Originally posted at laurabowers.net on January 25, 2015. I’m updating my author website by moving all older runDisney and running content here!
Whenever I post my recap about the Wine & Dine, I’ll chat about my inability to sleep the night before leaving thanks my lovely insomnia issues. <<Insert sarcastic eye roll.>> I’m a wreck without enough sleep, (a fact that will come into play in my half marathon recap,) so by eight o’clock on Wednesday night, my bags were packed, my toenails were polished, and I was in bed! My family was extra careful to not make any noise so I slept wonderfully–thank God–and woke up ready to roll when the alarm rang at 2:30.
Speaking of packing, have I ever told you that I’m the baggie queen?
It’s true. I am the baggie queen … OCD … too persnickety.
Please tell me you caught my little Abba “Dancing Queen” parody action there. No? You didn’t? It’s okay, go back and try again. It works, right?
Well, maybe not. Never mind. Moving on.
So anyway, my darling, supportive husband drove me to the airport where it was hard saying goodbye. I felt guilty, taking this last-minute trip without him, especially since my boys were home from college. But he told me to have a wonderful trip, sent me on my way, and before I knew it, I was saying hello to my dear friend, Mickey at MCO in Florida!
Oh, that beautiful, beautiful sign! I was staying with the wonderfully fun Jackey (check out her new blog!) and her mom at Pop Century for two nights before moving to a Boardwalk Villa. The computer at Pop was down, so I checked my bag with bell service, missed the Expo bus by mere seconds, and then waited in some rather nasty, chilly wind for the next one.
Yeah. The weather was a bugger and the forecast for the half and full was troublesome. But after surviving Splash & Dash, aka the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, it wasn’t worrying me to much.
I just love first walking up to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and seeing that gorgeous globe against a blue sky! Ain’t it pretty?
A friend of mine who attended the Expo on Wednesday had already picked up my must haves: both Goofy Challenge magnets, a Goofy pin and a cute little Goofy button. So I was feeling oddly relaxed and not in any super huge rush to get to the Disney merchandise area. It was nice to just be chilled for once! Instead, I took some photos before meandering to the Josten Building.
I did wander over to the Disney Merchandise area just in case there was something else that caught my eye. These were the only remaining women’s Goofy I Did It shirts left at around 11:30 and it was slim pickings for some of the other Goofy items as well. Such a disappointment for runners who were attending the Expo on Friday!
I tried to resist spending any more money, but alas, I just had to get a mug and another pin. After paying, I was still feeling rather lackadaisical, so I wandered to the runDisney booth to drool … err, look at the gorgeous medals on display!
I must have been feeling too lackadaisical because I didn’t even notice how the Princess Half Marathon medal’s were silver this year instead of the normal gold. (You can really see it when comparing to Tink’s medals.) They just looked pretty wonderful to me!
Speaking of wonderful, it was great getting my bib signed by Jeff Galloway! I considered it a good luck charm … and I needed all the luck I could get. 🙂
Rather than wander aimlessly around all the booths, I decided to head on over to pick up my race packet and bibs. But what is this? Where did these gorgeous jackets come from? I mean, oh my gosh. Pink? Teal? An awesome 80’s vibe? SPARKLES? I rarely buy “I Did It” shirts since I’m not a big tee-shirt wearer but the race jackets? I wear my TOT and Wine & Dine one all the time so I had to have this! Unfortunately, these lovely ladies were for the folks who preordered only. Bummer. But they said that if any were left over, they’d be sold at the merchandise tent on marathon morning. Fingers crossed!
By that time, some of my friends had arrived, so I headed back to Jostens and tried my shirts on in the bathroom just in case I needed to exchange sizes. The black marathon shirt felt great so I didn’t try on the others. Big mistake, since the Goofy Challenge shirt was cut slightly smaller. Lesson learned. Try them all on!
Oh my gosh. This guy! My friends and I saw him posing for a picture with his bib. His #4 bib. As in 1, 2, 3 … 4! Holy cow. And his smile? It was so infectiously joyous. Anna and I just had to get a selfie with him. It had to be done, y’all. He didn’t speak English so his friend translated our request and he was happy to oblige! Later on, we found out he’s Adriano Bastos, seven time Disney Marathon winner, which made us doubly glad we got this picture!
Now if only I didn’t look so psychotic …
We then wandered through the Dooney & Bourke area where the satchel looked even more gorgeous in person than online. But no, I kept on walking, seeing as how we have two boys in college. (Now if only I can resist buying a Princess Half Marathon one. If it’s the rumored Frozen theme, that will not be a problem …)
After spending some time chatting with my friends, I bid the Expo adios and made the long walk back to the Pop Century bus line. The system was still down, unfortunately, and our room wasn’t ready so I headed to Hollywood Studios to meet up with some other friends! I thought about checking my runDisney clear bag with bell service, but since the thought of losing my bib made me nervous, I carried it with me. (Mistake!)
We took a spin on Toy Story Mania where I suspect Niki took it easy on me after beating my pants off last time! We then rode Tower of Terror and Rock ‘N Roller Coaster with Niki holding onto my bag as she waited outside. But then I forgot to take it back so she kept holding it. And holding it, even after we parted ways and I headed for the bus since they had an ADR at California Grill at the Contemporary Resort.
Soon I got a call from the parking lot once Niki realized she had my bag. Doy! Had it been just merchandise I wouldn’t have been worried, but it had my bib so I met them at the parking lot where she told me to jump in, she’d take me back to Pop. Then a funny thing happened – I was kidnapped and forced to join them for dinner at California Grill! Oh, how I suffered. 😉 I had previously turned down their invitation because of that darn budget of mine, but what the heck. I’ve always wanted to eat there watch Wishes from Contemporary’s outside viewing area!
So glad I went. The restaurant is gorgeous! Unfortunately, I didn’t last long out on the viewing area. It was just too dang cold.
One of the gals talked about getting up early the next morning to cheer for the 10k and since she was by herself at the Boardwalk Resort that night, she invited me to crash with her and cheer with her!
Which is the topic of my next post seeing as how this one is waaaayyy too long already!
Question: Did you go to the Expo and if so, what was your favorite part?