Monday, November 06, 2006

The last several days

Hey all,
As you know, I went to the beach for a long weekend. Here's the running news and other stuff you've come to expect-

Thursday morning before leaving for the beach, I ran a fairly nice and quick 5 miler. No watch, but just running by feel. It was nice and cool and I felt fast and strong. No sense in letting watch ruin that for me!

Susan came to the house, we loaded up the car, and headed towards Seaside, FL. We stopped off in Montgomery to eat lunch with Susan's sister Laura. After lunch we rolled on down US 331 and arrived in Seaside around 3:30 or so. We got checked in, went to our rental house "Our Place by the Sea" and unloaded the car.

Here's a picture of the house. Porches on all the important rooms and a tower to watch sundown. If you have not been to this town, I highly recommend that you rent a cottage and spend a long weekend. You'll never want to go anywhere else.

We barely had time enough to go up in the tower of the house to watch the sunset. We climbed the ladder at 4:40 with our camera, a bottle of wine, and great anticipation. Here's a view of the sunset and us at 4:50.

After sunset we changed clothes and went to our first event of the weekend. We went to Seaside for the "Seeing Red" wine festival. We had a dinner with the vintners at Great Southern Cafe. This was a very nicely arranged dinner. Five course meal + dessert, all paired with different wines. Let me see if I can recall . . . .

Scallops with Sav Blanc
Shrimp with Chardonnay
Merlot with Peking Duck
Zinfandel (red of course) with Roast Beef
Cab Sauv with Lamb
Cab Port with a bitter chocolate cake and cinammon ice cream

Friday was an off day. No running. Actually, we did a short run through Seaside . . . maybe a mile or so just to look at the houses and get the blood flowing. Then we went for a short bike ride. Afterwards we did some shopping and just goofing around town. We had planned on having a picnic on the beach in Grayton Beach State Park. We packed up some turkey sandwiches, chips, grapes, cookies and a nice bottle of wine. Stuffed it all in a back pack along with a blanket and biked to the state park early Friday afternoon. Here's some pictures-

Me on my hybrid bike at the entrance to the state park. Back pack is loaded and heavy. Our goal is to EAT and DRINK everything in the bag!

Susan on her bike. See how she is smiling. Could it be that she is happy or just glad that I'm the one with the back pack? Or maybe she's looking forward to the turkey sandwiches and the $100 bottle of wine we're about to open!

I know . . . this looks like a repeat from our Portland trip. Actually, the photo I posted from the Portland trip was just a spur of the moment thing. Phil really saw more in the other picture and we think so also. We have decided that this will be "our thing" and one of our standard pictures whenever we go to a a beach. Thanks Phil!

Susan saying "hey all". The beach was great! The weather was a little bit cool but not bad. There was nobody on the beach when we got there around 1:00. A couple of fisherman showed up around 2:00 but this was like having our own private dining room in the Florida panhandle.

Yes, I am breaking the rules. Normally, I do not feed the wildlife but we decided to have a little fun with the seagulls. We started with one. Then three. We started naming them until we got up to 45 gulls!

After the picnic, we headed back to Seaside and dumped the bag. Then we headed to Water Colors and hit some more shops. Did I mention that we make a great couple? We both like to shop!!!

After the shopping, we headed back to the house to watch sundown. We climbed up the tower . . . check this out-here's how we had to get up into the tower. Try doing this with crackers, cheese, wine, glasses. You get the idea.

We spent about an hour eating cheese, eating crackers, drinking wine and reading our books. BTW, I am reading a depressing book but I have to finish it. It is called "The Road". I recommend it if you are strong enough. It is a story of post apacolyptic America . . . or what is left of it.

After sundown, we went to Cafe Thirty-A, one of the nicer restaurants in the area. We had a very nice dinner and Susan saw one her friends and we chatted for a while. After dinner, we headed back to the house and played checkers and scrabble . . . . REALLY!

Saturday morning. Time for a long run. I know you've been bored with all this other stuff and have been waiting to hear about my running. We wanted to get an early start since the wine festival started at noon. Susan wanted to run for a little bit so here's what we did. We left the house and ran down the beach trail for 22 1/2 minutes. We ran Susan's pace since she is also training for the Mercedes half. We turned around and ran back to the house. We did not run a negative split so we ended up running a total of about 46 1/2 minutes. I figured we covered between 4 1/2 and 5 miles. After we got to the house, we took a potty break and Susan jumped on the bike and we took off. She rode while I ran and it was nice to have the company. I do know that I have a 2 1/2 mile mark on the trail where I go out and back for 5 milers. We picked up the pace and turned 2 1/2 miles in about 21 minutes. After we turned around and headed back, I told Susan that I wanted to pick up the pace. Boy howdy did I!!!! I turned the 2 1/2 miles coming back in 17:45. I think that I averaged a little bit over a 7 minute pace the last 2 1/2 miles. Not quite a full 10 miler but I think we did pretty stinking good! We were running and biking hard and cooking.

After showering, we went shopping briefly and got back in time to choke down another turkey sandwich before going to the festival. The wine festival was from noon to 4:00 and we got started as soon as possible. There were plenty of vendors and a few tables of h'odouvres. We made the rounds and tried some names we were familiar with and some labels that we had never seen. Here's some pictures we took along the way . . . .

This was right when we started. Notice that we are standing erect.

just a quick view of some of the things we saw. A nice sunny day and lots of sampling to do!

Here we are about half way through the tasting. Yes, I am grinning like a big old goober. Am I happy? Am I tipsy? Could it be that I just heard that Alabama got beat by Mississippi State? (Sorry Susan and Laura). BTW, this is were we go to church on Sundays when we're down there. Does it look like we ran/biked 10 miles 4 hours earlier?

We finished our tasting a little after 3:00. We headed back to the house and rested up. Actually, we turned on the Tennessee-LSU game and sort of napped thru the game. When the game was over, we decided to walk around town and find something to eat. We ended up and joint called Pickles. They do burgers, fries, etc. Stuff for walkups from the beach. A nice big greasy cheeseburger was SO GOOD!!! Afterwards, we headed back to the house and played more scrabble. Don't ask who won.

Sunday morning we packed up, went to breakfast, and then went to church. IT is so nice to go to church while you're on vacation . . . it really is like a breath of fresh air. The associate minister that preached did an excellent job and we really enjoyed our last hour in Seaside in church. After church, we jumped in the car, checked out and headed north back to B'ham. That was our trip!!!


Phil said...

You too are certainly an active couple! I really liked that fact that you're both holding glasses of red wine in nearly every picture (my kind of runners!)

Thanks for sharing your trip. It's been 3 or 4 years since I've been to Florida; but I think I have a cousin that has property in Seaside (I'll need to check with him next time I'm in Georgia.)

Be sure to post Susan's training schedule also or better yet .. get her to start her own blog. Running a 1/2 marathon is no easy task. I think we'd all like to hear from her directly.

Thanks again and best of luck in your training.

Anonymous said...

So nice to be young and doing young happy we are for you two, so much of the same things you like...Thanks for sharing your trip with us.And now tub time, with wine, apple slices and strawberries (had to cut those cashews and pecans out--for a while)

Anonymous said...

Wow! May I go next time?
Your Dear Ole Aunt Susan

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