Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Celebration Tour

A Beyonce concert has been near the top of my life list for a while now.  I looked up concert dates for her 'On the Run' tour with Jay Z this summer and noticed that there last stop was in Paris the Friday after the World Championships in Norway.  I tried to find a partner in crime to go with me to this concert to fulfill my dreams, but, as of a month before the concert, no one was available.  Then, walked in Andrea, my friend from Santa Cruz who was traveling to Norway to hang out with her boyfriend on the bike circuit.  It didn't even take any convincing.  Jordi mentioned the idea to Andrea, and she was already looking into our Air BnB options for lodging twenty-four hours later.  This was the kind of excitement I was looking for, and our own version of our 'On the Run' tour was born.  

It's hard to imagine things getting even better after a bronze medal at the World Championships, but that result just sent me skyrocketing into the atmosphere.  This trip was the perfect way to celebrate a fantastic season.  I drove around Norway with friends until thursday after the race.  We didn't quite have enough time to travel west to Fjord land, but we took in the coast line instead.  It was beautiful, and it wasn't without some travel misadventures that we will remember for years to come. Chloe designed one day of our trip around seeing viking churches. We drove for about four hours and pulled into a parking lot.  It turns out our viking church pilgrimage was a reproduction of the original viking church in an amusement park that was completely boarded up and broken down.  Don't always believe everything you google.  I'm literally still laughing about it. 

I then headed to Paris on Thursday for the first time in my life.  Everyone said I would love Paris, but I thought it would just be another city.  Everyone was right.  I loved it.  There's something different about Paris.  We saw the Eiffel Tower lit up at night.  We saw Monet's 'waterlilies' which was literally life changing.  This is no exaggeration.  I was completely captivated.  This is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen in my entire life.  Not everyone in the room was completely captivated by 'water lillies'.  Andrea and I noticed an older couple sitting on the bench staring at our legs rather than taking in the painting.  We assumed that they were shocked out how disproportional my quads were to the rest of my body and how many scars Andrea had on our legs.  I guess they hadn't come into contact with many female mountain bikers. We topped off our own 'On the Run' tour by seeing the Queen Bey herself that evening.  It was magical just as I expected.  It was the best concert I've ever seen.  I'm so lucky I got to check so many things off my life list on this trip, and I got to add some more.  I want to go back and see those Norwegian Fjords. 

Now I'm in full off season mode except for racing the Santa Cruz Enduro next weekend.  Let the fun continue. 

 Little Bellas Photo Shoot in Millstone Hill, VT.  Gorgeous. 
 Fall Offseason Adventures in VT.  Lake Willougby.  (taken by GoPro)
 Jojo enjoying Lake Champlain.  (taken by GoPro)

 This is not a Norwegian Viking Church.  This is a broken down Norwegian Amusement Park. 
 World's End.  Norwegian Coast. 
 This is what lighthouses used to look like in Norway.  They lit a fire in the basket
 A Viking Boat. 
 Sitting under a full moon by this tower was a good way to spend the night in Norway. 
 This is a cardamon cinnamon roll and absolutely delicious
 In Norway, they put butterflies in the sidewalks.  Boots courtesy of L.L Bean
 This is a delicious french dessert. 
 Louvre, Paris
 Notre Dame, Paris
Heaven, Paris