After their races we went and spent the day at Epcot. I had never been there. I really enjoyed it. The kids had fun traveling from country to country. We really enjoyed the Test track ride and did not enjoy the Mission to Space ride it made ALL of us sick! Luckily it was our last thing of the night and we all crawled back to our room and went to bed.
Hunter was amazed to see a telephone booth because 'doesn't every one have cell phones?'
The kids were amazed by this display taking place on the streets of France.
We had dinner Friday night in Epcot at Akershaus. The food wasn't that impressive but the real reason we were there was for the visitors we got to see while eating.
Hunter was not very impressed to say the least.
Saturday morning I got up to my alarm at 3:15 AM headed out to the staging area for the half marathon. It was chilly this year. We all huddled in the tents trying to stay out of the wind. We finally wandered over to the start line (Disney has you walk about half a mile to the start, as if we didn't have far enough to go) and met up with Katherine and the Luke's Locker running group. We all meant to run together and started together but somehow I got split up from them as we crossed the start line, so I plugged in my headphones and off I went. We had planed to run the half in about a 2:35 - 2:40 pace in an effort to save as much energy and mental ability for the following day. Disney really does host a great race. They are great about water stops, tons of tables on both sides of the road, great about course markings, and who can't love a race through a great theme park with characters cheering you on to the finish. They are so good about their races that I hardly even looked at my garmin, because if I had I would have been aware I was breaking from plan and going a little bit fast, but I was feeling great so maybe the plan was a little flawed? Crossed the finish line, gathered my medal and noticed I had just run a 2:18 (5 minutes faster than Whiterock just a month earlier). We all gathered our stuff made a plan for tomorrow morning and we were off for a day full of fun.
Saturday we spent at the Magic Kingdom. We rode lots of rides because this year we were all tall enough :) and there really were not long lines! We did manage to catch quite a few characters that were Hunter approved! (aka NO PRINCESSES)
Stitch had Hunter in Stitches! (and the rest of us too)
You can't go to the Magic Kingdom without taking a chance a the Sword in the Stone.
Saturday night we ate in Cinderella's castle. Jorden thought she hit the jackpot! We had a show from her fairy godmother and a few of her mice. Such a fantastic moment to watch her pure joy sparkle in her eyes. The Disney magic was defiantly working for her!
This is what happens to boys who have to eat in the castle with their little sisters.... they get a little goofy!
We watched the parade and the fireworks and even got to see Tinkerbell fly over our heads and then it was back to the room for bed. 3:15 am for a second morning was coming to quickly!
Sunday morning showed up with a 3:15 alarm and me sneaking out trying not to wake everyone. I was feeling pretty good, I wasn't soar anywhere, no odd aches and pains, maybe a little sleep deprived but ok. Same routine as yesterday get out there to wait. hooked up with Katherine and the Luke's girls right before the start and was told that even if they had to tie a rope to me I was staying with them today. I am so glad I did. The 5 of us were a perfect team. Bobbi, Suzy, Amy, Katherine and I carried each other the whole 26.2 miles while smiling and laughing, storytelling and singing. It was so much fun. Running with a group definatley has it's perks.... when you really think you need to walk but 4 other people don't need to at that moment, you keep running. The plan (because you know we had one) was to finish together and have fun along the way... oh yea and stop to take character pictures. We were doing great pace wise, but those last 6 miles we definatly slowed down! At mile 20 we clocked 4:19:46 and 6.2 miles later we crossed the finish line at 5:45:07! Disney has a tradition at their races that really emotionally got to me this year. As we apporoached the mile 25 marker I shared with the girls why I would probably be crying as I crossed that finish line. At Michael's funeral Big Matt shared with all of us the things they had talked about during truck time. One day the topic was what they wanted at their funerals. One of the things on Michael's list was a gospel choir. I run the last mile of every race for my little brother. It gives me the wings I need to get to the finish line and give myself the push to try a little harder. At the Disney World races at the last mile marker (13 for the Half and 26 for the Full) there stands a true gospel choir singing us to the end. For me it was that little sign I needed to know Michael was there with me cheering me to finish strong! My need to see that choir singing by the time we got to mile 25 was the boost we needed to run a 10 min/mile last mile! Finishing this epic feat was an amazing thing I don't think I would have ever believed I could do.... but it is one I will only ever do ONCE!!!!!
We hobbled back to the hotel got cleaned up and headed back to the Magic Kingdom to finish up. I was not moving very fast so in an effort to keep kids from needing to run from ride to ride we stuck to somewhere they had all ready done once. We ate at Chef Mickey's that night. It was a great buffet meal with visits from Donald Duck, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Goofy and Pluto. If you are looking to get autographs I would definatley suggest character dinning with reservations. It saved us from having to run all over the parks looking for them and hoping we were at each location at the right times. After dinner we headed back to our room for a nice relaxing night of SLEEP!!!
The next morning we ate at our hotel in the Ohana resteraunt with Lilo and Stitch Goofy, Pluto and Mickey. After a yummy breakfast we headed over to Hollywood studios. That was a great park.
Mickey even got Jorden up to dance with him!
Tuesday we spent the day at Animal Kingdom. That was amazing. We didn't pull the camera out because of the drizzley rain we had all day. We saw some amazing animals in their habitats and rode the Everest Roller coaster. We finished up at that park and went back to the hotel for an hour or so and headed out to Downtown Disney to visit the Lego store and eat pumpkin ravioli's one more time from Wolfgang Puck's. We ran back over to the Magic Kingdom for one last ride on Space Mountain and totally lucked out. The kids got to ride in the front of the Monorail with the driver. They loved it!
All in all it was quite a magical vacation. I don't ever want to forget the monkey stories Jorden told me, listening to the two of them behind us giggling without a care in the world, the love I could see in their eyes at every turn we took, the anxious nervousness before the races... there were so many little moments.