The Fairest Week In Review: 9/30

JENN: How’d the whole running thing go last week?

MOON: A confession! I did not run last week… I used only the elliptical. Every day. Because I wanted to finish a book that was really long.

JENN: Haha, what book?

MOON: Stone’s Fall by Iain Pears. I just wanted to know WHY he fell… Rather disappointed about some of the reveals, but mostly because I saw them coming. I like being surprised.

JENN: You should run to audiobooks.

MOON: I feel like inserting a Dexter reference to Deb, but I believe I’ve already used that card.
Clift should be giving me lots of audio to listen to soon. He said he would let me listen to the Outlander series. So, it will be a blushing and giggly few runs in the future.

JENN:  Oh my. That should be interesting.

MOON: Anyway, how was your week?

JENN: Pretty good! I had a really nice run on the Ocean City boardwalk. And then my other runs were fine… but… I seem to be falling back on the treadmill. In my defense, I most recently replaced an outdoor run with a treadmill run because it was POURING outside, but man… I liked it. So COMFORTABLE. I know I need to practice more outside, though. I will. I just <3 my treadmill, is all.

Random question for the readers – do you like your luggage? I bought my suitcase on the cheap and it died with predictable rapidity so I’m in the market for something, y’know, GOOD.

Ample cat storage space is of course key.

And with that out of the way: roundup!

The Runner’s Guide to WDW will help you get your Goofy/Dopey training on.
Fairytales ‘n Fitness has the scoop on Disney Magic Runs in foreign lands.
Pink Elephant on Parade perseveres through the long run.
Theme Park Insider points out that Disney is contradicting itself with its new videography and photography policies.
Food Fitness Fantasy moonlights on This Happy Place for ice creamy purposes.
WDW Magic has a recording of Off Kilter’s last show. And we all know how I feel about that.

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!

In Which Jenn Mourns Epcot’s Losses

What more can I say?

What more can I possibly say about the hurt? The betrayal?

The Disneysphere has been in a tumult over the numerous closures announced in just the past few weeks. Many have said more and better on the subject, but here as some quickfire opinions.

The Backlot Tour. I liked the Backlot Tour a lot in 1998. It was still reasonably cute in 2012. I wish it was what it had been originally designed to be. But ultimately I’m okay with seeing what Disney will do with the space.

The Maelstrom. Oh, the Maelstrom. I am deeply saddened by the loss, of all things, of the narrator. Bring out your pitchforks, because I’m not a huge Frozen fan. I thought it was fine but nothing about it sparked my imagination. Still, I think even the hardcore fans might agree that Disney is spreading it around a little too enthusiastically. And I concur with all those who have pointed out that this is NOT what Epcot’s World Showcase is meant to showcase. All that being said, if I can wait and see what the Imagineers will do with stupid freaking bloody awful cliche dumb I-hate-that-movie Avatar, I can wait and see for this too.

Morockin.’ Whatevs.

The Fife and Drum Corps. Awwwwww. I liked it. I’m sad to see it go. But it wasn’t a staple or anything.

Off Kilter. WHAT? NO!

The World Showcase Players. WHAT????? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, here is the overarching reason why I think getting rid of Off Kilter and the Players is an extra-dumb mistake: THEY ARE INHERENTLY CHANGEABLE. You ride a dark ride enough times, you can play it in your head. Sure, riding it is better, but it’s going to be the same dark ride every time. And I love dark rides, and I say long live dark rides, but that’s why I didn’t get too outraged over, say, the removal of Snow White’s Adventures in favor of the new coaster. I’d ridden the Adventures many times, I knew how they went, and I was fine with seeing something new.

You CANNOT do this with Off Kilter (and I guess Morockin’ either but I was never into their show). I love Off Kilter; the band members were always funny and personable and put on a great and variable show.

But the PLAYERS, guys. The PLAYERS. I LOVE(D) THE WORLD SHOWCASE PLAYERS. Their shows were funny and interactive and never the same twice – there was a clear script but they improvised beautifully around their audience participants. They were sophisticated in the simplicity of their humor, not to mention literary and historical. Seriously, they were HILARIOUS and I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY’RE GONE. Why didn’t you hold them until the end of the year at least, Disney? WHY SO LITTLE NOTICE? WAAAAAHHHHHHHH!

