Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christina's Tops for 2009

As I have done for the past few years, without any more adieu, is the annual roundup of a few of my favorite things. I've included a few new categories to this year's listing. Enjoy! I'll see you in the New Year!

Best Movie: Wow, 2009 was a great year for movies. From J.J. Abram's "Star Trek" revamp which was a Trekkies dream to the Disney lovers faves like "Up" and "The Princess and The Frog," there are still quite a few movies I'm looking forward to in the last few days of the year. I'm very excited for the musical extravaganza "Nine" led by Daniel Day-Lewis and Kate Hudson and "Up In The Air" starring George Clooney and "Twilight"'s Anna Kendrick.

Worst Movie I Paid For: Couples Retreat. While I love Vince Vaughn, this movie just didn't have it. Besides the Guitar Hero scene, catch it on DVD. It's an ensemble cast you just can't love.

Best DVD Rental: Well, we pretty much got rid of rentals this year and switched to Netflix. I'm in love with the on-demand features that stream directly to our Mac. We've seen loads of great movies so it's hard to pick only one.

Best Song: I think for the second year in a row - it would have to be anything by Taylor Swift. Screw Kanye West. She's making the gold records.

Song I Couldn't Get Out of My Head: Miley Cyrus, you little hit maker. Between "Ice Cream Freeze," "Hoedown Throwdown" and "Party in the USA," she left sugary pop songs stuck in my psyche and in my car's CD player in '09.

Best New Restaurant I Tried: Flat Top Grill in Wauwatosa. Pick your own stir fry meal with noodles, rice (brown or white), then add veggies, meat and an array of sauces to customize your dish. It's fresh, fast and never full. It also has a great brunch on weekends that includes pancakes, French toast and eggs the way you like 'em. Beats Stir Crazy in Brookfield hands-down!

Best Moment: Getting hired on full-time at Children's Hospital. I am so lucky to work with the talented women that I do. I love my job.

New Year's Resolution: To not see a doctor for at least the first quarter of '10. I'm sick of being sick.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cool "tilt shift" video from the Disney folks

The folks at Walt Disney World put together this really cool video using tilt shift photography techniques. It's a day in the life of the Magic Kingdom. It uses a mixture of miniature models and real photos. Check it out!

This originally posted on the new Disney World blog at

What a great day for a run!

Yesterday, Brett and I took part in Briggs & Al's Run & Walk for Children's Hospital. I was amazed at the turnout on such a cold day in Milwaukee!

Approximately 15,000 people came out to participate in the 8K run and 3- or 5-mile walks through downtown. Children's Champions, former and current hospital patients, cheered on runners across the course. I had chills and was choking back tears as some of the Champions braved the cold and held up signs thanking the participants.

Marquette University's Pep Band, Men's Basketball team and cheerleaders were all on-hand to greet runners. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee cheerleaders and Victor E. Panther met participants near the 4-mile mark.

I can't say enough how proud I am of the people who came out. We saw license plates from all across the country. Thank you for supporting the great work that Children's Hospital of Wisconsin does!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Check out my guest blog on

AJ over at asked if I could write a quick review of Tokyo Dining. Check it out over at the site!

In case you haven't checked the site out before, it's a great resource for everything food at WDW. Because we all know that food is the biggest attraction there!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Haven't had much to say...

So sorry I haven't posted lately. I was just clicking through and noticed I actually have comments from people who follow me. Thanks so much for reading! I never thought my life was actually that interesting, but what do I know?

Well, I'm going to be guest blogging over at next week. I'm stoked for that. I'll be writing about Tokyo Dining at Epcot's World Showcase.

I promise I'll try and be better at updating this for the rest of the year. There's quite a bit going 10-year reunion in a few weeks, the diet plan and, of course, keeping you updated on Disney news.

Funny thing - Brett wants me to start a side job. Planning other people's Disney vacations. I feel strange about taking people's money for something that I just love to do. But I can offer a complete service from start to finish from planning day-to-day itineraries, offering restaurant hints, and offering tips for scrapbooking to creating video montages (thanks to the new iMac).

