Happy 2015, and a Very Merry Disney Surprise (video)!

Happy 2015!

Since the end of last semester and the start of the holiday season, I’ve been a little out of touch, blogging wise. I wound up with one heck of a cold, which turned into bronchitis over Christmas – no fun! But I made the best of it and had a lovely Christmas and New Years.

Christmas 2014

New Years 2014

I hope you did as well!

The best part of our Christmas was finally revealing to our 12-year-old niece that she will be traveling to Walt Disney World with us in February for the Princess Half Marathon. Boy, was she surprised. Click on the video below to watch the magic unfold!

Here’s to an amazing 2015!

Princess Half Marathon Trip Planning

Hi everyone! I hope your week is going well…only one more day to go until the weekend!

Since my mind has been on all things Princess Half Marathon lately, I thought I’d take today to talk about plans for our upcoming trip to Walt Disney World, our itinerary, and my thoughts as the date quickly approaches.

104 days to go!

The Plan

As I mentioned earlier this week, I purchased our airfare last week. Man, am I happy that’s out of the way. I never feel like things are official until the plane tickets are purchased. We fly out Thursday, 2/19 at 7:30 am and will be returning Thursday, 2/26. I can’t even explain how excited I am to spend an entire week in WDW. The cost of a Walt Disney World trip is no joke so we’ve been working really hard to make this happen.

The Itinerary

Thursday, 2/19:

  • Fly to Orlando
  • Check-in
  • Race Expo to pick up bib and official merch
  • Downtown Disney

Friday, 2/20:

  • Magic Kingdom

Saturday, 2/21:

  • Typhoon Lagoon
  • Dinner ressie at Boma
  • Early bedtime

Sunday, 2/22:

  • PRINCESS HALF MARATHON!!!
  • Epcot

Monday, 2/23:

  • Breakfast ressie at Tusker House
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Disney’s Boardwalk

Tuesday, 2/24:

  • Hollywood Studios
  • Downtown Disney

Wednesday, 2/25:

  • Magic Kingdom
  • Dinner ressie at Be Our Guest

Thursday, 2/26:

  • Pool in the AM
  • Magical Express back to the airport

My Thoughts So Far

At first I went crazy with dining reservations but when Disney announced their specials last month, I jumped at the Quick Service dining plan so as to take some of the hassle out of budgeting and running around. I really wanted to have dinner at Be Our Guest and Boma, plus Donald is the hubby’s favorite character so I couldn’t cancel our character breakfast at Tusker House, so decided to keep these three reservations and pay out-of-pocket. I think they all work out well considering our itinerary.

We opted for Typhoon Lagoon on Saturday hoping it will help keep me off my feet the day before the half marathon. So long as I stay out of the sun and drink lots o’ water, I think I’ll be fine. Plus, I made our dinning reservation for super early (to us, anyway) so that we can get back to the hotel and relax.

I’m also a little nervous about tackling Epcot after running a half marathon. I think I’m going to be dead tired so we’ll see how that goes. Perhaps we can break it into two sections. Run, go back to the hotel to shower/stretch, go to the park, back to the hotel in the early afternoon for a rest, and then back to the park in the later afternoon/evening. This might be the best way to do it.

If you’re running in the 2015 PHM, what is your race-day itinerary?

I say foot…

You say “stress fracture”!

That’s right. I have a very very minor stress fracture in my foot. It happened during my 5 mile run three weeks ago when I landed on an acorn of all things. But by the time I found out about it earlier this week, it was well on its way to healing, thankfully. I took four days off from training this week, which was probably the best thing I could have done.

Kippy doesn’t mind my hobbling…so long as he gets his walks.

Kippy loves his walks!

I’m going to try to complete my 7 mile run tomorrow morning but will be OK if I need to stop because of discomfort in my foot. I’d rather take it easy now rather than deal with a major issue later.

Here I come, 7 miles!

