Sunday, January 31, 2016

Visit With A Friend

Yeah, this wasn't lunch
at my place ...
By now you know all about my reunion with my childhood buds, Pam, Elizabeth, and Laura. After that memorable week, we all vowed to stay in touch. And we have, via emails, snail mails, phone calls, and whatever other way we have found to stay in touch. While those 30 years went by in a blink, we found we were so blessed to still be friends in the same and different ways, that we all knew we would never let this gift of friendship go again.

All that to say that today I got to spend some time with Elizabeth today. Her mom lives in Nashville, so Elizabeth comes here every so often. But as is the case when visiting your parents when you don't live in the same town, all your time is devoted to those moments you spend with them, and deservedly so. There's really not any time for lolly-gagging about. But today, Elizabeth made some time as she headed back to her home in Indianapolis.

Because she is who she is, and quite a nice and kind friend, she overlooked the fact that my house was in disarray and not quite clean. And she seemed okay with the fact that I did not prepare lunch nor take her out to lunch (perhaps she felt that last fact was probably in her best interest since she had a drive ahead of her and didn't want to deal with possible repercussions from my attempts at cooking). At any rate, since there were no distractions like lunch, we had plenty of time to have some friend time and chats.

The longer I go in this life, the more I realize the beauty of friendship. Old ones, new ones, and all those in between. Friends we can go out to lunch with, or not have lunch at all (and not even realize we might be hungry). Friends we can walk with, and friends we make while walking. Friends to laugh with, cry with, and be absolutely quiet with. In other words, friends are the things that make this life so blessed. And I'm blessed with the best of them!
Thankful today for: a beautiful last day of January; visit with Elizabeth and her safe travel home; Steve's safe travel home from GDizzle's

Saturday, January 30, 2016


Today Everley spent the day with me because her parents were working. We picked up Moo and played with Rambo and went to lunch. Just a nice day to be out and about!

Everley on my new toy.
More about that later ...

Somebody gave her a bag of treats ...

Which resulted in choco-fingers and mouth.

Just an experiment to see if rubber gloves were applicable to one's feet.
Apparently they are, since one then proceeded to walk around in said gloves. 
Thankful today for: lunch and play with Everley and Moo; beautiful January day

Friday, January 29, 2016


We all know what this means. I don't know where the time goes. I don't know what I do all day. I don't know what the deal is. All my resolutions about being current are no longer viable, but neither are my resolutions about eating intelligently and exercising diligently. Okay, so let's be honest - I really didn't make those resolutions. But I thought about them. And if I were a resolution-making type person, I would have made them.

Anyhow, one of these days I shall be one of those people. You know, that makes resolutions and attempts to stick to them and possibly succeeds. I just don't know when that day will be ...
Thankful today for: Lindley feeling better and returning to school; quiet Friday

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Tale of Two Sprays

In the winter, my house gets staticky. I don't know if it's because the house is old, or it's not insulted sufficiently, or it's the gas heat. It really doesn't matter - it just gets staticky. The result is that I tend to harbor a lot of static electricity - and I mean a lot. And by that I mean that I can get up from the couch and walk to the door or another person or the cat, and when I touch that object, sparks fly. And not the romantic kind. It's the kind that creates lightening and can power Hoover Dam (at least that's what if feels like to me). It is very irritating. and tends to make me rather touchy (in every sense of the word).

I have used a humidifier to attempt to get more water into the air. Somebody told me to do that once. And sometimes it works. But the most effective thing to do is to spray myself with Static Guard when I have a static situation. I promptly grab the can and spray myself down. Problem solved - at least until the next time.

Well, today was a static day. After electrifying myself several times (I guess it's my own version of shock therapy), I had had enough. I went into the "mechanical closet" where I store the can of Static Guard (because it's the closest storage to the den, where the static is the worse). I grabbed a can and promptly sprayed myself from stem to stern. The only problem was that the Static Guard was not working very effectively (usually I can get instant relief). And then I started sniffing and realized that the smell was not quite right. Could Static Guard go bad?

