Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Cessna Among Boeings

That's what I felt like this past weekend.
I went up to Northern Virginia to visit with BS.
I also signed up for the Worldwide Photowalk and joined the group in Georgetown
with my old friend, loyal reader and frequent commenter RAD.
I had my trusty point & shoot camera.
Everyone else had big, impressive looking cameras with loooong lenses...

...although one lady seemed to have a camera smaller than mine.
This made me happy, but when I expressed my relief
that I wasn't the only one with humble equipment,
she looked a little taken aback and informed me that "Oh no, this is an SLR!"
We started along the historic C&O Canal tow path
and meandered up along M Street in Georgetown.
So, lets see what I came up with,
then compare to what the fancy cameras did.
These pictures are straight out of the camera. Not even any crops.
I seemed to have an odd fascination with reflections that day.

The people that organized this need to have their heads examined.
The middle of summer?
Really? No, really?
It only ended up being the hottest day of the year.
Here's the thing.
I have pale skin, freckles, blue eyes, and red hair.
(At least it used to be red - kinda faded now.)
My ancestors were from the cold, snowy north.
I don't do well in the heat.
Part of that is because I have, shall we say, a very efficient thermoregulatory system.
Oh, what the heck. I sweat. I'm sticky. I'm miserable.
I'm thinking that this should be in April. Or October.
But it was a happy weekend - saw old friends,
saw family, !!saw BS!! yay!

Oh, one last thing.
While we were walking back to the car...8 blocks...up The Exorcist steps...

in temps over 100 degrees,
we passed by Georgetown Cupcakes,
the newest fad in overpriced & trendy businesses.
The kind of place that's so popular that people stand in looooong lines,
for 1/2 hour, an hour, or more,
just to get a cupcake you could probably make just as tasty at home.
Honestly, I don't understand these people.
All for a stinkin' cupcake?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

RUN... no, SWIM... no, RUN!!!

On any given early morning at the beach,
before the hoards of tourists fill every possible space,
you'll see empty stretches of sand...

being groomed and cleaned.

Empty beach chairs awaiting bodies smelling of coconut & Coppertone.

But the calm emptiness of Saturday's hot muggy morning was deceptive.
You see, if I just turn a bit to my left, this is what I'll see...

It's the Allen Stone Memorial Run Swim Run & 5k.
It wasn't always called the "Allen Stone" run.
The race started in 1999 as the "Brave Heart Run-Swim-Run",
and Allen Stone, a member of our local Navy SEAL team, competed.
It was to be his last race.
He died in a training accident.
His friends, also the race's organizers, changed the name of the race in his memory.

So, it's a race, right?
It involves people running along the beach.
You know what that means?

Team Hoyt VB (the Virginia Beach chapter of Team Hoyt),
led by Trey White, was there in full force.
3 of our kids were able to go.
I've written about them before, here & here, for example.
If you don't feel like going back & looking, I'll summarize:

Take a bunch of athletes with hearts big to bursting,
add in children & young adults with disabilities who couldn't participate in a race on their own,
throw in jogging strollers, inflatable boats, lots of planning and even more determination,
and the result is magic.
Magic for the kids who can escape their disabilities for a while.
Magic for the athletes who get to see the joy on their faces
at the feeling that there's nothing they can't do.
Wherever you are, if you have the opportunity, you should see see this at a race in your area.

I love that Team Hoyt refers to the kids as the athletes
and themselves as their pushers.

Anyway, I took 377 pictures, but after all, my family's motto is "more is better",
so I tend to get carried away.
Bear with me, I'll leave a few out. But just a few.
Okay, more than a few, but I like them all.
You can click on any picture to enlarge it.
As usual, they are unedited, straight from the camera
(except for a 3 crops).
Sorry RAD, I know that makes you crazy.

A good-hearted and generous benefactor
(I don't know who. Help me out Trey, I'd like to give them credit)
donated a trailer to Team Hoyt.
They've come a long way since a few strollers stuffed into the back of a pick-up truck.

edited to add: I have been told that the trailer was donated by
The Noblemen, a local philanthropic group of more people with
hearts big to bursting.



(shirtless men. yesssss...)

Can he get him to smile?


Since Allen Stone was a SEAL, their parachute team...

makes a jump in his memory.

There were 2 simultaneous starts - the 5k (on the boardwalk)
& the Run-Swim-Run (on the beach).
I was on the boardwalk for that part.

I want you to know that the swimmers are pulling those boats behind them.
That's incredibly hard to do.


No, wait, that's not right.
I think there's a better word.....

There's exhaustion.
There's exhilaration.
There's the task for those same exhausted & exhilarated people
to get everything back in the trailer.


Thanks to those of you who stuck it out to the end.
Participating in this uplifted me.
Thanks to Trey White & Team Hoyt for making this possible.