27 October 2009

A "W" for #TeamDanie (vi)

That space between miles ten and eleven were my favorite. I had hills behind me and Jesse & Joel next to me. It was like having my own paparazzi. Once they found me, they stayed close.

They ran ahead of me, to capture me in the moment.

They ran behind me, to see what I saw.

They ran next to me, for the action shots.

Eventually, Joel was sidelined by a side cramp. I happened to be sidelined myself by a pain near the knee. It's the same pain I had after the last two times I ran 11 miles. Only this time I still had two miles to go. It was a very serious concern for me as I went into the last leg. I was reminded of my improper stretch nine miles before. I stopped in an attempt to make good. But the damage had been done. Yes, I am aware that my stretching violates the terms of that sign.

I left Jesse & Joel to take pictures of the ocean and make their way to the finish line. I found another woman and a coach from my training group. We ran together for a while and even though it was flat, I had a tougher time keeping up I was in pain. I started looking for aspirin at the water stops. I tried to think of ways to use one leg less than the other. You might say I was grasping at straws. But I was still smiling. I even laughed out loud at a sign reading "you've got stamina. Call me." Hilarious.

Bottom line: I had to go slower. I could not maintain my pace for more than a minute. Knowing there were just 20 minutes left made it more difficult. It seemed like I should have been able to power through the pain. But I had been trained well enough to know that "powering through" can lead to permanent pain. I had to run the rest of the race with my brain, which I fortunately had been preserving.

I was less than a mile from the finish when I knew I was going to finish. I mean I really knew I was going to finish. Again my proud self conveyed that to my tired self and again I started crying. It was incredible. It was empowering. It was almost over. I spotted Jesse & Joel along the wall to the finish line. That orange hat really was a good idea.

And then - 2:47:05 after I started - I finished the race.

I stomped (using the good leg) on the finishing mat. And then I was forced to stop. There are two things that happen at the finish. There are photographers taking pictures. And there are firefighters giving out little blue Tiffany & Co. boxes. The gaggle in front of me stopped (and clogged) the finish line to make sure the photographers saw them. It makes perfect sense now, but at the time I was quite confused. Crossing the finish line brought me back fr0m my special mental place. I was suddenly back, surrounded by strangers, and aching. My muscles did not like the running (which had slowed to a jog) followed by the sudden stop. I re-joined humanity feeling (and sounding) like Frankenstein.

While we runners worked to get our brains functioning at a social level, Nike decided to throw all kinds of things at us. I mean we were all stiff, bumping into each other, and grunting in apology. I knew about the necklace, so I took that. Then someone ran up and put a check mark on my belly. And then there were bananas - which the nutritionist told me to eat right away. After that, there was water and chocolate milk. There were Luna bars. Someone (fortunately) handed me a bag. Someone else coated me in foil. There was granola and yogurt. I got a t-shirt (and another belly check mark) and I finally remembered I had to (a) check out with Team in Training and (b) find the rest of #TeamDanie. Of course my phone was frozen and I couldn't find the right tent. I stood and I ate. Eventually I found the boys - conveniently standing next to the TNT tent. I checked out, got a sandwich, some chips, and a pear.

Look for me just before the "l" in "life," drinking water.

I'm centered, right before the different colored potties. I think that's where I got the foil.
Still lost. Wrapped. Eating.
Still eating, yet reaching for more food.

I could not stop eating. See me over there? Everything I got, I ate. I didn't even look at the necklace.I just looked for more food. Eventually my social skills returned and it was time to go. I hobbled toward a bus stop and stopped at the red cross station for some ice.

They had me sign a piece of paper and give my bib number. They had me sit and they tried to diagnose my injury. I told them it's happened before. They asked if it was an existing injury. I told them it only comes up when I run more than 11 miles. They suggested it was my IT band. I told them I had stretched and that the band didn't hurt. They were talking really slower and I did everything I could to convey I was in a hurry. Eventually I asked them if I could go. They said I could, but that they want runners to rest. I told them I was going to go sit on a bus, then sit at home. I assured them I would rest. And then I hobbled away.

The icing intervention.

The assembly.

I used the foil to bind the ice to my leg. And then I was distracted by a pretzel stand. I love hot pretzels. I especially loved that hot pretzel.

We got on a bus and headed back to the east side of town. We ended up walking (slowly) back home from Union Square. By that time, I had started to cramp. And I was cold. And I was thirsty, but afraid of having to rush to a bathroom. Jesse wrapped me like a baked potato and I was too tired to protest. I make a cute side dish anyway.

