Run Disney

Yeti Up, Yet’s Go!

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The shirt my wife and friend designed for their Expedition Team

Our trip to Florida is finally here, We’ve been in desperate need of a vacation. As a Christmas gift to my wife I had signed her up for the Run Disney Expedition Everest 5k Challenge. She’s become a runner, and has done several 5, 10k and half marathons, like there no big thing. Two of her races have been at Disneyland, and I know she really wanted to do a race at Walt Disney World. So I though what better then to sign her up. No I won’t be running, someone has to watch the kid while she runs. Pretty good excuse huh?

I waited to book airfare, till after I gave her the gift. Just in case this was not her idea of a good time. I knew the running part would be easy since she can roll out of bed any morning and do 5k, before I even wake up. But I had no idea if the scavenger hunt part would be something that she’d be into. Thankfully she was up for it, and my gift was not a flop.

Stay tuned for more about our trip. From planning a weeklong vacation at WDW, flying across the country with our almost three year old and even a few packing tips.

 

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Categories: Run Disney, Sports, Travel, Travel Blog, Traveling with kids, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Eat My Fairy Dust

Yup we did it again, another trip to Disneyland. This time it was for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon.

Obviously I did not run it. My better half did, and she did awesome. The race started sometime between four and five am, to be honest I really have no idea, because I was passed out when the boss left the room to get to the race start line.

What I do know is that she and several other thousands finished and she did great! There were tons of people dressed as tink and other Disney characters. It was funny to watch the people run by us. I wish I had gotten pictures of some of the crazy and funny shirts and costumes. Two shirts that come to mind were “eat my fairy dust” and ” that’s not sweat it’s fairy dust”. Too funny.

This was a huge accomplishment for my better half. It was her first half marathon, an amazing accomplishment. I mean how many people decide to run 13.1 miles for fun. Not this guy. She’s been training for months and all that hard work paid off. I’m very very proud of her for such a great accomplishment and can’t wait to root her on her next race once the blisters go away.

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Categories: Disney, Disneyland, Family, Run Disney, Sports, Travel Blog | 1 Comment

Run Disney Run

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Well as promised here’s part two of our trip to Disneyland . The main purpose of this trip was to support my way better half in her quest to run and complete her second 10k (6.2 miles) in case you were curious. Let’s start off by saying she did great!!! And I’m way way proud of her for this major accomplishment, it’s definitely a proud moment to see your best friend work towards and complete a challenge like this. Major Kudos wifey.

So our trip started out with a 9 am JetBlue flight from SFO, because it was the long weekend and with the Bay Bridge shut down for the final construction to connect the new Eastern Span, we had to go over the San Mateo Bridge. With this many variables, we had an early day and left the house at 6 am. Plus once we got to SFO we had a rental car to gas up and drop off at the central rental car center (this ended up being a huge stroke of luck on our return) and bags to check. Travelling with a child is so much different than travelling solo. For a three night trip, we had three suitcases, a car seat, stroller, my backpack, a diaper bag and a little backpack full of toys for “S”. Man I’m just tired thinking about it. I wanted to take a picture of our treasure trove, but in all out haste I didn’t.

We made it to the airport in an hour and a half which was not too bad, I dropped off the girls, and my wife became a Sherpa carrying all the bags except for my carryon and suitcase. Since we had three tickets she could check our other two bags, stroller and car seat for free so I sent her off with all the stuff. In our travels with our kid, we’ve found it easier to drop off one parent first, then drop off the car and meet up after security. As opposed to us attempting to lug all our stuff from some parking lot or air train station to the airport. Obviously the best option is a private car or shuttle directly to the airport, but a long weekend parking fees and the like vs. a rental car paid with on points was really a good alternative.

Breakfast the most important meal of the day

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My family

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After security I met the family at a coffee shop, we had a quick breakfast and then spent the last hour or so looking for planes. “S” loves airplanes and is always quick to point them out when we’re at home and she sees them in the air or at the airport. Whatever it takes to entertain a 2+ YO. Well we made it to Long Beach w/out a hitch, having TV on the plane and lots of new toys really helps. My only gripe was two kids channels and what are they showing Adult Swim and Family Guy, not exactly kid friendly programming, needless to say the route map seemed to work ok. We did have stuff on the iPad, but we just never pulled it out. Toys and some TV for an hour flight worked out great. Thankfully this was not our first flight with the munchkin so we at least have the airplane part mostly down pat.

