Wednesday 23 January 2013


I thought it was about time to put finger to keyboard and write another little post.  Now ideally I would like to be telling you all about my running, how far I've been, how many times I've been out running all that sort of thing...but unfortunately I have nothing to report.  So without wanting to turn this post into a weather report lets just say that the British weather has not really been favourable to running.  This has been my view up and down my road for nearly 2 weeks now.

And although I have some lovely cold weather running gear to keep me warm it's not going to help keep me on my feet!!  So, for the moment, the running is on hold but I promise first chance I get I shall be out there.

I really enjoyed reading all the tweets over the WDW Marathon weekend (10th - 13th January) and the Tinkerbell Half Marathon Weekend in Disneyland (18th - 20th January). They were truly inspiring and conjured up some wonderful images of running down Main Street USA and around Epcot in particular.  Now whilst at the moment running a half marathon never mind a full marathon are outside of my comprehension I think that a 5K would be within my grasp, and if that 5K were in a Disney park what better motivation could I ask for?!  Now I don't think that's going to happen any time soon but I am looking to see if there is something closer to home that I could run, and perhaps raise some money for charity at the same time.  It would be nice to help the 'Make-A-Wish Foundation' as Simon and I have previously supported the WDW Radio Show's Dream Team Project in their endeavours to raise money for such a worthwhile cause.

Ironically the next time we are in a Disney park there will be a Disney running event happening but on the opposite coast to where we are!  Oh well, I shall just have to add it to my list of Disney wishes :)

Besides I will still be able to complete what was my initial target of running around Lago Dorado at Coronado Springs Resort!

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Bad Weather Good Times

Here in the UK we are experiencing a rather cold spell of weather...and you know how much we Brits like to talk and moan about the weather!

So here I sit in my cosy home, with temperatures set to drop to -9C overnight, we have half melted snow on the ground, ice on the pavements and icicles hanging off my garden shed!

View over the fields
And I naturally think how nice WDW would be right skies...sunshine...warmth. An image that I think most people have about a vacation in WDW, after all it is in the Sunshine State and whilst it is true most of the time the weather, even in Florida, can throw you a curve ball sometimes!

Just before Christmas we had friends who were visiting WDW prior to enjoying a Disney Cruise; the morning they set off for Port Canaveral they were greeted with a car windscreen covered in frost, something they'd expect to see in England in December but the last thing they were expecting to see in 'sunny Florida'!

Back in 2008 we were lucky enough to spend 3 weeks in WDW, but towards the middle part of our stay we began to hear warnings about a tropical storm...the result being a lot of wet days!  But as Brits we are always prepared...we even bring along our own rain coats (no poncho's for us)...and being British we weren't going to let a bit of rain spoil our fun!

Now I have to confess that I love the thunder storms in Florida, the short heavy downpours with amazing lightening displays, and they are as much a part of the vacation as everything else.  But in 2008 the rain came down for hours at a time and one of my most lasting memories is of being at Epcot one late afternoon.

The rain had been off and on all day and it had gotten to late afternoon and we decided to take a little visit to Mexico....tacos and margaritas.  So there we were at the Cantina De San Angel when the rain started again, but we were fine enjoying our Mexican feast under the umbrellas...but as the rain came down we thought we better put our rain coats on, but we stayed and kept eating.

I wasn't going to let a little rain spoil my margarita
Then the rain got a little heavier, so much so that the umbrella we were sat under began to drip...we huddled together under the middle of the umbrella (at the driest part) while we watched the puddles around our feet get bigger and much so that the ducks off the lake came up on to the pavement and began swimming around our feet!

A bit wet!!
Even the ducks came looking for refuge!
By this time we were beginning to get rather wet and we decided in true British style to make a break for it, but where to go?  As luck would have it the rain although still coming down had eased off so we decided to make our way to The American Adventure.  Well by the time we got there we were all rather wet; but in we went to await the next presentation.  We quite quickly realised that between the four of us we were making quite a nice puddle on the floor - oops!  So we wandered our way around the foyer leaving a trail of water behind us.  Then it was time for a comfy sit down to watch the amazing American Adventure Show (one of my favourites and 'must do' attractions) and the benefit to sitting down for 25 minutes was that we got chance to dry off, although I do feel sorry for whoever sat in our seats next!!

We then finished off the day at The Liberty Inn with a helping of apple cobbler - perfect!

Liberty Inn - Apple Cobbler and Hot Cocoa
And that's how happy memories are made :)

Monday 14 January 2013

Forward Planning

So here I am sat inside on a snowy Monday afternoon in the UK.  I decided to close pre-school early today because of the snow, and my kids school did the same; typical of the UK we have a few centimetres of snow and the whole world grinds to a stop!!

