Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Fairest Week In Review: 5/31

Spoiler alert: I did NOT trip, fall, sprain, break, or otherwise mess myself during this week's training. Score.

Sunday | ran 8.07 miles on the treadmill in 1:20

Monday | walked 2.16 miles outside in 35 minutes; 70 minute ballet class

Tuesday | ran 7.05 miles on the treadmill in 1:10

Wednesday | ran 5.24 miles on the treadmill in 60 minutes

Thursday | walked 2.1 miles outside in 35 minutes; 70 minute ballet class

Friday | ran 5.11 miles in 50 minutes on the treadmill
SPEED RUN!

Saturday | rest
Saw Guardians of the Galaxy downtown; it was okay. The best/worst part was when Kurt Russell just straight up started deadpanning the lyrics to "Brandy." Slow clap for the scriptwriters, everybody.


Then Pat went back in and saw Alien: Covenant while I read a book and drank coffee at Starbucks because NO.

Hmmm. It's not very interesting when I'm not actively hurting myself, is it? We can only hope something exciting happens to me next week. I have a race this weekend and there are lots of hills in the second half, so...

The Twilight Bark!

- Back At Square Zero turns severe illness into a learning experience for runners.
- WDW for Grownups celebrates the positive influence that is runDisney.
- Parkeology highlights a nifty hidden little corner of themeing in Epcot.
- easyWDW has afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian. This used to be my JAM (ooh, a pun!), but I haven't done it since 2013. Looks like it's gone down in value and I'm sad. :(
- The Disney Tourist Blog offers a spoiler-free overview of Pandora.
- At Disney Again chills (another pun!) in the champagne bar Pink on the Disney Dream. This is the single biggest feature that makes me want to book a Disney cruise. I LOVE bubbles!

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Fairest Trip Report Of All: Dinner At The California Grill

The trip report proper is over, but we're not done yet - I've still got lots of thoughts, including food reviews and photos! You can see all the posts in this report here. Onward!

We last left our monorail loop dining adventure at Trader Sam's, where we had a couple rounds of drinks. We would've been happy to keep at it, but we had a 6:50pm ADR to make at California Grill.

A monorail ride to the Contemporary later and we were walking up to the restaurant podium, where a very pleasant Cast Member checked us in. I was careful to specifically request a Magic Kingdom-side table, hoping for sweet views a la last time, but this only sort of worked...

An operator escorted us onto the exclusive elevator and into the restaurant, where we were given a pager and sent off to the bar. We were just taking a seat there, the bartender laying down drink napkins for us, when the pager went off. "They do this to me all the time," he said sadly as we walked away. We promised to come back after the meal.

I was saddened to see that while my Magic Kingdom-side request had been honored, we were seated toward the back of the restaurant, with only the slightest sliver of the park viewable depending on whether the table in front of us were seated. Note to self: if you want window-side, request it. I hadn't because I didn't want to seem too demanding and ended up regretting it. Oh well! It was still nice.

I'm afraid I don't remember our waiter's name, only that he was from Morocco. Yusuf, my brain is suggesting? Let's go with that. Anyway, he was extremely excellent - exactly the sort of understated elegance one expects from a fine dining establishment, pleasant and present when you need him but not overbearing.

Our meal began with bread - rolls and killer herbed focaccia with butter - and drinks that were apparently so unremarkable I did not photograph them. I think I just got something sparkling and Pat got something red to accompany his steak. The super classy bit was when Pat asked Yusuf to help him pick between two wines; Yusuf proceeded to bring out both bottles for Pat to taste and select from, completely unprompted. Good show, good show.

We selected the charcuterie plate to share as our appetizer, and this turned out to be the hit of the night. First off all, it comes on a pig-shaped cutting board that is equally parts adorable and a touch morbid, incidentally two words that could also describe my aesthetic.


Cute, right? As for the contents, they ranged from interesting to delicious to interesting AND delicious, and it was a ton of fun to mix and match bites with the bread or accompanying pickled vegetables. Meats included duck, salami, pork belly, and I want to say venison as well.

Yusuf came by to take our entree order, after which I hopped out of my chair to check out the various decks, Magic Kingdom side and Epcot side. Unexpectedly, I thought the Epcot deck was a better view of the Magic Kingdom, being closer to centered on the castle, but if you want to stare longingly at Space Mountain the MK side is for you.




Pat got a steak. He said it was good, and cooked perfectly. Boring. Take a look at MY meal:


I technically ordered off the "appetizer" menu, if you consider sushi an appetizer. This was tuna three ways: raw, seared, and in maki. I have an odd attitude toward tuna: I HATE HATE HATE it out of a can but a seared tuna steak or raw slice of sashimi is full of beauty and wonder to my taste buds. This tuna was all excellent. Not, like, never have I ever had such magnificent fish excellent, but certainly worthy of a place in a fancy restaurant.

