Push Away the Screen: Caribe Royale Resort

Jenny at Metamorfit has a series she calls “Push Away the Screen”. She describes it as:

Push Away the Screen is a phrase that I use to describe activities that I do with my family that gets us up and out; away from the TV, iToys, video games, etc…

Last weekend I was lucky enough to push away the screen with my family for almost 3 days! We had some good-ole-fashioned family fun and a quick resort getaway. Here’s what happened…

Friday morning I went to work as usual, and I had one project to focus on with one client – my daughter’s school. While I was there, it was International Day of Peace, and the kids made a giant peace sign from pinwheels in the ground. They wanted an aerial photo, so I got to go with maintenance through the boys bathroom up to the roof to take the photo.

We were finished with our work by 2pm – love early Fridays! I could have worked on other projects for the remainder of the day, but I received a surprise phone call from Denise saying she was in St Pete! I zipped over to Panera to meet with her and Abby, the owner of Hoola Monsters, about how Tampa Bay Bloggers could help with the promotion of the Hoola Monsters DVD release party.

After our impromptu meeting, I introduced Denise to Revolve, the trendy, inexpensive consignment shop my daughters love to go to. You can easily spend $15 there and find a trendy piece to complement your wardrobe or round out an outfit. They are also great for costume odds and ends. Denise tried on some clothes, but I am on a spending freeze because we want to move in November, and I know my mortgage guys are watching us like hawks.

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Seconds after Denise flashed 4th Street her tatas

While in Revolve, my cell was beeping like crazy with texts from my Realtor. We had someone who wanted to see the house that afternoon, another that evening, and 3 for Saturday. Plus, we had an open house scheduled for Sunday.

We scheduled the Sunday open house because I knew we’d be in Orlando with friends so the Realtor could have free reign over my home. I didn’t know we’d have so many showings before we left! Denise and I zipped up to Starbucks so she could get coffee and I could avoid being home while the Realtor showed the 3:45 appointment.

sumo

Then DD1, her boyfriend, my husband and I all met at home. The teens wanted to make pancakes for dinner, and they took over the kitchen. We had to eat quickly so we could leave the house before the 6:30pm showing and get to the high school football game on time. The whole reason we went to the game was because the 2 coaches who coach along with Brian for cross country and track were putting on inflatable sumo wrestling suits during halftime and having a mock sumo wrestling match! They were hysterical and got more cheering than the cheerleaders.

The people coming to view the house were actually ten minutes early, and they had a baby daughter. I told them we raised our daughters in this house, and pointed to DD1. When we moved in (Jan. 2000) we had a 2 year old and 3 year old, and now we have 2 high schoolers! We never thought we’d be in this house for 13 years…

We went to the football game, enjoyed the sumo wrestling match, and left after half time.

We were getting slaughtered, and the teens wanted to leave but aren’t allowed home along with a boyfriend. When we got home, I popped some fresh popcorn on the stove for everyone, and we taught the boy friend how to play mah jongg. I even snapped a photo during the game and texted his mom that we were turning him into an old, Jewish lady.

IMG_20130920_220556(Funny segue, my grandmother plays mah jongg with a group of 4 women. She is Thelma, and there is another Thelma, and Thelmer and a Selma!)

Saturday morning DD1 had a cross country meet in Lakeland, and we had friends in Orlando from Savannah. We decided to meet up after her cross country meet and stay at the same hotel overnight. Brian used some credit card points to book a room for us at the Caribe Royale. He said we have driven past it a zillion times and it always looked pretty, so he checked to see if our points would work there. Not only were we able to use them, but the same number of points qualified us for either a suite or a 2-bedroom villa, so we opted for the villa. I called from the road and they rushed getting our room ready so we could check in upon arrival – which was awesome.

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Stinky running DD1 feeling awkward in the pretty hotel lobby that smelled like Hawaiian bouquets of loveliness.

I’m so glad we got the villa! It was like a 1,000 square foot apartment! We had a full kitchen with dining area, a washer/dryer, the kids had their own bedroom and full bath, there was a living room with a pull out couch and balcony overlooking the pool and pond, and we had the master suite with king size bed, our own TV, a whirlpool tub, 2 dressing areas and full bathroom with glassed-in shower!

