Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Results Are In...

After I updated the blog earlier today the doctor called to tell me my results. Looks like I have a stress fracture. I'm not too thrilled that I was told I couldn't train for the race anymore. BUT that doesn't mean that I'm not doing the race. As of right now, I plan on starting the race that day. If I finish, I finish. If not, then I will just hide in my room for the rest of the day with The Captain.

It's hard to know what the doctor is going to tell me to do since I don't see him until January 6th, the day before I arrive in WDW. But I do know that crutches are in my future. I wonder if I can get on the rides faster with them?

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers over the next 2 weeks.

I needed a good laugh

If you've been following me on Facebook you'll know that I've been having a problem with my right leg hurting. The MRI showed what appears to be fluid in my femur bone. So yesterday I had a bone and cat scan done on it. Having this pain has really hindered my training for the half marathon in Walt Disney World but thanks to a truly wonderful friend I think I'll get through it. Or at least he thinks I will.

Check out his blog to see how he plans on getting me through the race. It's pretty funny!

Leave a comment and tell him the redhead sent ya!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

4 weeks and counting!!

I think something fell from the sky and clunked me on the head because 4 weeks from now I'll be participating (notice how I didn't say running) in the Walt Disney World Half Marathon again. But at least I won't be going it alone, I've conned another friend into doing it with me. It'll be his first half marathon so hopefully he'll enjoy it as much as I enjoyed my first.

In preparing for this, I started thinking back to how I got ready for the last one and what I learned in the past. Obviously, I didn't learn to stop doing these crazy things!

The first link is from a previous blog post. It's What I Learned From Marathon Weekend.

The second link is a guide that a friend of mine over at Running Of The Ears put together. Print it out and read over it. There is a ton of great information in it.

I would like to add to pack your running shoes, clothes, anything you want on race day into your carry on. You don't want to end up at the airport with no luggage and realize that all your gear was in your suitcase. Or if you don't have room, ship it down UPS so you can track it. Make sure you give it more than enough time to get there. And remember that UPS will be closed New Years Day so if you're in California make sure you allow enough time. I've done this before, not with my clothes but with my extras. In the past, I've shipped G2, Power Bars, blankets, hat, pretty much anything that wasn't going to fit in my suitcase or that I didn't want to take up space with.

Remember, race day is different than a training day. Your adrenaline is pumping and there is about 20,000 or more people around you. How you feel and how you run on a training day will differ on race day. I know last year I ended up with some bad blisters at mile 3 and the whole time I trained I never had one blister. So be prepared! Pack all the essentials. Better to have it and never use it than need it later. That means extra safety pins, band aids, moleskin, first aid tape, Ace bandages, pain relievers, Imodium ( you never know what can happen that morning). If you think you need it...PACK IT! Especially different shoes for afterwards. Take your sandals or flip flops. You're feet will love that after a 13 or 26 mile race that they aren't stuffed in sneakers.

The biggest thing to remember is TO HAVE FUN!!! You're friends aren't going to care what your time is or what place you came in. As long as you have fun doing what you're doing, that's all that matters! That should be a warning to my friend, we're going to have so much fun that you're head is going to explode!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Here Comes Belsnickle

Belsnickle is a French/German tradition that celebrates the feast of St. Nicholas on December 6. Belsnickle is what I call a pre-Santa/ little helper elf who checks on kids about 3 weeks before Christmas. Kids put their shoes out the night of December 5, and Belsnickle fills them with candy or coal depending on how you are behaving.

When I was a child, Belsnickle would come and visit in person. He would bang on the door and scary the crap out of me and my step-brother. He looked like Santa but was a lot meaner than Santa. He would ask if we were being good and if he knew we weren't he would shake his switch at us. One year he scared the dog so badly she peed on my mom. And another year he wanted me to give up my blanket. Needless to say, I still have my blanket and it was many years afterwards until I put it away. Before he would leave he would give us a little gift and tell us to be good and to go to our rooms to think about how we can listen to our parents better. It wasn't until years later that I realized we did this so we wouldn't see him drive off in his truck. And I also found out that dad would leave a bottle of Jack in the garage for him.

The tradition still carries on today. Sadly, he has only shown up in person one year for Cassidy but she still knows he's watching because he puts something in our shoes every year. He even found us in WDW last year. And every year Cassidy tries to put her biggest shoe out in hoped that he'll fill it up. She even tries to use Erin's boots but we tell her he knows who's shoes belong to who and that's not going to work.

If you don't already do this, maybe try it this year and start a new tradition in your family.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tower of Terror 13k

On October 24th I participated in Disney's Tower of Terror 13k race. This is a night race and started at 10:30. Cassidy was with me for the race but was too young to do it. So she got to be my biggest fan and cheer me on. Sadly, this was the last year for this race. I really would've like to have done it again too since I ended up having an issue half way through it. You see, we ate a late lunch and I wasn't hungry before the race. But I did eat a PowerBar about an hour before it started. Well, about mile 4 or before I suddenly got really hungry. Hungry to the point I felt shaky and needed some sugar. I kept going and at one point a friend of mine was handing out water. I asked her if she had anything to eat and thank goodness she gave me a handful of nuts. This helped but only for a little bit. I could feel myself getting more and more tired since I had no energy. I was grateful when we entered Hollywood Studios because I knew the end of the race was near. I think those were the 2 longest miles ever.

