Emma Kate Does Disney: Part 3

I left off part 2 with us going to bed Thursday night. Friday morning, my dad and I drove to Tampa to look at homes with the realtor while my mom stayed behind with Emma Kate. They went to Disney Springs for the morning while we were gone, and then the playground after nap.

5SVlICukxTtOa8fXpoVKNi32sn-43wodHNTc4yScQRQpX92IB

XBCj-WQQH60ra5pzFozaG0ZB_fz2y5aurIpJfhpuIN4pX92IB

Dad and I also looked at a couple daycares and found one I loved. I found a house that we ended up putting in an offer on that evening, and after stopping at the grocery store in Celebration and then picking up pizza, we headed to the pool and met up with my mom and EK.. Eating pizza at the splash pad area while EK played was a nice relaxing time, especially after a crazy day house hunting. (there may have been wine involved, too. Ssshhh)

xj8jd9vFDV03ZeZSveaBOWZLtkfc1k5MCW4zoJ_kZOMpX92IB

TgRqdbjUTysRhzZ1ggiBNixg5MaRqOQFRBobr250upYpX92IB

HZ3Sn-u249IhEpdrxkW_S3ITlVcZtsqt7b913wPER1cpX92IB

On Saturday we got up early and headed to Animal Kingdom. EK loves animals, so I was excited to take her on the safari ride in particular. We had fastpasses and headed there first thing. It was a cool morning so the animals were all out and about and active. We even got to hear the male lion roar which I had never heard before.

3gMrBM_NPSqe2j3uCTyRewsK9MG2xZxcUiGrWb4PUrwpX92IB

After that we walked through some of the zoo like areas, and then headed to the boneyard playground where we stayed for over an hour. I loved that it was closed in so I didn’t have to worry about Emma Kate running off.

5-ijSbvl7KUreb39BhGmUcbi3mNkPqcaLPf7oCv6KXgpX92IB

Girlfriend must have gone down the slides 100 times.

QI52Y2vSOjyl94M2x0SVU5-YYpH8y8rlllhmYr4_2DQpX92IB

We waited for lunch at Flame Tree BBQ and ate down by the water. We also rode triceratop spin and I really can’t remember what else.

GMRYIZPzDKWK6eUAuw01IUt6dFfcQtR33vCt7eShD2spX92IB

2yvAzkHscmRTFzkg0AdlGuSgBoUxWtWKw15O4xEX3MMpX92IB

Emma Kate was getting super tired and so we decided to head back to the resort after lunch so she could get in a good nap.

jDrc28V4sCVaJLERstGtmeEXflCHFxTywJoSBsnbnPkpX92IB

WOsw-FO5pFK-fvZqqfx0S5-VQzsetAG5_EwxZUToJu8pX92IB

During nap my dad and I walked around the resort and even went to the hot tub for a little while.

P9eBYWpjpxv0rI1KaWbCrgPMK_kEZjh6pDNFFpcNe0spX92IB

We had chef Mickey’s brunch reservations at 2:30, so we loaded up and headed to the contemporary for a late lunch/early dinner. I was so curious to see how Emma Kate would do with the fab five after doing just so-so with the Winnie the Pooh characters.

Stay tuned for next time to see how brunch went with Mickey and the gang!

QOTD: Favorite thing to do at Animal Kingdom?

Emma Kate Does Disney: Part 2

I left off with us going to bed after a bit of stressful arrival day. The next day, we woke up ready to go to the Magic Kingdom. I couldn’t wait to show Emma Kate the castle and my favorite park. We decided to take things slow and let Emma Kate lead the way. I had a couple of fastpasses scheduled, but other than that there was nothing we just “had” to do.