This is a big one for my training schedule. I haven’t gone this far in my running in a long time. I’ve been hitting a wall lately at the 10k mark so I’ve been actually looking forward to this run in a long time. Gosh, I love running.


In Princess Half Marathon trip planning news…

I booked our ADR’s…and I got a reservation at Be Our Guest!!! I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for a Disney dining reservation. And I got it for the last night of our trip – what a way to end a fantastic first half marathon Disney trip. ūüôā

I can't believe I got an ADR here!

Other reservations include Raglan Road in Downtown Disney, Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge (really excited for this one too!), San Angel Inn in the Mexico pavilion in Epcot (my favorite country pavilion), and the Tusker House in Animal Kingdom for Donald’s character breakfast (Donald is the hubby’s favorite). I didn’t make ressies for all of our days in the world but I still think we have a pretty good line-up.

Now I have to start figuring out our FastPass+ selections. I really wish I could schedule those now too….

Have you ever eaten at Be Our Guest? Any entr√©e suggestions? If you’re headed to PHM and made ADR’s, which one are you looking forward to the most?

 

Athleta Esprit de She Chicago Racecation – MSI

Museum of Science and Industry

After I recovered from the race, we¬†visited the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, IL on Friday. Being the spontaneous travelers that we are, I didn’t do any research before setting sail on Thursday so imagine my surprise when we pulled up to MSI and I saw this:

Athleta Esprit de She Racecation

D23 and the Disney archives were hosting an exhibit on the history of Walt Disney and the creation of the Disney company. Holy cow, excited!

Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She RacecationAthleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation  Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation

After spending roughly two hours in the Disney exhibit we walked around the museum for a few more hours. My lower back was really starting to hurt so we headed back to the hotel for a rest. But not before stopping by the Navy Pier for a few cocktails.

Athleta Esprit de She Racecation Athleta Esprit de She Racecation

Dinner was at a wonderful little pizza bistro right by our hotel – Eduardo’s Enoteca. Absolutely wonderful pizza and wine selection, which after the race I had on Thursday night, I took advantage of.

It was a much needed wonderful day with my husband, especially after a physically and mentally draining race!

Have you ever visited the Museum of Science and Industry? What was your favorite exhibit?

 

A Visit to Grand Portage National Monument

During our trip to the North Shore over Memorial weekend, we visited the historical Grand Portage National Monument Heritage Center. Located just 30 minutes south of the Canadian boarder along the coast of Lake Superior, Grand Portage includes a¬†heritage center where you can explore artifacts dating back to the 1700’s,¬†and a¬†reenactment grounds where you can walk the¬†“history of the Ojibwe people and the North West Company of the North American fur trade”.

Grand PortageThis place was absolutely beautiful (and free!). I haven’t been since I was a little girl so but I remember being amazed by how real it all seemed. This trip was no different. Thankfully the busy season hasn’t kicked in yet so we were free to roam around uninterrupted by other guests. There was a wonderfully cool breeze coming off of the lake and the sun stayed out until we were ready to head home – the perfect day excursion. A total must if you’re ever on the North Shore of Minnesota!

Grand Portage Grand Portage Grand Portage Grand Portage Grand Portage Grand Portage Grand Portage Grand Portage Grand Portage Grand Portage Grand Portage Grand Portage Grand Portage

Look Mom! No leash!

Another Memorial weekend on the North Shore has come and gone and I’m missing my Grand Marais terribly. But fret not; we’ll be back in just 5 short weeks! This was our first summer trip to the new cabin so we were extra excited to see the place minus 10+ feet of snow. It didn’t disappoint.

Memorial Weened on the North Shore DSC05176 DSC05178 DSC05188 DSC05208 DSC05217

A toast to all those who have served to ensure our freedom! We can not thank you enough!

Toasting to all those who have served this great nation!

Before we left, I stopped into one of my favorite running stores in the Twin Cities – Gear Running – and picked up a new pair of trail running shoes! Meet my newest love, the Saucony Peregrine 4’s (review coming soon).

