I had a nice, mostly bike free, weekend. Friday night we went over to my brother and his wife's house to celebrate Christmas. Christmas in March? Yes, Virginia. A few years ago the four of us stopped exchanging gifts and started going out for a nice dinner and then drinks. This year we were going to extend the custom to include Nancy's brother and his wife. But then the scheduling got so crazy that it ended up being March. We still will need to go out with them sometime too (Christmas in July?). It's nice because it's 4 less people we need to shop for, and it's a great excuse to get together and have a good time.
This year instead of eating out we went shopping at Kowalski's and cooked. Matt and Mandy each got a new york strip steak, and I got a top sirloin. All three of us used a Swiss steak rub called Pride of Szegeo. The guy at the meat counter had nothing but good things to say about this stuff, and was he right. It was great. I tried googling it and couldn't find a website, but you can get it at Kowalski's in the spices section. Totally worth the $1.79 they're charging for it. Nancy had a cajun marinaded catfish which was also very good. We broke the seal on the summer grilling season and cooked everything on the grill in the backyard. We also had twice-baked potatoes, cous cous, cheese, stuffed mushrooms and dessert. The only bad part of the meal was this bread we bought. It was supposed to be seasoned with herbs and olive oil, but it tasted like fish. So we skipped most of the fishy bread, but nobody went hungry. Yum.
Yesterday we went to retrieve the kidlets from their grandparents. We spent the night in Lamberton and had a great spaghetti dinner courtesy of my MIL. After watching my daughter nearly fall 20 feet out of a tree she'd climbed we all hunkered down and watched Chicken Little Saturday night (which I found vaguely annoying) and then watched Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit (which I found highly amusing). We had great french toast for breakfast with sausages and bacon. Fast food was eaten on the trip there and back. I'm gonna start waddling soon if I keep this up.
When we got home it was a beautiful evening. I hauled all the crap from our trip out of the van and cleaned it out. I nearly vacuumed it too, but the shop vac was buried in a corner of the garage and I didn't feel like digging it out. So instead, I showed my two wheeled vehicles a little love. I spent an hour and a half or so cleaning up the Raleigh and the Schwinn with a washcloth and a bucket of soapy water. The Raleigh deserved it after being encrusted all winter. It's not in showroom condition, but all the moving parts are crud free and it looks clean upon casual inspection. The Schwinn wasn't too dirty, but I decided to start the season out on the right foot. So now it's sparkly and shiny. I'd forgotten what a headache it is to clean white parts on a bike. I'd like to know whose bright idea was it to put white cranks, bar tape and brake hoods on a bike. OK, so I have some blame for the bar tape since I retaped them. But come on, they needed to match the hoods!
Do yourself a favor. Go clean your bike. It'll make you feel good. I promise.