Thursday, May 26, 2011

Catch Up

Well work is over and now I'm on to play time!! It has been a good trip so far. It was really great to see my German colleagues again as well as other colleagues from different countries.

I've been able to keep up with the plank challenge and I'm now up to 55 seconds. Next up, one minute! I'm still doing it on my knees but I've still got a few more weeks to perfect my plank.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Five Senses Friday

I remembered my other random thought!!  While I like the fact I can combine a little sightseeing on my business trip, I do not like packing for both work and play.  Because now I need work clothes and play clothes, work shoes and play shoes.  Which all add up to a ginormous suitcase!  But I am all packed (I hope...)

  • The sun!!  Where oh where have you been?

  • Delicious homemade chocolate chips cookies (and no, I didn't make them)

  • Songs from Mary Poppins

  • Chicken sausages sizzling (not on the grill, although that would have been good!  But in a frying pan on the stove - my impromptu grill)

  • A little discombobulated (plus isn't that just a fun word?)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

For the Plank of It

I think I mentioned that I was considering joining the Plank Challenge.  And well, I'm in.  Or at least I'm going to attempt to be in.  Six weeks, wow.  But my plank is pitiful and I have been lacking motivation lately so I'm hoping this is something small that I can build on. 

Okay, so my time test was 30 seconds.  My plan is to do it three times a week at first, working up to 4 times a week and increasing by 5 seconds each time.  And to eventually be able to do it the real way and not on my knees!! :)  Ready, steady, go!!

In other random thoughts:
  • I leave tomorrow for Vienna and I am so completely unprepared.  But I do have hotels!!  Yay!
  • Is it sad that I sleep with both an ice pack and a heating pad?
  • Anyone else watching Castle and completely shocked by the finale? 
  • And speaking of finales is it really that time again?  Where has this year gone?
  • I went and saw Mary Poppins!  It was supercalifragilisticexpealidocious!!  While it wasn't the same as the movie, it was still really good.  I loved the chimney scene!
  • There was one more but it is gone now.

And that's all she wrote folks.  It'll probably be quiet around here for the next week or so.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Ugh!  Or uhg as my boss would say.  She does weird things with her "h's".  So yeah, I'm going to Vienna, Bratislava & Salzburg next week.  And I'm trying to find hotels.  I hate finding hotels.  Is it a good hotel?  Is it in a good location?  Is it a Rick (as in Steves) recommended hotel?  And as I wasn't sure I was going until not too long ago, I haven't had much time to do any research.  And the little research I did do has been for naught as most hotels are sold out.  And I'm left repeating myself.  Ugh! 

In other random news, I do a pitiful plank.  It's true, I do.  So when I saw a Plank Challenge was starting tomorrow, I started thinking maybe I needed to join in.  I'm still thinking about it, but I am tempted to at least try it.  My goal would be to increase my time and to be able to do it on my toes (rather than my knees).  So we'll see.  I'm not fully committing, yet anyway.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Excuse me, what's in your bag?

Hey, guess where was I last weekend?  That's right!  One of my favorite places in the entire world.  WDW!!  It had been basically a year and a half since I had been to the World with Jana so we decided to remedy that with a trip.  Even better was the fact we were going for three full days, rather than just for the weekend.

But let's back up, shall we?  All the way back to the airport where I was standing in a ridiculously long security line.  And I was in the elite access line.  But there I was standing in a line that really wasn't moving.  Good thing I had gotten to the airport early!!  While I was in line for over 40 minutes, I chatted with a 3 year old who was wearing a Tinker Bell shirt.  She and her mom were on their way to visit Grandpa.  I told her I was on my way to visit Tinker Bell and Mickey.  She gets to go visit Mickey when she turns 4.  Finally, finally, finally I got up to the x-ray machine.  And guess what?  The belt stalls on my bag.  Figures.  I am escorted off to the side and the agent starts going through my purse.  Out comes my romance novel, my pink wallet, my Mickey wallet, and the culprit.  At the last second I had thrown in a Minnie pin to attempt #31 on my 34 Things list.  Apparently in the x-ray machine it looked like a throwing star.  Oh snap!  What can you do but laugh?  Oh!!  And the agent called me miss, not ma'am.  Star for him!!  And star for me too.  (Pun intended.)

I picked Jana up in Houston and then we were finally in Orlando!!  We had good luggage magic and good bus magic and were at the hotel pretty quick!  It was late by this time so we grabbed some chicken nuggets for dinner and went to bed.

