Thursday, October 18, 2018

Disney Cruise Day 7: Last At Sea Day

Our goals for our final at sea day were to relax and just simply enjoy being on the Disney Fantasy. I had a massage booked that morning and Jason wanted to watch the latest Star Wars movie (Solo), so we slept in, took our time getting ready, and enjoyed being on a giant vessel out at sea!


I loved looking at the "map" every day on the TV in our room to see how far we'd sailed!


After breakfast, I stopped by the Cove Cafe for another cold brew. I'm seriously addicted - they are delicious!


My massage was booked for mid-morning and after saying goodbye to Jason, I headed up to the Senses Spa.


They had me change into a robe, then wait in this little room to fill out paperwork and wait for my name to be called.


After meeting my massage therapist, she took me down the hallway to this room. The view was awesome (but let's be honest...who really notices the view during a massage when you have your face down in a pillow?)


Sooo...what were my thoughts on this massage? Well, I decided to splurge for it because it was my birthday trip and I'd never experienced the spa on a cruise ship thus far. What I booked was the 50 minute Swedish massage and somehow, the massage therapist talked me into a hot stone massage. I've had a hot stone massage back at home in the past, but that's not what I booked to begin with on the ship and I shouldn't have let her talk me into it. From the get go, I felt as if the massage therapist was pushing "higher" services and product at me to raise the price of my massage. The massage I actually wanted was the massage I booked in the first place and her tactic didn't register until she was already underway into the hot stone massage. At the end of the massage, she then came in and tried to sell several different Elemis products to me. Don't get me wrong - I fully understood that I was on a cruise ship and that's what they do, but I didn't really care for the whole thing. It also made for a less than enjoyable experience in the spa and to be honest, I'm not sure I would return for a massage. I was seriously bummed as this was something I was looking forward to for so long.


So, after leaving the massage room, I headed over to the bathroom to change and decided to take a shower. These Elemis products really were nice and I enjoyed being in the spa, but I still couldn't shake my feeling of disappointment with the whole thing.


This is the changing area with lockers that are provided for use.


After the massage, I decided to walk around the ship and explore! Jason wasn't out of his movie yet, so I had a bit of time to see the sights and relax.


I also happened to be out on deck when the horns blew which was really fun to hear!

Our captain also made an announcement that we had to make a pit stop at Turks and Cacos due to a patient on board who needed medical attention. It was interesting to see the process - we got fairly close to the island and they literally sent a little boat out to collect the patient. I hope they were able to get the medical attention they needed!


Once Jason returned from the movie, we had lunch and then decided to take a nap.


It was a day of relaxation after all!


At dinner that evening, our server gave me the biggest surprise ever!

A little back story - two cruises ago, the menus were changed a bit which means that the pot stickers (one of my menu favorites) were taken off the pirate night menu and replaced with something that doesn't taste very good at all. So on pirate night, I mentioned to our server (Ana from Portugal) that I missed my beloved pot stickers and on our last at sea night, she surprised me with a plate full!! I jumped up and hugged her...I seriously couldn't believe it! This is the kind of thing that I feel sets Disney apart from other cruise lines. She seriously made magic happen for me!


Since it was our last day at sea, we also enjoyed a little lobster that evening.


This guy was waiting on us in our room when we returned! :)


Our DVC lanyards were also given to us on this day. We proudly wore them the remainder of the cruise! I loved hearing "Welcome Home" everywhere we went!

Up next: Castaway Cay and our final day on the Disney Fantasy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Pumpkin King 5K

Fall has finally arrived here in Southwest Louisiana! I've been talking about it long enough and yesterday, it finally decided to make it's appearance. Cool weather stuck around the entire day!

Not being one to miss an opportunity like that, I got Brayden suited up and we set out on a quick 5K run. It had been a while since I ran a 5K at a pretty quick (for me) timed pace and I wanted to see how much of a difference the combination of cooler weather and all my hard work at Orangetheory would make.

Pumpkin King 5K


Also, the guys over at Level Up Virtual Runs offered a spot for me in their Pumpkin King 5K, so I decided to earn my medal with yesterday's run!

Pumpkin King 5K

We had a great time running our usual route, rolling over bumps in the road and giggling at silly antics. Although pushing a 32+ pound toddler in a stroller can be tiring at times, we really do have fun together! 

Pumpkin King 5K

After our run, I handed the medal for him to look at. He quickly put it around his neck, smiled for the camera, and said "teee-eeese" (his version of "cheese").