Anyway. This weekend the Players and Off Kilter say goodbye. I’m so incredibly sad I missed it. And now, in tribute, I present:

  • A bunch of photos from that one time my then-boyfriend was pulled into the King Arthur show to play Sir Galahad. Ex or no ex, it remains a favorite WDW memory of mine.
  • A couple higher-res photos of the Players the last time I saw them, December 2013.
  • Two super crappy videos of the Players from like two years ago that I took on a really horrible phone. At least watch the Cyranose one. You’ll never see higher quality staggering. “And nobody loves you…………………………………………………….. like I do.” <- Favorite joke the Players ever told
  • Side note: I’m going to miss that guy in the blue shirt who was always there. Oh, and I never got to see their rendition of A Christmas Carol. DAMMIT.
  • And since we’re here and I’m going to miss them too, a similarly crappy Off Kilter video from the same year in which they perform “Irish Rover.” I plan to slap a bunch of OK into my running playlists in defiance.

It’s all gone.

In the immortal words of Marvin the Paranoid Android: Oh God I’m so DEPRESSED.

A lot of smarter and more eloquent people have opinions on this subject – and they don’t always match. Here’s a listing of some of the more interesting posts I’ve read. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go cry in the bathroom for the foreseeable future.
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!

In Which Jenn Runs In Ocean City, MD

I did it! I did it again! I ran on vacation! Less badly than last time even!

I found myself on an unexpected trip to Ocean City, Maryland over a long weekend, and the comparatively cool weather encouraged me to get myself outside for a run. That and the boardwalk – everything is more fun on the boardwalk.

So I found myself stepping out onto an already unexpectedly well-populated boardwalk a little before 8AM (on vacation; this is the regular Monday equivalent of getting up at like 5AM). The condo we were in was practically smack dab in the middle of the stretch, and I decided to head in the direction I hadn’t seen yet.

Turns out there was a reason I hadn’t gone that way before – there wasn’t much. Just a series of hotels and condos and such punctuated by an occasional shop or restaurant. But the flat course, ocean view, and cool air agreed with me, and as I hit the sandy boardwalk’s end I finished my first mile in 9:12.7, according to my Garmin a new record. 

Sign says “You’re not done until you touch the spot. Now turn around and do it again!”
But I didn’t actually touch the spot. I guess I’m still not done.

I doubled back, passed home base, and started off in the opposite direction with two miles behind me. My remaining two miles weren’t as good as the others; it was starting to get warm and I allowed myself some walk breaks. The Ocean City beach doesn’t have any dunes, at least not the beach by the boardwalk, so the excellent view continued. There was also an increase of shops and restaurants and people were beginning to hit the streets for breakfast; interesting people watching kept me reasonably entertained.

I hit the shark-through-the-building just after mile three. There was still some boardwalk left to potentially tread, but it narrowed considerably and I decided to turn around. I should’ve run all the way to the inlet – next time I WILL do this – but for the time I simply turned around and ran back to the condo for a total of a little over four miles. Then I showered and ate a donut so as to negate all the good effects of having run.

See? Shark-through-the-building. Believe it or not!

I enjoyed the course to a surprising degree, and I’m pretty sure that if I’d run the entirety of the boardwalk I could’ve clocked in at five miles. I could definitely see myself getting in a solid long run by doing it twice over; the beach views alone would keep the out-and-backs from getting too monotonous.

In conclusion: the boardwalk is a great place to run. Also, you can drink beer off a surfboard.

Also also, the second beer from the right is s’mores flavored.
Also also also, it’s called S’moredwalk. PUNS.

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!

The Fairest Week In Review: 9/24

JENN: Apologies for the delay in Week In Review-ness! I was in Ocean City for the long weekend and Moon and I were just able to talk today. 
And I know How to Train Your Dragon isn’t Disney but I couldn’t resist
posting this photo of the Toothless kite I saw on Sunday.
Anyway. How’d the whole running thing go last week?

MOON: It was bland, but steady. No remarkable things happened that I can recall (exciting, I know).

JENN: Me too. Well, I did some longer runs which was good. I know I shouldn’t be too reliant on the treadmill but I’ve done more treadmill runs the last week or so and it’s improved my morale. Mind you, still working on the outdoors thing (I ran outside Monday – more on that later this week), but at this point whatever boosts my run-esteem is best! I think I need new sneakers, though.

MOON: Me toooooo.

JENN: I’m debating if I need to go through the whole fitting process again right now. I’ve been experiencing some mild hip soreness of late but I think that’s likely a function of my sneakers being way overdue for replacement. My knees continue to be in good shape and that’s traditionally my problem area.

MOON: I’ve been thinking the same thing because of some shin issues. As much as I hate to think of abandoning my asics…

Any goals for the week? 

JENN: I’m taking it quasi-easy… ish… for the rest of this week as I want to pull out an 18-20 miler next week. Then tapering starts for the Marine Corps Marathon. How ’bout you?

