Monday, July 31, 2017

The Fairest Trip Report Of All: Lunch At The Brown Derby Lounge

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!

My final restaurant review for this trip report was probably my favorite of the trip, edging out even our meal of California Grill for sheer enjoyment.

The timing worked out so that we rope-dropped the restaurant, filing in with a small handful of people at noon and selecting our own seat toward the back by the railing. This turned out to be a lovely location, as we could see the Galaxy Far, Far Away show and Captain Phasma's March of the First Order. Not that we hadn't seen the latter enough already, mind you, but it's always nice to enjoy a show with your meal.

I had been deeply saddened to see that the champagne flight had been recently yanked from the menu just before my arrival again, even though even now it's listed on the official Disney online menu. But then several things we DID get AREN'T, so I'm not sure anyone's entirely clear on what the Lounge serves...?

Anyway, in an effort to capture some bubbly magic, I started off with the champagne cocktail, consisting of Fairy Tale Iron Horse sparkling wine, elderflower liqueur, and bitters. Fun fact: bitters are bitter; the aftertaste wasn't my jam. I liked the bubbles but it's a pass from me.

Pat got a whiskey sour and indeed that's what it was. I made him take my maraschino cherry too because BLEH.

We started off the food portion of our meal with conchita pibil steamed buns, which came topped with hot sauce and pickled onion. These were AWESOME, both in texture and taste; but then I'll eat just about anything in a steamed bun, and I dig on pickled vegetables. Pat liked them too if that counts for anything.

This was quickly followed by an item our server told us was new to the menu but already his favorite: tamarind glazed pork belly, accompanied by chorizo, plaintain, sweet potato hash, and mango pico de gallo. I challenge you to find one thing in that list that doesn't promise beauty and wonder. Can't do it, can you? So of course this was excellent, led by a rich, delicious pork belly.

For my second round, I went for the Derby Cocktail, consisting of Whiskey, honey syrup, and grapefruit juice. I liked this one quite a bit - the whiskey was nicely tempered by the honey which was in turn cut by the acidity of the grapefruit juice. Bonus: it came with a derby glow cube!

Pat got red wine. Boring. But at least it was a malbec, so, good choice.

For our final food item we selected the cheese and charcuterie board. The menu is kind of vague as to what you'll be receiving exactly, probably to give the kitchen some wiggle room. We wound up with baguette slices, pickles and olives along side prosciutto, salami, pate, and an assortment of tasty but unremarkable cheese. Really this was charcuterie at its most basic. It was good, because of course it was good, but it had nothing on what was presented at the California Grill a few days prior.

We wiled away a lovely, leisurely lunch at the Brown Derby Lounge, with good food, good drinks, excellent service, and no ADR required. Get there right at noon for lunch, and thank me later.

This ends my food coverage for our April trip, but I may have one or two more posts up my sleeve...

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, July 27, 2017

In Which Jenn Runs On Assateague Island

I noticed something very interesting last time Pat and I went to Assateague Island: there is a running path. And so when Pat suggested another pilgrimage last weekend, I was bound and determined to go for a run on it. In case you'd like to take a crack at this somewhat unique experience yourself, here are some notes:

First, about Assateague Island. Even if you're not a MD/VA/DC native, you might be familiar with it - ever heard of Misty of Chincoteague? Marguerite Henry's books made Assateague and its sister island Chincoteague famous.

Specifically, Assateague is known for its free-range wild pony population, which is kept under control by, among other things, an annual roundup. Every year the ponies are swum the short distance from Assateague to Chincoteague (where people live) and a certain percentage are auctioned off. And yes, when I say "swum" I do mean "the ponies are herded into the Chesapeake Bay and swim over to the other island." It's been going on for almost a century; learn more about it here.* (This year's happened yesterday!)

* What I find funny is that, despite its status as something of a tourist attraction, the official park website goes out of its way to describe the event as crowded and difficult to see and just generally all but writes PLEASE DON'T COME YOU'RE IN THE WAY COME BACK ANOTHER TIME in giant flashing letters on the page. But I digress.

Therefore the first and number one thing to know when embarking on an Assateague Island run is that you might come across some ponies, and if you do, give them a wide berth. Observe:

Ooh, look, ponies!!!