We chose to skip dessert, instead picking up a couple drinks from the bar (see, Mr. Bartender? We said we'd be back!) and taking them out on the Epcot-side deck for my final live viewing of the Wishes fireworks. I didn't actively cry, I just teared up a little. Nothing rolled down my cheeks, people! But this new Happily Ever After business BETTER BE GOOD.

California Grill is expensive, no question. But if you're good for a splurge, I think it's worth it. Also it appears to be where the sugar daddies bring their sugar babies, so if you're lucky you may get a floor show in the form of a dude in socks and sandals massaging the shoulders of a women twenty years younger whose facial expression is very sour indeed. Entertainment!

No, but seriously, California Grill. Get the charcuterie and check that view. Do it!

Have you been to the California Grill? What did you think?

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

In Which Jenn Gets An AMAZING Disney Present

Hey, how's your memory? Because I need you to remember some stuff. Specifically:


WELL. Strap in, kids, because look what Pat magically produced as an anniversary present!


And we don't generally even do anniversary presents. Generally we eat dinosaur chicken nuggets with a bottle of wine.*


NO I WILL NOT STOP MUGGING


I feel like I just drove a jalopy into a tunnel and am about to get into a headlong collision with a train.


In other words: BEST PRESENT EVER.

* Recommended.

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Fairest Week In Review: Special Roadkill Edition

Here's a rare circumstance: I'm going to recommend you read this week's training log. It gets interesting toward the end.

Sunday | ran 5.12 miles on the treadmill in 50 minutes
Speed run! Also I burned my leg and hand a bit making pancakes. It's a long story which I mention because it is a harbinger of things to come.

Monday | walked 2.55 miles outside in 40 minutes; 50 minute ballet class

Tuesday | ran 10.48 miles outside in 1:50

Wednesday | walked 2.11 miles outside in 35 minutes; 50 minute ballet class

Thursday | ran 10.15 miles outside in 1:50
Annnnnd here's where it gets interesting. Mile 4, zoned out, a little tired but doing all right. Realize I'd zoned out during my walk break and gone a touch too long; my subconscious starts up my running gait without first consulting my senses. Which is why, in the face of a slight but unequivocally existent incline, I didn't pick up my feet high enough, tripped, flailed like a Goofy sports cartoon (synergy), and took a header off the sidewalk right into the asphalt.

My right arm: scrapes on my fingers and elbow, road rash along my forearm. My right knee: scraped on top, bruise on the inside. My left knee: GOUGED, although I didn't realize the extent of the damage because it was just covered by my now very slightly, very gently, but very definitely shredded capris. But! Bones, joints, tendons, muscles, etc.: all good!


So I popped up, gave a thumbs up to the passing pickup truck that had slowed to a stop in case I was, in fact, dead, and ran six more miles. Because I did NOT get up at 5:40am for the privilege of taking off my top layer of skin and going home.

Meanwhile I avoid cleaning my bathroom because it seems insurmountable. The runner brain works in mysterious ways.

Friday | rest
Because, uh, yeah.

Saturday | rest
Went to see Flogging Molly live because Irish folk punk rock trumps oozing knee scabs. (Which I politely covered in bandages for the occasion because I'm not a COMPLETE rube.)

THAT VIEW

I'd say that epic will do nicely for now, so let's move on to the Twilight Bark.

- Elbowglitter reflects on how to a handle a bad race.
- Back At Square Zero reveals the lie that is the affordability of running.
- Just Me & My Running Shoes fosters running hustle.
- Fairytales & Fitness offers a listing of zoo runs around the country. None of which are near me, boo.
- Disney In Your Day assembles a Moana running costume.
- This Fairytale Life has the scoop on this new Lularoe/Disney collaboration. Based on what I've heard of Lularoe, I'm intrigued but also scared?
- easyWDW checks out World Showcase's Wine Walk experience. Elizabeth and I did this a long time ago and it sounds like the price has gone up with very little plussing of the experience. Once again I'm glad Josh did it so I don't have to.
- Living A Disney Life chills in the Gorilla Falls aviary. If Disney sold those birdhouses I'd buy one.
- EPBOT DIYs an awesome Epcot tee.
- Rolling with the Magic reiterates that WDW is awesome for people of all abilities.

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Fairest Trip Report Of All: Drinks At Trader Sam's Grog Grotto

The trip report proper is over, but we're not done yet - I've still got lots of thoughts, including food reviews and photos! You can see all the posts in this report here. Onward!

