Friday, January 31, 2014

Five for Friday

I am so happy it's Friday. This week has been something else. Really, this month has and I don't think it's going to change anytime soon between Matt being super busy at work and both of us being super busy with school. Oh well, such is life. 

1) How is it the last day of January? I just don't understand...

2) For our dating-anniversary/Valentine's Day gifts, Matt & I bought ourselves the Roku 3. This is a huge upgrade from our old school Roku 1 we bought right after we got married. It's a lot faster and the quality is much improved. Plus we can watch some of our shows (hello Sherlock!) without having to plug in my laptop to the TV. It's the little things in life, right?

3) I have a late night class on Thursdays that doesn't get out til 9:45. Add in a 30-40 minute drive and that makes for a really unpleasant Friday morning. But we survived week 3 of this semester. Twelve more to go.

4) I have an appointment today to get fitted for my orthotic inserts. See, ever since I started running more, I've started having foot issues. At first the podiatrist gave me these mean evil steroid injections and a pad to put on my foot when I run that gave me painful blister. Clearly that wasn't going to work long-term so when I asked for another solution, he recommended the orthotics. So here's hoping they fit my shoes, they don't cause me too much pain, and I don't have to receive any more injections!

5) Don't tell Matt, but we had 3 vegetarian dinners this week. I'm not making us go vegetarian or anything (I love my dad's steak way too much), it just happened. The recipes were easy to make and turned out to be delicious-- win win! But before you get really worried, we're making up for it by having burgers tonight. Yum!  

So what are your plans for tonight? I hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Disney 2014: The Race

We inadvertently planned our trip at the same time as the Disney Marathon Weekend and as I had heard about how much fun the Disney races are, Matt & I decided to sign up! Of course we were on vacation so we didn't want to worry about running too much so we signed up for the 5K Family Fun Run. It was a nice distance for us as we didn't have to worry about training and only had to moderately watch what we ate, especially relative to those running the half and full marathons! 

Our race was that Thursday morning and the start time was at 6:15. We had to be in the corrals no later than 5:45 so to give us plenty of travel time, we set our alarm for 4:30. Yes. We woke up at 4:30 AM on vacation. It wasn't easy but I'm so glad we did it!

The area we arrived in. Picture was taken later that day from the monorail
Starting line!
Our corral, C!
Excited to run that morning
We got to the start of the course with plenty of time to spare and there were tons of people already there-- the race was full with 10,000 runners! Of those, 7,000 were doing the Dopey challenge. What is this challenge? Over the marathon 4-day weekend, there was a 5K, a 10K, a half marathon, and a full marathon. The Dopey challenge consisted of all 4 of those runs, back to back. It is definitely not for me but I am very impressed with those that did it! 

Anyway, they had some fun DJs playing music and getting everyone energized. Finally race time rolled around and fireworks went off as each corral was told to go. 

The course was a great one as we ran through Epcot's World Showcase and a bit of Future World. I didn't get any pictures while running but there were several characters along the race route for you to stand in line & get your picture taken with. Also, several of the runners had dressed in fun costumes so that was fun to see.

Our time wasn't that great (about 31 minutes) but given how crowded and twisty the race course was, we were OK with it.

Right after  finishing, turning to look back at the finish line
Besides getting the amazing opportunity to run through World Showcase, our favorite part was the amazing celebratory brunch we had at Kona Cafe!

After getting back to the room
Matt with his spiffy race shirt & medal
My pineapple & macadamia nut pancakes
Matt's Tonga Toast
So I would definitely do a RunDisney race again! It was awesome running through a park and it was a lot of fun. But next time, I would probably try to schedule it at the beginning of the vacation as it was a little stressful worrying about the race, even if it was a relatively short distance, in the days leading up to it. The way we tour Disney World involves a lot of food and walking, two things that aren't ideal pre-race. Thankfully we were both OK and didn't sustain any injuries. Most importantly, we were able to have fun and make some unique memories on this trip!

And this is my last Disney trip-related post. Thank you for letting me share it with you. I loved getting to relive these memories and I hope you enjoyed getting to see some of the things we got to do :)

Now back to your regularly-scheduled programming about our 'real' life. Yay grad school!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Disney 2014: NASA

And another deviation from Disney... On the day I went to Universal with my aunt, Matt visited Kennedy Space Center with my uncle & grandfather. According to sources, they had a great time and really enjoyed getting to see the old shuttle launch sites, the Space Shuttle Atlantis, and then a rocket launch!

Here are some of Matt's pictures from that day :)

Control room from Mercury program
Spacesuit :)

My husband is awesome like this.
They saw all sorts of historical sites on a driving tour.
 This was the building that put the shuttle together, the Vehicle Assembly Building
The crawler that transported the shuttle to the launchpad

Apollo Mission Control
One of the capsules
Space Shuttle Atlantis!

They got to watch the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch
Off it goes!
So as we found, we can have fun in the greater-Orlando area even if it isn't at Disney :P

Friday, January 17, 2014

Disney 2014: The Other Park...

My aunt Paula & I love to ride roller coasters so one day, we left Disney property and went to the Dark Side, or Universal Studios & Island of Adventure. The first thing we had to do was head over to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and ride the Forbidden Journey.

Oh my goodness. If you've ridden it before, you know what I'm talking about. For those of you who don't-- it is unlike any other ride I've ever experienced before. The technology is definitely amazing and the level of detail makes you really feel like you're in Hogwarts! It made me a little motion sick to be honest but it was worth it. Unfortunately the wait time quickly got out of hand so we only did it once but it was still very memorable!

We enjoyed walking around Hogsmeade and looking at all the little touches they had put in the shop windows. 

After riding the Dueling Dragons, another coaster in the area, we headed across the park to ride the Hulk ride. Another fun one!

Lunch was at the Three Broomsticks and I can definitely recommend their rotisserie chicken salad and non-iced [non-alcoholic] butterbeer! 
Paula in front of the Three Broomsticks
Me + butterbeer + Hogwarts = happy
Following lunch, we walked to Universal Studios where we rode a couple of rides, most notably the Rip Ride RockIt coaster. The lifthill of that ride is perpendicular to the ground and the ride is a total adrenaline rush. So much fun! 

So though it went against my nature to leave Disney property, my aunt and I had a great time and I'm so thankful she took me :)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Disney 2014: The Parks

Well obviously we had to explore the four amazing parks! Matt & I had a great time as always enjoying the attractions, shows, and walking around. You never know what fun details you're going to find :)

We were happy to see the Christmas decorations still up!
They were removed about halfway through our trip so it worked out well.

Wishes & Christmas castle- gorgeous :)
Enjoying  our favorite activity- wandering World Showcase
Love Italy with its decorations
In the line at Toy Story Midway Mania
Then my favorite, Tower of Terror

The Osborne Christmas Lights at Hollywood Studios

Now these are bathrooms at Magic Kingdom, themed
to the movie, Tangled.

Another day at Animal Kingdom!

DiVine :)
At Epcot, Matt got picked to be Sir Galahad

They re-vamped Test Track and we got to design
a very fun truck 
Gotta love Gaston :)
My niece & me before we ate at
Be Our Guest- inside the Beast's castle.