3 Day

I highly recommend playing hooky…

14

With my Aunt Darlene in town this week, I am trying to work as little as possible. I don’t address it too much on here because I do my best to keep it separate, but being a small business owner is hard work and STRESSFUL. It is 24 / 7 no matter what, and my brain is constantly “on”. So if the opportunity comes along to skip work for the day (despite how incredibly hard that is), I’ll take it. Hubby surprised us with tickets to Universal Studios and Island of Adventure and we headed to Orlando on Tuesday along with my mom and aunt. It was a PERFECT day and very much needed. I went as far as not taking calls OR checking work email all day long. It was so nice.

After a quick stop at Starbucks, the four of us hit the road towards Orlando. Considering it was in the heart of rush hour, we made great time. We were also anticipating rain, and even with the cloud cover we saw heading towards Tampa, we never saw a drop of rain all day.

 

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We arrived around 10 and made our way thru City Walk. It has been WAY too long since hubby and I have been there. We used to have annual passes and went often. We really need to do that again….

 

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My Aunt Darlene lives in California and has been to Universal Studios there. And just to make you laugh, I’ve been to Universal Studios out there too, in the 80’s when Miami Vice and Conan The Barbarian were big. If only I could find those pictures…. Anyhow, they do not have Island of Adventure out there, so Darlene was beyond excited to go. It’s even on her bucket list. She was most excited about the whole Harry Potter thing. I guess I should also mention that I have never read one single Harry Potter book nor have I seen one single Harry Potter movie. I couldn’t tell you why, I just never have. When we arrived, we headed to Islands first and made a beeline for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, along with every one else on spring break. Of course, we had to walk through Seuss Landing to get there, which is my favorite part of the park.

 

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Clearly, this is still the most popular part of the park. It was packed, The ride lines were really long, as were the lines for Butter Beer, and the stores were packed. When we were done here, we headed out to the rest of the park.

 

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After we walked through Islands of Adventure and had lunch, we headed over to Universal Studios. This is my favorite park. I love ET and Twister, and walking through all the different area of the park like Beverly Hills and New York. The weather was perfect and I was having such a great time with my hubby, mom, and aunt. I was also happy to be getting some mileage in, and even more happy that I could walk just two days after the Sarasota Half Marathon. It’s the little things in life…

 

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On our way out of the park, we stopped in the Universal Gift Shop and my mom bought these key chains for my sister-in-law Jenna and I. Remember how we were Boob 1 and Boob 2 for the 3 Day last year? They were perfect!

 

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We had such a great time being big kids at Universal for the day. It’s always a great time when you get to spend that day with loved ones.

 

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On our way home, we stopped for dinner at the original Hooters in Clearwater. Hubby and I are no strangers to Hooters and Darlene was excited to go too. We sat out on the patio and enjoyed the nice breeze, wonderful company, great food, and ice cold beer.

 

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Thank you so much to my hubby for the tickets and a great day. It was the perfect escape and a fun time!

 

What is your favorite escape? Do you have a favorite theme park?

Favorite posts of 2012

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happy new year 2013

 

 

As 2012 comes to an end tonight and we welcome 2013, I am thinking about this year and all the things I accomplished. 2012 has definitely been the year of stepping outside of my comfort zone. I’ve done so many things that I normally would not do. I hope that I continue to face my fears head-on in 2013.

To finish out the year, I thought I’d do a list of my favorite posts of the year. This was really tough to narrow down and I’m probably forgetting something, but these posts meant the most to me. From completing not one but TWO half-marathons, meeting the wonderful women of Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers, my first blog conference, becoming Yelp Elite, starting Jingle Bikes For Kids, wonderful family time, along with several struggles I faced - it’s been a memorable year.  I hope you enjoy this look back with me…

 

 

I love my blog and I really look forward to continuing to blog in 2013 and to see how it grows. I would like to thank each and every one of you for following and showing interest in my babbling. It helps to keep me sane.

Wishing you all a SAFE and Happy New Year!!

2012 Susan G. Komen 3-Day comes to a close…

2

I had to do one last post on the Susan G. Komen 3-Day in Tampa Bay last week. One last post (maybe…) to give my thoughts on the event and weekend as a whole.

Last year, I was a spectator. I supported my sister-in-law Jenna on her training walks, and got to know some great women. Even though I wasn’t part of the event or the team at that time, I felt very much at home with these women, and looked forward to the training walks each week. When the 2011 3-Day finally arrived, I was out cheering each of the three days, so very proud of Jenna and all the members of Thanks For The Mammories as they walked 60 miles all for breast cancer.

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(Photo courtesy of Carol)

 

This year, as a crew member, I felt as if I was part of a family. One very large family who were all out there fighting for the same thing. When I signed up to drive a sweep van with Jenna, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I never could have imagined what it would be like.

