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Sunday, July 5, 2015

Strap Those Melons Down! Melon Run 2015 Race Report


As has become a tradition for me, I ran the Melon Run today.  Yes, a race in July in this heat in Florida.  Yes, I am crazy.  

Anyway, this time around, I wasn't really feelin' it, because they had to change the course.  Generally, the course is a large loop around a local park. But due to some pretty extensive roadwork on part of the course, they had to modify the course. Now we would be doing a much smaller 2-loop course.  I've run this course before, and it's a nice course, but not the Melon Run course that I wanted to PR.
  
"Chute," not "Shoot"
But, I got up early and headed over to the park anyway.  My camera didn't charge overnight (I hate this stoopid camera...), so all I had was my cell phone, so, congratulations, you get very few, but very sucky photos.  

I did luck out and get a pretty good parking spot, right along the race route, shortly past the start line. At least that's a bonus. 

The start line was moved forward a bit, so a lot of people were stuck hovering around a large traffic circle before the race began. 

I can see the hill from here
There was a lady walking through the crowd near me asking people if they were going to walk, because she wanted to be near a group about her speed. I told her that I planned to walk most of it, so she stuck near me at the start line.  Another lady mentioned that she did intervals as well, so we became a group. Turns out, she had come down from New Jersey (I think it was NJ) to visit her dad in the hospital and wanted to go out for a run that morning, and just happened to hear about the race and signed up that morning. 

Jersey Girl in the house
After the National Anthem (not me this year!), we took off, to the worst part of the course (no matter the year): the uphill behind the school. I don't run back here a lot (especially due to that aforementioned roadwork), so I always forget about that damn hill! And becuase of the course layout, I was going to have to do that hill TWICE!  Grrr. 

I got passed by the front runners I think before I even made it through Mile 1.  (There's no mile markers on that map up there but this is the front of the park, called Westside Tennis Courts).

Go Speed Racer!
I took a bunch of photos in the "neighborhood" part of the course, but none of them came out. I like the neighborhood because of the eclectic mix of fancy houses, but I wouldn't want to live back there. Probably really expensive, due to the neighborhood's proximity to the city's most popular park. 

Fast people on the left; turtles on the right
Coming out of the neighborhood, we started our second loop, heading BACK up that damn hill behind the school.  I passed Mile 2 at some point. 

The signage was small and hard to spot this time
Finally, though (really - I was so over this!), I made it out of the neighborhood again, and finished strong!  My official time was 50:06, which was pathetic as hell, even for me!!!  Yeah, it was hot. Yeah, it was a different course. Yeah, it was a pathetic time. I can own it.  I beat 20 people though, coming in 153rd out of 173 women, 291st out of 333 total finishers.  And I wasn't last in my age group, either - I was 13th out of 16.  Small beans, but any time I'm NOT LAST is a win for me. 

Afterwards, I stuck around for a bit, but the awards were taking forever, so I just took a quick selfie and got out of there. It is way hot and I'd like to go home and enjoy my day off.

Maybe next year I'll check out the Celebration Run in Jacksonville. Results from that race show that I could have beat over 100 other runners with this Melon Run time, plus I would have gotten a MEDAL! Same cost ($20) too! I guess it depends on whether not Hubby has to work that day...

Yep, still red in the face
A LOT of watermelons are given away as Age Group Awards
Mani shot! Red with blue/silver sparkles
Location: Gainesville, FL
Host: (Who put on the race) Florida Track Club
Race Fee: $25
Packet Pickup: Day of Race; picked up and was able to return to my car
Parking: Good for me (I got there early); can get hard closer to race time
Support: (on-course) Meh. Not a lot of spectators. Water only.
After Party: Awards, free watermelons

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Inaugural Beck's 5k Race Report


There's not really much to this race report, since it was a small, inaugural 5k in a small town. I think there was only 100 or so runners, so yeah, SMALL!

I left the house around 6ish, since I wasn't sure how long it would take me to get to Palatka. On the way there, I was treated to a beautiful sunrise, which my horrible camera couldn't do justice. For me, there is just such beauty in an open field and a sunrise!

Beautiful, foggy, 2-lane sunrise!
Fog on open fields with a gorgeous sunrise!
Anyway, I got to Palatka around 7:30, and ended up scoring a great spot (one of the perks of being super-early!)

The starting area is where all those people are
Packet pickup was easy (again, so early!), but they had a lot of kids volunteering, and they couldn't find my shirt, so what would have taken 2 minutes took about 5. No big deal at all for me, but if it kept up when it got busier, that could be a crowd-maker.

Large swag bag!
The swag bag was stuffed full of cool stuff! (I'll go into detail later).

