Friday, February 27, 2015

The Fairest Trip Report Of All: The Wave Review

The trip report is over, but I still have a couple of posts left in me! In particular, food reviews. If you want to catch up on my Dopey experience, you can read all the posts in this particular trip report here. Ready? Let's go!

As you may recall if you read that day's trip report, our ADR at the Wave was last minute - and also, we cheated.

Pat and I were in line for the Haunted Mansion when we came to the conclusion that the Wave seemed like a good dinner option. I checked the online reservation system and, although I understand the Wave is not generally crazy popular, the earliest ADR I could find was for 6:55PM. We were hoping for something more in the 5:45-6PM area, but we decided to book the ADR, arrive early, and see if they could fit us in. Pat even grabbed a couple seats at the bar so we could eat there if necessary, but as it turned out we were seated almost immediately. As I said regarding Boatwright's, they might not be as accommodating during busier times of the year, so keep that in mind when making your own dinner plans.

Since the Wave is all about their organic and craft alcohol selection, we started out meal with drinks (yes, I know I had a half marathon in the morning - don't worry, I drank a whole glass of water too!). Pat got the brown ale while I went for the flight (which I didn't finish, if you're still concern about my hydration). It came with a sample pour of the blonde, amber, and brown ales, all of which were nice but none of which blew me away.

We also received a delicious loaf of still warm, fresh-baked bread and butter which, if I remember correctly, was sprinkled with black salt and was pleasantly soft for spreading purposes.

On to the entrees! I'm going to gloss right over Pat's because he just got a steak again, but my meal was possibly my favorite of the trip: curried vegetable stew! GUYS THIS WAS AMAZING. I am so glad I blew off the runner's special pasta dish!

Anyway, according to the website, the stew includes butternut squash, asparagus, Pink Lady apples, fire roasted peppers, and jade rice (although I feel like based on texture I got more of a brown rice?). The butternut squash was definitely the star of the show where the vegetables were concerned, dominating both texture and flavor. I'm a major butternut squash fan, so fine by me!

But the real star of the show was the sauce. It was not spicy, in case any of you four-alarm types started getting all excited, but it was richly flavored in that way that mild curries tend to be. The sauce was not remotely running or thin but neither was it gloppy. I 100% cleaned my plate and would order it again.

We chose to skip dessert on this occasion, but it looks like they finally got rid of that "here are three mini desserts" thing. I approve! (Moon and I went here once a long time ago - like December of 2008 a long time ago - and thing were very different.)

While the Wave is hardly the most glamorous or unique of WDW's restaurants, I think it's something of a hidden gem. The food is good and organic if that's your thing, and the atmosphere, while not exciting per se, is cozy. Next time you're at the Magic Kingdom, ponder hopping the monorail to the Contemporary and trying it out. I'll think you'll be happy you did!

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon! 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

In Which Jenn Has A Different Kind Of Locker Room Envy

As I continue to adjust to real gym life, I make small discoveries. Apparently working out among many is far different from working out among few. Go figure. For example: do you experience locker room envy?

No, I don't mean feeling jealous that other people are skinnier or more toned or whatever than you are. What I mean is rather that stab of jealousy I get when I walk into the locker room before my work out and encounter people who have CLEARLY just finished. Maybe they're a little sweaty; maybe they're changing clothes. Maybe they're merely pulling their stuff out of their locker rather than shoving it in.

Whatever the clues, I can tell they are set for the day as far as exercise is concerned. Whereas I haven't even changed into my frickin' running sneakers yet. I want to be done, too, dammit! I wanna go take a shower secure in the knowledge that I strengthened my heart and burned some calories! Why does working out have to take so much tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime???

Pictured: Running, time.

Of course, there is the small comfort of the future, not only knowing that I too will be done eventually but also knowing that I will also experience the sweet schadenfreude of the reverse. I will of course be done myself, inciting the envy of those just arriving, and also I will be able to look at those who have not yet shed their coats and think: ha! You only just got here and I get to leave!

Um... now that I've spelled it all out I feel a) whiny followed by b) mean-spirited. But you know what I'm talking about, right? ... Anyone? O.o

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon! 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Fairest Week In Review: 2/24

MOON: So, what I thought was a cold turned out to be a respiratory infection and something else that Christian said (and you never want med students describing your illness with terms you've never heard before). :/ I did.... no running since the last time we spoke. XD

JENN: Awww. That's icky. :( I ran 30 miles but there was nothing remarkable about them. I don't think I'll make that again this week but I want to try to get close.

Feeling better, at least?

MOON: I feel so much better than I did over the weekend, but I'm still pretty gross. Yuck.

JENN: Well, definitely don't do anything until you feel 100%. ESPECIALLY if it's respiratory.

MOON: I had some pretty crazy fever dreams, though! My cat and I had many conversations.

JENN: That sounds awesome!

I did have a running question for you, though! As the new great believer in compression socks, can you fill me in on any secrets for putting them on? It feels like it takes me a thousand years of tugging.