We got to the park right after it opened, and after showing her the castle, headed to Fantasyland.

ehCuulR9W8hD9_os1qFIhAzNSn3jmPOKQ3V76GxMDDIpX92IB

We walked right on to Winnie the Pooh (she was so fascinated and slightly overwhelmed!) Then we did the little Mermaid, Dumbo, and Peter Pan.

rJYVwP6J4Pd2IagIYNs1_vH1vR0qtlEQ6hzr8FxM3n8pX92IB

Then we had a fastpass for Enchanted Tales with Belle. My mom and I had done it before, but my dad (and of course EK) had not so I was excited for them to see.

uJrR6yUGkxbB82poNVAPvF4WN200yw5YQTmOPpHoKpUpX92IB

We sat on the front row and watched the little play, and Emma Kate got to get up and meet Belle and get a bookmark. She was really hesitant and didn’t smile, but she also didn’t cry. I call it a win!

PhotoPass_Visiting_MK_392154413181 (2)

I was so happy Emma Kate’s first princess meeting was with my personal favorite!

PhotoPass_Visiting_MK_392154465170 (2)

After seeing Belle, we decided to take a little break and get a snack. Emma Kate and I sat down and hung out in the grassy area in front of the castle while my mom and dad went to Starbucks to get us coffee and and a snack. Emma Kate enjoyed running around this little area that was away from the hustle and bustle.

2H4CfAdEs8_N8lXs8YCRZGEFnCI3WllLeAfIJkbvMkIpX92IB

DSC_0061

DSC_0060

DSC_0063

We sat in the grass and all took a little breather and ate (Emma Kate was again wanting to walk and not hold my hand or sit in the stroller so we had a few meltdowns all before 11:00.)

Fz0RbFDD3uDTkYTK5IUGwvn86GPkItJprkjrq9lfw7spX92IB

cuz8DuLM3TXlWdI0qdvUo_43mfJZqrKlJpfaf-cUP_UpX92IB

After our little break, we decided to ride the train and see if Emma Kate would take a nap. She loves Thomas the train and enjoyed being on it, but it stops so much and for such long periods of time we quickly realized this was not going to work. We got off after a couple of stops, and decided to ride the people mover. After this, she was getting super cranky so I told mom and dad to go take a break and I would walk her around in the stroller and see if she would take a nap (she was so tired but fighting it at this point). I headed off from tomorrowland towards fantasyland by way of the walkway near space mountain, and Emma Kate pretty much fell asleep instantly, so I just kept walking. I made it all the way around the park, then stopped at a quiet corner in Liberty square behind the Christmas shop. I sat down on the ground while she slept. aaahhh.

amb_5q1DStjyEzjI9S4IzUQz43DwRhKI2X-fGF4gXkwpX92IB

After awhile, my mom texted and said she would come meet me and we could switch spots, that dad was getting a snack in Tomorrowland and I could meet up with him there. So I walked back across the park after she arrived and had some fries with my dad. Soon after I got there, EK was awake so we met with my mom and did Buzz Lightyear. We got stuck on the ride for about ten minutes though! After that we decided to take another break in the grass until the 3:00 parade. This time we sat on the other side of the castle.

LsKo6YL4EQ0pYXB4iVLEyWzGBraXCkd7auP_HWGNBtopX92IB

Check out Emma Kate putting sunscreen on my dads knees Smile Bless it.

nQ0KImrfUO_AnfbzeZeSn374MdILLoZUqBF3XPooh-kpX92IB

We made it across the street for the parade and my parents ran into friends from high school! How crazy is that! They ended up chatting during the whole parade and I held Emma Kate up to see. Thankfully I lift weights because holding up a 31 pound child for the whole parade was pretty difficult! But she loved the parade and loved waving to the characters, especially when they waved back!

