Friday, March 27, 2009

Yeti or not...

That's the name of my Expedition Everest Challenge Team. What's that, you ask? Expedition Everest Challenge is a 5K race (that's roughly 3 miles) through Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World, followed by an obstacle course and a scavenger hunt.

Newsflash...I love Disney World! (I love Disneyland too, but it's clear across the country.) I would go to just about any length if it meant I could vacation there...including doing something I dread, like run. Plus, a lot of Mom's Panelists are attending this event, so it's a reunion of sorts.

I have friends who run for fun. In fact, one friend trains for marathons and gets up to run 20 miles in the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT so she can be home for her kids during the day! While not everyone I know is so enthusiastic about running, most people can probably run 3 miles without significant training. I'm not most people. Sadly, I can't run 3 yards without feeling the need to sit and rest -- at least not yet. But the ability to run long distances is something I've always envied in others. When I lived in Colorado, I always wanted to run the Bolder Boulder (a 10K) just not enough to get off my rear end and do something about it - until now.

So we've purchased a used jogging stroller, and the weather is starting to warm up. Time to train. In the meantime, I've been doing Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred DVD, and it's been killing me - endurance is not my thing. We went out for a family walk the other day, and my husband told me I could jog home if I wanted. I think I ran a total of 300 yards -- guess I've got a bit of work ahead of me. I'll keep you posted.

This could be the beginning of something great. 5K in September, then who knows? Maybe I'll throw in a few 10Ks in, sprinkle a half marathon, and top it all off with Boston Marathon. Miracles can happen, right?!

Friday, March 20, 2009

And the award goes to...

Jo at Forever Young gave me this award! For those of you who don't already read Jo's blog, you should. She is an incredibly witty, fun, brilliant "mum" from the U.K. who happens to be on the Disney Mom's Panel with me. Thanks Jo, you made my day!

Here's how the award works:

"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

Jo already chose a few of my favorites, but fear not, there are several other amazing, kind women out there.

And the award goes to:

Lisa at Spots of Time
Margaret at Fries Family Five
Becky at Grandma Bailey's Reflections
Jackie at One Fabulous Mama
Jaimie at Sophistimom
Darcie at Such the Spot
Briana at Ward Family Five
Holly at Sunny Side Up in an Upside Down World

Thursday, March 5, 2009

American Idol Experience

For those of you who haven't friended me on Facebook or followed my Tweets (that's you mom), I recently had the opportunity to attend the press event for the American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios. It was a whirlwind trip that lasted less than 48 hours, but for an American Idol/Disney fanatic, the memories will last a lifetime!

The forecast on February 12 didn't look to promising. My favorite meteorologist was predicting high winds and hoped my flight wouldn't be delayed. What? I was scheduled to arrive a couple of hours before the event. A delay could make me miss EVERYTHING! Fortunately, the wind didn't pick up until after my flight took off.

At the airport, I ran into Jackie -- another Disney Mom -- and her sister, Sarah. We boarded Magical Express and were off to the Polynesian! I had never stayed there and was anxious to check it out for my next family vacation. (It's beautiful, by the way, and I highly recommend staying there.)

The next couple of hours were a little rushed to say the least. We met up with Disney Mom Margaret in the lobby and were greeted by our "handler" Leigh -- it's so exciting to have "people"-- kind of makes you feel like a celebrity. Our rooms weren't ready, and our luggage hadn't arrived. That was a slight problem since we had about 1 1/2 hours until Jackie and I had to film a quick video for the event looking fabulous, of course.

We had a quick lunch at Kona Cafe with some other Disney Moms and some mom bloggers who were there for the event. My room was finally ready (no luggage though), and Jackie, Sarah & I had about 10 minutes to get ready -- Yikes!!

Hollywood Studios was crazy that day. Fans were lined up along the streets waiting to catch a glimpse of their favorite Idols riding down the "blue" carpet. It was all very - well - Hollywood. If you (hi mom) are one of the only people who hasn't seen the package, click HERE. After filming the video, we headed over to a reserved area to watch the motorcade.

I don't have a crazy zoom lens on my camera. This is really how close they were.

The show, itself, was incredible. Mark, the warm-up guy, was hysterical, and the judges captured the essence of Paula, Simon & Randy. The contestants all performed very well, especially considering that the audience was packed with former Idol contestants all sitting in the first few rows! I think I would have passed out!! We all voted, and then Ryan and the guy who plays him in the attraction began the elimination process.

In true Idol style, the final two contestants had to wait -- not for a commercial break --
but for a special performance by David Cook & Carrie Underwood!!!
and then for all 7 Idols to be brought out on stage!

After the show, the real fun began. We spent the evening at a party WITH the contestants. It was amazing, and people couldn't have been more friendly or gracious.

My favorite part of the evening - Sanjaya! I know...I know...I think I led the brigade to get him eliminated from the show. Well now...I might be feeling a little bit guilty about that...I might have even thrown a couple of votes his way just for the nice factor.

He posed for a picture with us, and then we ran into him on Rockin' Roller Coaster. After the ride, Karen, Jackie, & Jennifer wanted to go back on -- there were no lines. As much as I like the attraction, it makes me feel like my brain is bouncing around in my head, so Margaret & I opted to do Tower of Terror instead. As we were getting in line we heard, "I think I'm following you guys." It was Sanjaya! He was with Mark from the show and a couple of other people.

He'd never been to Disney World before, so Tower of Terror was a new experience for him. He was a little nervous about riding with the "Moms" since he wasn't sure if he could keep from yelling profanity during the ride. I also got to ask him about the whole 12 year old girl crying thing. He was totally uncomfortable with that whole situation -- see, I told you he was normal -- and for the record -- I didn't hear him swear once during the many drops on Tower of Terror.

Another highlight of the evening happened back at the hotel. As Jackie, Sarah & I got off the bus, a woman stopped us. "You're on the Mom's Panel? I just want you to know that my friends and I love that site!" She asked if we would take a picture with her -- Wow!! We actually had a fan that wanted OUR picture -- so cool! Should I be worried that her website is called Nah!