MOON: Haha, yes. I scrunch them up first, then slide my foot through. Once the gathered "ring" of sock is past my heel, I pull rest of the sock into place.

JENN: Hmmm. I'll give it a shot.

MOON: I can't be sure about anything I say right now.I was very recently conversing with the cat, after all. I would be willing to upload a video, though!

JENN: I'll leave that to the loyal readers to decide. Also for the loyal readers: the roundup!

- Live, Run, Grow bundles up for a run in the snow and cold.
- We Run Disney considers the controversial race lottery system.
- Mom's Magical Miles feels my pain - why can't we run ALL the races?!
- Running at Disney CONFIRMS THE DISNEYLAND PARIS HALF EEEE! This is SO happening. (I hope. I definitely plan to try to make this happen!)
- Inside the Magic sees the vestiges of when Kilimanjaro Safaris had a plot. I never saw the original, fleshed-out version, but I hear it was kinda cringe-worthy.
- The Disney Hipsters hit the sake bar in Epcot. Hey, we did that too!
- The Disney Tourist Blog visits the Cove Bar in Disneyland. Hey, we did that too!

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon! 

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Fairest Trip Report Of All: Boatwright's Review

The trip report is over, but I still have a couple of posts left in me! In particular, food reviews. If you want to catch up on my Dopey experience, you can read all the posts in this particular trip report here. Ready? Let's go!

Pat and I spent the evening of January 8 at the Animal Kingdom, which as is so often the case in the off season closed at 5PM. This gave us ample time for dinner, so we after dumping our stuff back in our Port Orleans Riverside room, we figured we might as well see if Boatwright's would take us.

We approached the podium with no ADR at the dinner-ripe time of about 6PM at the only sit-down restaurant in the resort, but we were still seated within a few minutes. It seemed like just about everyone around us was also there for the race weekend, as evidenced by the many overheard snippets of conversation about training and running (to say nothing of the race shirts worn). Disclaimer, while at no point when passing by Boatwright's during our trip did it seem inundated with people, you may need that ADR in busier times.

Our server was very nice and pretty casual about the whole thing, offering a few favorites but no pressure. Pat and I ordered beers to start (I know, I know; never drink before a race - but they had Abita Purple Haze and I LOVE that stuff and it was only one and I got a glass of water with it so it was cool!). With the beer came a basket of CORNBREAD! Not regular bread - cornbread, It came with unfortunately not-terribly-melty butter, but the cornbread was warm so the end result was good.

Here I confess to bad blogging - I did not actually take a picture of our entrees. That it is because, as much as I hate to say it, they were acceptable-to-subpar. Pat got a steak that was perfectly good but not amazing. I got a pasta dish, the "runner's special," which came with vegetables and chicken. Seems like that should be perfect, but the sauce was just... weird. It was watery but also kind of creamy at the same time. I ate about half and took the rest back to the room, but I never ate it.

The end result being that I had room for dessert, naturally. After careful consideration the "Brew du Krew," or however they spelled it, a mocha cake with ganache and whipped cream. This was pretty good, especially where the whipped cream was concerned, but the cake was a little dry. It definitely could've used more ganache. Kudos on the presentation, though.

Boatwright's, as you might imagine, is themed to a shipbuilder's company, and the decor is impressive yet subtle. In addition to the various ship's parts and pictures scattered about, Pat was impressed with the themeing of the table, but I can't remember why. Something about how it was designed to look like... a thing you do to fix cracks in wood to keep them from getting bigger? Does anyone know what he's talking about? You can see one in the bottom left corner of the beer picture above.

In short, we found Boatwright's to be fine. Indeed, if we'd been there for a longer stay and/or had more time, we might have tried them again. They're not open for lunch, so that's another hindrance. But I wouldn't recommend going out of your way to dine there. Unless you REALLY like cornbread.

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon! 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

In Which Jenn Defends D.C.'s Snow Policies

Look, just let me explain, okay?

I hit the gym on Monday and overheard several locker room ladies making fun of the D.C. area for freaking out in the face of snow. "I'm moving to Canada," declared one. "They know how to handle it." And then this morning the local news radio station had a whole spot dedicated to how apparently Jimmy Fallon mocked us on his show the other night about our shutdown in the face of Monday night's snowstorm. And everywhere you go you hear former New Englanders complaining about how locals have no idea how to drive in snowy weather.

And you know what, guys? You are totally right. We don't. That's because asking a Marylander to navigate a blizzard is like asking the guy who took a few classes in French last year to hold a conversation with a native Parisian. We learned a little bit a year ago and we haven't had to use that information since. We can remember a couple words and phrases but otherwise we may as well be starting from square one. Sure, if we made the permanent move to Paris, we'd jump right in there, but why bother when your next door neighbor speaks Spanish anyway?

