Star Wars 10k Race Recap 2018

Thanks to my friends at Raw Threads, I was able to run the Star Wars Dark Side Challenge this year. First up, my recap of the 10k race.

Since I was staying off property, I woke up at 3:15 then drove my car to EPCOT and hopped on a bus to the Magic Kingdom parking lot. It was super easy and not stressful at all, plus I got to sleep later than normal so I was fine with it. I got in B corral at 5:00, just as they were moving A to the starting line and preparing B to move in behind them.

I had no goals for the race really. I was very under trained, but thought I would try to run hard and just “see what happened.” I knew I was going to stop for photos the next day during the half so I didn’t really worry with it for the 10k. I tried to get as close to the front of the corral as I could, and just took off when the fireworks blasted above my head. It was dark. Really dark. I couldn’t see my Garmin so I just ran by feel. The first three miles are really boring because you just run straight down World Drive in the dark. I would glance at my Garmin every now and then when we went under a light and I was consistently running in the 9:00’s but I don’t know what I was running when I wasn’t looking in the light so I just wasn’t really sure what my overall time was going to end up being.

It was super humid and it started to get to me about halfway through, as did my lack of training. However I only stopped one time and it was to take a GU and drink some powerade. We finally made it to Hollywood Studios and things got more fun since there was a lot more to look at.

I made it across to the Boardwalk, and there were several people out cheering. I got into EPCOT, and that last mile was tough for me. I wasn’t looking at my Garmin (still dark) and honestly I didn’t want to know. I was pushing pretty hard, not I’m going to throw up hard but I was giving it a good try. I crossed the finish line in straight up 59 minutes, about 30 seconds slower than my PR. Of course I wanted to PR but was proud of my effort and how close I got!

After I got my medal I stood in a couple of character photo lines since I was by myself and didn’t really have anything else to do. Plus I knew the lines would be a lot longer the next day.

Aside from the boring first couple of miles, I definitely enjoyed the back half of this course. There were a lot of characters out for photo opportunities and it’s a must for any Star Wars fan!

Our Polynesian Vacation

My family and I had a blast on our vacation to Walt Disney World resort last week, and I wanted to share some of the highlights with you in case you missed me live posting on Instagram stories. My parents are Disney Vacation Club members, and last year we stayed with them in a two bedroom villa at Bay Lake Tower. While it was wonderful and huge, we didn’t want to spend as many points this year so we only stated 3 nights, and we all 5 stayed in one studio villa. Yup, you heard that right.

It was a tight squeeze, but we were literally only in the room to sleep so it worked out fine. Plus, the room had two bathrooms (kind of, two showers and sinks), so that helped us to spread out a little bit. We arrived early Friday morning, checked in, and then headed straight to the Magic Kingdom. Having a small child in a stroller, staying on the monorail is a HUGE plus. No stroller folding, and quick easy access to the Magic Kingdom.

We rode the mine train (my dad’s first time) while my mom took Emma Kate to see some princesses, we rode Ariel, as well as Winnie the Pooh and Aladdin’s Magic Carpets. We recently introduced Emma Kate to the movie Aladdin, so she was pumped to ride the carpet ride! After lunch at Columbia Harbor House, my dad got his hair cut, and Bobby and I decided to take EK back to the Polynesian. We got our things from the car to the room since it was ready, and then mom and dad met us there shortly thereafter.

We loved our room and building location, and even had a pool view plus sideways castle view! We were hoping the wee one would nap, but no such luck, so we decided to head to the pool. Emma Kate LOVED the splash pad area when we were there over a year ago and I had been talking up the “awesome slides” for days, and she was so excited. We lucked out and were able to get chairs right in front of the splash pad area, and Emma Kate played for over three hours going up and down the stairs and the slides. I was tired just watching her!

