After 10 days of wet, grey weather in Cleveland and Louisville, the Planner Guy was ready to return to the sunshine of Arizona. Given the 80% humidity in the 'Ville, my hair was ready for drier conditions, as well.
Getting off the plane in Phoenix we were greeted with 104 degree temperatures at 6 p.m. The city is an oven and I don't know how people do it in the summertime. Quite a contrast from 2 hours up 17 where we shivered in the cold air outside our garage as we unloaded our luggage. Yikes! Fall had definitely arrived in Flagstaff and I was very glad I had put my potted plants inside and asked our neighbor to water them. I looked forward to biking into my office the next day, Sunday, to catch up on pages of unanswered e-mail that piled up during our vacation.
Yes,pedaling and walking downtown, I observed bicyclists a bit more covered up than prior to our trip. It seems that many of Flagstaff's twentysomethings are slow to give up flip flops and water sandals, even with the drop in temps. I don't know how they do it.
Nothing confirms the arrival of fall than the painful feeling of one's finger freezing in the early morning cold on a ride to work. Despite the blue skies and sun, Bob noted the dip in the temps before breakfast so I pulled out my heaviest bike gloves thinking they should suffice on October 1. Hardly, but more about that later. I also pulled on my yellow JCrew swing jacket and a knit JJill scarf to keep my neck warm. And socks. I wore socks; a true concession to cold weather.
Back to the gloves. Heavy though they are, they were no match for this mornings cold temperatures. Bob suggested gloves with more insulation so I decided to look for a pair at the outfitters in downtown Flagstaff as their cold weather gear is coming in. The problem I anticipated and is so far coming true is that finding attractive, feminine insulated gloves is challenging in the mountain southwest. The warm, insulated gloves are geared toward skiing, snowboarding and rock climbing and are overwhelmingly big, clunky and not very elegant. I tried on a pair insulated, wind resistant mittens at lunch today though and could tell my fingers would stay as warm as toast. What to do?? Can I find warm and style? I need help! Suggestions are welcome.
Life Update: H1N1 Undermines the Running Bob!
Back in Louisville, I could not tell if it was the utter lack of sunlight or all the time we spent in a car driving back and forth between the city and the far away suburbs where his parents live, but Bob's spirits were very low by the last few days of our stay. After returning to Flagstaff, he soon realized he wasn't feeling well and today was told he appeared to have swine flu!
How could it have happened?? Yes, we had spent hour aboard a plane breathing in recirculated air. Yes, we had spent considerable time with school aged children and at least one school had closed temporarily due to the very high number of children out sick with H1N1. Yes, we were out in many public places during our trip and undoubtedly came into contact with numerous germs. But, could swine flu somehow be related to the consumption of spec, that traditional staple of the Hungarian diet? (The Running Bob is half Hungarian . . . )? While in Cleveland, Bob and his brother were on a mission to buy szalonna (pronounced suhl-an-uh), basically a large chunk of pig fat that is roast on a green switch over an open flame, the fat dripping upon Jewish rye bread that is topped by peppers, onions and tomatoes. It is delicious and most unhealthy and the brothers nearly broke down the door of an Italian deli that had a large sign advertising szalonna on the door. They bought two large block of pig fat and we ate one on his parents back porch, all huddled around the fire. Was this his curse for falling off the triathlon diet-wagon? Who knows. I ate it too and I didn't get sick. Word has spread at work. The doctors say he is past the contagious period but he is now otherwise known as Danger Bob.