Saturday, November 30, 2013

So long, farewell.


I've been holding off recapping the last day of my Wine and Dine Half Marathon Vacation because I don't want to admit it had to end.

Luckily I have two runDisney vacations coming up VERY fast so I feel it's emotionally safe to post this.

After our 4am bed-time Sammy and I took our time waking up. We had a 1.40pm reservation at San Angel Inn and planned to get to EPCOT about noonish to just take our time walking around. Boy was it PACKED! We had forgotten it was the last day of the Food and Wine Festival and drove to EPCOT as opposed to taking transportation. It was such a relief to see this sight.

The line in La Cava was stupid long. I'm glad to see other people don't play when it comes to their tequila and margarita needs. But really...the line was in the bar, in there small little queue AND up the left entrance/exit ramp.

This is one of my absolute favorite places to eat on property.

I had to take a celebratory margarita + medal photo. Another half in the bag baby!

My two motivations and loves <3

We decided to order the guacamole which if you haven't had it from any of the places within the Mexico Pavilion you need to make that a priority your next trip. It's even fresher and more delicious than the guacamole's they make in front of you at other places.

And drum roll please......... POLLO A LAS RAJAS!

Chocolate Mousse. Underestimated at best! Fresh fruit, whipped cream, almond bark and IN the mousse are chocolate chips. Mmmm incredibly refreshing!

Truthfully I had a margarita from La Cantina before our reservation and definitely felt it after the margarita for lunch. I guess I didn't eat enough since I ran the 13.1 miles... We walked back to the car....and couldn't find it. I thought it was hysterical at first but I did start to get worried after 6 or 7 minutes.

 Sammy dropped me back off at the room where I charged my phone and relaxed off my margarita fog. I need to drink more water next time. About 5pmish I let her know I'd meet her at the Magic Kingdom to finish our our last night in the most magical park possible.

After a mini-anxiety attack at the people COMPLETELY IGNORANT AND RUDE to cast members explaining the Magic Band concept of getting into the parks I saw the castle.......

Have you ever seen anything more beautiful...

On of our main reasons for going to MK was to go on the Jingle Cruise.

The decorations were good, not stellar but definately worth going to. Each of the boats had it's name changed to something Christmasy!

All in all the ride was incredibly enjoyable a HUGE round of applause to the CM's working this ride, they are a gem.

We had to hit Pirates after our Jingle Cruise. I LOVE this ride. Does anyone else find themselves singing Yo Ho, Yo Ho a Pirate's Life for Me? No...okay.

It happened to be pure luck that we saw the end of the Main Street Electrical Parade. I can't remember the last time I saw this. It was fantastic.

If YOU can think of a better way to end a vacation let me know....

We headed back to Pop Century after hitting the Haunted Mansion and walking through the Tangled bathrooms. We grabbed this amazing Tie-dye cheesecake and pepperoni pizza bread. It was delicious! Who can say no to this beauty? Then. It was to bed for me.


The next morning was very sad. I woke up at 5am to go and check my luggage with the Magical Express and walked sadly back to the room to just lay and stare at the ceiling. Thank you Sammy for letting me keep the replaying Disney Channels on at night in case I woke up.  

I took this photo on my lonely walk to the bus stop.

Our fabulous room for the week.

On my way to the bus stop I realized I had time for a quick breakfast and decided on a Pop Century famous fruit infested waffle. It was delicious.

I can't remember if I mentioned earlier that it was my baby's 2nd birthday on 11.11.13. He was a make a wish baby born on 11.11.11 <3 He is literally the love of my life. Once I made it home, I cuddle him until we fell asleep. No better way to end a vacation day. Happy Birthday to the most amazing son a mother could ask for <3

Monday, November 25, 2013

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Race Recap


Three Parks. One Night. Wine. Dine. Bling.

Yup. It was really that easy to sell me on running the Wine and Dine Half Marathon. Samantha was the one who said she wanted to begin training after reading my recap of the Princess Half Marathon in February. Wine and Dine was the next runDisney race we could both sign up for.....then the downward spiral came after that. WDW 10k....Glass Slipper Challenge. I really would like to do Everest and Tower of Terror next year as well but I don't know if I might have to start pedaling wares on the corner to make enough money to actually pay for all of these vacations (yet I did plan them in my PTO days...he he he....)

