No, This is NOT the Hospitality Suite!

I’m literally minding my own business….surfing the internet and watching a re run of Law & Order in my hotel room Thursday evening, when I hear a party going on next door.  It’s maybe 530 pm, and I hear a knock on my door.  I get up and look through the peep hole.  It’s a man in a white button down shirt and a tie.  I figure it’s a hotel employee, so I start to open the door.  As it’s opening, he says (with a Cheshire cat grin on his face), “I’m here for the hospitality suite!”.  He takes one look at me, decides he’s in the WRONG place, and leaves.  I shut the door, wondering what he could possibly be talking about.  After the party next door got a little more rambunctious than I was comfortable with, I decided it was time to head out for dinner!

I’m walking out of the hotel, and I see a couple of girls dressed in dresses so short, that it was frightening.  I think I have underwear that covers more of my bum than these dresses did.  I start a bit with the realization that they are “working girls”!  OH…so THAT’S the hospitality suite!!!!  And it’s right next door to mine.  Figures.

By the time I got back, the festivities must have wound down.  I watched some TV (Vampire Diaries marathon of course) and went to bed.

Friday was slightly better than the rest of the week for my class, but not by much!  We had almost 2 hrs of interfaces discussion – which was the only real worthwhile time the entire week, and then had to take a test.  Being who I am, I wrote “the instruction and materials presented this week have not prepared me to take nor pass this examination” on the bottom of my test.  Ha.  REFUND.

Since class ended at noon and my flight wasn’t until 630, I decided to head back to Orlando and Downtown Disney for a bit more gift shopping.  It had finally warmed up, and was nearly 80 degrees!

 This is a picture of a tree in Downtown Disney (don’t mind the strange guy sitting there…he didn’t look like he was moving).  The tree is made up of game parts from Clue, Life, and Scrabble.  I thought it was neat looking.

 I stopped at the Margarita tent for a Wildberry Margarita while I shopped.  It was quite tasty….and they used a Vitamix, which made me happy, since I use mine every day (at least once).

After some shopping and a nice lunch as Wolfgang Puck’s (spinach salad and butternut squash soup), I headed back to Melbourne for my flight.  I turned in my car and headed to check in.  All went smoothly….until I hit security.

I was selected to go through the full body scanner.  Joy.  I’m wearing a t-shirt and yoga pants, so I should be good, right?  WRONG.  I go through the scanner and am on the other side waiting for the “results”.  As it turns out, a man in a suit who works at the airport walked through the scanner just after my stay in it.  As I’m standing there, the airport lady takes my arm (very gently…she was very nice and I realize was just doing her job).  She starts palpating my right forearm.  I have no idea what she’s looking for, but looks a bit disturbed.  As it turns out, the suit had his picture taken in the scanner and confused my image for his…so his watch showed up – and since I was in a t-shirt with bare arms – they were feeling my arm to see if I had something embedded underneath!  After the confusion, I went through the scanner again and was cleared for my flight.  What a very bizarre experience.

My flight takes off more or less on time, and I head to Atlanta.  I had an almost 2 hr layover, so I grabbed a bite to eat and went to my gate.  We boarded on time, and I was (mistakenly) hopeful for an on time departure.  Alas, we sat there for 45 minutes before take off.  I wasn’t annoyed though since they were holding the plane (it was the last of the day heading to Norfolk) for the late connectors.  If I were on a late connector, I’d want the plane to wait, so again, it didn’t really bother me.

My traveling companion was a nice guy from my area.  We chatted much of the way, and then I spent the rest of the time reading.  We finally landed around midnight, and I was very happy to see D just past the gate.  Unfortunately, we waited nearly an hour for luggage to come out.  Ugh.  We got home around 145am and headed to bed.

Saturday was swim lessons and a bowling bday party for R.  D took A and M to see Tron Legacy (Tron was one of D’s favorite movies).  By 6pm, I was painfully tired, having slept only a few hours before the pups woke me up at 7am for breakfast.  I lounged around the house doing some laundry and cleaning.  I made dinner (turkey and stuffing for D and the kids, stir fry mushrooms, a lentil stew, and a roasted butternut squash dish with vegan “cheese”).  After dinner (while catching up on Chuck and Survivor), I made a soft serve dessert in my Vitamix that was both healthy and delicious. 

 My soft serve yumminess.  I adapted it from Vegan Epicurean.  I skipped the nuts of course due to R’s severe nut allergies, and the ginger as well since D isn’t a big fan.  It was just 1 cup of water, 2 cups of frozen strawberries, 3 frozen bananas (I’ve taken to freezing bananas in chunks when they’re starting to get too ripe), and a half teaspoon of cinnamon.  Blend on low to mix, and then on high.  4 mounds start to form of soft serve goodness that’s basically 100 % fruit.

D stayed up with the kids watching a movie and I went to bed early (just too wiped to stay awake).  I woke up early again today (thanks to Sammie), and found R on the couch watching TV!  I made some coffee, and started planning my day.

I pressed some tofu yesterday and today I marinated it and baked it for sandwiches or wraps or salads.  It’s an Asian theme with soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, umbeshi vinegar (it’s a Japanese plum vinegar), brown rice vinegar, and crushed red pepper.  I baked it, but honestly haven’t eaten any yet. 

While that was marinating, I went on my first real run in over a week!  My chest cold is pretty much gone, so it felt great.  It was cold and windy, but still wonderful.  Right after my shower and getting dressed, I got a call from S to go to bottomless Mimosa’s at Wild Wing.  We had 2 hours and the place was packed.  Turns out, you really CAN chug mimosa’s if you have to.  I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it, but it can be done.  Gotta get your money’s worth, right!

 My baked tofu.

Every St. Nick’s I get the kids a gingerbread house kit.  Usually, A is the only one with the patience to actually decorate it.  This year was no exception.

 Part of the roof broke, so A decided to make an inside scene as well.  So creative!

 I made homemade pizza for dinner tonight.  Here’s a picture of D decorating his. 

 R’s finished product!  Plain cheese pizza on a pizza plate.  The plates are new (a la Disney) and really the only reason I even made pizzas tonight.  Don’t judge.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I was to start canning my excess food, so I did that this evening!

 The VERY steamy waterbath canner at the conclusion of preserving the cranberry/apple chutney!  D kept warming his hands over it like it was a camp fire.

 My new pressure canner!  I made a crock pot Moroccan chickpea stew today.  As soon as the crock was done, I made up 7 half-pints of preserved goodness.  It’s nice knowing it’s there for weeks or months to come if that’s what I wish.  I just need a bigger pantry now!  I told D he has to build me some shelves in the attached garage.

My finished work!  It took most of the evening, but I’m quite proud!

This will thankfully be a short week at work.  I’m looking forward to it, but even more so to the holiday break.  I hope it’s peaceful and productive.  I’m just very happy to be home!

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I am a 45 yo busy career single mom and doctoral student attempting to find her inner athlete, be a gluten-free(ish) vegan, and find a way to balance it all without going crazy! I love to cook, read, run, box, do yoga, dance, travel, and learn as many new things as I can - which often gets me in trouble.... I am passionate about life in general, and if I didn't write about it, I'd probably implode.

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