Tag Archives: Orlando

Taste of the Nation Orlando 2014

I need to back up a few weeks because I’ve been meaning to talk about Taste of the Nation Orlando, which I went to for my second year. So let’s pretend it’s two weeks ago, mmmkay?

After a 3:00am wake-up for an 18-miler, a large iced coffee, a short nap, a few Diet Cokes, and a 18 oz sugar free Red Bull, because why not at that point, I made my way to the Taste of the Nation Orlando with my last minute date, Cheyanne.


Hubs was originally my date for the night but he found out that he had to work all weekend the week before the event, so I didn’t get to dress up with him which makes me sad. We almost never get pictures together and I was looking forward to getting one of us looking all pretty-like. Cheyanne was a good date substitute though and she didn’t even try to take advantage of me at the end of the night.

Anyway, if you don’t know already from my previous posts, Taste of the Nation (TOTN) raises money for the Share our Strength’s efforts to end childhood hunger. Michelle and I went last year and this year it was held at the same spot – a giant ballroom at the World Center Marriott, the mother of all Marriotts. Not only does TOTN hold silent charity auctions but all the food that is left over from the event gets donated as well. So even though the ticket price is a bit steep ($150 without a discount code), it’s all going to a good cause.

We arrived a little late since I dropped dinner off for hubs beforehand. Once we got there, the place was already pretty hoppin’. That didn’t stop Cheyanne from finding her soulmate within 30 seconds of walking in the door.


Sparkly things and wine is all she needs to be happy.

Michelle (and her husband Dan) came out this year too. She arrived early to eat and drink all the things, so by the time I got there she was nice and juiced up and led Cheyanne and I straight to the Tito’s Handmade Vodka booth like any good friend would.



Those Tito’s drinks were delicious. I know you’re thinking, “Paula just likes booze” which is true, but I went back for seconds. I would have gone for thirds but the lady there did not mess around with the pours and I had to get home in a way that did not involve crawling.

Cheyanne and I made our way around the ballroom to check out the different restaurants. Since Michelle and Dan had already been there for an hour, they told us the best booths to hit up. I gotta say, the food this year blew away the food from last year in my opinion. (Warning: unappetizing dark pictures ahead.)


Steak so tender you could cut it with a plastic fork and mashed potatoes from Capital Grille. It was the first thing I ate and by far the best thing of the night. I will definitely be trying out that restaurant.


Probably the best scallop I’ve ever had, short ribs, and a vanilla cake from Shingle Creek.


Calamari, also from Shingle Creek. It was the cup that a kept on giving because there was pasta on the bottom. Genius.


Fancy mozzarella with something I was sure I was going to hate on top, but loved. I wish I could remember where this was from. This is why you don’t blog two weeks later.


More short ribs from another place I can’t recall. I’m not even a fan of short ribs but this was amazing  It was so good that I thought they should have left off the toast, which is weird because I think bread makes everything better. This is the one time in the world when it didn’t.

I stopped taking pictures at some point because it was proving too difficult to balance a drink, food, and camera (life is hard) so a lot of good stuff went unpictured, including a crazy delicious fried green tomato BLT from BB King’s Blues Club and a bartender machine where you program the drink you want from a touch screen. I didn’t get a picture of the bartender machine but I did get a picture of Dan and I which is just as good.


Worth it, I think.

I’m still doing the low sugar thing but I did try several desserts. The dessert area was a complete cluster compared to last year’s dessert carousel. This is the “line” I was standing in.

I almost gave up I was waiting so long but I persevered because dessert is my homeboy. I gotta say, I wasn’t too impressed this year. I don’t know if that’s the new, picky, low sugar me talking or if it was actually the desserts but I could only find one I really liked. Taste of the Nation must have been looking out for my waistline this year.

If I could make any suggestion, it would be to go back to last year’s dessert set-up or add a second dessert booth. Even jammed-packed, last year was way faster to get through and less frustrating.

Despite the dessert area, I think this year’s event was much better than last year. It’s like all the food was kicked up a notch. It’s nice to know they keep getting better. I had a great time and I’m thankful once again to be one of the media bloggers for the event. Time to start saving my pennies for next year. 🙂


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Race Review: Challenge Nation Orlando

Yesterday, Michelle and I were lucky enough to be invited to race Challenge Nation Orlando.

