California or BUST

The tale of 2 Chicks and 3 Old Farts who stopped being polite and started being real.... Real World, Califonia Half Ironman!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Erika's Final Words:)

What an amazing trip! We had a blast in California over the week. We had many laughs, a few pre-race tears of anxiety, and have some great memories to look back upon. The day before the race we traveled to the packet pick-up. As I looked at my race number and bike slot, it all seemed to be very real. We had been nicely distracted the whole week, and now it was time to attempt to accomplish the goal we had set for ourselves. After registering, I went to pick up the wetsuit I rented from one of the more "pro"-type athletes. I would have had to take out a small loan to afford the bike he was riding. :) I thought my bike may have been the least aerodynamic, fancy bike there, but Bennett later shared that he saw a Schwinn in the transition area (do they MAKE a Schwinn racing bike????) . Seeing all of the pros and elite athletes set my emotions spiraling, but Kathi assured me again (like she always does) that I could do it.

The next morning, we awoke to dark skies and luminous clouds...as well as a forecast of AM showers. The previous night, I told myself that this race was something I could accomplish- and it DID NOT MATTER how long it would take me to finish. The competitive drive in all athletes needed to be pushed aside if I wanted to complete the race. As I put on the wetsuit and waited in line for my swim wave to begin, I said a short prayer and told myself to have fun. The entrance in the water was heart-stopping. As we doggie-paddled until the official start, I think my feet and hands went numb. Halfway through the swim, I started to have fun. I could see the sun coming through the clouds and knew that everything was going to be OK. I had a sore ankle from a previous injury, and the whole swim was like an icebath for me! It was great- my ankles and joints felt great as I exited the water (or maybe they were just too numb to feel any pain). I had a hard time getting my wetsuit off due to the immobiliity of my fingers, but once I finally got it off, I did the wardrobe change. Yes, it did take me almost 13 minutes to exit T1, but I was dry and warm! Now if you ask my husband, he will claim that I put mascara on before leaving. :)

The ride through Camp Pendleton was unbelievable- to see the sights of CA at that altitude was amazing. The marines cheered you on and before I knew it, 3 1/2 hours were over and I was at the transition area, right with Kathi!

Time for wardrobe change number two- this time T2 cost me almost 8 minutes. I just figured I wanted to be comfortable to run 13 miles (again, ask husband...he will say it was to be fashionable:)). The run was great- I looked down at my watch at Mile 11 and realized I would finish in under 7 hours, my pre-elbow goal time. What a feeling- and it carried me to the finish line with Peter and his friend Brian cheering me on the whole way.

I cannot explain how great it felt to cross that finish line- it sounds so cliche, but it is true- it will always remain a memorable moment in my life. I can't thank my friend and training partner, Kathi, my teammates, my coach, and my husband and family enough for supporting me throughout the trials and tribulations of my training period.

In closing, I want to offer my words of advice for anyone who is attempting to do a half-ironman....
1) Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT make a New Year's Resolution to "slow down."
New Year's Day I fell off my bike and broke my elbow...I lost 9 weeks of swimming, 2 weeks of running, and 8 weeks of the bike on the road...but had some great Saturday morning rides in my living room with the Spinervals Tough Love DVD- 3 hours of pure fun.:)
2) Try swimming in a wetsuit BEFORE you do the competition. Hmmm- this would have been a smart thing to do, considering the massive burn I still have across my neck.
3) Speed up the transitions. Don't go all out, but 21 minutes in transition? Come on. I could have taken a shower, eaten breakfast and been out the door for work in that amount of time.
4) HAVE FUN AND NEVER, EVER LOOK BACK AND REGRET A MINUTE OF THE RACE.

Love, Erika

Friday, March 24, 2006

Team Chicks/Day 7 & Beyond - Kathi's Race Recap

The race was a success and we all had a blast! Here is the summary of the events

The morning started off with cloud and rain. Team Chicks took off from the Fairfield Inn in Carlsbad at 5:20 headed to the race parking…. We met up with Bennett at 5:30 and we all rode down to the race area. As we arrive to transition site, we all split up to start unpacking and go through our set up rituals. About that time the rain started to come down… which definitely turned up the nerves for all us and the 2000 other athletes. As riding hills like we were going to, in the rain = lots of opportunity for accidents. After about 10 minutes of a downpour… the rain stopped. The clouds gave us one more good ol shower in that hour until thankfully the weather gods heard our prayers. The sun broke and the blue skies appeared right before the Pros took off for the swim. What luck!

