Remember the adage, In like a lion, out like a lamb? I thought it went with the Candlemas/Groundhog Day rhyme and referred to weather. Actually, it is probably zodiacal. at the beginning of March, the constellation Leo the lion, is rising in the east  and at the end of March, Aries the ram, is setting  in the west.

Click here for some more March Folklore.

We just returned from Orlando, Florida! Scott attended a Lean conference with some work buddies. Thanks to Jen and Randy who watched the house and the beasts, I was able to go too. I don’t know if any of the group want to be mentioned by name so I’ll just leave names out, K?

While Scott and his comrades worked on arts and crafts projects (called Kaizen exercises, the Japanese art of continuous improvement according to Scott), sat in lectures, watched presentations, and networked until all hours of the night, I pretty much stayed inside and read, worked on my book and relaxed.

We stayed at The Villas at Champion’s Gate and each of us commented on how ready we were to move right in and stay there!  I would have liked to have been able to hang out by the pool but the weather was  chilly and amazingly windy even though it was sunny. The actual temperature was just above what we had in Seattle. You can see on this Climate Zone map that Seattle is only 1 zone colder than Southern Florida.

With the conference over, we hit Epcot at Disney World. First stop was the France Pavilion where I got a sniff of the new Aqua Allegoria,  Flora Nymphea and sampled an oldie, Vol de Nuit, at Guerlain. Scott sampled and bought French wine and we all shared a nid d’abeille, my Mom’s favorite,  with lunch at the Boulangerie Patisserie (click the link and scroll down for a pic). Then we walked over to the Epcot dome and rode Soarin’, Spaceship Earth and Living with the Land.  I love the Earth time-travel ride — the animatronic people are so realistic that you suspect that there are real actors mixed in. The ride takes you back in time to cave men drawing on walls (yeah, only cave “men” need apply) to the Egyptians inventing writing (yeah, the Egyptians, not the Sumerians) to the Greeks inventing science, to the Arabs helpfully “keeping the books from Alexandria safe” (yeah, not adding, or creating any science of their own, mind you) for the West to rediscover and create the Renaissance and beyond. I’d love to recommend some books for the writers to use to rewrite their presentation but I am so thrilled that there is any History or Cosmology at all that I can forgive any quibbles.

Then it was on to Mission: Space. We were given a choice of teams: Green or Orange, with Orange being “more intense training”. We, of course, chose the Orange team. This was a really good example of hypnosis in action. During the time spent waiting in line, we were repeatedly told,  turn back now if you have any heart conditions, neck trouble, back trouble, are prone to motion sickness, dizziness, etc.  I could feel anxiety escalating… until I looked around and realized that  we were in line with pre-teens who were talking as if they’d done it before — Sheesh! I don’t want to give the whole thing away but it was awesome! They engineered the maximal body rush and the duration was perfect. We got to Mars and were all hoping we wouldn’t have to make the return trip to Earth because that would have been too much. Note to Disney: The space sickness bags in the “simulator” cockpit were a nice touch.

To read more about the background and engineering of the ride, click the Wikipedia link.

We completed the evening by watching the fireworks display and then visiting all the Pavilions that were still open. Scott sampled the beers at various different countries.  By all reports, there are some great restaurants in the pavilions but you need to make a reservation because they were all full by the time we got around to making dinner plans.

Robert Bruce of Burien

Please send positive thoughts our way… Robert will be having surgery on the 23rd. He has patellar luxation that manifested very suddenly. He had the same surgery on his other knee 2 years ago and recovered well so I don’t expect this to be any different. His activity will be restricted to slow walks for 8 weeks after – as you can probably tell from his photo, he is not built for slow walks around town. So if anyone would like to make him feel better about his confinement by visiting, please, call me anytime.