Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend Expo 2017

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to run the runDisney Wine and Dine half marathon weekend two course challenge. I have not run this race since it was at night time, and since it added a 10k, so I was pumped to get to experience a new to me race.

I love race expos, especially runDisney race expos. Amanda and I went after lunch and it wasn’t bad/crazy at all! We got out bibs and shirts and did a little shopping. There was still plenty of merchandise left (it was Friday) but I know some sold out by Saturday.

I will say I missed the memo that the race merchandise would be where you pick up your bibs, so we did have to go BACK over there to do our shopping. However it was nice that they had more room and could spread out more!

I didn’t take a ton of photos, however I did take some video, so be sure to check it out below!

 

Crescent City Classic Expo 2016

Good morning friends! I hope you all had an amazing Easter weekend. We had a really good one in New Orleans with family and running the Crescent City Classic 10k. Today I wanted to tell you a little about the expo, but I feel like I must back up for you to fully understand why I needed to drink by the evening.

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That. See that? We left the house at 11:30, grabbed Chick-fil-A (duh) and headed south. Our 2.5 hour trip took 4.5 hours because. of. that. We got about 40 minutes south of our house on the interstate…and we came to a complete stop. For almost two hours. Baby girl was asleep until we came to a stop then was NOT happy. Eventually everyone was getting out of their cars to walk around (including many men like my husband going to relieve themselves in the woods, hey, you gotta do what you gotta so) and people walking their dogs. Poor Emma Kate hates the car seat as it is, so she wasn’t doing too well. I admittedly got VERY frustrated. We saw a couple ambulances go by as well as tow trucks and heard a car was on fire, but we knew nothing more. I was frantic because I had our day planned out perfectly so that we could spend a little time with my parents before driving into New Orleans for the night. At this point I was worried we wouldn’t even make it to the expo before it closed.

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We finally got moving again after making friends with the folks in the cars around us (hey, we are in the south, it’s what we do), and headed to my parents house where we encountered more traffic as well as a bridge being up to let boats through. It was just not a good driving day for us. I later found out a car was driving very slowly in the right lane and was rear ended by two other cars. The first car caught on fire and they were not able to save the person inside. I then felt really bad for being frustrated with the wait considering someone died in the accident. It really puts things into perspective. Sad smile

We finally made it to my parents house and dropped off the dog and the baby before heading into New Orleans for the night. Thankfully we were staying at the Hyatt, which is where the expo was and where our blogger dinner was being held. We quickly checked in and headed down to the expo.

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The Superdome was right outside the elevator bay.

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I saw a couple friends as we headed into the expo, and told them we would see them up at dinner, but had to go grab our race packets and shirts.

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The Crescent City Classic has over 20,000 runners and walkers. Thankfully, the expo wasn’t crowded since it was the second day and almost closing time! We got in line and got our bibs.

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We glanced at a couple booths as we walked by, and Bobby was sure to get free red beans and rice, while I was sure to grab some free beer.

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How adorable is this set up for photos at the expo?

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We got our shirts and unfortunately didn’t have time to do anymore looking around at the expo. There were lots of booths, local races, etc. but we just ran out of time. Sad smile We headed upstairs for our blogger dinner and had a great time with friends. The nice part about it was walking right upstairs to go to bed after it was over!

We got a picture with the chef and our waitress before we left. Because…why not?

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Bobby and I headed upstairs about 8:00 to get ready for bed. Staying at this hotel was the best decision ever, no driving around after dinner, and the race start was literally just outside! But more on that tomorrow.

QOTD: Have you ever been stuck behind a wreck on the interstate? Favorite part of a race expo?

runDisney Princess Expo 2016

After some last minute finagling, I was so excited to be attending the runDisney Princess half marathon weekend to run the Glass Slipper Challenge! I love the Princess expo and was ready to get excited for the race weekend ahead.

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I arrived on Friday at lunch, and my buddy Jen picked me up at the airport. She drove down from South Carolina, and it was SO NICE having a car the whole trip! We took zero busses!

Anyway, after grabbing lunch at Chick-fil-A in Celebration (priorities) we headed to the expo. The first thing I said (several times) was that I could NOT get over the amazing weather! It was sunny and in the low 70’s, and was supposed to be gorgeous all weekend. (Spoiler: it was!)

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The first thing we did was head over to pick up our bibs and shirts before going into the expo. I had heard horror stories of the insanity from the day before, so I was a little nervous. There were a couple of items I would have liked to have, but nothing I NEEDED (it’s just stuff, people) so we were just planning to go with the flow.

