Archive | August, 2011

Back to school, back to school

30 Aug

Yep, it’s that time of year again.  We have a teacher work week and start after Labor Day.  I tried to go back to school yesterday, but the power was out…working/hurricane fail.

Don’t think that we let a little ol’ hurricane get in our way of training…oooooh no.


Easy two miler around Mt. Trashmore.  Now before you get on me for making up/making fun of the place we run…it is soo called Mt. Trashmore.


Aneeway.  It actually is made up of trash, so yeah. 


6 miles at First Landing – 1/2 mile warm up, ran 2 miles with multiple stops for pine cone coated trail and branches in the way, stopped for fuel, 2 miles out, 1 mile cool down


1/2 hour walking around Mt. Trashmore and 2x up and down Mt. Trashmore.

Doing pretty good!  I wish I could have run more at First Landing, but the pine cones were outta control!

Joseph Gordon Levitt can do no wrong…feast on this…

I mean am I right…or am I right?



Before and after

28 Aug



I know the before pictures don’t look that bad and in all honesty, we were very lucky.  It’s also hard to take a picture of hurricane force winds from inside(I found out). 

Technically in before and after shots I should show you the same thing, but my street wasn’t all that interesting after…and the beach was.  A lot of the traffic lights are out and no one around here knows what to do.  People just blow through them and don’t treat them as a four-way stop…like you should.  The beach lost a lot of sand and was very compressed.  Other than that there are a lot of leaves and tree branches down, but not a lot of structural damage. 

We were very fortunate and lucky that Irene lost some of her power when she made landfall in NC.  The winds weren’t as severe and that helped out a lot.  I also want to thank my friends and family for their prayers and well wishes.  You guys rock! 

But don’t say we weren’t prepared…

Add to that a case of water and battery operated radio (last one in Sears!)

I said in some emails to family that I beat the old lady to the radio.  I didn’t actually beat her.  It’s just when the Sears associate said that the radio was the only one that wold operate on batteries alone…I kinda just scooted it closer to me and it somehow ended up in my hands..not hers.  What can I say?  Survival instinct! 😉

Welp, off to get lunch, hopefully and see what the rest of the day has in store!

Oh and Bond…yeah…he was a BIG help.

All I need to stay safe in the this ribbon...

See I'm protecting you by sleeping extremely close to you!

Watch: NASA Cameras Catch Irene's Might from 230 Miles Above (via NewsFeed)

27 Aug

Pretty interesting view…

Astronauts say the hurricane looks "scary” even from space. Just imagine the punch she’ll pack on the ground. The high fliers at the International Space Station trained their cameras on the “terrifying” weather system as they orbited over it Wednesday afternoon. From 230 miles above Earth, Hurricane Irene can be seen swirling over the Caribbean, slamming the Bahamas with her Category 3 winds. The hurricane spans about 580 miles wide. (PHOTOS: Eas … Read More

via NewsFeed

Here’s a quickie

26 Aug

Quick update!

Hurricane Irene has been demoted to a Cat 1 hurricane, a strong 1, but she’s lessened.  We are supposed to be getting rain starting tonight and the real hurricane will be here sometime tomorrow…

Like I said before, we are all stocked up.  Water, food, we’re good to go!  I even got one of the last battery powered radios in Sears!  Score!

The post I meant to write

26 Aug

This morning I really was going to write the post you’ll be seeing, but got distracted with all Irene’s shenanigans.  In all seriousness I am not doubting the power, ferocity, and damage that Irene can inflict.  I’m just trying to stay calm, cool, and collected.

Onward!  I took a ton of pictures while in Vegas and they didn’t all make it into the posts, cuz that’d be a lot of pictures no one would look atonly my family members care about (thanks family members!)

Photos from Bellagio fountains









Photos from Madame Tussaud’s

It's Eemmmmmiiilllllyyyyyy

Leanne and Garth, don't worry Phil

The champion!

Oh Bradley... come true. Stop looking at me Angelina!

Snoop Dog! Don't worry, I didn't inhale...

Random odds and ends

Can you find me?

The Eiffel Tower! Okay, not really, but it's a good replica!