My friend, Bonnie stayed with me the whole time and our friend, Andy caught up to us in The Studios. We all crossed the finish line together and when I raised my arms up my cell phone and Ipod fell out. I found my phone but not my Ipod. Cassidy and April were at the finish line and when I told them a volunteer had overheard me and sent her husband and son back to look for it. Thanks goodness they found it!! I was hoping that whoever found it would call me because I had my cell number on it.

After I got my bag, I went and changed clothes and then ran to get some food. A cheeseburger never tasted so good. After my very late midnight snack, we were going to ride Toy Story Mania but there was a 50 minute wait and Cassidy was really cold so we headed back to our warm, comfy bed at Kidani Village.

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Have you ever wondered.........

......if you should be the one in charge of certain aspects of your life and not others? Think about it, your boss makes decisions for you, The President makes decisions for the whole country, your minister/pastor/priest/rabbi decides what is best for the congregation, the Senate decides what laws we should follow but what do WE decide? When do we get to have a say in how things should be? Maybe instead of electing or choosing representatives we should get a vote in every major decision made. Granted, I know what a pain in the ass that would be but sometimes don't you want to have a say in how something turns out? And I'm just not talking about political decisions, I mean many decisions, work, home, church......

So what do you think? Do you want to make your decisions or have someone do it for you?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Grim Grinning Ghosts Come Out To Socialize

I'm skipping day 5 of our trip and going right into the Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary Event. I've never been to a Disney event like this before so I wasn't sure what to think. I think it was amazing, but then again, it doesn't take much to make me happy. I'm not going to go into all the details of the event but I'll list some highlights for you:

*Meeting Jim Shore. This isn't the first time I've met him but he's always so friendly.

*Meeting Jason Surrell

*The lecture with Jason Surrell, Kim Irvine and Tony Baxter.

*Seeing Alice Davis and X Atencio

*The "wedding" of Constance and George.

*Seeing Phineas, Gus and Ezra. Too bad I didn't get to have a picture taken with them.

*The food wasn't too bad, but I think I liked the cake the best.

*The highlight of all highlights was when X Atencio sang a part of Grim Grinning Ghosts. I found a clip of it on You Tube. Check it out:

I hope you enjoy the pictures.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Our Disneyland Adventure: Day 4

I'm finding it hard to put into words our experience at Club 33. First of all, to be lucky enough to even dine there (for 4 hours) was amazing. The moment we walked through the door we didn't want to leave. Ever inch of Club 33 was gorgeous and the staff was so friendly. It seemed that once you get a job there, you never leave. Our waitress has been there for 26 years and the top person has been there for 40 years. While we didn't see any famous people, we heard wonderful stories about John Lassiter and others. It was nice that you could go out on the balcony and take pictures and enjoy the view. Plus, laughing at the people below you that weren't in Club 33 was fun too (ha ha).

I owe a HUGE thank you to someone that I've never met before but sprinkled me with some pixie dust and made a dream come true. I won't mention his name but THANK YOU, you are a wonderful person! I hope we get to meet someday...maybe at Club 33 (wink, wink)

You know by reading this blog that I'm not a great writer. So I thought the best thing to do is to copy here what is printed on the History Sheet.

Club 33, Royal Street, New Orleans Square, Disneyland

The colorful realism and the precise architectural detail of New Orleans Square in Disneyland captures the atmosphere of the nineteenth-century New Orleans French Quarter. Glancing upwards to the second balcony and the ornate iron railings hung with flowers, one would hardly guess that they surround the little-known but quite elegant Club 33.

Years ago, Walt Disney felt that a special place was needed where he could entertain visiting dignitaries and others in a quiet, serene atmosphere where superb cuisine and distinctive decor would complement one another. He asked artist Dorothea Redmond to provide watercolor renderings of what such a place might look like. Accompanied by renowned decorator Emil Kuir, Walt and his wife traveled to New Orleans to select many of the beautiful antiques that are on display. After years of planning, Club 33 became a reality on June 15, 1967. Sadly enough it was never seen by its creator because of his untimely death six months earlier.

Club 33, so named after its address, 33 Royal Street, is comprised of two dining rooms and several adjoining areas, all of which hold a wide array of magnificent antiques and original works of art. After ascending in the French lift to the second floor, guests enter into The Gallery. Here they find interesting items such as an oak telephone booth with beveled leaded glass panels adapted from the one used int he Disney motion picture "The Happiest Millionaire" and a rare console table which was found in the French Quarter of New Orleans. In The Gallery, as elsewhere in the Club, are many original works by Disney artists and sketches done as design studies for New Orleans Square and the Pirates of the Caribbean attractions.

The Gallery leads into Lounge Alley which serves as a vestibule and also the buffet for the Main Dining Room and Trophy Room. One wall displays several conceptual sketches of New Orleans Square, and directly across from these sketches is a custom-designed harpsichord decorated with a hand-painted scene depicting New Orleans harbor in the nineteenth century. The furnishings are a combination of antique and reproduction pieces.

The Main Dining Room is decorated in First Empire, recalling the era of Napoleon and the early nineteenth century. Three glimmering chandeliers and wall sconces illuminate the entire room. Much of the framed artwork on the walls is again, the work of Disney artists. Fresh flowers, parquet floors and antique bronzes create an atmosphere of serenity and warmth.

