Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Physical Therapy Adventure

In the last posting I wrote about our 2015 Disney trip I noted I started to have a muscle or hip problem on the right side. On the Thursday after we got home I was at the orthopedic office. After X-rays, interview, and exams I left with a diagnosis of hip flexor strain. I went to Mr. Google and found this is a common injury for soccer (futbol) players. I was sent to physical therapy.

On Monday last week I saw the physical therapist for a complete evaluation of the problem. At the end she did an ultrasound treatment on the affected area. She explained the office was totally booked up for the remainder of the week, so sent me home with exercises to do and referral to a different therapist -- since the one I saw first was going on vacation herself.

So I'm back from the third physical appointment with even more exercises to do at home. Again at both appointments I received another ultrasound treatment. Today the therapist also did very deep massage on the affected muscles. I asked what was the physiological effect of the ultrasound treatments and learned the sound waves stimulate blood circulation and then subsequent healing.

I've been quite faithful about doing the exercises. April 1 is coming when I have plans to get out and start doing Volksmarches again. And my first Poland trip is coming up at the end of April.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Disney Adventure 2015 -- From Orlando to Saint Paul

The alarm woke us up at 7:10 AM. We did our showers and packed the suitcases. We ate the yogurt parfaits purchased the evening before (thank heavens every room now has a refrigerator) and had coffee. We enjoyed the Disney Nature Channel on the TV until bell services arrived to pick us up and take us to airline check-in. The woman who provided the bell services also came from Colombia. We quickly got through the line to check in for the airport and our luggage was sent directly to the airport.

We went, then, to the Pepper Market. We had two meals left on our Dining Plan so I got us omelets and orange juice. We could use our mugs to get the coffee. While I got the food my daughter waited at a table and watched our things. When I came with the omelets I told her the cashier was also originally from Colombia. 

Meanwhile I made called back to Minnesota to make an appointment at Health Partners for someone to see me about my sore leg. We also got a text from my granddaughter saying she couldn’t pick us up because she forgot she had a class at 4:00. We thought she was on Spring Break this week. We sent a text back saying that was OK because I was feeling like she could handle everything for the trip home.

About 10:45 we walked to the place to be picked up by the Magic Express and quickly boarded a bus. We got to the airport about 11:30. Security was strange. They put us into a special line and swabbed my hands, but not daughter's hands. We put our carry-on things through X-ray security, but we had no more security than the swabbing of my hands.

We then went to the train that took us towards Gate 80. Once there we found a place to sit in the atrium in the sunshine. We spent time there just enjoying a bit of relaxing time.

We had very nice seats on the airplane. I liked watching the map of the plane flying to our destination on the monitor in front of our seats. And my daughter liked looking out the window too. When we left Florida the sky was clear and we could see to the ground for a long time. The same thing happened when we crossed the Iowa/Minnesota border. 

We landed at Gate F8, but I could walk OK. We found our luggage without any problem. Then we again took the Blue tram, went down an elevator, purchased our Light Rail tickets, took another elevator down, and waited two minutes for the Blue Line train to arrive. We transferred at Downtown East and had to wait only 4 minutes for the Green Line train to arrive.

Our final adventure from this trip came at the Robert Street station, the station right before our exit on Tenth Street. Two Metro Transit police got onto the train and asked to see our tickets to make sure we had paid! Good thing we did! This is the first time I have seen uniformed Metro Transit police on the train and the first time they boarded a train to ensure people had paid for their tickets. 

At the apartment, I made some soup to eat. Then I started doing laundry of all the dirty clothes. I took my daughter back to her group home on Tuesday afternoon. We had a good time even though the weather wasn't very cooperative for us on this trip.