Race shirt, steel water bottle, lots more stuff
Since I'd gotten there so early, I took a pit stop at the potty (literally steps from my car), then wandered around the park.

Water fountain, unfortunately not working
Plaque for Veteran's Memorial Plaza
Is that a big torpedo, or are you happy to see me?
Veteran's Memorial Fountain, looking towards the finish line
Palatka Clock Tower
Start AND Finish Line
There was also a lot of pre-race snackage, and there was a volunteer there to help keep it clean, stocked and organized, which was nice.

Ubr (Ultimate Breakfast Round), bagged cereal, bagged snacks (also, bananas and oranges on the other side)
Dunkin Donuts coffee, Pop-Tarts, granola bars, cereal bars, Welch's fruit snacks
Yummy - Dunkin' Donuts Chocolate Glazed Cake Donut
Lastly, there was a lot of HEAT!!! Seriously, it's already past 70º out here, not a breath of a breeze in the sky, and the humidity is so high, you could wring out the air... Sigh, this will be hard.

After getting my Garmin and my Nike+ going, we lined up and took off!

Mile 1 came up quick (well, kinda quick) and luckily, there was water!  

Mile 1 and Water Stop
While no ARC at Mile 2, there was another water station, which was dearly needed!  Have I mentioned, it's really HOT out here today?

Mile 2, and another water stop!
While there weren't a lot of people out this hot morning to cheer us on, there WERE folks from the ARC (Originally "Association for Retarded Citizens")!  I love being able to see where my race fee goes, and they were all really happy to be out there. 

They're the group with the green shirts
Everyone wave!
With 2/3 of the race under my belt, I was feeling good, and thought that I would be able to finish under 50 minutes. 

I passed Mile 3 and I was in the homestretch, so I gave it just a bit more and trotted on through the finish line.  

Mile 3! Finish is right around the corner

Yay!  I finished under 50 minutes, officially 49:42.  

Almost there....
Boom, finished with a smile!
This pic was taken maybe 10 minutes after I finished, and I was STILL that red in the face!
If you really want to, you can see my sad-ass finish on YouTube, near the 31 minute mark. 

Thank you, race director, or whoever was the smart person who had ice cold water and frosty wet washcloths at the finish line! I plopped a cloth on my head and tried not to pass out and I accepted my medal and chugged that water.

They were so cold, they hurt my teeth
A sopping-wet one of these got plopped right on top of my head, and another one on my chest
After I had cooled down a few minutes, I walked over to the river area and took a fun photo of my cute medal, then I checked out the post-race snackage.

Ooooh, artsy
Wow, there was a hell of a spread!! Quiznos (without veggies on it!), chips, granola bars, leftover donuts, so much snackage!!!

Quizno's Ham and Turkey sammiches, leftover donuts
I watched the awards, and then watched the raffle.

Beck was raffling off a new car!
Yes, they were actually raffling off a brand-new car!  If you brought in 5 canned goods, you got 1 ticket.  You could also buy tickets.  I had no tickets.

Not a bad amount of cans for a tiny race
The trunk was full of bags that had prizes, such as fancy headphones, or portable power chargers, or even gift certificates, and one bag had the car (whoa, so meta).  Unfortunately, no one won the car.

Once the race was over, I headed back to the car and found a gas station I could change clothes at, then headed to Golden Corral for breakfast.  It ended up being brunch, because apparently they put lunch stuff on the buffet all day now? Nothing weirder then fried chicken, mashed potatoes, bacon and macaroni and cheese all on the same plate.

With nothing much else to do in Palatka, once I was fit to bust, I headed home and vegged on the couch!

Oh, and before I forget - check out all the fun swag!!

Beck had given out a bunch of these buckets to local businesses, but they had plenty left over, so we were able to grab one
Sunblock / Aloe, Pens, Cup, Post-Its, Lip Balm, Clip Magnets and aforementioned Steel Water Bottle
A trifecta of can coozies
Generic Lock Laces (with Beck logo!), big Clif Bar
Bumble & Bumble hair care, Welch's fruit snacks, pill container, keychain, carwash coupon, jar opener
Unisex tech tee
BBQ Popped Crisps, Froot Loops, Pop-Tarts, CTC Cereal Bar, more fruit snacks
Post-Its, magnet clips, post-it books
Lens cloth (great for cameras and iThings), sunblock/aloe, measuring tape, keychain flashlight, breathmints
LOTS of different styles of pens (I'm a pen snob and these were GREAT pens!)
Inside of those Post-It note books - Big ones, small ones, tiny ones! I keep it in my purse I always need to jot notes!
Location: Palatka, FL
Host: Beck Ford Dealership
Race Fee: $20
Packet Pickup: Very easy, as it was early
Parking: Very close, as I  got there very early
Support: (on-course): ARC residents were great, 1 water stop
After Party: LOTS of food, lots of awards, raffle, wet washcloths and ice cold water!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Coolest Summer EVAH! - 24-Hour Disney Event Weekend (Thursday and Friday)

Warning - this post is PHOTO-HEAVY!!! 
(But then again, when aren't they?) 

