After a 2 and a half hour drive that covered a mere 85 miles, we arrived in Newport Beach. Before leaving home, Julie, Jake and I went to the school to see Sophie receive an award for reading. She's excelling so well in reading books. I am so proud of her.
The hotel is nice. It's in the heart of the city and very close to the John Wayne Airport. We dropped off our luggage and headed out for an overpriced dinner at some close by place called Gulliver's. They serve meat. I believe there were other things on the menu, but the kitchen was right there in the middle of the restaurant and they sliced off prime rib for diners while they watched. In the restaurant an electric train was set up and running circles around a tall Christmas tree. To distract the kids (Jake mostly) we went over to look at it. Sophie grew bored with it quickly and headed back to the table, but Jacob was fascinated with the lights and the little elf figures on each of the miniature boxcars.
As we kneeled on the carpet and stared, he repeated "cooool" as the Santa engineered train passed by again and again. For some reason, I took this moment to reflect on why we were all there, in this restaurant on a cold December night somewhere in the heart of Newport Beach, California. I stared at Jacob's wide blue eyes and that huge, toothy grin of his and thought, "You're cooool, little guy." He's the reason we're here; he's the reason I'm running tomorrow. I have to remember that.
It's my mantra. I'm doing it for Jake.
We returned to the hotel and so far we're having a good time on this little escape from our real lives (though, we never escape the medicines and the treatments). Tomorrow we're going to check out the marathon health expo and probably take in Balboa island, this sort of amusement park/island area that is close by (I realize that this is a lame description, but come on, it's been a long day). We've been to the island before a couple of years ago when Budd and Karyn won us a free night at the Four Seasons Hotel of Newport Beach.
At this moment, "The Return of Frosty", a sub par sequel to the TV classic is on the television. Man, is Sophie WOUND up. She's literally bouncing from bed to bed. Getting her to go to sleep tonight is going to be a challenge. All four of us will be turning in soon. According to Robert, it's not the night before, but two nights before that it is most important to get a good night's sleep, primarily because the night before many runners get butterflies and have a difficult time falling asleep.
In the mail today was a generous donation from Tony Gardner's company, Alterian Studios. With that sum, and the other three donations we received today, we have raised over $11,000! Wow! Last year's total has been matched. Unbelievable. I can
really rest easy tonight.
I am so ready for Sunday.