Wednesday, March 24, 2010

March Madness.

It's funny. As busted as my bracket is, my own version of March Madness is really just halfway through the first round.

This past weekend, Erich, Zable, and I headed to Sugar Mountain. Erich put in a training ride with the rest of the CLM on the route of the Boone-Roubaix race coming up in less than two weeks. The scenery was spectacular - truly, a gorgeous early-spring morning in the mountains. The gang seemed to have a great ride together before all of us met back up in downtown Boone for lunch. The hungry cyclists chose Black Cat Burrito for their carb-reloading, and it was tasty.

Erich and I headed back up the mountain to watch more basketball and steal a lazy nap. We watched the thriller between Northern Iowa and Kansas that ultimately laid our brackets to rest...and loved it. The games were so compelling that we decided to grab dinner to-go from Bella's in Banner Elk so we could watch the Deacs play. Needless to say, Kentucky played like the best team in the entire tournament that night, but we still had a blast! In spite of the warm sunshine the whole day, there was a chill in the air that inspired us to build a fire in the fireplace during the late games.

And sure enough, by the next morning, the weather was vastly different. It was much colder, very windy, and super foggy up at the top of Sugar. I love when the weather feels like that. Erich and I packed up our bike, books, and dog, and hit the road. We first stopped at The Lodge at Banner Elk Cafe for food and mochas. That's when it started to rain. But we still decided to take the long way around, driving up and over Grandfather Mountain. In spite of the rain and fog, the views were beautiful. And it was nice to just drive and talk and listen to music.

As we came down the mountain, we arrived in Blowing Rock. Zable (exhausted from watching people of all kinds on the ski lift from the porch all weekend!) napped in the car while Erich and I wandered between a few shops, dodging the rain from beneath an umbrella. You know you've done just the right kind of shopping when you end up with a Bon Iver CD and chocolate-covered espresso beans from Kilwin's. Perfect.

We spent most of our drive home discussing how we'd love to have a second home in the mountains someday. And that fantasy has carried us right into the work week...where the adventures just keep coming! I can hardly wait for our book club tomorrow night. I finally get to talk to my girlfriends about Skeeter, Minny and Aibileen from The Help. Perhaps over a glass of wine. Or two.

And then Friday, we leave for Amy's bachelorette weekend in Charleston, South Carolina. That whole trip will most likely be a blog entry in and of itself! And the Tour of the Battenkill is now less than 3 weeks away. Erich heads to the hills and the gravel for his big race simulation ride on Saturday. I can't wait to hear all about it. He's showing amazing form these days, even if he is my own husband. Hard to believe that we'll spend Easter in Virginia with our family, then take off for New York only 2 days later. And by that time, a trip to Athens will be waiting on the horizon.

Is there such a thing as April Madness, too?


  1. the madness can continue as long as you want!

    and yes, the second place in the mountains would be nice ... i agree 100%.

  2. Stay tuned on the mountain house, Jay...I'm sure the Lowes would somehow be involved with that venture ;)