You’re A Persistent Cuss, Pilgrim

We did it! Hubby and I both got our Infinity Gauntlet Challenge and Coast to Coast medals despite his pneumonia. What we couldn’t seem to get was some rest. I tried laying down after we cleaned up from the half marathon while Hubby and my brother watched some football. It was Sunday after all. My brother went to Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar in Downtown Disney after a while. He was after the newest mug. My husband turned on some Disney cartoons for the kids while I got a little shut eye.

I was beginning to think we were not going to the water park at the hotel at all until the kids begged to go outside. Being a person that loves the outdoors and constantly worrying that I let them watch too much TV, I couldn’t turn them down on that offer. I got up and got everybody in their swimsuits while Hubby laid down for a little shut eye. I got sunscreen on and water park wrists bands. I mean it takes a while to get ready when you have to get three people ready instead of just one.

We got down to the Howard Johnson water park and it looked like a lot of fun. The kids were a little nervous at first, but Baby Girl took off for the water slide a little while later. The only problem is that it was one of those parks that has a bucket that fills up and then dumps water on you. Thankfully it didn’t hit the structure or on the cargo net you climbed to get up to the slide. The water dumped a little bit in front of all of that. Little Man still didn’t like it. By the time I talked him into trying it one of the little kids got behind one of the permanent standing water guns and squirted him. He started to cry and ran off to me. You know what that little brat with the squirt gun did? He followed Little Man and continued to squirt him! I was not happy. Those little brats were even squirting adults. I kept clear of the little brats otherwise I would have told one of them off.

I texted Hubby to see if he was ready to come and play with our kids. Maybe he could get our boy on that slide because I knew he wanted to go down it. Hubby came down and noted how the sun was not really shining on us because of the time of day. We should have came out earlier. Little Man still wasn’t ready to tackle the slide, but he was having fun where the water the shot up around a little plastic turtle. Baby Girl wanted her daddy to slide with her. He went down with her a few times and then they sat in the hot tub for a bit. She loved warming up after the cold water.

Hubby eventually got Little Man on the slide. When he went up the cargo net with Baby Girl he noticed a back way to get in on the slide. There were stairs behind the structure! Unfortunately it was getting really late and really cold. Little Man was so cold to the touch. He hates hot water. So it was a challenge to warm him up in the hot tub. I had to hold him and splash warm water on him. There was no way I could submerge him. He hated it, but he was so cold! We let him go down the slide a few more times after warming him up a bit and then we called it a night.

My brother met us back in the room and we decided to go to the pasta place where they picked up the spaghetti the other night. I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant (Edit: The name of the restaurant was Caroline Italian Cuisine). It wasn’t too far from the Howard Johnson. We had a great meal and called it a night. We had a plan for the next day. We would use our Magic Hour at Disney California Adventure. We would ride Soarin’ and a few others missed when we went earlier and then head over to Disneyland to finish up the day. My brother only got two day passes so he would not be joining us.

Yeah, that plan went to pot right off the bat. We made it to the gate in time and finally fought the crowd for Disneyland to a DCA gate. Disneyland’s regular hours is the same time as DCA’s Magic Hour . When we got to the front we were asked if we had our room key. I looked at the lady and said that we had Magic Hour on our tickets. She said that would only be for Disneyland. She asked for my tickets and then showed me the fine print. The only day we could have used Magic Hour was Saturday. Saturday is the day we did the 10K and there was no way we would have had time to do that and get cleaned up for Magic Hour. We would have to have met the kids there with my brother in our smelly wet running clothes. I’ve spent all day in smelly running clothes after some past races. Some times are more tolerable than others, but what was done was done. There was no use in crying over spilled milk (which by the way I have a different way of looking at this saying after spilling several ounces of pumped breast milk).

At least we didn’t have to wait an hour for anything to open. We just turned around and got in the first line for Disneyland. It didn’t seem to take too terribly long to get in this time. I think it was because it was a Monday. I had heard weekends were bad because the local annual pass holders come out to play those days. We spent a good deal of our day in Adventureland and Frontierland.

We got on the Jungle Cruise right off the bat. The kids liked Tarzan’s Treehouse and went in it several times during the day. We got fast passes for Indian Jones and then we got to ride Pirates of the Caribbean pretty quick. It was a bit different from the ride in Florida. We saw the restaurant, Blue Bayou, and Hubby was interested in it. We couldn’t get in there, but we actually got in a Café Orleans later that day. We rode Haunted Mansion which was my son’s favorite ride. He loved to see all the cool stuff they did for Christmas with Jack Skeleton and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

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Meeting Jack and Sally

The kids haven’t seen The Nightmare Before Christmas. I tried to show them once, but it was too scary. They had a meeting with Jack and Sally. At first Little Man didn’t want to and Baby Girl did. So I took Little Man into the store adjacent to the character meet and greet while Baby Girl and Hubby stood in line. Little Man could see Jack from inside. He decided he wasn’t so scary after all and wanted to meet him. We got some great pictures with our Disney PhotoPass. Come to find out the employee monitoring the front of the line had a twin brother. She was great with our kids. Baby Girl loved talking to her.

We had a nice lunch at Café Orleans where we lucked out with the kids meal. The pasta they served for the kids was spaghetti and not some other shape because you know it matters with preschoolers. We ordered one kids meal. We gave Little Man the spaghetti and Baby Girl ate the chicken. They each got their own drink. Hubby and I shared a Monte Cristo and we each got our own soup. It was a very good experience here.

I knew about Café Orleans because I’ve read some articles on Disney’s Food Blog. I also heard a lot about this “secret” place call Club 33 in the New Orleans section where we were. Sure enough I spotted the door. I just had to take a picture. It is a members only type club.

