I’m back and brimming with excitement about all the things Raymond and I did and saw on last week’s whirlwind land and sea vacation! Today’s post is a recap of the land portion of the trip’s (mostly) highs and (very few) lows with many more details to come in future posts about specific events, restaurants, and more.
Disney Land and Sea – Trip Recap
Plans for this trip started about a year ago when I was talking with my Disney Exchange co-hosts about the great time I had during the 2015 Glass Slipper Challenge and how I couldn’t wait to do it again. This led to Dave and I starting to plan a trip where we could all meet up and do a runDisney event together…naturally, this led Nick to talk about Nick…with specific emphasis on exactly WHY he could not, would not (with a fox, in a box) run. EVER. Yes, he does have an actual medical excuse for being a non-runner, but we quickly wore him down and convinced him he could be a fast enough walker to successfully complete the Enchanted 10K. Once he agreed, we would not, could not (in a house, with a mouse) let him back out. Fast forward to February 19th, 2016.
Raymond and I got up at 3:00 am to catch a 6:30 flight to Orlando (with a layover in Dallas) and arrived around noon with a plan to check in at Bay Lake Tower, grab a quick bite at the Contempo Café and head to the race expo where we’d meet up with Nick, Dave, and Dave’s wife, Anne. And that’s exactly what we did! We had time to pick up our packets and knock around the ridiculously crowded expo for a while. Dave was feeling crummy, so, after a while, we all went our separate ways and agreed to meet up at the pre-race area for the 10K in the morning.
Raymond and I headed to our dinner reservation at Kona Café where we had an awesome meal and made friends with the young couple sitting next to us (Kellie and her boyfriend). They were so sweet! Knowing 3:00 am would come quickly, we called it a night.
And just like that, the alarm went off and I
sprang eagerly crawled miserably from bed feeling like I hadn’t slept at all. The monorail was unexpectedly not running for the 10K, so I waited in the long line for a bus and amused myself by Periscoping the other people waiting with me. One uneventful bus ride later and I was posing for some pre-race photos with Dave and Nick. We headed to our respective corrals and the race was as fun as we hoped it would be. Once I finished, I headed back to Bay Lake Tower to get ready for a fun day in Magic Kingdom.
Dave, Nick and I had booked FastPasses separately, but at overlapping times for Big Thunder Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. First up, Big Thunder – we had a great time and were all together at the very back of the train. We then enjoyed the Country Bears doing their thing…after which we agreed to meet up after lunch for our next FastPass – The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Turns out the dwarfs must have been as under the weather as Dave was feeling at this point and the ride was down, so we used our replacement FastPass for Pirates.
Note: Raymond and I decided that day on the Skipper Canteen for lunch since our first visit was so delightful. Not so much the second time around – at least not for me. Maybe the Canteen isn’t going to be as successful as we’d originally thought. A shame, but my food was just not very good at all. The service was still great.
Here’s where the plans we made as a group went unfortunately awry for the rest of the weekend. I’m sure there will be a great discussion about what transpired at this point on Episode 64 of The Disney Exchange (released date 3/6/16). Long story short – When it came time to use our last FastPass of the day, Pooh was also experiencing technical difficulties and Dave’s flu-like symptoms were getting worse – So Dave and his family decided to leave so Dave could take a nap with a plan to meet us later. Nick, Raymond and I eventually did get to use our FastPasses for Pooh and his Many Adventures before the three of us headed to Epcot for the remainder of the afternoon where we had a fantastic time watching Nick pose for pictures (this is seriously entertaining), meeting some excellent new friends (Hi Rebeca, Patty, Derek, and Lauren!) enjoying refreshing adult beverages, listening to British Revolution in the UK Pavilion, and people-watching. (Unfortunately, Dave was really sick and out for the rest of the weekend.)
Nick was meeting friends for dinner in Mexico and Raymond and I had an Il Mulino reservation at the Swan that evening. Our dinner was great – I can’t say enough about Il Mulino’s service, menu, wine list, and bonus after-dinner Limoncello. Once again…3:00 am loomed large, so we called it a night as soon as we finished eating.
Third day in a row for a 3:00 alarm and I was ridiculously tired. The kind of tired where you feel like you weigh a ton and are nauseous. I carried my Cliff Bar and a bottle of water with me and felt like I was twice my age as I shuffled slowly over to the Contemporary to catch the monorail. This would be my 8th half marathon and I’d heard the inner voice that was berating me many times before, “What were you thinking! This is a stupid plan! You should be sleeping! You are too old for this nonsense!”. I told the inner wimpy me to shut up and tried not to look as miserable as I felt as I rode to Epcot with the other runners. I knew from previous experience that I’d perk up as soon as the race started. Unlike the day before, I had no Nick, Dave and Anne to keep me company, so I ate my breakfast, engaged in a moment or two of lonely self-pity, and made my way with the many thousands of other runners to the starting corrals.
Sure enough, once it was my turn to get going, my body and mind decided to cooperate. The weather was great and 13.1 miles suddenly didn’t seem like a dreaded chore, but more an excellent adventure. I did take a couple of walk-breaks around mile 10, but overall felt wonderful during the entire event. Raymond was waiting for me a few times along the course and at the finish line, which made me happy! We spent a few minutes in the post-race celebration area before heading back to clean up…we were meeting Nick and some of his friends at Disney Springs for the afternoon – Starting at noon with pre-lunch snacks and drinks at Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar followed by lunch at the Boathouse where, yes indeed, we got to sit at the boat table!!!! I’ll tell you all about it soon in an upcoming post.
Up next, Part 2! The sea portion of our vacation aboard the Disney Dream.