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look to the left, a TUB in the room!

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So much space! I should design my next master suite like this place. Except you have to close the bathroom door to get into the shower… I don’t know why that’s a drawback, but it was for me.

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After the race was over and our friends had a few hours at a Disney water park, we all  spent the rest of Saturday by the pool. DD1 had a lot of homework to do, and her school is all iPad-ready now, so she was disappointed that the wifi in the hotel room wasn’t included. BUT if you get a cabana by the pool, wifi is included! We were treated to 2 cabanas, actually, which not only gives you lounge chairs in the shade and wifi, but also fluffy towels and a cooler with bottled water, ice packs and washcloths. We also received 2 drink tickets per cabana. (So maybe she didn’t push her screen away very well…)

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I was concerned that our drink tickets said they were for up to $9, and most of the drinks were over $9, but we had no trouble ordering whatever we wanted.

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I got a natural peach mango smoothie mixed with white rum and a Grand Marnier floater. The smiley bartender was helpful, friendly, and not at all stingy! Brian got a margarita, and my friend Cindy had a not-too-sweet Kahlua Colada.

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The pool is really pretty with a waterfall on one side and a curvy slide around the bend from it. There is also a kids pool and playground behind a separate fence. Between the two is a colorful parrot occasionally squawking at those passing by. Our friends had a one year old with them, and she did great in the kid pool, on the playground, and loved the macaw! She was also able to go down the slide on a parent’s lap. Her super-patient daddy did that many time, but ironically the one time I took a photo she was with mom.

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The playground equipment did not get too hot or slippery for this little one in her wet swimsuit!

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Say “Hi” to the birdy!

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I think we could have stayed by the pool all day and night. The level of shade in the cabana and breeze outside were just perfect. It’s like we were in a private resort oasis in the midst of all of the excitement of Orlando.

But then the baby’s diaper exploded and we decided to call it a day. She got cleaned up and fed, and then we all met in our humungous villa for dinner. We were surprised to find a welcome gift when we returned to our room. There was a pretty box full of snacks like chocolate covered graham crackers and yogurt covered pretzels! DD2 quickly tried to confiscate the Oreos for herself because I won’t buy them at home.

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Recently, my friends Saudi and Andrei moved to Orlando. We invited them for dinner, and they were kind enough to stop at the store on the way. We had salad makings (spinach, strawberries, goat cheese) and lots of cheese and crackers. They brought some drinks and pizzas. And I had half of a homemade (by my mom) chocolate orange cake that I brought from my home freezer.

Throughout dinner I also got text messages that the couple with the baby girl who visited my house wanted to make an offer. They were hoping we’d respond to their offer BEFORE our Sunday open house, but our Realtor let them know we were out of town and wouldn’t be responding until Monday.

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This is thoughtful, but only works if the cleaning crew turns the ice maker back ON before the next guest arrives…  IMG_20130921_221249

Dinner was yummy, and followed up by the card game Nuts! You are a squirrel and some of the cards are nuts you are trying to gather, while others are cards you can use to block the other squirrels from taking your nuts. We played until it was pushing 11pm and we were all tired. One of our Orlando friends works at Disney and said she could get my daughters in free the next day, so my kids left with them and had a sleep over, and spent Sunday at the Magic Kingdom.

Little girls who long to be Princesses sometimes grow up to be teens who wish they could play Princesses in the theme parks. Those are my girls. They went to the new area of Fantasyland where the Snow White ride used to be, which is now a queue to meet Princesses. They also met Ariel in her grotto and rode that new ride, and had lunch (and luscious desserts) in the new Beauty and the Beast castle.

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In the meantime we used 2 passes for the breakfast buffet at the Caribe Royal to try some yummies. The breakfast burritos were great, the fruit selection was pretty good, the breakfast potatoes were cold and disappointing, and the made to order omelets were perfection! As a treat I also had half of a mini waffle with some whipped cream on top.