I hope this extended metaphor has properly illustrated why the D.C. area tends to shut down the roads in the face of the smallest snowstorm. And I'll tell you another thing: I AM NOT ASHAMED. Here is why:

  • There is a sweet, sweet joy in these simple words: "All public and private schools are CLOSED today due to inclement weather." Oh, in your Massachusetts hometown they NEVER close school for snow? How sad for you!
  • And sometimes, when we are VERY lucky, even adults get a snow day from our jobs. I'm sure you South Dakotans are a hardy people but I'm also sure your winters aren't half so fraught with hope.
  • Ah, yes, I've heard all about the eight feet of snow they're dealing with up north. Crazy! People are stuck in their homes! That never happens here at the Mason-Dixon line! EXACTLY. It is a rare, rare thing for us to saddle snow with real fear. Even in the impending "blizzard" we know we'll at the very least be able to get out of the house for supplies within a day or two. No problem!
  • And then of course, there is the gentleness of it all. The feeling. Snow here is special. It's just a few inches deep, easily waded with my high winter boots, and the snowflakes fall on my black coat and settle there like stars, and I am so excited because it's SNOWING! And how often does it do that? NOT VERY OFTEN!

So yes. You may keep your snow tires and your parkas and your stoicism and your cynicism and your schools that never close and your events that never cancel and your bah-humbugs and your pooh-poohs in the face of snow. I for one am glad to live in a city that reacts to snow like it's never seen the stuff before. It is glittery magic and I won't hear another thing about it!

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon! 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Fairest Week In Review: 2/18

MOON: Sorry about being late - just got hit with a bad cold/flu. It's still in the beautiful morphing stages so we'll see what it turns into. :/ It's really bumming my running schedule out today. How are you?

JENN: Bleh. I hate when being sick messes with your running schedule! I find that working out can help when you feel like you have a bit of a cold, but anything more extreme and you're outta commission. I think the rule is above the chest symptoms = go ahead and run, chest symptoms = DO NOT RUN? Never mess with your lungs.

MOON: I can be down with that. And if you can't stand... Don't run. This is the rule I am following today! Yesterday I went for it and I felt EHHH, but today it's not happening.

JENN: HA. I should say so! How was running last week, then? Can you console yourself with former glories?

MOON: Ha, indeed! The last 4-5 weeks have been amazing, actually. And Monday I had a breezy 7 mile run, so at least I ended on a good note. How was your week?

JENN: Pretty good! I actually made it to 30 miles, which is my unofficial goal marker. My official goal marker is 25+ - I'm trying to be a little less hard on myself if I'm busy. I mean, God forbid I only run 20 miles one week, right?

MOON: Ha, yeah, shame on you! Thirty is great! And if you ever feel bad about 20: remember! We are spoiled with treadmills. Imagine 20 miles outside.

JENN: Haha, yeah. At least it's not consecutive! Did you have a good Valentine's Day weekend, anyway?

MOON: Yes! We actually went for a run together on Valentine's Day.

JENN: Awww, nice!

MOON: How was yours?!

JENN: Good! Quiet. We made food (well, he made food; I made cupcakes) and watched The Prestige. I'm glad we decided to stay in; there was snow that night and it looked rather questionable out there.

They call me Flash Beagle. 

MOON: We had just made it to our destination and then the "thundersnow" came.  This is off-topic, but I won't be able to continue thinking about running until I get this out there: I hate sensational weather jargon.

JENN: Haha, I hadn't heard the thundersnow thing. Sounds like a name a seven-year-old would give a pony.

MOON: I almost didn't believe it until I saw it on an official weather warning for the area.

JENN: More things to hardly believe: roundup!

- Running, Loving, Living discusses SAD. Totally get that feeling.
- Why I runDisney conquers the  20 mile run.
- We Run Disney has a few favorite (running) things. Yay Ravennas!
- Home is Where the Mouse Is has advice for runDisney beginners.
- Prairie Princess Runners go over runDisney race etiquette.
- A Pinch of Pixie Dust shares an AMAZING view of the Magic Kingdom.
- eatingWDW eats at WDW on the cheap.
- Davelandblog offers a retro look at the Haunted Mansion.

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon! 

Friday, February 13, 2015

In Which Jenn Joins A Real Gym

I have joined a gym. It is not my fault. My new apartment, while lovely in many other ways, does not offer its own gym. Not that apartment gyms are generally that great anyway; in my experience maintenance is spotty and equipment is meager. Still, it's always been nice to have.

I briefly considered purchasing my own treadmill, even though nice ones are expensive, just because I loved the convenience factor. However, the prospect of then inevitably MOVING said treadmill to my next location put me off the idea, to say nothing of what to do in the event of a malfunction. No, a gym membership it was to be.

I found a place a mere block or two from my place that's perfectly fine. There are lots of treadmills and it's not too intimidating, all things considered. But as I haven't used anything but a sparsely populated basement apartment gym in 5 years, I can't help but notice a change in the feel of the thing.

This is mostly my own fault. I am self-conscious by nature and I am also new. I'm sure once I've been using the big gym for a couple months it'll be old hat. Still, sometimes I can't shake the feeling that I stick out in some way. In what way? Because I carry my iPod in a pink pouch? Because I sometimes wear glasses? Do you think they all think I run SO. SLOWLY? Are they judging me? Does anyone actually care? NO. My logical brain knows this. My irrational brain just feels weird.

