Monday, February 24, 2014

2013 in Review Part II.

I took two trips in 2013--one a generally unsatisfactory major league baseball trip in the spring to Miami that had certain fun moments; and the other a more satisfactory rafting trip in the summer to West Virginia that included some minor league baseball.  The problem with the first trip was the host city's incessant search for funds from parking fees and driving tolls from it's lifeblood of tourism, leaving foreigners feeling eviscerated by the bloodsuckers; while the summer trip provided exciting water fun on a huge river system plus relaxing minor league baseball viewing.

In the spring the Miami hotel I stayed in, a rundown downtown establishment that offered no parking, set me into a maze of meter parking that was in effect at all times except from1 am to 5 am, with a minimum of two hours fare per meter (no 15 minute trips!), in an offensive money grab, and a tollroad system that did not take cash or credit cards--you had to buy a transponder system that worked nowhere else, which I refused to do so I was consigned to slow congested local roads.  But I saw two baseball games at the new Marlins' stadium, enjoyed a cold beer in a local pool hall near the stadium which was priced right ($3) where I was obviously the only English-speaking patron, savored happy-hour fare at an oyster bar and squeezed in a trip to Key West, the southern-most part of mainland USA.

In the summer I saw two baseball games in funky minor league parks, rafted on the high-water New River twice which included many rapids and much swimming and visited the D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia and the nearby Natural Bridge.  It was a relaxing journey through rural Appalachia with a return to rafting for the first time since a rugged trip I undertook on the Dolorous River in the west in 2010.

Also notable last year was I bought a convertible, donated blood for the hundredth time, ran my first trail race (a hilly 5-miler in 50:03--drat!), was furloughed for half a month by Congress and reached my goal of running regularly four times a week about twenty miles which helped me to get my weight under two hundred.  2014 is going to be even better!

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