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tucked away area for a quiet moment…

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Bacon at the buffet

IMG_20130922_091734 IMG_20130922_094542Then we got our 2 cabanas for the day and spent time with our friends by the pool again. They had to be on the road to Jacksonville by noon (the baby’s nap time) and we had a 2pm checkout, so we just stayed through the morning. The pool area was very quiet and chill, and we talked a bit about their plans for possibly moving to the area.

Brian gets his quiet time

Brian gets his quiet time

IMG_20130922_102411After leaving the Caribe Royale, Brian and I had one hour before we were scheduled to pick up the girls. We decided to get lunch. We headed through the touristy area and found a shopping center with a TGIFridays, a Chilis and a Fuddruckers. We ended up at Fudds because neither of us had ever eaten at one. My cousin Bradley always raved about it.

Us with the sun in our eyes outside of Fuddruckers

Us with the sun in our eyes outside of Fuddruckers

Brian got a cheeseburger, I had a salmon fillet sandwich, and we shared some sweet potatoes. There was a football game on TV, and we tucked ourselves into a booth and chilled some more. What a relaxing weekend! And then the Realtor texted asking when we’d be back so we could meet about the offer she received from the family who liked our house. We hoped a competing offer would come out of the open house, but nothing did. It only takes ONE GOOD ONE though!

So we drove home, unpacked, and met with the Realtor. We learned about the parts of the contract and submitted a counter offer! We’re on the way to selling our house!


If you are looking for a quiet place to enjoy a vacation that is still very convenient to all of the attractions Orlando has to offer, check out the beautiful Caribe Royal! Their upcoming special is a great Thanksgiving Shop & Dine Package that honestly is an amazing deal; and you won’t even have to miss Black Friday shopping! Check it out…  The nightly rate starts at $115 plus tax for a one-bedroom suite for November 24 – December 2, 2013, and includes all of these items:

  • $15 / night Food and Beverage credit
  • $50 Orlando Premium Outlets – Vineland Ave Gift Card
  • 20% Thanksgiving Dinner Buffet discount
  • Guaranteed 2pm late check-out
  • Double Stash Hotel Rewards® Points
  • Complimentary transportation to Orlando Premium Outlets – Vineland Ave Midnight Madness Sale

I received 2 free cabanas each day plus snacks in exchange for this post, but all of the opinions are my own. The photos are mine, too, except I didn’t take the ones in the Magic Kingdom.

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Wine & Dine Recap

Last weekend was a busy one! Friday Brian and I loaded up the car and headed about an hour out for Fit Niche. I won a gift card, and we needed some safety gear for Ragnar Relay. We bought 2 butt lamps and owed $9 after the gift card.

Then we drove on past Disney to Fleet Feet Orlando. We had a $100 gift card, and enjoyed seeing their new, larger location. They were painting the track on the floor while we were there. We bought 2 headlamps and Brian got a pair of marked down Sauchony running shorts and we spent about $1.10.

From there we drove to Titusville to watch the FL Runners Cross Country Invitational. Our daughter could not run because of her injured ankle, but she was still there to support the team. We had rain here and there for a few minutes, which brought in tons of humidity. Ugh. I spent a lot of time handing out drink samples at the Drink Chia! booth – because I met them a couple weeks ago and it was more fun than being ignored by the teens at our school’s tent. (I know, I’m soooo old! Why would a teenager talk to me?)

Have you tried drinking chia yet? The biggest claims are that it hydrates, is full of omegas and antioxidants and helps with recovery naturally.

Our girls varsity took 2nd place! It was a nice end to a long day – and just the beginning of a fun night. From there we turned the minivan around and drove back to Disney. Brian and I had a room with friends at the All Star Movies resort. We showered the cross country away and had dinner at Downtown Disney. Bongos to be exact! The restaurant was packed with an hour wait for dinner, but we managed to find 4 chairs at the bar together and ate there. I started with tiny shrimp in yucca bowls and then split chicken and rice for dinner. We walked around and enjoyed the feel of a cold front moving in.