KmFLpudSxqiwJjGlTv4aWoTvlaxCYz260N92lCLm_9MpX92IB

ThpJnfwsvlOdWDfh9vwWLQ73VjYzflGdpCxnHw9Z5xEpX92IB

FrBsRoow2e-XSPJCiFD-blTzxAHd5gNmCduSHNnhk0EpX92IB

We had a 3:30 reservation at Crystal Palace, so as soon as the parade was over we checked in. I was so curious to see how EK would do with the characters. To sum it up, it took her a little while to warm up to them but then she did really well. Tigger was her favorite.

tJGEk8wKQ6stlLm9IbB7n5SR4N1eG7p9WpVrF2sKKj8pX92IB

vsIp2wxHkrYQUer9tNu-sXXYJkBnFy4U81WLxXdztbUpX92IB

Mwh81rA3pshipPMaPbyECgKjpzFC8zwO-G5uuSXSGs4pX92IB

hZcO2ZePkpOGowm6Bv8_C2tnHwb8S_dL6k7ont9Pb0gpX92IB

OeK4UqUIspXxObP82gu0_PBke2J1LrXHN2hmuIqcwHopX92IB

PBiXKVR-U3JPGzXTaJo3b7cZYlfBGbC4liQHmO7FHbYpX92IB

The issue here was that my super active child was over sitting still in her high chair after about seven minutes and wanted to run around the restaurant, which I wouldn’t allow. She ended up on the floor of Crystal Palace throwing a complete fit and I immediately picked her up and took her outside. I was really frustrated but tried to remind myself she is two, and is really overwhelmed and probably still wasn’t feeling great. I was just tired from chasing her around all day and dealing with the terrible twos. My mom finished eating and came outside to swap with me so I could go eat, but I still didn’t get as much as I wanted because I knew she was being difficult outside for my mom and I wanted to hurry up.

After we finished eating, we decided to leave, which Emma Kate did not want to do, so I apologize to anyone who was on Main street when I strapped my child in the stroller and power walked to the front of the park as she screamed. It was super fun for everyone I’m sure.

When we got back, we took EK to the playground right outside out building. We were on the first floor so it was nice to just walk right outside.

OcFP-M5TChG9H9REsbZBlsMkn5u2XNftRs3NmdUNfT8pX92IB

vrEzlcfK_zKw4v7FvbKyJOdVDcA9KPewCNyBMIG5SsUpX92IB

The playground is near the water and has a great view of Disney Springs.

cOaKtX9cAz_BgH3vrs527Stkg1UFl4GEjiZAl2eWK9IpX92IB

I can’t remember exactly what we did that evening but I’m guessing just hung out in the room. Our original plan was to go to Hollywood Studios the next day, but since we got a contract on our house the day we left for Disney, we decided it would be best of my dad and I drove to Tampa to meet with my realtor and look at homes because we needed to make on offer on one quickly for all the closing dates to line up. My poor mom would be left with EK by herself, but I am thankful she volunteered so that I could get this handled since we were so close to Tampa!

More on that adventure in the next installment. Smile

QOTD: Did your/do your kids like the characters at Disney?

Emma Kate Does Disney: Part 1

I finally have some time to sit down and write out a recap out Emma Kate’s first Disney trip. Fair warning, it was a doozy. Poor EK was sick most of the trip and this made her cranky and miserable and everyone else cranky and miserable. I’m still so glad we got to go and experience it for the first time with her grandparents, but it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. Read on anyway!

Mmrr26q1BjrimFvdPGSqIVjyldhxtL6DMvve4akiwwQpX92IB

Like I said EK had been sick with some sort of virus but her doctor put her on some medication just in case it was bacterial since we were going out of town. I picked her up after lunch from school, and we drove to my parents. Poor girl slept most of the way down. We hung out at my parents house that afternoon, and went to bed early. Emma Kate ended up having a rough night and neither of us got much sleep.

