A Travellerspoint blog

January 2011

Downtown Disney

11 January 2011

sunny 61 °F

The morning came a little late today since the show last night was late. The order of the day was to explore Downtown Disney. I probably never need to go in another Disney shop again.
Lego Dogs

Lego Dogs


The Lego shop was actually pretty interesting with the dog display outside.
Lego Dragon

Lego Dragon


And in the lake was this sea monster. It must have been made of millions of legos.
Curt making his race car

Curt making his race car


Curt had a great time in the Ride Makerz shop. Here you can build your own race car. You chose the wheels, body style, noises, stickers and rims. Then the shop has stations where they time you putting on the wheels and rims.
The cutest thing that one shop had where little girls could go and be made into princesses. We don't have a little girl but I did get Bella a princess food dish :)

Bongo - a cuban restaurant - had an excellent cuban sandwich for lunch before we went to see The Little Fockers at the most giant theater with the most comfortable seats I have ever experienced.

Posted by ErinDriver 11:16 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Animal Kingdom

10 January 2011

rain 60 °F

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom


So you are probably thinking that animal kingdom won't seem like a big deal to people building a house in South Africa but let me tell you the key word.....FREE!!
Goofy medals

Goofy medals


Because we ran the marathon we were given a free pace on "Marathon Monday" to either Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios or the Magic Kingdom. We had already been to Epcot and ran through Magic Kingdom twice so the Animals were the obvious choice.
pink flamingo

pink flamingo


Shades of Green has a free shuttle so before long we were on the way to the Safari Ride. The animals were actually visible and moving about which is new for us.
Lion on Safari Ride

Lion on Safari Ride


It makes me wonder if they are somehow kept in a very small area because the lion was in the same place I saw him six or seven years ago.
Black rhino

Black rhino


There was also a black rhino which we have yet to see in Kruger.
Disney Tiger

Disney Tiger


The asian section also has several tigers that atually were moving about a bit.
The new Himilayan ride is terrifying. It's a roller coaster that first goes up, then stops and goes backward in the dark. Needless to say I only rode that one once.
Old Bones

Old Bones


The dinosaur area had a great sign for Curt since I call him Old Bones due to his RA.
Tree of Life

Tree of Life


My favorite part of the park is the Tree of Life.
Tree of life carvings

Tree of life carvings


The carvings on the outside are gorgeous and I love the 3D Bugs Life show on the inside.
Rafiki

Rafiki


We were in Rafiki's Planet Watch ride when it started to rain so the fun there was over for us. The Driver's were meeting us at the hotel anyway.
Blue Man Group

Blue Man Group


Tickets for Blue Man Group were secured earlier in the week so for dinner we went to the City Walk at Universal Studios and Bubba Gump's Restaurant.
Curt and I at Univeral

Curt and I at Univeral


Citywalk at Universal Studios

Citywalk at Universal Studios


Universal icon

Universal icon


Blue Man Group is the strangest show I have ever seen in my life. Three men painted blue in black outfits didn't just play with paint like I thought. They had little segments with twinkies, Captain Crunch, marshmellows and toilet paper. You just have to see it.

Posted by ErinDriver 09:40 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Disney Marathon and completion of Goofy Challenge

9 January 2011

sunny 60 °F

39.3 miles in two days
7 hours and 38 minutes combined run time in 48 hours
These are our statistics for the Goofy Challenge we managed to finish today. First was the half marathon on Saturday and then the full marathon on Sunday. This earned runners three medals – Donald on Saturday, Mickey on Sunday and Goofy when both are finished. The crowd included 27,000 for the half marathon and 17,000 for the full.
The marathon was easier on both of us than we thought but the atmosphere is low stress. Characters are along the route for photos and people aren’t worried about their run time, more like missing their chance for Kodak moments with Mickey.
Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom


The run starts similar to yesterday in Epcot with several boring miles before arriving at the Magic Kingdom. This lost a little of its luster since we saw the same thing yesterday.
Tree of Life

Tree of Life


Another few bland miles brought us to Animal Kingdom and some new characters and scenery.
Medicine man

Medicine man


Curt with Animal Kingdom monkey

Curt with Animal Kingdom monkey


Safari Minnie

Safari Minnie


By this time in the run we were happy to have a few minutes to stop.
Safari Jeep

Safari Jeep


We want this jeep for our retirement in Africa!
Toy Soldier

Toy Soldier


The Soldier kept us going around mile 20 or 21 ….
Sorcerer's Hat

Sorcerer's Hat


And then we hit our last park – Hollywood Studios. By this time finishing is the only thing of interest.
Epcot

Epcot


That lovely iconic Epcot ball has never been so beautiful as it marked the finish. Our watches clocked 26.5 and 26.7 (should be 26.2) so our Goofy medal was definitely earned!

