alpaca princess (renniekins) wrote,
alpaca princess

Chicago Short

Over the weekend, I made an incredibly short trip to Chicago. I left at 9am saturday morning, and was back in town by 9pm sunday night. During that time I drove five hours, saw my parents, heard stories and saw photos of their vacation, walked to the zoo, enjoyed a home-cooked meal, hung out with my sister, rode fifty-nine miles on my bicycle, and drove another five hours. Whew!

The zoo was amusing. My parents live very near the Lincoln Park Zoo, a free zoo run by the city. It's a nice place to walk, so often when I visit we'll stroll over. There is an alpaca exhibit, but every single time I've gone there, it's been empty.

I'd begun to believe it was a conspiracy. I've looked many times, and never once seen an alpaca there - I think they put the sign up just to tease me. Either there were no alpacas, or the alpacas were intentionally hiding from me.

Not saturday though! For the first time, I walked up and there was a fuzzy white alpaca near the wall. It glanced over and froze. Clearly I'd not been expected at this time. Another furry head popped up, and an alpaca who had been lying down behind a tree looked at me. They looked at one another. The gig was up, they'd been made. There was no longer any reason to hide or pretend they didn't exist.

At this point, apparently the alpacas decided it was okay to show themselves to me. A total of six alpacas came strolling out from behind a wall! I was stunned, but pleased.

Sunday morning was the Boulevard Tour. My sister and I have been hoping all summer to get in a bike ride or two together, and we hadn't succeeded until now. It's challenging, since we live in different states. But we met in Chicago and finally went for a ride together. Our mom joined us too.

It was fun! It's the farthest I've gone this year, and I could feel it. I had about 45 comfortable miles in me, it turns out. Unfortunately I had to ride a total of 59 to get home. The last ones were pretty exhausting, but I still made it. I was proud. It was a beautiful day for a bike ride, and the scenary was lovely.

My mom and me in front of the skyline and lake.

I'd forgotten my clip-in bike shoes, so I borrowed my sister's clip-in sandals. I wasn't used to them, and they were harder to clip out of the pedals than my own shoes. Still, something is better than nothing! I did have one embarrassing incident though: we were all stopped at a light, some of the group started to go, and I started also. Then somebody saw a car coming and stopped fast. I had just clipped my shoe in (which is odd, because I don't usually clip so fast), and couldn't get it out on time. I stopped with my feet still in the pedals, and the bike tipped right over. Ouch! I have a mildly skinned elbow, a sore knee, a bruised ego, and an impressive purple lump on my butt.

Oh well, it was still a beautiful ride. An exhausting weekend, but worthwhile, and I'm so glad I made the time for it!
Tags: alpaca, biking, family, travel
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