What do you think? Is he right?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Scary thoughts

I've been undergoing tests the past few weeks. I wish I could say it was for something happy like I'm about to have a baby. But no. These aren't happy tests. They're actually kinda scary.

I almost collapsed at the gym two weeks ago. I thought I was having a really strong asthma attack. My arms were tingling. My head was fuzzy. My eyes were blurry. I couldn't even sit up. I felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders.

I went to the doctor a few days later. She started taking my oxygen levels. My blood pressure. My pulse. Something just wasn't right.

She came back saying that I have slight anemia. Nothing new. I've been taking iron pills to help my iron levels for about six months now. I've always had a blood clotting problem.

But, she was worried that this incident just wasn't another asthma attack. My inhaler hasn't been helping. I've been fatigued for the past few weeks. No energy. Sleeping most of my free time. I'm out of breath just walking a short distance. I can't carry groceries. I can't stand up from my bed without getting dizzy. It's been a complete 180 from the person who just finished a 5k run in March.

As I sat waiting in the doctor's office by myself, it was like sitting in some movie. "I'm worried it could be a blood clot..."

The words just trailed off...echoing in the back of my head.

I'm screaming inside, "What?!?"

"You need some more tests. I'd like you to get a stress test, get a chest x-ray and get some blood drawn," my doctor said.

The worry that goes through your head is unimaginable for a diagnosis such as a blood clot. "What could happen to me?" "I just got married..." "How did this happen?" "What about my family and friends?" "How can I stop it?"

Now, I have to go back for more tests. The scary, worrisome thoughts are coming back even stronger. I was up at 3 a.m. in a cold sweat, crying in fear that something will happen to me in my sleep. "What happens if I have a clot and it moves?"

I know nothing has been officially diagnosed. But this is such a terrifying experience for me. Why do I not have any energy? Why am I having so much difficulty just breathing? When can I go back to exercising?

I have to undergo a test on Friday called a ventilation/perfusion scan. I have to breathe in some low doses of radiation and also get injected with radiation. Then the radiologists will check to see if my blood vessels are moving blood and if my lungs are moving air. If they see the radiation pooling in areas, they can tell if I have a pulmonary embolism, or clot. Read more about the procedure.

I can't wait for the next few weeks to be over. I want the these scary thoughts to go away. I just want to be OK.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Help the kids at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin

This year's Briggs & Al's Run & Walk for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin is Saturday, Oct. 10, in Milwaukee. Take part in one of the largest combined run/walk events in the United States. Your donation goes directly to the patients at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. You can take part in a 3- or 5-mile walk, or 8k run along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Donate now or learn more at!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Forming team for Sarah's Stride 2009

Hi everyone,

This year's Sarah's Stride to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Milwaukee is taking place on Saturday, May 16, in Hart Park in Wauwatosa. If you're interested in joining the team, please contact me via e-mail or Facebook before April 15. Registration is $20 for individuals and an additional $75 for teams. Fees are due on May 4.

When you sign-up, you receive a long-sleeve wicking T-shirt, drawstring backpack and goodies, finisher medal and refreshments. Distances are a 5k (3.1 mile) run or 2-mile walk.

Learn more at or Please consider helping this great cause! You don't have to be a professional runner! Trust me, I'm far from it!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dining Review: Liberty Tree Tavern

We had ressies at 8:40 for Liberty Tree Tavern. We were all suddenly really hungry after waiting in line for Splash Mountain for almost an hour.

Brett and I had done this one for our honeymoon but John really wanted to try it again. The restaurant was not nearly as full as it had been previously for the character meals.

The food hasn't changed much in a year. It's still the same traditional family-style meal. Starters include a garden salad with raspberry vinaigrette, hot rolls and butter. Then, turkey with gravy, stuffing, ham and a mustard sauce, roast beef, mashed potatoes and Stouffer's mac & cheese. Then, apple cobbler with vanilla ice cream for dessert.

It was a filling meal but no sparks were flying. We were stuffed by the end and needed to find a bench before heading off to Extra Magic Hours.

