Lazy Weekend

I spent my weekend being a 9 out of 10 on the lazy scale. I rarely have weekends in which I am that unproductive and useless to society, but I managed to get next to nothing done.

The lazy started on Wednesday, because why wait till the weekend? Hubs was out of town for business all week, which meant I couldn’t watch any of our normal shows because we watch them together. I generally try to avoid new shows because my life is consumed by enough TV and not enough social interaction, then along comes Jim, who recommends a show I’ve never heard of.

It’s free on Amazon Prime video, he says. Just check it out, he says. Well, I did and three days later, I’m done with season 1. Hot damn that show is fun. So if you’d like to suck away three days of your life shirking all responsibility, I’d highly recommend it. Season 2 is also on Amazon but it’s not free for Prime members and it’s $3.00 an episode. I just want free stuff! Life is so unfair.

I’ve also never used the word shirking before and I gotta say, it felt good.

On Friday, I had my trainer work on that knot in my calf that is making running suck. Usually he just foam rolls my calf because he’s able to put so much more pressure on it than I can at home. I mentioned before that he tried to work the knot out with his thumbs and gave me a 3-inch long bruise in the process. Despite the bruise, my calf pain diminished by 70% after that so I asked him to work on it again now that the bruise is gone. It was super painful, expletives flew, and I have another bruise, but my calf feels so much better now. I don’t want to jinx it and say it’s 100% better buuut it’s leaning that way.

Saturday I was so worn out from barely sleeping all week (when hubs is gone, I just lay in bed and think every noise I hear is an intruder), that the day involved lots of napping and leisuring on the couch. I even finished another book.

All Our Yesterdays has been on my GoodReads read list for a long time. I don’t remember putting it there and it wasn’t recommended to me but I thought I’d read it anyway because I like danger. The danger of non-recommended books. It was really good. It’s a young adult book about time travel. It’s nothing life changing - just a good, fast read. Oh, and it’s not a trilogy so it was nice to finish a book and be done with it for once.

On Sunday, I got off the couch briefly to run 7.5 miles on the treadmill. Those were some long, boring miles but if I don’t have a friend to run with outside, I run with my three besties inside – the AC, the toliet, and the TV. I’m building mileage for the start of marathon training at the end of the month. The run was decent for the treadmill and more importantly, I did not feel ANY calf pain during or after the run. I was so relieved.

Sunday was Father’s Day, of course. I’m not a fan, mainly because mine isn’t around anymore. All the pictures of dads and daughters posted on FB and Instagram make me sad. I’ve been thinking about writing a post about my dad, especially since I’m running Chicago in his memory and so many of you were kind enough to give to my fundraiser. Maybe that post will happen; I’m still thinking about it. In the meantime, I went through my pictures to find ones of him. I think I mentioned before how he made instant friends with anyone? Well, that goes for animals too.

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That’s the double-pet. The cat and dog were usually sitting on either side of him and my dad would have both petting hands going at once. I ran across three pictures from different times exactly like this, which I found funny, so I thought I’d share.

Anyway, Father’s Day wasn’t all bad. We were lazy most of the day, had a nice dinner with the in-laws, and watched the season finale of GoT. I just love Tyrion.

Now on to season 2 of Orange is the New Black.

 

 

 

Another Year Older

I had a fabulous birthday in which I was definitely intoxicated enough to forget how old I’ve become.

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Seriously, how did this picture even happen? I’m very excited about that shot in my hand. Am I in the wind? Did I whip my hair back and forth?

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That gif makes me laugh a lot.

Hubs and I drove out to Cocoa Beach and stayed at one of the hotels out there for a quick little birthday getaway. Over 10 of my favorite people came out to help me celebrate, so it was a good time. We spent the day at the pool.

Yeah, the beach was right there but the pool had a bar and bars win. At night, we hung out at a few pubs and enjoyed drinks paired with general laziness.

The whole Rhonda thing doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.

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My friends made sure the band sang Happy Birthday Rhonda to me as well. And of course all of my Facebook friends made sure to get in on the action.

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We got a lot of comedians out there.

By the end of the night, I was answering to Rhonda on instinct. Also, I was told that I was offered donuts and declined them. I’m not even sure if that’s true or not. Paula would never do that but maybe Rhonda would. I’m not liking this Rhonda chick so much anymore. Forty-seven more days I can be my donut-accepting self again.

