To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Victory Is Mine!

I finished!!

Obviously more to come later. Lesley was the best running partner I could ask for! We found other bloggie Princesses... And I totally threw myself on Captain Jack Sparrow! "Meow!"....and that is a direct quote from yours truly to every ladies favorite pirate!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Royal Family 5K Expo & Napping!

Ok first off, this boy 2 rows behind me has these gross long nails and it tapping incessantly on the mental bench. I am 13.1 seconds away from smacking him!
Woke up at 3:30am to walk the Royal Family 5K. It was so much fun!! I saw fellow bloggers and a very dear friend. I laughed and was silly through the entire 3.1 miles.... Even got my mom to run the last .1!
I hit the expo again to see the boys at Arctic Ease. Went home with a 4 pack of their product that I am excited to try!
While there Lesley's children were doing the Kids Races so we went to cheer and hold bags. So cute! And I am glad we were around to help out!
At the Studios now dreaming of a nap and pool time. I am freaking exhausted! But first, dining reservations for pasta!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Expo Day & Animal Kingdom

Quick post!
Today was busy, relaxed, fun, hectic, new. The expo was crazy busy. I didnt get to really see it all because I felt short and like I couldnt squeeze through. I met Lesley and Courtney today! Yay!
I spent a good $130+ at the expo on Princess Half merchandise. Fun!
Hit Animal Kingdom and went on Kali, my old ride, for the first time since 2006. Not one bit of me was dry at the end.
Off to sleep... Race #1 in the morning!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Run #42 - The Final Run & Magic Kingdom

And with that, 1/2 training is over! 2 miles through Port Orleans in 22 minutes. I hear it was 71 degrees when I did it.... And I was completely drenched in sweat. This could be a sweaty half!

Today we hit Magic Kingdom, with a detour to the Polynesian so we could see the Shuttle launch & get drinks. Drinks were good, but clouds prevented us from seeing the Shuttle. I was really bummed. Banana Cabanas were delicious!

Where did all of these people come from? Holy crowds, Batman! I am ready for them to go home so I can have the parks to myself!

Our hotel room is adorable. The walk to our room? About 13.1 miles! I haven't slept in 3 nights. I think tonight will finally be the night I sleep!

Expo tomorrow! Can't wait!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pretty Princess Plane Play

I am currently taxiing around the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. Waking up at 2:30 am was pretty easy considering neither of us slept last night!

To entertain myself on this flight I brought out my new Disney Princess coloring book. The flight attendant did a double take every time she walked by. Pretty sure she was just jealous!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Run #41 - All About the Sunshine

One of the first songs was Michael Franti's The Sound of Sunshine and it concluded with Nancy Sinatra's Another Gay Sunshine Day. (Seriously, I am a total faghag through and through and my music helps reinforce that fact!)  All of this running is leading to THE big run in the Sunshine State! I couldn't haven planned the music today better if I tried!

It is a strange feeling right now. After 12 weeks, my half marathon training in Oregon is over! It has been really fun. I must say that this taper week has been the hardest. Is that normal? Was my head just checking out early? I don't know. But I did it! I ended this 3 mile run (in 31 minutes) with a huge smile on my face. I wanted to keep running to my house, but I knew I did that run a little too fast for me to call it any easy one. I figured a nice walk home would be better. Oh boy did I have a bounce in my step on that walk!

Tonight's run was all about the mental game. I had to convince myself that I can still do a 5K and not die in the middle. I did walk for just a couple beats, but then picked it back up. Lately my long runs have been a mental game. The first 5K has been hard, then it gets easy. So I wanted to do this one just to tell myself that I CAN! 

I'm excited for my next run. I'll just do a couple of miles through my resort and along the Sassagoula River. Saturday I will be walking the 5K with my mom and then Sunday is The Big Day!! I am as ready as I can be for this, and I actually feel more prepared for this half than I did for my first 5K and my first 10K.

So with that, I'm sorry I won't be able to read all of your blogs for over a week. I'll do my best to catch up when I get home! And for you Princesses .... look for the rainbow colored socks at the expo. I'll be sporting them and going crazy shopping!!

Run #40 - The Last Long Run

I had intentions of doing 8, maybe 9 miles. I felt pretty good at the start although I had to stop soon to stretch. I must remember to walk around a lot before the race. When I walk around a lot my legs loosen up and then I run much better. Lately I've just been waking up, having breakfast, sitting on my ass then trying to run. Obviously this wasn't my best plan.

So I was finishing my first loop when I took a detour and got a new view of the river I run across every single week. It was right before I got to this view that my left hip was not feeling the best. Last week during the 11 mile run it kind of had a popping feeling that nearly took me down. I ran though it and finished the miles, but on this run I had to think. While I stared at the river I realized what was important. The race is important. running 3.5 more miles wasn't. Those miles weren't going to get me any more prepared and at worse would be detrimental to my training. 

I felt good about my new decision and continued running until I got to my house. 8 miles turned into 4.5 in 49 minutes. Normally I'd really beat myself up over this and not doing my planned number of miles. But this time I was okay with it. What a relief it is to just be happy with my own decisions!

Happy R.A.D.!!

What a fabulous way to spend R*nda Appreciation Day... with a day off!

I've started R.A.D. off in a pretty rad way. A phone call to my BFF in Florida resulted in being put on hold for a while. But did I complain? Nope! And why not? Because I got to listen to the Disney Parks hold music. As if I wasn't excited enough about leaving for vacation tomorrow afternoon, this just sent me over the edge!!  (I've decided to only work 4 hours tomorrow instead of 8. This lets me get up to Portland in time to watch Glee!)

My little Bug is getting her hair done today so she'll be all pretty for her week with her Grandpa Jim. She just loves him so much! Will she ever sleep with me? No. She might spoon for 5 minutes, then goes to her little bed next to mine. But will she sleep with Grandpa Jim? Oh yeah! She has her head on the pillow, her body under the big red blanket. And they sleep together all freaking night! Crazy little dog...I mean she hated him at first. I brought her home from the pound and she wouldn't let him get anywhere near me or even in the same room. Now if I say his name she wiggles and demands to get in the car to go see him!

What else? I'm on a hunt for Big League Chew today. I HAVE to have the gum for the baseball game this weekend. THIS WEEKEND!! Crazy --- I mean it is officially race week and I have 2 in a 24 hour time period! HYDRATE!! (That is a message to me, but you probably should hydrate, too!)

I finally got serious about packing yesterday. All of my clothes (regular and running) are packed. Today I'll finish charging my cameras, clearing memory cards and packing accessories and most of my make-up. Tomorrow I'll have to finish up the bathroom bag after I use it all one last time. But I think I'm doing pretty well. I'll essentially have an empty carry-on ready for expo souvenirs to come home with me! Naturally I shopped for cold weather since last year I was frozen the entire time. Now it is going to be hot! I guess I'll be happy to feel warmth for a change. I can't feel my fingers right now.