That is an answer that I shall not find out, at least now. Because when I went to grab the can of Static Guard, I had instead grabbed the can of WD-40 and hosed myself down with it. Which has a smell of its own. That does not go away until you take off the offending clothes and possibly take a shower with strong-smelling soap.

Oh well, I may still emit electrical impulses, but at least I no longer stick and creak ...
Thankful today for: knowing the difference when the spray is not Static Guard; Lindley time

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Tale of Two Arms

I think this is a medical story ...

Arm #1. This arm went to the medical facility (of sorts, aka the Red Cross). It was looked at by medical (I suppose) personnel. The arm's owner's weight was discussed. The arm was then prepped and poked. A diagnosis (of sorts) was made and then blood was taken and collected. Afterwards, a band-aid was applied, and snacks were had, and the arm went home.

Arm #2. This arm also went to a medical facility (truly, as it was a pediatrician's office). It was looked at my medical (again, truly, as it was a certified physician) personnel. The arm's owner was weighed (Arm #1's owner was very happy that she could discuss weight - which means lie - and not actually get weighed). Arm #2 was pressed and looked at. A diagnosis of strep throat was made after a throat culture and then a prescription was given. Afterwards, some itch cream was applied, and snacks were acquired, and the arm went to LaLa's.

In the exercise world, athletes have upper body days and leg days. For Lindley and me, today was arm day. What did your arm do today?

Thankful today for: Red Cross nurses and the guard who was very apologetic and helpful about the computer delay; snacks at Red Cross; easy withdrawal at Red Cross; Lindley's doctor visit and diagnosis; Lindley time

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


As the snow melts (and most of it has), there are still mounds left here and there. Some are from the edges of the roads where plows pushed the snow to the sides and made big mounds. Some mounds are from the few snowmen left, slowly shrinking with each day. As you can see, some mounds are still nicely white. And some aren't so nicely white.

Which has led me to this thought - what remains after things happen in our lives? What remains after people or circumstances or incidents are no longer in our lives?

Certainly there is the "good snow." The happy memories of what once was. The clean, clear thoughts that remind us of treasured times and people. The photos and thoughts that lift us up, reminding us of cheerful times and hope for more in the future. The brightness that lifts our spirits.

But what about the "dirty snow"? Does it remind us of the sad and bad times, or what was once good but turned ugly? Do we turn away from it, not wanting to view it because of the way it looks?

I guess it's just all about how you look at it. Because once upon a time, even the ugly snow was beautiful. Maybe once upon a time, the origin of the ugly residual leftover from our experiences was good. Maybe somewhere along the way, it got sullied by time and experience. And now it is indeed hard to look at because it has ruined that which was once beautiful.

But maybe it's there to remind us that there is good to consider and remember. And that eventually the ugly will fade if we let it. And that there is always good to gaze on and remember. And ultimately, to remember that the One who gives all good things to us.
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."
Philippians 4:8 - New International Version (NIV)

Thankful today for: beautiful day for a walk; checking on Rambo

Monday, January 25, 2016

Uhhh, Sorry Dude!!

Well, the snow has melted almost all away, and it's time to get out and get stuff done. Like go to the grocery store and purchase real food items for preparing anything other than sandwiches. Anyhow, as I was going to Kroger, I passed Walgreens and saw a Blue Bell Ice Cream Truck. Now, it may not mean much to you, but I knew it would mean a lot to Lynnette. She's originally from Texas and believes Blue Bell Ice Cream to be the holy grail of ice creams. Recently, Blue Bell has had some difficulties with their ice cream production plants - like having more ingredients in the ice cream than are wanted. Especially according to the FDA. Blue Bell has been off the market for a while, so seeing a truck in the neighborhood is a sign of good things to come.

It wasn't until after I looked at this photo that I noticed the ice cream dude waving at me. Maybe he thought it was odd that some random lady just stopped her car in the middle of the street to take a photo. Then again, if he's a regular Blue Bell driver, he may be getting used to this action!!

