Monthly Archives: March 2015

6 posts

Jimenez Family Zoo Tour – Jacksonville Zoo

All about that bump…
34 weeks! 

Our third and final Zoo for the tour was the Jacksonville Zoo. We woke up a little later than we wanted, BUT our little lady was SO exhausted so it was nice to get some extra sleep.

When we arrived at the Jacksonville Zoo I was so excited, it was really big and organized, and pretty!   To be honest, it felt like we were standing in line to go to Busch Gardens.  It was also exciting to watch our Little Lady excitedly run into the zoo. By the time we made it to this zoo, she was a pro!

She would run from exhibit to exhibit to and shout “Dadda, Dadda” and point. I LOVED it! Chris and I love to go to the zoo, we love to walk around and see the animals and just enjoy a relaxing day together. There is nothing more magical than seeing your daughter enjoy the same things that you love.

“Dadda, Dadda!”
Showing Dadda the ducks.
Mommy’s favorite exhibit at the Zoo.
The Giraffe Exhibit
Snack Break! 

We spent about 7 hours at the zoo, and just barely made it through all the exhibits before the zoo closed. Thankfully the zoo was well organized with one main road through the center with several loops of animals to look at.

Some of our favorite exhibits included:

  • Giraffes
  • Elephants
  • Aviary (not my favorite, because I’m scared of birds)
  • Leopard 
  • Zebra
Planning our next stop! 
Petting Zoo!

She LOVED petting the “dogs” at the Zoo. 
One tired little lady! 

    Our Honeymoon
    St. Augustine
    December 2008
    After Jacksonville we realized we were only about an hour from St. Augustine and… we had a rental car…so it wasn’t miles on our car…and Little Lady would LOVE the Fort… 
    Okay, really… she was asleep in the car and we really didn’t want to just go back to the hotel at 5 p.m., so we decided to go soak in some more vacation in St. Augustine. We went there on our Honeymoon and just love the city, so we decided to go enjoy the evening together. 

    The Gates of the City, St. Augustine

    It was great, we loved spending the evening together and with our daughter. I can hardly believe that that will be our last get-away adventure as a family of three before our love bug arrives! I’m excited for our family and looking forward to the arrival of our Love Bug in just a few weeks! 

    Question: What’s one of your favorite places to visit? 

    Jimenez Family Zoo Tour – Santa Fe Zoo

    Next up on our Zoo Tour was the Santa Fe Teaching Zoo in Gainesville, Florida. This Zoo is affiliated with Santa Fe College, and is a place for zoo students to get real life experience during school. It only took us a few hours to see the whole zoo (at a slow pace), and we really enjoyed being shaded by the lush trees, and intimate atmosphere.

    Some of our favorite exhibits included the Gibbons, the Ocelot and of course the Otters!

    There is no splash pad at this zoo, but there is a nice play ground for the kids to enjoy, and a large picnic area out side of the zoo.

    After the Zoo we went to visit my family for the afternoon.

    Jimenez Family Zoo Tour – Central Florida Zoo

    Family Vacation Day 1.

    We over slept. 
    Yes, completely slept through our alarms and woke up around 7 a.m.. By 8:00ish we were loaded into our rental car and on our way to the Central Florida Zoo
    We decided to stop at Starbucks for some coffee and breakfast (yum) but while we were there my daughters diaper leaked ALL over me (gross) and Starbucks doesn’t have any changing stations (what’s up with that Starbucks, aren’t moms your biggest consumer? – anyway!). Right next to the Starbucks was a Wal-Mart, SO… we went there to clean up the baby and buy me a new shirt to wear (I’d only packed 1 shirt per day of vacation). 
    On the way into Wal-Mart morning sickness got the best of me, AND… I threw up in the plants outside of Wal-Mart. 

