Hey hey and happy Friday! While you're reading this, I've already completed a 5K and I am now having a blast at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Hopefully we were able to get in when the park opened to ride the new Avatar Flight of Passage ride! Stay tuned with my awesome adventure via Instagram if you're into the amazingness that is Disney.
Since I'm galavanting around Disney with my ladies this weekend, I thought it would be fun to share how this weekend started. In November 2010, I saw a runDisney booth at the Rock 'n Roll San Antonio half marathon and immediately became interested in running the princess half marathon. My friends couldn't take vacation and save up on that short of notice, but I knew someone who could! Since I was moving to Pittsburgh in two months, I knew that my mom would love to meet up with me in February in Florida. She grew up in Tampa, so we talked to her besties and convinced them to meet up with us at Disney. I had the best time there with my mom and her friends. We lounged at the resort, explored Downtown Disney and the expo and I ran my very first Disney race. It was an amazing experience that I wanted to do again with my friends!
Fast forward to 2012, my friends Julie and Andrea decided to sign up and run with me! We had another spot in our room, so I convinced my sister to come along for the ride. She didn't run the race, but came out to watch us and played at Magic Kingdom with us! We were only there for 3 days and went to Magic Kingdom just one day and Universal Studios for another. We knew that this trip was the best and we had to make it bigger and better!
Another year passes and February 2013 rolls around. This time Julie, Andrea and I were accompanied by Alison! Andrea didn't run because she was only 4 months postpartum and wasn't quite ready to jump back into in. She brought her son Charlie along for the adventure. This year we explored all four parks and went to Universal because...Harry Potter...duh. At this point, the Glass Slipper Challenge hasn't been created, so we were only running the half marathon.
In 2014, Julie, Ali and I were joined by Ashley! We all ran the half marathon and played at all the parks plus Universal. This is the first year the Glass Slipper Challenge was offered, but we didn't partake quite yet. We were enjoying the thrill of having an amazing girls weekend and playing at Disney World.
2015 was an interesting year! We had the same crew as the year before plus a tiny addition...fetus baby Chloe. I didn't know that she was a girl yet at 17 weeks pregnant. I also managed to tear every ligament in my ankle just days before we left for Disney. I was planning to run the 5K and the Glass Slipper Challenge for the first time! Instead, I walked the 5K, skipped the 10K and participated in the first 3 miles of the half marathon before pulling over to a medical tent and waiting for the van to pick me up. We still played at all the parks and my girls ended up pushing me around in a wheelchair.
2016 was the first year that we didn't run the Princess Half Marathon! Instead, for the first time, we invited our husbands along and for a good reason. I had a 5 month old, Ali was 5 months pregnant and Julie wanted to run the full marathon. It made for an interesting change of pace with the guys there! Ali and Philip ran the 5K, JP and I ran the half marathon and Julie finished the full marathon!
Last year we were just a party of 3, Julie, Ali and me! It was my first year to finally run all 3 races and complete the Glass Slipper Challenge! It was also the first year that we were having not only a husband free weekend, but we also were kid free! We love our babies, but a weekend away from adulting with your best friends is so needed. And important.
Every year our weekend gets better and better. We do something different each time that just heightens our experience. I have a feeling that this year is going to be amazing. We have lots of dining reservations, so be ready for Disney restaurant and food reviews headed your way!
I'm going to be here through Monday, so you can expect to hear back from me by midweek next week. I can't wait to share my adventures with y'all again this year. Until then, I'm going to soak up every minute with my ladies. Happy a fabulous weekend y'all! I know I will!