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Nora Lost Her First Tooth!

Click to view more photos and video on Flickr

Click to see more photos and video on Flickr

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BOO!

Flower Fairy & Corpse Bride

Florida Dreamin’

A week and a half in Florida with the in-laws does a body good! Angie and Dell’s townhouse is so comfortable and cute, and in such a great location. We walked around downtown Fernandina Beach – there were pirates afoot! We visited a turtle rescue/hospital on Jekyll Island, and ate at the Georgia Pig (great BBQ). But the best part of all was the two-block-walk to the beach for sun and sand. Nora and Dell did some boogie boarding. We built sand castles, collected shells, and did some sunset sparklers. We wanted another week of visiting and it was oh-so-hard to leave. Thanks again to MamaT and PapaT for such great hospitality! View the photos on Flickr.

Beachy Nora

Beachy Nora

Nora with Kiki the Koala

Nora with Kiki the Koala

Justin, Pauline and Jason (aka The Dingo) came to visit from Houston. Dingo brought Nora a koala bear that came all the way from his native Australia… so sweet of Uncle Dingo! Nora named her Kiki the Koala.

They did the tourist thing around SF, including TWO visits to House of Nan King! The weather was a bit foggy, but we did see some sun.

We did a limo wine tasting jaunt on the Silverado Trail on Saturday. We visited Domaine Carneros for some sparkling wine, then headed to Quixote for reds and entered the most amazing building we have ever experienced in our lives. It was designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000), and you honestly have to see it for yourselves someday. Then finished out the day at Miner, who had a beautiful “Rosato” – a dry rosĂ© of Sangiovese.

I didn’t take any photos, but Dingo and Pauline did. Once I get their pix, I will post them on my Flickr account for sharing.

Bike Zen

This made me realize I need to buy myself a bike… 🙂

A Zen Teacher saw five of his students return from the market, riding their bicycles. When they had dismounted, the teacher asked the students, “Why are you riding your bicycles?”

The first student replied, “The bicycle is carrying this sack of potatoes. I am glad that I do not have to carry them on my back!” The teacher praised the student, saying, “You are a smart boy. When you grow old, you will not walk hunched over, as I do.”

The second student replied, “I love to watch the trees and fields pass by as I roll down the path.” The teacher commended the student, “Your eyes are open and you see the world.”

The third student replied, “When I ride my bicycle, I am content to chant, nam myoho renge kyo.” The teacher gave praise to the third student, “Your mind will roll with the ease of a newly trued wheel.”

The fourth student answered, “Riding my bicycle, I live in harmony with all beings.” The teacher was pleased and said, “You are riding on the golden path of non-harming.”

The fifth student replied, “I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle.” The teacher went and sat at the feet of the fifth student, and said, “I am your disciple.”

Family BBQ Time

The Family BBQing

The Family BBQing

Nora’s Pink Cast

Nora will get her cast off on Tues 7/8… but for now, watch out for her ultra-pink-super-arm

Nora's Pink Cast

Q-T Quincy

My niece is super-cute in her tiny-tines pigtails!

This is so totally cool… a rider named Steph shot the view from her handlebars with a FlipCam, and made a video out of it. You can see most of the 7 day route in just 7 minutes!

I met so many amazing people on the ride… I am feeling, as one rider termed it, “PAR-D (the Post ALC Ride Droop).” One woman I met along the way happened to be on my flight home, and we exchanged emails. Laurie sent me the note she had sent to her supporters, and I wanted to share it with you, because it summed it up so well. Thanks to Laurie for the words below!

FOR 7 DAYS… We rode our bikes along the ocean up hills, MAJOR hills, strawberry fields, artichoke farms, wineries, blue grass, open fields with winds gusting at 50+ mph, winds that howled, winds that spoke the voices of those who were lost to this disease, of riders past, eerie, but it kept us going.

FOR 7 DAYS… We rode through small towns where children lined the streets, hands out to give “high fives” to as many riders they could congratulate.

FOR 7 DAYS…We slept in tents (“tent city”) in different camps, in different cities to the sounds of again, the wind, voices of those talking to loved ones, loud snores, and the dreaded port-a-potty doors slamming in the middle of the night.

FOR 7 DAYS…We showered in trucks, let me repeat, SHOWERED IN TRUCKS.

FOR 7 DAYS…We waited in lines for food, to shower, to use the “port-a-potties”, to view our messages of support, etc., etc. No one complained, it didn’t matter, just gave us the chance to meet more interesting people.

FOR 7 DAYS…We rubbed “Butt Butter” on our chafed areas, out in the open – it didn’t matter, nothing to hide. I am now sharing my daughter’s diaper rash cream to assist with the “chafed area” recovery. (I know TMI: too much information!)

FOR 7 DAYS…We looked forward to arriving at Rest Stop 4: the most animated and energetic group of roadies who dressed to the nines in Top Gun attire, as the Pink Ladies from Grease, Badminton champs and in drag – their antics entertained us and helped get us through the last leg each and every day.

FOR 7 DAYS…We were spoiled by EVERY roadie from massage therapists (my awesome tent mate) to the roadies who hauled the gear, who fed us lunch, and attended to our medical needs. Bless every one of them- all 500!!!

FOR 7 DAYS…At least once a day, we would break out in song, while riding, so much so that we agreed to produce an ALC Hymnal to capture all of the “a Capella” tunes. We hit delirium, again, at least once a day, laughing so hard we would cry and almost fall off of our bicycles doing so.

FOR 7 DAYS…We were heroes. People lined the streets with signs and posters. They beat drums, blew horns, clapped, cheered and shouted multiple thank yous.

FOR 7 DAYS…We laughed and we cried, formed bonds, looked out for one another, held hands and united.

FOR 7 DAYS…3,000 of us lived in a Utopia.

FOR 7 DAYS…We were selfless.

I am thankful for this experience and for all of you – I feel blessed with your support and love. As much as I have tried, this doesn’t entirely capture what I experienced. It is one that almost matches the birth of my daughter, my little angel, Jordan. People have said the ride will change you. I would have to agree.