Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mid-A Bella Winter Retreat

The Mid-Atlantic Velo Bella Inagural Winter Retreat was held in historic Gettysburg, PA on Feb 17-18th, at the home of our gracious hosts, Morgan and Hillary Styer.

The Bellas--Melanie, Nikki, Olivia, and honorary Bella Jen--arrived Saturday morning and met for the first time around the kitchen with a hearty lunch. Hillary and Morgan suprised us all with custom-designed Mid-A Bella backpacks that are very envy-worthy Shwag!! We had a packed agenda planned, so as soon as Ethan's babysitter (Hillary's little boy) arrived, we headed out on our adventure.

With the recent winter storm, we thought what better way to start the weekend off with an afternoon of sledding at the local ski mountain. Unfortunately, great minds think alike, and greater Pennsylvania had hit the slopes! So, we decided to postpone Melanie's first-ever sledding adventure and make the best of the situation. So we decided to go wine tasting!

We arrived at the Adams Country winery amidst a Mardi Gras party complete with beads and homemade chili. The chili warmed us up and the wine finished us off! It was a great afternoon. We found out that the local "civil war" wineries have a promotion to get folks to tour all of the wineries along the Mason-Dixon wine trail--perhaps we should go on a "Tour de Vin" around the local vineyards? On bikes? Maybe not. . .

After our afternoon of sipping wine, we headed back to the house to do what else, but bike! So, Honorary Bella Jen, resident Spin instructor aka Torture Queen, took us for a wild ride! We had 6 bikes in the living room, and an audience of one--little Ethan sat in his high chair looking at us all like we were crazy. So we sweated to her i-tunes and had what we unanomously agreed was the absolute best trainer workout we'd ever had! And it was fun too!

We finished off the evening discussing the future for Mid-A Velo Bella and had a fantastic homemade dinner stright from the culinary creativity of Chris Carmicheal; cranberry glazed chicken breast with mashed sweet potatoes and salad. Yum Yum!

After a good night's sleep, we awoke early to head back out into the winter weather for another chance at inner-tubing. We first stopped off in downtown Gettysburg at the local diner for the $2.95 local's special of 2 eggs, 2 bacon, and 2 pieces of toast with hash browns. Another yum yum! And of course, what trip to Gettysburg would be complete without sighting local civil-war era "re-enactors"!?

We finally headed back up the mountain, rode the sledding bus and landed ourselves at the base of the mighty sled hill. For the next 2 hours we had what can only be described as "thirty-somethings pretending to be sixteen" fun. And boy did we have fun!

All in all, the first winter retreat was a complete success! We are talking about a mid-summer's retreat as well, so stay tuned! For a look at the rest of the pics, just click here!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Winter Solstice

Although we are cold as ice right now, we are looking forward to the kick off of the season with the

We'll be out there volunteering, drinking hot cocoa, and racing too. We look forward to seeing new faces and race-veterans too.