Thursday, December 20, 2012

How does runDisney do it!?

So there I was sitting in the Antigua airport yesterday (how random.. Antigua?  it was a work trip) and before boarding the plane I decided to waste some time looking on Facebook.
What do I see?
This video...
After running Disneyland in both 2011 & 2012, I figured I was good (for now) with that race.
Oh my hell... I need to go back.
An Alice in Wonderland themed 10k & the Dumbo Double Dare if you do both the 10K and the half.

runDisney makes all their races sound so amazing...  What is a girl to do?!?!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Card Swap

This is the second year I have participated in Kim's card swap.

I am on Team Prancer, which included Kim, Heather & Maureen!
It is a fun way to connect with bloggers you have been following for awhile and also a great way to find new blogs.
Your cards are on the way ladies!
Thanks for organizing Kim!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Catching Up!

Ok, so where were we?
Right!  Disneyland half marathon weekend.
Two weeks after returning from California, I headed up to Orlando to run the Miracle Miles 15K

Very inspirational race.  You are running to raise money for the tiny babies at the Winnie Palmer Children's Hospital NICU.  Since the race was three months ago, the one thing that still stands out to me was a sign that said something like "The tiny babies Thank You".  I saw it at a point in the race when I really wanted to walk.  But damn those tiny babies... they have it worse off than I, so I kept running ;)

The following weekend was the runDisney Tower of Terror 10 Miler.
80 degrees with 80% humidity at the 10pm start time.  Whoa.
I am usually a very sweaty person, but this night topped it all.  Absolutely soaked from head to toe once I was done.
Loved this course (the stretch on Osceola Parkway was a little boring, but other than that it was great).  Loved the after party.  Would totally recommend it to anyone.

The next week I went to Texas for a conference.
Before leaving on Saturday I was able to explore the Alamo
and the Riverwalk in San Antonio.
I was glad to see these places since I had never been, but I definitely don't plan on spending lots of time in Texas throughout my life.  No offense Texas.

The day after I returned from Texas I got to hang out with my good friend Matt, whom I had met in Alaska.  He is a fancy diplomat now.  Well he is stationed in Haiti, so I am not sure that part is fancy.
Anyways, he was in Miami for the weekend to go to the movies and stock up on stuff at Costco.  We only got to hang out for about an hour, but I am glad I saw him!

A few days later someone became a big sister!
So of course I headed to Maine to meet my new niece Molly!  Cutest, most kissable cheeks ever!
After being back in Miami for two whole days, I headed across the pond for a seminar at sea onboard one of our ships.
We got to visit Italy
Astrological Clock in Sicily

and Greece
Temple of Zeus with the Acropolis in the back ground - Athens
The original Olympic Stadium!

LOVED Mykonos!

and Turkey
ruins of Ephesus

We did work onboard... proof:

Great trip!  I love Europe!

Four days after my return from Europe, I headed back to WDW for the third running of the Wine & Dine half marathon.

Yup, this one and Disneyland are my two favorite runDisney events.  Oh, and probably Expedition Everest too :)
LOVE the Wine & Dine half.  It honestly gets better every year!

The next weekend I was able to visit with my friends Danielle & Bill when they passed through Miami before heading out on a cruise. They are always so much fun to visit with!

For Thanksgiving, I went to Annette's in Tampa and joined her family for turkey day in Orlando.
Thursday night Annette, Brian & I braved the Black Friday sales.
Oh my hell.  Toys R Us was my worst nightmare.
Target was awesome... Toys R Us not so much.
I told Toys R Us they should go check out how Target was running their operation and copy them.
Yeah, I am thinking Black Friday shopping is not for me.

All of last week I was onboard my company's newest ship as we had 2 two-night inaugural sailings for travel partners & media.  That was followed by a 3 night sailing for our sales meeting.
90% Exhausting.  10% Fun.

I am home this week cramming all my Christmas cheer into 5 days (cookies, gift wrapping & christmas cards) before I get on another ship on Saturday for one more seminar at sea.

I am really excited to relax in Maine for the holidays!

Monday, September 10, 2012

2012 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend

Another great year at the Disneyland Half Marathon was had by all!
You can read about last year here and here.