The wrapping of the Danie.

Back at home, I iced like a good athlete. I kept eating. I updated Twitter and Facebook and forgot to text my parents. I stretched and walked as little as possible. I took a shower and stretched some more. I put on my necklace. I became a marathoner.

24 October 2009

A "W" for #TeamDanie (v)

Sometime after the Marina, most of us runners got really quiet. Anyone who had studied the course knew we were heading up and that "up" was going to last a while. The first hill was so narrow, most of us walked. There were a few runners who tried to zig zag through the crowd. As far as I could tell they ended up tripping themselves as they stomped on the other runners. We were halfway done and I was still worried about conserving energy.

The next hill was steeper. It was wide enough for us to actually run and it's where I first noticed the silence. There were no bagpipes, choirs, street performers, water stops, or cheering sections. It was just the runners and the road. I heard a lot of breathing and a lot of "we're almost there." Those focused on the big picture were identifiable by their "the next one won't be as bad" mantras. I don't remember exactly what I was thinking. I know I wasn't still sad / disappointed / angry. I know I was determined, and that I kept reminding myself I had run that road before. I knew I could do it because I had done it. Reaching the top was like a mini-finish line. A woman standing by herself at the top cheered me. She called me Diane, then got it right. I smiled and was happy again.

The course turned flat, and then down. I found Joanne and we maintained our safe pace. Even more than halfway through the race, I was worried about going too fast. I had not run 13 miles before and I was afraid my body would just shut down after 11. Plus we knew there was another hill approaching. Joanne (one of those big picture people) said it was twice as long as the last one at half the elevation. Basically it was supposed to be easier. Still, it was an intimidating sight. The hill went up, then turned. The end was not in sight and as I looked up at it, I felt myself slowing down. I shortened my stride, put my head down and took one step at a time.

It was difficult. The body was tired. Shot blocks and water were not enough. I went to a mental place I did not know existed. I was alone. But I was running next to myself offering encouragement. While part of me was really tired, another part was really proud and excited. My tired self could feel my encouraging self. I don't think I've ever been as proud of myself as I was at that moment. I saw a sign that read "you're not a runner. You're a marathoner." And I started to cry - which brought me back to the reality of three miles (and further up) to go.

And then there were oranges. Kaiser Permanente had storage bins full of quartered oranges. There were thousands of them, and they were the most juicy, satisfying, delicious oranges I've ever tasted. I tried to eat just one. I didn't train with oranges and I didn't want to mess with my rhythm. But they were really good, and the line of orange givers was long enough for me to taste one, have a debate, stick to my guns, change my mind and do something about it. Man, they were succulent.

And then we were at the last hill. It wasn't steep. It was just there. It was the last hill, and I thought the last thing keeping me at a slower pace. I wanted to charge up (powered by citrus) and coast to the finish line. But I was already tired. And my charge was more like a... well it certainly wasn't a charge. I saw one of my coaches toward the top. He ran to me and we ran up together. It made a difference. I was able to go faster and keep up because I expected to be able to go faster and keep up. We hit the top and that was it - the last of the hills. The most intimidating part of the entire race was literally behind me. It was literally downhill from there. I hadn't done it, but I was so close. I wanted to do a little dance. But there was no energy for that.


There, just before the start of the descent, were Jesse & Joel. I have no idea how they found me - I was looking in the opposite direction at the time. I was near no specific marker on no specific point along the route. But there they were. And I was happy to see them. Jesse reeked of relief, admitting he knew I was "sooo mad." Their adventure somehow took them on a bus. I'm not clear on the details - because honestly, they don't matter. They had found me. And the only wrong of the entire day had been righted.

Just as they found me. I like this picture because you see a lot of purple. Those are all Team in Training runners. We represent.

23 October 2009

A "W" for #TeamDanie (iv)

Jesse & Joel were right near the starting line. I saw Jesse before he saw me (thanks to his bright orange hat) and he took my picture. I wouldn't see him for another ten miles. I took in the empty San Francisco streets. I noticed the empty San Francisco sidelines. There were few people out aside from security and I did notice there was no gate blocking the cable car route on California Street.

I made sure to pace myself, knowing the adrenaline usually makes runners start too fast. I cursed walkers who had started in my pace group and were center-lane. And then we saw the first "restrooms" and I had a decision to make.

