Monday, September 8, 2014

Some More Disneyland Photos

Love Mater's Junkyard Jamboree
First time for riding rides in A Bug's Land. Holly claimed "Only Disney can take the fun out of bumper cars".
Holly spent Sunday putting stupid hats on Dave
We always miss the fire truck. This was Holly's last ditch effort at a photo with it.
Carthay Circle Chicken Ravioli
Shhhh..... There's a beer counter at the Wine Country Trattoria.

We were able to text our ride photo to ourselves as part of a test. And yes we are with the people behind us.

Next time we see Stan will be in Tulsa.
Disneyland Hotel Memorabilia Case

Naples (owned by same folks that own Via Napoli) has a BBQ Chicken Pizza.

Love the selections at The Uva Bar in Downtown Disney
One of Dave's favorites was broken
We loved The Cove Bar

We're with them.
Bye tiny castle

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September Charity of the Month: USC Scholarship Fund Honoring Nick Fagnano

Charity of the Month is the newest way Team Tizzel is helping to support some very worthy organizations. As part of this program, we will dedicate a post to a charity that we will sponsor through the month by donating Holly's training run money.

August: In August we sponsored St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in honor of our friends who lost a young relative to leukemia. We will be donating $125 plus a matching gift to St. Jude in honor of AJ. You can still donate too by following this link. #slyestrong

September's Charity:

One thing the Charity of the Month has taught us is that you never know what tomorrow brings. We thought we had a map of what charities to sponsor over the next couple months....then stuff happens. A former coworker of Dave's lost his only child in the lightning strike off Venice Beach, CA near the end of July. The freak accident took the life of 20 year-old Nick Fagnano whom was preparing to fulfill his dream of attending USC as a transfer student.

From what we've read, and what Dave knows about Nick's dad, he seemed like a great kid ready to take on the next chapter of his life. Here's some of what his mother shared at his funeral:

"Taken to heaven by a flash in a cloud, this beautiful young man, who radiated joy, kindness, humor and love touched the lives of everyone he encountered. He had a maturity and wisdom that was beyond his years, yet an innocence of spirit that was evident from kindergarten all the way into his adult life.

Nick had to work harder than many of his friends to get good grades. Reading was never easy but he overcame this challenge by dedicating himself to long hours of studying. He found mentors in some of his favorite teachers, and he knew when to ask for extra help from his parents or his tutor, Josh, who helped him throughout high school. Nick’s awareness of what it took to be successful came through his ability to bring together a team to get things accomplished.

A light as bright as Nick’s cannot be extinguished. A flash of lightning and dark clouds give way to fingers of sunlight streaming down from heaven. Those fingers reach around our hands and our hearts and lift us upward toward a brighter future for all impacted by this terrible tragedy. While the immediate family cannot fathom their loss of Nick, those around the world who are touched by Nick’s life will know that there is great hope for our young men and women to show us all a better world."

The training jar money will go to the scholarship that was setup at USC in Nick's honor. It will be awarded to transfer students displaying exemplary character. Donation information is available from this link. It's a little tricky to do online so at the end of the month we'll write a check.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Quick Disneyland Update

The trip to the California parks ends tomorrow. Here are a few pictures of the fun so far.

Waiting for parade while Monorail goes by
All Frozen all the time in Disney Parks. Pre-parade float.
Nice floats for the DL parade
Staying at Disneyland Hotel means Trader Sam's Tiki Bar is not too far.
Radiator Springs Racers is still one of the best attractions
Thank you again Disney for buying Lucasfilms.
Holly let Dave take the last available front car seat in the monorail.
This won't end well....
Dave loves the clock show.
From the 10K

We'll have more updates including the 10K and 1/2 Marathon race reports in the next week or two.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Fall Full of Disney

In our house Fall is not welcomed. The weather gets colder (although this summer has been pretty darn cold), the daylight hours get shorter, and the boat gets put into storage for 7-8 months. The only redeeming qualities of fall for us is the start of the fall race / travel season and Oktoberfest beer.

In the next few months we have three separate trips planned to Disney Parks. All three weekends were chosen because of special events.  As luck would have it we stumbled into some added Disney bonuses (and by bonus we mean special events you pay extra for).

First, we are heading to California for a few days at Disneyland. It's their Half Marathon race weekend. Holly is participating in her first Dumbo Double Dare which consists of the 10K and the Half Marathon. Dave is being smart and sticking to just the 10K. We're looking forward to spending lots of park time especially since we were worn out from doing the Coast to Coast Challenge in a week last time we were there. Highlights of the weekend should include taking in those parks again, seeing friends, visiting Trader Sam's, and trying Disney Family Wine Flights at Alfresco Terrace. Oh yeah, and maybe the races.

Our third trip chronologically was booked a few months ago so we could visit during Epcot's Food & Wine Festival. This event is our equivalent of "Disney Christmas". 27 food booths surrounding World Showcase with tasty food, great wine, beer, and cocktails. Add to that all our normal Epcot favorites (La Cava del Tequila, Tutto Gusto, Rose & Crown) and 3 concerts nightly from a headlining band makes for a good time. Usually we attend one or two seminars or special tastings, but this time we opted not to because we are attending the one-weekend only Swan & Dolphin Food and Wine Classic . During this event you pay one price to sample different food and drink options in the causeway between the Swan & Dolphin hotels.

