Jaymie Mart - BARBADOS NATIONAL DOWNHILL TEAM - one of the most colourful and well loved athletes on the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup tour today.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Little snow, big snow.

So, I managed to wrap up at work a few days early this year.....it gives me time to chill before settling into my new position/promotion in the New Year.....and what better way to chill than to go on a wee excursion to what could potentially be the coldest corner of the US! Wisconsin.....home of the Harley Davidson, Chicago, Cow farming, Coors Beer, The Great Lakes, a heap of holy cheese.....and last but not least the home of TREK!

B and I got bumped into some comfy seats on the plane and had a luxurious ride out to Chicago where we literally ran the Chicago Airport marathon to catch our bumpy but speedy flight to Milwaulkee where we camped for the night......after an amazing home made curry.We woke up bright and early on Monday morning with an action packed scedule and started off the day the US way, with a Starbucks to warm our bellies before hitting the Harley Davidson museum. To be fair, neither of us care to much for Harleys, but both engaged with the impressive archive compiled within the walls of the museum.There was everything there, the first Harley, Evil Kinevils bike, helmet, a belt driven Harley, push bikes, custom bikes, ladies bikes, war bikes, pizza delivery bieks, dragster bikes, clay bikes used to help with the design.....belts, jackets, studs, over sized bearded enthusiasts, large cups of carbonated drinks, greasy burgers, side cars and complimentary HD pint glasses!! If it had Harley Davidson on it...it was there, well archived, documented and on display! It was GREAT.

We then headed off to the domes, three dome shaped horticultural glass botanical domes. They was a desert oasis and a tropical jungle. Nothing to write home about really, I think the real McCoy is better, once you have been to the egyptian and arizonan desert and the carribbean, most bases are covered, but some of the plants were amazing, and it was so soothing to smell the tropics and step into the warmth for half an hour!

We found our next rest-bite from the cold in the Wisconsin museum of art, which was the coolest museum I think I have ever been in.....the building itself was unreal, shaped like a bird, the wings actually close in and cover the roof.
On the inside, the view (below) through the structure of the building was unreal....it even had heated parking in the basement parking lot!! After a beautiful lunch, we strolled slowly into the main building and burned some calories in the Act React exhibition which was unreal. It was a digital installation exhibition, with 6 pieces that required the interaction of the entire body of the viewer! Basically, you got to interact with different pieces of art and have a giggle while doing it!!

I spent the next few days in Madison, chilling out, checking the museums, Christmas shopping, catching a rotten cold and loosing my mind at the HQ of all bike HQ's TREK! It was wicked, Dylan (senior suspension engineer....advanced concept group) gave up an hour of his morning and gave me a wee guided tour.....we went through the main building, the Sales room, R and D, colours and concepts type section which was all new and spangly, marketing, productions, painting, decals, hole punching, the whole sheeeeeee-BANG....then we got onto the really cool bit.....

The entire collection of Lance Armstrong TDF bikes and Contadors 123 race bikes.....as well as President Bush's 08 frames, complete with the presidential seal! After all these years of racing and time in the bike world, it was so cool to see how a bike goes from the ideas stage right through onto the peg first hand.

We were kind of forced back to Milwaukee a day early....did I tell you how cold it was out there? Well it was three times colder than the average freezer.....on the last night, the weather forecasters forcasted an ice storm! With the fear of being trapped in Madison and missing our flight home....and more importantly, Christmas as we know it.......we de-camped to Milwaukee for the last day and experienced the ice storm from the luxury of a retro art deco hotel in downtown called the METRO....this isn't a photo of the hotel below...just a cool set of stairs, what ever tickles your fancy hu?!!With an in room hot tub......we had no option but to chill out and sit tight and wait to see if our flight was running! Unsurprisingly, the airport in Milwaukee came to a complete stand still after the storm dumped 12'' of snow in a heartbeat. The guys did a stirling job and worked their butts off to get it open by 4pm on the Friday......our flight was 5pm.....we made it out and home YEA! I swear, you could have easily confused the airports in airport in Chicago and Milwaukee for a massive snow blower display comp ground......I have never seen so many snow blowing machines gliding around fanning snow left right and centre! Before we left tho, we managed to have a little fun in the snow and just how an entire city clear 12'' of snow off EVERY road AND footpath in the speed of a sneeze! Have you ever noticed that little flakes of snow make big smow on the ground...and big flakes of snow lie wet and heavy and melt quickly making little snow? Little snow, big snow, big snow, little snow!! Think about it, it's one of my Mums theories!

Seasons greetings and a joyus NOEL to you all! Jme. XX

Friday, December 05, 2008

NEVEN! I love you!! I check my site meter once in a while........and I have a few links from Nev's site to mine...which means there is traffic coming here from Nevs site!! How geeky is that?! Anyway, she's got into a crazy 'tag' fest and it seemed fun, so I thought I would join in. Nev has tagged me into doinga list of 6 things about yourself that people might not know!!

Okay, so here goes.

1. I have a small scare on my forehead from falling off an icy wall when I was little. My Mum told me I shouldn't walk on the wall as it had ice on the top, my stubbornness carried me through and I fell off and bared the scar ever since. What made it worse at the time was that a few days later my Grandparents flew in from the Caribbean and spent their time in the UK with their granddaughter who had stitches SLAP BANG in the middle of my head. I went back out on the wall and made it to the end....It is the ultimate scar of stubbornness!

2. I am the ambassador for the dry hump.

3. My favourite meal is Christmas dinner and this year I get to spend it with my family and my lovely boyfriend B.

4. I have a hammer toe! It's gross and it was made that way by not wanting to give up my roller skates when I was little!! I wore them until they were way too small and they deformed my toe. Hammer time! My beautiful relationship with my skates came to a bitter end after failing my attempt to 'skate down the stairs' at home. It resulted in a wounded me and a few smashed photos, some broken glass and a confiscation of the skates!!

5. I have a grade 5 in the viola and have passed many singing exams. I used to sing in the church choir and at peoples weddings. This is where I first developed my penchant for vino....although I don't suppose drinking a wee under aged dram of communal wine was or is the done thing...esp not in the eyes of the church?!!!

6. I once thought I was TANKGIRL and shaved my hair completely off when I was 16, I also had my lip, tongue and ears pierced. Looking back, I resembled a pin cushion for around 8 months!

So, there you go!
I tag the following people....

1. Fionn
2. Tara
3. JC (Joules Coventry)
4. BB...which forms the perfect excuse to get a blog up and running!
5. Melissa...even though Nev has tagged you, I think you need an extra nudge! X
6. Undecided...I will come back to this.....

K, gotta run, busy day ahead and fun to be had.

Sweet out chickens. XX