The next day, my dad and I had fun trying to pack all of our stuff and Emma Kate’s stroller in their car. We were able to get it all in, and we left for Florida around 10:00. We stopped in Biloxi and ate lunch, and soon realized it was going to be a long drive. Emma Kate slept about an hour but then fussed the whole rest of the way to Tallahassee where we were stopping for the night. After having trouble finding our hotel, we were all ready for a break so my mom and dad went to grab us some dinner and I stayed at the hotel with the sick one. It was yet again a night of little sleep for everyone (she did not want to sleep in the pack n play so ended up in bed with me, and the child does not lay still). We were optimistic though, and the next morning we hopped back in the car and headed for Orlando. EK slept about two of the four and a half hours, and cried the rest of the time which made for an interesting ride. Finally, we made it to my happy place, and pulled in to Saratoga Springs.

BBVJUkGDhSXoSF86yJW9uiN4tUNwYAihCoyob03lHv4pX92IB

Our room wasn’t ready yet, but that was ok so we decided to grab lunch in the food court and then take Emma Kate to the pool. Unfortunately, EK was tired of sitting so she lasted in the high chair all of 27 seconds before I had to take her outside. I ate about three bites of lunch (which would come to be a theme of the trip!) We walked around and played in the splash pad while my mom and dad ate lunch, then we all drove over to the super nice pool at the Paddock and changed there.

8RnfVZwygYOPKC3Xw45Y_XftOzc4ZbX2QRBn0kG-BWcpX92IB

I was really impressed with the play area. It was totally fenced in and had tables and chairs for the parents. There were two slides and it was zero entry all the way around. Emma Kate LOVED it and went down the slide about 50 times.

KLn61pLwU5X7_3cbM6mxSmbV2_bho-DED5jARl9aEtYpX92IB

0eGl5O9ef_Lbl7gb1GgVPBDB60V-NSblwhmLLETG2OEpX92IB

znGSBfWt7pasfHQymhq1zWalzIk-pg-HlZz9sy8xp1MpX92IB

After our rough start, I was so glad to see her having fun.

GL1NsluGjS7rsJvA0O9Pbw1nYAYHL-lOZHQDxPjxrQwpX92IB

4DCoS1ajCBvr-YKaX_AlUqAcCKYY6zfYhN2bAeqAPx0pX92IB

2Ey1ZXR2PRFSwl4EXB8MSk372cNMmxzi1WkvOoeKnyIpX92IB

Since we had a two bedroom villa, our original plan was to let my mom stay with Emma Kate while my dad and I went to the grocery store to get food for the trip. However, because our room wasn’t ready, we had to call an audible and just stay at the pool. We were all getting a little tired of waiting and finally at 4:00 our room was ready. We hurried over and unloaded, and then put Emma Kate in the stroller and walked to Disney Springs to activate our Annual Passes before heading to dinner at Whispering Canyon Café.

BT-H7k5fWFcf1j-izD0nDgXsuCBeXuzRRqrAy0XrOz0pX92IB

JrgM6Ns01IWxH0bWYqptSFTpC8A_wsv8wirXQTIMR9QpX92IB

Apparently all the running around at the pool wasn’t enough to tired her out, so EK wanted OUT of the stroller. This was a problem because there were people everywhere and she wanted to walk all on her own (another foreshadowing of the trip). We finally made it over to guest services, and ended up there for over an hour. They couldn’t get my parents Annual Passes to work for some reason, and so we just had to keep waiting. Meanwhile, Emma Kate had meltdown after meltdown because she wanted to go. We took turns going outside with her but she wanted me and only me so it made things difficult. We ended up missing our dinner reservations because we were there so long. EK was acting up so much that I was kind of glad. We ended up going to Earl of Sandwich and eating outside so EK could play in the splash pad and we could watch her.

uTGC9C6mkZyVCchU8vy5JJCA66qTUpk7L1NvBW04WqYpX92IB

She had a LOT of fun with that (the kid loves water!) and made friends while she played. But, she had another meltdown when it was time to go. We walked back to Saratoga Springs ready for a good nights sleep before heading to the Magic Kingdom the next day.

voqquYQiF49z1lgsz7MTWWd6NJU8mlPnZMU1iShTWmspX92IB

My dad and I ended up going to the grocery store after Emma Kate went to bed, and I was so tired I just wanted to hurry and get back and go to sleep, which is exactly what I did. We had gotten off to a bumpy start, but we were hopeful that in the light of the next day things would be magical!