The Disney Room is the second dining room and offers a more informal atmosphere. The design of the room incorporates the use of microphones in the center of each chandelier and a vulture with the ability to speak. Walt Disney's intention for this concept was humorous in nature, as the vulture was to converse with guests during dinner. The pictorial time line that blankets the east wall offers an intimate view of Walt's life and highlights of Disneyland history. Brass plaques on each picture name the scene.

Today, Club 33 functions as an exclusive private club where members or their guests may enjoy a gourmet meal complemented by the finest wines. Tradition, accompanied by gracious hospitality, has been the hallmark of Club 33 since its opening day...and will continue to be for many years to come.

The history sheet refers to the second dining room as The Disney Room but I was told that it was called The Trophey Room. I'm not sure when the name changed or how up-to-date the history sheet is. If you would like to know more about Club 33 you can visit a nice website I found: Here you'll find some fun facts and more photos.

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Our Disneyland Adventure: Day 3

Day 3 brought about the half marathon and the We Wants The Redhead meet. I already blogged about the half marathon and posted a slide show about it.

After the half marathon, we met up with some friends at Storyteller's Cafe for brunch. This is where I met Mark Taylor. Mr. Taylor was the country club manager in High School Musical 2. He was very nice and had also ran the half marathon.

But the second best thing about the day was my first We Wants The Redhead Meet. I handed out buttons and Blow Pops to everyone that attended. There was about 18 of us that meet up to ride Pirates. And then Jonathan picked up 2 more strangers in line to join our group. I asked the CM nicely if he could put us in 2 boats by ourselves but he wouldn't do it so he put all us together in one boat.

Let me just say that I was in the front row and when we went down the first drop it was like being on Splash Mountain. Needless to say, we laughed, we sang and had a pirates life.
Thanks to everyone that came! I really appreciate your support!

Coming up next: Day's first ride on any Space Mountain and CLUB 33!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Our Disneyland Adventure: Day 2

You would think that after being up for almost 22 hours one would sleep in. NOPE! Thanks to the time difference I was wide awake at 6 am. I turned on the TV in hopes that I would fall back to sleep. Instead I got up and checked my email and Facebook page. Next time I'm rolling over and going back to sleep.

Here are the highlights from Day 2 (Saturday)

*I went to the expo to pick up my race packet while mom finished getting ready and ate breakfast. Getting my race packet was easy except for the part when the guy didn't give me my waiver back and I had to go back to get it to get my shirt. This would be easy if everything was on the same level but it wasn't. You picked your packets up in the "basement" of the Disneyland Hotel and the rest of the expo was upstairs. At least when I went back the guy remembered and knew he had it.

*If you are there to participate in the Coast to Coast challenge go to packet pick up the first day. When I went to buy a shirt they were sold out the first day and that was all they had. I can't believe that over 1,000 people did the challenge and the only item they sold was a t-shirt. What about the pins and magnets??? Disney dropped the ball on this one!

*After I had my packet, I ran it back to the room where I met mom in the hallway. Then we went shopping at DTD for awhile. I picked up a cute dress, a few gifts and a photo album.

*Then we went to DCA and shopped some more. Actually, I had been looking for the Haunted Mansion version of the Game of Life and found it in DCA. After lunch we went ran into Mickey and Minnie. The CM with Minnie commented on my redhead tattoo. Minnie wasn't too happy that I didn't have a tattoo of her. Sorry Minnie!

*We made our way to Monsters Inc. This ride is very cute. So much so that we rode it twice.

*Next was the Aladdin stage show. If you are ever in DCA you MUST see this show. It was amazing!! I wish we could've gone back to see it again. Genie is hilarious!

*After the show we walked around DCA a little and then headed out. We were meeting up with a few new running friends of mine at Mimi's Cafe. On the way there we found the best thing... PEPSI!! Let's just say we stocked up.

*Dinner at Mimi's was so much fun. I think there was about 20 or more of us there and Jeff, our host, was great. He had prizes and gifts for everyone. Thanks Jeff!! You rock!!

*After dinner it was time to call it a night. I wanted to get my race stuff ready for the next day and get to bed early.

Coming up Day 3: race day and the We Wants The Redhead meet!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Our Disneyland Adventure: Day 1

I posted about the race and did a Disneyland slide show so I thought now is the time to start telling you about my trip. I'll try and keep it short and simple, just highlighting on what mom and I did while we were there. (See mom, I mentioned you already).

Day 1:

*Flight out of Pittsburgh around 9 am with a layover in Phoenix. Phoenix airport is HUGE and of course after we got to our gate they changed it and we had to trek all the way back to where we started (or just about). The worse part was that no airport at all had any Pepsi! What is this world coming to.

*Arrived in sunny, hot Anaheim at 11:45 and jumped on the Super Shuttle. And then the culture shock kicked in. I should not be able to see Space Mountain while sitting at the Ramada Inn. After a few stops, we arrived at Disney's Grand Californian Resort. The doors alone were gorgeous and so was our room. We were in room 5152.

*After changing we walked through Disney's California Adventure (known as DCA from here on out). You can enter DCA from The Grand, which is nice. We stopped by Guest Relations to pick up our Fantasmic Dessert Party tickets for the night and received our 1st visit buttons and Disneyland Honorary Citizen buttons.

*We left DCA and walked over to Disneyland. It's amazing how close together these parks really are. Closer than it looks on any map. The minute I crossed through the Disneyland (known as DL from now on) gate I started to tear up. I was thrilled to be where Walt had once been; to see where it began and to feel his presence. It's hard to put into words what I was feeling at that moment, but for those of you that have been there you probably have a good idea of what I'm talking about. I think the only thing that stopped me from a full out crying fest was that I looked at the castle and said "Holy cow, the castle is small."