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Club 33 door

We got in so many rides this day. We rode the Winnie the Pooh Ride. Hubby and I got on the Indian Jones ride with our fast pass. I was a goofy ball and waited at the entrance instead of over in the family switch area. Hubby took the kids to the tree house again while I took my turn at Indian Jones. The whole time I was on the ride I kept thinking that it would have been safe for the kids, but they might not have been able to see. That might be why they have some of the height requirements. It is not just for safety but enjoyment. I also kept thinking the Mummy ride at Universal was more fun.

We went back to Fantasyland and rode the Alice In Wonderland Ride, the Snow White Ride, and the Pinocchio ride. We rode Small World at least twice without delay because everybody else was busy watching the parade we saw the other day. We were there just in time for them to light up Small World on the outside. We went down to Toontown and rode the Roger Rabbit ride and explored a bit down there even though it was dark. We rode the roller coaster there twice. We finally got to ride the Storybook boats. The twins are small enough they let them sit at on the front of boat as long as we held them and made sure they stayed seated. This is where there are no seats. They were literally sitting on the nose of the boat. We went back to Tommorrowland and got fast passes for Star Tours. We rode the Buzz ride and then got on Star Tours.

When we got off Star Tours it was like the kids knew the day was done and they wanted one last souvenir. We had already bought a Jack Skeleton Mickey Mouse and a Sally Minnie Mouse, but the kids wanted one more thing before we left. Little Man got a plush Chewbacca, but they don’t make Leia dolls anymore. Baby Girl had to get a Baby Lady dog we saw waaaaay back at the store by the Pooh ride. So we had to of course ride the Pooh ride again.

The fireworks were going off as we were making our way out of the park. That is one thing I had not been missing in California was fighting the crowds getting out of the park. In Florida we close down the parks, but in California we were too tired most days. I’m sure it has all to do with the time zone differences. It was fine though. Just about every night we could see the fireworks from our hotel room. I mean we had a really good view of them from our hotel room.

There were a few lessons learned on this trip. We are night people in Florida and morning people in California (time zone differences). We should have stayed a few extra days in California. We should NOT have gotten the park hopper passes. We should have rested on Thursday then went to the expo on Friday and chilled there. We should have enjoyed the hotel water park Saturday and Sunday after the races. Then we should have spent the first day at the park on Monday then stayed Tuesday and Wednesday to do the other two days at parks instead of leaving. I think that would have made things less stressful even if we would have to stay a little longer. Oh well we still had fun.

We woke up the next morning early like we had been, and we were talking about airport times. We thought we didn’t have to leave until that afternoon, but then my husband had a thought that maybe the time he saw for the flight take off was Central Time. He was right! So our flight was two hours earlier than we thought! I was already cleaning up and packing, but then I had to rush a bit more. We made it to the airport okay with my brother. I was bummed out that we didn’t have time to clean out the refrigerator to give some of our food to the homeless at the bus stop near the hotel. Hubby didn’t think they would want our leftovers, but I thought if they were hungry they would. It would be better than the hotel maids throwing out the food. We didn’t leave a whole lot, but still I felt that some of those people at the bus stop looked like they could use it.

We made it back home and the kids excitedly showed their toys to their grandparents. They told them about the whole trip. Hubby was feeling better but over the next few days he seemed to get bad again. I hope it isn’t something in Kansas City air that is aggravating his condition. It could be some allergen or something. I really REALLY hope it isn’t something in our house! He is still okay, but he isn’t one hundred percent yet.

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A Super Duper Half

I was the first one awake again, but this time Hubby got ready at about the same time I did. I don’t recall him doing his breathing treatment, but I do remember he didn’t feel as sick as the previous day. My brother woke up before we left and told us a bit about his night out with some of his friends. Two friends he didn’t realize were acquainted with each other ended up showing up together at one of the places they visited that night. My brother seemed to have had a good time catching up to his old friends. I believe he was ready for the morning with the Littles.

We headed out of the hotel and crossed the street when I realized Hubby had his hat but no sunglasses. I had mine that morning because I knew the half marathon would take longer than the 10K we did the previous day, and I would need them toward the end when the sun was up in full force. Hubby decided not to go back and get his sunglasses. He was afraid they would slide off his hat for the first part of the race when he didn’t need them.

I joined Hubby in corral D. If you read the previous post I did on the 10K you’ll know that my husband is usually in a corral ahead of me, but our last qualifying half marathon I was ahead of him for a change. So when I entered our proof of time, that put me in a corral ahead of him.

Again I noticed the awesome costumes while we were waiting for the start of the race. I was Spider Woman and Hubby was Captain America. We were surrounded by superheroes. Makes sense since we were doing the Avenger’s Half Marathon. We actually had a few villains as well. I saw at least one Harley Quinn. I loved seeing a few Agent Carters. I thought that was pretty great. The announcer at the start said she saw a Stan Lee. That reminded me of the guy from the 10K. Toward the end of the race I even saw She-Ra. I didn’t get many pictures this day especially since I got some of the characters the day of the 10K

Hubby seemed okay at the beginning. The half marathon started out in the parks right off the bat. We entered the Radiator Springs area at Disney California Adventure which I knew would be beautiful. We didn’t stop as much for pictures this day. We got most of our pictures from the awesome Disney PhotoPass. I still can’t say enough good things about being able to buy all my pictures for the park visits and the races from one company. Hubby and I didn’t stick together long. The last time I saw him until the end was right before the castle. We didn’t get a clear picture the day before so we asked a worker to take our picture that day.

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Our other Radiator Springs picture.

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Hubby with ball cap but no shades.

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Our one picture in front of the castle.

I didn’t put my sunglasses on until we were well out of the parks. When we went over one bridge the sun was blaring and I thought that Hubby was not going to have a good time with that. A ball cap can only do so much especially if the sun is just starting to come up for the day.