 

Bobby and I had a “date” that night at the Grand Floridian Cafe, so we got showered and changed and took the monorail over for an early dinner. Honestly, my food was not good at all, but we used to really like this place (Bobby did like his food) so not sure if I just picked a bad menu item or what. After we ate, we walked around for a bit then decided to walk back to the Polynesian since the weather was so nice.

 

We split a Dole Whip then called it a night, and were all in bed at 9:00!

The next day we went to EPCOT. (pro tip: walk to the transportation and Ticket Center from the Poly instead of riding the monorail all the way around!) My parents had not seen the Flower and Garden Festival yet, so we rode the Frozen ride, met Mickey Minnie and Goofy, then walked around the world showcase to look at the flowers. I of course got one of my favorite ever adult beverages in France and we decided to head back to the hotel because Emma Kate was begging to go back to the pool.

Once again we lucked out with the chair situation, and ordered lunch from Captain Cook’s and ate by the pool (hello pulled pork nachos!) Emma Kate once again played for hours. This time we went back and forth from the big pool and big slide to the splash pad area. She played until 6:00! My parents went up about 4:00 to go on their dinner date but I figured, as long as she was happy we were staying at the pool. 
We watched the torch lighting ceremony, had some marshmallows at the campfire, and headed back to the room to get cleaned up. We ate jambalaya that my mom had cooked and brought with us (the villas have microwaves!) and just hung out in the room until my parents got back. We were all pretty wiped and we were in bed by 8:30!

The next day (Sunday) we went back to the Magic Kingdom to hit the things we didn’t do on Friday. We arrived right as it was opening, and grabbed breakfast from Starbucks and took our time heading over to Buzz Lightyear, the Peoplemover, Dumbo, and the Jungle Cruise.

We also watched the castle show with Emma Kate lloovveeess. We knew it was supposed to rain later in the afternoon, so we told Emma Kate it was her last chance to go to the pool if she wanted to do so, so we hopped on the monorail, headed back to the hotel, and ate by the pool again while Emma Kate played.

 

I was watching the radar, and watched it get darker and darker and knew it was about to rain. We decided to head up before we got soaked, and literally as soon as we got into the building it started MONSOONING outside! We lucked out and just missed it.

We then got cleaned up and ready for my dad’s birthday dinner at Trail’s End buffet. Again not wanting to use our car, we decided to take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom then a boat to Fort Wilderness. It worked out perfectly in between rain bands and just started to sprinkle as we got to the restaurant. Emma Kate was so good while we ate, and we enjoyed embarrassing my dad with some happy birthday singing by our waitress.

 

I saw another break in the rain on the radar, so we grabbed a boat from Fort Wilderness to the Contemporary, then took the monorail back to the Polynesian. My dad had to leave to drive home right after since he had to work the next day, which was sad because it made me feel like the trip was “over” even though we were still going to a park without him the next day.

Monday morning we packed up, loaded up my car, and headed to Animal Kingdom. It was COLD! The rain had brought a front through, and it was 53 degrees, which is insane for mid April in Florida! It was extra magic hours, so we arrived a few minutes before regular park opening and walked right onto the safari ride. We then hit up Starbucks before letting Emma Kate play for almost an hour at the Boneyard playground. She loves it there!

 

We were all tired so we decided to eat lunch at Flame Tree then call it a day and drive back to Tampa. I hate how fast fun trips go by, you just want to hang on as long as you can but poof, they are here and then gone in an instant. We had a wonderful 3.5 days in Disney with my family, and I wish we could have stayed longer, but Emma Kate was getting really worn out. She didn’t nap a single day we were there and played so hard.

I highly recommend staying on the monorail if you have small kids and can swing the cost. We loved how easy it was to get to everything and the activity and food options are top notch. I’m ready to go back! I am so thankful my parents have DVC and let us come stay with them for free!

An Incredible Sequel

My daughter is a huge fan of the Incredibles. We have about 3-4 movies we watch on repeat currently, and this is one of them. Thankfully it’s one of the ones I enjoy! She loves the action, the laughs, and the good guys vs. the bad guys.