Let’s get this Coolest Summer Evah started!!!! I went to Disney World over the weekend and attempted (for the 3rd time) to spend 24 hours in the Magic Kingdom. 

Also, I wanted to try to do this trip on a budget of $550 or less (not counting the hotel reservation itself).


And, because I love a challenge, I decided this year, rather than just doing “24 pictures of clocks” (did this in 2014) or “24 pictures of doors” (did this in 2013), I would up the challenge and do “24 Pictures of Olaf on Rides!”  Did I do it???  Let’s find out!!!


After an EXTREMELY LONG, and not at all distracting, day at work, I hauled ass home, threw all our stuff in the car and got on the road about 6pm.  We stopped for gas at a station we normally don’t stop at, and it was entertaining to say the least. While I was pumping gas ($20), an older lady (possibly homeless, probably just dirt-poor) came over holding a hideously ugly painting that looked like it was stolen from a pay-by-the-hour motel room. She wanted to know if we wanted to buy her ‘hand painted masterpiece’ for only $100! It’s a steal, right?  Wow. We didn’t buy the painting. I know. You’re shocked.

We did, however, drive through Arby’s for dinner ($21.58), then ate it while driving south. 

We got to our hotel around 8:30ish and checked in, paying our resort fees ($23.73, or $7.91 per day), then headed to our room and got ready for tomorrow morning. We set out our clothes and what-not, set the alarm for 4am and hit the sack.  It was gonna be a loooooooooooooooooooooooong day tomorrow! I can’t wait!!


FRIDAY
Even though the alarm went off at 4, I think we snoozed til almost 4:25 (oops!).  We got up, got dressed and packed our bags for the day (even though we usually go bag-naked, a long day warrants a bag at Disney).
 
Olaf has his MagicBand, he's ready to go!
We headed to our car by 5:15 or so, running late, as always and got to the Parking Plaza shortly thereafter, getting waved through by a CM. Yippee, free parking!  (Saved $17 there!)  We got a great parking spot about 5 rows away from the Tram Tunnel, so no need to catch the tram.

Taken from our car - we were that close!
I debated whether to take the Ferry or the Monorail over to the Magic Kingdom, but decided that by tomorrow morning, I would be exhausted and want to just sit down, so I decided that the Ferry would take us to Magic Kingdom, and the Monorail would take us back.

Ride 1 - Ferry to the Magic Kingdom
Halfway across Seven Seas Lagoon, we heard the ending of the Opening Show.  So, we were too late to ‘technically’ rope drop (this means getting there before they open) the day.

So pretty!
We went through bag check, then through the Tapstiles (they don’t turn anymore, so I can’t call them “turnstiles”), and got in line to rent a locker.  MK only has large lockers now (which is smart!), so we got a locker ($12) and stashed the majority of our stuff. 

We starting walking down the middle of Main Street, but I backtracked because I wanted to catch one of the Main Street Vehicles as one of my 24 rides. 

We wasted time!  It's already 6:25!!!
Good morning, beautiful!
There were none there at the time, but we were able to see the Flag Non-Retreat (usually, it’s the Flag Retreat, but they were putting it UP!). 

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands
 One Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.


Good morning, Old Glory
I waited around for a while for any of the Main Street vehicles, but they never showed up.  Oh, oops. I forgot to account for the opening Trolley Show, which didn’t start until 6:45. So, we people-watched until the Trolley Show was over, then hopped on to the Trolley.
 
Daisy and Donald Duck
Someone in a yellow dress with blue hair, Elsa, Mr. Elsa, Trolley Girls, Briar Rose, MiSiCi Dancer,
?, Newsie Lost Boy, Sally?, somebody with a monkey, Festival of Fantasy Dancer, Peter Pan
Anna, Elsa and Mr. Elsa
Mr and Mrs Elsa (who wasn't all that happy with me and my camera); Trolley Girls
Lilo, Tink, Belle and Live-Action Cinderella
Holy Shit - I'm on a TROLLEY!
Do'ee got a booty? He doooooo!
Um... okay. That's kind of gross hair.
Ride 2 - Main Street Trolley. I can see the castle!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y75sOGHdrxQ
Yay! Humphrey representation!  To learn how to do the Humphrey Hop from "In The Bag," click the picture!
After our scenic trip to the castle, we made our way to Adventureland, doing whatever we could as quickly as possible. Although, I – OF COURSE – stopped on the Liberty Square Bridge for some gorgeous sunrise castle shots!
 