I saw people running under the bridge and I thought that I would be down there soon, but boy was I wrong. We didn’t go back under the bridge until after we made our rounds in the Angel’s stadium. It reminded me a bit of our Royals 5K running around the parking lot and then into the stadium itself.

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Entering Angel’s Stadium

I saw some people dressed as superheroes as we were going into the parking lot of the stadium but they were on the other side of the divider for the road. I knew we would be going right by them on the way out the stadium. I figured I could have my fun then. We ran on the outside part of the parking lot first. There were people lined up a good ways away from our race markers. I was surprised to see a ton of people dressed in 20’s garb. I’m not sure why there were dressed up like that but it was awesome. I saw one lady do a big curve to go out and high five the people dressed in the 20’s costumes. I kind of wanted to do that, but I got lazy and decided they were too far away from me.

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People dancing in 20’s costumes

It was about this time I believe I started to dedicate miles. I dedicated one to my husband for being out there with me in the first place. The next mile would be my brother’s mile for his help with everything during the weekend. I knew if I had a chance to goof off I would do it for his mile.

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Hubby in the Angel’s Stadium

Now I mentioned how irritated we were when one guy messed up our picture in front of the castle on the 10K. Well I saw a line of people inside the field of the stadium. They were offering high fives and if you read any of my other posts you know if given the chance, and if I’m not being lazy, I’m a high five slut. I gave them all a big high five. Then all of a sudden I saw a dude with a Captain America shield. I was going to fist bump it until I realized he was posing and not offering high fives. He had asked one of the high five people to take his picture in the stadium. He was a runner! I may or may not have messed up his picture. I don’t know. I hope I didn’t. Funny thing is that later when I saw all my photos I saw a girl behind me in the stadium that was showing off her “guns” and boy did she have some nice guns. All I did to act goofy for my brother’s mile was raise my arms. Her face and all was visible so I don’t think I messed up the photo too bad. I hope she got a good shot. Basically my lesson learned here is to just run and smile. I do better photos that way. Some people like the lady with the “guns” can pull off those fun pictures, but not me. I do better with a simple smile.

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Yes, the lady behind me has it going on and I just messed up her picture being “goofy.” Sorry!

The superheroes outside the stadium were awesome. They were not Disney employees but civilians that decided to dress up and meet to cheer us on outside the stadium. I high fived a few including Spider Man of course. I gave The Thing a fist bump. He had these enormous fake Thing hands. These people were great. They really helped pump me up for the rest of the race!

The next mile was for my daughter. I was about to make it under the bridge and I saw a sign that there was a brewery nearby. I hoped it wasn’t too far off the route. I thought it would be cool if they were giving free samples, but there was nothing. I doubt they were even open at that hour in the morning.

The next mile was for my boy. I was getting closer to the parks by that time. Toward the end I dedicated the last mile to my husband again because I was worried about him. The last tiny bit of the race I dedicated to myself because I knew I would finish.

I made it to the end, got my medal, and went to the challenge tent. They looked up my number and sent me on through to the next person to get my Gauntlet Challenge Medal. Then right after that was a group cutting off the wrist bands for the Coast to Coast Medal. I had three heavy medals on me and walked toward the picture area. There was a nice guy there directing people for the different challenges to the appropriate picture background. I asked if I could wait for Hubby there. The gentleman was more than happy to let me hang there. I called Hubby because I knew he had his headset on him. He only had one more mile to go. I told the gentleman it would be about twelve minutes or so. At one point when the foot traffic got slow he asked what challenges we did.  I told him we did the Goofy Challenge and mentioned that I was worried about my husband because he basically still had pneumonia. I stayed and listened to the gentleman say the same thing over and over again to the runners to direct them to the right place.

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We got a Coast to Coast photo but we forgot to get a Gauntlet Challenge one.

I finally saw Hubby come through as my watch buzzed to let me know my brother sent a text congratulating us. We got our Coast to Coast pictures but we forgot to get our Gauntlet Challenge one. Once we were through with the Challenge photos we went to the main stage area to get our Avenger’s Half Marathon photo. We also went to shop for some shirts in the merchandise tent. They didn’t have the Coast to Coast shirts there but we did buy some other shirts. We sat down and ate some of the goodies we got and figured we would walk around the Disney park instead of going through Downtown Disney to get to our hotel.

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Here is our half marathon photo. The sun was out full force by now.

If you read my post about the Doctor Strange 10K then you know we had a really hard time getting through all the foot traffic through Downtown Disney to our hotel. It was super frustrating. The trip around the park added about 1.4 miles to our half marathon. It was slow going. Hubby didn’t train much and he was sore. Our medals clanged on our chests as we walked along the sidewalks. We got a good look at some construction going on at Disneyland. It felt nice and warm outside. This was going to be a rest day for us when we got back to the room. I kind of thought the kids would like the water park at the hotel after we showered and rested a bit.

When we got back to the room we showed off our medals to my brother. He had tracked us again with the runDisney emails. That is how he was able to text us when we were done. We traded off stories and showered. The rest of our vacation was just that now: a vacation.

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Soarin’ and Slidin’

So after the Doctor Strange 10K our family park day started off with breakfast at Mimi’s Café. They had a deal where my brother and husband still got a discount on breakfast the day after Veteran’s Day. It was a good breakfast. The adults had different mimosas. I think I had the triple berry mimosa. My husband and brother had the mango mimosa and the white peach. We sampled them all but I drank most of the triple berry. I had never eaten at Mimi’s before this trip and I have to say I think it is pretty good.

