Monday, April 23, 2012


At least if I was going to go raid the vending machine to stave off mid-afternoon starvation I walked down and back up four flights of stairs instead of the elevator. That cancels it out, right?

Monday, April 9, 2012


Waiting to cross an intersection yesterday while out on a bike ride with J-Mav and Hubby. J-Mav reads a sign out loud with disbelief in his voice: "In-home torturing?!?"

Hubby and I cracked up. It was, of course, a sign for in-home TUTORING. (Though I suspect some would agree with J-Mav's assessment...)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spring Break '12: Day 5

Day 5: Heading Home

We slept in this morning thinking we weren't in a rush; however, at 9am I happened to look at the guest services book and we realized the complimentary breakfast ended at 9:30. So we threw on clothes, brushed our teeth and headed downstairs for breakfast.

Sufficiently stuffed, we went back up and showered, packed up what little we'd unpacked, and headed back to Orlando to catch our flight home. :-( We had a little traffic, but got to the airport in plenty of time. Again, we didn't have to check anything and we had printed our boarding passes at the hotel before we left. So we got through security (long line) and headed straight to our gate for our non-stop flight back to DC.

As we flew home on a different airline than we left on, we had to walk all the way through the terminal to get back to the truck. But we found the truck, paid an arm and a leg for the time we left it parked at the airport, and headed home. We were early enough that we went and picked K-Dog up instead of leaving her at the kennel an extra night. We were also able to pick up Hubby's car from the mechanic. We had left it to be inspected while we were gone. And then we went to grab some dinner... J-Mav chose Olive Garden. Really? We JUST ate there the other night. Sigh.

So our short trip is done. We packed a lot into what was, essentially, three days, and yet, we still had a relaxing time. We've been following the blog about Gma G and Keeper Boy's trip, and I think they are going at a much more frantic pace. But it looks like they are having a great time!!

Already thinking about spring break '13!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Break '12: Day 4

Day 4: Miniature Golf / Caps game

Today we had to check out of the villa so we could head to Tampa and see the Caps take on the Lightning... the impetus for this entire trip! We had another leisurely morning without an alarm. We packed up, checked out, and headed to the local Sizzler for the $4.99 breakfast buffet. Woo hoo!

Next stop was Pirate Cove Miniature Golf, where we had to decide between the easier, hillier course and the more difficult course. J-Mav chose more difficult. None of us thought it was all THAT difficult, but we had fun! The 16th hole ate both J-Mav's and Hubby's golf balls, which was rather humorous. But a guy came with a leaf blower and got them out of the tubing and play resumed. We also had fun chasing some little lizards around at one of the holes.

After we were done, we got in the car and turned the A/C up full blast to try to cool down. And then programmed the GPS and headed for Tampa. It took a little longer than it should have due to traffic around Disney, but not much, and it was a nice drive. We arrived at our hotel without incident, handed the car over to the valet (the only parking option we had), and proceeded to the desk to check in.

While we were checking in, I saw Joe Benenati (the Caps TV play-by-play guy) walk through the lobby in workout clothes, and at that point we knew the Caps had stayed in the same hotel the previous night. Pretty cool. We checked in and went to our room (on the 15th floor), passing (in the glass elevator) a skinny little pool outside on about the 8th or 9th floor.

We got situated in our room, changed into our Caps gear, and headed down to the lobby to try to find somewhere close by to grab an early dinner before the game. While perusing google maps in the computer kiosk in the lobby, we saw Karl Alzner and John Carlson (Caps defensemen) heading out to the team bus to ride the whole block to the arena. We didn't see anyone else, but we didn't go searching, either.

