24 May 2010

Walkin' in Memphis...

In celebration of Julie's upcoming nuptials, we took a girls' trip to Memphis. Well, we started at Cajun's Wharf here and stayed downtown on Friday night. Saturday morning, we headed for Memphis. It was a wonderful trip!

Friday, we started at Cajun's Wharf. Then we moseyed on to the Peabody hotel for the Alice 107.7 Peabody Rooftop Party, where we got in free (Thanks to the doorman who felt the need to be nice to us since it was Julie's last girls' trip as an unmarried lady.) Then, Julie's fiancee, Shawn, graciously sprung for a room for us girls downtown so that we wouldn't have to worry about driving all the way back to her place then all the way to Memphis from there. It was very considerate and nice of him.

Anyway, after hitting Cracker Barrel in the morning on Saturday, we headed to Memphis and got there around 2. We checked into our hotel room (we had sprung for the "nice room" up on the top floor, where you had to swipe your key to get to, that had concierge service, free h'ors d'erves and champagne, free valet, free breakfast, free coffee and cookies). It was REALLY nice, and when split between four of us, wasn't unreasonable.
After getting settled in, Julie wanted to go to Graceland, so we took off to Graceland. I had gone several years ago (like 15 or 20) with my family, so I really didn't remember it all that much. I had forgotten what everything looked like! Anyway, we parked somewhere close (within walking distance) because the public parking was $15.00, and we were not about to pay that just to park.
We hopped on the shuttle which took us across the street to see Elvis' digs. It's definitely interesting to see the difference between celebrities' homes today and what was considered a huge home back in Elvis' days. The strange thing was hearing that he paid $120,000 for it. My, how times have changed!

(In more ways than one, apparently!)

While enjoying some h'ors d'erves in the Club Room on our floor, we met our wonderful concierge, Ms. Linda, who gave us some advice about getting around, gave us some coupons for BB Kings, and made us feel like we were right at home with her friendly, caring personality. (I wish we would have gotten a picture with her, but I guess, that's all the more reason to go back, right?)

Saturday night, we left the room and went to Beale Street. We met a friendly couple from North Carolina on our floor and ran into them downstairs as we were heading toward Beale. They had met a girl who was (ironically) from the same area as Julie and her sister are from and she got us into Silky O'Sullivan's for free and bought a shot for the bachelorette!

We had the obligatory Diver from Silky's, and we headed onto BB Kings, where we stayed for the rest of the evening. They had some great live music there, and we enjoyed the performance.

Unfortunately, the weekend had to come to an end, and we made it back home around 3:30 yesterday. We have, however, decided to have an annual commemoration of our trip by going to Memphis again next year (and hopefully many years!). Hopefully, we began a wonderful tradition this weekend!

21 May 2010

Adventures in Cycling

Ok, so this post is probably (ok, yes, it is!) a couple weeks late.

Anyway, on 8 May, we did the American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure ride. We had signed up for the 20 mile ride, and I was pretty scared that I wouldn't be able to do it.

I mostly got scared because two days prior to the ride, we did a preliminary ride, to follow the track and go back and do around 20 miles, just so that I would know that I could do it. During said ride, I got really dehydrated (despite my efforts to the contrary). My head hurt so bad that I couldn't even move it. We ended up going about another mile so that I could get some hydration and have someone come to pick us up and take us back to the truck. After drinking several containers full of water/gatorade mixture, I still had a headache and it lasted until the next morning. Not EXACTLY the best thing to happen two days before your first 'big' ride.

So we started the morning. I was a little uncertain and nervous, but we were with a great group from Outskirts Bike Shop, where we get all of our biking gear. (They are so great and helpful down there!) They were doing the 50-mile ride, but we were scheduled to do the 20-mile just the two of us, so we decided to take off with them at the 50-mile start. (We were told that we could start ahead of our scheduled start time, if we wanted, just not after.)

We were riding with Sherry, one of the owners of the shop, so when we got to the 20-mile turn around, it was around 8.75 miles (so would in sum be less than 20 miles), so we decided to go with her through some of the uncertain parts of the ride until she made it to the straight point, which ended up being around 12 miles. Because we are training for the 62-mile Tour de Rock in less than a month, I figured, why not just go the extra 3 and turn around for a total of 30 miles. I also made extra careful to stay very hydrated throughout the ride.

The wind was a little rough on the way back, but we made it to the base of the Big Dam Bridge, which is about a mile long (that's where the above was taken), leaving us with around 2 miles left. I made it up and down the bridge (that side is the 'hard' side because it's about 0.5miles of climbing up up up up up and my legs were burning!!!) and to the finish for a total of around 31 miles on my first ride! Woo hoo!

Plus, I raised $225 for a great cause in riding! Now, we're in training for the 62-mile Tour de Rock on 12 June. (I think we're going to do a 50-mile ride in the River to River Memorial Ride on Memorial Day, but that is yet to be seen).

It's very confidence-boosting to know that I've ridden more than half the big ride I'm training for. I'm hoping and praying that I'll do it! I'm sure that I can. I've got a great riding partner who won't let me fail (or fall, for that matter)! He's a great one to have around. God love him for putting up with my whiny self! :)