Aug 3, 2016

Tinkerbell 10k & Kids Race Race Recap (Part 3)

When Kris and I decided to sign up for the Tink half to get the coast to coast, we figured we might as well do the challenge. I mean more bling is more bling. LOL I'm telling you we're not the smartest girls sometimes. This would be my second RunDisney challenge and Kris's first. I was a little hesitant about it all, since I caught a cold the week before and hadn't done any workouts for a week (to try to kick it out of my system). Thankfully, I was feeling better by the time we got to California.

And I would like to thank our internal East Coast clocks to making the early wakeups not as hard. The 10k started at 5:30am, so we got up at 4 to be out the door by 4:30. We were getting dressed, and adjusting our wings, when I heard it, the rain. UGH, I hate rainy races. We threw on ponchos over our costumes (wings and all), and headed out.

Thankfully, Disneyland is waaaay smaller, so we just had to cross the street to the Disneyland property and then walk back to the start line, which was by one of the on-property hotels. The rain wasn't too hard, and by the time we reached the corrals it seemed to have let up. We took off our ponchos, and stuffed them into the back of our skirts. We had wings and Mickey ears, and were ready.

Now, I'm totally used to the pre-race at Disney World, with DJs blasting music and characters waiting for photos, but there was none of that. Here it was just get to the corral and that's it. Thankfully, the walk from our hotel to the corral was less than the pre-race area to the corrals at Star Wars, so that was a plus. At WDW (Walt Disney World) the 10k corrals take forever to get going, but these were off within minutes of each other. We were in corral C and before we knew it we were off.

The first part was through some streets and around to get back to the parks, and before I knew it I heard my name behind me. I turned around to see my west coast friend (who I had never met in real life), Jenn! She handed me a Momentum band and ran off. It was so cool to see her during the race!

We were at mile 1 pretty fast, and then we were turning back towards the parks. We came in through the back of the parks, and before we knew it, we were in Disneyland. We ran through the park, which was tight, but we really just wanted to take it easy and take pics, and we did.

Then we came around to the back of the castle!

As you may have seen in my Princess Half recap, I slowly, slowly walked through that castle. Here I walked freely (and had to take video to document it).


And, we decided to stop for a castle pic. We had wings and Mickey ears on, it's like we had to.

Then we stopped by the Haunted Mansion to snap a pic there.

There were a few characters on the course, but they were all fairies, so we decided to skip them. Instead we totally posed for the cameras. It's so easy to see the PhotoPass guys now.

Soon, we were in California Adventure! This was our first time seeing this park, since we hadn't been in there yet.

We stopped for a shot with Walt & Mickey and were totally all about the pics here. We hit the backlot of the park, where strangely there were no characters. Totally missed opportunity Disneyland.

And then we rounded the corner and saw these mountains that looked amazing... Cars Land! I have to say that this place is taken right out of the movie. It's crazy how exactly the same it looks. The Imagineers "se la comieron" with this. At this point it was less about the running and all about the pics.

Then we were at Paradise Pier, also known as the area with the roller coaster and ferris wheel. This area is too cute.

We were headed towards Downtown Disney and the finish line wasn't too far away.

Part 1 of the Pixie Dust Challenge was done. It was a great race, especially since we got to see so much of the parks.

Plus, it was the first time I ran in wings and Mickey ears... both of which were awesome looking and didn't bother me at all. Glad I used them for the 10k and not the half though, 13.1 miles with wings might have gotten annoying.

I felt great at the end of this race, which was awesome since we had another race the next day.

After the race, we ran to the hotel, took off our completely useless bottom layer (It turned out to be a little too hot for a long sleeve top and tights), and re-donned our fabulous wings to go to V's Kids Races. She did awesome, and was super fast. Of course, it's cause she had wings ;).

We were done with the kids races and wanted to get back to the hotel, but the other kids dashes were still going on, so we were trapped. Another Disneyland runDisney fail. I know you're limited on space, but blocking the way out with the kids race courses wasn't the smartest thing. Lots of tired and cranky kids just wanting to move. We got through the crazy and went to the Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney and got some beignets for breakfast, and coffee, of course. Then I waited to meet up with Jenn!

