Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Disney Marathon Weekend!

We're back from our weekend at Disney World!

I'll resume my Christmas recapping this week, and our full Disney recaps have been added to the end of the chronological blogging agenda, but I really wanted to make a quick post just to share the highlights (and a ton selection of my favorite photos) from our weekend in the meantime. Of course, the MAJOR highlight: Eric successfully ran the Disney Marathon! Way to go, Eric!

Our weekend started on Thursday morning with the Disney Kids' Races. Ellie ran the 100m and became the first Marathon Weekend medalist in our family! Way to go, kiddo!

Kicking off Marathon Weekend!

Go, Ellie, go!

Finisher! Great job, Ellie!

After Ellie's race we went over to Hollywood Studios for the afternoon, which included lunch at Hollywood & Vine, where Ellie met DOC MCSTUFFINS. It may very well have been the highlight of her life to date.

Look at that joy!

The family at Hollywood Studios!

The weather on our trip was iffy at best, and super lousy at worst. (Note: I apologize to my northern friends for how annoying this whiny paragraph is about to be, when you have been experiencing frigid awfulness yourselves. Floridians are the worst. My apologies.) Thursday was cold and windy for Ellie's race, but Friday was supposed to be our nice day - high 60s and sunny, 0% chance of rain. HA! Friday ended up being one of the worst days. Highs in the low 50s (and it didn't feel that warm) and RAIN. So much for that 0% chance!

Friday was our Magic Kingdom day, regardless of the miserable weather. We spent the morning visiting princesses and other characters, riding Dumbo, and trying to stay warm and dry. A major highlight was E.J. looking adorable both in his Mickey sleeper with personalized mouse ears, and in the Mickey-inspired slipcover I made for our carrier. That kid was a hit!

Look at that little mouse!

The W. men trying their hands at the Sword in the Stone

Ellie loved the Dumbo ride, just like she did last time!

This kid. Omg.

We went back to the hotel for lunch and naps, and returned to the park that evening for a meet-and-greet with Anna and Elsa, the castle lighting, and some more quality time with Mickey himself (a huge hit with both kids!).

We bought Ellie this Anna dress before our trip and she has barely taken it off since!
Also, Eric carried Ellie a TON around the parks. AND ran a marathon. Show-off.

"That's a beautiful dress, princess!"
"This is my Anna dress."

The kids with Mickey - a fan favorite!

Saturday was a low-key day so Eric could rest up some before the Marathon on Sunday. My mom came to join us and we went to Downtown Disney for a bit, then spent the rest of the day watching Ellie put on a one-woman Frozen show! We also made some t-shirts and signs to wear/bring to the Marathon as Eric's cheering squad!

Dr. Anna giving Stuffy the Brave Dragon a check-up in our hotel

Downtown Disney with Grammy

VIDEO: Ellie sings "For the First Time in Forever"

Eric left for the Marathon shortly after 3:00 a.m. (yes, A.M.) on Sunday, and was halfway done by the time we were even ready to leave the house! He sent some pictures along the way - it sounded like Disney did a great job of making it fun! He even stopped for pictures with notable park landmarks and characters.

On your mark, get set, go!

Pausing for a photo with the icy castle!

A few of the characters Eric met along the way!

As for the rest of us, we donned our matching supportive t-shirts and went to the finish line in the EPCOT parking lot to stake out a spot to see Eric at the end of his 26.2 miles. We found a great spot that had a view of the big EPCOT ball, and I could see the runners coming around the corner off in the distance so I knew I would spot Eric way before he reached us, allowing lots of opportunity for approaching photos. But, again, the weather was lousy, and the off-and-on rain picked up steam just as Eric was coming towards us! I was so distracted by trying to shield E.J. from the rain that I didn't even see Eric until he stopped right in front of us! If he hadn't seen us, I would've missed him completely!!!! But he stopped to snap a picture of us then finished up his race. He's cool like that.

Eric's proud family!

There he is!!!!

Eric snapped this photo of us cheering for him!

Supportive signage!

We met him after he finished, admired his medal, shared congratulations and even broke out into an impromptu celebratory dance party! Way to go, Eric! We're so proud! He worked really hard for this and did a great job!

Ellie was so excited to see Daddy at the end of his race!

The boys!

Dance party!
(Don't you love Eric's Mickey-inspired running outfit?)

Great job, Eric/Daddy!

The rest of the day was pretty casual: had lunch, said goodbye to my mom, naps, hot tub, etc. That evening we did go out to Downtown Disney for the Cool Down Party.

My medalists!

Monday was supposed to be another Magic Kingdom day but the weather was so lousy (80% chance of thunderstorms, accompanied by torrential rain), we instead had breakfast at Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary Resort, which was a hit! The food was good and the kids loved seeing all their favorite characters again. Mickey was particularly smitten with Ellie and her awesome dancing!

Ellie and Minnie, BFFs

E.J. and Mickey!

Mickey had this woman come over to tell us how much he loved Ellie and her dancing!

VIDEO: Ellie dancing and stealing Mickey's heart

Family at Chef Mickey's

The rest of the day was devoted to naps and outlet shopping in the rain, then packing up so we could return to Jacksonville Tuesday morning.

And that was our trip in a nutshell! I'll share more later this month, but now you have some idea of what a great time we had!

Our first vacation as a family of four was a smashing success, and it's hard to come back to real life after all that fun. I just loved watching my children enjoy themselves so much, and I'm so proud of my husband for completing such an impressive physical challenge. What a magical weekend for everyone!

My mouse-eared babies

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