Archives for October 2011

ClipE Giveaway

 

Good morning friends! Happy Halloween! Anyone doing anything fun today or was all the fun this weekend? (I am actually writing this on Saturday so I am having fun at a fall festival tonight, (Saturday) too!)

Today I have a giveaway for you all. (oh and if you haven’t entered my Shutterfly Giveaway today is the last day.) But first, if you are catching up from the weekend:

Friday Favorites: Operation Christmas Child

Team in Training 5k

Neighborhood Fall Festival

Ok, so on to the ClipE. Tell me, when you are running and listening to music, do you ever get that annoying “earbud tug” that makes your ears hurt or your earbuds fall out? I do, and so does my husband, which is why I was thrilled when the folks at ClipE contacted me to do a review and were kind enough to make it a giveaway as well! But first, let me tell you a little about this little piece of magic:

The ClipE, which comes in 9 varieties/colors, is a small and simple solution for managing your headphone cords. Check out this super cute video, you DON’T want this to happen to you!

Sad but true, right? So I decided to test this little baby out for myself, and it really really works, and is super easy to use.

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Simple thread your headphone cords through the back and clip on your shirt.

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On my run I didn’t have to worry about my shirt making that awful tugging in my ears, or about having my headphones slap me in the face as I try to wind them around my fingers to pick up the slack (oh come on, you know you have done it…)

So not only is this ClipE stylish, easy to use and functional, it has a great price point of $6.95. That’s like a grande mocha something or other, right? BUT, you can win one of your very own! (The winner’s will be white so that a guy or girl can win!) Here’s how:

Please leave a SEPARATE comment for each:

1.) Like RWS on Facebook

2.) Tell me your favorite current song to listen to while working out

3.) Retweet, repost, re-Facebook, etc and let me know you did.

You have until Saturday night CST to enter and I will announce a winner on Sunday November 6. Everyone be safe and smart tonight and Happy Halloween!

(also be sure to check ClipE out on Facebook and Twitter)

Neighborhood Fall Festival

 

Tonight, we froze our butts off at our neighborhood;s fall festival. They had games, pumpkin painting, live music, hay rides, and lots of great food, of course.

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I wore boots for the first time since winter!

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So I think this is the longest my hair has been in years!

We got to the front of the neighborhood while the sun was still up so it wasn’t too cold, and we dug in to enjoy some chili and many flavors of cupcakes.

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the pumpkin ones were sssooo good. Cream cheese frosting…yes please!

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So, sadly I took more pictures of the food than the people.

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I kid you not.

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They set up this cute little photo op that we forgot to take advantage of. oops.

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There were several rounds of hay rides, which we did not partake in.

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There were “roll the pumpkin” races

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(cheap point and shoot camera FAIL)

But the best part was just sitting around hanging out with our neighbors listening to the music. Around 7:30 my hands were numb and I realized this probably wasn’t a good thing,, so we hopped on the golf cart and headed home. We had a great time, but said the only thing missing was a bonfire, that would have been nice!

I love my neighborhood and how we always have great social events!

QOTD: Does your neighborhood ever have parties or get togethers? My neighborhood growing up, our street always had our own “block party” and that was fun.

* enter my  shutterfly giveaway!

Team in Training Halloween 5k 2011

 

It’s time for a sssppookkyyyy 5k recap! AND, I didn’t even run. If you aren’t running, the next best thing to do is volunteer. Our chapter of TNT decided to host a 5k to help raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. We decided to do a night run, Halloween theme, with costumes welcome and plenty of candy for the kids! We also had a 1 mile fun run before the 5k. It was a lot colder than anticipated, but we still had a blast!

Bobby and I were given the task of picking up all the pizzas and chick-fil-a sandwiches that were donated before heading to the race. They smelled so good in the car, it was tempting to not dig in right then and there! We helped with registration and got read for the race!

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We decided I would go as the football player and Bobby would go as the cheerleader. (yes that REALLY is his uniform and megaphone from college!)

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I was so glad I dressed warmly and brought a jacket. It started misting and the wind picked up quickly and then it got dark, but I was relatively warm. Poor Bobby didn’t bring a jacket.

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The 5k was held in a nice neighborhood near our house, out on the grassy area in front of their party/meeting space.

Look! I even found a blog reader! Meet Kristyn! She and her husband both totally rocked the 5k, and Kristyn is running the Rock n Roll new Orleans half in March! Hi Kristyn, it was so nice to meet you and share a near death experience with you! (More on THAT later!)