Good morning, beautiful!
Hubby is also rocking a stuffed toy for ride photos (totally stole my idea...)
Our first stop in Adventureland was the Jungle Cruise. We got a good skipper, but the crowd wasn’t awake yet, so his jokes weren’t landing very well.
 
Ride 3 - The Jungle Cruise.  Sadly, this is only the front side of water...
He's right behind me... isn't he?
Next, do you trust me?  We took ahold of a street beggar’s hand and rode Aladdin’s Magic Carpets.  Since it wasn’t busy, I had a carpet to myself, so I didn’t worry too much about the spinning, upping and downing of it all. Hubby and the Kiddo shared a separate carpet. Also on this ride, I discovered that trying to focus on a stationary object (Olaf) while on a moving ride (Carpets) causes mega dizziness when looking away from said object. This’ll be a fun day!

Ride 4 - The Magic Carpets of Aladdin. Olaf, go UP!
Trying to be a COOL teenager at Disney World
Sorcerer Mickey says Hi!
After Aladdin, we ate ‘breakfast’ which was a package of powdered donuts and bottled water (brought from home; no cost).

We charted a course through the old arches, matey, and got on Pirates next. Olaf had a lot of fun on this ride, but he got a little evil-looking in the photos!

Ride 5 - Pirates of the Caribbean.  Burn it down, Olaf!
Wheeeeee!
Once off the ride, we wandered around the gift shop a bit.  Olaf had way too much fun here.
 
Where does a snowman keep his money? In a snow bank!!
Argh! Pirate Mickey is no match for Prisoner Olaf!
Even OLAF wants the redhead!
Pew pew pew
I'm looking saucy, jonesing for the redhead
Ooh, look at ME, I'm so pretty!
Here we have a terrible shot of Trader Sam, Sleeping Beauty and the Fairy Godmother
No one wanted to ride Splash with me (shocker), so this was my first solo ride of the day. I really like this ride because it’s long, it’s cool (because of the water), and it’s fun (because of the drops).  I don’t get to ride it a lot because of my wussy family, so I was going to enjoy this!
So? I'm made of snow!
I walked alone though the mountain, because there was simply NO crowd, and I ended up getting a log all to myself, plus there were three empty boats behind me!
 
Ride 6 - Splash Mountain.  Going up the hill
Olaf Hitchcock doesn't like the look of that hill up there
You can't beat the view, though
The Family + Sorcerer Mickey waiting for me at the bridge
All by myself.... don't wanna be... all by mySELF... ANYMORE!!!!!
Look at my cute hat
Neither Olaf nor I got wet at all, so our next step was Big Thunder.  This is the hubby and the kiddo’s favorite ride, so we do it all the time. My stomach was feeling a bit wonky, so Olaf and I skipped this ride, figuring out that we’d come back later for me to add it to my ride count. (Spoiler Alert – we didn’t come back). Olaf and I watched from the sidelines.

This would have been Ride 6. We chilled out and had some water instead
Family sitting 4th row from the back
Our next step was across to The Haunted Mansion, which is probably one of MY favorite rides. I just wish people didn’t feel the need to recite the spiel alongside The Ghost Host. Those people spoil it for newbies.

Sure, YOU guys can sit on the railing....
Ride 7 - The Haunted Mansion
Not a bad shot of the haunted hallway
Olaf got in trouble playing in all the gift shops and climbing the fence with his pal Mickey at the Haunted Mansion, so he was put in the stocks for a bit.

I fear there's a chance he may escape
From Haunted Mansion, we entered Old Fantasyland and hit up it’s a small world.  Lines were building now, so there was a wait.  Olaf got to see what happens to solid water when it gets warm…

Everything's white in here, just like me!
Ride 8 - it's a small world
Next up, Peter Pan, one of the most over-rated, but still really cute, rides in Fantasyland. Generally, all of us ride alone, but I shared my boat with Olaf.
 
Stop sitting on railings, Olaf!
Ride 9 - Peter Pan's Flight
Ready for take off
Dude, is this a rave?
After Peter Pan, we began walking back to the central Fantasyland area and saw that the Carousel wasn’t too busy, so we hopped on that.  (Also, I just want to point out that as of right now, we hadn’t used any Fast Passes!).
 