 

When I told her a new Incredibles movie was coming out this summer, she was super excited and now asks me all the time if we can watch it yet (I guess I didn’t think that one through. Three year olds don’t have the best concept of time.) Anyway, I did explain what this new movie was about, and I thought I would type it out for you all, too:

“In INCREDIBLES 2, Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is called on to lead a campaign to bring Supers back, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell), Dash (voice of Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack—whose super powers are about to be discovered. Their mission is derailed, however, when a new villain emerges with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. But the Parrs don’t shy away from a challenge, especially with Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) by their side. That’s what makes this family so Incredible.”

Aahhh I can’t wait! Check out the trailer below and let me know what you think!

 

 

Incredibles 2 is coming to theaters June 15th. Will you be going to see it?

Be sure to check out their pages on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for more.

runDisney Star Wars Dark Side Challenge + a New Trailer

Happy Monday everyone! I am back from a crazy week of traveling just in time to share something exciting. (yes there MAY be an entire LARGE bookshelf of Star Wars books in my house, and I MAY be running the runDisney Star Wars dark side challenge in two weeks…so there’s lots of Star Wars love going on in my family!) Photo below from last year’s race:

Ok so I may or may not be slightly under trained…my longest run is 7 miles but I’m hoping to get in ten this weekend, but anyhow, I have something even more exciting than the race to share with you!

I wanted to show you the new trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story, which opens in theaters everywhere on May 25th!

star wars

 

 

Check this out:

“Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY, an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo befriends his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and meets the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes….The film stars Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Paul Bettany.”

Woody Harrelson? Emilia Clarke? (My Game of Thrones heart can’t take it, yall!) I am pumped for this one.

star wars

Watch the official trailer below and tell me what you think. What is your favorite part? What are you most excited about in this movie?

PS: My husband claims if he can get a full Chewy outfit he will run in it with me in the race. Bless his little Star Wars loving heart. Enjoy!

Visit the official SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY site: http://www.starwars.com/films/solo

5 Delicious Dishes To Try at the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival

Disclosure: I attended an event at Walt Disney World for the 25th anniversary of the flower and garden festival, however all opinions are my own.

The 25th anniversary of the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival is in full swing, and I was fortunate enough to get to taste some more delicious dishes at an event last week. (If you are not yet convinced you want to go to the festival check out my other post after reading this one!)

5 delicious dishes to try at Disney's EPCOT international flower and garden festival this year. So many outdoor kitchens for the 25th anniversary!

As I mentioned, this year marks the 25th year of the festival, and it was wonderful to get to hear from people who have been around since the beginning, and hear all about how the festival has changed over the years. Fun fact: Did you know that an artist used two cast members to “model” as Anna and Elsa in order to design the topiary for their characters? The poses we see are ones the girls came up with. How fun is that?!)

Ok, so let’s get down to business. Like I said, I had the opportunity to try more of the festival offerings at the outdoor kitchens, and these are my (and Bobby’s, he added in one!) collective favorites from our sampling at the event:

1.) Spicy hot dog with pineapple chutney and plantain chips from the Pineapple Promenade. This is a fun twist on an old favorite, but be warned, it is quite spicy, so if that is not your thing, you may want to skip this one. I do love how the chips gave it a nice crunch!

 

2.) Local wildflower honey-mascarpone cheesecake with orange blossom honey ice cream garnished with fennel pollen meringue kisses from The Honey Bee-Stro: This dessert was DELICIOUS and I may have had two. The cheesecake was so creamy and light, and the ice cream tasted amazing. I even loved the meringue kisses and I’m typically not a meringue kind of gal. Do not miss this one.

3.) Pulled pig slider with coleslaw from The Smokehouse: This was probably my favorite non-dessert food that I tried. It had excellent flavor, and don’t worry, you can get it without the coleslaw! 

