Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Meet-Up aka #winedinehalfmeetup

So I flew out, to this little ole place called Walt Disney World. Have you ever heard of it? I thought so…

I went with my friend, Kelly to run a half marathon. Yep, half marathon #2 within a month of my very first half marathon. I’m crazy like that. We went to WDW to run the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. This was a special treat for me because 1. I’ve never been to Walt Disney World 2. I was going with a great friend 3. It was my second half marathon 4. It was a night run {awesome} and 5. It was my birthday the week after the race.

I was lucky enough to be invited to a runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Meet-Up the day before the actual race with some special guests. We got up super early that morning and left for the meet-up at 6am. Which in case you are wondering, with the 3-hour time difference, it was 3am my time. Yikes, it was early!

@according2kelly and @angryjulie in @runTeamSparkle Skirts for the @runDisney Wine and Dine Half Meet-Up at Epcot

Of course, we had to dress “the part” for the meet-up. Kelly as Snow White, and me as Minnie Mouse. We were both wearing skirts from Team Sparkle, of course.

runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend Meet-Up. Photo courtesy of Disney.

Kelly and I got to meet-up with some other awesome runDisney runners like Rachel, Krissy, and Heather. I was super excited to meet Krissy because we had been talking {tweeting} online to each other for some time. Rachel was a big help during our meet-up run because she is a Disney World expert and told me all about Epcot while we ran throughout the park. I had met Heather the day before, so it was great to see a familiar face in the crowd.

runDisney Wine and Dine Half Meet-Up. Photo by runDisney.

Speaking of familiar faces….Mickey Mouse stopped by in his running gear. He came to hang out with the “runners” at the meet-up.

After everyone was gathered together, we were organized into two groups for our meet-up run 1. the super fast speedy types like Kelly, and 2. people who don’t run 7 minutes miles and did the run/walk/run method with special guest Jeff Galloway. You can probably guess which group I ran with? I had a great run/walk throughout Epcot with Rachel. She told me about Epcot and The Wine and Dine Festival going on throughout Epcot. Jeff Galloway led our group through Epcot with a run/walk ratio of 30:30, which means 30 seconds of running and 30 seconds of walking.

runDisney Wine and Dine Half Meet-Up. Photo by runDisney.

Mid-way through our run, we {group #2 with Jeff Galloway} stopped to take a group picture, and Mickey Mouse joined in for the fun!

runDisney Wine and Dine Half Meet-Up. Photo by runDisney.

After our run we ended up in Germany {at Epcot} to hear some great speakers. Bob Hitchcock {Mr. runDisney} gave us all a warm welcome and introduced the fabulous guests that were speaking at the event.

runDisney Wine and Dine Half Meet-Up. Photo by runDisney.

Then Faron Kelly {Director of Sports Marketing & Communications for WDW} spoke about “runDisney” actually only being around for two years and how it has evolved. He also spoke about working with Jeff Galloway {runDisney Training Consultant} and Tara Gidus {Official Nutritionist for runDisney}.

runDisney Wine and Dine Half Meet-Up. Photo by runDisney.

We then heard our next speaker, Jeff Galloway. Jeff spoke about nutrition before a race and especially before a “night” race which we were running the next day. He advised not to eat anything too heavy.  He also talked about his run/walk/run method and reducing injuries.

runDisney Wine and Dine Half Meet-Up. Photo by runDisney.

After hearing Jeff’s great training advice, we were introduced to Anton Van Zyl {2-time Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Winner}. Anton had just participated in the Ironman Kona prior to the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon which is amazing for an athlete. He spoke about eating potato chips as his favorite fuel during a race. He said he wasn’t going to win this race {2012 Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon} as he was going to “run it”. Ironically, the next night, he WON the 2012 Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon, and took 17 pictures along the way.

runDisney Wine and Dine Half Meet-Up. Photo by runDisney.

Speaking of food, and nutrition of course, Tara Gidus {Official Nutritionist for runDisney} spoke about proper nutrition for runners and not starving ourselves.  She spoke about those runners that complain about gaining weight while marathon training. She mentioned the fact that you are not giving your body enough nutrition and fuel and it is starving itself, hence the weight gain. She also spoke about eating something before an early morning run, and also eating after your run. She has some great nutrition tips on the runDisney website.

Chef Steff, The Sports Chef.