There were 8 of us total... Annie & Martha were coming from Alaska,  Jamie & Amanda were coming from San Francisco/Bay Area, Leah & Sue were coming from NY, and Annette & I were coming from Florida!  We all arrived into Orange County or LAX on Saturday morning.
We met up at our hotel (Hilton Anaheim), had lunch and then cabbed it over to the Expo for packet pick-up.  Like last year, everything was organized and we were in and out in no time.

the graphics for the shirts are always cute!  just wish they had ladies sizing
 After dropping all of our race bags, bibs, etc. back at the hotel, we took the shuttle over to Disneyland Park.
We had all purchased Pasta in the Park tickets, which included Twilight park tickets, allowing us to enter the park at 4pm.
After hitting up a few rides, we headed over to Big Thunder Ranch for the pasta dinner.  The food was what I expected (two types of pasta, chicken, salad, rolls and dessert), but overall the group was not that impressed.  I think eating there is better than eating at one of the fast food restaurants in the park, but I would love to hear where others had a pasta-type dinner before the race either in or around Disneyland.  Please do tell :)

Last year Big Thunder Ranch was decorated for the race with a "Good Luck Runners" sign, the characters were dressed in their track suits, picture back drops were race themed... all little things that got you pumped up for the race. You can see all this in the pics from last year (link above).
This year the characters were dressed in western outfits since the rest of the place was a country western theme (hence the location name - Big Thunder Ranch).  Eh.

When comparing this year to last, Pasta in the Park was a let down.  Not only because of the non-race theme, but also because it was the same amount of money and we did not receive the two Fast Pass tickets that were included last year.  When trying to zip through parks on a 2 day visit every minute counts :)

We still enjoyed the characters though and got pictures with them all...
Chip & Dale
Donald & Daisy
Goofy & Pluto
Ladies only!
Mickey & Minnie

One thing that was not a let down... race day!
The Disneyland half marathon course is definitely one of, if not, my favorite runDisney course.
Loved it last year, loved it this year.

Start corrals were not as congested as last year and there was definitely better signage.  This year I got to start in Corral B, so the first 3.5 miles were not as congested as last year.
I LOVED running through the new Cars Land!  So exciting to see something for the first time.  I loved the little changes on the course through Disneyland Park and the time flew by.  I couldn't believe it when we were exiting the park onto the streets of Anaheim.  During mile 7 there was a whole street of classic cars which was just so amazing.  What a great idea!  I saw a white convertible that looked like "Grease Lightning" - loved it!
All the entertainment was great, running through Angel Stadium is the best, I love that it is a flat course.  Just all around a really fun 13.1 miles.  Coming from hot and humid South Florida, the weather on Sunday was a dream.  While the sun did feel a little hot towards the end, the lack of humidity made this girl very happy.

This was probably my best half marathon effort in a year (since last year's DLHalf) and it felt really good!  The last couple of miles were painful, but it felt like a good pain and not just pain :)

After crossing the finish line, I got my Disneyland medal, a cold towel (best finish line perk ever!), and then got in line for my Coast to Coast medal.  Leah & Sue crossed the finish line right after me, so we waited in line for the medals together.
We got water, snacks and our check bags and then headed out to the parking lot where Amanda, Annette and Martha were waiting for us.  We sat around and waited for Jamie & Annie to finish.
Martha & Annie both got PRs - woohoo!
Well done runDisney!!
Lots of bling!
WDW marathon & DL half marathon - love it!

The rest of the day was spent relaxing at the hotel, laying by the pool and then heading over to California Adventure with our Twilight tickets.  After the early morning start, it was a nice and relaxing rest of the day.
We got to go on Soarin', California Screamin' and the TowMater ride & Radiator Springs Racers rides in Cars Land.  Cars Land was truly right out of the movie and the rides are always so fun :)

a snag it of the Photo Pass pic I bought - love it!
 Amanda, Annie, Martha & I went over to the new Carthay Lounge for drinks and apps to share.  It was so good and I am glad we got to try out the new place!
We ended our night at DCA at the World of Color show.  I am definitely more of a ride person than a show person, but this show was so good!

Following the park, some of us headed to Downtown Disney for some more drinks to celebrate the night!  If you haven't heard me say this before, I love that you can walk everywhere in Disneyland.  Amazing.

Monday everyone started to leave :(
People were dropping like flies all throughout the day...Some of us had brunch, then some of us went shopping, then two of us laid by the pool, while two went to the parks.  Finally it was Leah, Sue & myself.  We met up at Napa Rose at the Grand Californian Hotel for dinner before I had to get my shuttle to LAX.  Again, another delicious experience!

I was sad when the weekend was over.  We all had such a great time with some great memories!  Can't wait to get together with these girls again!
Coast to Coast 2012 is complete!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Chicago Rock N Roll Half Marathon

Five weeks ago :) my friends Leah, Sue, Megan & myself ran the Chicago Rock N Roll half marathon.
This was my first Rock N Roll race experience and I wasn't sure what to expect.
Much to my delight, I had a great time!!

I flew into Chicago Saturday afternoon and took a cab straight to the Expo.  The other girls had gone earlier in the day, so I was playing catch up.
The expo took place at McCormick Place.  It was spacious and easy to get around.  I was personally annoyed because I was dragging my luggage through it, but otherwise it was great.
All the typical vendors and really everything you would expect at an expo.  A comparison to a Disney expo... a lot more free stuff here.  I also really like the ladies cut tech shirt we got.