We got through security a lot faster than after the race and got in line for the parks. The lines were shorter because it was Disney California Adventure and not Disneyland we wanted to enter. DCA had also been open for a little bit. Once inside we started off waiting in line for the special credit card customer, character visit. My brother went off to see about Soarin Over California fast passes. The park had been open less then half an hour and yet the return visit for the ride was after 8 PM! He got them anyway. The line for the character visit took a while which surprised me. It is supposed to be a special thing for Disney credit card customers but it seemed just as slow as other character lines.

We got to the front and was told that Stitch was there but he was leaving and would return later. The next character was Daisy Duck. I told them that was fine. I knew my kids would be fine with Daisy. About that time I saw people behind me had on Stitch hats. Yeah, they were not happy when they saw Stitch leave. My kids where excited to see Daisy. Baby Girl ran up to her and gave her a big hug. Little Man did not want to have much to do with her. Hubby was a little surprised that he would hug big ol’ Chewbacca but not Daisy. We got a good picture with just us and Daisy and one with us, my brother and Daisy.

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Proof that my son did in fact hug a character.

We had a good time. The kids kept talking about riding the mermaid ride that we did at the Magic Kingdom. I didn’t think they would have it in California but sure enough it was at DCA.

Lunch wasn’t too much of a struggle, it just wasn’t that satisfying. We went to the Corn Dog Castle. I got burned out on corn dogs way back before Hubby and I were married. A friend of ours worked at an arena in Oklahoma and would give us all the free corn dogs we wanted. We went to some football games and other events in this arena. So we ate a lot of corn dogs. On the bright side, everybody else except my son was happy. He is a very picky eater. We found some snacks in my bag for him and rode some more rides.

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The kids on one of those spinning rides that make me sick.

We finally made our way to Mickey’s Fun Wheel about around dusk. The line wasn’t too unbearable. Mickey’s Fun Wheel reminded me a little of my favorite ride as a kid. My hometown hosted the county fair every year. There was a ride called the Rock O’ Planes or as we called them, “Squirrel Cages.” This apparently sparked some of the same memories in my brother because he mentioned it while we were on the ride. Everybody seemed to think this ride was pretty fun except Hubby. He got pretty pale. We both agree the rides like teacups that spin around horizontally make us sick, but I’m good on rides that swing or flip vertically. I’m still not sure if he didn’t feel good because he doesn’t like those kind of rides or if it was because of his pneumonia. I tried to ask but he never would give me a straight answer. Just to be clear this ride doesn’t flip you. You can choose a stationary cage or one that slides and swings a little. We got on the one that swings.

We missed Woody because I wanted to ride the Fun Wheel. I felt bad about that. I thought he would still be there, but he was gone. We only got to ride a handful of the rides that we wanted to, but again the two hour difference was still taking its toll on us. We got so tired we didn’t use our Soarin’ passes and ended up giving them to someone on our way out of the park.

The kids seemed to be wilting again. My brother and Hubby needed some provisions. So when we got back to the hotel, they went out in the car while I got the Littles ready for bed. The Littles seemed to hit a second wind for some reason. It was probably good that they did because Hubby came back with spaghetti from a nearby place. One order was enough to feed all four of us. I think Hubby felt better about carbing up as well. Not long after our dinner we got the kids to bed.

My brother used to live in California. So he went out to meet up with some of his friends that night. I got up to go to the bathroom around midnight or 1 AM. He wasn’t back yet. I started to get a little worried. Call it the mom in me, but I was worried he was in an accident  or something. I sent him a quick message for peace of mind that he was okay. He never replied, but thankfully it wasn’t too long after that I heard him come in the room. I was able to sleep much better after that.

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One Magical Year Ago

I know I’ve been slowly making posts about our California trip we made a few months ago. I decided to pause and post this when I heard that the Disney Half Marathon was cancelled this past weekend. That and all the Facebook pictures I’ve seen from On This Day, it really got me thinking about our trip to Florida last year for the same event.

I already have posts on that trip here, here, here and here. So I just want to say what wonderful memories those days hold even the ones where the stroller was stolen. The pictures make me smile. I sometimes think, “Wow! I did that! I ran the Goofy Challenege!”

With all that said, I just can’t imagine the disappointment some people felt over this past weekend with the canceled event. I saw copies of some of the emails sent and Disney gave some options. I’m not sure which option I would have chosen if I had been in these people’s shoes. Getting your money back is always nice, but after the expectations and training, even that can still be disappointing. Deferring to another year or getting an option for another race is always nice, but the flights, hotels and everything else is not cheap. Some people save up just enough money for that one trip.

I was looking back on 2016 and thought how lucky we were to go on two Disney trips, but they were almost a year apart. That was nice because it gave us enough time to save for both of them. We want to do both Star Wars marathons in 2018, but they are closer together. It is going to be harder to save for them.

I think another option was to still get the medal and try to run the full marathon. Now for those doing the Goofy or Dopey Challenge that might have been okay because they trained for that and more. I can’t imagine people that went just for the half marathon just to have it canceled. Even the ones doing the challenges were probably disappointed. To do all the hard work and not really “make” it. It probably would not have felt right to me. I guess I would have picked to defer to another year if we could afford it.

I understand why they canceled the event. It was for everybody’s safety. I actually ran an event where it was canceled right before I finished it. There was no refund, no medal, no nothing. I posted something about it here. A friend of mine posted something on Facebook recently reminding everybody what they signed up for in the first place. To paraphrase my friend, he said that people are totally fine with checking accept on the registration form for the terms in the event of a cancelation. Then they become big cry babies when it actually happens. Well I wasn’t too happy when my event was canceled way back when. I even had to go back and read the terms of cancelation again to realize I was getting nothing. I actually ran over thirteen miles that day because it was up a mountain trail and there was no other way than walking or running back down it.

