the real season finale

Originally I was going to title this post “season finale.” But when I typed the title into wordpress, it told me that I already had a post titled “season finale,” which I wrote almost exactly one year ago. So I changed the title of this post to “the real season finale.”

Since I work a 4×10 schedule, my weekends always start on Friday. Since I knew this would be a gluttonous weekend, and since my leg was starting to heal up, I decided to go for a jog. Luckily my friend Chris was free, and conveniently enough, he lived within walking/jogging distance of Ocean beach.

He wanted to take his son Sam. It was a bit cold out so it took a while to get him bundled up and strapped into the stroller. Wearing his blue jacket and strapped tightly into the stroller’s three point harness, little Sammy looked like a little astronaut ready for a launch into space.

We quickly found that running on the beach with a stroller was a stupid idea. Even in the wet sand close to the water the stroller was hard to push, and the front wheel would dig into the sand as soon as we stopped. We ended up running on the path next to the beach, but even that was pretty hard. We took turns pushing the stroller. I think each of us pushed for about half a mile for a total run of one mile. Sometimes when I bike along the bike paths in Davis I see a guy who I call SuperDad. SuperDad runs with a double wide stroller with two kids and a dog. After this attempted run on the beach I find I have a new found respect for Mr SuperDad.

There’s a couple of friends who have birthdays around the same day as mine, so often we’d celebrate them together. For the past couple I had celebrated together with Dho at Oz. This year I was in the bay, so instead of Oz with Dho it was Beque with Gid and Jason. I think Oz has better marinated meats, but Beque has pork belly, better side dishes, and comes with a soup, so in the end they’re about even in my mind.

On Saturday the gluttony continued at the Tomales Bay Oyster farm. I had been planning to go there with a couple of friends, but it looked like it was going to rain, so we almost cancelled the trip. We looked at the weather forecast the night before and decided to go because it looked like the rain would hold off at least until the afternoon. Surprisingly the rain forecast didn’t really scare people away. It was still pretty packed there.

In addition to the raw oysters we had clams in white wine sauce.

Part of the fun of Tomales bay is in seeing what other people are cooking. We had setup next to a group that was making paella. The cook (the guy in the blue jacket) was really friendly. I guess he noticed that we kept staring at his paella pan and came over to talk to us.

When it was all done he brought some for us. He said it never quite comes out perfect. I think if I were being nit-picky, the only minor quibble for me was that the rice may be a little al dente for my taste. But the bottom line was he made a pretty freaking awesome paella on a rainy day over a charcoal fire. I was very impressed and also very inspired. I think I wanna buy a paella pan and attempt to make a paella next time I’m out there.

The timing worked out almost perfectly for us. The rain held off until we were just about finished eating. As soon as the sky opened up you could see all the different groups of people reach for their umbrellas and huddle around the grill to protect their precious food (and I guess for warmth too).

For Sunday I was signed up for the Giro D Vino, a 105km bike ride through the Lodi wine country. When I woke up, I seriously contemplated just staying in bed. It was cold and wet outside, and I hate wearing my bike rain gear.

It was cloudy for most of the morning, but it never really rained on us, and by the end of the day the sun started to come out.

I’ve been on bike rides which included wine tasting before, but this ride was different. It seemed like the wine tasting was almost the main event. There were twelve or thirteen different wineries that sponsored the event and opened their doors to the cyclists for tastings. I’m kind of indifferent toward wine tasting. I’ll go, but it’s not really something I consider fun, probably because I think of it as somewhat snooty or snobby. But wine tasting in sweaty spandex sort of takes the snootiness factor away, and in a way actually makes it kind of enjoyable to me. Plus it was cold outside, and the wine helped to warm up the soul and helped me forget that my cheeks (both pairs of them) were freezing.

I think in the future this will be the century ride that I’ll bring people on for their first ride. The course is pretty flat, and there’s a 65km option which should be doable for most people. For most century rides the rest stops are about 20 miles apart, but for this one, since there’s so many wineries, the stops are more like 5-10 miles apart. So yea, it was a fun ride, a good way to end the bicycling season.

So anyways, back to the title. This is the season finale because it’s the end of bicycling season, and the end of my 2011 outdoor season in general. It’s also a big finale because it’s the end of my life as a twenty something year old. People have been asking me if life feels different as a thirty year old. To be honest, it’s too early for me to tell. There’s somewhat of a stigma that comes from being thirty and still single. For me a lot of that comes from my parents, who constantly remind me that I need to get married. But they’ve been doing that for years now, so it’s not any different as a thirty year old.

A lot of people take thirty to be a big milestone, a big turning point in their lives, a real change in life’s seasons. But for me, I can honestly say life doesn’t feel all that different today than it did two days ago, so perhaps this is not the real season finale. I guess that is yet to come.


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