Our first and only real Advanced Dining Reservation of the trip was at none other than the California Grill, way high up there atop the Contemporary Resort, where the food, the view, and the prices are all equally killer.

But that wasn't enough for us. Oh no. We extended the experience by leaving the hot, crowded Magic Kingdom early and taking the resort loop monorail to the Polynesian for a couple drink in the patio at Trader Sam's.

This, my friends, was oh, such a good choice. The drinks were good, but the atmosphere was what rocked my world. And I say that having not gone inside. I KNOW, I KNOW - Trader Sam's is famous for its goofy innards. But the patio was so relaxed we couldn't bear to leave it. Pat and I chilled outside under an umbrella with lovely view of the Seven Seas Lagoon.

Our server was very nice - spread a bit thin over many tables, but we could flag her when we needed her. For round one, Pat got a Dark & Tropical Stormy, essentially a dark and stormy with the addition of something called "falernum." Neither of us had the slightest idea what that is, but he loved his drink so much that he has vowed to find a bottle for home use.


I got Rosita's Margarita. This was a margarita. I have no complaints. It also had falernum in it? I don't know what that does.

Round two: Pat got a HippopatoMaiTai, which came in a Very Happy Glass. This did not contain falernum, but it did contain something called "orgeat (almond)." It must have worked because Pat raved about it. Look how happy he is!


My second drink was the Tahitian Torch, a very fruity concoction full of tropical juices and something called "Dragon Fire Spirit." Perhaps this is another name for "falernum." Either way, I liked it - it was sweet and pleasant without being cloying.

Twisty straws for everyone!

We could've happily hung out for a third or even fourth round, maybe gotten a few appetizers even, but that California Grill ADR was calling us. Post about that coming soon!

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Fairest Week In Review: 5/17

I have nothing clever or interesting to say about my training, only to say that it continues. Here we go:

Sunday | ran 7.05 miles on the treadmill in 1:10
I was 30 minutes into this run, wondering why it felt so much harder than usual, when I remembered: I gave blood the previous day. Oh yeah. Probably should've stopped there, but, well, I was already at the gym, and... Anyway, I was fine - just tired.

Monday | walked 2.05 miles outside in 35 minutes; 70 minute ballet class

Tuesday | ran 8.07 miles on the treadmilly in 1:20

Wednesday | ran 5.25 miles on the treadmill in 60 minutes; walked 2.39 miles outside in 40 minutes
Normally I walk on ballet days, but as tons of rain was in the forecast for Thursday I moved my walk up a day.

Thursday | 70 minute ballet class

Friday | ran 5.26 miles on the treadmill in 60 minutes

Saturday | rest

On the Disney front, I am having great success in my endeavors to drag people back to WDW with me. Pat keeps talking about how he wants to go back, and my mom has officially committed to an early December trip. Let the trip planning commence!

Pictured: Me, trip planning.

The Twilight Bark:

- Let's start with something that has nothing to do with this blog really but I love Trek so here it is: Futureprobe explains why William T. Riker sucks. I'm not saying I agree 100% but it's an interesting read if you're a fan of TNG. Also the title is a reference to Dr. Seuss! But I digress.
- Back to the matter at hand. Just Me & My Running Shoes assembles a runDisney playlist.
- Half Crazy Mama has some summer race suggestions.
- easyWDW does that resort monorail loop progressive meal thing.
- WDW for Grownups lists DAK's best snacks, and...
- ... Disney In Your Day reviews DAK's new elephant tour.
- Sparkly Runner recaps a trip on the Disney Wonder and the Castaway Cay 5K.
- I Run for Wine goes Behind the Seeds. One of these days I WILL do this...
- The Disney Tourist Blog says goodbye to Wishes...
- ... as does the Main Street Gazette. ;.;

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

In Which Jenn DID NOT PEE HERSELF DURING THE DARK SIDE HALF, SWEAR

Perhaps you are rolling your eyes already at the subject line of this post. Perhaps you are quite sick of looking at me. Perhaps you have written me off as a narcissist. It's okay. I understand.

But my Annual Pass expires in December, and with it, my free PhotoPass downloads. Will I ever get another? Maybe. As of now, though, these are the last free runDisney photos I will ever download.

SO NATURALLY IT LOOKS LIKE I PEED MYSELF IN HALF OF THEM.



It's thigh sweat! THIGH SWEAT!


And possibly some anti-chafing gel? I tend to slather it on for races. Things to rethink...


JESUS CHRIST.


IT'S SWEAT, PEOPLE! SWEAT!