I had to go, but I didn't have to go a lot. I wanted to stop and stretch, but we were just a mile into the course. I knew I should go before I really needed to, but I have a strong dislike of public restrooms. and really wanted to get through the race without using a restroom. Portable public restrooms honestly make me throw up a little in my mouth. Ultimately my decision was made by another runner who told her friend she was waiting for the next one. That told me to get while the getting was "good." The line was short and even though it wasn't my most thorough stretch ever, it was a stretch. I think the whole stop took about five minutes.

Joanne and I chatted and ran comfortably. We were running along the Embarcadero, where we had run several times before for training. We talked about the costumes we liked. We reminded each other to maintain our pacing and not race ahead just because we knew what was coming. We talked about where her husband would be and where Jesse would be and gushed over how excited we were to be doing what we never thought we could.

I started to feel like I was in a movie, sound tracked by the gospel choir near Pier 39. In my mind, I was the underdog - running the race despite the doubts and against the odds. And then I was in a documentary, where I had put in the training and finally in the moment. I was happy to be there, among 20,000+ runners being cheered and applauded by strangers. My breathing was good. My body felt good. All was right and the whole experience was turning out to be very emotional. I could have cried when I heard the bagpipes near Fisherman's Wharf. Instead I tried to take a picture of the band.

Apparently I had some work to do on my technique.
(cell phone picture taken @ 7:28:30)

Speaking of the wharf, it my least favorite place of all the places I run. It's narrow and usually crowded. Maybe I dislike it because I know there's a hill right at the end. Maybe I dislike the smell of questionable seafood. Maybe not. Either way, I don't like the wharf. And when Jesse suggested he meet me there, I said no. We agreed on the Marina. I promised to find his bright little head.

But guess what? He was at the wharf. Not know that, I did not look for him. Supposedly, he & Joel were looking for me. The were across from the bagpipes.

(video from our camera @ 7:27:41)

We took our pictures less than a minute apart. But I didn't see them and I don't think they're video captured me. Apparently Jesse's note of times & mileage put him on the right pace. But if two people don't know they've coordinated a meeting, does it make a sound?

There were three hills leading to the Marina. Only one had been part of my regular training. But the others weren't bad. Joanne and I ran up and maintained our conversation. That was a big deal. If the race had ended there, I would have been fine. It didn't. We kept going. I decided to start pausing for the pictures. I wasn't running that fast or that hard, and I didn't think I'd trip anyone behind me if I stopped, clicked, and resumed. I got a nice picture of the third hill, which was so narrow we all essentially walked to the top. Once it was conquered, we headed into the Marina, which I had expected to be my favorite part of the run.

I scoured the Marina, and never found an orange head. Joanne helped me look and as we headed into the Presidio I had to accept Jesse (self proclaimed documentary picture taker) was not there. I stopped. The disappointment was that overwhelming. I was sad. I checked my phone and saw a message telling me he was at the wharf 20 minutes earlier. I ate my shot block. I drank some water. I lost a lot of the wind from my sails. I was angry. I mean we did have a plan. He agreed to it. And when I wasn't looking, he changed it to what he wanted, instead of what we planned. The mile that had been the expected favorite was actually quite miserable. We had one more planned meeting place. But there was no reason to think he'd be able to pace me and be there when I was. I tried to get back to where I had been mentally with the scenery and the camaraderie. But I just felt really alone. And then it was time to head up the hills.

22 October 2009

A "W" for #TeamDanie (iii)

They say you can't sleep the night before the race. I set out to prove them wrong. And I failed.

The way I remember it, I was in a deep, replenishing sleep until I heard the familiar tinkle of a text message. I didn't check the message (I keep my phone out of reach when I sleep) and rolled over to continue my snooze. Too bad my brain jumped to hyper activity.
Who sent that message? What time is it? Am I late meeting my running mates? Why didn't my alarm go off? Why didn't Jesse's alarm go off? Did the power go out? That wouldn't matter. Just check the phone. Well look outside; is that "3AM dark "or "5AM dark?" They would have called if you weren't there. Go back to sleep.

But nerves had been rattled. I slowly convinced myself I hadn't overslept. I even convinced myself I had gone back to sleep for a bit. But I really just woke up with my eyes closed. I did a body check for injuries. I did an in-bed stretch and some deep breathing. I even re-checked my checklist. And after all that, it was only 4AM. I lay in bed for another hour.