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So far so good, it was not busy at all. We even walked right up to where you take the adorable instagram photos with no line. I will say, I was a bit bummed by the Instagram pics this year. I LVOED the one where the prince is in it from last year..or maybe it was two years ago. Anyway, I was looking forward to seeing what tricks runDisney had up their sleeve and sadly the background was boring and our photographer was not great so the pic did not come out well at all. Oh well! Not that I’m complaining about a free pic, but they raised the bar with awesome ones in the past and this one was just “eh”. Anyone else agree?

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Moving on, it was down the red carpet into the expo!

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Princess fun!

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we decided to head to the official merchandise first then come back and look at the other booths/chat with friends etc.

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Get excited people, race weekend!

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I was a little bummed that the Glass Slipper wine glasses and tervis tumblers were sold out (if anyone sees them at an outlet let me know!) and that there were no cute baby clothes like in years past, but again it’s just stuff, so I got my “I did it shirt” and a regular runDisney wine glass and called it a day.

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I got to see several friends! Michelle from Running Skirts, and Bobbi and Megan at Raw Threads among others.

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We wandered around but I didn’t buy anything else, and after awhile we decided to go check into our hotel and grab an early dinner. We had the 10k the next day, and it was time to get off of our feet. Overall it was a good expo experience for me, and was great to see some friends again and get excited about the race.

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QOTD: Favorite thing about race expos? Do you ever buy anything?

runDisney Marathon Weekend Expo 2016

Hello friends! I am finally back home! I still have a lot of unpacking and catching up to do, but I wanted to let you guys know I am still alive, and I have a lot of fun recaps coming your way, plus a giveaway so hang in there. Today I thought I would tell you about the race expo, then I still have to recap the blogger meet up, an interview I did with some famous TV stars from Mexico, the race, the cool hotel experience I had, and of course the cruise!

We were actually only in Orlando for 24 hours, but a LOT happened in those hours. First after landing Friday I ran over to the Cigna blogger meet up with Megan, and then we went to the runDisney expo to get our packets for the half the next day. We had dinner at California Grill at 5:00 so sadly I didn’t get to spend near as much time at the expo as I would have liked, but I still got to soak up the runDisney magic and see some friends.

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First we picked up our race packets. It was weird “only” doing the half, since last time we participated in marathon weekend we ran dopey!

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Ready to run! or something like that (wait, we have to run? I haven’t really trained!)

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LOVE my new rundisney ears! They don’t give me terrible headaches like the ones from the parks. Maybe I just have a large noggin?

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We of course had to take the obligatory instagram photo before heading over to check out the merchandise. The guy asked how we wanted to pose and we said “something funny” and he just looked at us like we were crazy. No worries! We shall come up with something on our own!

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Hello expo floor, oh how I have missed you!

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A closer look at the shoes, and I dig them.

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I made my way to the Raw Threads booth (adorable stuff yall, go check them out!) and had a quick chat with my buddy Bobbi! Was great to see her again.

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I also ran over to my favorite running skirts brand and said hello to my former colleague and the sweetest girl in Minnie ears ever, Michelle!

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We literally flew through the official merchandise, I got an I did it shirt (I always get one) and a shirt for Emma Kate that says “future runner, catch me if you can” SO stinkin cute). and unfortunately we had to grab a cab back to the hotel so we could change for dinner.

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I wish I had gotten to spend some more time shopping and saying hello to other friends working expo booths, but there will always be other races, and hopefully for those I will be in town more than 24 hours!

QOTD: Is there an item you buy at every race expo?

Arriving in Disney and Everest Challenge Packet Pickup

My friend Jen and I got back from Walt Disney World this week. We were there to participate in the last runDisney Expedition Everest Challenge. I have always been curious about this race, and since it was the last time it was being run, I knew I wanted to try to go. We were able to make a girls trip out of it, and so off to Orlando we went!

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We arrived Friday around lunch and after meeting up at the airport, hopped on Disney’s Magical Express.

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We arrived at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, which was one o three host resorts for the event. I was excited to stay here because it was my first time, and also because they just refurbished the rooms and added in queen beds.

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I loved the look of the rooms, they reminded me of the rooms at the Polynesian.

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After getting settled in, we headed over to the food court for some lunch before going to packet pickup for the race.

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We then hopped on a bus to the parking lot of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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The packet pickup in a word was….underwhelming. However, I was expecting it. Knowing that this was the last Everest, runDisney of course wasn’t going to put a ton of resources into it, I get it. Also, having not run this race in the past, I have nothing to compare it to as far as size of the packet pickup of years past.

