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Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy Birthday, Car!


Ten years ago today, I brought my first ever brand new car home, and today it turns ten years old! This delights me to no end, because I firmly believe that keeping a car as long as possible is the best way to save money on a car (yes, there's the whole don't buy a new car adage, but I happen to believe that getting a new car and keeping it for over a decade is just as economical).

I think I named my car once, but for the life of me, I cannot remember what I named it, so I keep renaming it every few years and then forgetting what the name was, and then renaming, etc etc etc. Rosie? Nellie? Florence? I don't know. I think it's had all of those names at one point or another so, I will just call it 'Car.'

Car and I have been through some great times. We went to Knoxville, Tennessee in 2003, immediately after a big blizzard that had just hit the northeast. We went to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania once when I was still a Tastefully Simple rep (for a TS conference), and at that point, that was the farthest I'd ever driven by myself. Since then, of course, I went to Corning, New York a few weeks ago and now I think that is the farthest I've ever driven by myself. Let's see... Car and I have been to Atlantic City, New Jersey, Ocean City, Maryland (a bunch of times), and once ex-hubby and I drove car down to Tampa, Florida to visit my sister. Car and I have traveled 170,000 miles together.

And, at 10 years, it's my longest relationship!

Car looks a little dirty in the picture (actually, if I had taken the photo of the passenger and not the drivers side, you would see mud splattered all up the side because there is weird construction going on at one part of my commute). Trust me, Car is very dirty on the inside. So, for Car's birthday, I am going to get it a full interior and exterior detail. She deserves it. Ten years, no major problems, and the mechanic that I use seems to think that we can get another 80,000 miles out of her.

There is just a hurricane coming to the northeast, so the birthday gift may have to wait until after that passes.

Oh Car, I love you.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

More Little Cayman Photos

But wait, there are more fabulous photos from our trip to Little Cayman!

Our resort, Southern Cross Club, with Owen Island in the background,
which is where we got married.
Me with a turtle
Divemaster Kristian with a turtle
My scuba students constantly complain about
how heavy dive equipment is, but here is
divemaster Mike showing off while wearing
his own equipment and carrying someone elses.
Me in Randy's Gazebo
I'm showing a sea pearl, but I really look
like a Harry Potter character.
Todd and me on a safety stop

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Little Cayman 2012

Todd & me on our anniversary celebration night
Do you ever want to do something, and then you wait so long that it almost seems like you shouldn't bother doing it anymore because the time has passed? Like, if you get a gift and then you want to send a thank you, but you forget and then lo and behold, it's been a year and then you feel like you may as well not send it now, because the person already thinks you're super ungrateful, and you have to decide if you want to seem super ungrateful or just forgetful/irresponsible? That's how I feel about this post, which is a trip report from a vacation that we took back in July. But, I can't leave it anymore, because Todd's pictures are so awesome that they must be shared.

You may already know that we visit Southern Cross Club in Little Cayman. We usually visit for July 2, which is our wedding anniversary, and July 4, which is the birthday of our wonderful country. This year, we had plans to visit during that time, but my dad became very sick about a week before we were to leave, and we were lucky enough to be able to rebook the entire trip for a few weeks later. He did pass away, and the day we were leaving on our rebooked trip was the day after the funeral. Which was weird, quite frankly. We basically left the funeral and drove home and packed our bags to get the heck out of there.

Me, relaxing in the pool
So, it was a bit of a strange trip. It was a bittersweet time, and the staff was wonderful to us. But, we are usually visiting with about 10 of our friends whom we only see each year in Little Cayman, and it was sad to not have them along with us. In fact, the resort was nearly empty - there was only one other couple booked at the resort during our stay (which is why the resort was OK with us rebooking to the week that we did).

I've talked about our trips to Little Cayman a bunch of times. Besides our strange timing and the fact that we were missing our friends, this trip wasn't that much different from the rest. We still dove two or three times a day. We were lucky enough to get to visit a dive site outside the marine park, where the divemaster (Mike) had not even gone before. That was awesome! The resort was also kind enough to book us in the honeymoon suite (or, we call it "the pink building"), where we've never stayed, despite having gotten married at Southern Cross Club. There's usually a couple that has booked it before us, and we typically stay in the yellow building.
Honeymoon Suite
We were able to have a special romantic dinner on the new upper deck of the main building, in order to celebrate our anniversary, even if it was 22 days later than planned. It was very nice.
And that's really it. We did a lot of hammocking. I was emotionally exhausted from the weeks before, and I was content to sit and do not very much, We did go out in a kayak a little bit, but it was mostly, eat-dive-eat-dive-rest-eat-sleep and get up and do it all the next day again.
Dinner for our anniversary
So, I'll just share some photos (mostly of groupers) that Todd took during the trip:
There's a lot of grouper love in Little Cayman (please don't eat grouper)
See? Here I am with another grouper!
This is our divemaster Mike, taking grouper love literally.
Kissy kissy, grouper.