The "race day ritual" had been set for months. It's the same as any "run day ritual." I had trained my body to be a creature of habit. And that moment of truth did not warrant a moment of change. I had toast and coffee 90 minutes before run time. I gulped down a tall glass of water. I packed my utility belt. I checked my phone (the 3AM text was from my dad). I updated Twitter & Facebook, and stared at myself in the mirror. I was ready. I just had to wait for the rest of #teamDanie.

I brought Jesse & Joel a blank sign from the Expotique Thursday night. It was so they - as spectators - could write something encouraging for me to read as I passed them. No, I never handed them markers. But Jesse & I share a desk. So he knows where the pens & markers are. Still, sign coloring didn't commence until a quarter to go time Sunday morning.

Joel getting started.

A two man color job once we realized it was time to go.

We then walked down the street (see me & Joel to the left) to meet designated running buddies Joanne, Charlene and (girl) Jesse. Charlene & (girl) Jesse are mentors with Team in Training. Neither was technically my mentor, but we live in the same neighborhood and shared a lot of sweat this season. Joanne lives near my job. She and I run close to the same pace. So we became friends during the season and decided to at least start the race together. We met at 6:15 and walked down to Union Square. It was starting to hit me.

We saw other runners as we headed down the hill. Imagine being up at 6 on a Sunday morning, walking to your workout, and finding first hundreds - then thousands - of people doing the same. It was surreal and for a minute I felt as if I couldn't open my eyes wide enough for my brain to understand it all. I stopped thinking about the course, about the running, about the everything. I was just there. It was mighty exciting.

My butt & utility belt.

Me, (girl) Jesse, Charlene & Joanne

We sorted ourselves by pace time. Basically we were wrapped around the black from the start line. Once at our designated corner, we waited. We tried to take pictures to capture the moment, but it honestly wasn't possible. It wasn't the same as being at a ballgame, or as being on the Las Vegas Strip for New Year's Eve. It wasn't even the same as being floor level at a concert. It wasn't even like the 5k I ran in September. It was its own feeling, felt only by the people who were there or who have been around a large group of runners. There were 20,000 of us registered. People like me brought two supporters. People like Charlene and (girl) Jesse weren't registered. It was quite the "to do."

The corner for our pace group.


Yup. I ran with my phone. Since Jesse had the camera, I needed it to document. Plus I have trouble "disconnecting."

Jesse & I planned meeting spots along the course. Based on me running a 1o minute mile, Jesse wrote down times and mile markers on a piece of paper. He tucked the paper in a folder with the course and the spectator guide and put that in his back pocket. He was ready, not deterred even after I told him there was no way I'd be starting right at 7. There were elite runners. There were Impalas. There were 8 minute milers. I think there were even wheelchair racers. There was no way I'd be starting at 7, but Jesse said he wasn't worried. And then neither was I.

Jesse's race day packet.

Jesse's orange marker. It was a lot easier for me to find him than for him to find me.

He & Joel went to the start. I stood in the street. The music got louder. There were various bouts of cheering. There were faces in the windows of the hotels surrounding us. I started wondering if they knew what was happening. I made sure my friends were close. I started singing along. I kicked a few fallen water bottles. I looked for Jesse. I checked my phone for his locale. I updated Twitter. I saw the starting mat. I looked at Joanne and I memorized the moment. I was racing.

21 October 2009

A "W" for #TeamDanie (ii)

I hadn't given too much thought to inspiration during my training. I had decided to run. I devoted my time to running and raising funds. I was doing what I set out to do simply because I said I was going to do it. But if ever I needed inspiration, it was there. One of my fellow runners celebrated nine months in remission the day of our last run. We were thanked constantly throughout the training for our fund raising. We received emails explaining how our funds were being used. And while curing and treating blood cancers was not always top of mind for me, I knew it was the real reason for the (race) season.

There was an inspiration dinner the night before the race. It was a Team in Training event and it was the first time I realized the magnitude of our group. There were 5,000 walkers / runners there, from across the United States and Canada. We had all done something to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. And for that, the LLS is grateful. I didn't fully realize that until I walked into the convention center that Saturday night:

Since we were arriving one of two at a time, that welcome was overwhelming. I'm rarely at the center of that much attention. I felt as if I had done something significant for these people. It was as if they were there just for me and I almost couldn't handle it. I know most people have thankless jobs and perform thankless tasks knowing they should be appreciated. I went into that convention center proud because I had done something for myself. Seeing, hearing and feeling the appreciation from these strangers was humbling. I admit it; I started to cry.