We sat and chatted for an hour that seemed like 15 minutes. It's amazing how meeting you can someone online and then you just click with them. It seemed like we had known each other forever. This girl is just so amazing. We needed way more time! But it was time to meet up with the family for a day of fun at California Adventure.

Jul 29, 2016

Neverland 5k and Disneyland! (Part 2)

Friday was an early day, since we had to go cheer on the boys at the 5k.

We got up and called the boys to see if they were on their way, nothing.... Kris called Ed and Dad. No answer, she knocked on their room, no answer. Finally we got a text back from Dad saying they were at the start line.

Kris, V, and I got dressed and headed to Disneyland. Now the 5k started on Main Street, which was so awesome. As we were walking towards the finish line, we saw people still walking into the park... with bibs... at 5:15am. The 5k started at 5am. How are these people still walking to the corrals? We were in a bit of shock. Eventually, we got to part of the course, and were able to see the leaders come through. We headed out to the finish line and got in place.

Now there is no runner tracking for the 5k, and we had no idea when the boys started, but we stood and looked for our runners. And about 45 minutes in, we saw Eddie and Xander crossing the finish.

And about 10 minutes later, Dad crossed! He was so nervous about finishing, but he finished before tons of others that were behind him. We waved and got some pics.

Then they came around with their bling!

We went back to the hotel so the boys could clean up and rest a bit, and then it was off to meet west coast Mickey! I had booked us a couple of character meals, cause I know they're worth it, you get real food and a change to meet the characters while sitting. And let's be serious, I love meeting the characters. Our first one, to celebrate the boys 5k was at Paradise Pier hotel. This was at the back of the property, so we walked back there. **Disney World nerd break: It was so cool to be able to walk everywhere on property and a little strange too. You def can NOT do that at Disney World! ... end Disney World Nerd break.**

We walked right on in and met the man himself, Mickey Mouse. It was like an old school character breakfast, and they sold us the pics later (which we got, cause we needed 1 group pic). We had a yummy breakfast, that even included some Mexican-ified dishes (chilaquiles and some ridiculously good fritatta). And we got to meet Minnie, dressed in a super cute jumpsuit, Daisy, and Stitch (Xander's fave). Now, somehow, usually dry Southern California was rainy this day. It started pouring when we got to the hotel and wasn't really letting up. So after breakfast, we grabbed some ponchos, and headed to Disneyland!

Disneyland is tiny and adorable. It's like a shrunken Magic Kingdom. Like seriously shrunken. When you walk into Main Street, U.S.A. the buildings look like dollhouses. You know people really
couldn't live in there, it's just a model.

And there it is, Sleeping Beauty Castle. (Sorry Aurora, Cindy's got you beat in the castle game). I know it's a castle and all, but it's the most underwhelming sight.

Straight away we headed to Hyper Space Mountain, cause Xander needed to ride it badly. We headed towards Tomorrowland, and OMG, where is the space? It was so cramped getting in there. I can see that this park was built in 1955.

But we got into the line for Space Mountain, and waited it out. One more thing, most Disneyland lines are outside, we wrapped around the building, and then up on the roof. It was so odd. This Florida girl would have liked a little cover while we waited.

But I do have to say, this is where Disneyland has us, the ride was amazing. So much better than our Space Mountain.

After that, we headed to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, I mean Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. It was so cool to be in a ride that I had loved as a kid in Disney World. It was pretty much the same thing, but with Nemo and his friends sprinkled in.

After that, we headed towards Fantasyland. But, along the way, Kris and I saw the Evil Queen. We're no fools, so we stalked her and followed her til she stopped. Another weird Disneyland-ism, these characters walk around unguarded. Kinda super weird, but also very cool. She finally stopped, and we were able to get pics with her. She was very demanding about the poses she needed us to do.

We were right at the opening to ToonTown, so we decided to go in and grab a bite to eat for lunch. ToonTown was so cute. It really did look like a ToonTown.

There were tons of places to play and burn off some steam, which is just what the kids did. And then I locked them up... LOL just kidding!