Thankful today for: clear roads and grocery store visits; Blue Bell truck sightings and cool drivers; playtime with Rambo

Sunday, January 24, 2016

January 24

Maybe January 24 is Nashville's official snow day. Maybe, because last year on January 24, we had a decent snow. And this year on January 24, we have the leftovers of a big snow. Wonder what next year will bring ...

January 24, 2015
This was a big snow for us.
I mean, we couldn't see the ground!!
January 24, 2016
But this was an amazing snow for us.
Not only couldn't we see the ground, we couldn't see the shrubs!!
Thankful today for: sunshine that's beginning to melt the snow (especially on the roads); picking up Steve from the airport

Saturday, January 23, 2016

And It Kept Snowing

So apparently God decided to reward Nashville with a beautiful deep snow, one like we haven't seen in years. After it began yesterday, it just kept snowing. And snowing and snowing. It's really beautiful. Have I gotten out in it? Yes - for one reason only - to measure how deep it is!

Eventually the snow stopped falling. Some people have even ventured out on the roads, I guess in search of bread, milk, and eggs. The street in front of my house looks a little plowed and has small drifts to each side, but it still looks too dangerous for me (and I still have several episodes of my "Downton Abbey" marathon). However, I did get out to drive Steve's tank to Maribeth's house so she could drive to work (she delivers the mail). The roads were indeed terrible, and I had her let me out on the main road so I could walk back home (at 6:30am). The walk was interesting, but not nearly as interesting as it would have been to drive back home on the worse roads! I did get a great shot of the house, though, so I guess the walk was worth it!

Oh well, the weather will be warming up this weekend, and all this beautiful snow will be history. Which will be good, because I am tired of milk and egg sandwiches!!
Thankful today for: safe travel to Maribeth's and her safe travel to work; quiet walk in the snow home; another good snow day

Friday, January 22, 2016

Okay, So It Snowed

Yes, the snow started earlier than expected and has kept coming. The weather people are so excited - they predicted the snow!!  School got cancelled so teachers got to sleep late and the kids are going to have a blast today. As for me, Steve is in Miami for a race, so the house is quiet. No reason for me to go anywhere!!  I love a good snow day!!

My house from the front.
The backyard view from my desk.
Thankful today for: beautiful snowfall and photos from Lindley and Everley; great day to extend my "Downton Abbey" marathon; quiet day at home

Thursday, January 21, 2016


Earlier this month, in the space of 10 days, I complete two 5Ks (3.1 miles each), two 10Ks (6.2 miles each) and two half marathons (13.1 miles each). According to my trusty Unisonic XL-1110 calculator (don't be a hater - this was high-tech in the 80s!), that's a total of 44.8 miles. And the totally amazing thing (at least to me) is that I improved on my time in the 10K and half marathon from one weekend to the next. I managed to finish, upright, without medical assistance, and was not last. Well, not dead last ... And therein lies the problem - Why am I belittling my efforts?

Why do I try to put down my accomplishments in these races? Why do I use phrases like "fat, slow, out of shape, old lady"? Why do I state the obvious that while I was not last, I might not have been far from it? Why do I emphasize the negative instead of the positive? Why is the fact that I may be slower than most more important than the fact that I've done 44.8 miles more than most who haven't done anything?

Maybe it's because I wish I were faster and in better shape. Maybe it's because some runners resent us "back of the packers" because they deem us inferior to their superior skills even though our efforts have little impact on their performance (at least according to us - to hear some of them talk, we have a rope tied around their waists and are holding them back). Maybe it's because I know I can do better. Maybe it's because I don't want to get laughed at.