After the expo, I took a cab and met up with everyone else at our hotel, the W on Lakeshore.
We just laid low on Saturday with a yummy pasta dinner at Coco Pazzo.

Sunday morning we cabbed it over to Grant Park for the race and were there in plenty of time.
Bag check, porta potties, start corrals... everything was super organized.
The only thing bad about the day was the heat and humidity.  Ugh!

The race started on time at 6:30am.
I thought the course around town was really nice.  I don't feel like Chicago has as many iconic landmarks/streets, etc. as a place like, say, NYC, so the night before at dinner we had asked Sue's friend, Maddie to kind of explain what we would be seeing along the way.
Mostly it was running through different neighborhoods like Greek town or the ghetto :)
We did see the famous Chicago Theater...

There were people cheering us on pretty much the whole way and the bands were pretty good.
There was a lot of water, ice and in the later miles, sponges available on the course.  All were very much needed since it was so darn hot & humid.

As far as the running part, it wasn't great.
The first 3 miles seemed to last forever... like forever.
4 to 7 were awesome.
7 to 10 I starting cramping up.
At mile 10, I heard a very strained "Heather"...  it was Leah coming out of a porta potty.
Her hips and back were done, and I just felt soooo hot, we walked the last 3 miles.
She puked up some water.  A stranger gave her a sponge and water (so nice).
We pretended to run and act stupid when we saw the photogs (Leah have you checked those pics yet?  I totally haven't)
I asked her if she wanted to run the last 100 meters or so to the finish line.
She gave me a look that said "Not on your life".
And then we were done, right back where we started.
Here's our medal (we didn't finish on a beach, Sue took this picture the next day):

There were popsicles at the finish line and I could not have been happier.
Wow, that tasted so good.
Bag pick-up was quick and easy.
The post race concert featured Cobra Starship.
It was great to just sit out in the park, listen to music, relax and drink a beer.
While I have heard horror stories about other Rock N Roll series events, based on my Chicago experience, I would totally recommend this race to anyone.
I plan on doing the Miami Rock N Roll half in November and I hope it is just as well done.

After the concert, we walked over to see the Bean.

Then we attempted to walk back to our hotel.  We ended up in a cab.
Did you know that downtown Chicago has multi levels?
Well it does and it was a little too confusing for us :)

After getting all cleaned up, we went out to lunch at Lou Malnati's for some deep dish pizza!
It was so, so good!
Drinks at Navy Pier were next.
Followed by a drink at the top of Hancock building.  Great views of the city.
Dinner was at Girl and the Goat, which I cannot recommend enough - incredible!

Monday was more touristy adventures.
Lunch at The Purple Pig - so good!
Then we enjoyed an architecture boat tour along the Chicago River.
Chicago is a really beautiful city, the architecture is gorgeous and the weekend was such a fun girls getaway!

Next up, the Disneyland half marathon this weekend!
Can't wait to get out to the West Coast!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Time to Change the Channel

I don't know about any of you, but I was glad to come home from work last night and change the channel off of NBC.  The two weeks of Olympics were so much fun to watch, but change was good.
Until I realized there was nothing on summer TV except for reruns and reality shows.
Now I miss the Olympics again :(

This was the first time I have really watched the summer Olympics since 2000.  In 2004, I was tour directing in Alaska so I was on the road those two weeks.  I just watched the Opening Ceremony that year.  In 2008, I watched the first week of Beijing and all the Michael Phelps swimming excitement. Then I left for Italy for work that first Saturday, so I missed the second week.  Yes, my life is tough.  I was sad to miss the Olympics, but touring Venice, Florence and Rome really took my mind off of missing them :)
One of my co-workers was able to attend the Olympics this year, so for about 30 minutes today I was IM-ing with her asking all about her trip.  It sounded incredible, 'a trip of a lifetime' is how she described it.
Attending an Olympics (summer or winter... errr, maybe summer AND winter) definitely on my 'to do' list.  How about you?

Speaking of 'to do' lists, on another blog I saw a list published by Budget Travel for the 20 places every American should see.  Here's the list:

  1. Grand Canyon
  2. Yellowstone National Park
  3. Highway 1, California
  4. Magic Kingdom (Orlando, Florida)
  5. Times Square, New York City
  6. Las Vegas Strip
  7. Hollywood Walk of Fame
  8. South Beach (Miami, Florida)
  9. French Quarter (New Orleans, Louisiana)
  10. Gettysburg National Military Park
  11. Nashville, Tennessee
  12. National Mall, Washington, D.C.
  13. Independence National Historical Park (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
  14. Taos Pueblo, New Mexico
  15. Fenway Park (Boston, Massachusetts)
  16. Civil Rights District (Atlanta, Georgia)
  17. Architecture in Chicago, Illinois
  18. Pearl Harbor
  19. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
  20. Ellis Island, New Jersey

How many of these have you been to?
Where would you want to visit?
Do you think anything was left off the list?