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That evil tent is eyeing me in the background….can you detect the foreshadowing?

I took it upon myself to take some pictures while I wasn’t helping with last minute registration.

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Our director/race leader welcoming everyone to the race!

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the 1 mile fun run was first followed by the 5k.

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Oh, Bobby…

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Since Bobby had a megaphone, he was in charge of the “on your mark, get set, go!” for both races.

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Aaanndddd they’re off!

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We hung out at the finish line clapping and cheering for everyone, and Alana and I held up streamers as people crossed the finish line. Fun!

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post race we had drinks, pizza, chick-fil-a sandwiches, pasta, and CANDY! We even had a live band playing on the porch the whole time. Good times were had by all (I think. I sure had fun!)

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The winners of the costume contest, the teenage mutant ninja turtles! All 4!

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Ok, so near death experience. I was standing in the grass talking to Kristyn and her husband after the race, when a HUGE gust of wind came up and blew the giant purple tent RIGHT into me and her husband! It smacked both of us in the back before flying over our heads across the grass where a bunch of guys wrestled it to the ground. It nearly missed some kids so we like to think we took a hit for the team and saved the kids.

No, but really, it HURT. The metal bars smacked me right across the back, and as I ducked, I winced and just waited for one of the legs of the thing to impale me. When I looked up and saw it had blown over us I knew I was ok, but WOW it was really scary for a second there. Evil purple tent…

So anyway…we had the awards ceremony and cleaned up and came home. It was a really fun experience and I hope I get to volunteer for something like that again! I am going to miss all my TNT buddies!

QOTD: Have you ever volunteered for a race? Did you enjoy it?

*Don’t forget to enter my giveaway!

Friday Favorites: Operation Christmas Child

 

Today’s Friday Favorite is something very near and dear to my heart: Operation Christmas Child. If you are not familiar, I encourage you to check out the link above, it is a great, great ministry. Just in a nutshell, OCC is a part of Samaritans purse, a ministry of Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son. Basically how it works, is every November they collect a bunch of shoeboxes packed with toys, hygiene products, etc. for underprivileged girls and boys all over the world.  They deliver said boxes to these kids, and it may be the only gift (especially Christmas gift) they every receive. Here is a short video to help illustrate:

These boxes, while seeming simple to us, give kids in over 100 countries hope for a better day and a brighter future. If you go to the website and click on “videos and multimedia” there are tons of videos with stories of kids who had their lives forever changed all because of a simple gift.

I have participated in Operation Christmas Child since I was in the third grade. Our class at school packed boxes and I still remember going and picking out gifts for a girl my age, and I imagined her getting her shoebox. I always included a letter and picture, but never heard back, although I do know people who have. There is a cool feature now where you can even track your box and see what country it is going to!

Each box also includes a copy of the gospel message in their own language so they can read and understand. Also, if you don’t want to pack a box yourself, there are many other ways you can give, like by sponsoring a shoebox. You can also volunteer during national collection week. All over the world there are churches and Christian schools set up for a week in mid November to collect boxes from all over their area to be shipped to these children and they are always in need of volunteers. If anything at all, please pray for Operation Christmas Child during this season, that lives will be forever changed! So, I encourage you to get involved I know with Christmas coming it’s so easy to get wrapped up in what WE want for Christmas and what WE are getting our friends or family for Christmas, but let’s not forget the children around the world that will be getting nothing, and it will just be another hard day for them. Check out the website for ways in which you can get involved! National collection week is in mid November, there is still plenty of time!

QOTD: Do you do anything special around Christmas time for a charity of ministry?

Rock N Roll St. Louis Half Marathon 2011

 

Good morning! Have you all had a chance to enter my Shutterfly cards giveaway? It’s a fun one! Who doesn’t love Christmas cards?! Also while on their site be sure to check out the photo books, I love them, so much better than just printing pictures for an album.

So yesterday I went on my first post race run and it wasn’t very pretty. The top of my left foot started to hurt so I just did two easy miles and came home and did some googling. I saw a cause for this is too tight of shoelaces and it hit me that was probably the issue. I recall on Sunday when I started the race that my shoelaces were way too tight but I never stopped to adjust them. Fingers crossed that’s all it is! Ok, anyway on to the recap!

My alarm went off at 5 am for the race. I had only slept about 4.5 hours, and it was cold. All I wanted to do was stay in my warm bed! I forced myself up and dressed and ate a clif bar.

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I was ready early, so I just started packing up my things until it was time to go. I knew I was going to be in a HURRY to get out of there after the race so having everything packed was a good idea. Don’t I look sleep deprived?