MOON: I’m actually hoping to start organizing a team to do the Race for Research 5K. It’s November 16th and benefits Multiple Myeloma research

JENN: Ooh! If you don’t mind me being crazy-slow because of post half marathon/ballet show fatigue I could potentially do that.

MOON: I have some friends who are not runners who will probably join us, so that’s perfect. 🙂

JENN: Awesome. And speaking of awesome – roundup!

– Also late – Run Walk Fastpass Repeat fuels up for night racing.
– Peanut Butter Fingers considers the best sports bras for small chests.
Fairytales and Fitness gets psyched up for the Goofy Challenge.
Pink Elephant on Parade navigates the Tower of Terror 10-Miler.
Running at Disney described the ChEARing experience.
My Glass Sneaker ponders runDisney packing.
A Pinch of Pixie Dust goes on the Wild Africa Trek in DAK.
MousePlanet traces the history of the first-ever Disneyland ticket sold.
Beers and Ears dives into the brews of the Food & Wine Festival.
– And for my fellow locals – Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Howl-o-Scream has begun.

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!

Squirtgun To Your Head: Favorite WDW Food?

JENN:  ALL RIIIIIIGHT. Squirtgun To Your Head! What is your favorite Walt Disney World food?

MOON:  fooooooood

JENN: You may, if you wish, divide into Dessert and Not-Dessert categories.

MOON: The most memorable food I can think of at the moment is the pineapple ice cream shake (I think it was a shake?).

JENN: Haha, you mean the Dole Whip float? Pineapple soft serve with pineapple juice?

MOON: That’s the winner! It’s pretty fantastic.

JENN: I would’ve guessed your answer would be trifle from afternoon tea. Dole Whip is, however, a most excellent choice. Classic!

After a great deal of soul searching and painfully and reluctantly rejecting the Writer’s Stop’s carrot cake cookie and any number of magnificent cupcakes, I have to go with ‘Ohana’s pineapple bread pudding. Because BREAD PUDDING.

MOON: Ha, I was going to suggest reminiscing about the Great Cupcake Search.

JENN: Not one of my finer hours. In my defense, though, Disneyland is WAY lacking in cupcakes.

MOON: Agreed. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen you so determined and subsequently bummed out.

JENN: I take my frosting very seriously, as you know. Luckily, Earl of Sandwich has those brownie frosting sandwich things, but eating it in cupcakeless defeat arguably removes some of the beauty from the moment.

MOON: What’s your favorite non-dessert?

JENN: I must choose one that may or may not be defunct: sweet potato rolls from Tokyo Dining. Last time I was there they were not available, but I have hope. Sweet potato + sushi = OBVIOUSLY YES.

MOON: When I’m feeling tired and need some comfort food, my mind always thinks, “Oh right, Epcot has sweet potato maki…!”

JENN: If nothing else, they are an inspiration.

Squirtgun To YOUR Head! What’s your favorite WDW food?

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!

In Which Moon & Elizabeth Run With Nuns

Guys! Guess what! Two fantastic things happened this past weekend:
1. Moon ran a race.
2. Elizabeth raced, too!
 And one excellent thing is happening right now:
Moon is writing a solo blog post (!!). This, I know, does not happen very often. I’m rather excited to be bringing news other than “Hey, I ran this past week and it wasn’t bad.”
For the past few months I’ve been pondering doing more small races that benefit community causes. I’ve also been scheming to coerce Elizabeth into running. I found the perfect race: Little Sisters of the Poor Nun Run 5k and 1 Mile Run/Walk (and yes, there were indeed some sisters running!).
These humble ladies dedicate their lives to helping those in need and this was their inaugural race. About 800 people were signed up as of the evening before the race took place and I know that there were quite a few who signed up the morning of the race.
The race commenced on the morning of Saturday, September 13. The drive to the race seemed ill-fated with the onset of rain, but for as rainy as the rest of the day proved to be, I’m glad that we made it through without a downpour.
There were a good number of first-time racers and a lot of families and friends running together. It was a great environment for a fun and easy run! The route took us up quite a few hills for such a short distance, but it felt good to have the challenge. I’m hoping next year they expand the route a bit more (10k perhaps?!).
 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!

The Fairest Week In Review: 9/16

JENN: So how was your training last week?

MOON: It was good! Since returning from Europe I’ve been slowly building back to my baseline. How was your training?

JENN: Not bad. I had a minor panic attack about the Marine Corps Marathon being less than two months away so I went and ran a 15 miler. Next week: 17.