The next morning, we all went to IHOP, which I think is just what you do after a night of drinking. I mowed down a lot of pancakes. So, so many pancakes. That made up for the lack of donuts the night before.

Ken decided the syrup looked like Wolverine, so he asked the server for toothpicks and scotch tape, which she provided without question. What exactly are other people asking for that she didn’t question the toothpicks and scotch tape?

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I hope the next people at our table enjoyed their syrup.

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Besides all the IHOPing and beaching bar’ing, Hubs and I saw The Fault in Our Stars on Friday night. I can’t even with that movie. I felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest and stomped on for the last 30 minutes.

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The dude that played Augustus was just about the most adorable thing ever and he was perfect for that role. So the movie was really good (and hubs even liked it) but I’m just not emotionally equipped to handle that crap in public.

On Sunday, we saw Edge of Tomorrow, which I liked a lot. It was fun and I dig a good Tom Cruise action flick. Oh, and I didn’t cry during it. That was a nice change. Overall a really good weekend but I’m sad it’s over because that means my movie picking privileges have gone from 100% back to 50%.

A last note for anyone who’s local: Michelle and I will be at the Mellow Mushroom on Wednesday from 5:00-9:00pm. Well, maybe not the entire time, but we will be there for a lot of it. If you come in during that time and say you’re with spirit night, 10% of your bill will be donated to the charities we’re supporting for the Chicago Marathon. So come on out and have a beer with us. :-)

By the Numbers

I try really hard not to number things all the time, but it’s hard to write a post with one cohesive thought. The numbers – they call to me…

1. I bought my plane tickets to Chicago, so I guess I’m really running this thing.

My calf feels a lot better but it’s still not 100%. I can at least run on it now, but it feels tight afterwards. I was able to do 150 wall balls and box jumps last night, so it must not be that bad. Still, I don’t want it to get worse so I’m trying to baby it 80% of the time. Hopefully it will be all better by the end of this month.

2.  At work the other day, my co-worker called me Rhonda. Not a big deal, except that was the fourth time someone has called me Rhonda since I started.

Each time it’s been someone different, so it’s not even a fluke. I must put off a really strong Rhonda vibe.

Each time I’m Rhonda’ed, I update my Facebook status to document the continuging saga of my Rhonda-ness. This time around, I mentioned that it would be easier for me to just change my name. So I did, because I thought it was funny. And it was. Until it wasn’t. Did you know you can only change your name every 60 days on FB?  Yeah. So now my name is Rhonda on FB until the end of July.

Joke regret. I gots it. Now everyone either calls me Rhonda or asks if I changed my name. The Rhonda that I work with even changed my name tag at work. So that’s gonna be fun for the next 60 days.

3.  Lately, I’ve been reading a lot more than usual. I finished Red Rising (at Michelle’s recommendation).

I loved it! Red Rising is a trilogy so don’t read it yet unless you like waiting. The second book doesn’t come out until January. It was hard to get into at first and I stopped reading for awhile because of that, but Michelle insisted it was great. So I begrungingly picked it back up and I’m so glad I did. The characters have their own slang that’s hard to understand at first but once you get past Chapter 4, it really picks up and eventually turns into a Hunger Games type thing (but in a good way, not in a total rip-off way).

4. I also read this one.

Because of course I did. #fangirl. I LOVED it despite the terrible title which had very little to do with the book. It’s just like reading an episode but with F-bombs. If you liked the show or the movie, you’ll like the book. I hope Rob Thomas writes more because me wanty.

5. TOMORROW.

I mentioned awhile back how this is the best book I’ve read in years, so I need to see this movie in a bad way. Plus, Saturday is my birthday so there’s no way anyone can say no to me. It’s my weekend and Paula (or Rhonda, whoever) gets to pick the activities so hubs better pull out his crying and romance pants, cuz we’re going to the movies.

6. It’s a birthday weekend movie extravaganza, because Edge of Tomorrow comes out tomorrow and I really want to see that too. I love me some sci-fi action and I love Emily Blunt, or at least, I think I love her. I might just love her because of her husband.

Cutest couple ever.

 

Four More Sleeps

I reached my fundraising goal, guys.

Feels

I have the feels. All of them. Relief that I made my goal when I wasn’t so sure I could going into the fundraising thing for the first time. Happiness that I might be helping someone out in need. Gratitude that so many people in my life were willing to give. ALL THE FEELS. There is no way I’ll run this race without crying. I can already tell I’m going to be a hot mess. So thank you all who donated again. I swear I’ll stop thanking you at some point. Maybe. Probably not.

