Juan asked me if we were staying at the same hotel as last year. He remembered the hotel from last year and thus wanted to go shopping at the Apple store after we finished the bikes (cleaning and packing, etc.). For Juan last years shopping spree was a close 4k from the hotel last year to the mall where the Apple store was. I could not truly remember but sort of thought we were at the same place as last year. But on my way to the hotel while looking at my list, I saw the exit for the hotel from last year. It was not to be I said to myself. But then as we got closer to the exit for our hotel I also saw signs for the mall. We were going to be 400 meters from the mall. Basically directly across the street. Juan would be happy.
There are a handful of hotels near us. This is actually the area where ALL the other teams stayed at last year while we stayed at the Marriott. But this year we are at the mall and ALL the other teams are at the Marriott. A total flip flop of housing for teams.
Oddly we were at the Marriott for 2 days last year and Juan got to shop on that Saturday. But we were here only on Sunday and unfortunately Juan could not shop as all the mall stores closed at 6:00.
Tonight was reception from the Discovery people. That was a great party with some awesome appetizers but no real dinner so to speak. But an open bar so I was able to have a beverage and relax. After that was a race organized party that we missed last year called the 7th Stage. A fun part was a visit from my club team mate from Sacramento who came to watch the race. So, I got him and his fiancee passes to the party which again was an open bar. Wow!!!! Tomorrow’s drive towards Philly is gonna hurt for sure. But I’m excited to hang out with other team staff since we were sort of isolated this whole race.
I will drive Monday and Tuesday to Philly. Then catch a plane home for some well deserved rest. My original itinerary was to fly home from Philly Tuesday night, have Wednesday and Thursday off, fly to (Europe) Belgium on Friday, get there Saturday Belgium time, drive a team car Saturday, Sunday and Monday to be at the Giro a handful of days early. But, I got word that I don’t have to drive the team car there and can now fly direct to the Start of the Giro. Yes!!! My original schedule of two days off now turns to 5 days off. I’m gonna need that as I have 20 days of racing in 22 days total for the Giro D’Italia. Whew!