Bill and Cathy McArthur on the Road 2010: 16

  Monday, May 10, was a beautiful day. Bill and Son Bill went for a 32 mile bike ride north up Route 27 to the Lake Louisa State Park. Bill fell over when he was trying to pay $4 for entrance to the park. He skinned his knee. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew swam in the pool. We all had lunch at the house and then headed for Magic Kingdom. We took the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and then Billy got done up as the pirate Roger Bloodshot. We wandered around the park for a while, doing the Safari and Small World. Then, Sarah and the women went into the castle so that Sarah could be done up as a princess. The Bills did the Mad Tea Cup and the Carousel rides. They also found a spot to get cappuccinos for the older two Bills. By the time we all got back together, we searched in vain for a dinner spot that had a table for walk-ins. We headed back to the house. On the way, Bill and Cathy were dropped off at a nearby Indian restaurant to order three takeout meals. Son Bill came back to pick them up. We all ate a late dinner and then bedtime came early.

  Tuesday began with a character breakfast at the Cape May Cafe at the Beach Resort. Goofy, Minnie, and Donald were in attendance at the very good buffet meal. From there, we walked around the nearly deserted Disney Downtown area. We stopped at the Lego place and played for a while. Cathy and Stacey headed to the Grand Floridian for lunch and a two hour spa experience. The Bills and Sarah headed back to the house for lunch and an afternoon of swimming. When the women came back, Bill and Son Bill went out for a hot run on some roads across Route 27. There was a strong headwind at times, some hills, and some sand to run through. Bill went for 10K at a pace of 8:51 min/mile. Son Bill went for 7 miles and felt very dehydrated afterward. When Bill got back to the house, he took off his shoes and watch and dove into the pool to cool off and stretch. We had another late dinner. Afterward, Bill and Stacey went to Best Buy to get Stacey a new Blackberry adaptor and to hit Starbucks. It was early to bed again.

  Wednesday was a very tiring Disney Day. We left early for the Magic Kingdom. We did some rides and then arrived at the Castle for a Princess Lunch. The meal was quite good and the princesses were pretty. We continued to walk around and do rides all afternoon. Cathy did her first roller coaster on the Goofy. The rest of us did Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain. Bill and Son Bill did Space Mountain, still a classic. We all did the Haunted Mansion. We did a few more things in Tomorrow Land before heading out of the Park. On the way back, we stopped at McDonalds for the kids' dinners and Starbucks. We ordered Indian food for the adults' dinners, except for Son Bill, who dined on vegetables. Bill downloaded "Lost" from iTunes and Bill and Cathy watched it before bedtime.

  Thursday was hot and humid again. Bill went out for an early du practice: 2 mile run, 20K bike, 5K run. Son Bill went out for a few miles of running also. The kids enjoyed the swimming pool for the morning. Bill and Son Bill cooled off in the pool and then drove to Publix for some shopping. After lunch, and a nap for Billy, we all headed to park at the Transportation Center. Then, we boarded a bus for Hollywood Studios. We took the Back Lot tour, Star Wars, and Buzz Lightyear. Then, Bill and Son Bill headed for the Tower of Terror. Later, we took a boat over to Epcot. We ate a good dinner at Marakeesh in the Morocco section. Then, we walked to the German area and bought cowbells for Sunday's race. We walked through the rest of Epcot and boarded a monorail for Magic Kingdom, with a transfer at the Transportation Center. We watched the SpectroMagic Parade and waited around for the fireworks show. We rushed out afterward, and were lucky to be on the front edge of the crowd. We had to catch a monorail and a tram and then Son Bill had to drive out of the park. All was accomplished with no big problem. We were back at the house by 11:00 PM.