Challenge Nation is a scavenger hunt race where you have to complete 11 out of 12 clues by finding the clue and taking a picture with it according to the instructions. I’ve never done a race like this, but I really liked that the clues were tailored to the area and what was going on in downtown Orlando that day.

The race started at Wall Street Plaza. We got there in the middle of packet pick up and even so, there was no line and we got our bibs and t-shirts easily.

We waited around for awhile with our friends, Cheyanne and Ricky, who were also running the race. We were on separate teams but we ended up running the whole thing together and helping each other with the clues and took each others pictures.

Speaking of clues, if you like the Challenge Nation Facebook page, they post hints to a few of the clues the night before the race. Maybe we’re just dense, but the hints did not help AT ALL.

Even after completing the race, I still only get two of them.

Anyway, eventually we lined up to receive our clues just before the race started.

Each team had a captain that was responsible for getting the clues and getting the pictures verified at the end of the race. That was Michelle because she was willing and I was lazy. Such a trooper.

Michelle is holding out our paper with the clues to prove we weren’t opening them early. Finally, the race started and we were able to check out our clues, which basically meant we read about 5 of them and headed in their general direction and hoped for the best. Here are the 11 we completed:

1. Snap a pic with at least one teammate standing in a fountain or lake.

2. Find the Disney-donated spot and another challenge team and pose like rock stars.

3. Take a photo with one of the following: a clown, a traditional barber pole, a tricycle, a person wearing overalls, or any live pet animal other than a dog. Give a thumbs up in the picture.

This is the part where I have to admit we spotted the bunny and asked for a picture before we knew it was a clue. The lady was like, “it doesn’t count if your thumbs aren’t up.”  See? My love of bunnies paid off TEN FOLD.

4. Re-enact a wedding ceremony at a romantic spot along the waterfront. Include at least 2 strangers and a physical creative prop as part of your ceremony (we had a flower).

Aww. We’ve never been more in love.

5. Pose like fearsome pirates near a bust of Mahatma and force one of your teammates to “walk the plank.”

Apparently Ricky and I are the only one that got the “fearsome” pirates memo.

6. Take a photo with any of the presidents that appear on Mount Rushmore. (You can’t use currency, change, smartphone pictures, or draw the image.)

7. Find an out-of-towner (not from Florida) wearing non-sports related garb.

I just realized that guy looks like Chuck Norris. We should have gotten extra points for that.

8. Find the artwork paid for by Universal Studios and “do the obvious” activity with the rings in front of it.

That’s also how we look when dancing.

9. Buy/find a postcard, address it to someone on the team, write your favorite clue on it, and pretend to mail in any old style blue mailbox.

Our picture was super blurry so I won’t post that one. Michelle told me I had to write her a note on the postcard, so I did.

That was not part of the instructions and Challenge Nation collected those. Thanks, M.

On a side note, they do say that you don’t need anything for the race except a digital camera. We needed money to buy the postcard. I have no idea where you would “find” one and you are able to skip one clue, but I think having anything for purchase in the clues is a bad idea.

10. Find the building that was blown up in Lethal Weapon 3 (that’s City Hall) and then mimic the pose with the soccer player out front.

11. Find a certain intersection (we had to Google the clues to figure out the intersection) and draw your favorite thing about living in Florida with the chalk at that intersection.

Those are two people running. Most people drew the sun or water. *snore*

We came in 68 out of 178 teams. (Our team name was Fleetwood Mac Sex Pants ( <— name that reference), but Michelle doesn’t know how to write.)

I want to thank Challenge Nation for giving me the opportunity to run this race. I’ve never done anything like it and I loved it. It was silly and a lot of fun. Even Michelle, the Grinch of all “novelty” races, liked it.

I’ll definitely do this one next year and I might try to sweet talk the hubby into joining because I think he’ll like this one too. Smile


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Challenge Nation Giveaway

I just added another race to my fall schedule.


Challenge Nation is like Urban Dare and it’s happening in downtown Orlando next Sunday (10/27). my chauffer is my teammate and we are going to do our best not to get lost or cry in each other’s arms.


We will look amazing during the race. Just like that.

We were provided our registrations for the promotion but we also received two extra entries. So, we decided to do a JOINT giveaway. A blog crossover, if you will. Just like that very special Buffy/Angel episode you were excited about in 1999.

One winner will win TWO entries so that you can form your own team. If you live in or near Orlando… enter below. You just need to comment on one of our blogs. (We could use some team name suggestions!) You get extra entries for tweeting about it, or liking us on FB/Twitter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway winner will be contacted on Friday. Good luck!


