Thursday, June 4, 2009

St. Louis Adventure

So after the races in Tulsa I made the drive back home and Ally joined me for the ride to St. Louis. She had found a cheaper flight through that airport rather than in Tulsa so I was happy to have some company in the car. We had a fabulous road trip complete with a stop for burritos and coffee and DJ Ally played some life changing music from our Ipods. We were super grateful once again to Carrie and Chris from Team Rev for letting us stay at their place Sunday night.

Ally's flight left at 7:30 the next morning so we were up and out of the house by 6. Little did we know that some major road construction started that morning on the interstate my GPS wanted us to take. We had to go the city route and I swear we got stopped at every light. We rolled into the airport at 6:55 and Ally ran to the counter while I unloaded her stuff. No dice - they weren't going to let her on and she had to rebook and try to fly standby later in the day.

I felt horrible and told her I'd take her out for breakfast so we got back in the car and just drove. I figured we'd head towards downtownish and try to find some cute neighborhood. We drove for about 40 minutes through some pretty rough neighborhoods. Lots of desolate, boarded up buildings and apparently chop suey is very popular - we must have passed about 6 places advertising it! Finally we found our cafe.

A beautiful neighborhood with big old brick homes and a cafe offering crepes and Italian coffee beckoned us. Ally went with an omelette and I got the waffle.
We both agreed it was pretty much the best breakfast we'd ever eaten and at least redeemed part of the morning we'd had.

I then dropped her back off at the airport where she'd spend most of the day. Note - American Airlines has crappy customer service. They were rude and kept giving Ally mixed messages. She ended up not getting on the first flight opportunity and finally made it back to NC at 11pm. Whew - what a day for her - flying can be really frustrating! But . . . moral of the story - get to the airport really early!!! :(

My drive back was uneventful and now I'm eagerly looking forward to the next road trip up to Minneapolis/St. Paul for the Nature Valley Grand Prix. My hands down favorite stage race of the year. 6 races in 5 days with nearly 150 women on the start list.

And this begins my whirlwind ambitious racing schedule of 20 races in 26 days. Three days off after NVGP and then begins the 10 day America's Dairyland Series in Wisconsin. Awesome races with a solid payout for the women. I went and did a loop of that Blue Mounds course yesterday and all I can say is WOW! It's pretty much all up and down with 2200 feet of climbing per 22 mile lap. What a way to kick off the series!

After that series I'll have 2 days off before I head to Louisville for the Masters National 30+ TT and then fly out to Massachusetts for the 4 day Fitchburg-Longsjo stage race which begins the next day! I'll be ready for a break after that :)

First up is the Wisconsin State Road Race this Sunday though! Ashley and I are going to throw down!

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