Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring Break

This past involved a lot of driving... and very little riding. This was Emily's spring break and also her birthday week (I think I already covered in a previous blog how these girls end up with birthday 'weeks') so she decided that for her birthday she wanted to go to Massachusetts to spend time with her extended family up there. Included in the week, she also wanted to visit the campus of Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. Phillips Academy is a boarding high school that Emily has found and is planning on applying to for her 11th and 12th grade years of High School. Also included in the week, was a trip into New York City to visit the Museum of Modern Art. To say the least it was a very busy week. Oh yeah, throw Easter in there too... a VERY busy week.

I drove down to Virginia Beach and pick Emily up from school on Thursday (4/1) and brought her up to Maryland so that she could catch a flight on Friday morning to Providence where her grandparents picked her up. Her cousin would be with them to make the trip back from the airport less awkward. Emily was happy about that.

After a meeting at work on Wednesday, I headed up to Massachusetts to pick Emily so we could visit the other two stops on the trip. I stayed with at my Mom's on Wednesday night and picked Emily up on Thursday morning. Emily and I had bagels with Mom and Dad at Panera and then we headed to Phillips Academy. The tour was self guided, and Emily had made all the arrangements. We checked in at the Admissions building. The very nice lady there gave us a map of the campus, and circled all the buildings that we could go into and look around. We entered the English building, and looked into one of the empty classrooms. The first thing that I noticed was that there were only 12 desks and they were in a circle. Small class sizes, and in a setting where students are expected to participate. I noticed this theme in each of the buildings we went into. Emily was very impressed and excited about the open area's where several students were sitting in the grass working on school work (at least that is what they appeared to be doing). I am sure Emily would not enjoy that open space walking between classes in January. Anyway, Emily was glad that we went and she is now more inspired to work on doing all that she can to get accepted. They accept about 17% of applicants, so she has her work cut out for her.

On Friday morning, Emily and I took the train into NYC to visit the Museum of Modern Art. Emily was interested in the Tim Burton exhibit that was there, so I agreed to bring her for her birthday. Our train arrived at Penn Station in plenty of time for us to walk to the Museum, which is about 1 mile. On the way, we walked through Time Square and past Rockefeller Plaza. There were SO many people there. I can not imagine what it must be like on New Years Eve. We arrived at MoMA to see a LONG line of people waiting in line to buy tickets to get into the museum. I had already purchased and printed our tickets in advance, so we were able to by pass the line. (This is where Emily said "Dad... you're awesome!) All I will say about MoMA is that 99% of the art... I just don't get. We got into the Tim Burton exhibit and spent over and hour and a half in there. It was pretty cool. Tim Burton did movies like Beattlejuice, Batman, Sleepy Hollow, Sweeny Todd, Corpse Bride, which is done with a still camera as opposed to a video camera. The making of that movie is really cool, and if you can pick up the DVD and watch how it was made, it is worth the price of the DVD. More recently, he did Alice in Wonderland. By the time we got back to the hotel, we were both exhausted. Another full day.

Saturday morning I got up and checked out a 200k ride that I am considering doing in June. It is at the base of the Catskills and takes you on both sides of the Hudson River. I drove most of the route and it does not seem to be overly hilly, and the scenary is beautiful. That could very likely be my June 200k, provided I get one done for April and May. After checking that route out, Emily and I got back in the car and headed home to Maryland.

By Sunday morning, it had been 5 days off the bike. I had to get a good ride in to start taking off all the weight I had gained traveling. I did 46 miles on Sunday and it felt pretty good. The weather was beautiful and the traffic was light. I did my normal route with a few detours to add in some hills (I was feeling guilty about being off the bike for so long, so I figured I had to suffer. I grew up a Baptist, guilt is what I know.) Anyway, I did not ride my bike to the train station this morning. Instead, I got reacquainted with the 5:45 SPP guys and rode with them. I have replenished my supplies at work for the week, and if the weather holds up, I will ride to the train station for the rest of the week. I'll let you know how that goes.

Thanks for reading... coma back now, hear!

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