Now I sound like one of those people that talk about walking in the snow uphill both ways back in their day. Anyway, I didn’t read or see anything that would make me want to imply anybody was a cry baby. As a matter of fact someone posted in one of my Facebook groups that the people that did opt to do the full marathon were quite happy. I still felt really bad for those that missed their race. I hope it worked out for everybody.

 

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More Frustrating Than Strange

So of course we got up at the butt crack of dawn. That is just the Disney way. I think you can pretty much expect a 5:30 AM start for every one of their races. I was a little nervous because we not only had to walk to the Disneyland resort from our hotel, but we had to find our corral in time. I’m always nervous before a race. I think it is just the thought of being late and missing it. I was pretty much ready to go that morning, but Hubby took at little longer as usual.

My mouth was dry but I knew I needed some food. I grabbed one of those Belvita breakfast cookies/crackers to take with me. I figured I would get some water at the main stage area and eat it then. Hubby was coughing up stuff on the way there and said the taste of the medicine from his nebulizer was making him sick. We took a short cut through a parking lot and that is where he threw up a little. I was already worried about him. That made it worse! He asked for one of my cookies to take the taste out of his mouth. I opened them up and gave him one while I went ahead and ate one as well. I guess just the act of chewing even something as dry as a Belvita cookie helped me get enough saliva so I didn’t have dry mouth anymore. I had another cookie. I saved the last one for him in case he needed it which he did right before we got to the main stage area.

 

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Another one of our blurry pictures at the main stage area

 

We took a picture in front of one of the signs in the main stage area. We were excited. We got a small cup of water and followed the crowd past the porta potties to the corrals. I was actually in a corral ahead of Hubby for once. I submitted our Rock the Parkway Half as proof of time and if you read that post, you’ll remember I was surprised to make it in before him. He always stays in the corral with me even though I’ve never asked him to. So this time I went to his corral. I was worried about him and I wanted to show my support. So we waited for the start in corral C.

The costumes were great. Lots of Doctor Strange characters were there since it is the Doctor Strange 10k. They showed us a trailer from the movie since it was just recently released. We saw the movie right before we flew out to California. We liked it. I believe they had a pasta party and a showing of the movie in Downtown Disney the night before the race. We did not go because we were too pooped to pop after Disneyland and it wasn’t exactly a movie that was good for the Littles.

 

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Doctor Strange from a distance

 

There were of course more costumes than just the characters from Doctor Strange. I, for example, was dressed at Captain America and Hubby was Thor. He later said that he was glad he was Thor because it pertained to the Doctor Strange movie. He made a cameo appearance in it. I don’t think that is a spoiler if you still haven’t seen it. My personal favorite was the guy I saw during the race dressed as Stan Lee. He was hamming it up and having so much fun. I loved it. I tried to point him out to my husband. I said, “Hey! Look! Stan Lee!”

He looked at me even though the guy was right in front of him and said, “Stan Monkey?”

A lady ran by us and looked at Hubby like he was crazy and said, “STAN LEE!” I think my husband thinks that it is funny to do that to me.

 

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Picture in Radiator Springs with the sunrise. Hubby was starting to blame his phone for the blurry pictures.

 

The first part of the course was outside the parks. If I remember right we entered Disney California Adventure first by the way of Radiator Springs. The real sunrise coming up over the fake desert mountain range was actually quite lovely. We tried to get a picture but the person we asked to take it got it a little blurry. Hubby kept blaming his phone, but whoever we asked to take our picture at mile three did a fantastic job. It is one of my favorite pictures. Then there was also the profession picture from Disney when we entered Radiator Springs. It was pretty good. And speaking of pictures, it was awesome that they used the Disney PhotoPass which is the same system they use for the rest of the pictures around the park. It made buying the photos so much easier! It was a much better experience than buying the photos from our Florida trip. I had to buy our Disney photos from Disney PhotoPass and then our race photos from Marathon Photo. Marathon Photo was the worst! I had such a horrible experience with them. It was so cool to just enter the code for the race into my Disney PhotoPass and then poof! They were ALL there! Seriously, I can’t use the word awesome enough.

 

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Disney Photopass picture in Radiator Springs

 

 

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Much better picture with same camera phone at mile three

 

So our day after the race was supposed to be at Disney California Adventure. It was cool to run through and scope it out first. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree was running when we ran by it. Also Mickey’s Fun Wheel was running. I thought it was just a regular ferris wheel but then I saw that some cages were sliding! How cool! I knew right away that I wanted to ride that. I’ll tell you more about our visit to that park later.

 

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Mickey’s Fun Wheel

 

I tried to get pictures of the characters, but again I didn’t want to wait in line. So I got some blurry fly by pictures of them. I missed Spider Man. They had him kind of hidden by tucking him around the corner off course. We ran though the Disneyland castle. I still can’t get over how much smaller it is than the castle in Florida, but it is still nice. We tried to get a picture in front of it with one of the Disney PhotoPass guys but a runner dressed as Doctor Strange decided to grab his cape and pull it out for a dramatic picture. I’m sure if you can see any part of our face in his picture you’ll see our annoyance. Although I had my fair share of accidentally messing up someone else’s photos during the half. Of course I’ll tell you all about that later as well.

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Doctor Strange’s cape is in our way.

Hubby told me he wanted me to run my own race and not worry about him. He actually stayed ahead of me through the first four miles. He stopped at mile markers and other areas to pose for pictures with me. The last two miles I pulled ahead. I stopped at one mile marker and waited a bit for him. I almost started off again until I spotted him. I pulled ahead again but he punched it at the finish line and passed me. He is so competitive sometimes.

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Hubby crosses the finish line before me.

We got our medals and posed for our pictures. We got our goodies which was a box full of energy bars, chips, and Go Go Squeeze applesauce. We had bananas too. I was so happy he seemed okay.