I don't know, but I do know it's time to appreciate myself and my efforts. It's not that I very slowly did 44.8 miles in two weeks - it's that I did them at all. Hooray for me!!
Thankful today for: no big snowstorm; taking Steve to the airport; beginning my "Downton Abbey" marathon

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Let's Talk Weather

We can talk about it, because it's all the talk around Nashville. Will it snow? If it will, how much? Should we close schools? If so, when? And by all means, LET'S GO BUY ALL THE BREAD AND MILK AND EGGS (because apparently that is snow food).

The thing about Nashville is that we really have no idea of what is really going to happen - until it actually happens. One year when I was teaching, snow was predicted - sort of. We were all at school, watching the snow flakes drift down. Until they started cascading in blizzard (for Nashville) fashion. We waited and waited for the superintendent to close schools (have you ever tried to contain children who are fascinated with the snow falling because they so rarely see it). He finally decided to close schools, just as the snow was completely covering the interstates. I think my 15 minute ride home took about an hour.

So, here in Nashville, we just don't know what to do when on the weather map, it shows a big snow a'coming. We do preempt all regular schedule programming so we can track the snow, even if it's in Kansas. And we will cancel school if we (and by that I mean the weather people) think it really might happen. And often that means that all the school kids are at the mall because nothing happens.

So I would like to tell you that the big one is coming. But I can't tell you that, because it's not here yet. However, I do have milk and bread and eggs ...
Thankful today for: weather people who are really trying to predict the weather 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Another Reason To Be Home

Or maybe another somebody who's glad to have me at home (we won't decide who that is) ...

Not sure if PawPaw is pointing out that there's one missing
because it was eaten before cooking,
or he's pointing out where the next one should go!
Thankful today for: breakfast at Pancake Pantry with Lynnette and Maribeth; Everley time; clean sheets on my bed; electric mattress pad = nice cozy bed for napping!!

Monday, January 18, 2016


This is what home looks like after I've been gone awhile. Usually Minnie Cat is on one side and Maggie Cat is on the other, but today Minnie has decided to lay claim. And perhaps believes that a claw in my shirt will prevent me from leaving again!!

Thankful today for: quiet day at home; unpacking the suitcases and boxes; catching up with household stuff and the cats

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Half Marathon Day!

Somebody looks excited ...
 This morning started like yesterday - up and out the door by 5am, and into our corrals for the 5:30am start. After yesterday's stellar 10K, I wondered how today would go - would my tree trunk legs hold out for 13.1 miles? Would my ankles stage the same revolt as the last Disneyland half-marathon, when at the halfway mark, they turned and I went down to the ground? While I pondered these thoughts, I couldn't ponder for long. Soon it was time, and off we went!!

Again, we were all in the same corral. But I had absolutely no intention of keeping up with Molly today - I figured yesterday was a fluke, anyway. Once our corral took off, I let them head off on their merry ways.

I plodded along, watching as people pass me, and occasionally passing others - all two of them. Eventually the sun came up and I made my way to the finish line. Steve and Molly had already finished together, since Molly wasn't too far behind Steve, and he waited for her at the finish line.  I found them back in the room, and we packed up to go to the airport for our ride home.

The best part of the race? Celebrating at In-N-Out Burger, of course! The only time I get to eat here is when we're at Disneyland, and only then if somebody has a car. This time Steve had a car, and we stopped at one by LAX that has only been opened about a month. And it was worth every delicious bite!!

We checked our bags at the airport (and all three were right at the weight limit) and waited for our flight home. It's been a great Disney park to Disney cruise to Disney park vacation, but I'm ready to get home!!

Thankful today for: finishing the half marathon faster than last week (but it's still slower than molasses); Molly and Steve finishing together; eating at the new In-N-Out Burger; chatting with the sweet I-N-O employee; safe, smooth ride home; Sam picking us up at the airport; sleeping in my own bed

Saturday, January 16, 2016

10K Day!!

I haven't actually covered this, but we (that would be Molly, Steve, and me) are at Disneyland in order to participate in the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend. I had not originally planned to do this race, but then RunDisney came out with the Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon Weekend to be held in April, and if you do this weekend's races and the Dark Side races, then you get an extra medal. And so of course, I had to do it!!  So that's why I'm here.

