Friday, August 18, 2017

Check out this T-Rex Restaurant

When we visited Florida earlier this month, we dined at Rain Forest Cafe (which is one of my favorites) and while we were there we earned reward points  with our Landry's Select card towards a future meal.  The catch was that we had to use the rewards points during the current month.  Instead of returning to the Rain Forest, we decided to try T-Rex Cafe.

I was never interested in visiting this place because I remembered the menu being a lot of barbecued meats such as ribs and stuff.  This was something that did not really interest me but was willing to give it a try since we had reward points to use.

We arrived shortly after 11:30 am and the lunch rush had not really hit yet. We were asked to wait a few minutes for our table which was no problem.

As we waited, we admired the Lava Lounge. It was decorated as a huge aquarium.  It was actually kind of neat and we knew that if we wanted to, we could sit at the bar immediately but we continued to wait for a table in the main dining room . It was our first time here so we wanted to get the full experience.

We waited and waited and then one of the hosts told us they were just waiting for a server. However, during the time we waited there were quite a variety of servers and managers mingling around the hostess station. In this picture there are only 6 people but at one point there were 9 people mingling around and yet no one in the line was being seated.

I know this is a bad picture but I wanted to show how the line had grown since we started waiting.
I could understand the long wait if they were busy but seeing very few people seated and seeing all the employees standing in one place confused me. I did not warrant the wait time we were experiencing.

Eventually our server came to get us and escorted us to a table. While she was leading us she asked  "So, what brings you here"?  I guess by this time I wasn't really into casual banter so I thought it was such a silly question . I told her  Vacation, and thought, isn't that why most people are here?  I should mention that T-Rex is located at Disney Springs (formally known as Downtown Disney).

Like Rain Forest Cafe, T-Rex has animatronics and every 20 minutes there is a meteor shower in the sky. It also had a gift shop.

I was actually quite pleased with the menu.  There were quite a few options that I would have enjoyed.  I chose the Triassic Trio (which was steak, shrimp skewers with veggies and rice and shrimp and scallops). It was yummy! Scott  got the Korean Stir Fry Chicken  which he quickly regretted. He said it was too spicy, which surprised me because he usually likes spicy things.

Besides the long wait, I thought this restaurant had a fun atmosphere and I thought the food was very good.  I'm glad we gave it a try.

Tell me some fun themed restaurants you've visited.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

What a Severe Warning!

Last week I headed out to my favorite rail trail. I was going to meet my sister there but I got there early so I could do a mile or so at my own easy pace.

As I stepped on to the trail I immediately noticed these signs hanging up.

If you can't read it, it says:

                  Notice of Herbicide Application
An Herbicide Application is being planned for the Rail Trail for the following dates, Thursday, August 10th, 2017.  If the weather does not permit we will be applying the herbicide the following day.

Herbicided are being applied only to the sides of the trail and spot treatment on gravel areas in the middle of the trail where needed.  It will be safe to be on the treated areas 24 hours after the application has been made.  DO NOT walk.ride on either side of the trail  for 24 hours.  The previous statement  applies also to pets.  Do not lick and or eat any of the berries that may have been in contact with the herbicide.

I looked down at my watch and it for sure was Thursday, August 10th. These signs were posted every couple yards and at every opening where someone could enter the trail.  I read this sign over several times trying to determine if this meant the trail was closed or if it was an enter at your own risk sort of thing. I didn't see another soul around which is odd for a beautiful summer day such as this one. This place is usually bustling with activity.   The sign made me very nervous because all I kept thinking was Oh no, Now  I'm going to have some poisonous chemicals on my shoes and I'm going to drag the poison home to Baylee!

Just at that time, I saw a walker coming from the opposite direction. I asked him if he saw these signs at the end of the trail where he started. Note; The end where he was coming from is all paved. It is not rural and goes through a neighborhood. There would be no reason to spray herbicide at that end.

He said he didn't remember seeing the signs but if he did, he wouldn't have read them.   I pointed to the sign, and then he read it. He said he just saw that landscape truck parked in the parking lot in front of where we were standing  so he ran back and talked to the landscaper.  He came back a minute later with a thumbs up.

He asked the landscaper if it was an "enter at your own risk" and the landscaper replied that there really wasn't any risk at all! They had just sprayed on the sides of the trail but we were free to be on the trail walking, running or biking.

