Sunday, August 14, 2016

Pete's Dragon - A tale of a beautiful friendship! (Spoiler alert!)

Over the past weekend, I was blessed to get an opportunity to see Pete's Dragon before it's nationwide release on Friday, August 12th.

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

This is a beautiful movie about an unlikely friendship between a boy (Pete) and a dragon (Elliot). Make sure to bring your tissue because I'm pretty sure my husband even cried during this tale.

Young (toddler) Pete reminded me of my son so the grim events that bring him to be alone in the forest made me cry! But the movie handled it with class and it is not too traumatic. He is soon found by Elliot and they have an immediate bond. The only other person who has seen Elliot is Robert Redford's character of Mr. Meacham who likes to embellish their interaction. Mr. Meacham's daughter, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), even though she loves the forest, does not believe in dragons or that her dad saw one. But that will change once the movie progresses. 

Pete (Oakes Fegley) is discovered while construction is being done on the forest by Grace's boyfriend's daughter (Oona Lawerence). He is scared of being away from Elliot and the forest and even runs away from the hospital to try to get back to him. Meanwhile, Gavin (Karl Urban), finds Elliot and captures him. Through the help of Mr Meacham and after a thrilling chase, Elliot escapes to the forest. I won't give away the ending but I will say that everyone finds their home. 

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

I know that my almost 3 year old, still can't handle very serious movie scenes and may be upset about Pete crying or Elliot being hurt so I would recommend this movie for children over 5. Elliot is not scary and he still looks cuddly much like his traditionally animated counterpart. But be advised, this is not a remake! Obviously, there are some similarities but overall, it is a different movie. The special effects are phenomenal and Elliot looks very lifelike. When we got home from the movie, my husband said to me, "I can't wait to get that on Blu Ray!" and once Oliver is old enough, we will show him the beauty of the movie as well. 

Pete's Dragon is in theaters now. If you haven't see the trailer yet, check it out below!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

RunDisney Goals

Almost 6 years ago, I ran my first half marathon, the Disneyland Half Marathon. From then on, I was hooked!  Since then I have completed 4 Half Marathons, 1 10 miler and a half of a half (as you can read about in my previous posts). I've been thinking about my future RunDisney goals and I thought it I would share it here so you all could keep me accountable.

Goal #1 - Run a race without being worried about being swept. If you don't know RunDisney races, there is a 16 minute mile requirement on their races. That clock starts when the very last person crosses the start line. I have been swept from one race and I will never get swept again. However, I do always feel like I'm right at that cusp of barely getting to a 16 minute mile. Improving speed is the way to do that.

Goal #2 - Run a 5k with my son. Now, he's only 2 so I have a long ways to go but he's been enjoying the kids races! They are perfect to burn off some extra energy. 

Goal #3 - Run the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon. Because Paris. No other explanation necessary haha.

Goal #4 - This is the most important goal! I would love to do the Walt Disney World Marathon in 2019! I am going to make this happen! Then I will complete the Star Wars Half Marathon again and get a second Coast to Coast medal which means I've ran a half marathon on both coasts. Well my Florida run got cut short (which you can read about in previous posts.

How am I going to make these goals? My immediate plan is to run a couple times a week and once on the weekend if I can! I am working on dropping some weight as well which will help with goal #1. I am signed up for the Star Wars 10k at Disneyland for this upcoming January and I'm hoping to be faster than I was!

Join me on this journey and eventually, I am going to hit my goals!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Why you should take your toddler to Universal Studios Hollywood!

While my husband and I are big fans of Universal Studios Hollywood, once we had our son 2.5 years ago, we knew we probably wouldn't be back for a while since we didn't think there was much for him there. We were wrong. 

In these few years since our last visit, the park has been built up and multiple new things have been added. Last year, I told my husband that I wanted to go. I found a good deal (3 days for less than the price of 1!) through our work discount website and we picked a day to go without the kiddo. We had a blast! 

However, since we both had the 3 visits, we decided that we would take our son. While there was really only one ride he could go on, he had a blast at the 2 playgrounds and the Animal Actors Stage show. 

On the upper lot there is Super Silly Fun Land with a fun playground and the Silly Swirly Fun Ride (which is similar to Dumbo). It also has a water play area that was a little too wet for my kiddo! You have the opportunity to meet the Minions and the girls from the Despicable Me movies. My son had discovered a water fountain play area near the entrance to the park that he's deemed ok to play in (he's not a big water fan).

On the lower lot, there is a Dino themed playground next to Jurassic Park the  Ride, complete with dinosaur bones! If your little one is daring, there are meet and greets with a raptor as well as Transformers (be advised that these are interactive meet and greets and the characters are big so they may be too intense for small children). 

Last but not least, we can't forget the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter! While he can't go on any rides, he can do "The Castle Tour" of Hogwarts. It's a special pass that takes us through the Front of the Line pass line and we can see all the cool effects then exit out where everyone else boards. It's awesome! Also, there are employees around in character showing you how the  interactive wands work. The conductor in front of the Hogwarts Express was awesome and spent 3-4 minutes with Oliver even though there was a line. Oliver enjoyed the singing frogs as well! 

