The First Photos: Universal Studios Florida, 2011 – 2015

Obviously Universal Studios isn’t held as highly in my esteem as any Disney park. Clearly. No question. BUT. It’s still a good time. So, it too gets the First Photos treatment.

Once again, apologies for photo quality; 2/3 of these are really old.


The year: 2011
The companion(s): Elizabeth
The title of the album: CONSTANT VIGILANCE!
The why: Ha, so, I actually had to skip over a bunch of photos at the beginning of this album, ’cause… We totally went to Downtown Disney first. And while I love a good picture of a Grand Floridian tea cozy as much as the next gal, it hardly qualifies as Universal Studios. Instead, please accept this first photo within Universal’s walls, featuring breakfast from the Three Broomsticks. Question: What makes the best accompaniment to pancakes, which are essentially bread? If you answered “a croissant, which is essentially bread,” YOU ARE CORRECT.


The year: 2012
The companion(s): My cousin and his best friend
The title of the album: Mischief managed
The why: In MY day, there was no Diagon Alley. There was only Hogsmeade to qualify as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We had to make do with what we had. And we ALWAYS respected the spell limits.


The year: 2015
The companion(s): Sometimes coworkers; sometimes just myself
The title of the album: I solemnly swear I am up to no good
The why: Hey, remember when I showed you what it looks like when you approach Universal CityWalk at night? Well, this is what it looks like in the daytime. YOU ARE WELCOME.

We’ll finish up this park photo album exploration with a dive into my favorite photo of each album. Should be fun!

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 Last Photos: Universal Studios Florida, 2011 – 2015

We recently wrapped up all my Disney trip albums in my Last Photos series – and I know I said we’d do First Photos next. But while Universal Studios is by no means my heart’s home the way WDW is, I’d say it deserves a little love, no? So let’s take a quick look at my Last Photos there…

Once again, apologies for photo quality; 2/3 of these are really old.


The year: 2011
The companion(s): Elizabeth
The title of the album: CONSTANT VIGILANCE!
The why: We didn’t eat at Margaritaville, but as we exited the parks for the final time this sign really spoke to me.


The year: 2012
The companion(s): My cousin and his best friend
The title of the album: Mischief managed
The why: This is what it looks like when you enter CityWalk at night, except for the fact that I was exiting and turned around to take this shot.


The year: 2015
The companion(s): Sometimes coworkers; sometimes just myself
The title of the album: I solemnly swear I am up to no good
The why: My Universal Studios jaunts were pleasant and even impressive, but none of it breathed magic in me the way Disney does. The sole, near exception: Diagon Alley. This area, even more than Hogsmeade, is incredibly immersive and detailed. My point here it that I want all my mail delivered by owl from now on.

That’s all! First photos really next time.

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 Last Photos: WDW & Disneyland, 2013 – 2016

Continuing my Last Photos series, because I can never get enough nostalgia. This catches us up!


The year: 2013
The companion(s): Moon
The title of the album: I Know Every Mile Will Be Worth My While
The why: The trip that started it all: Princess Half Marathon 2013! As we left our scene of triumph to be whisked away by a Magical Express bus, we passed magnificent chalk art by a very talented Cast Member.


The year: 2013
The companion(s): My mom
The title of the album: Look for the bare necessities
The why: The only trip in this list without a race attached. Sitting in the Orlando airport, sulking as we waited for our plane to be called. Trying desperately to cling to the magic by uploading photos to my computer. If you look closely you can see beautiful human-free shots of the Magic Kingdom, courtesy of our early Crystal Palace breakfast ADR that morning.


The year: 2014
THE PLACE: DISNEYLAND!
The companions: Moon
The title of the album: You can fly! You can fly! You can fly!
The why: My first time in Disneyland for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon! Technically our last photos were taken inside an empty movie theater, but as this is boring I’m cheating and offering this final look at the Disneyland entrance sign.


