Monday, June 23, 2014

Disney: we survived!

Wow -- putting together this post has been so overwhelming because I have so many pictures between our cameras and the Memory Maker that I have to try not to use too many.  I also want to try to keep them in some kind of order because I can't stand a big jumble of photos that are in no kind of order.  I tried to keep pictures from each park together.

A few days ago while I was first looking through these pictures, Tim looked over my shoulder and said to me, "If I didn't know any better, these pictures make it look like we had fun."  Ha!  When I decided to add the Memory Maker to our account for $150, I figured Disney would be high tech about taking pictures of us all the time, maybe follow us around with camera drones or something.  But it turned out that if we weren't on a ride, for the most part we had to seek out the picture people and pose for the pictures.  Sometimes we would just walk by if there was a line of other people waiting.  It might have been for the best.  If most of the shots had been candid, they would have been us standing or sitting around with hangdog expressions on our face.  Or with a finger jabbed in the kids' faces as we threatened them with taking them back to the room if they didn't knockitoff right now!

So .. Disney was intense.  It was way too much for an introvert like me.  Even just being in the cafeteria of our resort was sensory overload.  The crowds of people were what I dreaded most, and they were everywhere.  It was sweltering hot too.  But we will call it a success because it was well organized with the help of our wonderful Disney planner, and we all got to do some fun things and eat some good meals.  I got to ride three roller coasters, and I can't even remember the last time I rode a roller coaster.  Space Mountain was my favorite overall because it was in the dark, and not being able to see where we were going added a little extra thrill.  Rock 'n Roller Coaster was a close second.  Tim and I had Fast Passes to those and to Expedition Everest.  Just being able to walk away by ourselves was a good part of the fun.  The kids got kind of moody and restless in between things (and most of our time at Disney, let's face it, is in between one thing or another). Timmy was the worst of all.  This trip brought out the most horrendous side of him, I have to say.  We spent one entire evening with him just having tantrums in the room, not even leaving for dinner.  (The girls got to have dinner with their Grandma and Auntie, lest you thought we made the girls go hungry on account of Timmy.) Very bad, very sad.

For the kids there were many photo ops with princesses and other characters.  I think Timmy liked that part best, hugs and high-fives with people in costumes.  And he was a little flirt with the princesses.  If I had to guess Delaney's favorite thing, it would definitely be Animal Kingdom.  She's such an animal lover, and I could tell how much she enjoyed the safari and the nature tour, and being up close to so many kinds of creatures.  They also gave the kids some kind of book that they could collect "badges" (stickers) in after learning about different kinds of animals, and it was something fun for her and Annie to focus on, collecting all those stickers.  Delaney was also excited to participate in the discussions and answer questions.  I liked that even though there were hordes of people around, she and her brother and sister got so much individual attention.  As for Annie, I'm not sure what her favorite part was.  I'd have to ask her.  Maybe just swimming at the resort pool?  She also wasn't much for the crowds and the heat.  But really, who is?  Everywhere we looked we saw parents trying to placate exhausted and hot kids.  I felt so bad for the screaming infants.  Why would anyone do that to a baby?  Or to themselves?  I myself could only handle so much, and on one or two mornings I was allowed to have a late start, or a pass to take Timmy and hop on the next "ketchup bus" back to the resort.  Timmy named the shuttles "ketchup buses" on day one, and I thought it was more fun to call them that.  They have Disney written across them in red, and I guess that reminded him of a ketchup bottle.

Delaney and Annie loved Test Track, Soarin', the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Splash Mountain.  Tim took Delaney on Tower of Terror, and she hated every minute of that.  I felt bad because I gave her my Fast Pass for that, thinking she would really have fun with her dad.  Oh well.  They all got to ride little kid rides like the teacups and the Merry Go Round, and they liked that.  There were a lot of little shows here and there that we all enjoyed, especially if they took place out of the sun.  The Beauty and the Beast one and the one with Crush the Turtle were my favorites.  They all loved the electric parade and fireworks at Magic Kingdom.  It was pretty spectacular, but there was so much waiting in between all of it, and so much just getting from place to place.  Tim, Carolyn, Karen and the girls all went right after dinner and secured a good spot for the parade and waited there for 2 hours.  I was amazed at how well the girls did, and grateful that at least Timmy and I didn't need to be there that whole time.  By the time the fireworks started, after a lengthy light show on the side of the castle and a notice over the loudspeaker that it would start in 10 minutes, I was just done.  This stuff is for other people.  Plus, I was holding Timmy all that time because it was way past his bedtime.  He's a big, heavy baby after 8 p.m. and I longed for my Ergo to put him in before I remembered how much more I would sweat with him in it.  We didn't bring the stroller we'd rented because it would have been too inconvenient getting it to and from the park with all the extra big crowds.