So with a bit of time on my hands (well I wasn't going anywhere and as much as a run would have been lovely it really wasn't possible in this weather) I got to thinking about warmer climes and future vacations....only 218 days to WDW!!

So using my new Mickey notebook I have started my 'WDW To Do List'.

Christmas present from Simon
Now having been to WDW 7 times before, I consider myself pretty up to speed on attractions (with the exception of brand new ones like those in New Fantasyland of course) but I am very aware that there is lots of other stuff that we have either never managed to squeeze into our vacation or simply weren't practical to do (for example when the kids were younger) or we didn't even know about previously (the world of Twitter, Facebook and Podcasts have increased my awareness!).  So this year I have decided to make a list of all those things that I'd like to do or see that we haven't done before (or done for a long time).

Now this list has only just started and everyone in the family has been instructed to let me know of anything that they'd like to do so that it can be a list for all of us to get excited about and involved with.  It can be anything at all from perhaps insisting on that favourite ride or stopping to take the time to drink in the surroundings.  So far we have;

  • Stopping to look at the Mary Blair mural in the Contemporary Resort
  • Completing all the miniature golf courses
  • Kitchen Sink at Beaches & Cream Soda Shop
  • Beauty & Beast Stage Show - not done this one in ages
  • Visit to Art of Animation Resort
  • Make an actual ADR (never done one before....I know!!!) 
  • and make it a Signature Dining experience
  • ....oh and I suppose I'd better mention to ride The Tower of Terror - this is for you, Simon and Michelle!!! (I'll just add that I'm not a big roller coaster fan but I have been bullied into doing this ride by the aforementioned individuals!)

Now this is only the start of what I think may turn into a rather long 'To Do' list - what do YOU think I should add to the list?

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Just remembered...

Suddenly remembered tonight that I'd not given an update on my Disney Christmas jigsaw exploits!!

So although I didn't manage to complete the jigsaw before Christmas I did manage to get it all done between Christmas and New Year, and very enjoyable it was too!  It was actually a relatively easy one to complete with lots of very iconic images jumping out all over the place.

So here it is, all done.

Sunday 6 January 2013

More running and stuff!

So here we are at the end of the first week of 2013 and this means I am almost at the end of my Christmas holidays...I start back at work on the 8th January...and I start back with a short 3 day week, how about that for breaking myself in gently :)

So although this past week, post Christmas, has been a quiet one, it is one in which has seen me get up off that sofa and out into the fresh air for two runs - second run was today, a bit grey and foggy but I got out and ran for longer than I had done on my run a few days earlier.  And although I know that running during the week is going to be tricky (work and dark nights get in the way!) I am determined to make the most of the weekends.

I have spent this week reading one of my Christmas presents, Realityland by David Koenig, and so far a couple of chapters in and it is turning into a fascinating read - all about how WDW came about, the construction and its history.  Once I have read all of it I shall give a little book review.

Simon has spent the week capturing some of our old home movies off VHS and old Video 8 tapes and transferring them into digital format (or something like that!).  So we have been reliving WDW holidays from 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1996 and I can now watch them whenever I feel like with ease (or so I've been told!).  It does mean there have been plenty of moments this week where I've been asked 'when was this?' or 'what was that called?'.  Thankfully old photo albums have helped with dates and old guide books, park maps and time schedules have helped with naming rides or shows.  We found some brilliant footage of a cowboy stunt show held in Frontierland some of which took place on the rooftops but I can find no details about what it was called - I would love to know if anyone out there can help?  The video was taken July/August 1992!

So this coming week brings a degree of normality after the relaxation of the holidays...a few days of work followed by a night away in not a bad first week to look forward to!

Wednesday 2 January 2013

Running Update

Now that's a blog post title that I've not used in a little while...nearly 3 months in fact!

But today saw me brave the elements - a dark, grey and damp afternoon - and dust off the trainers and get outside for a run.  No excuses, I had the time, the weather was as good as it was going to be and I had the clothes.  Simon had bought me for my birthday in December some new running clothes - gloves, hat, leggings, cold weather top and a lovely bright pink jacket.

So off I set with no great aspirations other than to get outside and get moving again, even if that meant just a walk I would be happy with whatever I could manage.  But I surprised myself, after a quick warm up walk off I jogged and you know what it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.  I kept giving myself little targets...get to the end of the road, pass the houses...and although I didn't run all of the time, I managed a combination of short runs and quick walks, I completed 2.35 miles in just under 37 minutes and burnt off 336 calories.

And after all as my visit to WDW is only 230 days away I need to get training in order to accomplish my little dream of being able to run around Lago Dorado at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort in the Florida sunshine!

So for anyone out there thinking about going out for that first difficult run stop thinking and just do it.  Whatever you manage to do is better than doing nothing, don't compare yourself to others just do what you feel comfortable doing because the person who'll feel better for it is you!