scenes from the weekend: girls-only getaway (and the ms 150)

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This weekend, Marcus rode his bike from Houston to Austin. It took 2 days, and is a 180-mile trip.

Yes, he's crazy.  No, of course I didn't ride with him.

His insanity actually has a purpose, however: he rode as a part of the BP MS150, which is legend around these parts.  The 13,000+ cyclists who participated are raising money to fight multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disorder that affects about 2.5 million people worldwide.  The ride has been going on for years, and as long as we're in the States and schedules allow, Marcus participates.

And I do my part by providing him moral support.  Ahem.

This year, however, at the last minute, Marcus suggested that rather than stay home, Alex and I should take advantage of his absence:  why don't we, he proposed, drive up to Austin ahead of the riders, spend the night in a hotel there, and then he'd meet us and we'd drive him back to Houston?  And even though I suspect his suggestion was motivated by his not wanting to ride the bus back to Houston with thousands of sweaty bodies, the idea of an Austin road trip alone with my girl sounded like a lot of fun.

So a few days ago, I booked what appeared to be the very last (and duly shockingly overpriced) hotel room left in Austin, and off we went.

Alex was just excited to be getting out of town.

Alex was just excited to be getting out of town.

We had an awesome time.  When we arrived, the first order of business were celebratory beverages.

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Then over the next 24 hours, we admired the simple decor of the hotel ...

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... learned a bit about and got a demonstration of sculling on the Colorado River ...

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... and then we sat on the grass on the top of the hill and talked.

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We talked, that is, until Alex had enough of my noise, and left me.

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(I couldn't really blame her, actually.  It was a pretty epic hill.)

About 11 am on Sunday, Marcus rode into town, having completed all 180 miles.  He looked exhausted, but triumphant.

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After a big lunch, we strapped Marcus' bike on to the back of my little Toyota, and headed back to Houston.  Marcus has managed to raise almost $900 (and counting) so far for the National MS Society (all of which will be matched by his employer, which is cool),  and Alex and I had some good mother-daughter bonding time (which is also cool). 

A great weekend, all-round.  Hope yours was equally fantastic, friends.

SongNot fade away by the Rolling Stones.  Today's song brought to you by Marcus.  Because by God, he earned it.