After all of this talk about running, food, and nutrition, I was starting to get hungry. We had some muffins and orange juice, but I was seriously craving some protein. Our next special guest was Chef Steff. Chef Steff talked about what and how we should be eating as athletes. I admit, I am a bit of a novice in this topic. I eat horribly most days, but I do try to get in the right amount of protein at least. I have little to no energy without enough protein in the morning. Chef Steff made his “Famous Spaghetti Pie” recipe and plates were handed out to everyone. I am the “pickiest eater in the World” seriously…and I loved this dish. I was so hungry and I could have eaten have the dish. I want to make this recipe soon! See picture above for recipe.

runDisney Wine and Dine Half Meet-Up. Photo by runDisney.

After hearing the awesome speakers, we went outside and took a group picture. It was a great way to start and finish the morning. And it made my race experience even more memorable, the day before the race.

runDisney Wine and Dine Half Meet-Up. Photo by runDisney.
Kelly and I had to give our friend, “Mickey Mouse” a little kiss goodbye after a fun morning!


It was so amazing and inspiring to meet everyone and talk about our running and runDisney race experiences. The 2012 Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon was my first runDisney event, and it won’t be my last either! I can’t wait to tell you all about running the half marathon, but I will save that experience for a later date.

I can’t say enough how awesome this meet-up was and a great big thanks to Bob Hitchcock, Faron Kelly, Darrell Fry, Tony Morreale,  Jeff Galloway, Tara Gidus, Anton Van Zyl, Chef Steff, & anyone else who was apart of making this incredible morning happen!

Do you want to read Wine Dine Meetup recaps from other #winedinehalfmeetup attendees? Check out these posts:

P.S.  If you attended the #winedinehalfmeetup and your blog post isn’t listed, let me know…I will add you!
*Do you want to attend the next runDisney race meetup? Pay extra special attention to the runDisney facebook page, runDisney twitter account, & disney parks blog a week or two before the next runDisney race. in the past, that’s where they’ve announced the meet-ups.

Disclosure: I was invited by runDisney to attend the entire event weekend as media – meaning they were kind enough to cover my hotel expenses at the fabulous boardwalk  inn, meals, and my race fees. All thoughts & opinions are 100% my own. The photographs used in this post are courtesy of runDisney. It was super awesome to be able to enjoy an event without trying to capture the “perfect” shots {photos} while being in the moment. 

Hello Monday: The NYC Edition

Hello Monday!

Hello Reality!

Hello Post-Travel Coma!

I got back late last night after being in New York City for the past five days.  I was there for the BlogHer12′ Conference.

Hello NYC at Night!

I arrived at JFK Airport at around midnight Wednesday night.  I didn’t make it to my hotel until about 1:30am or so. Luckily, I caught a cab from the airport with my friends Janice and Susan from 5 Minutes For Mom.

Hello NYC!

Hello Central Park!

Hello Six Miles Done!

I followed my training plan and my 6-mile long run for the week. Yippee!! Worst run ever though. It was hot, humid, and muggy outside.  I was also having side pain the few days prior to leaving for New York. I held my side a ton while running.  I also did the BlogHer 5K the next day.  Nine miles of running done while in New York.

Oh hai...just a little run around Central Park. 3 miles of 6 done.
Hello Subway!

I have never taken the subway. I took the subway all by myself to meet Carrie in Chinatown at The Garment District. Go Me!

I posted on my personal Facebook that I felt like I was in an episode of Law and Order.  I didn’t get attacked running in the park, and I braved the subway.  Silly Julie. But seriously, the subway was so much cheaper than taking a cab. Silly bloggers were spending tons of money on cabs.

Hello Garment District!

Hello Jem Fabric Warehouse!

Jem had great stuff. I was overwhelmed.

Jem Fabric Warehouse

Hello Times Square!

I went to an event at a very tall building overlooking Times Square!

I had to get a shot of The Hunger Games DVD Release Advertisement from above.

Taken from above, Ad for Hunger Games on DVD, NYC! #latergram

Hello Good Friends!

I was super excited to see my friend, Cynthia aka Nap Warden.

I met Cynthia in person at BlogHer in 2009.  She lives in Chicago so we see each other only once a year. But we talk on the phone or text at least once a week.

I may have had a glow stick in my hair as a headband.

The lovely @NapWarden and I at #sparklecorn last night. #blogher12 #latergram

Hello Tired and Sore Feet!