QOTD: Have you ever had a Disney trip start off as not so magical?

Back from Disney World

Hey friends! I am back from Florida. It has been a whirlwind week and a half, and it is so good to be home! If you will recall when we left for Disney Emma Kate was sick, and let’s just say we have had better Disney trips. She was super cranky and fussy (rightfully so) and keeping it real, it really stressed us all out. Her fever broke the day we got to Disney but that didn’t stop her craziness. I’m not sure if she was just super tired, or overwhelmed or what, but I have never seen her act the way she did in Disney…she was a hot mess! I think not knowing what to expect was difficult on us, and let’s just say I need a vacation from my vacation. We for sure still had fun and happy moments, and I can’t wait to share them with you over the next couple of weeks. You will get the good, the bad and the ugly of taking a very strong willed two year old to Disney. Smile I loved seeing her meet the princesses, ride the rides, and experience my happy place. Of course there is still so much more I want to show her, but we got a good start on getting her obsessed with Disney just like the rest of the family. She said cute things like “BIG CASTLE!” and “Pluto has a big tongue” and “Emma Kate and Minnie Mouse!”

y_8k4aRY6tjZGGpLVijUIW_FDDn_nLwnLnlGBZULVWkpX92IB

My parents recently bought into the Disney vacation club and generously used their points for our trip, and getting a two bedroom villa was for sure the way to go. We could put Emma Kate to bed at night and still hang out in the living room without having to be quiet. We were on the first floor of Saratoga Springs and it was great to let her just walk out of the patio and out to the grass or playground. Having a full kitchen and washer and dryer was a plus, too!

mkpWk5wvfQ4xiAPfP4xWiSOYQ5D7ZYkKAaxDzJs4vhQpX92IB

Our room was on the bottom right behind the bench in the back of the photo.

Also having our car was the way to go because we didn’t have to wait in long bus lines with a toddler having a meltdown. We still were able to ride the ferry and the monorail which Emma Kate liked.

My dad and I went to the grocery store the first day to get groceries so we cold eat snacks and breakfast in the room each day to save money. We also grilled outside by the playground the last night which was a lot of fun. Emma Kate loved the pool/kids water play area and we went there three or four times in the afternoon after nap.

Ri34vnMDJ3Ak-oQdgxptGx5OIbUVSgbji6V_lkG97wopX92IB

I feel like my thoughts are so scattered right now and I will get more specific when I give you my daily recaps, but I did want to check in and let yall know I am still alive and that you will hear more about the trip. I hope everyone had a great week!

QOTD: Were your expectations too high the first time you brought your child on vacation?

Disney Trip Itinerary

As I have mentioned here before, we are taking a family trip to WDW at the end of October. My parents recently bought DVC, and the contract finally went through in the spring, so we planned our first trip for when the weather cools off just a touch. Having never been to Disney with a toddler, I am very aware that my “plans” may not end up happening, but I still wanted to (loosely) plan things so we at least have some sort of structure. As far as rides etc. at the parks, there is nothing that I just HAVE to do, except for the new Frozen ride and Soarin. This trip is about Emma Kate and what she wants to do. With that being said, here are our tentative plans.

Tuesday Oct. 25:

Depart Louisiana at nap time/after lunch/ Drive halfway, stop for the night in Tallahassee.

Wednesday Oct 26:

Drive the other four or so hours to Disney, arrive at Saratoga Springs around lunch. Check into 2 bedroom villa. Either go to the pool or Disney Springs after nap. Dinner at Rainforest Café at Disney Springs.

DSC_0989

Thursday Oct 27:

Magic Kingdom in the morning. Back to Saratoga for lunch and nap. Back to the Magic Kingdom in the afternoon for early Crystal Palace dinner (3:30 was the only reservation open). We will stay until around 6:30, then back to the resort for bedtime.