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We headed to the lobby to wait for my skirt helpers cousin to pick us up. I nearly fell asleep on the couch waiting for her to get there! I was so grateful to have a ride to the race, I don’t know how we would have gotten there otherwise. We parked in the garage and walked the couple blocks to the start area. We jumped in a potty line and it was LONG. I figured the ones down further were shorter but since I was with other people I didn’t really say anything. After waiting a few minutes, Heather texted me and I told her about my long line. She said she was down further and there was no line! I told the girls with me and they wanted to stay put, so I decided to leave them and go find Heather. There were SO many people (21k!) it was hard to squeeze by and get to her, but I finally found her!

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After a quick chat I realized it was after 7:20 so we said a quick goodbye and I headed to corral 10. The corral wasn’t crowded like I was expecting, so I worked my way up to the front and of course found someone to chat with. It was a guy running his first full…and he had never run a half, WOW! Here is the view from my corral, you can see the arch in the distance:

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aannnddd all the other corrals behind me:

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Finally, we sang, the gun went off, and Corral 1 was off! Of course, we didn’t start until about 11 minutes later, but it was exciting moving up to the start little by little!

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Here we go! It was chilly at the start, but it felt good once I started running. My Garmin IMMEDIATELY started spazzing out going in between the tall buildings and I panicked because I wouldn’t “really’ know where I was on the course. About a half mile in, I heard people right behind me talking about Disney, so naturally, I started listening. They were talking about the marathon! I started chatting with one of the guys who as running alone, and found out he is a TNT coach (not for this race) and will be coaching a team in Disney in January and had never run that one before and wanted to know what it was like. So, I was happy to oblige. Hehe.

We talked and talked and I kind of forgot I was running! I told him to feel free to leave me at any time. He was running the full and waiting on the 4:30 paces to pass us. He told me about how much he loves TNT and I told him how I just completed my first TNT event. he was so friendly and encouraging and it really made those first miles (and hills!) fly by. I honestly wasn’t even paying much attention to my pace at that point. But I knew the 4:30 pacers hadn’t passed yet so it couldn’t be THAT bad. The race split off for the half and full around mile 8, and at about mile 7.5, the 4:30 pace group passed us and I told him to GO and thank you for running with me! I was so happy that I was already 8 miles in and just now having to really “pay attention” to the race. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos from the first 8 miles except this one form the 5k mark. Can you spot me?

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I started paying attention to the beautiful neighborhoods we were going through, and I also started to notice the hills were getting BIGGER and my IT band was getting unhappier! More specifically, up towards my right hip was throbbing with every step. Ouch.

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There was a long steep uphill before mile 9, and lots of spectators! Lots of fun signs to read as well. I think my favorite was one that said “Almost There…(that’s what she said)” I literally laughed out loud, too funny!

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Other than my hip I actually felt pretty good! I was surprised considering this was my 3rd half in 4 weeks and I was running on expo legs and 4.5 hours of sleep. I loved the pretty leaves changing color and while it has warmed up some, it still felt good weather-wise.

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I hit mile 10 and started my run/walk intervals of 4 minutes/30 seconds. I was proud I made it that far without having to implement them. The hills picked up around that point and I was ready to be done and so was my hip. When I hit mile 11, I knew I wasn’t going to get a sub 2:15 (which I was shooting for) and I will admit though not like me, I slowed up a little. I was just so exhausted and worn down and in a LOT of hip pain. Live to run another day, right?

So I make it to mile 12, and then someone yells “Only a half mile to go!” Since my garmin was screwy, I just had to take her word for it so I kicked it in. Um..mistake!! I went on and on…more people saying “only a half mile to go!” Other people running started saying “WHY do spectators keep telling us that, we have more than that to go!” CRAP. oops. I slowed again. I can’t kick that long. Then, I heard cheering. Huh? I look to the right on the other side of the median and see a truck and then bikers go by, and then…he whizzed by us….the first full marathoner. You have GOT to be kidding me! Granted, I am sure he was in corral 1 and started 11 minutes ahead of me, but STILL! We all cheered and clapped as he passed.

Did I mention the last half mile was all uphill? Cruel, Rock n Roll. Just cruel. I think they take pleasure in it because Providence ended uphill too! I mean, look at this poor guy I was behind. he thought it was cruel, too I am sure.

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yes I am holding my phone and yes I tweeted and texted while running. I finally made the last turn and saw the finish line UP ahead up a hill. I gave it some gas and passed several people just so I could be DONE!  (Note guy in agony in bottom right corner. Hopefully I passed him.)

