Princess Half: 6 parks, 3 days, sore feet.

I’m doing Throwback Thursday….to just last week, and wish I was still there! Today I’ve got a recap for the 3 days we reserved for visiting the parks prior to race day. Some people wouldn’t recommend it as you want fresh legs for the race. But we wanted to get the full experience. At one point we considered going to the parks on Sunday after the race, but I am very glad we didn’t make that choice!

Thursday:

Epcot

  • Highlight: the food/drinks in Epcot best quality for the park price. I bought wine in France as the price there $15 a bottle, whereas the wine available for purchase in our hotel was $18 for a half bottle.

Epcot France Selfie with Flat Stanley

  • Lowlight: We wanted to ride Soarin’ but didn’t care to wait in line for 2 hours, we thought if things worked out we could park hop back to Epcot that evening, or on Saturday.
  • Next Time: Visit multiple times as their food options were a 1000x better than the other parks.

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom Fireworks

  • Highlight: short wait times late at night (10 pm-ish). We managed to ride Space Mountain twice in a row once waiting in the regular line, and then again using FastPass.
  • Lowlight: Arriving at 6 pm-ish was a mistake. Had we gone to the parks later, we could have had much shorter wait times, and done more in less time.
  • Next Time: take the time to call Disney before your trip so you can book rides/reservations appropriately using Fast Pass and the My Disney Experience app.

Friday:

Hot ButterBeer SelfieUniversal Studios: (we did Islands of Adventure first).

  • Highlight: Harry Potter!!! I’ve been to the Islands of Adventure and ridden Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey before, it was just as spectacular as I remembered. We all explored Diagon Alley together where we enjoyed HOT Butterbeer!
  • Lowlight: You have to purchase the Express Pass to avoid long wait times. It’s an additional $60 per person which wasn’t worth it for our group, but if you had kids, I would consider it!
  • Next Time: Ride Hogwarts Express, the lines were too long to wait, but we didn’t arrive until 12:30 pm, had we arrived in the morning it could have fit into our day.

 

Saturday

Expedition EverestAnimal Kingdom

  • Highlight: Expedition Everest: The decorations and details about the Yeti and culture were fun to look at while waiting in line for the roller coaster.
  • Lowlight: Dining Options….we ended up with the Disney version of McDonalds, for all their commitment to decorating each area as a different country, I wish they would have food similar to Epcot.
  • Next Time: I will probably skip AK, it was good to experience, but I love the other three parks, whereas this one is just “okay”.

Hollywood Studios

  • Highlight: Less crowds. After the hellish children filled crowds at Magic Kingdom, and the large tour groups at Animal Kingdom, the relative peace at Hollywood Studios was welcomed.

Sorcerer Mickey

  • Lowlight: Wait lines…while waiting for Tower of Terror I completely lost my patience for BS. The amount of people line cutting with poor excuses was pathetic. One woman said “I had to go to the bathroom” well that’s all well and good, but stand at the back of the line after you go like everyone else. It clearly says what the wait time is before you get in line, you should have an idea of how badly you have to go before you get in line. It would be one thing if you had told a cast member of your issue and had them escort you back to your original spot, but shoving ahead of other people is just rude.
  • Next Time: Prioritize Fast Passes to include Tower of Terror and Rockin’ Rollercoaster. They are the best part of Hollywood Studios. We weren’t able to ride Rockin’ Roller-coaster as it was 5:30 pm and a 2 hour wait.

This is part 2 of 4…To read part 1, click here.

 

Princess Half Pre-Recap

I’m back!!! I’ve got 3 posts drafted to recap my trip, but without a little ground work, they won’t make sense. So I’m starting with a basic layout of the trip to help those who may be planning for other Disney races in the future!

Wednesday: Fly to Orlando, (and enjoyed a Surly on our Sun Country flight) we chose to use the Mears Shuttle to get to our hotel. We stayed at the Swan, which I’ve stayed at before and loved!

