The Favorite Photos: Universal Studios, 2011 – 2015

My last retrospective album post focuses on Universal Studios. Here are my favorite photos from there. (See also: First Photos and Last Photos.)

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: I LOVE SHARKS

The year: 2012
The companion(s): My cousin and his best friend
The title of the album: Mischief managed
The why: David and Sandy talked to this fountain (think the late lamented Push in the Magic Kingdom or the palm tree in DAK) for like 45 minutes. There are different people working it, using different voices, so it’s a hit-or-miss attraction, but if you get the guy with the acerbic wit and deep voice, say hi!

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: Atmospheric, intriguing, beckoning – everything that makes Diagon Alley truly excellent.

And that’s a wrap. I’ve really enjoyed delving into all my old park photo albums. Got anything else you want me to check out? Favorite, I don’t know, animal photo or castle photo or whatever? Let me know in the comments!

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 First Photos: Walt Disney World, 2008 – 2012

Having finished up my Last Photos series for the time being, let’s take a look at the First Photos of my Disney albums. Because are not first photos just as telling?

Once again, apologies for the quality; these range from old to quite old.

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: Awww, look at Moon and Liz and Megan, playing around in post-ride Test Track show room! You know, kids, in OUR day, it was sponsored by General Motors.

The year: 2008
The companion(s): Moon
The title of the album: Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning
The why: Slight cheat as my first photo was in BWI, and who wants to look at an airport that isn’t event a Floridian airport? BORING. Anyway, here’s a shot of the Grand Floridian’s life-size gingerbread house. I did not buy a shingle and have yet to decide whether or not a regret that. I mean, yes, it’s a rite of Disney passage, but pre-packaged frosting is never that good, y’know?

The year: 2009
The companion(s): Unofficial Guide people
The title of the album: Por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas
The why: Hey! Remember my Sharks of WDW series? Yeah, me neither. Anyway, here’s an entry: sharks on display in the Polynesian. Or anyway they were back in 2009; I have no idea if they made it through the recent refurb.

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: Get in line for a shot with Mulan? Psh, why waste time when you can just take a picture of her with some rando and move on with your World Showcase adventure?

The year: 2010
The companion(s): Elizabeth
The title of the album: it’s a small world after all
The why: Another no-one-cares-about-BWI-so-let’s-skip-it cheat. Instead, let’s examine that inner workings of Orlando’s own MCO. Fun fact: convenience store newspapers are labeled Disney! (I still have those Chucks and they rock.)

The year: 2011
The companion(s): My ex-boyfriend
The title of the album: Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom
The why: My ex and I snagged first-day ADRs at the Biergarten in the Germany pavilion to kick off our trip. The employees were very amused to discover my last name is German. No, literally.

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: The Dapper Dans are appropriately outfitted against freezing Florida winters.

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: “You won’t be able to finish this,” the bartender at Raglan Road told me as he served me the famous Ger’s Bread and Butter Pudding. “This is my dinner,” I countered. “Oh,” he said, “then you’ll be fine.”

That’s it for this installation. Up next: 2013 – 2016!

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 Sharks of WDW: Toy Story Midway Mania

Have I ever mentioned my favorite animal here? Well, it’s the humble shark. Because they are AWESOME. So whenever I see them in WDW, I combine two loves in one place and become super excited.
Sure, there are the obvious places – The Seas with Nemo and Friends has a whole play section dedicated to Anchor, Chum, and Bruce. And they get their own song in Finding Nemo: The Musical, so there’s that.
Plus the Coral Reef, of course, and I hear you can swim with them in Typhoon Lagoon, although I think they might have closed that attraction? Anyway, yeah, they show up a lot in any Nemo or ocean related exhibit, but sometimes you can find them in unexpected places, too.
To that end, I have dedicated my life, my time, my talents to the goal of locating all the random sharks in WDW. Let’s start here, in the main queue for Toy Story Midway Mania:
I don’t know what game this is supposed to represent – Go Fish? Or some super-aggressive aquatic version of Magic: The Gathering? – but I like it.

Jenn is running the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon for the Diabetes Action Team. Will you help her earn her bib while fighting diabetes? Click here to make your tax-deductible donation.