WHY? WHY?? WHY DID I WEAR GRAY INSTEAD OF BLACK? WHY DO I SWEAT BETWEEN MY LEGS?????? WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?!?!?!

Whatever. Girl Moff Tarkin OUT.

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Fairest Trip Report Of All: 4/25

It's trip report time again! I love trip reports! I'm recapping my April 2017 trip to WDW for the Dark Side Half. You can see all the posts in this report here. Onward!

Why are my notes so short? Oh, right, because it's the LAST DAY. ;.;

Weeks earlier, in that idealistic planning haze, I had intended to get up early and sneak in a short run around Riverside. Although part of me regrets the omission, I'm not entirely surprised I elected to sleep instead. And so I woke up at the usual time, prepped to go out, roused Pat, and sadly packed up the last of my things as he did the same.

We checked our airline luggage and dropped off our carry on bags at bell services before boarding a very crowded bus to Epcot. Our first FastPass for the day was for Soarin', so we knocked that out before stopping in at the Fountain View Starbucks for coffee and rice krispie treats.

Next up in the FP queue was Mission Space, which may be Pat's favorite experience in WDW. Or maybe he just really likes Gary Sinise.

Senior officers, meet me in my ready room.

Post Orange Team training, Pat wanted to check out the Living Seas, so I led us into the Nemo dark ride line. "Isn't there a back way in?" he said. "Yes, but this way we get to ride a ride!" I replied, because dark rides have ever been and will ever be my JAM. Admittedly the Nemo dark ride isn't exactly a classic, but it's still cute.

Not that I paid much attention this go-round, because I suddenly discovered I'd pulled a boneheaded move: for some reason I had thought our last FP was for Test Track, when it was in fact for Spaceship Earth. If I'd taken half a second to think about it this would've been obvious, as everyone knows you can't have a Soarin' FP and a Test Track FP at the same time. Idiot.

I apologized to Pat for the oversight while frantically cancelling what we had and refreshing MDE through half the experience, trying to fix my gaffe, until Pat gently reassured me he'd really rather ride Splash Mountain one more time instead. Luckily I was able to snag an FP for that without too much trouble, and we spent a relaxing half hour or so wandering around the Living Seas aquariums before picking up the monorail series to the Magic Kingdom. Weirdly, I never got my bag searched...?

Do-it-your-selfie because we couldn't find a PhotoPass photographer.

On our way up Main Street I had to try one more time: I stopped in at the Emporium and asked after that Mr. Toad hat. The CM tried her darnedest to find it for me but no dice. :( Great customer service, though!

From there we headed straight for Splash Mountain, where we hit an unusually long FastPass line. All the same we were in a log within ten minutes or so, and enjoyed a damp trip in the front row. (Duck update: there were none.)



But first: a snack! We grabbed some nachos from Pecos Bill's, where I gleefully indulged in the toppings bar with its FREE GUAC I CAN'T BELIEVE THEY OFFER FREE GUAC TRULY DISNEY IS MAGIC!!! And then we got more waffle fries from Golden Oak Outpost, which were as delicious as ever but I didn't notice until I got home that I was charged for a full nugget meal. Boo. Ah well; it's not like Disney doesn't take most of my money anyway.

I'd used my time in line at Mountain, Splash to pick up a FastPass for Mountain, Space, so we headed there next. We thought the Splash FP line was long - well, the Space FP line was RIDICULOUS. It took us a good 25 minutes to work through it. I can only assume they all but halted the standby line to let us all through.

At least I used the time wisely, picking up a Haunted Mansion FP while I waited. We powerwalked through Fantasyland into Liberty Square and communed with Madame Leota. On our way out we stopped for pictures with a PhotoPass photographer, and they turned out so accidentally hilarious that I'm going to save them for their own dedicated post.

Still reeling from the loss of my Toad hat (no I will NOT shut up about that), I decided to indulge in some retail therapy over my botched retail therapy. Memento Mori had a super cute Haunted Mansion print tank, and it came home with me.

Pat had expressed an interest in knocking out Big Thunder Mountain one more time, and after a LOT of obsessive refreshing I managed to snag a final FastPass. We rode, and was awesome.

Then it was time: time to head back to the resort. I stalled in the only way I could think of: with a PhotoPass photographer on Main Street, in front of the castle, after the classic fashion. I'm going to save these photos for their own post too, but this time because they were actually really awesome. Our photographer was really good!

Ho-hum cell phone shot.

And then I trailed Pat, sulky, out of the park and onto a bus back to Riverside. This turned out to be the Crying Bus. I guess 4pm is about when the kids start to miss their naps, because half the busload was wailing. We were headed to the South Depot, but we got off at North and walked because yikes.

