You know what they say about opinions, right?  We’ve all been on the receiving end of people’s recommendations, thoughts and ideas about anything and everything.  Perhaps the worst time for having to absorb endless advice is when you’re pregnant.  Luckily for me, when people found out I was having twins, then generally just shut-up.  Unless of course, they also had twins, and then I was ALL EARS!

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As I’ve talked to friends and perfect strangers (I was chatted up in the check-out at Target!) about my impending trip, I’ve been given a ton of information.  A lot of the advice and comments were worthwhile, well received and much needed.  But, there’s nothing interesting or funny about that.  What is, are the following five things that were either recommended, related or asked about the Duathlon Championship race in Spain:

5.  Are there characters in Spain?  Ok, so this was asked by one of my five year-olds, Miles.  I think he’s hoping Spain is like Disney World or Hershey Park.  I don’t have the heart to tell him that the Frito Banditio may be the only “character” he sees, besides perhaps, some drunk Spaniards.  I’ll let him figure it out on his own and then have Papi and Meme deal with it.  And by “deal with it” I mean they will probably distract him with gelato and a sombrero souvenir.

I hope we see this guy!

I hope we see this guy!

4.  They may start the race early and without warning.  Um, what?  If you don’t know or haven’t guessed, racers are a precise bunch.  We’re basically a group of Type A psychos who calculate everything that can be calculated (think food, water, pace, mileage, tire pressure) and fully expect a race to start exactly on time!  You should hear some of the comments at a start line when a race is 2 minutes late.  If it started early there would be pandemonium….especially at the port-o-potty line.

This little tidbit came from my new friend Eric Schwartz.  He’s an amazing tri and du-athlete who has competed at Worlds several times, all over the world and, I think may have won it a few times.  I did a really fun Q&A podcast for his site this week and this was part of his “advice.”  Apparently, when he was in Mexico competing in ’97 they were announcing the race in only Spanish, over a loud speaker that wasn’t very loud.  Luckily for him, he was near the starting area about five minutes prior to the scheduled start time, when everyone suddenly started running.  After a few seconds of confusion, he started his watch and ran after them.  The race had apparently begun.

Good to know.

3.  You shouldn’t bring kids to Europe.  I was given this “advice” a few times over.  Now usually I would be more then happy to leave the little devils at home and enjoy a European vacation with my husband.  No brainer there. However, I’m 39 and may never compete at this level again, so they’re coming!  Plus the little psychos could use some culture.

While booking one of the many hotel reservations, the gentlemen who was assisting me asked about all the people in my party.  When I told him about the twins his response was “Oh really?  You’re bringing young kids?  Well, my mom always said if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  I wanted to respond with “Wow that was pretty rude and stupid considering the only thing you now know about me is that my mom did not give me the same advice, you jackass.”  Instead, I just kept calming sipping my vodka tonic.

4. Are you going to be in Barcelona or Madrid?  No.  For some reason, this is overwhelmingly disappointing to people.  I will be on the opposite end of the country in Pontevedra, which is in the Galicia township, on the Northwest coast. Not to be confused with poor baby North West.


5.  Are you going to try and do this again?  This is like asking a woman who has just delivered a baby if she wants to have another one.  Unless she is still medicated and/or delirious, her response will most likely be “Hell no!”  I would have the same response to this question.  Plus, I’m going to need a new and different drug challenge.  CRS (Coach Rocket Scientist) has hinted that she wants to see me swim.  I think she has triathlons in mind next.  I do have Ironman on my list of things to do before I die or things I wouldn’t mind dying while doing, so…

Happy holiday weekend everyone!

What’s the best/worst travel advice you ever received or have given?

Any good plans for the holiday weekend?