*The first place we headed to was Pirates, of course. Actually, mom had to stop along the way and make the trips first purchase. We pretty much walked onto Pirates. I was so excited. I had heard how much better it was than WDW and now I was going to see for myself. Let's just say this: PIRATES IS FREAKIN' AWESOME!!! And I'm going to leave it at that.

*After Pirates, we ate at the Blue Bayou. We split a Monte Cristo. I will say it wasn't bad but I don't think it's something I would order again. Sandwiches shouldn't be deep fried. Then it was time to find my favorite T-I-DOUBLE-GRR!! We didn't find him but we did find Pooh and Eeyore. And then rode Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. I know many people hate the fact that Pooh took over Mr. Toad's place in WDW but I really enjoy the ride. And the one in DL is better than in WDW. Maybe if they would refurb the one in WDW people wouldn't be so upset about it. Who am I kidding, yes they still would.

*We couldn't believe how early people were lining up for Fantasmic. They had their spots held with blankets for hours before the show. I'm actually surprised Disney allows that.

*We walked around for a few hours trying to get the lay of the land. It's hard going into a new place when you are use to being able to walk around and know where everything is. I'm thankful my friend, Lee, came to spend time with us on Sunday and Monday. He was like our personal tour guide. It was great!

*We checked in for the dessert party and then rode the train around the loop. That actually took longer than we thought it was going to and by the time we got back the place was packed with people waiting for Fantasmic. We got to where we needed to be for the party about 5 mins. before it started. The dessert box they give you has a nice variety of cheeses and desserts. Mom and I were smart and only opened one to share and saved the other one to snack on a different day. They offered you pop, water, coffee and tea to drink. I was nice to have a place to sit and not worry about waiting for hours to hold a spot. The only down side was that in front of us was a railing so it obstructed the view a little. Fantasmic was amazing and the dragon was to die for!! I'm so glad the dragon was working when were there. Our attendant told us we could stay there for the fireworks. The view wasn't bad. We could still see Tink and Dumbo flying.

*Once Fantasmic was over and we fought the crowds out of the park it was time to go back to The Grand and crash!! We figured with the time difference we had been awake for almost 22 hours. YIKES! I needed my beauty's hard being a redheaded pirate on only a few hours of sleep!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Disneyland Half Marathon

I'll start my Disneyland trip report with the main reason I went to Disneyland in the first place, the Disneyland Half Marathon. The marathon was held on September 6th at 6:00 am. The day started out at 3 am for mom and I. I had set the alarm for 3:30 but knew I'd end up waking up before it. I took my time getting ready and relaxing before leaving to meet up with some friends before the race. I met up with some Team Voicers under the hat outside the Disneyland Hotel. We walked over to the start together but not before stopping by the porta-potties first. Better off going before than having to go a mile into the race. We, then headed over to our corrals. I think each of us were in difference corrals, so we said our good lucks and went our separate ways. I was in Corral D and by the time I got there it was packed so myself and a bunch of others stood to the side of it until they opened it up. This was a great advantage because when it opened we ended up at the front of it. That's good to give you that extra cushion of time you may need.

The first wave of runners went and then we moved up. By the time we got close to the starting line they were counting down the seconds. No time to rest, let's get going! I was feeling good so I started off with a great pace. My first mile was 11 minutes, which for me is good considering I hadn't really trained much for it. The first 2 miles are what I would call "on Disney property". We started in Downtown Disney and then ran through DCA and Disneyland. Of course, I had to stop and take some pictures with the characters. Some characters were with parade floats; while others were in their respected lands. I think my favorite story from the whole race happened just after exiting Disneyland. We were running backstage when I saw a few CMs taking a break at a picnic table. So I run over to them and sit down. They chuckled a little and I asked them what was going on. They said "Not much. What have you been doing lately?" I replied with "You know, just running around." They proceeded to bust out laughing. I said my good-byes and off I went.

After the course leaves the park you pretty much just run around Anaheim. Not much to look at. A few gas stations, some bands and cheerleaders and people cheering along the way. Around Mile 8 you get to the Honda Center and just past Mile 9 comes Angel Stadium. Running through Angel Stadium was pretty cool. When you enter the stadium you hear people cheering in the stands. There were Boy Scouts and their families cheering you on and squirting you with water bottles. Which felt pretty good. This seemed to have given me a burst of energy. Well, that and the sports beans I had just eaten. The bad thing about running through the stadium was that I got dirt/sand in my sneakers. So I had to stop and clean them out. Which isn't fun when you know you have a blister starting.

After Angel Stadium you are back running the streets of Anaheim until Mile 12, then you enter DCA again. I don't know why but for some reason that last mile seemed to be really long. It could be because by then my back was really hurting. My legs felt fine and my blister wasn't feeling that bad but boy did my back hurt. Seeing Deb Wills from AllEars helped my feel a little better and knowing that my mom was at the finish line helped too. It wasn't much longer that I passed the 13 mile marker and saw the finish line. But I got side tracked when I saw Chip and Dale. I had to stop and give them a hug before crossing which made a volunteer yell at me to keep running. So I didn't get my great photo finish when I crossed but that's ok because all that matters is that I did it!!

