Monday, April 21, 2014

Donald - I am coming for you!

So I kind of got my mom addicted to this whole running thing. She is currently preparing to run her very first half marathon this August. While talking all things running and Disney, she discovered that the Walt Disney World Half Marathon's mascot [and therefore medal] was Donald Duck. My mom is Donald's number one fan and she was immediately interested in running this race.


She went back and forth on whether or not she wanted to sign up - being a little nervous having never run a race before - but finally decided she was going to go for it. Which means, I was going to go for it and just last week, we clicked the big "register" button and now we're both on the hook. FOR WALT DISNEY WORLD!

I am so ridiculously excited. As big of a Disney fan as I am, I have never been to "the world" so this will be an exciting trip for me. I am also super proud of my mom for signing up for another race and not letting her fear get the better of her. If there is any place to fall in love with the half marathon, it's at Disney. I think we're going to have an amazing time.

Anyone ever been to Walt Disney World? Tips? Tricks? Must do's?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Grudge Match: My Review

The hubs got really excited about this movie when he first saw the preview last year. He was determined we would go see if on Christmas. Then, his enthusiasm faded as he assumed that the trailer had all of the "funny" moments and that it would be a disappointment. So we didn't see it in theaters.


Then he noticed it was on Netflix and his excitement was renewed. So this past week, we put it in the playstation and got ready for a cheesy movie. In case you missed the previews - this movie came and went in a flash - Grudge Match is about two former boxers who were both undefeated except once - losing to each other one time. Before a third deciding match could be had, Stallone's character "Razor" quit the sport. Fast forward thirty years and stars align to set up one more fight - titled the Grudge Match.

The Good:
Stallone and DeNiro had a really good chemistry and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I really enjoyed watching them spar - both verbally and physically - through out the movie. The film didn't try to take itself too seriously and made jokes at the elephant in the room - their ages. And Adam Arkin stole the show four times over. Dry, witty, sarcastic humor which had me crying a couple of times from laughing so hard.

The Not So Good:
Well it's a silly premise and a silly movie. It is definitely not going to win any awards and I can understand why it came and went. But overall I can't really complain.

Overall Grade:
I enjoyed myself and would watch it again, which I consider a successful movie. My grade? B.


Have you seen Grudge Match? What did you think? 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I PLACED!!

This past weekend I ran a local 5k with some fabulous ladies from work. For most of the girls it was their first race ever and so I was there to cheer them on and make sure they finished strong. I had such an amazing time watching them do their thing - such an inspiration!

ME BEING A HAM

But it wasn't until yesterday that I found out that I actually placed in my age group. Meaning I finished within the top three! Now of course this was a very small race and the 5k running group was even smaller. But! I placed. Officially. It's on record. No one can take that from me baby! 

It's amazing how something so silly can get you so pumped! I am kind of on cloud nine. 

What gets you super hyped?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Welcome Back, Baseball!

Unless you live under a rock then I am pretty sure you are aware that this week was opening day for baseball! I always love the start of the season - always filled with such promise and excitement. This year, however, I have been less than excited to watch the games. Watching the games means that I am accepting the fact that this is Derek Jeter's last season in pinstripes... And I am just not there yet.

Even though I am not ready, it's happening. In fact, the hubs and I will be headed to our first baseball game of the year this weekend to partake in all of the festivities! I look forward to hanging out at the ball park, eating too many hotdogs and talking about a bunch of crap just to get under my husband's skin.

Welcome back, Baseball!!


Monday, March 31, 2014

26 down, 18 to go! Theodore Roosevelt: My Review

I finally can say I finished my super long biography on the 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt! ::does a super happy dance::

I got the book for Christmas and started it some time in January. I was immediately in love. Instead of the dry, boring Ben Stein-type information, Roosevelt's life was shared almost like a novel which made getting through the long chapters relatively easy. Of course, it was still a biography filled with facts, dates and reviews of previous scholarship so it made getting through the book with any speed an unachievable goal.


Our twenty-sixth president was an interesting character - I knew that much from history class - but I did not realize just how interesting his life was until I sorted through this volume on his life. For example, I learned that he struggled in his early years with numerous physical ailments like asthma and lost his vision in his left eye during a boxing match during his presidency. I also learned he was married twice - after losing his first wife after the birth of his first child.

The Good:
This book is a very good read. You have to want to learn about Roosevelt, of course, but this has to be one of the better quality biographies I have read in a while. It is written more as a story rather than a biography which keeps you interested. I also feel like I will remember a bit more from this biography due to the writing style. You learn everything you could possibly want to know about Roosevelt - his childhood, the effects of the death of his father, his time at Harvard and of course his vast political life.

