Last week set a bit of a record with three nights out — definitely the most in one week post-baby!
Sir’s monthly overnight with Baba coincided with closing night of The Twelfth Night at Shakespeare in the Park. We debated biking vs. driving as well as eating out vs. picnicking. The fact that we’d be in the car anyway to deliver Gabriel answered that question, and the heat and humidity drove us inside to eat.
We chose Blue Elephant, a Thai restaurant that’s been around for quite awhile, but one I hadn’t visited. Given write-up’s I’d seen, complete with photos of fancily presented food, and their location in Clayton, I rather expected it to be an upscale place, which it wasn’t.
Fortunately, the food, rather than the decor and atmosphere (which was low key and pleasant, just not fancy), was my main reason for choosing the spot. We shared the Pad Thai and Pad See Ew entrees (both with tofu). The Pad Thai was quite good, on par with some of my favorites from other restaurants (must remember to always order with extra veggies).
We continued on to the performance in Forest Park, intentionally parking far away to avoid getting caught in traffic later. We enjoyed the evening, though afterward (and having attended various other years) we admitted/agreed that Shakespeare is not so much our thing, and in future years, we might just come for the pre-party of picnicking and people-watching.
Earlier in the week, my father-in-law offered to come over and watch Sir on Wednesday night so we could see Spamalot at The Muny. We accepted his offer, and I made plans for biking and a picnic dinner.
Matthew biked over straight from work and spent ninety minutes in line — his efforts garnered us a great spot in the free seats. I joined him after a warm, but not unpleasant ride.
On the way over, another cyclist passed me on the right. As he passed, I asked if he could please pass on the left, as is the convention. As I was riding in the traffic lane, he responded that there “wasn’t much room to my left.”
I glanced over, and informed him that there was, in fact, six or seven feet between me and the center line (just as much room as there was between me and the curb to the right). He responded with a rather confounded, “But you’re practically riding in the middle of the lane.”
I held my tongue as I thought, “Yes, that’s rather the point, how very observant.” I couldn’t help but smile as he continued down the hill ahead of me, carefully, and perhaps begrudgingly, stopping at every stop sign along the way.
We enjoyed the show, but just as much I enjoyed our ride home afterwards, cutting through the park on the multi-use paths to avoid the traffic jams, riding under an almost full moon.
The third and last night out of the week (no twelve nights for me, thank you), I stuck my bike on the bus, and used the bus and MetroLink, plus a short bike ride, to meet a good friend for dinner in The Loop.
As I slowly coasted along with the crazy traffic on Delmar, I was very glad that I didn’t have to worry about finding a [car] parking spot. I arrived at Seoul Taco with time to spare, and we spent a lovely evening dining al fresco, catching up, and walking The Loop.
We ended the evening by walking to the new Italian pastry shop, Piccione, where I bought a treat for then and a couple of things to share with Matthew later.
The winner among my three pastries, which included pistachio cannoli, sfogliatella, and a thumbprint cookie? Somewhat to my surprise, the simple and unassuming thumbprint cookie took the cake, so to speak.
I biked home under a full moon. Though not much longer than Wednesday night’s ride, it was hotter and/or more humid, and, after a slight train-delay, I was more than ready to get home and shower.
So, two out of three by bike ain’t half bad. Choosing to go by bike in the summer heat is always a bit of a mental struggle, but I rarely regret it. The evening and night biking is definitely better than full sun outings.
My main beef with night biking is how exercising that close to bedtime affects my ability to fall asleep in a reasonable amount of time, especially when the events are already pushing my early bedtime, so my transportation choice often comes down to balancing desire to bike with sleep needs.
So that’s where you were headed. On Friday, my niece and I were heading from the loop to the muny when we passed you. I told her how far you had biked, and she was very impressed! Sweet Dreams!
Terry, at that point I hadn’t actually biked very far (mostly Metro), but I was very glad to be on my bike once I hit Delmar, since traffic in The Loop was crazy that night! Hope you and your niece enjoyed the show!
I love this post! I am struggling with the incentive to get out on the bike after work now that the heat and humidity have found us. I did bike to church on Sunday (2.2mi each direction), but I’m having trouble imagining that 6+ miles to work is possible in this weather. Do you shower more often when you bike in the summer?
Spamalot was great! I do like 12th Night (I was an English Major in college and read a LOT of Shakespeare – “if music be the food of love, play on”). I am hoping to convince my husband to go to the Muny for Les Mis. He’ snot a big musical theater fan, but saw the movie with me last winter and so at least it’s familiar!
I have been reading so many blog posts (LGRAB, LB, G&B) about how to bike in the summer, but Chicago and Boston and Canada just don’t have the same smothering humidity + unbelievable temps that I’ve experienced in St. Louis (I grew up in Topeka, KS, and it’s MUCH less humid there, too). Do you have any tips other than patterned and dark clothing? Do you have a threshhold temp? When is it “too hot” to bike?
I fell in love with Les Mis in high school English class, so that’s definitely on my list for this summer, too!
Re. the questions about biking in St. Louis summers, I have enough to say on the subject that I’m going to make it a blog post, rather than a comment reply. My goal is to have the post up by Friday, just in time for the slightly cooler weather, of course, but I’m definitely not complaining!