DSC_1797

Friday Oct 28:

Hollywood Studios in the morning. Animal Kingdom in the afternoon after nap. Mom and dad go to dinner alone at Narcoossees, Bobby and I watch Emma Kate. Not sure yet what we are going to do. Maybe Disney Springs to play in the water fountains and eat at Earl of Sandwich.

DSC_1896

Saturday Oct 29:

Magic Kingdom in the morning. After nap, come back to that area for Chef Mickey’s brunch, then more Magic Kingdom in the afternoon if Emma Kate is hanging in there. Bobby and I go to dinner alone that night, and my mom and dad watch Emma Kate. We will probably just go to EPCOT and eat around the Food and Wine festival.

DSC_0956

Sunday Oct 30:

EPCOT in the morning, nap at the resort then pool/grill/playground in the afternoon. We have some local friends coming over to BBQ. Disney Springs in the evening for ice cream.

DSC_0984

Monday Oct 31:

Get up and drive back to Louisiana. womp womp.

Thoughts on my plan? A lot of the afternoons are kind of open planning. We may end up back at parks certain days, and others we may not. We will just have to see what EK ends up enjoying the most. I am getting excited! We can make out fastpass+ reservations at the end of he month!

QOTD: Thoughts on my plan? What am I leaving out?

5 Things Friday XVIII

Happy Friday! Here are five things for you to start off your weekend.

1.) KIND snacks was nice enough to send me some of their NEW breakfast bars to try out. The are made with 100% whole grains, featuring five super grains – oats, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa – to keep you going throughout the day. Flavors include: Blueberry Almond, Honey Oat, Dark Chocolate Cocoa, (my fave!) Peanut Butter, and Raspberry Chia.

9b8c9518-ff9b-4ff8-9cf4-9ba5776cccf2

2.) Yesterday, Bobby and I were involved in a wreck. We were rear ended when we were stopping at a red light. Thankfully, my Toyota 4Runner is a beast and while it will need some bumper work, it looks way better than the other ladies car. We were all three in the car and are all thankfully ok (and yes I know I need a new car seat.) But it happened on a day when we had multiple appointments to get to so it just kind of threw a kink in the already stressful afternoon. But cars can be fixed, so we are not worried about that.

9da65c51-b731-47ce-83d6-e5b509601132

c7974b0e-ccab-46d8-8b68-5222376044d4

3.) Emma Kate had a follow up with the doctor who put her tubes in her ears and he said they looked great! We have to go back again in 6 months but I am so glad we went ahead with the surgery. She was getting infections twice a month and now she has only had two since November.

345ab5e1-dc7d-4ad9-9645-c061563013d2

4.) You can now book your Disney vacation package for most dates in 2017 (up to 499 days out) and I would love to book for you! Email me at [email protected] for a free quote.

2017 disney packages

5.) More eBook news coming next week! I can’t wait to share more with you, and a huge thanks to those of you that have offered to help with social media posts during launch week. If you are still interested in doing a social media post for me during the pre sale or launch period, please email me at [email protected]

QOTD: Have you ever been rear ended? What is your favorite KIND bar flavor? Are you planning a Disney trip for 2017?

2017 Disney World Packages

Guess what? You can now book a Walt Disney World room or vacation package for dates in 2017! (499 days in advance, so currently as of end of June I can book through the end of October/beginning of November). 2017 Disney packages came out yesterday, and I have already been busy quoting for my clients.

2017 disney packages

The best part about these packages is that it only requires a $200 deposit (for room only it’s a deposit of one night of the price of the room + tax) that’s it! Also, the balance isn’t due until 30 days prior to travel! You can make changes, switch dates, cancel, etc. up until that point.

I have been booking Disney travel for my clients over six years and would love to plan a vacation for your family. Common misconception: It does not cost you anything extra to book through me. Why wait on hold on the phone or stress about how the website works, or how to get discounts when I can do it for you, and give you all of my best tips and knowledge from years of experience? I can make it easy for you!