Today was the 10K. I'm doing the 10K and the half-marathon tomorrow, because by doing both I get the Rebel Challenge medal (apparently I like medals). Disneyland races are the best because (a) even though they now have several half-marathons, each course is different, and (b) if the race starts at 5:30am, you can basically get out of bed and be out the door at 5am to get to the start, which is much better than getting on the bus at Disney World at 4:15am. So, Molly, Steve, and I get up, walk out the hotel door, and head to the start.

We're all in the same start corral, but of course, Steve will take off and leave us. I'm hoping to keep Molly in sight - at least for the first mile or so. Soon it was our turn to start and off we go!  I manage to keep Molly in sight - by either finding her socks or her bouncing ponytail. Because she decided to take this race slow, I was able to keep her in my sights for the entire race!  And I had enough gas to catch her at the finish! For once!! After getting our 10K medals and our post-race refreshments, we headed back to the room to meet up with Steve (who we actually saw as we were running through Downtown Disney - he was on the sidelines headed back to the hotel). Once we had all sufficiently recovered, we headed to The Original Pancake House - we didn't burn all those calories for nothing!!

Breakfast of Champions!!
Thankful today for: beautiful race day; keeping sight of Molly and finishing together; breakfast at Pancake House; afternoon naps and shopping

Friday, January 15, 2016

Headed West - Eventually ...

This morning, Molly and I debarked (that's official cruise lingo) and headed to our DCL bus that would take us to the airport. We boarded (that's official bus lingo) and headed out. Our driver, Mr. Pessimism, asked us (because we were in the front seat) when our flight was due to leave. We told him, to which he replied with appropriate tsk-ing that really bad weather was headed in - with tornadoes and bad wind and pestilence and famine (well, not really the last two, but why not?). Anyhow, of course bad weather is just about the last thing I wish to hear about when I am preparing to fly the skies (which might not be so friendly). And besides, did Dude not think I had already been monitoring the weather?

We get to the airport and check our bags (remember, we had already been at Disney World for nearly a week, then a cruise, so we had a lot of stuff to pack). We were flying American, because that was the earliest flight we could get, and we needed to be at Disneyland in time to get to the expo - we have a race tomorrow. Flying American out of Orlando means you go to the nicer terminal - not the madhouse that is the Southwest terminal (because Southwest is so great with their fares). Anyhow, the "nicer" terminal means there are fewer people and it's quiet. Molly and I sat and wait for our flight. As for me, I'm scanning the skies (when I'm not scanning The Weather Channel on my phone), looking for funnel clouds and such. There's a very angry line headed our way (according to TWC), but I'm hoping we're up and out before it hits us.

We board the plane, and then the pilot announces that the bad weather is about upon us, so we're going to be delayed (along with everyone else coming in/going out of Orlando). Then he says that another plane needs to come into our gate, so we're going to back out and wait a bit. And so we do. And then the weather hits. It's windy and rainy, and the airplane does flitter a bit. But I much prefer flittering on the solid ground than I do in the air, so all is good. After about 45 minutes, the bad stuff has passed and we head west - toward Dallas, which is our stop on the way to Orange County. I looked at the movies (because on American, you get to watch them) and am happy to see that "The Martian" is playing. I haven't seen it but have read the book, so I'll be occupied for a bit. HOWEVER, flights from Orlando get to see "Toy Story" instead. Super - I haven't seen it in days ...

We had about an hour between flights at DFW, and if you've paid attention, then you will realize that that hour has been eaten up with bad weather. So, the question remains - will we make our connection? Apparently there are others on our flight that are also trying to make this connection - will the plane wait for us? As we are landing, the flight attendant calls out the gates for the connecting flights - our will be at gate C-something, which is several shuttle stops away from where we are landing. She says nothing about our plane waiting for anybody. Molly has pulled up our flight info for the flight that we are supposed to catch, and finds out that we could apparently wave to our almost-passenger-mates, since they are taking off as we are landing.