Posted by ErinDriver 04:37 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Disney's Half Marathon

8 January 2011

sunny 60 °F

0245! Yes AM! This is the time of the wake up call to make it to Disney’s Half Marathon. The rules state runners must be in their start corral by 0500 for the 0530 start. Shuttle buses stop running at 0400.
Tori and I before half marathon

Tori and I before half marathon


So 0330 found us meeting Tori in the lobby and walking to the bus right there in the Shades of Green parking lot. I would not want to figure out the traffic or parking situation on my own. The bag drop area was a bit confusing because the organizers were not letting anyone to the starting corrals. Once they did though it was pretty painless. We were no longer in the land of pushy Europeans so our personal space was maintained. The race had huge screens with music and a moment where Al Rocher, Natalie Morales and another Today show personality spoke – they were all also running the race.
Curt and I at the start of the Disney Half Marathon

Curt and I at the start of the Disney Half Marathon


In Baghdad, Iraq 500 runners were doing a satellite race so the organizer talked to his wife who was doing it here. I’m not sure there was a dry eye in the place.
Disney characters starting the half marathon

Disney characters starting the half marathon


Finally Mickey started us off with a blast of fireworks. Probably one of the more exciting races I have started. Almost immediately the run leave Epcot where it starts and heads to Magic Kingdom. During the first I was never bored as enough distractions in characters and music were on the route.
Cinderella's castle

Cinderella's castle


It really was magical running through the Magic Kingdom and Cinderella’s castle at the half way point.
Cinderella's Castle

Cinderella's Castle


Once leaving here it gets boring again and tedious until you get back to Epcot for the finish. They announcers said our name which made it even more special.
after the half marathon

after the half marathon


The finish area had plenty of bathrooms and a $10 massage area. Water, soda and bananas were plentiful. Not much else that we could see was going on at the finish and it was getting colder so we got back on the bus for Shades of Green. The whole thing was extremely well organized and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Funny thing is we do get to do it again …..tomorrow.
Much to our dismay the bus dropped us at the Polynesian resort and we had to walk about 15 minutes to Shades of Green. Not a big deal today but tomorrow might be a different story.

Posted by ErinDriver 04:34 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Run prep

7 January 2011

sunny 60 °F

Shades of Green

Shades of Green


Rest and relaxation is the order of the day. The only thing that could get me away from my pillow this morning is that breakfast buffet. I tore up some blueberry scones and moved on to the magnolia spa. The spa is booked full for after the race but we were able to get an appointment for a couples massage and I got a manicure. The girl gave me flowers on my fingers even though she wasn’t supposed to 
The Swedish massage at 1300 was perfect after the long flight and carrying bags. After a nap the sports bar provided a snack and a chance to watch football.
I am even too lazy to go to the restaurant for dinner so spaghetti is delivered to the room so prep for the race can continue. After today I feel pampered and relaxed!
Florida landscape

Florida landscape

Posted by ErinDriver 04:32 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Disney's Epcot

6 January 2011

all seasons in one day 63 °F

Minnie for Christmas

Minnie for Christmas


Eggs, omelets, scones, fruit, waffles, etc, etc. I love the American breakfast buffet!!! – and Shades of Green Resort in Orlando, Florida has a great one!! My Afghanistan roommate, Tori Ragan and her sister Beth are also here and before long we all head to the Expo to pick up our race packets and…SHOP!!!!
Wide World of Sports for marathon expo

Wide World of Sports for marathon expo


The Expo is at the Sport Complex and going early on the first day is less crowded and has more merchandise. The packets are easy to get and the expo has plenty of pink and Disney stuff for me to choose from. The event is one of the better ones I have experienced and very organized. There are volunteers everywhere to keep you on the right path.
Epcot with flag

Epcot with flag


Epcot was next on the agenda and has crept up to the number one on my list of Disney Parks.
Curt and I at Epcot icon

Curt and I at Epcot icon


The park allows you to go around the world all in one day!!!

Canada in Epcot

Canada in Epcot

Beth has been to the park so many times she is able to take us to all the best spots. The rides are pretty awesome, the best and most popular being Soar. You are in sort of like an IMAX theater and the ride makes you feel like you are parasailing over all sorts of gorgeous scenery. There is also a car testing ride which makes you feel like you are test driving by going over bumpy roads, working the breaks and punching it!
Henna tattoo

Henna tattoo


Each country has excellent shops and restaurants. The Japanese Steakhouse is the choice for a 1500 lunch and everyone gets a henna tattoo in Morocco.
January in Florida brings a wide range of temperatures. The morning was warm and sunny but the night fall brought freezing temps. By the time of the Illumination show on the lake with fireworks and lasers we were shivering.

Posted by ErinDriver 04:29 Archived in USA Comments (0)

New Years on Lanzarote

1 January 2011

sunny 75 °F

beach chairs with lava border in background

beach chairs with lava border in background


We rested on the beach…..ALL DAY LONG!!!!

lounging on the beach

lounging on the beach

Posted by ErinDriver 08:20 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 9 of 9) Page [1]