Archives for November 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010 – Coaching Day

 Started out with the breakfast plenary, then headed back to our coaching room. We managed to attract quite a few women in for some coaching, primarily due to the nice bio in the Conference Program, and it wasn’t long before the word started spreading. Had to tag team lunch, as our slots were starting to fill in fast. Decided to change from one hour sessions to half-hour sessions in order to accommodate more people. Were busy all day, right up to 8:00. We had a break at 6:00, and met with our old friend Leslie Sanchez, who will be speaking tomorrow at lunch. Decided to split a burger from room service so we could rest the remainder of the evening.

Thursday, November 18, 2010 – Moved to the Ritz

Packed up and moved over to the Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes just a few miles away, to participate in a national conference of Women Legislators. We were introduced during the initial Leadership meeting (which included a brief presentation by Governor Charlie Crist), then checked into the hotel, which was a challenge. The first room they gave us was (would you believe!) right next to the elevator, which I told them was unacceptable. The only other room they claimed to have had double beds instead of a king. Hubby went to look at them, and somehow (I still don’t know how!) managed to finagle a suite at no extra charge. It was beautiful! Two large rooms, both had balconies overlooking the pool and the golf course, extremely comfortable furniture, lots of space, a huge bathroom with a glass enclosed shower, a separate bathtub (though not a jacuzzi), an enclosed toilet area and double sinks. Really spectacular, exactly what you’d expect from a Ritz suite! It pays to have a husband that looks professorial and has that enticing English accent! Once we were settled in, we worked with the planners on arranging a room where we could offer one-on-one coaching sessions, and they found one right along the main corridor, guaranteeing we would be able to attract some folks in. Attended a welcome reception on the patio, met a few interesting people, then headed up to the comfy room for a relaxed evening and an early morning. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 – Advanced Workshop Day

Spent the day facilitating our Advanced Workshop, which is normally two days but was abbreviated for logistical reasons. Celebrated with chocolate covered strawberries and sparkling wine that we received as a gift basket on Sunday.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 – Workshop Day

Spent the day facilitating Day Two of our Training Camp.

Monday, November 15, 2010 – Workshop Day

Spent the day facilitating Day One of our Training Camp.

Sunday, November 14, 2010 – Runaround and Moving Day

Sunday, November 14, 2010 – Runaround and Moving Day
Didn’t sleep very well despite the nice bed, primarily because we kept hearing noises all night, sounded like bumper cars to me. Hubby finally figured out it was the elevator across the hall, and it was busy most of the night. Worse, he woke up feeling very ill (it always happens after going to a store where there are coughing kids), so he stayed at the hotel while I ran around getting things we needed for the workshops and some cold remedies for him, as well as groceries, as we managed to get a small refrigerator brought to the room. Got back after several hours, repacked and moved to another room, though when I checked it out, I discovered it, too, was directly across from the elevator, so I insisted we be moved again. They finally found us a room on a higher floor (always a good thing) and away from the elevator. This room, too, had a jacuzzi, and the furniture wasn’t quite as worn as the previous room, though it wasn’t a suite. Bed wasn’t as big, but was comfortable. Once we got everything ready for the workshop tomorrow, I decided to partake of the jacuzzi to help me recover from all the activity which had made me ache. Hubby spent the day in bed taking cold remedies, and was slowly feeling better. Went to bed early, knowing we had to get up early as well.

Saturday, November 13, 2010 – Travel Day

Dropped off the van at the GMC dealer so that they can get some work done while we’re going, but they didn’t have anyone who could take us to the airport, so we had to call a cab. Flew through DFW to Orlando, where we will be until a week from Monday, with three jobs to do while we’re there. Arrived at the hotel, the Royal Plaza in Disney World, where we discovered an error had been made in the reservation, and they weren’t expecting us until tomorrow. Worse, they were fully booked up. After a long time, they finally managed to put us in a suite which had a very comfortable, HUGE king bed, but the furniture in the sitting room looked original from the 70’s, with most of the padding worn out so that you could feel the metal framework underneath. The bathroom was huge as well, with a jacuzzi tub, but too tired to use it tonight. Got to bed late, with plans to sleep late as well.