After crossing I got a little emotional, thanking God for watching over me on my journey. When they put my 1/2 marathon medal around my neck I got choked up but when I got my Coast to Coast medal I was pretty much in tears. This is what I set out to do. This is what I wanted most. And once I received it, it was hard holding back those tears. After I received my medals I went to get my photo taken and get a snack. Bottles of water, Power Ade, bagels, bananas and oranges were in the tent. I did notice that in WDW they have the oranges cut in baggies already but in DL, the orange was whole. Who wants to take the time to peel an orange. So I grabbed a bottle of water and a bagel and went to find mom.

Mom was right there when I entered the family reunion area. She hugged me and all I said was that I wanted to get back to the room. The pain in my back was pretty bad and I wanted to get a shower, something to eat and some Tylenol. Although walking back to the room was fun. I was acting like my medals were pretty heavy and I was bent over really far. It actually helped my back feel a little better.

This was the race that I decided that I would try taking an ice bath. Mom stopped for some ice and I put on my yoga pants and got into the tub with the cold water running. It wasn't that bad until she added the ice. Holy cow was that cold!!! It's hard relaxing when you're body is shivering. To help pass the time, I called Cassidy to tell her I finished. She was so happy and said she couldn't wait to see my medals. Mom gave me a few snacks while I "chilled out." After about 10 minutes I had enough of that. I warmed up a little bit before getting my shower. Overall, I think the ice bath helped my legs recover better than without it. But that doesn't mean I'd be willing to do it again.

In a later post I'll compare the WDW and the Disneyland half marathons. But for now I hope you enjoy the slide show I put together for you.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I know, I know....

I'm a bad blogger and didn't update the blog while I was away or since I've been back. I'm trying to sort through over 1000 photos so that I can put a slideshow together for you guys. I am hoping to at least blog about the half marathon before the end of the week.

I can tell you that I did finish and I am now the PROUD owner of a Disneyland half marathon medal and a Coast to Coast medal. I think my back still hurts from wearing them. Man, are they heavy!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Just to clarify

It has been brought to my attention that when I've been posting about Disneyland that I keep saying "I" instead of "WE".


My mom is joining me on this journey to California. It's her first trip too and I think she's even more excited about going than I am. She has a binder full of DL information that she's been dragging around for the last few months. I think if she packs it she'll be over weight without even putting clothes in her suitcase.

So from now on if I say "I just rode Pirates" remember that it's "We just rode Pirates."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Who wants to meet a Princess?

My friend, Princess Fiona is having a meet and greet after the half marathon on Sunday. Stop by and say HI to her and tell her the redhead sent ya. Visit her blog at

Sunday, August 30, 2009

It's the final countdown!!!

Five days and counting until my first trip to Disneyland!! And what a trip it's going to be. While there I'll be participating in the 1/2 marathon; holding the first ever We Wants The Redhead meet; checking into (and hopefully out of) the Haunted Mansion's 40th anniversary event; spending two days at the D23 expo, but most importantly I'll be walking where Walt once walked. Every time I think about what it's going to be like when I step foot onto Main Street my eyes start to tear up. It's an emotion that's hard to describe. I just know that I'll be able to feel Walt's presence when I'm there. So if you happen to see me on Main Street sitting there crying you'll know why.

Now, I want to know from those that have been to Disneyland before what should be on my "must do" list? Any place that I should eat for sure? I can tell you that we are eating at Blue Bayou and Storytellers. Monte Crisco's for everyone!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Who wants to meet the redhead??

I hope you can stop by and say hi! And if everyone wants to, we can even board the Black Pearl and search for Jack Sparrow.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

2 weeks from today......

.....I (hopefully) will have finished my second 1/2 marathon at Disneyland. In doing so I will receive a Coast to Coast medal also. Participants that ran a 1/2 marathon in Walt Disney World and do the 1/2 in Disneyland qualify for the Coast to Coast medal. I think I'm more excited to receive that medal than the Disneyland medal. For me, it's proof of accomplishment.

If you follow me on Twitter, I'll be "tweeting" during the race. Usually at the beginning, middle and end. Let's hope the last tweet is me saying that I finished. I don't feel that I'm as prepared as I should be for the race but I also know that I run better with a group of 15,000 people better than alone. When you get in a group like that you have the mind set of "I'm going to pass that person now and then that person." It helps pull you along the way.

My plan is to run a mile/walk a mile, but I have a feeling that plan won't start until about mile 3 or 4. The first few miles are through Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. I hope to stop for a few photos with the characters and take some pictures. Then I'll probably have to play catch up so I stay ahead of the dreaded sweepers. But my BIGGEST fear of all that day will be that it'll be H-O-T. I'm praying for nice cool weather in the morning so that heat exhaustion doesn't kick in or my asthma acts up. So please pray for nice weather for me and all the other runners on September 6th.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

MagicMeets 2009

MagicMeets was very special for me this year but for one specific reason more than another. You see, a very special person did a wonderful thing for Cassidy this year. Here's the story..hopefully the short version.

Cassidy was bidding on the lot of mystery pins. She really kept an eye on it and was beside it the last few minutes of the auction. She was high bidder for awhile until the last few seconds when someone outbid her. Once she realized this she came running at me crying. I can understand how upsetting that would be for a 9 year old. The woman that won the auction saw how upset she was and came over to her. She told her when everything was done her and Cassidy would sit down and look at the pins and she would allow Cassidy to pick out 2 of the pins. Let me tell you, I was crying, Cassidy was crying, Val was crying and my mom was crying. That is true Disney magic!!