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There was one kind of shirt (an I did it shirt with the map on the back) then a generic runDisney hat and maybe a lanyard if I remember correctly. New Balance was there with the latest runDisney shoes, and that’s about it.

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We picked up our bibs and our shirts, and since there was honestly nothing else to do, we headed back to the buses.

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I know there was a lot of talk about the lack of well, anything at packet pick up. I see both sides. After being at the amazing expos runDisney usually puts on, it was almost comical to be at this packet pickup. However, the other expos are in conjunction with massive race weekends with a 5k, 10k, half, and sometimes full marathon. Also, there are kids races and challenges, so of course the expos are much larger because of the huge number of participants.

With that being said, I do think a little more effort could have gone into it, but oh well, it isn’t being run anymore so there honestly isn’t really a reason to get upset about it. The race was fun (more on that later) and that’s what matters!

QOTD: Have you ever been to an outdoor packet pickup/expo?

*I entered the Runner’s World Cover Contest, you can vote for me here. Thanks so much for your support. 🙂

Rock ‘N Roll New Orleans Expo 2015

After we attended the tweet up and Feed the Children charity event, we were dropped off at the convention center to pick up our bibs and explore the expo.

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Packet pickup was very organized. We went at kind of an odd time of day towards the end of the expo so it wasn’t very crowded.

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After we got out bibs, we were funneled out into the official merchandise area.

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They had plenty of things to choose from, and some fun photo ops that we didn’t feel like standing in line for ha! About that time, Karen texted me asking where I was, and I told her we had just arrived. We were able to meet up for a quick hello. I hadn’t seen her since my baby shower in July!

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I also got to meet a couple of blog readers and chat with them for a bit which was fun! We took a look at all of the heavy medals for Rock ‘n Roll, and WOW they are so cool! Way bigger in person than I imagined they would be!

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I had some friends working at some of the booths so we stopped and said a few hellos, and also picked up our VIP packets at the VIP booth.

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About that time I was feeling a little shaky, and I realized Ii t was 2:30 and we hadn’t had lunch yet! We decided to go ahead and leave and get some food.

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We walked the length of the convention center (which is a LONG way!) out to the front where the Riverwalk is. We went inside and grabbed a late lunch before our early dinner, bibs in hand and ready to go!

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Final thoughts: I’m not sure what it was, but the expo seemed a lot smaller and not as exciting as in years past. There was no stage or speakers which bummed me out, and it just had a bit of a different feel than in previous years that I can’t quite explain (anyone else that was there feel the same way?) It also felt kind of dark in there, was it just me? Don’t get me wrong, it was very well organized and had it some great vendors, but I didn’t leave feeling as excited about the race as I have from other expos I have worked or visited in the past. I do hope next year the expo is larger and that they have a stage/speakers!

***Use code LOOKINGGLASS15 at checkout to save $15 on ANY US or Canada Rock ‘n Roll 2015 race! Share with your friends!***

QOTD: What is your favorite thing about race expos?

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Expo 2013

I love race expos. The excitement of the race, like minded people all together in one big room, and of course shopping.

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They are a great way to kick off a race weekend, and runDisney expos are no exception. Tons of exhibitors, cute official merchandise, and friendly cast members were abounding at the Wide World of Sports Complex.

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Me and Jen

We were stuck in a HUGE line and mass of people when we tried to get to the Tower of Terror expo right at opening, so this time we tried a different approach and went at 1:00, hoping the first wave of people would be gone and the expo wouldn’t be so crowded.

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We were right! I was so excited. Oh, and thanks for blinking in EVERY PICTURE we took with the champagne, Bobby.

There are always plenty of people giving directions, and signage to help you know where to go.

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We first went to pick up our bibs. Luckily we had printed out our waivers at home, so we went straight to the booth that corresponded with our bib numbers and were done in a flash.

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We then headed over to the expo floor to get our t-shirts and do some shopping.

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Hello no lines! I have NEVER seen the official merchandise area with no line! While walking down to get our shirts, I ran into these lovely ladies and we chatted for a bit.

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We got our shirts then headed straight to the official merchandise.

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I ended up with an I Did it shirt, a Wine and Dine headband, and a wine glass. There was more types of merchandise than normal, but I still think it is a huge untapped market and if there was even more to choose from, people would buy it!

We went over to the runDisney booth and I got my usual picture with my friend Carissa. Poor girl lost her voice!

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We said hello to Jeff Galloway and his wife Barbara, and took a free adorable photo. You just have to show proof that you follow runDisney on Instagram and they email you the photo. Nice!

