Closing Out for a New Beginning

January 7, 2013

I realized that it has been quite some time since my last post. I was enthralled by my daily posts while traveling Europe last summer and while I spent time in Bermuda this past October, but it seems that I’ve lost the oomph. Now to give you a little perspective on my current time consumer (positive one, of course), I am currently sitting by a fire place in an apartment at the foot of the beautiful slopes of Park City, Utah – I’ll get to that at the end though.

I sometimes think of this blog while I’m doing certain things – swimming in a new place, traveling somewhere neat, exploring in any way really – then find myself not committing to blogging the experience because at the end of the day, though it was special and exciting to me, I don’t think it is would be that exciting to a reader. Then again, if I had a dollar for every time some one told me I was insane, crazy, wild, *insert similar adjective here, I would probably be rich. So why not talk about the experiences! If nothing else I’ll have this record for myself… Maybe I’m writing to others, maybe just to myself. Anywho, I thought it would be nice to close out my memories and experiences during the final months of 2012 and begin the new memories of 2013 right here.

My last post was in October when a group of us completed our qualifier swim for the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (28.5 mile swim around the island of Manhattan). Well supercalifragilisticexpealidocious news, I am in!! Some of you may know that I was supposed to compete in this race in 2012 with my wonderful swimming buddy Anne but unfortunately due to medical reasons, our team had to withdraw just before the event. I am really looking forward to participating in MIMS this year as a solo with my father Richard guiding my way in his kayak. One of my most incredible role models, Marcia Cleveland, will be supporting me from the boat, and cheering me on with Marcia from the boat will be my high school swimming team co-captain and best friend from high school, Angela. I think I’ve created a power team of supporters and I hope I don’t let them down.
Check out the event: http://www.nycswim.org/Event/Event.aspx?Event_ID=2302

The weekend after completing our qualifiers, I competed in the Team Mossman Tri Team’s Swim for the Slipper race.
Check it out: http://www.teammossman.com/events_srs.html
This was my third year competing in the race and it is a race that I absolutely love! The organizers – Robin Meyers and Clay Tebbetts – are the absolute greatest! It’s a very low key event I think in most part because it is what some may consider “cold” (whatever that means), but it is such a… hmm… cozy event. I like it also because I won my distance the first two years I did it and this year I placed second in my distance BUT the first place woman wore a wet suit so we all know that just doesn’t even count anyway. Cheater 😉 I think I was one of two (as per usual) not in a wet suit in the entire event. Lots of hot chocolate after! Good times.

20130107-221524.jpg Phil Gormley, his friend, and my self after the event.

October was extremely eventful. Next came the ever powerful and impacting Sandy Super-Storm! Thankfully no damage was done to my house. Lots of big trees down in the area as well as flooding but the world knows where the big damage was done.

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20130107-222310.jpg Larchmont Yacht Club was pretty banged up.

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Power outages, people running around like the world was coming to an end, blah blah blah. Growing up in South Florida prepared me well enough through all the hurricanes I’ve faced. It’s not a hurricane without a hurricane party!!! 🙂

Thanksgiving came and went. My friend Aubrey from Florida came up for the week and we had a wonderful Thanksgiving in TOD household. I made lots of the yummy food…

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20130107-223138.jpg Yummies including homemade (well, everything I made was completely homemade from scratch of course… My catering pastry chef of a mother would probably disown me if it were done any other way) orange cranberry sauce, sautéed garlic Brussels sprouts, cauliflower au gratin, The Famous Apple Pie (anyone who has tried it knows why it deserves capitalization).

Let’s see… What else. I kicked up my veganism a bit more again. I caught up more with my longer-than-life-long favorite twins now that they’ve moved home.

20130107-224014.jpg Caileigh and myself.

Then the greatest time of the whole year came around! Christmas! Obviously. I spent lots of time at my favorite place in the entire state of Connecticut: my uncle Phil’s house with my aunt Suzie and cousins Lindsay and Quenby. We made ginger bread houses and they put up their tree and we watched Elf by the fire place. Homey and wonderful with some of the most amazing people I know.

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[Here is where I’ve come to the point at which I feel those last few blurbs were more for my own memorable reasons…
BUT WAIT!!! I’m off to Florida next!]

Before I hop the plane to Florida, I’ll just mention that I was planning to do my Ice Swim before leaving but unfortunately the waters were not cold enough. I have my swim rescheduled for hopefully the end of January so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, know that I’ve chosen to dedicate my swim to the River Keeper organization promoting New York clean water. Check this out and consider supporting them (not me – I’m simply the messenger): http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/devonclifford/dccliffswims

Holiday travel seldom lacks in good stories. I believe there are three main details of my travel down to Florida. Nah, we’ll just stick with two. The first being that I saw Eliot Spitzer and waiting on the opposing bench for our planes. He was traveling with Silva and their children – I did not see a leash attached to him, but I guess Silva was close enough by way of physical proximity so she was able to trust him in their travels. 😉

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The second detail is more of a lesson: during holiday travel, always allot yourself more time than necessary so that when the airlines ask people to give up their seat due to over booking, you can say sure and walk away with a $600 travel voucher… Like I did! Cha-Ching.

Florida was wonderful. I relaxed by my pool:

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I spent time with lots of friends:

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I spent lots of time with my mom and with my grandparents. Lots of time spent wandering my grandfather’s garden and picking delicious fresh veggies for salads.

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Plenty of time spent at the beach:

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20130107-230822.jpg (I did not see any sharks in the water during any of my open water swims, only sharks in the sky).

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My favorite swimming buddy from NY, Marilee, was down in South Florida over break with her family so we were able to spend time together for a bit too! We attempted an open water swim together with Jordan kayaking for us but were mutilated by the jellies and had to turn around. We went for a good long paddle board instead – I’ll skip the part about us nearly being turned into fish food by the massive ship whose path we happened to cross all too closely. It was wonderful getting to spend time with her too!
My cousin Kelly – you remember Kelly, the one I wandered so many foreign countries with last summer – and I did a 5k color run in Fort Lauderdale.

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I said good bye to my mom and to Cat and headed off to the next destination.

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And so here I am – I told you I’d get to it – laying by the fire that is no more, ready to begin a week of skiing in Park City with family.

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Oops! Just remembered that I forgot to mention that in the last week I’ve booked three trips (Austin for a weekend of swim training; Honduras for two weeks of medical volunteer work with wonderful people I met while in Bermuda – do you recall that story? Go back and refresh!; and a week in Cabo with two of my best friends that each live way too far away – I know you remember Susanna in Sweden, and Jacqui in Australia).

Moon River states it best, there certainly is such a lot of world to see. I hope you take some time to keep exploring and to appreciate it as much as I do! Sweet dreams and swim on.

P.S. I need to reacclimatize to the cold so I think tomorrow night after I get out of the hot tub I will make some snow angels in the snow… in my bathing suit. Maybe I’ll post again at the end of this week 🙂

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