Dude where’s the plane

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Handy Manny managed to stow away on our flight

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So onto Disneyland we had a day at the park before the race and spent most of the day at California Adventure. With the last two years’ worth of remodeling and renewing the park it’s really a great place to hang out. Plus there are tons of rides for little ones to do there. I think we spent most of our time at Grizzly Peak (formerly Brother Bear), so “S” could run around and climb stuff, we also did the Chew Chew Train at least 5 times, I love that ride. Besides that California Screaming single rider, and no “S” didn’t get to do that one, and then lots of time was spent at the Triton’s Merry-Go-Round. Since we had so many days at the park, and have been here so many times, we’re never in a hurry to do a specific ride, and if I miss out on something this trip there’s always the next one, so I never feel like I’ve missed out on something. This particularly holds true with a little one, there are only so many rides they can do, and there’s only so many times you want to go on a ride solo, that if you learn to reduce expectations, and attempt to take it easy, you can still have a great time. We also really tried to stay close to our kids sleep schedule and only one night did we stay out longer than an hour past bedtime. Sure that can make for a short night, but raising a kid is a marathon not a sprint, and we’ll have plenty of time to spoil and ruin her, and this was not one of those times.
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She’s never seen Cars but loves Lightning McQueen
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Her first time on Midway Mania and definitely not her last
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Race Day was finally here, and my wife was out the door by 4:45 AM, the race started at 6:15 and she had to get from the Anaheim Hilton to the race start so an early start was really necessary. Thankfully the kid and I slept in to 7 AM and were able to make it to the park to see her finish the race. Since we were not staying at the part we could, walk, drive or take a bus. We opted for option three since racers and their family got a free bus pass for the weekend, and it really was an easy way to get to the park. Sure lugging a kid, stroller and diaper bag on and off a bus plus navigating Downtown Disney which was part of the race course was a challenge, but worth it, to see my wife running. Run Disney does a pretty good job of alerting family of their racers position so we found a spot and waited. The wait was worth it and in no time flat mommy was running by. By 8 AM it was already 80 plus and humid and would hit 90 plus by mid-day, by far terrible running conditions and weather that made for a very warm weekend. According to my local friends it was the hottest weekend of the summer. I could have easily changed my shirt multiple times during the day.

Throughout the weekend we had a great time. Even though there were some 7,000 runners for the 10k and over 10,000 for the half marathon the next day, the parks were quite. We never had a stand-by line more than 45 minutes, and the longest fast pass wait I saw was 3 hours. Popular rides like Midway Mania, Indiana Jones and Radiator Springs Racers were easy waits. Unlike many other trips where by 11 am RSR fast pass was sold out, we had easy waits. This made for a really fun trip, since we could do what we wanted and at the pace we wanted too. Plus we had lots of friends visit and hangout with us every day, which always makes Disneyland that much more fun.

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Less then 2/10th of a mile to go and she’s still smiling
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I predict many long lines in my future to visit Minnie, Mickey and all of the Princesses
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Sadly Monday afternoon came quickly and it was time to go home. Again we were flying JetBlue to SFO, or so we thought. We arrived 2 hours before our flight to LGB to find that our flight was delayed. Dam it!! We were scheduled for a 5:25 PM flight and at present it was delayed to 7:30 PM, in fact every flight out of LGB was delayed from 3:30 PM on except for 2 on the board. For those of you not familiar with JetBlue, LGB, JFK and OAK are their main focus cities, so having that many flights delayed here was really a bummer. Between 3:30 and midnight there were four flights to the Bay Area and all delayed. UUGH. So at this point we had a choice sit and wait for our flight hopefully 7:30, fly to Sacramento at 6:30 also delayed or fly to Oakland delayed to 8:30. We choose door number two, even though it was to SAC it was scheduled to leave earlier and we just needed to get home, I had a 6 Am flight from OAK to Las Vegas the next morning. This is where the rental car came in handy, we didn’t have a car to get at SFO, and since we had arranged to get a rental car back home all we had to do was switch the rental car pickup. Plus that meant we didn’t have to avoid the Bay Bridge that was still closed and was scheduled to open Tuesday at 5 AM. To cut a long story short our flight to Sac left about 8 PM we arrived in Sac by 9:30 we were in our car by 10 and home by 11:15 PM. The flight to SFO left LGB at 10:30 PM so definitely a smart decision on our part. Ironically the main reason we flew JetBlue was because back in January we flew them down to Disneyland and were similarly delayed and received a $100 per person credit, that almost paid for our tickets this time, I think we paid $29 per person more out of pocket this time. On this trip, we got a credit unfortunately it was only $50 but hey that’s almost a one way ticket for next time.

