking, slogging, and hauling myself from North Park to Harrison Hills Park. And these are my takeaways… 

  1. At the start of this year’s RCTC I knew two things: There were going to be lots of stream crossings and I was hiking on a still recovering sprained ankle. As I saw it, my footwear options were my high top hiking boots,  which happened to be gortex, or my trail runners and a wrap. I went with the boots thinking the padded ankle would be better support. HUGE mistake. Gortex keeps water in, just as well as out. My boots were super saturated by mile two and thus heavy! The lesson here is, go with the wrap and the trail runners. Your feet are going to get wet either way.
  2. Sewing mesh pockets on my yoga pants was the most brilliant thing I have done in ages! Cargo yoga pants! Hooray!
  3. Back to the water issue…if you know there will be multiple water crossings, bring more than one pair of dry socks. I waited way too long to change into dry socks because I didn’t want to get the dry ones wet. The price of that bad decision was 2 huge blisters on the last two toes of both feet.
  4. Take your reservoir entirely OUT of your backpack to fill it up. I totally hosed that up and did not get the full 2 liters of water twice. And believe me, I needed it desperately.
  5. Carry your own ibuprofen.
  6. There is no effective way to train to climb a power line right of way, except to climb a power line right of way. We did a lot of practice hikes on rough terrain, but none of that was worth much when I faced the straight up power line hills of doom. (I mean, I’m sure there is, but not for me.)
  7. If you are going to the trouble of carrying a GPS, make sure it has fresh batteries. A .gpx of the trail, complete checkpoints, is only helpful when it works. Mine died about halfway through.
  8. Never underestimate the importance of someone who won’t let you quit. Especially when you are crying on a stream bank 4 miles from the finish. Thanks, babe!
  9. Fla-Vor-Ice is the most amazing thing in the universe! The people along the trail that were handing these out were amazing!

chris on June 25th 2017 in Blogroll, News

Moon Cakes & The Friendly Skies – March 9

Chad decided that instead of a painting, what he wanted as our piece of vacation art was a moon cake mold. There’s one gentleman in town who still makes the wooden ones by hand. So off we headed. He chose a koi. It’s quite lovely and heavy. Very heavy.

After that we did a little other shopping and just walked around taking in Hanoi.

Of course we stopped for lunch. This time D’lynn introduced us to Bun Bo Nam Bo which is a serious of words for delicious food that I cram in my mouth. Yum.

We had a flight to catch to Siem Reap in the evening, so back to the Hanoi airport we headed. Since this trip was during the day, we were able to see all the things we missed on our drive in, including the very fancy Japanese built bridge.

Landed in Siem Reap, managed to get our visas and get a cab to our hotel, The Privilege Floor at Borei Angkor. Where we caused a bit of a stir because, dear god in heaven we didn’t see the car the hotel sent and we were inconvenienced and how awful for us. Being the clueless folks we are, we didn’t realize they were even sending a car. It really was no big deal to us because we liked the taxi driver and booked him for our tour of the temples the next day.

Our room had a lovely view of the pool and a bottle of champagne waiting on us.

After settling in and enjoying the view and the free booze, we headed down to George’s Rhumerie via tuk-tuk, a cart pulled by motorbike. Delicious food was had. Delicious rum was had.

And then we called it a day because we had a big day ahead of us!

Click on the little pics to get full size pics with captions and everything!

chris on March 9th 2017 in Travel