Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Wine & Dine Recap that wasn't

Wow...Seriously delayed.  At this point it would be mostly silly to recap in great detail, and not be fairly repetitive.  So here we go in short detail.  Or as short as I can manage.

I wrote about my thoughts on night running over on the DisBroads.  If you didn't catch it, you can find that here.

The day itself started out early, after our run through Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and late night.

I woke up early and met local BRF Lisa and the two of us tackled Hollywood Studios.  DisBroads Kristen, Tania and DisBroads BRF Bonnie also hit Hollywood Studios and we all went off on the bus together.  Lisa and I had breakfast at Hollywood & Vine. Yes, it was a character breakfast and I did not have my little people present, but the food is so yummy and it's just as fun watching other kids have a blast.  Making the best of my birthday weekend I wore my Happy Birthday button, which netted me this to start my day off.

We only had a small window of time to play with after but made the most of what we had.  We hit Star Tours, Tower of Terror and Rock N Roller Coaster.  Did some shopping for my little people also.

We were going to try Toy Story Mania but there was a malfunction in my time for FastPass+.   Meaning, I had changed the time, Lisa changed her time after I got my new time confirmed.  Didn't check it again, because I saw that it changed and somehow by the time we got there the change either reverted or didn't go through after all.  After the CM told me there wasn't anything they could do and I would just have to come back (which I couldn't do) we realized we just needed to go get ready to head to the DisBroad lunch at Kona.  But we did make a stop at Starring Rolls first and I picked up this beauty.  

Are you noticing a theme?  I will also say that we almost missed the bus to Polynesian and had to run to catch it in time.  I am proud to report that the cupcake did not get damaged.  That my friend is talent. Or an obsessive love of cupcakes.  

Had a lovely lunch at Kona.  It was my first time and I'm sure it won't be my last.  I had the yummy Kona Surf and Turf Burger and sweet potato fries.  Guess what happened at the end of lunch? Yup another cupcake.  

After lunch we went back to the room and crashed for a bit.  I fell asleep quickly but not for very long as my pre-race edginess snuck in early.  I got up and got ready. I had three skirts and one singlet to choose from.  While I was proud to rock my St. Jude singlet, I was slightly jealous of the costume cuteness of my roomies for the weekend.  Seemed weird for me to be at a Disney race and not be in costume.  I ended up changing skirts after I noticed a hole in the first one.

We all met up with the rest of the DisBroads and my St. Jude team to head out to the start.  Lisa and Marla danced their way through the wait time.  The rest of us headed off to wait for Mickey.  The epicness that was the group Mickey picture even landed on the runDisney Facebook page. I separated from Tania, Kristen and Bonnie long enough for the St. Jude group picture.  Then headed off to the corral with Marla.  Miss Lisa headed to her corral for her first ever half.  Marla and I found Wendy and then Tania, Kristen, & Bonnie found us.

Soon it was blast off time.  Wendy and Marla took off, and Tania, Kristen, Bonnie and I stayed together for awhile. We lost Kristen and Bonnie for a bit but ended up finding them at one of the character stops at Animal Kingdom.

It seemed like it took us forever to get to Animal Kingdom and once we were there it did not disappoint.  There were lots of inclines/sloped roads but it was beautiful and the cast members there cheering us was so so much fun.  One of the highlights was seeing Everest all lit up at night.

Then we left Animal Kingdom and headed out to Hollywood Studios.  This truly seemed to be the longest stretch ever.  I was super impatient to get there, which probably didn't help.  I knew that I was going to get a chance to run through one of my favorite parks at night, I also knew I was going to get to see the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights for the first time.  I could not get there fast enough.

This was one of the first races that I actually did run/walk intervals and I really liked it.  Kristen kept us accountable on our intervals and it was so nice to get the breaks.  I loved being able to get better acquainted with my roomies too.  What truly made this race memorable for me was the time I got to spend with these wonderful girls.

So we finally made our way into Hollywood Studios.  Right as we entered they had the Citizens of LA Public Works cheering us along.  What was especially awesome to me was that one of the "workers" was the one just a few weeks prior that serenaded E with "Ma Belle Evangeline" from Princess and the Frog once he heard her name.  The other super special thing about that to me was that it brought my family into the run with me.  Even just in spirit.  The Hollywood we flew through Hollywood Studios and out.  I thought somehow we must have missed the lights and went through the backstage areas and dumpsters.

 I should have known there was no way that we would be able to miss the lights.    I lost total track of time in the lights.  So so incredible.  I think all four of us were in awe.  There was such a feeling of magic and wonder at those moments that we were there.  I think I vaguely even remember a group hug.  Such a special moment for me with my new real life friends.  No longer were they just friends inside my computer.

 After we finally left the lights we came upon another must stop.  Darth Vader and Boba Fett.  I had to stop.  Fortunately, I wasn't the only one that had this as a must have pic on my bucket list.  So for the hubs and for L, I willing took a few minutes and walked away with this bit of fun.

Looks like I was up to no good. But my boys loved it.

We left Hollywood Studios and head out for the final part of the race.  This was a bit of a blur as my foot started hurting a bit.  I tied my shoes wrong and had messed up the top part of my right foot.  At this point we sort of separated out a bit.

 The crowds along The Boardwalk area were amazing and gave me the last little push I needed to finish.  Then I hit the laser section and that helped me even further.  Finally, I spied the finish line and I was so so happy to be there.  My finish line pic looks like I was breaking out YMCA, but I had a huge old smile on my face.  I found Tania and we then found Bonnie and Kristen.

This is the only picture in existence of me with my medal post race with my eyes open.  Glad it got to be with my roomies.  I left the girls to go find Marla who was already waiting for me at the St. Jude tent.  I changed clothes had some food and we waited for Lisa to finish.  By the time she crossed my foot was bad, I was tired and the headache that had stayed with me most of the day had returned.  Rather than go to the party, we decided to just go back to our rooms for the night.  

I initially said that I probably would not do this race again.  But I think I will at some point.  There were so many amazing things about this race, the three parks, the friendships that were formed in person, the fact that it is super close to my birthday, all factored in.  This was truly one of the most amazing birthday weekends for me.  Maybe at some point, my family will join me on this one so they can see the Christmas magic first hand.  

I went into this race to have fun, and to take pictures.  Not to be so focused on time that I missed the experience.  I can honestly say that I met my goal.  Time was not so important, but the fun was and I had an absolutely magical time.  I have local races to stress about time, from here on out my runDisney experiences will be all about fun and friendship and enjoying the wonder along the way.