    I went to the restroom, cleaned myself up now and headed to the ladies department looking for a new shirt. 
    Back on the road, my husband announces that at a certain location we are going to stop for gas. I was playing Frozen Free Fall on my phone. I had no idea I was supposed to watch for the exit (oops). So, we passed it. 
    Our car had been telling us we had 0 miles to go until we were stuck on the side of the road, and our GPS was telling us it was 14 miles until the next gas station. 
    On a prayer (and fumes) we made it to the gas station. Thankfully little lady slept through the whole thing! 
    We got some gas, changed a diaper & gave our little lady a snack and headed to the zoo. 

    By the time we made it to the Zoo, we were exhausted. I still didn’t feel well, but we were determined to have a good time and build memories with our little lady. 

    My thoughts on the Zoo.

    Things I liked: 
    • Nice Playground near a snack bar
    • LARGE Splash pad for the kids (also next to a snack bar)
    • Animals were easy to see
    • The Giraffes were active
    • Big play zone outside the zoo (for older kids – ropes course)
    • The boardwalks and trails
    • Lots of parking
    Things I’d have like to see differently: 
    • Consider adding more boardwalk areas 
    • More shade around splash pad 
    • The bees around the splash pad should be re-located 
    • Add changing table to the regular bathroom (near splash zone) for guests not using the splash zone. 
    Question: What’s your favorite animal to see at the Zoo?

    Tips from Jeff Galloway on Injury

    I’m back from our family zoo tour, and am excited to re-cap our adventures for all of you. BUT! Before I do that, I wanted to bring you some tips about injury from Jeff Galloway.

    From Jeff Galloway

    • Most injuries experienced by my runners are due to 1) pacing long runs too fast, 2) increasing the weekly mileage too quickly, 3) lengthening stride and 4) stretching. 
    • The principal in staying injuring free is to balance gentle stress with the right recovery periods – allowing for rebuilding. – Check out the book Running Injuries by Jeff Galloway for more info. 
    • Finding the right Run Walk Run strategy from the beginning of a run has been the best way I’ve found to stay injury free, come back from an injury and in some cases, continue to run while the injury heels. 
    I agree with finding the right Run Walk Run strategy at the beginning, when I ran my first Marathon at 25 weeks pregnant, I knew I could keep up with the Disney Pacing requirements if I just stuck with 1 minute of running and 1 minute of walking for all 26.2 miles. That pace and strategy helped me to focus on the moment, and not the mile – it carried me to the finish line! 
    More from Jeff Galloway
    • Are you concerned that running will damage joints, and other body parts? I was told this regularly, from my first week of running over 50 years ago but the research shows the opposite result: Runners have healthier joins, etc. than non runners as the decades go by. 
    • While researching for my book RUNNING UNTIL YOU ARE 100, I have reviewed dozens of studies and could not find one showing that running harms legs, feet, joints, etc. 
    • It may surprise you to know that many studies show runners have fewer orthopedic issues compared with non-runnersas the years go by. 
    • A respectful and large population study out of Stanford following thousands of runners over 50 who had run for more than 20 years concluded that runners had less than 25% of orthopedic issues compared to runners of the same age. 
    As long as you stay below the threshold of irritation you can often continue to run while the injury heels – Jeff Galloway 

    Question: Have you ever considered what it’d be like to run at 100? 

    WDW Marathon Weekend – Half Marathon Race Recap

    Welcome to part 2 of my WDW Marathon Weekend Recaps!!

    In case you missed part one, here’s a link!  WDW Marathon Weekend – Kids Races & Expo

    Now, onto the WDW Half Marathon Recap!!!

    The night before the race we had a dinner at Chef Mickey’s,  and spent some time organizing our outfits and getting ready. I was pretty nervous, but I was in good company. My husband also had a little bit of nerves to deal with.  I hadn’t really thought about the distance we were going to be running over the next two days, I was just focused on finishing.

    The alarm went off bright and early at 2:40 a.m., and suddenly… our daughter began to cry.  Not a simple sleepy whimper, but .. like actual giant tears. My husband and I took turns getting ready and holding her, trying to soothe her tears – but her diaper had leaked so we had to get her cleaned up and back into some dry clothes. As you can imagine, she was NOT impressed.