Huh! We both agreed that this was a pretty severe warning for what should have just said:
We sprayed herbicide on the sides of  the trail so make sure you stay in the middle.

I wonder if this was made a bigger deal than what is because of what happened to Baylee and at least one other dog that we know of last year.  My vet said she was going to call the rail trail authority to find out what was going on. Maybe that call prompted them to hang these signs each time they spray anything.

Needless to say, I we ended up continuing on the trail. I eventually met up with my sister and so far neither of us have died from any chemical poisoning.

What would you have thought of this warning? Would you have just thought everything was okay or would you have thought it was more severe?  -M

                                                   We are linking up with the gals from TOTR

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Weekly Wrap...August 13

I've been trying to pack my days with activities since I'm coming down to the last weeks of my Summer Vacation. It makes me look back at the past few months and think  What all did I do? What did I accomplish?  But I suppose I'll save those questions for a later post.

Every week I say I'm going to start writing things down so I don't forget, but I never do. I haven't even been recording my runs. Therefore here are just a few highlights from my week that I DO remember.

Monday I finally bought the remaining fabric to make my curtains and my only goal this day was to sew them up. I don't remember what happened but I didn't do it (and the fabric is currently still sitting on my dinning room table).

Tuesday I had the Chiropractor appointment for that shoulder pain that gave me pain in my chest every time I breathed, yawned or coughed.  It still hasn't gone away.

               After that I did some shopping and then met my sister to do some boating.

  Isn't this a gorgeous view?  It was the perfect backdrop for just relaxing and chatting, which we did.

Wednesday I spent a lot of time in the pool with Miss Baylee. I floated on the raft for a while and took in the sun but I felt guilty because I wasn't playing with her. I would see her throw her duck in the pool and then jumps in after in. I know she wanted me to throw it in for her cus lets face it, she can't throw it very far. she just kind of drops it in the pool and then jumps in after it.  

Afterwards I did swim a couple laps in an effort to loosen up my shoulder. I did (my version) of the back stroke and it seemed to help (for a few hours).  Have you ever swam in a pool with a dog?  Every time I swim, Baylee thinks it's a race. She's got to be right up beside me giving me very little personal space!

                    Afterwards I had a "date" with my sister to watch our show, Younger!

                                We made these fun Cantaloupe drinks.

Thursday  we did a few miles on the rail trail and then ended at Starbucks for these "new " drinks.  Lacey got the Horchata Almond Milk Frappe which tasted like Cinnamon Toast Crunch and I got the Lemon Bar creme which was okay but was a little disappointed that they didn't have the lemon bar crunchy topping for on top of it. They should have told me that they didn't have all the ingredients to make the drink if they couldn't make it properly.

Later that night we had another "date" to watch Nashville. I'm sad that the show won't be returning till January! It's not fair that they just tease us with a few episodes over the summer!

Friday I got some morning miles in at the island with my sister. During the first few loops I did not have my camera but it's always so busy down there. We saw an entire team of canoers (is that even a word?) putting their boats in, a guy training a Yellow Labrador puppy for leadership something or other (which of course we had to stop and talk to), and this guy walking on the trail with a fishing pole carrying a pretty large fish. I had to do a double take and ask my sister "Is that guy carrying a fish"?

After that I went to our local beach for a while. I wanted to catch up on some of my Women's Running magazines and do a few passes in the sand.  The sand was extra thick this day and there weren't a lot of people on it so it wasn't packed down. Anyone that has ever ran on the beach knows this makes it extra hard to run.  I ran barefoot and considered it cross training!

We are linking up with HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin  and the guest host for their Weekly Wrap series!

Friday, August 11, 2017

5 Marathon & Half Marathon Relay Races

This week's theme for the Friday 5 is Friends and Family.   Races are fun, but sharing the experience with friends and family makes it even better. Sometimes they come and support us which is great, but it's even better when they want to run with us.

Lately I haven't been very excited about running long distances so I've been researching races where I can share the distance with friends and family.

I've found  a few Marathon or Half marathon relays that I would be interested in doing and thought I would share.

 I've only focused on ones that are on the East Coast.

1. Hershey Half Marathon  - 2 person team.

2. Baltimore Marathon - 4 person team.

3.  Rock n Roll Savannah Half Marathon - 2 person team

4.  Pittsburgh Marathon - 2 to 5 person team.

5. Run A Palooza - This is a marathon that runs from Seaside Heights NJ to Asbury Park.  2-5 person team.

Tell me which relay race you've  run or one I should add to the list. -M

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Does your back pain effect your chest?

