Wednesday, February 26, 2014

So long, farewell!

My final day in Disney was a success in all senses of the word.

I woke up early with Jodi and her sister to talk to them before they left for the half marathon. It was Jodi's sisters first half marathon. I fell back to sleep then woke up to talk to her Mother and other sister. After talking with them for a little once they returned I decided to go ahead and hit the parks one last time before I had to go to the airport. After dropping my bags off at the Magical Express counter and finding out that I was unable to in fact have my bags checked because my ORIGINAL flight was cancelled and I rescheduled. You know the one GOING TO Florida. Yeah apparently that messes up Magical Express. FYI for any of you that might have that happen. Anyway, I knew I wanted to hit EPCOT and go to Mexico one more time before I left to grab something else for my father.

I entered World Showcase from Future World and grabbed a goodbye meal at Mexico, La Cantina de San Angel. My margarita and chicken tacos mm mm mm! I started to walk around the long way back to Future World. As I made my way around past Italy I saw a little dancing penguin. Like the ones from Mary Poppins. He didn't have a 'handler' and Goofy was by the bathrooms in America...I walked up and he gave me a hug. I asked if he'd take a picture with me and he nodded yes. BEST. PICTURE. EVER.

After making that amazing memory I watched the marching band and decided I was thirsty.

Block and Hans is a new little treat for those who like American Ale and Angry Orchard.

I was very excited to see that Spice Road Table was open for business. I didn't have time to eat or drink but did walk through to snap some photos. Hope you enjoy them.

After enjoying my time in Morocco I noticed there was NO like for Aurora in France and stopped by.

I lost track of time and needed to get back to Saratoga Springs ASAP and catch the Magical Express. bus showed up on time. I turned to grab my luggage, I had more than one bag and when I turned back around the bus driver closed the door...and left. After a moment of panic and about 20 minutes of anger to my surprise another bus arrived and I jumped on that one.

The flight home was long but the best part was having Ace and Mike waiting for me at the arrival pick up location.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

An Open Letter To My Baby Brother As He Joins The United States Army...

Dear Ryan,
I had to said goodbye to you this morning as I'll be 1800 miles away when you leave for bootcamp. Since you told mom and dad that you enlisted I've been torn about my feelings.

However, last night I had an amazing dream and realized that this is the right path you have chosen.

In my dream you were saving not hundreds of people at a time but one at a time. You were putting your heart and soul into each and every citizen and soldier in need. You were impacting their lives beyond what even my own dreams could comprehend. Whether you are a medic, a ranger, or special forces I know you will be what the US Army needs and wants. You are what I will tell my children and your children about when they ask.

Initially, I was terrified and feeling selfish. You are the same person who does not create nor enjoy conflict or drama. You are easy going and laid back. You are the kind of funny that hits you later and makes you laugh for hours. It wasn't that I didn't think you could be a soldier I just didn't want you to lose the innocence I've always associated with you. 

I also was angry, we still have so much to work through to get where I want to be with us. There are still things from the past, people who enjoyed ruining our relationship but I could see you slowly starting to give me another chance and realize they were wrong and always have been. I would kill for you and I thought what I was doing back then is what would make you understand how much I love you but it wasn't the right way. emotions have turned towards pride and any tears I shed are because I am so proud I cannot handle those emotions. I've seen you dedicate yourself physically to being successful by working out and eating right...but not in the 'diet' sense but as a lifestyle change and stick to it.

Your dedication is so incredibly impressive. It's proven to me that you are ready for this and you will be a great soldier.

So as I said goodbye to you today I know I said goodbye to the Baby Ryan I grew up with and will meet an unmatched man in May. I cannot wait for that transformation.

Good luck and don't forget to shoot first and ask questions later...

I love you always. HOOAH💚

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Inaugural Walt Disney World 10k: Minnie Mouse

Although Sammy and I did stay up much later than we wanted, our adrenaline was pumping as we got ready! We both were in Corral D. We had our snack boxes and walked over to our balloon lit corral.