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Relax Grill on Lake Eola (My new favorite place.)

I did a whole lot of nothing this weekend. By the time Sunday rolled around, hubs and I were dying to get out of the house so we went to lunch. We had one criteria for said lunch: it had to be outside since we couldn’t remember what daylight was like.

After staring at each other for 10 minutes with no ideas, hubs remembered this little cafe called the Relax Grill on Lake Eola that we’ve wanted to try for years but can never remember we want to go there when it’s time to think of a new restaurant (so we end up at Chilis).

It was a beautiful day.

We had to walk around the lake to get to the restaurant from the parking garage, so we inadvertently walked through the farmer’s market that goes on every weekend. I’ve never been but it was super cute. How have I missed out on this for so long? There were also tons of people out and about walking dogs, exercising, or laying on blankets chilling in the shade. When I saw all the people enjoying their day, I realized I can’t remember ever going on a picnic or spending a day in the park. That seems weird to me but maybe it’s because I’m so fidgety. In my mind I want to relax but when I try, I get bored and impatient. < — also why I hate yoga. I need someone to teach me to relax.

Anyway, here was our view from the restaurant. Nice and shady with good people watching.

The menu was American/Mediterranean, so they had a little bit of everything. I started with the Spicy Asian peel and eat shrimp and hubs ordered the loaded tater tots.

The shrimp were grilled, which I didn’t expect. They were good even though there was a bit too much sauce on them. I guess I’m more of a cocktail sauce dipping girl than a Spicy Asian girl (sounds naughty) but I just like shrimp in general so they all made their way into my belly. Hubs ate half his tots and planned to take the rest home until Hurricane Paula came through and took care of that too.

My main dish was the gyro salad platter.

I always feel bad when I eat lamb and have to apologize to my food before I eat it. They are so adorable but it is their fault for also being so delicious. The tzatziki sauce was a little bland but everything else was amazing so I didn’t mind.

Hubs ordered the chicken and shrimp plate.

He gave everything a thumbs up as well. The service was so good and there were so many things we wanted to try on the menu that we’ll have to go back soon. I didn’t drink but there were Happy Hour specials every day including $2 off all drinks when it’s raining. (?!) I’m going to need to make this place a habit because we loved it and the view is amazing. If you’re in Orlando, definitely check it out.

After lunch, we walked back around the lake and checked out all the ducks and swans that had no problem getting up in our biz.

Don’t mind me.

We walked back through the farmer’s market where a vanilla bean cupcake was whispering sweet nothings as I passed by. We like to support local business and expanding waistlines.

The frosting was amazing but the cupcake was a little dry. I still ate it all because that would just be rude to the cupcake not to.

Afterwards, we were so full we had to take a two hour nap and then only had enough energy to sit on the couch and watch Parks and Rec the rest of the night. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I’m all caught up (we’re almost done with season 5). I might have to find a hobby and do something useful with my life. < — just kidding, I would never do that.


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Not So Magical Dining

Every September, Orlando has this thing called Magical Dining Month. It’s when 20 or so upscale restaurants offer three-course meals for a discounted price of $30-33 per person. It’s a way for restaurants to grab new business in a slow month while letting people like me, who spend $3.00 in the Wendy’s drive-thru for dinner, try something new without having to take out a second mortgage.

Friday night, hubs and I met a bunch of friends out at Park Plaza Gardens in Winter Park for magical dining birthday celebration. The restaurant is super cute. It’s indoors but it looks like an outdoor courtyard. Amazing atmosphere.


You can order off the regular menu, but if you want to do the magical dining deal, you choose from a limited menu. The choices are different every year (sometimes the same restaurants participate). Here were the choices for this year’s appetizer at PPG.

It was a toss up between the rock shrimp and the summer baby greens for me. The salad won out because it wasn’t described as being served “in butter.” I like to save my arteries for desserts, thank you.

The salad was good. I should have ordered the dressing on the side because there was too much of it, but I still ate the whole thing. The pastry wrapped brie was amazing. But I think you could have pastry wrapped dirty socks and I would like it.

Hubs picked the gazpacho for his appetizer. I didn’t get a picture, but it looked like a bowl of tomato soup. It was cold, which I didn’t expect. Or like. It tasted like spicy Bloody Mary mix so I guess if they added some vodka, it would have been alright. I didn’t care for it, but hubs seemed to like it and it was his meal, so I guess that’s what matters.