Ride 10 - Prince Charming's Regal Carousel   Wheeeeee!
Hold on, Olaf!
Me and the kiddo hopped up on a horse, but Hubby decided against it, stating that they were not comfortable, and instead took a seat on the bench behind us. (And of course, he could tweet some more…) Ugh, again with the dizzy. I really need to figure out a better way to take an ActionOlaf! shot without getting dizzy!

At some point this morning, Hubby broke his glasses, so after a pit stop at the potty, we made our way up to the Emporium and dropped $23.91 on a pair of new sunglasses. That was also the only souvenir we purchased this entire trip!

Weird pic, I know, but Olaf follows me EVERYWHERE! It's creepy.
Next, we went to Guest Relations to get new AP cards (since our Magic Bands WERE our tickets, we didn’t receive plastic Annual Passholder cards, which are needed to get discounts at restaurants and stores). Also, I needed to activate my new Disney Visa Rewards card. I thought that the money would show up on my card once I activated it, but I still had to call Disney Visa, so I ended up just tucking the card in my wallet and not worrying about it. My budget was fine, so I wasn’t missing out on any ‘money.’

While in Guest Relations, we took advantage of the FastPass+ kiosks to change our FP from Big Thunder (since they’d already ridden it, without using said FP) to  Winnie the Pooh, so we wouldn’t have to wait in that horrid line with sticky toddlers.  It was very easy to do here because 1) it is an UNMANNED kiosk (so no obnoxious Cast Members doing it for me) and 2) no one knows there here, so there wasn’t a line.

We went and rode Pooh, which we never do. I think it’s a stupid ride, and doesn’t really even have any redeeming qualities (like the ability to make fun of it in a great way).  If this ride had ride photos, we would look like we hated life.

I blame Sorcerer Mickey for all the railing sitting...
Ride 11 - Winnie the Pooh.  Olaf thinks we're on meth.
We decided that at this point, we were almost halfway done with rides and it was only 10:30am, we should stop and get some lunch before it got really busy. But what did we want?  Cosmic Rays?  Nah. Tomorrowland Terrace? I could get behind that – they have a great spicy chicken sandwich!  Nope, we ended up going to Casey’s and bringing it back to Tomorrowland Terrace for a table and the quasi-AC.  We all got corn dog nuggets with fries and OF COURSE  - Electric Cheese!!!  I splurged and got full-on Coke (instead of diet, or instead of water); I figured I was going to need the caffeine and sugar over the next 19 hours. 

Food of the gods - Corn Dog Nuggets, Fresh French Fries and Electric Cheese!!!
Close up beauty shot of that crispy fried goodness
Hands off my Coke, Olaf!
After lunch, we rode the railroad to let our food settle, and went around one more time to New Fantasyland. As we passed over Frontierland I was shocked-not-shocked by the current line at Splash (this is why I rode it earlier).

Ride 12 - Walt Disney World Railroad
Not a lot of folks coming in during the middle of the day
This is what a hot day at Disney looks like, at Splash Mountain!
We  stopped by the Storybook Circus big tent to see if the FP kiosks were still there.  They weren’t, but we DID see that they’ve added charging stations and comfortable seating to this area.  Good to know!  All the chairs and charging stations were currently in use, so we headed over to the Little Mermaid. 

The ride is cute, but very boring. The queue, however, is so cute! And the rockwork and water make it a cooler space to be in when it’s warm outside.
 
Ride 13 - The Voyage of the Little Mermaid
Duuuuuuude, what else you got in that box? You look wasted!
Not a bad shot!
I felt the need to take a photo of Olaf with King Nipple Triton outside.  Olaf was bored.

Peek a boo!
With the temperatures climbing, it was time to start heading to those indoor rides, so we went on Carousel of Progress. Yeah, it’s old and cheesy and the 80s future is a joke, but I just love it!  There is only one thing that truly bothers me about this ride – there are similarities in every ‘set’ right? There’s always mom, the son, the daughter, the grandparents, Uncle Orville, the dog. Well, there is only a cat in THREE of the scenes. It drives me bonkers – Disney is so meticulous about everything else, why is there a cat missing in the 1940s scene?  Or am I missing it? Every time we ride, I strain to see a damn cat, and I can’t find it anywhere.  Maybe it’s inside the pumpkin…
 
Ride 14 - Carousel of Progress
Anyway, afterwards, we hit the potty behind the stage in Tomorrowland. I love the counter tops in this specific bathroom, and if I ever redo the bathroom or kitchen in my house, I would LOVE to have counter tops that look like this! Is that weird?  Okay, well so is this – let’s go to my all-time favorite ride; the People Mover!!!!


Oh, it’s shut down… Okay.

