Monday, December 28, 2009

WooHoo! NYC here we come!

My son got us tickets to see Jersey Boys on Broadway at the end of January.  I have the CD and have been listening for several months.

I’ve wanted to go see this here in our area but never quite got around to arranging tickets so…we’re going to NYC to see this.  I’m so excited!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Lucky Dog....

From one of my husband’s inspirational emails:

Mary and her husband Jim have a dog named 'Lucky.'

Lucky is a real character. Whenever Mary and Jim had company come for a weekend visit they would warn their friends to not leave their luggage open because Lucky would help himself to whatever struck his fancy. Inevitably, someone would forget and something would turn up missing.
Mary or Jim would go to Lucky's toy box in the basement and there the treasure would be, amid all of Lucky's other favorite toys. Lucky always stashed his finds in his toy box and he was very particular that his toys stay in the box.

It happened that Mary found out she had breast cancer. Something told her she was going to die of this fact; she was just sure it was fatal.

She scheduled the double mastectomy, fear riding her shoulders.  The night before she was to go to the hospital she cuddled with Lucky. A thought struck her...what would happen to Lucky? Although the three-year-old dog liked Jim, he was Mary's dog through and through. If I die, Lucky will be abandoned, Mary thought. He won't understand that I didn't want to leave him!  The thought made her sadder than thinking of her own death.

The double mastectomy was harder on Mary than her doctors had anticipated and Mary was hospitalized for over two weeks. Jim took Lucky for his evening walk faithfully, but the little dog just drooped, whining and miserable.

Finally the day came for Mary to leave the hospital. When she arrived home, Mary was so exhausted she couldn't even make it up the steps to her bedroom.  Jim made his wife comfortable on the couch and left her to nap.

Lucky stood watching Mary but he didn't come to her when she called.  It made Mary sad but sleep soon overcame her and she dozed.

When Mary woke for a second she couldn't understand what was wrong.

She couldn't move her head and her body felt heavy and hot. But panic soon gave way to laughter when Mary realized the problem. She was covered, literally blanketed, with every treasure Lucky owned!  While she had slept, the sorrowing dog had made trip after trip to the basement bringing his beloved mistress all his favorite things in life.  He had covered her with his love. Mary forgot about dying.

Instead she and Lucky began living again, walking further and further together every day. It's been 12 years now and Mary is still cancer-free. Lucky still steals treasures and stashes them in his toy box but Mary remains his greatest treasure. every day to the fullest. Each minute is a blessing from God. And never forget....the people who make a difference in our lives are not the ones with the most Credentials, the most money, or the most awards.  They are the ones that care for us.

If you see someone without a smile today give them one of yours! Live simply. Love and Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God And pray for the cure of cancer in honor of those you know that have battled cancer or are still fighting that battle.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Trot, 2009

I posted this earlier on another blog. We have done this since Thanksgiving 2006 so it's now an official "family tradition".

Turkey Trot 2006
From the first one:

I'm so pleased with myself. This morning I just did a local "Turkey Trot", just the walking part, but I made it 2 miles and didn't need the extra cortisone I brought just in case.

This event benefits the local Life With Cancer center where I take some classes. It's such a neat feeling to be out there with 4,000 others, all running/walking/trotting/pushing strollers/walking dogs for a common cause. This event today took in over $250,000. Amazing!

My son and husband ran (one way faster than the other!) and my mom and I walked. It was so cold and rainy, but what a sense of accomplishment! I had no idea if I could do that or not, but now that I have, maybe next year I'll be running too. (HA!)
Turkey Trot 2006

We set out again this Thanksgiving, bright and early, even though our son couldn’t come home to run the race. My DH, mom, dog Mimi and I all walked the course though – it’s a tradition! Lots of other dogs were there, too – and lots of people! – and Mimi wanted to meet them all, especially the dogs.

Once again it was great to help the Life With Cancer Center. Every year, I wear my 2006 shirt since that was my “cancer year”.


Virginia Run Readies for Turkey Trot Race
21st annual event is in honor of Lauri Dodson.
By Bonnie Hobbs
Friday, November 20, 2009

Pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce and the Virginia Run Turkey Trot make for a Thanksgiving day tradition that’s hard to beat. And this year’s 5K race and 2K fun walk should be no exception.

Besides enabling participants to work out before the big meal, it also raises funds for Life with Cancer, Inova Health System’s nonprofit program for cancer patients and their families.

"It’s a great cause," said event chairman Dominic DeVincenzo. "Last year, we raised just under $40,000." Life with Cancer has received Turkey Trot’s proceeds for 17 years and, this year, will exceed $515,000 total from the race.

The organization helps families mentally, psychologically and emotionally. Its programs are for those with cancer and those affected by it, and children and teens learn how to cope and to show their support of loved ones.

Each Turkey Trot is run in memory of a Virginia Run resident who died of cancer during the year, and this one is in honor of Lauri Dodson, who passed away in January. There’s also a tribute to former race director Dick Chillemi, who died of heart problems in March 2008.

"He was a wonderful friend and so good to the community," said DeVincenzo. "On each commemorative T-shirt will be a black ribbon with his name above it, the words ‘race director’ and the dates 1994-2003."
The 2009 Turkey Trot 5K kicks off Thursday, Nov. 26, at 8 a.m., followed immediately by the 2K fun walk. The running course is USATF-certified; both it and the 2K start and end at the Virginia Run Community Center, 15355 Wetherburn Court, off Route 29 and Pleasant Valley Road, in Centreville.