 

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The day of the crew meeting, we found out that Thanks For The Mammories was the largest team this year, and second largest fundraising team, having raised approximately $92,000. (Thank you to Sheila for sharing this info in your very timely email last night!)

 

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A week ago today, Jenna and I were up before the crack of dawn, getting ready to start our weekend as Boob 1 and Boob 2. All kidding aside, we were both nervous and anxious, not sure what to expect. From the moment we picked up our first walkers, I knew it was going to be a good weekend, that we would make a difference. And somehow, amongst all the walkers, we remembered each person we picked up and helped, and kept an eye out for them all weekend.

 

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(Photo courtesy of www.the3day.org)

 

Each of the three days was long and it was hard work. Driving or riding in a van for 11+ hours a day, under 20 MPH, and getting out 50+ times a day, is exhausting. I kept thinking I was crazy to think what I was doing was hard, I wasn’t the one walking 60 miles. But, there were 7 sweep vans, and it was all our job to keep an eye on 1000 walkers, to get their attention, make sure they were okay, and keep them alert.

 

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If I had to pick a moment I would remember the most in terms of a walker, it would be Day 2, as we waited for the last walkers to come in. I wish I knew her a name. There was a walker, very much in pain, limping, and crying with each step she took. We saw her less than a mile from camp, offered to help her, to drive her closer to camp and she could walk in. She refused. No words needed to be said, she was determined to walk in to camp, no matter the pain in getting there. When she passed the sweep vans, so close to camp, still crying, I was so touched. I don’t know who she was walking for – herself, a loved one, a friend… I will never know. But I was so proud to be a part of something so wonderful that brought on such emotion.

 

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The last walkers coming on on Day 2.

 

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Camping with all the walkers and crew was just as exciting. We were literally one big family. I constantly found myself watching for people we had swept during the day, or our team members. I love this picture of Jenna, Janet, and I.

 

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In addition to all of this, I very much enjoyed the time with my sister-in-law Jenna. I am the first to admit I can’t imagine spending 3 days with just anyone, in a van for 11+ hours a day, and then camping at night…. And at the end of the day, we sat outside our tents in our folding chairs and talked. I feel like we worked very well together, we make a great team, and I appreciate the time we spent together. I am happy we will share these memories, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. It is something I will remember for a very long time.

 

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When the weekend came to a close on Sunday, I was exhausted and drained, but felt like I had made a difference. It was, and still is, a great feeling.

This past Monday, there was an after-party for the team, hosted by Deborah at her beautiful home. I took time off work to go, as did Jenna. It’s not surprising at all that Jenna and I were both wearing the shirts we bought over the weekend.

 

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(Photo courtesy of Jenna)

 

It was a nice afternoon, great to see much of the team, and talk about the experience we all shared over the weekend.

If you ever have the chance to participate in the 3-Day or a similar event, to be a part of a team that pulls together for one similar cause, I highly recommend it. It is a life-changing experience. Every person out there could have been me or someone I love. No one is immune to breast cancer, but we can all make a difference. If you would like more information, please visit www.the3day.org.

Things that only happen at the 3-Day…

7

All weekend, while in the midst of all our fun, I had a mental list going of things that I did that probably would only happen at the 3-Day and nowhere else, at least in my world…

 

  • I slept in a tent.  May not seem like an unusual thing to many, but it was my first time sleeping in a tent, outside. I am not an outdoorsy-type girl. I like air-conditioning, a bed, indoor plumbing and electricity. But I had to admit, I was pretty darn comfortable in that little pink tent, on my air mattress, and my favorite fleece blanket from home.

 

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  • I showered in a truck.  I knew I would be doing this, but I had no clue that it would quite possibly be the best shower ever. Jenna had told me that it was quite an experience and she even told me how to pack my shower bag so I had everything altogether and semi-waterproof. By the time Friday night came along, after we had been up since 3:30am that morning and driving all day, I was more than ready for a shower. The shower truck has super hot water and better water pressure than my house. I’ve already told hubby that we need a shower truck in our backyard.

 

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  • I brushed my teeth and washed my face outside.  Just outside the shower truck is a row of sinks – 3 per side, 6 total for each truck. Brushing your teeth outside in a nice cool breeze is not a bad thing.

 

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  • I thought I was going to blow away.  It was a windy weekend, 20-30 MPH winds with even stronger gusts. The first night, I literally thought my tent was going to blow away with me in it. It wasn’t until the second night, after Janet suggested removing the rain cover (is that what it’s called?), that it didn’t seem as noisy. But it still seemed to move around a lot and most of Saturday night I thought of the Blair Witch Project. Thank goodness there was a whole park full of other people there or I would have been freaking out. There was lot of looking up at the top of my tent, wondering if it was possible to blow away with me in it.

