We return from France and, since I’ve managed to convey to Stacey the meltdown I’ll suffer if I spend my final day in Europe on rental Clown Bike from the London shop, we decide to head to Bath instead. And just as scores of tourists have done before us, we tour beautiful Bath in the pouring rain – in fact, I don’t think the sun ever actually shines here.
One highlight – in addition to the required tea and scones - is our look inside the Bath Abbey, which is stunningly gorgeous. And as I’m walking around, I see a little table with a note on it: “God is always listening.”
Really? Always? Shit, I think to myself. I swear too damn much for God to be listening all the time. But then I realize that instead of this being an admonishment, they’re actually encouraging us to use the little slips of paper to write notes to God, which will then be taken up to the altar on Sunday for His perusal. Sweet!
I keep my note simple, unlike others who seem to have written miniature novels. Even I know that God’s a busy guy. I’m confident that now my life will totally turn around and I’ll have sunshine and rainbows accompanying me wherever I go.
We walk back outside, where it’s raining even harder, if such a thing is possible.
I find one final absurdity at the airport, of course, as I'm trudging through the back hallways to hand in my form for my VAT reimbursement.
Though this doesn't make my blood boil as it does when I make it back to Chicago, O'Hare airport, where it now costs FOUR dollars to rent a luggage cart for the 5 minutes it takes to wheel your stuff to the car. $4??? Now THAT pisses me off. Welcome to Chicago!
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Some people have read my little blog here and said something along the lines of, so Miss Tasha, I guess you didn’t have a very good trip, did you? At which point I look at them as if they’ve lost their ever-loving minds. Not a good trip? Where in the world did they get such a preposterous notion? Best. Vacation. Ever.
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On one of our final nights, Stacey and I are chatting and I ask her what she has next on her agenda as far as cycling trips are concerned.
Me: Ooh, Italy – that’s always seemed like a great place to ride.
Stacey: And the Dolomites are there – those are even harder to climb than the Alps.
Me: Seriously? We should do it!
We look at each other and smile.
Stacey, resolutely: I’ll start looking into it.
The adventures continue…..
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I suppose in my little trip here there are some lessons about
stubbornness and determination and the like – though I don’t know what those are, other than the
confirmation that I can be insanely determined and stubborn to a fault. I know, big surprise there.
But at least now if someone googles “dumbass attempting Alpian climbing on 5 weeks of training, after surgeries”, there’ll be at least one hit, just like there’s one for “dumbass attempting Ironman shortly after cancer treatment” thanks to my blog postings last year during IronSpud training.
So yes, it’s possible – though I would urge anyone attempting something similar to remember to practice the downhills, in the rain. And I can also say that feeling like you’ve just accomplished the impossible, the Herculean, the crazy – that translates quite beautifully into feeling like you’re invincible. Like you can conquer the world. And that, my friends, is priceless.