Surly on Sun CountryThursday: Wake up and Packet Pickup! I really wanted to get to packet pickup early as I had heard horror stories of long lines. We took the hotel shuttle at about 9:45 am and were pleasantly surprised to see people milling around but nothing too crazy. At that point we saw the New Balance Disney shoes, but didn’t try to purchase, this was a mistake…

Afterwards we headed to Epcot and Magic Kingdom.

Cinderella's Glass SlipperFriday: Wake up and Packet Pickup again! My friend Kate couldn’t arrive until late Thursday night, so our morning was identical as we headed back over the Wide World of Sports and attempted to buy the New Balance Disney shoes, turns out we needed a reservation, and the 2014 styles were gone. The grey/white/black 2015 shoes are okay, but we had our hearts set on Minnie Mouse.

New Blanace Disney Shoes 2015From there we drove to Universal Studios, that evening we enjoyed a trip to JellyRolls! (a dueling piano bar on the Disney Boardwalk) as it was the last chance we had to stay up late and have a few drinks.

Animal Kingdom Backpacking Saturday: Wake up, head to Animal Kingdom, afternoon at Hollywood Studios. We needed to be careful with our timing as we still had to prepare for our early morning race.

Sunday: Up at 2:45 am. Race (full recap to come), and then lots of painful hobbling to the beach, food, and Downtown Disney.

Monday: Fly home, drive home, and slept hard. Tuesday: Mountains of paperwork, thankfully some of it was organized for me while I was gone, and I had enough time to take this short blogging break! Wednesday or Thursday: I will have a recap of our time in the parks!

Please let me know if you have any questions, or things you specifically want me to cover in my subsequent recaps.

 

 

Chance Chat #8: It’s Up To You

While I’m running the Princess Half Marathon this morning it is only fitting that today is a Disney quote! Pinterest has plenty of options for “Disney Quotes” but this one ultimately spoke to me.

It's Up To YouThis is a way of summing up my “Chance” word without saying it. I love the slow and steady road. However life doesn’t always have extra time to take it slow. Sometimes you just have to try. Push yourself. Take a leap. Your feet might find land, or you might be in the water, but if you know how to swim you’ll be just fine.

This week I saw a job opening for a position that I’ve considered in the past. After a quick update of my resume, I emailed the acquaintance who posted the opening, and while I haven’t heard back from her, I do plan on officially submitting my resume this week. Even if it doesn’t work out, I think it’s good to take that leap, see what happens.

Is there something you want to accomplish but haven’t given it a try?

Disney Princess Packing

Hello Friends! I’m currently flying the friendly skies to Orlando, and so pumped for a long weekend with my college friends!  I started my packing last week and I think I’ve got it all, but whatever I forgot I’ll just have to live without, or buy it from Mickey Mouse!

Here’s what my suitcase looked like last week before being rolled (note: not folded, rolling works better).

Disney Princess Half Packing List LAYERS!: (weather says to be 70-50 degrees). Rain Jacket, Fleece Jacket, 2 scarves, 2 Cardigans.

Other Clothes: Sundresses. tunic tops, leggings, workout tanks, and 1 pair of jeans.

Shoes (not pictured): running shoes, booties, sketchers, sperrys, sandals.

Race Day Outfit: Tank, long sleeve, headband that covers ears (cold weather), cheap gloves, capris and shorts. Most likely I’ll wear the capris, but just in case I’ve got the shorts.

Technology: Iphone, Garmin, Ipod, Ipad, Kindle. (and associated chargers).

Additional Items: Sunscreen, band aids/body glide, plastic baggies, water bottle.

What did I forget to pack? I will have car access on Friday/Saturday so I could pick it up outside the house of mouse.

Linking the Stories

Happy Monday friends! If you aren’t working today, lucky duck, I hope you’re enjoying the day! I worked a few hours yesterday, so this morning I’m taking a couple minutes to type up a post in response to the Minnesota State High School League Dance Tournament.

