Monday, May 12, 2008

Scenes from Mississauga...

CONGRATS to Hubby who successfully completed his 12th marathon! What a great weekend; seems like all we did was run & eat... and eat... and eat. Accompanied by such a fun group of friends, I really couldn't have asked for more. Hope you enjoy these few pics from the Mississauga Marathon Weekend...

jag's post-10km salute

jag & shiny gold medal (in my mind, I came in first :-))

Mississauga marathoner friends (l-r: jim, heather, mark & Hubby)

more medallists (Hubby, John & Vanessa)

the Mississauga Gang (l-r: jim, lin, jag, ros, Hubby, john & vanessa)

Pace e bene,

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Pushing the limits...

I just ran my first 10K race and it felt amazing! *I* feel amazing!! I am so pleased with my accomplishment. The farthest I had run before was 8K last fall in Philadelphia, but now, I have a new "record" for distance. As soon as I passed the 8K marker, I let out a little whoop! because I knew that anything above that was new territory for me.

I'm especially pleased with how consistent I was during the run. I finished in 1:04:19 and managed to sustain an even pace throughout the entire race. Although I don't have a timing breakdown for each kilometre, I believe my last one was my fastest. There's just something that kicks in when the finish line is in sight and people are cheering. I have to say, I enjoy the race environment!

Tomorrow is an equally exciting day because Hubby will be running his 12th marathon. We have several friends who are here as well, running the marathon and the half-marathon, and I also look forward to celebrating all their successes. Pics to follow once we get home...

Pace e bene,

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Leaving Las Vegas...

After leaving Las Vegas, here are a few things I learned...

Never underestimate the amount of walking you will do in Las Vegas. The tour books will tell you... the web sites will tell you... people who have been there before will tell you... and yet you cannot hear it enough: BRING COMFORTABLE SHOES! I traipsed around Tuscany for three weeks last year, with nary a blister. Five days in Vegas and my tootsies were toast.

Everything is most certainly further than it appears. The Strip is one big optical illusion. You'd swear that the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino is "just over there". In fact, you can see the sign from where you're standing. Back home, a sign that size is about a block or so away. In Vegas, however, letters on the building are three stories high. The MGM Grand is in fact a mile (1.6km) away. That's a loooong block.

Don't go to the Wax Museum by yourself. It's not much fun. There are only so many pictures of waxy celebrities that you can take on your own. And it's a pain to ask a nearby tourist "S'cuse me... can you take a picture of me with George Clooney?" "S'cuse me... can you take a picture of me with Elvis? ... with Jon Bon Jovi? ...with Bette Midler? ...with fill-in-the-blank??"

DO go to Tix4Tonight for discounted tickets to a show... to an attraction... to restaurants. I saved 50% off my ticket to see Nathan Burton (magician), 10$ off my ticket to Madame Tussaud's as well as 25$ each off our tickets to see Cirque du Soleil's .

The two best freebies in town are the Big Elvis Show at Bill's Gamblin' Hall & Saloon and the Fountains of Bellagio. I kept coming back for more of these two very different forms of entertainment. Hey, the price was right! :-)

Take the time to chat with your fellow tourists. You never know what might come of it! While standing in line at Tix4Tonight, I met Catherine & Éric from Paris, France. They gave me their email address and invited us to come and visit them sometime, perhaps for the Paris Marathon?! (Eric is a marathon runner, as is Hubby of course.) And my favourite acquaintance was no doubt Albert. He & I shared a table at the Nathan Burton Magic Show. He had a twinkle in his eye, a hearty laugh and a genuinely kind smile. He told me about when he used to come to Vegas in the late 40's - things were quite different back then! After the show - which featured a lot of illusions - he turned to me with a wide grin and said: "I suspect we've been duped, but for the life of me, I can't figure out how he did it!" :-)

And finally, Vegas (or the Strip, at least) is one gigantic, excessive illusion.
The Statue of Liberty? Fake.
The Eiffel Tower? Fake.
The Piazza San Marco? Fake.
The green lawn at the Wynn Las Vegas? Fake.

And yet... the fun experience I had exploring this "shadow's playground"? REAL!
It was a hoot and I'm grateful for this opportunity that came about, quite unexpectedly. Life is good!

Pace e bene,