ANYWAY. Back to the half.

After lunch at the Captains Grille I was definitely feeling sleepy. I laid down but couldn't actually sleep. I got up while Sammy closed her eyes and got my flat runner laid out. Air Max. Check. Arm Pocket. Check. Nike Sportwatch. Check. Black shirt and leggings. Check, Check. Ursula Tutu (custom made by A Princess Prerogative). Check. Ursula Mickey Ears. Check. Oh! And my bib and bracelet to get into the race and after party!

I set my alarm and laid back down. I will admit, since getting a big girl job I haven't set my alarm for PM wake up call. A definite downside to full time work.

Sammy and I had already packed our clear bag check bags the night before and we grabbed those as we headed out the door to the food court. Waters, Powerade and Cheez-It's were on tap for pre-race fuel. Judge if you must but I cannot sit and eat a protein bar or something else, it gives me a sick feeling in my stomach. It was nice to see we were maybe about 15th in line to get on the bus. Not having lone lines helps keep me calm with my pre-race jitters. Our ride to ESPN's Wide World of Sports was quick from Pop Century. We were definitely one of the first buses there. After our pre-bag check-bag check we walked over to the U-Hall looking trucks lined up. The ladies directing us to the initial of our last name truck kept saying "tie up your bags, make sure you tie up your bags". I looked at one and said, "how do we go about doing that..." because truthfully...the laces of the bag are not like shoe do you tie a bag with laces that have no end. I didn't let it ruffle me as I saw characters lined up and I knew I wanted to spend my time pre-race getting to see them! We decided to start with Mickey and that ended up being a really quick photo.

Goofy was next!

And OF COURSE Minnie!

At this point the lines were getting a little crazy long, but I wasn't about to give up on Chip and Dale. So Sammy and I hopped in line and spent our time people watching. The costumes some people had on were INCREDIBLE! Especially the girl dressed like Kevin and her boyfriend/husband dressed like Russel. She made her skirt out of feather boas, by far tops in my book still.

While we were waiting in line Christine and Pam from We Run Disney walked by! I adore them. They are so down to earth and sweet. I LOVE that they always dress in theme too. For Wine and Dine they had labels on their back "Mom Merlot" and "Christine Cabernet". Cute, RIGHT!?! Ugh. IT was so great to finally get to meet them.

And, again, LUCK LUCK LUCK was on my side the whole vacation... They were hanging out with Megan Biller co-author of Magical Miles: The Runners Guide to Walt Disney World. She is one kick ass Meg! It felt surreal to meet these ladies in real life!

Finally it was our turn! How cute are these two!?

We spent a good hour or so in lines for the characters but that was only because we arrived so early. I was really happy I got to have my picture with all of them. We continued to make our way over towards the corrals and port-o-potties. We went to the bathroom one last time before walking to our corral. I decided to take the tutu off and that was most definitely a smart choice. I didn't have the same luxury in the Animal Kingdom when I had over hydrated...AGAIN. You think I would have learned from that morning.

It might sound silly but I love all the little touches runDisney adds. Like the way to find your corral.

Once in our Corral I made friends with the girl sitting next to me. It was her first runDisney race. I remember being that person 9 months prior. AND OF COURSE I SAW PATTY!!!! She looked fabulous in her Jose costume <3

As the corrals were sent off with fireworks I really got excited and nervous at the same time. I love the anticipation you get right before you are about to race. It's one of the most alive feelings you can have.


The first two miles went by very fast. I loved that each mile was themed.

Mile 2

The first characters we saw almost stopped us in our tracks. The dancing hippo and ostrich from Fantasia...WHAAAAAAAT! Both of our mouths must have dropped at the same time. There was no way we were missing this photo op.

Mile 3 came and went.

 We finally made our way into the Animal Kingdom, what a gorgeous tree!

They had these awesome lights on either side of the runners while entering Animal Kingdom too.

