the girls and i headed down to anaheim after the bean's hula class to check into our hotel - the very glamorous la quinta inn & suites - and pick up a few last-minute items at the expo.
as we entered the disneyland resort on the way to the expo, we drove right past where i'd be at 5:30 the next morning:
downtown disney was being transformed into "tomorrowland," with the movie's red carpet premiere scheduled for the next evening. yup, george clooney would be in this very spot.
while i didn't end up finding everything i wanted at the expo, we did stop for a photo op:
and said hello to my friend jeff galloway.
the la quinta was actually really nice. our room was divided into two rooms, which was perfect. two queen beds in one room, another in the next room plus its own tv. the bean called dibs on the other room right away, and her sister was happy to let her have it.
plus, this way i didn't have to worry about waking her up as i got ready at the buttcrack of dawn the next morning.
just across the street from the hotel was the anaheim gardenwalk, a complex of restaurants, a movie theater, and a few shops. we decided to forego the long line at cheesecake factory in favor of a much shorter wait at california pizza kitchen. my angel hair with sautéed salmon was pretty tasty.
and we topped it off by sharing a s'mores mason jar dessert.
4:30 the next morning found me getting all gussied up in my homemade baymax outfit. this is the only picture i managed to get of it from the back:
my friend delovely details, who was the one responsible for talking me into this damn pixie dust challenge to begin with, swung by with her husband to pick me up. going with friends was way better than taking the shuttle by myself, and since we were all assigned to the same corral, made the morning even more fun.
we had timed things so that we arrived just in time to get into the corral as the national anthem was being sung. there were no fireworks that morning, but the announcers tried to make every corral release exciting anyway.
we parted ways as we started running, and by now the route was somewhat familiar to me. we ran past the mickey & friends parking structure, turned onto ball road, and headed over the freeway overpass. and before i knew it, i was passing the first mile marker.
from there, we headed back into the resort via one of the backlots.
and then we crossed through the esplanade, past a nice big group of cheering spectators, and into disneyland.
across the way from the 2nd mile marker, chip and dale were waving and cheering while taking photos with excited runners - yours truly being one of them.
as i posed and smiled, i heard a familiar voice shout my name - DD and mr. DD. i scampered over to join them, and we ended up running the rest of the way together. this was new for me, since i'm not typically a social runner. but it was really fun to experience a disney run with buddies, and we pushed each other whenever we needed it.
mile 3 - halfway there!
more scenes from the backlot. i've run through these areas a number of times before, but it's always kind of cool to see the stuff that typical disneyland guests don't get access to.
i had to admit, these mile markers seemed to pop up pretty quickly since i was distracted by running with my friends.
the last mile is always along the backside of the resort, with a wall of ivy separating us from the street. one of the cast members told us to listen for the "cheering ivy," which didn't make sense until we heard exactly that - cheers from "invisible" cast members stationed on the other side of the wall. it was pretty funny. and there was another high school band when we were about a half mile from the finish, which gave us that final bit of energy that we needed to finish strong.
there's always a little bit of energy left for a good post-race photo.
just past the finish line, we met this fireman who had run in his full gear. when asked why he did it, he simply said "i wanted to run it for those who can't."
we also bumped into our friend robert hitchcock, who we'd met during those pre-race run disney meetups. we really miss those gatherings, and we told him so. he totally recognized us and chatted with us a bit as we made our way out of there.
nice bling, eh?
yay! part 1 of the pixie dust challenge, check!