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Wineglass Half Marathon 2012

Another race finished, happy happy! :)
Part of the beautiful course
The Wineglass Marathon and Half Marathon takes place in Corning, New York, which is in south central New York State. I drove up to New York on Saturday - it's about a 4 1/2 hour drive from my house up to Corning. The drive was beautiful. In fact, the entire thing was beautiful - the leaves are changing all over the place from about central PA north. I love fall, and I especially love this fall. I usually am a summer person, but seeing as how my summer this year was terrible, I am glad to see summer finally over.

Todd didn't join me for this race. He was actually in Florida this weekend visiting his parents. It was kind of fun getting away on my own. I don't normally travel by myself, so it was kind of exciting to have a hotel room all on my own and such.

The expo was small but really well organized and very nice. You did have to take about a half mile walk down the street to pick up your extra goodies - a small bottle of champagne and a wineglass - but at least that way I got to check out the town. My friend Elizabeth and I were both running, and we were staying at the same hotel. After much hemming and hawing about what to eat for dinner the night before the race, we finally settled on going to the local Wegmans and getting pasta. It was delicious and they made it there right on the spot!

Race morning was foggy and chilly. We walked down to the finish line area and picked up a school bus to the starting line of the Half Marathon. I'd heard that there were some issues with the buses last year, but there was no problem this time. We got right on the second bus. The starting line was a little ways away (well, I guess 13.1 miles away, actually). It was at a school, and we were permitted to go inside and hang out in the gym while we waited for the race to start. This was nice and meant we stayed nice and warm. Temps were about 40 degrees.

I decided not to race this race at all. I have been nursing this foot injury all season and I just didn't feel 100% trained for this one. So, I made a goal of 2:45-2:59, and deep down I wanted to do better than I did in January when I ran a 2:51 and rode a roller coaster mid-race.

Elizabeth and I decided to stick together as long as we could, and that ended up being the whole race. Which is nice, it's fun to race with someone and I almost always race alone (or with Todd). The course map looks basically down hill with one largerish hill at the very beginning of the race. Honestly, it didn't seem flat or downhill. It seemed rolling, but the rolls were so very small that the course was basically flat. It went through cow pasture (at one point, we passed a barn that was MOOING very loudly), and a lot of beautiful residential neighborhoods. The course was point-to-point, so we didn't do any loops, but got to see plenty of small New York towns. Miles 11 and 12 were through jogging trails in a very pretty park. Spectators were around, but not heavy.
Eilzabeth & Me at the finish

There isn't a whole lot to report on how my race was. I had a great time chit chatting with Elizabeth, and my foot felt a little sore here and there, but it was really not an issue. I felt tired now and again, but it was just your standard non-PR race :) ...which is just what I needed.

The finish line was down Market Street, and it was perfect. There were tons of spectators at the very end. Our medals were made of glass,which was very cool, but I've spent the last 24 hours worried that I would drop it and break it. I can't say that for any other medal from any other race I've done.

The finish line had awesome amenities - real chocolate milk (not Nesquick or Yoohoo, which I HATE). Plus, chicken noodle soup, cookies and the usual bananas, bagels, water, apples, etc. There were also sodas, but I've given them up recently :(

The best part? A pizza place had brought down pizza ovens and put them in the middle of the street and were baking pizzas right there at the finish line! We each had two slices. I didn't think I was in the mood for pizza, but when I bit into a slice, it was the best pizza EVER. Totally awesome.

We did go see the Corning Museum of Glass the town a bit, and it was nice, but I was quite frankly wiped out. I stayed until this morning, but last night I mostly snoozed around my hotel room.

I'm home today, feeling great after a great race :) I think my very last PT appointment is this week (maybe?), which means I am all healed!! :)

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