The Bellagio flower gardens

So, there ya go!  I’m going to try to post and update with how things are going in my neck o’ the woods as much as I can.  That being said, all you all on the east coast be safe!


26 Aug

…goodnight, Irene goodnight, goodnight Irene, goodnight Irene…

Click on good ol' Tom for a song...

So yeah, this is going to happen…

See where it says Cat 2 Early Sun AM?  Yup that’s pretty much around the area that I live.

As of right now, they (they being the local news) have said it’s weakened to a Cat 2 from a Cat 3 yesterday.  Welp, and now we just got categorized as a State of Emergency in Virginia Beach.  We may evacuate and we do have a place to go.  This is just an odd occurence for me.  I haven’t had much experience with severe weather.  Sure we had the odd tornado siren in Ohio, lots of snow in Michigan, but nothing like this. 

All will be okay and Bond will be coming with us if/when we evacuate. 


 I’ll keep y’all updated the best I can.  If you are in the path of Irene, please be safe, get gas, have plenty of water, flashlights, batteries food…  Just be safe.

And in the end…

25 Aug

…the love you take is equal to the love you make.

If you wanna catch up:

Vegas, what to do?


Waking up in Vegas aka Schadenfreude

Alrighty, lastly, but surely not leastly…what is there to do in Vegas other than traipse around the casinos and eat?  Well you could go see shows of course!

We saw Blue Man Group , The Beatles LOVE Cirque du Soleil, and Defending the Caveman.  All three shows were great, but my favorite would have to be Beatles LOVE. 

As an avid Beatles fan I was the most excited about this.  The music for the show is all Beatles, duh, but it’s a mash-up of sorts.  For example one song was Blackbird and Yesterday together.  It really worked.  The artists in the show are amazing.  The aerobatics, tumbling, and dancing they do is just amazing.  I wish I could show you guys photos of the show, but of course it’s not allowed.  Just take my word for it.  If you ever have the opportunity to go see a Cirque show, do.  More specifically, make sure it’s Beatles Love! 😉

If you look really close…you can see my eyes are closed…awesome.
Blue Man Group!
I’d previously seen the show in NYC, but I think it’s very innovative and quirky, so why not see it again?  The Blue Man Group, if you don’t know, are 3 guys all dressed up in black with only their blue heads and hands sticking out.  They play instruments mainly made out of pipes…
They don’t talk or make any type of noise, except with their instruments.  They really don’t have any social awareness…kind of alien like in that way, but their music and whole experience they put on is great!  Oh and the band that backs them up is pretty badass as well.  Awesome show all around.
We also saw Defending the Caveman.  It’s a show about relationships between men and women and how we communicate…or don’t.  Kevin Burke was the “caveman” and it was a really funny show.  Women are gathers, that’s why they have so many clothes, shoes, etc.  Men are hunters, that’s why they “kill” the channels on the TV and can’t settle.  We got two for one tickets in the VIP section plus T-shirts, so it was a pretty good deal.
One other fun thing we did was go to Madame Tussaud’s.   You know, the wax figures…?  For the most part, I really think the figures looked like who they were supposed to.  I’m looking at you JLo…  As you’ll see we really enjoyed posing with a few people.

Leanne let out her inner stunt devil!


Thank goodness all those years of voice lessons paid off!

After all these years, I finally got my man!

I have a ton more Madame Tussaud’s photos, but I didn’t want y’all to get bored.  I’ll post more later.

A few bits of advice about Vegas:

Set a limit with how much you are will to bid and gain on the slots.  If you don’t you could be in a world of hurt.  “I’ll stop when I get to $20, oh maybe $25.”  That number comes and goes and you’re out $$$.

Bring walking shoes.  Vegas is a lot of walking from casino to casino to get what you want.

Look for coupons and deals.  There are a lot of them out there, just be proactive and ask around.

Bring more money than you think you need.  Vegas is expensive with a capital E.  Know going in that you are going to have to spend some money, or do a lot of research so you don’t have to. 

Check to see what types of amenities your hotel offers.  Do they give you free wi-fi, gym pass…

Would I go back to Vegas?  Yes, but not anytime soon!

Vegas – what to do?