It’s almost June so that means I have exactly four Saturdays left to sleep in until marathon training starts.

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I’m trying my hardest to make them count by drinking as much as possible so I’m unable to get out of bed. It’s the little goals.

I’m actually looking forward to training this time around. I say this having not run in humidity in a year, so plan on that perspective changing.  My runs lately have been short and all sorts of crappy because I have this giant knot in my left calf that hurts like a bitch. I told my trainer about it (I thought it was a pulled muscle) and he worked it out as best he could while dealing with all my squirming and complaining.

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I legit broke a sweat while he was “massaging” my calf. I use the term massage lightly because the next day, I had a 3-inch long bruise on my calf from his thumb. The good news is, it’s 70% better but I need it to be 100% before I start this long run business back up otherwise it’s just going to get worse. It’s getting better way too slowly for my taste so now I’m icing and stretching and foam rolling. All the things I hate.

I can’t remember if I mentioned this or not, but I’ll be doing all my training with my friend, Brad, this time around.

I met Brad in my running group a few years ago and he ran the Savannah Rock n Roll marathon (my first) with Michelle and I. We’re pace twins and we both have no problem walking if the other one is dying, so we’re a good training match. If you’re wondering why I don’t train with Michelle – it’s because she needs to do her long runs on Sunday because of her hub’s work schedule and mass quantity of children, and Saturday runs work better with my schedule. It’s not because I hate her.

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Anyway, Brad and I have one goal for marathon training this year: not gaining weight. So we’ll see how that goes. I’ll try to remind myself that burgers for every meal on days I run over 10 miles isn’t a good plan.

Speaking of that goal, my work is trying to kill me with delicious food and desserts. We had a Memorial Day potluck. Who does that?

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Well, I did. But besides that. (Stole that pic from Michelle.)

I’ve never worked at a place that has so many damn potlucks. My last job had one a year, at Thanksgiving. I have been at my current job for eight months and we have had EIGHT potlucks. A breast cancer awareness potluck (not kidding) and then one for Thanksgiving, Christmas, two going away potlucks, one baby shower potluck, and one team potluck. Even when I avoid them, the leftovers are in the kitchen afterwards. And don’t even suggest using “self-control” and “not eating the food in the kitchen” because that isn’t a thing in which I’m capable.

In addition to the potlucks, we have breakfast on Friday, birthday cake once a month, and random donut bringer-inners. I can’t win this fight.

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Stuff from the Weekend

Remember how I bought two books to read on vacation and then did everything on vacation but read? Well, I finally finished the second one (The Strain) and good news: it didn’t piss me off like The Lovely Bones!

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There’s a new show on FX starting in a few weeks called The Strain that I wanted to check out because Guillermo Del Toro’s name is attached and I love most of his stuff (he did Pan’s Labrynth). I had no idea it was based on a book until I ran across it in the used book store so of course I had to read it before the show started. Toward the end, I discovered it was a trilogy.

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Why can’t I read one book and be done with it? They all have to be trilogies?

Anyway, the book is basically about a virus that’s turning people into vampires and a few people are trying to stop it from spreading outside of New York City. The story isn’t anything super original but man, I really liked it. So now I’m really looking forward to the show and feel all sorts of pressure to read the other two books soon.

Last Thursday night, hubs and I went to see Godzilla. It was ok. Not a lot of Godzilla for a Godzilla movie. Plus, he came out of nowhere. There’s another monster that is fully explained and he breaks free and is all “see ya Japan, I’m heading to San Fran” and the scientist dude is all, “let Godzilla hunt him down.”

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How does everyone already know about and are ok with this giant sea lizard? I mean, I don’t expect an amazing story from a Godzilla movie but you’d think they’d explain where he came from. Then, hubs was annoyed that Godzilla never ate anything, which at first I thought was a strange thing to notice. But then, the other monster was always feeding on radiation while Godzilla ate nothing. I mean, elephants are huge but still smaller than Godzilla, right? They spend 18-20 hours eating a day. That’s right. I looked it up. So why you no eat, Godzilla?

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On Sunday, I decided to check out my free credit report. These are the things I do for fun when I’m alone. Also, I hear it’s a good idea to check your credit report yearly. Since I last checked mine never, I figured now is as good a time as any. Everything looked normal until I noticed that all three credit bureaus have my brother’s address listed as one of my former addresses (nope) and my current employment is listed as Best Western. I worked there 13 years ago.