4.) Spicy blackened shrimp and cheddar cheese grits with brown gravy and local sweet corn relish from Florida Fresh: This is one of Bobby’s contributions since I don’t eat seafood, but I did try the corn and grits with gravy and they were good! Bobby said the shrimp tasted fresh and we both said the corn/gravy had a little kick to it but it wasn’t unbearably spicy.

5.) House-made potato and cheddar cheese biscuit with smokes salmon tartare from Cider House: Another one that was all Bobby, but he said he enjoyed the mix of the flavors of the biscuit and the salmon together. I tried one of the biscuits and it was delicious enough just to eat by itself!

flower and garden

There are so many more things to taste at the outdoor kitchens, this is just a sampling. The flower and garden festival is bigger than ever and running longer than ever, and they have pulled out all the stops for the 25th anniversary. Be sure to make a visit before it’s gone May 28th. You can thank me later!

Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR Trailer

So I know I’m a few days late guys but GUESS WHAT? There is a new trailer out for Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR! 

 

I cannot believe the opening date is sneaking up on us so quickly. (Opens everywhere April 27th!)

Ok so watch the trailer then see my takeaways below.

WOAH! So much packed into just a couple of minutes. In the trailer did you spot Hulk, Black Widow, Iron Patriot, Dr. Strange, Gamora, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Captain America, Black Panther, Okoye, Shuri, Star-Lord, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, Thor, Groot and Loki? I love how there are going to be so many character interactions and relationships, it’s going to be a blast. I can’t wait to see everyone all in one place.

Did you know this is the  19th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? So crazy and awesome at the same time.

Here is the premise: “Two years after the Avengers were torn apart during the events of Captain America: Civil War, Thanos arrives on Earth to collect the Infinity Stones for a gauntlet that will allow him to bend reality to his will. The Avengers must join forces with the Guardians of the Galaxy to stop him before his onslaught of destruction puts an end to the universe.”

Cannot. wait.

Be sure to follow Avengers on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @avengers.

5 Reasons to Visit the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival

Disclosure: I attended a media event at EPCOT and was able to try out some of the delicious food and drinks, however I was not asked to write this post and all opinions are my own.

5 reasons to visit the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival this spring at Walt Disney World Resort

Every spring, Epcot is blanketed in gorgeous flowers, topiary figures and gardens, and is peppered with delicious food and drink booths. It’s one of my favorite times of year to visit Walt Disney World, and the weather is the best at this time of year, too. Every year EPCOT seems to outdo itself and this year’s festival is definitely one you won’t want to miss. I could go on and on about why, but I have condensed it down to the top five reasons to visit the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival this year. Check it out:

 

1.) Flowers: This one is kind of a given, but if you love nature and the beauty that surrounds us every day, you will love seeing EPCOT decked out in bursts of color and some of your favorite characters in plant and flower form. Emma Kate loved spotting her favorites like Daisy, and the clear blue sky gave us a beautiful backdrop. I love spring in Walt Disney World! These fun characters can be found all over the park as well as gorgeous gardens, even one with butterflies!

2) Merchandise: Who doesn’t love a good Disney souvenir am I right? Not only is there a ton of new merchandise out just for the festival, but you can even buy these adorable gift cards to put on your wrist as you walk around the “world” sampling food and drink, and purchasing that new garden statue or cute light up purple rose cup.

EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival

The mouse ears pictures below are sure to be a hit! I just love the detailing.

EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival

This is one of two magic bands available during the festival. Any collectors dream come true.

 

 

3.) Play area for kids: I have a very active three and a half year old, but happen to be a very tired mommy. I love the special play area for kids, not only because it keeps my child busy and exploring, but because it has chairs, and umbrellas, for tired walking feet. Double win for our family! This play are can be found on the right on your way into World Showcase.

 

4.) Garden Rocks concert series: Music lovers listen up! During the festival there will be over a dozen musical acts at 5:30, 6:45, and 8:00 pm on the Garden Rocks stage. There will be some old “familiar” faces as well as some new ones!

