Monthly Archives: January 2014

Never Land 5k 2014

Last Friday I ran in my very first runDisney race – the Never Land 5k! The Never Land 5k was just one of several races taking place during Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend. The 5k race started at 5:45am – yes that’s crazy early I know, but it was well worth it to see these fantastic views of Sleeping Beauty Castle lit up in the wee hours of the morning!

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The race was kicked off by a fireworks show & a special appearance by Tinker Bell! I was so awestruck by the whole thing that I forgot to capture it on camera. However thanks to the power of YouTube & a fellow runDisney racer, here it is…

[Source: YouTube]

Then we were off! Running up Main Street, through Small World & then backstage.

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Backstage we ran past a couple of floats from the Disneyland Holiday parade.

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Eventually we headed into a tunnel & popped up near Frontierland.

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Check out the folks in the canoes cheering us on!

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We ran past some neat signage.

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Here I am at Mile 2!

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Then we entered our second tunnel of the race. I saw some cast members (i.e. park employees) standing on the platform behind the gate, clapping for the runners.

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At some point we crossed over to California Adventure & ran past the Mad T Party.

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My favorite part of the whole race was seeing these awesome views along Pacific Wharf & Paradise Pier!!

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Just before the finish line, I took a photo with Peter Pan & Wendy. Ugh…ignore the sweaty, red face!  🙂

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Then before I knew it, the race was over! I finished it in about 40 minutes. Not bad considering I stopped to take pictures. At the finish line, the volunteers give you a medal, a bottled water & a little snack pack. So I decided to eat my snack on a park bench & watch the sunrise.

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Of course I had to take a couple of pics around the park with my medal!

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Participating in a runDisney race is unlike any other 5k that I’ve been in. A few things I learned:

This is probably not the race to run for a personal record. I know a lot of runners are really into getting a PR. However in my opinion, a runDisney race is all about the experience & having fun. I enjoyed getting to see backstage of Disneyland & California Adventure – running through areas that are not accessible to the general public.

Remember to “stop & smell the roses” or in this take a photo! It was so fun to take pictures of the views, with the characters & pose in front of different mile markers. I mean, when will I ever see the theme parks this empty again?!?

People love to dress up for these races! While waiting on Main Street for the race to begin, I passed by a runner dressed like the character from Brave (complete with red wig), many runners in tutus or sparkle skirts & dozens of other costumes. It was SO cool & it’s got me thinking about what I should wear for my next race.

You just never know who you’re gonna meet. I chatted with a woman (shout out to Pam!) who traveled all the way from Alaska. She was doing the 5k, while her friend was doing the half marathon on Sunday. We chatted about the unusually warm weather for SoCal in January & also she was kind enough to snap this pic of me in front of the castle before the race began.

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The next day (Saturday morning), my daughter ran her very first runDisney kids dash. She was so excited to wear the lightning bolt shwings on her shoes & to earn her first medal!

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All in all, it was a great TinkHalf weekend! I can’t wait to run another runDisney race! Maybe one day I’ll run a half marathon, but for now I’ve set my sights on the Disneyland 10k  later this year.

Have you done a runDisney race? What was your favorite one?

The Nut Job Premiere

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A couple of weeks ago, I got to bring my daughter to the premiere of The Nut Job! It’s a fun movie about a couple of squirrels, voiced by Will Arnett & Katherine Heigl. The premiere was held at a movie theater at LA Live. For my complete movie review, check out my guest post at Surf and Sunshine!

P.S. Make sure to stay seated through the end of the credits. Admittedly the “Gangnam Style” song by Psy is a little dated, but there is a fun scene at the end.

Wordless Wednesday – What I’m Wearing to the runDisney Event!

