Sunday, October 2, 2011

Oktoberfest 5k Makes 34 States

No matter how detailed I am with travel plans, something always goes awry. Luckily, my girls and I have learned to deal with these little setbacks and make the best of it. We were supposed to fly out of Pittsburgh (which cost $118/rt vs. $300+ out of CLE). We would connect, oddly enough, in Cleveland, then fly off to Boston. We got to PIT only to find out that our plane was delayed already. I checked my iphone Continental app only to find out that the plane arrived in CLE on time, but wasn't leaving CLE for some reason. Having just come from that area, I knew it wasn't weather related. When the second delay came in, I went to the counter because I knew we could not catch our connector out of CLE to Boston. I also knew the delay was most likely due to mechanical, which the attendant confirmed. Fortunately, we were able to get a direct flight out of PIT and dinner vouchers (yay!). Unfortunately, the flight was 4 hours later (boo!). We made the best of it. We marched up to the President's Club for snacks and water, then darted into a couple shops at the airport. Bridget was able to go into a toy store for something special while Meg and I scored two great deals at GAP. Best of all, dinner was free due to our vouchers. Lemonade out of lemons is what I say!

Saturday was so much fun with my girls. We started off sleeping in, then going downstairs for a wonderful breakfast. We like staying at Embassy Suites due to larger room size, having an in-room fridge, the wonderful free breakfast and they generally do not charge for parking (all this for $134/night). We then headed out for our little adventure. First stop was Walden Pond. We walked the 1.7 mile path around the pond, stopping to see the site of Thoreau's house. It was so neat to see several people swimming across the pond. Meg and I told Bridget that when she got older, the three of us would swim across the pond together.

After Walden, we drove to Nathaniel Hawthorne's Old Manse and the Minute Men National Park. Meg had recently read The Scarlet Letter in English class, so it seemed appropriate to visit his home. We learned that Thoreau gave Hawthorne a garden as his wedding gift. Come on, it was the 1800s afterall.

At the Minute Men National Park it was humbling to see where history was made - the shot that was heard around the world. We saw the timeline of troops riding from Boston to Lexington-Concord. The bridge in the background of this picture was where the epic battle took place against British troops.

We were starving at this point. Thank goodness for Helen's. I had what was called an ABLT - avacado, bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich...Mmmmm! We all had ice cream afterwards and felt much more fueled for the next stop. On to Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House. The tour guide, I'm pretty sure, was from that era. She was long, slow, and deliberate in her responses. And there was no air conditioning in this house. After a big lunch of sandwiches and ice cream, coupled with fatigue, excess heat and a dry speaker, we were doomed. I think I retained half of what she said. As Meg put it: at least our donation went to preserving a valued part of history (so $9/person wasn't wasted, in other words).

Sunday was the other reason for our trip to Boston - to run the Cambridge Oktoberfest 5k and to check off the 34th state. We had eaten at the Cambridge Brewing Company the night before so I could pick up the race packet. While there, I had a most delicious Pumpkin Ale. Smooth and not overly sweet or too packed with a pumpkin taste - perfectly subtle. As luck would have it, that wonderful liquid was served as post-race refreshments. I met two guys at the start, and shared a beer with them at the finish. Such a small world - Paul was originally from Cincinnati. Juan told a great story about running in Curacos, where his family is from. That's what makes traveling so wonderful - learning interesting stories about other people and sharing it all through running.

I finished the race in 30:40 (9:53/mi) and 16/41 in my division. Let me just tell you that wearing a dirndl is a bit restrictive and, for $22 on Amazon, let's just say that one doesn't get wicking material! But I was in costume and enjoyed all that Oktoberfest in Cambridge had to offer! Prost!


  1. Oh I love this race report!!! It sounds like an awesome weekend with your girls. I am a such a sucker for the literary tourist love love. and of course your costume is awesome and let's just say I am not surprised those guys stayed with you until the end and shared a beer with you, sexy woman. All in all, sounds like a BLAST!!!!!!

  2. Glad you had a great trip and just kept making lemonade :) The costume is the BEST - love it!!! Hi to the girls from us (hugs included).