Okay then .... since I have the day off I'll be getting in one more run - which means I have 2 run reports to type up today!  Have a Happy R.A.D.  Not only do we "get" to appreciate ME, but I appreciate ALL of you, too!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Run #39 - Heat, Hills & Humidity

Okay, so I ran in zero heat. It was cold. I ran in zero humidity. But I DID have hills! And I did it in my new RUNATL shirt from the ever so awesome, Lucy! What a freaking awesome early R.A.D. gift. Thank you!!  Next time I'll have to model the awesome cupcake necklace I got from Rad Runner. Thanks to you, too! I seriously love having my own holiday! ;-)

I woke up to snow and figured I was going to miss out on my chance at a nice, short Thursday night run. Well I was wrong! When I opened my mail and saw the new Nike shirt, which fits me absolutely perfectly, I knew I was going to be running. It was cold, but dry, so I felt lucky about that. 

The schedule called for 5 miles. I expected zero. So I was pleased when I pumped out 2.5. Sure, it wasn't five miles, but I hit that mark right at my house and I was cold and hungry. I've got two more runs, at least, in Oregon before I go to Florida, then one more in Florida as well as walking the 5K. Basically I feel really prepared. I mean nothing I do now will prepare more than all of the other weeks leading up to this. Where I would naturally be disappointed in such a short run (26 minutes), this time I wasn't! I like this feeling. It is nice to not be so hard on myself for a change!

Also in my mail last night was my "You've Been Chicked" sticker from Jamoosh. Oh yeah, dude at the Run to Stay Warm 5K that I totally blew out of the water at the finish area ... You Were Chicked!!

I have only one more day to get up for work. Woohoo!! Of course that means it is just the start of getting up early while in Florida - but I'll be on vacation so I won't care. My mom and I are so excited..... she has been wanting to go to a Spring Training game in Disney since we saw it all going on last year during the Expo. So today we bought tickets for the first spring training game of the season, and right behind home plate! We'll be seeing the Atlanta Braves (it must be a sign considering the shirt I have on in these pictures!) and the New York Mets. I hate baseball. But now I'm really excited! I think this is going to be so fun. I'll be basking in the sunshine with my Big League Chew bubble gum, my medal and possibly a foam finger! Sounds like a fun way to relax after the Half!

What about you? Ever been to a real baseball game before? Any fun plans for after the big race? Know where I can find Big League Chew? Do they still make it?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Running? What's That? p.s. I'm EXCITED!!

Okay, I think I hit that point. That point where now I can't concentrate on anything. My mind is already in Florida. I am ready to hear the music on Main Street. I'm ready to smell those unique smells that you can only find in Pirates or the Haunted Mansion. I'm ready to scream and throw my arms up on Splash Mountain. I'm ready to clobber my BFF at the airport and give him the biggest hug ever. I'm ready to land in Orlando and ride that monorail to the main terminal, see the Disney, Universal, Sea World and NASA stores then go get my luggage. I'm ready to open my hotel room for the first time. I'm ready to text all of you Princesses that I have arrived! (p.s. .... I need your digits if I don't have them already! ... Becka, Giraffy, I'm talking to you! FB me!) I'll throw in just one more ! for good measure here!! I'm ready to shop at Downtown Disney and get one adult beverage Wednesday night. I'm ready to enjoy some mild humidity. I'm ready for my medals! I'm sooooo very ready to get my bibs. Ooh, okay .... so my whole point of running this race initially was to get the backpack that everybody got last year. I didn't get one since I was just a 5K runner. Well, I had concerns that they wouldn't give us a bag this year since I guess they didn't give them out at the WDW Marathon weekend. Imagine my happiness when I saw this in our latest email:
The 2011 Disney's Princess Half Marathon Weekend is proud to, once again, have Lady Foot Locker® on board as our presenting sponsor! And as part of event registration, each participant will receive a custom goody bag that you can rock all weekend, compliments of Lady Foot Locker®.
Let me tell you, if we don't get one I am going to be pouting like CRAZY!! I trained for a year for this just to get that damn backpack!
I haven't trained since Sunday. Why? Because I am a procrastinator? Because I'm too hungry to do anything these days? Because it was disgusting and rainy Tuesday night? And then I thought I'd run Wednesday instead, but forgot I had an appointment to get my pre-Princess hair cut? And then I woke up to this (remember it was on the 60's on Sunday!)?

So yes, I have many excuses. It is actually hard for me to NOT run at this point. I really want to. But at the same time I am not willing to run out there if it might be slippery. I've come too far to risk a silly late night run and getting hurt. Hopefully tonight I can get one in. I WILL run at least 2 or 3 times before I leave for Florida. I WILL!!

Am I the only one that insists on getting a cut and color before a big race??

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Favorite Things: Disney's Animal Kingdom Attractions

I've procrastinated and put this one last because I expect it will be the hardest to write. The first time I visited DAK (December 1998) it wasn't even fully completed. Asia didn't exist. It was cold. The animals weren't really out at the Safari. I was disappointed. In 2001 when I went back to work for Disney I was told I'd be in Asia Attractions. At the time the only thing I could comfort myself with was the I wasn't working with food and I was in the park that closes the earliest. My oh my how my opinion changed. I feel so at home when I'm there. It is a truly beautiful park with so many places to explore. The story lines are so detailed, the decorations spot on. I think it doesn't get enough props because people just think it is a zoo. Well, as they say, "Disney's Animal Kingdom is many things, but one thing it's not... Nahtazu!"