Partially this is NOT in my head, because being in a real gym does require some behavior modification. For example, no more slowing the treadmill to a crawl and taking a phone call when the gym is empty because the gym will never be empty again. Likewise, no more making wild arm gestures when inspired by a song. I mean, I guess I could, but even forgetting the weirdness factor I could hit someone, y'know? And why did that guy get on the treadmill RIGHT NEXT TO ME when there are like five empties in a row?

No more of empty gym selfies.

Another thing I don't like about the gym: the treadmills, while nice, automatically go to cool down mode after an hour, forcing me to restart. I don't suppose anyone knows a way to get around this? Restarting isn't a huge deal, but it does kinda interrupt my flow.

On the other hand...

If a treadmill is broken, I can just use the one next to it. Or the one next to that one. There are LOTS.

If I suddenly get the yen to use something other than a treadmill (ha!), I have many options.

There are always paper towels. And there are water fountains. Oh, and a BATHROOM.

Speaking of the treadmills, I haven't experienced any hip or knee pain on my right side since using them, which was a frequent occurrence before. I don't know that there's a connection, but...

Also, the display pad is much lower, which seems to have broken me of my sporadic "holding on" habit.

So ultimately what I'm saying here is that the change is not a bad thing. It could even be argued as a good thing. I believe I will ultimately be better off at a real gym. It'll just take some getting used to.

And hey, once warmer weather hits I can run outside!

Do you use a "real" gym?

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon! 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Fairest Trip Report Of All: Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery Review

The trip report is over, but I still have a couple of posts left in me! In particular, food reviews. If you want to catch up on my Dopey experience, you can read all the posts in this particular trip report here. Ready? Let's go! 

Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery is easy to miss if you're not looking for it, but you're a seasoned Disney vet like me, so I'm sure you're already looking for it. (And if you're not, don't worry - just go to Harambe, pass Tamu Tamu and Festival of the Lion King, and you'll find it to the left of the Burudika stage; if you hit Pangani Forest Trail you've gone too far. Got it?)

On our last trip, Pat and I wound up visiting Kusafiri no fewer than three times. This is partially because Pat is a man who needs his coffee but also because the baked goods there are ALL KINDS of killer.

But first, a word on the coffee: it's Joffrey's and it's just fine. I don't think we ever got straight coffee, instead going for lattes, but it was perfectly acceptable. There's a cart past the pickup window with various sugars and what have you for customization. Note, though, that the small is VERY small - if you have caffeine needs, I recommend ordering up a size.

Now for the important part: DESSERT. For our first go-round, Pat attempted to order the storied paw print brownie, but they were all out. He substituted a turtle brownie. He gave me a bite, and we agreed that it was perfectly fine but not spectacular. Just a chocolate brownie with nuts and some thorough caramel drizzle. I didn't take a picture so that should tell you how enthusiastic we were.

Meanwhile, I got myself one of the newest cupcakes on the street: the "lion cub" cupcake. Whatever, Kusafiri. This is a Simba cupcake and you know it.

The frosting was vanilla and nice and thick and piled high, just the way I like it. (The Simba face was edible but, like the cat in the Cheshire Cake Cup, tasted like nothing). There was also a fruity pudding filling that I thought might be mango but research suggests is passion fruit? It didn't do all that much for me. As for the cake itself, it tasted, weirdly, like a corn muffin to me. I could be wrong on this but I swear it did. But as I go into a cupcake for the frosting experience, I was perfectly happy with my selection.

On our next visit, we got what we had REALLY wanted: those paw print brownies. And OH MY GOD, GUYS. PERFECTION.

Okay, well, if you're not into sugar, maybe you won't think so. But it took my favorite part of your average baked good - vanilla frosting - and slathered onto a fudgy chocolate brownie. I'm picky about my brownies, and this one had the almost-but-not-quite under baked quality that I look for. Indeed, I generally prefer it even less solid than it was, but I understand it needed SOME structure for the frosting part. We loved this so much we split another one on our last day of the trip.

Kusafiri has a lot of famous cupcakes, although I've heard they've made some not-so-positive changes to them. Still, I highly recommend them if you want some coffee and sugar in the parks. Or maybe even that breakfast sandwich that looks pretty good.

Oh, who am I kidding? SUGAR.

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

In Which Jenn Points Out Posts You May Have Missed

Hey, you know how occasionally you'll be watching a sitcom and it will dawn on you with slow horror that what you're actually seeing is a clips show? Yeah, I'm doing that.

It's not so bad! I applied logic to this decision, I swear! It's merely that it occurs to me that this blog is closer to its second birthday than it isn't, and there are probably at least a few readers who are kinda new. I happen to be a huge fan of trip reports, and I've been known to plumb archives for them myself. Why not make life easier for others?

Hence this comprehensive listing of all my Disney trip reports so far:

We also have some day trip park reports if you're into that kind of thing:

And since this is also a running blog and people tend to enjoy race recaps, here's a listing of those too:

Have thoughts on what you read? Feel free to comment no matter how old the post - I can assure you I'll see it. And if YOU have a particularly good trip report you'd like to share, let me know; I love those things!