Friday, November 12, 2010 – Laundry and Packing

Spent the day doing laundry and packing for our trip. This one’s going to be a bit longer than usual, so packing efficiently was a must! Showed Diane all the ropes for feeding the dogs, who will have the rare privilege of being able to stay in their own beds (or rather, our bed) while we’re gone, she’s just going to let them out and feed them regularly. Going to miss them, but we’ve got to keep everyone fed, including us!

Thursday, November 11, 2010 – Travel Day to Albuquerque

Wished we had found Red Canyon sooner, but c’est la vie! Today we headed up to the city to get the animals and vehicles settled in at their new digs. We had a relatively leisurely trip, arriving just as 4:00 as agreed. Our host Diane was there to meet us, and it didn’t take long to get everything and everyone where they were supposed to be. It was cooler than we expected in the evening, so we arranged to plug into electricity so we could keep the little space heaters on rather than run the furnace and burn propane the whole time. Otherwise an uneventful day.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 – Ride Day at Red Canyon in the Snow!

After a very cold night, woke up wondering which was crazier, driving all this way and not taking a ride, or taking a ride when it was freezing outside. There was, in fact, some snow on the ground in the campground when we arrived, but the temps weren’t too bad, in the forties and fifties, but there was a very cold wind coming from the west, which, fortunately, we were somewhat sheltered from, being on the east side of the mountain range. After getting outside and realizing it wasn’t too bad, or at least, wouldn’t be too bad if we dressed properly, we saddled and booted the horses and left the camp about noon, heading out the Red Canyon Trail, which was the beginning of a loop of about 7.2 miles. The first part of the trail was the most difficult, which was fine because the horses were fresh, and apparently quite happy to go for a ride. After the initial easy bit, we headed into rockier terrain, criss-crossing a creek up fairly steep terrain, but like mountain goats, our horses sailed up them with no problem. We were confronted once by a downed tree across the trail, and I wasn’t sure we could get past it, because the cliff dropped away down toward the creek, and the upside seemed to have unsure footing, so I got down and walked it to see how safe it was. My trusty gelding followed right along, climbing up like it was nothing, and Hubby and his mare followed right along. I felt a little silly for not trusting him to take me on his back, but I quickly climbed back up and we proceeded onward. The trail was difficult in some places at first, but once we got past about a quarter mile of rough stuff, it became simply moderate for quite some time. The horses took quite a few breathers as we got closer to the top, understandable considering they climbed about 1100 feet in 2.5 miles. When we reached the intersection at the top, there was a clearing with some grass, so we let them graze for a bit, cognizant that we couldn’t waste much time, what with the time change back to standard time this past weekend, and it getting dark here by about 5:00. We certainly didn’t want to be late getting back. There were spectacular views, though, on both sides of the mountain range we had just climbed, we could even see Albuquerque in the distance! After the horses had a few minutes rest, which they needed, as evidenced by the goodly amount of sweat they had accumulated, we headed north on the Crest Trail. I had made the assumption that the Crest Trail would stay fairly level and that the returning trail would be all downhill, but I was wrong. The Crest Trail actually descended for 1.2 miles on this particular stretch (the entire trail is upwards of 18 miles), then the rest of the loop was mostly level and gradually downhill, skirting the mid-section of the mountain all the way around. Apollo sensed we were heading home, and his pace picked up a bit as well, and we made the last 3.5 miles in just an hour and fifteen minutes, pretty good considering the trail was still mosting rock and didn’t lend itself to trotting, much less cantering. It did get considerably colder on the north side of the mountain, and the snow was a bit deeper, possibly 2 inches or so, which added to the challenge. It was harder to actually see the rocks on the trail, and it made it much more slippery, which made us once again grateful we were using Easy Boots rather than horseshoes, which would have slipped even worse on the rocks. Having dressed in parkas and double socks, we managed to get back without being completely frozen, and in fact, really enjoyed ourselves. We made such good time that we actually made it back by 3:15, even though I had predicted closer to four. We had the horses settled in and fed by four, and relaxed the rest of the evening, happy that we had made the decision to come here, wishing we had done it sooner. We hadn’t wanted to ride in snow, but were glad that we had experienced it. The rest of the winter, however, we hope to try to stay in 70 degree weather!