Not a good way to find out you need new shoes.

Yesterday came and went, and I’m proud to announce that at least half of the activities I had planned took place. A couple got dropped for various reasons, but I’m willing to consider my birthday celebration a stunning success. Blistered feet and all.

Granted, I could’ve done without the blisters, but it’s my own fault. And I figure they’ll heal eventually. They’re from my successful trek along the canal path from Genesee Valley Park to Schoen Place. The walk took me right about two and a half hours along and was well worth the trip.

I got up at seven yesterday morning, showered, grabbed my water bottles out of the freezer, and left the house for the day. By the time I bought a backpack (necessary for the water and snacks I was taking on the trip), had a quick breakfast on the go, and make it to the park, it was just after nine. And I was off and walking.

The weather was absolutely perfect for this walk, as it was still in the sixties when I started and ony got up to the seventies or eighties by the time I was done at half past eleven. The view was absolutely gorgeous along the way. Sometimes I was walking through areas with dense vegetation, while the trail took me through broad fields in other places. The canal was visible 90% of the time, and I even managed to see a couple boats making their way through the water. I think the best sight, however, was near the end when I managed to spot a mother mallard with several tiny ducklings. I think any of her children would have fit easily in the palms of my hand. I might’ve even been able to close my fingers around their tiny bodies. I wish I would’ve taken my camera, and plan on taking it when I repeat the walk in July.

I’ve already decided to take this trek once every month while the weather stays warm enough for me. However, I do need to be sure to plan a bit better in the future. For example, I need to get a good pair of walking shoes or hiking boots. Of course, I didn’t realize that my current walking shoes (the ones I wear every day) had some major holes in the insoles. That didn’t help the blisters that formed on my feet at all. So I will be getting new shoes, and probably a pair just for this trip. (Michele is also recommending I get the gel inserts for this walk, and I’m inclined to see wisdom in that suggestion, too.)

The other mistake I made was not getting sunscreen. My face, forehead, and forearms are nice and red. In fact, my forehead is still itching a bit from the burn. Fortunately, the backpack protected the back of my neck. I figure I may even have to consider a hat next time, as I think parts of my scalp under my hair got a bit burned too.

But despite these lessons learned, I enjoyed the trek. It was great to be in the great outdoors. And besides the sunburn and sore feet (and the fact I’ve been napping half the day today), I don’t feel any worse for the wear.

After that, I called Belinda to come get me. She didn’t realize how far out Schoen Place is from Psychic’s Thyme up on University Avenue, so she eventually was afraid she got lost and went back to the shop to get Michele. They eventually found me, though I note with some humor that my wait for my ride was over half as long as the seven mile hike I took. Of course, since Michele was working, I had her take me directly to the shop rather than having her take me to the car. Char immediately started harassing me for taking such a walk, pointing out I should’ve only gone half the distance and then walked back to my car. I pointed out to her that the whole point of the walk — and what makes it fun — is that you’re walking from a certain point to another point. I’m not sure she appreciated the concept, but that’s okay.

After the store closed, a group of us went to Red Robin. Michele and Belinda were nice enough to cover my dinner, even with the strawberry dacquiri I ordered. We had a good time and I spent my usual time ogling the various waiters that passed by. Unfortunately, our own server was a woman. That’s actually pretty good, considering I was feeling impish enough that I might’ve teasingly hit on any guy unlucky enough to get our table. I was bad enough that Jim even called me a slut. I just looked at him and asked him if it had really taken him that long to figure it out. (Of course, any of my friends know better, when it comes right down to it.)

After that, we ran to Equal Grounds to listen to the live music there. This guy was a good musician, but he doesn’t have quite the stage presence of the Monastery Dropouts. As such, we stayed in the other room where we could enjoy the music but still talk amongst ourselves without disturbing anyone else.

After an hour or so a the coffee shop, I decided I needed to get home. My feet were really starting to bother me and I was developing a headache. (Earlier today, I finally decided the headache was due to a lack of calcium. The quart of peanut butter cup ice cream seems to have solved the problem.) So we took Jim back out to Chili and Michele and Belinda dropped me off at my house so I could get to bed.

As a final note, I discovered at the end of my journey that they were having a regata in Pittsford yesterday. Had I realized that, I would’ve taken a chair with me and spent the day there after my walk. I love that sort of thing. And there were certain enough shirtless guys wandering around to keep me in eye candy.

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