Thursday, December 25, 2008

Best Present Ever!

Happy Holidays to everyone, especially to my Team Voice friends. It has been such a wonderful blessing to have spent the year with all of you, mostly virtually!

Your encouragement, your friendship, your comedy, your craziness, your imagination, your ups, your downs and your inspiration has been a wonderful part of my life this year. I can't wait to see you all in a few weeks.

Honestly, at this point, the race is pretty secondary to what I've experienced this year. Sticking with this training commitment has been a monumental accomplishment in my life, and has proven to me that I really can stick with something and finish it. And of course, I really -- really -- never could have gotten through this on my own.

YOU have been the best present I've ever received since my Barbie dollhouse when I was eight, and I THANK YOU with all my heart!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Team Voice Kim-municators

Just like Kim Possible, Team Voice will need to keep in touch with each other on race weekend!

We've got a hotel list posted on the Team Voice forums -- if you're not included there, post a message or send me an email (debwdw@gmail.com) and I'll add you to the list.

If you would like to share your cell phone number with other Team Voice members, send it to me in an email. I'll compile all the numbers that I receive, and then will send you back a master list to put in your phone for race weekend.

I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say don't be afraid to call around and see who is where and what they are doing. We'll all be honest if we are tied up with family or trying to rest -- but there may be times when we can hang out in the parks or hang out at a resort! So call!!

Now I haven't done the Kim Possible adventure yet in Epcot -- no time at MouseFest -- and I know the Kimmunicators are not really phones -- hey, sometimes you have to stretch in a blog!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow, Snow, Snow

Going to get several rounds of snow this week. My cat Chatter is NOT a happy camper.

I think I mentioned in my blog a few days ago that I got a really strained right knee on the very last tenth of a mile in my long run at WDW. I have no idea why -- I didn't trip or stumble along the way. I was wearing my old shoes, not my new ones, since it looked like rain. I suppose that might have been it, but I had no problems until mile 9.9.

It is getting better gradually. I'm icing it a lot and trying to take elevators instead of stairs whenever possible. But it's put a real damper on my training. How in the world do I get cardio without bending my knee?!!

It will be very interesting at the gym tonight!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

More Mousing

What day is it? One thing about a Disney trip, it's easy to forget what day it is -- unless you have ADRs somewhere that you need to get to!

Okay, I've looked at my schedule and it appears to be Saturday. Yesterday I met the gang from the "Be Our Guest" podcast at AK's Flame Tree BBQ. They are such fun people! And we ate our food down by the water behind FT. I had never walked all the way down the paths to lower eating area, and it is really nice down there.

While we were eating and talking, one of those big white cranes walked up to our table and was eyeing my MF friend Courtney's food -- it was a little scary! The bird's head easily came up over the table, and we had a feeling it probably had pretty fast reflexes -- but luckily it finally meandered away.

I also went to Fred Block's Muppet Meets. It was a pretty big crowd, and Fred is great, and I met several people there I really enjoyed talking to. And I never get tired of seeing the Muppets!

After that was Podfest, with about 30 podcast hosts all in one place -- the Backlot Express -- and probably 70 listeners. Lots of mingling and hugging -- and recording! I met Earl and the Bleepin' Wife, and Greg and Chris from the Travelears, and Lou from Beyond Main Street.

I actually "stalked" Lou via Twitter for two days, trying to track him down to meet him. His love for his family and Disney really comes out in his podcasts, so I wanted to thank him. When I got to the Studios he was in the GMR, but by the time I got out of Mermaid, he was leaving the park!! Oh no!! But luckily he did come back for Podfest, and I did get to meet him.

At Podfest was the first time I saw Bryan -- he and Amy had arrived on Thursday night. When Podfest was over, I walked with him over to RNRC with Chuck & Leigh. They got fast passes and then we meandered back over towards Toy Story, and met up with Mikey the Errand Boy and Lauren the Errand Girl. We all just hung out chatting and clogging up the path in front of TSM, until we moved over to the bar near the Backlot Tour.

When we started moving again, I decided to pop into One Man's Dream -- always got to have a dose of Walt and history when the opportunity arises -- and then I walked back home in the freezing cold to the Boardwalk.

It is COLD here -- everyone is bundled up most of the time. The warm weather should come back on Monday, right after I leave town!!

On the training front, I took yesterday off, after my 10-mile run the day before. But this morning I went down to the gym and did a little elliptical and some weights. My right knee is still sore from my big run -- I need to remember to bring my knee brace with me in January to wear after the race.

Food-wise, I'm not doing too bad. I am eating more goodies than I do in real life, but trying to get in some green salads whenever possible.

More tomorrow!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mouse Fest

Thursday, 6:30 a.m.
---------------------

I arrived at WDW Wednesday night, tossed my stuff in my room at Boardwalk, and walked over to EC at 9:10 to experience just a little of that special oxygen we get at the parks!

I walked thru UK, popped into the Canada store (I miss the Roots merch), and kept going to Norway. Rode Maelstrom, but they were done showing the movie for the night! And I love the movie! Quick spritz of the Laila perfume and on to the rest of the loop.

I'm not a huge Illuminations fan, so I mostly people-watched and enjoyed the music -- I do love the Illum music.

By the time I was heading out of the International Gateway, I realized that in the past, that loop would have tired me out -- I would have at least had some leg fatigue. But this time, nothing! Just a good quick walk around the loop after a day of working and traveling. What do you know, this exercise thing really pays off!

Now it's Thursday morning, 6:30 a.m. I'm up and eating and drinking, in preparation for a 10-mile run. It will be my first long run since late September, and my last one before the RACE. It was weird last night getting all my stuff out, setting the alarm, getting my food ready. I kept visualizing RACE eve, which was cool and scary at the same time!

The 10 miles will be hard, and I will want to quit. But I am determined to keep going. This will be a good test for me.

I'll have to run from BW to the Studios, then back by Yacht & Beach, over to the EC ticket booths and back to BW -- and that will only take care of 3 miles! And then I'll have to do that two more times!

Okay, time to get ready. I'll be back with you in a few hours.


4:30 p.m.
----------------
Okay, it's been more than a few hours! The run was pretty good. It was gray and overcast here at 7 a.m., so I decided to wear my old shoes, but they worked out fine. On my way to the Studios, I ran a few laps around the tennis courts, and then a few laps around the entrance plaza there. But I really covered some miles by running deep into Swan and Dolphin, and then into Yacht & Beach. Eventually made it to the Epcot entrance and then back to Boardwalk and over to Studios one more time. At mile 9 on the way to the Studios the rain started, so I was glad I was not on the slippery Boardwalk at that point. At mile 9.88 on the way back, my right knee had some fairly serious pain for the first time ever, but I really didn't want to stop until 10. So I tried to adjust my gait a little and slowed down to a fast walk to get to 10.

