What day is it?

The darkness, coming earlier in the evening and lingering in the morning is a reminder that fall is on its way. Wait. Fall has arrived... winter is on its way? The trip mornings are cooler. Riding in shorts and sleeves isn't an option. And the days blur one into another after two trips mesh back to back and a third and final 2008 hoo-rah is on its way. Starting tomorrow.

On this the night before the last prep night of the last trip of the year, I couldn't help but go back to October 2007 and have a little read and a little laugh. This time last year I was camping on the California coast with 250 people and sleeping in the back of a commercial trailer. This year I am in Piemonte, trip smashed into trip, working hard to keep my head above the water. What a crazy, random, insane life this is.

There has been little time for reflection, introspection, meditation or journaling. Or e-responding, phone calling or love bits to all the wonderful people in my life so I have to thank you for your patience... and your lovely birthday wishes. Really. I feel like the luckiest 25 year old on earth!

I had a great week with Nancy, my newest favorite co-leader (a tall blonde girl from wales who likes to surf and use the words 'knackered' and 'knob' and 'wanker' that makes me laugh) and her and I are up again this week ahead. We had a good group- cough- they were interesting-cough- and I wish I could do justice to their idiosyncrasies and bizarreness. But I am tired and I can't.

I did get to ride (lots! and on my birthday!) and enjoy the trip. Although admittedly closing the season here now sounds incredibly appealing. I had a lovely birthday. I got calls from home. Nancy decorated my bike on that day. One of my guests gave me awesome earrings. I got lots of sweet emails and electronic love from face book on my day (I am just reading them now and feel VERY VERY lucky). I think I might be repeating myself.

So in conclusion in my exhaustion I leave you this list to ponder.

Things Holly Thinks Piedmont Does Very Well.
1. Cafe. (All. Espresso and Cappuccino especially.)
2. Hill top towns for biking. Nothing beats that fire in your quads.
3. Risotto. For those of us non-pasta-24.7 types.
4. Wine. I might not be educated as much on it, but I am learning and some of this stuff is DELICIOUS!!
5. Aqua Frizzante. Everywhere. Everywhere.

Things Holly Thinks Piedmont Does Not Do Well.
1. Men. In general. They are either A. skinny B. Arrogant C. small. These are not good things for Holly.
2. Chinese/Sushi/Ethnic food. The girls in Piedmont took me out for a pre-bday dinner at a Chinese food place which was funny because I had a suspicious looking dumpling and risotto for dinner. Weird.
3. Wide roads. Where exactly do you turn around a van and trailer with 24 bikes when you can't even pass a Nona riding on the road to your right?
4. English Speaking People. They are nowhere to be found. Boo. Hoo. Hoo.
5. Late dinners. Start at 8? 4 courses? Grappa? Midnight rolling back to your room isn't the happiest of feelings...

-- til next time
h2 xo

ps. Nancy and I were so tired we were joking we are each using half a brain. Only speak to one of us at a time, we need both of us to function at half capacity.

From my 25th Birthday in Piedmont! Nancy decorated my bike and made me a sign, heart heart nancy.