Disney (4-6)

Wrapping up the rest of the trip in one post! Our next day took us back to Epcot.

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We did some rides and a lot of walking around World Showcase. Dinner was at Chefs de la France, which was phenomenal. Such good food throughout the trip!

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Turned into a viking for a moment.

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Then we headed back to Magic Kingdom to watch the fireworks. I don’t care how old or young you are, the fireworks at Disney World are MAGICAL.

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The next day was another double header at Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. The day took us to Pandora where we got to explore a bit in the light of day and try out the other ride- not as fun. Thanks to FASTPASS, we got to ride Flight of Passage again and we were just as amazed!

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I also had my first dole whip, which was too sweet!

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Since we were sitting in the front row, we had to take this obligatory photo.

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For our last day, we went back to Magic Kingdom.

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It was HOT, so we took a leisurely stroll. Thankfully, we were able to fit in a lot already, so we just hit up the big rides we wanted to ride again. On our way out, I snapped this photo.

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It was another amazing vacation with my favorite people in the world!

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Disney Day 3

Our first Magic Kingdom day was a mad-rush to rope drop a few of the major rides before breakfast. But first, we had to take in this sight.

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We were successful as we walked onto Splash Mountain and then Thunder Railroad. Breakfast was at Be Our Guest, inspired by Beauty and the Beast. The food was delectable, the theming beautiful.

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Ran into some pictures of my favorite characters while waiting in (long) lines.

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Including this guy.

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Mom made us take the obligatory siblings by the castle pic. Though the sun was too bright to snap a decent one!

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At Animal Kingdom, we waited in line to go on the Pandora ride Flight of Passage. I’m not a huge Avatar fan, but you don’t have to be in order to enjoy this ride. It was INCREDIBLE. The best ride I’ve ever been on and it makes me SO excited to see the future of rides.

Cheers!

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Disney Day 2

Sorry for the delay in posting, it’s been a bit busy starting a new job and adopting this little guy.

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His name is Simba Charles Weasley and he’s the sweetest thing. He’s already settled in and is quite rambunctious. I’m sure there will be many Simba and Caitlin adventures to report.

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Back to Disney 2017! Day 2 found us park hopping, splitting our day between Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.

First up, a nice family photo. I’m still soaked from the river rapids ride, as you can tell.

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We went on the safari early enough in the morning that all the animals were out and social. The giraffes and lions were the best to see!

Tips on a great quick service meal in Animal Kingdom: Flame Tree BBQ. Delicious, enough to share for two, and a thrifty use of the meal plan!

Someone was really afraid on the Dinosaur ride…the other was faking it.

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We didn’t get to go on the Pandora ride that day, but I’ll get to that when we get to tomorrow’s recap! Once we had our fill of the animals, we hopped on over to Hollywood Studios.

Things looked a bit familiar…

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Ran into this guy.

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We went on all the big rides- Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n Roller Coaster, Star Tours- before going to Mama Melrose’s for a nice Italian dinner. There were hopes to go back to Animal Kingdom for a late night in line for Pandora, but we were tired and wanted to wake up to rope drop Magic Kingdom the next day!

Disney Day One

Welcome back, Monday! I’m feeling the Monday Blues in particular because it means I’m back from vacation. After a long time of researching and planning, my family finally made it to Disney and it did not disappoint.

For the next few days, I’ll be going over the planning process along with the end result for a little travel blogging fun. Believe me, my sister, mom, and I put a lot of work into this trip.

Sunday morning came early as we trudged out to the airport and though we were running on fumes, we were excited to get to the Mouse. We dropped our luggage off at the hotel- Pop Century, a Value Resort because we didn’t plan on spending much time at the hotel, but still comfortable and fun-themed- and hopped on another bus to our first park of the trip.

It’s been 10 years since we’ve been to Disney World (only a month or so since I’ve been to Disneyland and aren’t I spoiled?) and we were all excited to be there together.

First up, Epcot!

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We were all hungry upon arrival, so we headed to Sunshine Seasons to enjoy a quick service meal. I’m impressed by all the healthy options Disney offers, although I for sure wasn’t worried too much by what I was eating and drinking during my vacation. After a tasty power salad, we started for the rides!

Disney vacationers staying on property get to make Fast Passes 60 days in advance, which meant my sister and mom were up early that morning to book them. For our first Epcot day, we got Mission Space- we’re thrill seekers, we are- Figment, and Frozen Ever After. Waiting in long lines suck, but if you are flexible and strategic enough, you don’t have to wait too long.

We started on the Nemo ride, Spaceship Earth as it began to rain, and I enjoyed a nice nap on the last day of Ellen’s Energy Ride- I couldn’t help it, it was dark and cool in the theater! We ended up changing our Figment Fast Pass- you can do all the planning and still need to make lots of changes on the go- and didn’t ride it that day since it seemed to be experiencing some difficulty. After Mission Space and Test Track, we headed over to the World Showcase for a drink in Mexico.

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You can always tell which drink is mine by spotting the fruitiest one.

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Then headed to France for a frozen beverage for the girls and Germany for a bier for the boys.

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Even though it didn’t feel too hot, the humidity was brutal and I was sweating profusely. But I was just so happy to be there!

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After we walked around some more, it was time to ride Frozen! Very cute, but man those lines can go on for a long time!

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Near the end of the night, it was time for dinner at Le Cellier. We were on the Disney Dining Plan, which gave us one table service credit, one quick service credit, and two snack credits per day, and Le Cellier takes two table credits per person. It was well worth it! My sister and I split the 28 oz porterhouse with lobster mac and cheese and garlic mashed potatoes.