But I did it! Mentally, it was not as tough to keep going as it was in September, so that's good. And physically I was stopping at 8 in September, and then alternating between walking and jogging -- and now I've made it to 10 before changing to walking. So I think I'm ready!

I liked running with it being overcast instead of really sunny. I wouldn't mind these conditions in January -- without the rain!

Back to the Magic Kingdom tonight. And more about MouseFest tomorrow.
Sorry most of my buddies aren't here with me, but you will be here in just a few weeks!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's Time

Okay, we're getting down to the wire, and that means it's time ...

It's time to pay attention to how we're feeling physically, and make good training decisions every day. Wonky knees, give them a rest, work out the abs. Sore ankles, change to the bike.

It's time to wash our hands, avoid the mall and inch away from sick people.

It's time to get in a reasonable amount of sleep, so we can stay well.

It's time to visit the thrift store and buy some sweats, hats and gloves that we can wear and throw away.

It's time to say NO to cookies and pop and chips as much as we can, to lose a few more pounds before we have to lug them through 13 miles.

It's time to make sure our new shoes are broken in enough.

It's time to plan what we are going to eat the night before and the morning of.

It's time to plan how the heck we're going to mentally keep going at miles 10, 11 and 12!

And it's time to go post on the TV forums!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

One Good Day

I had a good workout yesterday -- three miles on the dreadmill at a 12-minute mile pace. Man, is the dreadmill a test of my mental fortitude!!

I was pretending each lap was really a mile, and imagining how I would feel on the course, and practiced talking myself into keep going when I wanted to quit!

Hope you had a good day -- let's really take advantage of EVERY DAY in December to give it our all by eating well and working out as much as possible.

Go to the Team Voice forums today and check in -- let's get some talk going!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Let's Head Back!

We've had such a great blog circle going on all year, but I think it's time to head back to the AATM forums!

It really is a great place for us to keep track of what's going on -- like we did early in the year when we were all just starting our training. Remember how we would post our ups and downs and training accomplishments, and we'd get such great feedback (or kicks in the butts)?!

Let's do that again!

Go to the Team Voice forums today, and let's get back in touch! See you there!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Two Thanksgivings Ago

Two years ago (I think), me, my husband, my sister and my three nieces spent Thanksgiving week at WDW. I was pretty worried about the week -- we never had gone at peak times. But it turned out great!

It's true that during peak times, the parks are open longer -- especially at night -- so we were able to tour just fine. I love late nights at MK!

Anyway, we had purposely not booked an ADR for a traditional Thanksgiving meal on Thursday. My nieces were not big on holiday food -- one of them likes ham, one of them only eats noodles, and the other one loves sweet potatoes. But that's it -- they want nothing to do with turkey or green beans. So it would not have been a good use of our money to pay for the special meals.

So we spent that Thursday doing normal Disney stuff -- rides, rides, snacking, and tons of walking. I can't remember where we were that day, but we had a good time.

Anyway, we left a park around 8 p.m. (we might have been at AK) and realized we were hungry. We decided to drive thru that McDonald's on property. Our mouths were watering as we drove up to the drive-thru, only to discover that they had closed 15 minutes before we got there!!

So now what? No one will admit to this suggestion, but for some reason we decided to go to the Coronado food court. That's the one where there are lots of separate stations -- kind of like Sunshine Seasons at The Land. You go around and get what you want and they give you a ticket that they keep adding your purchases onto, and then you pay one time on your way out. It's a little bit strange.

It was pretty empty when we got there -- what a surprise that it wasn't popular for Thanksgiving Day dinner!

Now two of my nieces went for food totally unrelated to Thanksgiving -- pizza and tacos. Me and my sister went for flavor, although I can't remember what we got. My other niece spotted ham and went for it -- the server ended up giving her extra for free, so he could empty his pan.

And then there was my husband, who was still grousing because he missed having a "real" Thanksgiving meal, and therefore went for -- yes, you guessed it -- turkey and dressing! But, yes, you guessed it, he really, really, really regretted it. Note to self: Never order turkey and dressing at the end of the night at any food court anywhere in the world!!

But, as most crazy Disney experiences turn out, to this day, we still talk about that "special" Thanksgiving meal!

Hope everyone has a restful, happy Thanksgiving with friends and family!

Monday, November 24, 2008

12 Minutes, Baby!

I accomplished something on Saturday that I don't think I've ever done before in my life -- I ran a 12-minute mile!!

It was very exciting for me, one of those little milestones we all have in our heads. Now, it was just one mile, and I don't have any plans to keep it up for 13! I still need to pace myself to survive the race -- but it was cool to do it this week.

Hope you all reach a fun milestone this month!

Friday, November 21, 2008

So So Week

Unfortunately I've had a so-so week of exercise, and not a good week on Weight Watchers. But I've improved in the last few days, and am focused today on making it a good day with both food and exercise.

Now that we're getting closer to THE RACE, a so-so day or week feels like a lost opportunity! But sometimes that's just the way it goes.

In a few weeks, I am lucky enough to be going to MouseFest again this year. I've been working on my schedule -- boy, is it tough trying to make exercise/running a priority amongst all the meets!!

Most days I'm planning on 7 a.m. runs -- luckily I only have one late night scheduled, the AATM Jellyrolls meet. But I've got to squeeze in some weight training at the gym too -- that's going to be all over the place, time-wise.

I'm actually thinking about wearing one of those surgical masks on the plane! I'm starting to get paranoid about not getting sick between now and THE RACE.

Happy Friday everyone!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

What A Year!

One year ago, I was listening to podcasts and living a normal life. I had finally become addicted to the gym and had slimmed down and toned up, and was pretty happy with how things were going. I was an early AATM listener, and had emailed Bryan and Jonathan a few times, and I had started to read a few blogs, especially those from other Mouseketeers.

And then a few weeks later, an unexpected work trip to Tampa got me close enough to WDW at the right time, and I was able to experience my first MouseFest. And then my life changed!

To start with, I was amazed that I could walk up to a group of strangers and almost instantly fit in. Secondly, I was amazed at how quickly long-distance friendships could be developed.

But the most important thing that happened at MouseFest was that Rae and Kate and Jonathan (and probably a few others) talked me into training for the 2008 Half Marathon!

And now, here I am a year later. I have 10-12 new Disney Internet friends whom I love to bits! And I have turned into a quasi-runner, and reached 13 miles once so far! And as I mentioned last time, have finally moved off a weight plateau.

But more importantly than the running and weight, I've learned that I can actually stick to something longer than a week, and I can reach a goal -- especially when I have friends to support me like Team Voice has this year!

So thank you all for a wonderful year!! You've made this birthday one of my best ever!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Winter!

Well it has snowed here in Michigan, and I am wearing my wool coat, so it's officially winter up here! It was only about an inch, but it took me 3 hours to get to work instead of the normal 1 hour! The first snow always confuses both drivers and the goverment officials who decide to send the salt trucks out -- hence the 3 hour drive!