We woke up a little on the late side and headed for Epcot.  I love coming to Epcot during the Flower & Garden festival to see the topiaries and the new designs.  We got to the park and the rain started.  Which I really didn't mind, especially at Epcot where it can get ridiculously hot.  Until I realized what it was doing to my hair.  Yup, I was having a fabulous hair day (read sarcasm).  But I'm at Epcot - who cares if my bangs are curling all funny.  We had lunch at Via Napoli.  Yummy!!  We hit most of our highlights (Mexico, Soarin', Nemo) and looked at the various topiaries.  And then it was decision time - do we hang out at Epcot for Extra Magic?  Or do we head over to Hollywood and catch Fantasmic?  Fantasmic won out and we took the boat from Epcot over to Hollywood.  I had never taken the boat from Epcot to Hollywood.  We arrived at Hollywood and found the fast passes were all gone for both Rockin' Rollercoaster and Toy Story and the lines were 70 minutes long.  Bummer!!  After dinner of chicken nuggets we did a little shopping and then heard that the early Fantasmic show was standing room only.  Boo.  Okay then.  What was the line for Toy Story?  It was 60 minutes - we broke our own line rule and got in line.  It actually moved pretty quickly and then we got put into super fast line (I think because we were two people and easy to plug in when there are bigger groups).  Woohoo!!  When it was all said and done, it took us 40 minutes start to finish.  Good choice to stand in line!  And then it was time to watch Fantasmic!!

The next morning followed a similar pattern - woke up late and headed to Animal Kingdom.  It was a very different day for us at Animal Kingdom - we were a bit late for breakfast so we didn't go to Pizzafari, which is our normal breakfast place at AK.  And then we didn't go to Restaurantasaurus for lunch!  Say what?!  Instead we went to the Yak & Yeti, my first time there and I do have to say it was quite good.  After lunch it was out on safari where we saw lots of elephants!  The rest of the day was spent with the Yeti, Dinosaur(s), and at Rafiki's Planet Watch.  We finished up the day at the Lion King Festival.  We were slightly late for the Festival and so were escorted into the secret entrance and sat in the giraffe section.  I've now sat in all four sections.  

Once again decision time - do we go and use our fast pass for the Yeti (a second time)?  Or do we head over to Epcot for dinner?  Dinner won out.  The line for the Epcot bus was super long to instead we hopped on the bus for the Beach Club hotel and walked over to Epcot.  It might have been a short cut that turned into a long cut but we finally got to Epcot where we had dinner in Japan and visited Spaceship Earth before walking back over to the Beach Club to catch the bus to Downtown Disney to get our shop on and make a stop at Ghiradelli for some ice cream.  Have I mentioned how much I adore ice cream?  

If this were a normal weekend away, we would be leaving Sunday.  But we had managed to squeeze in another day!  Hooray!  Off to the Magic Kingdom we went on Sunday to spend the whole day there!  Wow - they have done some work on the new Fantasyland!!  I can't wait until it is finished!  So remember back to my Minnie Throwing Star?  Well now I couldn't trade that pin!  So I bought another pin and finally, finally made a trade!  Yippee!!  My first trade.  I was so nervous to trade the pin!  Something as simple as that, yet my introverted, shy side exerts itself.  It was hard for me to go up to a cast member and say can I look at your pins?  But I did it!!  And then I re-traded the pin I traded for.  I probably won't get into trading pins, but I will keep collecting them.  At least now I can cross #31 off my list!  Woohoo!!  

Ever since I read somewhere that most people only do 9 attractions in a day, it has become somewhat of an obsession to me to do at least 9 attractions.  And today?  We did 20!!  Boo yah!  We managed to get on Dumbo right when we expected the fireworks to go off, but we were an hour off.  Fireworks were at 10 today, not 9.  Oh well.  We ended up on Big Thunder when the fireworks went off.  While not quite the same as watching the fireworks from Dumbo, it was still fun.  Especially with the fireworks exploding over the top of the ridge as we went careening around the track.  

When we had originally planned this trip we thought for sure we'd get extra magic hours on Sunday.  But it wasn't to be - extra magic was on Monday.  Boo.  We definitely had magic at the end of the night.  Instead it was back to the hotel.  

And there you have it.  A slightly longer weekend visit with the Mouse!  See ya real soon!!

At Epcot

Champagne in France

Me & Pooh

At Hollywood


On our way to visit the Yeti


At Magic Kingdom

Yay!  I traded a pin!

Five Senses Friday

  • The SUN!!  Is spring finally here?!  Just in time for summer?
  • Diet Coke (I'm waiting until after my next vacation to try to break the habit again)
  • My name at jury duty (but I didn't get selected and then I finally got dismissed) 
  • Not much as I caught a cold
  • Overwhelmed!!  Which is a feeling I've been having more often than not lately

Oh, and in case you were wondering how about an update on my knee?  Or even if you weren't wondering...  My chiropractor wasn't happy my knee wasn't up to full mobility and so recommended a new physical therapist.  The new physical therapist is really working my knee!!  But she has said no running for now.  Boo.  So I'm taking a break (again) while I continue to heal.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Your Civic Duty

Oh jury duty.  While I am glad to do my duty, it is not my favorite thing to do in the world!

