It’s time to re-boot…

Well the last two weeks were a lot of fun punctuated by moments of stress and one calamity. Oh, and did I mention no real training or serious exercise.

I have a brother who lives in France with his family. Our parents, who are octogenarians, live in a retirement community in Pasadena, not far from here. The brother, named Crane (after the author of “The Red Badge of Courage; Stephen Crane) and his teenage son came over and stayed here for a while. Of course it was a very big event for our parents as it is any time they get to see their far flung son and grandson. We made the most of it.

We had a few good outings, spending an afternoon touring the WWII battleship USS Iowa which is berthed as a museum ship in Los Angeles harbor. Our dad was a navy man in the 1950s, and seeing him standing proudly on the armored bridge of the great battleship looking out to forward as if we were underway was quite stirring.


We also went to Palm Springs and rode the tram, which takes you up a steep beautiful canyon, whisking you from 2,500 ft. elevation up to 8,500 in a few minutes. Up at the top it is a beautiful alpine environment. This is where calamity struck as our mother tripped and fell on a trail. I saw her go down and it looked bad, but after a few minutes it was clear that other than damaged glasses and scrape she was okay. It was a scary moment, and I feel some responsibility as I had not considered the effects of taking a couple of elderly flatlanders on a fast ride to elevation. Our final outing was to take brother Crane and nephew Thomas to a local outdoor shooting range, something they don’t get a chance to do in France. Friend, and expert shooter Dimitri came along with some bolt action .22s and a very fine scoped .308. I brought with a couple handguns, an old Russian SKS rifle and a German 8mm Mauser. Thom excelled with the .22s and the .308. Actually shooting that Mauser was the closest thing to exercise I got during the whole visit. Then of course there was the food…

These French are unbelievable, everything revolves around food and wine. Crane, my brother, took over my kitchen. He is a wonderful cook. He would serve up breakfast, and while eating “petit dejeuner” the conversation would turn to the menu for lunch! And any time left after cooking and eating had to be spent shopping for more food. And wine. And shopping is like doing a big wall. First the menu and ingredients are decided upon, but when we get to the market the planned ingredients look less than perfect. Now begins an endless process of inspection, re-planning the menu, and improvising. And then there is shopping for wine. Food is food, but the wine is serious business. We have a local chain called BevMo, which stocks thousands of wines including many French. I think in the last two weeks we paid their rent.

It was wonderful and I have no regrets, but I feel fat and wasted. It was epic. Now I’m back on a diet and fitness is job one. Got crushed in Yoga class last night. Pilates tomorrow with Roger, better get 12 hours sleep tonight.

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