It has been a busy past 24-hours. We started off last night with the Tour de Lafayette. We arrived race side in time to catch the ‘old’ guys, the 40+ Masters. We couldn’t tarry long though, because we had a dinner date with Don and DJ at Eleven-Eleven Mississippi, a new to us restaurant. Supper served up good food, good conversation and great company. Then it was off to the races again.

We all attended Tom and Audrey’s annual front lawn party, which sits race side, just pass the finish line. It was great seeing so many of our long time cycling friends there. Usually, on this night it is hot and muggy in Saint Louis and the only air conditioning available is the breeze caused by the passing peloton, but that wasn’t necessary on this night. We ended the evening watching under the lights the last few laps of the pro women’s race.

This morning, we pedaled over to the Botanical Gardens and caught the opening of the 40th annual Japanese Festival. It was crowded. Anne met one of her teacher friends. who at first thought that she was dressed for cosplay, until he realized that she was wearing bike duds. Later, it was decided that she was some sort of new exercise anime. The main koi feeding spot was mobbed, but we found this little out-of-the-way koi pond. A family was feeding them and Anne got them to lead the fish over towards the lily pads for a more picturesque shot. It turned out that this family had their own at home koi pond, but nothing is more special than feeding some other fish.

We wanted to grab a little something, before we left the gardens, but almost all of the food booths had huge lines. That is except for the snow cone stand. We each enjoyed a Japanese version of the traditional snow cone. Called the Niji Special, it started with the usual crushed ice, but then instead of any of those rainbow-colored syrups, the ice was doused with sweet green tea. A dollop of sweet azuki red bean paste was added and all was topped with some sort of secret sauce. Billed as an authentic Japanese taste sensation it was quite good.

After we left the gardens, we cycled over to the newest Kaldi’s, near SLU, for the packet pickup party. The MS-150 is next week and we are registered and paid-up, but will not be riding this time. We made our excuses and then hung around for a while hobnobbing with the rest of the crew. Finally, we biked home. I don’t know about Anne, she now being some sort of anime action hero, but I’m ready for a little down time tomorrow.

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