Saturday, we met some of our Digital Running team members. After communicating online for months it was nice to put faces with names. I was also able to hand out fun goodie bags with team shirts, Bondi Bands, Drink Chia, Bodyworks Bands, coupons, natural remedies and more. After breakfast, 3 of us headed over to the Wine and Dine Half Marathon Expo. The line for race packets and Tshirts wasn’t too bad, but the expo hall was quite packed.

Sandy gets her race packet

I was wearing my Bondi Band that said “RUN” in fluorescent green, and told the ladies at the Bondi Band booth I probably could have sold 20 right off my head in the past few days. A woman stopped me out running, a car attendant stopped me at the FL Runners meet, etc… the headband not only works to keep sweat out of my eyes, it also attracts a bit of attention.

I also went to get my free sample of organic yogurt. I told the woman at the booth I’m allergic to cucumbers and asked if there could be any hiding in the “natural flavors”. She said, “No, this is organic.”

I reminded her that cucumbers often are too.

We met up with Heather at the Running Skirts booth. She had run the 5k that morning and was working a 12 hour shift, and then was running the HM that night!

Purple & Lime for $10!

Sandy bought herself The Stick, which she had been wanting for some time, and got a good deal on. There was a Champion sportswear booth with really good markdowns upon markdowns, and I scored a $10 sports bra for one of the girls. I also handed out info about building our team for Ragnar Relay Key West, which we just decided to do INSTEAD of the Disney Marathon in January 2012.

We had a quick lunch and headed back to the hotel room for a nap to prepare for the 10pm-3am race and post-race private party at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

before the start

Around 6:45pm, Joe and I drove our spouses to Epcot, where they caught the bus to the race start at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports. In the meantime I enjoyed showing someone around Epcot who had never been before! We started with some “donde esta Donald?” in Mexico, and then rode the troll ride in Norway. We nibbled a bit on the Food and Wine Festival offerings, but not too much because we wanted to enjoy that with our spouses after the race. We found the big screen that was supposed to broadcast the start of the race for us, but they did not have the feed working. We hung around the screen talking to other race spectators, but when someone tweeted that Corals A&B were gone and C was lining up, I told Joe we might as well ride some rides. Our spouses were in Coral A, so we missed seeing their start.

We rode Ellen’s Energy Adventure with a very drunk woman, and then hit Test Track with a 10 minute wait time! The bit of screen time with Ellen made Joe a bit queasy, so I decided Soarin’ was probably not the ride for him. We were going to check and see if Off Kilter was playing in Canada, but we decided we were probably 10 minutes from Brian’s finish and sat by the big screen instead. At this point it was working, but the feed switched between 2 points – a random curve in the road of the half marathon, and the relay team hand off point.

Chillin after 13.1

Our meeting point was the big fountain, so we headed over there to wait for sweaty loved ones. I had Brian’s chia drink and dry sneakers out and ready. The temp dropped a bit and the humidity cleared away, leaving us with gorgeous 70-something weather at 11:30pm. My phone got a text that Brian crossed the finish line. We waited, and waited. No Brian. We figured he must have been waiting at the finish line for Sandy since spectators weren’t allowed at the finish line – and she’d love having someone there to greet her at the finish. Finally Brian came walking up. I gave him a huge hug and noticed 2 things right away.

  1. He was barely tired
  2. Sandy was not with him

Turned out Brian was not waiting at the finish, but rather spent 20+ minutes in a medical tent icing his knee. Other than some knee soreness he felt great, and was already sipping a beer. He was ready to eat and drink around Epcot. But no Sandy. Our phones got texts that she had finished, but no Sandy.We did, however, see our Columnist Contest Winner Tracy and her husband – who completed the Relay. She was the 8+ miler, and finished on such a high! She was smiling and glowing and bouncing like Tigger!

When she finally did arrive, she looked like she had been crying. Poor Sandy was waiting for us sweaty and tired at a DIFFERENT FOUNTAIN! After about 10 minutes of feeling lonely and rejected, the half marathon exhaustion started to wane and she realized she had remembered seeing another fountain on the park map BEHIND the “big silver ball” (aka Spaceship Earth.) Sure enough, there we were waiting for her. She was very nauseous, and even though Brian suggested she try to eat or drink to replenish, she couldn’t keep anything down. We decided to stroll around Epcot – as suggested by Jeff Galloway – to keep their legs from cramping up.

