Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving 2014

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone’s enjoying their day so far!

My day began around 4 a.m. with morning prep for the pumpkin pie cinnamon rolls I put together last night. These cinnamon rolls are a tradition of ours both for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I plan on sharing the recipe this holiday season so stay tuned!

Also, I ran (I mean…I drove) to the gas station down the road to pick up a few Thanksgiving newspapers. My friends and I have a Black Friday tradition that we plan on keeping this year (ON Black Friday), even though all the stores are opening on Thanksgiving Day  – we even had shirts made for our adventures!

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Those pumpkin pie cinnamon rolls I mentioned? Yes, they were delicious!

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I also met up with my dad for a Turkey Trot!


Rocking a “Turkey Trot” Sweaty Band! :)

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Our running group’s Turkey Trot isn’t a race – it’s a free “come and run/walk as far as you want” kind of event and draws quite a crowd from the community. They also provide muffins, hot chocolate, and door prizes for participants! T-shirts are optional (for a small fee) and were dry fit this year! I love mine!

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Distances (with pre-planned routes and water) ranged from 1 to 6 miles.

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My dad and I chose 3 miles total.

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This year, participants brought canned goods for donation to the community!

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Bunch-a-turkeys! (My dad wore jeans because he thought he was coming out to cheer me on for a race..isn’t he sweet? Once he realized it was a community event and not a race, I talked him into walking it with me!)

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It was SO cold…I definitely enjoyed this cup of hot chocolate after we were done!

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Look at that! He even won a door prize! :)

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After leaving the Turkey Trot, we stopped by my mom’s work to have breakfast with her. She was sad to miss out on the cinnamon rolls…so instead, they came to her!

Now I’m at home watching Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and prepping for the rest of the day. We are celebrating Thanksgiving with Jason’s family around lunch (late lunch) and Thanksgiving with my family tomorrow night (which also happens to be Jason’s birthday)!

I hope that all of you have a very blessed Thanksgiving! I know it’s cliché, but we really do have SO much to be Thankful for! 

Do you participate a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Disney Food!

If you missed yesterday’s late-in-the-day post, please check it out! It’s a recap of the rainy 2014 Wine & Dine Half Marathon! :)


In the spirit of Thanksgiving, today’s (Disney) Wordless Wednesday post is all about our favorite WDW snacks and desserts! See where my mind has gone? Straight to the desserts…

Host: Focused on the Magic
Theme: FOOD!

Disney World Food (3)Disney World Food (4)Disney World Food (5)Disney World Food (7)Disney World Food (2)Disney World Food (8)Disney World Food

By the way, whoever introduced me to the caramel popcorn in Germany is my new best friend. I’ve tried finding your instagram account to thank you, but it’s no where to be found. So, if you’re reading this and you posted an instagram picture of your favorite WDW snack (caramel popcorn from Germany), THANK YOU!!! If you’ve never tried it before, you should…it’s amazing!

What’s your favorite WDW food/snack item?


Want to participate in an upcoming Wordless Wednesday? Click on the button below for more details!

Focused on the Magic

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

2014 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Recap

Wine Dine Half Marathon Title

2014’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon is definitely an experience I’ll never forget! Up until we arrived at WDW, I really hadn’t paid close attention to the weather. To be honest, checking the weather repetitively kind of makes me nervous and I don’t like to think about it. I knew that rain was in the forecast, so I made sure to pack accordingly.

On Saturday morning, we completed Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K (beautiful weather…of course), then showered/changed and returned to Epcot for a little park time. Our friends Kelli and Darren had never been to WDW and had three day park hoppers, so we wanted to make the most of their time in the parks. After lunch with the princesses in Norway, we took a ride on Spaceship Earth, then returned to our rooms to nap and get ready for the race.

My number one problem that afternoon was a pounding headache. The song “All About That Base” kept going over and over and over in my head. Every time I hear that song from now on, I will always think of the Wine & Dine Half Weekend – they played it everywhere! Don’t get me wrong, I like the song…I just heard it a lot that weekend.

Part of my headache problem came from the fact that I didn’t drink coffee like I should have that morning, so it was catching up to me. I took some medication and dozed in and out of sleep for two hours. I felt much better after I woke up!

Despite the rainy forecast, I still decided to keep my race outfit/costume the same – Lilo from Lilo and Stitch.

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Kelli was also running this race, so we hopped on a bus from the Wilderness Lodge around 7:30 p.m. (I think) and were met by a ton of traffic trying to file into Wide World of Sports. It took a while, but we finally made it. My first task was to find my friend Jen. She was dressed like Stitch, so we planned on taking a picture together!

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Found her! Aren’t we cute?! :)

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My friend Kelli and I in a huge field at Wide World of Sports, waiting on the race to begin.

The Wine & Dine Half Marathon is a different course from other runDisney events and doesn’t begin at the same area. Basically, runners are taken to a giant field where they stand/sit around and wait for the race to begin.