One more spin through the gift shop, one more round of drinks at River Roost, and it was over. The Magical Express took us away.


... Except it didn't quite, because first we stopped at Fort Wilderness and THEN WE STOPPED AT BAY LAKE AND I COULD SEE THE FREAKING CASTLE AND SPACE MOUNTAIN. SO MEAN. I may have cried when we finally left for the airport. And by "may have" I mean I totally did.

Thus ended our trip. It was awesome and I have already started lobbying Pat to go back, because duh. Thanks to all who ploughed through this report - I loved writing it! It's not quite over yet, either - stick around for a bunch of food reviews, some silly and not-so-silly photo shoots, and some parting thoughts.

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Fairest Trip Report Of All: 4/24

It's trip report time again! I love trip reports! I'm recapping my April 2017 trip to WDW for the Dark Side Half. You can see all the posts in this report here. Onward!

The last full day. The last day of true safety.

After my sleep-deprived-and-zombified antics of the night prior, I woke feeling incredibly refreshed. I all but hopped out of bed with my alarm. I showered and dressed with a light heart before waking a considerably crankier Pat, because he's always cranky when you first wake him up. He later pointed out that, this being the case, I should rouse him from bed any time I want when at Disney since he'll cheer up once he's in the park. Though this sounds risky I'm totally taking advantage of that note next time we go.

We finally got the bus timing right and were off to the Studios in short order. Upon arrival, they had a red carpet and performers out entertaining/interviewing the crowd, which was a nice touch.

Our first stop was Rock 'n Roller Coaster for FastPass #1. Pat was incredibly disappointed to see that Steven Tyler's shocker hand gesture had indeed been digitally (no pun intended but I laughed when I realized) removed. We realized too late - just as we were getting off the ride - that for our ride photo we should've done the shocker in memorium. We vowed to correct this mistake later in the day if possible.


Then it was back over to Hollywood Boulevard for coffee at the Trolley Car Cafe, where we coincidentally caught the March of the First Order again. The First Order marches A LOT, as we would soon see...

We poked around a few gift shops before backtracking to Sunset for our Tower of Terror FP+, which I booked purely because I love my boyfriend. ToT and I have had... OUR UPS AND DOWNS (pun 100% intended and I laughed immediately). This is to say that while once the ride starts I enjoy myself, the anticipation freaks me out. But I survived my trip to the Twilight Zone.


It felt like snack time, so we followed some free-range stormtroopers ("DO YOU HAVE YOUR IDENTIFICATION????" they said to the Spanish-speaking toddler, who was all ????) back to Sweet Spells where we picked up one of those "Minnie's Bake Shop" soft bake cookies that are kind of amazing. You know, that you can also get packaged but they're still inexplicably good?


I'm not 100% sure about this but we MAY have caught some of the March AGAIN while we ate our cookie. I wouldn't be surprised.

We caught a small bit of the Jedi Training kid thing before taking advantage of our Star Tours FastPass. I was very disappointed to get the pod race AND Boba Fett, because those are the segments I somehow ALWAYS get, but I was pleased by the BB-8 interstitial. Also C3PO called some podracers "ruffians" and I have a cat named Ruffian, so.

Lunch was to be at Brown Derby Lounge, but we were a few minutes shy of opening. Some Streetmosphere actors were performing nearby, so we wandered over - the cowboy and his companion from park opening as mentioned above. The cowboy had some pretty good jokes, I thought, but I'm down for some bad jokes a la Garrison Keillor, so you by the judge:

"My cowboy friend's house burned down. It's sad, but I did warn him. I said: don't you know you can't build your home on the range?"

"Some of my cowboy friends went to England. They went into a pub, and the bartender said: I'm sorry, I can't have chaps here." <-- or something like that

And then they drove off in a tiny car. The Disney difference!

Yes, my friends, we rope-dropped a restaurant: we were one of a small parade that marched into the Brown Derby Lounge at precisely noon. I'll save a full review for a later post, but suffice to say it was pretty awesome. Also we saw the Star Wars shows like 87 times. Pat would love to recite all of Captain Phasma's March of the First Order lines for you if you're interested.

While eating I had managed to snag another RnR FastPass, but we still had some time to kill before it opened. Once again proving my love, I agreed to do Tower of Terror again on standby with a posted wait of 30 minutes. I'd say we were in the library after about 25. I survived, even!


From there we cashed in on our RnR FastPass, where "Sweet Emotion" played as we threw up twin shockers for the photo. We were delighted to see it didn't get censored in the photo display area - but it somehow disappeared in our photo package! :( I don't think the photos got flagged, either, because we had some mysterious strangers' photos instead. Same thing happened during our first Splash Mountain go-round. Bummer.