Tim's mom and sister flew down and joined us last Saturday, and we spent four full days there.  Day 1 was Epcot, Day 2 was Magic Kingdom, Day 3 was Hollywood Studios during the day and Magic Kingdom at night, and day 4 was Animal Kingdom.  We had adjoining rooms at Pop Century and that worked out really well.  I worried about staying at the "value" resort that's less like a resort and more like a motel.  But Tim's mom and sisters had stayed there and they liked it a lot, and it was very nice.  It had a big pool too.  The bus rides could be kind of long, but mysteriously they could be lightning fast too.  For example, when we rode to Magic Kingdom in the evening on day 3, it took less than 10 minutes to get there.  Coming back to the resort  that night took about a half hour.  Why that is, I don't know.  Another passenger suggested that sometimes they use different routes to avoid traffic.  Timmy and I had a knack for perfect timing too.  The buses came every 20 minutes, and we almost always showed up right as a bus was ready to go.

Tim and I were fond of saying "never again" the entire time we were there.  But I won't say never, period.  Definitely never to Disney in summer.  And never to Disney with a kid 3 or under.  And then maybe at some point in this lifetime I could be persuaded to go.  But it will be a long while.
So. Hot!
Splash Mountain
The planner, Nanci, posted this little collage on the Moments of Magic Travel Facebook page.  

Mr. Incredible trying to get Timmy to dance
Hollywood Studios
Grandma got them new shades while we waited to get in to Hollywood Studios.
Rock 'n Roller Coaster.  Tim and I agree that the first 10 seconds of this ride were better than the whole rest of it.  All the roller coasters at Disney seem tohold back from being REALLY scary.  They are kind of tame.  Not one has a good long, stomach-in-your-throat drop.
Tower of Terror -- Can you see Delaney in the second row frozen in fear?  Tim said you actually couldn't see anything on this ride.  You just sat in the dark going up, up, up, and you had no idea when you'd be dropped.  Yikes!  I probably would have liked it.
In front of the Tusker House at Animal Kingdom.  I loved the food and went back to the buffet at least three times.
Timmy was so excited to see Mickey.
Safari ride
I think this picture was from lunch at Epcot.  The kids got to meet all the princesses here.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Run Streak Week 4 (I blew it last week but I'm forging on!)

Monday, June 16: We got back from Magic Kingdom late afternoon/ early evening, and I ran what I assume was a mile because my phone was dying and needed to stay on the charger.  I hung up my running clothes afterward to use again, which is something I ordinarily would never do, but I knew that I probably wouldn't be doing laundry during our four days at Disney.  I'm used to doing laundry constantly -- and complaining about it too -- but oh, how I miss washing my clothes on a regular basis.

Tuesday, June 17: We did a day at Hollywood Studios and returned for an afternoon of catching flies and then a quick dinner before going to Magic Kingdom for the parade and fireworks.  As we stood waiting for the fireworks to start with increasing impatience, I said I wanted to go running when we got home.  Ha!  My plans were foiled again.  I didn't get back to the room until about 10:30, and I was very tired and sore after holding Timmy for so long and carrying him all the way to the bus.  And then carrying his sleeping little sack of potatoes body from the bus to our room. Tim has kept up his streak because he goes first thing in the morning before the rest of us are up and about.  But I love my sleep too much, fitness challenges be damned.

Wednesday, June 18: After our day at Animal Kingdom I ran the loop behind the resort which Tim says is actually 1.6 miles.  I did push-ups afterward.  Oh, and since we didn't go anywhere until later in the morning, Tim did the laundry while I was still sleeping.  We had clean clothes again!  He's a keeper.