In addition to the dangers mentioned in the sign, the ponies are also known douchebags who are notorious for rooting through unattended bags and such in search of something interesting and/or edible, so you'll also want to secure any belongings you're not bringing on your run, ideally in a tent or car. Do not leave your stuff on the beach. People may respect a towel and umbrella as a sign of ownership but the ponies do not.

They will also take your parking space.

The second and very nearly as important thing to know is, for the love of God, BRING BUG SPRAY AND FOG YOURSELF WITH IT. Dear Lord did Pat and I learn this the hard way. We were there because the waves looked good enough for Pat to surf, and he described horseflies landing on his face while actively surfing. I came out of my run COVERED in mosquito and/or horsefly bites (I have spent most of this week looking like the sufferer of an exciting new plague). And that's after we both sprayed ourselves down. The key here is that you need to aggressively spray yourself down. The bugs can and will bite you through your clothes and on your face, so hit EVERYTHING.

Although you may find that when every walk break turns into a bug buffet you run faster. Take your motivation from any source you like.

Lastly, know that it costs $20 for a day pass into certain parts of the island at the time of this writing. Just a heads up.

Okay, now we're going on our run! We parked in the south beach lot, which seems to be the base of the bike/running path; that's where I started from. The trail is fully paved and has helpful bike icons to indicate you're following along.

Here's where the trail starts. I forgot to photograph the bike icons like an idiot.

There are mileage markers along the path, which count backwards to the Visitor Center, where it bottoms out after around 5 miles. You'd be hard pressed to get lost - although there are one or two places where you could theoretically diverge, those aforementioned bike icons and mileage markers combine to keep you on the straight and narrow.

You'll cross the road a handful of times, but there are clearly marked pedestrian crossings. As far as I remember, I crossed every one I saw to stay on the path.

Despite this being an island run, you don't see much water most of the time. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to call the trail "scenic;" mostly you're running past camp sites, trees, and roads o' cars. That changes toward the 4 miles mark, though, when you hit bay views and the pedestrian bridge off the island:

The top of the bridge even features telescopes and some pony information placards featuring some hilariously menacing illustrations.

Once you've conquered the bridge, you hit the Visitor Center, which is ostensibly where the trail ends. As Pat and I drove home I did notice a little more trail extending past the building itself, but beyond that I think it's the road for you. I turned around just before the center at approximately 4.6 miles and went back the way I came for a total of 9 miles and change.

Would I run the trail again? Absolutely! The scenery may not always be stunning but the path is mostly flat, the bridge is nifty, and the mileage is right. Of course, I need to take a bath in Raid first. I would definitely recommend it - after all, when else will you get a chance to run with wild ponies?

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, July 25, 2017

The Fairest Week In Review: 7/25

And now for a series of runs that were not performed on the boardwalk while on vacation. :( (I have a hard time letting go.)

Sunday | ran 9.2 miles outside in 1:40

Monday | walked 2.1 miles outside in 35 minutes; 50 minute Horton jazz dance class
Made me sore again. Good stuff.

Tuesday | ran 7.44 miles outside in 1:20

Wednesday | walked 2.08 miles outside in 35 minutes; 50 minute hip hop dance class
This was just about as hilarious as you might expect - as an avowed and loyal ballet dancer, I neither hip nor hop. But my ballet teacher's daughter was teaching it, so I figured, when will I have less intimidating opportunity to branch out? That being said, I sucked pretty bad. But we did core work that made my abs sore for two days, which was GREAT.

Thursday | ran 5.64 miles outside in 60 minutes

Friday | ran 5.44 miles outside in 60 minutes

Saturday | rest
Had lunch with my parents and teased my mom a little with elaborate stories of the marvelous things we shall do in WDW. Marvelous, I tell you!

A jolly holiday, even.

This week will be slightly interesting; I have a half day on Friday so I plan to go sign up for my new gym and take a speed run on the treadmill for the first time in a month. Wish me luck!

And now: the roundup.

- Just Me & My Running Shoes considers the pros and cons of summer running.
- Fairytales & Fitness suggests some snazzy ways to organize your running gear.
- Living A Disney Life tries out DAK's Living with Giants elephant tour. (Don't tell my mom, but we're doing this!)
- WDW For Grownups counts down the best tequila cocktails in WDW, including our beloved Hightower Rocks.
- This Fairytale Life and Disney In Your Day recount a mixed bag of experiences at the D23 expo.
- EPBOT shows off an AMAZING handmade Figment rocking horse.
- A Pinch Of Pixie Dust highlights under-the-radar Disney restaurants.