  • Welcome! Here you'll find so many plants and exotic birds. Most people run right through, but if you do pause here and there you might find something you've never seen in person before.
  • My personal favorite is the babirusa, which means "Pig deer" in Indonesia. It is kind of one of those things that "only a mother could love" - and I really do love them. If you enter toward the right, you'll find them!
  • When you get through the beginning jungle feel look ahead and you'll see your first view of the Tree of Life!
  •  Ronda & Jessica - 2009
Discovery Island
  • This is the center hub of the park. The center showpiece is the park icon, the Tree of Life. Take some time to explore the pathways around the tree. You can find Galapagos Tortoise, Kangaroos, a HUGE catfish, and much more. It also gives you a closer look at the trunk of the tree. Everybody can have fun finding different animals carved into it! This park isn't about hurry hurry hurry. It is about slowing down and enjoying your surroundings. There is a lot to see, as it is actually the largest of the four theme parks!
  •  You can find Flick by the catfish!
  • It's Tough To Be A Bug! is a 3-D show located inside the Tree of Life.  Warning - some children do get frightened by it. Sitting closer to the screen will actually feel more intense in some portions, so you might want to sit in the middle/back area if you have smaller, skeptical children. It is a very cute show, but it has moments of surprise!
  •  Hopper. Did you see the Travel Channel show about DAK? If so, you saw my best friend talking about Hopper and his 70+ functions!
  • The major shopping ports are located here on either side of the Tree.
Camp Minnie-Mickey
  • Do you want to meet the characters? This is your spot! There are three character greeting trails where you can get photos and autographs.
  • Festival of the Lion King. I cannot stress this enough. GO SEE IT!! 100% Must-Do!! Remember how I said before that I hate show? I NEVER miss this one. I always get goose bumps. It is a-freaking-mazing. You'll want to get in line early because it is usually a full house. Singing. Dancing. Timon. Pumba. Simba. Stilt walkers. Fire. Tumble Monkeys. If you don't enjoy it then, well, what the heck is wrong with you??
  •  2009
  • This USED to be the big draw.... got that Africa? You're not top dog anymore. So there! (Oh no, we didn't have a rivalry at all. Nope!) Africa has a cool feel to it. Drummers, dancers, the full bar, shopping, character dining, it has a more party feel to it and does feel pretty crowded at times.
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris. This is another must-do in DAK. Every ride will be different since you are heading out to the animals. We're not talking animatronics here. These are legit lions, elephants, gazelles, giraffes, hippos, cheetahs .... and tons more. Have your camera ready because you really never know what will happen. I've been in a truck that is trapped because of a rhino blocking the path looking like it wants to charge. The animals seem to be more active in cooler weather - which bodes well for Princess weekend!
  • Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. Upon exiting the Safari head to your right and walk through the trail. You'll see real life meerkats, hippos, birds and .... gorillas! The gorillas are a major hit - especially with the little baby that is running around now. Such a cutie!
  • Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade. I know I've ignored parades, but this one is my favorite. It loops through the park, beginning and ending in Africa. I like it because the music is fun and it is a fast moving parade. I don't have time to get bored. And trust me, I've worked crowd control on this countless times ... and I still love it! I think you'll like it, too!
 Rafiki's Planet Watch
  • From Africa you can take a short train ride out to Rafiki's Planet Watch. Out there you'll find a petting zoo and be able to see where they actually do check ups and operate on the animals. You might even end up out there when an animals is being tended to!
 Dinoland U.S.A.
  • Chester and Hester's Dino-Rama. This is a carnival atmosphere. You will find your typical carnival games here.
  • Primeval Whirl. I am not a fan. I'd like it to go bye-bye and replaced with something better. Four people ride together in a roller coaster that whips you around in circles. I find it more comfortable if you have four people. If you are riding single you kind of get jostled around a bit. I'll be honest here ... it breaks down a lot and stops in bad weather. I don't generally ride this one, but that's just me.
  • Triceratop Spin. This is basically Dumbo - in dino form.
  • Dinosaur.  "It's fast. It's a blast. It's in the past!" "Definitely not our dino." A quote worth ride for sure! This attraction is in the dark a lot and has some loud moments. That's my warning for younger riders. I think it is really fun! The animatronics are amazing. I had the opportunity to walk the track with the lights on a few times and seeing them up close, you can really see the detail that Disney puts into its attractions!
  • Finding Nemo - the musical. I almost forgot this one. Okay, if you like Nemo you'll probably enjoy it. This doesn't wow me. Frankly I get freaked out by adults trying to have baby voice and seem really young. But it is a full blown show, and kind of long, with singing and dancing. The seagulls are my favorite part.
  • Namaste! Welcome to the most beautiful land in all of Disney's Animal Kingdom! When you visit Anandapur, do me a favor and just notice the attention to detail. Look at the ground you are walking on -- see the muddy tire tracks and foot prints? Look up at the power lines. Notice the advertisements beckoning you to visit Kali Rapids Expeditions. See that marble pavilion? It is brought over from India. See that wood? Yes, that is really from Southeast Asia. Please don't climb on the Tiger Tree. We respect it, it isn't for climbing. Take it all in. It is fabulous. It will always be my home!
  •  2002? 2003? Please stay off the tree!
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek is where you'll see animals that include the Komodo Dragon and tigers. Oh they are so pretty! And don't skip by the bat house with the Malaysian Flying Fox and Rodriguez Fruit Bats!
  •  2009
  • Flights of Wonder. This is a show about birds. Yeah - sounds lame, right? WRONG!! When I found out I'd be working here occasionally I wasn't happy. But it is actually a pretty cool show! A lucky guest or two will even make it on stage to be part of the show. I got to do it once and it was fun to be on the opposite end of things for a change! If you want to sit and rest, take a little visit to the Caravan Stage!
  •  2002/3 - those pants were HORRIBLE!
  • Kali River Rapids. Um, Best Ride in the entire universe??? Alright, I'm reaching here. Ooh wait -- Namaste, welcome to Kali Rapids Expeditions, the number one rafting company in Anandapur where you WILL get wet and possibly soaked! I miss that spiel. And that is the truth. You WILL get wet. There is no one "wet seat." It is a round raft that is not on a track. One wet seat might be the dry one next time. This is my home turf out of all the attractions. I was a trainer here for a few years before moving backstage to an office. It's a shorter ride, with one drop that looks scarier than it is. On a hot day this is a not-to-be-missed attraction!
  •  2001 with my girls, Moniq, Yuli and Eet
  •  2001 - before the river is a-flowin'
  • Expedition Everest. If you love coasters and themed attractions then you do not want to miss this one! Keep your eyes open for the Yeti and enjoy the amazing view you get for a few seconds at the beginning. This is a totally unique roller coaster and you really should ride it!! Even the queue, just like Kali's queue, is completely themed and great for not letting you get bored. These are probably the two best queues on property actually!  No bias at all from this Anandapurian, not at all!
  •  2009 with Jessica. Front row!!
  •  2008 with Mike, Greggy Pants & Little Brian
  • And don't miss the gibbons!! White-Cheeked and Saimang. You will most likely HEAR them before you even see them. I could go on at length about them, but I just want to stress this ... They are NOT monkeys. If you say "Look at the monkeys!" and you hear a girl say "they're NOT monkeys" then turn around ... it is probably me! They have pretty cool temples that they took over during their construction - but the storm left the temples in island form, so they are now they forever. (I love a good story line!) Occasionally the gibbons leave for a while, allowing young blond girls to climb on their temple! Oops!
  •  2003 - Rocking the waders at the Siamang temple!
I really hope you take a day or part of one to visit this park. It's not what people typically think of when they think Disney. I truly really do love it! Tell me how much you love it, too! If you go with me I'll give you an in-depth private tour - and VIP seats for Lion King. You know, just sayin'! 

That's it for My Favorite Things for the four parks. In case you missed any, check out the Magic Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot. And don't miss my random tips, suggestions about dining and ideas of things to do outside the parks!