We chilled out a bit, near the restrooms (it was shady and there were benches), Twittering, playing on GameBoy, you know, all that quality Disney Time stuff. 

Olaf played in the flowers.

He can call me Flower if he wants to
Winter moon
PeopleMover came back up about a ½ hour later, so we hopped on and took a trip around Tomorrowland.  Since it was busy, we only went around once before getting off, even though a lot of times (and would again later tonight) stay on for 3 or 4 loops at a time.

Ride 15 - The PeopleMover (I think Mickey is exhausted)
We stopped by the FP kiosk near Monster’s Inc and was accosted by an overly zealous Cast Member who wanted to do all of the work for us.  We told him nicely that we knew how to use it, but he still got all up in my space, not letting me do it for myself. It was really frustrating. Anyway, we got a FP for Buzz that was only about 5 from then, so we chilled near the Lunching Pad until it was time to go.

Olaf (nor I) was not very good at this game. He only got 800 points. Sadly, I think he still beat me.

This photo wasn't planned to be this awesome - it just happened!
Pew pew pew
Ground control to Major Olaf
Oooooooooooh
Ride 16 - Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
Olaf showed up on the ride photo!
After Buzz, it was almost 4pm, and I was ready to take a break.  We headed back to Storybook Circus to grab some snackage and try to charge up our electronics.  Hubby got a Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie. I got an Event Cupcake (chocolate cake, buttercream icing and sugar rock sprinkles). The kiddo got a Strawberry/Blue Raspberry Goofy Glacier and a M&M Krispie Treat. Hubby and I each got a bottle of soda (me again with the Coke) We also got a bag of Chocolate Caramel popcorn for a friend of ours who babysits our cat and our house while we’re gone. Grand total?  $34.39.  Olaf paid.

So many yummy treats!
Olaf doesn't see the resemblance
Even his credit card is blue
Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie (meh, it was okay)
Family Size Chocolate Caramel Popcorn (think Moose Munch)
ARTSY!  Coolest Summer Evah Event Cupcake, with Goofy Glacier in the background
All the seats near the charging stations were taken, and even though some of the plugs were open, we aren’t the kind of people to trust random strangers with our electronics and leave them there while we went to seats far away, even at Disney, so we hung out at a picnic table and waited our turn.

Apparently people don’t understand that 1) you leave when your things are charged and 2) if you see other people waiting, you don’t line-jump them.  After a bit, hubby got all grumpy at these people and went back inside the Big Top Souvenir store to see if he could find a plug.  The Kiddo and I (slowly) finished our snacks, then went in after him.  He had found a (non-regulation) plug behind a display near some doors.  We joined him there, sitting on the floor, but were chased away after 10 minutes. The doors were a fire exit, so I can understand why we were told to move.

Chillin' and chargin'
We found another set of plugs near the exit of the character Meet & Greet, so we plopped down there. Now, I don’t use my tech much at Disney (because, HEY, I’m at Disney!), but teenagers do, and hubby uses his phone as his camera too, and he loves to tweet what he’s doing, so he goes through his battery very quickly.  I think we stayed there for over an hour before he deemed everyone charged enough to leave.
Snug as a bug, still chargin'
Our next stop – my next stop – was Barnstormer. This was another I rode alone; Hubby’s legs are too big for the ride and the kiddo just didn’t want to. I can agree that the leg space is seriously lacking for adults, but it’s a 30 second ride!

The Great Goofini!
Death-defying Olaf!
Ride 17 - The Barnstormer
Night is falling on Disney, and we stopped by the Town Square Theater to meet with WDWNT for a Scavenger Hunt. We had until midnight to finish as many questions as we could, and each page was a separate Land.  We started with Main Street USA and did pretty well, but since it was getting really busy, due to the upcoming parade, we switched over to Liberty Square before heading to Columbia Harbor House for dinner. 

Instructions for the Scavenger Hunt
Main Street USA questions
Liberty Square questions
The kiddo told us at this point that she didn’t think she was going to make it the full 24 hours. I found this quite ironic, since the last two times we’ve tried this, she made fun of me!

I wasn’t starving for dinner, so I talked hubby in to getting the Chicken & Fish combo. I ordered the Chowdah, and the kiddo got shrimp. I Frankensteined my meal with fish, chowdah, 2 shrimp and some fries from each of them.  I’ve heard a lot, a LOT, of good things about Columbia Harbor House’s chowdah, so I was psyched to finally get a chance to try it.

Unfortunately, as I was digging in to it, I discovered that it wasn’t as good as I was hoping, or that I’d heard. It was watery, not thick. It was also kind of grey (unless it just looked that way under the lights).  I had a few spoonfuls, but just couldn’t eat it – and it never even crossed my mind to return it! – so I ended up with 1 piece of fish, some fries, about 1/3 of the soup and about 2 shrimp.  It was a sad dinner.    Dinner cost $37.54 total.

