I am a little delayed in posting about my trip to Disney World! I came home last Monday, and was promptly stricken with a nasty cold. But better late than never! Like I said in my last post, “Disney World Here I Come!” I was there for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon on Saturday night, and other adventures!
I arrived on Friday. Once I got to my hotel, and dropped my bags off, I headed to Magic Kingdom to meet up with two of my friends that got in Thursday night. We rode some rides, I took a bazillion pictures of Cinderella’s castle, and we had lunch before meeting up with my two roommates for the weekend and heading to the expo. After picking up our packets, we browsed the expo. I spent a little too much money, but really does money even count in Disney World? 😉 After the expo, we went to dinner at The Wave in the Contemporary Resort. One thing I love about Disney World is that they always have food for me! I am not sure I have told any of you this, but I have a lot of food intolerance – particularly dairy and gluten – and I am a pretty strict vegetarian. So, eating out (especially in an unfamiliar place) is usually a nightmare. Disney World is extremely accommodating though! I am always very well fed. Once we were sufficiently stuffed, my roommates and I headed back to Magic Kingdom, and we rode pretty much everything without even waiting in line!
OH, and Cinderella’s castle turns into Queen Elsa’s castle at night during the winter months! The lights they put on it look like ice. It is so cool.
The pictures do not even do it justice!
On Saturday, we all went to Epcot. We rode rides, wandered around the world, and browsed the shops. We had a late lunch in Italy before we went back to rest up for the race.
I was so nervous and excited for the race that I was able to nap all of ten minutes. I laid in bed until around 6pm, then I couldn’t take it anymore. I got up and got some coffee, called my mom and sister, and played around on social media until my friends woke up. We all got ready to run, then headed down to catch our bus…
We waited for the bus for forty-five minutes… All the while, there was clearly a storm surrounding us. It was not raining, but there were many flashes of lightning in the distance. Apparently, the bus was stuck in traffic. When it finally came, we got stuck in more traffic on the way to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. It was after 9pm, the race was to start at 10pm, we were still on the bus; we would have to check bags with our changes of clothes before getting to our corrals. Needless to say, we were a bit panicked. And the lightning was still flashing…
When we finally arrived, we were told to stay in the bus because they were evacuating the runners into the Sports Complex, and delaying the race a hour. At this point, the lightening was far in the distance, and it was maybe drizzling outside. We were all a bit annoyed. We eventually also had to go wait in the Complex, and waiting horse show style for them to let us back outside. When they finally let us out, we rushed to check our bags than headed to our corrals, where we were then informed that due to another storm on the radar they were shortening the race course. I must admit, I was furious. I had worked so hard to be ready to run a half marathon, and they were cutting about six miles out of it! Fueled by anger, I started my race very fast. When I realized I was running around a 7:40 pace, I was shocked. “How am I doing this?” I kept asking myself. I decided to see how long I could maintain it. I slowed down around mile five because I realized that I really did not know how much more I had to run with the course change! “Do I have one mile left? Or two?” I kept wondering to myself. I still managed to finish 13th in my age group (out of about 1600), and averaged under 8 min/mile – a pace I did not really realize was possible for me! I think it was thanks to my awesome friend/running coach, Justin Bui (who was also on the trip, and one of my roomates)! He helped me become fast-ish.
After the race, we wandered (or shall I say hobbled) around Epcot. Eating, riding rides, and trying to stay awake until about 4am. Back at the hotel, I actually had trouble falling asleep since I normally wake up around the time we were going to bed! It has been a long time since I have regularly had late nights.
And of course, Sunday we had to wake up early to hit Hollywood Studios. It really was not the best plan. We were so tired. The lines in Hollywood Studios were pretty long for everything, so we did not spend much time there before heading to Animal Kingdom.
Animal Kingdom is my favorite park! There are just, well, so many animals! I love the Safari ride that takes you through some of their exhibits.
My favorites, as always, were the elephants.
We also saw a gorgeous tiger.
We were so close to these rhinos! I could have touched them if I didn’t fear getting banned from Disney World for jumping out of the Safari truck!
Although I would rather see all of these animals in the wild, I think that well-kept exhibits like the ones in Disney World are great for increasing education and awareness of endangered species. Throughout the ride, the guide touched on why animals, like elephants and rhinos, are endangered. She also talked about what we can do to conserve wildlife. Another reason the Safari ride is my favorite!
In spite of the race getting shortened, we had a great time and we are already planning our next Disney adventure….
As for Chance, I was able to ride after getting back last week – although I probably should not have with my sickness – and I really do think that he was just testing my endurance that week before my trip; for he was a perfect angel all last week. I am sure he will soon be providing me with plenty inspiration for actual equestrian posts.
Have a great week, everyone!