Winter means back into the gym for my weekly long runs -- which as you all know is not that fun on a treadmill. But now I'm working on speed more than miles to build up my cardio more, so it will be time well spent.

I did 4 miles this past Saturday and only had minor moments of boredom, since one of my gym buddies was beside me. (I know 4 miles is not long, but I have to build back up my mental stamina to put up with the boredom! This coming Saturday will be 4.5 miles, then I'll keep adding til the end of the year.)

I'm also running during the week now, instead of just cross-training. My legs and knees are strong enough now to handle multiple days of running, so that will help my miles.

I think I mentioned Weight Watchers a few posts ago. I had my third weigh-in this week, and I really thought it would be a week of +/- a pound -- no big loss. But lo and behold, I was down another 2 pounds.

Considering I've been on a weight plateau for about 7 months, despite all the workouts and running, it has been wonderful to lose weight again!! In three weeks, I've lost 9 pounds! That's "Rae numbers"!!!!!

Hope everyone else is doing well, moving forward, and focused! Let's do this!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Trio Of Gems

Here's a heads up on three gems -- one old, and two new!

There's a podcast named Motivation To Move that I highly recommend. It's a great combo of tips (exercise and eating), as well as some really good perspectives on the mental part of what we are all dealing with. Check it out if you are interested in a fitness podcast.

Now, the new. The Henson.com podcast has a wonderful short video that is Halloweenish, is filmed on the Henson lot (Charlie Chaplin's old studio, if I remember correctly) and a Muppet! Very enjoyable!

And lastly, a short Disney podcast that I am really enjoying right now is Communicore Online. It runs about 10-15 minutes, is very funny and very well done. Paul Barrie recently ran a promo on his show, which made me check it out. It's high on my list now.

That's it for today!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Little Less Crazy

Tuesday was a chilly morning in Orlando, so we bundled up and headed over to AK. Did the safari first, and saw hippos, black and white rhinos. Our truck had to stop for a giraffe to cross the road! We also saw one of the baby giraffes, and the baby elephant. I even saw an ostrich for the first time in a long time.

But the best was both cheetahs, each sitting up on a boulder in the sun, pretty close to the road! They just sat there, majestic and beautiful in the sun! We've seen them before, but always up in the trees way back in their area. It was an amazing sight!

(We also had a great driver. I need to write a letter about her and our France waiter.)

Then on to Everest for some fast passes. Then we headed to Rafiki's Planet Watch (or Conservation Station, as we still call it.) We haven't been up there for awhile, so it was nice to visit again. I got a picture with Pochahantas, who was hanging out up there with Rafiki. Also some great little reptiles and amphibians in various exhibits. Then we popped outside (still chilly) to see what was in the Affection Section. Lots of goats and two miniature donkeys that were doing all they could to convince their keepers that they wanted to get back inside their stalls! But back to the goats. There were a few kids who were sitting down on the ground, with goats' heads in their laps taking naps!

A little handwashing and a short train ride, and then we headed to the tiger trail. I never get tired of looking at those big cats!

And then on to the bird show, which I insisted Dwain see for the first time. It really is a great, great show. Some humor, and some eco-inspiration. See it next time you're there!

After that, it was time for Everest -- which was almost too much for me! Don't ask me about the Yeti, because my eyes were closed pretty much starting at the backwards section, and until we got close to the end! Wow!

We were planning to head to the Rainforest bar to eat lunch, but decided to check Yak & Yeti since we were walking by. Lo and behold we walked right in at 12:30 with no ADR. Food was good, building was amazing!

A little shopping on our way out of AK, then back to the hotel to rest, do a little packing and get ready for dinner -- and the Mouse Guest Experience/ AATM Giraffe Hunt meet.

After dinner, we bundled up again and headed to the AK Lodge. We had a great turnout, maybe about 20 or so. We chatted for awhile in the lobby and then headed downstairs. Don't tell Jonathan, but the only thing on the savannah was one hooved animal laying down and some birds! I think Bryan's going to put some of the recording up on the podcast.

Then up to the warmth of the bar, and some more chatting and hanging out. If you weren't there for this, rest assured you'll get to enjoy the company in January when we all meet for the race!

All that was left was some late night packing and early morning packing for me, and I headed off on Magical Express to come back to Michigan -- where the temp is only a little colder than Florida was!

Dwain is continuing his vacation solo for another two days. He'll hit Rock N Roller and Thunder Mtn again -- and who knows what else!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Crazy Disney

Hi everyone! Although it's a short trip for me, and I did not intend to cram a lot in while I was here, it's been a little crazy -- like all Disney trips can be!

I arrived on Sunday afternoon, took Magical Express to the Boardwalk, dumped my stuff and walked over to the Studios to meet my husband Dwain.

We had a nice, enjoyable stroll around DHS, rode Star Tours and watched the Muppets. We also kept looping by Toy Story Mania to check the wait time - generally around 90-120 minutes. He did not want to stand in line for that long. But I finally convinced him later in the evening -- and he loved it of course!!

On Monday, we popped over to Epcot and ate and drank around the Food and Wine Festival with the Mouse Guest gang. It was a nice leisurely stroll on a sunny day. Bryan, Dustin and Marissa were there to represent the Mouseketeers. (And aside from the Mango Mousse, it didn't kill my Weight Watchers points for the day!)

Dwain and I had an early dinner at France, and had a wonderful waiter who I chatted with using my high school French! He was great -- I'm going to write a letter about him to WDW! It's one of my husband's favorite Disney restaurants, and we denoted it as his official birthday dinner -- without the hoopla -- he hates hoopla -- I love hoopla! His birthday is October 31, yes, Halloween.

After that, we hopped the monorail over to MK which was going to be open until 11. We met Rae, her husband Eric, their friends from England and Bryan. We all rode Space Mtn first, then the England crew headed back to the hotel. The five us continued a leisurely, Florida night stroll around MK. After Space, we stopped at Mrs. Potts for my traditional choc/van swirl cone. Then on to Haunted, Thunder and Pirates. We wanted to do Jungle Cruise also, but it was closed.

Then we headed to the Partners statue -- another tradition of mine -- I always have to say thank-you and goodbye to Walt and Mickey on my last MK night. We also lucked out and saw the goodnight kiss from the castle, which I had never seen before.

And then we headed down Main Street to our buses -- standing room only, of course -- and back to the hotel to collapse!

I work out, I run -- how can my legs be so tired and achey after a Disney day?!!!!??

Friday, October 24, 2008

Weigh In Tomorrow

So I've just about finished my first week on Weight Watchers, and it was easier than I thought. Considering I'm someone who isn't really good at following a diet, I've found that I've been able to make pretty good decisions all week. I've turned down some snacks that I never thought I would be able to ignore! So I'm hoping to see a weight loss on Saturday when I weigh in!