24 Aug

Just in case you missed

Waking up in Vegas aka Schadenfreude



Read on dear people read on…

Now!  While in Vegas, what did we do?  Where did we go?  Be forwarned, this post is photo heavy.  So if you don’t want to look at my pictures, you are a jerkI’ll understand.

The short story is that we stayed mid strip (TWSS?)  The long story is…

Defending the Caveman, Blue Man Group, Cirque du Soliel Beatles Love, The Venetian, Caesars Palace, The Mirage, and Madame Tousseds.

Let’s start with the casinos…why not?  I’m the one running this blog, right?  Well, mainly.


The Bellagio is awesome!  It was my favorite, I’m pretty sure.  I mean Chihuly glass in the lobby?


Fresh flowers  inside a Vegas hotel/casino?



and check!  It smelled like flowers!  I was floored!  Also the Bellagio has their famous fountain display at night…


The Bellagio also plays host to Jean Phileppe Patasserie, how can a girl be mad about that?

Caesars Palace

Caesars is very opulent.  This is where Mesa Grill and the delicious buffet with all the desserts are.  Caesars also has the Forum Shops, it’s like a very expensive mall…fun to look at, but I could never afford 3/4ths of those shops.  Oh!  And the escalators at the Forum Shops curve.  I know, I know it’s the little things.

And oh yeah, they have a pool…

If you can call something like that a pool…

The Venetian

We/I spent a lot of time at the Venetian and it’s adjoining Palazzo.  This is where Leanne’s conference was, so it was pretty easy to drop in.  If you didn’t see my previous blog Get on a Gondola then you don’t know that they have gondoliers inside the Venetian!  It’s actually pretty cool.  Sitting by the canals and listening to them sing (the gondoliers not gondolas) was almost relaxing.  Another thing that is relaxing is the ceiling.

It looks like the sky, whoa.  They also paid someone a lot of money to create this masterpiece.

In between The Venetian and the Palazzo there is another place to kinda sit and chill.  There is a waterfall, which I didn’t take a photo of, and cool garden features.

Nice family photo...right?The wishing well above the waterfall

Pretty, right?  Okay, I guess that’s enough with the photos and casinos.  I’ll keep going with what shows we saw tomorrow!


23 Aug

Okay, where were we…?

In Waking up in Vegas aka Schadenfreude, I talked about where we stayed and if we trained.  How ’bout food and exciting things to do in Vegas?!

What did you eat?

Well lemme tell ya!  There are a ton of dining options in Vegas.  A ton, I tell you!  You can get some really expensive eats without trying too hard, it’s more of a game to find cheaper eats.  At least that’s what we found mid strip. 

 We ate at the buffets a bit, because how can you go to Vegas without doing that?  There is a good deal called buffet of buffets.  It allows you to eat at 8 different buffets up and down the strip for $50, for 24 hrs.  Considering that one meal can cost $50, this is great!  We ate at Harrah’s (since that’s where we were staying) and Caesers (it was right across the street).  A note, if you are on a tight schedule for seeing shows and such make sure you give yourself plenty of time to stand in lines at peak times.  We got in line for dinner around 5:45 for a 7:00 show at Harrah’s…and it was tight.  Same thing at Caesers we got there right at lunch rush and had to wait in line.  That being said, it’s a really good deal and Casers has the most amazing pastries…EVER.  We literally took one of everything just to try it all.

K, onward.  We also at at Cut, a Wolfgang Puck restaurant, Mesa Grill (DAMN YOU BOBBY FLAY), Dos Caminos, Sushi Roku, Jean Philippe Patasserie, BLT Burger, Trattoria Reggiano, and other places I can’t remember right now…and mind you these are not in any order.

Cut – this was our most expensive dinner.  It’s a fine dining steakhouse within The Palazzo.  Cut is über chic and modern.  The waiters are all in black and the wine and cocktails are on an iPad (right?).  This doesn’t mean that the food is pretentious as well.  No, no, the food is nothing short of amazing.  I got an aged 35 day Nebraska corn-fed steak and Leanne got Wagyu Beef.  Mine was delish, I can’t speak for Leanne, but I’m pretty sure she enjoyed it (note the sarcasm).  The sides they serve family style (we got mashed potatoes and green beans, from the Midwest…what?) and there were plenty to go around.  We even got to meet the sous chef since he was from Virginia Beach as well (small world).  In short, if you have money to spend and want a really delicious steak and meal go to Cut!