Note: When I got to the orthopedist on Thursday I found I have a hip flexor strain-- an injury that happens often to futbol (soccer) players. I'm doing exercises at home and going to physical therapy twice a week for ultrasound treatments to reduce the inflammation.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Disney Adventure 2015 -- Day 7

We woke up around 8 AM and we could tell the day seemed a bit brighter than for most of the rest of the last week. We ate our Rice Krispy bars and enjoyed orange juice and coffee along with them.  When we were ready to go we grabbed the first bus that arrived and went to El Centro to make an appointment with Bell Services to pick up our luggage tomorrow. Then back to the bus stop and the Hollywood Studios bus was right there. Thus, we arrived there about 9:30 or so. 

Our first destination was to see the preview of the Cinderella movie that is coming out on March 13.  We loved the preview, but no pictures of this. The announcements were very clear – no pictures, no videos – they want to keep it a secret. 

Then we walked back to the Fast Pass + area and made arrangements for the rest of our day.We needed to wait about 30 minutes or so for our first Fast Pass, so we sat down where there tables and chairs. My right leg was hurting!  

Our first Fast Pass was for The Voyage of the Mermaid. 

We had not seen this show for a very long time. We enjoyed it. 

We then walked to the area for the Beauty and the Beast show and sat down by the Anaheim Produce kiosk. We shared a bottle of water and each of us had pineapple cups.We were glad to have a Fast Pass for this show because after everyone was seated it was a full house. The weather had turned from cold and cloudy to hot and humid, so we were glad to sit in the shade rather than stand in a line. 

We again enjoyed this show. 

Then it was time for a long walk to the other side of the park. We arrived a bit early for the next Fast Pass so we sat on a bench for about 20 minutes. 

Then it was time for the Frozen Sing-along. Again it was a full house and so it was very good that we again had a Fast Pass.
What a fun show this was. Anna came on stage and started to look for her sister, now Queen Elsa. 

While she was looking “historians” arrived to tell the story. They were really funny. And as the story reached to a point where a song was part of the story all the audience sang the song. Seated next to me was a large man, probably in his 40s, built like he could be a defensive guard for a football team -- I was astonished to discover he knew every word of every song. 

And the historians were funny. When the ice harvester appeared on stage, the historian said, "Ladies I think we need a Fast Pass for this. 

 We noticed at both the Beauty and the Beast and Frozen shows that there were two people doing sign language. My daughter has a great deal of trouble speaking so she uses a lot of sign language so we enjoyed watching the sign language. 
The picture above was taken during the Let It Go song.

Now it was 3:30 and it was definitely time for lunch. We went to Pizza Planet and of course had pizza. Because we were using the Dining Plan we also got dessert. We chose chocolate chip cookies knowing we could eat those at another time. And again these ended up making the trip home on the airplane and got eaten in Minnesota! 

Our final adventure of the day was The Great Movie Ride. 

We liked this too. I had read that it is being re-designed but I didn't see any signs of that yet. 

Then we took the long walk to the bus and when we were about 50 feet away, the Coronado Springs bus pulled away. This time we weren’t lucky; the driver did not stop for us. I thought we were going to have to stand there for 20 minutes. There wasn’t a bench in sight and that didn't didn't please me because the sore leg. But luck was with us – another bus arrived for Coronado Springs in about 5 minutes. 

We rode it to El Centro and went to Café Rix. We each got a cup of gelato and filled our mugs with soda. I bought two yogurt parfaits for us to eat later because my daughter said she would be hungry later. We waited less than 5 minutes for the bus back to the bus stop by our room.

Disney Adventure 2015 -- Day 6

We didn’t wake up until about 8:00 AM. The weather outside was very cool and rainy. We decided we would have a slow morning. We ate the muffins and drank the orange juice we had purchased last evening. We also have been enjoying having a coffee in our room. For years the coffee at Disney was terrible. Finally it is possible to get good coffee blends.

We started out about noon. My daughter was wearing a T-shirt and her Tinkerbell sweat shirt. I decided it was cool enough to wear my winter coat. But by the time we had walked through the outdoor hallway towards the bus stop we knew we needed our rain ponchos too. 