We then headed to get in our wetsuits and take one more pass at our set up area before we went to hang out by the harbor to watch the Pros swim at a lightning pace but more importantly we all wanted to see what they looked like coming out of the water. Were they going to be icicles? How blue would their lips be? We heard different reports in transition of the water temp from 52 – 55 degrees… either = we were going to be in some frigid waters.

When the first guy came out he was shivering and red in the exposed areas of his body. YIKES!!! He was only in the water for 20 min!!!! What was it going to be like for us “Recreational Athletes” (Bennett’s great definition of what WE are) who swim times would take 37 – 47 minutes? As each Pro came out of the water, the same result was… the water was going to be one chilling dip to say the least. It made some of us really wonder whether we should have taken the 700yd option swim the day before. But then we wouldn’t be ½ IMers so….. scratch that idea!

It seemed like the next 30 - 45 minutes flew by so fast and before we knew it caps of our colors were close to the swim start. We hurried to line up and then just like that…. My age group was up and we were in the artic pacific waters treading water for the start. Now you all hear Bennett say it wasn’t that cold… and if you ask Erika she loved the swim…. But if you ask me, IT WAS COLD and the swim was not the highlight of my day! It was cold enough that I actually I wished Alex Keechle there so he could warm up the waters in the special way he likes to…. Ewwwwwwwww and yes THAT is HOW COLD IT WAS!

Also another funny thing I found out later on from someone said there were sea lions swimming with us or at least they seen them come in with some of the last swimmers… hmmmmmmmmmm…I wondered why the woman next to me needed to shave… now it all makes sense.

Out of the waters we go! Erika in 37 min and I was out in 47 min…. Hey, I never said I could out swim the OFC!.... On to the next part of the journey… the cycling!!! BUT not before Team Chicks does a costume change as well hair and make up… See transition times – LOL. Heck we have to look good for the marines in Camp Pendleton – were supporting our troops!

Time for my favorite part of the triathlon = the BIKE! It was hard at first as took about 15min for my feet to thaw out however once they did… my race went from good to great. The hills were awesome! The down hills were even better! Having the marines cheering for us on was such a boost and definitely made the ride an easier one. The road conditions were perfect and before I knew it I was at mile 40. I was looking to see where the other half of my Team Chick was as based on earlier predictions…. I would have seen her by mile 35. I start to worry a little but it about then that.. my camelback mouth piece flew off and Purple Fierce Gatorade was gushing down my back. I immediately grabbed the end of the tubing and bit down on it to stop this gusher… however I knew I couldn’t keep that up for the remaining 16 miles. I realize I had two choices…. Drink it or Lose it… With the weather warming up and my sweat ratio… DRINK IT was the best choice. So I started chugging!!!! I must have drank about 15 -20z before I couldn’t drink and more.... any more and I would get sick…. So with that remaining was dumped and I prayed that it wasn’t going to hurt my race too much… I didn’t need a second episode of dehydration like the Tinman again… If you haven’t heard the story, just ask Tom Ryan… his is an old pro at telling that one over and over and over and over and over again… LOL

Well I am happy to say that mishap actually was an amazing good fortune for me on how I felt the rest of the race. A few minutes after chug fest, my legs felt brand new and I started passing people like crazy. Even with headwinds, which are my nemesis, I felt like a champ and was having a blast picking off rider after rider after rider! Finally towards the end of the bike found the other half of Team Chicks, Erika. That was the best ending to the bike as that meant that she blew her bike time expectation out the window! She originally predicted 4h 30m – Chick did it in 3h 30m! NICE!

We both get ourselves into transition… and of course need another costume change. Then we were both on to the run!

