5 years ago we packed up our 3 kids and 3 dogs and left Colorado for the East Coast. December 16 is the official first day of our epic road trip with December 19 as the anniversary of closing on our new home just outside Philadelphia. And about 18 months or so ago, we moved to the lower Hudson Valley in New York.
That’s a lot of change.
This specific span of time is always a bit emotional for me, as we literally left everyone we knew and loved for the unknown. A step well outside our comfort zone. And like moving anywhere else, there are regional idiosyncrasies that one needs to adapt to. It was a significant culture shock going from essentially “West Coast” vibe to East Coast vibe – from school closings for a couple inches of snow to humidity to Oh That’s Why Mold/Mildew Killing Products For Your Shower Are So Common.
I mean, I still think California is my vacation destination, not Florida.
You get to know the difference between a sub, a hoagie, a hero, and a wedge. You start to have opinions on cheesesteaks and take sides in the neighborhood shop rivalries. You know the best pretzels are in Philadelphia but you have to go to New York for a decent bagel. You are very lonely in your love of Chicago-style pizza in the land of New York pizza. You develop a love/hate relationship with your local public transit system because there’s actually a robust way to get around without a car.
And for me anyway, you also know more of your region by bike than you do by car.
2016 has been a challenge for many and I felt this year was giving 2015 a run for it’s money in terms of Which Year Can Suck More. So instead of dwelling on all the negative things that happened this year, dear reader, I’d like to share with you the absolute highs that happened.
Basically, #Community. We all need it.
January – Sold my carbon road bike to fund a new bike that would be my Swiss Army Knife. Rode bikes with my friend Kate.
February – Spent two weeks in Colorado with my family (I went home to help my mom through one of her chemo treatments), hiking every single day with my sisters and nieces.
March – Picked up my new Salsa Colossal. Titanium is sublime.
We had our first visitors (family) to our New York home. They didn’t want to spend any time in the City.
April – We had our first friend visitor to New York. Also did not want to spend time in the City.
May – Rode the 5 Boro in a pouring rain (and temps in the mid-40s) with my son.
Rode the Quad County in Pennsylvania with my friend Ken. Also in a cold rain.
Went bikepacking with my friend Karen and Gail.
June – Ride For Homes 4-day bike tour, benefiting Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia. #Community
My oldest child graduated from high school.
July – Five days with my dear Colorado friends who up and moved to Seattle a few years ago.
August – Kayaking on the Hudson with my middle child.
Moving our oldest kid to university.
September – Another friend visit! (Same friend only the weather is nicer and there’s foliage!)
October – Tent camping with my youngest in near-freezing temps.
Friends-cation in Cooperstown with Eric and Stephanie to sample local adult beverages and have a ridiculous amount of fun
November – My parents come to visit in a new RV Trailer they purchased. We hike, bike, and go on a tour of the fourth largest maple syrup producer in the world.
Oldest comes back for Thanksgiving Break. I am That Mom who is ridiculously excited about him coming home.
December – Raced my first cyclocross race (on my mountain bike) with my friend Karen. Had a ridiculous amount of fun, did not finish last, and am now looking to buy cross tires for my Salsa so I have half a chance to move up to 4th from last (instead of 3rd).
Looking forward to 2017 being a fresh start with new beginnings and a whole lot more adventures with my family and friends – and wishing you the same!
See you out on the road, in the woods, or maybe even out on the ‘cross course!