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us atfairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Fairest Week In Review: 2/10

JENN: So how was your training this week?

MOON: It was good! Lots of running and exercising. :D No big milestones, but it was steady. How was your week?

JENN: Good! It's been an interesting week because I just started using an actual, real gym as opposed to a basement apartment "gym." More on that in a later post but let me just say that it takes some getting used to.

Sadly, this has nothing to do with it.

Anyway, I'm slowly working my way up to my old endurance levels and it's actually kinda working. I would've made it to 30 miles this week if I hadn't had to get back to work. Stupid work, ruining everything!

MOON: Yay! I think I went around the same distance. I've been doing shorter runs for months trying to get my speed up, but this week I'm adding distance.

Also, these compression socks are BOSS. I have had absolutely no leg pain. Circulation seems improved.

JENN: I need to break mine out and try them again. I think they might help with my calf recovery - after some of my longer runs last week they were a little sore.

MOON: Give it a try, it can't hurt.

Any goals for the week?

JENN: Nothing much - just keep up the progress. I'm not sure I can make 30 this week but I'm pretty sure I can surpass 25 and that's reasonable. You?

MOON: I think 25-30 is a good goal. Let see if we can match!

JENN: Absolutely! In the meantime, roundup.

- Elbowglitter has nice things to say about the treadmill. See, it's not just me!
- Black Dog Runs Disney wonders why people are so down on running.
- Pink Elephant on Parade has a runniversary!
- Running at Disney has the details on runDisney race retreats.
- The Disney Hipsters highlight awesome Animal Kingdom ambiance.
- Capturing Magical Memories gets a different kind of FastPass.
- This Happy Place Blog is 30, and Disney has at LEAST 30 (good things).

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us atfairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

In Which Jenn Engages In Race Schedule Speculation

It feels like I JUST put together my 2014 race plans - April was yesterday, right? What, it's practically tomorrow? Jesus.

Anyway, given that I just knocked out the last of those goals, it seems logical to jot down the new ones, right? Unfortunately, I don't have that much ahead of me, not officially - I'm only registered for the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler in April and then from there it's just a bunch of theories. Help me flesh them out!

Theory #1. We should find a fun 5 or 10K or two to do, right? There's an 8K at Busch Gardens Williamsburg at the end of the year but there must be something interesting happening before that. I liked the Electric Run but that's not for awhile either. Does anyone know of any good ones that come through DC or Baltimore?

Theory #2. Moon and I plan to enter the lottery for this year's Marine Corps Marathon. Moon's still looking to knock out her first marathon and I've forgotten enough of my experience to believe it might be fun to do it again.

Theory #3. Moon needs to do another runDisney race, yes? But for financial reasons, we're not looking at any options before next year. Right now the most likely outcome is revisiting the Princess Half in 2016, and Moon says she'd be totally up for the Glass Slipper Challenge. Registration doesn't open until July so we have some time to decide.

Theory #4. I think I'd like to find another half, either something in May or starting in late September. Maybe the Navy/Air Force Half? Although that one is pretty close to MCM so maybe not. Any recommendations?

Too Amorphous To Even Be Called A Theory, Really. So... I'm in a vulnerable place right now. Aside from the still-theoretical February 2016 trip, I have NO IDEA when I will next be at Walt Disney World. I haven't had to deal with this feeling in over two years, and it does not feel good. I don't PLAN to runDisney until the 2016 Princess Half, but if someone in my awesome Disney network were to, y'know, make a suggestion... Come up with a plan...

I'm not telling anyone to do anything. I'm just SAYING.

What's on your race schedule?

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us atfairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Fairest Trip Report Of All: 1/13/15

Is it trip report time again already? Yay! I'll be looking back at my Dopey trip at the beginning of January, with special separate posts for each race and some food experiences depending on how much I have to say about them. You can read all the posts in this particular trip report here. Ready? Let's go! 

As if leaving isn't bad enough, the final day of a Walt Disney World vacation piles on another hardship: waking up earlier to gather your stuff and check your luggage. I was up early to shower and finish packing; I eventually nudged Pat awake and he did some last-minute project work while I packed. Then it was off to airline check in where we dropped off our luggage and got our boarding passes, followed by bell services to store our carry-ons.

The plan for the day was now the Animal Kingdom, so we hopped a bus and headed straight to our first FP+, an early morning trip on Kilimanjaro Safaris. We were pleasantly surprised to be routed through to the wheelchair loading station, which allowed us to skip the final portion of the queue. As is often the case, the animals were definitely more active in the morning, especially the giraffes.

The only logical post-safari breakfast choice was of course the paw print brownie from Kusafiri, although this time we just got one to split. It was actually really nice of them to give us one, as they aren't technically supposed to be available until closer to lunchtime, but I guess they had gotten them prepped early. Take that, Fairfax Fare customer service!

