Last Friday was a very early wakeup. Rather than pay a shuttle and get picked up hours earlier than necessary I met Sandy at her house and left my car there. Her half-asleep hubby drove us to SFO, luckily not getting stuck in any traffic. We were early enough that there weren't any lines at NWA when we checked our baggage and for once, the security lines moved quickly. I grabbed a latte (and a cookie, which lasted me two days) and sat down to wait for the flight. Lalalalala. We had booked the window and aisle seats in the same row, hoping that the center seat would remain empty. Yeah, good luck with that. Of course someone sat there!
With 4-1/2 hours to blow I knit quite a bit on my Cider Moon chevron scarf. Yeah, I know I was going to take the easy one-ball lace scarf but decided at the last minute to take this one. I tried to alleviate my boredom knitting away and listening to music, reading my book, knitting some more, playing a game on the ipod, knitting some more.
We arrived into Detroit on time, with just enough time to get to our gate at the other side of the airport. Hey Detroiters, what's with that strange tunnel connecting the terminals? Are they're trying to reflect what the inside of the Detroit/Windsor tunnel looks like? Probably not; I ran through that tunnel and it didn't look like that strange psychedelic nightmare with moving walkways. This flight was on a tiny little plane and took less than an hour. Our luggage came quickly, we got in our rental car and drove -- less than 2 miles to our motel, the Comfort Inn. We checked in and took our stuff up to our room. Not a bad place, and especially not a bad room for $79+tax/night. Our room in New York should only be this big. For four times the price. We unpacked a few things and decided to look for a place to have dinner.
First we made a couple of stops to get waters, snacks and wine. Yeah, wine. I figured we'd want it Sunday night. We drove down to the water, thinking there'd be restaurants there. It was getting darker by then and we finally saw a place and decided to stop and try it. The Smugglers' Wharf had outside seating and since it was nice out we decided to sit in the fresh air. It was very warm and humid, some breeze, quite pleasant to be outside. What we didn't realize was that the outside seating had no lights! The only light was the ambient lights from streetlights and light reflected from inside the restaurant. We read the menu by flashlight (which we both happened to have with us) and I ordered a fried perch sandwich, a salad and a local Mad Anthony ale. From our table we had a great view of the Bicentennial Tower although we didn't know that's what it was; we thought it might be just a lighthouse with scaffolding around it. We ate dinner in the dark, a very strange experience. The fish was good, the beer was better. We finished and decided to turn in for the night.
Saturday morning we ate the free hotel breakfast (not bad!) and decided to check out a local yarn shop before my bro-in-law arrived. We got a couple of blocks away and he called to say he was at our hotel so we turned around and headed back. We all decided to go to a local Starbucks for our morning brews, then we returned to try to find the LYS. It wasn't too hard; Rustic and Refined was located in a little strip mall right where the map said it would be. We walked in and I paused to get my bearings. I wasn't sure from the listing I'd seen if it was really a yarn shop or a just a gift shop with yarn, but yeah, it was a real yarn shop. The owner (or the woman at the counter, I neglected to ask if she was the owner) was very friendly and helpful, made sure we knew there was a back room and downstairs too. There was lots of yarn I hadn't seen before but nothing that really jumped out at me. I would have been much more tempted if I hadn't bought out Stitches last month.
I'd been looking for yarn for a hat for my mom, in her colors, self-striping, soft. I wanted Noro but they don't do the whole black/gray/red thing (or not without throwing in green and yellow or purple). The owner helped me find some Feza Cyprus Mohair; 85% acrylic and 15% Mohair, in the black/gray shades, and self-striping to boot. I'm not much on acrylic but it was soft and plush and since it's for my mom, I figured it would be ok. It needed some brightening so I decided to add a single strand of bright red Katia Ingenua, a Spanish 78% mohair, 13% nylon, and 9% wool, also very soft and plush. Yay, now I can make the hat she asked for.
They were very happy when I finally was done, and we left to get sandwiches at Panera. We drove to pick up our race stuff and blah blah what I said yesterday. After we finished leisurely eating our delicious and too filling sandwiches we just hung out for a while, talking and walking around the Monument. Finally my BIL decided it time for him to make the very long drive home and he dropped us at our motel. It was great seeing him. Again, I hate that he and my sis live on the other side of the country, so far away.
Sandy and I decided it was a good time for a nap. We rested for a while and realized it was getting late enough that we should go eat dinner. We decided to try to find the seafood restaurant we'd seen earlier but couldn't quite remember where it was. We drove back out to mall, it wasn't there. We drove back, drove around, and realized it was right on the corner near where we were staying. D'oh!
We ended up at Joe Roots Grill and were seated immediately. It looked like a few other runners were there having an early dinner and we amused ourselves through our meal trying to decide who was a runner and who wasn't. Easy when they're wearing shirts from other races, not so easy when they looked like us. I ordered the mahi mahi, grilled, with a baked potato and salad. The salad was typical of the salads we seen in Erie; iceberg lettuce with flavorless tomato and cucumber, a few carrot shreds and a slice of onion. The baked potato was great; I love potatoes but never eat them. This time I ate it all up, savoring the salty skin. Yum. I left half the fish because it was so unimpressive. We took our time, eating and drinking, watching the other diners, until we figured we'd better get to bed.
The only thing we missed in Erie was the big Heritage Festiva l Saturday night, with the Erie Philharmonic playing the 1812 Overture complete with cannon fire, church bells, and fireworks. We didn't think staying up late on Friday night was a good idea. And it had started raining during dinner so everyone at the park would be getting wet. Sunday after the race we hung out in our beds for the entire afternoon. Ow and owie, I had to keep jumping out of bed because of leg cramps. I was glad I had finished the race but ow. Many hours later we finally decided we needed food and for lack of a better idea decided to try El Canelo, a Mexican restaurant that a guy on the plane had recommended. Yeah, authentic Mexican food in Erie. Right. We didn't really have high hopes. I ordered a margarita and started studying the extensive menu. Lots of the dishes contained beef, which I don't eat. I finally ordered a pork tamale and chicken enchilada, with rice and beans. The beans were very traditional; loaded with lard. Yum. No, really. Refried beans just aren't the same since they became health food. Unfortunately the tamale had ground beef on top mixed with the sauce; I pushed it to the side and ate everything else. It was a filling, good dinner, loaded with the protein we needed after the race. And loaded with lard.
We went back and packed up our things, except for the wet clothes that we left hanging until the morning. We also drank lots of wine - we had to finish the bottle, didn't we?? Finally we went to bed and tried to get some sleep. My raw, blistery toes and crampy legs made sleeping tough.
In morning we had another free hotel breakfast, this time with a yummy donut. What? One little donut the day after a marathon won't hurt me. Much. The flights home were noneventful and crowded and on time. Wow, four flights and they were all on time, that must be a record. And they didn't lose any of our luggage. Nor did either of us get searched at either security checkpoint. How non-typical of modern air travel. I'm spending this week recovering, sleeping, eating too much, drinking more than I should, catching up on work.