    My husband takes over the diaper duty while I go grab a bottle of milk, hoping a little milk will save the day (nope, I was wrong). About the time I was going to grab milk my Mother in Law knocked on our door and offered to take her. So, while little lady was screaming we continued to get ready for Part 1 of the Goofy Challenge.

    Oh, is it here that I should mention I was well aware of my pregnancy as Braxton Hicks joined the party?

    goodness – what a morning!

    I drank some water, took some deep breathes and we made it out the door and loaded onto the bus around 3:15 a.m.

    Still dealing with nerves and Braxton Hicks my husband and I took some photos and skipped out on the meet ups with various RunDisney fan groups. Around 4:20 we started the long walk to the corrals, and there we sat for about 2 hours until our turn to start.

    I had packed a pair of old sweats to wear until the start and then toss, but it was SO cold that I ended up wearing them the entire race. – This was new for me, I’ve NEVER in my life run in sweats, in fact… I even had on two layers of shirts and I never once felt the desire to take one off. 40’s is much colder than I’m used too..

    In the corral there was a LOT of complaining around me. People whining about the weather, and whining about the announcers, and this and that and … basically everything. So, I put on my headphones and got myself into “the zone”.

    So, around 6:30 a.m. it was finally our turn to start and I was ready!  I popped out my headphones to soak in the fireworks, and then…we were off.

    My fingers were FROZEN. It was so bad I looked around on the ground for a pair of gloves. I couldn’t believe how cold I was – even though we were running!!! Anyway

    Since I was 25 weeks pregnant, it was a big deal to keep myself fed, hydrated and my heart rate stable. It’s important to remember that whatever your heart rate is, the baby’s is faster. So, with that in mind I’d trained with a 1:00 / 1:00 ratio of running and walking.  It was how I trained and I was ready to go all 39.3 miles that way. Determined to finish!

    The first 5 miles seemed to fly by! I was surprised because our time didn’t indicate that at all. I blame the long lines for the porta-potties.

    **Sigh** Preggo Problems, always have to pee…

    We approached Cinderella’s Castle and were greeted by Elsa, Anna and Kristoff. I was hoping this would be our chance to actually RUN through the castle… but… nope. Every single person decided to STOP and WALK SLOWLY through the castle and down the ramp.


    It was so annoying.

    We were finally able to get running again and I still felt pretty strong.

    The next miles were also a blur, I was focused on my 1:00/ 1:00 run-walk so I don’t really remember much about it. When we approached Epcot my heart began to leap for joy.

    We were almost done with Part 1 of the goofy challenge, and did NOT get swept by the “balloon ladies”

    Since we were IN the park and not going to be swept, we stopped to say hey to our good friends Phinea’s and Ferb, Of course we asked “Whatcha doin’??” snapped a photo and continued on our way.

    Hooray, the finish line!! We did it!!!!

    Time: 3:17:35

    Question: Do you ever get so focused on your run that you lose sight of how far you’ve gone, or how much you have left to run?

    Motivation & Tips from Jeff Galloway!

    If you missed my first post, you can read it here. I was selected to be a part of the Jeff Galloway blogger program! So,  stay turned to my Facebook page & blog for tips and motivation from Jeff Galloway!

    As always, you can check out Jeff Galloway’s tips and motivation on his page

    When I was training for my first Marathon, I used the Run Walk Run method. I really felt that it helped me avoid the “exhaustion wall” because I knew it was an interval and it helped me focus and stay in the moment!

    In researching my book MENTAL TRAINING I discovered that running turns on brain circuits for a better attitude more vitality and empowerment better than other activities studied – Jeff Galloway.

    Yes. So much yes!

    In college, I went to the gym a lot – I never seemed to lose weight (and keep it off) and I never got that “feel good” buzz from working out. Finding running was truly a game-changer for me.

    How about you, does running improve your attitude more than just working out?