I was feeling sort of full from all the Gatorade however my legs still felt awesome. I take off on the run and find that it starts with a ¼ run on the beach. HELLO my calves are burning! OUCH!

The run from that point on was two 6 mile loops. The first 6 for me a little production…. First I had this fanny pack with GU & Water bottle that was really weight my tummy down (note to you all who are going to be doing their first ½ IM soon – you don’t need them for the run – they gots LOTS of resources for you at these races!). And my other challenge was the three bathroom breaks I had to do mostly from all that Gatorade I still had in me… Once I came back on to the beach to turn into lap 2… I threw Erika’s hubby, Pete, my tri top (too hot), my fanny pack (too heavy and bulky) and then I was just right. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I felt like I flew the rest of the run... It was incredible.



That could be due to my cocktails of choice at the fuels stations... Cokes. yep good ol Coke. They were perfect as they had enough sugar and boost to make all the difference in my energy. I highly recommend them... Oh and snickers rock for bike fuel! Just make sure you only use them in races that are in cooler temps!

Back to the run... Before I knew it I was making my approach on the sand run one last time OUCH!… and then I was headed to the finish. When I made it across, I was greeted with a medal, a tshirt and a backpack. Bart came in behind me a few minutes later and before you knew it … Erika came in and then CHIEF OFC Bennett.



















We all were able to enjoy our brief Team Ralph’s moment in transition (Sam had to leave early due to his sister in law who did the race fell ill)… And then it was time to pack up to leave. We left with out a closing ceremony so we made plans for a breakfast when we got back… It is off to breakfast we go tomorrow for us to have the last chapter played out.

I will say the best part of this journey was the people and the fun we had along the way! It was all the experience I could have wanted or hoped for. Thanks to all of you for all your support, love and everything you have done for us to get here!

We will share the last chapter breakfast and fun with you all soon!

Kathi

PS - Curt... Bennett took pity on your pleas to not do any beach glamour shots... (you can thank his daughter Maggie for begging him not humliate her as it is bad enough for her just to know her dad is seen in public wearing spandex - EEEW!) however he did decide he needeed to at least have one glamour shot. Sorry - we just couldn't stop him!



Post Race Analysis

Well, from the Chief OFC, here is the post race summary -

Despite all the fear of a cold water swim and the weather predictions of cold, wind and rain, the swim wasn't actually very bad. Besides the initial shock of the cold water running down the back of your neck, after the first 200 yds or so it was actually not much different than any other open water swim. My face was a little cold, but I do love to swim in salt water with a wetsuit, makes me feel like a cork. Made my goal time of 44 minutes despite starting at the back of the pack - on purpose - so I could swim slowly. But I felt good and swam continuously the whole way which was my goal.

The bike was really nice, along the beach and through the hills in Southern California, how could it not be nice. There were some hills, one that kicked my a$# and I had to walk about 100 yds but I was walking as fast as the riders were climbing and my heart rate was lower. With that said, I AM the MASTER of the downhill and I passed those same hill climbing nuts a half-mile later at 35 mph (they were doing 34.9 mph). As we neared the half way mark at mile 28, I began to notice my left hamstring that has been annoying me for about 4 months. Needless to say, 26 miles and three hills later, the hamstring would NOT go UN-noticed except by one somewhat experienced half-ironman that was under the misconception that he could push through the pain and get to the run where it would feel better. I finished the bike 10 minutes ahead of my goal time of 3:30, with a 3:20 bike split and felt pretty good about that. I had hit my nutrition plan to the letter, finishing 3 bottles of accellerade, one bottle of water, 12 mini snickers, and a package of Clif Blocks on the ride. This left me 2:15 to break my goal time of 6:30 and that should be achievable since I ran a 1:48 at The Half last fall, right?

Well, needless to say, the left hamstring didn't feel any better as I started to run, and it found sympathy from a stitch in my right side that wouldn't go away either. Do you know how hard, and funny looking, it is to run while holding your left butt cheek, and your right side at the waist? I looked like a character from the movie The Bird Cage, but I was in the Marine Base town of Oceanside not San Francisco or South Beach - or I probably would have gotten several offers for a date. So obviously my times suffered a little as I walked when I had to and ran when I could. But "never say die" Ratliff did prevail and I turned in a solid 11.5 minute pace for the run overall and finished.