We nibbled yummy tasters from different countries (including Black Pepper Shrimp with Sichuan Noodles in China AND Artisan Cheese Selections with Thomasville Tome Sweet Gras Dairy, Le Delice de Bourgogne Lincet and Chevre Affine Wyngaard Kaas), not knowing until we returned the next day that certain ingredients had run out and we were getting sorta-kinda what the booths were supposed to be offering. When we hit Morocco, I suggested hot tea to Sandy to help warm her and hydrate. She bought a hoodie to wear over her hoodie, and sat and sipped the hot, mint tea. Slowly she started to feel human again. She was pissed because her neck and back were sore, which is not typical for her, and because she ran a 2:16 and was hoping to break 2:15. I had some Biofreeze waiting for her neck, and her husband had some coconut water that she tried to sip on. Also in Morocco was Sarah! (@5littleindians) We knew it was her by the gorgeous Snow White tutu she had twitpic’d earlier that day.

spooky Sarah in Morocco

The cooler weather certainly gave Brian what he wanted! He trained with Sandy at her pace for the race, but never really trained on his own. So, he wasn’t sure if he’d even run his own race that night. But with the cooler air and excitement of the crowd, he let the Disney Magic take over and ran a 1:36:44 – a pace of 7:23 min/mile! You can read his race report here. Sandy’s is here.

We got our money’s worth and stayed at the party until just before 3am. Then we got a good night’s sleep and met friends at EPCOT the next day to enjoy the Food and Wine Festival from 1pm-8pm.

***Warning, if you’re hungry you may want to stop reading now!***

We started with a viewing of Captain EO, which is the same as it was in 1988. Michael Jackson at his finest! Then we started at the World Showcase Lagoon and enjoyed the food and drinks. Over the next 7 hours I shared:

  • Beef Empanadas from Argentina
  • Seared Mahi Mahi with steamed Rice, Hearts of Palm, and Coconut-Lime Sauce AND to drink a delicious LeBlon Frozen Caipirinha in Brazil
  • an unbelievable avocado margarita at the new-ish tequila bar in Mexico
  • a bite of Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup and Canada’s Chicken Chipotle Sausage with Sweet Corn Polenta – my favorite!
  • Cheese Fondue that tasted like white wine
  • Caramel-Ginger Ice Cream in China
  • Frozen Red Stag Lemonade by Jim Beam
  • a not so great Sparkling Pomegranate Kir in France, where all the women serving were gorgeous
  • Nürnberger Sausage in a Pretzel Roll from Germany, which I wished was closer to the cheese soup
  • Amazing Griddled Greek Cheese with Pistachios and Honey in Greece (the hit of the day!)
  • Tuna Poke with Seaweed Salad and Lotus Root Chip from Hawaii
  • a sip of Brian’s Seven Tiki Mai Tai and a bite of his Shrimp Cake on a sugar cane skewer with Singapore Noodle Salad in Singapore
  • Potato Pierogies with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream in Poland
  • and for “dessert”, Brian waited in a long, talkative line for ME to get a Baked Cheese Ravioli with Creamy Beef Bolognese Sauce, Parmesan Cheese, Melted Mozzarella in Italy

I missed the Vegetable Curry served in a Bread Loaf in South Africa, the chocolate lava cake in Ireland and the pumpkin mousse. I guess that means I need to go back!

We also managed to catch an Off Kilter show in Canada, rode the troll in Norway, met the inventor of the Bracelet Buddy, and met Duffy the bear. At a few points we bumped into Samantha from the Digital Running Club with her family, too – but I think we forgot to take pictures.

On the way home Monday morning, Brian and I stopped at Cracker Barrel for breakfast. Yes, we were still physically capable of eating. I ordered the yogurt and fruit parfait, hold the muffin. Here’s what I really wanted:

with fresh caramel mousse topping! I dare you not to think about food now!!