Saucony Peregrine 4 Trail Running Shoes 017 018 020 022

Conditions were perfect to try out these bad boys. The hubby and I decided on a nice easy two mile run since we had hiking and golf on the agenda for this weekend. It was a warm morning, especially for the North Shore in May but we soaked it all up. Kippy even ran with us without a leash for the first time and of course  LOVED it!

A Memorial Weekend Run025026030

After our run we stopped by what we have affectionately dubbed “Kippy’s Swimmin’ Hole”, for a cool dip.

This run taught me…

My dog was born to run with me. End of story.

Did you have a nice Memorial Day?

 

Running Grand Marais, MN Style

I think it’s safe to say I love technology – I live it, work with it and have even helped create it. But for as much as I love tech, I really love leaving it for a while. Thankfully, Grand Marais, MN is the perfect place to go when I’m in need of a technology break. It also happens to be where my father lives so it works out nicely! The hubs and I headed to the North Shore¬†for the holiday weekend and by late Friday night, we were chillin’ at the cabin.

Elbow River, BWCAOn Saturday morning the hubs and I woke up early for our morning T-time at the Gunflint Hills Golf Course. This was my first time¬†golfing this year and only Dan’s second time so we weren’t expecting much. To our amazement we both¬†did great! In fact, this was Dan’s best score playing 9 holes so it made for a very happy first morning on the North Shore.

Gunflint Hills Golf CourseGolfing in Grand Marais, MNI had 4.5 miles scheduled for this weekend so we decided on a new running route suggested by my father. We parked at the begging of the road, which is used by local and visiting bikers, walkers, and runners. The road (which is actually the width of about 1.5 cars) runs along Lake Superior and is surrounded by little cabins and B&B’s.

Croftville Road, Grand Marais, MNCroftville Road is only 1.5 miles long from one end to the other so it is a popular route for those looking to do 3 miles roundtrip. Because I had 4.5 miles scheduled the hubs, Kippy and I ran down to the end and back, and then I ran back to the end one more time meeting Dan who drove the Jeep to the end. It worked out great!

North Shore, MN

Lake Superior, MNLake Superior, MNThe views along this running route are absolutely beautiful and I found myself completely immersed in my surroundings, not thinking much of my run at all. I was so enthralled (or distracted) with the lake that I completely forgot to take my Island Boost fuel, which hurt my last 1.5 miles. No matter. It was such a great run that nothing could bring me down!

4.5 Mile Run 9/1/13

After the run we headed back to the cabin to throw on our suites and head into the river for a make-shift ice bath Рthe water was cold!

"Ice" BathAfter drying off, I put on my new compression¬†calf sleeves – which I love! I’ve only used them this one¬†time but I think they really helped¬†with the soreness after running. I tend to have lots¬†of pain in my calf so I’ll continue¬†using these.

Adidas Compression With our great run came a great appetite so we headed to my absolute favorite restaurant in all of Grand Marais РThe Angry Trout Café. If you like fresh, local and sustainable eating, this is the place for you. Great food, great views Рwhat could be better?

Catch of the day, Angry Trout CafeFood Should Taste GoodAngry Trout Cafe, Grand Marais, MNDid you get out for a run this holiday weekend? Are good views important to your run? 

Walt Disney World, here we come!

In anticipation of our upcoming trip to Walt Disney World, I’ve recently¬†been looking through last year’s trip photos and reminiscing over the fun times my husband and I had on our first major trip as a married couple.¬†I hope you enjoy this sampling of some of that¬†fun. WDW remains one of our favorite places to visit and not to sound completely childish, but I¬†get¬†giddy¬†just thinking about entering the Magic Kingdom. I believe everyone should experience the joy and happiness this place has to offer; it has the ability to turn anyone into a child again. So, feel free to indulge¬†your inner child. You may just find a little extra magic in the everyday.