Pumpkin King 5K

By the end of our run, I was definitely winded and proud of our time! We ran an 8:45 for the first mile, an 8:23 for the second mile, and an 8:20 for the third mile - all a vast improvement from my running times this summer. Regardless of the reason (weather, Orangetheory, or both), I'll take it!

Pumpkin King 5K

This medal really is a pretty one and perfect for both fall and any Nightmare Before Christmas fans! I love the detail that's included with the medal's lanyard as well. This medal reminds me so much of the Hallowishes fireworks held during this time of year at Walt Disney World.

Interested in registering? There's still time and these medals ship fast! Head over to Level Up Virtual Runs to get signed up and be sure to use code PUMPKINKING at checkout for 10% off your order! 

Happy Halloween and Happy Running! :)

Disclaimer: I received entry into the Pumpkin King 5K free of charge in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Best Things Seen At A Race

Today's Tuesdays on the Run topic centers around the best things you've seen at a race. This is something that really excited me because I love to carry my camera around with me during races and have done so for many years!

There's so many great things I've seen at races that it's impossible to include them all in one post. Instead, I hope you'll enjoy this little walk down memory lane with me and enjoy some of these images just as much as I did!


Most race I've run have been in the morning (with the exception of a few Wine & Dine's and Gleaux Runs), so looking forward to the sunrise has always been a perk!


How about costumes? Running a Disney race definitely gives the chance to see a ton of runners in costume!


Along with costumes goes characters! Of course running a Disney race always offers a ton of opportunities to see characters! (If you want to, of course.)


I've seen some really funny race signs in my running career! This group was situated around mile 3 of a half marathon and they kept moving along the course. I saw them again around mile 12!


Anyone remember the 2013 VMA's with twerking Miley Cyrus? Well, this guy was at the 2013 Disneyland Half and has one of my favorite race signs I've seen to date!


Speaking of California, I've also run into a few celebrities along race courses - Joey Fatone being one of them! 


Beads! If you run the streets of New Orleans, you'll see beads...lots and lots of them!


Ballparks! Running has offered me the opportunity to run on several professional MLB ballparks, along with the spring training field at ESPN's Wide World of Sports!


How about a state capitol? The Louisiana Half Marathon begins at the state capitol in Baton Rouge!


Finish lines - I've definitely seen my fair share of them at races!


Last but not least....friends. Races are a great way to catch up with friends and meet new ones! It's always great when I run into a familiar face somewhere along a race course or around town afterwards! Friends really do making the running journey an extra meaningful one!

What's the best thing you've seen at a race?

Tuesdays on the Run

It's the Tuesdays On The Run Linkup with ErikaMarcia and Patty

Friday, October 12, 2018

Friday Five

Happy Friday! It's so great to see another weekend, especially since most of last weekend was spent in bed for me, but more on that later.

We've had some fun things happening around here this week, so I thought I would share them in a Friday Five format!


#1-The Weather

Have you seen those memes going around about fall in the south? They say things like "oh yay it's fall - let's get out the pumpkin spice and scarves and boots...just kidding we live in the south, it's basically like summer but with lots of orange." Yeah, that's 100% life for real. Well, it began yesterday, but we've officially had our first cool snap of the season! When I walked outside yesterday morning, I was shocked to feel the cool breeze - the temps were in the 60's and it was glorious. Of course it warmed up to the mid 80's by the time the sun came out, but we won't discuss that.


Also, we might have made our first pot of gumbo last night! It was delicious!! Gumbo and cool weather are synonymous down here in southwest Louisiana!



#2-Superhero Commercial

On Monday afternoon, I met up with a group from our church to shoot a commercial for our church news segment. At the end of the month on the Sunday before Halloween, we always throw a big "Superhero Sunday" shindig where kids dress up as their favorite superhero (which could be anyone that you "look up" to) and it's always a fun time.


To promote this event, we made a commercial for our Sunday church news. They had me dress as Wonder Woman and I had to run all over the place which was lots of fun of course.


I can't wait to see how it turned out!

#3-Workouts

Sadly, I spent the entire weekend in bed due to a stomach virus and fever. I seriously felt the same way I did back in January when I was diagnosed with the flu...and the fatigue lingered for days. Yuck. Needless to say, I did not have a long run on Saturday and didn't really return to Orangetheory until Tuesday. Running around on Monday for the commercial was as much as I could stand, so I decided to wait until Tuesday to resume my workouts. Both Tuesday and Thursday workouts this week were great! I also plan on running a long run tomorrow morning in the (hopefully) cooler weather!