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I finished in respectable 2:21. 2:21 was LAST October’s PR, with NO hills, NO expo, and NO 3 halfs in 4 weeks. I must say I am pretty proud! I literally stopped my Garmin, grabbed my meal, and pushed through the masses of people. I had to get to the airport ASAP! Of course, people are hobbling, walking slow, clogging up the chute so it was quite the ordeal for me to get out. I asked some lady to take my picture though.

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Clearly I am incapable of putting my bib on straight. Anyway, I had 10 blocks to walk to get back to the hotel and it was 10:15, my flight was at 12:25. Crap. I started running. Other runners walking back to their hotels made comments like “you should have entered the full!” or “13.1 not enough torture?” My hip was killing me but I didn’t have a choice, so I just kept going. I wasn’t EXACTLY sure how to get back to the hotel but I knew it was by the arch so I just kept running. I finally made it back, up to the room and into the shower. I was SO glad I had already packed, so all I had to do was shower change and go! I called the front desk and had them call me a cab so it would be waiting. but not before a quick pic of my newest bling.

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Luckily, I made it to the airport with a few minutes to spare, and all was well.  Overall, I enjoyed this race. The course was really pretty, I had good company, and a good time. I disliked the hills of course, and having more sleep and being fresh would have been nice, but overall not a bad race, St. Louis! Way to go!

QOTD: Have you ever had to hurry to catch a flight? Did you make it?

A Shutterfly Christmas

 

Happy Wednesday! This week is flying by, cannot believe it’s almost Halloween. It seems like It was just stifling hot outside, and now the leaves are changing and the grass is dying. I guess that’s why happens when you are out of town for work almost the whole month of October! I am not complaining though, because that means my favorite time of year is coming…CHRISTMAS! I can’t believe its less than two months away. I am so excited to start decorating and listening to Christmas music.

One thing I may have never shared on RWS is that I am obsessed with snail mail. Call me old fashioned, but I love getting the mail. My husband knows better than to get the mail in this house! So, with that being said, I LOVE sending and receiving Christmas cards! Not just any Christmas cards, but photo Christmas cards. I have always thought it was nice to see how a family changes year to year.

Once again, Shutterfly has made it simple and affordable to send out cards to your friends and family, and guess what? This year, THREE RWS readers will get 25 FREE cards! Here is the Shutterfly card I sent last year if you need some inspiration:

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There are so many options to choose from! The photo cards are of course my favorites! There are so many designs to choose from I am going to have a tough time narrowing it down! They also have greeting cards (for all holidays) and the ever important Thank You card after you get all of those great Christmas gifts!

Shutterfly makes it so easy with step-by-step instructions to make your family look it’s best as it sits in someone else’s home, and they wish they were you…I KID! Just making sure you are paying attention!

I have used Shutterfly for my Christmas cards for the past few years and I have always been so happy with the results. I have (in the late past) done my cards with other stores/places and been less than thrilled. These memories are not the kind of thing you want to mess up! So, go ahead, hop on over to Shutterfly and browse their awesome collection! It’s not to early to be thinking about the holidays!

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Oh, you want to win some free cards? Ok! Three readers will win 25 free cards! All you have to do, is in the comments section, tell me one of your favorite Christmas traditions. One of mine is every year on Christmas eve, we sit around the fire and my dad read’s Twas the Night Before Christmas, and the Christmas story out of the Bible. we have done this for as long as I remember and I hope we never stop!

QOTD: For a chance to win 25 free cards, tell me one of your favorite Christmas traditions!

I will randomly choose 3 winners Monday, October 31 and will announce on Tuesday, November 1. You have until Monday night at midnight CST to enter.

*I was compensated for my review of Shutterfly, but the opinions expressed are my own.

Rock N Roll St. Louis Expo

 

As you know, I flew out of New Orleans to St. Louis on Wednesday of last week. I had never been to Missouri, so I was excited to add a new state (and a race in a new state) to the places I have been and raced.

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My skirt helper Laurie and I spent Thursday getting our booth set up. The Rock n Roll crew is so great, I enjoyed getting to chat with them again, and with the other vendors. We got everything set up and ready to go Thursday, and the expo was Friday and Saturday.

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I took some time when it was slower on Friday to go get my own bib. I was excited for the new women’s cut t shirts, but frustrated when I saw basically all they did was make them shorter…which annoyed this tall girl!