Thursday, June 19: We said goodbye to Tim's mom and sister and to Disney, and drove back to Beaufort, SC to enjoy the hospitality of the air station for a couple nights again.  The location services weren't working on my phone, but I figure I ran anywhere from a mile to a mile and a half after my nasty McDonald's dinner.  I can't wait until my diet is consistently healthy -- or mostly healthy -- again.

Friday, June 20: Easy 2-mile run and push-ups afterward.

Saturday, June 21: We moved into the little Harbor Island condo, and this is the last place we'll stay before we get the keys to our house on Parris Island.  We have a washer and dryer in the kitchen here -- wahoo!  And there's a pool and the beach.  I waited until nighttime to do my little run, and that was a mistake.  It was a cloudy night so no moon, and pitch dark because one of the island's regulations is we have to turn out all the lights so as not to confuse hatching turtles.  I was nearly blinded.  And for a private island, it sure gets its share of traffic.  I kept running off the road and shielding my eyes as headlights passed, in an effort to preserve my life and my night vision.  One lousy mile in 10:45.

Sunday, June 22: I made sure to do my run when it was still light out, but after the heat of the day was past.  I set out at 7:15.  It went much better this time.  Two miles at about an eight-minute mile pace.  Every time I think about how short and slow my runs are I remind myself that I AM doing something and that's better than nothing.  This challenge has been the best thing for me.  Even when I'm doing the bare minimum or little more, I am getting it done.  Even when it's inconvenient, even when there's ice cream and wine waiting for me, even though I do wish I could have made my nice blow-dried-for-dinner hair last one more day -- I am still getting it done.  And my knees are not complaining.  Yes, I did miss those two days at Disney.  Tim is in a special class of runners who could manage to get it done at Disney.  I think what has kept me from running more often before taking part in the Run Streak was a perfectionist mentality.  So many conditions had to be met in order for it to be a good time for a run.  I had to be not recently showered.  I had to go at least three miles to make it worth my while.  It couldn't interfere with my evening relaxation time.  It couldn't interfere with my morning sleeping-in time.  I had to be in clean running clothes.  The stars had to align in a certain way.  It went on and on.  It's a wonder I even managed once or twice a week runs.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Run Streak Week 3

Monday, June 9: 1.69 miles in 16:03.  Push-ups and stretches afterward.

Tuesday, June 10: 1.02 miles in 7:37.  Like the day before, I went with Tim and he kind of dictated the pace and the route.  I struggled to keep up in the oppressive humidity in the middle of the afternoon.  My attitude toward running at this point was at its absolute lowest.  At exactly the one-mile mark I slowed down and pushed stop/save on MapMyRun.  I told Tim he could go on but he slowed down too and we walked the rest of the way back to the condo together.  At the time I stopped I figured we were maybe a quarter mile from home, but we were actually over half a mile away and it felt like it took a long time to get back.  The whole way I stared at Tim's back as we walked single file along the busy highway and thought about how he was probably annoyed at me.  Oh well.  Push-ups and stretches afterward.

Wednesday, June 11: 1.63 miles in 12:10.  Push-ups and stretches afterward.

Thursday, June 12: 2.45 miles in 20:16.  I ran by myself at a slower pace and enjoyed this run much more.  But for some reason MapMyRun paused and I didn't figure it out until a few minutes later, so I'm not sure exactly how far I went.

Friday, June 13: 1.33 miles at 11:40.  I went in the morning and that was a good thing because it got stormy later on.  Again I ran by myself, and I'm thinking maybe Tim and I aren't the best running partners at this point.  We are at different places.  He likes to go faster and farther, and I'm happy that he's in such great shape and has such dedication.  And at least I can still brag that I ran a mile last week in 6:30, and his fastest was about 6:40.:)