A huge family from Australia was next to us. At least 12-14 people. It was loud! We could obviously tell they hadn't had root bear before because they were all passing around one glass and saying how much is wasn't like sasparilla and how it tasted like medicine. If medicine tastes like that in Australia, I need to move there.

Our server did a great job of refilling items for us. He was almost too quick with getting drink refills.It's a good meal for picky eaters. But the drawback is the price. They haven't changed the price since getting rid of character dining. It just isn't worth the price minus the extras now. I'd go back in the future, but only if they reduced the price or brought back the characters.

Dining Review: Tokyo Dining

We originally were supposed to eat at Narcoosee's on Saturday night after the 5k. But we were tired and didn't want to spend as much money with the current state of the economy. So we decided to insert an alternative table service in its place on our last day. Well, we managed to fit two table service meals in its place and probably came about even if we had gone with our original plan.

One of the restaurants we decided to try was Tokyo Dining for sushi. We've recently been on a huge sushi kick and enjoy finding new places that have exciting, experimental choices.

None of us had ever actually been to the Japan pavilion at World Showcase, so there were a lot of firsts. There are beautiful ponds and gardens in the pavilion. The large ceremonial temple still has scaffolding and a huge tarp around it due to renovations. The Cast Members in the entire area were the nicest I have encountered.

Tokyo Dining is located on the second floor above the Mitsokoshi shopping area. It shares the space with Teppan Edo. There were definitely more people trying the teppanyaki-style dining experience where the teppan chefs prepare your food in an entertaining way for you.The CMs at the entry all wore traditional kimonos. They bowed as they greeted you (your servers did as well).

A large picture window overlooks the lagoon (it must be great for Illuminations.) A center dining area has tables and gives a front row seat of the sushi chefs and a large plasma screen that plays calming images of flora and fauna.

Our waitress was so sweet! She bent over backwards for any needs. First, she brings a warm wash cloth and instructs you its to refresh your hands. The menu isn't extensive as some places but there are a few new sushi items that we haven't seen elsewhere.

We each end up trying something different. I tried the Bento box (a mix of tuna sashimi, seaweed salad, steamed rice, teriyaki beef and tempura veggies). It was fabulous. The fish had a great flavor. The seaweed salad was a nice surprise. It was very refreshing. The tempura batter was one of the lightest I have ever tried. It actually stuck to the veggies well and had a great crunch.

Brett had a Spicy Philadelphia Roll, yellowtail sashimi and salmon roll. John had tempura shrimp, squid sashimi, and yellowtail. Everything was amazing. The Spicy Philly roll was something we haven't seen anywhere else. I normally don't like cream cheese in my sushi, but the smoothness of the cream cheese provided a great cooling effect to the spicyness of the rest of the roll.

Tokyo Dining also provided us with a special anniversary dessert slice of chocolate ginger cake. It was really good! I love ginger so much and never thought it would be such a great compliment to chocolate. It wasn't too decadent. (Photo)

Overall, Tokyo Dining is now one of my favorite Disney dining destinations and one of the hidden gems at World Showcase. The entire experience was fabulous. The only downside was the price. It wasn't quite as competitive as other choices you could make at the world or in comparison with other sushi restaurants, but service and ambience more than make up for it. We will definitely be back!

Dining Review: Boma (breakfast)

Brett and I had already enjoyed Boma's dinner buffet during out Disneymoon last year. We still can't stop raving about it. So, when we started planning this trip, we knew we wanted to go back and try breakfast. John was a little apprehensive about it, but I think he warmed up to it pretty nicely.

We had a 7:50 ressie on Friday, March 6. We were running a bit late anyways, but it didn't help that Security was amped up (I heard rumors Britney Spears was staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge during the same time so they limited incoming guests) and they were checking our driver's licenses and calling the restaurant to confirm our dining reservation even though we gave them a confirmation code.