This was photo heavy on Asia. That's because Asia is the BEST! I do take photos in all sections, but this is MY blog and I am obviously biased!  Coming up next, one final pre-Princess Disney post. This one will be the outtakes, if you will. Bloopers. Silly photos. Just a plain ol' photo blog! Less talking, more looking!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Just A Few Little Randoms

  1. I feel so bad that I can't keep up with blogs lately. I try to read and comment on every body's blogs. But I am a total slacker, but it isn't on purpose or because I'm procrastinating.
  2. It seems like once my Sunday long run miles jumped, and my overall weekly miles started hitting new highs, I am just not normal. I am so scattered, tired, excited, busy .... this race is creating a lot of life work! Is this normal??? (This is basically why I haven't been a good blog friend. I'm so sorry - I'm going to try so hard to get caught up!)
  3. I'm always hungry now. I had my 2nd dinner at 11pm last night.
  4. I slept GREAT last night! Oh my gosh. My body was just so relaxed, I was loving it!!
  5. I did start packing for Florida this weekend. All of my running clothes, minus socks, have been officially set into a suitcase. Things will get rearranged, but this way they are put in the queue to be officially packed and won't risk being used between now and next Tuesday.
  6. Next Tuesday! Ha - now I'm picturing CilleyGirls's blog today. Anyway - I knew these last few weeks would go by fast, and they really, REALLY are! I cannot believe that I am going to be loading up the car next Tuesday and heading up to Portland, ready for my flight to Florida. CRAZY!!
  7. And while I'm really excited about this trip, I'm kind of dreading one thing about it. You see I've been going there every year since 2005. Before that I lived there and had my "family" - a bunch of college grads trying to find their way in the Disney company and become a huge success. Yeah. That worked out grand! ;)  Anyway, my best friend is in Florida. When it comes to big decisions he is always there to help me think it through. He's helped me a lot with running as well. We've been close friends for nearly 10 years now. This trip is my last trip to Orlando for a while. I don't know when I'll be back (especially if Operation Sperm Donor is a success in early 2012). 2011 will be the first year I won't make my fall pilgrimage on a quest to do all things Halloween and see my friends. So I'm really sad about it. 2011 will be great. I'll be doing 6 half marathons in 4 different states. I have A LOT to look forward to. But not knowing when I'll get to see my friends again really sucks. I always cry when the BFF takes me to the airport. I can't even imagine how much of a hot mess I'll be this time. Ugh.
  8. I'm on a total emotional roller coaster. I guess this is normal? I'm not like moody emotional - it is a confidence coaster I guess. One minute I'm excited and ready to kick ass. The next minute I think my whole body is falling apart and I'm going to have to be pulled across the finish line. Ugh, Lord help me! :-)
  9. My co-worker is cracking me up. She has propped up the lid on the copy machine so she doesn't have to see our resident robot. The robot is so rude to customers without even realizing it. It just drives us nuts. Instead of exploding, there is now a photocopier wall. I'm so jealous. I have no wall. *sigh*
  10. Oh. My. Gosh. I have to tell you guys what happened today!! This young, cute, friendly guy comes in to pay his water bill. His hair was kind of surfer-ish (which um, Ronda's had a thing for surfers - 'cause we have soooo many here.... - since 9th grade). He was pretty friendly and even humored the robot with conversation. You know how you can tell somebody is looking at you? I felt that. So every time I looked up he was looking over and kind of smiling a bit. I had NO idea how to react. Okay - we never have anyone attractive at our counter, so I was just thrown off. He goes to leave and when he gets to the door he stops, turns around (I of course am watching all of this), he pauses for a good 3 Mississippi to make eye contact, smiles and walks out. Guys NEVER look at me and never smile at me unless they are men in their late 50s, married, gross and trying to hit on me (WHY???). Naturally I heard his name when he paid his bill so I looked him up. He's going to be twenty-one next month! A kid twelve years younger than me checked me out! Hey - I'm going to take it as a compliment since it never happen,s EVER! Does this help qualify me as a cougar yet since I can't be a MILF?
  11. I have a flower on my desk. I drew it with highlighters on a post-it. So take that all of you with real, scented flowers. Mine will last forever!
  12. Okay fine. I have two Valentine's this year. Granted neither of them live in my time zone and one I technically haven't met in person yet, but whatever. It counts! 
  13. ONE WEEK until R*nda Appreciati*n Day!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Run #38 - I Won the Mental Battle

I'm still processing this run.  

I was mentally ready. I was going to have a great run. The longest run before the half marathon. The weather was gorgeous. I stretched, grabbed my water and was out the door. It started to rain. I was pleased. I have good runs in the rain. But then it stopped raining and I stopped feeling capable of running. Basically, at 1.89 miles in I was texting Lesley in the middle of a mental breakdown. I was almost in tears. My legs would NOT work with me. Mostly it was my lower legs. I wasn't running fast. I was just trying to keep a nice steady pace, but I couldn't get it going. I felt like a complete failure instantly. I just wanted to run this without stopping unless I was refilling my water. I totally failed at that.

The good news is at about 3.6 miles I started to feel back to normal again. What a relief! I felt like I won the mental battle and was ready to redeem myself with the remaining miles, of which I had a lot. Today I did 4 laps through the park/duck pond/VA. The weather stayed gorgeous and everyone I met up with was really friendly. No kids taunting me. No feelings of questionable safety. I even saw a rent-a-cop at the VA area pull over to talk to some kids that seemed to be loitering. I saw them at the entrance ... and they weren't but a half mile further from there when I saw them again. The loop is about 2.6 miles or so. So I ran a lot while they made it nowhere. Seeing the uniformed guy pull over and talk to them was comforting to me actually.

So I did the full ELEVEN miles (YES!!!) in exactly 2 hours. I think my performance wasn't as good as the time makes it look, but I'm just going to brush it off. My mind was messing with me big time, but I did pull it together, so that's a good thing!

On my final lap I saw this at the duck pond and thought I'd snag a picture to share with you all! I just do a small internal loop because it feels safer and more open there ... the other parts are more wooded areas with no business or roads near by. Sounds nice, but there are have been more than a couple people attacked there, so I just stay clear!

Are We Tweeting?

My #1 gay can basically ask me to do anything and I will. We're just cool like that.

I think he took advantage of me in a moment of feeling exhausted .....

and now I'm on Twitter.

I have no idea what the heck I am doing!

Anyway - are you on there??

Find me! FruitFlyRR

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Run #37 - Eh, I Did It.

I am not running on Friday night's anymore. I got off this week and my running days were all one behind, which put me at running 5 miles on Friday night after work.  Who REALLY wants to do that??

But I put on my Lotta Breeze Capris and tank top and was out the door. It was hard. My mind wasn't there and my legs were tired. What was most disturbing was that for the first time I thought maybe it wasn't a good idea to be the one girl running alone through town in the dark on a Friday night. This was the first time I had an actual uneasy feeling about it. Perhaps it is because it was a warmer night and more people were out. Seems like once it warms up that's when trouble starts popping up around time. And since I still have those boys laughing at me fresh in my head, I wondered what did they 10 years older counter parts have going through their hands that night. I mean I wouldn't be able to defend myself against two guys in their late teens or twenties, or older. So I hit some hills heading home and decided to just finish it off at 3 miles. I figured that was better than pushing it and pushing my luck. In a year and a half of running in the dark, this is the first time I had a feeling I shouldn't be out there. I thought it would be safe to go with my gut and get home. 

In the end it was 3 miles at a 10:28 average pace. It felt a lot slower than that. I actually even walked for a few seconds near the end. I'm not letting this one get me down there. I have 11 miles tomorrow, and I'm going into it with a very positive attitude!

Friday, February 11, 2011

It Must Be That Time Again!