Molly starts texting with Steve, who says to stop at the first American desk we come to and not wait until we get to the gate we were given. Once off the plane, we head to the nearest one. Once the gate agents stops flirting with the bag handler, we tell her out dilemma. She pulls up our information and says, "Ms. Luanne, you are now scheduled to go out tonight through Phoenix, and Ms. Molly, you are scheduled to go out tomorrow morning." We promptly tell Ms. Gate Agent that this will not work, since we need to be at the start of a 10K in the morning. She then fiddles with her computer, wondering aloud why they booked us those flights, and promptly found us seats on the next flight out, which would be leaving in about 45 minutes. She started saying things about getting seats together, to which we replied we didn't care - we just wanted seats - and soon we had our tickets in hand and headed to our gates.

We had a bit of time to relax until boarding started. Which we eventually did. On American, there are several boarding groups - First Class, Business Class, Rich Class, Emerald Club, Ruby Club, You-Name-It-Club,First World Alliance, I'm Better Than You, and It's My Lucky Day, before they actually start with the boarding groups. Molly was in Boarding Group 2 and I was in Boarding Group 4, which meant I would be boarding just before they closed the door. Whatever - we are on the plane! Of course, when I finally arrived at my seat (a window, thank you), two adult men were already on the row, and were like, super-thrilled for me to have to wedge my way into my seat. Whatever - I am on the plane!

Eventually we made it to Orange County where Steve picked us up. We checked into our hotel and made it to the expo where we picked up our race stuff and headed back to the hotel Race tomorrow!!

Flying over the mountains is always so beautiful!
Thankful today for: checking bags and quiet waiting at airport; weather passing over for a safe, smooth ride; helpful gate agent; getting to Orange County and Steve picking us up; dinner with Molly and Steve at Earl's

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Sea Day!

When a tag like this appears
in your stateroom, you know
it's time to leave!!
Today is the last day of our short little cruise. It's been a nice break between races (more about that later), especially for Molly. And although we were hoping for more movies to watch (we watched "The Walk", "Everest", "The Intern", and "Pixels"), we did manage to see a few. From the bed. Which was where we seemed to spend our rest time.

Anyhow, today is another day to laze around, eat Palo brunch, and pack up for tomorrow. Unfortunately, Palo brunch aboard the Dream is never as wonderful as we hope it will be. Why? Well, today we were among the last seatings, and apparently we got the leftovers. In other words, when we went to the buffet area, there were slim pickins'. Oh well, the chicken parm was wonderful - so wonderful we decided to have another serving (which was a mistake). Guess we'll have to go on another cruise to replace this memory with a better one!!

We have a fairly early flight to California, so we will be some of the first off the boat. Time to pack it up!!
Thankful today for: Chicken parm at Palo and chatting with our server; packing up stuff to leave; last dinner onboard

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Castaway Cay

Molly in the elevator on the way to
the theater. Way too early to be up!!
Today’s main agenda was the CC 5K Challenge. Every Disney cruise has a 5K on Castaway Cay. The difference is that the usual 5K takes place around 9:15am and is open for anyone on the ship, and the Challenge takes place at 7am and is only for those who participated in the marathon weekend (any event during the weekend counts).

All the CC Challenge participants had to be in the main theater at 5:45am. Which is not exactly the time that one wishes to be up and awake on a cruise. But we RunDisney followers are those type of crazies. So around 800 of us found our way to the theater and waited to get off the ship around 6:15am.

Normally the ship docks at Castaway Cay around 8:00am. It’s daylight and it’s cool watching as the ship pulls into port. However, since the special 5K is so early, the ship pulls in while everyone is still asleep. Today we all got off the ship while it was still dark, which is kinda cool because normally you would not be on the island at this time of the day.