Yesterday I went to my chiropractor for an issue I've been struggling with going on 3 weeks now (maybe even more).

I first noticed it on a run a while back but thought it was an isolated incident and I really didn't think that it came from running or working out. Even so,  I haven't really done much running since then so I don't know why the pain continued.

I often have a pain in my neck (literally) and it feels like I have a very tight muscle and I can't turn my head all they way to the right side. This comes and goes and I'm not really sure what it comes from. It's always on the same side.

But this time the neck was the least of my worries.  I've been having this pain in my upper back (on the right side) below my shoulder. Any time I yawn, cough, or take a deep breath I can feel the pain in my chest.   I feel so cramped up and have been having Scott crack my back and shoulders every night and believe me, it all cracks!

After feeling this way all week at Disney, I finally made a Chiro appointment which was yesterday.

I told the Dr. what was wrong and as he sized me up, he could tell right away my neck was out of alignment and with one quick whip of the neck he cracked it into place! Wow, I did not see that coming.

Next, I was hooked up to the muscle stimulation machine which I've used before when I would come in for my hip and ITband. I can't say I exactly like this feeling.  If you've never used this machine before, it's electro pads they put on your skin and then its like a million spiders crawling around on your skin in order to stimulated your muscles. It doesn't hurt but sometimes the intensity can be too much and it is uncomfortable.

He then worked on my back and it did feel like every muscle in my body was cracking. It felt refreshing.  When I left there I felt okay but he said if I still feel problems to come back again on Friday.

Not more than an hour later, I felt the same thing. My neck doesn't hurt. but I have the same exact pain below my shoulder and I can feel pain in my chest when I breath, yawn, sneeze or cough.  I told one of my friends about this and she knew exactly what I was talking about and even explained the exact feeling to me before I even told her everything I was feeling. She has felt like this before.

I really don't want to go back to the Chiro on Friday because I'm not sure what more he will do for me other than what he already did. I'm hoping that he at least loosened something up maybe and it will work itself out over the next few days.  -M

Have you ever had this feeling? If so, what does it come from?

Monday, August 7, 2017

Summer Beauty and Pro Box

It's no secret that I like getting the subscription boxes in the mail.  Right now I only get the Beauty Box because I feel like it is a good price for the surprises that you get. Actually it's Free, and you only have to pay $5 shipping. I do believe this is only seasonal, so it's not even every month, which I like.

subscription boxes

This is what I got in my Summer edition Beauty box.

If my memory serves me well, I do believe that I will get another one in late summer as well.

The other day I got a new surprised in the mail.  It was a box from GNC and it was addressed to Scott.  Of course I was curious as to what it was so he said I could go ahead and open it.

It was another subscription box with GNC goodies in it. So my husband now does subscription boxes, who knew?

We looked through it together and of course Scott said that I could have it.

subscription boxes

Nothing in here really excited me except for this huge protein cookie. And to be honest, the cookie wasn't even that good. Anything that has the term "Birthday cake" on it should be sweet, and that wasn't.  Scott said this box comes every couple months, so I assume it is also a seasonal subscription. He said it was like $30  for the subscription, which I think is a bit too much, but you get coupons in it so I guess it's worth it to him since he buys a lot of stuff at GNC.

The GNC box is a "new to me" box. What boxes are new to you? Would you recommend them? -M

                                             We are linking up with the gals from TOTR.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

A Week at Animal Kingdom Lodge

Last week Scott and I vacationed at Dinsey World and spent a week at Animal Kingdom Lodge.  We had a room in the main building, Jambo House, and sprung for a Savannah view room. Having a Savannah view room means that you have a balcony that overlooks one of the Savannahs where the animals roam. Not all rooms have that view.  I apologize in advance that this post is longer than what I usually write.  I will be including details that may help someone who might be planning their own trip to AKL.

Disney Deluxe resort

As we were en route, I got a text that said our room was ready. It was on the 4th floor. I looked at the resort map that they had sent me and saw that this room was pretty far from the main area.  There was a number to call if I wanted to switch rooms. Since we were about an hour or so from arriving, I called the lodge and told them to go ahead and release that room and that I would wait for a room on the third floor (which was my first choice). They told me that would not be a problem and they should have one ready for when we arrived.