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We walked around a little bit and I stopped at a few different booths run by people I know and said hello. Then it was time to check out some medals. I was so excited to see the Princess weekend medals in person.

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Also, the Tinkerbell medal!

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Cannot wait for all of these!

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Bling bling!

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We were ready to get off our feet, so we headed out shortly after.

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For those of you stressed out about the crowds, I would consider waiting until 2-3 hours after the expo opens to go over there. It was MUCH more enjoyable this way! great job runDisney, can’t wait for the next one. Dopey here we come!

Interested in running a runDisney race? Check out their website for more information!

QOTD: Do you like to get to an expo right when it opens?

RnR NOLA expo day 1

Good morning! Yesterday was quite the doozey. The expo was open until 7 last night. Then we ended up having to move our entire booth after the expo was over for the night. Lets just say its been a long day.
I got to meet several Blog readers and expo workers I have seen at other races. I love all the people I get to meet through working expos!

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Hello NOLA!

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Oh and by the way…I didn’t think everything was going to fit in my 4Runner!

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Onward to day two we go, and then on to the race! Good luck to everyone running tomorrow, and if you are coming to the expo swing by the running skirts booth! Skirts are on sale!

QOTD: what destination race is at the top of your wish list?

Disney Princess Half Marathon Expo

 

Hello from the Grand Floridian! We leave this morning, and while I am sad to leave my favorite resort…I will be happy to sleep in my own bed, and see my husband and pups. We have a long drive ahead of us though.

I am going to apologize for doing these recaps out of order, but a lot of my Jeff Galloway meet-up pictures are on my other camera, and I didn’t bring that cord with me to WDW, so for now I am going to tell you about the Princess half marathon expo.

On Friday after the meet up, we had a little free time. I joined Kelly Olexa at the pool for a bit before heading over to lunch with some of the girls and then out with the group to Disney’s Wide World of Sports.

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I had a turkey sandwich and some zebra domes.

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It was a beautiful sunny day, and I was excited to pickup my packets and also do some shopping.

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We were greeted by sweet Laurie, the expo director who told us a bit about the in’s and out’s of a Disney race expo.  Bob and Jennifer also spoke briefly (both awesome runDisney friends!), and then we headed into the tent to get our bib’s for the 5k an half marathon.

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Word of advice, print your waiver before leaving home. I am so glad I did and didn’t have to deal with the hassle of the computer lines and such.

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Getting my 5k bib was seamless and simple, and I took some photos while I waited for the group.

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eeeekkkk!

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We then walked the red carpet (oh yes!) to the expo to get our t-shirts and do some shopping. I was ready, wallet in hand.

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After I got my shirts, I hit up the official merchandise and did some serious damage.

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Then I headed to the Running Skirts booth to see if Juli needed any help. I chatted with them for a bit until my mom, Karen, and her mom arrived. We did more shopping before going to check into our hotel.

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Since I have worked a Disney expo before, as well as participated in other runDisney races, I knew what to expect as far as the set up goes, but Princess had that whole new element of royalty and girly girl fun which I absolutely loved!

QOTD: What has been your favorite race expo?

Rock N Roll St. Louis Expo

 

As you know, I flew out of New Orleans to St. Louis on Wednesday of last week. I had never been to Missouri, so I was excited to add a new state (and a race in a new state) to the places I have been and raced.

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My skirt helper Laurie and I spent Thursday getting our booth set up. The Rock n Roll crew is so great, I enjoyed getting to chat with them again, and with the other vendors. We got everything set up and ready to go Thursday, and the expo was Friday and Saturday.

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I took some time when it was slower on Friday to go get my own bib. I was excited for the new women’s cut t shirts, but frustrated when I saw basically all they did was make them shorter…which annoyed this tall girl!

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There were over 21 THOUSAND runners at this race, and the expo was pretty busy! As usual, I got to meet a bunch of great people, and meet some blog readers (hi guys, so glad to meet all of you!) Including my friend Heather

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I love selling Running Skirts, and I love when people come up to me at the race afterwards and tell me how much they loved running in their new skirt. It just makes my heart happy.

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My day two outfit. Everyone went nuts over the sleeves!

Friday night we got everything out of the convention center, and our taxi driver told us America’s got talent was holding auditions at the convention center, too. We saw a lot of people lined up for something but had no idea what it was. We even saw a little boy in the hallway of our hotel who had tried out and got to hear him sing, it was pretty cute.

We finally got finished with everything around 11:00, and had our alarms set for 5 am for the race. Yikes!

QOTD: Have you ever auditioned for a TV show?