Here were the choices for entrées.

I picked the chicken. I know, not the fanciest choice, but it was a process of elimination. I don’t like pork 95% of the time and I don’t like mussels so chicken it was. Unfortunately…

My first thought when I saw that plate was how disgusting it looked and an up-scale restaurant should be embarrassed to serve it. I mean, it looks like baby vomit and the plate wasn’t even wiped clean. Maybe I’m just watching too much MasterChef, but that’s the kind of crap I expect from Fazolis (are those still around?). The dish didn’t taste any better than it looked. The manager did offer to bring me something else but I had already eaten half the chicken and was getting full so I declined.

Hubs had the pork rib eye, which actually looked great, but he didn’t care for it. I’ve never seen him leave meat uneaten on a plate. It made me sad for him and for that poor piggy that gave his little porky life to become a terrible dinner.

Finally, the dessert choices.

My friends think I’m crazy to not like Crème Brulee, but puddings and custards are gross so I went with the pecan pie.

I live for the filling that goes in pecan pie. So, so  good. That pie was all pecans and no filling. I ended up eating the ice cream and some of the crust and left the rest. It wasn’t sweet enough for me, though I heard someone else at the table say they liked it because it wasn’t too sweet. Too sweet is not a thing. That is just crazy talk.

Hubs had the Crème Brulee and said it was delicious. I’m taking his word for that one.

We had a table of 10 and most of us didn’t care for the food. It also took us 2.5 hours to eat. The service was painfully slow. I wouldn’t recommend it, but it was still nice to celebrate our friend’s birthday and see a few friends we haven’t seen in awhile. So I guess a bad dinner is a still good dinner when you’re with friends and that makes it worth it, right?



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My First Taste of the Nation

On Saturday, I attended Taste of the Nation Orlando, an event that takes place in a giant ballroom at the World Center Marriott.


Like I mentioned before, Taste of the Nation is a fundraising event to eradicate childhood hunger. Tons of items are donated (like spa treatments, concert tickets, dinner at various restaurants, etc.) and silent-auctioned off. This year, for the first time, you could bid from your phone which made it an incredibly dangerous thing for me since that is basically shopping online – my fave thing ever. Even the leftover food from the event is given to those in need.

I arrived at 5:30pm and checked in. When I explained who I was looking for to the checker-inners, they were like, “oh, you’re with the media” and I felt very fancy and important.


I met up with Maria who gave me a short tour. Then she set me free in the land of food and drink.

I invited Michelle to be my date for the evening, but since she couldn’t make it until 6:30, I thought I would walk around, check out the food, and take mental notes of what I wanted first. I figured if I waited to eat, I wouldn’t spend the entire four hours shoving everything in my mouth and being uncomfortably stuffed.

That plan didn’t work out so well because I saw things I wanted and then when I went back to try them, they were gone. Like these:


I’m sorry you are not in my belly giant nacho.

I was very excited when Michelle arrived because my willpower to not eat only lasts for so long.


While we were there, we also ran into some other lovely ladies, Jackie and Christine (and Katy, but she evaded my camera). Let’s not forget the pizza guy (not a lady).


That dude stood there the whole night smiling and greeting people with his dough. That is some serious patience. But really, the most important part of that picture is, for the first time, I am the second shortest woman. Never happens. If I can just nudge Jackie out of that picture, I will win shortest. I’ll work on that for next time.

The girls had other ideas before eating.


And well, I’m not going to say no to sangria. I’m also not going to say no to stealing that picture from Jackie. There was a standard sangria and a Moscato sangria. Both amazing. We spent a lot of time at that booth.

After we were sufficiently wined, beered, and sangria-ed, we started making the rounds and the food started flowing. I wish I could tell you everything I ate and where it was from but without a pen and paper, that wasn’t going to happen.

My first stop was at Cask and Larder, a new restaurant in Orlando that everyone and their brother raves about incessantly.


This isn’t something I would normally choose to eat but I just had to try it. (I don’t like pork or anything that remotely resembles BBQ – I know, I know.) The cheese grits on the bottom were really good but I gave my meat to Michelle. She loved my meat. So this dish was a hit with the pork/BBQ lovers of the world. Oh, that blackberry was pickled. Did not expect that.

After Cask and Larder, the food became a blur. Everything was beautifully presented and there was something for everyone.