 

First of all, HUGE shout out to the 36 teams who made it the State Tournament. Not all teams get to advance, so they should be proud of themselves.

News coverage for the Dance Team State Tournament has always been minimal. The Star Tribune does the best reporting that I’ve seen out of all news sources, especially with last year’s opinion piece “Dance team: A sport that doesn’t get the respect it deserves“. On Friday night after the Jazz competition WCCO did have a short piece (1:14 minutes), however they spent much more time detailing Hockey Sections (2:55 minutes).

The schedule for the State Tournament is always similar. Class A Finals are at 5:30 with awards following, then Class AA and Class AAA dance finals, with Class AA awards, brief break, and then Class AAA awards. I volunteer for a Class A team, we stayed until Class AA awards and then got on the bus back to the hotel. While on our ride back I started seeing strange reports on twitter. A couple text messages and phone calls from friends who were still in the stands gave me the update. Fairbault won.

I spent most of the night on twitter watching the conversation, and tweeting at news coverage wondering when they were going to weigh in. While they all dropped the ball as it was happening, days later we have everyone weighing in. Sunday afternoon I found a Deadspin.com report, this morning the first thing in my facebook newsfeed was that Cosmopolitan.com had picked up the story. Patrick Reusse who I had the privileged of meeting when I was an intern for the Edina Chamber of Commerce has put in his two cents.

And WCCO had coverage that aired on Sunday evening, however it solely outlined the controversy and did not acknowledge the 30 other teams that competed on Saturday.

I’m sure this is not the end of the controversy, but I hope everyone is keeping their eyes and ears open and learning from the situation. Also, if you’re reading the articles I listed, I strongly encourage you not to read the comments, that’s where the trolls hang out, and there is no winning in that debate.

Chance Chat 2015 #7: Dating Philosophy

I’m sure some people are sick of Valentines Day by now, but this is my space and while I’m single I’m sharing my dating philosophy for 2015. I’m not really sure what constitutes a “philosophy” but that’s what I’m calling it, so roll with it.

Dating Philosophy It’s been a while since I was in a serious relationship, and I prefer it that way. The dates I’ve gone on have been fun, and thankfully I don’t have too many horror stories. While I could be frustrated with random dates, and even more frustrated with plans that are never actually made…. (Men: if you say “we should go out” it is then your responsibility to make that plan, I am not your weekend scheduler). For the most part I just sit back and let things unfold as they’re supposed to. I’m not going to chase after someone hoping they’ll eventually be interested in me. I’d rather have fun doing what I like, and if someone likes being with me, wonderful!

Do you (or did you) have a dating philosophy?

*note: I am not saying that a girl can’t ask a guy out, I’m just saying if a guy initiates, I expect him to follow through if that’s what he really wants.

February Favorites and Flashback!

Also known as Alliteration Friday. It finally snowed and got cold again this week. I was loving the spring like temps, but I am glad to see some normal WINTER weather again.

my uggsI bought these boots right after Christmas, but they were back-ordered and now I am so happy to finally have them! They are waterproof which makes me extra happy on those icky slushy days.

I would LOVE this margarita, although I don’t think its in my future.

I didn’t like the first few episodes of Glee, but the episode Jagged Little Tapestry is pretty good, I love a good Alanis Morrissette song, I had the tape of the Jagged Little Pill album and loved listening to it, I didn’t understand half the lyrics, but I sang along anyways.

graduation2006BONUS! The song they mashed it with “You’ve got a Friend” was the song I sang as a solo at Pop Concert my senior year. (and here’s a good Flashback picture to when I graduated high school with my closest friends).

What are you loving now? Any good High School stories to share?

P.S. I’ve got a 7th grade throwback Thursday on Instagram today!

Tech Support Wednesday?

Oh man friends. I’ve got a headache going strong, and its all tech related. First of all, I realize these are all 1st world problems, and not having technology is not the end of the world. But with leaving for State Dance tomorrow, and Disney World on Wednesday, I would like to be able to instagram my exciting moments!