I've had the chance to visit them all except for  #s 11, 14, 16 & 19
Amazing, must-see locations (IMO) that were left off... Golden Gate Bridge, Mt. McKinley, maybe Key West or The Keys in general, Mt. Rushmore and maybe also Arches NP.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

WTF is going on?

Up until Ryan, Michael & team won the gold in the 4 x 200m relay last night, the whole world felt topsy turvy.

Phelps wasn't getting it done old school.
Lochte wasn't getting it done new school.

It didn't seem like anyone in London was even attending the Olympics.

Empty seats?  Uh why?

People are calling a female swimmer from China the "Mandarin Mermaid".
I am thinking "teenage boy" is a better descriptor.

Mitt Romney thinks it is 2002 and he still belongs at the Olympics.  Can someone please tell me why he was on an international trip to "observe and learn"?  The only thing I got from this trip is he likes to say weird things like "Anglo-Saxon" and "hand of providence", the Brits call him "Mitt the Twit' and his press secretary supposedly told the press to "kiss my ass" for trying to ask Romney questions.

WTF.  So embarrassing.  Can't America just keep him hidden like a dirty secret until we would actually have to expose him to the world should he become elected?  Aye.

Also, can someone please explain to me why people are so mad about NBC not airing the Olympics live on television?  An actual thought out response, not just "Well I want to see... blah, blah, blah"
Absolutely everything is being shown online.  Hop on your computer and the (Olympics) world is your oyster. I want to see the swimming live, so I hop online to view those heats and finals.  Awesome.  

Are people mad that you can see results on Facebook or Twitter or (or other news site)?  Don't look.
Social media and the internet is what it is.  These events are happening when they happen and there is no reason in the world why people shouldn't post, comment or tweet about it.
Do people say "Don't spoil the Super Bowl"?  No. 
Everyone has two choices:  See it live online or as part of a highlight reel each evening.
I mean really, that is all NBCs primetime coverage actually is anyways... a highlight reel. 
Perhaps your job, life, whatever does not afford you the chance to see the events live online, but as the saying goes... such as life.  The events are still happening.

So now that I am done my little rant, I'd like to end today on a positive note.

Team USA women's gymnastics... um, wow!  What a bunch of tough bitches.

They absolutely rocked it last night!  Can you even imagine doing what they do?
The cutest thing was this morning on Twitter when they were all excited that Justin Bieber tweeted and followed them.

Last night they became Olympic Champions.
Today... bam, they are back to the sweet teenage girls they are.  So cute.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Olympics are awesome

I think it is safe to say that many, many people, all around the world, are so excited for the Olympics to start this evening!  I am so an Olympics nerd.  I mean, really, when it comes to sports, does the two weeks of the Olympics get any better?
Aside from being excited to see hot swimmers, teeny-tiny, crazy strong gymnasts and impossibly fast runners, I am most excited to see the athlete profiles NBC will no doubt show during their telecasts.  Those profiles get me everytime... I cry like a baby.  Love them.

When I got to work this morning, I checked email, Twitter and then Facebook and found this little lovely on my wall:
My friend Meghan had posted this with the message "Happy Opening Ceremony Day"
What a great way to start the weekend :)

Have you seen this video of the USA Swim Team lip syncing to "Call Me Maybe"?
So cute!  I hope they win all the medals!

Enjoy the Opening Ceremonies tonight and the rest of the next two weeks!
Go Team USA!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Going Green

This spring I tackled a little DIY project with this TV stand I purchased last fall:
I have always wanted to paint something in my bedroom this green color (it matches the bedding) and when I found these drawer pulls at Anthropologie, on sale, I knew the TV stand would be the item I painted.
Before it got too hot and humid, I got to painting this bad boy out on my balcony

I usually use matte paints, but this time I went wild and went for the semi-gloss finish.  I absolutely love the way this turned out!  Just a fun pop of color in the corner of my bedroom.

With the leftover paint, I painted my desk chair so the color would be balanced out on both sides of my bedroom door.

I also got new bedside lamps.  The ones I had, one of them broke, like just stopped working.  So weird.
First I tried out these:
But then I returned them to Target because I just wasn't loving them.
Then I found the winners:

 I was skyping with my friend Annie and showed her the new lamps.  I told her I wanted to paint them white (they are clear), but she thought the clear looked good.  I wasn't sure at first, but now I love them clear!  I am so glad I didn't do anything to change them.
Also, you'll notice the different bedding.  One of my bffs, Leah, use to change out her bedding every 6 months or so.  I thought it was a great idea, so I copied her!  Changing out the bedding really prevents me from wanting to buy new bedding all the time.  My bank account thanks me!