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: 4/07

JENN: Okay, I know this isn’t REALLY relevant, but I want to start off this post by showing everyone the AMAZING thing Pat bought for my cats.
Yes? Fantastic? Unbeatable? Basically the best thing ever? Good. We can talk about running now. Moon, take it away!
MOON: This is relevant! About a month ago my old roommate informs me over dinner, “Did you know that long-distance running is supposedly worse for you than not exercising at all?” We frequently joke with each other over our extremely dichotomous lifestyles. WELL. A recently study has proved that these results cannot be verified! (Hooray for us runners!)
JENN: Ha! This totally justifies my multi-long-runs-per-week lifestyle!
MOON: Apparently, the study in question only sampled 36 strenuous runners (two of the runners died) out of 1,000 runners over 12 years against 4,000 healthy people who do not jog at all. So, you do the math.
JENN: That’s… a trifle uneven.
MOON: And ANYWAY. Even if “strenuous running” means you live just as long as a non-runner, I would still run. I’d rather spend time running than sitting about the house.
JENN: Amen. Although… lately I’ve been pondering cutting back a bit. MAYBE. I don’t know. But I wonder if maybe making almost every single run 7-11 miles on average isn’t the best strategy? Maybe? Possibly? I did a couple four mile speed work runs last month and it seemed like maybe a good idea…
MOON: Haha, well, my opinion on the matter is…. don’t have a strenuous run EVERY time you run.
JENN: I just feel so conflicted when I’m not burning a LOT of miles and calories!
MOON: What makes your body feel good? I like two strenuous runs with an easy speed run in between.
JENN: My body usual does okay… it’s just that I’m not getting faster or better AND sometimes my mental state is more NOOOOOOOOO THIS IS GOING TO TAKE SO LOOOOOONG than anything else.
MOON: Take a break! Do some speed. You have to make a new baseline to get faster in my experience
JENN: Well, my annual ballet performance is the beginning of May, so I’ll be doing another Severe Cutbacks week. I’m not as miserable as last year so I AM going to run, but it’ll only be one run on that Tuesday and then nothing for a week. Hopefully that recharges me!
You know what else recharges me? The roundup.
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: 12/02

JENN: Did you sneak in any training this week?

MOON: I did! Had some time off with Christian and we ran together a few times.

JENN: Awesome!

MOON: What about you? How’s the foot?

JENN: Eh. It’s better. I do feel it’s making progress. I managed a three mile walk at a NON snail’s pace on Saturday, but I had to stop there because it was starting to feel a little weird and I didn’t want to make things worse.

I’m going to work more walks (and maybe the elliptical? Anyone like the elliptical?) into this week, then on Friday I leave for a long weekend in Puerto Rico; I’m hoping to try running after I get back.

MOON: AHH! That’s so exciting! Usually around this time of year I would be dying to take a vacation somewhere warm… but now it doesn’t feel justified… since it’s 66 degrees out today. >_>

JENN: Well, yes, but on Friday it’s supposed to be 37 degrees with the potential for snow.

MOON: Future Me will be justified on Friday, then. I hope you have a great time! Nothing will be better for a bum foot than sunshine and warm water.  🙂

JENN: Yes indeedy! We’re looking at snorkeling as a potential activity and I’m excited to maybe see some (tiny, harmless) sharks!

Pictured: A tiny, harmless shark.
(Have you seen Deep Blue Sea? It’s AMAZING.)

MOON: !!!!!!!!!!!!! Hmm. I’ll have to bug Christian about getting in the shark cage.

JENN: Story of my life.

MOON: We watched some “Blue Planet” this week. I’m not sure I’m doing myself any favors. He found the manta rays and sharks terrifying. Was also critical of open water fish and their hunting strategies.

JENN: I would LOVE to see manta rays! They’re amazing!

MOON: I knowwww! So majestic…  😀

JENN: We might also drive into the mountains and check out a rainforest. And of course my boyfriend simply must surf. Also he said something about a “Street of Pork.” Not 100% sure what that’s all about. But clearly there are many possibilities!

MOON: Hmm, well, Christian and I DID go to a Ham Museum on our last excursion… I suppose it’s only fair that you must suffer it as well, ha!

JENN: Nothing more ubiquitous or cross-culturally relevant than dead pigs.

Know what else is ubiquitous and cross-culturally relevant? The blog roundup!

This Runner’s Trials explains exactly how she nabbed that elusive sub-4 marathon.
– Live, Run, Grow presents a holiday gift list for runners.
Half Crazy Mama helps runners self-identify.
My Glass Sneaker has a blue-ribbon peanut butter pie recipe from that Celebration pie competition.
A Pinch of Pixie Dust has a Disney cupcake VIDEO.
The Disney Tourist blog explains why this new Great Movie Ride + TCM thing is AWESOME.
– Disney wedding planning? Magical Day Weddings has a to-do list to get you started.
The Disney Hipsters offer Disneyland and Epcot Christmas music loops.

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!