Saturday, August 29, 2009
Marathon training is going okay. Last Saturday I ran my first long run. 12 miles!! It's the longest run I've done so far. (That will change in a few weeks... October called for 22 miles!!!) I've been doing a lot of group runs. On Tuesday/Thursday's Tim, Thomas and I run together at Bonita Lakes. They are also running Memphis! I usually run alone on Mondays. The last two Saturdays, I have run with John (our news director). He's running the Atlanta Marathon on Thanksgiving. It's much easier running with a partner. I don't think I could have made it through the first long run alone. I was only supposed to do 7, but I felt really good so I kept going. Slightly regretting it because I got a big water blister on my foot (in my arch). I nursed it this week and the skin was hardening, so I felt good about running with it today. It started bothering me about mile 4, and then on and off the rest of the run. I came home, showered, napped, went to visit Papaw, and it began to really hurt. I had to go to Walmart too. It was all I could do to walk around Walmart. I was seriously limping. Right now, it's wrapped up in a wet cloth. I may sit out on Monday if it still hurts. (Sunday is a rest day already)
Papaw is doing okay. He was in the hospital while we were gone. He isn't wanting to do anything for himself and Aldersgate has some limitations. He is able to help himself to the bathroom and eat, but got to where he didn't want to. They suggested he go to Newton to their Geri/psych unit for evaluation to determine exactly what he can and can't do and what he's just not wanting to do. He's doing much better. (He went there on Wednesday)
Mom & Dad are in Montana...threatening not to come back....
Friday, August 28, 2009
Tuesday 8/18 (The day I was to return to work)
Wake up well rested and ready for day three.... We took the shuttle bus to the airport. We got some nice views of the front... Nice looking airport. There was a large arm holding a Samsung cell phone. (and another Euro symbol)
We just hung our heads. "Friendly Lady" looked over at us. We were both thinking the same thing. The CA couple were upset too. (They had a young baby and a boy about 10 or so-and LOTS of luggage) We began to discuss our options. Friendly Lady befriended another guy (who wasn't a standby, but gave up his seat) and used his laptop to look at hotels and flights. We found out that there was a much better chance to cross the ocean if we left from Paris. We first asked the gate agent to look at Dusseldorf and Berlin (which would have been impossible because the World Championships were going on there). We even thought about Amsterdam and Brussels. We decided on Paris because there were about a dozen flights to the US throughout the day and at that point, we would have flown to Canada or Mexico...anything to just get over the ocean. We would have sat in the Toilet! Really. We headed for the Last Minute ticket counter to see what we could do. I learned of a 12 HOUR train ride to Paris for real cheap(One standby lady-Big Curly-haired Lady had taken advantage of it). 12 HOURS on a slow train to Paris! UUGGHH! I went and got our bags while Wes talked to the ticket folks. I mentioned the cheap train ride to him, but he had already bought tickets for us on Lufthansa. (We learned when we got home that a bullet train would have cost hundreds less then the plane tickets. Hindsight..again. We didn't have access to the internet to search for anything though.)
Here's a sign to prove we weren't on a different planet... (It was just France)
Our flight was scheduled to leave around 9:30am. We set the alarm for 6:30. We slept pretty soundly (once the sun went down and the heat escaped our room). Wes woke up and freaked me out because he said we slept late (he was in charge of the alarm clock). We rushed through dressing and last minute packing. We had to get on the train to get to the airport, but Wes thought we wouldn't have enough time, so we called down to the desk and they called a cab for us. It was kind of expensive (55 euros!!), but necessary for us to get there in time. When we were checking out, Wes realized we had woken up at 6:50, instead of 7:50. This whole time, he was thinking we were extremely late. Oh well. So we got to the airport and checked our bags because we didn't want to carry them all over the airport. Got to the gate on time. And then...watched the plane take off without us. The gate agent said that due to "weight restrictions" they were not issuing any seats to standby passengers. Yeah. Time for waiting. (This is when it became not fun...later it will become funny and then just plain frustrating.) We got our bags back and checked out other flights. There was really no chance of us getting out of Munich that day or the rest of the week, the ticket agent told us. (Wes' dad told us later that recently people had been there for over a week trying to get out.) She checked Stuttgart and the results were the same. We looked into Frankfurt. There were three flights a day to the US (Atlanta, JFK, and Cincinnati). We decided to take our chances there. (There were only two flights daily from Munich I think). The first flight available in Frankfurt was at 9:45 the next morning. We got on an ICE (Express) train to Frankfurt. (I feel asleep-it was a 3 hour ride). The cool looking ICE train. They were really fast. The red train are DB "regio" or inner city trains that usually stop at nearly every little stop. The ICE only stops at the major train stations. Burger King Ad in the Frankfurt station. We were both bummed because we were going to miss school on Monday. We were kicking ourselves for not planning our return a little better. Oh well...hindsight right?? Anyway, we get to Frankfurt and find the TI (Tourist Information) in the train station. They recommended a hotel near the station. (The airport was a 15 minute train ride away, with trains heading that way every 20 minutes or so.) We got a room at the Hotel Continental, right across the street from the station. It was really nice. We got a room on the top floor with the biggest balcony. (One weird thing: the neighboring room's bathroom had a window that was on our balcony. You could see right into their bathroom! Kind of odd.) We could see the enormousness of the train station (Frankfurt is obviously one of the biggest cities in Germany) and some great views of larger buildings in the distance.
(The front of the station) This is the first room we had with "air conditioning," a oscillating fan. Oh, by the way, I took a picture of the soap dispenser in our hotel in Munich (but those pictures were lost). It's the same brand as what you see here... It's called "Tricky Ricky." No kidding.
Anyway, the pool was great! There was a sauna and steam room. The pool had these jets around the side. One was really big. I think it was used for long distance swimming. We got in the steam room. It was awesome! While we were in there, two naked guys came out of the sauna. Unfortunately, the door was glass and had not fogged up completely yet... I had the priviledge of seeing them... yeah.