We didn't think the Roger Rabbit ride was open, but just as we were about to leave ToonTown, it opened up, so we got in the line and were able to ride. This was a pretty cool ride. Kinda dark with the weasels going after Roger, but it was fun.

Then, we finally headed towards Fantasyland. First up, one of the OG rides, It's a Small World. Again an outside queue, but the outside with the white facade is so pretty. The white room in Small World has always been my favorite.

This Small World is also better than ours, gotta say. It has more rooms, and they even incorporate characters into each country. Check it out.

Now, since it was kinda cloudy and on and off sprinkling, the lines weren't than bad on this day. So we were able to get a lot in. My one bucket list, must-do was Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. And that was the next stop. The outside of the ride buildings in Fantasyland here are so pretty. It really looks like party of a story tale village.

This is another ride I only vaguely remember since they took it away so long ago. Totally had forgotten about Mr. Toad going to hell, but thankfully the kids didn't seem to bothered. It was more fun riding with Mr. Toad's terrible driving.

The Carrousel and Peter Pan had a pretty short line, so we rode those. They were the same as ours. Peter Pan is the exact same as ours. As we were waiting in line for Peter Pan, outside, I told V to look at the castle, and pointed to it. She asked me where it was, and I told her it was that pink house. She's only 4 and she knows a castle is way more grand! LOL

We also went inside the castle, where they have shadow boxes of the Sleeping Beauty story in various rooms. But this requires, so many up and down the stairs. Ugh. It was cute though, but I prefer the mosaics in Cindy's castle.

At this point we were all waaay past done, so we headed out of the park and back to the hotel for dinner and some rest. Kris and I had a race in the morning anyway, so we needed to chill a bit for the early morning wakeup.

May 19, 2016

California here we come... Travel Day and Expo (Part 1)

So last June, yes, that long ago, we signed up for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon, actually, the Pixie Dust Challenge, and started planning a trip to California. I was heading out there with Kris, Eddie, her dad, David, and we brought the kids too.

I left on Wednesday, and rode the bus to get to Orlando to hop on a plane. Needless to say it was a super long day of travel. I got up in Miami at 6am and landed in Orange County, CA at 11:30pm (PDT), so it was actually 2:30am my time. Crazy! After a bite to eat after we landed it was straight to bed, cause damn we all needed it.

The next day we took our time getting up, meaning we chilled a bit before leaving the hotel, cause our east coast bodies were up way too early for the west coast time. And since it was race weekend, it was time for the expo.

Now, I've been to my fair share of RunDisney expos, but they've all been at the Wide World of Sports in Disney World. At Disneyland, it's at the Disneyland Hotel. So, we had to cross the street from our hotel, pass the parks and through Downtown Disney. It was so cool to see it all and it was all so close!

Packet Pickup is underneath in the basement/parking of the building. It was way less massive than packet pickup at Disney World, but it made it so much easier. Especially since everyone was running and we had to pickup bibs for the 5k, Pixie Dust, and Kids Races. And the absolute coolest part of the expo was getting the coast to coast wristband! OMG, I couldn't believe we were really doing it.

After we got our bibs, and Kris and I had our pics taken for the challenge, we headed up to the expo. Now this is my first experience ever being at a RunDisney Expo on opening day. We got our bags and shirts, and then saw the 2-3 hour line for official merch! WHAT?? Ok, I'm never going to an expo that early again.

We looked around a bit took some pics, and headed out to Downtown Disney for lunch. We got tacos and margaritas, it was Cinco de Mayo after all!

Now, the kids were done and wanted some time in the hotel, so we went back. But later, Kris, Dave, and I went back to the expo to check out the official merch. We only waited about 20 minutes to get in. And the merch was all soooooo cute! I love Tink to begin with, so this made it even harder to choose. I ended up going with the I Did It! shirt, since it had the Disneyland map, and the graphic was still as cute as everything else.

That night we hit up Buca Di Beppo for dinner and turned in early, that darn east coast time. The boys had to be up early for the 5k, and we planned on going out to cheer them on.