Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

I've been spending the holidays and will be spending the first few days of 2011 in the tri-state area of Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas. Naturally, I've been experiencing weather that I'm not really used to back in the Valley, but it's been an interesting transition to say the very least. Yesterday, my sister and I scraped ice off of the driveway until our hands hurt from the cold through our thick gloves... and yet this afternoon I was able to stand on the back porch and say hi to the neighbors in a t-shirt, sweatshirt, jeans and ski socks. Did I not mention that today's weather is colder than yesterday's? I've never been more grateful for sunlight, I'll tell you that.

If you know me at all, I'm always looking for a reason to photo-document, especially when it involves bicycles. So, while in Kansas (en route to Nebraska) I was able to get some photos of some bicycle-related things that caught my eye and smile (feel free to click on each photo for a bigger view):

The day I arrived, we ate at Local Burger for lunch. Everything is from local farms, fresh, organic and super-duper healthy. It was mad delicious.

"Eat", they said on their wall, and we did. I had an elk burger on a bed of greens. And in their window was this painting:


Afterward, we headed to the main street of Lawrence, KS (aka Massachusetts St.), to stretch our legs and see the sights. While walking, I found this t-shirt: the shop window of this establishment. We'll be back in town on Sunday, so who knows what I might ask for them to print up. Perhaps. Or perhaps not. Either way, free advertising.

On our way back to the car, I saw this...

...parked outside of this shop.

And this was in a random shop window. I really like the font and colors in the sign; also this is pretty much what I've been doing for the past two weeks. Hooray for the holidays!

Back in Falls City, we've been walking quite a bit - I walked to the Richardson County post office to mail Christmas cards; my brothers, nephew, sister and I walked to and around the partially-frozen Stanton Lake, and later in the week us girls took a long walk on a warm, spring-like day that would normally call for a sweater back in California. The next day there was slippy-slidy ice covering the streets. Today it's 23 degrees out, so there's not much walking around going on. Obviously people use their cars to get around town; there's little to no public transportation that I've seen, at least out here. Here? Here I can actually say that a car is necessary. It gets friggin' cold! Even then, in the spring and summertime, while people do drive most everywhere, my brother-in-law remarked about how people are out on their bicycles or hoofing it to the local store or in taking their kids to school. Which makes me put thoughts towards Los Angeles, and how I still stand by the thought that a car shouldn't be totally necessary out there, however spread out it is - at least not the be all and end all. There's so many more people and more businesses and retail spots - it's a huge city, if comprised of a lot of 'towns' smushed together. A reliable public transit system is nothing but common sense.

I don't normally make resolutions, but as encouraged by one of my readers and fellow bicyclists (and thank you so much for the idea), I'm going to see what volunteering opportunities are available back home in the realm of input regarding the infrastructure of public transportation. I am also going to see what it will take to perhaps minor in a field of transport engineering (continuing with my current major) so that perhaps this will become a career possibility. It's become too big a thing to overlook at this point.

That said, happy holidays and a happy new year from me to you this season and well into 2011! I'm really lucky to take you all along with me. As far as I'm concerned, it's a new year until well past the first quarter, so try to enjoy the brand-new-ness as long as you can.

Also, for those of us who like to ride our bicycles around the neighborhood, don't feel too pressed to take down your Christmas lights until at least mid-January.


  1. Good pictures. Thanks for posting them.

    I hope that you do volunteer to support transit or at least attend public meetings. We need more people working on this.

  2. Great bike photos! sounds like or looks like a cool place!

  3. Thanks, Helen and bikesantaclarita! I hope to post and get more while still out here.

    These streets are seriously made for biking... next time I will figure a way to make it happen!