Funny thing, my finishers medal looks the same as the guy that won it, and so does my finishers T-Shirt. So I learned several lessons from this experience - (1) listen to your body and give some time to heal when you have a nagging injury. What seems like a minor pain during a 3-4 hour workout becomes a major problem after 5-6 hours in a race, and (2) just finishing a half-ironman is more than almost everyone I know (outside of DA) will ever understand or be able to attempt - so I am content with finishing and claiming my medal, t-shirt and finish line picture. My wife & kids, younger brother, parents, clients, etc. don’t know or understand why I am disappointed that I missed my goal time by 20 minutes, they are surprised that I'm not dead in the attempt because they know they would never make it. So, I live to race another day and learn from the experience.

I do have to say that despite all of the pre-race trash talk and chatter, all of Team Ralph's members did great. I was proud to have my butt kicked by the Chicks because they both swam, rode and ran strong, looked great, and were smiling every time I saw them. As unofficial Chairman of the OFC, I will also say that my delegating abilities shined as well since both Sam and Bart finished ahead of the Chicks to claim the winner's title for the OFC.

Now, a couple of weeks of rest and recovery and on to the next challenge....

- Bennett

Friday, March 17, 2006

Team Chicks/Day 6 - Ready or not....



Well friends and family, this will be the last post before we proudly cross that finish line tomorrow. When we do, we can say we did a 1/2 Ironman... How cool is that!

I am going to make this blog a short one as I have to get to bed and get my rest to kick some OFC butts tomorrow.

Our day was a good one! We had lunch with the OFC (Bennett & Family, Bart) at Macaroni Grill to get the carb loading we needed. Bart gave us a little more lowdown on the course. We then headed to the Expo and sign up. I have to say I was a little disappointed with the goodie bag if that is what you call it... Not even a water bottle in it! Just flyers and stuff... My hopes are they have something for us at the finish line... for the $$$ we paid, one would hope so! At the Expo we met up with Sam and then spent some $$$ on new gear. From there we all went back to our hotels to unwind and just relax for the rest of the night.

Thanks to all of you for the wonderful support and well wishes! It made a world of difference to all of us when we needed it!

We leave you with a ton of great shots from today at the Expo, Sign in and lunch with the OFC.

Much love to you all!

Team Chicks!

Pics from: Day 6 - PM

Team Chicks/Day 6 - Our lucky day!



Happy St. Pattys Day!!!! For those of you who don't know... This is my favorite (Kathi) holiday of the year! I have always wanted to be Irish. Why you ask??? Well, being Catholic and going to Catholic schools much of my life...many of my friends were Irish and they just are the best of people and so darn proud of there heritage. Also I was about one of the only girls named Katherine Marie that wasn't Irish (I am 100% German ) so I sort of felt left out. On St. Patty's Day though.. everyone can celebrate in the Irish fun whether you are or aren't... So on St. Patty's' Day - My name becomes Katherine Marie O'Werden and I wish you all top of the mornin!

Sooooo, we are now in Carlsbad, CA at the hotel close to the race. Pete, Erika's hubby, has joined us last night and will be here with us until the race.

We are meeting up with the OFC at lunch today and then we all are off to the expo AND possibly a dip in the Pacific... and then from what it sounds like... the OFC is planning on taking some Horror Shots on the beach - :) I will post all the pics we collect over the day later this evening... I have added a few from yesterday and this morning so enjoy!

Also, we started this morning trying to come up with our motivation motto for the race. Here is our top three...

  1. It's only a workout, It's only a workout, It's only a workout, It's only a workout
  2. "It just doesn't matter" - Tripper/B Murray from the Movie Meatballs (see link for speech = IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER!!! )
  3. "We needed an icebath anyways... so our legs will thank us for the swim and as for the rest of it... better to be numb than feel the burn, right?"


Which one do you vote for? or give us your suggestions!

