I guess we'll start on my first trip of the month, the weekend of the Disneyland Half Marathon (August 31- September 2). Was I running? Heeeeck nope. But I had two friends that were and I was going to cheer them on!! So I start off on my trip going to the parks with three of my best gal pals. Two of which are from Indiana and this was their first (FIRST!!!!!!!!) time to Disneyland!!!
Karen, Cathy, Moi, Jenn
We actually hit up DCA first for some reason. My two friends Cathy and Jenn got us FPs for Radiator Springs while my more thrill-ride friendly girl Karen got on ToT then Screamin'. I think the only other ride we got on was Little Mermaid, then picked up our FPs for World of Color that night, then it was time for one of my friends to get registered and pick up her number bib for the marathon, so we walked to the Disneyland Hotel to the Health & Fitness Expo.
Who did we see at the Disneyland hotel??....GOOFY!!
There I saw....RUDY!!!! I mean...Sean Astin INSPIRATION!
I was a little star-struck, I admit. Rudy is one of my all-time favorite movies and I took creepy stalker pics for my mom on my phone, lol. After being pulled into buying some running shirts (AND I'M NOT A RUNNER....but it was Snow White themed!!!) and obtaining a bevy of free snacks and samples, we headed back to the hotel to check in (Castle Inn). It was during this time that I discovered that none other than Joey Fatone (I'm a HUGE *nsync fan. I'm almost 30 so I've been a fan for about half my life) was at the parks, he ran the 5k and 10k earlier that weekend and would be running the half marathon as well. If I happened to just see him from afar...that would be enough. I wasn't going to try to chase him around to meet him or anything......
When we walked back to the parks, Jenn had to head back to the Expo to say hello to someone. So I was left with my first-timers This time we went to the main park, and I was getting such a thrill tipping them off to little Disneyland/Walt facts as we walked around.
Who did we see at the gates? Mulan!!!!
We took the obligatory castle picture...
We were able to get on a few rides here and there, and then we decided to go on King Aurthur's Carosel. It was just in time that Jenn met up with us and hopped on the horse next to me!
We also tried our hand at getting that darn sword out of the stone
After that, it was a mish-mash of things, I don't remember order. We did make it a point to do Captain EO, knowing that it was going to close soon (???) I wanted to make sure my friends got to see it. We had a great audience (lots of cheering and singing along) and my friends absolutely loved it After that it was dinner time, and we ate at Pizza Port so my runners could carb-load for the marathon (Karen is on a strict gluten-free diet, and Pizza Port was able to accomidate her with her own gluten-free personal size pizza). After dinner we had just enough time to head back to DCA for WoC.
It was my first time seeing the show, and I'll admit, I cried.
By this time it was nearing 10pm, and we all knew we had to be up early (like...2am) to get ready and head out to the marathon. By the time we got out of the park and back to the hotel, it was close to 11pm. We were all pretty tired and we passed out pretty quickly.
Before I knew it, 2am was here, my three friends were up and getting ready, and I just wanted to sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. About 2:30am I started to feel generous pokes to my backside urging me to get the heck up. I was almost ready to say "FORGET Y'ALL. I'LL MEET YOU LATER". But finally I managed to get myself up, put on some clothes, slap the minimal amount of makeup to make me not look like one of the walking dead, throw my hair up and slap my bow on my head (I was wearing my Snow White shirt) and get out the door.
Walking to the park and through the esplanade at this time of the morning was errily peaceful and kinda cool, at the same time it felt like we shouldn't be there. We walked through DTD and finally got to the Disneyland Hotel, where the Marathon was set up with booths post-race, a stage and DJ, and various check-in's. This was my first time attending any marathon, so once I started to "wake up" I started to appreciate that this was a pretty cool deal.
Cathy, my little runners Karen and Jenn, and me. I played Snow White/Cheerleader. FYI: This was about 3:30 in the morning.
Once we danced to some tunes, took pictures and my runners stretched, it was time for us to part as they headed off to their respective corrals. Me and Cathy headed to the starting line so we could see our friends start their race.
The starting line.
Cathy and I pick a spot right at the starting line and get settled in. We start eating our breakfast/snacks that we brought with us, and wouldn't you know....I looked up to the street and saw a familiar face. Was....was that?....
YES. JOEY FATONE.