The restaurant was barely full at that time of morning. We could see the pool from our table, steam still rising off the water's surface. I'm still amazed at how gorgeous the lodge's architecture really is from the thatched roof to the savannah. I was carefully examining all the kitchens and the space that Boma takes up is immense.We were taken to our table promptly.

The Cast Member gave DH and I a "Celebrate Today!" card for our 1st anniversary signed by all the CMs in their native languages. It was really touching.The layout of the buffet is similar to dinner.

On the far right hand side is the carving station (it had cured ham and corned beef for breakfast) and traditional African fare such as bobotie (it seemed like a spicy version of grits to me) and fried tomatoes.

There was an area that had waffles, sausage, bacon and already prepared eggs and omelettes. But there was also an made-to-order omelette station. I had the chef make a bacon, mushroom and cheddar omelet. It was huge, but well worth it! There was a large selection of dry cereals, breads and muffins. The banana bread was excellent. Brett and John both really enjoyed the sausage. They said it had a great smoky flavor.

Boma's signature juice - a mix of guava, mango and papaya was a great starter for the morning. I also love the paper straws they have at the lodge and at Animal Kingdom park. Finally, our server brought Brett and I special dessert to celebrate our anniversary. (Picture with our card.) Even if it was only 9 a.m., they were fantabulous!

Overall, I really enjoyed breakfast at Boma. There's enough of a selection for even the pickiest of diners. The restaurant was still barely full by the time we left, so I think it's a nice quiet option for adult travelers or those with older children. I would go back in a heartbeat for both meals!

Dining Review: Cape May Cafe

We visited Cape May Cafe on our first night (Wednesday, March 4). We had a 7:30 ressie. John and I absolutely love Yacht & Beach Club for its ambience. It was Brett's first trip there, so I hope he liked it just as much. None of us had ever been to CMC.

Brett and I have lived in Boston, so we have all had a traditional New England clambake. While this isn't "traditional," the fare was average. There were ample amounts of selections on the buffet for both seafood and non-seafood eaters.

The Cast Members who greeted us were energetic and gave us the lay of the land. They showed us the designated areas for soups, salads, seafood, kid's choices and **of course** dessert!

The colorful inside is a beach theme with beachside umbrellas and awnings, sandcastles, and light wood finishings. The tables were covered in large white pieces of paper and crayons were stocked in little metal buckets. (I had a ball coloring a little Cinderella castle with fireworks and a dog! See picture.)

There was everything including mussels, clams, herb-baked salmon, corn-on-the-cob, fruit salad (it had a little too much mint for my taste), barbecued chicken and prime rib.

The items that stick out to me was the clam chowder. It's hard to get a good clam chowder, but I liked that there's had a hefty amount of meat (you could actually tell they were clams) and there was even the grit of the sand (I like that...I know others who don't.) I also really enjoyed the Oreo Bon-Bons. It was an Oreo sandwich cookie covered with a vanilla/chocolate mousse and then covered in milk chocolate. Really good! The cookies on the dessert bar were a tad dry. I like a chewy cookie. But, the Key Lime pie tarts were a tasty and spring-like alternative.

Overall, our service was a bit spotty. It took awhile to get beverages refilled. The food was good, but nothing to really write home about. I think you can get a better deal at other buffets such as Boma or Crystal Palace in regards to both food, ambience and service. If we were pressed for ADRs on a future trip, I would give it a try, but it's not on my "must-do" list.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Trip report - Pt. 2

Sunday, March 8

Our last day. We slept in a bit until around 8-ish. Then, we parked over at Beach Club around 10 a.m. to walk over through the International Gateway at World Showcase.

Brett and I toured the shops around the UK pavilion while John found a quaint little bench in front of Rose & Crown before other areas opened. I played around with a trivia game in one of the UK shops before Brett and I went to see the O! Canada movie. I haven't seen the new Martin Short version or heard the new song sung by the Canadian Idol winner, but I liked the changes.

Afterwards, we leisurely walked around to Mexico for a ride on The Gran Fiesta Tour (I still miss Cheech Marin in El Rio del Tiempo!). I was getting hungry and something was smelling amazing at the couter service outside the pavilion. We were able to walk right on the Maelstrom before our ressies for lunch at Tokyo Dining.