My pre-race dining reservations are made!
My Disney movie club junk mail is here.
And my Disney vacation planning DVD has arrived!

It must be a sign that I'm Going To Disney World!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Favorite Things: Epcot Attractions

This could get long! I'll try to be concise. Basically I LOVE Epcot!! Before I made my first visit there, when working in 1997, I had no desire to go. I thought it was all boring science stuff. Boy was I wrong! I could visit this park every single day and never get bored. When I lived there I would even visit after work if I was off early enough. It is huge, It is beautiful, It is fun!

Future World
  • Spaceship Earth. You know it as that big golf ball looking thing. In fact there is an attraction inside. While not a wild thrill ride, I always enjoy it. I love the background music. I love getting to the very top of the ball. I like the smell of the fire. I like that I notice some new tiny detail each time I ride. I do like how it is now interactive, although I liked it just as much before that enhancement. Some day I want to be evacuated while at the very top point. 
  •  2005 - my Florida "family"
  • Ellen's Energy Adventure. "Stupid Judy. Stupid Energy." Are you a fan of Ellen? Are you a fan of Bill Nye the Science Guy? Are you a fan of sitting in a big moving vehicle, seeing dinosaurs, Jeopardy, and a chance to take a peaceful nap in the dark for a while? This is your ride! I enjoy it (really, I do!!), but I always doze off. Last year I didn't wake up until nearly every person was out of the ride vehicle. I wonder if my friends would have just left me there?
  • Test Track. My first time through when it opened I thought it was lame. I like it more and more every time I ride! It is actually pretty cool! And go in the single rider line if there is a long wait. Odds are you'll be ride at nearly the same time as the rest of your party, possibly even in the same car but just different rows. The single rider line is a BIG time saver on this one! (And now I dare you to go there and not think of this and start to single "All the single riders, all the single riders....." to the tune of that annoying Beyonce Single Ladies song!)
  • 2009 - my single rider friend just 1 car behind me!
  • Mission: SPACE. My dream job is to be an astronaut. Needless to say when they had Cast previews for this ride I was there! The take off is so unreal!! Four people ride together, in a rather confined space, each with a different role - Commander, Navigator, Pilot and Engineer. You get to be part of the action pushing buttons and steering your space craft. If you are going to be a weenie (Yes, I'm calling you a weenie if you do this! *insert laugh here*) there is an option for a more tame version of this ride. Not for me! I'm going all out and doing the REAL version!
  •   2007 - Ignore my mom's yawn.
  • Captain EO. Michael Jackson. Dancing. Singing. 3-D. What's not to love about this??
  • Journey Into Imagination With Figment. If you get stuck on this ride in just the right spot, Figment kind of turns psycho on you. This ride is so corny - and I love every single minute of it! Please, keep hands, arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times.
  •   Rule breaker!! 2009 before being evacuated.
  • Soarin'. There is absolutely no reason to skip this ride! Get a FastPass if it is too long. You don't want to miss it!! It is so peaceful, yet so cool. You are essentially hang gliding over California. Soak it all in - the sights, breezes AND smells! A Must-Do attraction if ever there was one!
  • Living With The Land. This is a slow moving boat ride that has replaced the personalized Cast narration with a recording that is sort of hard to hear. It is definitely an educational attraction - but cool to see the different crops they are growing inside - as well as the alligators and fish!
  • The Seas with Nemo and Friends. What an improvement on the original Living with the Seas! You don't have to sit through that horrible movie where she says "It rained and rained and rained. A deluge." Ugh, I loved to make fun of that. The ride is really cute and the technology is tops! You may even find yourself wondering if that sting ray that just swam by was real or not! My favorite part is the EAC. Hang ten, baby! Cowabunga!
  • Innoventions. There are two Innoventions pavilions. They have various educational/product sponsor things going on. You can even queue up and test out one of the Segways! I personally could give or take this whole thing. In the past they had things inside that I liked better. Mostly I just hurry by to get to World Showcase. So let's do that NOW!
World Showcase - by far my overall favorite place in all of Walt Disney World!
  • Canada. Here you can see a circle vision movie starring Martin Short. I love Martin Short! This isn't really the most exciting of the pavilions, but it does have some really pretty photo ops!
  •  2009 - they have hockey jerseys if you're into that.
  • United Kingdom. Did someone say party? Beer? Cute British boys? This is where you want to be then! Catch the British Invasion performing in the back of this country. They look and sound like the Beatles. Everyone ends up dancing and singing along. So much fun! Most important, this is where you MUST stop to get some fish and chips - or just chips!
  •  2008 - Pop into the Rose & Crown pub for a pint!
  •  2006 - and don't forget the CHIPS!!
  • I'm seriously loving my hair in that picture. What do we think? Should I cut off a few inches??
  • France. I really love Impressions de France. It is a movie about... France! The music is my favorite. It has Claire de Lune in it, which is just a beautiful piece of music. (And it's my song with my gays!) If you recall from my original food blog - this is the country you will get the orange drink that looks like a slushie and tastes like creamsicle heaven.
  • Morocco. The boys here love American girls - just remember that! ;) And this is the country where you should be trying the Habibi Daiquiri and Sultan's Colada. What I love about Morocco is that you feel like you are really walking through Aladdin, the movie not the dude. It has some of the most unique shopping opportunities as well. This does haven't any theater or attraction, but there is a band with a belly dancer that performs periodically!
  •  2005 with my mommy
  • Japan. I really love Japan. I think I love it because of the huge store. Japan is basically a restaurant and a store. My bedroom was intended to have an Asian flair, so it has some things that I bought in Japan as decorations. I love looking at all the toys and the CRAZY "candy" they have. Beware, if you have little girls and they love Hello Kitty they are NOT going to want to leave!! This is my favorite place on property to pick a pearl from an oyster. The girls that run the whole show really do make it a fun show. They are so cute, I swear that alone makes me want to pick a pearl!
  •  2010 - Jessica getting her pearl
  • America. I admit I breeze through here, unless there is a free concert going on - which happens quite often. There is, however, a pretty impressive show with animatronics and a little history lesson, if you will. I sucked at history in school, so when I do watch I concentrate and try to learn as much as I can. I'm such a goof! Instead of a picture from America, I have to share with you a video from last year's Eat to the Beat concert series. (You will be feel nostalgic, I promise!)
  • Italy. This country has not one, but TWO big Italian restaurants. I haven't eaten and either of them, but I really want to. Check out the store with all of the masks. They are really impressive. And go get your picture taken at the fountain in the back. ALL women do it!
  • Germany. Ah, my homeland! There is a huge restaurant in the back that looks like too much fun. If I wasn't such a picky eater I would totally go there just for the oompapa entertainment! The new draw here is the caramel shop. I admit it does smell pretty good in there. And if you haven't yet gotten yourself a pickle ornament for your Christmas tree, go get one already! And get a pretzel while you're at it!
  •  2009. Okay, so I wasn't REALLY drinking. ;)
  • China. Relfections of China is the circle vision film here. I really like it. I love the music and it really has some picturesque places to see. There is a gigantic store with tons of things I want to buy. Here is a warning ... if you pick something up they will think you want to buy it and offer to hold it at the counter for you. I do a lot of "window shopping" to avoid this. There is seriously some cute stuff in there! And here's a little factoid - they filmed Christina Aguilera's "Reflection" video for Mulan here. They used to have these AMAZING gymnasts that would perform, but I just read that they weren't doing it anymore? Sad.
  •  2008 - that's Mike, my #1 gay that I adore!
  • Norway. OMG, the Prince of Norway. I don't even know his name, but he was so hot, I totally remember that face ... and that chest. But that's a Jellyrolls story for you, and we aren't talking about that today. The yummiest perfume is here. Go smell it. Laila. I bought it after I successfully ran the 5K at last year's Princess weekend as my little reward for completing my goal. If you want a ride, check out Maelstrom. It is a flume right .... and completely bizarre. Does this ride make sense? Is there a story line? A plot? I'm not going to say anything more. Just ride and decide for yourself!
  •  My 32nd birthday! 2010
  •  2007 - Watch out for those Vikings!
  • Mexico. Get our your pesos ... and get yourself some tequila! Wait, you mean there is more than just the margarita stand? Are you kidding me?? Okay, so there IS more. Like the tequila bar inside! ;)  Head on inside for some shopping, dining and El Rio del Tiempo. Fine. They changed the name. But I'm keeping the original name. It is a boat ride similar to Small World and Pirates. It had a make-over. Go ride, it's a nice break for your feet. And the beginning reminds me of Pirates in Disneyland and the Blue Bayou - but totally not as good. But ride it. There won't be a line, so you have no excuse not to. Then get a drink in the tequila bar and take silly pictures!
  •  Jessica in 2009
So that's Epcot in a nutshell! Other things to note ... Illuminations: Reflections of Your Anus Earth at 9pm. Mouse Gear is huge and has tons of things to buy - if you are a shopper like me. Go over to the Coke place and be sure to try Beverly. I swear Beverly has a fan club of her own! 