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Some good current stuff on that report.

Lastly, you probably remember I’m running the Chicago Marathon in memory of my dad. (That’s a link to the post about my dad.) Well, thanks to a lot of you, I am less than $200 away from my goal! It’s not a goal I set for myself. It’s a goal set by the American Heart Association that I am required to fulfill. So, needless to say I was a little worried I could do it. I wasn’t sure if I could raise $500, much less $1500, so I have some pretty awesome readers and friends that have been so incredibly supportive. So thank you so much for that. If I could give you all a kiss, I would.

I’m still trying to reach my goal (so close!), so if you have the means and would like to donate, YOU CAN DO THAT HERE. Even a $5.00 donation is appreciated. <3

Update: It looks like the site doesn’t take less than $25.00 donations. :-(  I emailed the AHA and asked about other options.

Mother’s Day Eve

Hubs and I aren’t big fans of celebrating most holidays on the actual day. Mainly because every restaurant becomes so crowded with people and our desire to be around people is usually low. So, we decided to celebrate Mother’s Day on Saturday instead of Sunday and picked up the in-laws for a night out on the town.

New hair shot for you.

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It’s so easy to style now that I curl it almost every day, which is way faster than the 15 minutes I used to put into “styling” it, followed by the 30 minutes I’d spend crying in the mirror.

We took the in-laws to Rocco’s Tacos, a really fun Mexican restaurant with an awesome, trendy atmosphere and a huge tequila bar.

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Instead of getting pictures of that awesome atmosphere, I took one picture. Of the wall.

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I don’t know why I try anymore.

Anyway, this was the first time any of us had been there and we heard great things about the guacamole. So we started with that.

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They make it at the table and you can get it mild, medium, or spicy. We ordered medium and it tasted mild to all of us. But whatever, it was still delicious.

I ordered three tacos (mushroom, chorizo, and shrimp) for my main dish with a side of spicy white rice. I didn’t take a picture, but it looked like tacos and rice. So get your imagination on. The spicy white rice and mushroom taco were amazing, but the other two tacos? Meh. The chorizo was awful. I ate half of it and hubs inherited the other half. The shrimp taco was so bland that I just ate the shrimp. Disappointing, but I was already getting full from the guac and chips so it’s not like I left weak and hungry.

Hubs and I both think Mucho (my favorite place that I take every friend that comes into town) is still the best in town. I’d give Rocco’s a second date, but I’m going home with Mucho if you know what I mean.

After dinner, we noticed there was an outdoor area in the back of the restaurant, so we walked over there to check it out only to find a pretty lake view and tons of open tables. So we were basically seated in the shittiest spot in the restaurant – right by the front, close to the hostess and where everyone walks by to get to their table.

We hung out by the lake for a bit and my MIL showed off her photography skills.

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I swear she took that picture three times before we got one with my eyes open. I had to take matters into my own hands.

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I’m awake!

After we left the restaurant, hubs asked the in-laws if they had ever been to Lake Eola. Even though they both said yes, we thought it would be nice to take them there anyway for a walk, and then stop for a drink along the way. While we were walking, my MIL mentioned that the tall buildings weren’t around the lake last time she was there (they aren’t new) and when we told her about the farmer’s market every Sunday, she thought that was new (nope). Then she mentioned her last visit to Lake Eola when my sister-in-law had just started walking – forty-two years ago.

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Then, I look over to see my FIL taking pictures of the fountain like a tourist.

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Every time the fountain changed color, he had to get a new picture. We might as well have taken them to the ancient ruins because I felt like they had never been there before. So it’s safe to say it was a good choice on the hub’s part. We know they don’t get out much (or at all), but Lake Eola is 15 minutes away from their house. Now we’re on a mission to delight them with all things Orlando.

The next afternoon, hubs and I went to Ollie’s Public House for lunch. Ollie’s in my new favorite.

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I thought the newspaper presentation was really cute. That’s corned beef, swiss, and spicy mustard minus the sauerkraut because no. No sauerkraut ever.

The food at Ollie’s is amazing and beers are cheap. Plus, they give you a FREE JAR OF PICKLES when you sit down.

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Free pickles with beer is my dream. My other dream that doesn’t involve binge eating cupcakes, that is. I have five friends that live or work within a two mile radias of this place and I’m just finding out about it, so I’m going to have some serious talks with them about their communication skills.

