I’m here, still

Because I don’t have the time to sit down and really write, I am typing this out quickly so that you know that I’m still here.

With a weekend trip to Disneyland at the beginning of the month followed by preparing for and hosting a bridal shower the weekend after, and now being thrown right into the “holiday season,” I haven’t had time to do my two favorite after-work extracurriculars: running and blogging.

Yes, since doing the Seattle Half the Sunday after Thanksgiving, I have run only two times!

And now looking back at this measly blog, I realize I have only published one post this entire month! (It’s kind of freaking me out that the month is half over!)

I owe you a blog post on:IMG_4196

  • Seattle Half recap
  • Disneyland recap
  • The rainiest run commute
  • Christmas-time?
  • Being a maid-of-honor?

OK, those first three I am definitely writing and posting before Christmas. That is my Christmas promise to you! The other two may happen. Or, not.

I plan to get lots of Christmas shopping and blogging done this weekend.

Good luck with all of your holiday preparations! May your to-do list be shorter than mine!

How preparing for Disneyland is similar to preparing for a marathon

When I hobbled out of my desk seat with IT band pain and yelled, “Noooo, I can’t be injured!” my coworker turned to me and asked, “Are you doing another race?”

I just raced the Seattle Half Marathon three days ago and I think an old-time injury was flaring up.

“No, no race on the immediate horizon … but, I’m going to Disneyland this weekend and will be walking around a bunch!” was my serious response.

She probably gave me an eye roll.

But, that’s the thing.

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Now that I am an adult, I am realizing that preparing for Disneyland is like preparing for a marathon.

  • You take EmergenC daily because you just can not get sick.
  • You keep talking about the Disneyland trip/the race to all your friends.
  • You’re stressed that you have “so much to do” before said trip or race.
  • You try to get as much rest and sleep as possible because you want to be well rested for all the walking/running.
  • You pack lots of snacks for both occasions.
  • You booked your hotel months in advance because you must be within walking distance to the park entrance/race start.

When my cousins and friends and I go to Disneyland, it’s no joke. We go all in. (Just like I do my racing!) We are the first ones at the park and the last to leave. We strategically plan which Fast Passes to obtain when. We look up the parade and events schedules ahead of time to plan accordingly.

I feel so good that it looks like I am sleeping!

And it’s the same for marathons. The planning part comes from the training part. You spend months training and preparing for that one race.

Your heart skips a beat just thinking about going to Disneyland or racing your next big race.

They’re both so exciting.

They’re both my happy place.

(And yes, I did do the Disneyland Half Marathon 8 years ago, and yes, to date it has been my happiest race on earth despite being my slowest race).

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Wouldn’t you meticulously plan and prepare for your happy place?

I do.

Preparing for all the fun things

I don’t kid myself.

I know my coworkers don’t think I’m listening to classical music while I work.

Little do they know — unless they are reading this — that I’m actually not listening to Taylor Swift.

The arrival of Halloween means one thing to me: Christmas is getting closer.

Yes, I have been listening to a lot of the Mariah Carey Pandora station. And, I mix in one hour of Disneyland Park entrance music here and there. I guess some of that is considered classical — it’s definitely all instrumental! (Search for it on YouTube and you’ll just want to listen to it on loop!)

I’m preparing myself for the holidays and my holiday.

Marissa, Phyllis and I will be heading to the happiest place on earth at the beginning of December. We just bought plane tickets last week and I booked our hotel last night.

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Not only will Disneyland be super magical because it will be decked out in Christmas decorations, there will also be 60th anniversary diamond festivities, too! (I almost can’t even handle all the magical-ness that will be occurring!)

Did I mention that exciting things are happening next year that I am also super excited for?

My college roommate, Nikki, is getting married (in Hawaii) in March! And then, Phyllis is getting married here in Seattle in April!

Throw a marathon somewhere in there (most likely early summer) and it looks like a great first half of the year!

But, I’m getting carried away.

I should focus on what’s happening this year first.

So, let me get back to my holiday music.

(And, don’t hate. Some of these tunes literally only make reference to cold weather, like snow).

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Disneyland in October

If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you may recall my 24 hours at Disneyland stint in 2012.

Then there was last year when I went to Disneyland to experience all the Christmas-y things it had to offer.

This year I went during the park’s Halloween Time!

Do I ever get tired of Disneyland? No. It’s the happiest place on earth, after all.

Where else can you go where you feel like time has stopped and everything about life is good?

Maybe I’ve always loved Disneyland because I grew up watching Disney movies and memorizing the lyrics to the songs. I’ve never had any desire to go to any other theme park (nor have I been to any others). But, (in my biased opinion,) Disneyland is different.

At Disneyland, if a cast member walks by and greets you and your cousins as “princesses,” it’s not creepy. You all just smile and laugh about it. Because, at Disneyland everyone is a prince or princess. (Or, heck, you can be a villain if you really want to!)

I had a blast at Disneyland last November when all the Christmas decorations were up and even though I’m not big on Halloween, it was a pretty neat treat to see all the pumpkins and orange and yellow decorations everywhere. Added bonus: Space Mountain was transformed into a “Ghost Galaxy” which sort of scared me the first time but I think Marissa and I ended up riding it three times throughout the weekend.

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Not only did I grow up watching and singing all things Disney, I grew up going to Disneyland with my family. My parents took me to Tokyo Disneyland when I was little, like maybe around age 4. There’s a video of my mom and I riding the tea cups together. Even though my mom would never go on that ride now (she says she gets too dizzy), nor does she even care for the theme park anymore, I still love the tea cups. My many other Disneyland memories are with my aunts and cousins. (And, more recently with my close friends).