Look for me during Princess Weekend ... I WILL be there A LOT!! 

And for you Princess runners .... have a freaking ball running through here! We'll be just about to cross the finish line. Let's have a blast and have the best finishing kick we can!! There is bling waiting for us just around the corner! ºoº

    Run #36 - I Look Like A Runner!

    This was my first run after the epic 10 miles I did on Sunday. Technically I was supposed to do it on Tuesday, but my right knee was still feeling a little unhappy from running 13 miles after getting sucked into the sidewalk. I set out determined to have a great run, and I did!!

    I completed 5 miles at an average 10:20 pace. Yay! The first 2.5 I kind of decided to run for speed because that felt really good. I was testing out a new running skirt I picked up during my big shopping spree last month. This skirt will be used for non-running things now. After that first half, and I knew I was starting to have some chafing on the other leg from the looser shorts, I decided to not focus on speed and instead went for hills. My goal was to just maintain a steady pace on them, not getting too slow, but not trying to power up them like a manic (as I have been known to do in the past). After the hills were done I had just about a mile to go, so I returned to a faster pace until the finish. Overall this run felt great! If I had worn a trusty running skirt I would have done a bit better, but I figured I had to break this skirt in some time. Lesson learned.

    The flattering part came after my run. I had ended mile 5 right in front of my friend's house. It just so happens that all day yesterday he was picking my brain about running. He decided to do a half marathon for the first time and has no idea how to go about doing it. I've tried to put the brakes on him because oh boy was he setting himself up for failure! I think I might be able to get him in the right direction.... I hope! And after my visit he was so excited to go online and get himself some compression sleeves. The cool part caught me off guard.... His son came out, whom I've known for almost 6 years now but haven't seen in a while. Dang, he grew like a weed! I saw him and said, "Hi! Wow, you got really tall!" My friends response, "Wow, you got really skinny. You totally look like a runner!"

    Now normally I'd be like, um, are you saying I wasn't skinny before? Because really, I don't think I've changed that much physically. But I know it was intended as a compliment, so dang it, I'm taking it! Yay! Apparently I have inspired him to really start getting into running. Crazy! Who knows, maybe some day we'll actually go on a run together - would seem logical considering we live about 2 blocks away from each other. 

    Here are my current stats for half marathon training, in photo form: 
    23.5 is February. 95.2 is 2011 so far.

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    My Favorite Things: Hollywood Studios Attractions

    I'll just say it right now ... this is my least favorite park of the four. I enjoy it enough, but for me it isn't a full day park. I like to start there and then move to Epcot for the last part of the evening. (We'll cover Epcot later this week!) This park does have a good span of attractions to appeal to older folks, children and adventure seekers like myself!  (I'm not covering every single thing in this park.)

    SHOWS- I'll be upfront and also say I hate waiting to see shows and therefore rarely go.
    • Beauty and the Beast. I saw this once. In 1997. My mom's shoulder was a comfy pillow for me to sleep on. I honestly can't give a review of it. I recall there was singing and dancing - a pretty elaborate stage show in a covered amphitheater.
    • Fantasmic! This is the nighttime "spectacular" in this park. I prefer Fantasmic in Disneyland, although this does have some cool differences. I haven't watched this show since 2002 maybe. But that is not any reflection on the show. The music is great! There is a storyline. Fireworks. Favorite characters. If you are in the park until closing then you should really go on over and check it out! 
    • Voyage of the Little Mermaid. I've actually seen this one a couple of times and I thought it was pretty cool. Little girls would love it!
    • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. If you like Indiana Jones and/or stunt shows, or if you're a dude, you'll probably like it! This nice thing of this is it is also covered, so you don't get too hot or too cold during the show. There are some pretty impressive stunts in this one, but the very beginning of it all is my favorite!
    • Lights, Motors, Action! Seriously go to this one! The seating is in a huge stadium so anywhere you sit is going to be you a great view. It is like being on a movie set watching them film the crazy car/chase sequences that you see in an action movie. I'm a girl that hates shows, but I really enjoy this one!
    •  I actually took this picture and it is awesome! Lucky me!
    Enough of shows. See - I'm already wanting a nap. You can probably tell from how blah all of my descriptions were!