 

 

 

By the Numbers

1. My training plan for Chicago is donezo.

This plan is a combination of a Smart Coach plan and last year’s Marathonfest plan (my old running group). This time around my training is six weeks shorter (so I don’t burn out again), I’m dropping one day of Crossfit (Friday) for rest, replacing one speed run for an easy run (Tuesday), and adding a short run on Sunday if I feel like it. Which I probably won’t. My main focus will be on that Thursday run, which will likely be tempos unless I’m bored, since my goal is to get faster this time around and tempos have worked for me lately.

2.  I got new hair and an ombre.

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And then I went out for a beer afterwards, so I forgot to get a picture of the finished product. So my head in tinfoil is all you get for now.

3.  I moved to a new building at work. That makes four moves in seven months, not that I’m counting.

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4. I finished reading The Lovely Bones. (Sorry in advance for this one.)

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I wish I was part of a book club so I could bitch about this book for hours on end. A lot of people told me the book was haunting and that it really stayed with them after they were done reading it and I gotta say, that got me excited to read it.

Well, it stayed with me alright. Only because it annoyed the shit out of me. I didn’t find it haunting. That’s a strange word to describe it in my opinion. Anything that could have been haunting was described in such a sugar-coated way, that it took all the impact out of the words. It was definitely disturbing –  for about three pages, but beyond that I felt like I was reading a bunch of useless information to eventually get to a paragraph that forwards the story.

Oh, and the end…

***Spoilers***

First, the dad takes the mom back.

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She was a cheater and a barely-present mother. In fact, she left him for FIVE years and during that time, he fell in love with her “all over again” by looking at her picture. Pllleeease.

Then, Susie, who was raped and cut into pieces at 13 yrs old by the way, comes back from the dead briefly by inhabiting Ruth’s body and has no problem using Ruth to bone the guy she had a crush on before she died. So when it’s someone else’s body, I guess it’s ok.

Speaking of that ghostly sex scene, this happened.

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And the killer dies, not because he’s killed tons of girls and gets caught, but because he loses footing and freezes to death after an icicle falls on him?

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I can’t even with that book.

***End Spoilers***

5. Here’s Pants being punished.

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She’s been a pain in the ass lately by digging out all the litter in her litter box, so we make her cuddle when she’s bad. She hates it so much, which you can tell because her ear is back. She knows when it’s coming too because she tries to hide. YOU CAN’T HIDE FROM MY LOVE, PANTS.

6. I was behind this car the other day.

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Is that, like, the divorced version of the family sticker? Or the single parent version? Because it’s awesome and more men should let us know if they’re single by displaying it on their car.

Getting Faster

It was nice pretending this was a vacation blog for awhile, but it’s time to get back to some running stuff mmkay? I’m taking some time off for the next two months before marathon training starts, so the most I’m running are three milers. Nothing really to report there. But a bunch of you asked what I did differently to PR my last three races since I’ve been so good about not PRing crap for three years. So I thought I’d share my deep, dark secrets.

Oh, and when I say a bunch of you asked, I mean one.

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I didn’t follow a plan, I just changed a few things that I thought could use improvement. I all but gave up on PRs, so I didn’t really expect these things to work. In any case, here they are:

1. I ran outside more and on the treadmill less.

I know a lot of you hate the treadmill but I love it. I like AC and I like nearby toilets to poop in and I like TVs in front of my face. So as much as I hate running outside, I swapped one (sometimes two) treadmill runs a week for an outside run. Not for speed. Just for more outside running.

2. I added one tempo run a week – on the treadmill.

My speed runs were sporadic at best so I made sure I did one  a week. I ran all my tempos on the treadmill so I could keep my pace consistent. I ran one warm-up mile (always a 10:00 pace) and three miles at a faster pace (usually a 8:50). I picked a faster pace that was challenging but not so hard that I needed to walk. Some weeks it was easy and others I could barely make it though.

3. I was uncomfortable during all three races.

None of the races were easy, even at the beginning. I feel like, in order for me to PR a race, I’m going to hate the during part. I know it’s not like that for everyone. Some people feel omg amazing the entire time. Some people can’t believe they magically got so fast when they were just running the race “for fun.” That’s not me. I’m putting in a lot of effort the entire time and it sucks until I cross the finish line and see my finish time. And then it’s amazing.