By far, my favorite of the night was this white fish with spinach gnocchi from Mama Melrose’s Ristorante. It was also the biggest portion, which I always appreciate.


Mama Melrose’s is located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, so I guess I have a reason to go there again. When I Googled them, I was hoping they’d be a little closer to home.

I held out on trying any desserts until late in the night because once that train gets going, it doesn’t stop. Avoiding this rotating dessert carousel for two hours was hard.


You don’t even have to go to the desserts. They come to you. That is a thing of beauty right there.

It was getting late and I was still hungry somehow and I became worried I wouldn’t get everything I wanted. So I panicked and ran to the S’mores.


And then I ran to the other side of the room for the cupcakes, lemon tarts, and strawberry balls on the carousel.


That was plate one of two, lest you think I restrained myself. The lemon tart with a graham cracker crust and strawberry ball were so amazing, I got seconds. That tart tasted better than everything chocolate that I tried that night and I do not speak against chocolate lightly. I looks so perfectly plastic, but it was amazing.

After walking around for hours, our feet were hurting and we were getting tired because we’re old ladies and can’t hang like the young kids anymore. So, I grabbed one more picture with Michelle and headed home.


I had a really good time hanging out with some of my favorite ladies and getting to try so many different foods. It was a fun night and not something you get to experience often, so I’m very grateful I was allowed the opportunity to be a part of it. Plus, it’s for a good cause and getting the word out is what really matters.



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Taste of the Nation Orlando

Have you guys heard of Taste of the Nation?

I’m not big on promoting events but this one raises money for the Share our Strength’s efforts to end childhood hunger. I thought that was a really good cause, so I’m helping promote the Orlando fundraiser. (I should mention that I get a discounted ticket price for doing so, but I was going to promote the it whether I was able to attend or not.)

Anyway, the event basically gathers all the delightful restaurants and chefs around central Florida and puts them in one room and let’s you face plant in their deliciousness. The cause sold me, but let’s face it, so did pictures like this:

I guess they have other foods that are not desserts too but we know where I’ll be spending most of my time.

This is the first year I’ve had a chance to attend this event. I’m looking forward to dressing up, eating some good food, drinking some good drinks, spilling that good food and drink on my nice dress, and doing it all for a good cause.

If you’d like to attend, you can buy tickets here. I hear it’s so worth the ticket price. Plus, I’ll be there which is basically priceless anyway. Winking smile


Saturday, August 10, 2013
6:45 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Orlando World Center Marriott
8701 World Center Dr., Orlando

Let me know if you’re going so I know to look for you!


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Winter Park Road Race 2012

Saturday morning, I ran the Winter Park Road Race Distance Dare (10k plus 2). Friday afternoon, I went to see Hunger Games with my best friend. Then we went to dinner at Ale House so we could get our nerd on and chat about all the things we loved and didn’t love about the movie. During our conversation, I had one six too many of these.

Why yes, that is my first Instagram picture, thanks for noticing. And no, that’s not water. Unless you count the ice. Then it’s totally water.

I knew drinking the night before a race was a bad idea but I was having so much fun I couldn’t help myself. I made sure to drink a lot of water along with the alcohol, so that’s something. Then hubs reminded me that I drank and ate much worse in Vegas when I ran the half marathon and that was a longer distance, so I was good to go. (He’s a helpful guy like that.) The fun continued when I ordered another pre-race tummy no-no, the Captain Jack’s Buried Treasure, also known as the greatest dessert in the UNIVERSE.

That dessert went really well with my mini Mint Oreo Blizzard earlier in the day. Smile  Anyway, just know that fun was had all day long, little sleep was gotten, and Saturday morning reared it’s ugly head for a 5:45 wake-up.

When I woke up, I didn’t feel great (surprise, surprise), so I didn’t eat breakfast because I wasn’t sure if I could keep anything down. Instead, I chugged some water, got ready, and waited for Michelle to pick me up.

We made the 15 minute drive to the race start, found parking pretty quickly, and had over a half a mile walk to the start of the first race – the 2 miler. We made it with 5 minutes to spare, cut in front of people at the front of the start line (since there was no start timing, only finish) and we were off.

By the time I got to the first mile marker, I was sure I had already run a mile and a half. That and the fact that eight year olds were passing me the whole time was a little disconcerting. Clock time for the first mile said 8:08 which made me feel all fast and giddy for about 3 seconds. Then I remembered I still had a mile left and wanted to die.