We had also purchased coffees,which we took with us on a Pangani Forest Trail adventure. Which, to be honest, was not that exciting. I mean, hippos are nice and all, and I guess gorillas are kinda cool, but I've never been much for the monkey/great ape end of the spectrum. They look too much like people. Also, Pat was NOT having the naked mole rats. I much prefer Maharajah Jungle Trek (TIGERS TIGERS TIGERS).

Our next FP+ was for Dinosaur, which we rode with the express purpose of trying to look as bored as possible in our ride photo. Success? (Do the carnotaurus overlay in your head.)

After that we went directly to Everest for our final DAK FP+ slot. Oh, Everest. I love you so.

This finished out all our DAK plans. It was time to move on to our final park of the trip, the Studios. We grabbed a bus and proceeded directly to the FP kiosk by Tower of Terror (the one by Starring Rolls was closed for some reason). We got a FP+ slot for ToT, then used some of our paper FastPasses to ride Rock 'n Roller Coaster while we were in the area. It was a weird ride, though, because neither of us knew the song.

Clearly getting the hang of camera placement.

All that traipsing around had made us hungry, so we considered our dining options and landed on Backlot Express. Pat was dismayed by the sudden lack of any kind of burger as promised by the park map, but we found acceptable alternatives and dug in. More on that in my food review posts.

We had a couple paper FastPasses left, so we spent two on Toy Story Midway Mania (this made me especially happy as I had thought we wouldn't get a chance to ride it). I managed to narrowly edge out Pat's score - and I think this may have been my best score ever? I've only ever gotten the beaver before. Cats are for winners!

Next on the agenda was one more trip on Star Tours, where we had what I consider to be the BEST POSSIBLE COMBINATION: the Wookie planet and then the water planet! Far and away my favorite sequences. Almost as good as being the rebel spy!

There was still time to kill, so we wandered into the Great Movie Ride and took another spin through the movies. I was all set and ready to request the cowboy sequence, but we ended up getting it anyway. And let me say that for all my many, many years always getting the gangster, the cowboy version is superior. I mean, they get FIRE!

I don't have anywhere logical to put this, so I'm just going to say it now: tee, look at the hat.

Just the tip?
Anyway - after that we burned ten minutes or so in One Man's Dream, where a cast member made us promise to sneak into the cockpit of a plane to Japan and convince the pilot to fly over Tokyo Disneyland so we can see the hidden Mickey. Which was frankly a pretty awkward exchange, but I DO want to go to Tokyo Disneyland someday, so...

Our final act was to use our Tower of Terror FP+ slot. This was my favorite drop sequence of the trip - much more bouncy than droppy. Oh, and our cast member was pretty good. "There's one more thing you should know before you ride this ride," he said. And then the doors closed. Well done, sir. Almost as good as the every-three-minutes guy.

We had one random paper FastPass left, but Pat didn't want to ride anything alone so we found a random group and gave it to them before sadly dragging ourselves out of the park. We picked up a bus back to POR and I know this is really dumb but just typing this three weeks later is making me sad. Do I have a complex?

So yeah. The only logical thing left to do was hit the River Roost bar, which was just opening. Our bartender was named Talon, which is a fairly awesome name, no? Pat got a whiskey and I enjoyed one more Abita Purple Haze.

And then we had to accept that it was time to go. Between drinks Pat retrieved our carry-ons from bell services, and after settling our tab we took our posts at the Magical Express bus stop.

Our return trip to the airport was uneventful. We got off at terminal A and made our way through security (has anyone else noticed that the TSA people at Orlando International always seem extra angry?), then passed the time with dinner at a random bar the name of which I forget but it was sorta island-themed.

The flight itself was fine. Our bags took forever to show up as per usual at BWI. Pat's dad picked us up from the airport and took us back to Pat's car. We drove home. The end, I guess. BAH. I HATE THE END.

But here we are, at the end. Of the main trip report, that is. I still have some things left to talk about: food reviews and Dopey takeaways, mostly, although I'll roll those out slowly over the next couple weeks because I'm sure you're quite inundated with trip reporting by now. Thanks for sticking with me over this protracted blog series. WDW makes me happy, and therefore reliving my time there makes me happy by extension. Thanks for giving me that excuse!

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Fairest Week In Review: 2/03

JENN: Did you run at all last week?

MOON: Yes, I did run! Christian and I ran a lot together, actually. It was quite nice. How was your week?

JENN: Yay! It was pretty good. I got a couple of long runs in and while they weren't what I'd call up to speed they were actually fairly pleasant. So there's that!

How are your new sneakers working out?

MOON: The sneakers are great! I wasn't too sure at first because they had a different feel than my asics, but I have absolutely no pain after running. And Christian has no bloody toes (he also found new sneakers).

JENN: That's awesome! Between the sneakers and the compression socks you're all set. You're totally going to leave me behind in the Cherry Blossom ten miler.

MOON: Pshh, I don't think so. We're a team! We'll stick together... or trail behind Christian.