Cathy kept bugging me to call him over to the sidewalk to maybe take a picture, but I was in full-on freak-out mode. They had a small stage set up to the side of the starting line and soon after I heard them announce Joey to the stage. Finally, Cathy pushed me to the staging area to get a little closer. I was shaky but I was able to get some pictures of Joey speaking.
It didn't hit me what was going on when they started to announce Sean Astin......and he was right behind me!!!!!! Again, in total shock, I didn't ask for a picture with him. Then Joey came down from the stage and I didn't know what to do. So I did what anyone would do, stick my hand out for a high-five, and got one.
Joey talking to the runners. One of the questions was "What was more difficult, training for the Half Marathon or keeping the *NSYNC reunion a secret"
Then Joey and Sean were talking to one another. Right next to me. I was starting to seriously get nervous. Sean was called up and then somehow.....the words came out of my mouth: "Joey, do you mind if we can get a picture together?" He said sure, right after he took a picture with someone else. Then a gal asked me to take their picture for them, I said sure, only if she took one for me!!! After that, blur. Total blur. Before I knew it I was taking a picture with Joey Fatone. I told him "thank you" and it "meant a lot to me and it made my life". He smiled, called me "sweetie" and gave me a hug. ALKSMDALKSMDALKSMD.
IS THIS THE REAL LIFE? IS THIS JUST FANTASY?
After one more thank you, I ran to my friend still holding our spot, I told her what happened and then proceeded to scream and jump around. Then I took to every single social media account I own to report that Disneyland is indeed the happiest place on earth
So, cut to the half marathon: Karen finished in about 1 hour 45. She placed around 288 overall, the 59th woman overall, and 9th in her age division. I was (and still am!) extremely proud of her!!!! Jenn ended up finishing the race a little later in the morning, still super proud of her!!
Jenn and Karen after the race !
After Jenn decided that she was going to go back to the hotel to rest, me and the girls went to Disneyland again. We did Star Tours, Captain EO (again!), Pirates, and the Tiki Room (this was their first time, so to make it the complete experience, we did get Dole Whips). Then we shuffled back to the hotel to shower and get gussied up for dinner at Napa Rose for the Chef's Counter experience!
Dole Whips and Tiki Room!
When we walked in to Grand Californian, guess who we saw in the lobby? Joey Fatone. Again. I didn't bother him because he looked to be with family and/or friends so we headed to the bar for a drink before. When our reservations were ready, we headed to the restaurant and waited to be seated. Then. Again. Look who was right behind us in line also waiting to get in to Napa Rose? Joey Fatone. I swear, he was following me!! So again with some prodding from my friends I was urged to pipe up and say something. His party was called first and as he walked by I squeaked out "Hi Joey! Bye Joey!!" he looked at me and smiled and laughed. I. Am. A. Huge. Nerd.
To make this already long story/report short (too late!) we had an AMAZING dinner. Here's a little collage of what I ate and drank:
I would HIGHLY recommend Napa Rose and even more HIGHLY recommend the Chef's Counter expereince. This was a combined birthday/Christmas gift from my friend Jenn for all of us girls, but I would have no problem dropping down the cash for this myself. It's such a deliciously unique experience.
We somehow made it back to the hotel, I was a little tipsy (I'm not a wine drinker and after 6 glasses of different wine...this was expected of me, lol) My last day at the parks and with my girls would be the next day before I headed back home.
The next day started out with breakfast at Carnation Cafe. I indulged in a classic Mickey waffle and bacon (and plenty of coffee), my gal Karen had specially made gluten-free mini-Mickey waffles and fruit. Cathy had the All-American breakfast and Jenn the Huevos Rancheros.
This Mousketeer was not happy until she had some coffee in her system.
After stuffing our faces, we headed to Star Tours one more time, Matterhorn, Indy, Jungle Cruise, and Small World. My train was departing at 2pm so I got in a hefty good few hours before I had to leave.
One last group picture, probably my favorite!
I was dropped off at the Anaheim Amtrak station, leaving my girls behind (we only get together every couple of years, so I left with teary eyes). I got back home around 8:30 (scoring a single seat by myself on the Amtrak bus and on the final train back home, a rare occasion and I was so happy, lol).
And THAT folks....ends my first trip report!!! Second trip report with Dapper Day coming up soon