After tons of walking and nine miles of running while in New York, my feet were done!

I was hungry and lazy. I totally wore my pj pants and flip flops to Chipotle. I dressed it up with my Lululemon jacket. I’m fancy like that.

I totally just wore a @lululemon jacket, Target Pants with Koi fish, and black rainbow sandals to @chipotletweets tonight. Yes, I walked three blocks in NYC in my pjs to get Chipotle. #blogher12 #nyc

Hello Reality!

My flight got in at 8pm last night. Got home at 9pm. Work at 7am.

Busy day at work, and a ton of laundry to do.

I hope to post more about New York soon with photos, stories, etc.

Hello Monday!

Linking up with Lisa Leonard and her “Hello Monday” series!

Hello Monday

Hello Monday!

Hello to March this week, Goodbye to February!

Hello to Angry Kid doing “chores” without being asked. Last week it was closet organizing and toilet scrubbing. This past weekend, he brought in the trash without being asked, because it was blocking my car.

The kid brought in the trash cans this morning without me asking. He saw that the trash peeps had already been by & that the cans were blocking my car.

Hello to feeling like a kid again and wearing my favorite shoes.

What? You don’t have Asics with Hello Kitty on them?

I am freeeee from work! Yippee! Time to put on some @Sanrio Asics that I heart! #shoes #febphotoaday

Hello to Angry Kid refusing pictures.
This is nothing new. This is what happens when your mom is a blogger.

This would be the "STOP taking pictures of me" pose @WahoosFishTacos
Hello 24 Hour Fitness.
Hello treadmill and Oscars on the TV.
I figured I was watching The Oscars on my couch, why not workout while still watching the show.

Me, The Gym, and The Oscars.

Hello, how do I even survive the weekends?

I work on Saturday, after we had soccer. Yep, our last AYSO game for the Winter Season.

Hello to sleeping in on Saturdays.

A busy week ahead.

Two trips to LAX, the airport, within one week.

Rain today.

Will I survive the last week of February?

Please tell me that I’m not the only one who has CRAZY BUSY weekends, and is way too busy to blog lately?

I’m linking up with Lisa Leonard and her Hello Monday Series.

Wordless Wednesday: A little sun flare in Northern California

Last week my family went on a three day to adventure to Northern California. We have family whom lives there.  On Monday, I posted that I went to Napa for the day to visit April. I took some awesome photos, many of them that I need to edit still. On the way home from Napa, I took a few minutes on stopped on the side of the road. It was a beautiful drive and I captured some awesome landscape.

Hwy 12, Northern California

Welcome to “Angry Julie Monday’s Wordless Wednesday Linky”!

If this your first time here, HELLO! I do a link-up every Wednesday! Post a picture(s) and link back to it here. Wordless Wednesday is a great day to post an awesome picture that “speaks” for itself, no words needed.

This week I’m focusing on “What I Wore Wednesday” but I always post random things mostly.

Be sure to check out Wordless Wednesday Link-Ups at these other sites also:

Project AliciaBetter in BulkBy Word of Mouth MusingsDear CrissyFive Minutes For Mom,Joy of DessertsLive and Love…Out Loud,Parenting By DummiesSeven Clown CircusSupermomThe Divine Miss Mommy

(P.S. if you do a Wordless Wednesday or similar link-up, let me know. I will add you to my list above.)

Also, Lindsey from The Pleated Poppy does “What I Wore Wednesday” every week with a great big link-up.

And, I can’t forget Krystina from Lollipops whom does “What I Love Wednesday” every week with a great big link-up.

Day Trip To Napa

We are in Northern California right now visiting Angry Husband’s grandparents. Of course, I mentioned on Twitter that we coming up here. A few of my blogging friends asked where we would be, and when. My friend, April, asked me where I was and I responded. The tweets then turned into text messages. Yesterday, I confirmed with April that I would be taking a little drive to come and visit her.

Hwy 12, Northern CaliforniaI enjoyed this view while driving to visit April. I also got to listen to music of my choice (Glee Soundtrack, Lady Ga Ga, and maybe even Britney Spears). I drove at my pace, and stopped when I wanted to.  I might have pulled over several times to capture some awesome scenery with my camera. I may have sung along to my music.

It took about 1.5 hours to get to April’s house, but I drove slooooow….. We were excited to start our adventure and get away from rambunctious children. We couldn’t run out of her house fast enough.