This closed out our Studios plans, so we exited the park accompanied by the sweet, sweet sound of the March of the First Order. Over to Disney's Animal Kingdom, my Very Favorite Park!

I snagged an Everest FastPass on the bus, so we did that first. Three times, based on the PhotoPass evidence. We rode it so many times I don't even remember all of it. NEVER ENOUGH EVEREST!

Shocker's Revenge



Then I dragged Pat over to what might be my Very Favorite Place in my Very Favorite Park: Harambe!

Before I go any further, I must be the bearer of bad tidings: my friends, Kusafiri's paw print brownie is no longer a thing. It does not exist. Pat was quite devastated. I, too, suffer.

Ah well; couldn't be helped. Instead we scooted over to Dawa Bar for some cheering drinks. While there, I made an instant friend! A girl came up to me and correctly identified my Alice dress as being from Hot Topic. We had a mini-Hot Topic amazing-Disney-stuff love fest and it was awesome. Seriously, guys. Get on this.

I insisted on staying for a Burudika show (THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT, ESTELLE), but was able to tear myself away-post performance for a recently acquired Dinosaur FP. Honestly, we didn't really need it. For some reason people were leaving the park in droves. I don't know if everyone's just trained to leave at 5pm even though hours have been extended, or they're waiting for Pandora, or what, but there was a mass exodus as early as probably 4pm. Weird.

Indeed, we so little needed our FP that when the FP lined got blocked by a massive group of slow-moving individuals led by the world's most cautious ECV driver, we hopped the rope into the regular line and still walked right into the briefing room.

Then I rode Dinosaur tipsy. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


On the way out we picked up a shirt for Pat's niece, who has recently discovered what we all know: dinosaurs are awesome. While purchasing I had a lovely chat with a CM who agreed that DAK definitely is the best park, and prompted me to perform the Wilderness Explorer's Salute or whatever the hell it is. Drunk me is a chatter.

A quick scroll through the MDE app showed wait times were plummeting everywhere. We ran over to Everest and enjoyed an almost wait-free ride, then shared Fireball shots at the Thirsty River bar before I hustled Pat back to one last Kilimanjaro safari trip on the theory that at this later time the animals may be more active. Which they kind of were? The wildebeest were holding it down, anyway. We waited maaaaybe 20 minutes, max.



I had picked up one more Everest FP, just to be safe, so we headed back to Serka Zong. One more round of Fireball shots from Thirsty River and then we headed off on our Himalayan adventure in the setting sun.


Pat wanted to have one more good, sit-down meal before we left, and some heated refreshing finally yielded a Boatwright's ADR for 9:15pm. Leaving the park was the smart move if we wanted to be on time... and we made it like 15 feet before turning around and zipping through Everest one more line-free time. Bonus: it was finally dark! I love Everest in the dark!!


Then it was really time to go - Pat didn't want to stay for Rivers of Light and to be honest none of the reviews have made me crazy eager. Don't get me wrong, I want to see it, but I'm not worried about it; I'll catch it next time. I was sorry to walk by the dance party that was going down by the Tree of Life, but we had an ADR to make.

We were able to pick up a bus back to Riverside pretty quickly, but just for safety I pushed our Boatwright's reservation back by 15 minutes. We went straight from the bus to the restaurant - more on this to come.

One loop through the General Store gift shop for those super amazing Goofy-brand sour gummy worms and then back to the room to sleep. Up next: the last day. :( :( :(

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Fairest Week In Review: 5/10

I was NOT in Walt Disney World last week. Boo. Rather, it was back to the training grind.

Sunday | ran 6.2 miles on the treadmill in 1:05

Monday | walked 2.17 miles outside in 35 minutes; 70 minute ballet class

Tuesday | ran 13.14 miles on the treadmill in 2:15
Look, the ZOOMA half is only a month away. I needed a practice half and I had the time. "But Jenn," you say, "isn't the Dark Side half close enough to count?" But I have my fingers in my ears. I don't hear you. I'm instead gonna turn around and do a...

Wednesday | ran 4.17 miles on the treadmill in 40 minutes
... SPEED RUN! Which probably wasn't the BEST idea the day after a practice half, but it was my compromise for doing a post- instead of pre-work run. Turned out okay.

Thursday | walked 2.14 miles outside in 35 minutes; 70 minute ballet class

Friday | ran 4.16 miles on the treadmill in 50 minutes

Saturday | rest
I gave blood for the first time in years because - and this is very exciting for me - I am no longer anemic! Hotcha! Food is good and we should eat it!