 

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Our finisher photo

 

When we followed the crowd out we ended up on a street corner which confused us a bit. I saw a sign for Downtown Disney and knew we usually walk through it to get back to our hotel. Hubby asked the security guard the quickest way back to our hotel and he confirmed Downtown Disney, but boy was he wrong!

We started back okay. Since the run also went through Downtown Disney they had a corral type system so pedestrians could cross certain sections without interfering in the race. They had a rope close one lane while pedestrians filled a little section of the road marked off in tape. Then they would open up the side of the corral behind the pedestrians to let the runners through it while the pedestrians in their little marked off section walked across the closed side. We did that several times until we hit one that was for going to Starbucks only. The other direction went through the main waiting area for the parks. If you have never been to Disneyland there is a big area for lines to form to go into either park. To enter it you have to go through security, but leaving you are fine. This waiting area was between our hotel and Downtown Disney. Going through Downtown Disney was mistake one. We were about to make mistake number two.

Hubby was starting to get cold and Starbucks sounded good to him. We crossed over and he ordered his drink, but I didn’t order anything because I don’t like the taste of coffee. We waited at least twenty minutes before they had his drink! When we went back out to head to the hotel it was super crowded. We hit Magic Hour for Disneyland! Ugh!

Foot traffic was at a stand still. All of a sudden we saw people walking free across the way the race was running. Hubby and I could only guess that the back of the race was done and they let people over there through. We were so frustrated! All we wanted to do was go back to our room. Then we got caught up in the lines for bag check to get into main waiting area for the parks. Our hotel wasn’t far on the other side of this backed up mess.

Now let me stop here and say that I could swear the parks in Florida have a no bag line. It makes things run smoother and faster. In California apparently there is no such thing. We all had to stand there and wait. By this time I was really about to lose it. It was just so ridiculous to me. We heard someone say that they were letting runners go through the middle but when we looked over at the middle the lines there were just as backed up as our line. We kept looking around for a line that made sense. The person that said something about the runner line sounded upset, but that didn’t make sense to me. If I wanted to get into the park and had a ton of people without bags that just wanted to get through to the other side and not in the parks, I would not care a flip de do if someone let them through. That would get them out of my line to make it shorter and probably faster. I mean think about it. You’ve got twenty people in front of you and five of them are runners that just want out of the way. Wouldn’t it make your line faster if they had a different line and were gone? That would mean you only had fifteen people in front of you. Makes sense to me.

So the guy checking bags in my line had a pretty wide lane. There was a lady standing behind him just guarding and not checking bags. I was tempted to just walk through up to her so she could easily see I was a runner that had nothing on me and just wanted through. I’m not breaking in line to get to the park because I don’t want to go to the park yet. I just want to go to my room. The guy must have read my mind or actually saw me eyeballing his lane because he grabbed the barrier and moved it closer to him. When I got a little closer I noticed the security lady was looking at me. I told her over the crowd that I was just a runner with no bag and I just wanted to get through. Her response was that everybody had to stay in line. Basically she was telling me I was SOL. I was really pissed at this point. I mean they don’t have a shuttle that really takes you anywhere close to the main stage area much less back to anywhere close to the hotels unlike Florida. It all just seemed like a big FUBAR. When I got through I actually did something I’m ashamed to say was very childish. I said Hallelujah right next to the lady that told me to wait. Hubby was a little more diplomatic and asked how we could avoid this issue the next day. She told him we would have to walk extra mileage around one of the parks instead of through them.

My brother was a little surprised it took us so long to get back when we finally made it back to the room. I had added him to email tracking through the runDisney system. We told him our story of what happened, got showered and ready to head back to the park for another day of fun.

 

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Good Luck, Pilgrim

As stated in my last post, we were playing a waiting game. My husband had pneumonia and we had a vacation and two races coming fast! Hubby seemed to be doing better but before we knew it, the day of our trip had arrived. At first we were going to keep the kids at home since it would be cutting it close to pick them up from preschool and then make it to the airport on time. Then we came to our senses and realized that preschool is exactly what they needed to keep busy while we finished last minute packing for this trip.

We spoke to my brother about picking us up at the airport since he decided to rent a car. He landed in Los Angeles, I think, and we landed in Santa Ana at the John Wayne Airport. He landed much earlier then us that day. Also my brother loves John Wayne. He thought he might come in the airport for a bit but decided against it since we landed earlier than expected. We actually didn’t see anything particularly John Wayney at the John Wayne Airport.

I can’t remember what kind of car my brother got but it was definitely a SUV. It was the perfect fit since we had a lot of luggage and people. We brought the kids Mifold car seats which looked like a dream come true on the website but as I watched my kids squirm and wiggle around I wondered if the makers thought that the child would sit perfectly still in these things. If you don’t know what they are, they are super slender and small booster seats that you can fold and even carry in the child’s backpack. They are also supposed to be legal and safe for certain ages and/or weight of the child. We discovered after our trip that we had the seat too far back for the kids to sit comfortably. Something we will correct for sure the next time we use them.

We didn’t really plan any rest days in our trip. Thursday we planned on checking in the hotel and going to the Expo. We decided to stay at the Howard Johnson and use a roll away with my brother as opposed to the Marriot right across the street that had bunk beds for kids and two queen size beds for the adults. It would have been nice to have individual beds for everybody, but our room worked out fine with the roll away and two queens especially since it was about eight hundred dollars cheaper.

After we checked in we walked to the Expo. It gave us an idea of how far we would have to walk for the parks and the races. We had a chance to use the shuttles, but decided it wasn’t worth it. It just seemed whacky that they would only take us two blocks to the start of downtown Disney instead of all the way around to the Disneyland resort. That was something I would say was in favor of the Florida races. Their shuttles take you all the way to the main stage area.