The lobby as you check in.

A little over an hour later we arrived at the lodge.  The entire atmosphere, including the music that was playing when we arrive, made us feel as if we were immersed in a real African village. It reminded me of that movie Blended with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. Have you seen it?

The lobby walking down to the Arusha Savannah.

When we checked in at the lobby, there was a room ready, but it was not the third floor room that we were told we we be able to have.  Apparently they had to check and see if that room was ready and they didn't have anybody to check on it yet. They said it would be a little while.  I was pretty set on having a third floor room because I've read that the views from there are the best. We decided that it wouldn't be a problem for us to wait. So we did. We went to get lunch and by the time we were done we got another text saying our third floor room was ready.

When we got to the room we were stunned.  We were met by an industrial sized fan because the room had been flooded. We walked in and water just gushed from the carpet. I said to Scott  "I don't think we are suppose to be in here".

A view of the balcony rooms facing the Savannah. 

Even though there was a fan in the room, it looked as if it was going to take at least a day or two for it to dry out. I called down to the front desk and told them. This room had a great view, but I knew we couldn't stay here . The lady at the front desk apologized and gave us each 3 more fast passes to use the following day (Fast passes are passes that let you get in a faster line for attractions and rides). Against my better judgement, I agreed to take one of the rooms on the 4th floor. It was close to the lobby so I thought it would be fine. It was overlooking the Sunset Savannah.

A standard balcony on all floors.

When we got to the room on the 4th floor Scott and I both went right to the balcony and looked at our view. We looked at each other with a bit of disappointment on our faces.  You've got to understand that I am not one to complain and Scott is definitely not one to make waves, but he looked at me and said, "go ahead", meaning, go ahead and call and asked to be moved if I wanted to.  We were now in a corner room which meant we could only see that one section of the Savannah not the entire view and to make it worse, we were on the 4th floor so really we could only see the tops of the trees. We had paid extra for the Savannah view and by golly we wanted a good view.  Unfortunately there were no other rooms available for this night but the lady said there was a great 3rd floor room available the next day and that we could move to that. That was great.

When we first got to this 4th floor room Scott's magic band did not work to open the door, but mine did. We had to go to the lobby and get that reset. When we returned to the room, Scott's band worked but now mine did not. I refused to go down to the lobby again with one more problem. I didn't want to be known as a problem guest, but since we had Disney tickets and charging privileges linked to my band Scott convinced me to go get it taken care of.  While I was at the lobby, the concierge  fixed the problem, and then gave Scott and I each 2 more fast passes. We now have 5 free fast passes plus the three that we started with.  This is awesome for us but in reality we never ended up using them.

All the pictures I took from our room turned out dark.

The next day we did check into the third floor Savannah view room with no problem. it overlooked the Arusha Savannah, which is the main one, and the room was just perfect.  Both our magic bands worked and things went smooth from here on out.  The view from our balcony was amazing.

View from our balcony on the third floor.

The room was 3519.  There was a watering hole in front that animals came to drink out of and there was a giraffe feeding station on the tree in front of us.

We saw giraffes, zebras, impalas, and several other animals that I do not recall the names of. Also, there were varieties of large birds.  It is important to note that the third floor is actually the main floor that the lobby is on.

The closer you get to the lobby (regardless of floor), the more you can hear the African music from out on your balcony. That adds a nice touch.

Public Lanai on third floor.

Even if you don't have a Savannah view room,  there are plenty of public spaces to view the animals. You can see them in certain locations outside the resort and then there are public lanais set up in the resort.

Part of the Arusha Savannah.

When we would go explore the Arusha Savannah from ground level, they would have an African Safari guide there. We talked with the guide for about an hour about the animals and life in Tanzania, where he was from. He only had two more days left to work at Disney before he went home to his job as a Safari guide.

There are three restaurants in Jambo House and they are all located on the ground level in the right wing. This is the wing we were in so it was so easy to come out of our room, go to the elevator and just go down 2 floors.  We ate at the Mara for lunch on the day we got there and then two other times for dinner we brought food back to our room so we could eat on our balcony while watching the animals.  They had a good variety of food there and there was an African stew that we had more than once.

There is also a large gift shop, a pool, several hot tubs and a fitness center at this resort and it seemed like there were always some sort of children's activity going on.

