The office was pretty empty on Tuesday, and by 4 it was almost totally empty, so I left and headed to the Gingerman for possibly a final sampling of winter seasonals. About 7:30 I went over to Whole Foods, but just missed getting in on the last session of ice skating for the day. I had dinner there, then went home. Wednesday was a nice sunny day, so I decided to ride my bicycle downtown and try the skating again. I got there about 12:30, bought my ticket for the 1 o'clock session and got some lunch. After skating for a little bit I realized I'd forgotten the strain on the shin muscles. I also found for some reason the right skate was pretty uncomfortable, while the left one was okay, at least until it started making my ankle sore. The ice was really scraped up (they didn't exactly have a Zamboni to clean it between hour-long sessions), which made skating kind of jerky and destabilizing. The sections that were exposed to the sun had water on the surface, making them slicker. After a little while I kind of got the hang of it, but by that point the novelty of ice skating on a grocery store roof on a 70 degree day had pretty much worn off. Plus it was mostly kids and families on the ice, so it was hard to do much of anything. Other than skating backwards, I can't do any tricks or anything, so I just kept skating until my ankle was really sore and the hour was almost up. I rode down Lamar from there and saw JCVD at the Alamo, which I really enjoyed.
I woke up pretty early on Thursday. I had already decided to ride to my aunt and uncle's, so I wanted to wait until the sun came up before leaving. I had opened a couple presents the night before, and opened the rest in the morning over breakfast. It was about 50 degrees at the house, but I was counting on it warming up. I left fully geared up, but got pretty cold since the temperature dropped north of Georgetown and I didn't see the sun until I got to Waco. I made a quick small detour to get an "I" and arrived at my aunt and uncle's at 11. Their daughter, her husband and two kids were already there. My grandmother arrived a little later, and we all sat down to a nice dinner. We had a little gift exchange, after which some of us napped. Around 6 we had leftover sandwiches and then went to the theater to see Yes Man, which wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it might be. The theater was absolutely packed, with big lines stretching outside for the movies that opened that day.
I was awake from 4 to 5 am on Friday, but managed to get back to sleep until 8, and had some breakfast before heading out. When I decided to ride up there, I thought since the weather was supposed to be pretty good I would ride to two new counties, Fannin to the northeast, and Jack to the northwest of the Dallas area. It was pretty warm and actually muggy that morning, so I left dressed lightly. I got to Fannin County about 11, then headed west. About noon I stopped for gas and took the liner out of my jacket and switched to fingerless gloves. I got to Jacksboro, took a picture in front of the county courthouse, and finally headed toward home. By the time I got to Ft. Worth I'd already ridden 250 miles, and was only about 20 miles from where I started, and had 200 more miles to go to get home. The traffic was fairly heavy on 35W, but it was moving fairly well, but of course since it's two lanes it's almost impossible to maintain a good speed. The traffic only got worse from there, with waves of hurry up and slow down, even coming to a complete stop a couple times, but also with a stretch of 80. It moved better through Waco, where there are three lanes, but once it squeezed back down to two it really sucked. It was shitty and then got worse closer to Temple, where there was a major accident on the northbound side of the highway (not affecting the southbound side at all at that point) and stupid rubberneckers were slowing down and causing the massive backup. I was so pissed off and the sun was right in my eyes, so I stopped and had dinner at the TX Roadhouse in Temple at 5. Traffic slowed down for a second when I first got back on the interstate, but otherwise it wasn't too terrible the rest of the way home.
Saturday I went shopping looking for sales, but didn't find much of anything I wanted at my favorite retailers. I stopped by the Harley shop, then went to REI where I bought a new pair of shoes that were on sale. I went to Fry's and bought a new paper shredder since the one I had finally went kaput. After lolling all morning Sunday I went for a bicycle ride about noon. I was planning to ride further, but after 5 miles I had lunch and then just went back home. It was overcast and kind of chilly, and I wasn't feeling particularly ambitious.