Overall a very successful weekend jaunt to LA and Disneyland, we got a lot of family quality time, friend time and park time. Even with a few travel snafu’s life moves on and you just need to roll with it. We had a great time and look forward to the next trip, already planned for January, and yes the boss is running her first half marathon, and we’ll be there to root her on.

Categories: Airlines, Airport, Americana, Disney, JetBlue, Photography, Review, Run Disney, Sports, Travel, Traveling with kids, Trip Report | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sometimes it’s OK to be Addicted

My 2 year old daughter is addicted to Disney. Well that’s not really true, Mom and Dad are addicted to Disney, so “S” really has no choice but to be too. In her short time on this planet this is her fourth visit to the Mouse Kingdom in Anaheim, and she has an upcoming visit to Walt Disney World at the end of September too. To think she’s been to the park more times in two years then I had high school is crazy. I guess that’s what happens when your parents are addicts. Now to be fair, I wasn’t addicted till I was in high school. I worked at a movie theatre, like every other teenager in the 90’s we had our fair share of Disney films, and in between shows I was “lucky” enough to clean the theatres. This meant you got to hear and thusly memorize all of the songs, and during your breaks pop in for a quick listen. There was a point in my life where I could probably recite any line or song lyric from The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast or Aladdin. Just writing this post has me thinning of the songs from Aladdin and singing them in my head. Please make it stop! So by the time college rolled around I was really into movies and took a class on The Short Film at DVC, this was circa 1993. We spent a lot of time discussing Pixar and it’s genius, watching all of the Pixar Short Films to date and a bunch of other crazy stuff too. So when Toy Story came out in 95, I was in hook line and sinker.

Fast forward several more years my girlfriend (soon to be wife) gets a great job opportunity that ends up including annual season passes to all Disney Parks Worldwide. Jackpot!!! Because of this we’ve taken full advantage and have since been to all five parks around the world. And make a few treks to Southern California to visit when we can. Last year I even had a long layover in Hong Kong, so I went to HKDL for the day. Just Crazy. Also for those of you who have enjoyed the amazing corndog they sell on Main Street an Disneyland, will understand when I say this. On many occasions when I’m in Anaheim for work, I’ll drop in just for a corndog for diner and head back out of the park. I know sounds silly huh. As I said we’re just addicts, and enjoy spending time down here.

So what’s the point of this post? Well manly to say we’re here again for the weekend, but this time it’s for a very very cool reason. My amazing wife has really gotten into running and has dedicated a lot of her early mornings training, with the culmination being her second 10k run this month, and her first Disney run, with many more to come I imagine. I’m lazy I don’t have a bone in me that makes me want to run, whatsoever, but seeing how hard my much better half has worked for this special day is pretty cool. She goes for a run three times most weeks and in the month of August has already run over 40 miles. Who does that. She does that’s who.

Well we’re here in Anaheim and we’re “S” and I are getting up early early early tomorrow to root on mommy. I can’t wait to congratulate her at the finish line, and tell her how proud I am of her, this is a huge accomplishment and deserves some quality time at Disneyland to celebrate.

Stay tuned for lots of pictures of our Disney trip, and tips on how to travel with kids here.

Categories: Americana, Disney, movie, Run Disney, Sports, Travel, Traveling with kids, Trip Report, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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