I have never actually gone in the Japan pavilion but was really surprised at the shops and the food was amazing! We had a great experience and the sushi was really good. Before we left Epcot, we made one last trip on Spaceship Earth. Then, we took the Monorail over to MK for the rest of the day and night. John was well involved in starting his pin trading, so Brett and I were able to catch Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! on Main Street. We walked right on to POTC. Then, we had a 50-minute wait for Splash Mountain. While we were standing in line, a little boy in front of us stepped to the side of the line and started peeing in some bushes. Really gross!

We had ressies at Liberty Tree Tavern at 8:40 so we were able to catch Country Bear Jamboree during Spectromagic. I'm surprised they didn't change the price of the meal after getting rid of the characters. We also had a LARGE family from Australia next to us -- maybe 12-14 people. It was loud to say the least. They were very adamant about the root beer tasting like medicine.

There were Extra Magic Hours until 1 a.m. so we were able to do Haunted Mansion and a few other attractions with no problem. The crowds were just a bit overwhelming. It seemed like a lot of people were being turned away for not having Key To The World cards which caused the lines to be a lot longer. We also saw paramedics carting a guy off in Tomorrowland. Very eventful evening. By the end of the night we were wasted. But, it was a great ending to the trip.

Monday, March 8

Our last day. We had to get up early to get the rental car back and get a shuttle to the airport. I managed to get some last minute souvenirs at the airport (a really cute crystal and silver Mickey ring and some chocolate covered coconut Mickeys).

It is so sad when you're riding the tram to your terminal. It's like the last ride you get in Orlando. We had a connecting flight in Atlanta. We were supposed to get home at 2 p.m. but we were delayed by four hours and had three gate changes. We were beat when we finally made it in. Plus, I had to work the next day. Note to self: Take day off after Disney vacay.

Overall, I was very satisfied with our trip. It was a lot shorter than we normally would take but the focus for me was mainly on the run, which I'm very happy to have finished. The All Star Moviews served it's purpose as a room, but for more amenities, such as better transportation, I think I'll stick with the moderates in the future. I hope we can stay at one of the deluxe resorts on our next stay.

I really enjoyed Toy Story Mania. I can see why it's such a hugely popular ride. The Table Service meals that we did have were great. (I'll post those reviews shortly...) I can't rave enough about Tokyo Dining -- the service was impeccable and the food was top-notch. The only downfall was it was a bit expensive if you're not on the Disney Dining Plan. We can get similar food at home, not the same service, for a fraction of the cost.

All in all in was a great trip away from the cold Wisconsin winter.

Hope you all enjoyed the trip reports and I can't wait to go back!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Disney Trip Report

Day 1 - Wednesday, March 4

We had an 11 a.m. flight on AirTran (our first time using this airline) to Orlando. We got in to town on schedule and picked up our rental car. I could barely sleep the night before. I was like the little “I’m too excited to sleep” kid. We drove to ASMo for check-in. Luckily, we made it right before a huge busload of ME riders. Art, the castmember who helped us, was awesome. He was totally talking up the new American Idol attraction at DHS.

We weren’t able to get a room in our first picks – Toy Story or Fantasia – but we were actually really happy with our location in the Mighty Ducks building. For the future, the Mighty Ducks buildings at ASMo are MUCH closer to ASMu’s main building and bus stop.

This was our first time at a value resort and we were very surprised. The rooms weren’t as small and dank as some reviewers have made them out to be. We were able to comfortably fit three adults in our room. The bathroom was a little hard to concentrate with the psychedelic wallpaper with filmstrips and spinning stars. The bedroom was decked out in a Mighty Ducks motif and the bedspreads had crazy and colorful images of everything from Buzz Lightyear to 101 Dalmatians.