Heather plan your next DCL vacation

I can also book your Disneyland or Disney Cruise Line vacation for you, as well as Universal Studios Orlando. Simply email me for a free no obligation quote. I would love to get you started or answer any questions you may have. [email protected] is where you can find me. Let’s get to planning, I can’t wait for you to experience the vacation of a lifetime!

QOTD: Are you planning to visit Disney in 2017?

5 Things Friday XVIII

Happy Fri-yay! It’s a hot one here. Going to get up to 94! Lots to do today, but I wanted to pop in and share a few pieces of information with you. Have a great weekend!

 

akl7

2.) Dessert or protein shake?: I found an amazing recipe on Pinterest for a delicious protein shake/smoothie that, I confess, I have been drinking 4-5 times a week for the past three weeks. It’s that good. It’s super easy to make (did anyone else know butter extract was a thing?) and it tastes delicious!

3.) Relight: I like nice and bright photos, but sometimes my iPhone pictures come out less than desirable, and some of the filters that look brighter also distort color in a way I don’t like, so I started using a free app called Relight and have had great results! Of course using my “big girl” camera would be better, but this is the next best thing for a quick touch up.

4.) WOW week: I’m old school and still call it VBS (vacation Bible school), but our church is hosting over 1200 kids this week and I have been volunteering some and having a blast! I’m so happy to be a part of a special church with an amazing children’s program. Emma Kate has been enjoying it too (she gets to come since I am a volunteer) and I can’t wait for her to be old enough to attend the “real thing”.

f14067d9-210c-40c9-a7f2-783a3624bf04

5.) Bible Study: My small group at church will be doing a women’s Bible study in July and I have been trying to figure out what book we should use. I have a few that seem good I have been looking at but thought I would ask y’all if you have done anything lately you really liked? Looking for something a little on the short/light side for summer. Thanks for any suggestions you have!

QOTD: Did you attend VBS/WOW week as a kid? Any Bible study book ideas?

Tips for Running on Vacation

Jeff Galloway has been around the block a few times (pun intended) and has some great tips for running while on vacation, no matter what your destination may be!

DSC_0109 (2)

The best, more efficient workout when you’re at the beach…
Running into the dawn: In Summer, it’s best to run before the sun rises above the horizon.  Since it’s common for family members to sleep a bit longer on vacation, get up early and hit the beach.    Set a total time you wish to run, and turn around at the halfway point.  Or, run 1-2 minutes longer going out and try to run faster on the return.
When you’re camping and near a lake and/or mountains.  Drive around the campground area to find suitable running/trail areas.  Plan a group hike each day.  Appoint yourself the “lookout”.  Walk ahead of the group for a few minutes and then run ahead for a minute or two, and run back.  Repeat this routine throughout the hike.  Even short segments of running, during a 1-2 hour hike, will maintain your running adaptations very well.
On a road trip, taking frequent “pit stops”.  Wear your running gear on the trip.  If it is safe to run or walk at your rest area, walk for 1-2 minutes as a warmup and then run for 5-10 minutes.  Repeat this pattern until the group is ready to load up.  If it is a food stop, get your meal “to go” and spend the time running.
When you’re on a trip that’s based around a theme park.  Many of the hotels in areas like Disneyworld, have designated areas for running.  In some cases you can run to the parks.  Ask the hotel staff for recommended routes.  Each evening, gather the family and plan your park visit for the next day.  This allows for you to find a timeslot to squeeze in a run.  As you mention how you are planning your run, you’ll teach the kids how important your exercise is, for you.