Saturday, June 14: 1.01 miles in 7:43.  This was the day we left St. Augustine and arrived at Disney.  I was pleasantly surprised when Tim told me there is a running trail very close to our resort, a big loop that goes around a pond.  The loop is a little less than a mile long.  A bunny hopped across the trail right in front of me and I was charmed.  There were also signs every so often with little factoids about different years in history, which were also interesting to read.  By the time I was done with my little run at dusk I decided that I'll believe this place is magical if I don't wind up with any new mosquito bites.  Having said said, I was really not in the mood for a run at all by the end of this day, and if not for the challenge it never would have crossed my mind.  That's the whole point!  I started to become overwhelmed thinking of how hard this would be for me in the days ahead after so many hours walking around parks to find the will to knock out a mile run.  One day at a time.
Sunday, June 15: Streak broken.:(  My first full day at Disney -- which would be a joke to most people because Timmy and I were back at our resort by 3:15 -- kicked my butt.  I still would have gone if it hadn't been storming from about 6 p.m. on, with torrential rain.  By the time it stopped I was passed out for the night.  Womp-womp-womp.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Run Streak Week 2

Monday, June 2: 1.02 miles in 6:34, then three sets of 10 push-ups.

Tuesday, June 3: 1 mile in 10:50.  This was a rest day for me, so all of us went to the park next to our hotel and I ran laps at a very relaxed pace, with the kids running along off and on.  No other exercises except sun salutations in our room.

Wednesday, June 4: slow 3 mile run after we got back from dinner.  I hate to post the actual numbers, but I'll do it to keep myself honest.  3.02 miles in 28:27.  My belly was so full after a dinner of cheeseburger, fries and an ice cream cone, that I had no desire at all to go running.  Once I got going I was OK, and it was a relief as always to get away by myself for awhile.  But I really wished I'd skipped the ice cream.  Not worth the pain!  After I came back I did a few sets of push-ups, squats, and a lot of stretches in the fitness room.

Thursday, June 5: My only opportunity to run was early in the morning after Tim had dropped Delaney off at school, and before he and Annie left for Beaufort, SC.  I did sun salutations in our room and then went to the park and did 1 mile in 8:29.  I should have tried to do another fast one, but at this point I'm worried about the possibility of injury after so many days straight of running.  I've got a whole month ahead to improve my times.

Friday, June 6: Of all the days, THIS was the day I had multiple excuses not to run.  Tim and Annie had already left, and I was there with Delaney and Timmy.  While Delaney was in her last day of school from 8 to 12, I was getting my pre-vacation pedicure.  It needed several hours of being careful and wearing flipflops so I could be sure the polish was set.  Once I picked up Delaney from school, we immediately started driving to Beaufort to meet up with Tim and Annie at the hotel on the air station.  The trip took us all of six hours even though we stopped only once.  Then I unloaded the car while Tim went out to get us dinner from Moe's.  He was gone for a long while and we ended up having dinner at around 7.  I had one of those big old burritos, and more chips and salsa than I should have.  I was so hungry, and it was so nice to have a full belly.

After dinner Tim was in and out of the room multiple times for reasons I can't remember, and at one point he took Annie with him to go somewhere or do something.  He left the hotel door propped open by the deadbolt.  Maybe he was bringing in more bags or getting a cup of coffee -- even he can't remember for sure.  When they came back, Delaney rushed to the door to open it for them, but before she could, Annie kicked it in.  (To Annie, doors in new places are like conquests, especially when she knows her brother or sister wants to open it first.)  Next thing I knew, Delaney stumbled away from the door howling in pain.  I ran over to her, and when I saw her toe I wanted to cry myself.  In fact I couldn't even hold back the tears because that had to hurt like hell.  The big heavy door had torn a layer of flesh off the side of her big toe, and it was raw and bloody.  Thank God Tim was calm and collected enough to assess it and know that it just needed to be cleaned and bandaged.  I just kept looking at the dangling flap of skin and the blood and raw looking tissue, and I was worried it needed professional attention.  There was an ugly bruise too.  He got our first aid stuff out of the car.  We were missing peroxide and some kind of infection-preventing ointment or spray (our Neosporin had disappeared, it seems), so he went out and got those really quick.  I just tried to comfort Delaney, and I gave her a dose of ibuprofen and a mint so that maybe the sweetness would distract her.
We had her ice the toe and let the wound air out for awhile before bandaging. 
When he got back I felt like I should stick around for when he cleaned it because she was so scared.  But Tim said, "Go do your run.  We don't need you here."  I hesitated, but when Delaney didn't say she wanted me to stay, I put on my shorts and running shoes, grabbed my phone and headed out.  Once I got outside and started to run, I saw lightning flashes and heard thunder rumbling.  I decided it wasn't safe and headed back in.  I was sure I was off the hook now but Tim said, "It's just heat lightning."  Then he said I could go to the gym down the street if I was worried about lightning.  "But it's quarter after 9," I protested.  Maybe there was a day back when I was in college that I might have walked into a gym after 9 p.m., but that day is past.  And this was a Marine base that is unfamiliar to me, full of unfamiliar Marines who will all look up and be like, why is this mom here?  Then Tim got that look on his face that I dread, the look that says if you break the streak, you are a quitter and a disgrace.  In the face of that I had no choice.  Back out I went.  It turned out that the lightning was no concern at all compared to the way people were driving on that base.  Clearly, speed limits are not enforced at this installation because someone went flying by me going at least 45 in a 25.  At least the lightning helped light up the way for me so I could see the breaks in the sidewalk because I didn't dare run on the road.  One lousy mile, and it took me almost 10 minutes.

