Going to town

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Today started with gray clouds and wind, which made any thoughts of bike ride go right out the window. I can ride in crappy weather at home, so I saw no need to do it here. The fast kids (Francois, Phl & Andi) braved the elements and went out, proving why they are the fast kids. The rest of us lollygagged around the house for  a little while and formed a plan to go for a swim at the local YMCA in town, followed by some lunch and young Lucky’s first trip to the dog park.

The last time I swam at a YMCA pool was in NYC and I can’t say it was a pleasant experience. This of course was a completely different situation as it started with us getting to use the pool for free (thanks, guy at front desk) and then walking into a pretty nice pool with six lanes divided into three really wide lanes. There were a few people in each one, so we weren’t exactly sure how to seed ourselves. A nice lifeguard came over to advise us. Jenn inserted herself into the fast lane, while Erin & I shared a side of the slow lane with another lady. The lady in our lane left about five minutes later, so Jenn came over to join us. It’s always fun to swim with really good swimmers, I like to watch how effortless they look and I don’t have to worry about them doing crazy crap in front of my like the people I end up in a lane with at the local community pool.

After a nice swim, we met up with JenHS & Lucky dog outside. We opted to take him to the dog park first and then go into town for lunch. Watching a dog experience a dog park for the first time is probably a lot like taking a kid to Disneyland for the first time. He had a great time playing with all of the dogs and didn’t want to leave.

Our group favorite was this really cute fuzzy puppy named Dharma:

She looked like a little ewok. After we persuaded Lucky to leave his dog-friends for another fun filled trip in the car, we headed into town. The town of Walla Walla is really cute:

As we were stopping for gas, we saw this awesome exchange right outside the gas station:

The “chopper-bike” belongs to the guy in the green vest at the right-hand side of the picture. The kid was admiring it so much, he let him take it for a spin!

Erin tried to get me to go out and try it, but I was not up for it. Call me a wuss. We then headed to Olive, where we were meeting up with the intrepid riders, who had survived a very windy and difficult ride. The food was really good at Olive, even if they were slammed and the service was a little slow. It was nice to relax a little and the riders were on board for a little wine tasting before heading home. I knew I still wanted to do a run, so I only tasted a few wines and generally behaved myself. But it was fun to see some of those little airport wineries and listen to the wine people talk. I have no knowledge of wine and will pretty much drink whatever, so it’s fun to hear people who know about wine discuss it. Especially if they aren’t being pretentious a-holes about it.

When we got back to the house, JenHS was also game for a run so we did a forty minute out and back. The route from the house has a long uphill, which kind of sucks but is more than made up for by the lovely downhill on the return trip. One of the farms that we passed had a bunch of whimsical sculptures in their yard, including this fun sculpture of a fisherman being followed by two cows:

I actually saw a lot of fun “found-object” sculpture in the fields around Walla Walla, it was pretty cool. While this wasn’t as hard-core a training weekend as we’ve had in the past, I must say it was a lot of fun. It was nice to shake up the routine and go someplace different. And not having to pack all my crap onto an airline was pretty nice. I’m hoping we can keep these training weekends going, it’s a great excuse to get together and it usually sparks some nice motivation to train when I get home. Thanks ladies, for another lovely weekend!

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