unnamed (37)
When you’re on a sightseeing city tour.  Time is limited during most sightseeing tours but you can usually squeeze in a few minutes here and there.  Wear running clothes or very comfortable apparel with running shoes.  When the bus stops, keep walking around while looking at the sights or listening to the guide.  If time allows before reboarding, jog for a minute or two.
A home-based vacation.  If possible, arrange with another family member to watch the kids while you run.  Then, offer that person a chance to get away for a while while you stay with kids.  Early morning is often a great time to get in your runs.  Plan trips to local parks (that you seldom visit) where you can run and walk with the family.
Note: Olympian Jeff Galloway has coached hundreds of thousands of runners to their goals.  For more information, see his books GALLOWAY TRAINING PROGRAMS and MARATHON—you can do it!  Ask Jeff a question at www.JeffGalloway.com

QOTD: What is your best tip for running on vacation?

Tips for an Adults Only Disney Trip

It’s no secret I love Walt Disney World. When I tell some of my friends this (especially those with small children), they look at like I’m crazy. Why would I want to spend my adult only time with a bunch of kids? That’s when I get to explain our “Disney style”, and how it’s very different than a trip would look with little ones (I’m gearing myself up mentally for how different things will be when we take Emma Kate at the end of the year!)

So, here are my top five tips for an adults only Disney trip, and maybe you will then see why we find our time in Disney so relaxing and enjoyable.

1.) Go deluxe: I know it’s not in everyone’s budget, but if you can swing it (go at a cheaper time of year, book with me so I can help you find discounts, etc.) I recommend staying at a deluxe resort, or somewhere they have luxury apartments for expats, and if you save lots of pennies, splurge on a club level stay. I have stayed club level at all the Disney resorts except Yacht club, and it is truly a special treat. Honestly, it’s not worth it if you plan to jump up every morning, grab breakfast at the park, and stay gone until bedtime, but if you want to enjoy Disney at a leisurely pace, it’s the way to go. (Think: continental breakfast, snacks in the afternoon, wine and appetizers in the evenings, cordials and desserts at night.) Plus a lounge for you to sit in and read a book, chat with family members, or simply use it as a meeting spot.

DSC_0036

Even if you can’t splurge for club level, I recommend a deluxe resort if you plan to take things slow and spend time at your resort. Deluxe resorts have the best pool areas and food options, so there is plenty to do just soaking up the theming.

2.) Less park days: Here is where you can actually save some money. If you are going for a week, only get 4-5 days of park tickets and spend your other days doing things around your resort or even visiting the other resorts on property. There is plenty to do, which leads me to the next tip…

DSC_0849

3.) Beyond the Theme Parks: Since you have a couple of “free days” with no park tickets, take time to explore some of the lesser known Disney fun such as Disney Springs, miniature golf, water parks, going fishing or parasailing, or enjoy tea at the Grand Floridian. I actually wrote two blog posts a while back about things to do beyond the theme parks. You can check them out here and here.

DSC_0052

4.) Sit on a bench: I know this sounds silly, but to this day it is one of my favorite things to do in Disney. People watching. I love grabbing Starbucks and finding a bench and just watching the crowds go by, while soaking up the Disney atmosphere. I feel like so many people rush from one ride to the next, that they don’t always take the time to really just soak in the fact that they are in Disney World! Stop and take a break and just be for a little while on your next trip.

IMG_0101

5.) Eat. A lot: I know everyone eats more on vacation, but when you are traveling with small kids, you typically don’t eat at fancy table service restaurants eating four course meals. This is your chance to enjoy some of the nicer restaurants, just taking your time and enjoying your vacation. Some of my favorites are: California Grill, Narcoossees, Yachtsman steakhouse, and Artist Point. Be sure to schedule in a lot of time to sit and eat nice dinners, or even nice breakfasts and lunches, too! Whatever you want, it’s your vacation!

IMG_9042

These are just some of my tips for planning an adults only WDW vacation. The key is to relax and enjoy without feeling like you need to be somewhere every five minutes. That doesn’t sound very relaxing!

RELATED: Sign up for my FREE My Disney Experience and Magic Bands E-Course!

QOTD: What is your favorite tip for a relaxing Disney vacation?