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, July 24, 2017

In Which Jenn Books The Last WDW Resort Room She'd Ever Expect

And now for another story about how booking a Walt Disney World resort room can be unnecessarily confusing. But we persevere.

A couple weeks ago I scored the big one: an email from Disney containing a unique offer code that would net me a discount on rooms. Sweet! Having been in talks with my mom to take a trip in early December, I immediately clicked on through, only to have the site tell me that the last name I entered (which, to be clear, is the only one I have) didn't match the code.

Hmmm. That's odd. So I called the Disney phone line and had them try. The polite Cast Member promptly informed me that the promo, which had been sent to my email address which is attached to my My Disney Experience account, was meant for... Elizabeth.

Clearly this was a goof on Disney's part, but I can trace the error. Elizabeth took a trip down to WDW with me in early 2012, as the second guest on a resort reservation I made under my account. For some reason I started getting occasional emails to my inbox with her name on it later that year - clearly Disney had conflated her info with mine. By 2013 I had gotten enough misdirected mail to warrant a phone call, and it was promised that my account would then be mine and mine alone. Since then I assumed the matter put to metaphorical bed, but apparently that wasn't quite the case.

The CM informed me that, regardless of how the error occurred, the system would not allow him to process the code without Elizabeth appearing on the reservation. As nice as that would be, she is rather tragically not coming - so I asked to be booted higher up to get it fixed. Another day, another phone call, and another CM later, and I was on the phone with guest services.

This CM told me that the code was definitely supposed to be for Elizabeth, but since it was sent to directly to my email address, they would honor it this one time - but they could not guarantee it wouldn't happen again. Sigh. I gave them Elizabeth's actual email address that's attached to her MDE account and the CM told me that might help. We shall see. If they can't tell the difference between two completely separate, unrelated people with separate names, addresses, and emails, though...

Anyway. As aforementioned, I was getting the discount anyway - which, incidentally, I think is the obvious and correct customer service move, very in keeping with the Disney difference, no? Next, to make my room selection - with dates, may I add, that were more than six months out. I mention this because the CM found:

  • NO value resort availability except for a family suite at All-Star Music, which two people certainly don't need at prices higher than a moderate
  • NO moderate resort availability with the SOLE exception of Pirate Rooms at Caribbean Beach, which, bleh
  • NO regular, not-a-suite availability at Animal Kingdom Lodge and nothing at all Wilderness Lodge, the most reasonably priced deluxe resorts
  • Unknown how much other deluxe resort availability there was, but I was not prepared to throw down with their prices

Well, hell.

It slowly dawned on me and a quick Google search confirmed it: our dates coincide with that big cheerleading competition at ESPN Wide World of Sports. The added crowds don't worry me - they'll largely by busy with the competition, I'd imagine - but this kind of sell out... Yikes. But I couldn't change my dates - a week earlier is Thanksgiving week which, no, and a week later my annual pass expires. And my mom is dead set on going during the holiday period. My hands were tied.

I wound up accepting the only room I could, really: that pirate room at CBR. This may well be the last room I would ever choose myself. I'm kinda off moderates in the first place; after staying at POR a couple times, I'm not convinced it's worth the extra money. And CBR is currently under refurbishment. I understand a lot of it is scheduled to be done "late 2017," but who knows what that means?

On top of that, I certainly don't need to be shelling out extra for a room dressed up like a pirate ship, which while nifty, isn't really my mom's bag. Well, I'm not so much bothered that it's not her bag as I'm not thrilled to plunk down extra money for something that's not her bag. Especially when said rooms are reportedly as far from resort amenities as you can possibly get and the bus system is supposedly many-stationed and long of route. Boo. Boo!

It'll have to do. I mean, it'll be fine - it's WDW! The pirate ship beds look kinda cool. My mom and I are good strong walkers and I understand CBR has a very nice trail for morning runs as well. Some of the promised new shops and restaurants might even be open by the time we get there. I'd just rather be at Pop, that's all.

All the same: I'm going to Walt Disney World! Yay! Activate planning mode... NOW.

Anyone stayed at Caribbean Beach Resort? In the pirate-themed rooms even? Psyche me up!

For example, is Tim Curry there?