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Wrapping up the week

I left off with a not-so-wordless Wednesday last week, talking about my yummy drink. And before I knew it a week went by!

Things have been busy lately at work – meeting and client proposals out the wazoo. I’m not complaining, it’s great! But it keeps me more focused on paperwork and less focused on designing. Which, as art director, is really my job, but you know… I like to design stuff!

We’re also working on sponsorship proposals for Digital Running. It sure would be nice to have a great corporate sponsor for our Ragnar Relay teams throughout 2012. A company we believe in, with a similar culture, perhaps with a product we use – like a water bottle, tech shirt, or energy bar – and a van sponsor like Avis or Hertz. There is a Team Spirit (sponsored by Spirit Airlines, not Courtney Love or Frances Bean) and I’m willing to bet they can fly to race location on Spirit Airlines for free. Lucky!

We’re also putting together our goodie bags & shirts for team members, and the first Digital Running Club members to get goodie bags will be at the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon in Oct! Because we are an official Disney Running Club, we have some great Disney running swag for them. We’re trying to design custom shirts that are easy to see without being obnoxious, from great tech fabric we’ll want to run in for years to come. Taxi cab yellow might be the ticket.

My mom wanted a Facebook page for her jewelry business, and my aunt wanted a Facebook page for her childbirthing classes in Ft. Lauderdale.

I swear, if I am not working out or peeing, I am in front of a laptop!!

So, yah, that’s what I’ve been doing. LOTS of yoga, lots of computer time, and back-to-school stuff in between a little bit. The kids came home from Camp Grandma today, so we’re back to juggling 4 schedules. But it’s all great fun!

I was able to hit BodyPump on Sunday and BodyFlow tonight. Other than that, Yoga every weekday morning (75-90 mins of power core class).

Wendy’s been very focused on her art this summer, so we had her do some artwork for digital running. Did you see them? She sketched, and I colored in Photoshop.  Alice is focused on running (she did her first 10 miler last weekend) and shopping for clothes. This is the first time she’s really going nuts about clothes, because she’s been in a school uniform for 10 YEARS and now suddenly she can wear jeans and flowered Forever 21 skirts and military style button down shirts. Lots of rings & nailpolish too!

Did you know Sept is National Coupon Month? I had a client tell me all the ins and outs of couponing last week. She’s one of those people who can buy $200 worth of stuff for $.75 and was giving me some pointers. I used a few of her tips and went back to Target and Office Depot a week after shopping and got $5 back. (I was expecting $7.99, but I have more to learn…) In celebration of National Coupon Month this September, ILoveCouponMonth.com, an online source for coupon info, is sharing 30 places to find coupons. Coupons are now available just about everywhere you look – the web, social media, smartphones or credit card statements. I hear that ILoveCouponMonth.com is the ultimate destination for coupon-lovers! Here’s one of their tips for you, and I will keep them coming through Sept.

1. Coupon-Aggregate Websites
Afraid that coupon clipping from newspapers will take over your weekend? Coupon-aggregate websites and coupon expert BLOGS that have affiliate accounts with those sites, allow shoppers to pinpoint the coupons they need and either use the coupon codes to save when shopping online or download printable coupons & ready-to-go shopping lists before hitting the stores.

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Tired

I keep staying up late, late, late this week. I know it’s bad, and it’s not like me. But little trips here and there are starting and ending, and that means there are photos to edit and work to catch up on. Oh, and the laundry of course!

Photos from recent events include:

Wendy went to Utah with kids from school. They were hiking in Zion National Park. Her camera died after about 4 minutes, so I am gathering pics from other kids online. What gorgeous views they had!

I visited my best friend! Well, she kind of visited me, because she came to Florida. About 18 members of her family met at Walt Disney World, and that’s about a 1.5 hour drive for me, so I met her after last Tuesday’s run, cuz I’m good like that, at around 1pm just as they were returning overheated from the theme park to eat and swim at the hotel. We ate, swam, ate again, and then went to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a few hours.