Nothing much left to say except that I have begun to campaign for my mother to go back to WDW this December before my annual pass runs out. She brought it up first, I swear!

More of this please!!!!

The Twilight Bark:

- Just Me & My Running Shoes makes her runDisney Belle costume extra cute with a book prop.
- Fairytales & Fitness ponders what makes a good race theme.
- EPBOT covers WDW's spring Dapper Day. SOMEDAY I MUST GO.
- In things I totally knew about but forgot, easyWDW attends Jiko's wine tasting event.
- Disney In Your Day highlights the fancy, paid version of Epcot's UK tea garden tour.
- The Disney Tourist Blog is 100% convinced about a Haunted Mansion restaurant.
- WDW for Grownups rounds up the best sugar rushes in WDW.
- The Main Street Gazette points out some of Harambe's amazing themeing.

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Fairest Trip Report Of All: 4/23

It's trip report time again! I love trip reports! I'm recapping my April 2017 trip to WDW for the Dark Side Half. You can see all the posts in this report here. Onward!

Strap in, because I wrote the notes for this recap while running on about two hours sleep after having been awake for about 20 hours. Also I was watching Mulan, which is a known stimulant for the sleep-deprived. With that disclaimer in place: onward!

I made it back from the Dark Side Half before the clock hit 8:15am, which pleased me - so much time before our first FastPass! I woke Pat, then hopped in the shower, which actually kind sorta produced some hot water (something that Riverside showers don't always do, for the record).

Pat has been studying for his architecture exams, so he studied a bit while I dressed, etc. Then we were off to the bus stop for the Magic Kingdom and another Splash Mountain FP. They even managed not to lose our photo this time!

So naturally my face looks wonky, but whatevs.

This particular ride even featured live animals: right by the final drop, before the last show scene with the Zip-A-Dee Lady paddleboat, there was a family of ducks. Concerned for the baby birds, we informed a CM on the way out, who assured us they were keeping an eye on it.

Our next FastPass was for Space Mountain, and after a moment's consideration I decided to lead us through Adventureland and around the hub to get there. Lucky I did, because Pat was jonesing for a snack and the waffle fries at the Golden Oak Outpost caught his eye. These were surprisingly good! Could've used some Old Bay, but they were pleasantly crispy with that rich, almost-too-greasy-but-not-quite taste. Twice fried, maybe? Pro: there was honey mustard and the condiment station. Con: it sucked.

After our snack we proceeded to Space Mountain for FastPass slot; we wound up on the left again, but in the front this time. I think the very front position can be fun, but if you're not seated there, the back car is way better.


We took a spin on my beloved Peoplemover before backtracking to Big Thunder Mountain for our final Magic Kingdom FastPass. This may be the least thrilling thrill ride in all of Disney, but Pat and I both found it more enjoyable than we remembered, probably because the themeing is so solid. There isn't enough ride time in Rainbow Ridge! (Also, it continues to baffle me that there's no photo here when the Mine Train and freaking Frozen Ever After have one.)

FastPasses being used up for the moment, we decided to take a break and head to Disney Springs. I asked a Cast Member about the direct bus service I'd heard about, but he told me it doesn't start until 4pm; instead we walked over to the Contemporary bus stop and grabbed a Disney Springs bus just as it was arriving. Score!

We debarked at what I believe was the old Pleasure Island stop, but to be honest I was completely disoriented - Disney Springs is a utterly different animal from the Downtown Disney I was used to even a year and a half ago.

Our first act was to bar hop a little - more on that coming in a later post, of course. Then we poked around in a couple stores. Pat picked up a scarf for his mom's birthday at Raglan Road, and I stopped in the Lego store and got my dad the Guggenheim set for his birthday/Father's Day. We took a spin each around The Art of Disney and the new retro dress shop, although the latter wasn't as tempting as I expected it to be. All the same, Annual Pass discounts FTW!!!

Now for the saddest part of my story: the Mr. Toad cap that wasn't. Having passed on the purchase in January, I was quite determined to get the Twenty-eight & Main Mr. Toad cap that was available until very recently. It was AWOL in the Emporium at MK, so I searched in World of Disney - no dice. A CM sent me to the dedicated store in the Marketplace Co-op, but no go. Alas, it was not to be. :(

Farewell, sweet Toad hat... we'll always have January...

It was getting on in the afternoon, so we availed ourselves of one of the perks of staying at Riverside: the internal boat system. We hopped the boat to the Marketplace dock (because it seemed easier than trying to find the other one in time), then took another boat from there back to POR. They told us repeatedly this boat was for Riverside only, although I know POFQ is also serviced. Do they always have separate boats, or...?