Our plan was to take the bus to Hollywood Studios and from there take the boat that would put us at the International Gateway for EPCOT.  We watched buses for everywhere else go by twice and no Hollywood Studios. We finally got on a bus to EPCOT and I told the driver that the Hollywood Studios bus had been missing. At the Bus Stop 4 the driver walked back and told us that the Hollywood Studios bus was behind, so we changed buses. 

As we pulled into Hollywood Studios we could see the boat at the dock, but we didn’t make it in time. However, we waited only about 10 minutes for the next one and we also were under a roof so we were protected from the rain. 

We left the boat at the International Gateway and walked directly, through a downpour of rain, to France. I was also beginning to notice some pain in my right leg.

I asked at the Chefs de France restaurant if we could have lunch without a reservation. Yes!!! We both had lobster bisque which was accompanied by a warm baguette.

On a cold rainy day warm soup and warm bread are simply wonderful! Our second course was ham and cheese quiche with a green salad. We got different desserts. I had a creme brulee and my daughter chose  profiteroles au chocolat. 

After lunch we saw the film, Impressions of France. From there we walked through a downpour and lots of puddles to the American pavilion. There we enjoyed a new musical group, High Pockets.
 While this jazz quartet was playing we had fun watching two little ones –perhaps 3 years old – dancing with the music. Then we went into the theater to see the presentation, American Adventure. I always like this show. 

After this we walked just next door and shared an orange Fanta.
Then we walked to the boat stop by Morocco and were lucky enough to get right on a boat. Across the lake we left the boat and started to walk to Canada. We found this topiary on our way that is shown below.

The Canadian pavilion has a garden modeled after the Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia. Even on a rainy day the garden was beautiful.
 We enjoyed the video about Canada. As we were leaving we noticed a workman taking the curtains off an outdoor stage. All day such shows had been shut down due to the rainstorm. We stopped and in a few minutes the Canada Lumberjacks show started. This is a new show at EPCOT, so we were excited to see it.
What fun. The lumberjacks threw axes towards a target. Next they used saws to cut timber as shown below. And finally they did log-rolling.

We then walked back through the International Parkway and boarded a boat. We got off at Boardwalk and walked to the bus stop. The Magic Kingdom bus came first so we got on and rode it there. We exited on Bus Stop 10 and had only to walk to Bus Stop 11. Soon we were back to Coronado Springs.
We went to El Centro and stopped at the Pepper Market for a cheeseburger. With the Dining Plan we also are entitled to dessert and a beverage. We chose Rice Krispy bars and orange juice with the idea of making those things breakfast.
Back in our room we spent some time hanging up all the wet clothing. I also noticed the muscles in my upper right thigh were rock hard, but I couldn't lift that leg off the bed.

Disney Adventure 2015 -- Day 5

We had a plan to go to Animal Kingdom and do a couple of things there. However we woke up to very cool, cloudy weather and we felt lazy too. After all we had been on the go for over 10 hours the day before. 

So a new plan ---
We had coffee in our room and then took a bus to the Magic Kingdom. From there we got on a small boat and went to the Polynesian Hotel. We arrived there a few minutes after 11:00 and we were pleased the Kona Restaurant was still serving breakfast for that is what we had in mind.

When we were seated, we learned the restaurant was serving Red Velvet Pancakes in honor of February having Valentine’s Day. That is what my daughter decided to have. 

 I chose the Kona French Toast stuffed with bananas. That is what I go to this restaurant for.

After this fine meal, I thought we would go to the Magic Kingdom for a bit, but my daughter wanted to ride the monorail. So we took the Resort Monorail to the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) and transferred there to the EPCOT monorail. We rode there and rode all the way back. Then we transferred again to the Resort Monorail and went to the Grand Floridian Hotel. We went to gift shops and found somethings to occupy ourselves a bit while we vegged out with some coffee. Then we went back on the monorail to the Contemporary Hotel. There we went to Café Contempo and filled our mugs with soda. 