On Sunday, I am off to Disney World for a few days! My husband will be there all week -- he hasn't been back in more than a year, so he's really looking forward to a wonderful week. He hasn't seen the new Haunted Mansion, new Spaceship Earth, and Toy Story Mania! And neither of us has seen Stormstruck or the garbage truck exhibit in Innoventions.

I'm there for just a few days, due to work and the needs of our 19-year old cat Sasha, and her stepcatbrother/mortal enemy Chatter! I will get to go to one or two Mouse Guest Experience meets, and the AATM Giraffe Hunt -- I know, I know, I'm a lucky girl!

This will be my husband's first experience with an Internet community meet -- and he's a little leary! I think until you experience the friendliness and comraderie at a meet, it's hard to believe that you could have such a good time with total strangers! And then very quickly, you are thinking of everyone as new friends!

It is such a cool experience -- I am looking forward to watching him experience it for the first time. I'll let you know how he reacts!

I'll post some trip reports every day, and will also try and keep my Twitter updates going up.
(If you are not using Twitter, check it out. It's really easy and pretty fun. I'm DebWDW over there, if you try it out.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Day Five

Despite all this working out at the gym and long runs on the weekend, I have been stuck on a weight plateau for months and months and months.

Although I have drastically improved the quality of the food I eat over the past year, I knew I was eating too much good stuff, plus some junk on top of that. But I couldn't stop eating!

And no, I wasn't hungry because of the working out. I was just eating out of habit and some strange mental urge that I can't explain.

So, on Saturday I went to a Weight Watchers meeting. I've always thought of it as a good program since they emphasize nutrition, exercise and portion-control.

But all last week, as I was planning to start the program, I kept thinking "This is the last cookie I'll have for awhile," and the "last dessert" and the last plate of peanut butter crackers and the last hunk of sourdough bread.

But I'm on Day Five now, and it's not that bad!!

So far, the program is doing what I hoped it would -- it's making me pay attention and it's reduced the amount of food I'm eating.

I've already seen the scale move down a little, so I think I'm on the right track!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Last Sunday of The Summer

Well, I think our extended Michigan summer is about to run out. It was sunny and nice today, but colder than last weekend. When I headed to the park for my Elevator Tower of Corn run, I wore workout pants over my running shorts, and a long-sleeved tee over my running shirt. I fully expected to take them both off, once the afternoon sun kicked in.

But, although it was sunny, there was a brisk wind coming off the lake. I was fine in my layers until the last two miles. Then I needed more layers!!

I planned to try and do my second 13-mile run today -- did the first one a few weeks ago. I felt pretty good the first five miles. Miles 6, 7 and 8 were tougher, but I made it. For miles 9 and 10 there was more walking than running. And then I did walk the last two miles. I really, really wanted to squeeze out that last mile to hit 13, but I was getting chilled since I was only walking. So I headed home. And hit the couch for a nap.

I feel good about the effort, and am glad we have 80+ days left for more training.

Let's all keep on moving forward!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Time To Go Back

So I randomly opened my Disney reference book to the food section, and landed in Epcot. This time it is the UK's Rose & Crown, and Mexico's San Angel Inn.

My husband and I have have been on a mission to eat at all the WDW table-service restaurants, and we only have about 10 to go. So, since we've been working on this goal for several years, it has been awhile since we've been to these two spots.

First, the R&C. I was afraid to go in here -- you know, bangers and mash, kidney pie. But we did, and I think I was able to order something fairly uneventful! I do remember liking the surroundings and feel of the place, but actually don't remember the food.

We've eaten in Mexico several times. Obviously it's a cool environment, being in the low light and on the water of the boat ride. But I remember the tables being pretty jammed together. And the food seemed to be pretty authentic, rather than Americanized. And since I am not a very adventurous eater, once again, nothing stands out as something I loved.

Needless to say -- I really should go back to these two -- but it will have to be after we finish all the others that are still on our list!

I bet you are wondering which ones are still on the list. Here they are:

(1) Norway
(2) Germany
(3) Yak & Yeti
(4) Cap'N Jack's (Downtown Disney)
(5) T-Rex
(6) Wolfgang Puck
(7) Shutters - Caribbean Beach
(8) The Wave - Contemporary
(9) Trail's End -- I feel like I've eaten here, but have no proof!
(10) Maya Grill - Coronado Springs
(11) Victoria & Albert's -- Yes, that will be the last one -- Our reward!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Late To The Party

I have gotten so hooked on Twitter. Okay, I know everyone else got hooked long ago, Twittered away, and some have appeared to move on to Plurk.

But I just recently took the time to spend some time using it -- and now I see what all the hubbub was about!

It's very cool to get little Twitters about what Disney fans are thinking and doing throughout the day. It's sort of like mini-blogging.

Boy, what's next for me? An iPhone? DisFriends? FaceBook?

P.S. My Twitter name is DebWDW, if you want to follow me!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

West End Boo Boo

So I opened one of my Disney travel guides to a random page to blog about, and lo and behold I landed on the Pleasure Island and West Side pages! Really, it was totally random.

When PI first opened there was a restaurant there named the Fireworks Factory, down on the east end. I think it was pretty good -- and the decor was sort of like eating in the Muppets attraction -- red brick and holes in the walls from fireworks explosions.

I also remember the country music club, Wild Horse something or another? I have a beer cup from there. It was cool and popular for awhile, especially when line dancing was popular.

Now, on to the West Side. I'll tell you an embarrassing story about Bongos, Gloria Estefan's cuban restaurant. We had eaten there, and were walking outside, and there were some little kiosks/booths there that were selling trinkets that I started looking at.

Well, there was a cuban-looking guy in a white suit with a white panama hat also hanging out there. Thinking he was "streetmosphere," I said a few things to him and might have tossed out the name Ricky Ricardo. Unfortunately, he did not react like streetmosphere, and I quickly realized my mistake! He WASN'T streetmosphere!!!!

Clearly West Side was not quite as "Disney-fied" as the Studios!

Also at West Side is DisneyQuest, which I really like. We don't do it every trip, but it can be a fun place to spend a few hours. Does anyone remember that when it first opened, there was a tunnel slide that ran from the top floor down to the bottom, with maybe one stop in the middle? I was never brave enough to try it before they took it out -- it was way too dark and hard to know how fast you would end up going.

I also liked the remote control jeeps on the bottom floor. The glass floor is still there, but the jeeps all eventually wore out -- they just removed them instead of putting money back into them.

Also on the West Side is Cirque du Soleil. Love it! Love it! Love it! If you ever get a chance to see it, do. It's a beautiful, artistic, imaginative show -- well worth the time and money.

