Category Archives: Washington, DC

Cherry Blossoms 2012 in Washington DC

WHEN

March 21, 2012

CONDITIONS

Beautiful

ABOUT THE TRIP

Spring has sprung indeed in the Washington, DC area! Since it was the Cherry Blossom’s 100th anniversary and since the weather was unseasonably spectacular….and since my commute was tolerable, we raced down on bicycles via the Mount Vernon Trail to take in all of the trees full-blooming splendor. We’ve seen the Cherry Blossom’s before, but not in full bloom. You can recap our first experience back in 2007 here. Yes, we know…..back then we were total amateurs. Then we went again two years ago to see the blooms with my family, but they weren’t all the way bloomed either, so this time….we were ready, equipped, and prepared to complete our mission successfully. We followed the Cherry Blossom webcam and reports to find “the best and finest time” to visit these delicate candy-like beauties. And we nailed it this time! We locked our bikes up at the Jefferson Memorial and followed the whole Tidal Basin in a counter-clockwise fashion. Not sure if the other way would have been better because the place was JP. But, we survived the crowds. We got to see the sun set behind the Martin Luther King Memorial…not together unfortunately as I literally “ran off into the sunset” to try to catch photos of that fiery orange bowl just before it dipped below the trees. Dave caught up shortly thereafter…funny that his pictures turned out better than mine! We walked through the Roosevelt Memorial. I think what we remembered most about the day was how happy everyone was. Everyone seemed to be living in the moment. Lots of people met after work and had their telescopic SLR cameras (wishwehadanslrcameratoo…maybe soon), people were picnicking, painting, reflecting, enjoying, and loving everything about the day.

So after the sun set, we were about 3/4 of the way around the Tidal Basin. The sky turned into a purple haze and the yellow lights from the city made it a photographer’s dream shot we’re sure. After returning back to our bikes, Dave realized that the battery to the front of his bicycle was dead. Whomp, whomp. And I didn’t have any bike lights…double whomp. So that meant that we got to ride all the way home in the dark which meant that we were super embarrassed because we know that if the tables were turned, we’d have classified us as “those people.” So, I improvised to let fellow bikers/runners know of our presence…….I simply yelled “ring ring” to pretend that I had a bell. People probably thought I was crazy….but hey, you do what you gotta do. The important thing is that we got home safely.

It was a great evening and a wonderful way to break up the busy work week. We are certainly grateful to live right down the road from such a beautiful metropolis.

WHAT WE BROUGHT

[listcheck]

  • IPhone 4s
  • 1 Camelbak
  • Bike Lock
  • Helmets
  • Athletic clothing
  • Sneakers
  • Light jackets/long-sleeved tees
  • Panisonic DMC-FZ8

[/listcheck]

LIVE AND LEARN

We need bike lights that work and bells from Amazon ASAP.


Show me the dough

GRAND TOTAL: $0.00..yes, you read that right.


PHOTOS

Great Urban Race DC 2011

The Great Urban Race DC 2011

[confirmation]Experience level: 1/5 | Bring your thinking caps and be ready to run like the wind![/confirmation]

About the Trip

The Great Urban Race is a race that is held annually in many of the major US cities. The race is sort of like a spin-off of the television show “The Amazing Race” on CBS. You sign up in teams of 2 and dress up in themed costumes, then make a mad dash through the city solving clues and completing required challenges.

We have wanted to compete in this race for years but have always had a commitment on the scheduled race day for our city. We were finally free to register this year. We were even more thrilled about the fact that our great friends Matt and Cathy signed up too! Though we were required to sign up in teams of 2, all 4 of us worked together during the race. It was just more fun that way. Plus, Matt and Cathy know DC like the back of their hand and so their knowledge definitely gave us a competitive advantage.