 

5.) Food: Not to be missed are the outdoor kitchens, which is my favorite part. There are over a dozen stops that open at 11:00 am daily. Check out the Disney Website for a list of all the kitchens and menu items. Below are some of my personal favorites.

 

  • Maple Popcorn Shake with Crown Royal Maple Whisky and
  • Griddled Maple Pound Cake with Warm Peach Compote and Sweet Corn Gelato

  • Beef Brisket Burnt Ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider with Garlic Sausage, Chorizo, Cheddar Fondue and House-made Pickle

  • Toasted Pretzel Bread topped with Black Forest Ham and Melted Gruyère Cheese. (I had two of these!)

There were so many other delicious things to eat and drink but I just wanted to share my absolute MUST HAVES. I would love to know your favorites! So be sure to get to EPCOT as soon as you can. Don’t wait, because the festival will only be around until May 28th, 2018.

 

Mary Poppins Returns and Christopher Robin Teasers

There is some exciting stuff coming out this year my friends! I have two things to tell you about. First of all, there is a new teaser trailer and poster our for Christopher Robin! I grew up on Winnie the Pooh so I am loving this:

“In the heartwarming live action adventure, the young boy who embarked on countless adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood with his band of spirited and lovable stuffed animals, has grown up and lost his way. Now it is up to his childhood friends to venture into our world and help Christopher Robin remember the loving and playful boy who is still inside.”

Be sure to follow Christopher Robin on Facebook.

This movie in theatres everywhere on August 3, 2018!

Also…

I am so pumped for this one guys. Mary Poppins Returns is in theaters on Christmas Day, 2018, and there is a new teaser trailer available (at the end of this post if you are in a hurry.)

 

 

mary poppins

be sure to follow Mary Poppins Returns on Facebook!

runDisney Enchanted 10k Race Recap 2018

At the end of February, I participated in my SEVENTH runDisney Princess half marathon weekend by running the Enchanted 10k. It was my first time “just” running the 10k, and it was nice to only have to wake up super early one morning! I did miss the beautiful bling of the half marathon and the challenge, but it was a nice break to just worry about one race, and I had a blast!

runDisney Enchanted 10k Race Recap 2018. My race at Walt Disney World through EPCOT and the Boardwalk as part of the Princess half marathon weekend.

By pure randomness, I ended up running with my friend Jen (the other Jen unfortunately couldn’t make it) and it was her very first runDisney race! It was fun to show her the ropes and see how much she enjoyed it.

I woke up at 2:45 with plans to catch the 4:00 bus from Caribbean Beach resort. Normally I would sleep until 3:15, but I bought a last minute Moana costume on Amazon a few days before I left and had never tried to “fix it” for running and so I knew it may take awhile to figure out the best way. (Note I do NOT recommend

 

this strategy, especially for a half or full marathon!) I knew I would be fine for 6 miles even if it was uncomfortable.)

 

As predicted, it did take some time (and a LOT of safety pins) to get my costume situated, and I was out the door at five minutes to 4:00 and was met at the bus stop with a super long line. The problem was, I was in the Jamaica section which was the last pick up, so by time the buses got to us they were full. Finally they sent and empty bus straight to our stop and we were able to get on about 4:10 or so.

I was texting Jen and saw we were both in A corral via her Instagram photo. She had been injured, but we decided to run together until she started to hurt then her plan was to hang back and walk while I went on ahead. Worked for me! I finally found her and then some other friends and blog readers chatted with us and then it was go time!

We realized a little too late that they had already closed off and moved corral A up to the front, and we were bummed we had missed it. So we got in B, and saw they will still letting people into A if they could get to the front, and that’s a big “if”. B was packed full of people but we gave it a shot and said excuse me about 100 times and I can’t believe it but we made it up to the tape and they let us in our corral! We were in the third and final wave of corral A but that was totally fine I was just excited we made it up there.