Thank goodness the towels were out!!
The weather was much better than yesterday, although a little cool. We found towels to wrap ourselves in while we walked to the start. Eventually the sun came up and we started the 5K. There were fast runners and slow walkers and people of all ages, including kids. We all did our 5K and received our medals (a special CC Challenge 5K medal and the regular CC5K medal). Once finished, we all got back on the ship, since it wasn’t officially time for everyone to be on the island.

The rest of the day was spent in typical island style – lazing around doing a lot of nothing. Tonight we eat at Palo, so I’m sure we’ll have a good night’s sleep tonight. The best part? We don’t have to get up early tomorrow morning and it’s a sea day, so NO PLANS!! 

And now for a few photos from the race ...

The obligatory "post race by the ship" photo

Our "official" race photo - cuz we be so cool!!
Thankful today for: beautiful weather on CC; fun during the 5K; dinner at Palo and our nice waiter

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


Today we docked in Nassau. It was overcast and rainy, but it didn’t matter because we had no plans to get off the ship. Our main activity for today was to see the new Star Wars movie, which was showing in the theater. Molly had already seen it, but I hadn’t, and had managed to avoid reading any spoilers or comments about the movie. I would review it, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. But I’m probably the last person to finally see it, so I’ll tell you what I thought anyway. Loved it!! I thought it was all good, even though somebody dies. Of course, there are about a zillion unanswered questions, but hopefully those will get answered in the sequel. Which comes out next year.

Other than watching the movie, the day was pretty uneventful. Our room stewards and dining team are very nice. We’re at a table by ourselves, so that it nice. So far our cruise is exactly what we wanted – a lot of peace and quiet!!

Thankful today for: finally seeing "Star Wars" movie; catching up

Monday, January 11, 2016

Let's Go On A Cruise!!

Yep, we’re going on a cruise. Well, Molly and I are. It’s sort of a RunDisney cruise (and on the Disney Dream cruise ship, of course) where there’s a 5K on Castaway Cay that’s only for this cruise sailing. It’s called the Castaway Cay 5K Challenge, and to participate in it, you have to have done one of the races during the past weekend. And so we’re going on the cruise and doing it. Because that’s what we do.

So we had to have all our stuff ready to go this morning in order to get packed up and over to Port Canaveral. We managed to get all this accomplished, drive to the port, turn in the rental car, and get Uber-ed to the ship. Once onboard, we got unpacked and took a nap – one of our favorite cruise activities.

This is a relatively short cruise, but a welcome rest for Molly after the weekend. We don’t really have any plans, just to chill out for a few days. Bon Voyage!

Welcome Onboard!!

Molly and her well-deserved celebration!

Home for the next 4 days!

See you on Friday, Port Canaveral!!

Thanks to the K-9 team, we can now sail away safely!!
Thankful today for: nice bellman who helped with our bags; safe drive to port and nice Uber driver; seeing old friends in lounge; meeting our dining team and having our own table; sailing away for a few days

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Marathon Day!!

 Today is the day that Molly completes her Dopey – after having done the 5K, the 10K, and the half-marathon on consecutive days. Today is the final race – all 26.2 miles of it. Me? I’m just along for course support.

So, I pack my bag of Molly’s necessities (M&Ms, Lays potato chips, power water, etc) and head out with her at 4:30am to catch the bus. Why am I going with her at this early hour? So I can be at my first appointed stop outside the Polynesian Resort – or around Mile 8.5.

We get to the start area at Epcot, and Molly headed off to her corral. I head to catch the monorail which will take me to the Magic Kingdom area. I then get in the line that is apparently the bag check line for the monorail. Bag check is common to get into the parks, but for the monorail? Once the line snakes out into the parking lot and doubles, the powers that be determine that bag check is NOT necessary for the monorail, and we get going.

I get to my appointed spot in plenty of time. There are several other spectators there, including one
woman with humongous boobs that I am afraid are going to fall out of her blouse at any given moment. Oh well, I guess we all have our ways of encouraging others.