At the end of December I learned that I had made it into a Pilot Runner Program. Excuses aside, it didn't work out. But I did get to meet two fantastic ladies!

Sammy and I were ready to go! (to sleep I think)

We had a little bit of a wait.

Fireworks make the time pass faster <3

Almost ready to go!

And we were off! Sorry about the blurriness of this photo, there was an awesome DJ pumping up the runners on the overpass. It definitely helped get my excitement going!

We turned around about a mile or so in and headed back towards the parking lot in EPCOT. The line for Captain Hook and Smee was so incredibly long we decided to pass it. The course from there to the backlot of EPCOT really seems to take a long time. When we finally hit it, there was a Green Army Man standing there, with a line of 1 person Sammy and I pulled off to the side to grab a photo....well he was going to take a break, that's why the line was so short.

Finally we entered into EPCOT and who did we see... MUSHU! We had a short internal/external debate with ourselves and each other and decided to stand in line. We were just 2 people away from getting our photo and booking it...and Mushu had to take a break. We stood there with our anxiety levels reaching critcal levels. The moment we saw him come back we snagged this photo and began to pick up the pace around world showcase, but not too fast.

 My favorite mile marker.

We saw the Genie had little to no line and hopped in real quick.

As we continued around World Showcase we exited the International Gateway towards the Boardwalk I snapped this photo. This is my favorite place on property.

We went around the Boardwalk and passed Goofy dressed as a football player but unfortunately he was a busy dude with a long line. He did wave to us though. We took our time on the wooden parts of the Boardwalk as they can be VERY slippery.

I love this part of the course too because there were spectators out cheering for the runners and people on their balconies watching us pass. It was such a great time. We made it past the Yacht and Beach Clubs back towards the International Gateway again cheering for those who were passing in our footsteps.

We saw Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb and we HAD to stop for a picture. This would prove to be the trickiest choice we made all day as we were in line and the infamous Balloon Ladies passed by us letting us know we had fallen behind the 16 mm limit. 

We stayed for the picture and ended up catching up, and then passing them. Securing us safely a medal.

And I am officially a finisher! Once we crossed we were happy to be done, collected our medals and hopped on the bus.

Back at the room to relax with my new bling.

So so so pretty!

On our way to grab something to eat we saw this baby proudly displaying his medal. What a champ. One day Ace will run with me at Disney!

After grabbing something to fill our tummies Sammy and I split up knowing we would meet back up at Downtown Disney. We had to check out of All Star Sports and I was going to be spending the night with the Founder of Running for Rescues at Saratoga Springs! My first stop once I hit Downtown Disney was the Margarita Bar. You can't not celebrate completing a 10k AND your fathers birthday without a drink!

Sto Lat Ojciec!

While I was sitting have a drink I had a beautiful piece of art being drawn up for my baby back home. I could not be more in love! Now I just need a frame to hang it <3

Once the drawing was complete I relaxed and waiting for Sammy to join me. We then went from DTD to Saratoga Springs to drop off my luggage. It was about 3.30ish I think so we just decided to go over to Animal Kingdom Lodge for our most exciting dinner of the trip! We had made group reservations with Racing the Dream on Facebook.

I was nervous but an excited nervous to meet more new people (in person) and have a delicious meal at Boma!

The dinner was an absolute blast! I feel like I met some of the most amazing, genuine, fun people I will ever meet! The company was better than the food but I would do it again in a heartbeat! It was the best way to cap off my last full day.

Afterwards Sammy dropped me back off at Saratoga and I said goodbye to her. I got to spend time with Jodi (the Founder of R4R) and her family and it was like home. Her family is so amazing and made me feel so welcome. I had some serious knee pain to the point that I just gave up looking for sheets for the pull out couch and just grabbed a pillow and put my leg up. Jodi's mother and sister then found the sheets when they got back and made hte bed. It's hard to express how much it meant to me to be treated like family. Especially when you've only met people once.

I fell asleep to the Disney Channel.