Monday, April 21, 2008

California Adventure

Ian, Madeleine and I were lucky enough to go to Disney's California Adventure last Monday. For free since my sister, Maggie, and her family got the 2-fer passes when they came out to Disneyland last month even though they knew they couldn't use the second day. Thanks, Stoeckers! Unfortunately, Spencer couldn't come with us since he was very busy that week studying for the GMAT and trying to salvage a deal at work that was about to fall apart. How did I do it by myself with the two kids?, you ask. Thank heavens for my sister, Angela, and her daughter, Sarah, who recently moved to SoCal. They already have annual passes and claimed to be happy to come along. It would not have been anywhere near as fun without them. Madeleine was getting a good view of all the fun she was about to have while waiting for our ride on the Golden Zephyr.
Ian is still a little small for quite a bit of the rides, but he was very good-natured about being in the stroller most of the time. He did love the carousel. Angela took the kids on it once while I went on California Screamin' and we all did it again once I came back from the roller coaster. Evidently, he put his hand in the smiling sea otter's mouth both times.
Madeleine loved almost everything we did! Her favorite was Soaring Over California. It's my fave too. She wasn't too sure about some of the rides. She would say she didn't like them, but when Sarah said she did like them, Madeleine would change her mind and say she wanted to do whatever the ride was again.
A definite highlight was getting to meet Cinderella. To be honest, I didn't even know the princesses came to California Adventure. So, it was a very pleasant surprise that she was there after we finished watching one of the little shows on the back lot. Such a fun day! So glad we were able to go!

As for Spencer, the deal that was about to fall apart seems to be back on track, as of right now. Keep your fingers crossed that there won't be anymore drama with it before it closes! And he took the GMAT this past Saturday and did really well. Now he is busy, busy, busy filling out applications in order to get them in before the deadlines. Most are May 1 but one deadline is April 23. Assuming he gets into one of the schools he applies for (I can't imagine why he wouldn't), life will certainly be different for us come Fall when he is a full time student again. Pretty crazy, but kind of exciting too. Wish us luck!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Cheseboro 1/2 Marathon

This is a map of the Cheseboro 1/2 Marathon I ran today. I have to confess that I was not as diligent in my training as I should have been, but I am pretty sure this course wouldn't have seemed much easier even if I had trained better. The first 2 miles were on streets, the next 8 on a trail (a pretty difficult trail in my humble opinion), then the remaining 3 on streets again. I am so glad I did it! It's such a great accomplishment and I am pleased with my performance.

Anneli ran it too and she did great! She trained better than I did so I don't think she was crippled by soreness afterwards like I was. I can barely move! I'm hoping to be able to walk normal again soon.
Unfortuantely, Spencer and the kids got to their spot to watch us come in about 5 minutes after I finished, so no pic of me running. I was waiting a little ways up from the finish line waiting for Anneli to come in when they saw me and this was the first picture he got.
The kids are not accustomed to not seeing me first thing in the morning so they both needed some extra attention as soon as they saw me. I'm so glad they came to show their support!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Spencer and Rachel in Cabo

Last year around this time, Spencer and I did a time share presentation and our free gift was 3 days/2 nights in Hawaii. Well, we know what those are really like. It ends up being a day and half total time in Hawaii and a full day of traveling. If we wanted a longer trip we could upgrade for a fee and then we would have greater flexibility with our travel dates. Since Spencer's parents had offered to watch the kids during Sandi's Spring break, we worked it out so we could go to Cabo San Lucas during that week. Before we left, we vowed that we would not sit through any timeshare presentations since they always take longer than the 90 mintues they say it will take and we really only had three days to hang out and do what we wanted to do. Well, I couldn't hold out. It's nearly impossible to get out of the airport without agreeing to do one. We almost made it out, but then one of the guys started to offer some really great stuff. Like $200, plus a free massage, plus transportation to/from the airport, plus 4 days/3 nights at the resort he was marketing. Well, I caved. And we ended up sitting through that resort's presentation as well as the one at the resort we were staying at. The good news is we didn't buy what they were selling. And got them over with the first day. This picture is while we were waiting for our lunch after finishing the second TS presentation of the day. Later on that day, we walked around Cabo and stopped to check out the mall right near the marina. They had a great view overlooking the marina.

On Wednesday, we went for a run and I wanted to die because it was pretty hot already and I had not had any water to drink yet that day. Thankfully I survived. We took a quick dip in the pool (real quick 'cause it was cold!) and laid out for a little while before heading into town to get our massages. That was so nice! I am very reluctant to get massages and here's why: Since I am trained as a massage therapist and got them daily while I was in school, I know what a really good massage is like. It irritates me to no end to pay for a massage (and they cost a pretty penny) and not get a good one. Well, this one was free, but if I had paid for it I would not have been disappointed! Spencer wasn't as happy with his, but still glad to have gotten one I think. We just laid out by the pool after our massages and when the sun went down we went back to our resort, ate dinner and went to bed. On Thursday, we rented a double kayak for the day. Boy, was that ambitious! We thought an hour might not be long enough and we were probably right. But we did not need to be kayaking all day. The picture above is at Lovers Beach which is just across the bay from all the resorts. It's right between the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez. We kayaked out there and after a bit of a rough landing we had lunch and laid out and read for awhile. Even though we didn't keep our kayak until the end of the day, we were glad we didn't have to rush back to turn it in after an hour.
After we turned in our kayak, we headed back to our resort and kicked it by the pool for awhile. For dinner we went back to town to La Palapa. That place was so good! If you are ever in Cabo and have the chance to eat there, you must go! Very tasty and good prices too.

We had such a nice relaxing time, but we missed our cute kids, so we were glad to get home to them.

The kids with G & G Rands

Sandi teaches high school French and she and Paul were generous enough to sacrifice her week off for Spring Break to come here and watch Madeleine and Ian while Spencer and I went to Mexico. They took the kids on a bit of a road trip too see some family.First stop was St. George to see Paul's parents, Great-Grandma & Grandpa Rands. It was Grandpa Paul's birthday so they had a little party for him and that meant there were some other kids there to play with as soon as they got there. I'm sure the kids were so happy for that kind of welcome after spending so long in the car on the way there.
The kids played in the back yard and Madeleine found a beautiful bunch of fake flowers.
On Tuesday, they went to this fun spot and Ian got soaked playing in the water. Princess Madeleine might have gotten a little wet but she made sure to strip down first so her clothes could stay dry.
The same day they went to the Visitor's Center at the temple. I love Madeleine's pose, dont you?
They left St. George on Wednesday and headed south to see the San Diego Rands. On Thursday they went to the Wild Animal Park. They started off the day with a tram ride that made all the adults think twice about how much fun the day was really going to be. The kids were all squirmy and grouchy. Madeleine and Avery wanted to sit together but then one of them wouldn't be able to have a window seat and you know how devastating that would be. After the tram they had lunch and played in the water and that seemed to get the kids into much better spirits. Their favorite part of the day was the butterfly exhibit. Can you see the jealousy in Madeleine's face that Curtis is holding the butterfly and not her?

We are so grateful to Paul and Sandi for taking such good care of our kids so we could get away! We know Madeleine and Ian had so much fun they couldn't even think to miss us! Yet I must report that yesterday at Costco Madeleine told me she is SO glad I am home. Ahh, thanks Maddie! Maybe they did miss us a bit after all. Anyway, big, big THANKS to Paul and Sandi! You are the best!