Animal Kingdom, Disney Day 2

Our second day of vacation was at Animal Kingdom. It was a little rough, mostly due a specific child’s lack of sleep from the previous day. Jameson had a melt down, Coraline fell asleep during a show (though that part was sweet and not any hardship).

But the day started great: Meemaw has giraffe Mickey Ears which were the hit with both kids. Before the end of the trip, Jameson had his own pair!



Things got rocky when we arrived and Jameson didn’t want to do a photo. The photographer was very patient with us though and even offered to do a magic shot with the kids.


The kids, having only done their first attempt the previous day, still didn’t understand what they were for, and tried to hold out their hands like tinkerbell was going to land on them as they had done yesterday. Instead, he was trying to get them to look surprised. So here are the kids, sad, next to Stitch, ha!


We always try to do the safari ride first! So off we went. Unfortunately, the new magic bands and fast passes work a little differently now than our last vacation in conjunction with Uncle Tyler’s employee benefits, so we weren’t able to all go on the ride together, but Coraline got to go twice and the rest of the crew went later (and the giraffes were out the second time, lucky ducks)



Meanwhile during the second ride I was with Jameson who was in the stroller and insisting he didn’t want to do anything. So we stared at this hippo for 10 minutes.


Brian and I escaped the kids while Meemaw and Grandpa took the kids to the Finding Nemo show. We got a photo to prove it!



At some point around here Jameson threw a complete tantrum and he and I almost left the park. Instead I got him calm and we went to see the 3D Bug’s Life show, which, was totally terrifying for him. So he ended up a little traumatized. We were at the end of the row though so we were able to escape.

We really enjoyed lunch at the new quick service restaurants they had in the Africa section of Animal Kingdom. It was probably the best quick service meal we had our entire trip, it was light, healthy, and tasty.

“The lion goes in for the kill”

Animals just weren’t Jameson’s jam overall, but he really enjoyed the next little animal walk we did and he took photos of the bats. Coraline on the other hand was enjoying every activity we did. How nice to be three years old!



We spent some time in the kids area, and then it was time to wrap up for dinner! I scheduled us for the Rainforest Cafe which is right outside the park, and on our way out we decided to try the short-looking line for Mickey and Minnie. Turns out, it was not so short. However, it ended up being our only opportunity to visit with Minnie and really didn’t put us out of the way for dinner in the end, so it was worth it.



Rainforest Cafe was the perfect decision for our wound up kids. There was so much to watch in the restaurant that no one was bored, and the food was just excellent. I was actually pretty surprised at how much we all enjoyed the meal.

After another full day, it was time to get to bed! While Brian stayed at the hotel with the kids, the rest of us set our alarms for 2:30 am for our half marathon! After a disappointing race that was cut short last year, we were all pumped up to finally run a successful half at Disney! And run we did! Even Meemaw and Grandpa!





It loops around Animal Kingdom, which was a bit of deja vu from the previous day. Jameson got a kick out of seeing my shirt and medal, because they were Star Wars themed. And I got a kick out of finishing the race, exhausted, happy and ready for the real vacation to begin without the stressful anticipation of the race. We planned to spend the day at Epcot (but first, some caffeine please)

Continue Reading

Jameson’s First Mile

Jameson finished his first mile run March 23, no walking. I slowed our pace, and he did a good job pacing with me. He was so proud of himself! And I was proud too. We ran fast enough that I regretted wearing the jeans (too lazy to change). The mile was just around our neighborhood to the “neighborhood lake”. I read that we shouldn’t let kids overdo it (just like a puppy), so I made him run-walk the way home.

Continue Reading

Racing to Disney


About a year and a half ago, I started running (jogging). I started out with a friend’s encouragement on the Couch to 5K app. My friend Lauren had already done it before, and was a pretty regular runner who had taken a little break, so she acted as coach and motivator and did it again with me. It took us about 4 months, but I was running a 5K, without stopping.

I did a couple races. The Color Run, which really was fun but not really a race. I tried to do a biathalon, but I biked too hard to run properly so that wasn’t a great race. Then I started training with Lauren while she was getting ready to run a longer race last fall, and I started running up to 60 minutes straight, and then 6 miles, and then, last September actually a 9 mile run.

It was especially exciting because I was confident that I could run an official 10K (6.2 miles) in Disney in February with my family. Of course, then winter happened. Luckily, a treadmill kept me almost in shape, and I could run 3-4 miles on it.

Before the run on Saturday, we spent some time at Universal Studios, since we were kid-less. Brian stayed home, and I went with my parents and siblings. It was really very cold (especially for those of us who packed for 60-70 degree weather instead of 40 degree weather)

Cold Florida morning!


Going to school

My favorite part was Harry Potter world that day, of course. Tyler and I went back then on Monday after everyone else flew out, and I got some photos with super heroes for Jameson, and that was a pretty fun experience, complete with slipping and falling trying to run to be first in line for Captain America, ha!

Hellooooo Captain America

Saturday morning we were up and ready bright and early, like 3 AM, for the Disney Princess Run. I made tutus for my sister and mom, with glitter and all. We stopped the night before for gloves, having realized that it was too cold to stand for a couple hours without any! But when it was time to run, it wasn’t nearly as bad as we thought it was going to be. The weather for running was really perfect.

Ready to run!


All the winners

I was so happy with my run. Despite not having run more than 4 miles since the fall, I ran the full length of the 10K without stopping (no, not even for characters! we were hardcore!). My siblings were very kind, and ran with me despite my slowness for the entire race. Tyler ran ahead and got photos of my running my first race. My favorite is the shot by the Epcot ball. It was so pleasant to run as the sun was rising in Disney.



After the race, we went back, showered and refreshed, to Epcot later that day and ate with the princesses at Askerhaus that evening.

Family Epcot day

The only request Jameson made of my whole trip was to bring back another Duffy, so we got him at Epcot, and he enjoyed the day with us.


Yes Sleeping Beauty, we do intend to be sleeping beauties in the morning

The next morning, we had our last character dining experience with the classic gang at Chef Mickey’s, where I enjoyed the Mickey waffles, of course. We took photos with all the characters for Jameson to see!

Chef Mickey's for breakfast

Goodbye Magic Kingdom!

Another highlight of the trip was getting to meet Tyler’s girlfriend. Since he lives so far away, sometimes his life is a bit of a mystery! All in all, it was such a wonderful, short getaway. It certainly¬†wasn’t relaxing, but I felt really reenergized by it, as did the rest of my family since we all decided to sign up for the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon in November!

Continue Reading