    • Walt Disney: One Man's Dream. I put this first because I really enjoy it. As a person with Disney literally in my blood (courtesy of my hidden Mickey tattoo), and a belief in what Walt stood for, I find this to be a great way to literally walk through the history of the company. After the walk through (at your own pace) there is a theater with a short movie about Walt. If you need to take a sit down break for a while, I really recommend this one!
    • The Great Movie Ride. The whole family can do this one together. I never miss it. The final movie scene is my favorite. I am not going to say what it is in case you haven't ridden before. It is kind of like riding through a wax museum of movie scenes. And if you are like me and enjoy a classic movie montage ... you'll enjoy this ride!
    • Studio Backlot Tour. This attraction asks for volunteers while you are still in the queue. I got to be one once!! You'll learn about the making of a movie scene, then board a tram to see some props from actual movies. The ride used to be better when Residential Street still existed. I loved seeing the Golden Girls and Empty Nest houses! At the exit you go through a collection of costumes from movies. Last time I did it the theme was villains. I LOVED Barbosa's outfit from Pirates!
    • Star Tours. It is getting a big refurb, so it won't be open for a while. Boo. I can't wait to see the finished product!
    • Toy Story Mania. You will probably want a FastPass for this attraction. Every time I've been there the FastPass tickets get sold out and the line is over an hour. But the ride is really fun and the queue is totally cute. This is a 3-D ride where you play carnival midway games. I had so much fun, I went out and bought the Wii game for it! This area has a meet and greet section as well, so be prepared ... it does get pretty crowded!
    • 2008... insert your own dirty jokes here.
    • Muppet Vision 3-D. I LOVE Miss Piggy, okay?? I mean I still have her bed sheets on my guest bed at home! The theater alone is worth going to this one to see. If you liked watching the Muppet Show I think you'll enjoy this cute little movie!
    •  Mommy and Ronda 2007
    • Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure. I include this one in case you are traveling with children and they have too much energy that they need to express. This is fun to wander through if you are an adult. Go find the big dog nose - it's my favorite part of this attraction. There are slides and places for your kids to go crawling through, but a little more difficult for an adult to navigate.
    •  1997 - check me out rocking the denim overalls! Oh yeah, I loved the 90's!!
    • Rockin' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. A roller coaster in the dark ... but with attitude! Music pumped into your ears. And incredible take off at the very start. Upside down twists and turns .... DO IT!!!!
    •  Ryan, Jessica and Ronda 2010
    • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.  I saved the best for last. This ride is A-Maz-Ing! Every time you ride it will be different. If you've only experienced the California Adventure counterpart, then you haven't truly experienced the Tower of Terror. This ride has evolved so much and right now it is at its best! Up, Down, You won't even know what you are doing sometimes! The queue is gorgeous. I love that classic old Hollywood feel it has, and it does tie into the story-line and start giving you that sort of uneasy, creepy feeling right off the bat. You must do this one. I insist! And after you have ridden it, do it again!! You could ride the same elevator shaft over and over - and you'll always get a different "show". LOVE IT!!!
    •  Ronda, Jessica and Ryan 2010
    So there you go! I'll share just a few other things about the park in general. You can walk to Epcot from there if you take the path to the Boardwalk. There is a traveling musical show with old people pretending to be high school kids dancing around. Your kids will love it. I'll be rolling my eyes and walking away from it because I can't stand it. There are many different dining options. If you want a full-service restaurant try to get reservations. Go in the candy shop on the corner. It smells soooo good! The tip board is located behind a fountain on that same corner. Check it out right away to get a quick status update on the big attractions in the park (Toy Story, Tower of Terror and Rockin' Roller Coaster). This is a park where it could be handy to have a map and times guide. The layout is confusing, and with all of the different shows going on you'll want to know where to be and when. And keep your eyes open for street performers. They pop up all over the place when you least expect it!

    Jessica and I in 2009
    (the yummy smelling candy shop is that building behind us)
    **I would say this is a sitting friendly park. My mom and I will be visiting this one the day before the half ... ugh, taking in shows. ;) So maybe I'll be able to update my opinions on them. There is also the American Idol Experience at The Studios. I didn't mention it because I never had any desire to do it. But since we are going to have it be a peaceful, minimal walking around park day, maybe I will pop in and see. Ooh, maybe I will be the next American Idol??

    You will LOVE it, too!!

    Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    I Can't Stop Talking!

    I swear I have diarrhea of the fingers or something. Someone tell me to stop posting blogs!! But you realize what it is, right?? It is all of my excitement building up. I have no way to express it all and get it out right now, other than to babble incessantly to anyone that will listen to me!

    Two weeks from tonight (at 5pm Oregon time) I am officially on vacation!! My mom and I head up to Portland for the night before our very early morning flight to Orlando, via Dallas. I am about at the point where I am too excited for my own good. These two weeks could end up very slow and painful!

    But with these two weeks also means that I have just two and a half weeks until my first half marathon. I am getting increasingly excited about that! I can't help but wonder, and maybe you can share your own experiences, will I fluctuate between excited and nervous/scared/petrified? Lesley and I have talked about the race a lot, and with each conversation I feel like I'm getting farther and farther away from the ledge, so that's good. I guess I finally feel like I am prepared. I am ready for this! (Okay, this is 90% in part due to Lesley's post-10-mile-run text telling me that I am ready for the half. THANKS!) I just can't wait to get there, hit the expo, track all of you down to get our obligatory blogger group photos and then run this dang race. I have been waiting for this one half marathon for a year already!!

    You probably don't know this, but I have my own holiday. R*nda Appreciati*n Day. (Sorry - due to nut jobs I have to censor things to avoid Google Alerts.) Yes, I have RAD. It is on February 21st, and this is the 5th year of appreciating ME!! It is totally R.A.D.!!  Basically, as the always single girl I never have a valentine. Everyone I know is married with children. They all celebrate. So I decided to just wait one week and then have my own celebration! The best part about it is that this year it is a holiday so I don't even have to go to work while I'm celebrating the raddness of myself.

    I swear to you I am not as narcissistic and vain as I probably sound right now. I just created R.A.D. as a joke, but then it worked out so well I just kept it going! The fact that people have given me presents for it shocks me all the time!

    I am REALLY excited for the Eugene Half Marathon as well. I was checking out the course and trying to get any details I could, and I'm so ready!

    And after seeing The Rite last night I'm still filled with all of these questions. I kind of want to start going to church again. I always get so interested in different religious things and want to learn more. Seems like church would be a simple place to start! I kind of don't want to have to do Communion though. Last time I did it I thought I was going to gag on those wafer things. I wonder if they'd let a 32 year old be an acolyte again. I bet I could light the candles so much easier now that I'm a bit taller. Seriously one Palm Sunday I could not get them lit. I was so embarrassed and stressed. I thought I was going to set the palm leaves on fire. But my church is scary. I was in it one night all alone locking all of the doors for the night and I swear I was hearing voices below me when I was upstairs. But I was the only one there. Even my dog was perking up and looking around. Oh yeah, I totally took Lady to church! The building has always creeped me out. I'm sure there's no reason, but I would love to be alone in there again sometime just to see. Anyway, yeah, I'm totally fascinated by this possession/exorcism stuff. Mostly fascinated that I haven't ever pondered it before. Maybe I need a Cliffs Notes version to get me started with all of this!

    See?? I am running off at the mouth. I think I have way too much energy - and it is all just excitement and adrenaline. Every time I have too much energy I want to go and learn everything I can about a topic. 

    Did you know I wanted to be a nun in the 4th grade? I blame the Sound of Music. I just want to walk through big, open buildings and sing.

    And I think I'm going to, sooner than later, register for the Disneyland 5K. So, Rose - that means you have, too! But I'm totally just walking it. I just want to relax and have fun sight-seeing and get a medal for it!

