I've heard a lot of people's opinions on pickles throughout my life - it seems most people are not crazy about sweet pickles or bread-and-butter pickles. Personally, those are my two favorites. However, I have never heard anyone complain about the salty delight of a dill pickle.
My kids included.
The massive dill pickles that they got a the Renaissance Festival was perhaps the highlight of the excursion.
My favorite part was that David broke away from his studying to accompany us. We don't get enough family photos, in my opinion.
Also, I liked the exuberant amount of princess items for sale - however, I couldn't get past the price tags. (Even if I could, I am pretty sure David wouldn't).
The pickles though were only $1 each!
Besides from eating pickles, we listened to a variety of music and looked at interesting animals, like this llama:
The kids have a book called Is Your Momma a Llama so it was exciting to show them a real llama, even if it is super ugly. Brenna rode it, even though it certainly is paltry compared to a pony.
I tried to get Hayden to ride an elephant with me. He became excited at the sight of the elephants, but that turned into extreme angst at the merest mention of mounting them.
He no longer wanted to look at them or be anywhere within the sight of them.
I didn't push him - elephants are big and it seemed reasonable to be scared.
I did push him though on outing later during the week - to a train park. It was similar to this train park in that it was a park with a train. Despite his recent experience, he didn't seem to sense any familiarity. His reaction to the train, even just the sound of it, was exactly like his reaction to the elephant.
I knew that if I could get him on the train he would enjoy it. I picked him up and held him trembling in my arms as we waited in line. It was crowded though so the train filled up. We had to wait in line longer.
Since by biceps started to burn, we sat down and I finally calmed him down.
It was short-lived though because the train arrived back.
The people got off.
And we got on.
I found it slightly ironic that he was wearing a Thomas shirt (that he picked out) and carrying a Thomas book (that he insisted to bring) yet was terrified at the suggestion that this train was like Thomas.
It took about 90 seconds of movement for him to calm down. I am sure all the passengers at this point where relieved to be spared from the screaming. I did feel badly on their behalf.
And then what did we do?
We ate pickles!
Sometimes we just have to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones with the hopes that eventually it will get easier.
After a day of recovery and an extra day of wallowing, I got back on my bike. I did a 23-mile ride (Pecos road loop, with a two side loops)averaging almost 21 mph. I guess I needed to remind myself that I can ride my bike. I did notice though that to maintain that speed, I had to focus. If my mind started to wander, my legs started to move slower.
This was my biggest mistake in my race - I lost focus.
I concentrated on my faulty water bottle, my messy GU, my sticky fingers, the kink in my neck, the loose gravel on the road....for the last 10 miles, cycling was the last thing on my mind.
I should have brushed off the petty nuisances.
This was only my 4th time racing my bike and I think it resulted in a valuable lesson - keep your focus.