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This Friday kicks off Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland. The outfit on the left is what I’ll be wearing for the Never Land 5k. My daughter’s outfit is on the right. She’s going to do the Kids Race, a 400m dash! Can you tell that we like purple?!?  🙂

Horsing Around Downtown LA’s Little Tokyo District

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Last Sunday, since my hubby had to work, I decided to take my daughter on a Mommy & Me outing. My daughter is really into horses (she’s a big fan of My Little Pony), so I thought it would be fun to go to the Japanese American National Museum to ring in the New Year & celebrate the Year of the Horse. Best of all, admission to the museum would be free that day, including all of the fun activities!

They had many arts & crafts for little ones at the museum. First up on our agenda was making a stick horse!

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Then we strolled over to another table to make a horse wall-hanging. Chloe chose pink & purple since it’s her favorite colors. Currently it is being used as a door hanger on her bedroom door.

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While we were there, I decided to peek into the museum’s Marvels & Monsters exhibit. It’s a fascinating examination of racial stereotypes in comic books that was especially prevalent in the 1940’s through the 1960’s.

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Naturally my daughter wanted to save the best part for last. Outside of the museum, they were offering free pony rides. The line was a tad long, but it was worth the wait. She had so much fun!

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We had a great time at the Japanese American National Museum & can’t wait to go back again!

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I attended the museum’s annual Oshogatsu Family Festival, which is a free community event.

Downton Abbey is Back!

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In a couple of days Downton Abbey will be back for its fourth season! I have been an avid watcher of Downton Abbey since almost the beginning. Flashback to December 2011…it was a few days after Christmas & I was feeling a bit melancholy because the holidays were over. My daughter was asleep, so I was relaxing in front of the TV, switching channels trying to find something to watch. I landed on my local PBS station that was showing a marathon of the first season of Downton Abbey. I had missed the original airing earlier in the year & had been kicking myself for it, especially after reading the great reviews in various entertainment magazines. So I was thrilled that PBS was airing a repeat viewing. I happily binge watched the entire first season!! The period costumes, English accents, upstairs/downstairs drama – I became so immersed into the Downton Abbey world during that marathon viewing. I couldn’t wait until the second season started!

I really love the dynamic between the three sisters. Their personalities couldn’t be any more different! I like Lady Sybil the best out of all the sisters. She was a compassionate, hard-working nurse and really the most relatable (I felt) of the sisters. Her storyline came to a sudden end when she died shortly after giving birth. Lady Edith will hopefully come into her own this season, now that she has found her true calling as a newspaper writer (although her family has poked fun at her career choice in typical royal fashion). Last, but not least is Lady Mary. I must confess that I didn’t like her very much in Season 1 or even during most of Season 2. I found her haughty, trading on her beauty & position in the royal family to get by in life. I started to like Lady Mary once her relationship with Matthew developed & she started to show her vulnerable side. It will be interesting to see how her character grows this season, after Matthew’s tragic death.

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Now we can’t forget the downstairs folks! Miss O’Brien is the one that most people love to hate. Her snarkiness & constant plotting against the other servants keep me entertained. You can tell that the character is a hit in pop culture when even her BANGS have a Twitter account!

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My personal favorites of the staff have got to be Mrs. Patmore & Mrs. Hughes. In my opinion, they are the heart & soul of the downstairs folks. When Mrs. Patmore is not giving cooking orders to Daisy, then you’ll see her advising Daisy on matters of the heart. One of the most touching moments of last season was when Mrs. Hughes consoled Thomas after he confided in her about his actions that would forever change how others would view him.

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However my favorite character in the entire show has got to be the Dowager Countess. Week after week, her one-liners steal the show! Before I saw a single episode of Downton Abbey, I only knew of Maggie Smith as the nun from Sister Act & the Professor from the Harry Potter movies. She truly embodies the character of Dowager Countess & I can see why she consistently wins awards for her television performance. The way she delivers those zingers….this role was tailor-made for her!

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So tell me Downton Abbey fans, are you Team Upstairs or Team Downstairs? Are you rooting for Mary to find love again? Sound off in the comments below & don’t forget to watch the season premiere this Sunday night on PBS!

Disclosure: No compensation was received for this post. I’m a huge fan of the show & just really wanted to blog about it! 🙂 All opinions are my own.