2 Mile Finish: 17:39 (8:50 pace)

Thankfully they had cold water bottles after the 2 miler because I was so thirsty. I took two of them, chugged one, and kept the other one for the 10k. Then I found Michelle chatting with an old co-worker that she randomly ran into. We all talked for a couple minutes and then made our way to the 10k start. (We had a little over 10 minutes between the end of the 2 miler and the start of the 10k.)

We got in the 8:30 pacing area, which is the pace I run in my dreams, so I guess that counts in reality. That’s when we noticed we were behind this guy.

Yeah, those shorts are pinned on both sides so they don’t fall down. Time for new shorts, my friend.

I gotta say, that 2 miler really pooped me out. I was feeling better finally but I was not in the mood to race a 10k at that point. So, I didn’t. I ran what felt comfortable. Sometimes I felt a burst of energy and went faster, sometimes my legs felt heavy and I went slower. A lot of the race was on uneven brick roads, so I spent my time trying not to faceplant.

The course was mostly shaded and I was really familiar with it since it’s where all my training runs with Marathonfest happened last year. It was nice to run some familiar roads. There were a lot of hills, which I didn’t expect. I’m pretty sure my group planned our runs around those because I would have been bitching about them way more last summer if I had to run them all the time.

10k Finish:  1:03:56  (I’m too lazy to figure out that pace. 10:20 ish?)

I know I can race that in under an hour. Maybe next year I’ll try not to drink all night beforehand and make that happen. Either way, that’s a PR because I’ve never run an official 10k before.

After the race, we found Michelle’s friend again. He just ran his first full marathon a couple months ago in Miami.

Someday I’m going to remember to take my headphones off for pictures.

Shortly after, we found Michelle’s husband, Dan, who was there to drop off the kids because he had to get to work. After Dan left, the four of us headed over to the VIP area that Michelle paid extra for because the proceeds go to charity there was beer.

I didn’t pay for VIP, so I stood on the outside of the fence looking in like a lost puppy. I waited with the kids while Michelle got her beer and when she came back, Livie really wanted a sip. I took this picture about 2 seconds after Michelle told her no.

I look the SAME way when I can’t have beer.

We hung around for a bit and did our picture thing. (One metal for the 10k and one for the Distance Dare.)

B played on his iPad the whole time and ignored everything around him while Livie flirted with 2 different guys and fist-bumped 8 strangers twice. The girl is not shy. I would totally take her out with me if I wanted to pick up some guys but not do any of the work.

Then, my favorite race picture of all time happened and my race season was complete.

I was all over that Nesquik bunny. Poor guy.

Overall, I really liked this race. It’s a nice course, close to home, the post race party is fun and has bunnies, and they give you a lot of goodies including an extra medal and a glass for everyone that completed the Distance Dare.

Michelle and I both agreed we’d do this race again, but will probably skip the 2 miler and just stick with the 10k next year.

When I got home, I was feeling especially energetic so I joined the Over-Exercising Bloggers Club and went to Crossfit with the hubs. I thought I’d share this workout since you don’t need any equipment for it. (Pretend your jump roping if you don’t have one and do it as fast as you can (with good form) for a good cardio workout.)

That workout took care of any energy I had left.

So this race officially ends my race season. My next race isn’t until the end of September and there’s only one other I have my eye on for now. I’m not planning my races in advance this year like I did last year. I think I want to do some fun destination races next, but I’m not sure where. So, we’ll see how it goes.  🙂


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Nerd Alert: MegaCon 2012 (and a Giveaway)

Saturday, hubs and I went to MegaCon – a huge comic convention that comes to Orlando every year.

MegaCon is similar to ComicCon and this year there were 40,000 in attendance, so it’s awesome people watching. They have tons of booths with comics, action figures, art, DVDs, and all sorts of random things for sale. The also have celebrity guests, usually ones that I want to stalk like the creepy fangirl I am. If you’ve checked out my Celebs page at all, most of my pictures have come from past years at MegaCon.

Once we arrived, we skipped the wait for the shuttle and walked about 2 miles to the convention center.

No, that’s not hubs. That’s just a guy that passed us while walking there. Tho, hubs does have an outfit like that for “special” occasions.

We didn’t pre-buy tickets this year, so we waited in line for about 30 minutes to buy them. Sounds painful, but it wasn’t so bad. There was a lot to look at – like possibly the coolest Alien costume ever.