MOON: Psh, you got it!

JENN:  I certainly hope so! I feel… pretty… okay about it. I intend to eat a giant cupcake after.

MOON: I hope it is piled high with frosting. 😉

JENN: Psh, who you talkin’ to? Maybe I’ll just MAKE frosting and eat it directly out of the bowl. After a marathon, what is dignity?

MOON: I’ll personally make you any type of frosting you want when you finish.

JENN: ! What are my options?

MOON: Seriously, I could make you durian flavor if you wanted. Anything for you!

JENN: I don’t think durian will be necessary… I will have to think on this! What would be your ultimate post-marathon food reward?

MOON: Hmmmmm. Probably something spicy. Probably a soup. Spicy soups are my favorite. We’ll go with spicy soup if it’s a winter run. OH! Red bean ice cream. That works.

JENN: Ohhh, good call. Let’s put it to the readers, too – what’s your ultimate post-marathon munch?

And on that note: roundup.

Pink Elephant on Parade gets up early to run. Blehhhhhh.
The Run Streak wants to know where the boy-targeted races are.
– Turfing it back to the girls: Half Crazy Mama has sports bra suggestions.
We Run Disney knows just how to crush marathon training.
Black Dog Runs Disney considers the coolest Disney careers.
Eating & Drinking Around the World holds the coming Food & Wine Festival against previous years. (SO excited for my first F&W! Clearly.)
The Disney Hipsters point out that Elsa CAN’T go to Taco Bell; she’s on an all-carb diet.

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!

In Which Jenn Makes Salads That Don’t Suck

Can we talk about salads? I myself have enjoyed any number of entree salads in my time… in restaurants. At home? Not so much. Sure, all your basic ingredients are there – lettuce, tomato, cheese, dressing – but historically I’ve found it well nigh impossible to create something satisfying. Healthy, sure, no problem, but if I’m not ALSO satisfied, what good does that do? I’m sure some people eat purely for nutrition with no thought for enjoyment, but as far as I’m concerned that’s no way to live.
But there’s nothing like a salad for maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet, so a few months ago I set off on a mission to formulate a GOOD salad at home. Something easy that doesn’t require tracking down elusive ingredients. Something that would take me a ton of time in the morning. AND I HAVE FOUND THE KEY.
My friends, it is the humble sweet potato.
In addition to being one of the most nutrient-dense foods available to man, these things are FREAKING DELICIOUS to begin with. I’m telling you: a nuke a sweet potato and mash it into a salad, and your lunch is now warm, tasty, filling, and FULL OF JOY.
See? A basic salad of spinach and mozzarella with a vinegar-and-oil dressing. Plus sweet potato? Glory. If you’re feeling extra indulgent and ready to protein it up, slap a chicken breast in there.

See? Doesn’t that look vibrant and awesome for all that it’s a homemade salad?
On the off chance you’re one of those weirdos who doesn’t like sweet potatoes (I say this with love because my boyfriend numbers among you; no, but seriously, what’s wrong with you?), I have found one or two other iterations that, if not as filling as the sweet potato salad variation, at least make things more interesting. I’ve used guacamole, barbecue sauce, and marinara as salad dressings; all of these worked pretty well. Oh, and I can’t overemphasize the importance of remembering to add spices. A dash of salt and/or a garlic-based blend can work wonders for your taste buds.
This is the plant-based wisdom that I impart to you. Go. Try it. Tell me what you think.
What do you put in your salad that doesn’t suck?

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!

Kill/Refurb/Marry: WDW Transportation

I am ever so excited to be taking part is this month’s Kill/Refurb/Marry! I have been a longtime follower of this cross-blog series, but never before had much to say about the covered topics. Well, today all that changes. You could say I’m a first time caller, long time listener – or in other words, strap in, kids, because I have OPINIONS about:


Kill: Any bus “chain” or multi-resort “loop”

Y’know what sucks? When you get on the All-Star Music bus, feeling positively cheerful about life and your journey to Epcot… and then you stop at All-Star Movies and hang out for what feels like FOREVER while eighteen strollers you didn’t see coming slooooowly load, thus killing ten minutes of valuable queuing-at-the-turnstiles time. That’s like fifteen extra people in front of you (none of whom know how to use the readers properly).

But you know what sucks WORSE? When you’re paying to stay at the Boardwalk and it takes eleven thousand years to take the bus to or from ANYWHERE because FIRST you have to stop at the Swan and Dolphin and THEN you have to stop at the Yacht Club and THEN you have to stop at the Beach Club and THEN you stop at the Boardwalk except by that point you probably missed it because you fell asleep. Unless you were standing the whole time. Sorry, man. That sucks.