Lila Jade Koumtakoun, 11, who’s been participating in Life with Cancer’s program for family members, for a year, designed this year’s T-shirt.
It shows a child looking up at a rainbow and, said DeVincenzo, "When she submitted her design, she told me, ‘Life with Cancer helps me get my feelings out.’"

The event takes place, rain, shine or snow, and parking is available at nearby Centreville Baptist Church, Centreville Presbyterian Church and Bull Run Elementary, all off Route 29. More than 2,300 runners participated in last year’s race, plus some 800 walkers, and this year’s pre-registration is keeping pace, so DeVincenzo hopes for at least the same amount.

Runners are electronically timed and results posted on Prizes are awarded to the two fastest males and females overall and in the Virginia Run residents’ category. The top two runners in various age categories also receive prizes.

The main sponsors are Mitchell Eye Institute, Fairfax Oncology and Elan Tech Systems of Chantilly, and DeVincenzo is grateful for their generous contributions, especially in the difficult economy.

Race preparations have been underway since spring and 150 people will help out on the big day. But volunteers are still needed for that day and to help stuff the runners’ packets and do other needed tasks, at the community center, this Saturday, Nov. 21, from 9 a.m.-noon; Tuesday, Nov. 24, from 6-8:30 p.m.; and Wednesday, Nov. 25, from 2-8 p.m. Call DeVincenzo at 703-830-7634.

Involved with Turkey Trot for 17 years and, in explaining what keeps him returning, he replied, "A lot of the people I work with on a yearly basis, the satisfaction of donating that money to Life with Cancer and the good I see it doing."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day Eight, November 22, 2009: Miami, Florida...and Home

There had been several other options like enrolling in the BAGS program and never seeing our luggage until we got back to Reagan, but we missed that – Tom wanted to get an earlier flight home.  We also could have taken a tour of Miami if we hadn't changed our flight.

Michael’s flight was about 12:30, so we decided to go when he did.  One last breakfast in the Garden Cafe, then waited in our cabin until the called our luggage tag color.

One last swipe of the key card, off the gangplank, picked up luggage, through customs and onto a bus for the Miami airport.

P1000314 P1000315

We got 2 of the last 4 remaining seats on an earlier flight (12:15).  Inside security, Michael went to concourse D, we went to E.

Our flight went pretty smoothly – I mostly slept and we got to Reagan just about 3:00, before we were originally supposed to leave Miami.

A taxi home, got the car and went to get Mimi at her sister’s. Back home and Tom was off to a meeting at 5:30 with a lawyer for a case on Monday.  Mimi and I napped.

From shipboard in Miami to Tom working in D.C. – 8.5 hours.  Amazing.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day Seven, November 21, 2009: Great Stirrup Cay

Another lazy day!  Today, we’re going to take the tender over to NCL’s private island, Great Stirrup Cay.  GSC is part of Bahamas' Berry Island chain and lies about 50 miles from Nassau.

It’s right next to a private island of another cruise line – you can see another ship at anchor right next door!  Also, there are parasailers circling our ship in some of these shots.

P1000231 P1000213 P1000214 P1000215 P1000216 P1000217 P1000218 P1000219 P1000220 P1000221 P1000222 P1000223 P1000224 P1000225 P1000226 P1000227 P1000228 P1000229 P1000230

We decided to go over later in the day since we weren’t going to do any activities except, you know, have BBQ lunch.

We had to get tender tickets in the Photo Gallery, so we did that and waited for our ship to come in.

P1000235 P1000232 P1000233 P1000234 

One woman must have thought that the crossing was a little rocky since she held on to a railing for the entire five minute ride.

GSC has a lot of beachy activities in addition to just swimming/sunning.  They have the ubiquitous “helmet” of beer where you buy 5, get one free, served with ice in a football helmet.  And various versions of rum punch.

There’s snorkeling (and instruction), parasailing, ping-pong, beach volleyball, kayaks, rafts, floating mats, hammocks, hiking, massages, yoga and probably more stuff.  Kids have other games, too.

We found a nice picnic table and had lunch.  It was about time, after all!  After that, we walked around a little, stuck our feet in the water, walked some more, then back to the tender for “home”.

P1000259 P1000236 P1000237 P1000238 P1000239 P1000240 P1000241 P1000242 P1000243 P1000244 P1000245 P1000246 P1000247 P1000248 P1000249 P1000250 P1000251 P1000252 P1000253 P1000254 P1000255 P1000256 P1000257 P1000258

Looks like Tom went nuts with the camera! On the tender:

P1000289 P1000260 P1000261 P1000262 P1000263 P1000264 P1000265 P1000266 P1000267 P1000268 P1000269 P1000270 P1000271 P1000272 P1000273 P1000274 P1000275 P1000276 P1000277 P1000278 P1000279 P1000280 P1000281 P1000282 P1000283 P1000284 P1000285 P1000286 P1000287 P1000288

Then, a bit of reading/nap/general goofing off before the all aboard and we left GSC

P1000295 P1000290 P1000291 P1000292 P1000293

Looking straight down from our balcony,  What blue water!


Napping, reading, ice cream…

 P1000296 P1000297 P1000299 P1000300

On 12, by the Sapphire Pool, for one last sunset before we head home.

 P1000302 P1000303 P1000304 P1000305 P1000306  P1000308 P1000309 P1000310 P1000311

There were several things we wanted to do but somehow never got to them.

We did get packed up for home, had dinner in Chinn Chinn again – Chinese this time, just enjoyed our time together.

It was a great trip and I’m glad we put a deposit down on another one.

Today's Stats:
Forecast: Sunny, 80F/27C
Sunrise: 6:59am
Sunset: 5:20pm
Arrival: 10:00am
All aboard: 5:30pm