We had a blast and would recommend a trip to anyone with littles! 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Oliver's Regular Pizza!

Some of you might be looking at this title and thinking ookkay, pizza so what? But to me, it was a huge accomplishment. If you are a reader of this blog, then you know that my son has multiple food allergies. And that he's outgrown some of those allergies including dairy, wheat and egg which makes some pizza now open to him! 

We went to a friends birthday party over the weekend at Chuck E Cheese and not only were they prepared for allergies, they also had the packages of the food so I could read the ingredients and a different treat for those who couldn't have the cake like Oliver. The employee there was awesome and very accommodating. 

Oliver loves food and was so thrilled to get to eat pizza! We will definitely be going back.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Walt Disney World Day 3 - Magic Kingdom

The day after the race, we had breakfast reservations at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian hotel. I was so jazzed to score these reservations at the last minute. This character buffet has Mary Poppins, Tigger, Winnie the Pooh and the Mad Hatter. They were once again great with Oliver allergies. He got all that food below!

After breakfast, we headed over to the Magic Kingdom. It was awesome to check out the new Fantasyland! 

I went on Splash Mountain and then we saw Woody! One thing I've notice going to Disney (whether it's land or world) with a toddler is that there is a lot more characters stops, they love it!! And I love seeing his face when he sees a character . We then did child swap for the Seven Dwarf's Mine Train, it was so fun! My favorite ride is the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, I miss the Peoplemover at Disneyland! My little guy wasn't a fan though. I think the dark in the Space Mountain area scared him. I was so bummed because at this point the park was shutting down for the Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and Carousel of Progress was closed. We would have to hit it later in the week. The castle looked beautiful all lit up! 

Next up Universal Orlando!

Question: what's your favorite ride at the Magic Kingdom?

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The unofficial inaugural Wine and Dine Half of a Half Marathon

This post is wayyyy overdue. As I mentioned in my last post, I was all set to get my Coast to Coast medal. The forecast was was unseasonably warm and calling for possible showers the night of the race but in Florida that could mean anything. Oliver did the 100m dash kids race in the morning and it was HOT! It was neat though, he got an unofficial coast to coast as he had done the kids races on both coasts. We were lucky enough to meet up with one of my friends from my Amazing Advevtures of the Disney MP Search group who has a little boy who shares a birthday with my son! 

We had spent the day at Animal Kingdom and I was worried I had spent too much time on my feet. I did get a chance to relax a little and put my feet up.

Before I knew it, it was time to go! I was meeting my cousin at Epcot and then we were riding the bus together to the ESPN Wide World of Sports. We sat and talked and then we started noticing lightening. It wasn't raining, but we were afraid it wasn't far behind. Soon, it was time to go to our corrals! As we were heading over there, it started sprinkling. It actually felt nice because it was humid. Then all of a sudden we hear the volunteers start saying: "This is a weather evacuation". There were roughly 14,000 runners and we all had to take cover due to lightening in the area. We sat around for a while and we knew there was a possibility that we wouldn't race at all. We were kinda bummed because we wanted our coast to coast and had flown across the country to get it. 

About 45 minutes later, we got the all clear! We were going to run! We had heard whispers of the course being shortened for the safety of the runners and the official distance ended up being 6.72 miles. I started in the front of the second to last corral. It was so exciting! The course had cut out the Animal Kingdom portion but we still got to see the part I was most excited about: the Osborne Family Lights. At about mile 2, I tripped and took a pretty hard fall on my knee. I was able to finish the race no problem, but I also did not look at my knees until the end. It hurt for a month afterwards but I was lucky it was not worse! 

At the end of the race, we still got our coast to coast medals. I did it! I achieved my goal! Next goal...maybe the Walt Disney World Marathon someday

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Walt Disney World day 1

Wow! I am so behind on this blog. I haven't even recapped my trip to Walt Disney World in November! This blog will cover the first day.

I was so excited to get my Coast to Coast medal by completing the Wine and Dine Half Marathon! I worked hard and although I could have done better, I feel like I was as ready as I was going to be.

I had been watching the weather and it was supposed to be HOT! I was glad that the race was at night. 

We took a red eye and arrived the day before the race. We got to the expo as it opened and I made a beeline for the expo merchandise. I didn't see anything I must have so we stood in the very long line to get my sons ears and then headed to the parks. 

Our first park was Disney Hollywood Studios. My little Mouseketeer loved the Great Movie Ride!  We ate lunch and let my son run around on the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids playground to burn some energy. 

We then headed to Epcot for dinner at Via Napoli (carb loading is yummy!). My son has multiple food allergies and once again Disney came through with awesome food. The small dish below is gluten, egg, dairy and peanut free pasta. 

Epcot is my favorite place in the world and I was so excited to be there with my son! 

We had an early night since we had gotten no sleep the night before and I had a race the next day. We had a great first day though!

Up next, day 2!