[warning]Look both ways when darting across the street![/warning]

WHAT WE BROUGHT

[listcheck]

  • Costumes
  • Camera
  • Metro cards
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Sunglasses
  • Umbrellas
  • Rain jackets
  • Credit card/cash
  • Game faces

[/listcheck]

HIGHLIGHTS

  • As we ran through the city as Hawaiians and Jesters (not jokers), it was entertaining to watch peoples’  facial expressions as we dashed by them.
  • At RFD in Chinatown, our challenge was to remove a ring that was stuck in between two horseshoe chains. It entailed finagling the chains in a certain way that would enable the ring to slide off. Matt was just so pumped up during the race that he got his ring off by breaking the chain in two.
  • Throughout the race, you are bound to reach bottlenecks where you can do nothing but wait for those ahead of you to complete clues. While we were stuck in a bottleneck at Merzi we were trying to figure out a riddle which would allow us to bypass the challenge that we were waiting in line for. Cathy saved the day by solving the riddle on our clue sheet! We obnoxiously rejoiced in front of our opponents and then fled to the finish line. It was so clutch!
  • As the metro doors opened at our final destination, there was an inundation of runners bolting towards the escalator. You would have thought that they were all on fire! If you’ve been on a metro, you know that the incline to get from underground to above ground is super steep and so it was quite obvious who was in/out of shape based on how these racers fared on this sprint exercise.  People lost steam quick…..it was like someone hit the slow motion button on them.  I sort of went into slow motion mode for a hot second too!  My lungs were burning and I needed a few seconds to catch my breath before bolting to the finish line.
  • Though Cathy pulled a tendon during the race, she was such a trooper and remained positive straight through to the finish. We were so proud of Cathy.
  • It did not rain!!! There was only a light misting, but we welcomed that!

LIVE AND LEARN

We were told by some fellow competitors that the top finishers complete the race in under 1.5 hours! We completed our run in under 3 hours so I think next time we’ll have to step up our game plan.

Also, I learned to never abandon your clue sheet. While doing a shuffleboard challenge at Buffalo Billiards, I put down my clue sheet in order to retrieve the pucks on the other end and when I turned around, my clue sheet was not there. It turned out that some cheater from another team was holding it by her side acting like it was hers!!! I couldn’t believe it! I totally called that lady out on it and snatched it back out of her hand. People are ruthless, let me tell you! Without that clue sheet, we would have been penalized, maybe even disqualified!
[info]Protect your clue sheet and discuss clues in hushed voices![/info]


Show me the dough

2 tickets= ~$96.00
Metro fare=~20.00
Miscellaneous items purchased for the challenges: $5.00

GRAND TOTAL: $126.00


PHOTOS:

CandOCanalPath

Bike Ride along the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal Towpath in Washington, DC

[confirmation]Experience level: 2/5 |[/confirmation]

About the Trip

The DC area is one of the most outdoor friendly cities in the country. With a multitude of trails and parks to choose from, finding nature within the borders of this city is actually quite easy.

Following a trail from our apartment, we ventured down to Georgetown, crossed the Key Bridge, rode our bikes through the Francis Scott Key Bridge Park, and rode over a small red bridge that took us to the starting point of the C&O towpath.  The towpath is a dirt road trail that starts in Georgetown and runs 184.5 miles to Cumberland, MD.   The towpath runs through the C&O National Historical Park, which is the narrowest national park in the country.  Here is the link to the park’s website: http://www.nps.gov/choh/index.htm.  On this short day trip, we rode along the towpath for a little while, then turned around and rode over to visit the newly designed Waterfront River Park to bask like lizards on the retaining wall which overlooks the Potomac River.

[warning]If you bike ride in the spring, watch out for hissing geese![/warning]

WHAT WE BROUGHT

Our bikes, camera, helmets, comfy clothes and sneakers, biking gloves, and water.

HIGHLIGHTS

The highlights of the trip included riding past the families of hissing geese, hanging out at the park and watching the boats and kayakers ride by, overlooking the views from the Key Bridge, and just enjoying each other’s company.

LIVE AND LEARN

I need to invest in a pair of padded biking shorts, because the towpath is a bumpy ride so extra cushioning would be a big plus.

[info]Remember that you eventually have to turn around and go back so time your ride and pace yourself.[/info]


Show me the dough

GRAND TOTAL: $0.00


PHOTOS: