Sunday, November 19, 2006

RUN: 4.5 miles, Lake Eola, Orlando, FL

Okay, so I only ran tonight as a "legal" way of journaling. That's not TOO cheating, right?

So I did 5 loops around Lake Eola tonight (0.9 miles each). It was chilly. I ran like an amateur marathoner for the first four then walked the last one.

Long stories short, I woke up early to get my oil changed at Wal-Mart only to discover they opened an hour later than expected. I did use that extra time to take a couple steps back and take care of myself -- grabbed breakfast and went through the newspaper.

By the time I headed out for Orlando, it was 9:15am. I listened to the Wait Wait Don't Tell Me (weekly listener's news quiz) from last week that I burned onto CD, so the ride there was pretty calm. It was a pretty day and not so hot.

I parked at the TTC and headed to Magic Kingdom. From the parking lot, I knew that the place was going to be packed, so I decided to relax and take the ferryboat. Inside the park, I first went to the stores and picked up a traveling companion: Stitch.

I've been wanting him for quite a while, and I figured that now was the time. I opted for the larger, furrier Stitch. And he was great. I enjoyed taking pictures of him in different places and with various signs. I carried him like a baby at times and like a puppy at other times. I enjoyed having him in my arms and petting his head as we went place to place or waited in line. The little kids around us loved him. I'd hear "Hey, it's Stitch" from children of all different nationalities. It was pretty cool. Having him around makes me think that I would actually make a half-decent dad one day.

As mentioned, the park was crowded. So we walked around and walked around. Catching parts of shows here and there. There was a lot of live entertainment probably because of the high-attendance. The lines for the rides/attractions were all overflowing... even the Swiss Family Treehouse. The one attraction we did go to was Stitch's Great Escape, which we had managed to FastPass.

We left around noon-thirty. From the start of the day, I knew that I wanted to check out a new hotel, just to have a break from all the crowds. Today, it was the Animal Kingdom Lodge. It had a lot of similarities to the Wilderness Lodge, mostly in its grand lobby area, but instead of being about the American West, the AK Lodge was influenced by Africa.

I grabbed lunch from The Mara, their quick-service food court. I tried to get things that were more exotic, so I tried the African stew (both sweeter and spicier than expected, but really hearty and really good) and the Hummus Calamata (olive-flavored, didn't like it, really should have known better, but s'alright... it was different).

Next, Stitch and I went to Epcot thinking that I was going to just tour the countries then take the Monorail back to the car. Instead, as I entered the park, I got a call from the person I really hoped I would get to talk to, and it really made my day (the shared feelings and angsts; the recognition of our drama). I like him a lot ("More than I should"), and I could get all gushy about how I'd like to see everything go, but I'm still trying hard to stay grounded in the current reality... but we won't go into that here and now. Just that he called. And he made my day.

Yeah, I kind of forgot about the world showcase after that. The only thing that we rode at Epcot was the new Finding Nemo ride. I went on it back during the AP preview weekend, but my head was throbbing bad, and now I wanted to give it a try sans migraine. It wasn't too impressive this time either. I love Disney and I love Finding Nemo, but that ride was neither educational nor did it tell a cohesive story. Oh well, I love the starfish at the end of the ride and the gulls outside by the sign (Mine! Mine!).

We then headed back to the car and drove to the Tea House. It was about 4:30pm, and I-4 heading East was no problem. Danny and Nigel were working tonight, and it was nice to be back... I felt more connected. Anyways, I did order my Yellow Curry Chicken Salad on Pumpernickel and a Kiwi-Mandarin Tea which tasted like a Melon/Green-Tea ice-fruit bar (aka Honeydew)... it was really good.

I have a laundry hamper full of running clothes, etc. in the trunk of my car, so I grabbed some stuff out of there and changed at the tea house. It was then that I headed over to Lake Eola for my run. And as mentioned, I did 5 loops. Two more and I would've had over 30 miles for the week, but my legs were done.

This coming week has a guaranteed 23.1 miles (TH's 10-miler, then SU's 1/2 marathon)... so it looks like I'm taking tomorrow off, running camp on Tuesday, then perhaps taking Wednesday off to head to a friend's house in Orlando for a gathering, then hopefully staying the night and then driving to the Deland race from there.

Anyways, there's still much to think about.

That's about it. It was a good day. And I'm out of my slump. Thanks all.

2 comment(s):

Anonymous said...

Stitch = roaming gnome. Cool. Pics of Stitch please!

Also cool that you have time to visit hotels that tourists don't take the time to appreciate.

Cedric said...

New pictures from yesterday are posted on my fotki page:

Here's a link!

Roaming Stitch! :)