The year: 2014
The companion(s): Many wonderful bloggers and buddies
The title of the album: Y’know, for a clownfish he’s not that funny
The why: My first Wine & Dine Half! My final photo was one of grief. That seems to be the running theme here, no? I’m fairly certain I remember taking this out the window of the ME bus itself. No, I was not arriving. 🙁


The year: 2015
The companion(s): My boyfriend
The title of the album: Thank you, Florida (where my Silicon Valley peeps at?)
The why: Dopey Challenge trip! We killed a little time waiting for our ME bus by grabbing a few drinks in Port Orleans Riverside’s River Roost bar. Naturally I got an Abita Purple Haze, because ABITA PURPLE HAZE. Oh, and our bartender’s name was Talon, which is pretty awesome.


The year: 2015
The companion(s): Elizabeth
The title of the album: The thingamabob that does the job
The why: Oh, Wine & Dine Quarter Marathon. I snapped this photo of my dress because it was garnering a lot of compliments. Guys, I’m telling you: Hot Topic. Don’t be ashamed.


The year: 2016
The companion(s): None!
The title of the album: A very merry unbirthday to me
The why: My quick, park-less weekend jaunt for the WDW Marathon ended with my riding the monorail on loop. It’s your highway in the sky!

There you have it – all the final photos of which I have some record. I can’t wait to see what future trips hold! In the meantime, maybe I’ll take a look at first photos… keep tuning in to find out!

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 Last Photos: Walt Disney World, 2008 – 2012

The Disney Hipsters recently did a nifty series highlighting the final photo they took on their Disney vacations. I have neither the photographic skill, nor the effortless style, nor the devastating wit of the Disney Hipsters. What I do have: a bunch of rapidly ageing Disney park Facebook albums and a crippling weakness for nostalgia. And so I give you: The Last Photo From My Disney Albums, Part 1.

Apologies for the quality on these; being from the oldest trips, I don’t know where the originals are anymore.

The year: 2008
The companion(s): Moon, Elizabeth, and mutual friend Megan
The title of the album: Who’s the leader of the club that’s made for you and me?
The why: We spent our last day at the Studios and killed time in One Man’s Dream before leaving to catch our train home. Now that it’s gone, I kinda miss it.

The year: 2008
The companion(s): Moon
The title of the album: Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning
The why: My dad’s a train guy and loves the monorail, so I bought him the play model of the Contemporary for Christmas. Question: WHY did Disney discontinue all the other monorail loop models? Anyway, the box didn’t really fit in the airport security bins…

The year: 2009
The companion(s): Unofficial Guide people
The title of the album: Por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas
The why: I’m cheating here a little bit; the ACTUAL last photos in this album were boring, stupid, and pointless pictures in the airport. The last real Disney photo I took was of this poster teasing the coming Club 23, which I enjoyed because I was in fact 23 at the time.

The year: 2009
The companion(s): My grad school friend Diana and her sisters
The title of the album: Practically perfect in every way
The why: This was our rental car. Why did I choose to take a picture of our rental car in the parking lot of the Magic Kingdom? Beats the hell outta me.

The year: 2010
The companion(s): Elizabeth
The title of the album: it’s a small world after all
The why: One of the Disney airport gift shops. Clever or just depressing?

The year: 2011
The companion(s): My ex-boyfriend
The title of the album: Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom
The why: Watching the happy people check into Pop Century while suffering quietly in wait for the Magical Express.

The year: 2012
The companion(s): Elizabeth
The title of the album: A magical kingdom with lots of witnesses and great security (yeah Burn Notice!)
The why: We caught the last hour of the Magic Kingdom’s Evening Extra Magic Hours. The monorail was shut down; this was our view as our ferry crossed the lagoon.

The year: 2012
The companion(s): Sometimes my cousin and his friend, sometimes random people, sometimes just myself!
The title of the album: There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow
The why: More self-torture as I wait for the Magical Express to whisk me back to reality, which seems pretty antithetical to me but whatever.

That’s it for this installment! Next time we begin with the trip that started all this nonsense: the 2013 Princess Half!

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!