Olaf is a big fan of these sugary drinks!
After eating, we were able to find a table near a wall plug so we could recharge our tech. The Kiddo seemed to do well just chillin’ for a while, playing on her phone or her GameBoy. She was tired, and you could see it! I told her that I only had 7 more rides to go before I hit 24, could she make it that long. She said she could, but deep down, I knew that she was only saying it to be nice. Hubby thought so, too.

You know she's tired when she's not eating shrimp
At midnight, we met up with WDWNT at Tortuga Tavern and turned in our Scavenger Hunt answers. There were a bunch of teams there, so we all just hung out at the tables while the answers were scored.  At one point, I put my head down to rest, and got called out by WDWNT for it!

Out of the 30 total questions we answered, we got 25 right.  (Hey, that’s a “B” – I’ll take that grade!)  I picked out 3 pins as prizes, but Tom also gave us each a Cast Member patch, and Hubby got a Disneyland pin/coin.  All the prizes came from Theme Park Connection.


Our next stop was the Hall of Presidents. I thought it was a good choice; it is a lengthy show, and the seats are comfy – the Kiddo (or I) might be able to take a nap!  We sat in the very front row, so we could really stretch out our legs, but neither of us were able to actually nap. 

Plenty of leg room for Olaf too
Ride 18 - The Hall of Presidents
After Hall of Presidents, Hubby began leading us… somewhere. I asked him where he was going, but he didn’t answer.  He drives me NUTS when he does this – he gets on some sort of mission and practically ignores everything until he gets to where he’s going. It ended up he took us back to the Big Top Charging Area. He thought that it was a good option to let the Kiddo hang out here and chill/play on her phone/nap while we go and do some more rides.  He’d seen that she was okay at Columbia Harbor House doing that.  We led her to a chair and told her that we were going to go ride more rides and that she should call us if she needed us.

After another potty stop (seriously wondering about the chowdah at this point…), we made our way to the closest ride, Dumbo.  I was feeling that Mom Pang of “I left my baby all aloooooooone!” but I knew that she’d be fine; she’s practically an adult – it wasn’t like we were leaving a five year old alone… but still.
So, Dumbo is a LOT tighter when two fat people ride it.  I love Hubby, but that was a lot of squishing. Also a lot of DIZZY, trying to focus on Olaf while spinning.

Just enough room for one snowman
Take us up, Olaf!
Wheeee, I'm flying!
Ride 19 - Dumbo
After Dumbo, I wanted (yes, wanted) to ride Tea Cups and knock that off the list, but it was one of the rides that closed for maintenance until 3am (and we missed it by just a few minutes). Since the Speedway was close, we hit that.

When it’s not 100º outside, with the sun bearing down on you, and with humidity at 1000%, it doesn’t stink of gas so much over here. Kind of a bummer though, because didn’t you always get just a bit of a high while waiting in that line? Just me? Okay.

I let Olaf drive half of the route, but he wasn’t very good at it.  Luckily, I was so tired at this point, everything was freakin’ hilarious, and people were probably assuming I’d somehow gotten drunk. Or high on Speedway gas fumes…

Ride 20 - Tomorrowland Speedway     Driver, please take us around the block
Next was AstroOrbiter, which had a bit of a line, but not much. I think we waited around 10 minutes?  Hubby went up with me, but he refuses to ride it because 1) it’s high up, and 2) it goes fast and banks, so he feels like he’s going to fall out. I love the high part, I love the fast part and I love the banking part! Just not so much the spinny part.

There were some teenagers in front of us playing some sort of Charades game on their phone where one person would hold the phone up to their head and it had a word that the rest of the kids had to make the head guy guess. It seemed like a fun game, and I somewhat played along with them in my head… Creepy middle-age mom!

Anyway, I got in my spaceship (lots of leg room!) and off we went, around and around. And there’s the dizzy, focusing on Olaf, but then… oh, then… Do they go even FASTER at the end of the ride, or has it been so long since I’ve ridden that I’ve forgotten about that?  I held on to my chowdah for dear life, looking down at my feet, praying for it to be over!
 