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I did the first two things for two months and it worked somehow. Not really crazy or complicated, which I like, so I’ll make sure to add it to my training plan for Chicago.

The Rest of the Fun

Now that I’ve told you about all our cruise excursions, you’d think I’d be done talking about this vacation. But nope. We had three full days at sea that I haven’t even mentioned. I had two more posts drafted, but I felt like that was a little excessive. So instead I’m going to sum up the main points in one post. One. long. post. See? You don’t have to hear about my vacation any more after this. Unless you want to… (call me!)

1. I bought two books before the cruise in anticipation of reading by the pool for hours on end.

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That didn’t happen. I never even went in the pool. I walked by it many times to get to the bar but actual relaxing by it didn’t happen. We spent most of our time eating (so, so much eating) or hanging out at a pool deck table chatting with Linda and Jimmy.

2. OMG. The eating.

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That’s our waiter, Anthony, posing with us. He helped us all eat five meals a day. It was ridiculous. Even when we tried to be good, it was impossible because he was hell bent on feeding us. If one of us didn’t order a certain course (like a second appetizer or meal *gasp*), he’d bring out what he thought we might like so we wouldn’t be “lonely” watching everyone else eat.

3. I ate something I said I would never eat. Snails, dude.

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I’ve been saying no to trying escargot for 10 years. I cannot deal with little, black, slimy things that look like hot garbage on a plate, but Linda insisted. So I gave in. The verdict: I ordered them every day for the rest of the cruise. Damn those things are good. Where have you been all my life you delicious, butter-drenched delights? If cruise escargot is that good, I can only imagine what non-cruise escargot tastes like. Also, that picture should explain why I’m not going to do a food post.

4.  At the Belly Flop contest, I captured this amazing shot of a man giving birth to a leg.

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5. This is Deck 5.

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Deck 5 is important for 3 reasons: Irish Pub, 24 hour pizza, and cupcakes.

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We spent a lot of time on Deck 5. The cupcakes were not included with the cruise food which did not deter me. I still bought many of them.

6. Linda and I worked out five out of the seven days on the ship since we pretty much stuffed our faces for all seven days. It is unusually hard to eat that much. That it something I never thought I would say. I mean, I wasn’t so hard that I didn’t do it. That would just be ridiculous.

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7. Our stateroom was on Deck 2.

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That means hubs and I were climbing a ton of stairs daily to get to Deck 11, which had the breakfast and lunch buffets, and Deck 12, which had the pools. By the time we climbed nine flights of stairs, we were panting and sweating. I have never worked so hard to get to a buffet. We did this at least three times a day. All the Crossfit and running do not prepare you for stairs. Stairs are the devil.

8. We went to four shows while we were on the ship. We saw a variety show, a comedy act, an ice skating show, and a dating game type show that was pretty entertaining. I didn’t take any pictures of them, so here’s a picture of Linda and I instead.

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9. We spent most nights at the bars. Although, I feel like that goes without saying.

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10.  Speaking of bars, hubs, Jimmy, and I all got the Premium Inclusive drink package.

Premium Package ($55 per day): includes house and premium cocktails (up to $10 value), frozen cocktails, beers, premium wine by the glass (up to $12 value), nonalcoholic cocktails, bottled still water, fountain sodas with a souvenir Coca-Cola cup and a 20 percent discount on wine bottle purchases.

Not cheap, but I still thought it would be cheaper than paying as we went. The package equaled about five drinks a day from my online research estimation. I didn’t plan to drink every day, but I’m no lightweight so I thought I could easily average that and make up the difference with bottled water.

Turns out drinks were way cheaper than I expected (and they had happy hour drink specials). So the package is worth it if you can drink eight drinks a day. Drinking eight drinks a day is hard, ya’ll. Of course, we didn’t want to lose money, so it became a challenge to drink as much as we could to get our monies worth. So yeah. Bad idea with the drink package. It would have been way cheaper to pay as we went. Live and learn, I suppose.

11. If you go on a cruise, bring cold medicine just in case. NyQuil was nineteen dollars on the ship. NINETEEN! Dying was cheaper, so I drank orange juice and suffered.

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12. I saw Frozen. We all watched it on the big screen at the pool the last night which was a fun way to watch. So now I’ve caught up with the rest of the world.