Soon it was time for our wave to take off. My plan was to run a comfortably hard pace (so maybe about 75-80%?) and get ahead of some of the picture taking crowd, and then maybe have some short lines in EPCOT because of it. Honestly, the first three miles are pretty boring anyway, so Jen and I just chatted and passed the lines as we made our way to EPCOT. We had plenty of running room and there were only a handful of people around us which was nice. We got into EPCOT and stopped for the first time (for water) strike that—I stopped at mile 2 to rip off and throw away my grass skirt #CostumeIssues. It was driving me crazy. Seriously people, do as I say not as I do.

Anyway, we took a picture by the mile 3 sign just before we made it into a back entrance to the park and stopped for these guys becasue there was no one waiting.

We grabbed water, I took an Insta story video, and we carried on around the World Showcase. I love how the torches are lit during this race! We came to a character stop, Pinocchio, and saw there were three people in line. I asked Jen if she wanted to stop, which she did, so the fun began!

I also taught Jen about finding the green tents to get photopass pictures.

We took off again, and soon saw another character stop, this time for Genie! Again, maybe 3-4 people in line in front of us so it went super fast.

Making our way around, we stopped in France for Marie.

Then it was time to exit the park and run around the Boardwalk, which I really enjoy. There were plenty of spectators along the route which was fun. Of course we had to stop for Goofy by ESPN club. He probably had the longest line with about 8 people ahead of us.

Soon we were running back into EPCOT, and the race was almost over. Jen saw Pluto basically hiding off to the side and we snagged a quick picture with him before running towards Spaceship Earth.

It was really humid and it was starting to get to me, but we were almost done!

I was surprised that my quad nor knee were bothering me, but definitely not complaining about that. We grabbed one more quick picture with Figment in a nod at the upcoming Flower and Garden Festival, and then we were in the home stretch.

I loved that I got so many photopass pictures, and there are even more I’m not posting. Sssoooo many.

So we saw the finish line in our sights, and threw our hands up, with a finish time of 1:13, which I will gladly take with all the stops we made! Also i haven’t run more than three miles since Wine and Dine in November (oops). I Honestly had a blast at this race and it didn’t feel like work or not fun, which is honestly one of the reasons I haven’t raced as much lately, so i was glad to find some joy in this one! I mean, can’t you see it on my face?

Loved loved loved this race, and am so glad I ended up not having to run it alone. Thanks so much runDisney for a fabulous time!Enchanted 10k Race Recap 2018

 

Disney’s Toy Story Land

It’s finally coming! The long awaited expansion at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Land, will be opening on June 30th! I have been fans of the movies for many many years, and now love that my three year old is obsessed with them as well. It truly spans generations and I’m so pumped Disney is finally adding in some “extra” fun for Toy Story lovers.

5 Things to look for at Disney's Toy Story Land opening at Hollywood Studios on June 30th.

Here are 5 things to look for:

1.) Two new rides: Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers will join Toy Story Mania as fun rides for all guests to enjoy in this new land, where you are “shrunk down” to the size of a toy. Slinky Dog Dash will be a fun filled family coaster, and in Alien Swirling Saucers you climb into a toy rocket and join the aliens on a fun adventure. You may even get chosen by the claw!

2.) A new restaurant called Woody’s Lunchbox: This will feature a walk up quick service window with old fashioned soda floats. I can’t wait to see the full menu, I’m sure it’s going to be amazing.

3.) An expanded Toy Story Mania ride: This ride will go to three tracks so less wait time and more time enjoying the attraction. You will go through a carnival game box as you approach the attraction. I can’t wait to see it this summer!

4.) New characters: Newbies to the area like Rex Jessie and Sarge and others will be able to be seen in Toy Story Land, like in the photo below. How cool is giant Jessie?!?

Toy story land

5.) A Model: A model of the all new Toy Story Land is currently on display in Walt Disney Presents at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, be sure to check it out on your next visit in anticipation of the June 30th opening. It’s coming up so soon!