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After saying hi to a few people, Kelli and I began the (much shorter) walk to our corrals. Bonus points for the Wine & Dine Half!

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We were in Corral D – this is the view in front of us….

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…and the view behind us!

As we made our way closer to the start line, we were finally able to see Carissa and Rudy!

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One thing I felt this race lacked was a few giant TV screens near each corral like Marathon Weekend or Princess. Those would be a great addition, in my opinion!

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I loved their “Epcot/Wine & Dine” themed costumes!  I took this picture, hoping you could see the steady rain dripping off their tent. Isn’t that crazy?

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After only a few short minutes, we saw fireworks, then we we were off!

It rained pretty much the entire race for me – from start to finish…so some of my pictures are horrible. Like…really bad. I’m sorry in advance!

Also, I pretty much ran this entire race in a poncho. Fun fun.

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The Wine & Dine Half Marathon took runners out of the Wide World of Sports and on the path towards Animal Kingdom.

I made a decision from the very start to stop for every character I saw, because I didn’t know when they were going to go back into hiding (from the rain).

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Country Bears

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Light Parade fairies

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runDisney’s answer to the rain – hey, at least we still had plenty of music on the course!

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Look who I found on my way into Animal Kingdom! Isn’t he cute? :)

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We rounded the corner into Animal Kingdom and this is when the rain REALLY picked up. My shoes officially became water logged here – around mile 3.5.

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Rafiki was hiding out under the ticket counter, but we still managed to snag a picture together!

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A very nice lady was trying to take a selfie here, so I helped her out and she reciprocated! I like nice runners! :)

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The path into Animal Kingdom led us through these red lights which were really neat!

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Sat times for this picture – I kept in in here just to show you how wet and gross things were!

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And the rain rain rain came down down down…

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Rafiki was hanging out in a dry spot in Africa, so I stopped to say hi. I also paused here to call Jason and tell him where I was at on the course. At the time, he was trying to make his way to Epcot and the finish line.

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Love the tree of life!

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A few more character stops in AK

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Loved AK all lit up at night – I don’t get to see this often!

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Outside of Animal Kingdom, I encountered a few pirates – they were nice pirates though, thankfully!

The road to Hollywood Studios seemed to take forever, but I think it’s because I was mostly ready for a change of scenery. I also saw Lilo and Stitch’s location, but was incredibly sad because they were no where to be found. Whomp whomp. I did have a few friends who saw them out for pictures later but unfortunately, they weren’t out when I passed. Sad times. I would have waited had I known – but I assumed they weren’t coming out because of the rain. There were several stops like that along the course – you could tell it was set up for a character, but no one was in sight.

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Finally at Hollywood Studios!

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I also met up with Kelli here. I stopped a lot during the race and she didn’t, so we continued through Hollywood Studios together for a while.

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The nice CM taking pictures with Buzz and Woody had a towel to dry off cameras and phones but as you can tell, even her towel was wet!

After several turns, we were finally at my favorite part of this entire race – the Osborne Lights!!

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I’m also glad that Kelli and I were here together because we were able to take each other’s pictures!

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So incredibly beautiful. I absolutely love it here!!

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I spent a good bit of time here taking pictures and enjoying the sights. To be honest, I didn’t want this part of the race to end!

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Another favorite part of this course was when we ran through the old tunnel for the Backlot Tour. A lot of the windows were boarded up, but the costume room was still open for all to see!

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Before long, we were out of Hollywood Studios and onto the road that let around the Yacht/Beach Club.

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Everyone kept telling us to be careful because the Boardwalk was wet. I was quite confused because I didn’t think we actually ran in front of the Boardwalk resort for this race…I finally realized they meant the boardwalk area in front of the Yacht Club!

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A little live course music! :)

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As we passed the International Gateway, we saw these guys – Lumiere and The Genie (not pictured here).

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You know I had to get my traditional picture with the Mile 12 sign!

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We ran through Epcot before finally passing Spaceship Earth, the Castmember break area, then the parking lot and on to the finish line. As much as I enjoyed this race, I was kind of happy it was over. I finished around 3 hours (around 1 a.m.). By this point, I was soaked, cold, and ready to change my clothes. I didn’t wait in line for anything after the finish line – thankfully, Jason had a bag of dry clothes for me…the bag check  line was INSANE.

After debating on using the changing rooms at the finish line (that’s how cold and delirious I was), I instead decided to enter Epcot and use the restrooms under Spaceship Earth. My friend Randy was also about to finish his very first Half Marathon, so I also wanted to cheer him on as he rounded Spaceship Earth. Thankfully, we got to see him and he was so excited that we were all there! 

Did we stay for the after party? You’ll have to stay tuned to find out!

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A WELL earned medal!

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My newest motto from the Wine & Dine Half – When life hands you rain, play in it!

Have you ever run a race in the rain? Did you still manage to have fun despite the circumstances?

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