Take Care,

Team Chicks and ManBoy



Pics from: Day 5

Thursday, March 16, 2006

OFC Daze 1 or 2 / Disneyland Taper

Nope, didn't go to the beach and didn't find time for a quiet ride in the hills. My taper the last two days involved weaving through strollers, dodging sticky ice cream hands, standing in line and generally being a Disney tourist. Have had some great family time with Beccy and the kids while we enjoy our version of a Disney vacation. This is the happiest place on earth for Thomas and the rest of us get such joy out of him having fun like only he can at Disney. We have ridden every roller coaster, all of the thrill rides and even some of the less thrilling ones. Got in a good afternoon nap both days after walking about 10 miles both mornings (max heart rate was around 82 - lap time 18-22 min/mile), and have managed to find SOME good fuel (food) in the sea of corn dogs, hamburgers, and ice cream sandwiches. Found this new bike helmet cover but they didn't have it in an aerodynamic model so I skipped it.

Talked to the rest of the gang and we are working on a plan to meet for lunch tomorrow and then go for a short swim. I need to get my head right for the cold water. Tomorrow is pre-fuel day and time to be really obsessive about my routine (like that is something new). Will try to post again later after the OFC takes some cheesecake pictures on the beach - we know the Chicks pictures were a hit so we feel compelled to answer (and Kurt made a specific request).

Out....BR

Team Chicks/Day 5 - Gloomy weather forecast

We are currently in Mission Beach getting ready to go on a short bike ride. After that we will be heading up to Oceanside to get settled in and get ready for this race. The swim has been postponed till tomorrow - why you ask... 54.9 degrees why!

The weather forecast has made a 180 change from what it was last week. We were looking forward to 60+ degree sunny weather with water temps in the 58 - 60 degree range. Now we are looking at 50% showers, 45 - 51 degrees and water temps at the 54 - 55 range.YIKES!

So our hopes are that the weatherman in California uses the same forecasting tools the ones in Dallas do = we have a 50/50 chance they are right.

Stay tuned... and stay in touch!

Team Chicks :)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Team Chicks/Day 4 - Back on the Mainland


We close out our day with a quick update. We left Catalina earlier this evening. We headed down to Mission Beach to stay with Pete "The ManBoy" cousin Colleen. Were crashin with them for the night before we head down to Cornado to hang with Sam the Dancin man. The agenda is attempt to swim in this frigid waters... Last temp was 54 degrees - BRRRRRRR!

Okay so we are off to get some sleep, until next time... check out the more new pics from Catalina.

Much love!

Team Chicks

PS - The OF day of humiliation comes one day closer... Stay tuned - should be a fun match!

Pics from: Day 4 - PM

Team Chicks/Day 4 - Battle of the A Type Personalities...




We are really trying to get into doing nothing but R&R… however our A type personalities are tending to kick in every once in awhile…craving the need for a plan or the need for a “to do” – something to make that part of us feel productive… Which of course is so funny… as so many times over the last few months when both of our lives were FULL of chaos and lists of things to do… Our “carrot” as we liked to call it….was to remind each other of how great it will be NOT to have to do, no agenda, no pressures, no nothing… and the joy of just chillin in California the day before the race…. Now that we are here and have that opportunity… We both are like fish out of water. Silly as it sounds, by 9am this morning; we were both saying how we were starting to, dare I say it, get bored or at very least we are lost on what you do when you do “nothing”. Which is of course.... when our A type personalities kicks in to fix this problem …. Here are some examples:

Erika after finishing her book this morning… her first thought was, “Dang, I could have brought all my lists of “To Dos”… as I know I have things that need to be done like balancing my checkbook and stuff”. (Insert voice of reason… HUH? Balance your checkbook???)

Then there is me…after reading the news and eating breakfast…I actually started to see if I brought along my new email link and log in info so I could see what email I have gotten from my new job. (Insert voice of reason…WHAT????? And WHY would I want to do that again?????)

So there you have it… the two of us are here on Catalina Island with only a few more hours, in a spectacular room, with an amazing view and have nothing to do… and were having a little bit of trouble relaxing.