Commencing countdown, engines on
Ride 21 - AstroOrbiter
Needing a tummy break, we popped back over to Big Top to check on the kiddo and we couldn’t find her anywhere!  Oh, God, I have lost my child. She has been stolen by some pervert freak who has taken her into the woods of Disney World and killed her…  oh, wait… there she is.  She just found a couch up against the wall closest to us, and we couldn’t see behind the wall.  Phew…

When you're so tired you sleep anywhere, with no craps given to your surroundings
We woke her up to let her know that we were checking up on her and tucked her backpack closer to her (she left it in plain sight on the table in front of her).  The chance of thieves at Disney is pretty small, especially at 3am, but no reason to tempt fate, right?

I needed another potty break at this point – I was feeling really icky from the chowdah, and I was beginning to wonder if that “undertaste” I tasted while eating it was the beginnings of it going bad.
 

I also took a few Pepto Bismol pills at this point, as well as continuing to drink lots of water.

Our longest wait of the entire day was the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. We waited 90 minutes in line for this ride. Generally, I wouldn’t wait that long, but I wanted to pass the time, and I hadn’t ridden it at night yet, anyway.

While we were in line, we ended up stuck in front of this Eastern European Snob from Boca, who originally came from a “C” place – Czechoslovakia, Chechnya, Croatia, something like that. She was some rich family’s nanny, and man, this chick was so full of it, you could smell it.  She kept telling her friends that she knew EVERYTHING about Disney, but she was wrong on so much of it!  For instance, did you know that there is a basketball court inside Expedition Everest?  That Walt Disney had an apartment over in City Hall? Or that if you looked at Cinderella’s Fountain juuuuust right, it looks like she has a crown on?  Exactly – one of these are correct, but she got more wrong than not. It was entertaining at first, but as she kept going, I really was ready to punch her. She was like a walking internet website that gives out incorrect information!

Luckily, we didn’t have to ride with her, and the ride was extra fun in the dark.

Ride 22 - Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
I'm so tired, I'm seeing colors at this point.
As we exited, we saw the coolest costume of the night – some guy dressed up like Eddie, complete with Roger Rabbit!  Not to be stalkery, but we hung out at the exit of the ride until he came out just so I could get a photo of him. So here he is in his early 90s Toon Town Glory – Eddie and Roger!

Can we take your picture, pppppppplease?
Now that it was after 3am, we headed back over to the Teacups.  This was also my FINAL IN-PARK RIDE!!!!!

The first attempt was a fail – the CM counted out people, as they always do, but there were no cups left for us. The CM said that this happens a lot; people will say that they have a certain number in their party (like we would have 2), but then each person would take a cup alone. So instead of two girls, one cup, it ends up being two girls, two cups.  Meaning there are not enough cups to go around. Meaning, we had to get back in line and wait for the next go round. Once we got on, though, hubby was kind enough to NOT spin the cup (I hate spinny rides, but did it for the challenge), and I didn’t feel icky at all. From the Teacups, anyway.
 
Friends til the end
Ride 23 - Mad Tea Party; If you spin it I'll puke on you, Olaf
It was around 3:45 at this point. I didn’t really want to go ride more rides, especially with the kiddo conked out so far away, plus my feet were killing me, so we went back to the Big Top, pulled a few chairs around our Sleeping Beauty and plugged in all of our tech.

This was our hang-out spot for the next 2 hours (FYI, Olaf makes a GOOD pillow!)
I popped over to Big Top Souvenirs and got a Sprite ($2.76) to help the tummy. (I can’t believe I spent three bucks on soda… Frugal Me is unhappy).  I Twittered for a while. I napped for a while. I pottied multiple times (seriously, my tummy was VERY unsettled…).  I undid my pants to make room for my bloated tummy. Super sexy.

At 5:30, we woke up the Kiddo, packed up our stuff and I hit the potty once more, feeling slightly better. I even buttoned up my pants for the trip. We made our way to the front of the park, stopping for the Obligatory Clock Shot. 

Obligatory Clock Shot! We're almost there!!!!
Now, you’ll notice that the clock does NOT say 6AM.  There is a reason for that – the hordes of people who would be descending upon this clock in just a few minutes!!  I know I was there at 6am. My digital camera keeps a record!

The clock officially struck 6AM as we were halfway between the clock and the exit, so YIPPEE, I officially did it!!!!  Let’s hear it for the 37-year old fat mom!

Goodbye, beautiful!
Anyway, we left the park, cleaned out our locker and got our $5 locker deposit back, then got in line for the loooooooong monorail line. You can just imagine, right?

We bid good MORNING to the Magic Kingdom and took our final ride of the day.
 
This is how far back the line was for the monorail!  I think 5 or 6 came before we could get on.
Ride 24 - THE MONORAIL!!
Back to our car, then back to the hotel, totally running on auto-pilot.  We had just enough time to take a nap before our 11am reservation for brunch at Trail’s End (who thought THAT was a good idea? Oh, yeah… me!)