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Archive for April, 2010

Each spring I ask my legs the same question as I climb the smallest hill at a snail’s pace: “What is wrong with you?? This is merely a small mound.” Even the smallest hill seems like a mountain. Cycling is one of those sports where you have to ride frequently in order to keep your endurance. Taking the shortest amount of time off such as a week can cause you to work harder when you return. I know what you are saying: “Well, what do you expect since you did not spin all winter long!” But spinning is boring and I don’t like gyms. And what about all that cross-country skiing and running that I did throughout the winter, shouldn’t that have helped me? I think that the answer is yes. Sure riding up the hills is painful and I am slow, but I can still climb them. That was not the case a few years ago. Also at the same time, I can still go 25 to 30 miles per hour on the flats without feeling like my legs are going to fall off. Without all the activities that I did during the winter, I am sure that I would not have been able to pick it back up so quickly.

My frustration is that it is only April and some of my fellow riders are riding as if it was the middle of August. Serves me right for not spinning all winter long! Some of you might say to stop riding with these folks. But they are my friends! :) Also, in my opinion, riding with strong people will make you stronger. They can be very motivating. I think that I am a stronger rider because I do ride with them. I have realized a long time ago that I will never be as strong as them because I do not want to spend all my free time riding. That to me is too much work. I ride because it’s fun. Riding is also my exercise so feeling some pain once in a while is not such a bad thing. :) So as I ride up the hill at a snail’s pace, I look forward to the ride where that hill will seem merely as a mound.

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Last weekend, Joel and I finally made it to Brooklyn to visit my nephew Jack. The drive was fine until we got close to NYC. After taking a wrong turn, we ended up in the Holland Tunnel, which was of course backed up. Next we got stuck in a horrific traffic jam on the way to the Manhattan Bridge. (I then remembered why I swore to never drive to NYC.) With welcomed advice from my brother, we were able to take a few streets that were not part of our planned route and away from the traffic jam. (Note to self: never drive to NYC again.)

My nephew Jack is… well, adorable!! How can you not love this cute face?? :)

He is such a good baby! He is very outgoing and talks (well, baby talk) and laughs all the time. Patrick and Jeni have one of those Baby Bjorn carriers and he just loves it. We went for a few walks during our stay, and he fell asleep in it each time. Also, he is only 2 months old and he can already hold his head up by himself. I was very impressed! I really loved spending time with him. I miss him already!

Patrick and Jeni have recently moved to Park Slope, and this was our first time visiting the neighborhood. The neighborhood is very nice. It is close to Prospect Park, and 5th Ave, which is the main neighborhood street, has a lot of great shops and restaurants. Of course we visited a few of those restaurants.

Jack is enjoying our walk. Love the Brownstones!

Patrick took us to Blue Ribbon for dinner. I had the most amazing salmon burger there. I also tried sea urchin for the first time. I was a little on the fence about having it when the dish arrived, but I really liked it. While scanning their menu, I noticed that they had Matzo Ball Soup. I was impressed! :) I have never seen that on a menu in Rochester.

Another restaurant that we went to, for brunch this time, was Get Fresh Table and Market. The place was great! I just loved it there! Their coffee was really good (a very hard thing to find in Rochester), and the food was just delicious. I ordered the Cage-Free Truffled Eggs. YUM!! Joel and I tried to go there on a different day, but unfortunately, it was a Monday and they closed early on Mondays. We’ll definitely have to go there again during our next visit.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I love crepes. Since this was our first visit to Park Slope, I decided to search for a creperie. I found Brooklyn Crepe and Juice Bar. The place was very small, but their crepes and juices were excellent. The walk to it was really nice too. 5th Ave has a lot of spring flowering trees, and all of them were in bloom. Very pretty!!

The last thing that I would like to mention are Vietnamese sandwiches. When you think of Asian cuisine, you never think about sandwiches, right? But they do exist, and they are oh so delicious! Patrick and Jeni found a great neighborhood Vietnamese restaurant called Hancos. The sandwiches are served on a toasted baguette (yes, baguette!) stuffed with roasted pork, carrots, cucumber, cilantro, and Asian mayo. One of the sandwiches that we ordered also included pate… yes, like the pate from France. As you might remember from history class, Vietnam was colonized by the French in the 19th century, which yielded a French influence in the Vietnamese cuisine; hence, the baguettes and pate. I wish I lived in Brooklyn so I can have those sandwiches all the time. I need to find a place here in Rochester!

We really enjoyed our stay. As always, I look forward to visiting them again.

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