West Coast Vacation, Pt.1: California!

View from the room at the Grand Californian.

View from the room at the Grand Californian.

It’s hard to believe, but a week ago today, I was leaving California to start the second part of my West Coast Vacation – but it is! As I type this entry over the wifi connection at SeaTac, it’s almost baffling to think I landed here a week ago – and yes, this is gonna be a really common theme over the next few recap posts, but, WOW. So much fun packed in a week and half!!

I already recapped the Labor Day Half, so posts will be a little disjointed, but after a few days of thinking it over, I thought it best to start from the beginning, so without further ado…

DAY 1: Thursday, August 29

Ah, Thursday! I departed the fair state of Florida mid-afternoon and made my way to the West Coast from a rather convoluted flight path that routed me to Los Angeles via Miami from Tampa. The journey was a smooth one, and I even had a chance to grab a tasty Cuban Sandwich on my hour layover and mused at the old-timey plane that not only chugged its way across the country, but did it faster than expected (about 4 hours, 20 min). Upon arrival in California, I waited for what seemed like forever to board the Disneyland Express (more on that later) but once I did, I was BEYOND stoked to check in and check out my awesome view at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel!

Mmm....Earl!

Mmm….Earl!

Before turning in for the night, I met up with my friends Kris and Mindy (and their friend George) at the Earl of Sandwich to plan out the logistics of cupcakes for the Cupcake Meetup to occur the next day! Before long, it was time to hit the hay – but not before catching a glimpse of World of Color…from my balcony! Woot! (Video 1, Video 2)

DAY 2: Friday, August 30

I was planning on “sleeping in” on Friday, but I must have just been way too excited, because I was up and ready to rock at around 6 AM. Since I was not attending the official runDisney Meetup, I was going to just do a 3-mile shakeout on my own, but as luck would have it, this pic changed that plan:

Looking down from the 6th floor at the GC.

Looking down from the 6th floor at the GC.

You see, my friend Steph saw the pic, then commented to me that she was in the lobby – so when I headed down, I caught up with them and found out that they were doing a special “power walk” activity that would take us 2-miles through Disney California Adventure! With a quick sign up at Guest Services, I was signed up and ready to go!

The walk was REALLY fun! I am planning on recapping that with a full post, but in the interim – here’s the dirt: it’s FREE for all guests of the Disneyland Hotels (GC, PP and DLH) and occurs at 7 AM. No cameras or strollers are allowed and it’s a brisk walk (the CM that was with us, Dave, walked at about a 12 min/mile pace).

After the walk, I did about 2.5 miles of easy running around the property before cleaning up and readying for the day. Once I was all neat and pretty, it was time for Jamba Juice and a little Expo action – where I met with some friends from my run groups, Penny and Odette! Very fun! The expo was a lil nuts, but after I got an overview of it for the most part, I decided it was time to do a little bit of the parks so I hopped around a little bit before it was time to prepare for the 2 PM meetup.

Parks time!

Parks time!

I hadn’t eaten yet, so I took the time to indulge in one of the items I had promised myself – an authentic Disneyland corn dog from the wagon! Yum 😀

BACON.

BACON.

It really was a blur, but before long, the cupcake meetup came and went! I was so glad that it turned out so well (recap on this at a later date) and once I had transported stuff back to the hotel room again, I realized that it really was imperative for me to grab my bib and packet before it was too late! So back to the Expo I went, followed by a walk over to pick up my Bacon Challenge swag! Yeah! Since I had participated during WDW Marathon Weekend, I got the Coast-2-Coast Bacon medal, too.

Then, it was time to meet up with friends again! This time, for a special trip to In-N-Out, Yogurtland and lots of laughs 🙂

YES.

YES.

…after all that, believe me, we could’ve called it a day, but when in Disneyland…why not have even MORE fun?! Katie and I headed back to the parks after 9 to meet up with Sarah to see Fantasmic!

Steamboat Willie leading the character boat out during Fantasmic!

Steamboat Willie leading the character boat out during Fantasmic!

And since we were there…well, why not close out the park with a ride on the Matterhorn and Space Mountain? Oh, we’re running a 10K in 4 hours? Naptime 😉

DAY 3: Saturday, August 31

10K done!

10K done!

10K morning! Woot! This was a magical race – recap coming soon – but after that, it was time to pack up and take my stuff to bell services since I was checking out and moving over to stay with Ashley for my last night at Disney. Once I was ready to go, I spent some more time park-hopping and playing around, hitting up the expo again (mostly to visit the ladies of Sparkle Athletic), attending the team#runDisney Meetup, and then settling in early-ish for the 13.1 wakeup call the next morning…

DAY 4: Sunday, September 1

Race Day (2 of 3)!! Ashley and I got up and headed to the start line 4:30ish, and lucked out when we saw the shuttle outside the hotel. After a quick ride over to the Esplanade, we found our way over to the corrals. Again…recap coming soon but WOW. This is still my favorite half marathon.

The hardware I earned that weekend.

The hardware I earned that weekend.

Again, I cleaned up, dragged my stuff down to bell services and then popped into the parks for a few more hours, where I covered the remaining trip bucketlist items (see THIS) – and even hung out with my friend Emily! We had a fun time playing in a Bug’s Land and getting our Disneyland Today buttons! Thanks, T for the heads up on that one 😀

SO cute.

SO cute.

After a little more time in Disneyland, wherein I got to meetup with some more pals one last time for this runDisney trip, it was time to head on back to the hotel to catch my shuttle back to LAX…where leg 2 – a whole week of adventures in Seattle – where due to start in just hours…beginning with a half marathon!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my West Coast Vacation synopsis…and a whole lot more posts! 

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6 thoughts on “West Coast Vacation, Pt.1: California!

  1. Pingback: Pup has a name! | Shiawase Life

  2. Pingback: 2013 (Inaugural) Disneyland 10K Recap! | Shiawase Life

  3. Pingback: West Coast Vacation, Pt.2: Washington! | Shiawase Life

  4. Pingback: 2013 runDisney Dumbo Double Dare – entirely amelia

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