We were all starved from the flight and didn’t have reservations for dinner until 7:50 p.m. at Café May Café. So, we got our refillable mugs (love the new designs!) and some quick bites at the food court. We didn’t use the food court that often but it had the necessities. The Mickey waffles were tasty in the morning. The garden salad was freshly made. Brett liked the breakfast sandwich and John liked the burger fix. I actually really enjoyed the kid meal’s quantities. It was more than enough for my appetite, a lot cheaper, and it came with an extra beverage. Otherwise, we stopped at the grocery store (Yay Gooding’s at the Crossroads) for some morning treats.

We relaxed for a bit in the room. There’s just something about turning on your Disney TV and being inundated by Stacy’s Top 7 must-dos at WDW. It’s hokey, but addicting. Really, I could just watch the Disney cartoon channel all day long. I can never get tired of it!

Finally, it was about that time to head over the Beach Club for dinner. We didn’t have to wait at all. It was our first time trying this buffet. It wasn’t a true New England-style clambake, but it was still yummy. All I need to say: Oreo BonBons. (I’ll have more in-depth about the food shortly).

After dinner, we were pooped from a long day. Plus, we have an early day at Animal Kingdom and the Studios on Thursday.

Day 2 – Thursday, March 5

It was up early to make park opening at Animal Kingdom. We wanted to make sure we saw all those great animals on Kilimanjaro Safaris.

We were on one of the first trucks out for the ride. We got some great shots of giraffes, cheetahs and crocodiles. That pesky lion – why does he have to sleep for 20 hours each day?

Afterwards, we walked through the Maharaja Jungle Trek. The gorillas are just so beautiful in there. We got some amazing shots. It’s like they were almost posing for us.

Then, it was on to Expedition Everest. That ride is still awesome. I prepared myself with the ginger pills for the motion sickness. I was surprised how many little ones were on the ride – like almost to the point that they seemed too small for it. But, that ride just takes my breath away. We requested a front row of the train. (I think it helps with the motion sickness thing.) My eyes and my mouth were so dry after, but it was well worth it. Plus, it was only a 20 minute wait in the standby line.

We hit lunch at Flame Tree Barbecue and then caught the Village Beatniks for a few. Then, Brett and I went to catch Finding Nemo: The Musical. What a great show! I could only imagine how much greater it would be on Broadway. The talent and the puppets were so whimsical and fun. Talk about bringing a movie to life!

After that, we were pooped, but we had to make it to Hollywood Studios tonight. John decided to go back to the hotel, but Brett and I kept going. It was our only chance to catch Fantasmic. We first went to Rock ‘N Roller Coaster so Brett could ride. I got some good pictures (and some free fries at one of the stands – Yay anniversary buttons!). Then, we booked it to the new Toy Story Mania! It was great! The themeing is some of Disney’s best. The ride was even better. I’m so glad we were able to ride twice. I averaged about 113,000 for both attempts.

Fantasmic was a bit of a letdown. The entire time it seemed off. Characters seemed to be missing their cues and showing up early. And then in the finale, Mickey didn’t get to square off against the dragon. It got stuck in the door, so Maleficent had to come back out and Mickey slayed her instead. It was really disappointing since we weren’t going to be able to see it again. But, no one else around us seemed to notice anything was wrong.

Well, Friday is off to Epcot and Magic Kingdom. Plus, we have to pick up race packets at Wide World of Sports.

Day 3 – Friday, March 6

Another early day in the parks. We had ressies at Animal Kingdom Lodge at Boma for breakfast. We loved our dinner there last year on our honeymoon, so we really wanted to try the breakfast. No characters, but lots of great culinary options. We were running a little late and it didn't help that we were being super-checked by security. Turns out Britney Spears and Kevin Federline were on vacay with their kids and staying at the lodge so they were limiting traffic to the resort. I guess that's why Brett saw a huge entourage the night before at MK...

Breakfast was awesome! Lots of African flavors, just like dinner. Plus, they had a special gift for us from all the cast members. They made a card for us signed in all the native African languages and gave us a special dessert. Sure it was only 8 a.m., but Zebra Domes are good at any time of day!

We drove over to Epcot and were able to tackle most of Future World. Of course, we went to Spaceship Earth first. I really do like the changes, especially with Judi Dench as narrator now. Even though, I felt I should see Daniel Craig popping out in one of the Roman scenes, but that’s probably just me.