The Not So Good:
The book ends abruptly with Roosevelt's death. Usually the biographies I have read share the story of the president's burial, what - if any - effects his death had on ongoing political schemes and what his presidency meant for future generations. Nathan Miller simply stops at Roosevelt dying in his sleep - it left me wanting more; even after 500+ pages!

Overall Grade:
I really enjoyed this biography. In fact, I put this one down and picked up William Howard Taft immediately because I was so ready to jump into the next volume [that and I have another 18 to get through before next March!]. To me, that is a sign of a great biography - one that makes you excited to keep going. My grade? A-.

What do you like about your favorite books?

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Training High

As I move into a year of relative running calmness [I am only running three half marathon's this year and one is for total fun!] I am finding different ways to love running and what it brings to my life. Recently, my mom has decided to try her very first half marathon and will be running with me in my second half of the Dumbo Double Dare in August. I have been helping her build strength in her back and in her knees and have gone on a few training runs with her. I am so proud that she has decided to try something so challenging [she has a very bad knee due to a car accident when she was younger and a back that is less than fresh] and that she is determined to not only finish this half marathon, but to do another one January.


And just a few months ago a friend from work decided she was going to try running and is now preparing to do her very first 5k. I have been working with her on training runs and giving the best advice I can - and am so excited to see her cross that finish line when we cross together in just a few short days. We are so infectious that we got a few ladies from work to sign up and so we're all going out and training together. It's awesome!

While I have a long way to go before I consider myself a top tier runner, I have been thoroughly enjoying myself help others train for their goals. It has given me a new love of running.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Washington DC: Final Thoughts

Are you sick of me talking about DC yet?! Well this will be the final blog about it, I promise!

My time in Washington, DC will always be treasured. I feel very fortunate that I was able to visit the Capitol and experience everything I got to explore. It is something I would suggest of every citizen - even if you aren't big into history. I always felt like something bigger than myself was going on while I was there. I was walking in the same city as brilliant men before me and activists who risked their lives to make a point and drive change. More than once I got choked up with the knowledge that I was getting a chance to see living history. I am not someone who would classify myself as overly patriotic - I am proud to be an American and could not imagine living anywhere else, but I also realize that our country has made grave mistakes and that no nation is ever perfect - but visiting the district made me keenly aware of what excellence our country has produced. Men and women who were light years ahead of their times, brilliant scientists who continued to push the boundaries and brave men and women who put their lives on the line so that I could walk the streets without worry. I was aware of all these things prior to my trip, but visiting drove it home for me. It was truly an unforgettable experience and easily one of the best vacations I have ever had.



That being said, no vacation is perfect. One thing in particular that really got under my skin was the aloofness of students who were visiting the various monuments and museums. These teens seemed to care less what they were experiencing and I felt that perhaps they should not have been there. For example, the Holocaust Museum. It is a very somber place and it tells a story of the horrific atrocities that took place and is very graphic in certain parts. Before you go in, you are asked to remain quiet, respectful and somber as it is a place of both learning but also of mourning. You never know who might be in the museum with you. There were a group of students who felt that this museum was a place to laugh and joke and tell stories, without ever paying attention to the information in front of them. I was offended at their behavior and made a comment to my husband that perhaps an age requirement should be instituted for the museum. The group was so loud, in fact, that the docent of the museum had to ask the group to leave because they were disturbing people so much. It was just upsetting to me to watch these kids brush through such an important part of history without ever feeling the tangible effects of the problem.

Other than that, though, our trip was pretty amazing. We stayed outside of the district in Arlington and I have to say - it was the best decision we could have made. Staying inside DC is very costly and we were able to get a nice hotel close to the Metro for the price of what DC wanted to charge for a Holiday Inn. If you are planning your trip to DC, my suggestion would be to stay at the Hyatt Arlington - they were courteous, professional and attentive. They even gave a list of nearby food places when we checked in. Additionally, it is very conveniently located next to the Metro - we were less than a block away which made the trip much more relaxing.

Other tips I have for you? Get a Smart Trip card on day one of your trip. It costs $2 for the card, but is reusable and has no expiration date on it. We used the card for both the Metro and the bus we took back to the airport. It was convenient and easy to carry, rather than having to worry about using up one fare card all in one day.

Learn the Metro system. DC is a big city and luckily has an amazing system of public transportation. Familiarize yourself with the Metro System before you leave so that you are comfortable among arrival. It is a fairly simple system to navigate - much less complicated than larger cities like New York, for example - but I have always found that reviewing the maps prior help relieve some stress for me. The Smithsonian station is the station to use if you are planning on visiting any of the museums and the National Mall [I wish they would put one close to the National Mall but I understand why they haven't yet] and Federal Triangle is your stop for the White House.

With that, I end my recap of my trip to Washington, DC. I hope you have enjoyed it all.

[All opinions and photos are my own and I was not paid for any review.]