Well, I guess I can't complain too much. At least the sky isn't gray. The harsh reality of Fall has hit me kinda hard in the last few days. I spent most of October in various parts of Florida, so I sort of forgot that Autumn is setting in. I was walking around in board shorts and flip flops, going to the beach, putting on sunscreen, and basically living in my own happy little world until I had to come to stupid North Carolina. Now it's cold and I'm not happy about it. Mostly because I really didn't pack enough cool weather clothing. Back in ... September when I was getting ready for this little jaunt, I thought I was really planning ahead by packing one pair of pants (actual full-length pants, not capris or shorts), one pair of real shoes, two pairs of socks, and one long-sleeved shirt. Now I feel stupid for not packing more stuff. Oh well. That gave me an excuse to go shopping.
And while I'm complaining, not only did we have an event ruined by the pouring rain, but I also managed to get a flat on my trailer on the way there. And of course, the guys were more than willing to stand around taking pictures:
Anywho ... I've been working way too much in the last week or so, so I haven't had time to post much. What I really wanted to tell you about before I started whining about Fall was the sweet paddling I did in Tallahassee. I was traveling through Tallahizzy last week and had a day off, so I met up with this guy there to go paddling. While we were driving to the river, he mentioned that we might see some cool wildlife. I'm sure I don't have to mention my fascination with alligators and manatees, as I have written about this before, but I tried not to get my hopes up about seeing them. So we got to the river and Andy unloaded our boats. At this point, I learned that it's a really good idea to go paddling with someone who is both tall and strong because then they can load and unload the boats while I just kick rocks and stuff. Then we started paddling upriver. The water was pretty cold and really clear. Apparently the river is fed by natural springs or something. We saw these fish jumping about a foot out of the water. Mullets. Seriously. You learn something new every day. That day, I learned that "mullet" is not just a term describing Billy Ray Cyrus's hair. So I was having a pretty good time and was happy enough to be out on the water. BUT THEN .... we heard this sound that sounded like a whale doing that thing with it's blowhole (that sounds a little dirty, doesn't it?). Turns out it was these:
Yeah ... that's right ... MANATEES! At first we just saw two of them, and one of them was just a little (relatively speaking) guy. That second picture is the little guy under water. I took that with my sweet camera that I still haven't managed to break yet. If you look closely in the last picture, you can see them next to my boat. Then as we kept paddling we kept seeing more MANATEES! By the end of the day we'd seen: 8 MANATEES!, 1 otter, 2 turtles, 2 owls, and a whole bunch of mullets (the fish, not the redneck haircut). Then we (and by "we," I mean, "Andy") loaded up the boats. We went into the nearest little town and had fish sandwiches and beer. Needless to say, it was a pretty good day for me.
Other than that, there's only been the usual amount of excitement. By mere coincidence, I did get to meet up with my fun friends Mimi and Jeff for a day at the beach, which was made better by a delicious bottle of wine sent from a friend:
We didn't have any glasses, and there was no way to keep it chilled, so we had no choice but to drink it from the bottle while sitting on the beach. Keepin' it classy. Then we ended up at Downtown Disney and I wanted to die until we found the Margarita Shack, at which point I started to become increasingly happy with each delicious drink. Then of course, Jeff and Mimi had my back and they let me have some floor space in their hotel room so I didn't have to pony up the cash for one myself. Beats the hell out of sleeping in the car!
Ahh ... sunny, warm Florida ...
While North Carolina is cold this time of year, it's really not such a bad place. I did manage to get one really good mountain bike ride in on Sunday, and I have a day off tomorrow, so I should be able to get another one in. I just have to make sure I get my flat tire from last week fixed because well ... I have another flat on the trailer. Bummer. Oh well. at least I'm not working on Halloween, which means I'll be drinking and making fun of people instead. Not bummer.