I didn't know her and she didn't know me. She was just a wonderful woman spreading that Disney magic we all know and love. And in the end, she let Cassidy pick out her 2 pins and then gave her an extra pin from her collection. So D.D. if you are reading this THANK YOU!!

If you want to read more about MagicMeets check out these blogs. There are some great stories on them.

I hope you enjoy the little slideshow I put together.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

My talking dog.

Everytime we take Harley in the car she likes to "talk". It 's really annoying but funny. I video taped this while taking her to the kennel the other day. We tell her she's "going on vacation".


Thursday, August 6, 2009

It's Time For MagicMeets!!

This weekend 500 Disney loving fans will gather in Camp Hill, PA for MagicMeets. MagicMeets is full of fun and surprises with great speakers and breakout sessions. But for me, MagicMeets is about helping raise money for ill-stricken children. The Dream Team holds an amazing auction with about 100 items to bid on. There are auctions that range from pins to scrap booking supplies to a Pooh Christmas tree to a personalized DSI tour with Lou Mongello. All the money raised during the auction goes to Make-A-Wish Foundation® of America. To look at the auction lots check out The Dream Team Blog

But there are also other ways to help if you don't want to bid on an auction lot or if you're like me get outbid on an auction lot.

Minnie's Mart
Friday evening holds one more new event at MagicMeets: Minnie's Mart, hosted by The Dream Team Project. You'll find all sorts of Disney-related goodies on sale: toys, pins, collectibles, posters, and more! All proceeds benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of America. Minnie's Mart will be open in the lobby of the Convention Center on Friday, August 7th, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Come early for the best selection! Minnie's Mart is cash-only, with items ranging from $0.50 to $25.

And even if you are unable to attend MagicMeets, you can still help out! Thanks to the guys at the WDW Today podcast, if you make a donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of America at between 9:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 8th, your name will be announced on the WDW Today Live Podcast. All donations made during the time period will be included in the Auction total announced at MagicMeets. When you fill in your donation, please include your Internet community affiliation in the comment field, so that you can be thanked properly on the air. Check out the WDW Today podcast website for details on how to join them for this and all their live shows. They will have a chat room going during the broadcast, which is always lots of fun, and sometimes have a live video feed direct from MagicMeets.

Last year we raised a total of $20,000!! I'm hoping that we can top that number this year!! More importantly I hope you can help us beat that total!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Jonas Brothers ROCK!!

On Saturday, July 25th I took Cassidy to the Jonas Brothers concert in Pittsburgh, PA. We arrived at Mellon Arena around 5:20 or so. The doors were scheduled to open at 5:30. Radio Disney was there doing tattoos and playing Jonas Brothers music. There was a group of girls by the Radio Disney tent singing and dancing around. It was kinda funny because they didn't care who was watching them or who they ran into. We lined up to get in -5:30 comes and goes - 5:45 comes and goes. We start wondering what was going on that they weren't opening the doors. 6:00 comes and goes and then no long after that the doors opened. There were a lot of people waiting outside to get in but surprisingly we got through the gate pretty fast.

First thing we did was buy a program and then went upstairs and bought our shirts and something to drink. Since I bought our tickets off of Ebay I couldn't wait to see where our seats were going to be. Knowing the area you are going to be in is one thing but actually getting to your seat and seeing how close you really are is totally different. We were on the floor in section 31, row O and seats 1 & 2. I knew our row was by the catwalk but wasn't sure if we'd be beside the catwalk or on the end. Unfortunately we weren't beside the catwalk but we were only about 20 seats away from it. I thought that was pretty cool (and so did Cassidy).

The first opening act was Honor Society. A new up and coming boys band. They were pretty good. I've never heard of them but by the screams of the teenage girls in the arena they knew who they were. I didn't realize before it was too late but they boys walked right by us to get to the stage. When they were done, we watched for them. Cassidy smacked hands with a few of them. After they all walked by she looked at me and told me she wasn't washing her hand again.

Next came a group of girls from South Korea called Wonder Girls. They sang one song and that was it. It wasn't a bad song but I'm not sure why they only sang one and were done. Only thing I can figure out is that they are trying to make it big off the Jo Bros. Not a bad plan but I would've rather had Honor Society or the Jonas Brothers on stage for the amount of time they were on stage.

American Idol winner, Jordan Sparks headed to the stage next. By the time I realized she walked by it was too late to snap a picture of her. Right away you could see why this girl was the American Idol winner from season 6. She's got a great set of lungs on her. She be-bopped around the stage with lots of energy. She could really put on a show. I love her song, Tattoo and Cassidy actually let me sing along to it. I think Cassidy got to touch her hand when she walked by after her set.

The stage crew was getting the stage ready for the Jo Bros when these big equipment containers wheeled past us. I thought there was guitars and other instruments in them. Suddenly there were screams behind us. We're not sure what happened but suddenly another equipment container started coming past us and people were pounding on it. One of the guys was in there! How crazy is it that they have to hide to get to the stage. About 10 minutes or so later, the lights started to come down and We Will Rock You started playing. The crowd started going wild! I was screaming! Cassidy was screaming! Everyone was screaming! And before we knew it, there they were:

Bad thing about being on the floor is that all the teenage girls in front of us stood on their seats to see. So I told Cassidy to get on the seat so she could see. Didn't totally help since they were also on their seats but she could see a little better. Even at one point I stood on the chair to take pictures. After awhile the security people came around and told them to get off the chairs. I thanked them for doing so. But of course within 10 minutes they did it again. I wish someone would've asked Joe to say something like "we love our fans and we don't want to see you get hurt so please don't stand on the chairs." At least maybe they would've listened to him, but I doubt it.