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, July 21, 2017

In Which Jenn Is In Love With Boardwalk Runs

If your regularly running trail is riddled with changes in altitude and terrain, perhaps your mind, too, wanders back to happy memories of runDisney races. Specifically: the flatness of Florida.

How easy it is to run in Florida! So level! So devoid of hills! How glorious it would be to clock all your training there, perhaps lacking in challenges but blissfully free, with a far-reaching horizon.

That's where my head's at right now - I'm logging all my training outside where the hills are, since I'm between gyms and without a treadmill. It's good for me, I know. It makes me stronger. But man, sometimes I wish I could just put my head down and run straight and fast.

There is a place outside I can do this. It is not Walt Disney World, but it's the best Maryland can offer me. It's the boardwalk.

Ocean City's boardwalk is just shy of 2.5 miles from end to end. Over last week's vacation, I ran it three times, just over 5 miles per run - and each run came in at 50 minutes. And I wasn't even pushing myself!

There's an ocean breeze from one side and all your standard boardwalk staples on the other: silly shops, restaurants, arcades and carnival rides. The wooden path is soft on the joints. There are water fountains by ever bathroom. Families in surreys pass by. If that's not enough visual interest, there's always the giant shark through the Ripley's museum. Duh.

Would I lie to you?

Those three runs were the happiest, loveliest runs I've had... in forever? They felt easy and unhurried and interesting. Of course, being on vacation and logging light mileage for the week helped.

If you have access to a boardwalk at any point during your running life, I highly recommend you take a lap or two. After which, if you like, you can take a cue from Moon and run straight into the ocean.

Do you run on vacation? Where was your favorite training run ever?

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, July 20, 2017

In Which Jenn Makes A Fake Food & Wine Festival To-Eat List

Is it with a heavy heart that I must remind you all that I will not be attending this year's Food & Wine Festival in Epcot. There will be no Wine & Dine Half Marathon for me. Yes, it was a great three years, pouring rain and curtailed courses and all. But I chose to run the Dark Side Half last April instead, to expand my horizons and whatnot, and I stand by that decision.



How can I not when the first menus for this year's festival were just released? There is SO MUCH GOOD STUFF this year. Of course. Naturally. I bet they did that on purpose.

I wasn't going to hurt myself further by looking. But I had to look. And then I was like, well, I won't be at the festival, but I can make a pretend wishlist, right? For fun and excitement?

So I did. Here it is:

+ means I ate it last year and liked it enough to add it to the list again (NOT THAT IT MATTERS).
- means it was on the list last year but I never got around to trying it.

Active EatsSweet Avocado Crema with Strawberries, Yellow Cake & Tortilla StreuselAvocado dessert?!
AfricaJam Jar Sweet Shiraz+
Almond OrchardCHAMPAGNE!!Why is the champagne in an almond booth? What happened to its dedicated booth? MYSTERIOUS.
BrazilPao de Queijo+Cheese bread, I can never quit you.
Brewer's CollectionDecorated Gingerbread HeartIs it covered in frosting???
Brewer's CollectionSchofferhofer Pomengranate BeerIf it's half as good as their grapefruit beer...
Cheese StudioCheese TrioSmoked salmon! A cheese tart! A macaroon! WHY AM I NOT GOING WHY WHYYYYY
ChinaRoasted Duck Bao Bun+Steamed buuuun
Chocolate StudioDark Chocolate Raspberry Torte+
Craft BeersScotch EggBecause I don't think the one I got in Harry Potter Land was legit.
Craft BeersCheeseburger & Cheddar Cheese Macaroni Handwich???
Craft BeersTriple Chocolate Milk StoutCause I dug last year's milk stout.
Earth EatsNo, but actually - Black Raspberry Mead
Farm FreshAll the Ciders
Flavors from FireSweet Pancake with Spicy Chipotle Chicken SausageNo seriously, why?????? :(
GermanyRoast Bratwurst in a Pretzel Roll+THE PRETZEL ROLL IS BACK AND I'M MISSING IT UGH
GreeceBougatsa Which Is Some Sorta Greek Strudel
HawaiiSPAM HASH!Lovely Spam, wonderful Spam.
IndiaWarm Indian Bread with Dips
IndiaMadras Red CurryI looooooooove curry.
IrelandRoasted Irish Sausage
IrelandWarm Irish Cheddar Cheese & Stout Dip with Brown Bread
IrelandPumpkin Chair Tea & Caramel Shake
Islands of the CaribbeanQuesito - Puffed Pastry with Cream Cheese-I feel like they teased this last year and then didn't deliver...?
MexicoCajeta MousseLike... cheese mousse?
New ZealandSeared Venison Loin-
ScotlandPotato Pancake with Smoked Salmon+
SpainCharcuterie in a Cone
SpainSweet Olive Oil Cake
ThailandRed Hot Spicy Thai Curry BeefWAAAAAA

And now I'm thoroughly depressed.