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It was truly one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten. I had room for only a bite or two (or five) of the maple creme brûlée for dessert. By the time we finished, the park was closed, so we rolled ourselves out of there and back to the hotel.

With Sunday in the books, it was time to rest up for the next day! Tune in tomorrow to check out my recap of our Animal Kingdom/Hollywood Studios park hopper activities!

“i’ve been high…i’ve been low…

I’ve been yes and I’ve been oh hell no. I’ve been rock ‘n roll and disco, won’t you save me San Francisco!?”

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I’m back from my trip to San Francisco to visit my friend Katie! We spent a lot of time in the city and the vineyards! I’ve been to California quite a bit on trips and uh, well, living here, but never out of SoCal, so when Katie mentioned she was house-sitting, I jumped at the chance to visit.

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My welcoming to Northern California was this view.

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Upon arrival, we headed into Chinatown. We walked around the neighborhood, checking out stores, sights, and scenes, and then enjoyed lunch.

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San Francisco is a beautiful city, but it’s also cold. Very easy to walk around, which enabled us to make our way over to Ghirardelli Square where we enjoyed an ice cream.

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Once we hit the water, I was able to take in the spectacular view, including Alcatraz.

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The next day, we headed over the bridge….

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and towards Sonoma, otherwise known as wine country where we dined and drank.

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I’m not a huge drinker and when I do, I prefer sweet wines and beers, so this was not exactly the place for me. But, I was in good company.

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It was also nice just to sit outside and enjoy the weather and the views. Sonoma is significantly warmer than the city, thankfully.

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It was time for more city exploring the following day.

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The ‘painted ladies’ is where they filmed the famous opening to Full House.

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But, it is not where the front of the house is actually located, so we didn’t make it there until my last day.

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I got to hitch a ride on the trolley, though not on the outside.

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We walked around the Presidio…

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…then ate dinner at a local pub before hanging out on the porch and having a glass of wine (my preferred sweet kind).

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My last day, after checking out the Full House house, we realized how difficult it can be to drive in San Francisco with all those hills- but the view!

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Went through the Presidio once again….

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Then through Robin Williams’ Tunnel.

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Then stopped at a local brewery for a beer (that I didn’t love, oops).

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It was a wonderful trip, but overall, I’ll always be a SoCal girl at heart.

Have a great Monday!

weekend things

Another weekend is in the books. I thought with June, the sunshine and warmth would come with it, but LA has entered what they call “June Gloom.” I was also told that the clouds would disappear as we got to afternoon, but this did not happen this weekend.

Hopeful, I headed down to Laguna Beach with my cousins. We left in the late morning and made our way to the beautiful oceanside.

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It looked like this all day.

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And yet, beauty remains.

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I’ve wanted to go to the OC ever since watching The OC, but unfortunately, I didn’t meet my Seth Cohen on this trip. The water was warm enough and had the sun shone through even a little, I would’ve happily dove into those waves. But I remained on the shore a little chilly. Instead, I journaled, read, and walked along the rocks and tide pools. Oh, and ate a lot of unhealthy but yummy beach food.

There’s something about a beach day that wipes a girl out and once I got home, I showered and lounged for a bit before I went to see Wonder Woman. There are so many things I can say about the film, such as that there is power in representation and that we need a strong female lead more than ever, but I’ll keep it simple. It was a great movie and I really enjoyed it. When a film makes you laugh, cry, and think, you know it did a wonderful job. And it’s fun!

On Sunday, I didn’t have any particular plans. I took my time in the morning and happily enjoyed this breakfast.

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After a run to the grocery store, it was time to meal prep, which will be discussed further in tomorrow’s post! I also got myself hydrated enough for a run that I’ll admit wasn’t the smoothest thanks to some tenderness in my calves, but was otherwise successful! The sun might not have been out, but it was hot, and I worked up a good sweat.

My post-workout meal was a glamorous hotdog and broccoli followed up with some relaxing. I also took some time to throw together this baked oatmeal that will make for a couple yummy breakfasts.

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The rest of the night was spent writing, reading, and relaxing, which is pretty much how most Sundays should end.

weekend and travel plans

This weekend was one of relaxation after traveling. I did a lot of nothing, with some exercise thrown in to assuage the guilt.

I had taken a week off from working out thanks to my travel last week and it was much needed. On Saturday, I got back to it with a total body strength routine and some spinning and I was feeling those DOMS on Sunday. A run/walk combo helped stretch out my sore legs in particular, but they were still achey on Sunday night and this morning! I have a love/hate for this kind of pain, but it is the good kind of pain. I guess it was time to mix things up with my plan.

I was also able to catch up on sleep, which had gotten messed up when I took a red-eye to Boston last Friday. I don’t sleep well on planes, especially with my legs feeling a bit cramped. I had a couple of hours to nap once arriving home before my mom and I got mani/pedis for my cousin’s wedding. It was dancing time at the beautiful ceremony and reception and we were up past 2 am, which meant I was awake for the better part of 24+ hours and jet lagged. Whew. But it was well worth it.

The rest of my break was spent with my family, shopping, going to movies and dinner, and spending some quality time. It’s always hard to leave, but it was great to see everybody. Even though it’s a long flight from coast-to-coast, particularly east-to-west, it was nice to gain three hours of the day on the way back.

I captured some snapshots from the plane:

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It was hard to not include the wing of the plane in my photos, so that accounts for the odd angles.

Somehow, it’s Monday again. Enjoy it!