Thursday, January 29, 2015

Walt Disney World, Part Two

I have written about the first half of my Disney trip {HERE} and you can also read about my 10k and Half Marathon on the blog as well. Today I am going to finish up with my time in Florida.

Spectating outside Animal Kingdom
Sunday was marathon day! My races were over and we were going out to watch people run a marathon. I was also excited to sleep in a few extra hours! We made a plan to go to mile 14ish right outside Animal Kingdom in time to see our friends. It was so fun to watch all the people go by and see their costumes, or just see what they looked like. It was kind of tiring just thinking about running a marathon and standing there watching it. Maybe someday. After all our friends passed, we took a bus to Hollywood Studios so that we could see them again at mile 23. 

Bryan & Sam at mile 14 looking happy! 
Brian at mile 14
After a very long and annoying bus ride to Hollywood Studios, we found Kathy's husband, Mike, who had finished his marathon very quickly! We were hanging out at our post for awhile, watching people go by, and guess who we saw?!!? PETER PAN and HIS SHADOW! And yes, the shadow was behind him! Still my favorite costume! After Peter Pan we got to see our friends again! All of whom were still looking great! We stayed until we saw the balloon ladies at the end of the pack. We then followed the end of the marathon back to the Boardwalk. of my new goals is to be a balloon lady. These ladies have balloons tied to them, you have to stay in front of them to not be swept. 

Peter Pan and His Shadow
Back at the BoardWalk we had some time to relax and get ready to go to dinner back at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Before dinner we went out to the savanna to look at the animals. During the time we stayed there it was dark, so we weren't able to see anything :) We were able to easily see gazelles, zebras, and a couple giraffes. Very cool. We went to dinner at Boma which features African inspired food. The restaurant is decorated with African animals, thatched huts, and rustic wood. The amount of food, and the choices, were enormous. Perfect for a dinner after many days of races. 

After dinner we went to Jellyrolls. Jellyrolls is a dueling piano bar on the boardwalk. We arrived early so we could get good seats. The piano players take requests from the audience and provide some comedic entertainment as well. Most of the requests were 80's songs! My favorite! They also threw in some Disney songs, and they did Shake It Off, which was really exciting because it reminded me of it playing during the half marathon the day before! Probably the BEST part of the night was walking home. Julie and I were disappointed they never played Let It Go, so we decided to sing it our whole way home, loudly and shamelessly. 

Monday, Kathy, Mike, Julie, and I got up to get to Epcot when it opened. We started off by using our Fast Pass for Soarin' (another ride I had never been on) and then went on Living with the Land. Soarin' was pretty cool, it's like hang gliding through California, complete with a breeze and scents. I also enjoyed seeing all the growing vegetables in Living with the Land. Next we visited Test Track...another ride that tops my list of Disney favorites. After meeting up with Sam and Bryan and tasting all the different flavors of pop in Club Cool we headed over to the World Showcase to drink around the world. 

Wine Flight in France
After much debate, some lumberjacks, and closed tequila bar, we decided to start our journey in the United Kingdom. I was really excited about my UK drink! I got a Black Velvet...Strongbow Cider with Guinness on top. I love those, but they are somewhat hard to come by. In the picture above you can see my drinks in France...a red wine flight. Not good at all. Bad move. I skipped Morocco and tasted just a little bit of someone's sake in Japan. Back in America I had some beer followed by a shot of limoncello in Italy. Once we got to Germany I decided I better have something to eat before things got ugly. All I know is that I ordered something called a Currywurst after having a debate with the German person taking my order about Currywurst actually being German. Once my food was given to me I don't think it was what I ordered. I was tricked, confused, or both. I still ate it. I also had a grapefruit beer which was really good, better than I thought it would be.

I skipped a lot of countries after that. I don't think I had anything in China or Norway, but somewhere around there I got very insistent on doing a car bomb back in the UK. Also around this time, Julie, Sam, and Bryan were supposed to be leaving for the airport. But who can go to the airport without a car bomb, especially when you have been deprived of a car bomb your whole life?!?! We raced (really raced, like we would have beat the balloon ladies if it was a marathon) back to the UK and some people had their very first car bomb. In my case, this was the car bomb that made me feel 31, not 21.
Car Bombs in the UK
Now people really needed to get to the airport. Like really. So we were back to trying to beat the balloon ladies back to the BoardWalk. We really went so was like we were training for next year's 10k :) I'm happy to report we made it back with time to spare. This is also when it started pouring down rain. It was perfect timing. After our friends boarded the Magical Express we took an intermission from Epcot and just hung out and waited for the rain to pass.

Sadly the rain never passed, but we put on some ponchos and decided to go to Beaches and Cream to get some ice cream. I ordered the No Way Jose. I love ice cream. Really. This No Way Jose, though, was humongous. There was just no way I could finish it. Now I wish I could have it. It was was so good! After our ice cream we went back to Epcot because the rain had passed. We went to the formerly closed tequila bar and I did a shot of tequila. I do not do shots of tequila. It's almost like tea. But when in Mexico... Thankfully I didn't gag and it wasn't so bad. Meanwhile, at the airport there were also shots of tequila being done since our friends never made it to Mexico.

When in Mexico...
After Mexico we went back to Italy with just a few moments to spare and ordered champagne. We drank our champagne and watched the IllumiNations fireworks show before heading back to the BoardWalk for the night. 

Tuesday was our last day in Florida :( After packing up and saying goodbye to the BoardWalk we drove over to Magic Kingdom. We used our Fast Passes for Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, with a ride on the People Mover and a visit to Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor in between! Before heading to lunch we went to see Mickey's PhilharMagic. We had a reservation at Be Our Guest inside Belle's castle for lunch, but we were a little bit early so we walked over to visit Gaston for a few minutes. Gaston is hilarious. I could have watched that ridiculousness all day. If you haven't seen the YouTube videos of Gaston, you should take a look. 

Lunch at Be Our Guest was great. They have a few different rooms that you can sit in. We chose the portrait room. After enjoying our meal we did a little shopping. I wanted a Christmas tree ornament to commemorate my trip. I am very happy with my choice. I can't wait to put it on our tree next year. Lots of happy memories. Next we went to ride Big Thunder Mountain and Pirates of the Carribean. Pirates of the Carribean is one of my biggest memories from going to Disney when I was 5, so it was fun to be able to ride it again. After Pirates, we got in line for my first Dole Whip. A Dole Whip is pineapple soft serve (your flavor of ice cream can vary, I got a pineapple vanilla twist) and pineapple juice. Sort of like a float. SO YUM! My next recipe goal is to try to create a Dole Whip at home. Stay tuned. 

After enjoying our treat, and doing some people watching, we strolled over to It's a Small World for our last ride of the day. Small World was my very favorite ride when I was little, so I thought it was a nice ending to our trip. We followed the parade out of the park and went on our way to the Orlando Airport, sad to be ending our vacation. 

I'm sure you can tell I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Disney. I am so happy I decided to go, and I'm even happier I participated in both races. We never wasted a minute while we are there. We did so many things and had a lot of fun. I hope to go back one day for another race. Until then I will have to settle for a homemade Dole Whip :) 

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