Mesa Grill – I’ll call this take 500 of DAMN YOU BOBBY FLAY! Because his food is just sooo damn tasty! Mesa Grill is inside Caesers Palace, we were there for brunch.  It was really hard not to get the same exact meal that I got in NYC, but I fought the urge and got Scrambled Eggs Chilaquiles w/grits and Leanne got Ranch Style Eggs Tostada w/grits.  Notice a trend…yeah the grits.  They are the best grits I’ve ever had, literally.  I don’t know how B.F. makes them so good, but I’m sure it involves some type of cream and a deal with the devil.  Oh!  When you go there make sure you ask for a Mimosa, it’s not on the menu, but it’s a must!

Jean-Philippe Patisserie- the Patisserie is located in the Bellagio and they are known for their crepes and sinfully decadent pastries.

Must fight order...all....pastries!

We got crepes and were not disappointed.  Maybe we also got a pastry or two, probably we did.  The crepes are made fresh to order right in front of you.  I think we were both in a bit of sugar shock after this…but it was totally worth it.

Dos Caminos– we ate here for lunch one day, it is located inside The Palazzo.  On our way to our table we were told that Dos Caminos are known for their margaritas and guacamole.  So as to not offend our hosts, that’s exactly what we ordered. 

The guac was good, but a little too limey.  The margaritas were, on the other hand, uhh potent (good).  We also got the roasted plantain empanadas and tuna ceviche.  The empanada dough was made out of the roasted plantains (sweet and tasty).  The tuna ceviche was the winner in this meal, however.  The ceviche sat upon a roasted sweet potato disc and was soooo sweet/spicy/tunay when it was eaten altogether.  They also had cool wall art…

One last place I want to mention.  Just because it was so unexpected.  Trattoria Reggiano, is a veeeeerry small restaurant inside The Venetian.  It kind of juts out into the walkway like a sidewalk cafe and has maybe 6 booths on the inside.  Small.  That doesn’t mean they don’t serve great food.  Leanne’s penne was cooked to perfection.  It was a perfect al dente and the noodles actually tasted like something.  Crazy right?!  My margarita pizza had the most gooey, salty mozzarella and the dough was thin, doughy, and crispy all at the same time.

So there you have it, I hope you like food! 😉  Next up, what is there to do in Vegas, I mean really?

Waking up in Vegas aka schadenfreude

22 Aug

Hola thelastcorral readers!  Back in Virginia Beach and trying to get used the humidity again.  Vegas was hot, but it’s true, there is noooo humidity!

Okay, so where’d we stay?


We were basically right in the middle of the strip.  Given the chance would I stay at Harrah’s again?  No probably not.  The casino was the smokiest that we visited and I didn’t win on their slots!  Also, in order to use the gym it was $20 before 4 and $10 after.  We thought this was a little crazy, which is why we did all of our running outside.  But…since we were smack dab in the middle it did allow for some good “strip” shots.

Looking up the strip

Down the strip, the view from Sushi Roku!

Did we train?

Why yes, yes we did.  After we learned that the gym was out of the question we had to edit the training plan a bit, but we did train.  We ran for a 30 hour on Wednesday, a 2 miler on Friday, and then we ran/walk 6.5 miles on Saturday.  Running in the desert/Vegas is different.  It gets hot early, not humid and hot, just hot.  We tried to get up before 8 every day in order to beat the heat.  Because there was so much smoke in the casinos Leanne had a little trouble with her lungs, but we adjusted!  Another hiccup about running on the strip is that there are a lot of walkways that you have to climb up and down.  That equals a lot of stairs that are integrated into the run, that equals tired legs…

I think the best part of running early in Vegas is that you get to see so many walks of shame.  All the girls with caked on make up, no shoes, stumbling about.  Good stuff, cuz you know I’m all about schadenfreude caring for others.

Oh yeah, and did I mention a drag queen show girl ran about 10 feet with us on one of our runs? No?!  Well he did. 

Okay, short little update, I’ll talk more about the food (oh there was food!) and what we did/saw.

Happy Monday to all!

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