    Okay that's all. Back to what you were doing!

    My Favorite Things: Magic Kingdom Attractions

    I haven't yet decided how I'm going to break down rides/shows. I did decide I'll do it park by park, starting with the Magic Kingdom since that is the one we all associate the most with when we think of Disney World! I don't think I'll talk about every attraction, but who knows. I expect lots of bullet points. And photos!

    Main Street USA
    • This is the mecca of shopping! The Emporium is the largest store, spanning basically the entire length of Main St. It gets crowded at the end of the night, FYI. They have everything.
    •  Ronda and Jessica, 2009
    • Walt Disney World Railroad. This rides around the perimeter of the park, with additional stops in Frontierland and Toontown (which I guess is closed since Toontown is closing?).
    • Stitch's Great Escape. Kids are terrified in this. I'll just be blunt about it. I don't enjoy it, I much preferred the original Alien Encounter. I have never been to this attraction and not had it be filled with crying, terrified children.
    • Monsters Inc. Laugh Factory. If you are petrified of audience participation - stay away!! I was nervous the entire time and couldn't enjoy myself. Kids loved it and the technology behind it is really cool!
    • Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. Must-do! It is fun for everybody. If you don't want to shoot the laser then you can spin your cart. Tip: Aim for the hard to see, high up targets - they are worth more points!
    •  My boys in 2008
    • Space Mountain. It had a make-over! I like the new effects. Go check it out. Don't stick your arms up. It makes me paranoid. I actually sink throughout the ride for fear of being decapitated. I think we have nothing to worry about - the the worry makes it more fun for me! Tip: Beware if you are wearing a skirt. You'll be giving the Cast Members quite a view, so be lady like!
    •  Ronda, Jessica, Ryan 2010
    • Carousel of Progress. Great if you are tired and want a nap. Catchy song that I LOVE to sing.
    • Tomorrowland Transit Authority (People Movers). Must-do! This is also great if there are long lines everywhere else. It is long enough to give your feet a rest and you get some nice views of Tomorrowland and Cinderella's Castle. There are cameras, so think twice before you get too frisky in the dark parts!
    •  Poor Mommy was freezing! 2010
    • Autopia & AstroOrbiter. Long lines.
    Mickey's Toontown Fair - it is closing before Princess Weekend is here. Sorry!

    Fantasyland - a lot of construction right now, FYI.
    • It's A Small World. You know every word to this song. You need to take your children on it. You will pretend that you don't like it, but you know you do. And the line moves really fast!
    • Peter Pan's Flight. This line is ALWAYS long. I mean always. But riding in a flying pirate ship is cool!
    • Mickey's Philharmagic. Must-do!! This is just so good, I can't even tell you. And it smells good, too! This is the best 3-D show I have ever seen, and you will love it, too! Nothing scary, just all of our favorite moments from some classic Disney cartoons!
    • Dumbo the Flying Elephant. I rode it once.
    • Mad Tea Party. Come on, it's a classic! And who doesn't love Alice in Wonderland??
    •  Mad Tea Party 2009
    • Prince Charming Regal Caroussel. (I had to cheat to get that formal name!) What better place to get some great photos of everybody having fun! I rarely ride, and I really should do it more. It's sweet!
    • Snow White's Scary Adventures. They aren't really that scary, I promise. And Dopey is too cute!
    • Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. So fun! Love this ride. It is your typical "dark ride" and really worth the ride. I think all ages should enjoy this one - especially your smaller children.
    • Cinderella's Castle. Take photos of it. You know you will. Are you as excited as I am to RUN through it??
    Liberty Square
    • Haunted Mansion. Clearly a big Must-Do! If you haven't been in years, this has also had an internal makeover. You aren't allowed to go to the Magic Kingdom without visiting the Haunted Mansion!!
    • Hall of Presidents. Another good attraction for napping/resting your feet. Pretty impressive animatronics inside, as well! (I'm kind of a geek and really into the "how" of attractions and learning about the technology behind it.)
    • Liberty Square Riverboat. You can ride it. I crashed into it back in 2003 during the Cast Member Canoe Races!
    Frontierland - the Best! (I am 100% biased with this statement!)
    • Country Bear Jamboree. Fun, singing, cute bears, a nice break for the feet!
    • Pecos Bill Cafe. Okay, so it isn't a ride, I'm just pimping out my former stomping grounds!
    • Splash Mountain. My favorite attraction!! Unlike Disneyland, you get to sit side by side, which leads to less dirty water aiming for your crotch. Must-Do! Do NOT miss it!!! They have also just added lap bars during the last rehab. I'm curious to see what I think of them, and what it does to the wait/load/unload time. I am ALWAYS a camera hog on this ride. I don't mean to be. I just love to throw my arms up! Tip: If you have friends/family behind you that want to stay dry ... Duck. Especially if you are in row 1. The 2nd row people will get super wet and you'll have fun laughing about it after!
    •  November 2010 ~Ronda, Jessica and Ryan
    •  Check that out! 1997 - front row. During Traditions - doing the Disney Point!
    • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Probably intimidating to smaller children, but I find that once they ride it they love it! I won't tell you to turn around and look behind you on the ride. That isn't safe. So I won't tell you to do that. But it's fun! But seriously, don't do it. Okay, I have to say it .... you know you know it .... "Hang on to them hats and glasses 'cause this here's the wildest ride in the wilderness!"
    •  2010 Princess Weekend
    • Tom Sawyer Island. Children will LOVE this place and you will wish you didn't go out there because they won't want to live. Play on the fun bridges, explore the caves, check out the fort. Just be a kid - and you'll have fun, too! The worst part --- the raft ride to/from. People get pushy, so hold on to your children.
    • Enchanted Tiki Room. It is not the original. That's all I'm gonna say.
    • Jungle Cruise. If you have only ridden the Jungle Cruise in Disneyland, you cannot miss this!! Same idea, but there is one section that is all unique!
    • Magic Carpets of Aladdin. Basically it is Dumbo. Beware of the spitting camels!
    • Swiss Family Treehouse. Walk through at your own pace. There are many stairs, so keep that in mind. If you liked the movie you'll enjoy their Treehouse!
    • Pirates of the Caribbean. MUST-DO!! All ages will enjoy it. Women that are drawn to Captain Jack Sparrow will REALLY enjoy it. Pick the line to the right. I always see everyone go to the left while I go right. I get on faster than they do, so neener neener neener. Another attraction that is not equal to its Disneyland counterpart. Sadly I have to say California's is better, but I still love it and ride multiple times in one vacation!

    So there's the Magic Kingdom! The rest will be shorter, but this is a big park with A LOT to do! There is the 3 o'clock parade, the Main Street Electrical parade and the new fireworks show. During the day there is a show at Cinderella's Castle as well. I really hope you all have a great time in this park. Sit and relax when you need to. Enjoy a Dole Whip. Take in some shopping in the unique stores. Enjoy Main Street at night with all of the lights! I don't like to see stressed families or crying children. This is the park that I began my Disney career in, so it is always like home to me! ºoº