But never fear! We knew the only solution for us was to take extreme measures to ensure we did just what we came out here to do!!! Soooooooooo, how did we do to fix this little problem you ask???? We forced ourselves to go up the sun deck of the hotel. Currently I am writing this blog post while sitting in a comfortable pool chair, on a beautiful day, overlooking an even more amazing view…! Erika is working really hard on her relaxing… as you can see in the pics we posted. With that…. I sign off two words…. Mission Accomplished!

Take care and stay tuned!

Team Chicks

CHICKS RULE!

Here is our attempts at R&R - views from the sundeck!Day 4 - AM

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Team Chicks/Day 3 - Island Moonlight




So we sign off tonight and we are happy to say it was another great day! Catalina Island is just what we hoped for and the people here are so nice. We had a lovely dinner at a very nice Italian place around the corner where Kathi took advantage of the need to carb up yet again…. Linguini with clams, scallops, halibut and stuff …. All fresh from the sea – yummmmmmmm! We got to see an amazing full moon which you can see in our pictures… We added several more for you all too look at!

As for the OF little poetic post… we will say it is very clever and oh so cute… however we are curious as to how much they paid Ken Smith’s wife to pen that poem as we know that the OF can barely tied their shoes without the help of their nursemaids let alone rhyme.

Lots of love to you all and keep the well wishes coming!

Team Chicks…

More pictures are posted from today and tonight Day 3 - PM

Team OFC / Day -1 - Coppell

The OFC stayed home, to work for "the man",
to support the economy, to review our race plan.
We didn't go to the beach, we didn't play in the sand,
we worked a long day, while the CHICKS got a tan.

But come Saturday morn, as hard as they try,
old age will win out, and to the chicks we'll say bye,
as we pass on the bike, as we lap on the run,
but we'll spot them the swim, so the pursuit is more fun.

We wish them good speed, we know they're the best,
we'll wait at the finish, as they beat all the rest.
Then we'll take a team picture, and toast us as winners,
and compare our race stories

while the Chicks buy us Dinner!

California or Bust... OFC

Team Chicks/Day 3 - Catalina Island Paradise


We started our day packing up and wrapping up our stay in Laguna. After another awesome breakfast, we headed to Dana Point to catch the ferry to Catalina Island. We cut it really close and almost missed the boat due to a stop at Wild Oats but thankfully made it just as they were battening down the hatches…or whatever those sailor people do.

We then arrived at Avalon, the little town on the island where we were staying. You will see from the pictures… it is pretty much the only town on the island. Main form of transportation is golf carts and bikes. Once we dropped off our luggage at the Hotel Metropole, we headed to rent a golf cart for the journey to see all the surrounding area. Erika was an old pro at driving golf carts so she captained our vessel and I took the pictures…What a site it is and total time to see all = 1 hour. This town is adorable.

We have now settled into our hotel, the room is fabulous and our balcony has a first class view of the harbor. So far, it has been definitely worth the efforts we made to take this little day trip.

We are going to try to do a 30 min run later… but not before we go check out more of the shops and stuff in the town. Check back later and in the mean time…. Enjoy the pictures we have taken so far.

Love,

Team Chicks

Pictures pictures pictures - who knew Kathi would ever take so many pictures (Right Mom?- hee hee ) Day 3 - AM

Monday, March 13, 2006

Team Chicks/Day 2 - A great day from beginning to end


Well you all heard about the first part of the day. The second was much the same...nothing short of AWESOME.

Upon returning from our bike ride, we did something we haven't done in a while = RELAX and ENJOY DOING NOTHING! After a few hours of that we then got dolled up to go take some glamour shots on the beach (see photos). Dinner was awesome and Kathi splurged on cookie dough ice cream, "Ummmm make that double scoop please, I need to carb up!!!".

We leave Laguna tomorrow for Catalina Island and while we have loved the stay here at Casa Laguna... we are also excited to go on to the next place!

We will catch up tomorrow afternoon/night as we will be on a boat during the day!

Stay tuned and stay in touch!