13.  Our last day on ship, we went to Johnny Rockets.

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We needed a break from the buffet and dining room but I think our JR waiter was friends with our regular dining room waiter because he kept bringing food we didn’t order too. We wanted a burger each and chili fries to share. We ended up with chili fries, regular fries, a bowl of ranch dressing, onion rings, four shakes, apple pie, and an extra burger. I ate all that in a bikini and felt extra sexy afterwards. Try that out if you want to feel super sexy too.

Our vacation was so fun. I’m sad it’s over. Although, I may have convinced Linda and Jimmy to join us on next year’s vacation to *fingers crossed* Ireland. My passport is lonely for its first stamp. :-)

Wandering Around St. Maarten

Our last, and most favorite stop, was in St. Maarten.

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St. Maarten is an island divided by two nations: a French side (Saint Martin) and a Dutch side (Sint Maarten). They are so split in two, they don’t even want to spell it the same. We visited the capitol, Phillipsburg, which is on the Dutch side.

Our visit to St. Maarten didn’t really go as planned. We tried really hard to book a snuba tour but there were only two spots left and we needed four. We even tried the wait list with no luck, so we decided to cancel our original tour (to a butterfly farm) and wing it since I really wanted to watch planes land at Maho Beach after hearing about it from my friend, Kate.

Maho Beach is a 30 minute cab ride from the port and right in front of an airport runway. Because the runway is so short, planes have to fly really low over the beach to ensure the wheels hit the runway as soon as possible. That makes plane watching extra interesting, especially when signs like this are posted.

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We hung out at the café on the beach all morning sipping Pina Coladas. I was starting to get a cold so I rationalized that those were the only things that felt good on my throat. Vacation logic. Hubs, Jimmy, and Linda ate lunch but I wasn’t hungry so I had more Pina Coladas to help my cold.

A lot of smaller planes land at the airport but the big ones are the most fun to watch, so the bar has a daily flight schedule posted so you know when they are coming in.

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After watching planes all morning from the beach café, we decided to get a little closer.

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See the plane approaching in the background?

This should be where I explain to you what Jimmy is doing. He decided at the beginning of the trip that he was going to pose like this for as many pictures as possible. He calls this pose “the erection.” So it was a delight when Linda would ask before someone took our picture, “are we going to do “the erection?” Always a crowd-pleaser.

Anyway, standing under those planes as they are passing over is a way different experience than watching from the café. It is freaky and cool. I took video of one of them but the video does nothing to capture the sound level and jet blast of a plane flying that close over you.

If you can’t see that video, you can click here too.

After watching planes all morning, we found a guy selling coconuts (illegally, because he ran when the cops drove by) and bought some.

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Well, everyone did but me because I hate coconut water. But it was still cool to watch this guy machete a coconut like no one’s business.

After that we caught a cab downtown for some shopping.

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St. Maarten is known for its shopping. There were a ton of cute shops selling all sorts of touristy stuff. It was fun checking them all out. Plus, fun fact about St. Maarten – you can walk around outside with alcohol like in Vegas and New Orleans. Basically my dream.

Downtown was about two miles away from the ship, so we just slowly made our way back stopping in just about every store on the way. I was hungry since I didn’t eat lunch, so I made everyone eat lunch #2 with me. We stopped at this awesome little beach restaurant.

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I wanted a cheeseburger in a bad way. So I ordered one because I’m an uncultured American. But I’m telling you, the burger was freakin’ amazing. (Hubs agreed.)  I was a little worried the waitress didn’t ask how I wanted it cooked, but apparently they only cook it one way: delicious.

Hubs, Jimmy, and Linda got this awesome beef plate so I ate that too because I like to eat off of other people’s plates.

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After lunch, we did some more shopping. I bought a bathing suit top and hubs bought some coconut rum with actual coconut pieces floating in it. Also, cigarettes were really cheap. (No, I didn’t buy them.) They were $17.99 a carton and $3.00 for a single pack. I think if I lived in the St. Maarten, I’d take up full-time smoking since it’s so cheap.

Oh, another interesting thing is that cigarettes had these giant warning labels all over them that we do not have in America.

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I was explaining to the lady at the store that our warnings are very small and she was like, “so that’s why everyone points out those warnings out to each other.”

Anyway, we all loved St. Maarten. Jimmy was already planning his trip back while we were there. We commented on how nice all the locals were when we noticed on the license plates that St. Maarten is called The Friendly Island. They definitely live up to that. I would really recommend visiting if you have the chance.

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I can’t get over hub’s face in that picture. He INSISTED on being the goat.