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There were over 21 THOUSAND runners at this race, and the expo was pretty busy! As usual, I got to meet a bunch of great people, and meet some blog readers (hi guys, so glad to meet all of you!) Including my friend Heather

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I love selling Running Skirts, and I love when people come up to me at the race afterwards and tell me how much they loved running in their new skirt. It just makes my heart happy.

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My day two outfit. Everyone went nuts over the sleeves!

Friday night we got everything out of the convention center, and our taxi driver told us America’s got talent was holding auditions at the convention center, too. We saw a lot of people lined up for something but had no idea what it was. We even saw a little boy in the hallway of our hotel who had tried out and got to hear him sing, it was pretty cute.

We finally got finished with everything around 11:00, and had our alarms set for 5 am for the race. Yikes!

QOTD: Have you ever auditioned for a TV show?

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2011

 

Good morning! Sorry this post is so late. I got home from St. Louis at 6:30 last night then the Saints played at 7:30, so I was slightly preoccupied. Then, I allowed myself to sleep in and slept 10 hours!

More about the expo and the race tomorrow, but I will say the race was fun, very pretty course, and I didn’t do too bad. I didn’t PR, but was SO close, which is amazing considering 3 days of expo legs and all the hills on the course! This girl grew up below sea level so I don’t train on hills! Plus, my IT band which did SO WELL during the Gulf Coast half, flared up due to the hills and hurt me pretty badly the last 5 miles. BUT, more on all that later.

I wanted to get these pictures from Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party up in case anyone is going this week, so they can see them!

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With Jen being pregnant, clearly the most logical (and cheap) thing for us to do was go as Dr.’s trying to get pregnant lady to delivery! She really did need the wheelchair too, no way the poor thing would have been able to walk around all night!

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It was funny to watch Jen get wheeled around quickly and around sharp turns. I don’t think she was a fan. Smile

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Luckily, we all love candy so had no qualms about all the trick-or-treating!

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We rode pirates, and the boys rode splash while Jen and I trick-or-treated some some. The, it was time to head to Hallowishes. I love this fireworks show. I may or may not know all the words…

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We got more candy, and soon it was time for the parade. Bobby and I shared a soft pretzel while we waited for it to start. The headless horsesman soon arrived and the parade began.

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These guys are my favorite. They twirls their shovels and the ground and sparks fly!

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After the parade, we got more candy, and  the boys rode space mountain. Our friends left after that, and Bobby and I did some more trick-or treating and walking around. Before we knew it, it was midnight and time to leave.

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We sleepily made it back to the Grand Floridian, and dumped out all our candy, just like when we were kids.

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The next morning we sadly checked out of the hotel and made our way home, very sad it was over. It was such a great trip and it will be so hard to top!

Remember, I am a Disney travel agent and it is free for me to book your trip for you and help with the planning. Email me at heather@travelwiththemagic.com

Also, if you would like to see pictures from the Halloween party from last year (I took more) check out this post.

QOTD: Did you trick-or-treat as a kid? What was your favorite costume that you wore?

Up Early

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Good morning! I’m up at 5 after 5 hours of sleep ready to run RnR St. Louis. Sometimes I wonder why I do it to myself after working the expo! I have to run fast to be able to catch my plane so fingers crossed!

The picture is of what I wore to the expo yesterday. See Ya back in New Orleans!

Disney Day 7 September 2011

 

On my last Disney post, we spend the day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and then went to dinner at Ohana. The next day, Bobby and I headed to EPCOT. We headed straight for Soarin, got fastpasses, then stood in the 20 minute standby line. After that, we headed to test track and walked right on in the single rider line.

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Then we walked back on through the single rider line again! Smile

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Then we decided to walk around the world showcase. We had lunch reservations in Italy at Via Napoli, so we took our time heading in that direction.

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This was my first time to eat here, and I really liked the bright airiness of the restaurant.

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We ordered a big pizza, and ate the whole thing!

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It was really getting hot out, so we decided to use our fastpasses for Soarin then head back to the hotel. We met up with our vacation buddies for appetizers in the lounge, then walked downstairs to Citrico’s for dinner. They had never been, so I was excited to show it to them.

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Citrico’s is in my top three of favorite Disney restaurants, by the way. They have an amazing steak and great mashed potatoes. The atmosphere is fun and funky and the view is pretty.

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Bobby decided since I made him dress up we were at LEAST taking pictures in our nice clothes!

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It was time to go change and get ready for Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party! That deserves a post all it’s own, so I will save it. Smile

QOTD: Do you ever use the single rider line in WDW?