JENN: All the same, we should definitely do another sneaker trying field trip. I wanna take a shot at those new Brooks Ravenna 6s. Although I must admit, I'm a little torn about it... on the one hand, I want the 6s to be the best thing that ever happened since the 5s. On the other hand, if I like the 5s better, I CAN BUY A BUNCH AT A DISCOUNT. Anyway, I just discovered that there's a Road Runner Sports right down the road from me. So we shall see!

In the meantime, have a roundup.

- Run Walk Fastpass Repeat sets out to get the best runDisney castle photo ever.
- Pink Elephant on Parade has some sign suggestions for you Princess spectators.
- Black Dog Runs Disney is chill about the whole corral situation.
- Sparkly Ever After offers stay-put park makeup tips.
- Mouse on the Mind adapts the World Showcase to McDonald's.

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Fairest Trip Report Of All: 1/12/15

Is it trip report time again already? Yay! I'll be looking back at my Dopey trip at the beginning of January, with special separate posts for each race and some food experiences depending on how much I have to say about them. You can read all the posts in this particular trip report here. Ready? Let's go! 

My first (and only) full day without a race!

Our modified plan for the day was a quiet one: rather than leaping out of bed and galloping straight to a park, we woke up at the leisurely time of 9:30AM. Pat immediately jumped onto his computer and went after his work project while I took a shower, caught up on notes, snacked, that kind of thing.

I also used this time to change out our FP+s for the next day; we had originally planned to spend our last morning at the Magic Kingdom but adjusted our scheduled to hit the Animal Kingdom instead. I put our new time slots together and then ran off to the food court to grab Pat some coffee.

On the way back I was greeted with no one's favorite envelope on the door handle: our Magical Express tickets home had arrived. Except that, well, they kind of hadn't - the paper listed our flights and bus times as asterisks. Seemed like ME has lost our flight information. Oh, well, guess we can't go home!

I called the number on the paper and talked to a very nice lady who readily informed me that yes, if your ME sheet is blank it means Disney isn't going to let you leave. Yay! And then she took down our flight information and gave us a bus time. Boo.

A couple hours later we were out of the room and gazing at some clouds ominous enough to prompt Pat to duck into the gift shop and buy an umbrella. Thus armed, we hopped a bus to Epcot, and just as we were disembarking it started to rain. Pat is very prescient. The security guard at bag check, however, informed us that we didn't need an umbrella - didn't we know that you just walk between the raindrops?

The rain did dissipate for a bit after that, which was nice as we were able to get some cute shots in front of Spaceship Earth.

A rain-free zone was also vital for our first FP+ slot, which was for Test Track, perhaps the most finicky ride on property when it comes to the weather. This time around we designed an even more ridiculous car, going for a model as small and wide and flowery and inane as possible. And the weird thing is - it actually performed really well. After our ride, we saw on the post-show big screen that the highest scoring vehicle of the day was something like 224; ours had scored 209. No one we saw come up and check out their car scored higher than 207. Maybe Chevy should start producing it?

We were getting hungry, so we made our first World Showcase stop in Mexico for margaritas and snacks. By some miracle there were plenty of tables available to us in the seated section. More to come on that one, but I want to say here it was the sort of quiet, happy moment that WDW does so well. Since we were in Mexico anyway, we also took a spin on the Gran Fiesta Tour because I always enjoy a ride with no line.

While in line for Test Track I had changed our next FP+ from the Character Spot to the Nemo dark ride at Pat's request. Our time had opened up, so we jumped on board a clamshell. Halfway through the ride, Pat turned to me and said: "Are there going to be REAL fish soon?" So that's what he thought of that.

We made a thorough exploration of Sea Base Alpha, making our way through just about every exhibit area. The dolphins and the manatees were neat, of course, but the surprise favorite was the small cuttlefish display. We spent a good ten minutes watching them swim around changing colors.

Upon attempting to exit the building we discovered a pretty no-nonsense downpour had commenced. We had two options: hang around the Sea Base for the foreseeable future, or buy some of those ubiquitous Disney ponchos. Pat consulted his radar weather app and determined we had a good deal of precipitation ahead of us, so we bit the bullet and got the billion-dollar ponchos. Hey, at least we were mobile again!

Protected from the elements in our new accouterments, we shuffled from the Seas over to Innoventions... um... whichever side has the Sum of All Thrills simulator. We were briefly stopped outside by a Disney photographer who insisted we were making a rainy memory, and I can't disagree with him there.

Sum of All Thrills posted a 15 minute wait, but I'd say we were in the briefing room in 10 minutes or so. The briefing video was kind of painfully cheesy but the design process itself was fun. Pat and I selected the fastest, craziest option - jet - and put together a spinny, loopy monstrosity we named TURBO DRAGON.

Then it was up the stairs to wait for our simulator. A nice cast member showed us a locker where we could put our stuff, then briefed us on safety. There was another CM there monitoring video cameras that showed the faces of the people in the simulator - I guess to guard against vomiting and passing out and such?

Finally it was our turn to climb inside. The monitor CM strapped us in, then showed us the emergency stop button. All this for a ride that proved to be pretty gentle, for all its advertised intensity. Don't get me wrong, it was a good time, but Pat and I determined that next time we'd design something that was all loops to get the most out of the simulation.