Love,

Team Chicks

More pictures to see :) Day 2 - PM

Team Chicks/Day 2 - What a difference a day can make


WOW - we had an AWESOME start for Day 2. After sleeping in, we went down to the courtyard of the B&B for some delicious breakfast served alfresco. It was a great start as the sun was shining and as you will see by the pictures… the area where we dined was gorgeous!

We then went back to the room to plan our day. First up, unpack the bikes, assemble them and pray to God that this will be easier than the other productions we have dealt with. Then if that went well… attempt a bike ride to check out Laguna Beach and if things went well… try out some hills to ease our minds on these climbs that are in this race.

Well… I am so happy to tell you… our plan went better than we could have possibly hoped for. The unpacking of the bikes = piece of cake and we now won’t have to duck tape Pete to the roof as now we have tons of room! The assembling of the bikes was a snap and from there we got ready to take leisurely ride. The ride was AMAZING and an incredible assurance that we are ready for this ride (especially for Erika). We took on the hills and climbed about 800ft (carefully!)… Erika practiced all the things she hasn’t done yet… = getting on and off the bike on a steep hill… her strategies for getting up them… She was so pumped up by the end…heck we both were as we now knew we can do this race and of course kick the OF butts with little to no effort – hee hee. See some of the pictures from our ride… the funniest is Erika hanging with the billy goats. We found them grazing at the top of one of the hills. Also you will see the AMAZING shots we took by a lookout point near the ocean!

Okay we are off to shop, have dinner and just enjoy more of this trip! Thank you all for the well wishes!!! Keep them coming!

Team Chicks

More pictures to see :) Day 2 - AM

Team Chicks/Day 1 - Challenges for the Chicks


It started early, how early – too early… We realized on Saturday when we were putting the bike boxes into the Forerunner, we had no room left for ANYTHING but the bikes. Problem… and with two Chicks and all the luggage we have… the only solution was two trips to the airport and a “man boy” as we like to refer to him, or others may call him Erika’s hubby. THANKS PETE!

Next up- our bike boxes were presented with the hopes of getting a 2 for 1 price on the baggage fee. Not going to happen! The supervisor at the ticketing desk pretty much shot down without any room to negotiate…

The flight itself was an interesting one to say the least. Just a warning to you all…If you fly into OC Airport on the first day of Spring Break… While you won’t be seeing drunken college kids partying in the aisle… You will find all the families and kids who are GOING TO DISNEYLAND. WOW – what a fun time that was…. Screaming kids and parents trying to calm them with the carrot of “You need to be quiet or you won’t get to see Mickey..”

When we arrived our biggest challenge/production was now upon us… Finding a vehicle that would fit – two huge bike boxes (put together they are the size of a small loveseat), two oversized pieces of luggage, three carry-ons… and the two of us. Our first choice was a minivan and after getting all of the rental paperwork squared away, we headed toward the car… We wished we could have taken a picture of this as what you would have seen is…Kathi pulling two HUGE bike boxes (knocking over garbage cans and taking out pedestrians) and Erika following with the mother load of luggage. Quite a sight to see…When we finally got the minivan now the drama began… We must have tried at least 5 different ways of positioning these darn monstrosities in the van to accommodate room for everything and everyone else – bottom line it wasn’t going to happen. We then took all of our stuff down to the rental pick up and got the attendant to help us find a vehicle that we could fit all of this stuff…SUV was the only other choice… so with fingers crossed and prayers being said… three more attempts later of organizing the boxes and bags… we finally took off with all our luggage, bikes and two passengers heading to Laguna. Our next challenge will be – WHAT TO DO WITH PETE WHEN WE ADD HIM AND HIS LUGGAGE TO THIS????....hmmm.....I wonder if he would mind the current choice of being duck taped to the roof?

Finally we make it to Laguna… We settle in and head to get some groceries and lunch. We enjoyed our lunch on the benches at the beach =AWESOME…and we spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the shops, people watching and just taking in all the Laguna scene. At sunset we were able to go up to an area in our B&B and take some incredible sunset pictures… see photo… The evening wrapped up with a glass of wine and just relaxing with the fellow B&B guests before lights out at 8pm. What a day!

To see all our Day 1 photos click here: Team Chicks Photo Album - Cali or Bust