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Even though waiting in lines for rides can be a pain and a drain, everything is worth it at Disneyland. Staying up on my feet from 7 a.m. to 12 midnight was well worth it. I was sore when I returned from my Disney trip Monday. (Yes, I know! I just ran a marathon but my quads were sore from all the walking!) I had the best of times hanging with my cousins at the most magical and happiest place on earth.

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None of the roller coasters were closed.

I was able to ride Indiana Jones four times throughout the weekend.

I survived California Screamin’ twice.

I soaked in the California sun.

And now I am trying to recover and get back to reality.

Because, sometimes Disneyland doesn’t seem real.

But, it is.

It’s the happiest place on earth.

Good night and sweet dreams

We had so much extra weight holding us back.

Why did we pack so much just for one weekend?

I had a difficult time getting her attention and keeping her focused.

There was so much to do in the next 48 hours!

She assured me that it would all work out, to just enjoy it.

I couldn’t.

With each minute that past, the more my stress level increased.

She said would call to make a reservation for us — a reservation to place us at the front of the line.

After getting off the phone she said that the customer service rep had no idea what she was talking about.

I felt that the weekend was going to be doomed.

The next thing I know she is standing in front of a seafood stand, asking a vendor for a “scale-y fish.”

But, we don’t need more luggage holding us back!

And then,

I woke up.

This was my nightmare of a trip to Disneyland with a friend.

That we would spend our whole weekend waiting in ride lines because we had too much stuff to carry that was slowing us down.

I hardly remember my dreams.

But, when I do,

they make sense in some ways (I do love Disneyland)

but in other ways are pretty ridiculous.

Good night,

and sweet dreams.

10 reasons you should visit Disneyland in November

Reasons why you should visit Disneyland in November (as I experienced when I visited Disneyland and Disneyland’s California Adventure parks in Anaheim, Calif. on Nov. 9 and 10, 2013).

1. It’s warm (for my hometown of Seattle standards) but not hot.

Hello, short-sleeves and sunglasses!

Hello, short-sleeves and sunglasses!

2. It’s less crowded than the summer months. We didn’t have to wait more than an hour for a ride* (even the roller coasters).

Cars Land!

Cars Land!

3. Christmas + Disneyland = the most magical, happiest place on earth.

4. Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade.

Nov. 9th line-up

Nov. 9th line-up

5. Getting to see some taping of the Christmas Day Parade that will air on ABC on Dec. 24! Hey, Jordin Sparks and Jason Derulo!

6. You can tell Santa Claus what you want for Christmas before he makes the rounds at the local malls.

7. The rides that are decked out (and in) with holiday goodness will make you feel really happy. Don’t miss the wonderful smells in the Haunted Mansion! And, if you think It’s a Small World looks festive on the exterior, wait until you see what’s inside!

It's a Small World

It’s a Small World

8. The puns get even punnier on the Jungle Cruise, I mean, Jingle Cruise!

9. Sleeping Beauty’s Castle with garlands and lights and “snow.”

The Christmas castle at night

The Christmas castle at night

10. None of the typical Beach Boys music on the California Adventure side — it’s only Christmas tunes playing all day and night throughout the park.

Lights! Lights! Lights!

Lights! Lights! Lights!

 

Seriously. If you have only been to Disneyland in the summer months (like I had up until this trip,) go now. If you don’t go now, go next November. You will not regret it. It’s so freakin’ magical I almost could not handle it. (All in a good way, of course).

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*Some of the more popular rides like Indiana Jones and Radiator Springs Racers on the California Adventure side had estimated wait times of up to two hours so for those we either used Fast Passes or waited in the single rider line. (A few times even though we waited in the single rider line, it just so happened that we were able to sit together on the ride!)

Fun things are about to happen

I’m bursting with fun things that are about to happen.

(And, the hole in my wallet will soon feel it … but, money buys happiness, right?? Err, I mean …)

 

Fun things that are on the horizon:

1. Hood to Coast is tomorrow! I’m runner #10 for team #767 so, be on the look out if you happen to find yourself somewhere between Mt. Hood and Seaside, Ore. Friday and Saturday.

2. I am visiting my dear friend, Hannah, in New Orleans in September. I just booked my tickets last night and will be in the good ‘ol South in three weeks!

This is Hannah and I in San Fran, not New Orleans (because the trip hasn't happened yet).

This is Hannah and I in San Fran, not New Orleans (because the trip hasn’t happened yet). [Photo: Stranger using Hannah’s camera]

3. Chicago Marathon is in October! Training has been going, uh, not as smoothly as I would like with the knee thing BUT I will get to see my dear Leah. She moved to DC for school but we will reunite for 26.2 miles in Chi-town!

 

Leah and I before the start of Vancouver Marathon 2012

Leah and I before the start of Vancouver Marathon 2012

 

4. Disneyland in November! As you may or may not recall, the last time I visited this magical place was on Leap Day last year when the park was open for 24 hours straight. I can’t wait to go back for one whole weekend!

The happiest place on earth

The happiest place on earth

 

One NOT fun thing that is about to happen:

1. Taking the GRE.

But, with all the above-mentioned fun things, I guess I can suck it up and take a standardized test that will suck the soul out of me.

People have asked me throughout the summer if I am going on any trips this summer. My answer has always been ‘no.’ I don’t get summer break, people! I’m not in school anymore! But, the positive aspect of being a working person with vacation time is that you can take your vacation during any time of the year!

So, fall break, I’m ready for you (and all the fun things you have in store!)