The Expo was alright. We visited a few vendors and got some free samples like Go Go Squeeze Applesauce. The NesQuik Bunny didn’t have anymore milk, but we did get a picture with the Bunny. Baby Girl won a little backpack from the Angels baseball team. I’m not sure what to do with that since we are Royals fans. I guess we will just let her play with it.

 

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Our blurry photo of us with the NesQuik Bunny

 

After the Expo we started to hunt for food. We found the Rainforest Café and the kids were in love. They told us the wait would be an hour and a half but my husband decided to join their dining program. They cut our wait to thirty minutes. T-Rex Café is included and we have one of those in Kansas City that we visit every once in a while since it is a little far up North for us. The kids fell asleep during dinner. I mean our bodies were still on Central Time so we were tired. My husband almost decided to leave our individual umbrella strollers at home since the kids are four and half. Boy was he glad we brought them after carrying them all the way from the Rainforest Café to the Howard Johnson. My brother volunteered to carry Baby Girl while I carried our souvenir cocktail glasses and other goodies we bought at the Expo. By the time we got back to the hotel the kids were awake and watched the fireworks at the park from our balcony. It was a pretty awesome view! Then we all went to bed.

Friday was a park day. We did Disneyland after my husband and brother got their second free breakfast of the day. Friday was Veterans day. They got up early and went to Denny’s for breakfast one. We met them at IHOP for breakfast two. They talked about leaving the park for lunch but it would have been a big hassle so we stayed in the park to eat. It was quite the ordeal. We looked a Café Orleans and it was packed. We tried to look at the Disneyland app and everything was booked. Then we happened upon The Golden Horseshoe. It looked like there was some wiggle room in there.

My husband and brother got in line while me and the kids tried to find a table upstairs. We came across one little and I mean little table. I tried to fit five chairs around it. I got them around it, but they were all touching. I knew with all the food we would have it would be cramped. The guys were in line so long that the people next to us left. I grabbed their empty table. I saw a few bigger tables downstairs empty out but I thought by the time I grabbed all our stuff and the kids it would be claimed by someone else. So I stayed put. I got the stink eye from a few people that came up to look at tables. I wished the guys could get through the line faster at that point. We saw a show while we waited. Soon Little Man was telling me he needed to potty. I looked on the Disneyland app for the closest restroom and saw the guys heading my way with food. They started to feed Baby Girl and I took Little Man to the restroom. When I got back they were not sitting at both tables but they had some of our stuff on the other table to free up room on the one they occupied. So I sat at the other table and ate. Unfortunately the person taking my husband’s order did not hear him say he wanted two salads. He was only charged for one and given one. Even though they got it wrong, they told him he would have to go through the whole line again to pay for another salad! Seemed like they could have just taken his money there and given him another salad like he asked. So Hubby and I shared the one salad. Thank goodness I had snacks in my bag!

I had a print out and such of what to do at Disneyland, but we kind of winged it anyway. We spent most of our time in Tomorrow Land and Fantasy Land. At first I had wished we had gotten their earlier to sign the kids up for Jedi training. Then the kids saw the show later in the day and said they would have been too scared to do it anyway. We did get them on the Matterhorn because they were the right height, but little did we know how scared they would be. Little Man did okay with me holding his hand, but Baby Girl was trying to lay down and wiggle under her restraints in the seat. Hubby had to yell at her to get her to stop and sit up where she would be safe. The seats were individual so he couldn’t just lean over and help her. We revisited the discussion we had earlier about theme park rides and safety after that.

The rest of the day went fine with the exception of missing strollers. Yup, that again! If you read about our trip to Florida you know about the stroller drama. Luckily after much searching and asking around we found them. Some worker moved them for one of the parades. Then there was the one little trip to New Orleans Square because Little Man LOVES the Haunted Mansion ride. That was where we had our little adventure with lunch. We did end the day back in Tomorrow Land for the special Disney credit card character visit. It was Darth Vader just like they had in Florida for the special character visit. If you don’t know what this is, it is special character visit for people that have a Disney credit card. The cool thing is that this Darth could talk and they said he would sign autographs, but like a dope, I forgot the kids’ autograph books. Darth tried to talk to them about the dark side and they both looked a little scared. I think the conversation went about as well as it did with his own twins!

After seeing Darth Vader they wanted to stand in line to see Chewbacca. The line wasn’t too bad. When we got in there Little Man gave Chewbacca a hug along with Baby Girl! Now Baby Girl has no problem hugging a character. Little Man, on the other hand, will hardly even get in a picture with a character without me there and he HUGGED Chewbacca. Later I saw a picture of us all looking very surprised. I’m not sure what happened there that surprised all of us. Maybe it was because this Chewbacca could also make sounds. They must have upgraded their costumes or something since our trip to Florida or the California characters are just more advanced.

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I guess Chewbacca did something pretty awesome.

We ended the day going to Mimi’s Café across the street from our hotel. My husband and brother went to find a CVS since Little Girl was coughing a bit. My daughter fell asleep and my son needed to potty while I was waiting for our table. Talk about a panic moment. I took a deep breath and asked the hostess where I could leave the umbrella stollers out of the way to go to the bathroom. She directed me to a little corner of the waiting area in front of a cabinet. Baby Girl was a little wobbly getting up and getting to the bathroom but she did it. By the time we got back, they called our name for our table and there was still no Hubby or brother. The waiter was sooooo nice and helped me with the strollers while I directed two tired and half asleep kids to the table. When my brother and husband showed up we decided I would take the kids across the street to sleep while they stayed to eat.

Hubby brought me back some food. I looked at the menu before I left the restaurant and had him order it for me. I believe it was a Quiche Lorraine because bacon sounded really good at the time. I got a salad as well. The kids were asleep when they got back in the room. I had my stuff ready for the next day’s race. It would be the first of two races that were are only half the distance as the Goofy we did in January. I don’t think we went out to watch the fireworks that night. We heard them but we were all too tired.

