Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Plan B (and C, and D, and E, and...)

Not the smoothest of trips we've ever had. But at least we weren't at the mercy of the airlines for 12 hours again.

Okay - the getting there part. We left a little later than planned (noon-ish) and ended up dropping off Roxy around 3 or 4-ish. Not good with 8+ hours and dinner staring us in the face. But, we had XM radio and a movie to keep us rolling and it was going well.

PLAN B - Stop short of Durham
We stop off to get gas in Wytheville, VA around 10pm or so and make the realization that we've still got almost 3 hours to go. Neither of us *really* wanted to be in a car for that much longer, so we made the decision to pull out the map and find a good place another hour or so down the road. Solution - Winston-Salem, NC, home of Wake Forest University (and this really nice looking lake to run around).
After wrapping around all of Winston-Salem to the soutwestern side, we arrive at our hotel and get ready for the next day. Beth's eyes are starting to bug her a little, but we go to bed and see how they are in the morning.
PLAN C - Someone find me an eye doctor!!!!
So, we wake up and Beth's eyes are REALLY bugging her. So bad that she could barely open and she said it felt like there was glass in her eyes. So, we don't run and sleep in a little more (she didn't sleep much because of the eyes) and we call our eye doctor place (which isn't the friendliest of places to begin with) and explain our situation and was wondering if he could call in a prescription to the local CVS so we could get some relief for Beth's eyes. After going back and forth calling with them for half an hour, it turns out the doctor cannot prescribe the steroids for the eyes across state lines without seeing her first. Ugh!
So, what does he do? Prescribes this NON-GENERIC antibiotic without the steroids. We were desperate and ordered it up at the local CVS (which actually had a pharmacist from Plum HS and Pitt --small world!) and paid the HUGE non-generic price for the eyedrops that didn't even have the good stuff in them. Ugh!
Beth puts in the eye drops, but it's not helping much. We pack up the car and get on the road to Durham, but we're only about two exits down the road where Beth can't manage the pain anymore. We pull off and enlist bro-in-law to help us find a place in Durham for Beth to be seen. He gets on that and we get back on the road. 10 minutes later it's too much, so we use our Blackberries (what did we do before them) and find a Lenscrafters in Greensboro (next city over).
The people at Lenscrafters were the type of people that I think personify the south. Friendly, helpful, willing to spend time with you, willing to help out. They were awesome. They saw Beth very quickly (even though she didn't have an appointment), the doctor answered all their questions, and this nice lady sitting beside us told us there was a Rite-Aid just down the street. How great!
We drop off the prescription and the nice people (notice a trend?) at Rite-Aid pointed us in the direction of some good choices for lunch. We eat at Qdoba, pick up the steroids, and get back on the road. We make it finally to Durham by 3pm or so Friday (after planning on getting there late Thursday night. Oh well).
B & D were great and helped us settle right in and cooked a great meal (Martha Stewart-like) and we ate it all. Yum!
PLAN D - Vision-optional training
So now that we knew that Beth's eyes weren't going to rot and fall out, we needed to reassess the training plan for the weekend. Beth was out for the Big Deuce/Little Uno swim at Jordan Lake because not having contacts in would make sighting in open water a little bit tricky. So, the next option was to still go to have me swim. But, I weighed the options of getting up at 4:30am to eek out a finish ahead of granny (yet still get experience in open water swimming) versus sleeping in and making this trip seem more like a vacation instead of another travelling race weekend.
Sleep won out (and many naps over the weekend, too).
Instead, on Saturday, we did a 2-hour run in Umstead Park (Beth could see the crushed limestone path). While the trails were awesome and very shady it was NAS-TY weather. Humidity so thick us northerners could barely breathe. But, we survived. Then, to compensate for the swimming we went to our second home for the weekend:

We were there Saturday, Sunday, and again on Monday before we left town. In fact, on Monday I had a yardage PR of 3100yds. So, very effective swimming weekend for me in spite of passing up on the open-water opportunity.

Saturday afternoon was spent napping, watching the TdF time trial day, snacking, eating, more napping, and playing Settlers of Catan. Really cool board game sort of (but not really) like monopoly. What I like about it is that the board setup is random so it's a new game and a new strategy each time you play. Also, the game's all about probability which is a math teacher's dream.

PLAN E - Slightly longer run than planned
Sunday morning consisted of another run Beth was shooting for just 30-minute run, but I wanted to do a little more. The original plan was to run over to Duke's campus and I would just do a little more (like 45 minutes total) there as Beth went back. But, I got this idea to go from the East part of campus down to the west part because I took the camera with me.

This tunnel is the one that cuts under a main road and some railroad tracks to get you from East Campus to West Campus. Over there, I snapped some more shots of the entrance to the Duke Gardens and Duke Medical Center.

Next thing I know, I look at my watch and I'm at 33 minutes. Oops! I was just enjoying the scenery so much. Duke's a great campus. So, a slightly longer run than planned, but that's okay.

On the way back to the house, I snapped a shot of the OLD Durham Bulls stadium. This is where the movie Bull Durham was filmed.

PLAN F - Due to extreme temperatures...
We were scheduled to go to the 5:05 Sunday evening Durham Bulls game. However, after the temperature forecasts were near 100 degrees for the weekend, they pushed back the game to 7:00...and thank goodness! It was STILL really hot for the first few innings until the sun went down.

Before the game, we met up with my good high school and PSU buddy Karl (we all call him Shaq, short for ShaqKarl - long story from 10th grade gym class). He's doing post-doc work at UNC and told us about how he works with mice and stuff. Pretty cool. Shaq, his wife and two boys met up with us at the Mellow Mushroom for some GREAT pizza. Highly recommend it. By the way, that's his son's dinosaur in the picture.

Then off to the game. The stadium is neat. It has a high wall in left field called the Blue Monster (like its green counterpart in Boston) and has a Bull on top of the wall that lights up with red eyes and breathes smoke when a Bulls player hits a home run. We witnessed with the 2nd Bulls batter of the game drilled one over the fence in right center. Pretty exciting.

A good time had by all at the game.

There was even a J.J. Furmaniak sighting. He was a former Pirates minor leaguer that didn't do too much when he call called up to the Bucs in 2005. According to the stats, he only played 30 games and hit .192 in 26 AB's, but you've got to love the name!

PLAN G - Big, red blob heading our way!
So, we're enjoying the game and we see some dark skies (albeit it was dark already) and then some lightning off in the distance. Becky checks the radar on her phone and we see a big red blob coming our way. We ride it out into the bottom of the 8th inning when Syracuse made a pitching change with the Bulls up 3-0. We figured we better get moving before the storm comes. We exit the stadium and then WHOOSH, it starts raining cats and dogs (not the one pictured below)! We rush back to the car soaked, but make it in one piece.

Monday morning we pack up our stuff and say our goodbyes. We get in our swim and weights at the Y and head back to western PA. Great trip and thanks to much to B & D for the hospitality!


Beth said...

Hmm...I guess we did go through plans B, C, D, E...did we get to Z?? :)

Poor Luna, such a tortured life.

Steve said...

Great write up. Sounds like you don't stress about anything at all.

You have a good set of eyes too. You see all kinds of things when you are away from home.

Jennifer Harrison said...

Ok that made me a little tired. GLAD it all worked out in the end, funny how that works, right? :)