There were a lot of numbers, statistics, tips, and stories dished out at the dinner. I came away thinking we had raised a lot of money, and that a lot of people had significantly better fund raising strategies than mine. I remember thinking we had made the world a better place for people affected by blood cancers, and that our reward was running a good 13.1 or 26.2 mile race. I remember being confused.

I went home that night and did my homework. I put my name on my shirt, so people would be able to cheer for me. I expected a few cheers, even though seeing my written name confuses most people. I've been called "Day-knee," "Diane" and "Dah-nye-ah." But I figured I had to try. I could have named myself "Dani," but pride refused. I just printed my given nickname and hoped for the best.

Jersey, attached bib, timing chip, and pacer wristband. At the time I was trying to figure out what to do with that extra sticker that contained my bib number.

Other homework included attaching my bib, packing my utility belt, and laying out everything I planned to bring or wear. They say there shouldn't be any changes the morning of the race and I've always been one to do what I'm told. So I got my race gear ready from head to toe. I put it all together, checked it, (rechecked it) and went to bed. As I had no idea what to expect, it was easy to not think about the race and fall asleep.

20 October 2009

A "W" for #TeamDanie

They say the woman who starts the race is not the same woman who finishes the race. I don't know who "they" are, but I have to agree. Training for the race changed me in certain ways. I learned I could run. I found I know a lot of runners, who have a lot of experience and miles of advice. Actually running the race brought me more. If I had to give it a name, it would be "confidence." But I think it's more. I feel stronger. I feel wiser. I feel more inspired. I feel capable and that nothing is insurmountable. I feel I can do more and achieve more - just because I want to do so. I feel great.

Race weekend can be described in three parts:

The Expotique is where we got our bibs. It started the Thursday before the race and I decided to be among the first in line. It seemed like a no brainer: 20,000 runners all had to pass through the same tent. I was on my way to being (very) early to check in when I happened upon Niketown.

One side of the building was wrapped in what appeared to be pink. I first noticed the banner at the top, congratulating the 20,000 runners who had raised money for the LLS. It was my first taste at the size of the event. It's one thing to say "20,000 people." But it's nearly impossible to conceptualize. As I stared at the building I thought "one of those is me," and I started smiling.

And then I got closer. And I saw the pink was really white on red. And the white was a stream of names. And I realized I was bound to be among those names. And I was really excited.

The names.

The name that mattered most to me.

I probably spent 20 minutes at that wall. I emailed the picture of my name to everyone whose email address I could remember. I tried to convey the moment - to channel the feeling - but I couldn't. I saw my excitement mirrored in the faces of strangers scanning and squealing at the wall. Right then I felt both really alone (because I was there by myself) and really connected to the strangers in this special group with me. I could hardly contain myself. And then it was time to get official. I walked over to Union Square and waited for the Expotique to officially open.

The theme.

The tent.

First impression from the inside: organized. If you know me, you know I'm a fan of things being neat and orderly. I could have designed this thing myself. The half runners were separated from the full runners. There were screens facing us, so that we could check and correct our information. Everything was put in front of us - so we could see if anything was missing. They even had the safety pins linked in sets of four, so that they were easy to grab. It was an organizer's dream. The different areas were all well labeled. And there were plenty of volunteers who knew what was happening. It was glorious.

The main stage.

I got my drink ticket and wristband and dinner. There were wraps, sandwiches, cookies, fruit, juices, sodas, smoothies, and margaritas. There was a DJ, and an emcee. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but the mood was that of a real kick off party. Everyone there was excited and genuine. It's rare for a group of women to be in the same place and not trying to hurt / undermine each other. This was one of those times and it was nice.

Bike blended smoothies.

The really girly stuff was inside. There were manicures courtesy of JetBlue. That's not my kind of thing, but the line tells me they were popular. Cole Haan was sponsoring a raffle and an oxygen bar. Luna was offering different kinds of chews to sample. Safeway was there, giving people the option to bike and blend their own smoothies. The smoothies were good, but I chose not to blend. As I told the recruiter - I had a race to run.

13 October 2009

Ambitious Vacation (fin)

Monday, 31 August 2009
This was the least action packed day of the entire Angie Extravaganza. And we started the day with a 9 mile run. The run was a make up for Saturday. I felt I had to get it in because I had already missed the official training for that week. As an incentive for my beloved friend, I planned the run to go across the Golden Gate. Fair? Maybe not, but she agreed to it. So we set off Monday morning to have a good run.