Those who are going: please eat these things for me! Tell me how they are! Tweet me pictures! Don't forget!!!!

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, July 19, 2017

In Which Jenn Mourns The Universe Of Energy Alone

The Disney blogosphere has been exploding with D23-fueled news all week. There are a million new things coming to Disney parks - resorts, rides, full lands, new forms of transport, the works. This is not a post about anything new. It is about something old. Something very, very old.

Who mourns the Universe of Energy?

The UoE is closing down in August in favor of a Guardian of the Galaxy attraction of some kind. This has change has been rumored for months. Many people are against it because, arguably, Marvel doesn't really belong in Epcot's Futureworld, at least not as Epcot's mission statement ostensibly stands. There's a lot of fear out there that Epcot's intended purpose - education as entertainment - will fall away, as it has been slowly falling away, and that the addition of a Marvel IP marks the final descent.

At no point during any of these arguments has anyone railed against the removal of the Universe of Energy.

And why would they? It's slow. It eats up a huge chunk of time. It's been running in its current iteration for decades. Ellen and Bill Nye no longer have the same pop culture relevance. The ride cars are rarely at so much as half capacity. And, frankly, it's kinda boring in parts.

I know all this. I don't even disagree with it. But I'm a little sad to see it go all the same. 

I like the Universe of Energy for its length. I like the built in 40 minute break from the weather and the manic pace of park touring.

I like the Universe of Energy for its under-the-radar status. I can sit in a car row virtually by myself every time. I can live-tweet without bothering anybody. I never wait in line.

I like the Universe of Energy for the dinosaurs. Sure, they're not the greatest animatronics ever produced, but who doesn't love a good dinosaur?

I still think this is a gorgeous tableau.

I like the Universe of Energy for the celebrity cameos. I like Ellen and I like Alex Trebek and I LOVE Bill Nye the Science Guy and sure, the whole video is crazy dated, but I LIKE whispering BILL! BILL! BILL! BILL! under my breath along with the pre-show video, okay? It's very fifth grade and I dig it.

I know it has to go. I've known it has to go. A small, quixotic part of me hoped it would be redone but with Ellen and Bill reprising their roles. Boy, that was stupid.*

* Stupid Judy.

Nothing to be done about it. Guardians of the Galaxy is moving in. I add my voice to the din that roars against it. But it is a small voice, and it only says this: goodbye, Universe of Energy. I'll miss you.

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, July 18, 2017

The Fairest Week In Review: 7/18

Hellllo again! I am back from the beach. I ran. I read. I didn't get bitten by bedbugs, although Pat thinks maybe he was? We're still parsing that out. It was a good time, anyway.

Hang on for a two-week workout recap!

Sunday, July 2 | ran 7.29 miles outside in 1:20

Monday, July 3 | walked 2.13 miles outside in 35 minutes; 50 minute Horton jazz dance class
Good God, guys, I had NO IDEA that jazz used such completely different muscles from ballet. The backs of my upper thighs in particular were screaming for days.

Tuesday, July 4 | ran 7.34 miles outside in 1:20
I completed the entire run because...

Waka waka!

Wednesday, July 5 | ran 5.42 outside miles in 60 minutes

Thursday, July 6 | walked 2.05 miles in 35 minutes; 80 minute ballet class

Friday, July 7 | ran 7.27 miles outside in 1:20

Saturday, July 8 | rest

Sunday, July 9 | ran 5.08 miles outside in 50 minutes
I'm going to talk about this in more detail in a post later this week, but running on the boardwalk was AMAZING. So flat! So straight! So breezy!