That's it for my thoughts on pages 186 and 187!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Two Gems

I listened to the latest Mouse Station podcast this morning. Mark, Mike and Andrew shared their memories and feelings about the Adventurers Club. Mark also had some interviews with some of the cast members from the Club.

I think they did a great job of explaining why the Club has so many fans. One thing that struck a chord with me, was that it's a place where you can freely join in and quickly pick up on what all the regulars know -- the inside jokes, the lingo, the songs. It seems like we all have a desire to fit in and be part of a group -- and you can do that at the AC.

I feel the same way about being a Mouseketeer and a Team Voicer -- I feel like I fit in with a group, a group of people who accept me and support me!

This afternoon, I'm listening to Those Darn Cats, the new episode where Lisa was in Marcelline for Toonfest. She has a lot of great audio -- she takes us along on tours and meals and drives and events. It's really neat! And as a bonus, we get to hear our very own Jeff W, who was also there that weekend!

Take a listen!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Magic Number

We're still experiencing late summer here in Michigan, which is very, very unusual. We've been known to get a few snowflakes in October!

The unusually good weather has been a blessing for my training this summer. I didn't have a single weekend that was a rainout this year. Amazing!

Last week I got back into my routine at the gym, after two weeks of NO exercise (and too much carb-binging) due to the cold/cough that seems to be going around. Last Sunday I ran 2 miles for the Apple Run, just to get back into the swing of things.

But I had my sights set on 10 miles today, and then the full 13.6 next weekend, before the weather changes.

I felt good today (although there more than the normal amount of nose-blowing). So the more I ran, the more I started thinking about just getting the 13.6 out of the way today, instead of counting on good weather next weekend. I really, really wanted to finish up my outdoor training by hitting the Magic Number, before heading back indoors to the dreadmill.

SO I DID IT!! 13.6 miles today! A half marathon!!

It wasn't easy. There was a lot of alternating walking and running the last three miles. But I was going to do it no matter how long it took. But it definitely wasn't easy.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I finished in 3 hrs, 23 minutes -- which gives me a 7-minute cushion from getting swept in January. Hopefully with more cardio training the rest of the year, I'll be able to shave off a few more minutes of time.

But my goal is JUST TO FINISH! And now, I believe I can do it, as long as I am well, and eat right, and get enough sleep the night before ... oh, you know all those IFs!

Jeff W -- I want the BIG MEDAL!! YAY!!!!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thanks Earl!

I've been listening to the Trapped On Vacation podcasts this week. Earl is going to the Adventurer's Club every night until it closes, and putting up some audio from each night.

He's really capturing the magic and the mayhem of the place, and you can hear in the characters' voices that they are getting close to the end. There's been some special moments, like when the doorman came up on stage and received his 20-year pin from Disney, a week early so he could get it while AC was still open. And when one of the Hathaway Browns was performing for the last time.

We're so lucky now that we live in the world of podcasting -- we can "experience" the end of attractions or shows even if we can't get to the World.

Thank you Earl!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Apples & Colds

Between weddings and Toonfest and back-to-school and that awful cold virus that's going around, we only had a few hardy souls who managed to complete the Michigan Apple Fun Run! Congrats to Jeff W (9.37 miles), Craig (9.32), Kristin (7.44) and Chris (6.21) for making it to the finish!

After two weeks of coughing and being sickly, I did go out for the first time on Sunday and managed to run 2.2 miles. It actually sounds pretty bad, but I had an easier time than I thought I would after not training for so long.

So this week it's back to the gym, and hopefully back up in the double-digit miles by the weekend.

I'm going to try my Michigan Apple Fun Run this coming weekend, Sept 27, so if anyone else is free and feeling better, join me!

We are having great weather here in Michigan, but winter could set it in any time now. We usually get about a week and a half of fall, and then bam, the cold winter winds blow through.

I'm trying to enjoy what little outdoor running time I have left, before I have to head back indoors to the dreadmill. Unlike Jeff W, you will not see pics of me running with icicles dripping from my face. I'm not Tundra-tough!!




Thursday, September 18, 2008

Michigan Apple Run This Weekend!


Just a reminder that the Michigan Apple Run is this weekend! Try and do a 10K or a 15K, or whatever a new milestone marker is for you in your training.


Jeff W will be in Marceline, so he's running Friday. Jonathan is sick with the flu, and I am just getting over a cough and cold, so no telling what we'll end up doing. I also have a family wedding in Cleveland, so my run will probably be on Sunday.


Hope you have good weather and a good time at the race!


Friday, September 12, 2008

Country Bears

I'm sorry, but I have zero interest in the Country Bears attraction. I think I've seen it twice, but I don't see the appeal. It's just a little too corny for me, even though I'm from North Carolina!

I can understand what a big deal the technology was when it was created, and I understand the historical nature of it -- but there's just nothing about it that draws me in.

Carousel of Progress is similar in terms of technology and history, and I do go see that one occasionally. I guess there I like the song, and I do like seeing old history.

But those bears ... I just can't bear it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Apple Run Update


Here's an updated list of participants in the Michigan Apple Fun Run on September 20.


Be sure and join us! Pop over to http://www.allaboutthecorn.blogspot.com/ and sign up, or leave me a message here.


Go Team Voice!


Monday, September 8, 2008

Time For Another Run!


Michigan is famous for its apples, apple cider and donuts in the fall!


So, before summer ends up here and it gets too cold to run outside, let's all meet up (virtually) on Saturday, September 20 for the 1st Annual Team Voice Michigan Apple Fun Run!
It's being co-sponsored by the same folks who brought you the Corn Fun Run, our friends at http://www.allaboutthecorn.blogspot.com/.


Just mark the date on your calendars, and let either me or Jeff W at All About The Corn know that you are joining us, and pick your race -- either a 10K or a 15K. Keep in mind the 15K will be a great test to see where you are in your training for the Half or Full Marathon!
After the race, we'll all toast our success with apple cider and donuts!
And Team Voice will have one more race in October, sponsored by All About The Corn -- the Children of the Corn Elevator of Tower 13K. Keep checking Jeff W's blog for more info on that.
Hope to see you at the Michigan Apple Fun Run on September 20!




















Saturday, September 6, 2008

Another Beautiful Saturday

It's another beautiful Saturday here in Michigan. We have had an amazing summer! I think it only rained on the weekends once or twice the whole summer. And our 90+ days only lasted a week or two.

Thank goodness! I sure was able to get a ton of outdoor training in this summer. Today was a good training day. I did 11 miles! That was great, but I honestly do not know how I can manage 2 more!

But I'll just keep training and trying!

Hope all you TVers are able to get out and get some miles in this weekend!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Miss Me?

Did you miss me? I've been out of sync for the past few days. I had a terrible 8-mile stroll on Monday, sporadically poor eating for several days, and I skipped the gym last night.

I have a million and one "good reasons" -- i.e., excuses -- but I won't bore you -- or me -- I don't even want to hear them. Unfortunately, it boils down to lack of mental toughness, doesn't it?