We went on our way, and April gave me a tour of the city, Napa, CA. While we were stopped at the train tracks, I managed to snap a picture of the Napa Valley Wine Train with my iPhone. April told me that the The Napa Valley Wine Train is a (3) three-hour, (36) thirty-six mile round-trip journey between Napa and through the town of St. Helena.

Napa Valley Wine Train...with @AprilKennedyWe then arrived at our first destination, V. Sattui Winery.  Although, I’m not a boozer (drinker), I figured it was probably something that I should do while in Napa. The grounds at V. Sattui were breathtaking.  I had to take pictures, it was my destiny. And the day was beautiful.

V. Sattui Winery
V. Sattui Winery
V. Sattui WineryI had to call my mom to confirm her wine selection while I was at V. Sattui. Seriously, I have no clue. It was quite hilarious. But I finally selected something for her, while she was still on the phone.

After touring the winery, April and I decided that it was lunchtime.  She said that we were headed to Gott’s. Gott’s was featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.  I ordered the chicken caesar salad and a mint chip shake. I indulged a bit. I’m on vacation.
Gott's Roadside
Chicken Caesar Salad from Gott's Roadside
@AngryJulie at Gott's RoadsideThe picture of me was taken by April.

After indulging in the food, April announced that it was time for the spa. We headed towards the Napa Valley Marriott, which is April’s favorite spa to go to. April pre-scheduled us for the Salt Glow, which was a Vichy shower with grape seed scrub, and a lotion treatment after. It was quite delightful.  My skin feels like a baby’s right now.  And I smell like wine.

Obviously, no pictures. Who wants to see a woman buffing me with grape seeds. Not pretty.

At the end of the day, we returned to reality, April’s awesome house (home).  We had April’s daughter, Kaia, take a photograph of us. I obviously did not adjust my settings for the sun.  Maybe I’m part vampire or something….do you see me sparkling?

@AprilKennedy and @AngryJulieTotally horrible picture of the both of us…but I had to prove that we were together, right?

I then proceeded to sit in horrible 5pm traffic. It was not that bad. I continued to sing along to bad music. I also pulled over a few times to take some photographs. Here are a few of my return trip photographs.

It was soo much fun to see April though!!

View of Napa from my Tahoe
Hwy 12, Leaving Napa
Hwy 12, Northern California
Hwy 12, Northern California

Poolside at The Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach

On a warm Sunday afternoon, I pulled up to the valet at The Hyatt Regency in Huntington Beach.  Angry Kid and I were there to spend the day at Slyder’s Water Playground which has three water slides, a shallow children’s wading pool, and an oversize hot tub.  It sounded like paradise to me. It was a perfect day to start the summer off with a bang.
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Pool DayBut really, even though the sky was blue and the sun was shining…I thought I was in heaven.  With poolside cabanas, awesome lounge chairs, and palm trees surrounding me, I was in my own personal paradise.

Slyder's Playground at The Hyatt Regency Huntington BeachI was ready to sit and relax in the cabana. But of course, Angry Kid had other things on his mind. He was ready to try out the three water slides only a few feet away. I couldn’t blame him really. When was the last time that you were on a water slide? It has been a few years for me.

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Waterslide FunWhile Angry Kid was busy water sliding, I was busy sipping this delicious smoothie that I got from Shubee’s poolside cafe.  I drank the smoothie while enjoying some pork sliders also.  Don’t hate me, I was in paradise. Angry Kid polished off two hot dogs when he actually stopped to take a little break.
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Pool Day
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Pool DayOf course, Angry Kid got some swimming in too…but you can never forget your water gun.  Angry Kid has acquired quite the arsenal of water guns for the summer. He enjoyed the main pool as much as the water slides.

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Pool DayOf course, you need some sugar in the mild of day, right? We were able to cook up some s’mores right in the fire pit located in the pool area. Deliciousness.  I even let Angry Kid cook over the fire.  Believe me, it was a bit scary.  I think he likes charcoal flavored marshmallow.

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Pool DayAt the end of the day, Angry Kid was exhausted, but he didn’t want to leave. Honestly, I didn’t either.  He asked if we could come back again.  I promptly called my mom and told her that Angry Kid wants Nana and Papa to book a little mini vacation in Huntington Beach.

