Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Kayaking, Ren Fest, and D to D Talk

I can't recall a more active time for me in the 4 years since my retirement; and where did those 4 years go? It's in my DNA to always be moving or actively doing something even if I'm sitting still. Sometimes I'll pause to consider taking a day off and watching the world go by from our deck or with a book but then my mind begins thinking of a myriad of activities I could be doing instead. I'll occasionally meditate in the morning as a way to slow my mind and give it a timeout. I know that part of what's driving my need to stay active is the realization that my life is racing by so quickly and as much as I can, I want to make the most of it. Golfing, walking, and biking are my main go-to activities.

Thanks to Tammy, I'll be adding kayaking to the list next spring.

We've kayaked together twice and found it to be so much fun. We rented a tandem kayak at Lake Bde Maka Ska (formerly Lake Calhoun) last Wednesday and paddled for 7 miles. It was nice to try a tandem but we soon realized that we both prefer individual kayaks—preferably ones that fit us better than the rental. We've been researching kayaks and have a good idea of what we're looking for but we've decided to wait until next spring to buy them. I purchased a roof rack for my Forrester last week and installed it just in case we happen upon a deal we'd rather not pass up. (I still need the J-bars that clamp around the kayak.)

We've got another set of triplet deer in our neighborhood, just as we did last year. They're so cute to watch. I took that video as I was walking out to get the paper a few Sunday mornings ago. They don't seem to frighten easily. It's common to see them venturing out in the early evening well before sunset.  They mostly bed down in our neighbor's yard across the street. This is a video from a few days ago taken through our front window.

We met Rachel, Drew, and Drew's mother, Jennie, at the Renaissance Festival last Saturday. They all dressed the part but we failed to follow through on promises from last year to do likewise. That didn't prevent us from making the same promise for next year. Stay tuned! Tammy was taking notes as we walked along, looking for ideas for us. She's thinking I would look good in a blue and green kilt. I'll be happy to wear whatever she comes up with for me. She's good at that sort of thing.

Drew surprised Tammy and me with his juggling skills. Impressive! As you can see in the video, he was quickly sent to the head of the class for an advanced lesson of juggling with plastic bowling pins.

We met them all later in St. Paul Park for the Heritage Days Festival where Drew's brother, Colton, was playing with his band, Hawk 45. It was all so much fun. Tammy and I have danced more in the past few weeks than we have in our entire 20 years together. And she made up a new dance! Just wave your hands in the air like one of those inflatable air dancers and keep your feet anchored. It's really simple and fun for everyone. Try it!

I've been training for our upcoming Dawn to Dusk ride at the end of the month but I'm worried because I've not trained as hard as I did last year. My two longest rides are 146 miles (235 km) and a ride of 126 miles 9203 km) two days ago. That mileage is considerably less than the long rides I did in preparation for last year's ride. I'm kind of in the window now, though, where I should refrain from any long-distance rides in order to allow my body to recover for the big day. I was going to try and sneak in one last long ride tomorrow but I think I'll take a pass and plan something shorter but with more intensity.

The videos below are from our TNG ride a week ago and from my ride with Steve and Rob, aka Silver and Legs, two days ago.

That's all I've got.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Celebrating Our 20th Anniversary, Duluth Style!

We spent the better part of this week vacationing 3 hours to the north in Duluth and along the North Shore as we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. We had such a nice time. I've been to Duluth a number of times but I never explored the city the way we just did. It was one of those getaways where I wish we could do it all over again.

We spent our first night in Tammy's hometown of Babbitt where we had dinner with her sister Cindy. We shared some nice conversation before venturing off to check out one of two local bars where we crashed the class of '89's high school reunion. I dare say we were having as much fun as anyone there dancing like it was nobody's business. We had a blast!

Neither of us had ever kayaked so Tammy arranged for us to take a guided kayaking tour on our first full day in Duluth, figuring it would be something fun to try. She was so right! I think I'm hooked. I've already begun searching Craig's List for used kayaks. I can imagine myself getting up early to do a few laps around one of the nearby lakes to start my day. No, I don't think I'll be mounting my GoPro on the front of my kayak but then again...hmmm.

We also took a lampworking class at Lake Superior Art Glass where we made the stem to a wine glass. It's more challenging than it would appear but I thought Tammy was a natural at it. There's a shop in Northeast Minneapolis where we can continue to explore the art medium in more depth. We'd both like to.

I fell in love with the city of Duluth and commented to Tammy more than once that I could easily make it my home. She enjoyed the city as well but not enough to want to uproot our lives and move there—and what about the winters? I get that. It's close enough that I'm certain we'll be back again sooner rather than later.

Here's a link to an album of photos from our getaway.

I love more than anything taking our little road trips, away from the myriad distractions that make up my life. Not that I don't enjoy them all but nothing compares to my time with Tammy when it's just the two of us sharing an experience together.

I can't help but wonder how 20 years got away from us so quickly. It seems not long ago at all that Tammy and I first met and wasted little time making plans for our lives together with Rachel. I wrote this 4-part blog series a while back about how we met and fell in love.

What I wouldn't give to relive these past 20 years all over again! I could live in those days forever.

That's all I've got.