About 2:30 we started towards Fort Wilderness and Hoop-Dee-Doo. First we got back on the Resort Monorail and rode it to the Magic Kingdom. Then we went to the dock for the Fort Wilderness boat. We arrived there about 3:20 and went to the Settlement Store. We got muffins and orange juice for tomorrow’s breakfast. 

Then we walked to Pioneer Hall and checked in for our adventure. At 4:00 the doors opened. We had a table in the very back of the main floor, but had extra high chairs so it was easy for us see the stage. 

We enjoyed the whole show -- the music, the jokes, all of it. And we ate and ate. We started with a nice salad and warm cornbread. On this cool day, the warm cornbread was special treat. Our main course was chicken, BBQ ribs, mashed potatoes, and corn. 

Then dessert, strawberry shortcake, arrived in a spectacular fashion. 

 At the end of the show my daughter had great fun playing the washboard with a spoon. 

After the show we walked back to the boat dock and I noticed a boat from Contemporary was arriving so we jumped on that rather than wait in the cool wind for the Fort Wilderness boat. From the Contemporary Hotel we took the monorail around to the Magic Kingdom again, and from there walked to bus stop #11 for our return to Coronado Springs. A great day. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Disney Adventure 2015 - Day 4

Wow! a 10.5 hour day at the Magic Kingdom. We got to the bus stop about 8:00 and arrived at the Magic Kingdom about 8:30. It was an Extra Magic morning so we went right in. We took a long, long walk to the Dumbo ride. This is one of my daughter's favorite rides and I thought we should do this while the lines were short. We did it twice for the lines were very short.

Then we went to the Mad Tea Party and rode the tea cups. It has been years since I've been on this ride.

I also suggested it would be good to do the Pooh ride, too, while the lines were short.

By now our tummies were hungry so we went to Gaston’s Tavern. My daughter got an orange juice, I got coffee, and we shared one of the big cinnamon rolls. 

 As can be seen the cinnamon roll is huge and easily can be shared by two people.

After our coffee break we went to the Small World ride.

Our next ride was on the Liberty Belle. 
 This is always a very pleasant ride.

Now it was getting time to head toward the Crystal Palace for my daughter's Pooh adventure. When my daughter was five years old we went to Disney World for the first time. At that time, while this may be hard to believe compared to how things are done now, one hardly saw characters. One day, right by the train station we met Pooh, and Pooh has been her favorite ever since.

As we were cutting through an arcade we came across a Fast Pass+ station so we got some Fast Passes for the afternoon. 

Then off we went to the Crystal Palace and she met all her friends.My favorite picture turned out to be the one of she and Tigger. 

The food was good too. Our server had a name tag that said she was Cali, Colombia.My daughter was born in Colombia so she is always happy to meet someone from that country.

We had time after our Pooh Adventure to ride Pirates of the Caribbean. We were in line about 25 minutes for this ride and saw all the little alcoves that have been created to keep us interested as we wander through the lines.  

Our next ride was the Jungle Cruise. We had a fast pass for this so we got on quite quickly.  

When done with this ride we walked through to Frontier Land and found a good place to watch the afternoon parade. 

Then we took a long walk to Tomorrow Land. We thought we would ride the People Mover again, but it was stopped for maintenance. So we took a beverage break for a few minutes.

Our next destination was the Peter Pan ride. Again we had a Fast Pass so our wait was short.

After this ride we walked to the Pinocchio Village Haus for supper. We got flat bread pizza. On the dining plan we also were entitled to two desserts. We got chocolate ice cream and shared that and decided to take the second dessert, a piece of chocolate cake, back to our room. (I actually ended up eating this after we got home. It was a well-traveled piece of chocolate cake.)

Then we took the long walk through the park back to the bus stop. We could see the bus to our resort sitting there. We were still about 50 feet away when it began to pull away. I waved at the driver and oh good luck! The driver stopped and waited for us to catch up. We were really dragging when we got back to our hotel!