Cleveland, Baby! (2018)

I (the guy me) have participated in shorter distance triathlons for over 30 years (shorter being the maximum of roughly one-fourth of the famous/infamous Hawaii Ironman). In my latter years, as I have gotten fitter and thinner, I tend to place higher in my age group in local races.

In June, 2018, I won my age group (out of four) at a race, which qualified me for the US Triathlon National Age Group Championships, held in Cleveland, Ohio in August, 2018 (and August, 2019). Making the Championships is one of my annual goals; besides competing in the races, being out of town means I can have some Dee time.

After qualifying, I contacted Kandi, as we were (are) both members of an internet forum. Having similar interests (besides the obvious) we made plans to meet and get out. 

The races were scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, but to have my Dee time I arrived in Cleveland Wednesday evening. Kandi and I arranged to meet Thursday evening, which gave me time to get out Thursday morning. I drove to the Cleveland Nordstrom, located about a half hour from downtown. Driving meant getting my car from the valet parking staff dressed slightly differently than when I checked in, but I have learned to just deal with it.

I was lucky and the SA was a very nice young lady named Storm. Yes, I asked, and yes it’s her real name. Apparently her mom was pregnant with Storm and while in Canada saw a boy named Storm, and figured it was unisex–and Mom wanted her daughter to take the world “like a storm”. I wore my latest Nordstrom buy, a purple skirt, along with a top my wife didn’t want (so I took it). 

After Nordstrom, I returned to the hotel, changed into my favorite dress, and walked to the nearby Science Center, one of the 6 million local places where Kandi volunteers (ok, slightly less than 6 million, but not that much less). We went to dinner at Kandi’s favorite place with her favorite bartender, Leia, and had a very nice meal.

When Kandi and I were trading emails to plan my visit, she sent me the menu for a restaurant she was thinking about visiting, and wondering if I was ok with the choices. I answered back I was going to be walking in downtown Cleveland in the middle of August in a dress and heels, so a menu was the least of my worries. 

After dinner, Kandi drove me back to my hotel, and decided I wasn’t done with Dee for the day, so I changed into my latest thrift find, a $6 Maggy London (a/k/a my favorite designer–the red dress is also a Maggy London) and walked to the local casino.

On Friday Kandi picked me up at my hotel (a full service hostess) and we spent a couple of hours at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and after to dinner at a restaurant that a friend had recommended to Kandi (and the food was well worth the recommendation).

We had fun and despite being two CDs in a crowded RNRHOF, we had zero issues (and received a compliment from a cute GG walking to the restaurant). So as Kandi counsels, get out!

P.S. As to the races, for Saturday’s longer race I had a flat, had to wait over an hour to get it fixed, and finished dead last (of 132) in my age group. For Sunday’s race, half the distance of Saturday’s, I finished 63rd of 87, decent for me.

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