The internet has changed the world. It isn’t all great. More of us spent our childhoods cruising our neighborhoods on our bikes in the olden days USA. We even had a bike trailer with 2 seats and we would charge kids to give them rides around our neighborhood. We always made enough money to go blow it all at the store on…. CaNdY! One thing was sure was that anyone who could be on the cover of a magazine had to be really tall and unnatural to most people THIN. Enter the new age……. Body positivity is the new Vogue. (vogue.vogue.vogue.) Nike, the athletic brand of brands, just unveiled new mannequins to fit the new world. They are (gasp!) not stick thin or extremely chiseled. I think it is awesome. I have never been on the bigger side. I also have never been tall nor had abs of steel though. I once read that if I totally altered my diet, then my 300+ sit-ups a day would be visible. Um… NOPE. My diet is just fine. I’m not going to drink some chemical concoction to achieve that. The internet has a lot to dislike, but the fact that there is more inclusivity and representation nowadays is so cool. Instagram did that. There is garbage there, be SURE. BUT it is important to be positive about the 1 body YOU get.
We just moved. It involved no furniture, but it was a back breaking day from Hell. Since the move was from one rental to another, it didn’t involve much emotional stress. You don’t get too attached to renting afterall. The reason for moving was that my children had a lengthy commute to school. Although I have now spent portions of my life in various big cities around the globe, I consider myself a small town girl. I do not enjoy commuting long distances and they had what to me was an unacceptably long city commute. At one point, I changed jobs to have a shorter commute from what would be a dream commute to some city dwellers. It was many years ago in Salt Lake City. This is a city of 6 million and that is not big in China. It can get a lot bigger. I am able to bike to the beach regularly now. It has been super fun. It is going to get busy soon, but it’s very peaceful and beautiful right now.
Our bikes are in storage while we are in China. All over there are people who ride these really old bikes. I actually wanted to buy one cause I think they’re so cool. I don’t know where to find one that doesn’t have a person attached to it though. So…. the other day, my daughter said she was missing her bike. I knew where to find normal newish bikes at a sporting goods store so I decided to get one for her since it’s her birthday today. It works for me too. The guy thought I’d want a gear bike, but I didn’t. This one looks pretty plain like the local bikes too so #woohoo. Pretty close!
Last Friday, I was in the big city. #thebigapple #nyc I hadn’t been there in years. I haven’t spent a lot of time there, but I was open to doing whatever. My brother had never been so we had to do a few things, but nothing in particular. We started with a nightmarish challenge of getting on the subway. I have been on more than a few subways in my day, but that one I couldn’t make heads or tails of. Luckily, we found our way. First stop was to see lady liberty from a free ferry ride. We didn’t have time to take a tour to see her and I have only seen her from the free ferry. Then, we walked around Wall Street and toured some historical stuff. Right when it was time to find some food and I was starving, we found Eataly. I wanted to eat there, but I had no idea where it was in the city. The next day, it was time for a little fun. The sun had come out. Everywhere we turned in the tourist hot spots, people wanted to sell us a bus tour. It got really old saying NO! However, my feet work just fine and I didn’t want to ride any bus. When we approached central park and they wanted to rent us bikes though, I was all over it. What a fun way to spend the next few hours. We rented the bikes for 2 hours and they gave us an extra free hour. We were able to bike around the entire park and have a light lunch. We never would have seen so much of the area on foot. It was a blast. Biking is always fun and many cities are opening up this possibility. We rented from a store front, but many cities now rent bikes with a credit card off racks.
After unplanned swimming at Mossman Gorge, we ended up with a lot of dirty clothes. Since we pack light for a family of 5, we had to do some laundry on day II. While we waited for the clothes, we shopped around Port Douglas. There are a lot of sugar cane farms in the area and this is called the sugar wharf I believe. There was also a sign to not swim due to crocodiles. I didn’t see one croc the whole trip, but it wasn’t for lack of effort. I didn’t choose to become bait by swimming though. Port Douglas downtown had a lot of nice shops and restaurants. We found an additional grocery store to get supplies. We discovered that our travel required many many grocery store trips for food due to being in a hotel and largely avoiding restaurants. A family of 5 eats a lot. We were either shopping for a meal or shopping for snacks for a hike. When I am hiking or venturing alone, I don’t need as much thought for provisions besides water. However, in a group with children the whining goes way up when provisions are lacking. We spent the rest of the afternoon swimming at our hotel and relaxing for the next day we were headed to the Reef.