We were hoping for some bands we enjoy to perform at the festival while we are there but we ended up with 38 Special and Boyz II Men. That means more time will be spent at Off-Kilter.

That last paragraph leads to the reason why we booked our second trip chronologically. Based on history Hanson (of Mmmbop fame) should have played the weekend we were booked for F&W Classic but they ended up on the schedule a month earlier. Dave's been wanting to see Hanson at F&W (yes he likes their music and as adults they are a decent band and they have their own beer) so we pulled the trigger.

Because of this decision we get to do some events that aren't available in November. The night we arrive we will go to one of the last Epcot After-Hours Wind Downs. For an added price you get to stay in a selected Epcot bar 90 minutes after park closing for a snack and drinks. We will also get to see the Disney Frozen Summer Celebration at the Studios, which includes our first viewing of fireworks in that park. Another added bonus is we booked the Parisian Breakfast as part of Food and Wine Festival. That means lots of pastries, cheese, and champagne early in the morning. Holly has optimized our touring plans to see the new Magic Kingdom Parade, ride the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and visit with Anna and Elsa (a usual 3-5 hour wait).

Leaving Illinois in the fall for warmer climates should help to extend summer a little longer. We're looking forward to all the new Disney Park experiences.


We have a Spotify Playlist with some of our favorite Hanson songs.  We loaded it in reverse chronological order so you can listen to their newest music first:

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Bunch of Chicago

Dave said it feels like he's been in Chicago more this past month than any other time in our almost 20 years of living in Illinois. We've had lots of new experiences during Chicago's Rock & Roll Race Weekend (see post). In addition, Dave's dad was in town from New York recently which led to two more visits to the city.

Day 1 we took the Metra into the city. Our first stop was The Field Museum. We've been here before but there's always something new (or old....Ha Ha!) to see. The main reason for today's visit was to see the special exhibit on the 1893 Chicago World's Fair (The Columbian Exposition). But before going into the special exhibit we made our way through the entire Africa and Egypt exhibits.

The 1893 World's Fair exhibit was mostly focused on recreating displays that guests would have seen attending that particular event vs. featuring the creation and design of the fair. That means we saw a lot of rocks, taxidermic animals, and jars of oil. Still very interesting. We learned that the fair's structures were temporary except for the Palace of Fine Arts (Today's Science and Industry Museum); which became a museum after the fair featuring donated items from the fair. That museum morphed into the Field Museum and moved to its current location in 1921.

The exhibit dumped us in a gift shop where they had 2 interesting items. There was a cool book called Chicago Then and Now combining old pictures of well-known Chicago locations with today's photos. Another item was a pint glass that reminded me the Field had their own exclusive beer. The glass was fun. We didn't have the Field beer since other beer was in our near future (and it sounded hoppy).....

We needed to grab Holly a souvenir. Fortunately a Mold-A-Rama featured one of her favorite animals. In case you've never seen one, the Mold-A-Rama is a Chicago museum staple - put in $2 and watch a plastic statue being made right before your eyes!

Soon-after, the fact settled in that Dave was stuck carrying this thing the rest of the day.

After a brisk stroll through the taxidermic animals on display (they have a lot of them) we called it quits, jumped in a cab, and visited a new Chicago bar located in Printer's Row: First Draft. The place was fun and had that old-time after-work bar feel: tin ceiling, dark wood, and high top tables. There were over 60 beers on draft featuring a good mix of all styles and a few local options. We made sure to try a few with our lunch.

The next day we had another trip to the city: this time driving to Evanston and taking the El to Wrigleyville. Lunch was at one of our favorite places: Goose Island Wrigleyville. A lot of people write-off Goose Island nowadays because of the purchase by InBev. However, Goose Island still runs its two Chicago brewpubs independent of the mothership which still gives them lots of creative freedom. We had Belgian darks, Weiss beers, and their Wrigleyville Cubbies Blueberry exclusive. We lucked-out and nabbed a beer garden table where we enjoyed pulled pork and Cuban sandwiches.

After lunch we walked over to Wrigley Field for the Cubs game. Dave's dad loves baseball and seeing games in old parks. We don't share that love. Wrigley Field is a pit and the north side baseball team deserves a stadium redo like almost every other ball team. The Cubs aren't good so give us something to occupy our time, like a Jumbotron or a bunch of mascots running the field.

Dinner was at Smylie Brothers Brewing in Evanston. Things would have gone better here if two things didn't happen: the kitchen losing our order and the porter being replaced a day before our arrival. Holly didn't find any beers of interest so we went with Moscow Mules. We were there an hour without receiving food and our waitress offered no explanation or apology. The two beers Dave sampled, the Cali Common and Berry Weiss  ("Purple Line") seasonal were decent. The wood oven pizzas were very good.

That should be the end of some Chicago adventures for the next few months. The fall marathon season is gearing up so we'll be visiting some other exciting cities soon: Logan, UT is next.