Thursday, December 31, 2009

Two 7 milers in six days

On Christmas morning we woke up early --- but not to open presents.  We woke up early to do a 7 mile training run before hitting the road for Christmas with my families.  That’s right.  While most families were unwrapping their presents and opening their stockings we were piling on layers of clothes {it was 31 degrees in Elk Grove when we got up} and stretching and preparing for our “long run” of the week.  It ended up being a pretty good run.  We were all over the place and once again running in new places and on new streets.  I think it was a great way to start the holiday. 

Fast forward six days later, December 30th.  We woke up early {again} and hit the streets for our 2nd 7 mile training run.  The forecast called for rain all day so we wanted to get started while it was not raining {it never did rain}.  We did another new loop and were all over town again.  We actually found the perfect 5 mile loop {for future running endeavors}.  Jon was having some calf & shin pain for part of this run but overall it was pretty good and less than one minute slower than our first 7 miler.  This was our last run of 2009 as we will be traveling {I know, imagine that … something new and exciting for us, haha} on New Years Eve to ring in 2010 with friends in Dublin. 

Up next, an 8 miler out of town {I have no idea where we will run 8 miles in Oroville since that is where we will be for my niece’s birthday, but we’ll figure it out … probably along the river}.  Two more long training runs done.  Ten more weeks till the half marathon. 

Christmas Day 7 Miler

7.0 / 1:29:56 / 12:50 avg pace

  • 1 – 12:17
  • 2 – 12:31
  • 3 – 12:50
  • 4 – 13:16
  • 5 – 13:41
  • 6 – 13:38
  • 7 – 11:39 {where did that come from?  I think I just wanted to be done already}

Last Run of 2009 7 Miler

7.0 / 1:30:47 / 12:58 avg pace

  • 1 – 11:53
  • 2 – 12:06
  • 3 – 13:49
  • 4 – 13:34
  • 5 – 14:08 {lots of walking, Jon was having some shin & calf pain}
  • 6 – 13:05
  • 7 – 12:08 {look negative splits for the last three miles, haha}

Christmas Time at Disneyland {2009}

A couple of months ago we decided that it would be fun to spend our first married Christmas at Disneyland!  So, we booked a hotel (that ended up being cheap AND walking distance to the parks) we purchased our tickets, and started counting down the days.  Our trip was wonderful, we had so much fun & a great time. 

Disclaimer:  This post is WORDY but I wanted to make sure I remembered every detail about our wonderful vacation so that I can look back upon my blog entry and remember it all again!  This post is also jammed packed with A LOT of photos --- if you make it through this whole post, I’ll be amazed.  It literally took me DAYS to write and edit it.  Enjoy :)

We left Saturday late morning {Dec 19th} after a great 6 mile training run and we got to LA around dinner time.  We had dinner at the hotels restaurant and called it an early night since we planned on getting up at 6am to be at Disneyland when it opened at 8am.  Sunday morning we got up bright and early, showered, ate some breakfast {we were smart and brought bagels & soy nut butter to have for breakfast so we could save some money AND we brought a ton of snacks and water too} and headed out on our 1.25 mile walk from the hotel to the entrance to Disneyland.


Once we were inside the park we started our morning off with hitting up some rides.  First up was Indiana Jones then on to Pirates of the Caribbean.  Since we got in the park pretty early the lines were not long for either of these rides and we probably only waited about 15 minutes for each one.  The Indiana Jones ride was SCARY {for me at least} as it was a roller coaster type ride {SO no my favorite} with lots of drops and quick turns and jerks. 


On Pirates of the Caribbean we were in the front row of our boat and we got soaked on the 1st waterfall drop!  After Pirates of the Caribbean we hit up the Fast Pass booth for the Haunted Mansion and while we waited for our Fast Pass time to arrive we walked down to ride The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh {I heart Winnie the Pooh} and then we went up in Tarzan’s Treehouse too and walked around New Orleans Square.


The Haunted Mansion was just as great as I remember it {even if it was A LOT different than it was 20 years ago} although neither of us has seen The Nightmare Before Christmas in a long time so we definitely want to rent that sometime soon.  I think after the Haunted Mansion we headed over to do the Tea Cups and along the way we got to take a photo with Jesse & Woody from Toy Story. 


After the tea cups we headed over to get in line for It’s a Small World.  The line was LONG and we probably waited around 40 minutes {our longest wait so far}.  After It’s a Small World {which was super cute, all decorated for Christmas} we headed over to Mickey’s Toontown, picked up a Fast Pass for Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin, then we visited Mickey’s house {and got a photo with him} and then Minnie’s House {she wasn’t there for photos} and grabbed some lunch.  After lunch we went on the Roger Rabbit ride then headed back over to Critter Country to get a photo with Winnie the Pooh {a definite highlight of day one for me}. 