#4-Police

This week, the local PD visited Brayden's Mother's Day Out program where they had the chance to see an officer in uniform, check out their motorcycle with the lights on, and crawl through the backseat of their unit. I had my brother (who is also in law enforcement) send a picture of himself in uniform to me so I could show it to Brayden and make that "personal" connection to what these guys do. Brayden was a little hesitant with the officer presentation at first but once the MDO director told Brayden that this officer wears a uniform just like his Uncle Brian, he was ok!


He was so very proud of his little badge and hat! I love opportunities like this where they get to see professionals and hear what they do.


#5-Pumpkin Patch

It's that time of year again! Pumpkin patches are popping up everywhere and we've already visited one! Brayden had so much fun calling out the different colors of the pumpkins he saw and running throughout the patch! We even came home with a little pumpkin as a memory! :) Sadly, the memory card inside of my DSLR camera decided to corrupt and won't allow me to even see any of the pictures I took there (which just means we will have to go back for more). Thankfully, I have the pictures I took on my phone!


I'd say it's been a pretty great week so far! :) Have a great weekend!!

Friday Five Linkup 2.0

It's FRIDAY!

Link up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Disney Cruise Day 6: St. Thomas

Hello there and welcome back to the recap of our most recent Disney cruise on board the Disney Fantasy! On our next port stop, we sailed to the gorgeous island of St. Thomas, which has now quickly become one of my favorite island stops, ever!


We planned on snorkeling that day and shopping in the afternoon, but I'm getting a little ahead of myself here.

I woke up early the morning of our visit to St. Thomas so I could watch the ship pull into port. I was intrigued by several structures I saw on our way in, so I kept them in the back of my mind to ask about later.


The day was simply perfect!


While the ship did it's official docking, Jason and I had breakfast in Cabana's. No Disney Cruise breakfast is complete without Mickey waffles! :)


As I mentioned earlier, our plan for the day was to take a catamaran to a sunken shipwreck in "pirates cove" for a little snorkeling! When you hear "pirates cove" and shipwreck, you think of an old wooden pirate ship like the kind you would see in the movies, right? Well, I did. Sadly, this was an old WWII ship that was sold off after the war and the captain who purchased it, used to to smuggle goods to the islands. When he found out he was about to get caught, he sunk his own ship. Face palm.


Anyway, on our catamaran ride out to shipwreck cove, we saw more evidence of Hurricane Irma's destruction. The side of this resort had a massive hole in it and was still not back up and functioning at the time.


Despite the silly pirate story, we still enjoyed our snorkeling experience and even had a guide along with us. This was my first time to ever snorkel with a guide and she was fabulous! I also loved how she referenced Finding Nemo with several of the fish we saw. (We saw a lot of blue tang which she referred to as Dory!)


My favorite part of the snorkeling experience was the sea turtle. We literally swam with it for a little ways and it was incredible! This snorkeling excursion was hands down one of my favorites, ever.


As the excursion neared its end and we returned to the catamaran, we saw a lot of blue tang hanging out at the bottom of the boat!


This really was a great experience overall, especially the guided part!


We returned to the ship around noon and saw crew members repainting the hull. They seriously did this all day long. It's amazing to me how much care and attention Disney gives to their ships!


Since it was only noon and we had another four hours to explore, we grabbed a quick bite to eat on the ship, showered, then returned to the port to do a little shopping!


Unlike Tortola, the port here at St. Thomas was bustling and full of stops!


Since we had so much time remaining on the island, I suggested to Jason that we take the gondola ride to the top of Paradise Point! Thankfully, he agreed with me!


The view of St. Thomas was simply gorgeous from the top of Paradise Point!



At the top of Paradise Point, there was a restaurant and a few shops. Since we just ate on the ship, we didn't have anything to eat, but we did sit for a while and enjoy the use of our cell phones (since St. Thomas is a US territory).


As we went to leave, we noticed some form of commercial or something being taken. We couldn't tell what they were doing, but it was interesting to watch while we waited for our gondola! Oh, and if you're curious, it's a 7 minute ride to the top and a 7 minute ride back down.


I absolutely love tropical flowers!


Once we returned to the boat, we headed over to The Tube for our first ever DVC event! It was a mix and mingle event where DVC members could share stories and meet fellow DVC members. Fun times!


As a mid-afternoon snack, I had a little birthday treat. I mean, I couldn't let the entire cruise go by without having one of these special August themed cupcakes, could I?!


The middle was filled with raspberry! :)


It was a pretty tasty cupcake!


Sunsets at sea are the best! :)


That evening, we caught the late showing of Ant-Man and The Wasp! We had been looking forward to seeing it on our cruise and were excited it all worked out!


Up next: Our final at sea day! Stay tuned for more cruise fun from the Disney Fantasy!

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