It won't surprise to know Angie runs with a camera. She keeps it tucked in a case on her arm. It's not her official telephoto-lens-compatible-camera, but it gets the job done. And we used it to capture the height of our athleticism. You'd never know this, but we weren't exactly "active" children. We didn't spend our summers climbing ropes and playing catch at camp. We mostly talked on the phone. And when we were together we mostly sat, ate Tyson / OreIda products, and watched TV. I've known Angie for 19 years and running those 9 miles was the most athletic thing we had ever done together. It was fantastic.

After the run, the day got a lot easier. We went down a basic tourist checklist. We ate sourdough at Boudin - where I'm pretty sure I saw a man steal a bread bowl. We bought shot glasses and trinkets for family members. We dawdled, wasted time, and took a boat tour out to Alcatraz.

The Alcatraz outing was great. I was a little worried that there would be more sight-seers than sights to actually see. The tour boat left every half hour and it was full every single time. And let's face it, the rock wasn't picked to house a jail because of its size. Still, it all worked out. Angie brought sunny weather and calm water. It was warm, without being too hot to walk. And even though there were hundreds of people on our boat, it didn't see that crowded once we docked.

Alcatraz was basically functioning one day and shut down the next. The facilities are all still there and could totally be fixed up to run again. If there were an Extreme Makeover: Prison Edition it would be a great candidate. I mean it's just sitting there. It could be used for all sorts of things. Of course then it wouldn't be the attraction that it is. No one would pay to see a shiny, functioning prison. So I guess the wasted, dilapidated space wins.

If there's a way to see the Golden Gate, Angie will find it.

We took the Alcatraz audio tour and I liked it more than I thought I would. We paused when we needed to pause and we did our best to stay in sync. We were in no rush to  leave the Island and that meant Angie had all the time to take all the pictures she wanted. But even she recognized too much of a good thing and at one point said "I have to stop." She didn't. But it was a nice gesture.

If I were a criminal, this is how I would look.

For our reunion finale, we returned to the scene of great happiness: The Cheesecake Factory. I was determined to eat some food and get a slice of cheesecake. Know what? The desserts have fewer calories & less sodium than the meals. I'm not going to elaborate. But that nutrition guide is a real eye  opener. We sat with the sun shining over Union Square victorious. We were able to do all we set out to do. We didn't spend a lot of money or waste a lot of time. We were the epitome of efficient travelers and I was proud. We're awesome.

Once Angie was packed, we made a mad dash to the train station. On the way, we saw a man urinating at us. I mean that wasn't his intention (I don't think) but he was facing us (and the rest of the street) and just going.

Angie had picked a good time to go.

12 October 2009

Ambitious Vacation (vi)

Sunday, 30 August 2009

One day at an Angie-Danie pace was too much for Jesse. He woke up Sunday with a cold. We all slept in, since our plan for the day wasn't going to happen. We thought to drive to Yosemite and spend the day there. It would have been gorgeous had there not been a fire in the park. The live cameras showed smoke and hazy conditions. There of course was the chance the fire would have been out by the time we got there, but we doubted the evacuation order would have been lifted just for us. So we slept another two hours and headed to Lake Tahoe.

We hadn't been to Lake Tahoe since before we moved to California. Jesse and I camped on the Nevada side last August with Chris and Amber. This time we were on the California side and while we went there thinking we'd do some hiking, three days of action caught up to us. We could have hiked, but we already had a great view from the ground. We stopped at a scenic overlook (to of course capture the scenery) and realized we really didn't need to do much else.

We found a better beach spot and a grocery store to provide snacks. Angie & I ventured into the water while Jesse either rested in the sun or wandered in the streets. We relaxed. We dozed. It was like a the Saturday to our vacation work week. It was great. We ended up walking through a free concert area, where Angie experimented with her telephoto lens. As far as I can tell, the lens makes anything look awesome. Jesse had the same theory and of course put it to the test.

While I understood the concept, my brain had trouble putting it into play.

Seriously? What was I trying to do there.
Eventually I got it, but trust the picture would have been better if Angie had taken it.

Tahoe was great to us. Again we had perfect weather and everything worked out as well as we could have hoped. It was the beginning of the end of Angie's trip.