Monday, July 10 | rest

Tuesday, July 11 | ran 5.03 miles outside in 50 minutes

Wednesday, July 12 | rest

Thursday, July 13 | ran 5.06 miles outside in 50 minutes

Friday, July 14 | rest

Saturday, July 15 | rest
End of vacation. :( :( :(

I am proud to announce that, despite the fact that I was not at WDW, I Disney-fied the bejeezus out of my beach vacation courtesy of Pat's toddler niece. We watched Mary Poppins, most of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and about a third of 101 Dalmations; we turned that one off not because Cruella DeVille was too scary, but rather Horace and Jasper. I have much to learn of child psychology. I can't wait until she's old enough for the parks!

And now: the roundup.

- Elbowglitter puts more thought into why racers cheat.
- WDW for Grownups puts together a cute Old Hollywood (Studios) date night.
- Disney Nerds visits Disney Springs' The Ganachery.
- easyWDW tries out the Happily Ever After version of the Magic Kingdom's fireworks dessert party...
- ... and This Fairy Tale Life compares and contrasts ALL the dessert parties.
- Disney In Your Day has the dirt on D23's park announcements...
- ... and Disney Dork Tom considers what WASN'T announced.
- The Main Street Gazette digs into DAK's ever-delightful decor and signage. Best for thirst, yes!

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, July 10, 2017

In Which FRoA is Four & Jenn Isn't Even There To Celebrate

Hey! Wanna hear something neat? As of Saturday, this blog is four years old! Dang.

Wanna hear something else neat? I'm at the beach this week!

So rather than a full blog post, I invite you to sit in silence for a minute or two and ponder what Fairest Run of All means to you, on this, its birthday.

Here's one approach.

Nah, kidding. I'm just here to say I'm not here. Swing by next week for more exciting content and all the latest on what it's like running on the boardwalk. (Spoiler alert: nice.)

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, July 7, 2017

Happy Friday: The Lie Of The Disney Princess Quiz

This meme addresses a trivial issue that actually really bothers me for some reason. If you're going to match me with a princess, do it by personality, not by weird and highly unlikely coincidence!

But then maybe I'm just upset that I've never saved China. It's so hard to really know yourself, you guys.

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, July 6, 2017

In Which Jenn Runs Hot

You know that Runner's World app thing where you can punch in the temperature, time of day, weather conditions, etc., and it'll tell you what to wear? Well, I can't use it. No matter what I do, it always seems to assume I want to feel the chill. 55 degrees out? Try shorts and a tech tee! 30 degrees? Eh, maybe slap on some pants, but keep the tee.

This may be a slight exaggeration, but the RW attitude seems to be one shared by the majority of runners: cooler is better. But I'm not afraid to say it: what the hell is wrong with you people???

I am a warm weather girl. Give me summer. Give me sundresses and popsicles and the confidence that I won't need a coat. And while I certainly don't want to go for a run in the 90 degree sunshine, I do not fear the 70s. Hell, I've done runs with temperatures in the 80s, and while I took advantage of the shade and lucked into sporadic cloud cover, I was totally fine. Not my optimal speeds, mind you, but perfectly content. Heat holds no fear for me.

Which I why I found comments overheard at the Dark Side Half baffling. To start, runDisney sent out a heat advisory email. Sure, okay, covering their butts from a legal standpoint. Makes sense.

Then came the race and the complaints were all around me. It's so hot! It's so humid! This is terrible! I can't run like this!

Um, it was, like, 71 degrees the whole time. Largely in the dark, so no sun beating down on you. And sure, it was a bit humid, but there was also a consistent light breeze. I found the combination of elements delightful. I was never uncomfortable in either direction.

And yet I bet if I'd ask the RW what-to-wear app, it would have advised me to go naked. That thing is just trying to freeze me to death, I'm sure of it.

Man, I can't wait to move somewhere warm.

Do you run hot or cold?

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, July 5, 2017

The Fairest Week In Review: 7/05

Well, that's it guys. The gym - she is no more. Stupid lease-buying real estate developers and their stupid multi-family dwellings. STUPID.

Sunday | ran 7.07 miles on the treadmill in 1:10
Remember the treadmill? Man, that was nice to have.

Monday | ran 5.52 miles outside in 60 minutes
But time marches on. Circumstances change. We must adapt.

Tuesday | walked 2.75 miles outside in 45 minutes; 80 minute ballet class

Wednesday | ran 9.05 miles outside in 1:40

Thursday | walked 2.09 miles outside in 35 minutes; 80 minute ballet class

Friday | ran 5.15 miles on the treadmill in 50 minutes
This was the very last day the gym was open. I chose to knock out a speed run while I still had the treadmill to help me with the "speed" part. Fittingly, it was one of the best speed runs I've ever had. Sigh...

