Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow Storm

The weather forecast for this weekend included a severe storm warning which predicted 6" to 12" of snow! It started falling Friday night, and by the morning we had a nice blanket of snow, with more still falling.

Snowy Morning
Originally uploaded by klbarrus
Blanket of snow

Conditions were terrible, but I wanted to explore and see if any stores in my nearby shopping center were open. So I dug out some snow gear from my days in Seattle, and hiked over to the plaza. I found empty parking lots, with a few other hardy souls out, plus a few trucks plowing the parking lot. Most stores were closed except for one grocery store, and I got the feeling they were going to close early.

After returning home, I lazed out and watched TV and played computer games.

Today was bright and sunny - the snow stopped falling. I went outside to survey my car, and found it covered with a foot-and-a-half of snow. The road inside the apartment complex was slushy, and some trucks were driving around spreading salt. I got my snow shovel, another piece of equipment from my days in Seattle (I guess the stuff I had to buy for the Mountaineers courses on snowshoe and scrambling came in handy!), and dug out my car, so I won't have to do it tomorrow morning.

Once again I decided to walk over to the nearby plaza, since the neighborhood roads were still snow-covered and slushy. This time, the plaza was jammed since the storm stopped and the major roads were plowed. I ate a nice salad at Panera, had a delicious cafe mocha, and walked home.

Snowy Sidewalk
Originally uploaded by klbarrus
One day after the snowstorm.

No more snow is in the forecast, so the roads should be fine. I wasn't able to run this weekend (I skipped out on a 5 miler in Baltimore on Saturday, due to the conditions) but I at least got two snowy walks in. :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Board Games

I found a local board games group, and attended a meeting.

The group meets at a local mall, Savage Mill, a historic building. The Mall consists of several connected building, originally part of an old saw mill. The stores inside are all local-owned and unique, and several teach classes.

One that caught my eye is Terrapin Adventures, because they have a zip-line obstacle course setup outside! It reminds me of the Sanford Zoo's course, and I will check it out when the weather is warmer.

Anyway, only two other people made today's board game meet, and we settled on playing Dominion, a card game. The game worked similar to a collectible card game, where you try to build a deck to play with, except it thankfully doesn't involved buying/collecting cards - all the ones you need come with the game. Each turn you use a set of your cards to get new ones, which grant more abilities or victory points. I liked the game enough to buy a copy right afterwards!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

OUC half marathon weekend

I return to Orlando for the OUC half marathon, and to also visit friends. I knew the weekend would be as busy as I wanted it to be, because the Orlando Running Club would be having events for the exchange runners! So I planned ahead and flew in Thursday evening.

Friday, I went to lunch with a group from the Seminole Cyclists - they were coincidentally having the monthly lunch gathering when I would be able to make it. So we had a nice lunch at Fuji sushi in Lake Mary. Friday evening I went to dinner in Winter Park with the running club, and got to see several friends there.

It rained pretty heavy all Friday, so there was concern the race would be in fairly lousy conditions. It was sprinkling lightly Saturday morning, and the forecast called for a break so we hoped that would hold true. Charles took this picture of Beth, me, and Mai before we loaded up and drove to Lake Eola. Charles and Mai had run the Space Coast Marathon the week before (!), and in order to rest, Charles wasn't running. But Mai did in order to support Beth, who had been training for this event for months - her first half-marathon.

Beth, me, Mai

We were lucky and it didn't rain during the race, except for some very light sprinkles for a few minutes. Since my training has been rather lackluster, I was quite happy with coming in under 2 hours!

The ORC holiday party was that evening, and I had a fun time talking with running club friends. Before leaving on Sunday I was able to have lunch with Paul and Allison (whose wedding I attended last month) and heard about their nice honeymoon in Hawaii.

Overall it was a really good weekend!