I hung out and played some games in the post-ride area with John while Brett got Fastpasses for Soarin’. In the meantime, we went to Test Track. The standby line was only 20 minutes. The ladies behind us were hilarious. At one point right before you go on the outside track one of them said “I’m getting too old for this kinda stuff!” So funny. We tried to get some character pictures at the Character Spot near Innoventions but the line was ginormous. So, we went to the Land to hang out before our Fastpass time.

Soarin’ was a 60 minute wait for standby. We went on Livin’ with the Land. There was a cool fish display toward the end. It looked like they were using the water from the fish tank to hydrate the plants. We also saw how they create the Cinderella pumpkins that are shaped like Mickey ears.

We did some people watching outside Soarin’ for a half hour. It’s amazing how busy that pavilion is now with that ride. I remember about 10 years ago when it was empty. No one went near Food Rocks or the Sunshine Seasons Food Fair. What a 180.

We’ve done Soarin’ before in Cali. So, it was nothing new. We weren’t about to wait in line for an hour. We’re OK doing it every five years or so. I wish they would do Soarin’ over Florida or the world…make this one different.

We made our way over to Wide World of Sports to get our registration packets for the Royal Family 5k. I hadn’t been there before and didn’t realize how big Braves spring training was. Tickets were a bit steep (I could see a Brewers regular home game for the same price.) We got stopped and interrogated by a guard for how we met and got married (he saw the anniversary buttons). It was kinda cute. But, there were way too many people for me to want to stay and take a look at any of the vendors. Phew! The patience some of those people must have had. After, we went back to rest at the hotel for an hour.

Then, off to MK. We parked at Grand Floridian and took the Monorail over. When we got to the park, Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! had just started on Main Street, so we went into the shops. We grabbed a light dinner at Cosmic Ray’s. I was really happy with my Chicken Caesar Salad. We only did a few attractions. Mickey’s Philharmagic is so adorable. I had my first Dole Whip. And it was all I could ever hope for! We caught Wishes, although, it was obstructed by a tree. We got back to the resort, grabbed some hot cocoa, and got into bed. Up early for the 5k in the morning.

Day 4 – Saturday, March 7

Up at 5 a.m. for my first 5k! I’ve been training for months. We caught the bus to the Epcot parking lot for the start. So many people dressed as princesses! One guy even dressed as Prince Charming and another as Minnie Mouse! It was a great ambience for my first race. But, the problem was my legs were already gone from being in the parks the past two days.

I tried running at first but my shins were killing me. I wasn’t even to the first mile marker by the time the first runners finished. Brett stuck by me. I finally was getting warmed up as we hit the World Showcase. I started doing some spurts of running. I finally ran from around the fountain to the finish line.

My time was 54:18! Not quite my best but a start. I’m so happy I finished. I’ve never been a runner so this is a huge thing for me. I have my finisher’s medal at my desk now.

At the finish line there’s was sports drinks (thank goodness!) and bananas. We just loaded back into the bus instead of waiting for the kids races to start. I was famished so we grabbed breakfast at the food court. Thanks Mickey Waffles! We then got changed into our swimsuits and hung by the pool. It was soooo nice!

We went to Downtown Disney for the afternoon. Lunch at the Earl of Sandwich. Love that place!! Overwhelmed by shopping at World of Disney. I’m surprised there aren’t more meltdowns by kids there. That is sensory overload for adults even.

It was just so nice enjoying the warm weather. Any place was better than Wisconsin last week!

We had ressies at Narcoosee’s at Grand Floridian but didn’t feel up to it, so we canceled. We ended up trying to find somewhere to eat on I-drive. Not a good idea. Finally, we wound up back at Crossroads eating in the Taco Bell parking lot.

But, was my sleep awesome that night!

Only one day left in the parks…

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Pet therapy program brings fluffy friends to hospital

Maggie Mae and her trainer brings smiles to kids at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. Check out this video from the JSOnline: