Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day 117 - Orlando

I was up early for a short run this morning. With a day of standing on my feet staring me in the face, with a snotty look, I figured keeping it short would be best.

The run started fittingly, just outside the lovely Hilton Bonnet Creek.

"Hey, look, this hotel just happens to have a fountain..."

We all know what's coming, right?...

I'm lookin' kinda squinty. Probably from the bright Florida sunshine. Or maybe from the chilly top-of-the-thigh-deep water.

Either way, I got a fountain in and was ready for a nice, easy, short run. So I headed along the route suggested by the resort.

Did that sound snooty there? "Resort". It did, didn't it. Meh...

The route took me by the Waldorf Astoria.

"Wow, that was a long run, there Doug. All the way to NYC? Ha. ha."

Heh, heh... no, silly blog reader. There is a Waldorf, in Orlando, right next door. Just like the one in NYC, except the salad is served on a bed of bermuda grass.

Oh, and there's a fountain out front...

Sweet! A two-fer. That was an unexpected bonus. And refreshing!

On, on... back to the resort sanctioned route. First the obligatory golf course view...

"There's gators in that there pond... gators with a taste for plaid..."

After the golf course came... wait... the Hilton? Seriously?

One miles does not a running course make. That might work for the resort crowd, but I need some more.

I was going to have to go rouge!

No, wait, not "rouge", that would be... weird. I was going "rogue".

I jumped on the sidewalk that lead toward Epcot. I knew it lead toward Epcot because yesterday my angry-driving cab driver turned that way, instead of the right way. When he realized his mistake, he pulled an angry u-turn into oncoming traffic. In between flashes of my life, I noticed an "Epcot - this way" sign.

Disney is a wonderful, happy place, and all that, but it's not much for pedestrians. Between parks and hotels and resorts, sidewalks are hard to find. When you do find one, and it will likely be in an unexpected but aesthetically pleasing place, it'll end just as randomly, but also in a classy, Feng Shui-y manner. To wit...

The sidewalk ends a good 200 yards from the next street. Nothing around expect this tasteful gazebo. There's even a bench for you to sit on as you contemplate the poor decision to try to walk anywhere in Disney World.

But they do take immaculate care of these unused sidewalks...

Note the way they've shaved down the edge of the sidewalk section so that it doesn't stick up and trip someone. Speaking as one who routinely stubs a toe or trips outright, I want to say a sincere "Thank you" to the frozen corpse of Walt Disney, the location of which I swear never to divulge.

Feeling safe on the mostly trip-free sidewalk that was sure to end at any moment, I thought I'd head to Epcot. It's just about an inch away on the map.

The road to the parks is twisty and turny, and it always seems that the entrance will be just around the next bend. It's not.It never is. I can see the Imagineers huddled in room laying out the curves..."No, more curves... los more curves... let the anticipation build... By the time a family finally gets to the entrance, the kids will be screaming and crying and wetting themselves with joy. (Evil laugh) That reminds me, we need to make sure we save space for an over-priced children's shorts and skirts store just inside the main gate."

After a few hundred curves, I gave up trying to reach Epcot. I'd put in more miles than I'd planned, already. "Time to head back. Maybe I'll take in that path I saw around the lake... Hey look, the Swan Hotel"

Note the intricate landscaping, and how much of it was between me and the fountain. I actually ran a slow loop around the circle to check for easier access, and security. None of either. I paused and actually thought for a second about passing on this one. I know! Pffffft...

I bolted from this one and got back on the path.Who knew I'd have 3 fountains today.

Turned a couple corners and... "Hello there, beautiful..."

The Dolphin. That, boys and girls, is a fountain. And easy access!

"Hey Doug, who took the picture?"

Joe from Connecticut

Met Joe walking up the sidewalk approaching this gorgeous fountain after his own run. He gladly snapped my pic, and didn't hesitate for a second when I asked if I could take his. Couldn't talk him into getting into the fountain, though.

I headed back, picking up the pace a bit, feeling spunky after an unexpected 4-fer.

Then, I looked up... "Oh boy, Spanglish South-American Political Leader Sky-Writing Charades! I love this game!!"

Me: "U plus Go... U plus Go... Oh man, I know this... U... Go... U-Go... Hugo Chavez!!!"

Ding. Ding. Ding.

Me: "It's over? Who won? Did I win? Am I the winner? Me?"

Me: "Cool! Thanks. I'm gonna head on back to my hotel now. Thanks!"

Good running,

Numbers: 6.9 miles on sidewalks and grass.