We dropped off our Disney Springs purchases and chilled in the room a bit before turning right around and catching a bus to Epcot. Although really I should've taken the time to take a nap; the lack of sleep was starting to catch up with me. But my motto has always been that sleep is for people who aren't WDW - even though sometimes it probably shouldn't be...

I had picked up a Mission: Space FP on the bus, so we did that first. Truth be told, we didn't really need it - lines were pretty short. But Pat loves the ride, and why take chances? Orange Team all the way!

BEST. POET. EVER.

After that good FPs were few and far between, but some short lines were available. We knocked out Spaceship Earth and then hightailed it over to the World Showcase, where I did the unthinkable: I didn't get ANYTHING from ANY of the Flower & Garden Festival Food Booths.

I know. I KNOW. I was so excited to do this for the first time. I even made a post about it. But I was exhausted, and no food of any kind was appealing to me. I eventually wound up getting one of those giant soft pretzels from Germany that I'd always wanted to try, but it was kind of stale.

See, here's the thing: I have traversed WDW while loopy-tired in the past. But as a rule I've done it by myself, but no companion to give me feedback on how weird I'm being. According to Pat, I got all quiet and trailed after him like a zombie, and we repeatedly had this same exchange: "Are you okay?" "I'm happy..." And I was. Extremely happy. Through an extremely sleep filter.

Pat doesn't care much about nighttime shows, so we skipped IllumiNations in favor of a ride on Soarin' (lowest waits I've ever seen - thanks, third theater!). This went over well, but we noticed something weird: the curved screen makes a lot of the buildings look crazy bendy, especially the Taj Mahal and the Eiffel Tower. Maybe it's only if you're in a glider to the left or right? All the same, you wouldn't think the Imagineers would stand for that.

By this point Extra Magic Hours had kicked in, and despite Pat's gentle suggestions that we go back to the room and go to sleep I insisted we use them. We walked back to the World Showcase and Italy where Pat got some gelato and I had a close encounter with a cockroach on a bench, so that was fun. After that, a quick spin on El Rio del Tiempo with the Three Caballeros.

At this point Frozen Ever After was listing a 45 minute wait, yet the entire standby queue inside the building; I strongly suspected a wait more akin to 25 minutes. But Pat couldn't care less about Frozen and I didn't want to risk dragging him through that. Not to mention I was SO DANG TIRED. I had to admit defeat.



We picked up a bus to Riverside and I managed to type up these notes and eat a few snacks from my race box before conking out completely. Best sleep I'd had in weeks. When I awoke: the Studios and DAK!

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Happy Friday: THE Most Romantic Moment Of All Disney Movies, Ever

It's just... SO beautiful... *sniff*



Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Fairest Week In Review: 5/04

Hey, remember when I was in WDW? Those were good days... good days.

Sunday | Dark Side Half Marathon, 13.1 miles in 2:14:26 according to the official clock but more like 2:08 and change according to my GPS watch; also walked an additional 17-ish miles around WDW according to my phone

Monday | walked 11.5 miles around WDW according to my phone

Tuesday | walked 9.6 miles around WDW according to my phone
I had originally planned to take a run around POR this morning, but I was so exhausted I thought sleep might be a better call. So I did that.

Wednesday | walked 2.05 miles outside in 35 minutes
Back home. BOO.

Thursday | ran 10.76 miles outside in 1:50; 70 minute ballet class
This is, without question, THE best outdoor training run I have ever had. Am I getting better at hills? Was it just the Disney magic still inside me? I am suspicious. I hope it keeps up.

Friday | ran 4.17 miles on the treadmill in 50 minutes

Saturday | rest

Back to the training grind! I have another half at the beginning of June, so taper is just around the corner again...

But it is not a runDisney race. Sadness. I need to go, like, make some pancakes or something.


The Twilight Bark!

- The Runner's Guide to WDW assembles a runDisney packing list.
- Just Me & My Running Shoes ponders ways to chill post-runDisney race.
- Living A Disney Life grabs a Kona Cafe breakfast that isn't Tonga Toast. I like the pineapple macadamia nut pancakes better anyway.
- Mouse On The Mind explores the Disney Magic's Oceaneer Lab.
- Passport to Dreams Old & New dives into what makes something "Disney."
- The Main Street Gazette experiences a mixed bag at the Brown Derby Lounge
. The Derby Cocktail is indeed pretty excellent (more on that to come!).
- I Run for Wine enjoys food photojournalism at Tiffin's.
- WDW for Grownups assembles a list of the best WDW resort snacks.

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!