We saw Timon and stopped to take in the Hakuna Matata vibe he was putting out. We also attempted to use the bathroom in Asia because lets face it, port-o-potties are gross. I didn't think about what kind of an issue my tutu would become but lets be honest for a minute. I think I ended up with it in my mouth from holding it up. Too much info? Sorry. #TutuStruggles

Mile 4 down!

 Gorgeous lights. I love Asia. Sorry it's a little blurry, action shot.

As we were heading out of the Animal Kingdom we noticed a huge ship. This line probably killed our time but you wanna know what, Sammy being my best friend knew how much it would mean to me to take my picture with Jack Sparrow. I love her for this.

Mile 5!

Mile 6 - Almost half way done! I haven't mentioned yet how my body was holding up. My knee began hurting around Mile 2....We are at the 6 mile mark here in the recap. I thought I was going to just ask that my leg be taken apart at the next aid station but every time I kept thinking about Samantha crossing the finish line I pushed myself further. She had such a phenomenal pace, much faster than what I wanted to run. I got a little nervous and feel like I held her back a little. I just wanted her to finish so badly and be proud not miserable for being in pain.

Mile 7!

Mile 8! Fuel time. I broke my 1 training rule...don't ingest something during a race you haven't trained with prior to it. But I will tell you, the ClifShot (raspberry) was delightful and didn't upset my stomach at all. A huge plus.

Mile 9 is where I got really excited! We were on our way into MGM!

I love the Hollywood Tower Hotel at night <3

Sammy stopped for a bathroom break and I took the time she was gone to stretch. It felt so amazing to just stop running for a second haha. It sounds so awful but it is so true.

I had to take a shot back down the street.

 The lighting around our two buddies here was awful. It made everything so blurry.

It has been many many years since I have taken the Backlot Tour but I am pretty sure we had our course come through the same areas the tour takes you. This tunnel was an absolute blast! Disco themed with fog lights. It was a huge energy boost.

 Mile 10 came around very fast and the excitement began to build for the big event of the race....the part everyone raves about....the part you dream about...


I didn't want it to end. I almost forgot for a second, just a second, we were running. I wanted to stop and take it all in, but we still had 2 miles to go. 

Running along the Yacht and Beach club was amazing. It was a little tight in spaces but it was so fabulous. I even saw Pam and Christine as they were heading back to their rooms. I love this area of Walt Disney World Property the most.

As we rounded the corner past the International Gateway they had adorable Mickey shaped lights. Our feet, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, hips, backs, shoulders, and arms were burning at this point. In case you didn't get what I was trying to say we were falling apart, exhausted.

When we finally saw the finish line in front of us I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. So I just lifted my arms in victory! Another runDisney race completed. 

After we both got our medals we walked towards bag pick up. I might have used some unlady-like language when the kindest woman said to me " I don't even have to ask how you're doing, but how do you feel sweetie!?" I replied "My ass is killing me but I finished another half marathon. Do you happen to know someone willing to massage my ass for money." She seemed genuinely tickled by my partial sailors mouth and it felt good to make someone else laugh. We grabbed out bags and walked towards the changing tents. 

I don't care if I'm 6, 26, 56 or 96. You are never prepared to see nakedness after giving your all in a race....or well ever. They didn't say that this changing area was a free-for-all. I like my space and a place to sit when I change after running 13.1 miles but instead...boobs and more galore. We changed quickly and headed towards EPCOT and the after party.

Samantha was a trooper as I could tell she was completely spent, she didn't seem like she would be upset missing the festivities but she walked inside with me and we took our photo's proudly in front of Spaceship Earth.

We walked towards Canada because there was no way I was going to be able to sleep on an empty stomach. FYI the $10 gift card you got with registration for the race covered my soup and the delicious Apple Ice Wine.

This Ice Wine tastes like an adult version of apple juice.

After realizing I didn't have as much energy as my mind wanted me to believe we boarded a bus back to Pop Century and made it into our beds about 3.45am. 

I'm so lucky to have spent this amazing race with my best friend. I am so proud of her and can't wait to run more races with her. I could not have asked for a better vacation or better company!