I knew these guys were good but you don't realize how talented they are until you see them perform live. Nick has more talent in his little finger than I do in my whole body. While on stage he sang, played the guitar, drums and piano. He talked about having diabetes and not letting it slow him down. If you truly believe in something don't let anything stand in your way of achieving it. Amen to that!

Cool things happened during the concert. At one point they hosed down half the arena with fire hoses and there was a cool waterfall at our end of the catwalk. Jordan and Honor Society joined the guys on stage for the last song. We could tell the end of the concert was coming when these big security guys came by and started holding a rope to hold us back. The Jonas Brothers were going to walk past us. I don't know why they thought they needed the rope. What did they think we were going to do to them? Tear their clothes off and kiss them? Oh wait, never mind!

They did walk by with about 3 bodyguards over top them each. We stuck our hands out but I'm not sure if we touched them or not. I know I touched Jordan when she walked by again and the Honor Society guys. BUT if you ask Cassidy she will tell you that she touched them. I'll let her believe that since I don't have the heart to tell her it was most likely a bodyguard she touched.

Overall, the concert was simply amazing! I'd go see them again in a heartbeat! I put together a slideshow form the concert. It doesn't even come close to being there but I hope you enjoy it.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Magic Meets Dream Team Auction

Many of you know that I am a proud member of the WDWRadio Dream Team. This past weekend some of us gathered at Pat's house in Long Island and wrapped the auction lots for the auction that will be held at Magic Meets. Even though we were stuck in her basement for hours it's always great fun getting to spend time with friends. Enjoy the small slideshow.

Check out the Dream Team blog to view the awesome lots we have in store for this year.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

WARNING! This is not pretty!

No one ever likes the healing process of a tattoo. It looks ugly! Well, for some reason my new tattoo is being stubborn. It's swollen, irritated AND ugly. I've never had a tattoo react this way. For about 5 days it hurt to walk. It was really odd. One minute it would feel fine and the next pain was shooting through it. One day I had some ice on it for about 5 minutes and when I got up the pain shot through it so bad I thought I had broken my ankle. I couldn't even put any weight on it. But within a minute or two it went away and I was walking around like nothing happened. Like I said, it was odd.

Today it doesn't feel too bad. The swelling has gone down and it's not as red. And walking around doesn't even bother me. But boy, does it look ugly! My skin looks like over cooked bacon.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I gots the redhead!

Today was the day of the new tattoo. It was a beautiful day..perfect tattooing weather.
I arrived at Tainted Flesh in DuBois, PA a little early. Better early than late. One thing you NEVER want to do is piss off your tattoo artist by being late. After I signed my life away he asked where he was putting it. Originally I was going to put it on my back but then I asked him if he could cover one up with it. He looked at it and said YES!! Woo hoo!! That was great news! Because of the cover up he had to reverse the drawing. That didn't take long to do. I think we finally started around 12:15 or so. I've never had a tat done here before but Bob was very friendly and I was relaxed in no time. We talked about all kinds of things from his kids to dogs to fish piss. Ok, don't ask about the fish piss.

At one point a group of girls/women came in and wanted their belly buttons pierced. There were so many cameras there to take pictures of this event that you would've thought someone famous was getting it done. They were pretty funny. I think there was about 6 of them there. Laughing and snapping pictures. Out of the group of them only 2 of them got pierced. Not really sure why such a big group had to come to witness the event. Oh well! To each their own. They were entertaining.

This actually took longer than I thought. At one point I just wanted it to be done so the pain would stop. Yes, tattoos are painful. And don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. Now some people have a high tolerance of pain and of course it does depend on where you put it. Since this was on my leg it wasn't bad but it still did hurt. Some places more than others. I'm very thankful that it didn't end up going on my back. That really would've hurt---A LOT!!

After 2+ hours she was finally done!!

I'm totally excited about my tat! I can't wait to show it to my Disney peeps!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tomorrow is the day!!

Tomorrow is the day I get my next tattoo. I'm really excited about this one. And I totally lucked out and got in on a cancellation. Normally, I'd have to wait a few weeks to get in. It's the redheaded wench concept art from Pirates of the Caribbean that Marc Davis drew.

I've seen this in lighter pinkish shades and then in red shades. I gave my tattoo guy a few pictures to look at. One is from a site I found and the other is in the cd jacket of the POTC ride cd. She has a pouty face in one and is smiling in the other. I'm going with the smiling one.
And the pirate will not be part of the tattoo.......this time!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Great Iced Mocha Challenge Results

As I mentioned in a previous post I was going to get an iced mocha from Sheetz and one from McDonalds; both with whipped cream on them. Here are the photos I took.

Sheetz is first and then McDonalds.

Since Sheetz doesn't normally put whipped cream on theirs they don't put much on when you ask.

Hardly any mixing yet, just melting.

More mixing (and a little drinking). Still kinda looks the same to me.