After getting a photo with Pooh Bear we headed over to Sleeping Beauty’s castle to get some photos then to Tommorrowland for more rides.  We picked up a Fast Pass for the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters ride then got in the short line for Star Tours.  After Star Tours we headed over to Honey, I shrunk the Audience {it was okay, nothing memorable as Jon actually had to remind me that we even did that} then we attempted to get a spot to watch the Holiday Parade but we weren’t in a good area and it was packed so we used our Fast Pass for the  Buzz Lightyear ride then grabbed a Fast Pass for Autotopia.  While waiting for our Fast Pass time for Autotopia we got in line for the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.  That was probably our 2nd longest line of the day.  Once we were done with that ride we went through Innoventions  {pretty boring, and we actually skipped out the first chance we got} then used our Fast Pass for Autotopia {actually lots of fun, it was just getting dark and I was the “driver”}.


After Autotopia we decided to head back to Main Street to grab a spot to catch the Holiday Parade {super cute, we had a great spot right on Main Street towards the beginning of the parade and we were happy we waited to see the “later” parade at night}.  After the Holiday Parade we headed out of the park and into Downtown Disney for dinner at the ESPN Zone Bar & Restaurant.  We had a little bit of a wait so we took advantage of a bench in the waiting room and enjoyed some resting time after all the walking and standing and waiting.  After dinner we headed back to Disneyland for the Fireworks show {hands down the best fireworks show I have ever seen}.  After the fireworks show they make it snow along main street and in front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle --- it was really cool {even if it was tiny soap bubbles and not real snow}.  After the fireworks and snow we headed down to the Rivers of America to grab a spot for the Fantasmic show.  The Fantasmic show was probably one of our favorite events we saw all weekend.  After Fantasmic we headed back to Main Street to get photos with both Minnie & Mickey Mouse before calling it a night and walking back to our hotel.

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On Monday {our nine monthiversary} we got up early again and headed back to Disneyland.  We started our day with the train ride around the park and then really started taking advantage of the people stationed around the park to take photos for you.  We got photos in front of the tree at Main Street then headed over to Sleeping Beauty’s castle to get more photos before heading down to ride the Tea Cups again. 

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After the Tea Cups we went on Mr.. Toad’s Wild Ride then it was time to head over to California Adventure.  Luckily we got there right when it opened so we were able to get in line for Soarin’ Over California and only had to wait about 15 minutes.  This ride is amazing.  If you go to California Adventure make sure you take the time to go on it.  After Soarin’ Over California we got some photos with the characters for Cars and then with Brother Bear before heading to Paradise Pier. 


The first ride we did was the Golden Zephyr then we got a Fast Pass for Mulholland’s Madness before we got in line for the Maliboomer.  Now, I’m not a roller coaster riding type of person but for some reason I can handle these type of rides.  You know, the kind that shot you up straight up in the air then you hang there weightless for a second before you get dropped back towards Earth.  Yeah.  I totally get scared while waiting and I shake for 10 minutes after but I think I can handle these types of rides because they only last for a few seconds, if even a whole minute.  Anyways.  I did it and I think I deserve Wife of the Year for agreeing to do it then going on a mini-roller coaster right after.  Geez.  Talk about reaching my limits.  After that we walked around the boardwalk, took some more photos in front of another Christmas tree, then headed over to the Bug’s Land to walk around some more before going to the Hollywood Pictures Back Lot for more photo opportunities. 


We got to get photos with Pluto, Jasmine from Aladdin, Mr.. Incredible and Cinderella.  Then we headed over to get in line for Monster, Inc. ride – Mike & Sulley to the Rescue where we ended up waiting for around 45 minutes.  And, we took lots of photo opportunities at California Adventure {check them out}.


After the Monsters, Inc. ride was over {so fun, I love that movie} we decided to try to find something to eat for lunch.  Every where was sooo packed.  We ended up heading back to Disneyland {and getting a ton of photos on the way} and grabbing some lunch in a line that took us almost 40 minutes.  After that we walked around some more, really fighting our way through the crowds {Monday was a lot busier than Sunday was} and getting more photos before getting in line for the Jungle Cruise.  .


After the Jungle Cruise we got a photo with Aladdin before heading back towards Sleeping Beauty’s castle for more photos as it was starting to get dark out.  We then headed out of the park and back to Downtown Disney for dinner. 


After dinner we decided to head back to California Adventure to walk around some more and wait for the Electrical Parade {which was amazing and way better than I remember from my childhood trip 20+ years ago}.  Once the Electrical Parade was over we headed back towards Disneyland to catch the fire works shows again and to get some more photos and see if there was any other rides we wanted to do before we called it a night.  We ended up walking right down Main Street when the snow started and then stopped off at Sleeping Beauty’s castle for some more photos before heading down to It’s a Small World to get photos of it all lit up at night.  After fighting some more crowds {there were 1000’s of people waiting for It’s a Small World to re-open after the fire works show} we decided to hop on to the Tea Cups one last time.  So fun!  And then we got even more photos outside of Sleeping Beauty’s castle before starting to walk back to our hotel.


Overall the trip was amazing!  I’m so glad we went.  Christmas Time at Disneyland is wonderful --- and it really is the Happiest Place on Earth!  We were able to wear several different celebration buttons {I’m celebrating, Just Married, and Happy Anniversary} and we received lots of congratulations and well wishes!  Spending our first married Christmas and nine monthiversary at Disneyland was amazing and a trip that will not soon be forgotten!