I was happy to get her on Tower of Terror and her nephew on Rockin’ Roller Coaster. She took a lot less convincing. And I was laughing my head off as she grabbed my hand screaming! We have not seen each other since her wedding about 11 years ago, and we’ve never met each other’s kids. I got to play with all 4 of her kids, but I arrived solo. Fun afternoon!

Then… I went to NYC, so I had those photos. And had to kind of separate the work ones to show to work folks and the play ones to share with friends and family.

Then… Wendy came home from PARIS! With 3 memory cards full of, well, memories – that I am editing for multiple people.

And next week I have a cousin’s wedding, and Shutterfly has all kinds of photo coupons, so I am using Photoshop as fast as my little fingers will let me.

(Today’s workout was 90 mins core yoga, and tomorrow I’ll run 40 mins with B if it’s not raining. Then I have an OUCHY laser hair removal appointment and packing to do!)

Here is a sampling of recent pics. Click any thumbnail for a full view 🙂

 

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Half Marathon Training

You may notice I don’t train for big races. I don’t really run more than 3 miles. And I’m not about to start now. I have all the necessary supplies at my fingertips – the great shoes, the Jack Daniel’s book, the running coach HUSBAND who is snoozing away in the next room.

But that is not my thing. Now, a weekend yoga workshop on the other hand…

So why do I profess to be training for a half marathon?

I have a different role to play…

As Brian builds his team of runners who got a custom training plan from him for the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon in Oct, I know that I will be the Mother Hen of this running team. I’m good at being a mommy, just ask my kids. I’ll make sure there are Sharpies, sunscreen, safety pins, bottled water that’s not too cold, Band-Aids, granola bars, sweat rags, baby wipes… that’s what I do. I don’t know when I became detail oriented or organized, but people keep telling me that I am. Even my mom!

Part of my organized-ness is that I have been there and done that. I’ve woken up before 7am at Walt Disney World, stood jogging in place while trying to warm my hands with my own breath, going over a race course in my head. And I’ve been on the other end – making sure I have my big, cardboard sign, pom-poms, and calculating someone else’s pace in my head so I can give a high-five and take a photo at just the right time.

Me, Alice, Goofy, Brian and Wendy – 2009

PLUS I KNOW Disney. I’ve been to the Orlando parks more times than I can count. We stopped counting around our 47th visit and that was years ago. I know where the bathrooms are (as does any woman who has been there pregnant and with potty-training toddlers), where fresh fruit can be bought, what rides they are building in the magic Kingdom right now… I’m a bit of a Disney freak and I don’t talk about it much on this blog – but my daughters ARE in fact named for Disney characters, and I did honeymoon at Walt Disney World. In fact, the only time I have cheered Brian on through a marathon was at Walt Disney World. (Not the only RACE, mind you, but the only marathon).

And now my daughter wants to train for the Disney Half in Jan 2012 because she’s old enough to enter. I can just picture that Donald medal around her neck. And yes, we know there is a Princess half. We’ve been to that race and ran the 5k before it together. And no, I don’t think she’ll run in a costume or a tutu, because she won’t just go to RUN, she’ll go to RACE and is already concerned about proof of time for the right Corral.

(Blonde moment: The very first time I ever went to a Disney race I was so amazed that there were a bunch of women named “Coral” running. Then I realized I was reading the “Corral” section on their bibs. Doh!)

Coach Brian at work

So really, if you haven’t run a half before, or if you have run one but now have a specific goal time in mind, and you think a custom training plan from Brian could get you from your Point A to the Finish in a way that satisfies you, please know that you’re not just getting the running support of a great, funny, caring Coach. You’re getting the backup from a great Mommy! And though I may not be in your hotel room to tuck you in (that could get weird), I will be there at every Digital Running Club event that weekend cheering everyone on, applying aloe and sunscreen as needed, and handing out cookies.

I sign off today wishing great luck to everyone at the St Anthony’s tri this morning just 5 miles away from me here in St Pete. Especially my friend Heather who came down from NOLA to be part of a relay team. I’ll avoid driving downtown this weekend, and I will check out the official race photos, and the photos my friends took of their kids doing the Meek and Mighty challenge yesterday. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger!!

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