Nothing seems to look like "cottage cheese" to me. What do you think? I will say whatever whipped cream McDonalds uses does seem to be better though.
I have come to the conclusion that Sheetz can offer whipped cream on their mochas without it looking bad. Besides, if it looks bad then that's my decision because I want the whipped cream on it.
Also, my butt got A LOT B I G G E R drinking one of these almost every day for about the last 3 months.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cassidy's Dance Recital

This past weekend Cassidy had her 4th dance recital. She danced in 3 dances; ballet, tap and jazz. She had really cute costumes for all of them. We've lucked out every year and never really had an ugly costume. Although, last year she did have a clown wig she had to wear for Annie. I think we burned it the day after the recital was done.

This year's recital was called "Gimme' A Prop". Just about every dance had some type of prop that the girls had to dance with or use somehow. They ranged from glittery musical notes to yoga balls to ladders. Cassidy had to pop out from a flower pot (Spring Fling); had a puzzle piece (We Go Together) and a set of maracas (Jump In The Line).

Cassidy's little lady sitter (Cassidy doesn't want to be referred to as a baby) did her senior solo since she graduated this year. I think I cried through the whole dance. I've know her since she was Cassidy's age, if not younger. I can't image how I'll be when Cassidy does her senior solo years from now.

It gets to be a long weekend with full dress rehearsal one night and two nights of the recital but it's so much fun. Hairspray, make up and glitter = TONS OF FUN!! (and a little rum helped too)

All the girls did an amazing job! I'll be posting a slide show from the weekend in a day or so.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Great Iced Mocha Challenge

Hello, my name is Lori and I'm an iced mocha addict. Or I guess I should say any mocha drink in general falls under my addiction. Iced, hot or frozen it doesn't matter just give me one. I usually get my mochas at Sheetz but recently learned that I really like the iced mochas at McDonalds because they put whipped cream on theirs. I think the whipped cream gives it a little extra sweetness. It's pretty much like adding extra creamer in your coffee.

Adding whipped cream to your iced mocha at Sheetz is not an option. So I sent a message asking Sheetz to please make it an option on their menu screens so I could get whipped cream on mine. This was their reply... "Dear Ms. Burke,

Thank you for your request concerning our Sheetz Bros. Coffeez beverages. Unfortunately, since we use real whipped cream, when you put it on a liquid drink like an iced beverage it turns into something that looks like cottage cheese and it not appealing to look at. This is why we do not offer it on our iced drinks. Other companies use a different kind a whipped cream that does not melt. If you still desire to have it on your drink I am sure that if you request it from the person making your drink they will be happy to put it on. We do appreciate your request. Please let us know if there is anything else that we can do for you."

So today I go to McDonalds and get an iced mocha. My friend, Matt, is working and I told him what Sheetz had told me about the real whipped cream. He said that their can says real whipped cream on it too. I know that my mochas from McD don't look like cottage cheese when I mix my whipped cream in. So this is what I'm going to do. I'm going to get one from McDonalds and one from Sheetz and mix in the whipped cream and see what happens.

It may not be this week but some day soon I will do it and post pictures on how they look. But in the meantime, I think I need something cold to drink.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Cassidy's 2009 Olympics

Last week Cassidy participated in the school's annual Olympics. Her class was Team Italy. All year long they learn about their country. She loved it when we went to EPCOT and visited the Italy pavilion. She even brought back candy for her class and an Italian Mickey icon antenna topper for her teacher.

Cassidy competed in the long jump, softball toss and the ski team relay. I'm not sure how she placed in the long jump or the softball toss but her team came in 3rd in the ski team relay. The whole class does the tug-a-war competition. This was the year that she decided her class was going to win tug-a-war. In the past, her class has come in 2nd place but she was itching for first place since that is the only place that gets medals. She stood in front of the class last week and told them how they were going to win. Well, they must've listened because they won. She was so happy and excited. I was very proud of her for being so determined. Let's see what happens next year.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Good Boy, Scout!

About a month ago Cassidy adopted a dog from the Humane Society. He is what everyone would call a designer dog nowadays but what we call a mutt. He's a beagle/golden retriever mix or for the fancy people we say he's a golden beagle. Scout was 9 months old when we got him and was never abused but also never had the attention that a puppy should truly have. He was given up by his previous owners because they had to move into an apartment and couldn't keep him.

Adopting a dog from the Humane Society felt like adopting a child. We had to fill out paper work and even take our other dogs out to meet him to make sure they would get along. After a few minutes of smelling each other they ran around together and played nicely. Max was acting like a pup again which is good considering he's 13 years old and Harley pretty much ignored him after awhile. But then again, she's about 10 lbs. over weight and couldn't keep up to the other two.

Once Scout was home we decided to get a wireless fence for him so he could be loose in the yard. While Erin and I knew this would be wonderful, Cassidy didn't seem to think so after hearing him yelp the first time he got zapped. She ran into the house crying. We could hear her outside crying for about 10 minutes. I thought it was funny, but she didn't think so. But, it only took a few times before he knew where he wasn't allowed to go. And he loves to have his toys outside with him.

Now he stays in the yard and doesn't even bark when someone walks by. But then again, he's not much of a barker. I think he was home for 10 days before he barked for the first time. Now if I can just get him to stop digging in the yard and in the flower bed. Last night he dug a hole that I think he could almost fit in. I should've taken a picture of it to post on here. Oh well, I bet he'll dig another hole for me to take a picture of.

I think he's good for Cassidy. He's HER dog and she loves him very much. They sleep together every night and she's been taking him to puppy class to train him. Now if I could only get the trainer to teach Cassidy to be good.