The most interesting thing to happen during TURBO DRAGON was my medal getting loose during the first loop and attempting to smack me in the face. I snagged it with my left hand and held it for the remainder of the ride. "Nice catch," said the CM the moment she opened up the simulator pod.

It was still raining, but we just re-ponchoed up and headed over to Mission: Space for our final FP+ of the day. Pat decided that we should try an experiment: every time Gary Sinise prompts you to press your button, PRESS THE OTHER ONE. He was quite determined that we would unlock some sort of special alternate version where everyone dies. Unfortunately, as I suspected, all that happened was that we continually triggered the computer override. Perhaps if we had briefed the other members of our team we could've discovered an Easter egg?

In an homage to the Wine & Dine Half it was still raining, so we put our ponchos back on and braved our way to the Rose & Crown. Pat got in line at the bar for a Guinness (him) and a Snake Bite (me) while I played the Table Vulture Scans the Room game. I was rewarded with two empty chairs at a small table with two middle-age ladies who mostly kept to themselves but were nonetheless very pleasant. At one point Pat changed from his t-shirt into a long sleeved shirt by putting the latter on over the former and then removing the former under the latter (got that?), and they were extremely impressed by this feat.

Oh, while somewhere else in the parks I had overheard someone saying that the Guiness at the Rose & Crown is better than it is elsewhere in the country. I'm not an expert in such things, but Pat is, and he said that while the Guiness there was good it was not unusually so. He theorizes she was comparing it to the bottled version.

This was my first experience with the singer guy at the Rose & Crown; I think he might be new? Anyway, he just had a mic and a keyboard, but he sang some good stuff. This included a series of songs from Les Miserables with the droll comment that for some reason the performers in Les Mis always have English accents, and my personal favorite, "Wild Rover." I sang along with that one and did all the claps while Pat gazed upon me with an expression equal parts amused and bemused. Let it be known that he may be a good Irish lad, but I've got him beat on the drinking songs!

After a drink or two we decided to head back out into the elements - except we found upon stepping outdoors that the elements had died down considerably. It was now barely sprinkling, but the population of Epcot had seen a dramatic decrease. We headed across the way in a blissful, poncho- and crowd-free state and checked out the Crown & Crest. Somehow they didn't have Pat's family crest, so we left that store behind in favor of the British pop culture store right next to it. Pat made a beeline for the Beatles area before meeting me in the Doctor Who section. I tried to sell him on Downton Abbey by pointing out that Ser Jorah (sp?) is in it during season two, but I don't think he was convinced.

Our next stop on our World Showcase drinking tour was France, where we picked up a Kir Royal and a glass of wine before wandering into the ice cream shop. They had some interesting flavors but we weren't quite ready for ice cream, so we moved on through Morocco and into Japan.

We wandered through the always fascinating wares of Mitsukoshi before winding up at the sake bar in the back. After inquiring as to our server's recommendation we wound up with a sake each; I unfortunately don't remember the name but it was indeed good. Pat is attempting to learn all the ways various cultures say "cheers," so we also asked her about the Japanese equivalent. Write this down: "Kampai!"

From there we breezed past the American Adventure and went straight on to Italy. Pat lived in Italy for about six months and was dismayed to find the architecture Venetian, insisting that using a port city as your model was a poor means of displaying a country's aesthetic look. He felt a little better as we walked further into the pavilion and the buildings transitioned into other styles, and in celebration we went into Tutto Gusto for some wine.

It was practically deserted, and we had our pick of spots; we elected to take seats at the bar. I'm afraid I don't recall our bartender's name but I remember she was from Rome, which pleased Pat as that was where he lived in Italy. We ordered the "Elegant Reds" wine flight because Pat recognized and liked one of the wines listed, and we added mozzarella and bruschetta as a snack. Everything was delicious and the cozy, rustic, "elsewhere" atmosphere was classic Epcot.

Next we ventured into Germany, where I headed straight back to Sommerfest for graprefruit beer and noodle gratin, a mac and cheese equivalent that knocked another item off my to-eat list. Totally worth it! Pat got a beer and a bratwurst, and we grabbed a table by the fountain as we ate. Epcot continued to be both rain-free and borderline people-free, and it was wonderfully serene.

Closing time was rapidly approaching, and we considered our options before making our final move: back to France for ice cream. I considered ordering the fabled brioche ice cream sandwich but I simply wasn't hungry enough (SOMEDAY I WILL EAT YOU, SANDWICH). Instead Pat and I split a cup of pistachio and hazelnut scoops.

We walked out of the shop literally JUST as the opening narration for IllumiNations was starting and wandered right up to the lagoon edge to watch it. Our view of the globe was a bit blocked but otherwise the location was great and we didn't wait around a million years to secure it. I love early evening Epcot rains!

By the time the fireworks were over Epcot was tragically closed, and we headed out of the park, onto the POR bus, and back to the resort. We stopped in at the gift shop for ginger ale before going back to the room and bed. Only one day left. :(

Up next: the last day. :( :( :(

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!