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Pneumonia Sucks!

Does that really have to be said? I think most people would agree that pneumonia is not cool. Well my husband has it. It started off in early October around my birthday. He didn’t feel good but he still took me out for dinner and a movie on my birthday that Sunday night. He was supposed to go with me and the kids to the local farmstead the next day to show our little girl how to fish. They got a free pole rental with our membership and the farmstead closes for winter right after Halloween. He didn’t feel up to going and we just stayed home. It was Columbus day which was a holiday for his office. I was a little worried, but then I got really worried when he didn’t want to go to the Boulevard Brewery for the MS 150 appreciate dinner. His parents were at our house all set to babysit, but he just felt too bad to go.

He stayed home the next few days but didn’t go to the doctor until that Wednesday. I made the appointment for him when he said his throat hurt so bad he felt like he couldn’t swallow. He had also been having night sweats but no real temperature until then. I thought he could have the flu or strep and I didn’t want the kids to get it. He went in and they said he was negative for all of that. They gave him some antibiotics and sent him home. That night was the night Flying  Saucer did their John Lennon glass. He was going to go with me, but he still felt too bad. John Lennon’s birthday is on the same day as mine and Flying Saucer does a pint glass every year on their pint glass night. I try to remember to go but their establishment around my birthday, but it is in a part of town we do not frequent. I was willing to go just for a bit by myself. Hubby said he okay with staying home with the kiddos. I went for a short while and then came right back home.

Hubby was feeling worse and went back to our doctor later that week. They did a scan on his chest and said he had pneumonia. They gave him a follow-up appointment unless he felt worse and then he could come in earlier. He took the medicine they prescribed. There was no change in his symptoms and to top it off he seemed to get a lot of side affects like hives from the medicine. It was not a fun time for us! He went back to the doctor and they gave him a breathing treatment and a prescription to get a nebulizer. Hubby tried to go with us to Night of the Living Farm. It is a fun little Halloween night at the local farmstead with costumes, hay rides, dancing, crafts, etc. He did okay. I was afraid being out would make him worse. I think he was just sick of being sick and missing stuff.

It took us about a week to research our insurance and see where was the best place to get a nebulizer. By that the time we were ready to purchase it, my husband was at his absolute worse. There were so many doctor’s appointments and follow-up appointments. It kind of gets all jumbled in my head now. I know he called at one point and our doctor’s office told him  there was nothing they could do for him but he could come in if he wanted. They also suggested the hospital. I agreed that maybe we should try the hospital. I had just bought some new essential oils and tried that on him too. Nothing seemed to work.

I didn’t mention our trip to California for the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge, but I kept on the training schedule if not for anything but to keep fit and keep my stress at bay. I just knew we were no longer going or he wasn’t going to do the races.

I finally ordered  a nebulizer online and hoped that it would get to our house soon. It was on its way when my husband had his worse night ever. He only took a week off work at the beginning of his illness. The rest of the time he was going to work and doing most of his regular activities. We went out to eat at a local family restaurant because they had a really good deal that night. He was not feeling good at all. I put the kids to bed when we got home while he stayed downstairs trying to take some medicine to stop coughing and gagging. He tried going upstairs to bed, but he was so loud he was afraid he would keep everybody awake. He could not stop coughing. So after a night of staying downstairs with hardly any sleep, he decided to go to the hospital.

I had planned on taking the kids to Boo at the Zoo, but of course his health was at the top of the list. His mother took him while I stayed with the kids. I kept feeling like I should have went instead. They admitted him not because of the pneumonia but because of an enzyme that deals with his heart that was out of whack. He has a family history with heart disease so I guess it was good his mom was there to give them more background information. After he was admitted she came to our house and watched the kids while I brought him some things from home and took care of him.

He stayed in the hospital for about four days. The hospital was okay with kids on that floor. I remember when I was little there were certain family members I was not allowed to visit because of my age and what part of the hospital they were staying. It was nice to have the kids see him. I think it really helped him as well. We live super close to the hospital so I stayed at home at night with the kids. I did take the kids to Boo at the Zoo the day after he was admitted. It was great for everybody because the kids had fun at the zoo while Hubby got to watch all the ball games he wanted in peace and quite. We also stopped by the hospital on the way to the zoo and on the way back from it. The kids loved showing off their costumes. We had Elsa from Frozen and Chase from Paw Patrol.

There was one scary incident while he was in the hospital. They wanted him to walk around and he didn’t want to lug his IV. They took it out and put it back in when he was back in his room. I took the kids Koala Crates (little subscription boxes with crafts in them) to his room since this month’s activities were low key and not messy. Hubby was in the middle of helping my son stuff a toy snake when he realized he was bleeding everywhere. His IV was not done right. He figured out how to stop the bleeding, but his medicine and all was leaking on the floor. The nurse finally came in and fixed it. It was freaky at first, but all was fine. The kids didn’t freak out or anything. I was freaked but I guess I didn’t show it like I thought I was since the kids were fine.

My brother called while Hubby was in the hospital and asked if he should cancel his flight to California. My brother was going to help us with the kids and visit some old friends of his. This was really the first time I mentioned our trip to Hubby. Hubby told me to say that he were going unless he was dead. I asked him what he planned on doing and he said we would see when we get there. He said at the very least I should still run it without him.

When Hubby was let out of the hospital he still wasn’t one hundred percent. He heart seemed fine, but he was still coughing a lot. He was a lot better considering how he felt when he checking into the hospital. Our nebulizer was at home and he had more follow-up appointments. They cleared him for exercise, but they probably didn’t have a half marathon in mind. All he can do now is take the medicine, do the breathing treatments, and wait and see what will happen.

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