I'm here, I'm alive and I did survive the Tinkerbell half marathon weekend. In previous posts I was a bit worried, because of being pregnant and in the horrors of the first trimester and because the flu hit our house in December, knocking me out for a couple of weeks. But I'm happy to report I finished BOTH races over the weekend. This was my first race at Disneyland, in fact it was my first trip to Disneyland at all, and I have A LOT to say about it all. It's really a whole different ball game for someone who is very used to Walt Disney World and the races in Florida.
My weekend started on Friday. Because I really had to work at squeezing this race in, to earn my pink Coast 2 Coast medal, this wasn't going to be a long trip for me. I left Friday and came home Monday. And I left earllllyyyyy on Friday morning.
Even though I left North Carolina at 5:50 am, I arrived at LAX just after 11 am, because of the time change. Because United Airlines does not make their earlier boarding passengers stick to the one carry on item per person rule, I had to check my carry on bag because their overhead bins were full by the time I boarded my flight. I wasn't happy having to go to baggage claim and wait for my bags. After waiting for over 30 minutes, it was time to catch my shuttle. Here's another strike for Disneyland. There is no Magical Express. Instead of a timely, friendly bus waiting to take you to your Disney resort at no extra charge, like they have at WDW, Disneyland leaves it's guests pretty much on their own to find their way to the resorts. I was not too pleased with this, and ended up having to pay an additional $30 to have a shuttle van take me from the airport and back to it when I was going to be departing.
I exited the airport and stepped into a nice thick cloud of smoke(blech, so much for CA being cleaner)from the smokers outside of every exit door. I then had to wait on my shuttle for close to 20 minutes. Atleast it was warm outside. I was coming from a region of the country stuck in the polar vortex, so the warmth was CA's first redeeming quality.
When my van did finally come around, I had guests waiting on me. Disbroad Amy and our roommate for the weekend, Julianna, were picked up at an earlier stop. At least we all got to take our $15 per person ride together.
It's about a 35 minute drive from the airport to Disney/Anaheim. We were staying on what's considered Disney property(which is extremely different from what WDW property is) at one of the 3 Disneyland resorts, the Paradise Pier hotel. We arrived for a quick check in, to drop off our things and head to the expo. I will give a full report on this resort in another post, because it was really different from what I've ever stayed at at WDW, and I wasn't completely thrilled.
Our first stop at the expo was the official runDisney merchandise booth. I wanted to pick up a few commemorative Tinkerbell 1/2 marathon items and hoped everything wasn't sold out. Pickings were slim and I was able to pick up a jacket and a car magnet. Sadly the car magnet is already falling apart. This was my second big fail in terms of official merchandise, as my Wine and Dine "I Did It" t-shirt started falling apart in less than a week. I'm really disappointed in the quality of Disney merchandise, especially given the prices we pay for them.
After the official merchandise booth, we all had our own respective shopping to do, but not before stopping to say hello to runDisney training guru Jeff Galloway.
After bib pick up, I headed upstairs to pick up my race packets and shirts. This year's shirt were very nice(and like a very bad blogger, I didn't take pictures). My roomies and I met back up and headed out of the expo, dinner time was coming and we wanted to drop our things back at our room before heading down to meet up with many others from the PbRC group for chatting and chow. We stopped for one last picture before leaving the expo.
Disbroad Patty and Disbroad Summer, gathering 4 of the 5 Disbroads racing that weekend. We gathered at Trader Sam's, an interesting little bar at the Disneyland Hotel. They all enjoyed their fine island adult beverages while I drank some pineapple juice with an umbrella in it, trying to catch the same vibe. I did not catch that same vibe. I grabbed some food and we gabbed with other PbRC members before parting ways with Patty and walking over to Downtown Disney. Again, just a quick little trip across an aptly named street.