  Friday, we drove through maddenly slow traffic to Merritt Island, near Cocoa Beach. Bill didn't think of bringing his Sun Pass, which would have helped with the many clogged toll plazas en route. We met with Son Bill's friend Scott Adcox and others and loaded into a maxi-van at a Home Depot parking lot. We had to pass though a couple of checkpoints as we drove into NASA grounds in Kennedy Space Center. We parked and set up our chairs and tent 3 or 4 miles away from the launch pad of the shuttle Atlantis, launching for the last time at 2:20 PM. The sky above was clear and a beautiful blue and the large crowd festive as we ate lunch and waited for the launch. The liftoff was awesome, both in sight and sound. The flames from the engines were brighter than we thought possible as the huge craft sped upwards. After the launch, we headed back through traffic to the rental house. Bill and Son Bill went to Starbucks. Then, Son Bill and Stacey headed out for a private dinner at Disney Boardwalk, leaving Bill, Sarah, and Billy in the pool. After a good bout of swimming, baths and a shower were next on the agenda. We all ate dinner and shortly thereafter the kids were off to bed. Bill and Cathy watched "24" via iTunes before Bill headed to bed. Cathy waited up for Son Bill and Stacey.

  Saturday was a day of organization and rest for Son Bill. He had to bring his bike to a bike shop with the XTerra and then go to the triathlon site to check-in his bike and pickup his packet. Bill went out for a practice duathlon:

He was happy with his 5K run on the hilly course, but thought that his biking was still too slow. Bill jumped in the pool after his workout and joined the kids. All of us except for Son Bill got ready and drove to Epcot. We experienced large Saturday crowds right from the start. It was a sunny and hot day. We got FastPass tickets for Test Track and then walked to the France section to eat lunch from the sandwich shop there. We had a shaded table. We walked around in the heat and went to the Energy "ride" and then to "Fast Track" without Cathy. We finished up with Spaceship Earth. Son Bill called, complaining that we had locked him out of the house. He decided to go to a movie. The rest of us headed back to the house and the kids went in swimming again. Son Bill brought takeout from Carrabbas on his way back. We presented Son Bill with early birthday presents that pertained to his Half Ironman Triathlon coming up on Sunday. Son Bill and Bill headed to bed early.

  Sunday was the day for Son Bill's Half Ironman Triathlon. Bill got up at 2:00 AM in order to take a support role. Son Bill got up at 3:15 AM to get ready. The two got on the road at around 3:40 AM and headed to Magic Kingdom parking. They jumped on the first shuttle to the triathlon area in Fort Wilderness. They had to wait a few minutes before Son Bill could enter the transition area at 4:15 AM. Son Bill's bike was next to the fence, so Bill could get on the other side and be close by. Son Bill discovered a problem with the valve on his rear tire which caused his tire to go flat. Since we were so early, he was able to walk his bike to the Tech Tent and get the problem fixed. At 5:30 AM, Bill headed for the beach and set himself up on a lounge chair at water's edge near the swim finish. Bill enjoyed watching the couple of thousand swimmers all splashing around the 1.2 mile course. After Son Bill exited the water, Bill set up at the bike mount area to watch Son Bill get going on the 57 mile bike leg. After that, Bill took a shuttle back to the parking lot and tried to drive to three locations on the bike course to cheer Son Bill on his way by. He saw Son Bill as he beat Bill to Animal Kingdom Lodge. Bill was stuck in a massive traffic jam caused by the triathlon. He talked with Cathy and warned of the traffic conditions and predicted when Son Bill would be started the running leg. Bill headed back to the parking lot and took a shuttle back to Fort Wilderness. Bill walked over to the finish chute and watched the winner come in at 3:51. He kept in close touch with the rest of the family and shepherded them to the transition area just as Son Bill finished the bike leg. They were all able to cheer Son Bill on as he prepared for the run. The day had turned brutally hot at this point, so the run was tortuous. Bill led the family over to the finish chute and then brought them to the running course nearby for Son Bill's first of 3 running laps of the half marathon. Everyone rang their cowbells and cheered. We returned to the running course for Son Bill's second and third laps. Stacey was able to video Son Bill's finish. It was a great accomplishment for Son Bill! We all returned to the transition area, most of us outside while Son Bill got organized for his exit. The rest of us carried everything but Son Bill's bicycle. The long line at the shuttle stop caused us to walk the 2 miles to the parking lot. After about a half mile of walking, Son Bill decided to ride his bike back. The kayak on top of the XTerra made it easy to find it and the minivan was two rows away. We all headed for Starbucks when we got on the road. Finally, we made it back to the rental house and the swimming pool for Bill and the kids. We had Indian takeout again for dinner. Bill headed to bed very early.

        Bill and Cathy