September 22, 2003

Weekend Retreat And Rollerblading

Melissa and I decided to go back to my hometown of Harmony (motto: We're Not As Dull As Preston! Oh, wait, we are!) for the weekend. I'm not sure why, but Melissa really likes Harmony. She refers to going to my hometown and staying at my parents' empty house as "A Retreat." Strangely, I frequently use the same words regarding Harmony, but it's in reference to getting the hell out of there.

Okay, I'm somewhat kidding here. In reality, I do like Harmony, a little bit. I particularly like Harmony for its solitude and lazy living. After consecutive weekends spent in the twin cities, Orlando and of course, Rochester, I was ready for a nice relaxing stay in my hometown.

We drove into Harmony at about 8 p.m. on Friday, at which time we decided to cook dinner. Dinner consisted of me whipping up a batch of my famous Japanese curry, and accidently spicing it up to a point that it practically melted our forks. In addition, Melissa, who was in charge of vegetable dicing duty, got lost in her task and sliced up five garlic cloves (in addition to the two cloves I prepared with the chicken). Let me just take a moment to explain, in no uncertain terms, that seven cloves of garlic, in anything, is overkill.

With our stomachs full of spicy curry and a disturbing amount of garlic, we went off to bed. What followed was a night of rumbling stomachs that no doubt sent tremors throughout the town, to say nothing of the flatulence that hung in the air the next morning like a rancid fog. We both thought it was hysterically funny, even as we battled to get the hell out of the bedroom. Retreat indeed.

At 2 p.m. on Saturday, after dropping off a vehicle at our destination town and stocking up on Gatorade and other goodies, we set off on a 24 mile rollerblading trek from Harmony to Lanesboro. For those of you who get the chance, I strongly suggest taking advantage of the extensive bike trail system of southeastern Minnesota. It's one of the prettiest, most nature-rich areas of the state, in my opinion. This was our second time rollerblading the Harmony to Lanesboro route this year, and the weather was fantastic, nearly perfect, with the only imperfection being that everyone else in the area took advantage of the day to do some trail riding as well.

One thing I find most amusing about a lot of people who ride the trails in that area: they take it WAY too seriously. So many of them are decked out in the ridiculous bike racing gear I've grown to dislike so much, including the loud, tigh-fitting shirts and the spandex biker shorts that look like they're just on the verge of being outlawed. And I won't even get started on their bicycles, which look like they cost more than some automobiles and include more accessories than they probably will ever use. I mean, we're talking about thousands of dollars invested in biking equipment and clothes, for a trail system that could be traversed by a three-year-old on a Big Wheel.

Then there's Melissa and me, with her wearing a tank top and denim shorts, and me wearing an ancient pair of shorts and my trademark tee-shirt that features a ripped male torso. What's more, we're the only rollerbladers on the entire trail system. Some bikers actually seemed to regard us with scorn as they passed us by. Not everyone, mind you, just the folks who believe the trail should be dedicated exclusively to expensive bikes and stuck-up people.

A funny thing about rollerblading over 20 miles: at the end of the trip you can't WAIT to get those damn things off your feet. Still, the trip itself was awesome, and again I totally recommend it.

Alas, since Melissa had to work back in the cities on Sunday morning, we had to depart from "the retreat" Saturday evening, but only after polishing off the curry leftovers. With our garlic levels thusly re-fortified, we headed back to Rochester where, a couple of hours later, garlic vapors started to issue from our mouths, noses, pores and pretty much everyhere else garlic can issue from. We were a stinking couple, to be sure, so we sequestered ourselves in the bedroom where we couldn't offend the outside world.

Such was my little weekend, and it was great.

Posted by Ryan at September 22, 2003 09:31 AM
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