Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Castaway Cay 5K

As many of you know, I used the excitement of a runDisney event to get myself off the couch and back into running shoes.  Even though the Castaway Cay 5K is not an official runDisney "race" it is an official runDisney "run" as evidenced by the bib and t-shirt :)  Here is my recap of the race for both my running friends and those of you who also suffer from a mild (or major) Disney obsession!

I read a lot of blogs about the race and the experiences of others before leaving for the cruise so I was well prepared on what to expect.  The biggest piece of advice that I heard time and time again was that running this 5K rivals what it must be like to run on the face of the sun.  The Bahamian heat and humidity is brutal and everyone recommended hydrating well before the run.  I packed gatorades in our suitcase and used those and bottled water the day before the race to begin preparing.  The other thing to know going into this run is that (as of right now at least) it is a free event.  They do ask that runners pre-register at the Port Adventures desk and all runners are given a ticket and bib for race morning.  The night before the run, I laid out my things so I'd be ready to go in the morning!



Run Morning
We were supposed to meet at Evolution at 8:15 so I set my alarm for 7 and was at breakfast by 7:15.  After a breakfast of oatmeal, yogurt, half a bagel and a gatorade, Dan and I made our way to Evolution.  Even though Dan wasn't running, he was able to gather with the runners at check-in and disembark the ship with our group.  Once runners were all checked in, the cast member in charge went over a map of the route and gave instructions to parents who had little ones to drop off at Scuttle's Cove when we were on our way to the starting line.  We got the all clear from the captain to disembark around 8:30 and our group quickly exited off the aft gangway (look at me being all nautical!)  The starting line is about a 10 minute walk from the ship which provides a great warm-up!



The Run
By 9:00 we were ready to begin.  Jamesy (our fabulous British Disney cast member) reviewed the route map one more time and then away we went!  The course is very flat and follows a bike route that is on the island.  The bulk of the route is inside a bike loop that has tall shrubs on both sides.  This helps provide a little shade for the run, but also makes it a little boring at times.  However, you miss the shade of the bike loop when you turn onto the air landing strip that is miserable hot and sunny.  During the run, you pass a water station 4 times which is helpful during the run.  You will find everyone from kids to grandparents, experienced runners to walkers on this course. . .and everyone is having fun!  I felt surprisingly good during the run and was pleased with my pacing considering the heat, humidity, and the fact that it was my first 5K in about 8 years.  





Post Run
When I crossed the finish line, my plastic bling was waiting for me!  The Mickey medal is simply plastic that says Disney Cruise Line - not even a mention of the race - but I know what it was for and that's all that matters :)  And in true Disney fashion, the race finishes next to a gift shop that sells Castaway Cay 5K t-shirts, which of course I had to buy.  Over the next 3 hours I drank some gatorade and water to replenish.  I felt good throughout the rest of the day. . .but then again, how can you not feel good in this paradise??  And the couples massage Dan and I had in a beach cabana after lunch probably helped a lot too!  



I absolutely LOVED my experience with the Castaway Cay 5K and would highly recommend it to anyone on their next Disney Cruise.  On a personal note, this really motivated me to get back to running and I plan to now use this to propel me into some of the larger runDisney events in the years to come!

Friday, April 18, 2014

A DREAM come true birthday vacation. . .

We are just back today from the Disney Dream and had a magical time!  This trip was just Dan and I for a "grown-up" trip to celebrate my 30th birthday.  I've got lots of ideas for wonderful blogs about all of our fantastic experiences, but here is just a quick recap and sneak peek of what's to come.



Itinerary - We flew out of Baltimore on Sunday, April 13 and boarded the ship the same day.  It was a 4 night Bahamian cruise with a stop in Nassau, Castaway Cay, and then one day at sea.  When we disembarked on Thursday, we rented a car and visited Kennedy Space Center before visiting Downtown Disney and having dinner at Ohana inside the Polynesian Resort.  The Bahamas were beautiful and we couldn't have asked for nicer weather!  I loved the 4 night cruise as a perfect little getaway.  Dan would disagree after doing the 7 night cruise last year and argue that 4 nights is too little of a vacation for all the work, planning, travel days, etc. that go into preparing.

Activities - I have so many things to review here!  We went to a beach on Nassau and ended up finding our own private side that no one else was on.  It was 4 hours of wonderful peace and quiet with the only sound being crashing waves.  At Castaway Cay, I ran the 5K (loved it!!!) and then we spent the day at Serenity Bay.  We also took advantage of some fabulous spa treatments on board.

Dining - Disney is known for their rotational dining on the cruise ships, which we loved on our first cruise.  Since we had the flexibility without toddler in tow this time, we opted though to take advantage of more adult dining options.  We had 2 dinners at Palo and a brunch at Remy.  Palo was wonderful as always and Remy was a delicious new experience that I can't wait to share more about!

Entertainment - Would you expect anything other than perfection from Disney in this category?  The shows, staff, adult areas, etc were all great.  I'll give a run down of all of the shows we've seen between our trip on the Fantasy and this one on the Dream as well as telling you about the adult night scene on the Dream.

Overall - What a wonderful trip!  Capping it off at Kennedy and with dinner at Ohana only made it more perfect.  From Ohana you have a straight on view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks so we had a front row seat to the fireworks while the accompanying music was played in the restaurant.

I hope you're as excited to hear about some of the awesome experiences from DCL as I am to share them in the weeks ahead!





Friday, April 4, 2014

Disney Dooney and Bourke

Back from a little hiatus, I couldn't be happier to tell you about a new Disney related collection of mine - Disney Dooney and Bourke bags!  These are super cute and a great way to show some "hidden Mickey's" in your daily life.  I'm not normally one to spend lots of time or money in gift shops when I visit Disney so I've somehow overlooked these darling purses for too long and am now in love.


I've been a Coach fan for a long time and still enjoy their bags for the great quality, durability, and style.  While reading some of the Disney blogs that I follow, I saw a post about these and decided to check them out on the Disney Store website.  Dooney and Bourke is designer like Coach, but they have hooked up with Disney to put some pixie dusted magic into your accessories.  They have everything from wristlets to weekender bags and many cute patterns - some exclusive to the parks and cruise ships while others are available on the Disney Store website.  I've also become an eBay seller and buyer in the past couple of months and there are lots to look at on there too - some pre-owned and some new.



We all know that I love all things Disney, but I think a day-to-day purse covered in mouse ears may be a bit much for me (I'll stick to my Coach bags for that!), but the Dooney and Bourke wristlets have become a new favorite of mine when going out for a special meal or a night out on the town.  They'll also be the perfect accessory on the upcoming Disney Cruise that is now just over a week away!

How do you let your "Disney side" shine to the rest of the world?




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