 

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  • I ate a sandwich that had American cheese on it.  Yes, for most people this is a normal occurrence. Not this girl, who thinks American cheese is the most disgusting thing ever. But alas, when on the 3-Day, and a nice lunch is provided to you by our wonderful team, Thanks For The Mammories, and Subway, you learn to deal with it and appreciate their kindness in all the goodies they have for you. I didn’t eat the cheese, I had to take it off. I had to suck it up, buttercup, and take it off like it wasn’t grossing me out. And I did it. It’s really a miracle that I ate the sandwich after that, normally I wouldn’t eat anything that previously had American cheese on it. The things you do on on the 3-Day…

 

  • I kind of felt like a rock star.  It was too much fun when someone wanted to take our picture because we were so fabulous in our fun outfits, blue hair, and fun van. Considering I normally like to fly under the radar and do my best to not be so noticeable, it was pretty fun to be loud and draw so much attention to myself. Who wouldn’t want their picture taken with Boob 1 and Boob 2?!

 

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(Photo courtesy of Carol)

  • I went au naturel.  No make-up for 3 days. Nor did I blow-dry my hair or use my curling iron. The wonderful thing about the 3-Day is that there is no judging. It was kind of nice. Although, the first thing I did when I got home was take a shower and blow dry my hair. That was nice, too.

 

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(Photo courtesy of Carol)

 

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  • I used a port-a-potty in the dark.  I had a nifty light to use but forgot it a couple times and when you gotta go, you gotta go. And like they say in the 3-Day, don’t look down. So I didn’t.

 

  • I wore white gloves, used pom poms, and a cowbell.  Our sweep van was all about keeping the walkers smiling and entertained. Besides the great decorations on the van and our fun outfits, there was a lot of waving with our white cartoon-like gloves, woo-hooing, cheering with pom poms, and clanging the cowbell. By the time Sunday came around, I was a little squeaky, not able to woo-hoo as loud as on Friday, and I was sure I would have permanent ringing in my right ear from the cowbell.

 

  • I listened to Dr. Seuss stories.   We had a speaker stand on the van door, a pair of speakers, and Jenna’s iPod which she loaded with Dr. Seuss stories. Who wouldn’t want to hear that when you’re walking 60-miles? We also played The Beatles, Bon Jovi, and more. It was fantastic.

 

  • I wore pajama pants every day.  I’m telling you, this is the way to go. Fleece pajama pants are super soft and comfy. I wish I could wear them to work, but that might be a little weird when I go meet customers and such.

 

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It was really too much fun, all of it. I wouldn’t change a single thing about the weekend.

Oh, the places you’ll go with Boob 1 and Boob 2!

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What a whirlwind it has been since last Thursday! I can’t believe after months and months of looking forward to the 2012 Susan G. Komen 3-Day it has finally been here and passed. For the last couple months, my sister-in-law Jenna and I have been working on a theme for our sweep van. As part of the 3-Day crew, we would drive a van each of the three days to assist the walkers if they could not walk and wanted to “sweep” to the next stop. I was excited to be a part of the 3-Day family this year after being on the spectator side of it last year.

Our theme…. Boob 1 and Boob 2! Both Jenna and I love Dr. Seuss and we thought Thing 1 and Thing 2 would be a fabulous theme. And since it was the 3-Day, we would be Boob 1 and Boob 2. Jenna, being the super-creative artist she is, came us with great ideas for the van decorations. She also picked out the fabulous attire and wig for us to wear. It all came together perfectly.

We had a crew meeting last Thursday afternoon, after which we were able to start decorating our van. I have been dying to share these photos since then but there hasn’t been time. Now is the time! Take a look at our Suessical Boob Mobile!

 

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It was FANTASTIC!! I loved every detail of it, as well as the colors. And the way Jenna personalized the Dr. Seuss quotes was even better. Unfortunately, the wind we had Friday morning as we were leaving opening ceremony wreaked havoc on the sign and umbrella on top. We tried re-securing the sign but the umbrella literally blew off on the Sand Key bridge. Imagine me in my Boob 1 outfit running down the bridge, in the wind, to pick it up. We made the decision to leave them off in hopes that we could put them back up the next day. With the windy conditions we had all weekend, close to 30 MPH winds at times, we never got to put them back up. Regardless, the van was still awesome.

And how about us?! How fun were we in our outfits?! Polka dot fleece pajama bottoms, pink t-shirts, comfy shoes, and a bright blue wig. All weekend long, people called us by our names, Boob 1 and Boob 2, or Boobies, or The Boobs. My hope is that we made everyone smile as they walked those 60 miles. The reaction we got out of everyone was so fun.

 

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I have so much more to share about this experience so there will be another post to follow!

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