Anyway, soon Molly appears and I provide her with her desired items. She appears happy and healthy – and only has around 18 more miles to go!

My next spot is outside of Animal Kingdom. I catch the bus and spend the next 45 minutes getting to Animal Kingdom (a ride that should take half the time). The reason? The marathon ties up a lot of roads, so we have to take the long way. As we head to Animal Kingdom, we pass many runners – some of whom look good, and some who don’t look so good.

Once I arrive at Animal Kingdom, I find a spot and get out the oranges that I had peeled last night. I put them on a plate and offered them to the runners as they passed. Some acted as if I were passing out gold bars! Again, some runners were trotting along as if this were nothing, and some were actually weeping at this point – which would be the halfway point.

Soon Molly comes trotting along and looks pretty good. Apparently she stopped while in Animal Kingdom and rode the Expedition Everest roller coaster. And why shouldn’t see? Anyhow, she took some more supplies and headed out for the last half of the race.

My next stop was at Hollywood Studios which is at Mile 22 of the course. I had a lot of time to spend in Hollywood Studios, which was good, since my phone was quickly running low on battery (and of course my emergency booster was back in the room). Luckily, Guest Relations will charge your phone for you, so I got enough of a boost to see me through. Molly arrived, we had a brief moment, and off she headed to finish the race. Along the way to the finish, she saw Steve at the Boardwalk, and she met Katie in France, where Katie had a pineapple cider to push Molly to the finish.

Meanwhile, I had headed out of Hollywood Studios where I heard my name being called. It was my friend Suzanne, who was sitting with her husband, waiting for their daughter Jessie Elizabeth, who was doing the marathon. We visited for a few minutes and then I headed to catch the bus to Epcot.

Once on the bus, I kept thinking I heard a tiny baby crying – young enough to still have that newborn cry. I kept looking around but saw no baby. Finally I noticed a baby seat covered with a baby blanket, situated between a lady’s legs. Other people started noticing the baby’s cries (because it cried the entire time). Finally the lady said, “I know, but it’s a short bus ride.” Um, not for your distraught baby, lady!!

Finally we got to Epcot and I headed to the finish line, where I saw Molly as she finished that last .2 miles to the finish line. Yay Molly!! She finished her 3rd Dopey Challenge!!

Once she was done, we found the bus to the hotel and headed back there for a nap before eating dinner in Canada. Steve headed to the airport to head home while Molly and I headed to bed. Tomorrow starts Phase 2 of our Disneycation!!

Thankful today for: Seeing Molly at various places along the marathon course; passing out oranges to runners; Molly finishing the Dopey

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Half Marathon Day!!

Okay, so today was the half marathon. That’s 13.1 miles. Which is fun anyway, and particularly fun if you’re nowhere near as trained as you should be. But does that stop me? Nope!

Anyhow, the morning was a repeat of yesterday, except for the rain, which was nonexistent. Get up, meet in the lobby at 4:30am, catch the bus, get to the start, start the race.

This time we started close to Epcot and headed to the Magic Kingdom, where the castle was all lit up and beautiful in the morning fog. Once you get through Tomorrowland and the castle, you head through Frontierland and out – and head back to Epcot where you do a loop through Future World and to the finish.

Just before Mile 13, some dude grabbed his leg and went to the side of the course and fell down moaning. Somebody asked if he was okay, to which he yelled, “NO!!” Luckily there was a cast member close who went over to him – since I had nothing to offer in the way of help, I kept going.

I made it to the finish, received my medal and headed for the buses. I got back to the hotel and had my obligatory post-race nap before heading back to the Magic Kingdom with Molly in order to meet up with Katie and Nancy for some roast beef mac-n-cheese and loaded potatoes (carbo-loading, people). Nothing much went on the rest of the day – Molly has THE BIG DEAL tomorrow, and I have to pack the supply bag. Time for sleeping!!

Thankful today for: finishing the half-marathon; seeing Donald at the finish and getting a photo; lunch at the MK with Katie and Nancy