Also while we were standing there, a woman came up to us and asked if the Caps were staying at this hotel. We told her yes, but that it appeared they were heading toward the team bus and on to the arena with suitcases, so it didn't appear they would be staying that night. She went on to tell us that they were from England and her grandson plays hockey and is a huge Ovechkin fan. They were in Orlando and drove to Tampa to try to get his book signed. They didn't even have tickets to the game! We told her to go out by the bus and see if they could get it signed. We left to go find food, but I hope that he got to meet his favorite player! :)

We walked to the other side of the arena, to an area that is essentially the Tampa cruise port. Several restaurants that had been there appear to have closed down, so we just ate at a Hooters. Our food was actually very good. :-) After dinner, we headed back over to the arena. The doors weren't open yet... we had about 15 minutes. But there was a band and a little fan appreciation festival going on outside the arena. We were surprised at how many red jerseys we saw. :)

Once they opened the doors, we headed in, stopping (against J-Mav's wishes) to get a picture with Thunder Bug, the Lightning's mascot. The arena is fairly new, and it's very nice. We found out seats and they were awesome! Right by the tunnel from the Caps locker room. J-Mav even got a puck from one of the Caps trainers!

While we were waiting for warmups to start, we chatted with other Caps fans, and even ran into teammates from home... one kid from J-Mav's winter house team, and a kid from Keeper Boy's travel team. Small world, hockey fans. :) When the Caps came out of the tunnel for warm-ups, J-Mav leaned over the rail and got to do fist bumps with almost all of them. How cool. :) We also saw Olie Kolzig (who is now the Associate Goalie Coach for the Caps). Love him!

The game didn't end up in our favor, but we had a great time... and we were on TV during the first intermission. (One of John's friends sent a text with a picture of his TV, and there we are in our Caps jerseys... later, several other friends texted or posted on Facebook that they'd seen us on TV. Too funny.) We picked up a souvenir puck for Keeper Boy at the end of the game, and walked the block back to our hotel.

Another fun day in Florida done.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring Break '12: Day 3

Day 3: Pool / Baseball / Sea World

Today we didn't set an alarm. We got up when we got up, and then went and grabbed a light breakfast at Dunkin' Donuts before heading back to spend a couple of hours at the resort pool.

After J-Mav was sufficiently water-logged, we got cleaned up and headed over to the Disney ESPN Sports Complex to see some pre-season baseball: Phillies vs. Braves. We bought lawn seats and laid claim to a nice, sunny, HOT patch of lawn behind left field. It was a GREAT venue and we had a really fun time. We ate the requisite hot dogs and peanuts and cheered on the Phillies (well, *I* did). Alas, they blew a 5-run lead in the bottom of the ninth and ended the game tied. I guess pre-season games don't go into extra innings.

From there, we went directly back to Sea World. We got a second admission free with the tickets I had purchased online. Bonus! We knew we wanted to see the Shamu One World show, the Shamu Rocks show (which is at night), and the sea lion show in which they parody the other shows/rides at the park. J-Mav wanted to ride Kracken again. And there were a couple exhibits we didn't see yesterday. So we had a plan... and we had until the park closed at 10.

We did it! We saw everything we wanted to. The shows were all great. We liked the Shamu Rocks show better than the Shamu One World show, but they were both good. It is amazing to me that those HUGE animals can be trained. The Sea Lion show was hilarious. I think that might've been our favorite one overall. We saw an artic exhibit that we missed yesterday (polar bear and a ginormous walrus). We went and saw the dolphin place, which is somewhat out of the way and which we never made it to yesterday. We bought J-Mav a stuffed Shamu, which is what he wanted. And we rode Kracken again. J-Mav rode it twice... once with each of us. The change machine was out of order, so we couldn't get a locker. Thus, we just took turns riding with J-Mav. I think he would've gone again had we not had to head out. On the way out, we stopped and petted some sting rays (they are slimy... turns out they are covered in mucous... gross!).

We hadn't had anything to eat since the hot dogs, so we ran through McDonald's on the way back to the villa. Nothing like eating McDonald's at 10pm. Amazingly, no heartburn. I think J-Mav was asleep before his head even touched the pillow, arms tightly around Shamu. :)

Another great day!