Fear not! I have a plan for signing up a new gym. Pro: it will save me money. Con: it will require me to drive to the gym. Drat. So for the future I'm going to try to do as much of my running as possible outside. Barring scores upon scores of ill-timed thunderstorms, this should work out all right. When the time changes and the sun doesn't rise until 7am, though, it's gonna blow.

But that's future Jenn's problem. Present Jenn now presents: the roundup.

- Just Me & My Running Shoes confronts the reality that is marathon training.
- The Magic of Running experiences running in a sports bra - no shirt - and it is glorious.
- Pirates of yesterday: Passport to Dreams Old & New reconstructs the old-school WDW Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack.
- Pirates of tomorrow: The Disney Tourist Blog discusses the announced changes to the redhead, among other things.

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, July 3, 2017

The Fairest Trip Report Of All: A Disney Springs Mini Bar Crawl

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!

(I mean the crawl was mini. The bars were not.)

I can sometimes be a commando park aficionado to my own detriment. Rather than rest a bit after the Dark Side Half, I scheduled a bunch of Magic Kingdom FastPasses and kept on rollin.' This was very much in keeping with my philosophies but not with my energy levels, and by early afternoon I was already dragging.

Luckily, Pat had requested a trip to Disney Springs this time around, and this make the perfect respite from the organized chaos that surrounds Cinderella Castle on all sides. We picked up a bus from the Contemporary and by the time we had finished our mini bar crawl I was considerably perked up. (I crashed later, of course, but this was a valiant rally.)

Stop #1 was Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar, where Pat was confused because he is a big Indy fan and Jock Lindsey barely registers with him as even existing. Nevertheless, it was definitely an Indiana Jones-themed bar, so in we went.

Much is made of the innards of the bar, what with its many sly winks to the film series, but it was kinda dark and crowded in there and the diving bell booth was already taken, boo. We took seats on the covered patio by the lake instead, and this proved to be very pleasant. Our view included the Boathouse's amphicars coming and going, and we were next to the radio that signals an incoming flight now and again.

For my first drink, I selected a seasonal "jocktail" (okay, sure, why not): the Kali Ma Garita. Kali Ma, Pat reminded me, is the Indian prince from Temple of Doom. I was more interested in the fact that this drink combined my two favorite types of margarita - jalapeno and watermelon. This was good, but sadly not as spicy as I would've liked.

Having perused the menu ahead of time, Pat already knew what he wanted: the Cool-Headed Monkey. I don't know if he cared what was in it; he just wanted to drink it out of the monkey head glass (we were having a Temple sort of day). This drink features rum, tangerine liqueur, and an assortment of fruit juices that sounded promising, but Pat found it to be pretty bland. At least he got his glass!

Upon the return of our waitress, I grilled her a bit about my next drink selection; given my enjoyment of spicy, she suggested an Anything Goes. Spiked with "fire dragon spirit," she promised it would be sufficiently picante. I don't know what fire dragon spirit is, but I know this drink was awesome, tempered with fruit juices and pretty to boot. Would order again!

Pat ordered his second drink, the Reggie's Revenge, on the strength of the Midori melon liqueur alone. Helped along by orange vodka, lime juice, and white cranberry juice, this one was a hit as well.

We chose to skip food here, instead picking up the check and heading over to Frontera Cocina. Pat got a standard house margarita, but I kept my personal theme going and ordered the "Play with Fire," a margarita featuring cucumber and jalapeno and my choice of tequila or mezcal; I went with tequila as I'm not a huge mezcal fan. This was good but no better than my local place, which does the same for half the cost.

It was definitely half past food time, so we got some bacon guacamole to share, which was well-balanced and delicious if you're as obsessed with avocado as I am. Pat also enjoyed some chicken tostadas while I munched on a surprisingly elevated Caesar salad that included such unusual ingredients as avocado (never too much!), caramelized onions, Cotija cheese, and chipotle lime dressing.

This ended the culinary portion of our Disney Springs adventure. It was a satisfying afternoon, and one Pat and I are eager to repeat at our next opportunity. So many restaurants still to try!! O.o

But not Jaleo. I can walk to a Jaleo from my apartment. Take that, Disney Springs!

What are your favorite Disney Springs restaurants? Can you walk to a Jaleo already?

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!