I’m currently at the local Verizon store, and after spending a solid hour trying to contact them for an appointment, I gave up, drove the 45ish minutes to the store and am in the process of getting an iPhone 6 (thanks for letting me steal your upgrade Mom!!).

verizon photo booth selfie

I’m also debating a stop at the local Best Buy as I am in the market for a new computer (its been over 6 years, since I bought one) and I’m not a fan with how crazy busy the Apple stores always are. So if Best Buy can handle it, I’m all for not having to cram in the buying/dropping off before my flight on Wednesday, and picking up once I get back on Monday night next week.

So if you’ve text/tweeted/facebook/emailed/instagramed/snapchatted me and I haven’t responded, its not that I don’t love you, its that I am probably attempting and not able to contact you back.

Please tell me you’ve experienced a similar tech frustration in the past… If you haven’t I hope you’re having a great week! And if you’re not having a great week, let’s bond over some wine tonight, cause it is Wine Wednesday, right?

Chance Chat 2015 #6: While We’re Here

Another Sunday another chance. This past week has been a whirlwind, I had Sunday Funday with the Super Bowl, and then went to the cities to see family who were in town. Missing two days of work at the beginning of the month isn’t recommended, so I’ve been paying for it by working as hard as I can, while opening and closing wordpress, because I want to blog, 3x per week, but it just doesn’t seem to be happening.

While We're Here

Each night I’ve also been at dance practice, it’s hard to believe that our last practice will be Wednesday. The season has flown by, and yet I can barely remembered when we started back in October. There were some setbacks, but each time the team came back stronger than before.

What I like about this quote is that it recognizes that things don’t always go the way we want. There will be disappointments, but instead of focusing on those things, celebrate what is good!

What are you celebrating right now? When was the last time you danced? (car dancing totally counts!)

Indoor Triathlon Recap 2015 #2

Hello Friends! I’ve had a jam packed couple of days with lots of fun and seeing people I don’t usually see, but I still wanted to pop in and share my most recent triathlon success! When I completed my first Indoor Triathlon in January (which I blogged about last week…) I didn’t pressure myself to get any sort of distances, I just tried my best and did what I could.

This Sunday was a different story. I went to spin and swim once each every week, and I also ran a couple times a week, usually 3-6 miles. I knew my endurance was better, so I wanted to increase my distance in each sport.

indoor triathlon Swim: Saturday I participated in an awesome swim clinic, which gave me a few ideas on what to change in my stroke. I decided that I would focus on those new tips, and this was the one sport where I wouldn’t complain if my distance was lower, as long as I was focusing on the new technique. In 20 minutes I swam 850 yards, which is a 75 yard improvement!

Bike: My strategy for the bike this time was to crank out the miles, it always takes me 10-15 minutes before my RPMs (rotations per minute) can hold above a 90, which is frustrating. Since I’ve been going to plenty of spin classes I decided to keep the RPMs high and not worry about the resistance. This paid off as I was able to get 14.9 miles in 1 hour, a .4 mile improvement! Truthfully I’d like to get this higher, but I need more time in the saddle, I’m considering an indoor trainer, but haven’t bit the bullet on one yet.

indoor triathlon bikeRun: With the mild weather we’ve been having I ran outside A LOT in January. I decided to turn on the Couch to 10k app and do one of their workouts for the first 30 minutes of the 40 minute run, and it paid off. Each “run” portion I did a little bit faster than the one before, and I kept increasing my “walk” speed as well. I completed 3.27 miles, which was a .31 mile improvement.

Overall: I’m pumped that I increased my distance, I haven’t heard the date for the March indoor triathlon, hopefully it will be on the 1st or 15th so I can participate. However of the next 20 days, I’m traveling for 10 of them. So my endurance and workouts might fade a bit.

Thank you as always to the Brainerd Lakes YMCA for hosting this affordable and fun event!