I got my first mountain bike for my birthday in the 5th grade in May 1986. I wanted a ten speed bike so bad. It must have been the thing to get, but I didn’t get it! The 10 speed was the bike with the cool curled handle bars and super skinny tires. I really really wanted a 10 speed. What did I get? A mountain bike. What in the world is this UGLY thing? It was utter disappointment. It was red with fat tires and a boy’s bike to boot. Seriously, I did not want this hideous bike. Since it was the bike I got, there wasn’t much else I could do besides ride my banana boat bike that I got for my 1st grade birthday. So…… I was stuck with this red Team Murray (I think.) mountain bike. When mom outsources the bike buying to dad, that’s what you get. In a hometown that would later be a place for mountain biking, we had probably the first mountain bikes since soon thereafter dad bought himself one. When I was around 15, I got my first Specialized bike. Then at 20, I got my sister’s fancier used Specialized bike. I’ve been riding it now for years. I have lately considered getting a trike for my birthday for the past few weeks and tried one out this morning at this totally awesome bike store in Boise. I didn’t fall in love with it as it felt weird, but I almost wanted to buy myself another cruiser since those are my favorite bikes. Boise is a big biking city and we are usually either in the road of someone biking or someone is in our road so I bought myself a new horn this morning. It was a smaller investment than a bike, but a pretty cool doodad to adorn my pink Electra. My first mountain bike is long gone, but the birthday disappointment will never be forgotten. 🙂
Traveling to visit Mickey Mouse wasn’t far enough so we had to go North a bit to visit the South. We had never been to the South before. We made the trip to visit cousins that we see during the summers in Idaho, but we had never been to their home. After standing in lines the previous 2 days, sitting in a car for several hours was a welcome relief. It was a rainy drive through Georgia and I thought it was very beautiful. We arrived on Friday evening and 6 kids slept out in a tree house in Auburn, Alabama. The next day, we enjoyed Southern style barbeque, visiting their nice college town, and some Easter activities. We hadn’t planned on going there so we didn’t stay long though. We then left “the South” and went South to Southwestern Florida. We were staying on the gulf in Punta Gorda, Florida. I had found a hotel on the waterfront where they provided bikes to their guests. As soon as we arrived, we were on bikes. It was a lot of fun. It was muggy and a flat level bike ride left me sweaty like a pig, but I hadn’t really even exerted myself on the beach cruiser. At one point, we came in contact with the local biking club and I almost got in their way. We are more the leisure biking crowd though so we quickly moved off to the side and let the real bikers through. 🙂 We woke the next day and enjoyed more biking and swimming at the hotel. Spring break was coming to a close though so we headed back to Orlando to catch our flight home. After all of the Florida traffic, we were very happy to return to much less populated Idaho.
Well one of them is not, but we still have 5. So… It was off for our first Boise bike ride. The weather has been fantastic so we hit the road. I was the designated safety monitor from the back to make sure my youngest didn’t end up down a ravine. As she braked quickly once right in front of me, I almost did. 🙂 The biking trail was a lot of fun. There were all sorts of characters whizzing past us on their Saturday fitness activity. The majority were pretty respectful as I had a pretty unstable biking companion and I enjoyed hearing the birds singing. It was like everything had come to life. As we were going at a pretty leisurely pace, I was reminded of a conversation I had with one of my best college friends several months ago. We were in Budapest and they had bikes to rent so I said I wanted to go biking. My friend had flown in from Russia to hang out with us. He informed me that he would not be biking anytime soon. “It was basically for losers.” I chuckled and told him that if he ever came back to Utah to visit me that I’d require him to get on a bike. He then conceded that he would do it, but under no circumstances could I put a picture on Facebook so that our other friend would see it. The reason being is that our friend has a very fancy Jaguar and I suppose the accoutrements that go along with it and they both got their MBAs together at the same time. So, the one without the Jag definitely doesn’t want to be seen on a bike. Russian culture is very flashy so a bike would be way too much for losers. It was funny to think of the cultural differences as we pedaled today and remember his funny bike bias.
This summer has been crazier than most. We knew it would be crazy, we just didn’t know there would be a move thrown in the mix to make it crazy squared. We aren’t sure when the move will go down as the “crazy” real estate market never seems to work in my favor so I get to sweat and sweat and sweat and possibly send off my husband without us. Anyway, we went to an island the other day and I had already given up going to another island (the one I wanted to…) because the only thing to do there is ride a bike and I wasn’t sure my youngest could handle a day long bike ride. So….we went to L’île de Ré. A few years ago I read in a chic US travel magazine about this unknown (to Americans) place and it was a place that I knew as a place for biking and being chased around by my younger host brother. He thought he was Bilboa Baggins and I was the enemy…….so he chased me around the island with his wooden sword and we didn’t really see many other people back in 1991. Now, it is on the radar of the Hamptons crowd I guess. When I saw that they were renting bikes, I couldn’t resist. I went and rented 5 bikes and then my youngest threw a fit. She didn’t want to get on a bike. She couldn’t remember how to ride a bike. BLAH BLAH BLAH… I was not really in the mood after paying 50 Euros and wanting to bike super bad so we had to relearn to ride a bike. You know what? It was just like riding a bike and after she got over her bad attitude we had a great time. We had so much fun, but didn’t want to overexert her so we turned around before doing half of what we wanted, plus we were on dinner duty at the home of our friends we were visiting so we definitely didn’t want to flake out even though the biking was SUPER FUN!!
My firstborn turned 13 today. She was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and then raised in Pennsylvania and Oregon. The time has gone by so quickly. She is almost as tall as me and has long been wearing my clothes. She was excited to get a facebook account today and be “legal” on social media. She has only had a cell phone for about a year now. I was reluctant to pay for that and turn my child over to potential time wasting technology, but I also needed her to be socialized into today’s world. Before we turned her over the trendy newest most up to date iphone on the market, (for 5 seconds) we had long discussions about the pitfalls and dangers on the internet. Indeed this week, I had more “issues” in regards to this subject so we had to revisit prior discussions. #parenting
We took this bicycle picture this morning. Since we live on a hill, teaching my firstborn to ride a bike was nearly the death of me. It was soo frustrating. I hoped that the other 2 would be a lot easier to teach. Just like with most of the things we have done, the other 2 figured it out a lot quicker. I wouldn’t blame the child, but the teacher (me) was pretty inept. We have 2 beach cruisers at our house that I love, but our bike rack isn’t really made for them so we have to take other bikes when we leave home.