Saturday, June 7: Florida day, yay! I woke up wanting nothing more than coffee and peace and quiet like always, but of course that was not to be had.  The car needed to be packed, and the coffee in the continental breakfast room tasted like it had been filtered through a dirty sock.  I wanted to go find a Starbucks, but Tim said I had to go running first and then we'd get a good cup of coffee.  With that carrot dangling in front of me, I headed out into the damp morning air for a mile run.  It ended up being a mile and a half, just because I didn't really know where to go.  I sweated like crazy -- the humidity was just unbelievable.  I was grateful later on, after the three-and-a-half hour drive, the unpacking and grocery shopping, that I could relax and spend time with family instead of worrying about fitting in a run.

Sunday, June 8: First full day in St. Augustine.  Mom stayed with the kids while we ran 1.66 miles at an 8:12 pace.  After that I did a couple sets of push-ups and a plank for about a minute.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Run Streak Week 1

Monday, May 26: 12-minute long run in and around the (old) neighborhood.
Tuesday, May 27: I ran circles for 10 minutes around the park next to our hotel while the kids were on the swings.  Tim had a softball game.  Dark clouds rolled in and I could hear thunder, but I was like, I can do it!  Again, I am just assuming it was a mile.
Wednesday, May 28: I did two miles on the hotel treadmill.  The first mile was a quick pace (or just FEELS quick on the treadmill), about 8 miles an hour.  The second was pretty slow, but I don't remember the pace.  After that I did four sets of 10 push-ups.
Thursday, May 29: I could only manage 10 minutes of running in place in the hotel room. Tim was at the house all evening while the movers finished loading our stuff.  It was a stressful and tiring day and I snapped at Tim when he dared to suggest that running in place might not count.
Friday, May 30: I finally used MapMyRun!  3.06 mile run around downtown, completed in 25:30, averaging 8:20 min/mile.  Just a leisurely run.
Saturday, May 31: I set out to run a fast mile at the park with MapMyRun, but I forgot my phone was on silent and I listened in vain for the voice to tell me I'd completed a mile (Where are you, Voice?  Did you foget about me?).  I ended up doing 1.33 miles in 9:18.  The mile was completed in 6:52.  Afterward I did 4 sets of 10 push-ups.
Sunday, June 1: MapMyRun malfunctioned and I do not know how far or how fast I went, but it was another leisurely run for a few miles around downtown.  Tim said MapMyRun has been doing that to him too, and he has to keep turning it back on.  I'm guessing around 3 miles at about an 8:30 pace.  Afterward I did a few sets of squats and lunges, and a few of my favorite stretches from Piyo.

Tim did not end up bringing his pull-up bar after all.  He's been getting up early to do his runs, and he's been doing his pull-ups at the gym.  I look forward to doing some runs together while we're in Florida.

As far as making good choices in the restaurants .. that's working well some of the time.  We had dinner at Five Guys the other night and all they have are burgers and fries, so what can you do?  At a couple of other places, I've chosen sweet potato fries over regular fries.  Does that count for anything?  Because when I'm starving -- and I am because we don't buy breakfast and lunch out, just eat the snacks in our room -- I can't pick veggies over fries.  I just can't.  But I know I should.