Thursday, January 20, 2011

WaltDisneyWorld Marathon, January 9, 2011

My first marathon.  Encouraged by running buddy, Betty Leidholt, who had done two marathons already, I enthusiastically started training in October.  Betty is a great coach and cheerleader.  The trip with her to Florida was a blast.  We stayed with Betty's brother Ted in St. Petersburg, Fla.  It was great returning to this place as we had a cousin's reunion in 2005 on St. Pete's Beach.  Kim's friend, Kelly, got married in St. Petersburg a couple days before the reunion. It was such a great place to be that I was excited to be there again.  Enjoyed sitting by the pool soaking up the son and relaxing the two days before the race. 

 Ted drove us to Orlando and treated us to a platinum stay at the Mariott World Resort by DisneyWorld.  Only time in my life I've been a platinum!  Room Service, Room with awesome view,etc.

We left the motel at 3:30a.m. Sunday with friends we'd met on the elevator who drove us to Epcot Park.  What a neat family from Ga.

Betty and I sat on the ground drinking water (and coffee) AND visiting the porta potties for about 1hr 45m  before heading to the starting line with about 17,000 other runners.  We got separated in the crowd but found each other in plenty of time to get to our corral after a final pp stop.  We couldn't believe that we weren't nervous, just excited and taking everything in like the awesome fireworks that started every wave.   And we were off and running through Epcot and then the Magic Kingdom, on to Animal Kingdom and Universal Studios then back through the MK to the finish line at Epcot.

Wine and cheese to the room.  More carb loading after the race at the steakhouse in the motel.  Fell asleep watching the Packers but Betty, a diehard Packer fan didn't not off at all until the game was over.   The next morning we got the beni of an unbelievable breakfast buffet at the motel with 80 entrees.  We needed it as we were off to DisneyWorld to enjoy a day at Animal Kingdom.  All runners were admitted free if they wore their medals.  There were LOTS of us there.  To end the day, we ate at one of the best restaurants ever, Bomas.  Entered to the bongo drums and African decor, etc.  Another buffet!  Betty's daughter told us to be sure and go there.  Thanks Michelle. 

What a memorable marathon trip.  Perfect weather, one of those once in a lifetime experiences.  And Betty and I have so many stories.  Two directionally challenged friends traveling together.  Mike & John were a bit concerned but we got ourselves to the airport and returned to blizzard conditions at home!

Carb Loading at Macorini Grill with Ted, Holly & Miriam
The View

Waitin' in the Dark for the race to begin

Running Through the Castle

The Best Moment Ever!

Please bring us cheese and Chardonay

With Mickey and runner friends.

Enjoyed Animal Kingdom



Sunday, January 2, 2011

Welcome to My Blog!

We've had a wonderful holiday season in Texas.  On Nov. 3 we arrived to "Welcome Home Grandma and Grandpa" sign written with chalk on the driveway of our new home near Rockwall.  We are 15-20 minutes from Kim, Greg and Braedon who live in Heath.  Sara, Daniel, Marina & Layla are 25-30 minutes in Garland,  Katie, Brent, Hattie and Hollyn are in Sachse which is also 25-30 minutes from us.  On Nov.12, Hollyn was born.  She is the second grandaughter born this year.  Layla was born May 18.  It was neat to be present when both were born.  We were here for Layla' finalization of her adoption at the Dallas Courthouse on Nov.21.  What a special day.  Kim & Greg hosted a very nice Thanksgiving dinner at their home.  Brent's parents from Spearfish,SD and his sister and nephew from Loveland, Co. joined us.  They enjoyed getting acquainted with little Hollyn and playing with Hattie while staying with Katie & Brent.  I watched Hollyn for a week before Christmas so that Katie could go back to her fourth grade classroom and teach before vacation.  The kids/grandkids were at our house for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Greg and kids came from SD the day after Christmas.  Their time here went so fast as we were on the go the entire time they were here.  Sara&Daniel hosted a fun NY Eve party that also was a celebration of Ms. Sara turning 30.  Always fun to visit with the kids' friends who we're fond of and have known most for quite a few years.  We have enjoyed meeting some neighbors and have attended church with the next door neighbors since we've been here.  We've been busy moving in and I've kept busy running several times a week preparing for the DisneyWorld Marathon which is on a week from today.  Ran mostly around Katie's neighborhood or on the bridge between Rockwall and Rowlette.  Such nice running weather except for a couple too hot ones.  Friends in SD aren't empathetic about that as they've been on the what I call Dreadmill training.  Katie had this great idea for a blog to keep me busy so we'll see if I stick with this.  Glad I waited until after the Vikings season this year was over before beginning this!!  Hope this is a way to stay in touch with friends & family while going back and forth from home to home.  We will be driving back to Pierre tomorrow to be welcomed by lots of snow, cold weather and high drifts.  Yuck.

                                                      "Home Sweet Texas Home"

                                                          Braedon's Welcome Sign

                                                  Hollyn Catherine Dill--Nov.12,2010

Grandma Jean with Hollyn, 1 week old.

                                                             Grandpa and Layla (6mos.)

                                                      Officially Layla Marie Almaraz--Nov.21

                                              Marina Happy at Grandma and Granpa's House
                                                  Hattie with Aunt Kimmi at Pizza Party
                                                       Greg Crowder, Chef
                                                              Baby Hollyn--2 weeks old
                                                        Enjoying yummy food.
                                                      Marina and Hattie at their table.
                                                   During one of the Vikings Games.
                                                  Braedon and Josie by our tree.
                                              Marina's Princess Dolls from Grandma & Grandpa
                                                    Boxes, as usual, the best toy!!!!!!!!!
                                                  With the two newest members of the family.
                                               Making cupcakes with Aunt Katie
                                                      Christmas Eve Farkle Game
                                            Marina and Layla open Kirsten's Christmas gifts.
                                            Layla with Uncle Greg L. (she has 2 Uncle Gregs)

Grandma and Grandpa with 9 of the 10 Grandchildren
James wasn't able to come to Texas this time.