So, today is a new day. A new day of food choices, a new opportunity at the gym and a chance to get back on track.

So I will give it my all, and I will get moving again, starting today!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Rainy Days and Thursdays

It's a little gray and rainy today, here in Michigan. But that's okay for two reasons.

One, we haven't had rain in several weeks, and the grass sure could use a good dose. We had to re-seed a patch in our front yard from grubs snacking on it last year, and we've been watering that spot for two months. It's nice and green, while the rest of the yard is all dry and brown. The Canadian geese think they are seeing a pond and have been swooping down on occasion.

Second, I really like rain. I like how it makes everything cleaner, and I love the fresh earthy smell, and I love the sound of it. I don't even mind driving in the rain. And, I don't mind Disney in the rain!

Yes, it's true that a few things shut down (parades, Test Track, Streetmosphere). But a lot of people usually decide to leave the parks when the rain comes. And that means shorter lines for those of us wearing ponchos!

I have two favorite rainy Disney moments. We were riding Splash once on a nice sunny Florida day, and we started heading up the hill for the big drop. Now I expected to see a bright blue sky up at the hole in the mountain at the top of the hill, but it seemed to be all gray and misty. So I thought the water effect had been turned up too high. When we were almost to the top, I realized one of those quick Florida showers had kicked in, and it was POURING down rain -- sheets of it -- right as we came out of the mountain and hit the drop! Needless to say, there was no time to get ponchos and nowhere to hide! We got drenched from the rain, not from the drop! And of course, five minutes later the sun came back out.

My second moment was when we caught the last Lion King puppet show in Fantasyland (remember that show, in what is now the Philharmagic theater?). We came out when it was over, and most of the park guests had cleared out. It had rained, so all of MK was glistening and sparkly because of the rain and the lights, and no one was around. It was wonderful walking slowly through the park that night!

Do you have any Disney rain stories?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Big Wimpy Ten

I completed 10 miles today! That's a BIG, BIG milestone for me!

When I started training back in January, running that first one mile was hard, and getting to three was a big accomplishment. And this summer, making it to FIVE miles was huge for me.

After that, I just kept adding .25 to my run each week -- staying out there another three or four minutes didn't seem unmanageable.

Last week I made it to 9 miles, and it was a really good run. This week, I knew I wanted to get to 10, no matter how long it took or how tired I was!

This week I didn't fuel up quite enough, and I got out a little later than normal, so after 6 miles, I did a lot of walking and running and walking. But I kept at it -- no quitting -- I had to finish 10.

On the last mile, I kept saying to myself that mile 13 was going to feel like this!! HARD!!

Anyway, I'm glad I got to the big number. I think I'll stay at 10 for a little while, until I get used to how to pace myself after mile 6 -- what combo of walking and running will work best for me.

(Now I'm off to Sears to get a replacement tire for the flat one I had yesterday.)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Flat Tire = No Training Run

It's Saturday, time for my weekly training run. I was planning on 9.5 miles today and hoping to do the BIG TEN.

So I ate my big breakfast, got all vaselined and sunscreened up, put on my two watches and iPod and gathered up my other odds and ends. (One good thing about a weekly training run is that I have gotten very comfortable with what I need to eat and how I need to prep.)

Out to the truck, put it in reverse, and OOPS. Something didn't feel right, and I was a little tilted towards one side. Yes, flat tire.

Since my truck is only a year old, the Ford Roadside Assistance plan was still in effect, so I called them, they came and put the spare on. But my optimum running time slot has passed, so I'll try again tomorrow morning!

My husband, Dwain, is in Cleveland today visiting his dad who's recovering from knee surgery. The crazy thing is, every time he leaves town, something happens. Last time he was in Vegas, our well pump stopped working and I had no water. Previous trip, the lawn tractor made a weird, not too happy sound, and bit the dust. Time before that, a huge snowstorm hit and it took me several hours to get the driveway cleared so I could get to work. And then there was the air conditioner giving out on his previous trip.

Needless to say, he's afraid to leave town anymore!! I think today when he calls, I'll say everything is fine, and then maybe will break the news to him when he's about 20 minutes from home. No need to get him all stressed out when he's 3 hours from home.

Now less has happened when I'm out of town, but he's had a few experiences. Last time I was in Florida, he lost power for two days due to summer storms - not once, but twice in the same week. That was not fun, but at least it wasn't January!

I had a touch of a headache this morning, so it's actually not a bad thing that my run will now be tomorrow. And it's one more day to pysch myself up for the BIG TEN!


Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Hurricane

This week's Florida hurricane/tropical storm brought back memories of our Disney hurricane experience. I'm terrible with names and dates, so don't ask me which one it was! I feel like it was 6-8 years ago, but I could be a little off with that info also!

Anyway, I think when we left for our trip, there were rumblings that one was heading towards Florida, but it certainly wasn't close, and since so many tropical storms don't turn into hurricanes, we were comfortable heading to WDW.

On about the third day, the weather men and ladies started covering it, and of course, got very worked up about it. We felt that since we were in the middle of the state, the impact would not be as strong as if we were on the coast taking the full brunt, so we decided to ride it out and not end our vacation early -- although a lot of guests did head home.

We also were comfortable with the sturdiness of Disney hotels. The Boardwalk was not that old, and we were sure it was probably built with standards much higher than basic hurricane standards. We also figured Disney would be able to get power back up and running pretty fast, because of its everyday operating procedures.

So the day came that it hit the Daytona area. I think there were high tides and some flooding, and some high-wind damage, but luckily no devastation occurred. Later that day (or the next day), all of the parks did close early, probably around 1 or 2:00, and all guests were transported back to their hotels. This was done for our safety, obviously, but also so CMs could get home and take care of their families and property.

We were at the Studios that day, and saw a lot of preparations going on to batten down the hatches. Trash cans, benches, chairs were taken inside. Signs were removed or tied down. And at that time there was an old car on the right side as you headed down Sunset Blvd that was a pin station. We saw them wrapping that car in Saran wrap -- tons of it -- to keep the rain out.

Once the Studios closed, we headed back to the Boardwalk. Here also, there were no benches, trash cans or chairs left outside. It was really strange seeing the pool with nothing around it! It was also strange seeing video on the local news of the airport with NO planes anywhere on any tarmacs. You don't see that very often!

Since all the restaurants on property and at the hotels were closed (so CMs could go home), Disney provided small buffet tables in the Boardwalk lobby, and for $5 you could fill up a styrofoam dinner box with whatever you wanted. Then we took it back up to the room, settled down and watched the Orlando weather people get all worked up! Disney also instructed us via a letter under the door to stay inside, keep the curtains closed and fill the bathtub with water.