This is my fifth jury summons.  My first summons I didn't have to respond to as it was for WA just after I had moved to TX.  My second summons I sat on a jury panel for a good part of the day and was not selected for the jury.  My third summons I was selected to the jury.  My fourth was during a ridiculous project at work and my boss wrote a letter and got me excused.  And here we are at my fifth.

I showed up bright and early and checked in.  I had snacks, books, and my phone to entertain me.  I was called to the first jury panel which was going to be a potential 4 week jury.  Ugh.  I am going out the country next week so that wasn't going to work for me.  (Did I tell you?  I'm going to Slovakia for work and added a few more days to go to Vienna on the front end and Salzburg on the back end.)  I was dismissed and sent back to the pool.  I read a little, played on my phone a little, and then read some more.  I remembered my brother worked near the courthouse and texted him and he and his girlfriend met me for lunch.  Good thing too because he had dollars so I could get a diet coke from the vending machine!  Then it was back to the courthouse for more waiting.  I was finally dismissed for the day.  Oh boy, I can't wait to go back tomorrow.  

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Once Upon a Time

I'll admit it.  In my younger days I did daydream on occasion that somehow my path would cross with Prince William and we would fall in love and I would be a REAL princess.  That was until I came to a better understanding the whole fishbowl aspect of  being a princess in this day and age.  It was then that I realized that what I really wanted was a lessor royal.  This way I could still have a tiara and maybe a castle!! :)  Without the loss of privacy.  A girl can always dream, right?   So instead of Prince Charming, I started dreaming of Duke Charming (his cousin) or even Earl Charming (second cousin, twice removed).  Yes, I have a very rich imagination.

I remember sitting on a couch watching Princess Diana get married.  It felt like the middle of the night - my mom woke me and my sister up and we watched the fairytale wedding unfold right in front of us.  Was it then that my fascination with all things Princessy started?  Or is that just part and parcel of being a girl?

All this to say while I didn't wake up super early to watch Will & Kate, I did DVR the Royal Wedding and watched it today.  I was caught up in all the hoopla surrounding the wedding.  After all, it was on my birthday!!  If I could have been in London, I would have.  But apparently my invite was lost in the mail.  Ha! :)  I was actually there when Prince Edward married Sophie.  And I remember this because I wasn't able to go visit Windsor Castle like I planned since that was where they were getting married.

But back to the wedding - she was absolutely beautiful and they looked so happy together.  Maybe not a classic fairytale, but still there are fairytale aspects to it.  A commoner marrying a royal?  I loved seeing Posh & Becks, Ian Thorpe, and all the hats!  What a beautiful wedding and I wish them nothing but happiness!!        

Top Pot 5K Doughnut Dash

Saturday morning I was lying down in hot yoga before class, already praying for people to come in the door closest to me because I already needed the breeze, when I remembered there was a 5K Sunday morning.  To enter, or not to enter?  Enter of course!

Sunday morning I woke up bright and early to go run a 5K!  I hadn't pre-registered so I made sure to get there plenty early.  I got to the front of the line and to my surprise, they didn't take credit cards.  Really?  In this day and age?  Everyone takes credit cards!  Granted, I haven't done too many day of registrations, but the few I have done have taken credit cards.  Shame on me for not checking.  But still.  Okay, rant over. So back to my car I go to get my debit card and off in search of an ATM machine.  I thought for sure there was a Bank of America in the neighborhood, but I couldn't easily find one, but I found another one and paid the fee.

Back to the registration table with my money.  All registered, I happily discovered they had a gear check so I wasn't going to have to take another trek back to my car.  Whew!  I switched shirts and checked my gear.  I still had some time so I stretched out and mentally prepared.  For a second there I was wondering what the heck I was doing...

And finally we were off!  It was kind of a mad start, with a lot of dodging and running around people, but finally it started to thin out and I found a spot for myself.  I started off running 1 song, walking 1 song, but was feeling strong so then ran 2 songs and walked 1.  My knee held up, for the most part.  But then my right calf started bothering me.  Not too badly thank goodness!

Before you knew it, there was the finish line!!  The clock was at 43 something so I knew I was going to beat 45 minutes.  Especially since it took me awhile to get to the start line.

I finished, got my water, my banana, and most importantly my Top Pot Doughnut!  Because why else would I run a Top Pot 5K, it not for the doughnut?? :)

My time was probably helped by the fact it was a mostly flat course.  According to the website my official time was 41:49!  I've still got some work to do, but I'm definitely on my way back!!