This was my first time staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. it is beautiful in it's own right and really feels like you are somewhere in the Serengeti.  However, we both agreed that it just didn't feel "Disney-ish" to us. Which of course could be a good thing for some people.   It is not as bright and cheery like some other resorts we stayed in. It exudes more of a feeling of relaxation which was definitely okay for us! But after having stayed at most of the other Disney resorts already, I thought it was time to try Animal Kingdom. It was definitely a wonderful experience and am glad we gave it a try.  -M

We are linking up with Holly and Tricia and their guest host for their weekly wrap!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Races that make my top 5

Thank you to Kim for suggesting this week's topic for the Friday Five.

I'm sure at some point over the years we've wrote a similar post about favorite races. However, I know that my list would not have been exactly the same as it is now because my #1 race is one I just ran this year for the first time.

1. NYC Half Marathon - This by far has been my favorite race ever! That means a lot coming from a Run Disney fan as myself! There is just something magical about running through NYC with thousands of others.  I've been asked if I ever wanted to run this race again and I have mixed feelings about that. Everything just went So perfectly that I don't want to risk it by doing it again. Sure, I was so close to a PR and didn't  even know it. Had I known, I probably could have pushed a little more and made it, but I don't care. Everything else was amazing!

2. Tinkerbell Half  Marathon at Disneyland - I will admit this was this first ( and hopefully last) race I ever shed tears during because I was in so much pain. The run itself was not a good one but I put it as one of my favorites because of the experience. I spent this race weekend with my mom and sister and had a fabulous time at Disneyland before and after the race.  I really liked this course through Anaheim and the Disney Parks. It could have been an easy course had I not been injured. I'd love to have a redemption run for this race, but honestly when it comes down to making that trek all the way across the country, Is probably pass.

3. Atlantic City April Fools race - This one made my list because I love that the entire course is on the boardwalk and I love that it is spent as a girls weekend in one of the glitzy resorts! Last year I missed this race due to trying out the Hershey 10k instead. Now I know I prefer the AC race!

4. Any Disney World race - There is something magical about any Disney race. I know many people who have never run one will stick their nose up at it. Yes they are expensive but they are worth every penny to experience at least once. The expo, the resorts, the photo ops, the start line, the finish line, it's all worth it.  Since I've run all the Disney races at least once, I've backed off Disney for a while so I can use my vacation days for other experiences.

5.  Harvest Festival 5k - I know some people won't get this, but sometimes it's not about the amazing scenery, the photo ops, or the fancy resorts. Sometimes what makes a race a favorite is the people you share it with. Our local Harvest Festival race is that race for me because local friends and family run it. It's so great to root each other on and have spectators on the course who know your name.  The weekend is usually full of events ( and my Dad's birthday) and sometimes there are local fireworks later that night.

What reason would a race make your top 5? -M

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I'll do it Tomorrow

How many times have you said “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I’ll do it later”?  Or maybe it was “Next week, I’m starting fresh”.

I’ve sure said it a time or two (or five or ten).  You can relate it to anything really, eating healthier, making a dr. appointment, doing laundry, calling an old friend. Why do we put off doing things that we know we should be doing?

I once read an article on procrastination. I don’t really consider myself a procrastinator but I guess it depends on the situation. The article mentioned that we procrastinate because we are afraid of failure. I’ve actually heard this saying several times and I’m not sure I agree with it.  I don’t do my laundry because I just don’t feel like it, not because I’m afraid of failing at it (although, I’m not very good at doing laundry so maybe there IS something too that).

I mentioned previously that I have a home gym (bike, treadmill, bowflex, weights, etc) but I don’t use it. I pay to go to a gym. I know it sounds silly but going to the gym was the only way I knew I would get my strength training it. I was paying for it, so I felt like I was being held accountable.  

The New York City Half Marathon was the last long distance race I ran and that was back in March. After that race, I took the rest of the month off from the gym and I never went back. My excuse was that I didn’t have any long distance races coming up and I thought that I could just “get by” doing some training on my own since I only planned to run “short distances” in the coming months.

So this is where I am now, I’ve run several shorter distance races and I have still not done any strength training since March.  I keep saying “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I’ll make a new plan on Monday and actually stick with it”. I haven’t . I need to thank my lucky stars that I haven’t ended up injured yet.  

What’s the hardest thing for you to stick with?  Perhaps we need to start a little group to help hold each other accountable. Who’s with me? -M