Our hurricane was going to be over Orlando in the middle of the night. I think I woke up about 3 a.m., looked outside and only saw a little rain. Luckily that time, the hurricane had worn itself out and was nothing more than a heavy rainstorm by the time it got to Disney.

Later that morning we let the water out of the bathtub, and had either a letter or voice mail from Disney saying that Animal Kingdom would be open that day. It seems like it opened at noon, but many of the shows that involved CMs (Tarzan, Lion King, etc.) did not run, probably because of limited staffing. There were a lot of supervisors out that day running the park!

Needless to say, AK was packed since it was the only game in town. But it was still good to be out of the hotel room and back in the sunshine. The next day, everything opened on time, and WDW was back to normal operations.

It was neat to see Disney in action -- but if that ends up being my only hurricane experience in Floriday, that will be just fine!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Cranium Command

I was listening to the Meandering Mouse podcast today, and show #85 covered all the attractions in the Wonders of Life pavilion. I miss WOL -- it was a neat place, and one that really held so much potential. A boatload of money would have fixed that place right up!

What I really miss from the pavilion, of course, is Cranium Command. What a fun show!

I had forgotten that the drill sargeant's name was General Knowledge (get it?), and how he kept getting Buzzy's name wrong -- Scuzzy was my favorite version of his name! And the General's big threat was that he would put Buzzy in charge of piloting a chicken OR a talk show host.

And remember how many great comedians played the various body parts Buzzy was piloting? George Wendt as the stomach was a classic, but I had forgotten that Hans and Franz were the left and right ventricles of the heart (Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon from SNL)!

I'd love to see this show moved and re-opened. Can't we squeeze it in somewhere at Imagination?

If you miss it too, check out the episode.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Best Run Ever!

It's the weekend, time for my weekly long run, and this weekend it was going to 8 miles. Up, good breakfast, usual pre-run prep, and off I went.

There was no doubt in my mind today that I could finish the 8 miles, even if the last mile was in the 16-min-mile range. But that would be okay. I was looking forward to reaching the big 8!!

It was another beautiful day in Michigan, temp in the 70s, fluffy clouds in blue sky, and the park was in its usual glory, all green with the lake shimmering and the swans enjoying the day -- along with the bikers, runners, walkers and skaters.

I have to admit, I didn't feel the urge to keep my speed up like last weekend for the Corn Fest Run, but I knew it was about endurance today. Mile 4 was a little tough, but I got into an amazing rythm on mile 8, so I decided to try and go for 8.5 miles!

And then, what the heck, I was so close to 9, why not?!! And I made it!! Don't get me wrong, I was slogging that last mile, but it was good practice for what miles 12 and 13 will probably feel like for me.

My time for today was 2 hours, 8 minutes, which is a 14.22-min-mile pace. I was very happy with that -- and now I'm a little closer to the B I G T E N mile mark!!

Hope all my Team Voice friends have good runs too this weekend!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Podcast Babies

It struck me yesterday that we have four podcasts whose hosts are having babies this year!

On Mouse Guest Weekly, Eric and Cathy have a new Disney fan in production!

On the Dis Unplugged, Julie and Corey recently announced a new baby boy is coming!


On Inside The Magic, Skipper Ben (love his segments) and his wife have a little skipper on the way!

And, on Magic Never Ends, Shannon and Will will be blessed with a little one!

Wonder if any Disney-related baby names are being considered?!

Congrats to all!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Team Spirit To The Max

Another great late night of Olympics. This time, it was the men's team event in gymnastics. China and Japan were supposed to fight for the top two medals, and everyone else was going to scrap for the third medal. The U.S. was not supposed to be that good, since everyone on the team was new to the Olympics.

But what a group of good guys! You could see the determination and grit in their eyes -- their young eyes. At the last event, the bronze came down to Germany and the U.S., neck and neck. The performances of the last three athletes on each team would determine who got the medal. Our first guy was bad, our second guy decent, and then came Sasha ...

Alexander Artemev, the last of the Americans to compete, unleashed a big air-style performance on the pommel horse, the final event, to secure the medal. It was Artemev's only performance on the day -- he spent more than two hours watching the five other Americans on the other five events, then was called on to nail it down.

This being gymnastics, what Artemev did is perhaps better understood in baseball terms. He came on in the bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, and threw three 97-mph heaters - after just being called up from the minors. Not even a week ago Artemev had been an alternate, not even a starter on this U.S. Olympic gymnastics team.

After Artemev's dismount from the pommel, the American side erupted, equal measures relief and unreserved joy.


His performance was amazing and beautiful and graceful and strong. He had to have been amazingly proud of himself. And unreserved joy is a good description for the team's celebration -- they had come through as a team.

Now I wonder what tonight's magical moment will be!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Amazing Effort!

Did you see the men's relay in swimming last night?!! Wasn't that absolutely unbelievable?!! When Jason Lezak made that final turn, I thought there was no way he could catch up to the French. And then, he inched closer, but he only had half a pool left to go -- and he kicked it up a notch and the Frenchman faltered a tad! And then it still looked like France had touched first -- but no, Jason got the win by .08!!

Here's what he said:

"I'm not going to lie," Lezak said. "When I flipped at the 50 and I still saw how far ahead he was, and he was the world-record holder 'til about two minutes before that, when Sullivan led off with the world record, I thought, it really crossed my mind for a split second, there's no way.

"Then I changed. I said, you know what, that's ridiculous. This is the Olympics. I'm here for these guys. I'm here for the United States of America. It's more than -- I don't care how bad it hurts, or whatever, I'm just going to go out there and hit it. "Honestly, in like 5 seconds, I was thinking all these things -- you know, just got like a super charge and took it from there. It was unreal."

For our January race, I look forward to all of supporting each other, and gutting it out for the team. And I hope I reach the finish line with more than .08 seconds to spare!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Who Doesn't Love Corn?

I just finished my first 10K ever, and I'm so happy that it was the 1st Annual Corn Fest Fun Run (I really should learn the right name)! Thanks, Jeff, for creating such a super event for us!!

My goal was to finish with a per mile average of under 15 min-miles -- 14.99 would have been okay. I finished in 1 hr, 26 mins, which averaged out to be 13.8 min-miles. I was very happy with that, and this has been my best run in a long time!

It was definitely different than just another weekend training run. I felt pressure to do a good time. I felt pressure to not hit the wall, or if I did, gut it out. I thought about the other TVers out there running.

At times, I actually felt like a real runner! I had a good warmup, so the first mile wasn't bad. Every time I felt myself falling into my natural slow jog, I tried to pick up the pace. And every time a real runner would pass me, I would draft them -- run their pace for a minute or so to pick up some extra time! That was also good practice for improving my breathing at a faster pace.

Anyway, now I'm sitting in front of the TV, watching the Olympics with ice packs on my knees, watching for posts on All About The Corn. I also just finished a donut, and I don't feel a bit guilty about it!