Hubs was super excited about this guy and I have no clue what video game he’s from.

Beast from X-Men with Miss Piggy.

Annnnnd this guy.

So, after waiting in a 30 minute entertaining line to get our tickets, we were in. The place is massive in both directions, so this picture doesn’t nearly to it justice.

Here’s a picture I took a couple years ago and I would say it’s doubled in size since then.

We did lots of wondering around, looking at the different booths, and checking out all the people in costume. Hubs bought some toys and proved just how geeky he is by telling me what most people were dressed up as because I had no clue.

So you can imagine how excited I got when I actually recognized a few. Beaker, the Swedish Chef and Prof. Honeydew!

And the Mystery Science Theater guy.

Our friend Steve rented an artist table and sold his artwork there, so we visited with him for a bit but his space was mobbed every time we came by and we didn’t get a chance to talk much. It’s hard work signing autographs for all your fans. Smile

Steve is one of those people who’s artwork is so amazing that it makes you stop and wonder if you’re as good at something as he is at drawing. And then you realize, no. No, you’re not. Once you’re done crying because of your own lack of talent, you give in and brag to everyone that you know someone with talent. So now hubs and I just practice the phrase, “my friend drew that!”

Remember when I wrote that post about the video game that my hubs worked on called Three Dead Zed? Well, Steve was one of the two lead programmers for it.

The one thing that disappointed me this year was that a lot of the bigger celebrity guests had “no pose photography” restrictions. That was a deal breaker for me. I don’t care about autographs, I want a picture with them not just of them. If I can’t get that it’s not worth shelling out the $20-$40 bucks they charge for it. So, sadly I didn’t get any new pictures for my Celebs page. 😦

I did get to see Nicolas Brendan (Xander on Buffy), Lauren Cohan (Maggie on Walking Dead), and Corin Nemec (Parker Lewis Can’t Lose). Parker Lewis is aging very yummily by the way. I came THISCLOSE to getting a picture with him because he’s hot now and I’m shallow like that.

Not my picture (source)

I did happen to get a horrible picture of Bruce Boxleitner, but the crowds were so thick and everyone was walking in front of my camera that I just gave up on the picture taking.

Overall, I had a fun time. I was bummed I didn’t see David Anders in the celebrity section because I wanted to meet him. I would have even forked over some cash to meet Lauren Cohan if it wasn’t for the stupid picture rule. Meh. Hopefully next year will be less strict, like the previous years.


Giveaway: Hubs decided to offer one of you a free copy of Three Dead Zed. It’s available on PC, Mac, and Linux (you can check out the system requirements here.) If you’d like to try out the game or up your cool factor by winning it for someone you know that loves games, leave a comment telling me what celebrity you’ve met (or who you’d like to meet). I’ll use a random number generator to select a winner on Friday the 24th. Smile


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The Kills

So, I finally made it to my final post about last weekend just in time for this weekend. 🙂 I swear last weekend felt like it was 4 days long because so much was jam-packed into it. I had a ton of fun, but it will be nice to slow down a bit this weekend.

After the race 0n Sunday, Michelle and I made the 4-hour drive back to Orlando, which included more Coldplay and Marky Mark than I’ve ever heard in my life and some drastic measures to stay awake.

Once Michelle dropped me off, it was time to get ready to head back out to Downtown Disney to see The Kills at House of Blues. By that time, I was regretting buying the tickets. I was wiped out and had to be up early the next morning for work so I wasn’t loving the idea of another 45 minutes in the car to get there.

The Kills are a indie rock band that I love, so if you’re thinking “who the hell are The Kills,” you’re probably not alone. If you’re interested, here are a couple of my favorite songs from them. (Those are YouTube links.)

The show was only half full which was nice for a change. No one spilled their beer on me, a guy twice my size didn’t stand in front of me, and I didn’t lose anything valuable for once. Although, I did almost forget my glasses at the merchandise stand, so at least I made a good effort to lose something. I also got a few cool pictures.

Go ahead and thank the hubs for this one.

Most of the other shots were blurry. The butt shot – totally clear.

And a picture repeat for you from the end of the night.

The Kills were awesome and played all my favorite songs. Even though I was tired, I’m glad we got tickets because they don’t tour here often so who knows if I’d ever get the chance to see them again. The concert was over by 10:00 pm, I took a nose dive into my pillow by 11:30, and was a complete zombie at work the next day. But it was worth it.


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