Saturday, March 31, 2012
The bus driver on the way to Oberriet for the half marathon stopped and let an older woman out so that she was a closer to walk to Church. I didnt think anything of it--just remember watching her slowly leave the bus and hobble down the road. Hours later, after we had finished the race and were waiting for he bus home, I explored the center of town a bit. I saw a beautiful white church, piercing stark white in front of the blue swiss alps in the background. I decided to go in. As I pulled open the massive wooden doors I heard the organ blaring through the hall in front of me. There were glass doors peering into the sanctuary. This is what I saw; the lady from the bus, sitting perfectly still and alone in her pew, held in quiet prayer.
Bianca and I ran a half marathon last weekend in Oberriet. What a funny day.
After winding down the steep plunge on the train to Alstaaten station, we arrived with our backpacks filled with sneakers and power snacks. With my small mental tab of german transportation vocabulary as well as my flailing hands and arms, we communicated with the bus driver where we needed to go by showing her the "running in place" gesture and repeating the town over and over again. "aahh yes" she said with a relieved smile. Contented, we went to sit. After 5 minutes she turned around with a smile and gestured for us to get off and wait 3 minutes.. Then another bus pulled up, which was the right one and we got on- confused-giggling in wonder as to why this woman let us sit on her bus for so long. Maybe she just wanted the company.
On the right bus was a man, Lucas, who was also running the race. He accompanied us to register once we got to Oberriet and helped us translate our forms. We nonchalantly talked about running and our past races. An hour later, as Bianca and I were on our 7th mile, seriously discussing the fact that we might have taken the wrong turn, Lucas would zoom by us, turning to say a quick hello. He would place 40 out of 300. Pretty much, we befriended Hercules and we didnt even know it.
In fact, when we arrived and looked around it became clear that we would be running this race with only elite runners. Everyone-the men and women- looked like they belonged in the Olympics. So when we saw the Sweeper, we looked at each other with big smiles and accepted that we might in fact come in last place. Bianca and I finished the race (not quite last) and it was a lot of fun. The route passed through all of these cute little neighborhoods. All along the course, spectators were perched in their yards with their beers and their kids, ringing cowbells and yelling "hop! hop! hop!", which actually means "go go go!"...I thought this was really funny.
We met a lady named Daniella while running, who had run the NYC Marathon and LOVED IT. She kept telling us we were fantastic and that she would wait for us at the finish line since she was running the 9K and no the full half. She was so bubbly and sweet..I believe at one point she even stopped running to remove a worm from the road and place it back in the safe grass. Sure enough, she was waiting for us as we rounded the corner to finish the race. I couldnt believe she actually waited for us...it always feels great to have someone rooting you on at the finish line..even better when that person is stranger you met 30 minutes earlier.
The race ended with us recieving the best race bags EVER. A loaf of bread from a local bakery and home made jam. We sat and ate pork sandwhiches and drank beer. My legs felt like two heavy wooded posts for two days after the race. It was a lovely day and an experience I wont forget.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Last weekend Kat and I accompanied our bosses Lori and Jon to Vorarlsberg, Austria, one of their favorite weekend shopping getaways. And by shopping I mean food shopping...Austrian prices are soo much more reasonable than Swiss prices. We went to Ventilator, a huge antique house, lunch on top of a mountain and a farmers market. Great weather and awesome way to spend a Saturday. View more of my photos on my new flickr site!
While browsing the blog of my friend Christina Watka, I came upon this video and I wish to share it on my blog as well. I find it so simply precious. I want to spend the rest of my life playing with toys too.