Make a wish

It was Mario’s birthday yesterday, and for a good two weeks I had been near bursting with the surprise I had planned for him. I was sure this year’s present would beat the XBox 360 I got him a few years ago, and the Florence-like restaurant that I had transformed our kitchen into last year, with menus, meal and all. And before he tore into the paper, I told him to make a wish, I told him I wanted to make him as happy as he’s made me all these years … yep, I got all sappy. Granted, I also told him there was not a 3D TV or an iPad for that matter in the gift-giving repertoire, so don’t wish for that. Given his reaction, I think I did good.

Wine country, here we come! On Jan. 17, at 9 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, I will be on the computer, credit card in hand, registering my dear husband for the Levi Leipheimer Gran Fondo in Sonoma County, California. This 103 mile (150 km) ride cycles through the beautiful Northern California countryside. It’s organized by Tour de France climber and second-level contender – AND hottie – Levi Leipheimer, includes a free jersey and free beer for participating cyclists, and in past years, it’s attracted the likes of Dr. McDreamy and Axel Merckx, and who knows, maybe this year, Lance or Andy Schleck will be amongst the famed cyclists too … a girl can drool dream can’t she 😀

Mario’s been talking about this fondo since completing the Whistler Gran Fondo last September. And initially we thought if I got into the Tiffany’s race in San Francisco, which I’d been talking about for months, we’d combine the two, as in previous years they had coincided within a week of each other. But last month when the date for Tiffany’s was announced – three weeks after the Levi Leipheimer Gran Fondo – those dreams came tumbling down.

Mario took one for the team. “You’ve been talking about that race for longer than I have, so you do that one, we’ll wait for Levi’s,” he said. Nuh-uh. I don’t think so. Tiffany’s isn’t guaranteed. Levi’s is. Tiffany’s could wait. But because the fondo registration didn’t open until a week after his birthday, I had to get creative.

I made him a race bib! And apparently I did such good job of it, he thought it was the real deal. Thank you Photoshop. I also put together a swag bag, complete with a water bottle, cycling magazines, an over-sized shirt, a cherry-flavoured Larabar, a sample-size chamois butter and coupons just like you’d get when picking up a real race bib!

AND I made him dinner! Shocking, I know. I don’t much cook, can’t stand it really. I’ve made dinner for Mario a total of three times in the five and a half years we’ve been together. He seems to like my meals, though, because he requested an at-home birthday meal again this year. So, in keeping with the cycling theme, I made him a pre-race fuel dinner: Spaghetti with pinot grigio and seafood, courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis. AND I didn’t poison us … Mario actually went back for three helpings! (Don’t get any ideas, this is not going to become a regular occurrence.)  I also made fresh-baked bread, but given that it was my first time doing so, I didn’t exactly time it correctly; it didn’t come out of the oven until two hours after we ate!

We completed the evening with great friends and a Princess-baked, Junior’s, chocolate swirl, brownie cheesecake birthday cake, which given that I’m not a huge brownie fan (Mario loves them!) it was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. This princess, she can bake!


  • 11:15 a.m. BG before: 6. 4 (granola bar, no bolus)
  • Temp basal: -50 per cent
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Time: 1:03:44
  • Average pace: 6:22 min/km
  • 12:30 p.m. BG after: 5.2

If you could register for any race – running, cycling, triathlon – which one would you do?

3 thoughts on “Make a wish”

  1. What a great birthday you put together for Mario. So coordinated, original and loving – you two make the perfect couple – always doing such sweet things things for each other.
    And, to answer your question – if I could register for any race, which would I do? Done lots of running races and enjoyed each and every one. Did one triathalon and HATED training for the swim portion, soooooooooo…………I guess that leaves cycling now – and I’d love to enter a ‘ride’ not a ‘race’. Cheers, Janice

  2. Love your pictures! Your food looks delicious, the cake looks extraordinary! You are such a nice wifey:)
    One day I will do the Peach Classic Triathalon, in Penticton BC. Beautiful scenery, not so crazy as an Ironman, and close to home:)
    And one day, I’d like to run with you! Just for fun!

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