I mean really, it is the perfect local place to take a mini vacation, or even a real vacation. They have a ton of activities also: surf lessons, adventure packages, bike rentals, Blues and BBQ, Dive In Movies, sandcastle building, kite connection, and cookie decorating. In addition to all of those other activities, they have Camp Hyatt on site for kids ages 3-12.  The adults can enjoy the spa facilities at Pacific Waters Spa while the kids are having fun at Camp Hyatt.

The Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach has many special offers on rooms and entertainment packages this summer, including a 10% AAA discount, Get your 4th night free, Disneyland packages, spa wellness retreats and more.

Seriously, I am dreaming of that pool right now.  Angry Kid really really really wants to play on the water slides again too.  I kinda want to move in there….

Disclosure: I was invited to a special event at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach and The Slyder’s Water Playground as a part of MomsLA.  They gave me drinks, they fed me and the kid, plus we got in a little water slide action. They didn’t give me any cash to post this though.  Honestly, I should be paying them. We had so much fun.

Wordless Wednesday: Alligator in a can

New Orleans has a unique culture and some unique foods. I’m a picky eater so it was really difficult for me to eat. But seriously, I’m not sure that Alligator from a can is a gourmet meal.

Alligator in a canWelcome to “Angry Julie Monday’s Wordless Wednesday Linky”!

If this your first time here, HELLO! I do a link-up every Wednesday! Post a picture(s) and link back to it here. Wordless Wednesday is a great day to post an awesome picture that “speaks” for itself, no words needed. I may be a little wordy today….

Be sure to check out Wordless Wednesday Link-Ups at these other sites also:

A Beautiful Mess, Better in Bulk, Five Minutes For Mom, Live and Love…Out Loud,Parenting By Dummies, Seven Clown Circus, Supermom

(P.S. if you do a Wordless Wednesday or similar link-up, let me know. I will add you to my list above.)

Also, Lindsey from The Pleated Poppy does “What I Wore Wednesday” every week with a great big link-up


Krystina from Lollipops does “What I Love Wednesday” every week with a great big link-up.

Be sure to check out their posts too. I wish I had the extra time to do all of these fabulous link-ups.

Our First Day in New Orleans

Last Wednesday morning, I got up at the crack o’ dawn, 3:15am.  Tiffany had scheduled our flight to New Orleans at 7:05am in San Diego.  I was able to find my way to Tiffany’s house in the dark, and we made it to the airport.  I think we were both half asleep as we descended on our way to Las Vegas, and then New Orleans.  We checked into our hotel, Chateau Bourbon, and then headed towards The French Quarter.  The main reason that we headed towards The French Quarter is to go to the French Market, and more specifically Café Du Mondé.  We were in search of beignets.

Cafe Du Monde BeignetsWhile we savored our beignets, we enjoyed some local musicians and a little “street performance”.  It was the perfect combo for a warm afternoon in New Orleans, and our first day of the trip.

Local Musicians performing in The French Market, New OrleansWe were in no hurry so we took some time and went sight seeing in The French Quarter.  You can see some of the pictures that I took below.
St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square in New Orleans
Big Easy Daiquiris
@TiffanyRom is a diva
Random knick knacks in New OrleansNew Orleans is a pretty eclectic city.  Tiffany looks awesome in sunglasses, and well, you never know what kind of knick knacks that you may find in all of those tourist spots along the way.

We took a different way back and walked down Canal Street, which has stores and restaurants along both sides of the street.  And the best part was the streetcars going down the middle of the street.  I never got a chance to ride the streetcars, but they only cost $1.25 each way.


Tiffany and I arrived back at our room, and Ciaran had arrived.  We all decided that we wanted a really good meal on our first night in town. Per the recommendation of Alexandra, we headed towards Galatoire’s Restaurant.  The food and service were amazing.  We all finished our dinner off with a dessert.  I had warm pecan cake with coffee ice cream.

Dessert was soo delicious. This is officially #foodcationThe restaurant was in the middle of Bourbon Street, which was wide awake with activity when we left.  It was quite entertaining.  The only thing that I could compare it to, was Las Vegas on steroids…
Bourbon Street
Window Display on Bourbon Street

I just had to include the last picture, for shock value.  It was the perfect ending to a really long day.  We headed back to the hotel and went to bed.  It was a great first day in New Orleans.

I will be back with more stories and photos, later this week…