Basically what I’m saying here is, man up and give every resort its own bus, Disney. We are not a carpool. KILL THE BUS CHAINS.

You are smart, you are pretty, and gosh darn it, you deserve your own bus!

Refurb: Friendship Boats

Okay, admittedly I’m on shaky ground here because I’m taken a Friendship boat, like, ONCE, but I just can’t seem to get a handle on them. When do they show up? Where exactly do they go? I know there’s that one that goes to Downtown Disney, and then one that goes to the Boardwalk resorts… Admittedly it might be my own fault for not trying them out more, but the boats seem so slow and unreliable. There needs to be a clear schedule and separate docks for boats going separate places and maybe you could speed things up a little? Nothing crazy, mind you, but some of us have ADRs to catch. Or stop advertising the boats as transportation at all and make them entirely about the pleasure of being on the water.

I don’t want to kill them off completely because there’s something inherently charming about boat travel, but I think the system needs an overhaul.


Marry: My Own Two Feet

Obviously when I first considered WDW transportation my first thought was “MARRY THE MONORAIL!!!” And I DO love the monorail dearly. Even seeing it makes my day, not to mention a good photo better. And riding it? Love! Do you have any idea how often “Por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas” comes up in my everyday conversations? I adore my highway in the sky.


You know what’s even better? Strolling through the International Gateway over to the Boardwalk resorts. Taking the walkway between the Boardwalk area and the Studios. The path between the Contemporary and the Magic Kingdom. The loop around the Seven Seas Lagoon.

What Disneyland takes for granted is an option offered but rarely in Walt Disney World, but every time you can – it’s wonderful to walk. To say: now I shall go! And then start. No waiting for buses or monorails or boats to show up. Moving as slowly or as quickly as you like. Jostling no one, holding tight to nothing. Perhaps simply walking does not scream DISNEY! as loudly as some other options… but it allows a level of control offered by nothing else.

Good job, feet. Keep it up.


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!

The Fairest Week In Review: 9/09

JENN: So how was Europe?!

Excellent! I spent half of the time in the air and my ears are still wonky.

JENN: Where did you end up going?

MOON: From Baltimore to New York, New York to Stockholm, from Stockhom to Barcelona, traveled around Spain, from Barcelona to Scotland, from Scotland to England, from England to Oslo, from Oslo to New York, then finally home.


MOON: Sweden. (Also, WHY it is cheaper for be flown from all these places instead of from Baltimore to England or Spain is a mystery to me.)

JENN: Best food?

MOON: Ohhh this is hard. We got to sample a lot of Spanish cuisine. The Basque region was amazing… But, we also ate at this restaurant in London that was delicious.

JENN: Favorite single food item?

MOON: A vegetarian version of salamagundy.

JENN: I… don’t even know what that is.

MOON: It’s a dish dating from around 1720 England. It was oats, fennel, mushrooms, and pickled beets. I’ll send you a picture.

Wait wait! Savory porridge was the best.

JENN: See any castles?

MOON: Mmhmm! Edinburgh Castle and a lot of cathedrals. We also went some modern art museums. My favorite was the Reina Sofia in Madrid.

JENN: I’m guessing you didn’t do any running while there.

MOON: We meant to, but we walked almost everywhere. We also biked in Barcelona. It was almost 4 hours of constant uphill biking.


MOON: Then there was was the biggest hill of all. The view was amazing at the top, but there was supposed to be a cable car! So, we thought it best to keep going up until we found it. Of course we find it on the way down…

JENN: Naturally. Any crazy amazing European moments to add?

MOON: Ha, umm.. me trying to speak Spanish on a terrible line and hearing the woman on the other end say to someone on her side rather condescendingly, “They’re American…”


MOON: Yes, through the phone. 😛

JENN: Like the magical creature you are!

MOON: Ha! How have your past two weeks been?

JENN: The beach was glorious. Last week was fairly humdrum. Short, though! My runs were so mundane as to be hardly worth mentioning. So let’s move right on to the roundup!

Sparkly Ever After takes afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian. (Well-documented as one of our favorite things.)
Pink Elephant on Parade has the BEST LONG RUN EVER.
Run Eat Repeat outlines the most vital running gear.
Half Crazy Mama notes some of the dumb things people say to marathoners.
Jambo Everyone says goodbye to Off Kilter. NEVER SAY DIE. 🙁 🙁 🙁 Ugh, I am so upset about this.
The Disney Hipsters are FABULOUS.

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!