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Cleveland, Baby! (Part 2, 2019)

It's always fun to get together with great friends, especially when they are great people as well!

As I have previously discussed, every year (well, maybe not this year), USA Triathlon has a National Age Group Championship. In 2018 and 2019 the races were held in Cleveland. Besides the races, it also gave me some Dee time and another chance to rendezvous with Kandi.

The Wednesday before my races I drove as Dee, with one main stop at an outlet mall outside of Columbus. After the mall, I cleaned up and drove the remaining two hours, checking in at the hotel in guy mode. Upon arrival, I met up with Kandi’s lesser half, and, in drab, we went for a run (5.5 miles, if you’re curious). Our alter egos had to wait until Thursday.

Thursday afternoon Kandi and I met at 3 (I spent a couple hours before at Nordstrom trying on dresses) and went to a consignment shop favorite of Kandi’s. It’s a favorite because the workers dote on her. As it turns out, neither of Kandi’s faves was working, but Patty, who was working, was helpful in her own right, pulling clothes for us to try on and offering opinions. Neither Kandi not I could resist her force of will. I bought a pink Tommy Hilfiger dress and two tops.  The pictures were taken back at my hotel, which is a former Arcade and a great backdrop for pictures (Kandi likes using it for pictures too).

From there, we went to dinner at a local LGBT bar called AXS (“Access”), where we had a nice meal and a spirited conversation with a local LGBT rights activist. Once again, Kandi demonstrates she’s a natural for the camera. 

One footnote to add about our discussion with the LGBT activist. She was wearing a sharp looking Calvin Klein dress, and I told her it was a nice dress. After dinner, I went back at the mall where Kandi and I met, and I decided to give Dillard’s a look. Lo and behold, I find the same CK dress, so of course I have to try it on. I emailed a picture to Kandi, she forwarded it to the LGBT activist, and apparently the activist loved me in “her” dress. 

Friday afternoon I went to a matinee showing of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood at a downtown theater. Good movie, but the twist (spoiler alert) on the Manson murders makes it a somewhat depressing movie. I had a private showing–the only one in the theater. I only saw five or six others before or after the movie in the complex. I can’t imagine the theater is very profitable.  

Saturday morning I had my longer race (750 meter swim, 40 km bike, 10 km run). I did respectably; mid-80’s placing out of 109 entrants. Given I had been LAST the year before because of a flat on the biking leg, I was happy with my time.

After the race, I had the itch to get out and went to Savers and California Pizza Kitchen for dinner. After dinner, I stopped at Nordstrom Rack, and then returned to my hotel (always interesting to interact with the valet parking staff while dressed). 

The arcade below my hotel room had wedding receptions both Friday and Saturday nights. I was tempted to get glammed up and crash the receptions, but I didn’t. It did mean that when I entered and exited the hotel, there were usually a number of people using the elevators. Once upon a time, that would have freaked me out. Now, not a problem. As the wedding reception was still going on (read: loud in my room), and because I had 1) a dress I hadn’t worn out yet and 2) a voucher for $7 (yes, not a big gambler) at the nearby casino. I changed into the dress I hadn’t worn and walked to the casino. Stayed for about an hour, won $3, and cashed in my $10 to return to my room and pack most of my stuff (packing takes a while when you have both boy and girl stuff).

Sunday morning was a Sprint race (750 meter swim, 20k bike, 5k run). and the shorter distance makes it seem a lot easier. This time I was mid-40’s in my age group (out of 63). Happy with both of my times for the weekend, and that the prep work I did the month before paid off in better times (and extremely happy the prep work shrunk my waistline enough so the Ted Baker dress could make an appearance).

After the race, I returned to my hotel, packed the car, and hit the road. I binged on junk food and sweets for the 10 hour drive home–some habits die hard–and look forward to my next race and my next Dee time.


3 Responses

    1. Thanks Amanda. Obviously, I like to shop and try things on, which is a ton more fun that buying online. It also means I have a better idea of what works and doesn’t work for me. A lot of my clothed are from thrifts, and part of the joy is never knowing what you mind find on the racks.

  1. You look amazing darling. I will be in Cleveland next month and flying pretty. Crossing my dresses 🤞I mean fingers that it goes easy breezy

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