The US has two finalists in the ladies medal round for fencing, so we will win all three medals in that! Also watching badminton, they do move around the court alot, but it's still a little bit weird. Also saw some ladies weightlifting, hope some of them don't fail drug tests and get to keep their medals.

Did you see the opening ceremonies last night? WOW, WOW, WOW. The technology was amazing, the segments where they and 2,008 people choreographed, and those boxes the people moved! AMAZING!!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

TGIF!

Yay, it's Friday!! I'm looking forward to the Corn Run tomorrow. It will be so cool when everyones checks in and posts their times!

This will be good practice for the real pre-race night! I'm going to do a light workout tonight, have pasta for dinner, and then am going to watch the Olympics!

I love the Olympics -- in past years I've been known to tape hundreds of hours and watched as much as I could. It definitely was easier before NBC started showing it on a gazillion channels!!

I actually watch a lot of the sports coverage on CBC, the Canadian channel that we get since we live in the metro Detroit area, with just a river, bridge and tunnel between us and Canada. Their coverage is very much focused on the actual events, still with some background stories, but not near as much fluff and commentary as on American television. You see a lot more action in the same amount of time, and you actually see MORE than the top three athletes in a sport. For skating (yes, I know, Winter Olympics), for example, you actually get to see 12 skaters in medal round, instead of just the 3-4 that NBC covers.

My favorite sports are the lesser-watched ones which are tricky to find. I love synchronized swimming - amazing, canoe and kayaking - very cool to watch, rythmic gymnastics - you know, the ball and ribbon routines, cycling - good, although not as good as the Tour de France, trampoline - what a weird sport, and rowing - I LOVE rowing.

Of the big sports, I'll watch swimming, diving, gymnastics and the triathalon.

I will probably catch some track, but won't go out of my to watch it. Ditto for archery, beach volleyball, equestrian, pentathalon, table tennis, and volleyball.

I will NOT watch wrestling, weightlifting, water polo, taekwondo, softball, soccer, shooting, sailing, judo, field hockey, fencing, boxing, basketball, badminton and baseball. Sorry!


Maybe we should all add NBC's Olympic theme song to our iPods to inspire us!

Good luck on the Corn Run everyone!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Another Try

I did make it to the gym last night, but only for a short workout on the bike. Hopefully tonight I'll get away from work on time, and will be able to run 1-2 miles.

I had forgotten that this coming weekend is the Corn Fest Run, and I signed up for the 10K! I've got to get some miles in this week so I'm not totally unprepared for Saturday.

Hope everyone else signed up for it -- it will be cool to all run "together"!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Back To The Gym

Today's my first day back to the gym since my vacation. Was really swamped at work yesterday, and had to take work home with me, so no gym.

It will be interesting -- and painful!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I Miss My Routine

I've had a great week with my family, and I always love being at the ocean!

But I do look forward to getting back into my routine at home -- work, peanut butter sandwich for lunch, the gym after work, and my shady running path by the lake in the park. And passing the time with my husband and my cats. And a little TV here and there. And having computer time to blog and read blogs. And time to listen to podcasts!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Family Vacation

Me and all my immediate family are at the beach in North Carolina for the week, for our annual family beach vacation. This is our 18th year of living together for a week, and we're all still speaking to each other!

My parents, my husband and I, my sister, brother-in-law, brother, sister-in-law and three beautiful nieces all rent a front-row beach cottage at Ocean Isle Beach in North Carolina. It's about an hour north of Myrtle Beach. It's a great family-oriented beach, more cottages than hotels and still a pretty safe place to vacation.

We hang out, swim, play games -- Monopoly, Scrabble, Uno and cards -- play bocce ball on the beach, ride go-karts and jet skis, read, watch TV, sit in the sun and drink a little beer. We take turns cooking a meal every night -- lots and lots of yummy home-cooked food!

In order to offset the yummy food, I do usually get pretty good exercise during the week. Last year, three of us did a few miles on the bikes first thing every morning. This year I will run every other day -- hopefully three miles -- and bike the other days. We also usually go to the gym 2-3 days. And I swim in the pool and ocean, and do 1-2 beach walks a day.

If I'm lucky, I'll end the week without gaining any weight!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Caught Up

Wow, a few days of not checking blogs, and I miss a lot of action!!

Just caught up and discovered that our Team has had some good days and some bad days, but we are all hanging in there!

Let's just keep moving forward -- we've got five more months of good training ahead of us!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Michigan Family's Magical Moments

Want to hear some really good magical moments? Feel like shedding a little tiny tear today?

Then listen to show #33 of the Be Our Guest podcast! Mike has listener Beth from Michigan (yay, my part of the country!) on the show to share her family's trip report. They have a son who has cerebral palsy, so it's a good insight on traveling with a special-needs child.

But more importantly, they experienced a lot of magical moments that are fun to listen to!

Check it out!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mousin' It Up At The Club

I'm so glad I got to go to the Adventurer's Club on PI earlier this year, since it's going to close at the end of September.

I had always wanted to go, since I do like improv. I LOVE the Citizens of Hollywood streetmosphere characters at the Studios. I always stop and watch the skits that pop up on the street -- much to my husband's chagrin -- and now even stop at Guest Services to find out the specific times they will be out. I really admire the quick thinking and creativity of improv actors!

I had always meant to check out the AC during my 25+ visits to WDW, but never quite got around to it. (Sort of like one of our Team Voice members who has NEVER done Haunted Mansion!!) It just goes to show that you should try to do everything at least once, since you never know when something's going to leave The World!

I have to admit, it was a shock when I first walked into the AC, entering up on the balcony level. Visually, it's a very unique environment that you look down onto -- lots of trinkets, 1930s safari furniture, and a crowd milling about. There was also an AC club member in full regalia (i.e., improve actor) espousing on some adventure or the club rules, or something "real" to their world. I was being pulled to so many visual and audio experiences!

It was quite an adventure being immersed into this crazy world, but I'm so sad that I only got to make one trip.

Big Brian, of the Mousin' It Up podcast, posted some audio from one of his visits to the AC. Take a listen to episode 37 if you want to experience of the AC for the first time or the last time!

Thanks Brian, and Kungaloosh!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Up Close And Personal

If you are interested in the nuts and bolts of animation, check out The Animation Podcast by Clay Kaytis. He's got 28 episodes of one-on-one interviews with a ton of Disney animators.

This week's episode is with Ken Duncan, who animated Meg in Hercules and Jane in Tarzan -- two of my favorite movies. They both have great music, strong well-rounded characters, fun and drama.

Unfortunately I can't draw worth a flip. Playing Pictionary once, I drew what I thought was an alligator -- but my team was pretty sure it was a cow! But I wish I could draw, and am certainly fascinated by the shapes and colors and style in each animated movie.

In addition to technical discussions about animation, there is a lot of behind-the-scenes tidbits from the various movie productions.

Check it out!